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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Former President Carter Stands By His Comment on Race; Bones Found on Garrido Property; Yale Grad Student Strangled to Death; Yale Cold Case; Medical Malpractice Battle
Aired September 16, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We are following two breaking stories tonight.
First out of California: a disturbing discovery involving Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard 18 years ago and holding her captive in his home all this time.
Late word that police conducting a search have found bones on his property as well as an adjacent property. Now, in addition to the investigation into Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping, he is now the focus of a new investigation, authorities seeking evidence possibly connecting him to at least two other child abductions.
We're going to have more on this story in just a moment.
And we begin with the other breaking report tonight: new comments by former President Jimmy Carter about his belief that racism is fuelling much of the anger at President Obama.
Carter says the animosity directed at the president over health care, the bailouts is being driven because Mr. Obama is a black man. Tonight at Emory University in Atlanta, he pressed the point again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But when a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the President of the United States of America as an animal, or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kind of things are beyond the bounds of the way presidents have ever been accepted even with people who disagree.
And I think people that are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African-American. It's a racist attitude.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's what Carter said just a short time ago this evening.
Today, strong reaction from the White House and from the right; leading Republicans blasted the argument. Rush Limbaugh saying it is Mr. Obama who is playing the race card. While many Americans insist the debate is not about skin color, others are convinced the Tea Party protests and Congressman Joe Wilson's outbursts are based on prejudice, not policy.
We'll see what our panel thinks. Grammy-Award winner John Legend is with us, political analysts David Gergen and Roland Martin and conservative activist Nic Lott. They'll join me live in a moment.
But first, Candy Crowley on race and the "Raw Politics."
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Race and politics is a combustible combo and it explodes into headlines when an ex-president lights the fuse, as Jimmy Carter did on NBC.
CARTER: An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity towards President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.
CROWLEY: There is a tiny part of this argument that is not an argument.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We cannot deny that race does indeed have an impact in our society.
CROWLEY: Racism is there to see online and on the signs held by some protestors. But the former president sees racism across a much broader swath.
CARTER: Bubble up to the surface because of a belief among many white people, not just in the south but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.
CROWLEY: The last time the Chairman of the Republican Party looked, many white people had voted for an African-American to lead this country. Michael Steele says Carter's broad condemnation of protestors is dead wrong and diminishes real racism.
MICHAEL STEELE, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: He's elevated it to the point that it is now, you know, a reaction to everything. Everybody who has this negative approach or view on this subject is a racist.
CROWLEY: Arguments about race are political losers. It turns off independents who, by nature, hate the hard edges of politics. The White House wants none of this.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president does not believe that -- that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin. CROWLEY: The White House may not want to talk about it, but this is one of those water cooler moments, kicked off by two words...
REP. JOE WILSON, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: You lie!
CROWLEY: Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst was, according to Jimmy Carter, based on race. But ask around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I do think that racism played a part.
CROWLEY: And what you hear...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All about politics and race.
CROWLEY: ...is not just about color.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think given the context, I don't think it's really possible for anyone to say either way for sure.
CROWLEY: But about politics?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the liberals are losing an argument, they go to the good old race card.
CROWLEY: And about prisms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sure that he never expected to have to hail to an African-American chief.
CROWLEY: Barack Obama was elected with more white votes than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter. There was talk then of a post racial America. And that's what it remains, talk.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, let's "Dig Deeper" with our panel tonight: John Legend, the Grammy-Award winning singer, he's also the founder of the "Show Me Campaign." He uses his education to try and break the cycle of poverty. Also with us: senior political analyst David Gergen, conservative activist Nic Lott -- he spoke at a Tea Party protest in D.C. over the weekend, and political analyst Roland Martin.
Roland, let's start with you, Jimmy Carter standing by his comments. Do you stand by his comments?
MARTIN: Well, I think that Jimmy Carter is talking about people who are using buzz words and phrases, because they can't say certain things and they use other kind of words, code words if you will.
I do believe that you have people when you hear folks like Rush Limbaugh, he says Carter all he wants to when he says in Obama's America, white kids get beaten up by black kids, when race had nothing to do with this video that we're seeing going across. But when you hear people, Glenn Beck call the president hating white culture, there are people who are playing into others racial fears. When you have people saying that he is trying to give reparations, that's coded wording and we understand what that's all about.
COOPER: Nic Lott, you spoke at a Tea Party rally. Did you see anything racist? Or on television we saw some signs -- small number showing that President Obama is a witch doctor. What did you see?
NIC LOTT, FOUNDER, MISSISSIPPI FORWARD: Well Anderson, I think, I'm here wondering tonight if Secretary Clinton had been elected president, would we be discussing sexism tonight.
MARTIN: You would.
LOTT: I think it's absurd for our friends on the left to label opposition as racist.
This is about issues. The American people have serious concerns and serious issues with where we're headed with this country.
COOPER: so you saw nothing this weekend that concerned you?
LOTT: Not at all. Not one racial slur was uttered from the podium. This weekend what I saw were concerned citizens from across America who want to make sure that the government is not intruding in their lives, is not continuing to take over private entities, not continuing to increase the deficit.
LOTT: American people are concerned and now they're voicing their opinions, they're standing up for freedom and liberty and we should not be called racist for doing so.
COOPER: John Legend, when you heard the president's comments, what did you think?
JOHN LEGEND, GRAMMY-AWARD WINNING SINGER: Well, I definitely felt there was some truth to what he said. But I also was worried because I knew what would happen the next day, which is what is happening right now, which is the subject, ended up being all about race, which is inflammatory by its nature. Because people get defensive, people get emotional, people get tribal about it.
And now all we're talking about is race when we should be talking about what's was happening. All across America people are without health care, the economy is still suffering. We have 10 percent unemployment. These are the things we should be really concerned about.
But what we're talking about today is another day of talking about racism and being inflammatory. And really the only people that are celebrating are the opponents of the president's agenda, because the opponents of the president's agenda want this to be a race war, because blacks lose a race war because we're only 12 percent of the country. They want this to be a race war.
I don't want a race war. President Obama doesn't want a race war.
COOPER: All right, we've got to take a short break. We'll be right back for more of our panel ahead.
Bill Cosby, also weighing in; he spoke out today about the issue. We'll bring you his words in just a moment.
Also tonight, in other news, a person of interest and the cause of death in the murder of Yale's graduate student Annie Le. We know more about the man held briefly by police and we now know how she was killed. We'll have the latest in the investigation ahead.
And the breaking news, the discovery of bones at the home of Jaycee Dugard's alleged kidnapper. If this story cannot get anymore disturbing it already has. Phillip Garrido is now the focus of two other child abduction cases. We have new developments when we continue.
COOPER: We're back talking about race, politics and the president. Are the attacks on President Obama driven by racism? In some cases as former President Jimmy Carter has suggested and reiterated.
Tonight, RNC Chairman Michael Steele called that suggestion a pathetic distraction by Democrats to shift attention away from Mr. Obama's disastrous health care plan, those were his words.
But there are believers, among them Bill Cosby; he told NBC News much of the outrage directed to Obama is because of skin color. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL COSBY, ACTIVIST/COMEDIAN: I don't think you can get people who are entrenched in their own hatred to stop. I think what we have to do is find the people who are willing to work together; the people who realize that mistakes will happen and we've got to work for the betterment of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We "Dig Deeper" now. With us again: singer John Legend, senior political analyst David Gergen and conservative activist Nic Lott and political analyst Roland Martin.
David, to John Legend's point: he's saying look, this is really a distraction keeping us off the important issues of health care and other things that should be debated. Rather now we're kind of off to the third rail of American politics to the subject of race. This is certainly not something that the White House wants to be discussing.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's certainly not and the White House would very much like to change the subject. But Jimmy Carter, I'm afraid, is not alone, Anderson, in his views.
A Rasmussen poll out today finds that 22 percent of Democrats believe that most of the opposition to health care reform comes from racists. And 35 percent of Barack Obama's strongest supporters believe that opposition comes from racists.
I personally believe there are racists at the fringes, at the extremes here. But I think it's wrong-headed and I think it's unfair and I think it's indeed a libel upon many of the opponents, most of the opponents of health care reform to say that they're racist.
Anderson, seven previous presidents have tried to bring health care reforms of this kind. All seven have failed and as I recall all seven were white.
COOPER: John Legend, when you see the Tea Party protests this weekend and others, do you see it as -- do you see race involved in any of that or do you think these are legitimate protests, people who disagree with the president and are raising legitimate arguments?
LEGEN: Well, I see race as part of it but I don't see it as not enough a part of it to derail health care. I think the most important reason that there's opposition is, one, people fear the involvement of government, which is a legitimate fear.
But I disagree with that fear. But I think it's a legitimate fear. I think they fear the government being involved in life and death decisions, even though the government is involved in Medicare already and involved in veterans' health care and all of these other things.
But there's a significant group of people that believe that they don't want the government involved in these decisions and I understand that. That's a real fear.
And I think racism is thrown into the mix to inflame people. But if Hillary Clinton were president, it would be something else; if Bill Clinton, when he was president, it was something else. Whatever it is, it's a distraction from the real topic, which is health care, which is the economy.
MARTIN: And Anderson, I agree to David's point, but when you see signs at a rally that says, "I don't want my country to turn into a third world country, go back to Kenya."
You may have had seven previous white presidents, but that is an explicit statement.
MARTIN: When you've see people who try to make him an illegitimate president and questioning whether he is even an American -- you don't see the same level of questions for previous presidents...
COOPER: But again, but Roland, I remember...
MARTIN: Hold on, Anderson.
COOPER: Roland, Roland, I remember signs under the Bush administration people protesting and saying the president is a fascist and the president is a Nazi...
COOPER: ...and I didn't hear a lot of the liberals...
COOPER: ...saying you know what, that -- that crosses the pail, which is what President Carter actually said tonight, calling Obama Nazi is...
MARTIN: Well, Anderson first of all, that is absolute nonsense. But I'm speaking to the issue of when people invoke race as part of their argument. That's why I say that is the difference between this president and previous criticism.
COOPER: Ok, Nic, go ahead.
LOTT: I think, Anderson, there is a very small minority, if you were at the Tea Party or at the taxpayers march on Washington the past weekend, there's a very small minority of people who are out there who probably do dislike the president and will oppose any legislation that he brings forth.
But the majority of the Americans who were there are Americans with real legitimate concerns. And to respond to what John was saying, the opposition to the president, we want to talk about the issues.
The president mentioned it in his address last week that he would welcome new ideas, bring ideas to the table. Well, that's exactly what the people were doing last weekend. We were bringing ideas to the table. And so when the American people stand up and speak up, exercising their Constitutional rights, we should not be labelled as racists for doing so.
COOPER: Nic -- go ahead.
LEGEND: Of course not, but I would say this. I don't want to label anybody as a racist. I want to have a real health care debate. But I know that when Rush Limbaugh says that Obama's nation is one where black kids can beat up white kids on the bus, he's not doing that to advance a dialogue on health care.
LOTT: Rush Limbaugh is not a legislator.
LEGEND: Rush Limbaugh is a legitimate main stream conservative.
COOPER: But just to keep our viewers informed...
LOTT: And Rush Limbaugh is not a legislator and he was not marching on D.C. this weekend.
COOPER: ...just so I keep our viewers informed, what John was referencing and what Roland referenced before is a video of a beating that occurred on a school bus, two kids ganging up on another kid.
The police now say it's just purely a case of bullying. Initially one officer speculated that race may have played a role in it. That officer has now backed off that statement.
But I want to play for our viewers what Rush Limbaugh said about this incident that you're watching. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: Obama's America, white kids are getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety. But in Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering here right on, right on, right on.
And of course everybody said that white kid deserved it. He was born a racist, he's white.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Nic, I know you said he's not a legislator, but he is probably the most popular radio personality...
LEGEND: He's a leader of -- he is leader of...
LOTT: Well, let me respond to that, Anderson.
COOPER: Nic go ahead.
LOTT: If you listened to the Rush Limbaugh show. He's also an entertainer while he gives news and he informs Americans citizens on the day-to-day events in D.C.
COOPER: But do you agree with what he is just saying that -- that this is somehow a representation of President Obama's America?
LOTT: Absolutely not. I do not agree with that and I think he may have been joking. I'm not...
LEGEND: Oh, no, he wasn't joking. LOTT: I'm not here to speak for Rush Limbaugh tonight. But I'll say this...
LEGEND: But he speaks for a lot of conservatives.
LOTT: The president has welcomed new ideas to the table. He agrees that a lot of the concerns that citizens had last week are not based upon racism but they're based upon legitimate concerns. We have serious issues, we need to deal with the issues at hand and stop being distracted by being labelled racists.
COOPER: Yes, David Gergen?
GERGEN: Anderson if I could just say, I don't think we ought to let Rush Limbaugh's comments drive a conversation like this, about whether the country is racist or not. I think we have to look at the bigger picture.
And one fact that keeps being forgotten is that, 53 percent of Americans voted for Barack Obama, the black candidate. It was the highest percentage of votes in the country that any Democratic candidate has gotten in 34 years.
GERGEN: And it's really important to keep remembering that. This country -- and Jimmy Carter recognized that too in his comments -- this country has made enormous progress.
Do we still have a lot racists here? Is of course. Do we still have people on the fringes of racism? Yes, we do. But let's not sort of paint the heart of America as somehow racist. It's not.
LEGEND: I agree.
GERGEN: This is a much better country than it was 35 years ago.
COOPER: We've got to go but I'll going to give John Legend his final thoughts on this.
LEGEND: I agree completely. I believe the majority of this country is sensible and wants to have a real dialogue and a real discussion about the real issues that face Americans. Most Americans are not racist and most Americans don't buy into that.
But what President Carter said was that a certain fringe does. And for him to be demonized for saying that is just not facing the facts.
MARTIN: We've got to root them out -- we've got to root them out...
LOTT: Very small minority.
GERGEN: I agree to you on that John.
COOPER: We've got to leave it there.
GERGEN: We agree on that.
COOPER: An interesting group and an interesting discussion.
COOPER: Nic Lott, Roland Martin and David Gergen and John Legend. John I know you're performing later tonight. Have a good night.
LEGEND: San Diego.
COOPER: All right.
Coming up, breaking news: searching for evidence at the home of suspected kidnapper Phillip Garrido and finding bones on the property. The latest on this breaking developing story.
Also tonight: a murder at Yale, new details on the death of grad student Annie Le and revealing information about the person of interest. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Breaking news out of California, disturbing news. Investigators have found bones on the property where kidnapping suspects Phillip and Nancy Garrido lived for 18 years with kidnapped Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters.
Bones were also found on an adjacent property. Now, it's not clear whether the bones are human or animal. It's going to take some time to investigate that.
But let's talk about it with criminal pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, and former FBI agent and profiler Candice Delong.
Candice, how significant could this be? Garrido is being looked at the disappearances of two other young girls besides Jaycee Dugard.
CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, these two other young girls, Michaela Garecht and Ilene Misheloff, did go missing around the time that we know that Garrido was out of prison and was active.
It's very significant because in a way it fits his pattern. If these turn out to be human, of course they'll need to be tested to find out if they belong to these girls. And sadly if it turns out that they're connected to the girls...
COOPER: I mean, you look at the photo of Michaela Garecht and Jaycee Dugard, they do sort of look similar. And then you look at the photo of Garrido around that time and you look at the artist rendering of somebody who was seen at that time and I mean, I've got to say, maybe it's just with the knowledge we have now that it looks very similar, but to me both those images look very similar. DELONG: Yes, that can happen, though. And it might not be him at all. One of them, the Ilene Misheloff kidnapping, was not witnessed. The Michaela Garecht kidnapping, someone was able to provide that description. I think that description could apply to a lot of people.
COOPER: Yes. Dr. Wecht...
DELONG: I think we're going to have answers pretty soon.
COOPER: Dr. Wecht, the bones. What information, I mean, can investigators get from them and how long does it take to know if they're human or animal?
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: These bones will be studied by forensic pathologists and anthropologists. And depending upon which bones are there Anderson, they may be able to ascertain sex, race, get a very good tight range regarding age and knowing then when the girls disappeared, correlate that with that time.
Most importantly then, if these are human, then they'll be able to get some DNA for matrilineal mitochondrial DNA, that is, from the missing girl's mother. They will not have I'm sure any DNA of the girl herself. No reason why there would have been anything kept around that would have her DNA.
But mitochondrial, in this case matrilineal, will be tight enough to establish a strong relationship between...
COOPER: How long does it take to know whether it's animal or human bone?
WECHT: I would say if the physical forensic anthropologist and pathologist are there, together they may want to call in of course some top people at Smithsonian and so on. They themselves working with the appropriate experts will have an idea probably in a day or two, when whether they're human and then more time will be required...
WECHT: ...several more days to zero in on race, sex, and age.
COOPER: Ok, we're going to have more from Cyril Wecht and Candice Delong. Stick around we're going to talk about the Yale case. New information about how Yale grad student Annie Le died and the man police are calling a person of interest in the case. We want to get your thoughts on that coming up.
But first, Erica Hill has a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, federal agents today searching the home of a suburban Denver man they say has a possible link to al Qaeda. That man Najibullah Zazi (ph), travelled recently to New York and stayed in an apartment that was raided Monday as part of an investigation into an alleged terror plot. The raid was captured as you see here on the surveillance video. Zazi denies any links to terror.
Mary Travers, one third of the 1960's folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has died. She battled leukemia for several years. Travers was 72 years old.
On Wall Street this Wednesday, the DOW rising 108 points, the NASDAQ gained 30 and the S&P 500 close up 14 points, all three hitting their highest levels since the fall of last year.
And a woman who works catering jobs to the University of Notre Dame thought it was really her lucky day when she saw a more than $29,000 tip in her pay check. She says she called the school three times about the check but didn't hear back for a couple of months and by that time, well, the money was gone. Except that now the university is stewing to get it back.
HILL: You see Anderson, there were few zeros added. They meant to tip her $29, and I think it was 87 cents and not $29,000 and change.
COOPER: Well, she tried to call them.
HILL: That's what she said, they're not buying it.
COOPER: Yes maybe there was no record.
HILL: And so it begins.
COOPER: And so it begins indeed and not the last we've heard of it.
All right, still ahead, from R&B star to garbage collector: Chris Brown's punishment for beating Rihanna.
Plus, new information about the murder of Yale grad student Annie Le and what we have learned about how she died and the man the police are still calling a person of interest.
COOPER: We have new information tonight about how Yale grad student Annie Le was killed. The medical examiner's office says the 24-year-old was killed by traumatic asphyxia, caused by neck compression. In other words, she was strangled. Who did it? That of course, is the question of the hour.
A lab technician who works in the building where Le's body was found, this person is being called a person of interest. Police searched his home and car today, they are testing his DNA.
Tom Foreman has the latest in tonight's "Crime and Punishment" report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty miles from the crime scene, the street where Raymond Clark lives is buzzing. Police took him into custody at his apartment here to collect DNA. He's since been released and his lawyer says he's cooperating. But no one we met has seen him back home, so neighbors like Ashley Rowe are remembering times they spoke to him.
ASHLEY ROWE, RAYMOND CLARK'S NEIGHBOR: He was decent. His dog was really excited and he was just like, "Oh, he's really friendly, don't worry. You can pet him." He was really nice. So pretty much he was just known to love his dog. And walk around with his dog all the time.
FOREMAN (on camera): And you said he was sort of different in that he wanted to know a lot about the people he was talking to.
ROWE: He wanted to know their full name, where they're from. Stuff like that.
FOREMAN: Clark, who was 24, is not a student at Yale, but works there taking care of mice in the medical labs. His fiancee and two relatives also work in the labs according to police. But officials will say little about how Clark knew Annie Le.
CHIEF JAMES LEWIS, NEW HAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT: They worked in the same building. They passed in the hallways; anything beyond that I'm not going to talk about.
FOREMAN: Any past troubles for Le?
LEWIS: I'm not going to talk about that issue.
FOREMAN: Any video of Clark in the building that day?
LEWIS: I'm not going to talk about what video we have or don't have.
FOREMAN: An old high school friend, Lisa Heselin, remembers Clark well.
LISA HESELIN, RAYMOND CLARK'S HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND: He was a nice kid. He was a jokester, kind of like a class clown. Everybody knew him. Everybody liked him.
FOREMAN (on camera): For a while, Clark lived here not far from Yale. But neighbors here have little to say. This is the house where he used to live; up there on the second floor we're told.
But all of the residents of this building now say that they either moved in after he left or if they knew him, they did not know him well. They saw him in passing at best. He had a girlfriend and a dog by most accounts. But that's about all they know.
(voice-over): For now, police are still collecting evidence and stressing that Clark is not a suspect while signs and a family member's home are keeping the curious away from this person of interest.
COOPER: So this guy seems to have kind of disappeared from view. I assume police know exactly where he is, yes?
FOREMAN: Yes, they do, Anderson. They made that point today. We heard little bits and pieces coming in all day where he might be, but the police did say categorically and they've said from the beginning, "Look, we have been keeping an eye on where this person is."
He is a person of extreme interest to them, and he is not a suspect but they're not going to let him out of their site. In fact, we got a report just a short while ago about how a neighboring police jurisdiction tonight is helping them keep an eye on an area where they have him; they know where he is.
He is free to do what he wishes, but nonetheless they are keeping an eye on him and say will keep them in their sight at all times until they determine that he is no longer a person of interest or something more -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Tom, thanks.
We're joined by -- again, by criminal pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht and former FBI agent and profiler Candice Delong.
So Candice, we know now that she was strangled. What about this jumps out at you in terms of the crime scene, the way the body was disposed of, the clothing was disposed of and the manner of death?
CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI AGENT AND PROFILER: One of the first things that struck me when I heard five days after she was last seen that her body was found in the laboratory, and then secreted in a wall was certainly that the person responsible for her murder was someone very familiar with that laboratory; someone who also had a reason to be there.
There were 75 -- there are 75 surveillance cameras there. So a vagrant certainly didn't wander in. And crimes of this nature -- it didn't look premeditated to me. And crimes of this nature where a woman is attacked and murdered and left like that tend to not be premeditated. And it usually is someone that knew the victim.
COOPER: Dr. Wecht, strangulation is, how difficult is that? It's an incredibly intimate thing as well. It's not killing someone from afar, it's up close.
DR. CYRIL WECHT, CRIMINAL PATHOLOGIST: It's not difficult to accomplish, Anderson. Remember, this young lady, 90 pounds, 4'10". So an adult male very easily, especially if the victim is unsuspecting, can immediately encircle the neck with the two hands. Pressure on the neck for about 20 seconds can result in unconsciousness and 30 seconds definitely deep unconsciousness and after that, if pressure is continued or not, death may ensue. So it's not hard at all to envision how this could be accomplished from a physical stand point. I agree with your other guest that this most likely was something that evolved. It probably began with some sexual advances and got out of hand.
The strangulation is a classical method of killing in this kind of a situation as opposed obviously to shooting, stabbing, and even beating. The DNA evidence is going to be key here, as well as other forensic trace evidence. Hair, fibers, any blood transferred from one to the other. We heard something about scratches, I don't know if that's true or not, then material from her fingernails. What will that yield when compared to DNA from this man and other people, too.
So I think there is no need and there should not be a rush to judgment, since there's a tight population, nobody is going to be fleeing the country, and they are making certain that they do all the necessary tests.
There's no question that this is a job performed by somebody there, who as has been pointed out knew darn well where everything was and tried to hide things just so that a couple or few days could -- how to escape all of the findings and give that individual more time to think about his particular alibi.
COOPER: Candice, just the fact that -- you're saying you don't think it's premeditated, if it was something that happened spontaneously that would probably improve police chances of finding some sort of DNA evidence or some sort of physical evidence. We know they've already they say taken in more than 200 pieces of potential evidence.
DELONG: Yes, because crimes like this, when there's a crime scene like this and someone is killed, this doesn't look like it was premeditated. Her body was discovered. All kinds of evidence, as you mentioned, 200 items of evidence. I think this is probably going to be resolved very quickly.
And I agree with Dr. Wecht, this is probably -- when we see a woman killed in this manner, generally what happened is that there was an interchange of some kind, often times an advance by the male. He's rebuffed. Doesn't take the rejection well and things devolve from there and it's almost always a hands-on manual strangulation because it was unplanned. The offender didn't bring the weapon. And he's very angry and upset, not necessarily this one but generally speaking and he expresses that by going for the victim's throat.
COOPER: Dr. Wecht, appreciate your expertise tonight and Candice Delong, as well. Thank you very much.
WECHT: Thank you.
COOPER: We've got a lot more on the killing of Annie Le on our Web site. You can go to AC360.com to see a timeline of the murder, as we know it, and the mystery of it. The investigation, of course, still unfolding. You can also weigh in the live chat. Let us know what you think about this and other stories, talk to other viewers; Ac360.com, the live chat. I'll log on right now; I'm a little bit late to the party.
The lessons learned from another murdered Yale student killed more than a decade ago, her case never solved; her family still searching for answers. Well have an up close look at that case.
Also ahead, our series, "Medical Malpractice: Who Wins, Who Loses, Who Pays?" Tonight, we'll hear from a doctor who was sued by a patient after she saved her life. We'll be right back.
COOPER: We're following the latest developments in the investigation into the murder of Yale grad student Annie Le. Her body, as you know, was found stuffed into the wall of the lab on Sunday.
Now, sadly Le is not the first young woman attending Yale who met a horrible fate. Suzanne -- sorry, Suzanne Jovin was a senior at Yale when she was found dead. She was stabbed 17 times back in 1998. And her murder is still not solved.
Detectives investigating Annie Le's murder are determined not to let history repeat itself. Erica Hill has an "Up Close" look.
HILL (voice-over): Eleven years ago, Suzanne Jovin was the Yale student at the center of a murder investigation. On the night of December 4, 1998, her body was found near this New Haven intersection. The college senior had been stabbed 17 times. And the investigation into her murder has become exhibit A for what not to do in a homicide case.
Criminologist Dr. Casey Jordan.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: I think in retrospect everyone agrees that there was way too much emphasis put on James Van de Velde. By the time you find out you may have the wrong person, all of the clues, the evidence, that window of opportunity has actually passed and is gone.
HILL: James Van de Velde was Suzanne Jovin's adviser for her senior thesis and the only suspect ever named in her murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no way that you would ever harm her?
JAMES VAN DE VELDE, ADVISER OF SUZANNE JOVIN: No.
HILL: No evidence tying him to the case was ever revealed. He was never charged for any crime, but his life was turned upside down. He lost his job at Yale. Suspicion dogged him. In 2001, Van de Velde sued the New Haven Police Department, claiming officials violated his rights to privacy and to equal protection. He added Yale to that suit in 2003.
The federal case was dismissed in 2004, but in 2007, state claims were reinstated.
JORDAN: People wanted to solve this case, they wanted so badly that they really maligned Mr. Van de Velde's character. The person's life was truly destroyed. It's never the same. There is no coming back from that.
HILL: Van de Velde has not returned CNN's calls today for comment.
In 2006, the Jovin investigation was reclassified as a cold case. Then in late 2007, the state's attorney formed a special investigation team made up of four retired state police detectives.
In 2008, they released this sketch made from a 1998 description of a man seen running in the area around the time of Jovin's murder. As for updates, CNN was told the team doesn't comment on ongoing investigations.
But Suzanne Jovin's family is speaking out. Her parents sent this letter to the Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell on Tuesday, urging more funding for what they see as inadequate resources for DNA and forensics testing, one of the reasons they believe their daughter's killer has never been caught.
The governor noted $2 million federal stimulus dollars are earmarked. But it's unclear if those funds will bring answers to the Jovin family.
JORDAN: The problem is we have so many of these cold cases it's really difficult to prioritize which ones you want to go back and revisit. The Jovin case deserves to be looked at again.
HILL: And so 11 years later, the wait continues for the Jovins as another family begins its quest for answers.
COOPER: What's that guy Van de Velde doing now?
HILL: Well, according to what appears to be his Linked In profile -- it even says he'd been a lecturer at Yale -- he's now a counterterrorism and WMD analyst working just outside of Washington, D.C. been there for the last three years. And a couple years ago, he was actually working for the State Department.
COOPER: Horrible though to be sort publicly suspected of something yet never actually charged and have your life basically just fall apart.
HILL: Absolutely. And as Casey Jordan said, a lot of people jumped on that because they wanted so badly to have answers.
COOPER: Yes. Yes. Well, the case still unsolved. Erica thanks.
Still ahead tonight, a doctor saves her patient's life and the patient's baby. So why would the patient sue her? The doctor won the case but says it changed the way she practices medicine, as our "Malpractice Series" continues tonight.
And later, fashion police have spoken. From glam to gaffes, who are the best and worst dressed people of 2009, according to "People" magazine? Do you care? Well, apparently, we're naming names ahead on 360.
COOPER: Tonight, we continue our "Medical Malpractice Series: Who Wins, Who Loses, Who Pays?"
The Senate Finance Committee today issued its long-awaited health reform plan. The proposal includes something doctors wanted and encourages states to test alternatives to civil lawsuits as a way to reduce malpractice costs.
In a new survey out just this week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that 90 percent of OB-GYNs have been sued at least once. A lot of doctors say frivolous lawsuits are driving up their insurance rates and driving doctors out of business.
But not everyone agrees with the numbers doctors use to back that claim up. What's certain is that doctors do get sued and you're about to meet one of them.
Here's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Over nearly two decades, Dr. Wendy Fried has delivered more than 3,000 babies. So many babies and still this OB-GYN has never been found to be at fault.
So why is she paying close to $170,000 a year in malpractice insurance?
DR. WENDY FRIED, OBSTETRICIAN/GYNECOLOGIST: For the year, I will be paying $168,192 to be able to practice obstetrics.
KAYE (on camera): In case you're sued?
FRIED: In case I'm sued.
KAYE (voice-over): Everyone wants a perfectly healthy baby. So when something goes wrong, some families sue. Among all medical specialties, obstetricians are sued most.
In 1998, one of Dr. Fried's patients sued for malpractice. She says the pregnancy was fine, but during labor, the baby just didn't budge.
(on camera): What did that tell you?
FRIED: Immediately I suspected a uterine rupture, which is our biggest fear. At this point, I recognized that she was absolutely going to need an emergency, life-saving hysterectomy.
KAYE: Dr. Fried had to act quickly. She says her patient would have been dead within half an hour, had she not performed that emergency hysterectomy. The woman had lost so much blood she had to give her 54 units. That's about seven times the average amount of blood in the entire human body.
(voice-over): Both mom and baby survived. Such a happy conclusion, the family invited her to Christmas dinner. Then six months later...
FRIED: I would up getting a request for my records for this patient from a plaintiff's attorney. And it was like a knife in the heart.
KAYE: At that point did you realize you were being sued?
FRIED: Even at that point, I kept saying to myself -- being naive as I am -- I kept saying, "You know what? This is probably just a fact-finding mission."
KAYE: In fact, information, it was the beginning of a three-year legal battle. Dr. Reid was sued for unnecessary hysterectomy and failure to counsel her patient. Dr. Fried felt betrayed.
She said she had saved this woman's life then canceled her office hours for days to sleep at her bedside to safeguard her recovery. The patient's surprise decision to sue blew her away.
FRIED: Every single morning I would go through it and say was there something else that I could have done?
KAYE: Dr. Fried's deposition, all 900 pages of it, took three days. The trial lasted 3 1/2 weeks. When it was over, the jury decided Dr. Wendy Fried did nothing wrong.
(on camera): What was it like for you to be at a trial when you in your heart believed you did nothing wrong?
FRIED: It was such a horrible feeling, because the plaintiff's attorney tries to present this as you woke up one day and decided to destroy somebody's uterus and their life.
KAYE (voice-over): The cost of malpractice insurance is only going up. Two years ago, Dr. Fried's premiums jumped 14 percent. She's cut back on expenses at home just to afford malpractice insurance.
As for the debate over so-called defensive medicine, Dr. Friend says she does now order extra tests, even though they may not be necessary.
FRIED: Even though I may know that somebody's not sick, I may wind up ordering a test just to prove that.
KAYE: That fear of getting sued, on top of the pricey liability insurance, has forced hundreds of OB-GYNs to give up their practice.
Dr. Wendy Fried says she isn't quitting the baby business. She shouldn't, she says, because she's a good doctor. She says she can't quit, because too many others are.
Randi Kaye, CNN, North Hills, New York
COOPER: She seems like a good doctor, indeed.
Coming up next; new details on the deadly collision over the Hudson River -- a miscommunication that may have caused a fatal error.
And paying a price: Chris Brown's community service begins today. We got a video of what he's doing now.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: We're following a number of other stories tonight. Let's check in with Erica Hill and the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, a 360 follow on that tragic crash above the Hudson last month. The NTSB today saying the pilot of the plane involved in the mid-air collision had actually read back the wrong radio frequency to an air traffic controller and was not corrected.
The pilot then could not be reached to warn him that he was getting close to the sight-seeing helicopter. Moments later, of course, the plane collided with the chopper, killing nine people.
Singer Chris Brown clearing weeds and garbage at a police horse stables in Richmond, Virginia today as he started working off his 180 days of community labor for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna. He's also expected to clean graffiti, pick up roadside litter, and wash some cars. The punishment is being carried out in Virginia, because that's where Brown lives.
And this week, "People" magazine's "Best and Worst Dressed" special issue hits stands. Among the best -- ta-da-da -- Anderson's favorite of the year. Among the best dressed of 2009, first lady Michelle Obama, who won the title of Best Accessible Glamour.
Singer Taylor Swift also getting Best Sparkle (ph) honors until Kanye has something to say about it. Beyonce named Best Street Chic.
As for fashion mistakes, singer Jessica Simpson and her mom jeans and reality TV star Kate Gosselin's hair. COOPER: Wow.
HILL: Yes. We also showed some pictures of Lady Gaga before the break...
COOPER: Yes, of course.
HILL: ... in the tease. She was on the list of, I believe it's Fashion Forward Stars; she and Katy Perry.
COOPER: All right.
HILL: She's pushing the envelope.
COOPER: She is. She wore, like, how many different outfits did she wear to that VMA Awards?
COOPER: Eighteen. Yes.
I don't know if you've seen this video. It's our "Shot" tonight. It's great.
HILL: I love it.
COOPER: It's catch by a Phillies fan. He was there with his little girl. Well, we'll show you what happens next. It's very funny. We'll be right back.
COOPER: All right. For tonight's "Shot," a great catch from a dad and an even better throw from his daughter. Take a look at this.
It happened last night in the Phillies home game. Dad grabs a foul ball from the bleachers.
HILL: Nice catch, dad.
COOPER: Hands his prize possession over to his little girl.
HILL: There you go.
COOPER: There you go, and...
HILL: And here you go.
COOPER: She throws it right away.
HILL: What an arm on that kid.
COOPER: The dad's so sweet. He just laughed and then made sure that Emily knew she had done nothing wrong.
HILL: Big hug. COOPER: It's OK. Aw.
COOPER: Apparently, the Phillies gave Emily and her dad a new -- a new ball.
HILL: A good dad.
COOPER: Good dad and good kid.
Hey, that does it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.
I'll see you tomorrow at 10:00.