Return to Transcripts main page


New Details Emerge in Florida Double Murder

Aired August 18, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight gut-wrenching new details in the brutal double murder of a couple with a brood of special needs children. We`re now learning their 10-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, was sleeping in bed with his parents when Mom was executed with five shots and Dad was slain with six shots. This poor little guy is now trying his best to tell police what he saw, saying two bad men announced, "You`re going to die, one, two, three." Could a chilling account from a special needs child put these killers away for good?

And abducted on a desolate road. Kristi Cornwell vanished while talking on her cell phone. There`s no sign of the single mother. Now cops are investigating whether her work as a probation officer had any links to her disappearance. She worked with criminals. She spent time in jail. So could her kidnapper be an ex-con out for revenge?

Also, explosive developments in the Michael Jackson case. TMZ now reporting M.J.`s mother is weighing a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Conrad Murray. We`ve all heard the disturbing details involving Dr. Murray, anesthesia and Michael. So does Katherine Jackson have a case?

Meanwhile, no criminal charges have been filed. So what`s the hold- up? After a slew of federal raids, has the Jackson investigation hit a wall?

Plus, shocking insight into the first lady of South Carolina`s reaction to her cheating husband. She wanted to know if the mistress was good looking, and now she`s comparing Governor Sanford` infidelity to addiction and alcoholism. Remember, Sanford is the cad who said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really getting sweaty with his lover in Argentina.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight in the Michael Jackson death from Jackson`s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. He spoke publicly on camera. It`s the first time we have ever heard from Dr. Murray or even seen him clearly. This is a stunning minute-long plea posted on, of all places, YouTube. It`s meant for the public. But Dr. Murray insists it`s for his close patients and friends.


DR. CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PHYSICIAN: Don`t worry. As long as I keep God in my heart, and you in my life, I will be fine.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t worry? You should be worried, Dr. Murray.

Dr. Murray reportedly admitted he gave Jackson the powerful surgical knockout drug Propofol in the hours before his death. He is reportedly the target of a criminal investigation. We`re going to show you more of Dr. Murray`s stunning video and analyze it in a moment.

But first, an avalanche of head-spinning court documents. More than 700 pages. I`ve got them right here. Seven hundred pages plus, just released in the execution style murders of the Florida couple known for adopting many special needs kids. You will not believe the horrifying details contained in these documents.

For example, it turns out, their 10-year-old adopted son who has Down syndrome was in bed with his parents and watched as they were each executed with multiple gunshots. Byrd and Melanie Billings were sharing their home with nine children between the ages of 4 and 11 when they were slaughtered. Their 10-year-old boy was sleeping in bed with them during the murder.

According to a sheriff`s report, the boy said, quote, "Someone knocked on the door. Dad got up and went out. And there were two bad men who said, `You`re going to die.` He counted to three before he shot both Mom and Dad," end quote. Truly terrifying. But will that child`s testimony hold up?

Listen to what the alleged gunman, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., said about statements his own dad, who`s also a suspect, by the way, made.


LEONARD P. GONZALEZ JR., CHARGED WITH MURDER: This entire case is based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence and a confession of a mentally-challenged person. He made false statements and false confessions. I am not guilty of the crime with which I`m being charged.



Another stunning revelation, that man, the one you just heard from, the alleged mastermind, says he had a relationship with the Billings` estranged son, Justin. What did they do together? Gonzalez said they acted as enforcers at a car dealership to squeeze out payments from people who had fallen behind.

Plus you won`t believe what else the Billings` 10-year-old son told investigators. When asked who hurt their parents, the child, who has speech problems, signed the letters BJA. What does that mean?

Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: Vinny Parco, private investigator; Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Brenda Wade, political psychologist. We need you tonight, Brenda. And Rob Williams, anchor for News Radio 1620 AM in Pensacola, Florida.

Rob, you have been tracking this case from the start. What is the very latest?

ROB WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, NEWS RADIO 1620 AM: I can`t believe it`s been 40 days. It seems like maybe two weeks ago.

The latest is Pamela Long Wiggins or whatever name she`s using today is still in the Escambia County hoosegow. It`s a half a million dollars in bond. I just checked their Web site. She`s still locked up.

Everybody, Jane, is just reeling. How many hundred pages? I mean, 700 pages. Look at this. It`s a ream and a half of paper. That`s how much paper you need to print this out. I`m glad they put it all on CD. And it`s taken the whole newsroom to go through this page by page. A lot of it`s pretty boring and redundant, but a lot of it is, "Oh, wow, you`ve got to be kidding me. I can`t believe that" sort of stuff. It is just one jaw dropper over another, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Rob, we`re looking at pictures of men there, but you mentioned the woman involved. Let`s clarify her alleged involvement in all of this.

WILLIAMS: Well, Pamela Long Wiggins, landlord to Pat Gonzalez Jr., and she was originally booked as accessory after the fact with a low, I mean, $10,000, $15,000 bond. And now that the charges have been upgraded and it is a half million dollars bond. Apparently, the prosecution thinks she knew way more than she said originally, and it`s really a matter when she knew it, which may well have been a lot sooner than later.

Don`t forget: they found the one safe taken from the Billings` house. They found it in her backyard, partially buried. Then they found some other -- some of the gear that the guys supposedly used as they were breaking in the house, all those black outfits.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mark Eiglarsh, of all the thing that I found the most shocking is that the alleged ring leader, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., said, "Oh, I`m innocent of killing the Billings, but I have whacked other people on behalf of used car dealerships in the area."

Now, is this guy out of his mind? He`s saying he didn`t do this job, "but oh, let me volunteer that I executed a few other people on behalf of used car dealerships." And why are used car dealerships executing people anyway?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Probably not the strongest choice. But then again, the people with psychology like that are the ones who get involved with crimes like. But I disagree with you. I think the bombshell blockbuster stunner, if you will, is now that prosecutors have a 10-year-old boy with challenges who is going to be testifying in front of a jury here in Florida.

Typically, you`re not allowed to appeal to the sympathy of the jurors, to allow them to make their decisions based on how they feel about a witness. But what you`re going to get is jurors who think, "My God, this kid no longer has his parents. And those people over there are the ones responsible." It`s compelling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lisa Bloom, what do you make of him signing the letters, BJA, when asked by cops, "Did your dad say anything? Cry out anything?"

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don`t know. I think that`s an outstanding question, Jane. There are so many unresolved mysteries in this case.

And I agree with Mark, though. This 10-year-old child could very well become a witness. I mean, the question is, are his disabilities so severe that he couldn`t testify truthfully? Does he know the difference between right and wrong? Does he know what a lie is? Is he capable of being credible and honest on the stand?

But if so -- and certainly an ordinary 10-year-old would be able to do that, typically. If so, if he can I.D. these killers, if can talk about what exactly happened, this is now the star witness in the case.

And your heart has to go out to these -- to this family and to these children, especially this child in particular, who witnessed the killing of his own parents.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda Wade, what is that going to do to a child with Down syndrome? Being in bed with Mom and Dad...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and then one gets six bullets. The other gets five. And they`re left in a pool in their blood.

WADE: Right. That is absolutely horrifying. And one of the thing about Down syndrome children, it`s a really interesting thing. I always have the sense that God may take something away over here and give you something over here. Down syndrome children are the most sensitive, social, emotionally-engaging children you will ever meet.

And this little boy, the fact that he`s the one that was in bed, I thought that`s so classic for a Down syndrome child. So he, of course, is going to feel it emotionally. He`s going to be emotionally traumatized.

But Down syndrome children are capable of learning, many of them up through an eighth-grade level. So his testimony could very well be...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think he could testify, Brenda?

WADE: I think that absolutely he could be a credible witness. I don`t know this child. I haven`t interviewed him, but I started my career working with Down syndrome children. And I know how bright some of them actually are.


WILLIAMS: Jane, it`s Rob in Pensacola. One quick thing. They don`t need the kid to testify. They`ve got the whole thing on video. The house was wired like a pinball machine. Cameras everywhere. They see the guys not just coming in the yard, which has been released. Coming through the doors, coming down the hall, into the bedroom. And yes, even the murders are on video.


EIGLARSH: They`re going to use him, Jane. Even if there`s a tiny bit of information that he gives, a teeny-weeny bit. What you`re getting is a sweet, most innocent child in front of the jurors, especially if they`re seeking the death penalty. You want the most...

WILLIAMS: But the defense attorneys...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about the evidence. OK, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr., the alleged mastermind, spoke out last month. Listen to this.


GONZALEZ: There`s no hard evidence that links me to the scene of the crimes that occurred last night. All I ask for is an opportunity to clear my name.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinny Parco, he says there`s no evidence, but there`s evidence on videotape. However, they were wearing ninja outfits and masks, so maybe that won`t be good evidence.

VINNY PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes, but with the technology we have nowadays, they can do a lot of things with the videotape.

Plus the girl, the woman has some of the paraphernalia and some of the evidence from the crime at her home.

You know, there`s seven -- there are seven defendants. You know somebody`s going to turn. And you know the defense attorneys are going to crucify this young kid, unfortunately.

EIGLARSH: No, no, no, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You won`t believe some of the horrifying things that this suspect has said. We`re going to get to that in a moment. Attacking the family of the victims themselves.

More on these brutal murders in just a moment. We`re also taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Let us know what you think.

And then a woman vanishes on a desolate Georgia road. Could her job as a parole officer be linked to the abduction?

But first parents who have dedicated their lives to special needs kids, murdered.





VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Regina McCartney, talking about her estranged brother Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Sr., and her nephew, both charged with the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings. Listen to what she said next. This is a shocker.


REGINA MCCARTNEY, AUNT OF LEONARD PATRICK GONZALEZ JR.: He wants more and more and more. There`s no stopping him. There -- I don`t think that the Lord can stop Leonard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about his son? How would you describe him?

MCCARTNEY: The apple didn`t fall far from the tree.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That apple, Gonzalez Jr., considered by cops to be the ring leader of those execution-style killings of Byrd and Melanie Billings.

Rob, what else do we know about this wing nut, Gonzalez Jr.?

WILLIAMS: Hey, don`t forget, Jane, this is Florida, the home of, well, let me see, Fantasyland? That`s probably where Pat Gonzalez spends his life. He has these illusions of toughness: "Oh, boy, I`m tough. I got an award for teaching karate to kids."

But the bottom line is everybody says, well, he`s kind of been a geek, a kind of nasty violent geek, even back all the way to elementary school. So maybe he wants to play out these illusions. Imagine, oh, yes, "I`m a hit man for a used-car dealer in Pensacola." Come on. I mean, if the cops busted this murder, which was, what, six weeks of organization, if they busted that in 100 hours, they`d have scooped this guy up years ago for, say, somebody who didn`t pay their car note and got whacked.

So again, Leonard is living in Fantasyland right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. And Lisa Bloom, he also says that he`s in, quote, "very deep." And that he and his family are in danger and suggested that the cops look into a Mexican organized crime syndicate called MS-13. Does this guy got an over-active -- I mean, too many James Bond movies?

BLOOM: Yes, yes, yes. Wah, wah, wah, right? I mean, it reminded me of when John Mark Carr said he killed JonBenet Ramsey, and we all went crazy covering the story, until we realized he was just a whacko.

I mean, a lot of people that I`ve been involved with in the criminal justice system say, "The CIA, you know, has implanted something in my brain and they`re talking to me. I`m connected to the Mexican mafia. I`m a member of the drug cartel." When people say things like that, they`re usually not true, and usually, they have a screw loose.

PARCO: I have to agree with you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let me -- let me...

WADE: There is something really wrong with him, Jane.


WADE: Not only is he in this fantasy...

PARCO: He`s a wacko.

WADE: He`s also a sociopath.

EIGLARSH: Expect more of it, Jane. Expect more of it. That`s what defense -- that`s what the defendants do. They`ve got to blame someone else. And if they didn`t do it, well, someone else did. So they`ve got to throw it out there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? He`s now blaming the victim.

Police interviewed Carol Sue Brad (ph).

EIGLARSH: There`s a new one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`ve got to keep notes and score cards. She`s the wife of one of the suspects, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Sr., who is the father of this alleged mastermind, Junior.

Carol told cops Junior was hired to kill the Billings. Quote, "He just kind of said, `I`ve got a job to do.` He`s molesting these children, and he`s supposed to have been laundering money and there was also supposed to be a bunch of cocaine there, too," end quote.

Now Rob Williams, have we heard anything about molestation or cocaine? Because it`s not...

WILLIAMS: No, and nothing. Zip, nada. There again, claims from Fantasyland. You know, no molestation. Don`t forget, the children of operations with the state of Florida, the DCF, Department of Children and Family, they were on a first-name basis with the Billings. They knew what was going on there. No indication at all of that.

Cocaine, we see in the evidence list, I don`t see cocaine anywhere on that list. Again, Pat Gonzalez coming out of fantasyland here. And by the way, if he was so tough, I`ve got 10,000 sharks about four miles behind me in the Gulf of Mexico. It will hide a lot of evidence but no word that Gonzalez used them.

EIGLARSH: Jane, it also doesn`t matter. It doesn`t matter if this guy and he`s not, but if he was Chester the molester, it wouldn`t matter. The issue in this case is whether they committed an offense that led to his death. And they allegedly did. That`s it. It doesn`t matter who he is or what his character is about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Lisa Bloom, unfortunately now in this society where victims of crime twice or three time. First, we actually are abused or victimized. And then the defendant abuses the victims again by making up horrific stories about them.

BLOOM: Well, sometimes -- and you`re right. And unfortunately, in a murder case, we always have to remember that the victims are not here to speak for themselves. And so when they`re being maligned, you really have to take it with a grain of salt. You have to wonder what they would say.

But the defense, I have to point out, says a lot of stuff at the beginning of the case. Even throws it in at the trial. Usually jurors don`t buy it. They see through this kind of thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dianne in New Jersey. Your question or thoughts, ma`am.

DIANE, CALLER FROM NEW JERSEY: Yes. The Billings appear to be wonderful people by adopting all these children. Do you think maybe this was a front to cover up some illegal things they might have been doing?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rob, you`re out there.

WILLIAMS: Well, you`ve all seen the rundown. Over the years, Bud Billings had some -- well, I mean, I`ll use the term shady, maybe operating on the fringe of legality, with the used car business, pawnshops, running strip joints, that sort of thing. But, hey, somebody has got to do it and maybe after he got married, maybe.

BLOOM: They do?

WILLIAMS: Maybe more legitimized his operation. I don`t know. But everybody who knows him said they had a big turnaround.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think women might say we don`t need to run strip joints.


BLOOM: What if we had one day without strip joints? I might be OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Vinny Parco, though, when you start -- I always say tell me who you walk with and I`ll tell you who you are. And if you get to that point where you`re hanging out with that element, it can come back to bite you.

PARCO: That`s true.

WADE: Exactly.


WADE: There is a lot of sociopathy here, Jane, with the murderers. You know here`s a family member saying they`ve been this way for years. And there is an overlap. I`m not saying that the victims in any way deserved to be slaughtered and certainly their children didn`t deserve to lose their parents. But you`re making a point here that there is a little bit of this overlap of their world and that always exposes people to danger.


PARCO: Well, see, keep one thing in mind. They were robbed. You know, this was not -- they`re making it look like it`s a hit when in fact they took a safe. They missed the safe with all the money. I think it was $164,000. So the gang that couldn`t shoot straight. So they`re blaming everybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are absolutely right.


WADE: These guys aren`t very smart.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to bring out the gavel. We`re out of time. Thank you, fantastic panel.

South Carolina`s first lady Jenny Sanford opens up to "Vogue" magazine about her husband`s love affair with another woman. Details of the explosive interview.

Plus will Katherine Jackson file a wrongful death suit against Dr. Conrad Murray? The king of pop`s doctor claims he`s innocent. Does she have a case?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast-breaking developments tonight in the abduction of a 30-year-old Georgia woman, Kristi Cornwell. The FBI has now joined the desperate search for the single mom which has crossed yet to another state, Tennessee. Authorities looking at 180 sex offenders in that state.

Kristi Cornwell last heard from while out walking and talking to her boyfriend on the phone. A car approached, her boyfriend says she screamed, please don`t take me. The phone gets disconnected. Her distraught mom tearfully begging for her return on ABC`s "Good Morning America."


JO ANN CORNWELL, MISSING WOMAN`S MOTHER: I want him to know that we love her very much and we need her back. Her son needs his mother back. And I need my baby back. We all need her back. And we believe we`re going to get her back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman. Authorities found her cell phone three miles away. Cops wonder if Kristi`s background as a former probation officer could be linked to the case.

Straight out to Lou Palumbo, director of the Elite Intelligence and Protection Agency and former police officer. Lou, what about this theory that since she was a probation officer, an ex-con may be seeking revenge against her?

LOU PALUMBO, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: That`s a very good theory. The fact of the matter is, she may have been responsible for the re- incarceration of somebody who was on probation and that person just harbored that ill-feeling until they ran out the rest of their term in an institution and sought her out. That`s a very logical possibility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what do they do? How do they check that out?

PALUMBO: Well, they`re going to go into her case files, you know, very simply, and they`re going to review who she had assigned to her during this period of employment. And look at each case and assess each individual. Try to locate them and see exactly if there was any intent to --you know, bring harm to her.

I`m certain if someone was behind that element of this crime, that they must have talked to someone about it or someone would know something about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, criminologist Jack Levin was on CBS` "The Early Show" talking about Kristi`s history as a probation officer and if it could have something to do with her abduction. Listen to this.


JACK LEVIN, CRIMINOLOGIST: The police cannot rule that out. I mean they have to look at her probationers. After all, she had worked in a prison. She had a large number of clients. But it seems to me that she would have probably recognized one of her clients.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: With all due respect to that gentleman, it seems to me that he is implying, well, if she recognized her abductor, she would have cried out his name. I can`t remember the names of half the people I run into. How is she supposed to remember the name of somebody she may have dealt with in prison or as a probation officer years ago?

PALUMBO: Well, she necessarily might not. Number one. Number two, he is assuming these people didn`t do something to cover their identity. So there is a lot of error with that logic. Quite frankly.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that her pedigree from an employment perspective was in the law enforcement community, and I think that this young lady may have spontaneously realized, if someone brandished a weapon in her direction from a vehicle, that she was being abducted. So it wouldn`t take too much to connect those dots.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We only have 10 seconds but now cops believe she may have been taken from someone in her area. How do they follow that up?

PALUMBO: Well, you canvass the area, for one. You create a grid. You go house by house. And you just -- it`s a lot of legwork. And to the credit of the law enforcement.


PALUMBO: Go ahead, I`m sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there. Please come back soon. A big thanks.

Michael Jackson`s doctor finally speaking out. It`s the first time we`ve heard from him since Michael Jackson`s death. His message is simple. Will the truth prevail? Huh? What is he talking about? And why didn`t he talk about Michael Jackson? Seems like he was talking about himself.



VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Explosive developments in the Michael Jackson case. TMZ now reporting Michael Jackson`s mom is weighing a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Conrad Murray.

We`ve all heard the allegation but does Katherine have a case? And has the criminal investigation in a law? Plus shocking insight into the first lady of South Carolina`s reaction to her cheating husband. She wanted to know if the mistress was good looking and now she`s comparing Governor Sanford`s infidelity to addiction and alcoholism.

Remember, Sanford is the cad who said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really getting sweaty with his lover in Argentina.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a jaw dropper in the Michael Jackson death drama. Jackson`s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, suddenly breaks his silence on YouTube.


DR. CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PHYSICIAN: As long as I keep God in my heart and you in my life, I will be fine. I have done all I can do. I told the truth and I have faith, the truth will prevail.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s good lighting. Very professionally shot. The one-minute long YouTube message addressed to his, quote, "patients and friends" clearly is intended for public consumption. Dr. Murray, reportedly the target of a criminal investigation into Jackson`s death.

The "L.A. Times" quotes a law enforcement source and says Dr. Murray told cops he gave Jackson that powerful surgical knockout drug propofol and then left Michael alone. Now the AP claims police sources believe Dr. Murray also gave Michael a cocktail of sedatives that night, although his attorney denies it.

Now TMZ claims one of Dr. Murray`s employees was ordered to remove boxes from Dr. Murray`s Houston storage unit a full five hours before the frantic 911 call that Jackson was unresponsive.

What? If true, this could mean that Michael died five hours earlier and there was some sort of cover-up?

Meantime, still no arrest, no cause of death announcement. What is the holdup, people? Jackson is set to be buried on his birthday August 29th at Forest Lawn in Southern California. The ceremony, private.

Meantime, Katherine Jackson could be gearing up for a wrongful death lawsuit.


BURT LEVITCH, KATHERINE JACKSON`S ATTORNEY: No decision has been made whatsoever and in that regard, no decision has been made about who the possible defendants in a wrongful death action might be.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But TMZ says Katherine`s target is Dr. Conrad Murray. His attorney`s rep told our ISSUES producer, quote, "Whether or not they decide to proceed with a civil lawsuit is up to them," end quote.

Hey, was that a dare? So much to talk about.

Straight out to my awesome panel. Mike Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney. Former prosecutor, Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst. Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition." Firpo Carr, Jackson family friend and former Jackson spokesperson. And Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ.

Mike, you`re always on top of this story. What is the very latest?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, let start with Dr. Murray`s video. I mean this guy I think needs to stop talking in general. The one -- first part that he stuck his foot in his mouth was admitting that he administered propofol to the cop which led to the search warrant.

Now this video? I mean, you know what? When you`re being criminally sought after, I know it is not a criminal investigation officially, but when all these allegations are being thrown around, it`s time to keep your mouth shut. And the fact that a publicist for a lawyer set this up and they edited it together doesn`t make any sense to me why you would do this right now.

But I can say, on the other hand, that the burial, we finally are going to see Michael Jackson being laid to rest. But what`s interesting, Jane, is that at Forest Lawn in Glendale at the great mausoleum, this is a place where it`s secured. You can`t get there if you`re in the public. It has to be family.

And I just think it`s interesting and sort of weird, actually, that they would put Michael in a place like that where all his fans can`t see him or go see him. I think they`re going to have trouble with security and they`re going to have a lot of issues behind that. So both of those coming out today, kind of weird to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got a lot of issues to cover here. And exhibit a, Dr. Conrad Murray`s one-minute YouTube video. I noticed excellent lighting. I mean that seemed professionally shot. Clearly created. I was like -- well, I do have good lighting. But I mean.

WALTERS: And good editing, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to tell you, that wasn`t done with a home video camera. All right? Now listen to why he said he posted this message. This is his explanation.


MURRAY: Because of all that is going on, I`m afraid to return phone calls or use my e-mail. Therefore, I recorded this video to let all of you know that I have been receiving your messages. I have not been able to thank you personally, which, as you know, is not normal for me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, doesn`t it seem like Dr. Murray took a page from his own patient`s playbook? Remember Jackson`s `93 video in the wake of a child molestation charges?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Firpo Carr, the thing about these videos is you can`t ask questions back. You can`t ask tough questions to a video. And it seems like it`s a one-way conversation.

CARR: It is. And I think it`s all staged. And this man is guilty as far as I`m concerned. Think about it. First of all, he did not say anything about Michael Jackson and his family. I`m sorry that my friend and patient died. I`m sorry for the family. Nothing like that.

And I was thinking the same thing. You read my mind, Jane. He pulled a page from Michael`s book. And then as far as getting back with his patients are concerned, or friends and family, you can call. There`s no danger in calling, returning a call or having someone else call.

He goes on YouTube under the false impression or the false claim that OK, I can`t get to all of you so I`m going to tell the world how I feel. He`s trying to garner, as far as I`m concerned, some sympathy. And the man is consistent in that this is the last thing he is doing, the latest thing he`s doing to cover himself.

BLOOM: And Jane.

EIGLARSH: He didn`t do a good job of it, Jane. I mean, I`m OK with him going out there and letting us know who public enemy number one is. It`s OK. But it left me feeling like after I feel when my wife gives me popcorn with nothing on it. You know, a lot of air.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She does that?

EIGLARSH: No flavor. Yes, nothing to it. It`s light. There`s nothing to it. It didn`t move me.

BLOOM: Hey, you know what, Mark? You`re free to make your own popcorn, by the way.



EIGLARSH: Hey! Lisa, back off. Back off.

BLOOM: Why is Dr. Murray afraid to return an e-mail? I mean what exactly is going to happen if he does that?

CARR: Yes. Thank you.

BLOOM: What is the danger? That`s a danger he doesn`t want to risk, but he`ll leave Michael Jackson alone with propofol and go out of the room and even make phone calls or fall asleep. That`s an acceptable risk? I mean does that make any sense to anyone?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to get to the next issue.

WALTERS: Yes, well, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is such a crucial issue. TMZ is reporting that one of Dr. Conrad Murray`s boys got a call five hours before the 911 call was placed to paramedics on June 25th. This shocker has so many implications because if true, it could mean, Jim Moret, that Dr. Murray was not asleep as previously reported.

It could also mean that Dr. Murray found Jackson dead as early as 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time that day. 911 was called after noon, at 12:22 p.m. Here is what one of Dr. Murray`s employees told TMZ last month.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you know? Did Dr. Murray ask you to move that? Did he -- did you talk to Dr. Murray that morning?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Jim Moret, if it`s true that they were called at 7:00 a.m. L.A. time, when the paramedics were called, after noon, what are the implications?

JIM MORET, ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, first of all, we want to know what were they asked to move. Were they asked to move boxes relative to Michael Jackson? We already know one thing that is hurting Dr. Murray`s position. And that is, according to the chef, he came downstairs around 12:05. We know he didn`t call 911 until 12:22.

If Michael Jackson was in distress, and we assume he was because Dr. Murray, according to the chef, ran downstairs, shouting for Prince Michael. Well, Why the heck wasn`t the doctor with Michael Jackson then? Why wasn`t 911 called then?

If the doctor, in fact, had employees move documents regarding Michael Jackson hours earlier, he clearly had a consciousness of guilt, a cover-up. And this is horrible news if it is true for the doctor and his case. And that tape today would be -- I think it`s worthless anyway.

CARR: And as far as 911 is concerned, what he needs to do is dial m for murder. That`s what people are looking at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, you know.

EIGLARSH: Hold on one second. Hold on one second. Hold on. Hold on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: . we invite him on at any time to come to tell his side of the story. We`d love to have Dr. Murray on. Go ahead.

EIGLARSH: As much as it looks horrible, that last comment -- again, I have to ring the bell of presumption of innocence. At least at this point. People are free to form their own opinions and I certainly have. But let`s not fry him. Let`s just wait. Let`s see what we`ve got there. And let`s see if propofol was the cause of death. Let`s see.

CARR: Well, you know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters, what about the other thing that he insisted paramedics continue work, revive him for 42 minutes, even though they wanted to say Michael Jackson is dead. Does this all paint a picture?

CARR: Come on. That`s a pattern. That`s an obvious pattern. I mean say what you want to say, believe what you want to believe. Say as much as you want to say. And it`s true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to give Mike the last word. Mike Walters.

CARR: All right, go ahead, Mike.

WALTERS: What? No, yes. Look, Jane, you`re right. I mean I think this all paints a picture. We got Laquisha (ph) who is the person you just saw and her uncle who said the same thing that someone called them to move stuff at -- a little bit before 9:22.

EIGLARSH: Those are bad facts.

WALTERS: . which is when they went to get the stuff out of the boxes.

EIGLARSH: Bad facts.


BLOOM: But we don`t know what stuff was.

EIGLARSH: Assuming that`s true, those are bad facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sorry, guy, got to whip out the gavel. Big thanks to everyone. Come back soon, obviously, this story is not going anywhere.

People across America are grappling with addiction. And guess what, I`m one of them. In my new book, "I Want," I reveal details of my own personal battle with alcoholism and how I finally got sober more than 14 years ago. It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall. You can pre-order your copy right now. Click on, look for the preorder section.

If you know somebody with a substance abuse problem, this book will help you cope.

Up next, the woman-hating gunman who killed three women in a fitness center donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the University of Pittsburgh. So will they take money?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: South Carolina`s first lady Jenny Sanford opens up about her husband`s affair with another woman. We will analyze her shockingly candid interview.

First, "Top of the Block."

Shocking developments in the Pittsburgh gym massacre: that woman- hating gunman who opened fire in an aerobics class. The creep who killed three innocent women and injured nine others wants to leave his estate to his alma mater? The University of Pittsburgh? Can you believe this whack job?

He goes on a woman-hating rampage and has the nerve to try to make good with a well-established college? Give me a break. The college, of course, fired out a statement immediately saying they want nothing to do with his estimated $225,000 donation.

They said, and I quote, "We believe any available funds should benefit Mr. Sodini`s victims and members of their families," end quote.

Absolutely. Besides Sodini`s estate will most likely be used to pay damages once wrongful death lawsuits are filed. Let`s hope there is some justice in this horrific tragedy. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."

The wife of philandering South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has maintained a quiet dignified demeanor since her husband`s affair became public. Now Jenny Sanford is dishing about her husband`s betrayal in a candid interview with "Vogue" magazine.

Sanford compares her cheating husband to an alcoholic. She said, quote, "I have learned that these affairs are almost like an addiction to alcohol or pornography," end quote.

Addicted to sex outside the marriage? Then shouldn`t he step down and go to sex addiction rehab? Sounds like a good idea to me.

Mrs. Sanford discovered her husband`s affair back in January. She and her friend couldn`t resist Goggling the other woman. They wanted to see if the governor`s so-called "soul mate" was pretty. Jenny Sanford reportedly thinks, yes, she is pretty.

The "Vogue" article is the latest chapter in a very messy scandalous summer for Governor Sanford.

I cannot believe we are still talking about a sitting governor. Why won`t this guy resign? And work on his family?

Straight out to my fabulous panel: CNN analyst, Lisa Bloom; criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh; and Dr. Reef Karim, psychiatrist and addiction specialist.

Straight to you, doctor.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could she be right? Could the governor be a sex addict?

KARIM: She could absolutely be right. What we`re talking about here is impulse control disorders or behavioral addictions. But first off, when somebody on the outside sees this or hears this, you think, "Oh yes right, come on seriously you`re going to blame addiction for...

(AUDIO GAP) ... hooking up with somebody else? But the...


And I don`t know if he has it or not but it`s called sex or love addiction where you have a preoccupation with somebody, obsessional thinking, fantasies, whereby you can`t control your thoughts and literally, you can`t control your actions.

So you end-up doing all this crazy stuff because of the way that you`re interacting with other people and the way you need to attach. You mix up wants with needs.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And also can I say this Dr. Reef? That I saw evidence of what they call intrigue because he said that he had dalliances with other women but he never crossed the ultimate line but he had some physical contact. Isn`t intrigue a big part of sex and love addiction?

KARIM: Oh, yes. Especially love addiction. I mean, the concept of fantasy is what this disease is all about. It`s -- you live in a fantasy world. You don`t live in reality. So you make up all sorts of stories in your head. You project all sorts of fantasies on other people. And in the end, you`re acting on your fantasies instead of acting on reality.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, can he...

KARIM: It`s a very tough illness and it`s really hard to treat.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I don`t think it would be very easy to treat while you`re a sitting governor, either.

KARIM: Good point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jenny Sanford`s "Vogue" interview doesn`t sound much like her earlier statements about her husband`s affair.

Here she is back in June, the week her husband`s infidelity made headlines.


JENNY SANFORD, WIFE OF SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: I don`t know whether he`ll be with me but I`m going to do my best to work on our marriage because I believe in marriage. I believe in raising good kids. It`s the most important thing in the world.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two weeks ago she very publicly moved out of the Governor`s mansion. We all saw her carrying boxes along with her four sons.

She released this statement. "We will return often and I will remain in engaged in activities in my role as first lady."

So Lisa Bloom, it kind of sounds like she`s got mixed feelings about all this. She can`t quite walk away.

BLOOM: I love this woman. And let me tell you why.

First of all, Jenny Sanford, the other woman might be pretty but you`re beautiful on the outside as evidenced by those "Vogue" pictures, but also more importantly on the inside.

I think she is doing a wonderful job of retaining her own independence, her own dignity here and distancing herself from this jerk of a husband that she`s stuck with. Also, saying that she`s not going to let hatred fill up her heart. She`s going to find a place for forgiveness because that`s healthier for her.

But he has to make major behavioral changes and she`s going to focus on those four sons that she`s got, that her ex-husband -- I hope soon to be ex-husband -- seem to have forgotten all about with his shenanigans.

So I think she`s a much better role model Jim McGreevey`s wife or Eliot Spitzer`s or these Stepford political wives that we`ve seen standing with the glassy eyes next to their husbands while they`re getting publicly humiliated. She didn`t do any of that. She`s forging her own way and I think she`s terrific.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mark Eiglarsh, yes go ahead.

EIGLARSH: I agree with Lisa. However, let me just talk about this for a second. To throw...


EIGLARSH: Let me just say this, to throw out the addiction card. I`m not defending him. Trust me. I don`t think even if he had an addiction that would justify his alleged using a state plane to carry him to his haircuts, his dental appointments and to his birthday parties. That`s a whole another issue for another day.

BLOOM: Additions don`t justify anything. They`re just an explanation for the behavior.

EIGLARSH: But -- yes I know, but you know what, could this just be what she described in the magazine as a loveless marriage, filled with a man who is insecure, who eyes a woman, falls in love with her and is willing to -- as the hypocrite that he is -- cheat on his wife? I mean does it have to be an addiction?

BLOOM: But he also takes off. He takes off from the entire state for almost a week. I mean, have we forgotten about that?


BLOOM: He just -- nobody knows where he is, he`s missing on father`s day when he`s got four little boys...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Lisa, Lisa finish your point.

EIGLARSH: Addiction is a real disease.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re not Lisa.

EIGLARSH: But I think to some extent, to some extent, she`s suggesting it`s an addiction because then she`s able to say, look, he`s powerless to control his actions like any addicts -- Jane ring in here please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right hang on everybody.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang tight. We`re going to come back. We have another segment because obviously this has touched a button.

Stay right there. We`ll have more on the Sanford affair. That rhymes.

Here is the cheating governor back in June with cameras in his face attempting a private apology to his friends and family but I am not buying it.


GOV. MARK SANFORD, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I hurt her, I hurt you all, I hurt my wife, I hurt my boys, I hurt friends like Tom Davis, I hurt a lot of different folks. And all I can say is that I apologize.




GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Let me first of all apologize to my wife, Jenny and our four boys, great boys, Marshal, Landon, Bolton and Blake, for letting them down. One of the primary roles well before being a governor is being a father to those four boys who are absolute jewels and blessings that I`ve let down in a profound way.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Womanizing governor, Mark Sanford at a news conference to apologize to his family.

Phone lines lighting up. Carol, Tennessee, your question or thought, ma`am?

CAROL, TENNESSEE (via telephone): my comment is, you know, he -- what happened between him and his wife, that`s between him, his wife and the Lord. And, you know, if the Lord can forgive him, then we all should.

And also the fact that, you know, we had a sitting president that done to me worse than this and he was impeached. And he did not step down. So I do not think this governor should be forced to step down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but, ma`am, may I just interject something? This governor, Governor Sanford attacked Bill Clinton, who you`re referring to, suggesting that he should be impeached for what he did. So isn`t there a hypocrisy issue there?

EIGLARSH: It wasn`t just the affair. The guy left office, had his staff members lie about it. He`s in the Appalachian Trail somewhere. He`s out with this girl while he`s supposed to be leading the state. I mean, it was horrible. It`s not just having an affair. It`s not doing his duties.

DR. REEF KARIM, PSYCHIATRIST: What this comes down to is character versus addiction. If it`s based on his character and he truly doesn`t have an addiction, then this goes a completely separate direction.

But if he does have an addiction and he`s evaluated by a professional that can deal with this -- look, sex addiction affects 3 percent to 7 percent of the country. It massages the same neuro-biology as chemical addictions do. It is totally legit. Even though he may have that, he still needs treatment.

And, Jane, I agree with you. He needs to either step down or take time off, deal with this issue, instead of blowing it off, and really get the help he needs.

BLOOM: Taking time off isn`t going to really solve it. That`s the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it is a punishment. I mean, look at these other political slime balls who`ve done this. We have former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. He was busted cheating on his cancer- stricken wife. And then there was Senator David Vitter, out preaching about the importance of marriage, slipping cash to an escort, Vitter was. And let`s not forget Senator John Ensign`s extramarital affair. He messed around with the wife of his best friend and chief of staff.

What is going on here, Lisa?

BLOOM: Jane, there`s only one possible conclusion you can draw from all that. The only people fit to hold political office are women, clearly.

EIGLARSH: Oh, come on, come on.


BLOOM: I mean, look at these philanderers.

KARIM: Here we go, here we go.

EIGLARSH: Lisa, Lisa.

KARIM: Next.

BLOOM: You never see a woman politician in this kind of hot water.

EIGLARSH: This is not about being a man. This is about someone who has a loveless marriage, who`s insecure, who has defects, who lies; who let the people of the state down who uses the plane when he shouldn`t. That`s what this is about. This isn`t a gender issue.

BLOOM: Name one female politician who has this kind of problem.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Reef, last word. He`s talking about family values.


KARIM: I get Lisa`s point. This is not gender specific. Entitlement, narcissism, addiction are all -- they clear both gender lines.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: How somebody else should behave. Chances are they`re projecting something that they want to do secretly. I think it`s called reaction formation.

Thank you fabulous panel for joining me.

Remember click on Pre-order your copy of my new book, "I Want."

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.