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Possible New Clues in Serial Murders?; Cops Accused of Raping Drunk Woman

Aired April 8, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, fast-breaking, head- spinning developments in the hunt for what could become the East Coast Craigslist serial killer. Police sources now say they have their eye on the suspect. The killer, suspected in eight grizzly murders on Long Island and may also be connected to the murders of four hookers in Atlantic City. I`ll have the latest in these mind-blowing developments.

And just released, unbelievable surveillance video in the so-called rape cops case. Two cops are accused of escorting a drunken woman into her apartment, only to return later to rape her. I`ll show you the shocking video.

Also, jaw-dropping developments with the hot-shot Hollywood TV producer accused of murdering his stunning wife at a beautiful resort in Mexico. I`ll talk one on one with the victim`s sister about why the accused murderer has still not been extradited to Mexico to face justice and the shocking fight over her will.

Plus an ISSUES exclusive. I`ll talk with the leader of the crusade to ban toys from fast-food outlets. He`s obese and points to himself as exhibit A in the case that fast food will make you fat. He`s battling the bulge of America`s school kids tonight. What every parent needs to know.

ISSUES starts now.



COMMISSIONER RICHARD DORMER, SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: We`ve recovered a total of eight human remains on the north side of Ocean Parkway between Oak Beach and the Nassau County line.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast-breaking news tonight in the hunt for a serial killer. Have cops identified a possible suspect in the brutal murders of eight women on Long Island just 40 miles outside of New York City?

A law enforcement source close to the investigation is telling the "New York Post" that cops are, quote, "looking at somebody." Sources also tell the "New York Post" that cops believe this depraved predator changed his M.O. midway through his killing spree.

You see, the four murdered Craigslist prostitutes discovered back in December were wrapped in burlap, but sources say the four other bodies discovered were dumped in a different way in the same area. What could that mean?

These fast-breaking revelations come as cops in New York and New Jersey point to a possible connection between the Long Island serial killings and the grizzly murders of four prostitutes in Atlantic City five years ago. Wow. If there is a link, that puts the body count at at least a dozen dead women.

And let`s not forget that cops have not given up looking for a terrified 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert, who was last seen by a Long Island resident moments before she vanished last May.

Straight out to Jon Lieberman, investigative reporter for (ph).

Jon, a slew of information coming from the so-called police sources. What do you know tonight?

JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Jane, there are major developments on three different fronts. Let`s start with what you mentioned about a suspect.

Police have not brought anybody into custody yet. But they strongly believe that they are zeroing in on somebody that they believe could be responsible for these killings.

Part two of that is this. Police sources strongly are leaning towards the theory right now that the bodies on Long Island are, in fact, linked to the bodies of those four prostitutes found in Atlantic City from 2006.

One common link is this. One of the women found, killed in New Jersey, spent significant time on Long Island prior to vanishing on a bus on her way to Atlantic City. A major, major break for cops.

Now, one other quick thing. As investigators from Atlantic City and from Long Island put their heads together, they also are trying to identify these four women that they found in Long Island that haven`t been identified.

As you mentioned, they haven`t found Shannan Gilbert, and sources are telling me they do believe the body count will rise. And that`s why next Monday they will expand this search from Suffolk County here in New York on Long Island over to Nassau County, as well, a neighboring county. So this search is about to widen and is nowhere near over.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And as it widens, there are more and more terrified women. I was out on Long Island just last weekend. People are talking about this. Women are scared. They`re walking down the street at night. They don`t have any idea somebody might think they are a prostitute and attack them. So this is terrifying. We are now talking about an East Coast serial killer.

There are now two strong links between the New York and New Jersey prostitute murders. First, they`re both beach communities on either side of New York City, just about 150 miles away from each other. And if you know anything about beach people, they have a tendency to go from one beach community to another.

Now, "The New York Post" also telling us that a woman living on Long Island, who had a history of crack addiction and prostitution, was last seen getting on a bus to Atlantic City before she vanished. Her body among the four found behind a strip of seedy motels in Atlantic City.

So, Mike Brooks, do you buy this notion that it`s one killer? Why are police sources revealing that they have their eye on somebody? Isn`t that a danger of sort of tipping this person off to basically change his behavior?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, because I called my sources up there, and they`re just -- they`re not -- they`re not even returning calls right now. Because, you know, you want to hold your cards close to your vest. You don`t want to -- you don`t want to tip off anybody.

But they`re really not giving up too much information on what the commonality is. Possible commonality and evidence between the grisly murders in 2006 in Atlantic City and the bodies that are found now in Suffolk County. And as John said, expanding the investigation closely but a little bit south into Nassau County.

But what do you also have a lot of that frequent Atlantic City, Jane?


BROOKS: Prostitutes and transients. That`s exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And gamblers.

BROOKS: And gamblers. And could these women there in Atlantic City have been solicited through possibly Craigslist or other online? That`s also a good possibility and could be a possible link.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, talk about the war on women. Bodies scattered everywhere.

Here`s my big issue. They say they`ve got the suspect eyeballed. Sources tell "The New York Post" cops on Long Island are, quote, "looking at somebody." That means they have a suspect in their sights. Who could it be?

Now, it could be a pimp, one of the pimps of the women who were killed. It could be a john, one of the customers. It could be a resident of Long Island, somebody who`s acting like an upstanding citizen who`s really a sicko. Remember the BTK serial killer, and he was in charge of the church? It could be somebody who lives in Atlantic City.

What about his psychological profile? Now criminal profiler Casey Jordan says he could be a power-control killer who loves to manipulate, luring his women and then dominating them. He could be a hedonistic-lust killer who literally becomes sexually aroused by the killing.

Or, Midwin Charles, criminal defense attorney -- you`ve covered so many of these cases -- it could be one of these vigilante-style psychos who`s murdering prostitutes, telling himself he`s ridding the streets of a criminal element. What do you think?

MIDWIN CHARLES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, it could be. I mean, one of the things that we do know is that, whoever it is, they have access to a computer. Remember, many of these victims were on Craigslist.

So I wonder how much of the investigation will take place where they start looking at computer traffic, I.P. addresses, some way to link these women to some sort of computer traffic.

But a vigilante killer here probably is a possibility, given what these women did for a living.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unless he is connected to them because he`s a customer and an unapologetic customer. So it could be somebody who -- first of all, could just be a misogynistic, somebody who hates women. And these are the low-hanging fruit. These are the easy prey. These are the easiest ones to kill, and you`d figure, well, they`re not going to be reported immediately because of their lifestyle.

BROOKS: Exactly.


BROOKS: Jane, what do you have a lot of in Atlantic City that you don`t have in Long Island? That possibly, you know, somebody -- exactly, cameras. Because a lot of times these prostitutes will frequent certain casinos. Maybe there`s one common person whose picture keeps popping up with the four women who had been killed in Atlantic City, and maybe that person has been identified previously as having some contact with Long Island. This is just something that as an investigator that they`re most likely taking a look at and could possibly be a link.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`re looking at a picture right now of the Atlantic City boardwalk. We`re getting into the spring season, when people pile -- pour into Atlantic City and the beaches like Jones Beach near where the Long Island bodies are turning up. So you can imagine all of the fear that this is creating. Terror on the East Coast of the United States.

And I`ve got to ask this question. Why is this kind of carnage happening here in the United States? Here`s my take. Serial killers tend to go after the most vulnerable women in our society. Sometimes naive young women still in high school or college co-eds. In the case of this East Coast killer, we`re talking about prostitutes.

Experts will tell you that women don`t just wake up one morning and say, "Hey, I`m going to be a prostitute." They`re usually forced into it by abusive boyfriends, or they`re running away from a terribly abusive home. They become runaways, and then somebody hooks them on drugs.

As soon as women are turned into commodities, as prostitutes, they become objects in the eyes of some sick men who feel like, well, these objects are disposable. Remember, we live in a disposable society.

So Midwin Charles, I throw this to you, because you`re a woman. I know you fight for women who are victimized. Any time we turn a living being into a commodity, and put a price tag on that living being, we are opening the door for their exploitation, their abuse, and ultimately their murder. Are we not?

CHARLES: We are. I completely agree with you, Jane. And not only are we doing that, what we are doing is creating a distance between ourselves and that person so that, if they go missing, if they are harmed, the first thing society often does is blame their lifestyle, blame their choices.

So it`s almost as though they are no longer like us, and therefore, they almost deserve what happens to them. And I have no doubt that that is probably what is in the mind of whoever did this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Lieberman, do you think we`re going to get an arrest in the coming days?

LIEBERMAN: I don`t know about in the coming days. But what I wanted to tell you, Jane, was in the Atlantic City cases, and Mike mentioned that the M.O. may be changing. When I was at "America`s Most Wanted," we looked into those Atlantic City cases. The women were posed. They were face down. The bodies were face down. Their heads were facing east, and their shoes and socks were taken off. That`s the type of killer they were dealing with in Atlantic City. So we can only imagine what was done to the bodies on Long Island.

But I can tell you this. I do think there will be an arrest sooner rather than later. And police are confident in that, too, now that everybody is talking between Atlantic City and here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s -- let`s hope you`re right. And we`re going to stay on top of this. Thank you, fantastic panel.

In an ISSUES exclusive, I`m going to talk with a man who`s really waging a fight between these country`s fast-food empire. He says he wants to get rid of toys to stop the obesity crisis.

But, first, just released surveillance video of the so-called rape cop case. You`re going to see the shocking video, and we`re going to talk about its significance to this rape case.


COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: It is simply outrageous that police officers are summoned to help and alleged to have taken advantage of this woman.




LAURA DUNN, RAPE VICTIM: I was sexually assaulted by two men on the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) crew team, which I was a member of. I trusted them. I was at a party. They offered to walk me to a different party. It was only my second time drinking, and I was exceedingly drunk. And when we left that part, we were heading the wrong direction. I kind of asked why we were heading that way. They said they just needed to stop by an apartment. And what they did was they took me to one of their apartments and they sexually assaulted me as I passed in and out of consciousness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did that all-too-common scenario play itself out with two cops?

Tonight, two New York City police officers, men in blue, accused of conspiring to rape a drunken 28-year-old female fashion executive in her apartment after they were called to help her.

Tonight, prosecutors have released this shocking surveillance video from December of 2008, the night of the incident. They say it shows the cops going in and out of the victim`s apartment over and over again that night.

The two cops are on trial right now as we speak. The prosecution must prove the victim was too drunk to consent to sex. We`re going to analyze that.

Friends of the victim have testified she was a -- booze-filled breath that night. She`d been partying. A cab driver who brought her home says she vomited in his taxi. He`s the one who called 911. He said she couldn`t even get out of the cab on her own. That`s why he called 911.

Prosecutors say one cop raped the woman while the other stood watch outside the apartment. But the suspect cops, they deny having sex with her at all. They were busted after the victim secretly taped a conversation with one of the cops after the alleged rape. Reports are he told her he wore a condom during the incident. So why would he be wearing a condom if he didn`t have sex with her?

In the meantime, in a bizarre bit of strategy, the defense is reportedly hoping that just a couple of seconds on the video, which allegedly shows the victim walking on her own in her high heels, will be their ticket to freedom, that it might prove that she was conscious and able to make a decision.

What a nightmare. Imagine the horror of being preyed upon by somebody you were looking to for protection.

Mike Brooks, what is the very latest with this very complicated case?

BROOKS: It`s very complicated. As a former cop myself, Jane, it makes me want to puke myself right here, stories like this, people in a position of trust.

But you`re right. The cabbie had called law enforcement, called 911 because this woman could not get out of his cab unassisted. These two officers, officers, Officer Moreno and Mata -- Moreno is the one who`s allegedly raped the woman, and Mata acted as a lookout.

They went in and out of this woman`s apartment three times over a five-hour period, Jane. But you`re talking about the one little snippet of video that apparently shows her walking unassisted with just one of the officer`s hands on his back going through her front door. But there also is a witness, Jane, inside the apartment who passed the trio that said that her high heels were scraping on the marble floor as if she was drunk, almost shuffling, if you were, and that her hair was disheveled and he -- and that she looked intoxicated.

Now, the prosecution says they have a lot of witnesses. But the defense is still going on that, well, she wasn`t drunk, so if she wasn`t drunk then it was consensual. But it`s that recording that I think is going to seal the case against these two cops.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s take another look at this video just released by New York prosecutors. It reportedly shows the cops returning to the victim`s apartment several times over the course of several hours. Prosecutors say one officer stood watch while the other allegedly raped her.

Both men deny any intercourse that night. A lawyer for the cops accused of rape says his client simply came back over and over again because he was comforting her, because she was upset about drinking too much. Lawyers also claim, again, as you heard from Mike Brooks, that there`s a snippet of video showing her walking on her own.

Judge Karen Mills-Francis, host of "Judge Karen`s Court" and the author of "Stay in Your Lane," I`m trying to understand what the regal -- real legal issue is here. This is not a regular rape case where a woman says, "I told him to get away from me, and he attacked me, and I punched him, and I said, `No, no, no`." This is a case of a woman who`s intoxicated who wakes up the next morning naked and is crying and emotional and tells a friend, "I`ve been raped, and it was by a cop."

So what is the consent issue here?

JUDGE KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS, HOST, "JUDGE KAREN`S COURT": I`m just outraged by this case. That you call police to help, and they help themselves to you. Because that`s what this case is about.

Basically, they`re saying that they`re now admitting, the defense is admitting for the first time in two years that sex went on. And why does the defense admit that? Because she`s got him on the wire saying, "Yes, I had sex with you, but I used a condom."

So now they have to say that sex went on, and the only way to get over the fact that it was a rape is to say she consented to the sex. So the defense is going to try to use the circumstances, that snippet of the tape, to say that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got a commercial. I`ve got some new developments on the other side of the break. Hang in there.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is an emptiness that will never be filled by anyone else. I feel truly blessed to have had Megan as long as I did. But it -- I should have -- I should have had so much more time with her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, prosecutors release shocking surveillance video they say shows two cops conspiring to rape a drunk 28-year-old fashion executive after a night of boozing and partying back in 2008.

Dr. Jenn Berman, now, technically the defense is admitting -- is not admitting to sexual intercourse, but this is what they are saying. This defense lawyer says the victim -- he has the nerve to say the victim became flirtatious with the officer in that apartment. He made a conscious decision to succumb to physical contact with her, but he did not have sexual intercourse with her even though he admits he wore a condom. Huh? I don`t get it.

DR. JENN BERMAN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I don`t either, Jane. And what we know is that rape is an issue of power and dominance and control. And I know legally the issue is, was she drunk or was she not? But psychologically speaking, we`re talking about a huge power difference between a police officer standing in front of you with a gun and pepper spray and who knows what else, and if you are on a bed and you`ve been drinking too much, you don`t really have much power and much control in a situation like that, if this -- if this allegedly did happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke out in April of 2009 after these officers were busted. Listen to him.


KELLY: It is simply outrageous that police officers are summoned to help and alleged to have taken advantage of this woman.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue: trust betrayed. Is this going to impact every woman that has to deal with a law enforcement officer in any kind of a situation that`s even remotely like this?

I mean, this poor woman intoxicated, she can`t navigate to get out of the taxi. So the cops are called to help. And a victim`s friend testifies she -- she wakes up the next morning naked in her bed and says, "Oh, my gosh, I was raped by a cop."

Mike Brooks, is this going to demoralize police forces that do an incredible job of saving lives every day and then this is what we`re talking about?

BROOKS: You know, it`s unfortunate, Jane. And I have to admit, at every department you`ve got some bad apples. This is an isolated incident. Ninety-nine point nine percent of -- of all law enforcement officers in this country are out there to protect and serve.

MILLS-FRANCIS: It`s not so isolated. There have been a lot of incidents of police officers accused of rape.

BROOKS: But, your honor, how often -- it doesn`t happen that often. I take...

MILLS-FRANCIS: It happened two or three times in Miami in the last couple of years, and one city here.

BROOKS: Well -- well, again, how many thousands of cops do you have? It`s isolated. You have -- also, in the judiciary, how many attorneys, prosecutors are also crooked? You know, it happens.

MILLS-FRANCIS: Women have to look out for themselves and protect themselves in this world.

BROOKS: I agree with you, but it`s not the norm, Judge.

MILLS-FRANCIS: ... in a uniform or is not in a uniform.

BROOKS: How many judges screw up all the time, too? So you know what? They`re there. You know, OK. The next time you need help, who you going to call? You going to call a police officer? You going to call a firefighter?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. I`ve got to bring out my gavel now. Sorry about that, Judge. In fact, I think this is your gavel.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But police officers are human beings. They`re going to suffer the same foibles as all human beings. The difference is they`ve got a lot of power and they carry a gun.

BROOKS: So are judges without the guns.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fabulous panel. Amazing story next.



VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Jaw-dropping developments with the hotshot Hollywood producer accused of murdering his stunning wife at a beautiful resort in Mexico. I`ll talk one on one with the victim`s sister about why the accused murderer has still not been extradited to Mexico to face justice. And the shocking fight over her will.

Plus, an ISSUES exclusive, I`ll talk with the leader of the crusade to ban toys from fast food outlets. He`s obese and points to himself as exhibit in the case that fast food will make you fat. He`s battling the bulge of America`s school kids tonight. What every parent needs to know.

JEANE BURGOS, MONICA BERESFORD-REDMAN`S SISTER: My sister is an American citizen and has left two very own children who had their mom brutally murdered.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a desperate family demands answers. When will hot shot TV producer Bruce Redmond of survivor fame face a trial for his wife`s murder? Will justice delayed be justice deny?

Monica Beresford-Redman`s battered body was found a year ago tonight inside a sewer of a Mexican resort. She had been beaten. She`s been strangled. Monica and her husband, Bruce, had gone to Mexico to reportedly to work on their crumbling marriage.

Bruce who worked on the hit show "Survivor" was allegedly cheating with a TV colleague. He is sitting in jail right now as we speak in Los Angeles fighting extradition back to Mexico where he is supposed to face trial.

It`s been a year since the murder of his wife. This case is still in limbo. Bruce claims Monica left the resort to go shopping and simply never returned, but the evidence tells a different story, a very different one.

Witnesses saw this couple arguing. They heard a commotion coming from their hotel room. A key card was used to open that room nine times that fateful night. Bruce reportedly had cuts on his hands and neck and feet while he was taken into custody by Mexican authorities.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her husband killed her. It`s clear. It`s very clear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How much longer will Monica`s family have to wait before Bruce faces a trial in Mexico? And what about Monica`s last wishes? Who will win the battle over her will and custody of her two precious children?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Carla, Monica`s sister, as well as her attorney, Alison Triessl. First of all, Carla, our hearts go out to you. We know that this has been a hellish year for you in the year the exact one year since your precious sister was murdered.

We have been following your family`s story in that year. We`re doing more updates than any news organization. We want to get justice for your sister. So what are your frustrations tonight? What are your feelings about this case and your battle for justice for your sister?

CARLA BURGOS, MONICA`S SISTER: Justice process really is slow. It takes forever. If anybody depends on it, you know, it won`t get anything because it takes forever. And nothing has been solved and we`re waiting and we have a big emptiness in our hearts and in our lives because someone took her life away like that. And everybody is not guilty till proved the contrary. Who is going to prove this? When?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue. Why on earth has this taken so long? This case has really gone at a snail`s pace since day one. Monica`s body was found on April 8, a year ago today. Mexican police told Bruce to stay put, but he went back to the United States instead.

OK, he went back to the United States even though Mexican cops said stay where you are. He was finally arrested last November, seven months after the murder. His extradition hearing is not scheduled until next month and legal battles over his extradition could take as long as a year or more.

OK, and then you`ve got the trial. Alison Triessl, you`re the attorney for the Burgos family, the relatives of the murdered woman. Are people even going to remember the arguing they heard if this case is not tried for three years? People`s memories, they get soft.

ALISON TRIESSL, ATTORNEY FOR BURGOS FAMILY: Unfortunately, that`s how our legal system moves. There will be justice, but it takes a long time. And in a case like this, where there`s been such a legal roller coaster where you have somebody who committed a crime in Mexico. He was ordered to remain in Mexico, surrender his passport there, leaves.

he Mexican authority are not sure where he is, shows up at his home in Los Angeles and then we have to have something between the countries because Mexico has to ask our State Department to please arrest him, that takes a lot of time.

And, frankly, although this has taken a long time, it`s very painful for this family. We`re so happy that we`re at this point where they can talk about his extradition hearing.

For months, we talked about please arrest him, please arrest him. Now we`re actually talking about at this hearing, will this court find that he should be extradited to Mexico? I think the answer is going to be absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, he should be. Is there any question?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s his argument?

TRIESSL: Mexican authorities --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, we tried to reach his attorney, his parents` attorney, unsuccessfully. They are invited on our show at any time. Go ahead, is there any argument? How could he possibly say he doesn`t want to face trial?

TRIESSL: The burden of proof here is very low. It`s a probable cause standard. The question is, is he the person that they are looking for and is this an extraditable offense?

So the burden is very low. The Mexican authorities did an amazing job putting this case together. I don`t believe there`s going to be any question. He may appeal it and that may drag out the process another year.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying this process is going along just fine and dandy. We covered a story out of Texas just the other day where a woman was running a day care, a fire started, some kids died while she was allegedly out shopping. She fled to Africa. Guess what, she`s back.

TRIEESL: I didn`t say it was going quickly. I said that we are thrilled that he is actually in custody and for many months we feared that he would never be arrested. So we`re thrilled that he`s in custody.

Now, the fact that this family has had to endure this after losing their sister senselessly to a brutal murder has been horrible. But we`re so happy that he`s actually in custody and the prospect of going to Mexico is really looming now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, there are so many other issues here as well. A judge granted the Bruce`s parents temporary custody of their two young children, the children of Bruce and Monica.

Monica`s relatives are obviously fighting for custody of those children. Carla, how do you feel about your little niece and nephew being with Bruce`s parents?

TRIEESL: Jane, I`m going to have to interrupt. Just because there`s pending litigation, we really are trying to avoid issues about custody in the will for now.

Because there is litigation pending and it`s such a sensitive, difficult issue that we would ask that you just give us some time and when it is resolved, we will gladly come back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s talk about something that is no surprise. Bruce`s attorney insists that Bruce is innocent and he`s also questioning the work of Mexican police. Here`s what he told CBS.


RICHARD HIRSCH, BRUCE BERESFORD-REDMAN`S ATTORNEY: There were two other homicides at that same hotel. So we think that the police should have looked out for other suspects before they arrested our client.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So they are using the whole, they didn`t look for any other suspects. So what do you think about that, Carla? Do you think the evidence against your estranged brother-in-law is overwhelming or not?

BURGOS: Well, I think everybody knew or wanted to know that people were killed in this place they could know on the internet. So that`s why probably he was asking my sister that he wanted to do it specifically in this hotel because there was a Jacuzzi in the room.

So he wanted just a place with the Jacuzzi in the room. Amazingly, this place where two people were murdered, there were Jacuzzi in the room. Yes, OK. Let`s go there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re trying to tell me that you believe that he wanted this. That he wanted to go to that hotel because it had a cover because there was a crime there previously and you feel that that was just his plot? You feel that he took your sister down there to kill her? Is that what you`re saying?

BURGOS: My impressions are that, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you so much, Carla and Alison. We want justice for Monica. We`re going to stay on top of this case. Again, the family, the other side, their lawyers come on any time.

Be sure to catch Dr. Drew`s new show, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on HLN. Tonight, Dr. Drew talking to Cheryl Burke from "Dancing with the Stars" about being a victim of abuse.


MITCHELL (voice-over): On the other side of the break, an ISSUES exclusive. I`m going to talk to a man who is taking on the fast food industry. He says fast food toys are the reason kids are fat, but you won`t believe how much he weighs, next.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m a parent. I have two small children. I decide what my children will eat and what toy or what the environment will be. So banning or putting legislation that undermines what parents` choices are we believe are wrong.



LEROY COMRIE, NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN: In the United States, nearly one-third of the children are obese. The fast food industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars directed at our children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, an unlikely hero in the battle to overhaul our nation`s eating habits. My exclusive guest here on ISSUES tonight is New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie. He is pushing to ban toys that entice kids to eat fast food meals that are jammed with fat, salt and sugar.

And here`s the irony, Leroy will admit that he himself is obese and he considers himself Exhibit A for his argument. He also feels somewhat guilty about taking his own kids to fast food joints. If you`re going to listen to anyone, listen to this man we`re about to introduce you to.

Leroy, he knows firsthand, once you start eating this stuff, it`s really hard to stop. In my humble opinion, and this is my opinion, and I wrote a book about it "Addict Nation," fast food is a drug. You can get hooked.

A film maker, Morgan Spurlock went to extremes to uncover the perils of fast food with his hit movie "Supersize Me." Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I`m going to have to go supersize. Look at that look at that. Look how big that thing is. Look how big that French fry is. That thing is like four feet tall.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie, first of all, I am thrilled to have you here on ISSUES. You`re targeting fast food even though you admit that you eat it and it`s contributed to your weight problem. Why have you decided to take this on, sir?

COMRIE: Well, this is not my first time since I`ve been in the city council working on nutritional issues. I`ve worked on the Green Cart legislation, which allows food carts to be in minority communities.

I`ve also been the primary sponsor to make sure that we have a fresh food initiative, which is allowing for tax breaks for grocery stores to come into the city and minority communities. And I`ve done other efforts in my district working with the parks department and other areas.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did you decide to try to ban toys?

COMRIE: Because we want to try to get people - people are imprinted on what they get at McDonald`s. Kids are screaming take me to get the toy. They don`t know what`s in the food. A 2-year-old, a 3-year-old, a screaming kid asking their parents to take me to get the latest toy, the toy related to the movie of the week or cartoon, they want the toy.

The fast food companies are imprinting these kids with the toys, with foods that are high in sodium and calorie count. They have the ability better than anyone else to make sure that they can imprint these kids with nutritious meals.

They have the advertising budget. They have the ability to create an advertising campaign and slogans to eat healthy, eat well, and put the toy with --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They have the ability to actually change their entire menu and put fruits and vegetables and nuts and grains and cholesterol-free low calorie meals on their menus. They have that option and I do hope and pray that they ultimately switch to that.

It couldn`t have been easy for you to open yourself up to -- let`s face it, some pot shots. You took a pot shot for not being a picture of health yourself. You were even spoofed in page six of the "New York Post" in a cartoon.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I want to listen to one of your colleagues who came to your defense. Check this out.



VINCENT IGNIZIO, NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN: I`m sorry for what people did to you today. I support you as my friend. I don`t support the bill, but I`m happy to debate with you about it. I genuinely believe there are many people in the city that owe you an apology. Thank you very much.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, full disclosure here, I`m a strict vegetarian. I eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. No dairy. It`s called a vegan. Your wife is a vegetarian who eats healthy and does yoga. What is the dynamic at home because --

COMRIE: Tension. Tension.


COMRIE: There`s tension at home. My wife has for years trying to get me to lose weight and it is a source of tension. I`ll be married for 21 years in July and I`ve managed to try to keep a happy home. But when the media approached my wife, I told her to be honest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, are you saying that you`re Exhibit A basically in this argument that eating fast food causes obesity because you eat it and you are more than 335 pounds, but you`re not telling us how much you are?

COMRIE: Right, exactly. The fast food industry is trying to get people that eat repetitively their products. We want to say, let`s give parents a healthy alternative that when they go into the store, when they are trying to help their kids have a little bit of opportunity to get the toy, that there is a healthy alternative. Now, but clearly, they want to imprint their product on a child at an early age so they can be addicted to it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: McDonald`s to told us that taking away toys from kids will not solve childhood obesity. They say this is a matter of choice. Listen to their spokesperson.


KAREN WELLS, MCDONALDS USA, VP OF NUTRITION: I`m a parent. I have two small children. I decide what food my children will eat or what toy or what the environment will be and so banning or putting legislation that undermines what parents` choices are. We believe it`s wrong.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, here`s my response to that -- by the way, we invited McDonald`s on at any time to tell their side. My book, "Addict Nation" here`s what I say. Increasingly, almost everything being presented to us as a free choice is being packaged and sold to us in a way that`s designed to get us hooked in order to guarantee that we keep coming back for more.

To offer just one obvious example, there`s increasing evidence that fast food is addictive, which would go a long way towards explaining our obesity crisis. The psychologically addictive component is the constant drunk beat of advertising the physically addictive component is the high level of sugar, salt, and fat.

OK, so when you`re an addict, you don`t have the free will to say, I won`t do that.

COMRIE: Exactly, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you an addict? Are you a fast food addict?

COMRIE: Definitely, I am. I am working to try to break that addiction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I appreciate your honesty. Coming up next -



PAUL MCCARTNEY, MUSICIAN: You are talking about taking the lives and the skins of young baby seals that actually haven`t even had a swim yet. They`re totally reliant on mothers. They can`t escape.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sir Paul McCartney talking about the mass seal slaughter in Canada begging for it to stop. I warn you, you may find the images you`re about to see disturbing, but it`s nowhere near the worst of it.


MITCHELL (voice-over): This video shows seals basking on the ice one moment and the next moment they are bludgeoned to death with a club. We can`t show you that. It`s too horrific. Just think about the blood on the ice everywhere and they go after the pups, the little babies, the ones too young to wiggle away.

Then their tiny bodies are dragged with hooks, tossed onto heaps. Critics claim that they are still conscious. Again, most of them are under three months old. They are too young to even crawl away. What a cowardly hunt.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining me now to talk about this horrific massacre, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, and my dear friend and he is author of this fabulous new book, "The Bond." The book talks about the instinctive relationship between humans and animals.

So, Wayne, congratulations on your new book. I urge everybody to read it. It`s brilliant. Why is it that the Canadian government is so absolutely stubborn in continuing this slaughter of these beautiful, innocent creatures when it doesn`t even make economic sense because so many markets have banned the use of seal fur?

WAYNE PACELLE, AUTHOR OF "THE BOND": Well, Jane, first, let me thank you for your fight against animal cruelty. You`re an incredible voice in this country against abuse of animals. And this particular hunt makes no sense.

Not only doesn`t it make no moral sense, as you indicate, it makes no economic sense. Last year and the year before, the total take, the revenue from this hunt was $1 million. The Canadian government is putting millions into subsidizing the hunt because nobody wants these seal skins around the world.

The European Union has banned the import of seal skins. The United States bans it. Mexico bans it. They are trying to apply markets in Southeast Asia. It`s about politics in Canada. There are a few parliamentary seats where this issue has become a big one and the national government doesn`t want to sacrifice those seats by coming out against the seal hunt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable, so they`re going to sacrifice. Well, apparently, the quote is like 300,000 baby seals, 300,000 that they have set up for slaughter in this year`s Canadian seal hunt. I`m going to call that genocide. Check this out.


HAL SPARKS, COMEDIAN: It is dying of its own weight and I think the vast majority of people are shocked that it`s still going on. Abject, pointless brutality.

MITCHELL (voice-over): What can Americans do to help stop this, Wayne?


PACELLE: You know, what we can do is stop buying Canadian seafood. That`s what we can do. We`ve already stopped the seal skins from coming into the United States, but Canada`s fishermen are driving this hunt.

They are falsely claiming that the seal are eating the cod. It was the commercial fishing fleets that really decimated some of (inaudible). The seals have no role in that. In fact, in the ecosystem, they are of very beneficial impact.

We can stop eating the Canadian seafood here in the United States. We at HS U.S. have called for a national boycott of fish coming from Canada. We want to have an economic impact.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love it. On the other side, we`re going to talk about your book.



JOANNA KRUPA, MODEL: You can actually see an animal after he`s skinned, he still wait like still moving his eyes at the camera. It`s just despicable that this kind of stuff is allowed in this industry. It makes me sick.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Supermodel Joanna Krupa fighting first and you can go to Get on this campaign and I want to talk to you about your book, Wayne. It`s a fantastic book. Everybody in America should read it because we love animals. Tell us, briefly.

PACELLE: You know, this book looks at the instinctive connection we have with animals. There`s so much good relationship that we have with animals but also in the same culture we have factory farming and dog biting. We`ve got to find it. This illuminates the issue all across America.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are my hero because you are leading fight to just get us to have a more involved attitude towards animals. I love you, Wayne. Nancy Grace up next.