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Testimony Continues against Martin MacNeill; Teen Accused of Fatally Beating Teacher

Aired October 23, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight we`re hearing a mountain of testimony about the very suspicious behavior this handsome doctor accused of murdering his beautiful beauty queen wife. But guess what? There`s also a mountain of problems with the prosecution. Yes, you`re going to hear it here and only here. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Told me that she died of some kind of heart problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Do you know how to do CPR?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. MacNeill had a secret, a mistress named Gypsy Willis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve learned that she was the nanny and eventually, as everybody could tell, the relationship was more than that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Within weeks of Michele`s death, her clothes were moved out and Gypsy Willis was moved in.

ALEXIS MACNEILL, VICTIM`S DAUGHTER: She looked at me and said, "Alexis if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn`t your father."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she`s the prosecution`s star witness, and she`s about to take center stage. That`s right. We`re going to hear from the defendant`s adult daughter, who claims his -- her cold-blooded dad drowned their mom in the tub.

And we`re also going to hear from the infamous mistress, Gypsy. Who could forget Gypsy, the woman that this guy hired as his kids` nanny just a few days after allegedly murdering his wife?

MacNeill claims, "OH, I found my wife unresponsive in the tub." She was on a slew of pain meds following her facelift. He says, "Oh, she must have OD`d and/or slipped and hit her head."

Prosecutors say Dr. MacNeill is the one who drugged and drowned his wife and then put on a big phony act, pretending to want to keep her alive. But the E.R. doc said MacNeill had to know his wife was already dead, because let`s face it. He`s a doctor. And let`s face it: She had no pulse.


DR. SCOTT VANWAGONER, AMERICAN FORK HOSPITAL E.R. DOCTOR: He made an odd request of me, which I still find to be, in 15 years of practice, completely unusual and really kind of off the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was that request?

VANWAGONER: He offered me $10,000 to continue my resuscitation and not quit.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now just days after his wife`s death, Dr. MacNeill shows up at work, sporting a totally different wedding ring with a different kind of stripe in it. Very suspicious, yes.

But prosecutors have a big problem with this case. Three medical examiners could not agree on how this woman died.

Straight out to the Lion`s Den. And we`re joined by famed forensic scientist, Dr. Larry Kobilinsky.

Here is the problem, OK? I was thinking about this today. How do you tell the difference between a woman who, on her own, took too many meds and passed out in the tub and drowned, and a woman who was given too many meds by her husband who`s a doctor and then passes out in the tub and is drowned by her husband? Is there any way to tell the difference, Dr. Kobilinsky?

DR. LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via phone): The short answer is no. You know, clearly, when you look at the drugs in her system, she had this Lortab syrup, which is basically hydrocodone, an opiate, with acetaminophen, Ambien, Oxycodone, and also Valium. These are all central nervous system depressives. She could very well have overdosed, either voluntarily or involuntarily. And then drowned.

I mean, the fact that she drowned, that can be told in an autopsy. But how those drugs got into her system, that`s another story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a big problem for the prosecution. The first medical examiner said Michele died of natural causes. The second said the cause was undetermined. The third said undetermined. Could have been an accident, could have been a homicide. What the heck?


SUSANNE GUSTIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: While there are some disagreements among the medical examiners in this case, they all three agree on one thing. They agree that Michele`s heart disease was either the cause or the contributing cause to her death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then you throw in heart disease. Brian Silber, criminal defense attorney, this guy`s behavior is beyond suspicious. In your gut you go something is way off here. He`s a bad actor.

But look at the science. You know, this is a man who said, according to prosecutors, who`s told people, "I can get away with murder, but not only am I a doctor, I`m also a lawyer. And I know how to do things." Is he right?

BRIAN SILBER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, Jane, here`s the thing. If you remember the Casey Anthony trial -- and I know you do and everybody does -- when lawyers talk about that case, one of the main things that comes up is the medical examiner`s testimony about how they could not establish the cause of death. And there`s a reason for this. It resonates with juries.

And when you have a conflict of evidence like you do in this case, three different opinions equals not guilty. Because when the prosecution is going to go forward, everyone knows the burden of proof is on them, and they`ve got to get it right. And it`s got to be seamless, and it`s just not that way in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I predict right now the prosecution has big problems. Remember, this is the prosecution`s case. If it doesn`t look like a slam dunk at this point, then you`re in trouble.

And I just really, really remember this idea that he said, this defendant said, according to the prosecution, he told people, "I can get away with it. I`m a doctor. I`m a lawyer. I know how to do these things." He even allegedly, reportedly, said, "I`ve done it before."

All right. Let`s talk about another, another horror in another bathroom. This time a high-school bathroom.

Now, I want you to look at this towering 6-foot-tall 14-year-old boy. That boy is accused of brutally, brutally beating a beautiful, universally- loved teacher at his school, beating her to death. This is a shocker. The school bathroom, the scene of bloody carnage. It`s a crime that has really shaken one Massachusetts town and should be the whole nation to its core.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes me want to cry, honey. It`s terrible. It`s terrible. And he was just a freshman?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could have happened to anybody here. It was awful.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, he`s just a kid, but apparently, a very fed-up judge ruled today Philip Chism`s identity would not be protected, his face would not be protected by any kind of shield.

Look at this beautiful young woman, this victim, Colleen Ritzer, just 24 years old, just ten years older than her alleged killer. She`s -- she was a popular, very popular math teacher, known to stay late and help students who were struggling. Some of those students tell us she was Philip`s teacher.

Now suspicions popped up when Philip missed a soccer team event right around the same time that Colleen failed to arrive home from school. She lives -- she lived with her parents. It`s hard for me to say. I feel like staying in the present tense. But I have to use her name in the past tense.

That`s when cops went to the school, and they made this horrific discovery.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last evening, Danvers police received a report that a Danvers High School teacher had not returned home from work and was not answering her cell phone. As a result of that report, Danvers police initiated a search for the teacher and discovered blood in the second-floor bathroom. The body of Colleen Ritzer, 24, Andover, was located in the woods near Danvers High School.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened in that second-floor bathroom? OK, what allegedly caused Philip to pummel this beloved teacher, beautiful teacher, and then drag her body into the woods right behind the school? What happened? Why did it happen?

HLN contributor Jon Leiberman, what do we know about this 14-year-old suspect?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I`ve got to tell you, he played on the J.V. soccer team. He was the leading scorer on the team. He had recently moved to this school from Tennessee.

But what we also know is that this teacher spent a lot of time working with kids who did have emotional problems, other special needs. So that`s something we don`t know about this 14-year-old yet.

The irony is that, when he didn`t show up for a sporting event and then police tweeted that they were looking for him, his friends that he had actually thought that he had been abducted.

But I got to tell you, Jane, police have statements from this kid about what he allegedly did. I`m hearing it`s, in effect, a confession. They also have surveillance video from inside and outside of the school, according to the police documents. They have a good case against this kid right now, and it`s horrifying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Colleen Ritzer -- It`s horrifying. She was a wonderful teacher. You know how a lot of times kids don`t like their teacher. Everybody loved this woman. People who knew her and her family are trying to make sense of the senseless. How could this happen to a loving, caring woman?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was just a young caring girl that had the whole world ahead of her and to be taken so tragically, it`s awful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A happy girl. I think she brought that to her class.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Philip, seen here in this cop car, was arrested after police found him wandering the streets. This case was solved, if you agree with their arrest, very, very quickly.

Now claims he didn`t show up for soccer practice yesterday at about 4 p.m. and was missing a couple of hours together. Cops put two and two together, and they caught him walking down the street after they found the bloody bathroom and then found this woman`s body in the woods behind the school.

Now court documents show an interview with this 14-year-old and surveillance video led to the arrest.

Look, here`s the thing. Dorothy Lucey, you`re a mother, and you`re a social commentator. This youngster had just arrived from Tennessee about two months ago. Let`s show his picture. That`s the school, but I want to see his picture. He`s 6 feet tall. He`s towering.

Apparently, he fit in well, because he was very involved with athletics, and he did have some friends. We`re going to hear more from some of the classmates.

But you are the mother of a young son. I know 14 is a young age. You`re a kid. This guy is towering. He`s six feet tall. He towers over the other adults in the courtroom. Do you think that could be, in some way, shape or form, a factor that, functionally and physically, he is an adult?

DOROTHY LUCEY, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: You know, Jane, you know my son is 15, and you haven`t seen him in a little while. You wouldn`t believe this, but he`s like a foot taller than both of us at this point.


LUCEY: They`re -- they`re very tall. They`re big. They`re kids, but they`re big kids.

And you know, I don`t know, we don`t know yet what his relationship was with this teacher. But she was getting her master`s in counseling. And boy, do we need counseling in schools? And perhaps she worked with this child.

You know, Jane, it just occurred to me that you said to me years ago that there should be counseling for kids in school. And I think boy, a math teacher, two math teachers in two days killed in this country. It seems like this week it`s open season on teachers.

Last year my son had a math teacher, and when I first met him at back- to-school night, he says to me, "Oh, you know, it`s so boring to say you`re a math teacher. You don`t, you know -- you don`t go up to people at a party and say, `Oh, I`m a math teacher`." But you child doesn`t have a better friend than a coach or a teacher.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is stomach-churning, and you lead me to my rant. What on earth, what in the hell is going on in our schools?

Two days ago a 12-year-old boy with a semi-automatic wiped out a math teacher, as you just heard from Dorothy, and hurt two other students in Nevada. Then he killed himself.

The next day we have this kid on the other side of the country, accused of beating a teacher to death in his school. What is going on in our schools? Why are they becoming battlegrounds?

You can sum up this entire thing with one word: Newtown.

I got to tell you, something is seriously wrong. We need to reexamine what our young boys are learning about what it means to be a man. Age is no excuse. If you`re murdered by a 14-year-old, you`re going to suffer just as much as if you`re murdered by a 50-year-old.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Blair, Texas, your thought about all this. I want to hear. Blair?



CALLER: Jane, thank you so much for taking my call. I just wanted to know what in the world would a 24-year-old teacher, a beloved teacher, would ever do to a 14-year-old boy to have him kill her? That just doesn`t seem real, and it makes me sick to my stomach.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think -- and on the other side of the break, we`re going to analyze it with our panel. It happened quite possibly, because there was blood in the second-floor bathroom of the school, in the bathroom. Now, there`s no unisex bathroom. Either it was a boys` bathroom or a girls` bathroom. Either way, those two people should not have been in the same bathroom. So think about it. What could it have been?

We`re taking your calls. Did she notice that he was doing something in the bathroom and go into his bathroom? Did he follow her into the women`s bathroom, the girls` bathroom? Why were they in the bathroom? Why is there blood in the bathroom? On the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So why would anyone, let alone a student, want to kill her, allegedly dumping her body in the woods behind her own school?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that their sense of security starts to become shattered, you know. And they all just said, "This is Danvers. It`s Danvers. It doesn`t happen here."



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is alleged on 10/23/13, Mr. Philip Chism did assault and beat Colleen Ritzer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found her body in the woods near the school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blood was found in the bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can see reflection in the window of police lights and I could hear the helicopters flying overhead, and I knew something was going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 14-year-old male who had not returned home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was the nicest teacher you could ever, like ever have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 24 years young, a well-liked, beloved teacher.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s take a look at the suspect. There he is. He is six feet tall, and he is 14 years old. Philip Chism accused of murdering that beautiful, very, very, very popular teacher who was ten years older than him, age 24. I want to try to break it down.

Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, let`s review the facts. He misses, according to, a team event at around 4. So that`s right at the end of school. She`s known to stay late and help kids after school, does it on a daily basis, according to those who have been speaking to the media.

There`s blood in the second-floor bathroom. Her body is found in the woods behind the school, and there`s the beating aspect. He allegedly assaulted her and beat her to death. What does that tell you about motive?

KOBILINSKY: Well, you know, you need motive and you need opportunity. And clearly, the opportunity was there, because they were both in the same place. What they were both doing in that restroom is a question. But they were both there. There was clearly a very violent struggle with blood throughout the bathroom. There was clearly, you know, an attack on the victim.

The question that I have is whether she was actually murdered there or was brought out to the woods and murdered there. There`s a lot of information that we don`t have, because the evidence collection team, we just don`t know what the facts are.

But clearly, there is a direct connect from that restroom, that bathroom to the woods. And whether she walked there or was dragged there, or was carried there, there`s a lot that we need to know.

I think the police, after the interrogation, obviously looked at his clothing to look for trace evidence, blood evidence on his body or on his clothing. They need that physical evidence to link him to the murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Dr. Kobi.

Nancy, Pennsylvania, what do you got to say? Nancy, Pennsylvania.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I think, first of all, the way you care about animals is great. And I think we as human beings, from the time we`re little up on up, need to be taught to respect people. We need to learn to take care of each other instead of finding ways to kill or get rid of somebody. And I think the motive in this case was this was a very loving, caring teacher, and maybe he just misinterpreted that as something else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s interesting. Well, you know, I`ve got to go back to Dorothy Lucey. Because you`re the mom of a 15-year-old, and he`s a wonderful, wonderful kind. I`ve known him since he was very tiny.

But in terms of boys...

LUCEY: An hour old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, an hour old.

In terms of boys, first of all, I think our society is sending some bad messages to boys about what it means to be a man. And I think there`s also a problem with puberty when you have perhaps a very young teacher -- she was very young -- and a young man...

LUCEY: And beautiful, gorgeous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And gorgeous. And a young man who looked a lot older than his age and may have been treated by the world as a man, because he is six feet tall and he`s towering above everybody. And it might give him -- this is sheer speculation -- a false sense of "I am a man," even though he`s a boy.

LUCEY: Possibly. But Jane, the teachers that I have known are very careful with their big barriers to these kids, because they understand that a 14-year-old kid is in the middle of crazy, crazy hormones. So that could be one thing.

I hate to even say this, because it`s almost cliche at this point, but Grand Theft Auto, I mean, these kids are playing these games, and to me, it makes me sick to my stomach when I see a 14-year-old play a game like that. But I know the young ones play it, too. I`m telling you, I think they are so screwed up by the time they`re 14 or 15 by some of what is out there for them to see that they shouldn`t see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent. We are conditioning our kids, our boys -- girls don`t really play those games that much. Let`s be real. We all know that. We`re conditioning our boys towards violence. We`ve got to be careful with this. We don`t have the answers.

First after all we can`t convict this young man. We don`t know if he did it. He`s been arrested. Police said they have overwhelming evidence. That`s why they solved the case so quickly. This just happened yesterday. So he deserves his day in court.

But we have an obligation to ask why day after day are boys coming up in the news with these crimes? A 12-year-old boy with a semi-automatic killing his math teacher two days ago. What`s happening? Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was energetic and compassionate. You couldn`t ask for anything more from a teacher or a friend. She cared about every single student and put in many hours after school every day, always thinking about how she could do better and better help students.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s insane. I`m completely shocked. I don`t think Philip would be the type of person to do this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re trying to figure out what on earth -- what on earth is going on with boys, high school, 12, 14, involved, according to police, in horrific, deadly crimes.

This is the school in Massachusetts where this beautiful, popular 24- year-old math teacher, who often stayed late to teach kids who needed help, found dead, blood in the second-floor bathroom. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Rosie, Canada. As we take a look at the suspect in this case. There`s the victim.

CALLER: Hi, how are you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rosie, Canada, your question or thought? Yes, I`m good.

CALLER: Great. I`d like to congratulate you on your fabulous show. I`m a teacher from Canada, and I`m watching what`s going on in the news, and it just breaks my heart. My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

And also, I`d like to make a comment that when someone chooses to become a teacher, it is not a job. It is a vocation. We are -- when we are with a kid, we don`t -- do not just, you know, teach a subject. But a lot of students come with a lot a lot of baggage, and we try to help them and guide them and try and give the good example. And so what happens -- this is happening in the states. And I know that it`s happening all over the world. It just breaks my heart. And I wanted to tell you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, thank you, Rosie. It breaks my heart, too.

Brian Silber, it`s a rage killing. The -- that would seem to be a likely scenario, because she was assaulted and beaten to death, according to what we`re hearing from police reports. It`s a breaking news story, so things may unfold differently, but that`s what we`re hearing now.

Now this young man, this 14-year-old, had just come two months earlier from Tennessee. And the friends describe him as quiet, making friends but not having as many friends as some of the others. He would respond when spoken to, but he wasn`t outgoing, according to one of the students who was just interviewed on CNN. What do you make of it?

SILBER: Jane, this investigation is just getting started. You know, a case doesn`t end with a murder and then an arrest. You know, they need to search her house, search her computers, search her cell phone, search his house, search his computers, search his cell phone, go to Tennessee, interview the neighbors, interview the friends, pull the school records, and find out everything they can about these two people. And once they do, this will all start making sense.

And I`ll tell you what, Jane. Child murderers are different. They`re not like adults. Ninety-five percent of them have a major mental health problem going on. A lot of them are victims of sexual and violent abuse themselves. So there`s a lot more to this story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman. Sorry to -- I want to know why he moved from Tennessee to Massachusetts. I want to know why. I want to know about his family. I want to know about his parents. I want to know if there was trouble in the home. I want to know if Child Protective Services was ever called.

LEIBERMAN: I was just going to say that. One thing law enforcement is doing as we speak is looking into this kid`s background and seeing what his life was like in Tennessee, school records there.

And I do want to point this out, too, Jane. In today`s hearing, the judge ordered that money be released for a mental competency hearing for this kid. My understanding is that`s based on statements that he gave police that raised red flags about his mental competency of course over and above the alleged crime that he`s accused about committing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sick about this. My heart goes out to her family suffering this loss, this beautiful, young woman. Why do they always take the good ones? That`s what somebody said. And I agree. Why? This woman with so much to give, who is so giving, so loving, why her?

On the other side, we`re going to switch gears. How you doing? That`s what Wendy Williams, talk show star, is saying. Who`s she saying it to, and why did she get naked?


WENDY WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST: We take our kids to the zoo. We take our kids to the circus. We take our kids to these places where animals are, and it is educational. I get it. I get it. But there`s something very unnatural about an animal that`s supposed to be in the wild being captive and moved across the country. I mean, they need the ocean.


GABRIELA COWPERTHWAITE, DIRECTOR, "BLACKFISH": I think that they, human beings, develop very strong bonds with the whales. It`s left to be determined whether the whales are in fact bonding back.

They smelled a rat when they heard this spin coming out of SeaWorld after the death. A lot of them just couldn`t really put that past to bed. They couldn`t find closure with having worked at SeaWorld if they didn`t somehow advocate for the whales they feel they left behind. It`s almost a confessional when they spoke in the film.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, little Rico. I spoke with the director of the highly-anticipated and extremely controversial new movie "BLACKFISH" about former SeaWorld trainers who appeared in her film, reacting to the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau.

SeaWorld disputes what "BLACKFISH" says about its trainers and trainees saying quote, "The film fails to mention SeaWorld`s commitments to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of its animals as demonstrated by the company`s continual refinement and improvement to its killer whale facilities, equipment and procedures both before and after the death of Dawn Brancheau."

Mark your calendar for the premier of "BLACKFISH" on CNN this Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Check out this clip.


HOWARD GARRETT, ORCA RESEARCHER: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They live in these big families and they have life spans very similar to human life spans. The females can live to about 100, maybe more; males to about 50 or 60. But the adult offspring never leave their mother`s side.

Each community has a completely different set of behaviors. Each has a complete repertoire of vocalizations with no overlap. You can call them languages. The scientific community is reluctant to say any other animal but humans use languages but there`s every indication that they use languages.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The movie talks about killer whales in captivity. But there are so many different animals living in confinement. No secret here -- Rico knows this -- I`m an animal rights advocate. And let me tell you there are lots of us out there. I talked to celebrities like TV star Wendy Williams about why she is standing up for animals and how her views are evolving.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are here with Wendy Williams who is one of the people who pops up on Google when you talk about famous animal lovers.


WENDY WILLIAMS, TV PERSONALITY: There is a sexy way to suggest to people to rethink the fur and I like it and I`m down. I would rather go naked than wear fur.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question. Can you describe your evolution? Here you have this incredible "I`d rather go naked than wear fur", and you look stunning by the way.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. How did you get there?

WILLIAMS: Well I was asked by PETA. I hadn`t worn fur in a few years. I admitted it when they asked me. We were purchasers of fur. There are certain pictures of me all over the Internet in fur. But, you know, as you get older, as you get wiser, as you get more thoughtful about the world around you and how you want it to be that was one of my choices not to slough (ph) my body in a fur.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now do you see any kind of parallels in terms of your evolution of thought with the evolution of how we interact with wild animals as a species?

WILLIAMS: You can`t have wild animals in captivity. They have to be wild. That`s why their first name is wild.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you become an animal lover?

WILLIAMS: I have always loved animals. We don`t have any. My husband, son and I -- my husband`s terribly allergic. But I grew up with rabbits and dogs and you know, I have a healthy respect for animals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s how you define it, a respect for animals?

WILLIAMS: Yes. You know, I`m not a purist but I respect animals, you know. Animals are, I think they`re better in the wild than they are in captivity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. This was wonderful.

WILLIAMS: Thanks, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are fabulous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the big controversies in the movie is the fight over how much space killer whales really need. Take a look at this video of orcas in the wild chasing a boat.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where should we look? They`re everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it just waved its tail.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15? You count 15? All right.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This video shows really how fast orcas are, how far they can go. The movie "BLACKFISH" claims killer whales can travel up to 100 miles a day but SeaWorld says, quote, "Swimming that distance is not integral to a whale`s health and well-being. It`s likely foraging behavior. Given the challenges of finding and killing as much as 300 pounds of prey everyday, killer whales of the wild like any species conserve energy and move only as much as necessary. Killer whales living in our parks are given all the food they require," end quote.

We reached out to SeaWorld as well as these other organizations seeking to get the other side. All declined to offer a guest to appear on camera to defend animal theme parks, zoos and aquariums.

Straight out to neuroscientist, Lori Marino, who appeared in "BLACKFISH" -- what do you think orcas need for space?

LORI MARINO, NEUROSCIENTIST: They need a lot of space. And thank you for having me Jane. Orcas need a tremendous amount of space.

SeaWorld is absolutely incorrect in their assumption that orcas would rather rest than travel. No, they would rather travel and by confining them to a tank, you`re forcing them to rest and that is torture for them. That is not something that they want.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, some people, including a former head trainer at SeaWorld say that since the whales are breeding in captivity that means they must be fine. Listen to what he said on "LARRY KING LIVE".


THAD LACINAK, FORMER HEAD TRAINER AT SEAWORLD ORLANDO: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People with emotions that try to put human emotions to these animals are going to say yes, they`re pining for the wild. These animals are worried about and all they worry about is if their needs are being met. And their needs are being met at these facilities.

One way you can tell that is because they breed and they propagate in captivity. And SeaWorld has had over 20 killer whales born at SeaWorld parks and successfully. That is one of the ways in which you can tell that everything is fine with the animals.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lori as a neuroscientist who has studied whales, do you agree with that claim?

MARINO: Absolutely not, it`s ridiculous. The fact is most orcas in captivity are born through artificial insemination. That has nothing to do with their welfare. So it`s a completely misguided and misconceived idea.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lori Marino, neuroscientist, I want to thank you for joining us and lending your expertise.

MARINO: Thank you.


JORJA FOX, ACTRESS: I start with the carcass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the other passenger sees you.

FOX: Jane or John Doe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tries to overpower you.

FOX: And struggle with a gun.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: When she`s not hunting for human killers on "CSI", TV star Jorja Fox is trying to save animals in captivity. You`re going to see how she`s helping to free lions in captivity next.


FOX: These animals live really long lives, some of them. And if they`re lucky they live shorter lives because a life in captivity for a wild marine mammal is a life of suffering and misery and loneliness and goes against ever innate desire that they have.




COWPERTHWAITE: I didn`t understand why an intelligent animal would have made the decision to bite the hand that feeds it, basically. So I started peeling back the onion and was shocked by what I learned.

I was profoundly affected and shocked by the fact that the whales fight with one another all the time. But in the wild someone can flee, right? In captivity, nobody gets to leave.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it`s kind of like detective work. This sounds like a thriller. And a lot of people have described your movie as a thriller.

COWPERTHWAITE: You know with each new truth that I found out, there was another shocking revelation just sitting right behind it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, little Rico, that`s the director of the highly controversial new film "BLACKFISH". It premieres tomorrow night on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. SeaWorld says it distorts what it does.

"CSI" star Jorja Fox plays a determined crime scene investigator who won`t let anything stand in her pursuit of the truth. When she`s off the set she`s just as determined to free animals from captivity. I talked to Jorja why she thinks this premier is a giant step for all animals in captivity.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jorja Fox, you play Sarah Seidel on "CSI". And you do such a great job of investigating. And this movie "BLACKFISH", the director describes it as an investigation into what lies below the surface. Do you relate to that?

FOX: Absolutely. I`m so very thrilled that this documentary is out there and that it`s going to be televised. I think this is an issue that people are really going to respond to in a powerful, powerful way. And it`s a story who`s time has come.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So when SeaWorld says we`re the leaders in animal husbandry. We`re breeding these orcas in captivity, is that a good thing or a bad thing in your opinion.

FOX: It`s a bad thing in my opinion and it`s a pointless thing in my opinion -- absolutely pointless. These animals live really long lives, some of them. And if they`re lucky they live shorter lives because a life in captivity for a wild marine mammal is a life of suffering and misery and loneliness and goes against every innate desire that they have.


GARRETT: They`ve had aircraft. They had spotters. They had speedboats. They had bombs they were throwing in the water. But the orcas had been caught before and they knew what was going on.


FOX: A good number of these captive orcas and killer whales were rounded up at a certain time in history. We have watched these pods in the wild for many years. We know where most of these orcas and most of these killer whales -- we know where their families are. We know where their pods are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you endorse what Russell Simmons suggested, either change it radically to eliminate the performance of the orcas or shut down?

FOX: Yes. I think the future that we`re looking at if these animals can`t be released into the wild then we can do much better by them. I`m talking about sanctuaries. I`m talking about ecological preserves and marine preserves where these animals can live out their lives in somewhat more of a normal way.

My first and foremost idea would be let`s re-release as many of these animals as we can into the wild and let`s take the risk and see what happens.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tomorrow we`re going to tell you why "Real Housewives of Miami" Adrianna deMora (ph) went naked for PETA to showcase what she called the plight of orcas in captivity.


ADRIANNA DEMORA, REALITY TV STAR: So I kind of took my clothes off. Not kind of, like did it. I just couldn`t get out of it. I couldn`t wait to get out of that tub, you know, after just three -- you know, less than three hours in the tub. It`s sometimes people think there`s a romance to it of being in the tub. But try to live in it for a long time and it`s not comfortable at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And remember to wash "BLACKFISH" must see premiere tomorrow night on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Mark your calendars.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you look into their eyes, somebody is looking back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A whale has eaten one of its --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They blamed her.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to

Jazzy -- let`s go to a jazz club together. Zoey and Frankie -- I`m saluting you guys. Oh my gosh. And Happy -- I know that`s a veggie frank you got there. Oh, yes it is. And Charlie -- what can I say? An Oscar- worthy performance, my dear.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news inspires my rant tonight. You remember the case of Maria, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl who was plucked from her Roma or gypsy family in Greece because she didn`t look anything like her so-called parents. Turns out cops might have been right in that case but I warned everybody at the time about this concept of picking up kids who don`t look like their parents and said it was dangerous.

Lo and behold we`re hearing about that danger tonight as if egged on by the case of mystery Maria, police in Ireland took a child from a family because she didn`t look like the parents but then DNA tests just confirmed today that the child is, in fact, theirs. Imagine their shame, the humiliation, the rage. It`s profiling and it`s offensive. It`s also a very dangerous road we go down.

We don`t live in a society where people look like clones of their parents anymore. I hope this raises awareness about the dangers of this kind of parental profiling. I hope that family in Ireland wins millions of dollars from those responsible. It`s insane to think your daughter or son could be taken away without a moment`s because they don`t look like you.

Who says you have to look like your parents. In this day and age, people come from completely different racial backgrounds and ethnic backgrounds and they get together and have kids together. Many others are adopting children.

Investigators in Greece I applaud them for finding little Maria. I hope she`s returned to her rightful home very soon. But there`s a bigger lesson to be learned here tonight -- be cautious. Just because a family might look different doesn`t mean there`s anything wrong.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for desert. How about a slice of happiness?

You`ve heard of "Puff the Magic Dragon", how about "Pluff the loggerhead turtle" who is enjoying his life back in the wild after being nursed back to health at a turtle hospital. Pluff was found stuck in the mud in the South Carolina marsh. He made a full recovery and he`s back in the ocean where he belongs.

Oh, wow, look at all those folks lining up to see him released back into the ocean. Good luck Pluff. We`re rooting for you.

Coming up on Nancy Grace, shocking -- I mean shocking testimony in the facelift murder trial. Tomorrow we just might hear from the defendant Dr. Martin MacNeill`s daughters. They are leading the charge to convict their father. They are the ones who said you got to do something because this guy did it even though the first medical examiner said no, his wife died of natural causes. Nothing to see here.

So they have been crusading for this. But I think there`s a big problem with this prosecution, because this guy is very, very, very clever and he`s a doctor and he`s a lawyer.

Nancy Grace is all on top of it. She`s up next with the latest on Dr. Martin MacNeill.