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`Housewives` 911 Call Released; Alaska Mom Found Guilty of Radical Forms of Punishment
Aired August 30, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS JACOBS, HOST: Tonight, the chilling 911 tape reporting the suicide of Russell Armstrong, the husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong. And you are about to hear it.
Welcome to DR. DREW.
I`m Chris Jacobs, from "Entertainment Tonight," sitting in once again for Drew.
Russell Armstrong killed himself about two weeks ago, and here is part of the 911 call made by Armstrong`s friend. And a word of caution. Although we`re playing for you a short and least sensational part of the call, it is difficult to hear. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
FRANCISCO MARTIN, RUSSELL ARMSTRONG`S FRIEND: He has not been responding to anybody for the last three days. And we just came up to house and we finally went in.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
JACOBS: As I said, that is just a small portion of the tape. I`ve heard the entire tape, and it is heart-wrenching, to say the least.
And joining me right now to discuss this all-too-real aspect of reality television is Lisa Gastineau, a former reality star herself. Dylan Howard is back with us, senior executive editor of "Star" and RadarOnline.com. And via satellite from San Francisco, Lisa Boesky, a clinical psychologist and author of "When to Worry."
Lisa Gastineau, this must be hitting pretty close to home for you. You`re friends of the Armstrongs. You were at Russell`s funeral.
Can you identify the voice that`s on that tape?
LISA GASTINEAU, FRIEND OF TAYLOR AND RUSSELL ARMSTRONG: That was our friend of ours, Francisco Martin. He was a very close friend of Taylor and Russell, and also a business partner of Russell Armstrong.
JACOBS: And in the entire tape he refers to someone named Ali (ph). Do you know who that person is?
GASTINEAU: Ali (ph) is the owner of the home that Russell was staying when he and Taylor had split up.
JACOBS: And if you do have a more details so we can clarify, was Russell found in a bedroom of the house or the back house?
GASTINEAU: I don`t have that. You know, I was part of the gathering afterward. And no one really discussed.
All I can tell you is they were able to see from a window. And the gory -- it`s way too gory. The whole thing is way too painful and gory, this whole idea of someone hanging themselves.
So no one really said. But they were able to see through a window what was going on. And the scream you heard originally, when Francisco screamed, and then Taylor knew.
JACOBS: That was Taylor, yes.
GASTINEAU: And that was Taylor screaming afterward, because she knew when he saw that, it was like, don`t come, don`t come.
JACOBS: It`s like I said I before, absolutely heart-wrenching.
And want to play a bit more of the 911 call right now. And as you said, you can feel the pain and the shock when Russell`s friend discovered his body. Listen to what his friend told 911.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
OPERATOR: When was the last time you saw him?
MARTIN: Friday. He`s going through a divorce, and he`s living at a friend`s house.
And he locked his door. The friend went over through the back window and he saw him hanging there. And that`s it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
JACOBS: You can hear the devastation in his voice, obviously.
And Lisa Boesky, clinical psychologist, how will the release of this 911 tape affect the rest of the family? A death by suicide, obviously very impactful.
LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it is. It`s very impactful. And I think it`s going to be difficult for the family to have this out there.
But I have to say, on another angle, is we don`t talk about suicide enough in this country. Suicide is much more common than homicide.
Thirty thousand people die by suicide every year. Seven hundred and fifty thousand make an attempt. It`s the third cause of death in teenagers and college students.
And so, although it`s going to be very difficult for the family, none of us are immune from this. And one of the things that`s the most frustrating is everyone said that Russell wasn`t depressed before this happened. And if you hear what we heard on those tapes, he wasn`t responding to friends and family for three days. That`s a key symptom of depression, withdrawal.
And we know that he -- or I just read he was on antidepressants for anger, another key symptom of depression. And he had gone off his antidepressants, is what I read, weeks before the suicide.
So we really need to educate people on how to recognize these signs, because if his friends and family had known, perhaps they could have done something to help him.
JACOBS: Lisa, you`re shaking your head there.
GASTINEAU: Come on. You`re losing your business, you`re losing your marriage, you`re on a reality TV show where you`re the bully bad guy. Of course he`s going to be depressed.
He wouldn`t be a human being. He would be a robot not to be depressed. So to hear people say he wasn`t depressed, that`s absolute absurdity. Of course he`s depressed.
JACOBS: Right. And you know very well --
GASTINEAU: You know, imagine everything that you care about, and imagine not having an opportunity to show another side of you. You know, the funny thing about reality TV, you have to remember, it`s real, but it`s also edited. And you can take all the good and you can take all the bad, and you can make a character any way you want.
So, to hear a psychologist or psychiatrist or anyone say he wasn`t depressed, he was seriously depressed.
BOESKY: Let me clarify. Let me clarify. Let me clarify.
JACOBS: Go ahead, Lisa.
BOESKY: I`m not saying that he wasn`t depressed. I`m saying that I`m frustrated by all of the people who have publicly, that have been close to Russell -- I have been saying this whole time he`s been depressed, even on this show, when people are blaming just the reality show.
And what I`m saying is he was depressed. But a lot of people close to him said he showed no signs of depression. And that`s absolutely not true. He clearly did show signs of depression. That`s what I was saying.
JACOBS: That`s a very good point, Lisa Boesky.
And Lisa Gastineau, I`d like to have you follow up on that question. Because of your experience in reality television, how real is "reality television?"
GASTINEAU: It is real. It is real. But you go in with the best of intentions, and everybody goes in thinking that this could be the best thing ever for them.
The reality of it is, it could also be the worst thing for you, because it can expose things that you`re not willing to expose to people. You know, it`s not like your publicist is going to be able to be there.
And most of these people aren`t the big stars with publicists and machines that can change things around. And you think that this is going to be a life-changing experience, and here you go. You are showing all the warts and all, so to speak.
JACOBS: Your dirty laundry.
GASTINEAU: Your dirty laundry in front of the world. And for some people, that`s more than they can bear, because you don`t have an opportunity to explain yourself.
JACOBS: And as you mentioned, by virtue of the editors being in control, it`s beyond your personal control, what gets out there to the world.
GASTINEAU: Well, I don`t blame editors. I don`t think it`s anyone`s fault.
I think that anybody who participates in reality has to be completely aware that you are a character. You`re not really just yourself.
You are an amplified character of whoever you`re supposed to be. And sometimes it will be very shocking to see what you think you are and what the reality of how it comes on TV. I know that my daughter had a very difficult time with it. She was young and she --
JACOBS: Brittny Gastineau.
GASTINEAU: Brittny Gastineau, my daughter.
JACOBS: You and her were the "Gastineau Girls."
GASTINEAU: We were probably one of the original people in reality TV on "Gastineau Girls." And I was a little bit more immune because I wasn`t reading the blogs and I wasn`t reading -- and when you read those things and you see what people say, it`s very difficult and it`s very painful. And you almost have to develop a thick skin and realize, you know, it`s a different story if you`re laughing all the way to the bank. But if you`re just a cast member that`s just hoping that this is going to be a turnaround for something else in their life, it could be a really, really eye-opening experience.
JACOBS: I want to get back to the impactfulness of Russell`s suicide on his family and bring in Dylan Howard from RadarOnline.com and "Star."
I understand that Taylor`s daughter, Kennedy, 5 years old, was at the house when Russell`s body was discovered.
DYLAN HOWARD, SR. EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: Yes, Chris. I mean, we`re treating this 911 call with trepidation, and we have to.
At Radar Online, we didn`t publish the tape because it`s so heartbreaking. The excerpts that you`ve heard are very safe to play, but what we do hear in the portions of this tape that we haven`t heard are this gentlemen telling Taylor to take Kennedy, the 5-year-old daughter, away from the scene. Just to take her away as the police and paramedics were coming.
This sheds new light on this circumstance. We didn`t know that Kennedy was there.
And we also didn`t know that friends hadn`t been able to contact him for three days. And this raises a lot more questions, that issue of aftercare.
This was during the height of filming this show. So why was he not contacted for three days by people? Why was he not approached to see if he was OK? If there were genuine concerns, this tape sheds more -- it provides more questions than it does answers.
JACOBS: That`s a great point you bring up, Dylan, about the aftercare and the obvious impact on the family after this tragedy has occurred.
And when we come back, I can`t believe this. Bravo has already purportedly taped a special with some of the other "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." What do you think about that?
Well, we`ll discuss that coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I better not see one frame. I better not hear one frame. And that goes for all the family. We are circling the wagon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
OPERATOR: When was the last time you saw him?
MARTIN: Friday. He`s going through a divorce, and he`s living at a friend`s house. And he locked his door. The friend went over through the back window and he saw him hanging there. And that`s it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
JACOBS: The grief in the voice of Russell Armstrong`s friend is absolutely palpable there. That was part of the 911 call released today, absolutely heart-wrenching. The call was made by a friend of Taylor and Russell Armstrong after Russell was found dead two weeks ago.
And there is more. And again, I`m really having trouble believing this.
Bravo has apparently already taped a special that focuses on Armstrong`s death. It will feature interviews with various cast members Kyle and Kim Richards and Camille Grammer.
But interestingly enough, one name that was not mentioned as being a part of the special is Taylor Armstrong herself. She was apparently not invited to participate.
Now, we reached out to Bravo, and their comment to us was, "No comment."
Dylan Howard, I want to bring you in on this. What information do you have about the special?
HOWARD: This report came from "Entertainment Weekly," so a reputable organization in the industry. So there`s no reason to doubt the veracity of this.
It is said that something was filmed and that it will deal with, in its entirety, Russell`s suicide. But you have to give some sympathy to Bravo here.
And I think they need to edit heavily. I don`t know whether they`re going to, but how are they going to deal with is?
There are no winners here. Whatever decision they make, it`s going to be lauded by some and rubbished by others. At the same time, Taylor was not part of this, and as I understand it, Taylor does want to answer questions about this. And she is actually posturing at the moment to do something in which she will talk about it for the first time.
JACOBS: Well, and when you say you can sympathize with Bravo, I happen to agree with you there, because their job is to make a television show that viewers are going to tune into. Viewers want to see this, don`t they?
HOWARD: Yes, they do, but that`s the delicate balancing act, weighing up what viewers want and what is common sense and decency. And I don`t think whichever direction they go, the entirety of society is going to be happy with their decision.
They`re in a no-win situation. But airing a special about his suicide they may have thought was the right thing to do. Who knows?
JACOBS: Well, a no-win situation with the caveat that if a lot of viewers tune in, that`s certainly a win for Bravo.
HOWARD: But someone`s life was lost.
JACOBS: Right. And there`s the delicate balance that you speak of.
JACOBS: And Lisa Gastineau, you have a personal relationship with Taylor Armstrong. Have you spoken to her in the last couple days?
GASTINEAU: I have. You know, it`s such a mixed bag, because I`m sure she wants to put what she`s thinking out there in the world. But right now, I have to tell you, she is so concentrating on being everything she possibly can be to her daughter.
She has a 5-year-old daughter, and she`s grieving. Shows must go on, but she is going through her own personal grief.
And it`s really hard to put on the happy face and go and pick up and do television when you are feeling pain of -- whether you`re separated or getting divorced, whatever, it`s a long-term relationship. You have a child together. You have affairs together. There`s a lot of stuff that`s got to go on.
HOWARD: But I think this almost is the real reality. We don`t want to see her putting a smile on for the cameras. I want to see how she`s dealing with this most monumental aspect of her life and how she is mothering Kennedy. I think that would be the strongest message possible that Bravo could show if they are to return her to this TV show.
JACOBS: Isn`t there a seedy element to it, though, if you`re doing this for the television cameras? Because if the cameras are pointing to you, essentially you`re not in your most private moment. You know that you`re being filmed.
HOWARD: Absolutely. But there is a way for us to deal with this. And we should not deal with this with manufactured reality television. Let`s deal with this with real drama and let`s actually see what she wants to say.
There are allegations of domestic abuse. She should make those.
This death of Russell Armstrong cannot overshadow some of the allegations here. We as a society need to engage in the discussion and debate about what took place. And we`re not going to get that with scripted reality.
JACOBS: Well, we are walking such a fine line here between good taste and good viewing.
And Lisa Gastineau, as an experienced reality television personality, how would you advise Taylor? Have you advised Taylor?
GASTINEAU: Not only have I experienced reality television, but I`ve been on the other side of domestic violence. And the part about coming out with domestic violence when somebody is not there to answer to it is a very -- you`re treading on thin ice.
GASTINEAU: So I think that there are so many other things to address. You could go out. You could speak about domestic violence. You could help people. But it`s a really precarious thing.
Don`t forget, she has a child. He has two other children. The last thing his family needs to be able to answer to are allegations that he -- whether he did it or not, I`m not saying. It`s a very, very tender, sensitive situation.
I think you could be an advocate against domestic violence just by advocating against it. Period, end of story.
JACOBS: Especially this soon after. I mean, again, it`s only been a couple weeks since Russell`s suicide.
And I want to bring back Lisa Boesky via satellite.
BOESKY: Can I add something?
JACOBS: Yes. And I just want to apologize. You are in San Diego, not San Francisco.
Can you weigh in on what perhaps the network`s culpability is on this and what the network`s responsibility is?
BOESKY: Well, I actually think what the network is doing is actually the best that they possibly can do, because they can only edit the show so much. But with this special, they can really address the issue of suicide.
They can have real feelings. People can answer questions and talk about things, because the hard part is she does have a daughter out there. There are two sons involved.
And one of the things we know is, after a suicide like this is broadcast over the media, there`s a very big chance there will be copycat suicides. And that doesn`t mean people are trying to copycat, but it may trigger something in other people who are thinking about suicide.
So I think Bravo needs to think about that. And hopefully this special will be handled very appropriately.
"The Housewives of Atlanta," one of the women on there, her husband -- or fiance, I think it was -- was murdered. And they handled that I thought very well and didn`t exploit the situation.
And I want to say, Chris, if anybody out there is watching that feels suicidal, or knows someone who is showing some of the warning signs that Russell did, anybody can call 1-800-SUICIDE and get help. 1-800-SUICIDE, any day, any night, 24/7.
JACOBS: Lisa, I`m glad you said that. And that`s a very good point to make.
And let me follow up with this question. In your experience as a clinical psychologist, how does a death by suicide affect the members of that family versus a death by any other means?
BOESKY: Well, a death by suicide is -- obviously any death is horrific, but particularly a death by suicide, because we don`t talk about it in this country. There`s a stigma about it.
People tend to be embarrassed or ashamed if they have a family member who has died by suicide. In fact, we call it committed suicide, as if it`s a crime, when, really, people die by suicide. The number one reason is they have untreated depression.
And so I think it`s very difficult. And I think it will be particularly difficult for Taylor if she wanted him to go on the show, if she maybe prodded him along the way, if he had said things to people which we`ve heard he said, "This is getting to be too much."
If she prodded him, she probably feels a lot of guilt about that. And any time there`s a suicide, people ask themselves, what could I have done? What should I have done? What did I miss?
So, although death is always difficult, this is particularly tragic. And the fact that she was there at the house, that Kennedy was there at the house, whether she saw something or not, she saw the hysteria, the panic. She saw the horrific horror that happened. I think this is going to be very, very difficult for them for many years to come.
JACOBS: Insightful, indeed, there Lisa.
And in the last minute before break, Dylan, I want to ask you -- you have some information about the premiere of season two of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." How are they going to edit it around Russell`s suicide?
HOWARD: I have someone that has seen that first episode. As I understand it, Russell does not feature in that episode. And that was even before this suicide. So that`s new information.
We have a real opportunity to effect change here. There`s been something like 14 suicides related to reality television. It`s time for the industry to take a good, hard look at itself and effect change. And this is what we can do with this.
JACOBS: Thank you for that, Dylan.
And coming up next, the "Hot Sauce Mom" takes the heat from a judge.
And later, vanished in Aruba. Hear what the suspect`s father is saying about his own son.
Stay with us.
JACOBS: Welcome back to the show. And thank you for sticking around.
I`m Chris Jacobs, from "Entertainment Tonight," filling in for Dr. Drew.
The Alaska woman found guilty of abusing her 7-year-old son is tonight on the receiving end of a judge`s punishment.
Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Major developments in the case against the mom who forced her son to drink hot sauce just to be on the "Dr. Phil Show."
JESSICA BEAGLEY, "HOT SAUCE MOM": What happens when you lie to me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get hot sauce.
BEAGLEY: You get hot sauce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There she is, "Hot Sauce Mom." That mom from Alaska now convicted of child abuse.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "DR. DREW": People are asking the question, is that discipline or is that abuse? That`s abuse.
BEAGLEY: I want him to obey and listen and to understand the consequences of his choices.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The so-called "Hot Sauce Mom," she won`t be spending a day in jail.
JACOBS: A difficult piece of tape, and a terrible story, in my opinion.
Now, calling her actions an extremely serious offense, the judge ordered "Hot Sauce Mom" -- and I hate to call her that, because I think it belittles the severity of the situation. He ordered her to serve three years probation, and she was sentenced to 180 days in jail and fined $2,500.
But the judge suspended both of those sentences, saying she needed time and money to help rebuild and heal her family.
Joining me to discuss this is Robin Sax. She`s a former Los Angeles County prosecutor. Dr. Harvey Karp is a pediatrician and author of "The Happiest Baby on the Block." And still with us from San Diego via satellite is Lisa Boesky. She is a clinical psychologist.
Quickly, I want to ask each of you, starting with you, Robin, should this woman serve jail time?
ROBIN SAX, FMR. PROSECUTOR: Even as a former prosecutor -- and I don`t think there is a prosecutor who would really think that this woman needs more than a serious cooling down here. And that is what the message was that the judge gave, was that she needs other help and jail was not going to be the answer.
DR. HARVEY KARP, PEDIATRICIAN: Yes, I totally agree, she should not go to jail. That would really be penalizing her family, punishing them.
She needs help. She needs counseling. And I hope she has to give community service as well so she can go out and show herself as being an example for how not to be a parent, or, actually how to go and reach out for help.
JACOBS: Good point there.
Lisa Boesky, same question -- should "Hot Sauce Mom" be serving jail time?
BOESKY: She should not be serving jail time. She should be held accountable.
Probation is appropriate if and only if she`s required to go to mandated parenting classes with an emphasis on effective discipline. She needs to be monitored closely to ensure this doesn`t happen again to that boy or the other children in her house.
But she also needs to go to mandated family counseling. They need to heal the relationship between this boy and his mother, as well as the siblings. It was a sibling who held that camera, so there`s family counseling that needs to happen as well.
JACOBS: That`s a good point to bring up, Lisa.
It was the "Hot Sauce Mom`s" 10-year-old daughter who was actually filming that disturbing video that we saw.
And I happen to agree. I don`t think jail time is appropriate here, but there has to be some deterrent.
As you said, Doctor, perhaps community service. And maybe more disturbing is her motivation for making this tape, which is what we`re going to discuss in the next block.
And when does discipline cross the line? Well, we`ll find out what`s OK and what may be a crime.
And later, the father of the suspect being held in Aruba speaks out. Hear what he has to say coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBS (voice-over): The jury is in, the verdict is guilty, and the judge has spoken, but will Hot Sauce Mom sentence burn enough to teach her a lesson? Punishing the punisher.
And later, suspicious mounts the clock ticks, and tomorrow, the unthinkable could happen. The only suspect in Robyn Gardner`s disappearance may walk free, perhaps, taking with him any chance of ever finding out what happened. Will yet another Aruba disappearance go unsolved? Plus, Gary Giordano`s father speaks out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Open. Close your mouth. Did you swallow it? Do you lie to me? No. Don`t spit it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBS (on-camera): To call it disturbing is an understatement. Hot Sauce poured directly into the mouth of her seven-year-old son, and that was just one of the videotaped punishments that Jessica Beagley shared with the "Dr. Phil" talk show in an episode called "Mommy Confessions." The other punishment was an ice cold shower in the middle of winter in Alaska. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the consequence for pulling a card?
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Cold shower.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A cold shower. Get undressed right now. Kristoff, why are you getting a cold shower?
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Because I pulled three cards.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You pulled three cards today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBS: Oh, man. Anybody with children has to be absolutely cringing right now as we are in the studio. And tonight, Jessica Beagley, now known as the notorious Hot Sauce Mom has been sentenced to three years probation by an Alaskan judge. Back with me is Robin Sax, Dr. Harvey Karp, and Lisa Boesky from San Diego.
Reactions to the Hot Sauce Mom sentence have been nearly as controversial as reactions to her guilty verdict, and you certainly have not been shy as viewers about sharing your thoughts with the DR. DREW show. Let`s take a look at some of the feedback we`ve been getting.
Jillian on Facebook writes, "I`m sorry. I don`t get it. A mother is shown on tape abusing her child and gets probation. Another example of how the justice system lets down its victims."
And Justin writes, "It`s called discipline. She didn`t beat the kid, so please stop it with all the quote she needs to go to jail crap." Pardon my French.
Lisa, why do you think people are having such a visceral reaction to the hot Sauce Mom sentence?
LISA BOESKY, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think it hits all of us at the core. Those of us -- I`m a mother. Those of us who think of our own children and hearing those screams when he`s in the shower, thinking about doing hot sauce. You know, for some of us, it breaks our hearts. For other people, they say I had that happen to me, what was the big deal?
I think the hard part about this story is it`s really easy to be very upset or triggers a lot of thing in people for themselves into this one woman, but the reality is there are millions of children that are physically, emotionally, and sexually abused every year.
And what I wish the public would do and your viewers would do is rather than get so angry about this that they go to, you know, preventchildabuse.org and go to their local chapter and volunteer their time or donate some money and help some millions of children out there who can`t protect themselves, because it`s easy to sit back and be irate at this, but it`s really hard to actually go out there and do something to protect these children. Do something.
JACOBS: That`s a great point, Lisa. There are resources that can be used. And please, use them. Robin, two-part question for you. First of all, do you think this is child abuse? And second, in your years as a prosecutor for L.A. County, had you ever come up against a case like this?
ROBIN SAX, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I actually have. I worked in the child -- I did child abuse prevention both sexually and physical abuse. And in the cases that I saw, you did see a bunch of cases like this, but you have to recognize that people have different parenting styles, and the law allows for different parenting styles, even allowing spankings in some situations, but yet, other people would say spankings are absolutely not allowed. You never hit. That should be criminal.
So, yes, it does fall within the law of child abuse. That was why she was prosecuted. That`s why she was convicted, but I don`t even think a prosecutor thinks that jail is going to help this woman be a better parent.
SAX: And certainly, this is someone who went to Dr. Drew recognized - -
JACOBS: Dr. Phil.
SAX: Dr. Phil, sorry, not Dr. Drew. She should have gone to Dr. Drew. That would have been good, but she chose to, you know, air this very horrific piece of dirty laundry with the hopes of getting help and got punished for it. And that feels like going to jail is just above and beyond what she should receive for recognizing the issue and getting help.
JACOBS: Yes. Well, you know, hopefully, the impetus was getting help. I personally think the impetus was getting on television which is disturbing in and of itself. And Dr. Karp, you wrote a book about proper child rearing.
DR. HARVEY KARP, PEDIATRICIAN: Right.
JACOBS: In your opinion, are these actions child abuse?
KARP: I think that these were abusive actions. Should the woman be put in jail? Absolutely not. I think one of the things that I`m glad that shows like the DR. DREW show are talking about this issue because it`s not about that woman. It`s about all of us. Parenting is a tough job. We have very little training to do. Most parents have no training to do it, and that`s wrong. I mean, it`s not only unintelligent for raising our children, but it`s not intelligent for raising our future country.
You know, there`s so much investment in infrastructure, build bridges, build roads. We need investment in social infrastructure. We need to help support families, and there are programs like Prevent Child Abuse America. The Obama administration has promised neighborhoods now where we`re investing in neighborhoods, poor neighborhoods, all around the country to try to bring up the level of parenting, so we can help people be winners and be competent rather than have to go in front of the courts like this.
JACOBS: I`m certain there`s not a portion in your book about cold showers or hot sauce for use of discipline. Did this woman cross the line?
KARP: Well, the poor woman didn`t know what else to do. God knows how she was parented. Maybe, she was doing the best she could. Of course, you never do cold -- I mean, it`s abusive. It`s terrible thing to do. I have to say, when she was yelling at this child, she wasn`t calling him names and saying what a little so-and-so he was. She wasn`t breaking his spirit.
I mean, yes, it was really tough, but she was interrogating him, saying why are you getting this? Why is this happening to you? I`m not forgiving her for that, but at least, she wasn`t trying to smash him down the way some abusive parents do.
JACOBS: Well, tonight stories of extreme punishment continue to make headlines. Listen to this. The "Dallas Morning News" is reporting that a couple in Texas is under arrest. They`re accused of punishing their 10- year-old son for wetting the bed by refusing to give him water. And after four -- excuse me -- after five days, that boy tragically died of dehydration.
In another story, in Southern California, a father on a sightseeing cruise with his family became angry with his crying son so he decided to throw the seven-year-old overboard. Now, another person cogently threw the boy a life ring, and he was rescued. His 35-year-old father was taken into custody for child endangerment and resisting arrest.
Lisa, do stories like these explain, perhaps, why hot sauce mom didn`t receive jail time? I mean, is this to a certain extent not as bad as the stories that we just heard?
BOESKY: Well, I think that actually does play a role. I`m sure that judge has heard terrible stories. You know, I`ve worked the last 15 years with juvenile offenders that are in jails and prisons, and I could give you 400, 500 stories of kids locked in cages, locked in closets, tortured, raped, molested repeatedly for years. There are horrific stories out there. Now, that doesn`t excuse what happened in this case, but there are, by far, worse stories out there for sure.
And I think there`s something wrong with our society that we aren`t doing enough about that. And that, we get irate about it, and at least, we care about it, but I don`t feel like we take the next step to actually do something about it. And you know what, it`s happening in our neighborhoods. It`s happening in our families. It`s happening in our next door neighbor`s house, and we don`t want to get in their business. We want to mind our own business.
We don`t want to bother people. We want to kind of keep to ourselves. And I think it`s our ethical duty for these children to say something and do something. And you can do something productive. Like I said, preventchildabuse.org. I have no connection to it, but it`s an association that you can donate your time and money so that we can help these kids, because it`s everywhere. And the judge had seen that. And I think to him, this wasn`t as serious of case.
JACOBS: Dr. Karp, you`re nodding your head in agreement.
KARP: Yes. You know, one of the things we think in America, we give love to our families, but you know, there are just a few countries in the whole entire world that don`t give paid maternity leave. It`s like the United States Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. I mean, we are a very wealthy country. There`s no reason that we shouldn`t get some love to our families and support to them so that they build the bonds rather than having the family shred apart.
JACOBS: Well, I think regardless of how you feel about the decision in this case, you have to feel sympathy for that little boy in the tape.
And coming up next, Aruban authorities call Gary Giordano the main suspect in the disappearance of an American woman in Aruba, but could he be a free man by this time tomorrow? Stay with us.
JACOBS: Well, tonight, the clock is ticking for Aruban officials to find enough evidence to charge Gary Giordano with a crime. If not, he could be a free man at this time tomorrow. You remember that last week, new photos of Robyn and Giordano surfaced showing the pair as they left a beach bar. Some are reporting that Robyn looked dazed and confused. Well, there is no hard evidence that either of them went into the water, and that`s where Giordano claims he last saw Robyn.
Well, what happened after these photos were taken? And we are hearing from witnesses that Giordano was never in the water. Joining me is Richard Forester. He is Robyn Gardner`s boyfriend. Robin Sax is back. She`s a former Los Angeles County prosecutor and author. And live in Aruba, CNN reporter, Martin Savidge. Martin, let me start with you. When are the Aruban authorities planning on having the hearing regarding Giordano?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s, first of all, a closed hearing. So, we won`t be allowed to go into that courtroom and witness what takes place, but we`re told it is supposed to happen sometime in the morning, and that we would be notified from a release that come from the court system itself.
It`s a very significant event, of course, because this is the opportunity where the defense, where Gary Giordano, is going to argue and say, look, you held by client now for over three weeks and you still have no proof positive that this was anything more than what he said it was, which was a terrible snorkeling accident that took place on August 2nd where Robyn Gardner never came out of the water.
Of course, the prosecutions are going to say, we have a lot of evidence here. We certainly have a $1.5 million life insurance policy. This is, indeed, potential motive. And there are other things we`re working on. I asked investigators, do you only have the insurance policy, and they said no. They have more than that, but they don`t want to talk about it publicly.
So, the judge will then take that all into account and decide whether or not Gary Giordano could be set from free, and as you say, it could be by this time tomorrow. We have to wait for the court.
JACOBS: Martin, you mentioned that insurance policy which, you know, some say is equivalent of a smoking gun. We`ll talk about that more in a moment. They also have eyewitness accounts as well as some surveillance videotape from the restaurant where they were drinking that morning. In your opinion, do you think the prosecution has found enough evidence to keep Giordano in jail for another 60 days, and if so, how does the process work in Aruba versus how it works here in the U.S.?
SAVIDGE: Well, the process works in a number of different ways. You could be arrested in this country nearly on just suspicion, where as, of course, in the United States, law enforcement is expected to provide some kind of proof and evidence before they can issue an arrest warrant and bringing him into custody. So, the bar is very low initially to take you into custody here. But each time you go before a judge and that is first in two days, then in 16 days, now, we`re going for 60 days, the level of evidence that the prosecution has to have is now much higher.
And that`s what the judge is going to be listening for. What is the evidence that you really have? And, of course, you got the conflicting statements that eyewitnesses say they never saw the couple snorkeling. You`ve got a closer (ph) television cameras that says at a timeline that makes you wonder, you know, did they really have time? Were they in any condition to go snorkeling?
These are the many questions, but the biggest question that authorities have very early on in this investigation all had to do with the natural environment, the weather, because Gary Giordano told them that it was a strong current that pulled her away, and that he struggled himself to get to the shore. Yet, the weather conditions that day were extraordinarily calm, not just calm, but extraordinarily calm for this part of the island.
And the first responders that went in the water said they didn`t feel a current. They didn`t struggle coming back to shore. It didn`t add up. So, even in the first hours, they doubted his story.
JACOBS: And, of course, something that`s making a lot of people question his motivations is this insurance policy. $1.5 million vacation insurance, I guess, in case of an accidental death, he would be the beneficiary. I believe he even checked in on it just a couple days after her disappearance. Do you have any late information on that and what possibly could have motivated him to take out a $1.5 million insurance policy on her?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, first of all, he is a businessman. Some people say that this is a common practice of his. In other words, that he`s careful. That he`s cautious with his money. And taking out an insurance policy like this, many people do, so it`s not that uncommon. The amount seems high, but, you know, he is, apparently, a well to do man so maybe he`s used to high figures.
Where the suspicion comes in for authorities is, of course, the fact that he is the beneficiary. When his insurance policy -- because he has a 1.5 one on him as well, his mother was the benefactor, but in Robyn`s case, he is the benefactor. She would have had to have signed that over to him, and the question was, did she do it willingly? Did she do it knowingly? And then, of course, is the fact that she disappears just a couple of days after signing over that.
So, this is the suspicion, compiled of a story that doesn`t seem to add up to authorities that, they say, gives them justification to hold him longer. We`re not talking about trial yet, just to hold him longer. It could be another 60 days, could be 30 days. It could be whatever the judge decides. Or as we say, he could go home.
JACOBS: Martin Savidge, CNN correspondent in Aruba. Thank you so much for weighing in with that valuable information. And Robin, I want to turn to you now as a former prosecutor for L.A. County. What`s your gut instinct here about this guy?
SAX: Well, this case reminds me a lot of the Bruce Beresford Redmond case. We know about the murder that he`s now accused of and extradited for in Mexico. Same kind of circumstances where there`s all of these being said. No other explanation. No other suspect. You`ve got a life insurance policy. You have a change of the life insurance policy beneficiary. You have him telling and making him accounts of a story that doesn`t add up and is consistent with people who have no relationships with them, their theory of what happened.
You have his kind of somewhat checkered past of volatile relationships and potential abuse that have been there. You have her acting unusual. Who else would have done it? It doesn`t make sense. If this case was going on here in the United States, there is no doubt that there would be ample enough probable cause to hold him in custody. The issue is whether or not it`s probable cause and whether or not that their standard of suspicion gels with our standard of probable cause.
JACOBS: And I think something we can both agree on is what she said. Things do not add up here. There`s something more to this story, and hopefully, we`re going to find out. Now, Gary Giordano is, apparently, the beneficiary of that $1.5 million travel insurance policy that he took out on Robyn Gardner. And Richard, I want to bring you in now. If Gardner named Giordano the beneficiary, do you have any idea why she would do that?
RICHARD FORESTER, ROBYN`S GARDNER BOYFRIEND: No. I have no idea why she`d do that. The only way that it would ever be done is if she was signing something she didn`t know what it was, and I think it`s been pointed out, another reports that he`s been known to forge documents before. Who`s to say he didn`t forge this one?
JACOBS: Richard, obviously, this must have come to a complete -- as a complete shock for you. You were actually living with Robyn when she took off to Aruba on this vacation. How are you holding up and how have you dealt with all this information that`s come out during the month of August?
FORESTER: Minute by minute every single day. You know, I can`t let it throw me off track.
JACOBS: Yes. I`m sure it`s difficult, Richard. I appreciate you weighing in for us.
And when we come back, what do Aruban authorities do if their main suspect is not charged? Will the Robyn Gardner case ever be solved? Stay with us. We`ll discuss it further.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINA JONES, ROBYN GARDNER`S ROOMMATE: They were definitely friends. Probably could have been more at one time, but as she got to learn about him, I know that things became rocky, and she was kind of second guessing herself about their friendship. But somehow, that guy always kind of weaseled his way back in there with her, where one minute, she wasn`t sure about him and the next, she`d say that, you know, it was OK. You know, it`s OK to get on a plane and go to Aruba.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBS: She`s been missing for almost a month. Robyn Gardner traveled to Aruba with Gary Giordano. What do Aruban authorities do if their main suspect, Giordano, is not charged? Well, here is the suspect`s father talking on NBC`s "Today" show defending his son. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK GIORDANO, GARY GIORDANO`S FATHER: He`s been put in isolation, but it`s not just his isolation. It`s ours as well. He is very close to the kids. He`s also a big kid himself. They love coming over to his house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBS: Robin Sax, does this piece of tape from his dad give us any sort of insight into what sort of man Gary is?
SAX: The most telling piece of that tape is where his dad refers to Giordano as being almost like a kid himself. That statement. Not the fact that he`s on TV defending his son, because I can imagine any parent doing that. But referring to his son as a kid suggests that there was some sort of stunted growth somewhere. Someone who`s not mature.
Someone who may want more than they can have. Someone who may not be able to take no for an answer. It certainly makes someone sound as though they`re narcissistic. And if they`re narcissistic, they could be capable of committing a crime like murder.
JACOBS: And Richard, I`d like your opinion on that piece of tape, too. Obviously, you`re most likely biased against Gary, but what does that make you feel when you hear his dad defending him like that?
FORESTER: I think it`s ridiculous. None of what he said has anything to do with trying to find somebody who`s missing. It`s defending him. He`s got a defense attorney. Who cares if he`s in isolation? I don`t think any one of us here in the U.S. cares that he`s in isolation. It`s ridiculous.
JACOBS: And Richard, with all the evidence that we know about this case, are you surprised at all that Gary might be able to walk free this week?
FORESTER: I`m definitely surprised. It`s definitely not something that I want to see or anybody wants to see. I think he needs to be held on to until there`s some an answers. Right now, there are no answers, and that`s one of the hardest parts about this. but, again, you know, it`s all about finding her, and what his dad said had nothing to do with that.
JACOBS: And robin, same question for you. I mean, it seems on the face of all this circumstantial evidence against Gary, it`s almost a no brainer that he should be held for at least another 60 days while they can fact find a little bit more. What`s your opinion on this, the possibility that he might actually go free tomorrow?
SAX: Well, I think the first is that, kudos to you guys here covering the story and making sure that there is pressure and people are aware of how much evidence there is, because I think that this is a case where the United States can come in handy with the use of media, the use of being the watch dog to the Arubans.
Arubans have -- they better use this opportunity to rebuild all their mess ups from the Holloway case, and this is an opportunity to do right. And so, I say, we keep it out there and keep talking about it and keep discussing and demand answers and demand prosecution.
JACOBS: Eerily (ph) coincidental, this is the exact same time in Aruba where Natalee Holloway disappeared from. And Richard, I want to finish with you. What can people do to help us find out what happened to Robyn?
FORESTER: God, you know? I wish I had that answer. I`d be doing it all, you know, more than what I`m doing. Keep passing out that tip number. There`s a pretty big page on Facebook set up. Help find Robyn Colson Gardner. It`s a great thing, and there`s a lot of people, a lot of support on there. If anybody knows anybody who was there or was there themselves, if they saw them, please speak up.
JACOBS: Well, that tip number just flashed across our screen. Richard, thank you so much. And Robin, thank you for joining me on this very interesting episode.
FORESTER: Thank you.
SAX: Thank you.
JACOBS: And Dr. Drew will be back tomorrow. I want to give a personal thanks to Dr. Drew and everybody here at the show for allowing me to sit in. I had an absolute blast doing it, and I hope to see you again back soon. Thank you very much for watching. Good night.