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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Young Couple Tied Up, Suffocated; Man, 24, Disappears after Car Crash in Storm
Aired February 7, 2011 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, sheer terror. Dramatic bone-chilling 911 calls just released in a mind-boggling double murder. A young woman and her boyfriend found dead inside her parents` home, their hands bound and plastic bags pulled over their heads. Tonight, I`ll talk with one of the victims` devastated moms as new evidence is uncovered. Why did this horror happen?
Plus, it`s been an entire year since this California family of four mysteriously disappeared. The McStays` car was found abandoned by the Mexican border. Now for the first time, the father of this missing dad talks about what he thinks happened. Tonight I`ll talk to Joseph McStay`s baffled brother.
Then chaos erupts at an off-campus college party. Two young men are accused of shooting up a fraternity house after one was reportedly kicked out for fighting. One person is dead, nearly a dozen wounded. I`ll talk to one of the students who was at this frat party turned war zone.
ISSUES starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYTEE LA CUBANA VAZQUEZ, VICTIM`S MOTHER: You need to get the police out to 2161 Longacre Lane. My son is in the basement tied up in this house. I just saw him through the window. The police were out here earlier and did absolutely nothing! All cell phones are on the ground, and we can see the people. Him and his girlfriend are tied up in the basement!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, horror as two young lives are snuffed out, and their killer is on the loose as we speak. Was this a robbery gone bad? Or was this couple specifically targeted, and if so, why? A grieving mom joins me tonight in her desperate search for justice.
The bodies of her 21-year-old son, Johnny Clarke, and his 20-year-old girlfriend, Lisa Straub, were discovered inside their Ohio home a week ago. Their hands were tied; their heads were covered with plastic bags. The couple appears to have suffocated to death. There were no signs of a break-in.
Earlier that night, Johnny was on the phone with a friend when Johnny suddenly started speaking to some apparent stranger who`s in the house, and he drops the phone. That worried friend who was on the other end of the line calls Johnny`s mom eventually. His mom then makes the first of three calls to 911.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAZQUEZ: All she hears is the phone drop and my son Johnny saying, "Who are you? What do you want? What are you doing here?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police made two visits to the home. They say they walked around the house, peered in the windows, but saw nothing wrong.
Finally, Johnny`s dad went to the house, kicked in the door and made this horrific discovery.
So what happened to Johnny and Lisa? What are your theories? Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to my very special guest tonight, Maytee Vazquez, Johnny Clarke`s mother.
First of all, Maytee, our deepest condolences. We are so very sorry this has happened to you. I can`t imagine what you are feeling right now. We want to help you find justice, and to that end, tell us about your son. He was yelling into the phone, "Who are you?" What do you think happened?
VAZQUEZ: I think that him and Lisa were supposed to have guests come over, from what I`m hearing, and somehow I believe in my mind that this girl that made this phone call knows more than what she`s telling. I think it was a setup. I think it was premeditated. I think they knew the parents were going to be gone and out of town.
These people had gone out there a few nights in a row shooting pool with the kids. And they went in there to rob them. The girl called...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maytee, you -- Maytee, if you could look up at me. I`m sorry, ma`am, if you could look up into the camera. Thank you so much. This girl, who apparently she waited before calling? In other words, she`s on the other end of the line. Your son goes, "Who are you? What do you want?" Drops the phone and she doesn`t immediately call for help? She waits. Is that true?
VAZQUEZ: She waits two hours. She waits two hours to call a friend of his that knows me and tells the friend, "I think something really bad happened to John and Lisa. I was on the phone with them. I heard such and such," you know, what you repeated on the show earlier. "And I heard Johnny drop the phone. I`ve gone by the house a few times. It looks ransacked. It looks like cabinets and doors are open. I think somebody needs to call Johnny`s mom and tell them something bad has happened."
And I asked the friend that called me to give me her cell phone number. She talks to me, tells me the same story. I`m asking her, "Why aren`t you calling the police when you were on the phone with them at 11? Anybody in their normal mind would have called the police if something like this is happening." And she has no explanation. So...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I -- there`s so many things that I don`t understand. No. 1, if there`s no break-in, how does this person or persons get in to this home where your son was staying with his girlfriend without him realizing they`d gotten into the house? Because he`s on the phone...
VAZQUEZ: The garage door.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? The garage door!
VAZQUEZ: The garage door.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So the garage door`s open.
VAZQUEZ: Everyone -- everyone would enter in and out through the garage door. There was a key that would sit in a box next to the door that goes from the garage into the home. I`ve watched the kids many times pick out the key out of the box, open the door to the house, and put the key right back in. Unless the kid...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So you think it`s somebody that knew how to get into this house and maybe had been there before and had some kind of relationship with your son?
VAZQUEZ: Or with Lisa. Lisa.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or with the girlfriend.
VAZQUEZ: Because she knew more kids out in Springfield. My son didn`t live in Springfield.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was your son doing there? Your son is what, 21?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did he do? What did he do? Was he at school? Did he have a job?
VAZQUEZ: Johnny was in barber school. Johnny was in barber school. And Johnny had been staying with Lisa for the past few weeks. The kids were back and forth between my house and Lisa`s house. They would stay at my house a week or two. They would go to Lisa`s house a week or two. They were always back and forth.
Since the parents had the cruise planned to go out of town, the kids were going to be out there house-sitting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police have raised the possibility that this might be a robbery gone bad. However, how do you explain that the cell phones, the wallets and the computers of your son, who was viciously murdered, and his girlfriend, who was also murdered, were left behind? And they also found a key stamped with the numbers 544 under Lisa`s body. So do you think that this was a robbery, or does it seem like something else was going on here?
VAZQUEZ: I think it was premeditated. I think their intent was robbery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, why not take all of that, then?
VAZQUEZ: Well -- I don`t know if there was money in the wallet or not. I think whoever did this is probably trying to make a statement of some type. She had a very jealous ex-boyfriend.
You know, the kids were very kind kids, very trusting. My son would give the shirt off his back to anyone that needed it. He cut hair for a living until he graduated from barber school. That`s what he was doing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to ask you this, and this is not in any way, shape or form to -- you know, embarrass you or the family, but we are trying to solve this. And we want to find justice for you and your family. You`ve been through hell. Your son did have a criminal history. He served about a year and a half for robberies he committed back when he was 18.
VAZQUEZ: No, no. I`m not going to go into none of that, no. I`m not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Quick question. OK. Quick question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think he had any enemies? That`s all I`m trying to figure out.
VAZQUEZ: No, he did not have any enemies. And actually, Lisa`s boyfriend was in prison for robbery and just got out of prison a couple months ago.
VAZQUEZ: Lisa`s ex-boyfriend was in prison for robbery. Yes, my son, no, he didn`t have any enemies. This has nothing to do with my son.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, OK.
VAZQUEZ: She would be more connected to this than my son would.
VAZQUEZ: These people knew...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
VAZQUEZ: These people knew her and they knew how to get into her house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Can we rewind and take a...
VAZQUEZ: My son did not live there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And listen, I know you are suffering so much. We want to be part of making this a step toward justice. OK? We understand that this is just the worst thing that could ever happen to a mother is to lose their son.
VAZQUEZ: This is the most horrible thing that could ever happen to anyone. These people are demons that killed my son and Lisa. They need to be found, and justice needs to be served on them, OK?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And we want to...
VAZQUEZ: These people need the death sentence. And somebody needs to crack and come forward. OK? Somebody needs to come forward, because somebody knows what happened there that night.
When I spoke to his friends, the house he was at before he went to pick up Lisa from work where he had been playing his X-box Live, he told them, "I`m going to pick Lisa up from work. We`re going back to the house. We have people coming over. We`re going to shoot some pool." OK?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now let me ask you about this. I want to ask you about this. Police visited the home twice after you called 911. And they walked around the house, and they said that essentially nothing seemed suspicious.
I think we can play a little bit of the 911 call here. Let`s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DETECTIVE CATHY STOOKSBURY, LUCAS COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: The family members that were concerned because they couldn`t get hold of John. Looked through windows that we could see through, our officers could see through. Didn`t see anything amiss.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So the officers went to the house. That`s a spokesperson. They looked around the house. They didn`t see anything amiss, so they didn`t go into the house. Then your husband or Johnny`s father gets to the house. He props himself on somebody`s shoulders, and he sees in a window. And he sees...
VAZQUEZ: No, that`s wrong.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Correct me. Tell me.
VAZQUEZ: OK, I will correct you. From the time I got the call from the girl that another girl called her that said she had spoke to Johnny at 11, and she heard the struggle, the one that did not call the police for two hours, then decided to contact a friend to contact me and say she felt something was terribly wrong, that she had gone by the house several times within that two-hour time frame and seen the house was ransacked, I called the police from my house. I send my husband out there.
The girl met us out there with the police. The first set of police cars go out there, four of them. They investigate for five minutes, and they leave.
When I get out there, I called the police a second time. I was at the residence. I begged them to go in the house. I said, "Something is terribly wrong. Lisa`s car is in the garage. There`s -- all the vehicles are in the driveway and the garage. My son`s not answering the phone. He`s a mama`s boy. He would answer the phone to me at any time of the day or night, whenever I would call him."
The girl told the police that she heard the struggle at 11 at night. I asked the police, why would she wait two hours to call me to have somebody call me to say something was wrong and that she had gone out there a couple times? OK? She knew the cabinets were open. She said something was wrong, that she felt something bad had happened to Johnny. Why did she wait two hours?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you feel that she`s in the house? Because if the cops couldn`t see that the cabinets were open from the outside...
VAZQUEZ: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... that would -- that would imply that she had been in the house.
VAZQUEZ: Yes. Exactly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, on the other side of this, we`re going to ask what police are telling you about what happened.
VAZQUEZ: Well, let me finish this.
VAZQUEZ: When the police were out there the second time, the girl gives the police the same statement. I`m begging for them to break in the house, because I know something has gone terribly wrong. No kids are answering the phones; the house phone is not being picked up. The dog`s in the house. The cars are all in the garage.
They said these kids are old enough. There`s no probable cause. I believe there`s probable cause from the girl`s statement saying that she talked to them at 11, and she heard the struggle in the background.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you feel that the police should have gone in sooner?
VAZQUEZ: Yes. I do. Yes, I do. The first time I made the call, I believe the police should have gone in. At least the second time when I was there.
I know I`m working with law enforcement. I know this case is, you know, going to be solved. She`s murders are going to be caught. But it`s just too bad that it didn`t happen fast enough. OK?
Now I`m haunted with the memory, what if my son was still alive? What if these criminals were in the house at the second time when we were out there or the first time when the police were there, and nothing was done then?
My husband -- the third time, the third 911 call I made is when the police left the second time, I told my husband, now we`re going to wait till the police are gone, and you`re going back through this house...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is running through you when you feel that possibility that maybe, while you were there, they were still inside?
VAZQUEZ: That my husband was doing their job for them and that my son is dead in this house, that something horribly wrong has happened to my son. From hearing the 911 -- the call that the girl makes to another friend to make to me, I`m feeling in my gut is wrenching. Something is horribly wrong with my son and Lisa. It`s not like them to not answer the phone. He would answer the phone to me day or night. And he would say, "Mom, we`re shooting pool" or "Mom, we`re sleeping. We`re watching TV. I`m OK. I`m alive. I love you."
That`s what my son would say, "I`m fine. Leave me alone. I`ll talk to you tomorrow. I`ll call you back." He would say, you know, about something was terribly wrong and, you know, he would have been able to answer the phone, "Call the police."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mrs. Vazquez, we want to help solve this horrific crime. We know you`re going through hell. We`re going to do everything we can. We`re not going to let this story go. Thank you, thank you for your honesty. Thank you for coming on.
VAZQUEZ: Yes and the third time when the police was called, I had my husband prop up...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to go to break. We`re on a -- we`re on a -- we will stay on top of the story. We`ll have more next with a team of experts. So hang in right there, viewers. We`re going to have more on this and analyze this case, this disturbing case next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAZQUEZ: Get them (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cops out here! I told them earlier and they wouldn`t listen to me!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, ma`am, you need to calm down. We`ll get them out there, but yelling at me...
VAZQUEZ: They`re unconscious, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. You said they`re unconscious?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tragically, they were dead. Who wanted Johnny Clarke and his girlfriend dead? You just heard from Johnny`s devastated mother. There were signs of a struggle. The victims tied up with bags over their head. If this were a robbery, as police have suggested, why were their wallets, phones and computers left behind?
Straight out to David Lohr, crime contributor for AOLNews.com. What are some of the other items that police found in the home, and what could their significance be?
DAVID LOHR, CRIME CONTRIBUTOR, AOLNEWS.COM: Well, they executed a search warrant on the home late last week. They found several items. There was a broken cell phone parts strewn throughout the house. There was some foreign currency.
But most interesting was the items they recovered from the kitchen area. Zip-loc bags, some small bags, white bags, pieces of them. And they found some scales, and like you had mentioned, the key that had 544 stamped on it. So we still don`t know the relevance of that key. Does it go to a hotel room? Does it go to a locker somewhere? Who knows?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very quickly, I want to ask Mike Brooks what do you make of all that? And we have ten seconds.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The scales, the Zip-loc bags, that bothers me a lot, because what does that usually say when you see that, Jane? It usually says some kind of drug activity.
We don`t know that for sure. But I`m just telling you, as a former investigator, you go into a kitchen area, find that, that`s first thing investigators are going to take a look at.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to stay on top of it. Thank you, panel.
A fatal fraternity party. One man dies, 11 wounded after gunshots fired into an off-campus house. I will talk to a student who was there when it turned into a war zone!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DEAN, ZACHARY FIGURSKI`S FRIEND: Anybody hears even a whisper of where he`s at, call us. I`ve been looking for him for hours last night, tonight, today. It`s sunny out today, so we`re trying to find him. But I mean, we need to find him quick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a frantic search for a young man who vanished during a severe overnight snowstorm in Michigan. Zachary Figurski was driving through a dense blizzard at 1:30 Wednesday morning. He was headed to meet his girlfriend when he apparently lost control of his car and it flipped over.
Now, it doesn`t end there. Somehow, he made it out of the car. A driver spotted him walking on the side of the road and says she stopped and asked if he needed help. But Zach said he was OK and was going to knock on the door of a nearby home. He has not been seen since that moment.
Police went to that house. They say there was no sign of Zach. And the people who live there say they hadn`t see him, and they didn`t hear even a knock that night.
Now, we`re going to show you a satellite image of the area where Zachary crashed. It`s very rural. And there was a ton of snow on the ground. Zachary did not have a coat. He was wearing only a red Appleby`s T-shirt and jeans. He also did not have a cell phone with him. It`s a terrible situation.
Zachary`s frantic mother joining us tonight, Victoria Schalau.
Thank you so much for being with us tonight. And I know you`ve got to be worried sick. We want to help find your son. What is the very latest in the search for your son?
VICTORIA SCHALAU, MOTHER OF MISSING MAN (via phone): Yesterday they had canine dogs out. We were out there from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the evening. And there was nothing. We didn`t find anything, which is good news in one way. I am hoping he`s still alive.
And if anybody has seen him or, Zach, you are out there, please call. We are worried sick about you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this. It was approximately 1:30 in the morning. There was a massive snowstorm. We`re talking Michigan in the middle of winter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He has a car accident, but he reportedly gets out of the car and is walking to his girlfriend`s house. Do we know exactly how far it is between where his car crashed and his girlfriend`s house?
SCHALAU: Yes, the car flipped upside down on the road. He crawled out the window in a panic. It was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I would imagine. He was scared because that happened. He had an Applebee`s shirt on, just a T- shirt.
I heard he was running up the center of the road. The pedestrian [SIC] claims that she offered him a ride, but I would think he would have gotten in the car had she done so. She said he ran up to a house and told her that he was OK. The owner of the home said he never knocked on the door. And nobody has heard a thing since that time. And...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How far away is his girlfriend`s house?
SCHALAU: Fifteen miles, 15 miles.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there`s no way he could have walked that in a snowstorm.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Without a coat.
SCHALAU: He should not have been out there. But yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And his car -- it was a terrible situation because his car was badly damaged. He crawled out a window. So somewhere he left his cell phone inside the car as well as his coat. And I guess -- he figured he might have been in shock from the car accident, "Oh, I`m just going to go to the nearest house"?
SCHALAU: Well, truth have it be that he was on a bowling league, and they got him intoxicated at the bowling alley and admitted that they did. This is what happened. And he forgot his cell phone at his home. And he never should have been on the road to begin with, which is why there was poor judgment here. And he got turned around, I guess, in the storm. I don`t know, though...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there. We hope you find your son. We`re going to stay on top of it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been an entire year since this California family of four mysteriously disappeared. The McStays` car was found abandoned by the Mexican border. Now for the first time the father of this missing dad talks about what he thinks happened. Tonight I`ll talk to Joseph McStay`s baffled brother.
Then chaos erupts at an off campus college party. Two young men are accused of shooting up a fraternity house after one was reportedly kicked out for fighting. One person is dead, nearly a dozen wounded. I`ll talk to one of the students who was at that frat party-turned-war zone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK MCSTAY, JOSEPH MCSTAY`S FATHER: It`s like part of my life is gone. You know, it`s just missing, just like you cut off my right arm. Since I really don`t know, I mean, one day I`m like they`re not with us, the next day I`m -- I hope they`re safe somewhere. You just don`t know. And that`s the hardest part is just not knowing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, brand new chilling details about the mysterious disappearance of that family of four. Joseph and Summer McStay and their two adorable little kids, 3-year-old Joseph and 4-year-old Gianni have been missing for more than a year here. We`ve all been covering this story here on ISSUES. We`ve been following this saga.
It is a total unbelievable mystery. These babies, where did they go? Tonight Joseph`s heartbroken father is speaking out for the very first time.
Plus they disappeared without a trace, but did they leave some key clues behind? The family was last seen on -- well, there they are on a surveillance video, very grainy. And cops say this is them crossing the border into Mexico. And police also say that the family Googled information about Mexico and about passports for kids.
Tonight police are saying now that the mom, Summer, also e-mailed somebody on Craigslist asking about buying a Rosetta Stone program to learn Spanish. Were they planning to disappear to Mexico? Why didn`t they tell their relatives?
Detectives are honing in on one burning question, where was this family in the four days between when they vanished from their home in California and when their car showed up where they parked their car at the San Ysidro border and walked across the border into Mexico. Four days -- what was the family doing for four days? Who were they with?
Now, investigators say they know more details about the McStays` family and friends and associates at this point than the cops do about their own families. Will this family that just disappeared off the face of the earth ever surface and come home? We pray and hope so.
Look at them. Beautiful children. Beautiful family.
Straight out to Michael McStay, the brother of missing Joseph McStay. Michael, thank you so much for joining us here on ISSUES. Are you there, Michael?
MICHAEL MCSTAY, JOSEPH MCSTAY`S BROTHER (via telephone): I`m there. My pleasure, my pleasure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, we want to help. This is a total mystery. It`s one of the most mysterious stories that I`ve covered since I started here on ISSUES more than two and a half years ago. You`ve said you believe your brother and his wife and their two kids were abducted or are in danger? Do you still believe that? What`s your theory? You`ve studied it. What do you think happened?
M. MCSTAY: I think there`s about three different theories at this point. And they can all counteract each other, but the main thing being if they willfully wanted to disappear, why didn`t they liquidate the bank account? They know they have to provide, they know that takes money. So that`s a major concern.
The other thing is what I felt all along. I felt like they were being held against their will and there was, you know -- but there was no ransom. However, we don`t know if that wasn`t a coerced type of an abduction that would kind of account why they didn`t take their money.
But then you`ve got the searches for the Rosetta Stone that they actually bought Italian and Spanish, maybe the Spanish is coincidence, maybe not. But again, why didn`t they take the truck, the dogs, the money and, you know, vamonos (ph)?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Joseph McStay`s dad says his son did business in Mexico and had been there back in December. Police do not think this family had any connections to gangs or drugs. But Joseph, the father of the two kids who disappeared along with the kids and his wife, he`s self- employed and he creates and installs indoor fountains like this one.
Two days before the family disappeared, witnesses say they saw Joseph shaking hands with two men at a soccer game. Michael, why was your brother shaking hands with these two mystery men? What do you make of that?
M. MCSTAY: We`ve actually gotten to the bottom of that. That was Summer inquiring about the Rosetta Stone and saying -- in the e-mail she says, my husband`s playing soccer. He`s number 11 on the orange team. And that`s basically him picking up the Rosetta Stone Italian and Spanish CDs. And we actually had recovered the Italian CDs. They were still at the house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who is Summer McStay, you`re looking at her right here. Police say she has as many as six aliases. In a bizarre twist here, she reportedly changed her name from Virginia to Summer just days before she disappeared. Why? Why was she doing that?
M. MCSTAY: Is that me?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Michael.
M. MCSTAY: My question?
M. MCSTAY: I`ve always known her as Summer; so, it wasn`t just before she disappeared. I`ve always known -- I didn`t know Virginia; I knew Summer. And that`s since -- what -- 2005?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michael, we`re trying to help here. I want to bring in -- we`ve got two experts: Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst; and Jeff Brown, a criminal defense attorney.
Jeff, you`ve been hearing all of this.
JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is your take on what`s going on here? I mean, it`s not going to be coincidence that she wants to get this program to learn Spanish right before she disappears and --
BROWN: Yes, Mike`s made some real good points. I agree with him that if somebody was planning on leaving, they are going to take their bank account and they`re going take money with them. So I agree with him on that point.
But I think the evidence is quite clear that they knew they were going to Mexico. They knew that that might come about. The popcorn bowls or what I understand are cereal bowls with popcorn in them would indicate that two kids are probably on the couch or having popcorn. It sounds like this family is moving at the last second.
So I have to go with Mike on his theory that there`s something -- there`s somebody putting pressure on them. And they felt like they had to get out of town. The question is why are they getting out of town? Who is it that is after them? Who has something on them that is making this family leave almost at the last second and not have contact with their family?
M. MCSTAY: Very good point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mike Brooks, your analysis?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I tell you, its` the four days -- this was bothering me. Where were they for these four days? Were they in a hotel? Were they staying with someone? Is there someone out there, again, maybe someone who was coercing them into coming to Mexico, making them come to Mexico? But a family like this just doesn`t disappear off the face of the earth and leaving their dogs behind. These kind of things. You know?
And also, Michael, what kind of other things were left at the house? Did they take all their belongings?
M. MCSTAY: Another great point. You know, almost it`s as if those four days they were being debriefed (ph) by -- if they were in protective custody, were they being briefed by somebody. Hey this is what`s playing. We`re going to dump the car at the border -- blah, blah, blah -- we`re going to make the computer look like whatever.
But as far as --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second, can I weigh in on that? The reports that I`ve read say that authorities have contacted the FBI and they`re not under in any kind of witness protection program. I certainly don`t think that the FBI would lie about something like that, Michael?
M. MCSTAY: Or they`re not at liberty to let it out at this point and we`re all, you know, frantically trying to find our family.
BROOKS: Now, the U.S. Marshals who run the witness protection program, they would let law enforcement know that. And they could just basically say the investigation is unfounded and they drop it. But law enforcement is still actively pursuing any leads that come up with the family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Brown, what about the fact that Summer called a homeopathic medicine company asking to buy a drug called Anger just before they vanished. And apparently there is no drug by that name, there`s no homeopathic medicine called Anger. What`s that about?
BROWN: Yes. That`s extremely interesting to me. What that shows though is where I kind of disagree here that they were under pressure by somebody in those four days. Because I think there were some phone calls being made by both of them that would indicate that life is kind of going on. It doesn`t sound like they`re being threatened. It doesn`t sound like they`re being kept in a motel room.
Those calls were real interesting because she`s calling about this drug that doesn`t exist. But I think Mike`s brother was actually calling somebody at work acting as if work was going on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My theory is that they didn`t know that whatever they were doing was going to be extended. That they thought they were doing something for a short period of time and that somehow it was extended against their will. We`re going to stay on top of this.
Michael, we want to talk to you again. Please come back, soon. Thank you so much, panel.
A college party ends in bullets and blood. Two young men accused of firing a slew of shots into a frat house after one guy was reportedly 86`d from the party. I`m going to talk to a student who was there when this frat house turned into a war zone.
We`re taking your calls. Fatal frat house party -- why? Why so much violence in America? 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both appeared to be armed with guns; semiautomatic, automatic handguns. And they just opened fire within the open door of this particular location. I believe there might be some juvenile history with at least one of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re at 55 Indiana. Somebody just got shot.
911 DISPATCHER: Ok. Who is the shooter? Tell me who`s the shooter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know who the shooter -- I think he ran away.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight pure unadulterated pandemonium at an Ohio frat party. Cops say two guys who were kicked out of the party come back with guns allegedly to settle a score. Cops say they just start shooting, spraying the crowd, the party-goers with bullets. They create a stampede of people running for their lives.
When it was all over, 11 people were shot, plus one who was shot dead. A dozen gunned down. This is a perfect example of a nation so darn addicted to violence that even something as silly as an argument at a frat party can end up like this. What the heck`s going on in this country?
All right. This happened at a frat house near Youngstown State University early Sunday morning. Six of the people who were shot were university students.
Cops arrested two young men and they are not students. They live in the community. And they have now been charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault. So if they weren`t students, why were they there?
Listen to cops describe this utter chaos.
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CHIEF JIMMY HUGHES, YOUNGSTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT: They were shooting from the outside into the house into the party and the individuals in the party, you know, were being rained on by bullets.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s what I would like to know. How does a person make the leap from being kicked out of a party to let`s get our guns and mow down as many people with bullets, people we don`t even know? I don`t get it. I want to hear from you.
Is our nation addicted to violence? Call me 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to DeShawn McDonald, a student at Youngstown State University; DeShawn thank you for joining us tonight. We`re so glad you`re safe and sound and in one piece; and that you got out of there and you weren`t hurt. You were there at this frat party while this -- at the very time that this all went down. So describe -- tell us what you saw and heard?
DESHAWN MCDONALD, STUDENT, YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERSITY: Actually, what I -- I just heard like mostly the gunshots itself. I didn`t really like see much of the shooting as it happened. It was just more of a -- I just heard gunshots, and then I immediately just like hit the ground so I wouldn`t be struck by bullet fire.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you inside the house?
MCDONALD: Yes, I was inside the house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, what happened because we hear that there was a stampede?
. MCDONALD: Sort of. It was like, from my perspective what happened was like -- I was in the middle of the dance floor with most of the other people. And then like while people were dancing, then all of a sudden, it just got real -- like for me, everything started getting pushy, and I started getting shoved a bit.
Then all of a sudden, from my perspective, I see a dude just like swing. And he starts coming to another dude and then immediately, everybody who was running the frat, the immediately stopped the fight as soon as they could, and then tried to get everybody out of the party as quickly as possible.
The dude apparently went out to his car and came back with a gun and started shooting. Once he started shooting, I hit the ground and he fired at least a good 12 shots where I immediately like stood up, ran out to the front door, opened it up and tried to get out.
But I had just remembered that I couldn`t find my one friend who I came with. So ended up having to go back in there and find him. When I found him, he was standing like right next to the person who died that night.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God.
First of all, I saw a can, a beer can there. Was there drinking? Was there drugging going on? What was happening there?
MCDONALD: There was probably a little drinking going on. I mean there were some people over 21.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this, DeShawn. I heard that people were patted -- patted down when they went into the party. What`s that about? Do we live in such a violent culture where you have to be patted down before you go into a party to see that you`re not packing heat? If so, how did he get in with a gun?
MCDONALD: Usually where I go, I usually get patted down. I guess just because I`m a big dude they want to see if I`m hiding anything. I mean we like -- the school is kind of in a more dangerous neighborhood. But like I`ve never not felt safe on school grounds, because there`s always police or anyone there around to protect us. On the night the shots were fired, police actually happened to get there quickly. It was an amazing response time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently these two young men who the suspects are not students of the college. So there`s a frat house but it`s not the official frat house but it`s a frat house or being used as a frat house. These guys, do you think they crashed the party? Do you think there was some kind of culture clash because hey they`re the townies and you guys are the college students and there was already a little bit of maybe friction there?
MCDONALD: I feel like sometimes in certain situations there, there`s just like sometimes people are just like naturally angry or violent. I mean, like I don`t know, like maybe he as a person felt that he need a gun to protect himself or he needed to be some sort of man. I`m not sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What were they fighting about?
MCDONALD: Apparently it was over a girl.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A girl that -- ok, on the other side, we`ll get to that. Stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM TATE, FRIEND: All I want to do is go to school and just live, you know, like any other student. Be successful, (INAUDIBLE) help whoever you can help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. A young man with a promising future gunned down all because of a frat house party that turned violent. 12 people gunned down, one killed.
DeShawn McDonald, you were there at the party. You were telling us the fight was over a girl? Tell us more.
MCDONALD: From what I viewed is just that apparently like -- maybe they were -- I don`t think they were already going out. There was some kind of altercation between them like, already within the party. I heard he hit her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is this the suspect who eventually came back and allegedly shot -- hit this girl?
MCDONALD: Yes, that`s what I saw, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he hits her, and then there`s -- a fight breaks out, don`t hit the girl, he`s thrown out. And then he comes back. So he`s a violent person, this alleged shooter?
MCDONALD: I would assume so yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You heard or saw that he hit a girl?
MCDONALD: Well, that`s one reason I was told afterwards at that party. There was a lot of commotion going on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Listen, hang on one second, DeShawn.
Cooper Lawrence, you`re thrown out of air party, you`re mad. Why would anyone react by coming back to the party and literally opening fire on all the party goers, shooting 12 people, gunning them down, killing one? One guy was shot in the back of the head, somebody shot in the foot, the stomach.
I mean this is my big issue. Are we as a culture so addicted to violence that this -- this seems like a normal response. Oh, this seems like a reasonable thing to do? I mean everybody cannot be insane, there`s got to be something wrong with our culture that this would happen. And it happens too often.
COOPER LAWRENCE, RADIO HOST AND AUTHOR: Well, the first thing you have to do is take it out of the idea that it`s a cultural thing. You have to look at the individual every single time. When you really have an understanding about what aggression is about for some people and violent behavior, anti-social behavior is about for some people, you have a clearer picture.
So, for example, this gentleman that we`re talking about seems to fit the description of somebody that has what psychologists call aggresso- genocognition (ph). That means that his brain immediately goes to violence. He doesn`t think, let me reason this out, let me sit and talk, let me do what anybody else would do, immediately it goes to violence. It`s chemical, it`s biological for some people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I also think it`s sociological -- sociological and environmental.
LAWRENCE: It`s both. Exactly -- it`s a nature/nurture. So if you have a predisposition --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on, we live in a horrifically violent society. I talk about this in my book, "Addict Nation". Mike Brooks, these teenagers, by the time they reach this age, they`ve seen 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders on television, not including the people they simulate and they pretend to kill in video games.
BROOKS: Jane, look, in all my years of law enforcement, I`ve seen this for years, continue to see it. It`s also a culture that has no respect for life.
Do they think it through before they act out? Absolutely not. These two alleged shooters; one is 22, one is 19. You`re asking if there was some kind of dispute between the local people who lived there and the people at the college. Apparently not, we`re hearing there was no real big issues on that side of things. These are just two thugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Senseless, stupid violence. But our culture, we have to examine it, there`s a problem here. There`s a big problem that this is a solution for a teenager. We need some early intervention.
You`re watching ISSUES. Thank you panel.
Nancy Grace up next.