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John McCain Takes on Media Over Iraq War Coverage; Who's Winning Presidential Money Race?

Aired April 2, 2007 - 22:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
You know, sometimes, you just have to get out of the house. But, when you do, I will bet that you would go out the front door and not like this.

Just ahead, see what sent a woman fleeing for her life out a window, with millions of people watching her fall.

First, though, opinion and fact -- a week ago, Senator John McCain said there were parts of Baghdad safe enough for him to walk around in. This weekend, wearing a flak jacket and very heavily guarded, he took that walk through a Baghdad market. That's a fact.

And here's another: Just a day after his visit, snipers were back, shooting the place up.

More facts now from CNN's Michael Ware.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For presidential candidate Senator John McCain, walking Baghdad's Shorja market is a sure sign of change.

He and the congressional delegation he led spent an hour Sunday talking to Iraqis and buying carpets. But theirs was anything but an everyday experience -- around them, more than 100 U.S. soldiers locking down the area, keeping out traffic and pedestrians, overhead, two Apache gunships, hidden around the market, U.S. sniper teams.

With thousands of U.S. troop reinforcements moving into Baghdad, as part of a surge to quell the capital, McCain's real message was for Americans back home.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The American people are not getting the full picture of what's happening here. They're not getting the full picture of the drop in murders, the establishment of security outposts throughout the city, the situation in Anbar Province, the deployment of additional Iraqi brigades, who are performing well, and other progress -- signs of progress that are having been made.

WARE: Progress, but still far from victory, said the senator, with a long, difficult struggle and much more violence ahead. Indeed, on the day his congressional delegation made its P.R. visit to the Baghdad market, across the country, six American troops and a British soldier were killed, 15 Iraqi soldiers died in a truck bombing in Mosul, a police officer in Diyala Province was killed by a hidden bomb, and three civilians blown part in another market.

And, back in Baghdad, the same morning of the congressional visit, Iraqi police found 17 bullet-riddled bodies on the city streets. With Baghdad morgues still overflowing with grieving relatives, the senator's point is that the daily sectarian death toll is down from just months ago.

Yet, outside the capital, sectarian violence is unabated, 19 tortured bodies found in Diyala Province Monday morning. And, in the border town of Tal Afar, praised by President Bush as a model of U.S. success, reclaimed from al Qaeda, Iraqi officials say suicide bombings one day last week slaughtered 152 mainly Shia Muslims, prompting some officers in the Shia-dominated police to execute up to 70 Sunni Muslims later that night.

It's this violence Senator McCain hopes more U.S. soldiers can stop, even though more Iraqis died in March than in February. Just last week, the senator claimed reinforcements had already made parts of Baghdad so safe, an American could now walk them, something even an Iraqi journalist had to question.

QUESTION: I have just read on the Internet that you said there are areas in Baghdad that you can walk around freely.

MCCAIN: Yes, I just was -- came from one.

QUESTION: Pardon me?

MCCAIN: I just came from one.

QUESTION: Yes. And which areas would that be?

MCCAIN: Sir, what I said was -- what I said was that there is encouraging signs and that things are better.

WARE: Just seven weeks ago, this was the market where McCain went shopping -- three separate bombs minutes apart, 79 lives lost, the market's fifth attack since last summer.

And, while there hasn't been a bombing here since, it may be just as well Senator McCain's delegation had heavy protection. According to the Reuters News Agency, the market was hit just 24 hours later with sniper fire, a regular event, locals say, with about one person cut down each day -- the senator's visit perhaps highlighting more than he intended, that, in war, as in politics, perception so often is reality.


ROBERTS: Michael Ware joins us now live from Baghdad. Michael, in the past 48 hours, after that press conference, there's been some buzz on conservative blogs that you were a bit of a Yabba at that press conference; you were heckling Senator McCain; you were asking him pertinent questions.

What really went on?

WARE: Well, I can tell you straightaway, John, the answer's rather dull and boring. Nothing went on. Indeed, I didn't heckle. I didn't even ask a question.

And I think the videotape of the press conference from the moment the senator walked in until the moment the senator walked out bears that out. Essentially, I arrived at press conference, sat where I usually sit, thereabouts, and waited for it to begin. The senators were late, and it was over almost before it began.

ROBERTS: Now, Michael, there's no question that, if we look back to last week, you had an interesting explanation for the -- or response to the senator's words, when he said you could walk around freely in some areas of Baghdad. Do you think that somehow what you said last week and what's being said about you now are tied together?

WARE: Well, I don't think it's too much of a longbow to draw to link the two.

I think that, as a result of what the senator said last week -- and let's bear in mind, his Iraq policies, more than most, reflect the realities on the ground. But, in one gaffe last week, he put his whole Iraq credibility on the line. And, when he was called to question on that, his arrival here in Baghdad became just a political investment. His visit to that Baghdad market just had to work, and he had to herald it as a great success. So, there's a lot of pressure on him.

And other people at that press conference, in the print media the next day, called him sometimes testy and defensive. So, obviously, the senator was feeling the pressure.

ROBERTS: Did McCain's people say anything to you during that press conference or after, Michael?

WARE: No, not before, during or after. Indeed, after the original blowup the week before, we attempted several times, through a multitude of channels, to reach out to the senator's people, and to say that we would be very happy to discuss any issues with him. Yet, we were rebuffed and ignored at every turn.

ROBERTS: Now, take a look at a couple of the issues here, Michael. You said in your report that the senator didn't do anything at the Shorja market that hadn't been done before. And that is to go out in the streets, with heavy protection, snipers on the rooftops, lots of armed men surrounding you, and really didn't do anything to highlight the progress that has been made as a result of the surge.

If he wanted to highlight that progress, what should he have done, in your estimation?

WARE: Well, I think there are a couple of relatively simple things, yet very poignant things, that could be done.

For example, he doesn't even have to come to Iraq. He could visit exiles from Iraq who are sheltering in Jordan, for example, and ask them, are you going home? Has the surge made you feel more confident? Or, indeed, here in Baghdad, if he wants to venture out of the comfort of the Green Zone, go somewhere real. Go to one of these camps where the displaced are sheltering, these people who have been driven from their homes by racial ethnic cleansing or sectarian cleansing. Ask them, are you ready to go home?

Or, even still, visit a Baghdad morgue. See if there is a decline. Talk to the people there, where their emotions are stripped bare, and they're not confronted by a politician surrounded by soldiers with guns in a marketplace.

ROBERTS: Well, maybe we will see him do some of that, but perhaps not this time.

Michael Ware, in Baghdad, good to see you, mate. Thanks very much.

Senator McCain opposed a Democratic-sponsored bill to set a deadline for pulling combat troops out of Iraq. So, chances are that he's also going to go vote nay on this, a new measure co-sponsored by Democrat Russ Feingold and Majority Leader Harry Reid cutting off most war funding, if President Bush vetoes the first bill.

As CNN's Ed Henry reports, it got a pretty rough reception today.


ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Reid's move sparked a double-barreled assault from the White House, starting with a blast from the vice president himself.

RICHARD B. CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time the self-appointed strategists on Capitol Hill understood a very simple concept: You cannot win a war if you tell the enemy when you're going to quit.

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: There's just these shifting sands when it comes to the Democrats and their decisions. It's almost shifting so fast, it's like a sandstorm.

HENRY: Reid spokesman Jim Manley fired back: "The only thing that has shifted is the public's opposition to the war in Iraq. As more and more Americans demand to see the troops get out of what is clearly a civil war, this administration stubbornly continues to stick its head in the sand."

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will veto a bill. HENRY: Both sides were already fighting over a war funding bill the president has promised to veto, because of a provision calling for U.S. troops to start leaving Iraq within 120 days.

Reid has now also signed on to a bill sponsored by anti-war Democrat Russ Feingold that would only allow war spending in three areas, fighting al Qaeda, training Iraqis, and securing the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. While neither bill has much chance to become law, Democrats say it's about forcing Mr. Bush to change policy.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D-NY), HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: That signal is that, Mr. President, no president can successfully wage a war when the American people are not supporting you.

HENRY: As usual, the White House shows no signs of budging.

CHENEY: It's nothing less than an attempt to force the president's hand. They are going to find out they have misread George W. Bush.


ROBERTS: Ed Henry joins us now live from outside of the White House.

Ed, Senator Harry Reid and other top Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, had all said that they weren't going to cut off funding for the troops. Why the change of position now?

HENRY: Well, they say, the Democrats, that it's because things, the facts on the ground, have changed so dramatically since the election, it's gotten steadily worse, in their estimation, and -- and that the American public has grown more and more weary, and they want the troops to come home.

The White House insists that's nonsense. They think they have a political opening here, which is, they believe Reid and others have been flip-flopping on this. They have vowed to the American people they would not take this step. And now they're doing it because of political opportunism.

Bottom line is, we can't answer the crux of the question, which is, tonight, basically: Has the American public shifted so far since the last election, that the Democrats can now touch what many thought was the third rail, cutting off funding for the war, John?

ROBERTS: Yes, or are they overstepping, as some columnists have suggested?

The president planning to hit back hard on this tomorrow?

HENRY: Absolutely.

He had a late add to his schedule tomorrow, 10:10 a.m. Eastern time in the Rose Garden. This is a clear sign that the White House thinks they're scoring political points. They wouldn't put the president out there -- they would just have Vice President Cheney do it -- unless they thought there was an opportunity.

I am being told, though, knocking down speculation on the Hill tonight, that maybe the president would call on Congress to cut short their recess and come back to fix this war funding bill.

Instead, what the White House is saying, the president's going to hit the Democrats hard again, but he's not going to actually call for them to cut short the recess. That might have to do with the fact the president himself is taking a couple days off at the end of the week. He's going to his Texas ranch for Easter -- John.

ROBERTS: Wouldn't want to interrupt that.

Ed Henry, from the White House, thanks.

HENRY: Thank you.

ROBERTS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today fired back at White House criticism of her upcoming visit to Syria. Speaking today in Beirut, the California Democrat praised her three Republican colleagues who called on the Syrian president yesterday in Damascus.

Presidential candidates are raising unprecedented amounts of cash to fuel their White House ambitions. We will tell you just how much money, how many millions, and who's out ahead.

First, though, Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin.

Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: John, there are signs of movement tonight in the 11-day standoff between Iran and Great Britain. Iran now says it sees no need to put 15 captured British sailors and marines on trial for crossing into its territorial waters.

However, it wants the U.K. to admit to an intrusion and promise not to repeat it. British officials are reportedly considering sending a delegation to Iran to talk about the matter.

At the University of Washington, an apparent murder-suicide -- police say the 25-year-old victim, a school employee, had a restraining order against the man who killed her. They say he then killed himself. Co-workers say the woman showed pictures of the ex- boyfriend, warning he was -- quote -- "a psycho from her past."

In and around the western Solomon Islands, thousands are homeless tonight, after a devastating earthquake and tsunami. At least 13 people are dead. The death toll is expected to rise.

And we are one step closer to learning just who is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby, Dannielynn. Smith's companion, Howard K. Stern, dropped his bid to block the release of the court-ordered DNA testing. Stern has to now pay a $10,000 fine for abandoning that appeal. Another hearing in the paternity case is scheduled for tomorrow -- John.

ROBERTS: This is like the gift that keeps on giving, Erica, day in and day out.

HILL: It's really incredible. It never ends. And, once you think you're done, something else pops up.

ROBERTS: Yes, absolutely. You can always count on that.

Erica, thanks. We will see you a little bit later on in the hour.

HILL: See you in a bit.

ROBERTS: Just ahead: Her husbands just kept dying. The mystery surrounding a woman some are calling the black widow.

Also tonight: the presidential money race.


ROBERTS (voice-over): She's got a million reasons to run for president, and 25 million more. The race to raise campaign dollars, who's ahead? We're following the money here, and here, and here.

Also: armed, dangerous, and in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fell about 10, 15 feet to safety.

ROBERTS: But there's someone else inside with the fugitive. We will show you what happened next -- tonight on 360.



ROBERTS: The candidates in the 2008 race for the White House are raking in record amounts of cash. Here's the "Raw Data" for you.

On the Democratic side, Senator Hillary Clinton is the top money raiser. She collected $26 million in contributions during the first three months of the year. That's more than what President Bush or John Kerry had at this time when they ran. John Edwards, for his part, took in $14 million from supporters. That would still be a record, if it weren't for Hillary.

But the big question is what Senator Barack Obama has in his campaign's bank account. He hasn't said yet. But he has to by the end of the week.

As for the Republicans, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads the pack. He's got more than $20 million in contributions. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani raised $15 million. And Senator John McCain, once the front-runner, took in $12.5 million.

Helping us to follow the money trail is former presidential adviser David Gergen. He joins us now from Boston.

David, Hillary raised a ton of money, not as much as some had expected. And we don't know how much of that is for the primaries and how much for the general election, which she wouldn't be able to touch until after the conventions. But what do you make of her fund-raising power?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, she's a formidable fund-raiser, especially with her husband at her side.

It's an interesting question, John, whether it serves her well to have her husband as far out in front as he is as a fund-raiser, and whether she appear to be weakened by the fact that she needs to rely on him.

But you have to say that, at the end of the first quarter, when the money numbers come in -- and Bill Clinton has properly called this the first primary -- it's a money primary, but it's the first primary of this election season -- she's the winner. And she deserves to be recognized for that.

I think it's also interesting, John, that, if you look at the overall money being raised on both sides, that, very unusually, the Democrats have raised more money in the first quarter than have the Republicans. Overall, if you look at all the Democratic candidates, it appears that they probably exceeded $70 million in this first quarter, while the Republicans, all their candidates together, are somewhere $60 million, so, that the enthusiasm at this point in the campaign appears to be with the Democrats, with Hillary Clinton out front.

Wait and see about Barack Obama.

ROBERTS: Well, David, let's break out of a couple of those Republicans.


ROBERTS: The big news was that Mitt Romney raised almost as much as Hillary Clinton did. And the other big news was that McCain is lagging behind. What does that say about two those candidacies?

GERGEN: Well, it says that John McCain is having a lot more trouble than anybody anticipated a couple of months ago in his campaign, that he has not only fallen in the polls, but now the money race has not materialized in the way that one assumed.

You know, he was going to be -- what he wanted to be was the George W. Bush of this campaign, the unstoppable, the assumed candidate, you know, putting together all the right endorsements and putting together the money. He's been unable to put together the money. His campaign is in some trouble.

Symbolically, today, just as he has said, you know, in Iraq, things are looking better, he leaves, and there are all sorts of explosions, that seems to be happening in his campaign. I think we always assumed that Mitt Romney was going to be a good fund-raiser. I don't think anybody realized just how good. He is -- he's a good businessman. He's got a good head on his shoulders. He really knows how to rake it in.

What we don't know, John, is -- we have seen this before, in, occasionally, a candidate. Remember John Connally. Years ago, he spent $12 million on a campaign, didn't come up with one single delegate.

At the very time Mitt Romney's raising all this money -- he's actually put ads on the air -- his -- his numbers in the polls have -- have moved south. So, there are a lot of surprises still to come. I think the number -- as you alluded to earlier, the number we're all alluding to right now -- we're waiting for right now is Barack Obama.

ROBERTS: So -- so, what -- so, what do you think about that?

GERGEN: The assumption is...

ROBERTS: He's playing it very close to the vest -- Terry McAuliffe, who is Hillary Clinton's fund-raising chairman, raising expectations, saying, oh, I will bet you that Obama has got as much as Hillary does.

Why do you think Obama is keeping quiet right now?

GERGEN: Well, the quiet assumption is that he's probably got a positive surprise.

And you would assume, if he has a negative surprise, you know, that he's too low, he would put it out right away, in the midst of all of this, because it's very confusing, all these numbers. But now the expectations are going to build up.

I think his -- the issue for him is going to be, John, whether he can beat $20 million. Hillary Clinton reached $26 million. He needs to hit at least $20 million, I think, for you and I and others in sort of the commentariat, as we're sometimes called...


GERGEN: ... to say, well, he's really done well.

ROBERTS: The commentariat.

GERGEN: Now -- yes, the commentariat. I know. This isn't a terrible word. But it's better than pundit, I think.

Listen, the other issue is that, this time around, people are -- as in the past, are permitted to raise money not only for their primary campaign, but for the general campaign.


GERGEN: And it's unclear how much of Mrs. Clinton's money is general campaign money.

ROBERTS: Yes, it is, as we mentioned at the top.


GERGEN: You know, I talked to a donor today who said, you know -- I talked to a donor today who said: When they came to me, they didn't ask for $2,300, the primary number. They wanted $4,600 primary and general...

ROBERTS: Right, which...

GERGEN: ... as a price of admission to show that I care about her.



ROBERTS: Right, which is the maximum that people could -- can donate.

We should mention, by the way, that it's not this Friday. It's a week Friday that Obama has to disclose.

GERGEN: Yes, you're right.


ROBERTS: Hey, a quick, quick question for you, David.


ROBERTS: We heard that Rudy Giuliani said that, if he becomes president, he will let Judith Nathan in on the -- the Cabinet meetings.

If Hillary Clinton wins, do you think she is going to let Bill in on the Cabinet meetings?


ROBERTS: And what would that look like?

GERGEN: John, we're not going to have any two for the price of one in this campaign.

Rudy Giuliani is already backpedaling from that. And I -- do you think Hillary is going to say: Oh, I really want Bill in my Cabinet meetings; he's going to be sitting right next to me?


GERGEN: Do you really think that's going to be part of her camp -- she is going to -- you know, she will -- she would rather have baked cookies next to her in a Cabinet meeting than... (LAUGHTER)


ROBERTS: Well, maybe Bill will bake the cookies.


ROBERTS: David, as always, thanks very much.


ROBERTS: Appreciate it.

GERGEN: Take care.

ROBERTS: Up next: "Raw Politics" and raw feelings -- what Newt Gingrich said about immigrants learning English.

Later: We know that she's unlucky at love, but is she also something else entirely? A serial wife some now accuse of being a serial killer -- when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: A new presidential contender who says: Hey, I'm the real conservative here.

Plus, Harley-Davidson and me, it all comes together in "Raw Politics" -- 360 next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark Mallory. For folks who are watching, for kids who watching who are not young enough to remember...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... who are not -- who are...



ROBERTS: Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory had a wee bit of trouble throwing out the first pitch today.

You got to let it go, Mayor.


ROBERTS: So, which other politicians did and did not show up at the ballpark on opening day?

CNN's Tom Foreman steps up to the plate in tonight's "Raw Politics" segment.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, this was opening day for Major League Baseball. But the big-league politicos were swinging the hardest.

So, batter up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tied in the seventh.

FOREMAN: Almost every year, the president throws out the first pitch -- not this year. George Bush was still busy with football, giving the commander in chief's trophy to Navy for beating Army. So, republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani was working the crowd. Hey, peanuts here.

But he's playing defense, too. New reports say his wife took part in unnecessary fatal surgery on dogs some years ago as part of her job demonstrating and selling medical supplies. Animal-rights folks are calling it a foul ball.

Supporters of immigrant rights want Newt Gingrich tossed from the game, even before he declares his candidacy. Why? Check out this pitch.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We should replace bilingual education with emergence -- with immersion in English, so people learn the common language of the country, and so they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.

FOREMAN: Controversial call? Not a worry. Republicans have new relievers on deck. Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo is joining the race. And he, too, is hitting away on immigration.


REP. TOM TANCREDO (R-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that this crisis is not only an economic crisis. I think that it threatens the very idea of America. There are -- the great tradition of the melting pot in America, it's not working. The melting pot is cracked.


FOREMAN: Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is also declaring his candidacy. He rides a motorcycle, wore leather pants to the White House. Excuse me. Is this the YMCA? Well, they say it takes a village.

Anyway, it makes him look tough, like this guy.

ROBERTS: It feels good. And it looks good.

FOREMAN: John, is that you?

In New Jersey, people are tough. Folks here like President Clinton. And their governor would like another one.

GOV. JON CORZINE (D), NEW JERSEY: We will do everything in our power to make sure that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the next president of the United States of America.


FOREMAN: She can use the help from "Soprano" land, because that senator from Illinois is muscling in on her territory.

Take a look: the latest delicacy from a Manhattan supermarket, a new fine cheese that's all the rage with the wining set. They call it "Barrick Obama."

And that's what we call "Raw Politics" -- John.


ROBERTS: Thank you, Tom, trolling through the archives again.

For Christians, this is the holiest time of the year. This week, we will be bringing you special reports on Christianity, questions of faith, in the bedroom and beyond.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let them know that they are a child of God.

ROBERTS (voice-over): The quest for sexual purity. In of all places here, the so-called devil's playground, Florida, at spring break.


ROBERTS: Hundreds of young Christians here on a mission to preach abstinence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to stay pure until that day we say "I Do".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it hard so far?


ROBERTS: Then even after marriage, the battle against sexual temptation. As ministries work to keep the faithful on the path to righteousness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pornography is fantasy. It's not real. It doesn't bring you closer with your loved one. It tears you apart.

ROBERTS: Next we look at homosexuality. In Phoenix hundreds embrace a highly controversial therapy to cure homosexuality.

DR. JOSEPH NICOLOSI, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RESEARCH & THERAPY OF HOMOSEXUALITY: The guy with the homosexual problem does not trust men. When he begins to trust men, his homosexuality disappears.

ROBERTS: Finally, full circle back to Florida, where amid all the talk of sin and guilt, a new gospel of sex is flourishing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God created sex. God is for sex.


ROBERTS: Those stories and more in two special reports. "What is a Christian?" Wednesday and Thursday night at 10 Eastern here on 360.

And coming up tonight a police officer takes down a suspect. But wait until you see how she did it and what he was suspected of doing.

Also, what happens when a fugitive shows up at someone's doorstep?


ROBERTS (voice-over): Also armed, dangerous and in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fell about 10, 15 feet to safety.

ROBERTS: But there's someone else inside with the fugitive. We'll show you what happened next.

Later she married one man after another, and one by one they died.

GLORIA REHRIG, ALAN REHRIG'S MOTHER: I think she was sitting in that passenger side of the car and shot him.

ROBERTS: She's talking about her son and the woman he married. See why, even though she was never charged with killing anyone, some are now calling her the Black Widow. The full story ahead on 360.



ROBERTS: One of the FBI's most wanted is behind bars tonight, but not before speaking out.


SHAUNTAY HENDERSON, FUGITIVE: I'm innocent. I'm innocent.

ROBERTS: Handcuffed and guarded by five men, a smiling Shauntay Henderson emerged from a Kansas City courthouse known to law enforcement everywhere as one of the most dangerous people in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want her off the streets and thankfully, now she is.

ROBERTS: Only 24 years old, Henderson's alleged role as a violent gang leader had just recently landed her on the FBI's ten most wanted list. Described as armed and dangerous, her face was posted alongside the likes of Osama bin Laden, only the eighth woman to make the list in 57 years.


You're likely wondering what got her on that infamous list. Her rap sheet, coming up in the next hour of AC 360.

First a tense standoff in Ohio today. An escaped convict kicked in the door of a house that he tried -- as he tried to evade capture. He held one person hostage in the house in Hilliard, Ohio, surrounded by heavily armed police for about two hours.

It was the end of a six-hour odyssey that began here, at a hospital in Youngstown, more than 150 miles away.


ROBERTS (voice-over): By 10 a.m. he was already on the loose. Police say 34-year-old Billy Jack Fitzmorris overpowered an armed guard, took the guard's gun and held several employees hostage at the St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio.

Fitzmorris was an inmate at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, awaiting sentencing on a federal drug conviction. He fled the hospital, and now he was armed, dangerous and on the run. And police say Fitzmorris' crime spree continued.

DAVID SILER, DEPUTY U.S. MARSHALL: This morning when he escaped he was able to escape from St. Elizabeth's Hospital, he was transported while in custody by the Corrections Corporation of America. He was able to escape.

He's alleged to have committed two carjackings, as well as possibly two armed bank robberies.

ROBERTS: A couple of hours later, Fitzmorris reappeared in Hilliard, Ohio, more than 150 miles southwest of Youngstown. He ran from a car, through an alleyway and into a local house.

And look at these dramatic pictures as Fitzmorris kicked in the door. Moments later a woman who was inside the house, which is actually used as a business, tumbled out a second story window, landed hard, and literally crawled to safety.

But police believed there was another person inside, and they began talking with the escaped inmate.

SILER: They want to ensure that if he does have someone in there, that they can negotiate that person out as well as Mr. Fitzmorris safely.

ROBERTS: and so they did. By 4 p.m. police had the house in Hilliard surrounded, and a short time later, Billy Jack Fitzmorris walked out, handcuffed, a fugitive no more. After he was captured, his sister said she can't condone what he did when he was out, but she knows why he tried to escape.

STACY BROOKS, ESCAPED INMATE'S SISTER: They don't want to tell the stories about where they were stripping him and not feeding him and not putting any clothes on him and shackling him for weeks at a time. So, yes, there's definitely two sides to every story.

ROBERTS: Billy Jack Fitzmorris will be telling his side behind bars.


ROBERTS: Joining us on the telephone now, from Hilliard, Ohio, is Kelly Lusk. She works at the County Court Pub across the street from the house that Fitzmorris invaded. She saw what happened. She watched it unfold.

Kelly, tell us what you saw. When we watched it on television unfolding from those helicopter shots, it was all very dramatic. What was it like being there on the ground?

KELLY LUSK, WITNESS: Well, we had -- were just finishing up our lunch crowd and had heard a car accident, went to the window to see. And at that point we saw him come running behind the bank and around the front of the building and realized that he was being chased.

And the police and the sheriff pulled up right behind him. The helicopter was there and watched him kick in the door of that building and knew there was something a little more than just your normal car accident.

And a couple seconds later that's when we saw the woman trying to escape out the second story window and tumble to the ground.

ROBERTS: What was going through your mind when you saw him trying to break into the house? You're right across the street from it. Did you know what who was in the house? Do you any know of the folks in that -- in the business that operates out of the house?

LUSK: No, I don't personally. But we knew it was a business in there. And definitely, we knew something was going on, especially the rate that the police were chasing him and pulling up.

ROBERTS: So you saw him kick open the door, go in the front door and then that poor woman coming out of the window. What were you thinking when you saw her come out?

LUSK: Oh, I -- there was no way at the angle of that roof that she could hold on and stay on that roof. So she just -- we didn't think that she was going to survive that fall. It didn't look very nice.

ROBERTS: Oh, I mean she managed to land sort of on her feet, and it looks like she almost drives her head into her knees.

LUSK: Oh, yes.

ROBERTS: She came away from that -- it looks like she's crawling away.

LUSK: Yes, after she fell, we couldn't -- we lost sight of her. So I didn't know if she was still laying there or if somebody had helped her to get away.

ROBERTS: Yes. I guess she came down behind that hedge or a fence there you can see in the front of the house. So you lost sight of her. You didn't see her crawl away.


ROBERTS: Obviously, the police officer's telling her to stay down.

What about the rest the afternoon? This thing went on for hours.

LUSK: It did, and we stayed in the restaurant for a while, kind of to the back. But at one point the federal marshals had come in and asked us to leave. So we all ended up spending a good part of the afternoon behind the restaurant, waiting.

ROBERTS: Do you -- ever see -- obviously, you haven't seen anything like this happen in your neighborhood? But...

LUSK: No, no.

ROBERTS: Were you thinking to yourself, holy mackerel what's happening in our neighborhood?

LUSK: That's kind of what I said.

ROBERTS: Well, Kelly Lusk, we thank you very much for joining us. Appreciate the eyewitness on the scene report. And we hope that tomorrow is a little more normal than today was for you.

LUSK: A little calmer.

ROBERTS: All right. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Up next, the mysterious woman that some call the Black Widow.

And then later on our "Shot of the Day". What a shot it is. Oh! You're watching 360 on CNN.


ROBERTS: She is called the Black Widow, because a string of her rich husbands ended up dead. For three decades, Sandra Powers escaped the reach of the law, until now. She's been arrested, but not for murder.

CNN's Rick Sanchez reports on her mysterious past.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Park Cities are Dallas' most exclusive neighborhoods. Living here says, you've arrived.

So when Sandra Powers, a gal from the other side of the tracks, married dentist David Stiegle, life seemed perfect. That is, until Stiegle committed suicide. It was 1976. Sandra collected $100,000 in life insurance.

Two years later, as her money was running out, Sandra Powers scored big, again, marrying Bobby Bridewell from a wealthy Dallas family. They moved into this Highland Park home, as exclusive as any address in Dallas.

But by 1982, her husband had died of cancer. Again, she collected a large insurance payout. In Dallas' social circles, people wondered how she could be so unfortunate. Most offered sympathy.

(on camera) This is where all that sympathy turned to suspicion, even among some of Sandra's most ardent supporters.

(voice-over) Because, you see, while Sandra's second husband was dieing of cancer, she latched onto her husband's doctor and his wife, seeking help, trying to develop a relationship that wasn't necessarily welcomed.

And then, within months, the doctor's wife was found dead at Love Field. She died from a gun shot wound to the head. Sandra Powers was the last person to see her alive. Police ruled the death a suicide.

GLENNA WHITLEY, "DALLAS OBSERVER": Usually, there are some signs of depression or problems in their life. Betsy had none of that. She had everything to live for. And she would never have left her children.

SANCHEZ: Glenna Whitley has chronicled Sandra Powers and the mysterious deaths that surround her for almost two decades now, while writing for the "Dallas Observer". She's convinced there's a sinister pattern here, and she's also convinced Betsy Bagwell did not commit suicide.

(on camera) She wouldn't also go out and buy a Saturday night special or a stolen gun?

WHITLEY: No, no. Where would she get -- where would she even go to find something like that?

SANCHEZ: If she was going to kill herself, and if she were going to use a gun, she'd go out and buy one.


SANCHEZ: Now if the questions about Sandra Powers ended there, then we wouldn't need to drive from Dallas to here in Oklahoma City to find a woman named Gloria Rehrig. REHRIG: I think she was sitting in that passenger side of the car and shot him.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Her son became Sandra's husband No. 3. Alan Rehrig was the pride of Oklahoma State University, playing both football and basketball. Lured by Sandra's charm and, his mother believed, claims that she was pregnant, he married her.

They got a hefty life insurance policy. Then began the fights over her lavish spending. The two separated.

In 1985, Rehrig told his new roommate that he was on his way to meet Powers. She said he never showed up. Four days later, Alan Rehrig was found shot to death in his Ford Bronco. His mother says Powers didn't seem at all interested in finding his killer.

REHRIG: I asked her why she wouldn't want to have the murder solved if she didn't have anything to do with it. And she wouldn't even answer me.

SANCHEZ (on camera): She didn't even want to know?

REHRIG: Huh-uh.

SANCHEZ: Didn't want to know what happened to him?


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Powers was never named as a suspect in Rehrig's death. Questions continued. By now, magazines were dubbing Sandra Powers the Black Widow. The nickname stuck.

So she left Dallas. No one was following Powers' movements except writer Glenna Whitley, who says the widow engaged in one relationship after another across the country, asking for money and then moving on when the well dried up.

WHITLEY: People do not press charges against her even -- they may go to the police, and the police will say, "Well, you know, you gave her the money. Do you have a signed contract?"

"No. I was sleeping with her. I just gave her the money."

"Well, I'm sorry."

SANCHEZ: Fast forward now to the present. At age 60, Sandra could no longer rely on her looks. So her victims say she found a new venue for her cause, religion.

Quoting scripture and claiming to need money for missionary work, she moved into the million dollar North Carolina home of Sue Moseley.

SUE MOSELEY, VICTIM: Had no idea in the world that she had any other motive other than serving God.

SANCHEZ: But Moseley and her son became suspicious of Powers, who seemed to tell inconsistent stories. They started to investigate her past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I read about all of the murders that had happened. That really frightened me.

SANCHEZ: While police had never named Powers as a prime suspect in any of the deaths occurring around her, the circumstances they'd read about were enough to provoke Moseley and her son to get the police to investigate.

Powers was arrested. And police say, two of Moseley's credit cards were found in her purse.

This is the only known mug shot ever taken of her, booked and now being held in North Carolina on charges of credit card fraud and check forgery. Police say that's all they can charge her with, though they're looking deeper, deeper into her past, hoping to unravel the web of mysteries surrounding the woman they know in Texas as the Black Widow.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Dallas.


ROBERTS: Well, Sandra Powers currently does not have an attorney, and CNN was unable to contact her for a response.

At the top of the hour tonight, see where al Qaeda is making a comeback and why doing something about it isn't going to be easy.

Plus, a look at what happens when skateboarder meets cop. But that's only half the story. Details when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: Coming up is our "Shot of the Day". A cop takes on a skateboard and pays for it.

First, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with a 360 bulletin.

Hi, Erica.

ERICA HILLS, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: John, five Michigan children are in protective custody tonight after their mother was charged with offering one of the children for sex.

Police say the woman agreed to let an undercover police officer take pornographic pictures of the 7-year-old and have sex with the girl for money. The mother was arrested when she brought the girl to a hotel outside Detroit.

At the Supreme Court, an inconvenient rebuke for the Bush administration on global warming. In a 5-4 decision, the justices said the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars. The court also ordered the federal government to take a new look at its policy on climate change.

The young survivors of last October's shooting at an Amish school are back in class in a new one-room schoolhouse. The news school has a sealed door that locks from the inside. The old school was torn down after a milk truck driver killed five girls and wounded five others before killing himself last fall.

And just in time for Easter a box full of not Peeps. These are real live baby chicks. The problem here, those chicks were dyed different colors, as you can see, and then shipped cross-country to a pet store in Rhode Island, where that dye job violates the state's animal cruelty prevention laws -- John.

ROBERTS: Against the law to be dying those chicks, even in festive Easter colors. It's a good shot, Erica, but check out "The Shot of the Day" here.

A police officer busted for pushing a teenager off of a skateboard. Check it out. Here it comes.

HILL: There we go.

ROBERTS: You're down. Over the hedge. The incident was caught on video by the skateboarder's brother, who posted it on the Internet. It's been called the shove seen around the world.

The Charleston, South Carolina, officer now serving a 10-day suspicion without pay. Do you think she should have been suspended? He was skating illegally in a downtown park, marked no skateboarding.

HILL: They're not supposed to skate in the park, from what I read. They said, though, that she used -- I believe she used excessive force.

ROBERTS: Just enough to shove him over the hedge.

HILL: Just enough.

ROBERTS: It's probably actually the easiest fall he's taken on that skateboard.

HILL: You know, landing in the bushes is probably better than landing on the concrete.

ROBERTS: Absolutely. Thanks, Erica. We'll see you soon.

HILL: You bet.

ROBERTS: And a reminder that we want you to give "The Shot" a shot. If you see some amazing video, tell us about it at We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

Al Qaeda making a comeback. That's coming up at the top of the hour.

Also, Senator McCain says parts of Baghdad are safe enough to walk around in. So he did. But when you see how he did, you have might have questions. We certainly did.

A reality check from someone's who has been in Baghdad, day in and day out, for years ahead on 360.


ROBERTS: They set up a Holy Week war, a life sized anatomically correct milk chocolate Jesus and the sculptor who created it. Tonight, an exclusive new look at the sculpture and a second look at a debate hot enough to melt iron, let alone chocolate.

We begin, though, with Al Qaeda reloaded. Reloaded and in many ways reborn. A new generation of leaders emerging and more fighters being trained. This is happening in a remote corner of Pakistan, which itself has become a country edging toward the kind of chaos that al Qaeda thrives on.

Joining us now, Peter Bergen, CNN terrorism analyst and author of "The Osama bin Laden I Know".

Peter, how is this generation of al Qaeda leaders different than past leaders?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, they're younger, for a start. I mean, the leadership of al Qaeda, bin Laden is now 50. Al Zawahiri is 53, he's No. 2. So this new generation of people that in their 30s or perhaps in their early 40s.

The other difference is we don't know a huge amount about them. One of the leaders has been identified is a guy called Abdul -- sorry, Abdul Hamdi al-Iraqiy (ph), who I first heard about it a year ago from a Pakistan journalist who'd encountered him in Eastern Afghanistan.

He described himself as the No. 3 in al Qaeda. An article in "The New York Times" seems to confirm, at least, that he's an important leader today.

His name's also cropped up in a terrorism trial in London which is ongoing right now.


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