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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Federal Prosecutor Found Dead; America Going Back to the Moon?

Aired December 4, 2003 - 20:00   ET

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

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: The mysterious death of a federal prosecutor, found stabbed as he tries a rap artist on drug charges.
Plus, three decades after Apollo, is the Bush White House planning a new mission to the moon?

And inside the world of polygamy, as a couple reveals how they survived the lifestyle.

Good evening. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.

Also ahead, we've known for years a drink a day is good for the heart and even the brain. Not so fast. New research just out today may make you rethink that glass of wine with dinner.

And an intimate look inside the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan as they face his long goodbye.

Plus, the cost of war. Christiane Amanpour shows us how the U.S. is paying Iraqis thousands of dollars for damage done by American forces.

Also, Wesley Clark and John Kerry on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, one up, one down. Our Joe Klein brings us up to date on the Democratic presidential candidates.

First, some of the headlines you need to know right now.

With Christmas fast approaching, there's growing concern tonight that terrorists may be planning attacks against soft targets, such as shopping malls, here in the United States.

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena joins us now with the details.

Good evening, Kelli.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula.

Information has been coming in to counterterrorism officials, suggesting that al Qaeda may be planning attacks between now and the new year. Now, the information is not specific. It's not even clear if the plans involve the United States, but there's enough new intelligence to cause increasing concern.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER CRESSEY, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: As recently as two weeks ago, the intelligence community was telling the Homeland Security Department that this felt a lot like the summer of 2001, seeing lots of data, lots of information coming together that paints a very disturbing picture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ARENA: Now, what's more, a new tape believed to be produced by al Qaeda was released last night on the Internet. It's the seventh such tape that's been produced. And terrorism experts say that this is more evidence of a continuing recruiting and fund-raising effort by the terror network -- Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: Kelli Arena, thank you very much for that late update.

Now on to the murder of a federal prosecutor. The body of assistant U.S. attorney Jonathan Luna was found in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, today. He had been stabbed to death. Luna was prosecuting a rap artist on drug conspiracy charges nearby in Baltimore.

"In Focus" tonight, who killed Luna and why? Authorities are vowing to catch his killer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM DIBIAGIO, U.S. ATTORNEY: Everyone in law enforcement, local police, state police, United States Marshals, ATF, FBI, are united. We will find out who did this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: For the very latest, we're joined from Baltimore by "Washington Post" reporter Tim Craig.

Tim, thanks for being with us tonight.

TIM CRAIG, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good evening.

ZAHN: We just heard the plea for Americans to call in any information to a bunch of different law enforcement agencies. Based on what you know about this investigation, are there any hard leads?

CRAIG: No.

I think, right now, the law enforcement community really is in shock. They don't know what happened. They're scrambling to find out what happened. And this is a very multiagency effort under way right now, between local, state and federal officials.

ZAHN: Tim, let's talk about what happened this morning. The two men on trial for drug conspiracy charges reached a plea agreement, entering guilty pleas. Is the timing of that agreement significant in any way?

CRAIG: Well, I think a lot of people assume that the two are connected, or they could be connected, and they immediately are linked together.

But I spoke today with the judge who was actually hearing this case up there in the courthouse. And he tends to think that they would not be. He asked, why would -- if there was a plea agreement, why would they be connected in some way? He said it would make more sense if there was no agreement, if they were not scrambling to reach a plea agreement, that this could be linked in some ways. He said he's keeping all options open, but, again, he just does not see how there could be this potential link.

ZAHN: Has anyone else you've talked with think the possibility exists for a revenge killing here?

CRAIG: I think that's definitely a possibility.

Any time you have a federal prosecutor who's been experienced, tried many trials across his four-year career here in Baltimore, that you always could have some type of revenge killing. But to directly link it to this case and this rapper, I think it may be premature. But we're just going to have wait and see how the investigation lands.

ZAHN: What are some of the other possible motives that are being explored tonight for this crime?

CRAIG: Well, being that you are in an urban environment and the city of Baltimore, it's known for having a fairly high violent crime rate, it could be something as simple as an ordinary car hijacking.

Last week, there was a case of a man carjacked in downtown Baltimore. He was driven out to Baltimore County, shot. And he escaped. And he ended up on the doorstep of Cal Ripken's home in Baltimore County, where Cal Ripken called the police. So I'm not saying that that's what happened here. But, again, there could be any possible scenario.

ZAHN: Lots of different strands of information coming in tonight.

CRAIG: Yes.

ZAHN: Tim Craig, thank you very much for joining us with that information.

CRAIG: Thank you.

ZAHN: More trouble tonight for Rush Limbaugh. Florida authorities have seized his medical records as part of the ongoing investigation into prescription painkillers, drugs the conservative radio host admitted being addicted to.

Let's go to our national correspondent Susan Candiotti, who is following the story. She joins us tonight from Miami.

What's the latest from there, Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. Well, this is the first time that the Palm Beach County state attorney's office is revealing that it's even conducting an ongoing investigation of Rush Limbaugh and is now revealing some of the evidence that it has. And court documents state that evidence indicates that Limbaugh was -- quote -- "doctor-shopping for controlled substances," which the record goes on to say violates the letter and spirit of Florida law.

Now, what's doctor-shopping? That means you're going around to different doctors without necessarily telling the other doctor, in order to get prescriptions that you might not necessarily otherwise get. Now, search warrant paperwork says that Limbaugh obtained more than 1,000 pills, including prescription painkillers, from four doctors over five months, sometimes in the same week, less than a month apart.

Now, Limbaugh, as you know, has repeatedly admitted he has an addiction to painkillers and even today said again he is not part of any drug ring. They accused the state attorney's office of conducting a fishing expedition. The state attorney's office says, no, it's not, that it is protecting his rights and that he is in fact presumed innocent. However, that investigation isn't over yet -- Paula.

ZAHN: Susan Candiotti, thanks so much.

A glass of red wine, we've been told it's good for us. Studies say it may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. But that was yesterday. Today, a new study out by the American Heart Association says moderate drinking does not reduce the risk of stroke and it may even cause the brain to shrink.

Joining us now from Los Angeles is addiction expert Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Welcome aboard, Doctor.

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: All right, you got to help me with this one. We have seen study after study over the last year essentially telling us that moderate drinking is good for us, that it can possibly protect us against diabetes, heart disease, stroke, even dementia. Do you buy this new research?

(CROSSTALK)

PINSKY: Oh, this new -- this is a fantastic study.

And, in my field, it's sort of a no-duh. We've known forever that alcohol is a poison and it damages brain tissue. And here now is a study that shows, in a dose-related fashion, that the more you drink, the more damage we see to the brain via brain shrinkage. The surprising thing of this study is, we've always thought that it did protect against stroke. That was not shown to be the case in this study. The fact, though, remains alcohol probably does protect against things like heart disease. But just because it has an effect on the vascular system, just because it reduces the risk of heart disease doesn't mean it's healthy. You understand that these studies have been very, very specific. They've been asking a specific question, does it reduce the risk of heart attack, as an end point, not, does it make people healthier.

And those of us in the addiction medicine field have really had problems with these studies, because they've sort of fueled the denial of moderate drinkers.

(CROSSTALK)

PINSKY: Go ahead, Paula. I'm sorry.

ZAHN: I was just going to ask you, are you basically telling us, then, as we look at the study, that we should pick the organ we want to protect the most, that, in fact, moderate drinking might be good for the heat, but terrible for our brain?

PINSKY: That's an interesting way of looking at it.

And, really, it should be up to us in clinical science to decide how to develop that balance, how to protect the heart on one hand and not give you so much that we're going to cause brain shrinkage. Right now, we don't know what that point is. This study, as I said, is remarkable in that it showed, with each drink per week, your brain shrinks more.

It's an incredible study and a well-executed study. And it's something people need to take to heart. Now, whether or not, at what point people get cognitive problems, thinking problems -- because alcohol does affect the frontal lobes prominently. So for a middle- aged person, it could really affect their functioning.

ZAHN: So what's the bottom line here? Give up that glass of wine a couple of week?

PINSKY: I certainly -- boy, I look at that data and I think two to four glasses of wine a week and you are potentially taking a risk with your brain.

And keep this in mind. Alcohol is one of the rare -- or the few drugs of addiction and abuse that is actually a poison. It's a poison to human tissue. It's well-known to destroy human brains. Heroin causes horrible addiction. It doesn't hurt the brain so much. We've got to know that about -- we have to send that message out about alcohol, so when people sort of feel sort of glib that they can have their two to six to eight glasses of wine a week because it's good for their heart, it doesn't mean it's healthy.

ZAHN: So I assume that you're picking the brain tonight over the heart, then.

PINSKY: I pick the brain. If you're asking me to make a choice, I will pick the brain tonight, yes, I will.

ZAHN: Of course, you would have to do that.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, thanks for helping us cut through some of this often conflicting information.

PINSKY: My pleasure.

ZAHN: On the presidential campaign trail, in New Hampshire, Wesley Clark rising, John Kerry, not so much. Our Joe Klein brings us up to date on the Democrats.

Also, defense attorney general Mark Geragos is making his name is high-profile cases, but can he really manage Scott Peterson's defense and the Michael Jackson case at the same time?

And a badge of dishonor for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, singled out for his unique way with the English language.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The message is that there are no knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Time now to turn to the race for the president for the Democrats. A new poll out today is putting one candidate head and shoulders above the others in New Hampshire.

Joining us in the studio is regular contributor "TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein, just back from New Hampshire.

Seven weeks and counting. What's up there?

JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's been snowing.

ZAHN: Well, thank you for that weather report, Joe. Now can we talk politics?

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: Yes, we can.

Two polls out today. And you know I'm not a big fan of polls. But both these polls say the same thing, Howard Dean with a 30-point lead in New Hampshire, John Kerry dropping back, and Wes Clark sneaking up just behind Kerry, a couple of points behind at this point. I spent the last couple of days watching both Kerry and Dean -- Kerry and Clark. Clark is drawing big crowds in New Hampshire.

(CROSSTALK) ZAHN: What's working for him?

KLEIN: Well, he is almost literally wrapping himself in the American flag and saying to the president of the United States, you're not going to take this flag away from me. You're not going to question the Democratic Party's patriotism for those of us who oppose you on this war.

ZAHN: And that's playing well in New Hampshire?

KLEIN: With Democratic audiences, you betcha.

Also, the people in New Hampshire are the hippest electorate in the country. And they're have a race there, because it's the one thing that they do there. They do it every four years. And they're looking for a candidate, 20 percent of the electoral still undecided.

ZAHN: What is working for John Kerry? What isn't?

KLEIN: Well, John Kerry, yesterday in New York, at the Council on Foreign Relations, gave the single best foreign policy speech that I've heard all year. And he is -- he has a depth of knowledge about these issues and about national security issues. The problem is, he hasn't been able to communicate that on the stump as well.

And what I fear for him now is that the people of New Hampshire have taken a look and they've decided that they're going to look elsewhere.

ZAHN: Let's talk about a new Republican ad that is running in New Hampshire and Iowa basically linking Howard Dean to Michael Dukakis.

Let's watch together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)

NARRATOR: For three decades, Democratic candidates have supported huge tax increases. This year, they're back. Howard Dean says he'll raise taxes on the average family by more than $1,900 a year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: That's got to scare some Democrats, no?

KLEIN: Yes, but it seems that the Republicans are the ones who are scared. Why put an ad like that up at this point in the campaign?

And Howard Dean, who is this feisty guy, just probably loves it. He's saying, well, Gephardt is proposing the same sort of tax system as I am, and they're not putting ads up against him. And he went right back up on the air attacking the Republicans. Now, this is not the Republican Party and it's not the president. It's the Club For Growth, which is a kind of lunatic fringe tax-cutting group. And I'm not so sure the White House likes the idea that they're tipping the Republican Party's hand this early.

ZAHN: So why is the group doing it? They obviously think

(CROSSTALK)

KLEIN: Well, they're tax-cutting fanatics.

And it's a good question why they're doing it, because if they think that Dean is so easily attacked, why do it now? Why not let him be the nominee first?

ZAHN: How is the president doing in New Hampshire?

KLEIN: The president is doing just fine. He's had a couple of great weeks. But today, something really strange happened. He had to backtrack from a position. And the president doesn't do that very often. It was on steel imports.

And he did it two days after he went to a big fund-raiser in Pittsburgh which was hosted by the chairman of U.S. Steel. This is the sort of thing that people in that business don't forget.

ZAHN: What, the hypocrisy word?

KLEIN: Well, I wouldn't say it was hypocrisy. I would say that the president might have announced that he was going to lift the sanctions in Pittsburgh.

ZAHN: Before he accepted the check for the money?

KLEIN: Right. Right.

ZAHN: Yes, right, Joe.

KLEIN: No, I've seen politicians be that honest.

But the fact is that this is something that is going to be remembered, that the president -- by the people in the steel states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. It's going to be an issue in this campaign.

ZAHN: Joe Klein, thanks for covering so much territory for us this evening.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, known for his tough talk, but, on at least one occasion last year, his talk was just too tough to understand. That has earned him a dubious distinction across the pond.

Gaven Morris reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GAVEN MORRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the land of Shakespeare, laudable linguistics come in many forms.

Take this example.

RUMSFELD: The message is that there are no knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.

MORRIS: That earned the normally straight-talking defense secretary the U.K.'s less than coveted Foot in Mouth award, handed out by a group called the Plain English Campaign. The British have long poured scorn on Americans for political prolix. They're very fond of President Bush's faux pas.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Misunderestimate -- or excuse me -- underestimate.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Just making sure you were paying attention.

MORRIS: When it comes to these kinds of awards, Americans always seem to be in the running. Last year's went to Hollywood's Richard Gere for this: "'I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I were a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I'd think, no, actually, I am a giraffe."

For the English and their language, that's just not cricket.

Gaven Morris, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: The U.S. is paying thousands of dollars to Iraqis for damage done by American forces. Christiane Amanpour will take us through the painful process.

And it's been three decades since Apollo, but could the Bush administration be planning a return to the moon?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back.

Last month, President Bush got $87 billion to help rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq. Individual Iraqis, however, are asking for much less. Every day, they line up to ask U.S. troops for what they think they are owed, whether it's a few hundred dollars for a car destroyed in a crossfire or several thousand dollars for a loved one accidentally killed.

Chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five-year-old Ayyat (ph) travels around in her sister's arms. Both her legs are broken. Her face is scarred, too. "Mommy," she whimpers, but her mother and father are dead, killed, says the family, when an American tank rolled over their car. "What do I want," asks her sister? "Can they bring my mother and father back? All I want from the Americans is help for Ayyat." "Look at her. She is badly hurt."

Another young sister was hurt in the same accident. "No one is helping us," says their older brother. "When I went to the American base, they said they were in a state of alert and they didn't have time for me." The U.S. military now tells us it's looking into this case.

Meanwhile, it's received more than 10,000 claims by Iraqi civilians for wrongful death, injury, and damage and has so far paid out about $1.7 million in compensation.

CAPT. PATRICK MURPHY, U.S. ARMY: I've missed you.

AMANPOUR: Captain Patrick Murphy is a legal officer based with his brigade in south Baghdad. Each week, he meets with Iraqi lawyers to go over claims, rejecting some, accepting others. Once, he paid $3,500 to the family of a child killed by a U.S. soldier on a nighttime raid.

MURPHY: He felt threatened and he went and fired at that person, and that person died. When they rushed up to the scene, they found out, actually, it was a 12-year-old boy.

AMANPOUR: Captain Murphy rejects charges by human rights groups that U.S. soldiers shoot indiscriminately or act with impunity. Here, he pays $450 for damage to this man's car.

MURPHY: That's why we paid, because we knew we were wrong and we were negligent.

AMANPOUR: Since May, Captain Murphy has paid out a total of $120,000.

Asim (ph) got $500. He told us he and his family had been caught in the middle of a U.S. firefight. "My car was damaged and my left eye was hurt by flying glass," he said. "What's $500?"

Captain Murphy tells us he pays fair Iraqi market value.

MURPHY: I think everyone would like more money. I think no one is ever going to be happy. I could have gave them 200 more dollars and they would have asked for more. But I think, overall, they're happy, in the sense that they know that justice was served.

AMANPOUR: The Iraqi lawyers have mixed feelings. The U.S. prohibits their courts from prosecuting American soldiers. On the other hand, this process does deliver some money and better relations between the people and the military.

MURPHY: We're sorry about your damage.

AMANPOUR: There's a lot of grumbling, but almost everyone here tells us that something is better than nothing.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: He has a string of big-name clients, but can defense attorney Mark Geragos successfully juggle the Scott Peterson case and the Michael Jackson case?

Also, a heart-wrenching look inside the lives of Ron and Nancy Reagan as the former president slowly slips away.

And pulling back the curtain on polygamy. We're going to meet a couple who lived that lifestyle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF HANKS, FORMER POLYGAMIST: I was motivated not on any kind of sexual basis of thinking about what the future might hold as to having more partners. I was thinking of it as, this is what God wants me to do, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back here at the bottom of the hour.

Here's one of the stories you need to know right now.

We have some new information tonight involving the Michael Jackson investigation. CNN has learned that there was another alleged victim during the 1993 civil suit against the singer.

National correspondent Gary Tuchman is standing by in Los Angeles with the late details on that -- Gary, good evening.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Paula, hello to you.

Most of you are now familiar with the story of Michael Jackson agreeing to a civil settlement with an alleged child molestation victim 10 years ago. Well, we have sat down with the former sheriff of Santa Barbara County -- my colleague Art Harris -- who has told us -- he was very involved in the investigation, that sheriff, 10 years ago. And he has told there were actually two alleged victims back then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM THOMAS, FORMER SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SHERIFF: The one who settled for a large amount of money in the civil suit was one. And then another boy who alleged a molestation not quite as serious as the initial one, but one that also took place over a period of time.

ART HARRIS, CNN NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Is this the boy that you have on tape? THOMAS: Yes, it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Now, the tape is a videotape where this alleged second victim actually testified on the videotape.

We are told by sources close to the prosecution that the videotape from 10 years ago, or the boy himself, who is now a man, could be asked to testify against Michael Jackson in the current case. Now, you might be wondering, why didn't this second alleged victim take the case further 10 years ago? We are told by authorities that he and his family were embarrassed and they were ashamed -- Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: Gary Tuchman, thanks so much.

We want to go on the telephone right now and catch up with Jim Thomas, the gentleman you just heard Gary speaking with. The former Santa Barbara sheriff was in the office in 1993 for the first Jackson abuse charges.

Thanks, sir, very much for being with us tonight.

First of all, why are we just learning about this alleged second victim?

THOMAS: Well, it was something that wasn't publicized so much, because the civil suit in 1993 I think had most of the publicity. And that included what I would consider the primary victim.

ZAHN: And why is it, do you think, sir, the second case didn't go any further?

THOMAS: Well, the child did not want to testify. And we can't force a child to testify. So that never went forward.

ZAHN: Can you characterize to us what is on this videotape that might ultimately be used in the new Jackson case?

THOMAS: Well, I didn't say it was a videotape. I think it was a recording tape of the interview with the child, where he basically was telling our investigators of his experiences with Michael Jackson.

ZAHN: Can you share any of the details with us tonight, sir?

THOMAS: I don't know that I want to go into the real details. I would say that it was improper conduct, but not to the degree that the primary victim claimed.

ZAHN: Can you help us understand the delineation there? We have heard some of the harsher charges by this other child against Michael Jackson. That case, of course, settled out of court.

THOMAS: Yes. And these, the allegations by the second child, would not go to the degree that the harsher charges that you have heard or have read would be, but it was enough to show that it was improper.

ZAHN: When that case didn't progress, did that bother you? Did that trouble you?

THOMAS: Well, I think, like any other case -- I know there's a lot of attention because this is Michael Jackson.

But, frankly, it's not any different than Michael Smith or Michael Jones. If you have a case and you're unable to take it to a conclusion to where at least a jury would make a decision of guilt or innocence, it does bother you, because you're concerned that there may be additional victims. And perhaps that is what has happened in this case.

ZAHN: Well, Jim Thomas, the former sheriff of Santa Barbara, we appreciate your joining us.

THOMAS: OK, Paula.

ZAHN: As this story has just broken here.

And we want to let all you know out there that we have attempted to get through to Michael Jackson's defense team, to no avail. But if we get any statement from that camp, we will share it with you.

Michael Jackson and murder suspect Scott Peterson have one thing in common, their lawyer. It sounds like an awful lot of work for one person at one time.

Our Charles Feldman now looks at the man who has taken on that double challenge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Does this face look familiar? It ought to. It belongs to Los Angeles super-attorney Mark Geragos. And you've probably seen a lot of it lately. He's defending Scott Peterson against charges he murdered his wife and unborn child. And he's come to the legal aid of Michael Jackson, who is facing charges of child molestation.

MARK GERAGOS, ATTORNEY: We will land on you like a ton of bricks.

FELDMAN: Harland Braun, who once represented actor Robert Blake, is one of Geragos' best friends. He says jurors may have a problem with Geragos defending Jackson and Peterson.

HARLAND BRAUN, ATTORNEY: If someone doesn't like Scott Peterson, you don't want to be confused as a spokesman for both of them at the same time. And I'm sure he can handle that.

FELDMAN: Geragos' father is confident, too. He founded the law firm that he now shares with his son, who, during law school, was a successful rock concert promoter.

PAUL GERAGOS, FATHER OF MARK GERAGOS: People like him and always have liked him. And he has a great ability to bring people around to his way of thinking.

FELDMAN: Geragos is far from an overnight legal sensation. He made a name for himself successfully defending Bill Clinton pal Susan McDougal and represented former Congressman Gary Condit.

But his magic didn't exactly work for actress Winona Ryder. Despite his best efforts, a jury convicted her of shoplifting.

(on camera): Lawyers will tell you, the trick is to keep your clients out of court. And Geragos is trying to do just that, hoping to get charges against both Peterson and Jackson dropped before ever reaching a jury of their peers.

Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: But can Mark Geragos pull it off?

We've asked two prominent defense attorneys to give us their insight. With us from Miami, Jayne Weintraub. And in Farmington Hills, Michigan...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Hi, how are you?

Geoffrey Fieger.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Let's get back to the breaking news for a moment.

Frist off, Jayne, your reaction to the fact now that CNN can confirm -- and we just, of course, talked with a former Santa Barbara sheriff -- the fact that there was a second alleged victim back in '93 tied to that civil case against Michael Jackson? And there is an audiotape, the former sheriff says, that exists that has some pretty damning information on it.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, actually, what I heard was that there was a second complaining witness.

We don't know that he's a -- quote -- "victim." And we know that his activity did not rise to the level of criminality, even according to the sheriff that you just spoke with, Paula.

What I find interesting is, I wonder right away -- my knee-jerk reaction is whether or not it's a violation of a confidentiality agreement of some sort that was reached 10 years ago. Michael Jackson didn't plead guilty to anything. Michael Jackson settled a civil lawsuit in 1993 to avoid the paparazzi and the frenzy that's happening right now today. He chose to do that. It was a risk management level, but it was by no means an admission of guilt of any kind.

ZAHN: Geoffrey, what do you make of this breaking news tonight about the -- now, I know Jayne didn't characterize this person as a second victim, but that's what CNN has been told.

GEOFFREY FIEGER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Alleged victim is a better word.

ZAHN: Exactly.

FIEGER: But that's the most dangerous thing for Jackson in any of this.

The case against him standing alone is probably relatively weak, in terms of Geragos' ability to attack the credibility of either the child or his mother. But with more alleged victims -- that's why the police have advertised for more to come forward -- and with this young man in the past and also the person who settled the case. It's not impossible that even the child who is now grown can be subpoenaed to testify.

This type of evidence, which is similar-acts evidence, which is allowed, if a judge allows it, is his worst nightmare. And that can end up in a conviction. Then a jury can believe that the victim, or the alleged victim, here isn't the only one who is making the accusations, that this is a pattern of conduct. And that's the way Jackson can be convicted.

ZAHN: So, Jayne, if you're Mark Geragos this evening, how worried are you about this development?

WEINTRAUB: Well, I'm wary of the development, but I immediately think it's something that I will challenge.

As Geoffrey said, it is called similar-act evidence. But there's a big hurdle that the prosecutors have to overcome before the judge will let in this kind of other evidence. In other words, it has to be almost exactly the same, to show the same pattern of activity. And I don't think -- that's a very tough burden to meet. And I don't think it's so easy or a skip and a jump that that's coming in.

Of course, remember, Mr. Sneddon gets on public television and advertises, like Bob Barker, in the newspaper and on the Internet, come on down, any and all people who can testify against Michael Jackson. So, right away, it just strikes me as a little suspect. I'm not too worried, if I'm Mark Geragos. I'm doing all my homework and I'm doing all my legwork to do the investigation that I need to do to get an acquittal for Michael Jackson.

ZAHN: All right, Geoffrey, you heard Jayne set out what Mr. Geragos is probably doing as he tries to represent Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson at the same time. How is he going to juggle both of those high-profile trials?

FIEGER: Well, juggling -- he can handle many more than one case. We all do. Jayne does. I do. But no one in modern history -- legal modern history -- has handled two in terms of the high-profile nature that Geragos has. This is a nightmare for him. And it's really a nightmare more so for his client, and in particular Michael Jackson. The fallout, if you will, as Harland Braun said, my good friend who represents -- formerly represented Robert Blake -- said, the fallout that rubs off from Geragos' association with Scott Peterson while representing Michael Jackson does not bode well in terms of prospective jurors, especially Santa Barbara County.

Geragos would prefer to represent Michael Jackson. He's not getting paid to represent Scott Peterson. And I think, Paula, you may find, inevitably, if the cases both proceed and one isn't dismissed, that Geragos gets out of the Peterson case.

ZAHN: All right, we heard the prediction right here on this show. We got to leave it there.

Attorneys Geoffrey Fieger in Michigan, Jayne Weintraub in Miami, thank you both.

Thirty-four years since man first stepped on the moon, could there be plans in the works for the U.S. to go back?

Also, we're going to bring you an intimate look inside the lives of Ron and Nancy Reagan as they deal with his battle with Alzheimer's.

And tomorrow, the videotaped beating of a man by police 11 years after Rodney King. Should the nation's police rethink the way they subdue suspects?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back.

Should America return to the moon? Sources tell CNN, President Bush is thinking of answering that with a yes, even as White House spokesmen downplay speculation of the idea as premature. America's last planned trips to the moon were canceled for budget reasons in the early '70s.

Now, while the cost was expensive then, today, it would likely be astronomical. Pardon the pun there. So why would the administration even float the idea?

Joining us now from Tallahassee, Florida, is astronaut Norm Thagard.

Always good to see you, sir.

NORM THAGARD, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Good evening, Paula. How are you?

ZAHN: I'm fine. Thanks.

Given the deficits the country is enduring right now and the costs of what manned missions might end up being -- I've heard anywhere from $30 to $40 billion in today's dollars -- does it make any sense to you at all that this would be explored?

THAGARD: I think it does.

It has to remembered that you're just not throwing money down a sinkhole. The fact is that NASA represents the biggest civilian research and development program in the world. And all of the investment in NASA has a return. So, ultimately, you would expect to get that much money and perhaps even more from the adventure.

ZAHN: Do you think it should be a priority for man to return to the moon?

THAGARD: It certainly should be a priority to continue space exploration. Currently, we don't even have a rocket, we don't have a propulsion system that can send people back to the moon.

So the very fact that the program would involve the development of such a vehicle would have huge implications.

ZAHN: So if you look at why manned missions to the moon were stopped, what would be the justification for trying to restart the program?

THAGARD: There were still some things that were -- there was interest in doing. For one thing, I think there's now a hint that there maybe is water ice on the moon. If that were true, then you would have a source of energy. We already know there's a lot of oxygen there.

If there were of a source of a propellant, say, hydrogen, it actually would be cheaper to take the hydrogen from the moon and send it down to low Earth orbit than to bring it up to low Earth orbit, say, to a space station from the surface of the Earth.

ZAHN: What do you say to critics who say you can accomplish just as much on the moon with robots as you can with man?

THAGARD: I think we all know that's not true.

Certainly, robots have their place. Humans have their place. They complement each other nicely. But it's not true to say that robots can do everything that humans can do.

ZAHN: Norm Thagard, always appreciate your perspective. Thanks so much for spending a little time with us this evening.

THAGARD: My pleasure.

ZAHN: The long goodbye. We're going to have a rare intimate look at the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan and the battle with his illness.

And a rare look inside the world of polygamy in America.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Less than a week after the premiere of a controversial TV movie, a new article is shedding light on the current condition of former President Ronald Reagan. "People" magazine reports, Mr. Reagan's Alzheimer's disease has gotten to the point where he doesn't know who he is or who he was, nor does he recognize his wife, nor his children.

"People"'s Los Angeles bureau correspondent Mike Fleeman joins us now to talk more about the story.

Mike, welcome.

MICHAEL FLEEMAN, "PEOPLE": Good evening, Paula.

ZAHN: Now, let's talk a bit about the access you had to intimate friends of the family. What did you learn not only about the president's condition, but about Nancy Reagan's as well?

FLEEMAN: Well, we did speak to those in the inner circle of the family.

And, yes, the president's condition is worse than we had expected. But I think what was more surprising was the concern for Nancy's well-being, the loneliness and the isolation that she has.

ZAHN: Plus the exhaustion. This is someone who basically hasn't left the former president's side for longer than five minutes at a time.

FLEEMAN: Yes.

She will get out of the house occasionally and she will go to lunch. But when she's out, she's distracted. Her mind is back at the house. She wants to get back quickly. And then she will spend hours upon hours at his bedside.

ZAHN: Their daughter Patty has a contribution to this article. And she writes: "My father's doctor doesn't know how he has lived so long. I think it is the tenacity of his soul. He just isn't ready to leave his reunited family."

Has the former president's illness actually brought this once fractured family together again?

FLEEMAN: Almost everything we thought we knew about the Reagans isn't true anymore.

And, yes, this family has, between his illness and Maureen Reagan's death, has come together. And Patty especially is now at her father's side almost every day.

ZAHN: Well, there's a very poignant part of the article where Patty also writes that the family often eats dinner around her father's bedside, even though he can no longer speak and is rarely awake. It's a very touching story. And thank you for sharing some of it with us this evening, Mike Fleeman.

FLEEMAN: Thank you.

ZAHN: Coming up, we're going to take you inside a world rarely seen, the lives of Americans who practice polygamy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: There are a few things more private than the relationship between a husband and wife. But when that couple's marriage grows to include other wives and an active polygamist relationship, well, those who know about such things rarely speak out, for fear of social condemnation and legal consequences.

Our story pulls back the curtain on one polygamist marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): Jeff and Joanne Hanks in 1998.

JOANNE HANKS, FORMER POLYGAMIST: We both believed that it was something that was right, that we needed to do. And so we talked about it for at least a couple years.

JEFF HANKS: People would look at it and say, well, you men get all the benefits. You get all these wives and variety and so forth. But what they don't realize is that the man is accountable for their welfare, for their upkeep, for their happiness.

ZAHN: Jeff and Joanne had thought polygamy would bring them closer to salvation and closer to heaven. Religion and the church had always been a cornerstone of their life. They even met through a Mormon dating service.

In the early '90s, they studied the Mormon scriptures, hoping to deepen their religious understanding as the new millennium approached. Jeff interpreted part of the early scriptures as condoning polygamy as a means to salvation, a practice prohibited by the traditional Mormon church. Jeff says he wasn't ready to fully embrace polygamy until he met self-proclaimed preacher Jim Harmston.

JEFF HANKS: He was teaching things that you had seen missing in the Mormon Church for years. And it was kind of a fun, new exploration.

JOANNE HANKS: It was exciting. We thought we had found something that other people hadn't found.

ZAHN: With three young people in tow, Jeff and Joanne sold all their possessions, they left their extended family, and settled with their new family, Harmston congregation in the small town of Manti, Utah, population 3,000, estimated number of polygamists, 300.

JEFF HANKS: I was motivated not on any kind of sexual basis of thinking about what the future might hold as to having more partners. I was thinking of it as, this is what God wants me to do, too.

JOANNE HANKS: I thought, well, it's a challenge. I can do it.

ZAHN: So Jeff searched for a second wife. He found this woman, Amandah, who grew up surrounded by polygamy. Just shy of 18 years old, Amandah married Jeff Hanks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDAH, FORMER WIFE OF JEFF HANKS: Polygamy is definitely the boiling pot of weaknesses. You bring people together and every weakness that you have boils to the top.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Joanne struggled on the inside.

JOANNE HANKS: I felt alone. I pretty much on my own emotionally, trying to figure out how I was going to accept this.

ZAHN: But, at the time, on the outside, Joanne appeared happy.

JOANNE HANKS: When you have a belief that this is right, you have to start preparing for it and telling yourself that you're going to overcome those things.

ZAHN: Joanne would spend two nights for Jeff. Then, for two nights, she would sleep in this bed in her children's room. The Hanks' new family shared everything, church...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we're going to eat every last bit of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Chores, child care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come open your stockings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: even celebrations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's the birthday boy.

JEFF HANKS: I'm tired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what else is new?

JEFF HANKS: I'm 37. I'm looking for more wives. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF HANKS: I felt like I was playing emotional ping-pong, trying to subdue the emotions of both women.

JOANNE HANKS: I would get depressed and discouraged and think, I might as well be a single mother, because I've got children, but I don't have much of a husband.

ZAHN: After several years of living this way, everything changed. First, Jeff took a third wife. But the jealousy and the infighting became too much. The third marriage ended months after it began. And then a vasectomy prevented Jeff from impregnating Amandah. In an ironic twist, she left him to marry another polygamist, Hanks' spiritual guide, Jim Harmston.

JEFF HANKS: I received a dose of medicine that Joanne was feeling, as I went through some very ego-blasting moments, knowing that my plural wife was now going to go to another man.

ZAHN: And, finally, the last straw. You'll recall the Hanks' motivation for polygamy has been spiritual, hoping to literally see Christ when he returned to Earth in the new millennium. But the new millennium came and Christ did not.

JEFF HANKS: We had just wasted seven years of the prime of our life pursuing a pipe dream.

JOANNE HANKS: And we need to get back to reality.

ZAHN: Reality for them was moving out of Manti, back to Salt Lake City.

JOANNE HANKS: What a relief to get my husband and my family, my home back.

JEFF HANKS: You want to eat something.

ZAHN: Now, three years later, Jeff is rebuilding his chiropractic business and Joanne is painting, while also raising their now teenage kids.

JOANNE HANKS: The thing that I say to myself now is, if I got them into that very unusual cult experience, if I taught them in any way to lead them down that path, then I got to make sure I reteach them and try to bring them back to reality. And so that's what I've been doing for three years, is to try to bring them back to a normal, real existence.

ZAHN: Church-based religion is not part of that. Now the Hanks focus solely on family as the cornerstone for their beliefs.

JOANNE HANKS: We held on to the real thing. And that's our relationship, our marriage, our children, our family. We are so lucky that we didn't blow that up, because that's the only real thing that we had the whole time. JEFF HANKS: Do you see that right up there? Do you see that right up there?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And that wraps it up for all of us here this evening. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.

Tomorrow: The videotaped beating this week of a man by police in Cincinnati comes 11 years after Rodney King. We're going to look at whether the nation's police should actually rethink the way they handle suspects.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next.

Again, appreciate your dropping by tonight. Have a good night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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