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Casey`s Online Video Diary
Aired January 5, 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.
She`s back. That`s right. Casey Anthony resurfaces in a grainy web video. Two words, bizarre, disturbing, and I`m putting it under the microscope - her words, body language, the video itself.
And later, behind the blaze, the L.A. arson attacks now lighting up the suspect`s past, mental illness, family strife, links to fires halfway around the world. I`m talking to a victim of the fires and a friend of the accused.
Let`s get started.
Tonight, Casey Anthony finds her way back into the spotlight. Casey Anthony, I`m not sure if you may have heard of her, she has a brief, brief period, a little story about her during the summer. Anyway, a video diary made by the 25-year-old in October apparently has popped up on YouTube. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time since Casey Anthony was acquitted on murder charges, we are seeing new video of her. It`s her in this video clip that`s popped up on YouTube.
NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST, "NANCY GRACE": This audio journal didn`t just pop up. I was very put off by seeing her.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST, "ISSUES": It`s almost like a video trailer for an upcoming movie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was the first of many installments. So a lot of questions out there as to the motive here. Is she looking for that pay day or is she really just trying to get better?
GRACE: Apparently this audio journal was on two websites, pay per view. All right? Not one mention of Caylee. It`s all about her generating interest in herself, making money and about an extension of her narcissism.
PINSKY: The narcissism, yes, but making money, I`m not so sure that this was the best way to go out and make money. If that was her goal, she has some issues with judgment as well.
So in the YouTube video you see her there in that picture. She`s wearing thick glasses. She has a white tank top, new hairdo, bleach blonde hair. Now, this is the first time we heard from Casey since she left Florida after being found innocent of murdering her daughter Caylee. Court found it that way, which is as we learned from Mark Eiglarsh, it was not proven but that she`s innocent is a whole other matter. She seems almost unrecognizable in this YouTube video. Take a look here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF MURDER: The good thing is that things are starting to look up, and things are starting to change in a good way. I just hope they stay - the things stay good and that they only get better. They only get better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes. You know, I don`t know. There`s a lot going on in that tape. And of course, she never mentions her daughter, not once. We have become accustomed to that following Casey`s antics.
Casey`s attorney says Casey did not post the video, her account must have been hacked. I don`t know if I buy that. What do you think? Go to vote@HLNTV.com/DRDREW. Vote on whether you think she was hacked or whether she put that up there intentionally, and we will share the results with you later on the show.
Now, off to my guest. I`ve got Heather McDonald sitting next to me. She`s the star of "After Lately" that air Sunday, 11:00 P.M. on E! And some Casey insider, Leonard Padilla, you remember him, the bounty hunter who bailed Casey out of jail. He`s going to join us in a few minute. I think I have to put my cowboy hat on to summon him. And Attorney Matt Morgan - my staff here is laughing - but there is Matt. Matt represents Zenaida Gonzalez. He is here.
Matt, Casey apparently will not answer your questions whenever you post them, she pleads the fifth. Does it make you disturbed that now she`s sort of putting herself out there, but still not answering your questions?
MATT MORGAN, CIVIL ATTORNEY FOR ZENAIDA GONZALEZ: It really does, Dr. Drew.
And if you remember, we wanted to file the deposition that we took of Casey, you know, way back in October, and her counsel cited that her safety was one of the main concerns for not allowing us to file that deposition. And so now we`re kind of baffled, because if her safety was a concern and the disclosure of her current appearance was kind of the basis of that, then what is she doing at this point in time. So we`re confused.
PINSKY: Now, the man who actually uploaded the video to YouTube says he found it on a pay per view site as you heard Nancy Grace talking about. And he talked to Nancy. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRILEY, SAYS HE WAS THE FIRST TO POST CASEY ANTHONY VIDEO TO YOUTUBE (via telephone): I went looking for the video. And after about 45 minutes, I found a pay site that wanted I think $2 and I - I didn`t give it. I try another one and I think it was $3 or $5. I would not give money to that either. I kept looking and looking and looking. I finally found it, a link to it free. I hurried up. I downloaded it into my computer. It was five or ten minutes later that link was gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Now, Casey`s attorney has told us, quote, "Casey has maintained notes and memoirs for her personal counseling. She did not upload or release this to YouTube. She does not know how the video got on YouTube. She did not authorize it and therefore it had to be obtained illegally."
Now, here is my thing, Heather. She looks like somebody who`s doing a video journal in treatment, and things leak out of treatment all the time, you would be surprised. I mean, people sign these confidentiality agreements and yet magically pictures leak out, videos leak out. Do you buy that this is maybe some sort of therapeutic thing she was doing?
HEATHER MCDONALD, STAR OF E!`S "AFTER LATELY": I mean, I think kind of maybe because if she`s trying to make money off of it, she`d have to do a little something more than talk about my life is getting better and, you know, you have to like show your boobs or something. No one is going to buy, even spend 50 cents.
Guys - guys are into the Casey Anthony thing. They want to see more than just the tank top and the glasses.
PINSKY: Well - and so you believe that if she were going to make money, she would do it. She would go all the way.
MCDONALD: She would do it. Yes. She would go all the way and do something or talk about something a little more interesting.
PINSKY: Yes. To me, she was talking to herself on this video, which is, by the way, given how I - I had time to think about Casey Anthony. Given how I understand her brain problem which is rather serious, that`s the kind of thing you would have her do to reflect upon how she appears and how she looks and what she`s saying, and to be more reflective.
Leonard, you know Casey. Do you think she`s doing this to make money?
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER WHO BAILED CASEY OUT OF JAIL: Well, the people around her are doing it to make money. And as far as taking her clothes off and all that, I can tell you this, Rob and those guys would tell you that they won`t spend 10 cents to see her in the nude or in the buff, the money around her is what is needed.
None of these attorneys have made any money off this trial. They`ve gotten a few shekels here and there, but they`re really hurting for bucks right now. And that`s where the money is going if they can sell any of this stuff.
PINSKY: So, Leonard, is your contention that the attorneys who are saying that this was hacked, they`re actually the ones behind getting it put up?
PADILLA: Absolutely. They`ve got publicists out here on the West Coast. They`ve got a fellow by the name of Wright (ph) that`s out here. They got another guy by the name of Wagner (ph) that`s running around the country.
All these people are trying to dig up sources of money, funding for different things. They`ve tried - they`ve tried to come up with ideas where she could be photographed supposedly in a - in a store that was vacant, supposedly walking across the street with cars with Ohio plates in the background and they`ve tried to sell all this stuff.
But they`re not getting with success, because people with the big bucks are saying, hey, it`s toxic. It will wipe out our publication if we even have her on the - on the inside of the cover, much less on the cover.
PINSKY: That`s a good point that Leonard (INAUDIBLE). I think the Vivid (ph) people have all gone on the record saying they don`t want to be a part -
MCDONALD: We`ll see.
PINSKY: All right. Well, Casey talks about -
MCDONALD: But, yes. What bothered me was that she said she adopted a dog. And I`m like I just hope that dog doesn`t, you know, keep her from going to the club one night, because, you know, or bark too much and be annoying like a crying baby could be.
PINSKY: There could be chloroform in the future for that dog is what you`re saying.
MCDONALD: It could be. I don`t know.
PINSKY: Then she talks about being lonely in the video. Check it out. She talks about the probation. She talks about the dog. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY: Now, I have someone to talk to when I`m by myself, so I`m not bothering the poor dog who I have adopted and I love. And he is as much as my dog as any of the other pets I`ve ever had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Kind of spooky. That little piece out of YouTube. Heather, remember the testimony, also she apparently was - had a lot of - had a pet cemetery with a bunch of pets in it. Remember that whole - that whole piece of her history?
MCDONALD: Yes. I mean, I - obviously whoever gave her the dog or she found the dog or something, I mean, I don`t know if she really went to a place, because they`re pretty like people about adopting dogs are really strict. They like come to your house and check on you. And I`m - they can get your dog taken away.
PINSKY: I agree. I think what she means adopting a dog, but I think she`s talking about taking a stray off the street, because I don`t think anybody would let Casey Anthony adopt a dog.
MCDONALD: No, I don`t think so either.
PINSKY: Call me crazy.
MCDONALD: No. I don`t - please, dear God, no. Not even like a little fish, that would be dead in a second.
PINSKY: Matt, do you still plan to push forward with actions against Casey? And when are we going to hear anything more substantial from her team, do you think?
MORGAN: Absolutely. And we - you know, next week we`re planning to renew our motion to compel her testimony. We`ve got trial set sometime in April.
And so, you know, we`re just hopeful that at some point in time we`re going to be able to bring some kind of justice for Zenaida. I know America is starved for it in regards to Casey Anthony. And we haven`t heard anything from her team in a little bit. But I`m sure we`ll be getting them on the line here soon to discuss these videos that have been released.
PINSKY: Well, Matt, thanks for joining us. And, Leonard, always good to see you, my friend. I forgot my hat today, but I`ll - the next time I`ll have you on I`m going to bring that hat.
PADILLA: Oh, you`ve got to wear it.
PINSKY: I will. I will. And I`m curious about what you were saying, about people trying to capitalize - the people around her trying to capitalize. So we`ll keep an eye on that.
PADILLA: There`s a - coming up - listen, there`s a lot of that going on. There`s a lot of that going on. It started back right after the trial and it`s still there.
PINSKY: Coming up, we`ll tell you what George and Cindy are saying about the video of their daughter and we`ll talk to Casey`s former attorney and a body language expert and Heather stays with me. Back with us after this.
PINSKY: Tonight, Casey Anthony`s personal video diary shows up on YouTube.
But before I talk more about this, I`m going to talk to Heather about something here. The whole thing gives me a funny feeling, right? Now, I don`t want - because I`m trying to understand - I want my viewers to understand this -
PINSKY: -- and because I`m trying to understand what she`s doing and what her issues are, it doesn`t mean I think she is not guilty. It doesn`t mean I think she`s excused from what the horrible, horrible tragedy that went down there. We`re just trying to understand what`s going on here with this woman.
And you said something very interesting during the break to me. That she`s going to have another child.
MCDONALD: I know that - I just - I know like in a few years, she`ll find some guy and she`ll definitely have another child. I just know she`ll have another child.
PINSKY: And this is the thing about people that have very serious - let`s call them issues that have gone unattended is that they act them out again. That we`ll hear more from Casey Anthony.
MCDONALD: Oh, yes.
PINSKY: Now, I hope that what was uploaded in the video, which is just a couple that uploaded they say they found it on a pay per view site, I hope it is something that she`s doing in treatment. It looks to me like a video journal she`s doing in treatment. There are a lot of words she uses that we typically use in treatment.
MCDONALD: And I think that paneling isn`t that or a trailer park.
PINSKY: Or both. The wood paneling is very telling. A lot of treatment centers where I`ve worked have that similar kind of background strangely enough. But she`s using words like "blessing" and "things getting better," things that we talk about. It`s the kind of language that we use.
And I hope she`s getting that. It doesn`t mean she`s not guilty. I`m not making excuses for Casey Anthony. Everyone gets attacking if you - you come even near, you know -
PINSKY: -- making Casey Anthony less diabolical than she seems to be. But I`m just trying to understand her, that`s all.
Now, one of the questions we`re asking is, is she making money for Internet videos?
Of course Heather is joining me. She`s from "After Lately" on E! Body language expert now joins us, Susan Constantine, she is here. And a former member of Casey`s defense team, Jen Barringer. She joins me.
Now, in the video Casey is showing up new short blonde hair, glasses, that kind of revealing top, we think it kind of gives you a creepy feeling. She`s talking about adopting a dog, talking about her loneliness, talking about hating the cameras. Heather, I know that -
MCDONALD: Oh, I love that when she says, "Oh, I hate to be on camera." Really? Really?
PINSKY: And not from what I understand about her.
PINSKY: Now, in fact, we have talked to people that lived with her during all this - the trial and they were saying she specifically seemed to seek out the attention of the camera and talk about being on "Howard Stern Show" and all of the - loving the attention.
MCDONALD: Right. I mean, even just all the snapshots that you`d see at the club when the child was missing were all really tons of posing and posting herself, I mean.
PINSKY: Now, watch this little clip from YouTube, the video that we`re talking about here. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY: This has been such a blessing in so many ways. This is again the first of many, and I`m looking forward to this. It`s a little scary because I hate being on camera, but I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jen, my understanding is that you`re seeing something different here than you`re accustomed to seeing from Casey, is that right?
JENNIFER BARRINGER, FORMER MEMBER OF CASEY ANTHONY DEFENSE TEAM: You know, on a personal note, I would say yes. I think she seems a lot more introspective and more serious than the girl from a couple years ago.
I mean, you were mentioning it. I hate to be the voice of reason here, but am I the only one who clearly thinks that this is not a public statement? This is a very personal introspective look at someone who just got a, you know, a new toy, and frankly rather boring if you wanted to sell it and it`s old.
So I just had to mention that quickly. I just don`t understand everyone rushing to think that she took it out.
PINSKY: Heather was saying that - Heather was saying that in the other segment.
MCDONALD: Yes. I agree that it was just super boring and it was from October. So if she was really out to do something, I think she would be doing - I think she would have slapped on some mascara personally. I mean, I think she would have, you know, gotten a little cuter.
PINSKY: And, again, it`s something -
PINSKY: - it`s something that to me we might assign a patient to do. Again, she`s got some serious stuff going on. Independent of her being guilty or not guilty, this is a woman with some very serious stuff and this kind of thing is something you might assign a patient.
Let me ask you Susan. Do you - does anything about her body language give us any clues in this regard?
SUSAN CONSTANTINE, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Well, first of all, I don`t think that it`s rehearsed. I think it`s very unrehearsed. She`s in front of the camera, in front of the computer, and who has control here? Because it`s Casey, no one else is speaking back. She has full control.
There`s a contrast from her back when - when her voice was louder, more angry. Now it`s softer, more whimsical, more vulnerable. But I think this is re-branding strategy. She wants to appear softer, gentler, more approachable.
But when she said that she didn`t really want to be - or uncomfortable about being on the camera, right when she said camera, she went like this, she smiled. So what was it is that the words betrayed her. So when she said I didn`t feel comfortable being in front of the camera, she smiled with delight. It`s called duping delight.
PINSKY: And there`s a glee. We just showed a little clip from that exact moment on YouTube video. Did you agree with that, Heather?
MCDONALD: Yes. She was like, "I hate to be on camera."
PINSKY: Except I really love it.
PINSKY: Well, Jen, do you agree with what Susan is saying? Do you think this is some sort of a concerted effort to change her image? I don`t think this is the way I would go about it if that`s - or she even she would go about it if that`s something she were attempting to do.
BARRINGER: Yes, I don`t either. And I`ll give you two reasons why I don`t think so. First off, Cheney (ph) made some rather serious legal noises. I wouldn`t be surprised if we don`t find out who uploaded this rather quickly and there might be some legal wrangling going on with it.
And secondly, it is really - your producer told me about it, I didn`t know about it. So I went on and I watched it today. And it seemed like a very personal kind of a thing, rather boring, really slow. She`s not saying very much. It just it doesn`t appear to me to be a public statement of any kind.
PINSKY: And I would predict, too, I bet you there are three or four dozen more that followed that as part of an assignment, part of her progress, and for whatever reason, that seems to have appropriately been kept confidential. Why this one leaked out, I don`t know.
Casey`s parents, the attorney for the parents say that Cindy and George were made aware of the video diary from their daughter this morning. Their concern that the release of the video or any future videos could endanger their daughter. I`m not sure I understand how that would happen. I guess maybe she could be tracked down that way.
Cindy and George hope that Casey remains safe wherever she may be. They also, the attorney says George has not seen Casey since I guess she was in court. Jen, is that surprising to you?
BARRINGER: It`s really not. Frankly, the family dynamic there has got to be completely imploded. I`m sure you must realize that. Obviously from the tact that we took in the case, yes, it doesn`t surprise me at all that they still haven`t spoken.
PINSKY: Yes. And, again my thing on this -
MCDONALD: And what about Cindy? Cindy hasn`t talked to her either?
PINSKY: I don`t know if George and Cindy. We only know that George hasn`t. I think Cindy may have had some contact. And, again, Cindy, they`ve got a daughter who`s ill. Cindy has been in denial about it. Wants to be perfect and will not come to terms with it. Dad, once he did come to terms with it becomes rejecting and angry with her.
Thank you to my panel. I`ve got to go, Heather. Thank you, Susan. Thank you, Jennifer as well.
Stay tuned. Your Casey questions are next. And at the top of the hour, Nancy Grace will have continuing coverage of this Casey Anthony video diary.
And coming up, did autism play a role in the arson terror in Los Angeles? We`re back after this.
PINSKY: And welcome back.
When the Casey Anthony video surfaced on YouTube today, our online community obviously went into a frenzy, an uproar, an upheaval. Call it what you will, Casey Anthony generates feelings is I`m saying.
So we asked this question on our website. Do you think Casey Anthony uploaded that YouTube video herself? Take a look at those results - 84 percent of you said yes, and just 16 percent of you said no.
Let`s go to the phones. Michelle in Texas, go ahead.
MICHELLE, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Michelle.
MICHELLE: I just wanted to say it never fails, of course, she doesn`t know how her video leaked, it`s always something and she never has an answer. And then she claims someone illegally leaked her video, is she going to seek prosecution for illegal (INAUDIBLE) that, she fights everything else.
PINSKY: Well, Jennifer in the last segment, one of her defense attorneys, did say that might happen, but Michelle you have a point. Because the only thing we know about Casey Anthony for sure, she lies, lies, lies, lies, lies. That when her lips are moving, she`s lying. So I got you on that.
Shari in California, go ahead.
SHARI, ANTIOCH, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Shari.
SHARI: I just wanted to comment on how Casey is proud of the fact that she now has belongings, but I wonder whose check she used this time? Notice that she is still focusing on things.
SHARI: I would think that her first comment would be thanks for the acquittal.
PINSKY: Yes. Yes, if she really appreciates how lucky she was in that regard.
Now, listen, I don`t want to come off like I`m defending Casey Anthony here, but let me just - I`m just trying to understand things here.
And the one thing I will tell you, in treatment sometimes people earn privileges to use computers and phones and things like that. So if we speculate, speculating that she is in treatment, let`s hope she is, maybe that`s how she got access to these things.
Debbie on Facebook writes, "I didn`t get to ask you during the trial, but what fascinates me the most about Casey Anthony - but what fascinates me the most about Casey Anthony from a medical perspective?"
I`ve got to tell you, what fascinates me the most is the lying and the inability to perceive reality on its own terms, and then not to understand the impact her behavior has on other people. If you notice, I think if we were to talk to Casey today, she would be sort of confused by the fact everyone is outraged that she didn`t mention her child and is not still upset about that. That`s - that`s sort of part of her syndrome.
And I believe, although yesterday the attorneys were suggesting that maybe there had not been a seizure disorder, I keep hearing about having a seizure disorder and there could be significant brain and personality dysfunction associated, biological problems associated with somebody`s kind of organic processes, and that fascinates me. And she never had the proper testing to really nail that down.
Marcy writes, "Did you count the number of times that Casey used the word "I" in that video? Probably a dozen times. She doesn`t get it, does she?"
That`s the very point I was just making that she would be really surprised at all of our reaction to this.
Bill tweets. "This is probably the first time George and Cindy are seeing Casey. What do you think is going through their minds?"
And I`ll say it again, I just said it in the last segment, that I think George is angry that his daughter is not well and he`s dismissive of her and rejecting of her. I think Cindy is still in denial about it and doesn`t want to look at the fact that they have a daughter with a broken brain.
Now, next up, a doctor says apparently an alleged arsonist that terrified Los Angeles, you guys that don`t live in Los Angeles, this has been a big story here. Well, people have been living in terror in the Hollywood - in West Hollywood area. He is saying that this guy is mentally ill.
And the question we`re going to ask is, first of all, is that in fact true, and secondly if it is, what is the nature of it, and could it be a defense? That`s up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: What do you do with little girls (ph)?
DONALD SUTHERLAND, ACTOR: Burn them.
DE NIRO: What would you like to do with the whole world?
SUTHERLAND: Burn it all.
PINSKY (voice-over): "Backdraft," Hollywood`s fictional account of a deranged arsonist, but this weekend, Hollywood itself got torched by a real fire starter. The suspect nabbed on Monday, in court Wednesday, but with his arrest, bizarre and disturbing details. A strange relationship with his mother, a history of psychiatric and psychological problems.
Did mental illness drive this man to a fiery rampage or is that just a smoke screen? I`m talking to one of the suspect`s friends to get the answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): So, again, the question is mental illness to blame for the fires that had much of Los Angeles on edge. Take a look at this.
PINSKY (voice-over): Police say this is the man who terrorized Los Angeles for four days, beginning the New Year holiday. Harry Burkhart is a 24-year-old German national who has publicly said F the United States. The work of federal and local police agencies in at least two countries helped bring him in. He`s charged with 37 counts of arson and more could be filed.
A total of 52 fires were set in cars and the parking structures of Hollywood area apartments. Police say it is Burkhart on the surveillance tapes. Here`s where the case takes an even stranger turn. Burkhart came to the United States on October 20th. He`s accused by German officials of setting fire to a home there owned by his family.
His mother who is in custody in this country has immigration issues, possible gang ties, and fraud problems. She`s accused of not paying a bill for breast implants. Burkhart needed help to stand in court. There are unconfirmed reports that he has a history of mental illness and autism.
PINSKY (on-camera): And tonight, a doctor who knew Harry Burkhart is on the record saying that Burkhart was autistic and severely depressed, and had PTSD that was in 2010. This was confirmed by CNN.
Joining me, Shlomo Elday, he`s a hairdresser who knows Harry Burkhart, Dr. Soroya Bacchus, a psychiatrist, and Alan Duke, he`s a reporter for CNN. Alan was in the courtroom when Burkhart was arraigned today. Allen, do you think these kinds of impressions that these doctors allege would explain what you saw in court today?
ALAN DUKE, WITNESSED BURKHART`S BEHAVIOR IN COURT: Something has to explain what this behavior was. It`s the most bizarre courtroom behavior I have ever seen in decades of covering high profile cases. This guy is, obviously, under a lot of pressure.
He could spend the rest of his life in prison. So, very anxious. So, he was just basically looking at the ceiling. His eyes closed, his mouth open, completely -- three deputies had to hold him up through the entire hearing.
PINSKY: So, it was like he was in a fugue state, and he just kind of fell back into the chair?
DUKE: Yes, but one of the deputies holding him up told me later that she thought he was faking it.
PINSKY: Oh, interesting. Now, questions on Burkhart`s mental state first surfaced two years ago when his mother was named in a court action. She, at that time, presented a letter from a doctor, again, from a (ph) doctor, in order to prevent her son from testifying.
It read in part, quote, "He is not mentally stable. Together with autism, he has severe anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and a sleeping condition." Shlomo, you knew him, right?
SHLOMO ELDAY, KNOWS ARSON SUSPECT BURKHART: Of course, you know, especially hairstylist, clients share with you details stuff.
PINSKY: Did he seem like somebody with mental illness? Did he seem, in any way, inappropriate or did he discuss with you any serious symptoms he was having?
ELDAY: Well, I cut his hair last week. And, after the haircut, we talked about politics. We talked what`s going on in the Middle East. Always, he`s curious what`s going on there. I didn`t see any sign of stress, no depression --
PINSKY: He didn`t stand out as a client -- he lived above you, right?
ELDAY: He lived above the salon, and I charged him $20 for the haircut the way I charge for every other client. He come every three weeks until one month, and he lived with his mom.
PINSKY: He was just a normal conversive guy. There were no signs or evidence
ELDAY: Complete normal. Smiling, and also, he tipped me $20, which is good tipper.
PINSKY: So, he had bad judgment in his tipping, and so, no? OK.
ELDAY: Well, you know --
PINSKY: Good judgment, I guess.
PINSKY: Dr. Bacchus, I want to go out to you. Help us explain this. There is all sorts of -- here`s how I want to frame the question to you, because you`re going have to make sense of this. Number one, I have two questions. One, let`s go to this one first. Is it surprising to you that someone who`s capable of these kinds of behavior could come for a haircut every three weeks and no one noticed anything unusual about him?
DR. SOROYA BACCHUS, PSYCHIATRIST: No, not at all. I mean, it`s very typical when you have these kinds of disorders to -- or mental illness to be very normal and functioning where nobody would notice anything, generally speaking. Not in day to day kinds of activities.
PINSKY: OK. Then, the other question I have is that the word autism has come up here. And by the way, my understanding is that one of the doctors who made this "diagnosis" did so without applying any objective measures of this, both for the PTSD, the depression, and the autism, and was an obstetrician, and was doing it to help with immigration issues.
So, all that is very suspect in my mind, but my question to you, Dr. Bacchus is, is there anything about autism that is associated with these sorts of behaviors, and isn`t it potentially hurtful to families and people who have autistic spectrum disorders to sort of throw that word around when it comes to behaviors like this?
BACCHUS: Yes. I mean, generally people who have autism, they`re socially isolated. They`re not real sophisticated in performing these kinds of behaviors or being involved with them. Maybe, possibly, Asperger syndrome or maybe another primary process kind of psychiatric disorder like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or maybe some real serious character and (ph) logical issue like a personality disorder.
PINSKY: Alan, do you have --if you`re willing to share with us your personal experience with this. And you and I talked about this before the show that the issue of autism coming up here I think is very unfair.
DUKE: Yes. Having a child that diagnosed when she was 12 with Asperger syndrome, I can tell you that when something like this is in the news and it happens occasionally, it makes any parent of a child diagnosed that way really upset to think that people will look at their child as being a potential terrorist. So, it is a very difficult thing.
PINSKY: And by the same token, Dr. Bacchus, you know, we`re throwing the word schizophrenia around, not all schizophrenics engage in violent or inappropriate behavior. So, we don`t want to say that because someone -- yes. We`re not saying because somebody ends up with a specific diagnosis, this would be a typical sort of a behavior for someone with one of these diagnoses.
BACCHUS: If fire setting is something you can see in a lot of psychiatric illnesses, not just bipolar disorder or not autistic disorder or somebody who`s just a plain pyromaniac. That`s a pretty rare disorder in itself.
PINSKY: Those of us that don`t have a predilection for lighting fires, can you help us understand, are there any theories about what the psychological motivation is or what the individual is experiencing who is an arsonist?
BACCHUS: Arson is a little different from somebody who might be enjoying or sets fires. Setting fires is impulsive disorder where there`s an actual arousal or excitation and a fascination with setting the fires and watching them grow and seeing the damage that they can cause.
It`s a little different when you`re talking about an arsonist who`s maybe doing this for revenge purposes or for fraud purposes. A true criminal act where there`s a complete difference in setting the fire with a very different motive.
PINSKY: And we`re going to, actually, in the next segment talk about terror and hate and how those things being figured into this, but Shlomo, I`m going to go to you. This guy sat in your chair every couple of weeks. He`s a guy you knew. You knew his mom who is the massage therapist upstairs.
She had some, apparently, you know, the thought is that maybe her, the issues that she was having with immigration may have sent him over the edge. That doesn`t fit for me, by the way. Does it fit for you?
ELDAY: Well, I don`t see any reason also to do what he did, but his mom was very important for him.
PINSKY: Very important for him.
ELDAY: Very important for him. He gets upset because of the immigration issue.
PINSKY: Well, she had kind a nefarious past. Listen, and apparently, her address was associated in that apartment where he was living and shared with his mother linked with nearly a dozen erotic ads posted online, some of which read, "would you like to be essentially pampered by a professional sexy, attracted -- I`m reading the quote here.
"And real, sensual tantra master, and a doctor of sexologist," which is not true. That`s a specific, you know, sort of degree. "I invite you for an extremely pleasurable full body massage." So, it goes. There`s full screen of it. Something was going on with there with her already, you know? I`m just saying, sort of a nefarious situation. Were you aware that that was going on upstairs
ELDAY: No comment on this issue. I know her as a wonderful person. I see her almost every day. I see her in the parking. I see her driving the car.
PINSKY: Do you think her issues with immigration set him off?
PINSKY: You do?
PINSKY: Was he talking to you about that stuff?
ELDAY: Yes, it was bothering him. All of a sudden, he heard that his mom would not be close to him.
PINSKY: He was very upset.
PINSKY: Is there anything about the way he was talk or the kinds -- things he was talking about that would trigger him to take action against the community and to really act out the way he did?
ELDAY: I not see this is the reason to do that.
PINSKY: He didn`t say anything that would -- that sort of -- that connected the dots for you?
PINSKY: No? OK. All right. Well, guys, thank you. Thank you Alan, thank you Shlomo, and Dr. Bacchus, thank you so much.
For four nights, Los Angeles residents lived in fear. If you were here during that, particularly, living in a Hollywood (ph), it was not a fun time.
Next, when an arsonist is on the loose, it can really affect an entire community. We`re going to talk about the legal aspects of this when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jumped up, and we just ran downstairs. I grabbed whatever I could grab. My purse, my wallet, shoes and a sweatshirt, ran outside, and I saw the building was on fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was crazy. I mean, the flames have basically kind of started to make a shape, so it was feeding itself going around in circles. There`s no understanding with this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is one of the apartment buildings that burned during the arson spree. And over there, you can see the back window of the apartment where Harry Burkhart lived with his mother. It`s not hard to imagine someone standing at that window and watching the fire burn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was CNN`s Casey Wian reporting. Harry Burkhart has been charged with 37 counts of arson. Officials believe he is the man who set at least 52 fires throughout Los Angeles and really terrified residents. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a phone call at 5:00 a.m. from reverse 911 call, from the automated system, and telling me to look out for something suspicious in the neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was definitely an intense almost like war zone feeling, if you will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We weren`t getting a lot of information what they knew and what they didn`t know. They were keeping that pretty close to the vest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it shook people up a little bit, because you don`t really associate just like random acts of violence with West Hollywood as much as you would think of other areas of Los Angeles that are a little bit more intense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining me, Loni Coombs, formerly Los Angeles prosecutor, Robert Rowe is a fire investigator and arson expert, and Michael Budilovsky, did I pronounce that right, who lost two cars in the L.A. fires. Michael, we have video of your burned car. Let`s see. There it is here. Oh, my goodness. What alerted you to trouble?
MICHAEL BUDILOVSKY, L.A. ARSON VICTIM: Well, it was about 1:00 a.m. probably. And my neighbors were screaming outside. They were saying, you know, fire, fire, come outside.
PINSKY: Before that, were you aware the arsonist was on the loose?
BUDILOVSKY: I was not. My house was actually the first victim of the arson.
PINSKY: Oh my goodness.
BUDILOVSKY: Yes. So, I was not alert. I didn`t know that this kind of thing was going on in Hollywood, and you know, I was really surprised. I came outside. I alerted my mom. You know, we came outside. And about 20 minutes later, when the firemen let us into the area, we saw that the cars that were burning were actually belonged to us.
PINSKY: And once you finally learned of the arrest, how did you feel then?
BUDILOVSKY: You know, I felt good, but not only for myself but also for the community in Los Angeles because I just felt like people were walking on needles. Everyone was alert. Everyone was really scared, and you know, it surprised me.
PINSKY: Would you describe it, Michael, as terror? Was there a terror in the community?
BUDILOVSKY: Yes. I believe so. If this kept going on, I think, you know, the community would fall apart.
PINSKY: Now, a reserve deputy working for $1 a year is responsible for the apprehension of this alleged arsonist during a traffic stop. He recently talked to reporters. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERVIN LALEZARY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY RESERVE DEPUTY: You got the sense that everyone in the city was on edge, and having gone to the different fire calls the nights before and seeing residents flee from their homes and basically run for their lives, the second that I realize that basically this may be the individual, I just felt a big sense of relief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Now, Robert, you`re an expert in arson. And I`m interested always in the show to try to understand people and their behavior. Help us understand, is this a typical profile? Who was this guy? What likely motivated him? Can you dig into that a bit?
ROBERT ROWE, FORE INVESTIGATOR: Well, on a couple of other interviews I`ve had, I always thought along the lines that it was some type of a thrill-seeking type of fire or it was revenge fire of that nature.
ROWE: Well, because of the way that the fires were set. They were set very quickly. I think I guessed about 15 minutes per fire on that one Thursday night where there was 19 in one night. So, it was a very aggressive action. I mean, he was really trying to make a point. So, that was my gut feeling at that point was that this person is really out to do some damage.
PINSKY: And in terms of all the talk about mental illness, would it be somebody who really is not well to be that aggressive and be that wild or is that a criminal act or, as Loni would say, it`s both criminal acts, of course.
PINSKY: Loni can`t wait to jump in. We`re trying to understand this is this is sort of typical of mental illness or somebody that`s just a criminal?
ROWE: Well, obviously, someone that`s unstable and that is trying to prove something. And again, by them lighting or by the person lighting so many fires in a very short period of time, my thought was this person has a point to prove, and that he is being very aggressive.
PINSKY: And that`s it for somebody who likes a fire and then just sort of gets off watching on it. That`s sort of the classic thing. All right. Loni, have at it. Go after this guy.
LONI COOMBS, FORMER LOS ANGELES PROSECUTOR: Well, obviously my point of view as a prosecutor, all arson is criminal arson. And clearly, what he was doing were multiple crimes here. If you look at his personal time history, he had some things going on with his mother, this relationship with his mother, obviously, had some anti-American sentiment going on.
PINSKY: OK. So, I have a bunch of questions on those lines and stuff going on in Germany, too, other fires previously.
COOMBS: Absolutely. That`s right.
PINSKY: Is this a hate crime? Can this be looked at as hate crime or terrorism?
COOMBS: Hate crime is based on if a crime is motivated by hatred towards a group. Nationality can be one of them. So, this anti-
COOMBS: Exactly. That can be a possible special allegation. However, for him, it looks like there`s more to it than that. He seems to be angry that his mother is being taken away, that he`s being separated from her. He also has these allegations of fire over in Germany. His family home being burned down, and there`s a chance of insurance fraud there. Also, cars being set on fire in Germany also. We don`t know the reason behind --
PINSKY: You would connect the dots for the jury. Would you bring somebody like Robert in to talk about these kinds of aggressive acts?
COOMBS: Absolutely. An arson case is actually very complex and you have to have a fire investigator who can come and explain exactly what happened. As far as the crime itself, there`s all the specific elements you have to prove about what was burned, how it started, besides the psychological side of it.
PINSKY: What`s this guy looking at?
COOMBS: A lot of time, especially based on how many fires he set, how much damage, how many people were effected.
PINSKY: Is there anything to get him out of this? Is there any extenuating issues in terms of mental health or anything --
COOMBS: No. Obviously, we might see something like that, you know. - -
PINSKY: Let`s say he`s schizophrenic. Let`s say he`s schizophrenic
COOMBS: You know, there`s a medical term for insanity and then there`s a legal term, and all you have to know legally is do you know what you did was right or wrong. And I think, pretty clearly, he knew what he was doing. When they searched his home, his apartment, he had all these newspaper clippings of the fires here in L.A. and the fires in Germany. He knew what he was doing, and I think he was getting off on it.
PINSKY: A little bit polemical about it, though, and say, all right, let`s say if he was taking his medicine, his schizophrenia was under control, he never would have done anything like this. Doesn`t matter.
COOMBS: Doesn`t matter.
COOMBS: Doesn`t matter.
PINSKY: I have a crazy quick question, Robert, for you. We live in Los Angeles here. We have lots of fire problems in this town. I don`t think people from Southern California realize how much brush fires and fires really figure -- are we busier in this town with arson investigation than the average U.S. city?
ROWE: This was a very busy past few days.
PINSKY: Well, no, I get that. But generally, it comes up on the news almost, you now, certainly in the fall every time there`s a fire, arson is looking into it. Is that unusual that we`re that way --
ROWE: It seems to be stepping up a little bit. I don`t know why. Maybe it`s just the, you know, the way things are going, but as far as these particular fires, you know, this is -- it`s a deadly. It`s a silent killer, which is very terrifying.
PINSKY: Indeed it is, and it`s a big deal in this town. People that don`t live in Los Angeles can`t really appreciate how much -- it`s a big deal on our minds, sir.
Now, these guys are staying with me. We`ll have more on the Los Angeles arson attacks after this. Please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE COOLEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, LOS ANGELES: If he were to make bail, if he were to make bail, he could be released or get out of custody in other way, escape, for example, I think he would flee this country, because the consequences of his acts are such that he will be spending an awful, awful lot of time in state prison if convicted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Very interesting. That is Los Angeles county district attorney, Steve Cooley, addressing reporters yesterday following a hearing for suspected serial arsonist, Harry Burkhart. Now, tonight, a doctor who knew Burkhart said he suffered from various mental illnesses. I`m not sure I buy any of that, particularly, although I do believe there may be something going on here from a mental illness standpoint.
What we`re hearing about this guy is that he was intent upon retribution and he seemed to have kind of getting off on this whole thing as Loni is saying. Michael, based on that, you were a victim of his action. What do you think ought to happen to this guy?
BUDILOVSKY: you know, to tell you the truth, I really don`t know. I mean --
PINSKY: Are you angry?
BUDILOVSKY: I`m pretty angry. I mean, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, and you know, even in case he is mentally ill.
PINSKY: Did the community pull together in any way during all of this?
BUDILOVSKY: Definitely, yes. Actually, there were people going around the neighborhood, and you know, they were asking, do you want to set up a neighborhood watch and they actually organized one.
COOMBS: In everything, no one got injured in this seriously, which I think was thanks to --
COOMBS: And also law enforcement, fire people, and also the community really watching out for each other.
PINSKY: You were saying also that he`s only had, what, 12 counts, so far?
COOMBS: The 37 counts that have been filed against him, so far, are only based on 12 of the 52 fires that they believe he set.
PINSKY: So, 37 counts, and they have 40 more to look into.
PINSKY: So, this is going to be bad for him.
COOMBS: Yes. It`s going to be doubled if not tripled by the time he comes back to court.
PINSKY: And Robert, is this one of the worst episodes you`ve seen in Los Angeles in your career?
ROWE: In my career, yes. I`ve seen nothing else like this at all, and it`s horrible, because, you know, it`s almost like a new thing. And hopefully, it doesn`t bleed over into other minds that feel that, you know, like a copycat.
PINSKY: Yes. And I notice there was a fire (INAUDIBLE) yesterday in a car port or a couple of days ago, I guess, it was, and they worried me that kind of thing was happening. Is there a message you`d like to give out to the community. I mean, this is, obviously, broadcast nationally, but I hope people are watching in Los Angeles. What do we need to tell people?
ROWE: Well, number one, make sure you have an operating smoke detector in your house. That`s the biggest, because --
PINSKY: Fire in the garage?
ROWE: Anywhere you`re sleeping, we`ll put it this way.
PINSKY: Maybe that`s why he chose the garage as they don`t tend to have smoke detector.
ROWE: The fire spreads and then goes up into an apartment complex, but that`s the first thing. In other words, the sense of security in your own home, but keep your eyes open. Keep areas well lit. You know, it`s arson prevention is really what it is. And there`s actually program out there that talks about arson prevention.
PINSKY: Is there a website or something?
ROWE: Well, the NFPA, National Fire Protection Association.
PINSKY: And one last question. There may be people out there who are like contemplating doing something like this. Do you have a message for them?
ROWE: Yes. You have a lot of talented investigators and a lot of talented fire and law enforcement folks that are now more in tune than ever in L.A. about this.
PINSKY: And will get you.
ROWE: It`s just a matter of time.
PINSKY: And after they get you, then Loni will get --
COOMBS: Yes. And you`ll go away for a long time. You go away for life on arson.
PINSKY: Michael, thanks for sharing the story. I appreciate you coming in. I`m sorry that happened to you. And Robert, I feel like I really kind of understand this a little better. And Loni, as always, thank you for bringing all your guns loaded. I appreciate it.
PINSKY: So, thanks for watching. Nancy Grace is next, of course, with more on the Casey Anthony video. We want to thank you all for watching. It`s kind of interesting conversation. And we, of course, will see you next time.