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Young Mother Charged With Murdering Newborn Twins
Aired September 16, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
A young mother is charged with murdering her just-born twins. Did fear motivate her to kill babies who were just seconds old?
Plus, the millionaire on trial in the fatal shooting of his own wife. He wouldn`t look at the crime scene photo of her dead body, but the jurors sure did.
And Clark Howard is here with money advice.
So let`s get started.
Tonight, a young mother sits in jail charged with murdering her newborn twins and hiding their bodies in a laundry basket. Surprisingly, no one knew she was pregnant. Police say a 25-year-old Tennessee woman confessed to smothering the twins with her bare hands after delivering them at her parents` home.
Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A young mom has reportedly confessed to killing her newborn babies, her twin boys, just minutes after they were born, so her parents wouldn`t find out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a 25-year-old woman, Lindsey Lowe. She lived with her parents in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one knew that she was pregnant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re all shocked and just saddened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say she gave birth to two baby boys in her bathroom, then suffocated them, using her bare hand to stop their breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police said Lowe confessed that she placed them, the dead babies, in a laundry basket in her room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two days later, her father discovered the bodies, and he called 911. She`s being held now without bond and faces two counts of first-degree murder.
PINSKY: Such a sad and tragic story.
And with us tonight, prosecutor Stacey Honowitz. On the phone, we have the Sumner County district attorney, Ray Whitley. And from Nashville, we have reporter Chris Bundgaard from WKRN, who`s been following this story.
Chris, I understand you talked to Lindsey`s attorney today. Can you tell me about that?
CHRIS BUNDGAARD, REPORTER, WKRN: Well, his name is John Pellegrin. He`s from Gallatin, Tennessee, which is right next door to Hendersonville. This is an area northwest of Nashville, a suburban area.
And he basically wants her out of jail. He believes that he`ll argue this in a bond hearing which is set for 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, and he believes that being out of jail is better for her, she needs to be back with her family, her family wants her back there. And she`s never been in any trouble before.
It`ll be real interesting to find out on Monday morning whether or not that bond will be reduced to an amount that apparently her family could pay.
PINSKY: Chris, I`d heard some rumors that perhaps there was concern about her mental health or even her safety, potential for self-harm, that sort of thing. Are you hearing anything about that?
BUNDGAARD: Well, you know obviously in a case like this, you would want to monitor the suspect. That`s what`s going on at the Sumner County Jail in Gallatin, Tennessee. She is in somewhat isolation, but she`s always being watched. There is some concern for her mental state according to her attorney that we talked with this morning.
PINSKY: Now, according to Hendersonville police, Lindsey was arrested Wednesday after her father discovered the babies in a laundry basket. I mean, just imagine coming upon that scene.
Now, after interviewing Lindsey, police released an affidavit which contained the following: "Lowe confessed she knowingly and intentionally killed each of her children using her bare hand to stop their breathing until they were dead to prevent her parents from discovering. Lowe confessed she placed them, dead babies, in a laundry basket in her room, covered them with blankets to the prevent their discovery."
Ray, she`s 25 years old. Now, do you know why -- and she`s living at home -- I`ve got questions about that, but do you know why she was so desperate to keep this pregnancy hidden from her parents?
RAY WHITLEY, SUMNER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, we don`t know for sure. We do know that it was a very closely-knit family. They love each other very much.
The parents doted as far as we can tell over their children. She had a fiance, and apparently she didn`t want anybody involved in her life to know that she was pregnant and is going to have a baby.
PINSKY: Again, it seems clear that she didn`t want anybody to know. What`s not clear is why didn`t she want -- why so desperately that she`s willing to kill.
It makes you wonder, were these somebody else`s babies other than the fiance? Was there something about the value system of that family where pregnancy was completely anathema to what they expected?
Do you know anything about these things?
WHITLEY: Well, all of those are good theories. We do not know for sure what her thinking was. I think that was -- would be something that will come out later on. We do know that she didn`t want these babies and had made no plans, whatsoever, to take care of a newborn baby at the time these two little boys were born.
PINSKY: But massive, massive denial, at least.
Now, Lindsey had been employed at a Nashville dental office for only a few months. Although her co-workers didn`t know her very well, they were shocked at the news. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So many lives are ruined. It`s a tragedy for everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re all just shocked and saddened and pray for her and her family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I have tried to put myself in that position over and over since last night, and just, you know, you don`t know what they`re thinking, what they`re going through. But anybody out there that may be going through this, you would hope that they would reach out to someone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes, you would hope that they would take alternative means, Stacey. What do you make of this case?
STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Well, you know what, Dr. Drew? You see more and more of these cases, and you have to ask yourself, is it because there`s such fear coming from these kids of what their parents are going to think?
Was there education? Did she know that there was a safe haven?
You`re not talking about some cases where you have a 14 or a 15-year- old girl who gets pregnant and delivers kids and doesn`t know what to do. You`re talking about a 25-year-old woman who deliberately and knowingly killed these children methodically as she delivered them in the toilet.
And so I think what the importance of all this is to remember that ignorance is not a defense to first-degree murder. Fear is not a defense to first-degree murder. And not being educated is not a defense to first- degree murder. That we have to tell young women who get pregnant accidentally that if they don`t want the child, there are other alternatives.
Now, you`re going to see that all of these issues are going to come forth once this case gets moving in court. Her attorneys are going to bring all of these things up -- the fearfulness, what was going on? What were dynamics of the household? We don`t know them now, but you will hear them later on.
And at the bond hearing, her attorney is going to desperately argue that she`s not a risk of flight, she has no prior convictions, she has strong ties to the community. It`s my understanding they were very tied into their church. Maybe that has something to do with it. And all of these new facts will come as the case gets further along in court.
PINSKY: And Stacey, what would be a suitable punishment for this case should she be found guilty?
HONOWITZ: Well, look, you`re going to have people on both sides of this. They`re going to say she deserves life in prison. She took two lives. She premeditated. She intentionally and knowingly killed two infants that she delivered.
And some people might say, we don`t know what her mental history is. We don`t know what she was going through. We don`t know if she deserves to be in prison for life.
So I think you`re going to -- you know, I don`t know, because I don`t know enough of the facts of what went on. Looking at it straight on, there`s no reason to say that taking two lives, two innocent babies` lives, doesn`t deserve life in prison like anything else.
But as I stated before, we don`t know all of the facts, we don`t know what`s going to come. We don`t know if there is any kind of plausible defense. Right now there doesn`t seem to be, because like I said, fear of your parents finding out, or if you`re getting in trouble, if you can`t make that rational choice, I`d rather get in trouble with my parents than take two lives, then there`s a serious issue there. So we`re going to have to wait and see.
PINSKY: Now, Chris, back to you very quickly.
Lindsey apparently was at a wedding last weekend and nobody noticed. Again, sort of bizarre, a nine-month pregnancy under way there and no one made note. And I also wondered, do you know much about Lindsey`s fiance?
BUNDGAARD: We don`t. I do know some information. We`re not really ready to talk about it yet. And also, obviously, the attorneys and the district attorney knows something about that.
PINSKY: Chris, you`re tantalizing us with that. Can you give me a preview of what you`re even referring to?
BUNDGAARD: Well, let`s do this. Why don`t you ask District Attorney Whitley about that. My understanding is that the fiance is undergoing a paternity test. They`re still trying to gather all of this information. He may be able to add a little more to that.
PINSKY: Ray, can you speak to that?
WHITLEY: Well, all that I can say is that there are DNA tests being done to determine who the father of the child is, and that will all come out later on. I`m not here to say who the father is at all.
I do know that the defendant, Ms. Lowe, is a college graduate. And there are a lot of different things that she could have done other than to have suffocated her babies.
We have a safe haven law here in Tennessee that is very strong and very workable. And that certainly was not used in this case.
PINSKY: Well, and I`ve got to say, the only way this thing makes sense to me is if, A, she was in some severely altered state like a postpartum psychosis -- and she wasn`t event yet postpartum -- there was some biological altercation, and I would like to of see a history of psychiatric disorder before I would be able to accept that as even a viable defense, or if these are somebody else`s babies other than her fiance. Then it starts to kind of come into focus a little bit, don`t it?
All right. Next, this case isn`t that unusual. By conservative estimates, this happens at least 100 times a year. Why?
We`re going to try to figure it out. Stay with us.
PINSKY: It`s called neonaticide, the murder of a newborn in its first 24 hours of life, and apparently this happens in the United States every few days, or the equivalent to about 100 times a year.
Back with us to talk about this disturbing subject matter is prosecutor Stacey Honowitz. On the phone is Sumner County district attorney Ray Whitley. And joining me in the studio is clinical psychologist Michelle Golland.
Now, let`s examine a few other shocking cases.
In 1997, a teenager by the name of Melissa Drexler, came to be known as "The Prom Mom," gave birth in a toilet stall at her senior prom. She cut the umbilical cord, wrapped the baby in garbage, and put the baby in a trash can. "The Prom Mom" then fixed her makeup and returned to the dance floor.
Drexler was arrested and pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter. Listen to her own words about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA DREXLER, "THE PROM MOM": I knew I was pregnant. I concealed the pregnancy from everyone.
On the morning of the prom, my water broke. While I was in the car on the way to the prom, I began to have cramps.
I went to the prom. I went into the bathroom and delivered the baby. The baby was born alive.
I knowingly took the baby out of the toilet and wrapped a series of garbage bags around the baby. I then placed the baby in another garbage bag, knotted it closed, and threw it in the trashcan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: She was sentenced to 15 years in prison, released after three.
Now, Michelle, a question I have, is neonaticide necessarily associated with mental illness? Do we call it a mental illness?
MICHELLE GOLLAND, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: No. What I see in situations like this is women not having the ability to cope with the fact that they`re pregnant, and they go into denial and they go into avoidance, and it becomes this cycle that they just can`t get out of until it`s right there, and then they --
PINSKY: But I hear you, but even I, who am accustomed to dealing with a lot of denial -- when you have a live infant in front of you, the denial has to still operate if you`re going to take that life away, it seems to me. And that`s profound. So --
PINSKY: -- how desperate and overwhelmed must they be? Must it be such desperate circumstances where they think, I`m doing the right thing for the child because I have no resources for them? Or -- I mean, it`s not -- let me ask it this way. It doesn`t seem rational on any level, OK?
Now, infanticide has been around in human society forever. Yes?
PINSKY: Forever. And usually because of social pressures of one type or another, always pathological pressures.
PINSKY: You know, they don`t like girls or whatever. You know what I mean? We just want a boy, or whatever it is. It`s pathological, let`s fact it. That`s what that is.
PINSKY: And infanticide exists in other primate systems. So there`s some sort of biological, genetic piece going on here, too. But we`re rational creatures. We want to believe that we use our brain.
GOLLAND: We want to believe that we would never do that, that nobody we know would ever do that, and the people that do that are just cuckoo crazy, and so we can distance ourselves from that.
PINSKY: OK. So what`s the alternative? Because that`s how I feel.
GOLLAND: Well, it`s very complex. And one of the pieces, Dr. Drew, is that in these situations, these women -- and most of them are younger women or even teenagers, right?
PINSKY: And let`s be fair that their frontal lobe, which is a lot of our reasoning judgment is aren`t working so well.
PINSKY: That`s normal, they don`t work so well in teenagers, in case if you haven`t noticed.
GOLLAND: Right. Right. But what I find in the personality structure of these women is that they are almost choosing their own death or the death of the child.
PINSKY: So that`s how they perceive it.
GOLLAND: Because the death of the child is easier than losing their status, their identity. Maybe their parents thought they were virgins.
PINSKY: Got it.
GOLLAND: Maybe they were the perfect sorority girl.
PINSKY: OK. I understand. That`s kind of teenage thinking really deeply.
All right. In the mid `90s, a young college couple, Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, drove to a motel in Delaware and delivered their baby. They wrapped the baby in a garbage bag, and Peterson disposed of the child in a dumpster behind the hotel.
A cleaning lady discovered the bloody sheets and called police, who found the body. Peterson pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served two- and-a-half years. Grossberg agreed to a plea bargain and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
Ray, I want to ask you, have you seen cases like this in your 20-plus years as a district attorney?
WHITLEY: Well, I`ve been a D.A., district attorney, for 31 years. I`ve not seen a case like this.
I`ve seen cases as you just described where a mother giving birth has thrown the baby away or abandoned the baby, sometimes the baby is found alive, sometimes it`s not. But I`ve never seen a case where a mother gave birth and intentionally snuffed out the life of the baby.
PINSKY: And Ray, for our viewers, would you go ahead and articulate again what the safe haven law is in Tennessee and how it can protect against stuff like this.
WHITLEY: Right. Tennessee in 2001 passed a safe haven law wherein any mother that has given birth to an infant, and the infant is 72 hours old or less, the mother can deliver or leave that baby at a certain facility such as a police department, a fire hall, a community health clinic, or any place that is staffed 24 hours a day. And under Tennessee law, that mother cannot be prosecuted criminally for doing that as long as the baby has been left unharmed.
PINSKY: And Ray, do you know off of the top of your head how many states have similar laws?
WHITLEY: I believe that I`ve heard -- I understand that there are about a third of the states in the United States have safe haven laws.
PINSKY: And Stacey, finally, to you, how would you defend this woman? How do we make sense of it? How do you defend it? Could you defend it?
HONOWITZ: Well, I`m on the other side. You know that. So I would be vigorously prosecuting.
And I think the issues become -- you we talked about those previous cases where the girls are a little bit younger. You`re dealing with a little bit of a different caliber. She`s 25 years old. She`s a college graduate.
It`s almost like she knows the difference between right and wrong. And her behavior should be kept to a different standard.
I think what the issues become are that we don`t educate enough, that girls aren`t aware of the safe haven laws, that there are other options or there are other alternatives. And then I think, unfortunately, when you have a case like this, and you plead someone to two-and-a-half years, well, you know that`s almost like a lesson like, well, if I do it, I`m really not going to do a lot of time.
So you really have some major issues. I think in defending this case, the lawyer is probably going to talk about what you talked about, some kind of postpartum psychosis.
I really don`t know what else you can do, because in this case she specifically said, I knew what I was doing, I held my hand over the mouths of these child -- and you know what? You`re talking one child comes out, and then she delivers a second baby and does the same thing. There wasn`t even a moment of, oh, my God, what did I do to this first one? She methodically did it to the second one.
So this case takes on a whole different flavor, and I think I`d be hard-pressed as a defense attorney -- and I`m glad I`m not in that position, I`m glad I am on the other side -- to defend this case. But a prosecutor I think has got a very strong case with a lack of excuses or defenses as to what her behavior was.
PINSKY: Thank you, Stacey.
Thank you, Ray.
Thank you, Michelle.
Now, next, you have a lot to say about mothers who kill children. Strangely, not all of it completely negative. I will address your comments and concerns.
And later, the millionaire murder trial. Why wouldn`t the defendant look at a certain crime scene photo? Hmm.
Stay with us.
PINSKY: Our Web site, Facebook, and Twitter pages have been flooded with your comments and questions about this disturbing story we`ve been covering today. How could a mother kill newborn twins? It`s just something you want to disavow.
Let`s go right to the phones.
Katie (sic) in Texas, what`s going on? Or I guess it`s Kathie.
KATHIE, TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Kathie. What`s up?
KATHIE: I just wanted to say that this woman is 25 years old. She`s not 16. Why would a 25-year-old woman not want her parents to know that she`s pregnant? There`s something definitely wrong with her or her family function.
PINSKY: I completely agree with you. And I`m not completely prepared to go after what that is yet until I`ve been told the facts.
I mean, is it something about the family? Is it something about their belief system? Is there something about her relationship with that fiance?
I think more to be revealed, and we`ll hopefully be covering those facts as we learn about them. And, yes, I agree with you on some level.
Yvette in Canada, go ahead.
YVETTE, CANADA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Yvette.
YVETTE: I cannot imagine what possibly could have made this woman kill her babies. She seemed to have her stuff together, and this makes absolutely no sense.
I`m just horrified and disgusted and confused about what is going on with the youth today. What happened that put such a gap between their children and their families that they hide and kill and lie and destroy themselves and their families? I just don`t get it.
PINSKY: Yes, you bring up an interesting point. I mean, when you say the youth today, usually we kind of -- we imagine we`re talking about teenagers then. We are not talking about a teenager.
We`re talking about an adult, well into her young adulthood, still living at home. You have got to wonder why.
And yes, she has destroyed multiple lives. She`s killed and destroyed multiple lives. I`ve got a sneaking suspicion there is something about the paternity of these kids. That`s the only thing that kind of makes sense to me, or as I said earlier, some sort of real serious -- some serious problem of a psychiatric standpoint.
On Facebook, Amber writes, "This has been happening all over the world throughout history." Well, she`s right. "The news simply puts these stories in the public eye and makes us think it`s something new. Study psychology, sociology and history and you can see this is nothing new, just simply glorified in the media."
I hope we`re not glorifying this, for one thing. We are merely reporting something egregious and awful that, as society progresses, hopefully we can put safeguards in place like those laws we already heard about in Tennessee, the safe haven laws, that reduce the risk of something that, yes, is seemingly inherent in human behavior and social systems. But just because it has happened doesn`t mean we shouldn`t report it and try to figure out ways to prevent it.
Sarah writes, "I`m seeing a pattern. Casey Anthony kept her pregnancy a secret for several months. Now Lindsey Lowe kept her pregnancy secret -- a sign that they`re thinking about their babies?"
No, I wouldn`t say it`s a sign. I wouldn`t say it`s a sign, but it is a sign that they`re not -- as Michelle Golland said a few minutes ago, not processing appropriately the reality of their situation. They`re not believing -- they`re not dealing with reality in reality`s terms, let`s put it that way. They`re in denial, they`re distorting, and that`s recipe for trouble.
Now, when we come back, a look inside the Wards` (ph) county club mansion. Is this is scene of a suicide gone wrong or a cold-blooded murder?
And later, money advice from HLN`s own Clark Howard.
And finally, I just want to say I`m very excited about a program I have coming up on Monday on CW 3:00 and 3:30. Please, if you have a chance, check that show out. It`s called "Lifechangers." It actually is a really good show, and I hope this audience will join me there.
Again, it`s CW, 3:00 and 3:30. We are on. The first show is Monday.
See you there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): A millionaire, a mansion, and a murder trial.
BOB WARD, ACCUSED OF KILLING HER WIFE: I just shot my wife.
PINSKY: What seems like a confession turns into a different story.
WARD: It was an accident.
PINSKY: Strange circumstances give way to bizarre behavior, and laughter turns into tears. Is Bob Ward a murderer or just part of a horrible accident?
And later, money anxiety. If you`re seeing warning signs instead of dollar signs, you are not alone. There is a solution. One woman paid off nearly $25,000 in debt in just over a year. I`m bringing in HLN money expert, Clark Howard, to show you how. And throwing in my two cents about financial fear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Day two of testimony in the murder trial of millionaire, Bob Ward, and, Ward, apparently, is charged with fatally shooting his wife, Diane, in the master bedroom of their mansion in 2009. CNN`s Gary Tuchman brings us up to date.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Florida millionaire, Bob Ward, is on trial for the murder of his wife. His defense? She shot herself, as he struggled to stop her, but it was a much different story he told on the night of her death two years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what`s your emergency?
WARD: I just shot my wife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just what?
WARD: I just shot my wife.
TUCHMAN: Police say his story changed during his police interrogation.
WARD: It was an accident. And -- and I will tell you more about it later.
TUCHMAN: Prosecutors hope to build their case on these points. They say Bob Ward`s DNA was found on the gun, and that his wife was shot from more than a foot away, much farther than someone who would shoot themselves.
They also say Diane Ward was about to give a deposition in a financial investigation against her husband, but the defense says Diane Ward had high levels of antidepressant drugs in her system.
PINSKY: So, who is Bob Ward? Well, tonight, we seem to be getting a better idea. Joining me on the phone, Susane Constantine, jury consultant and body language expert, Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney, and Darryl Cohen, the attorney for Diane Callahan, a former girlfriend of Bob Ward. Now, Diane dated Ward for five years, and here`s how she describes what Ward did to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF DIANE CALLAHAN, BOB WARD`S EX-GIRLFRIEND: He pulled a gun on me, and he took a bedpost off of the bed and hit me with it, which I wound up in the hospital. I was putting my hands up because I was trying to block my face. So, my arms were black and blue, and eventually, he -- he- maneuvered himself to where he could hit me and he hit me in the head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: He hit her with a bedpost. I don`t know if you guys heard that. Pulled off a bedpost. It`s like a bat, a big bat. Darryl, what kind of man does your client say Bob Ward is?
DARRYL COHEN, ATTY. FOR FMR. GIRLFRIEND OF BOB WARD: She said in the beginning, he was a good guy and as he began to drink, he became more and more violent and this episode that you described, Dr. Drew is what said, this is it, I`m done. So, she didn`t have anything good to say about him, because she told the truth, at least, as far as what he did.
PINSKY: Well, certainly drugs and alcohol seems to be figuring into this case, both his use of drug and alcohol and also his deceased wife. I mean, I talked to Jane Velez-Mitchell about this, I believe, it was yesterday or the day before and we were both speculating that this is not an unheard of story for people in the throes of substance use.
Now, Mark, you heard about what Diane Callahan said. She also said this about Ward in "The Orlando Sentinel." This is I heard -- attorney just confirmed very much this same sentiments. "The nice times we`re wonderful, but then, there was drinking and drugs, and it was awful."
Now, Mark, prosecutors plan on calling on Diane Callahan to testify about the incident with the gun and the beating. How will this affect the defense, do you think?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it wouldn`t help, right, Drew?
PINSKY: I suppose not.
EIGLARSH: I don`t know that if I`m a prosecutor, I risk bringing this evidence in. Obviously, it`s very compelling. It leads all of us to think, well, most likely, he did it. But so does his own words "I shot my wife." The 911 tape continues on to say, she`s dead. I`m sorry. Who says that if their wife committed suicide?
My point is that by introducing this evidence which is compelling, you risk having appellate issues. The appellate court saying, wait a second, you`re not allowed to introduce another incident, unless, the law allows it. And I think that they risk having this reversed unnecessarily.
PINSKY: So - so, I think what -- I think what I hear you saying you said this the other day too, which is the greatest risk of this case is slipping up and creating opportunities for appeal?
EIGLARSH: I absolutely believe that. You`ve got this case. You know when you`ve got motive, you`ve got his own words, you`ve got him changing his testimony, you`ve got wine on his back and a broken glass on the ground clearly showing possibly domestic violence taking place, some type of argument right before they get there.
You`ve got her on her MySpace page or Facebook telling friends she can`t wait to see them soon. That`s clearly inconsistent with someone who is going to kill themselves. They`ve got a great case here. Be careful, prosecutors. Don`t risk the appeal.
PINSKY: Now, a 911 called emergency responder to Bob Ward`s multimillion dollar mansion. This is what Ward said on the call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what`s your emergency?
WARD: I just shot my wife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just what?
WARD: I just shot my wife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where`s your wife?
WARD: She`s right here on the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That is the reference -- that`s the tape that Mark was talking about. That it`s so clear, he`d have to change his story dramatically, and then, you wonder was he intoxicated. Could he make claims about that? Susan Constantine, you were in court today. How did the prosecution do in their first two days and what stood out for you?
VOICE OF SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY CONSULTANT, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Well, you know, I`m not real crazy about this prosecution team here, in my opinion. I don`t really like the styling of the prosecution. The female - - has a very abrupt way. She seems to be overly aggressive, in my opinion. I just don`t feel that her persona or her personality is going to go well with this jury pool.
And, the defense, on the other hand, you know, I mean, I believe that this man did murder his wife. And you know, he is powered up with some great attorneys. And the defense attorney he`s very eloquent. He speaks very well ,and the one thing that I find that he`s really good at is bringing out information out of those jurors during that jury selection to pretty much hang (INAUDIBLE) right for the jury.
PINSKY: Susan, I want to ask one quick thing that we`ve been talking about previous to this particular segment, which was that we were told the jurors were shown crime scene photos today including one of Diane lying dead on the floor. And Bob Ward, himself, would not look at photos. Did you anything of that? Do you think the jury responded to that in any way?
CONSTANTINE: Well, he didn`t respond even to the other one where they talked about the blood splatter being all over the ground with a coagulated blood brain manner. He didn`t have any sort of emotion at it whatsoever. So, the photograph says the jury was warned that they`re very explicit, and you know, turning his head doesn`t necessarily mean he feels remorseful, it means that he doesn`t want to see what he`s done.
PINSKY: Thank you, Susan, Mark, and Darryl.
Next, Clark Howard. We`ll be right back.
PINSKY: We are living in tough financial times, as if you didn`t know. A single dad from Minnesota faces child neglect charges for allegedly abandoning his 11-year-old son in their foreclosed home. A note read in part, "You know your dad loves you, there are no jobs for architects, so I have to go."
And that story`s extreme but with 14 million Americans out of work, the budget blues have reached epidemic, I dare say, pandemic proportions. Anna Newell Jones was in serious debt until she put herself on what she called a spending fast. She recently shared her story with HLN money expert, Clark Howard. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA NEWELL JONES, PAID OFF $23,605 DEBT IN 15 MONTHS: $23,605.10 worth of debt. Knowing that my parent had taken out for me a college loan debt that I took out for myself, I was emotionally beaten down by my debt and I needed to do something drastic about it to get rid of it.
CLARK HOWARD, HLN MONEY EXPERT: So, she did in January of 2010, she started a year-long spending fast.
JONES: I made a list of everything that I considered to be a necessity. And everything else was cut out. I paid off close to $18,000 worth of debt. If someone would have told me, you know, do the spending fast and you`ll be out of debt in 15 months, I would say, you`re absolutely crazy because I have no money. I never thought it would happen.
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PINSKY: Joining me is HLN money expert Clark Howard. He has a show right here on HLN Saturdays and Sundays at noon and 4:00 eastern. He is also the author of the "New York Times" number one best seller "Living Large in Lean Times." Ana Newell Jones is here. She is still debt-free. Also with me is Danielle Lewis (ph), she`s drowning in debt and looking for answers.
This may be the -- hopefully this may be the place for her. Now, Anna, I want to go to you first. You paid off your entire debt in just 16 months. I`m fascinated by your story.
PINSKY: What motivated you to start? Why didn`t do you it so sooner? I have a million questions. Why didn`t do you it sooner? How was it when you started? And was it important for you, I guess, this is probably the most important question, to go cold turkey like this?
JONES: You know, I had so much debt that I had to do something completely drastic to deal with it. So, I had -- actually I had hit my financial bottom because I was, you know, rolling money over from account to account and overspending $200 to $300 every month, and so, I had got to where I had to do something drastic to get rid of my debt and the spending fast and my blog, and then shesaved.com was the means to get my debt paid off.
And yes, I absolutely did it cold turkey. And it worked for me. So, I`m so glad I did it.
PINSKY: Interesting. I want to get to the sustaining -- really it`s, Clark, it`s astonishing to me how much this is like a diet or an exercise program.
HOWARD: It is exactly the same thing. It`s psychological, just like you know when somebody has to give up drinking, it`s the same kind of thing as the psychological need. You have to defeat to feel that you`ll feel better by going and buying whatever it is. And Anna made that flip.
Where what started to feel good is instead of the consumption, what felt great to you, Anna, was that you were tackling it. You gained power. Every month, when you were paying down that debt, the joy, the pride you have that you express on your blog --
HOWARD: Shows that you went from feeling powerless and anxious that you got control. And I know that sounds crazy to talk about debt and money that way, but it truly is that kind of emotional thing that you have to overcome, grab ahold of the debt, and month by month, you pay it off, and you`ve got to go cold turkey.
JONES: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I stopped my spending in its tracks, and it completely was the way I needed to do it, because every single month, I would make progress towards my debt, and then, you know, find myself in the same situation, yet again every month and so I just had to cut out all at once.
PINSKY: Clark, I want to ask you a little bit more about this. I`m going to bring Danielle in here in a second because she is another one who`s drowning in debt, and I think it`s debt, isn`t that the biggest issue in spending?
HOWARD: Oh yes.
PINSKY: Before I get to the specifics of Danielle`s circumstance, I want to ask you, Clark, as someone who deals with what`s going on in these sort of ambient culture here with people`s financial problems. Do we have sort of a global problem in this country where everyone has, you know, sort of -- are we drowning our emotional conditions in our spending?
Or do we -- have we come to utilize that as part of how we manage our emotions generally, you know, our spending habits? And, number two, the follow-on on that, how do we motivate people to be able to do this? And have we just loss that capacity to the deprive ourselves of things?
HOWARD: Well, you know what happened was for years and years starting in the 1990s up to 2007, we had permission to spend unlimited amounts of money. You go to the mailbox, you`d have another thing, saying, congratulations, you`ve been preapproved for this new credit card with a $20,000 limit or whatever.
People took that as a green light that they were okay for the money, and the immediate gratification they got out of buying whatever it was overwhelmed the common sense that, wait a minute, they may have said I could have this new credit card and this new limit, but at some point, I have to pay it off.
PINSKY: It`s very interesting. It`s like our financial obesity problem. It sounds like the same kind of phenomenon I talk about with diet.
HOWARD: It is.
PINSKY: But let`s get to the specifics here. This is Danielle, and she needs help.
PINSKY: But first, tell us what it is you do for living?
DANIELLE LEWIS (ph), DROWNING IN DEBT: I do finance. I do business planning for a real estate company.
PINSKY: So, you do financial planning?
LEWIS: Yes. I do. Accounting finance.
PINSKY: You`re a sophisticated accounting profession.
LEWIS: A math professional I am.
PINSKY: You know what it`d be like, it`d be like, if I became an alcoholic or something, sometimes, things just happen to you and you don`t realize it.
LEWIS: And just one day you just wake up and you`re there and because I know what I know, I think I have more of a guilty conscience than a normal person would.
PINSKY: OK. So, it`s probably shame, too.
LEWIS: Yes, I`m ashamed to be here.
PINSKY: But that means that you spend more, doesn`t it?
PINSKY: All right. Well, listen, in his book, Clark has a chapter called "Help Me Now, Clark." So, here you go, Clark. Help Danielle.
HOWARD: Danielle, you know, as I hear you and I have studied some of the issues you have with the debts you have, you need to become as one with Anna. You have to completely rethink your relationship with money, because right now, your underlying attitude is, well, if I want to do this, I`m going to go do it. I work hard. I`m busy. I need the reward.
But you need to learn what Anna has talked about in her blog, which is you need to learn separate your needs from your wants. And understand that there`s a stronger need you have. You would not be here right now if you didn`t feel some anxiety about these levels of debt.
PINSKY: Right there is where this whole issue turns.
PINSKY: How does she find the motivation to get started? Because the fact is exactly what you say is going on is going on, how does she begin that process of feeling that satisfaction of being empowered in tackling this debt?
HOWARD: It`s just like somebody who`s trying to give up cigarette smoking. You know, you might have to try again and again, but you have to have that -- you know how you got a rush when you go out and buy something for yourself?
You need to have a rush when you go to the mailbox and you get that bill and you see the balance is lower, that you see you`re making progress, but as a financial person, Danielle, it`s actually easier for you, because what I think you need to be about is a five-year plan.
PINSKY: Let`s look at Anna`s situation. Now, during her -- during month eight of Anna`s year-long - again, it`s what she called a spending fast, she actually gave in to temptation and purchased a $200 pair of designer sunglasses. Watch this.
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JONES: This is earlier with what happened. And I said, well, self, you know I need these sunglasses because they`re going to really, really protect my eyes, and it will be just like perfect. You know, I`m going to -- if I`m going to spend money on something, I might as well just make sure it`s going to last forever. I had the most horrible buyer`s remorse that you could ever, ever imagine. So, I wore them for a weekend and then I returned them.
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PINSKY: So, Anna, you had a little relapse. You were chipping there with sunglasses.
JONES: Now, I`m doing a spending diet, and so, I have $100 per month for no non-needs, and it`s actually so much harder to do a spending diet because it brings back the discretionary spending which I got in trouble with in the past. So, but what -- one thing I wanted to tell Danielle is that, once you get the momentum of saving money, it`s going to be so rewarding to be able to send off those bills every month and actually saving can be as fun as shopping.
PINSKY: Ladies, thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate you being here. No shame, Danielle. I think that we all understand what you`re going through. And, Anna, congratulations, but again, I think these are very relatable story.
JONES: Thank you.
PINSKY: Now, next, what are your money concerns? Clark is going to answer your questions about debt savings, and, well, he knows what he`s talking about. His book "Living Large in Lean Times" is number one on "The New York Times" best-seller list.
PINSKY: Funds are low, stress levels are high, here to answer some of your most pressing financial questions is HLN money expert, Clark Howard. He`s the author of "Living Large In Lean Times." It`s a "New York Times" number one best-seller. Our first question, Clark, comes from Troy on Facebook, and he asked, "why do they check my credit every time I apply for a job?"
HOWARD: Troy, you are so right. It is so irrelevant for most jobs. In fact, four states now have banned checking people`s credit for most jobs, Oregon, Washington State, Hawaii, Illinois is the fourth one. And it`s something that should not happen, unless, you`re directly dealing with money.
It`s just one of those checkmarks, big employers use now, one of the things they do is they pull your credit and if your credit`s not good, you don`t have a chance at getting the job. It`s silly.
PINSKY: And here`s a tweet from Mike. "How long after bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, has been discharged? Should someone wait to begin applying for and rebuilding credit?
HOWARD: Believe it or not, only six month. Now, you won`t get traditional credit but six months out from your Chapter 7 being completed, you`ll be able to get what`s known as a secured card. Where you put money on deposit in savings with the bank, in turn, you have a credit card with a limit based on what you have in savings.
And with a legitimate secured card, if you make payments on time for 12 to 18 months depending on the issuer, you then are issued, you graduate, you get a regular visa or MasterCard, and actually, substantially, rebuild your credit in just a couple of years` time.
PINSKY: Clark, I`m going to be the questioner this time.
PINSKY: I was sitting here thinking about something with Danielle that she and I talked about as she walked out of here. And is it a tough one to answer, which is that she -- you know, all of these practical applications, you have to have the motivation to do them.
PINSKY: And what she said to me was, she said you know, I get sort of high on buying and debting and I don`t get that same satisfaction from saving. How do we get somebody to feel good about the building of wealth? And, by the way, not feel good about spending and debting.
HOWARD: Right. There is no way. I mean, you deal with this with so many different addictions. There is no way to make somebody do it until she has something happen in her life that`s painful enough as a result of how she`s been spending and borrowing that will get her to change how she handles money.
She`s going to have something happen where something important to her doesn`t happen in her life because the debt she has and that`s when she should truly be willing to make a change.
PINSKY: Well, you know, it`s funny you would say that because of course I see that all of the time, when people have a major loss, that`s when change suddenly becomes easier.
PINSKY: But the same thing I say to all of the cigarette smokers and dieters out there is when you had said actually earlier in the last segment was, keep trying before something awful happens to you because it will. So, why not keep trying -- and we are doing a better job as a nation. Let`s go to one more questioner.
This is Trish who writes, "I`m seeing bigger losses in my 401(k) and other retirement plans than I`d like to. I`m afraid I`ll have nothing when I retired. Any suggestions? We have less than about 30 seconds.
HOWARD: Real quick then, with a 401(k), the key is to stay in the game. Stay well diversified. And if you`re under age 50, don`t fret at all about the temporary losses you`ve had. Over the long hall putting money on every pay period, well diversified is what will build financial security for you in retirement. And if you`ve had losses, you may need to save a bigger percentage of your pay moving forward.
PINSKY: There you go, Clark. Thank you so much. We will check you out here on HLN.
I`ll ask all of you please to stay with us. We`ll be right back. Thanks for watching.