Return to Transcripts main page
Inside a Predator's Mind; Battle Over Schiavo
Aired March 23, 2005 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now our next guest has a lot to say about sexual offenders. Jake Goldenflame speaks from personal experience. In his book, "Overcoming Sexual Terrorism," he not only tells you how to protect your kids, he candidly tells you about his own sexual addiction to children.
Jack Goldenflame joining us from San Francisco to talk all about that and much more.
Jake, great to have you with us.
JAKE GOLDENFLAME, RECOVERING SEX OFFENDER: Thank you, Kyra. Thank you for having me here.
PHILLIPS: Well, I definitely know this is -- we're about to enter a bit of a painful area for you. But you say it's therapy for you. Why don't you brief us quickly on your molestation case?
GOLDENFLAME: My molestation case took place approximately 20 years ago when at the -- what I call the bottom of my depravity, I finally molested my own daughter. And by the time we got to courting she wasn't even 5 years old. It was a complete -- an amazing turn to find myself in that position. Because four years previously, I'd been a sexual offender going after adolescent boy. This was so off the wall, so completely different it caused me to fear, in terror, what in me is so crazy and so at large, because I fear where will it take me next if I don't get help?
And so when she fortunately told her mother, and her mother confronted me, I immediately admitted it, I surrounded myself to police, I entered a plea of not guilty. And when I went to prison, I was fortunate enough to receive help during the five years I was in. I've now been out 14 years. I remain re-offense-free.
PHILLIPS: Take us inside your head, if you will, as we hear your case, we hear your testimony here, we talk about John Couey and the story of Jessica Lunsford. I know you even wrote to John Couey, and I'll get to that in a minute. But what on God's green earth causes somebody, like you, to think this way, to feel this way, to act this way?
GOLDENFLAME: Of course, I can't speak in Mr. Couey's case, because I haven't had a chance to talk with him yet. But in my case, and in most cases of child molesters, what you'll find is we were molested as children ourselves.
Now, of course, the question that comes up is, well, certainly not all children who were molested grow up to become molesters. And fortunately, they do not. So far as anybody can tell, the difference is this, if the damage is deep enough or if it continues over a long enough period, it causes a warp that takes place, a deviancy to form, you're fixated on it, and you'll find yourself in the grip of it.
Interestingly, some of the former child victims that I know now who are adults, tell me that they use the same prevention techniques that I do, so that they don't become offenders, just as I don't wish to become a re-offender.
PHILLIPS: All right, I want to ask you about that Jake, because you've come forward and said, no, you are never cured, you just learn how to deal with this. Tell me about the other day when you were getting off the bus, just recently, you felt a temptation.
PHILLIPS: Tell me what you work on, what you learned to do, and how you prevented something from happening at that moment.
GOLDENFLAME: Sure. I was taking a bus here in the city to go on an errand, doing what many other of your listeners are doing these days, filing my income-tax report through a commercial firm, and I got off the bus stop. And just as I stepped off the bus, I found that no more than three or four feet away from me was this adolescent boy of exactly the kind that I find very attractive. So the first thing that happens inside of me is I experience the feeling of the attraction and a bunch of firewalls come up inside of me. That's what the therapy and the training does. It's automatic. It's a behavioral response that's there. And it's like a guide that comes on in you and says, OK, turn away and go on with your business. You can't be tempted by something you're not looking at. So you just -- it's easy, you turn your head away and go on your business, and the urge goes away, and you're safe.
PHILLIPS: All right, let's talk about the laws, whether you think they should be stricter. You see Martha Stewart, she's got to wear something on her ankle so people can track her on a constant basis. You wonder, why don't every sexual offender have this? Why aren't they kept behind bars? But then you listen to your story, you think, OK, maybe there's hope here, maybe there is ways to rehabilitate. You spent five years in prison. Others never spend that much time in prison. What's the answer here, because not everybody can be like you, Jake.
GOLDENFLAME: Well, yes, fortunately there are of course many others who do. What it takes, as far as I can tell and from all the men that I deal with who are in prison now as sex offenders, it takes a commitment to healing. It takes a commitment to getting into recovery and staying in recovery that allows a lifetime. It's a commitment of immense depth, and frankly, many of us, as we go through our deviant career, we hear of it, we flirt with it, we look at it, but we're not ready, unfortunately, in too many cases, until it's too late, we're not ready to make that commitment. And when you do, when you're committed to healing, when you're committed to getting recovery, then recovery begins for you and you're on your way. PHILLIPS: But, Jack, what if you're not committed to it, OK? Richard Allen Davis, before he was found guilty of killing little Polly Klaas, I mean, his rap sheet was -- it was just unbelievable. And then you've got John Couey, who had done this in the past. And now, finally, he's being charged with killing a little girl. I mean, not everybody thinks, OK, let's see, i've got a problem, i've got to stop, rehabilitate myself.
PHILLIPS: So what about those offenders that may possibly not be able to be reached?
GOLDENFLAME: The recommendation I make, and I make this unequivocally, I believe we should change the law so that everybody who is convicted of a sex offense, especially against children, should go to prison on a life sentence with treatment beginning to be available to them on day one, and they don't get out until they're treatment team finds reasonably they can be released safely under appropriate monitoring. And then if they get out and mess up in any way and even look like they're going to re-offend again, they can be taken back for the rest of that life sentence. And whether they get a second bite of the apple or not depends upon the circumstances and authorities.
PHILLIPS: Jake Goldenflame, amazing testimony, author of the book "Overcoming Sexual Terrorism: 40 Ways to Protect Your Children From Sexual Predator."
I know we didn't get into your daughter. I know you haven't talked to her in 20 years. You're leaving it up to her to contact you. I know it's on your heart. But I thank you for your time today, Jack, and your honesty.
GOLDENFLAME: Thank you very much, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Appreciate it.
O'BRIEN: We are closely monitoring developments in the Terri Schiavo case of course. The case pulled into federal courts by President Bush's signature, but did a stroke of Governor Bush's pen conflict with his latest action?
Plus, it's the social event of the year in one African nation. Did you not get an invitation? Mine lost in the mail. No talks or formal gown needed. Just some fishing nets and some bare hands. We'll tell you about the ones that didn't get away.
O'BRIEN: Once again, the Terri Schiavo saga is before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, downtown Atlanta. And once again today, a flurry of paperwork as a series of motions are filed before that court, attempting to appeal and, in some cases, offer support to various parties.
CNN's Tony Harris with an update on some of the paperwork that is streaming across the doorway there -- Tony.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Fast and furious, Miles. Just a short time ago, we received the first filing from David Gibbs (ph), for a petition for an expedited re-hearing by the entire court, all 12 members of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. What the Schindlers are asking for is that the entire court take a look at the ruling this morning and reverse not only the three-judge-panel's decision, but also to reverse Judge Whittemore's decision in Tampa, when he refused yesterday to intervene in this matter.
Now, the Schindlers are pinning their hopes on the dissent to this morning's decision. And we can give you just a bit of the flavor of that dissent. "Congress intended for this case to be reviewed with a fresh set of eyes. We are not called upon to consider the wisdom of the legislation in granting this injunction, we would merely effectuate Congress' intent."
And in fact, if you look through this filing, this new filing that we received about 40 minutes ago, it is littered with a lot of the language from the law that Congress passed first thing Monday morning. And then, the dissent from Judge Wilson that was offered up this morning. So that is what is going on here.
And Miles, you asked a question short ago about what happens in this process next. Well, what happens is two things. First of all, what the Schindlers are looking for is a simple majority, 12 members of this court. They need seven judges to agree to two things. First of all, to hear the petition, to hear this.
And then, if they decide to hear this case, the petition for an expedited re-hearing, then they have to decide after the hearing to go along with and grant the request for the temporary restraining order that would restore the feeding tube to Terri Schiavo. So a lot of things still have to happen. We're going to be following the events here very closely -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right, Tony Harris, thank you very much. While they press their case in that Atlanta courtroom, Terri Schiavo's family also holding on to hope that her case will be soon heard in the highest court in the land. That possibility is reality since President Bush signed a special law to allow federal jurisdiction in this case. But does the president's involvement in this case conflict with his actions in the past?
Suzanne Malveaux looks into that.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since he was born, Sun Hudson had to fight for his life. He was kept alive on a ventilator, but hospital officials said his case was futile and recommended discontinuing life support. The infant's mother, Wanda Hudson, objected. But last week, the boy's breathing tube was removed and he died minutes later.
WANDA HUDSON, MOTHER: They took him off the ventilator and he breathed his last breath and that was it.
MALVEAUX: The hospital used a Texas law signed in 1999 by then Governor George Bush, and amended in 2003 to include minor's cases, which allows doctors to make the final call on terminating treatment.
Dr. Thomas Mayo helped draft the legislation.
DR. THOMAS MAYO, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY: When the doctors disagree with the decision-maker, in this case, the family decision- maker, after they have gone through the requirements of the statute, the hospital may remove life support over the family's objections.
MALVEAUX: Now, President Bush's signing of Terri's Law, which moved Terri Schiavo's case to federal court in an effort to save her life, has put a spotlight on Mr. Bush's past and present treatment of the matter.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is wise to always err on the side of life.
MALVEAUX: Critics charge hypocrisy.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: There is an obvious conflict here between the president's feelings on this matter now as compared to when he was governor of Texas.
MAYO: I don't see it as a conflict and I don't see the president as being hypocritical.
MALVEAUX: The Texas law included new provisions sought by right to life advocates to buy families more time and more options for their dying loved ones.
MAYO: There's a 10 day, a mandatory 10 day waiting period to allow for the possibility of a transfer to another hospital, to allow for a trip to the courthouse.
MALVEAUX: Consistent, the White House says, with President Bush's action in the Schiavo case.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON: So this law really was based on putting in new protections for someone when their life was at stake, and so that's consistent with what the president's view has always been, that we should be on the side of defending life, at all stages.
MALVEAUX: And defining life, the heart of the controversy.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.
O'BRIEN: All right, let's lighten things up here for just a moment. We've got a fish tale for you. The Super Bowl, that's in this country. Spain has that Pamplona bull thing, a bunch of bull. Well, that's just my opinion. And in Germany, of course, what do they do, they drink, Octoberfest, right?
PHILLIPS: All that beer. But I have a feeling in central Africa right now they're not drinking a lot of beer, although it might look like it, where one country hopes it's traditional festival is unique enough, colorful enough, and just plain bizarre enough to hook some tourist trade. Judge for yourself.
O'BRIEN: You know, if they're drinking beer, it would probably be a Bass.
Oh, here's Jeff Koinange.
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A police line of defense stands between an army of eager fisherman and a much sought- after prize. Now its 71st year, the annual Argungo (ph) Fishing Festival in northern Nigeria pits thousands of prospective fishermen and the chance to display their bare-handed skills in bagging the big fish. It's an event that draw the crowds in their thousands, from presidents to past presidents, and from religious leaders to foreign dignitaries, including the president of neighboring Niger, all key to be part of an event that stood the test of time.
In keeping with the tradition, a musket is fired, signaling the start of the event. A 100-meter dash as the competitors rush headlong into a muddy river in the pursuit of Nile perch and catfish. They carry the tackles used by their ancestors, giant butterfly nets and equally giant gourds, used for both flotation and as vessels to store their catches.
(on camera): Now the basic principle behind this competition is pretty straightforward. You rush in, you cast your net. You look for the biggest fish and the biggest fish wins. Oh, there's one more thing. The water in the river Argungo at its deepest point, about seven to eight feet.
(voice-over): There's no shortage of cheerleaders. These drummers are urging the fishermen not to give up. And the competitors, who come from as far away as Mali and Niger, are not about to. Thousands of bobbing heads dip into the muddy waters. While other contestants just float about on their giant kalabashes (ph). And lifeguards patrol the river in canoes just in case someone needs help.
In the suddenly frothing waters of Argungo river, it's a picture of chaos and confusion, as thousands of nets are tossed and tangled in a desperate attempt to beat the clock and claim the ultimate prize.
A half an hour later, a local villager lands what he hopes will be the catch of the day. But it's still early in the contest. Many of these fishermen will end up disappointed. Small fry like this won't cut it in the Argungo fishing festival.
Exactly an hour after the starting gun and it's all over. The prize catches are tagged and laid out for all to see.
And then, the moment of truth -- a whopping 165-pound Nile perch caught by a local hero, Timothy Olu (ph), so large, two men struggle to hold it up. Nigeria's president says the Argungo fishing festival should rival any major competition around the world and wants to turn it into a tourist attraction. This couple, all the way from New York City, agrees.
GENE HERSKOVITZ, TOURIST: It's something I've wanted to see for many years. It does not disappoint.
KOINANGE: To the winner, the spoils. With his shiny trophy and $1,000 in cash, Olu walks away, or rather, drives away, in this brand- new minibus, which is now also his. But perhaps, most importantly, he carries off bragging rights as Nigeria's No. 1 fishing man.
As for the Argungo River it returns to its serene status, a no-go zone for fishermen, at least until the same time next year.
Jeff Koinange, CNN, Kebestate (ph), in northern Nigeria.
O'BRIEN: So I guess it would kind of defeat the purpose to give them a fishing rod? I mean, that isn't the idea, right?
PHILLIPS: I think the funniest part is they win a minibus. That's what I think the best part is.
O'BRIEN: To put the fish in, I guess. Because you need it, because you're getting so many fish?
PHILLIPS: Taking them all home to cook them? See, your guess is as good as mine.
O'BRIEN: Comes with that new fish smell, as I understand it.
Well, coming up in our second hour of LIVE FROM, we can't top that, folks, but we're still going to press on anyway. We're going to track the global warming threat.
PHILLIPS: Your piece doesn't top Jeff Koinange's piece?
O'BRIEN: No, I'm sorry, Jeff Koinange trumps me today. I've got to be honest with you, folks, I did the best I could, I went to the far reaches of the Earth, but I didn't find anybody grabbing a fish out of the water and winning a minibus. But nevertheless, we'll tell you about an important documentary we have come up on CNN this Sunday, a little preview for you coming up ahead.
PHILLIPS: But first, as a designer, he set trends around the world and made the Armani suit a fashion-must. As part of CNN's 25th anniversary series, "Then and Now," we take a look at the career of Giorgio Armani and where he is today.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is known as the king of Italian fashion. Giorgio Armani became a household name in the 1980s, when Richard Gere in "American Gigolo" famously showed off his collection of shirts, jackets and ties.
In 1982, he was the first fashion designer to appear on the cover of "Time" magazine since Christian Dior in the 1950s. Armani revolutionized the wardrobe of mens and women alike, introducing a style of relaxed elegance and pale colors.
In the 1990s, he became the designer of choice for Hollywood stars, and was among the first to approach celebrities to wear his creations.
GIORGIO ARMANI, DESIGNER (through translator): I'm perceived as one who makes only serious clothes, for the working woman, the woman who has no strange ideas when, in fact, I'd like to think I have a clientele who is a little crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Armani expanded quickly, licensing eyewear, cosmetics and a fragrance, turning his business into a multibillion-dollar fashion powerhouse.
In 1998, he opened his first store in china. And last year, he inaugurated his winter collection in Shanghai. Fashion, he says, has no boundaries. At 70, Armani is celebrating 30 years running his own fashion line.
ARMANI (thought translator): It seems like yesterday. In fact, it's been 30 years of commitment.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com