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Parents Versus Police in Baby Lisa Case; Family Demands Answers about Missing Girl, 5

Aired October 26, 2011 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, breaking news in Baby Lisa`s disappearance. Investigators will interview her young brothers about what happened the night Lisa vanished. Will this be the breakthrough cops are hoping for?

And a missing 5-year-old girl vanishes. I`ll talk live to her desperate grandmother. She`s demanding cops do more.

Plus, we finally learn how "Rehab" singer Amy Winehouse died. She literally drank herself to death. Is her family still in denial about her drinking problem?

And I speak to La Toya Jackson as conspiracy theories abound in the death of the King of Pop. Did her brother tell her that he would die young, that he would be murdered? We`re taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.



CYNDY SHORT, ATTORNEY FOR LISA`S PARENTS: This family has cooperated in every way they could possibly cooperate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the baby? Seriously, where is the baby?

JEREMY IRWIN, LISA`S FATHER: I came home from work. The front door was unlocked. Most of the lights were on in the house. And the window was -- in the front was open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really just takes the one right nugget of information to kick this thing off in high gear, and that`s what we`re looking.

SHORT: Lisa was going the link that was going to hold this family together, link them together.

DEBORAH BRADLEY, LISA`S MOTHER: She`s -- she`s everything. She`s our little girl. She`s completed our family. She -- she means everything to my boys. And we -- we -- we need her home. I can`t -- I can`t live without her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tensions rising in the search for missing Baby Lisa. Are the girls` parents and the police at war?

Good evening, everyone. Jane Velez-Mitchell live in Los Angeles. We`re taking your phone calls on this urgent story tonight.

Kansas City cops say Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, the parents, are refusing to be interviewed separately by detectives about the circumstances surrounding their precious daughter`s disappearance. OK. Not so, claims their lawyer. Attorney Cyndy Short says being questioned separately is just not the issue. Oh, really? Well, she says Deborah and Jeremy do not mind speaking individually to police as long as the detectives are fair and open-minded. Listen to this.


SHORT: There`s some detectives that really have a broken trust. And so there is -- it`s going to be counterproductive to try to sit down with those detectives again. So it would be better to bring in some detectives who are fresh-eyed, fresh-eared to listen to the parents, and the parents, I think, would feel more comfortable and less afraid.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Others say well, parents shouldn`t get to choose which detectives they talk to.

The other big development tonight, Baby Lisa`s half brothers, ages 8 and 6 or 5, according to some reports, they -- they are going to be re- interviewed by the cops on Friday. The boys will talk to a specialist from Child Services who is trained to interview them.

Now the boys were interviewed only once before, right after the baby vanished, and ABC News is reporting police will take DNA samples from the boys.

What are your feelings about this real terrible mystery? Where is this precious child? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. We want to find Baby Lisa.

Straight out to CNN reporter Jim Spellman, live in Kansas City at the crime scene.

Jim, what do we know about this interview with the two boys -- and I`ve heard ages 5 or 6 and 8 -- who were in the house the night Baby Lisa vanished?

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it`s been three weeks since police have been able to speak with them, and they`ve learned so much since then, that 17-hour search here of Baby Lisa`s home last week. They chased over 900 tips. They need -- they need cooperation and information from the family to help with those leads and to help with the investigation. Maybe they`ll get it Friday.

They have -- the family now is comfortable with this social worker that they won`t be in an interrogation but it will be these specially- trained people. People insist that it will -- that that -- it will be under those circumstances. There are detectives there in the room. Police really need help from the family here. They`ve chased down all the leads, done all the searching so far, and they`ll continue to do it.

But without information about what happened that night, especially from those boys, since mom says she was drinking and that could be really vital in propelling this investigation forward, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the other huge development: a cadaver dog hit on the rug in the master bedroom where Baby Lisa`s mom says she fell asleep, i.e. passed out after drinking at least approximately five glasses of wine. Her attorney spoke to "The Today Show."


JOE TACOPINA, ATTORNEY FOR DEBORAH BRADLEY: What a cadaver dog looks for, smells for, is decomposition of human remains, and decomposition of human remains, is what -- when they say they discovered a dead body or scented a dead body, that`s what they`re smelling, decomposition of human remains. And what could that be, aside from a dead body and skin peeling, it could be fecal matter. And fecal matter, as we all know, is often found in the diaper of a 10-month-old baby. So, you know, it could be toe nails that, you know, you clip on your bed and hit the rug or something. That is decomposition of human matter. So, you know, it could be one of many, many things.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what did one of those two boys see in that bedroom that night? Now, we`re told the mom fell asleep or passed out with the youngest boy, age 5 or 6. We`re getting conflicting reports. So I want to bring in Cheryl Arutt. You`re a forensic psychologist. How does this child expert, who`s talking on behalf of the cops, asks a little boy, age 5 or 6, whether the child saw a dead body on the floor?

CHERYL ARUTT, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, school-age children need to be interviewed very, very carefully. First of all, the authority that the parents have or other adults have can make a child very afraid to say or do the wrong thing or what they think is the wrong thing. Particularly if a parent or somebody said, "You better not tell them this, or say that." And a child can be very concerned about that.

One of the ways that experts can interview a child without leading them is by pretend play, using dolls, using things to say, "Show me what happened," and having the child act it out in play.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So they`d have a baby doll, and then they`d say, "Did you see this baby doll on the floor?" And maybe point to a floor which would be equivalent to where the cadaver dog hit on the scent of death.

ARUTT: Yes. They say, "How did this happen? Show me what happened?" And they may have a doll that represents mommy and they may have a doll that represents the baby. And then kids can best act that out and show them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The attorney for the mother of the missing child, Deborah Bradley, and the child`s father, the missing child`s father, Jeremy Irwin, they`re disputing the notion that the couple is avoiding talking to police. Listen to this.


SHORT: This family has cooperated in every way they could possibly cooperate. I think we`ve calculated that over time, she has actually spent approximately 40 hours talking with investigators.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. By the way, we are taking your calls. We`re going to put out the number again.

Dylan Howard, senior editor, Radar Online. There seems to be war between these parents and these cops. What do you know?

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: The Kansas City police captain is under no illusion what he wants from the parents. He says he wants tough questions answered, and he says detectives need them answered. They want them to submit to those interviews, and they want tough questions.

That doesn`t go well for the parents of Baby Lisa. So clearly, police are saying they want this, and they want this done sooner rather than later.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom Ruskin, former New York City police detective and investigator, how do you talk to a 5- and an 8-year-old child about Mommy being drunk and passing out, and finding out some of the key answers that maybe the parents are not revealing -- or maybe they are -- about who else might have been in that house?

We know that a mystery man was seen walking around town the night that the child disappeared, holding what appeared to be a naked baby. We don`t know who that mystery man is.

How do cops glean important information about a mystery stranger possibly being in the house from these kids?

TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, the 8-year-old would be much more helpful than the younger child, 5 or 6.

You also have to be very careful what kids tell you, because kids can also role play in a way and change their story during the same interview. The person who`s interviewing them has to be very well trained, either a forensic psychologist or a child psychologist or a social worker, has to be working with the police. The police have to give a lot of briefing materials to that person to help them gear the child in telling the story of what may have happened or what they may have remembered.

Now, remember it`s also going to be important to see where the kids were at given times during the night. The mother may have been so inebriated she may not have even known where these two boys were.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she claims she passed out in bed, holding the youngest son, who`s been described as 4, 5 or 6, along with a stray cat that was discovered sleeping in the bed by the father when he came home from his overnight shift.

Now, the mother actually snapped at a reporter who asked if she was ducking the media. And listen closely to what the mother of this missing child says. Very carefully.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it true that you`re getting paid to avoid local reporters?

BRADLEY: Not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why won`t you talk to us?

BRADLEY: Because we`re grieving.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Steve Greenberg, a criminal defense attorney out of Chicago, thank you for joining us tonight. What do you make of this case that the parents sort of negotiating with cops about the terms that they want to sit down and tell them what the cops need to know to find this child?

STEVE GREENBERG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I don`t know if they are going to tell them what the cops need to know to find the child, because as you said, the mother has already spent 40 plus hours, at least according to her attorney, talking to the cops. And the cops obviously don`t believe what the mother said, probably don`t believe what the father said, probably don`t believe some stranger was walking around town with a baby. It`s clear they`re the focus of this investigation.

And as a criminal defense lawyer and as potential criminal defense, you`ve got two things going on. You`ve got the public track, which really is irrelevant in the courtroom. And then you`ve got to worry about protecting your client from possible criminal charges.

Babies don`t just disappear. They don`t just vaporize into the middle of the night. You know, just vaporize in the middle of the night. So something happened in that house. They haven`t found any evidence that the police believe is credible that someone broke into the house. You`ve got to look at the parents. If I was advising those parents I would tell them to say nothing.

We saw the Freudian slip in the clip you just played. Wait, "We`re grieving." We`re grieving, that can come back and haunt you. Why would you say "grieving" if nothing happened, if the kid was kidnapped, if the kid was with someone else?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but we have to point out that cops are not calling these parents suspects or persons of interest. So we`re not saying they`re involved. We just would like to have answers to questions. They, in fact, are the ones who keep pointing at themselves, saying cops think we had something to do with it.

So the cops really haven`t said anything about this case.

I want to thank my fabulous panel.

Guess what? Tragically, we have another child missing. This is an adorable 5-year-old girl that vanished. And coming up right after the break we have an exclusive interview with her desperate, frantic grandmother. And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Again, the mother of this child wants answers, and her mother will speak to us exclusively, next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t stop looking for a child after two days, take an Amber Alert down after two days. And just -- and we don`t hear anything else from anyone for over a week until I just I was outraged about it and started speaking out. I had no idea what to choose.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 5-year-old girl had something happen to her, something that we don`t yet know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cannot help but love her, so I miss everything about her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s important in the success of resolving this case that the public be hyper aware of their surroundings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it would just be simply that Jhessye had walked away from her house we would have certainly have heard something by now. If she showed up somebody would have found her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not named any suspects in the case. We do have many persons of interest.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a desperate family takes matters into their own hands. A 5-year-old girl, an adorable child is missing, and they don`t understand why her case isn`t getting as much attention as, for example, Baby Lisa and other missing children. Well, here on ISSUES it is getting attention. We`re not going to let this case go. We want to find this adorable child, this innocent youngster.

Five-year-old Jhessye Shockley vanished from her home outside Phoenix just a couple weeks ago. She has not been seen since. It`s like this child just went into thin air. Her mother says she went to the store and left Jhessye with her older brothers and sisters so where did the child go?

Jhessye`s family is absolutely desperate tonight, and they`re also angry. They say that cops and the media, everybody, seems to be focusing on the family`s path instead of looking for an abductor.


JERICE HUNTER, JHESSYE SHOCKLEY`S MOTHER: Very unfair for you to ask me that. Do I look like I hurt my daughter? Do I look like I hurt my daughter? Do I look like I hurt my daughter? She`s scared. She`s scared. Please, I know she`s scared.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the mother of the missing child, and tonight we`re going to talk to the grandmother of the missing child, the mother of the adult woman you just heard crying there. And this is an exclusive interview with Shirley Johnson.

Your granddaughter is missing. Our hearts go out to you, Shirley. We want to be of service to finding this child, this absolutely innocent child. And by the way, we are -- are we taking calls? We`re taking calls. So if somebody has a thought about how we might be able to find this child, call us. Because together maybe we can solve this case.

Shirley Johnson, what`s the latest. What have police told you about their investigation?

SHIRLEY JOHNSON, MISSING GIRL`S GRANDMOTHER: As you are, I am completely in the dark about what`s going on, what clues they may have found. I didn`t hear anything at all from the police department. I just know that the search for this baby was cut off after two days. The Amber Alert was taken down after two days. Media did not get her information out within, you know, over a week when I was just outraged about the -- the attention that this child was getting compared to other children.

And I`m a very rational person, and I was just seeing things that just was inappropriate. I saw police just sitting there. I never saw, not one day did I see them go behind the house, come around the house. I saw them go up to a door a couple of times, but that was after I cried outrage a week after.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened?

JOHNSON: What happened?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What have you heard from your daughter? I understand that your daughter left, and she left Jhessye with three siblings, 7 to 13, and they go out. She goes out. Takes a taxi somewhere. Where did she go when she took a taxi to do errands before she came back and found that her daughter was missing?

JOHNSON: Well, I had -- her birthday was coming up, and I was always sending money to taking care of the children, so I was -- I had sent money to the Western Union, and she says she was going to pick up that money from the Western Union.

Now, I don`t agree with her leaving those children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did the 13-year-old, the oldest child, what did the oldest child who remained in the home with Jhessye, what did she say? Because she`s the key. What did she say?

JOHNSON: She told me that she wasn`t in the house, and she thinks Jhessye went out the front door.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So Jhessye went out the front door. And what happened to her?

The mother says she comes home and finds the child missing, vanished, zero clues. We`re just getting started. We`re going talk a little bit about the mother`s past in a second.

Hang in there. We`re going to be right back. We want...



LISA VANCE, COUSIN: At our function, at our get-togethers, Jhessye was not herself. I`ve seen marks on Jhessye that led me to believe she was being abused in Jerice`s home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where is little Jhessye? A lot of people have focused on the missing child`s mom because of her past. The mother served time in prison on charges of child abuse. And there were reports she repeatedly whipped her children with an extension cord.

Paul Panzone, we certainly are not saying the mother is a suspect in the disappearance of her child. She certainly says she isn`t. She`s about to give birth at any moment to another child. What can she do? Can she take a polygraph, even though she is pregnant? Is there any way she can do that just to eliminate herself?

PAUL PANZONE, : My understanding is I believe that she had the baby just either yesterday or today. But it would come down to the doctor`s advice...


PANZONE: ... if first of all, she was healthy enough. And secondly, if there were going to be any challenges from a polygrapher`s perspective, relative to being able to analyze and determine if her statements are something he can read effectively through polygraph.

My biggest concern right now, though, is the disconnect, this really collaboration with the family working with law enforcement. They cannot be on separate pages for the best interests of Jhessye.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, so Tom Ruskin, what needs to happen? You`re a former New York City police detective. The family is upset, saying other cases have gotten more attention. What would you tell this family to do?

RUSKIN: Well, I think her being on your show tonight is kudos to this show. More media interest may lead to a lead of someone making a telephone call to the police department or the show to give something up.

What also happens here is the mother is someone of interest because of her background. Does that make her guilty? Absolutely, unequivocally not. But, you know, the police department has said they have several people of interest. So they are following up on leads, and the fact that they`re not talking to the family may make me feel that the person may be close to the family that they may have some interest in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now Shirley Johnson, we just heard that the mother of the missing child, I`ve heard reports that she`s in labor, about to give birth. I`ve just heard a report here live that she did give birth. What do you know?

JOHNSON: She -- well, the baby had to be born since I`ve been doing these interviews today. I know that -- one thing I know is in that area we have 544 registered sex offenders right there in that immediate area. We have a police department that is inept in handling a case like this, because they`re not even certified in child abduction team response. There, the lapse in the time, yes, look at Jerice, look at the mom. I`m not saying don`t look there. But don`t lose sight of other -- other tips that may be going on.

Investigate this as if you`re investigating Baby Lisa. Go out and look at the camera -- the cameras that`s in the area has not been done. The local Walgreen`s, the car dealership, all of those places have not -- all of those places have not taken place.

I have found out some things that this department and the state of Arizona have not been certified in. So, I think that the FBI should have stepped in and assisted this department in its investigation. Keep looking. No one...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, certainly, we hope by having this child`s face out there, that someone will come forward. We`re going to stay...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The name of the deceased is Amy Winehouse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Grammy Award winning Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you control somebody else`s addiction?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of artists just too sensitive for the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She hadn`t taken any drugs previous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about alcohol?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, alcohol is a different issue.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight shocking details in Grammy award-winning singer Amy Winehouse`s death although Amy`s drug abuse was no secret certainly. The new coroner`s report says she was totally clean of illegal drugs.

So then what was the cause of her death? The answer: booze. The report says Amy had chug-a-lugged about five times the legal limit of alcohol, enough to poison yourself. And in Britain they always have a way with the turn of a phrase. They are saying the cause of death is, well, it`s "death by misadventure".

Cops discovered three bottles of vodka in Amy`s apartment when she died. This is all what we`re learning from the coroner`s report which was released just a little while ago.

Amy`s dad thought she might have died, initially -- this was his theory anyway -- from alcohol withdrawal or alcohol abstinence. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She would drink for two or three weeks and then she would detox for two or three weeks and that`s the worst thing that anybody can do. Alcohol is far more dangerous than drugs for anyone as you probably know. It`s far worse for you, if that`s the right expression. The withdrawal was very difficult, far more painful, the chemical imbalances in the body that are created by bingeing and then abstinence, it creates incredible chemical imbalances in your body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well now we know that she had too much alcohol and he`s got a new explanation. Our hearts go out to the parents but are they in denial?

Could the singer have been trapped also by, well, the whole persona she created with her hit song about not wanting to go to rehab? Listen to this from Republic Records.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Give me a call. What do you think? 1- 877-JMV-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my dear buddy PopEater`s Rob Shuter. What have you heard about the coroner`s report? What is the significance, in your opinion? You cover Hollywood celebrities coast to coast and across the pond.

ROB SHUTER, "NAUGHTY BUT NICE" COLUMNIST, POPEATER: This has caused a big sort of end to this topic. For a long time we didn`t know what had killed Amy. There was a lot of speculation. Was it drugs?

Her dad put forward a very controversial theory that you mentioned that she was on detox and that killed her. So it had all these rumors, none of them really added up. So finally now we know, we have the evidence, we have the scientific proof. And we know that she was way over the legal limit, five times over and this is what killed her.

Also too, you did mention there was three bottles of vodka found in the room. What they actually found is three empty bottles of vodka. So this girl was drinking big, big time and it looks like ultimately, she paid the ultimate price.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Very important distinction: three empty bottles of vodka. Thank you for that, Rob.

Now, her family and friends thought that Amy was getting better. Ok. They were hopeful; maybe they were a little bit in denial or a little bit co-dependent.

However here`s an example of how her work was suffering. Look at this from YouTube and then we`ll analyze it.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Duncan Roy, producer/director and former cast member of VH-1`s "Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew", you`re very familiar with addiction and sobriety.

That`s sad. And my heart goes out to the family. But I`m also concerned about people getting misinformation about alcoholism as a recovering alcoholic myself. First when the dad doesn`t know the cause of death he says well her problem was she stopped drinking too suddenly. She should have tapered off.

And then after this horrific report showing she had three empty bottles of vodka and had consumed more than five times the legal limit this is what he says. "It is likely a build up of alcohol in her system over a number of days." We know that`s not how alcohol works because alcohol gets metabolized and that`s why people sober up.

What do you make of the parents` excuses?

DUNCAN ROY, FORMER CAST MEMBER, VH-1`S "SEX REHAB WITH DR. DREW: Well, I think you`re right. Obviously they are in denial. But what I`ve been hearing from London, from the community, the AA community, is the fact she had been trying really hard to stay sober. And I think what happened is like her father said was that she was a binge drinker. And you know, what happened was that she fell off the wagon and drank three bottles of vodka. And if you`re in a sort of reduced state, if you`re vulnerable then it`s going to kill you.

I mean I think, you know -- you and I know that alcohol kills. And you know --


ROY: And you and I know that it doesn`t need to take sort of a huge amount of drugs for you to die as well. But, you know, we come from a place where -- I mean I saw many people die of alcohol poisoning so it wasn`t a great surprise to me to hear that it was just alcohol.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I got to say that I don`t even have -- I don`t allow the dentist to give me anything with alcohol when I gargle, when I go get my teeth cleaned because even a tiny drop -- even a tiny drop of alcohol that might be placed in a candy, which I don`t eat any more or in a glass, that could set off a binge and I don`t know where I`m going to end up.

ROY: You`re absolutely right. And I mean the problem with Amy is that she had been in the priory. She had tried really hard to clean up from drugs and I think succeeded. But, you know, I think in England where alcohol isn`t taken as seriously as drugs, I think that, you know, she was let off the hook, oh, she`s only drinking. And that`s the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. Yes. Bad idea. Bad idea. Booze can kill you just as fast as drugs.

Jamie, Florida -- We`re going to go out to the phones. Your question or thought, Jamie?

JAMIE, FLORIDA (via telephone): I think that she died from alcohol for sure because if you listen to her CDs, every song has to do about, you know, drinking. If you look at her in the media she`s always at clubs, she`s always drinking heavily, you know, talking about rehab and everything. I think -- I mean I thought for sure it was alcohol when she first passed away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Susan Powder, you`re a fitness guru and a proud recovering alcohol. Thank you for joining us and being so honest along with Duncan Roy. Was she trapped in her "I don`t want to go to rehab" persona. Was she kind of boxed into a corner that that was her selling point?

ROY: Not at all. No, no, no.

SUSAN POWDER, FITNESS GURU: Not even close. This is way beyond the struggling artist and all that. That`s like 1912. Alcoholism is a physiological disease not a psychological disease. The American Medical Association said in 1957 -- that was 54 years ago, because I`m 54 in a month -- it was 54 years ago that they said it`s a physiological disease.

Amy`s father is absolutely right. Alcoholism is a physiological disease that kills -- it does more damage to every intern organ than crack or heroin combined. Everyone knows it. It`s time to update this debate.

And by the way, you know, I mean the (INAUDIBLE) is homeopathic. There`s a different awareness of the physiological connections. It is -- she died from the third largest killer in the United States. And this whole concept that it`s a matter -- by the way AA has a 7 percent recovery rate. That`s great for the 7 percent.

Amy Winehouse was a lovely, talented, brilliant young woman who died for no reason because nobody treated her physiological disease. Do you have to say English and Irish? Do you have to say more than that? Physiological disease. Australian and Irish.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, by. Ok. Well, listen. I`m half Irish and I`m half Puerto Rican and I don`t think we should be making it an ethnic issue. I really don`t.

POWDER: It`s not ethnic. It is a physiological --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Duncan Roy -- I know you`re getting upset by some of the things that Susan is saying. I don`t think the dad was absolutely right when he said she likely died from a build up of alcohol in her system over a number of days. If you stop drinking you sober up. That`s why people don`t want to take a breathalyzer test right away. They want to push it back.


ROY: Absolutely right.


ROY: I think, you know, the problem with him is that he doesn`t really know about what we do to get sober. He doesn`t understand alcoholism so he really doesn`t understand the language of abstinence. That if you don`t drink or take drugs -- also let`s talk about something else. She was ruling her own life. She was like the god in her own life. If you don`t submit to something that`s bigger than you it`s going to kill you.

I mean that`s the problem with alcoholics. We think we`re kind of gods and I think that`s the problems with her is that she had this -- everybody that was around her being sycophantic and telling her that she could get away with it. And you know what; that is what kills you ultimately. That`s what kills big stars, you know, whether it`s Courtney Love`s husband -- what was his name?


ROY: Kurt Cobain -- all the -- they`re all the same age as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And briefly Rob Shuter, her doctor had seen her that night and asked her when she was going to quit drinking and she said I`ll get back to you.

SHUTER: She was clearly thinking. She`s really thinking of stopping drinking. My heart bleeds for these parents. They go on national TV, they are not expert. They should talk about the loss and what that feels like and those emotions and they should leave the science to the doctors and the scientists because giving bad information is very, very dangerous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our hearts do go out to these parents and we have ultimate compassion for them. And the only reason we`re questioning what they are saying at all is that we don`t want somebody else to die. We need to make it clear that this is a disease and if you`re an alcoholic you can`t have a little bit of alcohol. It doesn`t work that way. It will always end up in tragedy, unfortunately or incomprehensible demoralization.

Thank you so much fantastic panel for that lively discussion.

Up next conspiracies abound in the Michael Jackson death trial. I talked to Latoya this morning and you will not believe what she`s telling me. Yes, she thinks Michael was murdered.



LATOYA JACKSON, SISTER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Everything really is an illusion. Everything is an illusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hollywood mafia killed Michael Jackson. Dr. Murray was framed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody was hidden in that house and killed Michael Jackson.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, you actually have a conspiracy theory.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems the footage was on fast forward. Can you explain what if anything that means?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has got a picture of Michael Jackson and it says the charges should be murder.

JACKSON: Please read between the lines, everyone. Please do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are conspiracy theories taking over the Michael Jackson death trial? Even Michael Jackson`s own family seems to think so.

I caught Latoya Jackson on her way into court today. And here`s what she told me. Listen. This morning.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to these witnesses that are going to testify?

JACKSON: You know, I just have to tell you something. Everything really is an illusionist. Everything is an illusion. Watch the movie "The Illusionist" and you will see. Please read between the lines, everyone. Please do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this is eerily similar to what Latoya described in her own book which I`m holding in my hands. She quotes her brother, Michael, as saying "I`m going to be murdered for my music publishing catalogue and my estate." She claims Michael told her that many times. And she also writes "Michael believed there was a conspiracy and I can`t help but think his suspicions may have come true."

But that`s hardly the end of it. Listen to what a supporter of Dr. Murray said to me this morning as well.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hollywood Mafia killed Michael Jackson. Dr. Murray was framed. The Hollywood Mafia people behind all this tour business are responsible for Michael Jackson`s death. Somebody was hidden in that house and killed Michael Jackson.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Are these theories legit? Are they way off the wall? Give me a call. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

I`m delighted to be here with "In Session`s" Jean Casarez; Jean, you`ve been in the courtroom for this entire trial. This is a constant theme. This isn`t just today but it kind of reached a crescendo as we`re barreling towards a verdict in a few days.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": You know, I guess the question is, you`re talking about a legal conspiracy because that is where a group of people reach an agreement. There`s an overt act and then the ultimate culmination of the death of someone, a conspiracy for murder. Or as the defense is alleging here where there are a bevy doctors that were in a sense conspiring to fulfill Michael Jackson and enable Michael Jackson with what he wanted that ultimately then caused his death, therefore, you shouldn`t pin it on one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s take a look at a possible motive for any kind of reason to murder Michael Jackson. We`re talking about a conspiracy theory, not the case that is happening now in court which basically says a doctor messed up badly.

But Forbes just released its list of the top earners among dead celebrities. And right at the top, Michael Jackson. His estate takes in $170 million a year. So, much more than all the other big stars, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe; the list goes on and on.

And here`s what`s fascinating. Where does this money go? A lot of it does go to his family which are the beneficiaries of the estate, the three kids and his mom, Katherine. Michael`s kids in 2009 they got $60,000 a month. Michael`s mom Katherine gets $26,000 minimum. I mean we`re talking that there`s a lot of money at stake here -- Jean.

CASAREZ: That`s true. But you know, we heard in court yesterday from the defense that Michael Jackson was $450 million in debt.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know if I believe it. I`ll tell you why. He had a big chunk of the Sony ATV Music catalogue, which includes the Beatles music. And now the Beatles are on YouTube and people are playing Michael Jackson`s music which is also included in the catalogue like crazy at least some of it is.

I think they are starting to rake in the money which raises the question, is Michael Jackson worth more dead than alive? It`s a tough question but I think we have to ask it given all these conspiracy theories.

Now take a look at this. It`s an important new documentary on the king of pop`s death. Check it out, "Gone to Soon".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard of this thing that takes to you the valley of death and then it brings you back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we finally put them all together --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you ever accused of having sexually molested Brett Barnes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t answer that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will we see in the big picture?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The film`s director Ian Halperin is with us tonight. Ian what do you make of the conspiracy theory voiced by Latoya Jackson to me today?

IAN HALPERIN, DIRECTOR, "GONE TO SOON": Well, Jane, I have to respect the Jackson family`s claim. They really, I think, have been on to something. He`s definitely worth much more dead than alive.

But the smoking gun for me was yesterday. The judge Michael Pastor looks like he`s about to fall asleep on the bench in this case. He seems completely disinterested. And let me tell you why. When Chernoff wanted to grill Lawrence Phillips about the day of the O2, why Michael Jackson was late for that infamous press conference in London, the judge just refused to let him get into anything regarding these details about the press conference which was very bizarre. Why is he not letting Chernoff introduce key evidence?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.



SHARON SIDNEY, MICHAEL JACKSON FAN: There`s a drug that people call the zombie drug and it makes a person seem as if they are dead. There`s a case on it that was done many years back where a man was actually buried alive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that what your belief is that he`s alive somewhere churning out music?

SIDNEY: Well, I think it`s possible, yes.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Yes. That young lady we interviewed has perhaps the wildest conspiracy theory that Michael Jackson has been kidnapped being held hostage in Culver City, churning out music that is being described as newly discovered old recordings. And she says that everybody thought he was dead because of the zombie drug. Now, ok. That`s a fringe theory.

But let`s talk about this theory that was raised in Latoya`s book that Michael was murdered for money. That makes a little bit more sense. And exhibit A for these conspiracy theories is the surveillance footage from Michael Jackson`s estate on the night and the day that he died, very little of it was saved.

Ian Halperin, you`re looking at just about a few minutes that was saved. But the vast majority of the surveillance footage did not get saved.

HALPERIN: Jane, there`s a lot of suspicious elements in this case and, unfortunately, once again the L.A. Police authorities, they have egg on their face. They should be ashamed of themselves because they missed another case.

They are trying one guy. They are scapegoating him. Yes he deserves to be punished for his egregious, unconscionable behavior towards his patient, Michael Jackson. He deserves to go behind bars.

But let`s move on. What about all these other doctors who enabled Michael Jackson over the years and all these concert promoters, everyone around him? Let`s face it. If Michael Jackson wouldn`t have do those shows, Jane that was a very high possibility none of these guys would have made money. Michael Jackson in death, all these guys pockets are heavily lined.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go out the Allison in New York and as we get your question or thought we`re going to show a banner that flew above the courthouse today, a banner that read "The charges should be murder." We`re going to show you that. "The charges should be murder."

So let me bring in Jean Casarez here. This is happening all over the place, in the skies, on the ground. People are saying that there`s more than meets the eye here and I don`t think that`s really a conspiracy theory but there`s a lot of skepticism.

CASAREZ: You know, there has been and there still is. And a lot of people thought that he should be charged with murder. Well, it hasn`t been so it`s sort of a done deal at this point. But what if there`s information that was never investigated that is the real truth?


CASAREZ: I don`t know. A conspiracy or some type of what Latoya is saying; something more because there`s a lot of motive to do things to Michael Jackson -- you got to admit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I think it does boil down to the whole issue of, that he was worth more dead than alive. And it says here that his estate has generated in her book huge, huge, huge millions upon millions of dollars. The estate is doing better perhaps because it has better management now than it did.

But yet you`ve got to think about the fact that he has this Sony ATV music catalogue or a big chunk it in the estate that is just like solid gold. I mean it will continue to rise in value. There are only so many Beatles songs in the world. And so right there I would say that is a motive for anybody to want to get a piece of that action. And I`m not accusing anybody but I think that`s the most reasonable aspect to the conspiracy theory that I`ve heard yet.

We`ll be right back.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to these witnesses that are going to testify?

JACKSON: You know, I just have to tell you something. Everything really is an illusionist. Everything is an --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ian Halperin isn`t it the mark of superstardom that people create conspiracy theories about you? They did it with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. It`s always the mark of a legend.

HALPERIN: Well, you hit the nail on the head, Jane, because it seems every time a celebrity dies there`s always a conspiracy theory to follow.

But in Michael Jackson`s case you have to realize he was $400 million in debt before he died. Today I believe the estate is almost $300 million ahead. We have to look at the main motive and the main motive in any crime is always money. And that`s why I urge the authorities to do a proper investigation.

As I said on your show previously there`s 20 doctors out there who enabled Michael Jackson.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ian, we have to wrap it but we have to dispute some of the money figures you`re using. But we get your point.

Thank you.