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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

The Madman in My Life

Aired July 4, 2013 - 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. I'm Anderson Cooper.

In early June, southern California was the scene of a deadly shooting rampage. This one carried out by a lone gunman in Santa Monica. The suspect with a history of mental health issues murdered five people, including his own father and brother before he was shot and killed.

Each time these crimes occur, we ask, what could have been done to prevent it? Were there any warning signs? Often, it's the people the closest to the perpetrators, their spouses, their relatives who feel the most responsible.

Well, tonight, an intimate perspective of the most troubled and violent among us from those who knew them best. We hear from wives, the daughters, the brothers and the fathers of those who would later commit unspeakable acts.

Randi Kaye begins our special report, "The Madman in My Life."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison in the heart of our city.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A daughter's sickening nightmare.

ANGIE GREGG, ARIEL CASTRO'S DAUGHTER: If you would have asked me this last week, I would have told you he's the best dead and the best grandpa. He's dead to me.

KAYE: A brother's terrible discovery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife, Linda, comes to me one day and says do you think there's any possibility that this Unabomber might be your brother?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are 11 individuals or parts thereof that were recovered, and those would include 11 intact skulls.

KAYE: A father's frustration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was ordered by the court to undergo counseling. I visited the psychologist, but she did not indicate to me that she knew what was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A single engine aircraft has crashed into a seven- story building.

KAYE: A wife's horrible surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't imagine anybody doing anything like that. Let alone my husband.

KAYE: A family's desperate attempt to prevent a massacre.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His thought process was the world was going to end on Friday.

KAYE: What do you do when a loved one becomes a monster?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you know the truth about someone that you love?

AMANDA BERRY, KIDNAPPING VICTIM (via telephone): Hello, police. Help me. I'm Amanda Berry.

I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here. I'm free now.

KAYE: A chilling 911 call.

BERRY: OK, are they on their way right now?

DISPATCHER: We're going to send someone as soon as we get a car open.

BERRY: No, I need them now before he gets back.

KAYE: Minutes after receiving this call, Cleveland police would rescue Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Georgina DeJesus -- three young women who had been missing for 10 years.

COOPER: An extraordinary story out of Cleveland tonight. A man by the name of Ariel Castro, 52 years old, has been arrested. He is the suspect in this.

KAYE: Prosecutors say Ariel Castro kept these women locked in his house where he raped, starved and beat them, forcing one to have several miscarriages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The horrific brutality and torture that the victims endured for a decade is beyond comprehension.

REPORTER: Why are you covering your face? What do you have to say to those women? What kind of monster does this?

KAYE: As shocking as these crimes are, what is, perhaps, equally disturbing is that the alleged perpetrator lived in plain sight for a decade, remaining close to family and friends.

GREGG: It's a horror movie. Only, we're in it. We're, you know, the main characters.

KAYE: Angie Gregg knows the man charged with these disturbing crimes very well. Ariel Castro is her father.

GREGG: If you would have asked me this last week, I would have told you he's the best dad and the best grandpa.

KAYE: Gregg, one of Ariel Castro's five children, says her father was loving and kind.

GREGG: Living in that home, there were a lot of good memories. I remember my dad lining us up and cutting our bangs himself. Going on family outings, carnivals, motorcycle rides with my dad. There were a lot of good times.

KAYE: Gregg says the good times ended when her mother left her father because he was physically abusive.

GREGG: He was pretty jealous. He beat her pretty bad several times. He would make excuses for the reason why he was the way he was with her.

KAYE: Yet, even after the parents separated, Gregg remained close to her father, often visiting him at his home, unaware of the alleged horror taking place, hidden behind closed doors.

GREGG: I spent some time in there. I would be in there after two hours at a time, and never noticed anything, you know, odd.

PEDRO CASTRO, ARIEL CASTRO'S BROTHER: I don't know how my brother got away with it for so many years. That would never cross my mind.

KAYE: Ariel Castro's brothers, Pedro and Onil, are also still trying to comprehend how their brother was able to hide his alleged savagery.

P. CASTRO: I can't believe that Ariel was committing such a hateful crime for this long amount of time, acting like if nothing happened, you know, no worries.

ONIL CASTRO, ARIEL CASTRO'S BROTHER: It hurts. It hurts a lot. I woke up out of the nightmare last night. I want to wake up out of this one, and I just can't.

KAYE: Both brothers say they visited Ariel's house often, never suspecting any wrongdoing, even when they saw him with a little girl whom they later discovered was Amanda Berry's child born in captivity.

P. CASTRO: I had no idea that little girl was his or Amanda's.

KAYE: How is it possible that these close family members could not have known what was going on? How could they have not suspected or noticed anything troubling about their brother, their father?

DR. REID MELOY, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Oftentimes, you will find individuals who can channel their aggressive behavior and sometimes their sexually aggressive behavior in a way that is very narrow and very clandestine.

KAYE: Dr. Reid Meloy is a forensic psychologist. He studies the psychological makeup of violent criminals. Although Dr. Malloy hasn't met Ariel Castro, he says it isn't surprising that those close to Castro were shocked that he may have committed these disturbing crimes.

MELOY: We tend to assume what we see on the surface as being a full understanding of the individual. But the assumption is that the book is explained by the cover. And the cover typically doesn't tell us what's inside the book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd like to enter a plea of not guilty.

KAYE: As Castro awaits trial on charges of kidnapping, rape and murder, his family must attempt to reconcile the man they knew and loved with the man charged with such sickening crimes.

GREGG: It's hard, but I have no sympathy. He was just another person who's lied and deceived and manipulated people, and I could never forgive him.

KAYE: Dr. Meloy believes Castro's family members are just beginning to emotionally process their brother's actions.

MELOY: The sad reality is typically the healthier the family member is, the more likely they are to feel a sense of guilt and responsibility for what's happened and it can take a tremendous amount of work internally for them to overcome the sense that they had some responsibility for what happened.

GREGG: There's no doubt in my mind that he's guilty, and I have no problem cutting him out of my life. He's dead to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw a door open, all of a sudden, a big explosion.

KAYE: Coming up, his brother terrorized a nation.

DAVID KACZYNSKI, TED KACZYNSKI'S BROTHER: If we turn Ted in, you know, it's not going to be to a psychiatric hospital. It's going to be to a criminal justice system that could very easily put him to death.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID KACZYNSKI, TED KACZYNSKI'S BROTHER: To me, he was always a good brother. I mean, I always looked up to him and he was smart, he was independent. He had principles.

KAYE (voice-over): Growing up, David Kaczynski always admired older brother, Teddy.

D. KACZYNSKI: He had a sense of right and wrong, that you behaved with integrity. Never violent. There was absolutely no indication of what he would later become.

KAYE: David's brother was the Unabomber -- a domestic terrorist responsible for 16 bombings that killed 3 people and wounded 23 others. His killing spree went on for nearly two decades, until the one person who said he'd never abandon him --

D. KACZYNSKI: I hope that my brother, Ted, will someday forgive me.

KAYE: -- faced the dilemma of whether to turn him in.

REPORTER: Ted, are you the Unabomber?

KAYE: And possibly send his big brother to death row.

Separated by seven years, David and Ted Kaczynski grew up together on the outskirts of Chicago, with Teddy always looking out for his baby brother.

D. KACZYNSKI: I remember when I was about 3 years old, I used to push my way out through the screen door we had in back and play out, play around out back. And I always had a ball. But the frustration was in trying to get back inside the house because at the age of 3, I was so short I couldn't reach the doorknob.

And then one day, Ted, who would have been 10 or 11 years old at the time, came out of the house and I saw him fiddling around at the back door. When he was done, he said, Dave, see if this works. All of a sudden I realized what he had done, he made a little makeshift door handle for me.

KAYE: David appreciated Ted's kindness, but noticed something else about his brother.

D. KACZYNSKI: I guess there was a part of me, even as a young child, that thought Ted is a little different. And I remember once asking mom, "You know, mom, what's wrong with Teddy?" And she says, "Nothing is wrong with your brother." And I said, "Doesn't he like people? Why doesn't he have friends?"

KAYE: Forensic psychologist Dr. Reid Meloy says it's OK for children to be different, until it becomes a problem.

MELOY: When parents are getting feedback or comments from other people that a child is behaving in an unusual way or is engaging in isolating behaviors, that's very important to listen seriously to what people are telling you.

KAYE: Kaczynski was socially awkward but brilliant.

D. KACZYNSKI: He was, like, fascinated with rocketry, so he actually used to make his own homemade, not out of any sort of kit, rockets that he would shoot off in the park.

KAYE: He earned a scholarship to Harvard at age 16, received his PhD from the University of Michigan and became a college professor at the age of 25. It was during his time at Michigan that he began losing touch with reality.

D. KACZYNSKI: He might have had his first sort of psychotic break when he was there. He began to imagine visits by people who had never visited him.

KAYE: In 1969, Kaczynski suddenly gave up his promising career as a college professor, wanting to divorce himself from modern society and his family.

He eventually moved into a small cabin in Lincoln, Montana, choosing to live in isolation without plumbing or electricity.

MELOY: He had this peculiar nexus between ideology, sort of a hatred of the growing and advancing technology within the world.

KAYE: When David married his wife, Linda, in 1990, Ted was supposed to be the best man but refused to attend. That's when Linda started asking questions.

D. KACZYNSKI: I struggled to answer the questions, why did he quit his job? Why is he living the way he's living? Why has he rejected his parents? Why did he refuse to come to our wedding?

KAYE: And then the letters started to arrive, a diatribe of hatred toward modern technology.

D. KACZYNSKI: It used to be that I suffered from hardly any tension at all around here. But the area is now so messed up that my old way of life is all shot to hell.

LINDA KACZYNSKI, TED KACZYNSKI'S SISTER-IN-LAW: This was not just a disgruntled brother. But this was something quite more serious than that.

KAYE: Attempts to get his brother counseling in Montana were unsuccessful.

D. KACZYNSKI: Given that Ted was an adult, given that there was no evidence that he was an imminent threat to himself or others, essentially there was nothing we could do.

KAYE: Around the same time David was receiving disturbing letters from his brother, Ted --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I opened it then it exploded.

KAYE: -- universities and airlines received exploding bombs in the mail.

REPORTER: Many contain meticulously carved wood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We suspect this is the handwriting of the Unabomb subject.

KAYE: The haunting similarities between Ted's dark letters and a manifesto the Unabomber sent to "The Washington Post" and "New York Times" caught the attention of David's wife.

L. KACZYNSKI: It kind of added up that he was a woodworker. He had connections to Chicago and San Francisco.

D. KACZYNSKI: Linda urged me to sit down and read the manifesto and I'm actually reading the first page, all set to turn to her and say, look, you've been really silly, I'm sure this is not Ted's writing, and finding myself with a kind of lump in my chest.

KAYE: For David, it was a horrible realization.

D. KACZYNSKI: If you look past the ideas of the manifesto, you see a person as troubled as my brother.

KAYE: He now had to decide what to do.

D. KACZYNSKI: If we do nothing and Ted is the Unabomber, we may wake up some morning and realize he struck again. Some innocent person died because we had failed to act. We'd have blood on our hands.

KAYE: It took Linda two months, but she finally convinced David to contact the FBI.

D. KACZYNSKI: There was no turning back, but I can't tell you how painful it was to just put my finger down and say, yes, he lives here, realizing that I could be sending my own brother to his death.

When Ted was arrested, under the bed where he slept was another bomb wrapped in a package apparently ready to be mailed to someone.

KAYE: Ted Kaczynski rejected his attorney's insanity defense and pleaded guilty to murder.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no opportunity for parole. But to this day, David believes Ted is insane and should be in a mental institution.

D. KACZYNSKI: My biggest regret was not to have clearer insight about Ted's illness, that he was ill.

KAYE: David continues to write to his brother twice a year in prison. He has never received a response.

Coming up --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like a fireball. People let out a scream all around me.

KAYE: Kyra Phillips on simmering anger. A deadly attack.

SHERYL STACK, JOE STACK'S WIFE: I didn't know about the IRS. I didn't know that he was violent.

KAYE: And a wife left searching for answers.

STACK: How would I possibly know he would do a thing like that? (END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

S. STACK: I still love Joe. I don't think that Joe was a bad person.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It took some time for Cheryl Stack to get to this point. For two years, she has struggled but has found comfort in her music and her faith.

S. STACK: I have been more sad than mad. Suicide is so painful on so many different levels. Then you add the public factor, the public suicide.

PHILLIPS: It was February 18th, 2010. An angry and violent Joe Stack set his family's house on fire, then drove here to the Georgetown municipal airport, boarded his single engine plane --

JOE STACK: Georgetown tower, Dakota 2889 Delta's ready for departure.

PHILLIPS: -- and was cleared for takeoff.

TOWER: Eighty-nine Delta clear for takeoff. What's your direction of flight, sir?

JOE STACK: Eighty-nine Delta going southbound, sir.

PHILLIPS: At 9:44 a.m., Joe Stack was headed for his final flight. Joe Stack knew exactly where he was going, the Echelon Building in Austin, which housed the IRS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a fireball. People let out a scream all around me. A few people were crying.

PHILLIPS: Stack slammed his plane between the first and second floors of the building. It exploded on impact. One man in the building was killed, Vernon hunter, an IRS employee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The region in danger.

PHILLIPS: Immediately, there were fears that this was an act of terrorism, but it wasn't. It was simply one man's grudge against the IRS.

And then came the manifesto. Before Stack would die by suicide, the 53-year-old software engineer would leave behind a rambling diatribe online, where he railed against the government in excruciating detail.

"I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at big brother while he strips my carcass," Stack wrote. "The choose not to ignore what is going on all around me. I have just had enough."

Today, that manifesto still haunts Sheryl Stack.

(on camera): What do you say to people that may be listening to you and thinking, how could she not know about this rage, about this manifesto, about this anger?

S. STACK: Well, I knew that he was angry, but I thought he was angry at us, you know? About the IRS, I didn't know that he was violent. How could I possibly know he would do a thing like that?

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Sheryl met Joseph Andrew Stack through a mutual friend in 2005. Both loved music. Sheryl played piano, Joe played bass guitar. Two years later, in a small ceremony in Austin, they married. Joining them was Sheryl's 12-year-old daughter, Margaux.

(on camera): Did he ever talk about how he was angry with the government, angry with the IRS?

S. STACK: When we were dating, he did talk about the IRS. He didn't seem so angry, he just didn't like them.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): But, actually, Joe's emotions ran much deeper. In the '80s, while living in California, he was part of an anti-tax movement, even forming his own tax-exempt home church. His run-ins with the IRS continued for decades.

Joe and Sheryl got audited in late 2008, and once again, Joe was in another battle with the IRS, a battle he wasn't going to lose.

Joe Stack started to document what would soon become his suicide mission. He wrote, "Desperate times call for desperate measures," and, "Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."

This is what's left of the home that Joe Stack burned down.

(on camera): Is it hard to come back here?

S. STACK: That's hard to answer. It's not as hard as it was initially. It was really hard right after it all happened.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Sheryl says in the months before, he became more angry with the IRS and the audit. He started to blame her and her daughter, Margaux, for all his problems, and he became increasingly strict with Margaux.

Sheryl talked about divorce.

S. STACK: He said we were the cause of all his trouble.

PHILLIPS (on camera): Wow.

S. STACK: But that was the same time he was giving me a birthday card and saying you're the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Then came their final night together.

MARGAUX: After we had dinner, we sat down in the family room and he was just talking. Like, he just wanted to leave. And he said he was just going to disappear, but we didn't really know what he was talking about. I said, "Mom, he's not even taking a toothbrush with him. Or anything, like, where is he going, this is scaring me."

PHILLIPS (on camera): So, did you think he might do something that wasn't right?

MARGAUX: I kind of had, like, a feeling that something was going to happen, like something bad. And I told my mom that I wanted to leave, and she said, OK. And so, we left.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Sheryl took her daughter to this nearby Ramada Inn. She never heard from Joe again.

The next morning this is what Sheryl drove up to. The morning of the fire, Sheryl and her daughter took refuge at a neighbor's home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just got some information.

PHILLIPS: It would be there that she would discover the fate of her husband on the local news.

S. STACK: They interrupted the house fire to show that a plane had crashed into a building.

PHILLIPS (on camera): How did you react when you realized it was his plane and it was him?

S. STACK: Well, I don't think I did react. I think I just was -- just in complete and utter shock.

PHILLIPS: He wrote in the manifesto, "But violence not only is the answer, it's the only answer."

S. STACK: I don't know who that is. I don't know that man.

I learned a lot being up in the air with Joe. One of the things I learned up there is that the sun is always shining on the other side of the clouds. It might be a really dark, dark day. It might be a terrible, terrible day, but on the other side of those clouds, the sun is shining.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Coming up --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He never gave any idea that he was involved in murdering people or eating them or whatever.

PHILLIPS: Randi Kaye on a sadistic serial killer, and a father's anguish.

LIONEL DAHMER, FATHER: He was ordered by the court to undergo counseling. I visited the psychologist. She knew something was wrong but she really didn't know. She couldn't tell me anything.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are 11 individuals or parts, thereof, that were recovered and those would include 11 intact skulls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's gruesome. Very gruesome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He never carried himself or gave any idea that he was involved in murdering people or eating them or whatever.

CHIEF PHILIP ARREOLA, MILWAUKEE POLICE: The suspect is a 31-year-old white male. We're doing a great deal of investigation in the individual's background, his whereabouts. For all purposes, his entire history.

KAYE (voice-over): Today, Jeffrey Dahmer is remembered as a monster, who murdered, dismembers and cannibalized 17 victims. But long before then, Jeffrey Dahmer appeared to be an ordinary boy.

DAHMER: He was my first child, and we had lots of fun together when he was young. He returned my love. I loved him very much

Played in the sandbox I made for him at the university housing. Rode the bike with him. Took him for a chocolate shake every Saturday morning.

KAYE: Jeffrey Dahmer's father, Lionel Dahmer, sat down with CNN in 2007 and recalled how Jeffrey's happy-go-lucky demeanor was soon consumed by overwhelming shyness.

DAHMER: His schoolteachers noted that and told us that he seemed very shy and a little bit -- not very happy.

KAYE: Psychiatrist Fred Berlin examined Jeffrey Dahmer after he was arrested for murder. Berlin says there were early signs that Jeffrey Dahmer had a dark side, but no indication he would become a serial killer.

FRED BERLIN, PSYCHIATRIST: There had been one time in his childhood where Jeffrey Dahmer had brought home a road kill -- a dog or something that had been killed on the side of the road.

Certainly as a father if one were to see that, you'd want to know, what in the heck is this all about? That's a far cry from saying that having known that that had happened, I think my son is going to turn into a serial killer who's going to take the lives of 17 people -- to me, that's really a heck of a stretch.

KAYE: But by the end of high school, Jeffrey Dahmer was depressed, drinking and unknown to his family, having violent sexual fantasies.

BERLIN: Jeffrey Dahmer's crimes were motivated by the presence of abnormal sexual cravings, fantasies and urges. And when people are being driven to act because of the privacy of their sexual makeup, that's something that's very difficult for any of us to detect.

KAYE: Three months after his high school graduation in 1978, Jeffrey Dahmer committed his first murder, bludgeoning a 19-year-old hitchhiker with a 10-pound barbell, then dissecting his victim's body in the crawl space of his parents' home and burying the remains in a shallow grave.

After the murder, Jeffrey Dahmer dropped out of college, began living at home without a job, and continued drinking heavily. His father urged him to enlist in the Army.

DAHMER: He doesn't have an occupation of any kind. He's not trained for anything. So how about trying the Army for a while?

KAYE: Less than three years after joining the army, Dahmer was kicked out for excessive drinking.

DAHMER: We had to do something, so we sent him to my mother's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

KAYE: That's when his behavior changed, from strange, to bizarre.

BERLIN: For period of time he was sleeping with a male mannequin in his grandmother's home in Wisconsin, pretending in his mind that it was a corpse.

KAYE: While Dahmer was living with his grandmother, he continued abusing alcohol. His father enrolled him in a treatment program, but the psychologist working with Dahmer refused to share any insights regarding his mental state.

DAHMER: He said, I will not discuss his details because he's an adult and that's between him and I.

KAYE: Dahmer served short prison sentences for indecent exposure and molesting a minor.

DAHMER: He was ordered by the court to undergo counseling. I visited the psychologist, but she did not indicate to me that she knew what was wrong. She knew something was wrong, but she really didn't know.

KAYE: By 1988, Dahmer moved into his own apartment and attracted little attention.

BERLIN: He was someone who you could sit down and speak with and seemed quite affable. So there's nothing about his appearance that would have given any clue to the sorts of crimes that we know he committed.

KAYE: During the span of three years, the affable guy next door would kill and mutilate 16 more victims, all young men or boys, with most of the slayings taking place in his Milwaukee apartment. But his father was completely unaware of the grisly evidence inside the apartment.

DAHMER: It was a very nice apartment actually inside. It was neat and clean when we went there.

There was nothing to give us any signals that something was wrong. But there were red flags, but we couldn't see them.

KAYE: In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer was finally caught and arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking to the head that's been severed, that's seeing himself as continuing on in an intimate relationship by eating somebody.

KAYE: It wasn't until his trial that his father would learn about the horrific atrocities his son had committed.

Dahmer was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

In 1994, less than 2 years after his conviction, Jeffrey Dahmer was brutally killed by a fellow inmate while cleaning the prison gymnasium. He was 34.

Could Dahmer have been stopped before the rampage?

His father says he begged his son's lawyer and the judge to keep his son locked up after his earlier molestation arrest.

DAHMER: I wanted to have a little time, keep him in prison for the maximum time to try to find some solution to the problem.

I wish he was alive that I could still, you know, we could have pursued this and really found out what might have been the triggers. I think I would have really quizzed Jeff on his inner thoughts. I could have pushed more, you know? I could have.

KAYE: Coming up -- confronting mental illness. A family alerts authorities to a tragedy waiting to happen.

VICTOR MILIAN, MIAMI-DADE POLICE NEGOTIATOR: He had on body armor when I was talking to him through the window. I saw the butt of a rifle. So I knew the danger was there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): December 14th, 2012, the Connecticut Elementary School under assault. Within minutes, six adults and 20 children massacred.

Just three days later, another school. This one in Florida, goes into lockdown.

And Miami-Dade police negotiator Victor Milian is called into action.

VICTOR MILIAN, MIAMI-DADE POLICE NEGOTIATOR: Part of the information I received was that there were multiple weapons involved, to include grenades.

KAYE: The shooter isn't in the school, but across the street, living here. He's distressed and heavily armed. Inside his apartment, the walls are covered with violent rantings, and silhouettes used for target practice.

His name is Franklin Rosario. Earlier that day, his sister, Alma, had sent this desperate e-mail that alerted authorities. "I lived with him and have seen his suicide note written on his wall at home and he has personally told me about plans he has to do mass public shootings."

(on camera): What were your immediate concerns as soon as you got there?

MILIAN: As I'm pulling up to the scene, there's a private school across the street.

KAYE (voice-over): The police special response team surrounds the area as Milian begins talking to Rosario.

MILIAN: He had on body armor when I was talking to him through the window. I saw the butt of a rifle. So I knew danger was there.

KAYE: And he knew Rosario suffered from mental illness.

He's a combat Army veteran who is 100 percent disabled who suffers from PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar and depression. It is unlikely that he is currently taking his medication.

(on camera): Give me an idea of this veteran state of mind as far as you could tell.

MILIAN: He was in a crisis mode. His thought process was that the world was going to end his thought process that the world would end on Friday and Americans were potentially in harm's way.

KAYE: How do you rationally speak to someone who is suffering a mental breakdown?

MILIAN: A lot of patience. A lot of patience.

KAYE (voice-over): Milian says Rosario was suspicious of police but he somehow finds a way to build trust.

MILIAN: I explained to him that I'm a veteran myself. I actually showed him my military ID card and I think that was the turning point.

KAYE: After more than five hours of negotiating, no bullets fired. No storming the building, Rosario surrenders peacefully. He is taken to a treatment facility, not a jail.

STEVE LEIFMAN, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY JUDGE: He was very sick. Very, very sick. But he didn't break a law. That's what's so -- they got to him before he did something terrible.

KAYE: It was Miami-Dade County Judge Steve Leifman's staff who had seen the e-mail and alerted police.

LEIFMAN: We're waiting until someone is so sick, they're either getting arrested, getting sick or hurting somebody. And it's foolish, it's dangerous and it's very expensive. And it is ruining families, ruining lives and very unnecessary.

We had a horrible situation.

KAYE: Leifman has spent years ensuring that when possible, mentally ill people are taken to appropriate mental health facilities for evaluation. Instead of being arrested. He showed me the alternative, here -- ninth floor of the Miami-Dade detention center where the most acute cases end up.

(on camera): I've never been to a place like this. This is an awful place. You can't argue with that.

LEIFMAN: No, it's startling.

KAYE (voice-over): It used to be dubbed, the forgotten floor. Judge Leifman told me.

LEIFMAN: People forgot about the inmate who had serious mental illnesses.

KAYE: He said today, it is much improved and incredibly costly, about $60 million a year to house these people in such horrific conditions.

(on camera): When you're here and you look around, what disturbs you most?

LEIFMAN: The overcrowding, 24/7 in the same cell. It is not conducive for treatment. There is no therapy here.

KAYE: They stay locked up.

LEIFMAN: They just stay locked up and they get a pill. That's pretty much it.

KAYE: That's not treatment.

LEIFMAN: That's not treatment.

KAYE (voice-over): That's why the judge started an intense 40-hour course.

LEIFMAN: Last year, 1.5 million people with serious mental illnesses were arrested.

KAYE: Which gives Miami police the training they need to better deal with the mentally ill on the street and get them help.

Lieutenant Jeff Locke went through the crisis intervention training. On this night, we joined him on a fairly quiet patrol.

(on camera): So before there was CIT, before officers were specifically trained to deal with mentally ill, how did they deal with them?

LT. JEFF LOCKE, MIAMI POLICE: Confrontational. Grab them, arrest them, handcuff them, put them on a gurney, tie them to a gurney and ship them off to a receiving facility.

KAYE: Lieutenant Locke says CIT officers are taught to take a step back, to deescalate the situation.

LOCKE: We're not showing up in that level. I'm here. I'm going to take you here. It is more of --

KAYE (on camera): I'm here to help you.

LOCKE: We're here to help you. What can I do for you? What do you need? And really, try to become their friend.

KAYE (voice-over): Judge Leifman says more than 3,900 officers are trained and on the team, keeping those suffering from mental illness out of jail and in treatment.

LEIFMAN: We're not criminalizing their mental illness, which is what we've done in this country.

KAYE: Unfortunately, getting the mentally ill help is not always enough.

Army veteran Franklin Rosario had been in treatment for months when --

JUDGE: I'm just ordering you that you may not possess any fire articles of do you understand that?

KAYE: At this bond hearing, he convinced the judge to let him go home.

JUDGE: OK, next case.

KAYE: Days later, he committed suicide, stabbing himself to death.

But Judge Leifman's programs have many more success stories. Like this man.

LEIFMAN: Justin, he is amazing. He was a chef at a nice restaurant on South Beach. He had a schizophrenic break. He attacked the owner of the restaurant.

KAYE: It was 2007, Justin Volpe (ph) was taken to the ninth floor, the very same ninth floor we visited with Judge Leifman.

JUSTIN VOLPE (ph): I do remember being completely delusional when I went in there and things not getting better after I wept to the ninth floor. And things got eventually worse.

KAYE (on camera): Do you think it is the right place for someone who is mentally ill?

VOLPE: I don't think it is the right place for anyone, let alone somebody that is mentally ill.

KAYE (voice-over): Justin eventually entered the judge's program. After he completed it, the Judge Leifman hired him to work as a program peer counselor.

VOLPE: I feel great giving back. What I do is I offer the experience of, I've been there. I've been arrested. I know what it is like, when you're not taking medication.

KAYE: Justin has come a long way. He still takes medication for bipolar disorder but he is now a married father. He showed me photos of his wedding officiated by the judge.

LEIFMAN: Just because you have mental ill know doesn't mean you don't have aspirations and dreams and goals. We're giving people hope again and they can recover. It is a remarkable, beautiful thing to see every day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Over the last hour, we've seen how family members can often miss the warning signs or face frustration trying to get help for loved ones who are emotionally disturbed. In Miami, Judge Leifman has started a new program in schools that trains teachers to identify kids who may be suffering from mental illness and get them the help they need. Similar programs have been launch in the school districts across the country.

Judge Leifman and others say it's important to know the most important part of mental illness is not the potential for violence but rather the stigma that prevents individuals and their loved ones from seeking help.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching.

(END VIDEOTAPE)