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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Massacre at Virginia Tech; Campus Killer

Aired April 19, 2007 - 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: Tracing a killer's final footsteps. That is coming up.
But first, the latest headlines from here on the campus now in mourning. We learned that Cho Seung-Hui bought his second pistol, the .22 automatic, from a dealer online. He later picked it up at a nearby pawnshop.

Governor Tim Kaine is setting up an independent panel to search for answers, as well as how to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

And professors are sending out e-mails offering students on campus a chance to take their current grades and finish out the year now. For those who stay, classes pick up again on Monday.

We have been looking for these last several days and tonight again at the final steps of Mr. Cho, trying to figure out what he did in those final hours and the final days and even the final weeks to prepare.

Tonight we get a look literally inside the room where Cho may have made that twisted video that he sent to NBC.

CNN's John King has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mystery begins at the end of the hall. Room 2121, the campus home of Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui.

It is under lock and seal now after police seize materials they hope help answer the biggest of the many questions -- why? Cho shared this common area with five other students. Note the cinder blocks. A suitemate is convinced some of Cho's angry manifesto was recorded here while the others were at class.

KARAN GREWAL, SUITEMATE OF CHO SEUNG-HUI: The backdrop of the video looks exactly like our suite's -- the white bricks. He spent a lot of time in the living area throughout the year. Maybe he just figured our schedules.

KING: Karan Grewal says Cho never talked or showed emotion, and would look down when walking around the suite or down the hallways to avoid eye contact. GREWAL: He never spoke at all. While -- during the nine months that he lived with us, I never saw him with anyone, ever. I just thought he was really lonely.

KING: Investigating a silent loner is frustrating. With few helpful witnesses, the investigation is intensely focused on the gunman's own writings and campus movements.

From his room, police records show investigators seized Cho's desktop and laptop computer, notebooks and compact discs, a digital camera, credit cards, checks and bank statements, hoping for clues to whether Cho communicated with or stalked any of his victims.

It was here on the fourth floor of the West A.J. dorm that the first two victims were gunned down early Monday morning -- Emily Hilscher and Ryan Clark.

(on camera): Cho's dorm is just over there, the building behind this one. Police say there's no known connection between the gunman and those first two victims.

But they do know that all three used this, the West End dining facility. You can't use cash in here. Students use their I.D. to get in. And they pay using this magnetic stripe hooked up to their accounts. What that allows police to do now is to go back through the computer records to see if perhaps the shooter and his first two victims might have crossed paths here.

(voice-over): Kevin Tosh lives in the West A.J. dorm and has listened to Cho's videotaped complaints about rich snobs on campus. He says neither Emily, nor Ryan came anywhere close.

KEVIN TOSH, FRIEND OF VICTIMS: Of any two people, those would definitely not be the -- fit his description of what the people that were apparently inflicting him with pain.

KING: Days after the carnage, there are still reminders of how that day was supposed to unfold.

Emily was a popular member of the equestrian team. And this is the stable on the far end of the Virginia Tech campus. Hanging here on the wall, a bulletin board that tells you she was supposed to arrive at 3:30 in the afternoon on Monday. That's about eight hours after she was shot and killed.

Shot and killed, along with 31 others, by the troubled young man who lived here, in 2121 Harper Hall.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You know, John, we've heard so much in the last couple of days about what went on inside that suite over the last year or so. Let's take a look again at the pictures that we got today. It's fascinating to actually see inside.

KING (on camera): It is. And it's also fascinating to hear the suitemates talk about living with someone for nine months who never spoke a word to them, wouldn't even engage in small talk.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: That's his room.

KING: That's his suite right there. 2121 is where Cho lived with another roommate, called Joseph. You see the fish there, that's the nameplate right there. That is the common area room where one of his suitemates thinks he recorded some of that angry manifesto.

That door there is locked and sealed. Police searched that room. They took out a desktop, a laptop, some notes, some CDs, a digital camera. They are hoping that provides some clues as to did he know these victims? Did he single out these victims, the 32 people he targeted, or was this a totally random act of violence?

They are hoping from especially the electronic records, the digital camera, to try to find any clues as to, of course, what is the biggest question...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And in that suite -- even though it was a public space, he often sat on his computer, but would never really interact with others. And on the day of the shooting, he was spotted at 5:00 a.m. inside the bathroom.

KING: At 5:00 a.m., one of his suitemates was up most of the night working on a project. He was in cleaning up at 5:00 a.m. before he went to bed. And while he was getting ready to go to bed, he said Cho came into the bathroom and he was getting ready to go out. That is Monday morning, the day of the slayings, 5:00 a.m. Again, they didn't say a word. Standing next to each other as close as we are in this very small bathroom, didn't say a word to each other.

The suitemate went to bed. He woke up a few hours later to find out there had been a shooting on campus. Again, he saw him just two hours -- about two hours and 15 minutes before the first shooting.

COOPER: And that being the door to Cho's room. He shared it with one other person?

KING: Six people in the suite. You go in that long hall where you see the door -- his door at the end of the hall. There's two other bedrooms off. So the suite has three bedrooms, two students in each one, and then that common area where they could sit, study, could talk -- could sit and shoot the breeze like most college roommates would. And these suitemates say they all talked, the other five, but he would say nothing and never interact.

COOPER: So bizarre.

John, thanks. Nice reporting, John King.

Cho's parents are in seclusion. The FBI interviewed them on Monday and with permission, searched their home. They're searching and they're not alone for clues to what turned a loner into a mass murderer. All of us are trying to figure it out. Details now from CNN's Randi Kaye. Here's what we know.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Does this look like the face of a would-be killer? It's Cho Seung-Hui, a junior in high school, five years before he would go on the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history, and then kill himself.

Question is, how did this grow into this?

HELEN MORRISON, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: We don't know when he started to go over the edge of saying, you know, you're making me angry, to, I'm going to kill you.

KAYE: Forensic Psychiatrist Helen Morrison says, what people thought was odd behavior in Cho was more likely paranoia, which in time, gave way to a complete psychotic breakdown.

She says the paranoia likely began in high school.

(on camera): The "Associated Press" reports, Cho was teased in high school, laughed at for the way he spoke, and told to go back to China. But Morrison doesn't believe that's what set him off. Lots of kids get bullied and don't end up on a killing spree.

(voice-over): Nor do they make videos like this one Cho mailed to NBC between the two shootings, in which Dr. Morrison says, nearly every word indicates paranoia.

CHO SEUNG-HUI, VIRGINIA TECH GUNMAN: You had 100 billion chances and ways to have avoided today, but you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option.

KAYE: How did Cho become so unglued? Why did his paranoia turn to rage?

Morrison says he saw himself as a failure, a loner, a target.

MORRISON: He starts to see other people as becoming very threatening to him. And anybody who threatens his manhood or his sense of himself as a strong man becomes part of a community that is -- begins to torture him.

KAYE: His former roommates say Cho developed a make-believe world, an imaginary girlfriend named Jelly. He even called himself Question Mark.

MORRISON: He was hiding himself, letting people project on to that question mark their impressions.

KAYE: Dr. Morrison says he started doing things that made him feel tough. Weeks before the massacre, he got this speeding ticket. His most recent roommate says Cho shaved his head last semester and started working out in February, the same month he bought the first of two guns used in the shootings.

MORRISON: If you look at the later pictures, he looks like a mercenary, being the strong, big, macho guy. I am not this weakling that everybody thinks I am.

KAYE: Dr. Morrison says Cho had to prove he wasn't a zero. And this is how he did it -- a killing rampage, and boasting about it in videos, instant global notoriety.

CHO: Do you know what it feels like to be spit on your face and have trash shoved down your throat? Do you know what it feels like to dig your own grave?

KAYE (on camera): Clearly, he thought the entire world was against him.

MORRISON: Absolutely. And we see that in some of his early writings, when we -- especially when we read his two one-act plays, that you read how he perceives the world as being the problem.

KAYE (voice-over): But now we know Cho had real problems simmering for years.

(on camera): This isn't someone who just snapped?

MORRISON: He was going to show everyone that he was not this little weakling. He was definitely going to make a name for himself. People would never forget him.

KAYE (voice-over): Most of us never will.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The question is, what more could have been done for him? Joining me now is Pete Earley, who began investigating America's mental health system when is son suffered a breakdown in college.

His book is titled, "Crazy: A Father's Search through America's Mental Health Madness."

Pete, thanks for being with us. Your son's bipolar. You book is about the challenges that you, yourself, faced in getting him help in the mental health system.

First of all, what happened to your son?

PETE EARLEY, AUTHOR "CRAZY": My son developed a mental illness, a chemical imbalance, bipolar disorder, while he was in college.

When he became psychotic, I rushed him to an emergency room, like all parents would do. The doctor didn't even examine him. He said, look, he's not an imminent danger to himself or others. He decided that by asking my son whether he felt suicidal. And my son said no. He also was hearing voices and showing signs of delusion. The doctor said to me, bring him back when he tries to kill himself or he tries to kill you; 48 hours later he broke into a stranger's house to take a bubble bath. Five police officers had to wrestle him down. And they told me, they said, look, even though he's clearly delusional, even though he's broken into a house, we can't take him to a hospital. They won't let him in. They won't admit him unless you say that he threatened to kill you. And we'll have to take him to jail.

So I went in and I lied. I said he threatened to kill me, and that was enough to get him held for 48 hours, at which point he volunteered. Otherwise he would have been turned loose.

COOPER: Which is what happened to Cho. So you're not surprised when you hear how he seemed to have sort of slipped through the cracks?

EARLEY: No, not at all. I have hundreds and hundreds of parents who are so frustrated because they try to get their children, their loved ones, help and they can't do it because of the imminent danger statute.

Now, I understand we have to protect people's civil rights. But let's use some common sense.

You know, my son thought -- thinks the U.S. government was behind 9/11. I don't have a problem with that. But when he's sitting on the floor with tin foil wrapped around his head, hearing voices through a television set, then it's time to step up and say something's wrong. He's ill and he needs treatment. He doesn't need punishment.

Unfortunately, we force people to break the law in order to get any kind of mental health treatment.

COOPER: And you know, advocates for the mentally challenged, we'll say, look, this is to protect the privacy of the patients. This is to protect the patients. It is clearly a balance that has to be done.

What do you think should be done? What laws should change? What practices should change?

EARLEY: Well, obviously, I love my son. I want to protect his civil rights. But there has to be a better way than having a doctor say bring him back when he tries to kill you or kill someone else.

We need to make access to services easier. And we have to have good mental health services.

Look, the gunman came from Fairfax County, where I live. It is the richest county in Virginia. It is one of the richest counties in the nation. There is a two-month wait to get someone in crisis, get them into treatment. A six-month wait to get a case manager. Up to an 18-year wait to get someone with a mental illness into housing. That is intolerable. And when you have those kind of situations, when you starve a system -- Virginia got a "D" from the National Alliance on Mental Illness when they graded states. When you take that kind of thing into account, you're going to have these situations arise, because people are not being treated.

COOPER: And why do you think that is? Why is there a lack of funding? Do you think it's all sort of...

(CROSSTALK)

EARLEY: It's money.

COOPER: ... the byproduct of the stigma or money?

EARLEY: Stigma, but it's also money. We have shut down hospital beds left and right. Since '97, HMOs have been -- two-thirds of them are profit-driven.

Psychiatric hospital beds are not profitable. In Virginia it costs $500 -- an average of $500 a night to operate a psychiatric hospital bed. It costs $89 to have someone in jail. So it's much simpler just to shuffle the mentally ill, close down the hospitals and move them into jails and prisons. That's what we've done.

There are 300,000 people in this country with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression who are in our jails and prisons; 500,000 are on probation every year; 700,000 go through the court system. The largest public mental facility in the United States today is not a hospital, it's the L.A. County Jail. That's our system today.

COOPER: How is your son doing now?

EARLEY: He's doing much better. But this is a lifetime illness. Recovery is possible. But after my book came out, he had a relapse.

Even with everything I knew -- all my research, all my connections, all my money, I couldn't help him. Once again, he was tasered twice by the police. It was a slap in my face. If I couldn't do it, what chance does someone who doesn't speak English, someone who is very psychotic, someone who has no connections, what chance do they have to get help in our society?

COOPER: It's a remarkable story. A terrible one. Pete Earley, appreciate you coming on. The book is "Crazy: A Father's Search through America's Mental Health Madness."

Pete, thank you very much.

EARLEY: Thank you.

COOPER: You can logon to CNN.com for more on the Virginia Tech shootings. You're going to find videos and photographs, along with eyewitness accounts updated around the clock. Again, that is CNN.com. Or you can download the number one news and information podcast on iTunes. That would be the 360 podcast. You can also get it at CNN.com/ac360 podcast.

Straight ahead, Cho's young life in South Korea and some early hints of trouble.

Plus more on what Pete Earley and I just talked about, an easy call with the benefit of hindsight, of course, but a much tougher one before the massacre. Deciding when to force people into a mental hospital because they might be dangerous.

From the campus of Virginia Tech, you're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I finally just went to Mr. Cho, I don't think that this class can help you. And I think that it would be probably good for you to find another class. He said, I don't want another class. And so I wrote -- you know, I wrote him up. Mr. Cho has to come out of my class or I'm going to resign. And I'm not going to be intimidated by a kid. He had to go. Because I couldn't let -- I couldn't be in my classroom with a kid I can't control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Poet Nikki Giovanni, professor at Virginia Tech who was so disturbed by Cho's behavior, she refused to have him in her class.

She described Cho as mean and intimidating and says she did what she could to sound the alarm.

We now know that many people on campus realize that Cho was deeply troubled, but getting someone like him help and keeping others safe is actually much harder than you might think, as we have been talking about.

CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): All the signs were there. Extreme isolation, stalking, violent writings, suicidal thoughts, a judge's finding that Cho presented an imminent danger to himself.

So, why was he not forced into the custody of mental health professionals?

CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin...

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, schools and universities are really in a bind here because on the one hand, they can be sued for locking people up unnecessarily. On the other hand, they can be sued for not locking people up who go on to do damage to themselves or to other people. FOREMAN: Many of America's 16 million college students exhibit signs of mental stress or illness. The American College Health Association found that one in 10 has seriously considered suicide and one in 100 actually tries it.

Counselors say most of these students just need help.

Greg Eells counsels at Cornell.

GREG EELLS, STUDENT COUNSELING, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: If someone is really struggling and seeking help, you don't want to take their rights away. You don't want to do something that's going to keep people from seeking help and getting the help that they need.

FOREMAN: Still, victims-rights advocates say the public needs help too in dealing with the mentally ill.

Eight years ago, a schizophrenic man pushed 32-year-old Kendra Ann Webdale in front of a speeding train in New York, killing her. He was off his medication. Her death led to the passage of Kendra's Law, which allows the mentally ill to be medicated by force, if necessary.

Her mother, Patricia, now an advocate for mental health treatment, says shootings like the one at Virginia Tech might be averted if patient privacy laws were changed. So doctors, counselors, professors, even students could share more information about potentially dangerous individuals.

PATRICIA WEBDALE, KENDRA'S LAW IMPROVEMENT PANEL: The idea is to protect the privacy of people. But sometimes we protect the privacy of the wrong people.

FOREMAN (on camera): If Cho had been deemed an imminent danger to others, not just to himself, he could have been committed. If he had been committed, he could not have legally bought those guns.

(voice-over): But knowing the difference between the merely disturbed and the truly dangerous is key. And, often, no one knows, until it's too late.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It was certainly too late in this case.

We'll have more now on mental illnesses at college. Here's the raw data. In a survey last year, more than 300 college counseling centers, 25 percent of student clients were on psychiatric medication. That's up from 20 percent in 2003; 40 percent of students seeking help had severe psychological problems; 8 percent had an impairment so serious they could not remain in school or needed extensive treatment to stay.

We are learning that even as a child, Cho exhibited signs of mental illness. After the break, we're going to take you to South Korea and inside the home that Cho lived in until he was 8. A revealing look at his childhood and some of his early problems when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: You're looking at a live picture of some of the memorials here on the Virginia Tech campus. All day long, people have been stopping by to leave messages or to read the messages of others.

We're going to read some of those messages to you later on on this hour.

In South Korea, where Cho spent the first part of his childhood, there has been an outpouring of grief over the killings.

The Cho family lived in Seoul before they moved here to the United States, and they left behind relatives who remember a troubled little boy and two very worried parents.

Matthew Chance is there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're grieving the Virginia Tech massacre here with sorrow and with regret. Even though Cho Seung-Hui left his native South Korea as an 8-year-old boy, at this church memorial service in the capital, Seoul, grief is tinged with shame.

As a Korean, I feel sorry that a Korean youth caused this shocking incident, says the cardinal.

That sense of guilt has bred a fascination, too, and a search for any detail, no matter how small, about the killer's Korean past.

This, the school Cho attended as a child, a document recording his departure for the U.S., and of course, the home in the South Korean capital where he grew up.

(on camera): Well, this is the dingy basement apartment in a poor area of Seoul where Cho Seung-Hui lived with his parents and his sister, until he was 8 years old. There's not much to it. It's been cleared out now. Nobody lives here.

There's one room there. And just one more over here. Cho's parents decided to take the family to the United States for a better life.

(voice-over): But there were family members who chose to stay in South Korea.

KIM YANG-SOON, CHO SEUNG-HUI'S GREAT AUNT (through translator): My brother came in at about 3 in the morning, saying, something big has happened. My daughter's son has shot some people.

CHANCE: This is Kim Yang-Soon, Cho's 85-year-old great-aunt, his grandfather's sister. She says the family knew very well the young Cho was suffering with a mental illness, even before they'd left for the United States.

YANG-SOON (through translator): In Korea, he was very quiet.

From the beginning, he wouldn't answer me. Cho doesn't talk. Normally, sons and mothers talk. There was none of that for them. He was very cold.

CHANCE: It's now known Cho did, in fact, suffer from psychological problems. His great-aunt says Cho's disturbed state of mind drove his mother and family to despair.

YANG-SOON (through translator): Every time I called and asked how he was, she would say she was worried about him. She said she couldn't dine with him. She didn't know what to do. Cho's father and grandfather worried about that. Who would have known he would cause such trouble, the idiot?

CHANCE: Lingering questions, both here and in Virginia, we may never be able to answer.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Not a lot of sympathy from great-aunt. Cho's parents and sister have been in seclusion since Monday night. It's hard to imagine what they must be going through right now.

Today, a South Korean embassy official met with the FBI and said that the family is doing OK. We still know very little about what kind of help, if any, Cho's parents sought for their son. We don't even know if his parents even knew about his problems.

Experts say that mental illness carries a very deep stigma in many Asian cultures.

Earlier, I spoke with Doonam Kim, a Korean-American psychiatrist who specializes in treating Asian-American adolescents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Dr. Kim, we just heard a few moments ago from Cho's family members talking about his mental state. How are mental health problems viewed in the South Korean community?

DR. DOONAM KIM, PSYCHIATRIST: In the South Korean community, mental illness is often seen as carrying a lot of negative stigma. So oftentimes mental problems that need treatment are viewed as something that might be a character flaw or something of a weakness.

COOPER: So it's not actually viewed as a disease?

KIM: I think that a lot of education is needed in the community, but oftentimes it's something that's put under the rug or kind of something to be avoided, not talked about.

COOPER: So, do people seek treatment when they need it? Or what do you see in your own practices?

KIM: Well, the prevalence of actually mental illness in the Asian-American community is actually less than then general public. However, because of the negative stigma of mental illness, oftentimes Asian-American, in this in case, Korean-American, patients may eventually seek treatment from like a psychiatrist or a mental health clinic, oftentimes when things become -- get carried away into kind of an acute crisis or when the pathology becomes very, very severe.

COOPER: And do you think that statistically the percentage is lower? Is that just as -- it's not reported as much? Or does it actually not exist as much in the Asian-American community?

KIM: Well, there are not that many studies on the prevalence of Asian-American mental illness, but the ones that have been done -- and there are some flaws to those studies -- have shown that the general prevalence of mental illness among Asian-Americans is less than the necessarily the general public.

COOPER: In this case, in Cho's case, it does seem that there was help out there and people suggested he get help and urged him to get help. And yet, as far as we know, he didn't really seek that out on his own.

Why do you think that would be? Do you think shame could have played a role?

KIM: It's hard to -- it's hard for me to say for sure, but, oftentimes, it might be an added hurdle, given the negative stigma of mental illness amongst the Asian-American community, to seek out treatment, and then also to stay with treatment.

COOPER: Dr. Kim, appreciate your perspective. Thank you.

KIM: My pleasure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We still have more from Virginia -- Virginia Tech tonight.

Just ahead, we will also take a look at some of the other major headlines today, including the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a ban on a type of late-term abortion. We will at its potential impact on abortion rights.

And a little later: paying tribute to those who lost their lives here, one person at a time, not just remembering how they died, but how they lived their lives -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: One stone for each victim here at Virginia Tech, just one of the many memorials we have seen pop up over the last several days.

We have much more on the story coming up in this hour, including a look at the lives of those who died here on this campus on Monday.

But, first, we turn to another pressing issue, the fight over abortion, now fired up after yesterday's 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on a specific procedure that critics call partial- birth abortion. Others say it could lead the way to another decision, the right to abortion itself.

CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a first, the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on a specific abortion procedure, giving hope to anti-abortion groups.

TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Victory. It's the first time in 34 years that the court has ruled on an abortion case on the pro-life side. So, I think that's significant.

CROWLEY: Causing concern among abortion-rights activists.

ELEANOR SMEAL, PRESIDENT, FEMINIST MAJORITY FOUNDATION: Essentially, what they have done is overruled 30 years of precedents.

CROWLEY (on camera): Do you worry that Roe is threatened?

SMEAL: Absolutely. This is a major assault on Roe.

CROWLEY (voice-over): The 5-4 decision backs a federal law banning a rarely used abortion procedure generally performed in the second term. There is no exception for the health of the mother, but the procedure is allowed if the life of the mother is threatened.

Six years ago, the high court rejected a similar ban, also a 5-4 decision. What changed? First, the White House, then the Supreme Court.

ALEX VOGEL, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: This clearly reflects that Supreme Court appointments matter. And the court had previously been one way. And now it's 5-4 the other. So, I think this -- to quote the president, elections matter. And this is one on abortion where the -- the change in the court has made a difference.

CROWLEY: Now, you know where this is headed.

(on camera): So, what does this do to the '08 campaign?

SMEAL: It puts the abortion issue and women's health issues smack dab centrally into the 2008 -- 2008 elections.

CROWLEY (voice-over): '08 presidential candidates greeted the decision with a blizzard of e-mails -- Republicans, to a person, applauding the decision, Democrats, to a person, condemning it. Abortion is what's known as a base issue, something that brings hard-core party members out to vote. Having lost this battle, abortion rights advocates, mostly Democrats, think it may help them win the war.

JENNY BACKUS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The more that this is seen as a beginning of an attack on the right, it's only going to motivate and help the abortion rights movement grow.

CROWLEY: But nominating and confirming judges has been a staple Republican issue since the Reagan era. Anti-abortion groups see no reason for that to change.

PERKINS: There are going to be other issues regarding abortion and life making their way up the system of the judicial system. I think this is going to keep the issue of judges and the makeup of the United States Supreme Court before voters.

CROWLEY: There is one message from the Supreme Court decision that is crystal clear to both sides: One vote matters on the Supreme Court and in the voting booth, not necessarily in that order.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Joining me now to talk about the abortion ruling, as well as the attorney general's rough day on the Hill, is CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, this is the first time the Supreme Court upheld a ban on an abortion procedure. How big of a victory was this for anti- abortion groups?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Huge, Anderson.

This is clearly the biggest decision by the Roberts court since there's been a Roberts court. And it also shows how significant the Bush appointments have been. The Supreme Court considered almost an identical issue in 2000, a Nebraska law banning exactly the same procedure.

By a 5-4 vote, with Justice O'Connor in the majority, they said, unconstitutional, violates a woman's right to Choose. This court, with Alito in, O'Connor out, 5-4 upholding the abortion ban. And it's just the beginning of the conservative rulings we're going to see from this court.

COOPER: Well, Justice Kennedy seemed to be the swing vote on this. And you think that his opinion is going to invite states to restrict abortion in other ways. How so?

TOOBIN: Absolutely, because one of the big restrictions had been,, states cannot bar any sort of abortion that might impact a woman's health. Now Justice Kennedy said, look, states have a much freer rein. And there are a lot of states that really want to restrict abortion. So, they -- they're -- this is an invitation to restrict abortion earlier in the pregnancy. It's an invitation to restrict more kinds of procedures.

And, ultimately, this court is going to take on Roe v. Wade. At the moment, it looks like they're all -- there are still five votes, with Justice Kennedy, to uphold Roe v. Wade. But, clearly, one more vote, and Roe v. Wade is out the door. So, it really raises the stakes for the 2008 election.

COOPER: You're should about that? One more vote, and it would be overturned?

TOOBIN: You know, sure. I can't say I'm absolutely sure, but, certainly, Scalia and Thomas are on record saying they want to overturn Roe. Roberts and Alito are pretty close to being on record.

So, that's four votes right there. And, you know, Justice Stevens is 87 years old. He's pro-Roe v. Wade. He can't be on the court forever. Justice Ginsburg, who wrote such a passionate dissent yesterday, she -- she's 74 years old. She can't be on the court forever. So, am I sure? No. But I'm pretty sure.

COOPER: And we're going to hear a lot about this, no doubt, in the coming election.

Let's talk about Gonzales, the attorney general, testifying today in front of the Senate. A lot of people thought his job was going to hinge on this performance.

Let's -- let's play a quick clip from -- from some of the debate, which became very contentious.

Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Were you prepared for the press conference where you said there weren't any discussions involving you?

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Senator, I have already said that I misspoke. It was my mistake.

SPECTER: I'm asking you, were you prepared? You interjected that you're always prepared. Were you prepared for that press conference?

GONZALES: Senator, I didn't say that I was always prepared. I said I prepared for every hearing.

I do not recall what I knew about Mr. Bogden.

I don't recall any dissent. I don't recall remembering...

I don't recall the reason...

I don't recall specifically the genesis of the idea.

I don't recall -- I don't recall exactly when the decision -- I made the decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The White House put out a statement, the president saying he thought he did a good job.

Do you think he's going to keep his job?

TOOBIN: I don't recall, Anderson.

(LAUGHTER)

TOOBIN: Anderson, this was an appalling performance.

You know, this committee has some of the most liberal Democrats and some of the most conservative Republicans. There are 19 members of that committee. Gonzales had one defender, Orrin Hatch.

There was incredible bipartisanship in there in denunciations of Gonzales. You know, I went into today thinking that he would hold on to his job, because I figured it would just be sort of a Democrat- Republican thing. But, with this kind of bipartisan onslaught, I have a hard time imaging how he's going to hang in there.

COOPER: All right, Jeffs, thank -- Jeff Toobin.

TOOBIN: OK, Anderson.

COOPER: Just head: more than 200 killed, an eruption of violence in Baghdad, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits the region. We will have a live report next.

Plus: more from Virginia Tech, the teachers, the friends, the heroes who were lost in Monday's shooting, we will remember their lives -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, we are learning just how methodical Cho was in his rampage, and, it appears, in his preparation.

Tonight, we know much more about what he did in the final weeks and days and even hours before committing mass murder.

CNN's David Mattingly traces his footsteps.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New details of Cho Seung-Hui's last days bring new focus to how long he was planning to kill, after the discovery of an apparent road trip taken by Cho in March, when he rented a car, possibly the vehicle where he made this recording, part of the package he sent to NBC.

COLONEL STEVEN FLAHERTY, VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: The vehicle that was portrayed last night, we -- we had known about since the first day. I'm not -- not going to speak to where it was or what it was.

MATTINGLY: But, 19 days before the killings, Cho's whereabouts are clear. He spent a night in this hotel 30 minutes from his dormitory. He checked out, and, the next day, and was pulled off for speeding just seven miles from campus. At the time, he was driving a 2007 maroon minivan.

The day of the Virginia Tech killings, however, investigators say Cho was on foot. His dorm room was just a 30-second walk from the scene of the first killings. And it was another easy walk to the post office, where he shipped his so-called manifesto to NBC.

(on camera): Having just walked here myself, I can tell you, it's a trip that takes only about 15 minutes. And, once he got here, it's unlikely that Cho would have attracted any attention. Authorities say it was a very busy day at the post office because of the tax filing deadline. Still, he could have been in and out of there in a matter of minutes.

(voice-over): Cho interacted with the clerk, who took his express mail package and postmarked it at 9:01 a.m. The moment might have been forgotten, except for one small detail.

DAVID MCGINNIS, U.S. POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE: The clerk recalls the parcel being presented and noticed that there were six digits in the zip code, and corrected that by removing one of the digits.

MATTINGLY: After that, Cho was on the move again, walking through some of the most heavily-traveled parts of campus, possibly crossing paths with scores of people along the way.

From doorstep to doorstep, the walk from the post office to the engineering building takes just 10 minutes.

(on camera): Assuming he didn't stop along the way, Cho could have had as much as 20 minutes inside the building before he started shooting. With the classes already in session, there wouldn't have been many people in the hallways, maybe no one, to confront him, stop him, question him, ask him what he was doing, as he put his plans into motion.

(voice-over): There was plenty of time for the killer to chain the doors, target the classrooms, and prepare his weapons. What's clear about his actions is how much pain he inflicted.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Well, that was David Mattingly reporting.

Randi Kaye joins us right now with a quick look at some of the day's other headlines in a 360 bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.

A guilty verdict today for a woman accused of killing her preacher husband. A Selmer, Tennessee, jury has convicted 33-year-old Mary Winkler of voluntary manslaughter. Winkler testified that she accidentally shot her husband, Matthew, after he had abused her for years. She could get up to six years in prison.

In Iraq, a surprise visit from Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- he talked with U.S. commanders and Iraqi government leaders following a bloody 24 hours in Baghdad. More than 200 people were killed in bombings.

On Wall Street, the Dow made another record close, though it wasn't exactly a banner day. Stocks ended nearly flat -- the Dow gaining just four points, to finish at 12808. The Nasdaq fell five points. And the S&P lost a point.

And more concerns tonight about the food you are feeding your pets -- animal feed provider Wilbur-Ellis is recalling the rice protein it shipped to five pet food companies. Eleven dogs fell ill after eating products containing the rice protein, though there are no reports of animal deaths. Wilbur-Ellis did not identify the companies that received the protein, though the FDA has confirmed the names of the two of them. They are the Blue Buffalo company and Natural Balance.

More concerns for pet owners -- Anderson.

COOPER: Man, that is scary stuff. Randi, thanks.

Just ahead: more from Virginia Tech, where simple notes on a makeshift memorial keep alive the memories of those who were lost. We remember them tonight, how they lived -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

COOPER: The Virginia Tech band at a local hospital bringing a little school spirit to the students inside still recovering from their wounds.

Three people went home today. Sadly, so did one of their professors. In Israel, final preparations are now under way for the burial just a few hours from now of professor Liviu Librescu, his funeral yesterday in New York the first of so many.

It is important to remember him and all of the dead, not as victims, but as people, remembering not just how they lost their lives, but how they lived their lives as well. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Liviu Librescu, was a survivor of the Holocaust, well respected in his field, loved by those he taught. He was remembered yesterday by his wife.

MARLENA LIBRESCU, WIFE OF LIVIU LIBRESCU: He was a very good man. I don't know if it's heroism, but his -- his life was only his family and his students.

COOPER: Librescu was the oldest who died on Monday. Reema Samaha was among the youngest. She was 18 and loved to dance.

"I'm glad I hugged you at our last practice," one student wrote on a campus memorial.

"Save me a dance up there," wrote another.

Lauren McCain was 20. She was an international studies major, and her great-grandmother still finds it hard to believe that Lauren is gone.

FERN MARTIN, VICTIM'S GREAT-GRANDMOTHER: They told me, and said, Lauren is in the -- Lauren is not with us anymore.

I said, why? I said, is she on her way here?

And they said, no. They had a shooting over there.

COOPER: Emily Hilscher's friends say she loved animals. That's why she was majoring in animal and poultry sciences.

"You will never be forgotten, Emily. We love you," a note at the memorial reads.

MARK DEMETRIOU, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: She was just a really kind person, always really friendly to me and everyone else. And it's -- it was just really hard to hear that she passed away, and that somebody could just take a life like that, an innocent life.

COOPER: Emily lived on the same floor as Ryan Clark. His friends called him Stack. And there are many messages left for him.

"Stack," one friend wrote, "you were the light in the lives of so many people. I can understand why God would want to have you in heaven with him."

Ryan was a resident assistant, and planned to pursue a doctorate in psychology.

JACOB LUNDEEN, FRIEND OF RYAN CLARK: He worked so hard. You know, like I said, he was a triple major. But he always had fun. He was always having fun, laughing. And that's one of the things that I learned from him, is that, no matter how bad things get, you have got to think positive. And you have got -- you need to look on the brighter side of life. COOPER: Jeremy Herbstritt's family is also trying to look on the bright side. He wanted to be a civil engineer.

MIKE HERBSTRITT, JEREMY HERBSTRITT'S FATHER: The rest of our life is going to be celebrating his life, to say what he did good, and to say, that Jeremy was a good boy, a good man. And we're going to love him forever.

COOPER: Every day here, tears are shed, fond memories recounted.

Matthew La Porte, a member of the Corps of Cadets, is remembered for always making his friends laugh.

MELISSA FARKAS, FRIEND OF MATTHEW LA PORTE: He was wearing these Joe Cool sunglasses at night. And -- because he wore them all the time. He loved them. And she asked him, why are you wearing sunglasses at night?

He's like, "Because the sun never sets on a badass." And he just had a very unique and very fun personality and sense of humor.

COOPER: Michael Pohle was funny, as well. A lacrosse player, he was about to get a degree in biological sciences.

LAUREN MOONEY, FRIEND OF MIKE POHLE: He was goofy, just had a real love for life. He was just a beautiful person. He touched a lot of people, without even knowing that he was so important to them.

COOPER: There are so many others, lives cut short, but lives well lived.

Daniel O'Neil was a grad student in engineering. He loved to play the guitar and recorded this song, posting it online. His voice will live on. So will the memories of all those who died.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DANIEL O'NEIL, VIRGINIA TECH MASSACRE VICTIM (singing): Because I know that life goes on. And I'm sure that we will be fine. But don't lie to me and tell me that you would love to be mine.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Virginia Tech students and staff remembering their friends at one of the memorials here on the campus, one of several memorials that we have seen crop up over the last several days.

We have been gathering their stories, the stories of 32 lives lost. And you can read them at CNN.com.

There's also the 360 podcast. You can find that either at CNN.com/AC360podcast, or simply download it from iTunes. Thanks very much for watching this edition of 360. Be sure to catch "AMERICAN MORNING" tomorrow for the most news in the morning. John Roberts, Kiran Chetry are going to have the latest from Virginia Tech and more, starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

We will be here tomorrow night. I will see you then.

Larry King is next. His guest is former President Bill Clinton.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

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