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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

New Developments in Sandra Cantu Case

Aired April 15, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, staggering new details in the brutal rape and killing of adorable 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. Alleged murderer and rapist Melissa Huckaby reportedly tried to kill herself by swallowing razor blades the day before her arrest. The young mother remained on suicide watch after breaking down in tears in court. Could her defense be laying the groundwork for an insanity plea?

Also, cops say they`re now investigating to find out if there are other possible abuse victims. Last night they searched Huckaby`s home and the church where she taught. I`ll show you how this case is traumatizing an entire community.

Then, as Casey Anthony now faces the possibility of capital punishment, reports prosecutors are building a case against her using cell- phone records. Cops meticulously tracked her suspicious movements in the crucial days after Caylee disappeared. Is that why the state went forward with the death penalty?

And a bizarre student/teacher love triangle ends in murder. A high school student reportedly having an affair with his 48-year-old female math teacher, stabbed to death, allegedly by the teacher`s boyfriend, who was her former student. I`ll bring you the strange details.

Plus, Hulk Hogan, gives a jaw-dropping interview with "Rolling Stone." Racked by scandal and dumped by his wife, Hogan says he could have gone O.J. And cut everyone`s throat. Is the Hulkster homicidal or just not very smart?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Truly dramatic developments tonight in the murder of beautiful 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. Today after a private funeral for the murdered child, Sandra`s burial -- yes, burial -- took place in her hometown of Tracy, California.

Meantime, little Sandra`s accused rapist and murderer, Melissa Huckaby, a 28-year-old mother and Sunday schoolteacher, reportedly tried to kill herself in the days before she was arrested. Huckaby apparently admitted to the hospital after having eaten three X-Acto knife blades in an attempt to end her life. Does her attempted suicide open the door for an insanity plea? Or, if it happened, does it show she knows right from wrong?

Plus, was little Sandra the only victim here? The horrifying news that a Sunday schoolteacher and mother of a 5-year-old could be the murderer and rapist of a precious little child has rocked this community to its core.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once I heard that it was the lady that actually lived in the same place, the same area, it just made me break down really bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know why? Why did you do that to her?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now the cops are asking parents to come forward, if they suspect something involving their own kids.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. TONY SHENEMAN, SPOKESMAN, TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT: What we`re asking is for the public, if they have any indications that any of their children may have had inappropriate contact with Miss Huckaby to contact us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And exactly how are parents supposed to make that determination? We will ask a noted psychologist.

Plus, reports now say Huckaby may have written that mysterious note she first claims she found in her mailbox the day after little Sandra went missing. What did the note contain? The now all-too-ghoulish words, "Cantu, suitcase and water."

So many twists to explore. Plus, we are taking your calls. Sound off, please, at 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Now, my expert panel: Paul Callan, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; Steve Cardian, former criminal investigator; Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; and Bob Moffitt, reporter with KFBK Newstalk 1530.

Bob, what is the very latest?

BOB MOFFITT, REPORTER, KFBK: Well, while Melissa Huckaby takes visitors, families here at the San Joaquin family jail and refuses to see the media, it turns out she may have been visiting a local hospital just a day before her arrest.

CBS has reported that she swallowed three razor blades and was admitted to the hospital. She told reporters that she had had a bout of internal bleeding but had failed to clarify. Those details apparently coming clear once again, thanks to CBS.

And the local Tracy Police Department, though, they say that she acted alone. They are now asking if maybe she -- if there are other victims. They`re asking parents to come forward and children to come forward if they think that they may have been assaulted, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we are going to get to that in a moment, because that`s very, very touchy stuff. We have to be very careful. We do not inspire or induce any false claims, because that has happened in the past in cases where people get a little hysterical.

Now, this just in. Shocking new allegations about Melissa Huckaby just in from reporter David Begnaud with KOVR in Sacramento. Listen to this stunner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID BEGNAUD, REPORTER, KOVR: We do know that parents have come forward to police saying that the suspect, Melissa Huckaby, may have been involved in the production of some child pornography. We do know that police are looking at that.

We also know that there is a prior case of a child under the age of 10 that was drugged, and there was an implication that Melissa Huckaby was involved. Police do confirm that there is an open case. And that has now been blended in with this investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I have to say that CNN cannot independently confirm the reports that were just filed by KOVR, but they are stunning. And we`ve got to put it into perspective. We`ve got to be very, very careful here.

Paul Callan, when you hear this stuff, talk of kiddie porn allegations, and children allegedly being drugged, possibly, what do you make of it?

PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is stunning, Jane. And one of the things that surprises me the most, having been involved in law enforcement for my entire career, pretty much, one side or the other, is that you never see female pedophiles. It`s always a male that commits this kind of a crime.

And I was talking to Steve about it as we were waiting to go on. He was also saying very rarely, if ever, has he seen a female pedophile. So what`s really shocking here is that a woman is charged with a crime like this. You almost never see it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jayne Weintraub, cops have said that they were looking at 60 alleged child porn traffickers in the Tracy area, and this was before her body was found. And that blows my mind. On top of all the people who, you know, are on the child sex registry, also have 60 alleged child porn traffickers in this one little area of California? I mean, what is going on here, Jayne?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, one of the problems with the sexual registry is that it`s over-inclusive, and it`s overbroad. It goes to people that are looking at pictures, to people that are actually having contact with children. So it goes from one range to the other of the spectrum. And that`s awful.

But on a human note here, you know, as a mom and as a viewer, we`re all horrified to see a crime like this. But as a lawyer, we have to remember the rules are the same.

And Paul`s right: it`s very rare to have a woman pedophile. Is there any doubt this woman is mentally ill? It`s not a matter of before she changes up her plea or tries to commit suicide to make it look like she`s insane. This woman is mentally ill. It`s just a matter of what degree and how far.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s what you`re saying. But there`s others who might say that attempted suicide, if that in fact occurred, is a sign that you know right from wrong.

Melissa Huckaby allegedly attempted suicide days before her arrest for the murder of Sandra Cantu. How did she reportedly try to "off" herself? She allegedly swallowed -- take a look at these -- three of these X-Acto knife blades. You know the kind. You use them to cut cardboard.

Huckaby was admitted to the hospital last week, reportedly for internal bleeding. She got out Thursday. She was arrested Friday night. Now in jail, she is on suicide watch.

Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist, take all of these scary facts and put them -- or allegations -- and put them into context for us.

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, there are a couple of things, Jane, that jump out right away. I heard both of my colleagues say that we hardly ever see female pedophiles, but I want you to know there are female pedophiles. I have heard many, many, many cases in the privacy of my office, of people talking about women molesting little boys or little girls. So I know it happens.

We know that one out of eight boys is molested. And it`s not always a man. It is sometimes, I`d say about 20 percent of the time it`s a woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda...

WADE: So to say that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. There`s another bizarre twist I want to add here for the analysis.

Police revealed that Melissa Huckaby had a relationship with this man, Christian Sinclair. Sinclair was arrested for obstructing the police investigation when Sandra first went missing. He lived in the very same mobile park as Sandra and Huckaby. His home was searched, and he was released.

But he has been described in court documents as an abusive alcoholic. And according to court records in San Joaquin County, Sinclair is a repeat offender of domestic violence laws. At one point, his own mother reportedly had a restraining order against him. So what -- this blows my mind, Brenda, because...

WEINTRAUB: Was she a victim?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What?

WEINTRAUB: Was she a victim herself of domestic abuse or (UNINTELLIGIBLE) abuse?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know. We had a psychiatrist -- a therapist, I should say -- yesterday on our air say, generally, when women lash out like this, they themselves sometime in their past, perhaps childhood, have been the victim of something similar.

WADE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what they`re doing is re-enacting it.

WADE: Yes. And that is absolutely the case, Jane. And I think it`s very -- it`s complicated. But here`s the simplest analysis I can give.

Here we have a woman that, as I`ve read her case, she has a history of mental, emotional disturbance, whether it`s related to having been abused sexually or physically as a child. I`m sure that will come out. If I have to place a bet, she`s been both.

Because here she is involved with a man who has this abuse profile himself, and then she turns and becomes an abuser. Now, typically, when we see women who are murderers, that woman is acting out something that she has been holding inside, holding inside, and then it comes out.

And this, I have to tell you, in all my years of working with criminal cases, I`ve never seen this combination of a woman committing a violent sexual crime and murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is crazy. This is sick. You were looking at the funeral for little Sandra just there.

Hang on, everybody. And remember, she`s just accused. She hasn`t been convicted of anything.

More on this twisted murder case in a moment. Do you think cops will find more abuse victims? Call 1-877-JVM-SAY, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know.

Then, tracking Casey Anthony. Cops used her cell phone to monitor her suspicious movements after little Caylee vanished. Now prosecutors may be building their case around those very records.

But first, take another look at yesterday`s intense courtroom scene as Melissa Huckaby was charged with rape and murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the very special circumstance, in this (UNINTELLIGIBLE), in the murder of Sandra Cantu, as committed by Melissa Huckaby, while set defendant (ph) was engaged in the commission, attempted commission or immediately after the commission or (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on the crime of rape by an instrument, in violation of penal code 6289.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crime of murder, in violation of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) penal code, a felony, was committed by Melissa Huckaby, who at the time and place aforesaid, willfully and unlawfully and intentionally, with malice aforethought, murdered Sandra Cantu.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So disturbing, Melissa Huckaby, single mom, Sunday schoolteacher and now accused murderer and rapist of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu?

A reminder: Tomorrow there will be a public memorial service for Sandra as the local community in Tracy, California, tries to recover from this horrific crime. We will, of course, have special coverage right here on ISSUES. That is tomorrow.

And right now, we are taking your calls. And boy, the phones lighting up. Avis, Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Thank you, Jane, for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for calling.

CALLER: My question is, I wonder if the pastor/grandfather knew about Melissa`s past history? And if so, why in the world did the church body allow her to teach Sunday school?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bob Moffitt, what do you know?

MOFFITT: Well, he`s her grandfather. And he loves her very much. She was a Sunday schoolteacher. She was having problems maintaining employment. And he gave her a break.

As far as her past history, it was some mental issues, and also some petty theft but nothing that would indicate that she was in any way a danger to children. So as far as why would he give her a job? Well, they were related, and he loved her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, she also had the bankruptcy. So she had money troubles.

And Bob, let me ask you, have you heard anything? We saw at the beginning of our broadcast this astounding allegation from KOVR regarding talk of, you know, kids being drugged, or a kid being drugged, kiddie porn allegations. We can`t independently here at CNN confirm any of that. Have you heard anything on the ground there?

MOFFITT: We`ve all heard the same scuttlebutt, for lack of a better word. And we have directed that question to the Tracy Police Department. And they have been able to confirm none of it, saying they have not been able to find any other victims or any inkling that it might actually be true at this point. As far as we know, it is -- it is hearsay; it is rumor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Betty in Indiana, your question or thought?

CALLER: OK. I wanted to know if Sandra could have walked in on Huckaby doing something to her daughter, and she had to kill her to keep her quiet?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, wow. Well, I have no idea. But Steve Cardian, former criminal investigator, what are your thoughts about possible scenarios? Because authorities, according to KOVR, have said that this woman has given them four different explanations of what happened.

STEVE CARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Yes, Jayne. And that`s correct, to my understanding in talking with the law enforcement officials out on the West Coast. That is the case.

But I also suspect, and I believe that she also had intimate details of that crime to persuade law enforcement to make an arrest at this time, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, what do you make of the four different stories?

It`s par for the course during an investigation when you have a deceptive criminal. They`re going to make up stories to try and remove themselves as a suspect. They`re going to try and derail the investigation and your efforts in putting closure to the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She claims that the day after Sandra went missing, she found a mysterious note in her mailbox. I read "Cantu, suitcase, water." Huckaby has admitted that she owned a suitcase similar to the one in which little Sandra`s body was found. Now reports say Melissa Huckaby told cops that she wrote that very ghoulish note. We`re also hearing, as I just mentioned, KOVR-TV saying she gave police four different explanations of what happened to Sandra. We can`t independently confirm that.

Paul Callan, weigh in.

CALLAN: Well, you know, Jane, the four different stories is entirely consistent with somebody who`s mentally ill. And I think when you look at this woman, you`re looking at somebody who`s mentally ill.

Now, that`s very different from being legally insane. It`s almost impossible to prove legal insanity in California, because you have to prove that you didn`t understand the nature and quality of the act, and you didn`t understand the difference between right and wrong. And lot of people who are clinically insane don`t pass that test.

So in other words, it`s very, very difficult to prove that in court. There`s a difference between legal insanity and real insanity.

(CROSSTALK)

WADE: The person may be crazy, but they`re not stupid, that`s what we call it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, listen, Brenda, I have to ask you a very important question, because police are saying that parents, if they have any suspicion or they feel that their children were exposed to this woman with inappropriate contact, contact them.

But you know, you don`t want to create a false positive, as it were. You don`t want to ask questions of impressionable kids who want to please and get the wrong answers.

Remember, we had the McMartin preschool case, where 360 kids, there were claims of abuse. And it turned out there were no convictions. It was a huge sort of false hysteria scandal.

What do you tell parents in this situation?

WADE: You know, in this situation, any child who was victimized by this person would have shown some signs. They would have been reluctant to go to her Sunday school class. They would have shrunk back from her, shrunk back from the class. There would have been signs of discomfort.

But at this stage in the game, parents are simply going to have to ask very direct questions: "Was there ever a time when Miss Huckaby touched you here, here or here?" And just show the child with their hands here, here or here, and find out if there was any inappropriate touching.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And don`t ask leading questions.

Jayne Weintraub, what about interviewing the child? This woman has a 5-year-old child? And we don`t even know where the child is.

WEINTRAUB: I assume that the child is with the grandparents. But which also brings into play, where were her parents? Where -- why is she living with her grandparents and not her immediate parents? I mean, what`s going on there?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The father has been here, spoken to the media. The mother, I think, is with the 5-year-old somewhere else to get her away from the scene, or on a pre-planned vacation.

WEINTRAUB: The police and the prosecutors have interviewed the 5- year-old with their parents. I`m sure that they`ve isolated, you know, the situation. And interviewed them properly, I hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my excellent panel. We`re going to stay on top of this story, big time.

Turning now to Octomom. "Life & Style" says Nadya Suleman confirmed she`s doing a TV show. Her attorney says not so fast. Is it deal or no deal? I`ll have the details.

Hulk Hogan makes a shocking statement about killing people in a "Rolling Stone interview." Is he out of his mind?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess who`s back in the spotlight tonight? Let`s see, Octomom? Of course. It seems that`s right where she wants to be. Turns out there might be some truth to those rumors of a reality TV show. Only, the Octomom is apparently calling it a documentary.

Nadya Suleman tells "Life & Style Weekly" she will be working with a production company from England. They will create documentaries of her octuplets in order to capture important milestones in their lives, all the way up to their 18th birthdays.

But don`t set your DVR so fast. We`re also hearing from Nadya`s own lawyer that nothing has been inked. So I guess we`re still wondering, deal or no deal?

Meantime, Nadya Suleman hasn`t kicked her addiction to the camera. Oh, no, not by a long shot. Octomom seen for the first time with all eight infants on her lap. Quite a sight to behold. Gushed to Radar Online about her finally united brood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: There are eight of them here. Here we have Makai, and the one crying right now that came home, Jonah. And then right there is Nariyah. This is Mariah. This is Isaiah. This is Noah. Jeremiah is right here (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was an imitation of one of the little infants. I wish them well, by the way. I`m on their side. This woman cannot even get up from her chair without a support staff.

Joining me now, Jared Shapiro, executive editor, "Life & Style Weekly."

Jared, Nadya`s lawyer says, quote, and he just raced this in, this comment in, "I have been in negotiations with production companies, but no agreements have been reached," end quote. So what are you reporting?

JARED SHAPIRO, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "LIFE & STYLE WEEKLY": That sounds like spin. Nadya herself told us that she is doing a show. She`s calling it a documentary. In America, we call it a reality show. It may not air in America. It will be filmed by a British company.

But we`re going to take her at her word. She has said this. We know that she`s looking for it. And let`s be honest: she needs the money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she certainly does. Look at that brood. I mean, this is astounding. I don`t think we`ve ever seen video like this ever in the history of humankind.

SHAPIRO: It`s absolutely fascinating.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, fascinating, and outrageous. Outrageous that she`s going to use these kids as commodities, if in fact, this happens. And she`s going to essentially make money off of it. The money isn`t going to go to these kids, right? The kids don`t get the money in a trust fund so they can go to college.

SHAPIRO: If she doesn`t spend the money, they`ll get the money. I mean, they have no choice at this point. She`s going to move forward with their life. Everything`s planned. She`s giving interviews to magazines, TV shows, Web sites. These kids have already started to be exploited. It`s only going to get worse. You just kind of have to hope that they will continue to remain healthy. Which they are at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us about this attempt, allegedly, by Octomom to copyright the term "Octomom." I thought she hated the term Octomom.

SHAPIRO: Not only did I think that she hated Octomom. I don`t even think she created it. Somebody else called her Octomom first. It`s not like she came up with it. It might have been you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know that we did. It started in the media, obviously. And she said she hated it.

SHAPIRO: She said she hated it. We`ve heard that from her mouth. But she wants to patent Octomom. And therefore, she can sell anything from, I guess, action figures to T-shirts, to clothes, anything that you want. Octo juice, octo soda.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo madness. Unbelievable. These kids, what they`re in store for. Jared, thanks.

Suspected killer Casey Anthony could be facing the death penalty. I`ll show you why some believe her cell phone could do her in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As Casey Anthony faces the prospect of capital punishment reports prosecutors are building a case against her using cell phone records. Cops track her suspicious movements in the crucial days after Caylee`s disappears. Is that why the state went forward with the death penalty?

Plus, Hulk Hogan gives a jaw-dropping interview to "Rolling Stone." Racked by scandal and dumped by his wife, Hogan says he could have gone O.J. and cut everyone`s throats. Is the Hulkster homicidal or just not smart?

A cookie Hulk; more on Hulk Hogan`s jaw-dropping interview in just moments.

First, absolutely stunning new developments tonight in the Caylee Anthony murder. This could be why prosecutors felt justified in putting the death penalty back in play for mom Casey. A fascinating new report from affiliate WFTV claims Casey may have done herself in with her own cell phone.

Cops meticulously analyze Casey Anthony`s cell phone records using them to track her suspicious movements in the days after her daughter`s disappearance. They have even figured out where and when she was sleeping, believe it or not.

They also carefully studied her text messages and the time she dropped off the radar. Casey apparently used her cell phone so much that they have actually mapped out something in their case against her in terms of her movements.

Also tonight, will a death trial for Casey Anthony cost taxpayers millions? Jose Baez says, yes indeed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: Will it affect the trial? Yes. It may delay it. It certainly will make the costs to the taxpayers and the state of Florida at least triple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we know he`s very concerned about that. Is Baez trying to rally the people of Florida against a death penalty case?

Straight to my fantastic expert panel: Rebecca Rose Woodland, criminal defense attorney; and back with me Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; and Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney.

Jayne, anyone who has ever seen a crime show knows leave your cell phone at home if you`re going to kill somebody. So the fact that Casey went around with her cell phone could be interpreted as a sign of innocence, or perhaps then stupidity.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it`s just ridiculous that they are so desperate, that they`re still trying to figure out how a crime was committed, who committed it and how -- what the manner of death is and what the cause of death is. It`s absurd.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait what do you -- I don`t -- I love you, but I don`t understand what you`re saying. If they have all these movements tracked, I think that`s fantastic that they can see where she was.

WEINTRAUB: But where are they going? Jane, it`s not like they can put the Legos together and they click and make a case of how she went to a murder weapon. They have no idea. And it certainly does not match and come back to Casey Anthony.

They`re building on speculation, guess and maybes. That`s it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, circumstantial cases can be extremely strong at times, Rebecca Rose Woodland.

WEINTRAUB: Yes they can this is not exactly what I call a death qualified case.

REBECCA ROSE WOODLAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, this is circumstantial -- well, you know what I`m concerned about is, what else do they have? Here they have her cell phone records which track her. So what they`re saying is, we tracked her in the area in which the body was found days after she reported her child missing.

Does that mean anything? Who knows? I mean, the defense can say, hey, she drove there every day, all the time and they could produce some cell phone records that shows she was always in that area. Remember, it was right by her mother`s house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s get into it. WFTV reports cops track Casey Anthony very closely in the crucial months after -- the crucial first month after Caylee`s disappearance, ok. They mapped cell phone towers near important locations like the Sawgrass apartments. Remember, that`s where Casey once said Caylee was last seen with her mystery nanny/abductor.

They also mapped cell phone towers near Casey Anthony`s own home, her ex-boyfriend`s apartment and even the local landfill. Perhaps the most fascinating sign in the report, Casey just dropped off the radar between 1:45 and 3:35 on the very day that Caylee disappeared.

This was followed by a flurry of phone calls to her mother, her boyfriend and her ex-fiance. So Brenda....

(CROSS TALK)

WEINTRAUB: Maybe she went to sleep. I mean it`s just conjecture. That`s the problem, Jane. They don`t have evidence at this point, at this point, we`re not in a pretrial and in an investigative stage, we`re at pretrial. They arrest her and now they have the nerve later to now file a notice of intent to seek death.

And they still don`t have a case together.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think they don`t have a case together. I mean, they have a body. Remember, originally they thought they were going to have to try this case without a body. They`ve got duct tape over the mouth. They`ve got the outline of a heart sticker on that duct tape. And they`ve got a heart sticker that they found nearby.

They`ve got evidence that claims, anyway, from friends that she used to bury her pets in the same way in the same location. I don`t know if they`ll be able to put...

WOODLAND: Jane there`s evidence that the body is connected to her as a killer.

Yes, I mean this is a far stretched, Jane, to go from, I buried my pets in that area -- these are friends that she hang-out with years ago to her own child? I mean, this is a big stretch, and a death case is a very serious case for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, I want to bring our psychologist in.

So Casey appears at first not to realize that her cell phone pings would be tracked. But one piece of evidence tells me that she possibly caught on ten days after Caylee`s presumed death. Casey sent this to her friend Amy Huizenga, "There was definitely part of a dead animal plastered to the frame of my car."

Now, is it possible, Brenda Wade, that she recognized that her phone records will be analyzed and was putting out another explanation for why her car smelled like death?

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, Jane, anything is possible. This is one of those bizarre cases where in those 30 days or 31 days before she reported her own child was missing, one can only imagine what was on her mind. How can you go through 31 days without reporting your child is missing?

So all signs do seem to implicate she`s not a very sympathetic figure; it`s easy for us all to look at her and say there is some...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the other statement of the day.

WADE: Yes, there`s something here that`s wrong -- very, very wrong with this young woman.

And the other thing that disturbs me about all this is that, again, we have a case where she may be mentally disturbed, but she`s not stupid. She is looking to cover her tracks. And she has all along.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, yes, we`re talking about the cell phone records. We`re talking about this text message. We`re talking about the forensics, the body, the duct tape.

We`re also talking about the fact that she went for a month without reporting her own daughter missing. Which everybody seems to agree is the most incriminating thing of all.

WEINTRAUB: No, it`s odd. That is not evidence. Is it something -- is it a fact to consider? I guess. But it doesn`t weigh into the jury instructions when you`re considering did she commit murder.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second, it doesn`t weigh into the jury instructions when a woman loses her child and apparently claims that it was abducted by a nanny that nobody can find? And then waits a month?

And she didn`t report the child missing, it was her mother who finally confronted her and then when she smelled that smell in the car, called 911. Rebecca Rose Woodland?

WOODLAND: Well, I mean, we`ve got the autopsy was performed, and then, of course, we had the defense go back in with their forensics. And their forensics experts say that was garbage in the car and the autopsy wasn`t performed properly.

So things that -- evidence that looks good for the prosecution can also be interpreted for the defense. Now...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rebecca Wade wait a second, wait a second. They also had air samples of the trunk that were tested and showed signs of human decomposition. They also had a hair...

WADE: But Dr. Lee said it didn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... that was found in the trunk that showed signs of decomposition that reportedly matches up to Caylee Anthony`s hair or an Anthony and she`s the only missing Anthony.

WADE: Well, you know Dr. Lee had also his explanations.

WEINTRAUB: Jane, Jane but it also mean -- and its hair is the most easily transferable thing there is. It comes off in a hair brush...

WADE: Right.

WEINTRAUB: It comes off on your clothes, it comes off in the car.

But also, Henry Lee is the one who found all those other hairs after the state had already gone through everything in front of the prosecutors and the cops that made this up.

So we can`t just take their word for it, number one. Number two on the body, we don`t even have an autopsy finding of a cause of death.

WADE: Right we don`t have.

WEINTRAUB: You know a fracture of a bone which would indicate a breaking of a neck. We don`t have any of that. The body is of no use.

WADE: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The one thing you haven`t mentioned that I think is the best thing in her defense is that a cop went to the very location where her body was later found and didn`t find the body back in August.

WADE: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then in November, there was an Anthony family private investigator snooping around there and he reportedly apparently did not find anything.

WEINTRAUB: Right. So then where are these cell phone records? The cell phone records of her being in that area right after the alleged -- the child was missing? Well, then, well, the body wasn`t there, according to the police.

So what`s really, what do these cell phone records mean? The prosecution`s going to hinge their whole case on cell phone records?

WOODLAND: They`re desperate and that`s why that now they`re seeking death.

(CROSS TALK) VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think they`re hinging their whole case on cell phone records. I think it`s a piece of a puzzle.

WEINTRAUB: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And if you take the forensics and you take the crime scene and you take the body and then you add on her behavior...

WADE: And you take the fact that she herself did not report the child missing. We have a very complicated puzzle.

But when we add these pieces up, and I understand that the lawyers are looking at the evidence and looking at preparing the case. But I`m looking at it from the standpoint of, there`s something really wrong with this young woman. And it`s a glaring and obvious flaw in her personality. And there`s no mother anywhere who would not report a child missing.

WOODLAND: Sure. I don`t think anyone is denying that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You don`t think that`s going to come up in closing arguments?

WOODLAND: Of course. But does that mean she committed premeditated murder that should be subject to the death penalty in Florida? I mean, there`s a lot to prove for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, ladies, thank you for a very invigorating debate. I`m sure we`re going to debate this again many, many times. Brenda, Rebecca, thank you. Jayne, stay right there.

Bizarre love triangle involving a high schoolteacher and her two students ends in murder. Stick around for the truly horrifying details. You won`t believe this one.

And speaking of horrifying -- Hulk Hogan, yet another scandal to add to his long list this time; comments about going O.J. on his estranged wife. He has just responded moments ago with an explanation. I`m going to tell you in a moment.

I want your take on the Hulkster`s outburst. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297. Sound off to me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a shocking interview, Hulk Hogan sounds a less like the "Hulk-a-maniac" and more like a homicidal maniac. I will find out if he was joking around.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

A tragic twist to a taboo tryst; try saying that three times. An Arizona high school student now dead, allegedly murdered by a jealous rival; both men reportedly the lovers and students of a 48-year-old math teacher.

Cops say Tamara Hoffman was naked in her home with her 18-year-old lover, who was one of her students. They were caught by her 20-year-old boyfriend who was also a student of hers at one time. Are you doing the math here? He allegedly admits to stabbing his victim with a kitchen knife but says he only meant to teach him a lesson for cheating. The suspect now behind bars charged with second-degree murder.

Meantime, what about teacher? How about a lesson for her? Well, police are investigating whether she had sexual relations with any of her students when they were underage. That`s the key. What an equation. We will stay on top of this one.

That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."

Former pro wrestler, Hulk Hogan, makes absolutely insane comments in a staggering new interview. Racked by scandal, dumped by his wife, Hogan says he could have gone O.J. and cut everybody`s throats.

Those homicidal sounding words from his jaw-dropping chat with "Rolling Stone," about the way his wife, Linda, dumped him, forced him out of his $18 million mansion and then began dating a guy 30 years her junior. Quote, "I could have turned everything into a crime scene, like O.J." he said; adding this gruesome detail, quote, "Cutting everybody`s throat."

In case "like O.J." wasn`t specific enough, Hogan explained his motivation. Quote, "You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can`t go to anymore. You`re driving through downtown Clearwater and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade."

I don`t know if I`m getting his accent right. Let me continue on with the quote. "And you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed with your wife. I totally understand O.J. I get it."

What? You totally understand O.J.? The part where he allegedly brutally murdered his wife and her friend only to be acquitted? Before being found liable in a wrongful death suit? Is the Huckster homicidal or just dumb?

Back with me: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; and joining the conversation, Adrian Mitchell, a clinical psychologist, boy, do we need one; and I`m so excited to have with us tonight, my friend and colleague, Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition." Great to see you, Jim.

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Good to see you, too, Jane. I like your impression by the way of Hulk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you I was working on it.

MORET: It sounds a little bit more jersey mobster but that`s ok.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I was doing more Sopranos. I`m going to practice that tonight.

You know we both lived seriously through the O.J. Simpson criminal trial where most of America felt justice was denied to the families of Ron and Nicole. How outrageous is this comment by Hulk Hogan?

MORET: I think it`s outrageous on a number of levels. Look, we`ve covered divorces. You and I both, and I`ve seen people who probably wanted to kill each other, maybe even said so over drinks to friends. This was not that situation.

This was on the record to a magazine, "Rolling Stone." And he was very specific about why he was upset, why he wanted to do what he could have done. But for the grace of God he didn`t. And we`re supposed to applaud his restraint?

Look, this is a guy who is a public figure, used to be a role model, has a lot of fans. I don`t know how many fans he`s going to have and certainly I don`t know how many endorsements he`s going to have. I think it`s an outrageous comment to make on the record.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It absolutely is. And can you imagine the family of Ron Goldman and the family of Nicole Brown having to hear this? I mean, they`ve already been through hell. And now they`ve got to be sort of the butt of this sick joke.

Hulk`s wife, Linda, gave CNN a statement about these sicko statements by her soon-to-be ex. Quote, "Hulk`s serial cheating destroyed our marriage, our family and our future. Sadly his recent comments remind us that his definition of fair is much different than what the law dictates," end quote.

Her rep added this, "We`ve always maintained that the fear that Linda has come to live with comes from the rage and instability, much too often associated with pro wrestlers."

So Linda and her family, Jayne Weintraub, taking these statements seriously. What should they to?

WEINTRAUB: Are they really taking it seriously or don`t they really - - I mean, this guy, just look at him. He has a flair for the drama. He`s a professional wrestler. Everything he does is an act. He`s always on stage.

On the record, to "Rolling Stone," I mean, it`s almost like, careful what you say. It`s like a badge of honor to these viewers, or to the readers of that magazine probably. He`s just being a macho wise guy. It was poor taste. And I`m sure it was like everything else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know he`s a macho wise guy, but you`re not the -- you`re not on the receiving end of that comment.

Now, by the way, Hulk apparently seeing that he`s created this huge controversy has issued just moments ago this explanation, saying, essentially, "in no way does he condone the situation" I referenced and saying that he was really using it to exemplify his frustration with his own situation.

Jim Moret, do you buy that explanation?

MORET: Look, he is frustrated. We`ve seen him get angry before. We`ve also seen him make statements when he didn`t know he was being recorded, specifically about his own son`s car accident where he basically almost blamed the victim, who was injured in that accident.

This was a different situation. He knew he was with a reporter. He knew he would be quoted. Is it bad taste? Absolutely. Do I think he`s going to do these things? No, I don`t. I mean, I haven`t seen any evidence.

But you know what? He`s got a responsibility. He`s got kids. He`s got an ex-wife. Is he bugged? Sure. Does he have a right to be? Maybe. But do you make these kind of statements? I think they`re irresponsible.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s all concerned about materialism. This guy doesn`t care about feelings. What he cares about is the square footage of his house and the fact he can`t drive his Escalade. And the idea that that is the most important thing for him to me reveals volumes about his values and his priorities.

Stay right there, everyone. More on hulk-a-mania in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HULK HOGAN: Are you going to wrestle with me here? Are you going to come across the cameras? Then be quiet. Be quiet. Be quiet. You had your time to talk. You`re done. You`re done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hulk Hogan squaring off against his estranged wife`s divorce lawyer. Now in hot water again for saying I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J., cutting everybody`s throats. Another bad impression.

But nevertheless, the phone lines lighting up. Elaine in Tennessee, your question or thought, ma`am.

ELAINE, TENNESSEE (via telephone): Thank you, Miss Jane. I would like to know how, in a country in this day and time of our stature, can someone voice outlandish insaniac (ph) hurtful comments like that. Comparing himself to O.J. and what O.J. Simpson did. What can be done about all this madness?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Adrian Mitchell, as a psychologist what do you make of it? Is he a rageaholic?

ADRIAN MITCHELL, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think his ego is bruised. You know, this guy has built his career around brawn and being strong and being a provider and his wife goes of and basically gets with the help, this 19-year-old, who is quite the opposite of him. So his ego is severely bruised and I think that he said those comments, he was enraged. And hopefully he won`t do that. But his ego was severely bruised...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right. I agree with you 100 percent. He`s a macho guy, and his wife is allegedly seeing this young guy. That just drives him crazy.

Last year, while talking to his son, Nick, who was in prison for causing a crash that seriously injured his friend, Hulk made startling comments about that friend. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HOGAN: Well, I don`t know what type of person John was or what he did to get himself in this situation. I know he was pretty aggressive and used to yell at people and do stuff. And for some reason God laid some heavy (bleep) on that kid. I don`t know what he was into.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, this young man who was injured in the crash he`s referring to was left brain damaged. And that`s his response?

MORET: Oh, sure, you blame the victim. And in this case he`s basically talking trash to the "Rolling Stone" magazine. And you know, he`s portraying himself as the victim. And you know, but he`s not in a wrestling ring, and people can vote with their pocketbooks on whether they see his films or his appearances.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I think this guy needs to take that little crazy headband of his and just crawl under a rock and disappear. We don`t need to hear from this guy anymore. I mean, he really is a blight, and he really epitomizes I think everything that we need to get rid of in our society especially the focus on materialism above all else.

Great seeing you, Jim.

Thank you panel.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. You`re watching ISSUES.

END

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