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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Cops Search for More Victims of Grim Sleeper; Phoenix Roommates Murdered; Roommates Murdered; "40-Year-Old Virgin" Actor Gets Life; DMV Nightmare; Monkeys Saved from Experiments

Aired December 17, 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)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a terrifying serial killer investigation explodes. Los Angeles cops release nearly 200 pictures discovered at the home of the alleged Grim Sleeper killer. Chilling photos of mystery women. Who are they? Could they be more victims in a mass murder spree? A desperate plea for their families and friends to come forward.

And two roommates strangled to death in their Phoenix home, one two months pregnant. No suspects, no leads. Now their frantic families are pleading for help. Who killed these beautiful women? We`ll talk to the heartbroken mother of the pregnant victim.

Then, a Hollywood horror: the "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor convicted of stabbing his girlfriend more than 20 times is sentenced. Luckily, she lived to tell the horrific story and fight for justice. I`ll tell you what sicko Shelley Malil got for trying to kill this woman. She`s telling us the whole story tonight here on ISSUES.

Plus, the one and only Bob Barker of "Price is Right" fame joins me to talk about that has pitted Paul McCartney and other famous animal lovers against NASA.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LAPD: Lonnie Franklin`s reign of terror in the city of Los Angeles spanned well over two decades, culminating with almost a dozen murder victims. Certainly needs to be investigated further. And we certainly do not believe that we are so lucky or so good as to know all his victims. We need the public`s help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They sure do. Tonight, incomprehensible horror as cops look for more victims of the serial killer dubbed the Grim Sleeper.

Cops are pleading with the public. They desperately need the public`s help I.D.`ing dozens of young women who showed up in photos found in the home of this guy, accused serial killer Lonnie Franklin. Could that man possibly be among the most prolific killers of all time?

Lonnie Franklin is sitting in jail, charges with 10 murders and one attempted murder dating back to 1985. But cops fear that could be just the tip of the iceberg. Cops say all of his victims were found in the same area of South Los Angeles.

Now, one woman that we know of managed to get away from this killer. She spoke to "The L.A. Times" about the day she met the so-called Grim Sleeper. Listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What went through your mind?

ENIETRA WASHINGTON, ALLEGED VICTIM OF GRIM SLEEPER: How to get out of this alive. How I was thinking, you know, how can I get out of this car without this man doing more to me than just -- that was really -- my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So here`s the stunning new development. About a thousand photos and hundreds of hours of home video were found during a search of Franklin`s home months ago. Cops have been furiously working to identify these women ever since. But now they admit they need help, the public`s help.

Look at these women. I`m talking about so many different faces. Cops have zeroed in on 180 photos that show women, young and middle aged, nude and partially nude, in sexually graphic poses. Who are they? How did he get them to pose this way? And the big question: are these women alive? If you know them, if you recognize them, call police immediately.

Straight out to Pete Demetriou, field reporter KFWB News Radio 980.

Pete, you`ve been all over this case, on the streets of L.A. What is the very latest?

PETE DEMETRIOU, REPORTER, KFWB NEWS RADIO: The latest right now is that the phones have literally been burning up to the LAPD`s robbery- homicide division and to literally all police divisions within the city. Not only that but the tip lines and the anonymous tip lines and tip lines have also been smoking with people calling in.

In some cases they`re individuals who say, "I know a certain person." In at least 10 to 15 cases, people have called the LAPD and said, "I am that person in this particular frame."

So many calls have been coming in they`ve got at least five to seven detectives right now who are doing nothing but handling those calls directly. Other people are handling the, if you will, Internet tips that are coming in and other tips from anonymous sources.

Now, all these tips come in, they`re going to be handled by the police department personally. If someone calls and says, "I am so and so," they`re not going to take them on their word. They`re going to interview that person next week. And there are a lot of detectives who are prepared to do a lot of leg work to try to find out who exactly these 180 women are and try to find out what they can tell them about Lonnie Franklin Jr.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Pete, they fear that some of these women may be victims. If -- they`ve tried to cross-check with missing persons. They`ve tried to cross-check with the coroner`s office. They haven`t come up with these women. So either they`re out there living quietly somewhere or something happened to them.

DEMETRIOU: The reason why they went to the Internet on this and the reason they went to the public is because they went through all the conventional sources. They checked all these women`s faces through the 30 cold cases that they have, which may have some correlation, if you would, to the Grim Sleeper cases. No matches there.

They`ve gone to the coroner, looked at Jane Does over that same period, 1985 to 2007. No matches there. They`ve gone to vice files, and they`ve looked for women who were engaged in prostitution or other activity and who were arrested. No matches for those.

So in essence, who are these people? The best way to find out is to disseminate it as widely as possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s what they are doing. Now let me -- let me move on here to say that cops were so stunned when they found a thousand X- rated photos and hundreds of hours of sexually graphic home video at this accused serial killer, Lonnie Franklin`s house.

Now, cops were -- they didn`t want to do this. They didn`t want to release these photos, because they didn`t want to embarrass any of these women or their families. But after trying, as you heard from Pete, desperately to find them, well, they decided they`re desperate enough that they`re going to release these photos. But they`re cropped out of respect.

Now, here is the really sick part. Some of these women appear to be heavily drugged. Some of them appear to be asleep. Some of them appear to possibly be dead. Again, if you recognize anyone in these photos, call LAPD immediately. You can view all of the pictures on LAPDonline.org.

But my big question to Cooper Lawrence, psychologist: what was Lonnie Franklin doing to get these women to pose for photos and home video of this kind of sexually graphic nature? He wasn`t a professional photographer. He was a sanitation worker and a garage attendant and a mechanic.

COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s most likely what you said, that he probably abducted them and he drugged them up heavily. And when you`re -- when you`re drugged like that and you`re afraid for your life, and the least he wants you to do is do something sexually explicit, and you think it`s going to save your life, a lot of women -- I mean, when you`re drugged, I don`t think you really have that much power over your actions. And I think that`s the point.

I think he takes complete control over these women. That is part of the profile of a serial killer like this, that he wants complete control. He puts them in humiliating positions, because he wants to humiliate them. And he`s obviously somebody who is motivated by a certain type of woman. And that`s who he believes he needs to rid the world of or humiliate in some way. This is part of his psychosis.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is what`s really fascinating to me. Steve Kardian, former police detective, he was a LAPD garage attendant. In other words, he was right under the nose of the cops for the longest time. He may have even moved the cars of some of the detectives who were trying to solve the Grim Sleeper case and who had no idea that the Grim Sleeper was an LAPD garage attendant. That is shocking to me.

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER POLICE DETECTIVE: Yes, Jane. And in listening to Ms. Washington`s statement, the lone survivor, she says that he was well-dressed, well-spoken. Often the serial killer, the psychopath, they can be very, very suave, very convincing. And it`s likely that he was doing that.

But, you know, the disturbing thing about this is that 14-year lapse. I`m sure some of those women in that -- those pictures that they have are going to come up to be victims, because serial killers only stop when they get caught or when they get killed. They have a fantasy time in between the killings. When that dies down, they repeat, and they kill again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, cops believe this guy actually had a break of 14 years. But they don`t know if he was just getting away with the killings during that time or if he was actually sort of sleeping -- the Grim Sleeper, that`s they call him the Grim Sleeper, because there`s a 14- year gap they can`t account for.

My big issue tonight: could Lonnie Franklin Jr., the guy you`re looking at, be among the worst serial killers ever? Could he be worse than Ted Bundy or Dennis Rader. Dennis Rader was known as the BTK, bind torture kill, killer. Listen to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS RADER, CONVICTED SERIAL MURDERER: Those are only my complaints, except for the PowerPoint. I don`t -- again, I don`t want to pick on the law enforcement. They`ve done a very good job, but I do want to clarify a few things just for the records, because this is basically my final say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, so Rader tortured and murdered ten people. What about Ted Bundy, the infamously good-looking charmer who slaughtered anywhere from 30 to 100 women?

And of course, in the U.S., possibly the most prolific serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas, believed to kill up to 213 people.

What are we talking about, Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney? I mean, this is really, really terrifying.

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, it is. You know, there isn`t any evidence, though, if we`re doing to be fair here, that he actually drugged these women. And there`s going to be some women that I think that right now they`re looking at photos, saying this may be consensual, at least while they`re there. But the bottom line is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s an accused serial killer. He`s accused of murdering...

BROWN: But we have to look at the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... at least ten women. OK. So let`s be fair to these women.

BROWN: Exactly, but there is no evidence that he`s used drugs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How about being fair to these women?

BROWN: How about being fair to the facts? There`s no evidence that he used drugs. Law enforcement is telling us that. There`s no evidence he drugged people. So let`s be fair to the facts right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. But let`s be fair to the fact that they`re saying these women appear to be drugged, and let`s not assume that they all took the drugs voluntarily. We all know what a mickey is. They can drop a drug in your drink, and you can be knocked out.

BROWN: And there are plenty of these women...

(CROSSTALK)

KARDIAN: The common denominator among...

BROWN: They look consensual.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve.

BROWN: They don`t look like they`re drugged.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa! Wait a second. Oh, you`ve analyzed all these photos and that...?

BROWN: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Kardian -- Steve Kardian, what were you going to say?

BROWN: The common denominator among serial killers` victims, is vulnerability. Many of them are prostitutes. Many of them are drug addicts. They`re easy prey. They are likely...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Got to -- hold on. We`re just getting started. Let`s not make assumptions about these women. We don`t know who they are.

Two roommates brutally murdered in what they thought was the safety of their own home. One woman was two months pregnant. Her devastated mother joins me in a moment to talk about her heartbreaking ordeal.

But first, more on the Grim Sleeper serial killer. How many women did he take down?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Mr. Franklin is accused of murdering at least ten young women with and one man in south Los Angeles, sending fear and terror throughout the streets of south L.A.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: These photos go back 20 and 30 years. People will have changed their appearance. People will have aged. We`re very interested in identifying these individuals and speaking with them, if at all possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops released these sexually-explicit photos of 180 women, but they`re cropped. These women could be dead or alive. Their pictures found in the house of the man believed to be the notorious Grim Sleeper killer in Los Angeles. One woman who says the Grim Sleeper shot her 22 years ago believes cops have the right man. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WASHINGTON: Kind of almost like a target. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that`s why. I wasn`t feeling threatened. And I did finally (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Getting back to our debate a moment ago. That woman, who was a survivor, says she was just walking down the street when this guy approached her and said, "Hey."

She said, "Oh, yes, your car is nice."

He said, "Get in the car." And she argued with him, and he said, "No, come on. I`ll give you a ride." Then he ends up shooting her.

So Cooper Lawrence, to that point, she wasn`t looking for drugs or sexual adventures. She was -- this guy gave her a ride and then attacked her.

LAWRENCE: There`s been a good deal of research on this, and it says that there are certain people that are more vulnerable to these situations than others. There actually are people that are victims out there. And the thing about serial killers and killers in general is they know how to spot those people. They know how to spot the more vulnerable in our society. The women that will get in a car, as opposed to a woman that will give them the finger and walk away or call the cops or have a negative reaction.

So -- so there`s two things going on. People that are vulnerable and people that are serial killers and people like this that are very, very good at spotting people that are vulnerable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now cops say they believe there are more Grim Sleeper victims among the photos that they have just released. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Somebody`s photo, among these 180, who is the victim? There`s somebody`s identity that we need to establish. There is some family in this city that goes without justice, and you will help us in achieving that for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Pete Demetriou with KFWB, you are in constant contact with the police. I would assume the second that they get a positive I.D. on any of these women they`re going to let us know, right?

DEMETRIOU: Maybe they will. Maybe they won`t. The primary consideration that detectives are doing right now is that they`re fielding the calls and they are getting information from these people. And in some cases, if they are identifying themselves as saying, I am this person in, say, frame 123 or 71, they`re not going to take their word for it. They`re going to interview them personally, face-to-face.

And the key that they`re looking for is twofold. One, what were with you doing with Lonnie Franklin Jr.? And, two, what can you tell us about the man that will help us to provide a better picture of what he was at the time you met him?

Dennis Kilcoyne, one of the detectives, the lead detective on this particular task force, believes that whoever the Grim Sleeper was -- and indeed, we have Lonnie Franklin Jr. in custody right now -- that he didn`t stop during the 14 years between 1988 and 2002. He said he believed he continued to kill. The question was, where? And was he just simply doing it in places where the police weren`t looking?

Kilcoyne believes that there may be additional victims. How many? Part of that is going to be dictated by just how many people in this 180 can actually be identified, either personally where people step forward, or with friends or relatives or someone else who identifies them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Pete, let me jump in and ask you a question. We`ve been debating who these women are. We don`t want to characterize the women in the photos, because why embarrass them unnecessarily? We don`t know how they came to be in those photos. But what can you tell us about the victims, the bodies that were recovered? What was their lifestyle primarily?

DEMETRIOU: Roughly one-half of the victims of the Grim Sleeper killer were involved or had been involved in prostitution. The others were not involved in prostitution. And that`s one of the reasons why the LAPD refused to really go into details about the nature of the photographs or videos or anything else.

They didn`t want to prejudice the, you know, minds of people as to what these women were or are. It`s not important what the character of the individual is. That is a potential victim and it is a potential witness. The department is looking at it strictly from that point of view.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. I understand.

Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, you heard that. Half were involved in prostitution, but the other half weren`t. So...

BROWN: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I feel -- that`s why I feel it`s not fair to characterize all of these women. We don`t know who they were. The one who survived, she was just walking down the street, and he grabbed her.

BROWN: Yes. You know, that`s the big question the case detective asked, is why are these women here? I mean, what`s the common operandus (ph) of all of this? Why these women?

And one of the questions he asked, too, was he said he didn`t find one iota of drug evidence. So he`s trying to explain how it is it that these women appear to be on these videos.

You know, the real question I have, Jane, for you on this is, we`ve got him on ten murders. If you could get him to admit to the other murders and identify the other victims and give peace to those families, would you be willing to waive the death penalty for him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you. You know, I think that`s not the relevant question right now.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think that`s the relevant question right now.

BROWN: It is a question, though.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the relevant question -- oh, in other words, you`re saying if the cops offered away the death penalty, would he then spill his beans about everybody he killed and tell the whole story?

BROWN: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you`re dealing with a serial killer, how can you believe what they have to say?

BROWN: Well, because he`s going to have to give you some credibility. But this is what`s going to happen. And from the criminal defense point of view, they`re going to want closure on this case. And if I`m representing him -- and I think he`s going to be found guilty of these ten -- that`s what -- that`s all I have to use to put on the table, is "Hey, listen. I`ll help you close the rest of those cases..."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Let me give you my answer.

BROWN: "... but you`ve got to make sure my client doesn`t get death."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My answer is I personally would say that the peace of mind of all of the families of these women is worth it. If -- if he tells everything he knows and we can solve the torturous question mark in the minds of many, many people whose loved ones have disappeared, never to be seen again, and find out exactly what happened. I feel that sometimes a life in prison is the worst torture on earth anyway.

BROWN: That`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I do feel that it is worth it.

BROWN: That`s the issue for the defense attorney.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we -- we are getting somewhere. Let`s pray. Let`s pray that we identify these women. Thank you, fantastic panel.

The actor known for his role in the movie "40-Year-Old Virgin" gets sentenced for trying to kill his girlfriend. She was stabbed nearly 20 times. We are talking to her live about her horrific ordeal. Coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phoenix 911. Where is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m -- I just came over to my friend`s house, and she`s not answering the door. And I went around to the back, and I just see somebody laying there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, they are calling it a grisly triple murder in Phoenix. Two roommates, both 27 years old, and one of them pregnant. Brutally strangled in their own home.

Beautiful 27-year-old Melissa Mason had just found out she was two months pregnant. She planned to share that exciting baby news with her mom over Christmas. But somebody killed her and her unborn child before she had the chance. Why?

Melissa and her good friend Nicole Glass were found lying on the floor side-by-side. The girls both worked as waitresses and bartenders at local clubs. Was somebody watching them?

There were no signs of forced entry. And in a very bizarre twist, the killer locked the door behind him as he left. Is the killer somebody these women knew? Possibly somebody they let into their home?

Police tell HLN they`ve spoken to Melissa`s boyfriend, who is the father of her baby. They say he`s cooperating fully with detectives and is not a suspect. But they`re also saying they`re not ruling anybody out at this point.

So who murdered these two really beautiful, popular, successful young women who were so full of life with so many plans and dreams?

Straight out to Sondra Minjarez, Melissa`s devastated mother.

Sondra, I cannot imagine what you`re going through tonight. And I want you to know that we here at ISSUES want to help bring justice to your daughter and your unborn grandchild.

First of all, tell us how you found out about your daughter`s murder. This is -- I can`t even imagine.

SONDRA MINJAREZ, MELISSA`S MOTHER: Yes. It was -- it was all devastating to find out. We first got a message through Facebook, and so then we called the number, and it was Melissa`s boyfriend. Then...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying you found out about your daughter`s murder on Facebook?

MINJAREZ: Well, no. They -- there wasn`t details on it. He just wanted us to call as soon as possible. So we called him, and then when I talked to him on the phone, he didn`t know how to tell me, but he says he had something to tell me.

Of course, when you receive a message like that, call as soon as possible you know, and it was with a Phoenix number. And we live in Tucson, so my first instinct was to call my daughter`s phone. And when I call her phone, it went straight to voicemail.

So then when we talked to him, you know, that`s when he told me that they had found -- that they had found her body. And I just started screaming and then I told him, "No, please tell me that you`re lying, that this is not true." And that`s all I remember, because I couldn`t talk to him on the phone any more, so I let my daughter Samantha talk to him.

And then after that, you know, I just wanted to rush to go to -- to come to Phoenix to be with her, but of course, I wasn`t able to see her. I wasn`t able to see her for ten days. And I just wanted to hold her, and I wanted to kiss her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on. I know this is so difficult. We`re going to talk to you more in a second. Hang on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL GLASS, MOTHER OF NICOLE GLASS: I will never be able to put my arms around my daughter again and tell her how much I love her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a heinous, shocking triple murder -- triple -- baffles police in Phoenix, Arizona. Two gorgeous roommates: one, two months pregnant, murdered in their very own home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDRA MINJAREZ, MOTHER OF MELISSA MASON: Our lives will never be the same and I`m just hoping that they found whoever did this to them because they didn`t deserve it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This beauty, Melissa Mason, was planning on telling her mom the exciting news that she was expecting over the holidays. She even had a positive pregnancy test saved with a note that said "Merry Christmas". She was so excited but she didn`t live long enough to share that wonderful news with her mom.

Who would want these young women dead? Police say Melissa and her roommate Nicole Glass were both strangled in their home sometime after 8:00 p.m. possibly with some kind of wire or cord which is missing. And in a truly bizarre twist: no sign of forced entry. Even stranger, the killer locked the door behind him as he left these two beautiful young women dead on the floor.

I`m very honored to have with me tonight Sandra Minjarez, the mother of the young woman who was pregnant. Sandra, I know this is very difficult for you. Tragically, your daughter was killed before you learned that she was pregnant and obviously that has to compound the tragedy of this, the impact of this. What was your reaction when you found that out?

MINJAREZ: I, of course, was very upset, very sad. My daughter Samantha told me as soon as we received the phone call. She told me because she knew. She had told my 20-year-old that she was pregnant. But she wanted to make sure that she wasn`t going to have a miscarriage so she wanted to wait until she was 12 weeks pregnant so that she could give me the news on Christmas.

Now, I want to get to my big issue tonight -- could this be some kind of crazed customer? Both girls worked together at various local nightclubs as waitresses, bartenders. They had big dreams but they needed to make ends meet. Melissa had just graduated from a medical institute and she was working to become a dental hygienist.

MINJAREZ: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To pay the bills police say both girls at one point worked at a gentlemen`s club called "The Sweet Spot". And we want to stress, they were bartenders they were not dancers.

MINJAREZ: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Sandra, sometimes men can become fixated. Your daughter was very, very beautiful. Did she ever say, there`s some guy at the bar who`s bothering me when I`m just trying to work? Anything like that?

MINJAREZ: No, she never did. And I`m pretty sure that if that was the case that she would have mentioned something because, you know, her and her 20-year-old started to become really close now that they were closer in age. And she would always share, you know, everything with us.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me ask you about another aspect of this case. Police say your daughter`s roommate Nicole Glass had been linked to a drug bust last year that involved dozens of defendants. It`s unclear exactly how that case shook out. It looked like Nicole was originally sentenced to probation.

Her family says the case was appealed and Nicole was eventually completely exonerated of any criminal conduct. But when you`re talking about dozens of defendants involved in a drug bust, do you have -- have cops told you anything about any possible connection to any of these defendants in this case?

MINJAREZ: No, they have not said anything, and I really -- I don`t know much about Nicole`s, you know --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have cops said anything to you?

MINJAREZ: No, they have not. They just told me that they`re running out of leads and that there`s no suspects. That`s all I know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That`s got to be so frustrating for you.

MINJAREZ: Yes, it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to keep your daughter`s case alive here on ISSUES so that we can find justice for you and your entire family. We`re not going to let this go, Sandra. Our hearts go out to you.

MINJAREZ: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our hearts go out to you. I know you are experiencing the most hellish experience that is humanly possible, the loss of a daughter. You have our deepest condolences.

MINJAREZ: Thank you. Yes, it`s the hardest thing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENDRA BEEBE, STABBING VICTIM: I stand before the defendant today alive. Despite plunging a butcher knife into my body 23 times in an attempt to murder me, I am here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Hollywood justice. It is life in prison for a Hollywood actor who became enraged when he found his ex-girlfriend drinking wine with another man and he stabbed her 20 times. But is it really life in prison when he might be able to get out in nine years?

Shelley Malil had a supporting role in the hilarious Steve Carell movie "40-year-old Virgin" but you could say things went downhill from there. Three months ago he was convicted of premeditated attempted murder. Shelley Malil stabbed his ex-girlfriend Kendra Beebe during a violent fight at her home. The Hollywood funnyman not so funny, then tried to claim it was all an accident.

Who could forget this guy, this bad actor, in court acting out what he claims he did to his ex ex-friend. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHELLEY MALIL, CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER: I just went like -- my hand was like moving a hundred miles per hour.

It was coming up like this and then as I stood up, I`m backing up and it`s, you know, back and forth, back and forth, and just looking for space.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Malil will be eligible for parole in nine years so how does that sit with the woman who was attacked?

Joining me now in a prime-time exclusive interview is Kendra Beebe, Malil`s ex-girlfriend -- she was the one who was stabbed 23 times; along with her famed attorney Gloria Allred. Thank you both for being here.

Kendra, ok, business as usual in the criminal justice system; he gets life in prison but he could be out after nine years. What is your reaction to that sentence?

BEEBE: My reaction -- I don`t really have control over the situation. He got almost the maximum sentence that he could get in the state of California. Is it enough? I mean, this is our legal system.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Do you feel that you got justice? Do you feel vindicated? Do you feel happy, safe?

BEEBE: I feel safer. I don`t -- there`s nothing really happy about all of this. It`s a very, very sad event. And I feel like I did get justice in our system, but is the system fair and just? I don`t think so.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We`re doing to get to that in a second. During his trial, Shelley Malil admitted he couldn`t stop himself from stabbing his ex-girlfriend. Listen to this. It`s outrageous.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALIL: This is a question I`ve been asking myself for the last two years. Was there a moment, you know, a conflict that I could have stopped? I`ve asked myself over and over and over again. I`m telling you I still don`t know that -- I still cannot honestly say there was a moment that I said, you know what? This is enough. There`s never been a moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he did it. He admits he did it. Now, he was sentenced to life in prison, but it turns out that he can get out in nine years.

This is what I don`t understand, Gloria Allred, about our criminal justice system. Life doesn`t mean life.

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR KENDRA BEEBE: Well, exactly. And Jane we ought to have truth in sentencing. That`s what`s important. What it means is he could be eligible for parole after nine years. It doesn`t mean that he will get out then. And of course Kendra has the right to go to the parole hearing and she can speak to whether or not she thinks he should be released. That`s what she intends to do.

This is a person who has been convicted of attempted murder -- premeditated, intentional, deliberate attempted murder. He really injured Kendra in a major way, 23 stab wounds and slashing wounds. He almost severed her chin. She had two collapsed lungs as a result of what he did to her. She lost half of the blood in her body.

This man should be sent away for a long, long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when he testified he wreaked of emotional immaturity. You got the sense that if he thought he wowed the jury with his performance he might get away with it. I`m so glad that boomeranged and that nonsense that he pulled when he was testifying didn`t work.

Everybody, hang tight. We`re going to have a lot more on this.

Also coming up, we have a fascinating update on a transgender woman`s nightmare at the DMV. All she wanted was to change her driver`s license with her new name and she got hate mail.

Plus, more with this brave survivor and the "40-year-old Virgin" actor Shelley Malil`s so-called life sentence.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, the woman who was stabbed 20 times by her "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor boyfriend.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMBER YUST, TRANSGENDER WOMAN SUING DMV: I was just completely shocked that someone would send me you know that hateful of a message and to my house, you know, after all I had done was go to the DMV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just a couple of days after Amber Yust joined us exclusively on here ISSUES, we`re seeing some results. The transgender woman told us the outrageous story about how she got gay-bashing hate mail allegedly from the man who was helping her at the counter at the DMV. Well today, we learned that man has resigned.

Now Amber`s lawyer says he should be fired. But fired or not, at least he`s out. Maybe he was watching ISSUES.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANJALI VARGHESE, SHELLEY MALIL`S NIECE: This crime was not a result of any kind of ingrained malice. It`s just not his nature. I only pray that you see the man that I see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The niece of "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor Shelley Malil asked the judge to be lenient on her uncle. Did it help? Well, the judge sentenced the former actor to life in prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend 20 times.

But unfortunately the way the system works he could get parole in nine years. But they`ve promised, Kendra and her attorney, they`re going to do everything they can to prevent him from getting out.

I want to go back to Kendra Beebe, the courageous woman who survived being stabbed 20 times. What upset you about his testimony, his very flamboyant testimony in court, the most?

BEEBE: Well, in his testimony, Mr. Malil stated that it was the knife that did it. And he stated this repeatedly. And, in fact, it wasn`t the knife that stabbed me 23 times. It was Shelley Malil.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What has your life been like? Obviously this was physically devastating. You were -- wow, your back, your arms, your chest, your neck, your lungs, all of them just viciously attacked and then of course the emotional and psychological repercussions. What`s it been like?

BEEBE: Well, it`s very difficult. It -- it`s a long healing process. It`s a -- it`s a physical and a mental healing process. But what I find is that when horrible tragedy happens to us, we have a choice. We can close up and wall up and become bitter people, or we can open our hearts and we can let our experiences soften us. And I find that as a mother, loving my children has been the most healing thing for me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gloria, tell us what happened here. This is an ex- boyfriend; intimate partner violence is a huge problem in this country. What really went down?

ALLRED: Right. And he came to her home. She`s sitting there in her home, which is supposed to be the safest place that anyone can be. Her little babies are sleeping up -- upstairs, Jane. She`s sitting outside in the patio.

He comes in with the knife and starts attacking her. And it`s not just the 23 stabbing and slashing movements that he made. It`s the terror that she felt as she was trying to get away and he`s stabbing and slashing and she`s completely bloody.

This is a complete betrayal of the trust that she once had with him, her romantic, her intimate partner. And the judge pointed that out, Jane, that -- that a woman is more vulnerable when she has trusted someone than if she has not been in a romantic relationship.

So this is something that she had to do --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And that`s why we have the war on women, Gloria. We -- we cover the war on women here because intimate partner violence is such a huge, huge problem in this country. And so many women end up --

(CROSSTALK)

ALLRED: And she --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

ALLRED: Exactly. And she is such a tower of courage. I admire Kendra for the strength that she has shown throughout all of this, including in the criminal trial where her credibility was attacked, but thank God the jury believed her and sent this man to prison, this man who showed no mercy to her. I`m glad that the judge did not show mercy to him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was difficult, in fact, to -- to watch Kendra describes this gruesome stabbing that she experienced in court. Watch. Watch her testimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEEBE: He had his hand behind his back and he starts walking up to me. And I thought, oh, my God, he`s going to hug me. And then I thought, oh, no, as he got closer, he`s going to punch me. And then -- and then I see like this flash of silver and he goes bang, bang, bang.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so horrific. And yet take a look at this performance is what I have to call it, Kendra. This guy really I think thought if he wowed the jury with some flamboyant theatrics that he could maybe get away -- I`ve never seen testimony like this in all of my years as a reporter. It`s one of the most bizarre things I`ve ever seen.

What was your reaction Kendra when he pulled that stunt of -- of trying to make it look like some kind of fencing routine out of a movie?

BEEBE: You know, it was -- it was horrible, and I felt so frustrated and angry. And remember when -- when he was testifying I was not allowed to be in the courtroom. So that`s part of our legal system. So I was at home or working and at night I would be able to watch -- watch him on the evening news.

So it -- it was very surreal and bizarre, and I felt very frustrated in the sentencing yesterday because he claimed so -- so many times in his - - his speech that -- that he had found God. And I -- I question if he found God and Jesus within the last 12 weeks because he sure lied and lied and lied on the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s listen. In court, he -- Shelley Malil told the judge he`s so sorry and he also apologized to you, his ex- girlfriend. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHELLEY MALIL, CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER: But what I did to Kendra, I -- I don`t even have the words to express my remorse or my -- my feeling sorry. Kendra Beebe did not deserve anything that happened to her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Gloria Allred, the defense argued, well, what he did was completely outside the range of his personality and they doubt that he would ever do anything like that again? How the heck do they know? I find that outrageous when claims like that are made.

ALLRED: Well, it`s complete speculation. And this was so dangerous and so vicious and so criminal and so premeditated, and I -- I you know, I just think to say it could never happen again, I don`t know what kind of crystal ball they have. But I -- I think it`s on -- you know, I just think it`s very speculative.

The point is, as the judge pointed out, Jane, that if, in fact, there was substance abuse that he was undergoing, that`s a dangerous volatile kind of Molotov cocktail.

If you mix that with domestic violence against an intimate partner and you know, if in fact in the future he has a problem with substance abuse when he gets out, if he does, and if, in fact, he`s with another intimate partner, who`s to say what could happen?

And that is something that we`re very concerned about because I know Kendra doesn`t want any other mother, any other woman to have to suffer the way she has.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And again, life in prison, but oh, he could get out in nine years. I know that you are in good hands with Gloria Allred, Kendra, because she`s going to make sure that doesn`t happen and that this man who stabbed you viciously 20 times stays behind bars for a long time.

Thank you both so much for joining me. I`m so glad your nightmare is finally over.

BEEBE: Thank you Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, Bob Barker joins me to celebrate a huge victory for ISSUES and for all you animal lovers out there.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

APRIL EVANS, FORMER NASA ENGINEER: I resigned from NASA because NASA made the decision when we began our space exploration missions to begin testing on primates. It was the first time that we have done this in approximately 30 years.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a huge victory for animals and animal rights. NASA pulls the plug on plan to conduct torturous radiation experiments on innocent squirrel monkeys. After a brave NASA engineer resigns, celebrities like Paul McCartney and Alicia Silverstone spoke out and PETA and us right here on ISSUES stood up and cried outrage.

NASA listened. The testing would have systematically exposed these intelligent sensitive creatures to harmful extreme radiation. Large enough doses to simulate what astronauts would go through on a three-year voyage into outer space.

Take a look at what monkey experimentation looks like. These monkeys are held prisoner. Look at this. He`s screaming. Other images are worse, way too gruesome for television. What kind of life is this for a creature so similar to a human being?

Take a look at this, these monkeys hugging each other because they`re terrified. They`ve been ripped from their natural environment. Ok. NASA tells HLN the plans are in the trash for now but they stopped short of actually admitting they were scrapping primate experimentation for good. We will not back off this issue.

Straight out to my fantastic guest -- animal rights activist and "Price is Right" legend Bob Barker. Bob, your reaction to this news from NASA.

BOB BARKER, ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST (via telephone): Well, I am absolutely delighted that they have canceled the experiment, and I certainly am not the only one because scientists have criticized them, members of their own staff, former astronauts, the European Space Agency, government officials -- one after another. One engineer with NASA actually quit her job in disgust because they were considering doing these horrific experiments.

And the fact that they have canceled them comes as I`m delighted, but it shouldn`t be a complete surprise. PETA alone, had 100,000 e-mails that they sent to government officials through the PETA Web site.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at these poor little guys. We`re showing video of these monkeys, what they go through when they`re ripped from their homes and tortured. Let`s talk about the 100,000, at least, monkeys that remain in laboratories around the United States. We don`t take boats to Europe anymore and we don`t need to be test ing on these animals when we can operate on the sub-molecular level. Bob, ten seconds.

BARKER: I would say -- I point out that monkeys are highly social, sensitive, intelligent animals, and torturing them in experiments for any reason, especially experiments as senseless as these would have been, is not only cruel, but it is morally unjustifiable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Thank you so much. Bob Barker. You`re one of my heroes.

A victory for the animals. You`re watching ISSUES.

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END