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Secrets Exposed about Murder Suspect, 17

Aired October 25, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: And what a story we have for you. Tonight, a dark, death-obsessed profile emerging for the young man accused of killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Austin Sigg appeared in court for the very first time today. How he looked and the bizarre details we`ve uncovered about the 17-year-old alleged killer next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, sinister secrets exposed as teen murder suspect Austin Sigg`s past is revealed. Was the boy accused of kidnapping and brutally murdering 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway obsessed with "CSI," forensics and death? And what about an alleged online double life? What does it all mean? We`ll talk live with one of his neighbors who says the 17-year-old scared her. We`re uncovering the toxic secrets of this violent murderer. And I`m taking your calls.

Then, horrific allegations of abuse exposed. Cops say a North Carolina woman severely starved, beat and repeatedly locked three of her adopted children in a room and tool chest with, at times, a straw for their only air supply. Tonight her ex-husband, who cops say stood by and did nothing to help these innocent children, speaks out. Both are being charged. But is it enough? We`re investigating.

Plus, a huge victory for the animals in Los Angeles that could save millions of dogs` lives. We`ll tell you all about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn`t even think that it was somebody our age. We thought it was some 45-year-old pervert or something like that. And then in science class I found out that it was Austin Sigg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Austin Sigg appeared in a Colorado courtroom today. He`s the teenager who police say told his mother that he killed 10- year-old Jessica Ridgeway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to charge him as an adult?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police in Westminster announced they have someone in custody now, 17-year-old Austin Sigg. He was arrested in the death of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A fresh out-of-the-box homicidal psychopath. This young fella very dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We notified the Ridgeway family this morning of this arrest.

JEREMIAH BRYANT, FATHER OF JESSICA: It was by far the worst thing I`ve ever been through. Still is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody in their right mind perpetrates the kind of crime that this young man is going to be charged with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frightening and bizarre secrets uncovered about the 17-year-old who is accused of murdering and dismembering fifth grader Jessica Ridgeway.

A portrait is emerging tonight of a young man obsessed with death and crime scenes. Neighbors say his cold stare gave them the chills.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Austin Sigg made his first court appearance today. There were no cameras in court since he`s a juvenile, but people inside say Sigg was calm and had a goatee, beard and a spiky mohawk. He apparently looked at Jessica, the victim`s family at least once. Here`s what one reporter observed.


TARHONDA THOMAS, REPORTER: As soon as he walked into that courtroom his family started sobbing, started crying out loud. The opposite story for Jessica Ridgeway`s family. They were very stoic. They kept their composure.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The courtroom was packed with Jessica`s family and supporters wearing purple and also Austin`s relatives. And as you just heard, some were sobbing. Austin`s grandparents couldn`t even get inside the courtroom; it was too packed.

Ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway vanished 20 long days ago walking less than three blocks to meet her buddies for the walk to school. Her body found a few days later, dismembered, in a field six miles from her home.

Now, Austin Sigg`s classmates are saying that he was obsessed with mortuary science, "CSI," death experiments and knives. It would also appear he was teased by classmates nonstop. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn`t even think that it was somebody our age. We thought it was some 45-year-old pervert or something like that. And in science class I found out that it was Austin Sigg. I knew his face. But whenever my teacher had pulled it up on the computer, I -- it was just like, "Oh, my God, that`s Austin. I used to make fun of that kid every day."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was that a factor perhaps?

Police say Austin Sigg confessed to killing Jessica. Detectives confirm they found parts of Jessica`s body stuffed in a crawl space under his house.

A very disturbing question tonight. Given his fixation with death, his desire to become a mortician, his studying mortuary sciences, could Jessica`s murder have been some sort of sick experiment?

I`m taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to investigative reporter Jon Lieberman. Jon, what have you learned tonight about this very strange young man, accused of this hideous, unimaginable crime?

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Jane, this is still a very active investigation. Law enforcement is still searching Austin Sigg`s home seeing what they can find out.

And I have just learned they`re trying to figure out if he`s linked to any other gruesome crimes that have taken place in that area, as well.

As you know, prosecutors said today that he is linked through DNA to that attempted abduction back in May. But now police are also looking to see if he is linked to any other attempted abductions or abductions or murders in that area, as well.

But as you mentioned, his high-school friends describe him as into the Goth lifestyle, often alone. And he left school after the eleventh grade and eventually got his GED. But he did not finish up high school the traditional way.

The other thing that I want to point out, Jane, is this 17-year-old will not face the death penalty, prosecutors say, because of his age.


LIEBERMAN: Even though he`s going to be tried as an adult, he cannot face the death penalty, because technically he`s a juvenile.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Austin Sigg will also be charged with, as you just heard Jon Lieberman say, the attempted abduction of this 22-year-old woman who was jogging this past Memorial Day at a nearby lake. The woman told cops a man fitting his description grabbed her and tried to put a chemical- laced rag over her mouth. She escaped, and she called 911.

Another woman reports being attacked in the same area two years prior. She also got away. Now, one woman who was with her dog remembers seeing Austin Sigg and being terrified by him on this same jogging trail at Ketner Lake. Here`s what she immediately thought. Listen to this.


KRISTIE MUELLER (ph), JOGGER: It just hit me. It`s like I almost fell over seeing his picture. It brought me back to seeing him here and just the thought of it being so close.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the jogger who bumped into Austin twice, Kristie Mueller (ph), joins me now on the phone.

Kristie, first of all, I saw you there with your dog. You had said that if you hadn`t been there with your dog, you were afraid of what might have happened. Tell us what you meant by that.

MUELLER (ph) (via phone); Well, because there was him and two of his friends. So I was clearly outnumbered. And as I approached them, I always make eye contact and say hello. And when I said hello to them, they just stared at me and didn`t say anything back, which I thought was kind of strange. So clearly three of them against one of me could have been -- could have been really bad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And as you see this horror unfold, and they say there is a DNA match between the attempted abduction of a woman on this jogging trail and Jessica`s remains and he`s been tied, allegedly, to both of these cases, are you happy to be alive? I mean, are you thankful and thinking, oh, my gosh, it could have been me?

MUELLER (ph): Yes. Very much so. Once I -- once I heard that there had been an arrest in the -- in her murder and I saw his picture, like I said previously, I just about fell over. I started shaking because I realized -- I realized I knew him. And I realized where I knew him from. And it was just such a close call. So very, very frightening, and I`m very thankful that he`s where he needs to be right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was it about his expression? His eyes? What that made you so scared?

MUELLER (ph): You know, I would say that the expression in his mug shot is what I remember. Because they`ve since released photos of him smiling and in other photos. That`s not the guy that I saw. It was the guy in the mug shot.

When I saw that face, I might not be the best with names, but it`s hard to forget a face. And when I saw his face, it just hit me. I just remembered instantly that I had seen him this past summer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s something chilling about his eyes.

MUELLER (ph): Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can see the whites of his eyes under his pupils. And there`s something sort of -- maybe I`m reading into it, but it does look sinister to me. In light of everything.

MUELLER (PH): Yes. And I don`t -- I don`t quite remember his friends. I just remember him the most, because I remember him being a bigger guy, and he`s the one I made eye contact initially. So I just -- his face is just in my head. And I don`t forget a face especially when I saw that mug shot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Would you remember, perhaps, if he was wearing that cross that he was supposedly -- that was linked to him?

MUELLER (ph): You know, I don`t. But I know that his -- I know that his former girlfriend from a couple years ago has referenced that he was always wearing a necklace. And he had obviously a necklace on in the mug shot. But I don`t -- I don`t recall specifically if he had a necklace on the times that I saw him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this could be a Goth-type cross because sometimes Goths wear these kinds of crosses that aren`t traditional crosses but they`re kind of a -- little off.

We`re starting to put a profile together. But Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for AVO, you`re the author of "Swagger," which is about boys swaggering. Your thoughts considering this horror?

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I talk about a lot of these issues in my book, Jane, about being aware of the media that your son is interested in. Whether it`s violent video games, whether it`s Goth TV and books.

This young man was interested in mortuaries. He had a preoccupation with violence. So there were a lot of danger signs here that somebody could have recognized and intervened. I mean, to me this was a foreseeable and preventable crime. Unfortunately, it wasn`t prevented.

But, you know, what a terrible horrific tragedy. And I think it`s a tragedy really for two families. This is a 17-year-old boy, obviously very disturbed, who was not helped before things got way out of hand. Two families suffering terribly right now because of this young man`s actions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: His online Internet avatar name was Dohastvath. At first we thought was gibberish. But we did some digging and we got some meaning out of it on the other side.



SARAH RIDGEWAY, MOTHER OF JESSICA: You don`t hear anything. And then you get the pit in your stomach that you don`t want any -- any parent -- any parent to ever experience in their whole entire life that you do when you`re told your child has just been taken.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine the nightmare that woman`s been through, knowing that her precious little girl is not only dead but dead at the hands of somebody allegedly who seems extremely, extremely disturbed. We`re starting to put together a psychological profile of this suspect. Listen to two of his classmates describe what Austin Sigg was like.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was just different. So why not pick on the different people, I guess? I knew that he was very different. He hung out in the back of the cafeteria. He wore a lot of black a lot. He didn`t really talk to anybody other than the people that hung out in the back of the cafeteria. He -- I don`t know. He`s just different.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An outcast it would seem. We know Austin was into CSI and mortuary science. He took a forensic science class last year, studied DNA and crime scenes and won a competition.

WPTV reporting tonight Sigg also took part in a project exploring how bodies decompose using skinned rats. The rats were placed in different environments including freezing temperatures, covered in dirt, and out in the open.

Wendy Walsh, psychologist, whenever I hear about an individual torturing animals, I know that it`s a step away from torturing humans.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST; That certainly is one of the warning signals. And how interesting that he did it under the auspices of a science project and was actually awarded for his work torturing, animals seeing how their bodies decomposed, et cetera.

It`s fascinating that the people studying him and rewarding him for this, Jane, didn`t see this warning flag.

But, you know, I like to go way back further in this young man`s life. His own father has a huge arrest record for things like battery, assault, domestic violence. And his dad divorced his mother when he was 9. So I wonder what went on in his early life. What kind of violence was this young man exposed to?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we can`t independently confirm, that record has been published and reported. Again, we can`t confirm it, but let me ask you this. What was Austin Sigg into besides studying mortuary and forensic science?

WPTV says that he comments on the Internet on a song called "Stalking Your Mom" on his YouTube profile. That song is performed by Wax. We found it on YouTube. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Stalking your mom. Stalk Stalking your mom. Stalking your mom. Ha-ha, I`ve been stalking your mom for like two years straight. I`m way too shy to ask her out on a date. So I just wait on your neighbor`s lawn...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s something that he apparently was interested in. He also had a video link to the execution of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein.

WPTV reporting Austin had a MySpace page that uses the profile name Dohastvath and a videogame Web site says Dohastvath is Austin.

WPTV says Dohastvath had the YouTube account called DNA, and both accounts have the same profile avatar, the image of a redheaded man in a long black coat and black pants.

So we did a little checking. Tom Shamshak, former police chief and private investigator. At first when I saw this Dohastvath, I thought, well, it`s gibberish. But then I Googled "vath," and guess what comes up on a gaming Web site? Monster. Tom Shamshak, former police chief, your thoughts.


Yes, indeed, this -- this monster has been taken off the streets. And I pray that no other physical harm came to anybody.

Typically these serial killers start about age 18. And this kid is right there at that cusp.

And again, what we`re hearing about his social marginality is consistent with the profile of child abduction murderers. You heard that he was alone, didn`t interact well. He had weak social bonds. And I wonder if it will emerge that he`s had psychiatric intervention, may have had some interest in porn. Again, he left school before he graduated. I`m sure this will all come out in the next coming days, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, more analysis. We`ve got so much information on this gamer we`re going to tell you.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just kind of thankful that they found him. Because like it`s kind of sick what happened to Jessica. Like I would see her walk to school every morning. And like just like she would walk to her friends` houses and stuff.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some people going to school with the suspect, Austin Sigg, at Arapahoe Community College said he kept a lot of weapons.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had a pretty extensive collection of switchblades and other knives. A student who he was in -- taking college classes with mentioned that he, you know, was doing -- was doing work with the decomposition of bodies.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The study of decomposition. Jon Lieberman, does that dovetail with his allegedly leaving his young victim`s body parts in a crawl space under his home?

LIEBERMAN: Well, absolutely. And the other thing, Jane, is we don`t yet even know the motive for this crime, although we do know that little Jessica took the same route every single day, you know, three blocks to meet her friends and then the rest of the way. So it appears that this guy, you know, chose her at random and did that.

And the other thing I wanted to point out, Jane, that gives you a glimpse into this guy`s psyche is that he apparently was attending community college classes after he allegedly killed Jessica. So he actually came back to the classroom and was sitting through classes, we have learned, despite the fact that he had already allegedly killed this cute little girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is new information we`re just getting in.

Kat, Colorado, your question or thought. Kat, Colorado. Kat?

All right. I tell you what, Austin`s ex-girlfriend paints a very different picture that we`ve been discussing right now. She says that this suspect was sweet and kind. Listen to this from KUSA.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was my first boyfriend. He was my first kiss. He was my first date. He was so sweet and so kind. Like I know that heart is still in him. But sometimes things happen that change people.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Get reaction from Wendy and Lisa, starting with Wendy, psychologist.

WALSH: Well, it`s hard to say. She apparently was his girlfriend in middle school. And we don`t know about his developing interior life. I`m sure when whatever evil was beginning to grow in him or his sociopathic personality, he was keeping it pretty silent for a while, Jane. I don`t think that he talked about what was really going on inside his head.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, how can we tell? He was into playing video games obsessively, but so many boys are.

BLOOM: Yes, but not just video games. This is why I talk in my book "Swagger" about how we as parents have to monitor exactly what our kids are doing.

There`s a wide array of video games. Some of those are fine. But those that are obsessively violent or young men looking at videos about stalking your mother and there`s a lot worse than that on YouTube that young men are obsessed with. We have to know. We have to intervene.

And what do parents need to do? I`ll tell you on our Web site on we have free legal guides for parents involving juvenile issues, basically boils down to speak out, get help, talk to the school, talk to the counselor.


BLOOM: If you`re a neighbor, report it. Don`t just sit there silently while something like this is going on near you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And don`t develop the what I call "my dog doesn`t have fleas syndrome." Just because he`s your child doesn`t mean that he doesn`t have sick and dark thoughts that need to be expunged before it gets to be too late.

Just minutes from now Nancy Grace`s special guest is Jessica Ridgeway`s great grandmother. She`s going to talk about this precious 10- year-old girl and how the family`s struggling with this horrific loss, 8 p.m. Eastern here on HLN.

Time for your shocking vid of the day. School bus driver in Oregon being hailed as a hero after saving a student who was choking. He sprang to action, giving the student the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging a piece of plastic in the kid`s throat. Look at this. Yes, he`s doing the Heimlich maneuver that we all say we know, but we don`t really, right? I mean, wow. That is amazing. A bus driver saying a life.

I hope he parked and stopped the bus before he went back there to do the Heimlich maneuver. That`s all I`m saying.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve never seen to the level that children had been mistreated in such a fashion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leslie Tiesler is accused of locking the children inside toolboxes with a breathing straw as punishment. They were described by a doctors as very malnourished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what -- what drove her to do it. I don`t know. She would not tell me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So instead of calling police, he bought groceries. A decision that has him facing charges along with the mother.

Court documents suggest at least three of the teenage boys were denied food, the restroom and access to the outdoors. At times their door locked with a dog leash.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, public outrage and disgust as cops arrest a North Carolina mother of teenage boys for allegedly starving, brutally beating them and locking them inside a tool box with only a straw to breathe through. Imagine that.

Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you, live.

Police say 37-year-old Leslie Tiesler -- there she is right there -- abused three of her five teenage sons for more than a year locking them in a room, using a dog leash, making them sleep in a cardboard box. Listen to this.


ROLLINS: -- shown how the dog leash was used to, you know, tie off that door entering that bedroom. I`ve never seen to the level that children had been mistreated in such a fashion.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops also arrested the boy`s father, Leslie`s ex- husband, Brad Thill. Police say he returned from overseas and was in the house for a week. But instead of reporting the abuse, he bought groceries.


BRAD THILL, FATHER: Two of the children had lost a significant amount of weight. And my initial instinct was they need to eat immediately.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the cycle of alleged abuse doesn`t stop there. Four of the five sons are adopted. In a sick twist, the three abused boys are all adopted. And they allegedly told investigators that two of their own brothers -- one adopted and one the biological son of the alleged abuser -- were helping mom abuse them. What the heck? What the hell was going on inside this alleged house of horrors?

Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight to my producer, Josey Crews -- you spoke to the father. What was his explanation for how this got out of hand? And as you speak, I want to show the house. Because this lady kind of looks a little bit put together. She`s distraught, but the house is perfect. They could mow the lawn. The house is all clean and perfect. But what was going on behind closed doors, the toxic secrets are extraordinary, Josey.

JOSEY CREWS, HLN PRODUCER: Jane, when I talked at length with Brad Thill yesterday, obviously he didn`t want to do anything on camera, he referred everything to his lawyer. But he said that he was met with a horrible nightmare. It was something he didn`t even imagine was going on.

He says that when he came home in April that he was all of a sudden met with investigators asking him questions about what was going on over the past year.

I also actually spoke to a neighbor who said she witnessed some of this abuse. She was actually friends with Leslie. And she said that when she would go over to their house, the way Leslie actually disciplined some of her kids was a little questionable. She said that she used very like military style treatments. Very like, you know, doing push-ups, doing running until you couldn`t breathe anymore, carrying in large buckets of water. She`d make these kids do this over and over and over. And sometimes she said she would sit on her porch and hear nothing but screams.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. If you ever see that, call the police -- if you ever see that. But that was the least of it. That was the icing on the cake. That was the appetizer.

I`m talking about locking kids allegedly in a toolbox, a 37-inch toolbox, and making them breathe through a straw. How could this not have been noticed -- they were becoming emaciated -- that there was something wrong. When cops say these kids were literally skin and bones. Listen to this.


THILL: My ex-wife stated to me that one of the children was forcing himself to vomit up his food. And they would not sleep for days on end.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, psychologist, oh, the kids are forcing themselves to throw up. That`s why they`re so thin. Are you kidding me?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s amazing that he fell for it. The other interesting thing about this case, Jane, is obviously the psychological torture and the emotional abuse that these kids were under. Because by the time they`re age, you know, 13 and 14 as these were, they would have been or could have been bigger and stronger than her. But, no, she manipulated them psychologically. She kept them physically small and thin so they didn`t think they could dominate her. I`m telling you, three 13 and 14-year-old boys could easily have overcome her if they had the mental abilities to do it but she ensured they weren`t strong enough emotionally.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a cautionary tale about the line between discipline and abuse and when it`s crossed. Remember the YouTube videos of that judge beating his disabled daughter as punishment. We got to warn you, this YouTube video is hard to watch but important. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up. Bend over.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The judge was suspended without pay after that video surfaced in 2004. He claimed he was just disciplining his daughter.

Well, joining me now is the daughter from that video, one of my heroes, Hillary Adams. Hillary, first of all, I`ve never had a chance to say "bravo" for getting that video out there and standing up for yourself. But these boys were 13 and 14. Why do you think that they allowed -- that they felt so helpless that they couldn`t overcome this woman?

HILLARY ADAMS, ABUSED BY FATHER: Why do you think they allowed it? It`s because of the psychological torture that goes along with it. The physical abuse is just a symptom of how they were psychologically just tormented and made to think they could not overcome any of this. I mean most likely the situation was minimized so that it didn`t seem that bad to them as bad as it was. But it just -- I`m just -- I`m so furious.

I`ve only heard about this story recently. And I just -- I cannot believe that anything like this actually goes on in the world today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, given what happened in your case with the abuse. I just got to ask you, your father is still on the bench? Is this true?

ADAMS: Unfortunately, yes. My father was given a lot of paid time off. So basically he got a free vacation and a public warning. And apparently --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: My gosh, Lisa Bloom -- I`m so sorry to cut you off -- but Lisa Bloom, I`ve got to get your input on this.

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Well, it`s so disgusting. And the fact that the father just allowed this to continue after he came home, it reminds me of the Penn State case of the grad student who saw a boy being abused and didn`t know what to do. How do people not know what to do when a child is being abused?

There`s only one thing you do. You call 911. And if you`re able to, take the child out of the abusive situation immediately. I mean that is the only logical choice. You know, for evil to flourish all it takes is for good people to do nothing.

I too --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And a neighbor --

BLOOM: -- good for you for standing up to your abuser.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Absolutely. Hillary, we love you. You`re fantastic.

On the other side, a neighbor who stopped all this, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pets love Halloween too. And look at this they`re getting ready for it. A little guy and a little dog -- well, maybe not so little dog playing with sabers. I can`t believe that this is -- I couldn`t be that coordinated. And this dog is fantastic. Unbelievable.



THILL: When I came home, things were very emotional with the kids. So they really didn`t open up to me until DSS got involved.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He said he didn`t realize what was going on. Go out to the phone lines now. Jamie, Kentucky. What`s your question or thought about this horror story of these adopted boys being tortured?

JAMIE, KENTUCKY (via telephone): I can`t really -- I can`t even picture -- I can`t even picture a child being locked in a toolbox. I mean what`s the state (inaudible) laws there and why wasn`t there social workers observing the adopted children? These people will adopt children and get money from the government. They need a little more close guidance.

And that woman deserves to be locked in the smallest hole in a prison with the -- I mean, just the worst prison they can find. Put her in the smallest hole and make her stay there for the rest of her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jamie, I appreciate your passion. Wendy Walsh, psychologist, get this. Leslie`s mother, this woman`s mother, actually adopted them first. They were removed from that home for their own safety and then placed with Leslie. So they didn`t want them. And the mother is allegedly also a problem. The mother of this accused woman.

WALSH: You know, my heart goes out to these children because it seems like they didn`t have a lifeline anywhere. It`s amazing that the adoptive father comes home from service overseas and not one peep out of the boys about their condition or why their condition was that way. They obviously lived in such fear, Jane, and under such threat of punishment, that they`re afraid to reach out for help. And it seems like, yes, there may have been more than one abuser.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All of these children who were abused were adopted. Remember the infamous hot sauce mom -- the woman who fed her adoptive son hot sauce as punishment. This, from Dr. Phil.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Open. Close your mouth. Did you swallow it?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, here`s what I don`t get. I don`t even know who to ask this, but why do you adopt children and then allegedly torture them? By the way, we have to say these are all accusations. She deserves her day in court. We don`t know the whole story. She or her attorney is invited on any time. But I`ll throw it to Lisa.

BLOOM: Well, Jane, you`re right. A lot of people say adoptive children are more difficult, they have some more emotional problems. But of course the child abuse laws are the same whether it`s your biological kid or adoptive kid. This woman should never, ever, ever, ever -- if I may quote Taylor Swift -- have access to children again. She should never be within 100 feet of a child again. I`m talking about when she`s 90 years old she should not be with a child.

If these allegations are true, what she did is so sick she should be completely cut off from children for the rest of her life. But that`s not going to happen. She`s probably going to get a few years in prison. Mark my words.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the saddest thing. Lock her up behind bars if she is guilty for a long time. And get these kids some emotional help and get them into a good, good family who will give them love and hopefully help them heal.

You see somebody intentionally spilling something on a floor at a store and then taking a fall. Maybe they want to sue. Would you speak up? Intentionally taking a fall -- you`ll see an actress pretending to be a slip-and-fall con artist. "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" It`s the hit show now on HLN.


JOHN QUINONES, HLN HOST: We`re back with our hidden cameras at the Fort Salanga Market in North Port, New York and hired stunt actors to play our would-be scammers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all right?

QUINONES: The manager is also an actor.

During the morning shopping rush, our actress sets up her claim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man notices immediately.


QUINONES: Unsuspecting patrons rush to her side. After several minutes he breaks his silence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) but she squirted water on the floor. So save it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t always become just part of the scenery sometimes. You have to get involved.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what would you do? The show comes to HLN tonight 9:00 Eastern. This hidden camera show hosted by John Quinones, a series of dilemmas that will entertain you and make you think "WHAT WOULD YOU DO". Tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on HLN.

And next, doll lovers, get ready to celebrate.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for our "Pets o` the Day". Send us your pet pics. Lucky and Scarlett O`Hara, oh my gosh, how romantic. Wesley very, very regal. And then The Boys, what a pack. Wow. Getting ready for Halloween -- Cole, beautiful, beautiful kitty. And Cooper, Jack and Andy - - you`re going to like the story coming up next. Stay right there guys.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: City officials say Los Angeles will lead the way for the rest of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We take in about a million dogs and cats in California municipal shelters every year and we kill about half of them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Designed to target puppy mills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the solution. They`ll actually sell the dogs and cats and rabbits from city shelters.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A massive victory for animals in Los Angeles and perhaps the country. The L.A. City Council just voting to ban the sale of commercially-bred dogs, cats and rabbits in the City of Angels, stopping pet stores from getting animals from puppy mills like this one and giving people the opportunity to adopt shelter animals on death row instead. The effect, countless, maybe millions of animals that are killed every year in shelters now have a better chance of finding good homes.

Straight out to my dear friend, Carol Davis, the West Coast director of Companion Animal Protection Society who has been fighting for this for years. Congrats, Carol. Why is this so huge?

CAROL DAVIS, COMPANION ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY: Congrats to you, too because you Jane were with us on the frontlines when we were protesting pet stores in Beverly Hills. This is huge because what it means is that the cries of shelter animals have finally been heard by the public and now by the city council of the city of Los Angeles.

I pulled the numbers, the stats. The stats are terrible in L.A. and this is why this is so important. The county stats are 24,591 cats killed; 17,736 dogs kill in the city; over 12,000 dogs killed; 9,000 cats killed. The numbers are just unacceptable.

And it is just unethical, unconscionable to go and buy a dog in a pet store like a pair of shoes when there are beautiful dogs like this one on death row in the shelter. And it is also huge, Jane --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Let me tell you this. You mentioned the animal rights activists protesting the sale of animals from pet stores for years now and I`m proud to say I was at that protest. In fact, my dog was voted loudest canine protester at that protest. And we were there. The store was eventually shut down because we were protesting right in the heart of Beverly Hills.

This was part of a massive movement that included letter writing campaign, calling city council. This proves, Carol, that if people want to change -- and there you are talking -- they can do it if they mobilize the way you`ve mobilized your crew, your posse of animal lovers.

DAVIS: Well, it`s not just my posse. I really do believe that the public is ready for this type of legislation. The public doesn`t want a cruelty, a cruelly-bred pet. They want a cruelty-free pet. And a cruelty- free pet is like a green car. It is energy conscious, it`s about recycling. So you go to the pound and you get a pet now.

But more important than anything, why I`m so excited about this legislation and why I`m so thrilled about it. Not just me but we`re also thrilled about it is that this breaks the blood money contracts between puppy mills as far as South Dakota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, with the pet stores here in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is one of the biggest markets for pet factory and puppy mill dogs. And these contracts will now be broken -- stores that have been selling these -- sorry.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. No. We got your point. And it`s true. It is like the biggest market has been broken. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There I am in red jacket protesting. There you go -- right out there in Beverly Hills. We used to have a lot of fun demonstrating. That was between jobs by the way, not after I started working here. That was maybe back in 2006 -- something like that. That`s why I can say they`ve been doing this a long time trying to get this.

On our show every Tuesday, we have "Rico`s Rescues". We try to find shelter dogs loving families. Just this past week we featured a little Shih Tzu named Connor who was neglected and spent most of his life breeding pure bred puppies.

And take a look at how he was found, his fur so matted -- he was found like that. That gives you an idea of how these dogs in these puppy mills are kept. They are used like machines, Carol Davis.

DAVID: Yes, they are. They`re bred and bred until they`re dead. It is high time that people knew where these pet store animals come from. Not just dogs but cats and rabbits and turtles. They come from situations like what you`re looking at right there. They`re never allowed out of their cages. They don`t get any socialization, no medical care. And their lives -- they`re living in a canine super max prison for their entire lives so that people can buy dogs or cats or pets just like a pair of shoes and then throw them out and they end up in a shelter.

Not only that but these pet stores are selling them intact. So they are being sold and breeding more.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to wrap it up.

DAVIS: So this is a good thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Carol, congratulations. I know you worked on this for many years. Now, let`s spread it to the rest of the country.

Nancy next.