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Mothers Who Kill; 8-year-old Jude was Found Dead in a Hotel with His Mom
Aired August 23, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): At the stroke of midnight, Casey Anthony becomes a free woman. She did plead guilty to check fraud, but in a case that has riveted the country, she was found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. So what is Casey Anthony`s next move?
Then, a New York socialite worth $40 million now sits in a jail cell awaiting trial for murdering her 8-year-old autistic son. She says it was a mercy killing. Police say it was premeditated. The case has made headlines as more shocking details are revealed.
Later, from Susan Smith who drove her sons into a lake to Andrea Yates who drowned her five children in a bathtub, mothers who harm -- epidemic or just sensational headlines? We are going to find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And first, Casey and your calls. Right now, attorney Mike Eiglarsh and psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall are here with the latest on Casey Anthony. Again, call us, 855-DRDREW5.
Mark, what happens now that she comes off probation is she free to walk in the world? Is she safe to walk in the world? Are there future problems ahead for her?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Being free and being safe are two different issues. Legally, she is free to do whatever she wants. She has the same rights as you and I once her probation terminate.
Is she safe? Well, she was just recently on the top 10 list at the number one spot of the most hated person in the United States. Maybe even in the world. So, I think there`s always people who somehow will look to take her down. I don`t think that her concerns about her safety are justified.
PINSKY: Bethany, one of the things that interests me most about this case, was our reaction to her. Why does it galvanize us? Why does it preoccupy us so much?
BETHANY MARSHALL, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST: Well, it galvanizes us because the idea of a mother who potentially, I know she was acquitted, kill her child. None of us want to think of our own mommies that way.
But, Mark, you said that she is potentially free to go in the world. Is Casey Anthony ever free from herself? Her offending pattern has started already. She is on probation because she stole a check from Amy Huizenga. And what does she do? During her probationary period, she moves straight into the house of a minister and the minister`s wife is now complaining that Casey Anthony is selfish. So --
PINSKY: Hold the presses, Casey Anthony is selfish. Hold on a second.
MARSHALL: Can we even save Casey Anthony from herself?
PINSKY: Mark, what do you think?
EIGLARSH: Well, hold on -- let me make this very clear. First of all, she is free legally. Emotionally, I have no idea.
But I`m going to be -- Drew, I have always been honest with you. My father told me when I was very little that the opposite of love is not hate, it`s indifference. I`m telling you, I`m indifferent. I don`t care what Casey Anthony does with the rest of her life. I don`t. I really don`t.
PINSKY: I sort of agree with you, and yet people seem to keep wanting to talk about her. Let`s do one little piece of dissection.
Bethany, what did you think happened there? The only thing I know about her is she was a severe liar, like unbelievable liar, which belies a severe character problem, does it not?
MARSHALL: I think she is cluster B. I think she`s sociopath, anti- social, borderline narcissistic.
PINSKY: All of that.
MARSHALL: She`s Petrie dish full of psychopathology. And when you keep in mind those disorders, reckless disregard and lack of concern for the rights and safety of others, failure to pay back debts to society, parasitic lifestyle, doesn`t bond, lies, cons, manipulate, drug use, promiscuity, she doesn`t have a snowball`s chance in hell of being safe to herself or to other people, especially since the offending pattern has begun.
PINSKY: So just like O.J., we will hear from her again, right? She can`t stop herself, her pathology will emerge.
Let`s take a call. Katherine in Kentucky. Katherine?
KATHERINE, CALLER FROM KENTUCKY: OK. I think comparing her to O.J. is a little kind of off. I mean, when you see O.J. in public, you knew it was O.J. You know, you --
PINSKY: I`m comparing her in the sense, Katherine, that what Bethany Marshall was just saying is she has significant pathology that will cause her to engage in behaviors that will put her back into the public scrutiny.
MARSHALL: And also, O.J. was a sociopath. And what that means is he was a parasite. He was not bonded to others. He lacks a conscience. He has a hole in the conscious. And he has a hole in her conscience so through, you could drive a truck through it nd what happens is these people --
EIGLARSH: Here is the greatest similarity.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Mark.
EIGLARSH: Drew, the biggest similarity to me is that both were acquitted of horrific homicides, but everyone believes that they did it, and that`s the similarity we have to get over it, we have to move on what we believe, clearly, are miscarriages of justice.
MARSHALL: But you know what? The reason we can`t move on is there will be another victim. Because here`s her offending pattern -- She is going to find a guy, and like women who are borderline, she is going to cling and then reject. She is going to have a baby to hold onto the guy. Then, when the guy doesn`t want the baby, she will have to get rid of the baby. There will be another victim and that`s why we need to care about Casey Anthony.
PINSKY: Wow, you are predicting further murder?
MARSHALL: Nothing we can do. What can we do? What can we do? Going to follow her around all day long and watch every movement? She has rights. You can`t.
PINSKY: Terry in Florida. Terry, you got a comment?
TERRY, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Oh, I got more than a few, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: All right, sir, go ahead.
TERRY: I just don`t understand -- I mean, she shouldn`t be free. She should have got the death penalty or life in prison, you know? I mean, everybody knows she did it. Just -- I think the trial was like a circus, a crock, you know?
Baez kind of made of joke out of everything and point the finger at her father said, zealous hooker. They tried to blame, what was her name, the utility worker, Mr. Kronk?
PINSKY: Terry, you raise a lot of issues, either case, it`s still yet to come. But he does raise an interesting question about the family -- what are your thoughts on that family?
MARSHALL: On the Casey Anthony family? I think that probably they did not create a monster. I think she came into this world genetically predisposed towards sociopathy but her parents didn`t do anything to stop it. If you have the genetic predisposition and your parents don`t put limits, it`s like a speeding train coming down the track.
PINSKY: Is there anything the parents should do now?
MARSHALL: Set limits.
PINSKY: Right. They should -- remember, this girl had them duped into believing she was in high school, or didn`t finish high school. They should have right then gotten professional help. Right there.
MARSHALL: However, however, Cindy Anthony did go to a social worker who told her that she should get Casey Anthony to take responsibility for the child. And what did Casey do? She went and killed her child. So when you get a sociopath to take responsibility, you better watch over their shoulder.
PINSKY: So I`m not sure I hear for sure, Bethany, should it be to come and set limits and boundaries around Casey or maybe the family should cut ties entirely and just stand back.
MARSHALL: I don`t know, let her loose on society?
PINSKY: Well, I wouldn`t. But if that family were sufficiently done with her, Mark, would you give up on someone like that and say I have had enough of this, you burned me out, that`s it I`ve done everything you can? You`re an adult?
EIGLARSH: That is the first thing.
PINSKY: Mark, you know what I do -- mark if you had an adult child behaving like this I would make sure the legal system got their hands on them and try to make sure that these things were found out about them so she was something that was contained from the rest of society.
EIGLARSH: True, but as we go forward right now, they are as powerless over her as an addict is over their addiction. They are -- they can`t control her right now.
MARSHALL: But you know what --
EIGLARSH: She is an adult, she can do what she wants. We go back with the clock, I think both the Anthony parents did the best they could at their level of awareness. I don`t think that they foresaw their daughter killing their grandchild.
MARSHALL: But let`s say that social I don`t think is a disorder of detachment.
PINSKY: You don`t connect.
MARSHALL: Does not attach to self or others, other than as a needs satisfying object, an object to gratify their every need.
PINSKY: Like sex or drugs, things that make you sort of feel good in the moment but they don`t really exist as an agent, other people don`t exist to you when you are a sociopath.
MARSHALL: A guy is a wallet. A mommy is a person to supply potato chips and a couch to lie on. So, people just supply things too her.
The only thing that`s going to override that is attachment. When we love other people, we have a conscience.
If her parents can continue to try to reach her in some way, maybe I`m overly hopeful, but try to attach.
PINSKY: But if she is borderline, that maybe possible. If she is a psychopath that will never happen, as you say, genetically predisposed and they are pretty very much -- they have a hole in that part of their brain.
MARSHALL: That`s right. We call it super ego, lacuna (ph), a hole in the conscience. Think to have like Swiss cheese, mostly cheese but a lot of big holes all the way through. And so the hole is where the conscience --
PINSKY: And they can seem normal, because the rest of the cheese is there you don`t come across the hole, all of a sudden, where it counts, where you need them to empathize with you, to care, it`s just empty.
MARSHALL: And that is where your brilliant question, is she safe to herself and is she safe to society comes in, because she looks normal.
These guys are not schizophrenic. They are not walking down the street talking to themselves. They look like you and me.
She is beautiful. That`s why we wanted to watch her on TV, but I would say that if she was my patient, I would go down the sociopath checklist, lying, conning, manipulation, parasitic lifestyle, and I would ask her about her behaviors in that area and get her to reflect on the consequences of that behavior.
For instance, I bet she stole at some point in that minister`s house. I would get her to talk about that, to take responsibility and get her to think about where is that going to end her up eventually.
PINSKY: Very interesting, you guys. Next up -- thank you, Bethany. And thank you, Mark.
Next up why do some women think about harming their children? I mean, it`s not that uncommon, yet some actually do it. We`re going to talk about that. Stay with us.
PINSKY: Whether or not Casey Anthony actually killed her daughter, Caylee, we may never know. We do know that stories of women killing their own children seem to be in the press more and more. This week, a New Jersey woman allegedly mutilated her son and put the toddler`s head in the freezer before taking his own life.
Back with me, attorney Mark Eiglarsh, psychoanalyst, Bethany Marshall and forensic psychologist and attorney, Brian Russell.
Brian, what do you make of this story?
BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Hey, Drew. You know, these kinds of things, these maternal fill sides have been around since there have been human beings. They basically fall in three categories, ones that are influenced strongly by mental illness, ones influenced strongly by substance intoxication and a third category where it`s influenced strongly by an extreme selfishness and a desire to unburden one`s self of motherhood and it`s very shocking to people because it`s hard for the normal person to understand how a mother could possibly not have enough of a maternal bond with their child to be capable of murdering the child.
And so, because it`s so scary and shocking and because of the 24-hour media cycle we have now, I think it`s easy for us to overestimate the extent to which it is an epidemic. I don`t think it s but I do think the third category, the ones that are selfishness motivated are probably creeping up a little bit, because I think there`s just a general societal trend in the direction. It`s a cultural drift in the direction of selflessness. And anytime you have a lot of people drifting in a direction, you`re going to have some people getting out in front of it and taking it to an extreme.
MARSHALL: Brian, I`m sorry. It`s not selfishness. When you say selfishness, that minimizes it. This is utter lack of regard. This is detachment towards the child.
MARSHALL: Well, not even narcissism. We distinguish in child abuse there is a difference between maternal neglect and maternal rejection. Maternal rejection is when you do not want that child. Not only are you not bonded, you have malice towards that child.
So when we think of all the women, all three categories you mentioned, they are not bonded with themselves and therefore, they cannot bond with the child.
PINSKY: But I do hear what Brian is saying it is sort of selfishness on steroid, a way to think about it. Just the ultimate selfishness --
PINSKY: -- which is I have so little regard for this child, I`m willing to dispose of it like any other object that I don`t regard.
MARSHALL: I`m --
PINSKY: I want to do something guys, one quick thing, I`m going to go to a 911 call from the Camden Police Department. This is in regards to that case I just talked about with the woman that put the child`s head in the freezer. We are going to listen to this call and discuss what we hear here. Take a listen.
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CALLER: Somebody just stabbed my baby. Please get here.
DISPATCHER: They just did what?
CALLER: Stabbed my baby.
DISPATCHER: You know who it was, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes, it`s my ex -- it`s my boyfriend. You know what? I did. I`m lying.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: She goes on to perseverate and say I did it, I did it, I did it, repeatedly as if she was in a severely altered state. Some saying PCP did figure in here.
And, Brian, I bet there are circumstances two or more of your categories figure in.
RUSSELL: Absolutely. It sounds like there may have been drug involvement here but also you can hear in the initial attempt to lie about it there is consciousness of guilt there. So ever since Colorado, people have been asking me how do we identify these people and stop them before they endanger others and it`s very hard, as you know, because it is hard to predict, even among mentally ill people who is going to get violent and they`ve got constitutional right. So, we have to balance those with public safety until they endanger somebody.
But where I think we fall down, Drew, is when they have done something to get themselves in the system where they have shown us that they have a propensity to endanger others and we have caught and released, as is the case here.
PINSKY: That`s right.
Mark, had this woman had her child taken away from her and then given back. Are we just not getting it as a society?
EIGLARSH: It`s so difficult to, you know, anticipate that someone is going to sever their child`s head. If we had crystal balls, we`d know. It`s very difficult to do that.
I could tell you that I was hoping that this was like plane crashes in that they don`t happen all that frequently but the media jumps all over it you think it happens a lot more commonly than it does.
MARSHALL: Mark, you know what --
EIGLARSH: Unfortunately, the stats were overwhelming, 250 to 300 kids are killed by their parents each year. To me, that`s a lot.
MARSHALL: Mark, I have to interrupt. Mark, you --
PINSKY: I have to take a break, make it quick.
MARSHALL: You can predict these events, the number one predictor is lack of empathy towards the child. And when a parent is unempathetic --
EIGLARSH: Always? Always? Sometimes or always?
MARSHALL: Extended family system knows. Not all unempathetic parents kill but parents who kill have profound lack of empathy and there are antecedents and predictors.
PINSKY: Mark, great point. We are going to hear more about that Aurora case in the upcoming days because apparently, there`s a bunch of document there is that suggest he was under the care of maybe three different mental health providers and why didn`t somebody, why wasn`t somebody able to stop that? This goes to the very core of that issue, being able to predict.
I think we can predict very well, we just weigh rights against those prediction and the rights win these days.
Listen to this -- who could ever forget Andrea Yates? She killed her five children at her home. Her husband, Rusty, has moved on to a new life. We`re going to hear what he has to say about what he thinks happened in Andrea`s case.
PINSKY: Tonight, we are talking about moms who kill. Susan Smith killed her two little sons when she rolled the family car with them in it into a lake.
Andrea Yates drown her five children in a family bathtub.
Joining me now, Andrea Yates` ex-husband, Rusty Yates.
Rusty, it`s good to see you. Thank you for joining us again.
RUSTY YATES, EX-WIFE DROWNED THEIR FIVE CHILDREN: Thank you for having me.
PINSKY: How do you help understand what happened in her case?
YATES: Oh, boy, in Andrea`s case? It`s really difficult. I mean, think people tend to try to explain it in terms they understand and -- but there`s probably a lot going on that`s foreign to most people`s experience, you know? So, as far as how Andrea behaved at home, you know, she had some ups and downs. I mean, there were periods where, you know, she was doing better than others.
You know, at her worst, she was shaking. You know, like her leg would shake or she`d scratch her head. She hardly said anything. She didn`t eat.
PINSKY: Rusty, my understanding, at times, she was disconnected from reality frequently and harbored fan it is a so I was harming the kids, is that right?
YATES: That`s my understanding. Yes.
PINSKY: And this is another case being able to predict somebody is likely to do this. The system failed her and your kids in a way, didn`t they?
YATES: Yes, I think that`s -- been a tough point for me to accept even, you know? That there is a burden on the family, you know, and I think the responsibility of the family to recognize, you know, when a loved one`s not, you know, just seems a little off or, you know, and to seek help. But it`s kind of hard to predict for, you know, normal family member that, you know, someone that you know, like I say in Andrea`s case, loves her children, it`s hard to predict that you know, she`s going to harm them in any way.
So I think that responsibility tends to fall back on the mental health community, if a family seeks care, brings their loved one, you know, in for treatment and, you know, follows the doctor`s orders, there`s a burden on the doctor, too you know, to clearly explain to the family if there are any risks. How important it is to receive the med since. You know, keep them in-patient as much as they are needed until they are stable on medicines and not posing a risk, you know, the family.
PINSKY: Rusty, I`m going interrupt go to Dr. Russell. Rusty brings up an important point, the Aurora shooting brings up the same point. People are not experts in mental health. We expect them to understand what the illness is here. People don`t like taking medication. They don`t want to take medicine. They`re in denial about what`s going on.
How do we help viewers and families out there understand this more clearly?
RUSSELL: Well, I think we are doing it by helping people to see that when you see little things, you have to expect them to escalate and then if they don`t, you are lucky. If they do you are prepared.
And I think it`s hard to apportion blame to mental health providers who are limited in what they can force somebody to do, but to sort of step to a little bit more general level, I think it`s absolutely true, for example, in the beheading case we talked about where Child Protective Services workers, for example, they are some of the most understaffed, underfunded agencies in the country. Even though most of the people who work there, I think, are good, conscientious professionals there`s only so much they can do and in this political season when we are talking about budgeting, all kinds of ridiculous, unnecessary things, what could be more important as a function of the government that to fund our ability to protect our kids?
PINSKY: OK. We`re going to keep this conversation going. Bethany wants to make a comment. We are going to take your calls. We are going to take a break. Stay with us. Be right back.
PINSKY: Welcome back. We are discussing moms who think about and some who do harm their children.
Bethany, you had a comment you want to make.
MARSHALL: I`m very disturbed about how Rusty Yates is talking about Andrea. He says that she was up, she was down, sometimes her legs were shaking. Maybe she had homicidal intent. He knows that now.
He`s completely minimizing the severity of the situation. I read the court documents. She had bald spots on her head from twirling her hair and pulling it out. She was often noncompliant with medication. She waited until he left to drown the children, which means that she had intent to kill them.
So when he says that it`s difficult for family members to know and that it rests on the shoulders of mental health professionals, where are the families in our society? And on this show, we are saying that it`s a mysterious problem.
There are so many selfish people. You know, we can`t see the signs. When people like Rusty Yates minimize the signs when they were right in front of him, it sends a message to the United States that we are helpless. And we are not. We are not helpless. All we have do is pay attention to psychiatric symptoms
DOCTOR DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: Rusty, you have a response?
RUSTY YATES, EX0HUSBAND OF ANDREA YATES: Yes. I wondered if she was there during all of our doctors` visits and I wonder if she was there as I was giving Andrea medication and caring for the kids and following all of the doctors` instructions to the T. I mean, it`s not like we didn`t take this seriously. It`s not like we didn`t seek treatment.
MARSHALL: No. I know you sought treatment and I know that`s it`s very burdensome on the family members of people with schizophrenia and medication compliance, doctor visits, all of those are very profoundly difficult issues. However, when you say on a national TV show, sometimes she was up and sometimes she was down, that could describe anybody. And she wasn`t. She was schizophrenic and floridly psychotic. And that is a very, very different situation.
PINSKY: And the reason I want to, Rusty, to interrupt this, I want shine a little bit a light on this is because we have the situation in Aurora. And I`m concerned that we are going to find out that someone got in the way of the doctors doing their job in that case, somebody said, doesn`t want to take medicines, doesn`t have to doesn`t want to, his rights and that would take precedent over the safety of the community. I`m concerned about that.
Lt`s take calls. Susan in Pennsylvania - Susan.
SUSAN, CALLER, PENNSYLVANIA: Hi. You know, I`m just going to -- on Rusty. Poor Rusty has been through enough. Let`s not blame the guy. Yes. OK, he has no medical training, right? It is not the medical providers that limit the possible failing or treatment, it is the insurance companies.
PINSKY: Susan, boy, you -- you are singing a tune that is on the lips of every mental health professional and every physician. It is a struggle today to get people the care they need. And let`s be clear, those of you and the people lucky enough to have insurance. There are so many people that have no access and have minimal coverage. It is a massive problem.
MARSHALL: That`s right because were it not for the insurance companies, perhaps Rusty Yates would have had ongoing family support, psychotherapy, in-patient family group session, partial day treatment for his wife. So, I think the caller is entirely correct.
PINSKY: Sheila in California. Sheila?
SHEILA, CALLER, CALIFORNIA: Yes, Doctor Drew. I want to ask a question. Do you think that maybe sometimes, even though cycle medications actually have like side effects but they can cause thoughts of suicide or --
PINSKY: Yes. Absolutely. Let`s not -- we are not here saying, you have to take medicine. Everything isn`t answered in a pill. You just heard Bethany Marshall say that it would have been the family supportive therapist and the sort of talk kinds of interventions that would have been more important than anything. It is not all about medication and pills.
I grant you that in fact, in the call -- I`m going to go to you, Doctor Russell. The story we had with the woman who decapitated the child, in the 911 call, she talks about taking her Prozac. Prozac can cause mania in manic state people, people use substances, can do horrible things. This may have been induced by the medication she was taking.
BRIAN RUSSELL, PH.D., FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. There is always a time when somebody goes on any kind of psychiatric medication when we have to -- we can`t assume that now they are on the medication we are going to have this -- going to have this curve of improvement. We have to watch them a while, oftentimes takes several attempts to tweak the dosage, and tweak the mix of medication and everything. So, I think you are absolutely right.
MARSHALL: Well, I say, let`s not put perfume on the pig. What really happens is someone has late tent bipolar illness and you put them on an anti-depressant. It triggers a manic episode. It can potentially do that. So, I think our viewers deserve to know that. And people who go on medications have to be carefully monitored.
PINSKY: Especially when those medicines are prescribed, primary caretaker, as again, no resources to see a professional psychiatrist, somebody with expertise in that.
Go ahead, Doctor Russell.
RUSSELL: I think the problem now is, I`m interested in helping these people, too. I hope they get the care they need. But in the meantime, when we are not sure how dangerous they are in both these case, the Yates case and decapitation case, these women should not have been around those children.
PINSKY: Well - and I want to go back out to Rusty.
Rusty, you know, I don`t want you to feel like you`re getting ganged up here, man. I know the pain you have been through. I think it is awful what you went through. I`m more likely to blame the system because I know how our system doesn`t works. But I do think it is an important point that Bethany Marshall made for our viewers that families need take command of these ship if they possibly can because nobody else to going do it.
YATES: Yes. Well, there`s a few interesting points there. First, I don`t think a family can protect itself from a psychotic person, you know. Secondly, Andrea was not - I mean, at least from my understanding, floridly psychotic, and that she didn`t say anything that were so off the wall that would give us an indication she would be dangerous.
Another point is the fact we were in her doctor`s office two nights before the tragedy, the doctor didn`t hospitalize her. The first words out of my mouth were she has decline and I`m concerned and he did nothing.
MARSHALL: But my understanding --
PINSKY: Guys, I got to stop the conversation here, we can go on all day with this all night, that is. But the fact is, right in there is where the rubber hits the road, that somebody needed to take more aggressive action and there are forces, whatever they may be to look at, that prevent doctors, professionals from sometimes going to the mat when they need to.
Rusty, thank you for being here. I hope you understand you are helping people understand this problem to make sure this doesn`t happen again.
YATES: Appreciate that, thanks.
PINSKY: Next up, we are going to talk about a socialite, similar topic, worth $40 million, in jail, for killing her 8-year-old autistic son. She says it was a mercy killing. Prosecutors say, no, taking your calls, 1- 855-drdrew5.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: New York City socialites Gigi Jordan, a pharmaceutical exec worth $40 million, right now sits in a Ricers Island jail cell, awaiting trial for the murder of her 8-year-old son, Jude. Gigi told the media she was trying to protect her little boy so she checked the two of them into a $2300 a night hotel suite, barricaded she and the boy in the room and forced her severely autistic son to take a fatal dose of pills. Then she took pills as well, but she was revived and some are calling this a premeditated murder and a fake suicide attempt as an ally buy.
This story has many layers that we will be looking at. Did years of living with Jude`s severe illness cause Gigi to decompensate? Was Gigi`s claim of a mercy killing a mother`s act of, well, love?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right, we are going to get into this in just a second.
Before I do I want to say thank you to my previous guests, I didn`t get a chance to thank them. Of course, Rusty Yates for hanging in there in a very difficult discussion, Mark Eiglarsh and Doctor Brian Russell, and of course, Bethany Marshall for joining me as well. Thanks you guys for that interesting conversation. We will have you back for more.
But joining me is attorney Areva Martin and criminal defense attorney and former New York district attorney Tom Curran.
Tom, take us through what you know about the night that led to 8-year-old Jude`s death in a hotel suite.
TOM CURRAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY; Well, there`s a series of nights. Evidently on February 3rd of 2010, Miss Jordan and her son checked in, paying cash into the peninsula hotel at 55th and 5th avenue in New York.
Over the course of that time, there was administered to little Jude, Jude Mara, a lethal dose of narcotics. And a he would -- by the time the police got there on the evening of February 5th, 2010, evidently, Rigor Mortis had already been set in and he had been dead for a number of hours.
On the floor next to him was his mother, Gigi Jordan. And she -- and there were pills strewn all about the room. She was revived, asked what did you take? What did you take? In court papers, it suggested that one of the first things she said is I want my lawyer. And she has been arraigned in the court -- the case has been going on now for -- since February of 2010.
There have been a number of defense lawyers who have been representing a succession of them, many high-profile, who have represented Miss Jordan. There have been defenses proffered psychiatric defense was proffered by her first lawyer, (INAUDIBLE), that was subsequently withdrawn. And there is a conditional psychiatric defense has been proffered, which really isn`t a psychiatric defense. Under New York law if you proffer a psychiatric defense, you have to submit to examination by the district attorney`s psychiatric experts. She has refused to do that thus far. So, although the judge has ordered that and we will see whether that goes forward.
CURRAN: You have a defense here - you have a defense here that basically combines three different types of legal defenses and I use that explicitly, because they are legal defenses and they require certain things. Different things. But there`s kind of a combination apparently of defenses that encompass justification, duress, some necessity argument in this altruistic --
PINSKY: Well, I want to talk to -- altruistic is an interesting term in this case. I want to talk about the duress. Areva, my understanding is you have a very personal connection to this case. Can you share that with the audience?
AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: Well, I`m a mom, and I have three kids and my youngest son, Marty, has autism. So, this story, Drew you really touches my heart, when I hear about any kid dying, of course, I`m upset.
PINSKY: Does it makes you feel ambivalent knowing how difficult it is to a parent of an autistic child or is it just somebody harming an autistic child?
MARTIN: It makes me feel bad because this mom in particular, had a lot of resources. In most of the families that I work with in my practice and my nonprofit, they don`t have the resources. So, when I hear this boy was banging his head, that he had these difficult behaviors, the first thing that comes to my mind is this mom had the resources to get interventions and there was so many things she could have done to protect this kid instead of kill him.
PINSKY: Areva, we have been talking about families in denial tonight. Is this another denial? A lot of people go to denial and don`t get the necessary resources to help this child.
MARTIN: We hear the mom was traveling across the country trying to get help, and apparently going to see doctors and different specialists. But what we are not hearing is that the mom really understood his condition and that she was doing those things that I know from personal and professional experience can help a kid, even with severe autism.
PINSKY: And by the way, the way to help an autistic skid not to drag them all over the country.
PINSKY: There are plenty of resources in every environment.
MARTIN: She is in New York city. She is in New York, one of the biggest cities in this country, and so many resources so many professionals, so many things that could have been done to help this kid. And yet to hear that this mom thought the way to protect him was to kill him is just disheartening.
PINSKY: Mister Curran, how do you think this is going to play out, if odd crystal ball? What do you think?
CURRAN: If I get crystal ball and knowing particularly Kerry O`Connell, the prosecutor involved in this, who is a very able prosecutor, there are able defense lawyers involved, too. But -- and the judge, judge Solomon`s a very fair judge. If I had a crystal ball, she`s going to be convicted.
CURRAN: There`s been findings by several courts of overwhelming evidence here. She appears to me she doesn`t want to offer a psychiatric defense and was -- seemed sane, legally sane, in the interview that she gave to the New York newspapers.
I think that she is going to be convicted. I wouldn`t want Kerry coming after me. And I think they are going to proceed and, you know, if there`s some real skepticism about whether or not she attempted to commit suicide at all.
CURRAN: She was professional nurse, let`s remember and a pharmaceutical executive. She managed to kill the son. She managed to kill little Jude. But somehow, avoided killing herself and according to court papers, the first thing out of her mouth was to ask for a lawyer. Sounds very cynical to me.
PINSKY: We are taking your calls on this case next.
PINSKY: Multimillionaire mom Gigi Jordan allegedly killed her son as an act of mercy, so-called. She seemed suicidal when authorities found her, but people are doubting that. She apparent is a pharmaceutical professional and a nurse who would know how to kill herself if she really intended to.
Areva Martin, attorney. What makes you think -- what was going on in her head? Why she needed to kill her son?
MARTIN: You know, what we have been told by the news reports is that, she was concerned that both the biological dad and the adoptive dad were abusing this kid. There are allegations that there was sexual abuse taking place.
But you know, that doesn`t add up, because even if there is sexual abuse, there`s so many things she could have done. You know, report the dads to the authorities, hired security guards, taken the kid out of the state of New York, gotten some help for the kid. But killing him is not ever an option.
PINSKY: Right. It sounds psychiatric but doesn`t sound insanity in the legal sense.
MARTIN: No absolutely not.
PINSKY: Take some calls on this. Taryn in Canada. Taryn?
TARYN, CALLER, CANADA: Hi, Doctor Drew. How are you?
TARYN: Well, I was going to say, first of all, that I worked with autistic children and seen the head banging and stuff and got me a five behavioral analysis with them and tremendous improvement with them. So, I don`t understand with the amount of money that she had how she had not gone to try to improve her son`s quality of life by using her money. This stuff works.
PINSKY: We all agree with you, Taryn. And why, you know, she is looking for, I don`t know, a cure or something, or maybe she is in detail.
MARTIN: That`s an excellent point your caller just made, Doctor Drew, because with behavior therapy, kids can go from 0 to 100. I mean, they can make vast improvements, behaviors turn around, you start to see language, you start to see so many positive things with kids with autism.
Amy, you got a call for us? Amy in Massachusetts?
AMY, CALLER, MASSACHUSETTS: Hey, Doctor Drew, thanks for taking my call.
I want to agree with Taryn, in the last caller, who you know is saying she had all these resources to her. But, I wanted to quote from the 2010 article based on "the Daily Beast," where the writer says just because Jordan had many resources, doesn`t mean that she was protected from the many habits that autism can reach. I mean, she may have had all this money to be able to get all these therapist, but that doesn`t mean that she maybe knew how to get them or maybe she was just so overwhelmed in her own personal life, maybe she was depressed, maybe she was just in a manic state and she went and did this I`m not staying is right. Killing any child is horrific. But maybe that`s something that needs tore considered.
PINSKY: Mister Curran, do you have a way of answering that? In other words, I think what she is saying is we are learning something about this woman`s character logic or psychological functioning that can help us understand what went down here?
CURRAN: Well, sometimes that`s difficult tax. But here`s the thing. Maybe this and maybe that. The fact is she hasn`t proffered a mental defense because in order do that, she would have to submit to psychiatric exams by the D.A.`s experts. She won`t do that.
PINSKY: OK. I just wondered if there was something going on here that impaired her ability to do the work that she needed to do. And again, we have been --
MARTIN: We are not hearing about t.
PINSKY: Hearing families taking responsibility. I`m hoping viewers at home if they have somebody in their family in denial about something, that they intervene a little bit?
Do, we have any other callers out there? No callers.
MARTIN: I want to say something about the parents being overwhelmed. Your caller talked about how overwhelming it is to raise a child with autism. She is absolutely correct. But I think what we have learned from this show is that there`s help. There is help. There`s counseling. There are family support groups. There are all kinds of mental health professionals who know how to deal with these moms who are struggling, dads who are struggling and if you are one of those parents raising kids with special needs, get the help. It`s so important. It`s out there and available.
PINSKY: It`s a great way to close this conversation.
Areva Martin, Thomas Curran, thank you for joining us.
West Nile virus, what is it and what you need to know about it, after the break.
PINSKY: A record number of case of West Nile virus, have been reported in at least, in the U.S., and at least 43 people have died. More than 1100 have been documented to be sickened. This now in 47 states. So we all need to be concerned about this.
It is spread by mosquitoes, people over 50 or immune compromised are at greater risk, not just infection but a bit more serious symptoms of infection.
And here is some of the data, about 80 percent of people, that is four out five who get infected, will have almost no symptoms if any at all. About 20 percent will have more flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, body ache, rash, swollen nodes, whatnot. And about one in 150 people will have very severe, severe symptoms associated with this and obviously, at this point it could become fatal.
Now, it is mosquito-borne, so it`s really important. I have a facebook question who writes.
This is Deneen who writes in, how bad is it, Doctor Drew? Is it as frightening as the news is making seem?
You know, do not panic, everybody. This is something about managing our risk. It`s out there. It`s in most states now, nearly all the states, and it`s affecting people. So, we need to manage the risk. That is to say no standing water around our backyards, kids don`t go outside without a mosquito repellent, particularly if you are in areas that have lots of mosquitoes and, you know, don`t expose yourselves to these things. And if do you feel funny, see a doctor immediately.
Let`s go to Selena in Alabama. Selena, you have a comment or question?
SELENA, CALLER, ALABAMA: Yes, I do. First of all, I just love, love, love you and I want you to continue on. And I`m sorry for what is going on. But my question is this. If the mosquitoes can carry the West Nile, why can`t they carry the HIV?
PINSKY: Well, they don`t. Mosquitoes are a peculiar animal. The viruses get into the salivary glands and part of the way, the West Nile virus has adapted to the environment, parts of its lifecycle, just like malaria is in the mosquitoes. And so, it can survive in the slavery glands.
The HIV, which is a retrovirus. It is very delicate, even broken down -- HIV has broken down by our own saliva, let alone a mosquito saliva, so not every virus is transmissible. This is more related, a closer to things like encephalitis. Because a lot of the West Nile virus, when it becomes more severe, it is neuro-invasive. It causes meningitis, encephalitis, numbness, and paralysis. Those sorts of things.
So, it is closer to those kinds of infections than, say HIV. And I think everyone is aware malaria is also covered. Good luck. Dengue fever, a lot of things covered - carried by mosquitoes, but not everything is carried by mosquitoes.
Billy on facebook says, living in one of the affected counties. This is real and more needs to be done to protect our kids and families.
Yes, it`s real. But I`m telling you, it`s up to us. We don`t need big daddy to help us. We can help ourselves.
Mosquito repellent, clothing to cover our bodies, no standing water, if you are exposed to mosquitoes, get inside. Don`t allow anyone in your family to get affected with this. We can control these things. And if you do have the flu, see a doctor.
Thank you all for watching. Thank you to my guests. We have very lively discussions tonight.
Of course, thank you guys for calling as well. I`ll see you next time.
And a reminder, "Nancy Grace" starts right now.