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Sister of Murder Victim Speaks Out; Drew Peterson's Lawyers Challenge "Beyond the Grave" Testimony; Another State Bans Texting While Driving; Charles Manson's Life in Prison

Aired August 7, 2009 - 22:00   ET



Tonight in cities across the nation, debate over health care reform is starting to resemble a barroom brawl. Check out pictures from a town hall meeting in Tampa yesterday. An overflow crowd turning angry and aggressive.

Tampa is not alone with a scene like this. Across the country lawmakers are met with shouting, shoving, in-your-face rudeness and not a whole heck of a lot of talking or debate.

So what is going on here? Who is showing up at these events? Is their anger real or a page out of a political playbook? Could it be both?

We're going to look beyond the finger pointing, cut through the noise. We want to let you see and hear for yourself what we're talking about.

Here's Gary Tuchman, Uncovering America.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is it democracy, demagoguery or both? Congressional Town Hall meetings during August recess used to be rather sleepy at best. Not anymore. There images of President Obama with a mustache like Hitler's or looking like the joker and also elected representatives hung in effigy. Democratic senators like Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter

ARLEN SPECTER: 'Medicare and Social Security'' '

TUCHMAN: As well as Claire McCaskill are hearing it from extremely unhappy Americans who don't like the idea of Health Care reform. People have been arrested. Others have suffered minor injuries with pushing and shoving. Democrats like Florida's Kathy Castor have barely been able to get a word in edgewise. At her meeting, reform opponents were seething because hundreds of them were stuck outside the Town Hall because they couldn't fit into the room. Protestors outside stayed (ph) outside the window. The congresswoman had to be hustled out. In Texas, congressman Lloyd Doggett tried to talk, he too was drowned out. One protestor decided to use his artisanry to pick out the congressman in a rather unsavory way.

REP LLOYD DOGGETT, R. TEXAS: The crowd was certainly angry. I suppose some might have a negative reaction to the poster that said 'Lloyd Doggett. Traitor to Texas. Devil to all people.' TUCHMAN: How did it come to this' Depends on who you ask. The Democratic National Committee says these confrontations are orchestrated by the Republican Party and the Democrats have released this web video'

NARRATOR: They've lost the confidence of the American people. Now desperate Republicans and their well funded allies are organizing angry mobs just like thy did during the election.

TUCHMAN: The word mob is greatly insulting to the folks on the other side of the argument. Many of these participants in these demonstrations say they are just merely exercising their rights. Anna Puig is a Pennsylvanian who attended a Town Hall meeting being hosted by Arlen Specter and hoped that he would service the secretary Kathryn Sebelius (ph).

ANA PUIG, THOMAS JEFFERSON CLUB: I feel like my right are being taken away from me in front of my eyes. I don't like the direction that we're going. They're taking away our freedom of speech and the silent majority is finally fed up with this.

TUCHMAN: But now liberal advocacy, has sent out an email to supporters saying they have a plan quote 'to fight back again these radical right wingers. The group is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. It's not only the weather that's hot in August. Now the political temperature is broiling too. Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.

HILL: Just a short time ago we learned that Senator Claire McCaskill used on of her events in Gary's piece and planned to hold a Town Hall meeting in Missouri on Tuesday. That now has been cancelled, the school district where it was to be held was worried about security. We want to dig deeper now with one of the people whos been working hard and spending millions to discredit president Obama's Health Care reform plans.

Rick Scott is chairman of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, he's also a former hospital chief executive, he helped build Columbia HC, the biggest Health Care company in the world. He was ousted by his own board in 1997 during a major Health Care fraud scandal. His former company pleaded guilty and paid 1.7 Billion dollars to settle charges including overbilling state and federal health program. Rick Schott joins us tonight.

Good to have you in the studio with us. You even mentioned when you came in here you said 'Oh have you seen this tape. They're yelling like crazy they're not getting much accomplished' and that seems to be the main question. The main question I have, I look at it and say it makes sense to come with your questions and to challenge your lawmakers because you're the constituent. What do you achieve when you stand up and you yell'

RICK SCOTT, CHMN CONSERVATIVES FOR PATIENTS' RIGHTS: Well what they ought to be doing is there ought to be a forum where you can ask questions. They ought to ask a question and hopefully get a response. People need to be civil about it, they out to be organized but they ought to have the town hall meeting.

HILL: But what we're being told by lawmakers, from people who are there is that 'Look we're trying to answer the questions but every time we try to answer a question, there's somebody who stands up ' there have been things like 'tyranny' yelled, things like 'no' yelled.' You I know you don't support the presidents plan for Health Care reform a lot of these people don't either so if you were giving them advice to help you rally them to your side, what's your advice on that'

SCOTT: Well what I tell people, whatever you believe, whether you believe in the UK or Canadian Health Care or you don't, show up, first off get educated, learn the bills and show up and ask your questions and let your congressman answer' and I mean not just go to town meetings, write them letters, call them but show up at these meetings and ask them questions but you have to do it in a civilized manner. The difference between these other things is this is really important to people. Health Care is the most important thing. So you have seniors. They're showing up because they're saying 'How can you cut 400 Billion dollars out of Medicare and not impact me'' How can you do it' And then you have small business owners that say 'How can I afford 8 percent of wages for a Health Act that I can't do, I'm struggling.'

HILL: Well there's also a lot of misinformation out there which is of course what these Town Hall meetings are supposed to help people with, to help them understand. Let's be honest here, there's not even an official bill at this point before congress. That's the beauty of these Town Hall meetings is that you can learn from your constituents what your concerns are. But then again I have to go back to this because I know you're helping to fuel this because you don't want to see the Health Care reform, parts of which the president's proposed you don't like but if this is what's coming out, how is that helping anybody's case, yours included'

SCOTT: Well we want Health Care reform. But what we want is Health Care reform that's good for patients. And there are bills. There's a House bill out and there's the Health committee bill out, so there are bills out. If you are starting to see what's happening - and the president said he would like to see a government insurance plan. There's a lot people that are very concerned about how that's going to impact their Health Care. And they're showing up saying 'Tell me how this is going to work.' That's my understanding. Our goal is '

HILL: Are they saying that though' I think people in these videos are showing up and saying things like 'This is turning into Socialized Medicare' You just said, sort of implying that any plan that's going to be out there is suddenly going to turn the U.S. Health Care system into one like the U.K. or one like Canada. And I think lawmakers have been pretty clear saying 'Look, we're not trying to do exactly what other countries are doing. We want to take your ideas and your concerns and figure out how that's going to work best for Americans.'

SCOTT: Well I don't think that's exactly true. We're already in the stimulus bill, we already have a thorough coordinating council that's very similar to what they started in the U.K. ' that now 10 to 11 years later puts a value on your life. That's scary to people. That's already passed. They're going to know your medical records. That's pretty scary to people.

HILL: So you agree that some things in this country need to change when it comes to Health Care'

SCOTT: Oh absolutely. First thing we did was say 'We have four pillars. One, choice. You want to have the right to choose your doctor and choose your insurance plan. Two, competition. You want to know what things cost and insurance companies are to sell across state lines so you have more competition.

HILL: We're running short on time but need to come back to these tactics ' but do you support the organization- getting people out there. So if you support that but ' I'm just confused.

SCOTT: Oh absolutely. I think people ought to show up. I think people should learn the bills, show up and ask questions. Now, you have to do it in a civilized manner so you have a '

HILL: So are you reaching out to them, to these groups like the 9/12 project in Tampa. We had a representative on from that earlier tonight on CNN and she said her problem is that she feels like she's not being heard. But yeah, she's admitted to going out there and they're yelling. SO do you reach out to people like that'

SCOTT: All we've done on our website, we just put up all the Town Halls. And what we've suggested to everybody is show up. But other than that we don't run a Grassroots organization that says you know 'Here's 50 people, show up at this '' we don't do that.

HILL: So you're saying you don't try to have people come to Town Hall Meetings'

SCOTT: No, what we do is to try and get people to show up, we don't have an organization at the Grassroots level that does that.

HILL: And just to be clear too, there has been a lot of talk that some of this is being incited by people who stand to benefit from people outside the Health Care industry who would benefit from Health Care reform being defeated at this point.

SCOTT: Well I don't know about that, it's not us.

HILL: So you wouldn't benefit from that at all'

SCOTT: No. The only investment I have in Health Care is a walk 'in doctor's office company. So we take care of insured and uninsured clients either way.

HILL: Thanks a lot appreciate it. Just ahead, we are going to talk more about this. We want to know if you have been to any Town Halls when it comes to Health Care' Let us know what you think, join the live chat going on now at and still to come on the program there is more on the backlash lawmakers are coming face to face with on the summer recess. The noise in this video is deafening. We're going to try and find a quiet zone here to sort out what's really going on with the help of David Gergen.

Also ahead, the close up of why texting behind the wheel is at least as dangerous while driving while drunk. And if you think you're the exception to this rule, that's even more reason for you to watch.


HILL: Today we're doing our best to cut through the shouting that's drowning out any real debate over Health Care reform. At Town Hall meetings across the country this week, anger over proposed reforms seemed to boil over, sometimes resulting in minor injury, even arrests. From Michigan to Missouri to Florida, lawmakers facing furious crowds. As to where all the anger is coming from, no surprise, both Democrats and Republicans both doing a lot of finger pointing, so we can't think of anyone more level-headed to help us sort through this tan our own senior political analyst David Gergen, our voice of reason David Gergen.

DAVID GERGEN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST CNN: I'm not so sure about that Erica but thank you.

HILL: I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

GERGEN: Since the early days of the republic, we've had protests in this country whether against higher taxes or war or discrimination, any number of injustices that people have felt. Our politics have been raucous, they've been boisterous, they've been full of fury but I must say, I think that this has become very offensive on what happening in these town halls. It's one thing to have people show up and ask questions ' ask hard questions ' and to hold up signs, that's their first amendment right, freedom of speech. But they're denying the right of others to exercise their freedom of speech. To hear the members of congress both ways, to ask the questions and again answer them. It seems to me that it's not what the White House is doing ' where is the Republican leadership on this question'

HILL: You mean they should be leading the opposition to this, not leading brawls break out in Town Hall meetings.

GERGEN: Absolutely and you recall that during the campaign ' hard hitting campaign- there were some times at McCain rallies, well more often in Palin rallies ' you remember there was a lot of anger being expressed there against the Democratic ticket and some really nasty things being said, like you know 'Kill him' Remember that' And eventually John McCain spoke out against it and it was the right thing to do and he helped to quell that. And it does seem to me now that it's up to the Republicans, to the Conservatives to say- and I thin Mr. Scott had the right point, this needs to be civil ' If they're going to help stir people up, that's fine but they now have to take responsibility for the peoples showing up and say 'We've got a hand in this, we want to do this in a civil way.' HILL: Is there something more to this than just I'm opposed to Health Care reform or I'm opposed to some of the ideas that I've heard or some of the ideas I think I understand, because this seems to be a large vocal opposition.

GERGEN: Yes there is and I think it has roots in the campaign, it has roots in a group of people who do feel aggrieved ' feel the country has gone off track or are unhappy with the election of Barack Obama. We saw it in those rallies, we saw it in those anti-tax tea parties earlier this year. We've seen it perhaps the strain of this in the birther question, which is really questioning the legitimacy of Barack Obama. I don't see these Health Care protesters as racists. Paul Krugman was, I think, trying to suggest that today in his column in the New York Times. Health Care does go deep with these people in the country and it's a very fundamental issue. This touches a raw nerve. But I do think there's a relationship back to some of the anger we've seen last year.

HILL: You mentioned earlier that Republicans need to do more to speak out. Peggy Noonan today in the Wall Street Journal actually called the Democratic response stunningly crude and aggressive. She's making specific references there to things said by Speaker Pelosi. But there is also some criticism when it comes to the Democrats. We called a number of lawmakers this afternoon and tonight and not one of them would agree to come on this show to talk to us about why they were cancelling Town Hall meetings, how they felt about these brawls, they wouldn't even discuss it. So do the democrats need to step up a little bit to on their side'

GERGEN: Absolutely and you know senator McCaskill did a few days ago but more than indeed step up. I don't know why people feel intimidated by this sort of stuff on either side whether Republicans or Democrats. This is very discouraging for people who want to see democracy work. George W. Bush and Barack Obama come to Washington and promise to make a change, make this our discourse, make things civil. And it just gets worse.

We saw last night in the 200 day report card, there's a tremendous polarization that's now taking place that equals that of what we saw under George W. Bush and there's anger rolling on both ends of the spectrum at the other end. And that makes governing very hard and the real question facing us as a people right now is are we a self governing people or not' Can we face the large challenges we have as a country and health care is clearly one of them. I think this is putting democracy to e real test and leaders on both sides need to step up and put an end to the disruptive brawling, physically violent sessions, senator McCaskilll had to even cancel one next week because of fear of violence.

HILL: It would be interesting to see what happens as the recess as the town halls continue or not, depending on whether or not they're cancelled. Just the beginning I have a feeling. David Gergen always a pleasure thank you.

GERGEN: Thank you Erika HILL: So lets put those brawls over Health Care reform aside for just a moment and let's try something here. Let's try some actual facts. Take a look at what is on the table at this point in the House and in the Senate. Who better than Ali Velshi to join us now with the Raw Politics. So a lot of the anger in these public town hall meetings is over public insurance plan. The word socialism gets thrown around there. We're compared to governments in Europe, Canada. Critics say it's essentially a government takeover of the Health Care system. Even the House Democrats who support the idea can't seem to agree to make it work so give us an idea, what are the real proposals here for public insurance and why is it so unpopular'

ALI VELSHI, CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well because it's unfamiliar and because it does have toned of socialism. That's not necessarily true and you're absolutely right about one thing. Democrats having trouble agreeing on what that is, Republicans are having an easier time agreeing that they don't want the public option but there's more than one thing when we talk of a public option. Let's take a look at what it is.

The first option is a publically funded insurance system that basically deals with ' and remember this there are up to 50 million Americans who are not properly insured right now. This wouldn't even take care of all of them but basically it would be a federally funded insurance program that would compete with privately funded insurance programs so I think this talk that it's going to take away insurance people have does not make sense. That's not on the table at all.

The other proposal that the Democrats have is a co-op type of insurance. A cooperative that is not necessarily funded by the government ' its funded by its members ' although it gets seed money from the government ' one of the problems is, we don't know how many people will participate in these programs so it's hard to do the actuarial science to figure out whether it would cost more or less so I'm fascinated by people who are yelling and not letting others speak on this thing this because there's so much information that we have to have. This is in very very broad strokes, the two public options. It would not be all of the program by the way, it would be part of Health Care reform, Erika.

HILL: Okay so that's one part of it, the other part of course is the cost alley, the congressional budget office saying that this is going to add a trillion dollars over 10 years to the national deficit. So how do you pay for something like this'

VELSHI: There are two problems when it comes to cost. The first is Health Care costs themselves. Put your insurance aside for a second. Health Care costs are escalating and we have to get those under control. The second one is the cost of insuring everyone. And this is a real reason to be concerned, this is a big deal. Congressional budget office estimates that about a trillion dollars. How do you pay for this' Well hopefully you try and reduce costs of Health Care. That's one thing.

Number two, a surtax, a tax on top of income tax for the highest 1.2 percent of earners in the country. So basically if you're in that top category, you just pay extra money. That's another way we can think about doing it. The next way is to tax some health insurance policies. In other words tax the health insurers. Critics say that would just pass the tax onto those people who are insured but that's another proposal that's in the works and finally providing incentives for employers ' and typically that means employers that bring in more than half a million dollars a year or have more than 25 employees ' incentives for them to provide insurance for their workers or penalties if you don't. Pay or play. If you don't insure your staff, you pay a penalty, basically a tax to the government.

Those are some of the things in the works. One thing I have to correct that Rick said a little earlier, he talked about insurance records and IT and how they're going to have all your information, that's a tax saving measure that was put into the stimulus to allow medical records to be electronically stored. That is something almost universally agreed upon that is going to save money. So I think that was a bit of a misrepresentation Erika.

HILL: Alright Ali, always appreciate you clearing it up, good to have you, thanks.

Just ahead on 360, a major new legal development in the Drew Peterson murder case. What his lawyers are doing to silence his late wife's so called 'words from the grave'

Plus is Charles Manson, having his grand ole time behind bars, 4o years after the killing spree that put him there, wait til you hear what a former prison employee has to say.


HILL: Still ahead, Charles Manson, 40 years after his notorious killing spree, a look at what his life is like behind bars and if he could soon be paroled. First though Gary Tuchman, joining us for the 360 news and bulletin. Hi Gary.

TUCHMAN: Hi ,Erica. A matriarch of the Kennedy clan is in critical but stable condition tonight. Family says 88 year old Eunice Kennedy Shriver is surrounded by loved ones at the Massachusetts hospital where she's being treated. The sister of president John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and senator Ted Kennedy is best known for starting the Special Olympics. She is also the mother of California's first lady, Maria Shriver.

A deadly day in Iraq, at least 42 people killed 154 wounded in five separate attacks. Today the Shi 'ite religious holiday and 4 out of the 5 attacks targeted Shi-ites.

A new job report out today with some encouraging news. Unemployment rate falling to 9.4 percent in July down for the first time since April 2008, that's 15 months. The White House calling it quote 'the least bad report that we've had in a year.'

And a lighter moment from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Africa trip, a gala dinner in Nairobi, Mrs. Clinton getting down on the dance floor. She looks like she was having fun there in Kenya. What a week it starts with Bill Clinton in Korea and ends with Hillary Clinton doing a jig.

HILL: I think they have a lot of catching up to do when they're both back in the same country, wouldn't you'

TUCHMAN: They absolutely would have a lot to talk about.

HILL: Gary thanks, still ahead texting while driving. You probably heard about the new study revealing how dangerous it really is, we talked about it here on 360 well tonight we're going to show you just how bad it can be. Also ahead, Drew Peterson's third wife feared he might kill her. Well now five years after she was found dead, could her testimony from beyond the grave help convict him' His legal team is planning a major offensive and we have the exclusive details tonight when 360 continues.


HILL: Tonight as Drew Peterson sits in a jail awaiting trial charges he murdered his third wife Kathleen Savio, we're learning his defense team has big plans on Monday, hoping to deliver a fatal blow to the prosecution's case. Kathleen Savio, as you may recall, was found dead in her bathtub in 2004. Originally ruled an accidental drowning, her death was later classified as a homicide after her body was exhumed late 2007 and additional autopsies were performed.

Savio allegedly believed Peterson wanted to kill her and reportedly made several comments stating that if anything happened to her, he was probably behind this. Before Peterson was arrested, the former Illinois cop really seemed to crave the attention, parading in front of the cameras, making jokes, clearly enjoying the spotlight.

PETERSON: What do you get when you cross the media with the pig' You get nothing because there are some things a pig won't do.

HILL: Peterson was also a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy claims he is innocent of his third wife's death. On Monday his attorneys will file a motion asking the court to throw out all the statements Kathleen Savio allegedly made implicating Peterson.

And in an exclusive to 360 Lisa Bloom has seen a draft of that brief, we're going to speak with her in just a moment to get more on the details but first we want to speak with Anna Doman, the sister of Kathleen Savio she joins us tonight with her attorney John Kelly (ph) good to have both of you with us.

HILL: I appreciate you taking the time out to talk to us about this become I'm sure it doesn't get easier no matter how much time passes and I know some of the evidence Drew Peterson and his attorneys would like to have thrown out and made inadmissible in court are things that you say your sister Kathleen said to you about Drew Peterson. What are those statement'

DOMAN: She told me that she would never live for the settlement, that Drew was going to kill her. She would never live and if anything did happen, he did it and to please take care of her children. HILL: And when she first told you those things, what did you first think, did you think, you know 'Oh Kathleen calm down, you're going through a divorce, obviously it's a tough time..'

DOMAN: Yeah, I know, you really don't believe someone would go as far as to kill them. I knew Drew was lethal, I mean I knew he had been physically abusing her and black eyes and all that but you never really believe someone would go so far for money. You know I tried to make her feel better but she was very insistent that I say ' she'd say 'Anna, say the words, tell me you will promise to take care of my children, make sure they're healthy, they get their education, they're happy, say it in those words.' She wanted to hear it. She was very obsessed and she knew when she said 'Please make sure you take care of them first. No matter what, make sure they get ' everything I have goes to them 50/50'

HILL: And she had actually made sure that her life-insurance policy, as I understand, did go to them?

DOMAN: She changed -- yes, she had a very large million-dollar life insurance policy. There was more than on, but the one big one that Drew had been beneficiary on. And she told me at the time that she believed he did not know she changed the beneficiary. She made the boys 50/50 beneficiaries on that policy, where for the longest time Drew had been the beneficiary.

But she changed it, and that's when she told me, "I changed the beneficiaries. I want to make sure the kids get everything."

HILL: I know you haven't been able to have much contact with your nephews, with her children. Take me back, though, to the statements, again, if you could. How -- how many times did she say these things to you and over what period of time?

DOMAN: All the time. Oh, all the time. Especially when the divorce -- toward the end. I mean, before the divorce -- or before the divorce, you know, the divorce was filed for and Drew had moved out. She was trying to save the marriage.

After the divorce had -- she kept telling me, she goes, "You know, Drew's lethal." She goes, "I'm terrified of him. He's told me on many occasions that he's going to kill me. He will never let me have the children." Over and over. Every time I saw her she would be terrified.

She used to call me up on her phone -- on her cell phone and go, "Anna, you're going to think I'm crazy, but somebody's following me."

I'm like, "Who is it?"

She goes, "I don't know."

I said, "Is it Drew?"

Like, "No, I don't know." And this -- all the time this is what happened. She'd be going to school or going to work or whatever. You know, and most people were thinking she was crazy.

I believed her, and I kept telling her, "Please move in with me."

HILL: It will be interesting to see what happens on Monday and how this goes once this brief is filed. Which I mentioned, we're going to learn a little more on it from Lisa Bloom.

John, a quick question for you. If for some reason this evidence is thrown out, if the criminal trial doesn't go the way that you and Anna would like it to, are you planning to try this case in civil court eventually?

KELLY: Well, sure. That's, you know, we're cued up. And if for some reason the prosecution is not successful, we anticipate they will be. It will be another case like Simpson, that we tried the wrongful death action.

HILL: Well, we will continue to follow it.

KELLY: It would be a whole different ball game.

HILL: As to whether or not the testimony would be admissible?

KELLY: Oh, no, the whole thing. I mean, you have a lower burden of proof. It would just be the preponderance of the evidence. Be you don't need an unanimous jury. And I think the most important thing in a civil case is, you know, I'd be able to depose Mr. Peterson, and he'd have to take the stand. He can't avoid testifying, and you'd have the opportunity to cross-examine him at trial.

HILL: A lot of things that will be coming up in the near future. We'll continue to follow it. Anna Doman and John Kelly, thanks for being with us tonight.

DOMAN: Thank you.

HILL: We do want to talk a little bit about this major new legal development in the Peterson murder case. Because we told you the defense team will file a brief on Monday, claiming any so-called "beyond the grave" statements Kathleen Savio made be ruled inadmissible. Things like what her sister Anna just told us she said to her.

CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom had an exclusive look at the preliminary draft of this motion. Lisa joins us now.

Lisa, what did you see in that document?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Erica, this is a detailed, thorough, powerful, one-two constitutional punch on the biggest issue in the case, and that is whether Kathleen's statements should come in. The arguments are No. 1, that this is an ex-post facto law.

Now, there was a law passed in 2008, just last year, that many called Drew's Law, changing the rules of evidence, allowing in what would normally be hearsay evidence from Kathleen Savio into the trial. The defense says this is an ex-post facto law, unconstitutional under the federal Constitution to target a particular case to change the rules of evidence in the middle of the game.

The second argument is, under the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, that Drew Peterson, like everybody else, has the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him. Allowing in this kind of statement from somebody, even if she's a murder victim and can't come in and testify, means he can't cross- examine her and, therefore, that would be unconstitutional.

I have to tell you, I think it is a strong motion on a gut level, on a moral level. I think most people would like to see this kind of evidence come in at trial. But the U.S. Constitution is pretty clear. And the case law to the Constitution is pretty clear.

Now, we haven't seen the prosecution's response yet. The prosecution hasn't even seen this brief yet. They may have some good arguments in response. But this is going to be the biggest legal battle in the case.

And Erica, if the defense wins on this motion, I understand that the prosecution will immediately take it up on appeal. Drew Peterson would then be out of jail during the time of that appeal. That would be a big win for him.

HILL: Well, if for some reason this is ruled inadmissible, how much of a case does the prosecution have if they continue forward with this?

BLOOM: In my opinion, this is the strongest evidence in the case. Kathleen's statements, "If anything happens to me, he did it." There's no DNA evidence linking Drew Peterson to this crime. There's no forensic evidence.

And on the weekend that Kathleen Savio died, Drew Peterson has alibi witnesses, family members who say he was with them. Now, we don't know what the prosecution's theory of the case is. But we do know that Kathleen Savio drowned. How did Drew Peterson get in the house? How did he do it? There's no sign of a struggle.

I mean, this is a tough case for the prosecution, in my view, even with these statements from Kathleen Savio.

HILL: Also -- although, Lisa, there was...

BLOOM: Without these statements it's a real hard case.

HILL: But in the autopsy, the private autopsy the family ordered from Michael Baden, he did say that some of the wounds did show signs of a struggle. Unfortunately, I have to leave it there. I'm being told we're out of time.

Lisa Bloom, always appreciate it. Thank you for sharing this with us tonight. Really good to have you here, especially before it's filed on Monday morning. You can join the live chat, happening now at

Up next, texting behind the wheel. Another state issuing a ban on it. But still, millions of people do it every day. Do they really understand, though, the danger? Tonight we're going to show you just how a split-second of texting can lead to tragedy.

And a bit later, Charles Manson in prison: from his voodoo dolls made in his cell to the dozens of infractions. We'll show you what life is like for this infamous murderer.


HILL: It's tough to find anyone who would defend drinking and driving. Yet, millions of Americans continue to engage in far riskier behavior on the road without a second thought. Perfect example? Texting.

A new study finds truck drivers who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to get in a crash. On Thursday, Illinois became the 17th state to ban texting while driving. It is also illegal in the District of Columbia.

And that's where Tom Foreman is for the "Keeping Them Honest" demonstration that will hopefully make you think twice about texting while driving -- Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erica. We had such a strong response to this demonstration of these findings out of Virginia Tech that we aired earlier with this news we wanted to show it to you again.

The tech researchers told me that the average person, for example, loading a CD into a car takes his or her eyes off of the road for a second and a half. So look at this.

We went out and got into an empty parking lot in Maryland. I got up to about 25 miles per hour. That cone. Took that time. And a second and a half later, looked up and stopped the car. And this is about where I stopped, hitting the brake as quickly as I could.

HILL: So -- which -- to a lot of people probably doesn't seem terribly bad. But when you bring a phone into the equation, it's a far different picture?

FOREMAN: Then it becomes very, very different. Because dialing a phone, the researchers say, takes your eyes away for about three seconds.

So, same test. Look at this. Same speed. I get up here. This is where we begin. I take about three seconds. I go right past the cone from earlier, and now look where I wind up stopping when I look up and stop. So it's a considerable distance further than it was.

Going to stop it for a second here. I'll just take it back so you can see precisely where I passed. This is where I wound up. And way back there is where I passed the earlier cone. So you can see it's about twice as far down the way when I'm trying to dial a phone number.

HILL: And that whole way, you're driving with your eyes off the road, essentially. But when you're talking about the act of dialing, it's not necessarily how long it takes you to make that whole call; it's just how long you take your eyes off the road one time, to look down.

FOREMAN: Yes, that's right. What they measured was how long you flick your eyes off the road. And it may not be one time. To get that done, to text a message, you may do it repeatedly. But this is the longest single period of time in which we might do it.

Which brings us to the question of texting, which they say can take a driver's eyes off the road for almost five seconds at a stretch. So watch this. This time -- this is my starting point -- I shoot past my earlier points while I'm texting here for 4.6 seconds. There is the first point. There's the second one. And finally I come to a stop way down here.

I want you to look at that again as we did before. Here's where I am. But look at how far I went, compared to the point where I had been dialing and particularly the point way back here. That's where I was putting in a CD. This is really a substantial distance to cover in that amount of time.

And remember, this is only 25 miles an hour. At highway speeds, the researchers say I could easily come more than the distance of a football field and then some, essentially driving blind -- Erica.

HILL: Not hard to see why it would be 23 times more likely to get into a crash while you're texting. Tom, thanks.

Up next on 360, the face of evil. Charles Manson may be older but just as controlling as ever. We'll tell you what he's been up to behind bars. You'll meet one woman who actually moved to be near his prison, just to be close to Manson.

And the death of a pitchman. Was it his heart that killed Billy Mays? Or could he have been playing with fire? New details tonight when 360 continues.


HILL: Charles Manson has spent the last 40 years inside a California prison. But as we approach the anniversary of the killing spree he led, it's clear Manson may be exactly where he wants to be.

A former prison employee says the mad man is actually having a great time behind bars. And as you'll hear, still taking pleasure in tormenting others. With tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report, here's Ted Rowlands.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1971 Charles Manson was sent to California's Death Row at San Quentin Prison.

CHARLES MANSON, CONVICTED MURDERER: Aren't we all born to die?

ROWLANDS: Manson was transferred out of San Quentin, and his sentence was reduced to life with possible parole, when California briefly abolished the death penalty.

(on camera) After bouncing around between several different facilities, Charles Manson ended up here at the Corcoran State Prison in central California. He's been here for 20 years. He's housed in a special unit. It's on the inside of the prison. You can't see it from here.

Basically, it's just on the other side of where you can see those prisoners exercising.

(voice-over) Over the years, Manson has been cited for more than 100 disciplinary actions in prison, Including threatening peace officers, possession of weapons, illegal business dealings, and failure to maintain grooming standards, all in the past decade.

PATRICK SEQUEIRA, L.A. COUNTY DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He's been an absolute, absolutely horrible prisoner in terms of disciplinary violations.

ROWLANDS: but he has made friends. Ed George is one of them. He's a former prison employee and co-authored the book about Manson called "Taming the Beast." George says Manson has a unique ability to get close to people who may be able to help him and get under the skin of others.

ED GEORGE, FORMER PRISON COUNSELOR: Well, the family used to send him socks, different colored socks. That was one of the items they could send him. He'd unravel them, get all different colors, and then make dolls out of them. Little voodoo dolls. And then he would -- then he would tell you when you'd go down the cell, the tier, and looking at him. He'd say, "This is you," and then he'd have a pin and he'd stick it in you.

ROWLANDS: According to prison officials, Manson receives lots of mail and over the years has had a steady stream of visitors. One of them is this 21-year-old woman named Star who says she first wrote to Manson at 16 living in Illinois.

STAR, MANSON VISITOR/FRIEND: I thought, this guy's right on. You know? He's -- he's truthful.

ROWLANDS: Star says she then moved to the prison to be close to Manson.

STAR: Charlie is wise, and he sees what's going on in the world.

ROWLANDS: Star claims she's drawn to Manson because of his views on the environment, which has been one of his reoccurring themes over the past 40 years.

MANSON: This music about ecology, the air, ATWA.

STAR: Charlie is all about ATWA, which is air, trees, water, animals.

ROWLANDS: Manson's day-to-day life, according to Ed George and others, consists of playing guitar, reading, writing letters, and spending time on the phone. His next parole hearing is set for 2012.

According to George, Charles Manson has said he'd be perfectly happy to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Most people believe he probably will.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Corcoran, California.


HILL: Digging deeper, now. Steve Kay was one of the prosecutors who tried the Manson killers and believes all of them should never be released from prison. Steve Kay joins us now.

Good to have you with us tonight. When -- when you hear the accounts...


HILL: Absolutely. When you hear the accounts of what Charles Manson's life is in prison these days -- writing letters, all of his fan mail, playing his guitar -- what do you think about that? Are you surprised at all?

KAY: Not at all. Prison has been his life. The last time he was in prison before the Tate-La Bianca murders, he was in Terminal Island Federal Prison here in Los Angeles. And when it came time to parole him, he told the authorities that he did not want to leave prison. He wanted to spend the rest of his life in prison. And they literally had to take him to the front of the prison and boot him out.

He has spent basically all of his life, since he was 8 years old, either in reform schools, boys' camps, county, state or federal prisons.

And he is not having a bad time at all in prison. He gets on the average of four fan letters a day. And people will write letters, and they'll get a response, and they'll think, "Oh, this is great. I've got a response from Charles Manson. This is going to be worth something." Well, Manson is such a con that he passes the letters out to other prisoners and has them act as his correspondent secretary and answers the letter. And he doesn't care what they write.

HILL: Interesting. We just heard in that piece from Ted Rowlands the L.A. County D.A. called Manson an absolutely horrible prisoner.

When it comes to some of the other Manson Family members, though, I know you said that they're -- they're model prisoners. Yet, you don't ever want to see any of them released. Why is that?

KAYE: This is a very unusual case, and you can't apply regular standards in other murder cases to this. These people wanted to start a race war. And they killed seven innocent people they didn't even now, they had nothing against. And they wanted to blame the murders on blacks.

Manson wasn't along on the first night of murders, but we did go along on the La Bianca murders. And he stole Rosemary La Bianca's wallet, and he had it placed in a gas station in what he thought was a black area, because he wanted a black person to find her wallet and to use her credit cards and get blamed for the murders.

So these people are fine in prison. I commend them for doing well. They can help other prisoners. But you can't predict what they're going to do on the outside. These are people -- they're not hippies. They hated hippies. And when they joined the Family, a lot of hippies heard Manson, what he was saying, and they got away from him as fast as possible, because what he was saying was Adolf Hitler was his hero for what he did to Jews in World War II.

And Manson was a racist, would not allow minorities in the Family, and would tell different people who could get together and have babies. And these killers, something resonated within them, and they stayed.

And some of them were pretty bright. Leslie Van Houten has 121 I.Q., puts her in the top 5 percent of people in the U.S. She admitted under my cross-examination that it took her two days to decide whether or not she could commit murder. And she made that decision before Manson or anyone else asked her.

HILL: Well, I know you've -- over the years you've -- you have gone to a number of the parole hearings across California to argue against parole for many of the Manson Family members.

You definitely have a unique insight into this case. And we appreciate you taking the time to speak to us tonight. Steve Kay, thanks.

KAYE: Thank you very much.

HILL: From Manson to the moonwalk, 1969 was full of historic and horrific moments. You can read about all of them, the bad and of course many of the good, at

Just ahead, we have a 360 follow-up for you. What killed TV pitchman Billy Mays? Some shocking details just revealed.

Plus, an incredible sight you really have to see. But is it too good to be true? We'll investigate. It's our "Shot of the Day."


HILL: Let's get you caught up now on some of the day's other stories. Gary Tuchman joining us again with a "360 Bulletin" tonight -- Gary.

TUCHMAN: Erica, a 360 follow. Florida officials say TV pitchman Billy Mays had cocaine in his system when he died. The medical examiner revealing today that the drug contributed to the heart disease that killed Mays in June. But his family is calling the finding speculative and is considering getting an independent review of the toxicology results. The gunman who killed three women in a shooting spree at a Pittsburgh- area gym this week got some of his gun equipment from an online weapons dealer. The dealer also provided merchandise to the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University shooters. The company based in Wisconsin runs dozens of Web sites selling firearms.

Moving out. South Carolina Governor mark Stanford has the official residence to himself. His wife and four sons packing up and leaving today and will live in the family home on Sullivan's Island, which is near Charleston. In June, Stanford admitted to an affair with an Argentinean journalist.

And Trekkies unite. Thousands have gathered for the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. Fans of the TV and movie franchise will not be disappointed. Stars Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner will be there.

HILL: All the -- I wonder if William Shatner will be reciting any of his poetry.

TUCHMAN: That's a good question. And I wonder how often we will see the "Star Trek" salute. Can you do that, Erica?

HILL: I can.

TUCHMAN: I cannot do -- I have to hold my fingers to do it.

HILL: I can do it with two hands, Gary Tuchman.

TUCHMAN: That's really -- it's like a genetic thing, and I just have never been able to do it. I don't know.

HILL: I'll get you some Superglue, though. Don't worry.

TUCHMAN: Thanks.

HILL: Next, "The Shot of the Day" that's got us all talking. A daredevil's jump. We'll show you how it ends.

And a little later, a physical face-off over health care. We're taking you to the front lines of the battle.


HILL: For tonight's "Shot," a Friday twofer. Two incredible clips from none other than the World Wide Web. They look real, but because we found them on the Internet, are they? We're going to let you be the judge.

First up, the daredevil and the water slide. That is one heck of a Slip 'N' Slide. This shows what appears to be a stuntman sliding down a slippery and massive ramp. Wow. Flying a few hundred feet into a shallow pool of water.

TUCHMAN: That's not real. That's not real.

HILL: Come on, Gary Tuchman. That was the focus of your "What I Did on my Summer Vacation" essay, wasn't it? It was a video essay?

TUCHMAN: Well, I tried that myself, and I missed the pool. I thought it was impossible.

HILL: Not so sure that's real.

TUCHMAN: It's Evel Knievel.

HILL: That guy would die, I think.

A lot of folks say it's actually computer generated. Again, we'll let you be the judge.

Here's the next one. Two girls walking through a river. Right? Here it comes. La, la, la, la, la. There they go. And then one of the girls bends down, not because she lost her tube. Can we see what she pulls up? Yes, I just found a large fish, and I'm going to carry him like my teddy bear.

What do you think, Gary? Real?

TUCHMAN: What I'm wondering is why is she picking up fish in the water, whether it's real or not.

HILL: I mean, the fish is there. Come on. You're going to pick up the fish.

TUCHMAN: And it helps...

HILL: That fish would have flipped out.

TUCHMAN: Helps to have the pole and the bait, I guess.

HILL: The kids are cute. So there you go.

TUCHMAN: So what's your take, Erica?

HILL: I think they're both fake, but they're cute. All right. We can think about it over the weekend.

Just ahead at the top of the hour, shouting, shoving, handcuffs and more. The debate over health-care reform turning even uglier this week. Battle was supposed to be used as a metaphor, right? So how did it turn into an actual brawl? We're digging deeper for you, just ahead.