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Dad Confronts Alleged Bullies; A Mom`s Living Nightmare: What Happened to Mitrice?

Aired September 17, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, pushed over the edge. An enraged father takes matters into his own hands. He storms the school bus and threatens to kill his daughter`s bully. Tonight, did he go too far, or was he just protecting his precious little girl?

And Beth Holloway pulls a jaw-dropping maneuver and confronts her demon. Natalee Holloway`s mom goes face to face with Joran Van Der Sloot. Tonight, we`ll go inside their secret prison meeting.

Also, a horrifying hoax. The woman who claimed a stranger threw acid on her face now admits, "Never mind. I did it to myself." What is wrong with this woman? And could her hoax could have sparked two real acid attacks?

Plus, a heartbroken family desperate for answers. One year ago today, Mitrice Richardson was released from a police station in the dead of night. Now she`s dead. Tonight I`ll talk to her devastated, outraged mother. Are cops any closer to finding her killer?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, an enraged dad storms onto a school bus and rips into the students who are allegedly tormenting his sixth-grade daughter. James Jones says his 13-year-old daughter, who has cerebral palsy, was being bullied by fellow middle-school students. Cops say he believed he had to take action against these kids on the bus before they hurt his little girl.

Watch closely.


JAMES JONES, FATHER: Everybody sit down. Everybody sit down. Tell me which one. Tell me which one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The video also shows the furious father walking right up to one of the kids, confronting him, and threatening to kill him and the other kids who allegedly bully his daughter.

After lashing out at these students, Jones lets loose on the driver in a profanity-laced tirade.


JONES: If anything happens to my daughter I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you up and everybody on this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The video, wow, it is intense. Before getting off the bus, the dad dares them to call the cops.

But was that something the desperate dad should have done? Before taking matters into his own hands. Coming up, I`m going to tell you what the kids are accused of doing to this poor girl.

Meantime, do you think Mr. Jones went too far? What would you do if your special needs child was being bullied?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. First to Jodee Blanco, a bullying survivor, an expert and an activist.

Jodee, this dad claims he contacted the school. He complained, and he says they did nothing. Do you understand his rage, even if you don`t condone it?

JODEE BLANCO, BULLYING SURVIVOR/ACTIVIST: I don`t condone it, but I understand it.

No. 1, Jane, the school bus is an extension of the classroom. And the school has a responsibility to be -- to be protective over the bus environment. And, also, we wouldn`t think of putting the teacher in front of a classroom that wasn`t properly trained to deal with children. We shouldn`t have bus drivers who aren`t trained either.

And you know, I travel the nation schools and I do programs. And I work with faculty and students all across America. And so often I beg schools, I tell them, put your bus drivers in my faculty workshops. Let me work with them and train them on how to deal with these bullying situations, and most schools, Jane, won`t do it. They don`t think it`s important. And now we have an example, and I am angry about this one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m angry about it, too. Let`s take another clip, a look at this dad on the bus. Check it out.


JONES: Everybody sit down. Tell me which one. Tell me which one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, let`s get into the details here. This outraged dad tells police that boys had put an open condom on his daughter`s head. Remember, she`s got cerebral palsy. She`s a special needs girl. That they had smacked her on the back of the head. They twisted her ear, and they had shouted nasty comments at her.

Now, this poor girl is now hospitalized, reportedly on a suicide watch.

Barbara Coloroso, you are an expert in bullying. You wrote "The Bully, The Bullied and The Bystander." Obviously, he didn`t take the optimal action, but I can totally understand his rage that boys would do something like that to his daughter.

BARBARA COLOROSO, BULLYING EXPERT: I understand his rage as a mother who had a son targeted. And he did the first step. He went to the schools. And sadly to say, so often nothing is done.

And -- but the next step, as I recommend it, is the police and the press. Because they usually can make the difference, both of those. But he did lose it.

However, the first people to be held accountable for this are the children that actually were mean and cruel. And I -- and I like to train bus drivers in my workshop, but I also take the position that their job is to drive that bus safely down the highway. And we, if we really care about kids` safety -- because the bus is the third most common place for kids to be targeted -- is we have another adult on that bus, trained in this kind of thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, but in an era of cutbacks, good luck with that. I agree with you. You can`t have the bus driver driving like this, looking over his head, saying, "Hey, kids." He can`t do that; he`s driving the bus. But good luck with trying to get, in this recession economy, another person.

COLOROSO: Another person.


COLOROSO: Look at people who will volunteer.


COLOROSO: But we need -- we need to say, first, to the kids who are responsible, their parents and, yes, the man lost it, but I empathize with the man, having had a child who was targeted. When the school fails to respond adequately to keep her safe and to handle those kids and hold them accountable for what they did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in a very special guest, Tina Meier. Her 13-year-old daughter, Megan, committed suicide four years ago after becoming the victim of a vicious -- and I mean vicious -- cyber hoax.

Tina formed a foundation in her daughter`s name to fight cyber bullying.

Tina, this is physical bullying, allegedly, as opposed to cyber bullying. But what is your reaction to what this dad did?

TINA MEIER, FOUNDER OF FOUNDATION TO FIGHT CYBER BULLYING: Well, you know what? Megan went through the physical bullying when she was in middle school. And I, like the others, said, I do understand where his rage comes from. When you go and we always tell them, go to the school, respond. Do not, you know, sit home and not say anything. Contact the other parents.

And when you keep hitting the walls. And then your children come home and they`re devastated and they`re crying and you are worried about their life, I understand where his rage came from. But doing it that way, unfortunately, it makes -- it kind of turns the whole situation around, now against him. So, again, our schools have to start doing something. They have to start having disciplinary action and standing up for the kids who are getting bullied.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Mr. Jones acknowledged that he made a mistake, but he also explained why he lashed out. Check this out.


JONES: My daughter is not going to be hazed and beat up and touched on and like what he done. OK? I`m very sorry. I apologize to that mistake. I made that mistake. I`m trying to pay for that. I`m just worried about my daughter. That`s all I`m worried about.

I do feel bad. I told you that. I feel bad. Ain`t nothing else I can do, OK?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Mr. Jones told cops he had complained to the school in the past but that nothing was done about the alleged attacks on his special needs daughter, who has cerebral palsy.

Here`s my big issue tonight. What should parents do? It seems to me, and I`m not a parent of a biological child, but it seems to me there are five choices. You go to the other parents, for example, say, "Hey, your kid is doing something to my kid. Let`s talk about it."

You go to the school. You go to cops or how about getting a lawyer?

Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, you know, if I was really boxed into a corner, I might call a lawyer and say, "Hey, let`s go after this family."

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, you could always do that. I mean, that`s -- that`s a legitimate recourse for you. And lawyers, usually when somebody gets a letter from a lawyer, that usually gets a response, usually gets the attention.

But you know, this is a big problem that we`re having. I just -- we have to look at this and say that the parents really do have to step up and force these schools to start taking some action. And that`s where we need to handle this. The schools need to become more responsible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, I was doing a little research on the Internet. One out of every four kids say they`ve been bullied. And one out of every five kids admits to being bulliers. So the majority are not involved in this, but a significant minority of kids are doing this bullying.

Who wanted to talk? Go ahead.

BLANCO: I want to jump in on this.

COLOROSO: I`d like to.

BLANCO: Let me jump in really quick.


BLANCO: And let me talk about the bus driver here, too. I understand from news reports that this bus driver struggled with English. So even if he pulled over the bus and noticed something and stopped the bus and tried to take action, he couldn`t even communicate.

And I really do believe -- not to vilify the school, but they truly are culpable. Parents can beg. Lawyers can write letters. But schools have got to take responsibility for these buses, as well, because like Barbara said, they are an extension of the classroom and the schools have got to take responsibility. Enough is enough!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Barbara Coloroso, I think when kids bully it`s a symptom of something wrong in the home.

Now, on the other side of the break we`re going to hear from the alleged bullier and a parent and get their side. But hypothetically, I think when a bullying occurs, when a child is mean and a bully, chances are that child is acting out some anger that is not being addressed. Something is happening in the home. Something is happening.

OK. Everybody stay right where you are. Did this dad go too far?

Plus, face to face with a monster. Beth Holloway goes inside the prison walls and meets up with Joran Van Der Sloot.

But first, a furious father fights back and defends his daughter. Now he`s in hot water. Is that fair?


JONES: If anything happens to my daughter, I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you up and everybody on this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).





JONES: My daughter is not going to be hazed and beat up and touched on and like what he done. OK? I`m very sorry. I apologize to that mistake. I made that mistake. I`m trying to pay for that. I`m just worried about my daughter. That`s all I`m worried about.

I do feel bad. I told you that. I feel bad. Ain`t nothing else I can do, OK?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: James Jones, regretful in the wake of the profanity- laced tirade he let loose when storming his daughter`s school bus.

Jones says his 13-year-old girl with special needs -- she has cerebral palsy -- was being bullied by boys and claims he complained to the school in the past, and they did nothing to stop it.

I want to go to Jodee Blanco. You`re a bullying survivor. Why do you think kids bully? Is it because they have problems in the home?

BLANCO: That`s a huge element of it, Jane, yes. A lot of these kids are going through nightmares at home. They`re going through hell at home. They bring all that angst into the school environment. So Barbara is right in that the compassion is to start in the home.

One bit of advice I do have for parents. If you`re in the same position as this poor father was, talk to other parents of other special needs kids in the school. Chances are that other parents have bullied kids, too, and you can approach the school as a group or hire a lawyer as a group. Because we all know that there`s credibility in numbers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is an excellent idea. And again, as Jeff Brown said, when you get a call from a lawyer, you take it seriously.

Check out this next clip. This is a different story. Another enraged dad who goes ballistic on web cam after his daughter was allegedly cyber bullied by kids who are reportedly harassing her in a video chat room. This is unbelievable. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to tell you right now, this is from her father. You bunch of lying, no-good punks. And I know who it`s coming from, because I back-traced it. And I know who`s e-mailing and who`s doing it. And you`ve been reported to the cyber police and the state police! You better write one more thing or screw on my computer again, you`ll be arrested! And be not mistaken, and if you come near my daughter, guess what? Consequences will never be the same.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, that 11-year-old girl was subsequently getting death threats and has been put under police protection.

So, Tina Meier, again, you`re the daughter [SIC] of a young lady who committed suicide after a horrific bullying incident. Do these parents who react with this rage make matters worse for their kids?

MEIER: You know, I think the parents are terrified, truthfully. I think they`re petrified that they`re going to be sitting here where I`m sitting. And I think sometimes parents just don`t know where to go. They see their child devastated, and they immediately react.

It`s certainly harder to do it when you`re going through the Internet when you don`t exactly know who it is. The best thing that parents can do is obviously talk to their kids. They need to block the people. They need to make sure that their children don`t have any contact with them.

And if it`s somebody that they know through the school, they need to keep all of the evidence, contact the school, and contact the police if there`s something that`s death threats with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one of the alleged bullies in the most recent incident involving this gentleman, Mr. Jones, in that bus incident, well, his mom spoke to HLN affiliate WESH-TV. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said that he`s going to "F" the bus driver up first, and then he`s going to do it to everybody else on the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was upset to the point where I wanted to cry.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Barbara Coloroso, it`s very possible that the parent of a bully has no idea that their child is bullying. And we don`t know if that`s true. This is just allegations. But, you know, sometimes the parents of the bullier are clueless, too.

COLOROSO: They are. And I want to bring up a point here. The father lost it. In both cases, the fathers lost it. They were hurting for their kids.

Children who bully, though, make a conscious effort to be mean and cruel to another human being, and that makes it far more devastating for the kid.

And many kids are troubled at home, but many of them are high-status, elite kids who do it under the radar of adults, including their parents. And so the parents and the educators write it off and say, "Oh, this kid couldn`t do that," when in reality they made that conscious choice to verbally and physically and relationally bully.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you say, you know -- they say kids can be the cruelest people on earth. You remember that horrible case of Phoebe Prince. She was a beautiful Massachusetts high school student. She committed suicide after being tormented. And there were charges filed against the alleged bulliers in that case, violation of civil rights. So maybe we need to go to court more often and hold these young people accountable.

Gina in California, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: We empathize. We`re special needs parents, as well. And our daughter was in kindergarten last year and experienced horrible bullying. And we got no support from the teacher, the principal or the school. She is now in a new school because of this.

And like you just mentioned, we believe that sometimes the parents of the bullies have no clue. So something needs to be done at the school level. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s an excellent, excellent point, Gina.

Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, if you were -- if I came to you as a parent and said, "My child is being bullied," what would you do? What kind of letter would you write and who would you send it to?

BROWN: Well, I think the first thing I would do is I`d ask for a meeting with the principal. And I`d show up there representing you and bring you along with me and tell the principal that we`ve got a problem here. And unless he wants me to take legal action and start to do something, that they need to fix this problem, and put him on notice that I`m watching this.

And usually the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So sometimes that`s not a bad idea to bring that lawyer in. Because you`d be amazed how much attention you`ll get and how many people will be looking at this, making sure, then, that they are looking at it correctly. Because they know that I`m going to go over it and could possibly sue them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think a lot of times people are afraid of confrontation. And it builds up, and it builds up, and then the confrontation is over the top. And perhaps, when it first starts, I would think, hypothetically, I might contact the parents and say, "Hey, you know what? You and I have to have coffee. Your kid goes to school with my kid, and there`s a bit of a problem here. And I want to talk to you about it. You may not be aware of it."

And I don`t know if that`s good advice or not. This is just my idea. You`re the experts.

I want to thank you so much, fantastic panel.

From villain to victim and back again. A woman who had acid thrown in her face now admits it`s all a hoax. Why on earth did she do this to herself?

Plus, what happened the night Mitrice Richardson vanished in Malibu? We`re going to talk to her furious, devastated mother.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, it has been one year since 24-year-old Mitrice Richardson vanished without a trace into the dead of night.

The gorgeous young beauty queen and star student was dining at a swanky Malibu restaurant when she began acting strangely. Mitrice couldn`t pay her $89 dinner tab. The police were called. She was arrested.

Even though she showed some very clear signs of mental illness, Mitrice was released in the middle of the night, after midnight, alone in a remote area, no car, no phone, no money.


LEO TERRELL, ATTORNEY: If Mitrice Richardson`s name was Spears or Lohan, they would with never have let her walk out by herself. They would have escorted her home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mitrice was never seen again. After almost a year of hell for her parents and endless searching, her decomposed remains were found less than two miles away from the police station in a Malibu Canyon park.

Tonight her heartbroken family furious with police, asking why their precious daughter was cast into the night with no way of getting home when she was clearly unstable. Mitrice`s parents suing the Los Angeles sheriff`s department, alleging negligence and wrongful death. But that won`t bring their daughter back.

Joining me tonight, Latice Sutton, Mitrice Richardson`s mother. She never stops fighting for her daughter.

You just held a vigil in memory of your daughter. Tell us about the emotional roller coaster you, Latice, have been on for this past year.

LATICE SUTTON, MOTHER OF MITRICE RICHARDSON: Oh, thank you for having me, Jane. This past year, up until we find Mitrice, has been absolutely crippling emotionally. Just crippling with fear, not knowing where or what`s occurring or happening to my daughter.

But I`ve always said that my daughter was in that canyon area. And when we found her, I can`t tell you how overwhelming and profound the grief was to have to face the reality that my daughter`s truly not coming home anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you think she died? Have police told you anything about whether she died accidentally or was murdered?

SUTTON: No. The police are not giving any information. Their investigation is ongoing. But I believe my daughter has been murdered. There`s no doubt about that. There`s no way she could have made it to that area.

I contend and I`ve always stated she didn`t walk from that sheriff`s department to that remote location where her remains were found. There`s no way. I`ve been there. I`ve walked that path. I`ve been there. She could not have walked there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, police apparently are saying there was no foul play. But, again, you`re saying they`re not telling you much of anything. And of course, you`re suing the sheriff`s department.

Now, let`s talk about that pornographic mural that was discovered by you and your search teams when you were out in the area looking for your daughter. These horrific, gross, pornographic images spray-painted or painted onto this wall look like your daughter, the same hair and similarities. And again, so graphic we can`t show you. Could the person who did that be the person who is responsible for your daughter`s death?

SUTTON: I believe that the person who is responsible for that mural is very much aware of the murder of my daughter if not the murderer themselves. That mural is not accidental. It`s very symbolic. That mural is telling a story, and -- but the police will not acknowledge how it`s related to the case or even that it`s related to the case.

But my instinct has always been right on target. That mural is related to my daughter`s death. They`re telling what they did to my daughter and how she died and how they killed her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are not going to let your story go. We`re going to stay on top of it with every little development. Latice Sutton, thank you so much. Please come back.

SUTTON: Thank you, Jane. Thank you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the million-dollar question, why would anyone splash skin-burning acid on their own face? We`re going to go inside a horrific...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horrifying hoax: a woman who claimed a stranger threw acid on her face now admits, never mind. I did it to myself. What is wrong with this woman? And could her hoax have sparked two real acid attacks?

And Beth Holloway pulls a jaw-dropping maneuver and confronts her demon. Natalee Holloway`s mom goes face-to-face with Joran Van Der Sloot. Tonight we`ll go inside their secret prison meeting.

Tonight -- the full-on anger overflowing now that Bethany Storro admits she threw acid on herself and blamed it on an African-American woman. There`s even a Facebook page called "Send Bethany Storro to Jail". And the Arizona mom who actually had acid thrown in her face days later has plenty to say about this hoax that might have inspired the real acid attack on her by some copycat. Cops say Bethany Storro staged her entire attack, dripping acid on herself.

I don`t get it. Why on earth would she do this to herself? And will she face criminal charges after holding this big dramatic, grandiose hospital press conference that turned out to be one big lie? Let`s go back and listen to that one.


BETHANY STORRO, FAKE ACID ATTACK VICTIM: I want to know what this person did to me and the trauma it`s caused me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It would almost be funny if it wasn`t so darn pathetic. Derri Velarde, an Arizona woman who was actually attacked with acid days later in a possible copycat says she cannot believe it. Derri thought she had a special bond with Bethany and wanted to meet her. Not anymore. Cancel that lunch date.

Here is Derri on the CBS "Early Show" just this morning.


DERRI VELARDE, ACID ATTACK VICTIM: I just can`t -- I just can`t imagine someone doing this to themselves, you know. So I was -- it was just so upsetting. I literally got physically ill when I heard that and I thought it was a possibility.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We still do not know why Bethany Storro threw acid on herself. Could it be because of a recent divorce or health problems? Or, as one guest right here on ISSUES suggested last night, could Bethany have been angling for some free plastic surgery?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: first to Dr. Reef Karim, director of The Control Center. Help us, doctor, understand, what`s the psychological analysis of the people who disfigure themselves? Does it boil down to, hey, I want a little attention?

DR. REEF KARIM, DIRECTOR, THE CONTROL CENTER: Well, that`s definitely a possibility. Frankly, it`s self-mutilatory behavior. So you`re disfiguring yourself.

There`s usually a mental health perspective to this. Either it`s like a factitious disorder where you need to be sick and you need to get that attention, that validation of being sick from doctors and the press and your family. Or it`s malingering, which malingering means you get something for a secondary gain. You disfigure yourself because you`re going to get free publicity, because you`re going to get press, because you`re going to get maybe plastic surgery, because you might get money, you might get fame. There`s that piece as well.

But generally there`s some mental health issue that needs to be uncovered to figure out why somebody would take corrosive substances, cause secondary and tertiary burns and really put themselves through that kind of pain.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then hold a news conference. And then hold a news conference. My theory is she was going through a bitter divorce, moved in back with her parents, was feeling a lot of self-pity, wanted sympathy. And what`s the best way to get sympathy? Well, show up like this at a press conference with your face entirely bandaged.

Cops say they were suspicious of her story from the very start, mostly because her burn injuries didn`t match that of someone who had acid thrown in her face. She still hasn`t explained why she did it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is extremely upset. She`s very remorseful. In many ways this is something that just got bigger than what she expected and so she has shown that this has affected her a great deal.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jean Casarez, you`ve covered so many criminal cases. What tipped cops off was the strange burn pattern. You could see her eyes are completely spared. She told everybody, "Oh, I just bought sunglasses and put them on. That`s why the acid didn`t get into my eyes." But you can see that her lips are also spared, which doesn`t really make sense.

And Jean Casarez, we all know the lips are additionally sensitive, even more sensitive than the rest of your skin.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": That`s right. Or inside her mouth or inside her nostrils -- any of the crevices; it`s only strategically placed around the face. Do you realize that she went to police and gave a description of an African-American woman that she says said, oh, you want to drink this, and then put it in her face and they had an artist sketch out to the community to find this person.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is now a Facebook page called "Send Bethany Storro to Jail"; people are really upset she made all of this up. Arizona acid victim Derri Velarde summed it up with one word on the CBS "Early Show". Listen to this.


VERLARDE: Someone had asked me, did I feel betrayed or -- I said that`s not the right word. Possibly if I had met her and befriended her and connected on that level, then possibly I felt betrayed. More I would say deceived maybe a little, you know, like everyone else.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Bethany offended so many people as Jean Casarez just mentioned by making it up and blaming it on some hypothetical nonexistent fictional African-American woman and then she allowed a whole bunch of people to raise money for her.

Jeff Brown, what could she be charged with this and if she dipped into the money, could she face additional criminal charges?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. I think the only charge she`d be looking at is filing a false police report.

But, you know, I`m disappointed that there`s this much anger about what she did. It it`s very upsetting, but it`s really more sad than anything else; the idea that this person would need the attention so badly that she would pour that acid on her face. If you look at that picture and put up that picture of her face, it`s just amazing to me. I am much more sad than angered that she did this. This person is crying out for help. And I think it`s clear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? Jeff, I would agree with you except that a few days later some real person threw acid on another real person and cops think that it may have been a copycat and they may have gotten the idea from this initial hoax.

And on top of that, days after that, another person -- a mother and her small son were hit in Florida. So it went across the country. Somebody could have died, somebody could have been blinded. So the repercussions of this, Jeff, I don`t feel sorry for her.

BROWN: Well, you know, yes, there are repercussions for this. But that`s just going to happen. These things are going to happen whether it`s real life or not. But my issue in this case, though, is that this clearly, at least to me, this woman has mental health issues. As a society I`m very concerned about how we treat people with mental health issues and don`t just say, let`s just lock them up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. Maybe she should be locked up in a psychiatric hospital. But the idea that she`s only going to be charged, Dr. Reef Karim, with filing a false police report, which is not going to give her very much time. I mean, if she needs help, let her get the help. But let`s not just let her off the hook.

DR. KARIM: Yes, I agree with that. You know, there is definitely accountability there. A thing to keep in mind here is that acid attacks are -- they`re new. We don`t hear about them that much here. But in other countries, in Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, they`re fairly common. They usually happen to women, about 80 percent of the time, they tend to be younger women, and these attacks do occur.

So if this somehow causes a domino effect where people are finding a new way to harm or attack other people through this awful method; that`s very, very scary.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, we do not have any idea really why this woman threw acid on her face, but one fascinating possibility surfaced last night here on ISSUES.

Listen to this suggestion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me just float this out there, and I know this is speculative, but this is something I`ve been thinking about for several days now. She`s is a beautiful woman. If you have to find one flaw in that woman, it would be her nose. Now, where are most of the acid drips?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That brings me to my big issue. Was Bethany Storro shopping for a new nose? I`m going to throw that hot potato out to Jean Casarez. What do you think?

CASAREZ: You know, anything is possible. Do you realize, Jane, she was supposed to be on Oprah Winfrey`s show this week? And then that was canceled. That`s about the most publicity you could get in this country, going on Oprah Winfrey`s show. So that could have been part of that motivation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I will say this. I was immediately alerted to something fishy. It didn`t smell right when she said her attacker said, hey, pretty girl, how about a drink of this. Because to me, I would think it sounds very much like a person describing themselves as beautiful and sort of vain.

So Dr. Reef, quickly -- ten seconds -- could you weigh in on that fact that she described herself in this fictitious attack as being beautiful?

DR. KARIM: Yes. I think this -- it adds to the complexity and the oddity of this whole thing. The fact that she picked an African-American woman is sad to me, too. Because you`re just -- you`re subjecting other people on this, and that`s sad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The whole thing is sad. I feel sorry for her, but, you know what? She`s sick and she needs help and she could have hurt a lot of people. Somebody could have been arrested falsely, for this and locked up. It happens all the time.

That`s why they have the Innocence Project.

Fabulous panel thank you so very much.

Coming up, the verdict is in for Shelley Malil. That`s right. Tonight, did his bizarre performance on the stand save this "40-Year-Old Virgin" actor from prison or not?

Plus Natalee Holloway`s mom goes face-to-face with her nemesis, Joran Van Der Sloot. Next.


BETH HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S MOTHER: When I hear Joran, what I`m hearing though is, he doesn`t know, Larry, if Natalee was alive or not when he decided to dispose of her body.

So, yes, he is a murderer.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Natalee Holloway`s mom goes one-on-one with her nemesis Joran Van Der Sloot, next.

But first "Top of the Block".

Hollywood justice: the comedic actor from the "40-year-old Virgin" has been found guilty of attempted premeditated murder.

Shelly Malil stabbed his girlfriend more than 20 times during a violent fight at her home. The Hollywood funnyman then tried to claim it was all an accident.


SHELLY MALIL, ACTOR: And my hand was, like, moving 100-miles-per- hour.

Coming up like this and then as I stood up, I`m backing up and, you know, back and forth, back and forth, and just looking for -- for -- for a space.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yikes. Somehow I don`t think that performance helped his case at all.

Now, this guy, once again, found guilty. He faces 21 years to life. Wow. That`s quite a Hollywood ending to a very Hollywood story.

That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".

All right, switching gears, tonight -- stunning bombshell move by Beth Holloway. Natalee`s desperate mom ambushes Joran Van Der Sloot behind bars. She snuck into the infamous Castro-Castro Peruvian prison -- that`s right -- where Joran is being held for murder. Coming face to face, eyeball to eyeball with her nemesis Joran Van Der Sloot for the very first time since the night after Natalee vanished.

Now Joran has been accused of viciously pummeling and murdering a young Peruvian woman. Beth managed to slip into the high-security prison. Once inside, sparks flew. She demanded a meeting with Joran. Guards then dragged Van Der Sloot in to meet Beth.

They spoke for about five minutes. Joran is accused of murdering 21- year-old Stephany Flores after meeting her at a popular Peruvian casino. He allegedly lured Stephany back to his hotel room and said he quote, unquote, "lost it" when she discovered information about Natalee`s disappearance on his computer.

Police say he beat her and strangled her, leaving her dead body wrapped in a comforter in his hotel room as he plead.

Straight out to my fantastic guest: Jean Casarez, correspondent with "In Session." Jean, you`ve been to Joran`s cell, you`ve walked through it in Peru. You`ve covered the story since the start. Tell us about this bizarre, bizarre happening at the Castro-Castro prison.

CASAREZ: You know, Jane, when I found this out, I just started visualizing how I got in Castro-Castro. And it`s a difficult procedure. You go through a lot of security, you -- they take a photo, you give your passport, they do a body scan.

But we spoke with Maximo Altez today who is the attorney for Joran Van Der Sloot and confirmed that there was that face-to-face visit. But it seems like Joran Van Der Sloot was caught off guard because once Beth Holloway got in there, she asked for the director of prisons and then asked him if Joran Van Der Sloot would come to her. And they brought him to her.

But that`s where it almost ends because Joran Van Der Sloot, although he listened to Beth say that she harbored no ill-will or hatred in her heart toward him, he said, "I can`t talk. I don`t have my attorney."

So here`s my attorney`s card. Feel free to call him. That was it, Jane. It was over.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He is always a cool cucumber, handing a card. Wow, what a move.

I want to debate. I want to get everybody on my panel to weigh in on my big issue tonight. Por que -- which is in English, why? In Spanish, it`s por que. Why did Beth meet with Joran Van Der Sloot?

We all know he`s a pathological liar. He has told countless different stories about what happened to Natalee the night she vanished. He said she was sold into sex slavery, that she had a seizure, that she drowned. He said she fell off a balcony. I mean, the stories just go on and on.

This is the same guy that tried to extort Beth months ago and told her yet another tale about where Natalee`s body was in exchange for a whole lot of money. I certainly feel for Beth, totally.

But at the same time there is an old saying in recovery, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity. Dr. Reef Karim, why is she doing this?

KARIM: Desperations, desperations, desperations. This case is huge. This case has been talked about globally, yet it all seems to hinge apparently on one person`s account of -- of the story. And that person happens to be locked up and is toying with this poor woman.

And so over and over again she probably is racking her brain trying to figure out what`s happening and it all points to this one guy.

So the desperation --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But she`s not going to get the truth out of him. I mean --

KARIM: I agree.


KARIM: Agreed, he`s -- he`s a pathological liar. He`s proudly game playing. He probably gets off on playing all these games. But yet still he`s the only one that has anything -- any information. So --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jeff Brown --

KARIM: -- so if she need to confront him, she`s going to do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s your theory on why she would sneak into this prison and confront her nemesis?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. I`ve met Beth several times, and I -- my heart goes out to her. I think she`s searching for answers and I think as some people do, even though he`s told a plethora of lies, I think that she`s thinking that if he says another story that maybe she will be able to hear the sincerity or the truthfulness in that. And she`s just grasping at what -- at anything that she can grab to try to resolve this case.

But she could have put her case in some real jeopardy. I mean, to go in there and confront him like that, she could have created some legal problems for the case, the one in Alabama and maybe the one there.

So it wasn`t a wise move, but I just think that she -- she`s grasping at straws. She is doing anything she can to finally to get an answer --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jean Casarez, I give her props for having guts to go in there and confront this guy --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- but I -- I wonder if perhaps there was some legal maneuvering, perhaps she thought, well, I could offer him a deal, like, tell us what happened and we`ll help you get off in the Stephany Flores case.

CASAREZ: And it may not have gotten that far. He is what "In Session" confirmed -- they confirmed, we confirmed through Beth Halloway`s representative that she is working on a story there with Peter Van der Wiez (ph) who is the Dutch investigative reporter and he on his Web site says they are doing a documentary in Lima. It will come out soon and we`ll have all the answers at that point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So wait a second, you`re telling me Jean Casarez that Beth Holloway has now put on a reporters cap and she has become a documentary film producer along with Peter Devries?

CASAREZ: I was -- I felt the same way. I was very surprised. But her representative said to us, she is working on a story with Peter Devries.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Ok. Well, I have to tell you, it doesn`t end there. She also had a meeting with the family of Stephany Flores, the other victim of Joran Van Der Sloot.

That`s up next. We`re going to stay on top of this entire story. Thank you so much fantastic panel. You won`t believe the story we have coming up, though. It`s a shocker.



CINDY BADANO, PUERTO RICO BAR ASSOCIATION: Many in the island, including ourselves, found out that this is being built in the southern part of the area in a coastal town because we saw it on your show.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We broke this highly controversial story here on ISSUES almost a year ago. A foreign company`s plans to build a massive facility, reportedly capturing monkeys in the wild, confining them in cages in Puerto Rico, and then selling their offspring for what animal rights advocates say are painful deadly experiments. It`s all sparked an international uproar.

Now to give you an idea of what we`re talking about, here`s a look at other primates in the U.S. held in other unassociated facilities as they are used for testing.

Now a huge development: a group of Puerto Rican senators has proposed a resolution urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny bio-culture licenses and permits to import, breed and sell monkeys.

These senators argue the facility was improperly built and creates an environmental problem. But the biggest concern is highly intelligent social animals in painful experiments.

Look at these monkeys from a different facility and try to imagine what they are going through.

Puerto Rican Senator Melinda Romero, thank you so much for joining me. Construction is still continuing on the project in Puerto. It`s at a crucial juncture right now. Why do you think this is bad for Puerto Rico, Senator?

SEN. MELINDA ROMERO, PUERTO RICO (via telephone): Well, there`s several reasons; most of them being primarily health reasons. We have absolutely no idea of the kinds of diseases the monkeys can bring into the islands especially malaria, which they are capable of transporting it to the human being. So health issue is number one. But also the bio- diversity of the island is completely going to be affected by this very invasive species should they get out in the wild, which they have in the past.

We are currently confronting a problem with escaped monkeys from other laboratories in the island. So I think that we have not only health issues, but the bio-diversity is just going to be affected and many other concerns; obviously the ones of construction and the environment that has been affected by the company that`s trying to establish themselves there.

So there`s plenty of issues that we basically are totally against their establishing themselves in Puerto Rico. But mainly they are monkeys that do not belong in Puerto Rico. They`re bad for the environment. Bad for the bio-diversity and could be completely hazardous to the health of the human population.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we reached out to Bio-culture for comment. Again, this is another facility you`re looking at. This facility hasn`t opened yet, and they`re trying to stop it. Their spokesperson claims they have no violations in the construction and the monkeys experimented on are to find cure for diseases like MS, Parkinson`s and leukemia.

Kathy Guillermo, PETA`s vice president of laboratory investigations, PETA has gone to court against this breeding facility. What`s your response to what Bio-culture is saying?

KATHY GUILLERMO, VICE PRESIDENT, PETA: Well, Bio-culture is all about lies and animal abuse. This is just one more example. They were recently fined by the Environmental Protection Agency for violation of the Clean Water Act.

We took them to court a couple of months ago and showed that they had lied on their permit process for building, and had tried to claim that they were an agricultural facility. And I don`t know about you but I think most people would agree that monkeys are not farmed animals.

And this is all about profit. They just want to sell monkeys to laboratories where they will be imprisoned, cut up and killed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s sometimes for products. Right? Does that occur? Experimentation for products or not?

GUILLERMO: It will be any kind of experimentation. We know that some of their clients because of documents that have been leaked to us are companies like (INAUDIBLE)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there.

If you want to check is this out, go to and scroll down to get involved. One thing we know, the animals cannot speak for themselves.

You`re watching ISSUES.