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Teens, Danger & Death

Aired September 4, 2012 - 21:00   ET



DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: A 16-year-old boy was tragically killed this past weekend when he stuck his head out of the roof of a party bus as it sped down a highway. Allegedly, the alcohol was flowing freely as the teens drove along in the party bus until the accident. One kid reportedly tweeted, the amount of bottles on this bus is ridiculous.

Afterward, the victims` friends jumped onto their phones and texting again. One girl wrote, "Sitting here with your blood on my foot, wishing this was all a bad dream."

Teens behaving recklessly, ignoring safety warnings, acting like they are invincible. Why do teenagers continue to take ridiculous chances with their safety?

We`ll show you tonight that their brains are actually different, and what`s going on in their need could help you help them make good choices.

And later, a woman who spent 26 years behind bars for murdering her husband. Almost 30 years later, her incredible reunion with the son she had to leave behind.

Call us now, 1-855-DRDREW5.


PINSKY: So, how many times have you looked at your teenager and thought what is going on? What are they thinking? Why -- I know -- what were you thinking when you did that?

Well, the fact is when you think that way, you have to recognize that teens are actually wired, the brain is actually different than adults and it makes them more prone to risk-taking behavior. We are going to talk about that here.

But first, my guest, John Templeton, he made a mistake when he was a teenager, again, some of that what we are calling risk-taking behavior and cost someone a life.

John, tell us that story.

JOHN TEMPLETON, KILLED GIRL WHEN HE WAS DRIVING DRUNK: Thank you, Dr. Drew. I killed a young woman. I, too, at a very young able, like Daniel, I was 19 years old and I made a terrible choice one night when I was a student at the University of South Florida. It was a Friday before Thanksgiving.

And I went out with some friends to party and have a good time and after making some terrible choices of drinking underage and really thinking I was having the time of my life and being a big shot in this club where this bouncer gave me a wristband of all my friends to drink, you know, I felt like the big shot and I felt sober enough and mature. And I don`t even remember really what had happened.

I had -- that night went by in an instant. The lasting affects still live with me today. I woke up handcuffed to a hospital gurney at St. Joe`s Hospital in Tampa, being told the terrible tragic truth that I never thought another human being would ever tell me by a state trooper that I was responsible for killing a young woman. She was 18 years old and her name was Julie Buckner (ph) and her life was over because of a terrible, reckless choice that I made.

PINSKY: John, we are trying to help parents and other folks out there that watch the program tonight understand what -- what`s going on in a kid`s head when they make ridiculous choices like that why the kid, this poor kid that stuck his head out of the bus after being told specifically not to. In your case, you`re 18, you go out and drink to the point -- I guess it sounds like you sort of black out here even a little bit.

Can you take us through a little bit --

TEMPLETON: I did, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: What were you thinking? What are kids thinking when they get like this and how can adults reach them? Is there any way?

TEMPLETON: Sure. Dr. Drew, I absolutely believe that adults can reach them but I look back and I think, you know, in hindsight, you know, I`m 29 years now and I like to think that I`m a tad wiser than I was at 19 years old that night. Actually, coming up on the 10-year anniversary of, you know, the accident, and my choice that took the life of Julie Buckner.

And, you know, I look back and I was, by all accounts, a pretty intelligent guy. I was, you know, in college, I was getting pretty good grades. You know, I played a lot of sports in high school, you know mom was an R.N., dad was a -- worked his way up to a vice president of a pretty big company.

You know, I think it`s just we used to -- I used to just classify it as oh, it`s just boneheadness of boys being boys, but the problem is those choices, it becomes -- you don`t really characterize it as bonehead, you know, when someone loses their life and I can really relate to the young woman that said, wishing all this was a bad dream. That`s really how I felt and, you know, I think it`s just -- you get so caught up in just the now the moment.

You know, I share my story all the time and I -- it`s hard to tell kids that you know, every choice you make now is going to affect you the rest of your life when, you know, at 19, I wasn`t even think about how is this choice now to drink going to affect me two hours from now when I need to leave this club.

And I remember the night like it was yesterday. I was -- I felt like I was the big shot. I was buying drinks for all my friends. And, you know, as the night progressed, I drank more and more. And not one person - - those guys were division I college athletes, they were -- some were scholar students and all of us made a terrible choice to drink and drive. You know, we just --

PINSKY: Let me -- if I were Nancy Grace, John, I would be climbing all over you going, you killed somebody, you should pay for that. Let see what our callers say about that.


PINSKY: Hang on now.

Leonard in Connecticut. Leonard, what you got for us?


PINSKY: Leonard.

LEONARD: When I was young, I used to smoke pot here and there. We used to actually ride on hoods of cars when we`re doing donuts, you know? Luckily, none of us got hurt.

PINSKY: Well, Leonard, that`s you and your friends. I`m certain there are hospitals filled with young people who did get hurt. I mean, that`s really the point here tonight, is that kids, because of the way their brain works, I`m going to get into that after the break, feel invincible, not just invincible but gratified by extremely arousing behavior the rest of us find uncomfortable.

Claudia, you got a comment in California?

CLAUDIA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: I do. My daughter had taken a party bus to her prom with a whole group of people and, of course, there was a mess of bottles brought on board because there was no monitor, even though the bus company had assured us there would be and one of her friends was injured, you know, flying off the stripper pole, which was on the bus, if you can believe that, because he was loaded.

And it`s just -- I don`t know. It`s a shame there should be some type of policing of these kids.

PINSKY: Well -- yes. Listen, y are zeroing in on something I really want to get into which is how do you put kids on these buses and what kind of assurances do parents get? And in spite of those assurance, whatever they might be, my understanding is there was a guard on that party bus where the tragedy happened. What do we need to do to really be aware of what the risks are for kids and make sure these things are safe?

Quick, Jeanie in Iowa -- Jeanie.


PINSKY: Genie.

JEANIE: How are you?


JEANIE: Dr. Drew, I just have a problem with parents letting their kids get on these party buses.

PINSKY: At all?

JEANIE: You know you can`t be that close-minded to think that your kid is not going to do this I used to think that I asked my daughter straight up, did you ever drink? She goes, mom, I went to parties but no, I did not drink.

Now, I asked her this when she is 34. My problem is who in their right mind would let their kid on a party bus? Party bus is the key.

PINSKY: Jeanie, that`s what I want to get into the scariest thing I ever hear parents say is not my kid or my kid`s always honest with me. They tell me everything. No, they don`t. It doesn`t happen in nature. It doesn`t happen. And by the way, not my kid, that`s the scariest thing a parent can say.

But I`m holding this pointer. So, you know what that means, I`m taking a look inside the brain. We`re going to show you what the teenaged brain looks like and why it functions differently.

And later on, a woman who fell in love at 13 and was on trial for murdering that same man by 18.

I want your calls, 855-373-7395. We will be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just like, oh, my God, this can`t be happening.

My jaw dropped. How does someone peek their head out? Trying to have fun, make a little noise. People do it all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heaven must be very happy with him up there.


PINSKY: This is sad and unnecessary. This shouldn`t happen.

Vanessa Van Petten, author of "I Do Get My Allowance Before or After I`m Grounded" -- Vanessa, you speak through went teenage.

Why do you believe they are so predisposed to risk take and why don`t they listen to the heed that the parents offer?

VANESSA VAN PETTEN, YOUTHOLOGIST: I think right now, we are seeing a huge social reward for risk. You know, all those teenagers on the bus had their cell phones, they were taking pictures, they were taking videos. And if it had gone in the way that he had expected if it had happened 10 seconds later, after the overpass, those videos would have been uploaded to Facebook and liked and commented on.

So now, more than ever, we are seeing a positive reinforcement for risk taking in a very public environment on social networks.

PINSKY: Vanessa, I think you make a really great point. How do parents address that in a way that lay just their behavior?


PINSKY: We don`t have the same power. We don`t have the same social reward to offer.

VAN PETTEN: Yes, absolutely. And I think that you`re absolutely right, that parents can make a difference and the biggest thing is, first of all, to talk about what using your likes responsibly, you know, when you`re on Facebook, talking to your kids about why are you liking this video where someone is snorting cinnamon or swallowing wasabi? Why are you doing that? Think about the consequence for that.

A lot of the time, teens just think they are immune to it. They are absolutely like -- it would never happen to me. When you talk to agers right now about this incident, the first thing they say it`s sad and the second is that it would never happen to me.

And so, making hit home is the only way we are going to get kids not posting about it.

PINSKY: OK, it would never happen to me is stuff I want to get into in a second. First, I`m going to try a call from Casey in Maryland -- Casey.


PINSKY: Casey.

CASEY: I don`t think we can expect children not to take risks. But as parents, I think we have to educate them about what -- what potential consequences are. But I`m curious as to what you think about all the executive function disorders, how that may be contributing to more risk taking behavior and just more problem behaviors in general that are going to result?

PINSKY: Casey, I am going to get into exactly that. I want to remind my viewers, I`m watching video of this horrible tragedy where a kid stuck his head out of a party bus and hit an overpass, completely unnecessary event. Yet we are hearing tonight about a lot of the risk-taking behaviors going on in these party buses. Should our kids ever be going on them?

Vanessa, you brought up a great point where she said they are being socially reinforced, the craziest they are behaved, the more they show up on Facebook, with likes and get Twitter action and Twitter followers. I think she has good point there.

Gail Saltz, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, associate professor of psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, author of "Anatomy of a Secret Life."

Gail, you and I have been talking about this for a long time. Let`s get into it.

Why the thinking it could never happen to me?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST, PSYCHOANALYST: Teenagers` frontal lobes of brain are not fully developed. They don`t develop fully until you`re early to mid-20s. And that`s the part of your brain that houses consequence and judgment. So the idea if I do this today, what will happen to me tomorrow, that`s not fully there for a teenager.

In addition, the part of the brain called the amygdala, is this part that basically houses the risk taking or the impulsiveness and it`s revved up, so revved up in teenagers, really at the greatest level for their lives is during adolescence.

So you have this combination of I feel like taking a risk. It feels super good. I want to do it again and again.


SALTZ: I`m not able to think about what will happen as a result. That`s really a lethal combination is what we are hearing about in many instances.

PINSKY: And, Gail, I`m going to show a brain right now up on my screen here, if could I get a picture of up that and it is going to replace Gail. Gail, we`ve got a head.

OK. So, here we go. So, what Gail is talking about is this part of the brain, the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, shuts down for remodeling. It literally shuts down, doesn`t function. Adolescents are actually relying on you, the adults`, frontal lobe to super impose on them to protect them from what`s happening in here, which is where Gail mentioned the amygdala that is in this part of the brain over here, which is part of the brain that registers arousal and feels good when high levels of arousal, particularly during adolescents are experienced.

So, you have a part where judgment and consequence are shutdown, it`s the adult prefrontal cortex that has to step in. The one that`s functioning, remind you again, show you this picture, this whole area of the brain, executive function, judgment, projection of consequences in the future, shutdown -- shutdown for remodeling during adolescence.

Let`s take a quick call from Cindy in Pennsylvania. Cindy? Cindy, you out there

Try to go to Regina. Regina in Tennessee -- Regina, are you there?


PINSKY: What`s up, Regina?

REGINA: I want to know, Dr. Drew, I was raised for responsibility and I was. Other generations, previous generations, were raised -- being responsible and for the most part, they were. Is this generation getting - -

PINSKY: Oops, she cut out. I think we get the idea.

John, I`m going to go to you on that. You were a very responsible young man when these horrible things happened. What do you -- how do you respond to those sorts of comments?

TEMPLETON: You know, Drew -- Dr. Drew, I believe lot has to do with substance abuse. I mean, I understand that male teenagers and teenagers general are you know, a lot more prone to do something that`s exciting and risk taking but when you mix that with substance abuse, it`s just a horrible combination, it`s a deadly combination.

I know that I made terrible, terrible choices under the influence of alcohol that I would never make had I been clean and sober. I think education --

PINSKY: Another great point, that alchemy of adding in substances and this whole thing goes into nuclear power.

Cindy in Pennsylvania, take your call real quick, I got to go to break. What do you got for me? Cindy in Pennsylvania?


PINSKY: There you are. What do you got?

CINDY: I want to know about t the male -- the male brains, they take risks so easily. Why don`t the females take risks, just like when you had the brain -- the brain you put up there?


CINDY: Do they kick in kind of late with the adult part, as far as the males go? I know a whole bunch of --

PINSKY: I`m going to answer your call, your observations are on the money. I`m going to have Gail Saltz answer that when we get back.

We`re taking your calls, 855-DRDREW5.

And later on in the program, a woman who literally spent 26 years in prison for killing her husband, then had an incredible reunion with her son -- this is 26 years later -- whom she thought was dead. Talk to her after a while.


PINSKY: Welcome back. A reminder, we`ve been discussing a terrible tragedy that occurred to a 16-year-old, I believe was his age. He stuck his head out the top of a party bus. It hit an overpass. These are unnecessary and tragic losses and we are talking about teenagers and their behavior.

Gail, before the break, we had a call. Someone was noticing that the boy seemed more risk taking with the girls. I thought it was kind of humorous because she said, what`s with their brains? It seems longer to get the boys to come on line. Both are true observations, aren`t they?

SALTZ: Yes. And girls suffer anxiety disorders twice as often as boys and people who are anxious tend to take less risks. Boys suffer substance abuse twice as often as girls and people abusing substances take more risks. You can see why there would be a difference.

But for boys and girls, let me say, this generation of parents and parenting is not sufficient in these kind of circumstances because parents are too focused on being friends and too focused on their kid and it`s all about me, me, me, me, me.

PINSKY: That`s right.

SALTZ: You know what happens? They get teenagers are consumed with me.

PINSKY: That`s right.

SALTZ: And they`re not concerned with their world and being responsible and other people. And so, yes, they are consumed with social networking, taking pictures of themselves and so on. And that`s going lead to this kind of problem.

PINSKY: And, Gail, let me ask -- I will switch over to John and ask: (a), John, you had a tragedy happen as a result of precisely kind of thinking and substance abuse we were talking about. What was your consequence and has it put you more in touch with something greater than yourself?

TEMPLETON: Absolutely, Dr. Drew. You know, it`s something I live with every single day is wondering what Julie Buckner would be doing right now, this moment, it not been for that choice that I made 10 years ago. And you know, my consequences are I was ask charged with dui manslaughter, looking to spend the next 15 years of my life behind prison.

And due to forgiveness for something unforgivable, Julie`s family, the Buckners, and extended family members, actually forgave me, you know, for taking the life of their beautiful daughter and sister, Julie. The judge actually said in 30 years of practicing law, he has never heard a victim`s family not ask for prison time and I went both -- the judge went below the state of Florida guidelines because of their compassion.

And he sentence node two years in prison and with sentence modification, I serve about a year behind bars and I was on house arrest and I completed my probation a couple years ago.

PINSKY: Are you giving back? I imagine people`s sense of justice is not served by that and I wonder if you`re now spending your life giving back.

TEMPLETON: You know, absolutely, Dr. Drew. And you know what I am blessed and had someone done this to my sister, you know, I can`t tell you how I would react. You know, I know it was devastating and I can`t ever bring Julie back.

But part of my sentence was I still keep a picture of Julie in my wallet, as I was sentenced to I will never, ever forget. But also I was sentenced to speak to students in high school, 1,000 community service hours and I`m still involved in community organization and my family and actually started a drug and alcohol treatment center. I have been sober since the day of that crash and I would say that something greater than myself, a power greater than myself led me through this journey and was able to find something positive out of something so terrible.

We operate Footprint Beachside Recovery Center in Treasure Island. It`s a drug and alcohol treatment center. And, you know, our goal is just to help a lot of people and prevent any sort of tragedy is, I have seen a close friend of mine overdose on drugs and -- actually on house arrest --

PINSKY: John, I`m going to interrupt you. I`m sorry, I`m out of time.

TEMPLETON: Sure, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: I appreciate your comment.

Vanessa, I could talk to you all day about how to talk to kids. I hope you`ll join us again, and Gail, talk to you later in the program.

Next up, a woman pushed to the edge who killed the men they said were abusing them. We`re going to talk about those circumstances. I`m going to talk to you at 855-DRDREW5.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome, ladies, everyone, to convicted women against abuse tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It starts with a back hand and ends with a gun in your face. I`m so glad for this group that I found out that it wasn`t just me.

BRENDA CLUBINE, KILLED HUSBAND: I just wrote a simple letter, asking the governor, we`ve been in prison for multiple years, we are abused women, we have suffered, we are offenders but we are victims.


PINSKY: Yet, what drives a woman to the breaking point where she kills? Tonight, women who have killed the men they say abused them tell their stories.

We, of course, want to hear yours or your questions for these folks, call us at 1-855-DRDREW5. That`s 373-7395.

Joining us now is Brenda Clubine. Brenda was convicted of murdering her husband and she spent 26 years behind bars. There is your picture as you are went away to the pen.

Brenda, how did you kill your husband?

CLUBINE: You know, finally, after series after series after series of physical abusive events between us, my husband called me and he said, you know, I finally get it. I finally get that all you want is out and I got the divorce papers and, you know, will you meet me and I`ll sign them?

PINSKY: So he was giving -- your divorce papers were served to him, he was bringing them back to you?

CLUBINE: Yes. Yes.

PINSKY: Got it.

CLUBINE: Absolutely. So, I said only in a public place. We met --

PINSKY: Because he`d been so violent with you.

CLUBINE: Oh, absolutely. I wasn`t going to be alone with him anywhere. No way.

PINSKY: So, you knew he was violent?

CLUBINE: Absolutely.


CLUBINE: Absolutely. And, so, we went to Bob`s Big Boy that night. We had dinner. And he stuck his hand in his suit jacket pocket as if the papers were there and he said, oh, I forgot them. But, I`m just staying a couple doors down at the motel and why don`t you just come with me and for just a few minutes, and I`ll just run upstairs and pick them up.

And, I very clearly told him, if you do anything stupid, Robert, I`m calling the police. I just -- I can`t do this anymore. He said, oh, no, no, no problem. And interestingly enough, when we got there, he said, you know what, just come up for a couple minutes, it`s only going to take a couple of minutes. We`ll just --

PINSKY: Did you just blink? I mean, you just had a lapse of judgment?

CLUBINE: You know, I wanted my divorce.

PINSKY: OK. Got it.

CLUBINE: That`s all I wanted was for him to leave me alone.

PINSKY: So, you went upstairs with this guy. Were you on edge? Were you afraid? Were you looking for trouble? You just wanted to get that paper and get out?

CLUBINE: Actually, when I grabbed the hand railing on the stairs, I got the most gut-wrenching pain I had ever had in my life, and I didn`t realize then, it was my intuition telling me don`t do it Brenda, don`t do it.

PINSKY: Wow. Powerful.

CLUBINE: Because as soon as we got in the hotel room, he dead bolted the door, and he made sure that I sat down in the chair, those little, small hotel room little plastic tables, and things got progressively worse. He hit me. He knocked my teeth into the table. It cracked my teeth. He kept slapping me.

At one point, I left for a few minutes until he cut me off with the car and said either you get in or I`ll put you in. So, from there, it just -- it just kept getting worse. He pulled out a piece of paper and he said what do you know about this? And I said nothing.

PINSKY: Were you fighting back at that point?

CLUBINE: No. No. There was no point.

PINSKY: So, you were having a freeze response?

CLUBINE: Yes, I was 88 pounds. There was no -- I wasn`t -- there was no match.

PINSKY: How did you kill him?

CLUBINE: I hit him over the head with a wine bottle.

PINSKY: And he died instantly?

CLUBINE: No, he did not. All I could think of then was I have to get out of here alive. I`ve got to get out of here. I have a baby. And I thought, you know what, if I can at least knock him out, I can get out of there. And what ultimately happened was I hit him over the head with the wine bottle or I swung it at him and he grabbed that.

And he said what are you doing? And I said I`m going to hurt you like you`ve hurt me. And then, it`s going to be my word against yours and I pulled back. Now, mind you, I was only 88 pounds. My husband was well over 200 pounds.

PINSKY: Did you hit him?



CLUBINE: The second time I hit him with the bottle. And it didn`t even knock him out.

PINSKY: Did you get out of there at that point?

CLUBINE: Yes, I did.


CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: Did he develop an intracranial bleed or epidural bleed or something?

CLUBINE: Yes. What happened was the coroner said that his skull was extremely thin and brittle, and so, the bottle shattered it.


CLUBINE: And, he brain hemorrhaged over a 16-hour period of time.

PINSKY: So, he died later?

CLUBINE: Yes. Yes.

PINSKY: But he was standing and coming after you --

CLUBINE: oh, yes. He was cussing at me and telling me I was dead.

PINSKY: I`ve got a minute left. I understand you thought the baby was dead, and you ended up finding him again years later? Less than a minute?

CLUBINE: Well, I gave my son up, I relinquished custody. And the adopted --

PINSKY: That must have been horrible.


PINSKY: You were in prison for a guy that abused you.


PINSKY: You knew, -- and by the way, in court, did they hear any of the abuse story?

CLUBINE: No. No, because they kept saying the victim wasn`t on trial. So, ultimately, I gave my son to these people. They told me he had been killed in a car accident and for 23 1/2 years, I thought he was dead.

PINSKY: So, you`re the victim of domestic violence. You`re nearly killed by this man. You defend yourself, unfortunately, you harm him.


PINSKY: You`re put away with none of your story -- now, I understand the laws have changed since then where the women can tell the story of domestic violence, but back then, you are just put away?

CLUBINE: Absolutely. Absolutely. But because of my abuse group that I started while I was in prison, the law was changed. The legislature came down and battered women`s syndrome admissibility became law.

PINSKY: OK. We`re going talk about the battered women`s syndrome. We`re going to talk about what drives women to kill their partners. And we`re going to talk about what happened decades later when there is a reunion between Brenda and her son. Hopefully, see a little footage, a little video about that.

And we`re going to hear another story. We`re going to talk -- we got a bunch to talk about. I want your calls. I haven`t gotten any of your calls yet about this, but please give us a call. We`ll be taking them after the break.


PINSKY: Reminder that we are speaking about women who murder and the battered women`s syndrome. Brenda Clubine was defending herself from a husband who was beating her nearly to death. She ended up killing him. She went to prison. None of her story of abuse was admissible in court. She went to prison and to give up your son.

And you said that was the toughest thing that any woman could ever go through, I can imagine.

CLUBINE: Yes. Yes.

PINSKY: It`s almost inhuman.

CLUBINE: Yes. Yes. I don`t think that when you have -- when you carry a child and you have that child that you ever think that there`s going to be a time when you have to let that child go.

PINSKY: And then outside of your sphere of influence, you`re told he died?

CLUBINE: Yes. Yes. I was informed that he`d been killed.

PINSKY: It`s torture.

CLUBINE: Yes. That`s like stabbing you in the heart. So, I lost him twice. Once was going to prison and then once being told -- the second time being told he was killed.

PINSKY: And yet, there was a reuniting of you and your son?


PINSKY: We have some footage of that. Can you -- I have not seen this tape yet. So, I`m anxious to see it. Can you show that for us, please?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would be constantly told that I would end up in jail just like her and that, you know, if I lied or if I did any -- any sort of, you know bad thing whatsoever, that I was going to end up just like her.

CLUBINE: When they told me that Joey was killed on July 26th of 1987, I tried to get a copy of his death certificate. And, there was no record.

I can`t believe I`m here. Oh, my God. I can`t believe I`m here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m proud of my mom. She`s done so much for so many other people. And I think it would have been so amazing, so cool, to have a mom like that that we could have been together.


PINSKY: Brenda, how do you react when you see that footage?

CLUBINE: Takes my breath away.

PINSKY: Mm-hmm.

CLUBINE: I have my son and I have two amazing grandsons.

PINSKY: That`s phenomenal. So, you were given --

CLUBINE: Awesome.

PINSKY: -- a gift --

CLUBINE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

PINSKY: And you`re kind of -- inspiration isn`t a strong enough word right now, but you`re someone who is an example that through adversity, you can make a big difference. And that`s what he was talking about there, wasn`t he?

CLUBINE: Yes. Yes.

PINSKY: Now, one of the people you`ve helped is Flozelle, who`s also tearing up. Flozelle, you also have a reaction here. Now, you were dating your boyfriend when you were 13?


PINSKY: I imagine he wasn`t 13.


PINSKY: Already a suspect situation. By 18, you murdered him?


PINSKY: And then, you spent 21 years in prison.


PINSKY: How did you kill your boyfriend?

WOODMORE: The night of the murder, I had been trying to avoid him. He wanted to talk. I broke up with him. He wanted to talk and I didn`t want to talk because I knew I would probably being facing being jumped on by him. And I want him to know that I was serious.

PINSKY: So, he`d been beating you all along as well?

WOODMORE: Since I was 13. I was 18 at this time.

PINSKY: It`s interesting. I`m watching -- I`m feeling Brenda`s body react to your story. It`s like -- it makes you guys reasonably so angry.



PINSKY: It`s not OK.



PINSKY: Go on. I`m sorry.

WOODMORE: And this particular night, how he got me over there is I let my son go over there earlier to visit with his grandfather. My son was the only grandchild. So, of course, they were attached to him. And I wanted them to kind of build that type of a bond.

So, I let him go over there. Not thinking that any harm would come to my child, at no point. So, he used my child to get me to come over there by threatening to harm him.

PINSKY: Oh, boy.

WOODMORE: So, of course, what I had experienced, there was no doubt in my mind at that time, he is going to hurt my child. So, I grabbed my --

PINSKY: Did you go there with the intent to hurt him?

WOODMORE: I went there with the intent to protect me and my son.

PINSKY: Whatever you had to do?

WOODMORE: The outcome of that was never a thought.

PINSKY: What did you do?

WOODMORE: I got my stepfather`s gun, put it in my purse, and went to his parents` house where he was, where my son was. I was watching them for awhile from across the street to kind of -- to see if I had a chance to grab him and run and whatever. I`m used to running from him, right?

But I go -- as I`m approaching my child to pick him up as I`ve been down to pick him up, he grabs me by the back of my neck and he starts beating on me, telling me how if he couldn`t have me, on one can, calling me names --

PINSKY: When did the gun come out?

WOODMORE: The gun came out when we ended up in the house and my son was trying to get him off of me.

PINSKY: Did your son have to witness this?


PINSKY: Oh, boy.

WOODMORE: Yes. My son is pulling on me telling him, let my mommy go, let my mommy go, and he`s crying. So, while he`s jumping on me, I guess, my son gotten his way and he grabbed him and slammed him, threw him. When he threw him, he flew into the wall. My son is only two years old. And at that point, I don`t know what came over me, but I knew you`re not going to hurt my son.

PINSKY: That was it?

WOODMORE: That was it, and that`s the first time I struck back.

PINSKY: And did you also have to have a day in court where you weren`t able to tell your story?

WOODMORE: Yes. It was not allowed.

PINSKY: Let`s take a call. Katrina in Louisiana, ironically enough. Katrina, what`s up?

KATRINA, LOUISIANA: Yes. I was in an abusive relationship four years. You know, women are small and defensive. And you have to have a weapon if you want to fight them back. So, what I did, I left. And I was homeless for two years. Dr. Drew, why do women stay when they can be homeless? Why do they do that? They want the material stuff and all that stuff?

PINSKY: So, let me make sure I`m hearing you Katrina. For you, homelessness was better than staying in the abusive relationship?

KATRINA: Oh, yes. I didn`t want to kill him.

PINSKY: But my dear, they leave because they`re fearful of homelessness, and they`re fearful that their children are going to be homeless and they`re trying to navigate. And by the way, let`s be clear, a lot of people come from chaotic families and things were they don`t have models for stability.

That does happen. I`m sure -- I don`t know. We don`t lay blame anywhere because it`s (ph) creating more victims when we blame other people, but that`s just the cycle of abuse.

CLUBINE: Yes, but I left. The point is that I did leave. I left 11 times. And my husband would threaten to kill my son, my friends, my family, if anybody helped me.

PINSKY: Eleven times?

CLUBINE: Or I didn`t return back.

PINSKY: Eleven times?


PINSKY: You know, on average, it takes eight times for a woman to leave for good.


PINSKY: And it seemed like the 11th was for good. You had divorce papers and everything handy, but then it went bad.

CLUBINE: Exactly.

PINSKY: All right. Let`s take another call real quick. You guys are taking my breath away here. Kellee in California -- Kellee.

KELLEE, CALIFORNIA: How are you doing Dr. Drew?

PINSKY: Kellee, good.

KELLEE: I feel like when this happens in under any circumstance, it`s a form of defense and I wonder now that the laws have changed, are these cases being reviewed? Are these people being able to share their stories?

PINSKY: Well, Brenda had a role in changing these laws. Do you hear like -- do you feel they`re (ph) being heard now in court today?

CLUBINE: Absolutely. They`re definitely being heard now. And they will be heard even further ahead --


CLUBINE: -- because this injustice needs to stop.

PINSKY: OK. Here`s what I want to do. I`m going to keep you guys, I want take more of our viewers calls. Again, that number is 855-373-7395. I want to bring in Gail Saltz. Also, she`s a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst to talk about the battered women`s syndrome to see if she has another answer as to why women stay. I want you to stay, and we`ll be right back.


PINSKY: Welcome back. We are speaking with two women who spent decades in prison for killing men who were allegedly abusing them. And until 1992, juries in cases like this were not allowed to hear the evidence of abuse. Now, today, we hear the term thrown about, battered woman`s syndrome. Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, rejoins us.

Gail, we`re going to talk about battered woman`s syndrome and I want to sort of jump out with an opening question to you that was asked in the last segment, why do women stay?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, the caller said, you know, wouldn`t you rather be homeless? I think most women would rather be homeless but really psychically what happens is being beaten over and over again literally beats the ability to think about outside options out of you.

Women become despondent, depressed. It`s sort of a phenomenon of learned helplessness. With this repeated trauma, they can`t see out of the box they`re in, and they just feel completely stuck. There are real things that are making them stuck like threats to their children or threats to their family.

And then, there`s just the psychic numbness that takes over after being traumatized over and over again.

PINSKY: Is it sort of like a Stockholm syndrome, where they start to identify with the abuser? You`re shaking your head. Brenda is shaking her head.

SALTZ: Sometimes, absolutely. Sometimes, the feeling that, you know, I have to stay with this person or this person loves me. This is their warped way of showing love, but I`m loved, and sometimes not. Sometimes, it`s just the feeling, you know, I`m like the walking dead.

And I have no choices. And this is it for me, and they don`t identify with the perpetrator, so to speak, but they just feel completely trapped.

PINSKY: Gail, when you said that both the ladies in the studio really reacted to the walking dead feeling, the dead inside.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.


Let me take a quick call. This might be meaningful for you, Brenda. Heather in Oklahoma -- Heather.

HEATHER, OKLAHOMA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I just wanted to thank Brenda for all that she`s doing. My mother is Glenda and she`s in -- currently serving a life sentence. She was in prison with Brenda and I can say to that caller, why don`t they leave? It all has to do with fear and we live with that fear.

He beat us also, and we were constantly in fear that something would happen and I know my mother really, truly believed when he told her that he would kill us that he really would. And I just really want to thank Brenda for everything that she`s doing and the changes that she`s making when it comes to women and domestic violence.

PINSKY: Thank you, Heather, for that call. And Brenda, what I`m going to do -- it`s heavy, it`s emotional. I appreciate it.


PINSKY: I appreciate you`re allowing people to see how emotional this is, because that`s what gets through. Take another break. Take more calls. But at the outset, come back from this break, I want you to talk about those changes and how you got your cases reviewed and what changes are under way, OK?

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: OK. Again, we`re staying right here. I want you to stay right here. More calls after this.


PINSKY: OK. A reminder, we are talking about battered women and women who kill. Brenda, we were talking to Heather, a very powerful call before the break. Her mom went to jail at 44. She was an abused woman. She`s still in jail. Why is she still in jail and you got out and what are the changes ahead?

CLUBINE: I was able to get out under the current intimate partner violence, 1473.5 law, that allowed me to file a writ and finally bring my evidence forward. Unfortunately, Heather`s mother, Glenda, is now 68 years old and still stuck, more than two decades later.

And currently, we have two bills on the governor`s desk, AB 593, which will allow Glenda to repetition the court to finally gain her freedom.

PINSKY: So, this is Governor Brown?

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: So, it`s a call out to Governor Brown here in California to put a rational spin on domestic violence.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: Clare in Massachusetts. Clare, you have something for us? We have just limited time. Go right ahead.

CLARE, MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Dr. Drew. I need help. I`m just wondering how do I get out of an abusive relationship without ever reaching the point to have to go to the extreme? At this point, there`s no way out. I spoke after 12 years of living in an abusive relationship which began when I was 18 and the biggest mistake I made in the last year was speaking out.

Now, I`m paying the ultimate price for believing I should be able to have a voice. He`s going to kill me to shut me up and I don`t know what to do

PINSKY: OK, Claire, now the number one intervention that I`m sure Gail Saltz will agree with me on is separating you two, getting you out of there.

CLARE: I`m homeless and happy right now.

PINSKY: You`re homeless and happy now?

CLARE: I`m not out of it. I have kids, and he`s just making everything worse. He`s harassing me to the court system --

PINSKY: OK. Hang on now. One of the things I was telling Brenda during the break is that this recovery process is something that you can see in her. So, I`m going to have first speak to you directly. I`ve got less than a minute.

CLUBINE: Clare, it`s so important that you try to keep yourself extricated as much as you can. Do not put yourselves -- yourself in any situation where you have anything to do with him whatsoever. Try to keep contact minimum. Get a good attorney. Go to legal aid. Do whatever you`ve got to do.

Tell friends, family, everyone, that he`s still stalking you, that you still have a problem that you`re being harassed through court.

PINSKY: And Clare, I want to tell you something, what we`re going to do is I want you to hang on the line. Are you there still with me?

CLARE: Mm-hmm.

PINSKY: OK. We are going to help you out after the show. I`ve got a team here that`s going to ready to help you and see what kind of resource so we can pull together there. Gail, you got 15 more seconds. You want to throw something in here?

SALTZ: You know, really it is about getting some help and notifying everybody so that everybody`s -- can sort of surround you, if you will. As previous callers have said, these women have said, better to be homeless, better to be without. You simply cannot go back to him or be with him in any way.

CLARE: My family turned on me.

PINSKY: Claire, stay put. Stay right there. I`m going to talk to you in just about a minute and a half. Dr. Saltz, thank you as always. We`ll see you again soon. Flozelle, thank you for sharing your story.

WOODMORE: You`re welcome.

PINSKY: And Brenda, thank you for all you do in sharing this story.

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: I think it`s had the impact that we want to have.


PINSKY: Again, another shout out to Governor Brown to put a rational bent on these laws, how about that?

CLUBINE: Absolutely.

PINSKY: Thank you guys for watching. Thanks to our callers. Thanks to my previous guests as well. And a reminder that Nancy Grace starts right now.