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Coed Attacked Near Same Spot Lauren Spierer Vanished; Missing Georgia Woman`s Car Found in Florida

Aired September 7, 2012 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a college coed finds herself in a terrifying struggle for her life, attacked in the middle of the night as she walked home alone. How did she overpower her male attacker? We will tell you. And is this attack connected at all to the disappearance of another young woman in the very same area?

(voice-over) Tonight, a Midwestern college town on high alert as police hunt for a man who attacked a 21-year-old woman walking home alone from a bar near Indiana U. The very same bar where missing student Lauren Spierer was last seen before she vanished. Is there a connection? We`ll tell you the extraordinary way this latest targeted woman fought back and escaped.

Then, cops frantically search for a beautiful Georgia woman who mysteriously disappeared. Twenty-four-year-old Ivy Merck vanished without a trace after boarding her dog hundreds of miles from her Georgia home. Days later her car turns up in a Florida parking lot. No sign of the missing woman. Did she drive there on her own? Or could she have been taken against her will? Her devastated family joins me to try to crack the mystery.

And Arizona police make a startling arrest, charging the mother of a missing Arizona girl with murder and child abuse. Cops say Jerice Hunter killed her 5-year-old daughter nearly a year ago. What do prosecutors know now? Could gripping confessions of abuse made by Jhessye`s young siblings be the key?

Plus, a new uproar over beauty pageant contestant turned reality TV star Honey Boo-Boo and her quirky family. Are these controversial reality stars really being paid peanuts as "The Hollywood Reporter" says? We`ll tell you what Mama June has to say about that. And, tonight, why the reigning Miss America is slamming the go-go juice crew.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s terrifying to hear. A 21-year-old walking home from a bar on Kirkwood early Monday morning attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some guy in a red shirt had assaulted a girl, followed her home from the bars.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely scary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police aren`t ruling out any connections to the Lauren Spierer case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m definitely going to be more conscious about not walking home alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reminding everyone to avoid walking home alone at night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell.

A community college on edge tonight as police hunt for a sexual predator. A 21-year-old Indiana University coed was attacked right near the spot where another coed at the very same university, Lauren Spierer, vanished just last year.

Now, this is a composite sketch of the man police say assaulted a woman early Sunday. She was walking home from a bar alone at about 2 in the morning. She told police a man asked her for directions and then suddenly forced her to the ground. He pulled down her pants and underwear and appeared to be about to sexually assault her, but that`s when this courageous young woman turned the tables on her attacker by pepper spraying him twice in the eyes. The suspect then ran off. The victim was left with a cut on her neck and a welt on her head.

Now, this same community was rocked, traumatized really, by the disappearance of I.U. student Lauren Spierer in June of last year. She was last seen a few blocks from her apartment after drinking at the very same bar where the victim was partying before Sunday`s attack. Here`s what police said about a possible link between the two cases.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no direct knowledge that this would have any connection to the Lauren Spierer case. But obviously, it is something that`s being reviewed by those investigators.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Lauren Spierer case remains unsolved. We do not happen -- we don`t know what happened to Lauren. Her parents are devastated, and they want to know.

But here`s what we do know: women leaving bars alone are extremely vulnerable. OK. They`ve got their defenses down.

We`ve got an expert here to tell you exactly what you need to know to protect yourself. But first to investigator and former police detective Steve Kardian. Steve, bring us up to date on these cases and why police don`t think these two cases involving Indiana University women who have been at the very same bar are likely connected.

STEVE KARDIAN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: The happenings weren`t the same in these two cases, Jane, and I think that they`re completely unrelated. I think that, at the end of the day, they`re going to find out that, like her parents believe, that this is not the individual that killed Lauren.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And it`s ironic, though, that it happened at the same bar. Essentially, this bar is the commonality.

And Lauren Spierer was last seen in June of last year just a few blocks from her apartment in Bloomington, Indiana. It was about 4:30 on Friday morning following a night of partying with friends. She`d left her shoes and her cell phone at Kilroy`s Sports Bar. This is the bar we`re talking about, the very same bar where the young woman was enjoying a night out before being attacked just last Sunday.

Police are saying, again, there`s no connection between these two cases. It`s interesting, though, that just a few blocks separate the bar, the location of Sunday`s attack, and the last place Lauren Spierer was seen.

Now, police initially named three male friends of Lauren Spierer`s as persons of interest. They hired attorneys. But none was arrested or called a suspect. So where does that case stand? We called Bloomington police to check on the status of the investigation, and we have not heard back.

But I got to tell you, Danny Cevallos, criminal defense attorney, we know Lauren`s mom is desperate for answers. She even wrote an open letter, begging for anyone who knows anything to call police. Even though these cases aren`t connected, could this new story bring Lauren`s disappearance last year back into the focus, back into the minds of I.U. students and others who might know something?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We certainly hope so, Jane. Because that case has been around for about a year, and you want to see increased interest. You want to see the police get back involved. And they`re going to at least try to rule out or connect up these two incidents.

I have to say I agree in that this second incident doesn`t seem to be related, because you have an attack, and you have the suspect trying to complete the assault right there. If you`re trying to vanish someone, typically that`s not a wise idea to actually try to complete a sexual assault right there on the street. Usually abduct, take them somewhere else.

So I also predict this may not be something that`s related to the prior one. However, if it brings increased heat, if it brings a renewed interest in the case for the police, then so be it. That is a good result.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Because everybody on campus is talking about the commonality, the similarity of this bar being the focus of both of these cases. It`s going to get people talking. It`s going to get people remembering Lauren Spierer and her disappearance, which has haunted her family. They do not have closure; they don`t know what happened to her. So let`s hope it causes a break in the case.

Now we`ve covered countless cases of women being assaulted or killed after leaving a bar. It`s dark; they`ve usually been drinking. Their defenses are down. They`re not as sharp as they might be. They`re vulnerable.

Just one example of many, murdered model Paula Sladewski. Police say she left a Miami nightclub early one morning January 2010. Her burning body was found in a Dumpster about ten miles from the club.

And we actually have the grainy surveillance video that shows Paula being escorted out of the club alone about 20 minutes after her boyfriend was kicked out and took a cab back to their hotel.

So many similar cases we`ve covered on this show many, many times. Women who have died, been abducted, who have been killed, who have been raped after leaving a bar.

But this latest incident Sunday is different. The young woman who was attacked happened to have pepper spray at the ready and used it. And she is a hero in my book for doing that.

Straight out to Gabby Rubin. You teach women self-defense. You`re the founder of Female Awareness. Tell us, let`s talk pepper spray here. If you`re going to use pepper spray, there are some key rules. Show us. Hold up a pepper spray can and tell us what those rules are.

GABBY RUBIN, SELF-DEFENSE EXPERT: All right. First of all, pepper spray ideally should be used at a distance. I mean, if I`m using it very close, then we might both feel the effects of it. So ideally you want to use from a distance. All right.

You want to have it close by. Having it buried in the bottom of your bag is really not going to be that effective. You want to have it on you. Ideally on a key chain, in your pocket, ready to be used if necessary.

And practice with it. Not knowing how to use it is not really effective. It`s like learning how to use a fire extinguisher in the middle of a blaze. Not the time to learn.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one thing that I know is very important is the wind factor. If the wind is coming at you, and you use pepper spray, it will hit you and disable you and cripple you. How do I know that? Because I did it to myself once without realizing it. I had a can of pepper spray; I tested it out. The wind was in my direction. And I essentially pepper- sprayed myself without meaning to. So that`s one thing you got to know.

Now, I know that you have also brought along four items that you say every woman can use to keep herself safe. We`ve just discussed the pepper spray. Extremely important. But you`ve got to have it with you. You`ve got to know how to use it. And you`ve got to be ready to use it at the right time.

Let`s talk about the others. A key chain baton, an LED flashlight, and my favorite, a personal alarm. Hold these up one by one and briefly explain how to use them.

RUBIN: All right. So this is the -- this is the key (ph) baton. This is meant to be used at close range. From a distance it`s not going to be that effective. But if someone has their hands on me, I`m going to hit them on bone. So on the nose or on the wrist. Or I can poke them. Poke them in fleshy parts: the eyes, the throat, even the groin. It`s very effective.

Once your keys are on it, you can hold the key (ph) baton and swing your keys back. It`s enough to get away. It will get someone`s hands off you.

Another item...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, next.

RUBIN: The flashlight. This is just a simple LED flashlight. But if you shine it into someone`s face, you can see it`s pretty bright. All right. And we have an instinct that, if someone`s shining something in our eyes, we`re going to block that view. So that`s enough time for you to get away or their hands will come off of you to cover their eyes.

And last, your personal favorite, the personal alarm. All right. If I pull this...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to hear it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does that do?

RUBIN: All right. If someone has their hands on me and I pull this and I put it up to their ear, it`s not going to be that good for them. Again, their hands go where there`s pain. Hand will come off of me and cover their ear. If I am out -- if I`m out and about on the street and I pull this, it`s probably going to alert other people or scare them off that they might just run away from that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. The one I like most, pepper spray.

And, again, let`s give a round of applause, everyone on our panel, to the young woman who fought off her attacker; had the strength of mind to use pepper spray. We might have been talking about another missing or dead woman. But instead we`re talking about a hero. And that`s what I like to talk about.

On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to two parents who are desperately searching for their daughter. It`s an extraordinary story. Stay right there.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She always showed up when she said she would. And, you know, just like I said, a very beautiful, conscientious young lady. And for her to just go missing is very strange.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say people started to notice something may be wrong when Merck didn`t show up for work last week at a vet clinic in Athens. Her roommate said she had no idea where the woman went.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to assume that there may be something wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Merck`s father, who lives in Kingsland, told detectives he could not imagine who his daughter could be with. He said he`s called her friends, and nobody knows what happened to her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a family`s frantic search for their beautiful daughter, Ivy, who vanished one day, seemingly without a trace. And adding even more mystery is the fact that Ivy`s car was found 350 miles away in south Florida.

Tonight, I`ll talk with Ivy`s distraught parents in an exclusive interview. We want to help them bring their daughter home.

Two weeks ago 24-year-old Ivy Merck made the 350-mile drive from where she lives in Athens, Georgia, to Kingsland, Georgia, to supposedly visit her family. But she dropped her dog, Huxley, off at the vet in Kingsland for boarding on August 23 and said she`d be back to get him in a week. No one saw Ivy again. Five days later her very frantic father reported her missing.

Merck is a vet tech at an Athens, Georgia, veterinary clinic called Good Hands Vet Hospital. We reached out to the clinic to ask them about Ivy. Employees said they couldn`t comment.

Ivy`s car was later found in another state. We`re talking Florida. In the parking lot of a strip mall in Deerfield Beach, about one week after she was last seen in Georgia. Cops say some of her belongings were inside.

Police are investigating several unconfirmed sightings of Ivy, none of which have turned up any solid new information.

Joining me tonight in an exclusive interview are Steven and Jane Merck, Ivy`s parents.

I know you must be so worried about your daughter. My heart goes out to you. So I`ll start with you, Steven. What`s the latest that you`re hearing about the search for your daughter? Are there any clues that have been found in the car? Does she have any connection to Deerfield Beach, Florida? Like friends that she might have decided, "You know what? I`m going to go to the beach"?

STEVEN MERCK, FATHER OF IVY: No. She knows nobody in Deerfield Beach. That`s what makes it so strange. We do not know why she went there. But that`s where her car was found.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ivy`s car was found in the parking lot of this Marshall`s store in Deerfield Beach, Florida. It`s a five-hour drive from where you live.

Now, police aren`t saying very much about what was inside the car. Let`s listen to what they had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t want to talk about what was in the car. Some of her belongings were in the car. And it was clearly her vehicle. She`d been in it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So here`s a Google Map image of the parking lot where Ivy`s car was found. Now, my understanding is there was no surveillance video of this area so that we can`t see the car driving up and who might have gotten out.

Does Ivy have a boyfriend? Is it possible that she has a boyfriend, let`s say, back in her hometown where she was going to visit, where you are, and ran into that old boyfriend or old friend that -- who might have taken her there?

S. MERCK: As far as we know, Ivy at the present was not dating anybody. This was confirmed by her roommate also in Athens. So as far as we know, she was not dating anybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, police in your hometown of Kingsland, Georgia, say they`re doing everything they can, certainly, to find your daughter. Let`s listen again to what they have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re doing everything we can to find her. We`re trying to understand what happened. The sequence of events, you know, who spoke to her last, and try to work backward.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Jane, I want to ask you this. She dropped her dog off, Huxley, at the kennel near -- in your hometown. And I`m trying to understand why she would do that. Why wouldn`t she just leave the dog with you? Did you know she was coming back to her hometown? Did you know she was planning to leave the dog with the kennel?

JANE MERCK, MOTHER OF IVY: She`s come many times to our house. And she always brings the dog with her. Always. Because her dog is kind of like the master of my dogs. They love him, my two girl dogs. And she always comes and stays with Huxley at our house.

It was a total surprise to us. She said she was coming some time, but you know, you never know when, when they say things like that. You know, it could be a week, a month, two months. We didn`t know when.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she never actually showed up at your house? She disappeared before -- if she was planning to get to your house, she disappeared before she got there?

J. MERCK: Yes, ma`am. She never came.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s a beautiful young lady. We know the most important thing is to get her photo out there. We will stay on top of this.

Anybody, if you have any information at all, please contact authorities immediately. We must find Ivy Merck.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Merck. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

And we`ve got some new information just in on this case on the other side of the break. Something found in the missing woman`s car that could hold the key. Stay right there. We`ll analyze.



J. MERCK: She always comes and stays with Huxley at our house. It was a total surprise to us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, police are revealing powerful new details about certain items found in missing Ivy Merck`s car. Specifically, notes left for her parents and her roommate that describe personal problems she needed to work out. But investigators say the notes do not appear to be of a suicidal nature. According to police, the notes say she just needs some time to herself.

So Steve Kardian, former police detective, this is a young woman who lives in Georgia, works in Georgia, and her car turns up in Florida near the beaches of Florida in Deerfield Beach. What do you make of it?

KARDIAN: The fact that she abandoned her car, Jane, it`s highly concerning. It`s highly suspect. Law enforcement`s going to go up on her phone. If there`s activity on her phone, that`s a positive thing. If there`s not, that`s a negative thing. It`s very concerning for law enforcement.

Is this out of character for her behavior? I understand that it is out of character. Though law enforcement`s got a difficult job ahead. And as days go on, it becomes even more concerning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Danny Cevallos, her father says they spoke to her right before she vanished. She seemed happy. They didn`t know that she was going to visit them directly, but then she goes from one town where she works as a -- in a vet clinic and she goes to her hometown where there`s a vet clinic, boards her dog at that hometown vet clinic, doesn`t visit her parents, even though they`re nearby. Doesn`t drop the dog off with her parents, who love the dog. She usually leaves the dog with her parents.

And then she heads off to Deerfield Beach, and there are notes found in her car. What do you make of it, Danny?

CEVALLOS: Jane, this is not the 1970s where you can step into a Ford Gremlin and vanish into the sunset. Nowadays people leave a footprint. Technology now, your cell phone pings off a nearby tower; you conduct Internet searches; you send e-mails. Everybody, especially in this demographic, this young female`s demographic, she`s creating a data trail everywhere she goes. So it is highly unlikely that she just disappears.

The other important factor is leaving her dog. How many people do you know who love their pet nowadays so much they would never think of leaving their pet behind if they were going to do something drastic. That`s another factor here.

I think thirdly, I think the police may know even more than they`re letting on. Because if they`ve had any opportunity to review her data, her computer, her cell phone, they have information. It is simply, in the year 2012, much more difficult to simply vanish into thin air. And technology makes that so.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And her phone goes to voicemail, according to her parents. The question is, is she carrying that phone? Are there pings? Are there pings that police are tracking?

We pray that this beautiful young lady is found safe and sound.

And if you`re watching and you`re OK, Ivy, please contact your parents immediately. Immediately. Immediately. They want you back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up. You cannot help but love her. So I miss everything about her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jhessye Shockley`s mom says that her 5-year-old daughter wandered out of the house months ago. But now the mom is accused of murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A large turnout tonight for 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley`s candlelight vigil. Cousin Nikita Rare (ph) visibly shaken.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s my little cousin. For the first four years of her life she was with us all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This may be the closest police have come to finding Jhessye. Glendale Police say there`s reason to believe that Jhessye`s body is buried underneath weeks and months of trash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a feeling my grand baby`s still alive. I`m very hopeful.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, toxic secrets revealed as a mother sits behind bars, accused of killing her own daughter. Jerice Hunter was actually the person who reported her 5-year-old daughter, Jhessye Shockley, missing back in October of last year.

Well, now Glendale, Arizona, police say they believe Hunter killed her child, her own child, before making that call.

Jerice Hunter told cops she went to the store and when she came back, little Jhessye was missing. Despite having served time for child abuse, Hunter wasn`t immediately considered a suspect.

Watch her emotional response during this interview back in December.


JERICE HUNTER, JHESSYE SHOCKLEY`S MOTHER: Jhessye, somebody`s thinking of you. Nobody but us. You understand baby? Mama coming to get you. Ma`am, if I knew where my child was, she would be here. Do you understand that?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But police now say their evidence and interviews with Jhessye`s sisters, the younger siblings, show that Jhessye was allegedly tortured and kept in a closet. In fact these siblings told police the closet quote, "smelled like dead people", end quote.

Cops believe Hunter took Jhessye`s body to a trash dumpster that was then emptied into this vast landfill. But despite some huge numbers of hours and hours and hours and days spent searching, they have yet to find Jhessye`s remains in this massive landfill.

I spoke to Jhessye`s grandmother last year and she wishes police, she says, would have taken the disappearance more seriously from the start.


SHIRLEY JOHNSON, JHESSYE SHOCKLEY`S GRANDMOTHER: The search for this baby was cut off after two days. The amber alert was taken down after two days. The attention that this child was getting compared to other children -- and I`m a very rational person -- and I was seeing things that just was inappropriate.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now cops say the child was dead before the mom ever made the call to report her missing. Hunter`s bond tonight set at $500,000. And we`re going to speak to her attorney tonight.

But first to criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos; if this woman served time for child abuse as it appears she did, why did she even have custody of all these children last year when Jhessye goes missing?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: As parents, what happens if you are accused of a crime against your child, you don`t automatically lose that child. What happens is whatever DHS or whatever the government agency is will step in and they may or may not take that child from you, but the parent always has the opportunity to get the child back.

And all that tells us is that for whatever reason she was able to get children back. She showed somebody, DHS or whatever the government agency is, that she was fit enough to take the child back. And that`s really all we would know at this point.

So, just because a parent goes wrong does not mean they don`t get a second chance. If they can prove that they are --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. However, they need to be hyper-vigilant after something like that happens and check-in on these children who are helpless and vulnerable and at the mercy of the adult in question. And make sure that adult has not returned to previous habits.

A cousin took care of little Jhessye while Jhessye`s mom, Jerice Hunter, was serving time in prison for abusing her other children. The cousin believes Jhessye was indeed a victim of child abuse.


LISA VANCE, COUSIN: At our function, at our get-togethers, Jhessye was not herself. I`d seen marks on Jhessye that led me to believe that she was being abused in Jerice`s home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say Jhessye`s 13-year-old sister told them that Hunter once called little Jhessye -- we`re talking about a five-year- old girl here -- a ho and dragged the child into a bedroom where they heard Jhessye screaming and crying and that Jhessye was kept in a closet all because she found Jhessye watching TV with a boy.

So I want to go to Scott Maasen, who is the attorney for the defendant here, Jerice Hunter. It seems like there are plenty of people in this family who are saying that your client had an abusive relationship with the child before she disappeared. What say you, sir?

SCOTT MAASEN, JERICE HUNTER`S ATTORNEY: Well, that`s what they`re saying. I mean the problem with what they`re saying is there`s not a lot of specific facts that support that. You know, she had lived with her kids. I mean, to talk about you had somebody on earlier about a mark on Jhessye, prior to that contacted services, CPS in Arizona came out, did an investigation. There wasn`t any abuse. The Glendale police department came out with respect to that allegation and investigated. There weren`t any issues.

So there`s been a lot of things kind of, you know, a lot of things thrown up here in terms of putting things out there. But there hasn`t been a lot of specific factual support behind that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to Jhessye`s mom, Jerice Hunter, the defendant, the suspect now who is in custody talk about her love for her children. Mind you police would tell you that Jhessye`s already dead at the time that this mother`s making her statement.


HUNTER: Not only am I sending a desperate plea out for Jhessye (inaudible) Shockley`s safe return, I`d also like to make a plea for my other children because they are people. They are human beings -- all of them. And they need their mom.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hunter has at least four children. She gave birth to her last child right after Jhessye`s disappearance. And according to the Phoenix "New Times" Hunter bought a bottle of bleach and cleaned her entire apartment and scrubbed her shoes that she kept in the same closet that Jhessye was locked in.

Again, she is under arrest tonight in her missing child`s murder. But of course, there are many who believe no body, no case, Steve Kardian.

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER POLICE DETECTIVE: It`s difficult. Law enforcement needs that body to show possible prior injury to the bones. We know that the tissue is gone. We know that animals scatter (ph) the bones. But law enforcement still has to do their due diligence to keep on searching for that child so that they can bring her justice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jhessye`s mother goes off when a local reporter asked her about her demeanor in light of Jhessye`s disappearance. Listen to this answer.


HUNTER: Please, give me the handbook on how a mother is supposed to react in a time like this. If there is an abduction handbook, if there is a take your kids away from your house, sneak them away saying we`re just going to talk to them but never bring them back handbook, tell me where it is because I`ll buy it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll stay on top of this case and bring you the very latest as it progresses.

Now to our "Shocking Video of the Day -- a Maryland state trooper was making a traffic stop when a tractor trailer slams into him and his cruiser. Look at this. He survived. But you see him stumble to the railing before he collapses. This accident happened in June. The trooper is still doing physical therapy for injuries to his shoulder, back and legs. The truck driver was ticketed.

Another example of how law enforcement puts their lives on the line for us every day.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here`s your viral video of the day. Who says that different species can`t get along? We could learn a lot from animals. Look at this bulldog and a butterfly -- a bulldog and butterfly playing together. It sounds like a poem. Oh. How sweet. That`s wonderful.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know Honey Boo-Boo. She`s the star of the reality show everyone was watching this week.

ALANA THOMPSON, REALITY TV STAR: I`m Alana, I`m 6. And I`m a beauty queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a normal everyday kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Honey Boo-Boo we get fun. It`s like I said it`s like comfort food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s actually back where she`s actually screaming to Honey Boo-Boo child don`t make me holler who`s going to make me holler.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we so fascinated with this little girl? Honey Boo-Boo.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, go-go juice, want any? Tonight, is reality TV`s favorite pageant princess, Honey Boo-Boo, making only pennies on her hit show? Honey Boo-Boo also known as 7-year-old former "Toddlers and Tiaras" star Alana Thompson, once told America, quote, "A dollar makes me holler."

Listen to this.

THOMPSON: A dollar makes me holler. Honey Boo-Boo.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my little Shirley Temple. Not. According to the "Hollywood Reporter, she has anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000 reasons per episode to holler for her new show, "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo". And reality TV giving $2,000 to $4,000 per episode is chump change -- it`s peanuts. It`s bupkis. Well, it`s kind of embarrassing too. Mama June denied those paltry numbers but would not give us specifics on how much this family is raking in.

Kim Serafin, senior editor, "In Touch Weekly", if it`s true she`s only making $2,000 to $4,000 an episode, that means the cameramen shooting her are probably making more than she is. What do you know about the numbers?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Yes. As you mentioned, it was reported $2,000 to $4,000 which would mean about $40,000 for this whole season. We don`t know if they`re renewed yet for a second season. Though obviously with these good numbers they`re getting in the ratings, that would be likely I would think because it doesn`t cost a lot clearly to make the show.

She did, as you mentioned, kind of deny it implying they make more. So we don`t really know how much money they make. But they stand to make obviously a lot more money. If this catches on and continues to catch on, if they continue to gain the notoriety that they have.

They could have endorsement deals. They could have appearance fees. I mean, there`s so much more money they could make from this show. Not just the actual filming, obviously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Hey, a go-go juice endorsement deal -- how about that? Ok. In the latest episode Mama June takes the clan to shop for new clothes in the dumpster. Watch this from TLC.


JUNE THOMPSON, MOTHER OF ALANA THOMPSON: The local department store of Wilkinson County -- always can find a good deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need a fan?

J. THOMPSON: I need a fan.


J. THOMPSON: That would be great.


J. THOMPSON: What the hell is that Tommy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a pig in a blanket.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. You know, I could use a fan. Listen, I`m a huge supporter of dumpster diving. I do it myself. I went around New York City and did dumpster diving to find perfectly good food that was thrown away. And I actually created a free meal and actually ate right out of the garbage.

With that I`m going to bring my very dear friend, Dorothy Lucey -- I`m so excited to have you here. You have a fabulous blog "Ask Dorothy Lucey, your modern social commentator". Are we being too hard on this clan?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, you. How you doing?

LUCEY: Ok. Really Jane, you are one of my oldest and dearest friends. I probably called you Honey Boo-Boo on some night.

You know, I do not want to be judgmental although I realize as I said that I`m the girl who tweeted last night that John Kerry was too friendly with Mr. Botox and like you know, "Hello pot, I am the kettle."

I don`t like the go-go juice. I don`t even want you drinking that. But she`s a mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You know what, it`s Mountain Dew and Red Bull mixed. That`s what I`m showing you. Go ahead.

LUCEY: Ok. My kid, who told me not to talk about him on this show or ever, you know, because he`s a teenager now, he was with some friends one night about two years ago and some of the kids, not him or so he says, stole Mountain Dew and drank some and stayed up all night. I was afraid that one of them would have a heart attack. I mean I was really scared for their health.

Now, maybe I am one of those overprotective mothers, which I know I am, but as I said, I don`t want to be judgmental, but I really don`t like the go-go juice. It needs to go-go.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s bad. It`s got to go-go. Right. Even Miss America has now -- and we`re going to show you Miss America, the reigning Miss America from the pageant from ABC is lashing out now and saying Honey Boo-Boo and "Toddlers and Tiaras" is making all of us pageant winners look bad.

I don`t know, but I think there`s -- I think there`s some competition for who`s giving pageants a bad name. I`m sure you remember this gem from YouTube.


LAUREN CAITLIN, MISS SOUTH CAROLINA 2007: Because some people out there in our nation don`t have that. And I believe that education like such as in South Africa and Iraq, everywhere like such as -- and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. -- or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and Asian countries.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`m going to give each lady a quick wrap. Your final thoughts on Honey Boo-Boo starting with Kim.

SERAFIN: You know, I think it depends on how you look at it. Some people think it`s exploitation. Some people think they`re having a great time and they`re just having fun and they`re being themselves. I think it depends on how you look at it. I guess time will only tell how this affects Honey Boo-Boo when she gets older.

Hopefully they take care of her and they look out for her and that money goes towards college.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dorothy -- your words of wisdom.


LUCEY: Jane, the ratings were down a little bit this week. So in some cases Bubba being Bill Clinton did beat Boo-Boo. I don`t know what that says about Democrats. I don`t know what that says about all of us, but the ratings were down a little bit this week. I want to know what you found when you went dumpster diving.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I didn`t find a fan. That`s for sure. I found a bunch of bread. You know, I`d just given up white flour. So that doesn`t help me anymore.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dorothy, I`m so happy to -- thank you, Kim. Love having you. And it`s so great to have my dear friend Dorothy Lucey on with me. And I hope you come back real soon. We love you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And time for our "Pet of the Day". Lucy and Axl. Oh Meeko, wow. August, oh very chic, very chic -- lovely photo. And Loveylou as got a fabulous bed, Dana.

Send us your pets. Punk, Rainy and Shadow. We love you all.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not fair to these animals as well, them being euthanized because there`s nothing for them to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For many horses and the people who care for them, it could be the end of the line.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Horses under attack, last week we told you about a terrible horse-drawn carriage accident in New York. We have also been reporting on the Bureau of Land Management, our own government`s horse roundup where they`re terrorizing wild horses in the west with helicopters, pushing them off their natural land.

Now there`s a desperate, urgent situation for racehorses in Canada. Right now Ontario race tracks get more than half of their money from the Canadian government-owned slot machine. It`s a huge source of income for the horse track.

The problem is the government just announced they were moving the machines and not replacing them with another source of income. That means the Canadian racetracks could collapse, ok. If there is a collapse, anywhere from 75,000 to 13,000 horses in Canada could be killed, innocent animals killed, sent to slaughterhouses because they`re not making money for the racetracks anymore.

Straight out to Kathy Guillermo, PETA, People for the Ethical Treat of Animals, vice president of laboratory investigations; Kathy, who is to blame for these horses being at peril now?

KATHY GUILLERMO, PETA: Well, you know, I think this is an industry wide problem in North America. And the racing industry has to face up to the fact that they have been kept on life support by slot machines for a good many years. But I blame the racing industry in large part. Their attitude has always been when the horses no longer profit us we send them to auctions, they go to slaughter. Already every year, thousands of horses in Canada and tens of thousands in the United go to slaughter.

So the racing industry is basically saying if our income is gone, we`re going to kill the horses. It`s wrong on all counts. I understand the financial difficulties they`re in, but they have to find better solution than this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: These animals have given their lives for humans. And now, what thanks do they get because the racing industry run by humans is collapsing in Canada, potentially, they`re going to be killed?

Now a lot of these horses go to the slaughterhouse. That`s the dirty little secret of the horse racing industry that nobody likes to talk about. Famous horses that have won the Kentucky Derby have been slaughtered for horse meat.

On the other side, how you can make a change, Americans.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A PETA undercover investigation shot earlier this year documents the horrors, horses in (inaudible) when they`re removed from farms and from wild spaces and shipped to slaughterhouses or auction houses all over the country. I actually have bought horses that were being sold per pound for a couple of hundred bucks as they were being loaded on trucks that took them to the slaughterhouse. You can save a couple but it`s hard to save them all.

Kathy Guillermo, what have you learned about the secret of the racing industry?

GUILLERMO: What happens to horses in the racing industry is what happens so often when animals are used to make profit. When they`re no longer profitable, they`re sold. And in this case, racehorses and all kinds of horses end up at auction, they get shoved on to trucks where they slip and slide in their own manure, they don`t have a break to get fresh water or fresh.

They`re trucked to Canada or Mexico and they go to slaughterhouses and their meat is consumed by humans.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can do something about this. Go to our page, go to PETA, get involved. These horses cannot speak for themselves and we don`t want to see them en masse in Canada.

Write to the Canadian government.

Thank you so much Kathy. Get involved people, they can`t speak for themselves.

Nancy is next.