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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Pregnant Woman, Fiance Murdered; Woman, 19, Victim of Acid Attack; Night of Terror; Reality Show Nightmares
Aired September 28, 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, the war on women takes a horrifying new turn. A pregnant woman brutally murdered in Texas, stabbed more than 20 times with a butcher knife. Tonight, a bizarre new twist. Her fiance was also shot and killed just 30 minutes earlier in a different location. Did this woman yell out her killer`s name just seconds before she died? Is it someone close to the family?
And a young mother attacked with acid. Cops say the skin-burning liquid was thrown directly in her face by her future mother-in-law. The sickening trend started with a hoax. So why do these attacks keep happening?
Also, an affluent family, picked at random, brutally murdered inside their own home. Stomach-churning new details emerge in the Petit family murder trial. Were these two girls doused in gasoline and burned alive?
Plus, death, divorce, polygamy. The bright lights turn on reality superstars, their lives crumbling right in front of the cameras. Tonight, we`ll go inside some unbelievable new reality-show nightmares.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight as a person of interest is now behind bars in a demented -- and I mean demented -- rampage of violence that killed three.
A very pregnant woman stabbed more than 20 times dies, but not before she cries out a name. Hours later, just miles away, her fiance is also found murdered. Police think they were slaughtered by the same person. Who would want this couple dead and why?
Twenty-seven-year-old Leiah Jackson was stabbed almost two dozen times -- look at her -- with a butcher knife at her Houston-area home Sunday. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant. Leiah managed to stumble to her mother`s home next door and identify her attacker. She called out that it was her fiance`s cousin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMMY JACKSON, VICTIM`S COUSIN: She made it to her mother`s front door and banged on the front door and related to my aunt that she felt who had done this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As police were hunting for Leiah`s attacker, her fiance was found shot to death. The body of 30-year-old Yancey Daniels was discovered at a Houston apartment complex where a fire also raged, destroying eight apartments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. C.E. ELLIOT, HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: He apparently came from off the premises, ran into the complex and collapsed and died in the bushes near the center of the complex.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police have made an arrest tonight. Affiliate KTRK is reporting that it`s the dead man`s cousin. It`s the same cousin apparently, reportedly, that the pregnant woman implicated as she lay dying. Who is this person? And what is behind this murderous rampage?
Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. First to HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks. What do you make of this rampage at two locations?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the problem is, what is the motive behind this, Jane? We don`t know. Law enforcement is saying it`s not domestic violence. It`s not any kind of gang activity. There`s no narcotics involved. So what is the motive? Was there some kind of jealousy? We don`t know.
And it`s -- it`s strange about this fire, but right now officials don`t believe that fire at that apartment complex has anything to do with this case. But they`re still looking at all the evidence right now, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that would be really bizarre. A guy is found dead, and eight apartments are on fire, and they don`t have anything to do with each other? That`s an apartment complex you don`t want to live at.
BROOKS: That`s for sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police have yet to file homicide charges. They are holding this person of interest on unrelated charges of parole violation and misdemeanor drug possession. That was the couple you just saw there.
Now, these murders happened within an hour of each other and just miles apart. Investigators think the man was shot just a short time before. Whoever does this goes over to the fiancee`s home and then stabs the fiancee, who`s also the mother of the unborn child.
Two different weapons are used. The man is shot. The woman stabbed. The person of interest, allegedly a cousin -- and we understand that this person being held has a rap sheet and has drug issues.
What do you make of it, Dr. Dale Archer?
DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, the first thing I`ll say is that she was stabbed multiple times. And typically, when that happens, you`re looking at a crime of passion.
My prediction right off the bat is that this was some type of love triangle, that he was infatuated with her and decided to take it out on both of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue. Are family secrets behind this bloody crime spree? Leiah Jackson, as we`ve been saying, implicated her fiance`s cousin. We just heard it. Could this have been some sort of love triangle turned tragic?
Stabbings are very personal, especially, my gosh, the killer would have to be overcome with rage or vengeance to stand face-to-face with a very pregnant woman who`s about to give birth in a couple of weeks and stab her more than 20 times.
Joanna Greenwall, criminal defense attorney, what do you make of it?
JOANNA GREENWALL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. I make of it that I don`t think this has been mentioned that potentially, maybe, the fiance wasn`t the father. Maybe actually the person who stabbed her -- because that amount of times -- I do agree with Dr. Dale. That amount of timed, that definitely is a crime of passion. Twenty times? I`ve had several criminal cases. That`s making sure someone`s dead.
And the fact the woman is 8 months pregnant, that means your -- children live that long. So they`re trying to kill the baby and kill the mother to make sure that it`s all done with. Someone is very angry and out to get them and very jealous, and I think it was a drug-induced situation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you`re right with drugs.
GREENWALL: A crime of passion.
GREENWALL: And I think it might be someone else was the father.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. Wait. What I`m hearing in my ear from producers is that police are now telling us they believe the man who was killed is the father. In other words, that this was not some -- right? Is that right? Rob Beck? Yes. OK. That`s right. So they`re discounting that. They`re saying this woman was killed, as well as the father of her unborn child.
But what I found absolutely fascinating, Mike Brooks, is the cousin -- the cousin that was picked up was picked up on a parole violation and was picked up for misdemeanor drugs. What this is telling me is this could be some kind of family outcast member.
Some, you know, there`s one in every family, the one who does everything wrong and gets into trouble and always has a chip on their shoulder and carries resentment against the ones like these individuals, who are doing well, who are happy, who are having a family.
BROOKS: Yes. That could very well be because, as I said, law enforcement right off the bat are saying there`s no drug deal involved here. So these two could be innocent, but we will not know what the real motive is until possibly they sit down -- we don`t know if they`ve talked to him about this. I`m sure they have.
But right now they`re just holding him on those charges until some forensics come back from the knife, from all the other evidence they`ve gathered in this, before they charge him with the two murders.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It could have been just jealousy, just generic jealousy of someone who`s happy. Look at that picture we just saw there. They appear happy. You know, sometimes that drives other people crazy, when they`re -- when they`re not happy.
Jennifer, Louisiana, your question or thought?
CALLER: I -- I am absolutely repulsed by this. You know, being from Baton Rouge, we`re a city that has a lot of domestic violence issues, and just to know that this is going on not only just in Louisiana but outside of the state. And just to know that this was a family member of the girl who was pregnant and the man is so disheartening. And you know, a whole family has been destroyed by one stupid, stupid act of violence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I`d like to know -- this guy, this cousin who`s been arrested as the person of interest and has a rap sheet, I`d like to know what his rap sheet is for. Because if this guy has a history of violence, that means that anytime he has a problem, even a family problem, he`s going to use violence quite likely to solve it. So it could be that, as well. Now here`s another...
GREENWALL: Absolutely, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
GREENWALL: I`m sorry, Jane...
ARCHER: Also is...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, dr. Dale Archer.
ARCHER: Yes. I want to say that I think that what you hit on with the violence is more likely than the drugs because, by and large, when you have violence with drugs. it`s going to be related to someone that is in the trade. That`s a user. That`s a dealer. We have no evidence whatsoever that she was involved with drugs in any way, shape or form.
But I think that the violence certainly would speak to the fact that you`re right. That is a learned behavior. And if that`s how you handle disappointment, then who knows how these people could have disappointed him?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you...
ARCHER: He decided, "I`m going to get them back."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only is there no evidence she`s involved with drugs. She worked at an elementary school where she was very, very loved by everyone, and they had to send out a letter to all sorts of elementary- school kids and their parents, saying this woman had been murdered. So that doesn`t sound like someone who`s up to no good. This is a victim -- Joanna.
GREENWALL: The thing I think that`s -- yes, the thing I think that`s very important is what you brought up before, the rap sheet issue. As a criminal defense attorney, if someone actually does have a violent background and actually had -- was pled out or -- actually had a trial or was found guilty, if they were arrested, their crime can be enhanced because of a criminal violent past. This charge could actually be enhanced.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three dead, the unborn child included.
Everyone stay right where you are. This deadly mystery out of Texas. We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, a woman accused of -- it`s happened again -- throwing acid, this time on her future daughter-in-law. This young woman now scarred for life. Why does this keep happening?
But first, hunting down a killer. Who murdered this expectant mother and her fiance? Is it someone close to the family?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: She made it to her mother`s front door and banged on the door and related to my aunt that she felt she had done this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: She was in the prime of her life. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant and I invited her to -- to her memorial. She passed. No pulse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What kind of sicko could stab a pregnant woman, 8 1/2 months pregnant, more than 20 times? Houston police believe the very same person who killed Leiah Jackson shot her fiance to death the very same night.
Straight out to Joe Gomez, news reporter KTRH-News Radio, covering the story out of Houston, Texas.
Joe, what do you know about this suspect?
JOE GOMEZ, REPORTER, KTRH-NEWS RADIO: All we know right now is that it could potentially be her cousin. Of course, remember that Leiah Jackson had crawled her way -- after she was attacked, brutally attacked, 20 times with a butcher`s knife, crawled way from her apartment to her mother`s apartment complex down the street, collapsed on her mother`s front steps, bleeding to death. Her mother answered the door, and she said that Leiah told her that the killer was her cousin. So we could connect the dots and presume that police have, in fact, detained her cousin.
And if that`s the case, this person obviously has a grudge out to wipe out this family. Twenty times they stabbed Leiah, and then he brutally shot her boyfriend. And police obviously found his body later on that same day.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could these killings have been about money, perhaps? Turns out Leiah Jackson comes from a wealthy family which owns a ranch near Houston. They reportedly have millions of dollars in gas leases. Leiah is also the great niece of civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy Height, who you see there, who died in April. She was memorialized in Washington, D.C.
So I`m wondering, could the family fortune be a motive? And I`ll throw that out to Dr. Dale Archer.
ARCHER: Yes, of course. Money is one of the oldest motives out there, Jane. And we could speculate that perhaps he was going to be cut out somehow, or he wasn`t getting his due, or when the two of them had the child, then the child was going to be getting more money than he would be. So yes, I think that`s a very, very strong...
GREENWALL: How would he get money?
GREENWALL: I`m not exactly sure how I see the connection if he`s -- how would he necessarily get the money? How -- do we definitively know that he has some stake here? Again, I think it`s more...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, we don`t.
GREENWALL: I think that it`s more that this -- this -- whoever the person in question is, because the amount of time someone was stabbed here, especially a woman about to give birth, like it`s not even just the beginning of the pregnancy, about to give birth, this is such, as you said originally, Dr. Dale, originally. This is something, such a crime of passion, such hatred, such violence, and even with a fire on top of it, which I do believe is related.
There`s something so much sicker to this whole big picture than I think about being cut out of wills. There`s something more to this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Family secrets -- family secrets are usually about a handful of things, sex, money, OK, power. All of those things are the top three things that family secrets are about.
So it could be a combination of money, jealousy, and lust and sex. We don`t know. All we know is that this is a very, very sick person who did it.
GREENWALL: Or love.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not love. This is not love. Nobody does this for love.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a misinterpretation of love. That`s not what love means.
GREENWALL: Yes, I agree with you. Yes, I think...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rachel, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: My question is, is could the cousin be charged with three separate counts of murder: one for the child, one for the mom, and one for the fiance?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question. Joanna Greenwald, criminal defense attorney?
GREENWALD: Yes. I believe that they have three separate charges. Different states recognize a fetus different ways. But I believe in this state they recognized all three.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That brings me to a very sick statistic in the war on women. You know, it`s really sad to say here in America the leading cause of death among pregnant women is murder. The leading cause of death.
Now, this is a double tragedy that makes the killer eligible for the death penalty in many states. We saw this in the Laci Peterson case. Remember that famous case? Like Leiah Jackson, Laci was eight months pregnant when she was killed in 2002. Her husband, Scott Peterson, was convicted and sentenced to death for two murders, Laci`s and the murder of her unborn child.
So Mike Brooks, this is going to be, when they bring this horrific killer to trial, a very sensational case right up there with the Laci Peterson case.
BROOKS: Oh, absolutely. In this case -- still, the motive is -- it`s not known. And it`s all speculation up to this point, and right now we just don`t know. And you know, waiting for those forensics to come back, it sounds as if this guy is going to be charged with the three murders.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Gomez, you`re in the area. What is the reaction in the community to this horrific murder of this woman, who is working with elementary-school children, who now have to be instructed about this horrific fact of life, murder?
GOMEZ: Jane, people are terrified. They can`t believe it. I mean, Leiah Jackson was 27 years old. She was a nurse`s aide at an elementary school. She was taking -- she was trying to finish her master`s degree to be a counselor. And she had, by the looks of it, the perfect life. She was about to give birth to probably a beautiful baby son, you know, and she was about to get married to her boyfriend.
And then somebody just came in the middle of the night and ruined it all. And people think that it could happen to anybody. I`m sure there are people who say they`re locking their doors at night when they wouldn`t before. This is a brutal and horrific murder that really -- this is a small sleepy town for a thing like this to happen to. It`s horrifying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But let`s not get people too scared if, in fact, this is a crime of passion that is connected to the family and not some kind of random killer out there. I mean, let`s hope they got the right person. We don`t know.
I want to thank very much my fantastic panel.
Hellish new details coming out in the Petit murder trial. Monstrous details, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said, "Watch out, Jessica. She`s got acid."
JESSICA BURNS, ACID ATTACK VICTIM: She grabbed acid from the top of the refrigerator, reached over his shoulder and squirted it all over my face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden I just seen my mom`s arm come up over my shoulder, and I seen screaming -- and I heard screaming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the Indianapolis woman and her husband, terrorized by yet another acid attack. Jessica Burns, the latest victim in a string of these unimaginable assaults.
The 19-year-old came home from the hospital after hurting her knee and was allegedly doused with acid by her future mother-in-law, of all people. Forty-year-old Angela Patterson now behind bars, charged with aggravated battery and criminal recklessness.
This hideous violence reportedly unfolded in front of Jessica`s 1- year-old daughter. Thankfully, the child was not hurt.
Joining me now with the very latest, ace reporter Deanna Dewberry.
Deanna, do we have any idea what led to this attack?
DEANNA DEWBERRY, REPORTER: It had been quite a bit building with this family. By their own admission, this family is pretty dysfunctional. The police had responded to disturbances at this house nine times since January 1.
And the -- the -- Angela Patterson`s son tells us that she had been on drugs for many, many years. It had gotten worse after she had a brain aneurism five years ago.
And so when the young woman came home, Jessica, the victim, came home with painkillers, the mother was really agitated, wanted the painkillers. When Jessica refused to give them to her, that`s when the acid attack occurred.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drugs always, so often, at the heart of these horrific events. Now Jessica, the woman you`re looking at there, was born legally blind in one eye, and now she says she`s lost her vision in the other half.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNS: I don`t even like to look in the mirror right now. I don`t feel like the same person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor thing. If police are right, how could a woman allegedly do this to the very woman her son is set to marry? She`s definitely not going to get invited to the wedding.
My big issue tonight: was this a copycat? There`s been an avalanche of acid attacks recently. Was hoaxster Bethany Storro the inspiration for all this dysfunction? Last month, Bethany -- you`re looking at her there - - claimed a woman randomly threw acid on her face. But then Bethany later admitted she applied the acid to her face herself in the hopes of scoring a free makeover.
Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer, ironically, the future mother- in-law arrested in this latest case is now claiming that Jessica burned herself. Is it possible that Bethany is inspiring all of this dysfunction?
ARCHER: Well, I think it`s possible, but I think it`s more likely, Jane, that the drugs played a role. Again, nine visits by the police there? Her own son saying that she had a drug problem? And these are narcotic painkillers. These are the most addictive drugs on the planet. They`re in the same class as heroin. And I think it goes to show the viewers, look, if you will do this for a half a bottle of pain pills, how incredibly powerful can these drugs be?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Deanna, quickly, this woman doubly insulted. Now there`s a claim that she did it to herself, which I think this looks very genuine. Don`t you?
DEWBERRY: Oh, absolutely. And in fact, this happened in the presence of her son. The son would really have no reason to lie about this. And certainly there is lots of evidence. There is lots of discord in the family for some time. There`s no doubt about that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Deanna, excellent report. Thank you so much. Come back soon.
Fast-breaking news in the horrifying -- and I mean horrifying -- Petit murder. You will not believe what the defense is doing now. It`s sick.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: An affluent family picked at random, brutally murdered inside their own home. Stomach-churning new details emerge in the Petit family murder trial. Were with these two young girls doused in gasoline and burned alive?
Plus, debt, divorce, polygamy: the bright lights turn on reality superstars, their lives crumbling right in front of the cameras. Tonight we`ll go inside some unbelievable new reality show nightmares.
Tonight -- new outrage over the drama happening outside court in the Petit family home invasion murder trial. The attorney for the second defendant set to go on trial later violated a gag order and spoke to the media about this hideous crime. Did that attorney victimize the Petit family all over again? I believe so. Now that lawyer is headed to court to answer for his actions.
Inside court today, experts testified gasoline was poured all over the Petit house and even on top of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Michaela and Hayley before this house was set on fire.
Career criminal, Steven Hayes is the first of two men to be tried for these horrific killings. He`s also charged with raping the mother.
Joshua Komisarjevsky goes on trial next. In addition to these murders, he`s charged with raping 11-year-old Michaela. But his attorney says the Petit family is getting bad information that could hurt his client. Listen to this shocking statement from that attorney for this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMIAH DONOVAN, KOMISARJEVSKY`S ATTORNEY: There`s a long time between now and the Komisarjevsky trial and I just don`t want the Petit family to believe that on the night she died, the morning that she died, their second daughter was the subject of an anal rape because that is just not what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The nerve of this lawyer to talk about those horrific details, denying one particularly heinous form of sexual assault while his client has already admitted to sexually assaulting that 11-year-old girl in other ways. That lawyer should be held in contempt. This is violating the family for a second time.
I have the feeling, sadly, the Petit family is about to relive their nightmare a third time when the second suspect, Joshua Komisarjevsky, goes on trial next year. In fact, I`m wondering, will their nightmare ever end?
I`m taking your calls, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Straight out to my fantastic expert panel, but first, to "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas from TruTV; Beth, you were inside the courtroom today, a lot of big developments. What were the biggest developments?
BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, the biggest development, Jane, is that all of the evidence is in. Both sides have rested. Today the prosecution wrapped up with arson experts and an expert who analyzed inorganic and organic materials at the fire scene and determined that a petroleum-like substance consistent with gasoline was all over the house just as you just stated.
The jury had already heard that gasoline was on the body of Michaela, the 11-year-old, on the bed of Hayley. She wasn`t found in her bed. She was at the top of the stairs. Mother Jennifer Hawke-Petit burned beyond recognition but she did not die from the fire. She was strangled first.
Michael Christian, producer "In Session", you were also in and out of the courtroom. I was horrified to learn just before air that there is a defense argument trying to insinuate in some sick fashion that, oh, Dr. Petit`s bindings got loose and that might indicate that he was involved?
When this guy was beaten with a bat; let`s show the pictures of how this guy was beaten with a bat -- this doctor, there he is -- to within an inch of his life and had to roll out of the house, roll, physically roll, across the yard to a neighbor`s house to beg for help? And what is the defense trying to claim?
MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, PRODUCER, "IN SESSION": That`s right, Jane. That was actually the last prosecution witness. His name was Jeremiah Krog (ph), he`s a prison guard at the prison where they`ve been holding Steven Hayes while he`s been awaiting this trial. He says that roughly one year after Hayes was arrested he was outside Hayes` cell because Hayes was under 24-hour surveillance. They watched him all the time to make sure he didn`t try to commit suicide, that he wasn`t hoarding drugs or infringing the rules in any way.
Apparently he overheard Hayes, he says, talking to the inmate in the next cell. And he says that they talked about many things that -- one of the things was, again, according to the witness, the inmate in the next cell said, "Hey, listen, I heard there was a lot of insurance money involved here. Do you think maybe this Dr. Petit was involved? He was the only one that survived and he got a lot of money."
According to this witness, Jeremiah Krog said, well, I wondered about that because I tied him in the basement and I tied him very, very tightly. I don`t see how he could have gotten loose unless maybe Joshua Komisarjevsky went down and loosened his bonds.
So the clear inference at least from Hayes according to this witness was that maybe Komisarjevsky and Dr. Petit were in this somehow together to split the insurance money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, what makes me sick to my stomach about this case, well, everything makes me sick to my stomach about this case. Sometimes I have to really force myself to read the research because it`s so revolting, you know. It`s depressing.
But the idea that this family has already been through hell and this poor doctor, ok, who has just living his life and doing good work, being a medical doctor, being a good father, a good husband, has to endure this horrific crime. And then, on top of it, the lawyer for one suspect is talking about hideous details of how his daughter was raped or not raped. And then the other suspect, they still try to bring up this issue of, well, maybe he somehow was involved?
Here`s the father we`re looking at right here. This guy is a hero. He`s a hero for just -- for just surviving this nightmare without end.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You`re right, Jane. One of the things that you have to tell individuals that are involved in this is to keep your eye on the ball. And right now the focus is on getting these guys punished. And all of this is just fluff you on the side. What`s important is to work with the lawyers, to work with the prosecutors and the legal system in order to make sure they are punished for what they did.
That`s part of the empowerment of how you move on and are able to get your life back on track. It`s by taking charge, taking the steps necessary to make a difference and make sure these guys go away forever.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, does this make you as sick to your stomach as it makes me? That they would again bring up this nonsense about Dr. Petit?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Jane, this is unbelievable. I mean -- Michael Christian, I don`t know how he and Beth Karas have been able to sit there day after day after day listening to this. It`s bad enough on "In Session" we`ve been covering this. But our viewers are out there and they`re so impassioned.
No. It makes me want to puke that he can make any kind of insinuation whatsoever against this doctor. I`m glad to see the doctor and his father-in-law come out after court today and say, how ridiculous this insinuation was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they`re doing their defense.
BROOKS: These two monsters are the ones that set them on fire. And one of the things -- other things Steven Hayes is trying to say was, "I didn`t light the match. I just poured the gasoline around." They found gasoline or petroleum product consistent with gasoline on the clothes of both Steven Hayes and Komisarjevsky.
You know what? He`s trying to say, I might have done some things but not as bad as Joshua did to them. It is just ridiculous, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ruth, Indiana, your question or thought, ma`am? Hey Joanna, just pipe down honey until we get to you. Ok. Thank you but we have to keep, you know -- Ruth, Indiana.
RUTH, INDIANA (via telephone): Yes. I was wondering, are these two guys are they career criminals?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, they are. Michael Christian, what is their history?
CHRISTIAN: They have long histories, particularly Steven Hayes. Now Steven Hayes was kind of a lower level guy. He had a long history of burglary but it all seems to be pretty much drug-related. He was the kind of guy who would apparently take a brick, smash out your car window, steal your purse, take the cash and buy drugs.
Komisarjevsky was more of a home invader, a burglar. He apparently likes to go, according to reports, break into people`s houses. Sometimes he would go in, in the middle of the night and maybe not even take anything. He said he liked the thrill of going in. He apparently has said that sometimes he would sit there and just listen to the sounds of the house or listen to the people sleeping or maybe move a chair five inches or swap pictures on the wall so in the morning you`d know somebody had been there but nothing was missing.
So he was a little higher level in the burglary department and Hayes was a little lower level.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue tonight: equally evil. I mean, I think everybody agrees these guys are both completely evil, even though the guy currently on trial, Steven Hayes, is trying to point the finger at the other guy, Joshua Komisarjevsky and say, oh, you know, I just wanted -- baldy over there is trying to argue, I just wanted to rob and leave and go get a margarita. It was really the other guy.
I think it`s nonsense, Joanna Greenwald, because first of all, Steven Hayes, baldy, went to get gasoline at 7:00 in the morning right toward the beginning of all of this mayhem. So he had to know that they were going to burn the house down because that`s what they used, gasoline. So how on earth is he able to point to the other guy and say well, you know, he`s really the one who raped the 11-year-old first so, then he said I should even the score and rape the mother and I was pressured into doing it. What nonsense.
JOANNA GREENWALD, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, again, now I`ll answer and address it, what I meant is dealing with the defense that way, focusing on that point is that the defense was that he was just trying to, because it`s beyond a reasonable doubt, Jane -- they`re just trying to show, just for this specific defendant, that someone else had the motive.
Even if it`s all disgusting and even if it breaks everyone`s heart as a subject matter because it`s heartbreaking. The bottom line though is that by planting some seed of some motive, then that`s what they were trying to do by saying that the father had something to do with it and he tied it tightly and maybe the other guy let it looser. That`s why he did it.
They were trying to do a defense to plant a seed of reasonable doubt.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How could you defend these people? I know there`s a book by that title. You won`t believe the next story. You`ve got to stick around and find out what it is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight -- reality show nightmares. Happy families crash and burn, and it`s all caught on tape. It`s the reality TV curse.
Tonight we`re talking -- let`s see -- miserable sextuplets, octuplets and even multiple wives. Get your scorecard out. First there`s a new show about polygamy and it`s sparking a police investigation. Could the star be tossed in jail for having a slew of wives?
Plus, the octo-mom desperate for cash peddles her panties and bras in a very bizarre yard sale. Will lingerie signed by the octo-monster bring in enough cash to pay off her mortgage?
And another multiple mommy hits rock bottom. The stars of WeTV`s "Raising Sextuplets" follows in the footsteps of -- you guessed it -- Jon and Kate Gosselin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re going to attempt Mr. Mom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really appreciate the emasculation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In some things I think he`s the woman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out because I said so. I don`t feel good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t want to go to work. Believe me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you get off my case?
Can you just listen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emotions are running high.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just get these kids out of the house.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not anger. It`s rage. Rage is a whole different ball game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re kind of in trouble here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight -- Jennifer and Brian Masche splitting up after Brian`s arrest for domestic violence. Is signing up for a reality show the kiss of death?
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel -- but first to senior executive editor of RadarOnline Dylan Howard; Dylan, I`ve got to start with octo-mommy. What`s her thought process here?
I`m going broke. My mortgage is going to foreclose. What should I do? Oh, let me take my underwear and hold a yard sale. That`s the idea.
DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Well, Jane, the bad news for octo-mom is that all she raised was $2,600. Her undies, it seems, is only worth just $2,500.
She actually priced it. She thought she was going to raise $100,000. Now, this of course follows the drama as she fails to make payments in her house in California. It`s about to be foreclosed on, she`s about to be evicted and she`s almost certainly going to go onto welfare.
This is a case of someone who shot into the public consciousness but failed to cash in on that fame or notoriety with a television show. Now she`s raising so many children with very little money to do so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I don`t know who`s the biggest loser -- speaking of TV shows -- on all of these cases because it`s a competition.
Let`s go to next one. Tonight TLC`s new hit show "Sister Wives" -- this is my personal favorite, personal favorite. It`s under fire. The show follows a man with four wives -- that`s right, he has four wives. How does he have time to be a salesman? Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he and I met, I guess I was just young and in love. He and I both knew that we would take another wife or wives into the family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just fell in love and then I fell in love again and then I fell in love again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Kody`s 13th child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s a sister from the same mister and he`s a brother from another mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some people think, how do you feel when he`s off with another woman and you know they`re having sex? Well, gosh darn it, they better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Now the true-to-life big family could be in big trouble. The show has sparked a police investigation and apparently this guy could be charged with bigamy, which is a felony.
Kim Serafin, what I don`t understand, why do they need to investigate? They`ve laid it out on the show. It`s clear he has four wives. Why don`t they just arrest this guy?
KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLEY": Yes. Exactly. I mean they have been very open about it. Not only are they doing the show but they did a lot of interviews leading up to it on a lot of national TV stations talking about it, talking about why they were doing the show. Even in response to this investigation, they`re saying they felt -- they knew there might be problems but they felt it was a risk worth taking for the sake of their kids.
Now I don`t know if they meant it for the money they`re getting from the money from the reality show or, I guess in a lot of the interviews that they were doing leading it up to this, they were saying, you know, they wanted to show they weren`t wearing prairie dresses and they were just a normal family and they weren`t doing anything strange, that this is a real loving family.
You know, I don`t know how much that`s going to help, but certainly it`s helping people be interested in the show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Stuart Brazell, this guy apparently is a salesman. And with four wives and 13 kids, I`m getting the feeling he`s a real good salesman, if you know what I mean.
STUART BRAZELL, REALITY TV CASTING AGENT: Yes, I agree. You know, of course, they only recognize the first wife so then the other three wives are just kind of girlfriends. The whole thing is nothing but a dating reality show. You`re taking a man and three wives courting another wife. It`s a hot mess.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really is. And we`re moving on to the next hot mess. Brian Masche, the dad from WeTV`s "Raising Sextuplets", recently arrested for yelling and allegedly threatening his wife and another family member. He`s pleaded not guilty to three counts of domestic violence, one count of resisting arrest.
What is going on with this one, Dylan Howard? Dare we ask?
HOWARD: Well, this is a very sad story and it follows news of a domestic violence case in which he allegedly came to the house of his parents-in-law and threatened his wife and also threatened his father-in- law. The couple filed for legal separation yesterday and they`re moving towards a divorce. But at the center of this, believe it or not, is six children all at a very young age. And we spoke exclusively to the grandmother yesterday who said that it is, quote, "very, very sad".
Let`s not forget, of course, that this might be played out for everyone to watch and captures the national interest in the attention. But there is very much at the center of this six little children who are going to live up in a very different lifestyle now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a mess. What`s next, "Dancing with the Stars"? More on these reality nightmares right after the break.
And is this karma kickback time for these people?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s spending more time with one wife one time, he always balances it out. He`s very fair. Jealousy, sure. There`s jealousy.
JOY BEHAR, HLN HOST, "THE JOY BEHAR SHOW": There is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course. Because you know, this stems from insecurity, it stems from selfishness. It`s just overcoming those things, becoming a better person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tell me what they need and we work it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those are the stars of the new reality show "Sister Wives on TLC. Kody brown is legally married to his wife Meri. He has three other wives who joined the family in a spiritual ceremony. He and his first wife and the three wives, they all live together and they have for many, many years.
So tonight a shocking twist, after seeing the show`s premiere, cops in his hometown in Utah have begun investigating this family for bigamy. But I guess the only one who is practicing bigamy would be the man, right?
Kim Serafin, I mean that`s the one they`d go after. And -- is there implication they`re not legally married to the other three so he`s going to kind of skip out on this?
SERAFIN: Right. Well, exactly. He`s legally married to one of these wives. And then he had the other two and then they took on the fourth wife. There are 13 kids. Three step-kids involved.
But again, he does a national TV show about this. I don`t know what they expected to happen. Of course, they`re going to be investigated. But again, I think they were trying to say, look, we`re trying to change the image of polygamy, change the face of polygamy. It`s not necessarily like "Big Love". It`s not necessarily like all the drama that you hear. We`re kind of just this normal, loving family.
I don`t know if law enforcement will see it that way, though, of course.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue tonight: reality show karma kickback. If you sign your life away and go on a reality show, are you destined for despair? We see this over and over again. The Gosselins. Perfect example. They went from pretty happy family to a big hot mess in just six seasons.
Stuart Brazell, you are a reality show casting agent. What is it about these people that they are willing to expose their inner lives? Do they suffer from, what is it called? I think it`s called ASB, attention- seeking behavior?
BRAZELL: Yes, Jane. I also like to call it a fame whore to be honest. You have these families that say they are doing the show to support their children. But a lot of these marriages with Kate and then this recent family, they already had stress being on a reality show and raising your children is going to do nothing but add stress.
And with the case of octo-mom, she is so desperately seeking fame she even U-streamed her garage sale. I think she`s what, fielding offers to do a pornographic film, so that`s where her life has gone. I would say it can go down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dylan Howard, let`s go back to octo-mom for a second. I mean of all these people, she may be in the biggest trouble. Not because she`s threatened with arrest but she`s got 14 hungry mouths to feed and now she`s facing foreclosure. What happened to all those TV deals that she was supposedly going to get? I thought she was going to be fabulously wealthy?
HOWARD: Nothing came to fruition. She tried. She was in the running for a reality television show. And in the end, no one was interested.
And she`s isolated compared to the other ones. You look at Jon and Kate and the other reality television franchises, which seem to have captivated an audience. Yet, with octo-mom, for some reason, the public stood back and said, hey, we`re not interest inside this. And now she`s suffering the consequences. There`s 14 mouths to feed. And she has no money to do it. She`s hoping to write a book, but book publishers won`t publish her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, she`s going to have to sell some dirty underwear in that book if you know what I mean. Apparently it didn`t -- it didn`t take with this yard sale.
Thank you to my fabulous panel for joining me tonight.
You are watching ISSUES on HLN.