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NANCY GRACE

Kidnapped Chicago Children Shown in Arkansas Surveillance Video

Aired April 24, 2008 - 20:00:00   ET

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


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. Police on high alert for three small children kidnapped just outside their Chicago elementary school, the 6, 7 and 11-year-old in extreme danger, their mom found dead inside the family home. As we go to air, an arrest warrant handed down in the last 24 hours. Grainy surveillance video emerges of the person of interest, on the run, criss-crossing the country with the children. Do they even know their mom is dead?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say surveillance video catches Benito Casanova and the three missing children at an Arkansas convenience store. Police have issued a no-bond warrant for the arrest of Casanova for the abduction of the three young children allegedly taken outside their school last Friday. In the video, police say Casanova and the children, who appear to be unhurt, are seen going into the store and buying items. While police say Garcia`s murder remains unsolved, police are on the hunt for Casanova, who they say may have headed to Mexico with the three children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight: Real-life "Mean Girls" takes on a whole new meaning after a brutal all-girl gang attack on a teenage honor student cheerleader all caught on video, the so-called popular girls accused of luring a classmate into a vicious beating in an upscale Florida home, leaving the girl unrecognizable even to her own father and with loss of hearing and sight, the "girls gone wild" videotaping to star themselves on YouTube and MySpace.

Headlines tonight: Bombshell, motive revealed. Was this brutal beating, landing adult felony charges and the possibility of years behind bars, all over beauty products, ladies toiletries? Incredible! Well, get used to it, ladies. There won`t be any toiletries behind bars.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her personal diary reveals what she said happened that day she was blindsided by a group of six teenage friends at a Lakeland home, the brutal attack caught on tape, the victim`s diary part of a bundle of court documents emerging after a gag order is lifted, some of the allegations in those documents shocking. Interviews with the 16-year- old victim revealed not only was she beaten up in several rooms but forced to pose for the cameras to display her massive injuries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

911 OPERATOR: OK, there was more than one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there were six, six girls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If not more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If not more, she said.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s got blood in her mouth, and she`s got a big old knot on her left eye. And we think that she`s got a tooth broke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want thank you for being with us. Tonight, police on high alert for three small children kidnapped from their elementary school, their mom found dead in the family home. In the last 24 hours, grainy surveillance video emerges of the person of interest on the run, criss-crossing the country with the children. Do they even know their mom is dead?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The three young Chicago children who have been missing since last Friday are captured on surveillance video in Arkansas. Police say video shows Benito Casanova and the three children at a local convenience store buying items. The children appear to be unhurt, and police will not say when and where the video was taken. As police say Casanova and the three children headed to Mexico, a no-bond warrant has been issued for Casanova for the abduction of the three children. While the FBI has joined in the search, authorities are working to bring the kids home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Straight out to Eben Brown, investigative reporter. What`s the latest?

EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Good evening, Nancy. The latest is that police have issued or -- this no-bond warrant for the arrest of Benito Casanova specifically for the abduction of the three kids. What they have not done yet is to name a suspect in the murder of the children`s mother.

GRACE: OK, let me get this straight, Eben Brown. They are not saying Casanova is a suspect in the murder, Benito O. Casanova. But they are saying that he`s a person of interest in the kidnap of the three children which, incidentally, happened the same day as the mom was brutally bludgeoned to death.

BROWN: That`s correct. Police still want to talk to Benito Casanova about the murder of his former wife or girlfriend. We`re not quite sure of their relationship just yet. But in terms of -- if they`re looking for him for a specific crime, it`s the abduction of these three kids, which at this present time, there is a restraining order against Casanova for making sure -- or supposed to be making sure that he keeps away from these kids.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lawyers, Susan Moss, Anne Bremner, Richard Herman. Susan Moss, right now, this guy has not been named a suspect in the murder. But he`s got the three kids, and grainy surveillance video has emerged in Arkansas, far, far away from the Chicago home where the woman is found dead, with the three kids. They`re going into, like, a 7-Eleven to buy things inside.

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely. Maybe the strategy is that they think that this guy`s going to take these kids to Mexico. And as we know from other recent cases, who you go to Mexico and you`re trying to get somebody brought back to the U.S., if they are being charged with murder, there are very strict restrictions as to what the penalties can and cannot be in order to secure their return to the United States. Maybe at this time, they are only charging him with kidnapping because in the event that he is captured in Mexico, they want to bring him back without those restrictions for a later murder charge.

GRACE: To Anne Bremner. What do you make of it? He`s now in Arkansas.

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think, Nancy, that -- you know, first of all, you said, Do the three kids know their mom is dead? The question is, Does he know that his -- that she`s dead? But second, with respect to Mexico, there`s a rule of specialty (ph) that basically says an extradition, you`ve got to rule a specialty that they`re going to - - if they`re taking him back on murder, then that`s what they`re going to have to look at in Mexico. They can`t, you know, do a bait and switch in terms of getting him back here.

GRACE: OK. Take a listen to what the teacher had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Broke my heart because, you know, you wonder that this too -- the kids` mom -- you know, what about the kids, you know, just to take them like that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Evelyn Soto (ph) is a teaching assistant at Yates (ph) School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mom, always there for her kids. I mean, after school, she shows up there, just waiting for them. Very, very nice lady. Hopefully, they`ll come back safe, God willing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neighbor Wanda Shackleford (ph) says she saw Garcia Friday morning, walking her three children to school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She did not look concerned. The kids were happy. Everybody was fine. And I see them every morning because I walk my dog before I go to work. And she`s (INAUDIBLE) her kids are first out here, walking the little chihuahua. Then they all get ready and go to school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Back out to Eben Brown, investigative reporter. Explain to me how a guy that`s got a protective order against him by the deceased, the mother, a guy that has been under investigation by DFACS, Department of Family and Children Services, was able to go to that Chicago elementary school and pick the children up and leave with them, last known to be in Arkansas?

BROWN: Well, that`s the discrepancy because the child protective services, or department of family services, as it`s called -- or however it`s called in Illinois, they say that it is their policy to inform a school of any type of restraining order, injunction, anything like that that would prevent a parent or at one time a caregiver from having contact with these kids while they were in school. They have not commented specifically on this case. They just say that that`s their policy. The school, however, says they were never told.

GRACE: What about it? To Ofelia Casillas, child welfare reporter with "The Chicago Tribune"?

OFELIA CASILLAS, "CHICAGO TRIBUNE": Well, basically, (INAUDIBLE) has told us directly that this is their policy to inform the school of any investigation of abuse or neglect, as they did to this family in March of `07. And they specifically said in this case that they did follow that policy. It`s unclear, because it was from March 2007, what happened since then in terms of the school being notified.

GRACE: Well, DFACS did contact us promptly. They say they`re more than happy to come on our show to discuss the issue, but they`re legally bound from doing so, that they can`t comment on the details of any individual investigation. They do, however, comment on the details of the 2007 incident, and they state that there was an investigation of the person of interest, Mr. Casanova.

Let`s go back to finding out about where they`re last seen. To Scott Haines, sheriff`s officer, Santa Rosa County, Florida. If they`re seen in Arkansas, why are we so convinced they`re headed to Mexico?

SCOTT HAINES, SHERIFF`S OFFICER, SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FL: It seems like the way that they`re traveling, heading south from Chicago down through Arkansas. Obviously, law enforcement feel that they have some ties in Mexico that they`re not disclosing to us. So from what I`ve read, it seems that they are confident that`s where they`re headed. And it very well could be to avoid prosecution and to avoid the death penalty.

GRACE: Back out to the lawyers, Susan Moss, Anne Bremner, Richard Sherman.

We`re all taking your calls. Out to Verberee in New York. Hi, Verberee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I watch your show every night.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just curious to know, if they think that they`re headed to Mexico, why isn`t the Mexican officials at the border basically waiting for them?

GRACE: Richard Herman, the reality is it`s much more carefully guarded as to who leaves Mexico to come into the States versus who goes from the States into Mexico. Do I have to say Cesar Laurean, the guy now extradited back for the murder of Marine corporal Maria Lauterbach? He even took public transportation. He took a bus across the border. He probably got the military discount.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, that`s why Lou Dobbs screams and yells every day. I`ll tell you, Nancy, these borders are ridiculous. Anybody can get into Mexico from the United States. That`s tough coming back in, though. And apparently, if he`s in Mexico, he`s there to avoid a potential death penalty case.

GRACE: Well, let me ask you this. Why is it, Richard Herman -- we know that he has been spotted on video in a 7-Eleven-type establishment, buying things with the kids with him, this guy criss-crossing the country. He`s a person of interest in the abduction of these three children. They`ve got him on video with them in the last 24 hours. Why, Richard, are they not naming him a suspect in the murder? Are we supposed to believe that somebody else came in, bludgeoned the mother to death, then poses her body, poses her body as if it had been hung, placed a plastic bag over the dead mother`s head -- this was all happening at the same time the kids are abducted from school? Why aren`t they naming him a suspect? He is not a suspect at this juncture.

HERMAN: I don`t know, Nancy. Here`s a news flash. He is a suspect, in reality. This guy is a suspect. But how many domestic relations cases, Nancy, when you were a prosecutor, did you see with domestic violence where it was a murder by hanging? You just don`t see it like that. So you know, maybe we should just step back before we Nifong this guy...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: Are you saying it was a murder by hanging? Is that what you just said?

HERMAN: Well, that`s...

GRACE: Because it`s not. It`s a murder by blunt trauma to the head. She had incredible injuries to her cranium. Then she was hung after that. That`s the cause of death. The hanging is not the cause of death, Richard.

HERMAN: Well, you know, maybe experts will differ on that, Nancy, but...

GRACE: No, nobody`s differed. But you are correct. She was found -- and that`s what the report will tell you -- she was found hanging in her home, but the cause of death, blows to the head.

And you know what? Let`s call in a shrink, Richard. You`re making a very valid point. Dr. Bethany Marshall, blows to the head, cause of death, but they find her hanging with a plastic bag over her head.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, I mean, whoever killed her really, really, really wanted her dead. And I would imagine he was pretty chaotic and disorganized and in a rage attack because if he killed her -- hit her in the head, then had to put a bag over the head and then hang her, this is the kind of guy that just doesn`t really know what`s going on around him.

And a point about him possibly being a suspect, even though he hasn`t been named. About 76 percent of domestic homicides occur after a woman has tried to leave a relationship. And according to some written reports, he had -- Casanova said to Garcia, If you try to leave, I`m going to kill you and then I`m going to kill myself. So what kind of threat was this woman under? And had she tried to leave the relationship or to unsuccessfully separate, and then he just fell apart and became homicidal?

GRACE: Well, I find it very interesting -- Richard brought up a good point. The police report says they go in and they find her hanging, and a lot of people think she died of asphyxiation by ligature, by hanging. The reality is, the cause of death were massive blows to the head.

Let`s go out to the lines. Eric in Kentucky. Hi, Eric.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. It`s Erica, but...

GRACE: Hi, Erica.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a question. I work with Hispanic people here where I live at, and I want to know if he would have to show birth certificates at the border and if the man is considered legal in the United States?

GRACE: I think -- out to Eben Brown. Eben, he is legal, correct?

BROWN: He is legally here in this country. We are told that he may have some ties to Mexico, perhaps family or friends, and that could be one of the reasons why police think he`s on his way there or there already. So all this is still, of course, speculation. But he is here legally.

GRACE: To Scott Haines, sheriff`s officer in Santa Rosa County, Florida. When you cross from U.S. to Mexico, it`s my understanding you do not have to show a birth certificate. What do you have to show?

HAINES: I`m not sure exactly what they require. But one good thing is that the surveillance video helps with...

GRACE: I think a driver`s license might work.

HAINES: Right. But the surveillance video being shown -- there was a possibility before the Amber Alert was even issued they could have been in Mexico, but the surveillance showing that he was still there a short while ago in Arkansas -- hopefully, they will be tighter at the borders and be on the lookout for him, and I think that definitely is an advantage.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Out to Susan Moss, Anne Bremner and Richard Herman again. Susan, the reason I believe no one is naming him a suspect in the murder is because once you`re named -- they`re not even coming out and saying he`s a suspect in the kidnapping. They`ve got an arrest warrant, but they`re calling him a person of interest. He`s on video with the kidnapped kids in the last 24 hours.

Susan Moss, once you name someone a target or a suspect formally, then all of their constitutional protections attach.

MOSS: I got to tell you something. It is no big "coinkidink" that mom is dead and that the dad has the three kids. Now, he is not a formal suspect, but I will say that any father who kills the mother of his children is a special kind of murderer. You hear that, Drew Peterson?

GRACE: Yes. Not a suspect yet. Wonder what the police are thinking. Again, constitutional rights do not attach until you are named a target or a suspect.

To Kris in Idaho. Hi, Kris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I was calling to -- I was curious. Do they know for sure if he does have family there? And if he has a cell phone, can they not call that to try to locate where he is?

GRACE: Interesting. To Ofelia Casillas, child welfare reporter with "The Chicago Tribune." Doesn`t he have family in Mexico? And do we have any idea if he took a cell phone?

CASILLAS: What the Mexican consulate has told us is that Sophia Garcia is from Guerrero (ph), Mexico, so she, in fact, and the children by extension, have family in Mexico. I don`t know specifically about the father, and nor do I know about the cell phone, unfortunately.

GRACE: To Evelyn in New York. Hi, Evelyn.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love you. I love you! I just was wondering, but I think I heard them say he is definitely the father of these three children, right?

GRACE: He is the father of two of them. To Eben Brown. Have we confirmed he`s the biological father of third?

BROWN: No. No, we have not. We know for sure that he is the father of at least two of these children, but all three have his surname. They all are named Casanova.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do know for sure that he is the father of the children, ages 11, 7 and 6, and that he did, in fact, pick them up from the school at the time. He is not -- not -- has not been named a suspect in this particular murder investigation yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neighbor Wanda Shackleford says she saw Garcia Friday morning, walking her three children to school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She did not look concerned. The kids were happy. Everybody was fine. And I see them every morning because I walk my dog before I go to work, and she`s out here or her kids (INAUDIBLE) walking the little chihuahua, then they all get ready and go to school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Breaking news. In the last 24 hours, grainy surveillance video has emerged in Arkansas at a 7-Eleven-type business. The person of interest in this case, Benito O. Casanova, has been spotted on surveillance with the three kidnapped children. Tip line, 312-746-8282. Do they even know their mother is dead?

To Morgan in Texas. Hi, Morgan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Long-time fan. My question is -- I live right on the Texas and Arkansas border, and I`m curious why they`re not relating where the kids are in Arkansas because, besides myself, I have several family members here on that track to Mexico, that it could be helpful to us if we knew what...

GRACE: Morgan, you are so right on. Out to Eben Brown, investigative reporter. Look, I understand about playing your cards close to your vest when you`re getting ready for trial, but when you`re on a manhunt and three children`s lives are at stake, that is a whole different animal. Why aren`t police releasing more details about the location?

BROWN: Well, police haven`t said where in Arkansas this video is coming from, but they also haven`t said when in Arkansas this video was taken. They released it in the past 24 hours, but they have not said when this was actually recorded. They may no longer be in Arkansas. This tape could be a few days old already.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cops were all over 1721 North Harding. Evidence technicians removed bags from the home as relatives of the victim looked on distraught and confused. After not hearing from 30-year-old Sophia Garcia since Friday, a relative came to the house, and police say that person discovered the crime scene, finding Garcia inside a closet with a plastic bag over her head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Broke my heart because, you know, you wonder that this -- the kids` mom, you know? What about the kids, you know, just to take them like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Evelyn Soto is a teaching assistant at Yates School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mom, always there for her kids. I mean, after school, she was up there, just waiting for them. Very, very nice lady. Hopefully, they`ll come back safe, God willing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Just released, grainy video taken in Arkansas at a 7-Eleven- type establishment of the person of interest, Mr. Casanova, as you know by now, Benito O. Casanova, 32 years of age, 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, brown hair, brown hair eyes. Take a look. With him, three kidnapped children, their mother found dead.

To Dr. David M. Posey. Dr. Posey is joining us from LA. Dr. Posey, given the cause of death, the brutal beating to the cranium area, cranial area, then the posed hanging with the plastic bag pulled over the head of the mom, what type of forensic evidence would you be looking for to find the killer?

DR. DAVID M. POSEY, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, I think you need to realize that when you`ve got this combination of findings that it makes you believe it`s a crime of passion. I don`t think this incident occurred over a few seconds, probably minutes or longer, so at the crime scene, there`s many things to look for, trace evidence. You want to look for blood. There may have been an altercation between the mother when she tried to fend off the aggressor, the perpetrator. So you look for trace evidence of blood, hairs, fibers, various things. You want to know exactly what happened at the scene itself. How much damage was there at the scene?

And then ultimately, the body is going to give you a lot of evidence. And you`ll have fingernail scrapings and know exactly what the injuries are, and so forth, to put it together. Was there a blunt force instrument used, a pipe, a bat, a 2-by-4, something of that nature? So there`s many things that the investigators and the forensic pathologists can be looking for to bring this all together to look for their perpetrator.

GRACE: Dr. David Posey joining us. Everybody, when we come back, real-life "Mean Girls" takes on a whole new meaning after a brutal all-girl gang attack on an honor student cheerleader. Tonight, was the brutal beating over beauty...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It`s the disturbing video making people around the country cringe in disbelief, especially parents with teenagers. And now that a judge lifted a gag order, we learn new details about a brutal teen mob beating. The 16-year-old victim allegedly beaten to a pulp by six other girls at a Lakeland, Florida home.

The attack purposely taped and intended for YouTube and MySpace. Shocking court documents reveal just before the attack an argument goes down over a hair brush and a razor, then threatening text messages follow.

From dreams of stardom on the Internet to handcuffs at court, all six female suspects and two males facing serious prison time, all charged as adults.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Polk County Sheriff`s Office. This is Brenda. What is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: 9-1-1 transfer.

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: I just got jumped.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: You just got what? Jumped?

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: Yes, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: And you know who did it?

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: Yes, I do.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK. What`s your name? OK. OK, and where are you?

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: I`m at my friend`s house.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Pardon?

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: I`m at my friend`s house in Lakeland. Do you need the address?

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Yes, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: OK. Hold on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE: And now we learn that the motive for this brutal beating, a beating so severe the honor student, cheerleader victim actually lost consciousness was over beauty products. Toiletries, a hair brush, a comb.

Out to Susan Candiotti, CNN national correspondent joining us from Miami.

Susan, you`re kidding, right?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, no, I`m not, Nancy. This is the information that`s coming out on these affidavits. Apparently, this was in part due to a flap over borrowing a hair brush and a razor. At least that`s what they`re saying.

Frankly, it`s hard the know what to believe. But they`d also tried to entice her over to the house by saying, hey, you let me $4 in gas money. I want the money back. So they lured her in, said come on. They were sending her messages throughout the day and then the victim in this case said, all of a sudden the text messages on the phone started turning nice. And then she became suspicious. But she still went back to the house and then was met with this.

GRACE: Joining me right now is Gloria Allred. Gloria is representing the beating victim, the 16-year-old honor student and cheerleader.

Gloria, it`s great to see you. I remember one of the murder cases I prosecuted was over $10. $10. And I could -- I couldn`t take it in at that time. I had just started prosecuting that a murder would go down over a $10 debt. This is over, what? $4 and a hair brush?

GLORIA ALLRED, REPRESENTING FLORIDA TEEN BEATING VICTIM: Well, I`m not prepared to comment on the evidence because I want to be sure that everyone has the right to a fair trial, but I will say that I can`t see any justification whatsoever for what at least appears on that videotape.

GRACE: What exactly were your client`s injuries, Gloria?

ALLRED: Well, she is still recovering from her injuries and I would say they were both physical and emotional. And this is the young woman. She did not deserve what happened to her. And fortunately, she is with her family and they`re very supportive of her.

GRACE: Now I keep looking at this video. What`s so astounding to me, Bethany Marshall, and I`ve covered and prosecuted plenty of beatings and gang activity. These girls are no better than a gang. They are a gang. And they put it -- they wanted to put it on YouTube. They wanted to put it on MySpace.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR OF "DEALBREAKERS": Well, I mean, a lot of crimes are motivated by infamy, not the wish to be famous. I mean look at John Marc Karr who inserted himself into another crime because he wanted public notoriety.

But I think what`s interesting is that the ring leader had an order of protection put against her by her own boyfriend whom she had stalked, which tells me that she probably has a personality disorder, meaning has difficulty with rejection, envy, negative affects, and I think she was very envious toward the victim who was living in her home, and although it appears to be about beauty products, it was probably that she perceived this girl as being more desirable and more beautiful than her so she wanted to beat her up, obliterate her and humiliate her in public.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Let`s go to the lawyers, Susan Moss, New York, Anne Bremner, Seattle, Richard Herman, New York.

You know, Richard, you and Anne usually tell me it didn`t happen. It didn`t happen. You can`t prove it. For once it`s caught on video, Anne Bremner. Now what`s your defense?

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, a gang of cheerleaders, you know, fighting over beauty products, we don`t know what happened before the tape, before it started. And we don`t know exactly what the injuries are because we`ve got the dot over her face. So there`s a lot of issues here and also, to have them tried as adults I think is a big quantum leap from what we usually see in these types of cases.

It`s -- this is infamy and that`s why it`s gaining this kind of attention and harsher penalties like trying to put them into the adult system but, you know, the whole make-up thing give it a really odd angle, Nancy, for sure.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Let`s go to Holly in Louisiana. Holly?

HOLLY, LOUISIANA RESIDENT: Yes, ma`am. Hey, Nancy. How are you today?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

HOLLY: I was calling to see whatever happened to the girl that Dr. Phil`s people bonded out?

GRACE: Interesting question.

Out to Eben Brown, investigative reporter. She`s right. The TV shrink Dr. Phil apparently sent a producer -- don`t know what level in his show the producer was -- bonded one of the attackers out. What`s become of all of that?

EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: If I`m not mistaken, that would be the same girl in question here. This Mercedes Nichols. The show took a lot of heat for that and eventually the executives of the show decided that they would not pursue that story.

And we`re also told that whoever authorized this was reprimanded, but they`ve decided that they are not going to have this interview with Mercedes Nichols, the original plan was, if the show bonded her out of jail, that they would have exclusive rights to her story.

GRACE: I`ve got in my hand just released the diary of the victim in this case. Video copy of it, anyway.

Susan Candiotti, I take it that all of this is coming out because the gag order has been lifted and if so, why was the gag order in place if only to be lifted?

CANDIOTTI: Well, you had, I think, two different judges involved. One judge put the gag order on protectively and I believe that was the juvenile court judge. Now that this is being tried as a criminal case in adult court, a different judge said, there`s no need for a gag order here and sheriff in this case, Sheriff Greedy Judd, had said, look, there`s no need for this. I was correct in speaking out about this case and my view this case has to be brought before the public. We need to get the message out that, yes, this is a horrible thing. And it can`t go on. We need to get that message out.

GRACE: This all came to light after a 9-1-1 call. Now we`ve seen the video. Take a listen to that call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Hi. I`m the mom.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I`m not her mom, but I`m the friend`s mom.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: That`s OK. Is she hurt? Does she need ambulance?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes. I think she needs -- she`s got a big ole` knot on the side of her eye.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK. And who was it that jumped her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom, I have to.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: They need to know who jumped you.

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: I`m writing all the named down.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: She`s going to write all the names down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK. There was more than one?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes. There was six, six girls.

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: If not more.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: If not more, she said.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: So she`s got blood in her mouth and she`s got a big ole` knot on her left eye, and we think she`s got a tooth broke.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Does she know how many -- are they still -- OK.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: No. Brittany Hardcastle, Mercedes Nichols.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK. She can tell the deputies.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: OK. OK. She`s writing them all down. OK. Are they still there? Do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED VICTIM: No.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: No, they left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And that`s not the end of it. Apparently now there are three more copycat videos that have been released, one in Missouri, one in Massachusetts, one in Indiana.

Incredible. Where did these come from, Susan Candiotti? I mean what are these about? Look at this.

CANDIOTTI: You know, Nancy, I -- it`s like the times in which we live, right? You hear about these things, they see about these things. Sadly, people tend to emulate, for example, the Columbine killings so when you see something like this, kids like to get on the Internet. They like to share things. They like -- it`s like all these beating videos have become very popular, although YouTube and the others try to take them off as soon as they become aware of it.

And that`s part of the problem. They have to be aware of it before they take them off.

GRACE: Exactly. And I`m not blaming YouTube or MySpace. What`s incredible to me is that these people think they`re going to be famous. They`re going to be behind bars for it.

I want to go to Jodee Blanco, anti-bullying activist, JodeeBlanco.com is where you can find out about these theories.

Jodee, now copycat videos have emerged. Look at this.

JODEE BLANCO, ANTI-BULLYING ACTIVIST, WWW.JODEEBLANCO.COM, FMR. BULLYING VICTIM: I know. And what`s amazing, Nancy, is that I work with thousands of bullied students all across America in schools and what happened in Florida and these copycat events, this is nothing new. This has been going on for years. What`s new is that America is just finally waking up.

GRACE: What`s new is you can take video from your cell phone, Jodee. That`s what`s new. Incredible.

We`re taking your calls live.

Tonight, the gag order has been lifted and we learn the motive for a brutal all-girl gang attack on a high school honor student cheerleader was over $4 and some toiletries. Right. A hair brush or a comb and four bucks. That`s what we`re hearing from the courtroom.

Out to the lines. Sandy in Washington. Hi, Sandy.

SANDY, WASHINGTON RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. I absolutely adore you and I want you to know that your babies are the luckiest kids to be blessed with you as a mommy.

GRACE: I feel like I`m the lucky one, but thank you.

SANDY: You are amazing. I`m just blessed to talk to you.

GRACE: Thank you.

SANDY: So my question -- I`m so sorry -- is I was wondering, I heard the mom on your show the other day of the one girl. And I was just stunned sitting there with my mouth open. I couldn`t believe how she kept making excuses for her daughter`s actions.

GRACE: Oh, Sandy. I hope you`re sitting down. I hope you`re sitting down.

SANDY: OK. I am now.

GRACE: To Eben Brown, investigative reporter. You know, I`d throw this to Susan Candiotti but she`s way to classy to answer this question.

Eben, did you see what one of the moms said when the police contacted her to get the girl`s cell phone. They thought the cell phone has some evidence on it.

BROWN: Well, I`m not going to say those words either. But they were rather -- rather nasty. They were -- this mother`s quotes as per the police report telling the officer what to go do with themselves and telling the officer that maybe she has the cell phone, maybe she doesn`t, but a lot of not nice things said to a police officer by the mother.

GRACE: She basically, Bethany Marshall, cursed out the cops. She cursed out the cops.

MARSHALL: Well, I would call that confused thinking. And also.

GRACE: I`m not going -- I`m giving your -- so you can go -- yourself. It goes on and on and on. And we wonder -- then she says prove it you F- ing A-hole and hangs up on the cop. And we wonder, gee, what went wrong? How did these girls get this way?

MARSHALL: Well, actually, I mean, it seems like such a culture of violence. I mean I just saw it on the screen and I think what you really would, if I could examine this mother and daughter in my consulting room, what we`d see is that the mother probably has a great deal of envy and paranoia towards other kids in the school and has probably polarized this on her daughter`s side and feels that her daughter is being wronged and attacked, which is a very paranoid attitude that everything bad is happening to her daughter, but a complete inability to connect that her daughter is violent toward and is wronging other people.

GRACE: You know, it`s incredible and it`s not just the times we`re living in. You can`t blame it on that.

MARSHALL: No.

GRACE: Unleash leash the lawyers. Susan Moss, Anne Bremner, Richard Herman.

You know, Susan Moss, I heard my mother cursed once and ironically it was D-A-M-N and the -- she was going to practice the organ at the church where she plays the organ. And the door was locked. And she was mortified that she said one curse word.

SUSAN MOSS, CHILD ADVOCATE, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: She puts the blank in class and I mean the last three letters, of course. What this mother doesn`t realize or maybe she does is that this victim had sight damage. She has hearing damage. She has a broken tooth. She has two black eyes. She has bruises from head to toe. Blood in the mouth. Loss of consciousness. This is a real crime. These girls deserve real time, and not at the Dr. Phil house.

GRACE: You know, Richard Herman, earlier Anne Bremner was going on and on about how this should not be handled in adult court. Ridiculous. The bind over process are for -- for cases just like this.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, these are still kids and I can`t believe even you as a prosecutor would want this tried as adults. They are facing.

GRACE: Oh, yes. I would probably try as adults. I`d go to juvie myself.

HERMAN: Nancy.

GRACE: .to ask the judge -- you`re darn right they`re going to be tried as adults.

HERMAN: Nancy, the viewer have to know, these are still underage children. Every jurisdiction they`d charged as children and youthful offender.

GRACE: No, they wouldn`t. No, they wouldn`t.

HERMAN: Yes, they would, Nancy. They are facing a felony of kidnapping.

GRACE: Good.

HERMAN: .which is life in prison.

GRACE: What about the beating, Richard? Do you want to say that doesn`t count either?

HERMAN: The beating, it`s horrific. And they should be punished for that, no question about it.

GRACE: Oh and as you know, in Florida, what would they get? A big whopper 18 months behind bars? Oh ouch, ouch, ouch. No, no, no, no.

Out to the lines. Brian in Georgia. Hi, Brian.

BRIAN, GEORGIA RESIDENT: Hello.

GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?

BRIAN: Nancy, first off, let me prelude it. I`m 53-year-old single parent rearing a 15-year-old daughter on his own, and my question is, which parent had enough courage to intercept their child`s videotape or whatever of this and turn it over to the authorities?

One, I`m sure they`re trying to protect their daughter. But they had the courage. Which child is it?

GRACE: Good question.

Out to Susan Candiotti. Where did we ultimately get the video of the beating?

CANDIOTTI: Well, actually, it was the grandmother of one of the suspects in this case. Mary Nichols, that`s the grandmother of Mercedes, one of the girl who`s been charged, and the victim`s mother had found out about the tape, called the grandmother to say, hey, there`s a videotape. It`s supposed to be posted on on the Internet. And the grandmother turned it over to the police -- got it from the girl and turned it over to the cops.

GRACE: Is it true, Eben Brown, investigative reporter, that one of the guys who allegedly was acting as a lookout says that there were five different videotapes that were taken? Five -- of different -- five of the different girls were actually videotaping the attack?

BROWN: Well, they -- it`s all a little up in the air. There was one main video but they did stop and start and one point, I remember one of the girls said, hey, we only have I think 40 seconds left. Make it good. But also, at one point they -- in the middle of the beating they made the girl pose for photographs.

GRACE: To Gloria Allred, as of tonight, how is your client? Gloria Allred, victims right advocate is representing the victim in this case.

ALLRED: Well, I think her life has changed and it will never be the same, Nancy. But she is now being home-schooled. She is not working at this time. And -- but she is looking forward to finishing her studies and being graduated next month and trying to do the best she can to go on with her life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: To HEADLINE PRIME`s Glenn Beck, hi, friend.

GLENN BECK, HOST, GLENN BECK SHOW: Well, the restaurant industry is in trouble and I think Congress bears a lot of the blame. Biofuel and a minimum wage increase are putting a strain on business owners and employees pushing some into bankruptcy. And I got to tell you something, if cheesecake factory goes out of business, I grab a pitch fork and a torch and I head to Washington.

They`re spending billions of dollars on this magical corn gas that -- do you know where to buy it? Nice work, Congress. We`re going to give you all the gory details coming up in just a second.

GRACE: We at NANCY GRACE on the hunt for parents who inspire, and now tonight`s extraordinary parent.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAMARA ROSS, FAMILY TEACHER, MOOSEHEART CHILD CITY & SCHOOL: You would not recognize them with the intake or the behavior that is they came to us with. It`s phenomenal. They just changed just so drastically. It`s kind of unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: After several years in the banking industry, Tamara Ross(ph) says she wanted more, so the single woman answered a newspaper ad seeking mission minded people. Little did she know not only would she get a new job but also find a family.

ROSS: I thought that I had a wealth of resources to draw from, as well as I figured that I would grow, also, in the job.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tamara became a family teacher at Mooseheart Child City & School, a nearly century old facility outside Chicago for children whose parents are unable to care for hem.

ROSS: It`s a residential facility where kids come for a second chance at a good childhood.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Today, Tamara is a role model, mentor and mother to 11 teenage boys.

ROSS: You can imagine the lives of teenage kids. And so I`m involved in every phase of that. Football, basketball, girls, dating, dances, you name it, I`m there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Army Corporal Jason Lemke, 30, West Alice, Wisconsin, killed, Iraq. A family history of military service. Awarded the National Defense Service medal, an Army Service ribbon. A devoted dad, loved jokes, spoke Arabic and Spanish. Leaves behind parents Gregory and Colleen, 7 and 9-year-olds Elizabeth and Casey.

Jason Lemke, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.

END

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