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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Neil Entwistle Arraigned on Double Murder Charges; Hard Truths For Hurricane Katrina Evacuees; Child Molestation Accusations Rock Small Texas Town

Aired February 16, 2006 - 22:00   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 Houston.
From person of interest to prisoner -- the man accused of murdering his wife and baby returns to the U.S. Neil Entwistle faces charges and the family.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Neil Entwistle pleads not guilty to murdering his wife and daughter.

JOE FLAHERTY, RACHEL ENTWISTLE FAMILY SPOKESMAN: The betrayal to this family is unbearable.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, stunning new details revealed -- why prosecutors are certain he's guilty.

Houston took in tens of thousands of Katrina victims. Now, six months later, the city and the evacuees wonder if they can really weather this together.

RUBEN JOHNSON, HURRICANE KATRINA EVACUEE: I applied to over 250 companies and had three callbacks.

ANNOUNCER: Where do they go from here?

And years of whispers and ugly rumors in a small town wouldn't go away, until, finally, they all exploded in public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He molested me when I was 13 years ago.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Let's go.

ANNOUNCER: An accuser, the man he says he was his tormenter, who says it's a lie, and all those who wish they had said something.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Live from Houston, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening, again. We begin with shackles and a hint of a swagger for the British man accuse of shooting his wife and baby girl to death. Take a look at how Neil Entwistle entered the Massachusetts courtroom today. He was clean-shaven, his darting across the room. He appeared calm, some would even say cocky, as the charges were read against him, even as he was being charged with doing the unthinkable, executing his wife, Rachel, one bullet shot to the head, and their 9-month-old baby girl, Lillian, a shot to the stomach. It has been almost a month since they were murdered.

The judge in the case unsealed police affidavits and search warrants related to the case earlier this week. According to the documents, about 11:30 a.m., January 23, a day after police had found the bodies, police say that Rachel's stepfather, Joseph Matterazzo, received a phone call from Neil Entwistle's father, who relayed his version of events, saying his son told him -- and I quote -- "He had gone out for 20 minutes Friday morning, came back to the house, found his wife and daughter in the bedroom" -- end quote.

Then, he told his father he called the police, a call police say they never got. At about 1:10 p.m. on the 23rd, according to the affidavits, the trooper called Neil Entwistle himself. They spoke for two hours. Neil told him he left the house at around 9:00 a.m. to run errands. He said he returned not 20 minutes, but two hours later, entered the master bedroom and saw his wife partially covered with a comforter.

When he pulled it back, police say he told them -- quote -- "He saw his wife was pale, saw blood on the baby, and that the baby had been shot, and they were dead." He then told the officer he went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and considered killing himself, but put it down because it would -- quote -- "hurt too much."

The trooper said Neil then told him, he drove to his in-laws' house to tell them what had happened and to get one of his stepfather- in-law's guns to kill himself, but found they weren't home, and he had no way to get into the house. He said he then drove to the airport and walked around for a bit, decided to return home, stopped for gas, then turned around and caught a flight to the U.K.

Though he did not enter a plea, Neil Entwistle's attorney spoke for him, saying Entwistle is not guilty of those murders.

And just a few feet from Neil Entwistle was standing in court today sat Priscilla and Joseph Matterazzo, the mother and stepfather of Rachel.

Joe Flaherty is their spokesman. He joined me earlier from Boston.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Joe, how difficult was it for Rachel's parents to watch today's arraignment?

FLAHERTY: Oh, it was very difficult. I mean, they're -- they're thankful that there was an arrest in this case, but, at the same time, they took no joy in seeing their son-in-law as being the one responsible for Rachel and Lillian's death.

COOPER: Did they have any idea about his -- his secret life on the computer?

FLAHERTY: You know, Anderson, they really didn't. And that's one of the most troubling things.

You know, I know a lot of people, you know, wonder or think that there must have been some sign. I can tell you that this family had no clue as to what was going on and what kind of life Neil Entwistle was apparently -- according to the information that has been released, apparently, he was leading this double life that the family had -- knew nothing about.

COOPER: And -- and the fact that, I mean, according to the prosecutors, that Neil went into their home twice, first, to -- to take the alleged murder weapon, and -- and, then, to return it, I mean, how are Rachel's dealing with the possibility that that gun could have been used to kill their daughter?

FLAHERTY: Well, you know, I think that's one of the most outrageous things and -- and one of the -- the -- if you want to talk about betrayal, how somebody that was loved and respected by them, who lived under their roof, could go in there, as you say, according to the -- the paperwork that has been released, recover that weapon, use that to murder Rachel and her -- her beautiful young baby, Lillian Rose.

And, then, to go back to the same house and to hide the murder weapon, and continue this ruse, I mean, it's -- it's outrageous.

COOPER: Did Rachel's stepfather, Joseph Matterazzo, use the gun the day after that Rachel and Lillian were killed?

FLAHERTY: I believe that has been reported.

And, yes, he -- he did, naturally, unbeknownst to him that -- any of this -- at the time, that any of this had occurred.

COOPER: And, according to the search warrant documents, the Matterazzos thought that Neil was working for a secret government job in England at one point. Is there anything you can tell me about that?

FLAHERTY: Well, the only thing I needed -- again, the Matterazzo family, of course, is learning many of these things for the first time from the information that has been released by the courts in the affidavits in this case.

And they're -- they're shocked at some of the revelations that have come out about his apparent financial difficulties and things -- certainly the Internet. They're very concerned about the apparent premeditation of planning something like this, to go there and -- and take a gun from the house, to use it in these crimes, and, then, to drive 50 miles and put the gun back, before you travel another 50 miles, to go to Logan Airport and take a one-way ticket to England.

You can imagine how -- how awful they feel and -- and how outraged they are that this person, who, as far as they knew, was a loving son-in-law and father and a husband, could do this to them.

COOPER: Do -- I mean, do they want to know all the details? Do they want all the pieces of the puzzle?

FLAHERTY: Well, I think they want to know, like everybody else wants to know, how this could happen, and -- and were there signs? Is there something they didn't see?

But I can tell you right now, from talking to them, that, in their -- in their eyes, there were none. He seemed like the -- a perfect gentleman. He seemed like a loving husband and father to Rachel and -- and Lilly. And they never could see anything like this coming. And I think that's one of the things that's so disturbing about this case, because a lot of people can certainly put themselves in a situation where they believe everything is fine. And, sometimes, it just isn't.

COOPER: Joe, thanks. Thanks for being with us tonight.

FLAHERTY: Thank you, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, again to recap, Neil Entwistle's attorneys pleaded not guilty on behalf of their client to murdering his wife, Rachel, and their 9-month-old daughter, Lillian.

He has been held without bail right now inside a jail cell. That's where he will stay for the foreseeable future -- Entwistle's next court hearing scheduled for March 15.

While prosecutors lay out their case, his defense attorney is already questioning if Entwistle can even get a fair trial.

Joining me from Boston is former prosecutor Wendy Murphy and, from Miami, defense attorney Jayne Weintraub.

Good to see both of you.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Anderson.

COOPER: Jayne, let me start with you.

Police affidavits shows that Entwistle spent time on the Internet looking at Web site describing how to commit murder and suicide. He also searched online for escort services, this all during the same week he allegedly killed Rachel and Lillian.

As a defense attorney, how do you deal with that?

WEINTRAUB: Well, first of all, I would listen to my client and hear what he had to say, Anderson. I'm sure there's an explanation. And there may be many.

For example, this might have been a business, the escort business that he was looking to get into. It doesn't necessarily mean that it was just for himself. Or who else had access to the computer? His wife was obviously on that Internet as well. I'm not blaming her, but I am saying we don't know the answers yet. Let's not jump to judgment any quicker than we already have, to poison the jury pool that is going to potentially hear the case.

COOPER: Wendy, what about that? I mean, if he's looking at -- at Web sites of how to commit murder and how to, you know, commit suicide, and -- and getting escorts, what does that tell you?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes.

Well, what's that old saying, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck? Apparently, Jayne sees a skunk. There is clearly common sense to be applied here. This is a guy who was doing things nobody knew about that were seedy. I don't think they're necessarily illegal. But he's looking for companionship in a sexual manner with a woman in the couple of days before his wife's murder and his baby's murder.

And he's looking up how to kill and commit suicide. I mean, come on. The reasonable mind would tell you...

WEINTRAUB: Wendy, maybe someone was threatening here.

MURPHY: Look it, the reasonable mind would tell you this is a guy who was planning, not only to commit an act of homicide and suicide, but possibly planning to kill his wife, but make it look like she was killing her baby, and then committing an act of suicide against herself.

This is really damning evidence of planning. Plus, it shows that the guy is hardly the nice, you know, sweet-faced boy that he looks to be on the outside. This is very bad character evidence for this guy. I don't know exactly how it relates to motive. But it...

WEINTRAUB: That doesn't make him a murderer.

MURPHY: ... sure doesn't make him look very good. It doesn't make him look good, Jayne. There's no question about that.

COOPER: Yes, Jayne, I mean, you got to admit...

WEINTRAUB: That's not...

COOPER: ... it is not a good development.

WEINTRAUB: It is not a matter of good or bad. He's presumed innocent. And he is going to be charged with first-degree murder.

And what Wendy is talking about, bad character evidence, those are remnants of Scott Peterson. Let's make the jurors hate him enough, so that they will just convict him, although there was not sufficient evidence.

And, so, we are going to start the same here. You need to understand, the man is presumed innocent. Those aren't just words. He needs a fair jury pool. That means people that are going to be able to set aside whatever they have read and heard and have an open mind, not jurors that are waiting to write a book or a movie-of-the- week family that we're already beginning to see here. And that's a problem.

MURPHY: What are you -- what are you speculating about? What are you speculating about?

Look, we have had a lot of high-profile cases, O.J., Michael Jackson, the first World Trade Center bombing case, with gobs and gobs and gobs of media attention. And they clearly all got fair trials.

COOPER: Wendy...

MURPHY: You don't want juries that are made of people who crawl out from under rocks, because they don't know anything about how the world works.

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: A fair jury...

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: Yes, go ahead.

COOPER: Let me ask you -- Wendy, let me ask you about a little bit more of this evidence that they have recovered.

A receipt found in Entwistle's car at Logan Airport showed that he had entered the garage at 10:49 p.m. on January 19. What does that do to the prosecutor's timeline?

MURPHY: Well, it's an interesting question, Anderson, and it hasn't yet been cleared up, because the 19th is actually, as you know, the day before the murders.

So, some people are speculating, maybe he went to Logan, was thinking about taking off, and then decided he had to actually shut Rachel up about something, and that was what, in fact, they had a confrontation about. That is pure speculation.

The other theory is that that's just a typo, that -- that, in putting this information in the affidavit, they really meant to say that that was a ticket for Logan Airport dated the day after -- the day after the murders.

WEINTRAUB: A typo in an affidavit to extradite someone for murder? Wendy, get real. Typos will not do.

MURPHY: It has nothing to do with the evidence.

If it is a mistake and in fact the ticket says the 21st, it is not going to make a bit of difference. I'll tell you something.

COOPER: Well, Jayne -- Jayne...

MURPHY: Go ahead.

WEINTRAUB: You know what the real answer is, Anderson?

COOPER: Go ahead. Go ahead, Wendy.

WEINTRAUB: It doesn't fit the prosecutor's timeline.

COOPER: Yes.

WEINTRAUB: And it's a problem for the state.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINTRAUB: That's -- that's the essence of the answer. And I will tell you something. They have a timeline problem with the time of death.

MURPHY: Let me tell you -- let me tell you what I think...

WEINTRAUB: Now the stepfather used the gun.

MURPHY: No.

Look it, let me tell you what I think is a really interesting development that -- that also came out in the affidavit for the first time. Baby Lillian had contusions on her eye and her nose and on her face, raising interesting new questions about whether, in fact, they were shot while napping in bed, something we have been thinking about all along.

But, in fact, now people are saying perhaps Rachel was holding baby Lilly in her arms and that Neil Entwistle shot right through the baby's body, because, remember, the bullet then lodged in Rachel's left breast -- and that he, in fact, then posed or staged the scene to look as though they had been killed in bed, again, to try to make it look like Rachel committed an act of homicide and then suicide.

WEINTRAUB: Wendy, that -- there's no basis for that.

MURPHY: Of course there is.

WEINTRAUB: Those are great theories for a movie of the week, but there's absolutely no evidence to back that up.

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: No, but the point is -- and let me be clear about this, because I think I didn't make this point -- baby Lilly had contusions on her face, suggesting that Rachel perhaps dropped her after being shot. After the baby was shot, while she's in her arms, she dropped her on the floor. They then... WEINTRAUB: Maybe, while somebody was pointing a gun at Rachel that wasn't Neil, and maybe, when Neil walked in and he got scared and ran out of the house. How about that plan?

MURPHY: No. The contusion on the baby's face are what we are talking about, Jayne.

COOPER: We are going to have to...

MURPHY: How do you explain those? You can't.

COOPER: There's a lot -- there's a lot, clearly, which is not explained at this point. Obviously, the prosecution is still trying to make their case. We have got to leave it there.

Wendy Murphy, Jayne Weintraub, thank you.

MURPHY: You bet.

WEINTRAUB: Thank you.

COOPER: With Entwistle's not-guilty plea, trial preparations can get under way -- in a moment, what this case has in common with so many others, namely a spouse as a suspect.

Plus, Katrina survivors in Houston still without work more than five months after the storm. They have got the skills, so why can't they get the jobs?

And how well do you know your community? Tonight, one small town is shaken when rumors about a prominent councilman explode -- that story and more when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, long before he was arraigned for allegedly killing his wife and child, Neil Entwistle was already a person a interest, which is part of the police work whenever -- word -- whenever a spouse is the victim of a violent crime.

And statistics show, time and time again, the killer is often someone very close to the wife.

CNN's Rick Sanchez investigates

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Redwood City, California, December 2002, Scott Peterson kills his wife, Laci. She was eight months pregnant.

Boston, 1989, lawyer Charles Stuart makes up a story about a -- quote -- "black man" who shot his wife. Turns out it was Stuart who pulled the trigger.

North Carolina, 2003, novelist Michael Peterson is convicted of bludgeoning his wife of five years. He did it in the stairwell of their Durham mansion.

All are cases that fascinated and made us wonder why. Why would a husband kill his own wife? Even mere accusations seem to make us all take notice. Who in America can say they don't remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O.J. SIMPSON, DEFENDANT: Absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: O.J. Simpson was found not guilty, but the fascination with everything O.J. continues, as does every book, TV show or movie on husbands who stand accused of killing their wives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE FUGITIVE")

TOMMY LEE JONES, ACTOR: Your fugitive's name is Dr. Richard Kimble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ROBERT FRIEDMAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: You have crime. You have sex. You have money.

SANCHEZ: Criminologist Robert Friedman has spent decades studying why people kill. He says, to understand the motives of men like Scott Peterson, you first have to understand not why they did it, but why they needed to do it.

(on camera): What's to gain? Why -- why not walk out?

FRIEDMAN: If the convenience of the moment is that he deems her standing in his way, he will resort to that resolution that, for the wide majority of the population, is incomprehensible.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Friedman says wife-killers all have a problem they need to resolve. Whether it's greed, lack of freedom, convenience, ego or jealousy, the answer tends to be the same, if the man views life as frivolous.

FRIEDMAN: The ultimate resolution that he arrives at is that taking her out is best for him.

SANCHEZ: So, for police, the challenge is to find out what their suspect was trying to resolve.

(on camera): So, when you figure out what the conflict is, that will lead you to figure out what the motive was?

FRIEDMAN: Exactly.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): So, why do husbands kill? Power, authority, possessiveness. We have all heard the pop psychology, but key to breaking any case, says this veteran investigator, is finding out what conflict was seemingly resolved when a spouse turned up dead. Rick Sanchez, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, you might be interested to know that police say crimes within the family are being made more difficult to solve because of television. Experts fear the tricks of the trade shown on shows like "CSI" often give killers a leg up on literally getting away with murder.

CNN's Ted Rowlands investigates.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION")

WILLIAM PETERSON, ACTOR: What am I smelling?

MARG HELGENBERGER, ACTRESS: Bleach?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this episode of "CSI," the killer uses bleach to cover up a double murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION")

HELGENBERGER: There's no footprints. There's no handprints.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: In Austintown, Ohio, a real-life killer does the same thing, uses bleach to clean up after murdering a 43-year-old woman and her 70-year-old mother. It turns out, according to court documents, the alleged Ohio killer liked to watch "CSI," possibly learning that bleach gets rid of DNA by watching TV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: The killer poured bleach down all the drains.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Talk about sucking all the life out of DNA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAPTAIN RAY PEAVY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It's showing the crooks how not to get caught.

ROWLANDS: Captain Ray Peavy runs one of the homicide units in Los Angeles County. He says "CSI" and other shows make it more difficult to nab criminals, because, after watching these shows and seeing the incredible science investigators are using, criminals are cleaning up.

PEAVY: Things like cigarette butts, blood, semen, hairs, all those things that used to be left -- you know, I won't say regularly, but they were certainly not cleaned up after them -- those things are no longer being left at crime scenes.

So, we will take a look in here in our identification or fingerprint section.

ROWLANDS: This is the Los Angeles County crime lab, a real CSI unit, where they do a lot of the same stuff you see on TV, analyzing bullet fragments, blood, fingerprints, and just about anything else they can find at a crime scene.

PEAVY: This stuff is really cool. People are absolutely fascinated about using science to solve crimes.

ROWLANDS: Barry Fisher, a criminalist in this lab for 30 years, thinks shows like "CSI" may teach criminals a thing or two, but he says it won't do them any good.

BARRY FISHER, LOS ANGELES COUNTY CRIME LAB DIRECTOR: It is categorically impossible to remove all the evidence that somebody is going to leave at a crime scene. They may try, but they're not going to succeed in covering it all up.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Shows like "CSI" are not only being blamed for educating criminals, but also for tainting juries. Prosecutors from around the country say they are losing cases because some jurors show up wanting to see overwhelming physical evidence just like they see on TV.

(voice-over): Larry Pozner, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver, says jurors' expectations have changed.

LARRY POZNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The result of the "CSI" effect is that jurors want more evidence. When they don't get it, they become very suspicious.

ROWLANDS: Can a TV show really have this much effect on the criminal justice system? Elizabeth Devine is a co-executive producer for "CSI: Miami." She used to be a criminalist in the L.A. crime lab. She rejects the notion that shows like hers have changed criminals or jurors.

ELIZABETH DEVINE, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "CSI: MIAMI": It underestimates a little bit the intelligence of our audience and the American people, if people are believing that they can't tell the difference between a television drama and reality.

ROWLANDS: As for that real-life Ohio double-homicide case, in true Hollywood fashion, the cops found their main suspect hiding in this house.

Twenty-six-year-old Jermaine McKinney, the one police say learned from "CSI" how to cover his tracks, was arrested after allegedly trying to use one of the victim's credit cards. McKinney put up a fight, but just like most "CSI" episodes, in the end, the alleged killer is taken away in handcuffs. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Fascinating.

Erica Hill from Headline News joins us right now with some of the other stories we are following -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.

This is one we have been following all week long. Vice President Cheney won't be facing charges for shooting a man during his hunting trip on Saturday. Today, the sheriff of Kenedy County, Texas, said the incident was simply an accident. His department had released a report on the shooting saying no alcohol was involved. Doctors say the victim, 78-year-old Harry Whittington, is doing extremely well and may be released from the hospital in the next few days.

In eastern Kentucky, a coal miner killed by rock and debris, when the roof of an underground mine collapsed -- state and federal mine safety officials are investigating the cause of the accident. The death is the 20th coal mining fatality in the U.S. this year.

Up north, Greenland becoming a little more green, and that's not a good thing. The island's glaciers are sliding off the land at a faster rate. That means they're dumping more than twice as much ice into the Atlantic Ocean as they did 10 years ago. And this could mean the oceans will rise even faster than earlier forecast. Scientists are blaming it all on global warming.

In Washington state, steam is rising from the top of Mount Saint Helens. A clear day today allowed for some of these breathtaking views. You -- and, as you can see, the volcano's new lava dome, still active, but don't expect another blast here soon. Geologists say there haven't been any recent significant changes in earthquake patterns or ground deformation -- Anderson. .

COOPER: Well, that's good news. Thanks, Erica.

Six months ago, they had a home and jobs to help them put food on the table. Then, of course, Katrina struck. Tonight, a lot of the survivors of the hurricane are still hunting through the classifieds. They're qualified, so why can't they get work? We will investigate. That's why we are here in Houston.

Plus, see just how far cops will go to crack down on prostitution. We will take you to a massage parlor where officers paid for sex and actually got what they paid for. Can that actually be legal? -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. We are live in Houston.

And we are -- today, we're finding a lot of Hurricane Katrina victims still without jobs. Why is it so hard for a lot of these qualified people to find work? We will get some answers -- 360 next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, last night, we brought you the story of the suspended search-and-recovery effort for hurricane victims in New Orleans, bodies still out there in the rubble, according to officials.

In the city's Ninth Ward, authorities believe scores of bodies remain under tons of debris that hasn't yet been searched. The reason for the suspension? Overtime. It is expected to cost the city about $400,000, something the city simply cannot afford.

Well, tonight, that has changed. We have just learned that FEMA has agreed to pay those costs. FEMA gave CNN a statement, promising to pay, saying, in part -- quote -- "Like the thousands of other projects FEMA is funding along the Gulf Coast, we are able to play for efforts such as overtime for the New Orleans Fire Department, provided we receive written cost justification."

New Orleans' fire chief, Calvin Brown, calls the news fantastic.

Well, fantastic is not the word that comes to mind when you look at this job situation for many hurricane survivors. About one in five are still poring over the classifieds more than five months after the storm. Now, these are not necessarily people who can't hold a job. A lot of them here in Houston were employed before Katrina, in New Orleans, in Mississippi.

But the storm took away their livelihood, forcing them to find work in an unknown land that was already struggling with unemployment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUBEN JOHNSON, HURRICANE KATRINA EVACUEE: "Will train. One year experience."

COOPER (voice-over): What Katrina evacuee Ruben Johnson wants sounds so simple.

R. JOHNSON: For someone to give me the opportunity to go on the job and show my skills, to show my leadership, to show my determination, my dedication, and my discipline.

COOPER: But finding a job in Houston after Katrina has been anything but simple for Ruben and his wife, Shannon. They moved to Houston nearly six months ago, after Katrina ruined their apartment in New Orleans and their way of life. They both worked in the public school system, Ruben as a teacher's assistant, Shannon as a secretary. Both lost their jobs and their medical insurance after Katrina struck.

SHANNON JOHNSON, HURRICANE KATRINA EVACUEE: I loved my job. My husband loved his job, and for us to be in a predicament where we were just like in the cold.

COOPER: Ruben has diabetes, Shannon, a torn ligament. Both are in need of medical care that neither can really afford. Shannon can't work until her foot heals, but Ruben says he has been trying his hardest to find a job, trying to change their situation for the better.

R. JOHNSON: I applied to maybe, honestly, over 250 companies, and had three callbacks. And that was about it.

COOPER: He spends his days highlighting job listings and submitting resumes at the local community center, wondering how he ended up here.

(on camera): Did you think ever think you would be that person, the person asking for help, and not the person helping?

R. JOHNSON: Never, ever thought I would be that person. I mean, wow, it's -- it's a big change for me, you know, been working since I was 18, you know, having that job, never really being out of work. I never thought I would be that person that is seeking that help.

COOPER (voice-over): Part of the problem, there are so many people, just like Ruben, as many as 200,000 Katrina evacuees, relocated to Houston, a city where jobs were already scarce and unemployment consistently above the national average.

DAVID DOMINGUEZ, ALLIANCE FOR MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITY SERVICES: It is very hard for -- for anybody, much less a -- a hurricane evacuee, who doesn't know the city, to get around and to find where those jobs are, who the employers are, and so on.

COOPER: It is not only jobs. The small community center in Ruben's neighborhood is overwhelmed, helping more than 2,000 evacuees so far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, we have to create a application for you.

COOPER: Counselors try to help them overcome obstacles, how to get around a strange city. And, then, there's the growing resentment.

(on camera): Do you think people in Houston kind of feel like, well, you know, a lot of -- a lot of folks from New Orleans have come and -- and have -- have -- you know, are a burden to the city? Do -- do you get that feeling?

S. JOHNSON: Yes.

R. JOHNSON: It's like, when you are applying for a job, normally, about five people, five candidates for a job. Now it's 10, you know. And some of them are feeling like, hey, what about us? And we are feeling like, hey, what about us? So, you know, it's a conflict.

COOPER: Ruben Johnson says he's going to keep looking for a job until he finds something. He has lost so much already; he refuses to lose his pride.

R. JOHNSON: I'm ready to give back, you know? I'm -- I'm not one of those -- we are -- we both are not one of those people who are going to just sit back and receive the handouts, because we both want to give back, do what we have to do to become a citizen again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And we wish them well.

Ruben and Shannon are getting FEMA housing assistance through March. But they're worried it might not continue beyond that. Right now, FEMA is giving them $1,700 for every three months, not even enough, really, to cover their rent, which is $615 a month.

Our visit here in Houston is the subject of tonight's blog. We're getting a lot of feedback from viewers, especially from folks here in Houston and the surrounding areas. They have a lot of different viewpoints, some pretty intense viewpoints, things to say about the Katrina evacuees here.

You can take a look yourself and post an entry, if you would like. Go to CNN.com/360. Click on the blog link. One hundred and seventy thousand hits so far today -- we will read some posts later in the program.

In a moment, another story that is hot enough to burn the blog down -- a small town, explosive allegations, and a confrontation between a pillar of the community and the man accusing him of an almost unspeakable abuse.

Later, it can kill in the blink of an eye, but the camera never blinks -- a deadly threat to cops caught on tape -- only on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, the truth is out there, or so they say. But, sometimes, the closer you get, the harder it is to find. And, when the truth may involve ugly secrets and powerful people, it gets tougher, still. That's a fact, an explosive fact.

In a small town a few hours north of here, in Houston, reporting for us tonight, CNN's Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Except for the freight trains, Wills Point, Texas, population 3,500, is a quiet place, a small town, where most everyone seems to know about the frequent whispers about one of its leading citizens.

MIKE JONES, WILLS POINT CITY COUNCILMAN: Hi, guys.

TUCHMAN: Mike Jones is a longtime city councilman. He has also been a church deacon, a Scout leader, and the fire chief in nearby city. He's a husband and father, too, a pillar of the community, a large figure in this small town. Some say he has been unfairly stigmatized by years of swirling rumors. Others now wonder, should they have done something, because now there are some very unpleasant public accusations.

JAMES LUNSFORD JR., ACCUSER: I was 13 years old, and he molested me.

COOPER: James Lunsford lives in a small apartment in California, but he grew up in Wills Point. There, he was a high school cheerleader. Lunsford says they first met, though, at a gas station convenience store owned by Jones.

(on camera): How many times do you allege he molested you?

LUNSFORD: Oh, wow. It went on for four years. I mean, some would define it as a relationship.

COOPER (voice-over): And then there's Mike Copenhaver. He only recently James Lunsford, but he has known Mike Jones his whole life. They're family.

MIKE COPENHAVER, COUSIN OF MIKE JONES: Mike Jones is my second cousin. His mother is my first cousin.

TUCHMAN: Copenhaver has just signed a notarized affidavit, saying his second cousin molested him when he was 14 and Jones was in his 20s. He was with Jones on a family weekend.

COPENHAVER: Mike Jones fondled me by placing his hand on and squeezing my penis. I pulled away from him. His excuse at the time was that he was trying to teach me morals.

TUCHMAN: All these years later, what do you think he was doing?

COPENHAVER: Molesting me, and using -- just manipulating the situation to his benefit, for his perversions.

TUCHMAN: And, then, there is Rob Fite, who barely knows Lunsford and has never met Copenhaver.

ROBERT FITE, FIREFIGHTER: I'm a battalion chief with the Richardson Fire Department.

TUCHMAN: Mike Jones was his boss, the fire chief in this Dallas suburb. Rob Fite tells us what four other firemen scared to talk on camera also said to CNN.

FITE: Every morning, roughly at 9:00, sometimes 9:15, Chief Mike Jones would come into the bathroom and wash his hands and create small talk with the firemen while they showered.

TUCHMAN (on camera): While he was dressed?

FITE: While he was dressed and they were nude.

TUCHMAN: And he would be looking at them?

FITE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: And how often did this happen during the week?

FITE: It happened three, four times a week, almost every weekday, the days he worked, about roughly 9:00. And this went on for at least three years.

TUCHMAN: So, you're saying, three to four times a week, for three years?

FITE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: That's hundreds of times.

FITE: Hundreds of times.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): All of these accusations are not only serious, but raise many questions, such as, what does Mike Jones have to say? Well, the councilman would not sit down for an on-camera interview, but did agree to give written answers to CNN's questions through his attorney.

When asked if he's ever had sexual relations with James Lunsford, he says, although he knows him, the answer is "No, absolutely not." About fondling his second cousin, he says, "No, I deny the allegation."

And about staring at naked firemen in the shower, he says he was there because, "There was no shower in my bathroom."

But the firemen we talked with say that Jones was not taking a shower while he was staring. They say the main reason they didn't report him earlier is because he was the boss.

FITE: Huge fear. That was the main reason, besides it being a joke. And it's, why is he doing this? What do you do? He's the ultimate power-maker of the department. There's no one else to answer to.

TUCHMAN: The city of Richardson investigated, after complaints were finally made.

Bill Keffler is the city manager.

BILL KEFFLER, RICHARDSON, TEXAS, CITY MANAGER: What we determined after interviews and individuals had opportunity to make their case, we determined that it did not rise to the level of sexual harassment.

TUCHMAN: But the battalion chief says, that finding is inaccurate. Many firemen, he says, were not candid because they were embarrassed.

FITE: Now, knowing what we know, I do say it's sexual harassment. And we should have put a stop to it years ago.

TUCHMAN (on camera): It's significant that Jones was found not to be a sexual harasser, because, after he suddenly left his post as fire chief last year for what were described as personal reasons, the city of Richardson put him back on the payroll early this year for two days, so he could qualify for his full retirement pension.

KEFFLER: I felt it was the right thing to do. I thought it was the compassionate thing to do.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): It just so happened that Jones left the fire department at about the same time that James Lunsford made his allegations of sexual molestation.

LUNSFORD: Have you any idea the damage, the damage and terror that a child molester causes?

TUCHMAN: Lunsford caused quite a stir in Richardson when he showed up at a city council meeting this month to complain about Jones being rehired.

LUNSFORD: Mike Jones, your ex-fire chief, is a child molester.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, you have an issue that you -- that it sounds as though...

LUNSFORD: "You have an issue." This is all of our issue. He's a child molester!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know that.

LUNSFORD: You do know that!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't.

TUCHMAN: But, compared to what Lunsford did then, what he did this week was absolutely explosive.

LUNSFORD: He raped...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands off him.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Let's go.

LUNSFORD: And he raped...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Part two of this extraordinary story is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We left the saga of James Lunsford and Mike Jones with allegations of sexual molestation being leveled by Mr. Lunsford and others at Mr. Jones, a big man in the small town of Wills Point, Texas. Mr. Lunsford, in fact, had just spoken out very publicly against Mike Jones. That was earlier this month.

But, as you are about to see, it was nothing compared to what happened next.

Again, here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This past Tuesday, James Lunsford and Mike Jones saw each other for the first time in years, face to face, 15 feet away from each other at a Wills Point City Council meeting.

And Lunsford confronted Jones.

(CROSSTALK)

LUNSFORD: ... work anymore Mike.

TUCHMAN: The mayor of the city demanded Lunsford address his concerns to him, and not to Jones. And, when Lunsford kept talking...

ROY CALDWELL, MAYOR OF WILLS POINT, TEXAS: Mr. Lunsford...

(CROSSTALK)

LUNSFORD: ... have to step down.

(CROSSTALK)

CALDWELL: Mr. Lunsford, once again, I have asked you to stop what you're doing.

TUCHMAN: ... police came in to take him away.

LUNSFORD: He raped...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands off him.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Let's go.

LUNSFORD: And he raped...

TUCHMAN: A yellow Taser gun was pulled out during the melee. Lunsford was dragged off and brought to jail, charged with two felony counts of assaulting police officers. And Jones broke his on-camera silence.

JONES: Mr. Lunsford's allegations are false.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never...

(CROSSTALK) JONES: I resent them. My family and I have been hurt by them. And I am -- I feel sorry for him.

TUCHMAN: Now, out on bail, Lunsford says he had been afraid to make these accusations. But when he recently learned he had become HIV-positive, he says his outlook on life changed.

As for Jones' younger cousin, Mike Copenhaver, he now regrets he stayed silent for years out of fear.

COPENHAVER: I was sick to my stomach just thinking about, you know, my silence, how that affected -- how that -- you know, maybe I was a stepping-stone to him going further with other boys.

TUCHMAN: The accusations are disturbing, but what does it all mean legally? A local district attorney, Leslie Poynter-Dixon, says she received a call from Jones' attorney.

LESLIE POYNTER-DIXON, VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TEXAS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Basically, the attorney was inquiring whether Mr. Jones should be prepared for imminent arrest.

TUCHMAN: The DA told him no, because, under Texas law, there is a 10-year statute of limitations on child molestation allegations. And, for Lunsford and Copenhaver, the 10 years have passed.

(on camera): Would you have wanted to take this case to the grand jury?

POYNTER-DIXON: I think it would have been important to take this case to the grand jury, due to the allegations and due to the fact that the -- that Mr. Jones, the alleged perpetrator, does hold a position of trust here in our community.

TUCHMAN: Does it frustrate you, as a district attorney, that you weren't able to do so?

POYNTER-DIXON: Yes, it does.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): There are many people who live in Wills Point who stand by Mike Jones, including the city's mayor, who, ironically, is also a Richardson firefighter.

CALDWELL: I find him to be a very honest man, a very good father. And he has been a very good council member here in Wills Point for over 12 years.

TUCHMAN: But others are fearful to talk publicly about this man, who, in addition to helping run this city, runs a hardware store in town.

CATHY MCCORMACK, RESIDENT OF WILLS POINT, TEXAS: Bump it up or down?

TUCHMAN: Cathy McCormack used to rent a business from Jones.

(on camera): Your salon was here.

MCCORMACK: Where the laundromat is.

TUCHMAN: Jones owned this place.

MCCORMACK: Yes, sir.

TUCHMAN: And James Lunsford lived behind there?

MCCORMACK: Yes, sir. He lived a block behind. And we would walk to the store to get candy.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): McCormack says, two decades ago, she used to watch Mike Jones pick up the young teenager in his car, and then drive to Jones' house. She says Lunsford confided in her that he was having sex with Jones. But she was afraid to say anything.

MCCORMACK: I couldn't say anything. We lived in an East Texas town that was very small, Podunk, and very old-school. And things like that go on in towns like that, and they're never brought forward.

TUCHMAN (on camera): And what do you think could have happened to you if you would have told the authorities?

MCCORMACK: I would have been ostracized. I would have been run out of -- my business would have been ruined.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The married mother of three recently confessed her secret to a priest.

MCCORMACK: I told him. I said, you know, I -- what did I was wrong. I should have came forward. I should. I wish I could do it over. James has suffered. He has been in and out of, you know, drugs and alcohol. And -- and it just -- it -- it unnerves me. If I could have done it -- if I would have a do-over in my life, I would change that. I would tell, regardless of what it cost me.

TUCHMAN: Councilman Jones has filed a lawsuit against Lunsford, saying he has slandered his name.

Jones tell CNN he only knew Lunsford as a customer in his store, although he does add, he gave Lunsford a couple of car rides over the years.

As to why people from different walks of life are making these claims against him, Jones told us, in writing, "Elected public officials and successful business persons often come under attack by those who, for whatever reason, feel less successful in their own lives. That's what's happening here."

Under Texas law, the statute of limitations does not apply if DNA evidence becomes available, but that's not expected in this case. So, the district attorney anticipates there will be no prosecution, and, because it won't go to a grand jury, no full investigation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN: Most states do have some form of statute of limitations for child molestation charges. The number of years varies state by state.

The reason such loss exist is because it's thought that witnesses' recollections get too foggy after a certain number of years. However, in many states, there is a movement to eliminate such limitations or, at the very least, extend the number of years in which an alleged victim could press charges -- Anderson.

COOPER: We will continue to follow this story to see what happens next.

Another explosive case we're following tonight -- today, Neil Entwistle, the British man now back in the states, charged with murdering his wife and baby. How did he plead? What was his attitude? And could there be holes in the prosecution's case?

And, here in Houston, a recent pike in violent crime is being blamed on Katrina evacuees. But they are as likely to be victims as suspects? 360 investigates.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We will have the latest on the Entwistle murder case and the Dick Cheney shooting coming up.

But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the business stories we're following -- Erica.

HILL: Hi again, Anderson.

Economists say the warmest January on record is behind today's bullish housing numbers. Seasonally adjusted housing starts jumped 14.5 percent last month. That's the highest since 1973. Economists, though, do warn against reading too much into these numbers. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress yesterday, he sees a gradual slowdown for 2006, although that will allow housing to remain robust, even as it slows.

Nike, meantime, is suing Adidas. Nike says Adidas is using elements of the Nike's trademarked shock cushioning technology in its Kevin Garnett signature shoes, as well as some other lines -- no comment yet from Adidas.

And one of XM Satellite Radio's board of directors quit today. And investors pushed the subscription radio stock down 5 percent. In departing, Pierce Roberts warned of a -- quote -- "significant chance of a crisis" on the horizon and reportedly advocated stricter cost controls, while other directors favor intense efforts to enlist new subscribers -- Anderson.

COOPER: Erica, thanks.

We want to thank our international viewers for watching. Coming up, though, on 360, he's back, but is he also the brutal killer of his wife and baby? What does Neil Entwistle have to say for himself? And new details from the vice presidential shooting investigation, not to mention the first public mention of it by his boss, the president.

And imagine waking up one day a billionaire. See how it is happening to this man and how, well -- well, it probably couldn't happen to you. But it -- it at least is happening to this guy -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Good evening again from Houston.

The man accused of killing his wife and baby, Neil Entwistle, says he didn't do it. But will his own words prove he did?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Neil Entwistle pleads not guilty to murdering his wife and daughter.

FLAHERTY: We are astonished and devastated to learn of the hidden life of Neil Entwistle.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, stunning new details revealed -- why prosecutors are certain he's guilty.

Investigation into the accidental shooting by Vice President Cheney -- as the sheriff's report is made public, President Bush speaks out.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought the vice president handled the issue just fine.

ANNOUNCER: And danger on the highway -- it turns out, one of the biggest killers of police patrolling the streets is other drivers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Live from Houston, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening from Houston.

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