tv Q A CSPAN October 25, 2009 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
breaking news tonight. live, colorado. the whole country on pins and needles. a little 6-year-old boy's life hanging in the balance and a beautiful silver space-like balloon soaring through the clouds. tonight, it apparently all ends in felony charges. that's right. police, sheriffs, national guard, volunteers, the faa, even a whole airport and commercial carriers trying to save the life of a 6-year-old boy. falcon heene. who his brothers and his parents say is trapped inside that
homemade balloon, racing through the sky. eyewitness reports emerge that something or someone falls thousands of feet to rough terrain near the colorado rocky mountains. after 60 miles of terror, the balloon lands. no boy. was he dead? was he injured? was he lying down some ravine with every bone in his body broken? oh, no. he was hiding in the family attic the whole time. blurting out on national tv, it was all, quote, for the show. on not one but two morning shows, that same child so nervous he vomits. when asked the same question. bombshell tonight. just released, distraught, seemingly heartbreaking 911 calls from the boy's father and mother. both breaking down over their 6-year-old son's life threatened. but was the stunt in the works
for months? with us live, heene's former colleague, who may have the answers. and tonight, more disturbing news about the three little boy's home environment. in addition to an alleged domestic abuse 911 call to the home, the three little boys, ages 6, 8, and 10, appear on youtube. and a rap song allegedly their dad wrote and taught them. full of filthy language. the title is so shocking. we're disallowed from saying it on the air. but you can hear the children spewing it out. age 6, 8, and 10 on youtube. under the direction of their father. looks like bye-bye reality show. hello cell block.
>> the first thing that came to my mind was who would possibly do something like this? it has to be richard heene. so when i actually saw this on tv, i didn't realize how serious this was until later on in the day. i was actually helping my friends move. as the news stories progress and the buzz sort of built and watching falcon actually say on tv, well, we did this for the show, that's when all my questions were answered. and tonight, satsuma, florida. a 5-year-old little girl tucked into bed. five hours later, she's gone. vanished.
daddy comes home from the nightshift to find not a trace of little haleigh. the last person to see the 5-year-old alive that night, new stepmother misty croslin. just hours after croslin handcuffed by cops on alleged road rage, she flies to new york taking to the air to declare she's innocent. in that brief interview, she can't keep the story straight. first claiming she knows nothing about haleigh's whereabouts, then blurting out the other side of the family took haleigh. then a 180 on the failed lie detector, claiming she passed, then admitting she failed. after her brother tells cops he was at the home that night, no sign of croslin, completely debunking her story, her own mother saying croslin's not coming clean. croslin's tv response? they betrayed me. they're the bad guys. look at them, not me. minutes after that debacle on national tv, her lawyer dumps her. breaking tonight, croslin back
at police headquarters. but this time she claims she's the victim, claiming she was robbed at gunpoint. but did the alleged robbery go down in the middle of a drug deal? was croslin scoring dope? if so, what does it mean in the search for haleigh? this as we learn croslin's mom is interrogated by police about her daughter's involvement in haleigh's disappearance. what does she reveal? >> breaking news. the ex-wife of ronald cummings, the last known person to see haleigh alive, misty croslin, has been robbed while she and friends were allegedly trying to buy illegal drugs. police say misty and two friends were robbed by two or three men
outside an apartment complex. >> you have made an accusation that croslin was on a drug bing. do you have any evidence to support that claim? >> no, i don't. >> then why did you say it? >> it was just a thought. i mean, maybe she was. maybe she wasn't. >> cops say at first they were told the women were there to visit friends but learned they were actually there to score drugs. police didn't know what type of drugs they were allegedly trying to buy. >> what does it say about her and who she is willing to betray? is she betraying ron? is she betraying haleigh? >> mr. cummings, i can say that tonight for the first time, i don't believe you. i think you do suspect your ex-wife, soon to be ex-wife's story. >> his main concern is finding his daughter. he don't care who it implicates. >> this, as misty's father, tells journalist art harris there's no way misty hurt
haleigh. >> are you saying you didn't fail the polygraph like people and law enforcement are kind of claiming you did? >> no, i did not. >> okay. so bottom line, you don't know where haleigh is? >> bottom line. good evening. i'm nancy grace. i want to thank you for being with us. live, colorado, the whole country on pins and needles. a little 6-year-old boy's life hanging in the balance and a beautiful silver space-like balloon soaring through the clouds. tonight, more of the stunning 911 calls from mommy and daddy and, tonight, surfacing on youtube, a profanity-laced rap song. these three little boys apparently learned at home. what does that say about their home environment and what do these 911 calls prove?
>> you are seeing, we are seeing the rap song that the heenes thought was okay to put on youtube, a song they wrote and produced their children to sing. we have bleeped out most of what we could understand of the profanities. i can't even say the name of the song. it is a sexual slur on women, is the name of the song they have taught these children to sing. 6 years old, 8 years old, 10 years old. the "f" word, the "s" word, calling gay men faggots up trees
is in this song. okay. let's get back to the whole balloon stunt. out to sara hanson with "the colorado." thank you for being with me. what is the latest? >> we are waiting for next week when the larimer county attorney's office will meet to discuss charges. >> and to mary margaret. what more can you tell me? what do we know about the proof prosecutors play to show this whole thing was a opportunity and that heartbreaking 911 call was nothing more than a performance? mommy included. >> we do know that the heenes have had a long his industry with playing up for the cameras. the parents met in an acting studio in los angeles and this is something they've reared their children to do. investigators were tipped off
after they saw the family on cnn when little falcon slipped up and said oh, i thought this was for the cameras that. is what tipped them off and made them realize this was all for show. >> tonight, more stunning excerpts from that 911 call. it breaks your heart to hear mommy and daddy breaking down in tears, seemingly unable to breathe the mom at one point. with me robert thomas. this is heene's former researcher. mr. thomas, thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> you know, more mr. thomas, as a hardened felony prosecutor, i put people behind bars on rape, murder, child molestation, dope, trafficking, arson. i was thinking, this is a stunt. do they need to go to jail? now that i'm hearing about a prior 911 domestic abuse and this rap song using the children has surfaced, i want to talk to you about how far you believe mr. heene would go?
researcher. thank you for being was. you state that at first your mind was open, then you came to believe pretty quickly that this was all just a stunt. tell me why. what do you know? what have you told police? >> well, i first met richard back in march. i have a few renewable energy projects that i'm working on and a website called extrapedia.org that is designed to bring people together with technological ideas to benefit humanity. i saw richard heene's science detective series and immediately thought, this is a great opportunity to collaborate with somebody. i was kind of shocked, you know, to see how things would transition after that point. you know, at the months progressed and i worked with him doing various activities, things just got weirder and weirder and obviously i guess they culminated to a point when this event took place.
detective ♪ ♪ see and explain everything on earth ♪ ♪ comets and tornadoes and the secrets of earth ♪ ♪ he'll give you information from a new perspective ♪ ♪ watch richard heene, psycience detective ♪ everyone, you are seeing the balloon that went through the air, allegedly with a 6-year-old boy inside it. you're hearing the theme song to "psycience detective." robert thomas, have you ever heard that theme song before? was that part of one of his reality show pitches? >> that wasn't one of his reality show pitches. i never personally heard that song but did catch a couple clips of his psycience detective videos on the internet. that's why i reached out to him. he seemed to be interested in studying nature and how it could apply to making new technologies to benefit mankind. that was really my goal.
>> robert, you said one of his treatments for a reality show is almost identical to this particular stunt that we're showing right now. did you have conversations with him about the stunt? not the one where he claims his kid is up in the air, but prior to that, what was the plan? >> we were just sitting down and getting a bite to eat and were discussing a book i was reading at the time on roswell. when i say roswell i'm referring to the event that took place in 1947. my question for richard was richard, do you think this was real? do you think something actually crashed or do you think this was an elaborate media hoax? i was completely taken to a new level. richard at that moment in time stood up, his eyes got all wide. he said, that's it! that's it! that's exactly what i'm going to do and goes running into his office and basically, i follow him in there, we start talking
about his idea which his idea was to exactly what you read. it was to use a weather balloon and basically spin off of roswell and try to do something on a much larger scale because we live in such a technological society now that, you know, the news spreads incredibly fast. >> a larger scale. i mean, it's put together with tinfoil and duct tape. what do you mean by larger scale? by including his 6-year-old boy? >> i wasn't aware of that at the time -- >> okay. let me back it up. take a listen to this. this was a couple hours ago. listen. >> he's got talent, but he abuses it by going after these crazy things. >> he was always looking for this kind of thing. he was always wanting a big moment. >> any stardom to him is good stardom. whether it's good or bad, it's still good stardom. >> former co-worker and friend of heene's on nbc's "today"
show. just a couple hours ago. would that describe him? >> absolutely. richard was all about the controversy and about creating a buzz of any kind. i think this all really started with "wife swap." he got a little taste of stardom and wanted more and more and more. >> take a look at heene on "wife swap." he made several appearances on the show. there you see his children involved, obviously, in the show. it seems as if a lot of his endeavors to get fame for himself involve using, utilizing his children. i want to go back to the rap song. norm, if you could cue that up for me. mike brooks, former fed with the fbi, weigh in. >> nancy, i tell you what. i'm looking forward to next week to see what charges he gets locked up for. conspiracy, delinquency of a
child, attempting to basically con a public servant and i hope that the fbi goes after him for some federal charges. now, the faa, they're taking a look, too. they can only charge him with faa violations, f.a.r.s for civil penalties. i can tell you what, they can get in his pocket. >> look at this, mike brooks. show me, norm. >> they call this guy a detective? i was a detective. that's an insult to me. look at this, with these kids. ♪ >> to dr. jeff gardere. dr. gardere, we went round and round and round about whether i could even tell you the title to the song, and ultimately we decided that we shouldn't. not that i don't want to not give you the news, but it would
be giving such a bad example to say that word on the air. it is a horrible slur on women. >> all right. >> that's the title to the song. >> sure. >> the "f" word. s-h-i-t is in there. >> references to gays in a negative way. >> they call a man a faggot up a tree. you know what? i would kill someone that even said that word around the twins, to let them even hear such filthy talk as that. to have you child -- to teach your child to say that, to sing it? i mean, all of this was put in singing lyrics and then you saw the shot where the little boy is sitting on a commode and he is covered with fake excrement. i guess fake excrement. dr. gardere, help me out. >> what cost the price of fame.
we have to look at richard heene, he's not just obsessed with being famous -- >> listen. i wasn't down on him to begin with. i thought this was a bad idea. the more i'm hearing about it, the more i realize he may have utilized his children. >> i have to tell you this, nancy, i was one of the first in the media as a shrink to talk about i thought there was something wrong going on with a lot of the interviews that they gave. he seemed very disingenuous. turns out he was a cheap actor with this. my concern here is exactly yours, nancy. what is he doing to the character of these young kids? even as a publicity stunt, he's teaching them negative values about people. it's wrong. >> clark goldban, what more can you tell me? >> is there a fracture in the family? i can tell you mayumi, the wife of mr. heene, has her own attorney. this attorney telling abc news he doesn't deal in divorce, only criminal matters. he is inferring if there are
charges against mr. heene then mrs. heene should not be charged. she's been manipulated. >> everyone with us tonight, not only robert thomas, richard heene's former researcher, his colleague, buts are -- but also his attorney, well known in her region. linda lee is joining us. everyone -- >> hi, nancy. >> linda, i want to thank you for being with us. i will make it very clear, linda no one suspects your client of any wrongdoing. i'm grateful to the two of you being with us. we'll all be right back. to tonight's safety tip. nearly 800,000 children reported missing each year. many kidnapped going to and from school. your child should travel with at least one other person. have a safe route to walk. avoid alleys, stairwells, shortcuts. children at school bus stops must be supervised. know where registered sex offenders are located. your child must avoid walking near their home. they must. children over 10 should have a cell phone for emergencies. teach them how to react to threats by telling them to run,
that last call you were hearing is an alleged 911 domestic abuse call. when police get to the home, clark goldband, what do they find? >> yes, nancy. law enforcement arrive at the home because of the 911 call and found red marks on wife, mayumi. they hear yelling. they ask about it and he says that was the kids you heard. law enforcement didn't believe it but didn't have enough problem cause to make an arrest. >> isn't it true her eye appeared to have blood vessels broken in it? as they were there, police noted swelling began on the wife's face?
>> yes, law enforcement said it became progressively worse. marc klaas, i would like for you to weigh in on this. i know finding lost children and unsolved homicides are your expertise, but this touching more and more on the home environment of these children. >> sure. nancy, i'm struck by the irony that richard heene has achieved his goal. he's now one of the most talked about men in america. however, it's not for his stellar showmanship, it's because he's exposed himself as a third-rate con man who is willing to use public resources to promote his goals and encourage his own children to demean women, to demean gays, to swear and to lie. whatever this guy has coming to him, he totally deserves. i hope he gets it, and beyond that, i hope that he's forced to pay restitution for the -- for the public resource that went
towards pulling the balloon down and ultimately uncovering this hoax. >> the only problem with that, marc klaas, is he'll have to get his own reality show to pay the restitution. maybe that would be the reality show, "how i paid my restitution." to linda lee, attorney for robert thomas. linda, again, thank you for being with us and you, too, robert. you know, your client, robert thomas, had a series of e-mails back and forth with heene. which were, in my mind, probative not necessarily of the hoax itself, but of his relationship that he did have the relationship he claimed to have with heene. >> that's correct. >> now, he sold those e-mails to gawker.com and faced a lot of criticism for that. i always wonder -- i would never be happy as a prosecutor that a witness sold a story. why does everybody focus on that, that he sold e-mails as opposed to what could be the real crime here? >> well, nancy, i have no idea why they are focusing on that.
as a former prosecutor myself, i agree. it's not really about what he did in terms of selling this. believe me, it was a minimal, minimal amount that he received. that was long before i joined the case. however, as a prosecutor, what's more important is justice here. the reality is we now have proof this was a hoax. we have proof that mr. heene is not who he claims to be and, in fact, he was trying to deceive everyone. fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. he fooled the police in the beginning, but i hope he doesn't get to fool this jury. right now we're switching gears. believe it or not, misty croslin, the new stepmother of missing girl, haleigh cummings claims to have been armed robbed. here's the kicker. was she in the middle of a dope deal when the robbery went down? what does she say to 911? i want to report somebody just stole my dope. take a listen.
>> i don't want a divorce. but it's what he wants so, whatever. >> the last person to see haleigh alive is the last person to finally sign divorce papers. will these boost the investigation into what happened to 5-year-old haleigh? >> the whole relationship right from the very beginning has been tumultuous from the time the police report was taken. maybe now that, you know, ronald's not there to protect her -- >> to art harris at artharris.com. what can you tell me? >> misty cummings has made another controversial 911 call, not about a missing child, like haleigh, but about herself as a victim of a possible drug deal gone wrong. she was out with two girlfriends, they were driving around monday night. she was in the back seat when one got out to meet a friend at an apartment complex, comes back, two or three unidentified men grab misty, grab her purse, get into some kind of fight and they take her purse. misty then calls 911 and makes this report.
>> what evidence, if any, do we have she was involved in a dope deal? >> we only have the statement of the driver and a friend that they had gone to this place to buy dope. i talked to her father last night. >> wait. art, so are those the two people who were with her at the time? >> that's correct. >> they are incriminating themselves by saying that. >> that's right, nancy. it's a strange situation that police would be out investigating victims of a possible dope deal gone wrong with misty in the backseat. she told her father who i talked to that she was not there to buy dope. he thought they were there to buy pot. misty had stopped smoking pot a long time ago. >> pot. pot. okay, art, what did the other girls say they were buying? >> they did not specify the drugs they were buying, but police did find a crushed bottle of pills outside the apartment where one girl lived. later, when they spoke with them, they took it into
evidence, nancy. >> a bottle of pills is not the dope being sold at the scene of the crime. to marlaina schiavo, what was it they were allegedly buying? i'm not buying into the theory that they go that far and get in that much danger for a joint. okay? >> yeah, that's what hank croslin is saying, misty's father. police are not telling us what the drug was at this point. we may find out down the line, though, nancy. >> ellie jostad, what more can you tell me? >> as art and marlaina explained, they did find a bottle of pills at the scene. that was taken into evidence. we may find out from that what drugs they were trying to purchase. misty and her friend had their purses taken. misty had her cell phone taken. misty called 911 saying her arm hurts, her leg hurts, she was injured in this incident. >> okay.
art harris, what's to be done about it? what, if anything, how does it affect the investigation? does it seem more possible that misty croslin was using drugs that night or was not in the home? >> nancy, there's lots of speculation. this report was forwarded to detectives with the putnam county sheriff's department that were investigating the haleigh cummings case. the pollack police are not involved in that, but this shows misty cast adrift. she's living with girlfriends. who were also teenagers. she hasn't gone home yet. although i hear that may happen. she's out there and anything can happen with misty. >> i want to go to dr. marty ma carey, physician and professor at john's hopkins. thank you for being with us tonight. the reason i'm so interested in what particular drug it was, is if a child ingested a couple of rocks of crack, like ate it, say you got a $25 rock and a child ate a couple of those, what
would that do to a child in. >> it would have narcotic irk effects. they can have life threatening effects of stopping your normal breathing because that's what narcotics do. these highly addictive substances, we've seen people commit crazy crimes against their own family members, even at times selling a child into prostitution because the drive of the drugs are so strong. >> if she did ingest crack, could it kill her? >> it could kill her at high doses, yes, nancy.
before i got sober 14 1/2 years ago, i wanted the wrong things. i wanted money, i wanted alcohol, i wanted status, i wanted prestige, then when i got sober, everything changed. and i tried to become of service. i fall off that perch quite often, but i try to get back on it. so this is my journey beyond recove recovery. what happened after i got sober. they say the only thing that has to change is everything. so anybody who has any kind of addition and i think everybody has something that they are grappling with, can read this book and really get inside the mind of an addict and learn the way out. there is a solution and it's called the 12 steps and they are miraculous and i describe in detail exactly how they can work for whatever addiction you have out there in "i want." >> jane, tell me about your parents. a lot of people when they have a problem say, well, i learned this at home.
i don't know what i think about that. i think that maybe it's true or that maybe people blame their parents. i don't know. what about your home when you grew up? >> my mother has been a wonderful influence, 93 years strong. my dad an choilic, and he died before i got sober. i dedicated the book to him for that reason. i did learn alcoholism from him. i believe i had a genetic predisposition. this is how bad behavior is passed down generation to generation. nancy, most of the crimes you and i cover are related in some way shape or form to addiction, alcohol abuse, some kind of compulsive irrational self-destructive behavior. so we can learn to break the cycle and that's what i hope to achieve with this book. >> you know jane, you were talking about your dad in the
book there is a photo of your mom on age 20. this is her in the middle and she is how old? >> now, she is 93. she was the last of the vaudville performers. she played the palace theater when they danced between the movies. >> her proudest accomplishment must be you and this wonderful book. jane velez-mitchell, thank you. i want to see you shoot straight to the top of the charts with this. thank you, friend. >> thank you, nancy. thank you, friend. everyone, let's stop and remember army sergeant michael murphrey. he would give you the shirt off of this back. loved sports, outdoors, acoustic guitar. motorcycles, he leaves behind parent and four sisters, widow ashley and two children. michael murprery, american hero. thanks to our guests but especially to you. see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp eastern. until then, good night, friend.