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Feds Knew of Benoit`s Steroid Use Before Murder-Suicide

Aired July 5, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight, breaking news in the case of superstar WWE wrestler Chris Benoit and his entire family, found dead inside their upscale gated community in the Atlanta suburbs. What role, if any, did anabolic steroids play in the crime? Headlines tonight. Federal agents say Chris Benoit`s name surfaced in a steroid investigation before the double murder-suicide. They say Benoit was buying excessive amounts of steroids as recently as May. Now Benoit`s mother wonders if the tragedy could have been prevented if the feds had acted more aggressively.
We also learn the feds knew Benoit`s personal doctor was improperly prescribing medications. Could this crime spree have been avoided with faster action? Also tonight, more questions surface about the medical history of Benoit`s 7- year-old son. Prosecutors say they doubt the boy had a mental disability known as fragile X syndrome and say family members, the boy`s teachers and even medical records fail to mention that condition.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talk to friends of the Benoit family, some of them, and they thought that there was something a little bit askew with Daniel Benoit, you know, that he was a shy, reclusive kid and showed maybe some of the symptoms of having at least a mild form of autism, maybe indeed fragile X. The reality is that if he didn`t have it, it just puts another horrific twist to this that Chris Benoit could murder a son who was actually mentally healthy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also tonight, a shocking story out of Wichita, Kansas, a young stabbing victim left to die on the floor of a busy convenience store. Several shoppers literally step over the young woman with their purchases as she lay on the floor, bleeding to death. One customer even stops to take a photo and keeps on going. Why such callous indifference? What took so long for someone to call 911? And could there be criminal and civil charges against the bystanders who left this young woman to die?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police call it one of the most disgusting examples disregard for life they`ve ever seen. While 27-year-old Deshonda Calloway (ph) lied (SIC) bleeding from stab wounds she received in this northeast Wichita convenience store, at least five people stepped over her body and continued shopping. One, police say, took a cell phone picture of her bleeding on the floor.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight, breaking news in the double murder-suicide of a WWE wrestling star and his entire family, found dead in their mansion in the Atlanta suburbs.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Drug Enforcement Administration says Chris Benoit`s name surfaced during an investigation before he killed his wife, son and himself. Federal agents discovered the professional wrestler was buying large amounts of steroids, but Benoit wasn`t charged, and his supply continued until at least May.

Police were also previously aware that Benoit`s doctor, Phil Astin, may have improperly prescribed medication. Now Benoit`s mother wonders if her son would still be alive if authorities had taken quicker action.

Also, prosecutors question World Wrestling Entertainment`s statement that Benoit`s son had a form of mental retardation called fragile X syndrome. Prosecutors say Benoit`s son`s medical records don`t mention a preexisting mental or physical impairment, and teachers deny reports the boy was physically undersized. WWE has since backed away from that statement.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why didn`t they stop him? Could the feds have done something to prevent this nightmare? That is what Chris Benoit`s own mother seems to be asking tonight after learning America`s Drug Enforcement Administration was well aware that Benoit was buying large quantities of steroids before killing his wife, his 7-year-old son and himself.

Lots of new developments tonight. Let`s go straight out to Dave Meltzer, a reporter for Dave, what is the very latest?

DAVE MELTZER, WRESTLINGOBSERVER.COM: Well, I mean, you just pretty much covered it, that Chris Benoit`s mother felt that -- you know, that if the DEA had stepped in, that maybe this wouldn`t have happened. And I mean, this -- it`s easy to look at that in hindsight and say, absolutely, that should have happened, but if you`re talking about every person who they have found that may have purchased steroids, and then, like, nailing all of them ahead of time, the manpower to do that is just -- it`s unbelievable, if you would actually think about it.

So it`s -- I don`t -- I would hate to put any blame because who`s to know what was going to happen for, you know, what on the surface going in would seem like something -- you know, I`m not saying minor, but not huge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me jump in for a second because wouldn`t time be a criteria? In other words, if they had known for two years that he was buying steroids, that would obviously implicate the DEA more than if they had just found out a couple months ago. Do they know how long they knew that he was buying steroids for?

MELTZER: Well, I mean, we know that -- what the charge is, is that it`s for about -- it`s for a period of over a year. But as far as, like, when they picked up on this, when their investigations would have shown, you know, Dr. Astin`s prescribing so many steroids for Chris Benoit, I don`t know the date of that. So I don`t know how far in advance they would have known.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, we`re very delighted to have with us two amazing former WWE wrestlers, so let`s introduce first Marc Mero, who was also a friend of Benoit`s. Thank you for joining us. I know this has to be tough. He was a buddy of yours. Want to talk to both of you.

Let`s start with Marc. What would you like to have seen the feds do with the information? Would you have liked them to bust your friend?

MARC MERO, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: Well, with all due respect to Chris Benoit`s mother, who -- I can`t imagine what she`s going through right now. This tragedy is just horrific. But you know, to say that this could have been avoided, even if they did bust Chris Benoit, he`s got the money to bail himself out of jail, and who knows what state of mind he would have been in after that happened. You know, this is -- it`s just speculation.

But let`s look at the real problem here. Let`s look at what really killed many of these wrestlers, and that is the sport of professional wrestling and what these guys have to put their bodies through, put their minds through, put their families through. That is what killed Chris Benoit and the Benoit family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Marc, let me jump in here because we don`t have the WWE here to defend themselves. And of course, we keep asking them for comments. We`d like to hear from the WWE representative.

MERO: I`m not too crazy (INAUDIBLE) either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our doors are open. OK, well, aren`t they the main...

MERO: I`m saying the wrestling industry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re the main gig in town. They`re the main gig in town, aren`t they, the WWE? How many others are there?

MERO: Well, it`s the industry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I mean, they`re the big kahuna, let`s put it that way.

MERO: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why don`t we talk about you right off the bat. Have you done steroids, Marc?

MERO: Yes, I did. I`ve done steroids for about seven years when I was a professional wrestler, and even before that to get into the business.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And impact on your health?

MERO: That I don`t know yet. I mean, I`ve got some health issues that I`m dealing with right now. And I can`t say it`s attributed to steroid use, but I have to have a valve replaced in my heart. And you know, you don`t know. And even though it may not be attributed to steroids, but who knows if it made it any worse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And finally, GHB, which is the "date rape drug." Have you ever tried it because...

MERO: Yes, I have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... we are getting Reports now, CNN has not been able to confirm them, that allege that Marc Benoit -- Chris Benoit may have tried GHB.

MERO: Well, GHB was also widely used in the `90s as a drug that you took to put you in the deep-wave sleep, which is stage two or three, which is when your body produces growth hormone. So many wrestlers used it for that also. But it was also a drug to put you to sleep when you were on the road and you were doing the uppers and the cocaine and the drugs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Brooks, CNN law enforcement analyst, former D.C. police officer, everybody`s up in arms because the DEA apparently knew that Benoit was buying steroids for quite a while and didn`t go in and bust him. But if they knew he was doing it, they probably know that other wrestlers are doing it. Are they going to bust them all?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they probably -- they don`t have a crystal ball. That`s the bottom line. They didn`t know this tragic thing was going to happen. And he`s a user. What they want to do, they want to go after the distributor, the doctors who are giving this, the pharmacies who are giving these drugs in large quantities. And so they were probably building a case. I mean, in a major drug case, Jane, it takes well over a year to make a large case like that, especially when you`re dealing with the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA. you know, they go after the big fish, if you will, and that`s what they were probably trying to do. They were trying to make a case. And they knew -- you know, his name did come up in the investigation, but I would find it unlikely they would arrest him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Dr. Marc Siegel, who is not only an internist and author of "False Alarm," but who worked in the ER at NYU Bellevue (ph), everybody`s saying, Well -- and the DEA themselves are saying through their spokesperson, We didn`t have a crystal ball. We couldn`t have predicted that something this tragic would have happened. Is that true? Or if, in fact, he was taking steroids, could you predict a tragedy, especially combined with alcohol and possibly other drugs?

DR. MARC SIEGEL, INTERNIST: And also, Jane, he has an anger problem in the history. I think it`s easy to put a case together where the steroids contributed to this whole thing, especially the quantities he had.

But you know, I`m even more disturbed about the issue of what Dr. Astin was prescribing, and it wasn`t only steroids. You know, they had a case building for him prescribing narcotics like they were candy. And you know, as has been said, it`s easy to say in retrospect when they should have pulled the trigger, but they were on the trail, and it would have been nice if they had pulled the trigger sooner.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know, one fascinating thing about all this, Dr. Bethany Marshall, who is my good friend and also the author of the book "Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away" -- very apropos, given that Nancy Benoit, tragically, in 2003 sought a divorce and actually got a protection order against her husband, Chris Benoit, saying she was afraid for herself and for their child, that he had threatened to bust up the furniture, and then withdrew it all when they got back together again.

What do you make of that, given the title of your book?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, I think that the effect of the steroids may have been waxing and waning and also maybe points to the possibility of a domestic homicide, based on the fact that maybe she was about to leave the relationship because a woman is at the greatest risk for violence as she`s about to leave.

But Marc Siegel made a really important point -- Dr. Siegel -- and that is that there`s often negative cascading effect of symptoms when these guys get prescribed the anabolic steroids. And what happens is they use the steroids to pump up their body. They push themselves to do things they shouldn`t do, which causes pain, excessive use of painkillers, which opens the door to addictions, which then increases the use of steroids. If they have a preexisting personality disorder or a mental disorder, they become very destabilized. And then there`s a whole complex picture of what goes on, and that`s what we really need to look for in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s like any addiction, it`s progressive...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and you add on other things. Alcoholics often abuse drugs. But Dr. Marc Siegel, are steroids classically addictive, the way cocaine, for example, is?

SIEGEL: I think we`re underappreciating that. I think they are addictive. They`re certainly psychologically addictive. There`s a certain physical addiction. You know, it changes your body significantly. It feminizes men, it masculinizes women.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a minute there! Wait a second. It feminizes men?

SIEGEL: Absolutely. It leads to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The steroids, the ones that give you the big, giant muscle that make you look like Hulk?

SIEGEL: At the same time it`s doing that, it`s shrinking testes, which is one of the reasons he may have been on testosterone. So you`re leading to a drug cocktail situation. It leads to changes in voice. Women get huskier voices. Men can get higher voices. It`s really a mess, this drug. It causes great problems with the heart, with the liver. This is something that we need to appreciate more.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to bring our attorneys into the mix and into the debating ring. Susan Moss, family law attorney and also child advocate, as well as Holly Hughes, prosecutor. I`ll read you what the DEA spokesperson said. "It`s ridiculous for anyone to think we could have known that anything like that could have happened."

Do you think the DEA, given the information they had, should have gone in there and busted Benoit, or did they do the right thing?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Bad things happen to good people who use steroids. Anyone who uses steroids, there`s an assumption of the risk. And in this case, the risk was death. No, I think the DEA did what they should be doing, which is building up a case to get higher in the food chain, and that`s probably exactly what is happening now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know exactly what you said there. Are you saying they should have busted him or not?

MOSS: They shouldn`t have busted him because he had an assumption of the risk. When he took the steroids, he should have known what he was doing, and unfortunately, it has and did have deadly consequences.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So personal responsibility, caveat emptor. Do you agree with that, Susan Moss?

MOSS: Yes, but...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, I`m sorry! Do you agree with that? Let`s get the debate going. Holly?

HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: OK, Jane. I agree 100 percent with Susan. What I`m not hearing is personal responsibility. Chris`s mother -- and God bless her, I can`t imagine her grief right now. But what I`m not hearing is Chris is responsible for what happened. We haven`t even proven this is a `roid rage murder, Jane. What we have is a planned-out, well thought-out domestic violence issue situation. He killed his wife on Friday. He killed his son Saturday. Not until Sunday did he take his own life.

We don`t even know -- this doesn`t seem like rage to me. This seems like a planned execution from a man who has had problems with domestic violence in the past. He is responsible for what he did...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right...

HUGHES: ... not the DEA, not the WWE...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good...

HUGHES: ... and not his mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good point. Bethany Marshall, critics of this `roid rage theory are saying you don`t have `roid rage for three days. And this crime occurred over a three-day period.

MARSHALL: Well, I will tell you from my experience in clinical practice, you do, because it`s too categorical to say you`re having a rage attack or you`re not having a rage attack. What happens with these guys -- and I`ve seen it in (INAUDIBLE) setting and I`ve treated professional wrestlers -- is a lack of objectivity steps in, an unreasonableness.

Dr. Siegel talked about the aggression. They get addicted to the rage. It waxes and wanes over time. Sometimes they indulge it because it feels good. So it could be that he killed one family member. He calmed down. The rage came and went. And then he got the courage up to kill another one and then finally to kill himself. But I think it`s erroneous to say he was in a panic or in a rage or he wasn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s bring our two wrestlers back and put them into the debating ring -- they`re used to being in the ring -- and talk a little bit about how bad the problem is with professional wrestlers because Conan was on the other night and said it`s a mess. There`s rampant drug use. We`ve had other critics saying the same thing. So Steve Blackman, what say you?

STEVE BLACKMAN, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: Well, I`d like the opportunity to comment on the amounts that they said a doctor was giving Benoit. They said he was giving him a 10-month supply every three weeks, is that correct? And what my question would be is, I would want to see the toxicology reports to see if it substantiates the amounts that he was giving Benoit and if he was actually taking those amounts before we jump the gun here because for all we know, he was giving some of them away. He might not have been taking all those.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, so what about...

BLACKMAN: So I would like to see if those match that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... the larger issue of this alleged rampant drug use?

BLACKMAN: Well, there`s -- I mean, the drug use, if you`re being broad spectrum here, steroids, painkillers, a multitude of different drugs, I mean, there`s a fair amount going on. But the issue with Benoit -- and I`m sticking to my opinion that that`s a variety of drugs and circumstances that caused him to go on that rampage.



MERO: I got to step in. I got to step in. Steve, you`ve got to get off the fence, OK? We`ve got a platform here to make a difference in many lives. Do you know how many families have been destroyed through professional wrestling deaths, wives and husbands and children? We got an opportunity now to make a change. And if we don`t say there`s a problem in professional wrestling, keep sugar-coating in by saying, Well, you know, some guys -- no, it was bad. We did steroids. We did painkillers. We did al kinds of drugs. We did whatever it took to make it to the show, to keep our spot on national television. Let`s be honest for just once, please!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve, that was a body blow.

BLACKMAN: You can`t -- you can`t deny -- now, let me say -- well, hang on a second. First of all, you can`t deny that I`ve been honest with everything that I`ve said...

MERO: Steve, you`re so worried about...

BLACKMAN: ... about it. We`ve been on two shows together.

MERO: ... everyone pointing the finger at you taking steroids. It doesn`t even matter about what you did! I`m not saying...

BLACKMAN: I`m not worried about anybody pointing the finger at me.

MERO: I could care less! Every time I`m on a show with you, you talk about, I don`t do steroids. Who gives a damn, OK? People are dying! Let`s do something about it!


BLACKMAN: Well, first of all...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... you`ve admitted that you`ve done steroids. Steve, do you admit that you`ve done steroids?

BLACKMAN: I never took any steroids when I was in WWF. And he says, Who gives a damn? I give a damn!

MERO: OK, forget that...


BLACKMAN: Let me finish! Stop interrupting me for a second!


BLACKMAN: ... keep interrupting me like this?

MERO: You didn`t take steroids, ever?

BLACKMAN: In 1987 and `88, I did for a little while (INAUDIBLE) until I had an allergic reaction in `89, and I never took anything since.

MERO: OK, so lets` -- so we can agree we all did steroids, whether you were in the WWE or not. I didn`t do steroids in WWE. Last time I did steroids was 1994. So I...


MERO: Look, just admit you did steroids! That`s all you got to do. Then we can move on and start making changes.

BLACKMAN: The correlation here...

MERO: The sport needs to be regulated.

BLACKMAN: Well, it does need to be regulated. I`m not disagreeing with you on that issue.

MERO: Yes, but every time I talk to you, you`re on the fence!

BLACKMAN: I`m just trying to...


MERO: You`re given this TV, this opportunity to make changes in people`s lives. In life, it`s about doing the right thing. Let`s step up to the plate and do the right thing!

BLACKMAN: OK, well, you`re all wound up here. Yes, a lot of the guys the guys` families have been destroyed. And I agree with you, it does need to be regulated. But everyone in there is still an adult. And we do suck it up and we all live in pain and we all live on painkillers, trying to make it through this (INAUDIBLE) business. But it doesn`t change the fact that everyone`s an adult here, and they`re making their own choice (INAUDIBLE) Nobody`s putting them on a platter and shoving them down your throat. So you got to take a little bit of responsibility for yourself.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Associated Press story is saying that there were -- that Chris Benoit was prescribed 10 months` worth of steroids every three to four weeks by Dr. Astin for a one-year period. That`s an incredible amount of steroids. It makes you wonder, was Chris Benoit using all those steroids? Was Chris Benoit giving them to some of his friends in the pro wrestling world? An absolutely stunning development. Not to mention the fact that this Dr. Astin apparently prescribed one million doses of controlled substances over a two-year period.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. More bizarre developments surface in the tragic double murder-suicide involving wrestling great Chris Benoit, who is believed to have committed suicide after killing his wife and 7-year-old son.

Right now, we have a wrestling match of words between two former WWE wrestlers. Steve Blackman, you were trying to make a point about personal responsibility. Take it away, sir.

BLACKMAN: Well, I mean, I understand what Marc`s saying. I mean, I know all too well about people dying in pro wrestling. All the guys I started with back in Calgary in `88, British Bulldog, Chris Benoit, Owen Hart, I mean, the majority of my friends are all dead. I mean, there were, like, 10 of us that were like that for, like, 10 years in there, I mean, 10 years -- you know, the first 10 years in the business. And now all of them are dead except me. I mean, it`s a brutal business. But...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re making the opposition`s point there, it seems.

BLACKMAN: Yes, but I mean -- I mean, Owen was a tragic accident. Some of the other guys weren`t in WWE. They were in other leagues. Yes, it`s a brutal business. And we all live in pain. I live in pain constantly from or being in that business for all of those years. But I`m just saying, as an adult, nobody`s putting that on a platter and shoving it down your throat, you know, the steroids, the painkillers, whatever. I mean, sometimes you have to just draw the line and not take as many or don`t take them at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marc, what do you say?

MERO: There`s those few spots available on television, you`re going to do anything to get it, whether it`s taking pain medication, whether it`s taking the tons of anti-inflammatories we used to have to take. We would do it to make those few spots.

Professional wrestling -- it`s got to be regulated. There`s no retirement for us. We have no health insurance. There`s nothing for the professional wrestler. We`re on the road 300 days a year, doing 250 venues. There`s no off-season. You talk about the pressure to keep your body going, just to make it to the ring...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it was `roid rage because, you know, what he did sounded a little bit more deliberate, and it was over a three- day span. And `roid rage is kind of just bouts and fits of rage for, you know, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, whatever. He obviously snapped. But the bottom line is, is that, you know, wrestlers are taking a lot of painkillers, steroids and recreational drugs, and it needs to be cleaned up and it needs to be regulated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. What can we learn from the hideous double murder-suicide carried out by wrestling great Chris Benoit in a case that has touched off huge, massive controversies about steroids and how America`s war on drugs is fought?

Let`s bring back our two former WWE wrestlers to continue wrestling over this issue. You know, Marc, it`s not just about the wrestlers, it`s about the kids. You guys are role models. And now we have high school athletes taking steroids because they want to look like you guys.

MERO: And that`s my point. Governor Charlie Crist just signed into law last Tuesday here in my hometown of Orlando, Florida, in the state of Florida -- one of the second states to do this, that we`re going to be doing random steroid testing on high school athletes. That`s why we started a program here where we`re going to be speaking at schools all across the state. And if you go to my Web site, -- coaches, teachers, please call us, and we`re going to come to your school.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Drug Enforcement Administration says Chris Benoit`s name surfaced during an investigation before he killed his wife, son and himself. Federal agents discovered the professional wrestler was buying large amounts of steroids, but Benoit wasn`t charged, and his supply continued until at least May.

Also, prosecutors questioned World Wrestling Entertainment`s statements that Benoit`s son had a form of mental retardation called Fragile X syndrome. Prosecutors say Benoit`s son`s medical records don`t mention a pre-existing mental or physical impairment. WWE has since backed away from that statement.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace. We are duking it out with two former WWE wrestlers, and both friends of Chris Benoit, over the state of professional wrestling. And so many fans said they were shocked when this happened. They couldn`t believe it. But a family violence expert said, quote, "He was paid to be violent, and he took that violence home with him." And the wife, ex-wife of a famous wrestler, has come out publicly saying, "Domestic abuse is rampant in professional wrestling."

Again, it`s more than you guys. It`s the people who are impacted. Nancy Benoit and her child are dead, and there`s a woman saying that domestic abuse is rampant in professional wrestling. Steve Blackman, what do you say?

STEVE BLACKMAN, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: Well, I don`t see the correlation with domestic abuse and professional wrestling. But the issue of all of these drugs and steroids, painkillers, whatever you want to talk about, in professional wrestling, yes, it needs to be monitored, regulated much better.

I mean, I do agree with Marc on the issue where the guys do anything to stay on the road. They start taking a couple painkillers, which is OK. They build up an immunity, and then it becomes so excessive that, over a five- and ten-year period, they`re taking amounts that would kill a normal person in a day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Marc, Steve just said he doesn`t see a correlation between these problems and domestic abuse. But when you were experiencing `roid rage because you`re taking steroids and you`re taking, let`s say, GHB, and you`re drinking alcohol, and you`re on the road 200- days-plus a year, that sounds like a prescription for domestic abuse.

MARC MERO, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: Exactly. You know, when you`re taking that many drugs and you`re coming off the road, you`re stressed out, there`s a lot of things that happen on the road. And the stress that you`re involved with when you come home, you`re not always in the best mood.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And I want to bring...

BLACKMAN: Well, no, you`re not, but it doesn`t mean that guys go home and beat their wife.


MERO: I`m not saying that. I`m just saying whenever you mix drugs and alcohol and stress and steroids, you know, there are -- it`s more likely that something bad is going to happen than good. But I keep coming back to the point that, you know, I carried this with me because it`s so important. Until people see that I have wrestled 25 wrestlers that are dead, we need to do something about this.


MERO: We need to get together, Steve, not fight each other. We need other wrestlers to stand up and say, "Enough is enough." We`ve got to have this sport regulated. There`s got to be an off-season. There`s got to be help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what kind of regulation? I mean, we keep talking about, "Let`s regulate it." What kind of regulation? They have random testing, and Chris Benoit passed on April 10th, at the very time that he was allegedly buying all of these steroids.

MERO: Let`s do mandatory testing. Let`s have the proper tests brought in that they do for Olympics and some of other sports. I don`t know what WWE is doing right now, so I can`t really elaborate on that. But they have to have the proper testing brought in. They have to have some type of off-season, maybe after Wrestlemania. Give the guys two months off the road.

There`s got to be some type of someone that`s going to step up. Nobody in the industry is going to step up, because they certainly are going to -- you know, their profile may be raised or lowered by a writer. Who knows?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me bring in Mike Brooks, CNN law enforcement analyst, because we`re talking about over the past few days congressional investigations. We`re saying the DEA should have gone in there. What other options given that, for example, the WWE -- and we want to hear from them. We want to get their side of the story -- is a publicly traded corporation.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: Absolutely. And, you know, drug testing, I was a cop for 26 years. I went through drug tests all the time. A lot of other industries do the same thing. But you have to have a program that`s regulated, that is run the proper way, and not just by some outside company.

Because we`re hearing from Conan the other evening, and he was saying, yes, they go ahead, they bust one of these lower-level wrestlers just to make an example out of them, but they`re not going -- WWE is not going to go after one of their big moneymakers, not at all.

So, you know, who`s going to regulate it? It`s not going to be the government. You know, is there going to be some oversight? I think what Marc and Steve were saying that, yes, we need to have somebody come in like they do for the Olympic testing, those kind of things, but it has to be an honest company aside from the WWE.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, let`s bring in our attorneys. We`ve got three of them tonight, and they`re all very well-versed in this issue. What kind of regulation -- perhaps we can start with Lisa Wayne, defense attorney -- are we talking about here? Because for weeks now, since this horrific tragedy has happened, I guess approximately 11 days ago, we`ve been talking about regulation. Let`s get specific.

LISA WAYNE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I agree with the rest of the panel. I mean, it has to be internal regulations within the WWE. The problem is this: If you`re an addict and you`re using, there are always ways to mask that you`re using and to disguise that. So even if you have internal regulations within the culture itself, if you want to use, you will figure out a way to do that.

So I think you have to go to the source of a different problem, and that is treating addicts, finding out who the addicts are, and helping them out so that it`s not this scarlet letter that they can`t come forward but, in fact, they can disclose the problem and get treatment for it early on.

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: In fact, you`re exactly right. And the culture of wrestling itself needs to be changed. Being big and strong is not enough, apparently, when you`re a professional wrestler. You need to be the biggest and you need to be the strongest. The culture seems to be that you need steroids to achieve these goals. And I`ll tell you something, it`s a real tragedy that steroids is as important to wrestling equipment as those cute little outfits.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Susan, or rather prosecutor Holly Hughes, let me ask you a very productive question. And I say it delicately; I say it with hesitation. But is there any sense that perhaps with viewership somewhat down with professional wrestling that this so-called sport is going to go the way of other sports that society has ultimately deemed inappropriate or uncivilized, like bull fighting?

HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: Well, I don`t think it`s going anywhere any time soon, Jane. What you`re talking about is hundreds of millions of fans who tune in and pay money for pay-per-view. They like to see this.

What we need to do -- I agree with the rest of the panel, I agree with my fellow attorneys, but nobody talked about, yes, we`re going to regulate. But what are we going to do when they break the regulations? Are we going to suspend them? Are we going to tell them they can`t wrestle?

The problem is the watchdog group has to be separate from the WWE, because these are the moneymakers, like Mike pointed out. You`re going to have to say, "You`re pulled. You can`t wrestle tonight." So guess what? If you build something, and you`ve ran it, and you`ve advertised it, and you said these guys are going to be on tonight, hey, if you test positive for steroids, you can`t wrestle. So you need to have sanctions along with your regulations, Jane, and nobody is talking about that. What are we going to do when they violate the regulations? That`s what I want to know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, the phone lines are lighting up. Kim in Virginia, your question. Hello, Kim?

CALLER: Oh, hello.


CALLER: My question is, as being a victim of domestic violence myself, was there any previous allegations of domestic violence, just in Benoit`s defense, of his previous relationship before his marriage to Nancy?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go to Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, about this, because she had filed for divorce in 2003 and, during that time, she filed a protection order saying she feared for her own safety and her child`s safety. So quite often, when you have that history, violence, deadly violence ultimately erupts, is that not true?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, 65 percent of domestic homicides occur after a woman has left the relationship; that`s important to know. But really what happens can happen with steroid use, with domestic homicide, and just with domestic violence in general is something that we call obsessional paranoia. The guy feels that he`s been wronged, persecuted, betrayed, abandoned. He begins to perseverate, to obsess on it. He becomes paranoid, which increases aggression and the wish to lash out at the woman. And as she`s about to leave the relationship, he becomes convinced that he has to stop her, and he`s been betrayed at even a deeper level, and that`s when it becomes worse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why the child, I don`t think we`ll ever have the answer to that.

To tonight`s "Amber Alert." The search for a 12-year-old girl kidnapped in Tacoma, Washington. Zinna Linnik, last seen Wednesday night watching fireworks near her home with friends when she vanishes. Linnik, wearing a pink t-shirt, capri pants, and red flip-flops. The suspect described as an Asian male traveling in a gray van with a Washington state license plate, 12-year-old Zinna is 4`10", 80 pounds, blonde hair. If you have any information at all, please call Tacoma police, 253-591-5963.

When we come back right back, a young woman with severe stab wounds left to die on the floor of a busy convenience store as people continue shopping.



ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: A woman lied dying inside a Kansas convenience store. She is bleeding to death from stab wounds. You think that`s bad? It gets worse. There were plenty of witnesses in the store who didn`t even stop to help. In fact, police say surveillance video shows at least five customers, they just continued doing their shopping. One even stopped and took a cell phone picture of the dying woman, the dying woman on the floor. This after the dying woman actually tried to get up, she collapsed three times.

How does this happen? Well, eventually, after at least two minutes, someone called 911. The victim, 27-year-old LaShanda Calloway, eventually died at the hospital. A 19-year-old woman charged with first-degree murder for stabbing the woman, but police said they can`t do anything to the bystanders.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace. It`s a horrifying story that is so revolting, it`s hard to believe, but authorities say they have proof in the form of videotape. On Saturday, June 23rd, 27-year-old LaShanda Calloway lay bleeding to death on the floor of a Wichita, Kansas, convenience store while at least five customers stepped over her to continue shopping.

Police say one woman even took out her cell phone camera and clicked away. The injured woman later died. The callous reaction of the customers shocked even hardened police officers. For the very latest, let`s go straight out to "Wichita Eagle" columnist Mark McCormick who broke this story.

First of all, Mark, great reporting. Congratulations. Paint a brief picture, if you will, of what happened inside that store?

MARK MCCORMICK, "WICHITA EAGLE": Well, from my understanding, LaShanda was in the store. Another woman entered the store. A fight ensued. Another patron separated the women, and then the woman who arrived second went out to her car, came back with a knife, and stabbed her, and then left the scene. And while LaShanda lay bleeding on the floor, no fewer than five people stepped over her, continued to make purchases. And one person in particular who had stepped over her four times paused to take a picture of her with a camera function on a cell phone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, and the 19-year-old woman who allegedly stabbed LaShanda has now been charged with first-degree murder. I want to go to Dr. Marc Siegel, internist and former E.R. doctor at NYU-Bellevue. You`re looking at a photo of the suspect there.

Authorities say LaShanda Calloway lost about two precious minutes. How important are two minutes when you`re rushing somebody to the E.R.?

DR. MARC SIEGEL, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, NYU: Jane, that could be very important, because, first of all, when it`s a stab wound to the belly, you have all of your vital organs in there. It could have gone through the intestine. There`s a lot of arteries and veins, and you end up dying a lot of times through blood loss.

So if the people there, if anyone had thought to use a belt to put a tourniquet around the limbs, maybe somebody could have known CPR, the main thing was, of course, to call 911 right away, because once EMS comes, they can put a I.V. in and resuscitate the fluid. Getting fluid in is the most important thing; that`s why 911 has to be called right away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a needless tragedy. And, unfortunately, it`s not the first time, Mike Brooks, this has happened. There`s a famous 1964 case of Kitty Genevieve in Queens. She was murdered, 38 witnesses, nobody did anything, and there are more recent examples from Chicago.

BROOKS: If you just look at the one in Chicago back in February, where a rogue Chicago cop was in a tavern, Anthony Abatte, and they wouldn`t serve him anymore. They were cutting him off. He went around and started just beating the hell out of the bartender. And that was captured on tape, and people standing around, not doing a thing. Made me sick. He was charged with 15 counts, including battery, official misconduct, intimidation, aggravated battery.

You know, and then you`ve got another case, too, Jane, this -- when I saw it, I said -- I wanted to jump through the screen and beat that guy. It`s a 91-year-old man just outside of Detroit, Leonard Simms. He was beaten by a 22-year-old guy in the parking lot while people stood five feet away.


BROOKS: You see people were just right away, 91 years old. That guy, he definitely needs to go to jail and get a beating in jail, because there`s no reason for this, not at all. And you see the people were not jumping in to help at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ve got to bring a shrink in after seeing that horrific -- look at this guy. He`s on the floor. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, is there any explanation for this kind of callous behavior?

MARSHALL: Well, as much as I`d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn`t know what was happening, what I think happened is that, on some level, they must have felt this girl had it coming to her, whether they thought she was on drugs or (INAUDIBLE) person or in a brawl, they felt she observed it.

I think, in our culture of video games, violence, war, people have learned to disconnect from the value of human life. We`re becoming like emerging nations and third world countries, where people have to disconnect from misery and suffering in order to survive. And according to one study, there is a rise worldwide of anti-social behavior, which is measured through homicide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, it`s so horrifying.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, you know, luckily, there are good people out there, and those people have been profiled here on CNN Headline News. And we call them "CNN Heroes."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear Dorine, thank you for the care packages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t have much over here, and every little thing that you send us makes us very happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said that we are your heroes, but it`s people like you that are the real heroes.

DORINE KENNEY, "CNN HERO": My name is Dorine Kenney, and I`m the mother of Specialist Jacob Fletcher, who was a paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade if Iraq. Whenever I got a little nervous and anxious that he was there, I`d get in my car and go shopping and try and be creative and think of silly things to send him to lift his spirits.

I have sent Jacob boxes sometimes twice a week, and I just never stopped sending boxes. I started a foundation in my son`s memory. Our focus is to get soldiers, especially the soldiers without family support or support from home, boxes and letters of support. I feeling like I`m fulfilling something that would please my son.

All of it is donated. Checks come in from all over the country. I go out and I do the shopping once we collect money. And volunteers come and move it over to the American Legion. We set it up on the tables. And then we pack boxes of toiletries and food to support our military.

In every box, we`ll be putting bug spray, Q-Tips, toothpaste, peanut butter, and I take requests, whatever they want. We want to make sure they`re taken care of. The next day, a volunteer comes, takes it to the post office and will mail them.

I have to make sure that our letters get in there. It`s really kept me alive. It`s given me focus. It`s given me a strong purpose. I don`t doubt he`s there, and I don`t doubt that I`ll see him again. And I`ll work hard and do what I can to make the world a better place until I do meet him again.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sickness is really what it is, sickness. Some day, one of their loved ones might need some help, if someone did, if their loved one`s like that, it`s a feeling that`s not nice.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace. As we seek the big picture to try and explain such hideously callous behavior as walking over a dying woman to continue shopping, ignoring her as she struggles to get up repeatedly and collapses. The phone lines have lit up. And Jean in New Mexico, your question?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. What I`d like to know is, did the person that was working there do anything, or did they keep ringing customers up like nothing was wrong?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mike Brooks, what do you say?

BROOKS: You know, I`m not sure, but a lot of convenience stores like this, they`re back behind some bullet-resistant glass. So they might not have even seen this person down in the aisle. And it sounds like none of these customers brought it to anyone`s attention. That`s just unbelievable to me that they can just step over and then to take a picture of it, that`s just -- to me, it`s just unbelievable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark McCormick, you want to jump in quickly?

MCCORMICK: Yes, I think that`s a great point. I mean, I kind of separate the other people out from the photo-taker. I mean, we could all rationalize on some level, some far-out level, that we wouldn`t want to get involved. Maybe this person is coming back with a knife, whatever. Maybe we want to leave the store and call and not do it right there. But the person who took the photograph, that really puts everything into perspective.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It does. And, unfortunately, because Kansas does not have a Good Samaritan law, they will not be prosecuted, criminally at least.

Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Karen Clifton, just 22, from Lehigh Acres, Florida, killed in Iraq. Clifton dreamed of enlisting ever since she was a little girl and put her college studies on hold so she could go to Iraq. She was serving an extended tour of duty. Clifton, an avid Indy car racing fan who loved to shop and eat at her favorite restaurant, Red Lobster, she dreamed of becoming a police officer back in the states. Clifton leaves behind grieving parents Douglas and Chris and sisters Cindy and Heather. Karen Clifton, an American hero.

We want to thank all of our guests tonight for your insights. Thanks to you at home for tracking these very important cases with us. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in tonight for Nancy Grace. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern. Until then, have a wonderful and a safe evening.