Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Training Your Man; Sex Offenders Marked For Life?; Tracking Tropical Storm Wilma

Aired October 17, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
We have a very different kind of story for you to start off the evening, one that asks you to choose sides. And it may cause controversy, even within your own family.


ZAHN (voice-over): He's a convicted sex offender.

JAMES AMBLER, CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER: Well, I broke the law. I deserved what I got. But what I'm going through now, I -- I don't deserve.

ZAHN: Will he offend again or did he just make one horrible choice? It's a story that could make you question what you always thought.

ZAHN: Murder on a hilltop -- a leading criminal attorney makes a shocking discovery. Could his wife's killer be someone they feared all along?

And, what if you could train your husband like you train your dog? If it works on man's best friend, why wouldn't it work on your man?


ZAHN: I want to start tonight with a very interesting and very controversial story, one that has generated a lot of heated discussion in our newsroom, one that may test what you think about convicted child molesters.

The first thing that comes to mind is usually not sympathy. In fact, many people believe that sex offenders, especially those who prey on children should be marked for life. And, in most states, they are.

But the sex offender I'm going to introduce you to may be different. If it possible that you could even feel sorry for him?

Here's Alina Cho with a story you will only see here on CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In almost every respect, James Ambler is a regular guy. He enjoys the outdoors, has a home on the water and owns a business. He's also the proud father of a teenage girl. But Ambler is not a regular guy.

It all began 12 years ago. Ambler got involved in what he calls a loving relationship, one that lasted for more than a year. He still remembers how they met, how he was washing his boat when she approached him.

AMBLER: Introduced herself and kind of, you know, flirtatious, just saying hi. And, you know, she was beautiful. And, then, a day later, she came by again and, you know, made a remark about, oh, you're single, and, you know, would you like to go out sometime? And I said, sure. And age was never mentioned, you know, at first.

CHO: At first. At first, their relationship was picture perfect.

AMBLER: It was just like any one you would have or anybody. I mean, we -- I have pictures of us when we went to the fair, went to the park. She went to my family, ate dinner once with my dad, met my dad, my sisters, my brothers.

CHO (on camera): And what did your family think?

AMBLER: Well, they loved her, same as me. I mean, no one thought anything of any -- you know, oh, she's too young.

CHO (voice-over): She was. After a few months of dating, he asked her how old she was. She told him 15. Ambler was 31.

By then, it was too late. Both admit they were in love.

(on camera): So, then, when she told you she was 15, what did you think? What was your first thought?

AMBLER: I was shocked. I mean, she didn't seem to be 15. And -- and, then, like the -- the old saying, you do stupid things when you're in love.

CHO (voice-over): Even though he knew she was underage, the two continued to see each other for months. But when the girl's father found out what was going on, he turned Ambler in. And, in 1993, he was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor. He was sentenced and served three years in prison.

AMBLER: I did wrong. You know, I broke the law. I deserved what I got. But what I'm going through now, I -- I don't deserve. You know, I'm -- I'm -- I'm living a nightmare that -- that's not going to go away. It's -- there's no way out of it.

CHO: For one crime, one offense, Ambler feels he's serving a life sentence. More than a decade after his conviction, his mug shot still appears on Florida's Web site for sex offenders, a warning for residents thinking about moving nearby, along with his picture, his name and address and his offense, but no details about the case, except to say, his victim is female. Ambler says that's an open invitation for people to think and fear the worst.

AMBLER: I would feel the same way. I -- I would -- my first reaction was, he's a horrible person.

CHO: He's also subject to surprise visits from the sheriff's office four times a year and must register his address with the county twice a year. Those are new requirements, provisions of the Jessica Lunsford Act, named for the 9-year-old Florida girl raped and murdered this year by a known sex offender.

AMBLER: I pray -- I pray in my bed that no one hurts any kids or anything happens, because, every time that that does happen, my life changes. My life gets worse. There's bad people out there. And I -- I realize that. But I'm not one of them.

CHARLIE CRIST, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is a special kind of crime. When you commit a crime against a child of a sexual nature, Florida has decided that we're going to treat you differently.

CHO: Florida's attorney general, Charlie Crist, says Ambler could have avoided all of this by not committing the crime. And, he says, there are no gray areas in the law.

CRIST: The law's pretty clear. And when something like this occurs, people are treated equally across the board. And this man was convicted.

AMBLER: If any of these senators or any of these people that make these laws could be in my shoes for a month and be me, being the person that I am and what I have accomplished and -- and the heart that I have now, and -- the laws would be changed, without a doubt.

CHO: Ambler wants his mug shot taken off the Web site, or, at the very least, he wants his file to include a description of his case, to differentiate him from the so-called bad guys.

The state attorney general's office says, Ambler can petition to be taken off, but not until 2018. By then, he'll be 57.

(on camera): What is the best way to characterize how you're feeling and what you're going through? Is it fear?

AMBLER: It's just a pain that's undescribable. I mean, to -- I mean, since you were a little -- a child, when you're born, you spill the milk on the table. You're scolded for that, and, then, it goes away. You're -- you -- you -- you don't bring it up for the rest of your entire life.

CHO (voice-over): Ambler says he still thinks about the relationship that started all of this and may even still love her.

AMBLER: Oh, yes. I mean, there's days I thought that I wished she was still there and she was going through this with me now. It would have made things better. It would have made things easier. CHO: The victim, who declined to speak to us on camera, is now married with two children and one on the way. Through her husband, she told us her relationship with Ambler was consensual and that he shouldn't continue to be punished for it.

Ambler is thinking about making some changes himself. He's thinking seriously about selling everything and leaving the country.

AMBLER: I could be free. I mean, I could wake up in the morning and -- and I could be the way I want with -- with kids. I could -- I could date a girl and not worry if somebody's going to show up or if she's going to look on the Internet and see my picture.

This was my dream property that you're sitting on now. This was my home that I had peace, that I could come home to and -- and enjoy my life. And I can't do that anymore.


ZAHN: And that was Alina Cho, reporting from Pasco County, Florida.

Now to the legal aspects of this case.

Joining me is Jack Furlong, a defense attorney who specializes in cases involving sex crimes, and Wendy Murphy, who is a former prosecutor now with the New England Law School.

Good to see both of you.

So, Jack, here you have James Ambler, convicted for sleeping with someone half his age, 30 years old, to her 15 years old. So, why shouldn't the public be aware of that?


It was a crime that was committed before public registration acts became effective in '94 and '95, basically became a nationwide proposition. And all he's saying, in his own way, is, one, I'm being branded, and I'm branded for life. And, two, don't I have the opportunity, under our constitutionally ordered liberty, to say, yes, I committed a crime; I pleaded guilty to that crime; I served a sentence for that crime, and now I would like to get beyond that?

Or has redemption been canceled as a social value, which is, effectively, what the attorney general of Florida is saying?

ZAHN: What about that, Wendy? Should there be redemption for this man, who has committed his crime? He served his time. And even his victim has now said that this was a consensual relationship?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I'm glad he's accepting responsibility. That's always a good thing. But he did compare his crime to spilling milk as a child. And that kind of worries me.

Look, the criminal justice system is not the sole arbiter of truth. It is not the sole arbiter of what it means to suffer in society when you do dastardly things to people. And we call those things crimes. Crime is, by definition, a public event. It's why we pay for the prosecution with public dollars and it happens in a public courtroom.

And, if we could all fit in the courtroom, we could all watch the prosecution. And we would know who he is, whether he likes it or not.

ZAHN: All right. But, Wendy...

MURPHY: That's the nature of what crime is.

ZAHN: Do you think this man is as dangerous as a 30-year-old who preys on an 8-year-old?

MURPHY: I'm not sure all sex offenders can or should be labeled the same.

I think I would agree with Jack that we do know who the super- dangerous are, compared to the not-so-dangerous. But, look, I really don't care that he thinks he should be able to soft-pedal his crime, because, if he lived across the street from me -- I have got five kids -- I wouldn't be sending any of them over for milk or cookies. And that's my right as a citizen in a collective society, where I have to obey the laws and I have the right to expect it from other people. He can have a blank slate all he wants from the criminal justice system. That doesn't mean I have to like the guy.

ZAHN: What about that, Jack?


FURLONG: Look, I -- I know Wendy's positions and I know how many children she has. And they're all beautiful kids.

But there is a world of difference. And here's the problem with the way we treat sex offenders. We treat them monolithically. There is no distinction, whether you're a juvenile, whether you're having a -- an allegedly or quasi-consensual relationship. The system makes no discrimination. And -- and that's really a shame in and of itself, because guys like this really have demonstrated to parole authorities, to the penal system, that they're capable of being rehabilitated and, indeed, this his error in judgment is not something that has been revisited in the now 12 years since his crime was first committed.

ZAHN: All right, Jack, but you have got someone like Wendy, who has five kids live in her house. And she's saying...

FURLONG: And she's paranoid.


ZAHN: ... I don't care if that number is 4 percent or 5 percent of these guys getting into trouble once again. I don't want to take that chance.

FURLONG: Look, you can't run from your record. Your record is, in fact, a public document.

But why we're singling guys like this out, I'm not quite sure. If I'm a -- a owner of a wood-framed house, I'd like to know if a compulsive arsonist is living next door to me, but I don't get the same access to that information.

Why this guy should be branded in some fashion, the same as, let's say, someone who molests an 8-year-old is really unclear to me. And, indeed, the research would suggest that this guy is very unlikely to commit a new crime, in spite of all the data on other types of sex offenders to the contrary. He's just not an obsessive-compulsive guy. He's a guy who, you know, committed a crime involving a minor, but not a crime involving a child. There is a difference.

ZAHN: But, is there...

MURPHY: But...

ZAHN: ... a difference, Wendy?

MURPHY: Well -- well, for sure. Look, the remedy for this guy is to be open about what he did, to speak to his neighbors, to educate the public about how he's not the dangerous type.

That's the kind of guy I'm going to feel a lot more comfortable with, than having a system that pretends the thing never happened. I mean, that's what makes parents nervous, is not knowing. I'm far more comfortable saying to a guy like this, oh, you know, I feel OK around you. I still might -- may not send my kids over, but I feel OK around you...

ZAHN: All right.

MURPHY: ... as a parent, as compared to somebody else.

ZAHN: Wendy, in closing, though, let's come back to the point I made earlier, that the victim herself says this was a consensual relationship and this guy is being treated unfairly. He's already paid the price for what he did.

MURPHY: Look, he did pay the price, in terms of the criminal justice system. That doesn't mean he paid the price in the rest of society. And -- and we are allowed to judge him harshly.

The fact that the victim had a crush on him or wasn't mature enough to understand the nature of the assault or the abuse, that's why we protect kids. That's why we say there's a black-and-white age- based line. And that's why he, as a 31-year-old, knew the law and should have known better than to touch someone, when he didn't know for sure how old she was. Buyer beware. It's his fault. He owns it.

I don't care what the child thought. Kids -- you know, kids make these kinds of decision in teacher/student abuse cases all the time.

ZAHN: Sure.

MURPHY: We read about them all the time. We don't give teachers a pass...

ZAHN: Right.

MURPHY: ... because the kid had a crush on an adult.

ZAHN: All right.

MURPHY: We understand, that's a problem for kids.

ZAHN: But this woman is now talking to us through her husband. She's an adult, a mother of two, with a third child on her way.

And we will let our audience decide how they feel about Mr. Ambler's future.

Jack Furlong, Wendy Murphy, thank you for both of your perspectives.

FURLONG: Thank you, Paula.

MURPHY: Thank you.

ZAHN: When we come back, a familiar face on TV defending high- profile clients -- now the story is about him.


MICHAEL CARDOZA, LEGAL ANALYST: You just had to hear him talk. I -- I mean, it was tragic. I could hardly understand what he was saying because he was sobbing so deeply.


ZAHN: So, why was he crying? Because his wife has been murdered? And the case raises an awful lot of questions tonight.

And a little bit later on, police investigate the case of a pregnant woman attacked and her baby cut from her womb, a crime in the headlines this week. Yet, it happens more often than you might think.

Stay with us for more.


ZAHN: Right now, we want to bring you the latest on a big story that developed over the weekend. And it's even changed over the last couple of hours. It involves the wife of a prominent defense attorney, Daniel Horowitz, who is often seen here as a guest on CNN.

His wife, Pamela Vitale, was found murdered on Saturday at the couple's Northern California estate.

Just a couple of hours ago, local authorities declared her beating death a wide-open case.

With more on this developing story, let's go straight to Ted Rowlands in Martinez, California.

Did we learn anything else new from that news conference?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we learned that they have a long way to go, Paula.

They say they want to talk to more suspects, dozens of them. They have talked to Daniel Horowitz. They have talked to some people. They're awaiting physical evidence as well. But, as you mentioned, they say this case is completely open.


ROWLANDS (voice-over): Daniel Horowitz said nothing when he returned home yesterday, a day after calling 911 to report his wife, Pamela, had been murdered. Investigators spent the day at the couple's massive Northern California estate. And, this afternoon, they met with reporters.

JIMMY LEE, SPOKESMAN, CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: The cause of death is listed as blunt-force trauma to the head.

ROWLANDS: The couple lived in a trailer while they oversaw the construction of a new home. Investigators say they have interviewed Daniel Horowitz, and he has been cooperative.

They also interviewed 52-year-old Joseph Lynch, a man who lives on Horowitz's estate and a man whom Horowitz sought a restraining order against in June of this year. Horowitz ended up dropping his request, telling CNN, he worried it would make matters worse.

Horowitz is a television legal analyst who is also the lead attorney for Susan Polk, a mother of three who is accused of killing her husband, Felix, a prominent San Francisco Bay Area psychologist. Today, a judge declared a mistrial in the Polk case to give Horowitz a chance to grieve.

Michael Cardoza, a friend and fellow television lawyer, talked to Horowitz this morning.

CARDOZA: You just had to hear him talk. I -- I mean, it was tragic. I could hardly understand what he was saying because he was sobbing so deeply.


ROWLANDS: Now, investigators tonight say that Joseph Lynch has been very cooperative with them. We called Joseph Lynch today. I talked to him this afternoon. And he says the idea that he had anything to do with this murder is -- quote -- "ridiculous" -- Paula.

ZAHN: But there is a lot of talk, Ted, no matter what anybody tells us, that not only is Mr. Lynch a potential suspect. So is Mr. Horowitz, as is often the case in any murder. Don't they immediately look at -- at the husband as a -- a potential suspect?

ROWLANDS: Oh, clearly.

And, in this case, investigators say they have sat down with Horowitz. And, again, just like Mr. Lynch, they're calling him -- quote -- "very cooperative."

ZAHN: So, what does this mean for the trial of Susan Polk, that Mr. Horowitz was intimately involved with?

ROWLANDS: They were about a week into this trial. Horowitz is representing Susan Polk.

Today, the judge declared a mistrial, sent the jury home. They're going to start it again December 2. They're going to charge it and start from scratch, basically. And, Horowitz, according to his co-counsel, will be involved in that trial when it resumes with a new jury.

ZAHN: Ted Rowlands, thanks so much for the update.

And there is still a lot more ahead tonight, including the controversy over this sign. Does the phrase "God bless America" offend you? There's the sign. Check it out.

First, though, we're going to check out some of the other top stories with Christi Paul at Headline News.

Hi, Christi Paul.


A lawyer for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says he was indicted only after he refused a plea bargain offered by a Texas district attorney. DeLay, who says he's done nothing wrong, has been indicted twice in Texas for allegedly funneling corporate funds to Republican candidates -- that, of course, forbidden under Texas law.

In Taunton, Massachusetts, tonight, hundreds of residents have been evacuated, after warnings that a dam is close to bursting. Last week's heavy rains have put additional stress on that dam. And officials say the railing is already dipping. Some of the pilings are about to give way. The National Weather Service issued flash flood advisories for that region.

Remember this tragedy on a Texas highway? A bus carrying elderly evacuees fleeing Hurricane Rita burst into flames. Well, today, investigators said, they want the driver charged with the negligent deaths of 23 of the passengers because they were under his care. The driver is already under arrest for immigration violations.

And President Bush says he's pleased by Saturday's vote on the Iraqi constitution, even though there are reports that most Sunni Arab Iraqis voted against it. The president says, the vote itself is a positive development.

Those are the headlines -- Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: Thanks, Christi. See you a little bit later on.

Still ahead, bird flu found in yet another country and a new warning that the U.S. isn't ready to stop an outbreak where it might land first, at our airports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If anyone is sick, has got a cough, sweaty, something like that, they might want to pull them aside and then see if there's some kind of symptoms.


ZAHN: How the threat of bird flu here at home is already changing life for you if you fly.

Also, the new storm threat in the Caribbean. Could the Gulf Coast be hit again?

We will have the very latest for you when we come back.


ZAHN: Check this out. This is for real, the full moon high above a clear New York City tonight -- a stark contrast to what's going on in the Caribbean, where Tropical Storm Wilma is getting stronger and stronger and stronger. Its winds are about 50 miles per hour right now.

And the question on everyone's minds has to be, is the Gulf Coast in for another nightmare, and Florida, for that matter, too?

Let's check in with meteorologist Jacqui Jeras, who joins us now.

Hi, Jacqui.


Well, it's a real possibility. It may be making landfall somewhere in the eastern Gulf about a week from now, give or take a little bit. But there's still a fair amount of uncertainty, A, since we have so much time, and, B, because, right now, the steering mechanisms are so very weak and very light. In fact, Wilma has basically not moved throughout much of the day today. It's been very stationary.

And the intensity has been holding steady for about a good six hours. Winds are at 50 miles per hour right now, but should gradually strengthen. What we are expecting to happen is that, later on tonight, it should start drifting a little bit more to the west and then, eventually, making its way farther up to the north -- water temperatures a little bit warmer in this area -- and real deep, also, so a deep pool of warm water. That could bring it to major hurricane status by Thursday, then starting to curve back around and bringing it towards the eastern Gulf Coast. And, keep in mind, look at how large this cone of uncertainty is. So, we still don't know exactly where in Florida it could go -- right now, high pressure blocking this system. And that is why it is just drifting and not moving. But, that high will fade. And we will see winds move in from the west. And that's what could steer Wilma towards Florida -- Paula.

ZAHN: Sorry to hear that.

Jacqui Jeras, thanks for the update, though, anyway.

Tonight, another frightening report about a brand new case of avian flu, this time, in a dead turkey found on a Greek island. Experts are now testing it to see if it carries the deadly strain of the virus that has already killed dozens of people, mostly in Asia.

Now, we do need to remember that no human cases have yet been reported in Europe. But, just last week, we learned that the virus has shown up in Rumania and in Turkey. And, today, U.S. Health Secretary Mike Leavitt again warned that no nation was ready to deal with bird flu.

Officials here at home have been trying to get ready for the worst, a pandemic that could kill tens of millions. Among the first lines of defense are America's international airports.

Here is Brian Todd with more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): San Francisco International Airport, a major hub for passengers arriving from Asia. Now, in addition to security checks, screeners have another danger to look out for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If anyone is sick, has got a cough, sweaty, something like that, they might want to pull them aside and then see if there's some kind of symptoms.

TODD: Symptoms of avian flu, the disease with no proven vaccine that has killed at least 60 people in Asia.

Human cases are now confined to four Asian countries. And avian flu has, so far, not proven to spread very easily between people. But top health officials are very worried that the disease could mutate into a more easily spreadable form and travel around the globe as quickly as a flight from Asia to San Francisco.

At San Francisco International and other U.S. airports, new quarantine stations have been set up to identify and isolate potential avian flu victims. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control tell CNN, they have quarantine stations at 11 international airports in the United States, with six more in development.

But, even at some stations identified as being up and running, like Washington's Dulles Airport, there are staff in place, but physical facilities have been not been fully developed yet. And these stations are really just examination rooms, where people are processed quickly and then either sent to the hospital or sent on their way.

The head of the American Public Health Association, who's taking part in a study on these quarantine efforts, says their effectiveness is very limited.

DR. GEORGES BENJAMIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION: The system that we have right now does not adequately protect the American people. Stand in a causeway as people depart the airplane, and look and see if anybody's sick. And, obviously, unless somebody is very ill, you're not going to pick up any kind of disease.

TODD: Dr. Georges Benjamin says, most avian flu victims who might spread the virus don't show any obvious symptoms at first and may be long gone from the airport by the time those symptoms show up.

But CDC officials say, these stations are simply one part of a public health safety net designed to combat the spread of avian flu. They say, these stations cannot do the entire job by themselves. But the CDC says, all these facilities already have doctors in place, and they'll continue to be upgraded with more staff.


ZAHN: That was Brian Todd with that update.

And, coming up, a story that is so shattering, I think it's going to be impossible for any of you to try to understand. I know it is for all of us here. What would drive a woman to cut out a baby from another woman's womb?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She seemed really out of it. I mean, she just spaced out, like she's hollow.


ZAHN: A disturbing crime that happens more often than you might think.

And still ahead, 22 million tons of trash, a mountain-sized challenge before New Orleans can even think about rebuilding. And don't even ask about the smell.

Stay with us.


ZAHN: Tonight everyone is still talking about a grisly crime that defies the imagination. It happened last Thursday. A teenager was riding his bike through the Pennsylvania woods when he came across a woman who had just sliced an unborn baby from the womb of another woman, her neighbor. Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened, but we do know the suspect will have her first court appearance tomorrow. Here's Deborah Feyerick with more.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It began like any other day, Valerie Oskin and her friend Peggy Jo Conner, both pregnant, both scheduled to deliver within weeks of each other, or at least that's what Valerie Oskin thought.

Police say the two women were in Oskin's trailer home when a baseball bat came from behind striking Oskin on the back of the head. Her attacker?

SCOTT ANDREASSI, ARMSTRONG COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: She has identified Peggy Jo Conner as her attacker.

FEYERICK: Peggy Jo Conner, a mother of three, now charged with driving her next door neighbor to the woods, cutting her open, then waiting for her to die so she could steal the unborn child.

ANDREASSI: She have been beaten severely and was bleeding profusely.

FEYERICK: Valerie Oskin is one of the lucky ones. In the last two decades, experts say they know of eight cases nationwide in which babies were ripped from their mother's womb. Only one of those women survived.

Bobby Jo Stinnett was not one of them. The 23-year-old dog breeder was murdered last year. The alleged killer also claimed to be pregnant, just like Peggy Jo Conner. District attorney Scott Andreassi is prosecuting the Conner case.

ANDREASSI: The pregnancy test was taken on the day of her arrest. She was transported to our local hospital. That test indicates negative for pregnancy.

FEYERICK: Yet like others accused of this crime, police say Conner convinced even those closest to her that she was having a baby.

THOMAS WILKS, FRIEND: I would put my hands on her stomach and it would move and then the baby would kick. I would lay my head on her stomach and my head would move, where the baby would kick.

FEYERICK: Thomas Wilks says he doesn't think Conner, a licensed nursing assistant is capable of doing what police is accusing her of. The witness who stumbled on the two women in the woods and who is now credited with saving Valerie Oskin says Conner was quiet.

ADAM SILVIS, RESCUED PREGNANT WOMAN: She seemed really out of it. She just spaced out like she is hollow. She barely said a word. She acted kind of weird. I mean, she should have known that I noticed what was going on in, but she smiled and waved to me as I was leaving. It was just a very strange deal.

FEYERICK: Experts say abductors often fit a pattern. For example, they may want to give their partner a baby. They may have miscarried or are incapable of having a child. And they usually live in the same community as their victim. Conners' court appointed lawyer has not yet returned our calls, but Thomas Wilks tells CNN Connor is no monster.

WILKS: Love to help people. She'd help anybody. It didn't matter who it was she'd help them.

FEYERICK: As for Valerie Oskin she delivered her baby boy by caesarean. An official says the baby is doing great. And his mom is improving every day, though at the same time, every day she remembers a little bit more about the attack that almost killed her.


ZAHN: And that was Deborah Feyerick. Her report mentioned some of the possible motivations for such a heinous crime. Joining me to talk more about that, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Wellner. Good to see you again.


ZAHN: The suspect in this case has three children of her own. So clearly, up until this point fertility had not been an issue. What would have made her do what she did?

WELLNER: The common thread with the cases that have been identified, studied from North America is a woman desperate to demonstrate that she can bear children, bear children by a particular significant other, maybe in the home, maybe separated. But that is the driving force.

What doesn't separate this from other crimes is that there are plenty of people who get themselves involved in homicide, who would never otherwise be violent but there's something they would kill for. We don't find so it unusual in our culture when that's money, when that's romance. There's a very small subset of people who would never kill or be violent for any other reason, but they're desperate -- those people are desperate enough on that issue that they would kill.

ZAHN: And on a particular day.

WELLNER: Well, that particular day is a matter of opportunity. This is a victim. Victims are always victims of opportunity. Someone who is pregnant, who's pregnant in the same time line as the person who is faking a pregnancy. And it's a matter of getting that person alone. She may have felt that she needed to do it with immediacy and the only way she could do it was to do it quietly in her own home, because she was unable to lure her out of her home.

That report you just had about Stinnett, she was engaged in her home but usually what happens is the victim is lured to a secluded place and the attack happens there. Here she was attacked and then taken to a secluded place, where the baby could -- or the newborn could potentially be kidnapped.

ZAHN: Typically, how much premeditation has to be involved if this is what you say it is, a crime of opportunity.

WELLNER: Well, you've got to have a victim who trusts an assailant enough to let her close. And it can be a neighbor or it can be a close acquaintance or it could be someone who you're corresponding to sell something online or over the Internet.

So it has to be someone who's socially -- I'm talking about a perpetrator -- has to be socially capable enough to win the trust and confidence of a pregnant woman who is protecting her baby who never the less allows her close enough.

ZAHN: OK. Socially capable in one column.

WELLNER: Someone who is not scary. Someone ho is so scary would never be able to get that close to a pregnant woman who is protecting her unborn child.

ZAHN: Very quickly in closing, though, do most of these women have mental problems who have been accused and convicted of these crimes?

WELLNER: Well, they have mental problems that they can't tolerate the possibility of losing someone they love and they tie the idea of holding on to that significant other with bearing a child.

ZAHN: So perverted. Doctor Mike Wellner, thank you.

WELLNER: It's sad. It's pathetic.

ZAHN: It is sad, very sad. Thank you for your perspective as always.

We are going to move on next to the city of New Orleans and the job that is just beginning. Can you imagine hauling off 22 million tons of garbage? How long can a whole city hold its nose collectively?


ZAHN: Try to imagine this -- and thank goodness this is not "smellavision" -- the stench of trash that can fill 3 1/2 million truckloads, more garbage than any American city produces in a whole year.

Well, it's been lying around on the streets of New Orleans for weeks now, rotting in the sun and, I'm sure, developing a bacterial life all of its own.

Here's Ed Lavandera with more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pick one up and then go on to the next one.

LAVANDERA (voice over): There's one part of Don Bisbee's job that doesn't sit well with him: the smell. DON BISBEE, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: It will literally almost make you vomit on the spot.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Bisbee is from Seattle. He's in New Orleans on a month-long mission to help clean the city streets. For two days, he's managed a team whose job is to clear out refrigerators and other appliances tossed to the curb.

BISBEE: This is our bobcat down there.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Bisbee's biggest responsibility is to make sure what's in the refrigerators stays in. But, occasionally, putrid juice spills out like the little trail that came from the bottom of this refrigerator as it was being hoisted into a truck.

LAVANDERA: And, of course, the worse part is when you pick them up and the heavy equipment either cracks the door or things start leaking.

BISBEE: That's why we've been shrink wrapping it. We found that works pretty good.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Cranes move the appliances like little sugar cubes being dropped into a cup of coffee. From here, they end up at a refrigerator graveyard.

STEVE WILHELMS, ENGINEER: This is it, the Gentilly landfill.

LAVANDERA: There are 12 acres of space reserved for appliances, a massive collection that engineer Steve Wilhelms can't bear to spend much time around.

WILHELMS: I don't know that I've ever smelled anything quite like this. I'm not sure it's a describable smell. You'd have to experience before you'd know what it is. It doesn't smell like chicken.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Rotten food and harmful gases like freon have to be removed from this debris. It's then disinfected and crushed into bails of metal for recycling. Experts say getting this garbage off the streets is an urgent priority.

LAVANDERA: The longer these things sit out on the streets...

WILHELMS: ... the greater the risk is -- the higher potential is to have problems, health hazards as a consequence.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Appliances aren't the only hazard. Special crews also have to deal with removing materials like bleach, oil and gasoline, which brings us to one of the most glaring problems you see in every neighborhood.

The Army Corps of Engineers estimates there are probably 100,000 cars in the New Orleans area that need to be disposed of. Right now, there are city crews going out and towing away about 100 cars a day. Unfortunately, at that rate, this monumental task would take three years to finish.

So, officials are working on way to get abandoned vehicles off the streets faster. But that's only a fraction of the work. Twenty- two million tons of debris needs to be cleaned out of the city. And Don Bisbee knows it's up to him to keep the dump trucks moving.


ZAHN: Tough job. Ed Lavandera reporting for us in New Orleans tonight.

Still ahead, outrage on all sides.


STEVE BELLONE, TOWN SUPERVISOR, BABYLON, NEW YORK: Frankly, some people are going to be offended by the things that government does sometimes and, you know, sometimes you just have to say, too bad. You have to get over that.

ZAHN: So let me ask you this: Would a sign that says "God bless America" offend you?

What if it hung from your town hall?


ZAHN: Hi. Welcome back. "God bless America" seems like an innocent, patriotic phrase, so why is it sparking such anger in one community on New York's Long Island? Jason Carroll found out for us.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since the U.S. went to war in Iraq, signs saying "God bless America" have sprung up at demonstrations, stadiums and even store fronts around the country in support of U.S. troops. So when people took offense to a "God Bless America" banner, hung on a town hall in Babylon, New York, the town supervisor couldn't understand why the big deal.

STEVE BELLONE, TOWN SUPERVISOR, BABYLON, NEW YORK: Frankly, some people are going to be offended by the things that government does sometimes and, you know, sometimes you just have to say, too bad, you have to get over that.

CARROLL: That supervisor, Steve Bellone's message to two groups who focus on the constitutional issue of separation of church and state, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Center for Inquiry wrote letters objecting to two town hall banners that refer to God, saying the signs violate the first amendment and alienate nonbelievers.

GERRY DANTONE, CENTER FOR INQUIRY: The constitution says that the government should be neutral towards religion and even in irreligion. It should not take a position for religion or against it. And so, it just should stick its nose out of such business.

CARROLL: What about their argument that it doesn't belong on government property?

BELLONE: Well, we disagree. We think that the constitution does permit us to express our religious heritage and to, where appropriate, have phrases and words that have God in it.

CARROLL (voice over): Opponents point to examples of courts forcing the removal of religious symbols from government buildings, like the highly publicized proceeding in 2003, when a federal judge ordered a ten commandments monument moved from Montgomery, Alabama's state Supreme Court building.

ANNE LAURIE GAYLOR, FREEDOM FROM RELIGION: If you have can have a permanent sign up on government property, saying there is a God and God blesses America and God blesses a particular war, well, what can you stop the government from doing next time?

CARROLL: But, here in Babylon, a town where Sunrise Highway is also called P.O.W./M.I.A. Memorial Highway those we talked to...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without God, what are we?

CARROLL: ...didn't see any problem with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think that's what the country is all about. Everybody has a right to their opinion.

BELLONE: This one's from Sierra Madre, California.

CARROLL: Bellone says he has received e-mails of support from around the country.

BELLONE: Here's one from Mitchell, South Dakota. Dear Supervisor Bellone, you rock, my friend.

CARROLL: But the Freedom from Religion Foundation says, they've received e-mails like this, " can all go to hell since you don't believe in God I suggest you move to a Satan loving country."

And this, "I think it's disgusting what you people do and it makes me want to vomit."

GAYLOR: Why does it bring out such ugliness in people? Whenever government gets behind God, that's what happens.

CARROLL: The groups that oppose the banners say they are not seeking legal action yet. Instead, they want a compromise. In letters they recommend signs saying, united we stand.

But, Bellone plans to keep his banner as it is.

BELLONE: We're not going to bough to the pressure of organizations that have a mission to eliminate God from our public life.

CARROLL: So for now, the standoff continues.


ZAHN: Probably continue for some time based on what we've just seen. That was Jason Carroll reporting for us tonight.

Still ahead, are the men in your life behaving badly? So, why not take a page out of the dog handling handbook and get them into line?

First, though, at nine minutes before the hour, time for a "Headline News Business Break" with Christi Paul -- Christi.

PAUL: Thanks, Paula. The DOW industrials gained about 60 points today helped by general Motors and the United Auto Workers Agreement on a plan to cut 18 billion in GM health care costs. Union members still have to approve that plan.

The chairman and CEO of bankrupt Delphi Auto Parts says he will work for $1 year starting in January. Delphi has been criticized for giving managers big bonuses while asking workers to take severe pay cuts.

Big tobacco got a breather from the supreme court today. The justices refused to intervene in an attempt to fine the companies $280 billion at a trial accusing them of lying about the danger of tobacco, it's still under way.

Chiron Corporation says it expects to produce less of it's flu vaccine this year than it did last because of production delays at one of its plant. The company says that's also expected to effect its bottom line.

And the government says businesses have defaulted on roughly 20 percent of the loans given to them after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Some of the loans have been questioned by critics including an Atlanta area hotel, a boat dealer in Florida, and a computer store in Lovett (ph), Texas.

And those are the business headlines. Back to you, Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks Christi, appreciate it.

Time now to check in with "Larry King Live" who gets under way in about seven minutes from now, I think. Hey, Larry, I can't see you but, oh, there you are. How are you tonight?

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: How are you? I see you, darling. You look great as always.

ZAHN: Thank you. Who do you have on tonight?

KING: When do you not look great? We've got a trifecta. We've got an eclectic trifecta, Colin Powell, Sharon Stone, and Robert Downey Jr. Hey, who loves you? It won't be dull.

ZAHN: All right. So, will they all be in the green room at the same time? KING: No, Colin left, Sharon is there now and Robert is on the way.

ZAHN: All right. Because that could have been an interesting thing to watch.

KING: Could be.

ZAHN: Put a camera in that green room sometimes so we can see the pregame show, Larry.

KING: I'll see you in New York next week.

ZAHN: Thank you. See you when you come to town. And we'll be looking for your trifecta a little bit later on this evening. Thanks.

When we come back, something new to get a handle on the man in your life. Try training him just like a puppy.


ZAHN: Just based on the number of women I've talked to over the years I think just about every one of us have wondered from time to time how you get your husband or boyfriend to get off his back side and do something.

Well, Jeanne Moos has found a reality TV show that may have the answer for you.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does your man burp like a bulldog? Is he always poking his nose where it doesn't belong? Do you and your husband end up at each other's throats?


MOOS: Bring Your Husband to Heel is one of the those British reality shows that got good ratings even if drawing analogies between men and dogs is anything but politically correct.

CLAYTON: Don't mind a good old scratch in public.

MOOS: Every episode canine behaviorist Annie Clayton helps a couple like Michelle and David. Michelle's big gripe is that David is obsessed with his computer, always ignoring her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right, so.

MOOS: The expert then teaches Michelle dog training techniques.


CLAYTON: Forgive me, but you're boring. You have to make it interesting for the dog, Jono. MOOS: The most effective techniques were praise and treats. Especially, tasty treats like shrimp.


CLAYTON: The more rewards David gets, the more he's helping her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gentle kisses, mommy kisses. Thank you.

MOOS (on-camera): What's an un-gentle kiss?

(voice-over): Elizabeth Getter is a New York psychiatrist who thinks dog training your man...


MOOS: ...isn't so far fetched.

GETTER: I mean, doesn't life really boil down to positive and negative re-enforcement? I mean, you can train a rat with rice crispies.

MOOS: And if you can train a dog to use a litter box...


MOOS: ought to be able to train a man to put down the seat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Men have very basic needs. You just keep them happy and then they'll do what you ask.

MOOS: Hand-feed them grapes and you'll have them eating out of your hand?


MOOS: Bring Your Husband to Heel follows in the paw prints of a humor book entitled, "How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less Using the Secrets of Professional Dog Trainers."

Secrets like, "if your dog is running away from you, the worst thing you can do is chase after him. He'll only run faster." David, by the way, didn't know about the dog training angle. He thought he was part of a project on relationships.

DAVID WELLS, "BRING YOUR HUSBAND TO HEEL": Michelle has been a lot nicer.

MOOS: But the BBC got some 200 complaints about sexism and had to apologize. The show is in reruns. It's not known if it will be renewed. But the relationship seemed renewed.


MOOS: Our psychiatrist had another dog tip for misbehaving men. GETTER: And not look at them. That's practically unbearable for a dog, is to not be looked at.

MOOS: At the end of the show they broke the news to David.

CLAYTON: What nobody's told you is that I'm an experienced dog trainer and Michelle's been using dog training techniques to make you a good boy.

MOOS: Maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks but you can teach your old man dog tricks.

CLAYTON: So, you both get my vote for best in show. Well-done.


ZAHN: Oh, he looks so thrilled with that concept. Jeanne Moos reporting. Thanks so much for joining us tonight, we'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. "Larry King Live" starts right now.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines