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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Did Whitney Houston Consume a Deadly Cocktail?

Aired February 15, 2012 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from Hollywood, California. Why did Whitney Houston die? A flurry of subpoenas are issued as authorities hunt for answers.

Tonight, new information about just how dangerous Xanax and alcohol can be when they are used together. Did Whitney down that combo before her death? We`ve got breaking news just in. Our Don Lemon is going to join us in a moment. And I`m also going to talk to one of Whitney`s oldest friends about her genius and her demons.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, investigators uncovering secrets, asking doctors for answers in the death of Whitney Houston. What drugs was the superstar taking and why? And did she mix alcohol with pills? Is this America`s wake-up call to the dangers of prescription drugs? We`re taking your calls.

Plus, beautiful pregnant mom Michelle Young ripped someone`s hair out as she was murdered. An expert witness says that hair was not her husband`s. So who`s was it? Could this new testimony in her husband, Jason Young`s, retrial create another hung jury?

And cops say the house Josh Powell blew up while he was inside with his two little boys was a sham, a place he set up to look like a happy home. This as a new witness comes forward, saying he saw Josh and his two sons at a hotel restaurant the day his wife, Susan, was reported missing. The latest developments in this investigation, tonight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, as the nation mourns and Whitney Houston`s family prepares to bury their daughter, authorities looking to uncover secrets behind the superstar`s death, issuing subpoenas for Whitney Houston`s medical record, investigating her doctors, going to her pharmacies, all to find out who gave her what prescription pills and why.

Whitney`s death certificate just released moments ago. I`ve looked at it. Here`s what jumped out at me. Cause of death, deferred. They`re not making any guesses until the toxicology reports come back.

This is a new photo of Whitney from a week ago, poolside at the Beverly Hilton. We know she visited a throat doctor four days before she died. A close family friend said Whitney was taking the prescription pill Xanax for anxiety, but it wasn`t just Xanax.

Listen to these reports of Whitney`s actions in the days before she died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whitney partied; she drank champagne. She sang.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Whitney we saw was a bit frantic. Kind of manic. She had two beverages in hand.

MIKE WALTERS, TMZ: Xanax, Midol, amoxicillin, and ibuprofen were found in the room.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Xanax plus alcohol. Could that have been the lethal cocktail that took Whitney`s life? Experts say that combination equals playing with fire.

Here`s what I want to know. Why on earth would any doctor prescribe such a highly addictive mood-altering drug, such as Xanax, to Whitney Houston?

One quick Google search would have revealed what we all know, her turbulent history with drug abuse. Prescribing Xanax to someone like Whitney is, in my humble opinion, the height of irresponsibility.

What do you think? Is a doctor responsible for this horrible loss? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Mike Walters from TMZ.

Mike, what is the very latest in the investigation tonight?

WALTERS: Well, Jane, I can tell you about the doctors. We are told the L.A. County Coroner`s Office has subpoenaed about five or six doctor records, also some records from local pharmacies here, where these prescriptions in the room came from.

The issue is, this isn`t a Michael Jackson case, Jane. This isn`t the doctor shopping, the witch hunt to go find these doctors that are supplying an addict that ended up with this tragic death.

Yes, the death was tragic in this case, but they`re not right now looking for this doctor, whoever it is, that was supplying her major, you know, amounts of Xanax. What they`re trying to find out, I`m told, is just did Whitney have any underlying medical issues that she was taking medications for? And if so, they want to kind of track it back to however she got whatever`s in her system, in her system.

And also because if it`s an alcohol and Xanax mixture that could be the possible case here, they want to see how she got it, and like you said, why a doctor would prescribe Xanax to somebody who`s an addict, and what form. I`m told it`s for nerves, because she was performing. But is that exactly what it was? That`s what they want to find out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, right now, we need to explode the myth that you can be sober from hard drugs but still drink and take Xanax and consider yourself sober.

Listen to what one of Houston`s close friends told CNN`s Deb Feyerick, and then we`ve got some breaking news for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He says that, as far as he knew, and he knew pretty well, it seems, that she was clean and had been clean from the hard stuff, from the cocaine and the marijuana, for quite some time. A number of years, as a matter of fact.

But there were prescription medications. She apparently had insomnia, needed something to ease her anxiety, help her to sleep.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re delighted to have CNN`s Don Lemon with us for breaking news that he has just uncovered. Again, there`s this confusion, oh, she`s OK, because she`s not doing hard drugs. But when you`re an addict -- and she went to rehab three times, most recently, less than a year ago -- you can`t do anything, including alcohol. What have you just learned?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I think it`s interesting, you said, in your humble opinion. You know. You would know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, because I`m in recovery.

LEMON: So here`s the thing. Here`s what we found out. And everyone`s saying, "Oh, well, we don`t know. We have to wait till the" -- these are the facts. And this is a very credible source said Whitney`s activities, behavior in the days before her death were erratic, according to a source who was briefed on her activities.

Again, a very credible source is saying that Whitney was overheard complaining about her drinks, days before she died, saying that they were watered down, that there was too much ice in them.

Other guests at the hotel -- this is at the hotel bar and in the pool area. Other guests, Jane, were concerned about her behavior, complained about her behavior. They said she looked intoxicated. She was sweating. She`s a sweater. That doesn`t necessarily indicate anything. She looked out of it. Her clothing was disheveled.

This was all at 9:30, before 10 in the morning, for two days. They said she was seen wandering around. And even hotel staff and guests became concerned. She was by herself at points, but also with an entourage, drinking at the pool, drinking at the bar.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about somersaults?

LEMON: Somersaults in the pool area, jumping into the pool, as well. And here`s the thing. You know that the coroner says prescription drugs were found. The police say prescription drugs. So you have prescription drugs found. And then you are seeing and people know that you`re ordering alcohol and then you`re complaining about it. That gives you an indication of what could happen. It could be a deadly combination.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m so happy that you stopped by to give us that breaking news, because that is a key component of this puzzle.

Critics say Xanax is overprescribed and widely abused. And I talked to somebody today who is in recovery, but who did use Xanax and alcohol recreationally. And she told me -- and then I looked it up and found that it`s true -- they have nicknames for Xanax, druggies do. They call them Xanies. They call them planks. Xanax and booze is a notoriously dangerous combo, and it`s a popular cocktail with drug abusers.

And again, this person I talked to in recovery told me that addicts combine Xanax and alcohol because it maximizes the high.

And Dr. Natalie Strand, it can cause blackouts. It can cause memory loss, and sometimes you just pass out. And actually, I think Jameson Monroe, who is an addiction specialist in recovery and the founder and CEO of Newport Academy, can address this, the dangers of using Xanax and alcohol.

We`ve just heard from Don Lemon, Whitney Houston was using alcohol at the pool in large quantities, reportedly, on the day of her death and the day before. And we know, according to her friends, she was taking Xanax for anxiety.

JAMESON MONROE, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes, Jane, exactly right. And just like your friend told you earlier, I used to take a lot of Xanax and drink a lot of alcohol, as well, because it`s a lot easier to get to that next level. And unfortunately, you do blackout and you do do crazy things, like somersaults into the pool and things like that.

But the problem is, is that when you take a little too many or you take it for too long of a time, Xanax is a central nervous system depressant and so is alcohol. And so when you combine the drugs, you get an exacerbated effect that can stop your organs from functioning. Literally your lungs and your liver and your kidneys and your heart can just stop working for a period of time, and you could definitely die. So I think...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

MONROE: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go to the phone lines, because they`re lighting up. People want to weigh in here.

Annette, Florida, your question or thought, Annette.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Jane. Nice to finally get through to you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: I was on Valium for a while, and I had a friend who died last year from -- she was on Valium, and then when the Valium didn`t do her any good, she went to Xanax.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

CALLER: And then when the Xanax didn`t do her any good, she went to something like, Lortab or Soma. In other words, your body builds up such a tolerance that, when you start adding the alcohol to get what you want to get, as far as reaching that feeling that you want to feel, as far as being in control, as what you think is in control.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Annette, you said it.

I don`t care what Whitney Houston`s anxieties were, respectfully. She`s a great artist. We all have anxieties. But for a doctor to give somebody with her history of substance abuse, with her having gone to rehab three times -- most recently, less than a year ago -- Xanax, I think is the height of irresponsibility. I`d much rather see Whitney Houston alive today with some anxiety than dead. We don`t know that this is the cause of her death, but we are exploring this.

And even America`s drug czar has said today that this is a teachable moment. And that is why, respectfully, we are talking about this. Because people are keeling over across America from similar combinations.

And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. And we`re going to be talking to a good friend of Whitney`s on the other side of the break about her genius.

Also, puzzling new evidence at Jason Young`s retrial. The murder victim found with a clump of hair in her hand, but it`s not her husband`s. What?

But first, drug charges, are they on the horizon in the death of superstar Whitney Houston?

This is Whitney`s childhood church in Newark, New Jersey, where her funeral will be held Saturday, and we will be covering it live. I will be there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we have Whitney sing the first part without music, and I said, God, that`s a terrible idea. Maybe for your film, but not for my record. And then she was in Miami, and she goes -- do the first part.

WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER: And I said, no, this is a great idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do the first part.

HOUSTON: (SINGS A NOTE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I said, this is it. There`s no other way. You couldn`t possibly put music to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What an amazing talent. We cannot forget the genius of Whitney Houston. We are talking about what may have killed her, because even the drug czar of the United States say this is a teachable moment.

But we want to always focus on the fact that Whitney Houston was the full package: an incredible singer, an incredible dancer, an incredible actress. She was all of it. And those kinds of stars don`t come along in Hollywood very often. And that`s why everybody tried so hard to protect her. There used to be rules in place to keep Whitney Houston safe, but while she was, for example, in the bathroom. Listen to this from "Good Morning America."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They didn`t want her to stay in the bathroom for long periods of time. He didn`t understand how they could have allowed her to be in the bathroom for an hour. They would check on her every seven to ten minutes. They timed the showers to make sure she got out at a certain time, because this is what they feared. Something tragic would happen in the bathroom when she was away from everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, her body, tragically, was found in the bathtub, and she had reportedly been taking the powerful prescription drug Xanax for anxiety.

And we`ve been talking, Dylan Howard of Radar Online, of how when you take Xanax, your words can get slurred; your eyes close; your head droops; you can sometimes black out. And that`s not a good thing if you`re in the bathtub.

Now, what have you learned from Radar Online, Dylan?

DYLAN HOWARD, RADAR ONLINE: Well, you mix that with alcohol, and it is potentially a lethal combination. But we`re getting a new insight into Whitney`s final months alive. And a source tells us exclusively that the last few months of her life were anything but sober. In fact, she was binging, on illicit drugs, on prescription drugs and on alcohol.

This source, very credible, goes into detail about how on January 2, she went to a nightclub called Playhouse Nightclub here in Hollywood, drinking cognac, drinking champagne. She left at 2:38, 2:30 a.m., with her on again/off again lover, Ray J, who she spent most of her final few days with.

Also, just a few days later, she was staying at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel here in Beverly Hills, drinking pina coladas, observed by an eyewitness screaming on the phone to someone. Behavior that has been described to us as erratic.

But most tellingly, Jane, we also have heard and been confirmed by a source that Whitney Houston attended a doctor not just on February 7, as has been reported before her death, but also six days earlier on February 2. One must ask the question, what happened when she went to the doctor? Was she prescribed some of these drugs? Inevitably, that will now be the focus of this coroner`s investigation and their subpoenas today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, good information coming out, although it`s disturbing.

I want to go to Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is a friend of Whitney Houston`s and the author of "Redefining Diva." You`re in Las Vegas.

Celine Dion said she was afraid of the club scene, that she didn`t want to go to clubs because of all the -- not only temptations, but sort of the pressure. What is your thought, as you listen to this new breaking information that is coming in on our show about Whitney, according to the these published reports, drinking to excess and partying a lot in the days leading up to her death?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, FRIEND OF WHITNEY HOUSTON: Jane, it`s just so hard to hear these things. Just so very difficult, because you know that those are temptations. Those are temptations. It`s like you`re setting somebody up for failure.

And then when, you know, I listen to what`s been going on and I listen to the little pieces, you know, visiting the doctor, some of the medication, the amoxicillin before, you know, maybe there was something going on. Maybe she was about ready to have an operation to take care of maybe her voice or something.

But, you know, it`s just all so difficult. And there`s another fact, when it comes to these drugs, when we talk about is some doctor at fault or are doctors at fault? When you start talking about superstars, when you start talking about those vibrant blames of spirits and talent out there in this industry, it is somebody`s job, sometimes, to take care of them, in all the ways that they need to be taken care of.

And sometimes it is somebody`s job to take the suitcase across the border to pick up the medication, to bring it back so that somebody is taken care of. So there are many ways that somebody can get the drugs that they need.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More Whitney in a moment, but first, here is your "Viral Video of the Day."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Just on a walk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She refuses to put all four feet on the pavement. Try walking faster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR JOE E. CARTER, NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: We`re hearing a lot of entertainers are going to be here, and we`re excited. The family really has put together a program that`s going to be musical, be happy, be joyful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the pastor -- pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, where Whitney Houston`s funeral services will take place on Saturday. I will be there, reporting live from outside. It will be telecast, and there will be big screens outside the church, so that the many thousands of people who are expected to gather there can watch outside, as America and indeed the world pays tribute to this astounding artist, this amazing artist.

And that`s why we`re so focused on why -- why did she have to die? What killed her? Because she was so loved. It`s an indication of how much she`s cared for that so many people want to know what killed her.

And, of course, we go back to her history of struggles with substance abuse.

I want to play this bizarre scene from Thursday, where Whitney crashes an interview and has an odd encounter with her mentor, Clive Davis, and singer Brandy. Check this out from "E!" News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLIVE DAVIS, PRODUCER: I`ve been paying tribute.

WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER: I love you. This is my baby. This is my dad. My dad. I`ll see you later. I`m going to -- mom. Come say hi to your godfather. Come say hi to your god dad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is some of the odd behavior people were talking about. Whitney gave Brandy a note. So what is their connection? It`s like the six degrees of separation here in Hollywood. Brandy is actually the sister of Ray J

Ray J, best known for making a sex tape with Kim Kardashian, who needs no introduction. That romance didn`t last, if you can call it a romance, and Ray J recently linked to Whitney Houston.

Give us the latest on this.

HOWARD: Well, just a few hours after that interview, she went to a nightclub with Ray J, and there was a confrontation between Ray J, another woman, Stacy Francis, who was an "X Factor" contestant, and another woman. Whitney pushing Stacy Francis, according to an interview she did with a U.K. tabloid today, and also pushing another woman, R&B singer KeKe Wyatt, who is pregnant, and she screamed at her. More erratic behavior.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s so sad.

And I want to go to Dr. Natalie Strand, anesthesiologist. I want to talk about the combination of alcohol and Xanax. Remember, addiction is a disease. Once a person is -- and I speak as somebody in recovery, once you`re -- you`ve got that stuff in your system, you`re not accountable. You can`t blame somebody, because they`re not accountable.

DR. NATALIE STRAND, ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Well, it`s true. I mean, the combination of alcohol and benzodiazepines, so alcohol and Valium or alcohol and Xanax, is a truly dangerous combination, as we`ve been saying. Not only are drugs like Xanax addictive in their own right. So if someone has a history of abuse, they are going to have a higher likelihood of abusing that drug and becoming addicted to that drug, too, even if their previous addiction was alcohol.

But once you combine the effects of drugs like this, the sedative effect, with the sedative effects of alcohol, you get a deadly mixture.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we have much more on the other side. Information coming in during this broadcast, and we`re bringing it to you. More in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new focus right now on the prescription drugs found in Whitney Houston`s hotel room.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: And it doesn`t always take an overdose to kill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The L.A. County coroner`s office says they`re trying to find her medical records, and they do want to track down her doctor.

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: One of the other things we`re told she did before her performances is take a drug called Xanax.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We tell patients, do not mix this with alcohol.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whitney Houston will be remembered as much for her personal demons as her success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation into Miss Whitney Houston`s death is ongoing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of different speculation concerning her history of drug abuse, alcohol issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, what killed Whitney Houston? This genius, this woman we all loved so much. Subpoenas issued for her medical records and some doctors are being talked to at the very least, possibly investigated. Why would anybody, for example, prescribe Xanax to a person who is struggling with sobriety? Whitney`s death certificate, I`ve got it right here, just released moments ago. Cause of death -- deferred. We`re not jumping to any conclusions until the toxicology report comes back, but we`re hearing a lot of breaking news in this show. Various sources saying she was drinking a lot in the days leading up to her death. And she was also, according to a close friend, and according to other published reports, taking Xanax for anxiety.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY PRICE, SINGER: Whitney partied, she drank champagne. She sang.

TOPHER GAUK-ROGER, SAW WHITNEY THURSDAY WITH A DRINK IN EACH HAND: The Whitney we saw was a bit frantic, kind of manic. She had two beverages in hand.

WALTERS: Xanax, Midol, amoxicillin, and ibuprofen were found in the room.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my very special guest, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack. Congresswoman, I`m thrilled that you want to hold hearings on prescription drug abuse on Capitol Hill. Listen let`s be real, as a nation. I`ve been talking to people all day, yes, druggies abuse Xanax. They mix it with alcohol. It gets them a terrific high. It`s a deadly combination. Why would any doctor prescribe Xanax for Whitney Houston? One Google search, Congresswoman, would show that she`d struggled for years -- we all know it -- with substance abuse.

REP. MARY BONO MACK (R), CALIFORNIA: Well, Jane, it`s a great question. You do have to ask, who is this doctor? What was he thinking? Why did he do that? Unfortunately, this is too common a story now in America. And I just want to say, something I`ve heard over the past few days about Whitney`s death is when somebody said, you know, she had cleaned up her act and she was off of street drugs, but now she was on prescription drugs.

And I think that`s the perfect example of what we`re faced with right now. This battle that we`re faced with, this epidemic of prescription drug abuse, it really is killing not only adults; not only entertainers, but it`s also killing our kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are so many critics out there. There`s a growing chorus that say, look, doctors are routinely overprescribing highly addictive, heavy duty narcotics when maybe a chat, maybe therapy, maybe a massage, maybe many other things would be better substitutes.

And there`s also sense and that`s that perhaps the U.S. government, Congress, et cetera, we`re not doing enough, because it`s a very powerful lobby.

The bottom line is, people are getting very rich, even as Americans keel over and OD on prescription drugs -- Congresswoman?

BONO MACK: Well, you have absolutely hit the nail on the head here. And first of all, I think prescriber education is something that we should focus on. Any doctor who wants to prescribe these powerful narcotics needs to have a basic education as to the abuse prevalence, as to, you know, all that`s happening.

I think the question on why a doctor would give, you know, Whitney Houston Xanax when she was clearly an addict, you know, there are a lot of questions to be answered. Also, I want to look at the supply chain. Why is it that 958,000 pounds of pills were taken back by the DEA in only three days? 958,000 pounds of pills taken back -- I mean, we are overprescribed, America is clearly overprescribed by physicians.

And you know, I`m welcoming a conversation with the AMA. I want to talk to them. I want to talk to their doctors about how they can be part of the solution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, do you think that Congress has the political will to do something about this, because wouldn`t the members of Congress who actually stood up and said enough with this get targeted by the very powerful lobbyists that don`t want to see the use of prescription drugs diminish?

BONO MACK: Well, you`re right. There is money all the way down the supply chain, from the manufacturers to the distributors to the pharmacies, to the pharmacists. I mean, there`s money to be made throughout it. There`s no doubt.

But in Congress, you know, it is kind of hard. If I put on my Facebook or if I tweet something about prescription drug abuse or the epidemic with prescription drug abuse, I get a lot of comments back. Some are very supportive, but some folks are saying, why don`t you focus on jobs?

You know, this is an issue that deserves the focus of Congress. I think there is no more critical issue than we can focus on right now than attacking this prescription drug epidemic head on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to say, Congresswoman, you are my new hero for having the guts to talk about this. Because I`ve actually gone to Congress about various issues and sat down with certain members of Congress and said, hey, look at this. And you can see the fear in their eyes. They don`t want to be targeted by anybody, so they play it safe, and you`re not playing it safe and I applaud you for that. And let`s talk again soon.

And I want to cover your hearings and I really hope that this is the tipping point and that everybody realizes, we can`t just ignore the big SUV in the room, which is prescription drug abuse.

Thank you, Congresswoman, and please, keep up the fight.

BONO MACK: Thank you very much. Appreciate your help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

All right. I want to go to Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, who`s been very patiently waiting throughout this entire show, but taking it all in. What can America do, Wendy?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: And I`ve been learning so much, Jane, and I really appreciate your focus, not just tonight, but since your show started on the medical problem of addiction. Good for you.

You know, I`ve a couple of thoughts about this. One is that -- and I`m always fond of law enforcement doing more. And there`s no question that at this point, it`s not a criminal investigation. But I`ll tell you this much. If there`s even a hint of a doctor knowing that she was an addict and was giving her further addictive drugs, California has a law for that. And we can criminally prosecute doctors who give addictive drugs to known addicts.

And I hope that they are prosecuted, if that`s how it turns out. We also, I think, need to ask ourselves whether we`re walking in the wrong direction ideologically in this country, because when we talk about helping people who can`t help themselves, the liberals and more importantly the libertarians say, "In a free country, we have to let people do what they want, including drugging themselves to death. If that`s how they want to live, let them do it in the name of freedom. That`s what America`s all about, freedom."

I don`t want to live in that America, Jane. I want to live in an America where we see someone in this stage of addiction, on her way to death, whether she`s famous or not. And we say, we have a collective responsibility to do something, anything, because we think life matters more than freedom, in that style of freedom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that is a very interesting conversation that we can probably spend several hours talking about, but at least we`re opening the door here. And I think that`s the most important thing, is that we don`t want Whitney Houston to have died in vain. If this is something that will change the national culture, that would be, I think, the most important thing that could happen because, honestly, we are in a pandemic.

And people have been tweeting me and e-mailing me and saying, wait, what about my neighbor who OD`d? What about my mother who got hooked on some muscle relaxer, and now they`re saying she has dementia? What about this person, what about that person? We`re looking at Whitney, but, really, it`s the tip of the iceberg and we need to wake up to a major crisis.

Up next: new testimony about hair evidence. Could it prove that Jason Young didn`t kill his beautiful, pregnant wife? That she struggled with somebody else? Keep it right there. We`re digging deep.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are they kidding? You think you`re busy, I`ve got two cell phones, and oh, everybody breathing down any my neck. Here`s our show team, they`re working like crazy.

When do I have time to exercise? Never. So here`s a secret. I`m going to show you. Look at this. I have basically slapped a gym right on to my own body. Look. I walk around with weights on my arms and my legs, and I`m getting a workout as I go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think my sister`s dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what happened to mommy? Did she fall?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She got boo-boos everywhere.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found her face to be horrific.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, my lawyer told me I can`t talk to anyone, not even you. Which, what do you mean, your lawyer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a trail of blood drops in from the bed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other statement was, I`m going to take a hit on the house. That was another, like, what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several lacerations, split teeth, missing teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no cuts on his hand, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no scratches?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No bruises?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No bruises.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a crumbling toxic marriage that probably should have ended in divorce instead ended in murder. Will a new twist in the courtroom today force a second jury to possibly declare a second mistrial?

Prosecutors say the murdered woman`s husband, Jason Young, wanted his pregnant wife dead because he was desperate to be single and not burdened with a second child. He`s accused of bludgeoning his pregnant wife to death in their bedroom, after staging an elaborate alibi that would have him asleep in an out of state hotel room.

Prosecutors say he actually drove from that hotel to murder his wife and then slipped away. But here`s the catch. There were strands of hair found in Michelle`s hand and under her body. They had been ripped out, possibly from her killer`s head. But those hairs came from someone other than the defendant, her husband, Jason Young.

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JEN REMY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: I saw that there were approximately 50 hairs present, and they were 25 to 27 centimeters long, brown and wavy, medium thickness. And I said, they`re not consistent with the head hair standard submitted from Jason Young.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: As you can see, the suspect -- and you`ll see him in a second -- does not have wavy brown hair. Straight out to "In Session`s" Beth Karas, who was at the trial in Raleigh, North Carolina; you`ve been all over this case. This is very startling. How will prosecutors deal with this the twist?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, you know, Jane, just a little while ago, at the end of the day, jurors heard from a DNA expert, who said that those hairs ripped from the head were Michelle Young`s own hairs. So there is no more mystery. What seemed like a mystery earlier in the day was solved. It kind of has a neutral effect. A lot of times, in a brutal killing, victims have their own hair around their bodies or even in their hands.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s interesting, because the first thing I thought of was, well, maybe he brought, if he did do this murder, somebody else`s hair around to stick in her hand to make it look like there was somebody else there. We know that there were footprints, bloody footprint all around. Did those bloody footprints match the defendant, the husband, Jason?

KARAS: Well, that testimony`s still to come, but they were able to determine, and I know this from the search warrant affidavit, that one of the prints is pretty distinctive from a Hush Puppy shoe that was no longer manufactured in 2006 when the print was left.

They found a DSW charge card, did a search at DSW and found that Jason Young a year earlier in July 2005 bought a pair of Hush Puppies that had that kind of sole. And those shoes were never found in any of the searches.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shades of the O.J. Simpson trial. Remember, the shoes there, the Bruno Mali shoes.

KARAS: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One second, Jason is talking to his wife at home. The next he is dialling up his mistress, who just happens to be his wife`s sorority sister. Check this out.

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EDDIE MCCORMICK, WAKE COUNTY POLICE: So he makes a phone call to Michelle Money (ph) at 11:26 for 2 minutes and 32 seconds. And this is, you know, immediately hanging up the phone with his wife. He wakes up in the morning and the first one that he called is his mother, and then Michelle Money. That was a clue to me that there was something going on.

So we knew fairly early on that there was somewhat of a relationship and that Michelle Money was important to him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Defense attorney and Huff Po contributor Michael Semino (SIC), it sounds like he`s got his mistress on speed dial. You know what I see with many of these cases, the family looks perfect on the outside, but scratch the surface and these toxic secrets pop up.

Another common denominator, the husband is living a double life, just, for example, like Scott Peterson did, and he also murdered his pregnant wife.

MATT SEMINO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Jane, there`s obviously dark secrets here in this marriage. And that`s what the prosecution is being very successful in doing, in building this highly circumstantial case. They`re showing that Jason Young was a philanderer. He was a bad husband. He had these mistresses. And that he had the motive to want to get out of this marriage and to kill Michelle Young.

But their biggest weakness as we`ve seen with the testimony so far is that they don`t have the DNA and evidence to link Jason Young to that murder scene. And in this day and age of the CSI effect as we saw with Casey Anthony, jurors want to see hair fibers. They want to see DNA. They want to see fingerprints. They want to see blood. And the prosecution hasn`t been successful so far in presenting that to them. And that`s a big weakness in their case, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jason Young is a man of many contradictions. He told his wife, no more kids. Yet he had unprotected sex that produced a pregnancy. While he was having affairs, he also complained to his wife that he wasn`t getting enough sex. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He would say things, like, hey, how`s about a hot beef injection. And she`s like, that`s disgusting, that doesn`t make me want to be romantic and love my husband. His final comment was, you know, all of this would just go away if you`d let me have a girl on the side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Matt Semino, we always wonder, why do these men who want their freedom get married, and when they don`t have their freedom anymore, they have mistresses, why don`t they at least don`t conceive another child and possibly get divorced?

SEMINO: You`re absolutely right, Jane. I mean, murder is not the answer. Divorce is the answer. And, obviously, Jason Young, he wanted out of that marriage. He should have asked for a divorce. And if he wanted to have the mistresses on the side, he should have done that and not allegedly murder -- got -- did the murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Beth and Matt. We`re staying on this story and following this trial. Don`t go anywhere. We`ve got, and I think we need it, a laugh break coming up in just one minute.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m really shocked. I could hear one of the kids crying. They still wouldn`t let me in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s sending weird e-mails. He`s saying (INAUDIBLE). He sent several e-mails saying stuff about how to handle his property and something. How to cancel utilities -- I don`t know.

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: New details emerging in the Josh Powell murder, homicide and suicide. Cops say the home where Josh murdered his two young sons and then killed himself, blowing the whole house up, this home was a total sham.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of believe that he was using that mostly as a kind of a prop. That he was mostly spending the time with -- at the other residence.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. Police think Josh only rented that house to dupe Child Services into thinking it was a happy home for his two boys to visit. Josh is considered suspect number one in his wife, Susan`s disappearance and presumed murders.

Straight out to Anne Bremner, the attorney for the missing woman`s family; your clients devastated by everything they have lost. What`s the family`s reaction to this news that this was some kind of fake house?

ANNE BREMNER, ATTORNEY FOR SUSAN POWELL-COX`S FAMILY: Well, I mean Jane, the hits keep coming. Just when you think it couldn`t get any worse, it does in this case. But yes, it`s a staged house, as I understand it, with some pictures of Susan on the wall. Of course, a nice touch, right? Given that there is probable cause to believe and we believe he killed her. But yes. There was really nothing else.

So why wasn`t the state or the case worker looking through the house to see if he lived there? Where are his clothes? Where is his (INAUDIBLE)? What is in the kitchen? Nothing. The question really is, did he set all this up to kill them? Because it was just a place to do it? Or was this just something to say I want to have the kids so you can look at this and you`ll have a blind eye to the fact that I don`t live here, case worker because you`re not thorough and I can go ahead and get the kids from here to eternity. It is just not clear. But wow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is outrageous, actually, given that he is a suspect in the disappearance and presumed murder of his wife, the boys` mother. And let`s not forget that it took authorities so long to produce the fact that he had an animation of incest on the computer.

BREMNER: Oh, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Something that Child Services, I guess, or your family`s attorney didn`t even know about at the time when these children were given permission to go into that home.

BREMNER: Right. And Jane, that was from 2009. It was incestuous -- these images. And as for the (INAUDIBLE) police who promise us over and over they`re going to arrest for the murder of Susan. This goes back to august when they made these promises.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

On the other side, you said the hits keep coming. There is another bizarre development and it really is too bizarre for words almost. Next

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBIN LEANNE SNYDER, SHE SAYS SHE SAW JOSH THE MORNING SUSAN WAS REPORTED MISSING: I was standing behind Charlie. Charlie looked right up at me. He said do you know what happened to my mom? I went to say, no, what happened to your mom?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, Anne Bremner, you represent the Cox family, the parents of the missing woman. Apparently there now this new report that somebody said they saw Josh and his sons at a hotel the day that Susan went missing?

BREMNER: Yes and just interviewed two weeks ago. This is someone that contacted the police back at the time. It is just unbelievable.

Also, Jane, I don`t know if you heard. Josh`s family is trying to bury him next to the kids right now -- honestly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh.

BREMNER: Honestly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I assume --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your clients will fight that.

BREMNER: We`re fighting it but the community of Seattle Ed (INAUDIBLE), Ron and Don, all these great people crime stoppers out here paid for the plots next to the kids so that Josh Powell can`t be buried there. That`s the one good thing that has come out of this in weeks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Great seeing you, Anne.

"NANCY GRACE" is up next.

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