Return to Transcripts main page


Jodi Arias Trial; "Scorned: Blood on the Boardwalk"; Saving America`s Wild Horses

Aired February 1, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, is it desperation defense in the Jodi Arias trial? The courtroom`s rocked after the jury is accidentally shown a very private, explicit photo purportedly found on Travis` hard drive. Are Jodi`s attorneys trying to paint the victim as a sexual deviant? Are they just grasping at straws? And the blush factor. What secrets will be uncovered next in the most highly sexualized trial we`ve ever seen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In his phone call he talks about his fantasies. That`s Travis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course the defense is going to use this as part of Travis Alexander`s deviancies, that he`s keeping pictures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ever see him strike anything?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was Travis ever abusive to you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe he felt that because he had sex with her, that she could not be acceptable as a wife. Maybe she just couldn`t accept it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told us that he wasn`t dating her, and he thought she was following him around.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you ever seen a case with such graphic sexual content?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, not at all. And I think rarely have I seen a defense so weak at this point.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, as we wait to see if Jodi Arias will take the stand in her murder trial, this week that just ended goes down as one of the most sexually explicit trials ever shown on TV. Is Jodi`s defense team putting on a desperation defense?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. The beautiful 32-year-old photographer admits she stabbed Travis Alexander 29 times, slit his throat from ear to ear all the way back to the spine, and shot him in the face. But she claims it was all done in self-defense. In an attempt to show Jodi was sexually abused and paint the victim as some kind of sex fiend, Jodi`s defense team is making sex the focus of this trial, with tales of kinky role playing games, phone sex calls, and even pictures of male genitalia. Listen to what the jurors saw moments before court ended last night, and we warn you, it`s graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defense attorney picks up a picture, and it is of the male genitalia, erect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a photo of a large, erect penis. And that`s all that was in the photo. And it was a big one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense keeps bringing in sex, and the prosecution, well, it retaliates, saying sex is normal biological behavior. Humans have sex, and that doesn`t make anybody a criminal.

We must warn you, this language is graphic, but it`s what the prosecutor said in open court to a defense witness who dated Travis and testified he had strong sexual urges.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And during the time that he was kissing -- and, again, not to get too much into this, he achieved an erection, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did not massage his erection, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not massage his own erection, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a biological response to your lips, wasn`t it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that, at that time, because of your inexperience, you thought that he should have controlled his penis from becoming tumescent or getting big just because he was kissing you? You thought that`s what the problem was, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was because of your inexperience, correct?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it with our expert legal panel. Is all this sex talk hitting below the belt? Pun intended. So I`m bringing in Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney. Former prosecutor Joey Jackson, criminal defense attorney Brian Silver, criminal defense attorney. I start with you, Joey Jackson. How much of this is legitimate information for the jury and how much is it just muddying the waters, see what sticks, leave jurors blushing so much they`re confused about where sex ends and abuse begins?

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I`ll tell you this, Jane, to this point I am underwhelmed. Why? I know they brought in his former girlfriend, one he was going to marry, to talk about he was a liar, he was a cheat, and, of course, he was a sexual deviant, but the issue with that was a problem, because she also had to admit that there was no abuse at all. No verbal abuse. No physical abuse. And if you`re tending to establish that pattern, where is it? Finally, Jane, with regard to the other witnesses they brought forward, the Daniel Friedman and Desiree Friedman, what happened was they went on trips together. And this was -- these were people who would know his interactions, and wouldn`t they also have to admit, Jane, no abuses to Jodi Arias. Where is it? And so to this point it`s falling far short of expectations. But stay tuned. I`m still hopeful to find the smoking gun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Silver, any legitimate reason for all this sex talk?

BRIAN SILVER, ATTORNEY: I completely disagree with the other guest, and I`m going to tell you why. Their defense is predicated on the fact that she had to kill him to preserve herself, and the reason was the private Travis, the Travis that she knew, the one that wanted to chain her to a tree and sodomize her, was the one she had to defend herself against. Not the elder priest from the Mormon Church, who everybody thought was celibate and wasn`t having sex outside of marriage.

So these things, you know, if they were by themselves just to make Travis look bad or disparage him, I agree, that would be far reaching and inappropriate. But here it`s germane and absolutely material to their defense, and that`s why they`re putting it on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, you`re a criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor. What do you say about this?

HOLLY HUGHES, ATTORNEY: Well, what I say is I find it interesting that when the prosecution talks about sex and shows dirty pictures of Jodi, it`s evidence. But when the defense does the same thing, everybody is screaming it`s character assassination.

Jane, this is necessary evidence, because we know she killed him. Everybody agrees on that. What we need to know is why. And the way we explain that is the psychological, you know, way that they interacted with each other.

The only way we`re going to find that out now is in his words, his actions, the way he dealt with her, the way he thought about her, the way he treated her. This is evidence. And if the defense did not present this, they would be ineffective. We, all of us, every single one of us on this panel, covered a huge case where a defense attorney got up a couple of years ago, promised all this, and never presented the evidence. We crucified him for it. This defense team is doing exactly what they need to do to be effective.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casarez, you are there on the scene in Arizona. You`re the one who said this is perhaps the most sexually charged trial you`ve covered that has been broadcast on television. What can we expect in week two coming up in the Jodi Arias defense?

JEAN CASAREZ, IN SESSION ON TRU TV: I guess the plain and simple answer is anything, right? Holds-barred anything. But the thing we are waiting for is will Jodi Arias take the stand. Right now defense witness, computer expert is on the stand, and how much will be able to come in from Travis` computer, maybe Jodi`s computer. And remember, if the defense is trying to show that Travis was a sexual deviant, shouldn`t there be evidence on his computer? I guess we`ll have to see next week.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, court recessed for the weekend with a possible sneak peek, as Jean Casarez was alluding to, of what`s to come. The defense witness accidentally flashed secret photos the defense wants to admit into evidence. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Defense moves -- I forgot the numbers. Defense moves to enter exhibits number --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, your honor.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those blurred photos we saw him hold up showed a man`s genitalia. The witness, a digital forensics examiner, says he got the images off a hard drive in victim Travis Alexander`s home just hours before he was killed. We don`t know whose penis was photographed, which is exactly why the prosecutor is questioning its relevance.

Remember, this is a highly sexualized trial. We`ve seen, much, much X-Rated evidence. For example, these photos, which are, again, graphic, that Travis and Jodi took of each other naked. We are not showing you the worst of it. But suffice it to say they are triple-X-rated shots of Jodi taken in the hours before she killed Travis while they were home alone.

Straight out to senior producer Selin Darkalstanian, who has been in court all week. This has to be embarrassing for both families who are sitting in court. What have you noticed in court when it comes to the blush factor here?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, SR. PRODUCER: It`s definitely embarrassing. There`s so much sex talk and there are so many photos shown in court. The prosecution did it and now the defense is doing it. So Travis` sisters are sitting there. They`re seeing all these things come out about their brother that they don`t necessarily want out there. This is supposed to be kept behind doors. And now it`s out there for the public. It`s a national trial, it is televised, and everyone is seeing these private photos of their brother.

On the other side you see Jodi`s mom. She is sitting in the front row. She is seeing these nude photos of her daughter splashed across the screen in the courtroom, and she just looks straight on. She doesn`t make any expression, so you can`t tell what she`s thinking, but it must be very uncomfortable.

The reporters in the back, at one point the judge did turn around and tell everybody in the courtroom to keep it under wraps, not laugh, not show a lot of expression, because it was getting a little -- very, very sexual in the courtroom, and everybody was reacting to the photos and was reacting to this testimony, and the judge even told everybody to calm down so the jury doesn`t notice all this that`s going on in the courtroom. I have never seen so much talk about sex in one single courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I have to say that being in court myself, you`re already nervous in many other cases. You`re nervous and you have a tendency when something is making you nervous to giggle or snicker, not out of laughing but out of just sheer nervousness, and I can see that happening in this courtroom. It`s absolutely extraordinary. Joe Gomez, you are a reporter with KRLD in Dallas, you have covered this case from the very beginning. OK, we`ve been talking about the defense throwing all sorts of sex behavior and just anything that`s even questionable. We`re going to show you some examples in a second. Contrast that with what was done to Travis Alexander.

JOE GOMEZ, KRLD: Well, Travis was stabbed nearly 30 times, Jane. In fact, one of the times he was stabbed, his spinal cord was nearly severed. He was cut, his throat, from ear to ear. He was shot at point blank range, as I understand, in the head. As we recall, we saw scenes of the bloody scene where he was found murdered of blood all over the walls, all over the bathroom, and to counteract this with these graphic pictures and sexual imagery, I don`t understand a reason for it. Just because the man has a picture of some genitalia on his hard drive, does that necessarily paint him as a sexual deviant? I mean, this is 2013. You know, the year when sexting is rampant. It seems to me like they`re really pulling at straws here, the defense, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you raise an important point. This is a predominantly male jury, and maybe it`s going to backfire on them. Perhaps anybody, male or female, on the jury may have engaged in some sexual photography or sexual adventurism or questionable sexual behavior. It`s extraordinary. We`re all human beings. More on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ever hear Travis call Jodi names?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ever see Travis physically harm Jodi?






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My friend (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state Arizona versus Jodi N. Arias. Count one, first-degree murder, premeditated murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi was Travis` dirty little secret.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has he been threatened by anyone recently?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn`t use obsession. It was a two-way street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caused of death of Travis B. Alexander.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need to be honest. The evidence is very compelling, but none of it proves that I committed murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense wraps up week one proving by critics` standards that he`s an all-American guy who had sexual urges. Big deal. What does it have to do with her killing him alleging self-defense? Let`s go out to the phone lines. Christine, North Carolina. Your question or thought? Christine?

CALLER: Hey, Jane. You look beautiful as every night. And please tell your mother hello for me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will, absolutely.

CALLER: I`m going to try to say this real fast, because I know you don`t have a lot of time, but all the sex issues are really bothering me and the thing about the PTSD. Now I have PTSD, personality disorder and anxiety disorder, because I was raped six times total.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, I`m so sorry.

CALLER: From when I was a child to one just two years ago. I don`t buy it with her, especially she leaves town after killing him and then goes and jumps in bed with another guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, thank you for sharing -- I thank you for sharing your story, Christine. But I think that, Holly Hughes, this caller brings up an incredible point. If she was so traumatized that she had to kill somebody in self-defense, then, hmm, why does she leave and go up to Utah after killing Travis Alexander and canoodle, not actually have intercourse but almost -- major fooling around with another guy who happens to be a work colleague of Travis Alexander`s?

HUGHES: Well, I think, Jane, what you`re talking about here is she probably just was either in shock or denial. And I think that`s one of the things we`re going to see the domestic violence expert explain when they take the stand next week. You have to remember, one of the big challenges for the prosecution here, their theory is inconsistent. They`re saying she planned it, she was manipulative, she rented a car, dyed her hair, so they have got this fantastic criminal mastermind planning every little thing, but the attack itself is so frenzied and so disorganized, and then she drives away and leaves all the evidence there. She leaves the camera, she leaves --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, she put the camera in the washing machine.

HUGHES: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And washed it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s not a forensics genius. She probably figured, oh, that`s going to wash away the pictures. How does she not know, no, they could retrieve every single one of those pictures?

HUGHES: But if she had it planned out, she would have taken the evidence with her, and as small as she is compared to his bigness, the best thing would have just been to shoot this man, if you planned to kill him. This frenzied knife attack, where he has got knife wounds all over his body, does support that this was some type of frenzied either self-defense as, you know, the defense team is saying, or the prosecution may call it she lost it. But there is that inconsistency they have to deal with. You can`t say she is so well planned, a criminal mastermind, and then all of a sudden this horrible, frenzied attack.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Criminals are not all there. I think anybody who commits any kind of violence is a little crazy. Maybe not in the legal sense, but certainly you have to be crazy to be violent, in my opinion. But I just think this is just such a desperation tactic, anything that`s questionable that Travis has ever done, not even questionable. Get this, the defense is so desperate to link Travis not just to sex but to any kind of violence, yesterday they questioned a friend about how Travis liked to watch ultimate fighting. Here`s a clip from




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joey Jackson, give me a break. He liked to watch ultimate fighting? Millions of people watch ultimate fighting.

JACKSON: Yes, it`s crazy, Jane. Listen, my good friend Holly Hughes raises a wonderful point. She`s a fantastic defense attorney, but this is the defense of diversion and distraction. Ultimately what does UFC have to do with this case? What does blowing up a picture of a male genital have to do with this case? You`re diverting from the real issue. If the issue is self-defense, get witnesses to explain it and get witnesses who speak to the issue of his past abusive behavior, that he was a monster, that he was a manipulator. To date we haven`t seen it. Perhaps we will. As of now, I am underwhelmed.


HUGHES: Jane, I don`t think their point was because he watches this, he`s a violent person. I think their point is he wanted to be in this fighting. He was training for it. He lifted weights, he ran, he was this big, physical, fit person.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh.

HUGHES: So I think that`s probably -- well, you know, you can pooh- pooh it, but we`ve all seen that sometimes when you throw everything you`ve got at the wall, it does stick.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, I have weights in my office that I use every so often when I`m on a call, that means I have a propensity toward violence?

HUGHES: It`s called totality of the circumstances. But again, we`re laughing and we`re joking, but it`s a very serious thing. A man was tragically killed, and the question is not who did it but why. And that comes down to the psychological dynamic between these two people. So while the prosecution is saying she`s a crazy, jealous slut -- and let`s face it, that`s what they`re doing when they show naked pictures of her, the defense has a duty to come back and explain that`s not the way it was. She was under his control. She was a possession. She was a damaged woman, even though she was never physically battered, she was emotionally battered. They have to present what they have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have got to break. We`re going to continue this debate on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you shocked to learn that he was not a virgin?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While he continued this facade of being a good and virginal Mormon man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was cheating on me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know who he was cheating with?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The more the merrier (ph). She wanted to be him. She wanted to possess him. She wanted to know every breath he took.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are adults. If they want to take pictures of each other`s genitals and send it to each other and enjoy it, OK. It`s not a defense. It`s not an excuse for murder, for any kind of violence whatsoever.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In Arizona, jurors can ask witnesses questions. And the jury did ask questions of two key defense witnesses. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were the arguments between Travis and Jodi any different than arguments between other couples you have observed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t think so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you personally feel threatened by Travis?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ever see Travis hit Jodi or be in any way abusive to her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, none whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Travis ever call you names?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ever hear Travis call Jodi names?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, let`s debate it. What do these juror questions tell us? Starting with Joe Gomez, reporter, KRLD.

GOMEZ: Well, they tell us, Jane, that Travis` former roommate obviously didn`t see any type of abuse going on from Travis to Jodi, that they had typical couples arguments, that for all intents and purposes they probably seemed like a regular couple. I don`t think this really shows us anything out of the ordinary. I just think that the defense is trying to get anything they can to try to paint Travis as some kind of argumentative deviant, and just throwing it out there, as you mentioned, to see if it sticks to the wall.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Brian Silver, criminal defense attorney.

SILVER: As a trial lawyer, this tells me two things. No. 1, she actually has a very good jury panel, because they`re giving her defense the time of day. They`re thinking about it. They`re asking the important questions. You know, tell us what you know about this. But it creates a difficulty at the same time, because they need to redirect the attention from the public Travis to the private Travis, the one that abused Jodi and drove her over the edge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go out to the phone lines. Andrea, Connecticut. Your question or thought, Andrea?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thanks for taking my call. I love everything about your show, and I love what you do. I just want to know is it because Travis led a secret life and no one knows what goes on behind closed doors? Abusers usually don`t show that face to the public. The abuse usually happens behind closed doors when no one is around. If possibly he has some trauma in his past as a child growing up, drug addicted, that maybe caused him to experience some type of sexual abuse, because he`s sexually abusing this woman, Jodi.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Andrea, you`ve raised a lot of questions. Holly Hughes, we know Travis Alexander was a self-made man, successful homeowner, doing well with prepaid legal. Even though he was born to drug addicted parents and then his grandmother raised him, and that`s how he got into Mormonism, does that play a role?

HUGHES: Well, it might. But from a defense perspective, they`re not trying to explain why Travis might have done these bad things. They just want the members of the jury to see that it`s possible that these things happened. So we`re not going to get this testimony, because the prosecution is not going to give it the time of day. They`re not going to call somebody on rebuttal and say the reason he was violent is because -- because they`re not admitting he was violent. But the caller`s first and foremost, the most excellent point the caller made is just because everyone is taking the stand and saying we didn`t see them fight doesn`t mean it didn`t happen. Behind closed doors in a personal, intimate relationship, you are going to act very differently than you do when you`re out in public, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, fantastic. Panel, thank you so much for a great debate. We shall see. Remember, we are all over this trial as it resumes on Monday. Our show 7:00 p.m. Eastern, and top of the hour "Nancy Grace Mysteries" will bring you inside Jodi Arias` defense with a wrap-up of the week`s explosive testimony. That`s top of the hour 8:00 p.m. here on HLN. Next up, a real-life deadly love triangle.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a tale of power, seduction, and greed, before long Kosta`s obsession with Deidre will draw him, his wife and his lover into an evil web of betrayal and murder. But the affair is spinning out of control. And now his wife, Lisa, clings to life after being shot in the head by a home intruder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dead men tell no tales.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A steamy love affair turns into a really bizarre murder-for-hire plot leaving two young men dead, a wife severely wounded and a husband and his mistress behind bars. This unbelievable story will be profiled on Investigation Discovery Saturday night.

But we are getting a sneak peek. Kosta Fotopolous was a Greek immigrant who married the much sought after Lisa. Lisa came from a well known and wealthy Daytona Beach family. Everything is going well until he meets stunning Deidre Hunt.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it came to Deidre`s sexual prowess, there were no inhibitions whatsoever with this girl. Whether it be with me, you, anybody, male, female, young, older -- didn`t matter. She was always willing and able and ready to go.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Well, they start a torrid love affair. When his wife finds out, everything changes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kosta couldn`t divorce Lisa. Lisa was going to divorce can Kosta. And when that happened, either way, he got nothing. Kill Lisa and he gets what he thinks is a million-dollar-plus insurance policy. Get divorced and go back to washing dishes. It`s a no-brainer. You kill your wife.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. You can see the full episode of "Scorned: Blood on the Boardwalk" on Investigation Discovery this Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

But we don`t want to wait that long so we have Dr. Robi Ludwig, a contributor on Investigation Discovery to give us a preview. Robi, tell us about this toxic love triangle.

ROBI LUDWIG, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Ok. Well, you have to remember Kosta was a Greek immigrant. He came from the wrong side of the tracks, but always had real fantasies of living a very, very wealthy life. He liked the idea of driving fancy cars.

So he meets Lisa, who comes from a very successful and wealthy family. They fall in love. They have this nice life. He decides to create this pool hall where he`s the boss, and it has a very seedy element there -- very seedy.

A girl is hired, Deidre. She`s the bartender. Almost instantaneously he falls head over heels, and they start this affair, and she becomes his obsession.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. An obsession usually part of this puzzle. Every time you think you have this story figured out, another twist comes up. There`s a mysterious attempted murder of Kosta`s wife, Lisa. So police interrogate his mistress Deidre who tells cops Kosta arranged the hit on his wife. Here`s what she said he said.


DEIDRE HUNT: He was like "I want her dead." And I was like, "Well, what do you want me to do?" He goes, "Just find someone."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the game plan was to kill Lisa and Deidre and Kosta would go off happily ever after with all that money and live a great life together. That`s the motivation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that simple. Oh, we`re going to live happily ever after with all her bucks.

LUDWIG: They were a little bit delusion altogether, Deidre and Kosta both came kind of from the same side of the tracks and they both thought that money and just having lots of it would cure all of their problems. And Lisa being out of the picture was the way for them to have that kind of life.

What`s interesting is they just thought that they could get her out of the way and start living in mansions and fancy cars. But Kosta was really a sadist. He was really somebody who liked the idea of harming other people. So even though we think that it`s all about sex and lust, for Kosta it was really about something different. He almost liked being a mob boss and being in control and having people do anything for him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it gets more twisted. So the lovers plot together to kill his wife, Lisa, but she survives even though she has a bullet in her head. End of story, right? No, no, no, no. Deidre isn`t done dropping bombshells during her police interrogation claiming her lover Kosta confessed to something shocking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All after sudden she says, "Oh, by the way," she literally puts her hand up with a cigarette in one hand, "We killed a kid out in the woods two weeks ago." At that moment I almost fell back in my chair.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. Wait. So goes from a love triangle and then suddenly a kid is in the woods being killed?

LUDWIG: Yes. This is where Kosta`s sadism really shows. I mean he said, "Hey, I want you to kill someone for me." That`s what he tells his girlfriend.


LUDWIG: Yes. Go. I want you to go kill someone for me, so she did it. I mean she came from an abused background and you can see why she was drawn to Kosta, I mean he was this macho guy. Can you imagine just telling your girlfriend I want to you kill someone just because? Because it`s part of a club. Because I can say it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they find this -- not literal kid but a young guy, right, and they take him out to the woods and they tie him up.

LUDWIG: They tie him up and they kill him in this very brutal way and videotaped it. So it wasn`t just enough to do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh.

LUDWIG: But it`s videotaped.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. We hear Deidre`s explanation behind this bizarre murder in the woods. She says her lover, Kosta, told her it was an initiation into a murderous club.


HUNT: One night he was talking about initiation into a stupid group.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he was a member of a hunter killer club. He wanted Deidre to become a member of the club and for her initiation Deidre would have to kill someone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. So, Robi, a hunter killer club -- what the heck is going on here? Who`s hanging out in this pool hall? Where did they get this victim?

LUDWIG: You know, there are just all these seedy people hanging 0 out in this club. And I think for Kosta it was just random. It didn`t really matter who this person was. This person didn`t do anything wrong, per se. He was just kind of in the wrong place at the wrong time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what; they tie him up to a tree?

LUDWIG: They tie him up to a tree and basically they shoot him, and then they shoot him again in the head. I think it`s like there are several gunshots and then something directly to the head. So it`s really brutal.

It`s Deidre going up to this person`s head and shooting him. Can you imagine?


LUDWIG: I mean it`s one thing you can understand a little bit a crime of passion, right, or trying to protect yourself, but for somebody who did nothing to you, that`s a totally different ball game.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s sick sadism. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is your "Viral Vid of the day". My gosh, America, what a country. Even the dogs go to health clubs. But, wow, when they go, they have -- they have so much fun. That little puppy, he says, oh, I want to try that again. That was a lot of fun.



LUDWIG: And he almost operates like some kind of Greek mafia. He has that kind of macho underground mentality about him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deidre was the queen manipulator. She knew how to play people. She took advantage of her assets and she maximized them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A guy named Kosta married to a wealthy Daytona Beach woman, he gets a mistress, Deidre. He gets somebody to shoot his wife but, guess what? She survives. And now Deidre -- he gets the mistress to kill somebody almost like for fun to join a killer`s club.

There`s more, believe it or not. This whole scene in the woods where the mistress is forced to kill somebody is caught on tape. That`s right. They videotaped this unnecessary, bizarre killing. Check this out from "Scorned".


HUNT: The video camera was on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was probably one of the first videotaped murders that ever occurred in the United States.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there`s a portion of the police video of Deidre shooting this young man in the woods, killing him while he`s tied to a tree, but what`s happening behind the camera is really the most fascinating part. Tell us about that, Robi.

LUDWIG: Well, basically Kosta just videotaping his girlfriend, and she`s like, get the light out of my face. But he`s kind of pulling all the strings. You can tell that he`s telling her what to do while he`s videotaping her. It`s just a very -- I think it underscores the very sick dynamic that went on between the two of them.

And this is a man who at one point, Kosta was considered a hero in the news when his wife was initially shot. Because Kosta was right by his wife`s side as she`s shot and he shoots the intruder. So for a period of time --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He kills the intruder?

LUDWIG: He kills the intruder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The quote/unquote intruder who has really been hired by him.

LUDWIG: He takes the guy that he hides --



LUDWIG: I know. This guy was on a tear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And guess what? We`re far from done. If you want to see this entire fascinating "Scorned". Check it out tomorrow on "Investigation Discovery" 10:00 p.m. Eastern Saturday night. It`s fascinating.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet o` the Day". Send us your pet pics to Harley, wow -- out in the field playing. Piper -- Piper`s gorgeous, stunning and thoughtful, very thoughtful. And Pete -- he says I just like to have fun. Take my picture. Let`s see what we`ve got here. Greta-Jane, you make me insane. You`re so fabulous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome to our "Animals Investigations Unit". Hey, Rico, tonight we`re talking about rescuing America`s wild horses.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: These beautiful horses in these pens. Look at how these majestic animals that are supposed to be wild are kept once the government rounds them up, kept by the tens of thousands in cramped pens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stampeded, torched then trapped by helicopter, fractured, families split up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re at a crucial turning point for America`s wild horses. Tonight as the head honcho at the U.S. Interior Department, Secretary Ken Salazar, announces he`s resigning, animal advocates say it`s time to end the U.S. government`s controversial wild horse roundup that he insisted on over the objection of animal lovers.

Critics say Secretary Salazar sanctioned these cruel and inhumane roundups done by helicopters flying dangerously close and sometimes hitting these defenseless animals. Now a coalition of many different environmental and animal groups are urging the White House to pick Raul Grijalva, an Arizona congressman they believe will better protect our open ranges and the horses who live on them.

Straight out to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. Suzanne, what has the U.S. Interior Department done to America`s wild horses with our tax dollars that needs to change under new leadership?

SUZANNE ROY, DIRECTOR, AMERICAN WILD HORSE PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN: Well, Jane, these are national icons, they`re protected by an act of Congress yet the government has been hunting them down with helicopters, terrorizing them, shattering their families, throwing them into holding pens, and stockpiling them. We now have 50,000 wild horses stockpiled in holding facilities, and that`s more horses in captivity than remain free on the range, and this is what`s got to change.

And that`s why we`re calling on people to join us in asking President Obama to appoint someone who will really stand for America`s wild horses and the taxpayers and protect our public lands. And people can go to and sign our petition that would really help with our effort to save America`s wild horses.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The government is supposed to protect wild horses. There`s actually a law on the books that says that. It`s the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Critics say the U.S. government has instead, because of business interests, driven tens of thousands of wild horses off public lands and into cramped holding pens in direct violation of this law so that a business interest can use the land for themselves.

Philanthropist Madeleine Pickens offered to spend millions of her own money to create a sanctuary for these wild horses that are being kept in government pens. The Interior department, she says, keeps putting her off. Listen to what she says the government tells her.


MADELEINE PICKENS, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: They need to do a study. And then they go to another study and another study and now they`re on (inaudible) study and it`s quite shocking to me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Animals can`t speak for themselves. Ten seconds, Suzanne. Do you need the help of other Americans?

ROY: We need the help of other Americans. The next interior secretary will literally determine whether wild horses have a future in the American west, so we need everyone who cares about wild horses, these American icons, to join us in calling on President Obama to appoint the right person. and please sign our petition. Get involved with our efforts and thank you so much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. We reached out to the Interior Department, did not hear back. And, also, you can get involved with Suzanne`s organization, the American wild horse preservation campaign.

Remember, Rico, dogs, cats, pigs, horses, they cannot speak for themselves.



KYRA PHILLIPS, HLN HOST, "RAISING AMERICA": There`s nothing like this anywhere. It`s a news program through the parents` perspective. We go after the family dynamic on every story, and it`s perfect for me because my entire career I`ve been focused on being a journalist. Now I`m a mom.

When I watch the stories, I`m seeing an angle that`s affecting me as a parent. We`re talking about big news stories that are impacting how we live, how we spend money, how we raise our kids, how we interact with each other.

You`ve got the Pentagon checking into it and, apparently, it`s now worse.

So we`re going to head over to the studio now.

"RAISING AMERICA" is about all of us coming together and making each other better.

My Facebook couple are with me on the couch. Social media is going to be such a dynamic part of this program because that is the tool to get connected to everybody in America.

Tell us what`s happening in your family. What do you want us to talk about? You`re going to learn about what`s going on in the world, but you`re going to see it, feel it, understand it through the typical American family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: HLN`s new show "RAISING AMERICA" debuts Monday at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. You`ve got to see it. I am so lucky to have the show`s host, my friend, Kyra Phillips. You know I`ve been a huge fan of yours for a long time. Congratulations. I`m so excited for you. What`s the goal of your new show?

PHILLIPS: Jane, thanks so much. I know we go all the way back to Los Angeles, and you always say to me, I remember when you rappelled down walls and jumped out of helicopters with the SWAT Team. Now you`re a mama.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. I do.

PHILLIPS: Well, the beauty of this is I can take that journalistic experience, Jane, and now the fact that I`m a mom and given our viewers a show like nowhere -- no other network has a show like this. It`s about taking the news stories and looking at it through the lens of a parent -- the parent`s perspective. So it`s spontaneous, it`s interactive, it`s conversation. And it`s -- you don`t even have to be a parent, Jane -- aunt, uncle, godparent -- we`re all involved in "RAISING AMERICA", right. We`re all a part of a family somehow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. As somebody said, it takes a village. On Monday you`re talking about kids as young as 5 years old learning mixed martial arts. I think this is fascinating. Should kids be training for ultimate kiddie fighting at that age?

PHILLIPS: Let me just be direct here. Bottom line, it`s cage fighting as young as 5 years old. Kids getting thrown into the octagon, and look at them. I mean we`re talking -- there was one video, Jane, in 15 seconds a kid took 13 punches.

Here`s the controversy. Is this good for our kids? Are we teaching our kids violence? Are we putting our kids in a situation where they could have permanent injuries?

I`m talking to a mom, I`m talking to an 8-year-old cage fighter and they tell me it`s great exercise, it`s fun, it`s teaching me discipline. Of course we`ll have both sides of the story but you see that video and you kind of -- you know? It pulls you back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love the show. I love you. I wish you the best. This is important.

Our future, our kids, that`s the future. We`ve got to protect them. We have to help parents in this complex world deal with the intricacies of raising a great kid. I love it.

Nancy next.