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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Top Terrorist Killed?; Randall McCloy Awakening; A Survivor's Story; Police Beating Twist; Sins of the Father; Coal Mining: Past and Future; A Town's Struggle

Aired January 18, 2006 - 23:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from Morgantown, West Virginia. Outside the hospital where the lone Sago Mine survivor fights for his life. Tonight, encouraging news about his condition.
And overseas, a possible major development in the War on Terror.

ANNOUNCER: New details tonight on that high stakes missile attack the U.S. launched to kill Bin Laden's deputy. Is it possible the missile killed a different Al Qaeda leader?

Two weeks after the Sago Mine tragedy claimed 12 lives and stole so much hope, tonight, promising news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We announce that Randy McCloy is awakening from his coma.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: The latest from West Virginia on why Randy McCloy's doctors are calling him a medical miracle.

This miner barely escaped the fatal Sago explosion, yet with the horrors so fresh and safety questions still unanswered, he's already back on the job. Why take the risk?

Remember this videotape? Law officers beating a man in New Orleans. Now there's a strange legal twist in the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who are also accused are also being tried with me. I don't understand it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: So who is the victim and who is the defendant? Tonight, 360 investigates.

This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER. Live from West Virginia, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Good evening again. Was Al Qaeda's master bomb maker killed in a CIA air strike? We'll get the facts, coming up. First, here are some of the stories we're following at this moment.

Trying to save the life of an American reporter held hostage in Iraq. Captors are threatening to kill Jill Carroll unless all Iraqi women held in military custody are freed by Friday. Today, the "Christian Science Monitor" said it is quote, "undertaking strenuous efforts to secure her release."

Months after Katrina, the search for the missing along the Gulf Coast continues, and with staggering numbers. Today, more than 3,000 people are still unaccounted for. But Louisiana state medical examiner wants authorities to check the most devastated neighborhoods again for hurricane victims. They may still be out there.

And in Washington, the Supreme Court takes up the abortion issue. The court says New Hampshire's parental notification law requiring a parent to be notified of a minor's decision to have an abortion must include an exception to protect the minor's health. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the opinion for the court -- maybe her last before she steps down.

A lot to cover in the hour ahead. We are closely following the progress of Randy McCloy, Jr., the sole survivor of the Sago Mine tragedy, who's being treated in the hospital that's right behind me. We're going to have an update on his condition in a moment.

But first, some other major news today concerning that U.S. air strike last week in the mountains of Pakistan. U.S. officials say there is no evidence that Osama bin Laden's right hand man was killed, despite earlier reports he might have been. But there is evidence, they say, that Al Qaeda's top chemical weapons expert was in the vicinity of the blast. Officials say he could have been killed, though they cannot confirm he was. Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson has more on the man who is called a powerful terrorist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): You never see his face on this gruesome Al Qaeda video.

But his voice, as a dog slowly dies after being deliberately exposed to a poisonous gas can be clearly heard, according to a Middle Eastern intelligence source.

Midhat Mursi, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Khabab, is Al Qaeda's top chemical and biological warfare expert.

The same source says these rudimentary labs were part of Al Qaeda's Durunta (ph) training camp in Afghanistan, where Abu Khabab was developing chemical and biological weapons for Osama bin Laden.

After September 11, U.S. warplanes bombed the Durunta (ph) camp, reducing it to rubble. But U.S. troops discovered Abu Khabab's work had already been put in the hands of Al Qaeda's trainees. Al Qaeda textbooks showing how to make simple chemical and biological weapons were discovered in Kabul and other locations. Abu Khabab was next reported to have been sited at a Jihadi training camp in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. He was even reported to have been captured. That proved to be wrong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON (on camera): Well, confirming whether or not Abu Khabab is or is not among the dead should be made a little bit easier because Egyptian authorities have at least one of his sons in their jails, making the possibility of DNA analysis that much easier -- Anderson.

COOPER: Nic, you know, there was this story that some of the bodies had been taken away. Do we know anything more about that? Who took them away or who in fact they were? Are there bodies that are to be tested?

ROBERTSON: What we know from U.S. intelligence sources is that there were some bodies taken away. They were taken away by a group of men very quickly after the attack took place. They say that these bodies were taken away and buried somewhere else. When we followed up and said well, what happened? Why don't you go out there, dig up those bodies, make some tests. They say it's more complicated than that, but they do say that they have other ways of finding out whether or not these people were or were not in that building -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Nic Robertson, thanks.

Now to the story unfolding in a hospital room behind me here in Morgantown, West Virginia. A story that took a turn for the better today. Doctors say Randy McCloy, the sole Sago Mine survivor, is awakening from the coma that he's been in for the last two weeks.

Now, they caution that his long-term prognosis is uncertain. But also say the 26-year-old miner has exceeded all of their own expectations. CNN's Chris Huntington has been following this story for quite a while now. He joins me with the latest.

It is a remarkable development.

CHRIS HUNTINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it is a remarkable development. But we have to put this into perspective, that he still is in a coma. He's still not fully conscious, but indeed the progress that the doctors reported today, after more than two weeks in their medical care is stunning.

Randy McCloy's been able to open his eyes. The doctors say he's able to track objects and people around the room. He was even able, for instance, to suck on an ice cube -- an indication that maybe he can take normal feedings in the days to come.

As for how he even survived in the first place with a collapsed lung, in close proximity to the other 11 miners who died and suffered severe, severe carbon monoxide exposure, the doctors are frankly at a loss for words. Here's how the lead doctor today put it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. LARRY ROBERTS, RANDY MCCLOY'S MAIN PHYSICIAN: I'm sure it's a combination of a lot of things. A miracle. Perhaps, perhaps Randy, and I am completely speculating, but perhaps he had more oxygen available to him than those who succumbed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTINGTON: Now, indeed, that will be a huge focus of the ongoing investigation into the Sago Mine disaster and it will certainly be the first question that people will want to ask Randy if and when he wakes up.

But again, the doctors caution, that his recovery will be measured in weeks and months and not days -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Chris, thanks very much.

Randy McCloy's family has been at his side almost constantly. And doctors say that that will continue to be crucial to his recovery. Talking to him, playing music to him, things he remembers.

Catherine Mormile agrees. She says it is important for Mr. McCloy to hear familiar voices as he wakes up. And she speaks with an authority that few of us have -- not even doctors. More than a decade ago, you see, in Alaska, Ms. Mormile was competing in her third iditarod race. She took a break to change her socks, and a propane heater in an unvented tent almost killed her -- almost -- well, it put her into a coma, though not nearly as long as Randy McCloy's come up.

I talked to her recently about Randy McCloy might be experiencing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Catherine, when you began feeling nauseous and slipping into unconsciousness inside this tent, did you realize why it was happening?

CATHERINE MORMILE, SURVIVED CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING: No, I certainly didn't. I didn't realize at all what was happening or why it was happening. I fully construed it was because I'd eaten my meal so quickly and so hastily. That's what I -- that's the conclusion I drew.

COOPER: And what were you feeling? I mean, what did it actually feel like to be breathing this stuff in?

MORMILE: Well, it doesn't feel like anything. It just felt like air, it felt like normal air. Obviously because the vents in the tent were closed, it just it felt like a very stuffy tent and a warm tent, but it -- all I felt was nauseous. I felt nausea and I felt slight shortness of breath and I construed it was because of the tightness in the heat of the tent.

COOPER: When you finally got home from the hospital, your IQ had plunged to around 76. That's amazing. I didn't know that could happen. What was that like? What were some of the limitations mentally that you had?

MORMILE: When I got home from this event, I went to pick up my mail and I was first very appalled because I couldn't read anything. Everything looked like a bunch of very strange symbols.

COOPER: You couldn't even read what was on your mail? That's incredible.

MORMILE: Exactly. Well, and if I stared at it long enough, letters would assemble. But I would look at it, I could maybe perceive it and then I'd turn away and look at something else, but I couldn't remember what I had just looked at. I had no memory for anything I had read.

COOPER: What's your advice to the family of Randy McCloy, Jr., and to him, you know, when he wakes up?

MORMILE: I do want to tell his family that in my experience when I was unconscious, when I was in the coma, I could hear everything. I was more -- almost more present in the moment with my hearing than anything. I could hear everything that was going on around me. And I do believe that it's important for his family members to talk to him, you know, obviously, as he is there in the present and encourage him to continue to fight.

COOPER: How long were you in a coma for?

MORMILE: I was in a coma -- well, I was in a coma in the tent for several hours, then on the ground oh probably at that point about a half an hour or so. And then the physician that was present declared me dead. I heard myself being declared dead.

COOPER: What -- you actually heard yourself being declared dead?

MORMILE: Yes. I head myself being declared dead. And then the man that was carrying my dead body, dropped me -- dropped me on the ground and it started my heart again.

COOPER: When -- you say you feel you know where Randy McCloy, Jr., is in terms of his head, what is going on, describe what it is like. I mean, what can you remember about being in a coma?

MORMILE: It's very strange to say, but it was a very euphoric, it was a very pleasant, it was a very calm experience that I had when I was in the coma. I felt no pain, I felt no presence of my body whatsoever. I mean, people said that I convulsed at times, I was vomiting, I was thrashing about, but I personally didn't feel it. I was very calm and I was very comforted by the people around me. I knew some of the people around me really cared for me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, just to reiterate what is happening in the hospital behind me here, doctors earlier today reporting that Randy McCloy, Jr., is slowly waking from his coma. He is still in a light coma, they said. But his condition has certainly improved.

Coming up next, it was a shocking police beating in New Orleans, caught on tape. The question tonight, who is the victim -- the police or the man they beat? Prosecutors say both of them. We'll explain a surprise twist in the case that happened today in court.

Plus, the other miners of the Sago Mine tragedy, the ones who were able to get out after the blast. How are they coping? We'll hear from one of them. A miner, who, believe it or not, is already back at work.

And what happens when your dad turns out to be a bank robber? A surprise revelation when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A strange twist tonight, concerning the New Orleans police beating caught on tape. It turns out the police and the man they beat in October, Robert Davis, will be prosecuted together. You might ask, well how can that be? CNN's Gulf Coast Correspondent Susan Roesgen looks at this complicated and unusual decision.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF GOAST CORRESPONDENT, (voice-over): The video was shown around the world. And instead of invoking sympathy for the plight of New Orleans after the hurricane, it brought outrage. Two New Orleans police officers and two Los Angeles-based FBI agents pummeling a 63-year-old man on Bourbon Street.

The FBI is reviewing the actions of its agents. The two police officers were fired and are charged with battery. And the man bleeding on the pavement, Robert Davis, is also charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and public intimidation. Davis denies the charges.

But when Davis and his lawyers came to court for the start of his trial, they didn't realize that the city had already planned to prosecute the police and Davis at the same time.

ROBERT DAVIS, DEFENDANT: Like, I'm not an attorney, but common sense tells me that it was kind of funny, you know, people who are also accused are also being tried with me. I don't understand it.

ROESGEN: The city attorney's office would not comment when CNN requested an explanation. But legal experts say it's very unusual for the city to try to portray Davis and the officers as both victims and perpetrators in the same case. And Davis's lawyer, Laurie White, says if that happens, defending Davis against the officers will be easy.

LAURIE WHITE, DAVIS' LAWYER: Sit quietly and let them talk. Because we can't wait to hear what they say. They can't say anything that would do anything but hurt themselves.

ROESGEN: Robert Davis is living out of state now. But this retired New Orleans elementary and middle school teacher says he can't go anywhere without being recognized as the guy who got beat up.

ROBERT DAVIS, DEFENDANT: It's kind of hard. It's not something that you want notoriety -- especially at my age. I want to just be a citizen of the United States and go on with my life. And that's what I was hoping would occur today.

ROESGEN: The new trial date for Davis and the officers is March 21. Susan Roesgen, CNN, New Orleans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Earlier, I discussed today a surprise development with Robert Davis, himself. He and his attorney, Joseph Bruno, join me from New Orleans.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Mr. Bruno, I have no legal training, but I'm confused about what happened to you guys in court today. What does this mean? You're going to be tried -- Mr. Davis is going to be tried at the same time as the police officers? How is that going to work?

JOSEPH BRUNO, ATTORNEY FOR ROBERT DAVIS: The only way they can prove their case against my client, Mr. Davis, is to have the two police officers who they subsequently fired take the witness stand to testify against him. Keeping in mind that they have the right to take the Fifth Amendment and not testify at all, which one would suspect they would do in view of the fact that they themselves are being prosecuted for criminal conduct.

What is being missed here is how this affects Mr. Davis because he is the one who drove here from Atlanta yesterday, fully expecting a resolution, only to learn -- now he and I learned this morning the case was continued and consolidated, to be reset a day before Mardi Gras.

COOPER: If the city said they weren't going to prosecute Mr. Davis, you would still want charges brought against the police. Is that correct?

BRUNO: That's well -- if they would ask us our opinion, we would say, we expect a full prosecution of those police officers and we will not bargain with Mr. Davis' life for that to occur. You know, what happened here and what Robert has said from the first day is again, we're not indicting the police department -- these two guys, bad apples, the police department has removed them. You know, justice requires that they be treated in the same fashion that anybody else be treated.

COOPER: Mr. Davis, how has your life changed since this incident? And medically, how are you doing? Do you still -- do you have any lingering affects?

DAVIS: Oh yes, I have lots of lingering affects. I go to a dermatologist -- I will be going to a dermatologist, a neurologist. I have to take physical therapy. I also have to -- I'm on a medication called flexoril, which is for a muscle relaxant and my costs for medical expenses are continually rising. Right now I think they're somewhere in the vicinity of about ten grand.

COOPER: Months ago, the last time we talked, you had not looked at that tape. Have you subsequently, have you seen the tape?

DAVIS: No, I have not and I got some advice from a lady that I work with today. She told me do not look at the tape because I'll be angry and hostile. And I think I'll take her advice.

COOPER: I think that surprised a lot of people months ago when the public first met you, when they first heard you talk. From the beginning you said that you didn't blame the police department, that this was just a couple of bad apples, as your attorney said, and that you weren't angry. Do you still feel that? Are you still not angry? Do you still not blame the police department?

DAVIS: Well, I don't blame New Orleans Police Department. I mean, they're -- in fact, this morning three of the gentlemen who investigated for the New Orleans Police Department met me at the trial and we shook hands and we talked. I'm not trying to indict the whole New Orleans Police Department. They weren't -- the whole police department didn't participate in the beating, just two bad apples. And I found out this gentleman has a history of that, going back several years.

COOPER: Mr. Davis, Mr. Bruno, thanks very much.

DAVIS: You're welcome.

BRUNO: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: And we'll continue to follow the case.

Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us with some of the other stories we're following tonight. Hi Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Anderson. You may remember the story of the finger found in a bowl of Wendy's chili -- I mean, really, who could forget that one, right? Certainly not the man and the woman now convicted of putting it there -- all part of their attempt to extort money from the fast food chain. And today in California, they were sentenced. She to nine years in prison; for him, 12 years behind bars. Wendy's, in the meantime, says the scam cost the chain millions in lost revenue and that the company still hasn't fully recovered.

Four days after being admitted to a southern California hospital with pneumonia, Former President Gerald Ford continuing to improve today. His spokeswoman, saying the 92-year-old is quote, "sitting in his chair, reading his newspapers, and we continue to anticipate a Thursday discharge."

Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's missed recruitment goals, Army officials have been doubling bonuses to attract new recruits and to get current soldiers to re-enlist. Officials say targets have been met for the first three months of this recruiting year.

And they may not be meant for each other, but -- not as friends that is -- but, hey, zoo keepers in Tokyo put this dwarf hamster you see. They called it Gowan (ph), that's Japanese for meal, and I probably mispronounced it. And they intended it to be a meal, really, so they put it into the cage of a four-foot long snake. But instead of the hamster living up to its name, it turns out the two hit it off and the odd couple have been living happily ever after since October. You know, stranger things have happened, somewhere, I'm sure.

COOPER: Yes, they look like they're really having a blast together.

HILL: They do, don't they?

COOPER: Erica, they look a little stunned. Erica, thanks very much.

HILL: They're cozy.

COOPER: Exactly.

A couple of coal stories while we're here in West Virginia about some men who just barely made it out of the Sago Mine that terrible day, but are looking forward to going back to the mines again.

And the story of a whole new crop of coal diggers. It's a dangerous job, but the pay is good and more young men want it than ever.

Also tonight, the strange tale of a man who might have gotten away with quite a crime spree if it wasn't for his sons, who he taught to do the right thing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

Working the Mines.

2004 number of coal miners: 108,734.

2004 U.S. coal mining injuries: 5,129.

2004 U.S. coal mining deaths: 28

(END GRAPHIC)

COOPER: Well, right now those who used to work at the Sago Mine here in West Virginia are having to work at other mines nearby. The Sago Mine is closed while investigators try to determine what exactly happened that cost 12 miners their lives.

So, do you think those who escaped that day would never go back? You might be surprised. CNN's Randi Kaye reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the beginning of a very long day for Coal Miner Alton Wamsley. It is 3:30 in the morning today. Wamsley is getting ready to leave for work. His wife, Shannon, is busy in the kitchen, making him lunch, filling his thermos. This has been their routine for years. But since the blast at Sago, it's time together neither takes for granted.

Alton Wamsley was inside Sago Mine when the explosion hit. His cart was delayed, so he was much closer to the surface than the group that died. Wamsley and 15 other miners fought their way through the smoke and darkness to safety.

Still numb from the loss of his fellow miners, Wamsley is already back at work at another mine, an hour from home. Why go back underground?

ALTON WAMSLEY, MINER: When you was little, you got dirty, you got in trouble for it. Now you get paid for getting dirty. I guess.

KAYE: Wamsley has a wife and four children to support. Two sons, Alex and Alton Jr.; and two stepdaughters, Ariel and Paris. Not all of them are okay with dad going back in.

ALEX WAMSLEY, WAMSLEY'S SON: It was kind of scary. Now he's going back where he was in danger again.

KAYE: What scares you about it? What are you afraid could happen?

ALEX WAMSLEY: Another explosion.

PARIS VIZGAUDIS, WAMSLEY'S STEPDAUGHTER: I admire him. It's a really tough job, especially now, you know, he's going to have to crawl around a little bit. It's dangerous and I just appreciate that he does that for us.

KAYE: For Wamsley, the decision to go back was easy. The brotherhood, the coal, it's all he knows. But not a minute goes by in the darkness that he doesn't think about the friends he lost, the faces he won't see ever again.

WAMSLEY: You know, we always change clothes in the morning and get ready to go get our lights and everything on and ready to go. You're always joking around talking with people and drinking coffee and this just -- it's going to be strange without them guys there.

KAYE: The news guys at his side want to know how did he survive Sago.

WAMSLEY: Just hollered for help. What it was like, I mean, you know, the rush of wind and debris and just people's been asking, you know, how did you all get out.

KAYE: Wamsley sees the concern on their faces. Would they get out? Could they live through it? And tries to ease their fears. Yet, he doesn't have to calm such fears at home.

ALTON WAMSLEY, JR., WAMSLEY'S SON: I believe that when it's your time to go, it's your time to go. You can't stop it. You just got to accept it. No matter how it is. People get killed in car wrecks every day, but that don't stop anybody from driving.

KAYE (on camera): His father wishes he wouldn't, but Alton Wamsley, Jr., hopes to work as a miner alongside his dad when Sago reopens.

ALTON WAMSLEY, JR.: It's not just the money, it's just to see if I can handle what my dad's done his whole life. See if I can do what my grandpa done, my great-grandpa.

KAYE (voice-over): Fourteen-year-old Alex hopes to be a miner too.

What do you think is so cool about it?

ALEX WAMSLEY: Just going into the dark every day, not seeing daylight that much. I just want to see if I can handle it.

KAYE: Even Paris and Ariel would like to mine. But they know there aren't many jobs for women around here. Their dad wants them to consider mine engineering. He'd like to keep them above ground.

Sago sits like an open wound in this community. A reminder of the men who continue to risk their lives and of what matters most in life, love, friendship and family.

ARIEL MCDANIEL, WAMSLEY'S STEPDAUGHTER: We first moved down here, me and him, we used to get in some pretty nasty fights. And we cooled down. Still, I didn't want to tell him I loved him, or give him a hug and kiss, but I saw how close to death he was and I realized that I really did need him, he was important to me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: The miners were told to take as much time as they needed before returning to work, but most of the miners are already back on the job. Some at other mines in the area, others working above ground at Sago. But in talking to Alton Wamsley, he is expecting to be called back to the Sago Mine as soon as it reopens. He tells me he's actually anxious to get back there, although he knows it will be very emotional once he starts working his way underground at Sago and especially when they hit the spot where that blast occurred. But again, to him, Sago is home.

COOPER: It is a tough, tough job. Randy Kaye, thanks very much.

In Massachusetts, a debate over a little girl's right to die. If she had gotten this much attention earlier in her life, maybe a looming tragic ending could have been avoided. We'll explain why and we'll talk to her mother, ahead.

And could you turn your own father over to the police? Would you expect him to understand? Would he be angry or glad you'd done the right thing? A fascinating family saga when 360 continues.

And Dr. Sanjay Gupta wants to hear form you. E-mail him your medical questions and find out what's fact or fiction. We'll be reporting on your true and false questions next week. The e-mail address cnn.com/360 and on the subject line please put Ask Dr. Gupta.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: She is a young girl named Haleigh. She was born with promise. Yesterday, a Massachusetts court says she is entitled to die with dignity by being removed from life support.

It's no surprise that family members are divided. If Haleigh dies, one of them could be charged with her murder. So how did it come to this? Here's CNN's Dan Lothian.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN, BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 11-year old Haleigh Poutre had a beautiful smile and loved to dance.

SANDRA SUDYKA, GRANDMOTHER: She was so full of life before and loved people.

LOTHIAN: But everything changed last September when authorities say Haleigh's adoptive mother and stepfather abused her. Allegedly kicking and beating her with a baseball bat and causing a clot in the brain.

The young girl is at this Massachusetts hospital, in what doctors call a permanent vegetative state, a shadow of her former self. Her birth mother, who gave her up after allegations of neglect and during a difficult time in her own life, wants the suffering to end.

ALLISON SUDYKA EVERETT, BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: I don't want to see her suffer anymore. And she -- this is no life. I mean, there's things keeping her alive. What kind of life is that?

LOTHIAN (on camera): The Massachusetts Department of Social Services, which has legal custody of the child, agrees. But in its effort to have her removed from life support, the agency has met legal resistance from Haleigh's stepfather, Jason Strickland, who could be charged with murder if she dies.

What makes this case even more complicated is the fact that the birth mother and adoptive mother are sisters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case involves the tragic plight of an 11-year-old child.

LOTHIAN (voice-over): Strickland's lawyers had argued before the state's highest court for parental rights and a say in her medical care. But that argument was rejected. Life support can now be removed.

EVERETT: It's a bittersweet feeling. Knowing that she won't have to suffer anymore, but at the same time, it's the loss of a child.

LOTHIAN: Strickland's lawyer said he's deeply disappointed and maintains his client was never motivated by the prospect of a murder charge.

As for Haleigh's adoptive mother, Holly Strickland, she was also charged in the beating, but was found dead in this home along with her own grandmother not long after the 11-year-old was hospitalized. It's being investigated as a murder/suicide.

Haleigh remains attached to a ventilator and feeding tube. No decision has been made on when life support would be removed. But in a development late today, doctors say they've noticed a quote, "change in her condition." More tests have been ordered.

Meanwhile, the young girl's birth mother remains haunted by the day she gave up her daughter to her sister, seven years ago.

EVERETT: I don't believe she ever should have been taken. I'm sorry.

LOTHIAN: Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Allison Everett is Haleigh's biological mother. She joins us tonight from Springfield, Massachusetts. Allison, thanks for being with us and I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.

Doctors say that your daughter's condition has changed. Can you tell us anything about it? I know you saw her today.

EVERETT: I did see her. At this point I've been asked not to discuss any details, other than what's already been released. About some changes, she's responding to some things.

COOPER: Are you any more optimistic about her future?

EVERETT: There's hope now.

COOPER: You earlier had talked about taking her off life support and saying really that was something that you felt appropriate at the stage she was at then. What went into that decision process?

EVERETT: Speaking with the doctors and the people that are caring for her, the feedback I get from them, you know, the persistent vegetative state. You know, there was no reason for her to stay like that.

COOPER: Your sister's husband was arrested on assault charges for beating Haleigh and didn't want her taken off life support. What do you think his motivations are?

EVERETT: To prolong the inevitable of a murder charge later down the line.

COOPER: You think it's as cold as that. He just -- he doesn't want a murder charge down the line?

EVERETT: Yes.

COOPER: What was your daughter's life like with your sister and with her husband?

EVERETT: In the beginning it seemed, you know, the perfect family, you know, the family next door, and soccer, and softball and dance and as the years went on, I began to see less and less of her.

COOPER: And did you maintain contact with her? Did you maintain contact with your sister while she was staying with your sister?

EVERETT: I saw my sister quite often. I started seeing Haleigh less and less over the last six months.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about Haleigh?

EVERETT: How happy she was. And even through all of this, how strong she is. She's fighting.

COOPER: Well, I hope she continues to fight. Allison, I appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you very much.

EVERETT: Thank you.

COOPER: Good luck to you, good luck to Haleigh.

EVERETT: Thank you.

COOPER: Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with that little girl right now.

Another family at odds tonight. One of the sons is a police officer and his father robbed banks, if you can imagine. Used to anyway, until the police officer and his brothers turned their own father in.

Also ahead, a portrait of the town of Buckhannon, West Virginia. More than just touched, permanently changed by the Sago Mine disaster.

From West Virginia and around the world tonight, you're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, parents aim to teach their kids right from wrong, of course, but they may not always be sure the lesson has actually been learned. Here's the story of a father who doesn't have to wonder. He's sure his boys learned right from wrong. That's why he is in prison. CNN's Keith Oppenheim reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To most everyone in Lewistown, Illinois, -- population 2600 -- it seemed Bill Ginglen was living the good life with his wife, after bringing up a daughter and three sons.

(On camera): What kind of dad was he?

GARRETT GINGLEN, BANK ROBBER'S SON: Well, he was a great father most of my life. When I was around him and especially as a younger person, he was, you know, he raised me right. He raised us all right.

OPPENHEIM: But Garrett, Jared and Clay Ginglen have been facing a difficult truth. In the fire station where two of them are volunteers, Bill Ginglen's sons told me that while they thought their father was working hard to earn a living, he had secretly become a bank robber.

JARED GINGLEN, BANK ROBBER'S SON: He hid it well. He did hide it very well. He didn't -- in Lewistown, he was not that person.

OPPENHEIM: In Lewistown, Bill Ginglen was known as a former Marine, a well-dressed business man, an upstanding citizen. Then a few years ago, he started asking family members for money.

G. GINGLEN: You were obliged to help.

OPPENHEIM (on camera): But that makes you trapped, doesn't it?

G. GINGLEN: It does. Very much.

CLAY GINGLEN, BANK ROBBER'S SON: Well, we were raised to believe that family comes first, above all things. And so we wanted to help as much as we could.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): What the brothers didn't know is, as they were giving their father cash, police were looking for an older well-dressed gentleman who'd been walking into small-town banks, carrying a gun. The robber hit seven banks in nine months and got away with more than $56,000.

In November 2003, the spree began here in Kenney, Illinois.

(On camera): During the investigation, the problem for police was the banks either didn't have camera surveillance at all or the systems weren't good enough to get a clear picture of the suspect. But after being hit once, the managers of this small bank did a smart thing. They upgraded to a digital video system to catch the robber if he were to ever come back.

In July of 2004, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We felt after the second robbery at the Kenney bank, that we had such good video from their surveillance tapes that we could find someone from the public that could identify him. So we quickly put up a website for our department and displayed about eight photographs of the suspected bank robber, as well as his car.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): That someone from the public turned out to be the bank robber's son. Jared Ginglen is a police officer in Peoria, Illinois. He read about the website in a local paper. J. GINGLEN: As soon as I read that, I went home and looked at the website, and sure enough, those pictures -- I had no doubt that it was our father, wearing a mask and a hat and sunglasses, but we could tell it was him.

OPPENHEIM: He called his brothers to make sure there was no mistake.

G. GINGLEN: Panic hit me and I, you know, got physically sick. Instantly threw up. Started sweating. Just a violent reaction to what I'd seen. It was terrible.

C. GINGLEN: I went instantly cold. I guess when I told my boss that I was going to have to leave for the day, she says I was pretty pale.

OPPENHEIM: The brothers felt they had to take action immediately.

C. GINGLEN: We went to his house actually, thinking he'd be home. And we were going to confront him about it and turn him in or have him turn himself in. He, however, was not home. So that's when we decided that we had to call the authorities and put a stop to whatever he was up to.

OPPENHEIM: The sons would learn their father was up to much more than they ever imagined. After the arrest, police recovered a detailed account of his double life from Bill Ginglen's computer. He was having an affair, hiring prostitutes, supporting an expensive crack cocaine habit and he was desperate.

He wrote, "The $500 that I spent on smoke during this visit was an incredibly stupid expenditure, and evidence that I truly am in over my head. There's also the mortgages, the car rental, the utilities, the phone bill. What the hell am I going to do?

J. GINGLEN: Very rarely, in a crime you get to look inside the mind of the person committing it. And with this journal, you could see everything he was thinking.

OPPENHEIM (on camera): And he's your father.

J. GINGLEN: Yes. And that made it ten times worse.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): William Ginglen pleaded guilty to all charges, robbery and gun possession and is now awaiting sentencing. He could spend the rest of his life in prison. His wife divorced him. His son Clay has spoken to him briefly on the phone, nothing substantial. Jared and Garrett don't want to speak to their father.

G. GINGLEN: I'm still angry. I just still feel angry. I kind of hope I get over that some day, but right now, I'm just still angry.

OPPENHEIM: For all their anger and hurt, the brothers have no regrets about the toughest decision they ever made.

(On camera): Do you have doubts -- are there moments where you just sort of say, you know, did I do the right thing?

G. GINGLEN: No.

J. GINGLEN: I don't.

C. GINGLEN: Absolutely not.

OPPENHEIM: Because?

C. GINGLEN: Because we had no choice. I mean, to us it was obvious.

G. GINGLEN: Right. And it's right and wrong. Very simple.

OPPENHIEM: Is he the one who taught you that?

G. GINGLEN: Yes he is. He taught us.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): And that's the irony of Bill Ginglen, the who taught his sons right from wrong, would go wrong himself. His children would have to make sure his crimes did not go unpunished. Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Lewistown, Illinois.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Hmm, man a fascinating story.

Sixteen days after disaster struck, will life ever be like it used to be in the small town of Buckhannon, West Virginia? How does a town heal itself when the loss is so great? That story coming up next on 360.

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(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

Mined in the USA

Number of U.S. state where coal is mined: 27

States that mine the most coal:

1. Wyoming 2. West Virginia 3. Kentucky

(END GRPAHIC)

COOPER: Well, the terrible events early this month at the Sago Mine may obscure an important fact; namely, that this is a boom time for the coal industry and therefore also for those who want to work in it. And more young people than ever do want to work in that industry. CNN's Joe Johns has their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And its reputation as a dirty, dangerous industry, here in coal country, a job in the mines remains a prize. Even with the vows of some miners, never to go back down, you're looking at a new wave of would-be miners. Young men, looking for training and a ticket to the tunnels.

How many people come through the school?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, last year we trained approximately 4,600 people.

JOHNS: This is a class near Morgantown, West Virginia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a close call, but we call it a what? A near miss. Okay.

JOHNS: It's a mining apprentice class. Fifteen or 20 people at a time, four hours a night, five nights a week for eight weeks. Some here are giving up good jobs for the chance to go underground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just good pay. I decided I wanted a good-paying job.

JOHNS: It's the biggest wave of aspiring coal miners in a generation. And that's because the coal business is hotter than it's been in years. In the U.S., coal consumption set a record in 2004. Mostly, it's burned here to generate electric power, but exports are up and prices per ton are up too, especially for some of the highest grade U.S. coal.

Adding to the increased demand for coal and in turn mining jobs, a whole generation of miners is retiring, clearing the way for a new generation of highly trained, technically adept new miners.

(On camera): It's a far cry from the days when miners went to work with virtually no formal training at all.

JOE DORTON, MINING SAFETY INSTRUCTOR: The first day I went into a mine, I didn't know what a mine was. They said watch where you walk, so that's what I did. Today, our students have to have at least 80 hours in West Virginia and 40 hours in other states before they can even think about going underground.

JOHNS (voice-over): In fact, the U.S. mining industry is deemed by many to be the safest in the world, but there are still questions. For example, the industry's focus on producing even more coal more efficiently. And yet, some policymakers worry, has the emphasis on technology and higher production somehow meant fewer safety and rescue innovations? The industry says no. And that's what they want to hear here in the classrooms of the next generation of miners. Those who want to believe a life committed to work deep underground is not a life committed to danger.

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JOHNS: So, with all the questions being asked and all the investigations, there is an underlying question. If there is legislation, if there is a change in the way miners do things, how will that affect the market and how will it affect the lives of the people who depend on mining for a living -- Anderson.

COOPER: And, Joe, obviously, a big draw is just the salary the people are getting, and compared to other salaries that they can get in jobs in their communities.

JOHNS: Yes. They're very good in West Virginia, relatively. You can start out around $40,000 up to $50-60,000. If you're an electrician, you can make $80,000 - $100,000. Of course, that's real good money here in West Virginia and people know that -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Joe Johns, thanks.

The Sago Mine accident killed 12 men and shattered their families, but also left its mark on an entire town. It's true, of course, that the world doesn't stop when a disaster strikes, unless of course, you happen to be right in the middle of it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): It's been more than two weeks since the deadly accident took 12 lives in this community. But in the town of Buckhannon, two weeks is the blink of an eye.

JAMES KNORR, MAYOR, BUCKHANNON, WEST VIRGINIA: I think this episode that we've gone through has just terribly saddened so much of the community. I think everyone knows at least someone that was affected by the mine incident.

COOPER: Letters of support have poured into the mayor's office from all over the country. There are banners from school children, care packages for the miners' families.

KNORR: I think we feel like we're one big family. And obviously, what happens to any member of a family, the rest of the family comes, you know, rise up to the occasion to be of comfort and help in any they can.

COOPER: Buckhannon has about 5,400 residents. Most are connected one way or another. The flags here still fly at half mast, signs of support are everywhere.

JODY LIGHT, BUCKHANNON ROTARY CLUB: We want the families to know that, you know, this wasn't something -- a flash in the pan news item, this is something that hit the hearts and souls of people in our county. And it's going to take a while to heal.

COOPER: Jody Light is a member of the Rotary Club and seems to know just about everyone. The tragedy, she says, has changed them all.

LIGHT: Even if you absolutely knew nobody in that coal mine, you ere affected. You couldn't help but be affected.

COOPER: At the Daily Grind, a local coffee shop, the accident is still on everyone's mind.

HANK DEATHERIDGE, COFFEE SHOP OWNER: Yes, everybody's a little bit less talkative than they were and it's definitely put a damper on things and it takes time for people's wounds to heal and for things to get back to normal. And it hasn't happened yet, but it will take time.

COOPER: Jason Koon is a junior at the college in town. He thinks this tragedy will keep young people out of the mines.

JASON KOON, JUNIOR, WESLEYAN COLLEGE: They're going to say, you know, what if that was me? Or could that happen to me? And apparently it could. It's real now.

COOPER: There are some signs of healing here, signs of moving forward. Black ribbons of mourning, mixed with white ribbons of hope. Two weeks since the Sago explosion, however, Buckhannon still struggles. Twelve of its sons will never come home.

LIGHT: I think I see more people hugging, more people realizing how fragile life is. I don't think it will ever be quite the same.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We're going to have more of 360 in a moment from West Virginia. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We have assembled quite a crowd here of students from West Virginia University who are braving the freezing temperatures to come out and watch us. Thanks, you all, for coming out. Appreciate it. I want to thank everyone here at the hospital for their hospitality, letting us broadcast from here, tonight in Port Brusta (ph) wish the family of Randy McCloy, Jr., the best for his speedy recovery.

A special edition of 360 will be tomorrow from New Orleans. I hope you join us for that. "LARRY KING" is next. He talks to the woman sentenced to seven years behind bars for killing her own father, but only served 17 months because she had her family's support.

Thanks for watching.

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