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Trayvon Martin Murder Case; Former FLDS Member Found Guilty Of Bigamy
Aired March 29, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
A jury throws the book at a former FLDS big wig for bigamy. What does it mean for underage girls who are forced to marry and have sex with grown men?
But, first, is a police videotape the key in the killing of Trayvon Martin, or does it raise more questions than it answers?
And we`re going to get into that a little bit here this evening, but I got to say something. We here at HLN feel like this is a very important story. You see me, Jane, Nancy, Vinnie, we`re all attacking the story all day long.
I happen to agree with Nancy that there`s a lot of stuff I don`t care about, that this is a story that has shown us something about ourselves and I`m trying to elevate that conversation a bit. Now, of course, we`re going to get into the details of what happened at that tragic incident.
Here to discuss all this, first of all, I have the O.J. Simpson prosecutor and author of the book "Guilt By Association," Marcia Clark. Also, criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos. And the attorney for Trayvon`s family, Natalie Jackson.
So, guys, first of all, I want to ask you guys something. You had just reviewed an Anderson Cooper interview with an eyewitness at the scene. Is that right?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s correct.
PINSKY: What are your thoughts? I haven`t seen this yet. What do you guys witnessed here?
GERAGOS: I don`t want to speak for Marcia, but we both probably agree it raises some real questions because I don`t think at least through watching the interview when I did that it`s determined at this point whether or not Zimmerman was on top or not on top when the shot went off.
PINSKY: What did this guy say? This interview he --
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER O.J. SIMPSON PROSECUTOR: What he said was that he saw two figures struggling. It was very dark. So, he couldn`t see exactly who was on top and who was on the bottom. But he did hear somebody cry out for help. He did see them struggling.
It was important he stated on the grass portion, not on the sidewalk where the concrete was. That`s important in terms of injuries might have been suffered by George Zimmerman. And his claim by head banged on the pavement.
PINSKY: That`s somewhat consistent with this police report that he had grass on his back.
GERAGOS: Grass on his back and he was wet.
PINSKY: That could have been them rolling around struggling. It doesn`t necessarily mean he punched him and he landed on his back.
CLARK: Not at all. Didn`t he say they were struggling?
GERAGOS: He said there was definitely a struggle, and I think to some degree, the witness helps Zimmerman`s position in a kind of unusual way. But even more so, the facts and maybe we`ll agree again, that would be a first --
CLARK: That would be crazy.
GERAGOS: That this has to be a prosecution`s worst nightmare, to have their witnesses interviewed on TV, whether -- even if they`re disguised because it gives so much more fodder to the defense to get in there. You`ve now got yet another statement that you can play around with.
CLARK: It`s true. That is a problem.
But I do think his statement actually helps the prosecution more because what this witness said is that there was nothing about the scuffle he saw or the manner in which George Zimmerman moved afterwards, after the shots were fired that were consistent with someone who had been beaten as severely as he claimed he`d been.
PINSKY: Or felt their life was in danger, right?
PINSKY: So, what -- is there a specifics as to what he was saying about what he saw, how he moved?
CLARK: Yes. What he said was after the struggle, there were screams. He heard the screams. There was a struggle. One was on top, one was on the bottom. Then he heard the shots. He said it was more than one shot. That`s incredibly important.
GERAGOS: He did say it could have been an echo. That may be because he`s been influenced by having heard the media reports that there was only one shot, who knows? This was not -- this was not -- this was a very intelligent witness in the sense that he cautioned -- he was very cautious. He didn`t seem to be embellishing, at least I didn`t have the sense.
CLARK: I agree. I think he`s going to be a compelling witness because he does feel very down the middle. He felt like he was being very careful, to be precise and not stretch out there. He did say, I heard the shot. He said plural at the time.
PINSKY: Was somebody walking away when shots were fired?
CLARK: No, no.
GERAGOS: No, no, no.
CLARK: Shots were fired. And then --
PINSKY: During the struggle --
CLARK: Yes. And then --
PINSKY: Somebody got up.
CLARK: Yes, and the person who got up was George Zimmerman. He got up very shortly after the shots with fired. He was moving with no trouble. He touched his forehead. There`s nothing, in other words, seems to corroborate the statement by George Zimmerman that he was beaten so severely.
PINSKY: Natalie, what do you make of all this?
NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR MARTIN FAMILY: You know, it goes back to what the parents have always wanted in this case. There needs to be an arrest so that a jury can see this, a jury can evaluate these witnesses and the credibility of these witnesses.
We keep getting into the "what happened", but the "what happened" is a question for a jury or a judge to decide. This is -- we can`t get to that question without an arrest in this case. The parents want to know -- the bottom line is the parents want to know and they want someone to say, our innocent child mattered. It`s not -- you just can`t say it`s self-defense and walk away and nothing happens.
PINSKY: And, Mark, you said something that caught my attention last night which was that you`ve never really seen a case where there was not arrests then questions unless it was a police officer involved in the shooting.
GERAGOS: Right. Absolutely, the police shooting -- the only time you have a dead body and somebody who`s there and there`s no question that he`s the one who pulled the trigger --
PINSKY: By the way, on the police report, they have it as manslaughter or homicide. I mean, they report it as such.
GERAGOS: So, I really think that`s what drives all this, because everybody`s experience, whoever`s had any connection with the criminal justice system knows that generally, in my experience, at least, there`s always going to be an arrest, and then the prosecutor will make the decision later on.
Now we`ve heard today at least they`ve phoned a prosecutor in or something to that effect. That also is incomprehensible to me, at least on that night. Usually here in L.A., I will tell you, they`ll let somebody cool their heels for 48 to 72 hours. They`ll bring all the reports to the prosecution. The prosecution will make a decision and then something is done later on.
There`s even a news report today out of Pasadena where somebody called 911, said the guy had a gun, Pasadena police killed the person. He didn`t have a gun.
GERAGOS: Right. And they went and arrested the 911 caller. So that`s how we operate here in California.
PINSKY: Wow. Marcia?
CLARK: That`s bizarre.
PINSKY: Let`s be fair, it`s Pasadena where you live, Mark. It`s where you and I live.
GERAGOS: Where we live. So I understand that.
PINSKY: But do you agree with what Mark`s saying?
CLARK: Yes, in essence, that`s true. I mean, you do expect an arrest first. There was an arrest. That`s the thing we were all I think misinformed about initially, is that we all thought the police did nothing, sat on their hands, let the guy go home, did no statements taking.
They did do it normally. They did do it. They did do it.
GERAGOS: I mean, it was almost reported as kind of urban fact and legend that he was not arrested. That`s when the tape comes out and said, wow, what are we talking about? Everybody`s so misinformed that it`s out there that he wasn`t arrested.
CLARK: Yes, absolutely. He was arrested, he was handcuffed, he was transported to the station and the lead investigator took the case to the D.A. and asked to file it.
PINSKY: That night.
CLARK: That night.
GERAGOS: That night.
PINSKY: And the D.A. turned it down?
GERAGOS: They called the states attorneys there and at least what`s being reported, because there`s been so much misinformation, I don`t want to create any more, but at least what`s being purported is that the state`s attorney said, no, we need further investigation. I don`t have an objection to that. As a defense lawyer, I love that. I want them to do more investigation.
But, you know, it`s a problem because it`s so opposite of what most people`s experience is.
PINSKY: And, Natalie, as the family`s attorney, I bet you see it --
JACKSON: I kind of disagree. I do. I do. Because what we`re talking about is a legal definition of arrest.
There was not an arrest made meaning that he was not booked. He was not made to bail out. His ability to carry a weapon was not revoked. His ability to leave the state was not revoked.
In this case, legally, there may are been an arrest, but what people know as an arrest did not happen. George Zimmerman is free man. He can go and get another gun. He can leave the country if he wants. He can do whatever he wants right now. He does not have to face a jury.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Mark.
GERAGOS: You`re absolutely right. They didn`t file a case against him, but there`s no question that he was arrested under the legal definition of what an arrest was, which is totally different than what was initially reported.
PINSKY: And then he was let go, quickly thereafter.
GERAGOS: Right. And whether he was booked or whether he had anything revoked or whether a jury is going to hear it, those are decisions that are still going to come. If the state`s attorney says they`re going to file charges, he`ll be rearrested. He will be booked. He will then have bails set and he will not be able to carry a firearm during the --
CLARK: As I understand right now, they have to be the grand jury.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Natalie.
JACKSON: Those are decisions that will come because of the public outcry. The parents were told this case was done, it`s self-defense, we cannot arrest. That`s what the parents were told when they found out their 17-year-old son was killed by someone and he was doing nothing wrong.
No parent wants to hear that. Nobody wants to hear that about their child. And without the public outcry, this would have never happened. A special prosecutor never would have been assigned. Neither would a grand jury have been convened on April 10th.
PINSKY: Yes. Natalie, I think you`re right. I think that is what -- that`s what catapulted this thing into everyone`s consciousness. That is what`s so scary about this case, and that`s why we`re still here digging into it tonight.
Thank you, Marcia. Thank you, Mark. And, Natalie, thank you.
Next up, you`re going to hear George Zimmerman`s father, Robert Zimmerman, a judge, defend his son publicly for the first time since the shooting.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We are continuing our discussion of the Trayvon Martin case. Now, last night, George Zimmerman`s father, Robert, spoke publicly. You heard that before the break. This is the first time he`s spoken since the shooting.
He gave an exclusive interview with WOFL in Orlando about what happened the night Martin was killed by his son. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, WOFL)
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S DAD: After nearly a minute of being beaten, George was trying to get his head of the concrete, trying to move with Trayvon on him into the grass. In doing so, his firearm was shown. Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of "you`re going to die now" or "you`re going to die tonight", something to that effect.
He continued to beat George and, at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And now, I want to remind people before I introduce my guest that we just heard Mark Geragos and Marcia Clark talking about a conversation, a tape with an eyewitness who said they were not on the concrete, they were on the grass.
And further, before the break, you heard George Zimmerman`s father talking about Trayvon came up to him and asked him if he had a problem. Remember, George was tailing this guy at night, making him feel threatened. He was on the phone with his girlfriend and talked about it.
And the guy comes up and says, do you have a problem? And then his father reports that he reached for his cell phone.
I want you to imagine this. Guy`s tailing you, anybody`s tailing you, comes up, you confront the guy, say, you have a problem? The guy goes like this.
You`re not going to punch the guy in the face? Debra? Debra Wilson? Comedian, actress. Wouldn`t you punch that guy in the face?
DEBRA WILSON, ACTRESS: First of all, let`s go back to the very beginning. None of it makes any sense. It doesn`t make common sense.
The father said he was actually being beaten, that his son was beaten for a minute. If you`re talking 60 seconds, that`s a long time for a young man who`s 17 years old and 140 pounds to hold down and cuff, and keep down for over 30 seconds -- let alone a minute -- for over 30 seconds a man who`s over 240 pounds.
Now, at this point, we have to look at all of the facts and then corroborate them -- corroborate them with any other information we have. So now let`s look at the surveillance tapes of this man being brought in where there is no injury to the back of the head.
PINSKY: Right, looks pretty good.
WILSON: There`s no injury to the face. Not only that, but if there were injury that were being sustained at that time or prior to, wouldn`t the police officers have rubber gloves on to prevent themselves from any microbes or any germs?
PINSKY: If you broke a nose, if you broke a nose, there`s a lot of bleeding. This is the surveillance tape we`re looking at right now.
I want to introduce my other guest, editor of GlobalGrind.com, Michael Skolnik, and Natalie Jackson remains with us. She`s the attorney for the Martins.
Natalie, what do you make of what Robert Zimmerman had to say?
JACKSON: You know, it`s hard to come down on Robert Zimmerman. He`s a father. He`s going to do what he needs to do to protect his son. He knows that his son is in trouble and he`s going to do what he needs to do.
The problem with what Robert says is that he doesn`t give the same consideration to Trayvon`s family. You know, it`s OK to -- it`s OK to defend your child, but don`t do it at the detriment of someone who was an innocent child, somebody`s baby who did nothing wrong.
PINSKY: Yes, who felt threatened because some guy was tailing him.
Now, Michael, you recently wrote a blog about racism in America. It reads, quote, "I will never look suspicious to you, even if I have a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers on. I will never look out of place to you. I will never watch a taxicab pass me by to pick up someone else. I certainly will never get stopped and frisked. I will never look suspicious to you because one thing and one thing only, the color of my skin, I am white."
Michael, is this really what we`re talking about here? Is this the core issue?
MICHAEL SKOLNIK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLOBALGRIND.COM: I think it`s the core issue. I wore a hoodie and pair of jeans and white tennis shoes over the weekend, I can walk on any street, and no one is going to call 911 and say I look suspicious. Trayvon the night he was killed wore the exact same outfit. The only reason why George Zimmerman thought he was suspicious is because of the color of his skin.
Young black and brown men in this country are looking suspicious just walking through a neighborhood. Was he peering in a window, is he hiding in a bush, did he have a ski mask on? No, he was walking down the street, and he was suspicious.
So, I wrote this blog to challenge white people that we have privilege to never look suspicious and with that privilege, we have choices to make. And the choice that I made was to stand up and support this young man and be loud and not be quiet.
PINSKY: Debra, isn`t that the core issue here? Does it really? Because we start talking about details --
WILSON: There are a lot of core issues here.
PINSKY: I understand that justice for Trayvon is a core issue, but I`m not an attorney. You know, I don`t know -- I hope justice will be served. But as a clinician, as somebody`s interested in human experience, I see what Michael is talking about as really a central feature here.
WILSON: No, I`m looking at human experience and I think the human experience is really the core issue -- the human experience. I think we tend to break it down by race because that is what is viscerally attacking us. And that is what is viscerally presented to us.
But if we look at a larger aspect of it, if we look at a larger aspect of society, we`re living in a Godless society where we are not beholden to anything greater than ourselves. And racism happens to fall under that umbrella. People of color happen to fall under that umbrella.
For example, when we go into a court of law, what are we asked to do before the proceedings? Put our hand on the Bible. What is on our money? "In God We Trust".
If we`re not beholden to anything greater than ourselves, then we`re going to behave in certain ways that allow us to always be sleepwalking through our lives. Even on the simplest of levels. We`re all responsible for sleepwalking on certain levels and those who are of authority who used their authority as an abuse of power like the police departments have done and especially heinously in this case, they are in need of getting away with something because it`s about creating justification for themselves, not justification for another human being.
And if they were in any other situation with any other type of person, they`d still do the same thing because they`re not beholden to anything greater than themselves.
PINSKY: Mike --
WILSON: There`s no integrity.
WILSON: There`s no desire to grow and be a better human being or to protect and serve.
PINSKY: I want to ask Mike, is it a spiritual depravity? Is that the issue here? Is that at the core?
SKOLNIK: The elephant in the room in this country is race. And so, I challenge again, I challenge white people to come to the table. Until we`re ready to walk the elephant out of the room and have an honest conversation about who we are as a nation, the soul of our nation.
I don`t want to make it a religious issue because I think it`s -- on the surface, you know, you can see it every single day in every community across this country. You know, we don`t talk about young, white kids being locked up at a higher rate or we talk about young, white kids being stopped and frisked in the streets or young, or we talk about young white kids being the victims in the war on drugs.
I really truly believe that we as white people have to engage in this conversation. We have to be active on this case and stand up for what is wrong.
PINSKY: Yes. Thank you, Mike. Thank you, Mike.
And, Debra, I think you`re on to something. I do. Hang on. I got to go to break.
WILSON: Don`t misconstrue religious.
PINSKY: I get it. Debra, I got to go to break. Let`s go to break.
I totally understand what you`re saying. You`re talking about spiritual depravity. It doesn`t have anything to do with religious. It`s being accountable to something greater than ourselves. And I think you`re on to something with that.
Thank you, Michael, Debra -- of course, Natalie.
More on the controversial police videotape. We have a law enforcement expert, a former policeman, a former EMT as well. He weighs in.
That is with us next. We`ll take a look at that video. Stay with us.
PINSKY: We, of course, are continuing our conversation about the Trayvon Martin tragedy and a tragedy it is.
I`m joined by Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst.
Mike, help me with this. The video does not seem to show a bloodied Mr. Zimmerman, and yet the police report which I`ve got right here says that there was grass on his back, he had something on the back of his head and a bloody nose.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right.
PINSKY: What do you think of all that?
BROOKS: Right. It said Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of the head.
But Dr. Drew, you`re an M.D., I was an EMT for over 20 years on the streets of D.C. and in Virginia. And you don`t see anything at all when he gets out here, there`s no blood on his shirt. If somebody hit you in the nose, you`re going to -- and there`s a struggle, you`re going to have blood on the front of the shirt.
Then you look at the back of his head, Dr. Drew. You might see just a little tiny mark, but the Sanford Fire Department on the scene, they treated him and then they released him. He most likely had to sign a release before he was sent to the police station.
Dr. Drew, if he had any kind of head trauma from having his head --
PINSKY: Mike, hold on. We`re zooming in right now on his head. If we can put that back up there, guys. We were zooming in on a picture of his head from that video. And you can see his head looks pretty clean. You don`t see --
PINSKY: There it is.
PINSKY: No lacerations. Nothing on the back of his shirt.
By the way, a broken nose bleeds a lot. He should still be applying pressure on that nose if in deed there was bleeding from that.
So, by the way, this is what kills me about this. I sort of don`t care. What`s the implication here, Mike, that next time somebody punches somebody in the nose, they should shoot them?
BROOKS: No, absolutely not. You know, that`s the whole thing.
But if you look at the injuries, were these injuries that he sustained enough to put him in fear of his life? That`s the question here. From what we`re seeing, Dr. Drew, I`m not seeing it from my experience as an investigator and emergency medical technician. I am just not seeing it here, Doctor.
PINSKY: Mike, I totally agree with you. And, by the way, if these guys cleaned him up in the car, they would have had gloves on. I mean --
PINSKY: -- a fractured nose, a broken nose is a bloody affair. They would have had to put gloves on. There would have been blood on him, on sheets. There`s none of that, nothing on the back of his head.
And again, I don`t care, because what kills me about this is what is the implication of this "Stand Your Ground" nonsense, which is if somebody threatens you -- whatever happened to men being men, when Harry Truman threatened to clobber somebody? Should he have been shot there on the spot? Is that what we`re implying?
BROOKS: The "Stand Your Ground" law does not apply to this particular case. If they want to say it was self-defense, maybe they have something to prove. But when you look at this video, Dr. Drew, he also, if he had head trauma on the back, did the EMTs wrap his head up, did they put gauze and cling around his head? Absolutely not.
And as you said, these officers handling him, if there was any kind of biohazard, blood on him, they would have gloves on. They don`t.
PINSKY: Mike, last question. I got about 30 seconds left.
PINSKY: What do you make of these "A," the wannabe cop and the cop that doesn`t follow the dispatcher`s recommendations?
BROOKS: He`s supposed to be neighborhood watch, the eyes and ears. Not a vigilante, not taking action, not stopping someone, not even trying to ID anyone. He was told not to follow him. He should have just said, OK. He never should have gotten out of his car to begin with, period.
PINSKY: Thanks, Mike. Lessons here learned for sure.
Coming up, is another former FLDS leader getting what he deserves? We`re going to talk about that.
And up next, I`ll answer your questions about a lot of things but especially the Trayvon Martin case, so stick around.
PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, a former FLDS big shot, second in command to Warren Jeffs, has been found guilty of bigamy. A Texas Jury wasted no time convicting the senior citizen who could be locked up for years.
Is justice finally catching up with this sect that forces underage girls to marry and have sex with men twice their age or will this criminal behavior be allowed to go on largely unchecked?
But first, your questions, my answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Well, not surprisingly, we are getting a lot of your feedback on the Trayvon Martin story. So, let`s go right on to the phones. Russell, and Russell, you were actually in Sanford, Florida, and I understand you want to shed some light on little community there. Am I right that you live in a gated community right next door to where this happened?
RUSSELL, FLORIDA: This is absolutely correct. I live in Graystone, which is directly east of the Twin Lakes Retreat.
PINSKY: And is this -- I mean, what is -- I`m dying to know, what`s your sort of perspective on all this? The rest of the country looks at this and goes --
RUSSELL: Yes. From my perspective, I -- the first thing I want so say is I don`t believe it`s about racial profiling. I believe that Mr. Zimmerman is, you know, the self-appointed neighborhood watch person for that neighborhood. He knows the neighborhood very well, knows who lives there.
I`m a very private person. I know pretty much everyone in the neighborhood, even though I don`t communicated with them.
PINSKY: Right, which is a good thing.
RUSSELL: Sure. The streets are so small in these neighborhoods that --
PINSKY: Do you need a neighborhood watch in a neighborhood like that, in a nice community that`s gated? Do you have to have a guy walking around with a gun? We look at that and go, what, come on, why?
RUSSELL: Yes. I think that he walks around with a gun is wrong, personally.
PINSKY: OK. All right. So, that`s the perspective I need, Russell, is just to understand that it`s not like vigilantes roaming around every neighborhood in your area. How about the Sanford police? What`s the local feeling about the police department?
RUSSELL: Well, I mean, there`s a history there of some issues with the police department.
PINSKY: And racial tension, right?
PINSKY: OK. All right.
RUSSELL: That is absolutely true.
PINSKY: Do you think, let me ask something, because we`ve been talking about this all day. Do you think that the fact that they did not arrest Mr. Zimmerman says something about that police department?
PINSKY: OK. So, that was, what, they just saw him as one of their own? A --
RUSSELL: No. Let me just -- a couple points I definitely want to make here is, Mr. Zimmerman saw somebody in his neighborhood that he did not recognize.
PINSKY: Happens in my -- I don`t know about you guys. Happens in my neighborhood all the time. And I live in scarier parts of -- you know, scarier stuff going on near my neighborhood, and that`s, you know, it`s part of living in the city.
RUSSELL: Well, typically in my neighborhood, I rarely see people that I don`t know. That I don`t recognize.
PINSKY: Well, that to me is a little peculiar by itself. I mean, that`s not very southern hospitality. You know what I`m saying?
RUSSELL: It`s a very small gated community.
PINSKY: I`m just saying. Maybe that`s part of the problem. There`s an in and an out. I don`t know. Russell, I`m sorry, I have to go, but I do appreciate your perspective. I have a caller, Sandra. You`ve got a comment there, Sandra? Go ahead.
SANDRA: Yes. Yes, I talked to you yesterday, and my comment more is I`m a White mother with Two black children, and I had e-mailed you saying I have so many stories with the Naples Police Department racially profiling my children.
PINSKY: Your kids. Yes. You know, Sandra, let me stop you. I`ve had the most -- you respond to what I`m about to tell you. I`ll be curious to see your response. Since I started reporting on this story and reporting on what I think is unconscious racism, and what I`m identifying it as such in myself -- I didn`t know, I didn`t know that`s what I was doing, I was doing it.
And now wherever I go, I meet young African-American men who stop me - - I had a security guard. I was in New York last week. He stopped me and went, I have to tell you a story. These are characteristic stories all the guys were going through. I was 15, I never been in the city, I walked over, I was late, I was coming off the subway, and I asked a woman for time and she started screaming.
And the police came and put me in handcuffs. And he said, I was so confused, I didn`t know what was going on. And, this story turned out OK, this particular one. The woman apologized. She took him to lunch. She just said, I have these -- I didn`t know. Same thing I`m saying.
I didn`t know the racist impulses operate in all us. This story is telling us about that. Don`t you agree that that`s why we got to keep this story going?
SANDRA: This is why I agree, and I thank you so much, because this is what`s happening daily in my life with my kids, not just with the police, but at the shopping -- my sons will drop me off. They see two Black boys in the car, the ladies grab their purse. They don`t see me in the back --
PINSKY: Well, you know what, we need more -- we need to be able to laugh at this somehow. We need to get -- we need to -- because this is --
SANDRA: And the sad thing is that my children would protect you. I had a neighbor run up on us and calling out racial slurs. I --
PINSKY: Sandra, here`s the deal. Here`s the bottom line. This is the bottom line for everybody. Keep raising those good kids. Keep raising them.
SANDRA: Thank you.
PINSKY: I`m sorry you have to give them that talk that so many parents --
SANDRA: I do --
PINSKY: I`m sorry you have to do it, but just keep raising good kids, all right? You stay at it. Thanks, Sandra.
All right. I`m switching gears entirely here. Nadya Suleman, the woman many of you know as octomom, has apparently posed topless for money. Now, remember, she has 14 children. I dealt with Nadya for a long time, and she has had some dire financial straits coming, and I`ve been trying to help Nadya for quite some time.
Here`s what you guys think. Cindy on Facebook says, "She`s not the first or last person to do something like posing nude. So, what if she does? Hey, at least, she is not prostituting herself." Well, when she heard we were doing the story, guess who called us? Nadya, are you there?
VOICE OF NADYA SULEMAN, `OCTOMOM`: How are you?
PINSKY: How are you? What`s going on? Dude, what is up?
SULEMAN: I`m surviving. We`re all thriving actually. We`re doing great. Yes, definitely in less financial stress. And I am very grateful for what you`ve done for us.
PINSKY: Have you moved out of your house, the house I visited?
SULEMAN: Within the next two months.
PINSKY: OK. First of all, slow down. The kids are all good. Everybody --
SULEMAN: Unbelievably good. They`re good. Potty trained on my own eight of them, 100 percent potty trained. Everyone`s great.
PINSKY: So good times. What everyone wants to know is, what`s with the posing nude?
SULEMAN: OK. Yes. Immediately, my first reaction was no, and my manager, Gina, she came to me with the offer. I said, no way. Really, it`s not conducive to my morals and values and all that.
PINSKY: You`ve always said that, so my question -- hang on --
SULEMAN: Listen, I`m going to answer you. I just got to a bit of circumstantiality I`m going to get to the point --
PINSKY: No, the point is, are you that desperate? Nadya, are you that desperate now? Are you that desperate, kid?
SULEMAN: There`s a thing -- I rationalize. You don`t see one inappropriate part.
PINSKY: OK. All right. See, you were convinced.
SULEMAN: I`m covering my breasts. I`m covering my breasts.
SULEMAN: And I think no human, no woman should ever be ashamed of their body regardless of size.
PINSKY: Listen, you know, your body`s been through a lot with eight kids.
SULEMAN: It has. And here`s the thing -- and here`s the thing, I`m not ashamed. I`m not ashamed.
SULEMAN: And my kids are not ashamed.
PINSKY: Good. Here`s the thing. I got to go. I appreciate you calling. You know -- listen, my wife is a multiple mom, worries about you. You know what I mean? Multiple parents all worry about you. We hope you do OK. So, please start planning the finances. Don`t just scramble to make thing ends meet. Thank you, Nadya.
Next up, is the nightmare endured by women and children of the FLDS finally coming to an end? A jury this week will pull another former sect - - put them another former sect member behind bars. After this.
PINSKY: A Texas jury found former FLDS president, Wendell Nielsen, guilty this week, three counts of bigamy. Jurors deliberated for less than two hours. Nielsen, he, himself, performed marriage ceremonies joining polygamist leader, Warren Jeffs, with underage girls. Nielsen, himself, again, allegedly married to 37 child brides.
He now faces ten years in prison. Jeffs, obviously, already there. He was convicted of raping minors. Joining me, Flora Jessop, raised in a polygamist family. She`s the author of "Church of Lies." Elissa Wall born into a polygamist cult that forced her into an illegal marriage at the age of 14.
She`s the author of "Stolen Innocence." And Gary Tuchman, our CNN national correspondent who`s been covering FLDS for years. Gary, let`s remind the audience about the criminality of the FLDS and whether we`re really making any progress to erode what goes on there,
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, keep in mind, Warren Jeffs is the head of all this, members of the FLDS regard as their prophet, the direct mouthpiece of God is in prison for life now after being convicted of raping two underage girls that he was married to. In this case, Wendell Nielsen was one of his top aides. He`s thought to have been married to 34 different women.
What he`s been convicted of is illegal marriages with three of them. His defense was, and this is the defense FLDS member always use is that they were celestial marriages. They weren`t marriages recognized by the state. They were marriages recognized by their religion. But the jury in Texas felt, otherwise.
And he could go to prison for up to ten years. So, what`s really significant, Dr. Drew, is during that raid in Texas where all the children were taken away, and they were all brought back to their parents, 12 men were arrested. Eleven of those men have now been convicted of charges.
PINSKY: Flora, is it too soon to celebrate? And please, also, tell me about the celestial marriages. They sound so lovely.
FLORA JESSOP, RAISED IN A POLYGAMOUS FAMILY: Yes. It`s not too soon to celebrate. I think it`s a fabulous win for the victims of polygamy that he was convicted on these charges. And the celestial marriages is you don`t have -- you`re not legally married. You`re just married spiritually in the eyes of God rather than in the eyes of man.
PINSKY: And, Flora, he continues, Warren Jeffs, to control things from jail, I understand. Gary, according to "Time" magazine, he prepared his flock for doomsday. He`s ordered an amphitheater-like structure on the sect`s West Texas ranch be built in preparation for doomsday.
And I believe if I understand right, in the front of this massive amphitheater, his building is a statue of him holding a little girl`s hand. He`s still very much in charge, isn`t he?
TUCHMAN: Well, his believers, you know, I was just out in Arizona and Utah where most of the FLDS followers still live. There`s quite a few who live on this ranch in Texas, but most of them live in Arizona and Utah. And they still truly believe he will get out of prison. And they`re waiting for that day.
When he gets out of prison, that`s what this construction, this amphitheater is for. This is where he will appear and make his plan (ph) to return, but if the authorities have their way, he will never get out of prison.
PINSKY: Do we have pictures, control? Do we have any pictures of this amphitheater? I`m not seeing this yet, but I`m dying to see what it is they`re talking about. Is there any way you can show that to us? Because this, to me -- look at that. He`s building an amphitheater from jail. Oh, my goodness.
Elissa, I want to go to you. It`s so hard for someone that`s not been through this. Look at that. He`s building an amphitheater. It`s crazy for anyone who`s not been through what something like what you`ve lived through to understand how people get caught in that world. Can we help people understand that?
ELISSA WALL, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: Yes, definitely. For most of us that were caught in the world, it was a generational problem. We were born into it generation after generation. And with each generation, it became more secluded and it became more controlled by the men in charge. So, it`s much harder for people to get an outside perspective and for the outside world to know what`s going on within these communities.
So, it is very hard for someone to get out of them, whether these convictions are happening or not, because it`s been bred into them from generation to generation, and it`s really hard to break away from the chains of brainwashing and the continuous rhetoric that we received as children and as adults.
PINSKY: Flora, I know we`ve talked a lot over the last year or so about this. I know you have feelings about how they indoctrinate kids. Tell me about it.
JESSOP: Well, they start the indoctrination from birth. As a child, I witnessed many of the children be waterboarded to take away their voice, and it essentially silenced the child. Their schooling consists of listening to Warren Jeffs talk on cassette tapes and then doing reports on what they retained out of those cassettes. So, it`s very rigorous indoctrination that they use with the children.
PINSKY: And Elissa, how did you finally get out?
WALL: For me, like many, many others, we fled in the middle of the night. I had been married at such a young age and had been a forced marriage to my first cousin, and it took me three years of enduring continuous sexual abuse, physical abuse, and horrendous mental abuse for me to get to that point where I could question all of the indoctrination and to question my entire life, everything that I knew.
And people have to understand that people that are within these cults and these closed communities, they don`t understand the outside world. They`re being told that the outside world is evil, that it`s going to rape and pillage them. So, it`s very scary for someone to leave. So, we left in the middle of the night because that was the only way for us to get out.
PINSKY: But Elissa, given that you were brainwashed like this, how did you finally gain a glimmer of insight that you wanted to get out?
WALL: It was kind of a life or death situation for me. I couldn`t continue to live in the marriage and the abuse that I was living in. I had grown up watching my mother sacrifice her own children to the will of the priesthood or the will of the church and to give up myself even for a child bride at the tender age of 14.
And I had gone to Warren so many times after being married explaining to him the horrors that were going on within this marriage and always being sent back into it and being told to give myself, mind, body, and soul. It took all of that. And I think, really, what it was is that instinct in all of us, that human spirit to survive kicked in and realized that I couldn`t continue anymore.
And ultimately, Warren gave me an ultimatum. He said that the only way I`d be saved was blood atonement, and so, I just chose to leave, and the best decision I ever made.
PINSKY: Did you say blood atonement?
PINSKY: What does that mean?
WALL: Because they -- Warren felt that I had sinned so severely within this community, I had chosen to protect myself from the man who they had given to me as a husband, and he felt that I had sinned so severely that I had no salvation, unless, I would choose to give up my own life. That was the only way that I would ever be allowed into heaven was to give up my own life.
PINSKY: Wait, he`s telling you to commit suicide, is that what he`s telling you?
WALL: Basically, yes.
PINSKY: And then, I understand you had a little theory about the -- maybe it was Flora had this theory about what that amphitheater is really all about.
JESSOP: Yes. Yes. We`re hearing that the amphitheater --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Flora.
JESSOP: We`ve just gotten word from somebody that just left the FLDS that the amphitheater is for -- what it`s actually for is when Warren has told the people that he`s going to be broken out of prison. And when that happens, that all the world leaders from every nation will come to bow down to him and to learn how to rule in God`s manner. And that`s the --
JESSOP: That`s what that is being built for.
PINSKY: Gary, it concerns me that we could have another Jonestown kind of situation here. So "A," I just, you know, it could happen. I mean, if this guy gets out, but what do we do to keep hammering away at this? What needs to be done?
TUCHMAN: Well, I think, you bring up a good point. It`s not hyperbole. The authorities who deal with the FLDS truly honestly believe that if Warren Jeffs told people to commit violence that a good portion of his followers would absolutely commit violence in his name. And this is a desperate man who is in prison for the rest of his life, so there is reason to be concerned.
There`s precedent, obviously, with Jonestown and other things. So, there`s a lot of reason to be concerned. What can be done? Keep chipping away. As I said, 12 people arrested after this raid. Eleven have now been convicted. Eleven have served prison time or are still in prison. And it`s all you can keep on doing.
But I will tell you that Flora and Elissa and so many other women, not a majority, a small minority of women who`ve gotten out of the FLDS are my heroes. They are absolutely so courageous women.
PINSKY: They are, indeed.
TUCHMAN: For a woman to leave the FLDS takes amazing amount of courage.
PINSKY: I`m hearing Elissa`s story. Literally, she has to hit bottom. She has to be approaching death, then it becomes a choice that she`s ready to make. Elissa, thanks for sharing the story. Flora, always thank you. And, of course, Gary, thank you, as well.
JESSOP: Thank you.
PINSKY: Next up, I`ve got a firsthand account of what life inside an FLDS compound is like, and that will be right after the break.
PINSKY: Welcome back. And we are talking about the FLDS. Jake Draper is a 19-year-old raised by his mom in an FLDS compound. Here he is now discussing the dire consequences of going to a movie. Watch this.
JAKE DRAPER, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: Picked up like four of my buddies, we went down to St. George, and I get down there, we go to the theater, we watch a movie, and I drop them all off, get back, and I walk in my bedroom and all my stuff is packed up. All my clothes. Everything is all boxed up on my bed. And I`m like -- and I walked out and my mom`s crying.
And all my little brothers and sisters are bawling. And I`m like, what`s happening? They`re like, the bishop said that he has pictures of you down there at the theater and that you`re to be removed from us. You`re never to see us again. And I`m like, what? He`s like, yes. He`s like, and my mom was taking it pretty hard.
I didn`t know what to do. I was about the on the strength she had next to my younger brother, and then, I have a sister. She was bawling pretty hard. All my stuff was packed up. By the time I said bye to them, and Lyle came in, the bishop, and he`s like, yes, you`re moving out. And I`m like, OK. You`re going to be moving down with your dad in Vegas.
By the time you move down to Vegas, he`s working down there at a shop. By the time, all my (INAUDIBLE) my bedroom and all my stuff was loaded up and his boys had it all in their truck, and they were ready to tow me out. I had two little brothers that were pretty cool to me. They were just clinging on my leg. I was crying.
It was pretty sad that I had to leave them. They were just -- I don`t know. I love them still. I wish I could see them again, but I haven`t. It`s been about two years, about a year, actually.
PINSKY: Elissa Wall, you have an organization that rescues people throwing out of the FLDS. How is that going? Are people increasingly coming out of that organization?
WALL: Yes, they are. Our organization is called "Holding Out Help," and I have the great responsibility and opportunity to be a part of this. It`s landmark, because it`s one of the first organizations that`s really making an impact within the FLDS community. We`re able to get these people that are like Jake who are being kicked out and are going through such trauma, emotionally and physically, because they have nowhere to go.
They have no resources on the outside. No education. And, we have really tried hard to create a net in which we can start to catch these people and start to help them integrate into society. Help them psychologically.
PINSKY: Elissa, are you seeing more of them? Are you seeing more of them coming out these days? I mean, is there a crack in the wall?
WALL: Absolutely. We are seeing -- the floodgates are just beginning to open. We`re starting to see mothers coming out with their children. And that is so wonderful and so big. We`re still seeing many, many young boys that are being excommunicated from the church, and we`re seeing a large number of them, but we`re starting to see whole families that are fleeing and coming out. We are seeing --
PINSKY: That`s encouraging. Elissa, great. And please keep up the great work. And we`ll keep checking in with you. I do appreciate it. And please, best to Flora when you get back out there. I know you guys work with her very closely as well.
I want to say good night to my viewers. We`ll keep (INAUDIBLE) FLDS, but more importantly, more immediately, the Trayvon Martin case is not going anywhere. And, I don`t want it to -- it`s raised our consciousness about to sink away into oblivion. Again, we got to remember this. See you next time.