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Historic Blizzards; Unholy Allegations; Countdown to Forced Spending Cuts; Family Lost at Sea

Aired February 25, 2013 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much.

Good evening, everyone. We begin tonight with breaking news an a warning for tens of millions of Americans. Three simple words that could save your life. Do not travel. That's because if you do, you could get stuck in images like that. And if you do, rescuers could get stuck trying to reach you.

That warning, by the way, do not travel, comes straight from the National Weather Service. Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, all getting hammered by a storm even more punishing than the one last week. We're talking about more snow in some places that people have seen in the past 42 years. And in one part of Oklahoma, drivers are stranded with snow piling up to six feet high in places.

Detail now on the drivers and the storm they're stuck in from Chad Myers in the Weather Center -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Anderson, if you left too late to get home from work or from wherever you're coming from, school, whatever, you very well may have had a very hard time getting home because the snow totals were coming down so fast.

Amarillo, in 24 hours, picked up 19 inches of snow, and all the way to Woodward, Oklahoma. It wasn't even snowing this morning. They are now 15, and it's still snowing, and it's still blowing around. Some of these winds, 60 or 70 miles per hour. Creating 5 and 6-foot drifts.

We're hearing that some of the plows are now coming off the roads again. They can't clear them. They can't do anything with it. As soon as they clear, 10 minutes later, the drifts are back in again in parts of Kansas and into Oklahoma.

This is going to be a very difficult night. And I just can't stress any more what you said, do not travel, do not go out. You could get stuck, and then the people that are trying to come to get those people are getting stuck. They're sending bulldozers, literally, to clear some of the snow, to get to the emergency vehicles that are trying to get to the people that are stuck. This is not a night to go outside in the high plains.

COOPER: I was trying to figure out what that first image we showed. That was a car basically just buried under snow. MYERS: That's right. It's amazing how quickly the snow has moved in.

Chad, we're going to check back in with you a little bit later on in this hour as we watch the storm develop.

I want to tell you, though, about another storm. A storm of a different sort of entirely happening now storm. It involves scandal, hypocrisy, conspiracy theories, dysfunctionality, and we're not talking about what's going on in Washington, D.C. This multi-faceted storm involves the Vatican and allegations about what could be going on behind the scenes there.

There's a string of child sex abuse scandals surrounding some of those who will choose the successor to Pope Benedict, and now surprising allegations against a top British cardinal that some media outlets believe had played some role in why Pope is stepping down. The first pope in nearly 600 years to do so.

Pope Benedict's last day, you know, is Thursday after which the College of Cardinals will meet to pick a new Pope. Now as always they gather in secrecy but this time their conclave will be accompanied by open, loud controversy.

Today, we learned the Archbishop of Scotland will be stepping down after allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances allegedly to priests in training. He was supposed to be part of the papal conclave. Now he will not be.

Cardinal Roger Mahony also of Los Angeles will be part of the conclave despite damming new revelations of his handling of pedophile priests over many years. Victims and others say the Mahony should not be part of the group of cardinals choosing a new pope, saying that it sends a terrible message. But in addition to those two scandals, there are those explosive allegations about what may have been going on behind the scenes in Vatican City.

More on that now from our Ben Wedeman.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I will not abandon the church, Benedict told the faithful in St. Peter's Square Sunday. To the tens of thousands who listened and applauded, it was a sentimental farewell. But to investigative newspaper journalist, Concita di Gregorio, who has delved into alleged wrongdoing at the Vatican, Benedict's words carried different significance.

"This does not mean to abandon. It means to fight," she says. "Last Sunday, he said we are fighting against the temptations of power." Temptations that may have proven too strong for some.

Di Gregorio is one of two journalists who have reported on allegations of Vatican corruption and blackmail of gay clergy members by male prostitutes. Damning headlines in the Rome daily, "La Republica," "Sex and blackmailed careers are behind Benedict XVI's resignation.

Compromised perhaps to senior levels, says Ignazio Ingrao, a writer for the news weekly "Panorama."

The details allegedly contained in a secret dossier prepared by three cardinals investigating leaked and highly sensitive Vatican documents. Ingrao says he believes attempts by Pope Benedict at reform were stymied every step of the way by the church's secretive bureaucracy.

"In these eight years, the Pope has repeatedly made calls to stop the divisions," he says, "to end the power struggles in the curia, and to have more transparency, but these calls were not heeded."

Vatican officials have strongly denied these claims, but it would be hard to deny the Catholic hierarchy is in crisis. The latest blow, the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who stepped down as archbishop of Scotland amid allegations of inappropriate acts with training priests in the 1980s. He remains a cardinal but says he won't attend the conclave to elect a new Pope.

Allegations, accusations, and scandal darkening the final days of Benedict's nearly eight-year reign.

The two Italian journalists paint a picture of a Holy Father overwhelmed by an unholy mess. Aging, unwell, and betrayed by those who were supposed to support him.


WEDEMAN: Benedict says he's not forsaking the church, but according to these accounts, it's the church bureaucracy, faction ridden and weakened by scandal, that's forsaking him.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.


COOPER: It's obviously hard to pierce the walls of secrecy surrounding the inner workings of the Vatican.

Want to talk about it more tonight with Christiane Amanpour, host of "AMANPOUR." She's in Rome. And senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, who's also there. He's a senior correspondent for the "National Catholic Reporter."

John, you say the idea of an existence of some sort of network of gay men or gay priests or high officials inside the Vatican isn't at all improbable, but do you believe that's the reason the Pope is resigning?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: No, Anderson, I don't. I think for the most part, you have to take Benedict XVI at his word, that he's resigning because of his age and because of fatigue. Now on the other hand, I think you have to ask the question, why is he so fatigued? And I think at least part of that picture is that he has spent much of the last eight years frustrated that his efforts to be a teaching Pope, to conduct a kind of global graduate seminar in the relationship between reason and faith and so on have been hampered by a kind of endless series of crises and controversies and meltdown, some of them coming in from the outside and some of them self- inflicted.

So I think that that is indeed part of the calculus, but fundamentally I don't think there is some deep, dark secret. I think this is one of those cases in terms -- that what you see is what you get.

COOPER: John, what -- what is known exactly about O'Brien? The allegations I have heard are there are a number of allegations apparently made by some current priests and even I believe one former priest of inappropriate efforts to have some sort of relationship or make some sort of pass at these people when they were priests.

And this is a guy who when the British government was considering, you know, gay marriage, came out vehemently against it, saying, and I quote, "Their attempt to redefine reality is given a polite hearing. Their madness is indulged. Their proposal represents a grotesque version of the universally accepted human rights."

I mean, this guy was in fact making advances at other male priests, the level of hypocrisy is great.

ALLEN: You're right. I mean it is -- it almost defies belief that someone would be leading such a double life and yet taking such a hard line in public. Now, of course, it is important to say that Cardinal O'Brien has firmly denied these charges. He has taken legal counsel, that is, he has hired a lawyer to help him respond to these charges.

And so as the story plays out, it remains to be seen how much fire there is beneath the smoke. I think what's relevant for the Vatican at the moment is that this has resurrected the drum beat of criticism that it has faced over the years that it's sort of moral preaching to the world about sexual rectitude in some cases at least, not matched on the ground by the behavior of some its clergy.

COOPER: It's interesting, Christiane, because the church, there are some who are alleging that these revelations, these allegations are being made in a way to kind of influence who the next Pope could be. How -- how would that influence who the next Pope could be?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this was perhaps, I would have to say in my experience, a typical lashing out by those who are trying desperately to have a better spin on this story right now. I don't buy that. I think it's the typical defensive mechanism of people who simply don't want to hear the truth, and the truth is if the church was trying to prevent, you know, a cardinal from coming here for a reason it couldn't because there are so many of them.

I mean, the disgrace of this really is that it's touched every diocese in the United States. It's exploded across Europe under the auspices of -- or rather during the reign of Pope Benedict, and I was told tonight that this is probably going on in diocese all over the world, and one of the things that was incredible, one of the -- one former priest said that, you know, perhaps 50 percent of priests who enter the priesthood may be gay.

I talked to a longtime veteran journalist here in Rome who said it's well known that monsignors and others in the Vatican conduct affairs either with women or men.

The real issue here is, there's a difference between having affairs and committing crimes against young boys, which is what happened under these priests for so many generations.

COOPER: What do you make of the church, the Vatican, coming forward and making a public statement saying, essentially, this is an effort to influence the picking of the next Pope? I mean, that's an extraordinary statement for them to have made.

ALLEN: Their insistence is that the secret dossier, which allegedly talks about a gay lobby potentially having a role in the Vatican leak scandal, this dossier, so far as we know has only been read by one guy, and that's Pope Benedict XVI, so the pretense to know its contents, you know, well may be open to question.

So, I mean, one could argue that some sort of response had to be made, but I think the practical effect of using such high octane rhetoric in the statement is that it has simply given additional legs to the story and made the hill the Vatican has to climb to get over this that much more steep.

COOPER: Christiane Amanpour and John Allen, thanks so much.

Just ahead, the latest on the search at sea for a family, including two young kids and their final message, we are abandoning ship. We'll have the latest on that surge, and next, the latest you need to know about the raw politics happening right now in Washington, D.C. The search in a sea of finger pointing for a deal to cut off budget cuts at the end of the week.

Our Gloria Borger, also Ross Douthat and Charles Blow from the "New York Times" join us, tell us what their sources are telling them. We'll be right back.


COOPER: All right. Let's talk about "Raw Politics" and finger pointing because there's a lot of that going on right now. Congress and the White House have less than four days to hammer out a budget cutting deal before a string of painful automatic forced spending cuts take effect. Now remember these are part of the automatic cuts that both sides agreed to back in 2011 to force themselves to do what voters and business leaders want them to, which is make a deal.

So have they? Well, the answer is no. President Obama has been touring the country, warning about pain from the automatic cuts. Republicans have been turning up everywhere saying blame for the cuts should fall on the president.

Meantime, the "Washington Post's" Bob Woodward says the cuts were a White House idea, but the White House is pushing on that. And at times it feels like there are more fingers being pointed than hands to hold them or to hammer out solutions.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn them off any time with just a little bit of compromise.

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: There's no leadership from the president.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: Unless the Republicans are willing to compromise.

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE, (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: He's been out trying to blame Republicans.

SEN. JOHN HOEVEN (R), NORTH DAKOTA: So the question is, why won't he work with us?

RAY LAHOOD, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: They need to come to the table with a proposal.

AYOTTE: I think the American people are tired of the blame game.


COOPER: Well, with us now, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, also CNN contributors and two of the "New York Times'" best political writers, conservative Ross Douthat and liberal Charles Blow.

Charles, let me start with you. You said that this is an example of a, and I quote, "feeble government at its most ineffective and self destructive."


Thank you, I appreciate that.


CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, if -- you said it perfectly. They did this to force their own hands. And if you can't force your own hand to do something that I cannot for the life of me find anyone who thinks that this is a good idea. Even if people who are basically saying, we will accept it the Republicans basically are calling the president's bluff at this point.

They're saying we will accept the defense cuts because we want the rest of the cuts, but even they are not saying that it's a good idea to have it, you know, this kind of blunt instrument used to cut. They think that it's just acceptable, it won't be as bad as the president says.

COOPER: Ross, it's interesting, though, because I think before the Obama White House was thinking that Republicans would not be willing to accept these kind of defense cuts, you know, back when they came up with this idea, but now, clearly, a lot of Republicans who are willing, because they say cutting the budget deficit is more important.

ROSS DOUTHAT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right. I mean, I think five years ago, the Obama White House would have been right. That that was a different Republican Party, and the balance of power in the party has shifted from defense hawks, you might say, to deficit hawks. And so I disagree a little bit with Charles. I do think there are at least -- there are some Republicans who think this is acceptable and there are also now some Republicans who will say, you know, defense has to be on the table as well. And so we're willing to do it.

BLOW: But it's --


The economy, though, Ross, I mean, can you find anyone who says that in the short term, in the near term, that this is good for the American economy to use this kind of blunt instrument to cut this much from the deficit? That this actually spurs the economy to do better and provides enough jobs or does it eat into the job base the way that most independents that I have read think it does?

DOUTHAT: I think the Republican -- the Republican argument would be that whatever short term pain it causes to the economy, steps like this, sort of these -- sort of painful but necessary cuts over an extended period of time, are necessary to basically guarantee longer term economic growth, but that -- that said, I think the problem Republicans have is the long term deficit problem is an entitlements problem.

BORGER: Right.

DOUTHAT: And we set up this mechanism where we're making these deep cuts to discretionary spending and not cutting entitlements and there I think the critique --


BORGER: This isn't the big piece of the pie. This is the tiny sliver of the pie. The big piece of the pie is Medicare, Social Security, things they're not even talking about right now. So this is not a natural disaster. This is a manmade disaster that they made. And now that they can't figure a way out of it.

COOPER: So is a deal possible? I mean, at -- what happens?

BORGER: Yes. Yes. A deal is possible.

BLOW: By Friday?

BORGER: I'm not going to say that. I'm going to say sometimes --

BLOW: Because I don't see that.


BORGER: You know, I'm not going to say that they can do it by Friday. But in the end, they can fiddle as they always do and say, you know what, we need some more flexibility so we don't take a meat ax to everything so we can decide within a certain agency what is it we want to cut and then come back and deal with it again.

COOPER: But, you know, Charles, I mean, what do you say to those Republicans who -- you know, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, and he was saying look, that essentially this is a -- a manufactured crisis, that this isn't a real crisis. This isn't real -- these aren't real cuts. This is still more spending than was spent last year.

BLOW: Right, I think it's manufactured and real. Like you've got to -- he separated it.

BORGER: But it doesn't all happen at one --


BLOW: Right. They manufactured it and it is very real because it affects so many jobs. It has the potential to affect so many jobs. And the estimates there range from a million to, you know, 2.1 million jobs at risk as one estimate I read -- quoted in my last column. That could add like 1.5 percent to the unemployment rate.


DOUTHAT: Here's where -- here's --

COOPER: Go ahead, Ross. Go ahead.

DOUTHAT: I mean, the thing that -- you know, where Rush Limbaugh has a point is that if you look at the waves of, quote-unquote, "cuts" that we've had over the last couple of years, you know, in dollar terms, they've looked real. But then when journalists go in and do an investigation and go to the different agencies and departments and so on, it always turns out that they find a way to claim cuts. You know --

BORGER: But here's the problem --

DOUTHAT: They claim cuts on things that they were actually going to cut already and so on. I mean there is -- there is more wiggle room in the federal budget often than those absolute numbers would suggest.

BORGER: Ross, here's the problem. The public doesn't know what to believe because we don't actually know what the truth is here. And if you look at all of these fiscal crises that we've -- that we've gone through, you always have to consider what the default setting is. So when you have the fiscal cliff, they couldn't go over the cliff because they didn't want to raise everybody's taxes. When you had the debt ceiling, they couldn't do that because the full faith and credit of the United States was kind of on the line.

In this particular crisis, and this is why Charles may be right, in this particular crisis, what's at steak here? Budget cuts, which, by the way, lots of people think is a good idea.

COOPER: Ross --


DOUTHAT: In theory but then --

COOPER: Do you see a deal by the end of the week?

DOUTHAT: I mean, I -- I have been wrong betting against deals in the past.


So I don't -- you know, the story of the last two years is that, you know, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and so on always find some way to pull a deal out of the fire. So it'd be silly to bet against that, but I do agree with Charles. It's harder in this case to see -- I think you can draw it up on paper, but it's harder to see where the parties come together.

I think the reasonable thing to do would be to say, let's cut the amount of spending that we're going to cut in half and let's just agree on, say, doing a little means testing to Medicare, which the White House and Republicans are both in favor of and let's not get so focused on absolute dollar figures.

BLOW: Yes. Right.

BORGER: Right.

DOUTHAT: But I'm pretty that's not going to happen.

COOPER: Well, the clock is ticking. We'll follow it.

Gloria, appreciate it, Charles, thank you, and Ross, as well.

Up next the desperate search for a family lost at sea off the coast of San Francisco. And later a murder trial that is making the Casey Anthony saga look, well, boring. It's got x-rated evidence, too many lies to count, plus a defendant, well, who won a singing contest from prison. The whole thing is bizarre. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Breaking news, atrocious, historic, dangerous. The blizzard is bearing parts of Texas and Oklahoma tonight. It's all that and more. Chad Myers has new details in the storm that's pummeling the Great Plains ahead on 360.


COOPER: Welcome back. Rescue teams will work through the night searching the waters off San Francisco for a family that radioed the Coast Guard from their sinking sailboat. This was their final SOS call.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coast Guard, Coast Guard, we are abandoning ship. This is the Charm Bow. We are abandoning ship.


COOPER: That was yesterday afternoon. Now besides the sailboat's name, the Charm Blow, Coast Guard knows there were two adults and two young children aboard and they didn't have a lifeboat. Their names, though, are a mystery.

Tonight the Coast Guard is asking the public for help identifying them.

Dan Simon joins me now.

Dan, you've been in touch with the Coast Guard. What is the latest on the search?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know the search will continue throughout the night. They have aircraft up there, they have boats on the water. They're going to be using infrared technology to see if they can isolate these individuals. They'll reassess things in the morning. But we should point out that the water temperature very cold, about 50 degrees. So it'd be very difficult for anyone to survive.

What we don't know is exactly how they abandoned that boat. Were they able to get out on a makeshift life raft. Because we know there was no real life raft on board. They mentioned something in their radio communication about a Styrofoam cooler and a life ring, and perhaps they could use that to get off the boat safely, but again, very, very chilly out there in the water. So it'd be pretty tough for anyone to survive at this point -- Anderson.

COOPER: I don't quite understand how nobody can know who these people are. I mean, doesn't somebody own the boat? Isn't it registered somewhere? And there were other distress calls. What was said on them?

SIMON: You know, it's a good question about the boat. At this point, there's no registry for this name, for the boat's name, and so some people are speculating that this might be a hoax. But perhaps it'd be a good thing if it were a hoax. Obviously it'd be a very cruel prank. In terms of what the Coast Guard is saying, they believe that this is entirely legit. However, we should point that out.

And the other radio communication, they were able to give an approximate location, that's why the Coast Guard is where they are, about 65 miles off the coast of Monterrey. There were able to say that there were four people onboard, a husband, a wife, their 4-year- old son and a cousin. And they also said that the boat was taking on water very quickly and obviously they had to get off.

COOPER: Well, if anybody can recognize that voice or has heard that name of that ship before obviously the Coast Guard relate that information.

Dan, I appreciate the update.

Up next, "Crime and Punishment" and a trial that's captivated court watchers like few others in recent memory if ever. The Jodi Arias trial. She admits she killed her boyfriend. She says it was in self-defense. But it's the couple's salacious sexual relationship that is detailed from the witness stand that has court observers stunned. Randi Kaye takes an in depth look ahead.


COOPER: A diet that can help you live longer, results of a new study is making headlines. We're going to tell you the two things you can start eating tonight that can seriously improve your long-term health.


COOPER: In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, sex, lies, and audiotape in a murder trial full of testimony that would make Perry Mason blush. In Arizona, Jodi Arias was cross-examined again today. It's her 10th day on the witness stand.

If she's convicted, by the way, she could get the death penalty. After lying about it to police and in extended TV interviews, Arias now admits the murder of her ex-boyfriend in 2008, but she now says that was in self defense.

To say there had been surreal moments in this trial is a vast understatement. Take this video for instance while Jodi Arias is behind bars awaiting trial on first degree murder in 2010. She won a holiday singing contest.

In the trial itself, there have been countless twists and turns, dirty text messages entered into evidence, nude pictures, audiotape of phone sex between the victim and defendant played in court.

Randi Kaye reports on the case that has so many people riveted. First, I want to warn you, as I've said, there are some very graphic details woven through the case, which may be too explicit for younger viewers.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Travis Alexander never had a chance, 27 stab wounds, a gunshot to the face, his throat slit ear to ear. When friends found his body, he had already been dead five days. UNIDENTIFIED FRIEND: He's -- he's dead. He's in his bedroom in the shower.

UNIDENTIFIED OPERATOR: So there's blood. Is it coming from his head?

UNIDENTIFIED FRIEND: It's all over the place.

UNIDENTIFIED OPERATOR: Has he been threatened by anyone recently?

UNIDENTIFIED FRIEND: Yes, he has. He has an ex-girlfriend who has been bothering him and following him and slashing tires and things like that.

KAYE: That ex-girlfriend is Jodi Arias. Now on trial for murdering Travis Alexander back in 2008. She's facing the death penalty.

(on camera): This case has court watchers riveted. Not only because of the sheer brutality of it, but also because of the couple's salacious sexual relationship. They videotaped themselves having sex and took provocative photos.

On the day of the murder, June 4th, 2008, the two snapped naked photos of each other at Alexander's home, right before the killing.

(voice-over): Those pictures were recovered from the memory card of a digital camera police found in his washing machine. According to investigators, a photo taken at 1:40 p.m., shows Arias posing nude on Alexander's bed.

Later at 5:22 p.m., a photo was taken and deleted, showing Alexander naked in the shower then at 5:30 p.m., another photo of Alexander. Police say, just 2 minutes later, he was dead.

At 5:32 p.m., this time stamped photo showed Alexander's body on the shower floor. What exactly happened that night is still unclear, in part because investigators can't get a straight or at least consistent story out of Arias.

The first time she was questioned, July 15th, 2008, Arias said she wasn't with Alexander the day he died. This was before she knew investigators had pictures putting her at the crime scene. Listen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was nowhere near Mesa. I was nowhere near Phoenix.

KAYE: Then, after police matched a bloody handprint at the scene to Arias and told her of the photos they had found, she told a different story, this time, a home invasion.

UNIDENTIFIED DETECTIVE: You didn't run to the neighbors. You didn't try calling. You knew they were in his house.

JODI ARIAS: I was really scared. I was really freaked out of my mind.

UNIDENTIFIED DETECTIVE: OK. I don't believe you.

KAYE: Two years later, in 2010, yet another story. Yes, she says, she did kill Travis Alexander, but it was self-defense. Her lawyer is making the case for domestic violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi believed that Travis was going to kill her. Travis left Jodi no other option, but to defend herself.

KAYE: As Arias tells it, it all started with those naked pictures. She testified that while she and Alexander were snapping photos, she dropped the camera and Alexander got incredibly angry. So this time she says she grabbed the gun she knew Alexander kept in his closet.

ARIAS: I grabbed the gun, I ran out of the closet. He was choking me. I turned around. We were in the middle of the bathroom. I pointed it at him with both of my hands. I thought that would stop him.

If someone were pointing a gun at me, I would stop. He just kept running. He got like a linebacker. He got kind of low and grabbed my waist. Before he did that, as he was lunging at me, the gun went off. I didn't mean to shoot him.

KAYE: But what about the knife and those dozens of stab wounds? Arias told the court she simply can't remember how that happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you broke away from him, what do you remember?

ARIAS: Almost nothing for a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember stabbing Travis Alexander?

ARIAS: I have no memory of stabbing him.

KAYE: The couple first met back in 2006 at a convention in Las Vegas. She was an aspiring photographer. He was a salesman and motivational speaker who was active in the Mormon Church. They started dating a few months later, even though he lived in Mesa, Arizona, and she lived hours away in California.

Arias soon converted to Mormonism like her boyfriend and agreed to be baptized. On the day of her baptism, she told the court Alexander tied her up while they were both still wearing sacred garments then forced her to have anal sex.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After this encounter on this spiritual day, how did you feel about yourself?

ARIAS: I didn't feel very good. I kind of felt like I was a used piece of toilet paper.

KAYE: Arias claims Alexander often abused her physically and sexually. But on the couple's phone sex tapes played in court, she seemed to be enjoying herself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way you moan, sounds like a 12-year-old girl having her first orgasm. It's so hot.

KAYE: How things turned from phone sex to this is still a mystery, but investigators say there is no question Travis Alexander suffered. The medical examiner says he was stabbed first then shot, so it may have taken him some time to die.

Crime scene photos show his hands bruised and bloody, which may indicate he struggled to fight off his attacker, who was stabbing him. In court today under cross-examination, the prosecutor did his best to expose Jodi arias as a cold blooded killer and shatter her testimony of what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Other than you, who would be sure of your statements?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, god's not here. We can't subpoena him, right?

ARIAS: I don't think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't think so. Are you sure that we can't? Because it seems like you're leaving the door open for that.

KAYE: No matter how hard prosecutors come at her, Jodi Arias has stuck to her story. Before the trial, she spoke to "Inside Edition" from jail.

ARIAS: No jury is going to convict me.


ARIAS: Because I'm innocent. You can mark my words on that and no jury will convict me.

KAYE: Later in court, she said that was because she planned to kill herself first. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Fascinating trial. Joining me now is CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey B. Toobin, and criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, co-author of the upcoming book, "Mistrial, An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."

Jeff, I mean, the details of this case are explicit to say the least, have you ever seen a trial that's been televised like this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I didn't know you could say lube that often on basic cable television, but you know, it's just unbelievable. The thing is, you know, forget putting it on television. Why -- how a judge has allowed this is very interesting.

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: How any judge has allowed her to sit on the stand on direct examination this long before even getting to cross is beyond me. Thirty years, I have been doing this. I have never seen any defendant on the stand this long.

TOOBIN: The reason I think is straightforward because it's a death penalty case. This is an interesting lesson in why death penalty cases take so long and are so expensive. The judge says, look, this person is on trial for their life. I'm going to let them try their case. I'm not going to really impose the rules of evidence.

COOPER: Ten days, though.

TOOBIN: I have never heard of anything that long, but clearly, she has a defense, which is that I am a victim of various men. Feel sorry for me. Don't give me the death penalty. That's the gist. So she's allowed to do it.

COOPER: Mark, how do you defend somebody who has lied consistently?

GERAGOS: You put her on for 10 days or eight days or whatever it is, and then, you know, in that piece, the package you just did, that prosecutor, was so over the top with that question about, you sure I can't subpoena God.

You hope and pray as a defense lawyer the prosecutor is going to lose his mind and start acting like a fool. If that happens, the jury might say at the end of the day, we're going to convict her.

Clearly, she's guilty, but after this amount of time, we're not going to kill her, because that's really what it comes down to.

TOOBIN: That's what they're trying to do. And they're trying, I think, to get the jury to know this woman in all of her eccentricities, in all her sort of oddness, her crazy history, and say we're going to lock this woman up, but we will not take the step of imposing the death penalty.

COOPER: But she's saying self defense. I mean, a throat slit so much the head was almost decapitated.

GERAGOS: That's the vehicle, all of this, whether it's battered woman, self defense, it's just a vehicle, if you will, for the defense to get her up there and try to mitigate and save her from the death penalty.

COOPER: Her lawyers aren't trying to get her off?

GERAGOS: If they get a not guilty, those guys will faint right in the courtroom.

TOOBIN: This is all about a death penalty defense. Frankly, since the judge is allowing it, it's probably her best sense because she is emerging as a personality, as someone with a history, who is complicated, who is obviously a mess of a human being, but not someone, at least, that they hope, that the jury says we have to take the absolute maximum step and kill her.

GERAGOS: That's really what it is. You put her up there for that long, what you hope for is that the jury is going to say exactly what Jeff was saying, they're going to get to the point where, OK, she's crazy.

She did it, we know it. But do we really want to kill her? Do we want to put her -- I mean, do we want to put her down? The more you usually familiarity breeds contempt. In this case, it may have the opposite effect.

COOPER: Do you think the prosecutor has been doing what Mark has sort of indicated, that he's making mistakes by going overboard?

TOOBIN: It's very hard to say. That really takes being inside the courtroom and getting a sense of the dynamic. I think the prosecutor is right to show all of the lies. I mean, what makes her story so, you know, unappealing from a jury perspective, it's not just this fairly bogus self defense argument.

But you know, first she wasn't there. Then there was an intruder. Then she came around to self defense. She's such an obvious and credible liar as well as someone who killed a man. That's what's really --

GERAGOS: I'll take a shot. They are totally overplaying this. They could have, I think less is more when it comes to this. That being up there, that sarcastic way -- that generally does not play well with juries.

COOPER: As a defense attorney, I can imagine just watching her talk to police over and over again, giving multiple different stories, and then doing television interviews and saying no jury is going to convict me, from a defense lawyer's standpoint --

GERAGOS: It's your worst nightmare, but I always tell this to clients. I give them my guard. I say when the police come, write on it, I want my lawyer. It doesn't matter. They still want to talk. They do not understand. I explain this to client. If the cops lie to you, it's good police work. You lie to them. That's a felony.

COOPER: The police are allowed to lie to you.

GERAGOS: Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that. So you lie to them, it's a false statement violation of the U.S. code, usually a felony in any other jurisdiction. People have this idea that somehow they're going to talk their way out of it. You can't stop it.

TOOBIN: Usually they don't lie as extravagantly as she did. This was off the charts, but you know, who is to say the jury isn't buying it?

GERAGOS: What I can't figure out, the only mystery to me is why cable TV hasn't become fixated on this.

COOPER: You don't thing they have?

TOOBIN: We're on cable TV right now.

GERAGOS: I want to tell you, it hasn't been wall to wall.

COOPER: This is pretty much the first time we have done it, but on HLN, they've been doing it.

It's fascinating stuff. Mark Geragos, thank you. Jeff Toobin, thanks very much. Just ahead, we're going to update you on the breaking news, the blizzard is pummeling Texas and Oklahoma.

It's already smashed records and snow is still coming down. Look at those images, unbelievable. Chad Myers joins us again with the latest on the storm's path.


COOPER: More on our breaking news, this is what the Texas panhandle is dealing with tonight. Take a look at that record amounts of snow, historic, according to the National Weather Service. Amarillo got 19 inches just today, Amarillo, Texas, white-out conditions making almost all roads in the panhandle impassable.

Stranded motorists waiting for the National Guard to show up that's how bad it is. Snow has been coming down fast all day, 2 to 3 inches every hour. Oklahoma's also being hard hit, 56 of its counties are under a state of emergency tonight.

A lot of motorists stranded there as well. It's the second major storm to hammer the region in a week. Kansas is in the path as well. Chad Myers joins us gain with the latest. Chad, what are we looking at right now?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Look at that snow now into Wichita, eventually maybe an hour or two into Kansas City and pretty heavy, then pulling out of Texas, pulling out of the Oklahoma panhandle, pulling away from where it has snowed so hard.

You talk about those stranded motorists, there were emergency vehicles trying to get to those who were stranded who got stranded themselves. That's how quickly it piled up with 5-foot drifts. We're still going to get more snow. Don't get me wrong, but the snow is going to pull out of Oklahoma and into Kansas and then into Missouri over the next few hours.

That heavy snow will be there. There's only one little fly here in the forecast of 20 inches or more still to come, Anderson. There's a lot of rain and severe weather along the gulf coast. This rain and severe weather is cutting off some of the moisture, good news, cutting of some of the moisture that could be snow.

It's raining the moisture out rather than making snow farther to the north. There's also the potential for some severe weather. The big red boxes there, tornado watch boxes for the next few hours in Mississippi, Louisiana, even parts of Arkansas. Some of the winners, if that's the number you want to call it, 19.4, Amarillo, the old record, 19.3.

COOPER: And air travel will be messed up because of that. Chad, thanks very much. Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following here. Isha with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a 360 follow, the cable contractor suspected of rupturing a natural gas line before last week's deadly restaurant explosion in Kansas City was working without a permit. One person was killed and several others were injured in the explosion.

The long awaited civil trial against BP and its contractors opened today in New Orleans. A federal judge will decide if the oil company and others were grossly negligent in the massive 2010 gulf oil spill, if so, BP could have to pay out billions more in civil damages, it's already pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay a $4 billion fine.

And Anderson, you may want to stock up on extra virgin olive oil and nuts. A large five-year study of people at high risk of cardiovascular disease found the so-called Mediterranean diet reduced the number of heart attacks and strokes. Better than a low fat diet.

COOPER: That is very good news indeed. Coming up, how do you make it more socially acceptable to drink soda in the morning? Just add a teensy bit of fruit juice. We'll explain. "The Ridiculist" is next.


COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." Tonight, I'm very pleased to announce that our long national nightmare is over. For those of us who do not drink coffee, finally, finally, there is another choice. Today, like a 16 ounce neon can of realized dreams, Mountain Dew started selling soda that you're supposed to drink in the morning.

It's called "Kick Start." It's a sparkling juice beverage with caffeine, 5 percent real fruit juice, and 95 percent, well, other stuff. Plenty of people already drink soda in the morning, but see, this new thing is specially designed for the morning so you don't have to feel trashy about it.

From the press release, quote, "Whether it's catching the first waves at sunrise, managing bum bumper to bumper traffic on the way to the office or hitting fresh powder on the slopes at first light, new "Kick Start" by Mountain Dew offers a refreshing and energizing take on your morning routine.

Because really what better way to start the day than surfing or skiing while simultaneously holding a 16-ounce can of morning soda. I'm just glad there's now a socially acceptable alternative to coffee. The coffee people kind of have a monopoly and let's face it. It kind of get complicated even just ordering it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A large black coffee.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Large black coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you mean a Venti?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I mean, a large.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He means a Venti, the biggest one you got.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that's 20. Large is large. In fact, tall is large. And grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the only one that doesn't mean large. It's also the only one that is Italian. Congratulations. You're stupid in three languages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Venti is a large coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really, says who?


COOPER: I'm just not a fan of hot beverages. When I tried coffee for the first time on my daytime show, it didn't go so well.


COOPER: It seems so watery. Yes, I don't see the point, really? That's what people drink every day? I don't see the point of that.


COOPER: Yes, it's my first time trying coffee so what? When Coke came up with a sort of Coke/coffee franken beverage, that didn't go too well for me either.


COOPER: I thought it's the perfect beverage because it's Coca- Cola and coffee. I thought we would do a taste test.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It kind of reminds me of --


COOPER: That was coke black. I didn't really like it very much. There's one way to consume coffee that I haven't tried and never will. This comes from a couple on the TLC show, my strange addiction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm addicted to coffee enemas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She hasn't been able to function without her daily coffee enemas, a procedure where liquid is injected into the colon to clean out the lower intestine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My initial reaction was, my God, that's disgusting, but I tried it. And now I'm addicted to coffee enemas.


COOPER: So that's two coffees to go, then. I'll say it again. Some people are way too into coffee and some coffee is way into people. It was high time for a new way to start the day on the "Ridiculist."

That does that it for us. We'll see you in an hour from now another edition of 360 at 10 p.m. Eastern. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.