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Immigration Crisis at the Border; Children in Limbo; Mother Takes Care of Immigration Orphans; Air Raid Sirens Sounding in Israel

Aired July 8, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening and thanks for joining us. Tonight President Obama unveils his plan for dealing with the flood of Central American children into the country and we cut through the political noise surrounding it.

Also tonight this. This. Missiles flying and sirens sound as the top cities in Israel come under attack and the country weighs an all-out assault on Palestinian targets.

And later, their son died in a hot car, now Cooper Harris' parents are facing a lot of questions about what they said and did afterwards. We have full details tonight.

We begin, though, tonight with the Obama administration's answer to a humanitarian crisis and chaos at the border. Tens of thousands of children mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador arriving in this country illegally, swamping the system for holding them, determining whether they can stay here and if not, sending them home. But that takes a long time.

Their arrival bringing protest to the streets of the Southern California city of Murrieta and sparking a political brush fire back in Washington. The president, who's on the fundraising trip out west, starting tonight in Denver, taking heat from Republicans who say his actions caused the crisis and his inaction, they say, is worsening it.

Some are calling this President Obama's Katrina moment because of his western swing there or no plans to visit the border. A lot of finger- pointing on this story, no doubt, and it goes both ways. A lot of demagoguing from all sides.

What there hasn't been so much of is facts about how this reached a boiling point and what to do about all these kids. So tonight as we lay out the new White House plan for dealing with it, we're going to certainly touch on the politics, but we want to focus primarily on helping you see past it to the problem itself.

Today the administration asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to beef up the border, crack down on immigrant smugglers, and counter what officials call a campaign of misinformation by those smugglers who have been promising that Central American kids who come here can stay.

Michelle Kosinski is at the White House, and joins us now with reaction to the plan.

So the White House made both emergency requests for more funding and a request for power for the Homeland Security secretary to try to deal with the crisis. Tell us the details.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so this money, obviously, is sort of like -- well, it's what Republicans right now are calling a band-aid. It is reactive but there is some proactive piece to that, as well, working with Central America but also really just the crisis as it stands is trying to get these kids through the legal process because of this law that the Obama administration inherited from the prior administration saying that these kids who come from countries other than Mexico, from non-contiguous countries, need to go through this asylum process if they ask for it.

That means they need legal representation and they have to go through a judge. Well, that system right now is so backed up and it's taking some of them years. So this money would speed up the process.

The part of it is trying to deal with that law. The Obama administration wants greater flexibility for the Department of Homeland Security to just speed it up and use discretion where necessary because the law doesn't allow for that right now and there is concern that this backlog is only going to grow and not diminish -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, let's break down the -- excuse me, $3.7 billion, almost half of it, $1.8 billion is to care for the kids and the other large chunk, $1.5 billion is for things like transportation facilities, transportation costs, $64 million for more immigration judges and attorneys, $300 million to help these immigrants reintegrate in the home country basically to back their families. And a media campaign helps to stem the flow, to tell them not to come.

Realistically, though, what are the chances a request like this can actually pass Congress?

KOSINSKI: Right. And keep in mind that about $1.5 billion of that does hit on border security, things like surveillance flights. So that seems to be answering that piece the Republicans have been calling for, border security is what we need. The question, you're right, is this going to pass? Already we're hearing pushback from key Republicans. We just heard from the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, calling this a slap in the face of the American taxpayers, saying where's the accountability, calling this a band-aid and so on.

Well, the Obama administration hits back and says OK, well, we tried to get through comprehensive immigration reform. It got through the Senate in a bipartisan manner but it's the Republicans in Congress, in the House who are keeping that bill from going any further. They say that really would address the border security issue more than anything else so the onus is on you now, says the White House, to do something about that.

COOPER: I think a lot of people don't realize, these are not kids from Mexico. This is a law which gives special attention to kids from other countries and mostly El Salvador and Guatemala and the like. It was originally about to stop trafficking of kids.

Is there any talk in the White House about -- get the law itself that gives special attention to these kids to get it repealed?

KOSINSKI: Right, I mean, it seems obvious. Right. First of all the law is not exactly fair. It only covers some countries, doesn't cover Mexico. Similar to, you know, wet foot, dry foot. You come from one country, you kind of get a little more leeway, another country you get shipped right back. There's that problem. And also the fact that it's just keeping the problem going. It's keeping the kids here in some cases for years. So the obvious question is yours, change the law but the White House says OK, it wasn't even our law but not so fast.

The original intent was to deal with children who are being trafficked. They do see a humanitarian value in the law. It's not exactly the law they want to change at the core. And that would be a process through Congress as well. What they want to do is just ask Congress for more leeway and say can't DHS, Department of Homeland Security, use their discretion more to send these kids home quicker?

Because in reality, even though they have to go through this lengthy process, the vast majority of them are just going to be sent home anyway. So you look at it, seems like a huge waste of time and money, but it does protect some kids and that was the cause of it in the first place.

COOPER: All right. Michelle Kosinski, appreciate it.

Now whether or not you think the administration has the right answer to the problem with this money, it's hard to imagine they'd done the best job of explaining things. Here's White House spokesman Josh Earnest yesterday when asked what specifically will happen to all these kids.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These children who have been apprehended will go through the immigration court process and if they are found to not have a legal basis for remaining in this country, they will be returned. I mean, it is fair to say that it's unlikely that most of the kids who go through this process will not qualify -- it's unlikely that host of the kids who go through this process will qualify for human for relief, which is to say most of them will not have a legal basis -- will not be found through that court process to have a legal basis to remain in this country.


COOPER: You heard the word process there a lot. Legal basis, no real specifics, as if there are none. In fact, though, there are plenty of specifics and Ed Lavandera has them.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 52,000, that's how many unaccompanied children the Department of Homeland Security says have crossed into the United States just since October. It's right at double the amount from the same period a year earlier. Many are caught by Border Patrol and placed here, at detention facilities where they are held, screened and cataloged but then what?

A 2008 law passed with bipartisan support and signed by then President Bush in the final days of his presidency is complicating the issue. It's called the William Wilbert Force Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. The law prohibits a quick deportation for children from non-bordering countries and requires they receive an opportunity before an immigration judge to determine their future status.

JAIME TREVINO, ATTORNEY, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF DALLAS: It could be anywhere from a year to a little more than a year before the kids actually end up going to immigration court and see a judge. They can have several hearings their entire immigration process. So it really just depends on the child and the remedies and, you know, what is -- if they have representation.

LAVANDERA: It was intended to prevent child sex trafficking but the recent flood of migrants has produced unintended consequences. The Obama administration says the law is limiting its ability to deal with the crisis and is asking Congress for changes to help expedite the deportation process.

The hearings will determine if the children will qualify for humanitarian relief and be allowed to stay but according to White House officials, most will not so they will be deported. But that's not expected to be easy, either. A judge's deportation order must be carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement which has its own priorities on who should be deported.

TREVINO: Children are going to generally be on the lower end of the spectrum because, you know, what's a 5-year-old kid -- what kind of crime can he really commit in the United States versus, you know, maybe somebody who drug trafficking or some other undesirable crime.

LAVANDERA: Meaning these children could be caught in legal limbo for some time to come.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.


COOPER: Let's get perspective now on this policy and the politics from Dan Restrepo, former President Obama's top adviser on Latin American Affairs, and our senior political analyst David Gergen.

Dan, this kind of request -- I mean, Tom Coburn, I saw a statement from him earlier today. It points out we're going to spend about $60,000 per child at this point. Why not repeal the law that allows these kids to apply for asylum. Mexican kids don't get this kind of treatment. Why should kids from other countries get it?

DAN RESTREPO, FORMER LATIN AMERICAN ADVISER: I think part of this is a challenge of making sure you're not sending kids back who do have legal ability to stay in the United States, whether they have an asylum claim, whether they are entitled to be here. So -- and quite frankly, I think there's some politics here.

The administration is facing some complicated Democratic politics, as well, of treating kids from Latin American countries in what would be viewed as harsh terms if you don't provide them some process. So I think you both have a policy reason for this differentiation and a political reason for why the administration is asking for more discretion but not asking for a repeal of the law.

COOPER: That's interesting. David, do you agree with that? There's a political dimension to not asking for a repeal? Because Tom Coburn is saying look, a repeal will probably pass and you get it passed in two weeks in Congress.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the president is walking not only one fine line but two fine lines. One is domestic politics. He wants to be tough about the borders but he also wants to be compassionate, especially toward the Latino community and show that he cares about, you know, people who really have a desperate plight.

The second is America has a reputation in the world. Are we both competent and compassionate? And some people are asking whether we can handle that or not.

The problem here, Anderson, is we talk a lot about the laws and how they ought to be changed. Of course there has to be administrative process for sending back and they need to be sent back. But we're not -- the program, I think the program, the president's program is as good as far as it goes. But doesn't go far enough. It doesn't deal with the root cause. And that is how much violence there is in these countries. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are three of the five highest homicide countries in the world.

COOPER: But you look -- let me push back, I mean, look at Mexico which has -- had, you know, tremendous drug violence.

GERGEN: Right.

COOPER: Innocents being caught in the crossfire. Mexican kids don't get this special treatment.

GERGEN: They don't get the special treatment but we have done a better job with the Mexican flow. You know the -- in fact, I think we almost went to sleep on this question of the borders over the last two years because the numbers coming from Mexico have went down so much.

COOPER: Went down.

GERGEN: Economic conditions have changed, that's been helpful. But, you know, on the question of Colombia, for example, they had terrible gang violence as you know. We went in and helped them. They've really come a long, long way in (INAUDIBLE). We're spending 10 times as much on the border as we are in trying to help end the violence in these three countries. COOPER: Dan, do you see that as part of the solution? Because some

people are going to kind of roll their eyes to that, and say, look, is it our job to, you know, be trying to work on the -- you know, we have a violence problems here in the United States. Is it our job to be working on the, you know, the gang issue in El Salvador?

RESTREPO: It's partly our job to be working on it. But it's also our job to encourage the Salvadorans, the Guatemalans and the Hondurans to be working on it. David raises the example of Colombia. Sure, the United States spent $8 billion over about a decade in Colombia. The Colombian government spent 10, 15 times that amount, and the Colombian economically stepped up to the plate and sided with the government.

One of the real problems you have in these Central American countries right now is that the elites have tried kind of walling themselves off and have not been particularly concerned about the levels of violence and the lack of economic development in these countries. And there's just so much the U.S. can do to help these countries if they're not willing this to help themselves. So again that's another one of these balancing acts that the administration has right now.

They are trying to engage with these governments. They're trying to work with them and they're trying to encourage them to do more to help themselves. There is a role for the U.S., but we really need partners in that to make a meaningful difference in countries that are violent and quite poor.

COOPER: It is interesting, Dan. I mean, I remember being in El Salvador in, like, '95, '96 and there were all these L.A. street gangs.


COOPER: These guys who have been deported from L.A. who are street gangs, 18 Street Gang, MS, they ended up in El Salvador, you know, having an 18th Street Gang and that's now kind of mushroomed throughout Central America.

RESTREPO: Yes, one of the ironies here is that there is a U.S. immigration law component to the underlying causes here as well. Right? These Central American gangs, quote, unquote, started in Los Angeles, spread across the United States and then in the 1990s were deported to Central America. That a potential American gang has the name of 18th Street Gang and tells you that they might not have started in Central America.

COOPER: Right.

RESTREPO: So there's -- it just underscores how inner connected we are. This is a problem that needs to be worked at both ends.

COOPER: Right.

RESTREPO: It needs to be worked in the United States. It also needs to be worked in the region.

COOPER: All right. David Gergen, appreciate it. Dan Restrepo, as well.

A quick reminder, make set you set your DVR, you can watch 360 whenever you'd like.

We're going to be talking about this issue a lot this week because it's not going away any time soon. We're talking about kids who are going to be here for more than a year while they're going through this process. Thousands of them, tens of thousands.

Coming up next, a couple who've made helping some of these kids their life's works, hundreds of times over. They've helped hundreds of kids so far.

Also tonight, puzzling new details in the hot car death of Cooper Harris. Just a tragic story. Authorities are treating it -- looking at all sorts of red flags. The question is, do the red flags really paint a picture of wrongdoing by his parents?

We'll give you the details ahead.


COOPER: Hey, welcome back. So we've trying to lay out the facts of the current immigration crisis on the border with all these kids. And fact one, beyond the numbers, beyond the relevant loss, just want to be on the potential losses and gains for one political party or another is this.

The kids who've made it this far have done so at enormous risk, as our Karl Penhaul found out when he rode north on what's known as the train of death. Take a look.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most aboard are from Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras. They'll spend days clinging to cargo trains as they grind through Southern Mexico up toward the U.S. border.

Human rights groups estimate thousands have died falling from trains like this, some of them mutilated under its wheels.

En route to the U.S. border, many more have been robbed, raped and kidnapped. The Mexican authorities do little to prevent them riding or to deter gangs from preying on them.


COOPER: It is a horrific journey for these kids. And we talk about very young children in many cases. That's the way many of the kids have gotten here now. Now others are born here but because their parents have been deported there are offenders. For some 817 to be precise there is a Miami Beach couple with a place called Home.

Gary Tuchman went there.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Norah Sandigo loves children. She has given birth to two of her own but she has responsibility for quite a few others.

(On camera): You're a guardian to many children. How many children?


TUCHMAN: 817 children you're responsible for?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Nora, who gets help from her husband Raymond, is the legal guardian of children whose parents have been kicked out of the United States for immigration violations. The children in most cases are U.S. citizens because they were born here. The parents are told they have to leave but want their children who've never lived anywhere but the U.S. to stay in the U.S.

(On camera): As a guardian, what do you do for the children?

SANDIGO: Everything as possible, to take care of their needs they have like food, education and emotional problems.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Norah and her husband are from Nicaragua but are U.S. citizens and regularly deliver food to their children who for the most part live with other family members or friends who often are also undocumented.

Claudia Fonseca is one of them. Her husband was deported back to Nicaragua three years ago. Nora has become the legal guardian of her four children who live in this tiny home in Miami Beach because Claudia is now in deportation proceedings. She can be sent back at any time.

"Nora," she says, "has been the best thing for me." Claudia adds she would be scared for her children to go to Nicaragua and can count on Nora if she gets deported.

(On camera): So how does Nora Sandigo keep track of her children. Well, it seems to be done in an efficient but old fashioned way. In the storage closet with food and juice and water for the kids, there are also file cabinets with 817 files. And each one of these files tells one child's life story.

(Voice-over): There are no state or federal regulations about guardianship. Parents sign a notarized form and Nora become the legal guardian. Cecia Soza has just turned 18. Nora has been Cecia and her younger brother's guardian for five years. Cecia has dreams of being a doctor or a lawyer so maybe she can legally help her parents who were sent back to Nicaragua reunite with her in the U.S.

(On camera): How hard is that for you to be here without your parents? CECIA SOZA, HELPED BY NORA SANDIGO: It's very difficult because . I

basically had to grow up without a mom and my brother has, also, so I've been kind of like a parent to him and I've had to be extra responsible.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Nora has gatherings where many of the children come together but they are all over the U.S. and Nora says she has an obligation to know them all.

(On camera): And you've met all 817 children at least once?

SANDIGO: At least once.

TUCHMAN: And how do you do that for a child that's in California who's far from here in Florida?

SANDIGO: I travel.

TUCHMAN: And how do you afford to do that?

SANDIGO: Everything is so difficult.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Nora and her husband pay for most of their travel. They do get some donations and that helps, but so would more sleep. Nora's phone rings all hours of the night with parents begging her to become guardian to their children. And with the number of children crossing the border arriving quickly, the number 817 will undoubtedly get higher soon.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Miami.


COOPER: A remarkable couple. Now one final note in immigration and President Obama's meeting tomorrow with Texas Governor Rick Perry, CNN will have complete coverage of what could be a political tense encounter so stay with us for that tomorrow.

Up next we have breaking news. Missiles fly, people flee, Israel warns a ground invasion of Gaza might become necessary. In their words. We'll get a live update from Ben Wedeman in Gaza City.

Also ahead a courtroom showdown, Sterling versus Sterling, Donald Sterling taking the stand battling his estranged wife as he fights to keep the LA Clippers.


COOPER: There's breaking news tonight at the Middle East where you can no longer call what's happening between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza a crisis. Tonight, simply put, it's war.

Air raid sirens going off in cities across the country, whether it's special events like this wedding or just a day on a Tel Aviv beach, people fleeing from Baraj, from Gaza. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system seeing a lot of action into the night there. Israeli authorities saying militants have sent more than 130 rockets their way.

Meantime, Israel's Operation Protective Edge, so-called, is in full swing, officials saying about 150 terror sites in Gaza have been hit. Late tonight Israeli armed forces put this video online. They say these are Hamas fighters coming ashore set to be armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades. A short time later Israeli troops, air and naval forces, opened up on them, killing all five, according to the Israeli Defense Force.

And from Jerusalem where another 40,000 reserve troops may be getting the call to action. One Israeli official telling CNN possible ground maneuvers presumably into Gaza may become necessary, an echo -- perhaps a louder echo of what happened there and what we witnessed firsthand back in November 2012.


COOPER: Members of one family. Also two media centers -- whoa. That was a rather large explosion.


COOPER: I was in Gaza back then. Our Ben Wedeman is standing exactly where I stood back then. Ben joins us now.

So, Ben, the Israeli military ramping up their assault on Hamas today. What's the latest?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what we've seen, Anderson, it's not like it was when you were here and I were here in 2012. Israel's approach seems to be much more targeted. For instance, today, this evening what we've seen is specific targeting of leaders of Islamic jihad and Hamas' military wings, strikes in the south, the central and northern part of Gaza. So they seem to be much more focused than they were before.

In addition to hitting those leaders when they were out and about, they have also been striking at their homes, as well. We were at one house in Khan Yunis where this is a family affiliated with Hamas. We saw that seven people were killed there, including two children when apparently the head -- the woman who heads the household there got a phone call from a man called David speaking Hebrew telling her to leave the house immediately.

However, what happens is that people from the neighborhood clustered around the house, gathered around the house, as human shields, so to speak, and then the Israelis struck killing seven. But as I said the real focus seems to be not on sort of large targets but rather individuals -- Anderson.

COOPER: The Israeli Cabinet has now approved for the military to call as many as 40,000 reservist. The military are saying, though, that a ground attack while possible, it's not imminent, is that correct?

WEDEMAN: Yes, and first of all, it takes a long time to mobilize those 40,000 men to get them down around Gaza with the right ammunition and hardware for a ground operation. I was in Gaza in 2009, January, when there was a ground incursion. It's a big operation. There is a lot of challenges because it's one thing to do airstrikes but when you send men inside Gaza, some of these alleyways and refugee camps, there is a high probability of, A, many casualties among Israeli forces, and of course, among the Palestinians themselves who, unlike the Israelis, don't have bomb shelters or protected rooms.

So there is some hesitation among Israeli military leaders to sort of take that step at this point despite the fact that the government did authorize the call-up if necessary of 40,000 men and women.

COOPER: Ben, I -- I appreciate the reporting. Be careful for you and your team.

There is a lot more we're covering tonight. And Susan Hendricks has our "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a powerful typhoon is turning toward mainland Japan after pounding the Okinawa islands. At one point today, the typhoon's winds topped 155 miles per hour, equivalent to a category five hurricane. The storm has weakened and could dump heavy rains on Tokyo later this week.

And the defense rests in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for August 7. Then the judge will decide if the former Olympic athlete accidentally or deliberately killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

In a Los Angeles courtroom, a combative Donald Sterling takes the stand at the probate trial where he's battling his estranged wife Shelly. At one point Sterling teared up as he talked about her, but said she can't run all the corporations that he runs. A judge will decide if Mrs. Sterling acted properly when she removed her husband from the couple's trust. That move cleared the way for her to cut a deal on her own to sell the L.A. Clippers for $2 billion.

And Brazil's World Cup dreams are over. The team got eliminated by Germany in a stunning game, the final score seven to one. Germany will now face either Argentina or the Netherlands who face off tomorrow. Germany certainly a powerhouse here and really the team to beat, Anderson.

COOPER: Yeah, it was a brutal, brutal match ....


COOPER: Thanks very much.

Just ahead, authorities have called Liana and Justin Harris' reaction to their son Cooper's death inside a sweltering car strange. What exactly is raising red flags? We'll look at that tonight. Plus the video that authorities say that Justin Harris, the father watched twice just days before his son died before he left his son in a car. How dangerous a car becomes on a broiling day. That's what the video is about. We'll show it to you ahead.


COOPER: Crime and punishment now. Today, Liana Harris visited her husband Justin Harris. According to CNN affiliate WXIA she stayed for about 36 minutes. Justin Harris is charged with murder and child cruelty in the death of their son Cooper. Now, the toddler died in the hot car two months shy of his second birthday. He was strapped into his car seat for seven hours. Harris says it was an accident. Authorities are combing his electronic footprints. Police say he did Internet searches on how long it takes a child to die in a hot car and how to survive in prison. And he also say he visited page called Childfree. Authorities say it's not just Internet searches that are raising red flags. Martin Savidge join us with the latest from Marietta, Georgia. Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. We really don't know too much more about that visitation. In fact, we don't even know if there was a visitation. We saw the wife go in and 30 minutes later on video you see her coming back up, but it's the policy of this facility not to say anything about anybody's visitation so we don't know if husband and wife actually spoke. But Liana Harris' steadfast support of her husband seemed odd to a number of people and in the court of public opinion, odd is seen as suspicious. We wanted to know what does it add up to in a court of law. And look back at some famous cases. Here is what we found.


SAVIDGE: Liana Harris so far has shown very little emotion publicly even after hearing her son was left in a sweltering hot car for almost seven hours.

DET. PHIL STODDARD, COBB COUNTY POLICE: She didn't show any emotion when they asked her, well, actually when they notified her of Cooper's death.

SAVIDGE: Police have called her behavior strange, but still, she's not considered a suspect.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We all have ideas in our head about what the appropriate way to react to a tragedy like this is, but, you know, the truth is people react in different ways.

SAVIDGE: And those different ways aren't necessarily an indication of guilt, far from it. After the body of Meredith Kercher was found brutally slain in Perugia, Italy, in 2007, her roommate Amanda Knox, became a prime suspect. While police searched the crime scene, Knox was spotted kissing her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito outside.

AMANDA KNOX: Well, he kissed me because I was outside in that courtyard and I was standing there looking lost and he felt bad for me. He kept close to me and was just trying to comfort me.

SAVIDGE: The image of them kissing was shown all over the Italian media and the public turned against Knox calling her callous. Knox served four years in prison and was released before her murder conviction was upheld in January. In 2008 Casey Anthony was photographed partying with friends just days after her daughter Caylee went missing. Her apparent lack of grief at her daughter's disappearance was a red flag in the investigation. And Anthony was charged with murder after Caylee's body was found. A grief counselor for the defense explained her behavior on the stand.

SALLY KARIOTH, GRIEF EXPERT IN CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL: In young -younger adults, certainly among college-age kids, they have a tendency, they are reluctant grievers. They have a tendency to buy into the grief issue.

SAVIDGE: Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder.

TOOBIN: The behavior of a defendant after a mysterious death is often a very bad clue about whether they are guilty of anything or not. You need a lot more evidence than simply an odd reaction.

SAVIDGE: But sometimes an odd reaction can indicate guilt. Scott Peterson's behavior after his pregnant wife Laci went missing on Christmas Eve of 2002 raised the suspicion of his own friends and family. Peterson put on a show of attending vigils and searches for his wife, but those close to him say he seemed indifferent. Because of inconsistencies in his story, and in part because of his behavior, police charged Peterson with first-degree murder. His sister spoke to NBC's Matt Lauer in 2005.

ANNE BIRD, SCOTT PETERSON'S SISTER: He didn't bring up Laci's name. He stayed away from the entire topic.

MATT LAUER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: She's been missing for three weeks.

BIRD: Yes.

LAUER: There are vigils all over the place, and he never brings up her name at dinner?


LAUER: Scott Peterson was found guilty and is currently on death row.


COOPER: And Martin, I understand you have gotten your details about one of Justin Harris' social media profiles. What is it?

SAVIDGE: Yeah, we did some digging. We found a site called "Scout." You remember, Scout was mentioned by the authorities last week at his hearing. It was said that on the day that his son is dying in the parking lot, Justin Ross Harris is communicating with a woman he met on Scout. So, we did find a man who certainly looks very much like Justin Ross Harris, only he's identified in his profile as R.J., the photos certainly look like him and some of the information is accurate. He says he's married, by the way. He also says he's 27, that's not correct, he was 33, and then it also says he's from Smyrna, Georgia, he's not. He's from somewhere else. But then there is this haunting quote. He says "Just looking to talk, message me, I'm harmless." That certainly seems ironic given the circumstance he finds himself in right now, Anderson.

COOPER: I want to bring in our legal analyst, former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, a former prosecutor, now criminal defense attorney Paul Callan. Paul, it is dangerous to always - to judge guilt or innocence by how a parent reacts. I mean, some parents freeze up, some parents, I mean there is no one correct way to react.

PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND FMR. PROSECUTOR: Well, no, there isn't and just Jeff Toobin said, if that were, you know, the only bit of evidence, it would be a bad piece of evidence, but I will tell you, as a prosecutor, every case that I prosecuted. Every murder case. The behavior of the defendant after the murder was a big thing in the case. And if the other evidence is strong, the behavior post- killing will often sink the conviction in the case.

COOPER: So the fact, in this case, you had the dad making a call while on the other side of the car while his son is lying on the ground and didn't even call 911.

CALLAN: But not only you have that, but another theory is, that if he came back to the car, let's say, at noontime and he knew the child was dead, all of his other actions he was faking it. He was pretending when he pulled in that he had just discovered the child. All of that is what the law calls consciousness of guilt. An odd behavior after a killing is a sign that somebody is guilty. You need more evidence than that, but it's good evidence still.

COOPER: You're particularly drawn to the wife's comments.

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL ANALYST: I'm. Just because as a mother myself and as a former prosecutor, I look at some of the things that she said. What she said at the funeral, which was, you know, if I could have my son back, I wouldn't want him back? No mother, no mother says that. When she goes to the daycare center and finds that her son is not there, her immediate thought and what she says is well, he must have left him in the car, Justin must have left him in the car. Those inconsistencies or those reactions just don't ring through and I look at it from the perspective of a juror.

COOPER: She hasn't been charged, though, but can those comments be brought into a trial if she is charged?

HOSTIN: Well, definitely they will come in if she's charged, but I think what's very interesting about this case, is in Georgia you can force and compel a spouse to testify against another spouse because the victim is a child.

COOPER: That's a special, special case.

HOSTIN: It's a special case.

COOPER: But where do you go with those comments?

CALLAN: I mean they don't - As weird as they are, you can't make a criminal case out of that.

COOPER: Right.

CALLAN: You can't show that she participated in the killing of the child as strange as it is.

HOSTIN: You cannot, you cannot, I agree with that, but I think a jury can hear that evidence. I think it's relevant because it happened in time. I think it could also go to some sort of conspiracy and I think it can also go to motive.

CALLAN: Your comments wouldn't be relevant.

HOSTIN: So, I think - I think, I think ...

COOPER: Also, the details about the rear-facing car seat. Because his parents had bought actually a front facing car seat that he was actually too big for this rear-facing car seat, several inches too big but they were using that the day - at the day he died.

CALLAN: You know, this is strange. When I read about this, I was working it over, trying to figure out how this would prove guilt or innocence in the murder case, and I guess the theory is that he wanted to use a rear facing one because it would support the claim that he didn't see the child where ...

HOSTIN: I think that ...


CALLAN: You know, I think it's if you go down that road. It's a bad road to go down. Probably, it was just too hard to put the new one in the car.


COOPER: It's a lot harder to prove premeditation like this as opposed to just like recklessness.

HOSTIN: Absolutely. And I've got to tell you even though I now for me have proof of motive, I think the prosecution did a really good job and they are saying that they are just scratching the surface in terms of financial difficulties and life insurance and living a childfree life, searches that kind of thing. I'm still having trouble with this premeditation, with this intentional act, the nature of the act because we know that these accidents happen, it happened over 40 times last year, Anderson, and if he intentionally baked his boy in the car. That makes him the worst of the worst.

COOPER: If you think this way ...

HOSTIN: It makes him the worst among us. And I don't know if you agree, but which juror is going to believe that?

CALLAN: There is something called the depraved indifference murder. Depraved mind murder, which is the same thing as intentional. And that is he knew that he was leaving his child behind in the car. He was running inside to finish up his sexting with these other girls and then he forgot to come back. That's depraved indifference murder.

HOSTIN: And I could buy that. The sexting maybe is the thing that we need to be looking at. Maybe he's so obsessed with Internet porn, maybe he's so obsessed with the sexting that he forgot.

COOPER: Sunny, Paul, I appreciate it. A lot more to talk about down the road.

Up next, a video that Justin Harris allegedly watched not once, but twice just days before Cooper Harris' little boy died inside of that hot car. It shows how quickly a car can become deadly in the heat. We'll show you parts of it.


COOPER: The day that Cooper Harris died, the temperature in Marietta, Georgia topped 92 degrees. That was outside of the car, now according to police it was 88 degrees when the toddler was pronounced dead in the parking lot. At Justin Harris's probably cause hearing detective testified that five days before his son died, Harris watched a video showing how dangerous it is to leave pets inside hot cars. A veterinarian made the video. The detective said Harris watched the video twice. Now, here is a clip of the video that he watched.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So I'm your pet and I'm now in the car. I've got all four windows cracked down about an inch, so let's start a timer and let's see exactly how hot it gets in here. The thermometer is reading at right about 94 degrees. 95 degrees. So it's pretty hot in here, but we're just getting started so let's just kind of sit back and see how it feels in here. OK. I'm at five minutes in. It is unbelievably hot in here. We're nearing 100 degrees already, and I can tell you that it is stifling in here, and ten minutes in. I'll tell you, it is almost unbearable. At this point, the temperature is about 106 degrees, so I mean, it's just getting to the point now where I can barely stand it. So, if I were a little dog left out here, maybe I'm barking, I'm very nervous, I can only imagine what the core body temperature must be at this point. As I mentioned, it's 106 in here at ten minutes in and I'm beginning to wonder if this was a very bad idea, indeed. OK. I'm at 15 minutes, now, and it's about 110 in my car. At this point, I would imagine if I were a small dog or a dog that is older, I'm going to be in serious trouble.

It's been 20 minutes now at this point, and it is right hovering right around 110, 112, it's kind of going back and forth here depending on when we look at it, but needless to say, it's incredibly hot. 25 minutes it's now, oh, gosh, what is it, 113 degrees. It's awful. The only thought that's going through my head right now is I just - I want out of the car. You know, it's just everything in my body is saying get out, get out, get out. I can just feel rivulets of sweat just careening down my body. I don't know if you can tell, but man, I'm just - I'm fully drenched now. I have sweat just completely cascading down my face and nose, my lips and I can do that. A dog can't. A dog can't perspire. I mean, this kills, and it's a lousy way to die. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was just some 30 minutes inside the hot car with the windows cracked. That little boy Cooper Harris was trapped in his car seat for seven hours. Joining me now chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's also the father of three. I mean as you watch that video as a doctor, as a dad, it is amazing and scary how quickly that temperature shoots up in that car.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean it's serious. It's deadly. It's fast and the car is an oven. I mean it's so morbid to think about, Anderson, especially in the context of one's own children. Certainly, I will say that, you know, your body, you know, your normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees. That's the average body temperature. What is happening often times is your body can compensate up to a certain point. It can cool itself and puts all these various mechanisms in place to try and cool itself, but at some point when those mechanisms fail, then all of a sudden your body temperature just shoots up and as you get an idea, they were obviously measuring the temperature in the car, but in the body, within a relative short time, you can just suddenly spike your temperature up to the 100, 105, 106 degree temperature and that's deadly.

COOPER: I mean, I don't want to get too morbid, but I mean how does somebody die in a situation like that?

GUPTA: Well, you know, at first, someone, you know, they will be trying to compensate for the additional heat. Eventually they will, you know, obviously will be sweating, all the cooling mechanisms working. Eventually those cooling mechanisms fail. So, instead of sweating, the skin just starts to become dry. And that's a terrible sign, but a person starts to become agitated, confused and ultimately lethargic. They just, you know, they are just sort of unable to do anything, but ultimately, that type of heat, your body's basic machinery, the cells and the various organs simply can't work anymore. So, the cells start to break down, they lice, is what it's called, the cells just sort of burst open and that can lead to organ failure and it is morbid to think about, but that ultimately is what happens and then ultimately someone's heart just fails.

COOPER: And so, so the heart actually fails and obviously, an adult in a hot car for 30 minutes is very different than a child in a hot car for 30 minutes.

GUPTA: It can be with a child, especially a young child like this, it can be three to five times faster in terms of how quickly the body temperature goes up and the reason in part is because their cooling mechanisms just aren't as efficient. As you get -- when you're in the sort of prime of your life, your cooling mechanisms are probably at their best, when you're younger and you're older they just don't work as well. So the young people and the old people are particularly at risk. But you know, you saw how quickly the temperature rose in that car, even with the windows cracked. If the windows were not cracked in this case, you can imagine, within 10 to 15 minutes is when you would have had the most dramatic increase in temperature in that car, and that's, you know that's where the person ... COOPER: And we get - I mean we know there were 40 deaths of kids in cars last year alone and one thinks that, you know, we keep trying to mention every time we do the story it's just other ways to kind of remind yourself that your child is in that rear facing car seat, put something important in the backseat. Sunny Hostin said she used to put her shoes in the backseat so she wouldn't leave her car without her shoes, just to remind herself. It's just, you know, one idea. Sanjay, I appreciate you being with us. Thanks.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up with more ahead. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." Today we are adding the almost great beach cape (ph) of 2014. All right, here is what happened. A guy in Florida named Rich says he was spending a typical day at the beach with his family when they decided to leave their canape chairs and toys in place while they went home for a little bit. When Rich returned about an hour and a half later, he found two beach blanket bandits.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, but we don't know how to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, do you need some help?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know how to do it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, this is our stuff.


COOPER: All right. So I don't even know where to begin with this. First of all, the two of them are trying to dismantle that canape. Were they serious? Clearly, it was not the masterminds or the brain highs - these people. Second of all, I don't know what you do when you're caught in the middle of a summertime robbery. I mean when Jeff Toobin caught me trying to make off with his crocket set last week, I didn't stick around to argue. I just left. I do what most people would do. I left and after, of course, tying him up with the garden hose and I just got the heck out of there. Not these ladies, apparently. No, Gidget (ph) and the little mermaid over there, decided - they were going to talk their way out of this one and keep the stuff as well.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait a second. This is ours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it is. This is all ours.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of it, the chairs, the bag, this is all our staff.



COOPER: This wasn't part of the plan. This wasn't part of the plan. I love how they just started pointing to everything around them as if it were theirs. Hey, look, buddy, the canape is ours. Oh, it's not? Then how about the chairs? The chairs which they'd already loaded up on a cart, by the way, and when that didn't work, these two women with a child in sight pointed to a kid's plastic toy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's OK. We'll let it slide, but I'm glad I made it in time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm not making it slide. I'm telling you --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, step away from my [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. How about that?


COOPER: They got annoyed. I love it. She is like I'm not letting it slide. Things are getting real down in Florida. Understandably, Rich wants them to get away from his stuff.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, what, I will and then I'm going to take that camera and put it in the grass. Do you like that? Step back.





COOPER: Seriously? She's going to throw his phone in the grass. By the way, they are on a beach, lady, there is not a lot of grass around. Is that a euphemism - throw it in the grass -- anyway, Rich told Gallker that the altercation continued after he turned the video off getting even more bizarre. The women eventually left the scene, Rich declined to press charges. We obviously have no idea of what really happened, whether it was a misunderstanding as the husband of one of the ladies told the reporter, whatever happened, this debacle is very up to its neck on "The Ridiculist." That does it for us. We'll see you again at 11 p.m. Eastern, another edition of "360".