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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Driving Blind; Bush Announces $7 Billion Plan to Combat Bird Flu

Aired November 1, 2005 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us. Tonight, a deadly danger to your family that could be as close as your own driveway.
Driving blind. How big is the blind spot behind your car? Thousands of children crushed because they can't be seen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can actually kill your own child.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: A tragedy for families, a blind spot for the industry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many kids have to die or be hurt before you'll address the issue?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Tonight, we investigate the dangerous rise in back-over accidents.

Bird flu billions. The president's $7 billion plan to protect us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must be ready to respond in the event that a pandemic reaches our shores.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: But how close is the danger? And will all those dollars really protect us?

And the mysterious death on the mountaintop. Science reveals stunning new clues about the airman missing since World War II.

I'm going to start tonight with something we think is a very important story for you and your family. It happens all the time, all over the country. People don't even realize it. It's killing children and while it sounds like basic driver's ed, it is actually a growing problem. In these days of huge SUVs, drivers are backing over small children. Is it the driver's fault or the carmaker's for not adding safety devices?

It's a controversial question and our consumer correspondent Greg Hunter has been investigating. Happy birthday to you

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four-4-year-old Jackson Peck wanted to be a superhero. He liked to wear a costume wherever he went. Superman was his favorite.

JULIE PECK, JACKSON PECK'S MOTHER: My last words to him were, do you know how much I love you? I feel very blessed to have that time with him.

HUNTER: Jackson's parents never imagined that that moment with their son 10 months ago would be their last. It was two days before Christmas and Jackson's grandmother dropped him off to go caroling with other grandchildren. As she backed up the family's SUV, Jackson ran behind the vehicle but she didn't see him. With the children screaming in horror, Jackson's grandmother backed over him.

J. PECK: He was gone instantly. They didn't hear a sound when the car backed over him, when they pulled it back off of him. He didn't make a sound.

HUNTER: Jackson's story isn't unusual. All these children were killed in back over accidents and the numbers are growing. Janette Fennell, founder of the safety group, Kids and Cars, tracks these tragedies because the government doesn't. She discovered 100 deaths a year on average. Two children backed over and killed each week, typically in a driveway, with the parent or relative behind the wheel.

JANETTE FENNELL, KIDS AND CARS: Little children do not have to die this way. All of these incidents are not only predictable, they're 100 percent preventable.

HUNTER: Fennel says one factor is the bye-bye syndrome where a child darts out to say good-bye.

FENNELL: The baby thinks, well, daddy can see me, I can see the car but daddy can't because they're in this blind zone.

HUNTER: Safety advocates say most people know there are blind spots behind every vehicle but they often don't realize how big that blind spot can be.

DAVID CHAMPION, "CONSUMER REPORTS": More and more people are buying bigger and bigger vehicles and the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot.

HUNTER: "Consumer Reports" routinely tests vehicles for blind spots. To illustrate just how much size can matter, we went to its auto test track using 28 inch cones, the height of an average 2-year- old. Testing director David Champion will mark where the driver in this sedan first sees the cone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still can't see it. Nope, further back. Okay. That's good.

HUNTER: Now he measures the distance from the cone to the car.

CHAMPION: It's ten feet, ten inches.

HUNTER: But watch what happens with larger vehicles like this minivan.

CHAMPION: Eighteen feet, one inch.

HUNTER: Or this SUV.

CHAMPION: Twenty-five feet, 10 inches.

HUNTER: And how far away is the cone from this truck?

CHAMPION: Forty-six feet, nine inches.

HUNTER: Now, look at the dramatic results. In this case the truck's blind spot is more than four times greater than the sedan's. "Consumer Reports" also points out the shorter the driver, the bigger the blind can be.

CHAMPION: On these big vehicles where we see something like 20, 30, 40 feet of blind spot behind, that is where the problems are. That is where the deaths we are seeing with back over accidents are occurring.

HUNTER: Backing up in a big SUV can be deceiving, you can't see anything from that vantage point, can you? And when I check my mirrors, driver's side, rear view and passenger, it looks clear to me, too. But if I get out of the vehicle and walk behind it, got a little surprise for you. Hello, kids.

CROWD: Hello.

HUNTER: Twenty nine school kids from East Hatham (ph) Elementary School in Connecticut. All hidden, dangerously out of view.

J. PECK: You can actually kill your own child, which is the worst tragedy. It's a double edged sword, I mean it's guilt along with killing someone you love dearly.

HUNTER: Julie and Smith Peck bought an SUV to keep their three children safe. They say no one warned them bigger vehicles often have reduced rear visibility.

(on camera): Did you realize the numbers of back over accidents that happen every year before it happened to your son?

SMITH PECK, JACKSON PECK'S FATHER: No. J. PECK: No. We didn't even know that the name of it was back over.

S. PECK: Total shock.

J. PECK: Total shock.

HUNTER (voice-over): This recent study from the Centers for Disease Control found more than 2,400 children per year are injured per year in back over accidents. The Pecks say drivers need to see what behind them because there's no way to watch children every second.

S. PECK: They just get away from you very quickly and anyone with children knows that.

RON DEFORE, SUV OWNERS OF AMERICA: Nobody knows whether it's a vehicle problem or is it a personal problem? Is it because somebody didn't check behind the vehicle or is it because of lack of vision?

HUNTER: CNN contacted the automaker's trade group and it send us to this man, Ron DeFore. He represents SUV Owners of America, an organization partially funded by car companies.

DEFORE: We aren't addressing this issue right now.

HUNTER (on camera): So 2,400 kids a year being backed over, 100 kids a year dying. How many kids have to die or be hurt before you'll address the issue?

DEFORE: The most important thing that we focus on is how many lives can be saved in an SUV as opposed to moving to a smaller vehicle.

HUNTER (voice-over): DeFore says there's not enough data to require automakers to come up with a fix.

(on camera): Should people who own SUVs be warned that their backup blind zone is bigger than smaller vehicles? Should they be warned about that?

DEFORE: It's in their owner's manual.

HUNTER: It's in their owner's manual, do you think that is enough? Read your owner's manual?

DEFORE: It would help because it addresses this issue.

HUNTER (voice-over): Right after our interview SUV Owners of America posted this message on its Web site, telling drivers to be aware of your blind spots, directing readers to "Consumer Reports."

FENNELL: You need to be able to see when you're going backwards. You can't just kind of close your eyes and hope there's nothing back there. HUNTER: To help drivers see better, some carmakers are offering new options like bumper censors. If someone gets too close this sonar signal shows the location and a few manufacturers also sell a back-up camera, like this one. Shift into reverse and the navigation screen switches to a live picture of what's behind the vehicle.

(on camera): One company puts its rear view technology right in your rearview mirror making it even easier to see someone riding this trike.

(voice-over): The mirror gets a signal from this camera that can be retrofitted on to any vehicle. The system is made by Audiovox which also sells this.

TOM MALONE, SVP, AUDIOVOX: This is our new hitch sensor.

HUNTER: It's a set of wireless, ultrasonic rear sensors you can install yourself. Installation time?

MALONE: About two to five minutes.

HUNTER: Sensors cost only a couple hundred dollars but cameras aren't cheap. A thousand bucks with installation. That's half the price of factory installed equipment. But "Consumer Reports" says based on its research, this technology should be required.

CHAMPION: I would have all the major manufacturers that produce these bigger vehicles put back-up cameras on all of them.

DEFORE: That is a very dangerous public policy because you start pricing the vehicles well beyond what a lot of people can afford.

S. PECK: How much is a life worth? You can't put a price on that.

HUNTER: At Jackson Peck's funeral everyone wore Superman t- shirts. His parents set up a foundation for needy children so their son will be remembered as the super hero he wanted to be, but they say their lives will never be the same.

J. PECK: To lose a child that was loud and rambunctious and full of life is, you can't imagine. The stillness and the quietness of the house is excruciating.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So sad. And this happens 2,400 times a year, at least, not resulting in death but severe injury.

HUNTER: That's just injury.

ZAHN: Terrible. At least not resulting in death, but severe injury.

HUNTER: Yes, just injury. You run over a kid with an SUV or a car and they're hurt. ZAHN: So what else can we do to make sure our kids are safe?

HUNTER: Well, I have three things you can look at. Number one, you should walk around your vehicle. That mean if you have small children, it's okay to be a little paranoid if you're not sure your vehicle is clear, get out and check before you back up.

Number two, check out and make sure you know where your kids are. And that means you ought to be able to see your children before you back up and it's also a good idea to have an adult around to make sure those kids can't dart behind the vehicle.

Finally, be especially careful during the holiday season, during this time of year. It's especially prone to more of these accidents, there are more planned events, festivities and it's generally busier. Remember, little Jackson Peck was backed over two days before Christmas last year.

ZAHN: Is the government doing anything about this?

HUNTER: Well, just today there was a bill proposed in the U.S. Senate that would allow drivers to be able to know there's an object behind the vehicle. Reason why I say it that way, they don't know whether it's cameras or sensors. I did talk with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today and their spokesman said they're a little concerned about the technology.

They're afraid that this might give people a false sense of security. They're also concerned about the price, that this might drive up the price of a new car. But make no mistake that government is looking into how to solve this safety problem.

ZAHN: Listen, just knowing those simple distances you described to us is eye opening in itself. I never would have thought you could see for that far.

HUNTER: Maybe this story should do that. Because most people say, "I didn't even know this was a problem." And it is a very common problem. It's not a freak accident.

ZAHN: Well, thanks for bringing this to our attention, hopefully we've all learned something from you tonight. Greg Hunter.

Still to come tonight, an act of kindness and a deadly betrayal that's causing people to wonder just who was forced out of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and the flooding. Is it dangerous to health evacuees without asking lots of questions?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today the president announces plans to protect Americans from the bird flu. But what impact will it have on you, especially if you end up in a hospital like this one? I'm Doctor Sanjay Gupta. Coming up, we'll take a look at the president's plan and see how well it works for you.

ZAHN: There's also a new development in a story we've been following for several weeks now. We'll visit that lab where they are making some progress identifying the once frozen body of an airman who's been missing since World War II.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: For weeks we've been showing you the ominous spread of bird flu across Asia and now Europe and health experts say it's only a matter of time before it arrives here in the U.S. and their warnings have been loud, they have been frightening that if this disease spreads from birds it humans, it could kill millions of people.

Well, today, President Bush unveiled a plan to spend $7 billion to get the country ready for a bird flu pandemic. We have two reports for you tonight, Suzanne Malveaux is at the White House on the politics of the announcement, but we start on the medical side and Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me from the emergency room at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Doctor?

GUPTA: Hey, Paula, good evening. If the pandemic bird flu came on our shores tomorrow, emergency rooms like this one here at Emory would probably be overwhelmed. They're already pretty busy. How prepared we are for a pandemic bird flu is exactly what the president was trying to address today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA (voice-over): Take a look at the newest threat to our national security. H5n1, or the bird flu virus, has been smoldering in Asia for years, killing millions of birds and causing 62 human deaths.

In humans the flu is still confined to Asia but infected birds are cropping up all over Europe, possibly even Canada, where they're investigating a recent spate of bird deaths.

BUSH: If the virus were to develop the capacity for sustained human-to-human transmission it could spread quickly across the globe. Our country has been given fair warning of this danger to our homeland and time to prepare.

GUPTA: And time is crucial because if a global bird flu epidemic were to happen, and no one is saying for sure, it could kill tens of millions of people. Faced with that possible disaster, the Bush administration is asking for $7.1 billion to fight a health crisis that right now doesn't even exist here.

Bird flu in humans was detected in 1997 in Hong Kong. That year six people perished. As the cases mounted over the years so did the frightening facts -- of every two people that gets bird flu one dies.

The best protection we have against that is a vaccine, but we won't have that in the foreseeable future -

(on camera): -- not in clinics, not in hospitals and not even in emergency rooms like this one at Emory where I work. Because the thing is, once the vaccine is created a new problem might arise. The virus might change and the new vaccine might not work as well, maybe not at all. So the president wants to spend some of that money on vaccine technology to try to speed up the whole process.

(voice-over): Another part of the plan would be obtaining more medicines like Tamiflu which could step stem the symptoms of bird flu, but not stop them. The problem now is there aren't enough doses.

Which brings us to the most important part of the Bush plan, surveillance. Specifically in Asia, that is stopping the disease at the source. And that's a lesson we learned with grim consequences in 2003 when SARS broke out in Asia.

Surveillance against that disease was inadequate and it spread into several countries infecting more than 8,000 people, killing nearly 800.

But as I recently learned on a trip to the Far East, no amount of money can guarantee that surveillance on the ground will stop avian flu.

(on camera): Here in Thailand they pride themselves on having a strong surveillance system. But the Mekong River is just behind me, and on the other side of that, Laos, where they barely have a public health system whatsoever and birds and the viruses they carry don't respect the border.

(voice-over): The Bush plan does look ahead to the possibility of bird flu crossing our own borders. The implications -- huge. Quarantines imposed by federal and state governments having to deal with massive shortages of isolation beds and respiratory equipment.

DR. IRWIN REDLENER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Right now, we have the makings of a pretty good idea of where we want to go, we just don't know yet how we're going to get there or exactly how much it is going to ultimately cost us to get where we need to get.

GUPTA: But it is a start. Even if it is dealing with the disaster that doesn't yet exist.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Which I think, doctor, helps explain public attitudes here in the U.S. You've got three quarters of our population who don't think they'll ever going to have to deal with this. They're not going to get the bird flu, so, is this, in fact, a real threat?

GUPTA: Well, I think if you did that same sort of poll, Paula, public health experts you'd get different numbers because they are the ones who are sounding the bells and sounding the alarms about this.

But here's the thing, and this is, I think, somewhat comforting to people is that it is not going to happen tomorrow. And if it is something that will happen at all, we'll start to see some signals and we're going to start to see more cases in Southeast Asia, we're going to start to see the disease spread easily from human to human. That's not happening yet. If it starts to happen you and I will probably be chatting about it long before it actually starts to hit our shores here, Paula.

ZAHN: Well, that's semi comforting, doctor, I have to admit. Appreciate the update.

Now you might wonder after the whole Katrina mess, the Harriet Miers mess, the CIA leak investigation, whether announcing $7 billion for disease is not a crisis yet is just an attempt at distracting people from the Bush administration's problems.

What is clear that the president is using bird flu to make the case that he's ready for the next national disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: By putting in place and exercising pandemic emergency plans across the nation, we can help our nation prepare for other dangers, such as a terrorist attack using chemical or biological weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And we're going to take a look at the politics of this plan right now. Joining me now, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. You have got to wonder about the timing of this, Suzanne, and how much this has to do with the fact that the administration wants to show this president is showing a take-charge attitude on this issue.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, you're absolutely right here because if you think about, it was just last week many White House officials and people who you talk to believe that last week was the worst week for President Bush in the Oval Office.

Of course, they're desperately trying to pivot towards his agenda and yesterday you saw, of course, the announcement of his nomination for the Supreme Court and today it was outlining the bird flu pandemic plan. But it did not spare this White House criticism.

Democrats came out fighting immediately calling this plan inadequate, reminding the president of the poor response to Hurricane Katrina. In the meantime, the president, again, trying to use this bird flu plan to make the case that the nation is prepared for the next natural disaster and that he's trying to protect national security.

ZAHN: So what are your sources telling you about how effective this strategy will be, not only bird flu, but some of the other things he'll address in the weeks to come to try to shift the focus away from the problems of last week in particular.

MALVEAUX: Well, there are some political observers don't believe this is going to work, just kind of business as usual moving forward and the they say the reason why is their outstanding issues. There are events that are coming up. Just this Thursday, a couple days from now, you'll see the vice president's former chief of staff Scooter Libby go before his first trial, this following the announcements of the five indictments from the CIA leak investigation.

Still in legal jeopardy, questions surrounding the president's top political adviser Karl Rove. Now, the White House and aides continue to say they can't talk about this, it is an ongoing case, an ongoing investigation.

There are some White House insiders and Republican insider strategists who believe the only way to get beyond this is for a shakeup here at the administration. Paula?

ZAHN: Suzanne Malveaux, keep us posted. Thanks so much.

Last month mountain climbers discovered the frozen body of a World War II U.S. airman. It was taken to a special lab and tonight, Thelma Gutierrez has some new clues about what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a person who likely died on impact versus perhaps freezing to death up in the mountains.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the injuries were so substantial and severe that it -- he wouldn't have felt anything. He would have died immediately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up, more clues and the biggest question of all, who is he?

Plus a preview of a very important hour you won't want to miss. Why do young girls, as young as five, feel they have to starve themselves?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Tonight, we are finally getting closer to solving the mystery of that World War II airman whose body was recently found frozen in the California mountains. It's a fascinating story we have been following since the discovery and now scientists in Hawaii are closing in on some answers. Here's Thelma Gutierrez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An address book, a plastic comb and a vintage penny. You're looking at the last things a young airman put into his pockets on the day he died. Clues to a World War II cold case that you're about to see for the very first time.

The search for clues takes us to Honolulu, Hawaii, to the largest forensic crime lab in the world to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC.

(on camera): The mystery of the frozen airman is just one of a thousand different unsolved cases that scientists here at JPAC are trying to solve. In this laboratory alone I'm surrounded by the remains of at least 20 different service members who are in the process of being identified so that they too, can go home.

(voice-over): The investigation begins with a team of forensic specialists who probe and study airman's bones, teeth and his belongings to piece together who he is.

And almost immediately clues begin to surface. Dr. Robert Mann, a forensic anthropologist has determined that the airman was Caucasian and had fair hair.

DR. ROBERT MANN, FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGIST: Next I'm going to look at his clavicle.

GUTIERREZ: The airman's collarbones and pelvic bones prove he was in his 20s and died in an airplane crash.

(voice-over): So this is a person who likely died on impact versus perhaps freezing to death up in the mountains.

MANN: I think that the injuries were so substantial and severe that he wouldn't have felt anything, he would have died immediately.

GUTIERREZ: Then, there are the material clues, the things he had on him when he died. In his uniform breast pocket Dr. Paul Emanotski (ph) found this vintage Schaefer pen and three small leather bound address books.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you can see all these letters from the calendar. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday up at the top.

GUTIERREZ: After hours of meticulous examination of each address book, they yield no personal information, clues that could have faded with time. And in the weeks and months ahead, scientists are convinced they will identify this airman and return him home to his family, wherever they might be.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Thelma Gutierrez reporting. And I want you to join me for more on Thelma's reporting on this story tonight on NEWSNIGHT at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. I'll be speaking with Dr. Robert Mann, the man you just met that heads up the forensic lab. We were just introduced to.

Coming up, a great place to retire and Washington's footing the bill. What's the catch? We'll tell you in a little bit.

Right now, though, at 29 minutes past the hour, time for a look at the hour's top stories with Erica Hill at Headline News.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi. You might call it a political volcano erupting on Capitol Hill after Democrats made a surprise demand, calling for a rare, secret session on the flawed intelligence that led the U.S. into war in Iraq. Republican majority leader Bill Frist called the surprise bid a hijacking but for two hours both sides argued about it behind closed doors. The Democrats also put pressure on Republicans to finish its still incomplete probe on weapons of mass destruction that were supposed to be found in Iraq.

The Pentagon says one of its helicopters were fired upon by while flying supplies to Pakistan's earthquake victims but the Pakistani army calls it all a misunderstanding.

Back in this country the judge in the Texas money laundering trial of Tom DeLay will be replaced. DeLay's attorneys argued that the judge had contributed to groups that ran ads critical of DeLay.

An autopsy shows an enlarged heart led to the October 15th death of Atlanta Hawks player Jason Collier. The seven foot center was 28 years old.

And talk about a long, lonely journey. Frenchman Emmanuel Coundre road this high-tech boat 5,000 miles across the Northern Pacific from Japan to Oregon. He arrived there early today and by the way, he's also road across the Atlantic solo, five times, Paula.

Strong arms.

ZAHN: Yeah, a veritable Popeye there, Erica. Thanks so much.

Tomorrow night, we have a very special program for you. As something that affects more than 10 million Americans, including 1 million men, the problem that causes these folks to starve themselves. Many of them are young people. Unbelievably some are as young as 5 years old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTINE GALLAGHER, RECOVERED FROM ANOREXIA: Sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach to see, like, how thin I was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Stay with us for an important preview. Fighting the pressure to walk the thin line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera in Houston, Texas. Betty Blair was a 77-year-old widow who found it in her heart to go to extraordinary lengths to help three hurricane evacuees. Those three people are now accused of killing her. That story when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: I really want you to join me tomorrow night for a special hour, a look at eating disorders that devastate the lives of some 10 million Americans, including a million men. Among them stars like Jane Fonda and athletes like top jockey Shane Sellers. They will all share their very personal stories of struggling with illnesses like bulimia and anorexia.

Tonight, a startling story that shows how even the youngest children become victims of the extraordinary pressure to be thin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

J. GALLAGHER: This is the story about how I used to have a really bad eating order.

ZAHN (voice-over): Justine Gallagher began starving herself when she was just 5 years old.

J. GALLAGHER: I kept saying, "I can't eat, I can't eat, I can't eat."

ZAHN: What could possibly make such a young girl stop eating?

J. GALLAGHER: A lot of boys in my class said that I was fat and stuff.

ZAHN: Justine's weight was healthy, but in her baby pictures she thought she looked chubby. The teasing and the pictures made her self-conscious. Plus her mother, like millions of others, struggled with her weight and talked about it, about feeling fat and about dieting.

Yvonne didn't realize that her 5-year-old daughter, Justine, was listening.

YVONNE GALLAGHER, MOTHER: I was in the house saying, "Oh, I'm fat. I have to lose a few pounds. I can't eat this. I can't eat that. I have to watch myself." She internalized that she was also heavy.

ZAHN (on camera): But it's so unusual for a kid that age because, you know, so much of the world is egocentric. It's all about themselves.

Y. GALLAGHER: I think it depends upon the child and I think there are some that are ultra sensitive and feed off other people's feelings in the household, too.

ZAHN (voice-over): Hard to believe, but this adorable, healthy, normal-weight child stopped eating altogether. When the hunger pains got too bad, the only way she could deal with them was to find a food substitute.

J. GALLAGHER: I know I don't look fat now, but I used to eat paper instead of food.

ZAHN: Yes. Justine ate paper. Her school work, anything she could get her hands on.

Y. GALLAGHER: We didn't realize at that point why she was doing it or if she really knew herself why she was doing it.

ZAHN: By the age of 6 Justine weighed just 32 pounds, the size of a 3-year-old. Her concerned mother took her to three different pediatricians.

Y. GALLAGHER: They told me it was a phase. They told me she was doing it for attention. They told me, "If she's hungry, she'll eat." The problem was, she didn't. She was getting thinner and she would be next to her cousin, who was a toddle, and my niece's arms were bigger than Justine's.

ZAHN: Her frail body started to break down. This once healthy child developed bronchitis. Desperate, Yvonne turned to her boss, a psychologist who recommended this man, Ira Sacker, an eating disorder specialist and author of "Dying to Be Thin."

DR. IRA SACKER, AUTHOR, "DYING TO BE THIN": I had never seen a case like Justine's, in all the work that I had done in eating disorders. She was headed right down this cascading road, and Justine would have died.

ZAHN: his treatment plan started traditionally with therapy and a nutritionist, but given Justine's novel case, Dr. Sacker decided to try something very different, photo video therapy. He introduced Justine to photographer Ellen Fisher Turk. Turk photographs or videotapes patients and then has them write diaries about what they see.

ELLEN FISHER TURK, PHOTOGRAPHER: Image is potent for shifting how we see ourselves. We think we're one way and when we are reflected back, we see something else.

ZAHN: In Justine's case, Turk made a documentary in which Justine spoke of her eating disorder in her own words.

J. GALLAGHER: I have my top of my blanket in my room, it's chewed.

ZAHN: Even reenacting some of her destructive behavior.

J. GALLAGHER: I use today bite pencil erasers off and I used to eat them.

ZAHN: For this the first time this child and her family saw how skinny, how frail, how sick she really was.

SACKER: Timing is really important because early on, OK, if I take a picture of somebody who has lost all this weight and they look at that and they look at skin and bones, oftentimes that doesn't empower them into anything other than, "Wow, I'm really skinny. I'm feeling really good about it."

But at the right moment of time, once they see that, it makes treatment, OK, much more effective at that moment.

ZAHN: For Justine, it was at the right moment. This is Justine today. She learned, through a combination of therapies, how to accept food and accept herself, growing stronger and reaching a more normal weight.

J. GALLAGHER: I'm a normal teenager. Basically happy, I think that I'm pretty good weight now.

ZAHN (on camera): How scary was it for you to see this videotape of yourself when you were so painfully fragile and thin?

J. GALLAGHER: It just -- sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach to see, like, how thin I was, and sometimes I'll look at certain parts of it, sometimes. And when I'm feeling down on myself and feeling like I don't want to eat, I'll look at that and I'll be like, never mind, I don't want to go back to that again.

ZAHN (voice-over): Now 13 years old Justine has just started high school, with its pressure to be popular and pretty.

J. GALLAGHER (singing): I used to think I had the answers to everything.

ZAHN: But this young woman seems armed with knowledge and strength far beyond her years.

J. GALLAGHER: There's always going to be a part of me that seems like it's attached to the eating disorder. Like, it's kind of like having a twin, like the anorexia is your twin and you have to, like, you need your space and like it's something, like, that's a part of you.

ZAHN (on camera): But that twin hasn't been hanging around you lately, has she?

J. GALLAGHER: No.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Only after an awful lot of hard work.

But both Dr. Sacker and Dr. Fisher Turk caution that photo video therapy has to be part of a more comprehensive plan, and a patient should work with a medical doctor to find the right photographer and make sure it's done at the right time during treatment.

I really want you to join us tomorrow night for this hour-long special on eating disorders. As we mentioned, it affects close to 10 million people, "Walking the Thin Line" starts right at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in people. They opened their wallets, even their homes to complete strangers, but one woman's kindness may have cost her her life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENORA JOHNSON, BETTY BLAIR'S FRIEND: It makes you feel so good to be able to help them and then they do something like this and it makes you wonder, you know, do you want to do this any more?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up, the tragedy that's fueling anger and spreading suspicion about the victims of the storms.

And a little bit later on, part of Louisiana the storms didn't ruin. It's a retirement haven, but there's a big reason why you won't get in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: After Hurricane Katrina, I think we were all moved by the way so many Americans opened their heart to the hundreds of thousands of people who had to flee New Orleans. They offered food, they offered shelter, they offered jobs.

But now two months after the disaster we are hearing isolated and tragic stories of what happened to some of those who were very eager to help.

Here's Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNSON: This is where we keep the food.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): From this humble food pantry in St. Pius Catholic Church, Lenora Johnson and a few friends have helped 50 families driven out of their homes by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

JOHNSON: We only get paid what God gives us.

LAVANDERA: But there are three evacuees Johnson won't forget.

JOHNSON: I knew as soon as we saw the picture in the paper who they were, because I remembered them, vividly.

LAVANDERA: Two weeks ago, Jimmy Le, Stephanie Jacobo and Roosevelt Smith walked into this suburban Houston church asking for help. They were befriended by a 77-year-old widow named Betty Blair. The three evacuees said they had no money and an uncertain future.

Blair didn't just give them food: she offered them jobs doing lawn work and laundry at her house, a chance to start over again. It wasn't the first time she had done this. In the weeks after Katrina struck, Blair took a New Orleans family into her home. Her friends say Betty Blair was inspired to keep on helping.

JOHNSON: She was just a wonderful lady. She was glad to help anybody out.

LAVANDERA: But police say these three evacuees didn't see Blair as a saintly figure offering help. They say the evacuees strangled her so they could rob her house and steal her car. They're now under arrest, charged with capital murder. Blanca Nunez was Blair's friend for 45 years. She can't understand why someone would repay her friend's good will with such evil.

BLANCA NUNEZ, BLAIR'S FRIEND: We know that we have to forgive. I know. Like I said, in time, I will. You know, we will. We all will forgive, you know. But right now it's too soon.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Betty Blair's story isn't just about one woman doing noble work. There's another issue, which is much more difficult to talk about. It is the idea that, among the people who evacuated from New Orleans and other hurricane-ravaged areas, inevitably there were criminals around them.

(voice-over) New Orleans residents say their city has never been safer. Drug dealers and pick pockets are gone. So in Houston, where so many evacuees ended up, residents have an uneasy feeling that these undesirables have been dumped on their doorstep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you hear someone is from Louisiana you kind of look at them differently now.

LAVANDERA (on camera): And how's that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just -- you know, wonder if, you know, they're bad people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kindness is what we were raised in the South doing, and I don't think we can be kind any more.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Pasadena police Captain Bud Corbett is investigating Blair's murder. He says a few rotten evacuees are making Houston residents lose faith in the people they're helping.

CAPT. BUD CORBETT, PASADENA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Sounds to me like it's fairly widespread that, you know, people are now apprehensive about their potential to be victimized by those who New Orleans and other areas were glad to relieve themselves of.

LAVANDERA: Houston area law enforcement agencies say they've only seen a minor jump in crime since evacuees arrived, but this is about perception, and that's enough to make Lenora Johnson more wary of the people she helps.

JOHNSON: It makes you feel so good to be able to help them. And then they do something like this, and it makes you wonder, you know, do you want to do this any more?

LAVANDERA: Johnson says the food pantry at St. Pius Catholic Church will keep serving everyone who shows up. She says Betty Blair would not want her friends to stop helping those in need.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And yet, that generosity cost her her own life. Ed Lavandera reporting. In court today the three suspects were denied bail. They haven't entered formal pleas yet but, if they're convicted, they could get the death penalty.

We're moving up on just about 12 minutes before the hour. That means "LARRY KING LIVE" is right around the corner. But he's going to join us right now with a little preview.

Hi, Larry, who's joining you tonight?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Paula, good show tonight.

ZAHN: Thank you.

KING: We've got four. Most famous former ambassador there is. Former ambassador Joe Wilson will join us tonight, his wife Valerie. We all know that story. We'll find out the latest and his thoughts on what took place in the Senate today.

We'll also have a major panel discussion on that including Matthew Cooper from "TIME" magazine, one of those who broke this whole story. That's all ahead at the top of the hour, and then I'll see you again at 10.

ZAHN: Oh, yes, you just reminded me. I have another hour to do. Thank you, Larry.

KING: Hang around.

ZAHN: I'll see you in about an hour and three minutes.

KING: OK.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, have a good show.

Coming up in a little bit, we're going to take you to a part of Louisiana that's now home to some very exclusive retirees. They've been in the space program and in medical research, not that any of them will ever talk about it. You've never seen a place like this. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. Interest rates on the move, once again. Erica Hill has details in tonight's "Headline News" business break -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Paula, another step upward for interest rates today. The Federal Reserve raised the benchmark rate one quarter point to its highest level in four years. And it may not end there. The Fed hinting those hikes will continue as long as the economy can support it.

But in Detroit the news not quite so positive, with tumbling October sales for two of the three big automakers. GM sales down 23 percent, while Ford saw sales fall 26 percent, pulled down by truck sales. Chrysler, though, the exception here. October sales were up one percent, and the automaker also announced additional $1,000 incentives on its cars. The real estate boom may be slowing down, this coming from the chief forecaster for the National Association of Realtors, who said real estate may be in for a soft landing when it comes to price appreciation.

And a bargain hunter's web site claiming Wal-Mart will offer laptop computers for under 400 bucks on so-called Black Friday. That's the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. No word, though, on whether that report is true, false or perhaps maybe just some advance P.R. for the retail giant.

Either way, Paula, you might get a bargain. That's the latest from Headline News. Back over to you.

ZAHN: Think we're going to have to sort through that when it gets closer to the holiday. Thanks, Erica.

When we come back, would you believe a multi-million dollar retirement home for chimps?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: What do you think you're really giving them here?

LINDA BRENT, PRESIDENT, CHIMP HAVEN: I think we're giving them back the ability to be chimps again. I think that they're -- they're able to do the things that a wild chimp would do. I mean, it isn't Africa, but I think it's about as close as you can get.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So what makes these chimps so special? Stay with us and find out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Just how often do you dream, or daydream, about retiring? And I know, for some of us, the answer is, "The only time I ever feel that way is every day."

Well, after decades of work the idea of spending your days quietly in a nice retirement home might sound pretty good, like today for me. And thanks to $30 million in federal funding, you can, if you're a chimp. And it's all thanks to the Federal Chimp Act passed in the year 2000.

Here's Carol Lin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LIN: near Shreveport, Louisiana, a new retirement home has opened for some very distinguished residents: 41-year-old Theresa, retired from the U.S. Air Force space program; 38-year-old Derma helped in the development of pneumonia vaccines; and 29-year-old Merv worked in medical and behavioral research. But born in captivity, these chimps can live to be 60 years old.

Chimpanzees were some of the first space pioneers. Genetically, they are 98.5 percent the same as us humans. That's why they were instrumental in testing drugs for diseases like malaria and helped in the development of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Chimpanzee research has saved human lives, but the chimps themselves just got life behind bars, until now.

BRENT: We bred them and have used them in research, and after they've done this kind of service and helped humankind, it's only fitting that we provide them with a nice retirement home.

LIN (on camera): I do feel like I'm about to walk into a different world.

BRENT: You are. This is the chimpanzees' home.

LIN (voice-over): Chimp Haven gives these animals a chance to be chimpanzees again. Animal behaviorist Amy Falls (ph) gives me a tour of a five-acre wooded habitat, a unique part of this animal sanctuary.

(on camera) How do they know how to operate in a wild setting, though?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, luckily in this group we actually have seven that are wild born, and we think that the wild born chimpanzees are actually teaching some of the captive born chimpanzees.

LIN (voice-over): Amy Falls (ph) already sees long dormant instincts take hold in the forest, even though the chimps have only been here for four months.

(on camera) All right. Let's see if they can find that one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got a good arm.

LIN: And why are we doing this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're doing it because chimpanzees spend a lot of time in the wild actually searching for their food, actually, 60 percent to 70 percent of their time.

LIN (voice-over): They have instant likes and dislikes. They hold grudges, play politics. It is shocking how much they are like us humans.

On this day, a spat between Merv and Susanna sets off the whole group. We watch as different chimps take sides.

Chimp Haven is designing more wooded habitats on its property and hopes to one day be able to care for up to 300 chimpanzees.

Carol Lin, CNN, Shreveport, Louisiana.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: You know that scene you just saw when they were running around? That looks much like our newsroom does about deadline time around here. There are an estimated 1,200 chimps now used in research in the United States.

And that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. We appreciate your being with us. Please join me tomorrow for a special hour on eating disorders. "Walking the Thin Line" gets under way at 8 Eastern.

Again, thanks for joining us. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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