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Woman, 47, Goes Missing on Cruise Ship; Children Discovered Living on Bus

Aired March 8, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City.

Nightmare on the high seas. A beautiful 47-year-old woman goes missing on a cruise from the Bahamas to Florida, and now her family is demanding answers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, a mystery at sea. A woman vanishes during a cruise somewhere between the Bahamas and Florida. She was on vacation with her boyfriend, but now her family is raising questions about their relationship. He was apparently the last person to see her. Does he know more about what happened?

And why does this keep happening? Remember that handsome honeymooner who disappeared on a cruise?

Then a jury reaches a verdict in the case of an ex-LAPD detective accused of murdering her romantic rival, never suspecting the killer could be one of their own. It took cops 23 years to connect Stephanie Lazarus to the crime. Prosecutors say she beat and shot her ex-boyfriend`s wife to death. Did the jury agree?

Plus an overnight sensation you`ve got to see. A viral video aims to take down a notorious war lord, accused of abducting kids, forcing them to fight in his army and serve as sex slaves. In just days, it`s got millions and millions of views. We`ll tell you about it, and we`re taking your calls for the hour.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A female passenger in her 40s went missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told investigators he last saw her at the gift shop late Tuesday night while the ship was still near the Bahamas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometime between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m., investigators say a female passenger in her 40s went missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s unfortunate that he waited that long. But once he did inform us, we -- we notified the Coast Guard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any investigation, the time is of the essence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The search for answers and for the woman presses on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a mystery disappearance on a cruise ship reveals a tumultuous relationship filled with secrets. Forty-seven-year- old mother of two Fariba Amani disappeared overnight between the Bahamas and Florida while on a cruise with her boyfriend. Her family is scrambling for answers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been a nightmare. It`s been very emotionally disturbing. The questions -- the questions that we have, we`re not getting answers to.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s what we know tonight. Fariba last seen at 1 a.m. at the cruise ship gift shop on February 29. Her boyfriend of eight months, Ramiz Golshani, he left her to go to the casino and then went to bed alone, and when he woke up, she was nowhere to be found. Cops questioned Golshani, but say he is not a suspect. However, the family isn`t buying it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it was accidental. She didn`t drink. She couldn`t have just stumbled and fallen off board.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fariba`s sister says that the couple, well, they were on the rocks, according to here, and that the missing woman thought Golshani was cheating on her, even though the couple had dated for eight months.

Her sister also says the family of the missing woman had never met him, and they claimed he has not reached out to the family since Fariba went missing.

What do you think happened? We`re going to talk to an attorney in a very similar case. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks. Mike, what are you hearing tonight?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you know, officially they said that the FBI didn`t think there was any foul play, Jane, but is there now? Well, you know, she lives in Canada. This happened somewhere in the high seas over -- could be somewhere between 900 miles from where they left and where they docked.

Now there are no -- there`s no evidence so far that there was anything on any surveillance videos. When you get onto one of those ships, you`re given basically a pass, almost like an I.D. It doesn`t show her accessing any kind of doors leaving the ship after it docked or maybe she could have gotten off before he got up. Nothing at all like that. It just basically looks like a high-seas mystery that we`ve seen too many of, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to tell you, speaking of too many of, Mike Brooks, you`ll remember this case. This reminds me of that other famous case from a few years ago, George Smith. You probably remember this.

George and his fiance took a Mediterranean cruise for their honeymoon. What a handsome couple. However, one boozy night after a lot of drinking, George simply disappeared, leaving behind only a bloodstain on the canopy. His family is still waiting for closure.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have no closure about my brother`s death, because we have no answers. George hasn`t surfaced, so we have no body to bury. And we have no grave to pray at.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops were never able to find out exactly what happened, whether it was an accident or murder, even though four men who reportedly helped a very intoxicated George back to his hotel room were questioned.

So I want to go out now to the attorney for the family that is still fretting over this unsolved case. Brett Rifkin, thank you for joining us tonight. I`ve got to ask: Are cruise ships just, you might say, the perfect crime scene?

BRETT RIFKIN, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE SMITH`S FAMILY: That`s scary to hear that. We`re hearing that more and more. And you know, with the millions of passengers that go on cruise ships each year, to hear people refer to it as the perfect place to commit a crime, it`s scary. But many people think so. And you don`t see many crimes getting solved on cruise ships. You hear very little successful prosecutions against anyone.

Yet, we do know that there`s a lot of activity occurring on cruise ships. I`ve been doing this kind of work for 30 years here in Miami, and there`s been an increasing number of crimes as these ships have grown over the years. Yet, you see very few successful prosecutions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when George Smith went missing while the cruise ship was out to sea, that was in the Mediterranean, if I remember correctly. There was a lot of confusion.

And so there was a question about who should handle this case. I want to go to Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and law professor. In this case, we are talking an area between the Bahamas and Florida. Ten thousand square miles is what the Coast Guard and other authorities have been combing to try to find any -- any just clue or hint of this missing woman. And they have not found a single thing.

Again, you can`t put crime-scene tape up in the water. It`s a perfect place to hide evidence. It`s a place where evidence sinks and is often never seen again, Wendy.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. I mean, that`s such a good way to think about it. There is no way to put up a crime scene tape, Jane.

And yet, there is the possibility that a piece of her clothing or something could float up. So I hope they will continue to look for artifacts like that. The problem is, if they find something like a missing piece of clothing, there`s still the question, how did she get there?

And you know, without a confession or a videotape, these crimes are so difficult to solve.

I do -- I do wonder why, with so many people disappearing on cruise ships in increasing numbers, why they don`t have more videotapes at every edge of these ships where you could conceivably dump a body in this ocean. You know, I do think cruise ships can and should be doing more.

They are often safe. There`s no question about it. But being the perfect crime scene, I think, is an understatement, given that, you know, there is no way to get forensics in a case like this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the other thing is this woman was not a drinker. Most of the time when there was a question about, well, the person went overboard. Usually, they`re intoxicated. If Fariba wasn`t drinking, you`ve got to wonder, how did she disappear, presumably off the side?

Now, she did board at the last port. We know that. So that means she had to have gone overboard either by accident or on purpose.

Now take a look. We`re going to show you video of the actual railing on this particular cruise ship from which she disappeared. That railing, there it is, right there. And that`s the railing on one part of it. You get to your room, I remember on cruise ships, the railing is a lot sturdier. But it`s a tall railing.

Mike Brooks, how would somebody just go over that railing if they were sober, if they weren`t drinking?

BROOKS: Well, you know, there have been reenactments of cases have happened on ships. That one where -- they never found the other -- man on the honeymoon. Could it happen? Absolutely.

Now, her relatives say she hasn`t -- she doesn`t drink. What do we know was going on in this particular case? We don`t know. One of the things investigators will have to do is go back to their count. Because usually, it`s not pay as you go. You usually put it on your room. So was -- how much alcohol was on that particular room? What other expenditures were there on board that they used with the little swipe card?

These are all things that the FBI, working in conjunction with the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, hopefully are looking into. In this particular case, I`m sure they are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Whitney, Tennessee, your question or thought, Whitney.

CALLER: Yes, Jane. I feel like that these cruise ship tragedies are happening way, way too often. Like once every couple of weeks you hear something like this happening. I understand the woman wasn`t drinking. Have they questioned the husband in what has happen yet?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know if we have Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter. I know she`s been looking into it.

Michelle Sigona, what do you know about whether this boyfriend has been questioned? I would presume that that`s the first thing he would do is question him, since he reported her missing.

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (via phone): Absolutely, of course, Jane. As soon as the FBI determined that it was, in fact, their case, there`s a number of things that they take into consideration determining if they are going to take it -- take it over and to move forward.

Then they can move forward with investigative type things, as in questioning every single person that was on board, questioning the boyfriend, questioning all family members prior to her even leaving and going out there to see what happened.

Another thing, earlier this evening, I was talking to the FBI. Something that was interesting to me was that between 2002 to 2007, there were 258 cases of crimes on the high seas. One hundred and eighty-four of those, specifically with cruise ships. And the most common reported on cruise ships, the most common crime is actually sexual assault.

And out of those years, Jane, five percent of those cases are -- were missing persons. And about four of them only represented foul play. So there`s really been a lot of research done into this as far as cruise lines and missing persons and, you know, cases along this way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me tell you this, Michelle Sigona.

SIGONA: I haven`t looked into three different investigators from the FBI...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I`m going to tell you on the other side of the break is that the family of this missing woman has some suspicions. We`re going to talk about their suspicions, what`s behind it, and also what this boyfriend has to say. Again, he is not considered a suspect, but the family has a lot of questions and says that she had suspected he was cheating on her.

We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Then a little bit later, the verdict is in for a decorated LAPD detective. She`s been convicted of murder. Brutally murdering her ex- boyfriend`s wife in a fit of jealous rage. Unbelievable back story to this. Why did it take a quarter of a century the first night at sea? A mother of two vanishes on a cruise with her boyfriend. Her family is desperate for answers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been a nightmare. It`s been very emotionally disturbing. The questions -- the questions that we have, we`re not getting answers to.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to be her voice, her eyes, her speech, you know, everything that she can`t do, we want to do for her right now, because we know if the tables were turned she would do exactly that for us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Forty-seven-year-old Fariba Amani, missing on the high seas. Last seen, according to her boyfriend, at 1 a.m. at the gift shop on the cruise ship. He didn`t report her missing, however, until the next morning after the cruise ship had docked.

So given the distance traveled over that time, the Coast Guard had to search 10,000 square miles between the Bahamas and Florida.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a large area to cover. Of course, it makes it more difficult to determine where in that search area something may be.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meanwhile, her family is saying that she had suspected her boyfriend was cheating, that she even consulted a private eye, although she never hired him, and that this was to be the make or break trip. If it didn`t go well, she would break up, and now she is missing. Mike Brooks, your thoughts?

BROOKS: Well, I`ll tell you, it doesn`t seem like there`s a lot of evidence. That`s one of the problems. And when they arrived on Riviera Beach, they called the FBI. FBI called the Coast Guard. They started an air search, a sea search, nothing. Nothing whatsoever.

But one of the other things they`ll try to do is was there anybody pictured? Try to find out, maybe people who were in adjacent rooms, did they hear any fighting during the course of -- during the course of the trip? Was there anything at all like that, volatility in the relationship there on the ship? These are all things -- these are questions I`d want to know as an investigator, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure. And again this boyfriend is not a suspect. And even though Ramiz Golshani isn`t talking, reportedly, to his missing girlfriend`s family. He did talk to the "Vancouver Sun," saying, quote, "You don`t know what happened to me over the last week. I haven`t slept for ten hours in one week. Last week at this time we were sitting and watching a comedy show on the ship. Two hours after this, she was missing. I am missing a loved one. Both families love her. We want her safe back home right now."

We reached out to this boyfriend have not heard back. He`s invited on our show any time at all.

Out to the phone lines. Waddell, North Carolina, your question or your thought, Waddell.

CALLER: Yes, my condolences go out to the family of the missing young lady. And second of all, I`d like to share that I have gone through a very tragic experience on a cruise ship. And Ii think they really need to take a close look at the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened to you, briefly?

CALLER: ... have free reign all over that ship. And also, I want people to know that there are international, foreign soil -- when they get on the cruise ship. And I also want people to be aware that when they`re on that cruise ship down the stairways and the little tunnels and all, that those are places that people need to always be accompanied by somebody. Because when it`s time...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sir, you make some very, very good points. I want go back to Brett Rifkin, who represented the family of George Smith, who vanished from his honeymoon cruise in 2005, still an unsolved case. Brett, he`s making good points. The cruise ship staff, et cetera.

RIFKIN: They`re excellent points. And you know, this all goes back to your first question. Is this a perfect place to commit a crime? You`ve got to wonder how can somebody just vanish from a cruise ship without a trace and the families get no answers. There should be surveillance cameras. There should be more of a police force on board there.

And you`ve got to take into consideration, and this gentleman is exactly right. That`s why we were talking earlier about the number of sexual assaults that happen on cruise ships. There are thousands of crew members from different places all over the world.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The boyfriend, we reached his home. Not ready to comment yet.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kids abandoned in a school bus in a second. But first, your "Viral Video of the Day."






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where`s your mom at?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For 14 months this 11-year-old girl and her 5- year-old brother called this abandoned school bus home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The children are obviously unkempt, and there`s an odor about the residence and the children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a school bus with secrets. Two innocent children, a brother and sister, found living alone in deplorable conditions on that abandoned school bus.

A heroic postal worker calls cops when she finds the kids living on the school bus unsupervised. The neighbor says 11-year-old girl and 5- year-old boy always had dirty clothes on, never wore shoes, even in winter.

Listen to this little girl describe her bus/home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got hot water, cold water. We have a full bathroom, shower, toilet and sink. And some shelves. We have two faucets. We have a pair of bunk beds.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Children are so resilient. She`s trying to make the best of a horrific situation. A great aunt supposed to be taking care of them. Well, she doesn`t sound so great right now, does she?

Oh, and where are the kids` parents? In prison.

Straight out to senior investigative reporter with KTRH News, Joe Gomez. What do you know?

JOE GOMEZ, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KTRH: Yes, Jane. This is a shocking story. An 11-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother living on this abandoned bus in the middle of the woods. Investigators say they had been all alone for some months. There was trash strewn all over the floor, food all around. They said the odor was horrendous.

Neighbors report seeing these kids run through in the middle of the night, in the middle of the woods, in bare feet, like they were unkempt wild animals.

Now, a great aunt was supposed to be watching the kids. She says she works 12-hour shifts, so she could only watch them at night. The parents, meanwhile, Jane, as you mentioned, they`re locked up serving cold time in prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s some key facts about the parents of these two kids. The mom and dad serving 18 months for defrauding victims of Hurricane Ike, to the tune of $126,000. The mom reportedly getting out in 30 days and plans to straighten things out.

Who dropped the ball here, though? When the justice system sends two parents to prison, aren`t they supposed to keep track of the kids and make sure these kids are not just left to freeze to death or have this happen to them?

I want to go to Constable Rowdy Hayden. You`ve been out at the scene. Thank you for joining us tonight. Where are these children now? And what`s going to happen to this not-so great aunt?

ROWDY HAYDEN, CONSTABLE (via phone): Well, the children now are in the custody of Children Protective Services. They were removed from the home yesterday evening. And as far as -- as far as the aunt, we`re still conducting our initial investigation, trying to determine some facts. And any findings we have will be turned over to the Montgomery County district attorney`s office.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but apparently there was the old home schooling excuse, that these kids were pulled out of school. And apparently, they were left alone for, what a dozen -- at least a dozen hours at a time. And all under the pretext they`re being home schooled. But isn`t there a procedure to check up on kids that are supposedly being home schooled? Like truant officers, whatever?

HAYDEN: Yes, I`m not real familiar with the home school procedures. While we were on scene yesterday, the 11-year-old actually brought her books out and was attempting to do some home schooling with her -- you know, on her own. And as far as we know, that`s the extent of her home schooling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you, Constable, but I don`t call that home schooling. I call that a kid trying to pretend that she`s getting an education when she`s been abandoned.

Up next, jealousy turns to murder. We`ve got a verdict for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone brutally murdered Sherry Rasmussen.

STEPHANIE LAZARUS, CONVICTED OF MURDER: If you guys are claiming that I`m the suspect then, you know, I have a problem with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Rasmussen died as a result of multiple gunshots.

LAZARUS: Now you`re accusing me of this? Is that what you`re saying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lazarus had been a highly regarded detective -- 26 years on the job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we asked you for a DNA swab, would you be able to give us one?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a jealous rage when she killed Sherri Rasmussen.

LAZARUS: Now, now, now I`m thinking I probably need to talk to a lawyer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news from the City of Angels -- judgment day for a veteran detective. For 26 years she investigated crimes. Today, she was convicted of a crime of murder.

Former detective, Stephanie Lazarus driven by a jealous rage to murder her ex`s wife back in 1986. She went to her ex-boyfriend`s condo and shot his wife Sherri Rasmussen three times in the chest. Her uncontrollable rage drove her to leave behind a critical piece of evidence -- a bite mark on the victim`s arm, which contained Stephanie`s saliva.

But still the case went cold. Stephanie probably thought she had gotten away with the murder. Then 23 years later, police finally, thanks to DNA technology, linked that saliva sample to one of their own.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a DNA swab, would you be willing to give us one?

LAZARUS: Maybe. Because now -- now -- now I`m thinking I probably need to talk to a lawyer. And now it sounds like you`re trying to pin something on me. I have that sense. We had a fight and so I went and killed her. I mean, come on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on. Well, a jury decided, yes, that`s exactly what happened. Stephanie will be sentenced May 4. It took the LAPD a quarter of a century to get justice in this case. The irony, had they just listened to the victim`s parents way back in 1986, they would have discovered the killer Stephanie right under their noses. She was one of them, a detective. And she turns out to be the killer.

Straight out to HLN law enforcement analyst, Mike Brooks. Mike, this is something out of a movie but a very tragic, horrific movie. I mean this woman, right under the LAPD`s nose because she is one of them. They are hunting for a killer and there she is possibly in the same office as the detectives investigating the homicide.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: And they initially thought it was two, most likely men, who had burglarized his home and killed her. But no, it didn`t.

But I have to credit the LAPD even though they didn`t take the clues from back then, Jane, I have to credit them now. 2009 is when they first started looking at her. And then we heard -- saw then Chief Bill Bratton make the announcement.

But I`ll tell you, the crime scene investigator back in 1986, Jane, he`s the one who took a rape kit, a sexual assault kilt and took the swab at the scene, a bite mark on the forearm that sat in an evidence locker for all those years.

And then when the Cold Case squad went to take a look with fresh eyes at all the evidence they saw this DNA. Well, wait a minute, what is this? They go. They do a testing. And I tell you what, that brought it right back to her, Jane.

So, you have to give them credit even though they might have missed it in the beginning when it first happened, they came back and they convicted one of their own which is still not an easy thing to do especially someone who had been on the job that long.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, after Sherri`s murder her dad told the lead detective that Sherri had complained about being confronted at work by her husband`s ex-girlfriend. The victim`s father told the detectives he didn`t know the woman`s name, only that she was an LAPD detective and had told his daughter something along the lines of, "If I can`t have him, no one can."

Here is the attorney for the victim, Sherri`s parents.


JOHN TAYLOR, ATTORNEY FOR SHERRI RASMUSSEN`S FAMILY: He said, "My son-in-law has an ex-girlfriend who is an LA Police Department officer. Have you looked into that? Have you checked her out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the officer say?

TAYLOR: Over time, they always diverted his inquiry and told him he`d been watching too much TV.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, right after today`s guilty verdict, the LAPD chief of police apologized to Sherri`s family for taking a quarter of a century to find justice and for not listening to their repeated pleas to look into this woman you`re looking at right there.

Wendy Murphy, I think that I have a little problem with the fact that there were so many coincidences, just with the old evidence. Forget the saliva, the bullet came from an LAPD issued .38-revolver that the detective had bought from the police academy just before she became a cop. And yet she was also the ex-girlfriend of the victim`s husband. Would it be a little too much coincidence to suggest that somebody steals her gun and then just happens to attack somebody with close ties to her?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. I mean I would not call this a botched investigation. I would call it part of the thin blue line problem and maybe the culture back then that was protecting her, sadly. You know, what`s fascinating to me about this case is there would have been a number of reasons to just say it`s too old, let`s not bother.

And the notion that somebody took a saliva sample back then when you didn`t even have DNA technology, the most you could get from a saliva swab would be a blood type; and then to save it this long. You know, so many times we hear these stories about DNA from 25 years ago reveals that a man was innocent for the crime and they let him go and often the DNA doesn`t really tell us that he`s innocent. Most of those cases, the guys are guilty.

Here you`ve got one tiny bit of evidence, you mixed that tiny bit of evidence with a big fat motive, and it`s a rock solid case. I think they should have apologized and I give them credit for apologizing. But let`s not make heroes out of them. They also intentionally messed up a long time ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s get back to this video, Stephanie, who is now convicted of murder one, this LAPD detective, was very defensive -- borderline combative when her fellow detectives finally brought her in for questioning.

Check this out.


LAZARUS: If you guys are claiming that I`m a suspect, then, you know, I got a problem with, you know, with that.


LAZARUS: Ok. So, you know, if you`re -- if you`re doing this as an interrogation, you`re saying, hey, I`m a suspect. Now I`ve got a problem with, you know -- now you`re accusing me of this? Is that what you`re saying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re trying to figure out what happened, Stephanie.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, they`re talking to one of their own. "We`re trying to figure out what happened, Stephanie." It is awkward.

Joe Gomez, senior investigative reporter, KTRH News. If you are a detective yourself, you kind of learn tricks of your trade. You know how to keep your fellow cops off the scent.

JOE GOMEZ, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KTRH NEWS: That`s exactly what I`m thinking, Jane. I mean here she is, she`s been trained to interrogate people herself. And now she finds herself on the opposite end of the table. Of course, she`s going to deny everything. Of course, she`s going to come off combative as though they have the wrong person.

This doesn`t surprise me at all. What does surprise me though is how meticulous she was in making it seem as though it was a burglary. She took the TV unit down off the wall. She threw over the (INAUDIBLE). She made - - there was blood all over the house. I mean Stephanie -- Sherri was shot several times and left for dead yet nothing was taken.

That was one thing that she forgot to do in this burglary process. She forgot to at least take something to make it look like a legitimate burglary. But she definitely went out of her way to kill this woman. I guess hell hath no fury, as they say, Jane, like a woman scorned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well -- but Mike Brooks, she did take the car. The fancy -- I think it was some kind of luxury car a Beamer that she had gotten for her engagement gift. She took off with that. What happened to that?

BROOKS: You know, I`m not sure what happened to that. But you know, you go back to the ballistics. You know, when you do an autopsy, you dig a bullet out of somebody it doesn`t have LAPD on the round. They didn`t know that until after the fact. And she was just -- she hadn`t been on the job that long when this happened. So it wasn`t like she was this big seasoned investigator. Yes, she had been through the academy. She probably worked some investigations. But she wasn`t a seasoned veteran like she was in 2009 when she was eventually arrested.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ll tell you, she looks a little crazy just looking in her eyes during the police interrogation.

BROOKS: Yes, she does.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s like, her bug eyes -- just kind of gives you the creeps.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Whitney, New York. You`re question or thought, Whitney.

WHITNEY, NEW YORK (via telephone): Hi. Yes, I have a comment. I just -- I`m afraid about connecting jealousy with murder. And it seems that this keeps coming up a lot. It seems that it`s a bad reputation for women that women can be drawn to murder by jealousy. I don`t think that`s the reason. I think these people are jealous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s an excellent point because we`ve all felt jealousy in our lives at one time or another. That doesn`t mean we killed or did anything about it. So we try to understand why people do things but essentially I think that it`s multi-determined as the shrinks say. It`s not one thing.

It`s jealousy in a person who is already unstable; jealousy in a person who is already inherently violent and damaged. And I remember there was a tag line to a movie, not to make light of it but there was thing tag line in a movie, "Damaged people are dangerous."

And I thought that -- Wendy Murphy, I thought that summed up really so many of these crimes. We all had experienced jealousy but few of us act in this manner.

MURPHY: Yes. I mean I really -- I don`t like the sexism implicit in that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" line because men are so much more violent, and they are really violent when jealous. Not all jealous men kill. But my goodness, why don`t we have a tag line for guys if we`re going to generalize about anybody.

So I agree with you, Jane, it`s not a single factor. But it does tell us something. And they knew there was a jealous person in the background of this case. Why don`t you go to that person and interrogate them then? That`s the point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I still get back to her eyes. Here, too. She looks crazy to me -- not clinically mad, insane, don`t know right from wrong, but just like I wouldn`t want to meet her in a dark alley. I certainly would not want to be the person who ended up with the man that she wanted.

Wow. We`re so happy that the family of this victim has gotten justice after all these years.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

All right. Onto a story that blowing everybody`s Facebook page up. "Kony 2012", the movie. It`s a very, very, very fascinating look at something that, well, we all need to get involved. That`s all I`ll say.

And we`re taking your calls on it. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Check it out on the other side of the break. You need to know.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next 27 minutes are an experiment. The night I first met Jacob, he told me what he and other children in northern Uganda were living through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We worry. The rebels when they arrest us again then they will kill us. My brother tried to escape then they killed him using panga.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are, we`re going to stop them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This movie expires on December 31st, 2012, and it`s only purpose is to stop the rebel group, the LRA, and their leader Joseph Kony.

CROWD: We`ve seen these kids. We`ve heard their cries. This war must end.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you`ve got Facebook or Twitter, and I`m sure you do, you`ve probably seen this. It`s only gotten 40 million hits. "Kony 2012", the movie made by non-profit Invisible Children about brutal Ugandan war lord, Joseph Kony. It follows a little boy as he weeps -- this little boy Jacob -- as he weeps describing how he was forced to become a child soldier after his brother`s throat was slit for trying to escape.

This movie wants to make war criminal Kony a household name and take him down with a deadline of next New Year`s Eve. Kony leads Uganda`s Lord`s Resistance Army or LRA. And he is one of the world`s worst war criminal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For 26 years Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group, the LRA turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers. He makes them mutilate people`s faces, and he forces them to kill their own parents.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297. Here tonight for our buzz, Lisa G., my buddy and also she works at Howard 100 News Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio.

I have to tell you Lisa, I saw this, this morning on TMZ. I checked it out. And I started watching this documentary. And I was late for something and I just couldn`t stop.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I started crying. When I saw that little boy Jacob weeping, it just broke me. And I just think this is a brilliant, brilliant movie. Invisible Children -- what`s the buzz on it?

LISA G.: It`s really amazing how a social media can raise awareness about a topic like this. I think many people got this tweet maybe from a Justin Bieber. And when who`s "Kony 2012" and just kind of clicked into what viewers (ph) find out is this candidate or something. So it`s really amazing that even younger people are hopefully trying to make a change. I think they feel really empowered by it. So that`s a great plus.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well I like the fact that there was something that we could do because so often I get depressed. I look at these things, these horrors to the voiceless. It`s always the voiceless and the helpless -- little children, animals, old people -- those who cannot stand up and tight back. Like this little innocent boy who just broke my heart. And now he`s a man trying to fight Kony. But listen to what little boy Jacob said in "Kony 2012" when we first meet him in this movie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it is better when you kill us. If possible you can kill us, you kill us.

For us, we don`t want now to stay because --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t want to stay on earth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are only two. No one is taking care of us. We are not going to school, so how are we --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would rather die than stay on earth?





VELEZ-MITCHELL: Poor little boy, it just broke my heart Lisa.

LISA G.: Right. It really touches your heart strings. And the positive about this Jane, is that Twitter isn`t just isn`t about Kim Kardashian`s new handbag which she`s had millions and millions of followers. It`s about making a change, raising social awareness, and really making people feel empowered that maybe governments will take notice, and there will be a change to end these atrocities.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, whether it`s the Arab Spring or this movie, social media is hopefully going to make the world a better place.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The alleged Manhattan Madam in a moment but first, I think we all deserve a laugh break.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bob are you hungry?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want some macaroni and cheese?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to take a bath?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want a million --




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very well-dressed gentleman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bold-faced names from business, politics and sports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women, like I think, of European background it looked like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was watching, and so were investigator, who charged 44-year-old Anna Gristina with running a high class prostitution ring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An individual who is a caring, loving mother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The married mother of four who lives in this secluded home with her second husband, Kelvin Gore, and four children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutor say Gristina bragged she had law enforcement friends who could help protect her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just bizarre. You just don`t know what`s going on around here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We never do. Yesterday we told you about a mother of four, a so-called soccer mom who cops say led a double life as a madam. 44-year-old Anna Gristina is accused of running a high-priced brothel out of her Manhattan apartment racking upwards of $10 million in the last 15 years. She vehemently denies it.


PETER GLEASON, ANNA GRISTINA`S ATTORNEY: To speak about the defendant is to speak about an individual who is a caring, loving mother. But the only problem is she`s a woman and not a man.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her client list allegedly includes wealthy high profile businessmen, politicians, sports stars. Are they ever going to go to Riker`s Island where she is right as we speak?

Back with more of the buzz, Lisa G.; first of all I went to school on the same street that this alleged brothel is located. You live in the area.

LISA G.: She never stopped me. I guess I don`t look the part.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t be offended.

LISA G.: No, Ok, I won`t be. But you know what Jane; there`s always going to be a madam. We have the Mayflower Madam, we have the whole Eliot Spitzer scenario with his black socks. We`ll find out some guy wore argyle socks. I mean this kind of business will always be. And her clients are wealthy men; that`s not going to stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think what`s not going to stop also, the Johns don`t go to jail. It`s the women. These girls who are -- the women who are madams, the girls who are doing the prostitution, if in fact this is; she`s denying it. She says she was trying to set up a legitimate Web site. And we had a private investigator on her who said, yes, I was trying to help her set up a legitimate Web site.

So who knows what the real story is but the prosecutors claim they have hundreds of hours of surveillance video of people having sex, yet she`s charged with one count. Something is very strange about this case.

LISA G.: I guess we have to wait and see who turned her in, and also I don`t know if you`re like me, but I can`t wait to see that list. Are you the same way?


LISA G.: Who are those names? Are they baseball players, more financial guys?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The money guys.

Marcy, Colorado, your question or thought, Marcy.

MARCY, COLORADO (via telephone): how could the husband not know, if this has been going on for 15 years?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think we have a photograph of this very buff husband who appears shirtless with the alleged madam. And they`re quite the couple. He claims he didn`t know a thing while she was doing this allegedly for 15 years. Do you buy it?

LISA G.: No, I don`t.

Look, you hear these stories all the time that they turn the other way. But when a lot of money is coming in, you`re spending it somewhere. It`s just not from, you know, baby-sitting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, this picture tells me. And listen, I love a healthy married couple that`s having a good time in the sack. I mean gee, it`s rare to find these days.

LISA G.: It doesn`t look like that anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what I`m saying is they obviously are sort of inclined toward erotic --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eroticism so who knows, she`s not convicted. We don`t want to convict her here. We`ve got to give her the benefit of the doubt.

LISA G.: Maybe that was their Christmas card.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. A teacher accused of moonlighting as a porn star, some parents at a middle school in California are furious. Others apparently say no big whoop. But a science teacher accused of being an adult film star is being investigated. She`s on paid leave. My question, Lisa G., if she really is a porn star should she be fired?

LISA G.: She needed to tell them that this was her past. I mean, she`s up at the blackboard, A, B, C, DDs -- oops, sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the pubescent boys who if they get their hands on this video, they`re never going to look at her the same way. And they shouldn`t be getting -- 12-year-old boys shouldn`t be getting their hands on this video.

But if it happened in the past, ten seconds she should be given another shot?

LISA G.: Absolutely, I believe in second chances for people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do. Everybody has something in their past they`re not proud of, myself included. It`s not that, though, don`t get any ideas.

Nancy next.