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Teen Hate Crime Caught on Tape

Aired August 8, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a mission of hate caught on tame. That`s what cops are saying a group of white teens were on. They`re accused of viciously beating a 49-year-old black man, then coldly driving over him and killing him with their car while yelling "white power." We`ll show you the video of the mind-boggling violence.

Plus, what does a serial killer sound like? The man convicted of killing at least 11 women speaks out in court. You won`t believe what he`s saying. We`ll analyze this shockingly meek monster.

Then jurors weep during the punishment phase of polygamist deviant Warren Jeffs` trial. Witnesses describe in vivid detail Jeffs` sickening rituals. And new rape claims that he sodomized his 5-year-old nephew. Still, could this mad man become a martyr?

Plus hundreds of thousands of children are dying of starvation in Somalia. But here on ISSUES it`s not out of sight, out of mind. How you can help save a life.

ISSUES starts now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James Craig Anderson, the man who was beaten almost to a pulp, was stumbling down this curb. Deryl Dedmon hit the gas, jumped the curb and ran right over his victim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was not remorseful. He was laughing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could have possibly been a racially motivated killing. They were looking for a black victim to assault.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is horrific. A man attacked by a mob of teenagers. Then, brutally run down by a truck, he dies. This could be the worst hate crime in years. And the absolutely astounding part, it`s all caught on tape.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City, and I`ve got a warning for you. Some of the footage, very, very graphic and disturbing. So is the language.

June 26, Jackson, Mississippi. At least two cars of teens leave a party where they`ve reportedly been drinking. Cops say they go looking for trouble. They drive 16 miles until they come across this man who`s just minding his own business, James Anderson. He`s standing in the parking lot of a motel near his car.

The teen allegedly -- this teen mob beats him up so severely he is left just a mess, clinging to life. What these teens don`t know is that the motel surveillance camera is watching their every move.

CNN exclusively obtained this video. It shows after the brutal assault on James Anderson, 49-year-old auto plant worker, one teen rushes back to his car. The security guard says he sees the teen pump his fist and shout -- shout "white power." And then he drives off. But another truck remains.

What happens next is absolutely horrific. Police say the driver literally -- there`s the car going -- literally runs James Anderson over. Runs the man over. OK, the man is there in the circle. This truck, boom, runs him over. In fact, they shine a light on it, and then they speed up.

OK, this is the accused driver, 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon. He has since been arrested and charge with murder.

We are very honored to have tonight with us the district attorney overseeing this case, Robert Shuler Smith.

Sir, tell us about the elements that make you believe this is a hate crime. Lay it out for us.

ROBERT SHULER SMITH, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, what I can tell you is what has been previously reported, is that these teens drove from a neighboring county to look for an African-American to assault. They drove to Jackson, Mississippi, which is a predominantly African-American city. And the first victim they approached was, unfortunately, Mr. Anderson. And Mr. Anderson was assaulted and, unfortunately, run over by their truck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Mr. Anderson, James Anderson, is 49 years old. He`s an auto plant worker. He is minding his own business, right?

SMITH: That`s absolutely correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s a complete and utter stranger. And look at him. He`s not some young guy who might have exchanged words. This is a 49-year- old middle-aged man who wears glasses and who is an auto plant worker and is set upon by these teenagers.

Now tell us, sir, some of the -- and obviously, we don`t use words on TV. But we use "N" word, we use those words to try to convey what happened. What was some of the language that was used that had led you to believe that this was a hate crime and charge it that way?

SMITH: Well, some of the language did include the "N" word several times. Of course, we do want these gentlemen to have a fair trial, so we can`t disclose all of the evidence, but what witnesses do say is that they were obviously looking for an African-American. They used the "N" word several times, and after he was run over by the truck, it was quoted that he ran over the "N" word. So there`s plenty of evidence that we intend to introduce at trial that will prove that this was a racially-motivated killing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, sir, if you`ll hang on for a second, we want to introduce somebody who can really shed some light on this beyond disturbing behavior, murderous behavior.

All right. Pastor Brian Richardson, thank you for joining us, sir. Now, you have said that the suspect -- and by the way, we`ve reached out to the attorney for Deryl Dedmon, the suspect who`s been charged with murder. We haven`t heard back. He`s invited on to tell his side anytime. But Pastor Brian Richardson, you say that this was the town bully, this guy who is now charged with murder of this man in a hate crime, and that he harassed your son for two years? Tell us about that.

PASTOR BRIAN RICHARDSON, KNEW SUSPECT (via phone): Well, the harassment actually started back in fall of 2008 when my son was -- was a ninth grader at the local high school. Deryl Dedmon was in 11th grade.

He had some encounters in the halls and the bathrooms. It continued on into the next year, escalated. And all of the encounters were quite scary. My son was a -- what -- what I want people to understand is that my son was a popular football player -- or is a popular football player, power lifter, was the president of the student body in eighth grade.

And you -- I guess sometimes, when you go to the high school, you expect a certain amount of ragging going on from older kids. And normally, my son could work things out, but with Deryl Dedmon it was different. He would come home very agitated and sometimes downright scared. It came to a head in 2009 in a situation where -- where my son had to call the police in our neighborhood.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK so you actually predicted that this young man was going to kill someone in e-mails that you sent to the school system, the police. You predicted, sir. And this guy is only accused, but it`s -- it`s -- he`s charged with murder. You predicted that.

RICHARDSON: Well, I certainly alerted people to the problems and the dangers of Deryl Dedmon.

And let me say this. Had it not been for the quick response of the police and the administration following up on things and Brandon, I truly believe that my son would not be alive today. But...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now you, sir, said that he uttered -- he tormented several teens, allegedly, and called them racial and homophobic slurs? Is that what you`re saying, Pastor?

RICHARDSON: Yes, that`s correct. Very often.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What -- do you know anything about what was wrong with him? Like did he have some kind of family problems that would lead -- this doesn`t ever come out of nowhere. It comes out of very angry teenager, obviously.

RICHARDSON: Well -- well, yes, yes. And that was my impression when I met Deryl Dedmon and encountered him the first time. I think it`s just neglect. It`s problems of parenting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

RICHARDSON: It was very different with Deryl Dedmon. Very, very different.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joey -- sir, I`m going to ask you, Pastor -- and thank you for -- but I`m going to put you on hold there for a second. I want go to Joey Jackson. Joey, there were a whole bunch of kids involved in this. And what I want to ask the D.A. is what about charges to all these other kids? There were apparently even girls involved that jumped in the car. And there were others in the car when this guy allegedly ran this man over. Should they be charged, as well?

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, what ends up happening here is, clearly, there`s a liability as to the person who was the aggressor. What we have to find out is what the intention is of the other parties.

What normally happens in a case like this, Jane, is you have what`s called accessory liability or accomplice liability. Did they aid, did they abet, did they importune, did they assist in any way?

From what I understand, and Mr. Smith could address this, is that one other teen was charged with simple assault, and there were other teens who were not charged, which would be an indication to me that perhaps they were merely present. They were not engaged in any activity that would show that they were premeditated, that they were going to try to incite violence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if somebody says -- if somebody is standing around and says, "Oh, let`s go get some `N` words"...

JACKSON: And you accompany them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and then you all drop into a car, and then you drive there. And then they beat them up, and then you jump back in the car, I`d say if that were the case, hypothetically speaking, then you`re involved. You`re involved if that car proceeds to run somebody over. I don`t care if you`re a girl or a boy. I don`t care if you`re a teenage girl, you are involved.

All right, coming up, a convicted serial killer speaks out and breaks down. But first, more on this astounding alleged hate crime caught on tape.


SMITH: Absolutely, there`s no doubt. They were looking for a black victim to assault. And even kill.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James Craig Anderson, the man who was beaten almost to a pulp, was stumbling down this curb. Deryl Dedmon hit the gas, jumped the curb, and ran right over his victim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was not remorseful. He was laughing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could have possibly been a racially motivated killing. They were looking for a black victim to assault.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eighteen-year-old Deryl Dedmon charged with murder, but apparently, there were two teenage girls in the vehicle with him when he ran down the victim, killing him. So Debra Opri, I think that -- I don`t care if they`re teenage girls, they should -- they should face charges.

DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY: I actually agree with you, and I`m a little surprised, in reading the report on this, why he has been charged with possibly two life sentences and why not death? This is an open-and-shut case, in my opinion, when you have clear evidence of videotape, when you have the hate and you have the maliciousness to say, "Let`s run him down." That`s an intent to kill someone. And you have it on video, Jane, and they should be going for the death penalty, in my opinion. I believe Mississippi has the death penalty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last time I checked, it does. D.A. Smith, your response, sir?

SMITH: Yes, ma`am. This case is still under investigation. But in Mississippi, in order to charge Mr. Dedmon with capital murder, there has to be an underlying felony, such as kidnapping, armed robbery or another murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what about the beating prior to driving him over? Was he -- was he a participant in the beating prior to running him over?

SMITH: That is correct. That is correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why couldn`t that be -- why couldn`t that be the felony that leads to it?

SMITH: Well, the -- in Mississippi, unfortunately, aggravated assault is not one of the underlying felonies.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. What about the two girls? What about the two girls and all the other teenagers? Apparently, there were two cars filled with teenagers. And he`s charged, and there`s one other person who is charged. Why not -- OK, this other guy has been charged with simple assault. John Rice.

SMITH: Well, the judge reduced the charge at the preliminary hearing, but that does not bar the prosecution from presenting all of the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you charged the two girls, sir?

SMITH: After the department completes its investigation and the district attorney`s office, which should be very soon, we should be able to make that determination.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So more charges could be forthcoming. OK.

SMITH: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have with us Winston Thompson on the phone. He is the attorney for the family of the man who was run over, an auto plant worker, a total stranger, just standing by his car in a parking lot.

Sir, do you feel that all the teenagers who were in both vehicles should face charges?

WINSTON THOMPSON, ATTORNEY FOR VICTIM`S FAMILY (via phone): Well, I think the family`s position is after the Jackson Police Department completes its investigation, if it warrants that they be charged, then they want them charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

A little background, I`m a former assistant district attorney, and I worked with Robert Smith in his office.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that`s inside baseball.

OK. Pastor Brian Richardson, let me -- let me ask you this, do you feel that his alleged hatred, that he went after this person to get him based on this hate that he had, that, in other words, he had many groups that he hated. You said he uttered homophobic slurs. You said he targeted your son. From your -- from your picture, you would seem, pastor, that you`re not a minority, and your son was targeted by him. And now he is targeting an African-American. So he seems to have a lot of hate, allegedly, to go around, Pastor.

RICHARDSON: I would agree with that. I think the reason why my son was harassed and some of the others was not because of what he is. It`s because of what he is not.

And, you know, I`m just listening to all of this, and I`m certainly not qualified legally to give my opinion, but I think, as a fifth generation white Mississippian, I think I can say that, with all my heart, that I believe this was a lynching.

The only difference between the people of the 1960s called the Ku Klux Klan, and my opinion of these people, are the hoods they use. Those of the `60s used cloth hoods and, sadly, these people today used steel hoods of automobiles. And it`s a tragedy. It`s a tragedy.

And I will tell you this. There are a lot of people who are very supportive of those who are speaking out against this. White Mississippians, those in Rankin County. And I think some good can come from this, and that is that`s it. We`ve had enough. Mississippi is going to change.

And we need justice for James Craig Anderson. He`s an American. And I think you`re going to see many Mississippians, whether they`re black or white, they are going to ensure that justice is carried out. And I have full confidence in the district attorney and the family attorney and others. And I`m so very thankful that you`re covering this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Pastor, your words are very eloquent and very touching and moving. And it is very, very upsetting. It just shocks and it -- that in this day and age, in 21st Century, that we`re still dealing with this.

I want to thank my entire panel. Just a horrible story. And District Attorney Smith, thank you for joining us tonight.

SMITH: Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And taking our questions. Keep us updated, OK? After you finish your investigation, let us know. We want to stay on top of this.

SMITH: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gut-wrenching developments in the Warren Jeffs trial.



ANTHONY SOWELL, CONVICTED SERIAL MURDERER: I can just remember one time, I was sitting on the couch. And I think she put her arm around me or something like that. I just don`t -- I didn`t like her touching me like that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A deep, deep disturbing look into the dark mind of a serial killer. That was Anthony Sowell today during his death penalty hearing, talking about being affectionate with his wife. This is the man convicted of murdering at least 11 women. And this was a very -- these were very sexual crimes. Stashing their bodies at his house.

He broke down and he revealed what he says was a harsh upbringing. See he`s wiping away a tear there? He said his harsh upbringing led to this. And people are asking, is this how a serial killer is created?

Now, what`s so shocking about it is he is so meek looking and meek sounding. And nevertheless, he is a monster. A monster who detailed his traumatic childhood and the abuse that he suffered from many people, including his own mother and grandmother. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you beat with a switch ever?

SOWELL: Switch, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I was hit with a cane, broom.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, straight out to clinical psychologist Dr. Judy. These, again, very sexual crimes. He was originally charged with 85 counts of murder, rape and kidnapping. So how does that childhood abuse lead to the kind of horrific violence against women that has a sexual component?

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: There certainly is some research in a lot of cases, Jane, that show that early childhood abuse, and has been said about him, although not deeper (ph) than that: sexual abuse, physical abuse, drugs, watching nieces being whipped and all of these things contributed to this horrific environment. And that can be so.

But you know what? If -- there are so many people who have been, sadly, subjected to that kind of childhood that we would be filled with all these kind of horrific murders. So that is not a quid pro quo. There are extra elements to that.

There`s often biological reasons for that. There are different kinds of these kinds of murderers, too.

He put the bodies in his home environment. There are certain kinds of these murderers who seem very meek, and they have to store those bodies. They have hatred towards women, as he had said. Maybe he was abused by his mother. And then they have to keep those women close to them. It`s sort of this real push and pull. The hatred but the need to be close to these bodies, because otherwise, they would dump them far away. But he had disregard for women, too, because he put them in plastic garbage bags.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Listen to more of this and let`s analyze this. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were growing up in that house, did you feel like you got any nurturing from your mother?

SOWELL: That`s why still today my sister and kids get together, I cannot actually mingle and hold their hands and stuff. I can`t do it. Physically, I can`t do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever hugged your sister?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not the way you are?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he`s -- he`s not completely emotionless. He`s sobbing and inhaling, talking about how he can`t touch his relatives that he presumably -- I don`t know. What does that say when you can`t touch other people?

KURIANSKY: Well, he couldn`t touch other people. That`s part of this whole syndrome of not being able to get close to people. Not having intimacy. And some research does show that these kinds of serial murderers do have a hard time getting close to people. But guess what? So do a lot of other people. It`s not enough to say that...




CHRISTI PAUL, HOST, "IN SESSION": Guilty on both counts. His own documentations and writings essentially did him in. He went from prophet to rapist in a matter of ten seconds.

ELISSA WALL, FLDS VICTIM: He started to undress me and undress myself. I was crying and I was like "Please, I don`t want you doing this, it doesn`t feel right. Please stop."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s murdered the souls of all these children. These kids don`t know whether they`re up or they`re whether they`re down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He would come up behind me while I was in a group and seize me by the back of the neck and lean down and whisper in my ear, "Are you keeping sweet or do you need to be punished?"

PAUL: Trying to make sure that gets the maximum sentence possible.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Escalating outrage demands for a government crackdown as nauseating new allegations against Warren Jeffs are exposed. Jeffs was convicted of sexually assaulting two of his, quote/unquote, "spiritual brides", also known as 12 and 14-year-old girls.

And now the trial is in the punishment phase and the horror stories coming out of this courtroom are just beyond comprehension. We almost can`t repeat them here.

In Jeffs` sick and twisted writings he wrote, quote, "Things are happening so quickly, there is an even younger girl that the Lord wants me to take. She is 13. For some reason the Lord is sending me these girls that can be worked with," end quote.

Yes, they can be worked with because they`re children. They can`t stand up for themselves. They`re innocent. They`re helpless. They`re powerless. It`s disgusting and revolting.

At first it was a 14-year-old girl then a 12-year-old girl. Then we`re hearing an 8-year-old? And now another mind-blowing accusation: his own nephew saying this so-called prophet brought him into the bathroom after Sunday service and sodomized him when he was only 5 years old.

Jeffs allegedly didn`t stop there. He also, according to his claims, sexually allegedly assaulted his 8-year-old niece.



FLORA JESSOP, FLDS VICTIM: He believes, I think, that he is the only one through the guidance of God who is going to convince all of us that he is -- should be left alone to rape children. That it`s a sacred right that he holds.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, uh-uh. No. The U.S. government needs to step in and raid all of these polygamist compounds. This is not an alternative lifestyle. This is pedophilia, preying on children sexually.

So why wasn`t Warren Jeffs charged with these other crimes? He was convicted of two counts of sexually assaulting girls, a 12- and a 14-year- old. What about all the other cases?

We`re taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Beth Karas, "In Session" correspondent; she has been inside the courtroom. Tell us some of these horror stories as you have processed them.

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Good evening Jane. As I was sitting down to get ready to talk to you. I received word that both sides have rested in the punishment phase. The defense did not call any witnesses. The prosecution called 11 witnesses over the course of three days.

Today, the jurors heard three more audio recordings; one of them presumably was a sexual act taking place. There was very little talking. Just a lot of grunting and moans and you could hear echoes and water and it apparently took place in the baptismal font which is a big, big tub like a big Jacuzzi or hot tub.

And then in a recording made an hour later to girls, Warren Jeffs tells them, instructs them about what they had just witnessed. But in a previous recording, Warren Jeffs can be heard instructing five of his wives how to please him.

Among the things he said to them -- excuse me -- was, "You must witness each other`s sexual excitement to assist me. Set aside your inhibitions and reservations, help the wife to help me be excited toward her." There was a new one in the group who hadn`t received training. "And you have to be excited to be exciting in that way." There are other things he said to them that I wouldn`t really feel comfortable repeating on television.

Jurors also, Jane, heard about all of his illegal marriages, 78 of them, but 24 were underage girls. They heard details of those 24. Ending with 12-year-old he married just three weeks before he was arrested outside of Las Vegas.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say, I have heard enough. Thank you, Beth for that update. I`ve heard enough. And guess what? No. This cannot continue on. I mean, this is not a religion, it`s not an alternative lifestyle -- it`s none of that. It`s a cover for pedophilia.

And my personal feeling is if he`s doing it and he`s the leader and he`s saying this is how you get to exaltation in heaven. Then how do we know the other 10,000 members are not engaged in some way, shape or form in the same kind of behavior. We don`t because they`re all living behind closed doors and we have no idea what they`re doing.

There`s hundreds of children in their midst so something has to change and there`s only one institution that can change it, the U.S. government. There needs to be raids.

How come members of the church did not appreciate what was really, really happening? Pedophilia. Listen to this.


WILLIE JESSUP, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: All we could go off of was what we -- what we wanted him to be. We wanted him to be this wonderful person. We wanted him to be our Santa Claus that could do no harm, could do no evil.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, with all due respect, adults should not be talking about Santa Claus, all right? By the way, that was Willie Jessup who used to be Warren Jeffs` spokesman. Even though he has abandoned Jeffs, he still considers himself to be a member of the FLDS religion.

Laurie Allen, you predicted that people would say once all of this stuff came out oh, well, that`s not us. Your thoughts about this now disengagement from this -- the horror stories that we`re hearing. There`s 10,000 members of this group scattered all over the country.

LAURIE ALLEN, PRODUCER, "BANKING ON HEAVEN": There`s more than that. But it`s just baloney. They`ll take Warren Jeffs. He`ll go to jail. They`ll replace him with his brother or some other guy.

Jane when you have cultures that strip women of all their right, any power over their bodies, their minds, their clothes, their children, you`re creating societies where perpetrators just have free reign and they then conglomerate in these sects because the children are the vulnerable ones that they prey on and this is what`s been happening for a very, very long time.

I can`t thank you enough for covering the story the way you are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you and let`s hope that somebody in a position of power in our government, whether it`s the Justice Department -- we keep calling them, asking them, "Are you going to raid these people?" And we don`t get a call back.

This reminds me of Jim Jones and the People`s Temple cult -- it`s hard to say that -- the People`s Temple cult. It was way back in 1978. I remember this. I was very young at the time, but I remember this horror story and just being absolutely shaken to the core. 900 people died. Jim Jones, this lunatic, ordered them to drink Kool-Aid laced with poison. And tragically 280 children also died in the process.

Once again, very similar, he claimed he was the reincarnation of Jesus and he had divine powers. And essentially they were off in Guyana -- British Guyana.

And Dr. Judy Kuriansky, there was a congressman who got so many complaints he decided to go down there and visit and see what was going on. And they killed him and they killed anybody who tried to get out with him and then they all drank Kool-Aid. Some of them were shot but a lot of them committed suicide.

How is it that so many people can latch on to one individual and elevate them like this?

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I remember that case, too, Jane. And it is so sad really when you think about it. As a psychologist I see this all the time. People are desperate. They`re desperate to be led. And that makes me really sad.

Even one of the young girls in this Jeffs case said she didn`t know that she could say "no". This is such an important message. I remember doing a film years ago about parents helping their kids prevent from being abducted, from child abuse and teaching them, look there are people who do evil. You have the right to say "no".

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judy -- ok, I have to ask you another question. This boy, he`s now a man, but he says that this guy sodomized him when he was 5 years old. So sexually, what can we learn here because we thought he was just attacking girls? Now we hear, oh, he sodomized a 5-year-old boy, allegedly.

KURIANSKY: Right. Well, that is -- sometimes it`s not usual that you sodomize boys and girls. Often times a pedophile has a particular penchant for either males or females. But obviously this is a guy who just needed to be totally in control and it didn`t matter.

And often times they`re very primitive mentality. Sometimes they`re just sometimes children themselves and so they have to pretend that they`re really big and important. And what`s worrisome about this young man is that the suffering lasts for years.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course. And I have to cut you out because we`ve got so much to cover here.

Ok, the FLDS has more -- well over 10,000 members; compounds in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Las Vegas, Idaho. Christie, your husband grew up in a polygamist community. You`ve called us and recounted horror stories. Do you think the U.S. government should raid these compounds that given we`re hearing this horror story?

CHRISTIE, UTAH (via telephone): Oh, I absolutely do. I also want to thank you, Jane, for covering these stories because I have to tell you, growing up in Utah, being married to somebody who was raised in these polygamist compounds and now my brother is engaged to Warren Jeffs` niece, this has gone on far too long. Something has got to be done about what is going on. It sickens me. It`s been driving me crazy.

Ever since I married my husband, even before, but after I married him. My husband was also molested from the time he was 5 years old up on. I mean he left home a young teenager. It`s not just girls that they`re doing it to. The majority of them do, but they need to raid these places and do something about this problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me tell you something, we`re going to stay on it until they do. We`re going to call the Justice Department every day and say have you raided them yet? Have you raided them yet?

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Famine devours a country. I`m going to show you how you can help.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Children are vomiting. They`re covered in flies. Some of them you couldn`t even tell if they were alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just in the last month, 29,000 children have died in Somalia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is the insurgency that are holding people hostage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are projecting that 600,000 may die because the situation for them -- the outlook is so bleak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three additional areas have slipped into famine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have hundreds of thousand, if not millions of people who are without food and without water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The extent of the famine is so huge that it has been considered as the worst for the last 60 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah was just 4; facing Mecca, they pray for her soul and bury her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ongoing clashes could ultimately jeopardize the delivery of aid, making life here more desperate.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so hard to watch but we have to watch. We have to bear witness. We can`t turn away. We can`t say we don`t want to see this. We have to face the reality of what`s going on.

Kids are dying, as we speak, right now one after the other every second, if not 5, 10, 15 every second. We have a food crisis on the other side of the planet in a place called Somalia. And it`s turned everyday life into a hellish struggle to survive.

About 30,000 children have died in the last three months alone -- 30,000 children. The United States says it expects that number to skyrocket to more than 600,000 children.

We can`t get our minds around these statistics. These are numbers that we as human beings cannot comprehend. But we can comprehend the story of one child, perhaps. These people are fleeing to camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, but there`s of course, the militants -- these militants have links to al Qaeda and they`re keeping Western aid in some cases from reaching the starving children and their mothers.

People, if you`re watching tonight and you say I don`t want to deal with this, I don`t want to deal with this. Please just watch because you can help. The best way to be able to put your head on a pillow tonight and get to sleep is to do something. We`re going to tell you right now how you can do something.

Joining me now from the Somali capital of Mogadishu is a woman I saw the other night on CNN. I said I have to talk to her. CNN International correspondent, Nima Elbagir; Nima, I know that it`s 2:45 in the morning where you are. I know you`ve been on the frontlines of this crisis. If you could speak from the heart and tell Americans what it`s like over there, and just whatever you can say to get the folks watching here to really engage in the story and help out.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CORRESPONDENT, CNN INTERNATIONAL: I think one thing that you said Jane really does resonate with me when you said we can`t look away now. I think when it comes to Africa, especially places like Somalia, we do look away. And one of the reasons that Somalia has become so disastrous is because year on year, we have been looking away.

Every year for the last few years, there have been drought warnings. Every year, the United Nations and other aid organizations have been escalating up their expectations of how bad it`s going to get here. But we have looked away and people have not been engaging because there is a conflict here.

You spoke about the al Qaeda, al Shabaab militant group. I think the real horror is that al Shabaab are currently no longer in control of the capital, Mogadishu. And yet Mogadishu has now been called a famine area by the United Nations. So to me this says that --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know all the stuff about the military stuff. But I`m looking at these pictures of these kids who are starving to death and this is terrible. This is not something that should be happening in our world today. This is the 21st century.

Put up a picture of Caylee Anthony. You know, we spent so much time talking about Caylee Anthony, one child, and there`s so many people who were so angry about the verdict. Well, if you`re angry about what happened to little Caylee as I am, take that anger and put it into something that will save other lives. That`s what little Caylee would want you to do. Little Caylee would want you to save this little boy`s life and all the other little boys and girls like them.

Now you can go to your world and you can actually find a dozen different charities to help get aid to eastern Africa. You can make a difference. You can save a child`s life. Because I know that it doesn`t take much -- $20, $30 -- it really has a huge impact. I mean they make this little meal for these kids that`s very cheap. It`s just grain and corn and it`s a mush, and it keeps them alive.

And so I`m urging you and we`re going to have more on the --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is that these people who are arriving are so poor that they don`t even have enough money to buy a simple mosquito net that only costs a few dollars. So there are just thousands of flies that are infesting these children spreading more disease and sickness around.

This is not an uncommon sight. This still wasn`t just one out of the masses. This is what you see on all these children, not only in the hospital, but actually outside the hospital in the camps where they`re flooding into this city. You see it everywhere.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And CNN correspondent Nima Elbagir is with us. It`s 2:45 probably almost 3:00 now in the morning in Somalia.

And we were talking during America is suffering an obesity crisis; two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. But on the other side of the world, hundreds of thousands of people are threatened with starvation. There is something wrong with our world.

Nima, tell us the story of one child or one family if you could?

ELBAGIR: Well, I think the story that`s really touched me the most is the risks that people have taken to try and save their families, trying to come in from the area where these militant groups aren`t allowing aid to come in. And you meet a lot of the women and the children whose husbands have either stood up to these military groups or created decoys. One man actually even started firing at one of the militant groups. I mean this is an al Qaeda affiliated militant group.

These people are risking their lives to try at least to get their families to safety. And when they come in, they have been carrying their children for days. You know, one old woman was carrying two of her grandchildren, because the mother actually died on the road. We`re talking about a woman in her 60s, who herself hadn`t eaten for days but had left her son and his wife behind to try and create some kind of distraction so that they could escape.

And we`re hearing those stories again and again. And you know, Jane, when they get to the capital, the aid still isn`t here. People are taking these risks to try and get to safety, to get to places where they can feed their families and we`re the ones that are letting them down, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know. And it`s so easy, Just go there, and you know what? What I always do, instead of giving somebody a birthday gift or a gift for any special occasion, I give them a donation, I say, hey I made a donation in your name to Doctors without Borders.

It`s everybody -- you have gifts coming up, you have Christmas and all the other holidays coming up. Do it now. Make the donation now. Save a life. And then this holiday, this coming holiday; then you give it to them and you say, hey, I saved a life in your name, I saved a little child`s life.

Look at these children; look at the sadness in their eyes. I mean look at their suffering and their pain. I`m sorry, but there`s something wrong with a world where there`s overabundance on one side of the planet, and on the other side of the planet, kids are starving, innocent children are born to die.

We have to look at what`s going on in this world and it really relates to our entire culture and how we can become more involved in using our resources, our money, to make life a little better for somebody else.

Thank you, Nima. Please come back soon. We`re staying on top of this.



KIMBERLY VAUGHN, WIFE OF AARON CARSON VAUGHN: I want to tell the world that he was an amazing man. That he was a wonderful husband and a fabulous father to two wonderful children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, look at that handsome soldier; the Vaughn family, one of 30 families mourning the loss of true American heroes today. This weekend, a NATO helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 38 people. Thirty were U.S. troops, nearly two dozen of these soldiers were members of the Navy SEALs unit known as Team 6, responsible for killing bin Laden.

Today NATO said the troops were on a mission targeting a Taliban leader when chopper was hit by what`s believed to be a rocket-propelled grenade.

We thank these brave heroes and their families for the sacrifice they made to serve our nation and we salute you. They made the ultimate sacrifice, paying with their lives.

"NANCY GRACE" is up next.