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Brett Seacat Trial
Aired June 4, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, his brother is an accused murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I conversely cannot imagine Brett ever hurting her.
PINSKY: Charged with having shoot his wife in the head and then setting the house on fire to cover it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was rattled, somewhat shaky, but sort of just tough.
PINSKY: Did this testimony save Brett Seacat from life in prison?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had grown very close to Vashti and I adored my sister-in-law.
PINSKY: Who`s side is he on?
Plus, Americans behind bars. Drug addicts in jail getting help from a surprising source. Is this former governor changing their lives? And his?
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening, everybody.
My co-host this week is criminal psychologist and host of "Stalked" on investigation discovery. And we do have some breaking news before we get to that.
New information about Jodi Arias tonight. Her attorneys have put out a statement.
It goes as followed, "If the diagnosis made by the state psychologist is correct, the Maricopa County attorney`s office is seeking to impose the death penalty upon a mentally ill woman who has no prior criminal history. This to me is telegraphing what we`re going to see if they do pursue the death penalty case. We`re going to see much more about Jodi being mentally ill, much more about somebody who couldn`t control their actions to death."
My understanding is there may be a plea bargain in the making here as well. My prediction is, we`re going to see a trial in July, and it`s going to center around Jodi and frankly, her craziness. So stay tuned for that.
But we were going to bring you updates tonight throughout the show. But coming up right now, was the victim, Vashti Seacat, dead before the fire?
Dr. Bill Lloyd is here with an interesting theory and one of Vashti`s friends will join us to talk about this woman`s emotional state in the weeks leading up to her death. But, first, Brett Seacat is a man of many faces and bizarre behavior. Take a look at this.
BRETT SEACAT, HUSBAND: You have no idea how impossible it is for me to kill her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said I killed her. Vashti is dead, and it`s my fault.
REPORTER: He went to Vashti`s burning bedroom barefoot and tried to lift her off of her bed but quickly realized she was dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Seacat`s left arm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you observe any injury there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any singeing of the hair?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy was so fake, so Hollywood, he sounded like a woman on the phone.
SEACAT: There`s a fire. My wife is -- she shot herself. But she`s in the fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said, "Do you think Brett would burn the house down with me in it?"
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When she laid that out for the jury, it was one of those moments where everybody just looked straight over at Brett and thought, well, how are you going to get out of this one, dude?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was not suicidal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She acted depressed and she looked like she`d lost a great deal of weight, looked sleepy and acted depressed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He typically would wear sunglasses to the session.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His eyes in that picture, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Blown pupils.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks -- yes, completely vacant.
PINSKY: To me, it`s what we call a stare. You see that stare? You see the white above the iris a little bit.
SEACAT: I didn`t do this. I love Vashti.
PINSKY: CNN`s Ted Rowlands joins me from outside the courthouse.
Ted, where are we in this case? And what went down today?
ROWLANDS: Well, the most significant witness, Drew, was we heard a little bit of it already, is the half brother of the defendant here. And he got up and served two purposes for the defense as they started their case. First of all, he said he thought that Vashti was depressed in the days before she died, which is crucial because it sort of backs the defense claim that she was suffering from depression and that something happened and she was depressed enough to kill herself. And that may or may not have been real compelling to the jury, because of course, it`s his half brother.
PINSKY: Ted, let me interrupt you.
PINSKY: I want to interrupt you if you don`t mind. We`re looking at a picture of him alongside of you. And he`s got a strange smile, almost what Janine Driver calls a duper`s delight. He`s talking about horrible things and he smiles afterwards.
Did you notice that?
ROWLANDS: Yes. But I tell you what, and people have commented on that today, this guy couldn`t be credible.
He was credible in the courtroom, in my estimation, because if you looked at all of his testimony, he is a former cop. He`s law enforcement guy. And I think he was somewhat credible, although he`s a relative. So jurors are going to take it with a grain of salt.
But I understand what you`re saying, and I get that argument. I just think, overall, he was credible in the task that he needed to do for the defense -- laid down the ground work for those two things, the depression and the police botched this investigation, saying that he suggested they do a gunshot residue test, which they didn`t do. And then, he sort of said, well, my half brother didn`t have a shirt on. Maybe that was gone. And I saw some injuries to his feet, the classic set up, which I`m sure we`re going to hear in closing that, oh, they rushed to judgment, they dropped the ball. All this evidence was in front of their face.
So, from that standpoint, I think he served the purpose that he needed to for the defense.
PINSKY: OK. Thanks, Ted. Stay with us.
Now, joining us, Mark Eiglarsh, attorney at speaktomark.com, criminologist Casey Jordan, and Loni Coombs, attorney and author of "You`re Perfect and Other Lies Parents Tell You".
Casey, I haven`t had a chance to talk to new a while. I wonder what your thoughts are on this guy and this case.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, it`s interesting you started with an update on the Jodi Arias case because so many of the adjectives were used for her we will probably end up using for Brett Seacat, he is arrogant, he is fake, he is manipulative.
That little piece of video that you just showed which was like he was so calculating in his answer. I did not do it. And that long, dramatic pause, I love, present tense, Vashti. And that`s interesting, because she`s not missing. He`s allowed to speak in the past sentence, maybe he forgot that for a moment because he knows she`s dead.
But everything out of his mouth seems to be overacted, overreaction to everything.
And the confidence probably comes from his background as a police officer. He`s disingenuous. He thinks nobody could imagine that a deputy sheriff would kill his wife. So, he thinks he`s beyond suspicion.
PINSKY: Ted, I understand something in the courtroom came up today about diet supplements that were allegedly found in the Seacat home. Do you know what this (INAUDIBLE)? I know you won`t be able to tell me exactly what this chemical was, because I can tell you for sure whether or not it`s something that could contribute to depression. Do we know what it was?
ROWLANDS: Well, it`s this diet supplement that is generated and you`ll know better than anyone, Dr. Drew, by a pregnant woman, it`s the latest craze --
PINSKY: Oh, Beta HCG? She`s getting injections of beta HCG?
ROWLANDS: They found syringes and injections, three vials in the house. The prosecution sort of intimated maybe it was Brett taking them, but there`s also some other evidence that the defense has that she e-mailed a friend with a link on information about this.
It looks as though she was taking it. And the problem for the defense is they`ve been able to bring it up, but the judge has barred them from making that link that this could cause depression, because there`s not enough information out there. So they`re sort of throwing it out there, but they`re not going to be able to tie it up the way they want to.
PINSKY: As bizarre as that is, I don`t -- to me, it doesn`t link with depression per se, but it is a bizarre finding.
I`m going to show you some video from a police dash cam from the night of the fire. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE: Is there anybody inside?
SEACAT: Just my wife.
POLICE: Is she inside?
SEACAT: She`s dead. She shot herself. Her (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head`s gone.
What room was she in, Brett?
SEACAT: The one in the corner. I started to lift her up. There`s blood everywhere. I saw that there was blood everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Mark, add this up for me. We`ve seen a lot of peculiar pieces of evidence, but it looks bad for him, right?
MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: Oh, real bad. Yes, I`ll add it up for you, one plus one equals life.
PINSKY: Oh, really?
EIGLARSH: Listen, I`m not presuming him to be guilty, but you -- this is hike everything the prosecutor wants: motive, physical evidence. He also spoke for the length of time that I wish I get to sleep every night, seven hours. They`ve got so many inconsistencies and things that he cannot explain.
Plus, again, the marriage counselor came in and lied that he confessed to her? Why? There`s too much. And I don`t know that they`re going to be able to overcome that, even with a brother who`s saying she was depressed.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Michelle.
MICHELLE WARD, CO-HOST: Do you think there was a plea in this case? I mean, it looks so bad for Brett. I mean, if there was a plea, do you think they just didn`t take it?
EIGLARSH: No, I think the evidence is so strong here, that if there was a plea, what I call it is more of a declaration of war, an ultimatum, it`s not a plea bargain. You know, 20, 30 years is not something he`s going to do assuming they put that on the table.
PINSKY: And, Loni, explain how the therapist is able to come in there and out a client. I don`t quite get that.
LONI COOMBS, ATTORNEY: Well, there is a privilege. However, obviously, the victim is dead, so he is able then to describe what was said in those statements, in those sessions.
It is some of the most compelling testimony that you get in a murder case like this, because people believe therapists. And therapists are there hearing the deep, dark secrets of what`s really going on between these two people. So, it`s very compelling to hear what Brett was actually saying to her and also what the victim was saying and the state of mind that she had.
And if anybody knows the real state of mind of that victim, it would be the therapist who she was coming to and confiding to during those times. And she said, at the beginning, she was depressed and she was trying to figure out what to do. That she had decided she was going to divorce this man. She`s moving on with her life. And she was as happy as she`d ever been just days before she was killed.
PINSKY: So, here`s what we`re learning. Be honest to your therapist and you can assure that they will maintain complete confidentiality over your material provided you don`t kill anybody. So don`t kill anybody, all right? The bottom line? Is that what we`re saying here?
PINSKY: All right. We`ve got to take a quick break. The behavior bureau is up and it`s going to take a good look at Brett Seacat`s side of the story. And I`ve got some questions about his behavior, above and beyond what you heard Casey talk about there.
Also, we`re going to speak to a friend and co-worker of Vashti Seacat who saw her just days before this gruesome death.
Be right back.
DETECTIVE: I think you need to take some deep breaths right now. You`re getting real nervous.
SEACAT: Yes, I am. I`m thinking real hard about not saying things.
DETECTIVE: You need to say `em. We need to talk about them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was rattled, somewhat shaky, but sort of just tough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you describe for the jury how he presented in those meetings, physically?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I say stiff, I mean straight backed, set jaw. Not, not blinking, more of a stare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did his emotional state change in any way?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he would stop pacing, he would become more emotional. When he would take a seat, he was very restless, he`d steak a seat, he`d hang his head and he would make comments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is your brother ordinarily an emotional person?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he`s not.
PINSKY: Welcome back, everybody. My co-host this week, psychologist Michelle Ward.
It is time for the behavior bureau.
That is how others viewed Brett Seacat`s behavior during the case so far.
Loni Coombs, Casey Jordan are back with us. Joining us as well now, psychologist Wendy Walsh, author of "The 30-Day Love Detox".
Casey, good to have you back on the panel. I`ve missed you.
JORDAN: Great to be back.
PINSKY: I really have.
Jodi Arias -- I honest-to-goodness -- Jodi Arias and O.J. Simpson both made the same claim as Brett Seacat, which is if it had been me, I wouldn`t have committed the crime this way. Is that something guilty people say?
JORDAN: No. It`s that simple -- innocent people don`t have to engage in hypotheticals. They simply say I did not do it and knock yourself out to show that I did.
You know, they might be in shock that they have lost someone they loved, but they are generally not restless. They don`t get engaged in seven hours of interrogations. That`s somebody who`s over-thinking.
Is he acting like an innocent man? He`s trying to act, circle the word "act", like an innocent man. But he really is dropping so many what we call contra-indicators, that you might call a red herring, something to throw the police off. You know, she was depressed before he called me from her cell phone from the bedroom saying, get the kids out, I`m going to set the house on fire.
This is -- it`s not believable. It`s too many details, and it`s all meant to convince the police that he had nothing to do with his wife`s death.
PINSKY: Now, Casey, the last time that you mentioned the narcissistic bravado. And I think we all see that. But I want to go around the horn here in the panel about this one thing. I saw something far greater than just that narcissism that the therapist talked about and, Casey, that you talked about.
Let me just throw some things out there. He was practicing perjury in front of his peers at the police station. He lit a house on fire. It was sloppy execution of a crime. He was a histrionic 911 call.
Wendy, I see a guy in an altered state. He may be narcissistic underlying that, but I see mania or drugs or something making him way up here where he`s doing things that are extremely sort of agitated and unpredictable, do you agree?
WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, he certainly has a sense of entitlement and a sense of "you can`t touch me, watch me go, no one`s really going to get me."
It`s important to remember that, you know, obviously this guy isn`t representative of most people who wear the badge proudly, but there is a certain kind of personality type who is attracted to the police force and military, and they tend to be ridged thinkers, black or white thinkers.
Now, of course, that doesn`t mean they`re insane or they ever commit crimes. In this case, I really feel, Dr. Drew, that this guy had such an anxious attachment with her. In other words, he felt if she was going to leave him he was going to die. That was going to kill him --
PINSKY: That`s the way Jodi Arias thought, right? That same kind of thinking.
Michelle, I`m going to go to you next.
Throw those pictures back up of him. Look at him. He`s got a bright light on his eyes, and his pupils are still completely blown.
Michelle, do you get what I`m getting at here? There it is.
WARD: I totally know what you`re getting at. And, you know, I would look at this clinically like, oh, the grandiosity. He thinks he`s above the law.
But, you`re right, there is something really sloppy, impulsive and manic about this guy. I can`t quite put my finger on it yet, but we`re getting there.
And another thing, this whole cop stuff, he seems to me like the kind of guy who is used to be in control. And I`ll take what Wendy said a little further. If he thinks Vashti`s leaving him, he needs to regain control of his life and his situation. And he gained the ultimate control by killing her and making it looked like she did it.
PINSKY: Now, Loni, I see you nodding there. In addition to being an attorney, people don`t know you have a psychology degree. What do you want to say here?
COOMBS: This is a really important message that Michelle has touched on. And I hope that your viewers, any of them of who are contemplating divorce, really take this to heart. Once those formal divorce papers are filed, as Vashti did, just days before he was killed, you enter, what I call, a red zone where the intensity of the emotions just skyrocket.
And for partner who doesn`t want this to happen, like Brett, who is already controlling, possessive, self-entitled, he goes off the charts and the escalation of violence goes into this area where he is doing things that just are crazy, that he is going to grab control over his life again. How dare she say to him, I am changing your life without your permission? I am now going to move on without you. I`m going to change my life, the kids` life, and you can`t do anything about it. And the law allows me to do this.
He has just seen red, and he`s going to do whatever he can, whatever it takes, without any logic or reason behind it to grab that control back. And this happens more often than not.
So people -- and the victim, Vashti, just so excited that she now sees a future of happiness that she doesn`t believe in. Her friends said, you know what, you can stay with us tonight. She goes, you know what, even though I`ve seen all these red flags, he`s made these threats, and he told me he dreamed of killing, I still don`t think he`ll do it. You have to be aware that this is a very dangerous zone after these divorce papers are filed. You never know what might happen.
PINSKY: Casey, I want to bring it back to you after that.
JORDAN: Yes, Loni speaks the truth. She was depressed, but her friends report, that, of course, she got better. She felt better after those divorce papers were filed. Interestingly enough, then she commits suicide. It doesn`t fit from a psychological standpoint, from a practical standpoint.
PINSKY: And the operational standpoint, a woman with a gun, a woman with kids in the house?
By the way, how dare he imply that this woman who`s a mother would damage her kids` like that, both by robbing them of a mother and putting them in danger with a fire? It`s unthinkable.
COOMBS: Why set the fire? Yes.
PINSKY: Yes, let`s take a call. Jennifer in Oklahoma, Jennifer?
JENNIFER, CALLER FROM OKLAHOMA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
JENNIFER: I have a problem with the fact that Brett Seacat took such a long pause before telling the police, my wife. There were already -- he should have already been screaming, get my wife out of the house. The police officer or someone had to say to anyone else in the house before he takes a long pause and then says, "My wife".
PINSKY: Yes, Wendy, there`s a lot of peculiarities here. That`s why Michelle and I are thinking of the ones sniffing biological problems here more than anything. But there`s something up, something up. You agree?
WALSH: I think that`s really astute of the viewer to notice that. I noticed that pause too. And the other thing is he only remembers to her as his wife. She is something he owns. She`s not a person. He doesn`t refer to her by her first name, he`s just calling her an item that he owns at that point.
PINSKY: Yes, I`m going to tell you, Casey, I hope you agree with me, the business of what the therapist is reporting -- listen, just the guy who comes into session with sunglasses on -- that don`t fly in my world.
That is disrespectful. That is like screw you is what he`s saying when he comes into the session.
JORDAN: Well, we`ve just talked about his blown pupils. Maybe he wears them out of arrogance. Maybe he doesn`t want anyone to see him in the eye and maybe he`s hiding blown pupils because he`s under the influence of something. I think we may not know yet.
PINSKY: Next up, I`m going to speak to a friend of Vashti Seacat who saw her just days before her death. We`re going to hear what she has to say about Vashti`s emotional statement. Maybe she knows something about Brett we haven`t covered yet.
Before we go to break I do want to share a tweet with you guys. Let me just bring it up if you don`t mind. This is from @deltaspell, "@DrDrew, please take a moment to remember Travis on your show tonight, thank you."
And @deltaspell, I want you to know we were planning that. Here is what he is talking about. It is five years to the day that Travis Alexander was murdered. It has been five long years of hell for his family. And tonight, we want to remember Travis, honor him and honor his family who each of us who have been following this trial have seen them -- excruciating pain they`ve been through. And unfortunately, this journey is not over for them.
But we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONNIE SUDERMAN, SEACAT`S MARRIAGE COUNSELOR: He said that he felt like Vashti was going to run. He could just feel it, that she was going to leave him, and that if she divorced him, she was divorcing the entire Seacat family, including the children, and that he would take the children, and she would never see them, even if it meant leaving the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Thank God he didn`t try anything with the kids.
Back with co-host Michelle Ward, if indeed he`s guilty of all this.
The behavior bureau is here.
Joining us, Erika Head, friend and co-worker of Vashti Seacat.
Erika, you saw Vashti three days before she died. Can you describe her demeanor to us? Did she seem depressed?
ERIKA HEAD, CO-WORKER OF VASHTI SEACAT (via telephone): No, not at all. She was very upbeat. She actually looked pretty good, very happy, and just seemed like she was really confident about the positive changes she was making in her life.
PINSKY: Mark, I think you have a question right out of the box here. Go ahead.
EIGLARSH: Yes. You know, when I look at a case for the first time, I think big picture. I first think, would a mother kill herself with two young children? I know that`s the furthest thing from any mother that I know that they would do something like that.
And then, secondly, if they would, would they then set this house on fire?
EIGLARSH: It just doesn`t -- it`s possible, anything`s possible, but it just doesn`t seem like that`s normal behavior.
HEAD: Yes, definitely not normal behavior in my book either.
PINSKY: How about this business of her taking diet injections, those HCG? Is that anything she ever talked to you about? Is that likely to have been her taking it?
HEAD: We did talk about that because I was taking the sublingual HCG. So, we have that in common. We both lost some weight. We talked about how good it made us feel as far as the weight loss, and more energy and just all around well-being. So, definitely, I don`t see anything on the negative side of that.
PINSKY: So, in her case, it actually enhanced his mood as far as you were concerned.
The other thing, they keep calling him a CSI trainer. He was just a general police educator, is that right?
HEAD: I`m not real familiar what his position was at the time.
PINSKY: Also, I heard that you told our producer that he had proposed to her several times to her back when they were getting hooked, and that she refused originally, before they are married. Did she say why she refused his proposals?
HEAD: We were in our bachelor`s program together in 2003, and she had mentioned one night that she wasn`t sure if he was the one. And, you know, when you`re younger, and you`re just trying to decide. But she confided in a couple of us that they`d been on and off again since high school.
And at the time, they had just started dating again. But yes, that he`d asked to marry her twice and she just really wasn`t sure at the time if that was the best decision, if he was the right person.
PINSKY: And when you met him, did of have any reactions? Or did you ever think he was capable of something like this? Did you have concerns about him?
HEAD: Well, you know, back then, really, the only time I`ve ever had any interaction with him at all, we had a study group session that night, and there were five or six of us there. And he called her a couple times, he texted her several times.
Eventually, she just told him, hey, come over, bring me some candy from the gas station or something. And, you know, she introduced him and introduced everybody.
But it seemed like he was very overprotective, very overbearing, wanted to know who she was with, didn`t think she was in the best part of town. It just -- I was concerned at that point, but I really didn`t know her very well. We were just classmates at the time.
And, you know, as soon as this happened, me and one of the other gals that was in class together, we were both like you remember that one night where we had the study session? Because we both had suggested back then that it seemed weird how much he was being so protective of her at the time.
PINSKY: All right. My panel has questions. We`ll start with Wendy.
WALSH: My question, Dr. Drew, now that you have some potential indication that she was, in fact, taking this diet drug, aren`t diet drugs usually stimulants and not necessarily correlated with depression?
PINSKY: Yes, this is completely different. This is something that actually -- it`s produced by placenta and it mobilizes fat. That`s all it really does. It`s not a neuroactive medication, but the most everything -- potentially as Erika saying, it really doesn`t have those sorts of side effects. Casey, you have a question?
JORDAN: Well, I`m very curious about what Erika said about the multiple proposals and her hesitation ten years ago. Do you, Dr. Drew, think that that hesitation was that kind of inner sixth sense that she had had that this guy really did have issues. I mean, she`d known him since high school. Did she marry him just because it was a habit? But, I mean, his continual proposal seems to me almost like an obsession.
JORDAN: He was (INAUDIBLE) even before he married her.
PINSKY: That`s right. Erika, is that your sense, too?
VOICE OF ERIKA HEAD, FRIEND OF VASHTI SEACAT: I kind of lost touch with Vashti for a few years. She had dropped out of our class and then we reconnected again when she got hired at my office, but, you know, it`s really hard to say, because that was really about the only time I had any, anytime around Brett.
And at the time, it was kind of awkward, you know, to say hey, I know I just met him, but he seems a little bit weird.
PINSKY: OK. Michelle, go ahead.
MICHELLE WARD, PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, I`m champing at the bit here because what Erika just said is really important. And all you daters out there, think about this. We`ve all done the hate and date. We break up, you get back -- well, I`ve done the hate and date.
WARD: And here`s the thing.
WARD: This controlling behavior we`re seeing and we`re hearing, Erika just said something really key. Vashti dropped out for a while. That`s what these guys do. They start controlling your resources and they start pulling you away from your friends. They know your friends don`t like them. That`s exactly how they gain control of your life.
And I want to say something else about this diet stuff. I worked on many defense teams. I recognized they need to put together a defense with this horrible case, but this is ridiculous. And I can`t believe people aren`t (ph) more upset about this. A diet drug? Oh, she was depressed -- first of all, who`s not depressed when they`re thinking of divorcing their husband?
Second of all, really, do diet supplements have -- by the way, they shouldn`t alter your personality, but if you happen to be murdered, it could look like a suicide. Really?
PINSKY: Another layer to the concerns of diet pills. Michelle, hate and date, explain that to me a little bit.
PINSKY: I`m out of the loop.
WARD: I thought that would just go under the radar.
PINSKY: No. of course.
WARD: You know, you break up --
WENDY WALSH, PH.D., AUTHOR, "30-DAY LOVE DETOX": It`s the on and off where you think they`re going to be different this time around, Dr. Drew. It`s being in love with hope instead of being in love with the person. And, so, that`s why people keep going back because they`ll come back to a honeymoon phase and present the person they wish they were to you, and then, you get back with them again and then it all spirals down.
PINSKY: And that`s when somebody needs a love detox.
WALSH: That`s right.
PINSKY: It`s Wendy`s book, therefore.
PINSKY: Well, Michelle, I`m going to -- well, you`re scaring me a little bit. Maybe, I`ll avoid you in the room (ph), but I want to hear a little more about this strangely enough.
OK. Listen, thank you, Erika. I do appreciate you joining us. And tomorrow, we will have Vashti`s brother. He will be here. What does he want you to know and what does he want the jury to know.
Next up, our friend, pathologist, Dr. Bill Lloyd is back with us. Oh, he`s got a lighter in his hand this time. No knife. He`s got an interesting theory about what really happened to Vashti Seacat. Be right back.
RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: Here on "HLN After Dark," we`re focused on the George Zimmerman case. It`s less than a week away. And tonight, we`re talking to our in-studio jury about who was the aggressor. We`ve got our expert panel as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re also talking about Brett Seacat who is a former officer who is on trial right now for killing his wife.
SMITH: That`s right. Big question there is, will he end up taking the stand eventually? We`ll talk about that as well. Lot to cover tonight on "HLN After Dark."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anybody inside? Is there anybody inside?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s my wife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she inside?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s dead. She shot herself. Her (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head`s gone. I tried to get her out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What room was she in, Brett?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s one right there in the corner. That`s where she sleeps. I started to lift her up. And her head fell back. And I saw that there was blood everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Michelle Ward, Casey, Mark, Wendy, the behavior bureau still with us. And now, joining us, pathologist, Dr. Bill Lloyd. Dr. Lloyd, is it even possible to believe Brett Seacat`s story that the wife committed suicide? Can you talk to us about the forensics of what we see of the gunshot wound?
DR. BILL LLOYD, PATHOLOGIST: Certainly. We understand now the full autopsy report hasn`t been released but from the information share at the trial, so far, it appears that the weapon was held in the right hand. So, we need to verify, was she in fact right-handed? The bullet entered slightly in the front side of the neck, crossed through the neck, and exited out on the left side, transecting the spinal cord and secondary brain damage led to an immediate death.
So, if she`s already dead, where did the fire come from? How was she able to start the fire? Great news. There`s forensic the evidence at the time of autopsy. There is no evidence of privoxy hemoglobin inhaling smoke or smoke particles or burn residue inside the lungs or ashes or any evidence to suggest that she was alive long enough to take one breath from the fire.
PINSKY: Dr. Lloyd, is there anything about the collection of forensic evidence that was botched here? Is there any where where they`re vulnerable, number one, and number two, a guy who`s a police educator, isn`t this a pretty sloppy crime scene?
LLOYD: Well, it`s always funny. Whenever there`s evidence being collected, the first thing the defense is always going to try to do is impugn the quality of evidence collection, analysis, and transport. We are all humans and we are all subject to human error, but nonetheless, we have a jury system. And people with common sense will come to the understanding that this woman died from a bullet wound to the neck.
Why would that be self-inflicted? Who does that? Anyone who wants to kill themselves with a gun knows where to place the gun for maximum efficiency. But back to the fire and the evidence that was collected there, the jury will clearly understand she was already dead before the fire was started. Leaving the question, who started the fire?
PINSKY: Well, there`s five clinicians on this panel. Mark, I`m going to leave you out for a second. This feels pretty good, by the way. So, it`s me, Michelle, Casey, Wendy, and Dr. Lloyd. Have any of you ever seen a female suicide with a fire, with a bizarre use of a gun? And I`ve seen probably hundreds of suicides -- medical and the psychiatric hosp where I work. I personally, show of hands, has anyone seen anything like this? Right.
PINSKY: Dr. Lloyd, please speak to the notion of women using gun in suicide. Forget endangering their kids, forget something dramatic like a house fire. Women don`t do that. They act in. They do things quietly. They take pills.
LLOYD: Pills and alcohol, pills and alcohol. There`s too many issues here. There`s a big disconnect between the mechanism which she died and the facts of the case. And wherever there`s a gap, Drew, you know this, there`s a secret. Now, I want to ask you, Drew, about the whole issue about the savagery of this murder, how reminiscent we just felt done (ph) with Jodi Arias. We`re not even done with her yet. Here we go again. Another angry partner.
PINSKY: Yes. And be careful of people like Michelle that hate and date. I guess, what we`ve learned tonight. That`s all I`m saying.
WALSH: Dr. Drew --
PINSKY: Very quickly, Wendy, but there is -- all kidding aside, there`s an important thing here, which is be careful -- I guess, Wendy you called the red zone or Casey, you called it, where the people, Loni called it, I beg your pardon, where just after divorce is served, people`s emotions run very high. Wendy, very quickly, go ahead.
WALSH: Or child support papers. I just want to remind you that he said there was blood everywhere. It was everywhere apparently except on him. That`s the problem.
PINSKY: He was trying to carry her. Thank you, guys.
Next up, we go behind bars to see how a drug rehab program is changing the lives of women in program. And that program is run by somebody very special who is here with us. you`Ll meet him in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM MCGREEVEY, FMR. GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: At a point in every person`s life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one`s soul and decide one`s unique truth in the world. Not as we may want to see it, or hope to see it, but as it is. And so, my truth is that I am a gay American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with may co-host, Michelle Ward. And in that tape, we were looking at New Jersey governor, then New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey in 2004. He has left politics and now focuses his energies on helping to rehabilitate women behind bars, specifically, women with addiction. He is now the subject of an HBO documentary called "Fall to Grace." Take a look at this.
MCGREEVEY: After I resigned, I was writing a bock, and I was being a consultant. And I felt this aching emptiness, like what am I looking to do? Is this the second act of the same play? What did I learn by this cataclysmic fall?
It`s remarkable how grace works in our lives. I feel that I am called to help these women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We started to call him the dream seller. We don`t even believe ourselves like that. So, he (INAUDIBLE) this dream.
MCGREEVEY: We`re on this journey together. I mean, selfishly, it gives me purpose.
PINSKY: We are very privileged to have Jim McGreevey with us this evening and Lisa Buchek, a former inmate that went through his drug rehabilitation program. Governor, first, I want to thank you so much for being here. It`s really a privilege to talk to you. I`m obviously a fan of the work you`re doing.
Nancy Grace is doing a behind bars thing all this week. And in there, she`s encountering women, and guess what, all those women have drug problems. Surprise.
PINSKY: Yes. Now, you were doing something very active about that, and hats off to you, sir. What made you want to start this program?
MCGREEVEY: I think, doctor, what was special is when I was spending time in seminary, the dean of the seminary asked me to go up to Harlem. And part of it was, I wanted to be in a place, frankly, where That I wouldn`t be subject to recrimination. And ironically, working with inmates was a safe place for me.
And then, I recognized the fact that overwhelmingly the inmates with whom I worked, the ex-offenders, had a history of substance abuse, addiction, alcoholism, and many of the women also suffered from domestic violence, sexual abuse. And so, that their lives were so broken. And you begin to understand that if we don`t address the disease of addiction, many of these women will never be able to put their lives back together.
So, no place, is perhaps, arguably more appropriate to begin the process of sobriety than behind bars.
PINSKY: And I`ve seen some miracles worked behind bars in programs that really are intense. Lisa, you`re a product of Mr. McGreevey`s program. Tell us how you found out about it and what was like for you and how are you now?
LISA BUCHEK, INTEGRITY HOUSE GRADUATE: Well, I was incarcerated in 2010, and I was afforded the opportunity to join this program that came into the jail sort of as a pilot project. And at the time, I was just, you know, full of despair and fear, didn`t really know what was happening next. And I met Jim. And he kind of just grabbed me. And I joined this program. And you know, I was afforded an opportunity of profound engagement, I have to say.
I mean, my life was -- I was given a chance to change. And that`s exactly what happened. I mean, punitive, it was -- it became a punitive environment, changed into a completely nurturing environment.
PINSKY: Jim, it`s so interesting. You`ve got to listen very carefully to what she`s saying, and I see you smiling at her words. Part of grace is --
MCGREEVEY: I love her.
PINSKY: Yes, I can see that. And part of grace that you`re talking about here is that connection amongst people and the spiritual component that then is allowed to fill.
MCGREEVEY: And Drew, I think for many of us, whatever challenges we have in life, part of being in community is so critically important. And our little community on six echo at the jail is, for me, a place of grace. And it`s almost as if, you know, the historic monastery. We have rules of behavior, how we treat each other. Everybody has to work. Everybody has to participate.
And I think ironically, what`s so different from most jails or prisons is that most places, prisoners don`t work. In our program, at Hudson County Community College, the Integrity Program -- I said Hudson County Community College -- I meant jail, we think of them as students is that everybody works and the integrity (INAUDIBLE) is that with respect, with dignity, with work. You can begin the process of sobriety and then begin to recapture productive, civil life.
PINSKY: I yesterday played some tape from a visit I made with Ambra Portwidth (ph) in an Indiana prison, very similar program. And I`ve got to tell you, these things really work. We`ll have more with Mr. McGreevey after this.
PINSKY: Back with may co-host, Michelle Ward, former governor, Jim McGreevey, and his -- let`s call her student or graduate, Lisa is still with us.
PINSKY: Compatriot, is that what you said?
PINSKY: OK. Fair enough. And Mark --
MCGREEVEY: And if I could also say thank you for you and the entire network for focusing -- for this focus, because unfortunately, so many people, myself included, we drive past the concrete walls, the barbed wires, and we don`t recognize or realize there are human beings, many of which want to change their lives.
And America is five percent of the world`s population, and we`re 25 percent of the incarcerated population on Earth. And the sad reality is we`re number one, then Russia.
PINSKY: That`s where we`re number one in America. Lisa, how do you feel when you hear Governor McGreevey say that?
BUCHEK: I agree with him. I`m just very grateful that this message is getting out. I mean, Just know firsthand how crucial it is for the -- for us as a society to make the shift from, you know, criminalizing an addict without, I mean, no mistaking that it`s all about being accountable and being responsible for our actions.
MCGREEVEY: Of course.
BUCHEK: But I think the core of the disease needs to be fixed.
PINSKY: Of course.
BUCHEK: And, you know, fear and punitive measures just do not work. And for myself, I think it`s just so important that this continues, and that this just gets to be repeated. To anybody that comes after me, I mean, it`s just, I feel very -- it`s very important to me.
PINSKY: Wendy, I see your hand up. Mark, I want to go to Mark first because he had a question. Go ahead. We have less than a minute, guys.
MARK EIGLARSH, SPEAKTOMARK.COM: Yes. First of all, Jim, thank you so much for your service. I`ve been in the criminal system for over 20 year, and it`s essential the work that you`re doing. Dr. Drew and I spoke here in New York about how important the 12 steps are to any recovery program. I`m wondering if that is an important part of your recovery program.
And what do you do to ensure that they continue working the steps? Because, you know, you don`t recover from this completely? It`s one day at a time.
MCGREEVEY: Exactly. And the steps are so critically important to our program. In fact, a banner of the steps hang on our wall. And basically, we bring in groups for AA and NA behind bars. And then, we link people to groups. And the AA and NA provide so much critical assistance when people move out behind bars and they rejoin the community.
And the sad reality is, of all the people behind bars, as I aid, 70 percent are addicted. But of that entire group, only 11 percent receive any treatment.
PINSKY: Oh, I know.
MCGREEVEY: So the sad reality is, it`s almost too late when they`re released.
MCGREEVEY: But what we do is we start the treatment behind bars. We connect people with houses of worship and faith. And AA and NA is a critical cornerstone in our efforts, particularly, when people are released into the community.
PINSKY: Got to take a quick break. A reminder, "America Behind Bars" continues all week on HLN. Tomorrow, Nancy Grace will takes us inside the jail that Jodi Arias calls home. It is poignant and very personal. Nancy is our special guest Wednesday on DR. DREW ON-CALL. Last call up next.
PINSKY: Thank you, Michelle, for doing such a great job with us tonight. Thank you all for calling and watching. We`ll see you next time. And a reminder that "HLN After Dark" begins right now.