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Tracking Sex Offenders; 911 Calls Produce No Results

Aired April 21, 2005 - Crime; Justice   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Good evening, everyone.
A new proposal to protect children from sexual predators: can it work? 360 starts now.


(voice-over): Remembering Jessica, a proposed bill named after the murdered Florida girl, promises to get tough on predators. But tonight one town has their own solution for dealing with sexual deviants. Does it work? Find out.

The enemy within: deadly anthrax attacks. How come, four years later, still no arrests? Tonight, is the FBI taking this seriously, or is the trail so cold the case is closed?

Do you shred documents to protect against identity theft? Watch your fingers and your kids: an alarming rise in children getting their hands caught in shredders. What you can do to protect them from hidden harm.

And, the world's largest iceberg collides with a giant glacier, threatening thousands of penguins with starvation. Tonight, a bird's eye view of nature's power on the edge of the world.

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


COOPER (on camera): Good evening, everyone.

This week we've been looking at homegrown threats to our national security, and tonight, as part of our special series "The Enemy Within," we examine a still-mysterious terror strike that frayed our nerves three-and-a-half-years ago: the anthrax attacks. Because it was just weeks after the horror of 9/11, the initial thought was that foreign terrorists had mailed the letters containing the deadly bacteria which killed five people, sickened 22.

But, today, investigators are thinking that it could have come from a domestic terrorist, who may be willing to strike again.

CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Leroy Richmond says, most people probably don't think much about the 2001 anthrax attacks, but he lives with the effects every day.

LEROY RICHMOND, ANTHRAX SURVIVOR: And, I get tired relatively easily, and I have some degree of short-term memory loss, which means I may have to do a task. I may finish a little bit of it and then forget what the rest part is to be done.

ARENA: Richmond inhaled a deadly form of anthrax while working at the postal facility in Washington, where two of the anthrax letters were processed. For him, justice is elusive. The FBI has not made a single arrest in the anthrax case.

RICHMOND: I really believe that they are at a point now where it's almost becoming a cold case, where, all the leads and all the things that are -- that they have been following, perhaps, are dead ends and they really don't know where to go.

ARENA: The FBI won't comment on the investigation except to say it's ongoing. Officials say 31 agents are still assigned to the case full time. The Bureau says it has conducted nearly 50 searches and issued more than 5,000 grand jury subpoenas.

JAMES COMEY, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's a very hard case. It's a worldwide investigation, but I have great confidence in the people doing it. I think that case will be made.

ARENA: When the anthrax was first discovered, just after the September 11 attacks, investigators immediately thought it was the work of foreign terrorists. But there was no evidence that overseas terrorist groups had ever used that variation of anthrax.

MARK CORALLO, FMR JUSTICE DEPT SPOKESMAN: While the FBI has not ruled out any possibility as to who could have done that, whether it's foreign, domestic, whether it is one person or more, the working theory has been that it was one lone domestic act of terrorism, that it's one single person, working alone.

ARENA: Nearly two years ago, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft named Steven Hatfill, a former government researcher, a person of interest in the investigation, but he was never charged with anything. Hatsill has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks. He even sued the government.

STEVEN HATFILL, FMR GOVERNMENT RESEARCHER: I have had nothing to do in any way, shape or form, with the mailing of these anthrax letters.

ARENA: Recent activity in the investigation has focused mostly on the scientific end. Researchers are still trying to trace the anthrax back to its originating lab, but many doubt the quest will lead to a culprit.

Leroy Richmond says he pictures the killer or killers laughing at the effort, and worse. RICHMOND: I really believe that these people or persons are waiting for an opportunity to do it worse than they did before.

ARENA: And that's why he says he agreed to be interviewed, to remind his fellow Americans to never let their guard down.

For CNN's America bureau, Kelli Arena, Stafford, Virginia.


COOPER: Well, one of the most notorious domestic terrorists in recent years was the Unabomber. Ted Kaczynski went on a bombing spree for more than a decade. Now that he is in custody, we know an awful lot about him. Last night, we even showed you photos you've never saw before of inside his shack. But, for a long time, he was a complete mystery, known only by this sketch, a hooded man with big glasses.

360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta talks with a woman who was able to draw this sketch by reaching into a person's mind and pulling out the memory of a killer.


GUPTA: Jeanne Boylan makes a living by mining the buried details of memory. A top-ranked freelance artist, she sketches thousands of subjects for the FBI and police departments around the country. From the Unabomber to the Oklahoma City bombing, to the Polly Klaas kidnapping, she's worked the biggest cases around.

In 1987, a bomb badly wounded the owner of a computer store in Salt Lake City, Utah. Minutes earlier, a worker there had caught a glimpse, just a two-second glimpse, of the man leaving the suspicious package. Seven long years later, Boylan was called in to meet the lone eyewitness. The result was this famous sketch, the hooded Unabomber. A good likeness? Judge for yourself.

JEANNE BOYLAN, FREELANCE ARTIST: Your memory may have been distorted in the interim. But, the odds of that original memory being there is extremely good.

GUPTA: At most police departments, a witness to a crime either looks through mug shots, or picks and chooses from a menu of facial features until an artist or computer creates a composite. But researchers have found that these techniques actually impair memory: as the witness concentrates on each new image, the original memory is blurred.

BOYLAN: I hate those mug books. The imprint into memory is not unlike a fingerprint on a murder weapon. So, when police show witnesses, you know, eyes and lips and noses and books full of facial features, and expect that memory to be static, what they are actually doing is overlaying the imprinted memory with all the new additional prints, just as they would be overlaying fingerprints on a murder weapon if they handed it to bare-handed people.

GUPTA: Boylan's method is different. Her interviews are long, about 12 hours. But most of the talking has nothing to do with the crime. She relaxes the witness, and lets memories come to the surface. She is careful not to suggest details, which is tougher than you might think.

(on camera): The contamination of an eyewitness, I mean, how subtle can it be? You just said that if the investigator says, were his eyes brown. That's -- is that contamination?

BOYLAN: That's absolute contamination.

GUPTA (voice-over): When it comes to memory, we often can't trust our own eyes.


GUPTA (on camera): And police line-ups pose the same kind of problems, possibly inadvertently suggesting a particular suspect as being the actual suspect themselves. But real-life practice is starting to catch up: in Boston, for example, they are starting to bring in suspects one at a time in line-ups as opposed to lining them all up at the same time. That's supposed to help people sort of dig deeper into their memory, Anderson.

COOPER: What's amazing is that the memory can hold on to something, even something they just got a glimpse of years ago. What does the research say about how credible courtroom eyewitness testimony might actually be, if our minds are so susceptible, though, to suggestion?

GUPTA: Well, it's a very controversial topic, actually. There are people who believe that all eyewitness testimony should be thrown out, and there are other people who believe it is very valuable. A couple things that we learned, though, in researching this was that, people who tend to remember everything about an event, are probably filling in gaps as opposed to actually remembering, whereas people who actually just remember one pertinent detail, but the other things are a little bit fuzzy -- if you hone in on that detail, you might recover a lot more, Anderson.

COOPER: What if the eyewitness is the victim, not just a by- stander? I mean, the Unabomber had numerous victims. Did that trauma heighten the memory, or make it worse?

GUPTA: So -- regarding trauma, what it tends to do is really impregnate a memory much more strongly. But what happens is, you remember it in a much broader context. You remember the event very well, but the details are lost. That's really important when evaluating patients -- or people, rather, who have undergone the trauma themselves. They remember the broadest sense of it, but some of the details are gone.

COOPER: Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much.

Coming up next on 360, predators next door. Do you really know who your neighbors are? One Florida town discovered dozens of sex offenders in their midst. Find out how they are trying to deal with the neighbors that nobody wants. Also, another town's extreme solution: trying to pay sex offenders to move, to get out of Dodge.

Also ahead tonight, a trip to one of the world's largest icebergs, where tens of thousands of these penguins are threatened with starvation. We're going to take you to the edge of the world, and "Beyond the Headlines."

Also, ahead tonight, is fat making a comeback? Big burgers and fried chicken for KFC. KFC no longer -- now Kentucky Fried Chicken. They're embracing their roots. Some hints the low-cal craze is dying? We'll see. All that ahead. First, your picks -- the most popular picks on right now.


COOPER: The predators living next door. Find out what one small town is doing to keep track of them. 360 next.


COOPER: In Congress today, new legislation was introduced that would require increased tracking of sexual predators. The proposal is called the Jessica Lunsford Act, after the 9-year-old Tampa girl allegedly killed by a convicted sex offender living across the street from her home. No one even knew he was there.

Her death and the death under similar circumstances of Sarah Lunde of Ruskin, Florida have awakened the country to a terrible predicament: How to track the predators amongst us.

"Beyond the Headlines" now with one town that isn't waiting for any new law to take effect, with CNN's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Sergeant Ron Marseco and Detective Lisa Martin, the marching orders are clear. Keep close tabs on the town of Davie's 43 sexual offenders and four sexual predators.

SGT. RON MARSECO, DAVIE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're going to another predator.

ZARRELLA: At a trailer park on the east side of town, they find this man in his front yard. He is one of the four registered sexual predators in Davie, a community of 85,000 in South Florida. He moved here six months ago.

MARSECO: Making sure that you are complying with the conditions (ph).

ZARRELLA: He was convicted of sexual battery and a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16. He wouldn't talk on camera, but told me he keeps to himself and doesn't bother anyone.

Brandy Caradonna lives just two trailers down. She has three young children. When this predator moved in, police notified her and everyone living within a mile and a half. That's more than the state's one-mile radius for notification.

BRANDY CARADONNA, NEIGHBOR: We were notified almost within 24 hours of him moving in.

ZARRELLA (on camera): You've got young children.

CARADONNA: Yes, three sons.

ZARRELLA: Worry you at all?

CARADONNA: No. No. Doesn't worry me at all. My children are highly supervised.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Under state law, the sexual predators, those who have committed more serious crimes, many against children, must report to the state every 90 days. Davie goes beyond that, sending its own officers to check every three months on the predators and the registered sex offenders, whose crimes only require they report once a year.

(on camera): Even though the town of Davie goes beyond what is required by law when it comes to checking up on sexual offenders and predators, town officials here say there is even more they'd like to be doing. Councilwoman Susan Starkey wants predators and offenders kept further away from schools than what current law requires.

SUSAN STARKEY, DAVIE CITY COUNCIL: Currently it's about 1,000. I would like to extend that to 3,500 feet.

ZARRELLA: What Starkey and police here worry most about is what they can't control: predators who move in and leave town, breaking the law by not notifying anyone where they are.

MARSECO: Is it difficult to keep track of them? Yes, because even though we do our sweeps every three months, there's going to be a couple of months in there that we're not out checking on them and so forth, and they can just pick up and leave.

ZARRELLA: One study by a local newspaper found some 1,800 sexual offenders in Florida not living where they are supposed to be. In other words, whereabouts unknown.

John Zarrella, CNN, Davie, Florida.


COOPER: Well, having a convicted sex offender in the neighborhood creates tensions, of course, to say the least, in more ways than one. A news note now: In Loveland, Ohio, northeast of Cincinnati, a group of neighbors is planning to offer a convicted sex offender $20,000 to leave their area, which has angered many other locals who feel that an affluent few are taking advantage of their means to shift their problem elsewhere. We'll keep you up to date on that.

Time now for some other news making headlines across the country. Erica Hill joins us from HEADLINE NEWS with the latest. Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, Anderson. A military jury has convicted Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar of premeditated murder and attempted murder in a grenade attack on his comrades in Kuwait two years ago. The soldiers were awaiting orders to invade Iraq. Two officers died in that attack; 14 other people were wounded. Prosecutes say Akbar told investigators he was concerned U.S. troops would kill his fellow Muslims in Iraq. He could get the death penalty.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he misspoke this week when he was talking about Mexican immigration. He said at that time, quote, "California's border with Mexico should be closed." But yesterday Schwarzenegger apologized and said what he meant to say was, the border should be secured. Schwarzenegger blamed the mix-up on his English, and said he should probably go back to school and study the language a little more.

The death rate on U.S. highways has dropped now to its lowest point in recorded history. So that's for more than 40 years. Overall, 42,800 people died on the nation's highways in 2004. And while the number is actually higher than 2003, the rate of deaths decreased, because there were more drivers on the road overall. The government says 56 percent of those killed were not wearing seatbelts.

And in Miami Beach, that is, a show of support for one city commission candidate who was criticized for breast-feeding her daughter during a public meeting. In response, 16 other moms showed up at another gathering and nursed their children.

And Anderson, that's the latest from HEADLINE NEWS. Back to you.

COOPER: Erica, thanks very much. See you again in about 30 minutes. Coming up next on 360, fat making a comeback? Mmmm, fat.

KFC reclaims its old name, Kentucky Fried Chicken. They are going old school. And other fast food joints are coming out with high-cal sandwiches. That's right. The question is, has the low-cal craze finally reached its peak? We'll find out. Cheeseburger!

Plus, imagine calling 911 for help and no one comes. Imagine calling back 10 times, and still no cops come for three hours. Why did it happen and could it happen to you? We'll find out.

Also a little later tonight, the world's largest demolition derby. That's what they're calling it -- a giant iceberg that has tens of thousands of penguins trapped without food. Taking you "Beyond the Headlines," literally to the edge of the world. Stay with us.


COOPER: Yep, that's it. That's Colonel Sanders back in the day with happy, hungry children doing what a lot of us in the '70s did, go to the amusement park and go on a giant bucket ride and eat big buckets of chicken. Mmm, yum, that will come back on you on the bucket ride.

We can't say for sure, but the Colonel may have reason to smile today wherever he is. After years as KFC, his fast food chain is -- well, they're kicking it old school. They're bringing it back to their roots. It's coming back to the name Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The move comes after an effort to introduce healthier fare that bombed with customers. Now, this has been one of the most popular stories on all day.

Every day 360's Rudi Bakhtiar looks into the Web stories, bring us an angle you wouldn't find anywhere else. Rudi, tonight what did you find out?

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, guess what we found out. We found it's not just Kentucky Fried Chicken, fat is back in fast food. It's fried pride.


BAKHTIAR (voice-over): Take, for example Burger King's new breakfast sandwich. The enormous omelet sandwich. It's packed with 760 calories and 50 grams of fat. Enormous, yes, but the biggest, not even close.

The current heavy weight champ is Hardee's Monster Thick Burger boasting 107 grams of fat and a whopping 1420 calories. That's like eating nine and-a-half Twinkies in one sitting.

If you think only a few dare to eat these super-size meals, think again. A representative of Hardees calls the Thick Burger a popular seller. And Burger King stands by the enormous breakfast sandwich. It's designed for people who like to start the day with a hearty breakfast says Denny Post, chief product officer at Burger King.

Given the monster sandwich, the enormous omelet and KFC getting fried up again, does this mean that low carb healthy live something dead and that fat is back?

One registered dietitian hopes that's not the case.

MAYE MUSK, REGISTERED DIETITIAN: It would be crazy to have a backlash, because we are sitting with a bigger problem of obesity than ever before. So, I can't see why or what is in their minds to bring us bigger foods as well as higher fat foods.

Probably everybody is so tired of the low carb diet that they think well, we're fat, OK now. So, let's go high fat. As long as we take maybe the (INAUDIBLE) 107 grams of fat burger.

BAKHTIAR: For people I talked to it's all about choice. And for some more choice means more food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More fries, the bigger the cheeseburger, the better off you are.

BAKHTIAR: How many times a week would you say you eat fast food?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day. Every day. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening.


BAKHTIAR: Every day. Morning, noon, evening.

COOPER: Look how listless that guy was. Everyday.

BAKHTIAR: Well, Anderson, according to nutritionist the problem with fast food isn't really that it has fat, it's the type of fat they are using in the food that's the problem. They contain the saturated and trans-fats which are bad for you and which come at the expense of those essential fatty acids which you don't get unless you eat it in your food and your body can't make it so you need to get those healthy fats.

COOPER: Words to live by. Rudi Bakhtiar.

BAKHTIAR: There you good. Fat is good and it's back.

COOPER: Well, I don't know if it's back. All right. Thanks.


COOPER (voice-over): Do you shred documents to protect against identity theft? Watch your fingers and your kids. An alarming rise in children getting their hands caught in shredders. What you can do to protect them from hidden harm.

And the world's largest iceberg collides with a giant glacier threatening thousands of penguins with starvation. Tonight, a bird's eye view of nature's power on the edge of the world. 360 continues.


COOPER: We teach our kids if you're in trouble dial 911. But what happens if you do or your kids do and the operator on the line doesn't seem to care? And then you call back again and again and again and still no cops come.

Well, that's what happened to one woman. Do you remember last week the tense almost eight-hour police standoff in New Jersey with a gunman who had taken his ex-girlfriend and their baby daughter hostage. They were inside that car. Well, what we didn't know then was that the woman, Erica Turner, had called police a week earlier begging for protection from the same man.

He showed up at her door banging on the door. She had a restraining order. No one came for three hours.

She is now planning to sue the Irvington, New Jersey Police Department saying it responded too slowly to her repeated calls to 9/11.


COOPER (voice-over): This was the end of Erica Turner's ordeal. Police surrounding a car where she was being held hostage allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, Almutah Saunders. Also in the car, Erica's 6-month- old daughter.

Police say Saunders showed up at her door a week ago Monday carrying a gun, kidnapped Erica and her baby and shot her father in the leg. He told hostage negotiators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't want to do them any harm. He wanted to spend the time he had left as he put it with them.

COOPER: It wasn't the first time police had been asked to answer a call to help Erica Turner escape from Saunders. Just one week before the hostage-taking incident he showed up banging on her door, violating a restraining order. She called 911. And then called again again and again.

ERICA TURNER, FORMER HOSTAGE: Is somebody coming here?



OPERATOR: Yes. We have other jobs right now.

TURNER: You have other jobs?


TURNER: So this is no ASAP.


TURNER: Oh, OK. So I'm going to just die. Thank you.


COOPER (voice-over): No cops came. Moments later, more frightened calls.


OPERATOR: 911, what is your emergency?

CALLER: Can you please send somebody to 49 Maple Avenue? He is on my door now. Please, I have a restraining order. Please! He's going to kick my door in. Please, I'm fearful for my life. Can you please send somebody here now?



COOPER: But still no police came. She called again and again and again. Eleven calls in all from Turner's home to 911, each one more frantic than the last.


OPERATOR: 911, what is your emergency?

TURNER: Yes. Can you please send a car to 49 Maple Avenue? I have a restraining order. The guy's at my door. He's knocking on my door threatening to kill me. Can you please? I think he's got a gun. Can you please hurry up and send somebody? We called here five times already. He's in my halfway, knocking on my door. I'm afraid he's going to kick my door in. Please!

OPERATOR: All right. I'll send a cop car to you.


COOPER: But no cop car came. Erica, her mother and her cousin all kept dialing 911. Listen to the stunning statement the dispatcher finally gave them in the last call.


OPERATOR: Irvington.

TURNER: Hello? Hello?


TURNER: We need a police car here. It's an emergency. This guy -- my daughter has a restraining order. He's at the front...

OPERATOR: I understand that, ma'am (INAUDIBLE). I understand that, but right now, we really, really do not have nobody. And I've been trying my best to get a cop car to you, and we really do not have nobody.

TURNER: How do you not have police officers?

OPERATOR: You'll have to take that up with the mayor. We really do not have nobody. And I'm not lying to you. Nobody.


COOPER: Three hours after the 11th call, police finally responded. But Almudah Saunders was gone. One week later, he came back; this time with a gun.

There was a high-speed chase, and then four hours of tough negotiations. Erica and the baby were finally released, alive and unhurt. It took another three hours until Saunders surrendered, after putting a gun in his mouth.

CAPTAIN PATRICK MCCARTHY, NJ STATE POLICE: And that was actually right towards the very end, just prior to him coming out on his own. And at that point, I kind of felt that things were going to go bad.

COOPER: Finally, Saunders did surrender, peacefully, to police.


COOPER: Now, on this program, we don't take sides. We cover all the angles. We wanted to talk with Irvington Police. We called several times. Our calls have yet to be returned. The town's mayor is talking, however. Wayne Smith said this -- "We take the events that happened very seriously. The calls were handled incorrectly and appropriate action is being taken. The provision of timely, efficient services by the police department is critical to any community, and I promise not only a thorough investigation into this incident but any remedial action that will prevent further recurrences."

I spoke earlier with the woman whose harrowing story we've been talking about, Erica Turner, and to her attorney, Patrick Toscano.


COOPER: So, Erica, really just hours after you get this restraining order, your ex-boyfriend shows up at the door, and he's pounding on the door. I mean, he was there, we're not talking about a minute or two. He's there for, what, more than 30 minutes?


COOPER: And I mean -- describe the scene. I mean, he's pounding on the door.

TURNER: He's pounding on the door, ringing the doorbell constantly. And we're in the house panicking. We're panicking. And we're just hoping the police will come so they can arrest him.

COOPER: I mean, Patrick, the mayor has apologized. He said that he finds this...


COOPER: He says this is troubling. They've reassigned these two 911 dispatchers. They've said that the dispatchers did not handle the situation correctly. They should have prioritized it. Why are you still suing?

TOSCANO: It has nothing to do with the dispatchers, to be very frank with you, Anderson. This is -- you know, it stinks from the head down. You're going to see -- I've already said this -- you're going to see some lowly dispatchers being transferred because it's human instinct, right? Once you know you are responsible as the head of an agency, you are going to deflect responsibility in a situation like this.

COOPER: So you don't think it was a problem of not prioritizing the calls? That's what the mayor has said.

TOSCANO: Yes. I mean, the mayor -- the mayor also blamed her. My understanding is, a few days back, his remark in words of substance was, well, if she called earlier or did something earlier, we would have been able to help her.

COOPER: The mayor, since he's not here to defend himself, let me just say, he has heard you say that in the past. He says he is not blaming the victim at all. He says he was explaining the timeline. He made this statement, he says, "I'm appalled by the Patrick Toscano's accusations that I am insensitive to the issue of domestic violence and the plight of Erica Turner. In fact, on the morning of April 11th, I met with Erica's mother, Ms. Conway, and ordered an immediate investigation into her allegations of inadequate responses by the Irvington Police Department."

TOSCANO: Understood. It still doesn't negate the fact that he runs the city. He's appointed basically the chief of police, a new chief of police there, who apparently cannot perform his function properly.

COOPER: Now, did you file a police report after this incident of banging on the door?

TURNER: On April 4th?


TURNER: No, I did not.

COOPER: Why not?

TURNER: Well...

TOSCANO: I can speak -- if you -- the report itself, the final restraining order, in essence becomes a report. So when she makes the phone call, seven hours later, they should have immediately been able to refer to the fact that it was a restraining order that was issued and should have dispatched within three minutes.

COOPER: I mean, take us into that car. I mean, you know, we all saw those pictures of -- what was it -- that must have just been...

TURNER: A nightmare.

COOPER: Yeah. And you had no idea that television cameras were out, that people were following this?


COOPER: You thought you were all alone in this.

TURNER: I didn't know until we were on Route 280, and I've seen an Amber Alert and I've seen my car license plate number.

COOPER: Did that give you hope?

TURNER: Yes. And when we approached -- we got on the Turnpike and we -- when I went to pay, the man wouldn't take my ticket, and I just knew something. I thought -- I thought a whole bunch of cop cars were just going to come and just swarm the car, but he -- we took off, and then the car started following us. And that's how I knew.

COOPER: What is your advice to other people out there who, you know, are calling 911? I mean, I guess you were smart to have multiple calls. You called some -- at least 10 times.

TURNER: Well, we called 10 times because we were fearing for our lives. If they don't want to take their job seriously, they shouldn't be there. People are -- if you dial 911, it's an emergency. We need someone ASAP. If you're taking it as a joke, you are playing with people's lives. People could be in their house getting killed, raped, anything. We are looking for assistance, we are looking for help. We're not calling just to say hi. You know? So it's just -- I don't know, the town of Irvington needs to do something about that, because it's just wrong.

COOPER: You are still shaken by this.

TURNER: Yeah. Just thinking about it.

COOPER: Well, Erica Turner, I wish you well. I'm glad you and your baby are doing good.

TURNER: Thank you.

COOPER: And Patrick, thanks very much for being with us.

TOSCANO: Thank you very much.


COOPER: Coming up next on 360, paper shredders. They are great to protect against identity theft, but they can be a hidden danger, putting you, your kids, even your pets at risk. We'll tell you how and what you can do about it.

Also tonight, a rare trip to the frozen continent. Amazing pictures we're going to show you, breathtaking views of a gigantic iceberg. We'll tell you why thousands of penguins are right now in jeopardy.


COOPER: Well, we all know identity theft is a rising problem. I had my personal information stolen years ago, and immediately, I went out and I bought a shredder, and a lot of you have, I know. But, you may not realize the potential danger, especially if you have kids or a pet in your house. We want to warn you -- some of the images you are going to see are graphic, in this next story, but as CNN's Kathleen Koch reports, you need to see what shredders can do.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sara Waters bought a paper shredder to keep her identity safe. She had no idea the machine was a danger to her young son, Aaron. SARA WATERS, AARON'S MOTHER: And he didn't let go. Not only did it just pull the paper in, but it also pulled his hand in. His fingers were shredded.

KOCH: It took stunned doctors an hour to piece Aaron's fingers back together.

WATERS: They had so many different parts of the skin that kind of peeled apart, and they were trying to put it all together to where it would even look like a finger.

KOCH: Still, Aaron was luckier than most. Tellon Bragva (ph) lost part of his fingers when his hand got caught in this machine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He kept screaming, Mommy, please, get my hand back, get my hand back.

KOCH: The Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented 45 such injuries since 2000, nearly half in children age two and younger.

Curious dogs have fallen victim, too. Pat Coledo (ph) and her husband had to race their dog B.J. to the veterinarian when he got his tongue jammed in their new shredder.

PAT COLEDO, PET OWNER: They had to take a hacksaw and cut off the blade.

KOCH: B.J.'s tongue finally healed. The CPSC demonstrated to us how shredders are currently designed to block objects the size of a 12-year-old's finger.

(on camera): Doesn't fit into the opening.

(voice-over): But a smaller probe, the size of a 3-year-old's finger, fits in easily. A rubber probe that size was pulled into two of the three shredders we tested and chopped up or mangled.

(on camera): So, if that had been a finger, it wouldn't be good.


KOCH: The CPCS wants new standards to require that shredder openings be smaller.

PATTY DAVIS, SPOKESPERSON, CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION: Also, a less flexible opening, because, even if the opening is small and it's flexible, a child can work their fingers into it.

KOCH: The new standards are being drafted by Underwriter's laboratory and manufacturers are said to be receptive to improving their shredder designs.

Sara Waters now keep a watchful eye on Aaron any time she uses the replacement shredder sent to her by the manufacturer of her original machine. Still, she cautions parents not to assume even the newest models are safe. WATERS: That opening is really narrow. You think, there's just no way my kids' fingers are going to fit in there. There's no possible way. And then, look what happened to my son. It does happen.

KOCH: Kathleen Koch, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: That is the cutest little boy.

Time now for a look at some other headlines making news right now. Erica Hill joins us with the latest.

HILL: Hey. He was a little munchkin-face, wasn't he? Glad his fingers turned out all right.

Turning to a much more serious story now, 11 people killed today in a commercial helicopter crash in Iraq. Six of the dead were American employees of security firm Blackwater USA. U.S. military sources suspect missile fire caused the crash. The Islamic Army in Iraq is now claiming responsibility. The Iraqi aviation authorities are investigating.

The House of Representatives has passed an $8 billion energy bill that would allow oil-drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Similar bills have passed the House twice before, only to die in the Senate. The White House has strongly endorsed the measure; Democrats say it does little to reduce U.S. reliance on oil imports.

Here's a little pop secret for you: turns out it's all in the hull. Scientists say they finally know why some popcorn kernels just won't pop. Finally, the answer: the kernels have to have a precise moisture content to explode. Researchers say the hulls of some kernels are just leaky, so they release the moisture they need to pop. Now, by the way, those dud kernels, Anderson, in case you didn't know, they're known in the business as "old maids."

Meantime, "Bennifer," the sequel, could have a happier ending than the original? Both "People" and "Star" magazines report actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are engaged. He reportedly popped the question at her 33rd birthday party. The engagement comes 15 months after Affleck's widely publicized breakup with the other Jennifer, that is, of course, Jennifer Lopez, also known as J-Lo, and, currently, Mrs. Marc Anthony.

COOPER: Well, if it was in "Star" magazine...

HILL: It's got to be true!

COOPER: ...then it must be true.

HILL: I also read it on the Internet.

COOPER: There you go.

HILL: So, yes. COOPER: So, you really sourced -- you got it, because you got the two magazines, plus your internet.

HILL: I got to stay on top of this stuff because I'm a journalist, Anderson.

COOPER: I know you are. You go! Erica Hill, we'll see you again in about 30 minutes. Thanks very much. We wish them the best.

360 next: cold snap. One of the world's biggest icebergs hits a glacier. These pictures we're going to show you are just amazing. Intensifying fears tonight, though, for thousands of penguins. We'll tell you why ahead.

Also a little bit later tonight, seeing double on the campaign trail? That's right. They are not the same guy. Twins, a political twin switcheroo. Political opponents are crying foul. We'll tell you why.


COOPER: Amazing pictures. Breathless and beautiful images of a gigantic, 100-mile-long iceberg that has just made a big splash by slamming into a massive glacier in Antarctica. Scientists aren't downplaying the even either; they are calling it the "collision of the century." For months, tens of thousands of penguin chicks have been stranded on the glacier, and now they may be even at a greater peril of starving to death.

CNN's Kyra Phillips has more.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It doesn't have an impressive name -- B-15-A -- but it's one of the world's biggest icebergs and a force to be reckoned with. Flashback to 2002: I traveled 14,000 miles to the bottom of the world, Antarctica, and saw it in all its glory.

(on camera): If you were to chop up this iceberg, everybody in the world would get a 25-pound bag of ice every day for the next 75 years. Now, if you were to melt it, it would cover Texas in eight feet of water, and it would supply the United States with all its water needs for the next five years.

But now, B-15-A is causing gigantic problems. The drifting iceberg has hit the tip of an Antarctic glacier, the Drygalski ice tongue, snapping off a block about three miles square. The collision was captured in these remarkable satellite photos.

JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: The much larger, grayer object is this B-15-A, super iceberg that has just collided with the glacier ice flow out in the sea. This B-15, the big iceberg, may look like Manhattan but it's actually dozens of times larger than Manhattan.

PHILLIPS: Of grave concern, penguin breeding colonies. The giant berg has blocked sea access for some months now. Penguins are forced to trudge some 110 miles to open water to gather food. Adult penguins may be able to tough it out, but there are fears that tens of thousands of penguin chicks who can't swim far to feed will starve.

That's also bad news for scientists studying penguins who say they are a key indicator of the state of the environment. The bergs also blocking fuel and supply deliveries to Antarctic research stations.

PIKE: There is certainly hope at this point based on the recent movement of the iceberg that it's going to head out to sea, letting the penguins get to feeding areas and letting the resupply ships get into the American station. The problem, of course, is that they have been tracking this iceberg for several months now and it's consistently failed to do what they predicted.

PHILLIPS: The collision was actually expected sometime ago. But the iceberg became stranded on a sandbar. I remember this chilling moment from my trip in 2002. I was in Antarctica with Dr. Doug McGale who is studying birds and weather patterns. We were packing up to go and then this...

DR. DOUG MCGALE: A giant crack has run up about 20 kilometers and it stops over there. So that means we are going to see the iceberg split in half very soon. Maybe as we are standing on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to wave B-15 good-bye.

PHILLIPS: Moments later we were in the air and saw a split.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This crack is going to be the death of B-15- A.

PHILLIPS: As the last of the suns rays hit the frozen continent and winter closes in on the region -- in Antarctica, winter means no more sunlight for months. Scientists will wait and watch for the iceberg's next move. Kyra Phillips, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Extraordinary pictures. Now let's find out what is coming up at the top of the hour on PAULA ZAHN NOW. Hey, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Anderson. Thanks so much.

We are devoting our full hour to a subject that can save lives, the fight against sexual predators. I'm going to be talking live with Mark Lunsford. His daughter Jessica was kidnapped and killed. Well, today, he was in Washington to stand up for stronger laws to punish sex offenders and keep an eye on them so they can keep away from all of our children. Mark Lunsford at the top of the hour.

And a debate, Anderson, about whether any of the sexual predators can ever really be rehabilitated. A controversial debate at that.

COOPER: Certainly is. I look forward to it. It's seven minutes from now. Paula, thanks very much.

Coming up next on 360, twins-gate, that's what they are calling it. A mayoral race where voters are seeing double and political opponents, well they are seeing trouble. One candidate sent his twin brother because he couldn't make it? It's like the "Manchurian Candidate" only with twins. We'll explain.


COOPER: We're getting a lot of e-mail from you today on a lot of different subjects.

Regarding our story about Ann Coulter last night being upset by her photo on the cover of "Time" magazine. That photo with the pointy shoes and the long legs.

Sue from Rochester, New York writes, "please, put me on the cover of Time and make my legs look longer and thinner. And I'd like some pretty shoes just like Ann has. You know Vincent Gallo asked her for a date on Bill O'Reilly's show. Some girls have all the luck."

Sue, appreciate the e-mail. I didn't know Vincent Gallo asked Ann Coulter out. In fact, I didn't even know who Vincent Gallo was, so I Googled him. It turns out this is the picture that came up. This is Vincent Gallo. Ew, yikes!

Apparently, he's an actor. Though I polled about 50 people in our office and none of them can name one of his films. But Sue, doesn't the thought of this guy asking Ann Coulter out make you feel just a teeny, tiny bit sorry for her? No? Me neither.

Keith from New York has this pressing question, "Anderson, just out curiosity, are you that guy from those Master Card commercials? I'm just asking, because you sound a lot like him." Keith? Priceless.

And let's see -- the other e-mail we got, Peter from New York writes, "Yo! What the deal with yo hair, boy? It's all like gray and short. It's pimping gangsta."

Yo, Peter. Mad props for the shout out. Pimpin gangsta is not the look I was initially going for. Here's some styles I've been down with over the years.

That didn't work out. That was sort of a Malcolm Gladwell look.

That worked out for a while. I was with that for a little for about as long as P. Diddy was with Puffy.

That look I went for a Mr. T. thing.

If you think pimpin' gangsta works for me. I'm all with that, dawg. Thank you, yo. Word. Peace out.

Send me your thoughts anytime. Log on to Just click on the instant feedback link. Tonight taking duplicity to the "Nth Degree."

Here's an interesting political wrinkle. The other two men currently running for the office of mayor of San Antonio, Texas are a little ticked at the third candidate among them -- Julian Castro by name -- because it turns that out one occasion -- but only one he insists -- Julian Castro had his twin brother Joaquin Castro make an appearance for him while he himself was simultaneously campaigning elsewhere.

His rivals called Julian Castro's ability to be in two places at one time an unfair political advantage. Pardon us, but what are these guys? Greenhorns? Do they really not know about George Walker and George Walter Bush. John and Ron Kerry. Al and Sal Gore. Tom and Dom DeLay. Nancy and Francy Pelosi. Or for that matter the triplets? Bill, Phil and Gil Frist.

Nancy and Francy Pelosi.

Nor is it just politics. I mean, come on, you don't really think the Donald could do all the stuff he does without the Ronald do you? It wouldn't be possible.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching 360. CNN's prime time coverage continues right now with Paula Zahn. Hey, Paula.



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