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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Joran Van Der Sloot Charged with Murder; Mansion Death Murder or Suicide?
Aired September 1, 2011 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, justice in the war on women. Finally Joran Van Der Sloot is charged with murder. We`ll have reaction from Aruba to Peru, as new shockers now emerge in the latest case of an American woman missing in Aruba.
Also, an unimaginable horrific breach of trust. A Philly cop is charged with raping a woman in the backseat of his squad car while he was on duty. If women aren`t safe with police, who can they turn to? I`m taking your calls.
Also, is that multimillion-dollar mansion death mystery solved? A high-powered pharmaceutical mogul`s girlfriend was found naked and hanging from a balcony. Was it murder or suicide?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, everybody. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from New York City.
A huge day of breaking news. Two Casey Anthony shockers. We are going to talk to meter reader Roy Kronk`s attorney exclusively about his brand-new defamation lawsuit.
And we also have a bombshell for you in the mysterious death of a woman in San Diego at a mansion. That`s all coming up.
But first Joran Van Der Sloot, big news, that he could be released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S MOTHER: I don`t know what happened to Natalee. I don`t know where she is. I don`t know if she`s alive or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He now has officially been charged with first- degree murder in the death of Stephany Flores.
B. TWITTY: Every day is marked with pain and no answers.
NATALEE HOLLOWAY, WENT MISSING IN ARUBA: Just sitting in the back, cruising over to my place.
B. TWITTY: First I want to go through the TV and I want to kill him, I mean, peel the skin off his face.
My journey for justice has not ended.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news. After years of evading the law, Joran Van Der Sloot, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, is finally charged with murder in the death of another woman. With Joran now awaiting a murder trial, are we finally one step closer to solving the mystery of missing Natalee Holloway?
Here`s how Joran was brought to justice. Let`s go back and review. On May 30, 2010, five years to the day from when Natalee Holloway disappeared, Van Der Sloot allegedly murdered another young woman in Peru. Surveillance footage showed Joran and Stephany Flores going into his hotel room. He leaves alone. She was found dead in that room, brutally beaten, blunt force trauma.
After leaving the hotel -- you see him here leaving the hotel -- Joran made a mad dash for Chile, where he was found with blood on his clothing, blood that matched victim Stephany Flores` blood type.
Joran then confesses to the crime and later takes it all back. Despite all this, it took over a year to charge him with the crime, all this time people demanding to know what happened to Natalee Holloway, police in Aruba keeping their eye on Joran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TACO STEIN, ARUBA SOLICITOR GENERAL: Joran will be a person of interest in this case. Because he`s still one who can give us information. Up till now, he hasn`t proven very trustworthy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Joran Van Der Sloot charged as guilty? Well, yes, he is charged with murder now. Is he guilty as charged? Call me: 1-877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Now, when Joran was arrested in June of last year, it looked like an open and shut case.
I want to go to straight out to T.J. Ward, a private investigator who really investigated for months the Natalee Holloway disappearance. He was down there in Aruba. He wanted to see justice for Natalee.
What is your reaction to Joran Van Der Sloot being charged with murder, not in Natalee`s case but in the case of Stephany Flores in Peru?
T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes, I believe he should, because the evidence is overwhelming that the law enforcement in Peru has gotten. And I believe that they -- he will be prosecuted there. I thought it was very interesting today that his defense attorney says that the 30 years that he was given, along with the other five years for 35 years total was a little much of an overkill for the crime that he committed. That`s outrageous. That`s outrageous. He killed and took the life of another a woman, and we know that he -- he`s the guilty party.
And ironically it happened five years after Natalee Holloway had died, on the exact day. It puts him in a different perspective. Maybe he`s a psychopath or a sociopath, but we need to -- we need keep a close eye on him. And hopefully Aruba will keep -- keep close attention on what`s going on in Peru.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. And we have to bring this back to Natalee. Remember how she was so full of life before her disappearance in Aruba, last seen with Joran Van Der Sloot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLLOWAY: The beach was a blast. The best time of my life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you properly buckled, honey? Oh, you`re not. You`re caught, OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, just into ISSUES we have a statement on Joran being charged with murder in Peru from Beth Holloway. And I want to read it to you. We just got it. "God bless the Peru authorities for handling this, thoroughly and professionally. They have faced criticism and threats of lawsuits from the defendant`s side, and they have stuck to their guns. And good for them. It`s clear that there was a mountain of evidence to back up this murder charge, and the authorities did a good job of processing the crime scene and making sure the details were in place so maybe now justice will be served, and maybe the Flores family will have some feeling of relief."
And that -- again, that from missing Natalee Holloway`s mother, Beth Holloway.
Mike Brooks, this is a huge development. Can they use this new murder charge against Joran to -- as leverage to squeeze the truth about Natalee from him?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It`s going to -- time will tell, Jane. There`s a good possibility we may never know what really happened to Natalee Holloway, but hopefully, they`ll make these charges stick. It looks like they are. They`ve got a mound of evidence. They`ve also charged three other guys that were helping him escape, if you will, and driving him from place to place. They charged them also.
But I tell you, with the video surveillance evidence that we`ve seen of him going to and from that hotel room, you know, when Stephany Flores`s body was inside, I think it`s game, set and match.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You`ve got to wonder why it took them a year. Over a year.
BROOKS: I agree with you. I thought it took a long time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s almost an open and shut case. It`s almost a caught-on-tape crime.
Recent video of Joran Van Der Sloot shows that he has changed radically from the person we first got to know in prison. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GRAPHIC: It is a notification.
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, CHARGED WITH MURDER: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GRAPHIC: That only says that you gave this paper to me, nothing more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, can you believe his attorney is saying 30 years is too much for this crime, since it was an isolated incident without any further acts of violence? And they are simply arguing it`s a crime of passion; he should only go away for five to seven years. Can you believe it?
HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, Jane, and I have two words for that defense attorney: Natalee Holloway. This is not an isolated incident about violence against women. This is not the first woman who went missing or was injured in his presence. Is he kidding me? Thirty years is a gift. He`s lucky they don`t have the death penalty down there, OK? I don`t know how he says that with a straight face, quite frankly.
And to claim this is an isolated incident. There`s also women from another country that have come out and talked about how he has tried to victimize them, as well.
We also know, Jane, remember that he tried to extort Beth Holloway for money and is looking at federal charges from the United States. This is not an isolated incident. This is a career criminal, who is arrogant, and if not punished in this case, will continue to commit crime after crime after crime, and think he`s entitled.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And if he only does five to seven years, because he thinks it`s a crime of passion, if for some reason they`re able to argue that, he`s having -- actually living the life of Riley (ph) behind bars. He`s allowed to have conjugal visits, reportedly. He has certainly put on a lot of weight. Apparently, it`s anything goes behind bars in that particular prison.
Now, this, what you`re about to hear is Natalee Holloway`s former stepfather three years ago, talking on "NANCY GRACE" about Natalee going missing in Aruba. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUG TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S STEPFATHER: I think, you know, things like this have probably happened on the island before. And maybe people got away with it, you know, the mass media that showed up down there, they just couldn`t -- they couldn`t cover it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Julia Renfro, editor in chief of "Aruba Today." What is the reaction in Aruba to Joran being charged with murder in Peru?
JULIA RENFRO, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "ARUBA TODAY" (via phone): Well, obviously, it`s a sense of relief here in Aruba, because there just wasn`t enough evidence to hold him here. They held him back in 2005 for as long as they possibly could. They brought him in several more times, but they could not -- the prosecution could not get enough evidence to take him to court.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And of course, there`s been another tragic disappearance on the island of Aruba, Robyn Gardner, who went down there, in a totally unrelated case to Joran Van Der Sloot. But this beautiful woman went down there with an American friend. And now she`s missing. What`s the -- what`s the reaction, Julia, in Aruba to these American women who keep going missing in your country and in Aruba?
RENFRO: American go missing all over the world, that`s for sure. The difference is here it doesn`t happen. And that`s why the reaction is so strong. Aruba is known around the world for being the safest and friendliest place in the world. People just don`t expect it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. So, again, a sense of relief, you`re saying, Julia, that Joran Van Der Sloot has been charged with murder in Peru.
I want to thank my panel. We`ve had so much breaking news today. We`ll bring it to you as it comes in. There`s a huge development on this mansion. Is it a suicide or not? Is it murder? We don`t know. We`ve got some new information on the other side of the break that is just coming in.
And we`re also talking Casey Anthony, big news there. A hearing. We`ve got a new lawsuit. We`ve got a planned deposition that she`s going to have to go to, but she`s going to take the fifth, we`re told. We`re going to take you all about it. And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM- SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. Stay right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a grisly mansion mystery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They found Ms. Zahau with a rope around her neck and hanging from a balcony on the main house. The victim`s hands and feet were bound, and she was completely nude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was found bound with electrical cord, both hands and feet, and no suicide letter. How is that a suicide?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No woman would ever hang herself nude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The case is suspicious. There`s no question about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A death investigation is not necessarily a criminal matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got some breaking news to tell you about tonight in the mysterious death of a woman at a San Diego mansion. Was this beautiful woman`s death a murder or a suicide? That`s the question everybody`s answering.
We are waiting tomorrow for a news conference authorities are going to hold on the West Coast at 11 their time, 2 p.m. Eastern, and we are getting some previews of what we might hear tomorrow.
Rebecca Zahau was found dead, hanging naked from a balcony, second- floor balcony, at her boyfriend, pharmaceutical tycoon Jonah Shaknai`s $13 million mansion.
Now this is actual footage of the crime scene, and her body is there, blurred, before police arrive.
Her death came just two days after another tragedy. This beautiful child, the mogul`s 6-year-old son, allegedly had a deadly fall, ultimately deadly for him, down a fall of stairs at the very same mansion. Rebecca was reportedly watching the boy at the time. So the question is, two days later, she turns up dead after his very, very serious fall that ultimately killed the child. Did she kill herself or was it murder?
Joining me now, Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of RadarOnline.com.
Dylan, what are you hearing about the death as we await tomorrow`s big announcement?
DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE.COM: Well, Jane, I can tell you that last night law enforcement authorities visited the family of Rebecca Zhao, and they told them that tomorrow they will deem this death a suicide, this following toxicology reports and their investigation.
But I can tell you, in breaking news, the family is not accepting this decision, and indeed, Rebecca Zahau`s sister spoke exclusively to RadarOnline just a short time ago. Her name is Sloane (ph), and this is what she had to say, and I quote, "Becky did not kill herself," she said. "Time will reveal who killed Becky. I think I know who killed my sister. We are not stupid. She did not have any enemies."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that is big breaking news. We`re going to have to see what authorities say tomorrow, but you`re essentially saying, Dylan, that authorities are going to say she killed herself, and the family is saying, "Unh-uh, we know our loved one, Rebecca, did not take her own life."
Now, I talked to somebody who saw Rebecca, right here on ISSUES, in an interview with this guy who saw Rebecca soon after the child fell. He was one of the last people to see her alive. And she was trying to board her dog with him so she could go to the hospital to see how the child was doing.
And by the way, it was Rebecca who was watching the child, watching the 6-year-old Max at the time of that terrible fall that ultimately took the child`s life. And this gentleman that we`re going to hear from in a second said Rebecca did not seem suicidal. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED GREENBERG, SAW REBECCA DAY SHE DIED: She was very, very quiet. I would say very upset, but definitely not distraught or anything that would indicate she would have been suicidal. She did ask about the cost of us taking the dog to the veterinarian for the vaccination, so that alone would indicate that, you know, if you`re going to commit suicide, why would you even care about the cost?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, do people who are about to commit suicide ask somebody they`re boarding their dog with, "How much does it cost per night to board my dog?"
HUGHES: No, Jane, because let`s face it, if that`s truly what you have planned, you`re not planning ahead. You`re planning just as far as it`s going to get you to do the act.
And the other thing that really disturbs me about this is, first of all, she`s found hanging from a balcony outside. She is in the nude. I don`t care how beautiful a woman is. She`s not going to hang herself in the nude. And then her hands and feet are bound?
So how did she then throw her body over in order to be able to kill herself? I`m really looking forward to hearing the autopsy results, Jane, because if in fact that`s how it went down, then the autopsy will be very telling in that her spine would have been pulled apart. There would have been very bad jerking. We`re going to see some serious hemorrhaging in the neck and around the spinal cord. And I`m curious to see if that happened, because it`s what we used to say in the law, it doesn`t pass the smell test.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And let`s talk about...
HUGHES: I know that`s where it was headed, but it doesn`t pass, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about some of the major players here. Her boyfriend Jonah -- and this has been a horrific tragedy for him. He loses his son, and he loses his -- well, the woman he was going to marry, supposedly. He was about to propose to her, according to some reports.
Now, he did have a difficult divorce with his ex-wife, and there were accusations of violence on both sides, verbal/physical. They accused each other. And then there`s Jonah`s brother, Adam, who was from Memphis, Tennessee, but he was at the guesthouse, and he found the body. So quickly, Mike Brooks, your thoughts on all of this?
BROOKS: Well, they always take a look, as we talk about all the time, Jane, at the people who are closest to the victim, and where they were, what their actions were, and to just basically eliminate them from this particular case.
But Holly makes some good points. I want to see the report. How were her hands tied? How were her feet tied? What kind of knots were used? All these different kind of things.
And a lot of times, Jane, people who are closest to people who are suicidal sometimes don`t realize that they are suicidal.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll leave it right there. We`re going to have more on this tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF`S CAPTAIN TIM CURRAN, SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: On Monday a child was injured in the home and was transported to the hospital for treatment. Are they connected? There`s nothing to indicate that those two instances are connected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two fatalities involving one mogul and his $13 million mansion. A huge news conference set for tomorrow to announce the results of those death investigations.
Rebecca Zahau, the girlfriend of the mogul, reportedly watching his son, 6-year-old Max, when the child fell down the stairs. Two days later, Rebecca, the girlfriend, is found hanging from the second-story balcony naked with her hands and feet bound.
Now, I want to go to Dylan Howard, senior editor of "Star" magazine and RadarOnline, executive editor. You have new information on the little boy`s death, because a lot of people didn`t even buy the idea that a child falls down the stairs and becomes so injured that he later dies.
HOWARD: Indeed, but it was a very significant fall, and of course, Rebecca Zahau was at the time the one looking after little Max. Now, he died after Rebecca died, but this whole case, we`re not in full possession of the evidence at this point. That`s what we`re going to find out tomorrow. But all focus is on the suspicious death, and that is Rebecca Zahau.
Now interestingly enough, as we understand it, law enforcement said that they had evidence that points to her state of mind, to suggest that she was grief-stricken, she felt a sense of responsibility, the seeds of remorse, because Max was in her company at the time.
That`s being disputed, though, by her family. In fact, her family has provided an e-mail in which she talks about Max`s death, and she encourages them to give prayers and love to Jonah Shaknai, to Max and to her throughout this time. The family says that`s not someone that would have taken their own life.
So at this point you`ve got law enforcement and the family diametrically opposed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And what I was referring to also was your report that came out that the boy, Max, most likely slid down the banister of the staircase head first at his dad`s mansion and hit his head, according to your sources. Because that would then explain how he might have had a fatal injury, not just slipping down the stairs, but how kids sometimes slide down banisters. And if he was sliding head first, he might have really hurt himself, to the point where he did.
HOWARD: Indeed. Indeed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And if -- go ahead.
HOWARD: As you say, if there`s a suggestion that perhaps Rebecca Zahau found a level of responsibility for his death, the allegation may be that she wasn`t perhaps keeping the necessary attention on Max at the time that caused that particular injury. But again, we don`t have the full possession of the evidence brief to know that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya, Oklahoma, your question or thought, Tonya?
CALLER: Hi, Jane, thanks for taking my call. I appreciate it. My question was, does the mother to the little boy have a good alibi?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, my understanding, Dylan, is that the mother and the father, the mogul and his ex-wife, were at the hospital watching over their son who was in a coma at the time that her body was found. Correct?
HOWARD: Indeed. And there`s no suggestion of impropriety on Jonah Shaknai`s behalf or, indeed, the mother`s behalf. In fact, they`ve been cooperative with law enforcement authorities in their investigation, so she does have an alibi. There`s no suggestion of impropriety on their behalf. But indeed, this is a very traumatic time. It means that these are two very unexpected deaths.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officer Keith Corley, seen here in the green sweat shirt, left internal affairs in handcuffs, charged with rape and a number of other related offenses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are committed to rooting out those individuals who would violate the trust of the public. Obviously it`s something of great concern. It`s another, you know, black mark against the department, but again it doesn`t represent everybody on the department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, a shocking act of brutality allegedly committed a sworn police officer in uniform; a four-year veteran of the Philadelphia police force under arrest for allegedly raping a woman in the backseat of his squad car while he`s on duty. This woman trusted this cop. He had offered her a right, and then he allegedly raped her.
I cannot think of a more horrifying abuse of power. Cops say Keith Corley was on duty in uniform in a marked police car when she was -- I think it was at 3:30 in the morning. And she`s standing there and her ride isn`t coming. Her bus isn`t coming. And he says I`ll give you a ride. And then he allegedly assaulted this woman, takes her to another location to assault her. All right.
This is a guy who`s married with stepchildren. Unbelievably, this cop is the third Philadelphia police officer to be arrested of a crime against a woman this month; the second this week alone.
We talk about a war on women here on ISSUES. Well, you never thought that the people that you think are going to protect you would be those allegedly involved in the war on women.
Take a look at this. This is how we normally think of police misconduct. A suspect in a car chase gets punched sometimes, when the adrenaline is going too fast and furious in the veins of cops after they`ve been chasing somebody. And they -- they`re caught on tape doing this. That`s how we usually think of police misconduct. We don`t think of officers taking advantage of a woman who`s waiting for a bus.
Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think on this? 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to HLN law enforcement analyst, Mike Brooks; Mike, you are our law enforcement analyst, your reaction to this horror story.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, I spent over 27 years as a law enforcement officer. Just like you heard Commissioner Ramsey, it is a black mark against the department when something like that happens. I know Commissioner Ramsey personally and I know that he will not tolerate this in his department.
But you know, we can`t look at all law enforcement as suspected rapists Jane. These are isolated incidents. The other two you were talking about involved an off-duty officer who was in a fight with his girlfriend. But when something like this happens, it is a black mark again all of law enforcement not just the Philadelphia Department that`s involved in this particular case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you mentioned the Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ramsey. He spoke publicly about the DNA evidence found inside the patrol car.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMM. CHARLES RAMSEY, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: The police lab did an excellent job on this. In fact it was very -- it wasn`t easy to get the evidence that they needed to get, and they followed through, didn`t give up, until they got what they needed to present to the DA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Alison Steele, staff writer, "Philadelphia Inquirer", you`re all over this story. Give us the play by play of what authorities believe happened to this woman.
ALLISON STEELE, "PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Well, basically she was waiting for a bus very late at night, about 3:30 in the morning. This police officer Keith Corley, he stopped. They had some serious conversation. I guess he indicated that he would give her a ride home.
And so she gets in the car with him. Instead he drives her to another location to a more secluded area, I believe and assaulted her inside the patrol car. It`s what police are saying happened and it`s what he`s charged with.
After that alleged assault, he then drove the woman back to where she had been before, dropped her off at a bus station; didn`t even take her home actually. And the woman reported the assault immediately after that is my understanding. Within a few hours of this alleged assault, the news was sort of all over the people. People were already talking about it, so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it would have been a he said/she said but authorities say they found DNA. Is that correct, Allison Steele?
STEELE: That`s correct. That`s what my sources have told me, at least. And you know, this happened a few weeks ago. This report was made a few weeks ago. And it`s my understanding that they were just waiting for the results on that DNA evidence to come back before they charged him. It was my understanding that there was DNA on this woman`s clothing, inside the patrol car. So it was just a matter of time. Again, these are what my sources have told me.
This is the third time in the last two weeks that a Philadelphia police officer has been charged with a violent attack against a woman. This officer we`ve been talking about, charged with rape, and then you have two others arrested. One for assault for fighting with his ex-girlfriend; that`s Sean Jang, and John Mouzon charged with assault for allegedly fighting with his girlfriend as well.
Holly Hughes, you know what occurred to me when I heard this story? And actually I`ll throw this out to Brian Russell, forensic psychologist. I was on vacation in Amsterdam of all places this past week; I was doing my little one-week tour of Europe. I got lost and I couldn`t find my hotel, even though I had my iPhone and I had a map.
And I saw a police officer, and I said, "I am so lost, officer, could you tell me where my hotel is?" And he said, "I`ll give you a ride. Get in my car." I said, "Ok, great," but I didn`t feel like it was a choice. He wasn`t like I could give you a ride if I want to. He said, "Get in my car, I`ll give you a ride.
Now thankfully he was a very nice police officer. And when he dropped me off at the hotel he said in his fabulous accent, "Now you can tell everybody in America you were taken into custody in Amsterdam." And he was a delightful guy.
But as I was thinking about this story, I was thinking, my gosh I felt compelled to get in that car because he`s an officer of the law and he said "Get in my car". They have tremendous power, cops do.
BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, they do Jane. They have tremendous psychological power. And that`s really the crux of this story. If in fact as has been alleged this was involuntary sex, and of course he`s innocent until proven guilty. But if it was a rape as the victim says it was, then it does broader damage than other kinds of rape because it shatters the confidence that the public has in the ability to be safe by putting the trust in cops.
And it causes problems also for the police, because they, of course, now will have criminals who are actual criminals who will say, I ran from the police, because I was afraid that they were actually going to harm me. And so it causes problems all around.
And interestingly the uniform is part of the psychology of this. I don`t know if anybody else has talked about this, but if a construction worker commits a rape people are less likely to be afraid of all construction workers. But because of that uniform that we all have come to trust as a symbol of protection and safety, and power and all of that, we tend to think about police as being more interchangeable and more alike. And it`s really too bad because, of course, the vast majority of them are trustworthy and don`t abuse their power.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, of course. And along with the uniform there`s something called a gun that they have, too, which has a certain amount of inherent power even if they`re not pointing it at you. They have a gun on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I have another story to tell you that -- another story that`s in the news. There`s another police officer who has been caught on camera, having sex on the hood of his patrol car. You can see it right there. It was caught on a park security camera.
He is having sex as we speak when you see that photo, it was snapped and he will not be criminally charged but he could be fired for misconduct. And I think you see a little Chihuahua there is the only witness in the case. There`s a Chihuahua somewhere; I can`t see it but maybe you can.
Anyway, Holly Hughes, obviously I am a big fan of law enforcement. And I, in fact, took a course once, and they told me you will never be a police officer, you failed everything. But it`s these few aberrant case that do so much damage to the vast majority of law enforcement officers who do everything right and have a very tough job.
HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely Jane. It`s the old adage that one bad apple can spoil the bunch. Because it`s not just what our psychologist was talking about with you know now good law-abiding citizens aren`t going to trust the police, because they`re going to feel like are you one of the bad guys. But this gives the excuse to the criminals out there who are going to say, I didn`t stop when he commanded me to, because I thought I was going to get attacked. I thought I was going to be victimized.
And you know, that may play to a jury, Jane. We are all human beings. This is a huge violation of the public trust. These are the people that are supposed to protect and defend us. And when they start victimizing us, not only does it affect everybody who`s a good law-abiding citizen but it also gives the criminals an excuse to say, "I ran, because I don`t trust what you`re going to do to me."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s an unfortunate situation and again it is an aberration. This is something that we don`t talk about very much, because it doesn`t happen very much, thank God.
Thank you, fantastic panel.
We have an update for you. Last night we told you about a terrible heartbreaking situation going on inside the Tripoli Zoo in war-torn Libya. These defenseless animals have been locked in cages and forgotten about. Many have gotten without food or even water for seven straight days.
This was discovered by CNN, and we here on ISSUES contacted the International Fund for Animal Welfare. And they are now getting involved. Thanks to our call they are on top of this. And we have a link on our Facebook page to their Web site, ifaw.org. You could find out how you can help.
We`re going to stay on top of this story until we get food and water to those starving animals at the Tripoli Zoo in war-torn Libya.
Stay right there.
Casey Anthony, up next, shockers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE BAEZ, LEAD ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: You hear stories of this Zanny the nanny. It`s true. For two years she pretended she had a job and pretended she has a nanny. Is that normal? Is that what normal people do? Something is not right here.
ZENAIDA GONZALEZ, SUING CASEY ANTHONY FOR DEFAMATION: My thought was I`m going to lose my children, because if they`re accusing me of kidnapping, what is the first thing they`re going to do, Department of Children and Family and they`re going to, you know, want to investigate your children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brace yourself, it`s deja vu all over again. It`s time to get ready for another Casey Anthony trial. Also there`s a new lawsuit just filed in connection with the Casey Anthony trial and the death of her little daughter Caylee.
We now know that Casey Anthony will be ordered to give a deposition. In the civil lawsuit filed on behalf of Zenaida Gonzalez or Zanny the nanny as we know her. Zanny claims Casey ruined her life when Casey told cops Zanny the Nanny kidnapped her daughter Caylee. Zanny`s lawyers jumped right into action after Casey was found not guilty in the murder of little Caylee, but Casey`s attorneys are already saying she will not talk at this deposition scheduled for October 8th. She will plead the Fifth.
Listen to what happened in court today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES GREENE, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: She will, in response to any questions that are substantive and reasonably relevant to the statements assert the Fifth Amendment.
JOHN DILL, PLAINTIFF`S ATTORNEY: If I`m going to ask question and uses that Fifth Amendment answer to every single question except for her name obviously it will be a very short deposition. However, I don`t think that the Fifth Amendment privilege will attach to a majority of questions. I don`t believe there`s a valid basis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But wait, there`s even more. A new lawsuit today; meter reader Roy Kronk who found Caylee Anthony`s remains is now suing the "National Enquirer" for defamation for allegedly implying that he killed Caylee. At least that`s what he feels (INAUDIBLE).
Does he have a case? Call me. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Tonight on ISSUES, right here: a primetime exclusive with attorney, Howard Marks who represents the Meter Reader Roy Kronk. We also have Zenaida`s attorney, John Dill. But we begin with Charles Greene, Casey Anthony`s attorney in the civil lawsuit.
And Charles, I`ve got to ask you, why do you think it`s ok for your client in this deposition to say, oh, I refuse to answer on the grounds that it`s going to incriminate me, over and over and over again.
GREENE: I`m sorry, I`m having a little trouble hearing you, but I believe you asked why is it ok for Miss Anthony to assert the Fifth Amendment?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you can hear me well enough to hear what I asked you, yes, sir.
GREENE: The answer would be that it`s her constitutional privilege to do so. She will assert her rights as anybody else in the same position would.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why is it her constitutional privilege? Because she was convicted of lying to cops and she`s planning apparently on appealing that? Is that the basis for you saying that she could incriminate herself by saying anything?
GREENE: Well, the reasons for her constitutional privilege are back in 1781 the founding fathers --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no, no -- whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa -- come on, come on, come on. You know what I`m talking about Charles.
GREENE: Look, I know what you`re talking about, but what you`re trying to do, is get into a debate over what facts support our assertion of that privilege. The question is why did she have the privilege? And we could get into a debate --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do you think you have the right to tell -- why do you think your client can get away with just basically saying I refuse to answer these questions? Let me ask you another question -- do you think it could be a violation of her probation? Because I`m looking at the requirements of her probation here, and it says you will promptly and truthfully answer all inquiries directed at you by the court. Now, this is a court-sanctioned deposition.
GREENE: The answer is no, it won`t be a violation of her probation. That would be a unique argument.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me ask you, you apparently talk to Casey all the time. How is she doing?
GREENE: She`s doing fine. She`ll be doing better as time goes along.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And is she really going to college online?
GREENE: I can`t answer any questions to what she`s presently doing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Charles, thank you for being a good sport and answering some of those questions. We`re going to move on, but keep us posted because --
GREENE: Well, you`re armed for bear. I`m sorry I had to be the target this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not armed for bear. I don`t believe in hunting. I`m not a hunter, ok?
GREENE: We look forward to talking to again as the trial comes closer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this Charles. What would you say if you were to explain to people why you feel that it`s ok for her not to answer any of these questions that Zenaida Gonzalez`s attorneys want to pose to her in their defamation suit against her? Why do you think it`s ok?
GREENE: You know, I couldn`t give you a short answer, but I will try to. First of all, I don`t think just because someone sues another person that they necessarily have a right to take their deposition at all. I believe this case is suspect both on the facts and the law, and we intend to test those beliefs. Secondly, there`s a constitutional privilege of anyone in the position of Miss Anthony to assert their right to avoid incriminating themselves, and she`s going to do it. It`s wise for many reasons.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, thank you for that answer. And we got a little insight into what`s going to go down.
Now, on the other side, we`re going to talk to the attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez, and find out why he feels that she doesn`t have the right to use the Fifth and refuse to answer on the ground that it may incriminate me.
Hang in. We`re going to get the other side next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: What do you want me to tell Zanny?
CASEY ANTHONY, SUED FOR DEFAMATION: That she needs to return Caylee.
CINDY ANTHONY: What do you think her reasons are?
CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don`t know.
CINDY ANTHONY: Ok.
CASEY ANTHONY: I forgive her. My only concern is that Caylee comes back to us, and she`s smiling and she`s happy and that she`s ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You just heard from Casey Anthony`s attorney and now we go to John Dill, the attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez who is suing Casey. You heard what the attorney for Casey Anthony had to say. What is your reaction to her attempt to take the Fifth at your deposition?
DILL: Well, like we said today in court, we don`t think there`s a basis for it. Keep in mind we`ve been trying to take Miss Anthony`s deposition since 2008. And we gave her the time period during the trial when she didn`t have to self-incriminate herself. And now that time`s come and gone. You heard at the top of the hour that the whole defense in the case were these were all lies; so how can she possibly incriminate herself now by coming in and answering our questions?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, if she does take the Fifth, what do you do?
DILL: Clients go right back in front of the judge and have the judge rule on it to determine whether it`s a valid privilege or not. We`re really encouraged by the fact that the judge is keeping the depo on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think if she takes the Fifth over and over again and refuses to openly answer your questions it will be a violation of her probation?
DILL: That I`m not sure about. And you bring up an interesting point there. She does have to answer all the inquiries from the court. This is a court-sanctioned deposition. So I think that`s -- there`s another reason why if they`re going to take the Fifth Amendment, they better make sure it`s valid.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in our exclusive guest, Howard Marks. And you`re the attorney for the meter reader Roy Kronk. You are now suing the "National Enquirer". Tell us about that, sir.
HOWARD MARKS, ATTORNEY FOR ROY KRONK: I am Jane. Roy Kronk has really sat back for the past two and a half years when his name has been trashed throughout really the country. He`s sat back to wait for the final resolution of the criminal case.
And he`s now seeking (ph) out and trying to -- he will be suing individuals and entities that have made false and malicious accusations against him the last couple years. He wants to clear his name. And he`s going to do that by holding the people that are responsible for making these false and malicious statements against him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. So how is he doing? How is he doing in the wake of this trial?
MARKS: I mean it`s been very tough for him; it`s been very difficult. The trial is now over, but he doesn`t go more than a day or two in his life where he`s not getting telephone calls or text messages or e-mails. And although there`s a lot of supporters out there and we appreciate all the support he gets; there are people out there that still believe some of these false and malicious statement that have been made against him. And he gets these hate mail and e-mails and death threats and things that are very unnerving to him.
So it`s been difficult for him. He`s trying to put it behind him. But at this point in time, it`s time for him to speak out. It`s time for him to clear his name. He sat back long enough as a good citizen and a Good Samaritan. He did what he was supposed to do when he reported what he found to the police, and this is what he got.
The people that have made up stories about him, the people that have spread false rumors about him, and have called him anything from baby killer to child snatcher, need to pay for what they said, and need to pay so he can get his reputation back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it $15 million you`re suing for or are $15,000?
MARKS: Well, we`d certainly like to get $15 million, but in Florida, you normally don`t sue --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I guess it`s $5,000.
More on the other side.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much Casey Anthony news, we`re here with Zenaida Gonzalez` attorney. What is Zenaida Gonzalez doing these days? You heard Roy Kronk has suffered a lot in the wake of this case. What about Zenaida?
DILL: Well, obviously Zenaida has been dealing with this a long time too, but she has a really positive attitude and she is trying to move on with her life. A lot of people have said that she had nothing to do with this. But one person hasn`t said that and that`s Casey Anthony, and that`s what we`re looking forward to hearing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the weird thing is that Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, your client, actually went to the Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claims she left little Caylee with a Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez. And she had actually signed a piece of paper. We never figured out how Casey came up with that name, didn`t we?
DILL: Haven`t yet. But I think we will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a mystery. Do you want to get to the bottom of that? How did -- you want to get to the bottom that. I think that`s --
DILL: Absolutely. That`s the whole point of the deposition. We want to find out how are client was targeted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Thank you.
"NANCY GRACE" is up next.