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Halliburton Update: Overcharge Allegations; Blood Found in Car of Murdered Prosecutor

Aired December 12, 2003 - 19:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, HOST (voice-over): The $61 million question: is the U.S. government being gouged for gas in Iraq?

A convicted murderer now charged with killing three teens found buried in a basement. Why was he allowed back on the street?

"Secret Societies." Tonight: is the Ku Klux Klan still a threat?

The cannibal trial. What goes on inside the mind of someone who eats human flesh?

And we'll take a look at this weekend's hot Hollywood tickets.


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

COSTELLO: Hello and welcome to 360. I'm Carol Costello. Anderson Cooper has the night off.

A lot going on that we're following tonight across the land, and from Neverland. We have news of some of the more bizarre features of Michael Jackson's estate brought to us by one of the lead investigators in the 1993 investigation into allegations against the pop star.

But first up tonight, President Bush says if Halliburton overcharged the government, it will have to pay it back. This comes a day after a Pentagon audit found a subsidiary of the giant oil services firm once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney may have overcharged on a contract to bring gasoline into Iraq from Kuwait by $61. The government auditors are not suggesting the company profited from it.

More now from our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush tackled the Halliburton problem head on, insisting the company formerly headed by his vice president would be held to the letter of the law. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If there is an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money to be repaid.

MCINTYRE: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld downplayed the findings of his own auditors even more, insisting it wasn't really an overpayment for fuel imported into Iraq, just a disagreement over charges by a Kuwaiti subcontractor.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: There was no are overpayment to any company. And, in fact, there is a fairly normal process going on where they submit bills from their subcontractors, and for their own, it gets discussed and debated. We've got auditors that crawl are all over these things.

MCINTYRE: Halliburton's current president vigorously defended its transactions with the U.S. government and insisted the company is criticized for doing a high-risk, low-profit thankless job. Congressional critics, including Democrats John Dingell and Henry Waxman, argue they, not Pentagon auditors, were the first to blow the whistle on the high price the U.S. was paying for Kuwaiti gas.


MCINTYRE: The White House says the Pentagon investigation will resolve the question about whether there was impropriety with Halliburton. Meanwhile, if it turns out that the Kuwaiti subcontractor did overcharge Halliburton by $61 million, the Pentagon notes that during the war the government of Kuwait provided the U.S. military $300 million worth of gasoline for free to fight the war in Iraq -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Jamie McIntyre, reporting live tonight, thanks.

Now, a quick news note for you. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world right after Saudi Arabia. Halliburton paid $2.27 a gallon for gas, while some Iraqi citizens pay four cents a gallon. Halliburton says one reason for the excessive charge is security. Just this week, two U.S. soldiers were killed while guarding a gas station.

On to a murder mystery now. Law enforcement sources tell CNN that investigators have found blood in the car belonging to murdered Maryland federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna, and the blood is not Luna's blood. Testing now under way to find out if it's the murderer's blood or someone else's.

CNN's Mike Brooks has been following this strange story. He joins us live from Atlanta.

What is the latest, Mike?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, it was a very, very brutal scene, from what we're told by sources. And there is some blood in the car that was not Jonathan Luna's. But whose blood is it?

Right now, they're doing tests from blood samples taken from members of his family to see if it could possibly have been them. We don't know if it's microscopic portions, pieces of blood.

Again, there was a lot of blood. Separating the different blood from inside the car is a horrendous job for forensics experts, I can tell you. But right now they're doing tests to find out exactly whether or not it is a family member's blood.

But then, again, if it's not that, then who does it belong to? That is the question. Could it have been his murderer? Maybe -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Well, we'll see. Are police close -- at all close to making an arrest, Mike?

BROOKS: Sources are telling us that right now they still don't have a motive for this bizarre murder, Carol. But what they are looking into, they're looking into his personal life.

We do know that he was found 70 miles from his home. He took an indirect route through Delaware, up into Pennsylvania, withdrew money from an ATM, stopped at a gas station, and then wound up in Pennsylvania.

In the area where he was found, Carol, is an area that sources say people go to meet each other for sexual encounters. So again, right now, there's still no solid motive.

They haven't ruled out anything. But they looked at his cases, and there wasn't really anything in his cases they could find that could have been linked to this. But that's still a possibility. But they're focusing right now on his personal life -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Mike Brooks, I'm sure you'll continue to follow this. Mike Brooks live from Atlanta tonight.

Now to the Michael Jackson cases. Sources tell CNN that prosecutors in Santa Barbara may be dipping into recent history to help them with the current case. The prosecutors reportedly asked the judge to allow the recall of witnesses from the 1993 investigation into child molestation charges.

National correspondent Art Harris has talked to one of the former investigators who describes what it's like inside Jackson's estate.


ART HARRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Dworin, a lead investigator in the 1993 case against Michael Jackson, once searched Neverland.

BILL DWORIN, RETIRED LAPD DETECTIVE: Neverland is just a large, seductive location. It's a place that is attractive to children. Children love to be there. And I was there and I understand that.

HARRIS: It was 1993. Dworin interviewed the family of a 12- year-old accuser who settled for reportedly millions of dollars rather than press charges. Michael Jackson has always denied any improper behavior.

DWORIN: It takes courage for a child to come forward to say, "I'm a victim."

HARRIS: Dworin helped coordinate the searches of Jackson's properties.

DWORIN: Jackson's bedroom suite was off to one side of the house. And it's reached by a hallway. And when an individual walks down that hallway, it sets off an alarm within Jackson's bedroom. Now an alarm is both a buzzer, I believe, as well as a musical tone.

HARRIS (on camera): The reason for that alarm?

DWORIN: You can guess anything you want to guess. My feeling was it's a warning that someone was approaching Jackson's bedroom door.

HARRIS: So that?

DWORIN: If something improper was happening, it would stop. But then we don't know.

HARRIS: Couldn't prove it.

DWORIN: Couldn't prove it.

HARRIS (voice-over): But investigators did prove to a judge there was enough probable cause for this search warrant obtained by CNN that Jackson lawyers tried to keep sealed in 1993. It required Jackson to be photographed without clothes.

MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER: I have been forced to submit to a dehumanizing and humiliating examination.

HARRIS (on camera): You concluded that this victim had seen Jackson naked.

DWORIN: Yes. And the photographs corroborated what the victim said.

HARRIS (voice-over): According to the affidavit, investigators talked to the alleged victim's father, who believed Jackson was molesting his son and described an alleged pattern of seduction. The pattern?

DWORIN: Seduction through affection and attention, building up a rapport with the family to get access to the child.


HARRIS: Prosecutors here in California tell us that if the Santa Barbara district attorney can convince a judge that past alleged acts of sexual abuse are part of a pattern, those acts could be introduced at a trial -- Carol. COSTELLO: And the strangest part of the story was that alarm into the bedroom. I mean, what possible reason could you have? Of course, he is a big-time star, so maybe he would need that just for, you know, normal sex, right?

HARRIS: There was a lot of security at Neverland. A lot of guards. A lot of alarms. And security was an issue.

COSTELLO: Yes. I didn't mean to imply anything. But, you know, sometimes big-time stars have to protect themselves from all kinds of things, like paparazzi coming into the house or someone just taking pictures for whatever purposes to make money.

Art Harris reporting live for us tonight.

Time now for a quick trip "Cross Country."

New York: a new flu fighter. Insurers Aetna and Cigna say they'll start covering the cost of FluMist, a nasal spray approved as an alternative to the flu vaccine. This comes as flu cases have spread to all 50 states and people are lining up to get vaccinated.

Take a look at what took place near Orlando this morning. Hundreds lining up outside of a mall for a shot at getting a free vaccine.

Wall Street finishing the week on a high note. The Dow closed above the 10,000 mark again today, two sessions in a row. Yesterday's close was the first time in 18 months the Dow closed above 10,000.

San Francisco boycott: Hispanic advocacy groups call for a one- day boycott of businesses and schools today to protest the repeal of the driver's license law. The law allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for licenses. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger repealed the law last week.

Washington: terrier (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The White House has produced a sequel to last year's Christmas video. It is "Barney Cam 2, Barney Reloaded." It's up on the Web site, The star and tour guide once again the president's Scottish Terrier.

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

Coming up on 360: should you be able to get the morning after birth control pill along with your Chapstick and cough drops? The government starts its over-the-counter debate next week; we start ours tonight.

And continuing our look at "Secret Societies," behind the hoods of the Ku Klux Klan. But first, let's take a look "Inside the Box" at the top stories on tonight's network newscasts.


COSTELLO: New York looks beautiful at Christmas time, doesn't it? Let's get going now. The FDA has agreed to hear arguments next week about whether the so-called morning after pill should be sold ore the counter. The pill is currently available by prescription and is already a contentious issue.

Christy Feig has more on the story.


CHRISTY FEIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Within 72 hours of unprotected sex, a woman can take two pills, 12 hours apart, and she has a good chance of preventing an unwanted pregnancy. The drug is called Plan B and works by keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in the wall of the uterus. It's available now without prescription in five states, and it's reviving the abortion debate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scientifically and medically, pregnancy occurs at the time of implantation.

WENDY WRIGHT, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: The fact that something is getting implanted shows that there is a pregnancy that already exists.

FEIG: If the egg is already attached to the wall of the uterus, which happens from seven to nine days after the egg is fertilized, Plan B will not have any effect. But opponents have more concerns. Plan B contains a high dose of the hormone found in traditional birth control pills which can cause blot clots in certain people.

WRIGHT: If this is over the counter, it would be a high dose of this drug. So it's likely to cause all kinds of unknown problems. And women are more likely to use it repeatedly.

FEIG: Those who want the pill available over the counter disagree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of the evidence indicates that women use emergency contraception very responsibly. And the fact that they have it -- all of the studies have shown so far that, because women have access to emergency contraception, does not mean that they use it regularly.

FEIG: Emergency contraceptives like Plan B are already sold without prescription in about 30 countries throughout the world.

Christy Feig, CNN, Washington.


COSTELLO: Now a look at some of the international stories we're following on tonight's "UpLink."

In Tikrit, Iraq: an American Army officer gets fined $5,000 for allowing an Iraqi prisoner to be beaten and then threatening his life. Lieutenant Colonel Allen West interrogated the prisoner for information about an assassination plot. West will be allowed to retire, he will also be eligible for retirement benefits.

Ottawa, Canada: the Liberal Party leader, Paul Martin, was installed today as the new Canadian prime minister. Martin, who describes the United States as Canada's closest friend, takes over from Jean Chretien, who led Canada for the last 10 years.

Rome: the Italian Parliament passed a new law that puts harsh restrictions on many fertility practices. Assisted reproduction services will be denied to single parents and to gay couples. And doctors are forbidden to screen artificially inseminated embryos for genetic abnormalities. Opponents to the legislation say the pressure from the Vatican was instrumental in getting that law passed.

In Kassell, Germany, PETA, the animal rights group, has sent an early Christmas present to confessed cannibal murderer Armin Meiwes. He got a basket of veggies and tofu burgers and a vegetarian cookbook.

And that's tonight's "UpLink."

We'll have more on that murder case from Germany a little later, including word that the self-admitted cannibal is writing a book.

And a most unusual automobile purchase. Why is the prosecution offering to buy Scott Peterson's truck?

Also ahead: a report on one of the most infamous secret societies, the KKK.

And a little later, Jack and Diane, two American kids back together on the big screen. We'll check that out, coming up in our "Weekender."


COSTELLO: And tonight, as we wrap our series on "Secret Societies," a look at what is perhaps this country's most despised group, the Ku Klux Klan. Since 1866, the Klan has been synonymous with violence and hatred.

Bruce Burkhardt unmasks their story.


BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The American South right after the Civil War was a turbulent place. Newly emancipated slaves and newly defeated whites, combined with the federal occupying force, were the ingredients for a new secret society aimed at restoring white supremacy in the South.

They wore a white robe to hide their identity from their northern occupiers, and their name was derived from a Greek word meaning "circle," Ku Klux. Then Klan was added. It sounded good. A Scottish term for "family."

This family circle was founded in Tennessee, with former confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest its first grand wizard. It spread quickly throughout the South; terrorism its main weapon in keeping blacks from exercising their new rights, especially voting rights. For five or six years, they succeeded in doing just that until federal crackdowns all but eliminated the Klan in the early 1870s.

And that might have been the last of it, had it not been for DW Griffith's 1915 film, "Birth of a Nation," and its romantic portrayal of the South and the Klan. It was born again in that same year, 1950, with a cross burning atop Stone Mountain near Atlanta. That was a new twist. The old Klan didn't burn crosses.

This time, the movement spread outside the South, with brand new groups to hate: Jews, Catholics, immigrants. After a resurgence during the civil rights era, the Klan's influences gradually dwindled. Today's Klan is small, fragmented, with an estimated membership of less than 5,000.

Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Atlanta.


COSTELLO: Earlier this week, Anderson spoke with Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Intelligence Report. He asked a question many people wonder, does the KKK still have any relevance in today's world?


MARK POTOK, EDITOR, "INTELLIGENCE REPORT," SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: I would say that the Klan is very close to irrelevant today. I mean, it's a pale, pale shadow of its former self.

ANDERSON COOPER, 360: Can they still be called a secret society? Because it seems like so much of the appeal back in the '20s and the late 1800s was the secrecy.

POTOK: I think it's a fact that the original Klan secrecy, this kind of aura of the invisible empire, this secret army that rides at night, that knows everything and sees everything that is noble, and defending the white woman's chastity and all that good stuff, was a great part of its appeal. I also think that that's almost disappeared today.

So, you know, today, what you're really looking at is a scene with, instead of one unified Klan with five million members, there might be 5,000, 6,000 members of some 41 different Klan groups. And all these groups sit around arguing about, I'm the real Klan, no, I am the real Klan. So they spend as much energy kind of fighting amongst themselves as they do against their perceived enemies.

COOPER: And, you know, there is a change in their tactics or in their PR offensive, I guess. I mean, the fact that they have sort of a public relations offensive, they have this Web site, they have T- shirts with sort of fancy graphics on it. They've got little coasters you can buy and belt buckles and the like. And they also use different wording. They don't say cross burning now. They say cross lighting. Does any of that really matter?

POTOK: No, it doesn't. I mean, starting with David Duke in the late '70s, there has been a real effort on the part of many Klan leaders to kind of present a kinder, gentler face to the world.

And they have done things like trying to adopt highways, and in a few cases actually successfully adopt highways. So they're out there kind of cleaning up beer bottles and so on, at the side of the road.

They have substituted a lot of verbiage. They're not white supremacists, they're white separatists, and so on. But at face, they're essentially a bunch of very violent thugs and often criminals.

COOPER: There are now other hate groups out there which have sort of taken up the mantle of the Klan. I mean, think of Aryan Nations, a number of them, the Christian Identity Movement. How do they view the Klan?

POTOK: I would say that almost across the board, the rest of the radical right views the Ku Klux Klan with great contempt. They see them as a low-rent outfit of thugs.

COOPER: Is there any reason then to fear the KKK still?

POTOK: Well, I think the main threat of the Klan today is to individuals. There's no question, the Klansmen regularly commit really atrocious violence against individuals. What they're not doing is influencing the political process or really the political debate in anyway. I mean, they are really at the margins of the margins of our society today.

COOPER: Mark Potok, we appreciate you joining us. Thanks.

POTOK: Thank you.



COSTELLO (voice-over): This convicted murderer charged in the basement bodies case, should he have ever been allowed back on the street?

Inside the mind of a cannibal.

And got any plans this weekend? We have got some ideas.

We will be right back.


COSTELLO: Let's check some of our top stories for you now. Here is the "Reset." Washington, D.C.: President Bush says if any company involved in Iraqi reconstruction has overcharged the government, it will have to repay the money. Investigators now examining records of a Halliburton subsidiary to see if there were improper payments.

Charleston, West Virginia: a man once questioned in connection with the sniper-style shootings has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in a different case. Brian Caldwell (ph) is accused of shooting at a woman who was checking some hunting traps on a remote road. There have been no charges been filed in the three sniper murders.

Hackensack, New Jersey: charging the Mob. Former Mafia turncoat, Sammie "The Bull" Gravano, has pleaded not guilty to the 1980 murder of a New York City police detective. Gravano was serving a 20-year sentence in Arizona for running an ecstasy ring.

Atlanta, Georgia: the CDC says the flu outbreak this year is not an epidemic. Not yet anyway. So far the flu is widespread in 24 states, but there are reported cases in every one of the 50 states. On average, the flu kills about 36,000 Americans every year. Researchers think this year is likely to be worse.

And that brings us to tonight's "Buzz" question. Are the media hyping the flu story, or do you really need to be worried about getting sick? Vote at The results later in the program.

And that is tonight's "Reset."

On to Indiana now, where David Maust today plead not guilty to the murder of a teenager whose body was found in his basement. Maust is a convicted killer with a long criminal history. He was in and out of custody as recently as October.

Martin Savidge has more on the story.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Neighbors knew David Edward Maust was strange. Even that he was troubled. But they didn't know he was a killer. If they had, some say maybe it could have prevented him from allegedly killing again.

Standing in an Indiana courtroom, Maust entered a plea of not guilty to one count of murder, after the bodies of three teens were found buried in the basement of his home. Authorities say he confessed to killing one of the young men after his arrest Thursday.

This isn't the first time Maust has faced murder charges. Years earlier in Illinois, he plead guilty to the 1981 murder of a 15-year- old boy. He was paroled after serving just over half of his 35-year sentence. With his crime behind him, he moved to Hammond, where nobody knew him or his past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can they not try to keep track SAVIDGE: No one kept track of Maust, because under the law even today, nobody had to. Unlike sex offenders, in Illinois, there is no system requiring convicted murderers to register with authorities after they have served their sentence. Legal experts say that's because unlike sex offenders statistically murderers aren't likely to kill again. Those stats mean little now to Lynn Smith. Her son was one of those found buried beneath Maust's basement floor.

LYNN SMITH, VICTIM'S MOTHERS: My son and nobody else's need to go like this. It's like a nightmare.

SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Chicago.


COSTELLO: Now for more on this story, David Rutter, managing editor of the "Post-Tribune" has been closely following developments. He joins us live from Chicago tonight. Thanks for joining us.


COSTELLO: The bodies of three teenagers were found in the basement. Why just one murder charge?

RUTTER: Well, we think it's mostly because during the interrogation that's the one Maust confessed to. The other two will probably come along at the pace that the investigators choose. But he's clearly, what the police say, confessed to this one. So, it's the one to make first.

COSTELLO: I know Martin Savidge reported this isn't a sexual case. Is there some evidence hinting at sexual abuse in these cases?

RUTTER: Well, there's a compelling document that Maust produced himself 20 years ago about the previous 17 or 18 years of his life. And he's clearly, based on that document he wrote about himself, a life-long predator. And it wouldn't take a big stretch of the imagination to stretch that into this case.

In fact the murder for which he was sentenced in 1981 started as a sexual crime and then elevated quickly into a brutal murder. The fact that he has never been listed on any register as a sexual criminal is mostly the result of him being convicted of murder and not molestation.

COSTELLO: Is the document his diary? Because I know your paper is going to publish excerpts from that diary tomorrow.

RUTTER: Yes, it's a very compelling document that he wrote to a judge as part of the case in 1981. It's 16 pages of typed descriptions of his life from the preceding 17 years. It is very disturbing, it's very detailed. And in that document, he, himself, acknowledges that he did not have any serious relationships for at least 15 years that did not either end with him wanting to kill the person, him trying to kill the person, or him succeeding in killing the person. COSTELLO: This is a strange man. You're describing a very strange man. I know you were in court, supposedly had this smirk on his face, he wants to represent himself. Neighbors around his home called him "Crazy Dave." What more can you tell us about this man?

RUTTER: Well, we were -- the reporters who are seeing him every day in court now, and will follow him from now on, say a couple of things about him that strike you right off the bat. One is, there are a lot of people now believe he is way smarter than he lets on. That's part of his persona and the fact that he has mostly dealt with teenage boys, he has a rap for that.

The other thing is, he is a very strong man. He is a weight lifter. He is a collector of exotic reptiles. He was a provider of alcohol and marijuana for teenage boys in his neighborhood. He has developed a real patter for what he does. And part of what you saw in the document that he produced 20 years ago is that he very well is aware of what he's doing, because he expressing deep remorse for it, although he claims he has no control over it.

COSTELLO: Interesting, interesting. And that is how he lured these teenagers. He used drugs and alcohol to lure them into his apartment. Then he allegedly did whatever, right?

RUTTER: It's very reminiscent of the John Wayne Gacy model for approaching young boys. It's -- a couple of the prosecutors who dealt with the case today told us that they have a long history here of dealing with fairly violent crimes. And there have been plenty those that they have dealt with. But they say, fairly uniformly, that this is the scariest guy they have been around.

COSTELLO: David, thank you for joining us tonight.

So tonight, in "Justice Served" prison sentencing guidelines. This isn't the first time David Maust has been in trouble with the law. Maust plead guilty to killing a boy back in 1981, but only served just more than half of a 35-year sentence.

360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom joins us now live from San Francisco. Thank you for joining us.

All right, Maust served 18 years for killing a teenager, five years for stabbing a kid, was convicted of manslaughter for killing a boy while he served in the army. How is it that this man is out to allegedly kill again?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is a great question. And it really highlights the flaws in our sentencing guide. Unfortunately at the time that he committed these offenses, Illinois did not have, what we call "truth in sentencing guidelines. And he was able to serve not the full sentence.

In fact a little over half of the amount of time that he should have served, it allows predators like this to go on the street and repeat criminal acts. These what we have seen, killing one other boy, and perhaps two. It's very disturbing. And the law is not retroactive, so he was able to be released.

COSTELLO: But Kimberly, isn't there something called supervised probation? I know he was released in 1999, authorities watched him until 2002. But if he had such a violence background, why not continue to watch him?

NEWSOM: Exactly. They have a hard time extending probation. Once you have met your guidelines, and the terms of your probation, then they usually allow you to get off probation.

Unfortunately, there's so many people that are on probation and these officers are so overworked you see people like Mr. Maust fall through the cracks only to show up again repeating the same horrific offenses that they committed in the past. This is a huge problem with the criminal justice system fails to monitor the predators.

COSTELLO: It's just ironic, because the Supreme Court upheld the three strikes and you're out club where someone can steal golf clubs and spend their life in prison. Why doesn't that "3 strikes and your out" law apply to Maust?

NEWSOM: Well, you're speaking specifically of California, and 26 other states, have three-strikes laws. That wasn't in effect at the time that he committed the offenses. But if he were to commit the offense in California, you have two qualifying violent felonies, even if your third offense, your third felony is not a violent one you could be sentenced under the three strikes law.

Of course, you see cases highlighted that are extreme with someone stealing golf clubs or a piece of pizza or something like that, where it is unfair. But the problem with the three strikes law is judges have discretion and D.A.s whether to file under that and whether to seek to sentence the individuals. It has to be applied uniformly otherwise you see problem cases with different judges and different jurisdictions employing different standards. And that's not okay.

COSTELLO: All right, Kimberly, thanks so much. Some fast facts now about that three strikes law. The law was first passed in California in 1994 after the Polly Claus case -- Polly Klass case I should say. More than 7,000 inmates are jailed under the claw in California. An estimated 350 of them got their third strike on petty theft charges. And 26 others states have similar laws on the books.

Now to the Scott Peterson case and the defense has a busy weekend ahead. Come Monday morning, they will have to explain why Peterson should not be tried in Modesto.

In the meantime, the prosecution is busy hanging on to Peterson's truck. Rusty Dornin has more for you.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember Scott Peterson's truck that was impounded 2 days after Laci disappeared. Prosecutors wanted to keep it to show jurors first hand, but the judge already told prosecutors they'd had it long enough and ordered it returned to the Petersons. The defendant appeared amused by the prosecution's latest proposition regarding his truck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the people are willing to actually just pay the fair market value for the truck.

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Mr. Distasso (ph) has just turned into a used truck salesman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm trying to avoid that, actually.

DORNIN: Prosecutors would also like to avoid changing the location of the trial because of pretrial publicity. The defense claims local residents have been prejudiced against Scott Peterson by the amount of news coverage.

Prosecutors will do a phone survey here in Stanislaus County as well as Sacramento and L.A. Counties asking people what they know about the case hoping to prove that people whether in L.A. or Modesto have been equally expose to the trial coverage.

The defense will file a change of venue motion on Monday. There hearing is January 8. Outside the courthouse an announcement for a blood drive in honor of Laci Peterson and her unborn son on December 21 through 23. Laci Peterson disappeared last year on December 24.

DR. BENJAMIN SPINDLER, DELTA BLOOD BANK: It was a desire to memorialize Laci and Connor.

DORNIN (on camera): The trial date is scheduled for January 26, a date many observers say is likely to be delayed, perhaps, for months. Rusty Dornin, CNN, Modesto, California.


COSTELLO: Still ahead on 360, a gruesome story of murder and cannibalization And the book and movie that could be on the way. That story is next after a quick break.


COSTELLO: Now to a murder case that is incomprehensible to most of us. There was a trial going on in Germany. A man there stands accused of killing and then cannibalizing a man he met over the Internet. 42-year-old Armin Meiwes is accused of doing this for sexual satisfaction and he is already writing his memoirs. CNN's Stephanie Halasz has more.


STEPHANIE HALASZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Day three in the trial of the 42-year-old Armin Meiwes who admits putting an ad on the Internet three years ago looking for someone willing to be slaughtered and eaten. He received an answer from this man, Bernd Juergen Brandes, a computer expert from Berlin. Brandes visited Meiwes in his rural home in March, 2001. Incredibly, Brandes allowed Meiwes to cut off a part of his genitals. Meiwes admits he then cooked the body part with peppers and garlic and the two men ate it together. Friday, the court heard a toxicologist testify that the cocktail of sleeping drugs, cold medicine and alcohol Meiwes administered was not enough to deaden pain or cause Brandes to lose consciousness and that cutting off the body parts did not kill him.

What ultimately brought about Brandes' death was one knife stab to the neck according to a forensic investigator who said the victim bled to death. Cannibalism is not mentioned in German law. Meiwes is accused of murder for sexual satisfaction which could get him life behind bars.

His lawyer says he should only be convicted of what the law calls killing on demand which could mean a maximum of five years in prison. The larger question surrounding this trial, what kind of man would commit cannibalism and what kind of man would allow himself to be cannibalized? Stephanie Halasz, CNN, Berlin.


COSTELLO: Good questions, aren't they? Cannibalism is one of those taboo subjects that modern societies look at with disgust but the practice of humans eating humans is an old one and this case is forcing the larger public to look into some very dark corners.

With me now, Dr. Fred Berlin. He's the director of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorder Clinic in Maryland. Thank you for joining us tonight.


COSTELLO: You know, this is a gruesome story but we're fascinated by this particular crime. How else to explain the huge popularity of Hannibal Lector.

BERLIN: Yes, it's just so foreign to anything that we're used to that the fact that it is that way, I think, has some sort of a morbid attraction for us.

COSTELLO: Oh, you're not kidding. Why would someone desire to do this?

BERLIN: Well, obviously it goes without saying this is a disturbed person. But some of these people seem to be individuals who just have recurrent thoughts and fantasies about this that runs through their mind in an obsessional way, they have a compulsive sense of wanting to act on it. In some cases there is a sexual excitement tied to it. So these are people who are very disturbed and, clearly, in this case, the victim as well must have been a very disturbed human being.

COSTELLO: I just want to run this by you. The alleged killer on the witness stand said he was "internalizing a loving friend, hoping his body would become part of mine, a holy communion." Could religion play a part in this?

BERLIN: Well, not religion in a traditional sense. That's obviously very disturbed thinking. But in the Dahmer case and I'd interviewed him, in his effort to try to understand why he was killing all these people, why he was taking their lives in a desire to want to stay close to those who he killed, he, too, talked about ingesting parts of his victims with a sense that somehow their souls would live on through him. So certainly not any kind of traditional religion but a very bizarre kind of experience that has, indeed, some religious overtones.

COSTELLO: Well, you know, the suspect seemed to be changing his motives through the criminal process. He also described his acts to police a bit like a werewolf. So you were talking about fantasy earlier, does this all play into it, too?

BERLIN: I'm not even sure that many of these people fully understand their own motives other than anybody does. It's easier to describe what they're experiencing than to explain it. But certainly, he's talked about these thoughts running through his mind, not being able to extrude them, a strong desire to enact them. Talking even about how when there was a full moon, that would trigger off these thoughts in a much more powerful fashion which is where I think the werewolf part of it comes into the scene.

COSTELLO: And quickly, I must ask you this because in court it was revealed that the victim had been in touch with three potential killers here in the United States. Is this kind of thing more widespread than we think it is?

BERLIN: Well, unfortunately, there are people that have self- destructive urges. Sometimes it's simply depression, they don't want to go on, in other ways, it's destructive in this very bizarre fashion. Certainly, with the advent of the Internet we're beginning to recognize just how many people are out there having these kinds of strange and unusual and unfathomable desires and it is much more than we had suspected previously.

COSTELLO: Dr. Fred Berlin, many thanks to you tonight.

Looking ahead to the weekend if you are the kind of person who is tempted to make jokes about conjoined twins, have we got the movie for you. Also tonight, after all he's done in public why hasn't Mick Jagger released pictures of his knighting ceremony today? We'll have our version of what happened in "The Current."


COSTELLO: Christmas isn't here yet, but it might feel like Christmas for movie-goers. Several big movies are hitting the big screen, and there are some presents to unwrap for the small screen, too. But let's start this edition of "The Weekender" with perhaps today's biggest movie news, you've got Jack.


KEANU REEVES, ACTOR: Did you take any Viagra?


REEVES: Because I put nitroglycerin into your drip, the combination could be fatal.

COSTELLO (voice-over): "Something's Gotta Give" plays on Nicholson's real-life penchant for younger women, pairing him with an actual peer, Diane Keaton, in a move actually aimed at grownups.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, you guys look good together.

COSTELLO: Aiming slightly lower is "Stuck on You," a new Farrelly brothers movie about two brothers even closer than they are. Conjoined twins Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear travel to Hollywood and maybe, just maybe, learn something about life along the way.

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: We're not Siamese, we're Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been looking all over for you.

COSTELLO: "Love Don't Cost a Thing" also offers some life lessons, including that Hollywood is already remaking movies from the late '80s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ever think that maybe you are not too big? But maybe this town is just too small?

COSTELLO: Opening in limited release is "Big Fish," which stars Ewan McGregor, but perhaps more prominently, the visual and storytelling sensibilities of director Tim Burton.

In DVDs, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." And the decidedly inspiring "Seabiscuit" make their disk debuts next week. Or you can read the superior source material right now.


COSTELLO: Elvis Mitchell of the "New York Times" is with us once again this week. He's just seen "Love Don't Cost a Thing," and you're recovering, I know.


COSTELLO: No, I know, I just can't get into the season's movies. But before we begin our movie critique, let's show a clip from "Something's Gotta Give" with Jack Nicholson. Here goes.


DIANE KEATON, ACTRESS: Hello, yes. Yes, I have an intruder in my house. 29 Daniels Lane.

NICHOLSON: I'm dating your daughter, Marin. She invited me here for the weekend. She's in her room right now, changing.

KEATON: You're dating my daughter?

NICHOLSON: Now who would have thought that would be worse news?


COSTELLO: That's pretty funny.

MITCHELL: You look like you're getting into this one to me.

COSTELLO: Well, it's just one clip. Was it a good movie?

MITCHELL: It's an OK movie, because, as you were saying, Jack Nicholson is basically playing on his public persona. But the real revelation of the picture is Diane Keaton's performance. First of all, she is an actress in her 50s who hasn't had her face laminated yet, so she can actually still move it.

But it's such a beautiful performance, because it really is sort of comic and kind of melancholic at the same time. It's really beautifully done from the director who did "What Women Want," so she's used to doing these things where superstars play sort of infantalized, like super cool guys who have to learn their lesson. And this is kind of unnecessary lesson to be learned.

The best part was watching Keanu Reeves trying use medical terms.


MITCHELL: If you thought "The Matrix" was science fiction, he's a doctor in this one.

COSTELLO: He is not!

MITCHELL: He was Jack Nicholson's doctor. You think they were doing a skit? Didn't you see that scene?

COSTELLO: Just went right over my head.


COSTELLO: Yeah, right. "Stuck on You."

MITCHELL: Well, you said say it looks dumb, well, because it is dumb. I mean, that's the intent. But you know, the Farrelly brothers, they did "Dumb and Dumber," "There's Something About Mary," "Shallow Hall," they do movies that basically are sort of like "National Enquirer" stories from 15 years ago turned into comedies. And what's really interesting about this movie is that it doesn't have the bad taste level you expect from this, it's actually incredibly sweet. And it's a movie about optimism.

COSTELLO: Doesn't that ruin it, though, that it's incredibly sweet? MITCHELL: No, because it's so sort of discordant. But one of the great -- there's a great section where Cher hires these guys to star in a TV show with her to get out of a contract. And the way they try to hide one of the brothers is really some of the most wonderful pratfall/slapsticky stuff you have seen in a long time. It's really quite funny at points. It's just kind of intermittingly funny. As I was saying to you earlier, if you were on a plane, you wouldn't walk out.

COSTELLO: If you were on a plane, you wouldn't walk -- that's a ringing endorsement.

"Love Don't Cost a Thing."

MITCHELL: From your favorite J.Lo song, as we were talking about earlier. But this is a remake of a Patrick Dempsey movie from 1987, called "Can't Buy Me Love," which also is another song, by the Beatles.

COSTELLO: That was a big hit, wasn't it?

MITCHELL: Big enough to be remade. When you see the credits, based on a screenplay by somebody, that's when you know you have kind of come to what Dante called the ninth circle of Hollywood.

But it stars a great young actor named Nic Cannon, who has such amazing camera presence and audience rapport. He was in the movie "Drumline" that was a huge hit of last year.


MITCHELL: He is a really inspired sort of comic talent, and in a way kind of a baby Jack Nicholson, who has the sort of satiric approach to macho, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And this young actress named Christina Milian, who has to sort of teach -- basically, she is a sort of to help him out, he gives her $1,500, she's going to make him cool. He sort of looks cool already, with his big, shaggy fro. I mean, in the suburbs they'd like him, just in the inner city, you know, he ain't rolling like that, as we say here on CNN.

COSTELLO: He's Lenny Kravitz.

MITCHELL: Whoa! That's it, I'm gone.

COSTELLO: You're gone. Elvis Mitchell, and you're done, thank you for joining us tonight.

MITCHELL: Thank you.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: Time now for "The Buzz." We asked you, has the media overhyped the flu story? Seventy-one percent said yes, 29 percent voted no. This is not a scientific poll, just viewer buzz. Time to check on tonight's "Current." Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger received his knighthood today. Jagger has been criticized for accepting such an establishment award and has not released any pictures of him getting knighted by Prince Charles.

However, this artist's conception should give you some idea.

ABC affiliates have signed off on expanding "Good Morning America" to Saturday and Sunday mornings. The move will curtail children's programming on those days. The new anchors have yet to be named, however they will not travel the country in a van solving mysteries with a stoner and a dog.

The executive producers of "Will and Grace" are suing NBC, claiming that they lost out in the licensing talks between NBC Studios, which runs the show, and the NBC network, due to a conflict of interest. Observers predict NBC will stand by NBC and argue that NBC did nothing wrong in its dealings with NBC.

The trailer for the "Spider-Man" sequel will debut on Monday. Not at the movies, but online at The campaign is expected to spur interest in the superhero film by appealing to two markets -- nerds and geeks. And capital markets they are.

That's our program for tonight. Anderson back on Monday. I'm Carol Costello. I hope you have a great weekend. And I hope you can start your week with me, Monday morning at 5:00 a.m. Eastern time, on "DAYBREAK."

Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


Car of Murdered Prosecutor>

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