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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Panel Discussion On Steubenville Rape Trial; Best Selling Crime Novelist Patricia Cornwell Reacts to Cases Currently in News
Aired March 18, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, the Steubenville rape case is far from over. Are there more convictions to come? And what about the new threats against the victim? I talk to attorneys on both sides.
Plus my exclusive interview with the father of one of the high school football stars who was found guilty.
And Traci Lords, herself a victim of rape in Steubenville.
TRACI LORDS, RAPE VICTIM: I think that there is a -- you know, a sickness in that city.
MORGAN: Also inside the mind of a killer. Reports of Adam Lanza's bizarre obsession with mass murderers. Five hundred of them listed on a spreadsheet seven feet long. Was it all just a video game come real to him?
And crime and punishment with a woman who scares the daylights out of me and millions around the world. Patricia Cornwell on true crime stories, who done it and why.
Plus inside the lion's cage. What really happened when a big cat killed a 24-year-old intern? Jeff Corwin on the deadly power of wild animals and my exclusive with the people who run the animal sanctuary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was doing what she loved and she did it with joy every day that she worked here. And she's going to be missed. I'm so sorry this has happened.
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE with breaking news out of a city in turmoil. The mother of the Steubenville rape victim asked the heartbreaking question, what if this were your daughter, your sister or your friend?
We'll have more from her in a moment as well as my exclusive with the father of one of the teenagers found guilty of rape. Meanwhile, two 16-year-old girls are in custody tonight for quite incredibly threatening the victim. One tweeting she would, quote, "beat her ass." The other threatening to kill her.
And Ohio's attorney general, he wants a grand jury to look at whether anyone else should now be charged in a case that is rocking America.
We begin tonight, though, with the mother of the victim in the Steubenville case speaking about her daughter's ordeal exclusively to CNN.
Poppy Harlow is here with more.
Poppy, a harrowing day yesterday. And lot of repercussions to come in this case, many think. You secured an exclusive piece of audio from the mother of the victim. Tell me about this.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I did. I had a chance tonight, Piers, to meet with the mother of this victim and obviously, her daughter, the rape victim, she, her entire family have a lot of healing to do but tonight it was about issuing this audio statement so that everyone could hear it and I want to play it now in its entirety.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My family and I are hopeful that we can put this horrible ordeal behind us. We need and deserve to focus on our daughter's future. We hope that from this, something good can arise. I feel I have an opportunity to bring an awareness to others, possibly change the mentality of a youth or help a parent to have more of an awareness to where their children are and what they are doing.
The adults need to take responsibility and guide these children. I ask every person listening, what if this was your daughter, your sister or your friend? We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right. We all have that option to choose.
This is the start of a new beginning for my daughter. I ask that you all continue to pray for her and all victims and please respect our privacy as we help our family to heal. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: And, Piers, think about the timing here, this coming from the mother of a rape victim just a day after the two convicted rapists are sentenced. Very, very powerful to hear from her, to meet her in person and what really stood out to me saying help those in need, stand up for what is right and always remember this could be your mother, your sister, your daughter.
MORGAN: There was also this extraordinary development today where two young teenage girls have been arrested for making horrific threats. There's no other way to describe it, to this poor young girl who was the victim of this double rape.
What do you make of this? Is this just another illustration as this case has already illuminated of social media completely out of control with a certain element of teenagers in America right now?
HARLOW: Absolutely, completely out of control. Death threats coming on Twitter to this girl from within this community, this small town in Ohio where I'm standing now, two arrests being made and I just talked to the sheriff who made those arrests, and he read me the tweets, the threats.
I want our viewers to listen but first, a warning that some of the language that he's going to read is explicit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: These are the threats from the two teenage girls you have in custody now, right?
SHERIFF FRED ABDALLA, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO: That's correct.
HARLOW: What did they say that made you arrest them?
ABDALLA: Well, one says, "You ripped my family apart, you made my cousin cry so when I see you, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), it's going to be a homicide."
I take this seriously.
HARLOW: Of course. And the next?
ABDALLA: And the next is, "I'll celebrate by beating the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of Jane Doe."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: So those two girls are going to be in front of a judge right here in the courthouse tomorrow morning at 10:30. The family of the victim and she has security right now, that's what I'm told by the sheriff, and he also said to me look, anyone who crosses the line on social media or anyone else is going to face the consequences just like these two girls -- Piers.
MORGAN: Pretty shocking development. And, Poppy, thank you very much indeed for your continued excellent coverage from down there.
I want to bring in now Bob Fitzsimmons, who represents the 16-year-old victim.
Bob, welcome back to you, Mr. Fitzsimmons. First of all, let me get your reaction to this development, of two young teenage girls being arrested for making death threats and other kind of really horrific threats towards your client. What is your reaction to that?
BOB FITZSIMMONS, ATTORNEY FOR 16-YEAR-OLD VICTIM: Well, it's shocking that it would happen, especially after the convictions that occurred and everything this family has been through, and to put them through more of that same stress and fear is just something that nobody's heard about ever before. It's sickening that it's happened and obviously these children need to be addressed also by law enforcement.
MORGAN: I want to play a clip now, this is of both the convicted rapists making apologies in court yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MA'LIK RICHMOND, FOUND GUILTY OF RAPE: I would like to apologize to you, too. I had no intentions to do anything like that. I'm sorry to put you guys through this. I'd just like -- I know I ruined her life. I just want you to realize that I'm sorry. I know I ruined her life, for life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was actually Ma'lik Richmond. We cut that short a little bit and didn't have Trent Mays also making an apology. But in terms of that moment in court, it struck me as significant that there he was apologizing for something that he consistently denied being guilty of. Did you feel that was a significant thing?
FITZSIMMONS: It was -- it was a very emotionally packed moment that occurred in that courtroom where watching this young boy suffer once he realized what the punishment and what had happened at that point. It was hard to watch anybody suffer, a human being like that, and I think everybody in that courtroom was significantly moved and it was those emotions that moved everybody there.
Not that that was right or acceptable or forgiving at that point, but to see the pain that he had caused himself and others, it was. It, myself, brought almost tears to my eyes to see this young boy's life that he knew that was many parts of it were going to be changed significantly, both boys, at that time.
And it was something I know the family was also emotionally moved. The mother was extremely emotionally moved by that.
MORGAN: A powerful, though, the moment was, the victim here is your client. She's a young teenage girl who had extreme courage, many would say, in taking this case all the way to court and having her own life laid bare and having now to put up with death threats and God knows what else as a result of simply being a rape victim.
How is her state of mind? Does she feel any sense of forgiveness to these two young men that did this?
FITZSIMMONS: Well, she has not at this point forgiven anybody for what she's been through, the terrible ordeal. This just adds to everything.
The security I want to mention, though, Piers, has just been extreme. Joe Collabella (ph) and Fred Abdalla, the sheriff, and his sons, have provided that security knowing these types of emotions were going to come out but to add this on top of what this young 16-year-old girl has gone through is totally unfair and people need to wake up and do the right thing at this point and accept what's been decided by the judge at this point, and move on and hopefully people can be rehabbed and this family can be given the opportunity to heal themselves.
And that's what the mom asked for in that statement and that was a big plea that she's asked for everybody. This young girl has been a hero to a lot of people that she stood up but it also demonstrates what women have to go through to make these allegations. It's not easy. It's difficult and we need more people like this young victim to stand up and report these types of bad acts.
MORGAN: Bob Fitzsimmons, thank you very much indeed for joining me again. FITZSIMMONS: Piers, thank you.
MORGAN: Nathaniel Richmond is the father of Ma'lik Richmond, who was found guilty of rape in this case. And he joins me exclusively by telephone.
Welcome to you, Mr. Richmond. Let me ask you straight away, what is your reaction today to what happened to your son yesterday?
NATHANIEL RICHMOND, FATHER OF MA'LIK RICHMOND: Can you repeat that question, please, sir?
MORGAN: I'm really asking how you're feeling today as the father of a young man who has been convicted of raping a young teenaged girl.
N. RICHMOND: Well, I'm shocked and surprised that Ma'lik was even convicted of the charges of rape, because the evidence that the prosecution presented against Ma'lik Richmond, there was plenty of holes in it and there was plenty of reasonable doubt, and I still believe in Ma'lik Richmond's innocence even though he apologized in the courtroom and I have sympathy for the victim's family but there are some things that the media and the court knows and doesn't know.
MORGAN: Right. I suppose the obvious question, Mr. Richmond, is if your son is innocent, why was he apologizing to this girl's family and sobbing as he did so? Many took that to be an open categoric admission of his guilt.
N. RICHMOND: I can't speak for Ma'lik. I can only speak for what I believe and the things that I know that wasn't presented in court that the prosecution knows.
MORGAN: Do you feel a sense of guilt, Mr. Richmond, about the fact you were not there for your son as a father for more than a very little period in his life?
N. RICHMOND: Of course I feel a sense of guilt. I feel a sense of guilt for allowing Ma'lik to wind up in a situation like he did. Of course I feel a sense of guilt.
MORGAN: I mean, his behavior was appalling. The text messages and the social media used by him and his co-accused and by their friends afterwards talking about this girl in a terribly derogatory manner, the way they treated her when she was, many would say, unconscious and treating her like a piece of meat.
I mean, what do you feel about that as his father? You must feel a sense of shame, don't you?
N. RICHMOND: Well, first of all, they had no text messages for Ma'lik. Let me correct that. They had one text message from Ma'lik and the question that was asked of Ma'lik in the text message, he was responding to something. The evidence that they had against Ma'lik was minimal. Ma'lik was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I know my son is not a rapist. Even though he has been convicted of rape, like I say, I believe in Ma'lik's innocence and God will make sure the truth of this matter comes out. I understand the court's decision and I respect it, but I truly believe in my heart the court has made the wrong decision towards Ma'lik Richmond. Because I know in my heart Ma'lik Richmond is not a rapist.
MORGAN: And yet there were witnesses that saw what he and his co- accused did. That is why he's been convicted. We then have him sobbing in court and saying sorry to this girl's family. This is not the behavior of an innocent young man. It's the behavior of somebody who has been convicted and now wants to apologize for what he did.
N. RICHMOND: Well, I can't speak for Ma'lik's emotions, but those witnesses that testified against Ma'lik were also prime suspects who was granted immunity and also one of the guys who was there at the scene of the rape case when the rape allegedly occurred was never -- a DNA sample was never taken from him and there was also an unknown specimen of DNA found in the girl's crotch area of her clothes.
MORGAN: Mr. Richmond, let me ask you this. I understand why you would feel emotional --
N. RICHMOND: Hold on, hold on. Hold on.
MORGAN: Let me just finish.
N. RICHMOND: Hold on, let me finish -- let me finish, please, sir. That one -- that one guy whose specimen was not taken, he's the only guy who was granted immunity that actually testified that he saw Ma'lik penetrating the victim with his fingers. Now --
MORGAN: Let me ask you, Mr. Richmond. I understand why you are feeling the way you do. You're his father.
N. RICHMOND: No, you don't. No, you don't.
MORGAN: Well, I understand, I understand that your emotions --
N. RICHMOND: You do not understand how I feel.
MORGAN: Well, I understand that you're his father and you feel emotional. But I also understand your son has been convicted of a very serious offense in raping a young woman and what I want to ask you is what is your feeling towards that young girl who went through this terrible ordeal and what is your feeling towards her family?
N. RICHMOND: Well, I feel sorry for the young girl. I hope that she can go on and live a productive life, and I feel one day for the things that happened to her, I ask God to give her the strength to forgive those. But I also wish that one day that she would come out and clarify some of the misunderstanding that's surrounding the entire case.
MORGAN: Mr. Richmond, thank you for joining me.
N. RICHMOND: Thank you.
MORGAN: Joining me now here is Walter Madison. He's Ma'lik Richmond's attorney.
Mr. Madison, it's obvious that the father is very angry there, and he's making a number of wild claims. But the bottom line is, his son has been convicted of rape. And after being convicted, he walks forward, he sobs, he makes a fulsome apology to the family. That is not the behavior of an innocent young man.
WALTER MADISON, MA'LIK RICHMOND'S ATTORNEY: Well, let's transcend this to a higher level, if we can. We're in juvenile court and these are juveniles and that's -- what America witnessed is exactly what juvenile court is supposed to do. You saw a court staff sobbing. You saw a court reporter -- news reporters sobbing. There wasn't a dry eye in that courtroom. They were crying for Ma'lik. And what they were crying for is because they witnessed the sincerity of a young man or they witnessed an incredible actor.
MORGAN: Well, I witnessed the sincerity of a young man who had been found guilty and wanted to apologize. I wasn't crying for Ma'lik. My emotions are for that poor girl that Ma'lik was found guilty of raping. (INAUDIBLE) I understand his father taking that view. You're the attorney. Justice has been served. Your client was found guilty and he made an apology which to anyone with a background of covering courts and journalism, that kind of thing happens when people want to apologize.
MADISON: I can understand you pushing in that direction but --
MORGAN: Did you not think that?
MADISON: Well, you have about five different questions there.
MORGAN: Well, let me make it simpler. Would you have advised your client to apologize for a crime he's always denied committing?
MADISON: Well, his apology was for the pain that he caused. He was there, there's no question about it. The question that I think Mr. Richmond, his dad, is concerned with is whether or not he committed a rape on the evidence that he heard. That's his father, and he's going to feel that way.
MORGAN: Will you be appealing then, in that case?
MADISON: There will be an appeal. There's a legal agenda that we will follow, and then there's a personal agenda. But the thing that's really important is that we transcend this. Rape is just a terrible, terrible, terrible thing, and --
MORGAN: It is. But your client, again -- your client has only been given at the moment a sentence of about another year in prison, which seems to many people to be ridiculously low as a punishment for a conviction of rape.
MADISON: Well, let me tell you about the judge who made that sentence, who pronounced it. He was the judge who wrote Ohio's law with respect to who shall be bound over. He was the author of that, if you will.
So he knows best. The court that he ran was a model for juvenile courts in the entire United States of America. I think he's qualified better than anyone who had intimate knowledge of the facts of who were candidates for adult prosecution.
So, let's set that straight. They were juveniles for a reason and were prosecuted in juvenile court for a reason. They didn't have a history, and the situation didn't warrant it.
Now, the punishment. The problem that Mr. Richmond talks about or describes is the lack of evidence or the net times you heard Ma'lik's name. Ma'lik's name wasn't mentioned very often in that courtroom, and he was apologetic for the pain he caused. He was there.
MORGAN: I've got to leave it there. Can you stay for another segment?
MORGAN: We have Gloria Allred joining us. Also, Traci Lords. She herself was raped as a young girl in Steubenville. It would be good if you stayed, and we interact with the other two when they come back after the break.
MADISON: I'd be happy to do that.
MORGAN: The Steubenville rape case has cut a deep divide in the city but Ohio's attorney general said the case wasn't just about one city, it also speaks to a larger cultural problem. Back with me now is Walter Madison, attorney for Ma'lik Richmond. Also joining us, attorney Gloria Allred and actress Traci Lords, who grew up in Steubenville and herself raped there at the age of 10. Welcome, Gloria and Traci.
Gloria, I will start with you. You heard very emotional reaction from Ma'lik Richmond's father. You might expect that, he's his father. What do you make of this verdict? What does it say about Steubenville or indeed, America and teenagers today?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Well, the judge did find that both defendants were delinquent, in other words, that they were guilty of the crime of rape. And one of them was guilty not only of the crime of rape, but also displaying images of a minor in nudity-oriented material, which in itself is a crime.
I was very interested in what you had to say, sir, because you seemed to be wobbling about your client's so-called apology. Was he acting, was this just heartfelt? Which is it? I mean, you really can't have it both ways.
MADISON: Well, I can't fool everyone. There wasn't a dry eye in the courtroom. So it's easy for you to be critical, for whatever reason you have, but you can't fool everyone. There wasn't a dry eye there. That was sincere. And what you witnessed was the compassion of that young man. That was his character.
ALLRED: Compassion for what? Because what pain did he cause? Why don't you just say it? He raped her. He put two fingers inside a vagina of a child when she did not have the opportunity to resist --
MADISON: Well, they're both children.
ALLRED: -- and that was clear. All right but one of them is guilty of a crime, and one of them is the victim of a crime. There's a big difference between the two. There's no equality between them.
MADISON: Well, one would disagree with that, because people that feel the way you do felt that they should be prosecuted as adults, and that just isn't the case. The fact that his name was mentioned four or five times in the trial is the case. The fact that they, his parents, feel that we might have the wrong person here, there's no equity in the verdict, is the case. And I think that's the opinion of a vast majority of people. I received 96 e-mails today of people from Oregon to Maine wishing - I mean, people who are on the other side of this, have shown sympathy and compassion and have identified --
MORGAN: Yes, but I've -- to be fair, I have also seen on Twitter a blowup of people enraged by this whole case, particularly enraged by the culture of behavior of these young men. Particularly again related to a football team, maybe they just goes into their heads, arrogant, I don't know.
Traci, you've heard it being described as a cultural thing in a wider sense. You believe it's something that Steubenville has had a problem with for a long time.
TRACI LORDS, ACTRESS: I do believe that and I have to tell you, I did not cry. I think that they were crying because they got caught, not because they did something wrong. And that's the big issue here. Once again, you're putting the victim on trial. You're torturing her. If he's so sorry -- one day he's sorry, the next day he's going to appeal and put her through it again. I think it's disgusting.
MADISON: Well, I think that's a ridiculous statement.
LORDS: Unbelievable. And the father, and the father, the apple does not fall far from the tree. They are the stupid in Steubenville. Truly unbelievable.
MADISON: Well, there is no reason to be critical of people. That's just an --
MORGAN: The father -- I think the father deserves criticism --
LORDS: Oh, there is definitely a reason.
MORGAN: Traci. The father --
LORDS: There is definitely a reason.
MORGAN: The father can be criticized for not being around when his son was young. and he can be criticized by his own admission for being an alcoholic, but there's no suggestion he's ever been a sex offender. We have to make that very clear. He's never been a rapist. The apple --
LORDS: That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying for him to stand up and say that his son is innocent and there was no evidence is just a whole lot of nonsense. I wonder what trial he was at.
MORGAN: Well, let me ask Walter Madison. There clearly was evidence.
MADISON: The one you weren't at.
MORGAN: Right. But there clearly was evidence against your client.
MADISON: There was evidence, very thin. There was evidence. But the question is was the evidence sufficient to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And obviously --
LORDS: Yes, there was. It was.
MADISON: If I may, Miss Lords. Clearly, the people who were there who sobbed, court staff, news reporters and all the like and spectators, they disagreed.
LORDS: No, no, no.
ALLRED: That doesn't really matter. You know something, we don't decide things by a poll -- by a poll of people in the courtroom, by a poll of -- that's not how we decide cases.
MORGAN: People were not just emotional because they thought he was innocent. You can be moved to emotion by a moment of high drama like that.
MADISON: So, what do we do? What do we do? How do we advance this? How do we --
ALLRED: Let me tell you.
MADISON: How do we advance this to a higher level?
MORGAN: I think you have to start from a position that the biggest victim here is not your client. He has been convicted of rape.
MADISON: You said that. I didn't.
MORGAN: I'm saying this. I'm saying, from everything I've seen, the biggest victim is this poor young girl who inarguably was unconscious for most of this experience. She was being carried around half naked, she was clearly being abused. The next day, she is compounded by this revolting behavior on social media with pictures of her in her worst possible vulnerable moment being spread around with these kids -
(CROSSTALK) ALLRED: And now there are people threatening her, threatening to beat her.
MADISON: But nothing (INAUDIBLE) my client.
ALLRED: I didn't say that. Threatening to beat her, threatening to kill her.
MADISON: That's why people are upset for Ma'lik Richmond. None of that, he did.
ALLRED: No, that's not the point.
MORGAN: Let me ask you this -
MADISON: I think it's exactly the point.
MORGAN: -- what is your view of that behavior?
MADISON: Oh, it's abhorrent. I don't support it one bit. And I am not here supporting that.
My client -- I'm here as a representative of Ma'lik Richmond. Ma'lik Richmond did none of those things. Ma'lik Richmond had one text out of a day full of testimony full of text messages and e-mails and tweets which he had none, okay?
ALLRED: But it's not really just about the text. It's about the crime of violence that he committed against a 16-year-old.
MADISON: But this is low level. How do we -- where do we go from here?
ALLRED: Where we go from here is we say we acknowledge if a person does something wrong, then we make amends to that person.
MADISON: Well, according to you, he did so and you're criticizing him. He did so and you're criticizing him.
ALLRED - and he faces the consequences. Well, but I think you need -- you said he's going to appeal. So obviously, he doesn't agree with the judgment of the court.
MADISON: No, I didn't say what. You said --
ALLRED: Oh, so you're not going to appeal from the judgment of delinquency?
MADISON: I don't believe -- I don't believe he should have to register as a sex offender until he dies.
ALLRED: That is part of the punishment.
MADISON: Well, that's unfair.
ALLRED: If in fact he is guilty of this crime, he does have to register -
MADISON: Well, that's ridiculous and unfair.
ALLRED: -- as a sex offender, and others need to know that is one of the consequences of rape.
MADISON: I think you would be in the minority on that opinion.
LORDS: (INAUDIBLE) I don't think so.
MADISON: Well, you'll have your chance, Miss Lords. I don't believe that a person at 75 years old should have to explain for something they did at 16 when scientific evidence would support your brain isn't fully developed. When the evidence in a case would suggest that you were under the influence.
MORGAN: Listen, I have three teenaged sons. When you get to 16, 17, your brain is developed enough to know you shouldn't be raping girls.
MADISON: Well, there are people that know better than you that would disagree.
MORGAN: Well, I don't think so. Honestly, I think you get to 17, you're a late teen. You're nearly a man.
MADISON: Either way, would you want to be judged for the rest of your life for something you did at 16?
ALLRED: Well then maybe you ought to think about that -
LORDS: I was a rape victim.
MADISON: See, you've engaged in behavior that I don't think people would agree with, either.
LORDS: Excuse me?
MORGAN: Wait, wait, wait.
LORDS: I have been judged my whole life because of what happened to me when I was a young girl.
MADISON: Did you choose to make adult films?
LORDS: I was a young girl. Don't make her a victim.
MADISON: I'm not talking about that. Did you choose to make adult films?
LORDS: Don't do it again.
MADISON: Did you choose to make adult films and profit? LORDS: I was a 15-year-old girl, and I don't need to apologize to you, honey.
MADISON: Did you live the lifestyle that afforded you?
MORGAN: What is the relevance of that?
MADISON: Well, she's saying don't judge someone.
LORDS: You're in the wrong here. It is so wrong.
MADISON: That was a choice she made.
ALLRED: That was a choice she made.
MADISON: I'm not critical of her.
ALLRED: But it also wasn't a criminal act.
MADISON: I'm not judgmental of her about it.
LORDS: That's right. And I didn't hurt anyone but myself.
ALLRED: Well, you must be judgmental. That's why you brought it up. No one else did.
MORGAN: I'm going to bring this to a halt. A lot of people have been very judgmental in this case. The bottom line is, this girl is the real victim. And, I understand why you feel the way you do. I understand why his father does. But he's a convicted rapist and if he wins on appeal, come back here and we'll have another conversation.
MADISON: Well, let me be clear. I'm not -- did you hear me disagree with that?
MORGAN: OK, I've got to leave it there. We'll debate this again. Everyone is still talking about this. It's a very contentious issue. Thank you for coming today.
MADISON: You're welcome.
MORGAN: Thank you, Gloria and thank you, Traci.
MORGAN: When we come back, the Newtown shooter. Was he living a real- life violent video game when he fired on 20 children and six adults? I'll talk to Patricia Cornwell, the best-selling crime author and forensics expert.
MORGAN: New claims tonight the Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza had a well research plan of attack, even going so far as to create a spreadsheet of other murderers. That spreadsheet, a shocking seven feet long and four feet wide. That report comes from the "New York Daily News."
CNN has not confirmed all the details, which also shows violent video games may have played a much larger role than first believed. Joining me now via Skype is Xavier Amador. He's a psychologist with the Leap Institute who worked on the Unabomber Case.
Welcome back to you, Dr. Amador. Really quite shocking details in this "New York Daily News" report, about the length and the time and the preparation that Adam Lanza had been apparently planning this hideous atrocity at Sandy Hook. What did you make of it?
DR. XAVIER AMADOR, LEAP INSTITUTE PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, Piers, it's not shocking to me. Again, when I talk about this case and other cases before on CNN, I make a distinction between someone with a long history of violence and antisocial behavior and someone like Adam Lanza, who seems to come out of the blue, isolated.
You know, it's really irrational, obsessive behavior. The size of the spreadsheet does not equal the size of the evil of this young man. I don't know that we yet know really what's going on, other than we do know his brain was different. We do know that he had at least one, possibly a couple of mental disorders, and you know, it reminds me of the movie "A Beautiful Mind." If you recall that movie, John Nash had a whole office filled -- and this was true in real life, I know from knowing the people who wrote the book and interviewed John Nash. And filled up the whole wall with all sorts of data and information about what was happening.
So, you know, all this obsessional behavior on Adam Lanza's part and the planning, again, doesn't preclude that this doesn't represent that something was probably very seriously wrong with the way his brain was working, processing information. And I'm sure the video games did not help.
MORGAN: Very quickly, on that point of video games, a lot of parents will be watching saying should we be worried if our son is playing or daughter is playing these games endlessly, violent video games? Or does it really just depend on the child? Are these just very unusual children that get affected?
AMADOR: I'm glad you asked that. Look, tens and probably hundreds and hundreds of kids -- it's a multi-billion dollar industry -- play video games, never hurt anybody. You know, we have talked about the Supreme Court case. There's not clear-cut evidence.
It's really that intersection between the isolation, somebody who is so isolated and obsessed with something like violent video games. That's when we have to worry. When that kid doesn't have friends, when that young man isn't doing other things, then the -- one plus one may indeed equal two.
AMADOR: -- violent, violent outbreak.
MORGAN: I've got to leave it there. Fascinating stuff as always from you. Thank you very much.
Now I want to bring in a woman who knows more about crime than probably anybody else. Patricia Cornwell is, of course, a best- selling crime author. Her books have sold over a hundred million copies, also a forensics expert. I want to get her take on the numerous extraordinary crime stories that are engulfing America right now.
Let's start immediately with this Adam Lanza case. It is an ongoing problem. I have three sons who all love these video games. And you do immediately think could my son potentially be prone to any kind of violent act because of the violent imagery in these games. What do you think?
PATRICIA CORNWELL, BEST SELLING AUTHOR, FORENSICS EXPERT: I think with this young man, you had an unbelievable recipe for disaster on so many different fronts. And this is where there's got to be some kind of supervision. You don't have a child babysat by having them watch violent video games in the basement. You don't know what he's doing. You don't know what he's doing on the computer.
You don't know about the seven foot score sheet that he's creating, which is also feeding into his violent fantasies. And here's the worst part. This is what I find so offensive about this case, is that young man got access to weapons that he should never have gotten his hands on. They were not registered to him. They clearly were either not locked up appropriately or he had a way to get to them.
MORGAN: I think his mother had a lot to answer for. She's not going to be able to answer it.
CORNWELL: I totally agree.
MORGAN: -- because he killed her. But where was she with this seven foot spreadsheet of murderers, with taking him to these gun ranges all the time, feeding this tormented, weird obsessive loner mind?
CORNWELL: It enrages me, to tell you the truth. You know what it would be like? It would be like if I had a child who was disturbed, and I say, you know what, I'm going to teach you to fly my helicopter, give you the keys to get in. And one day he helps himself into it and flies into a school and kills everybody. So that parent has responsibility for monitoring this child and not allowing him to do this to society.
MORGAN: Let's take a break. Let's come back and talk about some of the other extraordinary cases, the Jodi Arias case. I'm sure you have a take on that. The Cannibal Cop, can somebody who is fantasizing about evil crime actually go through with it. Also I want to get your take on the breaking news of Hillary Clinton who has finally backed gay marriage. I bet you have an opinion on that, too, when we come back after the break.
MORGAN: I'm back with the queen of crime, Patricia Cornwell. A lot of other stories I want to get to quite quickly with you. First of all, your reaction to the Steubenville case, because it's something that's split a lot of people's opinions.
CORNWELL: Again, kids need supervision. You know, Freud said that people will do things in groups that they might not do if they were by themselves. This is a dangerous recipe when you have these unsupervised 16 year olds drinking like this. It's to me a miracle the victim didn't die of alcohol poisoning or aspirate.
It's outrageous that the things were done to her that were. I was listening to your earlier segment. What I found very striking is when the attorney was talking about how when someone's 75 years old, he shouldn't have to still live with being a sex offender. What about the victim? She's got to live with this when she's 75 years old. Every relationship she ever gets into, everything she ever does, she's going to have to explain this.
It's -- I wish her much strength because it's a horror beyond imagination.
MORGAN: I think you have to just -- when people get convicted, you have to take a step back and say the victim's this girl, not these boys that have done this. Their behavior was reprehensible and they have to be held to account.
MORGAN: Let's move to the Jodi Arias case, which is really quite gruesomely appalling and addictive to many, I know. What do you think of this? Is she just a cold-blooded psycho killer?
CORNWELL: I would not like to see her out in society, if you want to know my opinion. And while she may not seem to remember anything supposedly, I tell you what, his body does. If you look at his autopsy report, the thing that's very striking about it is this image of, you know, boom, boom, boom, like 27 stab wounds over a body. That's not what really I see when I look at that in the diagrams.
What I see is someone who is being chased. He has contusions on his legs. This guy was putting his hands up. He had defensive injuries, deep cuts on both sides. I think what happened is he came out of the shower -- this is just my opinion. She came at him with a knife, he put up his hands to protect himself and she got in a couple really vicious blows, including the one to his heart, which would have been fatal.
He's over the sink, he's bleeding there. And she kept going at him. A lot of the stab wounds are to his back. That should tell you something. Eventually, I think that gunshot wound to his head was probably after the fact. This woman -- I think this was an incredibly vicious, rageful crime. And I don't believe that she just doesn't remember everything. She remembers too much.
MORGAN: She remembers everything apart from murdering her boyfriend, which is completely ridiculous. Let's move on to the Cannibal Cop. Very quickly, on that, of course the great debate is can somebody who is having these outrageous fantasies, really evil stuff, does that make them a criminal?
CORNWELL: Well, you know, it all begins with fantasy. That's the problem. Remember Hannibal Lector pointed at his eyes and said, it all starts here. It's what you're seeing and what you're fantasizing about. I think that his fantasies were incredibly disturbing. Should someone go to jail just because of his fantasies? Not purely so. But if you were actually making measures to try to -- like, hey, 5,000 dollars and get me my first victim -- and unfortunately, cannibalism is a sexual fetish.
People who are into that, there's a sexual arousal. I also think it ultimately is about control and power. If you devour your victim, so to speak, that's absolute control and possession. Scary stuff.
MORGAN: I should have you back every month with all these crime stories. There are so many of them every month in America. We can have a ball going through this.
CORNWELL: We will. Any time.
MORGAN: Finally, Hillary Clinton came out today and backed gay marriage. Many people think she's done this to get an early -- for potential run in 2016. But what did you make of her?
CORNWELL: I'm delighted she's done it, for whatever her reason. Listen, these politicians do what the party can bear. I think there's a lot of difficulty with that, that I know politicians who feel one thing but they have to say another just because it's part of survival. But I'm just delighted that she's done it. I think that, again, it's about equality. I would like to feel that my tax dollars pay for the same thing somebody else's do, which isn't always true. And so I say hooray.
MORGAN: Polls are surging now for gay marriage support in America, up to nearly 60 percent. I think it is going to be a complete non issue in five years' time.
CORNWELL: It should be. We're really not going to hurt anybody.
MORGAN: No, definitely not. Unlike everything else we have talked about. Patricia, lovely to see you again.
CORNWELL: Lovely to see you.
MORGAN: Thank you very much. I'm still reading the books and they're still chilling me out.
When we come back, what really happened when a lion killed a young woman in an animal sanctuary? I will talk exclusively to the owners in their first live interview. And we'll go right inside the lion's cage. That's next.
MORGAN: Ever since the lion attack that took the life of a 24-year- old intern at the Cat Haven Sanctuary earlier this month, the question has been how did it happen? so many answers may now be inside the lion's cage.
And joining me in their first live interview since the tragedy, Dale Anderson, executive director of Project Survival at Cat Haven, and the president of Project Survival, Wendy Debbas. Also joining me is Jeff Corwin. He's a wildlife biologist and host of ABC's "Ocean Mysteries."
Welcome to you all. First of all, to Dale and to Wendy, my deepest condolences on what happened at the sanctuary. From what everyone has said, it's a very well-run place. Things like this just haven't happened in the past. And it must have hit you all, I'm sure, in a very devastating way.
I just want -- you've got the cage there. A lot of people have been asking, how could this have happened? And I think you're able to basically show us. And why don't you just talk me through what you believe caused the tragic death of this young girl?
DALE ANDERSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PROJECT SURVIVAL, CAT HAVEN: Sure. Thank you for having us on the show. It's nice toe be able to at least come out and be able to have people see and give an explanation of what's going on. Again, it's been a tragedy for us here, our family here at the Cat Haven, and also the Anderson and Hansen family. Dianna was very dear to us. We've reached out to the family, the family's reached out to us both. It's just been a great experience to be able to have this friendship and be able to work through these sorrow times here.
I'm going to take you through and show you what happened. When we showed up at the enclosure here, this outside door was closed and latched, which is what needs to be so that there's no breech of security. The animal never exited the cage at any time. Now, when I open this door and continue into the security area here, you can see we have Pelee, our lioness. She was here at the time of the incident. And she's sitting here now and she's a little bit nervous with the camera.
But you can see I'm inside the security area and the camera man is coming in and we're secure at this point. When we arrive, the door to the den area, where Cous-Cous was at, was in the fully opened position, as you see right now. And I'm going to open the door and close the door. And you can see it's on a guillotine system that goes up and down. And if I open the door, I have to physically latch the thing like this to be able to have the door open, because this was one of the points that people made, that the door was partially open and the lion pushed the door open. That was incorrect.
The door was in the fully opened position. And this is the way it was there. Now, as I move down into the area where we had entered the main enclosure, Dianna would have opened this door to get into the main enclosure. And all of these doors have pins we have to pull, so I can't get in or out without pulling this pin. So if I pull a pin, then that says I'm going into an area where there's possible cat could be there.
And open this door and I'm going to walk down. Dianna walked down these stairs this way. And at some point down here, she encountered the lion. Cous-Cous came out of the den area and down here and approached her. We don't know at that point what -- how -- what happened. He encountered her in some way and her neck was broken. And that was what -- the fatal tragedy at that point.
So the access was from the den area to the main enclosure area. And this door that we have to the main security area was open, as per our protocol. This is the only exitway that you can get out, if you needed to get some place safe. This door need to be open, also. So Cous-Cous, the lion, had access from the den area, around here and into the security area, also.
So I'm going to come back out and I'm going to secure this door again. And then we'll keep going back out all the way out of the main enclosure.
MORGAN: And dale, if I may just ask you, the lioness that was there, she was Cous-Cous's partner. Just from that point of view, has she been suffering since the death of Cous-Cous?
ANDERSON: Yeah, she's been under a lot of stress. And the lions are pride animals. They live in groups. And Cous-Cous was part of her pride. And so she is stressed and has been since this -- and change is not a good thing with cats, either. We don't ever like to see change with this. This has been a big, upsetting thing for her. I'm going to step down here, too. I'll secure this.
MORGAN: I'm just going to ask Jeff Corwin to come in here, if I may.
Jeff, we saw the explanation there for what happened. What do you make of this? It's obviously an appalling tragedy. This young girl, Dianna Hansen, lost her life. It just looks like an awful mistake. Would you say that?
JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: Well, I think this gives just a powerful example of really how powerful these creatures are. When you're managing these animals in an environment like this, you need to make sure all of your Is are dotted and your Ts are crossed to avoid a tragic situation. These animals are hardwired to be the supreme, ultimate predators that they are.
They literally have gone through this incredible journey of evolution to become the king of the African Savannahs where they live. And those skills, those techniques of survival and predatory abilities, they don't necessarily go away. This is one of the most important lessons we learn from an experience like this, is how do we take this tragic moment and make sure that it doesn't happen again.
So you have all of these protocols in place. And you need to make sure that you always follow them to prevent such a terrible accident.
MORGAN: Very quickly, Wendy, if I may come to you, just very quickly, do you believe, from everything that you've guided us through there, that this was a mistake that Dianna made or was it just a freak accident? WENDY DEBBAS, PRESIDENT, PROJECT SURVIVAL: I think Dianna made a mistake and somehow got distracted. I'm a trained keeper here, too. And we go through a very rigorous training protocol here. And if you just lose your train of thought, you can make a mistake. There's never a hundred percent.
It's like you're driving your car down the highway and you run a red light. You might be the best driver in the world, but sometimes accidents do happen. And that's what I believe happened.
MORGAN: It's a terrible thing to have happened, a terrible accident. I'm very grateful to you both for showing us exactly what happened. It gives us a much clearer idea of what went on there. It's just one of those awful things. Thank you both for joining me. Thank you to Jeff Corwin, as well, for joining me.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
MORGAN: And we'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, it's 10 years since Shock 'n Awe, the invasion of Iraq. And I have one special guest to talk about it, Michael Moore, for the hour. That's exclusive. That's tomorrow night on PIERS MORGAN LIVE.
That's all for us. Anderson Cooper starts now.