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Hot Sauce Mom on Trial; Virginia Police Seek "Butt-Slasher"

Aired August 19, 2011 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, shocking, unthinkable child abuse, a mom accused of punishing her adopted son by pouring hot sauce in his mouth and making him take freezing cold showers. And she did it as cameras rolled. Now she`s on trial. I`ll show you the mind-blowing video.

Plus, a special task force hunts down the man now dubbed the "serial butt slasher" as the number of attacks in Virginia climbs. Who is this deranged lunatic?

And stunning new claims that the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" husband who killed himself beat up his TV star wife and threatened her cast-mate. Was Taylor Armstrong really hospitalized? And if so, did the show try to cover it up? Plus, a New Jersey "Real Housewife," Danielle Staub (ph), opens up about her own thoughts of suicide. I will talk to her tonight.

Plus, what happened to missing mother Susan Powell? Tonight, a major breakthrough.

ISSUES starts now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voluntarily went onto Dr. Phil. Now she`s facing charges.

JESSICA BEAGLEY, MOTHER: What happens when you lie to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get hot sauce?

BEAGLEY: You get hot sauce!

When Christoph (ph) lies, we put soap in his mouth.

Don`t spit!

It had no effect, so we went to hot sauce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The conversation she was having is good, but who can really listen with a mouth full of hot sauce?

BEAGLEY: Did you swallow it? Go ahead.

Why are you getting a cold shower? Did you listen to your teacher today?


BEAGLEY: No, you did not!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a mom on trial after horrifying video shows her force-feeding hot sauce to her son. Good evening, everyone. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from New York City.

Now, I have to warn you, these videos are extremely disturbing. Jessica Beagley from Anchorage, Alaska, videotaped herself disciplining a 7-year-old child with hot sauce so she could appear on the Dr. Phil show. But is this actually child torture? You can see her forcing her adopted 7- year-old son to drink hot sauce. He swishes the burning liquid in his mouth while she yells at him. Here`s how she justified this.


BEAGLEY: I have had him do jumping jacks before. It works for little while, until he`s completely exhausted. When Christoph lies, we put soap in his mouth.

Don`t spit it!

It had no effect, so we went to hot sauce. We`ve been having a lot of problems. It`ll stay in the bathroom so it`s handy when we need it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The alleged abuse continues. She forces this child, a 7-year-old boy, to take a purportedly freezing cold shower, and he screams in agony. Remember, this is Alaska, where the taps can run very cold. After this aired on "Dr. Phil," Anchorage police were flooded with angry calls, demanding cops do something. Well, now this woman is on trial as we speak.

But on "GMA," her lawyer insists it wasn`t abuse. Listen to this.


WILLIAM INGALDSON, JESSICA BEAGLEY`S ATTORNEY: Nothing that Jessica has done is criminal. If you give your child food that is -- that has hot sauce on it, maybe they eat Mexican food, does that mean it`s child abuse?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, really? Really? Reports from Alaska say her six kids are all still in her custody. Not only that, the boy in the video might actually testify on her behalf. What? She`s on trial for abuse. The videos speak for themselves. Why hasn`t child services stepped in and taken all of her kids into custody?

We called Anchorage police and the Alaska Office of Children Services. They both said because this trial is ongoing right now, they are not able to comment.

Straight out to my very special guest, Rene Syler, who is the mother of two children, and she is the author of an amazing book "Good-Enough Mother" -- the great site Rene, there are two incidents caught on tape. Why is this mother only being charged with one misdemeanor child abuse count? And how come she still has all the kids?

RENE SYLER, AUTHOR, "GOOD-ENOUGH MOTHER": I don`t get that either, Jane, quite frankly. I don`t get that. And her lawyer, who somehow compares swilling hot sauce to feeding your child food with a little bit of hot sauce sprinkled on it -- this whole thing doesn`t make any sense to me. I`m thinking, in what alternate universe does this sound like a great way to discipline your child? I don`t get it! I don`t get it at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I don`t understand. She`s got four kids of her own and then she goes out of her way to adopt two little boys from Russia. Look at this adorable child. And then this? If you can`t handle it, why adopt children?

Now, you got to look at this. Go ahead.

SYLER: I was just going to say, and also, what I don`t understand is that, you know, we talk about child protective services not taking her children out of the home. But it seems to me that those children might still very much be at risk of being harmed, or at least this little boy. So I don`t understand that at all, either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now, take a look at this. It`s very disturbing, but we have to show you what`s going on if we`re going to do something to stop this kind of behavior. Check it out.


BEAGLEY: Open. Swish it around. Did you swallow it? Go ahead. Do you lie to me? No, don`t spit it!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, you hear this whimpering kid! That courtesy "Dr. Phil."

I want to go to a woman who would like to remain anonymous. She has told us she is a victim of child abuse, specifically, she says, hot sauce. Are you there? Are you there?

"KATE," VICTIM OF CHILD ABUSE (via telephone): I`m here, Jane. Can you hear me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I can. Tell us about what happened to you vis- a-vis hot sauce.

KATE: Well, first I just want to say my head is in my hands because just hearing that scene brings back so many memories. It`s the exact same scene I lived through many times. You know, the lawyer making his comment -- you know, if a kid skins his knee because he`s skateboarding and he hurts himself, does that mean it`s OK to inflict that pain on purpose? This is a silent, sneaking abuse that doesn`t leave marks, and it`s very hard to communicate to the outside when you`re a child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you have hot sauce put down your throat?

KATE: I was punished by being told to open my mouth and take a lot of hot sauce into my mouth, close my mouth. Did you swallow it? Those are the words I heard. And then I was put into a room and not allowed water.

Not only did this harm me, but now that we`re all adults, her real children are really damaged by the fact that they weren`t allowed to give me water, that they weren`t allowed to help me, and they`ve apologized to me many times in my adult life for not being there to rescue me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sorry you have to relive this, but we are doing this and showing this to the nation so that A, if you see somebody doing something about this, if you hear that somebody is doing this to a child, you should take action, even if it`s a relative.

Take a look at this. This is another scene that`s just horrific.


BEAGLEY: What is the consequence for pulling the card (ph)?


BEAGLEY: A cold shower. Get undressed right now!




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. I can`t listen to that child screaming. Oh!

Dave Pelzer, you are the author of "A Child Called It." You were abused severely by your mother growing up, and you`ve turned that horror into something amazing, becoming a best-selling author and really making this your life`s work. Your reaction to what this mother is doing.

DAVE PELZER, AUTHOR, "A CHILD CALLED IT": Well, it`s -- it`s -- there`s so many levels to this because what`s not been mentioned already is the child suffers from RAD, which is reactive attachment disorder. And it`s -- imagine having Tourette`s on steroids.

And this is obviously abuse, particularly -- I don`t understand to discipline a child why she would put him in a cold shower, which to me goes from abuse -- or goes from disciplinary action to abuse. It`s a slippery slope.

I really think this person -- because the husband is a police officer. He`s been in service for many years in the city of Anchorage. And the thing that really gets my attention is they focus -- she focused so much attention on videotaping, deliberately videotaping how she would per se discipline the child, and who has a twin brother who doesn`t react like this. The child -- the 7-year-old child would, because of his condition of being detached from another country, is not disseminating (SIC) properly into our country, doesn`t really speak our language all that well and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what you`re saying in people terms is that he is just a little foreigner who came here. God only knows what he went through in Russia.

PELZER: Well, he doesn`t...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he`s 7 years old.

PELZER: Exactly. Because he loves it here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s here just trying to get to know these people. This isn`t his natural mother.

PELZER: And it is about -- and is about trust and bond because...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she`s treating him like this!

PELZER: Exactly. And...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me you something, Dave. The people of Russia are watching this! They are watching this! Reporters from Russia have gone to Anchorage. I`ll show you the map. You know, we`ve all heard how close Russia and Alaska are. But the map shows you how close it is. Reporters from Russia have now descended on Anchorage, Alaska, to watch this trial because they`re so horrified that an American family would do this to a kid!

PELZER: Rene Syler, Dave brings up an important point. The father, the husband of this woman, is a cop. What do you make of it?

SYLER: Right. Right. I just -- that`s part of the story, too, that I -- is just completely mind-blowing to me. He`s the chief of police. You would think, as he was coming up the ranks, he would know what abuse looks like. I mean, he`s probably been a beat cop at some point and he came up through the ranks. He knows what this looks like. And yet this was happening in his own home.

And he -- I don`t know. Did he do anything to stop it? And this is just so out of control. The other aspect about this that makes me crazy is that this smacks of this whole idea of, What can I do to get on television? Like, that`s what she was doing this for, was to push the envelope as far as she could so that she could have her 15 minutes of fame and get on TV. That is wrong on so many levels.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The sadism that I see in this woman -- I`m sad and I`m sick to my stomach.

Did "Real Housewives" try to conceal abuse? Unbelievable story coming up next.

But we`re going to have more on this hot sauce alleged torture from somebody who actually had it done to her. Stay right there.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman voluntarily went onto Dr. Phil. Now she`s facing charges.

BEAGLEY: What happens when you lie to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get hot sauce?

BEAGLEY: You get hot sauce!

When Christoph lies, we put soap in his mouth.

Don`t spit it!

It had no effect, so we went to hot sauce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The conversation she was having is good, but who can really listen with a mouth full of hot sauce?

BEAGLEY: Did you swallow it? Go ahead.

Why are you getting a cold shower? Did you listen to your teacher today?


BEAGLEY: No, you did not!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And guess what this child had done that was so horrible that she had to inflict this alleged torture on the child? I think he was having a sword fight with pencils in class, and they disciplined him. They said, Don`t do that. Can you believe that? Can you believe that? That`s what this little boy was doing, allegedly, to warrant all of this?

Now, here are the child abuse laws in Anchorage. If convicted, she could face just one year in jail and a $10,000 fine -- one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

I have a couple of questions for you, Joe Episcopo, defense attorney. First of all, why only one count when we see two separate incidents here? And how come the department of children and families has allowed all of her biological children, four of them, plus this little boy adopted from Russia plus his twin brother, to remain in the house during the course of this trial?

JOE EPISCOPO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I can`t answer for them, but obviously -- let`s start with the misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is somewhat a mild crime for this. So apparently, in Alaska, they have not as stiff of penalties as you would get in Florida. This would be a felony here, probably carries up to 15 years. So it just depends on the state legislature. And of course, the prosecutor is the one that has the authority to file whatever number of counts they want.

As far as the department of children and families, obviously, they`re going to take some heat for this. They should have those children removed from that house. So all of this exposure is going to reflect badly back on this town, on the prosecutor, on the department of children and families, and certainly on these parents, who -- I don`t understand why they would film a crime, but they filmed the crime and a jury will have no trouble convicting them. And I think this police officer will probably be removed from the force.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ll have to see because right now, nothing is happening. The kids are still at the home with this mother.

Now, here`s what`s so shocking with me. I`m a news reporter. I`ve been a reporter for decades. I really had no idea how rampant this hot sauce punishment was culturally in our country. Three weeks ago, a little girl named Amy Diehl (ph) was found dead. Look at this precious child. She was locked in a trunk by family members. It later came out that she was also being abused with hot sauce, OK? Now, here are some of the family members who`ve been taken into custody as a result of that horrific case, which is still unfolding as we speak.

I have to go back to the anonymous person that we have on the phone with us. We`re calling her Kate. That`s not her real name. She has told us about being the victim of child abuse and said she was hit with hot sauce.

What did you do to provoke your relative by marriage from -- to hit you with this hot sauce and put it down your throat, Kate?

KATE: My stepmother used this punishment as a way to show me that she was in control, that she could manage what I said, that she could manage what I did. And usually, it was a form of punishment for talking back, not following orders, something reported that I did wrong by a brother or sister, which is a big reason why they have a lot of guilt, even though it`s not their fault. They were her real children and they were not abused.

It is something that she could do to me that was enormously painful, and at the end of the day, when it came time to sit down for dinner, I did not come to the table with bruises.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Dave Pelzer, you`re the author of "A Child Called It," you suffered severe abuse at the hands of your biological mother, right? Because...

PELZER: And the same thing happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell me that?

PELZER: It was always about the control. Yes, it was always about the control and what they could control by hiding as much as possible. And I have to insert something here, Jane. I think part of our problem as a society is there are so many people that are so enamored with trying to get 1995 (ph) quick fix help from a television talk show that they stupidly videotape a crime, when obviously, they should focus our attention on, Hey, I need to get some help. This is becoming way out of control...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this, first of all...

PELZER: ... and help that child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. We know that from hearing from you and from anonymous Kate that this is rampant, that it`s happening all over the country. So let`s not blame the messenger here. Let`s focus on the problem.

PELZER: Oh, no, no, no. I`m blaming the lady.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me just focus on the problem. Yes, but I want to focus on the problem here because this is happening all over the country. And Dave, you have emerged intact as a best-selling author and as a leader on this issue, but a lot of these kids are crippled forever. And even more horrifying, they come back as abusers themselves.

PELZER: They become abusers. So that means in this investigation, we have to look at how this woman was raised, how she might have been controlled. And again, she`s looking to solve her problems through another entity, rather than getting help for herself and this kid that suffers from RADS. And that`s the tragedy. We need to step up, intervene and get long- term help, rather than quick fix solutions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Dave.

PELZER: My pleasure, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, the butt slasher case.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just really hard for me to even grasp that someone would go around doing something like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe they didn`t think it was a crime. Maybe they weren`t injured. Maybe they weren`t embarrassed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This same man was always spotted by the victims nearby, but it wasn`t apparent he`d harmed them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To go around doing that type of thing to women is really, really an awful thing to do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They call him the "butt slasher." Don`t blame me. I didn`t make up that phrase. That`s what everybody, including the cops, is calling him. He`s waging a sick new war on women. Yes, you got a man out there carrying a box cutter around, terrorizing women in shopping malls by slashing them on the behind.

Here is surveillance video of this serial slasher. He`s been caught on tape. He has hurt nine women so far in Virginia-area shopping malls. One woman, who was attacked but didn`t want to show her face, spoke to ABC`s "Good Morning America." Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m pushing the door open, and all of a sudden, he`s, like, right there behind me. And I felt, like -- like, a pinch on my bottom.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So far, the injuries, thank God, have not been, well, too serious. But obviously, it`s traumatic to have this happen. And who says this guy won`t escalate and do more harm? Experts say he is a serial deviant who will not stop until he is caught. And if you ask me, his knife is a symbol of, well, something else, if you know what I mean.

Which brings me straight out to clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky. Why would a man do this to nine different women, specifically every single time, slashing them in the buttocks?

JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, this guy, Jane, has what we call piquerism. It`s a fetish and a paraphilia. That means that people like this cannot relate to real people. They section women off into body parts. Oftentimes, it`s the breasts, even can be the genitals. For him, it`s the butt. And the idea is not just sexual, because it is sexual parts, but that`s a way to really attack women.

And as you said, it escalates. It can start -- so many -- so many viewers can know what it feels like. You`re in a crowded subway or in a crowded shopping mall, and somebody just, you know, touches you or grabs your breasts or just slaps you on the butt. This is an escalation. And it can escalate to then more violence. So far, the women just feel, like, Oh, a little pinch. But it does indeed draw blood.

And a lot of times, what happens with these guys is that they grow up -- this is very interesting -- and they may have been hit by Mom and slapped in the butt or had a father whip them in the butt. It creates a sexual gratification and a stimulation in a certain way. So they start associating that sexuality and the shock with that touch, and then they get angry at women and they want to get back at them. They want to get attention. And that`s why they do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying that perhaps this is the way he becomes sexually aroused, and it`s the only way he can become sexually aroused perhaps. And so he goes out -- and this is the guy they`re looking for. The last incident occurred July 25th. He apparently targets teenage girls, women in their early 20s. And he is in his late 20s, and he`s 5- foot-6.

Suffice it to say, if you see this guy, please report him immediately. And this occurring in the Virginia area, specifically shopping malls in Virginia. He`s a sick guy. We`ve got to catch him before this escalates. And thank God, so far, nobody`s been seriously hurt. But that could change.

OK, up next, more on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." A husband commits suicide, and now a former star says she thought of committing suicide, as well. We`re going to talk to her.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tragic cautionary tale about the dangers of reality show fame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The estranged husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member Taylor Armstrong was found dead in an apparent suicide.

JOHN ANN HOTCHKISS, MOTHER OF RUSSELL ARMSTRONG: The bashing got so bad last season --

Ronald Richards, friend and attorney of Russell ARMSTRONG: This show led to his depression.

HOTCHKISS: Can`t you stop the bashing? Can`t you talk to the producer? And he said well, you know, "This is the way reality TV is." I said, "Russell, this is brutal."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taylor filed for divorce, something that Russell`s attorney told me Russell did not want. .

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said it`s ratings. They don`t care about how people feel, or how they`re hurt or if it destroys their marriage.

RICHARDS: The show characterized him as someone that abused his spouse.

HOTCHKISS: I better not see one frame, I better not hear one frame. And that goes for all the family. We are circling the wagons.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, new information about the rocky months before the suicide of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong`s husband. Just last night, Russell Armstrong`s mother joined us right here on ISSUES. She has told me that Russell desperately complained to her that he feared they were going to crucify him is the word she used in this upcoming season. And the mother told me she does not want a single frame, not a single image of her son used on the show. Listen.


HOTCHKISS: It turned into a terrible tragedy. He was so distraught toward the end of it. And before the news even started, before he took his life, he said "Mom, they`re just going to crucify me this season." And he said, "I don`t know what to do." He said, "I`ll never survive it."

And I thought he meant business-wise or something. Now, perhaps there was a double meaning there. I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It seems like Bravo might be listening. They just announced plans to re-edit the show and to postpone the season premiere of the show for at least a week. But the big question, will they take Russell, who committed suicide, completely out of the show?

Tonight, shocking new reports claim Russell beat Taylor so badly that he broke the bones on her cheek and the show`s taping had to be postponed. Sources say Taylor tried to keep those injuries under wraps.

The claims are when she told her friend and fellow cast mate Camille Grammer that Russell allegedly flew off the handle and reportedly sent Camille, quote, "very threatening e-mails". We cannot confirm these published reports independently. We`ve reached out to Bravo; haven`t heard back. Reports are the cast members are not commenting on any of these allegations for now.

But I want to say any and all of them are invited on our show anytime to comment on these claims. We want to be fair and get all sides.

Tonight, we have a very special guest. Danielle Staub, former cast member of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" joins us to talk about her experience. Danielle opened up to "Entertainment Tonight" about her own battle with suicidal thoughts as well as fame.


DANIELLE STAUB, FORMER CAST MEMBER, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY": There are no words to describe how alone you feel when everybody is coming at you and judging you and they don`t even know you.

I was very close to taking my own life. Not just on one occasion. It`s been several times.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But first, straight out to Maxine Page, senior editor with RadarOnline. Maxine, thanks for joining us. What do you know about this allegation that Russell reportedly beat Taylor and that the show`s taping had to be postponed as a result?

MAXINE PAGE, SENIOR EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Yes. Allegedly there was a terrible altercation. She was taken to Cedar Sinai Hospital and she was treated. She did have damage -- severe damage to the side of her face that involved reconstructive surgery. They had to postpone filming any scenes with her. Afterwards, she covered her face heavily with makeup. She didn`t discuss it with her young child, obviously, and for all intents and purposes tried to cover it up as much as she could.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, now, Taylor has addressed this, or referred to it, perhaps obliquely saying hey -- well, why don`t you listen to what she said and judge for yourself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re so vocal when it comes to speaking out about domestic violence and with the allegations is that going to be addressed on the show?

TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS": You`ll have to tune in and see but a lot of the issues in my marriage are definitely addressed this year.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So you have a lot going on. You have the mother of the man who committed suicide, her estranged husband saying don`t you air a frame. You have reports now that the filming had to be delayed initially because she was beaten up and had to have surgery? What kind of reality show is it going to be if they take all of that out? That`s one of the many questions.

Again, we`ve reached out to Bravo. They`re invited on any time.

Now, we`re very delighted to have somebody who is a former real housewife -- a former "Real Housewife of New Jersey"; the one and only Danielle Staub, who is no stranger to the drama and pressures of reality TV. Let`s check out a clip first then we`ll talk to her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put her in my car right now. Get her to my car right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave her alone. Stop it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do you think you are?


STAUB: I`m hurt to say the least that they feel they have to treat me like this. I`m in pain physically and emotionally.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, they say show business is a rough business, but reality TV has got to be the roughest aspect of it.

Thank you for joining us Danielle. You`ve said you relate to Russell who committed suicide. Tell us about why you relate and in what way?

Staub: I relate to the darkness he`s experiencing prior to taking his life. I`ve gone there a few times. I did not execute it -- for lack of a better way of putting it -- but my children always saved me from that. The thought of them having to live with that for the rest of their lives was not something that I was willing to give up my own life for.

I have to say it is very difficult when everyone is coming at you and judging you and especially when they really don`t know you. But my heart goes out to Taylor and, you know, for her loss and for what she`s gone through. And what she`s just about to embark upon.

I don`t know what I can say other than this reality television is something we sign on for. But when it becomes extremely gang-related and brutal towards even one person and you`re pointed out as that person, I can understand that feeling. I relate to it and empathize with everything that they`re all going through both on Taylor`s end and his family`s end as well as Russell and his last moments.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you seem to be saying they can sometimes target one person. It`s almost like a form of group bullying.

STAUB: For me, personally, I can only speak of my cast and my experience on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey", and it really had nothing to do with production or the network. In my experience it was my cast wanting to live out their lies of a life through dragging up things that I did when I was a child and then making that into the entire story line. And not only that, embellishing it, defaming me, demeaning me, making me feel like I was a less important person than them.

Calling me -- names do hurt sometime, you know, "garbage". I don`t associate with people like that, and I felt like having my children around that was --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you contemplated suicide as a result of it?

STAUB: The -- my thoughts of suicide were a result of the way my cast treated me. And as a result of the way my cast treated me and then them dragging up my past from when I was a child, younger than their children. That put me into some very dark places which I had already surpassed and already survived.

And then I felt judged by -- I`m sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take a look at the show that you were on and then I`m going to come back and ask you a couple of questions. Let`s check out this clip.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There has to be something else. All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stripping, prostitution, whore, you are (EXPLETIVE DELETED) 19 times? You stupid bitch.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. That`s all I can say. Oh, my God. Why are you attacked and how do they get information about your childhood and what information about your childhood? Because there are those who say that -- there are those who claim that this is sort of orchestrated.

STAUB: I don`t know who`s claiming that on my franchise of New Jersey. I don`t know who could push people to say things and behave like that. I can only say --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did they say, Danielle? What did they say? Give me an example.

STAUB: Are you speaking of my cast?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about your childhood? You said they drudged up something from your childhood. Just tell me what. What?

STAUB: Well, speaking about the fact that me being adopted was because my biological mother did not want me is absolutely, positively false. And if anyone is adopted and given up for adoption, you search your whole life. I`m now 49 years old and I have yet to meet me mom. The closest I came was when I started to search for her on Season Two and believe it or not, I shut down that search because of the things my cast was saying that reached my children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question. I just want to ask you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think they should edit Russell out completely 100 percent, yes or no?

STAUB: I have to say I`m torn on that. I think that out of respect for his family, yes. But due to the fact that we all sign on to do this show I`m just not certain that that`s going to happen. But I do believe for the respect of his family, including Taylor and his young children, I think that that would be the only option, to be honest with you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. I`m sorry, we`re out of time. Thank you for joining us.

STAUB: My pleasure.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The information that detectives have indicated has led them to this area and it`s something that they felt strongly enough that we needed to follow up on and to further investigate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything that breaks in the case is a good thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to see a resolution?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t do anything. I mean, I don`t know where she`s at. I don`t even know where to start looking.

They made up a lot of things about me, things that have obviously gotten them nowhere. They never will.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight in the Susan Powell Mystery. She is the Utah mom who vanished way back in 2009 while her husband says he took a bizarre late-night camping trip with their young sons in the dead of winter.

New information has sent cops to another search of a remote desert in Ely, Nevada, 230 some miles away from Susan`s Utah home. Susan`s family says she would never voluntarily leave her two young sons behind and her husband`s family has gone as far as to say, well, they`re claiming she ran off with another man, just like that, leaving her two kids and her whole family behind.

And there`s the husband who said he went on the camping trip in with the middle of a snowstorm after midnight with his two young sons. All right, well, he has never been charged with anything. He is the focus of the investigation, however.

Straight out to HLN law enforcement analyst, Mike Brooks. Mike, they have searched this particular area before, but they went so far as to hold a news conference saying this is new information. They`re back there because this is a breakthrough.

What could they have possibly found that would cause them to hold a news conference?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Jane, I`ve been trying to figure this out what brought them back there to Ely, Nevada. Was it something, some actions of his, some kind of records that they found? But they have not found any evidence in this case so far.

But this is an old mining area. But they felt strongly enough to come out with a press conference instead of just going out there, searching it and saying oh, you know, we didn`t find anything. They didn`t have to say anything to anyone, Jane. But there`s something that led them out there. What that is, I don`t know.

But I tell you, you remember, she disappeared December 2009. And he took off with the two children and is driving, almost blizzard-like conditions, and then he came back and if you recall, he was late for a new job because oh, I just lost track of time. Who goes camping with two little kids in conditions like that, Jane? I have yet to figure that out.

But what has brought law enforcement back to Ely, Nevada, no one really knows right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. They had a very tumultuous relationship. Apparently, according to some friends and relatives, he was very controlling of her. She was unhappy in the marriage. They had money problems. And the biggest sort of red flag for cops, this story about how he went with his then 2- and 4-year-old sons camping after midnight on a Sunday night when he was due at work on Monday, leaving his wife alone and going out to some remote camping site to do what?

Well, here`s what he had to say about it back around the time she disappeared. Check this out and watch very carefully.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of times I just go camping with my boys. You know, not anything big. I just go overnight. And we do smores and stuff like that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Smores and stuff like that. Nobody bought it Dr. Judy Kuriansky. In fact, his appearance, talking to the local reporters I think did him a lot more harm than good. Your thoughts on this.

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Good goodness. I don`t buy it either psychologically. He sounds to me like a lot of other guys, unfortunately, who want to get rid of their wife and they find a way to do it. It`s too much about smores and a lot of mileage on his car in, like you said the middle of the night.

There`s one thing that actually I would do, and this is a little controversial. But to find out more about what was going on in that marriage, I would have the boy who`s now 4 and would have been a little younger play with a family of dolls and we do this as psychologists and find out what was going on in that marriage. You watch them play with the dolls and then you make some associations to what was happening in that relationship. It`s a clue that could help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now meanwhile, Susan`s mother and father are praying she`ll be found alive but they admit that she`s probably dead. Listen to them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said -- they told me they can`t tell me specifically what it`s about, but they can confirm that they`re out there. We think we`re prepared. We know at this point that the likelihood of her being found alive is slim.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we can`t give up that hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, yes. You have to keep hoping.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meanwhile Mike Brooks, quickly, they are being kept away from their grandchildren by the man who`s the focus of the investigation.

BROOKS: Right, he up and moved to Washington State with the two boys and won`t let them see the two children, which I find very, very strange. I didn`t buy his story then; I don`t buy his story now. But there`s something, Jane, whatever that is that took law enforcement back to Ely, Nevada. We hope to find out what that is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. There`s going to be a hearing on all of that next week. We`ll cover it if for you.

Next, saving America`s horses.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This horse`s (INAUDIBLE) was fractured. Little tiny babies were drawn into the trap. This horse is exhausted.

There is no reason for this pilot to push this horse up this hill. The trap itself is right down at the bottom of this hill. There is no reason for this pilot to be in the air.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at that. Tonight, new evidence the U.S. government doesn`t really want to end these horrifying wild horse roundups conducted by the Bureau of Land Management under the Interior Department.

A group headed by animal welfare activist Madeleine Pickets bought almost 20,000 acres of land in Nevada, specifically so that these creatures that are being rounded up could roam free in an eco-sanctuary. She said, hey, Uncle Sam, give me the horses that you`ve got in these tiny little pens that you`ve rounded up, we`ll take them all.

The government has not allowed the horses to go there. They prefer to have the taxpayers pay for these roundups and pay for keeping the horses in the wild; these beautiful horses in these pens. Look at how these majestic animals that are supposed to be wild are kept once the government rounds them up; kept by the tens of thousands in cramped pens, cruel and humane -- inhumane conditions if you ask me, all at taxpayer expense.

Aren`t we having a deficit crisis? Why doesn`t Uncle Sam cut the money it spends on this by giving Madeleine Pickens, who is the wife of mogul T. Boone Pickens, and the founder of, these animals?

Madeleine, I have to start with the new video that is just in of a government helicopter nicking a horse. We`re going to show it you to right now, this is a horrifying video. Look at it, a helicopter actually nicking a horse.

Now, we called the Interior Department today and they say that these are humane roundups conducted in the most humane way possible. Now, what is your reaction to seeing that horse actually get nicked by a chopper and the Interior Department saying these are conducted in the most humane way possible?

MADELEINE PICKENS, SAVINGAMERICASMUSTANGS.ORG: Jane, it is very sad. I mean you`re seeing a horse that is now exhausted. It has been running for miles and it is exhausted and that`s why it can`t keep up.

We need some oversight from Congress. They need to get involved. First of all, our country is having a massive meltdown, financial meltdown. It is no longer just here. It is global so it`s is really, really affecting us.

And you can see what has been happening with the House, with the Senate, with the President. They can`t put something together. And nobody`s thought to go to the Bureau of Land Management or Secretary Salazar and say, hey, let`s hold all these programs and quit spending money until we know what we have for you to spend next year.

Every time they gather these horses, and they go into a private care or government care, they`re now going to live another 15 years and we`re gathering babies, so they`re going to be living to be about 30 years old.

If you leave them on the range, they die naturally, probably around 15 years of age, but it is where they want to be, it is where they want to be free, it is where they`re supposed to be.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re looking at a picture, a video of an injured baby horse being chased by a U.S. government helicopter all because they say there is an overpopulation. But critics say the real reason is that the U.S. government is clearing the land for commercial interests; that they really are not on the side of the horses.

You won`t believe this.


If you want to get involved, go to, Madeleine Pickens, you are the founder of that organization, quickly what`s happening with your offer to Uncle Sam to take all the horses off of their hands?

PICKENS: You know, we got turned down for our private land. Let me explain. We have got 18,500 acres of deeded land but we also 600,000 acres of public land. We`re almost a thousand square miles, three valleys, we have mountain ranges, we have snow in the winter, we have everything. There is no reason why the government and we cannot work together. Instead, they have some deal where they`re going to be giving these horses now to other ranchers, and pay them. And I don`t understand it. If they`re taking it off their ranch --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s it, Madeleine, out of time. But something`s wrong.