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Prison Not Stopping Warren Jeffs
Aired January 4, 2012 - 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.
Puppet master prophet. Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs convicted of raping children. He is back in the news. He is pulling strings from prison.
Then, protecting your life with lethal force. A victim stabbed and bullied to death. Murder or self-defense?
And a young mother killed a knife-wielding intruder. She is here to talk about the terrifying ordeal.
Let`s get started.
Tonight, we ask the question, is jailed self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs controlling still the FLDS from behind bars? He recently had his phone privileges revoked, yet he has reportedly found a way to control thousands of men and women.
He`s apparently ordered FLDS members to, get this, stop having sex - the married ones. Stop having sex, guys. And those of course who disobey face serious consequences. Take a look.
PINSKY (voice-over): Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned self-proclaimed prophet of the FLDS polygamist sect. He ruled a 10,000-strong congregation with an iron fist, citing the law of God.
But the law of the land sent him to prison for child sexual assault. Shocking details came out at trial. He raped girls as young as 12 in the name of God. In August, a Texas judge sentenced Jeffs to life plus 20 years.
Many hope the reign of terror was finally over. But since his conviction, Jeffs` grip on his followers seems to have tightened, giving orders from prison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now, they`ve all been told that they are not to live as husband and wife.
PINSKY: Setting new harsher restrictions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are not to have any sexual relationships. It`s now considered adultery.
PINSKY: And now officials are investigating allegations that Jeffs conducted a Christmas Day service over the phone. He had reportedly ordered that his new rules are in effect, he gets out of jail when the apocalypse comes.
Here in the real world, that means never. Since Jeffs will likely die in jail, it`s anybody`s guess. Even after his conviction is Warren Jeffs still ruling his sect from prison? And what can we do about it?
PINSKY: That`s right. What can we do about it indeed? There is so much troubling about this story. I mean, what if somebody who`s sitting in jail giving orders to harm people, beat people up? I mean, we wouldn`t allow that. Adultery if you`re having sexual relationships with your spouse?
Joining me Private Investigator Sam Brower, who recently authored a book called "Prophet`s Prey." It`s about his seven-year investigation of the Jeffs and the FLDS.
Former FLDS member Flora Jessop, who escaped the sect and is the author of the book "Church of Lies." Good to see you again, Flora.
And CNN Correspondent Gary Tuchman, who has been covering the FLDS for several years.
Gary, why did he do this? He ordered his congregation to stop having - the married ones to stop having relations. What`s he up to here?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the ostensible reason is to show that they`re pure while he`s behind bars. And then when he gets out of prison they can resume having sex.
But the real reason is they want to see Warren Jeffs and his top aides, which includes his brother, Lyle Jeffs, who is still extremely supportive of him. The people who have guaranteed they wouldn`t have sex are still supportive of Warren Jeffs.
But Dr. Drew, I`ve talked to someone who is still in the FLDS, who still regards Warren Jeffs as his messiah, but he has been kicked out too because he said he had to tell the truth and when he was asked if he`s having sex with his wife he said he is. And therefore, he was told he has to leave his wife, he has to leave his children. But he`s told me at this point his wife has said she will stay with him. But he doesn`t know what`s going to happen.
PINSKY: So let me get this straight, Gary. So you`re talking to this couple who have been ordered to separate and they`re sort of held up somewhere now while the church elders are telling them to separate?
TUCHMAN: Right. This man, and there are many people in the FLDS, it`s believed there are at least 10,000 members. There may be more. But there are many people who are not polygamists. A lot of them want to be polygamists but a lot of them are still married to one woman.
This man is married to one woman. He has a lot of children. He`s been told he has to leave his wife and children. His belief is if he leaves his wife will be assigned to somebody else. But he is determined not to leave. He`s staying in his house. His wife has agreed to stay with him.
What`s really interesting, though, is this man tells me and I`ve known him for a long time and I`m keeping his name quiet to protect him, but this man has told me that his own mother has told them that it would be best for him to leave, leave his wife, to leave his children, to listen to Warren Jeffs because Warren Jeffs is the prophet, he is the voice of God on earth.
PINSKY: And Sam, I know we`ve got a lot more to talk - and excuse me, Gary, we have a lot more to talk about here. But I`m curious. So this is a guy who is very committed to the church that you developed a relationship with to help gain insight into what`s going on there, and now it`s turned on him? Is that accurate?
TUCHMAN: Right. And he`s still very - he still considers himself a member of the FLDS and he still loves Warren Jeffs and he still regards Warren Jeffs as the prophet and he doesn`t want to leave the church, but he`s very sad about it. He`s been told he has to leave the church because he`s acknowledged continuing to have sexual relations with his wife.
What`s really important to mention is a number of these people have been told you can have sex still for the purpose of having a child but you can`t have it for purpose of pleasure. And he didn`t want to lie and he told the truth. And he said, yes, I`m having - I`ve had sex with my wife.
He also said that he went on a vacation with his family. And that is considered a gentile, quote-unquote, "gentile pursuit." Gentile is the word that FLDS members use to demonstrate people who are against the church, who are not part of it.
TUCHMAN: Based on those two factors he said he was kicked out of the church. His priesthood, he tells me, was taken away from him.
PINSKY: It`s just that that story puts a fine focus on how many lives are being destroyed by these people.
Sam, I understand you were in Short Creek on New Year`s Day and saw FLDS members going to the meeting house to be interviewed by Lyle Jeffs. What did you find out?
SAM BROWER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR (via telephone): Right. They were - well, they were actually lined up in the meeting house to be interviewed by Lyle Jeffs, and if they were found worthy they went from there to another building, where they were re-baptized and re-covenanted.
I actually on New Year`s Day met with a gentleman who is in very similar circumstances as the guy Gary talked to. The only difference is at 3:00 A.M. that morning the elders of the church came to his house, pulled his wife and 10 children out of his home.
He had a 1-year-old baby daughter. He had one daughter that`s about 12 going on 13 years old, left him with no family. His wife and children just went with the church elders. And he was left there on his own.
It`s creating a very volatile situation out there. You know, of the haves and the have nots. The haves being the ones, the people who are OK to be baptized and kind of be a part of Warren Jeffs` hierarchy. The have nots are the ones who are not being allowed to be baptized, who are waiting to - to scratch their way up to that other group.
PINSKY: And Sam, I heard also that once they are re-baptized, this may be rumor but you can tell me whether - dispel this or not, that then when they begin to have physical relations again as husband and wife it was again observed by the church elders in this bizarre, you know, pagan ceremony that we`ve heard about, that kind of thing?
BROWER: Well, there are rumors going around. It kind of fits in Warren`s MOs, since Warren has, you know, had these ritualistic rapes inside of his temple in Texas, that he would now require the church members to have the sex acts witnessed by his church elders.
As I say, that`s kind of the rumor that`s going around. We`re kind of waiting to substantiate that. But it certainly wouldn`t surprise me.
PINSKY: Now, here`s something that`s not rumor. Sam has gotten a hold of the questionnaire that these church members have to answer. I`ve got it right here. And the series of questions, and I`ll share some of them with you.
For instance, let`s see, do you only think pure thoughts? I wonder how many of my crew here in the studio can answer affirmatively to that. I`m just saying. Are your desires in pleasures of unrighteousness? Do you dwell in wickedness of evil draws of this generation? Yes, there`s a lot of affirmative in this room here. Are you abiding the law of purity and righteous obedience in my holy law? "My," I`m assuming meaning Warren Jeffs.
Sam, you said if they asked for an understanding of these questions, even asked for, you know, how they`re supposed to answer them, they were immediately sort of excommunicated?
BROWER: Yes. In fact, the "my" in there is actually God. These are God asking these people these questions -
PINSKY: Well, isn`t my and Warren Jeffs are the same - I mean God and Warren Jeffs the same thing, right?
BROWER: It certainly is.
PINSKY: Certainly as Warren Jeffs sees it.
BROWER: Yes. They`re of course alter egos of each other and -
PINSKY: Of course.
BROWER: -- and, you know, if they even question, if they - if they even lack understanding, that means they`re not tuned in to the spirit of God and that they`ll be excommunicated for that.
PINSKY: So if they even don`t understand the question, they`re not in tune with the spirit of God. Oh, my God.
Well, Flora, you - you`ve been inside. You`ve had to live in this. Help us understand why people are still so determined to obey this nightmare. `
FLORA JESSOP, ESCAPED FLDS WHEN SHE WAS 18: Well, they are raised to believe that only through the prophet, only through Warren Jeffs can they reach eternal salvation. And so it`s - it`s the belief system that if they do not obey his word, his edict, then he - they will go to hell and burn in hell for eternity. It`s a very scary prospect. I will say one thing -
PINSKY: But Flora, I want to interrupt you. Flora, I`ve got to interrupt. Let me interrupt one second. So, sometimes, you know, family bonds are very intense. And as the head of a household if someone said to me you`ve got to leave your family or you`re going to burn in hell, I`d go, well, I`ll take my chances with hell. You know what I mean?
Doesn`t anybody step up and go, just let me think just about this for a second? No?
JESSOP: When you`re raised from the cradle to believe this way, it`s extremely difficult to get out of there. Everything you`re taught is every - everything outside of that community and that - and that church grouping is evil and wicked, and you are raised in terror of it. So for you to stand up and say no, I don`t want to do this is very rare.
PINSKY: And I understand. I`m being somewhat facetious with this. Although I have learned that I dwell in the bowels of hell here with this crew that`s in this room.
Thank you, Sam Brower. Thank you, Gary Tuchman. Flora stays with us.
And next we will talk with a former member of the FLDS who left the sect. He was being sexually abused by his brother. Stay with us.
PINSKY: Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs sitting in jail tonight with no one to call - well, a lot of people to call but no ability to do so. I hope. Apparently, he used the phone to preach to his congregation on Christmas Day, and that is in violation of prison rules. So his phone privileges have been pulled.
How we allow this guy to - anyway, his message to his congregation has been no more sex between spouses unless they fill out this questionnaire and God forbid should you question the meaning of one of the questions, because then you are immediately cast out.
Back with me to discuss his bizarre behavior is former FLDS member Flora Jessop and joining me, Joni Holm, whose brother-in-law just left the FLDS when he was told about the sex ban. And Holden Barlow who left the FLDS six years ago after being sexually abused by his brother.
Holden, we were talking in the last segment about how people are raised from the crib on with these beliefs and how hard it is to either stand up to them or leave. How tough was it for you?
HOLDEN BARLOW, WAS SEXUALLY MOLESTED BY BROTHER: It was very difficult. I believe it was September 4th, 2005 that I finally was able to make to leap of faith and come out into the real world. But it was probably one of the hardest things I`ve ever done because I was making a leap of faith into nothingness. From everything I`ve ever had or known into not knowing where to go to sleep at night, not knowing if I would have the next meal.
PINSKY: You leave your family, you leave your belief system, and you walk into a world that you`ve been told is, what, unrighteous, evil, horrible? I want you all to listen to this - go ahead.
BARLOW: I was going to say, well, not only that you`re walking away but you`re betraying them. By walking away you`re betraying them. By -
PINSKY: Yes, yes.
BARLOW: By simply taking a stand for something better or right, you`re betraying not only your family, your - your own blood, but you`re betraying your religion, you`re betraying your - everything you`ve ever known. Your core beliefs.
PINSKY: It`s classic sort of mind control kinds of techniques. I want you all to take a listen to this audio of the FLDS "Lost Boys." They were teen boys pressured to leave this community by the men, apparently to reduce competition for wives. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, when I was 15, I got kicked out from my brother, my older brother, because he gave one of our stepsisters a necklace. And I knew about it and didn`t tell on him. So we got kicked out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Holden, you must be able to identify at least somewhat with these young men. Have you watched this episode? What do you think when you at least watch that little clip?
BARLOW: I thought it was amazing because it`s the truth. You can be kicked out for anything now. Not only for having sex.
I mean, the rules have been you cannot wear red, which is what I`m wearing today. I mean, my coat. You`re not allowed to wear earrings. You`re not allowed to grow your hair out long. My hair is considered extremely long currently out there. And you need to have a wave and a part if you`re going to have your hair, not only for the men but for the women as well, a wave and a part.
PINSKY: Well, Holden, you`re like one of the -
BARLOW: So those very strict guidelines.
PINSKY: You`re like one of the wicked gentlemen here that are operating the cameras and the stage manager. Here is audio of Warren Jeffs played at his 2007 rape trial. Listen as he instructs his congregation to accept their arranged marriages.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
WARREN JEFFS, PRESIDENT, FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS (voice-over): Does that mean you have no choice? Well, you can say yes or no. But before he ever tells you who to marry, because you chose to come to him and place your lives in his hands, so you did choose. And when you entered into marriage, you never have the right to say you`ve been forced into a situation.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: Holden, is this the kind of demands you had to listen to on a regular basis?
BARLOW: Yes. And there was times where it was for quite long periods of time as well. Every Sunday was quite long periods of meetings for not only the children, the men, the women. And they would separate them all out. And not only into age groups, into sexes, and keep the boys and girls separated as well.
PINSKY: Now, Joni, your brother-in-law left the FLDS because of Jeffs` sex ban. Can you - can you tell me what happened to him?
JONI HOLM, HELPS PEOPLE ESCAPE FLDS: My brother-in-law was in one of those meetings when Warren come through and told him that they were not to live as husband and wife. So he left shortly thereafter. But they are told in these meetings that they cannot talk about it once they leave and they have to sustain Warren at that meeting before they leave.
So him like the rest of them walked out of that meeting and didn`t talk about it. But a couple days later he ended up leaving because that was just the final draw for him.
PINSKY: How`s he doing now, Joni? Is he having a tough time sort of assimilating? Does he feel guilty for who he left behind? Is he trying to get them out? What`s going on?
HOLM: Well, he wouldn`t go back and try to get them out. He`s dealing with his own demons. When they leave down there they are literally trading their souls. So when they walk away from that community, they are dealing with their own personal demons, which he is right now.
PINSKY: Flora, what do you think Jeffs is up to here? What is this? Are they just testing their power and trying to find new ways to consolidate it? What`s happening?
JESSOP: You know, I - I almost think that after Warren`s trial, the disgusting tapes that were played of him raping young girls with other wives present were - we were able to get some of that information into the community up there and got people to start paying attention to what was happening.
And as a result some people started leaving. And it`s almost as if Warren Jeffs is trying to create a situation within the FLDS where you can`t judge me if I - if God mandates you do the same thing that I was doing.
PINSKY: Right. So he`s really creating a classic sort of - a classic sort of a split. And that now we`re going to have the good people and the bad people. And then he`s going to consolidate his power with the good.
Thank you, guys. Thank you to Joni, Holden, and Flora.
JESSOP: One other thing -
PINSKY: Listen, what do you all -
BARLOW: Thank you.
PINSKY: But I`ve got no time.
JESSOP: One more thing -
PINSKY: But two seconds. Go.
JESSOP: OK. Dr. Drew, the thing that scares us the most about this is the edict with no sex with the adults puts the children at risk for sexual abuse.
PINSKY: Oh, that good news. I`ll say we`ll be right back.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We were talking about Warren Jeffs and the fact that prison is not stopping him from controlling the lives of possibly thousands of his followers. I hate to even call them that.
Many of you have reacted strongly to this story. And others involved in the FLDS. So let`s begin with a Facebook question.
Richard writes, "I know you`ve said in the past you weren`t sure if brainwashing was the right word to use in the Warren Jeffs` FLDS situation. Have your views changed since you last talked about this? Do you still think it`s cultural relativism?"
Well, in the last segment I used the word "mind control," which I think is a little - it`s like slavery. It`s like - when someone`s in a mind control situation of a slave, sometimes they adopt the attitudes of the people that are in the position of power. And that`s not -that `s kind of like brainwashing.
Cultural relativism? Well, that`s my point is, it`s not OK for people to do just whatever in the name of freedom and rights. That`s cultural relativism. We can judge what is right and what is not right and what is OK. None of this is OK. So difficult questions.
Let`s go to the phone, Stacy in Pennsylvania. Go ahead.
STACY, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Stacy.
STACY: I just have a simple question. Do you think that Warren Jeffs is the worst kind of sociopath there is?
PINSKY: I don`t know about the worst kind there is. Sociopaths generally are pretty bad as a category because they don`t care about other people. People are just there for their exploitation. And he certainly has those kinds qualities, that`s for sure. And he`s acting it out. It`s like a mass sociopath rather than just acting it out over individuals, he`s acting it out over an entire community.
Winifred tweets, "If this story is true about Jeffs preaching from prison, how scary is it that people is still doing what he tells them to do from behind bars?" And that`s something we were just talking about in the last segment. Yes, it is scary indeed, that he`s able to not just get these people to follow him, which is something that he`s been doing since birth by cultivating these people the way he has, but the fact that our system allows him to do so, which is what really was distressing.
Debbie on Facebook writes, "My comment - if Warren isn`t getting any sex, nobody - nobody`s getting any." Well, that seems to be the - that seems to be the way it works, doesn`t it?
Jean writes, "Isn`t the whole reason we`re talking about this Warren Jeffs-FLDS situation because it`s about taking care of one another as a country without stepping on each other`s rights?"
And if I understand your question correctly, yes, it`s about not letting certain ideological - ideological issues or cloud protecting people from being wronged. When bad things are happening to somebody, we have an obligation to intervene, even if it violates some rights.
Vicky writes, "I remember Flora Jessop saying that Jeffs took children out of school because he felt education breeds rebellion. You have an educated child, you have a rebellious child?"
No, I do not have rebellious children. You know, education is about making people free and making good citizens. That`s the original purpose of education in this country.
Mark writes, "Humiliation and physical punishments are a big part of discipline within the FLDS classrooms. Do you think that will have an effect on those kids later in life?"
And of course. Of course, it will. Trauma affects people`s brain development. It affects their ability to regulate emotions. And we`ve been talking about that for weeks in this program.
If you want to read more about any of these stories, go on to the HLN website, HLNTV.com.
When we come back, defending your life. Are you getting away with murder if you kill someone to defend and save yourself? These are very difficult topics. Think about it. We`ll have a very interesting discussion about it, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Tonight, two stories about defending your life with lethal force. A bullied teen stabs his attacker to death, and the judge lets him walk. Was it murder? His lawyer says no way and joins me to explain.
A young widow guns down a knife-wielding intruder to protect her baby. How did she find the courage in that moment? She is talking to me about that terrifying ordeal.
Also weighing in, Heidi Damon, who survived a brutal attack and confronted her assailant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): All right. Tonight, license to kill. Is that right? Where is the line between defending your life and getting away with murder? Two controversial stories jumped out at us today. Take a look.
SARAH MCKINLEY, CALLED 911 AND ASKED ABOUT SHOOTING INTRUDER: You have to make a choice, you or him.
I`ve got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?
He was from door-to-door trying to bust in. I don`t know what he had in his hand besides the knife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do what you have to do to protect your baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Stand Your Ground ruling gives the teen a full immunity. So, the case is dismissed. Jorge Saavedra will not go to trial in the stabbing death of Dylan Nuno. A history of bullying and the circumstances surrounding the stabbing at a Golden Gate bus stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hoping at the very least out of this incident that the schools will start taking more affirmative steps to try to stem the bullying violence that goes on.
PINSKY: We are going to speak to that teenage girl who shot and killed her attacker coming up. But first, a Florida judge rules this 15- year-old boy will not be charged in the stabbing death of a teen bully. She says Jorge Saavedra had reason to believe his life was in danger when he stabbed 16-year-old Dylan Nuno 12 times during a school bus stop fight.
Now, was that the right decision? And as I think, did adults fail here, overall? Jorge`s attorney says the special needs student, which this kid was, was mercilessly bullied for months, leading up to this event, and the school and adults had done nothing to stop it. We reached out to the school, and they had no comment.
And this, of course, yet another tragedy, and of course, it comes down to bullying and mistreating one another. We affect each other. How often do I have to say that? This feud, apparently, all started over a paper ball tossed from the back of a school bus. It ended in death. Got to do something with this.
Let`s go straight to my guests. Attorney Lisa Bloom is here. CNN education contributor, Steve Perry, and attorney for Jorge Saavedra, Donald Day joins us. Donald, can you please lay this out for us exactly how we should understand what happened here?
DONALD DAY, ATTORNEY FOR TEEN WHO STABBED BULLY: Well, in Florida, there`s a unique law in Florida that has been enacted not that long ago that essentially allows people who reasonably believe that their life is threatened or that they`re about to suffer great bodily harm to defend themselves with deadly force.
In this particular case, there was a fairly long, consistent pattern of bullying that went on with a special needs child. And it escalated to the point that on the day of the actual event, there was a gang of boys that had threatened to not only beat up Mr. Saavedra, but to cause serious injury to him.
And ultimately, the school bus driver allowed the gang of boys off the bus to confront Mr. Saavedra. And that`s when the fight ensued, and Mr. Saavedra was punched repeatedly about the head. Even though he attempted to run away and escape the scene, he was tracked down a second time and continued to be punched about the head. And then, ultimately, he used the force to defend himself.
PINSKY: Now, the law that Mr. Day is referring to is the so-called Stand Your Ground Law that was passed in Florida five years ago to make sure that citizens could use deadly force if they felt their life was indeed threatened. Does -- Donald, I`m going to ask you this, and Lisa, I`m going to come back and ask you this as well. Does this send a message that violence is a satisfactory answer?
DAY: Well, you`ve got to understand, this is a special set of circumstances. This is not the victim being the initial aggressor. This is the victim being victimized by another aggressor and what the law --
PINSKY: No, I get it. And I`m not taking issue of whether this circumstance was properly judged.
PINSKY: I`m, Lisa, asking are we encouraging violence for violence -- you know, violence -- you know what I`m saying. Eye for an eye. Going back to Hammurabi`s Law here.
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: That`s right. We live in a very violent culture, and as Americans, many of us still act as though this is the wild, Wild West. And if somebody is going to bother me, you know, someone is going to threaten me, I have the right to pull out a gun and shoot them or take out a knife and kill them. And many people probably applaud the outcome in this case.
PINSKY: I kind of do, I have to tell you, by the way.
BLOOM: But listen to me, violence should always be a last resort, right? Can`t we agree on that? And shouldn`t the school bus driver, shouldn`t the school, shouldn`t the parents have gotten involved before we got to this last resort situation?
PINSKY: That`s right.
BLOOM: That`s the problem I have, because no matter how you feel about it, a young person is dead.
PINSKY: That`s right. Lisa, I totally agree. I feel satisfied emotionally, but then, I stand back as an adult and go, now, wait a minute, this is a 16-year-old that was killed in this situation, and there were adults around that might have been able to intervene ahead of time. Donald, go ahead.
DAY: Would you feel any differently if the facts would have been that the group of boys jumped on Mr. Saavedra and then beat him about the face and head to where ultimately either they caused him death or serious injury? I mean, should the victim of those circumstances wait until they`re almost killed before they`re allowed to react under the law?
BLOOM: I think you got the right outcome in this case. And I applaud the legal work and what you did. My beef is with the school bus driver, with the adults at the school --
DAY: I understand.
BLOOM: -- who allowed this to come to this dangerous situation.
PINSKY: This is where the ambivalence comes into this situation as always with human behavior. It`s gray. Things are not always clearly black and white, but if you would move ahead there, those of you in the control room, so I can show people what`s out there on the internet -- yes. We found something that really struck us and how vicious things are out there for kids.
Look at this. This is Dylan Nuno`s memorial Facebook page. And in response to what would have been the victim`s 17th birthday here`s what other teens quoted. "Thank God he didn`t make it to 17."
BLOOM: This is my point.
PINSKY: Keep going. Show me some more there. Come on, guys. We`ll go -- there you go "Seven. That`s one, two, three, four, five more stab wounds than he received." Keep going to show more. This is how brutal the internet is. "Go die you worthless whatever. Anybody who supported this piece of --" look at this, "I hope he stabs you, too."
Come on now. Is another one out there? Is there -- OK. That`s it. If you go to that Facebook page, ladies and gentlemen, you`ll be stunned. I suddenly feel good about my Twitter page, which I always feel bad about.
PINSKY: But it`s stunning, the violence that these kids are acting out on the internet.
BLOOM: We need to be teaching compassion, and we should never be celebrating a death, especially the death of a young person. Even a young person who made mistakes, who was violent, who was a bully, even then, we should not be dancing on the grave of a dead young person.
PINSKY: And Steve, you`re out there, Steve Perry, you`re the one that`s working with young people. What do we do with all this?
STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: I tell you, first of all, I want to make sure that my condolences go out to the Nuno Family as well as the Saavedra Family, because we have two losses here. And I`m very hopeful that George or Jorge is receiving the professional services that this child clearly needs.
And to the Nuno Family, I`m sorry for your loss. Folks, if you want to see how mean-spirited our children can be at times, please go on the internet. Take a couple seconds to look at your child`s Facebook page, and look at how they communicate with one another. If you are not seeing a depth of depravity amongst some of our children, then you`re not looking in the right places.
The adults have failed miserably in this situation. There are no winners. Let`s be clear. Guilty or innocent. There`s too much blood to be shared. But we do know, as an administrator, that these types of incidents do not occur in secret. When this many children for this period of time make it a point to target a child, it`s not just the children know, but the adults know.
So, there is something about this that there`s a complicitness to the way in which this occurred. Not just the bus driver who was the last person on the -- last adult to see them, but all the teachers who may have heard about this and all the guidance counselors and all the -- and the principal and the administrators.
Folks, you`ve got to be honest with yourselves. This is not OK. We lost a child, and more importantly -- and more importantly, we`ve continued a depth of meanness that we have to stop.
PINSKY: Yes. I think it`s been a great discussion. And I think the issue here is to think about the fact that omission may be just as bad as commission. And that if we, as adults, omit to do something when we could have, we are committing, we are participating in these problems. And Steve, I think that`s a great call to our parents and adults out there.
Go out, look at the Facebook pages, look at the internet. It is stunning, the violence that`s being acted out. And that`s where some of this bullying goes unnoticed. That`s where it really gets going. We, as adults, must do something. Thank you --
BLOOM: And where do you think they`re learning that?
PINSKY: Well, that`s a whole other -- hopefully, well, I`ve learned about this room here in the last segment. We`re all burning in hell. What was that? I`m sorry.
DAY: The schools have some responsibility in that, too, because the reality is that oftentimes the school picks up on the small signals and the small incidents that occur at the school, and they can find the people that are the primary bulliers and take aggressive steps at that point and you don`t wait till there`ve been 50 or 60 incidents of bullying before they intercede.
PERRY: That`s absolutely correct.
PERRY: This is absolutely correct. One of things that we see all the time. We, -- I tell parents you have to go on your child`s Facebook page and Twitter and whatever other method they`re using of communicating electronically because it`s unfiltered, and they`re saying things that they intend to do.
They`re not always playing, and I wish it were hyperbole. When I, as a principal, find out about this, the children are called into my office immediately. And we go in. And sadly, one of the things I`ve said to too many children who stand in this office, because kids don`t sit down in my office, they`re not guests.
And when they`re here, I`m saying to them, you don`t know how far this child is going to go to defend her or himself. So stop. See, I`m the principal not just the victim, but also the bully, because there`s an opportunity there to correct that child. Many of the children who go so far as to harm other children are doing so because they`re hurting so deeply inside.
The children with the greatest level of bravado are typically the ones who have the lowest self-esteem. So, we have to look at all the children involved in this. It`s sad that this had to come to this place, but it could happen in any school. It could have happened at any school.
DAY: It is happen in any school. Every school.
PINSKY: Guys, I`ve got to go. And Lisa`s going to stay with me.
Coming up next, another self-defense story. This one, a teen mom loses her husband to cancer on Christmas Day. A week later, she shoots and kills an intruder. Wait until you hear the 911 tapes. We`ll talk to her next.
PINSKY: All right. Now, just two days after Sarah McKinley buried her husband, she found herself alone at home with her three-month-old baby when she suddenly heard someone trying to break into her home. She grabbed her infant son, a shotgun.
She actually also remembered to bring a baby bottle, as I understand, to keep the baby quiet, I imagine, and she called 911 from her bedroom. She asked the operator this sobering and thoughtful question.
MCKINLEY: I`ve got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself. I can`t tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Attorney Lisa Bloom is back with us. She is author of "Think," and we also welcome Heidi Damon, remember her? She confronted in court the man who had sexually assaulted her. There you are, Heidi. And Sarah McKinley, who went through this terrible experience just last week.
Sarah, you are just 18. And there`s the accomplice. You`re just 18. You`re a mom. You shot a man days after you buried your husband. I`ve got a billion questions for you. How come you didn`t run, I guess, is the first question.
MCKINLEY: Well, I just -- I know it wasn`t the right thing to do. I knew I couldn`t run with an infant in my arms. I mean, if I would have run out one of the doors, the other one would have got me. It just didn`t seem like the right thing to do. I knew I had to stand my ground.
PINSKY: And when they came in, I understand they came in with weapons. You really felt like they were coming at you, is that correct? Can you take us through that part when they showed up and how you decided to use lethal force?
MCKINLEY: Well, when he busted in the door, he had a hunting knife in his hand. And I had the catch in front of the door trying to use it as a barricade so that it would stall him or, you know, possibly even keep him out, which is what I hoped. But when he busted in the door, I saw something shimmering in his hand.
I thought it was a pistol at first, but it was a -- it was a 12-inch hunting knife. And I didn`t know that until after I shot and killed him.
PINSKY: Let me ask you a tough question. Do you regret what you did?
MCKINLEY: No, because --
PINSKY: Lisa --
MCKINLEY: -- we could be in a whole different situation. We could be in a whole different situation right now if I wouldn`t have done it.
PINSKY: And Lisa, we got into this conversation in the last segment about, you know, when is it right, when is it wrong. It seems like there`s a baby, a mom, defenseless. Again, I feel emotionally gratified that she did what she did.
BLOOM: This is a classic self-defense situation. You have the right to defend yourself or another if you think someone`s going to cause you imminent bodily harm or death. The question I have is, did you know these two intruders? I mean, did you think they were coming in to rob you? Did you think they were coming in to harm you or your baby? What was going through your mind?
MCKINLEY: I did not know them, but I know that they were there for something very evil, and it wasn`t to rob the house.
PINSKY: So, they were there for you?
BLOOM: Hmm. Because it`s an unusual situation if they were coming to do you harm that they`d be pounding on the door for 20 minutes, that presumably others --
MCKINLEY: They weren`t. They were trying to bust in. They were going from door-to-door busting -- hitting the doors. For some reason, it was like, you know, they were hard to open. But they were actually -- they weren`t just knocking. They were trying to bust the door down.
PINSKY: Heidi, you are someone who has become, really, an example for many women for empowerment. What would you say -- or do you have any message or questions for Sarah?
HEIDI DAMON, CONFRONTED HER ATTACKER IN COURT: Well, first of all, Sarah, I want to say that I`m very sorry for your loss of your husband. I know that that on top of everything else is very difficult for you. And, I guess, my question is why did it take 21 minutes on that call? What was the reason why it took so long for the response?
MCKINLEY: The 911 to get there?
MCKINLEY: Is that what you`re referring to? I don`t know. I don`t know why it took so long for them to respond. But, you know --
PINSKY: I`ll tell you what, Heidi, though, I have sat on hold in -- waiting for 911 to answer for 20 minutes before. So, I don`t want to, you know, -- again, the details of this event are sort of a little more than we have time to get into here.
But I mean, Heidi, again, you are someone that -- you know, if -- you were attacked. You were attacked from behind. I guess, my question to Heidi would be is, if you had a gun, would you have felt justified in using it in your situation?
DAMON: Yes. Absolutely. And I want to tell Sarah that I am so glad that you took the course of action that you did. You essentially prevented something very horrible, you know, from happening. And you know, for them to come into your house, even if they were out there for an hour, they shouldn`t have been there.
They shouldn`t have had a knife and good for you. You know, I think you should be commended for your actions and definitely not judged on protecting yourself and your baby. So, kudos to you.
PINSKY: You know, Lisa --
DAMON: You know --
PINSKY: Lisa, as I see these two young women sitting there on the screen and side by side boxes, I think about violence against women generally and about female empowerment. Is there something bigger here going on that we need to pay attention to?
BLOOM: Well, you know, I always like to see a woman defending herself, frankly, and standing up for herself and not becoming another victim.
PINSKY: I mean, lethal force is maybe -- in this case --
BLOOM: Sometimes, that`s what`s required. And as a mom, you know, the mama bear in me says, yes, if somebody tried to come in my home and I raised my kids mostly as a single mom, somebody tried to come in and harm me or my child, you know, this would have been a similar outcome. So, we can all understand that.
I take a step back, though, and say, you know, we know that guns kept in the home are 20 times as likely to be used in an accidental shooting, the shooting of a loved one than in this kind of situation. This is a rare situation, which is why it`s in the news, right?
BLOOM: And so, it`s not to criticize what happened here. What happened here is, I think, unfortunately, the right outcome because again, it was a last resort situation. Law enforcement didn`t come. She was being threatened. Her door was --
PINSKY: Just like the last situation, the outcome -- the legal outcome was right in this situation.
BLOOM: Because she was pushed into a corner. This is all she could - -
PINSKY: But, it`s a reminder.
BLOOM: But I want to stop seeing people pushed into the corner.
PINSKY: Yes, exactly.
BLOOM: Another young American is dead.
PINSKY: You, guys, are all staying with me.
Next, I want to flesh this out a little bit more. For instance, did Sarah know the men who were after her? Please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANE GRAHAM, 911 DISPATCHER: I knew she was scared because she was whispering. So, I knew she didn`t want him to know that she was on the phone with me. Anything could be serious in a moment`s notice. So, you need to believe what they say when they call and get the help to them as quick as you can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Diane Graham was the 911 operator who spent 21 minutes on the phone with Sarah McKinley as her home was being invaded. We`re talking about the experience of being attacked and what goes through one`s mind during these events. Sarah, you confused me a little bit. Tell me again who these guys were to you.
MCKINLEY: Well, I did not know them. I wasn`t in acquaintance with them. Two years ago, I was at a rodeo barrel racing a horse, and I had seen him there, and he was following me around. Didn`t really think a whole lot of it. I just, you know, stayed with my mom that night because I couldn`t get him to leave me alone.
So, I stayed with my mom that night. Never, never thought anything of it again, you know. And then, a few months ago, I was at a convenience store, and I saw him there, and he introduced himself to me as the person that works for my land owner. So, again, never thought anything about it. Just kind of ignored it.
And then, he showed up at my door Thursday and I knew it wasn`t good. It was the night of my husband`s funeral. I knew that something was up. And my sister and her husband was there. And then, Saturday, he come again and I knew that he was going to do something.
PINSKY: When he showed up on Thursday, what did he say to you?
MCKINLEY: When he showed up on Thursday, I answered the door and I kind of poked my head out just, you know, to see what he wanted. And, he said that he worked for my land owner once again and that he had moved in on the property that I was on. There`s 2,000 acres.
And he said that he moved somewhere back in there. And it was dark. So, you don`t kind of introduce yourself to your neighbor late at night like that. And, so, that was, you know, the first thing that made me know that he wasn`t good --
PINSKY: You said that at that point was your sister and your brother- in-law were there? Did they want to stay with you that night? Did they confront this guy?
MCKINLEY: Yes. They stayed with me, because he went to approach me when I opened the door. And my sister`s husband was standing behind the door, and he didn`t -- he did not realize that.
And when he jerked the door open, my sister`s husband, he stopped and, you know, kind of hesitated and was stumbling over his words a lot and asked me who the man was and I told him it was my sister`s husband. And it just didn`t seem right. He seemed very nervous, very --
PINSKY: And Sarah, when he was at the door pounding to get in, was he saying anything? Was he calling to you? Did he threaten you in any way?
MCKINLEY: No. No. He first started knocking -- yes. He knew that I was home because my son was screaming. He was in the bedroom. My son was screaming. And I pushed a couch in front of the door and when I did the couch hit the door and it made a noise.
And he, then, started knocking more aggressively and more louder, like it had made him mad. So, I got the shotgun and I put the -- I went to the bedroom, put the bottle in the baby`s mouth --
PINSKY: Who was the other guy with him? And why?
Sarah, I`ve got to -- we`re going to have to let that go for now. I thank you for telling us your story. Thank you all for watching. We`ll see you next time.