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Sniper on the Loose: Search for a Killer

Aired October 19, 2002 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to this special edition SNIPER ON THE LOOSE: SEARCH FOR A KILLER. I'm Anderson Cooper. Seventeen days since the sniper first began his deadly hunt, the culprit or culprits remain at large. The investigation continues. So does the fear. In this hour, all the latest on what police are doing and what questions remain; first, a quick look at today's headlines.
CNN has learned that investigators do not hold out high hopes that a box type truck found Friday with a shell casing inside is linked to the sniper shootings. Officials still want the public to remain on the lookout for the same type of vehicle shown in composite drawings released this week.

A former mayor of York, Pennsylvania has been acquitted in a 33- year-old race related murder case. It happened just a few hours ago. Charlie Robertson and two other men were on trial for the 1969 shooting of an African-American woman named Lilli Bell Allen (ph). The other two men were convicted today and could get life in prison.

Indonesian police have arrested Islamic Cleric Abu Bakar Bashir. He is the purported leader of the Islamic terror group suspected in last weekend's Bali nightclub bombings, a group which may also have al Qaeda connections. Another note on Indonesia, the U.S. State Department has issued a new travel warning. Americans are urged to avoid traveling to Indonesia because of continued security concerns.

An American envoy is urging North Korea's government to dismantle its nuclear weapons program "immediately and visibly." Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly discussed the issue with Chinese and South Korean officials in Seoul today. He'll take up the issue with Japanese officials tomorrow. That will be in Tokyo and that's a quick look at the headlines at this hour.

We turn now to the focus of our special edition, the focus of an intense manhunt, the shadowy figure known only as the sniper. It has been 17 days, 17 days since the sniper first took aim and fired, 17 days of questions and killings and fear. Tonight at this moment, investigators are still searching for clues, still searching for answers. Both seem to be in short supply. CNN's Daryn Kagan joins us now from Montgomery County, Maryland. Good evening, Daryn.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Anderson. Yes, 17 days but just as significantly tonight as we're halfway through the weekend, five days since the last time that the sniper struck. That is the longest stretch since these shootings began on October 2.

We're going to have more on the investigation in just a moment. First, I want to take note that there were two funerals held today honoring two of the victims, two of the sniper victims. The first one held not far from here in Washington, D.C. That was for Pascal Charlot. More than 400 people turned out for that funeral, this for a man who was just standing on a street corner on October 3rd and was gunned down by the sniper, a man who moved here from his native Haiti back in 1964 and has been living in Washington, D.C. ever since.

Then near Pottstown, Pennsylvania, about 100 people showed up for the funeral for Dean Meyers. He was a civil engineer in Manassas, Virginia, a decorated Vietnam Veteran, a Beatles enthusiast, and as we mentioned a civil engineer. On October 9, he was at a gas station in Manassas, Virginia when he was gunned down.

Of course, their families want to know who did this to their loved ones but also millions of people here in the Washington, D.C. area still have a lot of questions and that includes police officers who don't appear at this point to be any closer to catching the sniper. For more on the investigation, let's go to our Gary Tuchman who is standing by in our Washington, D.C. Bureau. Gary, hello.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, hello to you, and this is an investigation that has produced very little evidence so far, at least publicly, and that's why we considered it very significant last night when we found out that investigators had seized a white box truck from a rental agency. One of the workers at the rental agency found a shell casing inside the truck. We were told we might have ballistic testing results as early as 9:00 a.m. this morning; 9:00 a.m. came and went and then shortly after Noon, the man in charge of its investigation had this announcement.


CHIEF CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE: There is a lot of information out about the white box truck that was seized from a car rental agency in Virginia yesterday. Certainly, that vehicle and shell casing were seized. We are in the process of looking at all of that, do not expect to have any information to provide on that matter until at the earliest on Monday.


TUCHMAN: The truck in question belongs to a company called Cenit Leasing. Cenit Leasing is near Dulles International Airport in Herndon, Virginia. Now some of the trucks they have there say Cenit on the side, the name of the company, which does not contradict what witnesses have said, that they saw unknown words on the side of the truck.

Now at this point we're told that investigators are not only doing the ballistics testing, they're also combing through the vehicle. However, and this is very important, sources tell CNN: "They do not hold high hopes this truck is linked to the shootings." But it does take luck to crack a notorious case. Twenty-five years ago this very summer, the Son of Sam case, a man who shot six New Yorkers in lover's lanes, authorities decided they would track parking tickets that were given in scenes close to the murder. They got all the parking tickets together, investigated every one. They saw a parking ticket for David Berkowitz. They went to his house. They found evidence. They arrested him, and David Berkowitz to this day remains in jail.

Meanwhile, a 37-year-old man remains in jail on this case in connection with it. He's the man accused of lying to the authorities. His name is Matthew Dowdy. He'll be in jail all weekend. He will then be arraigned in Fairfax County Monday morning 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

He is accused of telling police officers that he saw the shooter, that he saw the gun, that he saw the vehicle in the last shooting which occurred five days ago on Monday, a shooting that left FBI employee Linda Franklin dead. Police say he lied. Police say he hindered the investigation and they are now planning to make an example out of him.

It's now been five days since the last shooting. Authorities are saying at this point they want people in the Washington area to go about their business the best they can. Today the shopping malls were jammed, not only because it was kind of an inclement day here, but they're perceived to be a very safe place to be inside. Many soccer games and football games were either canceled or moved far away from the Washington area, a very sad sign of the times here in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

We can tell you that for the first time since this all began on October 2, authorities say they will not hold a news conference tomorrow. The next scheduled news conference will be Monday unless news breaks in the meantime, Daryn back to you.

KAGAN: Gary Tuchman on our investigation desk, thank you very much. Gary, before I let you go, this bogus witness, Matthew Dowdy, just how serious are the charges that he's facing? You say he won't be arraigned until Monday. It seems kind of surprising to me that he's still behind bars.

TUCHMAN: It is very unusual that for a misdemeanor charge like this they would leave him in jail over the weekend, but the fact remains that that's their prerogative. They don't have a judge available to set bond. That's what does happen to some people who are charged with misdemeanors. The fact is they don't want people to be afraid to give information. They don't want this to tell a message to people to don't talk or you'll go to jail. They're just saying hey, give us information but make sure you're telling the truth.

KAGAN: All right.

COOPER: Gary, this is Anderson Cooper in Atlanta. I've just got one question before you go. Is there any information at this hour about Mr. Dowdy's motives? I mean, do we know anything about why he allegedly gave false information to the police?

TUCHMAN: Anderson, authorities aren't saying definitively why, but they're saying to most people that there are possibly two reasons; one 15 minutes of fame, something we've seen a lot over the years. The other reason, there's a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest, so it could one of those two reasons.

COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks very much -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Yes, Gary and Anderson, thank you very much. And it was also a big concern about pressing charges that it might discourage other people from coming forward. Police still very much want people who have any tips or inside information to call the tip line in Washington, D.C.

You heard Gary talking about some events that have been canceled. Some have been canceled, some still going on, some delayed. Honestly, being out and about Washington, D.C. today it seemed like there were quite a few people enjoying their Saturday. One event here in Montgomery County that chose to go on was believe it or not a gun show, an annual gun show, and that's where we sent our Ed Lavandera earlier today and he's here with that report, hello.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, this is a story of the gun owners in this area. It's a very popular hunting area, and gun owners around this area have been paying very much close attention to this story as well, and this is a gun show in Montgomery County at the Fairgrounds that was held every year for the last 12 years and more than 2,000 people are expected or usually go through the gates at this gun show.

The organizers of this event say they'll be lucky to get 700 over the course of the next two days, so they were talking extremely angrily about this sniper, using words as a psycho and an idiot. Those were their words to describe this killer because they are very worried that this particular sniper will go a long way in damaging the reputation of law abiding gun owners in this country and they're very scared that this guy is going to go a long way in damaging their reputations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any of the people who think that the hunters, shooters, and gun collectors are not concerned with catching this idiot really is as much as psycho as he is because we want him caught and we want him caught badly. It throws a bad light on all shooters because of the way the media plays to the anti-gun people.


LAVANDERA: And one image here to get an idea of just the different things you've been seeing in this area over the last couple of days and what people are doing to protect themselves, there's a gas station in Fairfax County, Virginia throwing a tarp over the gas station, protecting the view, blocking the view of people. I think the picture speaks so much more than what we can say. I think that pretty much says it all for what people are going through here in the Washington, D.C. area and that's just a little bit, but I think a lot of people feel that any little thing that people do goes a long way to making them feel a little bit safer.

KAGAN: I got to fess up. I did gas up today for the first time since I've been here over a week. I was on fumes but I kind of thought about it twice.

LAVANDERA: But, you know, we've shown it, I think, a lot over the week, the Guardian Angels helping people out.

KAGAN: Right.

LAVANDERA: And that sort of thing. That's something we see quite a bit. I mean that's not something that is just sporadically seen. We see it quite often.

KAGAN: One more question about your gun story. We're in a small, relatively small geographic area, yet it covers two states plus Washington, D.C., different gun laws depending on what part of that area that you're in.

LAVANDERA: Virginia is a right-to-carry state, and Maryland is not, so tougher gun laws in Maryland, and we have seen some reports that there were indications that applications for gun permits were going up in Virginia over the last couple of days. Folks in Maryland saying that they haven't seen any kind of rush to purchase guns. In fact, one of the gun vendors out there saying today that unfortunately in this case, a gun really doesn't do you any good. A sniper will -- this sniper can get you wherever you're standing from apparently.

KAGAN: Yes, and then with the gun enthusiasts that you were able to talk to, you're saying how they're upset with this guy who's out there. This is affecting their world. This is the beginning, this last week, of a part of deer hunting season, just the very beginning, kind of a limited part of it, but at least in the four counties that surround Washington, D.C., the governor of Maryland Glendening put a clamp on that and said no deer hunting, no recreational shooting.

LAVANDERA: At least for the time being.


LAVANDERA: Until this story ends, and of course as we're entering into the political season, a lot of political candidates in this area are starting to play off of this and that has really angered them quite a bit as well, and it plays out every once in a while, but this bringing it to the forefront again.

KAGAN: Ed Lavandera, thank you so much.

LAVANDERA: Sure, thanks.

KAGAN: Well, a lot of legal aspects to this story, including this latest person who is in jail, the so-called bogus witness. Just how much legal hot water is he in? We're going to be able to talk with Kendall Coffey just ahead, right now a quick break.


KAGAN: Welcome back to Montgomery County, Maryland. As we were saying with the sniper story, there are quite a few legal aspects and a lot of legal questions, and for that we're joined tonight by Kendall Coffey, an attorney joining us this morning -- excuse me, I'm usually on in the mornings, this evening from Miami. Kendall, hello, thanks for being with us.

KENDALL COFFEY, FMR. U.S. ATTORNEY: Good evening, Daryn.

KAGAN: I want to start first with this man who's in jail facing this Class 2 misdemeanor for giving bad information to police in connection with Monday night's shooting. Just how much trouble is he in?

COFFEY: Well, he's almost assuredly going to spend some time as a guest of the taxpayers of Virginia and he ought to count himself lucky that the maximum sentence is six months. Investigators are in a desperate race against time, and when someone rolls bad information under the wheels of an investigation, they risk not only delaying the time table for bringing the perpetrator of terrible crimes to justice.

They also create the risk that this killer may, if you lose some days or hours in the course of this investigation, strike again before he can be identified and arrested. So, this isn't a laughing matter. It's not a small thing. It's a serious crime and a misdemeanor is about as gentle as this guy should hope for under the circumstances.

KAGAN: Well, and not to defend what he did in any means because it certainly didn't help the situation. We saw what misdirection it caused at the Home Depot scene, but in a way is this guy is paying the price for the frustration of investigators and for perhaps their unsuccessful police work?

COFFEY: I don't think so at all. I think, of course there's frustration, and of course there's deep concern because everyone wants to get this guy before he strikes again but the law is very clear. When somebody gives bad information intentionally, and this isn't a crank call, this isn't a flake. This is somebody who came up with very specific identifying circumstances about the vehicle, about the characteristics of the person, even about the gun.

When someone fabricates that kind of tale costing not only time but resources and perhaps allowing leads to grow stone cold, we all know how essential it is that investigators move within hours, even within minutes with the best information possible. If someone gives false information to the authorities, especially in a case that is this serious, this grave, it ought to be a crime and it ought to be punished.

KAGAN: Well, they're moving quickly here. Yesterday afternoon they were saying that prosecution of this guy, Matthew Dowdy, was a low priority and by evening he was behind bars. Anderson Cooper has a question for you, Kendall. Anderson go ahead.

COOPER: Yes, Mr. Coffey, I mean, you're a former U.S. attorney, handled a lot of prosecutions, have you come across this kind of thing where a witness comes forward, and I mean if it is true that this man, Mr. Dowdy, has lied, I mean do you see that sort of thing as a prosecutor often, and if so do you understand it? Do you understand why this guy would have done that?

COFFEY: Well, typically what we see are false statements or obstructions with a logical motive; that is to say, somebody who's trying to avoid justice for some other crime. That's a typical scenario. Here the motive is inexplicable. Is it about 15 minutes of fame? Is it about a reward as you were talking about moments ago? But from the standpoint of law enforcement, it doesn't matter a bit what the motive is.

The reality is they lost time. They may have come back and not had to refocus on a particular location because his information placed the shooter 50 yards away from the victim. Now they think it might have been 100 yards away, so they've had to go back the second time. So, the motives in a sense really don't matter. The reality is that they have hurt law enforcement at a time when our system, our community could afford it least.

COOPER: Well then, could he be held liable by, you know, any future victim or future victim's family if, you know -- I mean the argument could, I suppose, be made that he contributed to this person being out there, so could he in some case be liable?

COFFEY: Well, as things have developed, the authorities are saying that this was a diversion. It was a waste of resources. They don't believe that it's fundamentally disrupted the investigation because they have enough people on it to have been pursuing the other important leads in the meantime. But certainly there is always a risk when someone gives bad information in a critical time in again in a case that is a race against time, that there could be fatal consequences.

Apparently that didn't happen here but it doesn't mean that the crime isn't severe. And again, I would suggest that a misdemeanor is pretty gentle justice for what this person could have done if, in fact, that killer had struck within the couple day window that the law enforcement authorities were misled by the information from Mr. Dowdy.

KAGAN: Kendall, one more quick question for you before we let you go. Looking forward as many people in this area are with great anticipation to the person or people who are doing this thing caught, but do you see a prosecution tug of war that could take place between Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the feds about who would get their hands on this guy first?

COFFEY: Well, everyone feels very strongly and wants to have their system of justice bring this guy to the result that he deserves, and certainly from the standpoint of the State of Maryland where most of the fatalities have occurred, that state is certainly in a sense going to say it has the strongest interest. But what I think prosecutors will do here because the stakes are so high and the level of national concern is so profound, is do what's best for the case in the sense of look at who's got the strongest, most provable crimes in the sense of the forensics that are available for each of the particular murders, and frankly who's death penalty system is most suited for bringing this killer to the ultimate punishment.

KAGAN: We will be watching it, another chapter that has yet to unfold. Kendall Coffey in Miami thanks for stopping in on this Saturday night. We really appreciate it.

COFFEY: Thank you.

KAGAN: I'll be back in a little bit but for now, Anderson back to you.

COOPER: All right, Daryn, we'll check in with you in just a few minutes.


COOPER: Up next, you probably heard people talking about a possible al Qaeda connection to the D.C. area shootings. Well, coming up next, we will give you the facts, also some interesting theories about the sniper from a man who has hunted terrorists for years. Stay with us.


COOPER: Well, by now, we've certainly all heard the talk, questions raised on television, on the radio, are the shootings the work of al Qaeda? We know that within the last few days, FBI agents have interviewed an al Qaeda suspect who's bragged of getting sniper training in terror camps. But how credible his story is, that is another matter. CNN's Sheila MacVicar has more now from London.


SHEILA MACVICAR, CNN SENIOR INTL. CORRESPONDENT: CNN intelligence sources tell CNN that this much of the story is true. Nizar Trabelsi who is in a Belgian prison on charges of plotting to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris told his Belgian interrogators a little more than a week ago that he had information about snipers and al Qaeda, this of course after the Washington sniper story had broken.

The Belgians summoned their FBI colleagues and over the course of the last week, people from the FBI interrogated Nizar Trabelsi in his Belgian jail. He told them that he had seen and witnessed al Qaeda training snipers in a camp in Afghanistan, that they were trained to fire at up to distances of 820 feet, trained to work in two or three man squads, and even that he had seen them training to work from a moving vehicle.

Here's the problem. CNN has been told, both by sources in Belgium and the United States that Mr. Trabelsi is not considered credible, that he has lied to his interrogators in the past and that he raised the story of the sniper training only after that story had begun getting major play in the European media, and Mr. Trabelsi has daily access to newspapers, radio, and television.

Belgian investigators also point out that Mr. Trabelsi is a member of a group called the Salafist and as part of their doctrine, the Salafists believe that they can continue to wage the struggle even while imprisoned while seeking to deceive their interrogators, and Belgian counterintelligence officials are convinced that this is what has happened in this case.

Sheila MacVicar CNN, London.


COOPER: OK, so if it's not al Qaeda, then who could be the person or persons behind the sniper shootings? There are certainly plenty of theories, few if any concrete answers. I'm joined tonight by retired command Sergeant Major Eric Haney for his thoughts. Haney is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, founding member of its elite counter terrorist Delta Force. Thanks very much for being with us.

SGT. MAJ. ERIC HANEY, U.S. ARMY (RET): Good evening.

COOPER: When you think about these shootings, I mean how do you think these guys are operating, just the very nuts and bolts? Do you think there's more than one?

HANEY: Well, I'm convinced of that. There are a pair of them working together. One pulls security and drives the vehicle while they're out on their mission as they think of it, while the other one shoots, and then they probably swap off for the next operation they're conducting.

COOPER: So you think they alternate shooting?

HANEY: I believe they do. I've seen enough disparity in the shots from one to the other that I'm convinced of that.

COOPER: Disparity what in the quality of the shooting?

HANEY: Yes, the quality is very low anyway. I characterize the ability as pedestrian and they realize that. They're staying within the limits of their poor shooting capability.

COOPER: And that's because they're not shooting from that far away, you're saying?

HANEY: That's right. The average shot is 75 meters. The longest shot they've taken was at 100 and they tried one at 100 and missed.

COOPER: The first shot, which just went through a store window. You think they were actually shooting at someone and you think that person might actually have seen the sniper? HANEY: I don't know that they saw them. They would have heard the sonic crack of the bullet when it went by their head, and it's a real short snapping sound.

COOPER: How do you know they were shooting at someone or why do you think they were shooting at someone?

HANEY: Who shoots at a window? Why would you shoot at a window? But I was able to determine the position from which they shot and they had set up down a clear lane where you drive in a parking lot, so they had an open area which they have set up in every instance where they've shot in a parking lot.

They assume that sort of position and it also lends itself to a rapid getaway from there and if they can pull onto a feeder road, then they're out of the immediate area before they run into the first red light. So it told me from the height of the bullet where it impacted the window, they were shooting a person walking in the parking lot. They just missed.

COOPER: And how often do you think, I mean I'm sorry if we're getting sort of detailed but this stuff just fascinates me. Do you think these people are casing out the locations a lot ahead of time?

HANEY: Oh, my goodness I'm astounded at the ability that they're putting into this, the extensive reconnaissance. They're building almost a target book, a target folder. I think they'll probably find that, the police will eventually, and they're evaluating these areas. The first six that they did, they pulled them off in such rapid succession because they had these planned and rehearsed.

Then, things slowed down a little bit and I think their confidence was very high because they got away with those first six, so they fell back to the second page of their book, which was target areas that were OK but not all that good and you see it slowed down a little bit more. The weekends there were not shootings. That's because they were making reconnaissance and preparations for the coming week, and then with the last one the other night at the Home Depot, they've shut down for a while for a couple of reasons.

First, they're physically and mentally exhausted. This is extremely consuming on anyone, even an aberrant personality such as this. The second thing, the police were able to move into the area pretty rapidly and it deflated their confidence a bit. So it wouldn't surprise me if they lay low for just a little while yet.

COOPER: But you think they will shoot again?

HANEY: They're going to have to shoot again. It is a appetite that they must fulfill.

COOPER: Eric Haney, thank you so much. It was really interesting. I wish we had more time. That's really fascinating. Thanks very much.

HANEY: Certainly, you bet. COOPER: All right, well coming up in just a moment a quick update on the day's top stories, then it is back to Montgomery County and our own Daryn Kagan, how the sniper's youngest victims survived. It is an amazing story. Please stay with us.


COOPER: We'll have more of our special SNIPER ON THE LOOSE right after these headlines. Rosie O'Donnell has come to the aid of one of the Florida brothers convicted of killing their father last month. The former talk show host has hired two pretty high profile attorneys to represent Alex King, right there, the youngest of the two brothers. Attorneys are trying to map out a new agreement after a judge threw out the boys' convictions earlier this week. I'll have a live interview with one of the new attorneys at 10:00 p.m. tonight.

Word today that security of the World Series may be just as tough as trying to find a cheap ticket. Random searches and extra police will be pretty commonplace in Anaheim, in San Francisco, but federal security officials say they will let banner towing planes fly over the stadium.

President Bush is offering Australia his condolences for all of its citizens killed in last week's explosion in Bali. Tomorrow has been set aside as a national day of mourning in Australia. The first of the 103 Australians killed arrived in Australia today, the coffin draped with the nation's flag.

The U.S. State Department is reminding people not to go to Indonesia right now. The State Department says the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has come across some new information that terrorists may be planning additional attacks there. Today's warning replaces one that was issued on Monday. And, we are going to go back now live to Daryn Kagan who is standing by in Montgomery County, Maryland with the latest on the hunt for the sniper -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Yes, Anderson one bit of encouraging news that came out this week is that the 13-year-old boy who was shot now almost two weeks ago at Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Maryland, his condition was upgraded from critical to serious, and there was an article in "The Washington Post" on Thursday that I was so taken with. Reporter Tamara Jones tracked his treks basically from the time he was shot to how his life was actually saved. It was a front page story on Thursday. We've been trying to get her on since Thursday and she's with us tonight from our Washington, D.C. Bureau. Tamara, good evening, thanks for being with us.


KAGAN: You filled in so many fascinating parts of the story of saving this boy's life. I wanted to share it with our viewers tonight beginning from the moment that he was shot, a critical decision that his aunt made in not following the instructions of the 9-1-1 operator.

JONES: That's right. The boy's aunt is actually a nurse at Children's Hospital in D.C. She phones 9-1-1 on her cell phone. They said wait, we're sending an ambulance. The boy was in the car. She drove the mile and a half to the Bowie Health Center, which is a freestanding emergency room in Bowie, Maryland and there an emergency room doctor was waiting and a security guard came in and said "we have a gunshot victim," and Children's Hospital said later that they did just an amazing job of stabilizing the boy at the Bowie Health Center before Maryland state troopers, paramedics flew him to Children's.

KAGAN: So the first thing that went right for this boy was his aunt making the call not to go with the 9-1-1 operator. He was taken to this hospital that was equipped to stabilize him but certainly not to do the kind of surgery that he needed, and you also point out in the article that they made the right call that sent him to Children's Hospital rather than to Prince George's Medical Center.

JONES: Right. That decision is also based in part on Maryland has what's considered a premiere trauma system for pediatric trauma cases, and children under the age of 15 will be sent usually either to Children's Hospital in D.C. or to Johns Hopkins, and they very carefully choreograph how they handle pediatric trauma cases.

KAGAN: You also give a fascinating picture of what happened inside that operating room at Children's Hospital, giving a very explicit description of this boy's injuries. I think you quote one of the doctors as saying basically it looked like a bomb went off inside of this boy.

JONES: Right. The entry wound itself, doctors told me, was the size of a pencil eraser. It was a very small entry wound, but once inside the boy, the bullet basically exploded and there were scores of shrapnel pieces inside him, many of them so tiny surgeons wouldn't have seen them even as they operated on him, but they did extensive damage to several of his major organs.

KAGAN: Two things that this boy had going for him, one his young age, only 13 years old; also, it didn't touch his heart. His heart is fine.

JONES: Right. His heart was fine. His lung was badly damaged. But the fact that his heart was fine was a great relief to the surgeons. They told me that the chances of a child surviving if they go into cardiac arrest out in the field when they're not in a hospital, that the mortality rate is over 90 percent.

KAGAN: Were doctors hopeful for this boy's prognosis when you talked with them?

JONES: They're cautious about it. The great danger that he's in right now and for the next several weeks is of infection and today bacteria is so hardy it's resistant to many antibiotics that we have. If an infection sets in in this boy, he could be in life -- his life would be at risk again. But if he does survive, the good news is he will have no long term disability.

KAGAN: Well, I know a lot of people are rooting him on and you were telling me before we came on that there's been a response to your article from all over the world and that there's been a fund set up to help this boy, even though most of us have no idea even what his name is.

JONES: That's right. The media does know his name. We keep it secret to guard the family's privacy and also because this boy is a witness to the crime. The fund that's been set up, it's called "He's a Fighter" and it's out of Rigg's Bank. Further information can be found publicly on "The Washington Post's" Web site or at Children's Hospital.

KAGAN: Well, I know there's a lot of people rooting him on and hoping for the best. Tamara Jones, thank you so much. For those of you who really want to read more about this and the interesting trek, you basically feel like you're right there in the operating room with this boy and the surgeons saving his life. The article is still available online at, along with information on the fund for the boy. Tamara, thank you so much.

JONES: Thank you, Daryn.

KAGAN: And, Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Wow, really interesting stuff, Daryn, thanks very much. Police and federal authorities have been trying to get inside the mind of the sniper. Just about everyone has, I think. Some analysts say he's been changing as he goes along or they go along, evolving, defying established profiles. CNN's criminologist Casey Jordan joins us now from New York to discuss some of these thoughts. What do you think about that when you fear that this person or persons they've been evolving, any truth to that?

CASEY JORDAN, CNN CRIMINOLOGIST: I've always believed that there's a lot of signs that the killer evolved from the first events of the shooting spree, four people shot in four hours, to the initial killings that happened thereafter which seemed to be relatively well paced, even to the hiatus that we're seeing now. I think that you're seeing different facets of different types of killers. That is why so many criminologists are dubbing him a hybrid.

COOPER: What does that mean a hybrid?

JORDAN: Well, in criminology there's a number of different types of killers. We're probably all familiar with the term serial killer, mass murderer and spree killer. A hybrid very often crosses boundaries and has facets of more than one type of killer, but even more complex within those categories are typologies.

So super hybrids cannot only be both spree and serial, for instance, that's what we're seeing in this particular case, but might have facets of, for instance, a mass murderer psychology, which I personally believe we're seeing in this particular incident. And, we all hear these terms power control, thrill killing, these are typologies of serial killers and we're seeing facets of that as well. They're not all being exhibited all at once, however. They're somewhat transitioning as time is going on and kind of rearing their ugly head with each different shooting.

COOPER: I mean, I don't mean to knock what you do at all, but you know the terms like the hybrid and stuff, to some viewers it may just sound like, you know what in fact it sounds like people don't know what they're talking about. It sounds like people don't know what they have out there. We don't know really much about this person. Is it a spree killer? Is it a serial killer? Now it's a hybrid. You know, you must hear a lot of cynicism like that. How do you respond?

JORDAN: Absolutely. I'm skeptical about existing profiles as well. That's why so many people are talking about the fact that this killer appears to evolve or become a hybrid over time. It's simply a paradigm to explain an extremely complex type of killing.

I've been doing research on hybrid killings for the past five to eight years and have found that they are on the increase. I could cite to you a number of recent killings. The most notable is probably Andrew Cunanan, also that of Mark Barton down in Atlanta several years ago. We've seen these patterns of evolving in more of the killers more commonly.

COOPER: Right. It's interesting you've been talking about one killer. We just had a guest on, Eric Haney, who said he's convinced based on his knowledge of shooting that there are two people involved in this, perhaps one looking out, one actually shooting. Maybe they switched back and forth. Would that surprise you?

JORDAN: No, actually it wouldn't. I say one killer just to be simplistic. Otherwise, we'd all be going killer or killers all the time. I'm about 50/50 split on whether this is the lone gunman or a pair. There's certainly plenty of evidence to support both. I think that...

COOPER: Well, if it a pair, I mean what kind of relationship do these two have with each other? I mean, it's got to be pretty unusual.

JORDAN: It would be, and in my assessment mostly on serial killers which actually bear few if any similarities to the shootings that we've been seeing, when we've seen serial killers operate in pairs, they tend to be kind of disciple and master and that doesn't fit at all what your last guest was explaining. Usually you have one primary killer and the other person is their kind of Man Friday, their disciple, the person who strokes their ego, helps them out, will drive the getaway. Sometimes the sidekick is a female. We see that mostly with sprees. We see the male/female combination.

But again, we've never seen something like this, a sniper type of shooting where somebody is working in pairs at least over such a protracted amount of time. The big risk is that the partner, one of the partners, will turn on the other partner and turn them in, especially when half a million dollars is at stake. So, it's much higher risk to have two.

COOPER: Casey, we're out of time but just one question. If you could ask one question to this person when they're caught, what would it be? JORDAN: Oh, I think it's the question everybody wants to ask, why? That is why this is newsworthy, even though we haven't had a shooting for three or four days. We all are hoping to capture this killer and find out the motive.

COOPER: All right.

JORDAN: We need to be prepared, however, that there may never be an answer.

COOPER: Right, criminologist Casey Jordan, thanks very much.

JORDAN: Happy to be here.

COOPER: And, Daryn, we're going to check in with you. What do we have coming up? Actually -- we're not. Daryn's not available right now. We're going to go to break and then when we come back we will have more on THE SEARCH FOR THE KILLER. You are looking at a live picture of I-395 and I-95 in Virginia, an area known as the mixing bowl, be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've got some fibers here, possibly secondary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This rope is identical to the rope around the victim's neck. It was used as a hand rail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, David, we got a hair in the knot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The killer's in the rope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to preserve this as is, so cut higher.



COOPER: Well, we have all seen the show, "CSI." I happen to be a "Law and Order" addict. It's amazing, isn't it, how all the crimes are neatly solved just in time for the last commercial break. Well, if only real crime solving were so easy. In the sniper case, all of us as spectators must try to separate the fact of police work from the fiction.

Here to help us, a woman who's written both, Edna Buchanan, a Pulitzer Prize winner with 20 years of reporting experience with the "Miami Herald." She's also written thrillers. Her latest detective one entitled "Ice Maiden" is coming to a bookstore near you and we are pleased that she joins us now from Miami. Thanks for being with us, Edna.

EDNA BUCHANAN, AUTHOR, "ICE MAIDEN": Thank you. COOPER: When you see a clip like that from "CSI," when you watch these shows, what really jumps out at you as completely unrealistic besides the, you know, the glamorous hair and makeup of all the detectives?

BUCHANAN: Well, I think that, for example, most of the crime scene investigators who have, you know, wear their hair short or tied back because imagine how many long hairs would wind up among the evidence gathered by that crew because the woman there who is one of them has this long hair and they found a hair in the rope.

And, I believe in part of that particular show, they said this hair belongs to you, and of course unless there's DNA which has been analyzed, which takes ten to 12 days in the roots, if there are no roots they can't really identify a hair as belonging to a specific person. It's consistent with but it can't be positively identified as theirs and...

COOPER: Sorry. So many people have watched these shows. I mean as I mentioned, I watch "Law and Order" all the time. I think I know a fair amount about, you know, crime solving based on "Law and Order." Do you think that hinders the police in a lot of ways, I mean that in some ways we have unrealistic expectations of what the police can accomplish?

BUCHANAN: Sure, and I think it may give jurors, potential jurors and the general public unrealistic expectations, as well as some police officers who actually think some of these things can be done. But in that particular scene, what they didn't do sort of struck me because the thick rope which seemed to be a tightly woven nylon, they could attempt to take a latent print off that. I think that has been done.

They can use a chemical to bring up a latent print and they never talked about the knot, and if the knot is in the back of a hanging victim then you know it's not suicide and there are many things that they can tell from all of that. So what they didn't do there in that particular scene was more interesting to me than what they did.

COOPER: As you look at this unfolding investigation right now in the Washington, D.C. area, what really jumps out at you in terms of the police investigation?

BUCHANAN: Well, I think there's a lot of confusion going on because some of these police chiefs have not been accustomed to having the press of the world nipping at their, you know yapping at their heels, and it's pretty difficult to deal with that at the same time that you're doing this massive one of a kind investigation.

COOPER: Also, talk to us, I mean you have a lot of experience in reporting on crimes over the years. You know when you have all these different agencies, all these jurisdictions trying to work together, how difficult is that? I mean have you come across cases like that where the infrastructure itself, you now, creates a problem?

BUCHANAN: Yes, that's because all of the jurisdictions, and in many cases I'm not saying it's so there, but in many cases that I've seen there are these rivalries often between agencies. They don't cooperate as much as they could have. In fact, in the past I've seen some agencies that were so jealous that they would sooner see a crime go unsolved than have a rival agency solve it other than them.

So, it's a tough thing to deal with when it covers so much geography and there are so many different jurisdictions and different agencies involved, ATF, the FBI, the local police departments, sheriff's departments, and I think the different medical examiners' offices.

COOPER: All right, Edna Buchanan, thanks very much for joining us. That's all the time we have right now but real interesting stuff. Thanks for being with us from Miami tonight.

BUCHANAN: You're welcome.

COOPER: Well, for many in the D.C. area it is important to show, of course, that life is going on, a semblance of normalcy if you will. Youth football games are still being played but you might be surprised to find out where they're being played. We have that after the break.


COOPER: Welcome back to this special edition. For three weeks now, life has been anything but normal in the Washington, D.C. area. You see the sniper has killed nine people but he's taken the entire area hostage. That's what a lot of people are saying these days. That includes students whose whole world is usually wrapped around football this time of year. CNN's Kevin Sites explains how the military gave the game back to at least some schools.


KEVIN SITES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's just a Saturday football league but to these kids and some of their parents it might as well be the Super Bowl. You just get a little more excited when you haven't played outside for a long time, when you're hiding from a sniper.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the safest we felt in two weeks.

SITES: Safer because these games, all 58 of them, all 116 teams of the Fairfax Youth League, are all being played inside a U.S. military base in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Chris Condetti is the sports director who put it all together.

CHRIS CONDETTI, FT. BELVOIR, VIRGINIA: We want to let the kids know and the community know that no matter what happens, we always go forward and we're going to find a way to do it as a community we were able to do it.

SITES: With so many teams and so little time, everything has to move faster. Games are 15 minutes shorter and halftime lasts only two minutes. When the eight-year-old quarterback in the Ankle Biter Division gets sacked, even the crying has to be kept short. SITES (on camera): The fun these kids are having here is obvious after being cooped up for two weeks, finally being able to run wild but there's a poignancy here as well, a sadness that the only place that feels safe enough to play is inside a military base.

(voice-over): Even so, the military police that stand guard here, armed with Berettas and billy clubs, spend more time giving direction than protection. Parents are just happy to get their kids out of the house. Has it been hard for you too having them home and have they been in your hair?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They've been a little wild and because it's been raining which has made it even harder.

SITES: No one here seems to want to overstate things to say this is some kind of message of resilience and here today it's certainly not about who won or lost or even how they played the game, just the fact that they could.

Kevin Sites for CNN, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.


COOPER: Nice to see that some things do continue somewhat normally. Thanks. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Well, just a few minutes left in this special edition. I'm joined now by Daryn Kagan who is standing by live in Montgomery County, Maryland. Daryn, you've been working the story for days now. I'm interested to hear your perspective. Is there a change on the ground in terms of the mood of investigators, the mood of the media there? I mean how have things changed?

KAGAN: Well, needless to say things are a little slow, Anderson, as you can see. In fact, our next news briefing, there won't even be one tomorrow, so it's going to be 48 hours between news briefings. I wanted to tell you a little bit about though what I'm noticing a difference in the way people are going about their business.

I went out this morning. I went running along the mall, the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. There were a lot of people out. There were people playing flag football and soccer. And probably most heartwarming there were a bunch of people at the heart of the Lincoln Memorial and they were there for an ALS fund-raiser, people stricken with Lou Gehrig's Disease.

And there were a lot of people out with their families, with their kids, with their dogs, and there kind of a was a sense of all right, enough already. This guy he's done some serious damage and there is a certain amount of fear, but people are ready to take back their lives.

COOPER: That's certainly good to hear. It has been 17 days and who knows how long it's going to go on for more. KAGAN: Yes.

COOPER: Daryn, thanks very much tonight for joining us on the special edition.

KAGAN: Sure.

COOPER: Daryn, you're going to be back at ten with us?

KAGAN: I will make it even a long day, for you Anderson absolutely. See you in a couple hours.

COOPER: All right, I appreciate it. We will have more news in an hour, or as it happens. We'll also be back at ten o'clock with an hour long report. Daryn will be here for that. We go now to Larry King who's talking to Madonna. Stay tuned.


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