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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Behind Hospital Walls in Hurricane Katrina Aftermath; Two Teenagers Arrested For Florida Homeless Beatings; Living With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Aired January 16, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. And thanks for joining us. Paula has the night off.
Tonight, a national disaster and shocking allegations -- now a potentially explosive investigation begins.
Behind hospital walls, rising waters, helpless patients left behind after Katrina, and startling allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE JORDAN, ORLEANS PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The possible charges are first-degree murder, as well as second-degree murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Tonight, in our continuing CNN investigation, the story takes a new turn.
Fatal decision -- dramatic new details in the police shooting of a troubled teen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAURICE COTEY, CLASSMATE OF CHRISTOPHER PENLEY: He put the gun to my back. Then, I told him, please, don't shoot me. Please, don't shoot me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Could this tragedy have been avoided?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK NATION, PENLEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: He was on his way there to help talk his son out of this situation. They would not let him in. And he was later told that Christopher had been shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: And "Mysteries of the Mind." Imagine a strange disorder that drives people to make every little thing perfectly perfect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LORI FLEISHMAN, MOTHER OF SHANNON FLEISHMAN: She couldn't stop herself from ironing ironed clothes. She literally burned her clothes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Absolutely everything -- the perfect obsession.
We begin with a developing story -- former President Gerald Ford in a California hospital tonight being treated for pneumonia. His chief of staff says the 92-year-old former president is -- quote -- "doing well and resting comfortably." And we won't get another medical update until the morning. Ford was also hospitalized briefly in December for unspecified tests and suffered a mild stroke in 2000.
He is the nation's oldest living former president. He was sworn in, in August 1974, after President Richard Nixon resigned during the Watergate scandal. He lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter.
There is also big news out of New Orleans tonight -- authorities finally ready to seek justice for the breakdown of law and order in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina. The city's top prosecutor tells CNN, for first time since the storm, he's ready to convene a grand jury to look into the most serious allegations.
And, just a short while ago, district attorney Eddie Jordan confirmed to me murder charges will be sought if an investigation shows medical professionals killed patients at one New Orleans hospital.
COLLINS: As you know, there were reports of euthanasia shortly after Hurricane Katrina, within four months or so. Why did it take so long to start talking about actually getting a grand jury together to look at this information?
EDDIE JORDAN, ORLEANS PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, no grand jury could be impaneled in New Orleans Parish for the last several months because of the dislocation of so many citizens.
There were certainly a number of reports that euthanasia did take place at various hospitals. And, of course, as far as the hospitals in Orleans Parish are concerned, that is the jurisdiction of the district attorney, and we will prosecute, if we conclude that there was criminal activity.
COLLINS: When did you expect to have the grand jury impaneled?
JORDAN: We expect to have a grand jury as early as next week. That grand jury will not only investigate this particular set of circumstances, but a variety of other cases that have come up in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
This is a complicated matter that will require the gathering of additional evidence. And, of course, the possible charges are first- degree murder, as well as second-degree murder. And we intend to prosecute, if we find that murders did take place.
COLLINS: After Hurricane Katrina, there were more than 100 deaths at hospitals and nursing homes around New Orleans. All of them are being investigated by Louisiana state authorities now.
One investigation in particular has focused on allegations patients were intentionally killed at Memorial Hospital. Why would people trained to save lives suddenly and deliberately end them?
Our investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has been on the story since the very beginning.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Memorial Hospital had been a storm refuge for up to 2,000 people. Patients, staff and their families rode out the storm inside. But, by Thursday, four days after Katrina, despair was setting in. The hospital was surrounded by floodwater.
There was no power, no water. And the heat was stifling.
Nurses had to fan patients by hand. And, outside the hospital windows, nurses tell CNN they saw looters breaking into this credit union. Up on the seventh floor, Angela McManus was with her critically ill mother. Thursday, she noticed a change, too. Nurses, she says, were now discussing, for the first time, which patients would have to stay behind.
ANGELA MCMANUS, MOTHER DIED AT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: I mean, these were grown men that were buckling down to their knees, because they were like, they couldn't believe that FEMA was making them stay there and watch the people die. They had decided not to evacuate the DNR patients.
GRIFFIN (on camera): That's when you heard for the first time...
GRIFFIN: ... your mom was not going to get out.
MCMANUS: The first time.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Angela McManus's had a DNR, a do-not- resuscitate, order, but was alert. Her daughter says Wilda (ph) McManus did not make it out. She wants to believe her mother died peacefully from her illness, but now doesn't know.
On her death certificate lists the first cause of death merely as hurricane-related.
MCMANUS: I think she died from the infection. I don't know. I really don't know. And, you know, hearing -- this doctor was saying about euthanasia -- euthanasia at the hospital, I just don't know where to go.
GRIFFIN: The Louisiana Attorney General's Office is looking into what did happen to the patients at Memorial Hospital. Attorney General Charles Foti has told CNN that allegations of possible euthanasia there are -- quote -- "credible and worth investigating" -- end quote -- but that is all he will say.
While Foti will not provide any details of his investigation, a source familiar with it, who did not want to be identified, told CNN that more than one person is being actively looked at as a possible person of interest for crimes related to euthanasia there.
Dr. Bryant King, who has since left Memorial, was working as a contract physician at the hospital in the days after Katrina. This is what he saw in the triage area Thursday, September 1.
DR. BRYANT KING, FORMER CONTRACT PHYSICIAN AT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: ... and realized, there were no more fanners; there were no more nurses administer -- checking blood sugars or blood pressures. They were all pushed out.
And then there were -- there were people standing at the -- the -- the ramp at the Claire (ph) garage. There were people standing over by where the morgue were -- the chapel that we were using as the morgue. There were people standing at the entrance-way to where the -- the -- the emergency room led up to the second-floor area. So, it was kind of just being blocked off. And that didn't make sense to me. It didn't make sense why would we stop what we had been doing, especially given the fact that we are evacuating patients.
GRIFFIN: Dr. King said another hospital administrator asked if he and two other remaining doctors should pray. King says, one of those doctors, Dr. Anna Pou, had a handful of syringes.
KING: This is on the second floor in the lobby. This -- and across that walkway, there's a group of patients. And Anna is standing over there with a handful of syringes.
GRIFFIN (on camera): Dr. Anna Pou.
KING: Talking to a patient. And the -- the words that I heard her say were, "I'm going to give you something to make you feel better."
And she had a handful of syringes. I don't -- and that was strange on a lot of -- on a lot of different levels. For one, we don't give medications. The nurses give medications. We almost never give medications ourselves, unless it's something critical. It's in the middle of a code or -- even in the middle of a code, the nurses give medications.
Nobody -- nobody walks around with a handful of syringes and goes and gives the same thing to each patient. That -- that's just not how we do it.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Dr. King had no way of knowing what was in those syringes. He left the hospital. He says he personally did not witness any acts of euthanasia.
Right after evacuating Memorial Hospital, Dr. Anna Pou had this to say to a Baton Rouge television station.
DR. ANNA POU, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PHYSICIAN: There were some patients there that -- who were critically ill, and, regardless of the storm, were -- had the orders of, do not resuscitate, in other words, that if they died, to allow them to die naturally and not to use any heroic methods to resuscitate them.
We all did everything within our power to give the best treatment that we could to the patients in the hospital, to make them comfortable.
GRIFFIN: Dr. Pou talked to CNN in several phone calls in the days after the evacuation. She would not comment on the euthanasia allegations and has since hired an attorney.
Dr. Pou's attorney, Rick Simmons (ph), sent this statement to CNN on behalf of his client.
It reads: "The physicians and staff responsible for the care of patients, many of whom were gravely ill, faced loss of generator power, the absence of routine medical equipment to sustain life, lack of water and sanitation facilities, extreme heat, in excess of 100 degrees, all occurring," says the statement, "in an environment of deteriorating security, apparent social unrest, and the absence of governmental authority. Dr. Pou and other medical personnel," it reads, "at Memorial Hospital worked tirelessly for five days to save and evacuate patients, none of whom were abandoned. We feel confident that the facts will reveal heroic efforts by the physicians and the staff in a desperate situation."
Drew Griffin, CNN, New Orleans.
COLLINS: How many deaths might be involved is still under investigation. And no charges have been filed.
There are two companies involved with patient care at Memorial Hospital. Tenet Healthcare runs the hospital. LifeCare of New Orleans leases space to care for long-term patients on the seventh floor. Both companies have declined to be interviewed, citing the ongoing investigation. But both do say their employees acted heroically under very difficult conditions. And both companies say they are cooperating with the state attorney general's investigation.
Next, anger and outrage in Florida -- police say, when they shot and killed a middle school student last week, they didn't know the boy was only carrying a toy gun. But did the boy's father tell them otherwise? The family says yes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK NATION, PENLEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: He explained to the deputy that he was on the phone with that his son did not have a real gun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Was it a tragic case of miscommunication or police overreaction?
Also, who is behind a brutal series of beatings that outraged the nation last week? We will tell you about the first two suspects.
And, later this hour, what is wrong with trying to be perfect? See how a mysterious mental disorder has crippled this woman's life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: They thought they had al Qaeda's number-two man in their crosshairs. The CIA attacked massively from the air. Did something go wrong? I will have details coming up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: We will get to that story in just a moment.
But, for now, there is growing anger and a lot of questions tonight about the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old by police in Florida. It happened Friday at a middle school just outside Orlando -- family and friends still in shock over the killing of Chris Penley. And now some people are asking whether a failure in communication may have led to his death.
J.J. Ramberg has been following the story all day and just filed this report.
J.J. RAMBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last night, 11- year-old Shane Crawford (ph) passed a card around his neighborhood, the same neighborhood where Christopher Penley lived for most of his life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Penley, I am sorry about Chris. And I know how you feel.
RAMBERG: As neighbors and friends mourn the loss of 15-year-old Chris Penley, many of them are questioning how he died.
On Friday, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Department, Chris Penley brought what looked like a .9-millimeter handgun to his school in suburban Orlando. He used it to scare fellow students, and, as they fled, threatened at least one of them.
MAURICE COTEY, CLASSMATE OF CHRISTOPHER PENLEY: Told know get up against the blackboard, and I did. And he put the gun to my back. And then we -- then, I told him, please, don't shoot me. Please, don't shoot me.
RAMBERG: After a scuffle, Maurice Cotey got away. By the time the SWAT team arrived, the school had issued a code red and locked the students in their classrooms, with the lights turned off. At one point during this incident -- the precise timing isn't exactly clear -- Chris Penley's father, according to his lawyer, told authorities his son was not a danger.
MARK NATION, PENLEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: He explained to the deputy that he was on the phone with that his son did not have a real gun; they don't own any guns in the house; and that he had a black -- or a pellet gun that he had painted black.
RAMBERG: According to his lawyer, Ralph Penley made that call while he was desperately racing to his son's school.
NATION: He was at the school within 15 minutes. He was not allowed to then enter the school property for another 30 minutes. And, at that point, he was told that his son had been shot.
RAMBERG: The police had chased Chris Penley into a deserted restroom. It is not clear whether any of the officers on the scene ever got a message about the gun. The sheriff says officers ordered the eighth-grader to drop his weapon. Instead, they say, he took aim at them. And Lieutenant Mike Weippert, a 16-year veteran of the SWAT team, shot Penley.
LOU PALUMBO, SECURITY EXPERT: The SWAT teams are trained to take a position, number one, secondly, continuously assess the situation. And when the situation so deteriorates that they do not have an option, other than the implementation of deadly physical force, take it.
RAMBERG: We now know the gun was a pellet gun, painted, police say, to look just like a real firearm, the gun Ralph Penley said he described to authorities on the phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the actual firearm that was held by the subject inside, the -- 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.
TANIA CRAWFORD, NEIGHBOR OF PENLEYS: I think everybody is shocked, because he was -- I understand he's 15 years old, but that's somebody's baby. And that's -- that's...
RAMBERG: Chris is described by most friends and neighbors as a quiet, normal teenager. He played video games, liked to work out, and he had typical teenage problems. The question is, what set him off on January 13? His close friend P.J. Lafferty has one theory.
PATRICK LAFFERTY, FRIEND OF CHRISTOPHER PENLEY: His girlfriend -- it was over his girlfriend, and that he was going to get jumped. He was dating a girl, and she ended up kissing another guy while she was dating him. And then she broke up with him the next day. RAMBERG: Authorities will have to determine whether it was in fact a failed romance that drove Chris Penley to bring a weapon to school. Another important part of the investigation will focus on whether there was a failure in the chain of communications, a failure that cost a 15-year-old boy his life.
COLLINS: And J.J. Ramberg joining us now.
J.J., is there going to be a lawsuit filed in this case?
RAMBERG: As of right now, Heidi, there is not any lawsuit.
The lawyer for Ralph Penley has said that, right now, the family is not pointing any fingers. They're not making any accusations. They're just asking that the investigation make clear exactly what happened last week. He says the family just needs answers -- Heidi.
COLLINS: J.J. Ramberg live from Orlando tonight -- thanks, J.J.
And one more thing to tell you about: After the shooting, Chris Penley was clinically brain-dead. But he was kept alive until Sunday morning, so his organs could be donated to four families to save the lives of other people.
There are new developments tonight in another story out of Florida, one that sparked outrage from coast to coast. Last Thursday, there was a series of assaults on homeless men in Fort Lauderdale. One man was killed. Another of the attacks was captured on surveillance camera in all its senseless brutality. Who could have done this?
Well, a couple of teenagers have now turned themselves in.
And David Mattingly has story in tonight's "Outside the Law."
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Caught on tape and wanted in a series of senseless beatings, two teens turned themselves in to Fort Lauderdale police Sunday morning, after briefly fleeing the state.
DETECTIVE KATHY COLLINS, FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We were in communication with the family and their attorneys. So, with the effort of the attorneys, they were able to return them to the area and bring them into us.
RAMBERG: Eighteen-year-old Brian Hooks and his friend 17-year- old Thomas Daugherty are charged in a series of attacks on local homeless men, killing 45-year-old Norris Gaynor in the pre-dawn hours Thursday.
But police say it was this surveillance video and the beating of 58-year-old Jacques Pierre that incensed the community and led to the boys' arrests.
K. COLLINS: We got many calls from the citizens themselves that recognized them as being neighbors or friends or acquaintances. Everyone has the same opinion, that these acts are -- are heinous, and they need to be brought to justice for them.
MATTINGLY: Police say they got more than 100 tips, leading them to the two teens. On Saturday, investigators searched the boys' homes in an upscale neighborhood near a local high school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You finally see the mug shot and you're just like...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. That -- that...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... when I saw that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see them...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... picture and it's like, wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you all recognized them right away, when you saw them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right away. Right away.
JUDGE STEVEN DELUCA: Mr. Hooks, you're charged with a new substantive offense of premeditated murder.
MATTINGLY: Hooks reportedly graduated from high school last year and was described as a good athlete. Daugherty, according to students, was a typical friendly teenager.
Police say they don't know if either of them has a criminal record. Adults who know them, however, say they never appeared violent or were known to be in trouble.
RUSTY ZINGONE, NEIGHBOR: Great kids. I mean, they go fishing all the time. They -- you know, they play together. They just -- I just can't believe it.
MATTINGLY: The two are also suspected in a third beating of a homeless man, 49-year-old Raymond Perez, that same night. But neither Hooks, nor Daugherty, has spoken to investigators.
According to the Associated Press, an attorney for Hooks says the 18-year-old's involvement is far more limited than has been speculated. A bond hearing for the teen is scheduled for Tuesday. The 17-year-old Daugherty will be held without bond for three weeks in juvenile detention and, at his attorney's request, will undergo psychological examination. In the meantime, investigators say they're looking for possibly one or two more suspects in the Thursday- morning beatings. And they will try determine whether the youths in custody had also been involved in any previous attacks on the homeless.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
COLLINS: There is apparently more evidence against the teens than just the pictures from the surveillance camera. The "Sun- Sentinel" newspaper, quoting a police report, says there are two witnesses to the fatal beating. The paper also reports that one of the survivors has told police he saw three people running away after he was attacked.
Still to come tonight, he's legally blind, in a wheelchair, and he turned 76 years old today. Should California execute him tomorrow? The nation's highest court just ruled.
But, before we get to that, Virginia Cha at Headline News has the hour's other top stories.
VIRGINIA CHA, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Heidi. Thanks a lot.
Well, updating the condition of former President Gerald Ford now, his office says he is resting comfortably under treatment for pneumonia in a hospital in Rancho Mirage, California. The 92-year-old former president was hospitalized briefly last month for tests. Now, we will update you On President Ford the moment more information is available.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Bush remembered the civil rights leader as a man who called on America to live up to its ideal of equality. For the first time in 38 years, King's widow, Coretta Scott King, watched the memorial on TV. She is recovering from a stroke.
Former Vice President Al Gore lashed out at President Bush today, accusing him of -- quote -- "a gross, excessive power grab" and of breaking a law by eavesdropping on Americans without courts' permission. Republicans characterized the speech as angry.
Meanwhile, investigators looking into the Sago Mine disaster will start interviewing fellow miners and officials tomorrow, looking for the cause of the explosion that cost a dozen lives.
And the New Horizons spacecraft is ready for tomorrow's launch and a nine-year, three-billion-mile journey to Pluto and the outer solar system. And those are the headlines -- back to you, Heidi.
COLLINS: All right, Virginia, thank you.
Tonight, there is international outrage over a U.S. attack in Pakistan. It was designed to kill Osama bin Laden's right-hand man. But it also killed more than a dozen civilians. Next, was the CIA right to order up an airstrike, and did they get their man?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Elizabeth Cohen.
Being a perfectionist is a good thing, right? Maybe. But it can go too far. Imagine being paralyzed by a fear of not doing everything perfectly. I will introduce you to a remarkable young woman struggling to overcome a severe obsessive compulsive disorder called perfection obsession -- when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Doubt and outrage tonight, in the wake of a CIA airstrike in -- airstrike in Pakistan that targeted the number-two man in al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri. Eighteen people were killed in Friday's attack. But U.S. counterterrorism officials say they still don't know if al-Zawahri was one of the victims.
The strike has strained U.S. ties with Pakistan and ignited protests across that country.
Here is national security correspondent David Ensor.
ENSOR (voice-over): U.S. intelligence knew a feast was planned in the Pakistani mountain village Friday to celebrate a Muslim holiday, and that Ayman Al-Zawahri, al Qaeda's number two, had been invited, along with about half-a-dozen other senior members of the terrorist group.
High up and out of sight from the ground, CIA Predator drones watched the compound for hours.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: This kind of operation would be conducted with great care.
ENSOR: When the guests arrived, and there were indications Zawahri was among them, knowledgeable sources say CIA officers informed the people who needed to know that the Predators were about to strike.
MCLAUGHLIN: You can be sure there was a careful protocol that was gone through to judge the quality of the target and to make judgments about possible side effects, collateral damage and so forth.
ENSOR: The CIA technicians operating the Predators then unleashed Hellfire missiles, counterterrorism officials say. There are also reports of bombs from Air Force F-16s, though the Pentagon is not commenting.
(on camera): Shortly after the attack, knowledgeable sources say a group of men came and took about a dozen bodies, including as many as eight foreigners, to conceal and bury elsewhere. U.S. officials have no comment on that.
(voice-over): Pakistani officials quoted by the Associated Press say they are confident Zawahri, the invited guest, did not show up for the feast, that he was not among the dead. But women and children were among the victims of the attack.
In some Pakistani cities, there have been protests against the American missile attack and against the government of President Pervez Musharraf for allowing it to happen.
QAZI HUSSAIN, PAKISTANI OPPOSITION LEADER: That the government of Pakistan should resign, because they have failed to protect their territory and protect their citizens from the unjustified attack from the American forces.
MCLAUGHLIN: There is obviously a lot of emotion associated with the reaction to this strike. And I think the -- the situation in Pakistan will bear close watching over the next few days.
ENSOR: Is Zawahri alive or dead? If he is alive, former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin predicts, we will soon know it.
MCLAUGHLIN: I think there is a reasonable chance that we will learn some time during the week if Zawahri was not killed, that he is still alive, principally because al Qaeda would want to make that point for propaganda purposes.
ENSOR: But if Zawahri was there that night, and he's dead, which U.S. counterterrorism officials still do not rule out, it would take forensic evidence or a lot of intelligence work to make sure of it. That could take weeks, or even longer.
David Ensor, CNN, Washington.
COLLINS: One more thing: The missile attack is believed to be the third suspected U.S. strike inside Pakistan in less than two months.
During the break, take a look around. How neat is your home? That bad, huh? Well, no matter what shape it is in, it won't be good enough for the woman we're about to meet.
COHEN: So, getting a load of dirty clothes off the floor...
SHANNON FLEISHMAN, SUFFERER OF OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER: Well, I only got three items in, in three hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: She is so obsessed with perfection, it has ruined her life. What could be wrong with her? It is one of the "Mysteries of the Mind." And her amazing story is next.
Later, do you want to know a deep, dark secret, or do you have one that is just bursting to get out? Well, Jeanne Moos has just what you're looking for.
COLLINS: Maybe you think someone in your family is the world's greatest perfectionist. Well, you're not even close. That's because there is a curious and little-known affliction you may never have heard of. It affects mostly young women. And it drives them to be absolutely perfect in every way, in everything they do, every waking minute of the day.
You're about to meet one of those young women with an unforgettable story of challenge and determination.
Here is Elizabeth Cohen with tonight's "Mysteries of the Mind."
COHEN (voice-over): Folding laundry is such a simple task, but watch what happens when Shannon Fleishman tries to fold this shirt.
SHANNON FLEISHMAN, OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER SUFFERER: I really want to touch that.
COHEN: She's desperate to smooth the wrinkles that bother only her. She is tortured that these sock seams don't line up perfectly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How anxious are you on a scale from zero to 10?
S. FLEISHMAN: Ten.
COHEN: These clothes look fine to the rest of us. But, in Shannon's mind, they're a wrinkled, disorganized mess. And she wants, more than anything...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Try not to touch them again.
COHEN: To make them look perfect.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead and shut it.
COHEN: As painful as this is to watch, imagine how painful it is for Shannon, who has a form of obsessive compulsive disorder called perfection obsession.
S. FLEISHMAN: A fear of making a mistake, regardless of how little, how small or minute it might be.
COHEN (on camera): So, getting a load of dirty clothes off the floor would take three hours?
S. FLEISHMAN: Well, I only got three items in, in three hours.
COHEN (voice-over): Growing up, Shannon was an incredible kid, a popular girl, an A-plus student admired by her teachers, and a gifted athlete. She was the daughter every parent dreamed of.
LORI FLEISHMAN, MOTHER OF SHANNON FLEISHMAN: We were extremely proud of Shannon and her accomplishments.
S. FLEISHMAN: Spend six to eight hours a night on homework, because I would check everything. And everything was done so thoroughly.
COHEN (on camera): So, it sounds like you were, in some ways, the perfect girl.
S. FLEISHMAN: I was like the golden child.
COHEN (voice-over): But, as Shannon got older, there were signs of a problem.
L. FLEISHMAN: Setting her alarm for, like, 2:30, 3:00 in the morning to redo homework that was already done.
COHEN: Shannon graduated fourth in her class and was voted most likely to succeed. She won a softball scholarship to college.
S. FLEISHMAN: I have the expectations. That's like a 4.0, what I want to get, a 4.0.
COHEN: She couldn't live up to that 4.0. And when she had her first taste of failure, she began to unravel. Her doctor prescribed an antidepressant.
S. FLEISHMAN: The medicine wasn't helping. I remember telling him, I think I have OCD. And he said, no, you're just a perfectionist.
COHEN: So much so that she stopped turning into assignments because she felt they weren't perfect enough, and she eventually flunked out of college.
S. FLEISHMAN: And it was a huge disappointment. And I was very ashamed and embarrassed.
COHEN: Her perfectionism became all-consuming.
L. FLEISHMAN: Things like taking care of groceries, she could go buy them. But she would get them home, she wasn't able to get them in the cupboard. She couldn't line everything up perfect enough. She couldn't stop herself from ironing clothes. She literally burned her clothes.
COHEN: And she began what psychiatrists call obsessive compulsive rituals, counting everything.
S. FLEISHMAN: I would brush my teeth in sets of eight. I would blow my nose in sets of eight. I would put makeup on in sets of eight. The number of times I patted under my eyes in sets of eight, which I still do.
COHEN: These rituals took all day to complete and eventually took over her life.
S. FLEISHMAN: Sometimes, I use the metaphor that it is like a record, the same song going over and over and over again in your head. You know, like, you just can't get rid of that obsession. It is just always there.
COHEN: The breaking point, when Shannon's parents got a long- distance call from one of her friends -- their daughter needed help. But when her mother, Lori, went to pick her up, even she wasn't prepared for what she was about to see.
L. FLEISHMAN: When we pulled in that day, and I saw her, the way she was, I just couldn't believe it was her.
COHEN: I was voted most likely to succeed by my high school class. And now look at me.
L. FLEISHMAN: When you go from being on top of the world and able to do anything that your heart desires to not being able to wash yourself or do a load of laundry, it is pretty depressing.
COHEN: Shannon checked into McLean Hospital's OCD Institute, a residential hospital dedicated to treating patients like her.
DR. CAROL HEVIA, THERAPIST: Let's try to put a big wrinkle in the middle.
COHEN: She is taking medication and getting intense behavioral therapy like this.
HEVIA: Leave the hair on it.
COHEN: It is called exposure therapy.
S. FLEISHMAN: Just leave it how it is?
HEVIA: Yes. Does that bother you?
S. FLEISHMAN: Yes.
HEVIA: OK. Then let's leave it.
COHEN: And counselor Carol Hevia is helping Shannon to deal with her biggest fears.
HEVIA: Stop before the last tug...
S. FLEISHMAN: All righty. I can do this.
COHEN: ... by confronting them head on.
S. FLEISHMAN: All right. I guess it is done.
COHEN (on camera): I saw how she was folding something, and there really was a hair on it. Why not let her take the hair off of it?
HEVIA: Because she would take off that hair. And then she would see another piece of lint, and then she would see another piece of lint, and she could potentially be taking off lint for hours.
DR. MICHAEL JENIKE, CLINICAL DIRECTOR, OCD INSTITUTE AT MCLEAN HOSPITAL: There is more and more evidence that it really is a brain disorder.
COHEN (voice-over): Dr. Michael Jenike is head of the OCD program at McLean and one of the nation's top experts in the field.
JENIKE: So, that we are actually looking at structure, we are looking at function, trying to figure out what is going on.
COHEN: Brain scans show these areas of the brain control simple decision-making, like judging whether a shirt has wrinkles. In people with OCD, these areas are hyperactive, as shown by the red. When people with OCD try to make a simple decision, it keeps skipping, like that broken record.
So, how do people get this brain disorder? Most of the time, no one knows. Some experts say, there is a genetic link. In some rare cases, it is because of some damage to the brain. What doctors know for sure is that there is almost never a cure. But treatment does help.
JENIKE: Cure is something we don't generally expect. Probably over 70 percent of the ones that stayed in treatment and really worked hard are doing really good.
COHEN: Shannon is a gifted artist. And this expression helps her to find some answers. This one is of a road that starts out bleak. And on the road is a turtle. Shannon's friends used to call her Turtle, because it took her so long to do everything.
S. FLEISHMAN: The road is lined with numbers, going from one to eight that sort of fade away. The further down the road you get, the greener the grass is, the more -- you know, there is a beautiful sunset. There is so much more color and life.
COHEN: Shannon's been at McLean for a month-and-a-half, and she's halfway through her treatment.
(on camera): Do you think you will ever come to feel that this bed is good enough, even with this wrinkle, even with that lint?
S. FLEISHMAN: Honestly, no. I think I can live with little wrinkles.
I don't think that my OCD will ever go away. I think that I can control it. Like, maybe I can make my bed in five minutes, you know, would be great. This is going to be the toughest battle in my life that I will have to face. I can still succeed.
COLLINS: Elizabeth, that is just -- it is a stunning story. I have never heard of this. You can see how incredibly uncomfortable she was just to leave one tiny little wrinkle in that bed or in her clothes.
You were there with her, though, in -- in the room, as she was going through this therapy. How hard was it for her?
COHEN: You know what, Heidi? It was probably even harder than it looked on television. She was in such psychic pain. You could just see it on her face. You could feel it.
And the point of the therapy that you see her doing here is to face that pain. The therapist wants her to be in pain. She wants her to confront her biggest fear, in this case, a wrinkle in a bedspread, and to realize that it is OK to feel anxious, that she will feel that anxiety. Over time, she will become what doctors say -- called habituated. She will get used that anxiety. She will realize that she's still OK, that everything is still all right, and that, over time, the anxiety will subside.
Now, that's the theory. It takes a long time to get there.
COLLINS: Well, I bet it does.
What about if you see your child sort of becoming a neat freak? What is it, or where is that sort of line that they cross, where you say, wait a minute; you know, we really need to check into this and -- and possibly look into therapy ourselves?
Many children like things to be just so. And, really, that's usually OK. When you have to start wondering, gee, maybe we should do something about this, is when it starts to interfere with their life. For example, if your child is cleaning her room, and you say, come on, let's go outside and play, and she says, no, I need my pencils to be lined up perfectly, you know that there could be a problem.
Or, for example, in Shannon's case, when, as a child, she was waking up at 2:30 in the morning to finish her homework, you might want to think that's really interrupting the normal flow of the day. Something is wrong. And, by the way, for adults, the same is true, that you can have sort of perfectionistic tendencies, and it can still be OK. It is when it interferes with daily life. COLLINS: Wow.
All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thanks for bringing this one to us. Appreciate it.
Well, believe it or not, this is a serious question. Can a convicted killer ever be too old to execute?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNETTE CARNEGIE, ATTORNEY FOR CLARENCE RAY ALLEN: He is functionally and legally blind. He's hard of hearing. He cannot walk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: He's also 76 years old. But wait until you hear what he was convicted of doing. The question tonight: Will he keep his appointment with the executioner?
And I will tell you on the other side of the break.
COLLINS: In seven hours, the state of California will execute its oldest condemned killer, Clarence Ray Allen, who turned 76 years old today.
Allen, who is wheelchair-bound, legally blind and nearly deaf, lost his final appear just a short time ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a stay of execution. His attorneys had argued that Allen is too old and frail to be put to death.
Here is Dan Simon with tonight's "Eye Opener."
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barring a last-minute reprieve, early Tuesday morning, Clarence Ray Allen will go to California's death chamber, and at 76, become the oldest inmate ever executed in the Golden State, one of the oldest ever put to death in the United States.
Because of his age, death penalty opponents are employing an unusual strategy to try and save his life.
ANNETTE CARNEGIE, ATTORNEY FOR CLARENCE RAY ALLEN: He is functionally and legally blind. He's hard of hearing. He cannot walk.
SIMON: And that, according to his lawyer, Annette Carnegie, is reason enough to spare Allen's life. An execution in this instance, she argues, would amount to a cruel and unusual punishment, which the Constitution forbids.
CARNEGIE: The lack of medical care, the degradation, the 23 years that he has been on death row, are punishment enough.
SIMON: This is Clarence Ray Allen in his younger days, a wealthy businessman who owned his own airplane.
(on camera): But Allen also had a violent streak. He was convicted in the murder of his son's girlfriend after she helped turn him in following a robbery. The sentence, life in prison. There was no death penalty then.
(voice-over): Allen may have been in prison, but his murderous ways continued. In 1980, he ordered the executions of several witnesses to the murder he was already serving time for. By then, the U.S. Supreme Court and California had reinstated the death penalty, and Allen's new home was death row at San Quentin prison.
Marc Klaas is a victims advocate, whose young daughter was murdered. He's unmoved by Allen's arguments for staying alive.
MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: He should have been executed long ago. He wasn't. He should be executed now.
SIMON: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger shares that sentiment, denying Allen's plea for clemency. The governor said, -- quote -- "The passage of time does not excuse Allen from the jury's punishment."
Unless last-minute appeals succeed, Clarence Ray Allen will be put to death midnight Tuesday, just one day after his 76th birthday.
Dan Simon, CNN, Los Angeles.
COLLINS: Allen's execution is set for one minute after midnight, Pacific Time.
Well, "LARRY KING LIVE" gets started in just a few minutes from now.
Larry, good evening to you. Who are you going to have tonight?
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Hi, Heidi. We have got a great show tonight.
We will look and delve into the world of domestic spying. We will begin with the attorney general of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, then James Risen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of "The New York Times," who broke this story, and then an outstanding panelist of journalists and United States senators to discuss the whole concept of when a president can tap a phone -- all that at the top of the hour, following Heidi Collins, hosting PAULA ZAHN NOW.
COLLINS: All that and -- and you, Larry King...
KING: And me.
COLLINS: ... who we will be tuning in for in about 10 minutes.
KING: Thanks, dear.
COLLINS: We will see you at 9:00.
So, do you want to know a secret? Well, Jeanne Moos has found some really juicy ones for us tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "I tell my wife I don't want her to get implants, but I'm lying."
FRANK WARREN, CREATOR, POSTSECRET.COM: "When I'm mad at my husband, I put boogers in his soup."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: My God.
COLLINS: I can't even read the rest of it.
So, have you got nerve to say something like that? Well, find out where you can right after the break.
COLLINS: There was a time when a secret was something you kept to yourself. Ah, but that was before the Internet. You won't believe your eyes when you see some of the deep, dark, intimate secrets Jeanne Moos found posted for all the world to see.
MOOS: Is it true you have more secrets than a priest? A priest probably has a few more.
FRANK WARREN, CREATOR, POSTSECRET.COM: I have more documented secrets than a priest.
(voice-over): Frank Warren has collected over 5,000 secrets that strangers sent in.
MOOS (on camera): "I only love him when he's sleeping."
"I tell my wife I don't want her to get implants, but I'm lying."
(voice-over): Frank doesn't have to promise not to tell, since the secrets are divulged anonymously. They range from sad -- "Every time I go over a bridge, I have to restrain myself from driving off" -- to sexual."Roses are red. Violets are blue. I like to kiss boys and I like to kiss girls too, a lot."
What started as an art project has snowballed into several hundred secrets a week arriving at Frank's home in Germantown, Maryland.
(on camera): Do you ever get sick of people spilling their guts?
WARREN: I never get sick of it. I never get bored with it. And it never makes me happy.
MOOS (voice-over): Frank thinks unlocking secrets is therapeutic, no matter how bizarre they are.
WARREN: I go to the drugstores and poke tiny holes through condom packages.
MOOS (on camera): Oh, my.
(voice-over): Every week, Frank posts 10 to 20 new secrets on his Web site, postsecret.com."At work, someone kept stealing my lunch from the fringe, so I made a nice sandwich with lettuce, tomato and cat food."
Secrets arrive on materials as odd as a Starbucks cup.
WARREN: "I give decaf to customers who are rude to me."
MOOS: This woman didn't get cold feet about confessing, "I have to shave my toes."
And talk about grooming.
WARREN: "I use my roommate's hair clips as nipple clamps."
MOOS (on camera): You know, some of them seem almost too good to be true. I mean, they seem too slick, too produced to be a real secret.
WARREN: If you're asking me if I think all 5,000 secrets are true, I would say, no, they're not.
MOOS (voice-over): But Frank thinks they're all authentic, in the sense that's there's truth to them.
(on camera): "I hate my boyfriend for killing people in Iraq."
(voice-over): Juxtapose that with: "I killed people in Iraq and enjoyed it. Does that make me a monster?"
Some secrets are so dark, Frank put a suicide hot line on his Web site. He even submitted his own secret that he will only describe as a childhood humiliation. Frank is going to keep them, all right, in a book that is due out in a couple of months.
WARREN: "When I'm mad at my husband, I put boogers in his soup.
MOOS: Hey, not all secrets are appetizing. And don't try this at work."I put lipstick on my boss' shirt, so his wife would think we're having an affair, though we're not."
Cheating is a favorite subject.
WARREN: "While my wife and child slept, I sneaked out of my hotel room, down the hall, and into our friend's room. She and I made love for hours."
MOOS (on camera): Fantasy.
(voice-over): Think of this as the secret place of Web sites where mum is not the word.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
COLLINS: Well, one more thing: Warren says he gets 300 to 400 secrets every week. And if you just have to go tell someone yours, you can go to the Web site. It is postsecret.com.
Well, don't go away. At the top of the hour, on "LARRY KING LIVE," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales takes on one of the hottest topics in the nation right now: Did President Bush overstep the law by approving spying on Americans without a court order?
COLLINS: Thanks for joining us, everybody.
Paula is back tomorrow. She'll be talking about a man who walked into a police station and confessed to killing a baby during a fit of anger 15 years ago, but he was allowed to walk out a free man -- more on that later.
For now, here is "LARRY KING LIVE."
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