The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Nichols in Federal Custody; Two American Civilians Killed in Iraq

Aired March 13, 2005 - 07:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: The suspect in four murders in Atlanta sits in federal custody this morning, as prosecutors sort out charges in a case that shocked the city and raised questions about court security, and frankly, police response.
From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is March 13th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Nguyen. 7:00 here in the east, 4:00 a.m. out West. Let's start with the headlines this morning. Two more American civilians have been killed, and a third wounded in the Iraq war. The private contractors work for a company that provides security for the U.S. embassy. They were driving south of Baghdad, when a roadside bomb exploded.

Eight people have been killed in a shooting rampage during a church service at a hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin. One of the dead is the gunman. And police say he shot himself.

We have a live report from Wisconsin. That will happen just minutes from now.

Pope John Paul II will be discharged from the hospital today and head back to the Vatican. The pontiff appeared at his hospital window this morning. It is the first time we've heard him, since his throat surgery on February 24th. The pope read a brief blessing and then told the crowd, "Have a good Sunday."

HARRIS: And straight ahead this Sunday morning, the very latest on the capture of fugitive Brian Nichols. We'll have a live report from the Atlanta suburb, where he surrendered. And we'll show you the female hostage who alerted authorities to his location.

Also this hour, the old pump and run. What am I talking about here, Betty?

NGUYEN: I don't know.

HARRIS: Let me explain. Higher gas prices are fueling a crime wave at the pump. And we continue our salute to outstanding teenagers, including the young woman at the forefront of a global anti-tobacco crusade.

NGUYEN: On to our top story right now. Brian Nichols is in federal custody in Atlanta. He's suspected of killing four people in a two day crime spree. At the earliest, he will appear in court tomorrow.

Now this suburban woman says she was held hostage for hours before she got away, called 911, and watched as SWAT members captured Nichols.

CNN correspondent Kimberly Osias is live this morning in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth, where that happened. And this woman is very lucky, Kimberly.

KIMBERLY OSIAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lucky and a hero, in fact, Betty. We are at the Bridgewater Apartment Complex. We are about 20 miles north of the city of Atlanta in Gwinnett County. This was the scene of the dramatic conclusion of a 26 hour massive manhunt.

In fact, the most massive in Georgia state history. 33-year old Brian Nichols gave up. He surrendered in a wave of white. It was almost like a Hollywood conclusion to this whole affair. He put out a cloth or a T-shirt of sorts. He surrendered to authorities without any kind of fight.

Now that is because a young woman, who lived here, actually gave the tip. Her nightmare started because she was held hostage, a really rather unlikely tip from this woman. About 2:00 a.m. Friday, he pushed into her apartment here at this complex. He brandished her with a gun, threatened her, threatened her if she didn't follow him in her own car, he was trying to dispose of a blue truck, a blue truck of his last alleged victim that he killed. That was a U.S. Customs officer, David Wilhelm. That would make his total alleged killing to four individuals.

Now what happened, this was absolutely amazing, because he threatened her. He threatened that he would go after her and all of her friends if she didn't do that. She complied. The pair came back here, went back into her apartment.

And now this is really where the remarkable took place. She actually sort of talked down Mr. Nichols, established a human contact with him and a rapport, enough so that she was able to go out, make a break, and call 911.


CHARLES WALTERS, CHIEF, GWINNETT CO. POLICE: She was able to provide information. She was not panicked. She handled it very responsibly. And they -- very frankly, it was not a remarkable calm. I mean, there was not a lot of panic or anything else. But she handled it -- she was a champ.


OSIAS: A champ indeed. Actually, being called a hero. Now there was a $60,000 bounty for this man. Whether or not she will receive that, we don't know. But I tell you, I was at the FBI field office, where everything sort of a denouement of this whole thing happened. It was an amazing scene. I have never seen anything like it. ATF agents, SWAT team, choppers, everything. Guns were pointed at Mr. Nichols. They wanted to make sure he wasn't going anywhere after sort of the debacle of taking so long to really find him had occurred.

Now of course, Mr. Nichols faces a variety of charges, federal and state charges. State has the first crack at Mr. Nichols. Georgia, of course, is a death penalty state -- Betty, Tony?

NGUYEN: Kimberly Osias, a lot went on yesterday. And there is more to come. Thank you for that report.

Brian Nichols is facing a mixture of state and federal charges, as you just heard, for the crime spree that he's accused of committing. Let's get some insight from former FBI agent in charge Don Clark.

Good morning to you.


NGUYEN: Well, walk us through exactly what kind of charges he face? We say it's a mixture. Who's going to take the lead role here?

CLARK: Well, I think what they're going to do, Betty, is that they're going to get together and try to sort this through. Because right now, I understand that he's been charged with a federal firearms statute violation. And that's just to keep him locked down, to make sure that he doesn't go any place in the system.

Because keep in mind, that what they've got to do now is buy some time, so that they can put these cases together. And I think they're really scrambling. This thing hasn't stopped by any chance. They're really scrambling right now to try to identify the best case that they can go and then take that one first.

NGUYEN: In which case do you think that's going to be? The feds have him in custody right now. Are they taking the lead role? And is that the strongest case?

CLARK: Well, it is likely that you could see some immediate prosecution, if need be, depending on how the evidence is collected and some types of firearms violations. But I don't know that the feds were necessarily take the role in terms of the killings because Georgia has a death penalty statute. And while the federal government has one, it has always been very reluctant to use it in my experience.

So I think that they will look at trying to make the strongest state case first. That would be my guess.

NGUYEN: OK. Well, let's look at how all of this played out. And of course, hindsight is 20/20. But let's talk about, first off, when the deputy escorted Brian Nichols to the courtroom, and he overpowered her, took her gun, was there a problem in how that played out? What were the mistakes there?

CLARK: Well, you know, this thing is going to be reviewed. I can assure you, it's going to be reviewed. Policies and procedures will be looked at. How you take prisoners about, the number of people that you have escorting prisoners, where you handcuff prisoners, and when you take handcuffs of prisoners.

And I suspect that this will be the lead topic in their review as to the procedures and thing that took place.

Clearly from the outside looking in, one person escorting one prisoner is probably not the right thing to do. So I think those things are going to be looked at very closely.

NGUYEN: OK. Let's move on to "The Atlanta Journal Constitution" reporter who was carjacked. He reported that between 9:30 and 10:00 on Friday morning. And then for some -- more than 12 hours, there's this search for this 1997 green Honda Accord. You saw it on the freeway signs everywhere throughout Atlanta.

But then that car was later found in the same parking garage where it was supposedly carjacked. All right, that's a crime scene. Shouldn't that entire garage have been looked at by police?

CLARK: Well, you know, Betty, the short answer to your question is yes. It should have been. But let me just remind everybody here that when we're involved, and when the police are involved in an operation that's such fast moving -- this is not a planned operation. And this is a reactive response to whatever the subject may be doing at that time. Bits and pieces of information are coming from all aspects of the investigative arena there.

And so, I'm not making an excuse for the police officers, but I can see why someone would make that mistake and think that yes, that car's the one that took off.

Should it have been done? Absolutely not. The entire garage should have been searched and other aspects as well. But nonetheless, the beginning of those types of investigations are truly chaotic.

NGUYEN: OK, Don Clark, just one more thing I got to ask you quickly. We also learned that Nichols may have taken MARTA to Buckhead, where we learned also yesterday that a federal agent was killed there. Should MARTA have been on lockdown?

CLARK: Perhaps. Keep in mind, they were looking at this from a vehicle perspective and that on the road. But I think if they have to go back and look in hindsight, that they probably would say stop everything at this point.

You know, I can sit here and say yes, it should have, but I'm looking back now. And I've been in those situations. And I've second guessed myself, too, after the thing was over with.

But should it have been? I think the answer to that is yes.

NGUYEN: So in hindsight, you would have stopped the MARTA train system?

CLARK: Yes. NGUYEN: Just to make sure. All right, former FBI agent Don Clark, we thank you for your insights.

CLARK: Thank you, Betty.

NGUYEN: And you want to stay right here because just ahead, we are going to get the play by play on the capture of Brian Nichols from the SWAT team leader who was there.

HARRIS: And another senseless scene of violence. Eight people are dead in Wisconsin and many are wounded after a gunman enters a church service in Brookfield yesterday and opens fire. Among those injured, a 10-year old girl.

CNN's Jonathan Freed is in Brookfield with the very latest. Jonathan, good morning.

JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony. Everybody here in Brookfield is waking up, still very much in shock about what happened here yesterday, asking themselves why. Why did it happen? Everybody knows what happened here and the scope of the tragedy, but looking forward to a news conference here at 10:00 a.m. Central time here in Wisconsin.

We're in front of the police station now, Tony, hoping to get more answers.


JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the regular Saturday worship service for the Living Church of God, but police say what followed was a hellish raid of gunfire.

Investigators say a man armed with a handgun started shooting in the rented hotel room, where the church group was meeting. Police say the man shot 11 people, ranging from a 10-year old girl, to a 72-year old man, before taking his own life.

Four died at the scene, including two teenage boys. Three others died at the hospital later.

It happened early this afternoon at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, a city of fewer than 7,000 just 15 miles west of Milwaukee. This woman witnessed the shootings. She says the suspect, who was seated with the congregation, had been deeply depressed for years. And she says he announced his intention to kill everyone in the room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I dove under a chair. The man whose chair I dove under, he died.

FREED: The victims, whose names are not being given out, were all members of an international evangelical church.

DANIEL TUSHAUS, CHIEF, BROOKFIELD, WISCONSIN POLICE: This was a regularly scheduled church service or meeting. The church is called the Living Church of God, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. They had been meeting at the Sheraton for the past four or five years on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until noon.

FREED: According to a witness, the minister was among the victims. Brookfield police describe the gunman as a 45-year old local man with ties to the Living Church of God. Late this afternoon, police searched his home nearby, looking for a possible motive.

Other guests at the hotel, including another church group and several families visiting the area for a youth hockey tournament, heard the shots fired and were ordered to stay in their rooms.


FREED: And Tony, everyone here is hoping that police will have more details for us when they brief in approximately four hours.

HARRIS: OK, Jonathan Freed for us this morning in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Jonathan, we appreciate it. Thank you.

NGUYEN: Well, as we mentioned a little bit earlier, the pope is leaving the hospital today, headed back to the Vatican. We want to get the latest on this. So let's go to Rome with Alessio Vinci.

What do you know so far, Alessio?

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Betty. Yes, the Vatican confirmed just within the last few minutes that Pope John Paul II, after 17 days here at the Gemelli Polyclinic will be able to return to the Vatican at some point tonight.

We do not have a precise time. If we compare to what happened the first time around, he was hospitalized here in early February. We do expect him to leave at around 5:00 p.m. local time. That's around 11:00 a.m. Eastern. We do not know if that's going to happen the same way today. But certainly, we do expect the pope to leave the hospital at some point in the evening.

Meanwhile, the pope made another appearance from his hospital window; now has done for the last three Sundays here from the Gemelli Polyclinic. He did say a few words, telling a few hundred pilgrims gathered outside his hospital window, "Have a good Sunday." That message being relayed live on giant television screens around the world and in St. Peters Square.

And indeed in a message read by a pope aide, the pope thanked the media for their role in broadcasting his message around the world. The pope said thanks to you, I feel closer to pilgrims around the world and they feel closer to me.

Back to you, Betty.

NGUYEN: And of course, Catholics around the world are very excited about this news today.

Alessio Vinci in Rome, thank you. Families of Asian tsunami victims are taking legal action. Find out who they're blaming for the disaster.

HARRIS: This girl is not afraid, I'm here to tell you this morning, to kick some butts. We're talking about cigarettes.

NGUYEN: Yes, we'll explain.

HARRIS: Yes. Find out why this teen is trying to change the world.

NGUYEN: Also, good morning New York City. We'll have your weather forecast and the rest of the nation. That's coming up in just five minutes.

HARRIS: But first, our e-mail question this morning. It is a question a lot of people are asking after the courtroom shooting in Atlanta on Friday -- last Friday. Should defendants on trial for violent crimes be shackled in court? What do you think? E-mail us at And we'll be reading your replies throughout the Sunday morning.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How often really, can you say that you had a loved one pressed into a gem quality diamond?


HARRIS: What do you think about this? It's a groundbreaking way to save your memories forever. The life gem diamond only on CNN, 9:00 a.m. Eastern.


NGUYEN: All right, time for a quick round-up of some other stories making news across America. Asa Hutchinson, former Homeland Security Undersecretary, says he will run for governor of Arkansas. Now that pits him against the current lieutenant governor in a Republican primary. And though his opponents name is Win Rockefeller, Hutchinson says he is determined to win this race.

Some survivors and relatives of the Asian tsunami are suing a U.S. federal agency that warns nations about potential disasters. The lawsuit alleges the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not enough to warn the affected countries before the tsunami struck.

The Center, which monitors ocean conditions, says it does not warn nations outside of the Pacific Rim.

And on Monday, Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher lost his job. Now he could lose his wife. She has filed for divorce after 50 years of marriage. The company's board forced Stonecipher to resign, citing improper conduct related to his affair with a female executive there. And this is something everyone can relate to. With gas prices pushing the limits, some -- well, some people will pushing their luck at the pump. Details later this hour. I'm talking about the gas prices pushing their limits. That's what I'm talking about people relating to. But this is something a little bit different, isn't it?

HARRIS: Well, they're pumping and running, that's what they're doing. The prices are $2.00, $2.00 plus in some areas. So they're just gassing and going, just running.

You know, I tell you what, it's going to get worse as we move into the spring season.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes.

HARRIS: Folks on the road and driving, trying to get out...

NGUYEN: Vacation time.

HARRIS: Vacations.


ROB MARCIANO, METEOROLOGIST: You know, stop your whining. I mean, you look at the...

HARRIS: It's $2.15 a gallon.

MARCIANO: Yes, well...

HARRIS: $2.79 in some places.

MARCIANO: Well, you take like the '70s prices...

HARRIS: Out there in your neck of the woods, in New York, and Connecticut.

NGUYEN: Are you talking about inflation here?

MARCIANO: Well, your high flatulent society is worse than that. No, but if you figure in inflation, prices should be like $3.00 a gallon.

NGUYEN: Should be, OK. Well you pay $3.00, I'll pay $2.00.

MARCIANO: Compare to the rest of the world, how much taxes they put on gas, you know...

HARRIS: True, true, true...

NGUYEN: The advocate today, look at this. Hey, Rob...

MARCIANO: Bump up the taxes, and you know, that'll...

HARRIS: You know, that's an e-mail question for us. You know, you probably fired up the e-mail machine with that. NGUYEN: Oh, didn't he.

HARRIS: Very good, Rob.

MARCIANO: Good. They want me to go.


NGUYEN: You know what, Rob? I'm going to be looking to you for some gas money then. If you're OK with this, hey, pay up.

HARRIS: He's OK with it.

NGUYEN: Pay up, buddy.


MARCIANO: Draw blood from the stone there.

NGUYEN: I knew it would come to that. Thanks, Rob.

HARRIS: It is a question a lot of people are asking after the courtroom shootings in Atlanta. Should defendants on trial for violent crimes be shackled in court? Pretty controversial. What do you think? E-mail us at

NGUYEN: And it took one brave woman to end the streak of killings in Georgia. That story just ahead from the head of the SWAT team that brought down Brian Nichols.


HARRIS: After a nearly 26 hour manhunt, a 911 call from an apartment complex north of Atlanta is the tip that lead local and federal officers to suspected killer Brian Nichols. A woman called police saying Nichols was holed up at her Gwinnett County apartment. The apartment complex was soon invaded by dozens of law agents.

Joining me now is Major Bart Hulsey, the commander of the Gwinnett County SWAT team.

Major Hulsey, good to see you. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us this morning.

MAJ. BART HULSEY, CMDR., GWINNETT CO. SWAT TEAM: Thank you for having us.

HARRIS: Walk us through your morning. First of all, I'd like to know when you were given -- the Gwinnett County Police Department was given any kind of indication at all that Brian Nichols might be working his way north of Atlanta and might end up in your jurisdiction?

HULSEY: We didn't have any information that he was going to be in our jurisdiction, other than Fulton County and the federal agencies have done a real good job of getting out the lookouts on him and any updates that they had. All the communication centers in metro Atlanta had been alerted to call the task force in the event that we got any information at all that he was in our area, even passed through our area.

HARRIS: OK. So Major Hulsey, the 911 call comes in at about 9:50, 9:54 somewhere in that area. Walk me through what happens next from the SWAT standpoint?

HULSEY: From the SWAT standpoint, what happens next is this. Our communications center did an excellent job at getting information out to the uniform division that this call had validity. The uniform...

HARRIS: And let me stop you there. Let me stop you there. That was -- the first responding officer was Officer Anthony Bassett, correct?


HARRIS: And his job is to establish the credibility of the 911 call and the person who made the call?

HULSEY: To a degree. The communication center's also doing that. They're continuing to talk to the lady, make sure that her information is valid, and that it has credibility, while simultaneously, the officers responded to the complex.

As you know, Bridgewater, if you've been out there...


HULSEY: a large complex. The uniformed officers, once they determined that, they did an excellent job at shutting that down and making sure that he had no avenue of escape in a vehicle. They identified which building it was. And watch commander made a quick decision to activate the SWAT team.

We responded in mass to the scene.

HARRIS: When you say in mass, how many?

HULSEY: Well, I really -- rather not give up exactly how many...


HULSEY: ...people we have on the SWAT team for obvious reasons. But I will tell you this, it was more than 30 tactical officers. We responded with our equipment and put a tight perimeter around the building and in fact, the room that Brian Nichols was in. I think he saw the massive response to a certain degree in the media. And he made a very wise decision to surrender without any violent confrontation.

HARRIS: Were you able to make a visual connection? Did you see him inside the unit? HULSEY: No, we did not see him inside the apartment. We knew which unit it was. We were confident that we had secured the area as best we could. And we set up in a matter that we prepared for, violent confrontation, given his history. But thankfully, he chose not to go that route.

HARRIS: Major Hulsey, great work. Let's leave it there. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. Great work yesterday.

HULSEY: Thank you, sir.

HARRIS: OK. Betty?

NGUYEN: You'll want to stay close because we are working on some inspiring stories for you on this Sunday morning. Also, climbing prices at the gas pump might inspire you to consider a life of crime. We hope that's not the case. But why you should resist the temptation.

And teens making a difference in the lives of strangers. That is what's going to inspire you and hopefully to do a good deed. We'll talk about that later.


HARRIS: Have you heard this? Iraq says equipment from the country's most important weapons plant may have fallen into the wrong hands. And here's the kicker. Some of the missing stash could be used to make nuclear weapons.

HARRIS: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. And good morning. I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We have that story in just a moment.

But first, here's a look at what's in the news this morning. Police have no motive yet for yesterday's shooting at a church service at a suburban Milwaukee hotel. Seven people were killed and four others wounded. Police say the gunman then killed himself.


PAUL BUCHER, WAUKESHA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTY.: It's just heartbreaking. It's overwhelming. I don't know -- I keep saying that word. I'm not sure what other word to use. It's human carnage. It's overwhelming. And my heart goes out to the families of these individuals, and witnesses that had to observe this, and the officers that have to deal with it. It's not a pretty scene.


NGUYEN: The victims ranged from age 10 to 72.

Also in the news, courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols will appear in court tomorrow or Tuesday. He'll likely face a mixture of state and federal charges. Nichols surrendered yesterday outside an apartment north of Atlanta, but not before police say he killed a federal agent and held a woman hostage. He is also suspected of fatally shooting three people Friday, including a judge.

Now the federal agent is identified as David Wilhelm, an 18-year law enforcement veteran. Police say his gun, badge, and truck were taken.

Wilhelm's family released a statement saying, "He was a loving husband, son, and brother. He cared deeply for his family and co- workers. He had a unique ability to bring out the best in people. We appreciate the support we have received from his many friends and the law enforcement community. Our lives will never be the same."

HARRIS: And we turn now to an inspiring story out of Iraq. He's had two brushes with death, but one U.S. soldier says that won't stop him from finishing his mission.

Our Kitty Pilgrim has his story.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not hard to tell where Army Sergeant Shawn Ferguson lives on this quiet street in Visalia, California. He's a hero to his family and friends, a survivor of two vicious attacks in Iraq during 5 months with a striker brigade facing down insurgents in Mosul.

SGT. SHAWN FERGUSON, U.S. ARMY: Almost every time you would go out, you would expect to get blown up.

PILGRIM: In December, he nearly did. Ferguson's first brush with death came the day after his unit had disabled an Iraqi truck carrying vegetables.

FERGUSON: When we were going by it the next day, I was looking like the vegetables are still good. And when I said that, that's when -- we were going right past it and that's when it blew up again. The back of the truck blew up.

PILGRIM: Ferguson took shrapnel to his face.

FERGUSON: Went in and went through, and into the gums.

PILGRIM: The second incident happen on February 10. Looking for insurgents, Sgt. Ferguson took a bullet to the hand.

FERGUSON: I was holding my weapon like that, I was looking around, and I had my hand pretty much at a perfect angle for the bullet to go in. It went in the side of my hand right there, completely across, underneath all the bones, and it came out on top, right there.

PILGRIM: Ferguson was sent home to recover, but not before receiving two Purple Hearts from visiting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The close calls haven't deterred this determined soldier from wanting to go back.

FERGUSON: As soon as possible. As soon as possible. I might be able to talk the doctors into getting me out there a little early. We'll see.

PILGRIM: For his parents, mixed emotions.

RAELYNN FERGUSON, MOTHER: It's a difficult thing to support. But he honors his country, and I do, and so I need to honor his desire to go back and finish his mission, finish what he's been sent there to do.

PILGRIM: Ferguson plans to make a career of the Army. He hopes to go back to school and become an officer.

Kitty Pilgrim, CNN.


HARRIS: And we bring you heroes stories every week on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

All right, that time of the morning again. We're looking at some of the other stories making news around the world.

NGUYEN: More American casualties in Iraq. Further details on that and the rest of the big international stories. Let's cross over to Anand Naidoo at the international desk.

Hi, Anand.

ANAND NAIDOO, CNN ANCHOR, INTERNATIONAL DESK: Hey, good morning from me, Betty. That's right, more American deaths in Iraq. This time, two civilian contractors and soldier are targeted. The two contractors were killed and a third wounded when their car was hit by a roadside bomb. It happened south of Baghdad, on the road to the town of Hilla. The three were employed by Blackwater Security, a private company that provides security for U.S. embassy personnel.

Military officials also telling us that a U.S. soldier was targeted and killed in the town of Mosul -- in the city of Mosul. This latest death bringing the U.S. death toll there to 1,514.

Staying in Iraq are the sterling reports in "The New York Times" this morning. The paper says tons of machinery from some of the country's most important weapons installations were looted shortly after Baghdad fell. "The Times" quotes a senior Iraqi official as saying some of the high precision items stolen could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Across the border now to Iran. And the government there in a defiant mood, rejecting U.S. concessions and saying it would never give up its nuclear program. However, President Mohammed Khatami did say his country is ready to temporarily suspend nuclear enrichment for what he termed "moral reasons." That is it from me for now. I'll be back later with a story about the British Prince William, who had an unfortunate (UNINTELLIGIBLE). More about that later. Now back to Betty and Tony.

HARRIS: Anand, thank you.

NGUYEN: Yes, thank you, Anand.

Well, this young man has already made a difference for kids in Uganda. And he may change your life. We'll meet him next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

HARRIS: And good morning, Washington, D.C. The forecast for you and the rest of the nation coming up with Rob Marciano in about 10 minutes.

NGUYEN: Also later at 9:00 p.m. Eastern today, Nancy Grace hosts a special two hour edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Guests will include the cousin and the attorney of Brian Nichols, as well as newspaper reporter Don O'Briant, who says he was carjacked by Nichols


NGUYEN: Well, if time has proven anything, it's that it takes just one person to make a difference. "Teen People" magazine has found 20 such people. You'll meet them this week.

One of them decided she had enough of smoke filled rooms. So she started a worldwide anti-smoking campaign. The other teen you'll meet this morning has so far raised more than $60,000 to send medical supplies to Uganda.

And they're both joining us right now. 19-year old Meghan Pasricha is in Boston. Hi, there. And Alex Hill, 17-year old, he is in Detroit.

Good morning to you both.


NGUYEN: All right, Meghan, let's start with you. What inspired you to kick off this campaign?

MEGHAN PASRICHA, ANTI-SMOKING ACTIVIST: Well, I suffer from asthma. So I always had trouble breathing in smoke filled rooms. And so, I started doing research. I went to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Web site, And I learned that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death. And it's something that affects all of us.

So I became involved and founded the club at my school. And I really got involved because it's one of the few movements where youth can get involved, take a stand, and develop leadership skills, like public speaking. And it was a great way to turn my passion into action.

NGUYEN: So how exactly does your club work?

PASRICHA: Well, I founded the Anti-Tobacco Action Club at my high school. And we focus on helping students develop leadership skills through giving presentations to middle school students, and also through advocacy events, like memorials. And I'm continuing on with this at Harvard right now. And I'm planning an event for Kick Butts Day, which is April 13th. And it's a day when youth all over the world can unite against big tobacco and really take a stand.

NGUYEN: So you're starting with children who are very young before they get into the habit of it. I guess the biggest -- perhaps the biggest challenge is the peer pressure that's involved. So what is your advice to teenagers out there, who are facing that kind of peer pressure to light up?

PASRICHA: Well, my advice would be to just take a stand. Don't be afraid. Not that many people actually do smoke. So not all of your friends are smoking. And to just be strong.

That's why I think "Teen People" and L'Oreal Paris are so amazing, because tobacco's often glamorized in the media, but "Teen People" and L'Oreal Paris have been working to help students feel beautiful. And they don't need tobacco to feel beautiful and independent and strong.

So I think the main thing is just to take a stand.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. Alex, I want to ask you the same question. What inspired you? Because you did something very unique. You actually bought an ambulance for those in need in Uganda. Tell us about that?

HILL: Yes. I was inspired by the stories of an African priest, who visited my parish in Grand Blanc, Michigan. He offered African drum lessons. And he taught me to play the African drum.

But he also taught me about the lack of basic medical care and the need for emergency transportation in his community.

NGUYEN: We're looking at pictures right now of you with this cardboard cutout. At least we just saw one. This cardboard cutout of the priest. Now that is part of your fund-raising effort. There it is right there. It's a very unique one. Tell me how that works?

HILL: Well, I would ask people to host the cutout of Father Joe in their home or their business or in their classroom or any special event. And Father Joe would come with a video, explaining why they need the ambulance. A book with pictures and information about health care in Uganda.

And then I would ask people to donate whatever they could towards the ambulance fund, and also donate one small medical supply.

NGUYEN: You've made quite a difference in Uganda. You actually traveled there. What kind of reaction did you get? What kind of response from all of your hard work? HILL: Well, the people were very excited. Seeing a white person was a new experience for some of them as well. And it was just great to be able to go over there and meet the people who would benefit from my project.

NGUYEN: And Meghan, before we run out of time, I have to ask you. There are so many people out there, young people, who want to make a difference, but they don't know how to start. What is your advice?

PASRICHA: My advice would be to find something you're passionate about, and really turn that passion into action. Find a core group of leaders who can help you. And just start going. And once you start, then it just rolls from there. And you can definitely get involved. And everyone can be a catalyst for change.

NGUYEN: Alex, do you believe it just takes one person to make a huge change in the world?

HILL: Yes. Everyone has the potential to make a difference in the world. They just need to decide what kind of a difference you're going to make.

NGUYEN: Well, not only did you both have the potential, you actually carried it out and are making a difference. Thank you so much for being with us. And best of luck to you.

HILL: Thank you.

PASRICHA: Thank you.

NGUYEN: Take care -- Tony?

HARRIS: Here's a quick check of our top stories this morning. Terror at a hotel outside Milwaukee. A gunman opened fire during a church service at the Sheraton yesterday, killing seven people. He then apparently killed himself. Police plan to talk to reporters later this morning.

Behind bars, after a 26 hour manhunt, Brian Nichols gave up peacefully north of Atlanta yesterday. He's suspected of killing three of them at a downtown courthouse. He could appear in court as early as tomorrow.

And finally, good news for the pope. CNN has confirmed that he'll leave the hospital and go back to the Vatican today. The pontiff had throat surgery last month. But he did speak to the crowd outside of the hospital today.

Summer's not even close yet, but gas prices are already burning a whole in your wallet. Just ahead, we'll see what the rising prices are tempting some drivers to do.

NGUYEN: First, CNN extra. If your kids suffer from asthma symptoms, don't be so quick to blame the family pet. A new study shows cockroaches, yes cockroaches, triggered asthma symptoms in homes in Chicago, New York, and the Bronx.

The reason? Here, Tony, listen up. Cockroaches produce allergic reactions from saliva secretions and cast off skin. Oh. Yes, hope you're not eating breakfast right now.

So how can you stay one step ahead? Well, it's pretty simple. Maintain a clean house and call the exterminator.


HARRIS: As gasoline prices spike upward across the country, there is also a spike in gasoline theft. Motorists fill up and then speed away without paying.

Here's CNN Boston bureau chief Dan Lothian with tanks for nothing.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an old crime pumped to new levels, hitting the Tiger Mart in Salisbury, Maryland, the BP/Amoco station in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and this Mobil station in Brookline, Massachusetts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A customer took off with $36.00 of gasoline. Once the light came green, flew out of here like you wouldn't believe.

LOTHIAN: Soaring gas prices that have frustrated some drivers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been upset about it.

LOTHIAN: And spawned this boycott gas Web site by this angry real estate broker...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one just did it. There into my wallet. I didn't like it.

LOTHIAN: ...have been driving up so-called gas and dash incidents, costing some retailers as much as $800 in losses a month.

JEFF LENARD, NATL. ASSN. OF CONVENIENCE STORES: It's gone from a teen who might be doing it for the thrill as much as the $5 or $10 stolen, to all demographics, including late model SUVs pulling out with upwards of $50 or even $60 worth of gas.

LOTHIAN: In surveillance tape obtained by CNN from this Maryland mart, a driver pulls in, fills up, replaces the gas cap while appearing to look around, makes an odd maneuver. Then according to management, drives off without paying a dime.

The same, they allege, for this woman, who casually cleans her windshield before taking off. And one more flies an American flag while allegedly pumping and running.

(on camera): If this is such a big problem, then why don't all retailers require everyone to pre-pay? Experts say that's because given the option, some customers will go to a station that allows them to pump first, and pay later.

(voice-over): And there's the issue of profits.

LENARD: They also are less likely to go inside the store and buy other items, where margins are much healthier.

LOTHIAN: So surveillance cameras, like this one in Wisconsin, help retailers track the license plate numbers of offenders. And in some 25 states, punishment could include the temporary loss of a driver's license.


LOTHIAN: In Brookline, Eliz Audi (ph) hopes to install security cameras at his station. So the next time someone drives off with his gas, he'll have the evidence on tape.

Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.


NGUYEN: Well, you don't want to forget our e-mail question this morning. Should defendants on trial for violent crimes be shackled in court?

HARRIS: How controversial is this? We've got some pretty provocative e-mails we'll share with you. Tell us what you think. We are at And we'll be reading some of those replies in just a moment.


HARRIS: Time to check in once again with Rob Marciano in the CNN Weather Center for weather across the nation. Morning, Rob.


NGUYEN: Let's get to our e-mail responses this morning. Here's a question for you. Should defendants on trial for violent crimes be shackled in court?

Well Martha from Florida says, "Being shackled in court is currently not allowed because of the potential for influencing the jury toward a presumption of guilt."

HARRIS: And this from Peter from Boca Raton this morning. "I think the word 'violent' gives us a hint that he/she should be shackled."

And we've only had time just to read a couple, but we've got e- mails flooding in.

NGUYEN: Lots of them this morning. And keep them coming. Exactly. We'll read your responses on the air.

HARRIS: The next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING begins right now. Good morning, everyone. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is March 13th, 8 a.m. here in Atlanta, 5 a.m. in the west.

Good morning everyone. I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. Thank you much for being with us this morning.

Now in the news. Alleged courthouse shooter, Brian Nichols, could appear in court as early as tomorrow. Right now Nichols is in federal custody in downtown Atlanta. He surrendered to the police north of the city yesterday after a 26 hour manhunt. We'll bring you a live report. That is straight ahead.

More American deaths in Iraq. The U.S. embassy says a roadside bomb killed two U.S. contractors south of Baghdad. The contractors helped to provide security for the embassy.

Also, the U.S. military says a soldier was shot and killed in the northern city of Mosul.

Now to Iran. The country seems to be responding to international pressure. On a visit to Venezuela, Iran's president says his nation is ready to temporarily halt some of its nuclear activities.

The announcement comes a day after the U.S. agreed not to block Iran's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

And word from the Vatican this morning. The pope is finally going home. Pope John Paul II will leave a Rome hospital and return to the Vatican today.

This morning the pope spoke his first public words, since his throat surgery last month, wishing pilgrims a good Sunday.

HARRIS: And some incredible stories this hour, including the story of a woman seen here held hostage by murder suspect Brian Nichols. You see her there in the red sweater or jacket. She managed to escape and helped police to capture him.

And the calm of a church service is disrupted by chaotic gun fire. Now eight are dead, and a 10-year-old is fighting to survive.

And this woman summons disturbing memories of sexual abuse she says were long repressed. Now she's listing them in a new book. Buy why is the Mormon church outraged over what she has to say?

NGUYEN: We kick off our coverage this morning with the capture of Brian Nichols, the man who triggered the biggest manhunt in Georgia history. He is suspected in a brutal shooting rampage, but he gave up peacefully.

CNN's Kimberly Osias is at the place where Nichols surrendered, an apartment complex near Atlanta. This was the site of a lot of developments yesterday, Kimberly. OSIAS: That's exactly right, Betty, I'll tell you. It was incredibly dramatic. A very climatic ending to an incredible manhunt, the most massive manhunt in Georgia history.

Remember this is one man who eluded authorities for about 26 hours. And 33-year-old Brian Nichols surrendered here. It wan almost like a movie kind of surrender because he waved a white cloth. I mean, sort of the figurative white flag that he waved.

He gave up to authorities without any kind of fight. Now, this is pretty amazing. The tip came from a rather unlikely source, his hostage. He actually held a female, a young female that he didn't know hostage here at the Bridgewater apartments for many, many hours.

She was able to sort of talk him down, and convince him to let her go. That's when she made a break and she called 911. Then, of course, that set into motion all of this veritable armada, if you will, of ATF agents, sheriff's deputies, police, all then caravaned here.

It was amazing because they wanted to make sure they were not going to make the same mistake again. They were not going to let this man go.


CLARK: Right now I understand that he's been charged with a federal firearm statute violation, and that's just to keep him locked down, to make sure that he doesn't go anyplace in the system. Because keep in mind, that what they've got to do now is buy some time so that they can put these cases together.


OSIAS: That was former FBI agent, Don Clark. Of course they are building their case because Mr. Nichols is wanted on a variety of state and federal charges as well. The state will get the first crack at Mr. Nichols and, of course, Georgia is a death penalty state so he may be up for that as well -- Betty.

NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Kimberly Osias. Thank you, Kimberly.

HARRIS: Let's add a little more now to Kimberly's reporting.

The break in this case came with a single 911 call. We hope to learn more details soon about the woman who made that call, and her ordeal as a hostage. Here's what we know so far.


HARRIS (voice-over): A Gwinnett County 911 dispatcher took the critical call that led to the capture of fugitive Brian Nichols.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We had a female call in saying that he was in her apartment. I spoke with her myself and I sent the call up as a possible wanted person located. HARRIS: The caller said Nichols was holed up in her apartment. Police say her ordeal began around 2 a.m., when Nichols pointed a gun at her as she was returning home to this apartment complex just north of Atlanta.

She told police her terrifying ordeal began when Nichols forced her inside her apartment, tying her up while he considered his next move.

She told police Nichols forced her to follow him while he dumped a stolen pick up truck that police say belonged to an Immigration and Customs official, who was found dead early Saturday morning.

She told police the two returned in her car and for the next several hours she talked to him until he eventually let her go. That's when she called 911, and police and SWAT teams moved in.

Neighbors in this quiet complex were shocked as word spread that the killer was among them. Christina Schel says she got a call from her husband warning her that Nichols was in the complex.

CHRISTINA SCHEL, RESIDENT: I was pretty scared about it, actually. I called my mom and told her because I was pretty nervous. She said, "Go in the bathroom. Stay away from the windows." But basically the next thing I heard he was already caught. So they did a really good job.

HARRIS: Nichols, the man believed to have shot and killed a judge and two others on Friday morning, surrendered without a struggle, waving a white cloth as he came out of the building.

JAMES MCCLURE, GWINNETT COUNTY SWAT: Obviously it's an emotional time for everybody, but I think you rely on your training and you just revert back to what you've been trained to do, which is to be professional and do a job. That's the bottom line. And once we took him into custody, we were extremely happy.

HARRIS: Gwinnett County Police Chief Charles Walters says the victim was incredibly calm and provided useful information.

CHIEF CHARLES WALTERS, GWINNETT COUNTY POLICE: I do know that she was able to provide information. She was not panicked. She handled it very responsibly. And very frankly, it was not a remarkable calm. There was not a lot of panic or anything else.

But she handled it. She was a champ.


HARRIS: We don't know yet if the woman will receive the $60,000 reward for Nichols' capture, and Gwinnett police say they want the FBI's OK before releasing the recording of the woman's 911 call.

NGUYEN: Police say there is a strong suspicion that David Wilhelm was the fourth victim of Brian Nichols' alleged killing spree. Wilhelm was a decorated federal agent, the second in command of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Atlanta.

His family issued this statement saying quote, "He was a loving husband, son and brother. He carted deeply for his family and co- workers. He had a unique ability to bring out the best in people. We appreciate the support we have received from his many friends, and the law enforcement community. Our lives will never the same."

Well, it is a question a lot of people are asking, after the courtroom shooting in Atlanta -- should defendants on trial for violent crimes be shackled in court? What do you think? That's our e-mail question of the day. Send us your thoughts at We'll be reading those replies throughout the morning.

You also want to be sure to join headline prime's Nancy Grace tonight for a two-hour special edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." That will happen at 9 p.m. eastern. Her guests include Brian Nichols' cousin, his attorney and the newspaper reporter who says Nichols car jacked him.

HARRIS: A church service at a Wisconsin hotel ended in tragedy Saturday. A gunman killed seven people and seriously wounded four others before turning a gun on himself. It happened in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield.


PAUL BULMER, WAUKESHA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It's just heartbreaking. It's overwhelming. I keep saying that word. I'm not sure what other word to use. It's humankind (ph). It's just overwhelming. My heart goes out to the families of these individuals and witnesses that had to observe this and the officers that had to deal with it. It's not a pretty scene.


HARRIS: Authorities in Wisconsin are planning a news conference on the shooting for 11 a.m. Eastern this morning.

Ahead, author and "O" magazine columnist, Dr. Martha Beck joins me to talk about her new book, "Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith." Find out what she's come forward with a very personal struggle. Why now?

NGUYEN: Also, we want to say good morning Chicago. Look at that big blue sky. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) has their eyes on a classic Chevy and Corvette auto show today in Chicago. We'll have the forecast and a look at the nation's weather as well. That is straight ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How often, really, can you say that you had a loved one pressed into a gem quality diamond?

(END VIDEO CLIP) NGUYEN: It is a groundbreaking way to save a loved one's memories forever, the life gem diamond, only on CNN.

Plus, cell phones for soldiers. Thanks to a pair of teens families can reach out and touch troops worldwide. Coming up live 9 a.m.


NGUYEN: Beautiful live shot of Chicago this morning. Nothing but big blue sky there. Hopefully it will be a sunny day. Rob Marciano is going to have the weather. Right now, actually.

Rob, good morning.


NGUYEN: We want to get to our top stories right now. Brian Nichols may be arraigned as early as tomorrow for the Atlanta courthouse shootings. Police say the final stage of Nichols' deadly rampage ended with taking a woman hostage. Now, she escaped and called police.

Italian media reports the U.S. military in Iraq got only a last minute warning about a hostage rescue misusage. En route to the Baghdad airport U.S. forces opened fire, wounding journalist Giuliana Sgrena and killing her rescuer last month.

Also, Pope John Paul II will return to the Vatican later today. The pope appeared briefly at his hospital window and said a few words to the pilgrims in the courtyard below. He has been hospitalized since late last month.

Still ahead in our "Faces of Faith" segment, columnist and author Dr. Martha Beck joins me next to talk about her controversial new book, "Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith."

NGUYEN: And at the bottom of the hour, how did they all do. It is the finale of Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "New You Revolution," from nail biting to not cooking people being able to kick their back habits.


HARRIS: In this morning's "Faces of Faith," an author copes with repressed memories and alleged sexual abuse by her father. Dr. Martha Beck writes about the experience in "Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith." It's a story that has drawn both strong support and fierce criticism from inside and outside of the Mormon church.

That's partly because her father was a prominent historian and defender of the Mormon faith. Dr. Beck joins us now from Phoenix.

Martha, good morning.

MARTHA BECK, AUTHOR, "LEAVING THE SAINTS:" Good morning. HARRIS: Well, I have to tell you, there's no graceful way to get to some of these issues that you discuss in your book. But let me ask you about the abuse that you discuss in the book at the hands of your father. What was the nature of that abuse, and when did it begin and how did it end?

BECK: Well, I don't think it was the typical image of sexual abuse. I think it was because my father was being asked to defend certain aspects of Mormon doctrine, which are pretty obscure, but very difficult to defend. And I think he had some sort of a breakdown.

He had periods of amnesia during that time, and other things. And I was actually told by my mother that he was possessed at the time, possessed by demons who were trying to stop his work. And that's the time at which I believed I experienced some sexual abuse, which was framed to me as an Abrahamic sacrifice.

But it was not the typical sexual abuse. It was very much tied up in the religion.

HARRIS: Were you -- how old were you when the abuse started, and were you raped, were you molested? What's the nature of the abuse?

BECK: I was 5 years old, and I'll just say that doctors all my adult life had assumed that I had had an unassisted childbirth, because that's the type of scarring that I have. So it was definitely sexual in nature.

HARRIS: I have no idea what that means. What did you describe it as? What was that? It was described as what?

BECK: I have a lot of scars. I have a lot of scars, and the scars doctors tend to assume that I tore in childbirth. So the scars are vaginal. The scars are sexual.


BECK: There's really only one way to explain them.

HARRIS: I understand. I understand. Your father, your deceased father, a former professor at Brigham Young University, a man who understood intimately the tenants of the Mormon faith, how do you explain, he was your father, how do you explain this disconnect?

BECK: Well, first of all the Mormon faith and the Mormon people are really wonderful. I love them. They're good, good people. There are certain details of doctrine in Mormonism, especially since it was founded rather recently in the middle of the 19th century. There are certain doctrines preached by the first founding prophet, Joseph Smith, which are testable empirically. For example, the belief that the American Indians are descended from some Jewish people who immigrated to the Americas in 600 BC...

HARRIS: Martha.

BECK: Yes. HARRIS: Excuse me for just a moment. I understand that this is important to the story, but we just don't have a lot of time. I'm just curious as to how you explain, you your own mind, how you've been able to make sense of your father's alleged behavior.

BECK: I believe he was trying to defend some obscure points of Mormon doctrine. He felt that his faith -- that religion would collapse without his support. And yet intellectually these claims were unsupportable and I think it brought him to a place of the psychological breakdown.

HARRIS: This is the response from your family. And I don't know specifically what family members were involved in crafting this statement, but here it is. "Many people are under the mistaken impression that Martha's book is an innocuous memoir of growing up Mormon and leaving the faith when, in fact, it is based on allegations of serious crime, which all family members deny."

Your response to your family's response to your book.

BECK: Well, first of all, many members of my extended family, who have believed and supported me all along, in my immediate family of origin I had support initially especially from my mother. That support was withdrawn only when they began to fear that I would go public with allegations.

HARRIS: You're a successful author of self-help books. Why did you write this story now?

BECK: Because in my self-help, what I say over and over is that the way to heal ourselves, to heal our loved ones, to heal the world is to tell the stories of our own lives and that's what -- I felt I had to walk my talk.

HARRIS: And why so long before you decided to write this very personal account?

BECK: I started writing about 10 years ago, finished about two years ago. So I wrote it when my heart said that I needed to.

HARRIS: OK. Doctor Beck, thanks for taking the time to talk to us this morning. We appreciate it.

BECK: Thank you.

NGUYEN: We're going to shift gears now and get to our e-mail question. I'm going to put it on the screen just to remind you what it is. "Should defendants on trial for violent crimes be shackled in court?

Well, we have a response now from Norman who writes, "The short answer to your question is yes! exclamation point. He writes, "Court security bureaus everywhere have at their disposal leg restraints that work nearly as well as shackles yet are completely invisible under the defendants clothing.

I have used them in security trials and on extraditions of violent felons on commercial aircraft. They work"

And of course we want to invite you to send us your thoughts on the e-mail question of the day. Should they be shackled? These are defendants on trial for violent crimes. E-mail us at

We have something that you'll want to look at in our next hour. It's a pretty good story. It looks like any other diamond, but you know what? That is not the case. This one is made, listen to this, from human remains.

HARRIS: No kidding.

NGUYEN: You heard it right. It's a story you won't want to miss. That's coming up nine eastern.

HARRIS: But first a finale of the new you revolution. "HOUSE CALL" with Doctor Sanjay Gupta and your top stories are straight ahead.

I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. I'll see you again at the top of the hour.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.