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Sandy Victims Hit by Second Storm

Aired November 7, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a second storm. This time a nor`easter takes direct aim at the very same areas hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. We`re live all across the most devastated areas where some -- more than 600,000 people are without power facing a frigid night in the ice and the snow. No heat, no power. That`s next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, how much worse can it get? That`s what some Sandy victims are asking as rain, ice, snow, bitter cold temperatures and intense winds pummel an East Coast that was just crippled by last week`s hurricane.

Hundreds of thousands are without power and asking tonight, "How can we survive a second big storm and freezing cold temperatures without any heat?" We`re tracking this new nor`easter with live reports from the worst hit areas.

Then, Jodi Arias back in court as her lawyers make a last-ditch effort to delay the start of her murder trial, for the ninth time. The beautiful photographer accused of brutally stabbing her then-ex-boyfriend and photographing the whole thing. Tonight, I`ll talk live to the dead man`s former roommate.

And uproar as Colorado and Washington state vote to make pot legal. Is this just fabulous freedom of choice? Or are we headed toward a nation of addicts? We`ll debate it tonight. And I`m taking your calls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No rest for the weary.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY: The National Guard commanders are tracking the progress of the nor`easter and are preparing forces for possible rescue, evacuation.

CHRIS THOMPSON, STORM VICTIM: Enough is enough, you know? You just deal with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am just so scared what`s going to happen if this starts going into our houses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m totally wiped out. I have a very sick husband.

CHRISTIE: My message to folks out there is, I`ll have more to say later today and tomorrow about the nor`easter. But you can probably expect that, if you`ve gotten power, some of you may lose power again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With today`s nor`easter approaching, debris becomes potential projectiles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And many down here are wondering why Mother Nature is targeting our state and this area once again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the victims of Superstorm Sandy batten down the hatches again as they`re hit with a treacherous new mix of snow, ice, bitter cold and high winds from a new nor`easter. Are the people still reeling from Sandy going to be able to handle another devastating storm?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live tonight.

It`s been only nine days since Superstorm Sandy ransacked the East Coast, killing at least 110 people and leaving millions without power. Tonight, the more than 600,000 people still without power are fed up. It`s been more than a week, and they still don`t have their utilities back.


DEBBIE KESHNER, STORM VICTIM: I think it`s a disgrace that nobody helps us. I can`t even live in my own house. And I can`t even get to work. All right. So you all better be doing something right away.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now those same Sandy victims face another punch from Mother Nature as a new nor`easter hits the coast tonight right now, as we speak. With the wind chill it`s going to feel like it`s in the 20s. Gusts could be up to 60 miles an hour.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one`s ready for it again. Nobody wants it again, I should say. So many people don`t even have electric yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not going to stay at my apartment. I have no heat. I have no lights.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t like it, but what are you going to do? Got to go, got to go, right?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think about all this? Should these people be taking it personally? A double whammy? A one-two punch? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to investigative journalist Rita Cosby, who is live on the New York City borough of Staten Island.

Rita, many folks on Staten Island live right along the bay. We all know -- I lived 18 years on the beach -- the ocean breeze makes it very cold. Much more cold than inland. And a lot windier. So how are Sandy victims dealing with this most recent onslaught that`s happening as we speak?

RITA COSBY, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jane, you can probably see the snow is just coming down. The winds are whipping up. It`s really bitter outside. This is a snowball I just created about two seconds ago. It is sticking here. And it is freezing.

And to answer your question, residents here in Staten Island, Jane, are just so fed up. They are desperate. On this block, we only ran into one family that`s inside. And they`re staying there because they`re worried about looting. Everyone else has evacuated.

Most of the homes here have been leveled in this area. And authorities are very worried about flying debris, which could come up and, of course, cause incredible amount of damage.

And right now the people in this area, as you talked about, thousands here without power, no food, no heat most of them. They are very cold. And this night is going to be very bitter.

I can tell you it`s very cold outside. I`m very worried for the residents that are here. The few that have stayed are trying to brave it out. And the rest of them are also in shelters, because people said try to get inland, because we`re just a couple hundred yards away from the Atlantic Ocean back here.

And this is just to give you some perspective, Jane. That is where that huge wall of water came into Staten Island that was basically in this area. When it came in -- I`m 5`4" -- it was way above my head. It was about 7 or 8 feet tall. So this area has already tremendously been hit hard. And tonight, residents are desperate, they`re worried, they`re very concerned. And I think it`s going to be a very harsh (ph) night here, Jane.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I want to ask you a question. Remember, two little boys, ages 2 and 4, died tragically during that storm surge during Sandy. So we know, as you mentioned, it really went over people`s heads. They were ripped out of their mother`s arms.

But let me ask you about them saying there`s nothing there. Because the mayor of New York held a very long news conference where he was talking about a million and a half meals distributed, thousands of blankets, water, all sorts of -- thousands of space heaters, but yet they`re saying that they`re not seeing any of this?

COSBY: Yes. A lot of the people here said they have barely gotten any help if at all.

And the bad news is because of the weather today, Jane, they set up a Red Cross distribution point. It was maybe about a quarter of a mile here, just down the road down this way. And what they were giving there was batteries, food, water, blankets for the few people who had stayed whose homes weren`t leveled. And guess what? With this bad weather tonight, those places are closed down.


COSBY: So the people are really left here alone. And I can tell you everyone I`ve talked to, Jane, says they need more help. They need more help. They are desperate. They don`t feel that they have been properly attended to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, maybe -- maybe it`s time to leave the island until this nor`easter passes. Because that looks dangerous.

The very areas that took the brunt of Superstorm Sandy now face the worst of the nor`easter. We`re talking about coastal towns. We`re talking about places like Belmar in New Jersey. They had just began to clean up and think about rebuilding, and now the snow and the ice have already arrived, basically undoing any work they may have done. Temperatures are dropping by the moment.

Again, with the wind chill, it feels like 20 degrees out there. And it`s just a lot of the dunes that used to exist and other buffers, they`ve been washed away.

I want to go out to CNN`s Susan Candiotti. You`re on the ground in Belmar. What are the residents going through there, given that many of the dunes and other buffers have been devastated and don`t exist anymore?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that`s the problem, Jane. And I tell you, I can`t think of the last time covering a storm one day and then covering a snowstorm -- a hurricane one day and a snowstorm the rest.

This feels like sand blasting on your face. But this time it is sleet, with gusts sometimes enough to move you -- move your body a little bit here.

What are people saying? They`re saying, "Oh, no, not again" for these coastal areas of New Jersey, some of whom are undergoing the same devastation that, of course, where Rita is there on Staten Island. I can barely keep my eyes open here.

But what you have here is people, in particular in New Jersey, who just got their power back, in some instances after eight days. And now there are warnings that they may very well lose that power again. Why? Because of this nor`easter and some of the gusts that are going to take out their power all over again. Or trees that were weakened by the storm, and now all they need is one gust of up to -- as you can see now, getting a good one now -- up to 60 miles an hour that could take them out and cause even more damage.

So they are predicting some coastal flooding here. But it`s very hard to predict, the governor says because -- because of what you cited, those sand berms having been washed away. They`re trying to fix them, trying to build them up again, but they don`t know what is going to happen, because so many have been washed out.

They are worried about flying debris, missiles, that could be picked up and really cause even more damage or destruction.

Just for a second here, Jane, standing next to -- we`re on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. This building, which is a convention center, of course, the waves during Sandy were crashing over this from the ocean, which is behind me. Over this building and onto the streets over there.

Fortunately, power is still on here and has been restored in many parts of this area where we are. Other people not so lucky -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan, try to stay warm. I don`t know if you can do that, but try.

You talked about the missiles from the debris. Well, the mayor of New York says that they`ve already cleared 130,000 tons of debris. But of course, that`s -- that`s a needle in a haystack, because there`s so much more debris out there.

I want to go to Tom Sater, meteorologist. What`s the very latest? What is this storm doing right now? Where is it right now, Tom?

TOM SATER, HLN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it`s offshore, Jane. Which is great news. Because when these nor`easters hug the coast, you know, the winds can be stronger, and the wind can be a lot heavier.

But one thing, when they slide eastward, they bring that cold air on the coast, and that`s why we`re seeing the snowfall.

Now, for the most part, I mean, we`re going to get in close here. We`ve had up to three inches in parts of Jersey. We`ve had as much as 8 in Connecticut. We`ve actually had hurricane wind gusts just about six miles off the coast, Buzzard Bay, it`s a buoy, 76 miles per hour. But at least we`ve seen this coming.

And crews were working with earth-moving equipment along the entire shore of Jersey here to make a makeshift dune about seven or eight feet high. So that`s some good news.

Now, it`s not going to be the kind of storm surge we had, of course, with Sandy. But that was 14 feet around Battery Park in New York. We`re looking at about six or seven feet lower than that. But there`s still going to be a lot of beach erosion. They`re going to undo the cleanup.

You mentioned, Jane, Belmar. In fact, in Belmar they`ve been draining the lake, the town, for over a week now. One inch of rain is going to undo that, and most likely that`s what they`re going to have. In fact, for the most part, beach erosion is a big thing, the heavy rainfall, but it is the winds. With winds gusting possibly 60, 65 miles per hour, as mentioned, even higher, that could down these trees. More power.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s unbelievable. And everything`s been affected.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Businesses, schools. Kids were just going back to school after first Sandy, and now that`s been put in jeopardy in many places.

All right. On the other side of the break, I`m going to talk to a personal friend of mine who has been out of power since Sandy. And she just told or heard that she`s not going to get power until Thanksgiving. That`s on the other side.



JEANINE MARCO, STORM VICTIM: The Rockaways got hit, Breezy Point, God bless them. But we`re also in need (ph), too. We also pay taxes. I pay a lot of taxes. I pay a lot of car insurance. I expect help. Help me. Help us. Do something for us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Most of all, people want their power back. There are more than 600,000 homes still without power in New York and New Jersey. And even more may have been knocked out from this nor`easter that we`re currently experiencing right now. So what do these people do?

Well, a good friend of mine, Stacy Essail (ph), had to leave her home near Long Beach.

And by the way, Stacy, I just got word that LIRR, which is your railroad, shut down, I guess, due to all this. Anyway, at least temporarily. Even more bad news for you, my dear.

What have you been going through? These are some photos that you provided to us. What did they tell you about your power that`s been out for over a week now?

STACY ESSAIL (PH), STORM VICTIM (VIA PHONE): Yes, Jane. Just when we start assessing whatever the damage is, and you see a lot of the boxes and everything from inside is now outside, the problem being that a lot of these electric boards and a lot of the voltage off the outside sockets were completely submerged in water. And the danger is, if we turn on our electric, there will be explosions or a lot of fires. Or it could prove to be more damaging and potentially lose power for more people.

So what they`ve now told us is they`ve changed the date three times. Now they`ve said Thanksgiving. But before they will turn on anyone`s electric, we have to get our own electrical contractors to come in and clear each individual home before they will turn on anybody`s power.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, a lot of the folks who are victims of Sandy, they`re not going to leave even their homes that are darkened because they have a fear of looting. Now, this even though power`s out, and they`re being forced -- they`re being told please evacuate, but let`s listen to what these folks have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scavengers ride up and down this block every day in their vans trying to steel scrap metal from our houses. This neighborhood should be locked down immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gets dark around here at night. There`s no lights on. Everyone`s getting nervous. People coming in from outside neighborhoods are stealing stuff at night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So New York city says they`re putting out a lot of patrols. In truth, there have not been many reports of looting or any waves of crime. But such fears are obviously understandable.

Stacy, you`ve decided, "Hey, I can`t stay in my darkened place anymore." In fact, I invited you, you can stay with my mom for a couple of days. But you`ve been sort of couch jumping, haven`t you?

ESSAIL (PH): Well, you know, it wasn`t so much the electric as it was -- it was freezing last night. It was really freezing. It was down in the 20s last night.

But I also want to say something, Jane. The people of Long Island are really pulling together. And I would be remiss if I didn`t mention that there was a family that was going all down the streets, offering batteries, offering water, offering blankets. There were people outside our local stores that had set up little fire pits or people that brought out their barbecue grills that were having fires.

You know, I understand we can`t keep waiting. But we must take care of ourselves. And that`s what every community is doing for each other here. Everybody is banded together. And that, you know, maybe that is one of the beautiful things in such a horrible situation. In assessing the damage, we can also assess the needs and what we need to do for ourselves and others.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m glad you have that attitude.

On the other side, I`m going to talk to a psychologist who`s going to explain, should we take this one-two punch, this double whammy, from Mother Nature personally?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s horrible. Everything`s freezing. All our stuff is gone. We have no heat. No electric. It`s a horror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To get power back up and then lose it all right again right away, you know. This is our -- this is our -- this is everything we have. And you`ve got trucks here taking it away right in front of you. You know, and it`s devastating. It`s one thing after another.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychologist Wendy Walsh, you can understand if people are taking this double whammy personally, feeling as if they`re somehow being targeted.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Jane, it makes you have so much anxiety, not knowing what`s coming next or how devastating it will be. This can create a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder that`s very real. I don`t want to underscore at all how real the emotions are. This feeling of insecurity that your environment, the intimate relationship you have with your own environment is not going well.

So, yes, these are real. And people need to take care of themselves.


Now, talk about environment. I want to go to Sara Hoy, CNN correspondent. You were in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Red Hook has some huge projects, and they`re also right along upper New York bay, which obviously is a body of water that`s going to make the area colder, windier. What are the folks there going through?

SARA HOY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s like everyone who`s been saying all evening. The residents at the Red Hook Houses, which happens to be Brooklyn`s biggest housing development, have no power, no hot water, no lights.

So today we climbed up 12 floors with a resident, and what we saw was we were going through a darkened hallway using flashlights. Some hallways had little votive candles on the floor donated from IKEA.

And the residents there are frustrated. And obviously so. They want more help. They want to know when the lights will be back on. They want to know when they`ll be able to take a shower. When they`ll actually have heat.

So going from door to door, residents would come out fully clothed in their winter gear, wearing doubled up socks, boots, pants. You name it, they had it on. And some folks wouldn`t answer the door, because they didn`t know who we were.

So they are frustrated. They were going to a local nonprofit today where the mayor had donated some heaters. However, if you don`t have electricity, you can`t use the heater.


HOY: So there was a bit of frustration there, as well.

So people are trying to figure out what it is that they can do, where they can go. There was actually a lot of occupiers there volunteering their time to help put together these ready packs of emergency food so people could take them back, and no water was needed or heat or they just needed water, not heat.

So they`re trying to do everything that they can. But tensions are running high. People are frustrated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, of course I worry about the elderly. We only have a couple of seconds. What about those elderly who can`t do the stairs?

HOY: Well, that`s it. So they`re up in their apartments on the 12th floor, the 15th floor, the 16th floor, and volunteers are actually going up those stairs to bring them items that they might need. Some people have not left their apartment since last week.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. An entire project -- the largest project in Brooklyn -- without power. It`s extraordinary. I mean, this is the apex of civilization, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island. And it is hit with a double whammy from Mother Nature.

Thanks for that report. I -- my heart goes out to the folks at Red Hook, those projects.

On the other side, the Jodi Arias trial. Developments today. You won`t believe it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jodi Arias, she`s young and beautiful. And police say she`s a cold-blooded killer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That beautiful woman accused of viciously -- and I mean viciously -- murdering her former boyfriend by stabbing him 27 times and slashing his throat.

JODI ARIAS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: This isn`t a two-sided story. This is a multi-faceted story. There are many sides to this story. I just don`t feel like mine has been represented.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi is extremely articulate. She`s beautiful, but she`s also very well spoken. She`s not hysterical. She`s not overly emotional.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s frightening both her calm and what`s also a little disturbing is how much she seems to be liking all of this attention.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news in the murder trial of Jodi Arias. And as you just heard, she`s accused of stabbing her ex-boyfriend 27 times, shooting him in the face.

Jodi was back in court today as her attorneys begged the judge, please, delay her murder trial for something like the ninth time. Really? This murder happened way back in 2008. Four years later it still has not gone to trial. Is that how our criminal justice system is supposed to work? Really? I don`t think so.

Prosecutors say Jodi, an aspiring photographer, went to the Mesa, Arizona, home of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in June of 2008, had a sexual encounter with him, or two, shot him, stabbed him and slit his throat from ear to ear. And cops say she took bizarre and sexually provocative photos before, and then even after the murder she took some photos.

Tonight, my exclusive interview with one of Travis` former roommates.

Jodi has been sitting in jail since July of 2008. And she`s not afraid to talk to the media. I mean, she even primps up a little bit.


ARIAS: I guess that`s really all I needed. Sorry. Don`t roll the tape yet.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi`s defense strategy has changed several times. First she said, oh, I wasn`t there. Nowhere near where this happened when Travis was murdered. Then she said, oh, yes, I was there. But it was a home invasion. And now she`s expected to say it was self-defense.

Travis` brother says that is not possible.


STEVEN ALEXANDER, TRAVIS` BROTHER: It is very vicious and very heinous. 27 times, like everybody knows, throat slit from ear to ear and shot in the head. That to me doesn`t scream self-defense at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a bizarre new twist. Jodi`s attorneys are making this very strange claim that she was sexually abused and they need more time to determine if she was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome when Travis was killed. Do you buy that? Call me, 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Shanna Hogan, journalist and True Crime author; you`re writing a book on this case. You were in court today Shawna. Tell us what happened and will there be a delay in this bizarre case of sexual abuse? When did this allegedly happen to her? When she was a kid or as an adult?

SHANNA HOGAN, JOURNALIST AND TRUE CRIME AUTHOR: Well, it was really interesting pre-trial testimony today. And they called several expert witnesses that are expected to testify at the actual trial. And they all spoke about that they thought that Jodi might have been a battered woman and that their opinion is that she might be suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

There`s not a whole lot of evidence to support that but the testimony was very vivid and the sexually explicit photograph, it was enough to make me blush. And Jodi sat there stone-faced the entire. It was pretty interesting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now. You`re saying that these expert witnesses for the defense presumably are saying, oh, she`s battered? Battered allegedly by whom?

HOGAN: Well, they might be presenting testimony that she was battered by the victim which there`s not any evidence to support that. You know, they are kind of presenting it based on what is left on this hard drive, these photos she had sent Travis. And as for the trial delay --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Shanna, I have --


HOGAN: Sorry. Go ahead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I have to jump in. What do taking sexually provocative photos have to do with being battered? I mean, there`s no evidence that she was battered. The photos --

HOGAN: There`s no evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. So these are photos -- sexual photos. How does that connect to battering?

HOGAN: It`s the photos that she has taken with Travis and sent back and forth. And somehow her defense wants to paint that as a claim that, you know, she was influenced by him in some way. We`ll find out during the actual trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. So bottom line we don`t know if the trial`s going to be delayed or do we?

HOGAN: The prosecutor`s fairly confident that it will not be delayed. But the defense is really pushing hard for a trial delay, which would probably make this trial go around January.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh. So we`ll find out in a couple weeks?

HOGAN: Yes. And it`s been very frustrating for the family. They are, you know, very anxious to get justice done in this case. Hopefully it will not be delayed one more time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jodi`s always said the quote unquote "truth" will come out of her trial. Here she is in jail giving one of her many interviews. Check this out.


ARIAS: There have been a lot of people that have been speaking out and saying things, you know, on their side. And this isn`t a two-sided story. This is a multi-faceted story. There are many sides to this story. And I just don`t feel like mine has been represented.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my exclusive guest, Brint Hiatt. You were Travis Alexander, the victim`s roommate at one time. These delays, let`s hope the trial isn`t delayed again. What do you make of this new claim that seems to blame the victim, your friend, who can`t be here to speak for himself claiming some kind of batter syndrome or sexual abuse? What do you make of it?

BRINT HIATT, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER (via telephone): I have a hard time hearing that. Travis -- yes, that`s really unbelievable to me. Beyond that it kind of leaves me speechless. I probably shouldn`t comment too much more.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, do you think it`s total nonsense?

HIATT: I would -- if she is making the claim that Travis was beating her, I think that that`s just flatly not true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you make of this Jodi?


HIATT: Sorry?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you make of Jodi? Is she an obsessed woman?

You know, Jodi when I knew her was kind of aloof. So it`s real hard to make anything of Jodi. As she is now, it`s kind of unbelievable because she was so quiet and was so introverted from the very beginning. She, you know, she didn`t really, you know, kind of ever get out of her shell, get out of her bubble, to really know other people -- at least in my estimation.

That might not be true in another scenario. I know, I have a couple friends who became very close with her. But I know that that was kind of a process. And, you know, she -- I mean, she`d been into my home. I would think that she would have been a little bit more open with me. But she never was.

So now to hear this, it`s kind of painful to hear to be quite honest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure. And I`m sorry. This is just what came out in court today during this request for a delay. This is their basis so we have to report what happened in court. But I can understand how it might be very hurtful to you.

Wendy Walsh, psychologist, let`s talk about this camera and she allegedly took photos. There was a photo of Jodi lying nude on Travis` bed. And this is the day, hours before maybe even minutes before he died - - eight photos total of them in sexually provocative poses and then a photo taken of Travis posing naked in the shower. And then there`s one last photo of Travis alive. And then two minutes later there`s a photo of a dead Travis Alexander on the bathroom floor.

What kind of mentality could do something like that?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: This was a woman getting back. This was a vengeful woman who was very angry that supposedly this young man had broken up with her. Clearly, you know, I sort of laughed to myself when I heard an earlier guest say that they may try to present into evidence that these certain photographs from the path she was sending back and forth will go into evidence that somehow she was manipulated or abused by him in this day and age.

Well, let me tell you, for every guy that gets a naked picture of a woman sent to his iPhone, I mean, that certainly isn`t evidence of any manipulation. It`s pretty easy to get these pictures nowadays in this high supply sexual economy.

But, Jane, the important thing here to understand is when I hear that she was quiet, that she was introverted, that she was having these wild sexual liaisons that he wasn`t talking about, that they were having this behind the scenes life, she was probably getting psychotically attached to him and he didn`t know because she wasn`t expressing it.


WALSH: So the danger for men out there thinking that they can have a "no strings" relationship is that there is no such thing as a "no strings" relationship.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this, Brint -- I understand what you`re saying, Wendy. Good point. We don`t want to blame the victim.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Travis was from all accounts a loving man, a good guy.

HIATT: Yes. That would be a fair estimation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brint, I hope you come back. We`re going to be all over this case. We hope it goes to trial soon. And we`ll talk to you when this case gets underway. Let`s hope it`s not delayed again.

Thank you, Brint. Appreciate you talking to us exclusively tonight.

On the other side of the break, we`re debating the pot props that passed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: People say it`s too expensive, too complicated to eat healthy. Nonsense. I am here at a farmers market in midtown Manhattan of all places. Take a look at the gorgeous veggies. We`re talking about a fifth generation farm from upstate New York. So this is locally grown, locally produced.

Now, if you want to find a farmers market in your area, just Google farmers markets USA and a whole directory will pop up. You put in your zip code. And, look. All the farmers markets in your area will appear. Check it out. Healthy mind. Healthy body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your viral video of the day. President Obama celebrating his re-election win -- Gangnam style. Well, it`s not really the President -- just a guy who looks a whole lot like him.



MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people`s work.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That`s what makes America great.

ROMNEY: Thank you. And God bless America.

OBAMA: Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless the United States.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Election night in the history books. President Obama isn`t the only one who won. Some other huge things happened. Gay marriage passed in Maine and Maryland. And the pot prop, say that three times, passed in two other states, Colorado and Washington state.


ALISON HOLCOMB: You cannot be arrested for being in possession of an ounce of marijuana.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it just freedom to do what you want without hurting anybody else? Or are we moving toward an addict nation? Some people say pot is just like booze. Others say this is going to open a dangerous door.

Could the legalization of pot sweep the nation like prohibition did, or could it trigger let`s say a weed war between states that say it`s ok to smoke pot and the federal government which still says it`s illegal. We`re debating it tonight.

Straight out to Howard Samuels, founder and CEO of The Hills Treatment Center -- this is historic. Two states have voted to legalize pot. Good idea or bad idea?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER/CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Jane, it actually makes me sick to my stomach. I mean, every day I go to my treatment center. Today, I`ve got five people in treatment, who have been addicted to pot smoking it every day for five years and their life is ruined. All they do is smoke pot. They have anxiety attacks, panic attacks -- they have no motivation in their lives to do anything.

And it makes me sick that now people are going to be told that this drug is legal and it`s safe. That`s wrong Jane.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let`s debate it. James Gordon, director and founder of the Center for Mind, Body and Medicine -- you advocate pot legalization. What say you about these two props of pot that passed?

JAMES GORDON, DIRECTOR/FOUNDER, CENTER FOR MIND, BODY AND MEDICINE: Well, as far as I`m concerned, the greatest crime is being done among young men, young black men who are incarcerated for possessing small amounts of marijuana. That`s really shameful. And I`ve seen it ruin the lives of so many young people. So that`s my primary concern.

And I think that decriminalizing or legalizing is going to help avoid that. And it`s going to help to remove the criminal element from the selling, from the growing of pot and bring it into the economy. Make it more a part of life. If it becomes a problem, as it certainly does as Doctors Samuels suggests, then it can be dealt with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m kind of conflicted because I`m 17 years sober. I certainly am not in favor of pot, but I do know also that more people are OD`ing from legal prescription drugs than they are from illegal drugs. I mean you would know. Michael Jackson had a drug cocktail in his system at the time of his death. Not just Propofol but Lorazepam, (inaudible), diazepam, Lidocaine, ephedrine. Ana Nicole Smith -- remember her? She died from an accidental overdose from nine prescription drugs, Lexipro, Zoloft, Cipro, Klonopin, Valium, Lorazepam, Ativan, chloral hydrates, I don`t even know how to pronounce all these drugs. But there`s a lot of legal drugs.

Dr. Kevin Sabet, you`re the former senior drug policy advisor, the drug war in my opinion is misguided because more people are getting high off legal prescription drugs that they`re misusing, that they`re getting from their doctor for the wrong reasons, that the doctor is prescribing to get them to come back over and over again. And that`s the real problem -- not pot.

KEVIN SABET, FORMER SENIOR DRUG POLICY ADVISOR: Well, I mean, I think there`s no doubt that public health should take front and center with our policies. I think that`s actually what the Obama administration has been trying to do, what we try to do a few years ago when we wrote President Obama`s first drug strategy.

But the issue with prescription drugs is actually a great lesson for marijuana legalization. Look at prescription drugs. They are legal. They`re widely available and they can actually only be given under very, very certain circumstances, yet there`s all this destruction as a result of prescription drugs. I mean over 20,000 deaths a year.

So the idea that legalization is good for public health actually runs contrary to the evidence. Prescription drugs, frankly alcohol and tobacco are also cases on this.

I think we should make a fine distinction however, between decriminalization and legalization. What Colorado and Washington are attempting at doing is radically different from decriminalization. It`s actually something that`s much more radical. It`s going to be available in stores. It`s going to be a social norm. And so I think that`s a big issue.


On the other side of the break we`re going to take your calls. Stay right there. Pot -- good or bad, legal?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for our pets of the day. Sent your pet pics to

Trevor -- gorgeous. Oh my gosh, Skyler, what a glamorous photo. Who is your photographer? Milo, you`re making the scene. And Huck -- little Huck. Where`s Finn? And Gizmo, we love you, too. Happy Halloween.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m feeling amazing. This is the best day I`ve seen in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously it`s always nice to be right. But, you know, we`re really happy. And, most importantly, it`s just wonderful that we`re not going to see another 10,000 Coloradoans arrested and made criminals in this coming year.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The polls that we send show that people are overwhelmingly in favor of pot legalization in Colorado and Washington. Although the governor of Colorado says don`t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly. It`s still against law.

Steve, Texas, your question or thought? Steve? I hope you haven`t gone off to you know what. I don`t know where you are, but it may not be legal in your state.

Let me ask you this, Dr. Sabet. Is it legal? If it`s against federal law does it really matter what the states pass?

SABET: Yes, it`s actually not really legal. It`s still illegal. And the states are going to have to work out the details. But any state can remove criminal penalties. That`s already what`s the case. In fact, I have to take issue to what we were saying before. People are not in jail for small amounts of marijuana. They do get arrest records and I think that`s wrong.


SABET: I think we should look into redoing it but it`s not legal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me -- James, your response to that?

GORDON: I`m sorry. I`m not sure I heard his -- exactly what he said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: People in jail for pot. Are people in jail for pot?

GORDON: Well, you know, I think the point is that we`re so preoccupied -- and as you pointed out very rightly, the preoccupation with pot seems misplaced. We have to -- we`re a country that has become addicted to so many different things and pot is the least of our worries a And legalizing it and moving it into the mainstream may actually make us able to deal with it, whatever difficulties there are, far better.

We`ve had a tremendous amount of trouble dealing with the difficulties of alcohol, prescription drugs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Food. Food addiction is a real problem.

SABET: But those are legal. But the issue is those are legal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there gentlemen. Thank you so much for joining in this conversation. We`ll see what happens. The feds, the federal government could decide, uh-uh.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my take on election night. There was a strong lesson for candidates of both parties. Treat women with respect or you will pay. This is not about one`s views on abortion. Reasonable people can and do disagree. This was about the extreme, arrogant, unfeeling and misleading way two candidates in particular discussed the issue of abortion and rape. Remember this?


RICHARD MOURDOCK (R), FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Life is a gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that U.S. Senate candidate from Indiana, Richard Mourdock lost last night. Ditto for Missouri U.S. Senate candidate, Todd Akin who set off a fire storm when he suggested that it`s really rare for a woman to get pregnant from quote, "legitimate rape". Remember that?


TODD AKIN (R), FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that`s really rare. If it`s a legitimate rape the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Both those candidates lost. And guess what, many women candidates won. In fact, the U.S. Senate will now have the most female senators ever in U.S. history. About one in five senators will be female. So, fellows, hear the lesson.

Nancy next.