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Jodi Arias Trial

Aired January 11, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, as Jodi Arias stands trial for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in a moment I will talk to one of Travis` closest friends, a father figure, his mentor. Did Travis foreshadow his own death at the hands of Jodi Arias? I`ll have details.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight the prosecution of Jodi Arias. More and more witnesses portraying Jodi as a diabolical scorned ex- on a murderous mission, fueled by jealous rage. Is the confessed killer`s self- defense argument falling apart in court?

Tonight, Travis Alexander`s close friends joins me with an astonishing story from Travis`s own lips.

And Honey Boo-Boo is back with a vengeance and record-breaking ratings. You won`t believe what she`s wearing this time. What`s feeding America`s obsession with Honey Boo-Boo Child?

Plus, "Rico`s Rescues." My furry little friend is back to help another pooch in need find a new home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day the car was rented was what again?


RYAN BURNS, WITNESS: She got on top of me, pretty aggressively, and we kissed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some type of romantic event within hours of basically barbarically brutally killing someone you professed your love to?

STEVE FLORES, LEAD DETECTIVE: I answered that the gunshot was possibly first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How deep is this wound?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes all the way back to the spine.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That`s 3 and a half inches. That`s how deep that stab wound is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would sneak in through his house through the doggy door and sleep on his couch at night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had long hair when she came and got in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said she got lost, she got on the wrong freeway, and she was kind of airheaded like that.

JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT: There is an explanation for all of that. And that will all be made clear soon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is saying she wasn`t present in that sexual behavior; she wasn`t emotional; she was dead inside.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, as another explosive week finishes in the Jodi Arias murder trial, we`re going inside the mind of this so-called cold-blooded killer. Did Travis Alexander actually warn his friends, out of his own mouth, that Jodi could be plotting to kill him?

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

This beautiful 32-year-old photographer, or at least aspiring photographer, admits she stabbed her ex-boyfriend 29 times, slit Travis Alexander`s throat from ear to ear, and shot him in the face. Take a look at the vicious wounds this woman left on his hands. Remember, she admits she did it. She just says, "Oh, I killed him in self-defense."

The prosecution says nonsense, that she didn`t shy away from the bloody, violent scene. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With regard to the blood on the mirror.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody may be coughing or sneezing, if they have blood in their airways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Much larger circular area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bloody water is wicked up. All the blood is in the -- the blood is in the master bathroom and that area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was the blood?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have never heard a trial where the word "blood" was mentioned more often. Take a look at the victim`s body.

Jodi left Travis dead in the shower, and as he decomposed, she drove more than 700 miles to Utah and then had a steamy sexual make-out session with the dead man`s work colleague.

Listen to her new boy toy describe their roll in the hay right after Travis`s murder.


BURNS: The second we woke up we were kissing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what else happened?

BURNS: She got on top of me pretty aggressively, and we were kissing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When she got on top of you pretty aggressively, where was her genital area compared to yours?

BURNS: She was right on top of me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What type of person could brutally kill a man, leave a room soaked in blood, drenched in blood, and then drive to a booty call? Does that behavior ruin Jodi`s claims of self-defense?

Straight out to my very special exclusive guest. We are so delighted to have Travis`s close friend and mentor, a father figure, Dr. Karl Hiatt.

Dr. Hiatt, thank you so much for joining us. You knew Travis and what is so extraordinary about your story is that I am hearing that he actually spoke to you about his concerns about his relationship with Jodi. Tell us about that. What exactly did he tell you, sir?

DR. KARL HIATT, FRIEND/MENTOR OF TRAVIS: Well, Travis came over to our house at least every week. We had family dinners, and we would always ask him about his -- how is his love life, who is he dating.

And recently, at that time, he had left -- decided to leave Jodi and explained that the next day he was going to leave in his car, and his tires were slashed. And the Sunday after that, he explained that -- to us -- he told us about it and said, "Don`t be surprised if some one of these Sundays I don`t show up and you find me dead some place."

And we all just thought, wow, she really must be mad.

Then he said, "I`m serious."

We said, "We got it. She must be really mad." But we never thought that kind of serious. But all of us, you know, now looking back realize that he -- he really did have some fear in trying to depart from her.

He was trying to kind of change his ways and improve his life a little bit. And he was always looking to be a better person. And I think that he realized that Jodi wasn`t part of that transition, and she was kind of left behind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a tough question. And please, I`m not playing Monday morning quarterback here. Easy for me to ask this question. But given what you`ve just told me, which is a shocker, that he essentially almost predicted his own death, looking back on it now so that others can learn if they`re in a similar situation, what do you think should have been done at that moment when he said, "Don`t be surprised if she shoots me"?

HIATT: Well, you know, we all had a little bit of feeling like, well, we should have done something, and we should have told Travis he needs to get a restraining order, you know, call the police, something like that. But we never really -- I met Jodi. I never really thought that she would do something that drastic, although slashing tires was a little beyond, as well.

You know, he brought her over once, and we met her. And it wasn`t anything out of the ordinary. She had, you know, dinner with us. So I`m...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did she seem obsessed with Travis? Did she seem obsessed? Was she sort of pawing him all night or constantly staring at him? Did she seem normal? Did she seem like, for lack of a better word, to use the vernacular, a whack job?

HIATT: No, I can`t comment on that. I can`t really remember her being anything extraordinary or obsessive or anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, see, that`s what`s so scary.

HIATT: Nothing stood out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think that`s what`s so scary. If she had acted in a bizarre manner, Doctor, when she was having dinner with you, maybe everybody would have said, "Whoa."

But from what we`re learning about her, she could turn it on and turn it off and act -- she`s very well-spoken, and she could play a really normal person when she needed to.

And here is the weird thing. In an eerie irony, the thing you mentioned about Travis saying was "She might shoot me," it wasn`t the only time that he foreshadowed his own death.

Less than a month before Travis died, he actually blogged about dating and said, quote, "Trying to find out if my date has an axe murderer penned up inside her."

Plus, we understand that he and Jodi were reading this book together, "1,000 Places to See Before You Die," and Jodi claimed that they were going to some of these places like the Grand Canyon, et cetera.

But I have to bring in Stacey Honowitz. You have covered and prosecuted so many bizarre cases. I have never seen a case where there`s three foreshadowings. He tells the doctor, "Don`t be surprised if she shoots me." They`re looking at the book "1,000 Places to See Before You Die." And he actually blogs that he doesn`t want to date an axe murderer.

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: You know, what`s interesting, Jane, is you know that we never know what goes on behind closed doors, so although the doctor stated that he didn`t see any unusual behavior, I mean, for somebody of that mentality, she does know how to turn it on in front of people and she maybe turned it off in private.

So he did see things that the general public didn`t see. There was something that he knew about her, something in her behavior that led him to draw these conclusions. So while it`s very eerie, we do see it in a lot of cases that victims of crimes have predicted that something was going to happen to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the knife and the gun used to kill Travis Alexander have never been found.

I have to tell you, I did study the autopsy photos. We`re not going to show you them for obvious reasons. But they`re gut-wrenching; they`re stomach-turning.

You know, we have said over and over again, well, Travis Alexander was stabbed 29 times. His throat was slit ear to ear, and he was shot. But it doesn`t really paint the picture.

We want to bring in HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks for a unique perspective to really paint the picture for us of what this means in terms of taking a knife and stabbing somebody 29 times.

And looking at the autopsy photo, Mike Brooks, I saw at least 12 stab wounds to the back, meaning she literally went to town on his back, stabbing him 12 -- that`s a lot of times to stab somebody.

BROOKS: It really is, Jane. I`ve looked at the same pictures over and over again to try to get a perspective. And, you know, as an investigator, when you come on a crime scene and then you try to figure out what happens and then you look at the body, you look at the autopsy, and you look at all the wounds and you say, "OK, how did this happen? When did it happen?"

But let`s take a look. The prosecution thinks, Jane, that that first wound that they think happened back by the shower or right by the shower, that was a wound to his chest.

Now, I looked at that wound. It looks -- they say in the autopsy report that it`s 1 and a half by -- one and a half inches wide, but, Jane, they said it`s three and a half inches deep into his chest. Then it said it perforated and went through the pericardial sac, the sac surrounding the heart, or went through superior vena cava.

But let`s give -- let`s give our viewers a look. Now, I`ve got my knife. I carry a knife. You know, I carry a knife, and sometimes I carry a gun. Now, this blade is 3 inches, Jane. So that`s a 3-inch blade right here. OK? But look right here. That`s three and a half inches. That is a deep, deep, deep wound. No matter how you slice it.

Now the knife itself, we don`t know -- it`s never been recovered. We don`t know what kind of knife, how big a knife it was, how wide the blade was, how long it was, but three and a half inches is a long way.

Now, how hard did she stab him? We don`t know that. But we know it was three and a half inches deep and, Jane, that is a deep wound anywhere on the body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And does that undermine her claims of self- defense? You say maybe: "Well, I may have shot somebody in self-defense once. I might have stabbed somebody once or twice in self-defense."

But 29 times plus slitting his throat ear to ear -- which by the way in the autopsy photos, looks like almost a decapitation -- is that really self-defense? Can that hold up in court?

More on the other side.



ARIAS: I would be shaking in my boots right now if I had to answer to God for such a heinous crime. But I`m very grateful that this is one thing that I will never have to answer to when I stand or sit before the judgment seat someday.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horrific crime scene, and what`s really awful about this case, in my opinion, is the defense strategy smearing the victim, essentially blaming the victim, a man who is not here to defend himself.

And they did this with playing and showing triple X-rated evidence. And some of this testimony is really -- we have to warn you, it`s graphic, but it was said in open court. And let`s listen, and then we`re going to analyze it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jury members will see e-mails in which Mr. Alexander referred to Mrs. Arias as a, quote, "(EXPLETIVE DELETED) wonder."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, hearsay.






VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back to Dr. Karl Hiatt. This is an exclusive interview with a close friend and a father figure to Travis Alexander.

Travis Alexander is not here to defend himself. He is not here to put anything that he may have allegedly e-mailed in context or whether it was a response to something that was maybe even more salacious.

What can you tell us about his character that would be what he would say if he were able to speak and defend himself today?

HIATT: Well, it`s interesting. The Sunday before his death -- you know, after our evening meal, we usually kind of go to the family room and share. And that day after my daughter shared a little bit and she`d been in a camp and stuff, Travis stood up and said, "I want to share." And he shared his vision for his future and how he was changing, and he wanted to bring a lot of people with him in this change.

He really spoke about his grandpa. He lived with -- he was raised by a set of grandparents but then was visited by another set. And every day - - or not every day but every time his grandpa, before leaving, he would grab Travis by the shoulders, get his attention -- he was just a little boy -- knowing the circumstances, that his mom and dad out of his life, into drugs and not raising him, but he would grab him by the shoulders and get his attention, and he wouldn`t say anything until Travis was paying attention. Travis made a point of that. And his grandpa would say, "Travis, you`re special. You can do anything; you can be anything," and then he`d give him a hug.

And it got to be where Travis really cherished that when his grandpa left.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get back to the contrasting that with the horrific nature of his injuries. Because while they smear Travis Alexander, the defense does, the prosecution is responding with basically the most compelling evidence, and that is the injuries inflicted on him. And let`s go through Travis` injuries.

Mike Brooks, you`ve got the telestrator to show us exactly what happened to Travis.

BROOKS: You know, Jane, I look at -- I look at the picture of Travis, you know, here, with Jodi, and then I looked at those autopsy photos, and we`re going to be talking about his wounds, and they are just horrific.

Now, the prosecution also said, and the autopsy photos showed a series of nine different stab wounds in a cluster. Three, four accident five, six, seven, eight, nine on the center of his back. But we don`t know when these were inflicted upon him.

I think, Jane, that after he was stabbed in the chest -- they think that was the initial wound -- he made his way down that hallway. Did she, while he was struggling with his life, he was trying to live, trying to breathe, was she stabbing him in the back nine times as they headed back -- as he headed back what he thought was refuge, back to his bedroom? We don`t know.

But you look at this crime scene here, Jane. Look at this -- look at this blood. Now, this -- this is the hallway leading back to the bedroom. That`s 12 feet, 6 inches from here all the way back to this door. That`s 12 feet, 6 inches.

But look at this blood right here. This is thick, congealed blood. This is where the prosecution, Jane, that`s where they think that he had his throat slit.

And I looked at that picture, Jane. It was -- I`ve seen a lot of crimes like this before. This was extremely heinous, extremely brutal.

He was slit from ear to ear, literally right underneath his -- right underneath his chin. He had his jugular vein, he had his carotid artery both severed along with his wind pipe. And then he somehow made his way back down that hallway.

But look at this picture right here, Jane. You see this crime-scene photo with that -- with we see the blood on the sink? Well, somehow he made his way back down this hallway from where this blood was. Did he stop along here? We see a lot of pooled blood. We heard testimony from the first officer on the scene about the pooled blood.

Then we also had Lisa Perry, the forensic scientist, talking about the blood spatter, along the hallway, along the walls, to and from. Was this crime scene cleaned up? I think it was somewhere between the walls...


BROOKS: ... the east and the west walls from the bathroom all the way to the bedroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think she tried to clean up the crime scene, but she did a very bad job of it.

More on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you in love with Travis?

ARIAS: I think that being in love and loving someone are two different things, and there was a point in time where we were in love, but it was short-lived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you guys break up?

ARIAS: There was a breach of trust in our relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On your part or his part?

ARIAS: Both.




BURNS: From the second we woke up we were -- we were kissing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what else happened?

BURNS: She got on top of me pretty aggressively, and we were kissing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When she got on top of you pretty aggressively, where was her genital area compared to yours?

BURNS: She was right on top of me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That man testified he made out and fooled around sexually with Jodi Arias just hours after she, by her own admission, killed Travis Alexander.

And at the center of this trial, gruesome crime-scene photos. The wounds violent, leave you wondering how could this petite woman have over powered such a much larger man?

Listen to what that guy, who again fooled around with Jodi just hours after she killed Travis Alexander, said about her powerful build, and he saw it.


BURNS: I complimented her on being very feisty and was kind of referring to she`s a lot stronger than she looks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you able to see her stomach in terms of whether or not she was in shape?

BURNS: Yes. Close to a six pack, yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Monica Lindstrom (ph), Stacey Honowitz, let`s debate it when you look at these gruesome photos, and you wonder how a petite woman could inflict this kind of damage, even though she was just 5`4" and 115 pounds, and he was 5`9" and at least 189 pounds, we`re hearing now, Monica Lindstrom (ph), criminal defense attorney, she was no delicate flower. She had a knife, and she had a gun.

MONICA LINDSTROM (PH), CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And also remember that she`s someone who, according to the defense, was being abused, has been emotionally battered over this time that she`s been with him. So all of a sudden something snapped inside of her. Adrenaline probably started flowing. There might be claims that he was coming after her. For example, she dropped the camera, and statements were made that he was lunging at her.

If so, all of a sudden her adrenaline kicks in. She`s looking around for anything that could help her. We`ve all heard stories about small people when, all of a sudden, the adrenaline hits them and they have this incredible strength. So it doesn`t surprise me that she was able to do this if she was in that state of mind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey Honowitz, though, do you think that she has a viable self-defense argument?

HONOWITZ: Absolutely not. I think that the defense really just made the argument for the state.

The bottom line is these injuries, you know, it`s gruesome for the jurors to see, but prosecutors have seen them in many cases. And we`ve seen many cases where littler defendants have overpowered and killed bigger victims.

In this case you have substantial, disgusting, horrific injuries. And it`s not that difficult once you make that first initial plunge into someone`s chest, that person goes down and the person`s weak to begin with. And now you have all that opportunity to go after them.

And all those wounds in the back, I mean, that`s compelling evidence it wasn`t done in self-defense.

This girl had the ability to kill and then go have an affair with somebody without remorse, without saying anything, with injuries on her hands. So that`s what the state had.


LINDSTROM (ph): I think that we need to point out that she`s not a doctor and all of this happened so quickly. How would she know that that stab to his heart, that really deep stab wound that we were just talking about previously, how would she know that that was going to kill him or that he was on his way -- or that he was dying at the time? She still had to protect herself, no matter what it was.

She wasn`t thinking, "Oh, my gosh, he turned around. I better, you know, not stab him because it might not work for self-defense." She`s in a state of mind that she has to defend herself.

And that`s where the defense is coming from, that -- that she had to use that emotion inside of her, that strength. She had to protect herself because he was coming at her, and he had abused her before.

Now, is it a super strong argument, forgive the pun? No, probably not, but everything counts to the defense. Everything they say, every detail matters.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. So far -- we haven`t heard the defense case, but so far they have just blithely referred to, oh, he was mad because she dropped the camera. Nothing else more specific. There is nothing that she`s said -- that has been said in open court by the defense about what he did because he was angry.

Can you -- can you just state these statements without backing them up whatsoever?

We`re going to continue to debate this on the other side. But I`ve got to tell you, you don`t want to miss my exclusive guest Tuesday night. I`m going to talk to a man who introduced Jodi Arias to Travis Alexander and what does he have to say about their explosive relationship? That`s Tuesday here at 7 p.m. Eastern on HLN.

And of course Monday, we`ll be back with the very latest, as well. And more on the other side.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: They lived in two states, and they were from two different worlds. The evidence today in court shows Jodi Arias lived a grittier, less glamorous life with her grandparents back home in Yreka, California. She grew up in a modest home sleeping in a small bedroom with a few hundred dollars in her bank account.

Ironically, even though Travis Alexander was born to drug addicted parents, he was a self-made success story. He lived in a beautiful new home in Mesa, Arizona, with a sprawling master suite. And after getting a Toyota Prius, he sold his other car, a BMW, to Jodi.

Was Travis` luxurious lifestyle yet another draw in Jodi`s alleged fatal attraction?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why was Jodi Arias so obsessed with Travis Alexander? You just saw that they really lived different lives and that she may have found his life very glamorous and appealing by comparison.

Straight out to forensic psychologist Dr. Cheryl Arutt; sometimes people who don`t know boundaries, borderline personality disorders, they see something they like and they feel entitled to go grab it. And they don`t really make the connection that, well, just because you like something doesn`t mean you can take it.

DR. CHERYL ARUTT, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s right, Jane. To have an impulse to want something and take it are two different things. I have to tell you this is the sort of case that makes is hard for real battered women to get justice. This sort of case, when I was hearing the arguments earlier about how this might have been a self-defense kind of situation, having worked for so many years with women who have been abused and have been traumatized.

I have to say if that really happened, that she after the fact would have behaved entirely differently. Someone would have seen the trauma in the next 24 hours afterwards. She wouldn`t be able to kind of throw caution to the wind and have a romantic encounter and make the man believe that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. And the stories afterward - - the different stories about how this happened -- it just is so disappointing to me when I see cases like this. There are so many real abused women who do ultimately have to protect themselves as a last resort and they don`t look like this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I have to say, Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, this whole self-defense, it really is a house of cards according to the prosecution and a lot of observers because there is no, oh, we have no evidence that she ever called 911 and said that he was abusing her, nobody ever heard her complain that he was abusing her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She never had any bruises. The only time she had cuts was after the killing, and prosecutors say that`s because when you stab somebody 29 times and slit their throat, you`re going to get some cuts on your hands.

HONOWITZ: Yes. I mean that`s correct. There is no evidence of abuse coming out from the defense. And the fact of the matter is the doctor is correct; her sociopathic behavior showing no remorse, driving thousands of miles and having a romantic interlude -- anybody who murdered somebody whether self-defense would never have that type of behavior.

And so what you`re looking at here is a house of cards, it`s throwing a defense up there to see what sticks. Bottom line is the state has compelling overwhelming evidence this was not done in self-defense. It was cold-blooded murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have seen Travis`s family sobbing in court, leaving court when the crime scene photos came up. Jodi Arias` family is also in court but stone faced even when photos like this one pop up showing gruesome bloody violence to Travis Alexander. Court observers say the Arias clan remains motionless -- emotionless.

Here is Jodi`s mother sitting in the gallery with her twin sister, Jodi`s aunt and some other relatives and they`re on the opposite side of the courtroom from the Travis family. But yes, they still have got to pass each other in the hallways, and it is awkward to say the least.

Selin Darkalstanian, senior producer on our show, Jodi`s mom has been quoted as saying Jodi was a difficult child who ran away often. What do you know? We`re going to show you a picture of her grandparents` house. It is a very small house in Yreka, California. What do you know about Jodi and her family?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER (via telephone): Well, we know that she was not on good terms with her family. She was living with her grandparents at the time of her arrest. It sounds like she dropped out of high school, got her GED, did odd jobs, waitressing jobs here and there. And if you hear the stories of everybody who knew Travis and their relationship it sounds like she pretty much got up, left, followed him wherever he was. So he was in Mesa, she lived in Mesa. Then she wanted to at one point move to Utah.

So it just sounds like she didn`t have a very stable upbringing with her family. She didn`t have a good relationship with her parents. She lived with her grandparents. She was kind of all over the place and, you know, that photo they showed yesterday in court of her bedroom, of that small twin bed and a cramped house and then you put it next to -- in court, you know, they put it next to Travis Alexander`s house and you can tell, you know, he was making money. He was successful. He was at the height of his career.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Dr. Arutt, briefly, again there could have been this desire to have him sort of fulfill everything that she didn`t have in life.

ARUTT: Yes. She could have had a plan that he was going to provide her with glamour and legitimacy and she was going to be respected and she was going to have this life, and when it may have been a real blow to her ego when he decided that now he was thinking about marriage and pairing up with someone and she was not the kind of woman that he was looking to do that with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I hate to say that because I think it`s sexist but in this case, it might apply.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

And later tonight, "NANCY GRACE MYSTERIES" will go beyond the courtroom highlighting key moments in this week`s court proceedings and what to expect in the week ahead. That, on HLN at 8 p.m.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your "Viral Vid of the Day" is a real riot, not in a good way. Students and parents start throw punches in a giant fight near a school bus stop all caught on cell phone video. Five adults and teens were arrested; all of this happening near Pittsburgh. What the heck? Seriously, people? Parents? Parents?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know Honey Boo-Boo. She`s the star of the reality show everyone was watching this week.

ALANA THOMPSON, REALITY TV STAR: I am Alana, I am six, and I am a beauty queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) She is a normal every day kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Honey Boo-Boo we get fun. It is like I said it`s like comfort food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is actually back where she is actually screaming to "Honey Boo-Boo child, a dollar makes me holler, who`s going to make me holler?"


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am hollering holy Honey Boo-Boo. TLC`s hit reality show breaking records and getting its highest ratings ever with their newest series of holiday specials. "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo`s Halloween" debuted with 3.1 million viewers. What is it about TLC`s wild and wacky family?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hubba, hubba. When Jeannie came out as Marilyn Monroe, I instantly became Horny Bear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the hell is wrong with your tan? I mean she looked like a Napoleon ice cream. Some part was pink, some part was chocolate, some part was vanilla. And it looked just raunchy. I don`t want to eat that ice cream.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looked a mess.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did somebody just say "horny Bear"? The old saying goes you get a lot more bees with honey and this honey is sure attracting millions of people literally. Rob Shuter, "Naughty but Nice" from Huff Po; why on earth are so many people obsessed with this show and the obsession is growing day by day?

ROB SHUTER, HUFFINGTON POST: It absolutely is, Jane. I think the reason people are obsessed by this show is that unlike many, many reality shows out there, this show really feels real to me. It is not contrived. It is certainly not scripted. It gives us an insight into a family which we all love.

We love family drama. It gives us insight into a family and doesn`t put any gloss on it. It just shows us exactly the way these people live.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we can`t get enough so here is another clip from TLC`s newest "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo".

Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know if you know this about us. We love to sleep, sleep, and eat and sleep some more.

HONEY BOO-BOO: Beauty sleep, beauty sleep, beauty sleep. Beauty sleep. I need my beauty sleep.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am telling you, it is funny. This little girl, Honey Boo-Boo is -- she is the Shirley Temple of our era. I mean I have to say, Rob that I think it is the charisma of this particular child. Yes, it is a kooky family but at the very core is Honey Boo-Boo herself and her charisma and that is something you cannot manufacture. Either you`ve got it or you don`t have it, and she`s got it.

SHUTER: I think you are absolutely right here. The star of the show is the little girl, Alana, little Honey Boo-Boo. Also too Jane, in a world where a lot of things are going really wrong, at the basis of this show is love. This family loves one another. They love being together. They love playing together, eating together, going out together, so I think it actually gives us an insight into a world that is based on love, not drama.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is one of the reasons that people love this show and let`s face it, a lot of people consider it a guilty pleasure, right?

But are the TLC cast members a lot smarter than we give them credit for? Some are calling Mama June, Honey Boo-Boo`s mom, a financial whiz. Check this out.


JUNE THOMPSON, MOTHER OF HONEY BOO-BOO: We try to entertain ourselves for free and the best way to do it free, we do the red neck slip and slide.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go, red neck water slide.

THOMPSON: Or what we do is we have games just around the house.

HONEY BOO-BOO: Put on a blindfold and smell people`s breath.

JUNE THOMPSON: It is called "Guess Who`s Breath".

HONEY BOO-BOO: Breath number one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only does Mama June save money on family activities, Mama is also an extreme couponer and she`s now telling TMZ and "People" magazine all the TV earnings are going into a trust fund for her kids until they`re 21, so they`re not spending Alana`s money. She`s not going to end up, Rob Shuter, like some other child stars who end up broke because, oh, the parents have somehow figured a way to spend all the money the kids make.

SHUTER: Yes, you`re absolutely right, Jane. Fame and fortune is not changing this family. The games that they played before the cameras arrived are the games that they`re playing afterwards. Mama June says she has no interest in buying a Ferrari or a big new fancy house. She loves her life and doesn`t want it to change.

So all the money that they earn and it is reported to be $15,000 an episode, all of that money is going into a trust for each of the children and it is partitioned up equally between all the kids and they cannot touch it until they are 21 years old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is $15,000 an episode chump change as far as the TV business goes and what happens when little Honey Boo-Boo grows up? On the other side.



HONEY BOO-BOO: Look Mama, I just ate it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve got to get that out of there. I`m going to go into full panic (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You`ve got to get it out of here for real.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the infamous words of Honey Boo-Boo child, "You better redneckognize" -- say that three times -- because the TLC show is a smash drawing in more viewers than ever before. The obsession is continuing.

A couple of things thought Rob Shuter, why are they only getting $15,000 an episode. Is that per person on the show or all tolled? Because if it`s all tolled, that`s not a lot; I mean some of these people get far more per episode.

SHUTER: Absolutely Jane, this is for the entire family. I think $15,000 for the entire family. Just to put that into perspective, some of the housewives are reportedly earning half a million dollars for the entire season, which breaks down to about $50,000 an episode just for one person.

They are getting a very good deal here at TLC. So they certainly are not being overpaid, especially when you consider that rating they bring in - 3 million. That`s a massive amount of people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m wondering if they are getting a bad deal this family, and maybe they should get a raise because they are the biggest hit on TV. Why are they not making more than some of the "Real Housewives" of wherever, celebrities are getting wrapped up in this craze.

Listen to this I love -- country superstar Brad Paisley`s hilarious ode to Honey Boo-Boo Child. It debuted on "Jimmy Kimmel Live". Check it out.


BRAD PAISLEY: American hero down to the core she eats her meals right off the floor. Here comes Honey Boo-Boo. This is the ballad of Honey Boo- Boo.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. Briefly, could there be a problem when Honey Boo-Boo Child outgrows her cute phase.

SHUTER: A little bit. I mean often reality shows do not end very well. However what`s the difference in this show is the mother really seems to have her head on straight. Most reality stars are calling me begging for me to interview them. I called asking if I could interview Honey Boo-Boo, she was too busy and it only made me love her even more.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she`s got something. It really does remind me of Shirley Temple, who obviously stole America`s heart and grew up to become a diplomat. So there`s plenty of opportunity ahead for Honey Boo- Boo Child. I don`t think she takes it seriously. I think this girl is a heck of a lot smarter than a whole lot of people. She`s absolutely one-of- a-kind.

And up next, speaking of one of a kind, coming in right now my little buddy Rico, we`re going to rescue a pooch with "Rico`s Rescues" next.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time now for "Rico`s Rescues", right little Rico?

Let`s save some lives, huh, Rico? Rico. Hey Rico. Rico.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, my little buddy Rico is back, right, guy? Today he wants to introduce you to a very special dog named Pixie. Like Rico, Pixie is a rescue. She`s a rescue dog looking for a loving family to take care of her.

Watch carefully. You`ll notice something amazing about Pixie. Animal welfare expert, my dear friend Jane Garrison is here with Pixie. She`s just a cutie pie just like my little fellow right here. Tell us about Pixie.

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE EXPERT: And she has her little coat on today, too, Jane. Pixie is an amazing dog. She was actually found wandering the streets of Compton here in Los Angeles will she was so skinny and she had a back leg that was completely dangling. It was so badly broken.

A wonderful group in Los Angeles called, they spent four days getting this dog off the street. They could not catch her. She was so frightened. She was so skinny. The leg was dangling. They spent four days tirelessly just trying to get her. They corralled her into a yard, blocked off the holes so she couldn`t get out. They finally got this terrified little pup. She`s so sweet. She`s a (inaudible) mix and Doggies 911 really wants a home for her. She`s so ready.

She had to have the leg amputated because the break was so bad. But it doesn`t hold her back. You can see in the video, she runs and she plays and she`s affectionate. She`s such a great dog.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. So we`re going to try to get her adopted right now. Contact Doggie Rescue 911 and you can call 310-200-4614. Or visit And you can always go to my Facebook page, JaneVelezMitchellFacebook or So many ways to adopt a little Pixie -- she needs a home.

Just like little Rico has a home. He lives with my mom.

This is the great joy. Adoption when you know you`ve saved a life, it`s just every day is just like a holiday. They know it. Look how well behaved he is right off the streets of Puerto Rico. He`s so well behaved. Look at Pixie. She`s a love.

GARRISON: She`s a kisser.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s a kisser. She`s very mobile, even though she`s missing a leg. She`s fetching.

GARRISON: Exactly. Exactly. She`s only 2 years old. She`s the perfect size. She`s a great dog. She just wants some love. She had such a bad start but now she could have it so big. Remember, shop no; adopt, yes. Let`s find all these homeless animals great homes.