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Latest Leads In Lori Hacking Case; Republicans And The Democratic National Convention; Tour Of Boston; High-Speed Internet On Cell Phones

Aired July 26, 2004 - 13:30   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: In the news right now, you're looking at live pictures now at the scene of the Democratic convention in Boston. Delegates gathering for an opening session that includes former President Bill Clinton, introduced by Senator Hillary Clinton. CNN will bring you live prime-time coverage from the convention floor, naturally.
At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, John Kerry is promoting his healthcare and economic programs. He's been holding a town hall meeting that features one of the biggest names in the history of space exploration, former astronaut, former Senator John Glenn.

A motorist who saw Amber Alert traffic signs helped police in Ohio find four missing children. They disappeared in suburban Dayton with their step-grandfather, who is a convicted sex offender. Police arrested him at a gas station in Columbus.

Keeping you informed, CNN is the most trusted name in news.

Searchers are out again today looking for a pregnant Salt Lake City woman, one week after she was reported missing. This as possible new evidence surfaces.

CNN's Ted Rowlands standing by live in Salt Lake City with the latest. Hello, Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Miles. Investigators continue to look for clues in the disappearance of Lori Hacking. We have some exclusive video that was just shot by CNN that could be the latest significant lead in this case.

Investigators right now are going through a Dumpster at the medical facility that Mark Hacking worked at and the medical facility that we believe he is still receiving medical attention at. That -- this has been going on for most of the morning. We do not know specifically what they are looking for or why they are there, but it is the Salt Lake City police investigators.

This is the latest in a number of leads in this case that police are talking about. They say that they expect to get forensic tests back in this case early this week, and if those tests reveal what they believe, they think they will, they could issue an arrest warrant sometime this week.

Again, some more evidence, possibly being collected Salt Lake City Police Department at this hour in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has been one week since Lori Hacking was reported missing by her husband, Mark -- Miles?

O'BRIEN: CNN's Ted Rowlands in Salt Lake City, thank you very much. A husband who is a "person of interest," a mattress that is hauled off, a Dumpster being searched right now -- what's next for investigators in the Lori Hacking case? Let's bring in CNN's Mike Brooks, who covers law enforcement for us, to talk a little bit about this.

Mike, let's -- first of all, the latest development, exclusive pictures that we just showed our viewers of a search in a Dumpster, which happens to be where he might be checked in for psychiatric care, also happens to be his place of employment. Connect the dots there.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a university hospital. Apparently, my sources out there tell me he's checked into the neuropsychiatric institute, which is the mental ward of that hospital, if you want -- very, very well-known hospital in the area.

And if he worked there, maybe through interviews with some of his friends, associates, maybe through canvassing they said, well, I saw a person fitting his description -- again, speculation -- by the Dumpster, I think they want to make sure that they're crossing all the Ts, dotting all the Is, don't leave any stone unturned.

O'BRIEN: Of course, she's been missing for more than a week. Presumably that Dumpster's been up-ended a couple of times maybe between then.

But nevertheless, I suppose there could be trace evidence.

BROOKS: Absolutely. And that's where they're going through -- you see them with gloves on. Anything at all that they think may help them in the case, they're going to make sure that they go ahead and gather that evidence.

O'BRIEN: All right. This term "person of interest" -- this is a term which I first recall coming to the floor when Attorney General John Ashcroft talking about that anthrax case...

BROOKS: Exactly.

O'BRIEN: ... and other jurisdictions have adopted it. What does it mean?

BROOKS: You know, everybody talks about a person of interest. I call it suspect-lite. Do they have enough to arrest him? Apparently not, but he's at the top of their list right now. And that's why they're calling him a person of interest.

Are they looking at other places -- other people? I'm hearing from my sources, no, they're concentrating the investigation on him because of the lies he's told investigators that he was supposed to go to medical school in Chapel Hill, had been accepted to three other medical schools, had graduated from the university. In fact, he never did graduate.

You know, how much more of -- lies had come out? We don't know. We don't know if, number one, if the law enforcement has interviewed him at the psychiatric institute. Maybe they're getting more information from him now. We don't know exactly what -- they're holding their cards pretty close to their vest compared to other investigations they've had in Salt Lake City.

O'BRIEN: Well, it's interesting now, when you talk about all that, about the lies, there's also some rather odd behavior. In the midst of reporting his wife missing, the purchase of a mattress.

What is that all about?

BROOKS: Apparently he reported his wife missing, about 50 minutes -- to friends. Fifty minutes later, he calls the police. In the interim, he goes out and buys a box spring -- I mean, buys a mattress. They go over on Thursday and take the box spring from the couple's apartment.

I mean, all of a sudden you decide, oh wow, I forgot, I got to buy a mattress. You know, very, very strange behavior. Is it criminal behavior? That's what we have to find out and see from the evidence they have.

They also, about a block away from where he bought the mattress, found a clump of brown hair in a Dumpster. I think that's what they're waiting to see if that brown hair comes back to, in fact, be Lori Hacking's.

O'BRIEN: And a final thought here: Using the term that they have adopted here, could there be any other persons of interest in this case? Probably not, right?

BROOKS: We haven't heard of any. The spokesman there, Dwayne Baird, has not said anything else and has -- says that he is their person of interest.

O'BRIEN: Mike Brooks, working his sources out there, appreciate it.

BROOKS: Thanks, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Thank you very much.

Well, it's not just a day for Democrats. I'll speak with one of the nation's most vocal supporters of President Bush. Ralph Reed is up next on tap here.

Plus, an unlikely box office powerhouse reaches a milestone.


O'BRIEN: Well, Republicans are in Boston, too. They are manning a political war room near the FleetCenter to respond to the Democrats. Ralph Reed is a top Bush campaign advisor. He's with us now from the CNN Campaign Express bus in Boston. Ralph, do you have your Class C license? Can you drive that thing?

RALPH REED, BUSH CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: Well, I don't know if I'm ready to get behind the wheel, but I'm glad to be here. And it's a beautiful city, and we're glad to be here helping to set the record straight and talking about the extreme makeover that the Democrats are trying to engage in this week.

O'BRIEN: All right, let's get right to it. John Kerry in Florida today, and we have a new Florida poll out, I want to just run at you very quickly here. This is a CNN/"Usa Today"/Gallup poll...

REED: Right.

O'BRIEN: ... taken from July 19th to the 22nd.

You know it by rote, I know, because this is your turf -- three- point spread with a sampling error plus or minus four points. What's the state of play in Florida?

REED: I don't think Florida has really changed a whole lot, and I don't expect it to change a lot between now and November 2nd. It's going to be like a high school basketball game that is decided by the final shot at the buzzer. It's going to be very close. It's going to be a cliffhanger, and you're going to have the same story in 2000...

O'BRIEN: Oh, please, not the same story. I hope it's not the...

REED: Let me finish. Let me finish. We're going to have the same story you had in 2004 minus the recount. It's going to be a Bush state. He's going to carry it, and we're going to get our job done.

O'BRIEN: A high school basketball game, hopefully nobody playing by the name of "Chad." Now, let's talk about the number two person on this ticket, John Edwards. You're in charge of the southeastern region for this campaign. You've got to be a little bit worried about having a guy like Edwards on there. He's very popular in the south.

REED: Not really; I'm not concerned at all. In fact, I think it's rather amazing that within 48 hours after picking John Edwards, the Kerry campaign had pulled their ads in Louisiana, pulled their ads in Arkansas -- two of the three battlegrounds in his home region. They don't appear to be fighting for those states. They're down 19 in Louisiana in the last published poll. The most recent poll in North Carolina, which is a Gallup poll, shows them down 15.

And if you look at the most recent CNN/Gallup survey, after the Edwards pick, John Kerry got a bounce in the south equal to zero. So, it was like he was jumping on a trampoline and it turned out to be concrete. And the reason why is because John Edwards and John Kerry are just out of the mainstream, not only in the south but across the heartland of the country, for deep cuts in military programs...

O'BRIEN: But Ralph, if they're... REED: ... that are winning the war against terrorism, higher taxes and so forth.

O'BRIEN: If they're so far out of the mainstream, why are those numbers so close?

REED: Well, the reason why they're close is -- I think we all understand why. This is the most competitive political environment and the most evenly divided situation, rough parity between the two parties, if you will, since the 1880s.

You have to go back to the period between 1880 and 1888 to find a time when three presidential elections in a row nobody got over 50 percent of the vote. So, it's a very competitive political environment, and it's going to be close and stay close.

But I'll tell you this right now. if they...

O'BRIEN: Yes, but what I'm saying is, Ralph, if it's going to be that close, by the very definition of it being that close, nearly 50/50, how can you say one side is out of the mainstream? Well, we're talking about two very significant streams here?

REED: I think the reason why you can say they're out of the mainstream is because according to "The National Journal" and according to Americans for Democratic Action, you have the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, John Kerry, picking the fourth most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, John Edwards, more liberal in their voting record than Hillary Clinton, more liberal than Ted Kennedy.

Now, look, if you look at the ADA ratings for Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, these two are the left to them. This is the most liberal and the most out-of-the-mainstream that this party has nominated in modern times.

O'BRIEN: OK, I want to ask you about something you quoted in the "Times" yesterday, saying the divisions within the electorate are reflective not of the leadership style of the president, but of deeper fault lines running through the country as a whole.

What is the GOP going to do? What is your candidate going to do to try and mend fences between those fault lines, or conversely, is it more expeditious, politically, to exploit those fault lines?

REED: I don't think it is, and that's never been this president's leadership style. The point that I was trying to make in that article is, look at what this president did. He came in and through No Child Left Behind, we had the most significant reform of education at the federal level in 30 years, since the Great Society.

After a decade of promising, the Democrats failed to have a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. This president did it.

And by the way, even though it's hard to remember right now because we're in a political season, the vote to authorize military action in Iraq was overwhelmingly bipartisan. So, this president is a uniter, not a divider. He governs in a bipartisan way, but we're in a very competitive political environment, and so it's going to be close.

O'BRIEN: Ralph, do you feel like a skunk at the garden party up there?

REED: Not at all. Not at all. I think that is -- what I'm participating in and what we're doing in the Extreme Makeover Tour is part of the vibrancy of democracy. They're giving their size of the story and we're giving ours, and that's the way it ought to be in America.

O'BRIEN: Fair is fair, we can agree on all that one for sure.

Ralph Reed, a pleasure seeing you, as always.

REED: Yes, you bet. Thanks.

O'BRIEN: Today is a huge first for the city of Boston. It is the first time in history the Democrats have come to town for their convention, and it's like a visit home for our own John King.


JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Boston is a town that loves its politics and its history. Paul Revere rode to the suburbs before they were fashionable, not to court soccer moms, but to warn the British were coming.

Philadelphia got the big convention back then. Better lobbyist, no doubt. Or maybe it was better hair.

The Kennedys hadn't arrived yet, or of course it would have been different, but they eventually did come ashore.

SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Eight of them came in 1848, and entered Boston through east Boston.

KING: One-hundred and fifty-six years later, and finally, Boston gets the big convention. Call him what you will, but also call him persistent.

KENNEDY: I'm proud of them, and first time in the history of the Democratic Party that the Democrats have come to Boston.

KING: Everyone knows Boston is the home of the Red Sox and Fenway Park, baseball heaven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Yankees suck! Yankees suck!

KING: Or if you practice the local religion, purgatory, until they reverse the curse.

Harvard comes to mind when some think of Boston. Nice enough, but this is Cambridge, across the river, or in the local political vernacular, the left bank.

This is Boston, Beacon Hill, home still of gas lamps, brownstones, brahmans (ph) and blue bloods.

Many of the roads to blue-collar Boston are fittingly works in progress. This one takes you from downtown, first to Southie, and then on to Dorchester.

Around here, your parish is where you're from. St. Marks is a good one. The old joke was the kings lived on King Street, because it was easy to remember. Impossible to forget was this favorite among the triple deckers, always cramped rooms, a crowded dinner table, and laughter.

Thirty years ago, in the troubled days of forced busing, the local parks crackled with racial tensions and sometimes gunfire. So, this is worth stopping for, and proof change can be for the better.

Layden's Pub was here years ago, but this is very different. Still a blue-collar place, just a lot more international flavor.

But for all the change, the ancient trolleys still rumble from Ashmont to Mattapan. In the old days, it was a nickel. If you didn't, just jump and ride.

And the veterans still frequent the McKeon Post. Billy Joyce (ph), a bit older, still telling stories about his glory days in the Kennedy White House.

BILLY JOYCE (ph): And President Kennedy was a great guy.

KING: Good natured complaining is a local tradition, and to some, the convention just means traffic and hassles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I say, it should be good up at Woodstock, you know? They had a great time up there.

KING: In a city full of landmarks, the Erie Pub is to Dorchester what oxygen is to breathing, not a farm for miles, and always a show of support for the wheat hops and barley growers.

Presidents come here: Clinton, just before the election in 1992; Reagan on the verge of re-election in 1984.

It's not just because the beer is cold; union guys vote.

Owner John Stenson recalls Senator Kerry stopping in once or twice over the years. Thinks it might help to come again.

JOHN STENSON, OWNER, ERIE PUB: I think John Kerry does appear a little stiff and standoffish at times, and I think he knows that. And I think he's trying to deal with it.

KING: Leo Moynihan is a retired electrician, lifelong Dorchester and lifelong Democrat, with a tip for the hungry delegates. LEO MOYNIHAN (ph): Try our lobster and our steamers, and have a clam bake on the beach over at L Street. Great food and great cold New England food. The colder the seafood, the better it tastes.

KING: Brian Lawlor (ph) is a union electrician worried the local economy is slowing a bit, and worried his state sometimes has too liberal an image.

BRIAN LAWLOR (ph), UNION ELECTRICIAN: I agree. I'm not for the gay marriage, I'm not as liberal, but I always believe in a working- guy Democrat.

KING: And in case you were wondering...

LAWLOR (ph): Red Sox will be all right. We'll be there in September.

KING: There are lessons you learn early in a place like this: work hard, play hard, and always keep an eye on the politicians.


O'BRIEN: That from CNN's John King of Dorchester. And of course, the Red Sox will be there in September, but they will, of course, disappoint.

Well, hate or love him, there's no denying Michael Moore's box office draw. We'll tell you about "Fahrenheit 9/11's" history-making weekend.


O'BRIEN: Well, it was a busy weekend at the movies and a big one for filmmaker Michael Moore. Crowds spent other $5 million to see Moore's Bush-bashing "Fahrenheit 9/11." It's pushed overall ticket sales past the $100 million mark. It's the first documentary ever to top that milestone.

Matt Damon reigned supreme at the box office this weekend. "The Bourne Supremacy" opened in the number one spot, bringing in an estimated $53 million in ticket sales. It knocked Will Smith's "I, Robot" into second place. "I, Robot" earned around $22 million. And despite some catty reviews, "Catwoman" debuted in third place. Folks spent about $17 million to see Halle Berry portray Catwoman, and that should answer your question.

Tech fiends, listen up, you've been asking for it. Now, new agreements are paving the way for high-speed wireless Internet on a cell phone. My gosh, it sounds like heaven, Mary Snow. We'll never be able to avoid the office again. Wait a minute? This isn't such a good thing, is it?

MARY SNOW, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS: Well, Miles, you're a big fan of tech gadgets, right?

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes, yes. No, no, and I'm looking for the killer box that does it all. This could be it.

SNOW: This could be it. It's an organizer, a cell phone, high- speed Internet connection all in the palm of your hand. You can use it anywhere you go.

This new technology will let you do just that. Around the corner, cell phone giant T-Mobile and Hewlett-Packard are planning to introduce next month the first ever handheld computer that works as a cell phone. It can also tap into the Internet using high-speed wireless hot spots in cafes and book stores. And this comes as more wi-fi providers begin to share access. That could eventually let customers get high-speed Internet access almost anywhere.

And just last week, SBC and Sprint agreed to share their wi-fi hot spots. Now, wi-fi providers have resisted working together, but if you weren't in your provider's hot spot, you were out of luck. And that may soon change -- Miles?

O'BRIEN: All right. The bears are running on Wall Street today. How come?

SNOW: Yes, they are not letting up. This -- pretty much about concern about corporate profits. The Dow Industrial have turned in five straight weekly losses, getting this week off to a shaky start. This as those worries really drag on the market.

Let's take a look at the numbers: the Dow right now down 18 points; the Nasdaq composite is losing two-thirds of one percent.

And that is the latest from Wall Street. Back to you, Miles.

O'BRIEN: All right. Mary snow, thank you very much.

Little bit of news coming in to us now, we hear that there's some problems with the Google Web site. Apparently -- we're working on this right now -- there is some reason to believe that hackers may have disabled Google, which of course is the number one destination on the Web as a search engine. Perhaps not coincidentally today, Google is working its way through the market on its initial public offering.

We are not ready to connect those dots just yet, but nevertheless, we should tell you that this is what you get when you try to Google something. We've got Daniel Sieberg in our tech department working on it right now. We'll have him up here in just a few moments.

Time now for some e-mails for you. Let's bring them up. We appreciate your e-mails. Of course, let's remind folks what the question is. This has to do with, of course, Teresa Heinz Kerry's comment. Shut up and shove it was pretty much what she said to a member of the media. And of course, a lot of people enjoy when the media gets put in its place.

Let me show you what you're saying out there. Chris from New York has this: "Mrs. Heinz Kerry's penchant for off-the-cuff comments is certainly a hindrance to her husband's campaign in today's world of 24-hour news and infinitely recycled clips. Political campaigns have no room for misspeaks. The Republican smear machine will undoubtedly seize upon this latest comment and spin it to be hurtful as possible for Kerry."

Dan Brazelle (ph) has this: "Mrs. Kerry's comments to a reporter was just a good example of how the press attempts to misrepresent or attempts to inflate what people in the news have to say. Good for Mrs. Kerry."

"Teresa Heinz Kerry, if she were the first lady, will have to learn to take criticism," says Faith in Boca Raton. "She acted less than what she should be if she were first lady, Laura Bush is a lady, Teresa should take lessons. She lost it, but too fast. There was no excuse for her conduct."

One more from Gigi Bauer (ph): "Good for Teresa. I'm sick of the media making a big deal out of every little incident. I hope Heinz Kerry tells them all to go Cheney themselves."

Coming up in our second hour of LIVE FROM, we'll read some more of your e-mail. Thank you for what you've been sending, by the way. We do appreciate it. And once again, that address is We are getting flooded, so don't be disappointed if we don't get to yours. We'll do our best.

Plus, we'll show you what has happened to the lions once owned by Saddam Hussein's sons. LIVE FROM's hour of power begins right after this.



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