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Why Was Teacher Murdered?
Aired October 23, 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, a beloved teacher is murdered. Her battered body found near the school. A 14-year-old student under arrest.
We`ll look at what signs were missed in yet another incident of school violence.
Plus, they sold their four young daughters into porn. Cops say this couple was high on bath salts, and the family home was covered in filth. What does my behavior bureau say?
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening, everyone.
My co-host is Samantha Schacher, host of "Pop Trigger" on the Young Turks Network.
And coming up, parents who police say sold their own daughters into porn, Sam. Come --
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, CO-HOST: Disgusting, I`m enraged.
PINSKY: We`ll see. We`ll hear about this story. Plus, more, one of the youngest daughter was raised in filth. You`ll hear about that.
But, first, a 14-year-old, who`s charged with murdering his 24-year- old female teacher. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body of Colleen Ritzer, 24, was located in the woods near Danvers High School.
REPORTER: Was it somebody from the school who discovered the blood and body, or was it a police officer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The school was secured. Police received a report that a Danvers High School teacher had not returned home from work and was not answering her cell phone. Danvers police initiated a search for the teacher and discovered blood in the second-floor bathroom at the Danvers High School.
REPORTER: In the back of this Danvers cruiser sits the 14 years old boy accused of killing a popular Danvers High School teacher.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Danvers police initiated an investigation to locate a 14-year-old male who had not returned from Danvers High School earlier in the day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is alleged on 10/23/13, Mr. Philip Chism did assault ands beat Colleen Ritzer with intent to murder such person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The students tell us that her favorite color was pink. They already started putting pitching ribbons on the trees.
PINSKY: Out to investigative reporter Rita Cosby.
Rita, this story is almost impossible to get our heads around. Can you give us more information?
RITA COSBY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (via telephone): It is really staggering.
Dr. Drew, only hours ago 14 years old Philip Chism was arraigned and charged with the murder of this very beloved teacher, 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer. Now, a grand jury will decide if he`s going to be tried as an adult or a juvenile. What he is accused of is horrific.
On Tuesday, lots of blood was discovered in a second-floor bathroom of Danvers high school, where Ritzer taught math. Authorities then conducted a massive search. They found her body in the woods behind the school. She had been stabbed and beaten to death.
Soon after, they put out a missing persons report and arrested her 14- year-old student who was found walking alone on a highway just after midnight. Now, we`re told they connected him to this gruesome crime by his own statements, by corroborating evidence at the scene, including there`s words that there`s some school surveillance video, which even recorded some of the actual assault.
What`s still unclear is why he murdered his own teacher who is known for posting inspirational messages on her Twitter account, and offering students extra help whenever they needed it. We do know he was a tall teenager, 6`2", and he recently moved to this Boston-area high school after living in Tennessee, in Florida among a lot of other places -- Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Thank you, Rita.
You say it`s unclear. It`s mystifying what happened here.
Sam, Rita described him walking along the highway at the end. You made a really interesting observation that will sort of reverberate through our discussion this evening. Why don`t you share that with the audience?
SCHACHER: OK. I had noticed something very eerie, very similarity between AMC`s "Bates Motel" that is a series that looked at Norman Bates as a teenager. I really quickly want to talk about those similarities. First of all, young Norman Bates in this series moved around a lot. Both of them murdered their teachers in very similar fashion in the bathroom, and then finally at the end of the season finale last year, you see young Norman Bates walking down that highway in the middle of the night in a fog, almost in a zone after murdering his teacher, kind of similar to the way they found Philip Chism as well.
PINSKY: Sam, very weird. Something kind of harken back to conversation tonight.
I want to introduce my panel, Mark Eiglarsh, attorney at speaktomark.com; Anahita Sedaghatfar, defense attorney, Judge David Young, former Florida criminal court judge and host of "Justice with a Snap", and Loni Coombs, former prosecutor, author of "Your Perfect and Other Lies Parents Tell".
Now, this kid was in the teacher`s math class. She was her teacher. I`m going to go around the horn here and ask, what do you think happened? We`re going to have to speculate, kind of wild.
I`ll start with you, Mark.
MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: I have absolutely no idea. I have absolutely no idea what went through this kid`s head. I sit him down and say, listen, you`re going to go through such brutality over the rest of your life, and I`m here to save you.
Tell me what you are thinking. That`s where we start. We get the doctors involved, the psychiatrists to figure it out why he did what he did. I have no idea, Drew.
I don`t either yet. Loni?
LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, I`m so uncomfortable with this case, especially since we don`t know anything and he`s only 14 years old. It was even unusual at the arraignment, the judge allowed everyone to see him and know his name.
His defense attorney said, look, he`s a juvenile, he`s 14, can we close the court? And the judge said no. That`s unusual. We don`t know what happened here.
So, until we do, I feel so uncomfortable. He is still 14 years old.
PINSKY: Well, Judge Young, should he be tried as an adult?
JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE: You know, Dr. Drew, there`s certainly times in a judge`s life, where he or she has to make the tough decisions. And that happens a lot with juveniles in this type of situation, where you have such a horrific event that occurred, a killing of a beloved teacher by a 14-year-old -- allegedly by a 14-year-old individual.
And should he be tried? Yes, the gravity of the crime, Dr. Drew, was so horrific that he needs to be tried as an adult. I`ll tell you why, because there`s certainly children, and it pains me to say there. There are certainly children that are unrehabilitable, and somebody that would do this to a teacher, at 14 years old, I`m sorry, he`s a danger to society, and he needs to be put away.
PINSKY: Well, that`s Sam`s theory based --
SCHACHER: I think he`s psycho.
PINSKY: That`s Sam`s theory based on watching a television series.
SCHACHER: Oh, well --
COOMBS: Shouldn`t we wait and see if he has a history? If this is the first time, we don`t know.
PINSKY: We don`t know yet. We have to figure that out.
Anahita, go ahead. I know you`ve got a strange idea about this.
ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, ATTORNEY: Yes. I mean, again, this is just speculation. There are a lot of unanswered questions. Could he have mental health problems? Maybe. Pure evil? Maybe.
I tend to think that maybe there was something more than just a teacher/student relationship going on here, because there seems to be such a brutal --
SCHACHER: Wait, wait, wait.
SEDAGHATFAR: I`m going to throw it out there.
SEDAGHATFAR: Typically, a crime of passion. Look, it`s not the first time. Mark, c`mon.
SEDAGHATFAR: Inappropriate relationships --
SCHACHER: I don`t want to malign this teacher.
PINSKY: Hang on, before you go, Mark, I`ve got to be clear, that no one is reporting that. That no one is reporting that. We can`t substantiate those stories. We are -- that`s wild speculation, but, Mark, go ahead.
SEDAGHATFAR: Just speculation, yes.
EIGLARSH: First of all, let`s make that clear. First of all, I`m not saying she`s wrong. I`m saying there`s absolutely no evidence to substantiate that. It just made me feel uncomfortable that would be out there. A theory that`s pure speculation.
But I do want to go back to what Judge Young was saying about trying him as an adult. There`s two sides to me. First, as a criminal defense lawyer, I say what people expect me to say, and that is his frontal lobe, governing reasonable judgment is not fully formed.
He doesn`t really know what he`s doing to some extent, not that he doesn`t know right from wrong, but the father in me says, I don`t want this guy out there any time soon. Maybe he wants to kill again. Maybe after juvenile sanctions it`s not going to be enough and he`s going to want to kill more.
So I say put him in adult court. You can analyze him there and you can always give him juvenile sanctions or give him a less sentence depending on the circumstances.
PINSKY: OK. Hang on, guys.
We just made contact with a classmate of the suspect. Her name is Ariana Edwards.
Ariana, thank you for joining us. I do appreciate it. Can you help us understand who Philip Chism is, and what people are thinking happened here? It seems so unbelievable.
ARIANA EDWARDS, CLASSMATE OF TEEN SUSPECT (via telephone): -- in a group of mine, and he was like everyone says he was really quiet. That`s the first thing you think of him, just a kid that sits in the class, doesn`t participate in group discussions. And he`s just kind of like there. If you talk to him, he`ll like talk back to you, but he`s like pretty normal other than how reserved he is, he`s kind of like odd with people, but --
PINSKY: Ariana, let me ask you, did he have lots of friends? Did he -- I heard he moved around a lot. Does anybody know why he moved? Did he have people he was close to here at this high school?
EDWARDS: There`s rumors, but I don`t want to like (INAUDIBLE) it`s not true, but there`s was rumors that he`s moving around because of certain reasons, but no one knows. He had a certain group of friends he hung out with in his class, but like, he wouldn`t -- like his group, he didn`t talk to anyone. He wasn`t outgoing and friendly. He was kind of just like there, like there were certain kids he talked to.
PINSKY: Quiet, but you would say, Ariana, I imagine you go to school with a lot of kids that are quiet.
Let me ask this -- you went to the vigil tonight for Ms. Ritzer. Tell us about her. Tell us about her and how she`s missed?
EDWARDS: The teacher?
EDWARDS: She was loved by everybody. She was, like, she would post inspirational quotes on Twitter about, like living life, and like she was like young, and she was always -- people could -- she could brighten anyone`s day, she was like a happy teacher.
She liked to make a difference. She was a teacher that made a difference in math, and she could help you. She`d stay after school like, for whatever you needed. She was just a good person.
PINSKY: Arianna, let me interrupt you here. And first of all, thank you for joining us. I`m sorry you and your community is going through this.
Will you stay with us for a few minutes? Let me ask you a few more questions?
EDWARDS: Um-hmm, sure.
PINSKY: OK. Thank you, panel. Thank you, Ariana. We`re going to bring in a behavior bureau next to try make sense of all this.
And later, we have a mom and a dad accused of selling three of their four daughters into porn, and a fourth who maybe even had it worse. After this, we`ll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A pedestrian was walking north in the southbound lane of route 1. The officers approached the pedestrian and soon realized he was the person that was the subject of the Danvers police alert.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say that nothing seemed out of the ordinary about him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a really quiet kid. He didn`t really talk much in class, but he participated, I guess.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: This young man is 14, but he`s six feet tall. He towers over the adult who is standing next to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back, with my co-host, Samantha Schacher.
I want to read a tweet for you, Sam. It is from Marlene Gentile, "Imagine how the parents of that murdered teacher must to hear that woman on your show maligned their daughter."
And, Sam, I think that`s why we jumped all over Anahita there. We didn`t want that to be left in my way to tarnish the memory.
SCHACHER: Especially everybody celebrates the teacher and says she`s exceptional.
PINSKY: If there is any evidence of it, we will explore it and report it. Of course, we`re talking about the 14-year-old high school student accused of murdering his 24-year-old teacher.
We have some new information that is just in. The Danvers, Massachusetts, police chief says school will be back in session tomorrow. It was canceled citywide today. Grief counselors will be on hand. People should use those grief counselors.
I want to bring in the behavior bureau: Cheryl Arutt, clinical and forensic psychologist, Judy Ho, clinical psychologist, Tiffanie Davis Henry, psychotherapist and HLN contributor, and Danine Manette, criminal investigator, author of "Ultimate Betrayal".
Danine, instead of letting you drop your bombs at the end, I`ll start with you tonight? What do you think?
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: I think this case is so weird. And what I think is so weird about it is I`m not hearing anything about any parents. I`m not hearing anything about any former life, any friends or anything. It`s like this kid just fell out of the sky.
Usually by this time of the day, they would have been a camera in front of the house, they would have been talking about the past, the family, the friends or something, but it`s like nothing. No one is saying a world about this kid`s history.
He moves around, he just got here. It`s all so weird to me.
PINSKY: Tiffanie, you agree with that?
TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: I do agree with that. I`ve been wondering, where are the parents throughout all of this? I think my main concern, and this is a message to a lot of kids, a lot of parents with young boys. When I see young boys exhibiting behavior like this and doing these types of things, oftentimes, my mind goes to anger, because we know that anger -- especially in young men and boys mask depression.
So a lot of times -- this just seems like a very passionate crime in terms of the stabbing and the beating, and feels like when he was angry at her or angry at someone else --
HENRY: She reminded him of the person she`s really angry about.
PINSKY: Sam, you want to say something about that?
SCHACHER: What were the warning signs, though? Because that`s what scares me, everyone that talks about him, knows him, saying that he was kind, he was quiet, he was polite. He wasn`t aggressive. He wasn`t violent.
HENRY: For me, Sam, that`s that anger bubbling up on the inside.
PINSKY: Potentially. Well, if indeed he committed this crime, there is evidence of that anger.
Judy, I`m going to speculate really wildly, he`s a very tall child. There are certain genetic disorders that can increase the risk of criminal behavior like (INAUDIBLE) sometimes. Gigantism, you wonder -- he doesn`t look like any of those things specifically, but you worry about some biological problems with some stressors and making very weird behavior.
JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. The biological aspect must be there, because he`s still pretty young. So, even if he say he`s under a period of extreme sense, there has got to be a biological element.
The thing I picked up from the caller who called in from the community was that he was quiet, but you know what? That`s the hardest, because we can`t understand those kids. We can`t reach them because they`re more introverted. We don`t know what they`re thinking on the inside. And oftentimes depression in children and teens is often accompanied by sort of this irritability, this irritable anger.
And if you mix that up with some biological underpinnings, there you have it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Totally agree.
PINSKY: Cheryl, you agree?
CHERYL ARUTT, PSYCHOLOGIST: I do agree. The thing that keeps striking me about this, though, is we are talking about a 14-year-old child, and when we think about the judge wanting to try this kid as an adult and the rush to barrel him through adult court, what I need to think about is competency to stand trial.
And usually, we`re thinking about mental illness or mental retardation, but there`s another thing, developmental immaturity that can somebody who is 14 or 15 to process things differently even if they understand the fact, they weigh things differently at 14 or 15 that even they themselves would when they became an actual adult.
And I`m very concerned about his ability to assess on his own defense when he`s going to be more vulnerable to peer pressure, less future oriented, more instant gratification oriented, you know those kinds of things.
PINSKY: I want to introduce our panel to Ariana Edwards. She`s a classmate of the suspect.
Ariana, are you with me again?
PINSKY: OK. And, again, as you hear us talk, does -- do you think about anything else as it occurs that you think about this young man, that made you sort of thing, hmm, I wonder what that was all about at anytime since you`ve meet him?
EDWARDS: Um-hmm. Um, well, no, not like necessarily like -- I wasn`t, like, close to him in class. I know he was smart, he was a smart kid. He was in the honors class. He was in geometry. He was like a tenth grade level class, he`s in ninth grate. He`s like -- he was just a quiet, did his work, and I guess -- like what he came to do, he didn`t talk much.
PINSKY: Ariana, I`m going to interrupt you. I want to give Judy a chance to ask you a question. Go ahead, Judy.
HO: Hey, Ariana, I just wanted to talk more about your direct interactions with him. Have you spoken to him? Have you had conversations with him directly?
EDWARDS: Not anything to, like, like, deep extents, just like, like, interactions. He was, like, in my group and we were -- he was talking about, like, we had on draw a picture of the story, and he was drawing, like make jokes about what we were doing and it was like --
PINSKY: Normal, normal interactions.
Sam, your question?
SCHACHER: Ariana, did you know anything about his family? Did they go to his soccer games? Did he have another sibling at the school?
EDWARDS: I know he has a sister who`s in the seventh grade and goes to the middle school, was friends with one of my friend`s sisters. I`m not sure much about her, though.
ARUTT: Hi, Ariana. Was he making friends? We are people teasing him or bullying him or anything that you saw?
EDWARDS: No, I don`t think people (INAUDIBLE), that I know. People weren`t necessarily, like, I don`t know of anyone who was super-friendly, but no one was mean to him. I know he did have some friends, like a group of friends he always talked to and walked around with, in, like, one of his classes. One of my friends told me that.
PINSKY: Tiffanie, finish me, this still remains mysterious to me. Go ahead, Tiffanie.
HENRY: Yes. Ariana, how are you and your friends dealing with everything that`s happened now? I know you had the vigil, but how are you holding up?
EDWARDS: We`re trying to stay strong with the community and pull everything together. The teacher was very loved, and like we were just mourning our loss. But we`re holding up pretty good, I guess.
PINSKY: Thank you, Ariana. I appreciate it.
Thank you, panel. I appreciate it.
OK. We`re going to leave that story behind and move on to another story, which is one that you need to be warned about because it is disturbing. Cops say three little girls were sold into pornography by their parents.
And later, a man who had confessed in that viral video of having been driving drunk and killed someone was sentenced today. You`ll see that, and you`ll hear my thoughts on that one. I`m still -- I`ve got some issues with it.
Back after this.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
My co-host Samantha Schacher.
Sam, I`ve got another quick tweet for you here. This from Deb Geo (ph), my heartaches for people -- for both people, but mainly Philip. He looks like my son.
Again, this is a very sad story on all fronts.
PINSKY: One we`re still trying to understand.
SCHACHER: It doesn`t make sense.
PINSKY: We`re still speculating. Sam, your theory about early psychopathy is as good as any just yet, but we just don`t know.
Now, the next story. This is a warning to you all. Not something you want children to watch.
Two parents behind bars tonight, accused of selling three of their four daughters into a life of pornography. Police say the fourth and youngest child was subjected to even more horrors. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even at 20 years, one of the worst that I`ve seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Connie and Ronnie McCall (ph) are now behind bars and the couple`s four girls had been forced to perform sexual acts. Their six year old daughter had head and body lice, fleabites, ring worm and severe dental problems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blackened teeth, holes in all their bottom teeth, filth and just extremely deplorable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with us, Mark Eiglarsh, Anahita Sedaghatfar, Judge David Young, and Loni Coombs.
Judge David Young, what are your thoughts?
YOUNG: I`m speechless. I don`t understand how two people could have children and subject them to this. You know, maybe it`s because I`m gay, I have a deep appreciation, especially when I`m told so many times, you can`t have children because you`re gay.
I guarantee you, Dr. Drew, there`s no a single living breathing lesbian or gay individual that would treat the worst of the worst the way like these two animals did.
And I`ve got to tell you, as a judge, you want to me to do justice. You need to make sure the rules are followed and the law is upheld, but God help them if they were ever found guilty in my courtroom because I would take this gavel and put up the side of their head or other places as well. That`s just --
PINSKY: A lot of nodding. Loni particularly is upset, but I want to go to her.
But, Loni, let me play devil`s advocate, they`re into bath salts, not in the right mind. They`re impaired neurologically. Go ahead. Have it.
COOMBS: That doesn`t matter one bit. There`s no excuse whatsoever for forcing these young girls, 11, 14 and 16, to have sex, to be videotaped and to take money for that. And then the youngest daughter -- it`s even so bad that the youngest daughter was growing up in this house full of feces and overrun toilets, her teeth are all black.
I mean, where are the neighbors? Where`s society stepping in? When they finally step in, Ok, let`s pat you on the hand, bad kids and, you know, send you back out to take care of your family again. Put them on provision.
I mean, what in the world is going on there?
And, Anahita, Loni brings up a great question. Where were the neighbors? Where were the community?
The parents failed, the community failed, the neighbors failed, the social services failed. What`s going on?
SEDAGHATFAR: That`s exactly what I was thinking. Obviously I cannot wrap my head around the fact that parents would sell their own daughters into porn. Little girls. That`s just -- I mean, I don`t even want to call them parents. These are animals.
But the fact that no one saw -- where were the neighbors? Where were the teachers? If these girls weren`t going to school, why wasn`t anyone asking why these girls weren`t in school? Where were the people on the street? In the supermarket?
People saw this girl`s teeth were so decayed they were literally black. People saw the filth on the house. Don`t they have friends that come over and see feces?
No one said anything, Dr. Drew, and that`s the problem. People are turning away. We see this over and over in the news. People see abuse and they`re not stepping in until it`s too late.
PINSKY: Mark, she has a point.
SEDAGHATFAR: And I would say that the people that see and observe this neglect, they`re just as culpable. They`re almost condoning this abuse --
PINSKY: Omission and commission. Anahita says they`re the same thing, Mark.
MARK EIGLARSH, SPEAKTOMARK.COM: I agree with everything everyone said. People say -- there are certain people you wouldn`t offend. I would say exhibit A, these are people that there`s no way I could zealously and passionately defend -- I would opt out. I don`t know what`s going on with this show. What we`re doing is, we have highlighted -- it`s not the show, it`s society.
In the last, literally, just maybe two weeks, we`ve got a mother who microwaves her kid, who got a father who injects his son with heroin, and we`ve got this? I don`t know which is worse, but I can tell you, I`ve had enough. And the only thing that`s positive about this is that I practice in federal court, and the guidelines there do not play when it comes to this type of offense. I expect at least 40, 50, maybe even life on this.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Dr.Drew, I hate the fact as -- what Judge Young touched on, what Mark has touched on, I hate the fact that people like this are allowed to be parents. I wish that they were sterilized. All people just like this. And I tell you what, Anahita made a really good point. We need to be the eyes and ears of our community.
If I saw that little girl with the decayed teeth that was decayed so deeply that her nerves were exposed, I would not have left her side until authorities showed up.
PINSKY: Judge Young, you were trying to say something.
I`ve got a question for you, Dr. Drew. I know from the criminal and from the legal end what these people are going to get and they`re going to get what they deserve. But my concern, my legitimate concern is for those four little girls. What`s going to happen to them? How are they going to be able to grow up in society?
Is their life just ruined because of the two disgusting individuals that called themselves parents?
PINSKY: I called this -- and people don`t like it when I say this for some reason, but parents do -- they`ve given a gift, and I use the word ironically that keeps on giving throughout the child`s life, their brain, their sense of self, their emotional condition, their ability to function and personally never the same. Now, they can be treated, and treatment does work. I`ll start off the "Behavior Bureau," perhaps, with that.
I know all of you -- how much time do I have left? All you guys have your hands up to comment more about this. What do I got? How long? We`re running out of time, guys. I also have to read a disclaimer if you guys would put that up there. We did reach out to the various attorneys.
Can you please put that up on the prompter for me so I can get that little piece of business taking care of? We called up the attorneys and they have not responded to our calls. So, for the time being --
EIGLARSH: Nothing to say.
PINSKY: What`s that, Mark?
EIGLARSH: There`s nothing positive to say.
PINSKY: There`s one positive that`s come out, and I think you all agree, this is a sentinel day, ladies and gentlemen. We found someone that Mark Eiglarsh will not defend who doesn`t deserve --
PINSKY: Got to go. "Behavior Bureau" weighs in on the story.
And later, a viral video, if you remember a confession, a guy who says he wanted to plead guilty for killing a man while drunk driving. He now gets his sentence. I`ve got some thoughts on it. We`ll be right back.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Coming up at the top of the hour on "HLN After Dark," tomorrow could be the biggest day yet in Dr. MacNeill`s murder trial. That`s because his youngest daughter is going to be there.
RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: That`s right. It`s the moment we`ve been waiting for if, in fact, she takes the stand. So, our jury here to decide, the bold question, was Ada part of Dr. MacNeill`s murder plot. If there was one and he involved her, how will that look to the jury?
POLITAN: We`re going to take our jury out to our recreated death scene. And you`re also going to hear from our friend, Nancy Grace, top of the hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-year-old Connie Sue McCall (ph) shook her head as she stood in court. Sixty-one-year-old Ronny Lee McCall (ph) appeared to have no reaction as the judge read the pathetic conditions in which their children were found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher. Sam, they just look so impaired, but before I go on with that story, there`s kind of a lively Twitter conversation going on both @DrDrewHLN and @DrDrew. I want to put up this tweet from Elena Albini (ph), I think you pronounce it.
"I think your panel was hard on the person who said there was a relationship between the boy and the teacher." Maybe he wanted more, but she refused." This is referring back to that opening story about the 14- year-old who killed his teacher. In other words, it`s possible to speculate about their having been some sort of potential attraction without her having participated in it, and it could explain some of the motivation that --
SCHACHER: But listen, there`s no evidence suggesting any of that. And I don`t want to tarnish this woman`s --
PINSKY: That`s the point, Sam, by saying that maybe it was all in his head, and when she said, wait a minute, that`s when the aggression sort of --
SCHACHER: Right. But I don`t think that`s what Anahita was stating earlier.
PINSKY: I think you`re probably right. But the point is we`ll find out more as we go along.
Now, I`m switching back to the story you just saw on that little piece of tape. Warning, we`re talking about stuff that`s disturbing here. Parents accused of selling their own daughters into child pornography. Bring back the "Behavior Bureau," Cheryl Arutt, Judy Jo, Tiffanie Davis Henry, and Danine Manette.
Now, the youngest daughter had been severely neglected. I want to show you what the doctors found when they examined her. Head and body lice, flea bites, -- as Sam told us, teeth completely decayed to the point that the nerves were actually exposed.
PINSKY: Now, the panel we just left asked a question that I want to ask you, guys. Raise your hand whoever wants to answer this first. What`s the life going to be like for these girls who have been so severely traumatized? Is it possible that they could be treated or is it something that`s going to be with them forever even with treatment? Who would like to try to struggle with that one? Judy.
JUDY HO, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Dr. Drew, this is the entire life that they`ve known. I mean, since they were tiny little babies, even. So, I think it`s going to be incredibly difficult to try to show them that life does not have to be filled with chaos, and that there are actually people who will take care of them instead of trying to sell them, but that is so profound, Dr. Drew, that your biological parents would do that to you.
I mean, what does that do to a child`s psyche about their existence in this life and who would care about them?
PINSKY: That`s right --
HO: I`m extremely worried about this.
PINSKY: Right. And you bring up an interesting piece of this, too. I`ll ask Tiffanie, how can they ever trust anybody ever?
TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, PH.D., PSYCHOTHERAPIST: You know what, it`s going to be hard. And I think as a therapist, if I ever saw them in my office, the first thing that I would say is, this is a huge chapter in your life, but it is not the whole book. You`ve got the rest of your life to live. And there are certainly going to be people in this world that will do you harm or don`t have your best interests at heart, but these girls are strong.
They are survivors. They survived the worst of it. If they can put that into perspective, this is the worst of the worse. Life from here on out has to be better. It has to for them. So, I would just encourage them to do as much self-work as they can, get into therapy, and really do the work, because life will get better.
PINSKY: But it`s hard. It`s hard. Young people have trouble, they`re unable to get close and trust, Danine. And then, the strange things humans do is they get attracted to people and circumstances where just like those horrible things that they`re running from.
HO (ph): That`s right.
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Exactly. I wrote a book called "Ultimate Betrayal," and this is the epitome of the ultimate betrayal, it really is. When your parents turn on you and do something like this that just completely can ruin your world without the type of help that you need in order to get past something like this. But what people need to understand is this type of stuff happens all over the place, and we just don`t know anything about it.
This child trafficking thing is a really big deal right now. I mean, it`s huge. And so, we really do all need to be far more alert and look for signs as teachers, as medical professionals, as community people. We`ve got to be vigilant.
PINSKY: So, Cheryl, I heard Mark in the last segment say the same thing that Danine is saying, but then shook his head and said, what`s going on here? It is going on. We have failed. What do we do?
CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., @DRCHERYLARUTT: Unfortunately, I wasn`t able to hear the last segment. So -- can you hear me? Are you able to --
PINSKY: Yes, I got you. We got you. Got you.
ARUTT: OK, good. Unfortunately, I didn`t hear the last segment, but I think this kind of a case shows that people on bath salts will do absolutely anything, make absolute awful, awful decisions. And these kids really do -- I like what Tiffanie said. These kids have survived the worst. I want people to know that there is healing possible, even from really, really serious trauma.
And it`s possible for these kids to heal. I know this is an important developmental time, but these are people who were impaired and who had all kinds of other difficulties, and if they can grow and get treatment and get into relationships with people who are not addicted to drugs, that`s a big step also.
PINSKY: Everything -- everything that`s been said here is true. It is overwhelming. Bath salts are bizarre and hideous. There were smoking bath salts. Not something I`ve had much to deal with, but however you ingest them, it scrambles your brain for a lack of a better way of saying it.
SCHACHER: No matter who you are.
PINSKY: No matter who you are.
SCHACHER: So, if I took bath salts, I would do something as deplorable.
DAVIS: You better not take no bath salts, Sam.
HO: Dr. Drew, why is it that we have to take a test for licensing and getting our licenses to drive and we don`t have test for licenses to have babies.
PINSKY: We have said this a couple of times in the last couple of days. We`ve been reporting on horrible parents. Everybody, we got to jump in and pay attention. I got to take a break.
Next up, he told the world he killed a man while driving drunk, and now, he is sentenced for that crime. My question is, is it enough? Is he really remorseful? And what was missing from his comments in court today? Be right back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I killed a man. My name is Matthew Cordle (ph). And on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Coazani (ph).
PINSKY (voice-over): Matthew Cordle`s online drunk driving confession leads to charges of vehicular manslaughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This video will act as my confession. When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I`ve done to Vincent and his family.
PINSKY: He could get up to eight years in prison.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m begging you, please don`t drink and drive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And today, he learned the full extent of what his actions will now cost him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For all intents and purposes, impose a sentence of 6 1/2 years.
PINSKY (on-camera): Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher. And before I break into that story, I want to give you one more tweet. This is from @WhiskeyMD23 (ph). We see his tweets often. "What can we do in a free society and prevent these animals who sold kids from having kids to begin with?" I think that he has an interesting point with that.
PINSKY: All right. Now, off to that video you just saw. My thing, guys, let me introduce the panel first. I`ve got, of course, Loni, Danine, and Judy, and Sam. Now, judge sentences Matthew Cordle to 6 1/2 years in prison, you just saw that, for killing 61-year-old Vincent Canzani. Twenty-two-year-old confessed online to driving under influence. He also received a lifetime driving and a fine.
But here`s the problem I have with this. He`s pleading guilty, and he`s begging people not to drink and drive, but not talking about the solutions to that. In other words, I`m going to keep drinking, just don`t please don`t drink and drive. Danine, you know what I`m saying?
MANETTE: I hear what you`re saying, but I don`t feel that way about it. I have no problem with him having gotten this reduce sentence. I feel like, like I`ve said before, that the judicial system is clogged, that people need to learn how to take accountability for their actions, and that victims need closures. Victims` families need closure.
And if we could encourage people to step up to the plate and take some ownership of their behavior to alleviate all three of those issues that I just brought up, I have no problem with that. I really feel good about this entire situation.
PINSKY: Loni, one second. I want to show you this kid addressing the court today before his sentencing. Take a look and then you respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever my sense may be, there`s no such thing as a fair sentence when it comes to the laws of the life. The true punishment is simply living, living with the knowledge that I took an innocent life, that I irreparably damaged the lives of Vincent`s family and friends, and that pain and weight will never go away.
It should have been me that night and the guilty party, instead of an innocent man. With that knowledge, carrying that weight, I vow that I will do everything I can to prevent the senseless loss of life and prevent more innocent families from experiencing the pain that you are feeling now. I will not let Vincent`s memory fade. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: OK, Loni, your reaction. I have a strong reaction to this kid. But go ahead, Loni. Go ahead.
LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I did, too. And I wanted to point out that he did say that since the night of the accident, he`s not had a drink and that he did go to an alcohol rehab program on his own. So, I think that he`s addressing his drinking issue. I was surprised that the judge did not impose some time of court sanction as far as a drug program or an alcohol program, although it sounds like he`s going to do it anyway.
And I`ll tell you, as far as the sentence, the maximum was 8 1/2 years, but generally, rarely does a person get the maximum on their first- time offense, which apparently this is his first time offense. So, the 6 1/2 years sentence is absolutely reasonable given the circumstances.
PINSKY: All right. My thing, though, is like -- OK, listen, everybody if you got a problem with drinking, deal with it now. It`s a disorder. Get treatment before you do something like this. Once you`ve done something like this, it`s blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah. Let the ax fall, that`s it. Now, he`s responsible to take care of himself at some point.
But, the judge shouldn`t even be listening to this stuff. He shouldn`t (ph) be listening to the stuff that the kid says.
PINSKY: I almost slipped there. Thankfully, I didn`t.
SCHACHER: Hold on really quickly, Loni. Can I say something? Dr. Drew, how many cases have we reported on as of recent where the suspects or the criminal takes zero accountability, demonstrates zero --
SCHACHER: But if you`re going to ess (ph) up, handle it the way he did.
HO: Well, Dr. Drew, you know, going back to what you were -- yes, I`m here, Dr. Drew. Going back to what we were talking about earlier -- can you hear me?
HO: OK. So, just going back to where you were talking about earlier, you know, the public education angle. You`re telling people the problem, don`t drink and drive, but you`re not providing the solution how to get help where you`re giving the public too much credit. They really do need specific steps on how they`re going to address the problem or else they will turn away and ignore the message.
So, you know, this is kind of my problem with it. And I think that the judge should absolutely extended an alcohol contingency for alcohol treatment for him.
PINSKY: There you go. Got to take a break. We`ll be right back.
PINSKY: Back with Samantha Schacher and Danine, Loni, and Judy. The 22-year-old Matthew posted his DUI confession on YouTube was sentenced today to 6 1/2 years in prison. The daughter of the man he killed addressed the court. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA CANZANI, FATHER KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER MATTHEW CORDLE: My father got a death sentence and did nothing wrong. 8 1/2 years is nothing. I`ve heard time and time again about a message, but the message I do not want to send is if you hit and kill someone, all you have to do is admit to it later and get leniency. I hope Matthew Cordel does raise awareness after he does his time and does it sincerely by going to schools, et cetera, not publicly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And deals with his alcoholism. I say hallelujah to Angela. Danine, do you see what I`m saying? I understand what you`re saying, but I think Angela has got the point.
MANETTE: I see what she`s saying. I also know that had he not come out and made this tape, then she would have had to deal with a long-drawn- out trial process or she never would have gotten the conviction at all because no one would have been arrested.
PINSKY: So, Loni, I`m against the clock. Button this up, Loni.
COOMBS: You know what, as a former prosecutor and a mother, I will take a sincere confession anytime, anyplace, anyway. I think it`s good for the confessor and good for the victim.
MANETTE: I agree.
PINSKY: We`re under a clock pressure, guys. "Last Call" is next.
PINSKY: "Last Call" goes to Sam Schacher.
SCHACHER: Her speech was really powerful. She`s very courageous.
PINSKY: I like what she was saying. I tell you what. They got to -- I don`t know. More to be revealed in that case. We`ll be with you next time. Thank you for watching. "After Dark" begins right now.