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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Husband Claims Self-Defense in Beheading; Online Mom Neglects Kids?

Aired January 19, 2011 - 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, horrific, jaw- dropping violence in the war on women. Has divorce turned deadly yet again? A New York TV executive accused of decapitating his wife faces a jury. She was found stabbed 40 times with her head cut off only a week after serving her husband with divorce papers. Coincidence? I think not. So why is the husband claiming self-defense?

Also, it`s happened again. A mother so addicted to computer games that her neglected children were living in filth. Now, her six young kids have been taken away. Cops say there was no food in the cupboards. Animal waste was all over the house. How could playing online be more important than her kids?

And breaking news. A possible victory in the war on women. Cops have just taken a man into custody in the Detroit serial rapist case. Have they caught the predator who terrified a major city, attacking eight women in just two weeks? We`ll have all the fast-breaking developments.

Plus, a teen pregnancy play hits Memphis. Reports claim 90 students have been pregnant at one high school this year alone. Could this be another pregnancy pact? So what is the school saying about this epidemic, and where were these girls` parents?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL BONANNO, PROSECUTOR: The defendant sawed Aasiya`s head off with such force that he left long knife marks on the tiles underneath her. The defendant viciously killed Aasiya and desecrated her body, because six days earlier she had dared to file for divorce.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking developments in the unimaginably horrific decapitation murder of a New York woman who was planning to divorce her allegedly abusive husband.

Prosecutors say just six days after 37-year-old Aasiya Hassan filed for divorce from her 46-year-old TV executive husband, Mo, he beheaded her and also stabbed her 40 times using hunting knives.

Today in court, we learned she may have been conscious and alert at the time of her beheading.

Prosecutors say her husband lured her to the New York TV station they ran together by asking her to drop off some clean clothes for him at night. He told her he wouldn`t be there, since she already had a restraining order against him at the time.

But waiting in the dark, he was there, and he ambushed her in a vicious attack that lasted just 47 seconds, 47 seconds of hell.

Mo Hassan`s defense attorneys admit, yes, he killed her, all right, but they say -- are you sitting down? -- he, that`s what they say, he was the victim of years of abuse, and they claim his wife, quote, "unleashed physical and psychological attacks against him."

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY SCHWARTZ, HASSAN`S ATTORNEY: The marriage of Mo and Aasiya Hassan was a sad, unhealthy relationship. It ended with Mo Hassan in fear of his very life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, really? And that`s why he decapitated his wife.

Meantime, Mo Hassan`s grown children just finished testifying a little while ago against their father. His emotional daughter told the jury about seeing her stepmother bleed like she`d never seen before, and Hassan`s own son claimed his dad was abusive to him and had punched him in the face.

So was this a calculated, premeditated evil plot of a controlling husband, a TV executive, no less, to stop his wife dead in her tracks before she could divorce him?

ISSUES reached out to Mo Hassan`s attorney. We did not hear back.

And I am taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas, who has been tracking this case.

Beth, what is the latest?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, good evening, Jane. Five more witnesses testified today.

Let me tell you something else that the stepdaughter of the victim said today in court. Besides seeing Aasiya bleeding on prior occasions, jurors heard her read from a document called a memorandum of understanding, and it was a document between husband and wife, now dead, where she agrees, apparently, to be punished if she did certain things, like go to the authorities or file for divorce.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What, what, what, what?

KARAS: And the -- but the judge let her read it, so it`s an agreement that one would argue -- a prosecutor will say, oh, this was signed under duress. This is what -- he made her agree that she`d be punished if she filed for divorce, or, as I say, went to the authorities and reported these many assaults that the jury is hearing about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. I`m trying to just get my mind wrapped around that. This is some kind of sick agreement that this husband, who`s now on trial for decapitation murder, asked his wife to sign?

KARAS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It says basically, "If you try to leave me, if you try to do this, I have the right to punish you?" It`s like a private agreement?

KARAS: Yes. That`s right.

Also, the jurors have heard that he bought these two hunting knives an hour before waiting for her at the TV station. And you know what she was doing? She had three of the four kids. So, one stepchild and her two little one, 4 and 6 years old at the time, in the car. She was going to take them to get some dinner, some fast food. She promised them a little treat.

She went in to bring him a bag of clean clothes. So here she was. She filed for divorce, but she`s still bringing him some clothes. He lured her there. And he was waiting for her. And that`s when he ambushed her, says the prosecution.

It took 47 seconds for him to cut her head off. And as you said, the pathologist said she, in all likelihood, was conscious at the beginning of the beheading.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God.

Michelle Golland, this is one of the sickest things I have ever heard. A husband presumably forcing -- because why would anybody voluntarily sign some piece of paper that says, "Yes, you can punish me if I try to leave you"?

Is this some kind of sick mind game? What -- I`ve never actually heard of that. I mean, this is like S&M taken to another level.

MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, unfortunately, Jane, I have heard of this, that when -- when there is domestic violence that is going on and the abuser is using power and control to influence and manipulate their partner, this is that kind of tactic.

In many ways it`s sort of brainwashing the woman to think that she not only doesn`t have the power to go to authorities, because he`ll hurt her, but she`s actually signed a contract to do that. I mean, this is a man who is clearly an abuser, and a murderer, from what it seems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That`s one of the sickest things I have ever heard. I`d say that`s psychological terrorism.

GOLLAND: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just how violent was Aasiya`s murder? Let`s listen again to how the prosecutor just a little while ago described the force her husband used to allegedly -- well, forget allegedly. He admits that he did this, behead her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BONANNO: The defendant sawed Aasiya`s head off with such force that he left long knife marks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the prosecution supported their theory by showing the jury graphic -- and I mean graphic -- pictures of her decapitated body that also show stab wounds all over her back, neck, shoulders. The state`s pathologist said that every bit of tissue in her neck had been cut and that her assailant was behind her.

So the cowardice there, luring her in, saying, "Bring me some clean clothes, honey, even though I`ve already allegedly abused you to the point where you`ve got a restraining order. I won`t be there." Then he`s waiting in the dark and then decapitates her but also stabs her all this time in the back?

Jayne Weintraub, this defense, this cockamamie defense, what do you make of it? You`re a defense attorney.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, I`m a lawyer, and I can tell you that the prosecutors and the defense lawyers are bringing in one thing -- this is a man that snapped. This is a man that`s obviously mentally ill.

Perhaps there should have been domestic violence intervention earlier. There had to have been warning signs earlier, just like we`ve heard with Jason [SIC] Loughner last week. There are signs of somebody who is so mentally ill that they could commit the most violent, vulgar act imaginable, especially with children there. This is not a man that was...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what makes me sick to my stomach? What makes me sick to my stomach is that this suspect was a prominent businessman who founded the Bridges TV network, whose motto is, "Connecting people through understanding." Meanwhile, he disconnected his own wife from her head.

WEINTRAUB: Jane, he`s sick, and he needed help, and nobody -- nobody helped him. Nobody supported him.

(CROSSTALK)

GOLLAND: I need to say something there, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. Go ahead.

GOLLAND: This is not -- this is not about a mentally ill individual.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

GOLLAND: We`re not dealing with someone who is supposedly saying they had schizophrenia or they were delusional.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hearing voices.

GOLLAND: Psychotic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No.

GOLLAND: This is a man who probably is a narcissist, is in power and control and tried to dominate. And just like you said, Jane, that he was using psychological terrorism on her. And ultimately, when he lost control, which we know in domestic violence the most dangerous time is when you choose to leave.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drew. I know Drew Findling, you want to get in?

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Jane, let me say this. You know, everybody brings up a good point, and Jayne, I hear what you`re saying. But here`s the problem in this case.

Remember, this happened almost two years ago. He switched counsel a year ago, because he didn`t want to go the psychological route. I agree with you, this gay`s got issues. The problem is he`s trying to use a battered person syndrome, defense. I`ve used that all over the country, and this guy doesn`t fall into that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The most idiotic thing I`ve ever seen...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this girl. She`s 90 pounds, you know, soaking wet.

FINDLING: I`m with you, and the problem you have is look at what he apparently did in the courtroom today. He wanted to cross-examine his own daughter. He kept on interrupting his lawyer at sidebar conferences. He was exhibiting control issues today in court.

GOLLAND: Absolutely.

FINDLING: He didn`t help himself today with his attitude.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And listen, Beth in Virginia, hang in there. We`re going to get to you on the other side of the break. We want to hear your question.

But first, we`re so excited about a very special night here on HLN tonight. And for the next ten weeks, Nancy Grace is on a mission to find America`s missing. Help find 50 people over the next 50 days. That`s in the second hour of Nancy Grace, 9 p.m. Eastern.

All right. More on this woman`s unimaginable, horrific decapitation death, and we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Later, is there a teen pregnancy outbreak, epidemic at a Tennessee high school? We`re going investigate. You won`t believe what we found.

But first, a woman decapitated just days after she filed for divorce. Did she unknowingly put herself in her husband`s murderous path?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BONANNO: The defendant viciously killed Aasiya and desecrated her body because six days earlier she had dared to file for divorce.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHWARTZ: The marriage of Mo and Aasiya Hassan was a sad, unhealthy relationship. It ended with Mo Hassan in fear of his very life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. That`s the defense strategy in the trial of former TV station executive Mo Hassan, who was accused of decapitating -- in fact, he admits he decapitated his wife with a hunting knife.

Breaking news tonight: we`re learning now from Beth Karas, that the victim, Aasiya Hassan, signed a written contract allowing her husband to punish her. How sick is that?

Beth, Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: I just wanted to say there is no way that this was self- defense. It is definitely premeditated murder, and the violence against women has got to stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The violence against women has to stop. This is a classic case in the war on women. And we here at ISSUES don`t want to be part of the pornography of violence. We are looking for solutions. And I`m going to present you one right now.

Aasiya and her husband had launched their Muslim-American-oriented TV station together. Now, you`re going to hear from the victim in five seconds, but watch carefully. This is what the woman who was later decapitated said about the TV station she and her husband ran together in 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AASIYA HASSAN, MURDER VICTIM: Actually sat down and watched the channel to figure out exactly what the lifestyle of Muslims are about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you see her there standing in front of a bank of TV sets. She was decapitated in that very same TV station.

Now, this woman that you just saw had a restraining order against her husband. She`d filed for divorce six days before she was murdered. The day of her murder, she went to the TV station at his request to drop off clean clothing for him.

OK, women. This is a call to action. All women, do not interact with your abusive husband. If you`ve gone to the point of getting a restraining order against him, get out and stay out of his orbit. Do not be lured into his orbit with a ridiculous excuse to drop off clean clothing. Hire someone, if you feel the need, or tell him to get his own -- go to a -- go to a department store and get a new suit. That`s what I say. Do not fall into that trap, Drew Findling.

FINDLING: Well, remember, that what`s really interesting about this is, in most jurisdictions, if not all jurisdictions, any interaction with a restraining order or protective order, in effect, is potentially an accusation of aggravated stalking.

So you can`t do it anyway, and that should be the admonishment. It`s not -- it`s against the restraining order`s rules and regulations.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Glenda, Mississippi, your question or thought.

CALLER: I just have a thought, Jane, and a comment. I`m so toiled with this campaign that you`re waging against violence against women. I am so with you on that.

And this guy, Mo Hassan, I mean, he is a total coward and just totally heartless and a murderer, and I think he deserves nothing short of the death penalty, absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you, Linda from Mississippi. And the campaign we`re waging here is not just to talk about these cases in a who, what, when, where, how, why, but to get to the deeper "why" so that women who are watching it -- and let`s face it, there are millions of women in similarly abusive situations who, God willing, are not going to suffer this horrific violence.

If they see something like this, they connect the dots in their head. They say, "Oh, my gosh, I can relate to this." And they get out, because this is a classic example of the war on women.

Mo Hassan doesn`t even deny that he killed his wife by decapitating her. But his lawyer is now claiming that he, this big hulk of a man who one relative called a fat man with evil eyes, he`s -- he`s claiming that he was living in fear of her, and he also has the nerve to claim that he was worried about the three kids. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHWARTZ: Mo Hassan killed his wife. But he is not guilty of murder in the second degree.

She would make threats to embarrass him, threats to take his children away from him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Jayne Weintraub, if he really cared about his kids, why would he allow his three kids to sit in the family minivan outside the station while he lured his wife into that station and decapitated her with the three kids sitting in the minivan right outside?

WEINTRAUB: A, because a guy like this didn`t care about his kids. B, because it wasn`t premeditated and planned. And, C, the grown son even testified how Hassan as a father would punch him in the face.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you say it wasn`t -- did you say it wasn`t -- did you say it wasn`t premeditated and planned?

KARAS: Right. I disagree. I think it was premeditated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Beth.

KARAS: Because he went and he bought the knives. And then he handed a bank envelope of cash to his older son, who`s now 19. He testified today. As he came up, he drove up to the car with the three kids there, and he handed the cash to the son.

GOLLAND: Right. He knew...

KARAS: He happened to have cash in a bank envelope, but I suspect that was part of the plan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the idea of giving cash to the kids so that they could go off and do something instead of waiting around while he killed his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Right. Or he did it right after he killed her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle -- who wanted to talk here? Yes, Michelle.

GOLLAND: It`s Michelle. Jane, I really want to point out that one of the things that`s so important about domestic violence is that, you know, in this situation -- we see this often, that there is also child abuse that is going on.

I mean, not just the fact that these children are witnessing violence but that they actually -- the abusers who physically harm their partner, their wife, also are physically violent towards their children. And it`s extremely important that we realize it`s not just -- it`s about the family and the safety of all the members of the family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Remember, women, the most dangerous time for you in an abusive relationship is in the two weeks around when you leave your husband. If you are going to panic, panic good and get the hell away. Do not linger in the danger zone.

Thank you so much, fantastic panel.

And coming up next, a big bust in the Detroit serial rapist case. We`ve got some breaking news for you. A person of interest has been taken into custody. This is a major breakthrough. Let`s hope it`s a victory in the war on women.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE GARROW SR., UNIONTOWN POLICE: There was nothing in the cupboards. The bedrooms had mattresses on the floor with no sheets or pillows. They looked like they got these mattresses out of the junkyard. They were just filthy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horror story. Tonight, a warped, disgusting discovery inside a Pennsylvania home. Inside, six young children living in pure filth, sleeping on dirty, bare mattresses, the floors piled high with animal feces.

And guess what mom was doing? Cops and her husband say she was playing video games online instead of taking care of her kids, six of them.

It was all happening inside this teensy tiny green house. Six kids and, well, I can`t even think about it. Nobody had a clue until, thank God, a school official showed up at the house, because Mom wouldn`t answer the phone. Her husband says that`s because she will not stop playing video games on the Internet.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police say that your wife is addicted to online computer games.

JAMES BOORD, STEPFATHER OF NEGLECTED KIDS: Yes. Yes, she is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t you think that`s a problem?

BOORD: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Yes. Rip the computer out of the wall and throw it against the wall.

All six kids are now in foster care. So we`ve got to tell you, we`ve got some breaking news coming in on this story. Straight out to reporter Courtney Brennan with WPXI.

I understand you`ve got some new information for us, Courtney. What is it?

COURTNEY BRENNAN, REPORTER, WPXI (via phone): We do, Jane. Police have filed felony endangerment charges this morning against the mom, Elizabeth -- Elizabeth Shaffer (ph) Ruffner and also the stepfather that you saw in the video, James Boord.

And then we do know also today that Boord is working on cleaning that house and trying to get it up to an acceptable standard so that when CYS comes back to check in on his progress, he might be able to get his six children back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, the step-dad said he tried to take care of the kids, who were all under the age of 11, but it was just too much for him, because he also apparently has a job.

Let`s listen to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOORD: I`ve been working, and I couldn`t come home to take care of them. I cleaned them -- give them their bath at nighttime for school. I cleaned up after them. It just got too much for me to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Golland, psychologist, I don`t buy it.

GOLLAND: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t buy it at all. We`re all busy people.

GOLLAND: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The idea that you have -- you have an empty refrigerator, feces on the floor.

GOLLAND: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t buy it. I think he`s just as culpable as the mom.

GOLLAND: Absolutely, Jane, and I think that`s what we heard, that he`s also having felony child endangerment charges filed against him.

And absolutely. This is a man and a woman who are clearly endangering the lives, the emotional, the physical well-being of their children. And thank God that this school official came down to that house to see what was going on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what really scares me, looking at that house? You can`t tell from the outside. Well, certainly it`s snowing, but it`s not like there`s trash in the yard or anything.

GOLLAND: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I look at that house and I wonder how many other houses in America with so many millions of people hooked to these Internet games?

Sixty-one million people play Farmville. Sixty-one million. OK? So you`ve got to wonder how many other houses are out there that, inside there`s a nightmare going on that we don`t know about?

Michelle, ten seconds.

GOLLAND: Right. And I think that that`s really true. We have to really look at the video game and what we call -- I call face time and are we giving enough to our children not connected to the Internet?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. He doesn`t look like he`s starving.

GOLLAND: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Feed your kids.

Breaking news in the Detroit serial rapist next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news. A possible victory in the war on women: cops have just taken a man into custody in the Detroit serial rapist case. Have they caught the predator, who terrified a major city, attacking eight women in just two weeks? We`ll have all the fast-breaking developments.

Plus, a teen pregnancy plague hits Memphis. Reports claim 90 students have been pregnant at one high school this year alone. Could this be another pregnancy pact? So what is the school saying about this epidemic? And where were these girls` parents?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF RALPH GODBEE, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT: Based on the MO, it is our collective professional belief that it is a single perpetrator, but we don`t rule out anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking news out of Detroit. Cops announce they now have a person of interest in custody in the horrific, vicious rapes of seven women and the attempted rape of an eighth.

A monstrous serial rapist has been brutalizing women in the Detroit area since the first of the year, unleashing his anger and brutality on woman after woman after woman. Could this nightmare finally be over? All the women were viciously attacked at or near bus stops.

How`s this for brazen? One woman`s car was rear-ended. When she got out of her car to check the damage, the rapist grabbed her, threw her in his car and raped her. Cops aren`t saying much about their person of interest they just put into custody, but WKYZ reports DNA led cops to swarm a house in Detroit and that a man was taken away in handcuffs.

Cops released composite sketches of the suspect, but all the descriptions don`t necessarily match up. Here is the chief of police.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GODBEE: All three composites are similar. However, each composite placed an emphasis on a specific facial characteristic or item of clothing which may hopefully assist someone in better identifying the suspect.

For example, one composite added that the suspect had severe acne or blemishes while the other composite added that the suspect had on a black skull cap.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It would be a huge comfort to the women of Detroit if cops have this serial rapist in custody and this particular war on women would be over. Now let`s hope the victims can point out their attacker in a line-up.

1-877-JVM-SAYS, what do you think? 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to crime fighter and "Guardian Angel" Curtis Sliwa, who knows the streets of this city well; what have you heard about this person of interest, Curtis?

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, "GUARDIAN ANGEL": Well, it looks like they`ve bagged him and tagged him, Jane, and that`s one for the good guys and good gals out there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

SLIWA: Although I think a signal needs to be sent, if in fact, he misused it, Jane, he should lose it. Castration should be his in addition to doing time in the world`s largest high wall prison, Jackson, Michigan.

But as you over knows there are other predators out there in Detroit and other towns, and women are going to have to defend themselves by all means necessary, because oftentimes they`re like the deer in the middle of hunting season with an orange fluorescent jacket all around them. They are going to have to defend themselves, fight back, and make sure they use pain compliance so it doesn`t happen again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, one of the things that I was struck by Steve Kardian -- and you`re a former police detective -- is that the police chief said that some of the victims said this guy had acne. So unlike a mustache or a cap, one thing you can`t get rid of right away is acne. Correct? That is going to be a good clue when they pull this person in if this guy that they arrested had acne.

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER POLICE DETECTIVE: It is. It is a good clue. It is a good, confirming clue. I think this case was solved on DNA. They said early on they had DNA forensic evidence, I should say. And by the way in which law enforcement swooped down on that house today and had that search warrant in hand, took him away and the chief of police saying there`s only one suspect, this is a good case. It is a victory for the war on women, and they took a bad guy off the street.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hope.

The rapist strikes when women are alone, waiting at a bus stop or getting out of their cars. Here`s a Google street map view showing some of the areas this rapist hit. All the attacks happened about five miles from downtown Detroit. All the victims were African-American women between the ages of 17 and 33.

Look at this calendar. Since January 1st, this monster has hit over and over again; January 1st, then January 4th, then January 5th, then January 6th, January 8th, January 10th, and January 13th. He raped seven women in 13 days within five miles of each other. Unacceptable.

There are about 3,000 cops in the Detroit police force. Jayne Weintraub, I find it hard to believe they couldn`t post a cop at every bus stop in this targeted area and prevent these five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven -- all those other women for being raped after the initial rape or two.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I agree. One of the first things I was thinking was why didn`t they beef it up and why aren`t there cameras or surveillance cameras out there at the bus stops of all of them?

And I would hope that there wouldn`t be a rush to judgment, there would be a rush to finality in getting and making sure they have the right person. Nine other men have been arrested in the past couple days on unrelated charges, although we know that they were pretexts related to this case. So I hope that there is DNA, Jane, and I hope that the rapes stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you bring me to my big issue, which is how is Detroit or any city, for that matter, going to prevent the next serial rapist? How do the citizens, in particular women, take back the streets?

Earlier this week I got into a debate with a Detroit chief of police about how his department handled this investigation. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is all happening in a small area, in a relatively small -- it`s one section. So if the police were flooding that area, how were these crimes -- how was this man able to get these women and whisk them away and rape them if the area had been flooded with police?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jane, in any major urban city, when you`re policing, the city of Detroit is 140 square miles. We have other crime issues that are prevalent, also, that the calls for us, we have other resources we have to deploy.

So to the extent that we deploy resources and we continue to deploy resources in that area and we have gathered a significant amount of evidence --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear him. He`s got a very tough job. I probably couldn`t do his job. But still, I suggested that not one speeding ticket be given out in the city of Detroit until this rapist was caught. All -- however many thousand, what did we say -- 3,000 police officers should have been put in that five-mile square area to catch this guy.

Here`s another call to action. How about surveillance cameras on the streets? They have it in London. What do the cost of goods sold of those cameras pale in comparison to the peace of mind of the good citizens who walk these very unsafe, very dangerous streets, Curtis Sliwa?

SLIWA: Jane, you know where we`re sending all our money. It`s over to Afghanistan and Iraq. They have the infrared cameras. They have the checkpoint Charlies. We have young men, young women there who are bravely checking cars, even searching potential suspects.

But we`re not doing it here in the United States, and we`re sending all our money over there to people who don`t really necessarily appreciate the public safety we`re providing them.

Jane, we need to start protecting our women, our children, our elderly and infirm right here in the good old U.S. of A. And Detroit is a perfect example. 3,000 cops -- that`s 1,000 every shift. You know, some are off duty, some are on vacation, some are injured. That`s not enough cops to patrol a city like Detroit. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

WEINTRAUB: We have cameras at traffic lights to give you tickets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say that, Jayne?

WEINTRAUB: We have traffic lights --

(CROSSTALK)

SLIWA: Yes, but I have to tell you --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa.

(CROSSTALK)

SLIWA: Carjackings, murders, it`s the crime capital of America. It`s Fallujah in America, and we have to use the same tactics there against the criminals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are both agreeing with each other. What I think Jayne is saying is they do cameras so they can catch people speeding and crossing red lights and they send them tickets. And I know because I`ve gotten that letter where I open it up and there I am, going through the red light and it`s a big ticket.

So if they can catch me on camera going through a red light, can`t they put a camera at a bus stop when women were repeatedly attacked at bus stops?

WEINTRAUB: Of course they can.

(CROSSTALK)

KARDIAN: And Jane, you know, they wouldn`t do that because they wouldn`t advertise that during the investigation to tip off the rapist. So perhaps that may be a mechanism or tool that they used to capture this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. I think what they did was they did a rape kit on the victims and they came back with DNA, and the person probably had a record.

KARDIAN: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they were able to identify him. And then they go right up to his house and arrest him. That`s what I think happened.

WEINTRAUB: Women have to learn to defend themselves.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to do something -- we`ve got to do something different. You know, what we`re doing now isn`t working.

But thank you, fantastic panel, for some great comments.

Coming up, programs to curb DUIs not working; will a new plan to publicly humiliate drunk drivers start working?

Also ahead, high school hallways full of pregnant bellies. A scary, scary, scary number of teenage girls are getting pregnant in Memphis. And I`m taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM SAYS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. KRINER CASH, MEMPHIS CITY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT: There are not 90 children who are pregnant right now at Frayser High School.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has a teen pregnancy epidemic hit Memphis? That`s next. But first, "My Take". A California community is considering posting photos of repeat drunk driving offenders on Facebook. We like that idea.

The Huntington Beach City council will vote tonight on whether or not the police department should put these faces, these faces of these criminals, on the social networking site. The community has an incredibly high instance of alcohol-related accidents. In 2009 alone there were reportedly almost 200 alcohol-related deaths and injuries.

Some members of the police department are weary that this procedure would only shame the offenders. But I say, "Do it". Do it. Vote to say yes.

Facebook is powerful. We all know that. Why not use it as a weapon in the fight against crime? We need to use every resource we have to stop drunk driving. Facebook is a remarkable source of information. So I say post away. Embarrass away. You could save a life, and that is "My Take".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR KENNETH WHALUM JR., MEMPHIS SCHOOL BOARD: These girls feel like we`ve given up on them. So what else are they supposed to do? They don`t have any guidance. It`s up to us to provide that guidance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is there a teen pregnancy explosion in Memphis? Local reports say at just one high school there are 90 moms or moms-to-be. That`s one in four girls at Frayser High alone. The Memphis superintendent has only intensified the scandal with conflicting statements, like these. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASH: There are not 90 children who are pregnant right now at Frayser high school. There were 75 last year, so there could be 90 this year, particularly with either new entrants, new people coming in to be part of this program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, he`s referring to a program at Frayser High that helps teen moms and other kids with challenges. School officials argue, well, that special program has prompted pregnant girls to transfer to that particular school, inflating the pregnancy rate there.

Honestly, it`s a waste of time to haggle over the numbers. I don`t care if it`s 90 or nine girls. It`s too many. What we should be talking about is what is being done to reverse this very disturbing trend. And what was not done to help these girls before they became pregnancy statistics.

Straight out to Memphis mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. Mayor, thank you so much for joining us. Do you agree that your city has a big problem on its hands? And if so, what you going to do about it? Mayor? Oh, Mayor.

MAYOR A.C. WHARTON JR., MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: I am here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, mayor. Ok. Do you agree that you have a big problem on your hands with this teen pregnancy epidemic? And if so, what are you going to do about it, sir?

WHARTON: Well, we don`t use the word "problem"; it`s used to paralyze us. It`s a challenge. We`re going to go to work on it. We`re not going to quibble over the numbers. Obviously, we do have some programs, but we need more.

This is not merely a school problem. It`s an entire city and county problem. And that`s the approach we`re going to take. We have gotten started on some things even before I heard of these numbers.

I knew just from the calls and letters I was getting in my office, and I gathered my staff together. Girls, Inc. came in and said they were working on this. I said let`s get together. But whatever it is we`ve done, we`ve got do more. And that`s where we are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Well, apparently there were 75 girls last year so, this problem is not just popping up now, so to speak. It`s been part of the -- I mean, 75 girls last year.

Now, my question to you is, are you distributing birth control pills and condoms? This is why I say this, sir, with all due respect. Educational programs are a very, very low defense against a society that sends constant messages glamorizing pregnancy, not only TV shows but all sorts of things where these girls, they watch TV, they watch the commercials, they watch all this stuff and they think it`s going to be just, you know, baby showers and birthday parties and a laugh riot.

And also you`ve got the hormonal issue. Hormonal cravings are much stronger than any kind of intellectual argument you can give a 15-year-old or a 16-year-old. So what I say is give them birth control, because the lectures ain`t working. What are you doing in that front, sir?

WHARTON: Well, look, giving birth control, condoms or whatever, if a young lady does not have a sense of self-esteem, that`s not going to do anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it is. It`s going to stop them from getting pregnant. You cannot force self-esteem onto a child that doesn`t have it. But you can stop them from getting pregnant.

WHARTON: I`ve never seen a condom in any boy`s pocket do any good from keeping a girl from getting pregnant. I`ve never seen a birth control pill sitting on somebody`s shelf do anything. If you don`t have --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you take birth control, you`re not going to get pregnant, sir. That`s a fact. We don`t have a medical doctor here, but I think it`s a common -- common -- commonly understood fact that if a girl is on birth control she`s not going to get pregnant. If she`s not on birth control and she is having sex, especially when she`s young and very fertile, she will get pregnant. That`s just a fact.

WHARTON: No argument on that but you can`t force feed a birth control pill. If you don`t have self-esteem, you don`t care about your future.

Your argument is -- your position is somewhat superficial for (INAUDIBLE). Look at the reality in the streets out there. I don`t know what your background is, but I`m a former criminal defense lawyer. I`ve represented kids who have had all access to birth control but they still got pregnant.

You`ve got to work on much more than something that they have to take or whatever. If they don`t feel good about themselves, if they have no future, you can pile them up in birth control pills. If they don`t feel good about themselves, they`re not going to take it and they`re still going to get pregnant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to bring in somebody else. Andre Perry, associate dean of the University of New Orleans College of Education. It`s very hard to create self-esteem. I myself have done years of therapy and 12-step programs. I`m a recovering alcoholic. I`ve worked on my self- esteem all my life. You cannot get self-esteem with a 45-minute educational program.

So if there is an epidemic of teen pregnancy, what I am saying is your last line of defense is to offer birth control, because a girl with low self-esteem on birth control is not going to get pregnant. A girl with low self-esteem who`s not on birth control is likely to get pregnant. Your thoughts.

ANDRE PERRY, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS COLLEGE OF EDUCATION: Well, I agree with you, the only problem is I don`t have faith that the overall intellectual environment at this school is such that even if you give them birth control they`ll know how to use it, when to use it. Because ultimately when you see these kind of spikes in pregnancy at this magnitude, it`s a breakdown in so many areas.

And so you want to address all those areas if you`re instituting or introducing birth control at that level. That`s sort of the last resort. But you still want to focus on all these other areas that will instill the critical thinking skills in children that will ultimately protect them from these types of dangers.

WHARTON: Absolutely. Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not saying don`t do the educational programs. But what I`m saying is, when you`re faced with an epidemic and you`ve got a crisis, every one of these 16-year-old and 15-year-old girls who has a kid, that`s a crisis. Ok?

They are not educationally, financially, emotionally or psychologically capable of raising a child. It`s too young. And if it`s happening at an epidemic level, then take some kind of drastic action. That`s all I`m saying.

Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re going to come back with more on this in just a moment. I appreciate the debate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASH: It`s really like a magnet program for science, for the arts, for that kind of thing in that mothers and families are choosing Frayser because of the support they get for that program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A community in Memphis has an alarming rate of teen pregnancy. We`re going to go straight out to the woman who broke that story, Ursula Madden with WMC-TV. You`ve been listening to our debate. Your thoughts? What do you want to say?

URSULA MADDEN, WMC-TV: I think when you`re talking about the situation here in Memphis you have to look at the generational issues that are going on in our city. You`re talking about children who are having children who are having children. And there`s not a support group for them.

I think when you look in terms of the programs that are being introduced into the system at this time, these are things that are designed to break the cycle of what is happening in our communities. And we`re talking about a community that has high poverty, high infant mortality.

There are a lot of factors that go on here. The average income is about $26,000 a year. This is a working class community. The foreclosure rate is through the roof. So there`s a lot of socioeconomic dynamics that go along with, yes, there are 90 girls who have had a child or have given - - or who are pregnant at one city school.

And it`s not about the school, it`s about what`s going on inside that community and how we reach those people and give them the support that they need.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent. I feel that all of our resources are reactive in this society and so we spend money after the fact, as opposed to putting in all sorts of programs, (INAUDIBLE) education, after-school programs, gang prevention.

We`ve got to ask, where are the boys here, too? That is a question. Where the young men who are impregnating these women, and how are they held accountable and how are they told that this is not a great thing for them to be doing, Andre Perry?

PERRY: Yes. And you know it`s probably fewer men who are impregnating women than those who are impregnated. Because we see that all the time, that young men are having multiple children, multiple partners.

But there`s a danger, also, in the high concentration of students in this one particular school. And in every other area, we`re trying to have inclusive classrooms, not to have concentrations of poor or of violent students or with special needs students. We`re trying to have classrooms that have all walks of life in it.

So I`m concerned that you`re having a high concentration of students in one school, so what are these other schools doing to push out these kids into this one school, and what is that school doing in terms of --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Inez --

MADDEN: Mr. Perry, I just want to say, with all due respect, it sounds like you don`t know a lot about the dynamics of this city and about the poverty rate here. You don`t simply push somebody out of a neighborhood into another neighborhood. That`s not the way it works here.

And I think that for many people outside of Memphis and Shelby County, this is some kind of joke, and the city has become some sort of punch line where people can sit around and hyper-analyze our lives here, but the reality is this is a real problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, but we`ve got to get out of denial. We`ve got to.

MADDEN: No. No one`s in denial here. This is -- we are wide awake.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thanks for being a part of our debate here on ISSUES. Check us out online, cnn.com/Jane.

Now, disturbing 911 calls just released. Did the prime suspect in 13- year-old Hailey Dunn`s disappearance threaten to kill Hailey and her mom?

Nancy Grace starts now.

END