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More Details Revealed of Josh Powell Murder-Suicide; Madonna Stalker Escapes, Captured

Aired February 10, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you from New York City. Up next, a brand-new image of Josh Powell the day before he killed himself and his two young sons.

Plus, the slow wheels of justice. Why did it take two years for cops to send graphic incest images found on Josh Powell`s computer to a court deciding custody of his young sons? Did it all arrive too late to save those precious boys?


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, secrets revealed in Josh Powell`s double murder-suicide. The social worker supervising his visit with two young sons speaks out, revealing Josh told the boys he had a surprise for them moments before locking them inside his house and triggering the fiery explosion. You`ll hear from her tonight.

And it`s a phase (ph): women across America are being stalked. Now cops say the man who stalked Madonna and Halle Berry got out of a mental hospital. How and why? We`ll examine.

Then more secrets spill out at the retrial of the man accused of murdering his pregnant wife. The victim`s mother takes the stand and talks about a marriage in meltdown over pregnancy. Were warning signs ignored?

And two stories collide. Kitchen faucets on fire and teens twitching uncontrollably. Now some wonder could it be connected to one controversial practice? We`ll investigate.



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

ELIZABETH GRIFFIN HALL, SOCIAL WORKER (via phone): I`m really shocked. And I could hear one of the kids crying, but he still wouldn`t let me in.

He sent several e-mails saying good-bye and stuff. He sent several e- mails saying stuff about how to handle his property, how to cancel the utilities, all that stuff.

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: This is something we believe that`s 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 any more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m feeling so much anger towards Josh right now. So much anger towards him.

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the final moments of Charlie and Braden Powell`s lives, as seen through the eyes of the social worker who handed the boys over to their father just before he blew them and himself up. And the sick trick Josh Powell used to get those boys inside his house.

Plus, new information that there was incestuous porn on his computer. What other toxic secrets were hidden behind those closed doors?

There`s brand-new surveillance photo of Josh Powell at the bank the day before he killed himself and his two young sons. Cops say he took out $7,000.

Social worker Elizabeth Griffin Hall was in charge of bringing those boys to Josh`s house. She told ABC what Powell said to the boys as they went inside to their deaths.


HALL: As soon as the door closed, I heard him say, "Charlie, I`ve got a big surprise for you." And then I heard Braden cry out. And so I knocked and I knocked and I rang the doorbell and I started -- I started yelling, "Josh, let me in."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh Powell was always the sole suspect in the 2009 disappearance and presumed murder of his wife, Susan. But did Josh look like the stereotype in our minds of a killer? Did Josh Powell look like what we think of when we think of a monster? Well, the social worker told ABC, no, he didn`t.


HALL: What I told myself is, how it happened is because Josh Powell was really, really evil and that -- that there was no way -- there was no way to stop him.

He didn`t look like a monster. He didn`t look like somebody who was going to kill his children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could the stereotypes that we have in our minds, the false images, be the very reason why the social worker met with such resistance when she begged a 911 operator to send cops immediately before the explosion, saying she smelled gas and feared for the boy`s lives? Was Josh Powell even then given the benefit of the doubt?

The social worker says she got nothing but attitude from that 911 dispatcher.


HALL: How long will it be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know, ma`am. They have to respond to emergency, life-threatening situations first. The first available deputy...

HALL: This could be life threatening. He went to court on Wednesday, and he -- he didn`t get his kids back. And this is really -- I`m afraid for their lives.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, we are learning it took cops 22 minutes to arrive. Twenty-two minutes. That`s after she`s begging them.

Ever since Susan Powell vanished in 2009, Josh Powell, the man you see here, had been calling the shots, in control to the very end. And now we are learning that he had incestuous images, images of incest on his computer that were discovered by cops back in Utah two long years ago. But he still had custody of his kids until last September, and he still had visitation up until the moment those children died. Why?

The social worker said he didn`t look like a monster. Maybe it`s time to redefine what a monster looks like.

Straight out to Bruce McCain, who is a leading voice in the northwest and also a former captain with the sheriff`s office in a county in that area.

What is the reaction to this new news that cops in Utah had collected incest images from Josh Powell`s computer two years ago, and it took them two years to send them to Washington state, where Josh had moved and was in a custody battle with the parents of the wife he`s suspected of killing?

BRUCE MCCAIN: Well, Jane, I think the issue here is apparently these images were not actually photographs of people to meet the legal definition of pornography. They were animations.

But the real troubling aspect of this is that a Utah judge specified that the lawyer for the Cox family, the grandparents, was entitled to see these images. And by the time that got transmitted from Utah -- the Utah judge out to Washington, the lawyer for the Cox family was not able to intervene in time.

And the social worker aspect is also quite interesting here in the northwest, because here in Oregon where I`m at, state employees supervise these visits. But in Washington, what`s not really being talked about, and certainly we`re not blaming the social worker, but she actually was not a state employee. She`s a nonprofit employee that`s contracted out by the state of Washington to do these visits.

And fortunately for her, had she made it through that front door, Jane, there`s no question that we`d have four bodies to recover, not three. But there`s a couple policy questions here about who actually set up that visit: the state of Washington or the nonprofit contractor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The fact is, he was allowed supervised visitation with his children, even though the authorities, the powers that be, knew that he had images of incest on his computer. That`s why they ordered a psychosexual evaluation.

Susan Powell`s father knew his son-in-law was a monster. But nobody believed him, at least nobody in power. Listen.


CHUCK COX, SUSAN`S FATHER: We warned -- we had been warning the police and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and everybody that he was capable of hurting those children. And we were very concerned.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And if you add that now we`re learning that cops, for two years, have known that there were computer-animated images that depicted incestuous sex found on Josh Powell`s computer. The images discovered in 2009. 2009. It`s 2012.

Only last week Josh Powell was denied the custody of his boys, presumably because of these images. What took them so long?

This reminds me of the Jarred Harrell case. This guy, his roommates turned him over to cops because they found child porn on his computer. They turned over the computer filled with porn months, two months before he killed 7-year-old Somer Thompson, and they said, "Well, we were doing the forensic investigation." What kind of forensic investigation is necessary when there`s porn on a computer? You turn on the computer. You open the file that has the porn and you look at it. And you determine that there is porn on that computer.

Loni Coombs, former prosecutor, are you disturbed about this information coming to light after these boys are dead?

LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Disturbed is the least of the way I would describe this. I cannot understand or comprehend one reason why those photographs would not have been brought to light earlier.

It`s one thing that it took them two years to even bring them to the attention of the Washington authorities. But then just this week, at least those authorities have said, "We`re serious enough about this that we`re going to order a psych eval on Powell." But then they still allowed the visitation to occur a few days later.

How about saying -- I understand parental rights -- but if we have even a question that there might be some incestual issues going on here, why are we handing the boys over to their dad in such a situation?

You know, in these murder cases and they`re looking -- well, we don`t have a body yet, but when they`re looking for the person who is supposedly dead, we still have children that are alive that we need to protect in these situations.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I -- and I couldn`t agree with you more. The judge in the custody case that allowed this supervised visitation, allowed these children to be delivered into that home, was aware of these incest images on the computer. He was aware that this man, Josh Powell, was the sole suspect in the disappearance and the presumed murder of his wife, the mother of the children.

You hear it all the time. "He didn`t look like a child molester. She doesn`t look like somebody who would hurt a child." We have these false images of what criminals look like. And I think that this terrible tragedy makes it incumbent upon all of us to re-examine our preconceived notions of who is a monster.

We like to base these images in our minds on things we see on television or in the movies, but that`s not real life. The fact is that monsters can look like me, like you, like the guy down the block. We never know who the monster is.

So get those phony stereotypes -- I think we can all say this to ourselves -- out of our mind, and start opening our minds to the possibility that people who look like they`re bad may not be bad and people who look like they`re good may not always be good.

We`re just getting started, and we`ve got more on the other side. We`re taking your calls, as well.

Later, a man convicted of stalking Madonna breaks out of a mental hospital, and he has terrified this star, as well as others. We`re going to bring you the latest on that, because stalking affects so many women in America. You wouldn`t believe the number of women in America who are stalked.

And then, inside the mind of an accused killer. Did a husband threaten his pregnant wife? Was this terrible crime all about a couple dealing with whether or not to have a baby? We`ll have the latest on the Jason Young trial.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was hysterically crying, and she said to me, "You have to promise to keep a secret for the rest of your life. I have to tell you something. I`m pregnant. And Jason wants me to abort the baby, or," she said, "he will resent me and the baby for the rest of our lives.




HALL: He won`t let me in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose house is it?

HALL: He`s got the kids in the house, and he won`t let me in. It`s a supervised visit. He went to court on Wednesday, and he didn`t get his kids back, and this is really -- I`m afraid for their lives.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh Powell killed himself, killed his sons, and to lure them into the house, we`re now learning he said, "Hey, I have a surprise for you," then locked out the social worker who wasn`t taken seriously by the 911 dispatcher. It took 22 minutes after her begging and pleading for cops to arrive. By then it was way too late to save these kids.

Despite everything, Josh Powell`s sister still believes that Josh is the victim in all of this and that he didn`t do anything to his missing wife, Susan. Listen to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does an innocent man do this?

ALINA POWELL, JOSH`S SISTER: I can`t put myself in his mind. But I think he must have been just more heartbroken than any of us realized.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Classic co-dependency, if you ask me. Josh Powell`s side of the family, his sister continues to rationalize, justify, minimize, make excuses.

I want to go to Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney. Is this sister masquerading as a nice, supporting sibling? Is there something toxic and dangerous about families remaining in denial, despite the outrageous, reckless behavior of -- deadly behavior of their loved ones?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there`s two sides to this issue a little bit here, Jane. You`re calling it incestuous pornography, but we really don`t know what it is. We`re hearing that it may be animations. Does that mean it`s cartoons? We don`t know the extent of what -- or how bad that is. We don`t even -- I`m not even aware that he was criminally charged with this.

So for us to be able to say that, because he had this, what we`re calling now porn on his computer, somebody should have known that this would lead to this tragedy, I don`t think we can get there. At least I can`t get there around that. I know of no way to really -- to definitively say that. So I understand the family here is saying, "This doesn`t sound like our brother."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Dr. Brian Russell, forensic psychologist, I don`t care whether it was an anime, a cartoon. You have incest images on your computer when you`re the sole suspect in the disappearance and presumed murder of your wife, and that information, A, is not transmitted to the people who need it, deciding custody issues, for two years, and B, the judge knows all this and allows supervised visitation of these kids in this man`s house?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, yes, I think you just hit on the bottom line, Jane. I`m an expert in child custody cases. And I don`t want to beat up too bad on anybody with 20-20 hindsight.

But I think that, if you are a judge in a child custody case and you have concluded that there`s enough of a concern that a parent might pose a sexual violence risk to kids that you`re going to order a psychosexual assessment of that parent, then in the meantime, if you`re going to have visitation be allowed at all, then I think it makes a lot more sense to have it be at a supervised facility of the types that we utilize in my area of the country rather than in that parent`s home...


RUSSELL: ... even if there`s a social worker present.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A park, a restaurant, a play date.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m saying supervised.

RUSSELL: No, a supervised facility, though, where they`ve got professionals on hand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes -- no. OK, yes. I agree with you 100 percent. I mean, it`s -- it`s unbelievable.

More on the other side. But next, the "Viral Video of the Week" that you have been waiting for.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Madonna and Halle Berry in a moment, but first, our Facebook page, we asked for your favorite "Viral Video of the Week," and here it is.







UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Convicted Madonna stalker Robert Hoskins.

MADONNA, SINGER: Hey, pay attention to me. What about me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutors say Hoskins is still thinking the same way he did before being brought to trial. He is still obsessed with Madonna.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe my client is dangerous to -- to Madonna.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn`t want to see him back out again. Because I know when he does come out, he`s going to continue to do this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Robert Dewey Hoskins obviously is still obsessed with Madonna, but he also has violent tendencies. That way if he gets out, he is going to just slice her throat.

MADONNA: I`m ready to go to battle.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Madonna and Halle Berry have something in common with millions of American women. It`s a problem of stalkers. One man in particular, Robert Hoskins, who was convicted of stalking Madonna, escaped a mental hospital. Escapes doesn`t even seem to be the right word. He simply walked away. How is that possible? It drives home the point how easy it is for stalkers to terrorize women, even ones who -- this guy clearly known to be dangerous.

Listen to the LAPD.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he is not on his medications, he`s highly psychotic and can be very violent. He has the potential to be very violent. So we are trying to warn the public that if they see him, they need to stay clear of him and notify us immediately.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: After ten years behind bars after threatening Madonna, saying he was going to, quote, "slice her throat from ear to ear," TMZ says he made a similar threat against Halle Berry. Halle so rattled she reportedly wants to move to France to get away from this sicko.

Joining me tonight, Taryn Ryder from Taryn, we have some good news. Tell us all about it.

TARYN RYDER, CELEBBUZZ.COM: We do have some good news. I`m happy to report that Robert has been found. We saw him right near the mental institution. As you said, he just walked right out of. And he`s back there as we speak.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this guy is a creepy looking -- we were just talking a second ago of how monsters don`t always look like monsters. This guy right here, I guess in earlier days, he looked relatively normal. But then these pictures he`s starting to look more and more demented. The worst part about the story, everybody saw this coming.

Madonna`s bodyguard actually shot this stalker, but he was still aiming to come back for more. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would rate him as the No. 1 predator. And I wouldn`t want to see him come back out again, because I know when he does come out, he`s going to continue to do this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stalking is compulsive behavior, but particularly, Taryn, with celebs, they don`t give up.

RYDER: No, you know what? And I think it has a lot to do with how accessible they seem these days, thanks to Twitter and social media. We know where they are. We know every move that they`re doing. And I think that it`s a good thing in some ways, you know, for fans, but this is when it crosses the line.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Madonna has always been, obviously, one of the most provocative artists on the planet. She taught Lady Gaga everything she knows, in my humble opinion.

Here`s her newest video, "Give it All Your Loving."




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sex appeal can exacerbate this problem, as well.

RYDER: Absolutely. And it`s something that Madonna is clearly known for. But, you know, with these obsessive people, he doesn`t want anyone else to have her. And if she`s flaunting this to the entire world, you know, it`s pissing him off.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And again, this is something that all American women are potentially in danger of. The number of American women who are stalked is absolutely outrageous. Authorities didn`t used to take it seriously. I certainly hope they do now.

Next, pregnant wife murder trial.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That night there was just an eerie feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think my sister is dead.

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I asked Michelle, do you ever get scared at home by yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a brutal, personal beating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These wounds could have been received while using her hands to defend herself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband`s first words were, "I hope to God he didn`t do it."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill your wife, Michelle?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you there when it happened?

YOUNG: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were a lot of things that happened the day his wife was murdered that he can`t explain.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Inside the mind of an accused murderer, so we can understand what`s going on in these very, very sick dynamics -- trapped by his marriage and desperate to prevent a second child from coming into the picture.

Consider this, people. The leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder at the hands of the unborn baby`s father -- a very chilling statistic. And we heard chilling testimony today in the trial of Jason Young, who`s accused of bludgeoning his pregnant wife to death in their bedroom.

Michelle`s best friend describing a very disturbing conversation they had way back in 2003. This gave me goose bumps.



JENNIFER POWERS, VICTIM`S FRIEND: She was hysterically crying and said to me, "You have to promise to keep a secret for the rest of your life. I have to tell you something. I`m pregnant. And Jason wants me to abort the baby or he said he will resent me and the baby for the rest of our lives."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So could that be the motive right there. That conversation happened three years before Michelle`s murder when she was pregnant with their first child. Shortly before her death, she told her therapist that their second pregnancy was planned.

So I don`t quite get it. So far we`ve gotten a vivid picture of a marriage crumbling under the weight of the couple`s sexual problems, his cheating, his gambling, his drinking, his contempt for family life.

Now we hear it was also a marriage with zero boundaries. Imagine both Jason and Michelle`s moms discussing the couple`s problem in the bedroom. You`re going to hear that bizarre testimony in a moment.

With me now, Beth Karas, correspondent for "In Session" is all over this case. Pregnancy -- a pregnant woman is often in a danger zone if there is a dispute about whether or not to have that child and the key suspect is often the man who impregnated her. What was the situation here?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": As you just said, he did not want that first baby. They got married when she was pregnant, which is not what Michelle wanted, her mother testified about that. She really wanted to do it in the right order: to be courted, get married, have a child. She was pregnant before with a different baby before she died in the summer of 2006 and she was in a car accident with her husband and she lost the baby. And then she got pregnant shortly after that, even though she was warned to wait a little while.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is there any suspicion about that car accident that it may have been planned?

KARAS: Well, he was driving and went off the road, but I can`t tell you that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You mean he was never charged in that?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very -- that`s a quinkidink -- whatever they call that.

Sounds like Jason told just about everyone, including his own mother, that he wasn`t getting enough sex. Jason and Michelle`s mom even talked about the lack of sex with each other.


LINDA FISHER, VICTIM`S MOTHER: She only said that the only complaint Jason ever had was that he didn`t get enough sex. Like he talked to you about their sex life? I was shocked. I said, you know, if someone was treating you the way he was treating Michelle, would you want to go to bed with him?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Again, he didn`t want more babies, just more sex. But he was also reportedly having sex with mistresses and there`s a mother and a woman who was very involved in having a completely different kind of family, a white picket fence kind of family with two kids and a yard. And there she is obviously, loving having this child, the first child that was in the house at the time of her murder.

I want to go to Dr. Brian Russell, forensic psychologist, again, so that women can learn something from this tragic case. Being pregnant, you are in a danger zone if the man who impregnated you did not want that child.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Jane, this is actually a young and important area of research in forensic psychology. The stats are still a little bit imprecise, but it`s a serious problem.

And I think when it happens, it`s not because there`s some kind of pre-partum depressive kind of a syndrome in these men. I think mostly what they just are, are psychopathic men who typically are engaged in another relationship on the side and they`re concerned about the effects of fatherhood and financial and personal responsibilities on those other relationships.

It`s very narcissistic. It`s very sociopathic. And my advice to women would be the same as it is -- really to all women because murder is the leading cause of death of women whether they`re pregnant or not. And it`s that if there has been previous violence before, to get the heck out of there, because I think most of the time in these situations, this is not the first violent thing that`s happened in these relationships.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle`s mom went so far as to give Jason, her son- in-law, advice about sex. I`m going to give you a second to let that sink in. Listen to what she told her son-in-law.


FISHER: Make love to your wife instead of just wanting to have sex with her, instead of saying that she looks so pretty, it was like, "Yes, her boobs are really big."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, he`s having affairs. He doesn`t want a child. He`s complaining he doesn`t have enough sex, but obviously he`s having enough sex to conceive children with his wife. What are the toxic dynamics that we can learn from to avoid a similar outcome?

And obviously he`s just on trial here. He has not been convicted. He may be innocent --

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. He`s presumed innocent, correct. But Jane, there are millions of women that have abortions or that have children when their husbands don`t want them to. It doesn`t always lead to murder.

I mean you seem to be making a connection here that says because he didn`t want her to have the child and she did, he then took the next step of murder. This is happening across this country in millions of occasions where there are women that get pregnant and the husband may not want that child. I don`t think you can connect the dots and say from one goes to the other of murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look. It`s because I`ve covered so many cases where you see the exact, same, classic pattern. Look at Scott Peterson. His wife Laci got pregnant --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait a second.

He was having an affair on the side with Amber Frey. She wanted to have a baby. He didn`t. The mother-in-law Sharon Rocha also felt, well, you signed up for marriage. I want to be a grandparent. Everybody wanted that child but him.

I think that these killers, and this guy is on death row, and he`s a horrific killer, I`m not in any way condoning. I mean I`m saying if we don`t recognize a pattern as it exists --

BROWN: But it`s not a pattern. That`s just it, this happens very rarely.

The reason we heard about Peterson was because it doesn`t always happen. That`s what makes it good news. The reason we`re reading about this case is these types of things don`t always happen. There are hundreds and thousands of women that get abortions because their husband or boyfriend may want them to or who don`t. But none of that leads to murder. And there are no statistics to say it does.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I do have a statistic. A, one of the, if not the leading cause of death of pregnant women in America is murder at the hands of the man who impregnated her. I`m not saying Jason Young --


BROWN: The leading cause of death in women is murder, period. That`s the leading cause of death of all women. I mean it`s the same statistic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And generally -- ok. Intimate partner violence is a big problem. But I think it`s exacerbated when the woman is pregnant.

But Beth Karas, weigh in.

KARAS: This is not a leap from he didn`t want the baby so he must have killed her. There`s obviously a lot of other evidence that the prosecution took -- or the police took three years to put together. Now, they had probably cause for an arrest. Do they have proof beyond a reasonable doubt? I don`t know.

Eight jurors didn`t think so the last time around. But there was suspicious behavior on his part that night when he set up his alibi. He never spoke to the police ever; never once inquired about the three-year investigation into his wife`s killer.

BROWN: And he has a constitutional right not to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand that, but how would you react at home if you found out your spouse had just been brutally murdered in your home with your child present and walking around with bloody footprints. Michelle`s mother recalls exactly what Jason first said to her after Jason`s wife`s murder.


FISHER: He said, my lawyer told me I can`t talk to anyone, not even you, which, what do you mean, your lawyer? The other statement was, I`m going to take a hit on the house. And that was another like, what? What do you mean you`re going to take a hit on the house? And all I`m thinking is Michelle is dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Bart, child advocate, your thoughts?

MICHELLE BART, CHILD ADVOCATE (via telephone): I totally disagree with your previous guest there because I think there are patterns and we refuse as a society and by law to look at them. And in this particular case, I want to know if Michelle had attempted to leave him prior to him -- her being killed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. Apparently Beth Karas says no; not aware of it.

Look, we can agree to disagree. We`re not convicting him. He`s on trial. We don`t know if he`s going to be found guilty, but we do have to look at dysfunctional marriages and try to understand how they go south and how when they do go south, it can turn dangerous.

Now on Tuesday we`re going to have two exclusive guests, close friends of the murder victim, Michelle Young, to talk about this marriage and what it was like with husband Jason.

And in minutes, is something called fracking making a group of teenagers twist and twitch? Is it making people sick?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jodie and my boy, they`ve had rashes and our daughter, she`s had nose bleeds.




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: Coming out again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s amazing that what took Mother Nature millions of years to build can be destroyed in a few hours with heavy machinery.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two unbelievable mysteries colliding. Could the teens in upstate New York with the uncontrollable twitching and seizures and the flammable water somehow be connected?

Critics say that the process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking causes the water from faucets to catch fire and get this, they are near -- they are fracking near the school where this medical mystery started.

Take a look. The school is surrounded by six natural gas wells; that`s according to the president of Toxic Targeting. These wells or gas companies pump pressurized water, sand and toxic chemicals under water to push natural gas to the surface.

Now, even though people are saying hey fracking is making me sick, last night I spoke to a documentary film maker who insists that fracking is perfectly safe and has absolutely no effect on people`s health. Listen to this.


PHELIM MCALEER, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: People do get ill, people do get rashes, you know. But no, there`s no scientific evidence or there`s no proof that any of this, any of these illnesses have anything to do with fracking.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Others beg to disagree. Straight out to Walter Hang, president of Toxic Targeting; Walter, tell us about how you got involved in investigating all of this? My understanding is you are not, per se, with an environmental group. You`re with some kind of company and you decided to start investigating.

WALTER HANG, PRESIDENT, TOXIC TARGETING: I live in Ithaca, New York, which is basically above the Marcellus shale formation. And several years ago I began learning how this hydro-fracking was going to be proposed. And the thing that really caught my attention was that the authorities and the gas industry said we`ve never had any problems. Regulations are completely fine. We just need to adopt a few more safeguards and we`re good to go.

And so I looked at New York State`s own data and I identified hundreds of fires, explosions, massive uncontrolled waste water releases. People literally had to run for their lives after natural gas got in their homes. And many of these problems have never been cleaned up.

For example, I found a Perugia (ph) family near Jamestown, New York. Their water got polluted after a gas well was drilled only about 300 feet away. They`re unusual, because they had before testing that showed the water was fine and then after the well was drilled, the pollution level skyrocketed.


HANG: That was documented by the company but the company wouldn`t clean up the water. They actually got a letter from the veterinarian saying "Don`t even let your dog drink this water." So that`s the scenario in New York.

We just have and hundreds of hundreds of fires, explosions, problems that have never been cleaned up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I can see --

HANG: There`s so much concern about hydro-fracking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- you`ve become passionate about this. Last night we had the pro-frackers on and now we`re having somebody who is questioning whether this fracking is very dangerous indeed.

At least 15 students and one adult woman are suffering from apparently uncontrollable verbal outbursts, twitching and seizures. Listen to this from "DR. DREW".



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not good. Not today. I haven`t been for a while. My ticks got worse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some people say hey they`re suffering from conversion disorder, which is sort of a fancy word for mass hysteria. And then others say hey there was a toxic spill from the `70s in the area. But other people think fracking could be the culprit.

This is a map you gave us. What do you say, Walter Hang, it shows?

HANG: Well, you can see that the wells are on the school property. They`re around the school. And at least two of those wells were fracked circa 2008. So the fracking occurs and then the well produces gas. And along with the gas it also produces what`s called "brine". And this brine is highly contaminated with toxic metals such as arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury. It can also be --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to stop you right there and say that we don`t have the school`s side, and we invite any school officials on at any time to give their side, because this is a very complicated case. More in a second.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back in a minute but first you and I deserve a laugh break.






VELEZ-MITCHELL: If those pigs were dogs would there be animal cruelty charges for keeping them in the crates?

WAYNE PACELLE, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Without any question. These breeding pigs are in these cages that are barely larger than their bodies, Jane, for two or three years. They have 7, 8, 9, 10 successive pregnancies on a two foot by seven foot cage. They can`t turn around. They bite the bars because they are so frustrated. They can`t root around and engage in behaviors that are so basic to these animals.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A major breakthrough after another undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States and ongoing pressure. Americans are saying, hey, we want pigs who are living in these confined crates so tiny they can`t even turn around to be able to move.

I warn you, you might find this video very disturbing but trust me it is nowhere near the worst of it.

Ever since this secret was exposed to the nation it`s been a huge controversy. Now Hormel, the maker of food and meat products has agreed to phase out what many call cruel pig gestation crates. This is a major victory for pigs and for the animal protection advocates and of course, all animals.

Look at this video from Farm Sanctuary; this is an organization that rescues animals from the factory farm system and rehabilitates them. This is how pigs are supposed to live with open space, free to roam.

And now we`re going to switch to how pigs are actually kept in factory farms across the country. And as Americans see these images they have become more and more disturbed.

Joining me now, Paul Shapiro, spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States; what is this huge breakthrough?

PAUL SHAPIRO, SPOKESPERSON, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thanks Jane. There has been a breakthrough. We are seeing Hormel, one of the biggest pork producers, agree to phase out these cruel gestation crates that its company and facilities over the next several years. And this comes on the heels of two Humane Society of the U.S. whistle-blowing exposes at two other major pork producers in our country, Seaboard and Prestige, which found thousands of pigs locked inside of tiny cages where they are unable even to turn around for essential their entire lives.

And unfortunately this type of animal cruelty isn`t specific to any one or two companies in the industry. The reality is that most of the bacon, ham and sausage that you can buy in restaurants and grocery stores throughout our country come from these type of factory farms where animals are treated less like the living, feeling creatures they are and more like meat-producing machines.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Hormel issued a statement and here, I`m going to quote it. "With nearly 75 percent of our company-owned sows moving to group sow housing at our farms in Arizona and Colorado. For the purposes of consistent animal handling practices, employee training, personnel transfer and reporting processes we will begin the transition to group sow housing at our company-owned farms in Wyoming before 2018."

Briefly, your reaction.

SHAPIRO: It`s certainly progress. It`s welcome news. It`s more than what many of their competitors are doing. Obviously 2017 is a long way away. But it`s certainly better than what their competitors are doing.

And when you`re talking about a practice as cruel and inhumane as gestation crates we really have to ask ourselves, I mean what have these animals done to deserve this fate? I mean we are locking 500 pounds, social, intelligent animals inside of two-foot wide cells, lining them up like parked cars, preventing them even from turning around, essentially sentencing them to a lifetime of solitary confinement with no parole. What crime have these animals committed to deserve this horrible fate?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I always say it Americans are decent people and they didn`t know about this. This is one of the secrets of the industry. And now they are learning and they are taking action. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In 2008 the people of California voted to eliminate cramming calves and pigs and egg-laying hens into small cages with the now historic Proposition 2. And it basically boils down to people of California saying, hey, we want the farm animals in California that are being raised to be able to lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs so they can turn around freely.

And what always strikes me Paul is that a lot of people are very shocked when they see this video. Again, Americans are decent people. And now that they have seen this, I think there is action happening.

SHAPIRO: There certainly is action happening because the more Americans learn about the routine ways in which farm animals are so cruelly abused on our nation`s factory farms the greater the call for reform is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And remember, pigs are extraordinarily intelligent. Some say they have a higher IQ than dogs.