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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Trial Begins for `Shaky Mom`; Mayor Rob Ford Caught with Crack Again?; "Scandal" Star in Real Life Scandal

Aired May 1, 2014 - 19:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight an explosive trial under way. Horror, tears, inside the blockbuster double murder case of infamous so-called Shaky Mom, Julie Schenecker.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live. Thanks for joining me.

This Florida mother is charged with the unthinkable two counts of first- degree murder. Cops say she turned on her own two beautiful successful well-behaved teenage children, shooting and executing them in cold blood, using a gun she`d bought five days before. Her reasoning, her excuse? Well, they were talking back to her and being, quote, "mouthy."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day after she was arrested, after she killed her two teenagers, her daughter and her son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened yesterday?

JULIE SCHENECKER, ACCUSED OF MURDERING HER TWO CHILDREN: I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Audio recordings she did with police the night of the murders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you drink any alcohol or anything last night?

SCHENECKER: No. My kids coming in later?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry?

SCHENECKER: Are my kids coming in later?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we`ll talk about all that.

But you had been taking your medication, though, right? I mean, there was nothing you weren`t taking, right?

SCHENECKER: No. Yes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, yes. Whatever.

The world literally knows this murderous mother as Shaky Mom, because you could see her there. She was shaking violently, trembling violently during her initial perp walk.

Cops say Schenecker confessed to shooting her 13-year-old son, Beau. And look at this Beau: handsome young man. She shot him, according to cops, in the head twice as they drove home from soccer practice.

She then entered the family`s ultra-ritzy Tampa home, where she allegedly shot her 16-year-old daughter, Calyx, in the back of the head while this teenager was doing homework at her computer.

Cops found Schenecker passed out on the porch, wearing a white robe covered in her own children`s blood.

In a stunning new police interrogation tape, Shaky Mom admits to taking a wild drug cocktail of 10 to 12 medications and drinking several classes of beer in the hours before her children were murdered. You hear this accused murderess slur her words, show zero remorse and even ask the cops if her kids, who were already dead, would be coming in to see her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to find out what happened yesterday, what happened last night, what happened this morning from you, yourself.

SCHENECKER: Yes. Are my kids coming in later?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry?

SCHENECKER: Are my kids coming in later?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we`ll talk about all that. Just...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She just killed her kids, but she`s asking to see them? Could this be an act?

Schenecker pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but prosecutors say this mother planned the horrific murder, buying a gun five days before.

Now, look at her drastic transformation. Here she is in court, looking somewhat put together in a suit and her hair pulled back.

Jury selection has been a torment. Jurors emotionally overwhelmed by the very idea of a mother killing her own two children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe everybody should have a fair trial about you, but I can`t have children. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297. We have a fantastic Lion`s Den debate panel tonight. So let`s start with the lawyers. Areva Martin, attorney, is Shaky Mom crazy or is she a cold-blooded killer?

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: I have a problem, Jane, with the prosecution`s case saying that this it was an intentional act on the part of this mom. I haven`t heard anything about a motive. I know there`s some issue about whether these kids were obedient or disobedient, and that may have caused her some concern.

But when I look at this murder, I see a woman who was suffering from some kind of severe, you know, mental health issues that needs to be addressed and I`m sure we`re going to hear a lot about, as her attorneys get her evaluated and the prosecution itself, I`m sure, will be seeking some kind of psychiatric evaluation. I think the insanity defense is right on spot in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eric Schwartzreich, she bought a gun five days earlier. Give me a break here.

ERIC SCHWARTZREICH, ATTORNEY: Exactly. Insanity...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHWARTZREICH: Florida uses what we call the McNaughton rule. It`s whether or not she appreciates the consequences of her actions.

The problem for her is that jurors, they really dislike the insanity defense about as much as they dislike Cheese Wiz on corn flakes. It doesn`t taste today, and it is a very, very tough sell.

Now, this is certainly crazy sounding (ph), in that she murdered her children, but the actions: she purchased the gun, some of her actions before. And she`s claiming also there`s some voluntary intoxication underlying here, which is not a legal defense in Florida. The fact that she consumed alcohol, got drunk, got intoxicated, that dog`s not going to hunt in Florida. What`s going to matter is whether or not they can prove whether or not she appreciated the consequences of her actions.

And certainly, it is crazy murdering your children. But it is a very, very tough sell to convince a jury that you are sane (ph) and that you should go away to a hospital for the rest of your life, because you did not criminally understand the consequences. It`s very difficult for lawyers to sell that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to talk about this drug issue in a second. But let`s go. Dr. Gabe, you wanted to jump in.

GABE CRENSHAW, PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, I wanted -- I sort of disagree with what I heard, I think, Areva Martin say. It really is -- this insanity plea, no. Side effects of neuroleptic drugs that she`s on -- akathisia, tardive dyskinesia -- none of those will cause to you kill someone.

And like you said, she actually purchased the gun before, premeditated. And if you`re on a cocktail...

MARTIN: This is way...

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Go ahead.

CRENSHAW: If you have a cocktail, you don`t take -- you don`t drink. You don`t drink.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re not supposed to but she did. You know, for you to say, with all due respect, Dr. Gabe, "Well, you`re taking all these drugs" -- and we`re going to get into the long list of drugs she was taking, including hillbilly heroin -- but "oh, well, you don`t drink." Yes, she did, and that is the problem.

Adi Jaffe...

CRENSHAW: Yes, that`s what I`m saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... executive director, addiction treatment. You`re not supposed to booze it up while you`re taking seriously...

CRENSHAW: No, exactly.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, you`re not -- If you`re intentionally...

MARTIN: It`s way too soon to say this woman did not suffer from mental illness, psychologist (ph), which caused this horrific crime to occur.

ADI JAFFE, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: You`re not supposed to drink.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time. I want to go to Adi Jaffe. You`re the addiction specialist. Quick.

JAFFE: Sure. And I literally just dealt with a client just two weeks ago who, on a similar combination of opiates, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants and drinking, had essentially a psychotic break for over a week and a half. The only reason he got put on the opiates was because he had just gone through surgery. But I can tell you, from having a conversation with him, he was not in his right mind and had no idea what was going on with him, so much so that family members had to go to his house to even bring him into an office.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you know what? I want to say this, and Elizabeth Espinoza, if you get wasted, that doesn`t mean you are legally insane. It means you`re a drug addict and an alcoholic who chose to get wasted.

JAFFE:I`m not talking about wasted. That`s not what I`m talking about here.

ELIZABETH ESPINOZA, CNN ESPANOL: You are spot on. But I think you have to wait, doctor. I hear what you`re saying. But I think that it`s very clear from court documents when you look into the case.

And by the way, this is going to be an explosive trial. You know why? Because you`re going to have a lot of moms on there that have to decide was this woman just completely out of her mind? Listen, bipolar disorder is a real thing. And when you start hallucinating, and the fact that she would tell the detectives the reason why she killed her two children at close range was because they were mouthing off at her, that`s not normal, whether you`re wasted or not. We`re talking about that adding to her unhealthiness.

But clearly, mental illness is very serious. We have seen so many of these scenarios not so long ago, with Eboni driving her children into the ocean.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines.

MARTIN: And the fact that she`s (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Jane, doesn`t mean she also doesn`t have a mental illness. They`re not mutually exclusive. One can have mental illness and also, you know, have a drug addiction.

JAFFE: Absolutely. Drug addiction...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second, guys. I want to go to the phone lines and go to Maureen, New York. She`s a nurse, and she has some theories, as she show her shaking, about why she`d be shaking. Go ahead, Maureen, New York.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thank you.

I`m just looking at the picture where she`s walking. Now, that is obviously someone that is mentally impaired, challenged or something. If you just look at her, she looks like she has some form of mental illness.

Sometimes people can hide mental illness for many years, and many times people hide the -- hide the mental illness symptoms by abusing drugs and alcohol. They try to squash the voices by drinking or doing drugs so that they don`t have to deal with it. Just looking at her, she looks to me like she has some form of mental illness, whether it`s been hidden for years, untreated or whatever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But look at -- look at this family picture, Maureen. There`s a family picture here where they look like absolutely the perfect family, and you wouldn`t look at this woman and say, oh, she`s clearly got mental illness.

So let me go into the litany of drug and alcohol use, and we`ll continue to debate this. But I want to give our viewers the facts first.

Cops say Julie reeked of alcohol, and there were open bottles of booze laying around her home. They also found a slew of prescription drug bottles that Shaky Mom was taking. She admitted to the detectives she was taking 10 to 12 different medications and drinking three to four glasses of beer and wine on the day she murdered her kids.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you drink any alcohol or anything last night?

SCHENECKER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did?

SCHENECKER: Uh-huh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much alcohol did you have, about?

SCHENECKER: Three or four glasses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of what?

SCHENECKER: Beer and then I switched to wine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Three or four glasses of beer and wine. And that was last night at what time?

SCHENECKER: I can`t remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Later in the evening or early in the evening?

SCHENECKER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Later?

SCHENECKER: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After dinner, OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So this woman was on a slew of painkillers, as well. Antidepressants. Take a look at this list. Lithium, which is for bipolar; oxycodone, also known as hillbilly heroin; hydrocodone, a pain killer; antidepressants; anti-anxiety pills plus booze.

Out to the lines. Lisa Guerrero, chief investigative correspondent, "Inside Edition," now if you drug up like that, it can make you act crazy, but there`s a difference between acting crazy, because you`re abusing your meds and boozing and being mentally ill from a legal standpoint.

LISA GUERRERO, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Right. What confuses me about this is normally somebody doesn`t snap overnight. There are red flags in somebody`s history. Where are other family members? Where are her friends? What about the doctors that prescribed her all of these medications time and time again?

It seems like somebody doesn`t just kill their kids and that came out of nowhere. Where were the red flags? Those are the questions that I would - - I would like to ask.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And absolutely on target, because on the other side of the break, I`m going to unveil what I think is my real motive. What the real motive was for this woman executing her own children. And it has to do with her relationship with her then-husband, who has since divorced her. Stay right there and more calls coming in on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you`ve got a daughter. Is it Caylan or Calyx?

SCHENECKER: Calyx.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calyx. And you`ve got a son. How old is your son?

SCHENECKER: Thirteen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s his name?

SCHENECKER: Beau.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beau?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three or four glasses of beer and wine. And that was last night at what time?

SCHENECKER: I can`t remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Later in the evening or early in the evening?

SCHENECKER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Later? OK.

SCHENECKER: After dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After dinner, OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Julie Schenecker executed her two kids, 13 and 16. And now, she wants to use the insanity defense. Is she crazy or is she faking it?

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Dawanna, Illinois, what do you have to say? Dawanna.

CALLER: I just want to say that I believe that this woman is totally faking. You know, I`m looking at her family pictures, and she looks totally fine to me. And all of a sudden, now she wants to claim like she`s insane and she`s, you know, like now all of a sudden she`s crazy. I just totally disagree with what she`s saying. I really believe that she is crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you, Dawanna, because I think there`s another motive here. So I`m going to unveil what I think is the motive, and then we`ll debate it with our panel.

Until this horror, Julie Schenecker seemed, actually, like the perfect soccer mom. But cops say behind closed doors, she was bingeing on prescription drugs and booze while her then-husband, then-USA Army colonel, was off serving our nation in Afghanistan.

Julie told detectives she suffers from bipolar and depression. She was in bed for eight weeks. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Physically, you seem like you`re more alert now than you were. Are you starting to feel a little more alert now?

SCHENECKER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

SCHENECKER: But I don`t know what medicine. Oh, Klonopin helps with anxiety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Klonopin for anxiety? So you take a lot of medications, though, right?

SCHENECKER: Oh, my God, 10 or 12.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten or 12 meds? But you had been taking your medication, though, right? I mean, there was nothing you weren`t taking, right?

SCHENECKER: No, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You`ve been taking your medication?

SCHENECKER: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, the depression, the bipolar, the drugs, the booze, it certainly was a prescription for disaster.

But I want to go out to the Lion`s Den. Here`s my theory. I`ll start with Dr. Gabe Crenshaw, psychologist.

I don`t believe the real motive was that her kids were mouthing off or that she`s crazy. Could the real motive be that she resented her situation? She met her husband while she worked overseas as a military intelligence officer and interrogator. That`s a high-power job. She then became a stay-at-home mom while her husband remained overseas and pursued his military career. Could this have been her getting back because she has a big resentment?

And let me add that, when she was arrested she blurted out, quote, "My husband is going to be so distraught," end quote.

CRENSHAW: It`s very possible, Jane. You know, people do a lot of things for revenge, just to get back. I`m not saying that`s not the case. But that also would suggest, you know, severe and mental illness going on.

But I have to say this. What I`m sick of is that Americans decide, you know, certain people decide, you know what? I`m mentally ill. I`m on a lot of medication. And doctors, God knows they`ll give you a drug for anything. And I blame the doctors in part for this, too. Can what she`s on, lithium toxicity, can it cause a psychosis? Absolutely it can. But you -- there`s a level of responsibility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I agree with you 100 percent about the drugs...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Lisa, you said you had questions. What do you think of my theory? Because I think -- I`m not saying consciously that`s why.

GUERRERO: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I think unconsciously she was deeply unhappy with her situation, and that creates depression. Depression isn`t something that comes out of nowhere.

GUERRERO: You know...

JAFFE: So are we saying that she killed her kids...

GUERRERO: I`m going to say, yes, I think -- I`m going to be a cynic here and say depression isn`t enough of a reason to kill your kids. A lot of people are depressed. People are depressed because they`re losing their jobs every day. People are trying to -- to be able to pay their mortgage. People -- you know, people are having relationship breakdowns every day in this country. It`s a difficult country to live in, and there`s so many reasons to be upset and depressed. That doesn`t give you an excuse to pick up a gun...

JAFFE: Absolutely.

GUERRERO: ... and kill a kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As Americans...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Panel, everybody`s talking at once. OK. I think I hear Areva Martin. Go ahead.

MARTIN: We`re oversimplifying it. We`re not just hearing that the woman is depressed. We heard that the woman suffers from bipolar disorder.

And I`m a little disturbed by these comments about she looked so perfect; she looked so normal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

MARTIN: We`re giving -- we`re paying a huge disservice to people who suffer from real mental illnesses to suggest that...

JAFFE: I`m not telling (ph) that.

MARTIN: ... if you`re mentally ill you have to look, quote unquote, "crazy." What is normal looking? Someone can look well put together and be well-groomed and have a very serious mental illness. So we have to be very careful...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or -- OK, but...

MARTIN: ... to not to suggest just because you have a mental illness you look some kind of way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, Elizabeth Espinoza, you can also be a deeply dissatisfied person who says, "Oh, I`m depressed," and bipolar is over-diagnosed today. It used to be called, what, manic depressive.

JAFFE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people are bipolar. So many bipolar. There are all sorts of things.

JAFFE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So they get hooked on all these drugs, which are equivalent, some of them, to heroin. Next thing you know, you`re misusing them by drinking against doctor`s orders, and then you`re crazy.

JAFFE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, when does personal responsibility come in there, Elizabeth?

ESPINOZA: Exactly. That`s a great question, Jane, because this is exactly what`s going to happen to that jury. And they`re having a hard time, as you know, just picking a jury. They started jury selection on Monday. It`s going to take time.

And you are -- I`m concerned for this mom. You know why? Because in my heart of hearts -- and this is because I know people who suffer from bipolar. And when they have an episode, they get so sick that I go, "Wow, I don`t -- I don`t know you."

So it`s my experience because I`ve seen it, I`ve lived it. And I think this goes to show that last call, who said, oh, well, she looks normal in the pictures, that is not your standard. Clearly, society doesn`t understand mental illness. It does not understand bipolar disorder either. I think there are people who plead insanity, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and they`re doing it because they know what they`re doing. I don`t think that`s the case here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We have to take a break. We have a caller on the other side who says she`s bipolar and wants to weigh in on this. Again, is this mental illness or is this a woman who`s having a pity party with drugs and alcohol and then turned murderous? Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Julie Schenecker was passed out on her patio, covered in blood, when officers say they found her in late January of 2011.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what I recall, she responded something to the effect "I wish a scratch was the source of this blood."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was more blood upstairs and in the family van where officers say they found 16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau shot to death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You take lithium. Is the that one of the medicines you take? Is that for the bipolar?

SCHENECKER: Uh-huh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And you said you have you tardive -- what is it called?

SCHENECKER; Tardive dyskinesia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dyskinesia? Is that what makes your hands shake a little bit?

SCHENECKER: Um-hmm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Julie Schenecker executed her two teenage kids, adorable children. A 13-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl. Now her attorneys are trying to use the insanity defense. You just heard her say, "Oh, yes, I`m bipolar."

But let`s go to the phone lines. Michelle, New Hampshire, you say you are bipolar and a mother of three kids. What`s your take on her defense?

CALLER: I am really upset with her using the bipolar. I`ve been bipolar all my life. I raised three children and never raised my hand to them. And just because of a mental illness doesn`t give you a right to kill anybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Michelle...

CALLER: You`re (UNINTELLIGIBLE) thoughtfully.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... you know the difference between right and wrong, because the legal definition of insanity is if you are so out of it, can`t tell what`s right and what`s wrong. You do something horrible; you think you`re doing the right thing.

I think of Andrea Yates, who was hearing command hallucinations from the angel and the devil, saying save your kids by killing them. This is a different situation. She wasn`t hearing hallucinations. So again, Michelle, you`re bipolar, but you know the difference between right and wrong.

CALLER: Yes, I do, very much so. And I really believe that bipolar had nothing to do with her killing her children. I think she was -- was drinking too much. Right on my prescription bottles it says do not drink.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, of course. And thank you, Michelle, for sharing your story.

Eric Schwartzreich, it says on bottle don`t drink. Now, if you take medication for bipolar, you can be OK. It will even you out. But if you drink at the same time, then you`re abusing the drugs and the alcohol, and shouldn`t you be held responsible for that?

SCHWARTZREICH: Well, of course, Jane. And we`ve got to compare apples to oranges and apples with apples.

Here in Florida in 1998 or 1987, we abolished what`s called voluntary intoxication. And I`ve used it, and other attorneys had used it successfully, that you can get yourself intoxicated or impaired, and you can go in front of a jury and say, "Listen, at the time, I got so drunk, so impaired, at the time I didn`t understand the consequences of my actions."

Insanity defense, which is the McNaughton rule here in Florida, whether or not you appreciate the consequences of your actions -- you can be bipolar and not understand, but you can be bipolar and maybe not understand. Now, I`m not a doctor. I still don`t...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, let me bring in Adi Jaffe for a second...

SCHWARTZREICH: ... whether or not you understand is a different issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... because you`re an addiction expert. You`re an ex- addict or a recovering addict, I should say. And I`m a recovering alcoholic with 19 years of sobriety. Now, if I went into a blackout and did something horrifying while I was in an alcoholic blackout, that doesn`t mean I`m insane. If I didn`t know the difference between right and wrong, because I didn`t know anything because I was in a blackout. I didn`t even know who I was or where I was. That`s not the same as being legally insane.

It`s a misuse, and it`s enabling drug abusers who might have some mental problems that don`t rise to the level of insane.

JAFFE: Sure, but what I`m hearing from our legal expert is that sometimes it`s not just about insanity. It`s about knowing right from wrong. And that`s a totally different thing.

And Jane, as an ex-addict, as an addict yourself, you know that sometimes self-control is something that these people on the outside sort of feel like you should have the same level of at all times. You know that that`s false. You know that`s not the way your entire life is operated.

So whether she gets -- you know, whether she is supposed to have legal ramification for her actions or not, I think is a slightly separate issue from what I`d like to discuss, which is the notion that her ability to control and understand her actions could easily be affected by her alcohol use, by the pills she was taking, and by the underlying mental health issues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But whose fault is that?

JAFFE: She killed her kids. So I think...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She killed her kids.

JAFFE: ... I think at the least -- I think at the least, things like manslaughter, issues like that she should absolutely be responsible for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her choice to misuse her meds and get tanked up on booze when she`s taking hillbilly heroin and a whole slew of other mood-altering drugs, that is a choice. Just like shooting your kid in the head is a choice.

Come on. People talk about personal responsibility with all sorts of things, and sometimes I disagree, but in this case, personal responsibility. That`s my opinion.

By the way, Nancy Grace has so much more on then extraordinary horrific saga, top of the hour in just a couple of minutes. So keep it right here on HLN.

Now, speaking of sagas, you know that crack mayor, Rob Ford; that`s how they describe him. New damaging pictures are out. And you will be stunned to find out, well, everything`s changed for this guy. Game over? We`ll see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you drinking last night?

ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Yes, I was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were drinking last night?

FORD: A little bit, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that video was offensive?

FORD: No, I was with some friends, and what I do in my personal life with my personal friends, that`s...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say about the issue (ph)?

FORD: ... it has nothing to do with -- nothing to do with you guys. My own time and my own friend. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I`m not an alcoholic. I`m not a drug addict.

I`ve admitted to my mistakes and I said it would not happen again and it has never happened again at the (inaudible) center.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In several of the shots, he`d keep holding this pipe. It`s a long copper pipe and that could be used to smoke crack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you have an addiction problem with alcohol.

FORD: Absolutely not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Breaking news: He`s back. The infamously out of control Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is finally headed to rehab reportedly. But only after a damaging new video surfaces allegedly showing the mayor smoking crack again.

These are photos taken from that new video, we`re about to show you these new photos obtained by "The Globe" and "The Mail". There it is. Look at the mayor`s hand. Does that look like a crack pipe to you? We`re going to show that over and over again so you`ll be able to study it and decide for yourself.

It was a year ago this month that the world first found out about Mayor Ford`s alleged crack habit and alcohol abuse. At first the mayor denied, denied, denied but then he confessed. Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORD: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine but no -- do I? Am I an addict? No, have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors probably approximately about a year ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, just a year later, Mayor Ford caught on tape again with what appears to be a crack pipe. Although obviously we can`t say for sure what`s inside that pipe. Now, again we`re going to show you the stills from "The Globe" and "The Mail" and you can decide for yourself the video allegedly recorded Saturday night in Rob Ford`s sister`s apartment.

One reporter watched all three tapes that were recorded that night. Here is what she saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can see him kind of brandishing in the way that he does in some of the footage. He`s talking wildly on his cell phone while bobbing back and forth and gesturing sort of like this. The individual who sold us or was trying to sell us the video identified himself as a crack and heroin dealer who was in the room who shot the footage. He says that it`s absolutely crack.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, after the new crack allegations surfaced, Rob Ford said "I`m finally going to get help," quote. "I have a problem with alcohol and the choices I`ve made while under the influence." There you see the crack pipe right there. "I have struggled with this for some time. I have decided to take a leave from campaigning and from my duties as mayor to seek immediate help." Ford`s brother got emotional as he talked about his brother`s decision to go to rehab.

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DOUG FORD, BROTHER OF MAYOR FORD: I love my brother. I`ll continue to stand by my brother and his family throughout this difficult journey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my dear. Why is his brother so sad? The mayor`s brother should be thrilled over the moon that his sibling is finally coming out of his denial and defiance. We`ve now heard that the infamous mayor has just flown to Chicago.

Straight into the "Lion`s Den", first of all Lisa Guerrero, chief investigative correspondent "Inside Edition", how did this all come about, how did it break?

LISA GUERRERO, "INSIDE EDITION": Like everything else, it`s a kooky story. So Mayor Rob Ford is allegedly at his sister`s house in the basement on Saturday night, and at approximately 1:15, he is secretly videotaped holding what appears to be a crack cocaine pipe. And he`s doing drugs with two drug dealers -- again in his sister`s basement.

These dealers then get the idea to take the tape and to try to sell it to a local newspaper. So they let two local newspaper reporters view three videotapes. They`ve got three videotapes that they`re trying to sell for a six-figure sum.

The newspaper did not buy the videotape. What they did was they purchased a screen grab of Mayor Rob Ford with what appears to be the crack pipe. So they did buy pictures from the video. They did not spend the six-figure sum to buy the video itself. And actually there`s three videos.

They immediately go to Mayor Rob Ford with the screen grab, with the picture and say is this you doing drugs on Saturday night? Right then, Mayor Ford admits he has a problem and says that he is going to quote, "take a break to get help".

So that`s what we know so far and then the latest, of course, you mentioned it earlier, he was seen this morning getting on a plane to Chicago. So we don`t know if he`s seeking help at a center in Chicago today, but he landed allegedly in Chicago this afternoon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Hazelton has a branch in Chicago. So perhaps he`s going there. Dr. Gabe Crenshaw, psychologist, I have an issue with the fact that he didn`t admit that he`s a drug addict.

DR. GABE CRENSHAW, PSYCHOLOGIST: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He just said he had problems with alcohol and also that this is all happening in response to what you just heard from Lisa Guerrero that he got caught with a pipe in his hand literally. Is that what you need to really hit bottom or could this just be a cynical PR move?

CRENSHAW: You know what, Jane, I think you`re right. It could be -- it could very well be a PR move. What I didn`t hear and I haven`t heard from him is what we as psychologists call pre-contemplation stage or contemplation stage. I`m hearing pre-contemplation before, total denial, ambivalence. I`m not hearing "Maybe there`s a problem, I need to look into it, figure out what to do. I`m ruining my life. I`m destroying my city. My reputation."

We`re not hearing these things -- just this personal sort of catharsis that has to come about. Everyone needs a rock bottom if you`re an addict but you first have to admit you are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have a problem.

CRENSHAW: And you have to admit it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Admitted we have problem.

CRENSHAW: You have to mean it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now the problems and the mistakes that he`s made, they`re too numerous to mention. We could be here all night just playing clips.

GUERRERO: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But we`ve got to the remember this one drunken rant inside a fast food restaurant. Remember this one?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORD: -- chased me around for five months.

Oh, my God, man. (inaudible) five months. Trying to tell me, we`re countersurveilling you guys. He`s hiding here. I`m not hiding here. (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You know how much money that costs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Adi Jaffe -- addiction specialist, recovering addict, executive director Alternatives Addiction Treatment Center -- as a recovering alcoholic myself who just celebrated 19 years of sobriety, I wonder, I hope it`s for real but I have my doubts because he didn`t step down as mayor. He`s got an election coming up in October. He said, you know, I`m going to take a leave and work on myself because I`ve got a problem with alcohol, never mentions drugs. I mean, you know, they say half measures avail us nothing if we want to get sober.

ADI JAFFE, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: You know I personally want to applaud the guy for actually going and seeking help. If it`s a PR stunt, who knows if he`s going to get some of the seeds that are actually going to kind of percolate in his head over the next few months and actually get him the kind of help that he really needs.

You know, it`s rare that I see somebody walking into treatment completely ready to admit every single thing that`s gone wrong in their life. I said a few months ago when this was kind of unfolding, let`s see how he handles it. And I think that there`s no doubt that the fact that he was using drugs in the basement trying to hide and got videotaped again, that`s pretty silly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Who said he doesn`t have an option? Who said that - - he doesn`t have an option?

ELIZABETH ESPINOSA, CNN ESPANOL: He didn`t have an option -- truthfully. Come on, this is a pr stunt. I mean the fact that they have a picture of him with a pipe -- hello, busted. He had to do something because he wants to be re-elected. This is all a political, it`s part -- in fact, I would argue, of the campaign.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope you`re wrong but I suspect you might be right.

ESPINOSA: I do too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But maybe once he`s in there, if he does go in there, he hears the message. I pray he does.

This next guy was a fixer on one of television`s hottest shows. I`m addicted to the show, speaking of addiction. After a bunk of real life scandals one star has now been kicked to the curb by his wife and the show. This is a shocker.

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COLUMBUS SHORT, ACTOR: Really here? You don`t get to have feelings. That`s the job. Gladiators don`t have feelings. We rush into battle. We`re soldiers. We get hurt in a fight -- we suck it up and hold it down. We don`t question.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actor Columbus Short of the hit show "Scandal" has been accused of attacking his wife, even threatening to kill her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know he plays Harrison Wright. He`s not going to be returning to the show.

SHORT: I wasn`t as innocent as you think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A "Scandal" star finds himself up to his neck in a scandal of his own.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, head spinning new developments in that troubled "Scandal" actor Columbus Short has more drama in his real life than his character Harrison on the hit show "Scandal". Now in new court documents we`re learning his estranged wife believes he broke into their house while she was away and ransacked the joint; this despite a restraining order preventing him from being there.

That restraining order was granted last month after Columbus`s wife claimed in court documents he placed a knife close to my neck and threatened to kill me then kill himself. At that time Columbus told us "As much as I would like to provide my side of events, my counsel has instructed me that a court of law is the only and proper venue to deal with such matters," end quote.

Now the never ending turmoil in Columbus` personal life finally seems to be affecting his career. When I was watching the season cliffhanger of "Scandal", a show I`m addicted to, one of the final images we see is a gun pointed at this guy, Olivia Pope`s trusty fixer Harrison.

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SHORT: I asked you a question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you can take me because I`m old and injured? You can`t take command, son. No one can take command. Right, Tom?

It`s a shame really -- a waste of such a great talent. Oh. To be young, gifted and black.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Areva Martin I immediately said, oh, they`re going to kill off the character because the real life actor gets in so much trouble. That`s exactly what happened. Columbus has now confirmed he`s off the show. He didn`t say whose decision it was but given his out of control behavior and the fact that this is a wildly successful TV series, is it safe to assume he was axed because he just brings too much bad publicity?

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: You know, Jane as they always say in Hollywood the show must go on. Unfortunately Columbus appears to be facing some pretty serious legal issues and he may actually be in a trial mid-season. So the production of the show can`t be contingent on any one actor even though he`s a great character on the show.

I just hope this is a wake-up call for him to take some time and deal with whatever issues he`s facing, anger issues, if there`s substance abuse, whatever it is. He seems to have this beautiful family. There`s a two- year-old daughter involved. But if there`s physical violence going on in the household, I`m glad he`s out of that household but I hope this couple, you know, can mend or at least Columbus gets the help that he needs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, I`m mad because I love his character. "It`s handled." I love when he says stuff like that. But he needs a fixer himself.

MARTIN: But we want him to get help Jane. We don`t want him to be another Rob Ford. People have to take time and deal with their issues. He has issues and he must deal with them or they`re going to haunt him and perhaps ruin his career much longer than this one show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to talk about that. When you`re in a show like this, you can be killed off in an instant. The show`s creator, the amazing Shonda Rhimes, talked to Jimmy Kimmel about what it`s like to give a character life and then death.

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SHONDA RHIMES, CREATOR, "SCANDAL": I think it`s always really hard to kill off somebody who`s been on the show for a long time and who you`ve gotten to know. You know, you`re obviously closer to some than others but it`s hard. I feel like the Grim Reaper sometimes.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Guerrero, "Inside Edition", you cover Hollywood all the time. Now, we were discussing the possibility people come back to life on the show all the time. They`re dead and then suddenly they`re not so dead. If he behaves, if he cleans up this mess, could he end up being brought back to the show?

GUERRERO: You know, I think this is different because in this particular case, this is a man who threatened the life of his wife and his two-year- old child allegedly. We were talking earlier about red flags. The first time this guy was arrested was in 2010. So he`s had many brushes with the law. He`s a dangerous guy. He broke into his ex-wife`s house over the Easter weekend.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Allegedly.

GUERRERO: Trashed the place, threatened to kill her several times -- allegedly yes. But this is a person that could be a dangerous guy. And how this guy isn`t behind bars or restrained somehow from physically hurting his wife is really disturbing. So I don`t think this is just a matter of let`s bring this beloved actor back. This man probably needs to be behind bars in my opinion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about what could his subconscious motivation be for sabotaging his own career? He`s not such a big star that he could get away with this stuff as some really big stars can. It`s those middle range actors that really get clobbered when they stray. So we`re going to talk to Dr. Gabe on the other side about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do think he may go to prison behind this. And I`m not going to be upset if he does because these are serious allegations. I do not condone violence at all. His wife is saying that he threatened to kill her? I am over it.

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SHORT: You are standing in the eye of the hurricane and you`re going do sit here and pretend?

KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: I`m not pretending.

SHORT: You think that White House is going to protect you?

WASHINGTON: I can protect myself, thank you very much.

SHORT: You`re not the fixer here, Liv, you`re the problem. You`re the client. You`re my client. Like it or not. I`m not asking you for the truth. I know the truth. I know enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am sick that he`s off the show. He`s a great actor. But my gosh the problems in real life. We`d be here for hours reciting them all. You`re talking about -- well, we`ll just let it play out.

Dr. Gabe Crenshaw, you`re looking at all of the things that he`s allegedly done -- and you know, bar fights, blah-blah-blah. Is this a fear of success? Because he`s a really good actor.

CRENSHAW: Absolutely, it very well could be Jane. We self-sabotage. His career is really, really taking off, you know. And so all the stuff that you haven`t dealt with, the feelings of unworthiness, the level of fear it`s like you`re this imperfect man, possibly. And you`re living a perfect life. All of a sudden you have a perfect career. It`s difficult, it`s a million dollar slum. You`ve got the power, the prestige, the fame and your head`s a mess.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Lisa, you`re shaking your head?

GUERRERO: Yes, I am. Ok, 2010 arrested for battery, given three years probation. February of this year -- two arrests for domestic abuse. March -- a felony battery for a bar fight. Three weeks ago, according to his wife, he threatened to kill her and their two-year-old daughter. Who cares how good of an actor he is? This is a dangerous man.

MARTIN: Jane.

GUERRERO: I don`t care about his career.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ten seconds -- Areva.

MARTIN: I don`t want to minimize the allegations against him. But the man is in his 30s. There`s ample opportunity for him to get it together, turn his life around and be on top of his game.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just want to say, he also is a singer. I hope that he gets it together. Not just for his career. I`ll miss him on "Scandal", I really will. But we still have Olivia Pope.

All right, Nancy`s next.

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