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School Rejects HIV-Positive Student; Herman Cain to Make Announcement; Newt Gingrich Rising

Aired December 2, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. It is 10:00 here on the East Coast.

We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a school's decision to turn away a 13-year-old honor student for one single reason: He's HIV-positive.

Now, this is not a case of a school denying the child admission and the child believing or thinking or assuming he's been denied because he's HIV-positive. No, in this case, the school admits in no uncertain terms that is why they're keeping the kid out.

I'm going to talk to a school representative in a moment and you will hear from legal and medical experts who say their decision, the school's decision, is ignorant, medically unsound and against the law.

This is happening by the way, the week of World AIDS Day, and it's happening 26 years after another teenager named Ryan White was barred from going to class because he was HIV-positive. Back then Ryan White showed you could be HIV-positive and not pose a threat to fellow students or anyone else.

The question tonight, have we not learned anything since then?

Three years ago, Congress specifically amended the Americans With Disabilities Act to explicitly bar discrimination based on HIV status and the time something remarkable and to many so is the setting where this decision was made, at Pennsylvania's Milton Hershey School which was established 102 years ago by the chocolate company founder to provide education and opportunity for disadvantaged children; 1,800 kids now live and study there.

They get room and board, clothing, medical, dental care, some of the best faculty and educational opportunities available and they don't pay a penny for it. It is by all accounts a remarkable and extraordinary school.

According to the admission Standards, students come from a family of low income, limited resources and social need. And the school admits boys and girls of any race, color, religion, nationality or ethnic origin. But now they have decided not to admit a child who has HIV.

The 13-year-old is on the honor roll at his current school, a student athlete, taking drugs to keep the virus in check. Here is what the student told Philadelphia station WCAU.


JOHN DOE, 13-YEAR-OLD WITH HIV: What they did was wrong. They put me through emotional distress. I fell into other teenager should go through this, being denied just because they have HIV.


COOPER: This week, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania filed suit on his behalf claiming the Hershey School violates the Americans With Disabilities Act. And in earlier court paper, school lawyers argued for an exemption in part because of the possibility, the possibility he might have sex with another student.

"The school knows that no child can be assumed to always make responsible decisions which affect the well-being of others." It goes on, "The school believes that it's made the correct assessment of the risks of transmission of HIV in this setting and has not violated the law because this student would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other students."

"Keeping Them Honest," though, that presumes an awful lot. It presumes that a 13-year-old would even have sex, and then it presumes that sex would be unprotected, and then it presumes that this unprotected sex would result in transmission of the virus, even though the drugs that he's taking makes that more than 95 percent impossible.

In the words of Art Kaplan, a leading expert on ethics and medicine -- quote -- "You've got to be kidding me."

In, a moment our own experts weigh in.

First, though, what the Hershey School has to say because whatever you think of their decision they're being very straight- forward about defending it.

Joining me is Connie McNamara, spokeswoman for the Milton Hershey School.

Ms. McNamara, why is your school decided to deny admission to this HIV-positive young man?

CONNIE MCNAMARA, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL: Well, Anderson, I think first I would like you and your viewers to understand what the Milton Hershey School is. It is not a typical day school. Kids don't come in at 8: 00 and leave at 3: 00. We are a home-like residential school. Children live in student homes with 10 to 12 other students. They're here 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the calendar year. We serve from pre-K through 12th grade, students who have a very diverse population, and we're a home for these students. We're a home when they're with us and we have a parental responsibility.

COOPER: So why can't an HIV-positive 13-year-old live in the home, go to this school? MCNAMARA: Because we had to balance the interests. We looked at everything and we believe that we made the right decision. We believe that in this case, because this student has an active, chronic, communicable disease that rises to the level that it opposes a direct threat to the health and safety of the other 2,000 students we serve.


MCNAMARA: We have to balance the interests.


MCNAMARA: All you have us are there because we want to help children.

COOPER: How is it a direct threat?

MCNAMARA: There are a number of issues --

COOPER: How is it a direct threat?

MCNAMARA: There are a number of issues but the key interest for us comes down to sexual activity. We know that teenagers nationwide are -- a significant number of sexually active. Our students are no different than any other teenagers and on our campus, in our unique controlled environment, there are, if one of our students is engaging in sexual activity, the odds are it's with another of our students, and we have parental responsibility for those, all of those children.

COOPER: But under the law, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, you cannot discriminate against anyone with HIV.

MCNAMARA: We believe we are following the law. We believe that, we know the law sets a high standard and we've looked at this and we believe that this rises to the level of a direct threat, but we acknowledge this is a difficult decision and we are very happy that the court will be deciding on this.

COOPER: In a legal document, you have written, "The school has made an individualized assessment as required by the ADA, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and its implementing regulations and determined that John Doe would pose a direct threat." That's the language you have also used just now.

I want to read you from a question and answer document put out by the justice department by their civil rights division to inform people about the Americans With Disabilities Act. In this document it says and I quote, there's a question, "Can a public accommodation exclude a person with HIV/AIDS because that person allegedly poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Answer: "In almost every instance the answer to this question is no. Persons with HIV/AIDS will rarely if ever pose a direct threat in the public accommodations context."

So given that, how can you still claims that they are direct threat? MCNAMARA: Because we are very unique institution. And this is -- COOPER: But there are HIV-positive children going to schools across the country, in boarding schools across the country, living in homes across the country with brothers and sisters. Are you saying that HIV-positive children shouldn't be allowed to live in homes with other kids, shouldn't be allowed to date?

MCNAMARA: What we're saying is that in our environment, where we have responsibility and not for just this one child, but for nearly 2,000 other children that once we made this, once we did this analysis, we believe that it does rise to that level, and we believe we're --

COOPER: But you're saying --

MCNAMARA: Living to the letter of the law.

COOPER: What you're saying is HIV-positive children shouldn't date, shouldn't live in a home that you wouldn't be comfortable having an HIV --

MCNAMARA: That's not what we're saying.

COOPER: Well, you're inserting you're not comfortable having an HIV-positive child in one of your group homes, you're just not comfortable having them in a group home because they possibly may date, possibly may have sex, and possibly may have sex and possibly may transmit a virus even though this child is on medication and I assume you know under medication now the chance of sexual transmission even if the child had unprotected sex is reduced by 96 percent to 97 percent with current medication. So you're talking about a theoretical, theoretical possibility.

MCNAMARA: We're also talking about children, and no child can be expected to always use the best judgment, and do the best things to protect the child or other people.

COOPER: What medical evidence was your decision based on?

MCNAMARA: We did a thorough review. We had the admissions committee and our senior administration along with our medical staff review the case.

COOPER: So you had a doctor or a medical professionals consulting on this?


COOPER: And they advised you that there was a risk of having an HIV-positive child in this school?

MCNAMARA: I wasn't in those discussions, Anderson, but I can tell you that the decision at the end of the day was that in balancing the risks, we had to think about those other 2,000 students in our home. COOPER: I mean, I guess I just don't understand, what are you telling HIV-positive people, young people and adults about dating, about their own responsibility, about their ability to be in a generalized community? I mean, it seems to be saying there is this risk that all HIV-positive kids are a risk because they might date somebody.

MCNAMARA: No. What we're talking about is this individual case, in our individual unique environment, and we are saying that we have to balance the interests of this one child with the health and safety of the 2,000 children already in our home, and at the end of the day we believe this was the best decision but we struggled with it and we are happy to have the court weigh in on it because we think this is a novel area of the law.

COOPER: Ms. McNamara, appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you.

COOPER: I think this say very important case. We are going to talk about it more.

Up next, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and we are going to talk to a doctor, Dr. Kimberly Manning weighing in on whether the legal or medical claims you heard really stand up to the facts.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, Google+. Add us to your circles. Follow me on Twitter. I just tweeted about this @AndersonCooper. Let me know what you think on Twitter.

Just ahead tonight, "Raw Politics" also: Herman Cain is about to make a big announcement after a week of reassessing his campaign. We have the latest on that.

Newt Gingrich's rise and also Mitt Romney's rough week.

And also tonight, he's young, clean-cut, wholesome and allegedly a serial killer, the youngest serial killer in Canada, say authorities, if what they say is true about him. You will see how he was caught -- "Crime & Punishment" tonight.


COOPER: We're talking about a decision to keep a teenager out of the prestigious Milton Hershey School for the sole reason that he's HIV-positive. An AIDS advocacy group is suing on behalf of the boy known only as John Doe. Alleged the school is violating the American for disabilities act.

Now, in a moment ago you heard a school spokeswoman say that circumstances in this case are unique that this boy who by the way is 13 years old and taking anti-viral drugs would pose a direct threat to other students basically because this child might one day down the road at this school have sex.

Let's dig deeper into the legal and medical angles with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Dr. Kimberly Manning at the Emory University Medical Center I spoke a short time ago.


COOPER: Jeff, I got to say, I'm stunned by this because just on a legal -- I mean, -- is this legal?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know the Hershey School is a famous great place. They have done amazing work for decades, which makes their position even worse in this case because people look to this school as a model.

You know, usually in legal arguments there are sort of arguments on both sides. I don't even understand the school's argument here. The Americans With Disabilities Act was specifically amended to say that you can't discriminate on someone on the basis of HIV status. So I mean, this seems to be a completely categorical violation of the law.

COOPER: And they're basically saying well, there's a direct threat loophole, the base that you can say that there's a direct threat and justify it, then you can get away with it, but they haven't really described what the direct threat is.

TOOBIN: Well, that he'll have sex with other students. As far as I can tell, you know, 24 years after Ryan White, you know when we learned that people with HIV are not contaminating other people around them, except through blood or sexual conduct. The idea that that risk is enough to keep a kid out of school seems completely preposterous to me.

COOPER: Dr. Manning, you see HIV-positive patients on a routine basis.


COOPER: This young man is on medication whose risk of transmission has dropped 96 percent, even if the sex is unprotected, from a medical and scientific perspective, is this school's decision to deny enrollment to the kid justified in any way?

MANNING: Well, it's not justified, and I will say that first but I think the only good thing about this is that it opens the eyes of medical professionals of where some of the public still is in terms of fear, just how much fear still exists.

And I mean, we just need to point out this was a decision that was rooted in fear, not because of public health concern, because if this was truly for public health purposes, they would have sought the counsel of the appropriate medical professionals who have then told them of the compelling data that has demonstrated that those taking antiretroviral therapy if indeed they have do have sexual intercourse with someone HIV negative the chances of getting HIV is minimal in those instances.

COOPER: I mean, they claim they did have medical advice, they consulted medical advice. Jeff, I mean, do you think this is more about them not wanting to have other parents upset at the school somehow if the word leaked out although it wasn't as though this child would be known as being the HIV-positive child at the school or --

TOOBIN: Well, that's what they're saying. I mean, they are saying that this is to protect the other kids and presumably the parents of the other kids, if they have parents because that's one of the amazing things about the Hershey School is that they often take kids who are orphans. It's really a fantastic place. But the idea that this would be protecting these kids, I think all it does is send them a terrible message about how people with disabilities should be treated.

COOPER: I also don't understand then if the argument is an HIV- positive child that it's not safe for them to be in a school where there's also a residential setting, well then why, if you use that logic, then it's not safe for a child to be in a home where there's other kids or it's not safe for them to be dating at all and then why allow a kid to date.

TOOBIN: Right. Well, that's the thing. The point that the woman from the school was making was that you know the risk of sexual contact is something we can't tolerate. Well, I mean, 13-year-olds and high school kids can have sex in any, regardless of where they go to school. I mean, it has relatively little to do with where they go to school so the idea that this, by keeping him out of school will somehow protect the public or even protect their students just seems logically and factually not supported.

COOPER: I think Dr. Manning what some people don't understand is HIV in the United States is not a death sentence.

MANNING: No, it is not.

COOPER: That this is a long-term, chronic condition like diabetes or that with medication, you can live a long and healthy life. This seems to be, their logic seems to be rooted in, you know, 20 years ago.

MANNING: In fear, I mean, like we said.

And you cannot combat fear with logic, and that's what we're trying to do is trying to provide them some logic, but really, they're afraid. And you know, I'm a parent, too, and as a parent, if this were my own child, and I knew that my child's life expectancy could be well into adulthood and that they would have many opportunities to become gainfully employed and a productive part of society I would want them to have every single opportunity which means that this is really, really unfortunate that this kind of fear still exists and we're very stunned. I think, medical doctors and those I talked to about this that someone actually publicly would admit that they're not admitting someone to school because they're HIV-positive. It's really disturbing.

TOOBIN: That's actually an interesting point. That was occurred to me. Usually when we have discrimination in our society people find a pretext. They said, well, they don't qualify. COOPER: Right. And a lot of HIV discrimination cases, the lawyers will tell you well look, it's rare you have actually someone is saying yes, it's because the person has HIV.

TOOBIN: Exactly. And that's what is so weird about the search in school. I mean, I have to give them perverse credit in being honest saying this kid is fine except for his HIV status. And just in terms of being a parent, I'm a parent, too. And of course if my kid was sick I would want the kid to be in a great school like Hershey but if I thought -- if my kids were the other kids I wouldn't feel threatened. I wouldn't feel like their health was in danger. I would feel like this is the kind of society you want to live in, where kids who have problems, you know sit side by side with everyone else everyone else.

COOPER: Dr. Manning, there are plenty of communicable diseases, I mean, herpes is widespread various forms of herpes, a wide spread in adult populations and probably among teenage populations yet I doubt this school, you know, would stop somebody who has herpes from teaching at the school or from going to the school.

MANNING: And that points to the public's stigma still attached to HIV and that you know people still have the mind-set of the HIV of the mid '80s, of people dying immediately shortly after getting it.

COOPER: I just think this is a really important study and case because not just for this young man and his mom and his family, but just to kind of open people's eyes about HIV in this country, and the reality of it.

TOOBIN: And I have to say, I was really surprised by this case, not just because it's the Hershey school, which is a very distinguished place. But also that people still have these kinds of fears, so many years after the epidemic.

COOPER: Do you think there's any chance this holds up legally?

TOOBIN: You know what? I usually don't like to give categorical predictions but I think there is no way a court is going to keep this kid out of this school. And I think this -- the Hershey School ought to wake up, let the kid in, welcome him, and not be further embarrassed, because I think it's pretty embarrassing as it is.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, thank you very much. Dr. Kimberly Manning, thanks as always.

MANNING: Thank you.


COOPER: We're going to continue to follow this closely in the days ahead.

Still ahead, "Raw Politics" and a wild week in the GOP race for president: Herman Cain reassessing his campaign for president, after allegations he had a 13-year affair, Newt Gingrich under fire for what he said about disadvantaged kids, and Mitt Romney down in the polls. We'll talk to former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts and GOP strategist Rich Galen.

Also ahead, he doesn't look like a serial killer, but that is exactly what police say he is. In fact, he may be the youngest serial killer in Canada's history. Our "Crime & Punishment" report come up.


COOPER: "Raw Politics" tonight, plenty of it.

By this tomorrow, time Herman Cain could be out of the presidential race. Four women claiming harassment and one claiming an affair have thrown his campaign into a tailspin, as you know. He's been reviewing his situation all week. Today, he suggested a decision is near.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tomorrow in Atlanta I will be making an announcement, but nobody's going to get me to make that prematurely. That's all there is to that.


COOPER: Well, that's all he's saying but that all there is to say politically. Tonight, new poll in Iowa, speaking volume is about the erosion of his support there. It's not at eight percent, a little more than a month ago, it was 23 percent. Separately, perhaps strangely given the circumstances his campaign launched a new Web site called "no joke women for Cain."

The apparent beneficiary of Cain's troubles is Newt Gingrich. He's drawing controversy with his opposition to child labor laws. Two weeks ago he called them "truly stupid" and suggested that students take the job of janitors and do other works at their schools. Now he's doubling down.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working, and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of, "I do this and you give me cash," unless it's illegal.


COOPER: Yesterday, he said he expected to be the Republican nominee. Today, he toned it down saying the voters would decide, that said they appear to be souring on Mitt Romney who is sinking deeper in the polls after a tougher than expected interview on FOX News.

More now on the "Raw Politics" with or former Oklahoma Republican Congressman J.C. Watts and GOP strategist Rich Galen who once served as press secretary for Newt Gingrich.

So Congressman Watts, Mitt Romney's poll numbers are sliding a bit as Newt Gingrich has rise. He had a shaky interview, raised a few eyebrows. Some of the news out of the states like Iowa and Florida seem pretty bleak for him. Do you think it is fair to say this is one week that Romney team or team Romney would rather forget?

J.C. WATTS, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Well, they would and all candidates are going to have tough weeks and tough times that you have to weather.

But, Anderson, I think if you look over the last year, I have said all along that Governor Romney has, you know, when you look at his campaign, he's had two good campaigns over the last four years. they have been well organized, well funded, but yet he's not gotten more than, you know, at his peak he was probably at 25 percent, 26 percent.

So, you know, all the rumbling you hear about you know the two camps, anti-Romney camp and or the anybody but Romney camp and the Romney camp, that's been pretty valid for the last year and a half. And I think it's now just continuing to bubble up, and Newt Gingrich with Herman Cain going down and stumbling I think Newt Gingrich is the beneficiary and that didn't happen just in the last week. I think that's been happening over the last month.

COOPER: Rich, do you really think Newt Gingrich could be the nominee?

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I don't. I mean, I'm wrong 50 percent of the time, so don't anybody run out and call your bookie.

COOPER: You're the only one who admits that though, so.


GALEN: But here's the thing about Romney, and I think this is a mistake that once we get through this that his campaign may admit to. This is a little bit in J.C.'s background, as you know he was a world class football player.

This will be like a major football program just doing nothing but walking through the plays without pads, without contact, then going into the game on Saturday and expecting to be able to perform up to their normal levels.

Romney has not had these kinds of -- Bret Baier is a great reporter. He is not a gotcha kind reporter. But I think this shows that Governor Romney didn't have any sort of sparring partner, didn't have any contact before this. He got into the game and turned out when he got smacked coming around the corner it hurt and he wasn't ready for it.

WATTS: Anderson, can I add, I think, if Mitt is the -- Governor Romney is the nominee, I think the fact that he's kind of getting a little bit of pressure and a little bit of prompting and a little bit of attention from Newt, I think it makes him a much better general election candidate but we'll see how it holds up with Newt, but I do think it helps Romney become a better candidate.

GALEN: I absolutely agree. The problem that I think Newt's going to have as we move forward is that as we know there is no infrastructure. There's no real campaign. It's Newt doing what Newt does, which he does brilliantly.

But it's a little bit like a small engineering firm that suddenly wins a gigantic DOD contract, and finds out that they're choking on the contract because they don't have the infrastructure to support all the new work. And it may well be that Newt finds if he doesn't get this thing ramped up fairly quickly, that once we get out of the early, the smaller states and into the Floridas and down the line, that he is just not going to have the resources or the infrastructure to be able to compete with Romney, who has built a campaign structure to be able to -- to go over the long haul.

Remember, California isn't until June. Super Tuesday isn't until March. We keep talking about 30 days, but this is a long way.


COOPER: Just briefly, Rich -- Rich, can you imagine -- can you imagine any scenario in which Herman Cain stays in the race tomorrow?


I can't even imagine that -- no, I can't. I'm not going to go anywhere beyond that. No, I think that -- but I think what this is going to turn out to be -- I think the whole campaign was a fraud. He was in it, I believe, to -- to sell books and to raise his name I.D., and he was like "The Producers." There's the play in the movie "The Producers." They had no idea the play was going to be a success and thought it was going to fail.

COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, you really think it was a fraud, Rich?

GALEN: Yes, I really do.

COOPER: J.C., what do you think he's going to stay in the race, do you think there's any chance?

WATTS: I don't think that his campaign was a fraud. I think that he got in the race thinking that he could be the nominee for Republicans to take on President Obama. I don't think that it was a fraud, but I do think that he will end this campaign. If surely not tomorrow, I think the handwriting's on the wall.

And me, personally, I hope -- I hope that he does. I know Herman. He's a friend, and I just would hate to see him go through or his family go through what he's going to have to go through in order to try to sustain any semblance of a campaign.

COOPER: Yes. J.C. Watts appreciate your time tonight. Rich, as well. Rich Galen. Thanks very much.

Coming up, "Crime & Punishment," a case that has left a Canadian community reeling. Could it be true that a popular clean-cut athlete who was their neighbor, classmate and friend is actually a serial killer? That's what police are saying.

Also ahead, the videos Syria's foreign minister passed off as proof of terrorist gangs in the country. Turns out the videos weren't even shot in Syria, and the footage is old. We're "Keeping Them Honest."


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, authorities in British Columbia believe they may have the youngest serial killer in Canada's history in custody. He's been sitting in jail for more than a year now with no trial date in sight. So far, he's been charged with four murders. For those who grew up with him, though, he's the most unlikely suspect they can imagine.

Tom Foreman has the story.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a story that begins and ends near what locals call the Highway of Tears. With a pickup lurching out of a snowy logging road late at night as an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was passing. He pulled the driver over and suspected poaching, but when authorities followed the vehicle's tracks, they found something in the woods no one expected, least of all Doug Leslie, who was soon at the scene, begging to be allowed down the road.

(on camera) What did you think?

DOUG LESLIE, LOREN LESLIE'S FATHER: Didn't know what to think, you know. I knew it was Loren, but they couldn't tell me it was Loren, you know.

FOREMAN: Because at that moment it was an ongoing murder investigation?

LESLIE: That's right. That's right.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Earlier that day, his daughter, Loren Leslie, only 15 and legally blind, had vanished, texting that she was going for a ride with a casual friend, Cody.

LESLIE: Right over there with the ribbon around the corner there's a little pit. That's where she was found.

FOREMAN: Now she was dead, and police were holding that pickup truck driver, 20-year-old Cody Legebokoff, a former high school athlete, well-known and well liked with no record of trouble.

CORPORAL DAN MOSKALUK, ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE: We've termed it that he was not on police radars. He did not have a criminal record. Looks like anybody that would be walking down the sidewalk next to you.

FOREMAN: The arrest was shocking, but what followed stunned this community. Legebokoff had shared an apartment with friends, worked at a local car dealership, and yet, he was soon accused of killing three other women, all since his high school graduation, Jill Stuchenko, Natasha Montgomery and Cynthia Maas, making him what locals believe to be the youngest suspected serial killer in Canadian history.

At the newspaper, reporter Frank Peebles.

FRANK PEEBLES, REPORTER: So in a 13-month period, this clean-cut blond-haired fit, healthy, well-employed, respected young man has been swept up in allegations of four murders.

Jill Stuchenko was found in this gravel pit.

FOREMAN: The first three victims were all older than the suspect, all mothers and perhaps easy targets.

PEEBLES: A lot of the victims had similar profiles, at least on the surface. They're disenfranchised people. They're involved in the high-risk lifestyles.

FOREMAN: How could Legebokoff have found them? Investigators say his cell phone and computer records show that he cruised social media sites under the name "1CountryBoy," posting many messages to many women.

MOSKALUK: It's my understanding several hundreds, yes, at least several hundreds.

FOREMAN (on camera): It is not at all clear when this case will come to trial or if it is even complete. What is known is this: investigators are still looking, still wondering if there might be other victims hidden in these woods.

(voice-over) Legebokoff in jail has not yet entered a plea of guilt or innocence. His grandfather told a Vancouver paper he had a good upbringing. He was a perfectly normal child: "The Cody that I know wouldn't do any of that."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where the body of Cynthia Maas was discovered.

FOREMAN: Authorities won't say if Legebokoff is talking, won't even say how the women were killed. Doug Leslie thinks maybe that's good.

LESLIE: I don't know how brutal it was, because I don't think there's a bar strong enough to hold me up (ph) if I knew it all.

FOREMAN: For now all he knows is his daughter is gone, and it was only by chance that her suspected killer was caught.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Vanderhoof, British Columbia.


COOPER: We get more insight on the investigation. Mary Ellen O'Toole is a former FBI profiler, has worked on a lot of high-profile cases, including the Unabomber, the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping cases. I spoke with her earlier.


COOPER: Mary Ellen, you say the age of the suspect is really stunning in this case. Why?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, he's so young to have committed these murders. Normally, we see serial sexual killers starting to act out, maybe their mid- to late 20s and are apprehended maybe into their 30s, but when you see this kind of behavior as a teenager, he really is unique in that way.

COOPER: Authorities are saying that he didn't have any sort of record with police. Does that surprise you, if in fact, he's guilty?

O'TOOLE: It doesn't surprise me, and here's why. He is very young, but the absence of a formal criminal record does not mean that criminal behavior is absent. As a matter of fact, you don't just go one day being a normal, regular person and the next day snapping into a serial killer. So there would have been behaviors along the way that he engaged in that were criminal. He just did not get identified and apprehended for them.

COOPER: There are descriptions of him as being well-liked and charming. Are those the adjectives usually that describe serial killers?

O'TOOLE: Well, I've certainly heard that about many serial killers, and I've interviewed many serial killers. And one of the distinctive features about many of them, if not most of them, is that they are engaging. They're charming and they're very glib, and they have that persona of being very normal.

COOPER: Social media played a role in the death of the four victims, things like e-mail, Facebook, texting. Is it changing the crimes of serial killers, is it making -- I guess it was making connecting with people maybe easier?

O'TOOLE: Well, I think it is changing. I've seen this now in a number of cases, and what's so interesting to me is that, through social networking, there is now another filter by which that individual has to show the victim, "Hey, I'm normal. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm not a threat to you." So that filter is done through his linguistic patterns or through his words.

COOPER: What doesn't make sense to you in all this? I mean, is there something that stands out as not fitting a profile, besides obviously the age? O'TOOLE: He's sophisticated, older for his years in that he has several scenes. He's got a contact scene. He probably has murder scenes, and then he has a body disposal site.

COOPER: When you say scenes what do you mean?

O'TOOLE: When I say scenes, we look for, as an FBI profiler, we would look for how many scenes are involved in one of these cases. We look for the scene where he first made contact with the victim, and in this case, it would be through social networking, but then at some point he had to really meet her in person.

The more scenes can actually imply the more sophisticated the offender, because he understands that, if he does everything at one scene, there is a greater likelihood of him leaving evidence, being seen by someone. So separating out those scenes becomes indicative of someone who has really thought this through like a predator.

COOPER: That's really interesting. I had never heard that term before. Mary Ellen O'Toole, I appreciate it, thank you.

O'TOOLE: You're very welcome. Thank you.

COOPER: Up next now, Syria, caught practicing the big lie. There's no other way to put it. The Syrian foreign minister sharing graphic videos, claims that they showed terrorist groups committing crimes in Syria this year, but they aren't from this year and they aren't from Syria. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight, an official decision on Coach Joe Paterno's future at Penn State.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" again tonight. For months, Syria's leaders have been lying about what's taken place inside their country, and tonight another lie exposed. Syria's foreign minister gave a news conference on Monday, the same day a damning U.N. report was released. The report found that Syrian security and military forces committed crimes against humanity.

Now all along the Syrian government has said that armed terrorist gangs are causing the violence. The foreign minister shared several videos he claims showed killings this year in Syria by those alleged terrorist gangs.

But the video looked familiar to the Lebanese network Future TV. They traced it back to 2008. Turns out it was actually shot in Tripoli, Lebanon.

He also claimed this next video showed a Syrian citizen being killed by armed gangs. Most of it is too gruesome to even show you. We blurred part of it, but we should warn you, you may still find it hard to look at.

It turns out the video was actually shot in May 2010 also in Lebanon, not Syria. The man is an alleged Egyptian murderer. It appears he's been lynched.

I talked about all this with Zaidoun, a Syrian activist. To protect him, we're only using his first name.


COOPER: Zaidoun, first of all how are you doing and what are you seeing in terms of violence?

ZAIDOUN, SYRIAN ACTIVIST (via phone): Well, Anderson, it is just getting crazier and crazier. I mean, things are getting worse. And maybe before the Arab League initiative, there was killing. Now it is more.

You just saw the conference held by the minister of foreign affairs of the regime. He was claiming that there are no tanks in the cities. Now I cannot just understand that, when I can see tanks on a daily basis. And nothing has changed. The same violence is there: arresting people on a daily basis, killing people on a daily basis. Today we lost almost 20, 25 lives, half of them in Hama (ph). Nothing has changed. In fact, it is turning more into just crazy violence.

COOPER: The Syrian foreign minister you said gave this news conference on Monday. And he showed very graphic videos allegedly depicting violence against civilians by what he described as terrorist gangs, except it was very dishonest. Some of the video wasn't even from Syria, nor was it even shot this year. What you can tell us about how the government there is trying to blame the violence on these so-called terrorist gangs?

ZAIDOUN: Sorry for laughing, but let me just explain something to you. This -- this regime cannot do anything right, even lying. They are bad even at lying. It did not take us more than one or two hours to, I mean, show all these lies.

Moreover, while he was talking, I could not stop myself just running to Facebook and just writing that this guy is lying. I can see tanks right now.

And even though there is some now violence from the other side, who caused that? It was caused just by the regime itself. Now people are talking about defending themselves. They have been peacefully demonstrating for the past eight and a half months, and the regime is just facing that with more violence and with more killings and shooting and all these things. Now, don't blame these people if they defend.

Making -- taking into consideration that all the videos he showed were just fake. None of them was true, was really funny. I don't know, they don't have even good guys to find something that could be fabricated in a bitter way? I don't know. They are bad in everything, even in just lying.

But please, the people of Syria, I believe in you. And I beg you, do not react to what the government is doing. Our day of freedom is coming. This country will live. We will die, yes, but this country will live forever.

COOPER: You really believe a day of freedom is coming still?

ZAIDOUN: Yes, I do.

COOPER: Zaidoun, thank you for talking to us. Please stay safe.

ZAIDOUN: Don't worry. Thank you very much, Anderson.

COOPER: Thank you.

ZAIDOUN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Take care.


COOPER: A lot of very brave people in Syria right now.

Let's check some other stories we're following. Gary Tuchman has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Gary.


We have breaking news. The 5-year-old son of country singing star Mindy McCready is safe with the U.S. marshals tonight. McCready was under court order to return him to Florida after taking him to Tennessee. Her parents have custody of the child. The boy's grandmother made a public plea today, asking her daughter to bring her grandson home.

Dr. Conrad Murray has filed notice that he will appeal his conviction in the death of Michael Jackson. He was sentenced last week to four years in prison, but it's likely he'll serve no more than two years.

Well, it's official: Joe Paterno is no longer the head coach of Penn State. The university officially dismissed Paterno today along with Penn State president Graham Spanier. The school announced they were being let go a month ago in the wake of the Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

And good news in the job front. Unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November, down from 9 percent. Unemployment is now at its lowest rate in almost three years.

That's the latest, Anderson.

COOPER: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" ahead at 11 p.m. Let's check in with Erin. What's up?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, Anderson, we have a shocking and amazing story. A young woman, Stella Harville, 24 years old, was engaged to be married to Ticha Chikuni. She is white; he is black.

They went to her family's church, and the pastor said to her parents, "Don't come back any more. Don't sing here at this church, because I don't want my 3-year-old granddaughter to look and think that, as a white child, she can grow up to marry a black man." That really happened in this country this summer.

And Stella Harville comes out to tell her story of what's happening with this church where then the congregation had voted to not have a biracial marriage. So we're going to get to the bottom of that. She comes "OUTFRONT" to tell her story.

We're also going to talk about what President Barack Obama is doing to get re-elected. And here's a hint: Hillary has something to do with it.

Back to you, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Erin, thanks.

Coming up, "The RidicuList." A guy named Ed Schultz says he's, quote, "kicking my ass." This isn't the start of some stupid cable new feud, but it is the start of "The RidicuList," next.


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight I'm sorry, but I've got to do it. Tonight, I've got to add a guy named Ed Schultz.

Now, before we begin, let me just say a few things. I think cable news feuds are stupid, and I think when TV anchors try to start feuds with other TV anchors, it's usually a sign they're worried about their own ratings and they're trying everything they possibly can to get attention and boost said ratings.

So I wasn't really surprised to hear that this guy Ed Schultz decided to suddenly take a shot at me the other day. Now, let me be honest. I don't really know who Ed Schultz is. I think I met him once in passing years ago, but I have never actually seen his show. I'm told he yells a lot, and I know he works at MSNBC. And I know he's moved around a lot in various time slots. That is it.

OK, also, in writing this today, I also found out that he makes a lot of inappropriate comments about other people that he then has to apologize for and/or get suspended for, like this one from his radio show.


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC: Do you know what they're talking about, like this right-wing slut, what's her name, Laura Ingraham? Yes she's a talk slut.


COOPER: Nice, yes.

So anyway, "GQ" magazine has apparently written a satirical list of the 25 least influential people alive, and Mr. Schultz made the list. "GQ" writes about him, in part, quote, "Do you watch 'The Ed Show' on MSNBC? Of course you don't. No one does. The only reason people watch 'The Ed Show' is they're working out in a hotel gym, and they can't find a staff member to change the channel to ESPN."

All right. Pretty snappy writing. Someone wrote that about me, I'd chuckle. I'd go back to watching "Breaking Bad" on Netflix. But that's just me. Why anyone, anyone would care what someone says about them in a humor column in "GQ," I cannot even begin to understand. But apparently, Mr. Schultz has a pretty thin skin for someone who goes around calling people sluts, because he thinks his inclusion on the list has to be some kind of conspiracy, a conspiracy between "GQ" and me.

The other day on his radio show he said this.


SCHULTZ: I know that Anderson Cooper floats around in that "GQ" crowd. I don't know if he's behind it or whether there are publicists at CNN. But let me just say, I'm kicking his ass.


COOPER: What? Here I am just living my life, doing my thing, and this person I don't even know says this.

Now as for the kicking my ass part, I'm assuming he's talking about ratings. And his statement on that can be easily debated. I'm going to spare you the minutia of ratings statistics with their demos and the households and the total viewers and what advertisement paid for. Trust me: nothing will make your eyes glaze over faster.

But I do take issue with the contention that I, quote, "float around in the 'GQ' crowd." Frankly, I don't know where the "GQ" crowd is. As for the idea that I somehow influence their editorial decisions on satirical end-of-the-year lists, well, that's just silly. I mean, everyone knows I'm far too busy campaigning to get Gary Tuchman named next year's sexiest man alive in "People" magazine. And you think that "Golf Digest" Best Putters of 2011 article is just going to write itself? I mean, the point is, my schedule is full.

Just for reference, let's take a look at some of the other people who made "GQ's" 25 least influential list. There's Paul Reiser, Princess Beatrice, that guy who predicted the Rapture was going to happen this year, and Tila Tequila.

Now, I wasn't going to say anything about Mr. Schultz's odd outburst about me, because this is probably exactly the kind of thing that Ed Schultz lives for. But when you have less of a sense of humor than the end-of-the-world guy and show less logic and restraint than Tila Tequila, you just leave us no choice but to welcome both you and your ass kicking to "The RidicuList."

Hey, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.