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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Inside the Entwistle Family; Authorities Investigate Alabama Church Fires; Coretta Scott King's Final Days
Aired February 7, 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: Good evening, everybody. Appreciate your joining us.
Tonight, for the first time ever, an insider sheds some new light on a story that has everyone talking.
ZAHN (voice-over): "Outside the Law" -- the Entwistle murders, inside the seemingly perfect marriage -- our exclusive account from a close family friend.
LARA JEHLE, FRIEND OF RACHEL ENTWISTLE: She was, you know, the light of their life. So, I think that's kind of how I viewed him, too, was just, you know, that loving -- that loving father.
ZAHN: What was it like inside the picture-perfect family?
The "Eye Opener" -- we investigate the controversial clinic where Coretta Scott King spent her final days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until you find other measures, anything you could do, but go down to that clinic.
ZAHN: Tonight, why do so many desperate Americans come here looking for a cure? And why do they trust this man, who's not even a doctor?
Tonight's "Vital Signs" -- are these little pills the solution to your problems?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just totally relaxes me. I'm out like that.
ZAHN: For tens of millions of Americans, this is the new way to cope with the stress of daily life. But:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The brain kind of gets accustomed to them, and they don't work as well.
ZAHN: Is your prescription drug doing you more harm than good?
ZAHN: And we start tonight with a story just about everyone's talking out, the murder of Rachel Entwistle and her 9-month-old baby girl, Lillian. They were shot to death in their suburban Boston home on January 22.
Tonight, we're just beginning to get a better picture of Rachel Entwistle's relationship with her husband, Neil, even as he remains in seclusion in England in his parents' home.
Jason Carroll has had an exclusive interview with a friend of the victim, and just filed this report in tonight's "Outside the Law."
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She still cannot get that night out of her mind. Two weeks ago, Laura Jehle's mother called to tell her that her close friend, Rachel Entwistle, and Rachel's baby daughter, Lillian, had been murdered.
LARA JEHLE, FRIEND OF RACHEL ENTWISTLE: It's hard, you know, because you never think it is going to happen to someone that you know. And you can only fathom what her family must be going through.
CARROLL: Lara had known Rachel Entwistle for nearly a decade. They met when Lara was just 10 years old. Her father had hired Rachel, then a 17-year-old high school student, to work part-time at a special-events company.
JEHLE: I kind of always viewed her as an older sister, just because she always -- was older than me, and I looked up to her in so many ways.
Rachel was one of those people that she kept her friends as close as her family. And she made you feel like one of her family.
CARROLL: When Rachel moved away to England to study, she stayed in touch with Lara. While overseas, she met a British student, Neil Entwistle, the young man who would become her husband.
JEHLE: She was just very happy to have -- to have met Neil and to have met someone that, you know, she connected with.
CARROLL: Soon after marriage, the couple had a baby girl, Lillian, and moved back to Massachusetts. Lara was excited to have her friend home again. She said both Rachel and Neil doted on baby Lilly.
JEHLE: She was, you know, the light of their life. So, I think that's kind of how I viewed him, was too just, you know, that loving -- that loving father that was very excited, you know, to have -- have -- have a little girl.
She was very happy. And I think that was Rachel's -- that was her element. That was who she wanted to be. She was a great stay-at- home mom. She loved what she did, in taking care of her family. And I think that was where Rachel shined the most.
CARROLL: On January 22, police found the bodies of Rachel and Lillian in the master bedroom of the family's suburban Boston home. Both had been shot. Investigators say it's believed Neil Entwistle left the country the day before the bodies of his wife and daughter were found. He's staying with his parents in England. Investigators call him a person of interest, not a suspect.
Entwistle did not return home to attend the funerals of his wife and baby daughter last Wednesday.
CARROLL (on camera): Were you disappointed that Neil didn't come to the funeral?
JEHLE: I guess -- I -- I don't know. I guess it was his decision -- you know, whatever his decisions were, were his decisions. You know, and I know that he made them for what -- for, you know, the reasons that he had.
CARROLL (voice-over): Lara Jehle was there to pay her respects and to say goodbye.
JEHLE: It's very hard to say goodbye and to let go. And, you know, you never let go of who they were and of the memories that you shared. It brings some closure, you know, but, at the same time, you will never have complete closure, I don't think.
CARROLL: Lara won't speculate who committed the murders or why.
JEHLE: Of course, you know, you always have those questions as to why things happen. You will drive yourself insane, trying to put all the pieces together and figure out why.
CARROLL: Lara Jehle say, she may never understand how what seemed like a perfect marriage could end so tragically.
Jason Carroll, CNN, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
ZAHN: And now, as we just mentioned, Neil Entwistle is not being called a suspect, but, rather, a person of interest. And he remains in seclusion tonight at his parents' home in England, virtually a prisoner there.
Paula Newton has more from Worksop, England.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 7:00 in the morning at the Entwistle house, sunrise. But no one here seems to notice.
Neil Entwistle remains at his parents' home 150 miles north of London. Every day, he's had to avoid the reporters on his doorstep, who, like us, knock on the door again and again, wondering if he will reconsider and say something.
But Entwistle has clung to his silence and seclusion for more than two weeks now. Mid-morning, and Neil is still out of sight. But his mother, Yvonne, goes on with her routine, washing windows, sorting through the garage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mrs. Entwistle, would you say a few words?
NEWTON: But, through it all, she says nothing. Only, as she stares through her window, her pained expression could be a clue as to what the family is going through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just popping in to have a chat with them.
NEWTON: Local police here check on the Entwistles every few days. But they remind us, they're not investigating the murders. That means Entwistle would be free to come and go, if he chose to, but police checks are the only way to know for sure that Entwistle is still here. He could leave through the back door or slip out in the middle of the night.
Meantime, back in downtown Worksop, people gather for lunch. Entwistle has put this place on the map. Once a mining town, it calls itself the birthplace of America. Town elders here were among those who sailed on the Mayflower, but, today, the talk is about the man who came back from America. Some people tell us, they just can't figure out what Neil Entwistle is doing here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would stay there, wouldn't you? You wouldn't sort of do a runner. That -- it's -- it's a funny one, rather.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I -- I thought it was strange that he wasn't at the funeral. I couldn't understand that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously, he's frightened to go back to America, isn't he, for some reason. I think that's -- that's why.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's something behind everything that's going on. But they're not disclosing it.
NEWTON: Nightfall back at the Entwistle home. The days end as they begin, a family behind closed doors, waiting for investigators an ocean away to decide what happens next. They say Neil Entwistle is one of their persons of interest.
But, so far, no one has been charged with the murders.
(on camera): Until there's a break in this case, normal life for anyone in this family will be impossible. The waiting game continues, as does all the speculation about what Neil Entwistle is doing here.
Paula Newton, CNN, Worksop, England.
ZAHN: And joining me now from Boston, "Boston Globe" reporter Donovan Slack, who has been covering this case. She's just back from England. Donovan, we know -- our audience just heard a conversation that our reporter had with one of Rachel Entwistle's friends. You have spoken with a number of her friends as well. What have you learned, and what has the reaction been to these horrible murders?
DONOVAN SLACK, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": Right. Excuse me.
Yes, it was quite moving there, listening to Lara. And I have to say that we have heard exactly the same sentiments about Rachel and Neil's relationship, that it was just a romantic fairy tale. And nobody can seem to understand why it came to such a tragic end.
ZAHN: Have you learned anything new about them as a couple from the folks you have spoken with in England?
SLACK: Well, you know, they met at the University of York Boat Club, as many people know.
And -- and, according to the club president at the time, it wasn't exactly love at first sight. They met, and the relationship built over a number of weeks and grew more solid over time. The club president said, as -- as many college clubs are, it was something of a hotbed for these type of young romances, but their love was different.
At least, they thought it was going to last forever. It was one of the few relationships that grew into marriage.
ZAHN: You have also spent some time poking around Neil Entwistle's upbringing. Anything that stands out in your mind?
SLACK: Well, you know, neighbors have told us that his current behavior of retreating into his family's home is -- is something that -- that doesn't necessarily perplex them, as much as it does most of the rest of us.
They said that it's -- he grew up in a fiercely private household. And him and his brother, younger brother, Russell, now 21 years old, rarely had friends by to play well into their teen years. They could be seen kicking a soccer ball around with their mother. They were very much introverted as a family.
The mother, as I saw in your story there, seemed to run the household, and the father was described as very quiet, very hard working, not really a standout from the crowd. And Neil's people who went to school with him describe him very much the same way. So, it is somewhat difficult to figure out who Neil is.
ZAHN: Sure. And all of these portraits, of course, helpful information, investigators, but only so far leaving them with a lot of dead ends.
Neil Entwistle, once again, Donovan, just being called a person of interest tonight.
Donovan Slack, thanks so much for joining us tonight. Appreciate it. SLACK: No problem, Paula. Thanks for having me.
ZAHN: And our nation said goodbye to Coretta Scott king today. But did you catch all the political one-liners at her funeral? Was it the beginning of the 2008 presidential race?
Also, the results of a CNN investigation into the Mexican clinic where Mrs. King died -- it is a real "Eye Opener." Did you know the man behind it isn't even a doctor?
Plus, the latest in a string of fires at nine Baptist churches in Alabama -- who would do such a thing? And are they close to being caught?
First, though, we are going to move on to the 21 million of you who checked out our Web site today. We start our countdown of the top 10 most popular stories on CNN.com with the execution today of an Ohio man who expressed regret and apologies to his victims' families just minutes before he was put to death.
At number nine, a story we brought you last night about the landlord in Florida who is accused of secretly videotaping his tenants at the most intimate times of their days. If you missed it, you can see it by going to CNN.com and clicking on to "Watch Video."
Number seven and eight in the countdown just minutes away -- we will be right back.
ZAHN: So, do you need a little something to fall asleep? Ahead, millions of Americans are popping sleeping pills. Are they safe?
Also, there's a growing mystery tonight in Alabama. Who is trying to burn down rural Baptist churches? Nine fires have been set in just the last week, four of them last night.
Joining me now from Boligee, Alabama, David Mattingly, who has been working his story all day long.
David, are investigators telling you anything new tonight?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, here's the obvious.
We have got four churches that were set on fire in the early morning hours today, all of them discovered while they were burning -- and two of them burning completely to the ground, all of them Baptist churches, again, raising another question in this mystery: Why is someone targeting Baptist churches in west Alabama? But they are collecting evidence. There are signs of forced entry. They have tire tracks that they are examining.
They are also looking. They have been through here with specially trained dogs to look for any kind of what they call accelerant, any sort of type of substance that might have been used to help start these fires. Two of the churches did not burn down to the ground. There was one church where it looked like they attempted to set the pews on fire. Investigators tell me, it looks like something where the -- the arsonist will run inside and try and set afire anything they can possibly find as quickly as they can, and then move on.
So, some of these cases are clearly cases of arson. The churches that burned to the ground, however, are not clear yet. But they are working on evidence to substantiate that -- Paula.
ZAHN: Do investigators tonight think that these fires are racially motivated?
All right. I don't want you to think I have stumped our reporter, David Mattingly, a very smart guy. But, apparently, our -- our audio line went down. And, hopefully, when we get it back, we can get the latest information on any linkages that investigators are drawing between these fires, in particular the last four from last night.
Sorry about that.
But we are going to move on now. Still ahead, why did Coretta Scott King spend her last days at a Mexican clinic that wasn't even started by a doctor? We are going to get to that in a few minutes.
Right now, though, time to check in with Erica Hill at Headline News to check the hour's other top stories.
And, hopefully, Erica can hear me.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I can.
ZAHN: Can you?
HILL: That, I can.
HILL: There we go.
ZAHN: Go for it, Erica.
HILL: One down.
All right. We are going to start off tonight in California, Paula, where 50-mile-an-hour wind gusts pushed flames through 35,000 acres in the Anaheim Hills -- Anaheim Hills today. Thousands evacuated the area before the winds did die down a bit. Firefighters were able to gain some control there.
The wife of the only minor to survive the Sago mining disaster is now suing a supermarket tabloid and her brother-in-law. Anna McCloy says the picture of her comatose husband in his hospital bed taken by her husband's brother went up on the cover of "The National Enquirer." She's calling it an invasion of privacy.
On the CNN "Security Watch" tonight -- a heads up from security officials about anyone who buys a lot of prepaid cell phones. A memo obtained by CNN and sent to state and local police says those phones can be used to detonate bombs, though most who buy the phones in bulk resell them for profit.
And it was black and gold and proud all over in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers today were honored for their victory in the Super Bowl over Seattle.
A happy day there in Pittsburgh, Paula. And I think the celebration may continue for a little while longer.
ZAHN: Yes. You know what? They deserve it.
HILL: Absolutely, especially after 26 years of waiting.
ZAHN: Yes, it was a long drought.
Erica Hill, thanks so much.
The most powerful Democrats and Republicans in the country were at Coretta Scott King's funeral this afternoon. Did they leave their politics at the church door? Oh, no, they didn't. Wait until you hear what was uncorked in church today.
Also, the shocking truth about the clinic where Coretta Scott King died. Why isn't its founder even a real doctor? And why has it now been shut down?
And, a little bit later on, the astonishing popularity of sleeping pills -- do you take them? And are they safe? Could they be addictive?
Before that, though, number eight on our CNN.com countdown, the story that David Mattingly just reported on, just confirming that four more fires last night at rural Alabama churches. Last week, five churches in the state were burned, obviously, bringing that number to nine.
And, at number seven, four presidents joined the King family and 10,000 mourners at the funeral of Coretta Scott King. We will have much more on that right after this break, along with five and six on our countdown.
ZAHN: The nation today said goodbye to Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King.
The mourning was led by President Bush and three of his predecessors, a host of civil rights leader and preachers and the poet Maya Angelou. Former President Bill Clinton summed up this afternoon's funeral service, a long one, at that, well over five hours, by calling it -- quote -- "enormously moving" and "entertaining."
Well, that's hardly surprising, when you consider how many powerful speakers were trying to one-up each other, many at the expense of President Bush. It started with some verbal jabs thrown by the Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights veteran who worked with Martin Luther King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REVEREND JOSEPH LOWERY, SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: How marvelous that presidents and governors come to mourn and praise. But, in the morning...
LOWERY: ... will words become deeds that meet needs?
LOWERY: We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there.
LOWERY: But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: You might have been surprised to see President Bush and Reverend Lowery shaking hands when it was all over, even a hug there. But when the president's father got up to deliver his eulogy, he was ready to defend his son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I come from a rather conservative Episcopal parish.
BUSH: I have never seen anything like this in my life.
I would like to say something to my friend Joe Lowery.
BUSH: Hey, look, they used to send this guy to Washington. And I kept score in the Oval Office desk, Larry 21, Bush 3. It wasn't a fair fight.
BUSH: But... (APPLAUSE)
BUSH: ... the advice, though, Joe -- the advice I would give this guy is, Maya has nothing to worry about. Don't give up your day job. Keep preaching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Well, the political sparks continued flying when President Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton got up to speak.
So, was there some political maneuvering for 2008? Watch and listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm honored to be here with my president and my former presidents and -- and...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... future...
CLINTON: And -- and when -- when -- when...
CLINTON: No, no, no.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: When -- when President Bush 41 complained that he was at a disadvantage, because he was an Episcopalian...
CLINTON: ... and then he came up here and zinged Joe Lowery, like he did...
CLINTON: ... I thought that ain't bad for one of the frozen chosen.
CLINTON: He has done a pretty good job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Senator Hillary Clinton -- that would be senator -- chose an interesting line of scripture for her eulogy of Mrs. King -- quote -- "Here I am. Send me."
It could leave the Democrats wondering if the senator will say just that in 2008.
Meanwhile, CNN has been investigating the Mexican clinic where Coretta Scott King spent her final days. Did you know that it wasn't started by a medical doctor, or that other people who sought treatment there also died? Our eye-opening report is next.
Later, why are sleeping pills now so popular? And are they safe? Some answers from our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Right now, though, we move on to number six in our CNN.com countdown. The White House is now defending its latest budget plan. Critics say it will damage health, education and farm programs to bring down the deficit.
And, at number five, in Afghanistan police killed four people protesting the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which first appeared in a Danish newspaper. Meanwhile, 300 Afghan demonstrators aimed fire and grenades at a NATO base.
We will have number four in our countdown when we come back.
We will be right back.
ZAHN: As we reported before the break, Coretta Scott King's funeral was held today in Georgia. She died on January 30th at the age of 78. And in the past year, she suffered from ovarian cancer as well as a stroke and a heart attack. But it caught a lot of people by surprise that she died at a clinic for alternative medicine in Mexico. A clinic that the Mexican government has now shut down. And what investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has discovered about its past is a real "Eye Opener."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It bears little resemblance to what most Americans consider modern medicine, a two- story nondescript building on a dirt road outside Tijuana, Mexico. Yet it is here, the founder says, hopeless medical cases can find treatment.
DR. KURT DONSBACH, HOSPITAL SANTA MONICA: Welcome to Hospital Santa Monica. The largest alternative holistic hospital in North America. We're a little different than most hospitals, as you will soon see.
GRIFFIN: He calls himself Dr. Kirk Donsbach and depending on whom you ask, the man starring in his own promotional video who claims to be able to treat incurable diseases is either a crook and a fraud or a person performing medical miracles.
This clinic 60 miles south of the border claims to specialize in everything from arthritis to weight loss, from chronic fatigue syndrome to cardio vascular disease. Alternative treatments that many patients say they just could not get in the U.S.
Coretta Scott King was brought here for advanced cancer treatment.
DONSBACH: All in all, we specialize in chronic degenerative disease conditions for which mainstream medicine has no answer.
GRIFFIN: Adrianna Morones says the only answer she wants is why her sister died here.
ADRIANNA MORONES, SISTER OF PATIENT: I wish I had the power to just close my eyes and shut it down and save people's lives.
GRIFFIN: Her sister, Dulce Medina (ph) was a 41-year-old electrical engineer. She had a successful career, a loving family and a weight problem. Last September, she checked into Hospital Santa Monica seeking a weight reduction treatment. She was to have a balloon inserted into her stomach.
MORONES: She wasn't terminally ill or anything. She wanted to lose weight.
GRIFFIN: According to the doctor who signed her death certificate, Medina died of a heart attack shortly after checking in. Her sister doesn't believe it.
MORONES: The receptionist or whoever answered the phone said, we do not longer perform that procedure. And the doctor's not here anymore.
GRIFFIN (on camera): What do you think about this clinic?
MORONES: I think it's a fraud. It's a scam.
GRIFFIN: Since her sister's death, Adrianna has found the clinic founder Kurt Donsbach has a checkered past, complete with fraud, criminal convictions and dead patients.
Last week she was shocked to learn that someone as famous as Coretta Scott King was also here. King was here for four days. According to a brief statement from the hospital she received no treatment and died while under evaluation.
(on camera): You would have liked to have probably talked to the King family before they went down there. What would you say to them?
MORONES: I'd say don't go there. I'd say find other measures. Anything you could do but go down to that clinic.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Criticism of the King family's decision to send their mother to the clinic has been so strong, daughter Bernice King even addressed the issue at today's funeral.
BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF CORETTA SCOTT KING: I called on the doctors there, there are medical doctors there, contrary to the reports that you read in the paper. Be careful what you read in the paper, please.
GRIFFIN: Dr. Stephen Barrett, a retired licensed psychiatrist has spent years giving similar warnings about clinics he calls quackery. He, too, was shocked when he heard the King family had put their faith in hospital Santa Monica.
DR. STEPHEN BARRETT, MEDICAL WATCHDOG: I wouldn't go to that place to get my toenails cut.
GRIFFIN (on camera): It's that bad?
BARRETT: Yes sir, and deceptive. I think that Donsbach and many others who operate those shady clinics in Mexico mislead people. I think they give them false promises.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): On his Web site, quackwatch.org, Barrett tracks what he believes are unscrupulous doctors and clinics who prey on the desperately ill. He's been tracking the record of Dr. Kurt Donsbach for 30 years and claims he is no doctor at all.
BARRETT: He doesn't have any medical credentials. He went to chiropractic school, graduated in 1957, got licensed. Practiced for a short time. Then basically went into the vitamin business.
GRIFFIN: Since then Donsbach has been in and out of trouble. In 1971 he pled guilty to practicing medicine without a license. In '73 a conviction for offering to sell new drugs without a permit. In '74 guilty of violating probation. In 1985, he was sent a warning letter from the FDA advising him to stop selling an unapproved drug. In 1986 he was ordered by the state of New York to stop recruiting students for his non accredited medical school.
(on camera) And in 1996 he was arrested again. This time smuggling unapproved drugs across this border and income tax evasion. Yet, with all these strikes on his record, and no apparent medical certification, people from America continue to flock across this border, seeking his treatment.
(voice-over): We tried to track Kurt Donsbach at his home on the American side of the border and at the hospital's U.S. corporate office. We were told he was unavailable. Then came a phone call.
It was from Kurt Donsbach who says his lawyer doesn't want him to appear on any cameras. But Donsbach did talk pretty clear over the phone. He told CNN he no longer owns the clinic, selling it two years ago, he says, to a Mexican doctor, but he says he visits once a week as a consultant to see patients.
He insists he is a doctor with a license from Mexico and tells CNN his clinic was getting results in people not happy with the treatment they were getting in regular medicine.
Last week, almost immediately after Mrs. King's death, the Hospital Santa Monica began drawing intense media attention and attention from local authorities.
The Mexican government has shut it down, kicking out the patients, most of them Americans, people like this woman who say the cancer treatment of microwave technology, vitamins and hydrotherapy have cured her and two of her friends.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: One had pancreatic cancer. Totally cancer free. Another one had colon cancer, totally cancer free with no surgery.
GRIFFIN: Asked if he regrets the ramifications of Mrs. King's visits to Hospital Santa Monica, Donsbach said simply, I do not question destiny.
Adrianna Morones questions everything that was done to her family members here. Her sister came to this hospital on the recommendation of her two cancer stricken in-laws. All three were being treated here at the same time.
GRIFFIN: One day after Dulce died, her sister-in-law was gone. Days later her mother-in-law died, too. Two cancer victims and a woman trying to lose weight, all dead at the Hospital Santa Monica. Drew Griffin, CNN, Los Angeles.
ZAHN: And the area around Tijuana is a hotbed for alternative treatment clinics. A Mexican official says there are about 35 of them. According to the Web site at the clinic where Mrs. King died, the price for cancer therapy was $14,000 for ten days with follow-up supplements, that cost as much as $1,000.
Coming up next, What's behind a sudden boom in sleeping pills? Should you try them? Could you become addicted to them? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be along with the facts in a moment.
Now on to number four on our cnn.com top ten countdown. A Seattle gynecologist accused of raping and fondling women he treated at his clinics has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Stay with us, number three just minutes away.
ZAHN: So if you have trouble sleeping, join the club. At least 50 million Americans can't get a good night's sleep. And for more and more of us, a new generation of sleeping pills is the answer. Drug companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to sell them to you. And doctors are prescribing them in record numbers. And that has a lot of folks worried. Here's senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta with tonight's "Vital Signs."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It seems that Colette Marietta (ph) is always on the move, a job that takes her on the road, and two kids needing constant attention at home. By the end of the day, she is tired, so incredibly tired, yet she can't get to sleep.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Although my body's exhausted, I lay in bed and just millions of thoughts are going through my head. Did I sign the permission slip? Did I do this? Did I do that? Did I finish something for work?
GUPTA: She tried some basic things: eliminating caffeine, trying warm tea and a bath before bed. But nothing worked as well as a little pill, Ambien. When the doctor handed her a prescription for a sleeping pill, it was one of 42 million that were written last year. That's a 60 percent increase since 2000. And they are expensive. About $11 a pill, usually covered by insurance. Annual sales of prescription sleep medicine now top $2 billion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just totally relaxes me and, you know, and I just am out like that. It's not an issue.
GUPTA: Not an issue because it works for Colette. But could she and her doctors be ignoring the root cause of her insomnia? Anxiety, depression or chronic illness such as sleep apnea? Harvard psychologist Greg Jacobs says drugs are not a long-term fix for insomnia.
GREG JACOBS, PSYCHOLOGIST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Sleeping pills don't change those behaviors. So they may work in the short run, but over a period of time, the brain kind of gets accustomed to them and they don't work as well.
GUPTA: Instead, Jacobs advocates something called cognitive behavior therapy, CBT, like establishing a regular bedtime, not exercising, watching T.V. or using the computer before bed, and making a list of things to do before the lights go out. Jacobs has developed an online version at cbtforinsomnia.com, offering advice and feedback for a monthly fee.
JACOBS: Cognitive behavioral therapy is actually more effective in the long run.
GUPTA: That's not a message you'll hear on the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of television ads.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): This great night's sleep brought to you by Lunesta.
GUPTA: Lunesta's makers Sepracor declined to comment for this story. A spokeswoman for Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of Ambien, said "When taken as prescribed, Ambien is a safe and effective treatment for insomnia." Colette doesn't want to stay on the pills forever, worried about side effects such as fuzzy-headedness and dependence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do worry long-term, but I just keep hoping too.
GUPTA: Hoping her hectic life will slow down to get a good night's sleep. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
ZAHN: And one more thing. While prescription sleep drug sales are setting those records Sanjay just talked about, they're not the most used sleep aid, alcohol is, even though it doesn't work so well. You may fall asleep quickly after a drink, but you tend to wake up after a few hours and not be able to get back to sleep.
Still to come, the amazing story of a woman who went into a hospital to have a baby and came down with a horribly mysterious illness. For what happened to her and could it happen to you? That story coming up at after a Headline News Business Break. Once again, here's Erica Hill.
(STOCK MARKET REPORT)
ZAHN: Erica Hill, thanks so much.
"LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up in a couple of minutes. Boy, you're missing all the fun here in New York as they battle it out there on the financial and legal front. Who is joining you tonight?
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: I love those financial battles. That's more interesting than the Super Bowl.
ZAHN: They're determining your future and mine, Larry.
KING: That's right. Don't worry about it, OK? We're OK. We're OK.
ZAHN: Thanks, Larry. I needed that vote of confidence.
KING: We're going to have a lot of fun tonight, Paula. The cast of "Growing Pains," remember that show?
ZAHN: Oh, sure.
KING: Well, we've got them all. They'll all be here reassembled for the first time. We're going to have a lot of fun with phone calls from the viewers. The "Growing Pains," cast, all of them right here on "LARRY KING LIVE" following Paula.
ZAHN: So you have a very busy green room right now. I hope you're feeding all of them well.
KING: And you like the tie? It's a salute to the Grammy's. It's all musical notes.
ZAHN: Very nice. You're not going to encourage people to watch that show, though, it's up against my show, Larry.
KING: No, no. I don't know. Do you know anybody on the Grammy's?
ZAHN: Yes, Mariah Carey, we just interviewed her.
KING: Do you know any of the rock acts? ZAHN: No. Can't help you with that.
KING: When you look at the billboard top 10, do you know any of them?
ZAHN: I do because I have a teenager living in my home. So I have to or I'll be forced out of the house.
KING: I don't.
ZAHN: Well, don't watch the Grammy's because we'll here during that timeslot.
KING: Don't watch the Grammy's.
ZAHN: Shouldn't have said that, but you know what I meant. We want people to watch CNN tomorrow night. So Larry, have a good show.
KING: You too.
ZAHN: And we all presume that when we go to the hospital we're going to come better off. But we have found a woman who went in to have a baby, found her life changed in ways she never expected. What happened to her? You're going to be shocked and amazed.
Now, on to No. 3 in our CNN.com countdown. The stars take it all off for "Vanity Fair." Check this out. A very bare Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson on the upcoming issue of the magazine. By the way, that's fashion designer Tom Ford with all his clothes on. Keep it right here, you don't want to miss No. 2 on our countdown.
ZAHN: So here's a pretty unsettling thought for you. Just about anybody can walk into a restaurant and demand to see the health inspection records. But you can't do that in a hospital. And you're about to meet a woman who's putting up an incredible struggle for those records. She checked into a hospital just last April, delivered a healthy baby, but that happy event took a shocking turn. Here's Rusty Dornin.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A baby moms dream about. Happy, healthy, 8-month-old Matthew. The apple of his mother Claudia Meija eye.
Pregnant with Matthew in this photo taken on a family outing in 2004, life was good for Meija. Already a busy mother with her 6-year- old son George, there was her boyfriend Tim and a loving family. She was healthy, active and loved the outdoors.
She never expected how her life would change last April when she checked into this hospital near her Sanford, Florida, home to have her baby. Matthew's delivery was a success. Just hours after Meija birth she developed a rash. The pain she says was horrific. Three days later she was told she had to have a hysterectomy because of an infection. That infection turned out to be streptococcus, sometimes known as the flesh eating virus, a life- threatening bacterial infection that spreads quickly.
She went into toxic shock and 12 days after Matthew was born, the day after mother's day, the doctors told her she had two hours to make a life or death decision.
CLAUDIA MEIJA: If you decide to live, we got to amputate your legs and your arms. If you don't, we're going to leave your arms and your legs.
DORNIN (on camera): Then they told you would die.
MEIJA: Yes. If they had my legs.
DORNIN: So the doctors amputated her arms and her legs. After months of rehab, Meija returned home in October. She has a special wheelchair. And every day she's placed on the floor to play with Matthew.
MEIJA: I want to play with him all day. I want to hold him and I can't.
DORNIN: Precious time that never lasts long enough.
MEIJA: My bottom can get very sore, start hurting. I have to go back to the chair or the bed.
DORNIN: Claudia Meija and Tim Edwards were married when she was in intensive care after the amputations. He wanted her to know he was there for the long haul. Now they both want answers.
TIM EDWARDS. CLAUDIA MEIJA'S HUSBAND: The information that we're due to know, what happened to her, how she retained this disease and if anybody else in the hospital has had this problem.
DORNIN: And they filed legal action asking the hospital just that.
JUDY HYMAN, CLAUDIA MEIJA'S ATTORNEY: She came in healthy, she delivered a healthy baby and she left and was discharged with no limbs. She contracted a terrible bacterial infection. We want to know why. Was it in the hospital? Were there other people that had it? Did they come in with it? Were there safety issues? Hygiene issues? We don't know. And we want to. And she deserves it.
DORNIN: Their attorney says it's part of the patient's right to know, a law passed by Florida voters in 2004. The law gives patients the right to review records of adverse medical incidents including those which could cause injury or death. But hospital officials say the law is being challenged and won't grant Meija's request unless it's resolved.
(on camera): Why won't you tell her why it happened to her? ANN PEACH, DIRECTOR OF NURSING: What I can share is that we did give her all of her records.
DORNIN (voice-over): But they won't release the confidential records of any other patients. Director of nursing Ann Peach says that Meija was an inspiration to the staff. That doesn't change what she says is a difficult situation.
PEACH: Is it a tragic situation that she lost her limbs? Absolutely. Do we have to take it on the chin because of confidentiality and information? Yes. Does it make us feel bad and look bad that we can't share information and respond at times to the things that her attorney is alleging? Yes. But you know, we will always protect the public.
DORNIN: Officials at Florida's agency for health care say legally they can't comment on Meija's case.
MEIJA: But I want to know how I get this. I just want to know what happened.
DORNIN: Questions Claudia may only get answers to in a courtroom. Rusty Dornin, CNN, Orlando, Florida.
ZAHN: And while Florida and Pennsylvania are already collecting data on hospital infections, lawmakers in more than a dozen other states are in the process of considering it.
Just ahead, a "LARRY KING LIVE" exclusive. The whole cast of the hit TV show "Growing Pains." It's a reunion night there.
And number two on our countdown on our cnn.com top ten list, the rift between Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Barack Obama over a plan for ethics reform on Capitol Hill.
Number one, straight out of this break.
ZAHN: So we move on to number one in our cnn.com countdown. Scientists discover a lost world in the Indonesian jungle. It is home to animals and plants that no one even knew existed.
Now we move on to "Hey Paula." A lot of you weighed in on our lead tonight and last night, the Entwistle murder case. Neil Entwistle isn't a suspect in the murder of his wife and child, only a person of interest. But he does remain in seclusion at his parents' home in England tonight. Here's what you all are saying about the case.
"Entwistle is a coward. He needs to go back to Massachusetts and fess up to the crime or at least say that he did not do it."
You also wrote us about our interview last night when we discussed a report that Neil Entwistle had taken his family's only car, leaving his wife and baby stranded at home. Here's what you said.
"During your Entwistle interview you didn't convict him on the fact that he left in the family's only car. Instead you made a great comment that may make him an ogre not a killer, good for you."
Keep sending us your voice mails and emails about our stories here. Appreciate your joining us tonight. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. Until then, have a great night.
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