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FLDS Mothers Win Appeals Court Ruling
Aired May 22, 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. Bombshell, over 400 children rescued off an isolated Texas compound now headed straight back behind compound walls. This after allegations of systematic marriage and childbirth forced on girls as young as 13, abuse of young boys, 41 known children with broken bones. That`s right, all these children headed straight back to the same compound from which they were rescued. Says who? A three-judge panel rules there is no imminent threat to the children. But what about all the reports of rampant child abuse behind compound walls? These three appellate judges, living up in their ivory tower, tonight sentencing these children to a lifetime behind those compound walls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid filed a writ of mandamus with the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas, on behalf of these mothers, where we argued the state did not follow Texas law when they took these children without providing any evidence that these households were creating abusive environments.
Earlier this afternoon, the 3rd Court of Appeals ruled on this matter, and they stated that Child Protective Services had no evidence that these children were in imminent danger and that CPS acted hastily in removing them from their families. According to the court, the existence of the FLDS belief system as described by the department`s witnesses by itself does not put children of FLDS parents in physical danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight: He roamed the halls, even the operating rooms of a crowded children`s hospital, a medical coat, scrubs, stethoscope, clipboard, even a hospital ID badge. Just one thing missing, a medical degree. He`s not a doctor, and he is caught on grainy surveillance video. Why is this man posing as a doctor, stalking the halls of some of the busiest hospitals and ERs in this country?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Video surveillance catches a man posing as a doctor at a children`s hospital in Jacksonville. Hospital security cameras show the man wearing a medical coat, ID badge, clipboard, stethoscope, and carrying a large black computer case. Police say the man was seen walking down the halls of the hospital and was even able to work his way into an operating room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s actually other staff members that saw him roaming around the hallways. And what really tipped them off was that they suspected alcohol in his breath, and that`s when they started asking questions. And hospital staff say he immediately left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Breaking news tonight. Bombshell, three appeals judges sitting up in an ivory tower, appointed to their jobs on the bench for life, send over 400 children rescued from an isolated compound run by the cult-like religion FLDS back, back to a life where allegations of systematic forced marriage and childbirth on girls as young as 13, 41 documented children with broken bones, allegations of abuse on the little boys, as well. Why?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A ruling just came down a short time ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news out of Texas. An appeals court has just ruled the state had no right to seize hundreds of children from that polygamous sect near Eldorado. This is a major setback for the state.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 3rd court of appeals ruled, and they stated that Child Protective Services had no evidence that these children were in imminent danger and that CPS acted hastily in removing them from their families.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They lied the whole time. I knew it was coming because of a lot of things they did. While we were there, all these CPS workers get right in with the children and try to be really friendly, trying to get them to feel like it`s OK to talk to them and to open up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the evidence that I have, they are not here on the ranch. If that isn`t good enough for them, they`re going to have to bring in a search warrant and their military tanks and their snipers and all of the firepower that they feel like they have to do to do a rerun of the mistakes they`ve already made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a very, very drastic step that the state of Texas has taken to see that families can be ripped apart from their children without evidence, to see that an agency that`s supposed to be concerned with protecting children is actually putting them through quite possibly the most abusive situation they`ve ever been in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I intend to get them before this is over, and I intend for them to come back to the ranch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Here is the ruling. Three appeals judges have sent these children back, back to a life where there are rampant allegations of systematic forced marriages and childbirth on young girls age 13 years old.
Out to Jenny Hoff, reporter with KXAN. What happened?
JENNY HOFF, KXAN: Well, today, Nancy, that writ of mandamus came down -- that court order came down at around 12:00 o`clock today, and they ruled in favor of 38 mothers who filed a writ of mandamus. And CPS -- they said CPS had no right to ever take all of those children off that ranch without proper evidence that they were being severely abused.
Now, CPS is supposed to look at every way possible of protecting children before removing them from their parents, and the court said they did not do that. They acted in a rash way, and they took an entire community of people basically because they thought they were in danger because of their religious beliefs.
GRACE: Straight out to Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio. What about it, Michael? What happened today? Why?
MICHAEL BOARD, WOAI NEWSRADIO: Well, Nancy, it is a shock to the state`s case against this group of child molesters, but it`s not as bad as some people want it to be. Now, this ruling, like Jenny said, was only 38 of the more than 170 moms. And no, the kids are not going back to the compound right now. This is only a preliminary step. The state can still appeal the appellate court ruling to the state supreme court. So it will still be some time before the kids go back to this compound.
GRACE: But the reality is, Jenny Hoff of KXAN, these three appellate judges have ruled CPS, Child Protective Services, had no right to do what they did, and therefore, the children are to be sent back to the compound walls. Now, unless there is an appeal and their decision is overturned, the children are headed back to the compound. Yes, no?
HOFF: No, it doesn`t necessarily mean this case is over. CPS can do individual investigations into each one of these families. They can`t just group all of these families together without evidence that each parent, each individual was harming their child. So they can do independent investigations. They can check in on these families. They can try to sue each one of these families individually.
What the court is saying is they cannot take this entire community and take all of their children away, 460-plus children, put them in shelters that are already completely overcrowded while they figure out what kind of evidence they have against each one of these parents.
GRACE: And can I ask you, Jenny, under this ruling, while CPS conducts each one of these hearings, where will the children be?
HOFF: They don`t know that yet. Now, CPS can file a motion to stay the order and...
GRACE: No, no. No, no. I mean -- no, I mean right now. Unless this decision is overturned, where are the children headed?
HOFF: Most likely, they would go back home with their parents.
GRACE: Yes! That`s what...
HOFF: Those parents now live in apartments and...
GRACE: ... I`ve been saying!
Out to Denise in Pennsylvania. Hi, Denise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I`m just outraged, and I hope everyone else is. They -- sending these 13-year-old girls back to have sex with these older men, is that not a crime?
GRACE: You know, I`m stunned, Denise in Pennsylvania. I am stunned that these three judges, appointed for life on an appellate court bench, have made this decision.
Out to Flora Jessop. She is a former child bride. She is now the executive director of Children Protection Project. What do you think about today`s ruling?
FLORA JESSOP, FORMER POLYGAMIST AND CHILD BRIDE: Well, I`m horrified by it, but -- and I`m hoping that the appeal -- that we can appeal the decision and protect these children.
But I think it`s important that people understand that this isn`t a community. A community suggests that it`s a place where you can drive in, drive on the streets. This is a compound. You can`t get into this compound, and the guys sit there and say, You have to bring your tanks back and your snipers back if you want to come in and check on these kids once they`re back in here? CPS needs to not let these children go back because they won`t be able to observe or have any kind of control over the situation at that point.
GRACE: Well, as a matter of fact, Texas authorities were turned away from coming back on the compound just yesterday, Flora Jessop. And the reality is, if they can force law enforcement, Texas authorities, not to set foot in, what about a young 13-year-old girl who is facing a forced marriage? How is she going to get out?
JESSOP: That`s right. She`s not going to be able to get out. She`s not going to be able to get help. None of these kids are going to be able to get help. They have not been systematically able to get help for years. When I tried to get help when I was a child, I was turned away. We used to have armed guards at the roads when I was living within this compound, within the FLDS group in Utah and Arizona. They`ve always, always had a system of control and threat against their children, and they won`t even let the state come in and check on the children`s welfare. There`s no way these kids can go back.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Lauren in Utah. Hi, Lauren.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. God bless you.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to know, will these children be able to be tracked by CPS? Will there be enough caseworkers, if they`re returned home, to track them?
GRACE: You know what? Doubtful, very, very doubtful because the way that Child Protective Services works -- let`s bring in the lawyers. Let`s unleash all of them. Joining me tonight, Richard Herman, Michael Mazzariello, Jim Elliot, the city attorney for the town of Warner Robins, city of Warner Robins, Georgia. And also with us, a special guest, David Samuel Brown. He is the attorney ad litem for an FLDS child.
Out to, Jim Elliot. You`ve seen this as the city attorney in Warner Robins. The way Child Protective Services keeps up with children is through monitored visits. They go and visit the home. How difficult is it going to be to go and visit every one of these homes, Jim?
JAMES ELLIOT, JR., CITY ATTORNEY, WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA: I think even a spokesperson for the compound yesterday said, If you don`t have a court order, if you don`t have a search warrant, I believe is what he said, then you can`t come in. Well, they`re not required to have a search warrant because they`re not investigating criminal activity anyway. They`re there to protect the children. And so their routine opportunity to observe the children has completely been stymied now.
GRACE: Let`s go out to David Samuel Brown. He is the attorney ad litem for FLDS children. David, thank you for being with us. What do you make of today`s ruling?
DAVID SAMUEL BROWN, ATTORNEY AD LITEM FOR FLDS CHILDREN: Well, I think the court got it right. I think the CPS basically blew the case. They lumped the good people with the bad people. They put everybody together, and then they just tried to just steamroller it. And the court really had to say, Look, you didn`t do what you were supposed to do, which was give us an individual case of an individual child being in imminent physical harm. That`s what they needed to show, and they -- the court said they didn`t show it.
GRACE: OK, David, I`ve got a question. The FLDS functions under such secrecy that even right now, 100 children, approximately 100 children, we still don`t know who their biological mom and dad is, OK? The marriages of young girls as young as 13 are not out in the open. There are not marriage certificates. They don`t come into town and get married in the local courthouse or file papers. So how is this ever supposed to be uncovered?
BROWN: Well, that makes it hard. And in no way should it be that these underage girls are being married, and that needs to be stopped. And what CPS has to do is figure out a way to go in and protect these girls by -- and do it the way they`re supposed to do it, step by step.
GRACE: And what way would that be? What way would that be?
BROWN: The way to do that would be to file an individual case against individual people and have a court order to do the investigation. There should be no problem with that, but they have to do it one by one.
The court did not say that CPS was wrong in going in or that they could not go in and take the children away. The court did not say that. The court said that at the 14-day hearing, at that point, they had to have the individual case-by-case adversarial hearing showing imminent physical harm. And the court is saying at that point, CPS basically blew it.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Jason in Michigan. Hi, Jason.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. Love your show. I`ve watched it for a long time. My two questions are this. One, is polygamy not illegal in all 50 states?
GRACE: Excellent question. What`s your second question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My second question is, what makes the judges in the state of Texas, a three-panel judge, think that they`re above a federal law?
GRACE: Out to Michael Board. Polygamy is illegal in every state. And I believe Jason`s question is right on regarding the ruling that seemingly ignores the obvious evidence of polygamy. Think of the "bishop`s papers." Think of all of these women who refuse to give last names or state who the father to all these children are because they`re all sharing the same husband. The reality is, though, at this stage, we`re only in a civil proceeding. We`re not to the point of the criminal prosecution on polygamy.
BOARD: Right. We are in just child custody hearings. Remember, the burden of proof for child custody hearings is a lot lower than criminal charges. Criminal charges, you have to do a burden of proof -- you know, you`ve seen the law shows -- a burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which...
GRACE: Actually, Michael, we`re all lawyers. But go ahead.
BOARD: Yes, exactly. You know what I`m talking about. Child welfare -- I`m trying to explain this. Child welfare, the burden of proof is so low in these cases that they don`t need beyond a reasonable doubt to make a burden -- to make their case. What they need is the preponderance of evidence. In this case, it`s hard to believe that you can`t show the preponderance of evidence just merely like we found on the "bishop`s papers."
Like one case, Leroy Steed (ph). According to these "bishop`s papers," he`s 46. He`s got eight wives. One of them is 16 years old. He admits that. That should be enough in Texas to present bigamy charges.
Oh, and an update. Yes, one of his wives was in court earlier this week. Yes, the CPS said they couldn`t find Leroy Steed. Chances are, he`s long gone.
GRACE: Back to Flora Jessop, former polygamist child bride. Flora, the reality is, while these judges are sitting up in their posh offices in the appeals division and they`re ruling that there are to be individual hearings for each and every child, the reality is that`s not the way the FLDS lives. They live communally. Children really aren`t even sure who their biological mom is. Explain that.
JESSOP: Well, the children are taken away from their biological parents at about 1 year of age and given to a -- they`re raised communally. In all of the paperwork from the FLDS, they refer to these women as caretakers, not as mothers. These kids don`t know who their parents are. And in many cases, they don`t know who their dads are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I please tell them, tell the children good- bye? No. You go to the bus. No. You can`t ask anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you renounce Jesus and then still say you`re a Christian? It`s what the state is trying to force us to do. And I will tell it over the board, it will never happen. You can`t call yourself a Mormon and renounce Joseph Smith any more than you can call yourself FLDS and renounce the Prophet of Warren.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn`t remove the 400 kids because of polygamy. They removed the 400 kids because they came out to the ranch, they saw something was funny, and all the people on the ranch started telling them funny stories. That`s why they believe there`s a toxic environment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Three appellate judges in Texas have ruled that all these 400 children are headed back to the compound, to live life behind compound walls.
Straight out to the lines. To Karen in Alabama. Hi, Karen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love your show and your children.
GRACE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, how would the children be reunited with their parents if the parents do not consent to the DNA testing?
GRACE: How can that be, Jenny Hoff? Jenny joining us from the courthouse.
HOFF: Well, most of the parents actually have consented to DNA testing. Those results just haven`t come back yet. They`ve been sent to a lab in North Carolina, and I`ve heard they`ve done more DNA tests the last couple of weeks than they did all of last year. So it`s taking a long time.
Every parent I`ve spoken with did consent to DNA testing. At least, every mom did, and I know some fathers were here, asking if they could take those DNA tests now. So when those results come back, we`re not going to be wondering where those 100 children belong.
GRACE: Well, I believe the question is...
HOFF: We`ll know who their parents are.
GRACE: I believe the question is about the children where the parents didn`t show up, where one or both parents did not show up. How can they be reunited if the parents did not take DNA testing? All the parents did not take DNA testing.
HOFF: Well, I know they`ve been serving some civil papers around here for any parent that shows up in court, serving them papers that say they do need to take those DNA tests. But if this court order stays, they`re probably just going to send the kids back to where they came from, from the ranch.
GRACE: To Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author. What effect is this going to have on the children?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, the biggest one, if they`re being sexually abused, they`re going to be terrified. Flora Jessop pointed out these kids don`t have primary relationships with their mothers. So who`s going to process for them what happened? Who`s going to organize their experience of why they`re going back and forth?
And then when sexual abuse victims are abandoned and failed to be protected by their own mothers and then the larger court structure fails to protect them, it solidifies their feelings of being a victim and their sense of hopelessness in the world. And then also child monitoring, visitation is going to be really difficult for CPS workers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We definitely have a choice. Nobody is forced. We are not abused.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And everyone can say the same thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But are there any young women ages 16 and under who marry out here? And how often does that happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not real common.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How young would you say is the youngest girl you`ve see married out here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably 16.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The children have got to come home soon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please help us get our children back. We need our children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want their kids back, and I think that is what they`re going to get. But this court really did find that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services could not be the sole conservator for these kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers -- Jim Elliot, the city attorney for the city of Warner Robins, David Samuel Brown, attorney ad litem for some of the FLDS children, Michael Mazzariello, Richard Herman, both defense attorneys here in New York.
To you, Michael Mazzariello. Response?
MICHAEL MAZZARIELLO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that they are going to get the children back. The court ruling was correct, Nancy, because CPS did not give them the evidence they needed. I found interesting the footnotes. One of the footnotes said that you could get married in Texas at age 16 with parental consent. It`s almost as if the court, Nancy, said, Go get the parents and see if they got consent. And they went one step further and said a minor under 16 could get married, if by court order.
RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, we should be applauding those appellate judges, applauding them. CPS got some prank phone call from someone, made some wild accusations, got a state court judge to issue a warrant...
GRACE: OK, Stop. Stop, Richard.
HERMAN: ... went in and took 468 children!
GRACE: Richard, if you can stop, stop. Could you explain to me why we have multiple underage girls pregnant, that CPS has right now? And those are community condoned.
HERMAN: Five, Nancy. They have five.
GRACE: Yes, explain it. Explain it.
HERMAN: They only have five.
GRACE: So what? Isn`t one enough?
HERMAN: Four hundred and sixty-eight children were removed. It`s outrageous!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: The evidence was there were five girls that they found that were pregnant that were minors. That was their evidence. The evidence was that they think FLDS has a belief system that promotes underage marriage. The evidence was these children were there at the ranch. That`s not enough.
They felt like this religion had this belief system and that anyone who belonged to this religion must have this belief system. And that is actually contrary to the evidence that was introduced at trial, and the court of appeals just pointed that out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A three-panel -- three judges sitting on a panel have decided that all of these children rescued from behind compound walls are headed straight back to the compound. They have, in fact, said if the lower judge does not amend her order in 10 days, they will give their own order sending the children back.
Now, in lieu of an appeal, an emergency appeal on the part of the state, these children are headed back behind compound walls.
To Flora Jessop, former child bride of a polygamous union -- Flora, everyone -- all the defense attorneys are arguing this was wrong because each child should have been handled individually. But what I don`t think they understand is this is a community. We have five known young girls that have just given birth. The -- it`s not just about those five. It`s about the fact that they were wedded to much older men by the community.
The community condoned it. These are the rules of the community, to have secret marriages forced on young girls. We already know of five. How many more do we have to know of before the panel of judges can accept that this is what goes on behind these compound walls?
FLORA JESSOP, FMR. POLYGAMIST & CHILD BRIDE, EXEC. DIRECTOR OF THE CHILD PROTECTION PROJECT: You know, I`m not sure how to answer that, Nancy. There -- we`ve brought forward hundreds of underage marriages in this cult to the authorities in Utah and Arizona, and I`m not sure what it`s going to take.
I will tell you that, if these children get sent back -- the attorney for the FLDS has already stated that the parents will not keep their children on that compound because they`re afraid of CPS coming back in. These children will be taken to their compounds in Mexico and Canada, and they`ll disappear into the ether. These children will never be seen again.
If CPS has no children, CPS has no case.
GRACE: And Flora, they will be brought up just like you were brought up.
JESSOP: That`s right.
GRACE: So could you please explain how you were brought up, what you witnessed in a polygamist -- in a polygamous community.
JESSOP: You know, we were taught as children that our only worth was to have as many babies as possible to build up our husband`s kingdom. The women have no rights to those children. The women have no right and no voice. Those -- you don`t see women and the girls with the keys to those gates. We were trapped in a cycle of horrifying abuses.
They don`t beat you so that the bruises show. That`s why -- one of the reasons why they bear the long dresses and cover their bodies. They beat you in places where the bruises aren`t going to be seen. They don`t touch your face. The emotional abuse, the psychological abuse, though, that`s the worst of it.
You know, this isn`t a religion. This is a white supremacist cult. They teach these kids hate. They teach them violence. They teach them that everybody outside this group is disciples from Satan. These children are brought up in terror and horror. And if you have the audacity of getting pregnant when you`re -- in your wife training by your father, they`ll give you an abortion with no anesthesia as punishment because if you were faithful enough, then you`re not supposed to get pregnant.
And so you`re being sinful if you have -- if you happen to get pregnant by your father.
GRACE: So to you, Michael Mazzariello and Richard Herman, you think you two New York attorneys know more about it than Flora Jessop who lived through it and managed to escape?
First you, Mazzariello.
MICHAEL MAZZARIELLO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, HOST OF "CLOSING ARGUMENTS": I don`t think I know more than her, Nancy. I know that the court of appeals -- the third circuit here had a set of facts to go with. If they had presented the evidence -- and I`m mad, Nancy. I`m mad CPS didn`t do that. If children had broken bones, if children were abused, present that evidence.
Let those three judges sitting in the high office there come down and say there is evidence. There is proof. They had nothing, Nancy.
GRACE: Yes. Well, you didn`t sound too mad before.
What about it, Richard Herman?
RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, if Miss Jessop had testified in Texas, maybe the result would be different. But CPS had a burden under the Texas family code.
GRACE: You know what? You know what you`re doing? You are putting form above substance, and you know you`re doing it. As a matter of fact, Jim Elliott, this order actually refers -- it acknowledges the young girls.
JIM ELLIOT, JR., CITY ATTORNEY, TOWN OF WARREN ROBINS, GA.: Well, it makes clear that there`s a pattern within the cult of, as soon as a young girl reaches puberty, then she`s -- can be married and can have children.
GRACE: You know, it`s amazing to me. It`s like the blind man trying to determine -- the three blind men trying to determine what they`ve got as they`re feeling the elephant. One has the trunk. One has the stomach. And one has the tail. And they still don`t know what they`ve got even when they`ve got it right there in their hands.
Out to the lines, Josephine in Pennsylvania. Hi, Josephine.
JOSEPHINE, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: Hi. I wanted to know is, if these women have been committing welfare fraud all these years, are they going to be prosecuted? And also, if the children go back, can they get welfare for them again, or do they go after the fathers?
GRACE: What about it, Michael Board?
MICHAEL BOARD, REPORTER, WOAI NEWSRADIO: Well, yes. If they -- if the Texas district attorney, the main lawyer in Texas, is investigating this case. He`s been brought in to investigate this. He`s got his big guns looking at this case here to see what sort of charges they can bring against these people. And he said he -- people from his office has told me that, even if they leave the state of Texas, they still will go after them.
GRACE: Out to Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and co-author of "Heading Home with Your Newborn from Birth to Reality." She is an expert in her field.
Dr. Shu, thank you for being with us. Regarding the 41 known broken bones of these children, how can you date injuries to determine when they occurred, such as broken bones?
DR. JENNIFER SHU, PEDIATRICIAN, CO-AUTHOR OF "HEADING HOME W/YOUR NEWBORN": Well, one of the things that doctors look for when trying to diagnose child abuse is to look for multiple fractures that are of different ages. And on X-ray, you can tell if the bones are at different stages of healing.
Another thing to look for would be to look for bruises that are in different stages of healing, especially bruises that are in the shape of a hand or an object or anything that shows a type of twisting movement.
GRACE: I want to go to John Lucich, former investigator and author of "Cyber Lies."
John, yesterday the sect members wouldn`t allow authorities back onto the ranch. Are you concerned at all about how evidence is going to be obtained from this point forward to prove these cases?
JOHN LUCICH, INVESTIGATOR, AUTHOR OF "CYBER LIES": They`ll eventually get back on. All they have to do is go out and get a court order to get back on, you know, like the gentleman said before that he has every right to be on there. The fact that they denied that, they`ll go back and get a court order.
The one thing that they should be concerned about going forward is the possible -- them not letting them back on and having to do that with force and then having a tragedy going forward.
GRACE: Like Waco. Well, these kids are going to be long gone as soon as they are reunited with their parents.
Bethany Marshall, are any of them ever going to be brought to justice?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR OF "DEALBREAKERS": You know, I -- it`s hard to say. But CPS has a hard road to hoe because, with visitation with family members where there`s predators in their midst, the family members will move the predators out when CPS comes to visit, and then they move the predators right back in again.
They say, well, little Johnny couldn`t be molesting his sister. So I`m just going to send him out that back hall when CPS workers come in the front. So how are they going to check on these families with these huge communal living situations? It is a sex offender`s paradise.
GRACE: When we come back, a guy that roams the halls, even the operating rooms of crowded children`s hospital. Medical coat, scrubs, stethoscope. One thing missing, the medical degree. He`s not a doctor and it`s all on surveillance video. Why is he posing as a doctor?
And tonight at your request, the twins saw mommy wearing a hat to the grocery store this morning, and this is what happened. I`ll be posting these on the Web tonight. I hope you like them.
Tonight we support and salute our troops.
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MARY MATTHEWS, NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENT: My name is Mary Matthews, and I`m at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, and I would love to send a salute to my husband, First Sergeant John Matthews with CLD 6, and to his brother, First Sergeant Steve Matthews who`s with First Battalion 9th Marines.
We support them and their Marines completely, and we wish for them to stay safe.
And Babe, I can`t wait for you to come home. We miss and we love you lots. God bless and sympathize to all of our serving military members.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A phony doctor caught on video at a Jacksonville children`s hospital. Police say the man was walking around the hospital and even entered an operating room. The man armed with all you need to impersonate a doctor -- lob coat, stethoscope, I.D. badge -- ran from the hospital after staff began to question him.
A hospital employee later found all the items under a car in the hospital parking garage, including the I.D. badge, which had a cutout picture of an unknown child on it. Police say there have been recent thefts at other local area hospitals and are trying to determine if this hospital is the most recent victim.
GRACE: Out to Eben Brown, investigative reporter. Who is this guy?
EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, no one knows, Nancy. It seems to be a bit of a mystery. He was seen on surveillance video, walking around, dressed up, kind of like what you think a doctor would wear even -- apparently even had a stethoscope. He was seen walking around this children`s hospital in Jacksonville, Wolfson Children`s Hospital, and eventually questioned by someone sometime after he found his way into an operating room.
GRACE: And what happened when he was questioned?
BROWN: Well be the person who questioned him noticed that he smelled of alcohol. And when she brought this to his attention, he took off. He ran off and was never seen again.
But another employee the very next day in the parking lot of the hospital found his bag underneath a car, and it contained not only his stethoscope and his little clipboard that he was walking around, but also an I.D. for a hospital -- for actually a different hospital in Jacksonville. And on that I.D. card where you would normally have the little mug shot was a cut out and taped on photo of a child, an unknown child.
GRACE: Out to Ken Jefferson joining us from the Jacksonville Sheriff`s Department.
Sir, thank you for being with us. Very, very disturbing. I recall early on in my pregnancy I was in the area and was rushed to a hospital in Jacksonville where they treated me and helped me and the twins. Wonder how I would feel if I was sitting there right in the middle of an examination and this guy happened to pop into the room.
Who is this guy? What leads do you have?
KEN JEFFERSON, PIO, JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF`S DEPT.: Well, first of all, you probably wouldn`t know that he was faking or pretending to be a doctor, just like all the other people didn`t know until they smelled alcohol on his breath.
Now that`s the compelling question, Nancy. Who is this guy? We`d really like to know that. That`s why we`re hoping that by use of the surveillance pictures that we were able to retrieve from the hospital, we can give this thing all of the attention that it needs so that someone can identify this individual.
He`s dressed in a lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck, with scrubs on, and he`s walking through as though he`s an official. He`s got credentials hanging from his lab coat just like any other doctor. The only difference was he had them turned backwards. And even with it turned backwards, who`s going to challenge a doctor and tell him to turn his I.D. around. But maybe in light of this, some training may be done to try to correct that.
GRACE: Mr. Jefferson, or let me say Sheriff Jefferson, what do we believe his intent was roaming these hospital halls?
JEFFERSON: Well, right now we don`t know, but, you know, we could speculate that he maybe was placing it under surveillance, as the reporter said. The local hospitals in that area had experienced some thefts of laptops and purses, items that`s generally lying around or in plain view. We`re not saying that this individual is responsible for it, but he could be, and we`re looking into that possibility.
GRACE: Well, I can assure him of this, Dr. Bethany Marshall, he`s up to no good. Why would he be -- I mean, there`s no good scenario here. There`s no good answer, all right? Why would he be pretending to be a doctor and roaming various hospital halls?
Hey, I`m happy if all he took was the laptop. How do I know he`s not molesting children or stealing drugs? I mean, this guy could be doing anything.
MARSHALL: Let`s hope he didn`t perform surgery, right? I mean you know.
MARSHALL: .there`s such a bizarre.
GRACE: Now, thank you for putting that into my head.
MARSHALL: You know, what stands out to me is how bizarre he is that he has a child`s picture taped to his I.D. He stashes the clothes in a computer bag under someone`s car like he doesn`t have his own car. So I thought of somebody that perhaps he has mental health issues, maybe a vagrant, maybe someone who has some delusions.
GRACE: This guy is not a vagrant. All right?
MARSHALL: You know what? It doesn`t seem like a very high-level crime. I think we`re going to find that it`s really very low motivation.
GRACE: You know what, Bethany?
GRACE: You may not think it`s a high-level crime until he pops up at the foot of your hospital bed.
MARSHALL: I can`t argue with that.
GRACE: I don`t know what you`re laughing about. I`m serious. What if this guy pops up in your child`s room? How funny is that? That`s a hoot.
MARSHALL: OK. I stand corrected. But I think he`s much more low functioning than we might think, despite the fact that he penetrated the hospital. So I`m thinking petty theft or proximity to drugs.
GRACE: Low functioning. So he has managed to trick not one, but several hospitals. He`s caught on videotape. The sheriff still hasn`t caught him, and you say he`s low functioning. Did I just hear that?
MARSHALL: I did say low functioning because of the bizarre nature of the crime. And actually what`s also low functioning is the system in the hospital to protect the patients -- this fact that this guy got in.
GRACE: You`re right.
MARSHALL: But when someone is really motivated and has delusions, they can go a long, long way because people in hospitals are not watching out for bizarre behavior. But bizarre behavior speaks of mental health problems. So that`s what I wanted to speak to.
GRACE: To Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician, what type of security measures should be in place? Can I just march into a hospital wearing a doctor`s coat and swinging a stethoscope and get access to hospital rooms?
SHU: Well, Nancy, I think he was very creative in getting the outfit on because most people wouldn`t even have to do that to get through. To come into the CNN studio tonight, I had to go past three security guards.
GRACE: So did I.
SHU: . and five electronic card access doors. When I go see a patient in the hospital as a family member without my doctor`s stuff on, I don`t have to stop by and answer to anyone. So he didn`t even have to get that outfit on to get through.
What I think people do is they get lulled into the false sense of security that being in a hospital where people are trying to help other people. It should be a sacred place like a place of worship, and people can get a little bit relaxed and complacent about safety and security. But as you can see, this hospital has a camera system in place, which is great.
The other thing is that in hospitals where I`ve worked, we teach patients to look at the I.D. badge, check to make sure the face matches the person, and in certain units, such as a mother-baby delivery unit, we have special stickers that allowed staff to get right onto that floor. So there are systems in place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFERSON: It concerns us that somebody would do this. It`s not really clear as to how he was able to get in, but, you know, with so many legitimate doctors and nurses coming and going, it`s really hard to keep up with that in mind where you could -- I`m sure you can probably take that on somebody else as going -- who`s going to tell the doctor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Out to the lines. Let`s go to Madge in Alabama. Hi, Madge.
MADGE, ALABAMA RESIDENT: Hi.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
MADGE: I want to know what can be done about people going in. There`s too many children being kidnapped from the hospitals.
GRACE: You`re absolutely correct. What about it? To Ken Jefferson with the Jacksonville Sheriff`s Department. What can be done?
JEFFERSON: Well, certainly, Nancy -- and thank the caller for her concern. Certainly that has to be left up to the individual hospitals to set up their own set of security guidelines. I will say this, though. This particular hospital, their staff was alert enough not to ignore the smell of alcohol coming from breath of this individual as he passed them or as he approached them.
And then they questioned him. And when he jetted out of the area, they immediately contacted the security officers to bring them aware of it. And then.
GRACE: Well, I`ll tell you, Mr. Jefferson, I appreciate your trust in the hospitals, but so far the security has allowed this guy to roam around and God only knows what else.
To Carol in Nebraska. Hi, Carol.
CAROL, NEBRASKA RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. I`d like to congratulate you on your twins. And you`re my hero.
GRACE: Thank you. Thank you. And I don`t want to go too hard on the hospitals down there in Jacksonville because they helped me and the twins. But I got to tell you, I`m worried about this. What about it, Carol?
CAROL: Yes, I am, too, Nancy. This is horrible. I mean, what if this guy is a child molester? I mean.
GRACE: What`s your question, love?
CAROL: That is my question.
GRACE: Yes, you know what? Ken, how do we know all he has done is maybe steal a couple of laptops?
JEFFERSON: Well, he`s not done anything in this hospital that we`re aware of.
JEFFERSON: . because the hospital has not reported anything. Adjacent hospitals have reported that there have been laptops and purses stolen. We don`t know if this is the individual that`s responsible for that. But of course.
GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Specialist Richard Burress, 25, Naples, Florida, killed, Iraq. Combat engineer, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart. Had a smile that lit up a room. Loved God, spending time with family, friends, Iraqi children, fishing, canoeing. Leaves behind parents, Richard and Tina, three brothers, one sister, widow Tabitha and daughter Elisa.
Richard Burress, American hero.
Thanks for being with us -- to all of our guests and especially to you for being with us. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.