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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Denny's Shooting; Internet Predators; Marine Drowning; Chasing the Chase; Death for Carlie's Killer; Insurance Coverage and Anorexia
Aired March 15, 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: I mean, was he living in Pismo in his car?
CHIEF JOE CORTEZ, PISMO BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: No. He wasn't living in Pismo Beach. We're drying to determine where he was actually staying. We think that he may have been living out of his car and/or a storage locker in another community.
COOPER: And I guess you don't know anything then about the relation, if any, between the gunmen and those he shot?
CORTEZ: No. This just appears to be a random act of violence. We can't find any connection between him having a grudge with the restaurant ownership, any of the customers, any of the staff within the restaurant.
When he entered that restaurant today and had both guns with him, it was like a shooting gallery. He just walked down the aisle and shot recklessly and aimlessly at anybody he could.
COOPER: It is just unbelievable. We know that three people died, including the gunmen, two others injured in the shooting. How are they? What is their condition right now?
CORTEZ: Fortunately we have some good news to report. They're in good condition. They've both been released from the hospital. We're really thankful that a number of employees and customers in the restaurant, when they saw what was going on, managed to run out the back door. Otherwise we may have had more victims.
COOPER: And how long did this whole thing take? I mean from the time he stepped in there with guns blazing until the time he shot himself?
CORTEZ: It was -- from the video camera inside, we can see that it took 45 seconds from the time that he entered the building until he fired the final shot which killed him.
Our first officer on the scene was here within two minutes. Unfortunately it was too late to be of any help to those that were shot.
COOPER: That's unbelievable that it was all over in 45 seconds. I mean, it's great that your officer was there after two minutes. That's incredible response time. But 45 seconds, that's the blink of an eye. Chief Cortez, again, I appreciate you joining us today.
CORTEZ: Thank you very much, Anderson.
You can file this next story under, well, we can't quite find the words. Here are the numbers, instead: 27 people charge with possession, receipt, distribution and manufacture of child pornography.
The investigation spans nine states, Canada, Australia and Great Britain. The youngest victim of the alleged scheme was a toddler, just 18 months old.
DEPUTY CHIEF TONY WARR, TORONTO POLICE: Well, this is very disturbing, but they all are very disturbing. It's children, you know, these are our children. And anything that anybody does to abuse or exploit them is disgusting.
COOPER: Not just children -- infants, 18 months old. I mean it is just shocking. Toronto's deputy chief talking about the people who are now charged with using an internet chat room to trade pornography featuring young children, one of whom police say was molested life on a web cam. In this case it took nearly a whole year for investigators to crack the case. Seven of the kids identified who had been identified are now in safe hands. It is only a single battle in what is really a never ending war.
CNN's Daniel Sieberg investigates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our suspect (inaudible) green shirt. So it is looking good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he's getting out. We'll get a good look at him right now.
DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A police stakeout in Laguna Beach, California. Officers prepare to take down their suspect. They say 24-year-old Fernando Guerran, Jr. (ph), is attempting to lure a 13-year-old girl to this playground for sex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he starts walking through the park or something, take him down.
SGT. LENYI, LAGUNA BEACH POLICE: "I just wanna kiss your right now and lick you snible you...up and down...from head to toe."
SIEBERG: Sergeant Darren Lenyi reads one example of the language allegedly used by his suspect on the messenger program Yahoo! Chat. Much of it is too explicit for this program. He shows us what's believed to be Guerran's (ph) page on the popular social networking site, myspace. And he shows us several naked photos he claims Guerran (ph) e-mailed to his chat buddy.
So, how does Sergeant Lenyi know about all this? Well, it's an internet sting operation and the Laguna Beach P.D. has planned a number of them in the past several months.
This surveillance video is from another operation that netted 13 arrests in one night. One suspect arrives with a single red rose for his underage date. Officers are waiting inside to arrest each one -- a pharmaceutical technician, a Starbucks manager, an engineer, even a lieutenant with the California Highway Patrol. All are formally charged with attempt to child molest and are in the process of being arraigned.
The citizen's group, "perverted-justice.com" creates phony profiles of underage kids to see if anyone will take the bait. Complete with cultural references and internet lingo, working with all levels of law enforcement, they claim to have busted several dozen pedophiles since 2004.
FRAG, PERVERTED-JUSTICE.COM: We've caught doctors, lawyers cops, firefighters, teachers, social workers, you know, really all walks of life.
One of the predators that actually had to find a baby sitter for his 13-year-old daughter so he could come over and molest someone else's 13-year-old daughter.
SIEBERG: Myspace says that while it can't prevent all fraud, the company has deleted more than 200,000 underage profiles to date. And one warning on the safety tips page reads, if you're under 14, go away.
Frag and Dell, not their real names, of course, say they say never initiate the conversations, but rather, wait to be contacted. Then they and their volunteers engage in chat sessions. And whenever it's requested, allow the person to call them on the phone. Adult members of Perverted-Justice who sound underage pick up the line. Here's a sample conversation and it's disturbing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 12.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sound pretty cute.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what are you up to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing really. Talking to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're like horny, aren't you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You're so cute.
SIEBERG: And when these phone or cyber exchanges move into the real world, the authorities can act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us know where he's going.
SIEBERG (on camera): The folks at Perverted-Justice have worked for about a week with the Laguna Beach Police Department to set up this stakeout operation here at a park with where the 13-year-old girl says she's going to show up after playing hooky from school today.
(Voice-over): But rather than a teenage girl waiting on this playground...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please turn around. Drop your beanie. All right, partner, you're under arrest for attempt molestation of a minor.
SIEBERG: Police search Guerran's (ph) car and find condoms and a digital camera, which based on his alleged chat, Guerran (ph) was going to use to take dirty pictures.
He's since been charged with attempt to child molest and sending lewd pictures to a minor by the Orange County District Attorney. He's being held on $100,000 bail and faces up to four year in prison. The Public Defenders' Office declined comment.
LENYI: Obviously if this was a real 13-year-old chatting with this individual, it's robbing some innocence from that child, so it's rewarding that we made this happen and no harm did come to a 13-year- old little girl.
SEIBERG: A deterrent for anyone who attempts to contact a teenager online. That curious and chatty child may actually be wearing a badge.
Daniel Sieberg, CNN, Laguna Beach, California.
COOPER: One arrest, but the battle continues.
With American troops fighting and dying in Iraq, how tough is too tough when it comes to training? The death of a promising young Marine brings it all home. Could it have been prevented? Were simple safety precautions not taken?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE GONZALES, ANDREW GONZALES' WIDOW: He's really disgusted because he loved being a Marine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next, we'll hear from his widow and take an exclusive look inside the investigation. And later we'll talk to Carlie Brucia's grandmother about Carlie and the sentence her killer was given today.
Around the country and the world, you're watching 360.
COOPER: Marine Staff Sergeant Andrew Gonzales always dreamed of becoming a drill instructor for the United States Marines. He reached that goal, but months later he was dead; the results of a water training exercise gone tragically wrong.
Tonight, Randi Kaye has an exclusive interview with the Marine's widow and a look inside the investigation of his death.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Staff Sergeant Andrew Gonzales was a Marine drill instructor, as well as a strong swimmer. So, it was no surprise he was hand picked to become a combat instructor of water survival. No one ever imagined survival training would kill him.
He thought it would be safe.
MICHELLE GONZALES, ANDREW GONZALES' WIDOW: Yes, he'd be safe. Yes, so, but he wasn't.
KAYE: On Sergeant Gonzales' sixth day of training, the morning of August 1st last year, he climbed into the swim tank at this San Diego training facility for the last time.
Do you believe that the Marines killed your husband?
GONZALES: I do. I do. I believe every safety measure, every precaution that they are supposed to take wasn't taken.
KAYE: CNN obtained this investigative report from the Marines. Though heavily censored, it raises serious doubt about Sergeant Gonzales' mental state the day he died and whether or not the proper safety precautions were taken at the pool.
(On camera): In connection with the death of Gonzales, four Marines have been charged with dereliction of duty. Two of them with more serious charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide.
But what really happened the morning he died is still under investigation. The Marines refused CNN's request for an interview until the case is resolved.
So the question lingers, how is it that Staff Sergeant Gonzales, a strong experienced swimmer at the top of his class, chosen for survival training because of his skills in the water, could die practicing a routine rescue technique?
(Voice-over): According to the investigation, Gonzales was in an exercise where instructors grab students to simulate being grabbed by a distressed swimmer. Three times Gonzales failed to escape his instructor's hold. According to the report, witnesses heard Sergeant Gonzales yelling let me go several times that morning.
A Marine for 15 years, Jay Platt taught combat water survival training.
JAY PLATT, FORMER MARINE: An instructor is going to grab you very hard and you're having to fight for your life to get away.
KAYE: Shortly before slipping under, Gonzales is described as nervous, breathing rapidly, and visibly uncomfortable. He was pulled from the pool, barely breathing. Attempts to resuscitate him failed. Forty minutes later, he was pronounced dead.
GONZALES: The people that were in the water with him noticed distress and heavy breathing at various points, but not once did they let him have the break he needed or to get out of the water to catch his breath.
KAYE: According to the Marines, students are not permitted to rest in between rescues. And not let go until they complete the technique to the instructor's satisfaction.
(On camera): When you think about that morning, your husband's final morning, and what he must have been going through, how does that make you feel?
GONZALES: I'm disgusted. I'm just really disgusted. Because he loved being a Marine and that's all he wanted to be. They took it away from him.
KAYE (voice-over): The day he died, Gonzales refused to get in the swim tank. He had nearly drowned, his wife says, a few days earlier. But according to the investigation, he was ordered to get in the pool or be dropped from the course.
GONZALES: You know, less than an hour later, he was gone.
KAYE: So how tough is too tough when it comes to training?
PLATT: The Marine Corps is a preeminent fighting force for a reason, that everything the Marine Corps does is tough training. It's not the Boy Scouts.
KAYE: Michelle Gonzales wonders if her husband's death could have been prevented. The day he died, the Marines investigation found no designated observer or supervisor on the pool deck. In simple terms, no lifeguards.
(On camera): Who would normally be present at the side of the pool during training like this?
PLATT: You always are required to have at least one person not in the water because if I'm in an elevated position not in a water, I can see things going on there that you as an instructor with that student cannot see.
KAYE (voice-over): To make matters worse, in treating Gonzales, the investigation found one of two emergency oxygen bottles leaking and useless and that the Marines failed to use the poolside defibrillator. GONZALES: My first hug as a married woman.
KAYE (on camera): In the seven months that have passed since her husband's death Michelle Gonzales has tried to get her life back on track. She's moved from San Diego to San Antonio. Still wearing her husband's dog tags around her neck.
GONZALES: I know it's there and I always can think of him. But, I shouldn't be wearing it. He should be wearing it.
KAYE (voice-over): This once proud Marine wife, now a Marine widow, is left to wonder if the Marines let one of their own die.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, joining us now, Steve Robinson. He's a 20-year Army veteran, former ranger and an instructor who taught a water survival course similar to the one that Staff Sergeant Gonzales did not survive. He joins us tonight from Pensacola, Florida.
Thanks for being with us.
When you hear in this report, I mean, what jumps out at you?
STEVE ROBINSON, NATIONAL GULF WAR RESOURCE CENTER: Lack of supervision, lack of proper equipment and perhaps a misunderstanding that people have that military people do what they're ordered to do. That's what we train them to do.
COOPER: And that's what they need to do obviously in a combat situation. Where does that line get drawn, though?
ROBINSON: The instructors have to be smart enough to know that a person has -- he's volunteered to quit. There's no sense in trying to force him to do something that he doesn't want to do.
Had this person been allowed to quit, he wouldn't have passed the course, but he would have went on to fight another day.
There's been many circumstances when I was a ranger instructor where we are daily risking people's lives because the training is arduous. So the biggest mistake right here that I can see is not having the proper equipment, not supervising and not taking the person's word.
When you tell a military person to do something, they are bound by the UCMJ to follow that order, even if it means going into a machine gun nest or doing something that's very hazardous.
COOPER: Witnesses heard Sergeant Gonzales yell, let me go, several times. Would that have been a red flag for you as an instructor?
ROBINSON: Absolutely. I mean, this training is really important. It teaches people to survive in very dangerous situations. Sometimes their hands and feet are bound. Sometimes they're given weights that will keep them under water and they have to struggle to stay afloat. But if someone said, help, I need help or I'm not going to do it, that's the signal to pull them out. And that person would be eliminated from the course. They wouldn't be strong enough to pass the course.
COOPER: And essentially this is sort of a life saving -- I mean, it's like being a lifeguard. It's a lifeguard course almost. And when they talk in the piece about people climbing on the swimmer, that's simulating someone who's drowning and panicking and you have to be able to control that person, bring them out of the water?
ROBINSON: That technique is no different than your standard basic lifesaver course. They do the same thing when you have a teenager who's training to be a lifeguard at your local pool. The swimmer goes out and tries to rescue someone. And they simulate -- the person that's being rescued simulates panicking and jumping on top of you so that you can feel what that's like and try to use some of the techniques they teach you to get away. It's not uncommon. The one thing that people should know is that military training is dangerous and people do die in training, even in something as simple as being in a pool.
COOPER: Steve Robinson, we appreciate your expertise. It's just a tragedy, a heroic Marine has died and the investigation continues. Steve, thank you.
ROBINSON: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up tonight, well, I guess some are calling it the ultimate in reality television. Hair raising, teeth clenching -- car chases and the crashes and the spins and flips they produce. For police they are a dangerous reality, especially in California. You won't believe how often they happen. There was just one today. We'll explain.
Also, the killer of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia sentenced today. How does Carlie's family feel about the punishment he got? We'll talk to Carlie's grandmother ahead on 360.
COOPER: In Los Angeles today a drama unfolded on the city streets, pretty much like it does in the movies. A murder suspect, fleeing from police, leading them on a high-speed car chase, ramming and sideswiping cars, veering into oncoming traffic. In the end, he pulled over and surrendered. In other words, just another day in California.
Here's CNN's Ted Rowlands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable! Look at that -- he's out of control! Head on into a pickup truck. TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They play out on a daily basis in California, and many times end up on TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, there's four vehicles that he just ran into.
ROWLANDS: Police chases, which some consider the ultimate in reality television.
JUDY GRAFFE, CHASE WATCHER: I have to tune in.
ROWLANDS: Judy Graffe, along with thousands of other viewers, love to watch people on the freeways, in streets of California, trying to get away from the police. Judy is such a fanatic, that she actually subscribes to a service that alerts her with a phone call when a chase is under way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, look at that, right between those two cars.
GRAFFE: No one single car chase is like another. I mean, anything from what neighborhoods they go to, to the speeds they travel, to who it turns out they are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he goes, he's out and he's in the lanes of traffic.
ROWLANDS: Over the years, there have been some memorable California chases. There was the stolen tank in San Diego. There was the hijacked bus in Los Angeles, the driver careening through the streets like a real-life version of the movie "Speed," without the Hollywood ending.
GRAFFE: That one was absolutely fascinating. To imagine somebody hijacking a bus and thinking they could get away?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's over 120 miles-an-hour here.
ROWLANDS: Police have chased practically everything on wheels. From motorcycles...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at this, a wheelie right through traffic.
ROWLANDS: ...to RV's. This chase lasted more than four hours, part of it off road. Everyone seemed relieved when this ended.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nature called.
ROWLANDS: 7-Up received some free advertising while police pursued this stolen truck. There's even been a case of ambulance chasing. Literally. Sometimes the suspect runs, many times they give up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's a foot chase and we'll see if the officers -- he runs out of steam. ROWLANDS: This person decided to turn things around, putting the car into reverse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very bizarre behavior.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It went through the interchange, continuing northbound on to 405.
ROWLANDS: And, of course there was the ultimate celebrity pursuit, O.J., the slow-speed chase seen live around the world.
GRAFFE: Who knew where that was going to go? I mean, it was anybody's guess and so I think that sort of hooked me into car chases.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will take you back to regular programming now.
ROWLANDS: Interrupting television programming to show chases started before O.J. It has been a part of southern California life since the early '90s.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been live with you now just about an hour here on channel 9 following this.
OFFICER JOE ZIZI, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: These people do not want to go to jail.
ROWLANDS: Joe Zizi is an officer with the California Highway Patrol, who's been in a number of chases. He says people may enjoy watching them on TV, but for officers involved, it is very dangerous.
ZIZI: Who knows? You could be chasing after America's most wanted suspect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at this, smoke coming off his tires as he brakes. Oh, oh he hit that car -- hits that car, but he's still in -- oh, he jumps out the window.
ZIZI: About 60 to 70 percent of people that flee are either driving a stolen vehicle, are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or are wanted by the police.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who knows what is going through his mind.
ROWLANDS: Some of these chases go on for hours. Some become standoffs, leaving television anchors to speculate about anything so they can fill time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's probably so -- you know, he's just belligerent as all get out.
GRAFFE: I'm fascinated at how the anchors call the car chase. I mean, it's a little bit like a play-by-play in a sports event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going off the road. He's spinning out, spinning out. Whoa, he's going down the hill, spinning out, its rolling over. One, two, three.
ROWLANDS: Sometimes drivers know they are on TV and play to the audience. This guy made the time to show everyone his softer side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just mooned them.
ROWLANDS: This woman being pursued even stopped to talk to bystanders who had come outside after watching the pursuit on TV.
ZIZI: We've had several citizens watch it on television, see that it is approaching their house and get outside to either try and cheer the suspect on or try and get involved to stop the suspect's vehicle.
ROWLANDS: In this case, police got some help from a couple of truckers who saw the chase coming...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well it looks like these big rigs are doing it on purpose. Yes, this is great.
ROWLANDS: ... and sandwiched the suspect between them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's stuck.
ROWLANDS: Police don't encourage the general public to intervene. They have their own tactics to try to put brakes on chases.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have the spike strip, the pit maneuver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, they're putting down another spike strip to blow out the rear tires.
ROWLANDS: The spike strip flattens tires, but doesn't stop cars cold, like this driver who continued for miles until the SUV actually started to fall to pieces.
This is what's called a pit maneuver, which is used to disable a vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get up alongside that vehicle bump it, push it to a side, make it spin out, and hopefully incapacitate, stall out the engine.
ROWLANDS: But it is not always an immediate success.
The newest weapon for police is a satellite tracking device they can actually shoot onto a vehicle which allows them to back off a bit and keep officers out of danger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's starting to run.
ROWLANDS: As for the question of why so many chases here? Many people think California is unique because there are more freeways and more cars. But Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton points to the people. CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE: You got a lot of nuts here. That's what makes it so unique, that I can quite frank with you.
ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.
Well, today the odds of March was reckoning day in a senseless tragic killing. We'll learn how Carlie Brucia's murderer reacted to the judge's sentence.
Here's how it affected Carlie's aunt, Laurie Brucia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURIE BRUCIA, CARLIE'S AUNT: Happy would be having Carlie right beside me and giving her a hug and a kiss and watching her grow up and celebrating her 13th birthday tomorrow, which will never happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A child the whole nation grieved for. Hear more from her grandmother, ahead on 360.
And anorexia, it is a life-threatening illness that is incredibly difficult to cure. So what happens when health insurers pull the plug on coverage? We're keeping them honest.
Percent of college-aged women in the U.S. with bulimia: 19 percent.
Percent of U.S. women with anorexia who will die from the disease: 10 to 25 percent.
COOPER: Who could forget that chilling video of crime that was caught on tape? The abduction of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia. The man who kidnapped and later strangled the Florida girl. He was back in court today, and he showed no emotion, even as the judge sentenced him to death.
CNN's John Zarrella was there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand for sentencing.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joseph Smith stood motionless, expressionless, as Judge Andrew Owens sentenced him to die.
ANDREW OWENS, JUDGE: Joseph Smith, based upon your actions, you have forfeited your right to live freely among us in society; and pursuant to the laws of Florida, have forfeited your right to live.
Accordingly, it is here by ordered and adjudged that for the murder of Carlie Jane Brucia, you are here by sentenced to death.
ZARRELLA: Smith nodded only slightly. Outside the courtroom, Carlie's stepfather said his closure will come when Smith dies.
STEVE KANSLER, CARLIE'S STEPFATHER: I've wanted the death penalty from the beginning because I want to watch him die.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you plan on being there (inaudible).
KANSLER: Front row and center.
ZARRELLA: Two years ago on February 1st, Smith kidnapped the 11- year-old girl as she walked home from a sleepover at a friend's house. Four days later, her body was found on the grounds of a church.
Carlie Brucia's abduction was captured on a surveillance camera at a carwash. The grainy ten seconds of video led to Smith's arrest and was pivotal evidence at his trial last November.
Upon his conviction, the jury recommended 10 to 2 that Smith die. During the sentencing hearing, the judge laid out in oftentimes painful detail the ordeal the little girl suffered before she died.
OWENS: Carlie's death was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel. Her death was consciousless and pitiless and undoubtedly unnecessarily torturous.
ZARRELLA: Throughout the proceeding, as Judge Owens detailed how Joseph Smith strangled Carlie Brucia, Smith's mother wept.
OWENS: He held Carlie's life if his hands -- not for eight to ten seconds, but for minutes. And as each moment passed, he made a conscious choice to slowly and methodically deprive her body of the blood and air necessary to sustain life.
ZARRELLA: Police and prosecutors who lived with the case for 25 months said this was the only outcome there could have been.
DEBRA JOHNES RIVA, PROSECUTOR: Joseph Smith will not be in this community anymore.
ZARRELLA: Smith's attorney said the automatic appeal to the Florida Supreme Court will be filed immediately.
(On camera): Carlie's mother, Susan Schoerpen (ph) was not in court. Schoerpen is in jail awaiting trial on drug and prostitution charges.
Her natural father was not here either. It was simply too painful for him, his sister said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLIE BRUCIA: Hi, we're going camping today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA (Voice-over): For the Brucia family, Smith's death sentence does not bring peace.
LAURIE BRUCIA, CARLIE'S AUNT: And I have to say that I don't think you're ever happy. Happy would be having Carlie right beside me and giving her a hug and a kiss and watching her grow up and celebrating her 13th birthday tomorrow, which will never happen.
ZARRELLA: The sheriff who led the investigation put it this way, Carlie, he said, is probably watching over us, trying to bring us all a little peace.
John Zarrella, CNN, Sarasota, Florida.
COOPER: Well, Andrea Brucia is the grandmother of Carlie, and I talked to her earlier.
COOPER: You didn't really want him to get the death penalty. Life in prison was satisfactory for you?
ANDREA BRUCIA, CARLIE'S GRANDMOTHER: Life in prison was satisfactory. I have a lot of questions about the death penalty, especially in a capital case like this, because it goes immediately into the appeals process, which could go on for decades.
COOPER: I was watching it on television today and wondering were you watching it on television?
A. BRUCIA: Most of it, yes.
COOPER: I can't imagine what that would be like.
A. BRUCIA: Well, the hardest part is listening to Judge Owens redescribe everything that happened to Carlie.
We sat through the trial in November. It was hard enough at that time. But then to hear it over and over again -- we've heard it too many times.
COOPER: Do you -- when you were there, I know you didn't even look at him.
A. BRUCIA: No.
COOPER: I guess you saw him on TV. Was that -- this that must have been difficult.
A. BRUCIA: Well, I mean, I saw glimpses of him in the jury room. But I certainly never wanted to make eye contact with him.
COOPER: Because why? Just too painful?
A. BRUCIA: It's way too painful. This is the man who took my granddaughter's life. I don't want to look at him.
COOPER: I guess watching that videotape, too, is too painful.
A. BRUCIA: The first time I saw it -- and really maybe the first ten times I saw it, I would just scream at the television, just scream, run away, do something. Because really Carlie was such a spunky girl. And I just -- I couldn't believe what happened. I don't know what he said to her, but I have to believe that he verbally threatened her in some way.
COOPER: And it was so quick, I mean.
A. BRUCIA: It was so quick. I mean the tape runs ten seconds. And she was gone.
COOPER: And you've memorized -- I mean, you must have -- you've seen it...
A. BRUCIA: Without a doubt. I've seen that tape 100 times at least.
COOPER: You're hoping to change laws. You're hoping that -- because in your case, you were not aware nor -- and your son was not aware of the difficulties that Carlie's mom was having with the law.
A. BRUCIA: Exactly, Anderson. When -- after Carlie was murdered, a lot of facts started coming out about what was going on in Carlie's home. There were drug arrests, there were police calls to her house on several occasions, and we were unaware of it. And Joe, of course, being her dad, should have been advised of this by someone.
I have been working with our Assemblyman David McDonagh (ph) on a law that would make sure that the non-custodial parent is notified of any police activity on the custodial parent's part.
COOPER: I always hate on a day like this when so much attention is put on -- on a monster and not on the victim. So what do you want people to know about Carlie?
A. BRUCIA: One special memory I have of her was (inaudible), and Joe and my husband had built a beautiful bonfire. And Carlie was doing cartwheels along the beach and then we started toasting marshmallows, and her face was just covered with the marshmallow. She was just precious. But it's just a really special memory I have of her.
COOPER: Sometimes -- I lost a brother to suicide, and sometimes I find it hard to think about the way he lived his life, as opposed to way he lost his life.
Do you think about the way -- I mean, are you able to hold on to those memories of how Carlie lived her life?
A. BRUCIA: She was such a special, special little girl, and we really enjoyed the time that we had with her. And from now on we'll think of that. We'll always have her in our heart. We want to forget about Joseph Smith and forget about today and we don't want to waste anymore time on him, but we want to keep Carlie with us forever.
COOPER: Well, how would you keep with this, your child battling anorexia isn't getting better and your health insurance is running out? One family is facing monthly medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars. What does the insurance company say? We'll find out. We're "Keeping them Honest."
Plus, "On the Radar," your reaction to whether men should have the right to not pay child support for children they didn't want, coming up on 360.
COOPER: Today, word of new research about a devastating, sometimes fatal illness, anorexia. A of more than 30,000 twins has found that identical twins who naturally have identical genes also have a higher incidence of anorexia than fraternal twins.
This strengthens the argument that anorexia is not an illness of choice. So who thinks that it is? Well, some insurance companies, that's who. And that can be devastating to anorexia patients and their families.
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen, tonight, "Keeping them Honest."
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When most people exercise, it's a sign of health. For Megan Cunningham, it's the opposite because she exercises compulsively.
Megan weighs 84 pounds, but she thinks that's too much. A few months ago she went 12 days without eating. Megan's frightened to take even one bite of dinner. Her parents don't know what to do. Neither does she.
(On camera): Are you afraid of dying?
MEGAN CUNNINGHAM, HAS ANOREXIA: Yes.
COHEN: What do you think will kill you?
CUNNINGHAM: I don't ultimately know. I think in times of severe desperation I would almost even consider killing myself just to escape. COHEN, (voice-over): Megan's 20 and she's had anorexia nervosa since she was 12. When at five feet tall, she dropped to 54 pounds.
CUNNINGHAM: I would just pray every night. I would say, you know, God, if you just get me through this night, I will eat something tomorrow, I promise. But don't let me die yet.
COHEN: And did you eat something the next day?
COHEN: Very little has changed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That doesn't sound like it's going to help you eat them.
COHEN: Her dietitian's challenge, keep sunflower seeds on the table at every meal and try to eat one, just one.
CUNNINGHAM: My fear is that if I eat that fat, if I have those many more calories, I'm going to feel it on my body. I'm going to gain weight really fast and just bloat up.
COHEN: Even just one sunflower seed?
CUNNINGHAM: It's terrifies me.
COHEN: Anorexia kills more women than any other psychiatric disorder. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, one out of five anorexics will die from medical complications or suicide.
Megan's parents are scared. They want her in the hospital where she'd get constant therapy and monitoring.
(On camera): Do you see progress when she's in the hospital?
TAMMY CUNNINGHAM, DAUGHTER HAS ANOREXIA: Oh, definitely. When you get there, you know, you can see there's two or three pounds on her. And you realize maybe things are going to get better. And then so much sooner than you expect, they're releasing her and they're bringing her home. And you don't know what to do.
COHEN (voice-over): Megan recently had to leave the hospital after a 24-day stay. She'd exhausted the 60 days a year covered by her health insurance. She now has to wait four months until she can get back into the hospital.
(On camera): What's going happen to you between now and July?
M. CUNNINGHAM: If I falter, I'm done. If I fall and I can't pick myself back up, I don't have any place to turn.
DR. DOUG BUNNELL, CLINICAL DOCTOR, THE RENFREW CENTER, CONNECTICUT: It's a gut-wrenching discussion to have with a family, to tell them that their daughter can't stay in treatment anymore because their insurance company has denied treatment or they've run out of benefits.
COHEN (voice-over): Typically, insurance companies cover, at least in part, 30 to 60 days a year of hospital care. Eating disorder experts like Dr. Doug Bunnell say that's almost never enough.
Even with insurance coverage, Megan's parents said they paid tens of thousands of dollars in co-payments for her two months in the hospital. Now that her benefits have run out, they would have to pay at least $30,000 or more per month out of pocket.
T. CUNNINGHAM: This past Christmas my husband said, I can't do this anymore. Cash in the rest of our mutual funds. I want her in a hospital now. I am so scared she will die before she ever gets the treatment that she needs.
COHEN (on camera): Have you spent your life savings on Megan's care?
T. CUNNINGHAM: Oh, definitely.
COHEN (voice-over): Megan's insurance now pays for her to see a therapist once a week, a psychiatrist once a month, and her family doctor every other month. Her insurance company declined to speak on camera and referred us to an industry group, America's Health Insurance Plans.
How can you tell someone who weighs 84 pounds, you don't need to be in the hospital anymore?
SUSAN PISANO, VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS, AHIP: Well, I guess I would ask the question a different way. Is there evidence that being in the hospital longer will be the thing that will work? I don't know of anything that says those patients would be helped if they had a 60 or 90 or 120-day stay in the hospital.
COHEN (on camera): But how do you get that evidence when insurance companies won't pay for anything longer and people can't afford anything longer?
PISANO: You get the evidence through well-designed studies.
COHEN (voice-over): The fact is, there never has been a well- designed study to establish the best level of care. But the Cunninghams say they don't need a study to tell them what does and doesn't work.
T. CUNNINGHAM: She can't ever get a long enough stay to get over it. She knows she'll have a relapse.
COHEN: Brian and Mary Smith thought their daughter, Janell, had the best coverage money could buy.
BRIAN SMITH, DAUGHTER HAD ANOREXIA: You can see it. When you open the first sheet on the inside, it refers to inpatient, and it says unlimited coverage. COHEN: Like Megan, Janell battled anorexia for years. In 2003 when she went into this treatment facility she was 5'3" and weighed 68 pounds.
MARY SMITH, DAUGHTER HAD ANOREXIA: She was afraid because she said, mom, I almost died. This was not just, you know, a place to try to learn how to eat again. This was a place that was going to save her life.
COHEN: Janell was slowly getting better. She was gaining weight and confidence. She wrote her parents from the hospital.
B. SMITH: Please know that I see in my mind a green pasture where the disorder does not rule. I am willing to do what it takes, Dad.
COHEN: Five weeks into her stay, her father got a call from Janell's insurance company, they were discharging her into outpatient care. The insurance company said it was medically safe for her to leave the hospital.
B. SMITH: I vehemently protested. Basically, I just said, don't do this, she's not ready. Even being out of the hospital for a day or two worried me.
COHEN: Her own doctor wrote in her discharge papers it was premature to transition her out of the hospital, that it put her at greater risk for regression and relapse. Six days after she left the hospital, Janell took her own life.
B. SMITH: The day she got out of the hospital, the disorder took over right away. I think it does say that she wasn't ready to be let out.
COHEN: In a statement to CNN, Janell's insurance company, Magellan, said, "We recognize that conditions such as Janell's can be complex to treat and often require comprehensive long-term therapy. What we can tell you, unequivocally is that (Magellan) authorized all the care that was requested by Janell's treating providers and that additional services could have been authorized if they had been requested by her providers."
Despite his concerns, Janell's doctor indeed did not appeal the insurance company's decision to discharge her from the hospital.
Janell passed away three years ago. Her parents are convince that if she had stayed in the hospital, she would be with them today. They sued the insurance company. Their case was dismissed and is now under appeal.
M. SMITH: I think they just discharged her for monetary reasons.
COHEN: Megan Cunningham knows there's no easy road to recovery. But she's convinced that with better coverage, she would have a better chance.
M. CUNNINGHAM: I just -- I want to be happy. I want to know what that feels like. More than anything.
COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Kansas City. Missouri.
COOPER: It is such a terrible disease. If you need help or you know someone who does, you can go to nationaleatingdisorders -- that's all one word -- nationaleatingdisroders.org or another site, anad.org.
Just ahead, should a father have the right to walk away from his unwanted child? You're having your say on our blog, "On the Radar," next on 360.
COOPER: A look at what's "On the Radar," in a moment.
First, Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us with some business sto -- what's going on, there, Erica? Looks like you've lost your lights?
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Our lighting board crashed. But our lighting director, Graham, is holding up a light. And if I need it as a backup -- (singing).
Did you want business news?
COOPER: You go ahead with the business news in your darkened cave.
HILL: All right, I will. I'll see your business news.
You might want to call them the world's most expensive few inches of flesh. The FCC now sticking with its decision to slap 20 CBS television stations with an at least $550,000 fine for a stunt involving Pop Singer Janet Jackson. They call it a stunt, she calls it an accident. Remember, she briefly exposed her breast during the 2004 Super Bowl football game halftime show. The Federal Communications Commission rejected the network's argument that the incident was not indecent and concluded CBS consciously and willfully failed to take actions to prevent the broadcast of the material and that CBS is responsible for the halftime show.
In the meantime, New York state filing a $250 million fraud suit against H&R Block, charging the nation's largest tax prep service steered more than 500,000 customers into a money losing retirement account plan.
And those eagerly awaiting the debut of Sony's Play Station 3, you're going to have to keep waiting a little longer. The release of the new game console, once scheduled for this spring, has been postponed until November because, the company said today, the machine's next generation DVD technology still needs a little more work. The delay is a major setback for the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant as it struggles to recover from several years of poor earnings. And we need the flashlight because I think we're losing our other light.
COOPER: It's like a disco light for you, Erica.
HILL: Disco inferno -- disco business news.
COOPER: Erica, thanks very much. You're a trooper to continue in doing that.
"On the Radar," tonight, our story of the unwilling father who's fighting in court for the right to choose not to be a parent or to pay child support.
Some people are calling it Roe v. Wade for Men. And one of our e-mailers supports it, but he's just about the only one.
Armand in Rock Hill, Connecticut, writes, "I think he's trying to make a point that there is a double standard in this country in regards to child bearing. I applaud the lawsuit as it gives people something to think about."
Just about everyone else who wrote in believes otherwise.
From Ted in Dallas, "He was intimate with her and is responsible. Can you imagine the financial impact of allowing men to avoid child support! It's already a problem. He needs to pay."
Or this one we got from Will in Portland, Oregon. "Freedom of choice? What freedom of choice does the child have?"
And this from Pam in Mesa, Arizona, "Men DO have a choice, they can choose not to have sex, if they don't want to be a father."
A hot debate that we'll have more on the program about tomorrow. Also we'll take your calls on it tomorrow on the program. And you can always log in to our blog.
More of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.
COOPER: In solidarity with Erica Hill, who lost her lighting board, we've turned down our lights.
"LARRY KING" is next. His guest singer and dancer, Elisa Manelli, on her tabloid rich life and so much more.
Thanks for watching 360. We will have lights tomorrow. See you tomorrow.
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