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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Cars vs. Train; A Daughter Disappears; Parents Slain; Oprah's Endorsement?; In the Thick of Battle; Healthy Aging Guru Andrew Weil Distills His Message; "Bullets In the Hood" Documentary Wins Acclaim At Sundance; Reviewing Worst Relatives For the Holidays

Aired November 23, 2005 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: On Thanksgiving eve, a developing story -- a brutal train wreck.
And this, a young woman with a secret life, now missing.

ANNOUNCER: Small-town Girl Lindsay Harris told her parents she's moving to California. But she also had a secret and now she's missing. Tonight, America's Most Wanted John Walsh and how he's trying to crack her case.

Oprah, Hillary, Condi -- what three of America's leading ladies have in common -- and how they could clash during the next presidential election.

Plus, a trip in to the mind and a rare glimpse into the home of best-selling Author Dr. Andrew Weil. How does the doctor himself live and what's his connection between mind, body and spirit that can keep you living longer?

This is Anderson Cooper 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York.

COLLINS: A holiday commute leads to chaos and injuries. More on that coming up. But first, here are some of the other stories we're following at this moment.

In Crawford, Texas, today, 12 protestors were arrested outside the president's ranch. They were taken into custody for camping on the roadside around the Bush family property. That ordinance was created after August when an antiwar activist, Cindy Sheehan, led a vigil in Crawford.

In Iraq, a senior Sunni leader and family members were killed today by gunmen who stormed their home went to Baghdad. They were disguised as Iraqi troops. Iraqi officials say insurgents are suspected of carrying out the attack.

Out of London, the British government has warned news organizations against publishing details of charges being made by the tabloid, "The Daily Mirror." The accusation is that Prime Minister -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair talked to President Bush and he talked him out of bombing the Arabic new network, Al-Jazeera. The White House blasts the report as outlandish. Al-Jazeera is asking Britain to confirm or deny the allegations. And hard to believe, but we are now watching the 25th tropical storm of the season form in the Atlantic. Its Tropical Storm Delta -- right now, it's about 1,000 miles off the coast of the Azores Islands with winds of 60 miles per hour. And by tomorrow, Delta could become a hurricane.

On now to a suburb about 10 miles east of Chicago where a commuter train rammed a number of cars, leaving at least 13 people injured -- at least three of them critically. And CNN's Sean Callebs is there for us tonight. Sean, tell us what you know at this point.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A horrific beginning to the long holiday weekend. It unfolded here in Elmwood Park, just about 15 miles west of Chicago, about 5:30 Eastern Time. If you look behind me, you can see the aftermath of this violent collision, as the commuter rail simply plowed into five cars, sent those cars careening into at least eight others. When it was all said and done, we know 13 people who have been hurt -- that number could go up -- at least three of them critically.

And here is what is hard to believe. Now, if you look behind me, you can see investigators are still on the scene. The area just strewn with wreckage. You can see the tracks, the rail area -- well, that is also part of Grand Avenue for a section of about 75 feet. The rail shares the real estate with Grand Avenue. And what eye witnesses tell us, at rush hour traffic -- the height of rush hour -- on this, the busiest travel day of the year, apparently cars were backed up bumper to bumper. Now that is when the train came roaring around a curb, which is just about 200 yards behind me, going somewhere close to 55 or 60 miles an hour -- and that is the normal speed that this Express Train 107, comes barreling through here every day. It was at that point that the engineer apparently saw the traffic stopped on the tracks and here is what a Metra spokeswoman said happened next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDY PARDONNET, SPOKESWOMAN, METRA: At the point that he believed he saw cars on the track, he wouldn't know if they were attempting to cross around the gate or if the gate was up, but he did see an obstruction and they are trained -- they have a keen eye to look way down, to determine if there's anything crossing the tracks. When he saw that, he put the train into the emergency stop mode.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CALLEBS: It did stop or slow down, but not before plowing into a number of vehicles. and you can see some of the injured being removed from the wreckage. Now all of the people who were hurt were passengers in the vehicles. No one aboard the commuter train was reported injured. And usually at this time of day, this train is carrying somewhere between 400 and 500 people, but what is really hard for people in this are to comprehend, they say this is simply a very dangerous intersection. A lot of people say they worry about this every time they go through.

If you look over my right shoulder, you can see one of the crossing arms. Now some concern -- was this crossing arm down or was it up? Well, the Metra spokeswoman said by all indications, it went down, showing that a train was coming. But at that point, cars were already stopped and there was nowhere to go. That had to be a horrifying moment at that point for the vehicles, Heidi, knowing that train was coming around the corner at the speed it was moving and virtually nowhere to go. The result, simply a devastating beginning to the holiday weekend here in a suburb of Chicago -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Sean, I just want to make sure everybody's clear on this. We talked a lot about the road being the train tracks as well and how close they are. But this accident did happen in an intersection where people were trying to cross directly across those train tracks. They were not running parallel to the train tracks, correct?

CALLEBS: Exactly. Part of the area on Grand Avenue is also part of the tracks for Metra. This is not used by Amtrak, this is for the Metra line. Now this apparently is not a case which we hear so often where people, impatient, were going around the downed gate -- at least that's the preliminary information that is out there now.

We should say there are a host of government agencies, some federal, state that are going to be probing this. From the highways, NTSB, trying to look in. It's very early now to determine exactly what happened, but by all accounts from the eye witnesses, they said it was just a horrific, horrific accident. People nowhere to go on the beginning of a holiday, the height of rush hour, the busiest travel day of the year.

COLLINS: All right. Sean Callebs, we certainly appreciate the update from near Chicago tonight. Thank you, Sean.

An estimated 37 million people will travel over this Thanksgiving weekend -- and most will be braving the traffic and airport crowds to be with friends or family.

But, anyone who's lost a loved one knows how hard the holidays can be. Just ask Martha and Robert Harris. Their daughter vanished without a trace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LINDSAY HARRIS, MISSING GIRL: I caught a fish!

COLLINS (voice-over): Lindsey Harris was a quintessential all- American girl. Raised in small-town Skaneateles, New York, her parents -- both educators -- her father, an amateur artist.

ROBERT HARRIS, LINDSAY'S FATHER: When I think of Lindsay, I think of everything that is beautiful in life. That's the reason I paint.

COLLINS: But Lindsay had secrets. A secret boyfriend and a secret plan. When she was 19, she started dating 26-year old Solomon Barron (ph), a hip-hop promoter. In January of 2003, she moved to Las Vegas to live with Solomon and never told her parents. Two months later, she announced she was working as a Vegas dancer. But according to Solomon, that wasn't quite true either.

SOLOMON BARRON, BOYFRIEND OF LINDSAY: She wasn't a dancer, she was working for a dance services or like escort services.

COLLINS: She even advertised her services on an escort Web site, under another name. Her family finally found out about Solomon when she brought him home for Christmas.

R. HARRIS: I shook his hand and I said, promise me one thing. And he said, what's that? I said, you'll take care of my daughter. And don't ever let anything happen to her.

COLLINS: But something did happen to her. On May 4 she made a bank deposit in Henderson, Nevada, mailed a Mother's Day card to her mom and was never seen again.

Her parents heard the news in this chilling message from Solomon.

(BEGIN RECORDING)

BARRON: I'm calling to try and find out of anyone spoke to Lindsay.

(END RECORDING)

MARTHA HARRIS, LINDSAY'S MOTHER: He said Lindsay is missing. She's been missing for 36 hours. I don't know where she is.

COLLINS: Solomon said he was in Syracuse on business, following a fight with Lindsay.

BARRON: She didn't want to be left alone. She practically like begged me not to leave her alone and that's why it's just hard for me now.

COLLINS: Lindsay's disappearance exposed the dark side of her life in Las Vegas, as a paid escort with an arrest for solicitation. But her parents say that's not the Lindsay they knew.

M. HARRIS: My concern was that I did not want the police to look at her as a prostitute and chalk her up to be another missing prostitute in Las Vegas. That is not the case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: That story and all the pictures. And it came to us from "America's Most Wanted." The program's host, John Walsh, is a familiar face to most of us. He's also co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. His daughter and Lindsay Harris were friends growing up. And on this weekend, "America's Most Wanted" will feature Lindsay's story. I spoke to John Walsh earlier tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: John, I know that you're going to talk about the disappearance of Lindsay Harris on your program this Saturday and we know that she's been missing since May. What do you think the chances are of find her alive?

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, we never give up hope. For example, in the case of Elizabeth Smart, everybody thought that she was gone forever. Nine months was a long time. Lindsay Harris, I would pray in my heart of hearts that she was alive. The odds are very, very slim.

I know this family. This is a very loving, wonderful family from a small town in upstate New York -- Skaneateles, New York. As a matter of fact, Lindsay grew up with my daughter, Megan, and they knew each other. And then Lindsay sort of went to the darker side of life, but she's a beautiful young lady and we -- unfortunately, we fear the worst has happened. But, it's killing her family not to know what happened to her. The not knowing is always the worst.

COLLINS: Absolutely. What about leads right now or any suspects that you might be able to talk about?

WALSH: Well, her boyfriend is someone that police really want to talk to in greater depth. Solomon Barron, you know, he has been a little bit less than cooperative. He's a person of interest. And that's why we're focusing on this, this Saturday night. I know that somebody out there knows what happened to Lindsay Harris. She was last seen leaving the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas May 4. And I'm just hoping that person -- whoever it is -- has the courage to call our hotline, like thousands and thousands of people have done in the last 18 years. And I want to say one thing. I always guarantee that the person can remain anonymous. Somebody knows what happened to Lindsay Harris.

COLLINS: Do you feel in your heart then that foul play is involved?

WALSH: I really, in my heart of hearts believe that foul play is involved. This is a girl who used to call home all the time. She was a very, very loving daughter, who loved and respected her parents. And I fear the worst, but you never know. But the bottom line is somebody knows what happened to Lindsay Harris and that person, please, I'm begging you, have the courage to call our hotline on Saturday night. This family loves this girl so much and they're desperate for any information.

COLLINS: We actually heard that her mother said she doesn't want her to be considered just another missing prostitute. Is that a concern in cases like this, that are treated perhaps differently by police?

WALSH: Well, absolutely. Certainly, you know, I've often said this. If it was -- let's say it was a stripper that was gang-raped by a motorcycle gang. It doesn't matter who did it or who was the victim. It's still a crime. And you know, for years, missing women, no matter what their background was or is, were not important. I mean, we really only started looking for missing women when Chandra Levy became a person of interest because of her affair with Gary Condit. When Chandra Levy went missing, there were 5,000 missing women in the FBI computer. It just seems that cops don't really care about adult missing women.

COLLINS: Well, John Walsh, we always appreciate your hard work in helping to solve these cases. A pleasure talking to you tonight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Just in now, some new developments tonight in the murder of Cathryn and Michael Borden, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They come from court papers filed by the prosecution, coming to light today. Text messaging between the alleged killer, David Ludwig, and his girlfriend, the daughter of the victims, 14-year old Kara Borden.

After spending the night together at his house, he drove her home at 5:30 in the morning and then waited for her customary message that she was fine. Instead, he got nothing. After calling several times, he reached her and she said her parents had caught her and wanted to see him. Then he reportedly told police he stuffed a Glock pistol in his belt and grabbed some other weapons and headed for the Borden home.

The papers also reveal other details of what he told police, including this chilling remark: I did not aim, he said, I have a lot of shooting experience and I usually hit what I shoot at.

360 next. Now, a little name-dropping. What if Oprah endorsed Hillary? Could it take the former first-lady back to the White House?

Later, how is the war at home affecting the warriors in Iraq? We're with the troops in battle.

And, how to live longer by living and eating right. Dr. Andrew Weil has a somewhat controversial prescription.

This is 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: You can know pretty much nothing about the business of book publishing and still do alright simply knowing this: Oprah Winfrey sells books. That's a given. And here's a what if. What if Oprah endorsed a candidate? And now that we're on a first-name basis here, what if Oprah endorsed Hillary? Well here's CNN's Bill -- Bill Schneider, that is.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Hillary Clinton and TV Host Oprah Winfrey. According the Gallup poll, they are the two most admired women in America. They had a very interesting and possibly politically significant encounter at the International Emmy Awards Ceremony Monday evening. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY: Thank you. I hope you do us a privilege and run for office -- Thank you -- President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: Was that an endorsement? Not clear. But Oprah Winfrey has a huge following, particularly among women. The question is whether it could translate into votes. Right now, Senator Clinton is leading in the polls for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. The leader among Republicans at this early point, Senator John McCain. What would a Hillary Clinton/John McCain race look like?

The CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll pitted the two front-runners against each other among registered voters nationwide. The result, McCain leads Clinton by 10 points. Why? Men. Men give McCain a huge lead over Clinton. Women are divided. Maybe an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey could make a difference. If she were to rally women to support Hillary Clinton, the race could become a lot closer.

Some Republicans are trying to get Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to run for president. Rice is the fourth most admired woman in the country, after Laura Bush. What would a Rice versus Clinton race look like? Clinton, by nine points. Why? Women. In a race between the two women contenders, women voters prefer the Democrat by 16 points. And men, they just can't make up their minds. Maybe Oprah could help them.

(On camera): When Oprah endorses a book, it instantly becomes a best-seller. It would be interesting to see what would happen if she endorsed a politician. Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Sophia Choi from "Headline News," joins us now with some of the other stories we're following tonight. Hello again, Sophia.

SOPHIA COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Heidi. Well, in Baghdad, the trial of Saddam Hussein will resume on Monday. The top (inaudible) dictator's lawyer's threatened to boycott the hearing because of security concerns, but their protest ended today after a deal was struck. Hussein and seven co-defendants are accused of killing 148 men and boys in 1982.

In Boston, an uncontested election win for Senator John Kerry. The former presidential candidate was named jury foreman earlier this week in a negligence case involving the city. Fellow jurors called him a natural leader and praised Kerry for keeping his focus.

And a sure sign of rebirth from New Orleans. Today, the city said it will host Mardi Gras in February. The parade will be shorter and follow a smaller route through the French Quarter. Also, to help pay the costs, corporate sponsors will be enlisted -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, Sophia, thank you.

And now to Iraq. As the debate over troop withdrawal rages in Washington, it could be easy to forget there's actually a war raging every day in Iraq. Men and women firing their weapons, taking fire from insurgents. This is what a recent firefight looked like.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire! Cease fire!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right to the left of the two long ones!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reloading!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: You're looking at Operation Steel Curtain, which just ended a couple of days ago in Iraq. U.S. Marines and Iraqi Security Forces have teamed up for the mission, aimed at clearing insurgents from northern Iraqi towns near the Syrian border. And CNN's Arwa Damon was embedded with the Marines and has just returned. She's joining us now from Baghdad tonight.

Arwa, the troops you were with, are they aware that people are talking about America pulling out of Iraq back here in the United States?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're aware of it to a certain degree, but let me tell you something. For them, when they're here, when they have to deal with the reality of being here -- and the reality on the ground is very different, they say, than the reality that's perceived in the State. There's a raw harsh gritting as to being, a reality of having to deal with the kind of fight that they're seeing, especially in -- about Operation Steel Curtain, that isn't really translated over to the audience in America.

And they do feel a certain sense of disconnect from the United States, from their people back home. In the sense that they say, you know, people back home don't really know what it's like for us to be here and they have no way of knowing what it's like for us to have to fight this kind of an enemy on a daily basis. There really is no way to describe to someone at home.

Like one young Marine put it to me, said, how do I describe to my fiancee what it's like to have the taste of smoke from a grenade in the back of throat? How do I describe what it's like to open a door and not know what's behind it, not know where I'm placing my foot and have to deal with that kind of a thing on a regular basis, especially up on Western Al Anbar province, where Operation Steel Curtain recently ended.

It's very different for the young men and women who are over here, that the reality of war and the political debate in the States -- quite frankly, they know it's happening. They know it's going on. They hear about the polls, they hear about rising or weakening support for the war here; but for them, the reality here is very different and they do feel an extreme amount of disconnect from the American population.

And, of course, they ask themselves why are we here? Is this worth it? Do we need to stay? Do we need to go? But most of them, across the board, when they're here on the ground dealing with the insurgency, dealing with the civilian population, they realize the necessity to certain degrees in some areas for U.S. presence here and they want to fulfill their mission.

COLLINS: So you don't hear them actually talking about abandoning that mission?

DAMON: Very, very rarely. Most of them who are here recognize the necessity of being here -- especially up in Husaybah, during Operation Steel Curtain. The fight up there was unique in the sense that Husaybah is a city, have not had a presence in it for about a year and a half. The Marines used to stay at a camp just outside the city.

And they would see the insurgents, they'd observe them moving around the city, coming up a few hundred meters from the base, taking potshots, firing RPGs, firing mortars. They knew an enemy was out there and there specifically -- if we're going to focus on that as an example -- they wanted to go into that city and they wanted to clear of the insurgents.

There was a genuine desire to take that city back and to give it back to the civilian population, as they say, you know, we wanted to liberate this city. And they saw the necessity of it. And while there's evident peeks when fighting an insurgency at all times -- and they question the necessity of it, like I was saying before -- there isn't really talk, especially in Husaybah of withdrawing.

They've finally been able to go in, they've finally been able to restore a certain measure of control. And now the next step for them is interacting with the civilians and for them there, their aim is to make it safe enough for a civilian population to be able to survive there and have a relatively normal life.

And when you're out there and you're dealing with the civilian population, that's the next step of the challenge for them. And for them, that's just as important and just as significant as the actual fighting itself.

COLLINS: All right. Arwa Damon, we certainly appreciate your perspective from being embedded over there. Thank you so much.

For the men and women serving in the armed forces overseas, Thanksgiving will be celebrated under very trying circumstances. But to make the holiday feel as much at home as possible, the troops will be treated to a traditional turkey dinner and on a very large table. To feed the troops in the Middle East and Central Asia, the order calls for 300,000 pounds of turkey, 150,000 pounds of boneless ham. There will also be some 50,000 pounds of stuffing, 10,000 pounds of mashed potatoes, plenty of eggnog and 30,000 pounds of pies. By the way, the meal is being prepared by Halliburton.

On 360 next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a Category 4 hurricane doesn't prepare you, then nothing will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Three months after Katrina turned their lives upside down, we'll see how one family has found the weather and life way up north.

And my conversation with Dr. Andrew Weil. His tips for healthy aging.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: One day your world revolves around New Orleans; the next, you're an evacuee winging across America to somewhere U.S.A. In the madness of those incredible post-Katrina days, some evacuees literally did not know where they were going. Life became a lottery -- and there are some winners. CNN's Adaora Udoji reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Burns family, Tina, Reynolds, and son Leroy, could never have imagined the life they're living today and the city they're living it.

TINA BURNS, EVACUEE: We see a chance to have a better life since an act of God brought us here. And I think that we'll stay here.

UDOJI: Here would be Cambridge, Massachusetts. Light years away from New Orleans. The act of God, Hurricane Katrina, forced them onto a harrowing journey, hours in the filthy Convention Center, and a sleepless night with thousands in the chaos of Louis Armstrong Airport, wondering if their misery would ever end.

REYNOLDS BURNS, EVACUEE: Not being able to rest, not having a place to sleep in, you know, I mean, we were there for about 12 hours.

UDOJI: They, like so many, clamored onto FEMA's disorganized free flight to emergency shelters in 48 states. But the agency was so overwhelmed, it couldn't tell them where they were going until takeoff.

R. BURNS: The pilot came on and he was like, OK, you will be flying over Boston, Massachusetts, in two and a half hours. And we were like, wow, Massachusetts?

UDOJI: Straight over Boston. They were evacuated at first to Cape Cod, the summer playground of the rich and famous.

R. BURNS: And there's Leroy.

T. BURNS: And there I am. R. BURNS: There she is.

UDOJI: The last place on earth the Burns thought they'd ever be. They've never seen this video of their arrival until now.

T. BURNS: What's going on in the plane?

R. BURNS: It's pretty noisy. A lot of people like cheering, and lot of people are ...

T. BURNS: We made it safely.

UDOJI (voice-over): Safe but understandably nervous. Then they met Reverend Brown.

T. BURNS: He said, you are safe. You're gonna be OK.

REV. JEFFERY BROWN, MAYOR OF CAMP EDWARDS: I told them that we want you to know that you're welcome in this place.

T. BURNS: Those simple words were so incredible, so phenomenal.

R. BURNS: They were so nice to us.

UDOJI: The family settled in at Camp Edwards, a military base that became home to more than 200 survivors who became like a big family.

BROWN: Here on the camp (ph) they were able to find out that they job options. That they had housing options.

UDOJI: It was still a painful six weeks. The Burns had to find missing relatives who eventually turned up in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. And they also had to figure out how to start over, along way from the Big Easy, but they found new loves.

T. BURNS: The Red Sox. And we have been converted.

R. BURNS: Oh, yes. Yes, we are Red Sox fans.

UDOJI: They found a home in Cambridge, a Boston suburb, and a school for Leroy.

LEROY BURNS, HURRICANE SURVIVOR: I made two friends. I made one friend yesterday.

T. BURNS: Oh, really?

L. BURNS: Yes.

I think it's great. I hope we stay here for a long time.

UDOJI: Reynolds found a security job at a luxury hotel. Tina waitresses banquets. They plan to go back to college.

R. BURNS: It's a nice place to live. There is a lot of opportunity here.

UDOJI: As much as they're yearning to go home, and some people have gone back to their neighborhood, the family decided they couldn't return to a mold infest apartment.

R. BURNS: I love you, too.

UDOJI: Now they're hope for the future lies here in Cambridge in a place they knew nothing about just months ago.

(on camera): You like the car?

T. BURNS: It's beautiful. Beautiful.

UDOJI: You ready for winter?

R. BURNS: I don't know. It's kind of scary. But I'm ready for anything, you know? If a Category 4 hurricane doesn't prepare you, then nothing will. You know?

UDOJI (voice-over): Adaora Udoji, CNN, Boston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: What a great attitude. 360, next, healthy aging, best selling author Doctor Andrew Weil says he has the tools you need.

Also tonight, bullets in the hood. A young man turns a personal tragedy into triumph.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Let's face it, this time tomorrow night chances are you'll be loosening your belt a notch and hiding the scale. The average Thanksgiving meal is a whopping 4,000 calories. So let the holiday eating season begin -- and get for the holiday stress.

All of it can take a toll on your body. Doctor Andrew Weil has some tips in his new book, "Healthy Aging: A Life-Long Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being." Some doctors don't accept Doctor Weil's advice but millions of Americans do. A couple of days ago I went to his Arizona ranch to talk with the health guru.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): He looks like Jolly Ol' St. Nick, a full white beard, round apple cheeks, a generous girth, and some would say, even a twinkle in his eye.

(on camera): You think people trust you because you look like Santa Claus?

DR. ANDREW WEIL, AUTHOR, "HEALTHY AGING": I think people trust me, first of all, because I have a medical degree from Harvard. I have good credentials. I'm a full professor at the University of Arizona. And I think that what -- the message that I put out there is balanced.

That is what I mean by "healthy aging" or "graceful aging."

COLLINS (voice-over): He may not be Santa Claus, but millions of people consider his message a gift. That message is all about healthy aging. Doctor Andrew Weil has been preaching it for decades and people are listening. In fact, they're reading, they're watching, they just can't seem to get enough.

WEIL: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm 85.

WEIL: Good work.

COLLINS: One of "Time" magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, he's written 10 books, five were "New York Times" best- sellers. He's generated $15 million hits a month on his web site and made a fortune along the way. But even with a Harvard medical degree, his way, his path, was anything but mainstream.

WEIL: I made a very conscious decision not to take further clinical training in conventional medicine, because I didn't see myself using it.

COLLINS: Instead, Doctor Weil developed his own kind of healing. He calls it "integrative medicine." He's the founder of the program for integrative medicine at the University of Arizona.

WEIL: We're really looking at you as a whole person, not just a physical body, but a mental/emotional being, and a spiritual entity, and a community member.

COLLINS: Doctor Weil cherry picks from many disciplines, Eastern, Western, herbal remedies, acupuncture, yoga, massage, and in cases of serious illness or injury good old conventional medicine.

WEIL: I respect the areas in which standard medicine has made great accomplishments, and at the same time I look out there and see there is a lot more that we could be doing.

COLLINS: To many in the medical establishment, Doctor Weil's hodgepodge of therapies is close to heresy. Too much anecdotal evidence, not enough science.

DR. GRAHAM WOOLF, GASTROENTEROLOGIST, CEDARS SINAI: My only concern is whether these have been proven to work or people are just throwing money at a variety of different therapies.

COLLINS: Doctor Graham Woolf, of Cedars Sinai, has written in magazines and medical journals that he doesn't buy Weil's ways.

GRAHAM: These herbal products are not benign. Just because they're natural doesn't really mean that they're safe. They contain contaminants. They're not FDA approved. There is really no evidence that any of them work. WEIL: That is not a substantive claim. You know, for instance, if you look at many of these areas mind/body medicine for example, there is four decades of very solid research on that.

COLLINS: Doctor Weil agrees not all alternative medicines are reliable, but he says the herbal remedies he favors are far less dangerous that pharmaceutical drugs.

When he's not battling critics, or jetting off to book signings, Doctor Weil builds a peaceful life around his teachings. A long dirt road leads to his 120-acres secluded ranch at the foothills of Arizona's Rincon Mountains. It was there we sat down, Indian style, no shoes allowed, for a rare on-camera interview at the heart of it all, the Zen room.

(on camera): So what is the key to longevity?

WEIL: I think the key to longevity is delaying the onset and reducing the risk of age related disease. The big ones are cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease. We're all dealt a certain hand of genetic cards, some good some bad, but it is up to us how we play them.

COLLINS (voice-over): The ace in the hole, he says, the food we eat.

WEIL: Eat fewer foods of animal origin, more fruits and vegetables. Make sure you've got omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, either from oily fish or fish oil supplements. Try to reduce consumption of quick digesting carbohydrate foods, which are the ones made from any kind of flour, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup. Take a good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement. Add things to the diet like green tea, and dark chocolate and red wine, in moderation.

COLLINS: It seems Weil's mass appeal capitalizes on just the right balance of herbal intrigue and common sense.

WEIL: Aside from eating right, you want to maintain physical activity throughout life. Walking is a perfectly good physical activity. If you want to learn some method of stress management. I think you want to keep your mind active, whether that's by learning another language or changing your computer operating system frequently.

And for the record, I don't tell people to do anything I don't do myself. So the lifestyle that I promote in my books is thus my lifestyle.

COLLINS: There are greenhouses to grow his own organic fruits and vegetables. A Swiss Family Robinson style tree house, built to connect with nature, a hand-crafter personal labyrinth with only one way in, one way out, to exercise his mind and spirit. Doctor Weil, walks the walk.

WEIL: The more one has walked the more it builds up a concentration of energy. COLLINS: For all of Doctor Weil's focus on healthy aging this 63-year old is bluntly realistic about the inevitable.

WEIL: I think the whole concept of anti-aging is flawed. Aging is a natural, universal process. If you set your goal as anti-aging you've put yourself in a very wrong relationship with nature.

COLLINS: So instead he emphasizes aging gracefully.

WEIL: My favorite techniques are breathing methods because they're so cost efficient and time efficient.

COLLINS: So that's what we did; we breathed.

WEIL: Seven out, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

COLLINS: Even though Weil stresses staying connected, maintaining relationships, he is divorced. Something he counts as one of his failures in life. One of his greatest successes? A daughter from the marriage, 14-year-old Diana.

WEIL: All right. Well, have a great trip. And if you wind up in jail, I'll come get you.

COLLINS (on camera): Are you revolutionary?

WEIL: You know, I've been called revolutionary. To me the irony is that I think what I'm working for, and what I and my colleagues are working for, is really a very conservative movement. The least expensive, least invasive, least risky is going to save money, it's going to lower healthcare costs. The success of it will be that one day we can drop the word "integrative" and this will just be good medicine.

COLLINS (voice-over): In the time it took you to watch this story, you just got a little bit older. It happens to everyone. But we continue to fight it every step of the way. If Doctor Weil has his way, we'll stop fighting it and learn to accept it gracefully. He just might be onto something.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Tomorrow night, more secrets to healthy aging, don't miss a special edition of 360, "Living Longer, Living Stronger." That's tomorrow at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m., Pacific, on 360.

360, next, now do you feel like you're relatives are a bunch of turkeys? We got a pep talk for you. We'll talk to the author of "50 Relatives Worse Than Yours."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: In a world where 24-hour media can overwhelm the senses, urban violence plays like a tragedy without a solution. Perhaps that helps explain why a documentary called "Bullets In The Hood" brought judges at a major film festival to their feet. Step into Terrance's world and you'll see why so many are cheering for him. Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Growing up in the rough projects in one of New York's more dangerous neighborhoods Bedford-Stuyvesant, Terrance Fischer had already learned that sometimes a single moment can change your life forever.

TERRANCE FISCHER, FILMMAKER: Right here we got one of the murals right here. This is my boy, Castro.

TUCHMAN (on camera): How long ago was he killed?

FISCHER: He been kilt a couple of years, it's been like a couple of years, right now.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And the inner-city murals often commemorate those who died in the streets.

FISCHER: This is Jamal, right here, AKA, Jah. This is my boy, Pop, right here. My boy, Pop, AKA, Stoppo.

TUCHMAN: Terrance knows all too well about gun violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The unarmed teen was shot and killed by a New York City housing cop, at around 1 this morning.

TUCHMAN: Terrance's close friend was that unarmed teen. He and Timothy Stansbury, had been friends and neighbors since elementary school.

FISCHER: He was a chill dude, funny person, make you laugh all day.

TUCHMAN: A few months before Timothy was killed Terrance had enrolled in a community documentary film program. He began shooting this film about gun violence, featuring teens from his neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See this, man? Two, two, 1900, now you can't get no better than that.

FISCHER: I'm saying, though, when you have the gun in your possession, how do you feel? How do the gun make you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want me to show you how I feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pop them in the head with this, nigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all are lucky it wasn't loaded.

TUCHMAN: Within his film Terrance offered this advice.

FISCHER: Wow. Do you see what a man can do to another man's life? By just pulling the trigger, that's all you have to do.

TUCHMAN: Terrance had no idea how prophetic his words would become. Timothy was killed just after that scene was filmed. And especially shocking, the circumstances behind the shooting.

(on camera): On a January night, 2004, Terrance was on this rooftop with his friends Timothy and Lashawn (ph). They were walking roof to roof, which is not an unusual thing to do in some urban neighborhoods. They were at a party a few apartments down, they climbed up to the roof, to come here, to Terrance's apartment. Once the reached the roof of his apartment they walked down a stairwell to get some CDs. They got the CDs and started climbing back up the stairs. Lives were changed seconds later.

FISCHER: We were just laughing, giggling, talking real loud. Next thing you know, a door just opened, and just seeing a cop just put his arm up in, into the door. Like spot, right here, and shot in. I heard no voice, the only thing I heard was a shot (INAUDIBLE) someone screaming (INAUDIBLE).

It was nightmare. I thought it was a nightmare.

Cop shot him. He was 19 years old. I thought that he shouldn't have been a victim of gun violence, at such a young age.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): At the time, no one, not even the New York City Police Department, could find a reason why this New York City housing cop, Richard Nary (ph), pulled the trigger before investigating what was on the other side of the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on the facts we have gathered, there appears to be no justification for the shooting.

TUCHMAN: Officer Nary (ph), did not want to talk on camera, but has said it was an accident. That it was dark and he pulled the trigger unintentionally. But the fact is Officer Nary (ph) killed an innocent teenager. Ironically, the victim's mother has been an employee of the New York City Police Department for almost 15 years.

PHYLLIS CLAYBORNE, TIMOTHY STANSBURY'S MOM: What happened? Why he had to go like this?

TUCHMAN: The death of Timothy dramatically changed Terrance's film project. He and his co-producer, Daniel Howard decided to make Timothy's story the main thrust of the film, and to do it through Terrance's eyes.

We thought that it would be powerful if we can get all of this to show a sense of reality.

TUCHMAN: While filming the community's reaction, a grand jury convened on the fate of Officer Richard Nary. The decision? There was not enough evidence for an indictment. Terrance and many others in Bed-Stuy were shocked.

FISCHER: We could have did anything. We could have got together and really started a riot, but we choose not to.

TUCHMAN: On the first anniversary of Timothy's death Terrance attended a candlelight memorial in Bed-Stuy. Days before he had attended a screening of his documentary, "Bullets In The Hood: A Bed- Stuy Story", at the Sundance Film Festival. Not expecting to win an award, he left before the winners were announced.

FISCHER: I didn't even know nothing about Sundance. I'm like where we got Sundance? All right? And so I ran up on it like, wow, I didn't even know it was like this.

TUCHMAN: And then Terrance got a call he couldn't believe. They had won the Sundance Special Jury Prize. And acknowledgement from the film committee that picking up a camera could be more powerful than picking a gun.

FISCHER: This is the last mural right here. Timothy Stansbury, AKA, Drag. Drag, love you, Dawg. My heart, man.

TUCHMAN: A true friend, who took a single tragic moment and turned it into a lasting tribute. Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Up next, relatives you'll be glad to know are somebody else's relatives this Thanksgiving. We'll hear from the author of "50 Relatives Worse Than Yours." A break first. You're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Chances are you'll spend some time tomorrow with people you love. Some you only like, and others, well you could certainly live without. It's called family we're all blessed and just when your Uncle Ernie says the wrong thing or Aunt Martha gets into the hard cider, take comfort in knowing that it could be worse.

Justin Racz is the author of "50 Relatives Worse Than Yours." And he's joining us tonight from Houston.

Thanks for being here Justin. I understand some of the profiles are actually based on your family, for instance lets look at "The Force Feeder." It's actually a photograph of your grandmother. She made you eat, huh?

JUSTIN RACZ, AUTHOR, "50 RELATIVES WORSE THAN YOURS": Great Grandma Becky, she was a very big proponent of eating. And I'm pretty skinny so she never trusted me, and always thought I could eat much more, three more servings, every day should have been Thanksgiving

COLLINS: How about one of my favorites "The Brother Who Beat the Crap Out of You." Did you experience something similar with your own brother?

RACZ: Yes that's my Brother Greg in that photo.

COLLINS: Actually we're going to show another photo This is the "Resume Padding Parent. But now we're looking at "The Brother Who Beat the Crap Out of You."

RACZ: Yes. It's my older brother, Gregory; six years older. And at that point, probably twice my size in height and weight. And he was a master with the nuggie, the purple nuggie, the cauliflower ear, quarter Nelson, and he really -- he took me to town.

COLLINS: And the "Holiday Drunk"? Who is that? And what's Thanksgiving with him like?

RACZ: Well, I'll find out tomorrow, he is the father of my girlfriend.

COLLINS: Is he watching tonight?

RACZ: And I hope to be staying at the house. We'll see if I get in the front door after the interview.

COLLINS: Yes.

RACZ: He's a wonderful man and we're starting Thanksgiving Day at 11 am tomorrow. So it should be a long drinking day. We'll see how it goes.

COLLINS: Do you have yourself in the book?

RACZ: Yes, well, I was getting the crap beaten out of me, a second ago. And that's actually the only photo of me.

COLLINS: OK. Great. Do you have any personal advice, though, for people dealing with the onslaught of strange relative throughout the holidays?

RACZ: Well, the worse vice is advice, someone told me. However, eat through the pain. Try to eat yourself into a coma, and that way you'll get through the holidays much quicker.

COLLINS: And quickly, we'll tell you the "Resume Padding Parent" that we saw a picture of, is just the parent who talks incessantly about their child and tells everybody that they are brilliant and the most terrific person in the universe, right?

RACZ: Yes, in order to get into a very good college these days it's good to do something exceptionally well and do something very rare, like play the tuba. And so that child is actually my girlfriend's sister. And she was given a tuba and she did get into an ivy league college.

COLLINS: Well, there you go. Quickly, Justin, why did you write the book?

RACZ: I thought it was universal. My other book was "50 Jobs Worse Than Yours." And this book, which I wrote with Alec Brownstein (ph), we thought this could be something universal that everyone can relate to.

COLLINS: You're making people feel better all around the country tonight.

RACZ: I hope so. COLLINS: Justin Racz, thanks so much. And happy Thanksgiving.

More of 360 coming up in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: That's it for us, everybody. Larry King is next. Happy Thanksgiving.

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