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Missing Girl`s Mysterious Call; Did Cops Blow Chance to Prevent Murder?

Aired May 12, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight.

MONICA MAKOVICZ, COUSIN OF SARAH TOWNSEND: I miss you so much, Sarah. Please come home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A desperate plea from cousins of beautiful missing teen Sarah Townsend. Cops say her boyfriend found her car still running, with her wallet and cell phone still inside. Tonight, everyone is asking, "Where is Sarah?"


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like a nightmare.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A devastated mom cries for her murdered little girl. Cops say a man admits to raping and strangling the precious 9-year-old, and then going home to shower and eat dinner with his fiancee. Should cops have arrested him three weeks ago after they say this little girl ended up in his home.

Also, more drama in the Casey Anthony trial. Has the defense revealed their secret strategy to get Casey off the hook? I`ll have all the shocking details, and I`m taking your call.

Plus, an ISSUES exclusive in the Long Island serial killer case. I`ll talk with the sister of one of the victims of this cold-blooded killer. You will not believe her story.

ISSUES starts now.



ANDREA MAKOVICZ, COUSIN OF SARAH TOWNSEND: We know that the car was running and that we just -- we just want her to come home safe.

M. MAKOVICZ: I miss you so much, Sarah. Please come home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a stomach-churning nightmare for the family of a beautiful 18-year-old girl missing since Monday. What happened to Sarah Townsend? Why would she abandon her car in a park with the motor running and just disappear? And why does her family keep saying, "Don`t worry, Sarah, we`re not mad at you?" Is there something we don`t know?

Sarah left for school Monday morning and never arrived at school. Tonight, a New Jersey newspaper called "The Examiner" is reporting claims that that very morning, Sarah called a family she babysat for and told them she would not be able to do so that afternoon. If true, was she planning to disappear?

Also, the paper claims, instead of going to school, Sarah called her boyfriend and asked him to meet her at the park. But according to this newspaper, the boyfriend says when he got there, Sarah was gone. The car was running. Her purse was inside. So was her cell phone.

Now, she left for school at about 7 in the morning. Police were called three hours later at about 10 a.m. Sarah`s car, again, running, her cell phone, her purse on the seat. The cops say there was no sign of foul play. They`re treating this like a missing persons case for now, but her family is not convinced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s OK, honey. It`s OK. Come home. I know something`s holding you, and it`s all right. Please come home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil last night for Sarah, but affiliate KYW says one person was noticeably absent, Sarah`s boyfriend. Why? Cops say he is cooperating and that nobody has been named a suspect in this case.

Cops also said they have every reason to believe that Sarah is still alive. So where is she?

Straight out to our exclusive live guest, Colleen Makovicz, Sarah`s aunt.

Colleen, thank you so much for joining us. We know this has to be an extremely difficult time for your family, and we want to do what we can to bring Sarah back home safe and sound.

Now what do you know about these claims by a local New Jersey newspaper, "The Examiner," that she didn`t intend to go straight to school but rather asked her boyfriend to meet her at the park, which is not on the way to school, and that is precisely where her car was found, running with the door open, her purse and cell phone inside -- Colleen.

COLLEEN MAKOVICZ, AUNT OF SARAH TOWNSEND (via phone): Thank you, Jane, for being so kind to my daughters last night and for keeping Sarah`s face and information out there


C. MAKOVICZ: I do not know anything about what the newspaper is saying. This is news to me. We are doing our best to get Sarah back here, try to keep her face out there and her information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I thought the most significant thing in the article, and we just spoke to the reporter of the article, because we don`t just publish anything.

C. MAKOVICZ: I know that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this reporter told us that she spoke with law enforcement sources and so she`s sticking by her story. She says that Sarah called a family that she always babysits for and says, "I`m not going to be able to make it this afternoon." Do you know about that?

C. MAKOVICZ: I don`t know about that. I`m hearing it from you for the first time. I haven`t been able to keep up with all the newspapers. But anything is possible. We`re keeping a very open mind on this. We don`t care what the reason is. We want her home, and we want her safe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now, there`s one strange detail we keep hearing over and over in this case. We`ve heard it on the news reports and interviews, right here on our show last night. Sarah`s family keeps repeating the same refrain. Listen closely to this.


LAURA TOWNSEND, MOTHER OF MISSING TEEN: We just want to tell Sarah that we want -- we love her. She`s not in trouble.

M. MAKOVICZ: Sarah, we love you so much. And please come home. We`re not mad at you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s OK, honey, it`s OK. Come home.

A. MAKOVICZ: I`m just saying we`re not mad...

M. MAKOVICZ: For running away, or if anything happened if that`s what happened.

TOWNSEND: We want you to know that we love you. You`re not in trouble.

A. MAKOVICZ: We`re not -- we`re not mad at her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, take a look at this article from the local New Jersey paper, "The Examiner." One thing popped out at me. It says here that a school official says that Sarah Townsend had made plans to attend the prom with an Allentown High School student.

When asked if the boyfriend, who went to her car, is that Allentown High School student, the official said there are two boyfriends involved. She had a friend that she was going to the prom with and another friend, meaning the boyfriend, who went to her car.

What do you know about that, because we understand -- correct me if I`m wrong -- that the boyfriend who went to the car is 20, so he`s not in high school, presumably, any more.

What do you know, Colleen?

C. MAKOVICZ: That`s correct. He is 20 years old, and he does not go to high school.

I`m not certain of who she was going to the prom with. I believe it was a friend. She was going to two proms. She was going to the Florence High School prom. She was going to the Allentown prom. She purchased two dresses. She was excited to be going to these proms.

The morning that she disappeared, she was discussing hair dos, what she -- how she should wear her hair to each one of the proms. So we don`t believe that sounds like a girl who would hurt herself or disappear. And we don`t understand, if her car is found running, and she wanted to run away, why would she leave her cash behind? You can`t trace cash.

Why isn`t there some scent being picked up outside of the car if she was going to go off and hurt herself? It just doesn`t make sense to us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Dale Archer, I have to ask you. Colleen, thank you so much. I want to ask Dr. Dale Archer, does this show signs of anybody -- like this girl wanted to hurt herself?

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: No Jane, absolutely not. The thing about suicide is when you start thinking about suicide, you want to be found. You don`t do it in secret where no one can find where you are.

And typically, it`s for one of two reasons. Either, A, you`re mad at someone. You want to get back at them. Or, B, you feel that people would be better off without you around and paradoxically, you don`t want them to worry about you. You want them to know that you`re dead. So I would say suicide is absolutely not in the equation now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about Sarah`s boyfriend? Now, we first saw him side by side with Sarah`s parents. Listen and look at him. He`s off on the side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah, baby, I know you`re out there. Just come back, please.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one point, he walked hand in hand with Sarah`s mother, but at last night`s vigil, the boyfriend was reportedly a no-show. Casey Jordan, criminologist, in missing persons cases like, the intimate partner, the boyfriend, a husband, is always the first person the cops talk to unless there`s another person who`s obviously responsible, because they have to eliminate him. And again, they`re not even saying that this is necessarily a crime. They consider her alive. This guy is not a suspect.

So, we have to be very, very careful here. ISSUES contacted Burlington P.D., and they say they`ve talked with this boyfriend, and he`s cooperating and they stress he is not considered a suspect. What are your thoughts?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, my first thought is that if nobody is a suspect, that means everyone is a suspect. It means they haven`t ruled anybody out. They`re going to look very carefully at the boyfriend. They`re going to try to find out what -- details about the young man she`s going to go to the prom with.

But really, I think you picked up on it earlier, Jane. There is some kind of strange family dynamic about "we love you. We`re sorry. Please come home." There had to have been, in my estimation, some kind of blowup at the house that upset her.

And I don`t know whether she`s abducted or whether she is maybe attention seeking and staged her own disappearance. I think we all recall the runaway bride. But only the family knows what happened that would make them reach out to her and say repeatedly, "You`re not in trouble."

Did she say something to them that got them upset? Was there some kind of family squabble where she would want to teach them a lesson and scare them with a disappearance?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s take a look at the route that Sarah would have taken to get to school Monday morning. She reportedly left her home in Florence, New Jersey, Monday before 7 a.m. She was supposedly driving to her school located in Allentown, New Jersey, but her car was found in a park in Burlington, New Jersey, which is in the total opposite direction of her school.

Add to that claims that that very morning she called the family that she normally babysits for and said she would not be able to babysit later. You`ve got to wonder, could she have had some plan to run away? But her dad says she`s not a runaway. She`s a very active, popular, liked, well- respected. She`s not -- she doesn`t fit the profile of a runaway, Dr. Dale Archer. Very short.

ARCHER: She doesn`t fit the profile of a runaway. And not only that they could have just said, "You`re not in trouble for being gone. We want you to come back." Id doesn`t necessarily mean there had to be an argument that morning that triggered her to leave.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that she obviously had a plan to do something unusual, because she didn`t head to school, and she called this family to babysit and said, "I`m not coming today."

Then she goes to this park. Maybe she did want to speak to the boyfriend, but while she was waiting, somebody approached her and took her, a total stranger. I pray that`s not the case, but it does happen.

A 7-year-old -- an 18-year-old girl at 7 in the morning, sitting in a park, that`s a bad combo. And that is what I`m concerned about, that none of these people have anything to do with it and that there was some stranger lurking in a park. I pray that I`m wrong. I pray that I`m wrong. We want to find Sarah.

Thank you, Colleen Makovicz. We`re going to stay on top of this sorry.

All right. Coming up, an ISSUES exclusive, I`m going to talk with the sister of one of the victims of the Long Island serial killer.

But first, cops say a man murdered a little girl, then went home to have dinner with his fiancee. Did cops ignore the warning signs weeks before? We`re taking your calls of this outrageous story: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like a nightmare. What did she do to him? It`s my only child. Nobody can bring her back. Brilliant little girl that would help anybody. She was loved by everybody.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did call the cops on him. It`s killing me. If they would have done something, my daughter would still be here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A tormented mother says police blew a chance to prevent her precious daughter`s murder.

Just three weeks before the 9-year-old`s violent death, Skyler Kauffman was locked inside her alleged killer`s bathroom. Yes, he`s a neighbor. But police believed his story, not little Skyler`s, and they did not arrest the guy.

Fast forward. Skyler`s mom reports her daughter missing Monday night when she doesn`t come home for dinner. She was last seen playing outside her Philadelphia area apartment. As police searched for Skyler, they noticed neighbor James Troutman was wearing a bloody shoe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They noticed that there was what appeared to be blood splattering on his lower body. They pursued that particular avenue, and he`s in the cell block as we speak.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A trail of blood led police from an apartment basement to a Dumpster. Inside, they found Skyler`s body wrapped in a comforter. Investigators say 24-year-old Troutman confessed to raping and choking Skyler and repeatedly slamming her head on the floor. Cops found his blood-soaked clothes in a hamper in his apartment.

After throwing her body in the Dumpster, police say the sicko took a shower and sat down for dinner with his fiancee. That`s right, I said fiancee. This fiancee says she heard screams coming from the basement Monday night but never imagined it had anything to do with her boyfriend.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My first concern is for the family that had to experience this horrible tragedy at the hands of the person that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police were called to Troutman`s apartment three weeks ago after little Skyler and another girl got locked inside his bathroom. Hello! If that`s not a red flag, what is?

Straight out to criminologist Casey Jordan. What do you make of this sicko who cops say has confessed to doing this, and then took a shower and had dinner with his fiancee?

JORDAN: Yes. Clearly, extremely emotionally disturbed. Listen, this guy fits in his behavioral issues and what we`ve learned from his fiancee, really, the profile of what you would call a fixator or preferential child molester. They talked how he was extremely socially awkward. The girlfriend said he has Asperger`s Syndrome.

But really, when you stop and look at her -- I think she`s 20 or 21 years old -- doesn`t she look like a young teenager? And just that we know that he had Victoria`s Secret pictures taped up on his wall in the bathroom in which he allegedly locked these girls three weeks ago. So much of what we`re hearing is really just kind of a trail that leads you back this guy.

The signs were there. And I`m sure the police are going back over that incident three weeks ago and wondering if it could have been prevented.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they are saying they did nothing wrong. I`m going to get to that in a second.

But first, I want to bring in one of my heroes, Diena Thompson. Skyler`s murder has some striking parallels, tragically to your daughter, Somer. Seven-year-old Somer went missing in October 2009. Two days later, her body was found in a landfill.

Police say neighbor -- yes, a neighbor -- Jarred Harrell kidnapped Somer as she walked home from school. He allegedly sexually assaulted the child before killing her.

Two months before Somer`s death, Jarred`s roommates found a slew of child porn on his computer. They turned it over to police, and they begged cops to do something about it. All cops needed to do was to turn the damn thing on and, bam, there would be your evidence.

Diena, I`m so glad you`re on our show tonight. And every time I see you, I think of your courage in trying to use your horrible tragedy as a force for good. Do you see the same very, very disturbing parallels with your case?

DIENA THOMPSON, DAUGHTER MURDERED: I do. It was a Monday. No reason, no cause, you know, and to rape and murder her and then throw her in a Dumpster, that`s Somer`s story all over again. And Jarred Harrell was 24 when he committed his crime, and my daughter should be 9 right now. So there`s a lot of striking similarities. And I want to say thank you for having me on, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m always honored to have you on, because we can`t just be victims. We have to get proactive, and we have to learn to spot the signs of somebody like this. These guys even look the same.

And yet, cops believed this guy`s story instead of the two little girls who became traumatized and frightened when they were locked inside his apartment. Why? On the other side of the break, we`re going to analyze that. More details on this horrifying murder in a moment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also later, has Casey Anthony`s defense revealed this brand-new secret strategy they hope will get Casey off?

But first, cops say a man admits to killing a little girl. Were the signs ignored by cops?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They locked the door on the inside for themselves. The girls came running out screaming and we are struggling to open our front door, even though he said that was unlocked as well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the fiancee of an accused killer who had a run-in with the child he is now accused of killing about three weeks ago when the child, 9-year-old Skyler Kauffman, and another little friend ended up in his apartment, and the door was locked and they were screaming.

The cops showed up, and they didn`t arrest the guy, because they believed his story that, "Oh, they accidentally locked the door."

Here`s my big issue. This is another case of reactive justice. Why didn`t cops believe Skyler and her friend`s story that he, Troutman, had locked them in the bathroom? Here is the district attorney.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is nothing that is of significance that would have led anyone to suspect that this sort of act was a possibility.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nothing of significance? How about the kids` story that they found themselves locked and they were creeped out because there were semi-naked photos that they saw, that he lured them in because they wanted to use the bathroom?

Are we going to always wait until a precious child is murdered before acting proactively on a sicko in the neighborhood who`s sending off alarm bells, that he is behaving bizarrely? Did the blase attitude of the officers who arrived to scene embolden the suspect go further earth next time around?

Casey Jordan, why couldn`t they have take than guy in and given him a polygraph to see if his story, the girls locked the door accidental, was true? Had they done so, this little girl might be alive today.

JORDAN: I don`t know that the level of detail rose to the probable cause to actually them could have certainly asked him and he might have gone voluntarily.

I don`t know they even asked him to come voluntarily. But neighbors said he was always creepy. I mean, did, they have that sense? It`s unusual. When little girls are playing, for a grown man to say "Would you like to use the bathroom in my apartment."

He offered to show them his bird. He had a birdcage, but I haven`t read anything that says he actually owned a pet bird. All of these details should have made the police really look at him, scrutinize him very carefully. So often, these predatory child molesters do have girlfriends or fiances or wives, because it throws people off and it doesn`t seem to fit what others would expect, but if they trusted the word of these little girls, maybe she would be alive today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Betty, Ohio -- Betty Ohio, question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER (voiceover) : Yes, thank you, Jane, for taking my call. Did the policeman check now to see if is a predator?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that is an excellent question. Diena Thompson, again my hero, who has turned her horror into something good, cops need to now find out if this guy is responsible for molesting other girls?

THOMPSON: Yes, they do. They do. You know, I think about that often, like how many other children will come out of the woodworks when something like this happens, because I don`t think this is probably not his first encounter in doing something like this, because I don`t think you go from zero to 60 like that. These creeps need to realize that mommas like me are coming after them, and we`re not going to stop until they stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank God for you, and we want to be there when you go after them, as you always do. Thank you, fabulous panel.

Up next, Casey`s defense team dropping clues about how they plan on getting Casey off the hook.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More drama in the Casey Anthony trial. Has the defense revealed their secret strategy to get Casey off the hook? I will have all the shocking details and I`m taking your calls.

Plus an ISSUES exclusive in the Long Island serial killer case: I will talk with the sister of one of the victims of this cold-blooded killer. You will not believe her story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If she were to be sentenced to death, do you understand that indeed, at some point, she would, in fact, be killed by lethal injection?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do understand that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you consider yourself to be for or against the death penalty, personally?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess I`m in the middle. I could go either way.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Casey Anthony`s life will soon be in the hands of jurors, just like the man you just heard. Day four of jury selection in her capital murder trial pivotal, as Casey came face to face with the people who might ultimately put her to death. Could you make a decision like that?

In just a moment, we`re going to meet a man who did. Today was a blockbuster day also because we got more evidence of what we here on this show have been saying all along -- that Casey`s defense strategy will involve targeting her family, throwing her relatives under the bus. The former attorney for Casey`s parents made that big prediction here on this show just last night.



BRAD CONWAY, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR CINDY AND GEORGE ANTHONY: My theory is that he will blame the Anthony family. She has alleged sexual abuse. She has alleged emotional abuse. And he will say that she could not explain or tell anybody what happened to Caylee during those 31 days because of -- let`s just call it family dysfunction.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then will she say, oh, it was an accidental death perhaps? Meantime, Casey`s defense has an added controversy, a new controversial figure to the dream team of attorneys, Rosaly Bolin (ph) is an investigator known as, they call it a mitigation specialist but in plain English, her job will be to find out information about Casey`s past that could help the defense avoid the death penalty if she is found guilty.

What is so controversial about this woman? She is married to a guy on death row, a con on death row -- can`t make this up. Those Hollywood scriptwriters over there on the West Coast are going crazy now saying I wouldn`t have thought of that.

I`m taking your calls, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to Jean Casarez correspondent for "In Session", TruTV. Jean, so much dramarama in the courtroom; did they make a dent in jury selection? How many people, hard numbers, have they gotten to the first or second level?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Here`s what`s happening right now. The five jurors went before the court today. Four of them have been passed on to final jury selection. It doesn`t mean they are going to be on the jury but one was just excused for cause.

Jane, I have got to tell you what is happening in the courtroom right. Now the judge is questioning the prosecution because they posed a question to one of the jurors today: if you would smell something in a tin can, how would you react to that? The judge is asking what are you talking about and the prosecutor is saying, well, we collected air samples from that spare tire cover in four different cans, preserved. Dr. Vass only used one of them. We have got three of them left. So the thought is to possibly open it up for jurors to smell the air from Casey Anthony`s trunk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. And that would presumably be the very smell of death that Cindy talked about when she called 911 a month after her little precious granddaughter was missing and said, "My granddaughter is missing. It smells like there is a dead body in the damn car."

Wow. Like we`ve been saying it looks like the defense will paint Casey as the victim of abuse at the hands of her parents. Listen to Casey`s death penalty defender -- this is her defense attorney -- ask a prospective juror whether certain factors about Casey`s life would affect his decision to sentence her to death. Listen.


ANN FINNELL, CASEY ANTHONY`S DEATH PENALTY DEFENDER: How about whether or not a person was the victim of verbal or emotional or even sexual abuse?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In -- yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

FINNELL: Any kind of brain development issues? Would that be significant to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they have mental issues?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, absolutely.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debra Opri, George and Cindy weren`t in court again this morning. Is there evidence building of a wall going up between Casey and her parents? Remember when Cindy tried to visit recently, Casey turned her away from jail and said, "I don`t want to see you, mom."

DEBRA OPRI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is a strategy. And you know, the judge basically says don`t give me a pre-trial here, just do your voir dire. And if he is going to control this jury selection, he needs say it, mean it.

The jury selection is a very interesting stage that we have. You don`t have the parents present. You`re building a case for mitigation, i.e., avoid the death penalty. You are building reasonable doubt, i.e., she was such damaged goods, anything would have been possible. But in the end -- and you won`t hear her testify -- but in the end, we are going to have, i.e., a damaged woman who committed a crime. She is going to do the time. I`m predicting life sentence.

But the judge has got move this along and don`t allow a pre-trial because when you`re asking questions of who are you, it`s plain, downright stupid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. Please.

Jean Casarez, briefly, do you think that this is going to get started on Tuesday? The trial? Yes or no?

CASAREZ: Can you repeat the question?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is the trial going to get started on Tuesday? Are they going to finish jury selection?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. I say no. Debra Opri, yes or no?

OPRI: Next Friday or the following Monday if we are lucky.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They are going to work through the weekend, they say. So what is it like --

OPRI: Good luck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- going through this jury selection process? It is such a high-profile case. We are joined now by John Guinasso, who was a juror on the infamous Scott Peterson case.

You remember Scott Peterson. He was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn child. He is now sitting on California`s death row.

John, thank you so much for joining us.

I see some obvious parallels between the Peterson case and the Casey Anthony case. What do you see?

JOHN GUINASSO, JUROR ON SCOTT PETERSON CASE: Definitely, I see a young adult, has all the appearances of -- having the same similarity of Scott Peterson in that she doesn`t tell the truth many times. She likes to -- has all appearances that like to party or be non-detached to any responsibility and just worry about herself. Also, she is a -- she is an attractive lady, in which she may use that for her good when it comes to the courtroom, as she looks at the panel of jurors in the box.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Scott Peterson, a handsome -- very handsome young man.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the thing that they have in common is a turning point pivotal lie. We know about Casey`s lies and the partying and all the crazy stories she told about working at Universal Studios, but she didn`t have a job there, yada, yada; Zanny the nanny.

But Scott Peterson did himself in because he told his mistress that he had lost his wife, Laci, 15 days before she disappeared. Was that the nail that did guilty for you?

GUINASSO: Well, it`s a cumulative of all the evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of many.

GUINASSO: But that was very -- very major in the case. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. So, you can`t explain away everything. I`m sure he tried to explain that. Very briefly, do you think, John, that Casey is going to be able to explain all her lies away?

GUINASSO: No. She is not even going to take the stand, because being a prolific liar she`s felt the district attorney will tear her apart. So it will have so inconsistency that the jurors will see right through that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Geri, Kentucky -- Geri, Kentucky, you still there?

GERI, KENTUCKY (via telephone): Yes, I`m still here. Thank you, Jane. I watched you a long time in California. And now I`m here.


GERI: I still watch KTLA every morning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Geri, glad to bond with you. What is your question or thought, ma`am?

GERI: Well, it`s a question and a thought. I was watching today and I was seeing them talking about getting George and Cindy involved in this, as shifting the blame onto them. And I`m wondering how they can bring all this up and start accusing them or even anywhere near accusing them without some sort of proof. Can this be presented in court without any kind of proof?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Geri, excellent question. Jean Casarez, we have heard a couple of questions. One that she could outright blame George or Cindy or her brother, Lee, and say they did it because the baby -- there`s evidence, growing evidence that the child was, according to prosecution, in the trunk of the car.

Then another theory we have been told by a former attorney for Cindy and George is that she could then -- she could also say, hey, I mean her attorney, Jose Baez, in opening statements. It was an accident she died accidentally and because my family is so messed up and because I was abused that that trained me to lie because nobody believed me when I said I was sexually abused. I responded in a bizarre fashion and instead of telling the police or telling my parents, I felt like I couldn`t do that. I went to out dancing.

Do you see, Jean, that being the bombshell that Jose Baez has promised on opening statements?

CASAREZ: I think they are going to want to separate not reporting for 31 days from the elements of murder. Use allegations of abuse to explain the 31 days, why you`re too scared to report it. Say the state hasn`t proven beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of murder to convict her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I`ve got to say, we are just getting started on this. Every day, we are going to bring you another little tidbit.

OPRI: Hard road.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy Grace and her team all over this in the courtroom and out, as jury selection continues. She is going to have the latest in just about 20 minutes. Watch Nancy at the top of the hour.

Coming up on the other side of the break in an ISSUES exclusive, I will talk to the sister of a victim of the Long Island serial killer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I`d like to report at this time that we found human remains, three human remains so far in the area between Oak Beach and Gilgo Beach.



THOMAS SPOTA, SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The homicides of the women identified as Ms. Costello, Ms. Barthelemy, Ms. Barnes and Ms. Waterman appear to be related.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, families living a nightmare knowing their loved ones were thrown away like trash on the beaches of Long Island. Women like this young mother, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, were last seen in July of 2007; her remains turned up three and a half years later, along with the remains of three other women. Cops say all of them were sex workers advertising on Craigslist.

Tonight in an ISSUES exclusive, we`re going to talk in a moment to Maureen`s distraught sister. She wants to know who killed her precious sister and she is just like so many other families out there waiting for answers.


SHERRE GILBERT, SHANNAN GILBERT`S SISTER: So much time has passed that it just seems like it`s impossible to really, you know, think that she is still alive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So far, ten sets of remains have been found along Long Island beaches since December of last year. Cops say it could be the work of multiple killers, even multiple serial killers; certainly not comforting news to these families who are going through hell waiting for answers.

We`d like to welcome Melissa Cann, the sister of Maureen Brainard- Barnes. Melissa, thank you for coming on; we`re so sorry for your loss. I know you`re going through hell right now.

When Maureen went missing back in 2007, did you have any information of what she was doing when she disappeared? I understand that you say she used to work in Manhattan but, of course, she turned up on Long Island. Do you have any thoughts as to how that could have happened?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us about your sister.

CANN: My sister was very bubbly person. She did a lot for a lot of people. She was a great mother. She also would take my oldest daughter on the weekend with her and they would play, like, dress-up and makeup and model. And they would take pictures of each other and they would dress up the cat and the baby. She was just, you know, a happy, fun loving auntie and mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s a beautiful, beautiful woman. What has this been like for you, Melissa?

CANN: Horrible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can imagine. I can imagine.

Do you have any thoughts as to why the police don`t seem to be further along? In the case of your sister and three other victims, they all have the commonality of having -- work worked through Craigslist. And I believe -- correct me if I am wrong -- they were all found in burlap sacks.

So, do you -- do you wonder, hey, with Craigslist being the connection why they haven`t been able to just check everybody`s computers? Do you know that the police checked your sister`s computer to find out who she was e-mailing, her cell phone, checked the pings to find out her movements, Melissa?

CANN: I do believe they did look through, you know, Maureen`s e-mails and they get Maureen`s phone records when she went missing, so, you know, they have all that information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do they talk to you? Do they give you updates?

CANN: No. You know they basically are keeping it very tight to their chest, which I kind of understand, because, I mean I want this person found as much as they do, you know? So --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The sister of another victim, Amber Costello, says her sister got a call from a John shortly before she disappeared. Listen to this.


KIMBERLY OVERSTREET, AMBER COSTELLO`S SISTER: UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was the last place she was, you know, and I have been here so many times with her and I just can`t believe the one time I`m not with her this happens.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go for a second to Casey Jordan, criminologist. My big issue tonight is why is this taking so long? If cops believe the same person is responsible for killing four women who were all working on Craigslist, who were all found in burlap sacks? I`m not very clear as to why they can`t make the connection to the one individual who contacted all four women through Craig list.

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Right. And we are going on four or five months since they discovered these four bodies on Oak Beach. And the biggest challenge I foresee for the police is doing the technological forensics, getting those cell phone records, doing that triangulation that you just mentioned, trying to get their computers. How many computers could they have worked on? Did they have laptops? Did they work off of somebody else`s computer?

I can see how that would be a challenge, and yet at the same time, it really seems like if there was a common denominator, one person, one client, one phone number, one e-mail that kept coming, that was common to all of them, they should have been able to discover that in four to five months. It is reassuring to hear they are talking to the family members but I really wish they would reach out to the public more and keep this in the news.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But this individual is clever because he was taunting a relative of another victim, calling, but he was using phone cards that couldn`t be traced. He would stay on just long enough to not get traced. So we are dealing with a real sick sociopath who seems to know about crime work.

And coming up -- thank you so much, Melissa Cann. We are going to stay on top of your story.



JERRY HORNA, LA HOLLA FRIENDS OF THE SEALS: This is a benefit to San Diego. You can`t go anywhere else in the world and see a wild colony of Harbor Seals or a wild colony of any type of animal in basically a stadium. Look at where these people are at.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Seals: some of the most adorable, peaceful creatures on earth. But there`s a battle raging in San Diego California over shy Harbor Seals who are being scared off and allegedly harassed by people who are just thoughtless or actually unwilling to give these seals the small sliver of beach where hundreds of seals rest.

This is reportedly the only wild seal habitat left in the area. And habitat loss is the most serious threat facing the seals. You see all those people? They shouldn`t be near the seals. Maybe they have the legal right, which is what we`re fighting about, but leave the damn seals alone. You are scaring them.

Seals are not fish. They need to rest on land to survive. We`re only talking about a couple hundred feet of sand when there are more than 70 miles of public beaches in the San Diego area. Go and swim in another area. There`s plenty of places to swim. I`ve lived there for 18 years.

Captain Paul Watson from the hit TV show, "Whale Wars" says it best. "Must we humans be so selfish that we would deny the seals a small spot on the coast they can call their own?

Joining me now Dorota Valli, Sealwatch campaign manager. Dorota, tomorrow you`re going to head to court to fight for these seals. What are you so upset about?

DOROTA VALLI, SEALWATCH CAMPAIGN MANAGER: This used to be my favorite place to watch wildlife. I live in La Jolla and I absolutely love this place. And what I`m seeing now is not pretty.

There is a small group of people -- we call them anti-seal activists, they call themselves pro-beach access activists -- that simply cannot stand the presence of the seals on this tiny, tiny portion of our coast line and chase them off into the water. Plant umbrellas, beach open signs, big flags and cans, have barbecues and play frisbees right in the middle of the seal habitat. It is very upsetting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to point out that the people who are here are not necessarily those anti-seal activists. These may just be tourists who are really not staying away and they may not know to stay away. That`s why you want to keep a rope that`s currently up, up.

And Dorota, these people don`t want to keep this rope up which would keep the tourists away and keep them at a safe distance. They want to be able to get in there and use that particular little stretch of beach where these seals -- seals have to be on land to rest. They are not fish. They are not whales. They`re not dolphins. They need to rest on land. What is it about that that these people just don`t get?

VALLI: This is a good question. I truly don`t understand these people`s motivation. When I talk to them, they tell me that this is the only place that is safe for children to swim, which is absolutely ridiculous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s nonsense. Again, I`ve lived in California for 18 years. There`s hundreds -- the entire coastline. They can swim anywhere.

VALLI: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do they need that one area? Now, this is an area that doesn`t seem to have waves. But that`s ok. That`s why the seals are there. Now the polls have shown that San Diegans -- previous polls, love these seals. In fact, they bring in tremendous tourism. And so they are bringing money to an economy that needs it because San Diego needs money right now. So why the heck are they chasing these seals off?

Go to save and help.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you want to help, you can go to and get involved. Dorota, what would you say to the judge. Talk to the judge because he`s going to decide tomorrow.

VALLI: Yes, I would say that having the rope guideline showing visitors the safe distance from the seals is an absolute minimum of the protection we can give to these animals. And this is something that our local government, city council already voted for. So we are simply asking for implementation of the local government`s ruling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen. These seals can`t speak for themselves. Except to go -- they can`t defend themselves. They are helpless. This is -- they need to rest on sand to survive. Have some compassion, people.

Nancy Grace next.