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Woman Kills Man on Subway Platform

Aired December 28, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Do you ever nervously look over your shoulder when waiting on a train platform or crossing a busy street? Well, maybe there`s a good reason, given the story we`re about to tell you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): A woman runs from a subway platform. What she did that has people outraged. And why did this college student tell a judge her parents treat her like a dog on a collar? And what does this handsome war hero have to do with this pretty cop`s Christmas Eve murder?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A man was pushed to his death on a subway platform.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the second time this month that a person has been pushed to their death. Surveillance video shows the woman running away from that Queens station last night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was horrible. It was -- it echoed through the bottom, and I don`t ever want to hear something like that again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Witnesses say that she was mumbling to herself, and the man didn`t seem to notice her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s happened again. For the second time in a month, a man has been pushed of a New York subway platform, in front of a moving train, and killed. And once again, police have surveillance video of the alleged killer.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Here she is, the mystery woman, racing away from the scene. Witnesses say she was pacing the platform and talking to herself, mumbling shortly before pushing the man onto the tracks right at the worst time, just as the train roared into the station. The victim was trapped under a train car and died. His name has not been released.

Witnesses say it was just awful.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t believe that these things happen in this neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What needs to be done, this has happened twice this month, they need to slow the trains down to about 15 miles an hour when they`re coming into the station so, if something like that does -- does happen, they have time to stop the train.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The same thing happened just a few weeks ago. Cops say a homeless man shoved a Queens father right off the platform and into the path of a train, killing him before horrified fellow travelers.

Naeem Davis has pleaded not guilty, but "The New York Post" says he told them he couldn`t drown the voices in his head right before it happened and that he didn`t mean to kill anyone.

Is this a trend or just a sick coincidence? And once again, we are faced with the question how are we, Americans, supposed to protect ourselves when sick violent crimes keep happening in public places?

Straight out to Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels. Your group has patrolled the subways for decades. Is there a growing danger of innocent people being pushed to their deaths by deranged individuals who manage to turn a train into a deadly weapon, Curtis?

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Well, Jane Velez-Mitchell, I`m surprised it doesn`t happen more often, because the emotionally disturbed people have basically taken over parts of the subway system. Either because they`ve been discharged from mental health care facilities, they`re not taking their medicine, or as you can see, it`s starting to get really cold so they`re starting to use the subway system as a place to stay and try and keep warm.

You see them. I go out on the subways at 3 a.m. in the morning. They`re talking to themselves. They have a deep psychosis. They`re schizophrenic, and they`re talking to people that they think are real, the demons that possess them. And oftentimes we`re so jaded and skeptical as New Yorkers, we figure, ah, that`s just New York.

And in this case the guy probably had no idea at all that this woman would leap up and push him into an oncoming train. So now you`ve got to watch your back. You have to be extra careful, because there are so many emotionally disturbed people that literally are all throughout the system.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and a lot of them do go into the subways, often to stay warm. It`s somewhere to go.

New Yorkers are understandably shaken by these two subway push deaths. After all, millions of people take the subway every day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no words for this. So many people, is crazy. You know, we have to watch backs. And I can`t believe these things happen in this area.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, let me ask you this question. Witnesses say this woman was pacing back and forth, mumbling to herself. But then she sat down, and she waited and waited for the precise time to push this guy at the last possible second so that the train would hit him. And then she runs away from the scene.

So doesn`t that prove that she knows what she`s doing, therefore she has a consciousness of guilt, therefore she`s not insane, because the definition of insanity, legally, is knowing the difference between right and wrong. Not knowing it.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right. Right. I certainly can see where a lay person would look at that type of behavior and say, "Hey, was there some deliberate thought process about when she was actually going to shove this man in?"

But the truth of the matter is when somebody is psychotic, they`re not in touch with reality. And they could be responding to voices that feel just as real as me talking to you, Jane. She could have been listening to voices saying, "Push the man in right before the train comes and then run away so that the devil won`t get you." We don`t know what was going on in her mind.

And the truth of the matter is, until she has a full evaluation, we won`t know whether she was aware of what she was doing and whether there was a conscious understanding about right or wrong at that moment in time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you mention voices in one`s head. And that relates to the previous case, this first subway shoving incident. The victim and the suspect were arguing. They were actually caught on tape arguing just before the victim, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han, was pushed in front of the train.

A homeless man, 30-year-old Naeem Davis, was charged with murder and ordered held without bail. "The New York Post" says the suspect, a homeless man, told them he was high on marijuana and has a history of bipolar disorder.

He has pleaded not guilty, however, claiming that the man he allegedly pushed was the aggressor and attacked him first. This suspect claims the victim was drunk and belligerent.

But according to "The New York Post," he also allegedly told the "Post" that he heard voices in his head saying, "Ooh, he`s coming back," quote, "I have to do something," end quote.

So I got to ask, Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney, could this -- this incident, the one involving the man who has already been arrested, have been the perfect storm? The victim`s wife says that he had been drinking, the victim, before he left and they had had an argument. And then he encounters a man who is allegedly bipolar and is high on pot. That`s a perfect storm.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is, Jane. But the bigger problem, as you know, these people don`t just get this way when they`re 20 or 58 years old. This is a problem that we as a country, we as a village, we need to recognize. The teachers, the families, the neighbors, we need to be aware of all of these mentally ill people that are walking around. Isn`t that the bigger problem?

Why are we seeing this kind of rage, where Dr. Ludwig is talking about psychosis and hearing voices? We need to deal with it when they`re younger and treat these people and help these people. We need to recognize it`s an illness.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you know what? Look, Tom Shamshak, a former police chief, private investigator, it`s easy to be a 20/20 quarterback, whatever that phrase is, Monday morning quarterback with 20/20 vision. After the fact.

We are seeing more and more horrors out there where, oh, in retrospect we can see, oh, the person couldn`t make friends, they are a loner, they have all these problems.

But let`s face it. We all know a lot of people who are not quite sociable, who can`t seem to make friends, who don`t fit in, who seem troubled. It`s always a tiny, tiny fraction percentage that actually cross over into that other arena of violent acting out. It`s so easy to say, well, we`ve got to help people who are mentally ill, but you can never judge who are the ones who are going to turn violent until after they turn violent, unfortunately.

TOM SHAMSHAK, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Jane, any personal crime prevention strategy ought to start with being aware of your surroundings. Everybody.

And when you go onto a transit platform, in the future, when somebody approaches or somebody is acting in a disorderly or argumentative manner, flee. Get away from that person.

If there`s an authority figure there, a policeman or a conductor, tell them that there`s some unusual behavior here. But going forward, nothing in the ears and being oblivious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to jump in for a second. And I`ve got to bring Curtis back. If I were to call a conductor every time I`m -- not right now, I`m in Los Angeles right now, but I live in New York City. If I were to, every time I`m on the subway -- and I ride them all the time -- call a conductor every time somebody was mumbling to themselves, I`d never get from point A to point B.

You know, Curtis, and I know, how many people appear deranged in the subway system. I mean, that`s...

SLIWA: And Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: May be politically incorrect to say, but it`s true.

SLIWA: Right. And Jane Velez-Mitchell, your fellow passengers who are trying to either get home from work or go to work, and say, what are you making such a capital case out of this? There`s 100 people in the system mumbling and talking to themselves and defecating on themselves and acting crazy with all the furniture upstairs and rearranging their own rooms.

Our problem, Jane, we don`t let public safety officials use common sense when they see people in need. They should be able to bring them out of there, take them for an observation, get them out of the system. Because it`s not helping them. And they may react violently, and then take it out on some unsuspecting victim.

We have a responsibility. It`s a mass transit system. It`s not a mental health care facility, and it`s not a shelter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi Ludwig, this is a true story. Just the other day, I`m on the subway, and the train stops because they say there`s an unruly passenger in the next -- next train up, not our train.

But in our train, I`m looking at a guy who`s talking out loud, has a whole stack of money like this, and saying, "I just made all this money selling crack," and he`s counting the money and talking to himself at the same time.

Now, that is not, unfortunately, an unusual occurrence. Things like that happen almost every time you get onto a subway train in New York City. You know that.

LUDWIG: Even walking -- even walking the street. I was walking, and I had a homeless man say expletives to me in such an aggressive way I was really frightened, and I work in psychiatric hospitals.

Listen, we may need to look at restructuring our mental-health laws. Right now, a patient has a right to refuse all treatment. So, a person, as sick as they are, and as dangerous as they might be, has a right to refuse treatment. We may need to look at changing that. Certainly honoring people`s rights, but if somebody is -- has the potential to be a danger to themselves or each other, or someone else, then maybe there should be treatment over objection and some way to figure that out.

Maybe we need a mobile crisis unit following these people who are vulnerable to being violent and live on the outside.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, unfortunately, we create a huge law to correct one incident to make sure one incident never happens, again often you have a lot of unintended consequences. You open a Pandora`s box and you end up depriving the civil liberties of other people who are not deranged or violent. But we`ll talk about that on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up in the city you always stand close to the edge and look to see if the train comes, so it`s pretty -- makes you rethink the things that you do on a regular basis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s scary, like I think people stand too close to the edge, too. Like, there`s that yellow line is there for a reason.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Witnesses say the suspect in this subway push death case was pacing and mumbling beforehand.

Now, the suspect in the first subway death a couple of weeks ago claims to be bipolar, reportedly. New York`s Mayor Bloomberg was asked about the state of the mentally ill in New York this morning on WOR News Talk Radio.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: We used to incarcerate a lot of people who were mentally ill. Courts saw the law was changed and said no, we can`t do that because they -- unless they`re a danger to society, our laws protect you.

It costs a lot, and the trouble is you may incarcerate the handful of people who do something wrong, but you`d also incarcerate an enormous number of people who will never do anything wrong. And the essence of America is unless you do something wrong, we don`t incarcerate you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. And that`s the dilemma. New York is just a haven for people who are often artists, eccentric. We can`t start looking at people and saying, "You`re mentally ill because you`re wearing a strange outfit."

Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, and you patrol the subways. You probably know more about the New York City subway system than anybody on the planet. I`m confused about the laws, because we`re hearing psychotherapist Robi Ludwig say you can`t just lock people up any more.

But I`m also reading that, more than a decade ago, a woman was killed by a former mental patient who shoved her and that this had led to a law that says mental health authorities can supervise released patients to make sure they stay on their meds. What do you know?

SLIWA: Yes, and Jane, I run into people all the time eccentrically dressed with the tin-foil hats, fluorescent light bulbs around their heads playing "Star Wars." They`re no danger to anyone. We look at them and we vicarious -- we say, "Wow, they`re really strange and crazy," but they`re not of a harm to you or to themselves.

But there are certain people who clearly are on medication that has been prescribed to them. They were first in mental health facilities. Then they were outsourced to half-way houses. Then they`re put on their own, but they refuse to take their meds. And there`s been law after law that says if they won`t take their meds, then they have to be forcibly administered to them, but nobody ever has the will to follow through. Until we have situations like this. And then we return, back to page one.

This ought to be a requirement. If you`re released into the streets on your own recognizance but you`re under an order to be medicated, you`ve got to be medicated, even if it has to be forcibly done for the good of yourself and the good of society.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist.

LUDWIG: If somebody is released, and they are mentally ill and they choose not to take their medication, they still have that right, even if they are being bizarre. And unless they present as being dangerous, then really nothing can be done.

And this is where we really need to work with organizations like NAMI (ph) and family members to really help them observe these ill families and know when they`re vulnerable so that they can be hospitalized.

But I think we`re looking at -- we`re going to need to change some laws so that we can keep the streets safe and keep this vulnerable population safe and not harming anybody else, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one of the things that we know about the mentally ill is that they don`t like to take their meds. I`ve covered this with numerous stories, where people were on their meds and as soon as they start feeling better, they say, "OH, I don`t need the meds. I feel better." And then they stop taking them, and it`s a vicious cycle that goes on and on.

But by the same token, Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney, we`ve seen that a lot of meds that are prescribed by doctors turn out to boomerang on people that are not always the right thing. And we see, for example, more prescription drug overdoses in this country than illegal drug overdoses now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I`m very concerned...

WEINTRAUB: I`m with you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... when you force people to take drugs.

WEINTRAUB: Exactly. I -- that is exactly right. And especially in the prison system if there`s something wrong and they`re committed in the prison system, they are given drugs, often just like lithium to just zonk them out. That`s not helping somebody. That`s not medicating somebody therapeutically so they can function and live a productive life. That is just a Band-Aid on the problem.

I say that we need to go back. These people don`t just commit crimes like throwing somebody in front of a subway. That wasn`t the first act of rage of this young lady or the 58-year-old guy December 3. These things build up and build up. These things start early. There are neighbors, there are teachers, there are parents. Maybe we ought to have more responsibility in our communities to get these people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But nobody has a crystal ball. I can assure you, we probably all know somebody we think is troubled, but nobody has a crystal ball that says this troubled person is going to cross over and become a violent person. I mean, there`s a goodly percentage of people in America who are troubled who never do anything but maybe annoy other people.

But that`s the problem. It`s so easy to say that, but we can`t predict who is going to be the violent person who`s going to do that push, that push. Nobody can predict that push. More on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was horrible. It echoed through the bottom, and I don`t ever want to hear something like that again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The final scream. I don`t know what happened after that. I thought somebody was just fighting upstairs, but it was a really creepy yell.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A man just pushed to his death by this woman who then races off -- there she is. His body was so mangled it`s been a very difficult time for authorities to identify him. This is a tragedy.

And again, public places. We have to trust each other in this world to get through going from point A to point B, going to malls, going to movie theaters, schools. And yet, so many of these public places, these institutions, are becoming targets of violence.

We saw an example of how much our nation is on edge right now. A fist fight broke out at a Sacramento mall over the weekend, and Christmas shoppers, holiday shoppers began running for their lives because they thought they heard gun shots. Well, it turns out there were no gun shots, and it was just some teenagers fighting.

This shows how panicky we are right now. It, I think, shows that we`re all becoming a little less trusting that the people that surround us, strangers, are going to do the right thing.

Twenty years ago, I don`t think we would have really had this kind of reaction. Tom Shamshak, former police chief, private investigator, I think the mood of the nation has changed, has it not?

SHAMSHAK: I agree. The climate today, given the recent spate of violence associated with weapons in a variety of settings, has people on edge. And that`s understandably so. Where do we go from here? I think that`s the topic that needs to be addressed -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We`ve got to talk about it. And remember, we`re talking about the New York City subway system. But it`s not just New York City. Every place.

I`m in Los Angeles right now. They have a huge subway system. They`re building an elevated. I just saw some kind of an elevated train. You talk about San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta. I`m just mentioning some of them.

I mean, Curtis Sliwa, this is an issue that will affect anybody who takes Metro rail, Amtrak, any kind of public transportation.

SLIWA: Oh, yes. Whether it`s an old mass transit system or the newer mass transit systems that you describe like in Los Angeles, there`s one thing that people have in common, Jane, that they didn`t do years ago.

They`re on the platform waiting for a train, and all of a sudden they`re checking their e-mails, they`re doing their Facebook, they`re totally disconnected, they got the -- they got the ear pad in, they`re listening to music. So a lot of times they`re totally separate from what their instinct might have told them about their surroundings, and they`re not aware of a problem until the problem is right in their face.

So I think people have to recognize -- and not everyone is like them, not everyone is in their own little cone in their own little world of techie back and forth and that there are some potential dangers that are lurking about. And they have to stay connected to the rest of the world, because it`s not all like them. You know, out of sight out of mind. There are other people out there who are doing harm to themselves and could easily do harm to yourself, and you have to be vigilant and look after your neighbors and friends and associates.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are absolutely right about that. I`ve got two cell phones, and I do have a head set, and you`re absolutely right. It disconnects you from your instinct. I always trust my gut.

Coming up next, a war hero accused in the murder of his beautiful wife. And just minutes from now, Nancy Grace has a story of a mom of two who vanished from her Illinois home. Her car still parked in the garage, her purse and cell phone gone. What happened to Lisa Stebic? "NANCY GRACE MYSTERIES," tonight 8 p.m., HLN.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was everything I could hope for in a young police officer -- intelligent, energetic, willing to be of service and wanting to be a great police officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sebena was found murdered early Christmas Eve near the church. She was shot multiple times.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A decorated Iraq war veteran, a war hero, accused of stalking and killing his own wife on Christmas Eve no less. Ben Sebena allegedly stalked his wife Jennifer who was a police officer in their Wisconsin town.

Police say he followed her for days and then waited outside a fire station where she often took breaks. As she walked back to her car, after a break, early on Christmas Eve morning, he shot her allegedly in the face, took her gun and shot her four more times in the head.

What led to this horror? Ben Sebena served two tours in Iraq and earned ten medals, including the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged after being severely injured. When he came back he made a video for the Elmbrook Church and he spoke about his wonderful relationship with his wife Jennifer.


BEN SEBENA, ACCUSED OF KILLING WIFE: I came back home to Wisconsin and started spending more time with Jen and we -- our love flourished. We became actually infatuated with each other. And then one day I asked her if she would be happy to spend the rest of her life with me and she said yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He allegedly told investigators he shot her so many times to make sure she wouldn`t suffer. Former police chief, private investigator, Tom Shamshak, this is another example of the unlikeliest of suspects. A church-going war hero accused of the unthinkable, gunning down his estranged wife who was a police officer.

TOM SHAMSHAK, FORMER POLICE CHIEF/PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Jane, this was a volcanic reaction. This fellow undoubtedly had underlying mental health issues, managed to get a hold of a weapon and then killed this woman, this police officer. My heart goes out to her and her family and the members of her department -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this guy. He`s wearing a suicide vest and he is not speaking. See the disbelief -- you see the disbelief because friends and family cannot believe this. Again, this prominent member of the community, churchgoer, and unfortunately, if they saw some of the foreshadowing they might not have such disbelief.

Police say before the incidents like this, there is often a foreshadowing. In this case, according to the criminal complaint, the victim, Jennifer -- the now slain police officer -- told a co-worker three weeks ago that Ben had put a gun to her head recently. Police say there was no report of that incident. In other words, she didn`t call the police herself.

But Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney, how many cases have we covered where there is a foreshadowing like this, where there is a hint of the violence to come. And the warning to women has to be, if your husband, especially if you are in the process of divorce, does something like put a gun to your head, even if nothing happens that day, that is a huge alarm bell.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. Take it away.

WEINTRAUB: I totally agree. We`ve covered way too many of these cases. If something like that happens to any woman during any proceedings like this, you get out of the house. You don`t even just run for a temporary restraining order, a paper is not going to protect you. The only thing that will protect you is getting away from a lunatic like that.

And this is a guy who was twice deployed to Iraq, there is probably some PTSD going on. And I`m sure that he`s admitted to rage issues -- the jealousy overtook him. But there was a gun to her head. And she just figured he won`t really do it. Women, wake up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And when it comes to waking up, let`s remember that the process of divorce is a danger zone particularly for women. So many killings happen during that crucial time when a couple is separating. We`ve all covered these stories as well -- everybody at our panel -- so many of these stories.

Divorce that turns deadly -- whenever one person wants to leave the marriage or separate, given even a living together co-habitation situation, there is the threat of this what I call divorce or breakup danger zone.

Just this past year we covered the Jason Young trial. He wanted out of the marriage; he saw his way out as murder. And he was found guilty. And we`re now hearing there are reports that there may have been some talk of divorce here.

According to one published report, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig -- it`s interesting because the report claims that he was the one who wanted the divorce and she wanted to reconcile, which kind of is a little bit counter intuitive given that he allegedly killed her.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, not really, because when you look at many marital homicide cases, very often the spouse is viewed as someone who is in the way of the partner having what they want to have in life. So, this husband viewed his wife as getting in his way, of his freedom, of finances, of whoever else, who knows what else he wanted. But she was viewed as in the way and that`s why he wanted to eliminate her. It sounds like she didn`t want to go so that increased the tension and frustration on his end.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and here is another wrinkle. According to the criminal complaint the suspect Ben Sebena told investigators he was jealous of other men around his wife. But the police chief was quick to point out that there was no evidence of Jennifer who he described as a wonderful excellent police officer, doing any kind of cheating whatsoever. Listen to this.


CHIEF BARRY WEBER, WOUWATOSA POLICE DEPARTMENT: I want you to understand that she was a victim and you know, the things that I said about her being an energetic, articulate intelligent police officer, everything about her suggested that`s the way she comported herself and the way she did her job. So I will address that there was nothing to ever suggest that she did anything inappropriate or unprofessional.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, founder of Guardian Angels, we were just talking about what could be a stranger attack where this woman pushes a guy off into the subway platform and kills him. This is intimate partner violence allegedly and it`s just so stereotypical as to be pathetic, oh, they are going through a divorce, and he`s jealous that she might see other men allegedly, so the next thing you know, she`s got five bullets to her head.

Your thoughts about this sort of classic violence and the warning to women who are considering divorce or breaking up right now.

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Well, I`ve been through a divorce a number of times, I`m a serial marrier. And generally the battles take place as your lawyers shield one another in divorce court and you would rather not have anything to do with one another outside the court.

But you do get these obsessive issues. And I`m surprised because in this case the victim was a police officer who is trained in intervening in domestic violent disputes. In fact, that`s the most difficult thing that a police officer ever has to engage in -- boyfriend, girlfriend, husbands, wives, parents, children. And they know how difficult it is.

So she had the warning -- I`m surprised she didn`t act on that warning when he took his gun and put it to her head. That should have been a signal to her that this guy is completely off the hook and out of control and her life was clearly in danger.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. And it doesn`t always have to be that way, I must say. As far as myself goes, I was married and I went to a peaceful mediator with my now ex-husband, who I`m still very friendly with -- we`re going to the movies later this evening. And we went to a peaceful mediator and it was done in 45 minutes and then we went to lunch. So it doesn`t always have to be that way.

This suspect Ben Sebena called the police at 6:30 in the morning to ask them to check on his wife. Five minutes later the police called back and said "Please come to the police station, there has been an incident involving your wife."

Here is clue number one. He didn`t ask what happened to my wife. He just went to the station. And at the station, he was told Jennifer was killed -- had been killed. And Tom Shamshak, private investigator, he still doesn`t ask what happened. Isn`t that according to police the ultimate clue that well, you must know if you don`t ask?

SHAMSHAK: Another red flag, yes, obviously. This was you know, methodically planned and then methodically carried out and you know, this is -- what a tragedy that this young new police officer ends her life this way -- tragic -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s an obvious giveaway according to cops. If somebody says your wife has been killed and you don`t say "Oh, how did she die?" The obvious implication is well, you`re not curious, why are you not curious? So that`s fascinating the way police look at a person`s behavior, a suspect`s behavior and they can see that suspect in a way that the suspect cannot see his own behavior.

Our hearts do go out to this slain officer`s family. It`s a tragedy and so unnecessary.

Now our "Must See Video of the Day", we`re switching gears entirely here. This dog stuck in a frigid lake in Michigan for more than an hour is rescued by some holiday heroes. Bart fell through the ice and this man managed to get Bart out of the water but then he got stuck. But this wonderful man said I`m not going to give up on this beautiful little guy and he got him out and both are now doing ok. That is just a wonderful holiday story that warms my heart. I`m sure it warms yours too. All right. Bart`s ok.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is your "Viral Video of the Day". Check out the tallest female dog in the world, Bella, more than three feet tall from paw to shoulder -- a Guinness world record and as she weighs in at 170 pounds but not an ounce of fat on her. Looking good, Bella, and it sounds like you are very pampered.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a family feud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A judge in Cincinnati just granted a 21-year-old college student a restraining order against her parents. She said that they would routinely drive 600 miles from Kansas and show up in Ohio unannounced.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re talking about helicopters right now. But no, not the one you`re looking at here. Tonight we`re talking about helicopter parenting and one girl who has said "Mom and dad, enough. Uh-uh. No more."

Aubrey Ireland is trying to be like every other 21-year-old young woman. She`s attending a great college, majoring in theater hanging out with friends. She says there is one thing holding her back, her parents. Listen to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America".


AUBREY IRELAND, GETS RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST PARENTS: They basically thought that because they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do, who to hang out with and you know, basically control all of my daily life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: According to court documents Aubrey accuses her parents of stalking her claiming it all began when she realized her parents -- are you sitting down people -- installed monitoring software on her computer and her phone. And she says it only got worse. She claims her parents would make unannounced visits traveling 600 miles to her school in Ohio. She says it got so bad she felt like a dog with a collar on and that`s when she convinced the judge she needed a restraining order against them.

Here she is on ABC`s "Good Morning America".


IRELAND: I never wanted this to happen. That`s the last thing I wanted but I wasn`t in control of my life at all anymore. I knew that they were holding me back emotionally, mentally, and professionally and that it got to the point where that was basically my last option.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the judge agreed telling Aubrey`s parents stay at least 500 feet away from their child until September of next year.

Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney, she got a judge to grant her a protection order from her own parents. What kind of proof would she need for something that major?

WEINTRAUB: You know, isn`t this just so sad, Jane. You`ve met my 21- year-old. I mean as parents we have an obligation to raise our kids, to let them fly on their own, to raise them to be independent people and live a productive life in society. And all we can do is guide them and love them and hopefully they will come back to us and ask for advice. But they need to make mistakes. That`s what being a 21-year-old or 18-year-old is all about.

These parents, to me, sound like they are bullies, not parents.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, according to ABC News Aubrey`s parents, well, some people have diagnosed her parents with co-dependency disorder. I don`t know. I`ve never met them. Claiming the mother has always been very involved in this young woman`s life. Listen to what the daughter said on ABC`s "Good Morning" America.


IRELAND: My mom has always been very overly involved. I would have (inaudible) all the time and show them that I was in my dorm room or like there are nights where I had to leave my Skype on all night and my mom would watch me basically sleep.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi Ludwig, is this empty nest syndrome or more serious like borderline personality?

LUDWIG: No. Right, this is far more serious. This is toxic parenting. This is, basically, abusive parenting where the daughter is turned into an object where basically her emotions, her freedom was not considered -- dangerous stuff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got to leave it there. We want to -- we tried to reach the parents, couldn`t. They are invited on any time. I`m not a parent, I can`t judge. It`s a tough job.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for our "Pet o` the Day". Send us your pet pics at And Paxton and all of the other wonderful animals that we profile, we hope that all dogs and cats get good homes. So please don`t shop, adopt.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beautiful and powerful polar bear is in crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re fearful that the situation is going to become critical for polar bears in this area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the time came when I went to northern Alaska and couldn`t see a polar bear that would be really hard to take. That`s just a foreshadowing of what`s going to happen around the rest of the globe, and it`s going to affect us all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A terrifying report, but one you have to hear because together we can do something about this. In just 40 years there may be no polar bears left in Alaska, and more than two-thirds of polar bears around the world will vanish. Why?

Well, the sea ice they depend on to hunt and raise their cubs is melting and it`s melting fast. Even worse some experts say the polar bears` dire situation is just a warning of what could happen around the globe to other species if we don`t change our behavior and our lifestyles now.

I`m thrilled to have David Mizejewski, here with the National Wildlife Federation. You just came back from Canada. What did you see out there?

DAVID MIZEJEWSKI, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION: Well, as you mentioned, polar bears need sea ice and the sea ice is declining. It`s declining because of climate change. And so I saw were polar bears that were not in particularly good condition. And what`s more important is what I didn`t see and that was mother polar bears with cubs.

One of the biggest things that`s happening right now is the female polar bears because their condition is not as good as it should be because of the declining sea ice and their inability to hunt seals, these females are not able to get pregnant. If they do get pregnant, they`re oftentimes not able to keep their cubs alive.

And so what`s happening is that even though some adult polar bears are making it through these leaner times, the cubs aren`t. And so the population is not renewing. Down the line 30, 40, 50 years that`s going to spell trouble.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s heartbreaking. And this is, by the way, happening to many species, not just the polar bears. Every time I open a magazine or go online I read about, oh, the plummeting bee population. Sharks are being decimated because people want shark fin soup. We are destroyed our world, make no mistake about it.

Now, the National Wildlife Federation, a great organization, is running a campaign called "Save the Roar". Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is simple.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does a polar bear sound like?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t have the slightest.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something like that. I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. People can go directly to -- Get involved because together we can do something. What exactly can we do?

MIZEJEWSKI: Well, there`s a lot of personal solutions that we can do. We can do thing like -- excuse me -- change light bulbs, drive cars with better fuel efficiency. Right now the National Wildlife Federation is urging folks to get in touch with the EPA and Obama Administration to limit the coal pollution -- or the carbon pollution coming out of coal-fired plants.

That`s critical. That`s why climate change is happening. We`re burning fossil fuels. The polar bears and lots of other species including ourselves are suffering.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And that`s why I`m a vegan because the United Nations did an in-depth study and determined that meat production around the world is one of the single biggest causes of global warming, the destruction of the rain forest to create grazing land as well as the methane that the animals themselves produce as well as all the grain and the water that goes into producing one cow or one pig so you can adopt a plant-based diet as well if you want to save our planet.

And I hope the National Wildlife Federation creates a plant-based eating platform on their Web site so we can encourage people to eat plants to save the world. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We just witnessed a huge and terrible storm in Hurricane Sandy that led to unimaginable devastation along the East Coast. Now, many climatologists said this was made worse by climate change, the rising seas. When are we going to realize that the plight of the polar bear and the plight of people are one and the same? It`s not man versus nature anymore. We`re both under assault.

MIZEJEWSKI: We all live on this planet together so you`re absolutely right. What happens to wildlife is ultimately going to happen to us. Polar bears are kind of a canary in the coal mine because they`re so dependent on the sea ice habitat. That`s declining

We just had a record low sea ice just this past September. It`s about 50 percent lower than it has been since we`ve been studying it. And so polar bears, they`re declining rapidly but you`re absolutely right. That sea ice is going away, it`s affecting weather patterns and exactly what happened with storms like Hurricane Sandy is what the climate scientists have been predicting is going to become more regular.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here is what gets me crazy. We wouldn`t have to radically alter our lifestyles. We just have to make a few changes. Drive fuel-efficient cars. I have owned two Prius already. Don`t us plastic. That`s why I have -- yes it has my name on it but I use reusable. I don`t use plastic bags. I eat a plant-based diet. I mean it`s not like we have to change our entire lives, David.

MIZEJEWSKI: That`s right, yes. And all of those are great solutions. National Wildlife Federation, we`re focusing on trying to get the rules changed on the amount of carbon pollution that can be put out in the air by coal-fired power plants. That`s a big picture solution that even if people don`t make those individual changes, which we hope they do, we can still get at this problem.

And the message is that there`s still time. If we act now, if we limit this carbon pollution, we make those personal choices and we don`t get more into fossil fuels, we can save polar bears.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You could take action. Join the National Wildlife Federation. Get involved. The polar bears need you. All of us need you.

Nancy next.