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Teen Rape Victim Kills Herself; Zahra`s Remains Found?

Aired November 11, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, outrage and despair after a 14-year-old girl commits suicide. What pushed her to the brink? The underage girl became the center of a firestorm after having sex with an 18-year-old schoolmate. Cops say she first claimed it was consensual but then changed her story. Did the backlash drive her to suicide? Or was she worried about being grilled on the stand?

And a seismic shift in the intense investigation for little Zahra Baker as her biological mother races from Australia to North Carolina. Have cops broken this case wide open with a major find?

Plus, another arrest in the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left trapped in a sweltering hot van for seven long hours. Tonight, the day- care center`s former director is now charged with manslaughter and child cruelty, along with the van driver, who called it an honest mistake. Really?

Then, fury and fear over a treacherous book, "The Pedophile`s Guide to Love and Pleasure." yanked the ticking time bomb from its Web site after boycott threats. Now the self-published author is speaking out. What`s his problem, and how can we protect our kids?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But first tonight, breaking news in the heart- wrenching Zahra Baker case. A source close to the investigation says possible human remains have been found in a, quote, "high-priority area in Caldwell County, North Carolina."

Cops are staying tight-lipped, saying only that the discovery could provide, quote, "valuable information" and that the evidence is now in the hands of the medical examiners. After that, it goes to the lab for DNA testing. Will DNA results put an end to this horrific mystery?

If the remains are that of little Zahra`s, will there be justice for the precious child, who would have turned 11 year old -- 11 years old next week? And why is Zahra`s biological mother coming all the way from Australia here to the United States? We`re going to get some answers coming up right here on ISSUES.

And later, at the top of the hour, Nancy Grace will have all the breaking news and in-depth coverage of this tragic mystery. Nancy Grace`s team has a producer on the ground in North Carolina, in-depth coverage at 8 Eastern. You don`t want to miss it.


JUNE JUSTICE, DAUGHTER COMMITTED SUICIDE: My daughter did not get any justice before this, and she ain`t getting justice now. They took me in another room to talk to a prosecutor while they could dismiss my daughter`s case without me knowing. I asked to speak with the judge. He would not speak with me. And this is our justice system!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a distraught mom and a tragic story of rape and suicide where there`s a whole lot more than meets the eye.

A 14-year-old girl in Michigan accused an 18-year-old schoolmate of raping her. Her mom says that triggered weeks of taunting and ridicule at her high school. On Monday, Samantha Kelly hanged herself in her home. Prosecutors said without her testimony, they don`t have a case against the schoolmate, Joe Tarnopolski. So the charges were dropped.


JOE TARNOPOLSKI, ACCUSED OF RAPE: I can`t say that I`m happy it ended the way it did. I`m happy my charges were dropped, but I wish there was another way it happened, so that somebody`s life could be here today. Because it didn`t have to end that way.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Joe insists that Samantha agreed to have sex with him. Agreed.

In Michigan, a 14-year-old is too young to consent, so Joe was charged with, essentially, statutory rape. Initially, Samantha told police the same story, that she was a willing participant in the sex. Detectives say the pair even exchanged text messages that verified there was no forcible rape.

Then everything changed about three weeks later when Samantha`s mom took their story to a local TV news station. Samantha and her mom both went on camera, claiming Joe forcibly raped her. Now, Samantha`s face was blurred, but her mom and Joe, they were not. The damage was done.

Samantha`s private trauma had become a public scandal in a matter of minutes. She took her own life one day before she was set to testify in court. The big question: what pushed this young girl over the edge? The pressure of testifying, the fear of explaining the changes to her story? The suspect says -- well, he says Samantha`s own mom needs to consider her role in this horrific series of events. Could he possibly have a point? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. We begin with reporter Rob Sanford from WWJ News Radio.

Rob, what is the very latest on this story?

ROB SANFORD, REPORTER, WWJ (via phone): Well, the very latest, a bombshell was dropped this afternoon against 18-year-old Joe Tarnopolski. The township police department reported and confirmed that they are involved in another sexual assault -- sexual assault charge against Tarnopolski that was filed back on October 22 by another girl under similar circumstances. That`s being sent to the Wayne County prosecutor`s office, and criminal charges could come out as early as next week.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, when -- this just broke today, just -- I mean, this is breaking news, then, Rob.

SANFORD: This is breaking news. About an hour ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. It puts another -- it casts a totally different light on the story again. This is a story that keeps shifting and changing. It`s such a complex story. There are no easy answers. And I know that I do not have an easy answer.

I don`t think there`s any way that any of us can just say, "Well, here`s why. Here`s why this beautiful young girl committed suicide." But we also have to ask, why would Samantha`s mom go to the press?

Now, the young man who was at the center of this case says he, Samantha and their families all signed an agreement not to talk about this case. Joe says if Samantha`s mom wants someone to blame for her daughter`s suicide, well, she should look in the mirror. And that`s -- that`s a very harsh thing to say.

Listen to this.


TARNOPOLSKI: If she just would have just, like, grounded her or something instead of going straight to the media and putting it all out there for everybody to see, it -- and stay quiet, she could still be alive today. Like, she would still be alive today if, in fact, we would have just stayed true to that paper.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, a 14-year-old cannot consent to sex. That means that, if she had sex with an 18-year-old, that was an illegal act on the part of the 18-year-old.

But the nuance here is that initially she told cops, according to cops, that she was the initiator, that she was for it, that she sent a text afterwards saying, "I had a good time," essentially, and then the story shifted when they got on TV. Suddenly, it was a forcible rape. And that`s when some kids at the school reportedly turned against her and started supporting the young man, which could have put pressure on her.

Your thoughts?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: There`s so much to this story. You`re right, Jane. And I don`t know where to begin.

First of all, you know, let`s stop saying to victims they should be silent and quiet. If they want to speak out, they have to be able to speak out without fear that bullies in school or society in general will shame and blame them and inhibit them from seeking justice.

There may well be reason to question her credibility in general, and it could well have gone to the issue of sentencing whether she factually consented. You`re right she can`t legally consent. If she factually consented, and then mischaracterized it or even lied, there`s still a crime, OK? He still is the bad guy. She`s still -- the only thing you can call her is the victim. You can call her the victim who lied. You can call her the victim who was promiscuous. He`s the only bad guy here.

And I would have prosecuted him anyway, because apparently, he`s admitted what he did. What`s the judge doing, dismissing this case? If he`s confessed, you go forward. She`s entitled to justice. And the fact that she`s dead gives the court no excuse to not proceed with this case. Let a jury decide.

I will say this about the mother. She`s lost her child. She may well feel terrible and a lot of regret, but if her motivation was to stand up for her kid because she was seeking justice, we have no business putting her on the hot seat tonight or ever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I will see this, though. If this story changed, and the story that ended up going on television was not the correct story, and it was a charge of forcible rape that is different from statutory rape or consensual sex with a minor, then you`re putting the girl in a situation of having to defend a lie. And that can be psychologically very stressful, especially, Dr. Robi Ludwig, if she was coming up on a hearing, which she was coming up, where she was supposed to testify and be cross-examined on these discrepancies.

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: You know, I`m also wondering if maybe this girl was frightened of her mother and put in a very awkward position. No 14-year-old wants to admit to having sex in front of their mother, and did she somehow feel that she was trying to save face? And that it just went horribly wrong, and she became grossly humiliated in front of everybody?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. The last thing you ever, when you`re 14, want to hear is your parents talking about sex in any capacity when it relates to you.

LUDWIG: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a tragedy, and there`s so many facets. Such a fascinating story. Calls lining up. Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

And we`re staying on top of the Zahra Baker story, giving you updates throughout the hour on all the latest developments. Did cops possibly find this little girl?

Plus, more on the teen suicide tragedy and rape case dismissal in a moment.


JUSTICE: They said that no matter what kind of rape or anything it was, since he cannot confront his victims it`s against his right, so it`s being dismissed.




JUSTICE: My daughter did not get any justice before this, and she ain`t getting justice now. They took me in another room to talk to a prosecutor while they could dismiss my daughter`s case without me knowing. I asked to speak with the judge. He would not speak with me. And this is our justice system!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An outraged, devastated mother in a very complex case involving her daughter, who everybody seems to agree had sex with an adult. She`s 14. She was 14 before she tragically committed suicide. He is 18. But the statutory rape charge was dropped after she committed suicide, because there were no witnesses to testify against him.

And tonight, that young man is suggesting that maybe the girl`s mom added to the trauma by going with her and both of them doing a TV interview about the case in which the story changed and the little -- the young girl went from saying it was consensual sex to forcible sex, reportedly.

Teston, Texas, your question or thought.

CALLER: Yes. Can you hear me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I can, ma`am.

CALLER: OK. I agree with the boy. Any mother that would take her child into the public like that and tell her story -- the girl was probably so humiliated until she -- she didn`t know what else to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go back to Rob Sanford, the reporter who has been on top of this story from the beginning. Apparently, they had some kind of agreement after this incident, the sexual incident, that nobody seems to deny, and both families agreed that they would keep it quiet. Tell us about that.

SANFORD: All right. Well, the situation was, yes, they agreed to the -- to that statement, that they would stay quiet. But the mother felt as though the school district wasn`t -- wasn`t responding as well as they could. They were still putting the kid in the same area with her daughter. The -- and it was traumatic just to be around him, let alone not being responded to it.

And plus, also, she felt as though the police weren`t exactly trying real hard to find a case against the boy.

Now, remember, she told -- you`re right, she told two different stories. However, the difference is one story she told to the police with her mother not there, and then there was a second story that she told when her mother was there. And the police had, what, written statements, two separate interviews with the girl, and text messages that she left the boy, as well.

But you`re right: it`s against the law to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, no matter whether it`s consent or not. So the mother was dissatisfied with how things were going. She decided to go to TV to try to plead her case. That only exacerbated the situation.

The girl went to school. She was harassed by -- by schoolmates. Her own best friends turned their backs on her, would not talk to her. So OK, you`ve got -- you`ve got two stories. And she`s going to have to, you know -- she`s going to have to admit she told a lie, and plus she`s totally isolated. No friends; nobody`s being nice to her. I mean, I don`t think a 24-year-old could handle that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, this is -- again, it`s such a complex case. Now, the young man in question, you saw him there just a moment ago, Joe, says Samantha made the first move, contacting him on MySpace. They had sex at Joe`s house. He was charged with third-degree sexual assault, which is basically statutory rape.

Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Samantha was telling the truth 100 percent. There ain`t no doubt when Samantha told you something, it was the truth. Samantha does not lie.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I don`t know who -- somebody tell me who that is. That`s not the young man, obviously. That`s not the 18-year-old young man.

OK, here`s the thing. Wendy Murphy, according to the published reports I`ve read -- I wasn`t there, so I don`t know, but this is it what the reports are saying -- that she contacted him and that she indicated that she would like to participate to lose her virginity. So does that color it in any way, if, in fact, she was the initiator?

MURPHY: Yes. I`ll tell you how it colors it. Let`s talk about his parents for a minute. How about that? When a 14 year old, which is a child, asks an 18-year-old, an adult, for sex, the adult, even though he`s barely an adult, is responsible under the law to say, "Back off; you`re a kid. I don`t care how much you want me. I`m not doing it. Why? It`s a crime."

And let`s remember this is a guy who did it in his own house. Where were his parents? What kind of arrogant ass is this kid?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it was in the morning, and his parents might not have been there.

MURPHY: Wait. He`s accused of -- look, this is his second offense...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not defending him.

MURPHY: He`s picking on underaged kids. He is the most dangerous of sex offenders, Jane. Dangerous. He`s arrogant; he`s bragging. He`s -- what is he doing? What the hell is he doing on television?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say that he hasn`t been convicted of anything, OK? So -- and he is invited on to tell his side any time or his attorney.

Robi Ludwig...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... this is such a tough case, because I feel my heart goes out for the mother.

LUDWIG: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Any final thoughts? ten seconds.

LUDWIG: No. I think it is awful for everybody involved. Nobody wins, and it`s very possible the 18-year-old didn`t know he was committing a crime. Now, that doesn`t make what he did right or smart, but I think everybody here is just really suffering and struggling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it is. Thank you, fantastic panel. Wow.

The heartbreaking death of a 2-year-old left inside a sweltering day- care van for hours leads to another arrest. But is it enough? What can we do to prevent these completely sick and stupid, senseless tragedies?



ELISA BAKER, STEPMOTHER: She`s determined. She wants to go to college. She can hear now. It`s been a blessing.

ZAHRA BAKER, MISSING GIRL: Without them, I can actually hear more than without my hearing aids.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What an adorable little girl. And tonight breaking news in the heart-wrenching mystery surrounding that child. The discovery of, quote, "possible human remains." Has it blown the case wide open?

Cops say they`ve found evidence that could provide very crucial information. That evidence reportedly in the hands of the medical examiner tonight. It will be tested for DNA. Equally significant, Zahra`s devastated biological mother is on her way to the United States all the way from Australia.


EMILY DIETRICK, ZAHRA BAKER`S MOTHER: I never gave my baby up. And I`m so angry she was taken away from me like this. And I want people to know how bad it hurts not just for me but for the rest of my family, for my friends, to the people who were around, who have met her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is the timing of her voyage coincidence, or is she possibly coming here to identify the remains of her precious daughter?

Straight out to Tara Servatius, host of "The Tara Servatius Show" on WBT in Charlotte. What is the very latest?

TARA SERVATIUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Basically, Jane, it`s starting to look like -- I mean, this poor little girl was scattered across the county. I mean, they`re finding her remains scattered across the country, at least two sites now both of them connected with Elisa Baker.

It`s a pretty safe bet to say that they found human remains. We don`t know if they`re hers yet. But I mean, they had to call the medical examiner out to differentiate between deer bones that are in this area and, presumably, human bones so they would know what they were looking at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It looks that way. Of course, until they say it officially I never like to say, because there have been cases in the past, and I`ve covered them, where they were sure they found somebody, and it turns out that was animal remains. But of course, they have found the prosthetic leg of the child, which certainly is ominous.

Now, my question is, who`s going to be held accountable for what happened to Zahra? Step-mom Elisa Baker has been locked up for a month -- there she is in pink -- for allegedly writing that creepy weird, fake ransom note. She reportedly admits writing it.

Elisa reportedly claims in other creepy, weird writings that the biological father of the child, Adam Baker, quote, "knows what happened to Zahra." Adam was busted on charges including assault with a deadly weapon.

So, Tara, he`s bailed out. I`m thinking cops better be keeping an eye on this guy. Who knows if he could skip town?

SERVATIUS: Absolutely. But Adam Baker did go in for an hour today with his attorney to the police station. So it seems like he`s cooperating. You`ve got to wonder what information they wanted or need from him now that they have found something very important, which presumably is possible human remains. So they`ve obviously got a grip on him, and he`s somewhat participating at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the biological mom has been in a long battle with Adam Baker. Is it possible that she`s flying in to give authorities information to make a case against him?

SERVATIUS: It`s possible. We don`t know at this point. We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. This is such a sad case. And when you hear that poor little child who lost her leg to cancer and had hearing aids and nevertheless had a wonderful spirit, to end up this way, sick. Thank you, Tara.

Everybody stay right there for all the latest developments in this fast-breaking story. Nancy Grace has a producer on the ground where human remains have reportedly been found. She will have so much more on this case at the top of the hour.

Up next, another arrest in the dreadful day-care death that killed a...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another arrest in the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left trapped in a sweltering hot van for seven long hours. Tonight, the day care center`s former director is now charged with manslaughter and child cruelty, along with the van driver who called it an honest mistake. Really?

Then fury and fear over a treacherous book, "The Pedophile`s Guide to Love and Pleasure. yanked the ticking time bomb from its Web site after boycott threats. Now the self-published author is speaking out. What`s his problem, and how can we protect our kids?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I thought everybody got off the van. But evidently the little baby was left on the van.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the day, they don`t have a checklist there to see, to make a head count, to make sure the kids are there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inside the school?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They should. They have to sign in a book. They have a little sign-in sheet.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shocking new allegations of conspiracy and cover-up at a south Florida day care. Two-year-old Haile Brockington (ph) was left to die inside a sweltering hot day care van. She was in there for seven hours.

Now a second day care worker has been arrested, and this is the woman who was supposed to be in charge. What the hell was going on in this place?

First the van driver, Amanda Inman, was arrested for leaving the little girl in the van. She`s charged with aggravated manslaughter. Now her former boss, Petra Rodriguez-Perez (ph) is charged with the very same thing.

Cops say she was supposed to make sure all the kids were with out of the van. Instead, cops say she falsified logs at the school, even saying that little Haile ate lunch and attended class. Why?

Of course, that would be impossible because this precious child was trapped inside the day care van trapped in her car seat, in August all day long, with no way to get out. I can`t even think about it. If I think about it too long, there are no words.

All these women had to do was check the van to make sure that all the kids were out. We`re not talking about a giant bus. We`re talking about a puny little van. They were entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of these innocents, and they failed miserably.

Call me. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: we begin with Ana Valdes, staff writer for the "Palm Beach Post". Ana, what is the very latest?

ANA VALDES, STAFF WRITER, "PALM BEACH POST": Yes. The very latest, we found out this week is that Petra Rodriguez-Perez, the former director of the Delray Beach Day Care Center was arrested on Tuesday and charged with manslaughter -- aggravated manslaughter of a child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This happened back in August. We`ve been covering it recently. Why now? Could it be from all the publicity, the fact that we`re all sitting here screaming, going, where were the backup checks?

VALDES: The state attorney`s office, we asked them that same question, they`re the ones who filed the charges, they said that the investigation was ongoing and they deemed that after what they found and looking at the evidence that Petra Rodriguez-Perez should also be charged like the driver Amanda Inman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is unbelievable. Cops say this woman Perez signed three logs, three, confirming that Haile got off the van the morning little Haile died.

Take a look at this van. It`s not a big van. There are the car seats.

Rodriguez has now admitted to cops she never even saw Haile that day. Listen closely to this interrogation interview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today of all days I didn`t go out there because remember you called me. So, I didn`t see her come in.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whatever. Van driver Amanda Inman was arrested a couple of weeks after little Haile died. It took cops three months to arrest the woman you just saw there. Could it be, I wonder, if that increased pressure, the media coverage, had any role in suddenly her being dragged in and charged when all of this happened, Wendy Murphy, back in August.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, I hope so because I do think that`s part of the media`s responsibility, to provide oversight when people who should be protecting children don`t. Remember, kids don`t vote. They don`t have any money. Tiny little 2-year-olds are even more vulnerable because they don`t even speak.

And if the media isn`t watching, this is the sort of case that I think would have continued to be ignored. Look, I think people are going to ask a fair question, though. I`ll say this, a director being charged? The director didn`t do the thing wrong, right? The director was not even there. Or perhaps could have been and should have been.

But I think what we`re going to end up finding out is that because of the pressure from your show, Jane, there was a tough investigation done where they asked tough questions of this director and they figured out that she was reckless because that`s the standard for manslaughter. She wasn`t just negligent. You can file a civil lawsuit for negligence. That`s easy here against the director. But if you`re reckless, that`s when you go to the slammer. I think that`s what`s going to end up happening here for both ladies.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, take a look inside this day care van that was carrying little Haile. We have the van. Take a look at it. We just saw it there a second ago. Here it is. It`s not a big van. You see all those car seats there?

This little child was strapped inside one of them. She couldn`t unbuckle herself. She`s 2 years old. Imagine her sitting in this van in August when the temperatures hit 135 degrees.

And additionally the van driver, Amanda Inman, admitted to cops that after getting out of the van at 9:15 a.m., she gets back in, in the afternoon twice, once she goes to another worker and has lunch and she does something else as well, this little girl is in the back seat the whole time.

Honestly, Michelle Suscour (ph), sometimes I feel like I need therapy after reading these details because it haunts me -- it haunts me thinking about that poor little girl, that poor child sitting in the back of the van unable to --

MICHELLE SUSCOUR: I know. You know, this is really, really tough facts here, but the person who really has the main culpability is the driver, Amanda Inman. And so what I think the state is probably doing, other than continuing their investigation, is they`ve now -- are really now going to be able to hold the sword over Ms. Perez and say, you`re going to need to cooperate if you want to get a good deal in this matter. And you`re going to need to testify against Amanda Inman and not say this is a simple mistake. You went in that van how many times? We trained you. And you still did what you did.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one of her defenses is -- her defense is that she wasn`t properly trained and that they didn`t put her through her phases so that she knew exactly what to do. I don`t think it`s brain surgery when you have 14 kids in a van to take a look and make sure everybody`s out. But whatever.

Melinda, West Virginia, your question or thought.

MELINDA, WEST VIRGINIA (via telephone): Hi Jane. Actually, this whole thing sounds kind of fishy to me. I was just wondering are they absolutely sure that something happened to that child inside the van, or could it have happened outside and they placed the child back into the van to make it seem like an accident to cover up another problem elsewhere?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, that`s a fantastic question. Ana Valdes, you`re down you there in the Palm Beach area. Have cops checked out the possibility that maybe this is some sort of cover-up?

VALDES: We haven`t heard that from the cops. And again, after the interrogation tapes of Amanda Inman were released this week, she said that basically she`s the one that was in the van that day. You know, she used it in the morning to pick up the kids, drop them off. Then she moved it, smoked a cigarette, then took it out to lunch, picked up another child at another Katie`s Kids facility and brought it back. So we haven`t heard that from cops down there

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to issue a call to action tonight. Let`s get alarms in these day care vans to alert the adults when a child is still on the van. Let`s get video monitoring inside these day cares. I know that there are day cares, fancy ones, some hoity-toity ones that offer this feature already. It could be as simple as a web cam.

I have the feeling parents would jump at the chance to be able to monitor their children throughout the day when they`re at work by simply clicking on the Internet. How expensive would it be? These systems are getting cheaper and cheaper.

Honestly, Michelle Suscour, I think this should be the law.

SUSCOUR: Well, you know, I think that there`s -- it really is not expensive to do like you were saying. But these are -- you have a lot of these day care facilities not just in Florida where we are but all over the country that are very fly-by-night. And even though they have these rules and regulations and they have to be monitored by the state, they`re really just -- really the state is understaffed to really review what is going on in these facilities.

But that`s an excellent idea, and it really should be the law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy I know you`re a mom. This has got to terrify parents all over the country. So many millions of parents leave their kids at day care centers and they`re wondering, they have a pit in their stomach now every time they drop them off, what could happen. What should parents do?

MURPHY: Well, you know, a couple of things strike me. One is, not only not checking the vans which seems so obvious. But if you`re hiring people who lack such basic common sense, that`s its own crime if you ask me. But why didn`t they notice that the child wasn`t there? I mean --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because she was allegedly forging the forms that said, she`d eaten lunch. In other words, it became like rote. They would just check off everything --

MURPHY: What I`m saying is, if you`re not good enough to check the van, you should at least notice the kid`s not present and then go, oh maybe we should call the mother, check the van. I think this is terrifying to parents and that`s why we all have to pay careful attention to make sure they are punished so it doesn`t happen again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get video cameras in these vans and in these day cares.

Thank you, panel.

Crews reportedly find possible human remains in the intense Zahra Baker investigation. Is this case on the verge of breaking wide open? You`ll have the very latest update in a moment.

Plus, a downright disgusting, vile book, "The Pedophile`s Guide to Love and Pleasure", yanked from Amazon amid boycott threats. Now the author is speaking out, unbelievably, incredibly defending himself. You`re going to hear from this I don`t know what to call him. I don`t think I can say it on TV.

I want to hear your thoughts, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.


PHILIP R, GREAVES II, AUTHOR OF PEDOPHILE`S GUIDE BOOK: Well, to tell you the truth, I don`t think that it`s always bad for the child, ok? But I do think it`s always confining for the adult because there are just so many more things that adults can enjoy between each other than they could enjoy with a child without hurting the child.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait until you hear about the book written by a self- proclaimed pedophile supposedly to help other child predators. It`s sick, beyond belief.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight. Fast-breaking developments in the Zahra Baker case. Is it a coincidence that Zahra`s biological mother is en route to North Carolina from Australia at the very same time that possible human remains are discovered? Those possible remains are just the very latest in the growing mountain of evidence being tested for DNA, including the mattress, the bone and the poor child`s prosthetic leg.

Does it all add up to murder? If so, who did it? A producer for Nancy Grace in North Carolina as we speak. Nancy Grace will have the very latest in just a few minutes at the top of the hour so please stay tuned for that.

That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".


GREAVES: Well, to tell you the truth, I don`t think that it`s always bad for the child, ok? But I do think it`s always confining for the adult because there are just so many more things that adults can enjoy between each other than they could enjoy with a child without hurting the child.

Every time you see them on televisions, they`re either murderers, rapists or kidnappers. That`s just not an accurate presentation of that particular sexuality. It`s not.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. You`re not hallucinating. That sicko is actually trying to justify pedophilia.

Tonight, two major knockdown, drag-out battles in the fight to protect our children: first, Amazon finally pulls a vile self-published book that promotes pedophilia written by the alleged pedophile you just heard from. The author of "The Pedophile Guide to Love and Pleasure: a child lover`s code of conduct" claims his mission is to help child predators. Philip Greaves actually wrote out guidelines for predators to follow when they`re molesting kids all so they can -- I hope you`re sitting down for this -- get lighter sentences if they get caught and be less hated.

Only after being bombarded with thousands of messages of outrage did Amazon finally pull the plug on the pedophile how-to-guide from their digital shelves. But guess what? Thanks to the publicity, this sickening book was selling like hotcakes. It hit number 146 on the list of most popular e-books for Kindle.

Are you kidding me? Are there that many sickos out there who want to read this twisted book? This is so scary. What can we do to protect our kids?

Also tonight, as if that weren`t enough, a judge insults the memory of a viciously raped and murdered child. You know her name, Jessica Lunsford. Here is her courageous dad.


MARK LUNSFORD, DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED AND MURDERED: Jessie is important. She`s very important to me. But it`s easier for me to tell you what`s wrong with the system than to hurt you with the truth about what a wonderful daughter I had.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Lunsford`s 9-year-old daughter Jessica was viciously raped and buried alive by a sex offender who worked at her school. Tonight, a California judge wants to chuck the most important part of Jessica`s law. Unbelievable.

Why are people attacking the laws that protect our children while others at the very same time are defending the sale of how-to guides for raping and harming children? We`re in an upside down world.

Straight out to Mark Lunsford, one of my heroes. Mark, your beautiful daughter was taken from you by a sex offender who worked at her school.

First of all, I`ve got to talk about the other breaking news. What`s your reaction to this nauseating how-to manual for pedophiles and Amazon`s initial reluctance to yank it from the digital shelves?

LUNSFORD: It`s pretty disgusting. I mean, it`s just like the Web sites that are out there that will give pedophiles the edge on each state of who`s got the weakest laws, how to lure our children, a list of lawyers that help you get out of it if you get caught. This book is no different, and the sad part of it is, I mean we`re trying to tell people in the news, like here on HLN, you know, about this book and things like this, and yet the sales of that book will go up.

Just because we want to tell people that, hey, we don`t need things like this on the market. Are they going to start selling books on showing our kids how to make meth? I mean, you know, what`s next?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. Exactly. And you bring me to my big issue, Mark: free speech. Now, some are arguing, are arguing this is disgusting. But it`s free speech. I don`t think we should be book burners. We can`t stop every sick person who wants to write a book from writing one, no matter how repulsive or vulgar the content.

But I`m not talking about the government here. Amazon is a publicly- traded company. They have the right to choose what they decide to sell, ok? The free speech in this case is the free speech of the consumers who rallied and said, no, this isn`t your right. Take this down. Amazon finally listened.

I want to go to Wendy Murphy for a second because I personally make a distinction between the government telling us we can`t write or read something and the government burning books and a private corporation or a publicly-traded corporation making a choice about what they`re going to say. That`s not censorship, that`s making an intelligent choice.

MURPHY: Yes. And the people have to rise up.

But Jane, I have to disagree with you a little bit. I think the government can regulate and frankly, censor this book. Because in 1998, the Supreme Court said it was constitutionally permissible as incitement which is an exception to free speech to regulate a book called "A Guide for Hitmen". If we can do that for "A Guide for Hitmen", I think we can do it for this one too. We should push the envelope on free speech a little bit and start to accept --



LUNSFORD: They mock the system. They laugh at lawmakers. They laugh legislators and they laugh at us, because they`re going to get away with it. And they know it.

And I am so sick of hearing about, we have to lobby for this, or we have to lobby for that. I`m sick of hearing it from these guys; just sick of knowing that we have to go lobby for this. Why are we politicking our kids and why are we debating their safety? Is this what you would do in your own home? What would you do, Mr. Legislator if it was your child?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight two major blows in the fight to protect our children. A pedophile how-to guide yanked from a.m. Zone after thousands of people complained, and a Los Angeles judge attacks Jessica`s Law siding with six offenders. Why on earth should sex offenders be allowed to live near schools and parks?

We`re honored to have Mark Lunsford, the father of Jessica Lunsford, who was raped and buried alive -- I hate to say it, but this is the truth so people understand what the heck is going on here -- by a registered sex offender.

Mark, your reaction to this Los Angeles judge who ruled in favor of a group of sex offenders who claim that Jessica`s Law, the law you fought to pass violates their constitutional rights. He apparently is saying well, it`s leaving them homeless if we can`t let them live near schools or parks. What would you say to this judge if you could say something to this judge?

LUNSFORD: Well, the first thing I would say to him is this isn`t the first time you`ve made a mistake. There`s been other things that this judge has done, as far as turning murderers loose and things like that. To tell us that these people can live next to our schools, fine.

Then you give our probation officers and -- the funds that they need to keep up with them. You put aggressive tracking devices on these people and you keep track of them. Or you look at each individual case as far as where they live.

If Romeo and Juliet wants to live next to the school or if a pedophile who creates the most heinous crimes against children wants to live next to a school, there has to be a line to be drawn there. There has to be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree, if they`re going to say, Wendy Murphy that, hey, well, it`s leaving all these people homeless because there`s nowhere they can live that`s far away enough from a school or a park, then absolutely they have to have lifetime tracking, because a good percentage of all sex predators in America are missing in action, there`s registries where they`ve had the wrong address or no address at all.

LUNSFORD: That`s true.

MURPHY: And let`s be honest. Come on, they do that on purpose with advice of counsel. Write your name and then put homeless. They`re not even necessarily homeless it`s what they do to avoid detection.

Look, when the law continually fails kids and I don`t agree this crap should be protected by free speech, by the way, this pedophile book. But I want to say this. If it is -- if our legal system is going to continue to ignore the well-being of children and allows this junk to be published under what`s called free speech.

I want you to know, I have a new book coming out Jane. You want another title? "Parents Guide to How to Rape a Pedophile with a Pitchfork"; I`m going to publish it tomorrow. You know what I`m saying?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Well, you know what? We can always count on you for taking it to the next level.

MURPHY: Free speech.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, I have to give Mark Lunsford the last word on this again. Do you feel your daughter is being insulted in death by the judge?

LUNSFORD: I don`t think the judge is insulting my daughter, I think the judge is insulting the children of California. I think that Jerry Brown has an obligation to change these things and to make people, you know, walk a fine line when it comes to our kids. If it`s a fight against the constitution, then it`s a fight. But make them walk a fine line.

MURPHY: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to leave it right there.