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Sniper on the Loose: Another Shooting Death in Maryland; Police Reveal Chilling Message From Sniper

Aired October 22, 2002 - 20:00   ET


CONNIE CHUNG, HOST: Good evening. I'm Connie Chung.
Tonight: a new, late message from police and a cold-blooded warning from the sniper.

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT: "Sniper on the Loose."

Are children the next target?


CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE CHIEF: The exact language in the message: "Your children are not safe anywhere at any time."


ANNOUNCER: Are the school systems doing enough to protect students?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To have somebody have that much control that they can close down all of these major school systems, we figure there's a lot somebody's not telling us.


CHUNG: Parents are looking for answers.


MOOSE: At approximately 6:00 a.m. this morning, a man was shot as he was standing of the top step of a Ride-On bus. He was transported to Suburban Hospital, where he was deceased as a result of his wounds in this shooting.


ANNOUNCER: Another deadly shooting: Was this the work of the elusive sniper?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MOOSE: We've not been able to assure anyone their safety.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight: the evidence, the warnings and the messages.


MOOSE: You indicated that this is about more than violence. We are waiting to hear from you.


ANNOUNCER: A charming couple and their shocking crimes: Canada's so-called Ken and Barbie serial killers. Tonight: after a chilling five-year reign of sadism and murder, how DNA evidence helped put them behind bars -- "Cracking the Case."

This is CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT. Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York: Connie Chung.

CHUNG: Good evening.

Tonight, a staggering number of new developments: a late message just a short time ago from police to the sniper. We'll tell you what was said; also, a communication from the sniper to police revealed today. It was in the note found Saturday, and it targeted children. Hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of parents are now trying to figure out what to do tomorrow morning. CNN has also learned that the note also made a demand for $10 million. And police revealed that they have received another communication, contents still unknown.

Almost lost in the reaction to the threat against children, the day began with yet another killing that bore all the hallmarks of the sniper's attacks. We'll learn more about Conrad Johnson, father of two, later on our program tonight.

But first, CNN's Jeanne Meserve has yet another late development at the evidence desk in Washington.

Jeanne, Chief Moose held another news conference just moments ago and he had a message for the sniper. Tell us about it.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Connie, this was the latest installment in the dialogue between police and the person they believe is the sniper.


MOOSE: We have researched the option you stated and found that it is not possible electronically to comply in the manner that you requested. However, we remain open and ready to talk to you about the options you have mentioned.

It is important that we do this without anyone else getting hurt. Call us at the same number you used before to obtain the 800 number that you have requested. If you would feel more comfortable, a private post office box or another secure method can be provided.

You indicated that this is about more than violence. We are waiting to hear from you.


MESERVE: Police insisting that this message will be clear to the person for whom it's intended, this a response to a communication today from the sniper, unclear at this point whether it is in the form of a note or a telephonic communication.

You did hear Chief Moose say, "You indicated this is about more than violence." That could be a reference to money -- CNN's Kelli Arena reporting that a knowledgeable source tells her that, in the note found behind the Ponderosa steak house Saturday night was a demand for $10 million.

Now, investigators are somewhat baffled by this. They don't believe this fits the sniper's M.O. -- one source speculating to me that this is a late addition, an add-on, an afterthought. But today was about more than a communication. It was also about a killing and kids.


MOOSE: "Your children are not safe anywhere at any time."

MESERVE (voice-over): From the mouth of Chief Moose, the words of a person police believe to be the sniper. The threat was a postscript to a lengthy note found after Saturday night's shooting in Ashland, Virginia.

Why didn't police reveal the specifics to the public for more than two days?

MOOSE: Please understand this exact language has previously been shared with the leadership in law enforcement, community leadership, the people that needed to make decisions.

MESERVE: Moose read the verbatim, officials say, only after it was being publicly perceived that the threat was against children at school. It was not.

People close to the task force say it has been clear since the shooting of a 13-year-old more than two weeks ago that children were at risk. And because they did not want to say anything specific that might set the shooter off again, they had carefully crafted a generic warning earlier in the day.

MOOSE: We have not been able to assure that anyone, any age, any gender, any race -- we've not been able to assure anyone their safety with regards to this situation.

MESERVE: But children are particularly precious and defenseless. A threat to them can provoke an emotional response like no other. And one local columnist believes officials may have wanted to avoid fanning fears.

BLAIR LEE, COLUMNIST "MONTGOMERY JOURNAL": The police chief and the county executive, the public officials, are scared to death there will be a public panic. I think that's why they're keeping the level of information down. They are trying to keep a certain level of order, a certain level of public confidence in their actions.


MESERVE: Lee believes public confidence could wane if the shooting spree goes on much longer. But, for now, the public appears to be very much behind the police. I'm told that local businesses are providing free food to investigators, local Girl Scouts even dropping off cookies -- Connie.

CHUNG: Jeanne, with today's killing, the sniper obviously returned back to Montgomery County. What are authorities taking that to mean?

MESERVE: Well, first of all, they don't know definitively that this shooting today is linked to the sniper killings. We won't know that until ballistic tests come back. That could be tomorrow.

But if it is linked, there are a couple of theories floating around that I've heard. One is, the police -- might have wanted to come right back to Montgomery County and sort of flaunt his power in the face of the police or task force that is headquartering their investigation there. Another theory: He wanted to be where all the media is hanging out.

There's also a theory, Connie, about the person who was shot. He was a county employee. And investigators are wondering if he perhaps could have been targeted. But, again, the definitive connection with the sniper has not yet been drawn.

CHUNG: All right, CNN's Jeanne Meserve, from the evidence desk in Washington, thank you.

The sniper's threats against children has created the worst kind of fear, confusion and outrage for area parents. There are several questions they are asking themselves: "Should I take my child to school? Why wasn't I told? And what I should do tomorrow morning?" Nowhere are these dilemmas more urgent than in Montgomery County.

And CNN's Michael Okwu spoke with parents and kids there today.


MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the death toll rises, a chilling message from the possible sniper to the public.

MOOSE: "Your children are not safe anywhere at any time."

OKWU: And now rising anxiety expressed from a father to a son. DEWITT WOOD, FATHER: You think you want to go to school tomorrow? Because I don't know if we're going to let you go to school tomorrow.

OKWU: Dewitt Wood took his son home early Tuesday. He's considering keeping him there until the sniper is caught. Like many parents in Montgomery County, he was shocked to hear about the note found at the shooting in Ashland, Virginia. Schools in that area remained closed Tuesday -- not so in Montgomery.

WOOD: If I had known earlier, I probably wouldn't have let him come to school at all.

OKWU: Many parents didn't. At this school in Aspen Hill, just blocks from the most recent shooting, attendance was down 95 percent at. This man took his daughters home after his 11-year-old pleaded on the phone.

MELISSA, STUDENT: I was scared, because anything could have happened at the school. So I just wanted to be safe with my family.

OKWU: Many private schools did close. Some had no choice. Roadblocks after the shooting made it all but impossible to get into five schools in the county. The others remained in code blue: students locked behind classroom doors; hallways like linoleum ghost towns, but for the shuffle of teachers monitoring movement, normalcy in the age of the sniper.

DR. LINDA HANDT, ACADEMIC HEAD OF SCHOOL: Kids are hugging their parents. They are much more sort of exuberant when they see them. And if I could go back, I probably would have made a strong suggestion that we not have school today. We only have 30 students here today out of our 96 students.

OKWU (on camera): Perhaps no one was more on edge than those who live and go to school right here in Aspen Hill. Earlier in the day, police surrounded that white box truck, but they didn't find anything.

And then, later on, officials here at the Strathmore Elementary School ratcheted up the code blue to a code red. Why? Because somebody thought they heard gunshots.

(voice-over): That proved to be unfounded.

Montgomery County schools say attendance overall was at 80 percent and that they kept the schools open because police recommended no change. But at schools close to the site of Tuesday's shooting, most of the buses left the way they came: empty.

Michael Okwu, CNN, Montgomery County.


CHUNG: And joining us now from Washington, D.C., where schools were open today: the superintendent of public schools, Paul Vance.

Thank you, Mr. Vance, for being with us.

Are schools going to be open in the District of Columbia tomorrow?

PAUL VANCE, SUPERINTENDENT OF D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Yes, all of our schools will be open tomorrow as scheduled. However, we will not be providing any bus transportation, either in or outside of the city.

CHUNG: Why not? Is it your feeling that it would really be unsafe for the children?

VANCE: Well, this morning, that was a close call for us. We have several facilities that we send children to, special-education children. And our buses travel that same route; 45 minutes or 50 minutes later, it could have well been one of our buses.

CHUNG: You mean on Connecticut Avenue, like the one today?

VANCE: Connecticut Avenue in Aspen Hill, yes, in Montgomery County. So we have decided that, at least for tomorrow, to discontinue bus transportation outside of the city or within the city.

CHUNG: Mr. Vance, when were you told that the sniper was specifically threatening children?

VANCE: We found out about it mid-afternoon today.

CHUNG: Mid-afternoon today. But we were told by authorities that law enforcement and local school officials were told that children were being threatened when it was found out. And that note was found on Saturday. You were not told any earlier?

VANCE: No, we were informed mid-afternoon today, yes.

CHUNG: Today.

Are you concerned that you weren't informed any earlier?

VANCE: Well, we are in a position where we have worked closely with our law enforcement agencies in this area. And we trust our local police department, the Secret Service, and the FBI, in other words, the agencies with which we've worked. And I trust their judgment on matters such as this.

CHUNG: So, you would not have appreciated the inside information just a little bit earlier, so that you would be on the alert?

VANCE: Had they saw fit to share it with us, I certainly would have appreciated and responded to it and reacted accordingly.

CHUNG: I see.

Have parents expressed to you a concern about their children's safety? Have you been receiving calls?

VANCE: Yes, this afternoon, when that information got out. And this evening, the lines were just jumping off the hooks with calls and concerns from parents, and asking us, "Well, just what are your plans for tomorrow?"

I met with the school district officials. And we made a decision that we would hold school tomorrow as scheduled, with the exception of providing bus transportation.

CHUNG: All right, thank you, sir. I appreciate your being with us.

VANCE: Thank you.

CHUNG: I can clearly understand how concerned those parents are. Washington school superintendent Paul Vance, thank you.

Police have not yet released results of ballistic tests from this morning's shooting. But it had all the earmarks of the sniper's previous attacks. And investigators were in fact treating it as though it was the sniper's 13th attack and 10th fatality.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Silver Spring, Maryland, with the Dan,'s developments.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Standing inside this bus, Conrad Johnson was about to head out on his daily Montgomery County bus route just before sunrise. But it appears, from a dark, wooded area, came the gunshot that shattered the morning silence and ended his life.

Johnson was standing on the top step of this bus next to the driver's seat.

MOOSE: We have not been able to assure that anyone, any age, any gender any race -- we have not been able to assure anyone their safety with regards to this situation.

LAVANDERA: Moments after the attack, authorities rushed to shut down nearby roadways, in some places stopping and searching every vehicle. But the shooter proved to be elusive. Investigators were unable to give out a description of the suspect or information about a getaway car.

Investigators working the crime scene focused much of their attention on the wooded area some 30 yards from the bus. The search for clues and evidence included taking what appeared to be a plaster imprint of a footprint from the scene. This shooting marked a return to the area where the sniper attacks began 20 days ago. Three sniper attacks occurred within a mile from this location.

The shooting has again rattled the nerves of Montgomery County residents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is scary. You just don't know. You could be just driving out to the grocery store and, the next minute, you're hearing about somebody on the TV. It's awful.


LAVANDERA: Now, this shooting happened less than eight miles away from the Montgomery County headquarters, where the sniper investigation has been spearheaded. And it also happened just across the street, where two of the sniper's victims have already been laid to rest -- Connie.

CHUNG: All right, CNN's Ed Lavandera, in Silver Spring, Maryland, tonight, thank you.

When we come back: The sniper says the children aren't safe. We'll talk to some of those children and some moms in just a moment.

Stay with us.



QUESTION: Were schoolchildren specifically mentioned in the letter? Can we pass along a specific threat, in other words?

QUESTION: How would you describe the situation we're in right now?


ANNOUNCER: Serious questions, but few answers.


MOOSE: It would be inappropriate to talk about that. It would be inappropriate to talk about that.


ANNOUNCER: Disclosing information and making decisions on the safety of children.

And later: They were called the Ken and Barbie serial killers -- how their psychopathic killing spree was brought to an end -- "Cracking the Case."

This special edition of CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT, "Sniper on the Loose," will return in a moment.


CHUNG: We've heard the sniper's threat that children are not safe anywhere any time. We've heard from police and school officials. But we wanted to know how parents and children are responding.

So we've got three moms and their kids with us tonight. They are Anne Behrns, who has two children in high school in Prince George's County. We also have her daughter Krystle, a senior. In Montgomery County, we have Mary Duncan and her son Alex, a senior. And we have Diana Hollingsworth, a sophomore in Fairfax County, with her mom, Barbara.

Thank you all for being with us.

Anne, let me start with you.

I know that, if I were asked the question, I think I would say my level of fear is paralysis. How would you describe your level of concern?

ANNE BEHRNS, MOTHER: I'm very concerned for my children and for everybody in the area. We don't know where he is or where he's going to hit next. It's just a scary thought. We have no idea what his reasonings or anything are behind any of this.

CHUNG: And I know you have not only Krystle, your daughter, but a son as well. You have let them go to school, haven't you?

A. BEHRNS: Yes, I have.

CHUNG: Did you want to keep them at home?

A. BEHRNS: Part of me does. But my daughter drives to school. And she goes right into school and she doesn't stand outside at all. And she takes my son with her and brings him home. She always calls me when she gets there and when she's getting ready to leave.

CHUNG: Right. I know you gave her your cell phone.

Krystle, you're very athletic and you used to do all sorts of things outside. What do you do now? How has your athletic life changed?


We cannot practice outside at all. I play two sports in the fall, soccer and cross-country. For soccer, we -- every sport has a time slot in the gym to practice. So some people have right after school. Some people have it at 5:30 and some people have -- it's 6:30 or 7:00. We can't practice outside. And our games are at a different place.

CHUNG: Yes, I understand.

K. BEHRNS: And for cross-country, that's still -- I don't even know what's going on for the rest of our season, because cross-country is a three-mile course that has to be run outside, or it's like...

CHUNG: Right. So what are you doing in the meantime regarding cross-country?

K. BEHRNS: Our coach gives us workouts. And I am running on my own outside. CHUNG: You are?

K. BEHRNS: Yes, I am.

CHUNG: Oh, my gosh. You mean anywhere in the neighborhood?

K. BEHRNS: My mom or my father will ride their bikes with me, or my brother runs with me, because he runs cross-country as well.


CHUNG: Yes, go ahead, quickly.

K. BEHRNS: I mean, we're cautious and we know he's out there. But I just know that we've got to kind of keep running and playing.

CHUNG: And live your life.

Let's go to you, Barbara Hollingsworth.

I know you let your daughter walk to school? I know it's a short way, but, honestly, I'd be afraid to do that.

BARBARA HOLLINGSWORTH, MOTHER: Well, the first couple of days after the attack in Fairfax County where we live, I did drive her. And it's about a half-a-block. And then I realized that it was an overreaction and that her chances of being targeted were very small. So we resumed our regular activities.

CHUNG: Do you think all the warnings are overreactions?

B. HOLLINGSWORTH: I don't think that the warnings are overreactions, but I do think that, at some point, people have to make a determination whether they are personally in danger. And, for the vast majority of us, I think that that's not the case.

That said, it is very unsettling to have someone basically picking people off at random. And everyone in the area has been affected by it emotionally. But I think we have to overcome that initial overreaction and go about our business and not cower in fear.

CHUNG: Diana, with that kind of confidence coming from our mother, you probably share that feeling of: "I'm not going to let this get to me. I'm going to live my life the way I want it to." True?

DIANA HOLLINGSWORTH, FAIRFAX COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Yes, I do think that. The odds -- there are so many people living in our area. And the odds of anyone coming to our school is very slim.

CHUNG: You really believe that.

Do you conduct the rest of your life very much in the open? Aside from going to school and coming home, are you fine with going out in the afternoon after school or at night?

D. HOLLINGSWORTH: Well, I am pretty OK with going out and everything. But there's still that -- in the back of my mind, I'm still a little scared. But I'm not going to stay at home and keep myself locked up all day.

CHUNG: Do you talk about it with your other friends or do you find yourself avoiding the issue?

D. HOLLINGSWORTH: I talk about it a lot because of sports. We're kind of a little angry that we have to go inside. And then we're also scared that it could be someone we know who can get shot next, like our parents or our friends' parents or something.

CHUNG: All right.

Alex, let's go to you. I know you're a senior. And, as I understand it, one of your friends or someone at school, one of your classmates, has an uncle who was one of the victims.


CHUNG: With that in mind, how close that hit, do you find yourself being extremely cautious?

A. DUNCAN: I'm more cautious than I was originally. When it started out -- he was in the first group of shooting sprees that happened here. But since then, I've been cautious. I'm a pedestrian myself. I walk around everywhere. You are just more vigilant outside now. You have to look out for stuff and make sure you don't get hurt, shot.

CHUNG: Mom, I have never heard a youngster say, "You just have to be careful that you don't get shot." This is just extraordinary. How do you feel about this fear that you have to live with?

MARY DUNCAN, MOTHER: I do worry about it. However, I am trying to encourage my children to be as normal as possible, be cautious. I also try to encourage them to be aware of their surroundings, always be with their friends, never to be alone.

And I truly want to compliment the schools. They've been doing a wonderful job keeping them safe inside. This morning, I had to deliver my daughter. The bus never came. And I had to show my I.D. The doors were locked. They let her in. And I really need to, again, compliment everyone in the area for keeping cool heads. And I try to do the same with my children, try to make them feel as safe as possible, wherever they are going, and to make them aware of their surroundings.

CHUNG: Alex, how do you get to school?

A. DUNCAN: I take the bus.

CHUNG: You take the bus.


CHUNG: And do you actually get on the bus and off the bus, making sure that you run to the door? I'm just wondering if there is a sprint by all the students to get to a building or someplace safe?

A. DUNCAN: No, there's not much of a sprint. We walk in. Security guards are always out front. They make sure everyone comes into the school. No one is allowed outside of the school. When you get out of the bus, they basically make sure you get into the school and make sure everyone is safe and inside.

CHUNG: All right, thank you so much, all of you, for being with us, Krystle and Anne, Barb and Diana, and Mary and Alex. Thank you all so much. And we'll just keep our fingers crossed and take a deep breath.

When we come back, we'll focus on the investigation. What do investigators know?

Stay with us.


CHUNG: In addition to the threat to children, Montgomery Police Chief Charles Moose revealed they have received another message from the sniper, sure to become a key piece of the investigation. And just recently, he issued another message to the sniper about how they can communicate.

For more on that and the progress of the investigation, CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the nerve center in Rockville, Maryland.

Good evening, Wolf.


CHUNG: First question: Chief Moose talked about achieving an electronic transfer or something electronically. And what I want to know is, do you think he's talking about an electronic money transfer?

BLITZER: Well, that would seem to make some sense, because we do know now, we have confirmed that, in that letter that was found at the Ponderosa steak house in Ashland, Virginia, Saturday night, among other things, there was reference to a demand for some $10 million.

Specifically, let me read to you what Chief Moose said about that electronic issue. He said: "We have researched the option you stated and found that it is not possible electronically to comply in the manner you requested."

He wants to keep the talks open, though, and he says he's ready to talk about "other options you have mentioned." It's all very cryptic, Connie. We don't really know specifically what he's referring to, but certainly the possibility of a money transfer sounds plausible.

CHUNG: Now, Chief Moose also read another sentence. "This is about more than violence" -- from the sniper. Do your sources tell you what they think that might mean? BLITZER: Well, it clearly suggests what they are trying to tell this killer or killers: "We get your point. We see you can do what you say you can do." Remember, in that earlier message on the tarot card, he said, "I am God." And they are saying: "You can kill any time, any place, any race, any gender, any age, any income bracket. We see you. You've made your point," in effect. "We know that you can do what you want to do." And he said, "Please make sure that violence is not necessarily needed anymore to make the point."

So, in effect, what I heard him say and what others are hearing Chief Moose say is: "Stop the killing now. Let's get on to your other objectives. You've already made your point."

CHUNG: All right, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, covering this story almost nonstop in Rockville, Maryland, tonight, thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you, Connie.

CHUNG: And joining us now from Norwood, Massachusetts, is Northeastern University criminologist Jack Levin.

Mr. Levin, thank you for being with us.

JACK LEVIN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Thank you for having me.

CHUNG: Great.

Why is it so important for the sniper, if it indeed is the sniper, to communicate to police through the media?

LEVIN: You know, most serial killers are playing God with their victims' lives. They use their hands. They enjoy the physical contact. They enjoy literally squeezing the last breath of life from their victims' body. It's sadism that they are after. They get high on it.

But there are a few serial killers who distance themselves. They may use a firearm or they may use explosives through the mail. And for them, killing is only part of the story. It's what happens in the aftermath of the murder that makes them really feel good. It's that cat-and-mouse game with the police. It's becoming a big-shot celebrity.

CHUNG: Well, but he disappears from the scene. He disappears from the scene. But what you are saying is, the cat-and-mouse game to try and find him is what is so intriguing to the sniper.

LEVIN: I think it motivates him more than just killing someone. If he really felt like he was God, he would want to have the control, the intimacy, the up-close-and-personal contact with the victim.

And, by the way, Connie, this is kind of an interesting thing that I haven't heard. And that is that every serial killer who has communicated with the police or the media has used a gun, you see, because these are


CHUNG: What do you make of that?

LEVIN: I think it's this idea that it's -- the killing is only a means to an end. They really want to hold the nation in the grip of terror, or at least the Washington, D.C. community.

CHUNG: If it's not just that...

LEVIN: This cat-and-mouse game, it makes them feel superior.

CHUNG: I see.

If it's not just that, holding everyone in fear, could it be this money, this $10 million, if indeed all of that is accurate?

LEVIN: I really doubt it. I really doubt it.

CHUNG: You mean that he would ask for ransom money?

LEVIN: You know, I think he would ask for lots of unreasonable things. Think about it. This communication only enhances his feeling that he's in charge. He's calling the shots now. They are begging him to return the phone call or to send another message, because they want to keep the lines of communication open.

But that only enhances the experience for him. And he can ask for whatever he wants. He can intimidate. He can coerce. He can taunt the police and ask for unreasonable things. It makes him feel good.

CHUNG: Now, what do you make of this threat against children?

LEVIN: Well, it's almost like the time that he shot a 13-year- old boy.

I think he knows perfectly well that nothing terrifies our people more than the threat of killing a child or actually trying to kill a child. And that's what he's up to. He's trying to do something so heinous that he gets the publicity he seeks. He terrorizes the people in the neighborhood. He must love it that schools are closing and that people are thinking maybe they shouldn't send their children to school.

That means that he has set our agenda. We're not only talking about him, but we're changing our behavior based on what he decides to do. And that just makes him feel that much more important.

CHUNG: So, should the police, should the authorities be releasing more information, because so much is being held in?

LEVIN: You know, Connie, maybe there's something that I don't know about this investigation. And, if so, I apologize right now, because I think, overall, the police are doing a pretty good job. After all, this is a great challenge to law enforcement. But I have to say, you can't expect people to turn in a husband or a neighbor or a friend because he drives a white van and he goes hunting and he's acting a little strangely today. That's not going to happen. We need a little more information. And I would release these communications from the killer. Assuming that there is no other reason, I think that the public might be able to recognize some of the phraseology, some of the substance in the notes given by the killer, and that maybe they really would be able to turn someone in.

It happened in the case of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber. His brother turned him in after reading the 35,000-word manifesto in "The Washington Post."

CHUNG: Right. I think all of us remember that.


LEVIN: Maybe that will work here, too.

CHUNG: We'll have to go, but one other thought is that, if they do release a lot of information, Mr. Levin, then perhaps if someone is calling in or if someone is writing in and is not the sniper, only the sniper would know certain information. And that's the way to tell whether or not this is a legitimate communication.

But we'll probably check in with you another time.

LEVIN: Don't release everything.

CHUNG: Yes, release everything is what you are saying.

LEVIN: Thank you.

CHUNG: All right, Professor Jack Levin, thank you so much.

LEVIN: Thank you.

CHUNG: And when we come back: a string of rapes and murders. How did police crack the case of the husband and wife duo known as the Ken and Barbie killers?

Stay with us.


CHUNG: Now a look at another case and the twist of how it was resolved, a case of a murderous husband-and-wife team known as the Ken and Barbie killers because of their blonde hair and blue eyes. It started with a baffling and terrifying string of rapes.

CNN's Brian Cabell has tonight's "Cracking the Case."


BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From 1987 to 1990, he struck fear into the hearts of the women of Toronto and he eluded the grasp of Toronto police. He became known as the Scarborough rapist, because the attacks took place in the Scarborough section of East Toronto, 19 assaults in all.

BRUCE SMOLLETT, TORONTO POLICE INSPECTOR: There was some very brutal, cowardly sexual assaults: attacking defenseless women from behind and just pummeling them and brutalizing them.

CABELL: Victims helped police draw up a composite picture of the rapist. He was blonde and nice-looking, they said. Several hundred suspects were questioned, including University of Toronto graduate Paul Bernardo, an aspiring accountant. Neighbors suggested he was a dead ringer for the composite. But, after interviewing him, police let them go.

Still, he and a couple hundred other men submitted voluntarily to DNA tests, but no one was arrested.

SMOLLETT: At that point in time, there was only one scientist assigned to the center who was qualified to conduct these tests. And, back then, you didn't get DNA results as quick as you do now.

CABELL: The rapes continued. And the frustrated police waited patiently for the backed-up DNA test results. And Paul Bernardo remained free. In fact, he got engaged to his sweetheart, a blonde veterinarian's assistance by the name of Karla Homolka. She lived with her family in St. Catherine's, a city about 50 miles south of Toronto.Bernardo began spending more time there. And, interestingly, the Scarborough rapes finally came to a stop at that time.

But on Christmas Eve 1990, in the family's home, Karla's 15-year- old sister, Tammy, choked to death on her own vomit. It turns out, police say, she had been drugged by Karla and raped by Paul, while Karla watched. No charges filed. It appeared to be an accident, but clearly sex crimes seemed to follow Paul.

Shortly afterwards, he and Karla, seemingly a happy couple, rented a house near St. Catherine's and got married. On their wedding day, the dismembered remains of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy were found in a nearby lake. She had disappeared two weeks before. Police now say she had been abducted by Paul and Karla, raped by him in their bedroom, and her body sawed up in their tool room, though at the time investigators didn't know that. They were stumped.

Ten months later, another victim: 15-year-old Kristen French, abducted, raped, horribly abused by Paul and Karla, much of it videotaped, then murdered. Her naked body was found in a ditch.

Still, to those who saw them, Paul and Karla seemed a normal and wholesome couple. They had some money problems. And, of course, there had been the rape suspicion of him and that DNA test a couple of years before, but nothing apparently had come of it.

Things finally started unraveling when Paul began beating Karla. She couldn't take it. She left him and he, losing his grip, left her this message.


PAUL BERNARDO: We were a good team. We were the best team. We were great. United we stand; together we fall. I'll go fall for us, OK? You keep standing, pal.


CABELL: The beautiful blonde couple, described by some as Ken and Barbie, had reached the end of their crime spree. Police were closing in.

Brian Cabell, CNN.


CHUNG: How did police end up cracking the case of the Ken and Barbie killers? We'll find out in just a moment.

Stay with us.


CHUNG: Paul Bernardo, a serial rapist, Karla Homolka, his young wife, who helped him rape and torture three teenage girls, including her own sister. How was the case cracked?

Well, Stephen Williams wrote about it in his book called "Invisible Darkness."

Thank you so much for being with us.


CHUNG: Stephen, how was the case resolved?

WILLIAMS: In a simplistic way, it was resolved by DNA science and by composite. His friends turned him -- called him in. And he went in for an interview. And they took samples, as they were doing.


WILLIAMS: Well, they took swabs to do DNA analysis on them. And, ultimately, that was the turnkey.

CHUNG: And yet earlier police had actually picked him up, took DNA samples. The composite picture matched perfectly.

WILLIAMS: Yes, the composite was very, very accurate. By that time, he had raped maybe eight or nine women.

CHUNG: Oh, my goodness. And yet they let him go earlier.

WILLIAMS: Yes, they let him go, because -- I've often thought -- looking at this as closely as I've done, modern policing tends to replace common sense with science.

And a policeman very involved with the case told me that, if they don't have DNA, they can't get a prosecutor to even look at it.


CHUNG: You mean today?

WILLIAMS: Today, yes.

Well, they were even talking about it in those days, and yet it was a very new science. It had only been used in 1986 to solve the first case in England. So this is 1989, 1990.

CHUNG: Right. Right.

WILLIAMS: So they were still using science. And sometimes I wonder if it's not the bureaucracy of policing looking for excuses.

CHUNG: There was one other thing that was found, some gruesome videotapes of the two of them involved with one of the victims.


CHUNG: Why? Why were they -- why did they videotape it?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think taking trophies is not unusual for these kinds of criminals, particularly sexually driven crimes. And the videotape is just an extension on all sorts of trophy-taking.

The thing is, videotape tends to capture the imagination and twist it. So the idea that the videotape was part of the evidentiary basis for this, ultimately, really made the case something more than it might otherwise have been.

CHUNG: Yes, but from their viewpoint, why were they doing it? You say...

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, as far as one is able to see into the mind of people who would do such things, I think it's all a question of reliving the crimes.

I'm not an expert, but what the experts say is, the trophy-taking aspect is about reliving the crimes. And the Moors murders in the '60s in England, they took Polaroids. They didn't have videotape. But they took Polaroids and made audiotapes of their victims. So it's not surprising that they did that.

CHUNG: What happened to the two of these people? What happened to these...

WILLIAMS: Well, ultimately, because there were a number of police forces involved, ultimately, because they moved through jurisdictions...

CHUNG: She confessed, right?

WILLIAMS: Yes. They used her to get him for the murders, because they didn't have any evidence outside of her. And they ultimately chose to use her, go after the murders, and let the rapes set aside.

CHUNG: So she plea-bargained...

WILLIAMS: She plea-bargained.

CHUNG: ... and testified against him?

WILLIAMS: Yes. And she'll be out of jail in two years from now.

CHUNG: I was just about to ask you that. And he is...

WILLIAMS: He's in jail forever. In Canada, we don't do symbolic things in Canada, because we're Canadians. So we don't give people two, three lifetime sentences. But he'll be in jail for the rest of his life in a small cell.

CHUNG: I see.

Stephen Williams, thank you.

WILLIAMS: Oh, my pleasure.

CHUNG: Thank you so much.

We'll be back in just a moment.

But first, I want to tell you that tonight, at 10:00 Eastern, you'll meet a pivotal figure from another notorious case. Aaron Brown is going to talk to columnist Jimmy Breslin, who corresponded with Son of Sam, and says, in this case, the media need to be more aggressive. That's on "NEWSNIGHT" tonight at 10:00 Eastern time.

And when we come back, we'll look at the one man at the center of today's news.

Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT: "Sniper on the Loose."

CHUNG: It's easy to get caught up in the detective work and the fear factor, but we must always remember the innocent victims. And today, it was Conrad Johnson who was cut down by this random act of violence.

CNN's Bill Delaney tells us about him and the people who cared about him.


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Whoever took the life of Conrad Johnson knocked the life out of the many people who loved him too, a family that gathered in the dozens at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland to grieve for the 35-year-old father of two shot around six in the morning, a bus driver up before dawn who paused at a layover stop maybe to do some paperwork.

DOUG DUNCAN, MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE: This is a terrible loss of life today for one of our county employees, almost a ten-year county employee with the ride on bus service that we provide in the county, and I want to extend my deepest sympathies. We deeply mourn the loss of this gentleman.

DELANEY: As did other drivers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice, easygoing guy, very good personality, upbeat, good guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't know him at all, but I mean I feel sorry for him and his family because I mean still he's one of us.

DELANEY: As commuters in Montgomery County tried to get on with their lives, a regular passenger on Conrad Johnson's Line 41.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was real polite all the time, you know, and it seemed like he enjoyed his job a whole lot. It was hard to believe, yes.

DELANEY: A death for no reason of a man with every reason to live.

(on camera): Conrad Johnson's heartbroken family has asked to be allowed their privacy as they grieve the loss of a man doctors here at Suburban Hospital struggled for hours to save, but could not.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Bethesda, Maryland.



CHUNG: We'll be right back.


CHUNG: And before we go tonight: a quick rundown of today's developments.

Police said a note warned that children are not safe -- quote -- "anywhere at any time." And CNN has learned the note also demanded $10 million. Police have not yet confirmed whether today's shooting death of Conrad Johnson was in fact the sniper's 13th attack.

Tomorrow, we'll have all the latest developments on the hunt for the sniper. Join us for that; plus, for the first time on national television, the mother of Derek and Alex King, the boys whose conviction for killing their father was recently overturned. And it's an exclusive interview. Do join us for that. Coming up next on "LARRY KING LIVE": the latest on the sniper case.

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. And for all of us at CNN, good night.


Police Reveal Chilling Message From Sniper>

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