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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Russell Armstrong is Dead; What Drove Reality TV Star to Suicide?; All-out Search for Robyn Gardner; Grim Sleeper`s Only Survivor
Aired August 16, 2011 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Tonight, devastating a reality TV shocker. The husband of the real housewife of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong commits suicide. She filed for divorce, accusing him of domestic violence. Did these accusations and his mounting money problems prove too much to handle with the whole world watching?
Also the "War on Women" takes a sick perverted turn. Cops say there`s a serial slasher on the loose in Virginia. This lunatic has allegedly sliced the back sides of nine women. Why?
There`s now surveillance video of the suspect. Can police find this demented attacker before he cuts another woman?
I`m taking your calls.
Plus, in an "ISSUES" primetime exclusive, I`ll talk one-on-one with the only woman to survive the Grim Sleeper serial killer. He`s accused of murdering ten women and cops think he might be connected to more than 200 other dead women.
Now this brave woman is speaking out here on ISSUES tonight about her nightmare experience.
ISSUES start now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russell Armstrong was found dead last night in what police are saying is an apparent suicide by hanging.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shocking news coming out of the reality TV world. The estranged husband of real housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Taylor Armstrong was found dead in an apparent suicide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taylor filed for divorce, something that Russell`s attorney told me Russell did not want.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are things going with you now in the divorce? I know it`s still fresh, but are you hanging in there?
TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, CAST MEMBER, BEVERLY HILLS: I am, thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He saw no signs that Armstrong was so acutely depressed.
ARMSTRONG: A lot of issues of my marriage were definitely addressed this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he actually told me that he traces Armstrong`s recent difficulties directly to the "Real Housewives of Beverly hills" show.
ARMSTRONG: Thankfully, I have five strong women who are standing next to me now and they got my back.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, breaking news. A realty TV suicide sends shock waves through Hollywood.
Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming in to you live from New York City.
Russell Armstrong, the husband of real housewives of Beverly Hills housewives Taylor Armstrong was found hanging by his neck this morning in his friend`s Los Angeles home. He was just 47. His famous wife had recently filed for divorce. That triggered an avalanche of nasty tabloid reports about Russell, his money problems, his past.
The army dated Bel Air mansion and the socialite wife is heat of Russell`s really dirty laundry. And it all got tossed out right there on the front lawn. We`re talking about domestic abuse claims. A criminal record, a mountain of money problems. Here is a clip from the couple from real housewives of Beverly Hills.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARMSTRONG: When I first met Russell, I had to do the majority of the pursuing in order to make the relationship a reality.
I made a list of things I wanted in a partner and I said likes to work. He love, love, loves to work. More than anything. Check. Got that one. And I want a man`s hand. Check, that one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That man is now dead and he committed suicide this morning.
Unfortunately, good behavior and healthy relationships just don`t make good television. Drama and dysfunction do. The arc of a reality star`s life inevitably moves towards to ever more drama and sometimes terrible tragedy such as we are seeing right now. Russell`s attorney told HLN, he is actually convinced, the show, this reality show pushed Russell to the point of no return.
What do you think? Give me a call. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to Popeater Rob Shuter. Rob, what is the very latest?
ROB SHUTER, COLUMNIST, POPEATER: The very latest is the brother has contacted all the ladies on all the franchise and told them not to say a word to the media. Bravo is in lockdown at the moment. They do not know how this is going to play out, what`s going to happen to the franchise that has made the network millions.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I got to tell you, there`s a report coming out the radar online, hot off the presses that says that Russell was terrified that a tell-all book was coming out that was going to reveal his sexual proclivities on top of everything else. But Russell`s attorney himself blames the show. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD RICHARDS, RUSSELL ARMSTRONG`S ATTORNEY: I`m 100 percent convinced based on facts that this show led to his depression on a couple of different grounds. One is that the show characterized him as someone who abused his spouse. It highlighted ancient financial negatives in his past, and put him in a spotlight that he wasn`t coped to deal with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I got to tell you, Russell told "People" magazine this show has literary pushed us to the limit." Radar online is quoted Russell as saying "it`s funny how a reality show can ruin your entire life."
I`ve got a very special guest I want to go to right now. You know her by one single name. Omarosa. You have starred in "the Apprentice." You have starred in "Celebrity Apprentice." You know what this world is like. Do you think that Russell who now has committed suicide was right when he said it`s funny how a reality show can ruin your life?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT, TV PERSONALITY: First of all Jane, I just need to say condolences to Taylor and to her daughter Kennedy on their loss. This is a family after all. But yes, they were part of a reality show. And reality shows magnify everything that`s going on in your life. It`s the good or the bad. And you have to have a strong sense of who you are prior to going on these shows if you`re going to survive it.
And I just saw Taylor and her husband not even three months ago and they seemed to be getting along very well. So when I saw they announced about their divorce, I was very surprised. And then waking up to this news this morning, it was shocking for the entire country, but also for the reality TV community.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I got to say this that I feel personally there`s something very wrong with these reality shows. I think that they first of all emphasize all the wrong things in life. They emphasize conspicuous consumption and competitive shopping and overspending and materialism and superficiality. OK? Check out this clip, OK? This is a clip of Taylor Armstrong throwing a party for her daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARMSTRONG: For me, I get more reward out of doing something lavish for my daughter than for myself. You know I`m sure Lisa would go buy 20 pairs of shoes for herself. I would like to buy them for my daughter, that`s just how I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That cost $50,000 that party for her 4-year-old daughter. OK? And I`ve got to say that if you dovetail that with what was happening in Russell Armstrong`s life, at one point he was a venture capitalist, but then he ended up filing for bankruptcy. OK?
He has had - he committed suicide this morning - debts between $1 million and $10 million, and they were being sued for $1.5 million. So you`ve got all of these money problems at the very same time that he is dealing with that, she - her whole career on the show is based on the lavish lifestyle.
Duncan Roy, you were on sex rehab with Dr. Drew which I think is a different storying because you are working on yourself. You`re acknowledging your problems, being real. But I mean, there`s a - I think it inherent problem when you`ve got a guy with money problems and debt and he`s married to somebody who`s entire success on this reality show is based on a lavish style you can live.
DUNCAN ROY, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: I`ve been on two different kinds of reality shows. I just did the "A-list." which was a gay housewives sort of New York type of franchise thing. And you know my both experiences were very different.
As you say, Dr. Drew has a lot of integrity. And you go in there and you do the work and you go through therapy. And you know it`s less self- aggrandizing than going through the "A list" situation which was just a lie. I mean, the worst thing that can happen to a reality show is that something real happens.
And you know what? When people kill themselves, that`s a kind of pretty real experience. And you know what we`re faced with today is that people get caught up in the fantasy and you know forgetting that it`s real people`s lives. And you know production companies arrive and do all set with cameras and you`re kind of wowed by the money and the potential.
But ultimately, not everybody`s equipped to be on reality. And you know what? The weird thing is bad things do happen as a consequence of being on reality.
I was pursued mercilessly buy one guy for instance, who I got to get a restraining order on, I mean that was a big, big problem. Somebody I ended up having to have a relationship with who was lying. I mean you`re not equipped to deal with any of that stuff when you leave the show. I mean, you know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just says this Duncan. If you have things in your past that you`re ashamed or embarrassed about, do not go on a reality show because it`s not like you can draw a line around that reality show.
Once you`re in the reality show, you become a star. And once you`re a star, the tabloids starts to researching and guess what they found out about this poor man who committed suicide? Russell Armstrong.
Taylor accused him of physical and verbal abuse because she filed for divorce. Now then tabloids though it is classic, found out he pleaded guilty to battery in 1997. Found out two restraining orders had been filed against him. One by an ex-wife, another by an ex-girlfriend. OK?
And so all of these stuffs came out. You add that to the money problems and now we`re hearing reports from Radar online claiming that this and this is just in, we just said. He was afraid that "Tell-all Book" which is being written that would expose his sexual secret.
So, we are going to Tim Molloy, you`re TV editor of "thewrap.com." You`ve got money problems. You`ve got series sexual and discretions being exposed. And then you also have this sort, sorted past that still with restraining orders and various other problems. It`s a recipe for complete disaster, Tim.
TIM MOLLOY, EDITOR, THEWRAP.COM: It`s a recipe for disaster. And it`s the recipe that these shouldn`t look for. I mean, they`re not looking for most well-adjusted people to set an example for the rest of us. They`re looking for people to make fun of.
And if someone happens to have a huge backlog of problems, that`s they, call as draw back or we better keep them off the show. They could be embarrassed. Procedure sees that as a plus.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, absolutely. In fact if you`re sitting around the kitchen table every morning drinking tea and behaving, you will not be on a reality show. You don`t qualify. You have to be somebody who`s filled with drama, preferably negative drama. Preferably lots of negative excitement, preferably lots of dysfunction. You have to be a mess to get on one of those shows. Let`s be real. That`s my humble opinion.
All right, we`re just getting started here. We are going to talk about the Grim Sleeper on a second. We`ll have an exclusive interview with the one woman who survived the alleged Grim Sleeper.
And we are also going to talk about this terrible reality TV star suicide I have to say. This poor guy. He`s not alive right now to speak for himself or defend himself and say hey, you got it all wrong, people. I`m a decent man.
And we`re taking your calls. 1-877-jvm-says. 1-877-586-7297. Stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re so vocal when it comes to speaking out about domestic violence and you know what the allegations. Is that addressed on the show?
ARMSTRONG: You`ll have to tune in and see, but a lot of issues with my marriage are definitely addressed this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are things going with the divorce, are you hanging in there?
ARMSTRONG: I am. Thank you so much. I`m just really focus on Kennedy right now and making sure she`s happy and her life is consistent with all the changes going on and all of our lives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re so vocal when it comes to speaking out about domestic violence and the allegations. Is that going to be addressed on the show?
ARMSTRONG: You have to tune in and see but a lot of the issues in my marriage are addressed this year. And thankfully I have five strong women are standing next to me right now and they got my back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you getting any advice?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is she telling you?
ARMSTRONG: To take care of your kids and focus on that and not think about the big picture because it`s just too overwhelming right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Omarosa. Listening to that clip of Taylor Armstrong. On one level, my heart goes out to her. She`s just a person trying to get by in this world. She lost this man who she once cared for even though she is now filed for a divorce. He committed suicide this morning. But it sounded like she was actually teasing her marital problems as a way to kind of promote her role on the show.
And to me, I have to say, I think that`s the worst form of commoditizing your life. To take a problem and put it out there and say hey, we are going to talk about this. Or allegations of domestic abuse that I leveled against my husband.
Is there something inherently unethical with that kind of commoditization of ones life?
MANIGAULT: First of all, I was going through a divorce when I was going through "The Apprentice." And what happens in reality is that the real life issues emerge while you`re doing this. And so when I listen to Russell`s attorney talk and he says oh, all of his problems are due to reality TV. I think it`s irresponsible to say that.
What happens is that everything becomes larger than life. And so you have to deal with real life issues that most people get to deal with in private. You have to deal with that in front of America. And I have to tell you from experienced that is not easy.
And so, if you have depression, if you have financial problems, if you have emotional instability, you have to deal with that with people who are not close to you, who are not there to support you but they are on the blogs and they are tearing you down day after day.
Now, there is a business side to reality TV. Reality is a part of showbizness. And as a result, yes, Taylor is on the red carpet answering a question by a journalist and she`s telling them, this is what coming up. She wants to emerge as the star of show, but unfortunately this is going to make her prominent in the worst kind of way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Look, now Taylor Armstrong is requesting privacy so she can share this horrible news of her estranged husband`s suicide with her young daughter who was 4, I think she`s now 5. Who has to learn unfortunately this terrible news about her father, and again my heart goes out to that child and Russell Armstrong`s two older children.
But Duncan Roy, this little girl did not have the opportunity to say no, I don`t want to be a part of this TV show. She was thrust into this reality TV show. And Taylor Armstrong is now requesting privacy. Do you give up your right to privacy when you turn your entire family into a TV show?
ROY: Yes. It`s a bit too late to be asking for privacy, frankly. Because you have revealed your life and soul on television and you know I agree with Omarosa absolutely, but there`s an added problem to being in a reality TV show. You learn very quickly that you are fighting for air time with other people and you want to steal the show. You want to have as much camera time as you possibly can. So you`ve got five women who are prepared to say just about anything, including - you know, who will sell their children to reality TV in order to get that spot.
I`m afraid people are envy. They kind a responsible for this kind of nonsense, you know what I mean?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Duncan, I want to introduce now Lisa Hartwell, who is a former cast member of "Real Housewives of Atlanta." Thank you so much for joining us Lisa.
First of all, your reaction to this terrible news of this suicide.
LISA WU HARTWELL, CASTMEMBER, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA: It`s horrible. It`s unfortunate you know and it`s private and the sad part of it I heard the gentleman saying that it`s part of the territory. But you know I understand that in reality television you know we let certain people - we let the public and everyone into our lives.
But there are things we do want to keep private. And that should be private. But I think that once you`re on reality television, everything is free game.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what I would like to know is when it comes to reality TV, who bank rolls the lifestyle. If you`re a real housewife of any city, you can`t be living on the low down. Who`s paying for it all? More when we return in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russell Armstrong is found dead by what police say is an apparent suicide by hanging.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shocking news out of the reality TV world. The estranged husband of real housewives Beverly Hills cast member Taylor Armstrong was found dead in an apparent suicide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Russell Armstrong, 47, committed suicide this morning and there was a lot of the talk that he was afraid of a tell-all book. That he felt the reality show "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" destroyed his life.
The star, the woman you`re looking at here just filed for divorce from him. Citing allegations of domestic violence. He can`t speak for himself. He`s not around anymore. He`s dead.
But we do have somebody who can speak for him. Gladys Jackson Armstrong, his stepmother. She was married to his dad and knew Russell very, very well.
First of all, ma`am, thank you for calling. And we`re so sorry for your loss. Our condolences. Our heart goes out to you. What would you like to say Gladys?
GLADYS ARMSTRONG, RUSSELL`S STEPMOTHER (via telephone): I would like to say I known Russell for 15 years. I have never known him to be unkind to a lady. He was always the nicest person in the world. I never knew him to be abusive to anyone at all.
I think that Taylor has just put out some information that possibly is not true. He did not want to be on the reality show in the first place. I don`t know how he was talked into it, just pressured, I guess. I talked to him in the last, oh, month several times. When I talk to him, Russell was not depressed. He said he had gone through worse and he would be able to make it through this. He would just keep on working and he would be fine. He was looking forward to seeing me the next time he was in Dallas because he had been here about four weeks ago to see his father.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gladys, do you feel this show destroyed his life?
GLADYS ARMSTRONG: I know this show must (inaudible). Yes, it destroyed his life. It surely is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what would you say about shows like this? What is your? What is your thought?
GLADYS ARMSTRONG: I thought shows like this - I thought this is a show that is absolutely stupid. That I talked Russell about this show last year when he asked him about the situation where she was saying that they were not getting along, she think they need some drama and he you know, he wasn`t depressed or anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, you`re saying that stuff were made-up? Are you - claiming that he told you that stuff was made up to make it juicier?
GLADYS ARMSTRONG: He said it was made up, at least the most of it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: To Time Molloy, you`re with thewrap.com, what are your thoughts?
MOLLOY: Well, Recall nanny shows, you have producers who are trying to take people in order to volatile situations and to make put more novel in the situation especially on sort of things or (inaudible) in some places.
And I think what we just heard from his former stepmother`s pretty reasonable. Obviously, anything that happens in the shows if you`re on the air for 24 hours, any good editor could do half an hour (inaudible) materials.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I got to say, we invite Bravo, anybody in this shows or anytime to give their side. This is coming up breaking up news works standing this on the other side, breaking news.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Russell Armstrong committed suicide this morning. This is breaking news that we are bringing you because we just heard from his former stepmother who called us, Gladys Jackson Armstrong, to say that he wasn`t depressed but he felt that this show was bad news in terms of how it impacted his life; and very, very serious claims being made by this woman, Gladys Jackson Armstrong, saying that Russell told her that a lot of the marital problems were kind of enhanced and fabricated because they needed material. Pretty shocking stuff.
Duncan Roy, you`ve been listening to the exchange that I`ve been having with Gladys Jackson Armstrong. And again, we invite Bravo or anybody from "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" on to tell their side of the story. We want to be fair. This is just come on the air as we hear it. What is your reaction to that, Duncan?
DUNCAN ROY, FORMER CASTMATE, "SEX REHAB": Well, I think it`s really hard for any company at the moment to step forward before there`s an official police report and before anything official has been released. I mean, you know, we`ve heard it`s suicide but really we don`t know yet. It`s not official.
As for people like the family members coming out of the woodwork to have an opinion, frankly you don`t know what`s going on in the marriage. And the problem with these shows as well is that, you know, they weren`t particularly interested in him. They were interested in her as the wife. I think, you know, when you`re on those shows, you`ve got a camera in your face 24/7 that can actually prove to be more validating than you might imagine.
And so, you know, when he was effectively thrown off the show when he divorced her, you could imagine if he was having all those financial problems, he felt, "Well, what the hell am I going to do now?" And not that that`s a good reason to commit suicide when you have a daughter, but the point is, it can add to your depression.
Because you know, I mean I found it very validating being on the show. I mean some people do it for money. Some people do it just to see their face on TV.
ROY: I think what surprised me was just how much I enjoyed having a camera on me -- sadly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. The coroner said it was an apparent suicide. He was found hanging by his neck at a friend`s house. So, that`s just what they`re saying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The chance of it being something else is rather remote.
ROY: Ok. Good.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I get your point Duncan. I mean here`s the issue with these -- the bigger issue with these shows is that reality TV discourages good, emotionally-sober behavior and encourages and rewards the best and most outrageous examples of excess. In other words, it rewards the worst behavior.
We`re not talking about just this one show, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." There are far more extreme examples. Check out this clip from "Real Housewives of New Jersey."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There has to be something else. Are you stripping? Prostitution or your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) 19 times. You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) stupid bitch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. All that screaming and yelling, Lisa Wu- Hartwell, you were a former cast member of "Real Housewives of Atlanta"; you heard the stepmother claiming that Russell said to her -- I can`t even talk with all this crazy drama going on in the screen -- these people screaming and yelling and throwing tables -- but do they encourage that kind of crazy behavior?
LISA WU-HARTWELL, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA": I would not say that they would encourage it but, you know, it`s what the viewers want to see and it`s unfortunate. When I was on the show, it was like, oh, she`s boring. I think that a lot of cast members feel the need to perform.
But it`s ultimately up to you what you`re willing to show. You have to decide if your privacy is worth it. So it`s definitely -- I can`t say it`s the network`s fault. You know, you can choose not to, you know, shoot that day. You can say hey, I`m not showing that or I`m not doing that. I think that people get caught up in the overnight stardom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it a pact with the devil?
WU-HARTWELL: I`ve heard that. A lot of people I do believe sell out. I`m just not willing to perform. That`s why I`m probably not on the show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, what you`re saying is you don`t have to be a brain surgeon to realize -- you don`t have to be told hey, bad behavior rates and we want you to exhibit that -- nobody has to say it. It`s the unsung story.
WU-HARTWELL: I mean come on, everybody has their opinion. I mean, you have a choice to do what you`re going to do, what you`re going to show. And it is not the network`s decision to say hey, I want you to, you know, flip the table over. So I believe that there is a competition to want to stand out sometimes. And sometimes people do that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to ask one question. Rob Shuter, who bank rolls, who pays for all the stuff? These women are shown with earrings --
ROB SHUTER, COLUMNIST, POPEATER`S NAUGHTY BUT NICE: That`s a really good question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- chandeliers. That table they flip over. That`s a table that costs money. Who pays for it?
SHUTER: It`s a very, very good question. Let me explain. The gentlemen on this show, the househusbands do not have a contract. Russell was not earning a penny for doing this show. The children are not paid. The husbands are not paid. The only people that have a contract are the ladies, the housewives. The housewives of New Jersey and New York last season earned $260,000 for I think 16 episodes. Their children did not earn a penny. And their husbands did not earn a penny, too.
So Russell was doing this to support his wife`s ambition to be famous. He might have never wanted to do this show. He didn`t earn any money from it.
I was also at the final season taping a couple of months ago the "Beverly Hills Housewives" while I was in LA. Russell was not at that taping. However, there was a lot of liquor and there was even a waitress. It was in a restaurant.
There was a waitress there who had a microphone on who had apparently slept with one of the husbands and was going to confront him that night in front of the camera. So they certainly stack the decks for this show to be as exciting as possible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holy moly. Well, you left me speechless, Rob Shuter. I mean what can we say? It`s a horrific story. Our hearts go out to the children of this man. It`s very, very sad. And we`re going to stay on top of it. And we`re going to have more tomorrow here on ISSUES.
Thank you, fantastic panel.
And now, Aruba.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a bit of a roller coaster friendship. And some days he was nice and other days he wasn`t.
How can you say it`s difficult as not getting on a plane and going to try and find my friend?
This truthfully is about a man and a woman that went away on a vacation together and she didn`t come back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two weeks ago tonight, Robyn Gardner vanished in Aruba. And now the Associate Press reporting Aruban police, firefighters and even the military are planning a massive all-out search for her.
Good evening. Once again, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from New York City.
Gardner was vacationing with this man, 50-year-old Gary Giordano when she simply disappeared into thin air. A judge decided there`s enough evidence to keep him locked up while they continue to investigate Robyn`s disappearance.
Now an eyewitness says he saw Robyn and Giordano the very day she vanished. Watch this from ABC`s "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT GUTMAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Along this rocky path is probably the last place that Robyn and Giordano were seen together. The dive ship owner saw their car all the way out there and remembered thinking how unusual it was for anyone to snorkel out here at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to CNN`s Martin Savidge, who is live in Aruba. Martin, thank you so much for joining us. What is the very latest?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jane, we`re standing on that same exact spot where two weeks ago exactly Gary Giordano says that he and Robyn Gardner went snorkeling.
You can`t see a lot obviously in the darkness now, but what you can see is that this is a pretty rugged and well, pretty difficult terrain for anyone to try to navigate if they want to go snorkeling. It is not the typical beautiful beach that almost all the tourists come to Aruba to see. However, if you want seclusion, I guarantee you this is a pretty secluded spot.
Meanwhile, we know now that Gary Giordano has been moved to the prison of (INAUDIBLE) and that is located about two miles away from this very beach. And that`s where he`ll spend the next 16 days.
We also understand that the FBI is now physically on the island. They`re liaisoning with the authorities helping to coordinate the investigation on Aruba with the investigation that we also know is taking place back in the United States, Giordano`s home for one that was searched.
On top of that, there was a camera that we now know is in the hands of authorities. It is believed to be Gary Giordano`s camera. What did the photographs tell them about where the couple may have been visiting? What was in the background? Even key information about the time of day and all the other specifics that new digital cameras now log.
And one last thing, there is that major search that is in the offing. It will take both the police, the fire department and now the addition we are told of Marines that will be aiding as they try to search the southern part of this island in an all-out effort to try to locate Robyn Gardner. It should be coming in the next day or so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, now, Martin, we understand there was this shop owner -- dive shop owner. And he saw Robyn and he recognized her tattoo and said wow, it`s so weird for her to go with him to this remote area. It`s not the kind of place you would go snorkelling.
SAVIDGE: Right. And this is the thing. First of all, Robyn Gardner does stand out because of the tattoos that she had on her. And they were having lunch at that dive shop or right next to it. That was about 4:30 in the afternoon. They were seen by witnesses. It`s also believed there`s video that puts them there at that time.
Two hours later, Gary Giordano is running up to a couple asking to use the cell phone and making the 911 call in which he reports Robyn Gardner. Supposedly they came behind the restaurant right here to where we`re standing. And this is where the snorkeling -- where the incident happened according to Giordano.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And apparently it was mirror calm, the lake -- not a lake, the water behind you. But it`s mirror calm. How does somebody just disappear for no reason into that water?
Thank you so much for joining us Martin Savidge. Excellent and I know you`re working around the clock down there. We`ll have more on this Aruban situation tomorrow.
Meantime, coming up, the Grim Sleeper alleged serial killer. Next, our exclusive interview with the one woman who survived.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got ten murders charged. We`ve got one -- the attempted murder of a survivor.
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, MAYOR, LOS ANGELES: Two decades of exhaustive detective work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know my daughter is smiling down on me, knowing that we got him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The circumstances are gloomy.
VILLARAIGOSA: Twenty-five years of reviewing and re-examining evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have 55 faces here that we don`t know the answers to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because so many of our victims are obviously deceased, we have only one eyewitness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beyond question, we have our man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mind blowing new developments in the case against an accused serial killer. Police now think the Grim Sleeper may have been behind hundreds of more murders -- hundreds of more murders -- in the Los Angeles area.
Tonight I`m speaking exclusively to the one woman who managed to escape this terrifying sicko. Excuse me. This is an upsetting story.
Last year, the LAPD arrested this man, Lonnie David Franklin. He`s now accused of murdering ten women and attempting to murder one other. But that could be the tip of the iceberg.
Police call him the Grim Sleeper because he started his alleged killing spree way back in 1985. But then some believe he took a break for 13 years -- that`s the sleeper part -- only to return to his bloody ways in 2002. When he was finally caught, it was such a big deal, the mayor of Los Angeles held a news conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VILLARAIGOSA: Thanks to the recent use of DNA evidence and even more importantly, two decades of exhaustive detective work, 25 years of reviewing and re-examining evidence, tapes, and witness accounts, we have our suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But did the Grim Sleeper actually take a sleep or a break? Was he just sitting around doing nothing for those 13 years? Police now say no. They believe Franklin may be behind as many as 230 other murders -- 230 murders which used to be considered cold cases. This is astounding.
This is the -- could be the biggest serial murder case obviously in the United States.
Joining me tonight, my very special guest, Enietra Washington; Enietra thank you so much for being here. First of all, kudos to you, the only known survivor of the alleged Grim Sleeper; you have lived to tell the tale. We are so happy that you have lived to tell the tale, and we want to hear about your incredible encounter with this man.
ENIETRA WASHINGTON, GRIM SLEEPER SURVIVOR: Yes, it was an incredible encounter for true. I was coming home from visiting friends, I believe. I passed the store and what I noticed was this orange Pinto and because I`m fascinated by older cars and different cars I just noticed it. It reminded me of like a Hot Wheel or just a model car. It was orange, striped, all on top, leather tucked interior. And I walked by it.
And I guess by him being the owner of the car, he walked past ne and said something. But I really didn`t pay him any attention. I remember him driving up the street and he asked me where I was going. I said I was going to a friend`s house and he asked me would I like a ride and I said no, I`m ok, I can walk, it`s not that far. But then he said that`s what`s wrong with you black women, men can`t be men to you. I was like what? You know.
Well, ok, since it`s only around the corner, I`ll let you take me. When we got in the car, we had a conversation. And fact is that I didn`t have no vibes with it. I really didn`t pay him any attention besides to, you know, what he had on and the interior of the car.
And I remarked that it was a Pinto. He was like yes, it`s really a Pinto. He started asking me about the party. And I said you`re welcome to go figuring that he wouldn`t have interest in me that he would find somebody else at the party.
And he says well, do you drink? Should I bring something? And I was like, no I don`t drink but you could bring something I`m sure it will be accepted, you know. When he started driving I noticed he didn`t go where the destination I had asked him where I told him I was going to and he made this -- he said I have to stop at my uncle`s house and pick up some money. I was like oh, ok.
And we drove down this street and I waited in his car. I didn`t get out with him or anything. And he came back. He wasn`t gone maybe 10, 15 minutes. And when he got in the car, you know, he started talking. But when we turned the corner, he said something because I wasn`t paying him no attention. I really wanted to get out the car, he said something. And then -- I turned to see if he was talking to me, all of a sudden everything just went real quiet and I was trying like -- I`m telling myself ok, what just happened here.
And he goes -- and I turned to say something, he said bitch I`ll shoot you again. I said you shot me? I decided -- I said I don`t feel no burning sensation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side. More on the other side.
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DETECTIVE DENNIS KILCOYNE, LAPD: He was right here living on 81st street. He has a long-term marriage. He has a long-term history of living at that address, in that neighborhood. He is off and on employed, very short period of time he pumped gas into police cars at LAPD. He did -- then he worked for the Department of Sanitation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is unbelievable. The suspected Grim Sleeper serial killer worked for the LAPD. He pumped gas into cop cars and was married for more than 30 years. How did nobody suspect that this man might be the killer?
We`re talking to Enietra Washington, who survived the killer. She just told us this astounding story of how you drove in a car, he shot you, right, and somehow you got out. Tell me briefly, what did you do, roll out of the car?
WASHINGTON: I leaned on a door and he pushed me out the car.
WASHINGTON: And I rolled on the ground, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, he is suspected now possibly -- they recovered 600 items of evidence from his home, hundreds and hundreds of photographs and videos of all these women. He went after a specific type of woman.
And I want to go right now to Casey Jordan, criminologist. They`re saying now this man could be responsible for hundreds of murders, which would make him the most prolific serial killer probably in American history, Casey.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Jane, you`re right. They called him the Grim Sleeper, but they have to rename him if they actually find out that during that 13-year hiatus he might be responsible for other murders, they just didn`t link to him at the time.
Of course, now we have the DNA technology. We found this huge cache of videos, photographs, over 180 of them that he apparently took, some of them are alive, some of them we don`t know. But the bottom line is the police are reopening these hundreds of unsolved cases, some of which they think they may have solved but may have incorrectly attributed to the wrong person, the wrong killer.
He may become one of the most prolific killers. But the key is to bring closure to the families who don`t know the end of the story about where their loved ones have gone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, he`s accused of, at this point, murdering ten women. They all have a certain profile: 14 to 36, all African-American. What motivates a man like this?
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Extreme hatred towards women, which is incredibly obvious, and feeling massively rejected, I would suspect, by one woman who looked like that and then feels compulsively repeating this anger towards her. That`s what explains why they all look alike. This happens in some of those murderers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Enietra, you must be thrilled you`re alive. When you heard now that they`re re-opening 200 plus cases, do you think this man you were in the car with who shot you and you managed to get out, do you think he`s capable of killing 200 women?
WASHINGTON: Yes, because, you know what, he does it unexpectedly. It is not like the woman is forewarned and can protect herself. She`s not paying attention just as I was. You know, you turn around to say something to him and he point blank shoot you first.
WASHINGTON: By somebody shooting you first, you know, the shock of it, if you`re not, you know, in the grace of God and know how to keep yourself from panicking, you know, you`re at his will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to thank you for coming on. And I`m so happy you made it out alive. I hope you enjoy every minute of the rest of your life.
WASHINGTON: Oh, yes.
And we`re going to stay on top of this and make sure this man faces justice. Thank you, panel.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much horrific news, time to lighten it up for a second. This is my favorite video of the day. Check it out from YouTube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sit. Sit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come here. Do you not recognize me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is a great welcome home. Emmitt Thunderpaws so excited to see his companion, his human companion, who has served in the Armed Forces for a long nine-month deployment, risking his life for our country.
And when he came back, wow, a hero`s welcome from a very, very loving companion animal. That is love. Look at that.
And I got to tell you, I`ve got my Rico, my Foxy, and my little Cabo, my three buddies and that`s their favorite video of the day.
"NANCY GRACE" next.