Return to Transcripts main page


Second Trial Begins in Connecticut Home Invasion; Taylor Armstrong Photos: Abuse or Not?

Aired September 20, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, it is something straight from a horror movie. A husband and father helplessly tied up, beaten in the basement, listening, helplessly, while his wife and two beautiful daughters are assaulted and murdered. Now, that dad has to relive that torturous event and testify in court again for the second defendant. Why twice? I`m going to talk to a friend of one of these brave victims tonight in an ISSUES exclusive.

Also, was "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong abused? She released a photo of her face badly bruised, allegedly at the hands of her now-dead husband, a man who committed suicide. Well, now the dead man`s lawyer says those photos are a phony. Who is telling the truth?

Plus, a breakthrough in the absolutely bizarre, mysterious Long Island serial killer case. Investigators say they could now be looking for as many as three different serial killers. What? Cops released new sketches of the unidentified victims. Are they any closer to finding the monsters who murdered all these people? I`m taking your calls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lady who is in our bank right now, who says that her husband and children are being held at their house.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A prominent Connecticut family held hostage and terrorized in their home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A beautiful mother and two beautiful daughters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people are in a car outside the bank. She`s getting $15,000 to bring out to them. But if the police are told, they will kill the children and the husband.

WILLIAM PETIT, SURVIVOR OF HOME INVASION: Michaela was an 11-year-old little girl, you know, tortured and killed in her own bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This man, Steven Hayes, was convicted on 16 of the 17 charges relating to the brutal killings, and he was sentenced to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it hard having to go through this, starting all over again, Mr. Petit?

PETIT: We`d prefer not to.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The sole survivor of a family`s terrifying tragedy forced to relive his most painful memories, all in open court.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from Los Angeles, the site of the Michael Jackson death trial. But today, all eyes are on a courtroom in Connecticut, where Dr. William Petit, one of my personal heroes, faced the man accused of viciously murdering his wife and two daughters, after sexually assaulting the 11-year-old daughter and raping his wife. This was a pair who did this.

It was four years ago when these two men broke into the home of Jennifer and Dr. William Petit. After sexually assaulting the 11-year-old, Michaela, the intruders killed her 17-year-old sister, Hayley. Their mom, Jennifer, also sexually assaulted and strangled.

But first, these sick, sick sadistic assailants forced her to go to the bank and withdraw something like $15,000. She was desperately trying to save her family and courageously went through it with, thinking, "Oh, I`m going to save my family`s life by doing this."

It was there that a bank manager made this absolutely chilling 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lady who is in our bank right now who says that her husband and children are being held at their house. The people are in a car outside the bank. She is getting $15,000 to bring out to them, that if the police are told, they will kill the children and the husband. Her name is Jennifer Petit.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You got to wonder why cops weren`t able to somehow intervene and save this family before they died.

Last year, one of the intruders, Steven Hayes, this monster, was tried, convicted, and put on Death Row. And now a new trial for the other defendant, his partner in crime, Joshua Komisarjevsky. Some say this Komisarjevsky guy was the mastermind behind this crime.

Well, today, Dr. Petit, only surviving member of this horrific attack, forced to testify again about this night that his life turned into a nightmare. Will there be a second conviction? Why do we have to have two trials? What is wrong with our criminal justice system that we`re putting his family through this again?

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to an exclusive interview that we have tonight with a very, very close friend of the victim, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, the woman who showed incredible bravery, caught on tape going to the bank, withdrawing money, thinking she was going to save the lives of her children. And then the ultimate betrayal by these monsters, who took her back home after they got the money and raped her and set the house on fire and killed her kids.

Marilyn Bartoli, I don`t know about you, but there`s something wrong with the criminal justice system that this family, the surviving Dr. Petit and his -- his extended family, have to relive this again. This is wrong. I feel it in every ounce of my body that there`s something wrong with having to go through this again.

What do you think, Marilyn?

MARILYN BARTOLI, FRIEND OF JENNIFER HAWKE-PETIT (via phone): You know, Jane, you`re absolutely correct. And I often say that it`s an oxymoron that Connecticut is called the constitutional state, because so far, justice has not been swift for Dr. Petit and his family and all of us who loved Jennifer and the girls.

Soon after Jennifer was taken from us, my husband and I started a grassroots effort to improve the three strikes law in the state of Connecticut, because we had one on the books, but it really was never exercised. And it was a very long and arduous process.

And finally, they did, you know, double sentences, and now consider home invasion a felony, which if you can imagine, it was not a felony at the time. But they have really pulled everything they can to draw this out on Dr. Petit. And when you`re talking about 17 different counts of felony murder.

And today in the courtroom, Nancy, the prosecution attorney`s -- excuse me, the defense attorney`s main focus was the fact that he did not feel the Petit family should be wearing their Petit Family Foundation pins, which they wear everywhere. It`s a wonderful charitable foundation that Dr. Petit started in memory of his wife and children. And they felt that this would sway the jury in the courtroom. And to think that someone is focusing on this...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable!

BARTOLI: ... minutia, when you have, you know, these multiple counts of, as you said, arguably one of the most horrendous crimes in history, of our state.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It absolutely is. And in fact, there was a move to get rid of the death penalty in Connecticut.

And after this horrific home invasion, which literally shattered the tranquility and the serenity of everyone, because this was an idyllic community. This was not a high-crime area. They were asleep. They were minding their own business. And these monsters burst into their house and literally torture them for over 24 hours, and then set their home on fire. It shook everybody to their core, because you can`t put bars on every window in every suburban home.

BARTOLI: No, you can`t. Nor should you. And I don`t know when it became so upside down in our country that victims` rights are lost. Because for the last four years, all we`ve heard about are the rights of the perpetrators of this crime, which is very disconcerting, because as you said, Cheshire is just a tiny town. We here, you know, talk about it like our own little Mayberry. We never locked our doors. We, you know, took care of each other`s neighbors.

You know, the night that this happened, our garage doors were up, because we were feeding a stray cat. And that`s all changed for everyone now. Forever. People in the neighborhood still live -- leave their lights on 24 hours a day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everybody was traumatized.

And here`s an incredibly emotional moment. After last year`s verdict, Dr. Petit -- who is one of my heroes, a man of incredible, incredible grace and courage and dignity, despite everything -- talked about his daughters, his beautiful daughters, whose lives were taken and revealed the suffering he experiences every single day.


PETIT: Michaela was an 11-year-old little girl, you know? Tortured and killed in her own bedroom, you know? Surrounded by stuffed animals. And Hayley had a great future. She was a strong and courageous person.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marilyn, hold on for a second, because I want to bring in Debra Opri, a legal expert.

Debra, why on earth do we have to have two trials when these guys are the ones who chose to go in there together, and they both admit they were there together? Why is it that we have to go through this twice?

DEBRA OPRI, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Jane, while I believe it`s morally reprehensible that this father has to survive this and go through this again, unfortunately, we have the fair trial and due process rights of criminals, and the criminals` rights, regrettably, are coming first in this instance.

This woman, what`s happening with this tragedy, that he has to relive this, and especially when this Kardivinski [SIC], whatever his name is, has 43 pages of a diary, and he`s calling this father a coward...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

OPRI: ... passive, and he gave him every opportunity to save his wife and daughters, alluding to the fact that "I`m really not responsible. The father was a coward." Now, if I was the father, oh, I would -- ugh.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are no -- there are no words. And despite all that, this family, the Petit family, has shown incredible grace and dignity. Those are the words that come to me. Almost saintly.

Here`s an incredible encounter today between the father -- relatives of the victims, OK, and the father of the alleged killer, this Joshua Komisarjevsky. His father shows up in court, and here`s a CNN reporter who saw it all and listened to the encounter. Check this out.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The father of Jennifer Hawke- Petit, who is a reverend, the reverend approached the defendant`s father and spoke to him, at which point the father said, "God bless you, God bless you, God bless you."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marilyn, this to me is, like I say, almost saintly behavior. These people, whose lives have been shattered, and they have the compassion to go up to the father of this monster, whose -- the father`s life has also been destroyed by this, and talk to him, realizing that he`s not to blame. It`s amazing to me.

BARTOLI: They really are amazing people. And to be next to Bill Petit is one of the most humbling experiences I`ve ever experienced in my life.

And the words that you used to describe him, Jane, they`re used over and over again. A man of great compassion, of strength, of grace. A man of great character. And he has set the bar so high for all of us, because he has taken a situation which is just so unbearable and every day tries to use it for goodness. You know, through his foundation, through his personal works, and through keeping the memory of his girls alive.

They were extraordinary women, Jane, and it`s not just what was lost with their life. It was all that could have come forward, had they continued to live. They just did amazing things in their short time here on earth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I feel the heartbreak. I hear the heartbreak in your voice, as a friend. I know this has completely shattered your life, as well. Thank you for talking to us, Marilyn. Our hearts go out to you and all of the Petit family`s friends and loved ones. It shouldn`t happen. This should not occur.

BARTOLI: Thank you so much, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s the 21st century.

Yes, we all have them in our hearts. All right, stay right there. More on this really unbearably gruesome home invasion. But we`re talking about some of the legal issues, like why on earth do these guys get to be tried separately? 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Call me.


PETIT: We just hope justice is served. That`s all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it hard having to go through all this, starting all over again, Mr. Petit?

PETIT: We`d prefer not. We don`t look forward to going through it, but we`re glad that it`s started, and we can get this into the past.



PETIT: If your family was destroyed by evil, I think that you would all try to do the same thing and be there for your family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We were trying to figure out, because we do, unfortunately, in our culture of violence coverage here on ISSUES, try to understand our culture of violence -- cover so many violent crimes -- why this one has struck such a nerve, why this one is so very insidious, beyond almost all others. And Debra Opri and I were talking about it here on set, because the defendants seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

Brian Russell, forensic psychologist, as they were getting ready to do this, these pair of parolees who met at a halfway house were e-mailing each other and saying like LOL, laugh out loud. They were -- they were gleefully just wreaking mayhem and torture on this family.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Three critical lessons in this case, Jane. One, there are people in this world who will knowingly and willfully inflict unbelievable pain and suffering upon innocent others, purely for their own self-gratification.

Two, there is no mental illness, no childhood history, no substance abuse, nothing that forces a person to behave that way. It`s always a choice. And three, we have got to keep -- to stop catching and releasing these people. These two, both of them, were on parole. Catching and releasing might work for some kinds of fish, but it does not work for psychopaths and violent criminals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and this...

RUSSELL: How many times do you and I cover a case -- how many times do you and I cover a case of a missing college student or a missing child and they turn up dead, and we ultimately catch the murderer and it`s the first time they`ve ever been in trouble? Never! We always have a history.


RUSSELL: We always have these people and let them back out to do it again. It`s crazy. I love what the court of appeals did with the terrorist, Jose Padilla, saying to the trial judge, "You didn`t give this guy long enough." We need more of that and less parole.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, speaking of other cases, this reminds us of the Manson murders, and that kind of -- sort of gleeful, just seeping in violence and blood.

RUSSELL: Pleasure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. By the way, this guy, Joshua Komisarjevsky, a serial burglar and drug abuser, who was once described as a judge -- by a judge as a calculated, cold-blooded predator. Well, judge, if you described him that way, why did you let him out?

Elaine, Illinois, your question or thought, Elaine?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. First of all, I`d like to say, I am -- you are my hero. I`m so proud of your sobriety. My mom was an alcoholic, and she`s been sober and clean for 30 years now, thank God.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Thank you. And what`s your question?

CALLER: My question was, I don`t understand, when the lady went to the bank, how come it took them so long to get over there and save them?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, excellent question. And I`m going to -- Sunny Hostin, a lot of people wondering, why didn`t the cops intervene, since 911 was called when she was at the bank?

SUNNY HOSTIN, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Yes, that`s a wonderful question, and that`s a question that came up when I covered the Hayes trial.

And what the officers have indicated is that they were sort of on high alert. They surrounded and -- surrounded the house with a perimeter, and they were waiting to go in. They didn`t know what was going on in the home. They didn`t know if there was a hostage situation, and so they waited. But, obviously, they waited too long. By the time they did enter the house, the house was in flames.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when somebody is forced to go to the bank and withdraw $15,000, assume it`s the worst-case scenario. Don`t assume it`s somebody playing tiddlywinks in there. Oh, my God.

This family has been betrayed over and over again by the criminal justice system, on one level or another. And I`ve got to get back to you, you said the most offensive thing. We`ve only got a couple of seconds, but this -- this monster defendant is now, in jailhouse letters, calling...

OPRI: In the diary. He`s basically calling the father a coward.

And this thing with the separate trials, I know you`re very upset about it.


OPRI: But unfortunately, the defense made motions for separate trials. As far as the pleas surrounding this van following it, they have to always assume the worst. I mean, stop them in their tracks. They don`t know what`s going on. At least they would have saved one life, right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely.

We`ve got to the leave it right there.

Up next, Taylor Armstrong of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." There`s a picture of her abused. Is it real or a phony?



TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, REALITY TV STAR: A lot of the issues in my marriage are definitely addressed this year.

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

GLADYS ARMSTRONG, RUSSELL`S MOTHER (via phone): I never knew him to be unkind to a lady. He was always the nicest person in the world. I never knew him to be abusive to anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reality TV can camouflage a lot of things, and it can sensationalize a lot of things, but physical abuse and debt, those are things that can be made up by producers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A fight over photos. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, she`s released photos of her face badly bruised. Taylor says she was beaten by her husband, who later committed suicide. She says Russell Armstrong was abusive during their marriage and even threatened to kill her.

Check out this clip from "Entertainment Tonight."


T. ARMSTRONG: Grabbed me by the neck and shoved me up against the wall and he said, "If you ever make my children a pizza without a vegetable again, I`ll kill you."

He would grab me by one side of the hair of my head and bang the other side of the head against the car. He would say to me, "I`m afraid I`m going to kill you one day."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Russell`s dead now. He can`t defend himself. Those powerful accusations. Well, Russell`s attorney fighting back.

Mike Walters, TMZ news manager, what do you got? What is Russell`s lawyer saying?

MIKE WALTERS, TMZ NEWS MANAGER: Well, Jane, I spoke to Ronald Richards, who represents not only Russell when he was alive, but the family now that he`s gone.

And he tells me, look, not only are these photos not of any domestic violence-type situation, but Taylor knows that, and the fact that she would sell this to the media along with a two-part interview that`s airing on one of the shows is despicable. It is horrible that he is now not alive, and he can`t defend himself.

And you know what, look, I don`t want to condone, Jane. And you know me. Anyone who abuses anyone like that, I do not condone, and if he did that, it`s horrible. But he brings up a couple of good points.

One is, why didn`t she say anything about this before? She`s on a show where this stuff comes up. Apparently, they talk about it.

And two, if she wanted to get the message out about abuse, about reporting it when you`re in a relationship like that, to the authorities, to be strong about it, selling the photos for over $100,000 to a television show and doing a two-part interview for pay probably isn`t the best message. And I`m not sure that she got it across that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Taylor has talked about her relationship with her daughter. And here`s an emotional clip from "Entertainment Tonight," because this is the little girl that she had with Russell. Listen to this.


T. ARMSTRONG: I just told her that daddy got sick and he died and that we could pick a star in the sky to be daddy and that she could talk to him every night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So if she really cares about her daughter, that she had with Russell Armstrong, why, Mike Walters, is she attacking the father of her child now that she`s dead and can`t defend himself?

WALTERS: Well, that`s a great question. And remember, her daughter, who is young right now, is going to grow up and look at this on the Internet, is going to watch a clip of this and say, "So, wait a minute. After Daddy died, you went, took a bunch of money to go on a television show, entertainment television show, and tell your story?"

It`s one of the reasons that people in the media don`t like to pay for interviews, which we don`t at TMZ, because if you say, "I`ll give you $100,000. Tell me what happened," don`t you think sometimes the context of the story changes? That`s why people aren`t buying some of this from her.

But either way, I hope this didn`t happen to her. It`s a horrible situation either way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Love talking to you, Mike. Thank you for that update.

Long Island serial killer next.



RICHARD DORMER, SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Jane Doe Number Six whose head, hands, and right foot were recovered along Ocean Parkway on April 4th.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven`t slept in two nights. I could have saved that girl if I`d had known something was going to happen. I could have kept her from getting out of here. That weighs heavily on your mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s my baby sister. You know, it eats at me every day. It consumes me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The homicides of the women identified as Miss Costello, Miss Barthelemy, Miss Barnes, and Miss Waterman appear to be related.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was the last place she went, you know, and I`ve been here so many times with her, and I just can`t believe the one time I`m not with her, it happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news in the search for the Long Island serial killer believed to be targeting prostitutes who advertise on Craigslist. Cops say two of the victims, likely mother and child. That`s right, a child found. Another victim of the Long Island serial killer or serial killers is a man wearing women`s clothing.

It`s been ten months since the first bodies were discovered along a highway, leading to the very popular Jones Beach area. That`s where everybody goes when they leave New York City to have some fun at the beach, 45 miles outside the city. Cops have every reason to believe they might have at least three serial killers on their hands.

Who decided this area should become the dumping grounds for dead bodies? Did they have a conference or something? In all, the remains of ten people have been found. Eight women, one man, and sadly, a toddler whose mother is also among the victims, but only half of these victims have been identified; cops right now desperately seeking your help.


DORMER: Jane Doe Number Six whose head, hands, and right foot were recovered along Ocean Parkway on April 4th. Based on what we know of some of the other victims, consider that this woman may have been working as a prostitute in New York City during that time.

The unidentified Asian male, who is estimated to be between the ages of 17 and 23 years old at the time of his death --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Body parts now found over a wide stretch of eastern Long Island. What the hell`s going on? I`m taking your calls, 1-877-JVM- SAYS.

Straight out to investigative journalist, Jon Leiberman, who`s got breaking news; what is the latest in this very baffling case, Jon?

JON LEIBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, I`ll tell you, Jane, police are strongly hoping that today marks a turning point in this investigation. There was some behind the scenes wrangling, whether or not they should release these sketches, whether it makes them look desperately or not.

But I`ll tell you, we also got a glimpse today into just how bizarre this case is, and as you mentioned just how wide-ranging it is as well. You`re talking about four locations, four dumping ground locations, spanning about 60 miles long. You`re talking about ten victims, only five who have been identified. You`re talking about one, who in the beginning, it was reported that it was a female victim. And as you mentioned, it`s actually a male victim, dressed in female clothing. And we learned today that DNA actually matched back to a scene from 1996.

So you`re talking about a decade and a half, this case is now spanning. But police sources truly believe that everybody involved in this case has some connection to prostitution, even that toddler, by being related, it seems now, to one of the victims that could have been a revenge killing. It could have been to try and send a message to other prostitutes.

And one other thing, Jane, keep in mind, the person who went missing, who began this whole investigation, Shannon Gilbert, she hasn`t even been found yet. So police truly believe there are other victims here as well. It`s a baffling, baffling case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you just -- you also -- you also raise this important point about Shannon Gilbert. And this is kind of what triggered all of this. She is also believed to have been a victim of this Long Island serial killer or killers. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Through phone records, we determined her last call was to 911 and we pretty much, from there, tried to do our little own investigation. We made up flyers, passed them out, went door to door, knocking, getting stories, making up notes to give to the detectives, and actually found a piece of her jewelry, which happened to be an earring.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There are so many victims here, but I want to bring in Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist, who is here on set with me to talk about the fact that they have now found this man, dressed in women`s clothing. What do you make of it given that these killer or killers seem to be targeting prostitutes?

CAROLE LIEBERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, obviously this is a man who -- presumably a man -- who had a very sadistic childhood, a very abusive childhood with a lot of rage towards his mother that he is now displacing on to these women. I would also say that there`s likelihood that he has a sexual problem and that he`s taking out his rage at his own sexual problem on to these women, who he feels are mocking him.

What`s very interesting about this is how he has carefully put different body parts -- first of all, mutilated the bodies, and put different body parts in different places. There`s a quality that reminds me of "Silence of the Lambs". And "Silence of the Lambs" came out in `91, and so far these body parts go back to the `90s. And whether it`s a copy cat killing or whatever, but there`s this quality of the killer or killers laughing at the fact that people can`t put this jigsaw puzzle together.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re looking at a map where all these body parts were found. Now, what`s so horrifying about this, Mike Brooks, this could have been going on for decades, for all we know. Some of these remains are very old, but this only came to the surface, what, back in 2010? When a woman was running, screaming in the middle of the night near Jones Beach and she knocks on somebody`s door and says, "Help me, they`re after me." And he calls the cops. By the time he gets back to the front door, she`s gone.

And then this other man shows up and says, "Where is that woman?" And he said, "I called the cops," the homeowner did, and this guy says, "You shouldn`t have done that," and then disappears into the night. Is that possibly the serial killer, that person?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That could be one. You know, today we heard from the commissioner, Jane, that there could be one, possibly two, maybe even three serial killers. And again, as Jon said, this goes all the way back to 1996.

And, you know, the doctor`s right. This woman -- the bodies are spread all around. They would find some pieces one year, and then found another -- more body parts. I mean, and even one of the bodies that was identified she was identified through a tattoo that was on her arm that the killer, you know, the alleged killer, tried to mutilate, but that was recognized by a police officer in Washington, D.C.

So we do know, Jane, up and down the East Coast, that law enforcement, they`re getting the information, they`re sharing this with all different agencies in hopes of finding out who these women are. And now with this jewelry, you know, possibly from the women and the child, with the hoop earrings, maybe this could also maybe jog somebody`s memory.

Law enforcement officers maybe worked some of these cases before, say, wait a minute, I recognized somebody who used to wear that type of necklace, a tattoo, even these composite drawings, anything at all that can help find out who these killer or killers are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, thank you for that.

And let`s try to recap and review. Because this is so complicated, there are so many remains, some identified. That`s the guy who was found - - that`s a reconstruction of what they think he looks like, but he was dressed in women`s clothing. That`s bizarre.

And here are some of the other unidentified victims. But the remains of five of the eight women found since December of last year have, in fact, been identified. Let`s show you some of these faces, these poor, young girls. Maureen Brainard Barnes, Jessica Taylor, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, Amber Costello. These are young women, who -- their families have been desperately searching for them, and then they turn up in this dumping ground.

And I want to go back to Jon Lieberman because I could tell you that I`m here in Los Angeles right now for the Michael Jackson death trial, and I was a reporter here and a journalist here for many, many years. And we often found that killers would dump bodies in the Angeles National Forest. It`s a drive away from Los Angeles, it`s a ginormous forest. And have the time when a crime was committed, that was where they would go to dump the bodies. It became known as kind of -- certain sections of it, I don`t want to malign the entire Angeles National Forest, there`s some beautiful, beautiful parts of it -- but it became kind of an area where it was convenient to dump a body.

Could it be that this area in Jones Beach is the Angeles National Forest of New York City?

LEIBERMAN: Well, you actually bring up a good point, Jane. And you`re right. I mean it could be possible, but it does appear that there are probably one killer, maybe two killers, as Mike mentioned.

But listen to this, Jane. One thing that they haven`t been able to figure out is where the primary murder scenes are. Police sources don`t believe that these women and the gentleman were actually killed at the dumping ground location. One reason why they so badly want to identify all of the victims is so that they can try and put together a narrative, a story about where these people might have spent time, so they can try and figure out where, in fact, they were killed, because they still don`t have those ten, perhaps ten, murder scenes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And again, the main commonality is that some or most of these women had a connection to being an escort on Craigslist. Oh, terrible case and our hearts go out to the families of those dead women.

Conrad Murray trial -- was Michael Jackson addicted to painkillers? Well, he admitted it. He admitted it himself. We`re taking your calls, 1- 877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I covered Michael Jackson`s 50th birthday, one of my sources said, you`ll never believe what Michael Jackson is doing to sleep right now. He`s taking some kind of a drug, you know, to knock him out.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are no ordinary cookies. They`re filled with hope.

GRETCHEN HOLT-WITT, FOUNDER, COOKIES FOR KIDS` CANCER: Cookies for Kids` Cancer helps to support the development of new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The organization raises money for research by selling cookies online and at local bake sells.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cookies for Kids` Cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gretchen Holt-Witt came up with the idea after her 2-year-old son, Liam, was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. After surgery and chemotherapy, his treatment options ran out.

HOLT-WITT: As Liam`s doctor once said to me, it`s not science that`s holding us back, it`s funding.

There`s no reason why pediatric cancer has to be the number one disease killer of children. I can impact change.




MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: This is it. I mean this is really it. This is the final -- this is the final curtain call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a gentleman here that needs help, and he`s not breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jackson, the king of pop --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was taken to the hospital, and there were rumors --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he`s not breathing, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he`s not conscious either?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he`s not conscious, sir.

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: The legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anybody witness what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just the doctor, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: LAPD investigators focused in on the singer`s personal physician, Conrad Murray.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no way that Dr. Murray would pump Michael Jackson full of a bolus of Propofol sufficient for major surgery and walk out that room.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re in the final stages, narrowing down jurors to the last 18, gearing up for opening statements in Michael Jackson`s manslaughter trial, slated to start next week. No surprise, this trial, they call it the new trial of the century. It`s going to focus on drugs, drug abuse, who gave what to whom and when and why and how.

Did Michael Jackson kill himself or did Dr. Murray kill the king of pop. At the heart of it, many people believe Michael Jackson was an addict; he shouldn`t have been taking any drugs. He admitted he was an addict back in 1993 and here`s the proof.


M. JACKSON: As you may already know, after my tour ended, I remained out of the country, undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. This medication was initially prescribed to cease the excruciating pain that I was suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The singer struggled in private, yet, watch how he performed in this footage from AEG. I mean, he was acting like a teenager just a couple of days before his death. We`re going to show you that.

Michael Jackson, a dichotomy. Look at this guy. He`s got all the moves, yet, all the reports we`re hearing, oh, he was unable to sleep, he was begging for drugs. Can you be both things at the same time?

Ok, I want to introduce my fantastic panel: Debra Opri, we had her here a little bit earlier; and Jim Moret, chief correspondent, "Inside Edition.

Let`s put a three-shot up, because guess what, people, this is like a reunion, in any way. The three of us covered the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. In fact, Jim, you were right next to me, and you --



MORET: You`re as loud in person as you are on TV.

DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY: And I was always with the Jackson family, coming in and going out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. And we survived that, and now we are here back again for the same -- it`s really interesting, because it`s kind of like we`re in the Michael Jackson vortex for now a couple of decades.

OPRI: With sadness.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, obviously. I mean, it`s sad, but we want to get to the crux of this entire case, and that is, if you are an addict, and I have the dubious honor of being a recovering alcoholic with 16 years of sobriety. And I can tell you, you`re not supposed to take any drugs unless absolutely life and death. I don`t even gargle with mouth wash.

So why is it that this Dr. Conrad Murray is prescribing all of these drugs, a search warrant affidavit, he had tons of drugs, not just Propofol in his system.

MORET: Well, you`ve got a number of issues there. One, did the doctor know he was an addict? Should he have known he was an addict? By his own admission Michael Jackson was an addict.

But more importantly, with the drugs that you`re talking about, especially the Propofol, there is a certain protocol that goes with giving these drugs. Were they followed?

OPRI: Legal protocol.

MORET: Legal and ethical protocol. So even if, as we suspect the defense will claim, Michael Jackson took these drug himself when the doctor was out of the room that may not be enough. Would you agree?

OPRI: I`m going to say this, this doctor got ahold of a lot of Propofol which is supposed to be administered in a hospital, with a 24-hour watch, a nurse, at least. He got a hold of the Propofol which was sent to his girlfriend`s home, I think a Taiwanese doctor or pharmacist is going to testify to that. And the bottom line is this, he could get ahold of the drugs and he, obviously, for whatever reason, made them available to a one- time proclaimed addict.

Michael Jackson, a great talent, there is no secret. He had great difficulty sleeping. And if he hired a doctor for whatever reason, he entrusted himself on there.

So what are the layers of analysis for lawyers? You`re looking at the access to the drugs and --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this -- I say that this case is really like a Shakespearean tragedy. It`s the intersection of a guy with a very serious addiction problem and insomnia --

OPRI: Dead end.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- with a doctor who desperately needs money, because Dr. Conrad Murray had a lot of money problems.

MORET: He did, but that doesn`t excuse any of the behavior that`s being alleged here. I`m not trying to convict the doctor.

OPRI: No, we aren`t.

MORET: The trial will determine whether he`s guilty or not.

OPRI: Right.

MORET: I`m saying to you that based upon what we know, there are some serious problems for this doctor, because the doctor should not have been giving Michael Jackson those drugs under those circumstances without watching him. He shouldn`t have gone in another room and left Michael Jackson alone.

So to me, the idea that Michael Jackson gave these to himself is irrelevant.

OPRI: And it`s not a new story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And let me say this. On the other side of the break, we`re going to take calls and we`re also going to ask the question, is the prosecution making a big mistake by only facing one charge against Conrad Murray? If they don`t convict him of that, he walks.



CROWD: Justice for Caylee. Justice for Caylee. Justice for Caylee. Justice for Caylee.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Practically everybody was up in arms, furious when Casey Anthony was found not guilty on all serious charges. Now Conrad Murray jurors being asked how much they know about the Casey Anthony case for fear there could be a ripple effect.

Jim Moret, what do you think? Do you think that people outraged over Casey walking on the murder charge are going to somehow channel that into convicting Dr. Conrad Murray?

MORET: I don`t really believe so. I think that people are smart enough to separate the two cases and look at the facts of one case and not look at the facts of another. The Anthony case was one trial. This is another.

OPRI: Two different jurisdictions, too. You have California. It`s a whole different jury pool out here, and not sequestered.

MORET: You wanted us to say "yes", didn`t you?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have no personal investment in that question.

MORET: Well, what do you think?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I will say this.


OPRI: I don`t think people are going to be as angry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s one of the questions that they asked the jurors. Do you know anybody who has been addicted to prescription medication or alcohol? That basically throws out the entire United States of America if that`s going to get you thrown off the jury. Who do you have left?

Janet from California --

OPRI: You Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Janet, California, your question or thought, Janet. Janet.

JANET, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): hello.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, Janet; your question or thought, dear.

JANET: My statement is that this doctor knew Michael had a drug problem, but he still continued to give drugs that were not allowed out of the hospital. No matter what Michael did or how much he paid him, he should have known better. He is guilty of killing Michael, the most popular idol in the world. How dare he?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Janet, I think you should do the closing argument then, for the prosecution.

Listen, one Google search, and you can figure out that Michael Jackson`s an addict. When he`s being offered $150,000 a month to treat Jackson, anybody could do the math about what Jackson really wanted.

OPRI: You really don`t know what you just tapped into. One Google search? That is the jury consultant`s job today, to go into the Google searches and find out what buttons to push to get him convicted and to get him acquitted. To get him convicted you have to push --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that what you call a segue?


OPRI: Well, if you`re segueing here -- but the bottom line is this. If this guy is sold as a doctor who was for sale -- I mean if I was going to prosecute this case, I`d say this guy was for sale; he forgot his medicine license and his code. If I was trying to get him off, I`d build up the addiction of Michael Jackson, which I don`t think it`s going to fly. I think he will get convicted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, both of you, I want to ask you. We covered the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. We all saw the craziness there. We had rocks thrown at us, we were screamed at.

OPRI: Not me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not you but --

MORET: Not me.

OPRI: I was with the Jackson family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: At me, they threw rocks at me.

Do you think it`s going to be that crazy this time around?


MORET: No, I don`t.

OPRI: Michael`s not here.

MORET: I think Michael attracted a certain amount, a fan base.

OPRI: They came for him.

MORET: Let`s not forget that this is really about Michael`s death, and I think that a lot of people care about that. I also think that a lot of people like the caller tapped into something very critical. We want to hold our doctors to a high standard.

OPRI: Yes, we do. And you know, when Michael Jackson died I think everyone knows where they were -- what they were doing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.

OPRI: And this is how big this trial will be. But it`s going to be about the trial of a doctor maybe who went bad; who, maybe was for sale, and if they can keep the emphasis on that -- terrific.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re not done yet.

We`re back with some final thoughts and predictions. Everybody is going to have ten seconds to make a prediction about this case. Stay right there.



Let`s show you the courthouse where all of this is going to go down here in Los Angeles. It`s right behind me, as a matter of fact. And I`m here with my two colleagues. We bonded over the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. We were there together for many months huddled into a very small pen for the media and for attorneys. Predictions? Your prediction, Debra Opri, about this case?

OPRI: Listen, I called it right with the Michael Jackson trial in 2005. I said he would get acquitted on all counts. I think Dr. Murray will get convicted because he is a professional, and I think he sold his license in my opinion.


MORET: I think we`ve seen overcharging in the past in other case. I do not think this case is overcharged. I think --

OPRI: It`s only one charge.

MORET: I know that. But -- I think guilty. I think guilty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think guilty. Here`s my concern. One charge of involuntary manslaughter -- if they create reasonable doubt, he walks. Should they have had backup charges?

"NANCY GRACE is up next.