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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Celebrating Ted Kennedy's Life; Kidnapped Girl Finally Found
Aired August 28, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have been watching, along with you, a celebration of the life of Senator Ted Kennedy, more laughter than tears, more sorrows than joy.
John King is there at the John F. Kennedy Library. David Gergen is here with us as well.
David, I think I said that wrong. Really more joy than sorrow. We heard a lot of -- a lot of laughter in -- in these several hours.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It was. It was. Well, they called it a celebration of life. And it did have this sort of Irish wake quality. It went on and on and on, of course. And you had to be patient.
But it was a wonderful walk down memory lane. And I did think a lot of the -- the humor brought a different sense of someone -- you know, most Americans just saw Teddy Kennedy from afar. I think this very much humanized him and gave you a sense of what he was like and how much he cared for people.
COOPER: John King, you have been covering now this for several days. What is it like being there? What have you seen there today?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, tonight, if this is the final chapter or the last few pages of the chapter, before tomorrow finishes it off, Anderson, it was a reminder of how complex his life was, and how many different role he played.
Yes, he was the Boston pol who did all the things the mayor wanted and the governor wanted and the people of his state wanted. He was a national politician. John Kerry went through so many of his legislative achievements, as did both Democrats and Republicans who served with him in the United States Senate on the big national stage.
And when you heard from Joe Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, the children of his two brothers killed by assassins, it was a reminder that he was a father not only to his three children, but to their children as well. And that was his complicated life.
I think the most interesting part is how often the words "respect" and "trust" and "friend" were used, even by people who disagreed with him on all of the issues, a remarkable night, a long night of speeches in happiness and laughter and song. And that was his life: speeches, happiness, laughter, and song.
COOPER: And his life -- I mean, there was great change, David, throughout his life.
GERGEN: There was, indeed.
He was a -- as a little boy, he was the chubby figure. They never much expected of him. As one of his sisters nicknamed him, it was biscuits and muffins.
GERGEN: And -- and, you know, he was not a very good student. He flunked out of Harvard. And -- and his father always expected his older brothers, especially his oldest brother, to be the star of the family.
But, when he lost all three of the brothers, and he took on responsibility for this family, as Caroline Kennedy said so effectively tonight, for some 28 nieces and nephews, and he really became the patriarch, I think his life began to change, and he began to grow, became a more serious person.
He still had a lot of personal failings. But what was most interesting was how he grew out of that. It was a story of redemption, because he knew his failings and wanted to overcome them by becoming a better person. And that's what happened in his life.
And that's why I think we celebrate -- we don't -- we don't -- we have almost drawn a curtain over some of the early things in his life in order to celebrate what a truly remarkable and wonderful human being he became over time.
COOPER: And, John King, throughout these last several days, but really especially tonight at the service, we saw his wife, Vicki, so much front and center, she -- as she was in his life. I mean, she really changed his -- turned his life around.
KING: Without a doubt. Everyone you speak to, again, whether it's his colleagues in the Senate, whether it is the other Kennedy children, whether it is his own children, people here in Massachusetts, they talk about how transformational a figure she was in the life of a senator who, as David said, had his many personal failings and his character flaws.
And his own family talks openly about them. And they talk about how much she changed him, how much she brought the laughter and the song back into his life, and how much she just brought more vigor to his life that showed up everywhere, showed up in how he was an uncle and a father, showed up in how he carried out his work of the Senate.
And you saw that. You saw the vigor of Teddy Kennedy, until the past 16 months or so, when cancer put him on the sidelines, but, in the 2008 campaign, when he was out campaigning for Senator Obama, in some of the more feisty debates in the Senate right before he was stricken by illness.
The Ted Kennedy of the last 10 or 12 years was a much more energetic and passionate senator after a middle chapter in his life where there was -- there was, frankly, a lot of darkness and, some people found, a bit of a disconnect.
But everyone involved in his life, Anderson, says she was transformational.
GERGEN: And she was.
I think, Anderson, also, everyone has noticed how dignified and how much grace she has had during these last few days. There had been reported some tensions within the family between Joe Kennedy, as the second -- the nephew who spoke tonight, and her, that she had sort of become this latecomer into the family.
And, tonight, there was a reconciliation. He spoke very warmly about her, as did others. And I think there was a -- a real sense of appreciation and gratitude toward Vicki for what she did bring to his life, and -- and that he had found this -- he had given -- he spent so much of his time helping and caring for others, that she brought inner peace to him, too.
COOPER: Well, David will be us with tomorrow morning. And so will John King as well.
Stay with us on CNN tomorrow for special reporting on Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral and burial. Join me, Wolf Blitzer, John King, David Gergen, the rest of the CNN team tomorrow.
The funeral begins at 10:00 Eastern. Our coverage begins at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow, continues all throughout the day, into the evening.
Coming up next, though, the missed opportunity to rescue a girl held captive for 18 years and the two police staffers who did the right thing and saved the day.
We will be right back.
COOPER: We will have more on the memorial service Teddy -- for Senator Teddy Kennedy coming up tonight, and, in the next hour, a special look back at the life of Senator Kennedy.
But we have breaking news right now to report in the stunning story of Jaycee Dugard, found after 18 years in captivity, a striking admission by California authorities that they blew a chance three years ago to rescue her and her two children.
Jaycee Dugard's 18-year nightmare of confinement and abuse might have ended back in 2006, were it not for a terrible mistake. That is when a local sheriff's deputy was sent to the home of Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender. He was there to investigate a report of people, including young children, living in this guy's backyard visited.
The deputy visited the home, but did not visit the backyard. And that, of course, we know now, is where they were kept. Just before we began tonight, CNN obtained these first pictures of that yard up close, Jaycee's home, according to police, for the last 18 years, the only home her children have ever known.
We're told they never went to see a doctor, they never went to school. You're looking at one of the tents, stuffed animals, toiletries, the tent, several other sheds, including a soundproof cell of some sort, an outdoor shower. That was home for 18 years.
Fortunately, Jaycee is finally safe tonight, along with her two young children. And, shortly, you will meet the two young women from the U.C. Berkeley Police Department who helped crack the case.
The couple accused of holding Jaycee are in jail. Phillip and Nancy Garrido were arraigned today, pleading not guilty to 29 felony counts, including abduction, false imprisonment and rape. There may be more -- the Associated Press and others reporting tonight that authorities are combing the Garridos home to see if there's evidence, not just of those crimes, but also a string of prostitute killings in the '90s.
Dan Simon has all the breaking news.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're in custody without the chance for bail. But in what can only be described as an admission of failure, a local sheriff says they should have been caught sooner.
WARREN E. RUPF, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, SHERIFF: On November the 30th, 2006, we missed an opportunity to bring earlier closure to this situation.
SIMON: Sheriff Warren Rupf says a 911 call led his deputies to Garridos' house. A neighbor had tipped them off that children had been living in backyard tents, and things just didn't appear right.
Damon Robinson says he and his girlfriends are the ones who tried to sound the alarm. He says he thought the Garridos were just odd.
DAMON ROBINSON, NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR OF PHILLIP AND NANCY GARRIDO: See, she looked me right in my face and ignored me and -- and -- and just ducked off.
SIMON: The wife would never speak to him, and the little girls never played with the other kids on the street. Robinson's girlfriend grew alarmed when she peered over their fence.
(on camera): When she looked over the fence, what did she see in the yard?
ROBINSON: Their tents and people living back there.
SIMON (voice-over): But the home and yard were never searched. The sheriff called it a missed opportunity, an organizational failure. RUPF: This is not an acceptable outcome. Organizationally, we should have been more inquisitive, more curious, and turned over a rock or two.
SIMON: Garrido is a registered sex offender, a system designed to keep tabs on some of the worst of society. But along with the sheriff's department, Garrido's parole officer never discovered either what was allegedly happening in the backyard.
Tim Allen knew Garrido for 10 years.
TIMOTHY ALLEN, KNEW PHILLIP GARRIDO FOR 10 YEARS: I just had no inkling that there was evil behind this guy.
SIMON: Allen has a window and glass business. He say Garrido made his business cards and stationery, and did a good job. And though Allen says he saw no signs of criminal behavior, Garrido said and did some bizarre things.
(on camera): He told you he was starting a new religion, and had some revelation from God?
ALLEN: Mm-hmm, yes. And then he also had a -- a box. And, when he first brought it in, he said, this box, you can hear voices from the other side.
SIMON (voice-over): Allen describes it as a shoe box with headphones attached.
ALLEN: I didn't hear anything.
And then he kind of started mouthing. He started very quietly mouthing things. I was looking at the box at first. But, then, when I looked at him, he was mouthing words. And he -- and he said, "Can you hear it?"
And I said, "No."
And, so, he would mouth the words a little louder. And he said, "Did you hear it?"
I said, "Well, I can hear you."
And he said: "That's it. That's great. You know, you're hearing it. You're -- you're -- you're -- you can -- it works."
SIMON: Phillip Garrido and his wife pleading not guilty 33 months after law enforcement came so close.
COOPER: Dan, this is just an unbelievable story. Police were back at the house today. What were they looking for?
SIMON: Well, Anderson, I can tell you that the Pittsburg Police Department, Pittsburg being a local town in this area, the police are actually still here at the house.
They're executing a search warrant looking to see if they can tie Phillip Garrido to some other crimes that occurred in this area, including a series of high-profile murders that happened in the area in the 1990s. No word if they took any evidence, and see -- we're trying to see if there was some sort of specific link that may have led them here as well -- Anderson.
COOPER: You talked to Garrido's father as well today. What did he have to say?
SIMON: Well, we should point out -- his name is Manuel Garrido -- and -- and he says he hasn't spoken to his son in some 20 years. He says he has never been to the house, didn't even know that he was married or had children.
But he said that, basically, Phillip Garrido's troubles began when he was -- when he was high school. He says that he experimented with some drugs, got -- got hooked on LSD. He called his son a very deranged person who is -- quote -- "out of his mind" -- obviously, very saddened by what has happened -- Anderson.
COOPER: And, then, just to reiterated, I mean, there were multiple opportunities for people to discover this along the way, I mean, not just the deputy who went to that house that one time, because the neighbor said there are kids in the backyard, and knew that this guy was a registered sex offender.
That deputy didn't realize that he was a sex offender. He didn't have that information. And this guy had an ankle bracelet around him -- his ankle. He had to go to parole meetings all the time. It's just remarkable that -- that this went on for 18 years.
SIMON: Yes, had to have a GPS monitor, had a parole officer who met with him regularly.
Because of where this backyard is situated -- at least that's the way authorities are characterizing it, that nobody really saw it. But -- but here you have this neighbor some three years ago calling the cops, saying, you have to come over here; there are some children living in this backyard.
And now an admission by authorities that they came, actually talked to the Garridos, but never -- never went to the backyard and never even went inside the house to have a really thorough conversation with these people -- Anderson.
COOPER: Dan, appreciate the reporting today.
Two police officials are heroes in this story, Jaycee's captivity at long last ended because U.C. Berkeley police officer Allison Jacobs and police official Lisa Campbell saw something and did something about it.
On Tuesday, during an appointment Phillip Garrido had requested about setting up an event on campus, the two officers felt that something wasn't right. And they acted on that intuition.
Joining us now to tell the rest of the story are the two heroes, Allison Jacobs and Lisa Campbell.
I know you don't consider yourselves heroes, but I'm just going to go ahead and call you that, because I certainly do.
Lisa, describe your first interaction with Phillip Garrido. What was he like? He clearly seemed suspicious to you.
LISA CAMPBELL, U.C. BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Phillip was suspicious, but he -- he appeared to be passionate about his mission and his project.
He came to my office in an attempt to schedule an event, or at least draw attention for his event dealing with his program. And when he was -- when he first came into my office, he had the girls with him. And his behavior was very unstable. But it wasn't so much Phillip, considering the environment we're working in, that drew my attention. It was just the girls that were with him.
COOPER: What about the girls caught your attention?
CAMPBELL: Well, as he was clearly animated, he was very passionate, he was full of life about the things he wanted to talk about, the girls sort of were recessed in the background. And they were young. It was 1:00 in the afternoon. They weren't in school.
They were pretty much unresponsive emotionally, extremely pale, just didn't appear to be vibrant, or, you know, they -- they just didn't blend in with him. There was just something there about the girls that wasn't right.
MATTHEWS: And, Ally, I know Lisa alerted you to her concerns. You were wise enough and had gut intuition enough to do a background check.
When you find out that this guy had, you know, been -- been in jail, was on parole for -- for rape, what -- it must have been just sort of a shudder that ran through you.
ALLISON JACOBS, U.C. BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, not only that he was on parole for rape, that he was a sex registrant, and that there was -- Lisa reported to me that there was two young girls with him. Yes, I didn't want this guy in a room alone with Lisa. So I asked her, you know, what do you want me to do? And she asked me to sit in on the meeting with them, so that I could be kind of an observer.
COOPER: And, in the meeting, it's where the intuition on both of your parts really came into play. We're going to talk about that in a moment.
We have got to take a short break.
Ally Jacobs, Lisa Campbell, stay with us. We have a lot more ahead, more with these two heroes next.
You can join the conversation at AC360.com. The live chat is under way.
And, later, we have more breaking news. It's official, this homicide in the Michael Jackson death investigation, the coroner giving the details of what killed Jackson. Randi Kaye has more on that, new information that could make more than just one of Jackson's doctor nervous.
Plus, those who knew him remember Ted Kennedy in words and music -- a look back at his remarkable life and a remarkable evening.
We will be right back.
COOPER: So, we're back on our breaking news, digging deeper with two real heroes, keen observers whose eyes and instincts led to freedom for Jaycee Dugard and her two kids, jail and 29 felony charges against Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
We're with Berkeley police officer Allison Jacobs and the department's special events manager, Lisa Campbell.
Thanks again for sticking with us.
So, you have this meeting scheduled for Tuesday. He comes back. He brings the two -- two little girls. Lisa, you were desperately hoping that he would bring those two girls to this meeting, that he -- and that he would, in fact, come back, right?
I was confident that he was coming back. The way I sort of staged the meeting was, I wanted to make sure it was interest -- it was of interest to him. He was very adamant about meeting with us and having his event at U.C. Berkeley. It was just -- I had other -- another commitment to go to, so I asked him if it would be OK if he came back tomorrow.
And he was extremely excited: "Absolutely. I would love to sit down. You're going to really love this. It's going to change the world."
COOPER: And, Ally -- Ally, in the meeting, you start quickly zeroing in on -- on the two little girls. And you start asking them questions. What kind of questions were you asking them?
JACOBS: I was asking them how old they were, what grade they were in. One of the younger girls had a bump on her eye. And, you know, going into cop mode, trying to figure out if there was any kind of abuse going on, I asked her about the bump on her eye. And she said it was a birth defect. So, she kind of quelled that suspicion right away -- just -- just trying to engage them in whatever conversation.
COOPER: And they told you they were homeschooled, right?
JACOBS: Yes. They both -- they both said that they were homeschooled. And when I asked about that, they said that the mom and the dad homeschooled them. And then they mentioned an older sister.
COOPER: And, at one point, I think you -- you commented on -- on how one of the little girls was looking at -- at -- at this guy.
JACOBS: Well, the -- the youngest girl was across from me. And she was very intently staring at me and smiling in a very eerie way.
The older daughter was looking at Mr. Garrido, and not looking at us, not making eye contact with us. And her eyes were darting around at the ceiling and would give really quick, clipped one-word answers and would glance at us and back up at him.
COOPER: And Lisa, it's got to be frustrating, because clearly you know something is not right, but you don't really have enough to, you know, detain this guy, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. Monday when he first came in, I knew something wasn't right. And once we got the preliminary information on his background, we were just praying that our worst suspicions weren't confirmed.
COOPER: And Allie (ph), so they finally -- they leave the meeting, is it -- was it a gut intuition or a mother's intuition? I mean, was it a police intuition or a mom's intuition?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a little bit of both. My police intuition was kicking in, but I would say it's more of a mother's intuition. I was worried for these little girls. I knew something wasn't right. I could kind of see it in their eyes, although I didn't really know what it was. And just being a protective mom that I am, my -- my reaction was to try and do what I could do to help them.
COOPER: And, you know what? Again, what's so great about what you did, what both of you did is that, you know, a lot of people would have left with that and said, "Oh, that was weird. A weird guy," kind of written it off. You took the next step. You didn't have to do this. You took the next step. You called up the parole officer for this guy, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.
COOPER: And he was stunned that -- that he had two kids. I mean, he didn't even know that there were children in this guy's life, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he mentioned that he came in, and he was being very animated and so forth and that he brought his two daughters in. And he stopped me dead in my tracks. And he said, "He doesn't have daughters." And that's when my heart kind of sunk down into my stomach.
And I said, "Well, he introduced them as his daughters. They had his blue eyes. They were calling him 'Dad.' They even mentioned an older sister at home. So I had no reason to believe that they were anything but his daughters."
COOPER: And -- and was it later that day that you heard on the news that this had happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The parole agent call me on my way home from work. And he was all excited. And it was a very quick two- minute phone call while I was driving home. And he said that this -- he was involved with a kidnapping case and because -- because I called it in, it helped solve this FBI case that was 18 years old. And that was pretty much the gist of it. I didn't know any more until the next day at around, like, 1 or 2 p.m. in the afternoon, actually, about the severity of the case.
COOPER: Well, you guys have a tough job. I'm sure there are a lot of days that aren't very good. I hope this was a great day for you both.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we're never going to forget this day. And I'm glad that Jaycee is safe and working on her road to recovery.
COOPER: You changed a lot of people's lives, and I appreciate you being on the program tonight. Allie Jacobs and Lisa Campbell, thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Anderson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Two women heroes and how they helped Jaycee's ordeal come to an end.
Up next, how this happens at all. What possesses sex offenders to do what they do. How did they go -- how did this guy go undetected for so long? And what happens next for a 29-year-old freed captive and her two children? How do they even begin the rest of their lives?
Later, the Michael Jackson breaking news. How the corner now said officially he died and who's now in the legal crosshairs.
COOPER: Eighteen years ago, Jaycee Dugard was abducted. She was just 11 years old. Eighteen years later, two kids and ordeals that are hard even to imagine later, 29-year-old Jaycee is now home, reunited yesterday with her mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CARL PROBYN, JAYCEE DUGARD'S STEPFATHER: Jaycee told her that she has babies. And my wife asked her, "Babies? How many babies?"
And Jaycee said two babies. And it was a real shock. I didn't know the babies were 15 and 11. I was expecting when I saw the news release that -- nobody told me that they were 15 and 11. So it was kind of a shocker. The youngest child is the -- the youngest child is the same age as Jaycee when she was taken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Shocker to say the least. This is a woman who has lived nearly 2/3 of her entire life in captivity and two children who have known nothing else. How do they come to grips with all of what's happened? Who does this to a child, and what on earth went so wrong the sex offender could hold someone captive for so long in his back yard with nobody in law enforcement apparently the wiser?
Let's dig deeper now with CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin; retired law enforcement agent Lou Palumbo; and Brian Russell, forensic scientist [SIC] and attorney.
Brian, Jaycee was reunited with her mom yesterday. Would you expect they'd be able to renew the -- I mean, how do you go about trying to readjust to a life?
BRIAN RUSSELL, ATTORNEY/FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, there's no manual for this, Anderson. It's unprecedented.
But I think what Ed Smart said last night, I like that. And basically, what he said is, "We have to take it one day at a time and begin by giving this woman and her children the assurance and constant reassurance that they are now safe, that they never will have anything to fear from this couple again, and that they are loved unconditionally. And they have nothing that they have to feel guilty about having done or not done during the years that this ordeal went on.
And there are lots of emotions going to be involved. It's going to be a storm of emotions, Anderson. And it isn't just for the people involved and their loved ones. It's even for our viewers. You've got the anger at this guy for what he did to her. You've got the anger at the system for not keeping him locked up and for not finding it sooner. You've got the horror at what happened to this woman and her children, you know, the compassion and sympathy that we all have.
So that same kind of storm of emotions is what she's going to have to work through in the years -- months and years ahead. But I believe it's possible. I believe she can weather it with a lot of help and support, professionally and personally.
COOPER: You mentioned Elizabeth and Ed Smart. They were on the program last night. I talked to them. I just want to play a little bit of what Elizabeth Smart said about what she went through and her advice for Jaycee and everyone else. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH SMART, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I thought life was just going to resume and back to what it had been before. So I was just very, very happy. And then, of course, like I wondered what was going to happen, what my captors were going to be -- where they were going to be kept, what was going to happen to them. I mean, there was certainly some questions I had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Lou, I mean, clearly someone -- a lot of authorities made mistakes along the way in this case.
LOU PALUMBO, DIRECTOR, ELITE GROUP LTD.: Yes, I would say that conservatively. Especially the police officer that responded approximately three years ago and was obviously remiss in thoroughly checking the backyard, No. 1, and No. 2, exercising his prerogative to check and search the house.
COOPER: Anybody can -- this guy's on federal parole. His house can be searched at any time.
PALUMBO: At any time. Quite frankly, even the young ladies at the University of California, Berkeley, could have detained him. As a parolee, I believe you surrender quite a bit of your rights. I think Mr. Toobin could probably speak to this. But they could have probably brought this to a conclusion a little earlier than they did.
COOPER: And even the fact that, when this little girl was taken, he had just been recently released from prison. You would think authorities would kind of check what new sex offenders have just been released.
PALUMBO: Yes. They should have gone to the correctional facilities, like the federal prisons, to find out exactly who was released for sex offenses. But apparently, none of this was done.
And normally, what you would do is just create a grid in proximity from the point of abduction and start to systematically go through each of the sex offenders and conduct a very thorough and comprehensive investigation.
COOPER: And the car that was identified as the vehicle in which she was kidnapped was sitting -- was parked in their front yard to this day.
PALUMBO: Again, you know, Anderson, there's a little more discussion to this than just how remiss they may have been. You know, part of the problem is, depending on the amount of cases that a law enforcement handles of this nature and the amount of support they request from an outside agency like the FBI, who I believe was involved 18 years ago, influences the outcome.
You know, they may not have a lot of practice. They may not be saturated with a lot of criminal activity of this nature. You've got to look into the demographic. You've got to look into the number of law enforcement agents that are assigned to one particular municipality, see how large their posts are that they patrol. There's a lot of dynamics here.
You know, we think of this in terms or in context of how we live in New York City, where every time you turn, there are law enforcement agency you're banging into. Some of these posts or some of these sectors or areas that these sheriffs might patrol could be, like, dozens of miles, kind of like the California Highway Patrol.
COOPER: Felony -- 29 felony counts against them. The search warrant now in connection with a string of killings. The Associated Press reporting they're being investigated for. This case boggles the mind.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It boggles the mind, and it's one to remember. The whole reason that the government set up sex offender registries was for precisely this situation.
And sure, I expect we may hear excuses, we may hear -- but this is outrageous that he was not caught in 18 years is a total, total outrage. And unless the police can come up with some explanation that certainly doesn't occur to me, I think obviously the top priority should be prosecuting the Garridos. But there should also be some consequences here for how the system works with prior offenders and consequences for the individuals.
COOPER: We all think these guys are under constant surveillance, but clearly not.
PALUMBO: Theoretically they are. But there's a bigger issue here, also. What was this man doing out on the street?
This is a repeat of something that happened in Florida with a little girl that was abducted, as it was being videotaped at a car wash. What are they being -- what are they doing out on the street? What is it in the judicial system or in the mind of judges that does not understand the extreme condition of these people?
PALUMBO: That they would release them after 11 years to go out...
COOPER: He had kidnapped a woman before.
COOPER: And don't horrible things to her.
TOOBIN: There is no more crime with more recidivism than sexual offenses.
COOPER: Unfortunately, we've got to leave it there. Lou Palumbo, appreciate it. Brian Russell, appreciate it. Jeffrey Toobin, as well. Coming up next on the program, more breaking news. The victim of homicide. Tonight, the official cause of Michael Jackson's death is out. How was he killed? Late details from the coroner on the lethal mix of drugs that ended his life.
COOPER: We're also following another breaking news story in the death of Michael Jackson. A bombshell cause that is now official.
Today, the coroner ruled the singer's death a homicide. That means he was killed by another person. The official report also lists a cocktail of powerful sedatives and drugs in his system.
Randi Kaye has more on the finding, as well as the reaction from the family and new details on Dr. Conrad Murray, who's the focus for a possible manslaughter charges.
Randi, what actually killed Michael Jackson?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The coroner, Anderson, said that the cause of death was an acute Propofol intoxication. That key word there being "acute," which means that the dose of Propofol that he got that day within hours of his death is what killed him, not a build-up of Propofol that might have been in his system.
This could be very bad for his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who was with him at his house when he suffered cardiac arrest. Dr. Conrad Murray, as you know, has been trying to wean him off of this drug. He was apparently having trouble sleeping. He tried a lot of other drugs before he said, according to an affidavit released earlier this week, that Michael Jackson demanded the Propofol to try and sleep and that he gave him 25 milligrams of it.
But before that, he tried a lot of other drugs, according to the affidavit. And I'll give you the time line here: 1:30 in the morning he tried ten milligrams of Valium; 2 a.m., an anti-anxiety drug, Ativan; 3 a.m., two milligrams of the sedative versed; 5 a.m., more Ativan; 7:30 a.m. more Versed, another 2 mg. And then at 10:40 a.m., after repeated requests, according to Dr. Murray, gave him that 25 mg of Propofol.
Now, those very same drugs are mentioned in the coroner's findings, just released today and connected.
The coroner has also determined, Anderson, that the drugs Propofol and Ativan were found to be the primary drugs -- that's a direct quote -- responsible for Michael Jackson's death.
Other drugs detected in his system, I'm told, Versed, which is the muscle relaxer; Valium, or diazepam, as it's called. That's an anti-anxiety drug. Lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic, used to relieve burning and itching; and Ephedrin, which is a stimulant -- Anderson.
COOPER: So the next step would be charges of some kind. Are those imminent? Do we know?
KAYE: Well, certainly, Dr. Murray is wondering that, as well. I did check with the D.A.'s office here in Los Angeles today, and they said they still have not received the case to even consider charges.
They could arrest somebody on probable cause, and then the D.A. would have 48 hours to charge them.
I also called Dr. Conrad Murray's attorney, and they released a statement. I can share that with you. It says, "For two months, we have been hearing the same information, usually from leaks out of the coroner's office. One has to wonder why the coroner felt compelled to release anything at all if the police investigation is not yet compete.
"In any case, this has all the earmarks of police gamesmanship, and we will not be responding until we get a full autopsy report including the entire list of drugs found in Mr. Jackson, their quantities and all other data that would allow independent medical experts to analyze and interpret."
So Anderson, certainly the police and Michael Jackson's family and also, Dr. Conrad Murray's attorney are certainly -- have a long -- a long way to go before we might see any charges here.
COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks for that.
Still ahead, he cheated death in a plane crash barely a year ago. Tonight, DJ A.M. has died. We have details on that.
Also, the bad news about the levees in New Orleans. What happens if another storm hits? Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest" as we near the four-year anniversary of Katrina.
COOPER: Following some other stories tonight, Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, you mentioned before the break, breaking news. The disc jockey known as DJ AM has died, found dead this morning in his New York City apartment.
Police tell CNN affiliate WABC-TV 36-year-old Adam Goldstein died from an apparent drug overdose. And his death comes just a year after he and one other person survived a plane crash that killed four others in South Carolina.
In California, firefighters continue to battle multiple wildfires that have now burned thousands of acres, forced evacuations in both the central and southern part of the state. Triple-digit temperatures and low humidity are fuelling those flames.
And a tropical storm watch still in effect for the North Carolina coast. The National Hurricane Center, though, does say that Danny is weakening. In fact, it's practically stalled. Forecasters say the storm could still produce some dangerous surf conditions and also rip currents along the U.S. coast over the weekend -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Erica. More on the storm. Is New Orleans safer? Billions of dollars spent to rebuild the levies. But when the next storm hits, residents could still be in deep water. We'll have the troubling reasons why, next.
COOPER: I was in New Orleans last night to talk to the people rebuilding the city and witness, firsthand, the progress that's being made every day.
Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of Katrina's land fall. 350 miles of levies and 58 million cubic yards of dirt still needed to fortify them, will wonder will the next hurricane be worse? As you'll see, there's a lot of anxiety in New Orleans and anger.
Sean Callebs is "Keeping Them Honest."
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): in New Orleans, water everywhere. Rivers, canals, lakes. It can be beautiful. But after the storm, everyone here knows that in a heart beat that water can turn into a monster.
GWEN ADAMS, KATRINA VICTIM: I don't know that I'll ever feel as safe as I did pre-Katrina.
CALLEBS: Gwen and Henry Adams. She's a teacher, he drives a taxi. They lived entire lives here in the Lower Ninth Ward. It was only about 50 yards from a flood wall that broke. The storm wiped them out and killed their neighbor.
And yet as hard as it is to believe they're rebuilding in exactly the same place and moving back.
(on camera) Do people ask you why are you moving back into an area that's so close to the...
HENRY ADAMS, KATRINA VICTIM: To the levy?
G. ADAMS: People ask us that all the time. And I'll tell them like I'll tell you, because it's my home.
CALLEBS (voice-over): In the four years since the storm, the Army Corps of Engineer has spent $3 billion to upgrade and repair levies and install other flood protection. By 2013, four years from now, it says it will have spent more than $14 billion.
Colonel Robert Sinkler runs the Corps' project team.
COL. ROBERT SINKLER, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: I'm not going to say that folks here will have nothing to worry about, but we are reducing hurricane risk. And there's always the risk of a bigger, larger storm. CALLEBS (on camera): The Corps of Engineers insists New Orleans has never been safer. The work going on here is scheduled to be done in 2011 and designed to provide 100-year storm surge protection. That means each year there's a 1 in 100 chance this system could be put to the ultimate test.
IVOR VAN HEERDEN, DIRECTOR OF HURRICANE PUBLIC HEALTH, LSU: It's the water going underneath.
CALLEBS (voice-over): This man, Ivor Van Heerden, is a long-time critic of the Army Corps of Engineers and its safety claims regarding New Orleans. He's the director of Hurricane Public Health at Louisiana State University. Ask him is the city safer, and you get a definite yes and no.
VAN HEERDEN: What is better is that where it broke is being fixed, but there's still some old weak spots in the system.
So a Category 2 on the right track, slow moving, could flood parts of the city. Another Katrina would definitely put water all over the levies in many, many different locations.
CALLEBS: As he takes us to a place to show us what he's talking about, Van Heerden tells us he's losing his job. LSU is eliminating his position. He says it's punishment for speaking out. LSU says it can't comment on personnel matters.
VAN HEERDEN: Before Katrina, we were saying get out with a Category 2 or above. We haven't changed that message. Get out. It's still unsafe.
CALLEBS (on camera): This is the weakest of the wink links surrounding New Orleans. This is the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, or Mr. Go. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers about a half century ago to provide a shorter route from ships from the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans port, Katrina's winds forced a wall of water down this waterway. The city didn't stand a chance.
Some engineers now say about 80 percent of the flooding in New Orleans can be traced to Mr. Go.
(voice-over) Many critics blame the Corps. After all, they built it, and that's one reason the Corps is rushing to close it, building a 24-foot wall that spans two miles and will close the funnel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A project like this historically would take decades, or over a decade to construct. And we're doing it in just a few years.
CALLEBS: The tremendous damage caused when Mr. Go became overburdened also prompted a massive class action lawsuit against the Corps. And if the Corps loses, it could cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
And that brings us back to Gwen and Henry Adams. They're plaintiffs in the suit. G. ADAMS: One day you're a viable human being, working, contributing to society, and the next day, you're wondering if you're homeless.
CALLEBS: Water everywhere and about 350 miles of levies, stretching about the distance from Washington, D.C., to Boston. But the Corps says it's safer now than ever before.
G. ADAMS: I say prove it, because we can't endure another Hurricane Katrina. We can't endure another disaster like that.
CALLEBS: She hopes the rebuilding works, but she's skeptical. After all, the way she and so many others here see it, the Army Corps built this system in the first place.
Sean Callebs, CNN, New Orleans.
COOPER: Sean Callebs in New Orleans.
Next a serial bank robber strikes again: armed, dangerous and brazen. No attempt to hide his identity, this guy. We've got the latest on the police hunt. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Let's get the latest on some other stories we're following. Erica Hill again with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: And Anderson, we begin with a "360" follow for you. An Indiana man identified as a suspect in a string of bank robberies across the south has now struck again. The FBI identifying Chad Schaffner. They say he held up the United Commerce Bank in Bloomington, Indiana, today.
An FBI spokeswoman says the agency believes Schaffner shaved his head before the robbery. He's been captured on bank surveillance video more than once doing this before. He doesn't wear a mask. Typically, he holds his pistol sideways, as you can see, during the robberies.
New Jersey Congressman Tigue Rothman says he has been assured Libyan -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi won't stay in his state when he visits the U.S. to address the U.N. General Assembly next month. Now, Gadhafi had planned to stay in a mansion in Englewood, New Jersey during the trip, outraging residents. Thirty-eight people from New Jersey were among the victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing, an attack which is believed to be the work of Libyan intelligence.
And just outside Pittsburgh, the world's oldest bartender pours his last cold one. Angelo Camerata is 95. He served his first beer just moments after Prohibition ended in 1933. He's hanging up the bar towel, Anderson.
COOPER: Wow. Giving it up, finally. All right, Erica. Thanks very much.
Coming up, the loss of Senator Kennedy is being felt by many tonight. No doubt about that. Watching the reaction today, you get a sense of how much he was appreciated by his colleagues, his neighbors and many others who didn't even know him personally.
Right now we're going to get a unique look at Senator Kennedy. The HBO documentary "Teddy: In His Own Words" has some remarkable moments you've never seen before. It was put together with home movies and photographs, as well as TV news video and still photographs from Teddy's long career. The senator's commentary comes from both public and private recordings.
Here now, the HBO documentary, "Teddy: In his Own Words."