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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Deadly Impact of Tornadoes; Libya Crisis Continues
Aired May 26, 2011 - 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: Good evening, everyone.
Breaking news tonight in the search for victims of the Joplin tornado. First, though, I want to show you some remarkable new video we got today, video showing the initial moments after the tornado struck, video captured by a couple racing to find a family member, a brother looking for his sister through a neighborhood which after the tornado they barely even recognized.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, look at this. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh, Aaron. Oh, my gosh.
AARON COX, TORNADO SURVIVOR: It went right through here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know where...
A. COX: I don't know where we are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't even know (INAUDIBLE) I don't know where to go.
A. COX: We have got to keep going this way. Don't step on any of this. Come on. We got to keep going this way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, but I feel like I need to help if someone's hurt.
A. COX: Well, we will keep asking. Look at this house. It's gone. Come on.
You guys OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh.
A. COX: Oh, my gosh. Look at these houses, babe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Thank you.
A. COX: What street is this? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is -- I don't know. Illinois (INAUDIBLE)
A. COX: Oh, babe, look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? Oh, no. It's the hospital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It was the hospital. We will show you more of that video ahead.
Imagine, suddenly, you don't even recognize that community that you're living in because everything is so destroyed. You can't even tell where you are.
Aaron Cox and Brooke McKenzie Watson (ph) racing to find Aaron's sister, Sarah. We're going to play you the rest of the video after the break. And you will really want to see how it ends.
Last night, on this program, the governor of Missouri said there would be changes in the search for the missing. And today we saw the start of those changes. The state took over a large portion of the disaster response, releasing an official roster of people missing or unaccounted for.
I have the roster right here. Remember, for days, we have been saying 1,500 unaccounted. That was based on a local official's statement days ago. Well, today, after working all night, the state whittled down that number down to 232 people unaccounted for, 232.
But even officials concede the list contains error -- errors. Lantz Hare, for example, is on it twice, under his first and middle names. Those errors are obviously easy to correct.
What is proving more difficult, though, is the situation at the morgue in Joplin and the process for identifying the dead. You will remember we spoke to Lantz hare's dad, Mike, who -- last night, who has been searching for days to try to find his son, searching and even continually calling his son's cell phone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HARE, FATHER OF MISSING TEEN: I started calling him and still never got anything. I mean, I called it all last night. I called it today.
COOPER: You have still been calling his number?
HARE: Well, I can't stop. I don't know why. I do. I stayed up until like 2:00 last night, and that's all I did.
COOPER: You called the cell phone. Does it ring? Or...
HARE: Yes. It rang for the first day-and-a-half, and now it goes straight to voice-mail, but just in case he gets it, I want him to know his dad loves him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, today, the family got word, unofficial at first, that Lantz is dead. And it turns out he's been in the morgue all along.
His family got word through a friend in law enforcement who had access to the morgue and, as a favor, went there looking for Lantz. Now, if the friend hadn't done that, it's likely his family still would not know where Lantz is.
We also learned about -- of 16-month-old Skyular Logsdon today. His family has been searching too. We have told you his story. Well, it turns out he has also been in the morgue all this time.
But listen to this. His family only found out late yesterday, and only because of a friend of a friend showed them morgue photos of the body of a small child they thought might be Skyular, and in fact it was.
Now, both families are heartbroken, of course, but at least they know, they know where their child is. What's frustrating, however, to other families is that both found out about their kids unofficially, informally by back channels. Other families have said to us, if those kids were able to be identified, why can't their families have someone visit the morgue and check for their loved ones?
Now, of course, some identifications can only be made by DNA, by forensics, but some will be recognizable to loved ones.
Now, we want to make it clear, every official that we met in Joplin has been working incredibly hard and trying to do the right thing under very, very difficult circumstances. But some of the explanations for the delays and the red tape and the rules haven't made much sense to people who are searching for their loved ones.
And as we said, some people in Joplin continue to be incredibly frustrated. Tonight, the breaking news is that the local coroner now tells CNN that, starting tomorrow, some people under some circumstances will be allowed into the morgue to view remains.
Gary Tuchman is in Joplin tonight with the latest.
Gary, what are you hearing now? The state of Missouri took -- took charge of this missing-persons list today. What do we now know about people's access to go to the morgue?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now, as of this moment, they have no access to go to the morgue.
That may change tomorrow. More on that in a second. You have said it yourself, Anderson. People are working very hard here. But what we have seen in this disaster -- and we have covered a lot of disasters -- there is an unusual amount of a lack of compassion and common sense among many of the people here. And the case in point is Skyular Logsdon, the 16-month-old boy, his family frantic. He's missing for three days. I interviewed his father just yesterday, his father, Cord, in a hospital bed. His father was seriously injured in the tornado. His son was with him. He was convinced his son was still alive. He was saying, I know he's alive, but I just want to get into the morgue, have someone in my family get into the morgue or get some pictures from the morgue so we know for sure.
But they wouldn't let them in the morgue. And then two hours after I interviewed his father, a friend of a friend, as you just said, got them access to two pictures of toddlers in the morgue. And one of the pictures was of their son Skyular.
They still haven't found out officially. So, they're 90 percent or 95 percent sure he passed away, but not 100 percent, because they can't get in the morgue as of yet. So the coroner does say, starting tomorrow, people, some people, he says, will be able to go into the morgue. But it's not clear yet if that will happen, because we're not sure where the governor, who is the boss of the state, stands on the issue.
COOPER: Right. And we're going to talk to the governor.
And I asked him this a couple times. And this just broke literally as we were interviewing the governor, so we will show you his reaction and we will try to get the latest information.
Last night on the show, the governor said that he would do something about the problems we have been seeing with people -- with the slow access, with kind of disorganization. It does seem like he has delivered on that promise. I mean, within a few hours of getting new people in there to take over, they suddenly got this list down to 232.
The governor is working hard. He's doing some good work. The list is at 232. And I can tell you it's actually much lower, the missing list, because we saw a family of five on the list. We wanted to go their house. How could a family of five be missing? The house wasn't that badly damaged. And we talked to neighbors who say the family is fine. They're just in another town right now.
So we know that number will go a lot lower. We can tell you about some strange things going on here. The morgue, where these bodies are right now, is a secret morgue, and it literally is secret. You call up officials and say, can you tell us where the morgue is, they say it's a secret, we can't tell you.
Families don't know where the morgue is. The families who do know where the morgue is are afraid to tell us because they're afraid they will get in trouble for telling us, so we had to do some investigating, because we wanted to ask questions of the morgue as to what is going on inside the morgue and what happened to this little boy. We wanted to find that out. So we found the morgue after some investigating and I want to show you this very strange and unusual encounter we had on a public road with law enforcement officials that felt like we were crossing an international border without a passport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guys, what are you doing?
TUCHMAN: We're with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
TUCHMAN: We're trying to find out where the morgue is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys got any cameras or anything?
TUCHMAN: Yes, we do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. They need to be secured in the back of your vehicle.
TUCHMAN: Well, why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we have orders from our lieutenant to do that.
TUCHMAN: Lieutenant to do what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To secure your cameras in the back of the vehicle.
TUCHMAN: Is there secret activity going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys just can't be around here. That is all.
TUCHMAN: Yes, but why?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is private property there, private property...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in the middle of the road, where -- and you're a danger to yourself. As you can see, there's a vehicle behind you.
TUCHMAN: I know, but that's why I was off the road for a second while I was making a phone call.
(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a negotiation. Take your cameras and put them in the back of your vehicle.
TUCHMAN: OK. We just want to find out a baby who may be in the morgue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Is he shooting back there? Hey, take that camera and put it in the back of your car, all right?
TUCHMAN: Go ahead and go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't come back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: He told us, "Don't come back."
The police officer actually opened our door. And I was afraid he was going to arrest our cameraman. And that's when he turned off the camera. But we don't usually hear that, Anderson, from the good guys in the blue, saying stuff like that.
Listen, I understand why they're concerned about -- they don't want people going to this morgue and creating drama and stuff.
I want to play for our viewers what the coroner said on Eliot Spitzer's show earlier tonight. Just to try to get a sense of -- for people who may be listening and may be thinking, well, can I go to the morgue, let's play what the coroner said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BRIDGES, NEWTON COUNTY, MISSOURI CORONER: What -- I just stepped out of meeting at Missouri Southern State University with a group of family members and they expressed their concerns of just the concerns I have listened to tonight. And the decision was made if a person can make a positive I. D. with the, let's say, for instance piercings or tattoos.
A lot of people told us about, they would have a specific tattoo that nobody else would have, we're tomorrow going to start the process of allowing those people to view the bodies of the loved ones if we can make a positive I. D. , going to go ahead and release those bodies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So that's what the coroner said to Eliot Spitzer.
So, Gary, I guess they're -- we're just going to have to wait and see tomorrow what exactly the situation is.
I -- as you know, Gary, I talked to the governor while that conversation was airing on Eliot's show. I was speaking to the governor in a pretaped interview. And when we spoke last night with Jay Nixon, Missouri's governor, he promised action. As I said -- and on this program, we point out a lot when politicians don't deliver on their promises, but we also believe in pointing out when they do.
The governor has delivered. The state's Department of Public Safety has, as we said, taken over the search for the missing. The governor ordered in some 20 or so officers to help get things organized and sorted out. And as you mentioned earlier, it took them just a couple hours to whittle down the estimated 1,500 unaccounted to a list of about 232 people unaccounted for.
So I spoke to the governor a short time ago. I asked him how that effort is going and also about these frustrations about what we have been hearing about the situation at the morgue.
COOPER: Governor, last night, you said on this program that your administration was going to take more direct control. It already has. Just this morning, you guys basically have taken over the effort, the state has taken over the effort to try to locate the missing. The number -- the actual number of missing and unaccounted for has now been drastically reduced from the 1,500 that we have been working off of.
So, clearly, there's already changes afoot. What's the latest from your vantage point?
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: Well, we did see that challenge. That list of 1,300 was out there from a myriad of sources.
We took control of that yesterday morning and brought folks in. They worked all night, got that down to 232, then, this evening, had a meeting with all of those families to go through the processes of the necessary identification.
Our goal is obviously to get the zero on that number, move down off 232 to zero. Unfortunately, some of those stories are going to be very, very sad. But the bottom line is that we have made significant progress today towards taking away that uncertainty and we're working all day and all night to finish that task.
COOPER: You do know this list of 232, obviously, some of these people are going to be alive. In fact, according to the AP, the first person on the list, a woman by the name of Sally Adams, is actually alive. They have already confirmed this. She was in an article that she survived the storm. So, this 232 number, you're going to quickly try to whittle that down even more?
We had over a dozen folks who were able to get off that list very, very quickly late this morning as we move forward. That's good news, when you can find folks. Where they have been calls in, when they have been reports filed that they're unaccounted for, we got these facts out publicly. We want to whittle that down. But, unfortunately, there's also some very, very sad stories on that list, as we expect some of those folks to be found in a condition that's no longer living.
COOPER: What we're still hearing a lot of anger about and frustration over is the situation in the morgue.
And I got to ask you about it. Gary Tuchman, our correspondent, just reported on a family member who's been shown a picture of her 16- month-old nephew, Skyular Logsdon, deceased. Now, for days, the family hasn't known whether Skyular was alive or not. It turns out Skyular is in the morgue.
She was shown that picture through unofficial channels, and yet she and her family have not been allowed in to see the body and receive actual confirmation that little Skyular is in fact dead. How is that possible?
NIXON: Well, that's one of the reasons we moved to have all 232 of the folks that were missing, those reporter -- the folks that have made those reports in a private meeting with the folks at the morgue, with the other areas.
But it's also important to note, Anderson, that this was an incredible storm, and this is not a series of bodies lying in a row that are easily identifiable. There are pieces of folks. There are very, very difficult scenes. And it's not as easy as walking down a row and being able to instantly identify. The DNA matches -- and, unfortunately, a significant number are going to be necessary to confirm that.
That takes a little while. But it's a reality of a storm of this magnitude that's done this level of damage.
COOPER: But granted, no doubt about it, and obviously one wants to wait for DNA for final confirmation, but in the meantime, they have been saying that might take two weeks.
It doesn't seem reasonable to expect a grieving family to just be told to sit on their hands for two weeks. There are plenty of family members who would be willing to take on the onerous task of walking down that row, and even if the sights are horrible, I know plenty of family members who want that opportunity very badly.
NIXON: Well, as I said before, when we got a sense yesterday that the information wasn't moving quickly enough, we came in. We took over that operation. We have seen a dramatic shift today, going from kind of an unknown list of 232 to a list of 232 confirmed folks, and then moving off that number already today, setting up and having a meeting with the morgue, with all of these families to go through that process.
COOPER: But it does seem like families who are lucky enough to have a friend in law enforcement who is able to get into the morgue, they have been able -- like Lantz Hare, for instance. This is a young man, his father has been on TV, been on my program last night weeping. He was -- doesn't have much money.
He was spending what money he could to drive to Springfield to try to look into a hospital there. It turns out his son Lantz has been dead in the morgue this whole time, and a family friend who is a law enforcement officer was able to get in and see that it was in fact Lantz because he knows the boy well, and he told the family that their son is in fact dead and in the morgue.
And still there's been no official confirmation of that. That just doesn't seem right, that a family that luckily enough has a connection is able to find information and get confirmation, and a family that doesn't has to wait two weeks. Isn't there some way to speed this up and not just have it be relying on DNA to allow families access?
NIXON: Well, this has been an unmistakable tragedy, an almost unimaginable tragedy for this community. It's ripped apart families in so many ways.
As I said before, when we got the sense that there was challenges yesterday morning, we acted and we moved to accelerate dramatically the process. And it's hard to say we had a good day when you're identifying remains of folks that have been killed. I don't mean in any way, shape or form to show a lack of sensitivity.
But, as I said to you, Anderson, right here in Joplin yesterday, I think you will see a significant change. And I think, when folks got up this morning, they saw a focused effort towards getting that information out.
There's certainly no -- no desire to hide this vital information from these folks in any way, shape or form. And we're pressing with the resources we have and additional resources to make sure that we get that information out as quickly as possible.
COOPER: I understand the local coroner now just told CNN tonight that beginning tomorrow, people will be able to get into the morgues and identify bodies. Can you confirm that? Would you support that?
NIXON: We're going to continue, as we did yesterday, to move that number down. We're continue to move forward.
But there are some very difficult moments ahead for all these families, quite frankly, for this community. And it's a very difficult process. And I just want everybody to know that the folks that we have got in there are working as quickly as they can to be sure and to get that information out to those families that are so in need.
COOPER: I'm just not clear. Again, I don't want to push you on this, but I'm just not clear. Does that mean you -- if in fact the coroner has said people can go, you would support that, or you're not sure at this time; you need to check with him and get back to us?
NIXON: I don't need to check with anybody. I know that there's people that, as this process has moved forward, have had access and will continue to have access.
That being said, as the day has moved on, more people have certainly had access to the process. More people have gotten direct notification. But we believe that those people deserve notification first, not by the governor talking on CNN. We're dealing with families here and the lives of people. And I'm going to continue to move a process that focuses on the personal rights and liberties of those individuals and get that information out as quickly as we possibly can.
COOPER: All right. I think I got the answer on that one.
Governor Nixon, I appreciate your time. I know it's been a long day for you. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
NIXON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
COOPER: That's a tough job, no matter how we look at it.
We continue to do what we can to try to help people reconnect with their missing loved ones.
In addition to Sally Adams, whom the governor -- well, we mentioned who is on the list who -- actually on the unaccounted-for list who actually is confirmed to be alive. Good news to report about Linda Sweeten, who has also been -- we have been reporting on. She has been located. She is safe tonight.
Still no word yet on Robert Bateson,, 47 years old, who lived in the Connecticut Point apartments. He has got a mountain scene tattooed across his back. If you have seen him, call the number on the screen, 417-499-7177.
Also still missing, 74-year-old Patricia Dawson. Both she and Robert Bateson on the official list of missing and unaccounted for. Call 417-880-0046 with information about her. Her daughter-in-law tells us today it was the first day the family did not go to her apartment site to search or wait for her to turn up. They have given the morgue a description and are now waiting for word, hoping.
The search goes on of course for Will Norton. And they need volunteers. People are asked to assemble tomorrow morning 8:00 a.m. local time at Billingsley Hall. His family would appreciate that. That's at Missouri Southern State University.
In addition, please call 757-751-9455 with any information about him or e-mail email@example.com.
You can follow us on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight, as well, if I can.
Up next, we have video, some of the video we showed you earlier taken moments after the tornado hit. We want to show you the complete piece of video as a brother searches for his sister. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. COX: Sarah! Mike!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarah! Mike! Mike! Sarah!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, we will show you how the video ended, how the story ends. You will not want to miss it. I guarantee that.
Later, new allegations against the Gadhafi regime. This is an incredibly disturbing story. It's stunning, not perhaps surprising. But according to some confirmed reports and some video evidence that a reporter has seen in Misrata, his troops are engaging in systematic, systematic rape, mass rape.
We're going to talk to one of the few correspondents still on the ground in Misrata who has actually seen the video, video that stunned her.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Well, our breaking news tonight, the coroner handling fatalities from the Joplin tornado now says that certain people with missing family members will be allowed in to make positive identification if they know of specific tattoos or other unique markings on the body of their loved one.
We showed you video at the top that was taken just moments after the tornado struck. It's video unlike really anything that we have seen over the last couple days. A couple, Brooke McKenzie Watson (ph) and Aaron Cox, searching for Aaron's sister through what was now a neighborhood in -- well, in name only. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. COX: Look at all this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. You guys OK?
A. COX: Holy crap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, they raced to the home of Aaron's sister, Sarah. A tree across the street was burning. Sarah's house was badly damaged. Look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. COX: Sarah! Mike! Sarah! Mike!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarah! Mike! Mike! Sarah!
A. COX: All right, I'm going to check the basement.
A. COX: Sarah? Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike? Sarah?
A. COX: You guys down here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike?
A. COX: Sis?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kirby (ph).
A. COX: Sarah?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not in the bedroom.
A. COX: They must have left.
A. COX: I think they're gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kirby. Kirby.
A. COX: Kirby Jean (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just going to hope that they (INAUDIBLE) they took Kirby with them, OK? All right, come on. They're not in the basement?
A. COX: No, I don't think so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. OK.
A. COX: Sarah! Mike!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not down there. You went down there?
A. COX: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
A. COX: You can't really see anything, though.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's OK, baby. That just means they're not here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Kirby, by the way, is Sarah's cat. Brooke and Aaron did not find Sarah at home, but they did find Sarah.
Aaron and Sarah join me now.
It's very nice to see both of you together. Can you guys hear me? This is Anderson.
SARAH COX, TORNADO SURVIVOR: One, two, three, four, five.
A. COX: Yes, sir.
COOPER: Hey, Aaron, you can hear me. Good.
Sarah, you can hear me?
S. COX: Yes.
COOPER: All right. Cool. It's great to see you guys together.
Aaron, what was going through your head when you grabbed the camera and first ran outside? Had you ever been through anything like this before?
A. COX: Nothing like this.
I mean, I'm not sure anybody has with what they're saying about this kind of tornado. When we left the house, we had no idea it was like this, though. I took the camera thinking there would be some downed trees and stuff like that. But by the time we had to abandon the car because of the debris, you kind of realized the severity of everything.
And I already had the camera running. So we just kind of had it running as we went out searching. And every block you went in deeper, the worse and worse it got and the severity of it kind of set in.
COOPER: And, Aaron, it's amazing. You even had trouble figuring out where you were, even though it's probably a neighborhood you probably know very well.
A. COX: Yes. I have lived in Joplin my entire life. You know, I had been to my sister's house obviously plenty of times.
But everything was just so leveled, you had no idea where you were. Even without -- with the street signs gone, there was no land markers, no houses, no trees, no nothing. It was just completely, completely barren. So we just kept having to ask people where we were. And even the people who lived on those streets were so dazed, they had a hard time telling us where we were. So it was a real struggle to find out where the heck we were.
COOPER: It's amazing.
Sarah, where did you ride out the storm? S. COX: We -- we were in the basement of our home. It was an old cellar, I think originally an outdoor cellar.
And we just were watching TV, getting ready for dinner and we heard the sirens go off. So we went to the basement and continued watching TV, until we couldn't hear it anymore and realized what was going on.
COOPER: And what was it like being in the basement hearing this storm?
S. COX: It was crazy. Actually, the only reason I know that I knew what was going on was because of TV and people saying it sounds like a train. And it dawned on us when I said, oh, it sounds like a train going by. It was like -- we realized what it was.
And then when the pressure of our ears came, it felt like our ears were going to blow. And that is when my fiance said, this is definitely -- we're in a tornado. And so it was pretty terrifying.
COOPER: Aaron, how did you finally find Sarah?
A. COX: Well, after we didn't find them at the house, we didn't know what to do.
But people pointed us to the Walgreens a few blocks away, saying that was where they had a triage center set up. So, that's where we went. They weren't there, so we started just walking down Main Street, or what was left of Main Street, trying to get cell phone signal, which was nonexistent, asking people if they had seen them, yelling out their names.
And finally we just happened to walk into cell coverage and her fiance, Mike, got a phone call through to us that lasted about 10 seconds, pretty much saying they had made it to our parents' house, they were OK, and then the phone cut out. But, I mean, that's all we needed to hear, thankfully.
COOPER: Wow. That's incredible.
And, Sarah, your cat, Kirby, is he OK?
S. COX: He is OK. He's a little traumatized. That's why I didn't bring him tonight.
COOPER: That's OK.
S. COX: But, yes, he's happy and ready to be getting back to usual, you know?
COOPER: And, Aaron, I'm told you're getting married in just a couple days and you managed to actually save the wedding dress. How did you do that? Because I know somebody else who -- the store where they -- where the wedding dress was, was obliterated and their dress is gone.
A. COX: Yes, sir. Well, I -- similar -- similar story. We're walking down Main Street, and this was after we had found out that they were OK. So now we're just trying to get ahold of our parents or our relatives and our other brother in town.
And we come across the alteration store, and it's blown up. The roof is half on. The glass is all blown out. So my fiancee, McKenzie (ph) realizes, you know, that's the alteration shop. So she crawls in through a broken window and I'm waiting outside for her. And she emerges a few minutes later just this big grin on her face. And she's like, this was the only dress that was not on the floor in shreds or soaked.
A. COX: And her dress was still in the white bag, still hanging on the rack.
S. COX: Hanging.
COOPER: That's amazing.
A. COX: And so, in part of the video, you see me walking with this giant white bundle, and that's what it is, this 10-pound wedding dress.
COOPER: That's incredible.
And are you holding the wedding in Joplin?
A. COX: Yes. The church we grew up in is the First United Methodist Church on Fourth and Byers, which is actually the FEMA headquarters right now, too, I believe.
COOPER: That's -- well, that's a great -- just I'm so glad you guys found each other and that everybody is OK.
S. COX: Thank you.
COOPER: And I wish you all the best. You know, there's a lot of stories that have not ended happily, so it's nice to have one that has. Thank you so much.
Have a great wedding.
A. COX: Thank you.
S. COX: Thank you.
A. COX: Thank you.
COOPER: Yes. Have a great time this -- this coming -- coming up.
Later up tonight, we're going to take you to Libya to the besieged town of Misrata. We are going to talk to Marie Colvin, a reporter, a British reporter there from "The Sunday Times" who has a story that's just -- it's hard to hear. I'm going to tell you that right now. But it's an important story, evidence of systematic abuse, sexual abuse, sexual violence against young women by Gadhafi's forces. She has seen video proof of this actually taken by the soldiers on their cell-phone cameras. She'll explain what she's seen ahead.
And later in "Crime & Punishment," accused Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner deemed not competent to stand trial -- we learned that yesterday; you've probably heard that -- because of mental illness. I'll talk to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, also Dr. Sanjay Gupta about how Loughner's case compares to Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper, for instance, also diagnosed as mentally ill, who was just sentenced to life in prison.
COOPER: Well, for months on this program, we followed the story of Eman al-Obeidy, who says she was gang raped in Libya by Muammar Gadhafi's soldiers. Well tonight, there are absolutely horrifying reports that Eman's case was anything but an isolated one. That, in fact, Gadhafi troops may have, at least in some cases, been ordered to systematically rape young women and girls in Misurata, a town that they were -- have been besieging for months, a town they've been occupying, as well.
The women, the young girls, by and large, are too scared to come forward. But there is cell-phone video, videos that were found on the cell phones of Libyan soldiers, Libyan government soldiers. Marie Colvin of Britain's "Sunday Times" has seen at least one of these videos. I spoke with her just a short time ago on the phone from Misurata.
COOPER: So Marie, you have actually seen evidence of basically systematic rapes by Gadhafi forces of civilians in Misurata. What have you seen? What have you heard?
MARIE COLVIN, REPORTER, "SUNDAY TIMES" (via phone): I thought, well, it could be an urban myth, you know. Rumors travel. There's no phones here. Everybody has been literally -- virtually incarcerated in their homes. Maybe these are rumors.
But I watched one of these videos, and it turned my stomach. There's no way to describe the disgust I felt.
It was four young women, probably about 16, into the early 20s, stripped in front of their parents and two little children, and then taken into a separate room by about 20 soldiers in uniform, and raped horrifically. And one point, one of them screams for Allah, God, and a soldier screams back at her, "Our God is Gadhafi." And they raped these four young women repeatedly.
COOPER: And how do we know that this isn't just, you know, a group of thugs doing this? Is there evidence that this is directed by officers, that this is somehow, I mean, a part of their strategy?
COLVIN: The direct evidence that I have is talking to one of Gadhafi's soldiers who is a prisoner here, and repentant. And he said his two officers entered this house. This is a different house. There's about a thousand rapes.
COOPER: A thousand rapes?
COLVIN: Entered this house -- about a thousand rapes across Misurata over a two-month period.
The officers raped the young women first. Other members of the unit raped the young women in the house. They were standing guard, ordered to stand guard up on the roof. And then their next order was to come downstairs and rape two young women.
COOPER: Why would they being doing this? I mean, we've seen this in the Congo, where reported a lot, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where rape has become a weapon of war, and it's an attempt to destroy society. What is the -- what is the purpose here?
COLVIN: It's very much a weapon of war is the way to put it, Anderson. It's a -- it's a weapon particularly in this very, very conservative society. This is a -- it's not just the Islamic faith. It's a conservative, traditional society.
Women -- women who have been raped, sad to say, are unmarriageable. Women who are married and raped bring shame on the family. So terrorizing and undermining the effectiveness of your enemy forces, that's a weapon of war, and it's a war crime.
COOPER: And is there treatment for any of these young girls? I mean, are they able to even come forward?
COLVIN: Women who have been raped are not -- I was not able to speak to them. They're shocked, traumatized.
I have spoken to doctors who are being very sympathetic. There is sympathy for these women that has, first of all, extended to some of the younger rebels, saying that they feel so guilty they did not get to these families in time to save the women of Misurata. They want to marry -- they've offered to marry the young women, which would save them from a very lonely and blighted life.
The doctors here are taking very practical steps to begin with, trying to reach out to the community and get them treated initially for sexually transmissible diseases, and -- and offering abortions. Abortion is not legal here, but they see this as something they can do to, in some way, help these young women.
And then counseling. They're in touch with some of the counselors and doctors who helped the rape victims of Bosnia, for example, where you had 50,000 rapes and a wave of suicides. That's what they're worried about here to begin with.
COOPER: Well, it is just -- it's incredible. Marie, it's a hard thing to talk about, and I appreciate you reporting on it and talking to us about it. Thank you.
COLVIN: Good talking to you, Anderson.
COOPER: Still ahead, "Crime & Punishment." A major roadblock to prosecutors in the Arizona mass shooting case. A judge ruling that Jared Lee Loughner isn't fit to stand trial because of mental illness. On the same day, Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper was sentenced to life in prison. Why the different outcomes? Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jeffrey Toobin join me ahead with that.
Plus, a CIA team gets the green light to search Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. What they hope to find. We'll have those details ahead.
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight. Two high-profile cases take dramatically different turns. In Salt Lake City, a federal judge sentenced Brian David Mitchell to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Smart almost nine years ago while holding her captive for months. The state court actually found Mitchell mentally ill and unfit to stand trial.
But in federal court, the jury rejected the insanity defense Mitchell's lawyers presented, even though the defendant repeatedly sang church hymns in the courtroom. He did it again in his sentencing, when Smart addressed her kidnapper for the first time. He basically ignored her.
Here's what she said later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH SMART, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I told Brian David Mitchell today in court that, whether he received his just sentence here on earth or after this earth life, that one day he will have to be responsible.
I was happy for the opportunity to say what I felt that I needed to say. And I am thrilled it's over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Meantime, in Arizona, a judge ruled that mass shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner is not competent to stand trial. Loughner is charged, of course, with killing six people, wounding 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
The judge said he based his decision on court-ordered mental evaluations of Loughner, who's been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Loughner is going to be re-evaluated in September when he's due back in court.
Remarkably, different -- very different outcomes in two high- profile cases. I talked about both cases to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Sanjay, how do they determine if someone is mentally competent enough to stand trial?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in this case, there was two experts, a psychiatrist and a psychologist who spent a lot of time with him every day over a period of a month, after several hours, 18 hours of interviews.
And the interviews, incidentally, were described with him mainly in bed with the cover sort of up to his face, and he was sort of incoherently rambling was how they described it. They did that. They looked at all sorts of background information, got a really good medical history, looked at his history of substance abuse. Even gave an I.Q. test.
And at the end of all this, they make some conclusions. And these reports, incidentally, are submitted separately, it was my understanding, as well, to the judge. He did not seem to have the ability to understand the proceedings of the legal system. They say they had characteristics of both paranoia and schizophrenia. His thinking was very disorganized. And they both said, though, that he did not have any evidence, at least in our opinion, that he malingering or faking in any way, as well.
COOPER: Mentally competent to stand trial and an insanity trial, Jeff, are too different things.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Very different things, and it relates to time. Mentally competent to stand trial means right now. Does he understand what's going on?
Insanity defense relates to his mental state at the time that the crime took place.
So, you know, there's a lot of evidence in this case, apparently, that he was looking on the Internet about possible penalties. What does it mean about solitary confinement, the death penalty? All of that would certainly be relevant on the question of insanity, if that's what he winds up pleading. That has no relevance to the question of right now, is he fit to stand trial.
COOPER: So even if he's a paranoid schizophrenic, that doesn't necessarily mean -- I mean, could he -- could he still be that he's not insane at the time of the crime?
TOOBIN: That's right. I mean, they are separate judgments. All of these are very fuzzy legal categories. The legal system has struggled literally for centuries, since the 18th Century, to try to define these terms like insanity. And frankly, it hasn't been very successful.
So the short answer is, it's very hard to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. I mean, we don't have a lot of people who get acquitted on those grounds, but it does happen occasionally. But the first step is you have to be found fit to stand trial.
COOPER: And right now, that's -- he's not fit to stand trial?
TOOBIN: That's right. And they'll come back in September. But this could go on for years. I mean, they could go on finding him not fit, but you don't get a free pass, like you are out -- you are in custody, and they keep making that evaluation.
COOPER: But Sanjay, I mean, if it's paranoid schizophrenia, there is medication. I mean, there are many people who are schizophrenics who live, you know, constructive lives and, you know, contribute to society by taking their medication. If he was able to take medication or forced to take medication, could he then be determined competent to stand trial?
GUPTA: I think s, and I think that's exactly what the plan is. You're absolutely right. We just did a whole investigation into these sorts of things, mental illness in particular. But right now he seems to have characteristics where he has lost touch with reality. He has specific delusional behavior. That delusional behavior can sometimes result in violent outbursts.
But you're absolutely right. The psychiatric sort of approach is that this potentially could be treated. Talk cognitive therapy as well as medication. And I think you're right. I mean, Jeffrey would know better than I, that that's going to be forced.
COOPER: Can somebody be forced?
TOOBIN: Absolutely. And there's also a very interesting medical ethics question, because there are doctors who don't want to participate in this, because the goal of this treatment is to get him sane enough to go to go to trial, where he may be executed at the end of it. And he's not going to be executed if he's not fit to stand trial. So there's some doctors who say, "I don't want any part of this."
And I'm curious what Sanjay thinks. I mean, what do you think? You're a doctor. What would you think about thinking -- treating someone so that they could be well enough to maybe executed down the line?
GUPTA: Well, I think, you know -- and a lot of doctors have differing opinions, like you're saying, but I think right now he has basically been treated -- diagnosed rather with a medical problem, a major medical problem. And so I think the focus and the goal is to try and treat that existing medical problem.
How a trial ends up, where exactly it goes from there, all those proceedings, I think are probably, you know, less on the mind of the doctors who are trying to say, "Look, he has a diagnosed mental illness. We know how to treat this. We know some strategies. Let's go ahead and implement those."
COOPER: But it's interesting, Sanjay. I mean, you know, Loughner reportedly had outbursts in court, as did Brian David Mitchell, Elizabeth Smart's captor. He was declared competent to stand trial. I remember talking to Elizabeth Smart's dad, who felt that he was faking it, basically, in the courtroom, you know, having these outbursts to seem like he was schizophrenic or had some sort of mental instability.
GUPTA: Well, Anderson, two things. First of all, there's not a blood test or a brain scan or something as of yet that can conclusively diagnose some of the things that we're talking about here. So these diagnoses are based on lots of different things, including hours and hours of interviews, again, and sort of evaluation, all the background information, all of that.
But in the end, he was diagnosed with antisocial and narcissistic behavior. These are very different than Loughner's case of paranoid schizophrenia. They felt that, while he had these behaviors, they were dangerous. He was able to understand what was going on. He did have these outbursts, was singing to himself.
But this was based on, you know, again, professional evaluations that were done very similar to what Jared Loughner had.
TOOBIN: These categories are very hard to define, and the judges, you know, they struggle. They try to do the right thing. But it's not always an easy call.
COOPER: And Loughner's case goes back to the judge September 21 to the judge to see if maybe his mental condition has changed. So we'll see what happens. Sanjay, appreciate it. Thanks to Jeff, as well.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: Just want to give you a quick programming note. This weekend, "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D.," Sanjay is going to sit down with Patrick Kennedy, who talks a lot about his own battle with mental illness and addition. That special report is Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Ahead tonight, Sarah Palin is headed for Washington. What the former vice-presidential candidate will be doing this weekend that is sending her to the nation's capital. We'll tell you that, coming up.
Plus, they land on the cover of magazines almost every week, and tonight they're landing on our "RidicuList." See what the Kardashian sisters have done now.
COOPER: Coming up, a new addition to the "RidicuList." A few clues: they're sisters. They have the same initials. They've written another book, but not the one we want.
First, though, Joe Johns joins us with some news on the "360" News & Business Bulletin" -- Joe. JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pakistan has agreed to allow the CIA to send a forensics team to examine the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed to search for al Qaeda materials that might be hidden inside walls or buried at the site.
Yugoslav war crime suspect Ratko Milatic has been arrested after more than 15 years in hiding. The one-time Bosnian Serb commander is facing charges of genocide, extermination, and murder. Serbia's president said Milatic was arrested in a town north of Belgrade after a three-year investigation. He'll be tried at the International Criminal Court at the Hague.
In Washington this weekend, Sarah Palin will begin a multi-city tour that's being billed as the One Nation tour. A source told CNN the former Alaska governor will tour a string of historical sites along the East Coast. Palin isn't saying if this means she's a step closer to a 2012 presidential run.
And gas prices are up more than a dollar this Memorial Day weekend from last year. But that's not going to keep everybody home. Triple-A says nearly 35 million Americans plan to travel this weekend, slightly more than this year. And that's just not going to keep people around here from going to the beach, I don't think.
COOPER: Thirty-five million, that's incredible.
Joe, thanks very much.
Time now for the "RidicuList." We haven't done it all week, but we thought it's been a tough week. Wouldn't it be nice to have something to kind of laugh about right towards the end of the program?
Tonight, we're adding the Kardashian sisters, who I'm very excited to say have a book coming out. That's right. Kim, the other one, and the other one have written a new book which will hit stores in November.
Now, when I first heard about this, I thought, you know, fantastic. Finally, we're going to get some insight into all the areas of their lives that haven't been mined for their four different reality shows and for their first book, "Kardashian Konfidential," or the second one, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."
But my hopes were soon dashed, kar-dashed, if you will. Thank you. Because this new book will not give us the inside access to the reclusive -- reclusive lives that we so desperately need. This book is a novel. Like the -- like the world needs another one of those boring things.
Come fall, the Kardashians will be right there in the fiction section, nestled in between mind-numbing old Franz Kafka and that snoozefest Jack Kerouac. Boring.
Now, I know what you're thinking: how many Kardashian sisters does it take to write a novel? The correct answer, of course, is two: one to pay the ghost writer and one to go through and change all the "C's" to "K's." But I've read all three were heavily involved in creating this literature.
To those who scoff at the notion that Kim and Kourtney and the other one could actually write a novel, give me a break. These are smart ladies. You cannot turn one sex tape into a jillion-dollar business empire without being incredibly creative. I truly believe that. But even creative geniuses occasionally get writer's block, and that, apparently, is what's happened to the Kardashians after they finished writing the whole novel when it came time to name it.
From Kim's blog, and I quote, "We couldn't decide on a title, and we know how creative you guys are. So what do you think? What should we call our first novel?"
See, this kind of surprised me. Kim is really good at coming up with creative names for things. I mean, just look at her perfume. It's called Kim Kardashian. I bet she came up with a really great book title, too, but that other one -- you know, the one who has the baby -- is just jealous and wouldn't let her go for it.
So now there's a contest to name the book. Kim didn't have time to give -- give the details. For that, we have to zip over to Khloe's blog. All we have to do is follow @HarperCollins and then tweet your two- or three-word title suggestions in all caps, using the hash tag #TitleMeK. "Head over to BookPerk.com/Kardashian for more details."
How hard is it to come up with a title for a novel? "Katcher in the Rye," "Kry the Beloved Kountry," "Katch-22," "Krime and Punishment," "The Kount of Monte Kristo." There are five right off the top of my head. Come on, ladies, novel naming is easy.
Anyway, I don't want another novel. I want a book that tells -- tells us more about you. What do you like? How do you spend your days? What are you -- do you endorse any products, for instance, that might be available for sale? When's your Search collection coming out? Are you dating anyone? Wait, hang on, my producer is just telling me that Kim just got engaged. Congratulations.
But come on, that's pretty personal. An emotional event between two people in love, I wouldn't want to invade her privacy by knowing every last detail about the proposal, which is why I'm not going to read about it in the exclusive she just gave "People" magazine.
I'm also not going to read that novel, no matter what it's being called, no matter how popular it is on the "RidicuList" book club. And I'm sure it's going to be very popular. Look out, Bronte sisters.
We'll be right back.