Return to Transcripts main page


DNA Found at Jessica Ridgeway Crime Scene Matched to Previous Sexual Assault

Aired October 22, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. Could police be zeroing in on the monstrous predator who abducted and murdered beautiful 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway? There are reports that cops have a DNA match from Jessica`s murder to an attempted sexual assault in the same area. And cops want to know, was this killer wearing this wooden cross? Breaking news next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, major developments in the massive manhunt for Jessica Ridgeway`s killer. Colorado cops make a startling discovery. A wooden cross they call a pivotal piece of evidence in finding the predator who abducted and brutally murdered this beautiful 10-year-old girl. And what about two mystery receipts?

Plus a reported DNA match to a recent attack? As mystery and secrets surround this case, will police finally catch this predator on the loose? We`re investigating and taking your calls.

Then, the toxic secrets behind a mass shooting in a spa. The gunman sparks terror, shooting his wife and six other women before killing himself. Did he snap when his wife won a restraining order against him just three days before? And what about the police stand-off with this very same man almost two years ago? Why did he skate away from that? Could this senseless carnage have been prevented?

Plus, has Lindsay Lohan fallen off the wagon, drinking bottles of vodka and using cocaine? That`s what dad Michael Lohan claims as he tries to stage an intervention for the starlet. But Lindsay says it`s all lies. Is Linds now planning to get an order of protection against her dad? Who`s telling the truth in this war of words? We`ll bring you the very latest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body that was found in Arvada has been positively identified as Jessica Ridgeway.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, tragic breaking news in the search for Jessica Ridgeway. Tonight, cops have a furious manhunt for a predator and a killer on their hands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s scary. It`s very scary. That`s why we`re here, because of the conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because Jessica is in a much better place than we are now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It broke my heart. It broke my heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We recognize that there is a predator at large in our community.

SARAH RIDGEWAY, MOTHER OF JESSICA: I watched her walk out the door and I shut the door. And that`s the last time I saw her. And I want her to come walking back through that door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family`s been notified. We can`t begin to comprehend the grief that they`re going through.

JEREMIAH BRYANT, FATHER OF JESSICA: The worst thing I`ve ever been through, still is. I have nowhere to start.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news as ominous secrets surface in the desperate hunt for Jessica Ridgeway`s killer. KDVR in Denver reporting tonight that its sources claim police have matched a man`s DNA found on Jessica`s discarded book bag and her remains to a previous attempted sexual assault in the same area.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Do reports of a DNA match mean cops are honing in on Jessica`s killer? I certainly hope so.

Jessica vanished 17 long days ago, less than three blocks from her home as she was walking to meet friends for the walk to school. Two days later, police found her backpack and water bottle in a neighborhood six miles away. And then the worst discovery of all: Jessica`s dismembered remains found in a field in Arvada, Colorado, six miles south of her home.

Ever since, it`s been a race against time to catch her killer. And each day that passes allows this monster to possibly plot another murder.


PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: The longer they take to find some guy like this, the longer he has to get rid of all the evidence, which is why these guys get away with it and cases go cold and then there`s no prosecution.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, police are not saying much about the investigation, but they did release some key evidence. Photos of a wooden cross about one-inch wide found at one of Jessica`s crime scenes. Could it be a link to this killer?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was found at one of the crime scenes. We did confirm that it was not Jessica`s or it wasn`t part of the Ridgeway family and believe that it may have been left behind by the killer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And another possible connection: two attempted sexual assaults along a jogging trail not even two miles from where Jessica vanished. Could they be connected? After unsuccessfully trying to kidnap these two grown women, did this cowardly predator move to a child because it would be easier?

What do you think? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Jennifer Morgan, TTN Denver reporter who also lives in the very town, the very area where so many parents right now are keeping their kids close.

Jennifer, reaction tonight in that area to this breaking news? One station reporting DNA matches up to a previous abduction attempt.

JENNIFER MORGAN, REPORTER, TTN DENVER (via phone): Yes, they`re saying that there is DNA from both. It`s not confirmed by Westminster police, although Westminster police have said that they did find the necklace in one of the three crime areas.

The reaction in the neighborhood is people are scared. Where I live, I`m scared to even walk down the street because I`m very, very close to where she used to live. We don`t know positive if the DNA found on this woman or from this other case is related to Jessica Ridgeway. But the police are looking for the man of this other case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we have a description. We`re going to bring that to you now. The DNA -- what this news station is reporting is that there was a DNA match between a man`s DNA found on Jessica`s remains and her book bag to a previous attempted sexual assault.

Now we don`t know which previous sexual assault. But we can tell you that there were two attempted abductions at Kettner Lake, which is less than three miles away from Jessica`s home.

And here are the key locations in this investigation. I mean, you can see that the spot where these two women are attacked is literally around the corner from Jessica`s school.

The women reported being accosted by a man while jogging. The last attack was over Memorial Day. And then the one before that was in 2010. OK? And the suspect put a chemical-soaked rag over their faces, but they were able to get away.

Now, the suspect is described as a light-skinned male, 18 to 35, brown hair, medium build, standing 5`6" to 5`8".

I want to bring in Larry Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. Investigators are now going door-to-door, collecting DNA samples. But it does seem like a portrait is emerging of who they`re looking for, that it is a male who may have been responsible for those attempted attacks as well as this horrific murder.

LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, Jane, they`re narrowing this down very tight. This is very similar to what was done in Lester, England. Two teenaged girls were raped and murdered. And the police went door to door and tested about 20,000 people that could contributed the semen found on the victims.

Here, too, we have a situation where touch DNA, skin cells from the perpetrator were found on this backpack. And that matched DNA found on the body of the -- dismembered body of Jessica Ridgeway. So now we`ve got that linkage.

But now we`ve got a further linkage. This is the power of DNA databases. These crimes have been linked: the crimes of the previous abduction and sexual assault, I should say, and the Jessica Ridgeway murder. These are now linked. That`s the power of DNA databases. And now it`s simply a matter of time till they track down the source of that DNA.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and it -- it appears to me that this person -- cops said there is a predator at large in our midst. That`s the first thing that they said.

And now, with this assault having occurred in 2010, yes, this is somebody who lives in this area. And if he`s wearing a cross or had worn a cross, call police immediately. Cops apparently keeping a big secret regarding Jessica`s backpack. Remember this?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re asking people to really focus on Jessica, her facial features. If you see a flier, really look at Jessica and burn that image so you remember where she looks like. That way, if you see her and she has different clothing on, you`re not focused on the clothing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that was when she was missing. Of course, her remains have since been found, tragically. KDVR reporting the reason cops were saying focus on her face is because Jessica`s clothing was found in her backpack six miles north of her home. Only her socks were missing. They didn`t tell us that before. And police haven`t confirmed that information independently.

But I`ve got to wonder. Joe Gomez, that is a ghoulish detail. And the implications are very ominous. Joe Gomez, investigative reporter, KRLD in Dallas.

JOE GOMEZ, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KRLD: That`s right, Jane. And what was he doing with her that he took away all of her clothes and left only her socks on? You know, I don`t even want to think -- I mean, perhaps he had a plan where he was going to dress her up in new attire and take her across state lines.

You know, look, the fact that we have a predator on the loose in this area, the community must be on their heels. I mean, my goodness, if I was a woman or if I had a young girl in that neighborhood, I wouldn`t let her walk to school alone at all.

The fact is we have -- we have two different instances where some man went after women with some sort of a cloth tainted with a chemical. He`s obviously, Jane, upgrading his attacks. He`s getting bolder, braver to do this to a little girl. I mean, come on, we all watch TV. We know what happens to people that do this stuff. He knew he wasn`t going to get away with this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Gardere, forensic psychologist, what is the mentality of somebody who would use a rag filled with chemicals to try to abduct a female jogger?

JEFF GARDERE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, certainly, just to overpower them, while that person is unconscious, do whatever it is that they have to do. So certainly, he wasn`t going to use any kind of intelligence or social skills to lure that person. It is completely to surprise them, overpower them and then whatever ghoulish thing that he may want to do. But especially transporting that person someplace else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is a man who may have started with women in their 20s jogging and then switched to a child, who is easier to attack.

More on the other side.



RIDGEWAY: You don`t hear anything and then you get the pit in your stomach that you don`t want any parent to ever experience in their whole entire life, the news that your child`s just been taken.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And breaking news tonight, as we`re learning that a wooden cross that police recovered at -- well, near the remains, we understand, during the investigation into the murder of Jessica Ridgeway is a key piece of evidence. Was the killer wearing this at one point? It`s a solid piece of wood about one, one and a half inches tall by one inch wide with a hole drilled through the upper post. It had possibly worn as a necklace.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does to me look very handmade, just because of the fact that it`s not perpendicular. It could be a necklace. It could be from a shorter choke type, where you`ve got the smaller cross on it. Generally crosses that people wear down lower are going to be a larger cross.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: KMGH reporter Mark Stewart, what can you tell us about this cross and where it was found?

MARK STEWART, REPORTER, KMGH: Jane, the only terminology police are using is that it was discovered at a crime scene. But what is so significant is this. They say that cross has a connection to an attempted abduction that happened in May of this year. They`re saying there`s a connection between the cross and Jessica Ridgeway`s abduction and the attempted abduction of a jogger about a mile away. There`s some kind of link between the two.

Not getting specifics, but what the police are doing now is making a large public appeal. They want to know if anyone across the metro Denver area has seen someone wearing that cross or perhaps, Jane, they even saw it for sale at a store.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And look at the three marks on it. Jeff Gardere, could those marks be for the two attempted sexual assaults and then Jessica`s abduction?

GARDERE: Anything is possible at this point. But if that is the case, then we also have to look at, did he purposely leave that cross behind or is he just really that sloppy and wasn`t aware?

As we know, serial killers love to leave clues. It`s part of what they do as far as letting the cops know they have an identity, and the taunting and really being on the border of continuing to commit heinous crimes and also being caught.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it might be that the discarding of the backpack a couple of days after she disappeared with all her clothing in it could also have been, Larry Kobilinsky, forensic scientist, a taunting, leaving it there to be found.

KOBILINSKY: It could very well be, Jane. But, you know, we have methodologies that are very sensitive. And when you touch an object, you leave your skin cells behind. And scraping that bag would reveal the source of that DNA. So that backpack becomes very important.

As far as the cross is concerned, there could very well be DNA there, as well.

I think one of the questions that I have -- and maybe Jeff can help us with this -- is what kind of person could murder a child and then dismember that child? There`s a lot we don`t know about the dismemberment. Was it a disarticulation or was it something else? Were there tools used or what? Jeff, what kind of person could possible do that to a 10-year-old?

GARDERE: yes, certainly a person who we know there is such significant psychopathology, that this is a person who borders on having some sanity and as well as being insane. But certainly someone who lived some sort of a tortured life as a young person and now has these very aberrations in his personality.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robin, Kentucky, your question or thought, Robin, Kentucky?

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Jane. I have two questions. One is, the garbage truck that run through her neighborhood, is it the same garbage truck that found her? Because I can`t understand why they would be out in the middle of a field out in a rural area just out in the middle of a field.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get Mark Stewart on that. Mark, KMGH, are you still there?

STEWART: Yes, Jane. There`s been a lot of discussion about the garbage truck route. What we can tell you is this. The truck that usually goes around Jessica`s neighborhood has been keeping a pretty consistent schedule. In fact, as soon as this investigation broke, they were able to pinpoint the exact location of that landfill where the trash from Jessica`s home was dumped.

As far as why trash workers were in that other area, it`s a place where they do business. It would not be unusual for them to go there.

More on the other side.



BRYANT: It`s by far the worst thing I`ve ever been through, still is. I don`t know where to start, you know? I don`t know what to do, you know? I just want to find my daughter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jessica`s devastated dad. KDVR reporting tonight, two sales receipts from a grocery store called King Soopers found near Jessica`s remains. The store less than three miles from where Jessica vanished. On one of the receipts, garbage bags.

KDVR reports garbage bags, black garbage bags were found at the crime scene. And garbage bags were listed on the receipts.

Now, in the Casey Anthony case, the remains of Casey Anthony`s daughter, Caylee, were found in trash bags. Cops did laboratory testing on those bags to determine where they came from. Larry Kobilinsky, forensic scientist, can they trace where these bags came from by the lot numbers?

KOBILINSKY: It`s very difficult, Jane, because trash bags, black trash bags are so ubiquitous. But if they can trace the source through the receipts and perhaps come up with some surveillance video, they might have a few more clues.

If they do find a suspect and then they find the package of bags, then they could actually do a linkage between the bag found at the crime scene and the bag found in the home. It`s very difficult without having all the pieces come together, though.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Gomez, what do we know about their efforts to look at the surveillance video at the store?

GOMEZ: Well, Jane, we understand there are several hours and hours of surveillance video footage there at the store and that security guards are helping authorities meticulously comb through this footage.

Now, what`s also interesting is that police apparently spoke to one of the cashiers involved here who reportedly sold one of these garbage bags to this individual who purchased. She said that she had no recollection of the sale. You know, obviously, they have a very huge volume at any kind of convenience store.

But as far as we know, there is video surveillance footage out there. Hopefully, police can get some sort of lead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you can see it right there. That is a Google map picture of the store. Was the killer just so close and living and working and shopping in the very area where this crime is carried out?

Nikki (ph), Canada, your question or thought? Nikki (ph), Canada.

CALLER: Jane, yes, my question was, wouldn`t they be able to get like a picture from the surveillance tapes and then try and see if the guy who did purchase the trash bags was linked to the other two women that were sexually assaulted or...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, Jennifer Morgan, the reporter, TTN Denver, it would seem that, if there was a time on the receipt, you could go to the store. You could match up the video with that time and see who was there. But sometimes that`s hypothetical. In reality, things get erased, right?

MORGAN: Yes, that`s what they did. They went through their surveillance. They talked to the clerk that they think actually checked out this person. There was no recollection. And they couldn`t spot specifically who it was on any surveillance. But that would be their goal, if they had caught someone suspicious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a terrifying and ominous case. We`re going to stay on top of it. As developments come in, we will bring them to you.

And in just a few minutes, Nancy Grace has much more on the very latest developments in Jessica Ridgeway`s case. Join her tonight, 8 p.m. Eastern, right here on HLN.

It`s time for today`s "Shocking Video." We`ve got to warn you, some of you may find the images very graphic. But it happened. It`s real life, unfortunately.

Surveillance cameras outside this Cleveland convenience store catch the brutal beating of a 60-year-old man. Gregory Perry said he just wanted to do some shopping before going home when he was attacked and robbed. Two men viciously beat the senior citizen while people stood by and did absolutely nothing. Police arrested one person. Still looking for the man who kicked Perry in the face after taking his money.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Approximately 11:09 this morning, we received a call of a shooting in progress at Azana salon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-five-year-old Radcliffe Haughton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suspected of going on a shooting rampage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four people are dead after a shooting at a Wisconsin spa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Employees say they noticed the suspect was carrying a firearm when he entered the salon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can confirm the suspect in this shooting matter, Mr. Radcliffe F. Haughton, has been found in the salon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Accused of shooting at least seven people at a spa near a busy mall in the city of Brookfield.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was one girl that was holding her neck like she had, you know, been hurt. Rumor had it that she was one of the victims that got shot in the neck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The alleged gunman`s wife was among the three victims killed in Sunday`s shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being investigated as a possible domestic related incident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say Haughton killed three women and wounded four others near Milwaukee today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was screaming because she was hurt directly. I`ve seen three more victims getting pulled out.

RADCLIFFE HAUGHTON SR., ALLEGED SHOOTER`S FATHER: I can only apologize for all that -- all of those that he had hurt. I love my son. I do not approve of what he did.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, stunning new details emerging about the secret life of the salon shooting suspect. We`re talking mass shooting here.

Cops say this man, 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton, went on a deadly rampage, gunning down seven women -- three dead, four injured -- at a Wisconsin day spa. One of his victims, a likely target, his estranged wife, Zina, seen here in footage from 2010 at the very salon where this horrific mass shooting took place. After this senseless massacre, Radcliffe then shot himself and killed himself.

Tonight, we`re uncovering terrifying secrets from this alleged shooter`s past. Was he looking for revenge after his wife took out a restraining order against him? Were there serious warning signs that were ignored? His father told our affiliate he did not see this coming.


RADCLIFFE SR.: I am in shock. I don`t know what happened. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. This is not the way we live. This is not the way I raised my son up. He`s been here for a long time and he`s been a good man to society. I don`t know what happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to hear from you about restraining orders and about this entire senseless violence. Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297.

Straight out to Joe Gomez, investigative reporter, KRLD Dallas; what is the very latest on this horror story?

JOE GOMEZ, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KRLD DALLAS: Well Jane, we are getting a better look into the mind of this guy who went on this savage shooting spree in Wisconsin in this salon killing his estranged wife. You know, only two years ago, police were called out to his residence for another stand-off he had after his wife, Zina, dialed 911 and called police, Jane.

Now what`s very bizarre about this particular stand-off is that it ended with nobody being arrested. Apparently Zina was uncooperative with authorities, wouldn`t even tell them if she felt threatened or if Radcliffe had a gun. Though one officer at the time said they thought they saw Radcliffe with some sort of long firearm in the residence.

Again, nobody was arrested. After 90 minutes, the police left the scene. We do know he`s had a series of domestic violence incidents, animal complaints at his house. And of course, days before the shooting, Jane -- very important here -- he had slashed his estranged wife`s tires. That landed him in jail and also got a restraining order against him by his wife, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I`ve got to say that the police department released this news release that I am holding in my hands. Essentially it sounds like a defense of like why we didn`t arrest him back almost two years ago when he had this very bizarre stand-off.

Jeff Gardere, clinical and forensic psychologist, cops are called, he`s holding this thing that looks like a rifle or a long gun and they have a stand-off for an hour and a half and they say, well they couldn`t arrest him because there was no evidence of injury. His wife said she was not afraid and they couldn`t prove that it was really a gun. So they left. I don`t buy it. I don`t buy it.

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL AND FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I don`t buy it at all. The lives of the cops were threatened there. We know New York City, that doesn`t happen. You threaten the life of a cop, you pay. And I`m just so shocked by it. I understand he does have a military background.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He was a Marine.

GARDERE: Former Marine. Maybe because of that, they felt that this is someone who had some sort of a PTSD. They felt because of law enforcement that they were akin to him in some way and had some mercy on his soul. But it`s inexcusable and now people are paying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No mercy. When you`re doing crazy stuff like throwing your wife`s clothes out of the house and throwing -- something like ketchup on top, you know what -- and then you have something that looks like a gun, arrest him. I don`t care. I don`t care whether the wife says she`s not afraid. I mean neighbors had to stay out of the area, so there`s a threat to other people.

Now, just a few weeks ago, police say Radcliffe slashed -- as you heard -- his estranged wife`s tires. Then the judge grants a four-year restraining order on Thursday, just three days before the massacre.

Now that very same day, another shooting with striking similarities take place in Orlando at a beauty spa, a gunman opens fire killing three women and wounding his wife. He kills himself. It`s almost exactly the same scenario. He was also ordered by the courts to stay away from his wife.

So I want to -- very delighted to have with us tonight, Diane Rosenfeld, who is an attorney and a lecturer at Harvard Law School and she is one of the nation`s top experts in restraining orders. Thank you for joining us.

To me, I see this and I say, maybe or quite often -- an I`ve covered these kind of stories a million times it seems where a restraining order leads to murder -- that restraining orders for some men are triggers. They feel powerless, helpless, cut off from the person that they`re obsessed with and they go on a vendetta mission. Your thoughts as an expert?

DIANE ROSENFELD, ATTORNEY/LECTURER, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: My thoughts as an expert is that domestic violence homicide is so predictable as to be preventable. And it`s time we stop looking at it as a domestic dispute like over who`s going to wash the dishes. This is domestic terrorism. This woman said "I am terrorized every waking moment of my life," in her court order, in her plea for an injunction. And the court could have taken that as well and said, "She`s in a lethal situation."

Now what we do -- what works, we have found out, on a national scale, is that you do danger assessments in every domestic violence case. And in both of these salon shootings, the dangerousness was off the charts. The signs were there. And they weren`t paid attention to. And it was totally predictable.

If you gave me these cases, I could have told you that this would have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying that this horrific massacre could have been prevented. How so? How could they have done it differently?

ROSENFELD: Because by listening to the women. And the women said that they were threatened with murder. So the threat to kill a woman in an abusive situation is the top threat that screens you in as a very lethal case.

And law enforcement in Massachusetts, for example, were using high- risk case assessment teams. And this program has been very successful at stopping domestic violence homicide. We use it in conjunction with GPS monitoring of dangerous domestic violence offenders.

So it`s a very simple questionnaire. It`s a danger assessment. And the three top questions are: Has he threatened to kill you? Do you think he can kill you? And does he have access to a weapon? In both cases, we would have screened in that these were high-risk cases. And then the team gets together and they figure out how to monitor the offender so that we`re not just looking at the woman`s behavior and --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, I think if he`s done all three, throw him in jail and give him a high bail. But if he does get out, slap him with a GPS device, as you mentioned, because if this guy had been wearing a GPS device when he got close to the spa where his wife worked, it would have set off an alarm and they could have caught him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before he gunned down all these innocent people. Diane --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for your insights. We want you to come back. We`re going to stay on top of this story. And we need to do something different. How many times are we going to cover the same story of a restraining order and then the guy kills his wife right after the restraining order is handed down?

I mean insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That`s what we`re doing in our culture. We`re out of time. But we want to have you back, Diane, very soon.

More on the other side. We`re talking la Lohan.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for your "Viral Video of the Day". Today`s clip comes from one of our viewers, Richard Howard. And this little cute dog, April, she just wants to sit on her hind legs and say hi -- hi. Well, hello back, April. We think you`re very pretty. Yes, we do. Very, very talented. Oh.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Lohan says he tried to stage an intervention for his daughter, Lindsay, but it didn`t work. And her rep says he was just trying to get publicity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seems like every time Lindsay gets behind the wheel of a car, something crazy happens.

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: And I respect you and I`ve been taking it seriously.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Been one thing after another hasn`t it, for the former child star who`s trying to make this comeback.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She could certainly go back to jail. It`s going to be up to the judge.

L. LOHAN: I`m not taking this as a joke. It`s my life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the Lindsay Lohan family is putting the dramarama into overdrive. This time, Lindsay`s dad, Michael Lohan, is accusing the infamously troubled starlet of drinking -- are you sitting down -- more than a bottle of vodka a day and even having cocaine in her hotel room. He talked to "Entertainment Tonight" about the intervention he tried unsuccessfully to stage for Lindsay.

Listen to this.


MICHAEL LOHAN, FATHER OF LINDSAY LOHAN: Lindsay`s team was waiting to come by the house. And before we could do anything, she took off and went to another hotel.

But everyone was on board, from Shawn Chapman Holly to Evan Haney, David Feldman, they were all standing waiting. I mean even Larry Thompson, the producer from "Liz & Dick". And you know, all these other people that love her, good people in her life, they were all ready to do this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay is saying dad`s a big, fat liar. Michael says everyone who knows Lilo is on board and wants to establish a conservatorship for Lindsay, kind of like a la Britney Spears.

We reached out to Lindsay`s people about the alleged attempted intervention and they told us, quote, "It`s apparent Michael continues to be very focused on getting publicity for himself. Lindsay`s team is in no way aligned with him."

There are now published reports claiming that Lindsay even wants a protective order against her dad. Who`s telling the truth? More important has Lindsay fallen off the wagon and back out into addiction?

Straight out to Jen Heger, assistant managing editor for RadarOnline, what is the latest in this Lohan family triangle dramarama? My gosh.


What friends are telling of Lindsay Lohan is that she has indeed in fact relapsed. She has been using drugs, specifically cocaine and she has been drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Now, what we know for sure is that Michael Lohan did go over to her house last week to stage an intervention. It went awry. I have to wonder, though, when one stages an intervention, usually all people are there ready to go at the same time. So we had more drama because the police were called.

What we can count on with Lindsay Lohan and her family is that they`re making news for all the wrong reasons. And you have to ask yourself, does she really want to get sober? I mean I commend Michael Lohan for at least trying to take some action. But it would seem to me that unless Lindsay Lohan wants to get sober, this is all a waste of time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Howard Samuels, Lindsay Lohan has been to rehab five times, for a total of 250 days in rehab, since 2007. Ok, here`s my point, if she is indeed sober, why is she going out and staying out to nightclubs until last call, which is when she had her fight with her mom? They had been out till 4:00 a.m. clubbing. Who does that when they`re sober if they don`t want people to question them, given that they`ve been to rehab so many times?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Well, Jane, you`re absolutely right. I mean all that behavior is not sober behavior. All the incidences of her in the last six months where she`s getting into conflicts with people is not sober behavior.

I mean I don`t know if she`s using, but I must say, Michael Lohan is the last person in the world that should be staging an intervention. I mean just six months ago, he was drunk and arrested for an altercation with his girlfriend.

So I have to agree with Jen in this case. It`s that when somebody is a professional -- when I mean a professional, had been to rehab over and over again, been arrested over and over again, you have to allow the person to hit a bottom. You have to allow the person to have some pain in their life. It`s life on life`s terms. That has to be Lindsay`s intervention. Pain is the only thing that gets people sober.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well --

SAMUELS: Intense emotional pain.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- I don`t think she`s had a lot of pain right now. She`s got a new movie. And we are going to show you a clip on the other side.

But, first, what would you do? Our newest show here on HLN that puts people in all kinds of situations like this. Check it out -- the mom in this clip, an actress, but the shoppers nearby are real.


JOHN QUININES, HLN HOST: This could be a scene playing out in your own hometown grocery store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m a single parent and I work -- I have four kids.

QUINONES: A mother or father struggling to feed their family. With about one in eight Americans relying on food stamps, we wanted to see how fellow shoppers might react to someone in need.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to try it again.

QUINONES: So we rigged these cameras inside the store to capture these women, all actors we`ve hired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have $50 on my card.

QUINONES: Along with the cashier, she`s part of our team, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t have on there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take off the baby food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no way. I have no money on my card?

QUINONES: At the cash register, our first actor tries to check out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s insufficient funds. That`s food stamps, right?


QUINONES: But then --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to take these off. It will probably go down a little bit more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll pay for her. Go ahead and get the stuff.

QUINONES: We decided to up the ante and add another actor to the mix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re really going to pay for her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can pay for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bag your stuff up. Bag your stuff up. It`s ok. It`s a blessing. Take it as a blessing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That doesn`t help these people. It really doesn`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it your money or is it my money? It`s my money. Let me spend my money the way I want. God told me to bless her so she can feed her family. Let her feed her family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a wonderful thing. But that doesn`t help people in that position.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good-bye. You`re embarrassing people. Like seriously, let me -- this is our business right here, thank you.

QUINONES: It`s time to deescalate.

Hi ma`am. Why did you step in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know how it is. I`ve been in the situation before where you just don`t have enough. You`re like, can you just put back that pepper? You know -- so.

QUINONES: You`ve been there?


QUINONES: You paid for the whole thing?


QUINONES: You probably need the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do and we all do. But you know what; if you can help somebody else, do it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating, what would you do? The question we`re asking this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. This hidden camera show hosted by ABC News`s John Quinones, a series of ethical dilemmas that will entertain you and make you think, "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" Don`t forget Thursday night, 9:00 Eastern right here on HLN.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay Lohan`s dad, Michael Lohan on the phone. He wants to respond. Take it away, Michael Lohan.

M. LOHAN (via telephone): Hi, Jane. How are you?


M. LOHAN: You know, I was watching your show and I saw that Howard said -- first of all, he said that I was -- that I was arrested and I was drunk only six months ago. He`s got that wrong. I`ve been clean and sober for eight years outside of that one occasion when I got the DWI. I was clean for seven years before that.

Secondly, this whole thing was sanctioned by Lindsay`s entire team as the e-mails reflected on TMZ. They came to me and asked me to help get Lindsay into treatment because they said they heard the same things I was hearing and I even saw it at the Chateau (inaudible) in a number of other occasions when I got awakened at 4:00 in the morning.

I don`t know where Howard gets off saying that being the owner of a rehab, and I deal with rehabs almost every day.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey Michael, can I ask you this. Did you sell the phone conversation between Dina and Lindsay and you to TMZ or anybody?

M. LOHAN: Absolutely not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you gave it away for free?

M. LOHAN: Absolutely, like I did the e-mails, the texts and everything else. Because I want to prove to people that it`s not only Lindsay`s fault.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hey Michael, more on the other side.

Just have a commercial. More on the other side. This is pretty interesting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This Wednesday we`re doing a debate between Michael Lohan who`s on the phone and our domestic specialist Howard Samuels.

But we`re going to give you tonight, Michael the final word.

M. LOHAN: Look, I don`t want to sling mud or anything. Howard has to get his facts straight before he makes any comments like he did and we`ll debate that on Wednesday night. But I`m in interventions myself. And any drug addiction specialist should see the signs that Lindsay is going through. He should also know that she needs people around her that are going to support her rehabilitation.

They came to me and asked me to do it and I put it together and I worked with Earl Hightower and even Mr. (inaudible).

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But why make it public?

M. LOHAN: It wasn`t public, Jane. It was not public. This was done for two months. The only reason why it became public is when the police were called and the news showed up at the house. They got information --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re out of time, but I`m going to see you Wednesday. Michael Lohan, we`re going to --