Return to Transcripts main page
PAULA ZAHN NOW
Interview With Aunt of Shasta Groene; Sex Offender Neighborhood; Guitarist Finds God
Aired July 6, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, you might call it a miracle, an amazing triumph over adversity by one small child.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): This little girl has gone through hell on Earth. Somehow, she's coping.
STEVE GROENE, FATHER OF SHASTA AND DYLAN: But Shasta is doing well. She's very upbeat. She seems to be pretty healthy and she's really glad to be home.
O'BRIEN: Where does she find the courage?
And a town with more offenders than policemen.
LORENZA STEWART, RESIDENT OF POMONA: This is something that, it's waiting to explode. This is ridiculous, all these sex offenders in our neighborhood.
O'BRIEN: And now the neighbors are steaming mad.
Plus, how did this man go from the top of the rock world to this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's on fire for Jesus.
O'BRIEN: The answer just might surprise you.
O'BRIEN: Thanks for joining us. Paula is off this week.
We start in Idaho, where Shasta Groene's father says she is doing well and very upbeat, despite having endured terrors few of us can imagine. She is smiling in the pictures that have been made public since she was rescued on Saturday. But we know from court papers that she has described being kidnapped and sexually molested during the seven weeks she was missing.
Her father says Shasta appears pretty healthy and is glad to be home. But he knows there's a long road ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GROENE: And as far as the family's concerned, we all need time to be able to grasp this. This is so incomprehensible, that it's going to take quite a lot of time for us to even really start to realize what's happened here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: I think we're all concerned about how this little girl and her family can overcome what has happened.
Sue Torres is Shasta Groene's great aunt. She joins us from Gillette, Wyoming.
Sue, good to have you with us.
How is Shasta doing?
SUE TORRES, GREAT AUNT OF SHASTA GROENE: Shasta is doing very well. This little girl is amazing. She -- I wish I had half of the strength she has.
O'BRIEN: Tell me what you have been hearing at the other end of the phone line when you talk to your nephew.
TORRES: When I talk to my -- I talked to my brother yesterday. He sees Shasta daily. Their last appointment was at 3:00 today. She is doing well. She is happy. She's glad to be home.
She's -- I think that she's feeling safe, you know, for the time being, with having all the family around and having her dad back. I just -- she's just amazing. Her courage is unbelievable.
O'BRIEN: Where do you think she gets the strength?
TORRES: Boy, I wish I knew because I would sure like some of it.
O'BRIEN: Wouldn't we all, I think.
O'BRIEN: Do you think there's something lurking beneath the surface here, though?
TORRES: You know, I don't know. She's just -- it's just amazing that -- she's just amazing. I just -- you know, I don't -- she's just given us all strength. Her courage is actually lifting everybody.
O'BRIEN: It lifts us, and yet, of course, the whole story causes us a lot of anger and outrage, too, when you consider the record of the person linked to all of this. Do you feel the system failed your family?
TORRES: I feel the system is failing everybody's family. This could have been anybody's family. It just happened to ours.
And, people, please contact your senators and let's start protecting our children. This is what we're meant to do. Contact your senators. Make -- and let's get some of these laws changed and let's take care of these kids. This man was wanted. I mean, he stole the vehicle. He was out there roaming around.
O'BRIEN: And, amazingly, slipped through the cracks and led to this terrible tragedy.
Has your family sought out counseling? Have you thought much about what you are going to say to Shasta, how you're going to handle the situation once you see her?
TORRES: We are doing counseling. In fact, I talked with a guy from the crime victims in Houston, Texas, Andy Kahn, and he was wonderful.
My family is dealing with the crime victims in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. And once -- I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and the people up there. You have been so compassionate with this family. And thank you.
O'BRIEN: Do you think, when you see Shasta, you will have the right words?
TORRES: Boy, I hope. You know, she's probably going to give me the words, as strong as she is.
O'BRIEN: Sue Torres, thank you very much.
What kind of life is ahead for Shasta Groene, or, for that matter, for any child who has been through an ordeal like hers? Lenore Terr wrote a book about overcoming childhood trauma. It's called "Too Scared to Cry." She's a clinical professor of child psychiatry with the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
Lenore, good to have you with us.
LENORE TERR, AUTHOR, "TOO SCARED TO CRY": Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Give some advice to somebody in this situation.
TERR: Well, first of all, I think, the sooner you can get them to some kind of mental health counseling, the better. They really have to express so much emotion.
I mean, there's grief, horrible, unbelievable grief. There's the scared feelings and the trauma that we're all talking about. There's bitter anger. And a person has to be able to vent some of that right away. And some people feel very guilty for having survived when others were killed. You know, why she survived and why everybody else was killed, once she realizes that, that may turn out to be an issue, also, the just awful guilt.
O'BRIEN: So, there's even survivor's guilt at the age of 8?
TERR: Oh, yes. And I have seen it before. And then you have this horribly numb state, which, you know, you just can't feel anything because you have had so much feeling stirred up that you wind up just sort of a numb icicle. And I thought I saw some of that on the videotape of the child in the store there. She didn't look like an animated regular human being in that store videotape. She...
O'BRIEN: Let's -- let's roll that videotape, if we could, because we have all watched that. And it is horrifying when you realize the terrible predicament that she was in as she walks through that store, her arms folded, that grim, determined look, and almost a plaintive look.
TERR: I mean, children, they have very animated faces. And they are full of life and vigor and interest. And that is not that kind of face. Then you have these arms that are just folded up trying to encircle herself and then her legs. They are the legs of a wounded animal.
You look at those legs and they are not coordinated and they are far spread apart. I think she is in physical pain, as well as in mental pain. And it's a very painful thing to watch. It just awful to have to see that.
O'BRIEN: You know, you have the benefit of knowing the situation now. But you think, if you saw a child like that, would you think something was odd?
TERR: Well, I would have, but I'm a physician. You know, I think the other thing is that how many of us really look at other people? We're looking at our children and we're trying to make sure that they don't get accosted by a stranger in a store. And I don't know how many of us really look closely at others.
I did look at her very closely on that video. If I had been in the store, I don't know. I really don't know.
O'BRIEN: Are you -- are you optimistic that she can walk down a road to recovery, obviously a very long road?
TERR: Well, you know, first, it involves getting all this emotion out. And I think she could do that.
And then it involves really thinking it out. And some of this is just unthinkable. But being able to understand it in terms of other children who have recovered, other children who have been killed, what happened to her brother, what happened to everybody, trying to really understand it, which all of us now are trying to understand, but she would need to understand it much more fully, and then finally to get on to finding some kind of corrections in her own life that would he correct for what happened.
And that's hard to do. But I think, as Americans, we're all very correction-oriented. So, we do that pretty well, actually.
O'BRIEN: Lenore Terr, thanks for your time. Appreciate the insights and advice.
TERR: You're welcome.
O'BRIEN: More of us are worried about child molesters than we are about terrorists. Now, look at this. Two-thirds of the people we polled last winter said they were very concerned about child molestation. That's almost twice as many as were concerned about terrorism.
Polls also show most people think there's a child molester in their neighborhood. But, in one California town, people were surprised to discover there isn't just one. There are dozens and they are right next door.
Thelma Gutierrez takes us there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to protest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I shouldn't have to live in fear.
THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One child molester is released into a neighborhood. It ignites a firestorm of rage and fear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want him in our neighborhood.
GUTIERREZ: But imagine a neighborhood where more than 60 convicted sex offenders, most of them child molesters, live within a one-mile radius, a city where registered sex offenders outnumber cops.
This is Pomona, California. It is the place where 16-year-old Brizeldi Rodriguez grew up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a lot of people there.
GUTIERREZ: Where David and Lisa Drake bought their first house, where the Medina family has always been proud to live, that is, until the day they learned the true identities of their neighbors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kidnapping person with intent to commit rape, crimes against children, rape, sodomy, sexual penetration with a foreign object. It says rape by force.
GUTIERREZ: Convicted sex offenders throughout the country must register with local law enforcement where they live for the rest of their lives.
Here in California, that information is now easily accessible to the public on the Megan's Law Web site.
(on camera): So, imagine living in this house, then discovering that right next door is a home full of convicted sex offenders.
Then, two doors down from the yellow house is this gray house that has more than a half dozen convicted sex offenders who live inside.
(voice-over): That's at least 15 convicted sex offenders on one street, at last count, seven in one house, right next door to Brizeldi Rodriguez's family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten feet and two inches.
GUTIERREZ: A mere 10 feet two inches away.
BRIZELDI RODRIGUEZ, RESIDENT OF POMONA: There's been situations where they looked over the fence when we're in the backyard.
GUTIERREZ (on camera): Tell me how that feels.
RODRIGUEZ: That's scary, because this is like, you are in your yard. And now you look back and there's somebody looking at you.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): It's hard to imagine just how uncomfortable that would be. Brizeldi told me she feels her family lives under siege.
RODRIGUEZ: We prefer like just keeping it closed.
GUTIERREZ: For one thing, when she washes dishes, she can never open the curtains to look outside.
RODRIGUEZ: And it looks like they are trying to look through.
GUTIERREZ: Brizeldi walked us through her home.
RODRIGUEZ: I'm going to take you to my mom's room. She can't have those curtains open because they have a bunk bed and it looks directly inside here.
GUTIERREZ: So, the Rodriguezes curtains remain shut. The house is dark. And in broad daylight, the lights are turned on.
Raquel (ph) Medina lives down the street from Brizeldi. Her neighbors include people like this man, who has been convicted on multiple molestation counts, including oral copulation and other lewd and lascivious acts against a minor.
RODRIGO MEDINA, RESIDENT OF POMONA: I'm afraid that, any moment, something might happen.
GUTIERREZ: The Medinas have a 14-year-old son. They say their neighborhood is full of children, many of whom must walk past these homes to go to school. Not long ago, the Medinas had a group home right next door to them, too.
MEDINA: When my wife went out of the kitchen, the guy was masturbating himself.
GUTIERREZ: That group home, which was privately owned, was eventually shut down and sold. Two others on the street also privately own remain open. The parole board places most sex offenders who live here and the rent is paid by California taxpayers.
The Drakes live nearby. They also have a group home near them with seven registered sex offenders. They say no one, not the owners of the group homes, not city officials, not even the police department, ever notified them about their neighbors.
DAVID DRAKE, RESIDENT OF POMONA: My immediate reaction was shock and alarm. And, of course, I'm concerned for the safety of my wife and child. They frequently walk during the day just down the street past that house.
GUTIERREZ: According to the Megan's Law Web site, the city of Pomona has some 250 registered sex offenders. Compare that to nearby Claremont, a more affluent community that has fewer than 10.
LISA DRAKE, RESIDENT OF POMONA: I felt angry mostly. I was -- it just feels like another injustice that has been put on the city, and especially the fact that it's in a poor area with lots of kids. It's just -- it's frustrating.
GUTIERREZ: We took the residents' complaints to the city's acting mayor, Marco Robles.
(on camera): And they say that their pleas have fallen on deaf ears and they feel that it's because they are not economically, nor politically powerful.
MARCO ROBLES, POMONA VICE MAYOR: I think this council has taken a serious and a very aggressive stand.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): But the Medinas and other families in the neighborhood say they haven't seen results. They say that, for five years, they and others have tried to get city leaders to listen to them, in vain.
Brizeldi's father even videotaped what he alleges were prostitutes visiting registered offenders. The residents even started a petition drive against group homes in their neighborhood.
(on camera): Are you saying that you can't control the number of group homes that come into this area?
GUTIERREZ: And that you can't control the numbers of sex offenders that live within one of these homes?
GUTIERREZ: How does that make you feel?
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): So, if city officials feel powerless, imagine how this high school sophomore feels, knowing that several child molesters live next door, that it is Brizeldi who now lives behind bars in the dark confined to her room out of fear.
O'BRIEN: Coming up, meet the minister who owns a group home. You won't believe how many sex offenders live there.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back.
The residents of Pomona, California, were shocked to find that they were living among dozens of sexual offenders and child molesters. As it turns out, someone was setting up halfway houses taking money from the state in return for giving convicted criminals a place to stay. Who would do such a thing?
Once again, here is Thelma Gutierrez.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): At the break of dawn, the task force is ready for work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going after a parolee at large.
GUTIERREZ: Ready to go after convicted sex offenders who have served their jail time...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probation. Open up the door, please.
GUTIERREZ: ... But might be in violation of California's sex registration laws.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was convicted of the burglary and the sexual battery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sexual assault on a child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) for lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
GUTIERREZ: The task force, under California's attorney general, monitors the whereabouts of the state's registered sex offenders, those who are out of compliance, like this man, a convicted child molester, and this one, too. Both failed to register with police. They are picked up and taken into custody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be a compliance check.
GUTIERREZ: Task force commander Special Agent Carol Parszik says her team has a monumental job. There are only seven full-time officers to track 18,000 registered sex offenders in L.A. County alone. CAROL PARSZIK, CALIFORNIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS: It's critical due to the number of offenders that basically reoffend and commit other sexual offenses. The recidivism rate for this type of crime is extremely high.
GUTIERREZ: According to the California Department of Corrections, nearly 50 percent of sex offenders will reoffend within three years of their release.
And that brings us back to this neighborhood in Pomona, California. According to the state's Megan's Law Web site, more than 60 registered sex offenders live within a one-mile radius. Many cluster together under the same roof.
RODRIGUEZ: I have seen him, like around the house.
GUTIERREZ: This is a 16-year-old Brizeldi Rodriguez. At last count, there are 15 registered sex offenders living on her street, like this 70-year-old man convicted on multiple child molestation counts and this 46-year-old, who is a convicted rapist.
RODRIGUEZ: Rape by force.
GUTIERREZ: This 44-year-old, another convicted child molester.
RODRIGUEZ: Crimes against children, continuous sexual abuse of a child.
GUTIERREZ: And this 38-year-old convicted of rape with violence.
RODRIGUEZ: Rape by force.
GUTIERREZ: Two are back in custody and one is at large, wanted by police. At one time, all three were Lorenza Stewart's neighbors.
STEWART: This is something that, it's waiting to explode. This is ridiculous, all these sex offenders in our neighborhood.
GUTIERREZ: Lorenza is a single mother of three. She says none of the neighbors received even one advisory about any of the sex offenders who were released into their community.
STEWART: I think that they are just dumping them off here in our community because we're a poor community. And there's nobody out here to picket and to run them off.
GUTIERREZ: The problem is where to house these people. Many convicted sex offenders can't find work. They have nowhere to go. So, the parole board places them in privately owned group homes like this, where rent is cheap.
WILLARD WILLIAMS, HALFWAY HOUSE OWNER: These group homes, I think, for the most part, they are trying to provide a service, such as myself.
GUTIERREZ: Willard Williams is an ordained minister. WILLIAMS: I have a spiritual duty for the lost and the ones who are -- don't know Jesus Christ.
GUTIERREZ: Williams also own this is group home in Pomona. At one time, he says, it housed 11 sex offenders, but the city only allows for six, so he had to cut back.
(on camera): Is it profitable?
WILLIAMS: Yes, it's profitable. There's a profit in it, yes.
GUTIERREZ: It's a business.
WILLIAMS: It's a business.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): The state pays Williams and other group homeowners between $350 and $450 a month for each parolee. Williams does not live in this neighborhood.
(on camera): In your neighborhood, do you have a group home next to you?
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): After the neighbors found out about the sex offenders living in this building, where Williams has an office, he kicked them out. But at least two of those convicted child molesters ended up here, just a mile away, in Lorenza Stewart's neighborhood.
(on camera): Do you recognize any of those people?
GUTIERREZ: And right next door to Brizeldi Rodriguez.
(on camera): They say they have to live somewhere.
RODRIGUEZ: See, but, like, why next door to us? There's children around here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he's been back in and out of the system, six, eight times.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Are the cluster homes actually more dangerous? Or do they just rattle the nerves of the people who live next door?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead.
PARSZIK: Yes. He's not at the business. So, we're going to roll to the residence.
GUTIERREZ: No one could tell us what impact the high concentration of sex offenders has on the crime rate in this or any other area. According to several state agencies, no one tracks that information.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody was aware of the house in the neighborhood.
GUTIERREZ: But residents in Pomona say they are not waiting for statistics. They want action now. On this night, more than 100 people, including Brizeldi, gather at a local church to organize.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to see one child injured in any way by anyone.
GUTIERREZ: The residents say they want to take back their community and they want Pomona City officials to take notice.
(on camera): This is one of the homes in question.
(voice-over): Acting Mayor Marco Robles comes out to the neighborhood with us to see firsthand how people like Lorenza Stewart have to live.
STEWART: Is there anything that we can do as a community to shut down some of these houses? Because there's too many.
ROBLES: Yes, yes, and yes on all three. There are too many.
GUTIERREZ: Soon, other neighbors join in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they're the ones that have to live next door to it.
ROBLES: I don't think anybody in this neighborhood should live under this type of circumstances.
GUTIERREZ: Robles says the city has limited control over group homes, but assured residents he would take the lead to try to limit the number of clusters in their city.
So, if the sex offenders get kicked out of Pomona, where will they go next? Who will take them? Beyond Pomona, the same questions apply across the state. There are 102,000 registered sex offenders living in California.
O'BRIEN: That was Thelma Gutierrez reporting. The whole country has a long way to go when it comes to protecting our children.
An example, Arizona has lost track of nearly 1,000 of its 14,000 registered sex offenders. So, the state's Department of Public Safety is adding manpower, increasing the number of full-time workers who keep track of sex offenders by 66 percent, from six to 10.
Coming up, a story of spiritual awakening. This rock star had it all, or did he?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRIAN WELSH, KORN: I was a junkie and a single dad and a rock star all in one. But, inside, I was dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: The amazing transformation of guitarist Brian Welch. Why is he playing a very different tune? The answer when we come back.
O'BRIEN: Later tonight, the newly revealed secrets of ex-con Martha Stewart, like her prison nickname and recipe for opening unsightly ankle bracelets.
But, first, time for headlines from Erica Hill.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks Miles.
And people from Texas to Florida are tracking another potentially deadly storm. Dennis became a Category 1 hurricane with 80-mile-an- hour winds tonight. It could become a Category 3 hurricane with 130 mile-an-hour winds by this weekend. Now, early today, Tropical Storm Cindy slammed the Louisiana coast, causing flooding and power outages before moving inland.
Worry about storm damage to oil rigs in the Gulf helped push the price of oil to a new record high today. It's $61 a barrel. The Dow dropped 101 points.
"New York Times" reporter Judith Miller is spending the night in jail. She could be there until October. Today, a federal judge pronounced her in contempt for refusing to disclose a confidential source who identified a CIA agent. Miller never actually wrote a story about that. Critics say this opens the door up to covering up future scandals.
And rap diva Lil' Kim getting rapped with a $50,000 fine and, what's more, a year and a day in jail, all for lying to a grand jury about a shoot-out between her entourage and a hip-hop rival back in 2001. The singer, whose really name is Kimberly Jones told the judge she was sorry.
And that is the latest from Headline News -- Miles, back over to you.
O'BRIEN: Erica, thanks very much.
Lil' Kim's sentencing is only the most recent reminder of the downside fame, which is something our next subject knows all too much about. Meet the heavy metal rocker who hit the top and then hit the bottom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WELCH, FORMER KORN GUITARIST: I was going after my demonic potential, you know, and that was getting famous, worshipping money, worshipping fame, worshiping all this other stuff that I thought life was all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: The surprising spiritual awakening of former Korn guitarist Brian Welch.
AND: The new angle on Martha's ankle. Has one of America's most famous convicts learned how to unlock her tracking device?
O'BRIEN: Sex, drugs, rock n' roll: It's been many a guitar player's dream. But for Brian Welch, it is something else entirely. He's the former lead guitarist for the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning rock band Korn. Never heard of them? Ask your kids.
And then, you cam surprise them with what you learn in this "People in the News" profile of Brian Welch, that Paula Zahn finished this just before she went on vacation.
PAULA ZAHN, HOST (voice-over): Here on a roof, bible in hand, Brian Welsh is a new man. But it wasn't long ago that this hard- rocking heavy-drinking, drug-addicted rock star was at the pinnacle of his career and drowning, he says, in despair.
WELCH: I was a junkie and a single dad and a rock star all in one, But inside I was dead.
ZAHN: That is how the former guitarist from Korn describes his old life, before he quit drugs; before he quit the band; before he did this.
Brian Welch was raised in a Christian home in the industrial farm town of Bakersfield, California. His quiet childhood, a far cry from his future.
WELCH: When I was a kid, I was really, like, sad inside and I was kind of shy. I was weak. I was afraid to fight. I was made fun of a lot. And I started getting into music. It just made me feel like I belonged somewhere, you know.
ZAHN: Brian found his calling on the strings of a guitar and discovered a kinship with four other teens from Bakersfield, who together formed Korn in 1993.
WELCH: When all the guys in Korn hooked up back when we kids, it was like we were a part of something that was going to be our own, you know. And not -- it wasn't about the school. It wasn't about a church. It was about something that we're going to create and do something that we feel that we're gifted to do -- just fun for us.
ZAHN: Korn's first record earned accolades from fans and critics alike, with a unique fusion of heavy metal and alternative rock that some called: New metal. But their aggressive song lyrics told dark tales of drugs, sex and violence.
They struck a chord with teenage fans.
Awards soon followed...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the winner is Korn, "Freak on a Leash."
ZAHN: Korn's songs topped music charts. Their albums went multi-platinum and they struck Grammy gold not once, but twice.
WELCH: We played in front of like 200,000 people and they were all going nuts. And we were like: Wow!
I dreamed about this when I was a kid. A 100 percent of it came true. All the fame and money and touring. It was crazy.
ZAHN: But Brian wasn't happy.
WELCH: To the outside world, I was just -- I had it all. I had money, Grammys. I had the house, cars, anything I wanted, but the whole time I was with Korn, when we had success, something at home was failing.
ZAHN: Life on the road took its toll: Brian's wife left, his marriage fell apart and he became a single father to their little girl, Jenayah (ph). The pressure, he says, led to a deep depression and dependency on highly addictive crystal meth, or speed.
WELCH: I started doing speed full-time, every day. I was addicted to Xanax, too; sleeping pills. It's just like living in pure hell. I was so miserable. I was like: I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. Never. And I really wanted to die. I really did.
ZAHN: Late last year, a concerned friend invited Brian to this church in Bakersfield. Brian's pastor, Ron Vietti.
PASTOR RON VIETTI, VALLEY BIBLE FELLOWSHIP: I saw tiredness, I saw confusion and someone who just was really ready for a change in life.
WELCH: I was going after my demonic potential, you know and that was getting famous, worshipping money, worshipping fame, worshipping all this other stuff that I thought life was all about.
ZAHN: That realization prompted Brian to think about leaving the band. But when his 5-year-old daughter started singing sexual lyrics from a Korn song, he decided it was time to quit.
WELCH: I said, "You guys, I'm sorry. I can't do this anymore. I'm leaving. I've got to leave. I have to leave. I have no other choice." My bass player for Korn, he text-messaged me and he said, "You're going to get put on MTV. Everyone is going to laugh at you. They are going to say that you're crazy. Is that what you want?"
I was like: Yeah I'm ready to get laughed at, because God is not laughing at me.
ZAHN: That faith led Brian to check into a hotel for what he call as personal drug rehab with God.
WELCH: When I was laying in bed sweating and stuff, going through all the withdrawals and stuff, on speed. I was like: OK, God, I want you to strip this from me. You're the healer; take this from me.
I didn't know what it meant to be touched in the spirit or nothing, but I just -- I felt like he goes: I'm going to make you a star, by yourself, without Korn. You are mine now. You are going to sing for me.
ZAHN: Cured, he says, of his addiction, Brian joined his church group on a headline-making pilgrimage to Israel.
WELCH: Right when I got the gown on, tears started coming down my eyes and my stomach was contracted and I just felt pain. I was looking' up just going: Oh, God, I'm sorry.
ZAHN: The change, Brian Says, was instant.
WELCH: I believe that my -- that evil spirits were lifted from me and now I'm peaceful. I'm at peace. I feel peace inside.
O'BRIEN: Now that Brian Welch has saved himself from his demons, he's taking aim at someone else's.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WELCH: I'm not saying I'm better than him. I'm saying God is telling me something and God is telling me something to tell you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: In a new song, he slams one of America's biggest rap stars.
Find out who, when we come back.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back. Our "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" profile is focusing on guitarist Brian Welch who discovered his dream of becoming a rock star came with a dark side of drugs and despair. With more on his journey into the light, once again here's Paula Zahn.
ZAHN (voice-over): He was a rock star at the top of his game with all the trappings of celebrity. But today, Brian Welch plays a very different tune. Music awards that once filled his home are now in dusty piles on his garage floor. Painful reminders, Brian say, of a life he'd rather leave behind.
WELCH: I feel like this guy is dead. There's a lot of pain back there. And these unfortunately remind me of pain. And I don't want to look at them all the time. So they are in my garage.
ZAHN: In their place, religious symbols adorn Brian's walls, furniture and body.
WELCH: Matthew 5:8, "blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God." Matthew 6:19, "don't store your riches on Earth and love conquers all."
ZAHN: And the man who once described himself as shy is telling his story to thousands.
WELCH: You don't have to be in church in a tie, because some man tells you that you need to dress like that. It's about having a relationship come as you are. He loves us all the same.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My e-mails have quadrupled since Brian has been here. A lot of young people writing us saying if God can do that for him maybe he can do it for me even though I'm not a rock star. So, yes, it has had an influence and an impact.
ZAHN: Brian's spiritual reawakening also led to a surprising new discovery, a talent for song writing.
WELCH: I never wrote lyrics in Korn. I never wrote lyrics in my life. I didn't know how to write lyrics. Now I'm writing songs and my phrasing is good. I sound like a singer. I'm not the best singer in the world, but in writing these songs, I never knew -- I never knew I had in me. That's my hidden treasure that God had for me.
ZAHN: One of his first composition is a love song to his little girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now he's just a plain regular dad, except he's on fire for Jesus.
ZAHN: As he returns to the studio for his first solo effort, Brian's Christian theme music is already making news with a scathing critique of rapper 50 Cent. For doing what Brian calls the work of the devil.
And his new song, a cheap name takes direct aim at the rap star.
WELCH: I'm not saying I'm better than him. I'm saying God is telling me something. And God is telling me something to tell you. I'm the translator. You listen if you want, but things are going to happen.
ZAHN: Despite what some consider a narrowly targeted message, the recording industry is taking notice of Brian's new sound.
STEVE DELAPORTAS, FORTITUDE MUSIC: You could label it what you want. But music is music. And just because the lyric content in these songs happens to be uplifting, the music is really intense. His fans are going to love this stuff.
ZAHN: In the works a major tour and a million records. But Brian vows that this time around his profits will be put to good use.
WELCH: There are 70 million kids on the streets in India. And I would rather spend my money getting them to know God.
ZAHN: Brian's former band mates from Korn's declined CNN's request for an interview. But in a statement said that Korn respects Brian's wishes and hopes he finds the happiness he's searching for.
WELCH: I miss those guys so much. I am reaching out to them. I know -- I scared them away a lot.
ZAHN: Today, Brian surrounds himself with a new group of friends.
WELCH: How is it going?
I ran to my room, grabbed my drugs and threw them in the toilet. And I got on my knees, did I pass?
ZAHN: Among those friends, born again actor Stephen Baldwin.
STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: What we're going to see is this new perception -- this new perception about God and faith in America amongst the youth culture with guys like Brian Welch, kind of leading the charge.
ZAHN: And to the naysayers who doubt Brian's sobriety, a message.
WELCH: People say he's going off drugs, he's crazy. He's a little off his rocker right now. But if I'm wrong, I have a better family life, my kid looks up to me. I don't want to die. I don't want drugs. I'm healed from all alcoholism. I have everything to gain. And the other way I was living before I had everything to lose including eternity. So, I'm pretty confident in my decision.
O'BRIEN: Brian Welch recently returned from a mission to India where he spent two weeks funding and dedicating homes for street children. His first solo album will be in stores this fall. We wish him well with that.
"LARRY KING LIVE" just ahead, 9:00 Eastern. Larry, who is with you tonight? LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Well, tonight we are going to look at UFOs. Have they been here? Have they been spotted? People say they up in them. Some people cast doubts. We're going to have a panel of six experts, scientists, physicists, experts in the whole field of UFOs, to decide whether or not they are among us.
O'BRIEN: You seem a little skeptical, Mr. King.
KING: No, I should be, shouldn't I? I mean, I have never seen one, have you?
O'BRIEN: Actually, I believe there's probably alien life out there somewhere.
KING: Yes. But have you ever seen a UFO?
O'BRIEN: Come to the newsroom and you never know what you're going to find there, right?
KING: Why do they always land in Wilowaka (ph), Wyoming?
O'BRIEN: It's always there.
KING: There they never come to Washington.
O'BRIEN: It's the Roswell phenomenon, isn't it?
All right. Well, good luck with it, Larry. I'll be watching that one for sure.
All right. Still to come on the program, what Martha Stewart learned after getting out of the big house. Testing the post prison accessories of one of America's premiere taste makers when we come back.
O'BRIEN: Still to come, tips on stock trades got her in trouble, but what useful tips on life after prison did Martha Stewart recently learn on the Internet? We'll find out in just a moment.
First, it's time to check in again with Erica Hill at Headline News -- Erica.
HILL: Thanks, Miles. President Bush and other world leaders arrived at the G-8 summit in Scotland today along with thousands of riot police and demonstrators. The protests took on a cat and mouse quality with the causes ranging from world poverty and war to nuclear weapons and the environment. No serious injuries, though, were reported.
Well, just as conservatives are warning the president not to nominate his attorney general to the Supreme Court, Alberto Gonzalez gets an endorsement from a prominent Democrat. But Senate leader Harry Reid qualifies his endorsement saying he would also like to talk to the president about some other candidates. Well, some conservatives, we should point out, believe Gonzalez isn't really, reliably, anti-abortion as a judge. And that's one concern there.
Meantime, a lawyer for a former suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway may sue the missing teen's mom. Arubans turned out to protest an interview in which the mother referred to the freed teenager as a criminal involved in a violent crime against her daughter. The teenager was released for lack of evidence.
And finally, meet a backward bowler James Kritz (ph). He's going for a spot in the Guinness Book of Records. He went through 11 strikes in a row backwards. Believe it or not, Miles, he says it's actually tougher than regular bowling. I have to try it some day. That's the latest from Headline News. We'll hand it back to you in New York.
O'BRIEN: Thank you, Erica. Just ahead, the word on the street about the latest tips from Martha Stewart. What she says about her time in prison and life in home confinement.
O'BRIEN: You probably don't think of Martha Stewart as being media shy. But believe it or not since getting out of prison four months ago, she hadn't done a tell-all interview with anybody about her life in the big house until now. Jeanne Moos has gotten her hands on the new issue of "Vanity Fair" and tells some.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We know her as Martha Stewart, but in prison she had a nickname.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you go to jail they give you a nickname, shortly, biggy. She is M. Diddy.
MOOS: That's right, M. Diddy, just like her occasional buddy P. Diddy. And already there's merchandise for sale on a save Martha Web site, even an M. Diddy t-shirt for your dog.
We have "Vanity Fair" magazine to thank for this nugget of Martha trivia. And one of her best quotes had to do with her much bellihood (ph) ankle bracelet, one similar to this, an elusive object of fascination for the press corps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to...
MARTHA STEWART: You're trying to get my ankle?
MOOS: Marcia said her bracelet hurt, it irritates her. But she added I know how to get it off. I watched them put it on. You can figure out how to get it off. It's on the Internet. I looked it up.
Well, so did we. We tried "Ask Jeeves." We tried Googling.
(on camera): 82,400 entries for how to remove ankle bracelet.
(voice-over): But we couldn't find a single helpful tip. JOHN SMALL, SAVEMARTHA.COM: Well, maybe she is referring to using a sharp object. Because, you know, she really good with sharp objects.
MOOS: How could we forget.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say about the allegations here?
STEWART: I think this will all be resolved in the very near few you're. And I will be exonerated.
MOOS: Three years later she sunned home detention for this ridiculousness. Though the Save Martha Web site is counting down the minutes, even the seconds, until house arrest is over in a month or so.
As for removing her bracelet, well, Robert Blake demonstrated with wire cutters how to do that after he was found not guilty. The trick is to remove it without alerting authorities, something even the heroine of a movie called "Cherish" couldn't do. Butter couldn't work, though, an old fashioned hammer helped.
(on camera): After all the ankle band is made of plastic. I can't even get it on, let alone off.
(voice-over): Almost identical to this woman's watch.
(on camera): Are you sure you're not under house arrest. It's the same size.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost the same size, yes.
SMALL: Martha Stewart, M. Diddy style.
MOOS (voice-over): Yet another revelation in the "Vanity Fair" article Martha says she has such a crush on Jon Stewart. Well, no wonder, he's always making fun of the press. For instance the verdict signaling system use bid the media.
JON STEWART, DAILY SHOW: Look at me! I'm Edward R. Murrow. Whoo.
Though their actions did lead to the successful arrival at the courthouse of United Flight 441 from San Diego.
MOOS: Besides, Martha thinks he's handsome and though some folks could careless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care how she looks. I don't care what she cooks. I don't care what she wears on her feet. I don't care how she gets it off. I don't care how she puts it on. OK.
MOOS: I guess he won't be buying an M. Diddy apron.
MILES: All right. I looked it up, I couldn't find it either.
All right. that was Jeanne Moos. And that was something.
Thanks for joining us. I'll see you tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. Eastern on "AMERICAN MORNING." Now it's time for "LARRY KING LIVE." Tonight's topic UFOs. Larry King is a little skeptical. So are we. But we'll be watching. Good night.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com