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Husband Uses Spray Tan Defense for the Murder of His Wife
Aired May 7, 2012 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Florida. A frantic 911 call from a high-powered and big-money real estate developer, who wakes up as usual on a Wednesday morning to find his young wife, mother of his two toddlers, draped by the neck, dead, over a magazine rack by the commode in their million-dollar home right on the water.
Bombshell tonight. After severe bruising to her neck raises suspicions during autopsy, Daddy comes up with his own COD -- cause of death. He claims it`s death by spray tan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lina! Lina! Come on, wake up!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a baffling murder case in Miami, what`s being called the spray tan defense.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors and police painting Kaufman as a calculating killer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only person in that house was the defendant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Strangled his wife to death in their Aventura home after a heated fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He loved his wife more than anyone in the world. He would never harm her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She didn`t fight back. She wasn`t murdered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s on the floor dying!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Adam Kaufman`s defense team says an allergic reaction to a spray tan is to blame for her death.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ordering further testing on several items, including the tanning solution the victim was sprayed with a day before her death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s not breathing!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the real possibilities here is that she is having an allergic reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tried to explain how the healthy 33-year-old would die suddenly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, wake up. Lina!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight, live, Florida. A frantic 911 call from a high-powered and big-money real estate developer, wakes up on a Wednesday morning to find his young wife draped by the neck over a magazine rack, the rack by the commode in their million-dollar home. Severe bruising to her neck raises suspicions at autopsy, and Daddy comes up with his own cause of death, claiming his wife is dead by spray tan.
We are taking your calls, but straight out to Dustin Weis with WIOD joining us there in Miami. You know, death by spray tan is a novel idea, but let me get the backup. What happened preceding that 911 call? We`re going to play that for you in just a moment.
DUSTIN WEIS, WIOD (via telephone): Yes, Nancy, it`s a very bizarre and yet tragic accident, or it`s murder. The 911 operator took a panicked, distraught phone call from Adam Kaufman at 6:10 in the morning in November of 2007.
This prominent real estate developer tells them that he had awoken after a full night`s sleep to discover his wife, 33-year-old Eleonora Kaufman, or Lina, unconscious in the bathroom, with her neck slumped over a magazine rack across from the toilet. Their children, aged 1 and 3, slept on the same floor, in the bedrooms. Eleonora was dead.
And a year-and-a-half later, the Miami-Dade County medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by mechanical strangulation. Adam Kaufman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He maintains his innocence, and his defense attorneys have even gone so far as to suggest that a spray tan Eleonora got the day prior may have caused her to pass out and slump over that magazine rack, where she was strangled to death by gravity.
GRACE: You know, that`s a very interesting theory, Dustin Weis. I`ve known a lot of people after my stint on "Dancing With the Stars" that got spray tans all the time.
And joining me right now is Suzanne Diaz, spray tanning consultant with South Seas Skin Care. They do all the spray tans for "Dancing With the Stars" and for tons of movies I can`t even name for you.
To you, Suzanne Diaz, joining me there in Hollywood. What do you make of someone claiming that a client dies after getting a spray tan, even going so far as to allege there could be arsenic in a spray tan? I`ve got to say, I actually had one of them on my first night of "Dancing." That`s not what made me dizzy. It wasn`t the spray tan.
So what do you say to a claim like this, Suzanne?
SUZANNE DIAZ, DOES SPRAY TANS FOR "DANCING WITH THE STARS": That`s ridiculous. There`s absolutely no way that you could die by a spray tan. The main ingredient in the spray tan is DHA, which is hydroxy acetone, and that is pure cane sugar. That`s all it is. So there`s no way you could die...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait! Suzanne...
DIAZ: ... from that.
GRACE: Suzanne Diaz, you are with South Seas Skin Care, but what about all spray tans? Do almost all spray tans have the same main ingredient?
DIAZ: Yes. Every spray tan, every self-tanner, anything that self- tans you, the main ingredient is DHA. It`s the same one in every single one, no matter what...
GRACE: Which is basically sugar cane?
GRACE: All right, you know, I can`t wait until the jury has it broken down for them the way Suzanne Diaz just broke it down for me. But I got a lot of questions based on just what you told me.
For those of you just joining us, a beautiful young wife -- take a look at her -- known as Lina Kaufman, mother of two toddlers, ages 1 and 3 at the time, found dead, draped over a magazine rack by the neck, located beside their commode in their million-dollar home right there on the water.
Now, the husband says he slept a sound sleep all the way through the night, has a frantic, almost hysterical call to 911, where he keeps imploring to his wife, "Wake up! Wake up!" Interesting to me -- to you, Hugh Nolan, investigative reporter joining me out of Miami -- interesting to me that when the cops got there, he was fully dressed, including his really expensive watch. You think he slept in his clothes that night, Hugh?
HUGH NOLAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, Nancy, that`s not the only thing that raised the eyebrows of police investigators when they arrived. They noted, as well, that when they touched the hood of his Mercedes, they found it warm to the touch, and in fact, they said almost hot to the touch.
They also noted that the positioning of the vehicles, to the police mind, contradicted Mr. Kaufman`s story that he, in fact, had been home before his wife returned.
GRACE: OK, joining me right now is a very special guest. It`s Yale Galanter. Yale was Kaufman`s former attorney. Unleash the lawyers. Susan Moss, Alex Sanchez, John Manuelian, and of course, Yale Galanter. Also joining me, and Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner.
All right, Yale, spray tan. Who came up with that?
YALE GALANTER, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR ADAM KAUFMAN: His current defense team came up with the spray tan defense. My understanding is, Nancy, that they`re kind of altering it a little bit. They`re going to say that she had a cardiac episode...
GRACE: I`m sure.
GALANTER: ... that was induced by the spray tan, and that caused her to fall over and get these marks on her neck that are consistent with mechanical strangulation.
GRACE: OK, Yale, that was what I typically call a run-on sentence, or as you might say, a complex sentence. So now they`re switching from, I passed out because of the fumes and the ingredients -- i.e. sugar cane. Now you`re saying that something about the spray tan affected her heart and she had a heart attack by spray tan? Is that where we`re going?
DIAZ: Yes. I think what the defense team is going -- their theory is going to be that it was this cardiac event that caused her to slump over, and that`s what caused the marks on her neck.
GRACE: Well, a cardiac event. You know, you make that sound like a fund-raiser, Yale Galanter, like a big fund-raiser, a cardiac event. She was found dead, draped over a magazine rack by the commode, all right?
He enters the door -- since you have so beautifully evaded my question -- what about it, Sue Moss? He comes to the door fully clothed, probably wearing his diamond-studded Rolex watch. How does that happen? Because I know when my father had a heart attack and my mom was doing CPR on him, we were all running around in our pajamas up until the time he got taken to the hospital. In fact, we put on our clothes over our pajamas. We didn`t even waste time to change. He comes to the door fully dressed, even wearing his watch.
And I would like to point out in addition to what Hugh Nolan said about the car still being hot to the touch of his hood of his car, after he said he slept all night, the bed was made for one.
You know how you can -- if you`re lazy, sometimes, and you don`t feel like it, you just scoot yourself into the bed and don`t make it because you`re the only one that`s going to be in it. So the bed had only been pulled back for one person, Sue Moss.
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely. A can of spray tan doesn`t kill the wife of a man! This is absolutely ludicrous! She had the spray tanning the day before! If there was going to be an allergic reaction, it would have happened in the first few hours! If there was going to be a cardiac reaction, it would have happened almost immediately!
There is no way this defense is going to work! The key, though, is whether the medical examiner will stick firm to the diagnosis that it was strangulation.
GRACE: OK, to Alex Sanchez, defense attorney out of New York. Alex Sanchez, I think they`re on a seesaw right now. They`re trying to decide exactly what they`re going to claim because I was told -- our sources say they`re claiming that somehow, the spray tan induced congestive heart failure, which, as you know, Alex Sanchez, is when you have fluid in your heart chamber and your body in general, and your heart just gets bogged down and cannot keep pumping with all the fluid.
Now, I don`t know how spray tan could make that happen, but I`m sure they could find an expert to say that. Let`s hear your defense, Sanchez. Go ahead. Hit me.
ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, I`m assuming they have me medical experts that are going to testify that she possibly had some type of allergic reaction to this spray tanning and maybe that induced some type of a heart attack. Once she got that heart attack, she fell violently down on this pole, which...
GRACE: That`s pretty vague.
SANCHEZ: Into the neck. But let me tell you something, Nancy...
GRACE: Some type of an allergic reaction...
SANCHEZ: You know, you`re throwing out...
GRACE: ... that causes some type of a heart attack.
SANCHEZ: Well, that is what their defense is going to be. But you know something, Nancy? If this case is as strong as you seem to suggest, why did it take a year-and-a-half for a medical examiner to determine that there was manual strangulation there or some type of mechanical strangulation?
SANCHEZ: Why was it so -- OK, why was it so hard...
SANCHEZ: Why was it so hard for them to come to that conclusion? And I suggest because the evidence...
GRACE: Well, you know what?
SANCHEZ: ... simply wasn`t there at the time.
GRACE: Before I go -- OK, you know what? I`m going to follow up on that because, Sanchez, believe it or not, I agree with you. I`ve got a problem with them taking so long.
But let`s go to a medical examiner. Joining me right now, one of the best, Dr. Bill Manion joining me out of Salem, New Jersey, tonight. Dr. Manion, I know that she was found draped with her neck over a magazine rack, which is right there by the commode in their bathroom...
DR. BILL MANION, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Yes.
GRACE: ... to make it appear as if she had fallen on it somehow. Now, first of all, explain to me the difference between manual, which is by hand, strangulation, as opposed to ligature, which is done with, say, a rope or pantyhose or a scarf...
MANION: That`s correct.
GRACE: ... versus mechanical. What is mechanical strangulation versus manual?
MANION: Well, mechanical in the sense is that it`s a -- it`s some type of an object. It doesn`t involve a human being. So oftentimes, children will get their heads caught over the top of a crib or the top of an opening, a gate or something.
MANION: And they can drape themselves and suddenly constrict their airway, and they can die that way. So we see that oftentimes in infants and children in cribs. It`s very unusual for an adult to do that unless it would be deliberate, unless it would be a suicide.
If there are a lot of bruises and hemorrhages underneath the neck, then that indicates that there was forcible pressure applied there. I wouldn`t expect to find significant bruising if this was a type of mechanical strangulation, where the person just draped over like that.
GRACE: So you`re saying if it had been mechanical, in other words, she died on the magazine rack -- she`s 33 years old. And I`m supposed to believe a woman in perfect health -- she had no heart history. I`ve checked. She had no history of allergic reaction, none. This was not her first spray tan. I checked that, as well.
I know that she was prone to passing out. She had passed out in the past. But you`re saying if she had died mechanically on this magazine rack, you would not have seen severe bruising or you would have seen severe bruising?
MANION: I wouldn`t expect to find severe bruising in the soft tissues and muscles underneath the skin.
GRACE: Would not. All right.
MANION: And we`ll have to...
GRACE: There you go, Sanchez. Hold on. To John Manuelian. Let me know when you get Manion back up. Weigh in, Manuelian.
JOHN MANUELIAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there`s the thing, Nancy. Even though motive is not an element of the crime, that`s something the jury`s going to consider in this case. Why would this guy, Mr. Kaufman...
GRACE: Wa-wait! Wa-wait!
MANUELIAN: ... kill his lovely wife of four years?
GRACE: Who asked you about motive? Did I ask you about motive? No, I did not ask you about motive.
MANUELIAN: You asked me to weigh in. I`m weighing in.
GRACE: I asked you about -- we`re talking about the cause of death, Manuelian. Although I know you`d like to talk about motive, talk about COD, cause of death.
MANUELIAN: Well, they`re going to have their experts. This is going to be a battle of the experts. As long as they can get an expert to say that she had an allergic reaction to the suntan -- spray tan, that may be enough for the jury to decide doubt in this case.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: (INAUDIBLE) 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry, please! My wife`s in the bathroom, dying. I don`t know what`s going on!
911 OPERATOR: Hello?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello? Please, my wife`s in the bathroom, dying. I don`t know what`s going on!
911 OPERATOR: Sir, I need you to calm down. I can`t understand what you`re saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife is in the bathroom. (INAUDIBLE) get up! Please get up! She`s in the bathroom! She`s on the floor, dying. I don`t know what`s going on!
911 OPERATOR: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: She`s not breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! I don`t know what happened! She`s on the floor, dying!
911 OPERATOR: OK, what`s -- what`s...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God! I don`t know what`s going on!
911 OPERATOR: I need you to calm down. 3112 -- what`s your address?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: OK, calm down. Is that an apartment number? I need this information...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a house! It`s a house!
911 OPERATOR: OK. So she`s not breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, she`s not breathing!
911 OPERATOR: Did something happen? Did she fall...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! No! I don`t know what`s going on! Please -- can you please send (INAUDIBLE) Lina! Lina!
911 OPERATOR: What`s the phone number?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GRACE: We are taking your calls. This young woman, just 33 years old, the mother of two toddlers, living the good life with her husband, Adam Kaufman, there in a million-dollar home on the waterfront, Miami, is found dead, draped over a magazine rack by the commode of their bathroom. Defense, spray tan did it.
We are taking your calls. I want to go back to -- let me go to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session." Jean, do we know whether he tried to perform CPR on his young wife?
JEAN CASAREZ, "IN SESSION": No. I don`t know that we know that he did that. But I can tell you we have inconsistent statements. Paramedics arrived at the scene, he says he found his wife kneeling next to the toilet, like she`s vomiting into the toilet. But he told an ER doctor and police later on that she was sitting on the toilet and must have just sort of keeled over onto that magazine rack.
GRACE: What more do we know, Jean?
CASAREZ: Well, we also know the magazine rack, Nancy, it was padded. And medical examiner is going to say that just didn`t have the force attached to it for those internal injuries.
GRACE: Jean, that was an awfully long 911 call. And why do I keep seeing this photo of what appears to be blood on the floor? What is that fluid?
CASAREZ: Well, that could be blood, but also, the defense is going to say there`s spray tanning fluid on the wall. and that goes toward their defense. But that 911 call -- 23 minutes long, Nancy!
GRACE: Wait a minute. They`re saying spray tan fluid was on the wall? She got the spray tan at home?
CASAREZ: Sounds like it.
GRACE: Very unusual. What about it, Suzanne Diaz?
DIAZ: Oh, that`s ridiculous. It wouldn`t overspray like that. If you had a self -- you know, if you had somebody tanning you, it wouldn`t overspray like that. There`s absolutely no way you`d have that much liquid on the floor. No way. It`s a mist.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: All right, sir. I`m going to send the ambulance to you. I need you to stay on the phone, and I`ll tell you exactly what to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please! Please! (INAUDIBLE) Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!
911 OPERATOR: You just found her like that, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just found her in the bathroom! I don`t know what`s going on!
911 OPERATOR: OK, do you have a defibrillator at home?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I do not. I do not!
911 OPERATOR: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God! She`s bleeding! I don`t know what`s going on!
911 OPERATOR: OK, you`re (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lina!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You are hearing a portion of a hysterical 911 call we have just obtained as we go to air tonight. You`re seeing shots of Lina Kaufman, husband Adam Kaufman, high-powered and very wealthy real estate developer in the Miami area. He finds his wife, he says at one point, draped over a magazine rack dead, heavy bruising to the neck. As Jean Casarez has told us, that story changes.
Liz, let me see the fluid that was on the bathroom floor. Liz, tell me in my ear, that is the bathroom floor I`m seeing, right, not a wall? It`s kind of hard to make it out. Bathroom floor.
OK, I`m going to go back to specialist with South Seas Skin Care, who does all the spray tans, love them or hate them, for "Dancing With the Stars" and tons of movies. With me is Suzanne Diaz.
Suzanne, you were explaining how spray tan is not done with a fluid. Explain to me why this is inconsistent with your knowledge.
DIAZ: Well, it`s airbrushed, so, you know, it`s a fine mist that goes over the body. And unless you spilled it, which there`s probably -- there`s no way you can because it`s in a container, you would never have that mess. And if somebody professionally is coming to your house to do that, they would have cleaned it up. But there`s no possible way you could get that mess from an airbrush. It`s mist.
GRACE: OK. To Hugh Nolan, investigative reporter. What do you know about this fluid on the floor?
NOLAN: Well, I don`t know that they have actually said what they believe the fluid to be, referring, of course, to the defense. I do know that they presented the photographs that were blown up and examined closely to indicate that there was fluid present that was not tested by investigators. This would include some spots on the magazines in the magazine rack.
GRACE: Whoa, wait, wait. You`re telling me, Hugh Nolan, that the defense is complaining that the state did not test the fluid?
NOLAN: The defense is complaining that the state was not thorough in testing all the material found. I don`t know that that pertains...
NOLAN: ... specifically to the fluid on the floor, but for example...
NOLAN: ... on the magazines.
GRACE: Isn`t it true, Susan Moss, the defense has subpoena power, too? If they wanted this tested, they could get it tested for free at a Florida crime lab?
MOSS: Absolutely. As long as that evidence is maintained, you`re good. They can do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Now the healthy 33-year-old would die suddenly --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Eleonora Kaufman died on her family`s bathroom floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what happened. She`s on the floor dying.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Her husband, Adam, a prominent real estate developer, said he awoke to find her there.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Adam Kaufman, accused of killing his wife Eleonora.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A Miami real estate developer charged with strangling his wife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wasn`t murdered.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He says spray tanning is to blame.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The spray tan defense.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The never-before-documented lethal allergic attack to a spray tan, the magazine rack he used to explain bruises on her neck.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Adam Kaufman`s defense team says an allergic reaction to a spray tan is to blame.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Death by spouse or an accident?
UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Is she still on the ground?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she`s on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Lay her on the back and remove any pillows. Is there any pillows --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the real possibilities here is that she is having an allergic reaction --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Trying to explain how the healthy 33-year-old would die suddenly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, wake up. Leah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: We are live and taking your calls. A high-powered real estate developer in hot water. He says he finds his wife after a good night`s sleep on his part on a Wednesday morning, a normal work day, draped over the magazine rack, dead in the bathroom.
There you`re seeing shots of their million-dollar home right there on the waterfront in Miami. She is a 33-year-old mom to two young toddlers. The defense, spray tan death. At first claiming that the spray tan she had gotten the day before triggered some type of allergic reaction but now that has morphed into basically a heart attack by spray tan.
We`re taking your calls but I want to go out to CW Jensen, retired Portland police captain. It is the defense that has speculated that the substance on the floor, the fluid, is spray tan fluid. Obviously those defense attorneys have never had a spray tan. That`s not how it works.
C.W. JENSEN, RETIRED PORTLAND POLICE CAPTAIN: Well, I think one of the problems may be that what we used to do in Portland is we would get everyone together, the D.A., the people, the state crime lab, and us and triage a case and it would have, I think, helped the -- or helped the prosecution had they gone in and -- forensically and took everything and then been able to say we should test these things and see what`s going on, and they should have taken the magazine rack so the medical examiner could have actually seen how it went on the neck.
So I think they`ll be fine but, remember, Nancy, this is the state that acquitted Casey Anthony. So I`m always worried about a Florida murder case.
GRACE: You know, that`s a good point. I want to go back to Dustin Weis, WIOD.
Dustin, what do we know about what police found when they first got there? Do we know if Adam Kaufman tried to perform CPR on his wife? What do we know?
DUSTIN WEIS, REPORTER, NEWSRADIO 610 WIOD (via phone): From what we can tell from the 911 tapes, Nancy, he, in fact, had moved his wife`s body and had her -- it sounds like, anyways, on the floor and was trying to provide some sort of resuscitation at the instruction of the 911 operator over the phone.
GRACE: What more do we know, Dustin?
WEIS: Well, at this point we do know that, in fact, the magazines that were on that rack so the defense wants them as some sort of evidence to bring into this trial here, they essentially have gone missing. They were not bagged and tagged as evidence at the scene, though the defense says that you can see some sort of red substance if you enhance the photos that were taken of that magazine rack.
So while they claim that that would be a crucial part of their defense, they say that that was never taken as evidence, it was never preserved to be able to be brought up in court, and that they`re being denied a key piece of their defense right now.
GRACE: Well, here is my question to that, Dustin Weis, WIOD, that is Adam Kaufman`s home. He had control over the residence. If he wanted the magazines, he could get them. The fact that the state didn`t confiscate the magazines is not the state`s problem. He had complete access and control of that home and all of its contents. Not the state.
And also the defense has subpoena power. If they want that substance tested, they can have it tested all on their own. They don`t need police to do it for them. And why should the police do it for them? Why should the police suspect that a spray tan has anything to do with a death? It`s ridiculous.
So why -- I mean to me to them that`s like having coffee spilled on the floor? Why would they go and mop up the coffee and have it tested at the crime lab? To me, that doesn`t make any sense.
But another question I`ve got, Dustin Weis, while I`ve got you.
Dustin Weis joining me from WIOD.
I know that he is this powerful real estate developer, I know he`s super rich, million-dollar home on the water, so forth and so on. But what can you tell me about the real estate economy in Florida? How was his business doing, and is there a life insurance policy? And, if she dies, which she did, who gets the home? Is the home up for sale, and is he already dating anybody? Do you know the answer to any of those questions, Dustin Weis?
WEIS: I don`t know anything about a life insurance policy or whether or not Mr. Kaufman is, in fact, dating anyone else at this time. I can tell you as a general assignment reporter that the economy, particularly in real estate in south Florida, has been a really, really tough spot for everyone in the business.
So Florida has been one of the hardest hit areas in the country in terms of what happened to the real estate market in late 2007 and on into 2008 which is when it really seemed to bottom out through 2008 to 2009 there. So it`s safe to say that just about anyone that works in real estate in south Florida has had a really tough five, six years here.
GRACE: What can you tell me about the children, Hugh Nolan? Who has the two toddlers, a boy and a girl?
HUGH NOLAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, the two children are, in fact, with their father, but I don`t know anything beyond that.
GRACE: I`m understanding from a police source that the magazine rack -- and I`m going to go out to you, Dr. Bill Manion, joining me out of Salem tonight, the magazine rack was made out of leather. Now how is that going to create a mechanical strangulation?
DR. BILL MANION, M.D., MEDICAL EXAMINER, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ: Well, the person`s weight would have to be pulling down on the magazine rack. In other words, if their neck was suspended, if there was enough weight to be pulled --
GRACE: I`m showing you a shot of it right now, Bill. I don`t know if you can see it or not.
MANION: But it`s the person`s weight that causes the asphyxia, that causes the strangulation. And I would think a person would have to be under barbiturates or drugs or something tremendous. I know there was some comment that this lady had a history of fainting, but it still seems to be a stretch to think that she would have had this anaphylactic reaction and fall just by coincidence on this magazine rack.
In addition, if we have the blood, we can test it for histamine, triptees (ph), different chemicals that are released during an anaphylactic reaction. So we can see if it was an anaphylactic reaction or at least try to get some more evidence to prove it or disprove it by analyzing the blood.
GRACE: Can you just dummy down for me just for a moment what is an anaphylactic reaction?
MANION: Well, it`s almost as if they`re saying she had this reaction to the tanning solution and may have been applying it again, that was the impression I got, and --
GRACE: You mean like an allergic reaction?
MANION: Yes. Yes.
GRACE: OK. All right. To Yale Galanter, you represented Kaufman for a period of time, you know the facts very, very well. Did anything turn up in her system?
YALE GALANTER, FMR. ATTORNEY FOR HUSBAND ACCUSED OF WIFE`S MURDER: There`s nothing that I know of that turned up in her blood work that would have indicated any type of anaphylactic shock or anything to indicate an allergic reaction.
GALANTER: I mean, Nancy, this case is going to boil down to whether or not the prosecution can prove that it was, in fact, a strangulation. And the doctor will tell you, and as you know as a former prosecutor, all strangulation cases, those marks and the bruising that are under the skin and in the muscle structure of the neck, are very unique.
GRACE: Extremely unique, Yale Galanter. You`re right about that.
Out to the lines, Megan, Indiana. Hi, Megan. What`s your question?
MEGAN, CALLER FROM INDIANA: Hi. I wondered if we know if there`s any motive he would have had?
GRACE: Good question. To you, Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Only the Truth." Weigh in.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER, AUTHOR OF "ONLY THE TRUTH": Well, I don`t know what his motive could be. It could be money, he could be he`s tired of being harried. But I`ll tell you what`s interesting about that 911 call. He says he came in and found her on the floor. He didn`t say he found her hanging on that magazine rack which would be very, very obvious and very freaky looking.
He says, I don`t know what happened. He would know. She collapsed on to that magazine rack and her head is in a funny position. He never mentions that. He says she`s on the floor and she`s got marks on her neck. I`d say that he`s not telling the truth.
GRACE: So she would have to -- to you, Dr. Leslie Seppinni, she would have to fall with her neck on the magazine rack but that portion of the magazine rack is leather, sustain severe bruising to the neck, die of that or either, now they`re saying congestive heart failure.
LESLIE SEPPINNI, PSY.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST (via phone): Well, I think Pat Brown is dead on about the fact of what the 911 call revealed about this case. Not only did he say that she was flat on the ground, he didn`t mention that she was on the magazine rack but also take note that he says, I don`t know what to do. And he says it repeatedly.
Now this is a woman who had a history of fainting. How do you not know what to do if the mother of your children has a history of fainting? You have to know CPR. You would have to know what to do in the event if she hit her head. So this whole thing, the very dramatic 23-minute call is very, very telling, and I think Pat Brown is absolutely right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Prosecutors and police painting Kaufman as a calculating killer.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The prosecution`s claim she died of asphyxiation, he strangled her to death.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Strangled his wife to death in their Aventura home during a heated fight. Called his brother before dialing 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, wake up. Lina.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He maintains his story about how he found her.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The defense has a theory of its own. Eleanora had a violent allergic reaction to a spray tan she`d gotten the day before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can hear Adam Kaufman hysterically asking for help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s on the floor dying, she`s not breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Accused of strangling the mother of their two children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We are taking your calls. We are joining you live out of Miami tonight. Very quickly, I`m hearing that toward the end of the call, the 911 operator actually directs Adam Kaufman as to how to perform CPR on his young wife lying there, we believe, dead on the floor.
To Jean Casarez, legal correspondent joining us. Jean, what more can you tell me that the cops observed when they arrive at the home?
JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, they were listening to him, and they took a statement from him as he arrived at that home, and that forms the basis of the cause of death that couldn`t have been determined by two medical examiners. This case is going to be determined by the medical examiner, I think. Direct examination and then cross- examination.
GRACE: Explain to me the first two medical examiners. I think Sanchez has a pretty good point right there and the defense is going to be hammering that at trial. That it took two medical examiners to determine mechanical strangulation. Although they saw severe bruising to the neck.
CASAREZ: Two medical examiners said cause of death undetermined and the third one said cause of death mechanical asphyxiation, not manual. And whether he can even say that to a degree of medical certainty, you know the standard they use in court, I think that`s questionable.
GRACE: To you, Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner, what does it mean to you and medical examiner morgue talk, when you hear undetermined?
MANION: Well, undetermined means -- many times we still have to do more investigation. We have to do toxicology studies. We have to do microscopic sections of the tissue. Generally only 1 percent, less than 1 percent of deaths are ruled undetermined initially, but there`s the thought that we will continue to work on the case to finally figure out what happened, to come up with some type of more definitive answer.
GRACE: Well, what does it mean to you, Dr. Manion, that two medical examiners said undetermined. Notice they did not say natural causes which would have been a congestive heart failure, or an allergic reaction or, as you say, anaphylactic reaction. That would have been natural causes if they could have determined that. Also the fact that they are now saying mechanical strangulation, I find that very significant.
But if it had been congestive heart failure or allergic reaction to a spray tan, wouldn`t they have been able to determine, of course, congestive heart failure.
GRACE: That`s very easy to decipher.
MANION: Yes. If she had heart disease at a young age, and it`s possible. You know, young people can have heart disease, valve disease, coronary artery dissection, all kinds of crazy things. But they would have determined it. And you`re right, rule it natural.
I guess they were -- they`re hesitant about this bruising in the neck. Perhaps it`s not sufficient as they would like to see. Perhaps, you know, strangulation can occur all kinds of ways. Someone could just put their arm around your neck and hold you tight and strangle you. That wouldn`t leave many marks. But the fact that there`s bruising there, the fact that there`s injury there, this has to be more than just a coincidence. This, to me, is a homicide.
GRACE: Out to the lines.
MANION: And I`m --
GRACE: -- Megan in -- go ahead, Dr. Manion.
MANION: No, I -- with the presence of this bruising in the neck, I would think homicide first, but I would do all the other tests to prove that I was wrong, to make sure that it wasn`t an anaphylactic reaction.
GRACE: To Megan in Michigan. Hi, Megan, what`s your question?
MEGAN, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: Hi, Nancy. Thanks a lot for taking my call. First off, actually my husband two months ago went into anaphylactic shock and you know we dialed 911 and he went to the hospital. But in order for them to prove their case, wouldn`t they have to prove that, like the back of her throat was swollen, her vessels were swollen and everything? You would think that would be something relatively easy for any medical examiner to pick up. So to me it`s just ridiculous, in my opinion. I don`t know what the doctor -- the medical examiner says, but to me I just don`t understand that.
GRACE: To Susan Moss, Alex Sanchez, John Manuelian and Yale Galanter, unleash the lawyers.
So, Sue Moss, when they are saying affirmatively this was congestive heart failure or allergic reaction to a spray tan, they`re going to really take on a burden of proving that because not one of three medical examiners found congestive heart failure or anaphylactic shock -- Sue.
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY & CHILD ADVOCATE: Absolutely. And they can get the body and they can re-perform the test to make certain of that. Instead what these defense people seem to do is try to revamp the O.J. defense. They`re saying that the police screwed up. They didn`t get this evidence. They didn`t get that evidence. They`re even going to start saying if the tan wouldn`t spray she`d be OK. It`s not going to work.
GRACE: OK, Alex Sanchez.
ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know something, to tell you the truth, I don`t know why the defense is even attempting to argue this anaphylactic defense or heart defense for heart failure. Why go with that? You`ve got two medical examiners say the death is undetermined. Just bring in those two medical examiners and you create a reasonable doubt, period.
GRACE: Alex Sanchez, I think you`re right about that, but, yet they have introduced this affirmative defense so they`re stuck with it now.
JOHN MANUELIAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Agree with Mr. Sanchez. Don`t overcomplicate it, don`t over-try the case. Just show the first two medical examiners didn`t know whether or not the cause was, in fact, what they believed it was to be.
GRACE: Yes, I appreciate that second verse same as the first, Manuelian, but Yale Galanter, they`re stuck with it now. They`re stuck with the spray tan defense. Oh, yes, they are.
GALANTER: They are, Nancy. And I agree with you 100 percent. They came out with that too early in the case. They came out with it during the bond hearing. I think it`s going to come back to haunt them.
GRACE: Death by spray tan, or at least that`s what the defense team for Adam Kauffman has to say.
Out to the lines. Janet in Florida. Hi, Janet, what`s your question?
JANET, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hi, Nancy, thanks for taking my call. I`m just curious --
JANET: If this woman had a violent reaction to spray tan, as the hubby claims, wouldn`t this violent reaction awaken the husband?
GRACE: Oh, good point. Didn`t he say, to you, Jean Casarez, that he slept soundly through the night, in fact, he slept like a rock?
CASAREZ: You know, the test is making such a big deal that he was there that night. But as we`ve heard earlier in the show the hood of the car was warm, he was dress fit to kill, had his watch on and everything. Why not say you weren`t home? Why not? Then you`re not there at all, and that`s the truth, and that means you didn`t do anything, you couldn`t have, you weren`t there.
GRACE: To you, Jesse, Missouri. Question?
JESSE, CALLER FROM MISSOURI: Yes, Nancy. I love you, girl, for your tenacity.
GRACE: Thank you.
JESSE: My observation was the medical report says mechanical strangulation. Now, if the medical people thought it was the spray can, they would have probably said chemical suffocation as cause of death.
GRACE: You know what, you`re absolutely correct. And that was not in one, not two, not three medical examiners` reports, Jesse.
Let`s stop and remember Officer Mike Walter, 37, Pearl, Mississippi. Killed in the line of duty. Serving arrest warrants on alleged child predator when suspect opens fire, shooting Walter in the head, injuring another officer. A former pro baseball player for Houston Astros. Served three years with the Pearl Police. Loved San Diego Chargers, coaching soccer, cooking, playing golf with his father. Leaves behind parents, John and Judy, brother, Mark, widow, Jean, daughter, Bailey.
Mike Walter, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially to you. And tonight, a special good night from friend of the show, Caroline. This issue of "Milledgeville Living" features an article she wrote.
Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then, good night, friend.