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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Bone is Not Natalee Holloway`s

Aired November 23, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLOS DIAZ, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, breaking news: earth- shattering developments. The jawbone found on an Aruba beach is not Natalee Holloway. Her devastated family endures more disappointment and is forced to start all over again. If the jawbone isn`t Natalee`s, then whose is it?

Then, the man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old and suspected of killing her mother, brother and family friend waives his court hearing. A coroner says the Ohio family was brutally stabbed to death and dismembered. So why was Sarah Maynard`s life spared?

And another horrifying suicide. A college freshman takes her own life nine days after she reports being raped by a Notre Dame football player. Did the school ignore her pleas for help?

Plus, Bristol Palin amazingly sashayed her way to the times of "Dancing with the Stars." Now she`s up against the talented Jennifer Grey and spunky Kyle Massey. Bristol is clearly a fan favorite, but if she wins, would it be a dancing disaster?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TACO STEIN, ARUBA SOLICITOR GENERAL: For the family, this is another tragedy that they still don`t have closure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. Breaking news tonight as Natalee Holloway`s family is dealt another heart-wrenching blow. Their hopes of finding the teen`s remains have been dashed yet again. Investigators announced that a jawbone and tooth found along the Aruban beach are not Natalee`s.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEIN: We obtained the dental records from Natalee Holloway from the United States. They were sent in last week, late Friday in the afternoon. They were sent to Holland. And during the weekend, it had been established that the molar that was in the jawbone that had been found is a wisdom tooth, and from the dental records we got from the United States, we learned that, with Natalee, her wisdom had been taken out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was obvious then and there.

STEIN: It was obvious. Right there and there, it was obvious it wasn`t Natalee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: All right. So whose bone is it? Investigators are trying more DNA tests, trying to find that out. You`ve got to wonder how Joran Van Der Sloot received the news that these were not Natalee`s remains. Surely, he got the word inside the Peruvian prison he calls home. He`s charged with murdering Stephanie Flores last spring. Joran was the last person seen with Natalee the night he vanished back in 2005.

Now, Aruban authorities say they have no plans to interview him again anytime soon, but they have asked for any possible leads from the FBI, which has Joran`s computer hard drive.

Now Aruban authorities say they`re still as anxious as ever to solve this mystery. Will Natalee`s devastated family ever get the answers they`re searching for? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297.

Let`s get the panel in here.

First out to "In Session" correspondent Jean Casarez, who`s been following every development from Aruba all day long.

Jean, you`ve done a great job all day long. Tell us how this huge announcement went down.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, it was midday, and all of a sudden we find out that, within minutes, we are going to hear the results of the Netherlands forensic institute and what they have determined.

And what we learned was that the bone that went to the Netherlands that was found on the beach right here in Aruba was so weathered and was so porous that they just couldn`t really do that DNA analysis, although they had the DNA of Natalee Holloway.

So it was the dental records that provided the comparison which confirmed that Natalee Holloway was excluded from being the young person that had these remains. But we learned that they were human remains, so the question now is, exactly whose remains are they?

DIAZ: Yes. That`s a great question that needs to be answered. Let`s go right to the phone lines right now.

Becky in Ohio, your question or comment about Natalee Holloway. Becky, are you there?

We`ll try Becky back in a second.

Of course so many people had hoped the bone would turn out to be Natalee`s and possibly help solve the mystery of her death. But Aruban authorities say it`s not that simple. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEIN: Even if this bone would have been Natalee`s, this wouldn`t have brought us a step closer to what has happened because the material present would not have given us any lead into the cause of her death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Casey Jordan, what do you make of that? How could human remains not be a lead in a death investigation?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, to the extent that they confirm death, that would have been extremely helpful, because without that body, there`s always the question, the doubt, is Natalee, through some bizarre trick of fate, still alive?

But again, you`re talking about a piece of bone that is so old, so weathered, it`s been in salt water for a very long time. They`re not even sure they can get the DNA from it. They had excluded that as Natalee`s only because of the dental work. They were very fortunate that they were able to rule it out because of the wisdom teeth. But other than that, if it doesn`t show any trauma, we have no idea who that belongs to or how the person died.

DIAZ: And sadly, Natalee`s parents had endured false alarms before. They each released statements after the forensic results were released. Dave Holloway said, "We appreciate everyone`s thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We remain hopeful that someday we will find the answers to the whereabouts of our daughter, Natalee."

And this from Beth Holloway`s attorney: "Beth accepts the forensic conclusions. She`s extremely emotionally exhausted from this inexplicably long wait and deeply disappointed in the time and manner in which she learned of the results. Apparently, Aruban authorities were more sensitive to media concerns than the painful vigil of a mother," end quote.

Wow, blunt words right there from Beth`s camp. There`s clearly no love lost between Beth Holloway and the Aruban authorities.

Jean Casarez, what`s the back story there?

CASAREZ: You know, we`ve been five years, right? And this is still a missing persons investigation. Joran Van Der Sloot arrested twice, released twice.

But this is a different legal system also. They don`t go under the probable cause aspect. They arrest someone very quickly and then release them within a matter of days. So I`m sure the frustration has been there.

Remember Joran Van Der Sloot`s father was a judge in this community. He passed away this year, but many believe that that gave a lot of influence to the investigation and what direction it went or didn`t go.

DIAZ: I want to bring Tim Miller in right now. And Tim, first off, I want to say you`ve been through a lot today. And I want to thank you for coming on the show. I`ve been watching you all day on HLN and on CNN. And I -- you know, I can`t imagine what you`re going through with this family. Of course, you have given so much of your time to finding Natalee Holloway.

Tell me what your day has been like. And you talked to Dave Holloway about his day today.

TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: I was actually on the phone with Dave 15 minutes before they made the announcement, and Dave was almost panic stricken saying, "You know, they`re going to be announcing something. I thought that they were going to contact us. I thought we would know something prior to."

And -- and then I was actually, I believe, on CNN when they did make that announcement. And I talked to Dave maybe an hour later, and he`s just distraught, as we could imagine he would be.

DIAZ: I want to ask you about that, Tim. How do you feel about the fact that they knew, they knew, that it was not Natalee Holloway, and they don`t have the decency to contact Dave or anyone else about this in the family?

MILLER: Let`s look at the investigation from the very moment Natalee disappeared and the mistakes that were made or the cover-ups that were made, the inconsiderations (ph) to this family, the inconsiderations (ph) to the tourists over there.

Also for everything everybody`s been through and it`s just, again, despicable they did not contact Beth and Dave prior to this. They had to see it when the rest of the world seen it. Everybody had their hopes up.

You know, they announced today that they knew days ago it wasn`t Natalee`s. so why wait until this last minute? You know, if they knew days ago that there was a molar tooth here and Natalee didn`t have one, it`s only common courtesy, you know, and have a little compassion for this family. And put the whole world on hold. It`s inexcusable. Totally inexcusable.

DIAZ: Well, in their defense, they did ask for records, for dental records. They said they were inconclusive; they needed more dental records. But you`re right. I mean, today there should have been a phone call today. I want to bring in T.J. Ward.

First off, before that, let`s bring in Becky from Ohio. Becky, are you there? Do you have a comment about this?

CALLER: Yes. How can we really trust the Netherlands, because Aruba has protected Joran for so many times? Why can`t the United States do their own test to make sure? Because how can we really trust them?

DIAZ: That`s a great point. I mean, that`s where the jawbone was sent. It was sent to the Hague in the Netherlands. T.J. Ward, you`ve been a part of this story from the very beginning. What are your thoughts on that?

T.J. WARD, COVERED NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S CASE: Well, I think they should give the United States an opportunity to look at the results also and to take whatever tests that they have and let the United States have an input in this, the same way that they brought the FBI in as an analysis to stand by and give them advice to what they need to do in an investigation. The FBI has a great laboratory here in Quantico. And I think that they need to allow them to be part of this, as this is an American messing in Aruba.

DIAZ: I want to bring in Mike Brooks, as well.

Mike, what is the next step here? What can the family do in this case? What can the family do in this case?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you heard -- you saw Beth over in Peru, trying to get some information from Mr. Van Der Sloot, but he wasn`t giving up anything. I think he`s the one -- he is the key in this case, Carlos, of what actually happened to her on the beach that night in Aruba.

But Beth got no satisfaction whatsoever from this guy, and so he said, ah, maybe he`ll write her. That`s real nice of him.

DIAZ: Yes. And you know what? This has caused several people across the globe to be emotional. You don`t want to go anywhere, because coming up after the break, Jane Velez-Mitchell, the host of this show, will Skype in and give her thoughts. And it is an emotional, emotional Jane Velez- Mitchell coming up. You don`t want to miss that.

A college freshman reports that she was sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player, then commits suicide. Why? Was the school trying to protect their player instead of the alleged victim? Tell me what you think about that. Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. That`s coming up later.

And more on this devastating development in the Natalee Holloway case, coming up next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEIN: The molar that was in the jawbone that had been found is a wisdom tooth, and from the dental records we got from the United States, we learned that, with Natalee, her wisdom teeth had been taken out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it was obvious right then?

STEIN: It was obvious. Right there and then, it was obvious it wasn`t Natalee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any comment at all to the parents of Natalee Holloway or to the United States in regards to this open investigation that you have?

STEIN: Well, as I said before, it`s very sad for the parents that this doesn`t give them the closure we hoped it would bring them. They must rest assured that we are doing our utmost to solve the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Today`s big announcement has stirred up some very passionate feelings toward Joran Van Der Sloot. Here is Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of this very show, who Skyped in right after hearing the news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: What`s so aggravating about this case is that it would appear that a very arrogant kid got away with murder or something very close to it.

The number of stories he`s told has created such confusion in the minds not only of the public but investigators that it`s really muddied the waters so much that we have to think of the possibility that we will never, ever know what happened to Natalee Holloway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: T.J. Ward, a lot of people today were hoping for a little bit of closure, but they`re also hoping to point a finger at Joran Van Der Sloot. What do you think his reaction is today, and do you still think he`s the prime suspect?

WARD: Well, I think he is the prime suspect. And if you would have seen him when Beth was talking to him and trying to get information, everything was real funny with him. And he -- he was laughing and he said, "Maybe I`ll give you some information."

But the fact is that the Aruban government needs to keep focus not only on Joran Van Der Sloot but bring the other two boys, Deepak and Satish in, and continue questioning them. Because I can rest assured they know what was going on.

Paulus Van Der Sloot`s knew exactly what was going on with his son before he died. When I was down there and exposed the lead investigator, Van Der Stratten (ph), as being part of the Van Der Sloots and being his godfather, I was immediately attacked and said there was a warrant for my arrest in Aruba.

But rest assured this was a cover-up, and I was getting a little too close, along with Tim Miller and working with him very close down there on this investigation. And it`s sad for the family to lose your child and this type of shenanigans going on in Aruba.

DIAZ: Mark Eiglarsh, as an attorney, you know, even if this was Natalee and if they do find remains of Natalee at some point, how hard will it be for them to kind of link anyone to the case?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I know it`s not what everybody wants to hear, but unfortunately, virtually impossible.

We know that Van Der Sloot most likely is the one who did this. He admitted it to his buddy under cover. So we know that. This, however, was all about closure for the family. It was all about them treated -- being treated with dignity and respect, which authorities didn`t do, by them finding it out publicly the way we all did.

They don`t have any additional evidence to link anyone. There`s no physical evidence to link Van Der Sloot to this crime. And unfortunately, as time goes on, Mike Brooks and other investigators will tell you, the chances become only remote and theoretically possible to bring anyone to justice.

DIAZ: Jean Casarez, you`re on the ground there in Aruba. Were you surprised that the word broke via e-mail before the word broke for them coming out and telling everyone that this was not Natalee Holloway?

EIGLARSH: We`d known for a few days that that`s exactly how it was going to come out. And yes, it made my mind wonder. And I wanted to know if history showed that that`s the way this prosecutor`s office worked. I heard that as time went on, it was how it worked.

But one of the questions I had for Taco Stein today was the computer of Joran Van Der Sloot that was confiscated in Peru, and the FBI has hard drive. That is going to give communication to Joran Van Der Sloot we don`t know for how many years. And that could be evidence that could go forward in this case in Aruba.

DIAZ: Jean, you bring up a very good point. I want to bring in Tim Miller on this one. I mean, Tim, you`re close friends with -- with Dave Holloway. Is there any solace within the family to know that Joran Van Der Sloot is in a Peruvian jail, which basically has been described as a rat- infested hell? I mean, is there any solace at all that he is serving time for another murder?

MILLER: You know what? I think that there certainly is, and I think we all know that Joran Van Der Sloot is responsible for Natalee`s death. Right now I think all of us have one thing on our mind, getting Natalee back home. Because I guarantee you Van Der Sloot will be convicted in Peru for Stephany Flores`s murder. And when he is and is put in general population, he will never again step foot in Alabama to face a trial there or Aruba, because he will not live that long. He will never leave Peru alive.

But before that death, hopefully, we can go ahead and get Natalee back so maybe it can eat at his conscience before he dies in Peru.

DIAZ: Mark Eiglarsh, why do you think there`s so much passion surrounding this case?

EIGLARSH: Well, first of all it starts with having a beautiful victim, a compassionate family, an evil potential suspect, the mishandling of this case by law enforcement. It really has everything, and it`s just a shame.

DIAZ: All right, Mark, thank you so much. Thank you very much to my fantastic panel.

Stay tuned for "NANCY GRACE." She`ll have a team on the ground in Aruba. We`ll have much more on the very latest Natalee Holloway developments at the top of the hour. You do not want to miss that.

Next up, a man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old and suspected of murdering the mom, the brother and a family friend waives his court hearing. What`s going on there? Shocking developments coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: How as he able to kill all three of these people that I`m sure they`re putting up some kind of fight. Did they get drunk first? We just don`t know all the gory -- and I mean gory -- details about what happened in this case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Yes, gory and ghastly details emerging tonight out of Ohio in the horrific triple slaying of a mom, her son and a family friend.

I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. The Knox County coroner says that 32-year-old Tina Herrman, her 11-year-old son, Kody, and 41-year- old Stephanie Sprang, a family friend, were stabbed to death and then dismembered. This before their bodies were stuffed into plastic bags and stashed inside a hollowed-out tree.

We`re also learning the tree was open at the top, not at the bottom. Cops say the bodies were dropped in from above. Speculation swirls about whether this man, Matthew Hoffman, an unemployed tree trimmer, used his own equipment to hoist the body bags up to the top of the tree to drop them down inside the tree.

Meantime, as we know, there was one survivor, Tina Herrman`s 13-year- old daughter, Sarah. What a brave little girl. She was rescued about five days after Matthew Hoffman allegedly kidnapped her. Cops say she was found bound and gagged in Hoffman`s basement. What a contrast. This guy, this sicko is suspected of dismembering three bodies; yet a young teen girl is spared.

Let`s bring Casey Jordan back in, attorney and criminologist. What possible explanation could there be for him sparing this 13-year-old girl? I`m almost afraid to ask.

JORDAN: Well, and I`m almost afraid to venture a guess, that it was for sexual abuse. You know, we`ve seen cases like this. They`re extremely rare, but they have happened.

One in recent memory is, of course, the case of Shasta and Dylan Groene in Idaho a few years back, where the entire family was slaughtered in their home. Their bodies were left there, and the culprit took the two young children. He sexually abused them, killed one of them before Shasta was recovered. It does happen.

What`s unusual about this case is the fact that he did dismember the bodies of the family and took them from the house and tried to hide them. And frankly, if he hadn`t told the police where they were, they probably would not have been found.

DIAZ: Yes. You`ve got to say it`s premeditated when you`re talking p hoisting them up to the top of the tree.

Of course, Matthew Hoffman was scheduled to be in court today for a preliminary hearing on the kidnapping charges, but he waived his hearing. This could be significant.

ISSUES reached out to the prosecutor with a couple of questions. First off, was the death penalty taken off the table as incentive for Hoffman to lead the cops to the bodies? Remember, he wasn`t talking. Then all of a sudden he was talking. And is a plea deal involved in the three killings in the works?

The answer we got was vague, that additional charges may be presented to a grand jury in four to six weeks.

Now, incidentally, we also contacted Hoffman`s public defender but did not hear back.

Casey, there`s so much evidence, like blood in the house, beer cans in Tina Herrman`s home. What`s the holdup here?

JORDAN: Well, I think you`re probably correct in thinking the prosecution has taken death penalty off the table in order to get Hoffman to talk and to cooperate, because he was not cooperative at the very beginning.

And remember, there was no certainty as to what happened to the mom, her friend and her son. And we needed -- we had a small window of opportunity. I if they were alive, we needed to find them. So if the prosecution was smart, they probably took the death penalty off the table to get the information they needed.

Unfortunately, the outcome was very tragic. They weren`t alive. But at least recovery of those bodies is certainly going to provide the evidence needed for the prosecution. And what I`m certain is going to be a guilty conviction.

DIAZ: Casey, great job. And this is a horrific story out of the Midwest. We`ll keep following it.

Another alarming student suicide. A college freshman takes her own life just days after she was reportedly sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DIAZ: Another horrifying suicide: a college freshman takes her own life nine days after she reports being raped by a Notre Dame football player. Did the school ignore her pleas for help?

Plus, Bristol Palin amazingly sashayed her way to the finals of "Dancing with the Stars". Now she`s up against the talented Jennifer Grey and spunky Kyle Massey. Bristol is clearly a fan favorite, but if she wins would it be a dancing disaster?

I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Tonight, shocking details about a college freshman who committed suicide just nine days after she reported being sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player. Guess what? That was almost two months ago, and it`s business as usual for the football player who`s still playing ball. Is this just another case of a college athlete getting special treatment?

This is the back story here. Elizabeth Seeberg died in her room of an apparent drug overdose. She had only been a student at St. Mary`s College for three weeks. Just nine days earlier, Seeberg had filed a report with Notre Dame police claiming she was sexually assaulted in a dorm room by a Notre Dame student. The identity of the suspect has never been released. He`s never been charged.

Now, Elizabeth`s friends started up this Facebook page in her honor and they`re saying something has got to be done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXIS GIPSON, ST. MARY`S COLLEGE FRESHMAN: Whether she killed herself over this or whatever, the fact that there`s a rumor I think that it needs to be a little more than a rumor. I appreciate that somebody looked further into it.

She`s dead, you know what I mean? Somebody needs to get down to the core of it and something needs to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: An Indiana prosecutor says he`s now reviewing the case. But what took so long? Is this turning out to be another example of justice not taking crimes against women seriously?

Give me a call, talk to me about this one, 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1- 877-586-7297.

Let`s begin with prosecutor Stacey Honowitz. Stacey, this alleged sexual assault happened back -- way back on August 31st. Seeberg even consented to a DNA evidence kit. So why would it take this long to determine if a crime was actually committed.

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, Carlos, we don`t know first of all the reason why she committed suicide. And the bottom line is, prosecutors don`t immediately file charges once a report is made. Certainly further investigation has to be done.

DNA testing, if he turned himself over for a swab, maybe the DNA testing wasn`t done yet. Maybe they were further investigating what she had to say. The idea that she went to the police, of course, is the smartest thing she could do, but they have to take their time in trying to decide --

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: Stacy -- take their time? Stacey, with all due respect, maybe, maybe, maybe is all I`m hearing from you right now. This happened back on August 31st. She committed suicide on September 10th. Why haven`t we gotten answers? It`s almost Thanksgiving.

I mean I appreciate your view on this, but I`m not as forgiving to Notre Dame police on this one. When she committed suicide, they didn`t even mention the sexual assault in the first place. I mean --

HONOWITZ: Well, I can`t --

(CROSSTALK)

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Is there a connection? We don`t know, Carlos. And I`m going to have to back up Stacey up here. It`s called an investigation. It takes time.

What was her mental history before all this happened? She died of an overdose of antidepressants. So, you know, just to say it`s always a presumption of innocence until the investigation is done. Notre Dame police has an excellent represent, one of the best as a college campus police department. And they turned all the information over to the prosecutor`s office.

So, it`s up in the prosecutor`s office now. They have to wait for stuff to come back.

(CROSSTALK)

HONOWITZ: I mean, Carlos, let me tell you one thing, Carlos. If God forbid a million times you were ever accused of something -- and I`m a prosecutor 22 years, so I see this all the time -- but you have to be able, it`s very quick for someone to say, why wasn`t something done instantly?

BROOKS: right.

HONOWITZ: If you were ever accused of something --

DIAZ: I understand that.

HONOWITZ: -- you would want me to take my time to figure out whether that person was telling the truth, if I had evidence against you. And in this case, like I said, I don`t know. I can`t pretend to know all the facts. All I know is the right thing initially was done; it was turned over to the police.

DIAZ: I understand. And I understand the chain of events that have to happen. But what I`m saying is that a young lady has lost her life. She has killed herself over -- ten days after allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a Notre Dame football player. This Notre Dame football player is still on the field.

So my point is how can it be ignored for so long without there being some kind of story that is broken about this so we can find out more facts about this?

I understand an investigation has to happen. All I`m saying is that she goes to campus security, she goes to campus authorities and says, I was sexually assaulted. She says, I`m thinking about taking my life, she talks about it. And nothing is done before she takes her life. That`s --

HONOWITZ: The bottom line is, that`s not the prosecutor`s situation. If she went to campus police, that`s Notre Dame`s decision what to do, whether to take him off the team, whether to suspend him.

You`re 100 percent right. This poor girl shouldn`t have taken her life if the sexual assault was pending. And we don`t know if she got pressure, if somebody knew that she reported this guy, if some of his football buddies made threats against her.

So what you`re looking at is liability of the university, not the prosecutor`s office. And those are the questions that need to be answered. What actions did the Notre Dame take once she reported the crime?

DIAZ: Let`s talk about the chain of events and how they played out. Ok. Elizabeth Seeberg reported the sexual assault back on August 31st. On September 10th she was found unconscious in her dorm room. She reportedly OD`d on pills she was taking for depression.

The "Chicago Tribune" reports the school did not tell police investigating her death that Seeberg had reportedly been sexually assaulted just a few days earlier.

I want to bring Dr. Janet Taylor in on this one. You`re a psychiatrist in this case -- not in this case, but in general. What do you -- what can that do to a student who`s brand new to college who even said, I don`t want to wear a scarlet letter of accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexual assault?

DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it certainly indicates that she`s been re-traumatized. I mean she reportedly was sexually assaulted; she reported it, nothing happened. That is a re-trauma.

In fact if she was depressed before that, it increases the risk that she could respond in a way that would make her take her life. Overall, it`s just a tragic situation, it highlights why it`s so difficult for women to come forward.

But also the fact that when you feel depressed, you feel suicidal, get help. You don`t have to end your life.

DIAZ: Tara in Maryland. Tara, jump in to this, what do you have to say?

TARA, MARYLAND (via telephone): I`m just really appalled. I mean just a few weeks ago a young girl I`m not sure what state, she was -- she claimed she was sexually assaulted in her hive school and the high school made her write a report about it and didn`t even call the police. I mean this is happening way too much, these crimes against women are not taken seriously.

DIAZ: Mike Brooks, I want to get your opinion. Do you think the Notre Dame football player should have been taken off the field?

BROOKS: Right now, no. Unless there are charges filed. Again, it`s an allegation. It`s -- we always -- as I said, the presumption of innocence, you know, he`s the alleged person who was involved in a sexual assault.

DIAZ: But Stacey Honowitz, the key witness is dead now. I mean how can you find out if this was truly sexual assault when the key witness has taken her own life?

HONOWITZ: Well, I mean, obviously the investigation now is over and done with because she`s not here to even testify. And certainly -- you know, we hear of all these campus tragedies. We do hear -- just like she said, she didn`t want to wear a scarlet letter. She probably knew that she would be ostracized by coming forward against this player.

And who knows in the interim from the time she reported it to the time she OD`d what was going on in her life. So, Carlos, bottom line is, we will never know, unless there`s any other witness that was there that can testify we know that it happened.

BROOKS: There were some writings on her computer or some other correspondences she had with other friends and possibly teammates of this guy.

DIAZ: But Mike Brooks, you hear about it all the time. You hear about self-policing of college programs, especially since the word of this fall has been bullying. And so many examples have been out there about bullying, about students in college taking their lives when they`ve been outed. And things like that.

I mean, Mike, if you`re in charge of the Notre Dame program, don`t you try to move this along as quickly as possible and maybe even bring it to the forefront before it`s investigated by the "Chicago Tribune" and other reporters?

BROOKS: Sure you do. I mean, I hope that there is at least a good communication between the school authorities, law enforcement on the campus, which has a great reputation, and the prosecutor`s office. You know, where did it stand before she committed suicide? That would be my question to the prosecutor`s office.

DIAZ: Go ahead.

TAYLRO: It`s a real opportunity. Look at the process so that this never happens to a young girl again or an innocent allegation against a male who may be innocent.

DIAZ: That`s my point. I`m not coming down on Notre Dame, all right? I`m from Indiana. Notre Dame is an amazing system. It`s an amazing school. It is one of the best schools in the country.

What I`m saying here is, when you have a pattern of bullying in schools and when you have a pattern of students in schools feeling like they`re insignificant through the entire fall and this is happening, I`m just saying that maybe it`s brought to the forefront as an example to say, hey, we`re investigating this. We`re looking into this. And not having the perception of it being swept under the rug. That`s all I`m saying.

HONOWITZ: Well, you`re right. You`re right about that because what happens, Carlos, is people don`t realize what the consequences are. And all of these campus rapes are swept under the carpet. Then certainly these people think nothing is ever going to happen to me. So you`re right about that.

Universities do need to take responsibility and need to realize that there`s real problems on campus and that there are consequences for the actions of players, of regular people, of anybody who`s on campus that would tend to commit a criminal act. That something will happen. You will be investigated and it`s not going to be swept under the carpet.

DIAZ: Stacey, let`s leave it right there. I want to thank Stacey Honowitz, Mike Brooks, Dr. Janet Taylor. I want to thank all of you guys; great discussion on this. I appreciate your opinions on all those matters.

Thank you so much.

Bristol Palin has managed to make her way to the finals on "Dancing with the Stars". She might not have made all the right moves, but she definitely has a following. Is this a popularity contest or is it a dance competition? And should she win? What do you think? Call me, 1-877-JVM- SAYS, that 1-877-586-7297.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People complain regardless. Like when you have Nicole Scherzinger in the final, you have Mel B., you have Christy Yamaguchi, people like, that`s not fair, they have dance experience, that`s not fair. I want to see someone with zero dance experience. Got what you asked for. But still, that`s not fair she can`t dance.

BRISTOL PALIN, SARAH PALIN`S DAUGHTER: Stop complaining.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was like either way, you`re never going to win.

PALIN: You`re never going to win at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DIAZ: I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight.

Dancing drama: death threats on the set of ABC`s "Dancing with the Stars". The winner will be crowned tonight. But if Bristol Palin takes home the trophy, will her life be in danger? What?

Millions of viewers have turned in the season and also tuned in this season. And they may be shocked that Bristol, the daughter of polarizing politician Sarah Palin, has made it to the finals.

Listen to this quote from ABC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My darling, technically, you`re always kind of clean, you know. You place yourself properly. You do your moves. But those moves never go anywhere. I think that comes from the performance. Because I`m still waiting, you know. Because you do a thing and then you go vacant. Oh, where am I?

Oh yes, I`ve got, no this and you know it`s true. You have to sustain it all the way through. I`ve been saying this for weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carrie Ann?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s sad is you have all the makings, the way you move your body, the pictures that you just naturally create without any effort, they`re really beautiful. But there is no effort. We`re week four.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: All right, Jennifer Grey of "Dirty Dancing" fame got a perfect score on her dance last night, but Bristol didn`t do too well. Let`s be real. She`s not the best of dancers but people are still voting for her, that is fueling tons of Bristol haters. One guy was so disgusted by Bristol`s less than impressive dancing he actually blasted his TV with a shotgun during her routine. More on that guy later.

They`ve beefed up security. But here`s my question, should ABC -- and follow me on this -- should ABC throw the competition to make sure Bristol doesn`t win just to protect her safety? I mean, she`s just a teenage girl and she`s getting death threats. Call me on this one, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Right off to Kim Serafin, Kim, senior editor of "In Touch Weekly" break down what Bristol had to go through and endure off the dance floor?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Yes exactly, the judges` comments are one thing but she`s had to deal with so much more I mean, speculation about her weight. Everyone is saying, well, why is she not losing weight? Everyone else loses weight and then the death threats, an envelope with white powder.

Now they`re saying if she goes to New York, she`s not going to be able to be outside in -- in the plaza, out in the street they`re going to have to do the interview in the studio because they`re worried about her.

The only thing that`s missing is some network sending Levi Johnston to do this special correspondent coverage of her.

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: Yes but --

SERAFIN: That I think is the only thing that would make it worse. Yes.

DIAZ: But you know, honestly they`re like -- they`re trying to like conceal where the post party is tonight. They`re telling Mark Ballots to stop tweeting her dancing partner. don`t tweet where you`re at. Because that`s -- that`s going to be a danger to you guys.

Let`s bring in Chet Buchanan, host of "Chet Buchanan the Mornings News" out there in Vegas, KLUC. Chet, follow me on this. I truly believe that even if she gets the most votes that ABC should just give it to Kyle Massey or Jennifer Grey because really what does she win? She doesn`t win a million dollars, she doesn`t win a recording contract. She wins the mirror ball trophy.

CHET BUCHANAN, KLUC, RADIO HOST: She wins -- she wins the mirror trophy and America, wake up. We don`t always choose the right people for the baseball all-star team and depending on which side you`re on, we don`t always choose the right president. And in fact, if you cared as much about your mortgage back in 2006 as you care right now about "Dancing with the Stars" you wouldn`t be in the trouble that you`re in right now.

This is ridiculous and so what if she`s got the most votes and so what if she wins "Dancing with the Stars"? People, relax.

DIAZ: And that`s the thing.

Joanna Krupa, I want to bring you in, you`re a former contestant on "Dancing with the Stars". You know, they -- you -- you get it -- you get a certain rate for being on the show. You get more money as the weeks go on, correct? Am I right on that one?

JOANNA KRUPA, COMPETED ON "DANCING WITH THE STARS": You`re right, yes.

DIAZ: Ok, so she`s already made her money. No one is going to make more money than Bristol Palin. So I mean, in all seriousness, like, even if she gets the most votes, they should kind of say, for your own safety, we`re going to give it to Jennifer Grey because we don`t want it to get worse than it already is.

KRUPA: I mean, for me, I don`t -- first of all I don`t think Bristol should be in the finals. I think the Republicans are expressing their political frustration. That`s why I guess they`re voting for her.

DIAZ: Wow. Really?

KRUPA: And I really think so because Jennifer Grey is the one that should win or Kyle because they`re amazing. And you know, I understand why people are angry. I`m angry because she does not belong in the finals. She can`t dance. I mean, her jive last night put me to sleep. I got -- in my second week when I did my jive, I got lower scores than she did last night. I mean, it`s crazy what`s going on.

I don`t understand and I see why people are angry because you see such an amazing woman with like Jennifer Grey doing such an amazing job at like 50 years old and here`s a girl that can`t dance.

DIAZ: But Joanna, what do you get? Seriously, what do you get for winning this show? You don`t get anything.

KRUPA: You don`t, but it --

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: Joanna -- Joanna, do me a favor. Joanna do me a favour. Who won -- who won last season? Who won "Dancing with --

KRUPA: Who won "Dancing".

DIAZ: Yes.

KRUPA: The girl from Pussycat Dolls. Nicole --

DIAZ: Thank you. Nicole Scherzinger.

SERAFIN: Can I say something?

DIAZ: Go ahead Kim.

SERAFIN: I was just going to say I mean Republicans and Democrats can both vote for the show. There are 20 million -- 23 million people watching the show. Anyone can vote, anyone has the same opportunity. I went on the Web site and voted last night.

I don`t have any Tea Party connections or I don`t have no connections -- but I got right on the Web site and I made my side votes all by myself. No problem. Anyone can get out there and vote.

KRUPA: No, of course anybody can vote but I see why people are angry because she shouldn`t be in the finals. Look, Audrina was such an amazing dancer, same with Brandy. I mean Brandy and Mags deserved to be in the finals. They really got screwed by people that voting for whatever reason they are voting and Bristol shouldn`t be there.

DIAZ: The other point that I`m making -- we`ll discuss this when we come back from break. The only point that I`m making is that if she wins, it`s going to get worse for her.

These wackos out there are not going to go away. In fact, they`re probably going to become more intensified on wanting to do her bodily harm. We`re talking about a teenager and all she`s doing is dancing.

And, by the way, Kim, when we come back from break, I`m going to talk you about whether you`re part of the Tea Party or not. I`ve got some inside information there.

Everyone stay put. We have more to talk about this Bristol Palin controversy.

I also want to take your phone calls. Give me a call right now on this. We`ve got to hear from you. Controversy on "Dancing with the Stars"; should Bristol be told she can`t win for her own safety?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRISTOL PALIN, CASTMATE, "DANCING WITH THE STARS": I`m just blessed to still be around in this competition. I never thought I`d make it this far. I`m just thrilled to be here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: All right. I`m Carlos Diaz, in for Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight.

Dancing drama on "Dancing with the Stars". Is Bristol Palin`s life in danger if she wins? It is my assertion that even if Bristol gets the most votes, ABC and the producers of "Dancing with the Stars" should just say, you know what, we`re going to give it to Jennifer Grey. We`re going to give it to Kyle Massey because this has gotten out of control, for Bristol`s safety.

Paige in Florida, what are your thoughts on that?

PAIGE, FLORIDA (via telephone): Hi, I had trouble voted for Jennifer last night. I called for an hour and a half and I could not get through. It kept saying busy or circuits busy or whatever. And I finally thought, well it`s my phone and I called and put one vote in for Bristol. I`m not anti-Bristol. I give her a lot of credit for what she`s done.

DIAZ: Wait, wait. You were going to vote for Jennifer. You couldn`t get through to Jennifer so voted for Bristol?

PAIGE: I voted one -- only one vote because I wanted to --

DIAZ: Well, that one vote can decide it. Way to go, Paige.

PAIGE: Well, it could have done it. And I will say, I have voted for her throughout the thing. She`s like I am. She`s never been on stage. She`s never done anything. I think she`s come a long way. But Jennifer is, by far, the better dancer.

DIAZ: You see that`s my point here. And thank you Paige, for your phone call. I appreciate it.

That`s my point. Page couldn`t get through with Jennifer so she voted for Bristol. It`s not that -- and Joanna, I`m not like dissing what you did on "Dancing with the Stars" but it`s dancing with stars on TV. It`s not rocket science.

Chet, you`re there in Vegas, the city of glitz and glamour. What are your people saying about this? Are they really that serious about it or do they see it for what it is?

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: It doesn`t appear to be that serious in this town. And I`ll tell you this much right now. Kyle Massey is the one that should win tonight. Jennifer Grey has been fantastic but she is going to cry either way. Kyle is going to be the guy who`s going to get the most out of this whole thing.

And Joanna, you`re right. And you were fantastic when you were on "Dancing with the Stars".

KRUPA: Thank you.

DIAZ: Stop it, Chet. Stop hitting on Joanna. Stop it Chet. You are being disgusting right now.

BUCHANAN: Carlos, you have my air time right now.

DIAZ: No, I`m going to cut you off. Live chat off the screen right now.

Let`s go back to Kim Serafin right now. And I`m not talking to you either Joanna.

Kim, following on this Kim -- it`s gotten out of hand and, Kim, don`t you agree, in all seriousness, that it could get more out of hand tomorrow if she`s declared the winner?

SERAFIN: It could. But you know what, if she`s not, then people on the other side are going to say it`s politically motivated. So politics are probably going to play a role in this. I should say people that are saying it`s just Republican that are voting her in can take solace may be in the fact that Sarah Palin`s reality show on Sunday dropped to two million viewers.

So it`s obviously not just Republicans that are watching TV. Again, there are people like your caller who just called who said they like Bristol because they`ve seen her improve; because she`s like a regular person. She`s not Nicole Scherzinger (ph) with a professional dance background. She`s not an Olympic athlete who has a professional background. She`s like everyone else and people have seen her improve and I think that`s where she`s getting a lot of votes.

DIAZ: I want to get Joanna in real quick. Joanna, we have about 40 seconds. You`ve been there on "Dancing with the Stars". Do they dig this drama, are they loving this drama right now backstage on "Dancing with the Stars"?

KRUPA: I don`t think so. When there was the whole drama with Shawn Johnson getting the threats, I don`t think it`s a positive thing for the show. I really -- you know, it`s such an amazing show and I love "Dancing with the Stars" and everything they have done for me.

I really don`t think they are digging it. And I`m sure they are worried about what is going on because it`s obviously, this whole threat stuff. And it`s really dumb because, come on, it`s supposed to be a fun show. It`s supposed to be exciting and entertaining. Not death threats.

DIAZ: I appreciate everything. Joanna, thank you so much. Chet thank you so much. Kim Serafin, thank you so much.

You guys have been great.

KRUPA: Thank you.

END