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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Airport Screeners Miss Potential Bomb Materials; Alzheimer's Patients Forgetting Partners for New Ones
Aired November 14, 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: Tonight, six years after 9/11, you don't want to hear this, but if you travel, you need to hear it. Breaking news on airport security. Airport screeners may be great at stopping shampoo and moisturizer, but not at catching the parts and pieces used to make an IED. A new government report is out and it is a shocker. Details ahead.
Also tonight, O.J. Simpson going to trial along with two members of what our Jeffrey Toobin calls his "D-list souvenir posse." His three other cronies will be the prime witnesses against him again. No one in this case, it seems, has clean hands. We'll try to scrape some of the dirt off tonight.
And later, the heartbreak of Alzheimer's. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, her husband has the disease, he has forgotten his love for her and found new love with a fellow patient. It happens a lot more than we realize, it turns out. We are going to look at how families cope with and come to accept it.
We begin though, with breaking new and chilling answer to a question that millions of Americans have asked on their way through airport security. OK, they're really good at taking my toothpaste and patting down grandma, but how good are they at catching the stuff that truly matters?
Well, the Government Accountability Office also wanted to know. And less a week before the busiest travel week of the year, they got their answer. It is scary and literally explosive.
Details now from CNN's Jeanne Meserve, who joins us from Reagan National Airport.
Jeanne, what did the GAO find?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, GAO investigators found that they were able to take components for improvised explosive devices and incendiary devices and get those components past TSA checkpoints.
They went and they bought these components either at local stores or over the Internet for about $150. And then they tested them. They put them together and discovered that, yes, they would indeed blow up. The GAO says that these devices could cause severe damage to an airplane and threaten the safety of passengers. And, yet, their investigators were able to get them past the TSA screeners.
COOPER: And how did that happen? How were they able to get them past the screeners?
MESERVE: Well, in some instances, the screeners simply refused to -- or failed to catch prohibited items. But, in other instances, they did what they were supposed to do. They followed policies. They used the available machines.
But the policies and the technologies in some cases just weren't good enough to catch the items. For instance, there were instances where there were pat-downs of testers, but the pat-downs did not catch the items that they had concealed on their bodies -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Bottom line, what is the TSA going to do about it?
MESERVE: Well, the TSA is doing testing. They are doing a lot of testing. And today they gave CNN very unusual access, exclusive access to some of that testing. You can see them loading a carry-on bag. A dummy bomb is being loaded inside that bag. It's taken to a security checkpoint, put through the machine, just like every suitcase is.
You might see a guy in blue in this picture. He's the actual tester. Well, in this instance, the screener did not catch the bomb inside. And here is what happened when a trainer went over to speak to him immediately afterwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does this look like inside here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly, sir. What do you have there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an IED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. You just missed that bag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MESERVE: Now, CNN was allowed to see two tests. The screener in the other test did pass. The TSA is doing these tests over and over and over, 2,500 times a day, they say, trying to make screeners better and hopefully improving our security, too, counterpoint to the GAO study.
COOPER: Well, that's at least some good news there, if they're doing this 2,500 times a day. Let's hope that helps. Just -- it's a stunning study, though. I read the report. Jeanne, appreciate it. Thank you.
On now to the presidential race, which in Iowa is about as tight as it gets. A new poll from The New York Times and CBS News showing Mitt Romney clinging to a narrow lead over former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee -- yes, Mike Huckabee making a strong charge in Iowa.
On the Democratic side, a statistical dead heat between Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama. It does not get closer than that.
A lot to talk about with the best political team in the business, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who is going to be moderating tomorrow night's Democratic debate in Vegas. He's on the stage there. Also with us tonight, Gloria Borger and John King.
John, Hillary Clinton's camp has said that now she doesn't support driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. How vulnerable in Iowa and New Hampshire is she to the criticism that she makes choices by polls and not by principles?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, among Democrats, the criticism -- and we will have it here tomorrow night, and I suspect Wolf will say that he's going to bring this issue up, among Democrats, the issue is more that she's changing her position, in the view of her rivals, and now has evolved from saying she generally supported Governor Spitzer giving those licenses to illegal immigrants, now saying that, as president, she would not allow that to happen.
So, among the Democrats, it will be, why are you changing your position? Are you too cautious? Are you a poll-tested candidate? Among Republicans, they see a huge opening here, because they think this issue hurts Democrats with independent voters, especially older men, and especially in some of the key battleground states in the fall.
So, it's a different discussion if we're talking about how it plays in the Democratic Party than how it would play in a general election if Hillary Clinton, or any Democrat actually, the Republicans plan to use immigration against them in the general election, trust me.
COOPER: Gloria, it's interesting, though. Hillary Clinton is not considered the most honest, but is considered the most electable. In Iowa, 47 percent of Democrats think she has the best chance of winning. And in New Hampshire, the number is 68 percent. Does electability trump everything else?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, in the Democratic Party right now, and probably in the Republican Party, too, electability is key. The Democrats really want to win. And a lot of them say that they may not believe Hillary Clinton when she talks to them as much as they believe some of the other candidates, but they do believe that she's tough, that she's experienced, and that she could put up a good fight and win.
And that's what they want to do. And again that's what Republicans want to do, too, which is why you see Rudy Giuliani doing so well nationally.
COOPER: Well, Wolf, how much changes after Iowa? Do these national poll numbers that we usually talk about that show Clinton so far out in the lead mean anything, or do they radically shift -- have they radically shifted in the past if the candidate doesn't win in Iowa?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, there's no doubt that, for Senator Barack Obama and former Senator Edwards, Iowa is really, really important. If they can upset Hillary Clinton and win in Iowa, that really will help them propel them to the next stop, which is New Hampshire.
Hillary Clinton right now has a significant lead in New Hampshire. But what Obama and Edwards are hoping is that they do very well in Iowa and then they get a new start in New Hampshire, and then they can move on to South Carolina.
But if Hillary Clinton does win in Iowa and then wins in New Hampshire, she's in very, very good shape then for South Carolina and the rest of the field, because then you go to Florida and California.
By early February, Super-Duper Tuesday, as it's called, February 5th, on the Democratic side, there's a good chance this is all going to be over. So, Iowa is really, really important for the campaigns of Obama and Edwards and the other Democrats who are trying to upset Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: John, on the Republican side, most Republicans polled in New Hampshire and Iowa want a president who is as conservative or more conservative they say than President Bush. But the majority also say they're willing to sacrifice that for the most electable candidate. Have Republican voters decided who's most electable?
KING: It's interesting. When you talk to Democrats, they say Republicans are now acting like Democrats used to act. Bill Clinton became the Democratic nominee in '92 even though he ran against his own party, if you will, on the primary on many issues, like welfare reform. Now Republicans are asking the same questions. Who is the most electable?
That is why you have a candidate who is pro-choice on abortion rights, who is viewed as pro-gay-rights, more pro-gay-rights than his rivals, leading in Ronald Reagan's Republican Party, because they think Rudy Giuliani is most electable against Hillary Clinton. And they know -- Republicans know they're in trouble.
After an eight-year presidency, the White House tends to shift parties anyway. Plus, the war is unpopular. So, ideology, it's usually about taxes and social issues in a Republican primary, and it is about taxes and social issues and immigration to a degree, but electability is much more of an issue in a Republican primary than we have seen in recent history, without a doubt.
BORGER: But, you know, Anderson, this race on the Republican side is really wide open. I mean, what you see in all of these polls with Huckabee moving up in Iowa is that Republicans are really very undecided. They haven't figured out just who their front-runner is yet. And while they do like -- believe that Rudy Giuliani is electable, they're not sure that they share his values, they're not sure that they agree with him on social issues. They see him as a strong leader, but they're still looking over this field.
They have got John McCain, who was up. He's now down. Huckabee. Romney is doing very, very well. Romney is like the tortoise, sort of doing well in every state by state by state. And so, we don't know where it's going to go on...
BLITZER: And let me just add one point to back that up. In that poll that we saw the other day in New Hampshire, 60 percent, Anderson, 60 percent of the Republican -- likely Republican voters in New Hampshire say they could still change their mind. They haven't made up their mind yet.
They're still open to coming up with a decision, and almost 50 percent, 48 percent I think, in that poll among Democrats. So, there's still a lot of leeway for people to make up their minds and come up with a different answer.
COOPER: Wolf, we saw Barack Obama this weekend. Many say he found his mojo. He was fired up. He made an impassioned speech over the weekend. How aggressive do you think he, John Edwards are going to be against Hillary Clinton tomorrow night at your debate?
BLITZER: I fully expect John Edwards will be very aggressive. He has not let down at all. If anything, he has picked up his tempo. Obama to a much lesser degree has increased his tension level with Hillary Clinton.
He's still not where some of his supporters would like him to be. But that may be just the nature of Barack Obama and "the politics of hope," as he likes to call it. It's sort of unnatural for him to be directly attacking a fellow Democrat. I think he feels uncomfortable doing it.
John Edwards, he may have felt uncomfortable a while back, but he certainly doesn't feel uncomfortable doing it now. He feels a lot more comfortable in that mode. So, I suspect we will see a lot of that tomorrow night.
COOPER: Well, over the weekend, Barack Obama talked about the urgency of now. We will see how urgent he feels tomorrow night. The Democratic presidential candidates face off in Vegas, the debate 8:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN, followed by a special edition of 360 at 10:00.
Also, more breaking news to bring you right now. Just moments ago, the House passed a new bill funding the war in Iraq, with less money than the president wants and featuring a timeline for bringing the troops home, something Mr. Bush calls a deal-breaker.
Also, CNN has learned that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will announce tomorrow that he's retiring from Congress. Sources say he will deliver the news on the House floor in a farewell address. He was the longest-serving Republican House speaker in history. An aide says Hastert is in good health, wouldn't comment on a former aide's remark that "wealth, not health," is why the Illinois Republican is stepping down.
In a moment, back to Vegas, where O.J. Simpson is heading to trial.
COOPER (voice-over): Vegas heat. O.J. Simpson heading to trial. See what tipped the judge's decision and why signs are pointing to yet another Simpson legal circus.
Also, he's a cop with problems, big problems.
DREW PETERSON, HUSBAND OF MISSING WOMAN: I can look right in your eye and say I had nothing to do with either of those instances.
COOPER: His third wife dead.
SUSAN DOMAN, SISTER OF KATHLEEN SAVIO: We never felt that it was an accident.
COOPER: His fourth wife, Stacy, still missing. Did he kill either or both? Drew Peterson breaks his silence. And see how investigators are digging for answers, tonight on 360.
COOPER: O.J. Simpson there after learning he will be needing that lucky acquittal suit again, the one he and his aging cronies tried to get back from a cheesy sports memorabilia broker.
Sounds like a bad joke, tragedy repeating itself as bad comedy, but the charges are deadly serious, kidnapping and armed robbery. In a moment, digging deeper into how the case may go and what the jury can expect to see.
First, though, recapping a very wild hearing today, CNN's Ted Rowlands.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four days of testimony, six main prosecution witnesses, and an almost endless string of tawdry and sometimes downright bizarre testimony.
BRUCE FROMONG, SPORTS MEMORABILIA DEALER: The people came in, in a military invasion fashion.
O.J. SIMPSON, DEFENDANT: Don't let nobody -- don't let nobody off this floor. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to hang up.
SIMPSON: You mother (expletive deleted) You think you can steal my (expletive deleted)
ROWLANDS: In an audiotape recorded by one of the men in the room and played by prosecutors, Simpson is yelling at the people in the room. The two men with guns allegedly, both of whom cut deals to avoid long prison sentences, testified that the guns were O.J. Simpson's idea.
MICHAEL MCCLINTON, ALLEGED ACCOMPLICE OF O.J. SIMPSON: I brought my weapon because O.J. Simpson wanted me to have a weapon.
WALTER ALEXANDER, ALLEGED ACCOMPLICE OF O.J. SIMPSON: Can you bring some heat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did that mean to you?
ALEXANDER: That meant that he wanted me to help him to acquire some guns.
YALE GALANTER, ATTORNEY FOR O.J. SIMPSON: He's a pimp, Judge. That's the relevancy. He's not a realtor.
ROWLANDS: Defense attorneys took turns blasting the cast of characters that took the stand. Sometimes, it turned into old- fashioned name-calling.
JOHN MORAN JR., ATTORNEY FOR O.J. SIMPSON: People that are hearing voices and are known as crackheads and groupies and pimps and purveyors of stolen merchandise and gun carriers and con artists and crooks. I can go on for days on this. These guys are bad.
CHRISTOPHER OWENS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Say what you want about the witnesses. It's not like the state went out and found the witnesses. These were people aligned with O.J. at one point or another. These are the people that he surrounds himself with. These are the people that he chose to take advantage of in a criminal manner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are all ordered, bound over and held to answer.
ROWLANDS: In the end, the judge decided there's enough evidence to send the case to trial, which will probably, at the earliest, start in the spring of next year. At that point, a jury will try to decide what really happened. If the pretrial hearing is any indication, buckle your seat belts.
GALANTER: We haven't seen some of their cards. We have seen all of their cards. I mean, they have called every essential witness in this case. And my only regret about being in Vegas and trying this preliminary hearing over the past four days is that we didn't have a jury seated now, because, if there was a jury seated now, my client would be on the way home and this would be over. ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Las Vegas.
COOPER: With me now, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Linda Deutsch, covering the proceedings for the Associated Press.
Jeffrey, is that just bluster, Yale Galanter saying that?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, it is just bluster.
TOOBIN: I mean, you never want to lose.
COOPER: Because, from what I saw, it didn't seem all that positive for O.J. Simpson.
TOOBIN: Well, I didn't -- I don't think so either, although it's so hard to tell. I mean, the actual number of issues in dispute are very few. Everybody acknowledges that they all went in there. There's a tape of them in there. The issue in this case is, did Simpson know there were going to be guns? Did he ask anyone to have a gun with them? That's really what this case comes down to. Other than that, it's all just conversation.
COOPER: And the answers, which, apparently, according to the witnesses, is yes and yes, what does that tell you?
TOOBIN: If you believe the witnesses.
TOOBIN: And the credibility of these witnesses obviously is going to be the central aspect of the trial, which now appears like it's going to happen.
COOPER: Yes, we're going to hear a lot more about mygeisha.com or whatever that site was.
TOOBIN: Yes. If I have anything to do about it, we are going to hear a lot more about...
COOPER: Linda, you were in the courtroom. What was Simpson's reaction during all of this? And what happens next?
LINDA DEUTSCH, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, he talked to me very briefly before we left the courtroom and said that he was disappointed that there wasn't a jury, that he always depends on the jury system. And obviously he has sometimes won with the jury system. He seemed a little bit downcast, but, with O.J., you never can tell. He's usually pretty upbeat. What is going to happen next is that we're going to have an arraignment, and then we're going to set a trial. And then we're going to hear all of these weird witnesses all over again.
It's amazing. I have never seen a preliminary hearing like this. It had so many witnesses, and every one of them had credibility problems.
COOPER: And, as the judge noted, the witnesses were called groupies, pimps, triggermen. I think there were a couple other names there as well.
COOPER: Crackheads. Yes, that was my personal favorite.
TOOBIN: ... that one was a good one.
COOPER: Here's what Simpson's lawyer had to say...
DEUTSCH: Con artists.
COOPER: Yes, con artists. Here's what Simpson's lawyer had to say after the findings were read. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GALANTER: I mean, these are not good people. These are not credible people. And they shouldn't be believed. And somebody's liberty definitely should not be at stake based on their testimony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Jeffrey, but these are the people O.J. Simpson calls his friends.
TOOBIN: Right. When I was a prosecutor, one of the things that you were always taught to say when defense attorneys go after your witnesses like that, you always say, look, the government didn't pick the witnesses in this case. The defendant picked the witnesses in this case, because he chose to go into the hotel room with these people.
You know, now he's so outraged about the terrible moral character. Well, where was he when he was deciding whom to bring with him on this ridiculous outing to try to get back this junk from the hotel room?
COOPER: And the fact that these people followed him, some of them, as Linda pointed out last night, who didn't even really know him very well, had just met him, seemed to be willing to follow his orders. Linda, of all of this cast of characters, who surprised you the most?
DEUTSCH: It's not who surprised me the most. It's the fact that I think this winds up being a commentary on the power of celebrity, because 13 years after he was acquitted, O.J. Simpson is still this celebrity with magnetism.
One of these witnesses, the guy who said he carried the gun, McClinton, said, when he was approached, he didn't know O.J. Simpson. But he said, it was the famous football star, and so he was willing to go along.
COOPER: Unbelievable. And, Linda, you were in the court. What do you make of O.J. Simpson's expressions during all of this? You look at his facial expressions, every one of them tells a different story. He's rolling his eyes. He puts his hand over his head. He blows air out of his cheek. He's smirking. It's fascinating to see.
DEUTSCH: He's obviously reacting to everything. And, if you remember, during his criminal trial, he never spoke, but he was a major presence in the courtroom. And he had an impact on those jurors without ever saying a word. And he was acquitted. So, let's think about whether he's ever even going to testify in this new trial. It seems doubtful.
TOOBIN: Linda, you and I were in Judge Ito's courtroom. And one of the things that struck me was, he didn't mug this much during the criminal trial. He was much more restrained in his reactions. I think his lawyers in the criminal trial, Johnnie Cochran and company, told him to tone it down. I don't think he was toning it down at all, was he?
DEUTSCH: Well, this was a preliminary hearing. It wasn't a trial.
TOOBIN: Right, no jury.
DEUTSCH: There's a lot less at stake. There's no jury. It remains to be seen whether he will do that during the trial. But he definitely is a presence in that courtroom.
COOPER: It's interesting. I hadn't realized that, that he is such a presence when you're actually there in the courtroom, even though he's not speaking. It's an interesting point to end on.
Linda, appreciate it, Linda Deutsch. And Jeffrey Toobin, as well. Thank you very much.
So, where can you go from there? How about Pakistan? There's news out of Pakistan tonight. Erica Hill has got it in the 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, Pakistan's president telling reporters today he doesn't take any ultimatums from anyone. General Pervez Musharraf under growing international pressure now to lift the emergency order he imposed more than a week ago. He is scheduled to meet with the U.S. deputy secretary of state this weekend in Islamabad.
Federal investigators are still waiting to talk to the crew of a Chinese cargo vessel that spilled 58,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay last week. Nearly 400 birds were killed. That spill occurred when the ship struck a support tower of the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge.
And, finally, celebrity publisher Judith Regan filed a $100 million lawsuit against her former employer Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Now, she claims her bosses urged her to lie about her affair with former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik in order to protect Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani.
At the time, Kerik, who was indicted last week on federal corruption charges, had been tapped to run the Office of Homeland Security and was being vetted. Giuliani was a longtime supporter. Complicated? Absolutely. As for ugly, oh, yes. Regan, who lost her job because of her plans to publish O.J. Simpson's controversial memoir, is also alleging breach of contract and defamation.
Anderson, that's not a pretty one right there.
COOPER: Yes, it's going to get ugly.
HILL: It is. And speaking of ugly, tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation in Florida, a suspected thief running from the cops, jumps into a lake to escape. Bad choice, that lake infested with alligators.
HILL: Yes. Divers found the man's body the next day, gator marks on his upper torso, apparently bites to his head. The 9'3'' inch alligator is believed to be responsible, and, of course, has now been killed.
COOPER: Bizarre tale. Erica, thanks.
Up next: Stacy Peterson ran off with someone. That's what her police officer husband, Drew, is now claiming. Investigators are not buying it, though. Today, Drew Peterson breaks his silence about his dead ex-wife and his still missing current wife. Hear his emotional plea next.
COOPER: There are new developments tonight in a story that's getting plenty of attention. It's about a veteran cop and two of his wives. One of them is dead, another missing. Today, the man at the center of all this started talking. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER (voice-over): He swears he's telling the truth.
PETERSON: I can look right in your eye and tell you I had nothing to do with either of those incidents.
COOPER: But is Drew Peterson hiding secrets about two of his wives? The mystery begins on October 28th. That's when Peterson, a veteran police sergeant, reported his fourth wife, Stacy, missing. The search for the 23-year-old began almost immediately. But while family members, volunteers and police looked for Stacy, her husband did not.
For weeks, Peterson refused to comment publicly on the disappearance, choosing to remain silent, once wearing a mask as he left his home. But this morning, on "The Today Show," he finally spoke about Stacy, giving this reason as to what may have happened to the young mother of two.
PETERSON: She never told me she was seeing another man. She -- well, maybe she did. But I believe she's with somebody else right now.
COOPER: But authorities thinks Peterson knows exactly where Stacy is. They say he may have killed her.
CAPTAIN CARL DOBRICH, ILLINOIS STATE POLICE: Right now, Drew Peterson has gone from being a person of interest to clearly being a suspect.
COOPER: The case, however, does not end with Stacy. There are also questions about this woman, Kathleen Savio. She was Peterson's third wife. And she died under mysterious circumstances.
Three years ago, the body of the 40-year-old was found in her bathtub. At the time, she and Peterson were getting divorced. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning, but her sister doesn't believe it.
DOMAN: We never felt that it was an accident. She always told us that -- whether it was a premonition or not, she always said that it would be an accident and to take care of her children; he was going to kill her.
COOPER: To find out, police unearthed Kathy Savio's casket, exhuming her body for an autopsy, hoping it will answer the question the family continues to have.
DOMAN: There was a lot of bruising on her ankles, her arms, cuts, scratches. So, I think that they will be, you know, looking at these again very, very closely. And we're very happy that they are doing that.
COOPER: Peterson says exhuming Kathy's body won't bring any answers, just pain. PETERSON: It's a shame that her rest in peace has to be disturbed for something like this, when they did it once; now they're doing it again.
COOPER: Peterson has now been suspended from the police force. And, when asked if he had anything to say to Stacy, this is what he said.
PETERSON: Come home. Tell people where you are. And that's all I can say.
COOPER: Well, up next, we will talk to forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht and our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, about the evidence against Drew Peterson.
Also ahead tonight, an usual love story: Why a former Supreme Court justice is giving her husband permission to have an affair, when 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE CARCERANO, FRIEND OF DREW PETERSON: He came -- after her best friend came into the bathroom, I yelled out her name a couple of times. And she started screaming, and that's when Drew came running up the stairs right into the bathroom. I'm looking at her. He did check her pulse and then started screaming out, what am I going to tell my kids?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's a friend of Sergeant Drew Peterson describing what happened when Peterson's third wife was found dead in her bathtub. That was ruled an accidental drowning. But now, three years later, authorities aren't so sure. They have exhumed her body, you see it right there, to conduct another autopsy, to find out if it was an accident or not.
Now, at the same time, they've also named Peterson a suspect in the disappearance of his current wife, Stacy. Peterson says he doesn't have to search for her because he claims Stacy left him for another man. That was his claim today.
It is quite a case, one that may be decided with forensic evidence. Joining us again, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin; and another expert, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht.
Dr. Wecht, Peterson's third wife has been dead now for three years. They've exhumed her body. Is it going to be possible to determine whether or not this was a homicide? Her sister said she had cuts and bruises on her ankles and her arms.
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Anderson, three years and eight months is probably going to make it impossible to discern soft tissue injuries, bruises, superficial abrasions and cuts. That's a long time for decomposition and the embalming process and so on.
So while I think that the exhumation autopsy is wise, legally tactically necessary, absolutely so, I do not believe that, insofar as external injuries are concerned, they're likely to be able to definitively identify anything.
I don't think that they're going to find anything, because I doubt that this pathologist who did the autopsy in March of '04 would have missed a fracture of the skull, and presumably that he would have missed fractures in the thyroid cartilage in the hyoid bone in neck...
COOPER: So why do you say it's wise to exhume her body then?
WECHT: Because you can't have forensic pathologists going in to testify later on and then the defense attorney saying, well, Doctor, did you ever examine the body? No. Did you ever ask to examine the body? Well, Doctor, yes or no? Did you ever ask for an exhumation, Doctor, yes or no? Well, I didn't think I would find anything. Doctor, that's not what I asked you. And boom.
No, you've got to do it. You've got to rule out everything. The diagnosis of drowning, you see, is a difficult task with a freshly recovered body from water and, in a case of someone who has been dead for three-and-a-half years, you can't make a diagnosis of drowning.
It's an exclusionary diagnosis to begin with. It's all you can do, is rule out everything else. And then you put it together with all of the circumstances that existed in March of '04, which should have led to a homicide investigation at that time.
COOPER: So, Jeffrey, Peterson who spoke today, and I don't think he's doing himself any favors by speaking...
TOOBIN: That was pretty chilling. You know, what would you say to your wife? Come home.
TOOBIN: Yes. It wasn't exactly...
COOPER: But, you know...
TOOBIN: ... heartwarming.
COOPER: ... being a jerk on TV does not necessarily mean you're guilty.
COOPER: Can charges be brought against him, though, if his wife -- his current wife is not found? TOOBIN: I don't think so. I don't think there's any crime. There have been a handful of so-called missing body murder cases. There's a famous one here in New York, where someone -- there was strong circumstantial evidence that they were thrown out of a plane.
But here, she could have run off. She could have gone to live with someone else. She could have been killed by somebody. But without a body, without any explanation, without a certificate of death, I don't see how you can bring a case at all at this point.
COOPER: And, Dr. Wecht, can -- an e-mail may play an important role in this case. His current wife allegedly sent an e-mail claiming some things about her husband, about the way he treated her. Can an e-mail's voracity be discovered?
WECHT: I believe that my forensic scientific colleagues in question documents field would be able to do this. I am not an expert in that field. However, I have knowledge and respect for them. And I do believe that that kind of technology exists, whereby an appropriate question document examiner would be able to determine the authenticity of that e-mail. That of course, will be extremely important.
TOOBIN: But that e-mail, I think, even if you could authenticate the document, that's hearsay. And I'm not sure it could be offered to prove the truth of what's contained in that document as proof of much...
COOPER: Right. And the e-mail was to a friend, basically saying that her husband was controlling, manipulative and somewhat abusive. Drew Peterson says he doubts his wife even wrote that e-mail, because it doesn't sound like her.
TOOBIN: Right. And so that, it seems to me, the very definition of hearsay. So I would have real doubts about whether could be admitted.
WECHT: I agree with Jeffrey, that insofar as wife number four is concerned, there's no basis for a homicide charge. I agree with that. I'm talking about Kathleen Savio. I believe that that is a circumstantial case which, if properly pursued even at this time, could and should lead to a formal charge of homicide and very likely a jury verdict in that fashion.
COOPER: We'll be watching it. Dr. Wecht, always good to have you on the program. Thanks very much.
WECHT: Thank you.
COOPER: Jeffrey, as well, doing double duty tonight. Thanks.
Let's check in with Kiran Chetry to see what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Anderson. Tomorrow, we bring you the most news in the morning, including our John Roberts in Las Vegas. He's there for the Democratic presidential debate.
Plus, they told us it's coming: record high gas prices. Could big oil be doing more to ease the pain at the pump? We're asking your questions when the president of Shell Oil joins us in the studio. That's tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING." It all begins at 6 a.m. Eastern.
Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Well, ahead tonight on 360, a story that millions of Americans were shocked to learn because of who it touches and how many others face the same nightmare.
COOPER (voice-over): Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Alzheimer's robbing her husband of his love for her. Now he has found someone else. She's not alone.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You see him with this other woman, and they're holding hands. I mean, I would think it must be hard to see that. Is it hard?
JUNE SCHNYDER, THOMAS' WIFE: In a way, but not totally, because I understand his position. And if he can find someone to make him laugh or talk to, that's fine.
COOPER: More and more couples facing the cruelest challenge, promising their love in sickness and in health, but never imagining this. Next on 360.
COOPER: Tonight we're digging deeper into Alzheimer's, the most common cause of dementia. About 5 million older Americans have it, including the husband of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
She retired last year to care for him, and yesterday we got a surprising and moving glimpse into their life. John O'Connor, who lives in an assisted living facility, has actually found a new romance with a fellow patient, and his family is happy for him. It turns out this is more common than you might imagine.
Tonight CNN's Gary Tuchman investigates.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Thomas Schnyder and Josephine Scalzo (ph) are both in advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease. They live in an Alzheimer's group home in Las Vegas, and they like each other a lot.
(on camera): My name is Gary. You're Josephine. Hi, Josephine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
TUCHMAN: And you're Thomas. Hello, Thomas.
(voice-over): Eighty-year-old Josephine does most of the talking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, thank you.
TUCHMAN: We asked the owner of the group home about Thomas.
CHRIS TAM, LAS VEGAS ALZHEIMER'S & MEMORY CARE: He kissed everybody to say good-bye. And then, you know, he likes to be touched. He likes to joke with our people. But he cannot even speak, you know.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Josephine is behind you. That's his girlfriend, right?
TAM: Josephine, right here, yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But there's another woman in Thomas's life.
J. SCHNYDER: Hello, Thomas. Hi.
TUCHMAN: His bride of 54 years, the woman who takes care of him, is devoted to him and still loves him.
J. SCHNYDER: Keeping him calm?
TUCHMAN: Her name is June, and she regularly visits her husband, who no longer knows who she is.
(on camera): You see him with this other woman, and they're holding hands. I mean, I would think, you know, it must be hard to see that. Is it hard?
J. SCHNYDER: In a way, but not totally, because I understand his condition. And if he can find someone to make him laugh or talk to, that's fine.
SCOTT O'CONNOR, SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR'S SON: You're on TV.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This is the husband of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He, too, is an Alzheimer's patient who is romancing a fellow patient. One of the O'Connor sons has come forward to talk about his dad, who used to be very depressed.
O'CONNOR: Forty-eight hours after moving into that new cottage, he was a teenager in love. He was happy.
DR. GAIL SALTZ, WEILL-CORNELL SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Because Alzheimer's affects one's judgment and memory, finding someone else isn't the same as actually betraying or stepping out on your spouse, whom you know, who you remember and who you have made a commitment to.
TUCHMAN: Do you talk, Thomas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Oh, there you go. OK. Well, it's nice talking to you. Do you like living here?
THOMAS SCHNYDER, ALZHEIMER'S PATIENT: Yes.
TUCHMAN: And do you like being with Josephine?
T. SCHNYDER: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): June gets nostalgic.
(on camera): What was your wedding like?
J. SCHNYDER: Beautiful.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): She has not forgotten the words she uttered in 1953, to take her husband in sickness and in health.
(on camera): Here's what I think, that you're very generous, very unselfish. Isn't that what love is all about?
J. SCHNYDER: Oh, yes. Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The Schnyders have had a good life and raised two healthy children. But now, Thomas has two ladies in his life.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Las Vegas.
COOPER: Alzheimer's is such a devastating disease. It's also baffling even for those who study it. Chief medical correspondent and practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now.
I thought with Alzheimer's patients that they remember the past, but they don't remember the present. But clearly, that's not the case.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right, though, Anderson. In fact, Alzheimer's sort of hallmark is short-term memory loss. I mean, people start forgetting how to balance their check book or how to get home.
That's sort of the early symptoms, but what happens in the longer term is that you start to infiltrate into some of the long-term memory centers, as well. So clearly, in the situation Gary was talking about and with Sandra Day O'Connor's husband, it must be a later stage of Alzheimer's, certainly.
But they have this sort of quest for intimacy still. They may not have gotten their spouse altogether. They just don't remember that the person is their spouse. They have some familiarity, but the overall nature of the relationship just seems to be gone.
COOPER: So even with people who are suffering from dementia, they have a desire for intimacy? They have a desire -- I mean, they can have personal relationships?
GUPTA: Yes. And this is where it gets really fascinating. If you look at memory, for example, where it's stored in the brain. We know now, from a neuroscience perspective, that it's stored in very specific areas. In fact, you can see where short-term is versus long- term.
But intimacy, love, companionship seems to be stored in the more primitive area of the brain, called the amygdala. The name is not that important. But what we know is that even as this memory-robbing disease progresses, the amygdala seems to be spared. So there's this -- you know, this quest for intimacy, but you may forget who you had it with in the first place.
COOPER: Five million Americans have some form of Alzheimer's. Is this more common than we realize? This patient falling -- you know, forgetting their spouse and falling in love with someone else that they've just met?
GUPTA: It certainly seems to be. We've been looking into this a bit, you know, as this former Supreme Court justice has come forward. And it seems to be happening a lot more.
And the experts that we talk to say it will increase even more so. I mean, as you know, the demographics of our nation are such that people are going to have this type of dementia at greater rates than ever before. So it seems to happen -- it happens coupling up.
It also happens, interestingly, in other disease processes, as well. People who have chronic illness that sort of make the hospital or the rehab center or the home their new home, it is their existence.
COOPER: Their whole life has changed.
COOPER: It has got -- I mean, for families to accept it, though, it has got to be an incredibly difficult choice.
GUPTA: I thought it was so interesting to hear their son come forward and say the father was so depressed, almost suicidal, until he found this new love in the home, talking about the Supreme Court justice's husband.
And, yes, I think one other piece of advice that we heard from the experts was, you have to recognize that, in fact, it's not about the spouse anymore. It's about the fact that the person is depressed or even suicidal without this new love in their life.
But also, I think, from a neural perspective, dementia almost makes you start anew again, start your life anew. And while it's very difficult for the person who's not demented to accept, that's what has happened, is they have moved on in so many ways.
So you have to depersonalize the situation. It's not easy, and I've never gone through this.
COOPER: Especially after spending your lifetime with someone.
COOPER: It's terrible. Sanjay, thanks.
GUPTA: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, just about everyone knows or has known someone with Alzheimer's. Here's the raw data. It is believe that one out of eight Americans age 65 and over has the disease.
In 2004 it was the seventh-leading cause of death in America. And it's not just the elderly who are affected. One report says half a million Americans under 65 have some sort of dementia. If you want more information about Alzheimer's go to our blog, cnn.com/360.
Well, still ahead on the program tonight, a major earthquake crushes cars, damages homes and terrifies people. At least two dozen are dead. We'll have details in a moment.
Also tonight, something scarier than the prices at the gas station. Take a look at that. What is that? Is it a ghost? It is our "Shot of the Day."
COOPER: The "Shot of the Day" is coming up. A gas station mystery. Ooh-we-ooh. What is that thing? Huh? What do you think? You be the judge.
First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin.
HILL: Anderson, a massive cleanup effort is under way in northern Chile after a magnitude 7.7 quake hit earlier today. At least two people were killed, dozens more injured. And the danger isn't over. Several aftershocks have hit the region.
Here in the U.S., ties to Blackwater. After first denying a connection, the State Department's inspector general now admits his brother is an adviser to the security contractor. He's now recusing himself from any decision on Blackwater which is the subject of several investigations tied to his work in Iraq.
On Wall Street, stocks retreating. The Dow fell 76 points to close at 13,231. The Nasdaq sinking 29. The S&P dropped 10.
And, Anderson, I'm sorry it's not you, my friend. But as you can see, the cover of the latest People magazine, Matt Damon, the new "Sexiest Man Alive." There he is, the 37-year-old actor told the magazine the special honor gives "an aging suburban dad the ego boost of a lifetime." Damon also says his 9-year-old stepdaughter now thinks he's cool because before he was just a loser who did movies.
COOPER: Yes. Right, I'm sure. Time for the "Shot of the Day" now. I don't want to scare you or anything, Erica. I know you're easily frightened. But look at what's drawing a crowd at a gas station near Cleveland, Ohio. What is that blue glow, you may ask?
HILL: Lint on the camera lens?
COOPER: Well, some say it's a ghost. The image was caught on security cameras moving around for 30 minutes or so, and then all of a sudden, poof, it vanished and then returned. At one point it looked like it landed on a car window. What do you think?
HILL: How about that? I don't think it's a ghost. I've got to be honest.
COOPER: Yes, I don't think so.
HILL: I'm sorry to put a damper on some people's fun, but Halloween has passed. Come on.
COOPER: Yes. Yes. It is curious, though. But I think it is...
HILL: Indeed it is.
COOPER: I think it's a scam to get people into the...
HILL: I was just going to say that.
COOPER: Yes. I'm a cynic.
HILL: And it might work.
COOPER: It just might work. I thought for a moment I heard a baby crying. But I...
HILL: You might have. I don't know. I don't know where it would have come from because my kid is long asleep by now.
COOPER: As he should be.
COOPER: Erica, thanks.
If you want to send us the "Shot of the Day," you should probably do that anytime you want. You can just go to cnn.com/360 and let us know what you've seen.
Up next, Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker and his special mission to help those fighting an often deadly disease. Meet a hero that has inspired him and many others when 360 continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Some folks may think of movie stars as heroes. But as we continue our "CNN Heroes" sharing the spotlight series, we'd like to introduce you to the people who they think deserve the accolade. Tonight Oscar-winning actress Forest Whitaker tells us how one world- class neurosurgeon is helping underprivileged kids.
FOREST WHITAKER, ACTOR: Unfortunately, right now, tumors of the brain are the biggest cause of death in children, really, over leukemia. And I don't think people really understand that or know.
Hi, I'm Forest Whitaker, and my hero is Dr. Keith Black who is a neurosurgeon and researcher who has saved many lives in his work.
DR. KEITH BLACK, "MEDICAL MARVEL": There's nothing more frightening than a brain tumor that affects our ability to speak, to feel, to interact with the environment. We're dedicated to finding effective treatments for that.
WHITAKER: My grandmother had a brain tumor. They told us it was inoperable and that she wouldn't live out the year. And my mother and sister, they found Dr. Black, and he did conduct surgery, and she lived about nine years from that time.
BLACK: You get to help people. You get to try and have an impact on the lives of people facing very difficult problems.
What you see here is probably a metastatic tumor. This would be a good patient actually for the Gamma Knife.
One of the most important things, I think, that we can do is to reach back into the community and provide for the next generation who hopefully will do even better than we've done in making discoveries.
So we created a program called Brainworks. We bring about 200 students from low-income schools. They get to be a neurosurgeon for a day.
WHITAKER: They're able to play around with neurological toys, looking through microscopes, doing surgery on different things, and having discussions where their voice is being heard.
BLACK: Some of the students, they're now getting ready to apply to medical school. They want to go into neurology, science as a result of that exposure.
WHITAKER: It's that seed that I think he gives to people, that seed of hope when people come and sit in this chair, that seed those kids have when they hear that, yes, I can do that. He did that.
He has allowed them to embrace their futures and believe in their dreams. He's a hero.
COOPER: You can go to cnn.com/heroes to learn about what Dr. Black is doing to try to cure brain cancer. And while you are there, you can also vote for the "CNN Hero" who has most inspired you. The viewers' choice is going to be honored on December 6th in a ceremony hosted by yours truly.
Well, if you're watching us around the world right now, "CNN Today" is coming up next. Here in America, "LARRY KING" is coming up. I'll see you tomorrow night.
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