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Capsized Cruise Ship: Who`s To Blame?

Aired January 24, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.

Adding insult to injury, survivors of the wrecked Italian cruise ship now outraged at the company`s behavior.

Then, double life, triple tragedy, a Wall Street broker on hard times turns to crime and ruins life for himself, his wife, and their two kids. You will not believe how far he went.

And later, redefining possible, courageous people, insurmountable odds and inspiring triumph and doctor`s orders.

Let`s get started.

Tonight, divers off the Italian Island of Giglio continue to search for the bodies as survivors of the doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia plan to file a class action suit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars. Watch this, then we`ll talk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Came down very violently.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like freefalling to the water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rescuers in Italy have found another body aboard the Costa Concordia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then we heard plates crashing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We kept adding them and adding them and people bringing in and they were desperate people, so we wanted them on there, but on the other hand, it was like get this boat down and away from the ship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sixteen people are now confirmed dead and 16 more are missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Captain Francesco Schettino was found ashore while scores, if not hundreds of the passengers and crew, were waiting to be rescued.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Schettino is under house arrest. He faces possible charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Minnesota couple still missing from that cruise ship. Husband and wife are on a 16-day dream Italian vacation.


PINSKY: Attorneys for survivors are expected to file a suit this week in Miami where parent company, Carnival Cruise Line, is based. The suit reportedly seeks $160,000 per passenger.

News of the class action suit comes amidst a report that there was an offer made by the Costa Cruises to survivors. In a statement, a spokesperson for Costa Cruises said in part, "The company is not only going to refund everybody, but they will offer a 30 percent discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company." Isn`t that lovely? Spokesperson also noted that they have been contacting the families by phone, allegedly.

Joining us is a family you met here last week. They survived the cruise disaster, were amongst the last people to leave the ship, Georgia and Dean Ananias and their daughters, Valerie and Cindy.

Georgia, is just over a week since the disaster. How`s everybody doing? Are you all settling in at home? Your jet lag is getting over?

GEORGIA ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: Yes, we`re working really hard. It`s taking a lot of effort on our part to communicate with each other and see where each person is in this whole thing, but we`re trying. Every day we`re trying.

PINSKY: And I want to remind people, you guys were amongst the last people off the ship. In fact if the control room can play the infrared footage that we have of people sort of clinging to the side of the ship as it moves along, you`ll get to the small group clinging to the side of the ship by the gash, right, is where you guys were.


PINSKY: It`s moving towards the gash now. And, I mean, you were out there for hours. You`re clinging to the side of a ship that is going down. You have your family there with you. You stayed together, which is a miracle, not knowing if you were going to survive minute to minute. And yet the torture, you look stricken even just - I`m sorry I`m bringing you back.

G. ANANIAS: That`s OK, no, it is true.

PINSKY: But two hours of wondering if you`re going to survive, and also as I understand you guys were helping other people evacuate at the same time?

G. ANANIAS: Right.

D. ANANIAS: Correct. It was like - it would help as well to discuss this, talking a lot among ourselves at home.


D. ANANIAS: Like you say, if someone doesn`t - doesn`t seem to be quite right, you ask them how`s everything going -

PINSKY: How are you feeling? Yes.

D. ANANIAS: -- feelings and so forth. And I feel that`s a key thing to kind of work your way through this. But we don`t know how it`s going to affect us -

PINSKY: Going forward.

D. ANANIAS: -- forward.

PINSKY: But it has to - it has to cause some post traumatic stress. I mean, you know, thankfully, you`ve got a very healthy family. Your pre- morbid condition is good, so you are not likely to have massive symptoms, but you can`t have no symptoms after thinking you`re going to die with your children for two hours.



PINSKY: That`s incredible. Now, we have some exclusive photos that Dean took with his camera phone after escaping from the Costa Concordia. Here we go. This is you. This is Dean -

D. ANANIAS: This is when we`re getting on the ferry, right afterwards they`re taking us to Stefano -

PINSKY: Had you spent the night outside in the streets?

D. ANANIAS: -- outside in the streets, basically we`re inside a little toy store in the rain and so forth basically and you see the sun coming up basing on a lot of shadow on that.

PINSKY: Was it traumatic to look at your ship sinking while knowing that you just moments before had been clinging to the side of it? Valerie, you`re saying yes.

VALERIE ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: Definitely, yes. I couldn`t believe how close we were to shore. Because when all of this happened, we didn`t realize that we were this close. And so when we went by on the ferry, it was traumatic to see. I thought I was, you know, imaging things.

PINSKY: Yes. It`s wild. Cindy, you too?

CINDY ANANIAS, CRUISE SHIP SURVIVOR: Yes. I`m glad I didn`t see the ship to its side while I was on the ship -

PINSKY: Right.

C. ANANIAS: -- because then I would have lost all hope. But I`m happy that by that time I only thought was when I was on the way to safety, so -

PINSKY: Now, we also have new video from the Italian Coast Guard as divers search for the Costa Concordia for survivors. Among the missing are Jerry and Barbara Heil from Minnesota. They are the elderly couple reportedly who had saved up so they could travel after their retirement. They considered this excursion to Italy and the cruise the trip of a lifetime.

Dean, what do we say to this couple`s loved ones?

D. ANANIAS: Oh, this - like what they`re saying it is now, it is not a rescue at this point.

PINSKY: It`s salvage.

D. ANANIAS: It`s salvage. It`s basically they`re trying to recover.


D. ANANIAS: Recover. And the thing is it`s like if they didn`t freeze to death, I mean, they`re underneath the water, and if they had life jackets on and they`re underneath in a compartment and I - I just feel terrible.

V. ANANIAS: I`d like to say -

PINSKY: Valerie is having a reaction here.

V. ANANIAS: -- my heart just pours out to their family and all the families that have lost their beautiful family members, it`s so unfair.

PINSKY: It`s senseless.

G. ANANIAS: And I`d like to add that I just think it was a senseless death for them, and that`s so sad. This should never have happened to this family. And that`s what`s so upsetting. Those people should have enjoyed a beautiful cruise and they shouldn`t be without their loved ones. They have to be responsible.

PINSKY: Who - that`s right. Who do we hold responsible? I mean, the captain is obviously someone who can we easily hold out as somebody who made a big error in judgment. He`s saying that he was on the phone with the company and that they`d approved the maneuvers he has made. And once he was in trouble, they continued to communicate with him and advise him on the movements he made with the boat, and the company now is offering 30 percent discount, which is frankly laughable.

D. ANANIAS: It`s an insult. It`s an insult.

G. ANANIAS: It`s an insult and absurd.

PINSKY: Yes. And, again, I told you, I was - I had a cruise ship incident where I wrote to them. I need hospitalization after an illness I got on the cruise, my son in the same ship needed hospitalization after that. And I got the same kind of thing. Well, glad you`re OK.

It`s like something going on in these businesses that we need to know about?

G. ANANIAS: You know what? We`ve been on so many cruises. And now that we had this incident happened to us, we`ve really taken a look back, and said did we miss something along the road. And I think we did.

There were a lot of red flags on these different cruise lines that we`ve been on, where there have been small accidents and people dying, sometimes young kids dying from drinking too much. You know, I think we tend to ignore all that.

Until we start to look at this now and look back, and we`re saying, oh, my goodness, there`s been a lot of cover-up on different situations and we`ve chosen to ignore it because we just love the cruising. That`s got to stop. People have got to be aware. And the truth has got to be told, and this cruise line has to be accountable as well as every other cruise line.

PINSKY: We reached out to Carnival Media Relations for a statement including the alleged actions of the ship`s captain. At the time of this taping, we have not heard back from the companies. But you`re saying it`s an industry-wide problem.

I imagine there are variations in the - in the readiness and the willingness to respond to these things, but it seems like if this is an industry that`s going to flourish, they`re going to have to be very honest and very forthcoming about all this. I mean you would think they would be asking you guys to cruise for life for free, not giving a 30 percent discount.

G. ANANIAS: They`ve actually called us on Sunday in the morning, very early, before we had awakened.

D. ANANIAS: At 6:45.

G. ANANIAS: And, you know, it felt like, you know, we want to talk to you. And here we`re sleeping. We`re trying to get rest. No consideration of what we`ve gone through, no empathy for what we`re - what we`re trying to struggle with. It`s all about them.

PINSKY: And I understand, your third daughter who actually was not on the boat had tried to make some contact on behalf of you guys and got stonewalled.

D. ANANIAS: Right.

G. ANANIAS: Absolutely.

D. ANANIAS: Exactly.

G. ANANIAS: They were stonewalling.

PINSKY: All right. Well, part of the captain`s testimony to a judge has leaked to the media and you wouldn`t believe his explosive claims against the cruise ship company as well. That is next.



CAPT. FRANCESCO SCHETTINO, COSTA CONCORDIA: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). What do you mean get down? We abandoned the ship. The ship turned.

GREGORIO DE FALCO, LIVORNO HARBOUR MASTER: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). And with 100 people on board you abandon the ship? [Bleep]!

SCHETTINO: I am going because now there is the other motorboat that has stopped now.

DE FALCO: You go on board. It is an order! You cannot make any other evaluations.


PINSKY: That was Captain Francesco Schettino of the ill fated Costa Concordia Cruise Ship that capsized off the Coast of Tuscany on January 13th. Schettino is facing charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Over a dozen people lost their lives and others are still missing. Of the more than 4,000 people on board, 120 of these people are Americans. Again, this is twice the number of the Titanic.

The Ananias Family from right here in Los Angeles are among the lucky survivors. Here now joining me is Jack Hicky. He`s a Maritime Trial Attorney. I will talk to him in just a moment.

But I just want to remind people that this family sitting with me were amongst the last to leave the ship and you guys actually helped other people escape, including a young baby you told me at one point you were trying to get down the side of the ship, and all the while not knowing if you yourselves are going to survive.

There must have been a lot of heroes. And we`re talking about scandalous behavior, as well, but I imagine some people really stepped up.

G. ANANIAS: Every passenger on board that ship was a hero, because each one had to make their way off on their own without any help from any of the personnel. So all of them are heroes in whatever they do.

PINSKY: That`s an interesting way to start this conversation.

First of all, I want to play part of an interview where the CEO and Chairman of Costa Concordia addresses blame for the ship`s collision with a rock.


PIER LUIGI FOSCHI, CEO, COSTA CRUISES: We believe it as being a human error here. The captain did not follow the authorized route, which is used by Costa ships very frequently. There`s probably more than 100 times in one year.


PINSKY: All right. Georgia, lots of back and forth here. Here`s the CEO blaming the captain. The captain says he was on the phone with the company while he was making these maneuvers, that they didn`t urge him as they should have to abandon ship right away when he knew he was in serious trouble.

Who ultimately is responsible for all of this, is it the captain?

G. ANANIAS: The captain is responsible for a part - for a portion of this, but Costa Cruise Line and all the other officers are equally as responsible for this event.

And it can`t be on one - they`re trying to put a fall on just the captain. Yes, he did a lot of wrong things, but you know what they had the records from the last time he did that. Who`s monitoring the captain? There`s got to somebody monitoring the captain. That`s Costa Cruise Line`s responsibility and they didn`t do it.

PINSKY: It`s still not entirely known why the ship is in shallow water. Some say the captain, Schettino, was trying to sleuth (ph) to a nearby island.

According to leaked excerpts from statements Schettino gave to a judge, his bosses knew he was going to sail close to Giglio, the island, and in fact told him to do it as a form of, quote, "advertising."

His statement reads in part, "The Giglio salute on January 13 was planned with the company before we departed. We meant to do it the week before but it was not possible because of bad weather."

Jack, before I go to you, the family is actually reacting really powerfully to this. You guys - Cindy you`re both sort of having a reaction here because you were put through a horrible, horrible trauma because of that company`s what - advertising maneuver?

V. ANANIAS: It`s ridiculous.

C. ANANIAS: It`s a terrible company.

V. ANANIAS: Advertising to 1,500 people? I mean -

PINSKY: Yes. And 4,000 people`s lives at risk, so you could waive 1,500.

V. ANANIAS: Exactly.

PINSKY: All right. Jack, I`m going to go to you now. Is the captain`s statement any kind of game changer here?

JACK HICKEY, MARITIME LAWYER: Well, I don`t think it is, Dr. Drew. And, you know, it`s very interesting, this captain`s statement. I don`t think it matters whether the company knew or the company did not know because, you know, if I own a $500 million vessel, OK, as this was, and I cart around 4,200 people on that vessel every single day, I`m going to want to know where that ship is every second of the day. I mean, just think about it.

You know, if you have an asset with 4,000 people on board at all times, you`re going to have the radar. You`re going to have the GPS and you`re going to have a guy or a man or a woman, you know, you`re going to hire them and say, look, your job is to make sure you know where this ship is at all times, so I say - I say it doesn`t matter.

You know, Schettino, to the extent that we can believe anything that he says, he says that, oh, the company knew that I was in shallow waters. OK. I say the company is responsible. Schettino, what if the company never knew that the ship was way off course for a sustained period of time. I say, you know, the company is still responsible for not knowing. I mean, my gosh, this is not a 20 foot motor boat. This is -

PINSKY: Right.

HICKEY: -- a huge, huge vessel.

PINSKY: And Jack, what about the seeming - I don`t know what to call it, insolence or lack of understanding the impact this event has had on the families and the people in this event.

HICKEY: Right.

PINSKY: It seems arrogant and sort of bizarre to offer 30 percent discount as opposed to some sore of - they need to fall on their sword, it seems to me. What is all of that about?

HICKEY: It`s unbelievable. And I say to the Ananias, and by the way, I`ve listened to and heard their very powerful accounts, you know, over the last week on national television, and it`s just incredible, but I would say to them, and they are - they`re really waking up to a little bit of what`s going on, welcome to our world.

This is - you know, I`m a maritime attorney and I`ve been on both sides. I represented the cruise lines for 17 years, and the last 15 years have been on the other side of them, and this is what we see. You know, this arrogance, I think maybe you referred to it, it is just arrogance and attitude here is just incredible.

PINSKY: Well, Jack, I`m going to interrupt you. I, too - I, too, came off a cruise ship and developed an illness where I need hospitalization. We went back on the same boat, my son developed an illness. Everyone in our party had a similar illness. My son needed hospitalization, and I reached back to the cruise line and said, you know, this is - you should know about this.

They said, yes, we got it. And as opposed to, again, I would think - just that they would fall on their sword for. Is this industry getting - getting away with stuff?

HICKEY: Yes. The industry is getting away with stuff. It is a largely unregulated, untaxed industry as we all know this. And what they do is, you know, they stand behind the terms and conditions of the passenger contract ticket, which is eight pages of very fine print legal gobbledygook, created for lawyers or by lawyers - excuse me - by lawyers and it`s only lawyers who can understand this.

And so when things like that happen, they stand behind that, and obviously in this situation, they`re standing behind their accusations of the captain and try to make it seems as though -

PINSKY: I find it also -

HICKEY: -- this is one error (ph).

PINSKY: It`s extraordinary, Jack, that the entire - or at least the CEOs or various representatives of multiple cruise lines aren`t getting into the press and saying, hey, we`re going to give symposiums on safety and they should start falling on their swords, too, as just to reassure and actually make things safer, actually take actions.

Why is everyone so silent? And by the way, Mr. Ananias, Dean, he`s a Navy guy! He is somebody that, you know, sort of has a sensibility about these things.

D. ANANIAS: Right. I mean, like I knew there was something wrong. I mean, when it took so much water and start listing, I mean, this thing is sinking. It`s just not electrical power. It was ridiculous. I mean, the generator would blow a hole, but how big of a hole it blew in the side of the ship? I had no idea it was only 160 feet. The ship was big, actually sunk in four hours. But it land on the sandbar, we`re out there for an hour and a half. It`s ridiculous.

PINSKY: It really is infuriating.

And, Jack, if you`ll hang on, I think I need to give the Ananias Family your phone number and e-mail address because these - when you were speaking, they were jumping out of their chair. I mean you`re tapping in to how I`m sure everyone is feeling who has been a part of this disaster. And thank you for helping clarify that for us, Jack.

Now, once again, we reached out to the Carnival Media Relations for a statement including the alleged actions of the ship`s captain. At this time, at the time of this taping, we have not heard back.

Again, thank you, Jack, for your expertise. Georgia, Dean, Valerie and Cindy, I really appreciate you guys coming back. Your story is so vivid and so powerful, and I get a little angry when I - when I talk to you guys on your behalf.

G. ANANIAS: Thank you.

PINSKY: OK. This story has got a lot of you guys fired up as well. Your comments and questions are next.

And later, a little lighter issue, what does a ban on cougars have to do with Chelsea Handler? That`s right. Stay with us and you will find out.


PINSKY: We are back.

And as we have been discussing, Italian officials say more bodies have been found on the Italian Cruise Ship Costa Concordia, sadly bringing the death toll to at least 15. This disaster continues to set off debate over the public safety of cruise lines and whether or not they`re getting away with something.

So I`m going to hear some of your comments. Let`s go to Jen in Arizona. Go ahead.

JEN, PHOENIX, ARIZONA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Hi, Jen.

JEN: I just wanted to say that I`ve been on many cruises and I believe that was just a rare occurrence and the captain and other staff made mistakes.


JEN: Otherwise, I think the cruise line is doing a great job to prepare people for emergency situations by running a mustard drill before each sailing.

PINSKY: Yes. I agree with you, Jen, but my concern is, and I agree it`s not as though they intend to - you know, it`s not intentional that they`re trying to harm people, they are well meaning.

But there`s a major gaffe here, which is sitting in a mustard station when it`s underwater ain`t going to help nobody. And I challenge you, do you know what to do if a ship start listing or one end goes down or another? I would challenge cruise lines across the world frankly to step up and start giving symposiums on how to be safe on a cruise ship.

What do you do with contingency plans? Because all the situations are different, granted, but let`s have a range of possibilities so people that are standing there with their life vests on at least have an idea, of a plan of what they should be doing in an emergency of a particular sort, just a frame of reference.

Deborah in Idaho, go ahead.

DEBORAH, MANDIAN, IDAHO (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew. It was obvious to me that what every cruise liner needs are prerecorded, multi- lingual instructions on how to safely abandon ship, you know, possibly more lives could have been saved on - on that night in that way.

PINSKY: Yes, Deborah, I agree with you, but that`s kind of what you get. But it`s sort of set up for one emergency, which is an upright boat, abandoning into lowering life -- what do they call those vessels, life - there`s a name for them, but - be that as it may, not just a life boat, they`re called something else - tenders, they call them tenders on a cruise ship, and this is not that, this is a chaotic emergency.

And so there should be - before I go on a cruise ship, I love cruise ships, I want to do it again, but I want to know how to behave in any serious kind of emergency.

Jim on Facebook writes, "Concerning the captain, I hear Baez is available for another client." Ha-ha.

Hilda on Facebook writes, "We need to bear in mind that not all cruise ships are managed the same. We just happened to run at one bad apple that`s making this entire industry look bad."

Although, we`ve just heard from an attorney who worked for various cruise lines saying that there is a problem here across all the ship lines.

Chris writes, "People always live in fear, it`s sad actually a much higher chance of something happening on the way to work driving than on an air plane or cruise liner."

My kids go to college all over the country, they`re flying regularly, we fly regularly. I drive a car, we all drive cars everyday. But two cruises in the last year, both cruises at least one of us needed hospitalization afterwards. I`m just saying, the odds don`t seem to look in favor of the cruise line.

Diane tweets, "I think if the captain had taken over control, most lives would have been saved." And maybe there`s something here that how a captain behaves could impact all this, I don`t know.

We`ll hear more about the story as we go along.

And when we come back, I`m talking with a woman who thought she was married to a banker, but she was actually married to a bank robber. Her story is next.

Want more information about this or any story we`re talking about tonight, go on over to And as far as the bank robber goes, I wonder if this is a symptom of a bigger problem her where people are living above their means and as opposed to liquidating living a simpler life, they`ll go to any means to sustain it.

Stay with us.



PINSKY (voice-over): Tonight, no excuses. This young woman can fly a plane and scuba dive, even though she was born without arms. Her story and others that will make you forget the word limitation.

And later, the most provocative weather map ever has me asking how did that get on air. That and other wacky stories of the day and my prescription for those involved in "Doctor`s Orders."

But first, double life, triple deception. Everybody thought Steve Trantel`s riches came from commodities trading, but in the end, trading had nothing to do with it. How did a broker become a bank robber?


PINSKY (on-camera): Welcome back. Imagine the shock of finding out the man you`re married to lives a double life, not just a double life, but a criminal double life.

My next guest experienced just that firsthand. Her husband got up every morning and pretended he was going to his high paying job as a commodities broker in Manhattan, but at one point, he got up, and left house, left the home and was actually robbing banks in Long Island. Here is a clip from Investigation Discovery`s, "Who The [bleep] Did I Marry?" Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeanne Trantel seemed to have it all. Two beautiful boys and a handsome husband.

JEANNE CALLAHAN, EX-WIFE OF CONVICTED BANK ROBBER: My girlfriends were jealous. Like everyone wanted Steve. We were adorable together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But behind this picture perfect marriage was a shocking secret. Jeanne`s husband wasn`t who she thought he was.

DET. SGT. JAMES SKOPEK, NASSAU COUNTY, P.D.: This was one for the books. I don`t know if you`ll ever see a case like this again.

CALLAHAN: Honestly, I was petrified. I was petrified.


PINSKY: Long Island bank robber, Stephen Trantel, got almost eight years behind bars for his crimes. He left his two young boys and his loving wife behind. Now, did he do it because he saw no other way out of his financial nightmare or is this a kind of greed that is gripping many people?

Joining me tonight, ex-wife of convicted bank robber, Stephen Trantel and author of "disguised blessing," Jeanne Callahan. And Jeanne, your ex- husband, Steven --

CALLAHAN: Hi, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Thank you for joining me -- was just released from prison last week. Have you seen him since he was released?

CALLAHAN: I actually haven`t seen him, but the kids have seen him. The kids were with him last weekend, and it was so beautiful to see them so happy. They really haven`t, you know, known him, only in prison. So, it was so great. They were so happy.

PINSKY: You`re on the record saying he really was a good father, that there`s some sort of disconnect between his personal, interpersonal life and his life as a criminal.

CALLAHAN: Yes. You know, he really is a great father, was a great father. Something happened to Steve. He had some kind of breakdown, partially, you know, due to the stress of Wall Street, fear, greed, you know, he went crazy.

PINSKY: Well, Jeanne, does he have a psychiatric diagnosis? Was he in a manic state or something or was this a choice?

CALLAHAN: You know, it was a choice, yes, for sure it was. You know, he chose this, which was really, really wrong, of course. But he was in some kind of manic state, you know, acting really crazy all the time, stressed out, loss of weight. Just really not him at all. Not the man I married, really.

PINSKY: I understand. And my question, though, aside from his particular psychiatric condition, is this the tip of an iceberg and sort of an extreme example of something that has gripped people certainly on Wall Street and maybe throughout the country where they are so hell bent on living a certain lifestyle, they`ve taken on massive debt, and you know, are the occupy Wall Street people right, that people will go to any lengths of just maintain that lifestyle as opposed to selling their assets and living a simpler life?

CALLAHAN: I agree with you, for sure. Yes. I do. I think that, you know, I think he was in greed. I think he was acting out of greed, in a way.

PINSKY: Well, let me show the audience a clip from CNBC`s "American Agreed" where Stephen is talking about the fateful decision to commit bank robbery. Watch this.


STEPHEN TRANTEL, ROBBED 10 NY BANKS: I was just so desperate and, you know, at a dead end. This was the crazy facade that I was living. And, I`m going through all these options, and I`m like I`ll just go rob a bank. I said if I don`t have a gun, nobody is going to get hurt, let`s go for it.


PINSKY: And Jeanne, I guess, I have a couple of questions out of that. One, let me ask this first. Did you miss some warning signs that you wished you`d intervened upon earlier?

CALLAHAN: You know, I do have to say that definitely he was acting very harshly. He was very angry. He was losing weight. He wasn`t, you know, like -- I mean, he used to be really happy all the time.

PINSKY: Did you try to get him to get help at that point? Did you ask him to see his doctor?

CALLAHAN: Therapy, yes, I did.


CALLAHAN: Yes, I did.

PINSKY: You obviously didn`t --

CALLAHAN: I used to cry to him all the time. I used to cry to him saying, what happened to you. You`re not the man I married.

PINSKY: And he obviously did not discuss his plans with therapist. I`m going to -- the other question I have is, do you have cautionary warnings for other people out there that may be living above their means?

CALLAHAN: Well, I would definitely say, you know, to really know what your household expenses are, for sure, and for me, as a woman, Stephen actually never mentioned anything, you know? So, I didn`t know anything like at the time.

PINSKY: Well, I tell you what, that right there is something that I think either partner can pay attention to. This should be a joint effort in marriage, and people should know what`s going on in their household. Don`t you agree?


PINSKY: Yes. That is, I think, something we can learn from this tale. Finally, here`s a clip from Investigation Discovery`s "Who The [bleep] Did I Marry?" This is how Stephen got caught and ultimately sent to prison for eight years. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The evidence against Stephen was overwhelming. According to police records, Stephen had been arrested and fingerprinted back in 1983 for a DUI, and those prints matched a note left behind at the ninth robbery.

SKOPEK: The fingerprints -- the fingerprint was a tell tale sign and we did line ups, and he was identified by the victim tellers and witnesses in several banks. So, we were locked. It was a lock.


PINSKY: Jeanne, if he hadn`t gotten caught, do you think he would have just continued?

CALLAHAN: I think he would have. I really do.

PINSKY: And God knows where it would have ended up then. I mean, in a way, it might have saved his life to have gotten caught.

CALLAHAN: Yes, I think so.

PINSKY: Well, Jeanne, thank you for sharing this story.

CALLAHAN: Thank you.

PINSKY: I think there`s something to be learned out of this, and I hope people kind of contemplate this, because this is a story of our time right now, and I appreciate you sharing it with the world. When we come back --

CALLAHAN: Thank you so much, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: My pleasure. Now, we`re going to switch gears and talk about extraordinary people doing amazing things. It is beyond belief, and you don`t want to miss it. We`ll be right back.


PINSKY: Tonight, we`re talking about extraordinary people. A young woman without arms who became an airplane pilot and a martial arts champ, a young man who trained his own mind and became the memory champ only because he wanted to help his Alzheimer`s stricken grandmother, and the family`s whale watching adventure that became a whale saving life-risking endeavor.

These amazing stories will be featured on the new season of "Beyond Belief" which airs on the OWN network, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Here now is a clip.


JESSICA COX, BORN WITHOUT ARMS: My feet were my hands from day one. My brain immediately recognized that the arms and hands were not there.

My name is Jessica Cox. I was born without arms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Years of adaptation have given her the dexterity to brush her teeth and the precision to do things with her toes that many of us find difficult to do with our hands.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we started cutting away the bandages, we saw --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- things coming out of his left side of his body and had a big bulge in the front of his right thigh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked everybody in the eye and said, you guys understand what`s going on here, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw faces drop, like, oh, man. This guy is a (INAUDIBLE).


PINSKY: "Beyond Belief" on OWN airs Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m. Joining me now to talk about these extraordinary stories is first of all, Jessica Cox. She was born without hands or arms, and Wes Moore, author of "The Other Wes Moore" and host of "Beyond Belief." Wes, I`ll start with you. The obvious question is, what did you learn? What was it like? I mean, what a great program.

WES MOORE, HOST, "BEYOND BELIEF": It`s a great program. And in many ways, it`s really what television entertainment should really be all about.

PINSKY: Of course. Right.

MOORE: It`s telling stories that need to be shared. And so, that`s really what got me so excited about this is being able to put the cynicism to the side for a second and to really think about who are we as a people and sharing so many amazing stories about people who have done great things with what they have.

PINSKY: Well, speaking of amazing things, I mean, your own story is pretty amazing. You were a marine, is that right?

MOORE: Army.

PINSKY: You were in the army, and you served overseas?

MOORE: I did.

PINSKY: OK. And you wrote a book about a guy with the same name as you living in a similar upbringing, and yet, ending up in a different place than yourself.

MOORE: I did. The book has called "The Other Wes Moore," and it really details my life and the life of another guy who really grew up in the same area. We both grew up in single parent household. We both had economic and troubles (ph) growing up.

But the book really details the fact that when I received a road scholarship and was heading off to England on a scholarship, he was also getting sentenced for felony murder and received a life sentence in prison. So, the book really tries to detail what was happening in these two individual lives.

PINSKY: Was there any fork in the road? Was there a moment where he started going one direction and you another?

MOORE: Well, I think, what happened was you saw that our lives, eventually, people were in our lives and starting with, you know, --

PINSKY: The important people.

MOORE: The important people.


PINSKY: Yes. And this is what shows up again and again for people at home that when you see kids that are at risk, the outcomes aren`t as bad as you would think just looking at it. And when you ask why you find the kids that do OK have at least one sustained quality relationship with an adult outside the home for a long period of time and that kind of pulls them out.

MOORE: And how thin that line can be between our lives and someone else`s life all together, and how those interjections and interventions really can make the difference.

PINSKY: Again, I say this all the time in the show, we affect one another, either we affect negatively, we affect positively, and I want to share an amazing story from a series about a fight to save a soldier turned human bomb after an unexploded rocket, this is amazing, unexploded rocket like a mortar or something lodged in his abdomen. His fellow troops -- he didn`t explode. His fellow troops risked their lives to save him. Watch this.


MOSS: I thought I got slammed up against the truck. And I went to got return fire again, and then, I smelled something smoking. I looked down, and I was smoking. I looked down, the RPG was sticking out me, still smoking.


PINSKY: Oh, my goodness. Like I said, you`re an army veteran. Can you imagine this story?

MOORE: This is, you know, this story hit me in so many different ways when I first had a chance to learn about it and hear about it. You know, these devices, these rocket propelled grenades, they are created to blow up upon contact.

PINSKY: And they will blow up like a football field.

MOORE: Exactly. Everything, the kill zone for an RPG is essentially 30 feet around the area where the RPG first impacts something. And so, the fact this RPG hits Private Moss, and the only thing sticking out him at that point were the literally the fins from the RPG, and so, the amazing thing isn`t just the fact that Private Moss, somehow, survived initially, the amazing thing also is then the response of his team members who literally said here is a person who essentially has become a human bomb.

PINSKY: He could explode any second.

MOORE: And killing everyone around him. And also, it`s against army regulations to treat him.

PINSKY: Because you can`t have explosive device around sick people.

MOORE: That`s exactly right.


MOORE: And so, what happens is the question is, isn`t, you know, isn`t just about will he survive, but also, do they choose to violate regulations to save him?

PINSKY: Did they?

MOORE: And that`s what fascinating.

PINSKY: We`re going to watch the series and find out.


PINSKY: Or the doctors and nurses come out to the field --

MOORE: That`s right.

PINSKY: Oh, my goodness.

MOORE: That`s right.

PINSKY: I mean, stories like this. All right. Disbelief and enthusiasm, that`s what I feel when I`m describing my next guest. Jessica Cox was born without arms, but she`s not letting that stand in the way of her dreams. Watch this.


COX: We have all the talent in the world. We can have all the talent in the world. We can be gifted. We can have all the money in the world, but that doesn`t matter, if you have desire, you can accomplish.

I just learned to do things with my feet that other kids did with their hands. I learned to drink from a glass, color with crayons, unwrap birthday presents, just like everybody else. I drive without special adaptations. I write. I type 20 words per minute. I put contact lenses in my eyes.


PINSKY: Jessica, you realize you`re extraordinary, don`t you?

COX: Oh, well, I feel really blessed, thank you.

PINSKY: And I got a billion questions for you. One is, first, as a physician, kind of a medical question, the condition that left you without arms was a congenital, meaning you were born with it. Did it somehow compensate? Did nature compensate in some way by giving you more input into your legs where you could do this compensation more easily?

COX: It was a very natural adaptation for me. So, from day one, since I didn`t have the hands and arms there to begin with, my feet automatically became my hands and arms. And that`s how I started to explore the world. So, it was a natural through adaptation that my feet were going to become my hands.

PINSKY: And growing up, did other kids treat you differently or did you insist on being treated like everybody else?

COX: I insisted on being treated, but you know, that doesn`t stop people from wanting to treat me different and treating me different. So, I grew up a lot of times with, you know, with people asking questions, with people wondering, you know, why I`m in the situation, and a lot of times people did treat me differently, but, you know, I got used to it. And I still get treated differently today, but I use it to my advantage as an opportunity.

PINSKY: And what made you decide to become a pilot?

COX: My greatest fear was flying, and I had never been in a single engine airplane. And the first time I went up on a flight, I was hooked. And I knew that -- you know, I was going to become a pilot. I caught the bug and I knew that yes, you know, I have this fear, and I was terrified. But, you know, if you overcome, if you face your fear, you know, head on, it`s the best way to overcome it.

PINSKY: Were there any concerns about you becoming a pilot? In other words, did any of the agencies or safety organizations have any concerns or push back on you doing it?

COX: You know, surprisingly, we were concerned about how different agencies, what would they do if they heard about me trying to learn how to fly. And, so, for the most part, you know, I went through very intensive training and became as safe a pilot that any pilot could be.

And so, it was ultimately up to the examiner to decide whether I should have a certification, and he said, if you can demonstrate flying an airplane safely, which I did, then he could see no reason why I shouldn`t have my certification as a pilot.

PINSKY: Wes, you wanted to say something about Jessica?

MOORE: I love Jessica. And what`s so amazing about Jessica is, you know, she was born with amelia which is the absence -- as you know, the absence of one or more limbs, and when she was coming up, she had the opportunity to actually get prosthetics and to go through life with prosthetics, but she decided against that.

She decided, you know what, this is who I am. This is who I`ve been blessed to be. And not only am I going to make the most of it, but I`m going to be extraordinary, not just in spite of it, but because of it. That`s why I love her. Stories can really move the human heart.

And I think the thing that is amazing not just about Jessica, but also about all these other people that we profile on this is, these are people who look at life just through a different lens and they understand not just how great we can be but how great we already are.

PINSKY: Jessica, can you add to that? Is there something -- some lightning in a bottle that we can capture on your behalf?

COX: Well, one of the things I think is to appreciate what we have, and a lot of times it`s so easy to ask for more or to see what we don`t have and be ungrateful, but if we look at what we have and we`re appreciative of it, it`s a lot easier to move forward and work with what we have, and overcome whatever challenges we`re confronted with. So, it`s definitely coming from an attitude of appreciation and gratitude.

PINSKY: Gratitude. That`s a word that comes up a lot when I`m working with people that get better and do well. Jessica, thank you so much. Wes, congratulations on the program. We appreciate you`re sharing this with us.

MOORE: Thank you.

Catch "Beyond Belief" on the OWN Network, January 24th, 10: p.m., and please, stay with us.


PINSKY: Welcome to the second installment of our new segment. It is called "Doctor`s Orders," where I diagnose some of the most absurd news items of this past week and prescribe advice with the help of a celebrity guest.

My assistant tonight is standup comic, writer, and actress, Heather McDonald from "Chelsea Lately," over at E! Heather, this is part of our week where we get to say WTF, and we`re beginning with a question from "Real Housewife" star who she has been married for 30 years, but I`m not sure if she`s going to stay married after I (ph) watch this. Check it out.


LISA VANDERPUMP, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS": Hi, Dr. Drew, we only have sex on, you know, Christmas and birthdays and you`re a relationship expert. I just want to know your opinion. Do you think I should cut it in half?


PINSKY: And Heather, just to be clearwhen she said we are having sex, she`s not meaning me and her, she`s meaning she and her husband, twice a year. I`m not sure that relationship is going to survive. Call me crazy.

HEATHER MCDONALD, COMIC, WRITER, ACTRESS: It`s worked for 30 years, you know? They are lovely. They have Jiggy the dog and it`s quite a life (ph), everyone.

PINSKY: He must have a stable, a mistresses two on the side. Oh, come on!

MCDONALD: She puts up with it. I do think she should make it quarterly.


MCDONALD: Quarterly, I think, at 30 years, that`s pretty good.

PINSKY: Thank you, Heather, for tossing us that bone. Check out this weather map. It is from WGN in Chicago. They are certainly -- this is actually the weather map they put on television where they`re keeping abreast of weather related travel problems. It looks like it was slippery on the map between St. Louis and Cincinnati. Heather, come on now.

MCDONALD: I think it`s great, because they`re drawing attention to a problem that many women suffer from which is one breast is larger than the other.


MCDONALD: And it keeps you up. You`re up in the morning, you see that, it`s going to make you pay attention.

PINSKY: Breast asymmetry is a common problem.


PINSKY: So, here are doctor`s orders. In fact, if you`re going to draw attention to asymmetry with a before picture, make sure you consent the patient before you put that thing on television. And I`m just happy they didn`t zoom out and show us New Orleans. Thank you very much.

What? A high school in Utah is nixed, the name cougars for its team mascot claiming it may be insulting to older woman. Of course, sometime -- of course referred to as cougars. Now, mind you, the University of Houston has no problem with being a cougar. What is the wrong with these people at this particular high school?

MCDONALD: There`s nothing wrong with cougar. Why do people think it`s negative. The cougars are Madonna, Demi Moore, and the new one, J.Lo.

PINSKY: People (ph) you want to be like.

MCDONALD: Yes. And J. Lo is dating a 24-year-old dancer with a neck tattoo. That is what you do when Marc Anthony leaves you and you`ve got twins. You get a 24-year-old with a neck tattoo.

PINSKY: When you`re a cougar. "Doctor`s Orders," I am offended by other mascots more. We should ban them as well if we`re going to ban cougar. How about the Chicago Bears, for instance? I know, in fact, these guys would be offended. It`s saying something about -- I mean, come on now. Now, Heather, I`ve got one more for you.


PINSKY: What about this for the ultimate cougar mascot. Show us that. There. There we go now. There is a cougar mascot. I believe, that`s your friend, Chelsea.

MCDONALD: Oh, they put her face on it?



MCDONALD: I couldn`t tell.

PINSKY: You knew immediately this wasn`t her body. That was interesting by itself.


PINSKY: Oh, they put Chelsea`s face on that. Nice. OK. Well, I think that listen, frankly, I think too much is made of the mascot thing. I really do, don`t you?

MCDONALD: You can`t just get rid of a name just because it`s become part of our culture in the last ten years. I would love to have the name changed to something else for cougars. Just call them old whores.


PINSKY: Heather, thank you very much. Now, if you want to submit a video of you think should be featured during our "Doctor`s Order" segment, log on to Thanks for watching. See you next time.