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Cruise Ship Survivors Recount Horror
Aired January 16, 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.
Mayhem in the Mediterranean. Thousands of passengers are fending for themselves surrounded by black night, cold water, and no leadership. What went wrong, and what would you do in a crisis no one has planned for? I am speaking to survivors.
And Casey the caretaker. Is "Tot Mom" really the best candidate for dog adoption?
Plus, the teenager who faked her pregnancy joins me live.
Let`s get started.
Welcome, everybody. We are coming to you live tonight.
And, boy, you see that picture there of a horrific disaster at sea. An Italian cruise ship crashed off the Italy Tuscan Coast Friday night, sending 4,200 passengers and crew men into a panic as everyone struggled for survival.
(voice-over): And you experienced lot of this stuff?
All right. You can see the passengers here terrified as they scrambled for a place on the life boat. Some abandoned the idea, and eventually swam 300 feet to shore. As a result, now we have six people dead and 30 - almost 30 are missing. Take a look at this tape.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was supposed to be a vacation of a lifetime for many when the ship hit rocks and rolled on its side.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could definitely feel the boat hit something and then it leaned over, you were just pretty much falling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crew member ran through the lobby yelling abandon ship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were pushing and shoving, there was - there was no order.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The captain also abandoned the ship when passengers were still on board.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The capsizing of the boat was manageable. I felt like the crew was going to kill us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six people are dead. Sixteen people are still unaccounted for. Two Americans are among those still missing right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The captain is under arrest. He could be charged with manslaughter.
PINSKY: Costa Cruises, the company that operates the cruise line, indicated the ship`s captain may be responsible. They`re calling him guilty of significant human error.
This is - I am choked up about this story. This story is almost too much to be believed. My wife and I watched it over the weekend. We were - we cruised ourselves, we were glued to this thing.
And remember, guys, this ship, numbers of passengers on this particular boat, twice the number that were on the Titanic.
Here with me to talk about this terrible tragedy is a family of four who survived the nightmare, Dean Ananias. Did I get that correctly? Ananias, correct. Thank you, guys. And his wife Georgia, along with their daughters Valerie and Cindy.
Dean, you`re a Navy man, yes?
DEAN ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: Yes, I was in the Navy.
PINSKY: Take us through what happened and what went wrong or what you observed, and how you ended up surviving. And let me just say for my friends at home that these are some of the last people off the ship you`re talking to here today.
D. ANANIAS: Well, we were at dinner. And so it was about 9:15. And all of a sudden the ship - we`re in the back of the ship, the dining room is in the lower level, about the third deck, and the screws or in other words the propellers, it seemed to vibrating. The shafts, you can hear them. And that happens every once in a while you`re -
PINSKY: Where you`re in the boat, right.
D. ANANIAS: -- in port, yes, in a boat that have been on.
PINSKY: But this was more than that.
D. ANANIAS: No.
PINSKY: There`s an unusual vibration.
D. ANANIAS: It started fine and all of a sudden it got more violent and the whole roof started vibrating.
PINSKY: My understanding, the people kind of flew around. There were people, you know, were running for cover.
D. ANANIAS: Oh, yes.
PINSKY: I mean it was enough of a violent jolt. You`re saying yes, Valerie. Yes?
VALERIE ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: Absolutely.
PINSKY: What happened?
V. ANANIAS: It was terrifying. What originally happened, like my father was saying, I just thought well, it`s the engine, sometimes this happens. It`s totally normal.
But then when you`re sitting at dinner and you have glasses of water in front of you, you have food in front of you, everything just went at a tilt. And when I felt that, I knew this isn`t good.
D. ANANIAS: And let me add to this, too, when the vibrating went, I was sitting there and looking at my glass, and the water started going to one side.
D. ANANIAS: And I said he`s doing more than just trying to back down. Because usually you have to put this in reverse to stop. Again, no brakes on the ship, he`s trying to go in reverse to stop. And what happened is it seemed like he was turning, and it was a hard turn. I was just thinking there`s something more going on.
PINSKY: There`s something really wrong. Did you go up on deck at that point?
GEORGIA ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: No. What actually happened is, it was a two - it was a dining room, two level, and what started happening is with all of the shaking and the moving and things just - debris just started flying.
And we were under and so we tried to pull people closer to us to protect them. But the pandemonium just started. It was horrible and people were slipping and falling.
PINSKY: So is this the point when the boat tipped over or is this the point in which it hit?
D. ANANIAS: No, it hit.
PINSKY: So it hits.
We`re going to talk in the next segment about, you know, the trajectory the boat took after it hit. Why didn`t he stop the boat right then? He knew he had taken a hit and let the life boats down and have them go to shore. They just been - you had been at sea two hours, right?
D. ANANIAS: Right.
G. ANANIAS: Absolutely. Exactly.
PINSKY: Wouldn`t that have been the right thing to do?
D. ANANIAS: Definitely.
V. ANANIAS: It`s the perfect thing to do.
PINSKY: But what happened? He just kept going?
V. ANANIAS: Well, they told us was - and this was after several minutes, they finally got on in different languages and said it`s an electrical problem. And anybody with the right mind knows this is not just an electrical problem. They said we`re fixing it. Everyone is going to be fine. You can go to your cabin. But obviously it was not an electrical problem.
PINSKY: Did people go back to the cabins that were filling with water at that point?
V. ANANIAS: Yes.
PINSKY: Because now at least a third of the ship, the cabins are under water. Is that - do you think someone went downstairs into their cabins and found their room filling with water?
CINDY ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: I know that for us, we were outside. Once we went outside on deck after we left the dining room, everybody had life jackets on and we were the only ones that didn`t have life jackets, so we ran to our parents` room. It wasn`t underwater yet or anything, but it was starting to tilt, and we ran into our state room to just to try to grab our life jackets, because we were the only ones that weren`t wearing life jackets.
PINSKY: And you saw those, well, the chaos that we saw.
Now, you guys, this is television. We only have three minutes. I could talk to you guys all day.
Once people started unloading the life boats and getting off the ship, why didn`t you guys get off the ship at that point? How did you end up being the last people on the ship, Valerie?
V. ANANIAS: Well, we originally, Dr. Drew, we had the opportunity eventually to get on a life boat. But I kept telling my parents and I kept telling everybody else, we need to go, time is of the essence, we need to get on this as soon as possible because it continued to tilt.
What happened was when we finally got on the life boat, it took several - several minutes to get everybody on, people were screaming and crying, they had us count. And then what happened is it tilted too much at that point, so it was going to go at an angle. And if it would have went down, we would have slid down the side of the ship and wouldn`t have made it had it wasn`t - it wasn`t level.
PINSKY: So everybody got out of that life boat.
D. ANANIAS: Right.
PINSKY: But my understanding is you guys helped people off the ship until almost the very end, is that true?
V. ANANIAS: Yes.
PINSKY: Including a little baby. Can you tell that story?
G. ANANIAS: Many times as it was tilting, we were with a family on the life boat and they had a little three-year-old. And we were climbing against gravity to get up there and when we did as a team we got up there -
PINSKY: You stayed together.
G. ANANIAS: We stayed as a team. We pulled each other up.
Then what we did is this family, all of a sudden, because we`ve met on the life boat, just the father turned to me, said take my baby, take my baby.
PINSKY: Because they thought they were going to die.
G. ANANIAS: Yes.
PINSKY: But you guys thought you were you going to die, too.
G. ANANIAS: Yes. So I held the baby and then as the gravity was pushing, it was pulling me, pulling me and we`re at the top of a stairwell and I knew that eventually the baby would just fall out and fall down the stairwell. So I have -
PINSKY: You gave the baby back.
G. ANANIAS: I said you have to take your baby back, and I don`t know where they are now.
PINSKY: Presumably they`re part of - Val, you look stricken by that. That was a tough moment.
V. ANANIAS: Yes, I`m absolutely distraught. I really, really pray and hope. My thing was to get the children off the boat.
PINSKY: And you actually did stay and help get children off the boat. You were seen the last off the boat. I mean that`s incredible.
D. ANANIAS: Yes.
PINSKY: But I have to read a statement from the Carnival Cruise Line. They put out a statement today that reads, "We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and our hearts go out to everyone affected by the grounding of the Costa Concordia and especially to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives."
Georgia, give us a little bit of comfort. But we`re going to talk a little bit in the next segment about what people can do to prevent this kind of thing. I know that`s one of the reasons you`re here tonight is to make sure this doesn`t happen to anybody else.
I guess the closing question - it`s hard to paint the picture of this hair- raising story. This is a life changing experience for you guys. It will never be the same because of this. And you`re all shaking your head, yes. Will you go on a cruise again?
G. ANANIAS: I, personally, we all made a pact we would not go on a cruise until there are changes in what`s going on with the cruise line. There was no leadership. There was no direction. A lot of lives were lost because there wasn`t any help, and things need to change on cruise lines.
PINSKY: Well, that was my point, too. Whenever I got on a cruise ship, I know where the mustard station is and how to put a life jacket on, but how often is it going to be that you have a nice, orderly situation - I have to go on a break. We`re going to talk more about it, guys.
And actually I have an expert coming in, the U.S. Coast Guard captain who`s going to explain the safety measures that should have been in place to avoid a tragedy like this. And so hopefully we`ll all go on cruises again one day.
Stay with us. We`ll talk about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY LOFARO, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: There were passengers trying to help, there was chaos. But I think they were trying hard, but to us it appeared as if they weren`t trained well.
BRANDON WARRICK, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: It was just battling mad turn just to get on the life boats and nobody followed any procedure. Like the crew was yelling for people to wait their turn. Pretty much it was a giant every man for himself to get onto the life boats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It started to tilt really rapidly, like sink rapidly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were told that the electrical system was failing and at first we were told not to panic. And then they came back on the intercom and said they needed us to report to our muster station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the Marx Brothers watching these guys try to figure out how to work the boat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: As most of you have heard by now, an Italian ocean liner with 3,200 passengers and a thousand crew members ran aground off the coast of Northern Italy Friday night. Chaos broke out as passengers heard a loud sound around 9:00 P.M. That is just two hours after the ship had left port. At least six people are now dead and almost 30 missing.
Back with me to discuss this tragedy is the Ananias Family who feel lucky to have escaped with their lives.
Also joining me as I promised by phone, a U.S. Coast Guard Captain Roger Laferriere. Now, Roger or Captain Lafierriere, help us understand what should have happened. Really, what went wrong here? I think we all - the five of us who are sitting here have been on cruise ships. We`ve all stood at a muster station. We understand we had to get on a life boat. But how come there`s no training on how to deal with the unexpected of boats moving and capsizing, or some education about whether to get in the water and not get in the water. Help us with this.
CAPTAIN ROGER LAFERRIERE, U.S. COAST GUARD (via telephone): Yes. That`s a great point.
In the United States, here in the U.S., one of the things that we focus on is crew competency. We take that very, very seriously. So when any cruise ship comes to our ports in the U.S., our job is to test them and drill them and make sure they can handle every eventuality. So that`s one -
PINSKY: Including a ship on its side, Captain, including a ship turning over or ship on its side? Is that something that they`re sort of trained on managing?
LAFERRIERE: They`re required to be prepared for every disaster, including sinking of the vessel, yes.
PINSKY: And here they just weren`t prepared or was this a breakdown of their training?
LAFERRIERE: Again, I can`t - I don`t have access to the investigation, so I can`t comment specifically on this case, but in the United States when we test these guys when they`re in our ports, we make sure that they`re fully competent to handle these kind of situations.
PINSKY: And I guess in the United States, the muster station, what do you call it, rehearsal, the drill, is done immediately upon leaving port. And international ships, sometimes that takes a day or so. And in this case, this hadn`t even happened yet. It was going to be the next day. Is that accurate, Captain?
LAFERRIERE: I don`t know. I don`t have like - again, I don`t have details on that information on exactly what happened.
But what I can tell you that`s absolutely correct that before a cruise ship gets under way,
LAFERRIERE: . but what I can tell you is that`s absolutely correct, that before a cruise ship gets underway, they are required by law to ensure that they test and drill for any type of eventuality before they actually move outside the port.
PINSKY: Let`s now take a look at the animation of the ship`s path and what went on here. Now, show me the animation, if we possibly can. You see the boat - we`ll see the boat hit a rock first. There we go.
Here you go. It strikes a rock there. Right there is when you guys felt it in the dining room, and it should have - it seems to me they should have put the lifeboats down right then.
Then it takes a turn and starts heading towards shore. I don`t know what he`s thinking he`s doing, and I guess hits another rock and is able to - I guess he made the right move in that the boat didn`t go completely under. At least it was able to - would you say?
D. ANANIAS: Because it was in shallow waters, because when it rolled on its side, I figured this was it. The boat - the ship was going to just -
PINSKY: Go down.
D. ANANIAS: -- go completely over. And I was thinking that was it.
PINSKY: Well, and when I heard people were in the water, I thought, oh my God, that is the worst thing to do when a ship is sinking, because you`ll get sucked down with the ship.
D. ANANIAS: Yes. Exactly.
PINSKY: And the fact it didn`t continue to sink is why people weren`t sucked in? Though they could have been crushed by the ship moving around.
D. ANANIAS: It was still moving, too. Even though the ship when it rolled, went on - when it went 90 degrees, we`re on the - on the - actually on the walls, on the bulk heads (ph), the ship settled. And then, about an hour later, it - it stopped. And then it started settling, and then it started listing again to the -
PINSKY: Did they tell you to go down towards the water? Is that where the first - my understanding is that`s the first -
G. ANANIAS: They didn`t tell us anything.
PINSKY: Is that when -
D. ANANIAS: And we know - we went - we went up another -
PINSKY: You went up.
D. ANANIAS: -- we went up, and eventually we were on the outside of the - of the ship, along where the windows were at.
PINSKY: Captain Laferriere, I want you to listen to this. At the end, they were actually rappelling down the side of the shift to try to get to I guess the blown up life rafts down at the bottom?
D. ANANIAS: No. Well, no. There`s actually one of the - the ship`s tenders came back to pick people up because we were all along the side of the ship.
PINSKY: The side of the ship.
D. ANANIAS: We were like halfway up and -
PINSKY: On ropes?
D. ANANIAS: No. We were hanging onto -
PINSKY: Port holes?
D. ANANIAS: There were ledges - there was ledges to hold onto, and there was like a sprinkler system they have for cleaning the windows, so there was brass connecting pipes there.
PINSKY: I mean, Captain, imagine this, you have passengers who were - who spoke English. There were no directions being given in English. They`re on the side of the ship, clinging to pipes on the side of the ship with, the gash right below you, I guess, the gash of the ship`s -
D. ANANIAS: (INAUDIBLE) the ship, you could - once we got down, we could see the 150 foot -
PINSKY: They were in - they were hanging over the gash of the ship, with the ship listing. How far off course was all of this behavior? What should - what should have been happening?
LAFERRIERE: Well, I can tell you that, first and foremost -
LAFERRIERE: Yes, this is - this is the captain. I want to say that the family should be commended for their heroism and getting themselves off safely and trying to help others.
PINSKY: Let me tell you, Captain, not only did they get themselves off and stayed together as a family - you guys are making me cry here - is that they - they got other people off. They got - they were the last to get off the ship and they - you made sure that other people got off safely -
D. ANANIAS: We made sure - but we always had a lot of help from, ironically, two German nationals who - Cologne, Germany that helped us and pulled us up to get to this level, and there was another Austrian from Vienna. And they - he was going back and forth and making sure people -
PINSKY: So there were many, many heroes on this boat.
G. ANANIAS: Not -
PINSKY: Unfortunately none of them crews.
G. ANANIAS: None of them were crew.
V. ANANIAS: They were so good, I thought they were crew.
G. ANANIAS: And there were no officers -
D. ANANIAS: Never saw an officer.
G. ANANIAS: Never saw an officer in five hours.
PINSKY: And I - and I`m looking at Valerie`s eye, who is absolutely stricken, I mean, just talking about this is bringing it all back, isn`t it? Yes, you`re making.
V. ANANIAS: Absolutely, it is.
PINSKY: Yes. So, Captain, let`s sort of finish up with you. What - if somebody were to get in a situation - let`s try to get something productive out of this - where a ship is listing, what do we do?
LAFERRIERE: I think, first and foremost, the most important thing is emulate what the family did in this particular case. They took themselves and - and basically formed their own teamwork, they provided their own leadership and their own direction, and they made sure they took care of themselves and others.
Safety is a shared responsibility. No matter how hard we drill them here in the United States, I can`t emphasize the importance of making sure that you keep - you and your loved ones safe by being active and being prepared.
The fact, I heard earlier that one of the daughters actually checked the life jackets. Not many folks do that. Not many folks look in their room for where the life jackets are located and where they could be found. So, again, I can`t emphasize that safety responsibility is everyone`s. It`s a shared one -
PINSKY: Let me - let me ask a couple of basic questions. People get in the water or not, or avoid that at all cost?
LAFERRIERE: The number one thing is to take care of themselves safely, take care of the safety. So if that means to get into the water, they should. If that means to stay on board, they should stay on board.
PINSKY: Do you go away from - I mean, just some basic rule of thumb, do you go away from the water, do you go towards the water? Is there - are there - are there rules for this kind of thing or each situation is so very different you can`t say?
LAFERRIERE: Every situation is very different, but first and foremost, always get your life jackets on, be prepared, make sure you`re with your family, and have a plan as soon as you can to put something together. And you guys, again, are to be commended for your teamwork and how you managed the situation, not only for yourselves but for others.
PINSKY: OK, thank you - thank you, Captain. I have to take a break. My guests, stay with me.
And you and I are concerned about people getting in the water, getting sucked down with the ship -
D. ANANIAS: Right.
PINSKY: -- really getting - going down. I`m not so sure that`s the right thing.
D. ANANIAS: No.
PINSKY: But listen, first of all, hats off to you guys. You got a commendation from a coast guard captain. That`s pretty good.
All right, now we`re going to go straight to break. We`re going to be right back after this.
PINSKY: All right, guys. What I love about live television, we`re going to forego the "On Call" segment because my family here has been so compelling and I want to hear more of their story. And Cindy, you had something you wanted to say before we went on?
C. ANANIAS: Yes. I just wanted to say that towards the end, when we - the boat was completely twisted to the side, there was different maneuvers that we had to do to get down to the life boat that was there. And I just wanted to make it clear that it was not - it was two - like my dad mentioned, two men from Germany, one man from Austria, and then a crew member that was a photographer has like set up this little - it was like an obstacle course, I guess, you could say -
PINSKY: They advised you how to get down the side of the ship?
C. ANANIAS: Yes, and -
PINSKY: And they were advising others, I imagine.
C. ANANIAS: Yes, and these were just other passengers and one crew member that - a photographer, not an officer, and they`re the ones that saved our life and we owe our lives to them.
PINSKY: I never thought the guy getting in your way when you get on the ship, taking your picture like - is the guys who say, look -
D. ANANIAS: We thought he was a nuisance.
PINSKY: Right, is a nuisance, and he ends up saving your life.
And, if I`m understanding this right, you guys were clinging to the side of the ship for hours, two hours?
D. ANANIAS: A couple of hours, at least.
PINSKY: A couple of hours, thinking the whole time we could die any second. And then you get to shore. And did the organization come to your aid in any way, the cruise ship?
G. ANANIAS: Absolutely not. Not one.
PINSKY: Now, listen, this is a different topic than the maritime issue. But I was on Windstar Cruise and I got sick and then my son got sick. I wrote them a letter. I`m a physician. And I said I`ve got concerns. They were like, yes, yes, sure.
And I thought you never know when I might talk about this someday, and I`m talking about it now. The administrations of these cruise lines need to be tightened up. I understand you have thousands of people. I understand you got to move things through.
But this is a wake up call, buddy. This is not just a maritime issue. This is a business issue, too. And I had my concerns about the cruise lines I was on, and now I really have concerns. I would love to go back on ships. I`m sure you guys would, too.
But next time, I need to know when to go on the water, what to do if the ship leaves, when to go up and hold the gun to the captain`s head.
D. ANANIAS: Right. If they have a plan of action, at least get some ideas from professionals and help you -
PINSKY: And the infectious disease issues on ships, too, that I had concerns with. And they - when I called Windstar, I sent them e-mail, I felt like I was blown off. And I thought, this is really saying - if this - if that had happened to a hospital, things would have been shut down, there would have been teams sent in.
Cruise ships, I understand they take it very seriously, but it seems like there`s no uniform standard.
Here`s a - let`s go to Facebook question. This is from Alex. He says, "I`m not sure I would ever go on a cruise after hearing about piracy, sinkings and human trafficking," which is another sort of urban myth. I want to go back on cruises. Do you guys want to go back on cruises?
D. ANANIAS: Yes, we do.
G. ANANIAS: If it changes, we may.
PINSKY: You probably shared some of your greatest experiences of your life as a family together on those things.
Something is not right. Let`s remind everybody. This was the equivalent, the way to think about what just happened on this cruise line is this if you were in a crowded shopping mall, all of a sudden the lights went out and it started filling up with water. That`s it.
And then all of a sudden in German and in Italian you hear a couple of instructions that didn`t make sense to you. What are you going to do? And thanks to the heroism of your dad, I guess, he was the leader of this group.
G. ANANIAS: Everyone, the kids were leaders.
D. ANANIAS: We were all cheerleaders. We just more or less supporting each other. Because if we were together, I mean at least we got through this. Individually, we`re not so sure if we would have been -
PINSKY: Are you having post traumatic stress now, too, a little bit? You`re kind of sleeping poorly and feeling anxious? I can see it in your eyes a little bit.
D. ANANIAS: Yes.
V. ANANIAS: I feel like I`m in a slant.
C. ANANIAS: Every noise, you know, every little, tiny noise I jump at.
PINSKY: Jump at.
Well, listen, I thank you. I`m sorry we had to revivify it for you here, but thank you for joining us and sharing it with other people. It`s a big deal.
And also, of course, thank you to the Coast Guard captain for being with us today.
More information about this or any story we`re talking about tonight, go to HLNTV.com.
Brand new photos of Casey Anthony cuddling a dog, perhaps unlucky.
PINSKY (voice-over): Casey, the caregiver?
Casey Anthony flaunts a furry friend in a recently leaked photo and critics aren`t thinking much for the canine companion. With her track record of nurturing should she be allowed without the dog? And is it true she`s talking to her parents again?
And later, 17 and not pregnant. The girl who faked a baby bump to send a message got a movie deal. She wanted to teach a lesson about labels. But, what`s the real lesson here? Could ridiculing teen pregnancy actually be a good thing? I`m asking her live.
PINSKY: And again, we are live tonight. Brand new photos, Casey Anthony, cuddling with what some are calling the unluckiest dog in the world. Here are the photos from TMZ. 25-year-old Casey smiles as she poses with her newly adopted yorkie puppy. The dog looks a little distressed and will it should be. Everybody has been buzzing about Casey`s new dog since her private video diary leaked on you tube last week. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF KILLING HER CHILD, CAYLEE ANTHONY: It has been such a blessing in so many ways. Now I have someone to talk to when I am by myself, so I`m not bothering the poor dog who I have adopted and love and he is as much my dog as any of the other pets I had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And I`m thinking back to the picture we saw of Casey with the puppy, reminds me of mice and men where she would squeeze that puppy to death. I am afraid, I don`t know about you guys. Well, this week, and Casey`s puppy made his first TV appearance on "Saturday Night Live."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think perhaps the dog adoption screening process could be slightly more diligent. For instance, when someone comes in to adopt a dog, you could ask who you are. And if they say I am Casey Anthony, or perhaps more tellingly I am not Casey Anthony, you could say we`re out of dogs. I mean, where are we on that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You poor thing. You know what, I am going to pet you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing? I am living on a razor`s edge. I should head back, going to play with Casey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you going to play?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have this really fun game where Casey throws a tennis ball across the room. When I bring it back, she leans down and whispers to me "I`m crazy."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That of course was the talented Daniel Ratcliff. There he is as you know him better, of course Harry Potter. And on the - your left, is right playing that frightened yorkie. My goodness!
Headlines from the story are funny. One reads quote, "it is a ruff life for Casey Anthony`s dog." And there`s even a facebook group called save Casey Anthony`s dog, with hundreds of supporters. And we will hear more from Casey`s dog on SNL and talk about the new rumors including where is Casey? Is she reconciling with her mom? Is she becoming a stripper? Her dad went -- does she also smoke cigarettes? Is she having a new boyfriend?
But first to my guests, bounty hunter Leonard Padilla is here. And along with me as well, I have Florida state prosecutor Stacey Honowitz.
Stacey first, the dog pics, the video diary, where are you at with where Stacey?
STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Not Stacey, Casey.
PINSKY: Not Stacey. But where are Caseys at? Go ahead.
HONOWITZ: Well, I mean, I think it`s very interesting. You know, there`s always truth in jest in the "Saturday Night Live" skit really portrayed the feelings that most people have. If you read the blogs, people wonder why she was allowed to adopt a dog. And certainly we don`t have a screening process. You know, anybody can go in and they don`t check your criminal history.
But that`s the feel that the people have. That, you know, she`s creepy and she should have been found guilty of killing her daughter and now, she had episodes with animals when she was younger. And so most people, although they don`t want her to be this caretaker to this dog, they don`t feel like she is going to be a good caretaker.
But, they do want to know her every move. And that`s why we keep talking about it because all of the headlines pop up with sightings and whereabouts. People are going to continue to feed into this frenzy.
PINSKY: I want to show you something a lot of people are pointing out, the new photo of Casey. It`s being called cuddling with the dog. Looks awfully close to a photo of her holding Caylee. We`re going to look at them side by side. Yes. Same smile, that`s for sure. The dog looks more distressed, I have to say.
What do you think? Post comments for me on my facebook wall.
Leonard, you spent more time with Casey than really anyone I know perhaps. I have a million questions for you. But should she, is she capable of handling a puppy even, do you think?
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: Well, when we were at the residence, they had a couple of small dogs, and I never saw her be mean to the dogs or anything like that. Tracey, whom you know, certainly spent more time with her than I did. And the dogs were always there. And something that I might say is that according to Tracey, it seems as though she was very friendly with the dogs.
So, I would have no reason to believe she would harm the dog or the puppy. And it wouldn`t surprise me if Cindy gave her that puppy because it is the same breed as the two dogs they had at the house.
PINSKY: That`s interesting. And of course, Cindy is in massive denial about Casey`s circumstances and psychology, so that would make sense to me.
PADILLA: Cindy is communicating with her even now. Cindy is communicating with her. I don`t know why she doesn`t come out and say so. But she`s in communication with her.
PINSKY: Would you know what`s going on in that communication?
PADILLA: No. But I think she`s trying to reestablish some kind of a mother, daughter situation to where, you know, I had a bit of a tiff the other day with Tracey over what is going on in the communications. And to me I would say that Cindy is attempting to re-establish control over her, much as she has always wanted to have over any member of her family.
PINSKY: Well --
PADILLA: Tracy says she can`t have it any more.
PINSKY: She can go back to her enabling behaviors is what we were saying. People magazine reports, Casey is living in port St. Lucie, Florida. And one woman says she even saw Casey. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I happened to hear this young lady yelling on the phone. And when I looked over, I seen this young lady with a cigarette in her hand and an iphone, and she was yelling in the phone. She was like you got me freaking here, I am freaking lost. I don`t know where I`m going.
So, when I am looking, I am like, my God, that`s Casey Anthony!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Leonard, did they report, did Tracey report that Casey smokes cigarettes?
PADILLA: No. And here is the other thing. I don`t think she`s in port St. Lucie. I think she`s living in Orlando, a wealthy general contractor that owns some condos there I think is sponsoring her residence. And I think she might go out of town on occasion on a trip or something, but I think she`s living in Orlando. Tracey would be the one to discuss that with.
PINSKY: Is Tracey or you, Leonard, still watching her?
PADILLA: No. I`m not. Fact is, I was asked to do something along those lines, and I said no because if something happened to her, it could possibly cause me some grief, and I did not. As far as Tracey`s communications with Cindy and other people or the individual that contacted me the other day regarding the family and how they want to re-establish contact with me, you know, I have no -- I told them I have no problems, it is just strictly up to them. Myself and Rob, I know are not in communication with either George or Cindy. Tracey, that`s a whole different thing.
PINSKY: Stacey, people in St. Lucie, Florida, apparently do believe she is there. In fact, a local strip club has put a sign up saying hey, Casey, we`re hiring.
Stacey, do you think she would go in there?
HONOWITZ: I don`t think she would do that. I mean, I think she knows that she is probably the most hated woman in the world, and I think that would just add fuel to the fire. I wouldn`t be surprised if she`s in port St. Lucie. It is not that far from Orlando. And if a lot of people have seen her and have witnessed these sightings, it`s not that determined. And certainly she`s not keeping a secret.
We saw from leaked photographs she has been out and about. She has been in bars, people have taken pictures. So, we know she is not living in a basement somewhere, she does show her face. And I wouldn`t be surprised if Cindy is trying to establish contact with her. Maybe she does want the mother, daughter relationship, and I don`t even think down the road Cindy might think if she ever re-marries or has a child that Cindy wouldn`t want to be a part of that.
So, I don`t think it is that far-fetched. We saw how Cindy was covering for her in the trial and how she was afterwards.
PINSKY: Yes. Stacey, you are absolutely right. I see no evidence that anybody has changed here in this, except George that`s now so angry. He`s checked out which is the flip side of being in denial. And of course Cindy continues enabling, controlling, and God knows it doesn`t look as though Casey is getting any better.
And for people who think that she`s leaking these videos, starting to look like she`s moving out into the public. So, maybe that is all coming from her.
Thank you, Leonard. Thank you, Stacey.
Before we go, I`ll take another look at Casey`s dog speaking out on "Saturday Night Live." take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to tell us. What is life like as Casey Anthony`s dog?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s rough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The other dogs won`t hang out with me because of Casey`s past. I sit in the back with Phil Specter`s poodle and join (inaudible).
(ND VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: They always nail it, very funny.
Coming up, a teen pretends to be pregnant, tricking her entire school and her boyfriend`s parents. Why, I will ask her next.
PINSKY: Tonight, we are talking about a high school senior who pretended to be pregnant. We`re going inside this social experiment that shocked her school and her family. So, why did she do it? Watch this.
PINSKY (voice-over): 18-year-old Gaby Rodriguez got used to the whispers. She got used to the stares from high school classmates as their eyes went straight to her baby bump. Her pregnancy turned her senior year of high school upside down.
She was no longer a normal teenager. But there was a big secret twist. Gaby wasn`t really pregnant. You see that baby bump? Well, it is fake. Gaby wanted to make a statement. She was told her whole life she would like to become a teen mom, another meaningless statistic.
After all, her mother, three sisters and brothers were all teen parents. That`s why Gaby decided to do the pregnancy project. She tricked everybody, her classmates, her teachers, even her boyfriend`s parents into thinking she was pregnant.
Finally, announcing the whole thing was fake at a school assembly, leaving classmates stunned and friends and family furious. Now Gaby has written a book. And her story is the inspiration for a new lifetime movie. The social experiment was meant to take away the stigma from pregnant teens. But, is that something we should be doing?
PINSKY: Gaby Rodriguez herself joins us tonight live from New York. There she is. Also with me, Cathy Areu, former high school teacher and editorial manager of a Hispanic magazine, "Catalina." And in the studio with me, actress Alexa Vega is here with me. She was starring in the new life that movie about Gaby`s experiment, called "the Pregnancy Project." take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like I have been completely erased. I`ve lost everything that everyone used to think about me. That I`m smart, that I`m going to have this great big future. Nobody sees me anymore. They just see this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Obviously this is something you do not want to miss. "The Pregnancy Project" airs January 28th at 8:00 p.m. on lifetime, 8:00 p.m., lifetime. Set your TiVo. Be sure to be there. Don`t miss this movie.
Alexa, thank you for joining us. I appreciate you being here.
ALEXA VEGA, STAR, THE PREGNANCY PROJECT: Thank you for having me.
PINSKY: My first question is to Gaby, however. Gaby, what made you decide to do this?
GABY RODRIGUEZ, FAKED PREGNANCY FOR HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT: It took a lot of different things that brought together, it was definitely growing up, seeing the struggles that -- hearing the struggles my mom had to go through, and my older three sisters and one of my four brothers were teen parents as well, then to seeing the struggles and how teen pregnancy was an issue in my high school.
PINSKY: Alexa, I am going to throw it to you first, this question that Gaby seems to bring up here which is that she had obviously generational issues with teen pregnancy. Is there an especially acute problem in the Latino population?
VEGA: Absolutely, it is very cultural. Even I was saying my grandma has 12 children. She started when I think she was 15 or 16, and it is something that is 52 percent of Latinas will be teen mothers.
PINSKY: That`s way, way higher than the national average in general population.
VEGA: It is. It is. And it is not only dangerous for the baby but dangerous for the mother because as a teen, you`re still growing. You need those nutrients. You can`t just be giving them away.
PINSKY: Not only that, I always tell this to teen moms, I could not have raised a guinea pig, a lizard, as a teenager.
VEGA: It is a lot of responsibility.
PINSKY: And we have been looking at footage from your lifetime movie, "the pregnancy project" reminder, get it here as January 28, 8:00 p.m. Did anything stick out about Gaby`s story that made you really want to pick this project up?
VEGA: Yes. You know, as an actor, you have it a lot easier onset because the director yells action and you go through emotional turmoil for two minutes, then they yell cut. Gaby, sweet Gaby, lived it for six and a half months. And there isn`t a cut, there isn`t a break. She lived it day-in and day-out. I don`t know how somebody has that kind of strength. You have to really believe in the cause that you are promoting to be able to live that kind of life-style.
PINSKY: And Gaby, so I understand, what is that cause exactly, and I think the people around you may disagree with your commitment to the cause. You may have hurt some people with this, right, your boyfriend`s parents, your boyfriend, your siblings. There may have been people harmed by this so- called experiment, no?
RODRIGUEZ: There were people at first that, you know, were kind of shocked and just in disbelief, and felt deceived and lied to, but after seeing my purpose through it and everything that I learned through it, everybody was really understanding and so proud of me in the end.
PINSKY: Cathy, I want to you. Set the record straight for us here a little bit. We heard that maybe this is a Hispanic issue. A, is it, and what`s the nature of the problem?
CATHY AREU, FORMER HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: Well, when I was in the classroom, the majority of my pregnant girls, not the majority of the girls were pregnant, but majority of students pregnant were minorities. But that`s not saying minorities are having more teenage sex than other teenagers. It is just that they`re using less birth control.
So, it could be a problem of discussing with your family. It could be not in the tradition of Latinos and other minorities to talk about sex openly with their kids. So a lot of teenagers are having sex, but a lot of minority parents aren`t talking about sex with their teenagers.
PINSKY: And Cathy, I want to ask you -- Alexa, shaking her head yes that that`s true and I agree that is true but --. So, I got caught in a weird situation once, where I was talk to go a group of Hispanic kids and a social worker pulled me aside.
And Cathy, I`m directing this to you, Baby, you can ring in as well. Of course, Alexa, you can too. But a social worker said be careful what you`re saying. Some of these people are encouraged by their parents that it is a good thing to get pregnant at 16. Are you hearing things like that?
AREU: Well, I absolutely never heard anything like that, quite the opposite. A lot of these kids were not spoken to about sex. So, a lot of these kids were told not to discuss sex, that`s not something we talk about. But in the Latino community, it is very traditional.
So, if you have a boyfriend, you want to be engaged to that boyfriend, even if you`re 16. And if you`re dating, you want to be married. If you`re living together, then you better be married before you live together. So, Latinos are very strict and live by a code. So, maybe that counselor meant let`s not talk about these things until we`re talking about marriage and engagement rings.
PINSKY: And Gaby, I have about 30 seconds left, last word to you.
RODRIGUEZ: It is just definitely she makes quite a bit of points just because in my family, my mom was very open with me, but she wasn`t as open with her seven other kids because she couldn`t. It was a discussion between her and her husband where it was definitely, that`s something that you kind of leave for the side until the very end, and a lot of them ended up pregnant very early. My mom, as well, where she didn`t have that discussion with her mom and so my mom wanted to give that opportunity to me.
PINSKY: Got to break. Gaby, thank you. Alexa, thank you. Cathy, thank you. And of course, we will tune into lifetime January 28th, 8:00 p.m. Is that right?
Now, if you have been posting on facebook page, we will get your reaction to this controversial pregnancy project. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you tell people you`re pregnant, you lose respect, you lose your friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No you don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do know that. I have been there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I don`t. I don`t know what it is like.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can tell you what it`s like. Sonya can tell you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is not the same as living it. I want to know how my friends will react, teachers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teachers, my God! Gaby, trust me; this is not a good idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That`s a clip from lifetime`s upcoming show, "the pregnancy project" starring Alexa Vega. It will air January 28th, 8:00 p.m. on lifetime, a worthy project.
Cathy Areu is back with me to answer some of your questions you posted on facebook. Let`s get through it. Here are some comments.
Sue first of all, writes. "I went to the same high school and the kids I went to school with, a high school that Gaby went to, school I went to school with may not have been so understanding and forgiving in the `70s. I think this young woman and her boyfriend were brave to take out such a life altering and eye opening project."
Kathy, when you first heard about this, did you think it was a good idea?
AREU: No. I didn`t think it was a good idea. I really wasn`t sure what she was up to. I see many teenagers pregnant in high school and I don`t see that they`re teaching a lesson in any way. I don`t see them as being brave. I just thought that they made a silly mistake and that they`re paying the price, having to live through it in front of all their friends` eyes.
So, I don`t know how she was brave to the end until when she revealed I am not pregnant.
PINSKY: You know, let me point something out to people that might not be biologically trained or medically trained. Whenever you do an experiment on a human population, you have to consent people. There`s ethical standards. You have to be reviewed by committees. You can`t just do an experiment on people.
I mean, poor Gaby. Listen, I commend her for being creative and trying something. But a professional could not do this kind of thing. So Cathy, I have a small follow-up question to you. Should the principal have allowed this?
AREU: Absolutely not. The principal should not have allowed this. I mean, when there`s a student in a classroom who is pregnant, they are very distracting. Many of my students, the ones that are pregnant, would bring their pregnancy today magazines, flip them, talk about the baby bump. So, it is very distracting. And you know what, anything that distracts from the curriculum, when you are a principal. So, I do not think this should have happened in a high school.
PINSKY: And again, I am raising the same ethical questions I raised a second ago.
Molly, on facebook, writes. "Pregnancy is not something to lie about or joke with, and I think this movie is a bad idea. I didn`t agree with what the real life girl did" which is sort of what Cathy - what you are saying.
Listen, it is a complex issue. The great news for everybody, and there`s Gaby talking about what she decided to do. The great news guys for everybody, is that teen pregnancy is on the decline, it is at all time lows. So, these kinds of conversation at least clearly are having the desired effect overall.
Last question here, last facebook comment is from Mary. "I think the pregnancy project is a great idea. I am sure that girl learned who her true friends were."
I think that`s probably accurate, Cathy, but you still say you wouldn`t recommend it, and let`s get back to what, comprehensive sexual education? Is that what you are advocating?
AREU: I mean if that was the lesson, the six and a half months was just to find out who your friends are? What did the rest of society learn from this? This should have been more about sex education and birth control. There was no lesson to be learned except who her true friends were. Yay, Gaby.
PINSKY: Thank you, Cathy. I have to say good night in fact. Thank you all for watching. I will see you all next time.
And guess what, Nancy Grace is next. And you may hear something about Casey Anthony`s dog. I bet you.
See you next time.