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Basement Boy Says He Was Tortured; Hot Car Mom Hires a Lawyer
Aired July 10, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, for the first time, the basement boy tells his story -- claims of torture, daily abuse and
extreme workouts at the hands of his own parents. The behavior bureau sounds off.
Plus, hot car baby death -- mom hires a lawyer. Does she need one?
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And welcome.
My co-host is Sam Schacher.
Coming up, we`ve got breaking news on the hot car death case. It`s about the dad, his job and the insurance money.
SAM SCHACHER, CO-HOST: And our very own Yasmin Vossoughian, she`s there in Tuscaloosa. She has new information, Dr. Drew, and we`re going to
hear it from her first.
PINSKY: First up here, we`ve got the basement boy, in his own words, new documents released detailing his account, mind you, this child`s
account of what happened, alleged threats made by the step mom, abuse at the hands of the father, mother, step mom punching him. Remember that PVC
Take a look at all this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was going on in this Detroit house where a little boy was found hiding?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This 12-year-old says he was forced to complete a grueling workout twice a day every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had to get up at 5:00 every morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A hundred pushups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 curls on each arm with a 25-pound weight, and thousands of
revolutions on an elliptical machine.
SCHACHER: The child told police in isolation that he was beat with that PVC pipe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was also struck, he said, on all other parts of his body as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corporal punishment is allowed under the law. So what`s determined to be child abuse versus corporal punishment, that`s a
fact that will be determined by a jury.
PINSKY: Joining us: Danine Manette, criminal investigator, author of "Ultimate Betrayal," Anahita Sedaghatfar from AnahitaLaw.com, and Claudia
Jordan, TV and radio host.
And, Sam, I got a question. Don`t we know now according to the kid what led to his going into hiding?
SCHACHER: Yes. Well, first of all, there`s a lot 06 different questions, Dr. Drew. Number one what triggered this. According to the
documents I have in front of me, Charlie says his stepmother got upset because she believed that Charlie was lying that he did not complete his
evening workout. So, she told him to get out of her face and ordered him to the basement.
And there`s also questions about why he has not been charged yet. Now, the district attorney told police to provide more evidence. For
example, Dr. Drew, the blood test on the PVC pipe.
PINSKY: Anahita, why no arrest? Is it just because they don`t believe the kid?
ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, ATTORNEY: Well, yes, I think that`s a big issue. So far, they don`t have enough evidence to prove that the father did
anything here. They just had the child`s statement, and that hasn`t been corroborated. I think the police need to continue with the investigation.
They absolutely need to test the PVCc pipe for blood, make sure that`s his DNA and like I said, corroborate this child`s statement, because we don`t
know if he possibly has some mental issues that`s causing him to perhaps lie about what happened. I`m not saying he`s lying. But --
PINSKY: By the way, what is your Twitter handle, Anahita?
SEDAGHATFAR: You`re telling them to send the hate to me, right, Dr. Drew?
PINSKY: Right. Send it right your way.
Claudia, what`s your hunch?
CLAUDIA JORDAN, TV HOST: Well, I initially thought from the reaction of the dad that that he knew more than he was leading on. Again, like she
said, it`s all going to come down to the testing of the PVC pipe. If it turns out that blood is on the pipe, then I think that`s absolutely enough
evidence to show that there is child abuse, along with the other things in the report would be --
PINSKY: Yes, we have footage of Charlie`s dad and stepmom going to court, family court today. The state wants them to be stripped of their
parental rights not just for Charlie but the two younger children as well.
Danine, come on now, where do you fall in on this one?
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Well, even though there`s not enough evidence to charge the dad right now, thank goodness there`s enough
evidence to have the child removed at least temporarily from that home.
I feel so sorry for him. I don`t believe that the step mom made him go down there. I think he ran away on his own.
Since he ran away three years ago and was probably beat profusely when he was found, I think that he was afraid to admit that he ran away this
time. He had no real plan. He was just going to stay down there and wait it out. He could hear everything that was going on upstairs. So, he knew
when the police were coming with the dogs so he probably got out during that point and then came back later.
But I think he had no long term plan. He was just hiding because he knew the longer he was gone, the more likely it was going to be that he was
going to get beat worse when he got back out.
PINSKY: So, Danine, if I hear you right, you`re saying that parental abuse is the primary issue here but this child, either because he`s
constructed this way or because of the abuse is part of the dance here? We`re starting so say she had a role to play in.
MANETTE: I think he left on his own when his stepmother -- probably did hate him -- when his stepmother told him, when your dad gets home he`s
going to get you, and the kid knows what "get you" meant, so he went and hid in basement with no long term plan. And when the dad -- I think the
dad didn`t know where he was but he knew why he was gone.
SCHACHER: Yes, no. I would run away too. This poor kid, and he had this secret Twitter account. Yes, he had nowhere else to turn to.
I`m about ready to jump out of my seat, Anahita, when you say there`s not enough evidence. This kid has scars all over his body. He said he was
beat so badly because of the fact that the dad used this PVC pipe. And guess what? The dad admits to using this PVC pipe. Isn`t that enough
evidence right there?
SEDAGHATFAR: It`s not evidence. So far, all we have is child`s statement that he`s made to the police psychologist. And, look, I`m not
saying it may not turn out to be true. But the police can`t file charges, criminal charges against the father based on the statements by the child.
SCHACHER: He has scars. He has a physical proof.
SEDAGHATFAR: That`s only what`s based in -- we have to be clear. All of these statements that we`re talking about are allegations that are made
in a court document that`s filed with the state, with respect to child custody and visitation issues. So, you know, it`s a very different
standard when you`re talking about family law and civil law, versus criminal law which is a much, much higher standard.
JORDAN: How do we not have enough evidence when the child was examined and he had scars on his butt, on his chest, on his back?
SEDAGHATFAR: How do we know how those scars got there? How do we know it wasn`t inflicted by somebody else?
SCHACHER: The dad admitted it.
SEDAGHATFAR: No, he didn`t --
SCHACHER: He admitted using the pipe on his son.
PINSKY: But he didn`t admit to breaking the skin.
PINSKY: He didn`t admit the fact that -- listen.
JORDAN: Of course, he`s not going to admit, yes, I beat my child to draw blood.
MANETTE: He probably doesn`t think he`s abusing him.
PINSKY: That`s right. I think where there`s smoke, there`s fire. Listen, this is not -- none of this is OK. Listen, just demanding this
child abusively go through that sort of labor camp he had him in is just unbelievable. More to be revealed.
Next up, the behavior bureau is here to talk about the step mom. Was she the one pulling the strings in this family? There are some evidence
that she had quite a bit of responsibility here.
And later, hot car mom has hired an attorney. Is she guilty of something? Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he there the whole time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he says this petition, I was there the whole time. That it was the stepmother and I was told to stay there by her
the whole time, not to come out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unlike you, I know where the sharp knives are. I can make you disappear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He heard all of the police activity coming and doing the searches. He didn`t speak up. Apparently afraid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To quote the boy, he told police, "I was so excited when I heard the police was going to move the box I was behind
because I knew they were going to find me."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with Sam.
Talking about the abuse basement boy says he suffered at the hand of his father and stepmother. Let`s bring in the behavior bureau: Judy Ho,
clinical psychologist, professor of Pepperdine University, Wendy Walsh, psychologist, author of "The 30-Day Love Detox", and Tiffanie Davis Henry,
HLN contributor and psychotherapist.
You can be part of the show. Tweet us right now. We`re monitoring our Twitter feed, @DrDrewHLN, #BehaviorBureau.
All right. Judy, the stepmom, according to the kid -- remember, just about everything we`re talking about is according to this young boy. The
mom literally threatened him with the possibility of not going on being. I know where the knives are. I know how to get rid of you.
Do you think she did that? If she did, talk to me about the impact that has on the child.
JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Dr. Drew, that type of emotional manipulative abuse can be just as difficult for a child`s
upbringing as the physical abuse he was reported to have suffered from his father. So, with this mother, she is taking these threats about getting
rid of him, about how much she hates him, that she`s going to murder him, and that she knows where the knives are at, but it`s all very ambiguous
about when that might go down.
So, he doesn`t know if she`s going to act on it or not. And that puts you at the state of heighten anxiety all the time. It is like
PINSKY: Right. The brain is changed in a young child, it shatters its upper limits of its capacity for regulation. The parts of the brain
that are supposed to develop up in here in the frontal lobe shut down and don`t develop normally. People dissociate, disconnect from the nervous
system because it`s shattering. It`s overwhelming.
Tiffanie, though, is the kid telling the truth?
TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it`s really hard to tell. I think the best way to look at this and hopefully the family that
he`s staying with now, his biological mother and more folks on that side of the family, are giving him the love and support and the freedom to be able
to talk about this at his own pace. It`s not going to do anybody any good to push this boy and push him and push him, to kind of force him into
telling his story.
I think his story should unfold kind of naturally and they should be doing some type of family therapy with those family members that are most
supportive and that he does not have that same sort of fear that he may have with his stepmom and father, because that could lead to some fear of
PINSKY: With the mom threatening his very survival, if that stepmom report is, in fact, accurate, I can imagine this child would be thinking of
ways to get around adults.
Wendy, I saw you nodding on what Tiffanie said about bringing in family therapist. How would you approach a family like this?
WENDY WALSH, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, obviously, we need to circle the wagons around this child and we need to listen very closely to
what this child is saying. I mean, Dr. Drew, what reason would he have for lying? He was hiding behind a box in the basement for 11 days. This child
was seriously abused.
PINSKY: Wendy, there are really two possibilities. One is that he has been chronically abused and he is now developing -- you know,
particularly, the young males I have dealt with, when they are physically abused by their dad, they`re constantly thinking of ways to outdo, get
around, they have to control their environment because it`s so threatening to them.
WALSH: Because that`s what`s been done to them, lying and manipulation.
PINSKY: That`s one possibility. Or we`ve talked before that you can be born with a genetic problem of psychopathy and be a manipulative,
disturbed person from the beginning. It happens.
HENRY: I think there`s another reason why he might lie, though.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
HENRY: I think he could be lying in order to get approval from his father. That he could just place all of the blame on the stepmother so as
not to disrupt or disengage the relationship with the father. If his whole means of all of this was I really want the approval of my father, it makes
sense that he would not put any kind of negative spin on this where the father looked, if really what he wants is his father`s approval.
PINSKY: Wendy, you want to finish your thought? I interrupted you. I`m sorry.
WALSH: No, I think that everyone does need to listen to this child. I think we dismissed children way too often open say they`re laying and
they`re making this stuff up.
Remember, not too long, we had the case, Dr. Drew, of the 10-year-old that was murdered after he reached out to the school and called the police
and 911 on his parents.
PINSKY: Yes, yes.
WALSH: You know how upset I was about this. I`m all about listening to the child, sorting it out, giving him space. The good news and I know
you`ll back me up on this, is that because of neuroplasticity, there is a chance he can be healed through the good healthy relationships with the new
family members that he`s spending time with.
PINSKY: I`ll let you go in a second. But the part she`s talking about is wiring up into here so the brain becomes an integrated whole and
it`s in the context of relating to other people and we develop that neuroplasticity and send it in a trajectory that`s healthy. So, all of
this regulates as an integrated whole.
SCHACHER: Yes. OK. So, earlier, you talked about this different possibilities. Can we all agree on the fact that this kid as abused to
SCHACHER: We know he was hit with the PVC pipe. OK?
PINSKY: We all agree.
SCHACHER: That`s enough for the child to run away for this dad to be complicit. In the stepmother is verbally abusive to him and really did
keep him in the basement for 11 days without food in her mind, because he snuck in that food, that`s attempted murder, 11 days without food?
WALSH: I agree.
HO: Right. Well, and, Sam, that`s a really good point. Just to allude back to what Dr. Drew had said earlier, the kid is using his
survival skills the best he knows how. OK? So, running away from people who are hurting you, who are threatening your safety, this is what he`s
doing. So, if he did run away, I would say that is what he knows of coping skills of his young age.
PINSKY: And imagine the conflict, imagine how young brains manage this desire to run away from the people who are threatening my life whom I
also love -- shattering, shattering experience for young kids.
Next up, we`re talking about the hot car father. You`re going to hear from someone who spent time with the Harris family.
And later, a teenager survives the massacre of the mom, dad and four siblings. You`ll hear from a family insider.
We`re back after this.
PINSKY: He should have come to help years ago. There`s no excuse for his behavior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got this whole second life that he`s living with alternate personalities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tragic accident or premeditated murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The father says he forgot to take the boy to day care.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN: He`s allegedly sexting six women.
PINSKY: Just shaking my head, like what is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sent a picture of his exposed erect penis. The most common term would be sexting.
SEDAGHATFAR: That is not a big deal. People sext, that`s why there is a word called sexting.
PINSKY: The dead person because of his sex addiction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leanna Harris may have to defend her own actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She didn`t show any emotion.
PINSKY: First thing she said to the husband, quote, "Did you say too much?"
PINSKY: Back with Sam, Anahita, Claudia and Danine.
The hot car child death case is developing quickly. We sent HLN`s Yasmin Vossoughian to Justin Harris` hometown in Alabama, and she tracked
down some of his old friends.
Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH SPENCER, LIVED NEXT DOOR TO JUSTIN HARRIS: He was a good father.
YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Why do you think he was a good father?
SPENCER: Some dads don`t take their kids out, you know, or spend time with their kids. Ross, Justin, whatever you want to call him, he spends
time, he bonds with his child.
VOSSOUGHIAN: What was his personality like?
SPENCER: High spirited. He`s a high spirited person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yasmin is on the phone with us now.
And, Yasmin, you`ve been speaking to people all day who knew Justin. What are they telling you?
VOSSOUGHIAN: Yes, actually right now, Dr. Drew, I`m outside of the house where we believe Leanna is. We`ve been sitting out here for a little
while now. There`s two cars are parked outside, one of which we believe is hers.
What I found out from a friend of Leanna`s mom is that they allow her Debra to stay here in a garage apartment. Debra actually works in a
library with the wife of the man who came out ands spoke to me. He said he`s known Debra for a long time and Leanna since she was a small child
and, you know, they`re saying all the same thing, great family, great girl, were wonderful parents. They used to see Cooper out here playing with his
parents all of the time.
PINSKY: It`s hard to get our heads around, Yasmin. Do you ask me tougher questions? Anybody willing to sort of step up and ask, how this --
you know, how -- what their theory is if they`re such great parents?
VOSSOUGHIAN: Yes, absolutely. Basically, there was a guy who I spoke to, Abraham Burton, he lived next door to Justin Harris in the home that
they lived in before they moved to Georgia. They had owned a home outside of Tuscaloosa, in a suburb of Tuscaloosa, and they had barbecued with them
And he said he at times felt like he was being a bad father because Justin played with his kid more than he did. But what he said was I`m a
father and I`m not around my family. And I know how stressful it is to be a father and not be around your family and have to work all night to pay
the bills and have any time for yourself. And he said maybe that`s what happened with Justin.
This guy left his hometown, he left with his parents are, his support system is, he went to Georgia, to Atlanta, to try and make it and he just
couldn`t handle it.
He actually at one point insinuated maybe he was on something. I don`t know where he was going with that. But this guy was saying, hey,
when I`m at work, I`ve seen a lot of guys that are completely drunk. Maybe he was on something. That was his theory.
VOSSOUGHIAN: What I`m getting from him.
PINSKY: Well, Yasmin, thank you so much. I want to talk to you some more.
We are awaiting the toxicology on Justin Harris. I`ve said something like Lorazepam or something of a sedating nature, I would not be at all
surprised if we saw something that affects memory, affects cognition, affects concentration.
And, Anahita, although you said sexting is no big deal -- here`s sexting with a bunch of people -- and by the way, we`ve learned something
about you. That`s no big deal to sext with underage people and six people at the same time.
PINSKY: It`s hard to concentrate on what you`re doing.
SEDAGHATFAR: Exactly. I`m not saying there`s nothing wrong with it. I`m just saying that just because he was sexting with six different women
does not mean that he`s necessarily a murderer, Dr. Drew. And like I said yesterday or the day before yesterday on your show, I think that that fact
actually helps the defense because if the idea is this was an accident that he could have plausibly forgotten that his son was in the car, what better
PINSKY: I think it`s not a condemnation. That`s an excuse. It`s a condemnation.
Danine, you get where I`m going out here?
MANETTE: I do.
PINSKY: Yes. And it`s like -- Danine tweeted something the other night along these same lines. During our show, before -- she`s been gone
for a couple of weeks, here`s what she tweeted. Quote, "They were swingers and their kid was in the way."
Now, Danine --
SCHACHER: I love her tweets so much.
PINSKY: We all love them.
But we`re not hearing anything from Yasmin on the ground talking to people that knew this couple, people that have barbecues with them.
They`re telling us that they had an alternative lifestyle, nothing like that coming through.
MANETTE: You know, I`ve always thought this was more of a marital issue than a parenting issue. But I`m now under the impression -- first I
believe that maybe she was leaving him and this is desperation. Now, I`m thinking that the kid was in the way and that he was cramping both of their
lifestyles and they hatched this plan together, to get rid of this kid.
And I don`t know if the mom was the mastermind or she was just as complacent, but I think he was absolutely in it on this. It`s not what
they did before the kid died, that concerns me. It`s how they reacted after he died.
MANETTE: You know, if I step on my kid`s toe, I`m like oh my God, you know. People who accidentally do things to their children are on suicide
watch when they`re in jail. They`re not sitting around chewing gum or just, you know, calling in to the funeral. Their behavior is alarming.
PINSKY: Claudia, do you agree? I mean, Danine, as usually upsets me, but do you have anything of a similar nature to say? Or you`re a little
more (INAUDIBLE) to this couple.
JORDAN: I don`t know if they were swingers, but the father was definitely off the chain and doing his thing. And it seems like the mom
may be more upset with maybe his sext than the death of the child. Now, that she has hired an attorney with no charges filed against her, maybe the
stuff that`s come to light with the sexting has maybe made her more angry, because she certainly hasn`t shown any kind of sadness or emotion with the
death of her child.
PINSKY: Samantha, seems like you agree with that.
SCHACHER: Yes, I think mommy needs to lawyer up based on her odd behavior. And I wouldn`t be surprise. I mean, listen, I think the police
are already digging and building a case against her. But I wouldn`t be surprised if they use her as a pawn to somehow convict -- give them more
information, convict her husband so she can save her own ass or vice versa. I think it could get really dirty.
PINSKY: Oh, boy. Yasmin, hang in. Sam -- Yasmin, stay with me. We may need to talk to you in the next panel.
Now, let`s say this whole thing is an accident. Is that even possible? Can we imagine a way that was possible with all of the computer
searches and things about sizzlers and horrible things about?
And later, I`ve got an equally horrible story, a mom, dad, four kids tied up and executed. We`re going to speak with someone who knew the
accused killer and the victims.
Be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She stated that she had first met Ross and she knew him as Ross through Scout, which is another messaging service and that
he had met up and that he wanted to hook up with her. She says something to the effect of do you have a conscience?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what was his response?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with Sam and the behavior bureau -- Judy, Wendy and Tiffanie.
And we found an ironic and disturbing post on Reddit account believed to be from Justin Harris, he`s the hot car dad. Look at this from three
months ago. It`s a post about a stolen laptop at a sports arena. Irony is not a strong enough word. He says, quote, "I will never understand why
people take things like this to an event like that and leave it in their car."
HO: Wow. I don`t even --
WALSH: That`s pathetic.
HO: That is very pathetic.
But, you know, I think all of this information that we`re finding out about his character is not really what the public has perceived or even
people who seemed like they were close to them in the community really perceived. It just really shows how much he and even his wife were
invested in keeping their secret lives separate.
PINSKY: Well, right, we do not know whether the wife had a secret life or not, whether she was a part of it. But, Tiffanie, we do know that
he was engaging in these improprieties and he was covering it up with his perfect religiosity, his presentation to the community. I have not heard
from you on that topic yet.
TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, PH.D., HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean I do not necessarily think that, that is abnormal. We do not know what is going on
in our neighbor`s house. We know what they want us to see. We know that they want us to see them as a tight-knit family, and maybe playing with the
kids and being the best dad ever and the best husband ever.
But, what goes on behind closed doors for most people is really unknown until it comes to light. And unfortunately this guy is dirty
laundry is out there and we are reading a lot of scenarios into it. We do not know how complicit or how complaisant the wife might have been with
some of things he was going or if she was doing some of the same things on the side too.
PINSKY: Right. That we do not know. Hang on, guys. I have got Yasmin Vossoughian still on the phone with me. And, Yasmin, I guess you
have been seeing how the neighbors have been responding. Initially they were in this disbelief, were they not? Now that some of his alternative
practices have come out, they are not so sure?
YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Right. When CNN is Nick Valencia came out here, he had spoken to some people. And, basically, they
were all saying the same thing. You know, this is a really good guy, a great family. And, like I said, a lot of them are reiterating that today
when I was speaking to them.
But, what changed a little bit is they say that and then I ask them about what about the stuff that came out in the hearing last week. How has
that affected with your opinion of Justin Ross Harris. And, of course now they are saying, "We do not know."
I mean at this point, it has changed. And, the thing is we just cannot understand it anymore, because our opinion of him has changed.
Maybe he did that but we just still cannot comprehend it because the guy that we knew, the guy we saw every day, the guy that we barbecued with, the
guy that we, you know, hung out with in the streets, that is not the guy that we think did this act. But, what came out in the hearing last week,
that was someone completely different. And, I am hearing that while I am here in Alabama.
PINSKY: Samantha, I think you wanted to respond to that.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, HOST OF "POP TRIGGER": Yes. No. I just think it is all starting to add up now. I think for these two to be so concerned
with how people viewed them and the whole religiosity is playing into the fact of why they would go to such degrees to kill their child to make it
look like an accident because they did not want to give the child up for adoption. They would tarnish their image.
PINSKY: It is so hard to believe that. It is so hard. Judy, do you believe that?
DR. HO: I do believe it. Because, Dr. Drew, think about the aspect of self regulation. This is a skill that cannot replenish itself. If you
use it up, you are going to lose control. And, so they are so invested in the self presentation, that there is got to be a give --
PINSKY: But, Judy. Judy. Judy --
DR. HO: You know what I am saying here?
PINSKY: -- After this, we are going to -- Wendy, I want you to have a look at something just a second. But, after this story, we are going to
talk about a guy that did lose control of his regulatory system and he shot a bunch of people and took -- this is how dads often kill, which is if I
cannot have things the way I want it, I am going the take everybody with me.
That we kind to hear about it and you are going to hear about that. It is an unbelievable story, but it kind of makes sense. This one I cannot
make sense of. However, I want to show Wendy -- I want to show you some footage, Wendy. This is mother whose son, herself -- whose son had died
after she accidentally left him in a hot car and she says the way Justin Harris acted seems appropriate for the circumstance given her experience.
Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYN BALFOUR, CHILD DIED IN HOT CAR: That moment when I heard the news and how he reacted at the minute that he saw his son in the car was
exactly the way I felt when I found my son. It is not something that I cannot imagine it being something that you could just fake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Wendy, could this just be an accident?
WENDY WALSH, PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, of course there is a slim chance of that, that he could have had a free-wheeling swinging life with
his sexting and just, oops! He is so busy he forgot his kid.
PINSKY: No. No. But, you, guys! That is what happens -- It is condemnation, I keep saying this. But, that is what happens with
addictions. They get so spiralled out of control. They run somebody over. They kill themselves.
DR. WALSH: So, does that makes it an accident or does that make it murder?
PINSKY: I am with you. Well, you tell me. I think it is a murder, but it is not a premeditated murder.
DR. WALSH: It is maybe not premeditated. But, what I think what she was alluding to is what so many of us in the media have been doing is
playing really armchair quarterback to how someone reacts when they are in shock and when there is trauma. And, it is really hard to tell what is
going on in someone is personality because people react to shock in all different ways.
DR. WALSH: Not necessarily to defend the guy, but sometimes, you know, they are not like weeping and crying and freaking out and doing all
that stop. They are really numb for a period of time before it all sinks in. So, it is hard to tell based on what happens immediately after.
But, my thinking, Dr. Drew, and this has not been brought up a lot yet, think of the age of the baby. 23 months. He is getting into those
terrible twos. It is one thing for a couple who is having a fun lifestyle and the baby is not in way when it sleeps all day. But a toddler who is
taking tantrums, this is a real inconvenience.
PINSKY: It is so fun. So, the twos are all fun, huh? Tiffanie, you will be there soon enough. So, listen, if you are mentioning how other
people react, well let us look at some of the other stories. We have got parents accused of punishing their children by leaving her in a hot car.
And, later an entire family murdered, executed. Police say a well- armed relative did this. A friend of the family is here to tell us about that guy and this entire family. Be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: A daughter heartbroken in tears, insisting that it was an accident that her parents never meant to leave her
5-year-old sister locked in a hot trunk while shopping at Home Depot.
Police say the parents left their 5-year-old daughter in a sweltering truck for about an hour in Southeast, Albuquerque. It was 90 degrees.
Officers say the little girl crawled out of a rear sliding window covered in sweat, crying, screaming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I am back with Sam, Anahita, Tiffanie and joining us Tariq Nasheed, author/director of "The Hidden Colors" documentary film series.
Now, those parents have been charged with felony child abuse. Their 5- year-old daughter reportedly told police that she was ordered to stay in the truck as punishment for not having eaten her entire meal earlier in the
day. Tariq, what do you say?
TARIQ NASHEED, AUTHOR/DIRECTOR: Well, Dr. Drew, a lot of these people are really just narcicisstic, and we have a lot of people who are not
really ready to have children. When they have children the new child euphoria wears off and they realize they have this responsibility that they
have to take care of for theist rest of their lives.
This makes them resentful because now they cannot get into the lifestyle that they are used and what they do they begin to sabotage these
children. And, they do that in the form for passive-aggressive abuse. So, leaving these children in cars, that is just another refined version of
child abuse. So, we have to look at it like that.
PINSKY: Tiffanie, you agree?
HENRY: Well, I think the punishment does not necessarily fit their crime. And, that is kind of what I have been thinking about this. You
punish a child -- you know if you are going into the store. I remember if I wanted something, I have been acting up. My mom would take me into the
store, but she would not buy me anything I wanted. It was a punishment to have to walk through the store and not get what I wanted.
PINSKY: Right. That is right. Withdrawing the positive. It is how you shape behavior.
HENRY: Right. But, leaving them in the car? Leaving them in the car, Dr. Drew, that just does not make sense. I would challenge any parent
-- any parent today, tomorrow, when it is hot outside, go sit out in the car for 10 minutes and see how you fair.
HENRY: In 10 minutes in a car. And, then think about how it would feel to be in that car for 90 minutes. It is not punishment. It is abuse.
It really, really is.
PINSKY: And, Anahita, of course insist that every 5-year-old reports something to their parents to be able to defend it by the facts.
ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, T.V. LEGAL ANALYST/DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My God! Dr. Drew, you are killing me tonight.
PINSKY: I saw you trying to defend yourself on Twitter.
SEDAGHATFAR: I am trying.
PINSKY: But, the fact is we are listening to, what is it, a 5-year- old? 9-year-old -- What was it, five?
SEDAGHATFAR: Yes. 5 years old.
PINSKY: We are listening to a 5-year-old. What would motivate a 5- year-old to make up a story, a pretty specific story about not having finished her meal.
SEDAGHATFAR: Well to be clear I am not saying that these children are lying. I am just saying oftentimes police need to corroborate the claims
of these children before they go and charge their parents with crimes.
And, I think in this case, yes the parents are saying, "Oops, it was a mission take. We thought she was following us." They have their 19-
year-old daughter that is actually defending them saying, "Yes. They were never abusive parents." But, I think it is going to be a tough defense.
Because, Dr. Drew, like we talked about before, even if it is negligence, this can rise to the level of criminal negligence. If it is a mistake, it
PINSKY: Right. Tariq even if -- as you are saying, we have a lot of narcicisstic parents out there, which I agree, should not we be airing on
the side of believing children and protecting them in.
NASHEED: Absolutely, because I do not believe a child would have a reason to lie. And, also if you are parent, what sane parent would leave
their child in a car for an extended period of time without realizing the child is there. So, I am just not buying that whole thing that the parents
forgot. They are deliberately leaving these children in the car.
NASHEED: And, that is the way of child abuse.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Samantha.
SCHACHER: And, that is what really worries me, Dr. Drew. Because, there is a lot of people that think that they can go run in for 45 minutes
or punish their kid for 90 minutes and the kid will not die. They are lucky their 5-year-old did not die. So, maybe it is time that we had some
sort of national campaign like we did with click it or ticket it or do not text and drive, because kids are dying. Animals are dying. There is too
much ignorance out there.
PINSKY: No sizzlers.
PINSKY: I have got another story. Tiffanie, what do you say? What?
HENRY: Well, I think that we also have to think about heat related deaths is not the only thing we have to worry about.
PINSKY: Of course.
HENRY: We have to worry about kidnapping, about abduction, about sex trafficking and leaving a 5-year-old in a car is an open invitation to some
criminal who wants to do those types of things to take the kid out of the car and be on their way. And, you would not know about it until you came
PINSKY: Quickly, I will show you another story with you. I agree with you. I got a Connecticut dad is facing charges for drunk driving with
his two children in the car. Now, his additional charges for leaving those same two kids, age 9 and 6, in a hot car. So, Tiffanie, you know, time to
take away the kids, right?
HENRY: Yes. I do not think that you are ready. I do not think you are equipped. I do not think this is your gift. Kids are not for you.
And, so, there are plenty of parents out there that really want them and want to love them. No, they do not need them.
PINSKY: But, Tariq, these kids love their parent. You do not want to rupture families, you want to make better parents.
NASHEED: Absolutely. You also have to understand the sympathy hustle. A lot of times, these parents will abuse their children. They
will leave their children in cars to die and then they will get sympathy from the public and not only will they get support, they will get
donations. And, I have seen this happen in many cases. So, we have to look at it from that angle as well.
PINSKY: Oh, my God!
SCHACHER: Wow. PINSKY: All right. Listen. Now, I want to go to a story that I hope
you will all agree with me is much clearer. It is much more of what I am accustomed when I think about the narcisstic parent acting out on his
family, the male particularly, is a family who was executed by someone -- and I got someone who knows the suspect and the people who were killed.
Got some insight. Be right back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Haskell shot seven people including children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER(2): Came to this residence, gathered up the children that were here and awaited the arrival of the parents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Four children and two adults were killed but a 15-year-old girl survived. Police say she played dead until Haskell
left then called 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: She was able to provide us the name of person who shot them and where he was going next. And, while we quickly
responded to that location, we caught him coming up at the residence where other relatives of that family lived and we assume he meant to shoot them
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with Sam, Judy, Danine and Anahita. We are learning more about the man accused of shooting seven members of the same family,
two parents, four of the five children deceased. Police tell us Ron Lee Haskell shot his ex-wife`s relatives.
I believe it is his nieces and nephews he killed and his sister-in- law and her husband, killed them. Tied them up and killed them all execution style and he was heading to the parents` house -- the
grandparents` house when the police stopped him.
PINSKY: Now, Anahita, come on, this is why we do not need a lot of evidence. The guy -- by way, it was a three-hour standoff with him with a
gun at his head talking about what he had done
SEDAGHATFAR: Right. No, I agree with you, Dr. Drew. This one is not one um going to defend. And, I actually cannot --
SEDAGHATFAR: He is still entitled to a defense, but there is no doubt he did this. The fact that four of these victims were little kids. It is
just heartbreaking. And, he tied them up, shot and killed them execution style. And, we know he has a history of domestic violence. He has a
criminal record. Was he a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. I mean he is getting a psych evaluation. Now, that I am wondering why he was not
subjected to one before.
PINSKY: Well, you are right. Well, listen. lots of people engage in domestic violence that slip around the radar.
PINSKY: Judy, you and I see this all the time. One thing, I heard in one of the reports that was telling, I though was he was describing how
the divorce with his wife went down. He was up in Utah, they had four children and things did not go well. And, by his report everything was
fine and all of the sudden this woman up and left me. What is going on? And, Judy, that is when the narcissism is evident, is it not?
DR. HO: That is when the narcissism is evident. That is also when you can see bhen somebody externalized all of their problem, puts it on
other people and conveniently has selective amnesia where they do not connect the events that led up to the divorce. And, so now he is free to
put it on the other person and say that this person has to pay for all of his suffering and bring us back to the narcissism
PINSKY: Right. Danine, did you get that?
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: I do.
PINSKY: Did you agree with that? So, it is not me. So, you poisoned by wife. She was great one day and left the next.
MANETTE: This is why domestic violence calls are the most dangerous things for law enforcement to handle because they are unpredictable. They
are volatile. You do not know what you are talking into. And, when we talk on the show about how come there were was so many police subduing
somebody in a domestic situation, because you do not know when a person is going to go off.
MANETTE: This guy felt like he has nothing to lose. Everything was taken from him. And, you know why he did not kill himself? Because he
wants to be able to watch the reaction of his ex-wife because she is going to be so hurt about this. He wants to sit in jail and watch this happen.
PINSKY: Welcome back, Danine.
SCHACHER: We missed you Danine. But, Dr. Drew, I mean this is vengeance, simple as this. The sister-in-law, his sister-in-law that he
took her life as well as her family is, it was the same sister-in-law that went and essentially rescued her sister, his ex-wife from this situation.
She moved her out of the house. She moved her into a completely different state. So, obviously he is been harbouring that and has
resentment towards it and wanted to take her life as well as her family.
PINSKY: Now, on the phone, I have Jennifer Schafer. Jennifer is a friend of all the family members involved in this case. She works with my
wife in a pod cast. It is entitled "Calling Out" Susan Pinsky. And, Jennifer I was shocked to hear that you knew this family and I appreciate
you coming on to discuss it. You lived across the street from Ross Haskell growing up. Can you tell us about him?
JENNIFER SCHAFER, FRIEND OF FAMILY THAT WAS MURDERED: I did. Believe me, it is been a very difficult day. But, yes, his family actually is a
wonderful family. They are very well loved.
PINSKY: Were there concerns about this kid growing up? Did he, you know, manifest behaviors or concerning relationships or attitudes or
something to help us understand this in.
SCHAFER: No. Actually, he did not. He did not -- that did not happen until later in his life.
PINSKY: What happened later?
SCHAFER: Well, you know, with him losing his job in January and certain things that happened, of course him being abusive in his marriage,
it was not something that was identified when he was younger, no. The family was -- it was -- in fact they helped so much other people. They
were an incredible family.
SCHAFER: This is shocking actually.
DR. HO: I am just trying to think about this and thinking about how much it points to maybe some kind of genetic issue here in the and the
family was the one that was keeping this kid together while he was in structure and once he was on his own he started lose it for a little bit.
So, if our caller is still with us, I still wanted to ask her some questions about that. When did you start to see the cracks?
PINSKY: The unravelling.
DR. HO: Yes.
SCHAFER: The unravelling did not happen until later.
PINSKY: Like what age?
SCHAFER: He was the middle child. So, during, you know, I knew when I was young and he was just a normal kid. So, maybe they held it together.
I am sure they did. But, it did not -- you know the unravelling did not happen until his marriage.
PINSKY: Jennifer, stay with us. Panel stay with us. I want to hear about this poor family as well. Be right back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: It is a sad world that we live in that people get so angry that they want to hurt someone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: There was one victim, gunshot victim on the scene that was able to verbally tell us who actually did the shooting
and possibly where that individual was going to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The shooter was headed to another house to kill more people, possibly relatives. Investigators believe the gunman
may have been going through a divorce.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: It is just heartbreaking to know that when somebody is filled with so much anger that they take it out on little
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with Sam, Judy, Danine, Anahita. That witness was absolutely right. And remind us all, The 15-year-old that was able to
identify this man had a gunshot wound to the head and was able to call the police and put him on the track to catch this guy before he killed more.
He was on the way to the grandparents. I still have Jennifer Schafer on the phone. Jennifer, really quickly, the family that is no longer with us,
can you tell us about them in?
SCHAFER: Yes. You know, Katie, they are an incredible family. I mean they tried so hard to shield Melanie, who was Ronnie is ex-wife from
this event. And, they did it. They -- they would not tell him where she was and that is why they were all killed execution style, every single one
of them. No one, Cassidy, thank god, Cassidy survived and was able to save the grandparents. They were such an amazing family.
PINSKY: Let is all say prayers for Cassidy. Thank you, Jennifer. -- who is been shot in the head. Hopefully, she will end up OK. Danine you
shook your head during what Jennifer was saying.
MANETTE: Because this woman did everything she was suppose to do. She left the abusive relationship. She got a divorce. She got a
restraining order. She moved across the country and he still came after something to try and hurt her. And, that is to frustrating. I could see
this guy like flipping her off from the electric chair, because he is so mean and evil and vicious. I mean it is like, what did you do? It is just
she did everything right and she still has to suffer.
PINSKY: You know, Judy, I agree to Danine. Evil and vicious with words I would use to describe a guy like this.
DR. HO: Absolutely. And, I guess if we want to get clinical. It is psychopathy. He is a psychopath. This absolutely points to a genetic link
because he was very well contained it sounds like by his family members. And, once he had a big stressor, that is when everything expressed. And,
it sounds like the stressor may have been either loss of his job or his marriage going down the tubes.
PINSKY: So, again, this is evil, Samantha. This is evil.
PINSKY: You get the distinction between somebody who is sick and somebody who is evil. And, we can put names on this -- we can call it
certain things but evil is describing the same thing.
SCHACHER: Yes. He is an absolute monster. But, I am concerned about the 15-year-old victim.
PINSKY: Of course.
SCHACHER: So, what kind of treatment will she need?
PINSKY: Listen. It is really hard.
SCHACHER: Will she have a shot at a normal life?
PINSKY: Yes. She does. It depends how much and how bad the head injury is more than anything else.
DR. HO: That is right.
SEDAGHATFAR: Losing all of her family.
PINSKY: Anahita, that guy is going to die. Tell me that is going to happen?
SEDAGHATFAR: I mean I hope so. This is so tragic. And, my heart is with the 15-year-old girl that she was shot in the head. She watched her
family members get murdered in front of her, yet she had the wherewithal to call 911 and call save her grandparents.
PINSKY: All right. Let is all take a deep cleansing breath. This is a tragedy we will follow. How the recovery goes for this young 15-year-
old. Please DVR us right now then you can watch us anytime. The show that follows us is "Forensic Files. Thank you panel. Thank you, Jennifer.
"Forensic Files" begins now.