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Convicted Rapist Takes Co-Eds Hostage

Aired March 16, 2012 - 19:00   ET


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

A rapist fresh out of prison terrorizes a houseful of female college students. Cops say he threatened to kill them all. Tonight, you will hear the astounding 911 calls made by two very brave young women who were hiding in fear for their lives but took action anyway.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, you`ll hear the terrifying 911 calls as a group of college women say they`re being attacked in their own home. Cops say an armed convicted rapist just released from prison tied up six coeds and made one of them undress. Who decided this guy was a low- level threat and deserved to be set free?

Plus, we`re investigating new details about the suspect`s behavior in the hours and weeks leading up to this scary home invasion.

And how did this promising politician leading a life of privilege become a cold-blooded killer? A former Kentucky state representative murdered his ex-fiancee even as he crusaded to protect domestic violence victims. I`ll talk to Steve Nunn`s ex-wife about this politico`s secret life.

Then, my special guest and I are going on a hunger strike. That`s right. I`m not eating today to do my part as actor George Clooney gets arrested protesting for the people of Sudan. Is a whole country -- mothers, children -- on the brink of starvation? What you can do.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A UDUB student whispered to police over the telephone as she hid from a man who broke into her house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what are you reporting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, there`s somebody in my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like he`s going around yelling at people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you think this person got in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t hear anybody break in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another student hiding in the corner bedroom of the same house also called 911.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what do you think he`s doing to her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taping her somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say taping her, what does that mean?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear a tape unrolling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So it sounds like he`s taping somebody up?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like duct tape?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say convicted sex offender Robert Hitt broke into this home last Monday where he allegedly tied up six women at knife point and forced one of them to remove their clothes. The 34-year- old was just released from prison for rape in January.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, eight college coeds terrorized in their own off-campus home. And the man cops say wielded the knife and threatened to kill them is a convicted rapist, fresh out of prison for raping another student at the very same university. How is this man allowed to roam free in this college town?

Incredibly, 34-year-old Robert Hitt had just finished a sex offender treatment program and was deemed low risk. That`s a quote. Unbelievable.

We`re now learning from cops that Hitt decided to break into the home after going on an alcohol and meth binge. Cops say he broke into this house that is located -- there it is -- right outside the University of Washington campus in Seattle.

Inside, eight college women, ages 19 to 21, sound asleep when they woke up to a real-life nightmare. Cops say Hitt rounded up six of the coeds in one room and threatened to stab him.

What Robert Hitt did not know was there were two other young women in the house, and they risked their lives to call 911. Listen to this incredibly brave young woman as she begs cops for help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Now the people that live there, are they all males? All females?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All females. OK. How many people are in your house?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are they fighting?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Verbally. So they`re arguing. Anybody -- anything physical?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. He`s threatening, though.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops race to the scene and save the coeds before any of them were hurt. Robert Hitt arrested, behind bars tonight, but he should never have been out of prison. At the very least he should have been wearing an ankle monitor. How can we let these dangerous men back into society with so little supervision? And in this case, allow him to prey on other students in the same college involved with his first crime. This was off-campus housing, but the same general area.

Straight out to reporter Molly Chen, Komo, in Seattle. Thank you for joining us tonight.

Molly, eight women in this house. Two of them heroically called 911 to save their friends. So brave. Describe the dynamics. What was happening inside the house?

MOLLY CHEN, REPORTER, KOMO: Well, as you put it, Jane, six of the women were in one room and had been rounded up. Hitt was going around knocking on their doors saying, "Come out." He brought them all together, forced one of them to undress. He ran out of the tape that he was using to bind some of them and actually grabbed a cord off of a lamp to tie them up.

Now, these other two women were hiding in other rooms and managed to get on the phone and call 911. One was actually upstairs where Hitt was with the other women, and one was downstairs. And both of them, not even knowing that the other one was also on the phone with 911, was working to get police in and described what was happening there.

I just can`t imagine how terrifying it must have been as they were bringing in police, just not knowing what was going to happen. They had no idea who the man was. Initially, they thought maybe one of the roommates had brought him home, but we found out later that he`d actually broken in through a window.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen to this very first 911 call made by one of the roommates, who was hiding in another bedroom. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what are you reporting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. There`s somebody in my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like he`s going around to all the different rooms and yelling at people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you think this person got in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t hear anybody break in.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hitt tied up six of the roommates and forced one of the coeds, as you just heard from the reporter, to take off her clothes.

Now, cops believe Hitt had every intention of sexually assaulting these women, but when cops arrived he yelled out, "Oh, I was only going to rob them." Yes, right. You don`t force somebody to strip to rob them.

I want to go to Laura Dunn. You were the victim of sexual assault on a college campus. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for being so brave in your own way to speak about this subject that women who have been sexually assaulted are often afraid to talk about.

Do you find it astounding that this man, who did ten years in prison for attacking a student who was going to the same university over a decade ago, is back with the same exact M.O., using a knife, terrorizing female students from the very same university?

LAURA DUNN, VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Oh, this is an absolutely shocking story, Jane. It`s very upsetting because clearly, this individual had already been identified as a rapist, as you mentioned. And it`s unfortunate that he wasn`t given higher supervision. And it makes me really thankful that VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, is coming up for reauthorization before Congress.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine hiding in a back bedroom for a second. Put yourself in the shoes of these women, fearing for your life while this man, who broke in through a broken window, is terrorizing your friends with a knife. Imagine, because so many times women -- all human beings, but women in particular, we`re conditioned to not be so aggressive. We kind of freeze sometimes.

These two young women did not freeze. Here`s more of their incredible heroic 911 call. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long ago did you hear your roommate scream?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two minutes ago. I can hear her still. It sounds like she`s all right about. It sounds like he`s harassing her, so I`m scared for her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Records show this is precisely what Hitt did to the rape victim he attacked a decade ago. He held her at knifepoint while sexually assaulting her.

I`ve got to go to Brian Russell, forensic psychologist. Ten years in prison, and he had done a slew of sex offender classes. Nothing changed. The exact same M.O. Are we to conclude that sex offender classes are simply not effective, to put it mildly?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Hello, absolutely. You`re not going to talk a sex offender out of wanting to commit sex offenses any more than you`re going to talk a normal person out of doing whatever it is that they want to do in the normal spectrum, sexually, behaviorally.

We have way too many Americans, Jane, and some of them, unfortunately, are judges and jurors and parole board members buying into this mercy and redemption and second, third, fourth, fifth chance business with respect to these sex offenders.

You know, how about having some mercy on the people who would be the potential victims if they do it again when we let them out?

This guy got what`s called an indeterminate sentence, ten years to life, and they let him out after just ten years. Indeterminate sentences are dumb, and people up in Washington need to fix that. It should have been a long fixed term. And this indeterminate sentence review board that made the decision that a 10-year minimum was enough said that one of the reasons was because he had worked hard to transform himself and his attitude and his thoughts so that he won`t create another victim in the future.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this.

RUSSELL: Was this not able to be seen coming? And you and I cover this stuff all the time. You and I can see it coming. Why can`t these people?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You don`t need to be a psychic. You don`t need a crystal ball, and that brings me to tonight`s burning question. Why was this guy out of prison?

And I don`t think he should be out of prison but if he is, why isn`t he wearing an ankle monitor? Why isn`t he more carefully monitored?

He was released from prison in January. He just completed a sex offender treatment program days before he went on this attack. Alleged. Obviously, he`s just been arrested. He hasn`t been convicted at this point.

Now, the big question is why did this parole board decide that he was low risk? I mean really? On what basis did they decide that this man was low risk? You know, he told, according to documents, his corrections officer that hours before the attack he`d been drinking heavily, that he bought methamphetamine with his last 20 bucks, and he figured, "Well, I smoked pot four days before so I know I was going to fail my drug test, so I`m going back to prison. Well, what the bleep," is a quote. "Why not break into this house?"

Does this guy sound rehabilitated to you, Holly Hughes?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely not, Jane. And we all know that with sex offenses, there is no rehabilitation. If you are a sexual predator, you will always be a sexual predator.

And you know, you can go to every treatment program in the world. But unless you want to change, nothing is going to happen.

This is a matter of, yes, they crossed some "T`s." They dotted some "I`s," and they turned this vicious predator loose on the community. At the very least, he should have been released to a halfway house where he had to report back in, stay there overnight, and they kept tabs on him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is wrong with our society where a guy released from prison can sit around at a bar drinking vodka and beer and then go out and buy methamphetamine? Isn`t there a way to track somebody who has just been released from prison?

Coming up, how did a promising politician turn into a murderer? I will talk to his ex-wife.

And more on this college home invasion, allegedly by this convicted rapist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long ago did you hear your roommate scream?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two minutes ago. I can hear her still. It sounds like she`s all right but it sounds like he`s harassing her and so I`m scared for her.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what do you think he`s doing to her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taping her somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say taping her, what does that mean?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear a tape unrolling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So it sounds like he`s taping somebody up?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like duct tape?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eight coeds at a house and the suspect, Robert Hitt, allegedly taped up the six women, forced one of them to take off their clothes.

You know, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, when I hear these conversations with 911, the women are heroes. The women are heroes for making that call. But I`m sort of perplexed by some of the questions. They seem almost like too casual. I mean, there are eight women whose lives are on the line. I praise the police for getting there quickly and arresting this guy, don`t get me wrong, but I often am perplexed by these phone calls.

HUGHES: Well, what they need to do is remain calm so that the victim remains calm. I know it kind of sounds like, well, maybe they`re disinterested, but they are trained to sort of remain very, very slow in their speech so that the victim doesn`t freak out.

Because can you imagine how much worse it would be if the 911 operator was like, "Oh, my God, they`re taping them up?" So they`re doing that to get as many facts as possible. They need to know that information so when the police come in, they know how many, you know, perpetrators they`re looking at and that nobody else`s life is further endangered.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to the phone lines.

Leanne, Arkansas. Your question or thought, Leanne.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Nice to talk to you again. Congratulations on your sobriety. You`re awesome.

Now, my thing is why are sex offenders ever let out of jail in the first place? I don`t get it. But at least the women came out alive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes! This is a happy story. This is a story of celebration, because this man is behind bars, and eight women are alive and well.

And you know the stories. You know those -- who knows what could have happened behind those closed doors? Who knows what could have happened? This could have been a massacre.

We`ve heard of Jeffrey Dahmer and all these other people who have targeted college coeds and done vicious, horrific things. It`s a big question mark.

Now, this house was just outside the University of Washington campus, but rape is a serious problem on college campuses. Now, fast facts that you need to know about. One in four women report being raped while they`re in college. One in four. I am almost falling off my chair.

Laura Dunn, you were the victim of sexual assault on a college campus. Is that a typo?

DUNN: No, Jane, that`s absolutely true. And what`s even more shocking, although one in four are being sexually assaulted, only 5 percent are actually reporting to any form of authority. So law enforcement, campus officials. So it`s even worse than that. A lot of women are being assaulted, and they don`t feel safe in coming forward.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ve got a statement here from the school. A spokesman for the university. Remember, this was off-campus housing.

"The school takes the safety of students very seriously and uses an incident such as this one as a teachable moment to remind students to take precautions in how they can respond if faced with a dangerous situation."

But Laura Dunn, these women were asleep. They weren`t out at a bar. They weren`t partying. They were in their beds asleep.

DUNN: Yes, I think one of the greatest mistakes in addressing sexual assault is always putting the pressure on potential victims to be safe. We can be perfect and do everything right and sexual violence can still find us. It`s about a community having a response, having preventative measures in place. It must be a communitywide action to keep offenders off the streets or to have patrols in place. More people need to be taking action in preventing these crimes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side, I`m going to ask is there a connection between alcohol and drug abuse and being a sex offender. This guy went on an alcohol and drug binge, according to published reports, before this alleged attack. He had meth in his pocket, cops say.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on heroic college coeds in a minute, but first here is your "Viral Video of the Week."




VELEZ-MITCHELL: I really liked that. That was cute.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like the front door opened. I don`t know who it was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. It sounds like there`s officers inside the house there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, good. My door`s open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your door`s open? Did somebody open your door or did you open it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did. They`re screaming. Should I go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. Just stay in your room just in case anything goes on. I want to see if you can hear anything saying anything about the police or anything.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Presumably police were already racing to the scene as that calm 911 operator is talking to this girl. But you heard the screams in the background, right? Those screams were from the girls who were being held hostage in another part of the house.

When we heard about this story, we got to thinking about the fix and what women can do to protect themselves. One of my producers told me about this fabulous phone app called the Safety Grid. You`ve got to check this out. You`ve got to download this app. Check it out. That`s what it looks like. It`s a silent panic button for your iPhone or iPad.

You load emergency contacts into your phone. If you`re in trouble, you hit the panic button on the app. It sends emergency messages to those five contacts, and I think it also contacts 911. I think this is absolutely fantastic.

Holly Hughes, we need more of this. We need to use technology to protect America`s women.

HUGHES: Absolutely, Jane. That`s a fabulous idea. Thanks to the producer, because I didn`t know anything about it. But I`m going to write it down, and after the show that`s the first thing I`m doing tonight.


HUGHES: Yes, technology can be -- and actually we`ve got some new and exciting stuff coming up on how to protect women, specifically from domestic violence. So there`s a lot we can do, Jane. As we move forward, shows like yours, it`s so important that we let the viewers know what`s out there and available to them. If we save one life, it is well worth it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Laura Dunn, ten seconds and -- I`ll actually put this to our forensic psychologist, Brian Russell. If you had one thing to say to a college coed today, what would it be?

RUSSELL: Do not underestimate the ability of people to fool you and appear harmless when they`re actually very dangerous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, thank you, fantastic panel.

We want to give you a quick update on a story we`ve been following. Today a jury convicted Tyler Clementi`s Rutgers roommate of hate crimes. This is a story involving another university, another type of crime.

Dharun Ravi found guilty of all 15 counts against him, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.

Tyler Clementi jumped to his death after Ravi used a computer Web cam to spy on Tyler`s sexual encounter with another man in the dorm room.

Tyler`s father said this after the verdict was read.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trial was painful for us, as it would be for any parent who must sit and listen to people talk about bad and inappropriate things that were done to their child. We were here every day because we wanted to be here for our son and because we believed this trial was important, because it dealt with important issues for our society and for our young people today.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s ironic that all these stories we`re talking about today have one commonality, college and behavior in and around college campuses.

Ravi will be sentenced on May 21. He is facing ten years in prison. And the takeaway here is that it`s serious business being a student.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once a gubernatorial candidate, now an inmate in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The former lawmaker will spend the rest of his life in prison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a great personal tragedy -- the loss of life of a young lady.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a lawmaker or past lawmaker. And he could have enemies in here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If this could happen to her, she could get drawn into this type situation than anybody could.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A politician`s out of control descent into booze and online sex that culminates in murder.

Good evening everyone; Jane Velez-Mitchell back with you from New York City.

Tonight secrets spilling out about the strange case of Steve Nunn, there he is, the son of Kentucky`s former governor. A prominent lawmaker in his own right but he threw it all away when he gunned down his ex- fiancee in cold blood for revenge. He`s back in the spotlight after a 20/20 investigation. Here they show his political rise.


STEVE NUNN, CONVICTED KILLER: I love you all. I love the people of Kentucky.

And I`ve got Tracy with me, my wife. And she is great. She is a special woman for all of Kentucky and for all of the world.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Nunn is now writing to his ex-wife from prison. A month ago he sent her a creepy valentine. Tonight we`re going to be speaking to her to analyze how her ex-husband went from being a crusader against domestic abuse to spending his life behind bars for stalking and then murdering his ex-lover.

Watch this from ABC.


ALEX REDGEFIELD, FRIEND OF AMANDA ROSS: She would come out of (inaudible) and he would be there. She would be in her family room and he would be outside on her patio looking in her window.

"He`s going to kill me." She said, "No, really, he`s going to kill me." I thought it was sort of an attention thing or something. I certainly did not think that he was going to kill her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining me tonight from Kentucky, we are delighted to have Tracy Damron, the ex-wife of Steve Nunn; Tracy, thank you for being here and talking about a subject that`s so important, violence against women. I know you`re talking because you want to stop violence against women. You were married to Steve at the height of his power. You`re now writing a book about him.

What was your reaction when you first heard the news that your ex- husband, a former Kentucky legislator, a crusader against domestic violence whose father was governor of the state had been arrested for murdering his fiancee?

TRACY DAMRON, FORMER WIFE OF STEVE NUNN: Well, to begin with, Jane, Steve and I were married for ten years and he was a wonderful, wonderful husband to me and I worked as his assistant in Frankfort side by side.

And for -- after his father passed, something happened to Steve. And I woke up to a horror movie and everyone knows the end of the movie, how it ends. But I experienced the beginning and the middle. And I have been asking what happened to Steve Nunn a long time before the murder -- to doctors, to friends.

Something happened to this man. He was a good man. He did good for Kentucky, he did good for -- he was a humanitarian.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. He was such a humanitarian that he co-sponsored the law that made it a death penalty offense when a person who is named in a domestic violence order then proceeds to kill that protected individual. They used the law against him and he had to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.

Now, part of what fueled Steve Nunn`s revenge was a toxic cocktail of substance abuse and, allegedly, hookers. Watch this from "20/20".


PENNY BENTLEY, FRIEND OF AMANDA ROSS: He drank a lot. I think he was using drugs. He was getting call girls -- that`s a nice phrase for it -- just doing crazy stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think he snapped?

BENTLEY: He did snap. Yes, he did snap.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: These were his secret vices -- Kentucky bourbon and women he met on sex Web sites. Sue Wylie, news anchor, talk show host 590 WVLK-AM, you`re in Lexington, Kentucky. I also there were rumors of pill use?

SUE WYLIE, TALK SHOW HOST, 590 WVLK-AM: Of pill use, yes. There was a lot of large living, let`s put it that way, I think on the part of Steve Nunn for sure and of course a lot of rumors about Amanda Ross`s behavior too. She was much younger, she was very, very attractive and they were just a fatal -- deadly combination together.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened between Steve Nunn and his ex-fiancee, the victim, Amanda Ross? One of her friends describes the fight that ended their relationship. Listen to this from ABC.


BENTLEY: He got up to leave and she ran downstairs and blocked the door. He pushed her and then hit her. She said she did hit him. She smacked him in the face and cut his face with her ring because she did have a nice-size ring. And then eventually she let him leave.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, first of all, as you`re looking at this video, you`ve got to compare and contrast the way he used to look when he was in his prime and on top of the world and how he ended up looking behind bars. It`s almost like two different people.

I want to go to Warren Scoville, you were Steve Nunn`s former attorney. As I understand it -- and I`m not making excuses for this guy, we`re just trying to understand dysfunction -- he was sort of on top of the world. His father died, he kind of lost it as Tracy sort of referred to and then descends into booze and then hooks up with this other woman.

They have a fight -- they have some kind of fight. She gets an order of protection against him and then he gets fired as deputy secretary of the Kentucky Department of Health and Family Services because, wow, how embarrassing is it to have a guy who`s the head of this department accused of hitting his girlfriend. And then he goes after revenge, Warren?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tell me about that, the revenge.

SCOVILLE: Well, Steve Nunn was on top of the world. This lady and he fought continually. They had a very volatile relationship. She decided to get a DVO, a domestic violence order against him. That`s tantamount in Kentucky or any place to the ruination of a politician. He was ridiculed because of that, he was fired from his job, and he wanted to get even, and he did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he got even.

Sue Wylie, tell us how he gunned down this woman.

WYLIE: Well, he was waiting. She lived at a very nice townhouse apartment dwelling downtown with a gate. But he slipped in somehow and he was waiting for her when she went out early one morning to go to work. She had about a 30-minute drive to work, so she left while it was still rather dark and he was waiting for her and he gunned her down.

But, you know, I saw him personally after he lost his job. He was -- he came into a clubhouse at our racetrack here, a private clubhouse. It`s very (inaudible), very chic. He came in and of course he knew everyone in the room practically, everyone knew him.

And the ripple began to go around the room. Oh, there`s Steve Nunn, there`s Steve Nunn. Did you hear he lost his job, he beat up his girlfriend? And he went from table to table. He was desperately looking for someone who would smile at him and hold out their hand.

He came to my table. We shook hands. You know, you almost couldn`t look at him. I was cringing for him because he looked like a dog that had been kicked. His hands were trembling. He was -- he was just a broken man at that time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well I can tell you this, the trembling could be delirium tremens because as a recovering alcoholic myself, if you drink too much the night before, your hands will be trembling the next day.

Steve Nunn didn`t go to trial because he copped a plea. Listen as he admits the murder in open court.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you telling this court that you are in fact guilty of one count of murder with an aggravator, that being violation of a Kentucky emergency protective order for domestic violence?

NUNN: Yes, ma`am.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here are facts about Nunn. He was in charge of Kentucky`s Health and Human Services. He resigned after the domestic violence charges were brought against him; the son of the governor, a state representative. And Levi Page, to me this shows that it really doesn`t matter what stratosphere of life you come from. If you turn toxic, you can kill.

LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER: Absolutely. This is a man who when he was younger, he actually witnessed his father, the governor of Kentucky, beat his mother. He actually interfered and got into a physical fight with his father. They were estranged for 15 years.

I think it was actually his ex-wife who was on the show tonight brought them back together. They had a relationship again. And then his father passed away in 2004. And he was basically living through his father. He dropped out of law school. He was a legislator in Kentucky and he lost re-election to a relatively unknown person.

And when his father passed away, that was another kick in his gut and he spiraled out of control. And actually when the police arrested him in 2009 for the murder of his ex-fiancee, he was -- had slit his wrists and he was at his parents` gravesite. So that shows you what sort of disturbed man this was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a tragedy all the way around. And I will say a lot of this probably boils down to somebody who had a drinking problem and instead of harboring a resentment, which is how they describe it in 12- step, against this woman. If he had gotten help and maybe just written down his resentment, which is what we do in sobriety, he wouldn`t have been driven to kill. But he`s in jail right now for the rest of his life behind bars.

Up next, one of my favorite men on the planet, George Clooney, arrested for sticking up for the starving people of the Sudan. I`m joining him. I`m not eating today. I`m going on a hunger strike with my very special guest for a good cause.

We`ll tell you about it. You can do it too.


GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I`m trying to bring attention to an ongoing emergency, one that has about a six-week timetable before the rainy season starts and a lot of people are going to die from it.

So our job right now is to try to bring attention to it. One of those ways was apparently getting arrested. I guess we`re not allowed to hang out at the Sudanese Embassy.

NICK CLOONEY, FATHER OF GEORGE CLOONEY: I didn`t know that, did you?

G. CLOONEY: No, I didn`t know that either.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The random killing, raping and starving of Sudanese civilians by their own government.

G. CLOONEY: We found children filled with shrapnel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Clooney has been arrested in Washington.

G. CLOONEY: A 9-year-old boy who had both of his hands blown off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He and others were protesting Sudanese atrocities.

N. CLOONEY: There are people who are in danger now.

G. CLOONEY: We need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Indiscriminately bombing innocent civilians -- you are committing a war crime.

N. CLOONEY: My son and I stand with the Sudanese.

G. CLOONEY: You`re a very brave boy, can you tell him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at that baby. Tonight George Clooney hauled away in handcuffs; the movie star, his dad, dozens of other activists and some members of congress arrested today on the steps of Sudan`s embassy in Washington, D.C. They`re trying to draw the world`s attention to the brutal attacks on innocent villagers in South Sudan that threaten to leave a half million innocent people to starve to death.

The country`s own president Omar al-Bashir and this regime that he runs blamed for orchestrating bombings and rapes.


CLOONEY: The government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them. That`s all we ask.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Sudanese facing rockets, bombs, threats of mass starvation that could make this the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The people have had to abandon their villages and take cover in caves. The government won`t let any humanitarian aid, i.e. food, get to them.

My exclusive guest, Kristen Anderson from the group United to End Genocide. Kristen, you`re starving for Sudan. I`m joining you today. I`ve not eaten a thing all day, all night, 24 hours to show our solidarity for your cause with the people suffering and starving in the Sudan. What do you want people in America to know about this crisis?

KRISTEN ANDERSON, UNITED TO END GENOCIDE: I want people to know that the Nuba people are being attacked because they are black, because they are Christian and Muslim and because of their political affiliation, not because they are armed and dangerous. There are about 350 Nuba refugees here in Des Moines, and many of them have lost family members this year.

Some friends of mine, their sister was stopped at a government checkpoint and her children were shot at point-blank range and they were forced to leave their bodies on the side of the road before they were able to proceed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Starving people in Sudan, they would to anything for a bucket of clean water, a sack of grain.

Do you ever get infuriated as I do about how much food is wasted here in the United States? Here`s some fast facts. In the United States, 30 to 50 percent of perfectly good food goes in the trash. It`s tragic. I actually went dumpster diving through the streets of New York City just to see good food thrown away. Check it out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Check it out. That`s really g I`m not joking around. It`s fine, it`s good. There`s nothing wrong with it. It doesn`t taste dirty at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: By some estimates, as many as half a million people in the Sudan could starve to death by the end of the month. Do you find it ironic that the U.S. is suffering from a crisis of abundance, the obesity crisis, food being wasted, while across the world people are dying of starvation?

ANDERSON: Absolutely. I think that many people don`t even know where the Nuba Mountains is or that this is even happening. I think that the world as a whole can do a whole lot more than we are. I think that from one human being to another we can step up and help protect these people because they are being unfairly targeted and they`re --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very quickly, we only got a couple of seconds. Where can we go? There`s a Web site. That is the fix.

Thank you so much, Kristen.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please, get involved. Nobody will help these voiceless people but you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: America, half a million people in the Sudan are threatened with starvation. Do you want to be part of the solution?

Here is a way. One of the reasons I`m vegetarian is because I care about world hunger. The amount of grain and water it takes to raise a single farm animal could feed an entire village for weeks. Think about it.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re coming.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It gets really nasty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lock the door. Lock the door.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a young American woman facing harassment in Japan as she fights to stop the annual dolphin slaughter there. She is at the infamous cove made world famous or infamous in the award-winning film, "The Cove" where actress Hayden Panettiere famously breaks down and sobs as she witnesses the slaughter of the dolphins.

Our guest says she has been harassed by people in Japan who want to see the slaughter of these sensitive, intelligent beings continue. She says she`s also scored a huge success in getting to officially ban the sale of whale and dolphin meat.

Check this out. There is wording on that actually shows -- there`s the petition. She got over 200,000 signatures that created this change. Examples of prohibited listings, and it goes on to list dolphin and whale meat. Whale or dolphin -- that`s a huge victory.

Melissa Sehgal, you join us from Japan. Congratulations on your huge victory. But first of all, tell us what you saw with the recent dolphin slaughter and why you feel you are in danger right now.

MELISSA SEHGAL, SEASHEPHERD COVE GUARDIAN LEADER: Thanks, Jane. I`ve been here in Taiji (ph) for about three months now, filming, documenting, exposing the horrific conditions that these dolphins go through. It is not a quick and humane slaughter. These -- these dolphins suffer greatly. And a lot of people aren`t aware of where this dolphin meat is coming through - - coming through from worldwide and was distributed in With that huge victory impacted and made people aware of what is happening here in Taiji, and now I`m targeting

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, we reached out to Yahoo! As well as Amazon for comment and we have not heard back. We invite their representatives on to discuss this at any time.

Melissa, you`re working with the organization SeaShepherd. I think folks at home, you know this famous animal organization from the show "Whale Wars" on Animal Planet. Check it out.


PAUL WATSON, "WHALE WARS", ANIMAL PLANET: In order to save the whales, people have to be willing to risk their life. I`m not backing down to them in any way.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sea Shepherd and Captain Paul Watson, they fight -- incredible organization fight for the creatures of the sea. Tell us, Melissa, do you feel scared over there? I know that you`ve been harassed, you say.

SEHGAL: Well, SeaShepherd continues to remain a strong presence here in Taiji shining that international spotlight on the horrific cruelty that happens in this corrupt town. And we will continue to remain a strong presence here until the killing stops.

Unfortunately, people are opposed to us being here and will harass us. But I don`t feel in danger. We come at our own risk, responsibility, and initiative to volunteer here in Japan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about some of the protesters who have come after you and what you`ve done.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Melissa Sehgal, you are in Japan, you witnessed the slaughter and tell us what`s going on with some of this video provided by SeaShepherd. What have you experienced?

SEHGAL: Basically Taiji is very unhappy that we continue to remain here in Taiji exposing the slaughter. I never once feel in danger, but we`re constantly harassed by locals. And authorities are taking full control of the situation as we speak.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want everybody to know at home that the folks at SeaShepherd and Melissa Sehgal, who is working with them, a guardian leader, they risk their lives, they really do. And they devote their lives. Not for any personal gain, but because they care because they can`t sleep at night thinking about what`s being done to these beautiful intelligent creatures. Add your voice. Go to, be a part of it.

Nancy next.