Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

PAULA ZAHN NOW

CIA Targets al Qaeda's Number Two?; 15-Year-Old Shot By Florida Police; Cell Phone Security; Exploring Voodoo

Aired January 13, 2006 - 20:00   ET

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


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us.
We get straight to that news breaking right now. And if it ends up being confirmed, it will be very big news, indeed. Sources are telling CNN that a CIA airstrike in Pakistan early today targeted al Qaeda's number-two man, Ayman al-Zawahri. As we speak, experts are trying to figure out if his body is among the victims of the attack.

Let's go right to national security correspondent David Ensor for the very latest.

What are we being told, David?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Paula, knowledgeable sources are telling me that the Central Intelligence Agency ordered in the strike on this village called Domadola (ph).

Do I not have a microphone? (INAUDIBLE) Sorry.

They ordered up the strike on the village of Domadola (ph) based on what they called good reporting, good intelligence, indicating to them that there was a reasonable chance that al-Zawahri might be in one of the buildings that they were striking.

So, this was an attack designed to kill the number-two man in al Qaeda, perhaps others. And now, of course, as you mentioned, the goal is to find out whether or not they have been successful. And, clearly, the Pakistani authorities will be heavily involved in that effort -- Paula.

ZAHN: David, what makes this different from some of the reports out of Pakistan, which we have had to discount in the past, is the fact that this is being confirmed by U.S. sources. Does that make a huge difference?

ENSOR: I would say so.

I think, you know, it's one thing to have Pakistani officials reporting this. To be frank, in the past, there have been things said by Pakistani officials that have not turned out to be true. The officials I have spoken to, I have spoken to for years, relied on, and found them to be right many, many times over. So, I'm confident about the information that I am reporting tonight -- Paula.

ZAHN: How long might it be, David, before anyone can confirm if, in fact, this number-two man in al Qaeda is among the at least 17 dead from this strike?

ENSOR: You know, a lot will depend on how the Pakistani authorities go about this.

This is, of course, a very remote part of Pakistan, up near the border. Domadola (ph) is a small village. It's probably fairly high up. So, it's going to be a complicated business getting to -- to the answer to this question, but I'm sure forensics will be involved. I would be very surprised if there are not American personnel, working discreetly, probably, with the Pakistanis on this issue -- Paula.

ZAHN: David Ensor, thank you for that late-breaking news. We will be following this throughout the hour and relying on David and his information as we go along.

Again, thanks.

Now we move on to Florida, where an eighth-grader is on life support right now, after gunfire in school. Police say it happened after the boy pointed what looked like a handgun at a police SWAT team member, and the officer fired. It turned out the pistol in the boy's hand was a pellet gun.

John Zarrella has been on this story all day long. He joins me now from Longwood, Florida.

John, what's the latest on this?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Paula, it is quiet here at Milwee Middle School, outside Orlando, in Longwood, as you mentioned, but anything but earlier today, when that 15-year-old eighth-grader was shot.

It started at about 9:30 this morning. A couple of other students noticed what appeared to be a gun in his open backpack. There was a brief scuffle. After that scuffle, the eighth-grader took off, running across the campus. The incident was reported to the police on campus, the campus police. They called the local police. About 40 officers arrived within 10 minutes.

The SWAT team tracked the boy to a bathroom in another building. They tried to get him to put down the gun. At one point, he pointed it at his neck, and then he pointed it, police say, at the SWAT officer, who fired. Police say there was no way for that SWAT officer to know that the boy only had a pellet gun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the actual firearm that was held by the subject inside, the one that I'm holding, during the incident. And, as you can see, it looks almost identical to the one that Zack Dolly (ph) is holding, which is the actual real .9-millimeter handgun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZARRELLA: Police say that what happened was, someone painted the -- what is usually a red-tip black on that gun that really made it look like a real weapon.

And police are saying, again, that they did everything they could to get him to put down the weapon. He did not. Again, he is in -- on advanced life support in a nearby hospital. That's all we know of his condition -- Paula.

ZAHN: What were officials saying or are they saying about his mental state before he pulled this off?

ZARRELLA: Well, police have said that he appeared to be suicidal, but school officials here in the district have told us that they have never had any problem with this boy in the past.

ZAHN: And, of course, the question tonight is how he got his hands on this pellet gun in the first place. I guess we will be waiting for lots of answers to those questions.

John Zarrella, thanks very much.

And, coming up, police uncover a horrifying case of child abuse. Why were they so late?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMA DWIMOH, DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: She was tortured. She was beaten repeatedly. She was starved. She was tied up. She was bound, like an animal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up next, who knew what was happening? And why didn't anyone stop it? Plus:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: You have heard you need to keep your personal information secure. Well, what if someone could look up your cell phone records, everyone you have talked to, how long you talked to them, all without you knowing about it? It's possible, and so is a whole lot more -- details ahead when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Also ahead, do you have any idea what is going on here? And have the hurricanes chased it out of New Orleans for good?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Now the outrage over the death of a beautiful little 7- year-old girl, a girl, officials say, who was horribly abused by her stepfather.

Her school saw warning signs. Neighbors saw warning signs. Even child welfare workers saw warning signs, but she died anyway, brutally, violently. And, tonight, everybody wants to know, how could this have happened?

Here is Adaora Udoji.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Brooklyn today, even people who didn't know Nixzmary Brown are shedding tears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so terrible -- so terrible.

UDOJI: She was a 7-year-old with a sparkling smile, says her step-uncle.

MIGUEL RODRIGUEZ, STEP-UNCLE OF NIXZMARY BROWN: Playful, always, you know, jumping all around, happy.

UDOJI: But Brooklyn prosecutors say she was a second-grader who lived a short and brutal life, brutal because of abuse by her mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, and her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez.

AMA DWIMOH, DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: She was tortured. She was beaten repeatedly. She was starved. She was tied up. She was bound, like an animal.

UDOJI: Bound, allegedly, by her stepfather to a chair police confiscated the same day Nixzmary's body was found naked on the floor of her apartment, dead. The medical examiner says a brain hemorrhage triggered by blunt-force trauma killed her. They also say they found evidence of longtime abuse.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: We, as a city, have failed this child. And we should do everything we can to make sure that we don't fail the next child.

UDOJI: What went so terribly wrong?

New York City's Administration for Children's Services, or ACS, was investigating an abuse report for the second time in eight months.

(on camera): In May, concerned teachers here at Nixzmary's elementary school filed a complaint, after the little girl had missed a reported 46 days of school. ACS immediately investigated and determined that the girl's mother and her stepfather were overwhelmed, raising six children.

JOHN MATTINGLY, COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN'S SERVICES: The mother gave a story about having to have that child at home because she had five children, etcetera, and that it was our judgment at that time that help to the family was what was needed, and as long as the child was back in school, we, I think wrongly now, looking back on it, closed that case.

UDOJI (voice-over): They provided them with baby furniture and some support. The head of child services says, in hindsight, it was the beginning of missed opportunities. Teachers continued to file reports, concerned about Nixzmary's weight. Just under 4 feet tall, she was 36 pounds, the average size of a 4-year-old.

DWIMOH: She was forced to use a litter box. She was forced to eat cat food, because there was no other food for her.

UDOJI: In December, ACS was again notified after Nixzmary suffered a black eye. Teachers were also worried about her four other siblings at the school. Again, ACS says they sent out a team, met with the family and Nixzmary's doctor, who, they said, ruled her injuries were consistent with a fall the family said she had had.

But then, Across says, the family stopped cooperating and they considered getting a warrant to get into the apartment, but did not.

MATTINGLY: That was our key opportunity. People made judgments about whether it was an emergency or not. And those judgments turned out to be wrong.

UDOJI: Nixzmary's harrowing tale follows the deaths of three other children in the past two-and-a-half months who had contact with ACS. A troubling pattern? No, says Jane Waldfogel, an author of a book about the agency. No matter how tragic Nixzmary's death, she says, the agency has improved.

JANE WALDFOGEL, AUTHOR, "THE FUTURE OF CHILD PROTECTION": I think we need to keep in mind that agencies are always going to be prone to making errors in this kind of business. It's just very difficult to assess risk.

And no agency is going to be able to protect children 100 percent of the time with 100 percent accuracy.

UDOJI: ACS deals with roughly 50,000 cases a year. In 2004, there were seven homicides of children on its watch. Last year, that number was six.

The goal is to have zero, which is why the agency is, right now, reviewing all of its thousands of cases. Cesar Rodriguez's brother says he never saw abuse and never saw any bruises on Nixzmary. He says she was happy, but a handful, and that his brother is a good guy.

RODRIGUEZ: Always get along with people, got along with the neighbors, family, friends. His wife was open-hearted.

UDOJI: That's in stark contrast to brutal accusations by prosecutors. Rodriguez and Santiago face multiple felony charges. They have pled not guilty to all of them.

Among the many notes left by mourners in Nixzmary's Brooklyn neighborhood, one, sadly, reads, "Free at last."

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And joining me now, one of the people we just heard from in that piece, the chief of the Bureau of Crimes Against Children in Brooklyn and the lead prosecutor in this case, Ama Dwimoh.

Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

You have seen the videotape where the parents are questioned about their actions. What stands out in your mind about their demeanor and exactly what they said?

DWIMOH: The lack -- the lack -- the fact that they did not have any emotion.

ZAHN: None at all?

DWIMOH: None. It's -- it's, really -- it's so troubling. It's unbelievable.

ZAHN: What did they say during these interviews?

DWIMOH: Well, they explained why they did what they did.

ZAHN: Why did they do that?

DWIMOH: Well, first of all, it was over yogurt, and that they felt that she was just a bad child. So, they felt the need to restrain her.

And they restrained her -- well, the father -- stepfather -- did by bounding her, by way of duct tape. They used bungee cords, rope, tied her to a chair, you know, bound her ankles, bound her wrists to make sure she wouldn't leave a room, you know, locked the door by tying rope to the door. That's the way she was treated in her own home.

ZAHN: Did they describe the last hours of her life?

DWIMOH: It was clear she suffered, but I don't know how long she has been suffering. Clearly, this child has been abused for a significant amount of time. The last hours, she was basically just dying as they both heard her moan and groan.

ZAHN: And they admitted to hearing her...

DWIMOH: Yes, they did.

ZAHN: ... moan and groan?

DWIMOH: Yes.

The mom said, well, you know, she always did. And the dad thought maybe she was just putting on. But they left her on the floor in their apartment to die.

ZAHN: Obviously, anybody listening to this tonight will be made sick hearing about those details. But what is equally disturbing is the fact that this is a kid who missed a month-and-a-half of school. She was emaciated. At times, she was bruised.

Why didn't anybody outside of the family see that this kid was in trouble?

DWIMOH: You know, I guess my first question is, why didn't anyone in the family? Perhaps it may not have been mom or stepdad, but where was everyone else? Where were the neighbors? Where were the people who saw this child, Nixzmary, on a daily basis? That's the question.

ZAHN: Well, we will continue to follow this case, as charges have just been pressed. Ama Dwimoh, thank you...

DWIMOH: Thank you.

ZAHN: ... for giving us a better understanding of the -- the track you're going to take in -- in court.

Coming up, what do you think should happen to a doctor who, more than once, has faced allegations of molesting his patients? Would you believe he is still allowed to practice?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This kind of thing should never happen again.

MAUREEN GREEN, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I understand the victims' frustration. I'm concerned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up next, a case where concern is turning to outrage. Why isn't something being done? And how can you find out about your doctor's past?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sean Callebs in New Orleans. You know, the voodoo culture has been a big part of this city for centuries. But, following Katrina, thousands of the practitioners scattered in the wind. So, what is the status of voodoo now in New Orleans?

We will tell you when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: I have got a warning for you now. You might want to send the kids to another room, because our next story deals with an adult subject and some graphic language.

It's about a truly shocking breach of doctor-patient trust. How can a physician with a record of sexual abuse complaints, going all the way back to the 1970s, and a conviction just three years ago still be practicing? Among those who want to know are women who say they were his victims. Here is Ted Rowlands with tonight's "Eye Opener."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In February of 2000, Yvette Chambers (ph) went to see Dr. Laurence Reich for a gynecological exam at a clinic near Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Immediately, there was something wrong.

ROWLANDS: Chambers said she was in the exam room with her feet in the stirrups, Reich the only other person in the room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are naked from your waist down, and your legs are spread. And you feel extremely vulnerable.

ROWLANDS: Chambers says she became concerned with the way he was touching her and the things he was talking about, including her sex life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was questioning myself as to why I felt so uncomfortable, because it's a doctor. He's a doctor.

ROWLANDS: After the exam, Chambers says Reich watched her get dressed and then asked her out.

(on camera): He offered to take you to lunch?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Offered to take me to lunch.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Chambers saved a piece of paper with personal phone numbers, which she says Reich gave her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At that point, I realized, eww. Eww. I have just been molested. I have just been violated.

ROWLANDS: Five months before Chambers saw Reich, this woman, who doesn't want us to use her name, says she had a very similar experience when she went to get a prescription for birth control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are in a precarious situation, with your feet in stirrups, and this doctor examining you. You are pretty vulnerable right there. And, so, when you are feeling like something is not right, and you are in that position, you -- there's really no option for you to escape at that point.

ROWLANDS: This woman, like Chambers, says Reich made her feel uncomfortable while touching her. Then, she says, he asked questions about her sex life and, eventually, for her home telephone number.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just knew, in my gut, that something was wrong. I was scared.

ROWLANDS: Both women filed complaints and found out they were not alone. In documents on file with the California Osteopathic Medical Board, Reich is accused of outrageous behavior by a number of women, dating back to the late 1970s.

One woman says that Reich was touching her genitals during an exam and asked her if it, quote, "felt good" and then kissed her. Another claims Reich was sexually excited during an exam and told her she needed to, quote, "lubricate herself" through self stimulation, so that he could properly diagnose an infection. Another woman says Reich asked her to, quote, "manipulate" herself in front of him. And, then, after the exam, she says Reich asked her to demonstrate an oral sex technique on his thumb.

In 1982, Laurence Reich had his license suspend for 180 days. When he resumed practice, part of Reich's punishment was that, for 10 years, another person had to be in the exam room while he worked. In August of 2002, because of the new allegations and his history, Reich was arrested for sexual misconduct.

MAUREEN GREEN, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It had factual challenges. It had legal challenges, but I certainly would have tried the case.

ROWLANDS: Maureen Green was the prosecutor on the case. She says her goal was to get Reich to stop practicing. So, she agreed to a deal. The doctor would plead no contest and avoid a possible prison sentence. She thought that would speed up the process of pulling his license.

GREEN: Why should someone like that continue to practice?

ROWLANDS (on camera): But, three years later, the Osteopathic Medical Board has done nothing about Dr. Reich's license. He's still practicing medicine. He's also the medical director at a clinic in this Beverly Hills building.

(voice-over): We found Reich by calling one of those numbers given to Chambers. When we went to see him, he appeared to be at his office, but his staff claimed he wasn't there.

Dozens of phone calls to Reich and his lawyer have not been returned. So why, three years after he pleaded no contest, has nothing been done?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's bring the...

ROWLANDS: It's up to the state Osteopathic Medical Board to suspend or pull a license. The board was in public session last month in Sacramento. After the meeting, we asked them about the Reich case.

DR. TRACEY NORTON, MEMBER, OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA: I don't think I can comment on it, because it is still in process.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Any feelings about him still practicing three years after the criminal case?

DR. MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, PRESIDENT, OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA: I -- I have no opinion on that, because, if I did, I couldn't judge the case later on.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): For three years, Reich's lawyer has been trying to negotiate a settlement with the board. According to a source close to the case, two deals have been brought to the board, but were both rejected because, the board thought, they were too lenient.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the system is absolutely broken.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they would have acted immediately on my complaint in February, that -- what happened to Yvette and probably a number of other women in between there would not have happened.

ROWLANDS: The board, which regulates osteopathic doctors, not medical doctors, could pull Reich's license without negotiating. But it hasn't.

(on camera): Would you want your daughter to see this doctor during this process?

LINDA BERGMANN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA: I can't comment on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state board needs to be completely revamped. And this kind of thing should never happen again.

GREEN: I understand the victims' frustration. I'm concerned. He's treating patients. I'm concerned.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Reich is free to treat patients until a decision is made by the board. A hearing on his case is scheduled for February.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Bear in mind that physicians are licensed and disciplined by individual state medical boards. So, if you want to find out if there are complaints against your doctor, that's the place to go.

Do you think that you and your phone company are the only ones who know who you call on your cell phone? Well, then stay tuned for a very nasty surprise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's making everyone's calling records and call histories available freely. This not only tells people who you have called; it gives them their phone numbers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up, who's reading your cell phone numbers, records, and why?

We're also keeping our eyes on this hour's breaking story. Did a CIA attack today kill al Qaeda's number-two man in Pakistan?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Stolen identity is a growing problem, as we all know. And tonight, we have a frightening story about your own personal information. How is this for scary? Anyone, right now, can find out who you've been calling on your cell phone, when you call them, and where you were when you made that phone call.

I'm not talking about police or the FBI. I mean anyone with a couple of bucks and access to a computer, and it's perfectly legal. Here's technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember when Paris Hilton's cell phone was hacked last year? Her call records and personal address book were posted on the Internet, prompting her friends to change their numbers.

Now, curious people can look at your cell phone or any cell phone and they don't need any hacking skills. Who has Bono been talking to? How about Colin Powell or Lindsay Lohan? Locatecell.com says it will send you the call records for any cell phone number within one to four hours, for a price of $110 of your money back. Just type in the number, provide your credit card info, and hit the order button.

(on camera): In addition to claiming that they can find anybody's cell phone records, locatecell also says they can find out where somebody lives simply by using a current cell phone number.

They also say they can get a cell phone number by using the combination of someone's name and their address or Social Security number. And all of this has privacy advocates worried about the possibility for abuse.

SHERWIN SIY, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFO CTR.: Our biggest concern is that it's making everyone's calling records and call histories available freely. This not only tells people who you've called, it gives them their phone numbers. It tells you how long you've talked. It can even tell them where you've called from. This is a massive invasion of privacy.

SIEBERG: Locatecell falls into the relatively new world of data brokers, companies that can legally search for information about you and make money off of it and they can do it all without you ever knowing about it.

(voice-over): CNN was unable to reach locatecell.com for comment, but law enforcement agencies across the country have been warning agents that their confidential sources could be compromised as a result of services like locatecell.com. And it could be a tool for every voyeur out there.

SIY: A lot of times, you have stalkers who will look up the phone records of their victims and can trace who their friends are and who knows them.

SIEBERG: Data brokers are selling all kinds of personal information online. Abika.com can track down a name from an e-mail address or instant message pseudonym, find an unlisted phone number, verify a person's salary.

In fact, Abika has more than 300 ways for you to snoop on others and more than 300 ways for them to snoop on you. Abika.com says it's in favor of the free exchange of all legally held information, but some such background checks have resulted in tragic consequences.

In 1999 in New Hampshire, Leah Muens (ph) used another Internet data broker, Docusearch, to find out where a former high school classmate worked. He then shot and killed the woman, 20-year-old Amy Boyer (ph), as she left work. He then killed himself. Boyer's family sued Docusearch, saying it should have told the woman she was being investigated. But Docusearch argued it had no duty to check a customer's background.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He premeditated his crime and he killed her. Telling him where she worked didn't foreseeably increase the risk of anything. It didn't proximately cause anything. It had nothing to do with Amy Boyer's death.

SIEBERG: The suit was settled out of court in 2004 with the Boyer family getting $85,000. But today, obtaining cell phone records is not a criminal act, though in certain cases, experts say it could violate civil fraud laws.

So how do these data brokers do it? Well, in at least one case that's still being investigated, Verizon Wireless alleged callers from one data broker posed as employees from Verizon's special needs group, and claimed to need cell phone records on behalf of a customer with a disability.

In other instances, it's thought employees of cell phone providers sell the information against company rules. To minimize these pitfalls, cell phone companies will ask you for personal information that's meant to confirm your identity, but Siy says it's not enough.

SIY: Well, we certainly think that phone companies could do more. They could have stronger security requirements and they could have better systems in place to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

SIEBERG: Perhaps the best thing you can do is call your cell phone company. Most of them will let you assign a secure password to your account. And, of course, never give your personal information to any third party.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And Daniel Sieberg joins us now. Daniel, to give people an idea of how this process worked, you actually tried to get the cell phone records of your producer. What happened? SIEBERG: That's right. A quick behind the scenes story for people. I requested the cell phone records of my producer, Alex Walker (ph), a little earlier today through Web site of locatecell.com. A couple hours later, Alex received a cell phone call from what looked like a private number asking him to verify some information. The person said they were from Verizon Wireless, Alex's provider.

Alex didn't give them any personal information. He basically hung up the phone and called Verizon Wireless himself. They said they had not contacted him. So this was clearly setting off our alarm bells here.

We believe it was someone from locatecell.com trying to confirm some information. As a result of all this, Alex has actually requested a password be put on his account, which is good advice for anybody out there.

ZAHN: Yes, I think that's the first thing any of us will do. Real quick answer to this -- will any of this ever be considered a criminal act?

SIEBERG: You know, there are some -- legislation is being pushed right now, including Senator Chuck Schumer from New York, among others, a lot of advocacy groups that are out there trying to push this legislation. But, you know, this case that happened in 1999, it's been five, six years since that happened. So, obviously, the wheels are turning fairly slowly here.

ZAHN: Maybe turning slowly, but still frightening this many years later. Daniel Sieberg, thanks so much.

SIEBERG: Right.

ZAHN: Now, a cell phone plays a part in our next story as well. It started with a frightening 911 call.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DISPATCHER: 911, state your emergency.

STEPHANIE COCHRAN, MOTHER: Someone stole our car with my baby in it at my house. Oh, my God. Why would someone do this?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up next, how could a cell phone have helped detectives catch the thief? And what's the phone company's excuse for saying no?

ANNOUNCER: What do Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton and Nicole Richie have in common? Well, some say they're starting to look alike. We're one on one with the woman many believe is responsible for their striking similarities, when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: Welcome back. We just showed you how the misuse of cell phone information can be used to violate your privacy. Now you're about to see how your private information might actually help you if you become a crime victim. There's a new technology out there called GPS, and it's built into many cell phones.

That means the phone's location can be traced. And in case of an emergency, it can actually save lives if bureaucracy doesn't get in the way. You'll see what I mean as Chris Lawrence shows you exactly what happened to a couple who lived through a terrifying experience.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A truck stolen from a family's own driveway, their 10-month-old inside. Could the cell phone, sitting on the front seat, help save the baby buckled up in back?

COCHRAN: The one thought was that maybe that this -- the phone could like be our one saving grace.

LAWRENCE: It had GPS built in, but bureaucracy initially kept police from tracking it.

OPERATOR: 911, state your emergency.

COCHRAN: Someone stole our car with my baby in it at my house.

LAWRENCE: It was two days before Christmas, Corona, California.

COCHRAN: Oh, my God. Why would someone do this?

LAWRENCE: Stephanie Cochran's husband had just buckled up their baby and ran inside to get his 3-year-old brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody stole Wade?

COCHRAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's lost?

COCHRAN: He's lost.

LAWRENCE: A thief stole the truck and drove off.

COCHRAN: I felt like my heart was broken. And I felt like I was dying inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to try to see if we can do a GPS tracking.

LAWRENCE: They called Sprint. The detectives called Sprint, but they wasted valuable time with the customer service rep, who initially refused to track the phone, because the company didn't want to violate the family's right to privacy.

KATHLEEN DUNLEAVY, SPRINT SPOKESPERSON: What's under investigation right now is the time lag.

LAWRENCE: Sprint says it would be easy to abuse this technology. And it has a legal obligation to protect customer's privacy.

DUNLEAVY: That is why if someone calls our customer care center, we will not track their phone for them.

LAWRENCE: Customers have to call the police, who fill out a form and fax it back to Sprint.

COCHRAN: I couldn't believe that they were asking for those sort of things and paperwork. You know, I had been on the phone with them. What other kind of release did they need from a customer?

LAWRENCE: In this case, they didn't need GPS. Police found the truck and Wade, a few hours later, about a mile away.

COCHRAN: I'm just so thankful to have him home. You know, that's all I cared about. Thank you for not hurting my baby.

LAWRENCE: The county board wasn't so quick to move on. And at one point, considered freezing construction of Sprint's cell phone towers.

JOHN TAVAGLIONE, RIVERSIDE CO. BD. OF SUPERVISORS: Bureaucracy can't get in the way of the life of a child. And I felt that something needed to change.

LAWRENCE (on-camera): So far, Sprint is fully cooperating with the police in order to update its policy. And because of this case, California legislators are already drafting a bill. That bill would allow you, the customer, to sign a form when you buy your phone. That form would authorize the company to track your phone's GPS in case of an emergency.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And then there's this. If you want to know if your cell phone has GPS, you should call your cell phone provider, as just recommended.

Coming up next, a notorious part of New Orleans history was nearly washed away by last year's floods. Can voodoo make a comeback?

Also, back to this hour's breaking news. Could al Qaeda's number two man be dead? Our correspondents from all over the world are checking in with their sources as we speak. We'll have an update for you on the other side of this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: In New Orleans tonight, they're getting ready for Mardi Gras, which gets underway next month. Even a Category 4 hurricane couldn't blow away that spirit of New Orleans.

But another tradition, one that goes back hundreds of years may have suffered the curse of Katrina. The storm drove away many of the people who not only practiced voodoo, but make their living from it. Wait until you see what Sean Callebs conjured up for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The storm didn't carry away the signs. The voodoo symbols are everywhere here. But many voodoo practitioners were uprooted by Hurricane Katrina.

BRANDI KELLEY, OWNER, VOODOO AUTHENTICA: There's a lot that's heartbreaking about New Orleans losing the voodoo flavor. Our drummers, our dancers, our practitioners, shop owners. You name it. They are scattered to the winds right now.

CALLEBS: This was voodoo in better times. An annual festival, a means to celebrate what its followers consider a religion. A belief based on a cult of ancestors and communication with spirits where mystical ceremonies beckon those spirits to clean people of evil or in which chants and potions are used today harm their enemies.

In New Orleans the Voodoo spirits also attracted a lot of tourists. Now, the streets here are largely vacant. Tourism, an interest in voodoo is creeping back into the French Quarter only slowly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to check out the voodoo culture, something new to me. So I am just going to check it out because I know New Orleans is very famous for that, extremely famous.

CALLEBS: Voodoo came to New Orleans via the slave trade from west Africa through Haiti. It has thrived in this city since the 1700's and produced some powerful practitioners.

This plain white grave site marks the resting place of Marie Laveau considered the queen of voodoo in this region. Ina Fandrich is a college professor, who studies history and the practice of voodoo.

INA FANDRICH, VOODOO SCHOLAR: In new Orleans, the word voodoo and Marie Lavaeu has become synonymous. She was a very, very, very highly blessed spirit.

CALLEBS: She says Laveau was believed to have especially strong communication with the spirit world. Today she is still revered by people like Dr. Elmer Glover, one of the few voodoo priests still in New Orleans. He says he is a sorcerer and magician trained in Africa and Haiti.

This is a religious ceremony. At times, voodoo priests kill animals, like roosters or goats. But not here. The priest is performing a cleansing ritual to purge my soul of evil.

Dr. Elmer Glover, Voodoo Priest: How do you feel?

CALLEBS (on-camera): Relaxed.

(voice over): Glover says he's just the portal for the spirits to infuse people like me.

(on-camera): What does it mean?

GLOVER: It means whatever negativity you had around your heaven is cleared away, has loosened itself up and is dissipated.

CALLEBS: What is this going to mean for me?

GLOVER: Oh, you're going to have super success, super prosperity, super happiness, super love. Whatever you want. You'll have it.

CALLEBS: Why doesn't everybody come by and do this then?

GLOVER: Well, they'll be coming by after they see you.

CALLEBS (voice over): Another comment practitioners have heard again and again, if voodoo is so powerful, why didn't the priests stop Katrina?

KELLEY: They say, why didn't you do some ritual to, you know, make this hurricane, you know, not hit? And we say the rituals were done. The hurricane didn't hit us. The levees did.

CALLEBS: So the levee broke. The people, the practitioners may have left, but...

KELLEY: The voodoo spirits are here. They've been here the whole time. They're not going anywhere. And they're strong. And they are going to see us through this.

CALLEBS: If and when those people who left come back, the ancient spirits will be waiting.

Sean Callebs, CNN, New Orleans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And there's one more thing to add. Some say voodoo may be one of the oldest religions with roots that go back 10,000 years.

Well, whether it's Britney or Lindsay or Jen, and it doesn't matter which Jen, have you ever noticed that the current crop of pop divas all seem to look alike? Well, there's a reason why. And we're going to meet her in just a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it, because at the end of the day, it's literally like sending your daughter off to the prom every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So, exactly what does an image maker do when she goes to work? You might be surprised.

And please stay with us for more on this hour's breaking news. Has a CIA strike in Pakistan killed al Qaeda's number two man?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: So, the Golden Globe Awards are Monday night if you're looking forward to doing some star watching on the red carpet. Don't be surprised if a lot of the big female stars look strangely alike. The reason, they all have a certain image maker in common.

Here is entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIBILA VARGAS, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Jennifer Garner, Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie, young, beautiful and so perfectly packaged. No surprise when these celebrities need help deciding what to wear...

RACHEL ZOE, STYLIST: This is actually a vintage piece.

VARGAS: Their go-to girl is stylist Rachel Zoe. Take one look at the racks of gorgeous gowns and the rows of designer shoes. Listen to her phone ringing non-stop in her busy studio. And you quickly know that Zoe is in demand.

ZOE: It's shocking to me every day the emphasis that is put on someone's image in this business.

VARGAS: Rachel Zoe's business is image. And these days business is very good. Like a movie producer, who brings together actors, a director and a script, Zoe takes hair, makeup, shoes and a gown and puts together a star.

She's one of a handful of Hollywood stylists who earn thousands of dollars a day making sure there's glamour on the red carpet. And Zoe has her own distinctive style, mixing vintage and modern designer pieces into bohemian chic ensembles. Her influences are diverse.

ZOE: You know, 60's, 70's, into early 80's, you know, Grecian, you know, Bianca Jagger, Diane Von Furstenberg sort of, you know, in the Studio 54 days, that's always been the thing that really works best for me, personally.

VARGAS: She started as an editorial fashion assistant in New York and worked her way west.

ZOE: Well, my father always tries to justify my work by saying it's my art. It's my craft.

VARGAS: If image making is an art, Zoe made herself into a master. And her work turning clients from freckled teenagers into stylish starlets is judged every day, every week by some of the toughest critics in the fashion industry. ZOE: When "Harper's Bazaar" and "W" and "Elle" and "Time Magazine," and, you know, "The New York Times" or, you know, whatever, when these publications in women's wear daily are writing all these positive things about my clients or west coast fashion or whatever it is, you know, that, to me, is the highest form of recognition.

VARGAS: Zoe's influence on clients has become so recognizable that some people say her famous proteges are actually starting to look like her.

ZOE: It's flattering, and it's great. But I don't consider myself responsible for it. I think that, I don't know. I think we just spend a lot of time together. And so I think inevitably rub off on each other.

VARGAS: We caught up with Zoe at her home as she was getting ready to dress several of her high-profiled clients for this year's Golden Globe Awards.

ZOE: I love it. Because at the end of the day, it's literally like sending your daughter off to the prom every day. And I don't care if my client is 40 years old. When I stand at the door and they're getting into the limousine, it's like, I've been doing this for 13 years. I get just as excited today as I did the first day I started.

VARGAS: She's surrounded by glamour, but somehow still manages to keep it all in perspective.

ZOE: It's about them, and it's about them feeling beautiful. And it's about them feeling comfortable. And if they don't, then I haven't done my job.

VARGAS: Sibila Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And before we go, we have just enough time to update this hour's breaking news. Sources are telling CNN that a CIA airstrike in Pakistan along the Afghanistan border earlier today targeted al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Right now, we're waiting for word on whether they have found his body. Among the raids at least 17 victims.

Here's national security correspondent David Ensor. He has been working his sources. He has the very latest for us now.

David, what do you got?

DAVID ENSOR, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Paula, as you said, knowledgeable sources are telling us that this airstrike was indeed an attempt to Zawahiri. And they don't know whether they have got him yet.

There is some guarded hope though that they may have. This kind of a strike is not ordered lightly. There was intelligence we are told, quite good reporting upon which the decision to try to hit Zawahiri in this location was based.

It's the same village of Damadola up near the Afghan border in Pakistan. The Pakistanis have been saying there are about 18 dead, and obviously the work now will be to figure out whether Zawahiri is one of those 18 or so dead in Damadola along the border--Paula.

ZAHN: And that could take some time, David. Couldn't it? Even with American personnel presumably on the ground there.

ENSOR: I think the effort will be led by Pakistanis. There are probably Americans quietly on the ground there working with them, but yes, it could take time. It's a very remote location, and there are a number of dead.

They have to figure out from what's left whether one of them is Zawahiri. It may take forensics to determine it.

ZAHN: He has been one elusive man.

ENSOR: That's right.

ZAHN: And has been in the sights of the American military for some time. If it ends up that he has been killed, what will be the impact of that?

ENSOR: Well, as John McLaughlin, the former acting director of the CIA said to me a moment ago, if bin Laden is the chairman of the board of al Qaeda, then Zawahiri is the chief executive officer, the CEO if you will.

This is a very, very important person to the way al Qaeda has been organized and how effective it's been. So, if he's gone some people would say the brains of the operation are gone.

Now, the idea of al Qaeda, the ideology of al Qaeda, which will certainly survive these two men, is still very dangerous. There's still plenty of people out there in other groups that have sprung up since then that may still wish to attack this country and its allies.

So the fight with extreme Islamism may not be over, but this would be a major, major victory.

ZAHN: But David, there are a couple of reports tonight suggesting that even if Zawahiri is not among the at least 17 dead, there is a belief that maybe five al Qaeda members might have gotten killed in this strike. Can you confirm that?

ENSOR: No. I've heard those same reports, Paula. But frankly, I'm not able to confirm it.

ZAHN: And what do we know about the nature of the strike? Do we know if it was a drone yet?

ENSOR: You know, I'm not able to report anything very detailed on that. I don't think it was a drone, but, frankly, I really don't have...

ZAHN: Right. I shouldn't have put you -- I didn't mean to put you on the spot there. I think Barbara Starr, the last time I heard her in her report saying that is something everybody is asking questions about tonight.

Well, David Ensor really appreciate your updating that story for us tonight.

And once again CNN confirming that a CIA airstrike in Pakistan earlier today targeted the number two man in al Qaeda, Ayman al- Zawahiri. Right now, we are waiting for word on whether his body was among the raids victims.

And that wraps it up for all of us here on this Friday night. Thank you for being with us tonight. We will be back same time, same place on Monday night. Until then, have a great weekend. Thanks for being with us tonight. "Larry King Live" is next.

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

Search
© 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 CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines