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Family Responds to Powell Family Tragedy; Beating by Gang Caught on Tape

Aired February 7, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City. Tonight, secrets and psychoanalysis as we struggle to understand why Josh Powell was given the opportunity to kill his own children. We`re going to talk live with a mom who lost her kids in the exact same way. Live, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, Josh Powell`s final message revealed. A disturbing voicemail surfaces from just 20 minutes before he killed himself and his two little boys in a calculated inferno. How could a father kill his own sons? I`ll talk tonight live with a woman living through the very same nightmare.

Plus, family streets exposed. Jurors hear emotional testimony about the moment Michelle Young`s sister discovered her bloody body. The 29- year-old was five months pregnant when she was killed in her home. Her husband is accused of the murder. Did he threaten to keep the couple`s child from the victim`s grieving family if they didn`t publicly support him? We`ll take you inside this trial.

Then an apparent hate crime caught on video. A group of men viciously punch and stomp on an innocent teen while spewing slurs at him. Is this really all about skinny jeans?

And Kim Kardashian headed to divorce court, and things are getting ugly. Will this drama in her life also play out in front of the camera for all the world to see?

Plus, flames coming out of people`s water faucets. Families living in fear. Was a documentary filmmaker arrested for trying to uncover what`s really going on here? I`m going to talk to him live tonight.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn`t right. This wasn`t right at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All three bodies were found together in the middle of the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only way he could win this game that he was playing was to kill them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It probably was done intentionally and done with malice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this proves it. I think this is his admission of guilt, and he just couldn`t handle it anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m feeling so much anger towards Josh right now, so much anger towards him.

JOSH POWELL, KILLED SELF AND SONS: I put my sons above everyone. Everyone. And of course everyone who knows me knows that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I encouraged them and tried to talk them into going, but they clearly did not want to go.

CHARLIE COX, SUSAN POWELL`S FATHER: They were taken away by a selfish cowardly act, in my mind. A slaughter of two innocent children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, frightening new information emerging in the Josh Powell double murder-suicide that killed Powell and his two young sons, both sons, ages 5 and 7, hand-delivered to Powell`s home by an unsuspecting social worker allowing this demented man to carry out the ultimate revenge.

All this despite loving grandparents who were desperately trying to keep the boys safe. But before you think this is a crazy isolated incident, think again. This scenario affects families every day, everywhere. Parents, grandparents forced by the courts to turn over their children to a potentially dangerous mother or father.

Imagine the feeling of helpless when you know something is headed towards tragedy and you can`t stop it. And nobody knows that better than this woman. Amy Leichtenberg was forced to turn over her two young sons to their father. He ultimately killed the boys and himself. We`re going to talk to her live in just one moment.

Despite being the sole suspect in the 2009 disappearance of his wife, Susan, Josh Powell had custody of his kids for several years and only lost custody of those boys when his father, 61 years old, was arrested for having child porn in the house they all shared.

Susan Powell`s parents did everything, everything in their power that they could do to keep their grandsons safe, but it still wasn`t enough, because as soon as those boys came home Sunday, they were caught in their father`s murderous web.

Listen to the extraordinary last words from Josh Powell himself from ABC`s "Good Morning America." He actually left this voicemail right before the deadly blast.


J. POWELL: Hello, this is Josh. And I`m calling to say goodbye. I am not able to live without my sons, and I`m not able to go on anymore. I`m sorry to everyone I`ve hurt. Goodbye.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a very messed up system when a parent or grandparent can`t protect their kids and grandkids. What are they supposed to do? Go underground instead of handing these children over as ordered by the courts?

I want to hear what you think. Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297.

Straight out to Amy Leichtenberg.

Amy, first of all, thank you for speaking. I know that this is so difficult for you, and I appreciate you having the courage to help us through this horrific case. I`m sure what you`re seeing as to what Josh Powell did to his sons and himself brought back some very difficult memories. Tell us about the parallels in your life.

AMY LEICHTENBERG, CHILDREN MURDERED BY THEIR FATHER: You know, it`s - - you know, seeing this, it is -- I mean, my ex-husband was diagnosed with being bipolar. He had several times documented that he was going to commit -- you know, he threatened to commit suicide.

The courts forced me to give the boys to him that weekend. I had a bad feeling. He had been saying some things that -- to the boys, and they had told me that -- you know, that he had been saying that he was going to be going away. And I had a bad feeling, you know, then not to give the boys -- I didn`t want to give the boys to him. He had -- he had erratic behavior in court. He continually just harassed the court system to get what he wanted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now let me go back to this whole most recent nightmare. Josh Powell was planning this attack for some time. He donated his sons` toys to charity. He was tidying up his affairs, telling people how to pay the utility bill.

So did Susan Powell`s parents, the missing woman`s parents, the grandparents of these children notice any change in their estranged son in law? Here`s what they told ABC`s "Good Morning America."


COX: The only sign I saw was that he appeared to -- he appeared to be cooperating more with the DSHS workers and the case workers. And I -- I remember that he seemed to be cooperating more with my daughter before she went missing. So that was a warning sign to me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy, you have described the warning signs in your case. You actually did not want to hand your two sons over. And I understand that the cops came over and threatened to arrest you if you did not hand over your two sons to what ultimately was their death?

LEICHTENBERG: Absolutely. They told me that they could arrest me and that they would arrest me. And so reluctantly, I had no choice, because either way he was going to get them. So I gave them to them -- I gave them to them that weekend. And they didn`t return. They had one overnight, Saturday night. They were supposed to return on Sunday. And at 6 p.m., he hadn`t returned them. And I knew at 6:01 that they were never going to come home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That has got to be the most terrible anguish. What does it feel like to have to think about that?

LEICHTENBERG: There are no words for this pain. No parent should ever have to feel this pain. They were missing for three weeks. He had planned this, as well. He had saved up all his anti-depressant medication and then overdosed my children with it. Took them to a remote part of the country and left -- and then hung himself and left their bodies in the back of the car.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am so sorry. First of all, I want to say that it just breaks my heart to hear you and you being such a good mother and trying to do everything you could to protect your kids and the cops threatening to arrest you, because these guys can often, I think, play the system.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They can play the system. Josh Powell was telling the judge, even though he didn`t get custody, he still was allowed supervised visitation at his home, and that`s why he was capable of blowing up the kids. But he was telling the judge what a good parent he was. And on some level the court system has to buy this nonsense.

LICHTENBERG: And that`s exactly what my ex- did too. He went from having supervised visits, and then the funding was going to be -- the state visitation center was losing their funding. So then he went to unsupervised visits.

And he knew exactly what he was doing. He would continually motion -- you know, files motions with the court. He represented himself in court. He got -- I mean, he got what he wanted by continually harassing them by being the squeaky wheel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you saw this Josh Powell case and you saw the home explode and learned that these two boys were killed inside the home by this man, who is suspected of killing his wife, the mother of these two kids, what -- what ran through you briefly?

LEICHTENBERG: I kept thinking those poor boys, and secondly, I kept thinking those poor grandparents when I saw that grandma on TV saying how she did not want to give the boys to him that weekend. I knew exactly what she was feeling. That`s awful because you feel guilty and you have no choice. You`re torn. I mean, you go into hiding with them, you`re going to get arrested, as well. I mean, what kind of a life is that? I mean, my heart goes out to that poor family, because they will forever have two holes in their heart, and this pain doesn`t get any better. You learn to live with it, but it doesn`t get any better.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy, I just want to say, one human being to another, you are a very good mother. Do not feel any guilt for what happened. You did everything in your power to protect your children. They were murdered by a madman. And that`s the same thing that happened in the case of Josh Powell and his sons. Murdered by a madman.

Your heart should be absolutely free of any guilt or remorse, because you did the right thing. It`s the system that`s messed up, and that`s why we`re talking about this tonight. The system. So please know the whole country was watching the story. And people are listening to you. And nobody blames you, and you should not blame yourself. You should give yourself the gift of forgiveness, self-forgiveness, because you did nothing wrong.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to have more in a minute. We`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

And later in this show, imagine fire instead of water coming out of your kitchen faucet.

But next, the absolutely heartbreaking story of the Powell family. How could a father kill his own children?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Josh is a total coward, and he could have at least left a note behind saying -- saying where Susan was. If he was going to be gone and not face jail time, at least he could have done one unselfish thing and told the rest of us.




J. POWELL: A lot of times I just go camping with my boys. Not -- not anything big. I just go overnight. And -- and we do s`mores and stuff like that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Josh Powell, and nobody believed him when he said, infamously, that he went camping with his two young sons in a blizzard in the middle of the night and did s`mores.

Josh Powell then got into an all-out war with his in-laws over custody. Listen to this scary interview with Josh, where he talks about his relationship with the parents of the wife he`s suspected of murdering.


J. POWELL: When the bridges are burned, there`s no looking back. And that`s what they`ve done. I mean, it`s almost two years, and nothing has changed, you know, except to escalate.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist, part of the problem is that the courts are so emphatic about biological parent, biological parent. Well, so what? There so many biological parents that abandon their kids and then, after the foster parent bonds with them, come back into the lives and say, "Oh, I want them back," even though they`re drug addicts or alcoholics. Why this obsession with keeping kids with their biological parents?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: You know, somewhere along the way, the family court system has lost its way, because you`re absolutely right. They`re putting the rights of the parents ahead of the safety of the children. And that always has to be the prime priority. And that`s not happening.

This is not just an isolated case, Jane. We`re seeing this all over the country where there`s such a push for parental rights. That`s a big, big hot button right now. But unfortunately, the kids are the ones who often have to suffer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh Powell lost custody of his sons, because his father, Steven, was caught with child porn and videotaping, allegedly, women, including his own daughter-in-law, who later disappeared. This was a very demented, sick family. Steven Powell`s affinity for his daughter- in-law is extraordinarily strange. Listen.


STEVEN POWELL, JOSH POWELL`S FATHER: She initiated the relationship that we had that -- it was very sexually charged. There were some -- definitely some things that were probably inappropriate for a married woman and her father in law. I will say that, you know, it probably developed into, you know, maybe an obsession.


S. POWELL: On my part. Yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Victoria Taft, like father, like son. How is it that this house, where he allegedly was videotaping little girls on the toilet, the neighborhood kids, how could the courts allow these two boys to go to that very house?

VICTORIA TAFT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it, Jane.

And the thing is, is that that`s one of the reasons why he had to get rid of these kids. Because he was going to suffer the humiliation of having those children taken away from him for good. He couldn`t stand to be away from them. He couldn`t stand to live without them. Where was he going? Where was he going? Probably to prison. Somewhere else.

But you know what? Here`s something else that I think is particularly onerous about this thing. And it`s this. The -- in terms of the gentlemen getting custody of his kids, how about just taking a step back and looking at the fact that he had to have a psychosexual analysis, an evaluation by the courts, to determine whether or not he would even have -- have visitation with his children.

Now at that point in time, do you not step back and say, "This guy has got issues?" The apple doesn`t fall too far from the tree. We`ve seen this act before. This is a father. What`s he doing to his own kids and what`s he doing in his private life? We do not know; maybe we won`t know. Here`s the thing. Here`s the thing. He needs to -- he needed to suffer the humiliation -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Fantastic panel.

Coming up next, the secrets behind a horrible beating caught on tape. Unbelievable video.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back in a minute, but first here is your "Viral Video of the Day."







UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throughout this video, uploaded to, you can hear them yelling derogatory names. He`s in the store for about two minutes and doesn`t even know he`s being stalked and about to be brutally attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are down here and they, when the customer goes inside, one of them goes...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight guys in the streets, watching out for police. Two of them have their video cameras rolling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speeding cars. There`s no law over here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A young man stalked viciously, beaten by a gang that videotapes its own violence. What`s happening to our culture when hate- filled videos like this one become so commonplace and go viral?

Surveillance video in Atlanta shows the victim was followed as he went into a convenience store, and they were waiting for him when he got out. Watch this from


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Round one. He doesn`t know me. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)



VELEZ-MITCHELL: We bleeped out the word they were saying, but it starts with "F." It`s a homophobic slur. We all know what we`re talking about. And it`s repeated over and over in the video.

Apparently, the victim was targeted because they thought he was gay, because he was wearing skinny jeans. This went viral, and a family member of the victim ultimately called cops.

So nice to have with me tonight our special guest, Keith Boykin, author of "For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, Coming Home."

What does it say about our culture that this is entertainment and that the word they`re using is a word that basically nobody should be using.

KEITH BOYKIN, AUTHOR, "FOR COLORED BOYS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE": I think what it says is that homophobia is widespread in our society and, unfortunately, it is condoned by many people in society.

I think what`s going on here is, especially in the black community, because these are all African-Americans I saw in the video, you have in Atlanta a church like the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which is run by Eddie Long, which is preaching homophobia from the pulpit at the same time he`s being accused of molesting young boys. I think you also have to deal with the fact that there are people, including people like Roland Martin, who I know, who have been saying things and tweeting things that we consider homophobic.

When people hear these messages in our community, it is translated into action and sometimes into violence that goes on in the black community, in the streets, and it needs to be addressed. We can`t put our heads in the sand any more. We have to -- we cannot ignore it. We have to address it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and Roland did say that he didn`t mean what he said and sometimes in the heat of the moment or watching a Super Bowl game, people are going to say things they don`t mean. Because I know Roland is a good guy.

BOYKIN: ... to you. I`ve known Roland since 1995. This is not about him, but I think that`s exactly the point. When you have people who, in the heat of passion, will say something that`s wrong, can be misinterpreted, yes, why would you not expect these young teenagers to do something directly similar to that.

I think that we have a -- we have a culture in our society that says homophobia is still tolerable, whether you are a TV commentator, whether you`re a football player.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, it`s in the movies, everywhere. That`s so gay. People say it all the time. And a lot of people don`t even realize. It was a whole debate over a movie where somebody said that. And one of the top filmmakers in Hollywood refused to take it out because they said, it`s not a big deal to him. Well, he is not that guy. Getting beaten up right there.

BOYKIN: One of the reasons why Grant Hill created this PSA that`s been run on the NBA is because he wanted to show that you can`t use those phrases in the community and think they`re acceptable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. We`re out of time, but good points. Back in a moment.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think my sister`s dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me what happened, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no idea. Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a brutal personal beating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill your wife, Michelle?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you there when it happened?

YOUNG: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what happened to mommy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s got boo-boos everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She kept kind of pulling me and asking me to go get a wash cloth and bandage for Michelle.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, family secrets can be deadly. It`s a sick trend and we have seen it time and time again. In fact, the leading cause of death for pregnant women, by the person who impregnated her.

The horrific allegations against Jason Young are right out of the Scott Peterson file. Remember him? Handsome husband accused of murdering his pregnant young wife. Michelle Young was found bludgeoned to death in her bed in 2006. Her two-year-old`s bloody footprints circling the crime scene where mommy laid bludgeoned to death. By all accounts the couple`s marriage was in dire straits. They fought constantly.

The prosecution says Jason desperately wanted out, especially with child number two on the way. So why not just get divorced. It`s what we always ask, right?

Well, listen to Michelle`s sister`s answer to that question.


MEREDITH FISHER, VICTIM`S SISTER: They would get in a fight and go back and forth and his answer would be so divorce me. He had said it would be even more difficult being divorced from her than it is being married to her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jason`s trial, the first one anyway ended in a hung jury, 8-4, in favor of acquittal. Will this jury the second time around believe he murdered his pregnant wife in cold blood.

Straight out to former prosecutor, Holly Hughes; does the prosecution need a completely different strategy this time around?

HOLLY HUGHES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Not necessarily, Jane. The beauty of having a re-trial is that the defendant, Jason Young testified in his first trial. That`s the first time the prosecution had any idea what his side of the story was. So you better believe in the six months since that first jury hung, the prosecution has now been able to go behind him, send investigators out to check up on every single detail of his, quote-unquote, "alibi".

So that`s what they`ve been doing. It is actually an advantage to the prosecution because for the first time, they have seen the defense`s hand and they know how to deal with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Michelle`s sister who testified today, emotionally crying and weeping on the stand says she actually tried to act as a mediator during the couple`s fights. She said a lot of their marriage problems revolved around sex.

Listen carefully.


FISHER: I distinctly remember other times in the past talking about those issues with Michelle; that she just wasn`t attracted to him when he`s being belligerent, when he is being vulgar. And he would say things like, "Hey how about a hot beef injection?" And she`s just like, that`s disgusting. "That doesn`t make me want to be romantic and love my husband."

And her desire was for him to be more romantic and to be intimate -- not just want to have sex. We had talked that whole night for four plus hours and his final comment was all of this would just go away if you let me have a girl on the side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there reports that Jason did have women on the side, women who actually testified in the last trial that ended in mistrial.

Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist, this is a pattern. We saw it precisely with Scott Peterson who was having an affair with Amber Frey. He has a pregnant wife and Sharon Rocha, her mother said why not divorce? Why not just divorce?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, first of all, she was talking about the sexual problems in the marriage. The number one cause of sexual dysfunction in a marriage is when one partner is having an affair; so right off the bat that is a red flag in my mind saying ok, that is something that`s going on.

Number two, when it comes down to divorce, very often these guys want to have their cake and eat it too. They don`t necessarily want a divorce. They want a girl on the side and even better if the wife says yes, go ahead have your girlfriend, I`ll take care of the house, I`ll raise the kids; you can have both. So often that`s why they don`t initiate the divorce.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is wild stuff because so many couples are going through this very thing. They`re sexually incompatible and that can only last so long before it reaches a crisis point.

ARCHER: But you know, often it`s not that they are sexually incompatible. It`s one of the partners has already strayed and that actually generates the incompatibility. Usually that comes first. It`s not that they`re incompatible and they go off looking and they find somebody else that they are compatible with. It`s that they`re seeing somebody else and therefore it`s no longer as exciting to have sex with their wife.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and their wife has a child and another on the way and she is focused on the kids and not on him. And he is like an infant wanting the mother`s attention, metaphorically speaking and mommy, who is the wife, is not giving him the attention. And he becomes jealous of that and resentful of the wife. This is a common pattern.

ARCHER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the prosecution argues Jason tampered with hotel room doors and security cameras so he could leave. He claimed he was at a hotel. Leave the door open and drive three hours home, kill his wife and then come back to the hotel. A hotel employee testified. Listen to this.


KEITH HICKS, HAMPTON INN EMPLOYEE: There was a couple unusual occurrences that night. One of our emergency doors was propped open with a rock and one of our security cameras was unplugged.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now that`s pretty darned damning when you combine with testimony from a gas station clerk who insists she sold Jason gas that very morning 40 miles from his home at the very time he claims he was asleep in his hotel room. And she remembers him, she says, because he cursed her out. Sounds like it might be the same person.

Let`s go to the phone lines, Sherry in Alabama; Sherry your question or thought?

SHERRY, ALABAMA (via telephone): Yes my thought is about this case with Young and the sadness of the Powell family. I hope there is not another miscarriage of justice. If this guy gets off trial, I hope and pray to God that he does not get custody of that baby that he left leaving bloody footprints in his mother`s bedroom. Something has got to be done to protect these children. The Powell example is a simple case of miscarriage of justice and I hope and pray to God Young does not have the same thing happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it even is worse than that. Michelle`s sister testified that Jason`s family threatened her, saying she had to support Jason publicly or else. Listen to this.


FISHER: I had kind of a --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you get any response?

FISHER: A heated conversation about us supporting Jason publicly and contacting the newspaper, the media, and saying that we support him publicly. And if we weren`t willing to do that, contact with Cassidy would end.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jason`s family not commenting on that for the duration of the trial but Holly Hughes, former prosecutor, that`s unbelievable if true that they are saying to somebody who actually went to the crime scene, hey, you better support the guy that you think murdered your sister because otherwise we are not going to give you access to your niece.

HUGHES: Well, you know, It`s not surprising to me, Jane, because what we see in these abusive relationships whether it`s emotional or physical abuse, mental abuse, the person say control freak. It`s all about them. And that`s why they feel entitled to push around their wife and to be vulgar with her and to treat her poorly.

So now he is trying to do the same thing to her sister. The sister is just another female to him. And basically what he is doing is holding his own child hostage and saying if you don`t do exactly what I want like your sister wouldn`t do, guess what. I`m going to deny you access to her daughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And imagine Victoria Taft, the impact on this two- year-old child left in this bloody bedroom talking publicly, her talking about mommy`s boo-boos and leaving a baby doll near her battered mother`s head as some kind of support. She was there for hours and hours with her beaten mother before she was discovered.

VICTORIA TAFT, RADIO HOST, "THE VICTORIA TAFT SHOW": I don`t know what -- if anybody could tolerate the thought of the little bloody footprints of a two-year-old all over the house while she`s wailing and wondering what happened to her mother. It is unconscionable. It is absolutely unconscionable what a monster did this.

And as I understand it this is a case of overkill which should tell our experts on the panel a little something about this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. She was beaten 30 times in the head. Her jaw fractured, her teeth knocked out; that is a crime of passion, something personal.

And Dale Archer, the impact on this two-year-old child, will she remember this or is she -- and I am praying, too young?

ARCHER: No, she will definitely remember. And here`s the thing, when you have a child that`s young, you can`t really do therapy with them at the time. But as they get older, these memories start popping into their consciousness; at that point, you do have to work with them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Look at that baby right there. Look at that little child with her mother before the murder. And they are happy. And they are -- look, they look perfect.

And this is one thing that we need to take away from these cases. And I found this book, my book, "Secrets Can Be Murder", the more perfect they look on the outside, the more toxic a relationship can be on the inside. As they say in 12-step, you can save your face or you can save your -- so if you are having problems in your marriage, work them out or get out, but don`t let it fester because it can end in violence.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Imagine fire coming out of your kitchen faucet instead of water. It`s happening all over the United States. We talked to a family last night that told us that this is their kitchen and the fire is coming right out.

And we are going to talk to a guy who was arrested trying to investigate this in Congress, next. What`s going on here? What are they trying to hide?

Kim Kardashian is headed to divorce court; things are getting ugly. It`s a drama that could play out in front of court cameras, believe it or not.

Stay with us. We`ll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fracking is an explosive topic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many are also worried about the possibility of pollution from chemically-treated water used to break up rocks and free trapped gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s coming out again.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s some kind of a horror story; a terrifying mystery happening all over America in ordinary homes -- homes like yours and mine. People turn on the kitchen sink and instead of fresh clean water fire is literally coming out of their faucets.

Just last night on this show, I talked to a Pennsylvania family and they say this flammable water is scaring them and ruining their health.


JASON LAMPHERE, AGAINST FRACKING: Jodie and my boy, they`ve had rashes; and our daughter, she`s had nosebleeds.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This family and many others are pointing the finger at something called hydraulic fracturing also known as "fracking" -- fracking for this weird water. Basically that happens they pump pressurized water, sand and toxic chemicals underground to push natural gas to the surface.

Now the industry insists fracking is totally safe, but then why was a documentary filmmaker arrested and handcuffed for trying to videotape a congressional hearing into fracking? Check it out. .


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a public hearing and we have rights. They are being taken out.

This is a public hearing. I`m within my first amendment rights. And I`m being taken out --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, before we even begun, (INAUDIBLE)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who doesn`t want him to tape a hearing and why is somebody hiding some kind dangerous secret? All right. What do you think? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to my very special guest, director of the Oscar-nominated -- that`s not an easy thing -- documentary, "Gas Land", Josh Fox. Why do you think you were arrested when you tried to go into that house hearing on fracking?

JOSH FOX, DIRECTOR, "GAS LAND": Well, this was a panel that was investigating EPA`s findings in a crucial case involving fracking. The EPA had pointed the finger at fracking as the likely cause of ground water contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming. This is a subject of my documentary and subjects of the film that we`ve been following for 3 1/2 years.

The Republicans in the Congress were actually attacking the science of EPA and they are putting them on trial. We were there to take a look at it. They know what we are reporting on.

So my belief was that -- and it`s very clear from looking at the evidence that we were -- I was put in prison -- not prison, I was put in jail and taken out of the hearing because I think they didn`t want the perspective that I have which is about the families showing what that particular congressional committee was doing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean this is unbelievable. This is America. I don`t care where your politics -- left, right, center. These people work for us. Ok?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we should have the right to go in there and videotape what`s happening at a congressional hearing especially when the average Americans out there from Pennsylvania, Wyoming, all over the country are wondering wow, my ground water or my water is stinky and it`s got flames coming out of the faucet. What`s going on here?

Now, take a look at the Pennsylvania couple I spoke to live yesterday, right here on this show, who showed us how they can light the water coming out of their faucet on fire -- literally.


LAMPHERE: There we go. There you go. Wow. Fourth of July.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s coming out again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They claim their problems with the water started after fracking began nearby. The company doing the drilling insists it is not causing these problems, but this isn`t just an issue in Pennsylvania.

FOX: You know, I have seen this all over the country. And I`ve seen this in other countries where they`re doing fracking. It`s very, very common that you have flammable water. What they`re doing is they inject water at very, very high pressure and that breaks apart a rock formation and the gas and those chemicals are being found in ground water because they have to drill through the water table.

So when you have individual water well that`s plugged in to that aquifer, you can get migration of gas and migration of chemicals into your drinking water aquifer. And this is exactly what EPA found and in this case of that hearing from Wyoming. This is what we were reporting on and we`ve reported on over and over again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you feel this is being ignored by the mainstream media?

FOX: Well, I think it`s gaining a lot of momentum and attention now. I mean fracking was actually one of the top three words in 2011.

And it`s because you have the drilling campaign going on in 34 states. This is a massive -- the largest natural gas drilling campaign onshore in domestic history.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh, we`re going to leave it there. Come back because we`re staying on top of the fracking issue because fire is coming out of faucets.

Don`t go anywhere. We have your laugh break coming up in one minute and it`s a doozy -- hint.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back in a minute, but first we all deserve a laugh break.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted to have sort of a fairy tale wedding with all of her family and friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kim Kardashian is calling it quits on husband number two.

KRIS JENNER, MOTHER OF KIM KARDASHIAN: Certainly wasn`t a sham; certainly wasn`t something for TV. We have enough going on, you know, on our show that we don`t have to make things up. She really felt like she was in love with him.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Kim Kardashian suddenly getting camera shy? Kim might have to show the whole world the uncut, less glamorous side of her real-life drama whether she likes it or not. The star of E`s "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" was willing to take her lavish wedding and 72-day marriage last season.

Now her estranged husband reportedly wants cameras to broadcast their divorce trial to the world; I, for one, am all for it.

Joining me now Mike Walters, news manager, TMZ; why does Kris want cameras in court?

MIKE WALTERS, NEWS MANAGER, TMZ: Well, first of all Jane, I`m all for it, too. Just FYI.


WALTERS: But Kris Humphries -- isn`t this ironic -- Kris Humphries wants cameras to televise the divorce trial because he thinks what is going to happen is Kim Kardashian, the producers, her mom, all those people you hear talking are now going to have to go under oath and discuss how the marriage came about, the engagement, the divorce, the breakup. They have to under oath talk about it so they can`t do the whole this was a script and we made the whole thing up.

If a judge asks you what did you do -- you have to answer under oath the truth. So he thinks reality TV as a whole is going to be exposed that this was all BS and that Kris and all the people around Kim knew it was fake and they created the whole thing from scratch.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, on the season finale of "Kourtney and Kim Take New York", the whole world saw the moment that the newly-wed Kim decided to ended the marriage.



KARDASHIAN: I feel sad. I feel bad for the guy. I changed his whole life and he fell in love with me and I fell love with him and now my feelings have changed. You don`t think I feel bad that I invited all of these people to these huge wedding --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She said she felt bad, but imagine how Kris felt watching Kim tell everybody around her the marriage was over except him. Ok?

Mike Walters, he is actually alleging, is he not, that this marriage was a fraud for ratings purposes?

WALTERS: Well, yes. He`s saying he wants an annulment but to get an annulment in the state of California you have to prove fraud. His fraud, he is saying is that this was created from scratch. The producers knew that they were just choosing some basketball player to be her husband for 72 days. They knew they would get divorced.

The scene that you just saw of her crying all made up from scratch. She`s just a really great actress and they all just set this guy up and frauded him into thinking he was going to marry Kim Kardashian. In the end they all got a good, hard laugh out of him and the rest of us got to watch it on TV. I just don`t know --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, he didn`t come out of like Oz land. He`s a sophisticated guy. Isn`t he the one who proposed? Didn`t he kind of --

WALTERS: Yes, I don`t think he has much of an argument, Jane, to be honest. I just think he wants to perpetuate -- and this is a lot of people around Kim are saying this -- his time is over. He still wants the publicity.

He`s being the guy who wants the press. He would love for this thing to drag out for the next year to get the publicity. That`s all it really is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, I hate to use a cliche, but is it the pot calling the kettle black?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I went out to talk to some folks on the street in New York about the Kardashian dramarama. We`re going to hear what they have to say on the other side.

Always good to see you, Mike Walters from TMZ; he and I used to work together many years ago. He`s all grown up now.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think she married him just as a ratings grab for her reality show?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My face is saying yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s for the money and for the biggest ratings.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it`s not a real marriage and you agree with Kris Humphries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I agree with Kris Humphries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He knew what he was doing. He was involved in the whole thing. It gave them both ratings.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does everybody agree with mom?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to tell you, a lot of people I talked to thought Kim Kardashian`s 72-day marriage was all for ratings but they blamed both of them.

Here`s what Kris told "Access Hollywood" about that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was that marriage real?

KRIS HUMPHRIES, FORMER HUSBAND OF KIM KARDASHIAN: I mean, to me it was real. You know, I would never go through something and do something that wasn`t real or I didn`t believe in. So I can really only speak for myself in terms of that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kind of makes you wonder what the definition of real is.

"NANCY GRACE" is up next.