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Did Taunts Lead to Suicide?
Aired October 17, 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, HLN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, was this 12-year-old girl driven to suicide?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she would have told somebody, it would have -- it would have helped everything.
PINSKY: Hear more from her 13-year-old ex-boyfriend and her mother, who will join the behavior bureau.
Plus, a high school teacher who sent hundreds of creepy texts to a female student. The girl`s mother is here and has more of those racy messages.
And the viral video you have to see to believe. A woman on the run gets hit by not just one but two freight trains, and survives.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening.
My guest host is attorney and Sirius XM Radio host Jenny Hutt.
JENNY HUTT, CO-HOST: Hello.
PINSKY: Coming up, we have serious video of a woman driving along the railroad tracks. We`re going to show it alongside here, Jenny. Take a look at this. It`s unbelievable. There`s a lot to this video.
Oh, my goodness, just the sound of that train sent chills of my spine. There it goes.
HUTT: Ah! Geez, wow.
PINSKY: Yes, behavior bureau`s going to get deep into that later in the show and the outcomes are interesting, the circumstances surrounding it are interesting. We`re going to get into it.
But, first off, police say 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide after being tormented by two classmates. One of those girls apparently posted a message online bragging about how she had harassed Rebecca. Now that girl`s parents are defending their daughter. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch what your children do online.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aare the parents of a 14-year-old girl identified by police as a cruel online bully.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She never once, you know, bullied this girl online.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because our victim, Rebecca, was only 12 years of age, she began to harass, and ultimately, torment Rebecca.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Always checked her Facebook. I know her password.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tormenting continues.
"Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself, but I don`t give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."
She said, oh, somebody must have hacked my account. I didn`t do that.
And to place them under arrest for aggravated stalking. We decided that, look, we can`t leave her out there. Who else is she going to torment?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don`t understand how anybody could be cruel to another human being.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who else is she going to harass?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She should be here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the next person that she verbally and mentally abuses and attacks?
PINSKY: Now, Jenny, the woman you just saw there in tears, that is Rebecca`s mother, and she will be here in just a few minutes.
But first, let`s get the panel together here. I`ve got Lynn Berry, HLN host, Danny Cevallos, attorney general and CNN legal analyst, Segun Oduolowu, social commentator, and Anahita Sedaghatfar, defense attorney.
I`m going to be proper name challenged tonight. I can see that. You`re giving me tongue twisters just introducing you guys.
Now, the parents of the girl who allegedly posted the online message are denying their daughter even sent the message. Now, watch this carefully.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, "NEW DAY" ANCHOR: How do you explain the Facebook message?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It went out around 1:00. We took the computer to her room and the only other thing she could have used to send this message was my cell phone, and my cell phone is always with me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it`s fair for me and my husband to be, you know, punished for something that they`re saying that my daughter did, and my daughter`s being punished for something that she didn`t do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jenny, what are you saying?
HUTT: OK, first of all, that hacker had really nice touch with the heart at the end of the "I don`t give an F," but let me just say, the parent who said why should she be held responsible for what her daughter did? I mean, come on, Dr. Drew, parents need to take responsibility for their children`s actions. Where else do they learn the right way to be or not the right way to be? Come on. Those parents --
PINSKY: Have at it.
SEGUN ODUOLOWU, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Jenny, you know what, I`m completely in your camp. I find it absolutely ridiculous that, number one, kids this young are having social media accounts that, you know, they`re not equipped mentally or emotionally for the type of harassment that they`re going to see.
And for the parents to say I don`t -- I shouldn`t be blamed, you`re 100 percent correct. Who`s raising the kids? The inmates should not be running the asylum. He said she took her phone because, yes, we want to hack into her account to send a horrible message? Nonsensical.
PINSKY: Yes, I like that.
Lynn, save them from themselves. What do you think?
LYNN BERRY, HLN HOST: Yes, absolutely, but also put this into context. This wasn`t about one Facebook message.
BERRY: This was about months and months and months and months of harassing, tormenting, not just online, but the sheriff detailed that the 14-year-old actually set up a fight between one of Rebecca`s friends, who is the 12-year-old, also charged in this case, and Rebecca. And the school actually did something about this, getting Rebecca out of the school.
So, the parents are pretending that this is the first they`ve ever heard of it, that there`s one Facebook message that a hacker went on and created. This has been going on for months, according to police. They say they have plenty of witnesses and plenty of evidence, so this is 100 percent denial on the part of the parents.
PINSKY: And, Anahita, that being the case, is there liability here?
ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Moral culpability? Yes. But legal culpability? No way. I mean --
PINSKY: I`m surprised to hear you say that.
SEDAGHATFAR: Well, yes, because think about it, what kind of slippery slope would exist if we start holding parents strictly liable for the acts of their children online?
HUTT: Hold on, strictly liable?
SEDAGHATFAR: But, Dr. Drew, let me tell you something that actually really bothers me about this case, and I know this is going to be super unpopular with your viewers and maybe your panel, but let`s shift the focus. I think we all agree, this type of harassment online is wrong, this is wrong for children to do this to other children, especially when it leads to a suicide --
PINSKY: OK, where is the shift of focus?
SEDAGHATFAR: But where is the responsibility of this young girl`s mother in this whole entire ordeal, Dr. Drew? Because look, at the end of the day, she`s a 12-year-old girl. Number one, why is she dating?
PINSKY: Anahita, I`m going to stop --
ODUOLOWU: Whoa! Whoa!
PINSKY: I`m going to stop you because --
HUTT: There`s a couple of things.
PINSKY: Because this mother lost a 12-year-old. I`m going to have her on the program in a couple minutes and let`s let her explain.
PINSKY: I think you`ll find a lot was going on with that mom.
Danny, do you see liability here?
DANNY CEVALLOS, ATTORNEY: Let me pick up where Anahita left off, at least as it goes to the difference between -- hold on -- the difference between -- and you need to make a distinction between moral liability and legal liability. They are not the same thing, nor should they be.
I am no friend to lousy parents. In the case of parents who allow their kids to bully. At the same time, if we try to outlaw bullying, we might as well try to outlaw the laws of gravity.
Bullying, unfortunately, is part of the human condition. If you try to outlaw it, if you try to criminalize it, you`re going to get into a lot of problems.
I`m all for publicly holding those two parents up to scorn and ridicule. However, we need to make a distinction. If we try to prosecute, if we try to prosecute bullying, we`re going to end up prosecuting unhappiness, and it`s part of the human condition --
ODUOLOWU: Danny --
SEDAGHATFAR: Aggravated stalking.
ODUOLOWU: Danny, you can`t be serious and --
CEVALLOS: One at a time. Pile on one at a time.
ODUOLOWU: Danny, you can`t be serious with the point you just made, because if this girl was the biblical devil, like, if she was Satan itself, I would agree with your point, but she learns the --
CEVALLOS: What kind of hypothetical was that --
PINSKY: They don`t really learn bullying. It comes out, kids that have been traumatized ended up bullying.
But, Lynn, you have something you want to say. I`m going to get Lynn talk first.
BERRY: They`re not prosecuting bullying, they`re prosecuting aggravated stalking.
BERRY: That`s what she was charged with. That`s very, very different. The cops here say, it`s not -- bullying is not a crime, they understand that.
And just want to go to what Anahita said when talking about Rebecca`s mother, Rebecca`s mother took her out of school, started home-schooling her, monitored her social media accounts --
PINSKY: Hold on, Lynn, Lynn, stay there. Hold it, hold it, because that`s exactly where we`re going next. I`ve got Rebecca Sedwick`s mother. She`s going to join the behavior bureau.
Thankfully, Anahita will be on ice while I`m speaking to her for a few minutes. I appreciate the points of view and polemic. Thank you, panel.
And later, a teacher sends hundreds of racy text messages to his female student. Her mother is there. She has more of those messages.
Don`t go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: When you first heard she had killed herself, what was your reaction?
JOHN BORGEN, 13-YEAR-OLD: I was -- I was shocked. I didn`t think -- I didn`t think she would do it. Like, I didn`t think she would be that person. I didn`t think it would be her, somebody that I knew for a long, long time.
She was a great girl, you know. She was nice, she was sweet, you know, and we would laugh, like, we would make jokes and we would laugh together and walk around the track in our school.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: It`s time for behavior bureau.
I`m here with co-host Jenny Hutt.
And we`re discussing the 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who police say committed suicide after being tormented for more than a year by two classmates.
The behavior bureau is Samantha Schacher, host of "Pop Trigger" on Young Turks Network, Cheryl Arutt, clinical forensic and psychologist, Judy Ho, clinical psychologist.
And joining us is Tricia Norman. She is Rebecca`s mother.
Tricia, first of all, I mean, many of us on this panel are clinicians, and I want to speak on behalf of everybody. Just words cannot express. We are just so sorry for your loss.
We`re going to try to get into it a little bit and understand it so these kinds of things don`t happen again.
Are you up for that?
TRICIA NORMAN, MOTHER OF REBECCA SEDWICK: Yes, I think so.
PINSKY: OK. Hang in there.
So, last night, we had Rebecca`s ex-boyfriend on the show, and I understand you were watching and had kind of a reaction to it or wanted to set something straight. Go right ahead.
NORMAN: That wasn`t the boy that they had the issue over.
PINSKY: Tell us. Explain.
NORMAN: They both dated him, I mean, but they never had any argument or anything over him. It was actually a boy previous to that.
PINSKY: Can you explain that to us?
NORMAN: Inappropriate messages that -- yes, there was inappropriate messages sent by the older girl that was arrested to him, and Becca told her she didn`t feel comfortable being friends with her anymore because she wasn`t raised like that, and the girl I guess for about a month tried to get Becca to change her mind, and Becca didn`t give in. So, then it turned into picking on her, and then eventually into bullying.
PINSKY: Sam, you have a point and a question for Tricia?
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: I do. Tricia, of the two girls that were arrested, have either of them and their parents apologized or offered their condolences or contacted you?
NORMAN: Not at all.
PINSKY: Judy, you have a question?
JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, hi. I just wanted to know, before this happened, did your daughter act any differently? Did she talk to you about any of the stuff that was going on? And what did you tell her?
NORMAN: When the bullying first started and for the first few months after, she talked to me about it all the time. She was very open with it. She had an iPod that was stolen when she was still going to Crystal Lake Middle, and about a week later is when I pulled her out of that school to home-school her because she got jumped by the younger one that was arrested.
And she didn`t have a device for about a month and a half until I had to buy her an e-reader for her online classes. And she had an Instagram that I knew about, and I kept close eye on that, but then, apparently, she started getting other apps that I didn`t know about and started keeping it to herself.
And in the meantime, she was going to counseling. The counselor even thought she was doing a lot better.
PINSKY: So, she left counseling -- I want to get this timeline right -- say in the spring. Things seemed to be going well. You had control of the electronic media, you had taken her out of school, you were home- schooling her, and then you put her back in school, is that correct? Is that when things deteriorated again?
NORMAN: Yes. I put her back in school at the beginning of the school year. It was August 19th was her first day, in a brand new school, which she loved. She got along with all the kids there. She got along with all the teachers. She said I don`t know how to act, mom, everybody here`s nice.
So, I mean, she was happy with this school, but I think these apps that I didn`t -- or the Web site, Ask.fm that I didn`t know about is where all the bullying was going on.
PINSKY: Tricia, let me ask you this -- on Ask.fm, great. What do you want people to understand about this? In our last block, people were starting to take aim at you a little bit, where was mom, why wasn`t she on top of this?
What do you want people to know about this story and what do you want people to learn so these things don`t happen again?
NORMAN: I was definitely on top of it throughout the whole thing. She started keeping it from me, probably because she didn`t want to lose her Nook that I had bought her. Because as far as I was concerned, as far as she had told me, it had stopped in June. But other than that, I spent every day, 24 hours a day with her throughout the summer, working online with her with her classes, and her whole attitude was different.
I mean, when she was being bullied at the school, you could tell a difference in her attitude. During the summer, she just had this better outlook on everything. She was excited about going back to school. There was no outward signs of anything going on.
PINSKY: Cheryl, you have a question?
CHERYL ARUTT, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I do.
Tricia, you took so many steps to try to protect Becca, and I was just wondering if there`s any information that you can give other parents about specific apps or things that they need to remember to look at, not just Instagram or Facebook, but what tips would you give other parents?
NORMAN: Well, Ask.fm is definitely a big one. We actually have a petition going trying to take it down. Voxer was another one that they found that she had on her phone before. I think another one was Snapchat.
PINSKY: And, Jenny?
NORMAN: And you have to remember, that, these kids are smart, and they know what the delete feature is, and whenever she knew that I was getting home from work, she would delete these apps off of her phone and then reinstall them some time during the day.
HUTT: Oh, sorry. I just wanted to know, is there a specific moment that you can recall of the thing that put her over the edge, that looking back, which is just so awful, but that you can recall is probably what did it?
NORMAN: No. Just the night before, I was on my way to bed and she was on her way to bed, and she said to me, mom, when you get home from work tomorrow, we have to go online to fill out the online form for Duke University, and she told her older sister that she wanted her to get up in the morning and do her hair because she had chorus tryouts the next day.
PINSKY: Seems they strange, very strange. There was some sort of sudden thing where she became suicidal. Had she been suicidal like that in the past?
NORMAN: No. I mean, she -- in December and also in February she was -- we had to take her to the hospital because of cuts. One time it was on her wrist, and I happened to see them. They (INAUDIBLE) and kept her in the hospital for three days. That`s when the counseling started.
She was still in counseling when I found cuts on her stomach and took her to the hospital, but she told them each time that she had no intentions at all of killing herself.
PINSKY: Right, and usually that kind of --
NORMAN: Just trying to release the pain from bullying.
PINSKY: Right, that`s right, usually that kind of cutting is not an attempt to harm themselves.
Tricia, again, we send our thoughts and prayers to you. Thank you so much for joining us today.
We`re going to switch topics, talk about a high school teacher who was sending hundreds of racy text messages to a female student. Her mother is here. She has more of those messages.
And later, a woman on the run from police drives on to the railroad tracks. The cops try to pull her out, and then the unbelievable happens. We`ll find out more about it when we get back.
PINSKY: Back with co-host Jenny Hutt.
Now, we have some breaking news in the case of a 30-year-old married band teacher who exchanged hundreds of racy text messages with a 15-year- old female student. Her mom, who we will speak to in just a minute, has been told no charges, not even a misdemeanor, will be filed against him.
Now, he, Jenny, said they had a father-daughter relationship.
HUTT: Oh, come on!
PINSKY: Yes, father-daughter relationship and she was not getting love at home, so he had to fill that gap where she was getting insufficient love and nurturance from her family.
HUTT: Yes, OK. Dr. Drew, I mean, if my husband was having a father- daughter relationship with some teenage girl somewhere, ew and wrong and gross. And I don`t know what`s wrong with people. That`s, I just don`t know. I don`t get it.
PINSKY: Let me show you some tape. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have told all the students that if they need to, if they want to get away and come stay with me for a couple days, that is OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told all the students that he loved them and a lot of these students have home situations that aren`t necessarily -- they might not be getting that type of attention from their parents.
PINSKY: I understand the motivation to rescue these children. That`s a noble motivation, but without doing so in a healthy way with boundaries, you`re retraumatizing these kids that have already been traumatized.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
PINSKY: That`s right.
I can`t say it strongly enough. I`ve got back with us, Lynn Berry, Danny Cevallos, Segun Oduolowu, and Anahita Sedaghatfar,
Segun, I`m going to go to you first because I haven`t heard from you on this particular topic. I know you have strong feelings. Go.
ODUOLOWU: OK. First of all, the man should be locked up, and I`ll tell you why. In my opinion, it`s not only irresponsible, but it`s downright dangerous. You can`t say, and I`ve taught before, I taught eighth grade English at a prep school.
Everything he did was inappropriate. Everything he said is inappropriate. Because you can`t cross the boundary and say some of his tweets, I`m going to show you the love you deserve? I`m going to smack your bottom?
You`re crossing over to physically touching a student, which you should never do. There`s nothing funny about it, there`s nothing humorous. To me, it`s disgusting, it`s out of bounds.
But more importantly, it gives good teachers that really do care about their students a bad name so that the next teacher will not be so likely to want to reach out and help because of the actions of this monster.
PINSKY: Lynn, do you have some information for us or an opinion?
HUTT: I just think it`s important to point out that this was a parent that recognized that this was actually going on. She took away her phone. She noticed that there were actually five messages that came through that weren`t responded to because the mother had the phone and there is a lesson for parents out there that there are adults that are looking for children that are insecure and don`t know any better to prey on because they know that that insecurity will not translate into I`m going to tell my parent.
We saw it in Hannah Anderson`s case. This was a father figure that preyed on her because of her insecurities, and parents have such a responsibility to recognize that vulnerability.
PINSKY: Anahita, are you going to blame the parents again?
SEDAGHATFAR: No, Dr. Drew. In fact, I think we can use this case to contrast what I was trying to say with respect to the other case.
You know, my dad and I are very close. We text all the time every day, but I guarantee you, you can go through my cell phone and you won`t find one single text where my dad is saying I want to smack your behind, or I wish I was 20 years younger, baby.
I mean, that is just not a father figure. That is a pervert. And he had some father-daughter fantasy thing going on. I think this seems kind of like borderline grooming. And again, to Lynn`s point, kudos to the mother for being on top of this, for catching the text messages and doing the right thing and calling the authorities.
PINSKY: There you go. Let`s get her into this conversation.
On the phone I actually have the mom, Shana Donskey. She is the 15- year-old`s mother.
Shana, what did the commonwealth attorney tell you about this case?
SHANA DONSKEY, MOM OF 15-YEAR-OLD (via telephone): I was told that they could not find anything illegal, so they could not press charges or file anything against him. It`s very disappointing, but they --
PINSKY: I want to ask my panel, hang on a second.
Danny, does that sound right to you?
CEVALLOS: Well, the bottom line is you have to read the text to find out what the content is, whether or not it was sexually explicit.
My question to mom would be, hold on, would be, did you have any concerns prior to these text messages about the heightened involvement of this particular teacher?
PINSKY: Shana, prior?
DONSKEY: No, I did not.
PINSKY: Did not.
HUTT: Of course not.
CEVALLOS: Were you aware?
PINSKY: I understand that you thought this was a good teacher, you had respect for him, no?
DONSKEY: I actually worked with him as a substitute teacher.
ODUOLOWU: Oh, my gosh.
DONSKEY: I was one of the first substitute teachers for his class.
PINSKY: Who else has a question --
ODUOLOWU: Shana --
HUTT: I do. I do.
PINSKY: Segun, first. Segun, go ahead.
ODUOLOWU: Shana, I just want to first of all say kudos to you for not only catching this but making -- there`s not a big enough stink that you can make to get this guy removed. And please, don`t feel like -- the people who are giving you grief over doing this -- don`t listen to them, because what this man did is abominable. And like I said, as a former teacher, to me, what you`re doing is not only strong and appropriate, but like I said, kudos to you.
PINSKY: Let me ask this to Shana. I agree with Segun.
Is there no ongoing education for teachers about boundary issues or proprietary? I mean, is this not a conversation or -- you know what I`m asking?
HUTT: Of course there is.
PINSKY: There has to be, but I`m asking, at the school where she`s a substitute teacher, is there a deficiency in the educating of teachers there?
DONSKEY: I would have to say that everyone that I`ve worked with, that I have worked with prior to this situation have been very ethical. The district took it very seriously when I brought this to their attention after I took it to the authorities.
DONSKEY: You know, they suspended him right away.
DONSKEY: And investigated it.
PINSKY: OK, good.
DONSKEY: I think they did the right thing.
HUTT: I just want to know, have you heard of any other inappropriate relationships that he`s had with other students?
DONSKEY: No, I have not. In fact, there were texts sent to other students that were completely different. They were more like gossipy than they were romantic.
PINSKY: But by the way, gossipy is another boundary violation.
PINSKY: That`s a weird thing.
PINSKY: You know, bring close but don`t violate boundaries. Lynn, you have something.
PERRY: Well, apparently, Jared Murray is looking to clear his name. He`s lawyered up. He wants to teach again.
If you could say something to the board of education there in Kentucky about whether or not this guy should ever teach again, what would you say?
DONSKEY: Well, I actually started a petition over this, and I believe that his unethical behavior is, you know, it questions his judgment. If he felt that there was a neglectful or abuse at home, he had an obligation --
PINSKY: To report it.
DONSKEY: -- to report this.
ODUOLOWU: Thank you.
DONSKEY: To proper authorities.
ODUOLOWU: Not send text messages --
HUTT: Saying I love you.
ODUOLOWU: Yes, just nonsense.
PINSKY: I don`t think "I`m going to smack that ass" is counseling.
ODUOLOWU: Dr. Drew? Dr. Drew: I ask you --
PINSKY: I`ve got to ask Shana something, because as I`ve said, this is re-traumatizing for kids. And then whatever pseudo closeness was there gets ruptured and then your daughter has to deal with how exploitative that was. How is your daughter?
DONSKEY: My daughter has to move, and with my family, because the community has been -- there has been a lot of support, but then there`s been a lot of backlash. And unfortunately, him dropping her name to the media as a minor, which also has happened, has brought familiar, you know, grounds to all of us, and there`s no escaping it for her. We want her to have a fresh start and be safe. That`s the first priority.
PINSKY: I am so, so sorry. I hope she`s getting a lot of support. Segun, go ahead.
ODUOLOWU: Well, Dr. Drew, I wanted to ask, I mean, as a medical professional.
ODUOLOWU: OK. Don`t you think that he is basically getting close to becoming a pedophile --
PINSKY: Oh, oh, yes.
ODUOLOWU: You know, like, he`s right on the cusp. Why can`t we punish monsters? Like, this guy is, like, we can see the monster forming. Why can`t we --
PINSKY: You`re flanked by attorneys, Segun. Let`s ask them. Normally, they`re very anxious to bring suits to court. Anahita, you first.
ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, ATTORNEY: I mean, I guess there`s no law on the books that made his conduct criminal here, but I agree that, you know, it`s so sad that they`re receiving backlash. They`re the victims here. And again, the mother did everything right. We should be condoning her. We shouldn`t be condemning her.
PINSKY: Well, listen, guys, people blame the victim. People always blame the victims, whether it`s domestic violence --
DONSKEY: Yes, they do.
PINSKY: Whatever it is. It`s stunning how we do that. Danny, what is your opinion on this?
DANNY CEVALLOS, ATTORNEY: For the second time tonight, Segun has said someone should be locked up and then goes on to talk about how they`re immorally wrong. Here`s the deal, you have to separate whether you like something morally or not and whether or not we`re going to start locking everybody up.
We don`t lock people up. We don`t have a pre-crime division of the LAPD yet. So, until we do, until we can foresee the future and get into people`s brains --
ODUOLOWU: So, inappropriate texts to a minor, there`s nothing that we can do? You`re basically -- I mean, it feels like --
CEVALLOS: What`s the word inappropriate mean? Listen, the prosecutor reviewed it. If it`s sexually explicit, he would have been prosecuted --
ODUOLOWU: Smacking your bottom isn`t sexually explicit?
PINSKY: We have to leave it right there, gentlemen.
CEVALLOS: It`s Frankenstein in reverse!
PINSKY: A couple of things. First of all, I want to say thank you to Shana for, "A," bringing this to light, "B," being a great mom and a good advocate and for coming and discussing this today with us. Thank you for being here.
CEVALLOS: Stay strong.
PINSKY: Best to your daughter, stay strong, I agree.
DONSKEY: Thank you.
PINSKY: And when there is a pre-crime division, Segun, we`re going to put you in charge of it, all right?
PINSKY: And Danny will sign off on that even.
All right. Here we go, panel, next up, the viral video you`ve got to see to believe. A woman fleeing from police gets hit not by one but two freight trains.
Later, a woman has a meltdown during the government shutdown vote. Hear what her husband says about her condition. We will have the "Behavior Bureau" dig into what actually that was all about.
And for you, behind-the-scenes look at our program on -- there we go, all the people you see here on our show. We hang out a little bit before the show and you can get pictures and videos. If you head over to HLNTV.com/Drew and you can see what we`re all up to before we get on the air here. Be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s going to hit a train. I`m going out. She just hit a tree. The train hit her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ten-four. Train.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All way down along the tracks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with co-host, Jenny Hutt. That, of course, was the dramatic new video that`s gone viral. A police chase that goes really insanely wrong, but it has a miraculous ending. Jenny, it`s so emotional to watch that because it`s so intense, but in fact, that woman walked away with minor bruises and abrasions.
JENNY HUTT, ATTORNEY: I have a question about that, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Yes, yes.
HUTT: Because there`s rumors that she may have been intoxicated.
PINSKY: Oh, yes.
HUTT: And I`ve heard that when you`re intoxicated and your muscles are relaxed that sometimes you don`t get injured as easily because you don`t tense up?
PINSKY: I don`t know that we can say it that simply, but it is certainly the case. I`ve seen my patients, my alcoholic patients, survive unbelievable circumstances, and some of it is that part of being an alcoholic is you`ve got a survivor gene, and the other may be something to do with the intoxicant causing loosening of the muscles, like you say.
But we don`t know. We, in fact, don`t know, but somebody was looking out for that woman that day. Let`s bring in the "Behavior Bureau," Samantha, Cheryl, Judy, also joining us, radio talk show host, Jennifer Keitt. Jennifer, I wonder if you have a reaction to that video?
JENNIFER KEITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I am absolutely stunned that she walked away from it, so like you, I do believe that there`s a bigger, a higher power, if you will, that was on her side, but that is absolutely amazing that she walked away from something that horrific, absolutely amazing to me.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Well, clearly, Dr. Drew, something is off here. As jenny stated, either she was intoxicated. And yes, we don`t know that yet, but there was alcohol --
PINSKY: We`re hearing that.
SCHACHER: Right. There was alcohol at the original premises or she`s not in her right mind, because for one --
PINSKY: But Sam, this is what I want to talk about, and I`ll start with Judy and that is that people don`t think -- think of it, oh, my gosh, she was hit by a train, but I look at that and go, oh, this is the story of addiction or this is domestic violence or this started somewhere and then reverberates through the community where she`s speeding.
Apparently, she was on a chase at 100 miles an hour and the cops had to go after her. That`s not -- that doesn`t happen in a vacuum. Judy, you agree?
JUDY HO, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s right, Dr. Drew. I mean, this all started because she was causing a domestic disturbance somewhere, and she wouldn`t leave the premises, right? There was something about her --
PINSKY: That`s what we heard.
HO: -- possibly stalking somebody.
HO: And so, then she ran away from that and then when the police started to try to pull her over, she refused to be pulled over. She didn`t obey their command and so she kept going. And so, this all ended in this train wreck because there were multiple points where she could have stopped. And just like you said, Dr. Drew, this is a story about addiction, possibly, maybe there`s some mental health issues, but she wasn`t in her right mind at all.
PINSKY: Right. And Cheryl, as we pointed out many times, stalking is a domestic violence behavior, even though all of you guys have done it at one time in your life, I`ve learned.
PINSKY: I`m just saying. When you were 14 or whenever it was. I cannot judge. I cannot judge. But Cheryl, again, the point being is that we have to identify these things before they go to real serious trouble.
CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., @DRCHERYLARUTT: We absolutely do. Let`s review here. OK, this woman may have just assaulted two people. She is fleeing from the police. She may be drunk at eight o`clock in the morning. This sounds like a train wreck even before the impact.
PINSKY: Right, I agree.
ARUTT: You know? I mean, this is a disaster. And people need to know that if you want to get into a race with a train, news flash, the train will win every single time. This is -- I don`t know about calling it a miracle.
SCHACHER: She just forgot. She didn`t realize.
SCHACHER: This is a disaster before the disaster.
PINSKY: OK. Here`s the deal. We`re going to stay with the "Behavior Bureau." We got to take a quick break.
And later on, I`ll remind you, we`re going to get to the woman that melts down during the government shutdown vote last night. It`s a -- we`ll hear what she has to say and her husband has to say about that dramatic event and then the "Behavior Bureau" will take it apart and figure out what that actually was. Be right back.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Thanks, Drew. Tonight on "After Dark," day one of the next big trial, opening statements and witness testimony from Utah. Dr. Martin MacNeill accused of drugging and drowning his wife just days after she gets a facelift. Our bold question, was the facelift part of the doctor`s murder plot? Our jury is seated and ready to hear opening statements and the witness testimony right now on "After Dark."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the woman at the capitol last week who tried to run over and kill a bunch of people with a car? I mean, everything is how are you going to prevent people from getting cars and knives and everything. So, there`s no way to prevent the way and you do it is crazy people get put in mental hospitals for a long period of time and the bad guys into long sentences.
PINSKY: Physicians can have, perhaps, a greater ability to exert their judgment. I think that might do a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Jenny Hutt. It`s the "Behavior Bureau." And Jenny, that`s what I`m saying. Now, we`ve got another car that becomes a weapon and almost kills who knows who along the way before she nearly gets killed. Do you understand what I`m saying? Does that make sense?
HUTT: Yes, it`s a very complicated set of circumstances all around, Dr. Drew. How are we going to regulate who`s too mentally ill to have a car, a gun, a knife --
PINSKY: How about just in the moment we allow professionals -- what we allow professionals to really restrict some liberties when their illness could hurt them and the community.
HUTT: Yes. I would be comfortable with that.
PINSKY: Cheryl, do you agree with me on this?
ARUTT: Yes, I do, and I think it`s a lot harder now for us to really assert those limits to protect somebody because of funding cuts and lack of insurance and all sorts of other issues that it becomes really very difficult and people are not kept as long or --
PINSKY: Yes, I absolutely agree.
ARUTT: -- taken care of.
PINSKY: You`re absolutely right. So, there`s another level to this, too, is we don`t have the resources to take care of these people. Jennifer, we`ve been reporting on people with guns killing, lots of people that could have been restrained. We had a case where a woman stabbed her mother 90 times with a knife. And now, we have -- what`s your opinion about this?
KEITT: Well, you know, I`m wondering, what about the network and the community and the people that are in our lives? I mean, I understand that the resources were stretched really, really thin, but when are moms and dads and grandmoms, when is the village going to step up and say, you know what, give me those keys, give me that bottle, give me that drink, make sure, I`ll sit on you if I have to in order to keep you here. When are we going to get in each other`s business again?
HUTT: Come live in my house. It`s a great concept. I love it.
PINSKY: Judy, go ahead.
HUTT: I do. I think it`s great.
HO: Well, you know, Dr. Drew, this all goes back to the fact that we`re such an individualistic society.
PINSKY: Yes, that`s right.
KEITT: That`s it. That`s it.
HO: When we look at the research about -- that`s right. I mean, when we look at the research with collectivistic societies, the people there who have schizophrenia, they tend to recover better, they tend to relapse less. Why? Because the village is involved. The community is there. They`re there to prevent those things from happening. But we just don`t have those systems.
PINSKY: I agree, and we have this strange sort of bias where we`re fearful of upsetting the person and disrupting the relationship by restricting their freedoms in order to help them.
Get rid of that one. That one, we could help a lot of people just casting that one off. Thank you, panel. If you have a question for the "Behavior Bureau," you can tweet us @DRDREWHLN, #behaviorbureau.
Up next, a woman has a meltdown at the Capitol Hill during the government shutdown vote. "Behavior Bureau" is going to tell you what was going on there.
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Jenny Hutt. The "Behavior Bureau" still with us, Samantha, Cheryl Arutt, Judy Ho, and Jennifer Keitt. Everyone is talking about what happened on the floor of the House last night after Congress finally came up with their deal. Take a look at what just what went down and we`ll discuss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The constitution would not have been written by freemasons! They go against God
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, come on, come on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God! Lord Jesus Christ!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Sam, what are people saying about this today?
SCHACHER: Well, OK. Well, first of all, this is a woman that thought that she was carrying out God`s message. She was a stenographer, so she`s been taking notes at a number of different trials and hearings and she`s had sleepless nights and she`s just kind of lost it. But here`s the thing, Dr. Drew, I get that we`re all stressed out about this government shutdown, and it could cause sleepless nights.
I mean, we`re supposed to be entrusting our nation with the Congress when, clearly, it seems like they`re only worried about their own political motivations. But there`s something else. There has to be. It can`t just be stress and sleeplessness, am I right?
PINSKY: Oh, yes. For me, let`s go to Cheryl first. This is in the zone of manias or something else, wouldn`t you agree?
ARUTT: This is certainly in the zone of mania. This woman also was sleep-deprived for a long time. I also have to wonder about the cultural element, because when somebody`s under an extreme amount of stress, and then they start to kind of lose touch with reality or kind of lose their faculties in a way, it can manifest in way that is consistent with their beliefs.
This is a woman who is Pentecostal. She believes in speaking in tongue. She believes in having messages to God. We don`t want to jump to the conclusion that this is a psychotic thing if it`s consistent with her belief system.
PINSKY: But then again, all that religiosity, and we do use that term clinically, so I`m not taking aim at her beliefs. It`s just really excessive and then it starts pouring out of somebody. Judy, we look at that as pathology, right?
HO: We certainly have to consider that as a possible hypothesis. And even her husband said that this is the second time that something like this has happened for this woman.
PINSKY: I`m going to read to you what she said to the "New York Post" today. She was interviewed. "I`ve never felt better. I`m glad that I fulfilled God`s mission for me, absolutely. I lifted a tremendous burden. It was a very hard burden to carry, as you can imagine." And yet, I heard that she still kind of spinning a little bit. You know, she felt better. Jenny, what do you think?
HUTT: Listen, Dr. Drew, I actually think that this is not, quote/unquote "mentally ill" person. I think this is a deeply devout individual who may have acted inappropriately, but I believe that she thinks she was witnessing and doing her job of spreading God`s message, what that means to her. Was it odd and off-putting, yes, but I think --
PINSKY: But when you start talking about the freemasons, there`s a little paranoid quality to it --
HUTT: Not what I`m doing, but I think this is what she really, really believes.
PINSKY: Oh, I don`t doubt that. Jennifer, what`s say you?
KEITT: I agree wholeheartedly with that. I have many coaching clients who are evangelical Christians, and there is a fundamental belief system within Christianity that says that God speaks and that we are to follow his commands. Now, if you add that, though, under the stress of sleeplessness, under the stress of wanting to actually be a good Christian and do what God has called you to do, I could see where you might lose it.
Now, was it the appropriate way? Was it the appropriate time? I would argue with that. No, it wasn`t. But I believe just like Jenny said that this was part of her belief system and she probably does feel relieved today. Could it have been done differently? Absolutely, it could have been done differently, but I`d rather her say that God was talking to her than someone else.
PINSKY: Ooh, who would that someone else be?
ARUTT: And how did she stay up? She`s a mother of twins. How did she stay up and work all those hours and do all of that? How many red bulls did this woman have?
PINSKY: Cheryl, you have twins, I have triplets. I would be psychotic if I were trying to do that and go through that kind of a vote in the House, are you kidding me?
ARUTT: You see?
PINSKY: I`d be speaking in tongues right there, no doubt about it in my mind. Label it as you would. Hats off to her for tolerating all that. That`s all I can say. Thank you, panel. "Last Call" is up next.
PINSKY: "Last Call" goes to a family that we`ve begun to consider a part of our family here at DR. DREW ON CALL, The Anais Family (ph) that came on our show last year to speak about how they had survived the notorious "Costa Concordia" ship wreck off the coast of Italy.
PINSKY: Claimed the lives of 32 people. And, they literally were some of the last people off the ship. We had images of them in the cold shimmying down the side of this capsized ship. I wanted to tell you about their new book "S.O.S.: Spirit of Survival." It is one family`s account of the "Costa Concordia" cruise ship and the deadly aftermath. It was really something, Jenny (ph), remember that?
HUTT: I do remember that. And they`re such good people to help others before themselves. That`s the right way to be.
PINSKY: There we go. OK. Thanks you all for watching. Jenny, great job and also to my guests. Appreciate you being here as well. "Hln After Dark" begins right now.