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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Fatal Arrest: Death Will be Ruled Homicide; Ex-Con Suspect Waives Extradition to North Dakota; Interview with Former "Bachelor" Alex Michel

Aired December 3, 2003 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST (voice-over): Caught on tape. A struggle with police is ruled a homicide. What happens now?

The most famous female spy in America comes in from the cold.

The search intensifies for Dru Sjodin, and her alleged kidnapper is set to return to North Dakota.

On trial, an admitted cannibal says he found a willing victim on the Internet.

For TV's bachelorette, marriage, it seems, is the best revenge.

And you better watch out what you say about Claus, Santa that is.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight.

A stunning development from Cincinnati today. The death of Nathaniel Jones, a 350-pound black man who struggled with police, will be ruled a homicide. The coroner noted Jones was obese, had an enlarged heart and had drugs in his system, but said the violent clash caused Jones' death. The coroner also said his finding doesn't imply inappropriate behavior by police.

Details now from CNN's Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN DALLAS BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Nathaniel Jones' family says the 41-year-old man was a fat, jolly fellow who never hurt anyone. They are angry that a simple call to police escalated into a deadly fight.

DIANE PETTON, NATHANIEL JONES' AUNT: It makes no sense at all. A phone call for help, and now he's dead. Just answer that. Think about it.

LAVANDERA: Jones' family and their attorneys say video images showing Jones dancing and passing out at the White Castle restaurant proved he was a threat to himself, not anyone else.

KENNETH LAWSON, FAMILY ATTORNEY: The man wasn't violent at all the whole night. If you say, Mr. Coroner, that he was high on this and that, if that's true, he would have beat the hell out some of the customers, threatened some the customers, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at the employees.

LAVANDERA: Of course, Jones did appear violent. As for the video showing Jones lunging and swinging at police, his family says he must have been provoked. The offical autopsy report says Jones died of cardiac arrest brought on by the struggle with the six officers.

DR. CARL PARROTT, HAMILTON COUNTY CORONER: His death must be regarded as a direct and immediate consequence in part of the struggle (UNINTELLIGIBLE) by his obesity, his heart disease and his drug intoxication.

LAVANDERA: Because of the history of racial tension involving Cincinnati police, Nathaniel Jones' grandmother is urging everyone to act peacefully.

BESSIE JONES, GRANDMOTHER OF NATHANIEL JONES: I don't want no anger. I don't want people to get violent. I just want things to be right among us. We all have to live together. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) be peaceful.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: Today was the first time we've heard from Nathaniel Jones' family. They also say that they will order up their own autopsy of Nathaniel Jones' body. But it will take several days to get those results.

We've asked several times throughout the day today for a response from Cincinnati police to the coroner's report today. We still have not heard from authorities here in Cincinnati -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Ed Lavandera, thanks very much tonight.

Nathaniel Jones had PCP in his system, more commonly known as angel dust. Here's a fast fact about the drug. Those who take it lose a sense of pain and can exhibit compulsive violent behavior, sometimes alternating between a state of panic and fear.

PCP use appears to be on the rise. Over a two-year period, from 2000 to 2002, there was a 42 percent jump in emergency room visits involving PCP users.

Well, right now more than 1,700 volunteers are helping search for missing University of North Dakota coed Dru Sjodin. Today in court the man accused of kidnapping her, this man, agreed to be extradited to North Dakota to face charges. And there was a surprising courtroom outburst, a beg for information on the whereabouts of Sjodin.

Here's CNN's Jeff Flock.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): By the busload they came in the North Dakota cold to line up, ride ATVs and scan grid maps to find Dru Sjodin. And then 1,700 searchers turned up nothing.

That, while the man who authorities think know what happened to her went to court. Alfonso Rodriguez, hood up over his ahead, agreeing to answer charges he kidnapped the 22-year-old college senior. Is Rodriguez cooperating?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm afraid I can't discuss that right now.

FLOCK: Does DNA evidence in his car link him to Sjodin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't discuss that.

FLOCK: Was he on any surveillance cameras at this mall where Dru disappeared?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't discuss that either. I'm sorry.

FLOCK: Prosecutors did try to explain why a twice-convicted sexual predator was set free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This gentleman that served his sentence to expiration. His only requirements after that are complying with the registration law, and he's done that.

FLOCK: Rodriguez did register that he was living here at his mother's house in Crookston, Minnesota and had his picture on a sexual predator Web site when he was released in May. Though, note the change in hair color on his mug shot taken this week. A family friends says the possibility of Rodriguez committing another crime was on his family's mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a huge concern.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Jeff Flock joins us now. Jeff, is this guy talking to police at all, or are his lawyers saying anything?

FLOCK: No. At this point, no word from his lawyer. And there are no indications that he is cooperating with police. We asked that pointedly today, but that was another one of those questions where they said, "Sorry, we can't comment on that right now."

COOPER: Understood. All right. Jeff Flock, thanks very much for that tonight.

What drives sexual predators is something doctors and lawyers and law enforcement personal have studied for years. Coming up later, we're going to talk to one expert about the mind of a predator and take a look at the treatment options available to them. Sadly, a number of crime stories to report tonight. In Florida's North Miami-Dade County, police continue to investigate similarities between sexual assaults on two little girls and 10 other rapes or attempted rapes in the area. John Zarrella has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rose Mazard has two children. These days she is more worried about them and herself than ever before.

ROSE MAZARD, RESIDENT: Like yesterday I was aware of my surroundings. I, you know, locked the doors, I put the windows down. You know, it's scary. It's scary.

ZARRELLA: Mazard lives within a couple blocks of where two sisters, 7 and 8 years old, were sexually assaulted last Friday by a man who slipped into the house through the girls' open bedroom window. Police believe DNA will match this attacker to one they believe responsible for 10 other assaults and attempted assaults since last December.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's leaving evidence. We have not been lucky enough that he's left a print yet, but criminals make mistakes.

ZARRELLA: He's made at least one. This composite sketch is based on one eyewitness who saw her attacker's face when he accidentally took off a scarf.

(on camera): Police say this rapist is particularly scary. He cases the homes, perhaps for hours, before he attacks in the early morning before dawn. And in every instance he appears to know exactly what room his victim is in.

(voice-over): And he knows exactly who is home and who's not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of our victims said, "Well, my husband is going to be home any minute." And he said, "No, he's not." So he knows that the victim is alone.

ZARRELLA: Police say this rapist operates in a wide swath of northwest Miami-Dade County, making it all the more frustrating for police to focus their manhunt.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, a quick news note on the serial rapist. Aside from the attacks on the 7 and 8-year-old girls, Police are trying to link the suspect to 10 other assaults. Now, the victims' ages in those assaults range from 7 to 37. Ten of 12 victims are under the age of 16. All of the victims are black.

In Modesto, California today, a plea of innocence. That is the word Scott Peterson used in front of the judge in his arraignment today. Meanwhile, the judge set a date for the murder trial to begin. All that and more from CNN's Rusty Dornin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The defense waived hearing the formal murder charges against the defendant. Scott Peterson definitely wanted to be heard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that correct, Mr. Peterson? You are pleading not guilty to the two charges?

SCOTT PETERSON, DEFENDANT: That's correct, your honor. I am innocent.

DORNIN: The judge is keeping what's been a tight lid on this case in place. He ruled the gag order will continue and documents, including search warrants and autopsy photos, will remain sealed.

The defense scored a financial victory for his client. Mark Geragos argued prosecutors didn't need $15,000 discovered on Scott Peterson when he was arrested or his pickup truck.

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We need the truck back so that we can get rid of it, so that we do not expend taxpayer funds in the defense of this case. And there's absolutely no reason why they need it for a jury view.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's important the jury be allowed to go out and see how -- what I argue how the defendant loaded the body into the truck at his house and how he transported the body to the particular shop.

DORNIN: But the judge sided with the defense. Peterson will get back both the money and the truck.

The trial date was set for January 26, but that's subject to a change of venue hearing scheduled for January 6.

(on camera): Geragos also wants to get the charges dismissed against Peterson, claiming there is insufficient evidence. Those arguments will be heard before another judge and could also cause a delay in a January trial date.

(voice-over): This was Geragos' first appearance here since taking on Michael Jackson as a client. Scott's mother Jackie told reporters they are happy with whatever he does.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Modesto, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We're going to have more on the Peterson case from our 360 legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. That's coming up a little bit later in 360.

We're following a number of stories "Cross Country" now. Let's take a look. Washington, D.C.: great economic news. Third quarter productivity jumped at its fastest rate in 20 years. The revised 9.4 percent annual rate increase, it outpaced the original estimate, which was 8.1 percent.

Now, the boost helped push the Nasdaq briefly above the 2,000 mark level it has not reached in almost two years. And the Dow is inching closer to the 10,000 neighborhood it hasn't visited since May of 2002.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: anthrax hoaxer convicted. An anti- abortion extremist is found guilty of mailing hundreds of envelopes with fake anthrax to women's clinics. The man represented himself in the case and told the jury he was a proud terrorist. He is already serving 49 years in prison for car theft and other charges.

Denver, Colorado: fatal flu. Two more Colorado kids have died from the flu. And that raises the statewide total to at least five. Health officials are investigating a possible sixth case.

Washington, D.C.: new forest rules. President Bush signs a new bill he says will prevent catastrophic wildfires. The bill makes it easier to strip forests of excess or dead vegetation that can fuel the fire. Critics say it goes too far and labeled the bill a big boost for logging companies.

And across the West: Hells Angels raids. Federal agents raided dozens of the motorcycle club's headquarters around the country. The ATF and local police nabbed at least 38 suspects as part of a drug and gun investigation.

And that is a look at stories "Cross Country" tonight.

Serial sniper still on the loose in Ohio, or maybe more than one. Find out what police are doing to track down a killer on the highway.

Plus, our midweek crisis. A look at all those missing kids who don't get covered by the media.

And spy wife. An exposed CIA operative poses in disguise for "Vanity Fair: magazine. Find out how she's living life in the shadows after being caught in the middle of a White House scandal.

First tonight, let's take a look "Inside the Box" at the top stories on tonight's network newscasts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A lot of people out enjoying the streets of New York tonight.

We go now to Columbus, Ohio. A dozen shootings, a community shocked and scared, as investigators follow a trail of bullets and talk for the first time about the bullet that hit a school. CNN's Martin Savidge is there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Officials looking at the Columbus highway shootings say the latest twist is arming.

STEVE MARTIN, FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: The fact that there's a school now that's involved is of grave concern to all of us.

SAVIDGE: A bullet dug from the door jam inside this elementary school has been directly linked to the eight-month shooting spree, and the shot fired in the middle of the night three weeks ago. Ballistics tests Tuesday found that it came from the same gun that killed a 62- year-old woman in a car last week.

That makes four shootings tied to the same weapons, with eight of the shootings believed connected. All except for the school occurring in the same area around I-270, southwest of Columbus.

Wednesday, authorities said they don't believe an overnight shooting 90 miles north of Columbus was related. But they are ever mindful of the risk of copycats.

MARTIN: And that's one of the reasons that some information we do not release so that we don't have somebody that mirrors what we're doing.

SAVIDGE: Along the five-mile stretch of roadway, police presence has been beefed up. Marvin Parks couldn't find the airport, but the sight of sheriff's cars told him he had found the shooting zone.

MARVIN PARKS, RESIDENT: I don't like the fact it's happening, but the good lord is the only one that's going to protect us and know when it's our time to go.

SAVIDGE: But as she filled up at a nearby exit, April Deibel fear gauge was already on full.

APRIL DEIBEL, RESIDENT: It's awful that you have to worry about driving anywhere. We're scared constantly. You are looking around and making sure you don't see anybody. It's scary.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: Authorities have had no major break in this case, despite the fact that they've had over 750 phone calls in the forms of tips from the public. There is no suspect that's in custody in relation to this case.

I asked investigators if they have a person or persons of interest. Their answer back to me was they weren't going to comment on that. One thing is certain, this fear has expanded now beyond those who just drive the highway on I-270. Parents of children who go to nearby schools are also greatly concerned -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Martin Savidge, thanks very much.

A number of international stories we're following right now. Let's check the "UpLink."

London, England: terrorism charges. Police say they have charged a 24-year-old British Muslim man with conspiring with convicted shoe bomber, Richard Reid. Police say he was planning to carry out bomb attacks in Britain or elsewhere.

Reid, of course, was sentenced to life in prison last January. He was convicted of trying to blow up an airliner carrying 197 passengers between Paris and New York two years ago with those explosives hidden in his shoe.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast: protests continue. For the third day, French troops fired tear gas and battled hundreds of stone-throwing young people outside a French military base. The demonstrators want the French to back away from the cease-fire line that keeps rebels and government forces apart.

Camp Udairi, Kuwait: rape allegation. A female soldier preparing for a mission in Iraq alleges she was raped at the camp, which is 10 miles south of the Iraq border. The military isn't releasing any specifics, saying the incident is under investigation.

Kassel, Germany: cannibalism trial. Hard to believe that a cannibalism trial is under way in Germany, but it is. A 42-year-old man -- you see him there -- is charged with murder. Now, he admits killing and eating another man. A man he says wanted to be eaten.

The two found each other on the Internet. Germany has no laws on cannibalism. We're going to have more on this bizarre story in a few moments.

That's tonight's "UpLink."

She might be the most famous spy in the world. The wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson. You see her there kind of hidden away with glasses.

Her exposure in the press touched off a national uproar. Now she's posing in disguise for "Vanity Fair" magazine. We're going to take a closer look at her life in the shadows.

Also tonight, volunteer cannibalism, the story we just mentioned. A murder victim who wanted to be eaten and killed. Is it even possible?

Even worse, it was all caught on tape. We're going to take you to the trial. We're not going to show you any tape, but we are going to take you to the trial that is right now just stunning all of Germany.

And a little bit later, a violent sexual predator suspected in the kidnapping of a North Dakota college student. Find out what drives this kind of criminal to strike repeatedly. Is there any kind of cure? We'll take a closer look.

And that leads us to today's "Buzz." How should society deal with violent sexual offenders? More prison or more treatment? What do you think?

Vote now: cnn.com/360. Results at the end of the program.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, remember just a few weeks ago the furor in Washington over the outing of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as an undercover CIA officer? The Justice Department is now investigating whether a Bush administration official leaked the information. The secret was revealed after Wilson was publicly critical of President Bush's state of the union claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from the West African country of Niger.

Since then, Wilson's wife has kept a low profile. Until now. The couple is featured in the January issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine. Vicky Ward, a contributing editor at "Vanity Fair," spoke to Plame off the record in the course of the writing of this article. She joins us now.

Thanks for being with us. Nice to meet you.

It's a fascinating article and a fascinating -- I mean, the pictures of her, which we're going to be showing, you really can't tell what she looks like. And yet they are very intriguing. So little is known about her. What was she like in person?

VICKEY WARD, "VANITY FAIR" WRITER: She's a very charming, very beautiful, very understated lady. And I think that's presumably why she does what she does for a living.

COOPER: Well, let's take a look at -- we've just seen -- that's her hiding behind the newspaper in this breakfast photo. We have a full screen of some of her career path. And it's a fascinating look, because not only is she a CIA officer, she was a NOC, a non-official cover officer, which is really -- I mean, among the most dangerous of all assignments.

They don't have diplomatic immunity when they're serving overseas. As we see right here, she joined the CIA when she was 22 years old. She was part of a NOC. But I guess -- I mean, is she bitter now? Because essentially her overseas career is over.

WARD: Well, I mean, first of all, I'd like to say that she did speak to me off the record, so I certainly wouldn't go into details about what we spoke about. But also, we have a very informal dinner in which she gave away very, very little. And she wouldn't really be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) about her career.

COOPER: But given the personality that you saw, can you imagine her doing the sorts of things that a NOC does overseas? Sort of -- you know, operating without diplomatic cover?

WARD: Not at all. In fact, like any journalist would, having heard the stories of her wielding an AK-47, of course I wanted to know. And she's very low profile, she's very discrete. She just sort of smiles sweetly, shrugs it off and is very self-effacing about it . Doesn't really talk about it. And she is the last person in the world, frankly, that you could imagine wielding an AK-47. She seems like she'd be a great TV anchor.

COOPER: Oh, really?

WARD: Yes.

COOPER: Uh-oh. Joseph Wilson, who you were doing this article about, and you did speak on the record to, how has he responded? How has he -- I mean, there's sort of this firestorm of controversy. How are they holding up, and how do they see it now? Do they have some perspective on it?

WARD: I think these are two very resilient people. You have to remember that both Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have probably been through far tougher situations in many ways. They both risked their life for their country. So, yes, it's a maelstrom. Yes, they are having long days, little sleep, but they are coping just fine.

COOPER: Let's talk about how the photos came out, because she wasn't supposed to take part in the photo shoot. This was an article about her husband. But then all of a sudden, you got a call saying, you know what? Actually, she's got her photo taken.

WARD: Well, I -- it took place over a weekend. So I -- and I was actually not there, but Valerie walked into the house, I think, in the middle and naturally fell into conversation with (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the "Vanity Fair" photographer, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), who was responsible for the shoot. And I think slowly she felt comfortable enough to pose in a way that really doesn't reveal her identity.

COOPER: Yes. It's essentially a disguise.

WARD: And the other point I think that is pretty important to make is that she is very proud of her husband. She's very supportive of his position in all of this and of what he's done. And I think that in the same way she attended the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) awards in a very controlled manner, she made sure there would be no photographs taken of her, she felt that she could contribute in a way in this, in a way that did not blow her anonymity.

COOPER: All right. It's a fascinating article. It's in "Vanity Fair" this month. Vicky Ward, thanks very much.

WARD: Thank you.

COOPER: All right.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): A convicted sex offender in custody in the Dru Sjodin case. Why can't sexual predators stop themselves?

The chilling Internet cannibal case.

And a bachelor's regret?

We'll be right back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time for "The Reset." Washington, D.C.: lawyer assigned. An Australian prisoner at Gitmo is the first terror suspect there to get a U.S. military lawyer. The suspect is one of six prisoners at the base President Bush named as possible candidates for trial by a special military tribunal for terrorism suspects.

Buffalo, New York: prison sentence for member of the so-called Lackawana Six. A Yemeni-American gets a 10-year prison sentence on terror charges. The man admitted to attending an al Qaeda training camp.

Cincinnati, Ohio: death ruled homicide, that's is the decision from the coroner on the death of a 350 lb man. The man died after a violent struggle with police. The coroner says the man also had an enlarged heart, was obese and had drugs in his system. Police say their use of force was justified.

Cruxton (ph), Minnesota: suspect in court. A man charged with kidnapping, this man right here, charged with kidnapping missing North Dakota University coed Dru Sjodin waives extradition. Meanwhile, up to 1,700 volunteers are helping to search for her.

That is tonight's "Reset."

And that story brings us to a question. Is it possible to understand the mind of a sexual predator? Why they commit crimes. Why they can't seem to stop in some cases. From Baltimore, we're joined by Dr. Fred Berlin, the director of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorder Clinic. Doctor, thanks very much for being with us tonight. I know sexual predator is not a medical term, it's more of a legal term, but for people who act out in this way, what is it? What is the drive that is pushing them to do it?

DR. FRED BERLIN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, often we're talking about people whose behavior is energized by a powerful biologically based appetite. These are people whose sexual orientation is directed toward unacceptable partners, as in pedophilia for example, where they are directed towards children, or people who have recurrent cravings to engage in coercive or sadistic sexual behaviors as opposed to consenting and more gentle kinds of actions.

COOPER: Wait a minute, so it's biological? So you mean, they're born with it?

BERLIN: Well, I don't think they are born with it, they certainly don't decide the habit, but the energy behind it is biological. All of us, of course, want recurrently, to have sexual activity, and when that powerful biological force becomes aimed in the wrong direction, if I can put it that way, towards a child for example, or towards coercive behavior, that drive still recurrently wants to be satisfied and that's the nature of the problem we're dealing with.

COOPER: But Dr. Berlin, that sounds particularly scary. Because essentially what you are saying is that the biological drive to act out in -- for pedophiles or whomever -- is as real, as strong as it is for heterosexuals to out and have heterosexual sex. That it's something -- I mean, can it be treated?

BERLIN: That's the point. That we have to have both a criminal justice component and public health component. If all we do is send them to prison and nothing more, there's nothing about prison itself that can either erase these cravings or enhance the capacity of the person to resist acting upon them.

COOPER: How effective is the treatment? What is the treatment out there? I've heard about chemicals, I've heard about therapy, but does it really work?

BERLIN: Well first of all, treatment isn't going to work if it's seen as something that can provide a cure. It's much more akin that the treatment is necessary for drug and alcoholism where there needs to be long-term support, including during a time when a person is in the community.

So if we just treat people in prison and think that's all we have to do, they're cured and release them, certainly that's doomed to failure in my judgment.

COOPER: The treatment, though, is based on -- I guess there's some pharmacological, but a lot of it is mind control, self control, someone sort of stopping deviant sexual fantasies.

BERLIN: Well, much of it is based on the kind of treatment done for drug addicts or alcoholics. In other words, there's many reasons why people use drugs or take alcohol, but the final common pathway is the person gives into that craving they can get into a car, hurt an innocent person, destroy their own life in the process. Similarly, if someone who is attracted, sexually, to children, or have cravings of a coercive nature gives in, they can cause harm to others.

So the issue is, what change in lifestyle do they need to make to be able to resist acting upon these unacceptable cravings. That's the psychological side. There's also a biological component as well.

COOPER: You are doing just fascinating work Dr. Fred Berlin. We appreciate you joining us to talk about it. Thank you very much.

BERLIN: Thank you.

COOPER: We'd like to here from you tonight, "how should society deal with violent sex offenders? More prison or more treatment?" Vote not at cnn.com/360. The results at the end of the program.

Well, the search for Dru Sjodin is a desperate one, no doubt about it, worthy of all the resources devoted to it, but when we hear how many other kids are abducted each year, it raises questions about why some cases get national publicity and others barely get any notice at all.

The media and the forgotten missing kids. That is tonight's "Midweek Crisis."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Dru Sjodin is only the latest young woman to disappear and have her picture shown around the nation. Others include Elizabeth Smart, Danielle Van Dam and Chandra Levy. You've seen their face, but why not the faces of the hundreds of unknown children listed on Web sites like missingkids.org.

As of this year, more than 50,000 children were believed to be missing. Some of them are custodial cases, others runaways, but not all. What of the ones who get national attention have in common? Well, they are usually girls or young women. They're often pretty, often white and often from stable, even well-off families, exactly the kind of households TV news programs want to reach when they ask, could your child be next?

BOB STEELE, POYNTER INSTITUTE: Race and class can be factors when it comes to how journalists cover stories. That includes stories of missing children.

COOPER: Consider the case of Alexis Patterson. She disappeared around the same time Elizabeth Smart did. The differences? Alexis was black, her family not well off. There was little national interest at the time, and she is still missing.

LARON BOURGEOIS, ALEXIS PATTERSON'S STEPFATHER: Everybody knows about Elizabeth Smart, everybody. And I don't think it's fair, give ours just as much air time as you give her.

COOPER: What else gets media attention: juicy details helps spark interest in some stories. Levy was linked to a member of Congress. Sjodin had gotten mysterious calls at work, a Victoria's Secret store. Smart was taken from her home, a scenario that helped fuel other families fears.

The bottom line is, publicity can make the difference between life and death. And while there are reasons some disappearances don't get publicity, none of those reasons are worth dying for.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, in Virginia today, a setback for lawyers defending teenage D.C. Sniper suspect Lee Malvo. The judge issuing a ruling about what the defense calls a key piece of evidence. CNN's Jeanne Meserve has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judge Jane Maro Roush delivered a body blow to the defense, refusing to allow a letter by Lee Malvo to be introduced as evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was disturbing. It was not a ruling that we anticipated.

MESERVE: The letter was written just months before the sniper shootings, to LaToria Williams, John Muhammad's niece. Sources say Malvo wrote, "I'm perceived as a walking time bomb waiting to explode, and I have a father who I know is going to have to kill me for a righteous society to prevail." Defense attorneys believe the father he refers to is John Muhammad. Muhammad's first wife has read the letter.

CAROL WILLIAMS, JOHN MUHAMMAD'S 1ST WIFE: It was a cry for help. I know it was.

LARRY KING, HOST "LARRY KING LIVE": He was asking for what?

WILLIAMS: He was asking for -- to just not be in the situation that he was in.

MESERVE: The defense team says it will try other strategies to get the letter in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our case is not over yet, and hope springs eternal.

MESERVE: Kip Baronson, (ph) Muhammad's superior in the army, testified he suspected Muhammad of throwing an incendiary grenade into a tent full of soldiers. Muhammad was never charged, but Baronson (ph) was so fearful of retaliation that he still carries Muhammad's name and dog tag number in his wallet.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Jeanne, you used some tough words. You called the judge's ruling a body blow to the defense. Where do they go from here? Can they recover? Will Malvo have to take the stand?

MESERVE: Well, tomorrow they expect to get into testimony about half Malvo's mental health. They suspect to use clips from sniper video games, the sniper training film and the movie the "Matrix" to illustrate how John Muhammad allegedly indoctrineated Lee Malvo. As to whether Malvo himself, will take the stand, no decision on that, yet. His lawyers say they will make that decision by Monday morning at least -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jeanne Meserve in Chesapeake tonight. Thanks very much, Jeanne.

Scott Peterson goes back to court. Coming up, more on his arraignment and the potential legal moves still to come in the case.

Plus, the weirdest case we've heard about. The case of the cannibal. The accused says his victim wanted to be eaten.

And later, on a far lighter note, this man broke Trista's heart at one point. Hear what he thinks about the young lady who rebounded and is about the walk down the isle with another man.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time for justice served and the Peterson murder case. It began to move forward in court today. Almost a year after Laci Peterson disappeared, her husband stood before a judge today -- and well, he actually sat before the judge and proclaimed his innocence. He used the words, "I'm innocent."

Several issues were brought up in today's arraignment. A trial date, possible change of venue, and more questions regarding evidence. "360" legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom has been tracking it all for us, joins us now live from San Francisco. Hey, Kimberly, good to see you.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: Good to see you.

COOPER: One of the motions filed by the defense today was a change of venue. Do you think they are going to get it? And how soon?

NEWSOM: I think that the case law supports it. They should get it. The judge can review the material, surveys submitted by both sides and he's going to figure out. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this case is all over Modesto and Stanislaus County, even the neighboring counties. I think this case has to go to Los Angeles to get a fair and impartial jury, and people that maybe don't live and breathe this case, as everyone does in Modesto.

COOPER: Not only does Mark Geragos want a fair and impartial jury, he wants a quick jury. He wants this thing to go to trial quickly. Some people were surprised by that. Were you? I guess the judge even set a date, January 26.

NEWSOM: No, not at all. In fact, I knew that that's what they were going to do. They weren't going to waste time. They want to proceed forward as soon as possible. The Petersons want this, Scott Peterson himself wants it, and I think it's tactically smart by the defense. They should get Amber Frey on the stand as soon as possible, pregnant, because that's going to blow away the whole prosecution's idea that she's the motive behind this brutal murder, when she's on the stand pregnant with another man's child. Also, get this case tried before the USA movie comes out about a perfect husband, Dean Cain playing Scott Peterson, because that could potentially pollute the jury pool anywhere you go.

COOPER: But there are a number of other motions that still have to be ruled on. I mean, is January 26 really a realistic date?

NEWSOM: It is realistic, because once the judge makes the decision, then the judicial council will give three possible choices, and the judge will decide on which city, of course with ideas submitted by both sides as to where they'd like to go.

The problem is logistics. If they have to move everybody down to a place like Los Angeles, it involves flying witnesses in. I know already from being in the courtroom that the judge would like to just take jurors from a nearby county and bring them in via a bus or something like that, so it's not as difficult and he can stay there to try the case.

COOPER: Very briefly, let's just talk about this case in Cincinnati. The death of this man, Nathaniel Jones, was ruled a homicide after he was attempted -- arrest by police, a fracas ensued. Does this force the D.A.'s hand to bring charges against the police officers?

NEWSOM: Well, they are not bound in any way, shape or form by the coroner's ruling. But it does put a little pressure for them to take a close look at this case, and that's what the D.A.'s office is going to do.

But keep in mind, these are D.A.s that work with these officers every day. It puts them in a tough position. I've served on a task force at the D.A.'s office reviewing officer-involved shootings, homicides and beatings. And you have to decide, did they break the law, was this justified, was it legal force that is used.

It's interesting that they did rule it a homicide, because we heard some conflicting reports there. But it by no means dictates that they have to bring criminal charges.

COOPER: A number of investigations still under way. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks very much, good to see you tonight.

More justice served now, to a gruesome murder case in Germany. It just boggles the mind. A man is accused of advertising on the Internet for someone willing to be killed and eaten. I don't even know what to say. A trial is under way, because police say someone responded to the Internet ad and wound up dead. Here's CNN's Berlin bureau chief Stephanie Halasz.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE HALASZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors say the story began with an ad placed on the Internet three years ago by this man, 42-year-old Armin Meiwes. The computer technician said he was looking for someone he could kill and then eat. Incredibly, a Berlin man answered, Bernd Juergen Brandes, answered the ad. They met in March 2001 here in the picturesque village where Meiwes lived.

What authorities say happened then is almost beyond imagination. Brandes, high on a cocktail of sleeping medicine and alcohol, allowed Meiwes to cut a part from Brandes' body. Meiwes fried the body part on the stove and then ate it, sharing the meal with his victim.

Police say Meiwes later killed Brandes with Brandes' OK. Meiwes videotaped the whole grizzly event, and his lawyer says he does not deny any of it.

HARALD ERMEL, LAWYER FOR MEIWES (through translator): He regrets what he did and he has said so from the beginning. He admits to what he has done. He wants people to understand that he took responsibility and burdened himself with the sin.

HALASZ: Meiwes faces a single charge of murder for sexual satisfaction, because, say authorities, cannibalism is not mentioned in German law. If convicted of murder, Meiwes could face a life sentence. But his lawyer says he is guilty only of what the law calls "killing on request," the maximum penalty for that is five years in prison.

Stephanie Halasz, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: All right. Gets the vote for the most bizarre story of the year. No doubt about it.

Let's move on to something at least fun. Here we go now. He was the bachelor. So how does he feel seeing the one he let go find her bachelor and a big pile of money? We'll explore all the socioeconomic ramifications. Maybe.

Also tonight, Elvis is coming to Broadway? No, he's not coming out of hiding. We'll try to explain in tonight's "Current." All that ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: All right, time to check on tonight's "Current." Let's look what's happening out there.

Controversial hip hop label Murder Inc is changing its name according to executive Irb Gotti (ph). The label will now be called The Inc. Gotti said, people mistakenly focused on the quote "negative energy of the word murder." Now people are free to focus instead on the negative energy of the name Irb Gotti (ph).

Elvis Presley's estate has commissioned a musical "All Shook Up" based on his songs and bound for Broadway in 2005. The musical fits into Broadway's push to fill the theaters with young people, in this case, with teenagers from 1955.

NBC Enterprises has canceled the "John Walsh Show." They syndicated talk show will cease production next week, giving Walsh additional time to appear on "Larry King Live."

And the rock star, Sting, today handed out the Britain's Bad Sex in Fiction Award. The ceremony was held to honor the clumsiest description of sex in a novel. Sting had been expected to emcee for as long as 11 hours straight.

Now on to more weighty topics, such as the harsh reality of reality show romances. Tonight Trista and Ryan have his and her bachelor parties as they prepare for their endlessly covered walk down the aisle. So, what does the "Bachelor" who first dumped Trista think about all of this? Well, first let's look at this piece by Brook Anderson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MICHEL, "BACHELOR": It hurts me a lot to say good-bye to you, and I'm really sorry.

BROOK ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The relationship between Alex Michelle and Trista Rehn ended with a broken heart, hers.

TRISTA REHN, "BACHELORETTE": I did as much as possible, and I gave in to possible hurt.

ANDERSON: That was in April of last year. Since Alex offered his last rose to another, life for the Bachelor has been, well, different. He's enjoyed a small taste of Hollywood's perks, become a spokesman for the online dating site match.com, as well as a corporate spokesman offering his insights on everything from reality TV to romance.

But for Trista, things have gone a slightly different way. From Hollywood movie premieres to television talk shows, celebrity has found Trista. And for the former NBA cheerleader turned bachelorette, the big night is almost here.

REHN: Oh, my gosh!

ANDERSON: The woman who lost the "Bachelor," but went on to star in ABC's "The Bachelorette" will officially be tying the knot on December 10 on ABC's "Trista and Ryan's Wedding" with the man she got to choose.

And just like the time she was turned away by Alex, this typically personal moment will happen in front of a television audience of millions, audiences that used to cheer for Alex. But tonight, there's no Alex and no broken heart. Brook Anderson, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Tonight there is Alex, because he is here. Does the idea of Trista tying the knot leave knots in Alex's stomach? Let's find out. He's joins us right now. Alex, good to see you again.

ALEX MICHEL, "BACHELOR": Nice to see you.

COOPER; Did you make a mistake by dumping her?

MICHEL: I can't say that I did. I picked the woman who I thought was best for me and as it turned out, we did not walk down the aisle together, but she was...

COOPER: Come on, there's got to be a tinge of regret. It could have been you having a big engagement party special tonight.

MICHEL: No. I have to say I'm glad that I'm not out there in public getting married. I had my stint dating in public. But to get married in public is just one step further than I was willing to go. COOPER: One step too far. Because it's endless. She can -- when she has her first baby she could have a baby on camera. And then, God forbid, if it ends up in divorce, the divorce could be on camera too.

MICHEL: That's right. And she does seem to like those cameras.

COOPER: You think so?

MICHEL: But it's funny, when I didn't pick her, nobody seemed to think that I had made a mistake. People thought I had picked the right woman who I seemed more compatible with. But once she became more famous, everyone is like, oh, my god, don't you wish you picked Trista. And I think, she's a great woman, but if I didn't pick her when I was the only one dating her, she didn't become more appealing by dating 25 other guys.

COOPER: I'm trying to figure out what it was about her that made you not pick her. We have a little bit of a tape just want to show and then we'll talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REHN: I am a true romantic and I think I do believe in love at first sight. I think it can happen.

I'm giving you the interview. What are you going do?

And I'm like, maybe we could get engaged.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Was the voice just a little bit? Was there something about the voice the high pitched...?

MICHEL: Well, at the end of the day, she wasn't exactly the right match for me. I don't want to label any specific characteristics.

COOPER: Anything in particular.

I guess people are still recognize you all the time from the program.

MICHEL: It's amazing.

COOPER: Do you like that?

MICHEL: Well, you know, there are definitely pros and cons about that. One thing I've learned for sure, is that people never forget what they watch on TV and they seem to remember more when they are drunk, which make me think that people...

COOPER: That's always good.

MICHEL: are getting drinking in front of their sets a lot. COOPER: So you get a lot of -- you're the dude from the "Bachelor."

MICHEL: Exactly.

COOPER: Do you still get tons of questions still about Trista?

MICHEL: Less about Trista. More like, why did you do it? How did you get on that show? What's it really like? Do the producers influence you? People want to know what's going on behind the scenes of this reality TV phenomenon.

COOPER: Will you be watching? I guess she has some TV special tonight and then there will be the big denouement on December 10, which I guess is the wedding, which I guess has already happened and taken place, but it's on tape.

MICHEL: I think it's happening this weekend. And it's amazing, before I did this I never watched shows like this, but now I'm addicted. I can't miss them. I have to see what happens.

COOPER: Alex Michel, great to see you again.

MICHEL: Great to see you.

COOPER: A lot coming up. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time for the "Buzz." We asked you, "how should society deal with violent sexual offenders? more prison or more treatment." 68 percent said give them more jail time. 32 percent of you said more treatment. Appreciate you voting. Not a scientific poll, just viewer buzz. Thanks.

Tonight, taking illusions to the "Nth degree." Some parents in Mirimar, Florida are upset with the first grade teacher for what she told the class about Santa Claus.

Frankly, these parents need to face reality. The teacher did her job. She gave kids the facts. And the kid are going to find out the truth sooner or later.

See, as a journalist, I understand we have an obligation never to lie, even if it means looking them right in the eye and telling them that there is, in fact, really no, you know, the beard and the reindeer are -- a guy can't fly around -- you know, I didn't think it would be this tough. I wonder why that is. I don't even know those kids out there.

Maybe the problem is not that we don't want to shatter kids' illusions about the world. Maybe it's just we don't want to shatter our illusions about kids. Frankly is that too much to ask this holiday?

I'm Anderson Cooper. "PAULA ZAHN NOW" is next. END

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Waives Extradition to North Dakota; Interview with Former "Bachelor" Alex Michel>


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