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Tennessee Fugitive's Van Found; Skin Cancer and Youth; "Disney War"; Royal Caribbean Disappearance; Dreams Examined; Women Who Love Killers

Aired August 10, 2005 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We begin with breaking news right now. Police may be closing in on the Bonnie and Clyde couple. The getaway van used by the gun- toting nurse and her convict husband may have just been found.

It is 7:00 p.m. on the East Coast, 4:00 p.m. in the West, 360 starts now.


COOPER (voice-over): The hunt for a former prison nurse who helped her convict husband escape. But why do some women fall for men behind bars? Sending love letters to Scott Peterson, even to serial killers. Tonight, the strange phenomenon of women in love with killers.

Your skin in danger. A new study finds skin cancer in young people has tripled. Tonight, what's going on? What you need to know before stepping out in the sun.

It was supposed to be the happiest time of his life, a young groom on his honeymoon cruise. But what happened? Tonight, Nancy Grace investigates the trail of blood, the missing groom, and a boat full of questions.

And decoding the mystery of dreams. What really happens in your sleeping mind? Tonight, we take your e-mails to unlock the secrets of your dreams.

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


COOPER: Good evening again. A number of developing stories tonight. A number of questions we are going to answer for you.

First, the getaway van used by a prisoner and his gun-toting has just been found. But how did this odd couple escape in the first place, and where are they now?

The wife is a former nurse who fell for a prisoner. But what draws some women to convicts? A fascinating psychological study. And unlocking the secrets hidden in your dreams. Why exactly do we dream? And what do dreams teach us about ourselves? Answers to all those questions tonight.

We begin with the breaking news in the manhunt for two fugitives. A convicted felon and his gun-toting wife were both involved in that shooting outside the courthouse in Tennessee yesterday.

CNN can confirm that a vehicle that may have been used in yesterday's escape as the getaway van, the van that we've all been talking about today on the news, has been found now at a motel in Erlanger, Kentucky. That is just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, not far from the airport in Cincinnati.

Police in Kingston, Tennessee, just held a press conference saying they believe the couple is close. CNN's David Mattingly has been following the late-breaking development.

David, what's the latest?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the latest is pretty much just as you laid out. The police in Erlanger, Kentucky, confirming to us that they have recovered the van used by this couple to escape from Tennessee.

They tell us it was discovered at the Econolodge in that northern Kentucky city, which is just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, very close to the Northern Kentucky Airport. There has been no word, however, on the whereabouts of the Hyattes themselves.

A spokesperson for the TBI -- that's the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation -- tells CNN's Bob Franken that no one is in custody. So, again, at this hour, we're not sure about the whereabouts of the couple themselves.

The FBI is taking possession of that vehicle from the hotel. That's about all the facts that we have at this time.

The police in Kentucky say they will be having a news conference soon. We're waiting on one here, right here in Tennessee, where all of this happened, in Kingston, Tennessee.

It was just yesterday morning where, here in the parking lot behind me, that George Hyatte was leaving the courthouse, escorted by two corrections officers. His wife then emerged in an SUV, pulled a gun, and shot one of those officers, allowing her husband to escape.

They later found that SUV with blood on the driver's side, believing that the wife may have been shot in the gunfire, the gunfire exchange that ensued there. But that was the last trace they had of them. They believe that they were in this -- what they described as a gold Chevy van. They even turned out a license plate.

It appears that that van now has been found up in northern Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati. So this couple being able to make tracks, as you might say, all the way to northern Kentucky before abandoning that vehicle -- Anderson?

COOPER: David, I want to show this picture of this van that has just been found by this hotel in this Kentucky town. Now, this van -- as you just said, this was not the SUV that she drove up in, or allegedly drove up in, and fired a shot at the officer, getting her husband out of custody. This was pre-positioned, was it not, and wasn't this van stolen, like, the previous day?

MATTINGLY: We were told by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that this van belonged to a family that she was working for as a nurse. This family reported the van stolen. The van showed up here, not too far away from here.

It was the second vehicle that they used. The first one was an SUV that belonged to the wife. And they recovered that SUV just a couple of blocks away from here, where they believe they transferred from that vehicle to the van and then took off from this area.

COOPER: And there were witnesses who said they had seen that van, which we just saw on the screen, parked overnight. So if that is, in fact, the case, this was clearly pre-thought out.

MATTINGLY: That's been one of the major questions. How did his wife -- how was she able to get two vehicles in place in this one town, suggesting that there might be accomplices in this case.

But the police, the investigators are telling us they haven't had any solid evidence that they've been willing to come forward with, if there was any help for this couple. But, again, it has raised a lot of questions. How was this one woman able to get these two vehicles to this town in preparation for springing her husband from custody?

COOPER: Well, the earlier reports also had indicated that the SUV drove up -- she was driving it -- and that the convict, her husband, said, "Shoot them," and then a shot rang out. One officer went down. Apparently another officer returned fire and perhaps that is where this woman was wounded.

We don't know if there's been any blood evidence or signs of blood in this van they have just taken into custody. I'm getting a report, David, that police at the airport near that Econolodge where the van has been found have been put on the lookout, have been told -- their pictures have been disseminated. They've been told to watch out.

But there were also hospitals had been told to be on the lookout, as well.

MATTINGLY: That's right. Because they believe that the wife may have been wounded in the exchange of gunfire as they were trying to escape from here, they found, we're told, quite a bit of blood on the driver's side of that SUV that she was driving.

For that reason, they believe she would probably be in need of medical treatment. And for that reason, they were watching hospitals. They were making sure everyone here was on alert. But, again, they were assuming that this couple could be anywhere. They had helicopters in the air over this town still, when it was quite possible that they had left here sometime yesterday. But the police here are being very careful to make sure they weren't giving up the search in this area.

COOPER: Yes, well, let's put the picture of those two on the screen again. And police are saying that everyone should be very careful, that these people are considered armed and dangerous.

It's a fascinating story, though -- and we're going to talk more about it on 360, David, but we could just touch on it now -- how these two met, and, I guess, fell in love, and ultimately got married. I mean, she was working as a nurse inside the prison where he was serving time.

MATTINGLY: That's right. All these details coming to us from the state corrections office.

We're told that she was working the prison where he was being held, that they began a relationship there, and she was no longer able to work there as a nurse because of that relationship.

They later got married, not knowing how much time they could probably spend together with him behind bars. But today, they are clearly together after that escape.

We talked to an attorney who worked in the courthouse. And he said that yesterday, prior to the escape, he saw the two very close, almost face-to-face, appearing to discuss something. He said, in hindsight, it appears that they were discussing their last-minute details of how they were going to pull this off.

So everyone here fully believing there was a lot of planning that went into this and that she was able to pull this off with relatively few hitches.

COOPER: And I guess she lost her job in the prison because she at one point was caught smuggling food in to him, this is before they'd actually gotten married. And then she revealed to prison authorities they were, in fact, having some form of a relationship, and they, in fact, did get married a little later on.

David, we're going to check in with you a little bit later on. This is a fast-breaking story. We want to keep our viewers apprised of any developments.

As we just said, police say they do believe these two may still be in the area in Kentucky, around that hotel. And police at the airport, which is about an hour or so away, have also been put on alert.

Investigators have called these two fugitives desperate people who did not have anything to lose, descriptions we have certainly heard for other prisoners who have escaped or really attempted to break free. There have been a lot of them. Some have gone to extreme, even bizarre lengths, just for a short taste of freedom. And a lot of times, a taste is all they got. Here's a look at some past escapes.


COOPER (voice-over): Life for Harold McCord was perhaps the most creative escapee. In June 2003, he escaped using a fake gun made out of cardboard, toilet paper, and ink. After a hearing in a courthouse, he pulled his phony pistol and held it to an officer's head. It looked so real, the other officers didn't shoot. McCord escaped.

ED TROYER, SPOKESMAN, PIERCE CO. SHERIFF DEPT: Desperate person. He's made comments stating that he plans on going down in a gunfight and he's not going to be taken alive.

COOPER: Twenty-four hours later, Harold McCord was shot seven times by police and died.

Robert Shepherd (ph) got away with an even more unlikely weapon, dental floss. Convicted of manslaughter and armed robbery, in 1994 Shepherd (ph) braided a lot of dental floss into a cord, strong enough to scale an 18-foot wall. Shepherd (ph) was on the run for five weeks before he was captured. And it cost him an extra five years. By the way, dental floss is no longer sold at that prison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, Mr. Sigler (ph).

COOPER: Armed robber Jay Sigler (ph) used his own mother to get out of prison. In 1998, a friend drove a semi-truck through four security fences at his Florida prison. Then his mom drove the getaway car.

He was only free for one day before getting caught. And mommy dearest, she got a ride to jail for one year.

The most infamous prison escape? The escape from Alcatraz. So famous, they made a movie about it. Forty years ago, three cons escaped from The Rock, turning a vacuum cleaner motor into a drill to widen a vent hole.

THOMAS KENT, FORMER ALCATRAZ INMATE: But they could use it as a drill into the wall, the back of the cells, and they'd drill holes side by side.

COOPER: With dummies in their beds as cover, they broke through and got to rafts that were waiting for them to escape. What happened next remains a mystery. Some believe the sharks in San Francisco Bay may have gotten to them, but the long arm of the law never did.


COOPER: Well, this week, we've talked a lot about lung cancer. But tonight, an alarming report about skin cancer and young people.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million Americans are going to be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, more than one million. Now, researchers at the Mayo Clinic say that for people under the age of 40, particularly women, the risks of getting two types of the disease, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, have now tripled.

Tonight, we want to give you information that could literally safe your life. Helping us separate fact from fiction about skin cancer, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta. He joins us tonight from Atlanta.

Sanjay, good to see you. Tanning at the salon is safer than getting real sunlight outside. We want to do sort of a fact check. Is that true or false?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That is going to be false. There is no such thing as a safe tan. That is a mantra you'll hear over and over again, if you talk to any skin cancer specialist, you talk to any dermatologist. That's what they're going to say: No such thing as a safe tan.

Let me point out, as well, an important point. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation, ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A. UV-B radiation, as it's called, is the stuff that hits your skin, causes a burn.

But UV-A can be much more damaging. In fact, it can get beyond your skin, damage your collagen, cause not only premature wrinkling but set you up for cancer, as well. In those salons, you have 100 times more UV-A radiation than outside. So something to keep in mind.

COOPER: OK. The other fact I've heard out there -- or fiction, I'm sure which it is -- that you have to wear sunscreen even if you're going out in the sun for five minutes. True or false?

GUPTA: That one's going to be false, Anderson. We're going spot you five minutes for sure if you go outside in the sun.

But a couple of things to keep in mind. Obviously, there is a real emphasis on keeping yourself protected. Someone like yourself, Anderson, for example, fair skin, blue-eyed, someone who's got red hair and freckles, those are the people who are the most concerning. They are going to -- 15 minutes or so, they should be thinking about sun block.

COOPER: The darker your skin, the less likely you are to get skin cancer. True or false?

GUPTA: That one is actually true. A lot of people believe that's false, but you do get some protection from simply having dark skin. Caucasians, 20 to 40 times more likely to get skin cancer.

That doesn't mean, though, that people of dark complexions can't still get melanoma. In fact, you've seen it on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hand. I point those two areas out, because those are areas that typically don't get very much sun, but you still can see skin cancer there, as well. COOPER: All right, another true or false. Getting a base tan before you go out in the sun prevents skin damage. I've heard that one a lot. True or false?

GUPTA: That one is false, as well. Now, this is a little bit of a catch-22 here, Anderson. I want to be careful, because actually getting a little layer of melanin is protective. We just talked about that. Having darker skin can be protective.

The problem is -- and you can probably figure this one out on your own -- is that, in order to get that layer of melanin, you probably had to be out in the sun already. So you can get there, but in order to get there, it's a little bit dangerous, Anderson.

COOPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.

Coming up next on 360, getting richer by getting fired. He was the boss at Disney, then he got the axe and a check for $140 million, $140 million for about a year's worth of work, $10 million for each month he worked there. A court says it is OK, it is legal. A lawyer for Disney's shareholders tells us it is not, and he's not giving up.

Also tonight, more on the deadly prisoner escape in Tennessee and a look at love behind bars. Why are some women drawn to convicts serving time for violent crimes? People are sending love letters to Scott Peterson. We're going to look at that.

And a little later, our Nancy Grace stops by to talk about a honeymoon cruise that ended with a newlywed missing. Nancy's going to tell us what she knows about the mystery on the high seas.


COOPER: In the "World in 360" tonight, let's check in with Erica Hill -- Erica?


And we start off tonight in Iraq, where it was another deadly day for U.S. troops. Six killed. Four of the soldiers were ambushed on patrol near Baiji, that's north of Baghdad. Their Humvee was hit by an anti-tank mine and insurgents then opened fire.

Meantime, Iraqi leaders are now working against the clock to finish a draft constitution. It must be approved by the national assembly by Monday.

In Washington, a U.S. Navy official says a purported Al Qaeda video appears to show the I.D. card and weapon of one of the four Navy SEALs killed in eastern Afghanistan in late June. The video aired on an Arab news channel today. It also shows what appears to be a dead body.

Navy officials cannot confirm anything about that part of the video, except to say the way the body is clothed is not how SEALs dress in the field. Near Gozny (ph), Afghanistan, now a U.S. service member killed, another wounded, in an improvised explosive device attack. While in another part of Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan forces killed six insurgents.

And in Shandong province, China, talk about a dramatic rescue. A girl dragged out to sea by a giant wave. The first rescue attempt failed, but then a second man -- if you can see him, he's actually got the red life jacket on -- jumped in attached to a rope. After 10 nervous minutes, he actually found the drowning girl and managed to pull her back to shore. Absolutely incredible.

There you go.

COOPER: Yes, that is amazing. Erica, thanks. We'll see you again in about 30 minutes.

Coming up next on 360, drama at Disney. Not exactly the happiest place on Earth these days. Do you think it's right that this guy, a company head, got $140 million severance for only 14 months of work? A judge says it's legal. Not everyone is so sure, though.

Also tonight, a honeymoon mystery. A groom disappears on a cruise ship. A pool of blood is left behind. We're going to talk to CNN's Nancy Grace about the case.

And a little later, more on the prisoner escape in Tennessee. They have just found the vehicle. They think these two are close, maybe still in Kentucky. We're also look at why some women are attracted to violent criminals, even people like Scott Peterson.

Be right back.


COOPER: Well, we all know that CEOs get paid an awful lot of money to work. We're now learning more and more that they even get paid a lot of money not to work.

Take Michael Ovitz. After 14 months as Disney's boss, the board of directors sent him packing with a $140 million severance deal, $140 million for about 14 months' work.

The shareholders were steaming. They sued. But just yesterday, a court said the board had every right to give Mike Ovitz the platinum parachute, $140 million. He gets to keep it.

Joining us are Melvin Weiss, an attorney for Disney shareholders, and James Stewart, author of "Disney War: The Battle for Magic Kingdom," a remarkable book.

Appreciate both of you joining.

Jim, but let me start with you. $140 for Mike Ovitz for 14 months work. The judge says it's legal. Is it fair? JAMES STEWART, AUTHOR, "DISNEY WAR": Well, it's $10 million a month for what was characterized as inadequate performance. So on its face, it's preposterous.

But when you look at the circumstances and the standards that were being applied, the judge specifically said he was applying the standards that prevailed then, not today, in the post-Enron world. And he at least held open the possibility, if this were to happen today, he might have come out differently.

But under this business judgment rule, he gave them a wide latitude and then said, no matter how absurd on its face, the court is not going to substitute its judgments for that of the board.

COOPER: Mel, the judge basically said, "Look, the essence of business is risk. Eisner hired this guy. The board agreed, and such is life."

MELVIN WEISS, DISNEY SHAREHOLDER ATTORNEY: Well, you see, you just said something that never happened.

COOPER: That the board agreed.

WEISS: Right. There was no board meeting at the beginning, and there was no board meeting at the end.

COOPER: They said that they had one-on-one conversations.

WEISS: There was never an interactive session where all of the board members met, and exchanged ideas, and exposed whatever thoughts that they had to one another.

COOPER: And that was essential to your lawsuit. You were basically saying the board failed in their obligations?

WEISS: Right, exactly. I mean, if there's one thing that Delaware courts have been saying of late -- and I'm going back to pre- this case -- it's that they want proper procedure to take place. And that way, they can police the activities of these people and see if it complies with the duty of care.

And we know, as lawyers who are involved in these types of cases, that the interactive relationship in a board meeting is very important. What he found in this decision -- I mean, it's 174 pages of a diatribe against their conduct, saying that almost everything that they did was wrong, it could have been better.

COOPER: You also detail that in your book. I mean, that often this board did seem to be a rubber stamp for Michael Eisner, a very powerful CEO.

STEWART: Oh, an embarrassing rubber stamp. I mean, this case is amazing in the degree that it raised the curtain on what was really going on at the top of Disney, at the top of the Magic Kingdom.

And the judge was scathing. I've never read an opinion -- he called Eisner Machiavellian. He said he was by far the most culpable of the individuals for this.

COOPER: It is just -- I mean, it's a fascinating book. Why did Michael Ovitz fail at Disney? I know, I mean, it fills a book. It's not something you can just sort of rattle off. But I mean, Eisner was Michael Ovitz's best friend. He hires him to run the company. And then, in a matter of months, he's calling him in memos a psychopath.

STEWART: A psychopath. I mean, look, you probably have to be a psychologist to really understand this, but my sense of it is that they went from being best friends one day to, when he became president of Disney, he was a rival.

And at that point, from day one, even from before day one, Eisner was pulling out the rug from Ovitz. It was interesting, in the court's opinion, they went out of their way to sort of pat Ovitz on the back and say, "Well, you know, he was really doing a pretty good job there," but at every turn he was floored.

COOPER: Now, I want to read you something that the judge ruled about the board's behavior. He said that their conduct, quote, "fell significantly short of the best practices of ideal corporate governance."

Obviously, you agree with that. Do you think this sends a message to other boards that they better wake up?

WEISS: Well, we always felt that this action had some therapeutic impact, as a matter of fact a very important one. But this decision undermines it.

I mean, if you take a look at virtually everything that this judge writes about, he criticizes the way they performed. They didn't get an expert to give them proper information to inform them as to what other comparable types of hiring should get, in terms of dollars.

COOPER: He said they didn't even really look at the severance package that closely.

WEISS: And he also found that Eisner controlled the board, because he had a bunch of cronies on the board. So now, how can you say that the payment of $140 million to a man who is this guy's best friend, who two of the most senior executives of the company -- when they first met him, and he was introduced by Eisner as the person to whom they are going to report to -- said, "We'll never report to him. We'll never report to him."

And they give him $140 million exit package without having a board discussion about it? It's ridiculous.

COOPER: I know you're going to appeal. And we will be watching what happens there. And again, the book is a fascinating look.

WEISS: Just one point.

COOPER: Very quickly. WEISS: He says that $140 million is not economically material. I just want to suggest to you that, in a collective bargaining fight, if Disney was asked for $140 million by the employees of Disney for some sort of a benefit, they would have fought against that payment like crazy.

So to make a finding that $140 million is not economically material is not to understand what goes on in these companies.

COOPER: Or in what people's homes and what people are living off of.

WEISS: Right.

COOPER: Mel, appreciate you joining us.

Jim, as well, thanks very much.

A lot more ahead on 360. Breaking news in the prisoner escape in Tennessee. A getaway car is found in Kentucky. Police say these two may still be in the area. We're going to get a live report on that.

Plus, CNN's Nancy Grace on the missing groom. This guy vanished on a cruise ship. There was a pool of blood found left behind. That's all the evidence they have. Nancy Grace investigates. We'll be right back.


COOPER: More now on the breaking news we told you at the top of this hour. Police in Erlanger, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, very close to the airport, have found a gold van that they believe may have been used by two wanted fugitives, a convicted felon and his gun-toting wife who were involved in that deadly shooting and escape yesterday in Kingston, Tennessee. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations says that George and Jennifer Hyatte have not yet been found, but they may be nearby.

Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe the couple had been there. They have left just minutes, probably minutes early, prior to the entry to the rooms.


COOPER: And this is a breaking story. I mean, this happened just a short time ago. This van was found. The search goes on right now. Questions have come up about how this breakout was even possible.

I mean, it happened yesterday. It was outside a courthouse in the midst of armed guards. There were two armed guards. This is a prisoner who had broken out twice before. We asked CNN's David Mattingly to investigate.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the minutes leading up to the deadly ambush and getaway, prisoner George Hyatte and his wife Jennifer, according to a local attorney, were face-to- face in the Roane County courthouse.

CHRIS CAWOOD, ATTORNEY: Well, reflecting on it now, they were probably making the last second plans of how they were going to do this.

MATTINGLY (on camera): How does he get out of here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, the officers would take him from here.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Sheriff David Haggard says Hyatte's exit from the courthouse seemed to go like clockwork.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down this hallway here.

MATTINGLY: Taking us when where the public is normally not allowed, we learn there is a mandatory stop to make sure Hyatte's restraints are secure.

DAVID HAGGARD, ROANE COUNTY SHERIFF: Leg shackles, handcuffs to make sure everything is secure.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Secure them, make sure everything that was working the way it was supposed to.

HAGGARD: That way everything is locked down.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Then, there's the slow walk down the stairs to the main floor.

(on camera): So if he's in shackles, going down these steps is a very slow process.

HAGGARD: It is. Just one step at a time.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): AT the foot of the stairs, Hyatte and his two armed guards take just 30 steps to reach the door. So far, so good.

(on camera): At this point, there's no reason to think he's expecting to do anything.

HAGGARD: No. But officers were, without knowledge, anything would have happened, or I know they would have took other precautions.

MATTINGLY: But the precautions in place were already daunting. These Tennessee officers demonstrate how it takes just two minutes to immobilize an inmate's hands and completely control his movements. The real challenge will be getting out of it without a key.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would take some work.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Corrections officers may have felt confident as they took the last 30 steps with Hyatte to their waiting van in an unsecured public parking lot. Confronted with an ambush, Sheriff Haggard says there was little the officers could do.

Anybody who wants to could ride in here and do anything they want to. It's not secured.

HAGGARD: It's wide open.

MATTINGLY: Was this something that was just waiting to happen?

HAGGARD: Well, I thought for a long time it was a possibility.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Haggard says the openness and the lack of cover have been discussed in the past. But without a secure entrance in the outdated courthouse, there were few alternatives.

(on camera): When they are surprised in an ambush, is there anything they can do to protect themselves?

HAGGARD: Not that I know of. I mean, it's a total surprise to you. I mean, when somebody opens fire if you survive, you fire back.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But in this case, only one officer survived. Veteran officer Wayne Morgan was not wearing a bulletproof vest. Corrections officials are at a loss to explain why this required and critical piece of security was not used.


MATTINGLY: Authorities here say you shouldn't be surprised to learn that a lot of rural courthouses don't have the money just like this one to have the kind of secured areas where they can bring prisoners in and out. And this is a problem they say that could have happened just about in any rural county -- Anderson.

COOPER: And an officer died in that shootout yesterday. David Mattingly, appreciate it. Thanks very much. We're going to continue to update you.

I just want to show you, again, a picture of these two who are right now on the loose, maybe still in the Kentucky airport -- in the Kentucky area, that Econo Lodge that they were in was about, I'm told now, about 15 minutes from the airport. I thought it was an hour, but it's not. It's about 15 minutes from the airport. They could be anywhere in that area. The van, which we just saw, has now been taken into custody. And, obviously, they're going to be searching that for any forensic clues.

As we just heard earlier, Hyatte's wife is a former prison nurse. And she was fired last year because of her relationship with the prisoner. She was sneaking in food to the guy. They were still dating at the time they got married this past May. And their romance as bizarre as it may seem, is not really unusual. A lot of other women have been attracted to criminals in jail and gotten married to them. It may be bizarre to most of us. But we all wanted to know, why does this happen? CNN's Adaora Udoji investigated.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are killers like Scott Peterson, serial murderers and pedophiles like John Wayne Gacy, but women still flock to them. Richard Ramirez terrorized San Francisco in the '80s, torturing and murdering 13 people. In prison, though, he was nicknamed the "Death row Romeo."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; I just wanted to see what he looked like. I think he's cute.

UDOJI: Why? Because women fought over him.

In 1996, freelance journalist Doreen Leroy married him in a San Quentin prison waiting room.

DORREN RAMIREZ, MARRIED RICHARD RAMIREZ: OK. I'm ecstatically happy today. And very, very proud to have married Richard and to be his wife.

UDOJI: Lyle Menendez, convicted of brutally murdering his wealthy parents in Los Angeles, got a letter from former model Anna Erickson. He is in prison for life. She married him anyway and reportedly divorced him after finding out he was writing to another woman.

How could anyone choose a convicted felon who has committed such heinous crimes?

SANDRA BROWN, AUTHOR: Women have had a long fascination with bad boys. But the problem is that pathological men that are that dangerous and that pathological by nature do not change.

UDOJI: Still, prison romances blossom all the time, say California prison officials. And today the Internet has made those connections easier with Web sites like

Because most inmates get out of prison, relationships to look forward to can be a good thing, those officials say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For better, for worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For better, for worse.

UDOJI: Author Asha Bendele met her husband, a convicted murder, while taking a class working in prisons. They married five years later, nearly 15 years after his crime.

ASHA BENDELE, AUTHOR: The person I met, the value systems, the things that I saw him do in the facility, the way other people spoke about him said to me, whoever he was as a boy, of, you know, 17-and-a- half, he's not now.

UDOJI: She says the stories are complicated. Often the women knew the men before they were in prison, have seen another side of them. Though she doesn't doubt some women suffer from a classic rescue syndrome and seek out men they don't know to try and reform them.

Also, psychologists say those men can be charming. Ted Bundy, a law student, had many fooled until he confessed to bludgeoning to death more than 30 women and girls. Carol Boone sent letters. They married and had a son before his execution.

These kind of stories people remember of women chasing men who have committed terrible crimes and many simply don't understand.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.


COOPER: I must confess, I do not understand it. We wanted to know more. Joining me from Austin, Texas tonight, a man who has done extensive research on these kinds of relationships, abuse specialist Steven Stosny.

Appreciate you joining us Steven, you interviewed 12 women who wrote letters to or had conjugal visits with or even married men in prison on death row, what is up with these women?

STEVEN STOSNY, ABUSE SPECIALIST: Well, it was fascinating, because what each one of them felt was that they found something of value in this man that no one else in the world saw. They had a privileged view into his soul. And that their love would change him, would bring out that soul.

COOPER: But wait, they understood -- I mean, the women who are saying this were saying this based on like a mugshot.

STOSNY: A lot of times they were just perp walk pictures. But they somehow felt that they could see into his soul from -- from a picture that the rest of us just saw, a sociopath or a killer, they saw someone of almost divine power sometimes.

COOPER: Scott Peterson has received marriage offers, I understand, on death row, love letters. There's an online posting that I want to read out to our audience that says, quote, "maybe I'm naive. I really don't know. But I truly believe you are innocent." This is a letter to Scott Peterson. "I hope this letter finds its way to you. And I really hope that you will write back. Guilty or not, I think you are awesome. Come to the coast and look us up. We'll show you a good old time you will never forget." How do you read that?

STOSNY: Well, that is just the bad boy syndrome. She's not -- she doesn't really care if he's guilty or not. It's just exciting having -- the idea of having sex with a celebrity for one, but a celebrity known for being dangerous. It's titillating, it's exciting.

COOPER: And -- you counseled men in prison. What do the women get out of this relationship?

STOSNY: Well, the men usually don't -- they tend to be sociopathic or anti-social. So, they don't have much of a value base.

COOPER: Oh, great.

STOSNY: When you don't have a value base, it's very easy to pour yourself into any kind of a mold that you think people want. So they can become what these women want. So you and I can't do that, because our values prevent us from lying and pretending to be what we're not. It's easy for them to do it. And they do it very effectively.

COOPER: You explain it well. I still find it a mystery and bizarre. Appreciate you joining us, though. It's a fascinating discussion.

Coming up next, though, on 360, a helicopter crashes in the yard of a house. Police say they know what caused it. You will not believe what they say is responsible.

Also tonight, the one and only Nancy Grace tells us about a mystery at sea. Why did a newlywed, a groom, vanish during a honeymoon cruise? All that's left behind, a pool of blood.

And a little later, you e-mailed us your dreams. Tonight maybe a little Sigmund Freud is going to join us -- or a modern version of. We're going to tell you what some of your dreams mean. You can send us an e-mail,, click on instant feedback.


COOPER: Nancy Grace joins us in a moment, but first Erica Hill from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us with some of the day's top stories. Hey, Erica.

HILL: You're getting all the ladies from "HEADLINE NEWS" tonight, Anderson. You're a lucky man.

COOPER: We are lucky.

HILL: We start off actually with a new probe about the September 11th attack in Washington. The 9-11 Commission is asking Defense Department officials new about Muhammad Atta and three other hijackers a full year before the attack. The new claim suggests there was intelligence naming the men as part of an al Qaeda cell in 2000, but that information was never passed along to law enforcement.

Albuquerque, New Mexico now: A disturbing cause in the crash of a police helicopter. Authorities believe a gunshot brought the chopper down Saturday. Investigators recovered fragments of a bullet at the scene. The pilot suffered shrapnel wounds.

And from New York, tonight's stupid human stunt award goes to this guy -- that guy right there, Scott Harper. During a Yankees- White Sox game last night, the 18-year-old jumped from the upper deck and landed on to a safety net. He was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment. By the way, just before his leap, he was reportedly heard saying quote, "bro, I don't know, bro, should I do it?" Bro, back to you, dude.

COOPER: Are you serious. Is that really what he was heard to say?

HILL: That's the word on the street. One thing we don't know and they're not saying, is whether or not alcohol was involved.

COOPER: Oh, man. Bro. Dude.

HILL: But he's 18, so you know, you're sort of like, "bro, you're 18."


HILL: Dude.

COOPER: OK. Thanks very much, dude, appreciate it, bro. See you in again in about 30 minutes.

Let's find out what is coming up at the top of the hour on PAULA ZAHN NOW. Hey, Paul.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Hi, Anderson. Thanks.

There are some new details in that search for the Tennessee prison inmate and his wife, who police say helped him escape. Police in Kentucky have now surrounded a van they believe was used in his escape. An all-out bulletin out for both of their returns.

We also will get some insight into the growing trend among teens that is truly alarming. Some studies suggest that 1-in-5 kids has actually tried self-mutilation. Their favorite method: Cutting. What's the attraction? Some very brave teen will tell us exactly how they have done it in the classroom, how they've done it in their bedroom, how they've done it right out in the middle of the public. Anderson, it's absolutely astonishing what kids are doing to themselves these days.

COOPER: Wow. That's at the top of the hour. Paul, thanks. We'll forward to that.

ZAHN: Thanks.

COOPER: They got married back in June. They had big plans, this couple did. They wanted to have kids. The new husband planned to one day take over his family's successful business, a liquor store in Greenwich, Connecticut.

All that may never happen now because the groom has vanished on the couple's honeymoon on a cruise ship off the coast of Turkey. This is what we know...

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): It was supposed to be a 12-day honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean, but one night, halfway through the trip, the happiness turned to horror. The groom, George Alan Smith, disappeared. Passengers staying near his cabin on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship have reported hearing suspicious noises that night: Loud arguing, a woman scream and the thuds of something heavy being dropped.

Blood was found in his cabin and a bloody handprint on a balcony railing, but some passengers say Turkish investigators waited hours or even days to get these clues.

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: We know that people who went and reported the noise, the thuds, the yelling, the screaming to ship personnel, when they were interviewed by the cruise attorneys later, the attorneys had no idea that reports had been made.

So, there was a real disconnect from witnesses coming forward at the very beginning and the follow-up investigation that happened later.

COOPER: The case is now in the hands of U.S. authorities. Meanwhile, George Alan Smith's new wife, Jennifer Hagel, has returned home to Connecticut, where she had planned to start a new life with her husband, but now must wait alone.


COOPER: It's so creepy that all that remained was that blood smear going overboard. Coming up, CNN's Nancy Grace, who has been investigating the case, weighs-in.

We're going to ask her: Is there any truth to rumors that on the night this man disappeared, George in fact bragged about having thousands of dollars in his room on the boat?

also ahead on 360, why do we have dreams at night? What do they actually mean? We're going to look at what your dreams can mean. You've been e-mailing us a lot of your dreams an CNN.COM/360 on the instant feedback link. We'll put them to our expert. Be right back.


COOPER: Well, before the break we told you about a honeymoon mystery. A groom from Connecticut disappears on a cruiseship with his new wife off the coast of Turkey. It's been a month since anyone has seen George Allen Smith. Investigators do suspect foul play. Nancy Grace has been investigating the case. Nancy, what do you know about this? I mean, there are reports that they've interviewed two Russian guys, maybe a teenager on board the boat?

NANCY GRACE, "HEADLINE NEWS": That's right. All three have been named as persons of interest. Now, a lot of this CNN has not confirmed, but the rumors and the sources and the reports are floating all over the Internet, all over the media. All three of these men were on the boat. All three of them allegedly helped George Smith leave the casino bar that evening to take him back to his room. All three already without any formal charges have lawyered up, have all three gotten defense attorneys.

Here's the deal. The next door neighbor in the cabin next door to George Smith and his bride, that evening, stated that way into the night, Anderson, they heard furniture moving, they heard a loud commotion, they heard male and female voices, a loud thud and then quiet.

Royal Caribbean, R.C., authorities recall that night about a disturbance. I want to know when they got to the room, who did they find? Was the wife in there? Were these three guys in there? I think that could lead to them being persons of interest.

COOPER: And we've seen this picture of this pool of blood that was found.

GRACE: Catch this: It was taken by some little kid.

COOPER: The picture was?

GRACE: With a fun cam. Yes. With an instant camera. Yes, that. That is on the outside of the ship. This is not a police photo. This is not an FBI photo. This is a kid. I think she was 12 to 14 years old, saw it and took a picture with an instant camera.

COOPER: Unbelievable.


COOPER: Unbelievable. Now, why did he need help getting back to his room that night?

GRACE: Anderson, he had a snootful.

COOPER: I am so naive.

GRACE: And here is the other issue: Both the wife had been drinking a lot and he. They were partying. They were on their honeymoon, drinking something that I understand isn't even sold here. Absinthe.


GRACE: It's 160 proof.

COOPER: Yes. It's...

GRACE: My concern is there are reports out there, as of yet unconfirmed by CNN, that he had been bragging about having a lot of money. Some sources say up to $50,000, which I doubt, in his cabin.

Now, when you are around about 2500 people you've never met on a cruise ship and you are bragging about money, that's an invitation to trouble.

COOPER: What are you going to do tonight about this fugitive couple. I mean, police are calling them Bonnie and Clyde.

GRACE: Can I tell you one more thing about the missing groom?


GRACE: We've got a legal problem like no other. I'm talking jurisdiction.

COOPER: On the high seas.

GRACE: Yes. This happened between Greece and Turkey on a ship that is registered in the Bahamas, which do have the death penalty and the company's doing business out of Florida. And when you are on the international seas, the jurisdiction of the ship will govern.

So, this could be a Bahamma case.


GRACE: It's crazy. Tonight on the show, Anderson, you must watch, we are doing the manhunt out of Tennessee. This guy believe it or not, had escaped twice from prisons before. One time using a shank, a homemade knife. All three times out of Tennessee.

And a missing model, her lover on the loose and we're also still looking for a Philly woman, five months pregnant: Latoya Figuoera (ph).

COOPER: We are showing this video of this van that has really just been found.

GRACE: Just been found!

COOPER: There's no doubt about it. This van was stolen the day before. It was parked overnight and was used as a getaway vehicle.

GRACE: Well, at the beginning, Anderson, I smelled a rat, because here's a guy that just got 35 years on aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and somebody is offering him a six-year deal on another one? No. Something very wrong with that. I think the whole plea was arranged by him so his wife could come down and be in the courtroom for the plea and then blast him out.

COOPER: You are a prosecutor, do you get why women fall in love with prisoners? I mean, people are writing love letters to Scott Peterson.

GRACE: I've seen it a million times. When I would have to go talk to snitches in the jail, Anderson, prosecuting cases, there would be a line all the way out the door at the metal detector of women coming to see their sweethearts and husbands behind bars. Don't ask me.

The other thing is, she married him behind bars.



COOPER: And she was a nurse working in the prison.

GRACE: And lost her job over sneaking food to him.

COOPER: I know.

GRACE: Go figure, Anderson.

COOPER: Nancy, we'll be watching at the top of the hour. Thanks very much.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

COOPER: Coming up next on 360, "Anatomy of a Dream." What happens when you go to sleep at night? And a lot of you have e-mailed us about your dreams. Tonight, we're going to tell you what some of them may mean. Be right back.


COOPER: All this week on 360, we are trying to unlock the mystery of dreams. We all have them and, rankly, we all get confused by them. And we asked a lot of you to e-mail descriptions of some of your dreams. And in a moment, we're going to have an expert tell us what some of those dreams mean. But first, 360 MD Sanjay Gupta helps us understand exactly what is happening inside your sleeping mind. Take a look.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stark recurring image of a shadowy figure. Tearing through the woods, running from something. Or the nonsensical flash of images seemingly without meaning. This is how many of us live in our dreams.

DR. ROSALIND CARTRIGHT, RUSH UNIVERSITY: In waking, we learn to speak so that we can communicate with each other in longer, more logical, more verbal terms. In sleep, we're speaking almost poetically. It's much more imagistic, sensory, condensed, symbolic, if you like.

GUPTA: It happens during three distinct periods during the night called rapid eye movement or REM sleep. During each period of REM, our dreams become more involved, complex.

CARTRIGHT: At the end of the night, you can have a great big, full-length feature. You can have a 45 to 60-minute REM period with many scenes and many episodes. And it be quite exciting and very different from the first one.

GUPTA: Surprisingly, during those episodes of sleep, the brain's activity is just as active as when we're awake. DR. ERIC NOFZINGER, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: The only difference is that we're unconscious. We're not aware of all the processes that are happening in our minds and brains.

GUPTA: While we lie unconscious, we're dwelling in the most primitive parts of the brain, dealing with emotions that we may not always perceive when awake.

NOFZINGER: The brain is dealing with basic, kind of instinctual feelings, fears, anxieties, motivations, sexual themes.

GUPTA: So that dream about taking a test naked could point to an anxiety about a challenge we're facing in waking life. And those dreams about running away or falling may signal feeling out of control.

NOFZINGER: As we understand our situations in the dream, it can help us understand where we are in terms of resolving some of these conflicts in our lives. Conflicts that maybe we weren't even conscious of in our waking lives.

GUPTA: Our bodies bear the brunt of those conflicts and anxieties. Heart rate and blood pressure soar during dreams. And the muscles seize up to prevent us from acting them out.

Are dreams more than a nightly flash of garbled images? Or can they be useful to us in our waking lives? Studies say understanding those nighttime forays may help with problem solving during the day, even memory. And REM sleep is linked to something called procedural learning. So, your dreams could help cement your ability to play that complex music piece, you ride a bike or play chess.

But researchers say dreams go even deeper, helping us to figure out who we really are.

NOFZINGER: It's one of the few times when everybody can be an artist or everybody can be a musician.

GUPTA: A space where our truest selves and the ones we hope to be converge.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


COOPER: Well last night and tonight, we asked you to e-mail some of your dreams. Let's get to them right now. Joining me is dream analyst, Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, founder of the and author of "So What Did You Dream Last Night." Laurie, thanks for being with us again tonight.

Mandy from Radford, Virginia sent us this dream. She says "I dream that my teeth are falling out. I can feel the hole in my mouth. And I keep the teeth in my hand so I won't lose them." Yikes!

LAURI QUINN LOEWENBERG, DREAM ANALYST: Yeah. Well, you know, unless you got some dental hygiene issues, these dreams aren't about your teeth. In fact, they are about your words. So, when your teeth are loose and falling out of your mouth, it's a good indication of loose speech. Gossip. Saying things without thinking about it first. In other words, zip your lip, sister.

COOPER: Couldn't it just be anxiety?

LOEWENBERG: Well, it can be. But, you know, I get this dream all the time on my radio shows in the morning and it's always someone who has got diarrhea of the mouth.

COOPER: All right. Shirley from Brighton, Michigan, wrote, "I have a recurring, beautiful dream that I'm flying. I just spread my arms, gently lift off and fly all over above everything." I have this dream. It is fantastic also.

LOEWENBERG: Yes, it is. And this dream is all about mastering a skill, having some sort of power and control in your life. And so it comes to you as a reward. It's like a pat on the back from your subconscious mind saying, you are doing a great job. Here you go. Have a flying dream.

COOPER: I know, whenever I wake up from that dream I just want to go back to sleep so I can have it again.

Diane from Columbia, Maryland writes, "why would I dream about having a romance with somebody I'm not attracted to?"

LOEWENBERG: Well, it's not about the person, but a quality they possess. This dream is telling you to unite that quality into your own psyche, make it your own. So pick three words that best describe this person and then apply those qualities to yourself and you will be a better person for it.

COOPER: So, it doesn't actually mean that you are attracted to that person or that you want to sleep with them?

LOEWENBERG: Well, maybe sometimes. But for the most part, yeah, it's a psychological union you need, not a physical union you want.

COOPER: Interesting. And Ann from Burlington, North Carolina wrote, "My dream is this. My mother who died of lung cancer comes to me in a dream so real I just swear she actually was in the room. And she looked radiant and told me it is so beautiful here. Why was it so real?" I think a lot of people who have lost love ones have that visitation dream.

LOEWENBERG: Yes. And you know what, I kind of believe those that have passed on can contact us through our dreams. Because when we go to sleep and enter the dreaming state, our brain waves slow down to that perfect frequency where we can kind of tune in like a radio.

COOPER: Oh, come on.


COOPER: Come on.

LOEWENBERG: Have you not had someone that you love who has passed on come to you in a dream?

COOPER: Yes, absolutely. But I mean, there's a million reasons for that. You desire to see the person again. Couldn't it just be that?

LOEWENBERG: Well, they usually comment on something that's going on in your life right now. And there's also some kind of communication between the two of you: a conversation. And when you wake up in the morning, you can smell them, you can still feel them. It's like they were just there.

COOPER: It can be a very comforting thing.

Very quickly, last dream. "Awhile ago I dreamed," this is the person writing it, "awhile ago I dreamed that I awoke to find my house in the middle of Antarctica and actually Anderson was in my backyard with some cardboard boxes." What on earth was that about?

LOEWENBERG: Oh, my. Perhaps too much TV watching. But when our dream takes place in the cold -- the snow, or Antarctica, someone around you is giving you some cold emotions.

COOPER: Hm. All right. I'm not sure I buy all of that. But I buy some of it. Appreciate you joining us. Again, thanks very much.

LOEWENBERG: Thank you so much.

COOPER: That's it for 360 tonight. Thanks for watching. CNN's prime-time coverage continues right now with Paula Zahn. Hey, Paula.



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