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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Tormented Daughter Testifies Against Dad

Aired October 24, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight hell hath no fury like a daughter betrayed. Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live with blockbuster -- and I mean blockbuster -- bombshell testimony from this daughter, the defendant, who is clearly convinced her dad murdered her mom and is furious and devastated over it.

You know, I actually thought prosecutors were losing this case. That they would never be able to prove this handsome, successful Dr. Martin MacNeill drowned his beautiful wife after forcing her to get a facelift and then plying her with sedatives.

And then all a sudden, the defendant`s daughter, Rachel -- you`re looking at her right there -- takes the stand and, sobbing, choking back tears to the point where she had to stop at one point because she was so devastated, delivers blow after blow after blow to her dad`s defense.

She says from the very moment her mom died, her dad did one incredibly suspicious and incriminating thing after another, and then forced his mistress into the family home, pretending she was the nanny.

Daughter Rachel was so emotional, she had to take a break at one point. She was barely able to answer the questions on the stand. But she did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MACNEILL, VICTIM`S DAUGHTER: My mother just died, and I just - - just showing to me and talking about the autopsy, it was so -- it was horrible. I don`t -- I didn`t want to know that my mom was dead, and I was concerned about all my family.

I just went to hug him and comfort him. And he said, "Rachel, come home." He hung up on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you recognize what those are?

R. MACNEILL: My mother`s.

It was a big bloody mess. It was all of these things are just thrown in the garage and told me, "How dare you show me those things? Get rid of them." I washed them. I washed my mother`s things, put them in a bag, and kept them.

Growing up, my father was my best friend. Just very, very close.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL Very close to your dad?

R. MACNEILL: I was close to my dad, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my God. That poor woman. Imagine. Your dad`s on trial for killing your mother. Talk about being conflicted.

And then she`s crying as she says, "Oh, he told me to wash the bloody clothes," so she follows her dad`s orders. Of course, she`s thinking, "I`m feeling guilt, because I might have destroyed evidence that the prosecution could have used, but I did what my dad said. I washed the bloody clothes because he told me to. He used to be my best friend."

Now the defense says there was no murder here. Michele died of a heart problem. End of story.

But Rachel, Rachel, through her sobs, was very courageous. And she painted a portrait of a man who can`t wait to get rid of his wife`s stuff, dumping her wet, bloody clothing in a heap in the garage along with his wife`s most cherished mementos, a bloody mess Rachel discovers to her horror, and then she does the laundry.

What do you think about this daughter`s testimony? I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Oh my gosh. Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Jon Leiberman, HLN contributor, you`ve been tracking this case from the start. What a difference one witness can make to a case. I thought this prosecution was circling the drain of the tub. But then the defendant`s daughter may have put the nail in the coffin for dear old defendant dad. Wow.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR (via phone): I got to tell you, Jane, you know, this is the heart of the prosecution`s case. I thought Rachel came off as real. I thought she came off as raw, obviously emotional. And I actually think that the key to her testimony today was the part about how her father was her best friend growing up. She didn`t have a bone to pick with this man up until this alleged murder. She loved her father. They spent a lot of time together. And then she, in effect, lost both parents at the time that her mother died.

I think by setting up that foundation, that makes her testimony that much more credible with this jury. Not to mention the part that she testified today that nearly from the moment her mother died, her father kept talking about autopsy and kept throwing out theories of how his wife might have died. Probably hit her head.

And all of these things are absolutely bizarre behavior, and when taken in their entirety in this case, I do think...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you`re -- Jon, you are so right. The dad, the defendant, starts putting on a defense case from the moment his wife is found dead, saying, you know, "We`ve got to get a police investigation here, because I want to make sure nobody accuses me of murder."

And this girl says, "Dad, why would anybody accuse you of murder?" Doth protest too loudly. Shakespeare said it in reference to a lady. But I say, doctor doth protest too loudly.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Deborah, Texas. What do you got to say about this daughter`s dynamic testimony? Deborah?

CALLER: Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Hey, Jane. How are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good.

CALLER: Listen, I have a comment. And it`s a very strong comment, and I hope you understand what I`m saying this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure.

CALLER: I was just livid when I saw the defense attack poor Rachel on her mental illness.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

CALLER: And this is going to backfire on them big time. Because if anyone, anyone on that jury has mental illness or bipolar or a family member with that, they are going to be disgusted by today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you!

CALLER: Really?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If this were -- yes, I agree with you! Look at her. She`s sobbing. Her life has been destroyed.

She was a dental assistant when this horror descended on her. She had to quit her job, because her dad said, "I`m going to hire a nanny."

She goes, "No, I`m" -- she`s a good hearted person. And, you know, then to attack her mental health, I`d be pretty darn crazy, too, if I spent years thinking my dad murdered my mom. That`s enough to drive you bonkers.

But the defense wasted little time trying to attack this woman`s credibility by going after her mental state. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you`ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

R. MACNEILL: Have I been diagnosed in my life with a mental illness? I have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just a question. Have you ever had delusions or psychosis?

R. MACNEILL: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`ve been diagnosed bipolar?

R. MACNEILL: Have I in my lifetime been diagnosed as bipolar? Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with the caller. Deborah from Texas said it`s outrageous that they then start attacking this witness. It`s really akin to attacking the victim, because she is another victim of this horror, essentially. What prosecutors say is a cold-blooded plot to get rid of a 50-year-old wife so we can bring in the mistress and call her the nanny. Unbelievable stuff.

And I want to go to Rolonda Watts, host of "Sundays with Rolonda" on Blog Talk Radio.

Rolonda, let`s try to put ourselves in the shoes of this young woman. She was 27, six years ago, when she`s a dental assistant, and all of a sudden she gets a call, "Oh, mom is dead." And dad starts immediately acting very suspicious, and she ultimately comes to the conclusion, as did prosecutors, that dad murdered her mom to get that woman out of the way so he could bring in the mistress with whom he was obsessed. So imagine the conflict.

By the way, she`s sobbing, but dad, he doesn`t shed a tear. The most you get out of him is a little bit of a like this. He`s taking notes. He acts like the doctor he is. Cold, cold, cold. Rolonda.

ROLONDA WATTS, HOST, BLOG TALK RADIO`S "SUNDAYS WITH ROLONDA": You know what, Jane, my heart goes out so much. Can you imagine being on the stand testifying against your own father about the death of your own mother? Those things are just unimaginable.

But it has to give some kind of credibility and gravitas to the fact that their own children are bringing up this type of extreme and dire supposition.

You know, I also was very intrigued by the fact that the autopsy report showed that she had so many different kinds of different drugs inside of her. Not to a toxic level. But definitely to a, in my mind, I guess as a journalist, I would ask why was she taking those? Were they mood-enhancing drugs? Was there something going on? I mean, anything that happens in this type of magnitude in any situation deserves a breakdown. Peeling it back layer by layer. Why was she on these mood-enhancing drugs? Was this Dixie affair really that -- that so -- that so...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, Rolonda. You raised -- you raised some very important points, and the reason that she was chock full of sedatives and painkillers is because hubby, Dr. MacNeill, insisted, according to prosecution, that she get a facelift, even though she had high blood pressure and one doctor said don`t do it, and then insisted to the plastic surgeon, "I`m a doctor. I want her to have all these painkillers and sedatives" and laid out what he felt that she should have.

And so, Dr. Kobilinsky, forensic scientist, the famed forensic scientist, you have her in the tub with all of these sedatives and painkillers in her system. And here`s the problem. There were three forensic experts for the prosecution that couldn`t reach the conclusion 100 percent that it was homicide. And why? Because it`s really not that much difference between somebody taking pills on their own and then being drowned, as opposed to somebody being told, "Here, honey, take these pills. I`m a doctor. Do what I say." And then when she`s in the tub out of it, putting her underwater.

How do you prove the difference between accidental drowning and murder drowning?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via phone): It`s actually, I would say, impossible.

You know, all of these drugs that were found in her body -- these are Nortab syrup, the Ambien, the Oxycodone and the Valium -- all affect the central nervous system and caused a depression of cardiac function, respiratory function. It would have substantially weakened her.

And finding her in a bathtub, I guess the important issue is was she face up or face down? Because one could argue that, as a result of the drug effects on her, on her mental state, she could have fallen in and drowned. In that case, she would be head -- head facing down. Facing downward.

On the other hand, if there was something nefarious going on, perhaps they would have found her face up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Kobilinsky, I want to -- I want to pause for one second. Because you raised such an important point. Did the doctor stage his wife`s body in the tub area to make it look like she had hit her head and fallen face down in the tub in an accidental death?

Well, today his adult daughter demonstrated how her dad was hell-bent on doing a demo for her and other family members, as if he was arguing the case for accidental death before anybody had even suspected that there was anything more than an accident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MACNEILL: I was standing at the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

R. MACNEILL: He went like this. He said he found her with her leg sticking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Did he describe, was she face down?

R. MACNEILL: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now let me show you this. On the left is how the defendant, Dr. MacNeill, described finding his wife. Looks like kind of, "Oh, I tripped and had an accident." Face down, head in the water.

On the right is the account from other witnesses, including his 6- year-old -- then 6-year-old daughter Ada who was -- she said mommy was face up and out of the water and she found her first. OK, so little Ada comes in first. And that is absolutely crucial. I want to put that up again. Let`s put that, if we can, that two shot there. Because the whole issue that`s going to be decided tomorrow is little Ada is now 12. Will she be able to testify that, "Oh, look, I found mommy face up." The implications are that daddy moved the body and then said, no, we found her in this position, which would lean more toward an accident, face down. And also little girl says she`s got clothes on. Daddy says she`s naked.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Debbie in New York. What do you have to say about this adult daughter`s devastating testimony?

CALLER: I agree with you 100 percent, Jane. Her testimony was riveting. Believable, heart-wrenching. I was at the edge of the couch. And when the defense attorney said, "You have a mental illness," I almost jumped through the TV. I wanted to choke that woman. How dare they? And I wanted to know -- I thought that -- that`s not admissible in court. I thought that was privileged information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you would think so. Especially since these adult daughters aren`t allowed to say the nastiest information they have about Daddy. No, that`s been kept out by the judge, who ruled that, for example, Alexis can`t say that Mommy said to her, "Hey, if anything happens to me, make sure Dad didn`t do it."

All right. We`re going to take a short break. More of this riveting testimony. We have the most dramatic moments from Rachel MacNeill, who confronted her father. Imagine how hard that is. He used to be her best friend when she was a kid. But then she grew up and found out Daddy wasn`t the person he said he was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MACNEILL: Growing up, my father was my best friend. Just very close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very close to your dad?

R. MACNEILL: I was close to my dad, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is your wife breathing?

MARTIN MACNEILL, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER (via phone): She is not. I have CPR in progress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a man that masqueraded as a loving father.

R. MACNEILL: He specifically said to me that he was concerned that there would be a police investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was glad the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) was dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine how hard it is for an adult daughter to confront her dad, who used to be her best friend until she came to the conclusion that he murdered her mom to get her out of the way so he could be with his mistress. Rachel MacNeill very courageous, choking back tears but sobbing openly, as she testified that -- about the bloody mess she saw in the garage. Her mom`s wet clothing, mementos, sheets, everything, dumped in the garage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MACNEILL: There was a bed my mother had after she had gotten the surgery done. And there was nothing that was in the room. Everything was in the garage. Her little stuffed animals and that my sisters had given her, towels, a lot of sheets. There was a running suit of my mother`s and garments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mentioned some stuffed animals.

R. MACNEILL: It was just a pile of -- everything was just thrown -- it was a big bloody mess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine that. Rolonda Watts, host of "Sundays with Rolonda" on Blog Talk Radio, she`s literally not even cold to the touch, and the doctor has already taken his -- all his wife`s stuff, not only her wet, bloody clothing, but her precious mementos and everything and tossed them, including her bed, into the garage. What does that tell you about how he feels about his wife?

WATTS: It sounds to me just personally like get rid of this and get rid of it quick. The whole thing. Because I don`t know many people honestly, Jane, and this is just my opinion. I don`t -- I just lost my father a year ago. And I know what families go through when they lose somebody. And I don`t think it`s throwing their stuff out immediately. It`s like a moment of shock for a moment there.

That also -- not only what the daughter`s accounts are of some very peculiar behavior, which I`m sure has brought to this case before with such conflicting evidence. But also, the authorities reporting right there at the scene that he was short-tempered and belligerent. These are quotes. Hysterical. Cursing his wife for having had a recent facelift. I`m not sure in human nature if that`s natural.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Of course.

WATTS: The question is, is that the way this person discerns mourning. I`m not sure. It sounds peculiar to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t believe it. Listen. On the other side I want to ask Dr. Kobi about the blood. Because first I was like, why is there blood? He drowned her.

But then you have to take into account, she just had a facelift just over a week earlier. That is disgusting. The idea that he pressures his wife to have a facelift and then, while she`s still stitched up -- I can`t even imagine it.

Let`s go to a short break. We`ll be right back. And we`ve got your calls, as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MACNEILL: I asked, "What`s wrong? What`s wrong? Is Mom OK?"

And he said, "Rachel come home." He hung up on me. He wouldn`t tell me anymore. I called him back. I called Alexis, then. And Alexis said that she was home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got home from school and I went to go look for my mom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember the last time you saw your mom?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she was in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is in the bathtub?

M. MACNEILL: My wife!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Do not hang up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The daughter of the victim and the defendant, Rachel MacNeill, testified today how sickening it was to hear her father, who was on trial for murdering his wife, her mom, joke about being back in the dating game. And this was very soon after her mother`s death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MACNEILL: He was making jokes about being single and just laughing, and it made me sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, famed forensic scientist, think about how bloody and violent this crime is, if prosecutors are right, OK. He pressures his wife to get a facelift. Eight days later, when he`s her sedated, allegedly, he drowns her.

So her face has got to be this big. Really big. She`s got to have cuts and stitches all over the face. First, I was wondering, where`s the blood from if he drowned her, and then I realized, oh my God, it`s from the blood seeping out of the stitches that he`s probably ripped open when he`s drowning her, allegedly, Dr. Kobi.

KOBILINSKY: Yes, Jane. I think you`re right. It`s just diabolical, if the prosecutor is correct. The head, the face is very highly vascularized. And after a week, the incisions were not completely healed. And they apparently opened up. And that would explain blood on the clothing. That`s the only explanation.

If there were any other kind of trauma to the body, the autopsy would have picked that up. But hearing nothing like that, it`s clearly coming from the facelift surgery.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s gross. It`s beyond gross. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Lee, Ohio. What do you have to say about this?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I love your show. I want to make a point. Listen, at the time he found her in the tub, when he found her in the tub, that does happen. It happens to me. I have tried to reach for the soap, and I actually have fallen towards the tub, and I would have broken my neck had it not been a rail bracing me up. Now the shampoo and the conditioner they found in the tub, it`s possible. Because when I did it, everything fell down from the rail where you -- you know, the hub where you keep your soap and your wash cloth and all that stuff. It is possible.

I don`t believe he staged that. Had he done that, that`s the way he found her in that position. And his daughter saw her in a different position. He panicked when he saw her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, OK. I respect lee, we have to say, but look, I think this came up during the Drew Peterson case when he wife -- there`s been so many wives who -- who died mysteriously in tubs. And when is the last time you ever heard of somebody dying because they slipped in a tub? Think about it? You know anybody?

I`ve heard of people I know that have died in car accidents, got hit by cars crossing the street, never known anybody who`s died by slipping in the tub. It`s a slippery tub and a slippery case. And a very slippery defense.

We`ll be right back with more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MACNEILL: There was a bed that my mother had after she had gotten her surgery done, and there was nothing that was in the room. Everything was in the garage. The little stuffed animals and my sister`s towels and a lot of sheets. Stuffed animals. There was a running suit of my mother`s and garments. It was just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mentioned some stuffed animals.

R. MACNEILL: It was just a big pile of -- everything was just thrown.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MACNEILL, VICTIM`S DAUGHTER: She approached us. She said, "Oh, I`m so sorry for your loss. I was at the funeral." My father said, "Oh, thank you. What`s your name? I`m sorry." She said, "Oh my name is Jillian. She started talking about nursing school." I said, "Oh. That`s wonderful. We should get that information. Can I get your phone number?" My dad said, "Oh, she seems really nice. What`s her name again?" I said "Jillian, dad."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is an extraordinary moment where this woman describes how just a few days after her mother dies in the tub, dad takes them to a Mormon temple and says let`s get a nanny. Let`s pray about this. And all of a sudden this woman mysteriously shows up, Gypsy. I think we have some video of her, and she`s the mistress. But dad pretends like he doesn`t know her. Dad says, "Oh, who is this lady?"

There`s the mistress, Gypsy -- also known Jillian. And Jillian is trying to make friends with Rachel. And Rachel doesn`t want to talk to her. "My mom just died. Please, leave me alone, lady." Dad says, "Oh, she seems nice." Then a couple of days later, guess what, she`s suddenly the new nanny.

Now her dad`s mistress is brought into the home as the nanny of the children. And of course Rachel recoiled in disgust. Ok, the doctor moved Gypsy into the family`s home just a couple of weeks after Michele, his wife, died. And this is a nanny who did not do any nanny type work, if you know what I mean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did at some point you become aware that the relationship between your father and Gypsy Willis was something more than a nanny.

MACNEILL: Yes, it just was just obvious. She`s goo eyes at my dad. And wasn`t doing anything a nanny would do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something -- that woman who had the courage to testify against her father, real tears. Remember Jodi Arias? Couldn`t see the actual tears. You saw a lot of crying, but you didn`t see the tears.

Well, the difference between fake emotion and real emotion, this lady had real tears. We could all tell, viscerally that she was really devastated.

On the other side, a totally different -- well, you just have to wait and see. "Real Housewives of Miami" -- you will not believe what`s going on now. And I can tell you it involves nudity. That`s all I can tell you -- nudity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t like brunettes?

You were trying to hit on him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got it all wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your crazy video of the day. This just in -- stick figures have come to life. This is not some movie special effects. Actually, what this is, is a 22-month-old getting ready for Halloween. But this has gone viral. A California man made the suit out of LED lights and Velcro for his 22-month-old daughter. Wild -- wild. Just crazy. Kids.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GABRIELA COWPERTHWAITE, DIRECTOR, "BLACKFISH": It`s a very tragic story. It`s about a trainer death.

When I heard about the death of top trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, I couldn`t believe that that could happen. I couldn`t understand why an intelligent animal would have made the decision to bite the hand that feed it, basically. So I started peeling back the onion, and was shocked by what I learned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, little Rico. I spoke with the director of the controversial new movie "BLACKFISH" which is sparking huge debates. The movie is being described as a thriller that goes back in time to find out why Tilikum the whale killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau three years ago. The film makes the case that these massive orcas go stir-crazy in these enclosures and should not be kept in captivity.

SeaWorld disagrees, claiming the film exploits Dawn`s tragic death to promote its bias. It`s a hot debate. You can watch "BLACKFISH" on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. Don`t miss it. Here`s a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN CROWE, DIVER: It was a really exciting thing to do until everybody wanted to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What were they telling you, you were going to do?

CROWE: Capture orcas.

HOWARD GARRETT, ORCA RESEARCHER: They`ve had aircraft. They had spotters. They had speed boats. They had bombs they were throwing in the water. They were lighting their bombs with acetylene torches in their boats and throwing them as fast as they could to herd the whales into coves.

But the orcas had been caught before, and they knew what was going on, and they knew their young ones would be taken from them. So the adults without young went east into a cul-de-sac, and the boats followed them thinking they were all going that way, while the mothers with babies went north, but the capture teams had aircraft. And they have to come up for air eventually, and when they did the capture teams alerted the boats and said, oh, no, they`re going north, the ones with babies.

So the boats -- the speedboats caught them there and herded them in. And then they had fishing boats with nets that they would stretch across so none could leave and then they could just pick out the young ones.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: SeaWorld responds that killer whales, quote, "adapt very well to life in a zoological setting. The overwhelming majority of killer whales in our parks were born in the care of man," end quote.

Now what`s extraordinary about this goes way beyond this particular animal or even this particular film. It`s really that we have come to a point as a culture where animal issues are being taken very seriously. It`s no secret that I`m an animal rights advocate, but many people are saying that this movie marks a real turning point, and that this is a very important dialogue.

Here is the director of "BLACKFISH".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COWPERTHWAITE: This industry that promotes animals entertaining us and doing goofy tricks because we can`t think that maybe it might be better to just behold them at a distance, realizing that we can`t own and we can`t take things and we can`t master them and make things perform for us and that it actually does more harm for the animal than good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: 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 cameras to defend animal theme parks, zoos and/or aquariums.

Straight out to Peter Singer, Princeton University, professor of Bio- ethics, and the author of the groundbreaking book "animal Liberation: the definitive classic of the animal movement".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Advocates for the aquarium say they`re prepared and trained to handle the animals and that the benefits for the visitors are priceless. Listen to Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

KEN RAMIREZ, EVP OF ANIMAL CARE ND TRAINING AT SHEDD AQUARIUM IN CHICAGO: I think there`s no question that caring for a large animal like a killer whale is a difficult proposition. It requires a certain level of expertise. And that`s something that I think SeaWorld does possess. So I do believe that a well-run accredited zoological organization can do a great job of caring for these animals.

And most importantly I think what we are able to do is connect our guests and our visitors to these animals and inspire them to care. Inspire them to make a difference about the conservation needs and environmental issues that these animals face in the wild. And that`s what zoos and aquariums -- good aquariums do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: SeaWorld says "BLACKFISH" quote, "paints a distorted picture that withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld. Among them, SeaWorld is one of the most respected zoological institutions. That SeaWorld rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild hundreds of wild animals every year and that SeaWorld commits millions of dollars annually to conservation and scientific research.

Peter Singer, that`s what SeaWorld says. My question to you is if they do all that work, which they say they do, does that then allow them to use orcas, keep them in captivity, train them and use them in performances.

PETER SINGER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: No. I don`t think that you can take animals and give them lives that are clearly miserable lives compared to what they would have had in the ocean and say we`re paying for this because we`re restoring some other animals to the wild. If you want to set up an animal rescue organization or an animal charity that`s raising money from people to return animals to the wild that might be in captivity, that`s great. But I don`t think you can just take animals and use them to entertain people, make money off that and then say well it`s ok because of what we`re doing with a small part of this money. That doesn`t justify the wrong that they`ve done to the animals in the first place.

Do you think that if animals had certain rights, if animals were not, for example, considered property, that there would be a complete sea change in how animals would exist in this world and the amount of suffering or the lack of suffering that they would experience?

SINGER: Well, clearly we think of animals as just things for us to use. And as you say we think of them as items of property. And I think that`s wrong. I think we should regard animals as beings that have lives of their own to live and just as we no longer accept the idea of property in other human beings -- but we used to do that, of course, during the slavery era -- I think we should say animals also have lives of their own to live.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never said that. She didn`t do maliciously. I`m having different people come to me and say she`s so annoying. She doesn`t know her place. She`s such a wannabe.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, why "Real Housewives of Miami" star Adrianna De Moura got naked and sat in a tub and how that relates to the controversy over orcas in captivity.

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ADRIANNA DE MOURA, REALITY TV STAR: And so I kind of took my clothes off. Like I 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 -- less than three hours in the tub.

It`s -- sometimes people think there`s a romance to it "I`ll be in the tub". But try to live in it for a long time. And it is not comfortable at all.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane. Tobi and Harley -- I would like to go on a ride with you guys. Lenny and Nittany -- what are you doing? Izzy -- you are so cute. You say I don`t have to do anything. I just am. I`m Izzy. Don`t you know that? And Balashar and Simba -- Balashar, you`ve come so far. And I am glad you brought Simba with you. What a pair.

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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 was 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.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey little Rico, I spoke to the director of the highly controversial new movie "BLACKFISH". The movie premieres in just over an hour on CNN, starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. SeaWorld has denounced the movie, saying it distorts the truth.

"Real Housewives of Miami star, Adrianna De Moura, is so passionate about this issue, she got naked and sat in a tub as part of a PETA campaign to free all orcas from captivity in theme parks around the world.

She has made a splash on that TV show and now she`s making a splash for animals.

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DE MOURA: Always -- I`ve always been an animal lover. I grew up around animals in my household. And the minute my son was born, I got him a dog. Yes, I believe that animals have -- having animals around just makes us more human.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have probably done something more dramatic to talk about the issue of orcas and other whales in captivity than anybody else in the world.

DE MOURA: So I kind of took my clothes off. Like I did it.

I`m the face of the newest PETA campaign which is to create awareness of the horrible situation we have in the United States right now, with whales in captivity.

It was actually very uncomfortable. Because I was -- I actually had to spend about two to three hours in the tub to do all the photos necessary, and I just couldn`t wait to get out of -- I couldn`t wait to get out of that tub, you know, after just three -- two, you know, less than three hours in the tub.

Sometimes people think there`s a romance to it -- being in a tub is fine, yes but try to live in it for a long time. It`s not comfortable at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What lesson did you learn from getting in the tub as it relates to whales?

DE MOURA: I actually travelled to the Puget Sound to see where all those whales were gotten from, you know over 40 years ago. This is such a beautiful area. The place has such openness, and the water is kept. It`s constantly 48 degrees year round.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: SeaWorld is saying that the movie is misleading and distorted and that 80 percent of the animals are born in captivity. They`re not taken from the wild.

DE MOURA: Well, I mean -- regardless if they were taken from the wild or not, they were made to be in the wild.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think it`s good that we`re talking about all of this? And examining how these animals are feeling? Raising the question?

DEW MOURA: We have come so far as a society, you know, as a human race to accepting equality, even within our own race, when it comes to gay marriage, gay equality and everything. But I think, you know animals that don`t have a voice should speak up and demand their rights. Then we -- as humans, the more enlightened ones I guess have to come up and be their voice. Nothing compares to living in your natural habitat, especially when it`s vast and wonderful.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again "BLACKFISH" premieres in just over one hour on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Tomorrow night, right here on my show, you won`t believe who`s speaking up for the animals now.

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HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ: This is just such basic stuff. Do people go crazy in solitary? Yes. Is jail extremely uncomfortable because you`re confined to a 5 by 7 cell? Of course. So why would it be different for an animal?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. TMZ star Harvey Levin talks animals in captivity, tomorrow night right here.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now for your slice of happiness. Check out this surreal view of Downtown Seattle. A thick blanket of fog made the city look like it was literally on another planet. That is trippy, trippy, trippy. But it really happened just like that.

Next, Nancy Grace, with all the day`s dramatic moments from the Martin MacNeill trial and there were so many. Don`t miss the riveting, tormented testimony from Rachel, the defendant`s adult daughter. Nancy`s special guest tonight is the late Michele MacNeill`s life-long friend -- and remember tomorrow we`re going to find out if little Ada, the daughter, six years old when she saw mommy, if she`s going to be allowed to testify about what she saw in the tub. Crucial testimony, will she get in? We`re going to give you the answer tomorrow night, right here, 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Join us.

Nancy, next.

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