Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Murder Suspect on the Run; D.A. Accused of Sexual Harassment
Aired September 21, 2010 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, fear and heartbreak swells over the sickening stabbing of a bride-to-be in her own home. Cops say her cold-blooded killer is an ex-con with a long rap sheet. What`s worse? We`re now learning this fugitive skipped a meeting with his parole officer but wasn`t reported missing for an entire month. Is our parole system so broken it`s easy for an ex-con to commit horrific crimes? I`ll talk one-on-one to the victim`s devastated family.
And jaw-dropping new details in the acid attack hoax. The woman who now admits she burned her own face while blaming a stranger is slammed with criminal charges. Just wait until you hear her twisted motive, and you won`t believe how she spent the donations from people who were moved by her phony story.
Then an avalanche of new evidence made public in the Casey Anthony case. Chilling photos give us an intimate look inside what could be the last moments of Caylee`s life, showing the little girl wearing a pink shirt just like the one found near her remains. What does it all mean for this case? We`ll ask bounty hunter Leonard Padilla.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news as California cops search for a vicious parolee -- I mean, vicious -- accused in a horrific murder. A beautiful, hopeful, optimistic bride-to-be stabbed to death inside her own home and then set on fire.
And now cops are in a desperate race to capture a parolee who failed to check in with his parole officer, but, despite that was not reported missing for an entire month. An outrage.
Suspect Omar Loera has been in and out of prison for years now, years and years. In February he was let out of prison early on an armed robbery conviction. Thirty-four-year-old Cheree Osmanhodzic had been shopping for her wedding dress on the very day she was murdered.
Her fiance actually came home while the suspect was still inside. He tried to grab him, bravely racing after him, but the suspect got away. But before he fled, this sicko sets fire to the entire place. Cheree`s body found inside with multiple stab wounds. This poor young woman was planning her wedding, and now she`s dead.
Once again, allegedly at the hands of a career criminal let out of prison early with no supervision. What do our tax dollars go for? How did this happen? They manage to give us speeding tickets and parking tickets. We`ve got to find this guy. We`ve got to stop this kind of horror from happening again. I want you to call me about this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. And we are honored to be joined tonight by Cheree`s two aunts, Pam Kuse and Kim Foscaldo.
First of all, our deepest condolences. We are so very, very sorry for your loss and we know this is a very difficult time for you. So despite that, thank you so much for coming in and talking to us here on ISSUES.
Pam, tell us what happened to your precious niece, Cheree, on this horrific, horrific day.
PAM KUSE, CHEREE`S AUNT: On the day of July 24, my niece had gone shopping with her mother to get her mother`s wedding dress for her wedding, which will be -- was going to be this Friday, September 24. And they went shopping all day, had a wonderful day, came home to Cheree`s home, did a few things inside the home, met up with her fiance in the home.
My sister decided she needed to get on the road for the traffic, came home, and when she got home we got a telephone call that the house had been broken into, and Cheree was nowhere to be found. And then in the ensuing phone calls later into the evening, learning that the house had been set on fire and Cheree was inside.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this beautiful, beautiful woman. And her fiance courageously, bravely chased after this guy, right, Kim?
KIM FOSCALDO, CHEREE`S AUNT: Yes, he did. Yes, he did chase him. He chased him down about five blocks. He was unable to catch him. He was able to get a good look at him and give the police a good sketch of him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I`ve got to say there was a manhunt going on right now, and we have Los Angeles Police Department on the phone.
But I first want to get to this guy`s rap sheet. It`s a jaw-dropper, OK? It goes back 12 years to 1998. He was arrested for bringing pot into the U.S. from Mexico, convicted and deported in 2000.
He comes back to the U.S. He`s convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, deported again in 2001. 2004, he`s convicted of sexual battery and released after only one year. That`s a complete outrage.
2008, convicted of armed robbery, serves less than two years. He`s paroled in February, never checks in with his parole officer and is not reported missing for a month.
Here`s my big issue. Parole paralysis? Come on. We hear about this all the time. Parole officers checking in on sex offender Philip Garrido met his hostage, Jaycee Dugard; never figured it out that she was being held hostage.
Sex offender John Gardner violated his parole numerous times and went on to kill Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.
So once again, Kim, your reaction to this mile-long rap sheet of the man who is now being pursued as we speak for killing your niece.
FOSCALDO: We`re outraged. We can`t believe it. We can`t understand why he`s out -- was out in the first place. What type of good behavior could he have possibly been in jail? We don`t understand why he`s on the streets, why he has rights when Cheree doesn`t have any more rights. We don`t understand how people like him are left on the streets who keep repeating the same crimes or escalating their crimes. He`s gotten more violent through each -- each thing he`s done.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s absolutely outrageous that he was convicted of sexual battery and got out after a year when he had a rap sheet.
FOSCALDO: Right. We just -- we just learned of that. Yes. We can`t believe it. How can anybody be released after they have a sexual assault on, I believe, a child? And then he was released anyway to go on and do what he wanted to do; never checked in and -- for a month. For a month no one was even looking for him. So we don`t understand.
If he was checking in or still in jail, but if he at least was checking in or the parole people were taking care of him, Cheree would be alive today, and we`d be going to her wedding this Friday.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Lieutenant Alan Hamilton, Los Angeles Police Department, tell us, what are you doing to find this creep?
LT. ALAN HAMILTON, LAPD (VIA PHONE): Well, at this time, we`ve been conducting these searches throughout the San Fernando Valley. We`ve had a couple of reportings of sightings recently. And we continue to search very actively for Mr. Loera.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, another fatal error in this case, Loera`s proximity to his parole officer. Loera was released from prison in central California. He was supposed to, according to the rules, meet right away with his parole officer. But his parole officer is something like 400 miles away. So how -- how is that? What kind of mismanagement is that, that you`re supposed to show up immediately and meet with your parole officer, and the parole officer is 400 miles away? And then they don`t report him missing. OK? For a month. Over a month.
You know, and the parole officer is required to enter that information that he doesn`t show up in a database within 24 hours. So Andrew Plankstein, you`re a reporter with "The Los Angeles Times." Is there any way to explain the mismanagement of this parole system?
ANDREW PLANKSTEIN, REPORTER, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": I think one of the issues is also, I mean, in addition to what`s entered into a database, is what you`re doing to actively look for a parolee who`s absconded.
In this case, it`s a six-month gap between the time that he`s released from prison and the time that the killing takes place. And I think one of the things that parole has been talking about is reducing their caseloads by releasing nonviolent offenders. So parole agents can concentrate on people that they feel are violent offenders.
In this case, you have somebody that doesn`t show up to meet, but then the question is, what was done to look for this guy? And I think when you talk to police, this is a big question that they have about the system. There are going to be people who will plead justice, but what is being done to support the officers on the street by the parole department?
PLANKSTEIN: That`s the big question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. The broken parole department. It`s a broken parole department. Krysten in California, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: OK. Well, first of all, Jane, I want to thank you for covering this story. It`s finally getting out to where it needs to be, because the media needs to cover this story more. And thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And especially my heart goes out to Kim and Pam and Adam and Gail and Mike. I am so, so sorry for what has happened.
I am a resident of North Hollywood, and I have been paralyzed by this. I don`t take my dog out at night anymore. I am afraid I`m going to get carjacked. I just -- I won`t go anywhere anymore at night without someone being with me.
But my comment tonight, I find it repulsive that this monster, like you said, was not only released early -- I can sort of understand if it was one conviction, and he was released. But we`re talking about, what, three, four convictions? And the monster was also deported. He was deported twice! What`s going on? Where are my tax dollars going? We can let people on welfare for 20 years, but then we have a monster who commits more than one crime, and we`re not talking about taking a candy bar out of an A Plus or a mini mart. We`re talking about...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. You know, Krysten, you`re right on the money there, because females, women, are half the population. We`re half the taxpayers, if not more. And so all of this, the parole system, the law enforcement system, is supposed to be working for us, OK? And yet, sexual battery is not considered a priority.
You will do more time if you`re caught with a bag of crack than you will if you are raping a woman over and over again. That is just a sick fact of our society, and we have to change it. We, as women, have to stand up and say, enough with this war on women. We`re not putting up with it any more, and we are demanding that law enforcement, when somebody is committed of sexual battery, does more than a year in jail, as this person they`re hunting for right now did. A year in jail for sexual battery. It`s just beyond comprehension.
We`re taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Plus, a Wisconsin prosecutor, a D.A., rocked by a sex scandal. Three women coming forward to claim they were sexually harassed by this guy who`s supposed to be in charge of prosecuting people who abuse women. It`s part of the whole pattern, all right?
And we`ve got more on this disturbing manhunt for a bride-to-be. Look at this beautiful woman in her wedding dress, cut down before she even got a chance to go to the altar.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Omar Loera, thought to be mostly homeless. There is a manhunt on him tonight. He has tattoos of Aztec women on each shoulder. Cops say he frequents the North Hollywood and Fresno areas of California and collects bottles and cans for money. Cops believe this is the man who killed a bride-to-be on the very day that she was shopping for her wedding dress.
Lieutenant Alan Hamilton, LAPD, you heard a caller who lives in the area where this happened, saying she`s terrified to go out. Look at this beautiful woman who was killed. Do you think this creep is still in that neighborhood in the valley, or do you think he`s fled?
HAMILTON: Well, at this time we believe there`s a good possibility he is still in the area. We have no evidence that he has left the Los Angeles area, and we continue to look for him here in the San Fernando Valley. And I`m sure you`re aware we had a very extensive search using horses, dogs. We also used our off-road detail recently, last Friday, and we actually continued that search into the night using other means. And we continue to search for Mr. Loera at this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So that caller better still be careful. Thank God she has a dog, because that`s a very good way to defend yourself. At least they can bark when somebody approaches. And it is a good thing to have. It`s good to have a dog for self-protection.
I`ve got to go to Mark Eiglarsh. You know, just yesterday we did the story here on ISSUES that 97 percent of rapists in America are never prosecuted. Most of them just no charges are even filed or they`re not taken seriously.
Now we hear that this guy, OK, was convicted of sexual battery and released after one year, even though he already had a long rap sheet. What is wrong with our system, Mark?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, let me just start with the general premise you made that I`m going to disagree with. As a former prosecutor, and I`m in the criminal justice system every day as a criminal defense attorney. I don`t think that sexual battery cases like you suggest are taken lightly.
I think that there`s a difference between those cases and crack possession cases like you mentioned earlier. In these sexual battery cases there`s usually problems with victims following through, with the lack of evidence. It could be a number of different reasons. Crack possession? Officer friendly says it`s in his pocket, and there`s minimum mandatories that send these people away for a long time. The answer lies...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re agreeing with me. You`re agreeing with me. It`s easy to convict somebody for crack. You have to do a lot more work to convict somebody for rape. You`ve got to do DNA testing.
EIGLARSH: I agree.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve got to get the testimony of a victim. So yes, it`s harder, but that doesn`t mean it shouldn`t be taken as seriously. Maybe they should stop locking people up for crack and start locking people up for sexual battery.
EIGLARSH: Well, that I don`t disagree with you. We have to be mindful that every time someone goes into prison, there`s someone leaving the back door. It`s basic -- basic physics. So if there are other alternatives that could punish somebody but not take up a bed space in state prison, we need to remember this particular type of case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney, I see this as institutionalized sexism. We were showing this statistics that we -- and shocking statistics, the FBI is saying, basically, rape is wildly underreported in the United States and rarely prosecuted. Ninety-seven percent of rapists never go to prison.
Now we`re hearing about this guy who they`re looking for right now, and we just heard from a woman who was at home terrified to go out because they`re looking for this guy. He was convicted of sexual battery, and he got out after a year.
So why the heck are we locking up so many people for nonviolent drug offenses, and sex criminals are roaming the streets with abandon?
BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that`s a real problem with a lot of cities. A lot of cities concentrate all their efforts on all these drug crimes. There`s minimum mandatories, as Mark said. There`s a lot of laws that are directed at drug crimes.
And sexual assault is difficult to prosecute. You need a -- you need a victim that`s willing to come forward and a lot of victims are embarrassed to come forward or maybe don`t want to come forward or don`t want to be found.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t want to blame the victim. We just had...
COHEN: We`re not blaming the victim. But I`m saying it`s difficult.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We had testimony before Congress just yesterday where a woman said she complained about being raped and robbed, and they accused her of stealing the money. OK? I honestly do believe -- and I know it`s controversial to say this -- that if men were raped more often, we would have a completely different system, and we would have this issue of rape and sexual battery taken much more seriously.
EIGLARSH: I disagree with you. I disagree with you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to throw it back to these women who lost their precious niece, Kim or Pam. Quickly, your last comment.
FOSCALDO: Well, we just want to put out there that Cheree such was such a beautiful, beautiful young girl, full of love and joy and happiness and just so peace loving. We`re just so devastated and upset and -- that she`s been taken from us, you know.
This person is out walking the streets. He`s still free right now. And we want him off the streets. We want people to be aware that he is out there. And, you know, we don`t have Cheree any longer, but someone else could run into them, and he`s a danger to them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A D.A. in trouble.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a really sick one. A highly regarded, married, Wisconsin prosecutor at the center of a salacious sexting scandal. Say that three times.
Three women have now come forward, claiming district attorney Ken Kratz sent them a slew of sexy and downright creepy sext messages. Stephanie Van Groll was a victim of domestic violence in a case Kratz was trying. She claims the D.A. texted her that she was, quote, "a tall, young hot nymph." She also says he threatened her, saying, "If you don`t do what I want, I`ll throw your case out."
A second woman said Kratz harassed her after they met online, telling her gruesome details about a murder case and pushing her to go on a date to watch an autopsy. This is beyond revolting.
Tonight -- woman No. 3, a law student, says he texted her incessantly, and it escalated into sexual harassment. This is a D.A.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA RUSKIEWICZ, RECEIVED SEXTS FROM KRATZ: He had started to send me sexual text messages, such as, you know, "Me and my family are in Traverse City. What are you going to do to please me between the sheets? I`m taking a nap," et cetera.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The D.A., Kratz, apologized for his foul behavior at a press conference. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN KRATZ, D.A. ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: My behavior was inappropriate. I`m embarrassed and ashamed for the choices that I made, and the fault was mine alone. This behavior showed a lack of respect not only for my position but for the young woman that was involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But apparently, he`s not embarrassed and ashamed enough to step down. Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, I cannot believe the audacity of this man to remain in a position of power after being accused and admitting to this sexting of victims.
EIGLARSH: I agree with you. Not since Mike Nifong`s conduct during the Duke lacrosse case have I been as outraged by a prosecutor`s behavior.
In one case the victim, the most vulnerable she could possibly be, has the courage to confront her accuser, who strangled her, and there she relied upon him, this prosecutor, to help her, and he wants to get into her pants. Victimized again. This guy needs to go.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s a sicko. The governor of Wisconsin expressed disgust over these allegations. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JIM DOYLE, WISCONSIN: The e-mails and the content of those e- mails -- and I say this not only as the governor but as a three-term district attorney and three-term attorney general -- obviously deeply, deeply troubling to me. To see that was shocking to me and of great concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the governor says he`s going to start proceedings to remove D.A. Kratz from office as soon as a, quote, "verified complaint" is filed by a county taxpayer.
Mark, what I don`t understand is why this D.A. thinks it`s OK to admit that he was sexting victims and inviting women to autopsies, telling them to wear short skirts and high heels, that he doesn`t get that he has to go!
EIGLARSH: He needs to analyze his conduct when he goes into psychotherapy. He literally used a woman`s dead body at the morgue as a lure to have sexual relations. He used the morgue, essentially, as his social engagement location.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God.
EIGLARSH: It`s sick.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to gag, honestly.
All right. More shockers in a jaw-dropping case. The acid hoax, next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jaw-dropping new details in the acid attack hoax. The woman who now admits she burned her own face while blaming a stranger is slammed with criminal charges. Just wait until you hear her twisted motive and you won`t believe how she spent the donations from people who were moved by her phony story.
Then -- an avalanche of new evidence made public in the Casey Anthony case. Chilling photos give us an intimate look inside what could be the last moments of Caylee`s life. Showing the little girl wearing a pink shirt just like the one found near her remains. What does it all mean for this case? We`ll ask bounty hunter Leonard Padilla.
Tonight -- astonishing new revelations from the woman who staged that phony acid attack -- there she is. Bethany Storro now claims she painted her own face with drain killer (SIC) in an attempt to kill herself?
Three weeks ago she claimed an African-American woman doused her face with acid at a Vancouver park.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETHANY STORRO, FAKED ACID ATTACK: And the trauma it caused me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So now she`s confessing to putting on rubber gloves, buying some drain cleaner at a hardware store, soaking a towel in the drain cleaner and smearing it on her face in an effort, she says, to commit suicide. Storro told the cops, quote, "when I realized it wasn`t killing me, I thought, maybe this was the answer to all of my problems, to have a completely different face. But I thought there would be no evidence of me doing it to myself and then you guys," -- meaning police -- "I thought that you guys would give up on trying to find the person and it would be done." End quote.
But it was far from done. Bethany proceeded to rake in nearly $30,000 in donations from good-hearted people who felt for her. Now that`s earned her three felony theft charges.
Her poor parents -- I feel sorry for them -- they`re very apologetic and they`re totally blown away by this whole thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE NEUWELT, BETHANY STORRO`S FATHER: As any good parent would, we stood by our daughter when she told us these different scenarios. We stood by her. We believed her. Any good parent would do that. So that`s the course we took. Until yesterday, we believed her fully. There was no reason to doubt her at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So does Bethany deserve our pity, or does she deserve to have the book thrown at her? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Welcome fantastic panel: first out to my dear friend clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky, what`s your reaction to this woman claiming -- I don`t know if I buy it -- that she was trying to commit suicide by painting her face with drain cleaner and then claiming an African-American woman threw acid on her.
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, well, we know those acid-throwings that do happen in other parts of the world, when you rebuff a man, he`s allowed to throw acid in your face. And so I think, though Jane, that she is massively depressed and very angry. She`s got possibly body dysmorphia; she was fairly decent-looking and then wanted to mar herself.
But I heard that she allegedly have said she doesn`t have good hearing and now if she was blind, which of course she didn`t because she had glasses on, that that would really drive her parents nuts. And so I think this was like an act of anger towards her parents, who look like fairly decent folks.
So on top of that, she was -- I think I heard she was also going -- she had gotten a divorce. So this adds to depression.
KURIANSKY: Women do wild things to themselves to change their looks, they get mad and they do really -- they make themselves look beautiful by working out or they really go down the drain. And this is what happened I think to her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s gone down the drain with some drain cleaner.
Bethany`s parents -- and I do feel sorry for them -- they promised to return every cent of the $28,000 in donations. Bethany told cops -- you have to get this -- she spent the money on dinner for her parents, train tickets, clothing. She basically went on a shopping spree and she also used the donations to pay for a $600 laser facial peel that she got before the hoax. This is really cuckoo for cocoa puffs.
Here`s more from her devastated parents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. NEUWELT: We are deeply sorry for what happened. If I could find words to express myself other than text and off a sheet of paper, I would.
NANCY NEUWELT, BETHANY STORRO`S MOTHER: We also acknowledge that there was hurt and betrayal to the communities involved and we want to apologize for that. Bethany is extremely sorry for the pain to her friends, family, co-workers at Safeway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Victoria Taft, you`re a real personality in that area. What`s the sentiment out there? Do people want her to go to jail? Do you want her to go to jail?
VICTORIA TAFT, "THE VICTORIA TAFT SHOW", KPAM 860: I think she should do some time actually Jane. I think that she premeditated this attack on herself. She premeditated the excuse. She sent a community into a furor. She made people afraid to go out to this particular area of town. And she duped a bunch of people who are kind-hearted, Good Samaritans who just wanted to help her, including her own employer, the place where she worked out, and indeed the rest of the community. She owes everyone a huge apology, and she should be thrown the book at.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, when I saw this news conference with her, the way the bandages were covered, it`s almost like, there`s something like too much here. It`s something out of like "The Twilight Zone", over the top. I just didn`t buy it in my gut and --
TAFT: There was something phony about it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. There`s something phony about it when you look at it. I hate to say it, there`s an unintentional comical element. That`s what I didn`t want to react to at first. But now that I find out it`s a big phony baloney hoax, I can say, yes, you`re an idiot and you look like a fool.
Here`s my big issue. Is it criminal, or is it just cuckoo, crazy? We`ve heard of people using the insanity defense at a murder case, but can you use the insanity defense for a lesser crime.
Here`s the prosecutor in this case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY GOLIK, CLARK COUNTY DEPUTY PROSECUTOR: I think the right thing to do was to file the charges that I filed. I think the evidence supports the filing of these felony theft charges. And I think the criminal justice system needs to react to and is reacting to her behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney.
BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s what`s wrong with the system Jane. That`s exactly what`s wrong with the system. We were just talking about this. You`re going to spend time, money, effort, possibly a jail sentence, a probationary sentence on someone that`s a nonviolent criminal that may need psychological help that does not belong in jail, maybe probation but I doubt that either.
I think she should pay back the money and let everything be the same. I mean, listen, the girl needs some help. There`s no question about that. But you`re going to spend all of this time and money on someone who is a nonviolent criminal offender when you have criminal offenders --
TAFT: I wouldn`t say that`s nonviolent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you --
COHEN: You wouldn`t say she`s nonviolent?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. One at a time. One at a time. Victoria Taft?
TAFT: I just don`t think that you can make the case that it`s nonviolent. The woman put acid on her face. Indeed she did it to herself, but what`s to stop her from doing it to someone else in the future. If she`s as cuckoo for cocoa puffs as Jane says.
KURIANSKY: What do you mean -- how can you say that? There are people who are suicidal who aren`t homicidal, for goodness sake.
COHEN: That is true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m bringing out the big gavel. One at a time.
TAFT: This woman wanted a new nose and a new face.
KURIANSKY: Yes, but that`s --
COHEN: That`s a silly comment in my mind.
KURIANSKY: -- was doing something to herself does not mean that she`s automatically --
TAFT: What do you mean it`s silly? Hold the phone here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time, please.
TAFT: Last week when I was on this show, I said I think she wanted facial plastic surgery, and, in fact, in the police report it verifies that she had a facial peel within days of this attack on herself.
Here`s a woman who is in self-improvement, went to the gym, wanted to look hot. She was gorgeous and she went and did it again on her face.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think she was gorgeous. Let`s not get carried away.
TAFT: Because I think she wants a new nose.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, guys, please. Let me say something, all right? I want to say this -- I don`t consider it a nonviolent offense. Why? Because there were two real acid attacks in the days following this hoax and cops believe that those real acid attacks which occurred in other states across the country may have been copycats off of this original case.
So I don`t buy that it`s totally nonviolent, Dr. Judy.
KURIANSKY: Well, you know, Jane, there have been cases of this even on the cover of magazines where there were real attacks of these natures, not people hoaxing it, but where it`s really happening. You can open the newspaper as I do when I travel around the world and you find it all the time where men are throwing acid in women`s faces.
So I don`t -- I still think the woman is massively psychiatrically disturbed.
COHEN: I agree.
TAFT: I agree.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Doctor, I think she wants attention. I`ll tell you my theory.
TAFT: I agree.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She was getting divorced. She had to move in with her parents. Her life was going downhill. She was feeling self-pity, she was having a gigantic pity-party, she was like nobody one sympathizes with me, nobody understands my problems. Well, I`m going to give them something to sympathize for and sympathize over. I`m going to hurt myself so I`m going to get all the sympathy in the world and I`m going to get all the attention I crave.
Dr. Judy, your response to that theory?
KURIANSKY: I love that theory. I want to give you an honorary degree. I believe that theory, but I don`t think then that makes her a criminal. I think that makes her absolutely psychiatrically disturbed where she needs to be in a mental hospital, not going through a trial and wasting money.
COHEN: Right. Correct. The doc is absolutely right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we`ll see what happens. Because I`ll tell you she`s not going to get a face-lift behind bars.
All right. Now, from a phony burn story to a very, very real one and this one is a heart warmer -- the recovery of courageous burn victim Michael Brewer.
And we`re taking your calls on the Casey Anthony case, bombshells in a documents dump that just -- just came down, thousands of new documents the prosecution releasing tons of evidence today, including hair-raising pictures giving us a revealing look at little Caylee and could this be a photo of this precious, precious child right before her murder?
We`re going to talk to bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Caylee`s body was there before Caylee was reported missing. Unfortunately, it was a cold case before it was a missing person case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heartbreaking new evidence released in the Casey Anthony case.
But first "Top of the Block" tonight.
This is a miraculous recovery. Nearly a year after he was doused with rubbing alcohol and set on fire allegedly by some classmates, Michael Brewer is ready to put this nightmare behind him. The vicious attack left the teenager with severe burns over two-thirds of his body. Michael had to undergo several painful skin grafts and surgery.
But after intense treatment, today he looks fantastic and he marks the final day at the burn center. So we asked, what got him through this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BREWER, BURN VICTIM: Prayers, believing, and just family, I guess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What doesn`t kill you makes you stronger. Way to go, Michael Brewer. You are our young hero.
And that is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
And also tonight -- an avalanche of evidence in the Casey Anthony document dump, the latest one to come down, the most compelling and possibly incriminating exhibit? Chilling, heartbreaking new photos of little Caylee wearing a pink T-shirt that says, "Big trouble comes in small packages." Those are sadly the very same words on the T-shirt found near where Caylee`s remains were ultimately discovered.
The photos were snapped by Casey`s ex-boyfriend Ricardo Morales. Now, could he know more secret details about what happened to Caylee?
Prosecutors also released a slew of audio interviews between cops and searchers from Texas EquuSearch, including an interview with the director of Texas EquuSearch, Tim Miller, who makes a jaw-dropping claim as he describes a conversation between George Anthony and a friend of George`s who was visiting the Anthony home after Caylee vanished but before her remains were discovered.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he said, "Well he knows the answer`s in the bedroom," and he pointed to ah, Casey`s bedroom. And his words were, "But the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) won`t talk."
(END AUDIO CLIP)
Meantime, get used to hearing the phrase "junk science" over and over again. Casey`s dream team says they believe the prosecution`s evidence about the decomposition of Caylee`s remains is not admissible in court.
Give me a holler, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to "In Session" correspondent, Jean Casarez; Jean, you just heard it. We`re now learning George was reportedly very frustrated feeling his daughter Casey knew the answer to Caylee`s disappearance but wouldn`t talk about it. Why is this significant?
JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": It`s extremely significant because that is the state of mind that is the demeanor from this witness. Let me go on from there because what happened was that a map -- the head of EquuSearch Timothy Miller had a map and he had George ask Casey, put an X where we should start the search.
Cindy got angry. Casey ran to her bedroom. That X was never put on that map. George Anthony will be questioned about that by prosecutors.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. At first glance these photos of little Caylee, adorable photos of the pink T-shirt, the one with the same writing as the T-shirt found near her body. Well, they sure look like they were taken right before she vanished.
But here`s the thing. They were taken by Ricardo Morales, described as an ex-boyfriend of Casey`s. At the time Caylee vanished, Casey was dating someone named Tony Lazaro. He is the guy who helped cops get information from Casey`s brother Lee in this secret video.
So I want to go out to bounty hunter Leonard Padilla. Great to see you Leonard.
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: How are you doing Jane?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: These photos are sure to be a bombshell if they with were taken right before Caylee vanished. They show Casey --
PADILLA: Sure that was the article of clothing -- that was the article of clothing that was definitely found out there. But let me correct something.
PADILLA: Casey was never in the room when there was a map being tossed around on a table. Tracy was with her. I asked Tracy again today, did Casey leave the room to go look at a map? She says absolutely not. It never took place like that. She never left the room. I was with her in that room the whole time that that map thing was being discussed.
The other thing about George making that statement, that`s very accurate also. Plus the fact that the day before George had actually tried to go into the room and assault Casey, screaming at her, "You know -- where`s my granddaughter? What happened to my granddaughter? You know."
And it was his friend Jim, previous acquaintance from the Ohio police department and Cindy that dragged him out of that room. Otherwise, he would have been all over Casey on that occasion also.
But I want to get to the photos again, these photos that show Casey with little Caylee. And she`s wearing the same T-shirt as tragically when her body is ultimately discovered. They are taken by Ricardo Morales, but Casey is dating somebody else by the name of Tony Lazaro at the time.
So how -- was she dating more than two people at once? Or why is it that this photo is taken by somebody who may have been out of the picture by the time the child disappeared?
PADILLA: Well, the timing of when the picture was taken is unknown. I don`t think anybody has the -- the ability to say it was taken the day before or the week before.
But Casey was having a relationship with probably a half dozen individuals during the June to July time period. The day before, like on the 16th, that evening she`s at Blockbuster. That morning she was at another friend`s house driving Lazaro`s car.
So it`s a situation where Casey was probably seeing or having relationships --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
PADILLA: -- with at least six different guys during a very small period of time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? Wow, six guys.
PADILLA: At least.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Julie in Kentucky, your question or thought. Julie?
JULIE, KENTUCKY (via telephone): Yes. Hi.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh Julie, hi.
JULIE: First of all, I believe that Casey Anthony is 100 percent innocent in this whole situation. Whether the pictures were taken soon after she was killed or the day of, the pictures of Caylee and Casey they`re both smiling and very happy. I mean, it does not look like to me that this was planned that day or even during that week.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, that is the absolute point I was going to make. Of all the evidence I looked over that was released you`re going to see the defense lawyers hold up a photo and say pictures are worth a thousand words. This is inconsistent with a mother who`s a monster who wants this child killed. That`s what the defense is going to argue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side -- more Casey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY RAY, CASE FOLLOWER: I`m Joy Ray. Bye. Hope you enjoy the -- our clip of Caylee. Just want to let everybody know that -- about the memorial and we appreciate everybody leaving us stuffed animals. So peace out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. That woman is Casey Anthony case follower, Joy Ray. Her videos were part of today`s massive evidence dump.
Take a look at this. Joy took it upon herself to document activity at Caylee`s makeshift memorial which was put up at the site where Caylee`s remains were discovered less than a mile from the Anthony home. This is part of the document dump.
Jean Casarez, I don`t really understand thee evidentiary value here.
CASAREZ: None. I don`t see relevance at all in this video. It was done the next year. I think in the springtime. So you can`t even equate the month or the year before as to look at the moisture content of the land. Not relevant at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Here`s my big issue: junk science. We`ve heard that scientists have found signs of decomposition in Casey`s car. That was supposedly a slam dunk for the prosecution that Caylee`s body had been there, but the fine print from scientists says something a little different. Quote, "a portion of the total odor signature identified in the trunk is consistent with an early decompositional event that could be of human origin."
Huh, not so much of a slam dunk anymore.
Jose Baez was -- actually traveled today to this place called the Tennessee body farm. He is going to try to poke holes in this claim that there is this smell of human decomposition coming from the trunk. They call it junk science.
Mark Eiglarsh, do you think the evidence of air, which is invisible, is going to get in as something that is going to be evidence that the jury will hear?
EIGLARSH: Million-dollar question. We know it`s never been done before, and it`s got to pass the fry test. Here in Florida the judge will listen to scientific evidence and determine whether the scientific evidence is generally reliable in that community. And he`s not an expert. He`s going to have to defer to the experts to make that decision.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I mean, the thing is you can`t see it. Ok? It`s not like a piece of evidence like if I`m holding this card, ok, this is a piece of evidence, you cannot see air. How do they examine that evidence? Where does that go?
EIGLARSH: That`s what the experts are going to testify to. It will make for fun media appearances because it`s quite frankly going to be very dry and boring. Ultimately it`s not going to make a difference though in this case to the defense. For sure the prosecution can establish the smell of death in that vehicle. They`ve got it from several people including her own parents. Whether it comes in or it doesn`t come in, I don`t believe will affect the outcome of this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Leonard Padilla, there`s been talk from you about a conspiracy theory. You, for example, have told us here on ISSUES, you don`t believe Roy Kronk was just a Good Samaritan who happened to discover Caylee`s remains. But rather you claim that Kronk knew where to look and what he was looking for.
And here`s what Tim Miller`s attorney said about you. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s my opinion that Leonard Padilla has not been right about hardly one thing in this entire case. He had everybody looking in a river, and has made one mistake after another in my opinion as it relates to his assessment of the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leonard Padilla, ten seconds.
PADILLA: Well, Mark has a beautiful wife. That`s the only good thing I can say about him. The thing about it is Kronk got his information from his girlfriend, he bragged about it to his family members and the girlfriend got it from whoever law enforcement called to be present the day the attorney went in there and talked to Casey. There was always law enforcement present.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. Mr. Kronk, you`re invited on any time.
You`re watching ISSUES.