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Georgia Police Investigate Mass Killings; Anti-Obama Fervor on the Rise?

Aired September 1, 2009 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. This is the next generation of news. We like to call this a conversation, not a speech. And, as usual, it's your turn to get involved.

We're going to be talking about what is going on with this pastor out in Arizona. But, first, I want to catch up on this story where we were expecting to have a news conference, eight people killed. This is a cramped mobile home. Now, it's the talk of the country. Police in Brunswick, Georgia, have completely locked down the flow of information on this story. Why? Who knows.

For all the public knows, a mass killer is on the loose. If you were with us yesterday, you heard this live.


MATT DOERING, GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA, POLICE CHIEF: Yes, I understand their frustration, believe me. And I appreciate your frustrations, as well as others'. But this is a very difficult investigation, as I know you all are aware. And, right now, we're doing everything we possibly can do in order to find those responsible and figure out what happened.

And I have to be very careful not to release those details that can jeopardize that investigation.


SANCHEZ: All right. That's the police chief. His name is Matt Doering. He's taking a lot of heat for not telling his citizens where they stand in this case, whether they may be in danger at this point.

He had scheduled another briefing just about now, as a matter of fact, but he has just called it off without any explanation again. So, four days into this investigation, he hasn't even told us or the people of his community, who are frightened, by the way, how these eight victims, possibly a ninth eventually, were attacked.

But I want you to listen to this. It contains a possible clue. I want to take you through this. This is part of the 911 emergency call that was placed Saturday morning. This is the man who told police that he found his family dead.


GUY HEINZE, FAMILY MEMBER OF VICTIMS: I think my whole family's dead.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Tell me what's going on, sir. What...

HEINZE: Yes, I just got home from -- I was out last night. I got home just now. And everybody's dead.


HEINZE: My dad's dead.


911 OPERATOR: How many people are there?

HEINZE: There's probably six. My whole family's dead.


HEINZE: It looks like they have been beat to death. I don't know.


SANCHEZ: All right. This is what we want to hone in on. Did you hear what he said there? He said, it looked like everyone had been beaten to death. That's what he said. Now, that could mean something. It could mean a lot, in fact.

But, before we go there, that man we just heard, let me tell you about him. He's 22-year-old Guy Heinze, Jr. And after speaking to authorities, Heinze was arrested -- we mentioned some of this to yesterday -- on suspicion of tampering with evidence, marijuana possession, illegal possession of prescription drugs and lying to police.

Now, police told us yesterday that he is not a suspect, but he does remain in custody. And now authorities are telling us, brand-new information I want to share with you, that he's not cooperating -- not cooperating.

Joining us from New York, one of the top law enforcement analysts, one of the guys we trust the most around here with information like this, retired police officer Lou Palumbo.

Officer Palumbo, good to see you, sir.


SANCHEZ: What do your years of experience tell you about this guy Heinze Jr., who a lot of people are saying, isn't that guy the suspect? Police are saying no, not so quick.

PALUMBO: Oh, he's definitely a suspect.

And, Rick, I think one of the reasons you're seeing the police posturing in a rather tight-lipped fashion is because I'm certain this is the first type of crime of this nature and this extent that's gone in on that community.

And I think they would rather tread lightly and be a bit more conservative as far as disseminating information that could, in reality, compromise the integrity of this case. I don't feel too critical about the police chief. I think he's being cautious.

I think that they may have collected evidence here that could lead them somewhere. I think and believe that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also participating in the investigation of this incident.

SANCHEZ: So, you're saying there is a possibility that the same guy who called police -- and we have heard the 911 call -- he sounded completely freaked out and disoriented -- that he may have actually been the person responsible for this.

I have got a question for you. Eight, maybe nine people, because one person is still in critical condition in this case, how does one person, or maybe let's say even two people, do this to nine people without one of those getting away, unless he has a very large weapon, like a revolver or a machine gun of some form?

PALUMBO: Well, you know, Rick, the Glynn County police yesterday, I believe, released information in through the news media in Glynn County that an official had indicated that these victims all died of gunshot wounds.

So, now we have to kind of sort out between fact and fiction. I doubt very seriously that one individual could overpower four male adults, another female victim, one of the children, I believe it was Michael Toler, who 19...

SANCHEZ: Fifteen and 19 years old, yes, they're teenagers.


PALUMBO: Yes, that's correct.

But I'm not buying into one person did this if this was, how would you say, committed through beatings. I do believe that we have to further vet this whole investigation and let the proper authorities conduct the investigation, the autopsies be completed.

And then we start to talking about connecting the dots here. I really think that, as we already know, this has really put this community on its heels. And I think it's done the same thing to the police department down there, because as I stated earlier...


SANCHEZ: But hold on a minute. I know you're defending this police chief, Doering. And I will just take a little bit of issue with that, because I have been a reporter, and I have been a cop beat reporter for most of my life.

And I know that most police officers don't necessarily have to have and show an attitude and ego. But some of them choose to do so anyway. I will give you an example.

Yesterday, in the middle of the news conference, there's a man, an African-American man, who is holding up a sign from the Bible that says thou shalt not kill. You would have thought this police chief had seen somebody committing a violent act. Watch. I think we have got this. I want you show you how he responds to this. Let's play this.


DOERING: Chad, would you get rid of this guy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, sir.

DOERING: He's trespassing. Would you remove him, please?



SANCHEZ: I don't know. It's almost like, look at me. I'm in charge.

PALUMBO: Yes, Rick, what I said to you before is really the problem here for him. They're somewhat inexperienced. This is all new universe that they're starting to traverse.

And I just think they don't have any footing. And perhaps that reaction is more of a telegraphing of that. That he diverted attention from the press conference to an individual that probably should have been addressed by a subordinate unto itself is a little disconcerting.

But I tell you, right now, the problem this gentleman has is, he's not experienced in this type of incident.

SANCHEZ: It's too big?

PALUMBO: Precisely.


SANCHEZ: Officer Lou Palumbo, always a pleasure having you on. Thanks for telling it to us straight.

PALUMBO: Thank you, Rick.


PASTOR STEVEN ANDERSON, FAITHFUL WORD BAPTIST CHURCH: I don't want him to be a martyr. We don't need another holiday. I would like to see him die like Ted Kennedy of brain cancer.


SANCHEZ: Wow, that's Steven Anderson. And that's part of his newest diatribe against the president of the United States. We have been following this for several days now, and we have got the rest of the story and the news about threats to the president in general.

Also, is it possible that this young girl's life as a sex slave of Phillip Garrido may have saved other women from the same fate? You're going to hear a chilling interview with one of Garrido's victims. You have got to stick around and watch that.

Also, as news comes in from these fires that we have been following for you out in California, we're going to keep you updated. And I'm going to show you when some of these firefighters, some of these hot shots were kind enough to invite me into their environment. This is a whole kind of different breed of people, I will tell you. They are amazingly courageous.

And we will see you after the after-show.


SANCHEZ: This is amazing. You heard our conversation moments ago with Lou Palumbo about the case. He said that his years of experience as a New York City detective would lead him to believe that this guy who made the 911 call, Heinze, is definitely going to be considered a suspect by police, even though they're saying that he's not a suspect. Imagine that.

The guy who picked up the phone and called police and said everyone here is dead, my family is dead, and then described this scene of horrendous blood and murder everywhere may still be the person police ultimately might blame for this. Is that possible?

Well, before we do anything else, as this information comes in, before I give you the new information that I have just received from one the reporters there on the ground who has just sent me this e-mail after watching this, let's listen again, perhaps with this in the background, to Heinze's 911 call the day he came to the house and found these nine people, eight of them now dead.


HEINZE: I think my whole family's dead.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Tell me what's going on, sir. What...

HEINZE: Yes, I just got home from -- I was out last night. I got home just now. And everybody's dead.


HEINZE: My dad's dead.


911 OPERATOR: How many people are there?

HEINZE: There's like six. My whole family's dead. 911 OPERATOR: OK.

HEINZE: It looks like they have been beat to death. I don't know.


SANCHEZ: All right, now add this.

After considering that and after listening to his voice and his comportment as he was trying to make that 911 call -- again, this is all information that is coming in on the fly that, as usual, I want to share with you.

First, his news -- attorney -- his name is Ron Harrison -- he's an attorney for Guy Heinze -- has just told police that this client is not being ruled out, not being ruled out as a suspect. He's saying that because police have just said that to him.

So, all the while we have been saying police are saying, look, he's not a suspect in this case, he's not a suspect in this case -- if I have said that once, I have said it at least five or 10 times over the last couple of days to you -- now I'm telling you that his own attorney is saying that he's not being ruled out in this case.

Point two, I'm reading in this note that I just received moments ago from one of my colleagues -- that's Sean Callebs out in the field -- he's telling me that his attorney says one of the allegations for his arrest is the following, that Heinze took a shotgun from the house and tried to hide it in his car.

Listen to what I just said there. His attorney is saying that police are alleging that Heinze, the person who police were saying wasn't a suspect, but they have arrested him anyway, actually was trying to hide a shotgun in his car that he had taken from the house on the night of the murders.

This thing is getting curiouser and curiouser, again, all brand- new information I'm sharing with you. We just got it while we were in that commercial moments ago. Hopefully, I will get more information and I will be sharing that with you as well.

Meanwhile, up next, before there was a Jaycee Dugard, there was this woman.


KATHERINE CALLAWAY HALL, RAPE VICTIM OF PHILLIP GARRIDO: Phillip went out to answer the door, and he came back in, and he said: "It's the heat. Am I going to have to tie you up or are you going to be good?"

And I said: "No, I have been good. I have been good. Don't tie me up."

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: What can she reveal about the man who corresponding to police abducted an 11-year-old and then kept her in his backyard for years and years?

And will it lead police to other victims? It's a possibility. We're on it. We will be right back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the world headquarters of CNN.

Just to catch you up again, we reported moments ago that -- because this really turns the story a little bit on its head, doesn't it? We had been telling you all along that the man who made the 911 call was not a suspect. And moments ago, we got some information that seems to contradict that.

We're not at all saying that he is a suspect, nor that we know or have proof that he was involved in the crime, other than those two pieces of information that we have learned from his attorney, A, that police are saying he was trying to hide a shotgun -- that's brand-new -- and, B, that police are now saying he is not being ruled out as the person who perpetrated this rime.

That is a amazing and new information. We're going to stay on it.

Meanwhile, I want to tell you about this a swell. we're learning a lot more about Phillip Garrido. He's the self-styled holy man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard when she was only 11 years old. It's not like there wasn't a warning in this case.

Even before the little girl's disappearance -- and this is what's making a lot of people angry about this case -- Garrido was already a convicted sex offender.

Look at what he said about himself during his 1977 rape trial 12 years before Jaycee was abducted. He said -- quote -- "I have this fantasy that was driving me to do this inside me of, no way to stop it" -- stop quote.

At the end of the trial, Garrido was convicted of abducting a woman who worked at a Nevada casino and raping her. That woman came forward last night. She was on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE."

And what she says here, I mean, some of these moments are really chilling. And I'm going to let you listen to them in just a bit here, not just about the attack. Listen to her talk about what happened after Garrido was released on parole in 1988.


HALL: I think he did approach me after he got out. I think he came to my game up in Lake Tahoe at Caesars. He was -- he was just being paroled. He was in a halfway house. And I think he came up and approached me and in a threatening manner.

I made an appointment with this parole officer at the time, and he told me -- he said that, what do you want me to tell you, that he's well? He's not. He's a sick puppy. We're sure he's going to do this again, but we're pretty sure it's not directed at you.


SANCHEZ: And that parole officer may have been right, because look at this timeline we have put together for you.

Garrido was paroled in August of 1988. Less than three months later, a 9-year-old girl disappears in Hayward, California. Two-and- a-half months later, a 13-year-old girl disappears in Dublin, California. Oh, by the way, they have never been found.

There's no proof yet that Garrido is connected with either of these cases. But police are very suspicious and investigating.

Now, in 1991, 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard disappears. She had been held captive by Garrido for 18 years. What exactly happened during those 18 years?

Well, police say that Dugard gave birth to two children by Garrido. In other words, he raped her. But listen to what Garrido had to say in a jailhouse interview this week.


PHILLIP GARRIDO, DEFENDANT: My life has been straightened out. Wait until you hear the story of what took place at this -- at this house.

And you're going to be absolutely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place with me in the beginning. But I turned my life completely around.


SANCHEZ: Yes, Phillip Garrido claims that some documents he gave to the FBI will explain everything.

It probably won't. If Garrido's life really changed over the past 18 years, if Dugard was Garrido's final victim, then some believe what happened to Jaycee Dugard may have actually spared some other girls.

All right. There's new information from the man who said the president's daughters should be left without a father, not to mention the man who was there that day in his service and then showed up with a gun outside the president's speech.

And Miss California is now suing the Miss California Pageant for dumping her. This is amazing. We will have the latest right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: All right. Welcome back.

Let me take you to the very top of my Twitter board right now, because this is interesting. Let's go to the Twitter board, if we can. I haven't even done this story yet and I'm already getting comments like these two right here at the very top.

"Hope this preacher is not calling himself a Christian. Sounds like he practices some sort of satanism."

Look at the next one. "Real Christians preach the salvation of Christ. Fake ones preach the gospel of the gun and repeat the sermons of Pope Ron Paul."


SANCHEZ: Interesting that that tie is being made, because that's going to be part of the conversation.

We on this show were the first to tell you about the rise in threats directed at the president. And nothing seemed to capture those threats, nothing seemed more chilling than the voice of a pastor suggesting that Michelle Obama should be left a widow and that Sasha and Malia should be left without a father, because this pastor says, "I hate Barack Obama."

He doesn't say he hates Barack Obama's policies. He says he hates the man. The pastor's name is Steven Anderson. There he is. For those of you who missed it, here's part of what we reported Friday.


ANDERSON: Why should Barack Obama melt like a snail? Why should Barack Obama die like the untimely birth of a woman? Why should his children be fatherless and his wife a widow, as we read in this passage?

Well, I will tell you why. Because, since Barack Obama thinks it is OK to use a salty solution, right, to abort the unborn, because that's how abortions are done, my friend, using salt -- and I would like to see Barack Obama melt like a snail tonight.


SANCHEZ: All right, when we come back, there's more that we're going to play for you, what the preacher is now saying about the president of the United States and brain cancer.

And the Secret Service, have they paid the pastor a visit? If so, when? We're drilling down. Stay right there.


SANCHEZ: All right. Welcome back. This is the story that so many of you have been contacting me about. The ugly and hateful tone that's being used against the president of the United States in what appear to be a growing number of events around the country may be now eclipsed by what I'm about to share with you. This is a pastor, albeit of a small church in Tempe, Arizona, who said this over the weekend about the death of Senator Ted Kennedy and about the president of the United States.


ANDERSON: I don't want him to be a martyr. We don't need another holiday. I would like to see him die like Ted Kennedy of brain cancer.


SANCHEZ: On its own, that story could be seen by some as the ranting of a madman. But when connected to the increase of threats against the president as detailed to us by several sources, it becomes a story of some national significance.

And here's another reason that story becomes more important. You know who was sitting in the church when Pastor Steven Anderson suggested that the president should die? Let me show you, because it also goes back to our previous reporting, this man, identified as Chris who was seen later outside the president's event in Phoenix wielding an AR-15, again, outside of the president's event wielding an AR-15.

He was in the church listening to that. In case you missed it, here's what the pastor said on the eve of the president's arrival.


ANDERSON: You are going to tell me that I'm supposed to pray for the socialist devil, murderer, infanticide who wants to see young children and he wants to see babies killed through abortion and partial-birth (INAUDIBLE) everything? You are going to tell me I am supposed to pray for God to give him a good lunch tomorrow while he's in Phoenix, Arizona?

No. I am not going to pray for his good. I am going to pray that he dies and goes to hell.


SANCHEZ: "I'm going to pray that he dies and goes to hell."

Here's now what is a nonchalant Chris -- that was the guy carrying the AR-15 who had been to that church service and heard the message, here's what church had to say about the president and about his pastor.


CHRIS BROUGHTON, PARISIONER OF FAITHFUL WORD BAPTIST CHURCH: I concur. I wish -- I think our country would be a lot better off if God were to send this man where he's going now, instead of later.


SANCHEZ: By the way, this pastor has had at least one other run- in with law enforcement that we know of. And we have been drilling down an awful lot on this -- this -- this character.

He details it, by the way, on a videotape that we have gotten our hands on. This is right after he had been arrested by the border patrol.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask this. Are you placing me under arrest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are under arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what crime -- what crime am I being charged with?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys are telling me that a canine alerted to your vehicle for the presence of (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I've asked repeatedly for that dog to be brought back out because I say that it didn't happen. And they are refusing to get the dog back out because they know that they're not telling the truth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I wouldn't answer their questions they came up with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm going to take you out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me ask you this. When you place someone under arrest, don't you have to put them under arrest for something specific?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a police officer. I'm ordering you out of the car (INAUDIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you answer my question, police officer?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you placing me under arrest for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For failure to obey me right now (INAUDIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I have to obey you by law?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you should.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even when you're stopping me without cause?



SANCHEZ: Given what we have just disclosed, is this pastor himself a threat? Is he more generally part of the collective threat that seems to be being manifested against the nation's first African- American president, not just in his area, but around the country? That's what we really want to drill down on.

Joining us now from Washington, former Deputy Assistant Director of the United States Secret Service John Tomlinson.

Mr. Tomlinson, thank you, sir, for taking time to be with us.


SANCHEZ: I am thinking -- and I'm going to ask you this question right out of the shoot. If this pastor was an imam, wouldn't you guys be all over him by now?

TOMLINSON: Well, what the Secret Service has to do in every threat case is determine whether the case merits prosecution as a threat or whether it's distasteful or rude or in some circumstances, arrogant. That's what the investigation trying to ferret out at this point. The Secret Service wants to be very deliberate because there's a lot at stake.

SANCHEZ: Have you paid -- do know at this point -- and it's OK if this is confidential and you can't reveal it. I certainly understand. Do you know if the Secret Service has, in fact, paid him a visit?

TOMLINSON: I do not know. I do know that it's an ongoing investigation, one the Secret Service and its partners in Arizona and Washington take very seriously. So, they'll pursue that to the...

SANCHEZ: Let me go back to my original question again because I'm a Christian. And, you know, I pray, and I go to church. And I believe in God. I happen to pray to Jesus. That's my particular religion.

But I don't think that because a Christian sounds hateful that he has any more protection than a Jew or a Muslim or anyone else who sounds hateful. So, if an imam were to say these horrible things about our president -- I know that in the last eight years people have been arrested for less or at least questioned rigorously. Should we rethink how we view people like this?

TOMLINSON: No, I don't think so at all. I think every threat needs to be taken very seriously until it's either disproven or proven. Clearly, the latter being the more serious of the case.

If you look at -- if you look at this latest circumstance, the Secret Service needs to look at the totality of it, needs to look at what context this was taken in. And they together with prosecutors will make a determination on whether or not it was distasteful, rude or arrogant or if it rises to the level, the threshold of a threat against the president or, in this case, Mrs. Obama as well.

SANCHEZ: Set us straight on this because I've talked to several sources, former Secret Service members, distinguished members of the Secret Service like yourself, sir, who have told me that there is an increase and that they've seen it, that there has been more of a threat against Barack Obama than there have been against other presidents.

But we've heard the figures fluctuate from all over the place, as high as what Ronald Kessler (ph) wrote in his book, which we have mentioned as well, as has the New York Times and the Washington Post, as high as 400 percent. That seems high to me. What is your assessment of that?

TOMLINSON: And it seemed high to me as well. And I've spoken to several current Secret Service officials. And they find no basis for that number 400 whatsoever. The service is careful not to talk about specific numbers.


TOMLINSON: Clearly, there is information that during the campaign period threats against then candidate Obama were higher than normal. Since the election, the level of those threats, the quantity of those threats has leveled off where they're not that dissimilar between the current president and the two former presidents, most former presidents.

SANCHEZ: And then you and I could probably have another discussion -- and maybe we'll do this one day -- as to what actually constitutes a threat because I know there's an awful lot of gray area there. And that's where some of the -- some of the arguments begin.

Officer Tomlinson, it's been a pleasure to have you on, sir. Thank you so much for coming in. This is important information that I think there's a lot of people out there who were worried, frankly, worried about the president of the United States. And it sounds like people like yourself are doing a good job of protecting him at this point. Thank you, sir.

TOMLINSON: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: All right, time for a double-take now. Is this Michael Jackson getting out of a coroner's van? Is it? Is it? We're going to give you the real skinny behind this worldwide talker in just a bit. Isn't he dead?

Also, as new details leak out, the story of that mass killing in Brunswick, Georgia, it gets even more interesting, especially with the new information that we got moments ago. The person who made the 911 call is not being rule out. And now we know what police suspect from him or about him. Brand new information -- we'll reshare. And then there's the after show at 4 o'clock. Stay with us. I'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: Some of our own correspondents who were watching us moments ago have sent us information that is salient to our top story. And we like to update things as we get them whenever possible. So let me try and update this story for you for those of you who may have joined us a little late.

You know about the story out of Brunswick, Georgia, right? Apparently eight people found dead or are dead as a result of a murder scene, a heinous murder scene there in Brunswick. There's a ninth person who's just barely hanging on. And all we've known so far is this 911 call that we received from a member of the family who showed up and said, my God, I can't believe what I'm seeing. And then he went on to describe that his family had just been killed.

Well, the lawyer representing that man who is under arrest but never considered a suspect by police has just put out information that we've gotten from our own correspondents which seems to turn the story somewhat. What he says is, first of all, that his suspect has not been ruled out. Obviously, that's significant, not necessarily that he's a suspect.

Remember when police jargon, the terms target and suspect are very direct, and person of interest. But they're saying he's not being ruled out. And now this -- we're also learning that police suspect that on the night of the murder he took a shotgun from the house and tried to hide it in his car, that he took a shotgun from his house and tried to hide it in the car.

Why would he do that, you ask? Well, police are asking the very first question -- that very same question, I should say. Pardon me. I misspoke.

I do want you to hear this, though. This is him on the night of the murders calling police -- or on the morning of the murders calling police and saying, reporting on 911 what he had just seen. Let's listen to it.


911 OPERATOR: When you came in the house, what did the house look like?

HEINZE: It looks like a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) murder scene.

911 OPERATOR: I understand that. But did somebody -- did somebody tear up everything? Or did they just beat up people?

HEINZE: People are beat (ph). Everybody's dead.


SANCHEZ: Does he know more than we have been led to believe? Well, we do know this. Police are not saying a whole lot. Police have not told us until today who the victims even were. And they still haven't mentioned exactly how the victims were killed.

You did hear in his report say that it sounded like they were beaten. That's Heinze on the 911 call saying they were beaten. But now there's conflicting information that we received from our own sources moments ago here on the air indicating that police in Brunswick are now saying they may have been shot to death. How else would they not get away?

It is a mysterious and perplexing story. We're going to be all over this. And as we continue to get more information, I am going to share it with you. I'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: And welcome back. I'm Rich Sanchez still working a couple of angles on these stories I've been sharing with you with talking to some of our correspondents. Two public servants are now indicted, by the way, for unnecessarily beating and using a Taser on a member of the public. Yes, it's happened again. And it's topping our "Fotos Del Dia."

Aye, Dios mio, by the way, means "my God." There you go. OK. Take a look at the officer in the back. And you'll ask yourself why does he has to do that. And look at the guy in front with his hands on the hood. He's wondering whether he's next. The grand jury looked at this video and charged the two police officers with using excessive force. The Beaumont Police Officers Association says it believes when all the evidence comes out, the officers will be vindicated, though.

Outside Hamburg now -- Germany, that's right. This is what people do when there's absolutely nothing else to do. They play in the mud. They actually call it the Mud Olympics or the wato luimiad (ph) or something like that. Four hundred people showed up. They played mud volleyball. They played mud soccer. And the next day they tried to deal with the giant mud hangover. Don't you think?

Staying in Germany, let's go to Berlin. Look who walks out of this coroner's van. Why, it's Michael Jackson. Wait, isn't he dead? Yes, he is. So how can this be? Almost a million people have clicked on this YouTube video, which has quickly climbed into the most popular category.

Before you know it, there are going to be a million people going around convinced that Michael Jackson isn't dead. He's really alive. They watched him walk out of this coroner's van. And then the conspiracy will live on, even though -- are you ready?

It's all bogus, bogus. That's right. A German television station was trying to show how easy it is to make foolish people believe in foolish things -- to fake this thing. And they did. And guess what? They succeeded.


SANCHEZ: Would you rather be doing something else?


SANCHEZ: Is this the second choice for anybody?


SANCHEZ: This is really what -- this is a labor of love? Yes?


SANCHEZ: The people who actually put out the California wildfires. They take me into the woods for a lesson on how it's done. And they made me wear that outfit.

Now, check out Miss California USA, former Miss California USA, we should say. She's now suing the Miss California USA pageant for dumping her. But is she really to blame? Well, we'll ask. And remember the after show. It's coming up in 12 minutes.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. Boy, a lot of stuff going on today.

By the way, most of you who watch me regularly know that because I was born in Cuba, I'm very much fascinated by the whole idea of the embargo that we've had for so long on what we consider an enemy of the United States. It's only 90 miles away. Cuba -- should that embargo be lifted? It's a huge argument, a lot of intelligent conversation on both sides.

Here's a programming note. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson -- he just got back from a trip to Cuba on his own dime, I might add. And he's coming here to talk to me about it. We're going to have a conversation right here live tomorrow. Again, Governor Bill Richardson from New Mexico on his current trip to Cuba.

All right, let's see if we can put up some of the pictures of what's going on out there in California.

Thanks, Dan.

This is from KTLA. A hundred and twenty-two thousand acres have been burned in what is the largest wildfire in California, larger than Philadelphia, half the size of New York City. Fifty structures already destroyed.

Part of what is so fascinating about these stories is how do you put a monster like this out? Well, I've always been fascinated by the people who do it, people who are actually flown in to put these fires out on a moment's notice. They're trained professionals who have a work ethic unlike just about anything that I've ever seen before.

They work from air tankers. They work with shovels. They work with axes and chain saws. And oftentimes, their work kills them. Remember, two people have already died in these fires out there in California. Some of them, the most specialized of these people, are called hot shots.

All right, parts of this report that you're about to see include my opportunity to visit with them, these hot shots three years ago at the height of the fire season.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): In California to South Carolina, federal fire officials say there have been more than 64,000 wildfires so far this year. More acres have burned than during all of last year. These smoke jumpers and hot shots training in Redding, California are feeling the heat.


SANCHEZ: 8 a.m. -- time to sweat -- sprints, lunges, sit-ups for hot shots from all over the country, some outdoorsmen, some scientists. More fires means more hot shot crews. There are more than 100 across the country. Thirteen years ago there were only 65. They make life and death decisions. So before they can catch their breath, they're hustled to a sand table where they're given a fire scenario to learn leadership.

What sounds like chaos to us is actually an orderly exercise.

(on camera): Is that the way it's supposed to work?


SANCHEZ (voice-over): They can spend 21 days living together out of this cramped crummy (ph), as they affectionately call it. They're hard-working problem solvers whose first mission is most often to build a fire line. With chain saws and shovels in-hand, they head out to starve a fire of its fuel.

To get a sense of just how grueling this can be, we've donned a backpack and the tool uniform. It weighs 45 pounds. This is what they would have on while they're cutting containment lines to keep the fire away. And they'd keep this on for 16 straight hours.

It's amazing to watch. A hundred-yard ditch that could take most of us days they dig in minutes. And these lines can go for how long?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miles. Miles and miles.

SANCHEZ: They are 97 percent effective at work in super-heated conditions most would call an inferno. They say there's no place they'd rather be.

(on camera): Would you rather be doing something else?

SANCHEZ: Is this the second choice for anybody?


SANCHEZ: This is really what -- this is a labor of love? Yes? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

SANCHEZ: After burning only about 3 million acres a year between '85 and '95, U.S. wildfires now burn an average of 6 million acres a year. The result for hot shots is more work and more danger.

(on camera): This is the shelter of last resort they all must carry but hope to never use. But if the fire lingers or if the fire is way too super-heated, you probably won't survive this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably not. But hopefully I would.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): In 1994, though, 14 firefighters did not survive at Storm King Mountain, Colorado. It's a lesson each of these hot shots thinks about each day until the fire season ends. But that's still three months away.


SANCHEZ: Imagine having to get under that blanket. It's the last resort. It means the fire, you hope, will be able to go over you fast enough that you'll be able to survive. Too often it doesn't. Those people -- we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Coming up next -- she told Perez Hilton that she was against same-sex marriage. That might have cost her a beauty pageant crown. Well, now the former Miss California USA is taking her case to court. That's right. She is suing. Didn't you expect something like this might happen? We'll look at all the facts. Stay with us. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: There is no denying that she was handed what was one of the toughest questions. Some would even say so tough it was unfair in the Miss USA pageant. It was about same-sex marriage. And as millions watched, here is how she tried to answer it.


PREJEAN: I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what? In my country and in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised. And that's how I think that it should be, between a man and a woman.


SANCHEZ: OK, her response was genuine, but it was wrong because you could argue that there really is no choice. She doesn't live in a country where there's a choice for same-sex couples, with the exception of a few states.

Then came revelations of her enhancement surgeries. Then came some salacious pictures from her past. And then she began representing a national marriage, pro-marriage campaign organization. Well, after all of that, the Miss California pageant was going to boot her. But instead Donald Trump himself decided to give her a break.

Finally, she did get the boot for violating her contract.


KEITH LEWIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MISS CALIFORNIA USA: I think that what occurred between our office and between Carrie was a clear understanding that she was not interested in upholding the title or the responsibilities. And it was best for us to allow her the freedom to go and pursue the interests that she have. This was never personal or political. This was business.


SANCHEZ: Well, Tom O'Neil is joining us now from "In Touch Weekly."

And 30 seconds before we go into our live show. But let me ask you the question. She's suing. Does she have a case?

TOM O'NEIL, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": It's all going to come down to this list of 50 appearances that the pageant claimed she missed. If they can prove that she actually should have been at such and such a place at such and such a time, then they're right. There were grounds to dismiss her. But if she's right and this list is fraudulent, then maybe she was fired for her personal views.

SANCHEZ: Well, you and I are going to stay and discuss this.


SANCHEZ: We're going to be doing it on live.

Suzanne Malveaux is going to pick things up now on CNN. She's filling in for Wolf.

Suzanne, to you.