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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Wife of Tennessee Pastor Accused of Murder; The Laura Bush Factor; Wife Confesses in Minister's Murder; Sex While Sleeping
Aired March 24, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from New York. I'm John King.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Heidi Collins. Anderson is off.
Tonight -- the Laura Bush factor. Can she help her husband pull out of a tailspin?
KING: We will have that story and these stories.
ANNOUNCER: On the attack -- the vice president blasts the Democrats.
RICHARD B. CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they're competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on "American Idol."
ANNOUNCER: Part of a White House blitz to turn public opinion around -- but is it too little, too late?
Lost and found -- the girl missing for a decade.
TANYA NICOLE KACH, MISSING FOR 10 YEARS: I was in a room, a bedroom, for 10 years.
ANNOUNCER: Allegedly kept as a sex slave -- tonight, this already shocking case takes another strange turn.
And preacher murdered, shot in the back -- police say his wife...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The perfect mother, the perfect wife.
ANNOUNCER: ... confesses to the crime.
ANNOUNCER: From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360, live from the CNN studios in New York.
KING: Anyone who still believes the war in Iraq is not a major political challenge for the Bush administration was not in Orlando, Florida, today, where the vice president launched a rocket. COLLINS: Or in Indianapolis, where the president fired one of his own, or one of the many congressional districts where the Democratic Party is running combat veterans this fall. Yes, it's political. And with public support for the war at an all-time low and public doubts about the president and his party seemingly growing, the White House took aim today and let it fly with the big guns.
Reporting tonight, CNN's Elaine Quijano.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On the campaign trail in Orlando, Vice President Dick Cheney hit back against the Democrats' latest attack line that President Bush is -- quote -- "dangerously incompetent."
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And leading Democrats have demanded a sudden withdrawal from the battle against terrorists in Iraq. If they're competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on "American Idol."
CHENEY: I don't know why that's funny.
QUIJANO: Minutes later, at a fund-raiser in Indianapolis, President Bush assailed Democrats on the economy, saying their record on the issue consisted of what he said were loud noises and votes against tax cuts.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The difference is clear: If you want the government in your pocket, vote Democrat. If you want to keep more of your hard-earned money, vote Republican.
QUIJANO: The administration's two-pronged attack was a carefully coordinated move, a sign this election year the Bush White House has launched into full campaign mode. But factoring into the political equation now is the start of year four of the Iraq conflict. Critics say, despite the president's recent push to turn around low public opinion...
BUSH: Democracy is on the march in Iraq.
QUIJANO: ... Americans, they say, may be suffering from message fatigue.
P.J. CROWLEY, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL DEFENSE AND HOMELAND SECURITY, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Actually the more the president talks about Iraq, you know, the -- the harder it becomes for him. You know, his round of speeches in December and most recently have really had no significant effect on public opinion, because, for the most part, the American people feel they have heard this message before.
QUIJANO (on camera): Still, the president believes, continuing to get his message out on Iraq is critical, especially as images of violence there fill Americans' TV screens.
Elaine Quijano, CNN, the White House.
KING: There's one member of the Bush inner circle who enjoys almost universal public support, 82 percent approval in January, the last time Gallup asked the question. Her name is Laura.
You saw her earlier tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE." And she's not alone in her popularity. First ladies frequently, though not always, enjoy greater popular appeal than their spouses. The question always is, what can they do with it?
Here's CNN's Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president hears it all the time from the outside: Shake things up. Change the staff. Who knows what he hears on the inside.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: I know everyone as well as he does who works here. I mean, I have worked with them, also. And, so, you know, certainly, I would give him that kind of advice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: In a town where backseat governing is plentiful, Laura Bush woke up to advice on what to advise her husband to save his presidency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
L. BUSH: And this is so typical of Washington, that on the front page of the style section would be the advice to the first lady. But I take advice to heart. I really do. I mean, I -- a lot of people give the President advice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: But no adviser has the access or the chops of an Oval Office spouse. Ask anybody who has walked in the space between a first lady and her husband.
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: If Mrs. Clinton were to say, you know, Bill, James is coming in here, and he has got some things to say, and we ought to listen very carefully to what he says, well, believe you me, that's a pretty good endorsement.
CROWLEY: Bess Truman once described her job as sitting quietly at the podium and making sure her hat was on straight. Historical papers tell a different story. LEWIS GOULD, HISTORIAN: He and his wife, Bess, would go up in the White House -- second floor of the White House every night, and have a bourbon, and talk about policy issues. And Mrs. Truman gave him advice on everything but the atomic bomb. And she was irritated that she wasn't consulted about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY REAGAN, FIRST LADY: Doing everything we can.
RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Doing everything we can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Mrs. Truman knew what Nancy Reagan would find out when it surfaced that Mrs. Reagan heavily influenced a major staff shakeup when her husband was battered by the Iran-Contra scandal.
GOULD: Of course, Mrs. Reagan at the time got known as the dragon lady.
CROWLEY: Still, the Nancy-driven changes rescued the second half of the Reagan era. Lesson learned: Use your influence. Just don't let it get out.
CARVILLE: Mrs. Bush, A, is the most popular person maybe in the country right now. And her husband is one of the more unpopular people in the country right now. They need her.
CROWLEY: First ladies offer the purest form of advice. They're not running for office or looking for a job. Plus, they don't have to kiss up.
G. BUSH: There's just something reassuring to me when I get advice from somebody who -- who -- who has got her -- got the best interests in mind, have got my best interests in mind.
CROWLEY: Still, don't look for Laura Bush to change her husband's course. First ladies rarely advise their husband to change policy, but, rather, how to accomplish it.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
KING: And for more on the Laura factor, now with us, Paul Costello, a former spokesman for Rosalynn Carter and Kitty Dukakis, also Anna Perez, Barbara Bush's former press secretary. She also worked for Condi Rice in this Bush White House -- and, in Washington, CNN White House correspondent Dana Bash, whose coverage of the first lady has included several interviews.
Anna, let me start with you.
You have worked in the West Wing for Condi Rice during this administration. Is Laura Bush someone who walks the hall of the West Wing. Is her influence public, or it wielded in private?
ANNA PEREZ, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH: It's wielded in private, John. And -- and that's a good thing.
The minute she decides to wield it publicly, then, she plays into the hands of her -- her husband's political opponents. And she becomes a target herself. Right now, she's not a target. She's doing the best job that she can possibly do for him. And I think she's -- she's -- she's right on. She's -- she's -- she's hitting it out of the park.
KING: Well, Paul Costello, she's in the 80s. Her husband's in the 30s. If only you could just transfer some of that over. You have worked in the White House. How does the political relationship work between a first lady and a struggling president?
PAUL COSTELLO, FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR FORMER FIRST LADY ROSALYNN CARTER AND FORMER FIRST LADY KITTY DUKAKIS: Well, you know, the story -- I guess this segment is really recalled, can a first lady save a president? And it's not possible.
I mean, the first lady has really incredibly high number because the tasks are very different. Laura Bush has really not done anything controversial. She has led admirable goals. She has done, you know, terrific things. She has traveled entire internationally and really been an asset to this country, but she has not really done anything that's going to put her at odds with the American people, who, quite frankly, like a first lady who is not controversial and is not involved in the affairs of her husband.
KING: Well, Dana, you know this first lady well. You have interviewed her several times. And you have asked her this very question: Where does she draw her line? And is Paul right? Does she stay away from the flames, if you will?
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For the most part, she absolutely does.
I remember talking to her about this time last year. Her husband was already struggling big-time in his push for Social Security reform. And I said, "Why -- you're at 80-plus percent in the polls. Why don't you get out there and help her -- help him?" I should say.
And she said, "Well, that's a good idea."
But, then, she was very quick to say, "Well, I like to stay in my areas of expertise."
So, for the most part, as Paul was saying, she does stay away from the fire
COSTELLO: You know...
BASH: She stays away from things that are controversial. That's probably why she's still at 80 percent.
COSTELLO: You know, John, I saw -- I was reading the Sally Quinn piece this morning that was in "The Washington Post."
And I was thinking that Sally Quinn might as be writing to a wall. That's not -- you know, the DNA of Laura Bush is not going to change. She's not going to be Nancy Reagan. She's not going to be a political partner, like Rosalynn Carter. And she's not going to be an activist, like Hillary Clinton was.
PEREZ: Yes. But, on the other hand, she is one of the smartest people I have ever met.
PEREZ: She's a professional. She's a former teacher, a former librarian, probably one of the most well-read people, male or female, to walk those halls of the West Wing or the East Wing.
So, she can wield considerable influence. It's more how she does it. And how she does it affects how good she is at it.
COLLINS: And -- and...
KING: Well, Dana, do senior aides to the president, do they want more? Do they wish that she would step in on the controversial issues?
BASH: Some certainly do.
PEREZ: Not if they're smart.
BASH: Well -- well, you know, and, Anna, I have -- I have talked to some who say that it would be nice for her to -- to -- to get out there sometimes, and, perhaps, she can help him.
No, she did, during the campaign in 2004, talk extensively about the Iraq war. She was out campaigning hard for him, talking about things that were outside her lane.
Now, her aides would say that that was particularly just because she was asked about it. But there are some who very much think that she can help. She is going to go out and campaign for candidates this fall. A lot of people want her -- want -- want her out there.
KING: Well, Paul first, and then Anna.
Dana raises an interesting point. The biggest drag on this president right now is a war. Is it harder for his wife to be helpful on an issue like that, as opposed to some domestic issue?
COSTELLO: I think it's very tough to be.
I mean, the -- the issue is not how -- how he can -- how she can help him during the war, because I think this is a separate issue. I think it's very hard for a first lady to have a significant impact on a president who is facing significant problems here in this nation, significant problems internationally. I think it's very tough.
PEREZ: It -- I think it's just as difficult for a female spouse of the president to help in a -- in a war, as it will be for a male spouse of the president, because the minute -- for instance, the minute the male spouse steps in and looks like he's running the war, well, then, the president's effectiveness is dead.
I just don't -- it's not appropriate. It's not smart. And she is the comforter in chief.
KING: Well, Dana, take us inside the walls of the White House, then. Is she the comforter in chief? Is she a traditional first lady? Or, behind the walls, where we can't see it, and maybe even the president's top staff can't see it, is she actually exerting more influence?
BASH: And the president admits that publicly. She has a lot of influence over him. And -- and they do have discussions about -- about things that, like most couples would, that we don't necessarily know about. She even said tonight on CNN that she does talk with the president about his personnel issues.
But the bottom line is, John, she just relishes her role as a traditional first lady. She can tell you everything about every single piece in the White House residence, where it came from, who made it, what president put it there, all of the furniture, the China. That's what she really enjoys.
KING: Dana Bash in Washington, Anna Perez here in New York, Paul Costello in California, great to see all three of you. Thank you...
PEREZ: Nice to see you, John.
KING: ... for helping us with our discussion.
KING: Thank you all very much.
BASH: Thank you.
KING: And take care.
COLLINS: She says she was kept prisoner for 10 years in a home just miles away from her house -- tonight, more of her incredible story and an interview with the man defending her alleged captor.
KING: Also, the perfect wife -- she confessed to killing her preacher husband. We will have the latest on the murder investigation.
COLLINS: And later -- locked out. A $58 million jail sits empty. Why was there enough money to build it, but not enough to operate it? We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- when 360 continues.
COLLINS: Tonight, the bizarre case of the Pennsylvania woman who was missing for 10 years takes another shocking turn. Tanya Kach disappeared as a teenager in 1996. This week, she's back, claiming she was kept a prisoner inside the home of her school security guard. He is now under arrest and may soon have company.
COLLINS (voice over): Thomas Hose will be spending the weekend in this Pennsylvania jail.
JIM ECKER, ATTORNEY FOR THOMAS HOSE: He's like anybody else that is in his jail. He's very upset and very worried, and so forth. But he's holding up pretty good right now. He's very concerned about his parents.
COLLINS: Hose's parents live with him in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, home, but tell police they were unaware that, for the last 10 years, their son, allegedly, kept and was having sex with a runaway girl in his upstairs bedroom.
This week, Tanya Kach, missing since she was 14 years old, revealed her identity and spoke of her ordeal.
TANYA NICOLE KACH, MISSING FOR 10 YEARS: I lived up in that room. I didn't see the light of day. I mean, I -- I did through the windows. But I didn't go out and didn't see people. I mean, I went out here and there from 2000 on, but it was few and far between.
But to actually be out and talk to people, it was a luxury for me. I like people. I like talking to people.
COLLINS: Police have charged Hose with sexual assault and three counts of deviate sexual intercourse. His attorney says his client did nothing wrong, that Tanya was not kidnapped, threatened or physically abused, and that she had access to a telephone.
Tanya says she wanted to tell people who she was.
KACH: I didn't think anybody would care. And it seemed like he was -- he told me he cared. And I believed him. And I didn't think I was loved.
COLLINS: On Tuesday, she finally told her story to a deli owner she had befriended.
KACH: I couldn't say nothing, but finally they -- they kept pursuing it, which meant they cared. And, then, I broke down, and, then, I had to tell them. But I asked them: "Don't let me be on the streets. I just want my dad and my mom and my family."
COLLINS: Now she's home with her father, thinking about the life she says she missed over the last 10 years. KACH: I didn't get to go to school. I didn't graduate. I didn't have sweet 16. I didn't get to go to the prom. I didn't get to find real love.
COLLINS: But she did find her way home.
COLLINS: Police tell CNN they are looking into two cold cases involving the unsolved deaths of two girls who attended Tanya's school at approximately the same time she did. A police official says, at this point, Thomas Hose is not a suspect.
James Ecker is Hose's attorney. And I spoke to him earlier and asked him if he believed Tanya's story.
JAMES ECKER, ATTORNEY FOR THOMAS HOSE: First of all, she was never locked up. That -- that room that she allegedly was in, as I understand it, has a lock, but only from the inside, not the outside.
Secondly, she was never kidnapped. She was never false imprisoned. Nothing happened like that in any way, shape or form would have harmed her. If it had, I'm sure my client would have been charged with those crimes.
COLLINS: So, what did your client say, then, when you asked him specifically those questions, if he did, in fact, kidnap her, if he did, in fact, hold her against her will? What was his response?
ECKER: I have never in my life told anybody in the media what a client of mine says. I keep that for a courtroom.
My client, though, however, has maintained his innocence. And we will feed him not guilty when we get to a trial.
COLLINS: In fact, the actual charges against your client are for illegal sexual relations with Tanya Kach when she was a minor, as you know, 14 years old.
You said on camera that you haven't admitted your client ever even knew Tanya when she was 14. Are -- are you saying that Thomas Hose never met her until she was older?
ECKER: I -- I will say that it's very odd -- and I guess you might realize this -- that, from the time this lady was of age, which is 18 in this state, for the next six years, she was walking around. From what I understand, she always looked as she does now, which is great -- a hairdo, great mascara, great dress.
You notice her fingers were completely manicured. It's -- for somebody that has been so physically abused or mentally abused, she looked pretty good to me.
COLLINS: In Tanya Kach's affidavit, she does talk about a friend of your client's, Judith Sokul (ph). She, apparently, was the one who cut and dyed Tanya's hair to change her appearance all those years ago.
The police issued a warrant for her arrest today.
ECKER: That's correct.
COLLINS: Are you worried that that will make the case against your client possibly stronger?
ECKER: No, not necessarily, no. I don't know what this lady will say. I don't know who she is. And this happened many, many years ago.
COLLINS: I know you did visit your client this morning in prison. How would you say Thomas Hose is doing?
ECKER: Not very well, Heidi. He couldn't even eat his breakfast this morning. He's just very nervous and upset. He wanted to get home to his mother and dad, who are elderly -- and they are both very sick -- and his son, who is 20 or -- 20, 21 years of age, I guess.
And, Heidi, he's just very upset. And he's worried, most of all, about what does happen in jails, not nothing happening to him physically, but what can happen when suddenly a snitch suddenly tells a guard: "Hey, guess what; this guy just confessed to this or confessed to that"?
For that reason, I have made it very clear to him, as I do to everybody, please do not talk to any inmate about anything in a jail.
COLLINS: Well, Mr. Ecker, before we let you go, can you confirm that your client is being investigated as a possible suspect for two unsolved murders in the area?
ECKER: It's my understanding that, many, many years ago, he may have been questioned by an individual when -- somebody's disappearance, but I don't know about that myself.
COLLINS: James Ecker, Thomas Hose's attorney, tonight.
KING: Bizarre story.
Out West, a brand new $58 million jail is built. So, why does it sit empty? Coming up, we are "Keeping Them Honest."
But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the other stories we are following tonight.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John.
A grim discovery in New Orleans today -- in the rubble of a home in the Lower Ninth Ward, cadaver dogs found the body of a girl with pigtails and a backpack. Authorities say more bodies may be in the wreckage, including, possibly, a baby.
In Milwaukee now, a plea from police. They think someone is withholding information that could help find these two boys. They have been missing since Sunday. And police are urging anyone with details to come forward and to talk.
Across greater Los Angeles, students walk out of at least 20 schools, protesting the proposed extension of a wall along the U.S.- Mexican border. And, in Phoenix, as many as 15,000 immigrants and supporters filed into the streets to voice opposition to the legislation on undocumented workers.
Finally, in Brainerd, Minnesota, a World War II airman laid to west. The frozen body of Leo Mustonen was chipped out of a California glacier last fall, more than 60 years after his plane disappeared during a training mission -- finally brought home, John.
KING: Finally home. That's still, to me, quite a remarkable story -- some closure there.
An inmate who was released to make room for others, soon, he was arrested for murder. All the while, jail cells went empty. How can it happen? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Plus, the police say the minister's widow has now confessed to his murder -- that and other new developments when 360 continues.
KING: OK. You do the math. In one column, you have got hundreds of known criminals, some repeat offenders. And they're being let out on the streets. In the other column, you have got hundreds of empty jail cells, just waiting to be filled.
If that is not a no-brainer, what is? That's just what folks on the West Coast are asking.
Here's CNN's Dan Simon, "Keeping Them Honest."
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They built it, but no one came. This is Portland, Oregon's new $58 million jail. The Wapato Facility, as it's called, was completed nearly two years ago, and was ready to take in bad guys and ease jail overcrowding. But this place has sat empty. The bunks, the bathrooms, the basketball court haven't been touched.
BERNIE GIUSTO, MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OREGON, SHERIFF: This is a prime example of why government lacks the confidence of the people it serves. SIMON: Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto is responsible for Portland's jails, three, including Wapato. He calls the place a $58 million echo chamber...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really does echo.
SIMON: ... and a national embarrassment.
GIUSTO: We're not here because we're looking good. We're here because we have become the laughing stock of this country.
SIMON: The problem: money -- voters approved the funds to build the jail. But the county, in the face of shrinking taxes, didn't have the funds to operate it, and still doesn't. Not surprising it has become a political hot potato for local officials who have to make the tough budgetary choices.
Politicians here, when faced with either funding jails or classroom, have chosen the latter.
Still, Diane Linn, who heads the county commission, has vowed to get the place open.
DIANE LINN, CHAIRWOMAN, MULTNOMAH COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS: As of today, I'm making my personal pledge to open the Wapato jail and treatment facility in fiscal year '06.
SIMON: No one else, however, expects the 525-bed jail to open, even partially, until at least early 2007, three years after it was completed.
(on camera): While the purpose of this place is to lock people up, the sheriff was so anxious to have it used, used for something, that he actually offered it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina as short-term housing. The Red Cross nixed that idea, but it showed the level of frustration some people have about having a perfectly good facility sit empty.
(voice-over): But there's an even greater concern. The county's two other jails are maxed out with inmates. As a result, the sheriff's department is having to release large numbers of accused criminals, because there's no room.
Last year, it let out more than 4,500 inmates due to overcrowding, most before they have ever even seen a judge. But they're still expected to show up for court. But authorities say many don't. And others simply have their jail time shortened.
GIUSTO: Burglars, auto thieves, identity thieves, people who are -- use methamphetamine.
SIMON: Among those released early, 45-year-old Richard Koehrsen -- police arrested him in January for trespassing and drinking in public. After only 24 hours in custody, he was let out. The sheriff's department says it needed space for suspects accused of more serious offenses. Two days later, Koehrsen was arrested for murder, accused of stabbing a man in the neck. He pleaded not guilty. His attorney had no comment. And a trial date has yet to be set.
SERGEANT JESSE LUNA, MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It's really hard to say, hey, this guy is going to do it.
SIMON: Sergeant Jesse Luna oversees the unit that decides which inmates walk free when the jails get full. Koehrsen was deemed to be a low risk.
LUNA: I mean, we're talking someone that drinks in public. And he -- this is -- unfortunately, it -- it happened.
SIMON: He says, just this month, at least 65 other inmates got their get-out-of-jail-free card -- the irony of an empty jail not lost on the sheriff.
GIUSTO: I -- I avoid this place. I come to -- I have people come to make sure it's standing. But I avoid this place, because I don't have -- I don't have -- every time I come here, it's just a sense of frustration about how government gets here.
SIMON: And with county funds not likely to increase any time soon, the Wapato jail is expected to collect even more dust.
Dan Simon, CNN, Portland, Oregon.
KING: Five hundred and twenty-five empty beds, criminals on the street.
KING: Not happy people.
KING: And crime and punishment of another kind -- when we come back.
COLLINS: A minister murdered. His wife confesses -- the children caught in the middle.
KING: Later, imagine going to sleep and waking up in a very compromising position. It's called sexsomnia.
A break first -- this is 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT SHACKELFORD, CHURCH DEACON: We're praying for Mary and we're praying for the children. We're praying for Matthew's family that whatever is in their best interest will take place.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: If there's a single redeeming fact tonight in a saga that may in the end leave three young children without a parent, it is this: according to authorities, the children did not see their mother murder their father.
It happened in the living quarters of a church in Selmer, Tennessee. Mary Winkler has confessed to the crime of shooting her husband, Minister Matthew Winkler, then fleeing with their children to Alabama. She was charged today with first-degree murder. She will be extradited tomorrow, sent back to Tennessee.
Reporting for us tonight on the story, here's CNN's Rick Sanchez.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With his back turned, sitting near his own bed, Minister Matthew Winkler was hit with a shotgun blast that authorities suspect he never saw coming -- shot in the back, murdered, police say, by his own wife.
ROGER RICKMAN, SELMER, TENNESSEE, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Mary Winkler has confessed to the murder of her husband, Matthew Winkler, shooting him on March the 22nd, 2006, leaving Selmer with her three daughters.
SANCHEZ: Mary Winkler, 32 years old, 5'3", 120 pounds, a preacher's wife, seemed an unlikely suspect.
So, when church members discovered their minister's body in his parsonage, they called police and immediately went looking for her, to see if she was OK, or, possibly, break the news to her.
(on camera): However, she was nowhere to be found. So, police put out an Amber Alert: Is it possible she and the girls could have been abducted? Police got the answer to their question when they received a phone call from authorities in Orange Beach, Alabama, late Thursday night. That led them to this conclusion.
JOHN MEHR, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: I would say she is a suspect at this time, just due to the nature of this, that she's alive and well, of course, but she does have the children. She was in the van. So, we would consider her a suspect at this time.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Translation: She wasn't abducted. She had fled on her own in this van. And it wasn't long afterward that police say she admitted to the shooting under questioning by investigators.
RICKMAN: They're in the process now of getting her extradited back to Tennessee.
SANCHEZ: But what about the children, three little girls, ages 1, 6, and 8?
Inside the Fourth Street Church of Christ, parishioners prayed, hugged, and wondered what burden those children had been left with. So, we asked the detective what so many wanted to know.
(on camera): Do we know what the children saw or didn't see? A lot of people are very concerned about these children.
RICKMAN: To my knowledge, the children saw nothing.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): What is more:
RICKMAN: They don't have an -- no idea what has happened to their father.
SANCHEZ: They may soon learn what happened to their father from their grandparents, Minister Winkler's parents, who will likely take custody of them.
DAN WINKLER, FATHER OF MATTHEW WINKLER: Now we turn our immediate attention to the remembrance of our son Matthew and the care of three precious children.
SANCHEZ: Their mother, Mary Winkler, has waived extradition and will return to Tennessee, the place where she met her husband in Bible college, where they were raising three beautiful little girls, where a church had provided them with this picturesque home on a hill, and where she will now face charges of first-degree murder.
Rick Sanchez, CNN, Selmer, Tennessee.
COLLINS: It's safe to say there is nobody in Selmer who doesn't have some kind of connection to the church or the late Minister Winkler or the children. In a moment, a woman with a close connection to all three on what she and her neighbors are going through.
And later, a different kind of nightmare, when sleep turns bizarre. People doing the strange, the scary, the dangerous, including having sex, when 360 continues.
COLLINS: More now on the murder of a popular minister that has left a small town and a close congregation in a state of shock, the shooting of Matthew Winkler and the confession from his wife, Mary, who says she pulled the trigger. Caught in the middle of it all, three young children.
Pam Killingsworth is the assistant principal of Selmer Elementary School and a member of the late preacher's congregation.
COLLINS: Pam, we are looking at a picture now of what looks to be the perfect, happy, church-going kind of family.
How well did you know Matthew and Mary? PAM KILLINGSWORTH, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, SELMER ELEMENTARY: Matthew and Mary had been here a little over a year with us. We're a very close church family and we felt like we knew Matthew and Mary very well. Obviously, the way things have played out, Mary was not the person we thought she was.
COLLINS: Well, take me back to when you were getting to know Mary and what you had learned about her. What is she like? I mean, did she ever seen unhappy or stressed out or let on that she had any problems in the marriage?
KILLINGSWORTH: She never seemed unhappy, from day one, when they brought the children to our school and met their teachers and everything. Like you said, the perfect picture, the happy couple.
The girls were precious, sweet, very smart little girls. Mary volunteered a lot at the school, brought things that we needed.
She was -- she was the perfect mom. She brought them to school every day. She picked them up every afternoon. This is...
COLLINS: I know that -- I know that Matthew recently bought his family a new minivan. What was her reaction to that?
KILLINGSWORTH: Oh, she was -- she was thrilled. When she had brought the kids to music one day I went out and looked at the van and I told her, "Oh, your van is so nice." And she said, "Yes, Matthew is going to take care of me and my girls."
COLLINS: Did the girls seem to show any signs of trouble at home?
KILLINGSWORTH: No, they -- they -- they were happy little girls. We talked and we joked, and neither -- neither child seemed to be -- to be showing any signs of stress or in need of anything.
COLLINS: Piece together for me that day when Matthew's body was found. Did you or anybody in your community suspect Mary?
KILLINGSWORTH: No. The children had been absent that day at school, and, of course, they weren't at church at night. And that's when everyone got worried that something bad had happened. And then some of the men found -- found him. And we all were afraid that someone had taken Mary and the girls.
COLLINS: And no one ever suspected Mary at that time?
KILLINGSWORTH: Not ar that time. Not at that time. In fact, everybody was frantic just with worry and very upset because we didn't know where she was and no one could get her on the cell phone. And it was very scary.
COLLINS: Well, it's certainly been a very, very hard past few days for you and the community there. We certainly appreciate your time tonight.
Pam Killingsworth, thank you so much.
KILLINGSWORTH: Thank you.
KING: Ahead on 360, a sleep disorder so bizarre, it sounds made up, but it's not. It's even been used as legal defense in a rape case.
But first, Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS joins us with some of the business stories we're following tonight.
ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi again, John.
KING: Ahead on 360, is it really possible, can you actually have sex while asleep, even force yourself on a stranger, and not remember any of it in the morning? And if you don't remember it, are you responsible?
And in the next hour, a special edition of 360. Dr. Sanjay Gupta unlock other mysteries of sleep, from why we dream, to how much sleep we really need, to people who turn violent when they doze off.
All that coming up on 360.
KING: Our sleep series continues tonight with a problem that almost sounds like a joke. It's that bizarre. But for the people who have it, it's very real.
Imagine waking up in the morning after a night of sex, sometimes wild sex, and not remembering any of it.
360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta reports.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): By day, this couple who we'll call Dave and Julie have a relationship that many of us would envy, slow walks together in the garden, cooking dinner, eating by candlelight. But when night falls, a different story unfolds.
DAVE, INITIATES SEX WHILE ASLEEP: I remember the first time she told me, I was like, oh, god, sorry.
GUPTA: Dave would initiate sex with Julie while still asleep.
JULIE, HUSBAND INITIATES SEX WHILE ASLEEP: More often than not he'll put one arm underneath me and then pull me, swiftly and aggressively toward him, normally, and then he'll start rubbing things and -- and sometimes he wakes up.
DAVE: I think my first assessment was is, you know, I was like a sex fiend or something. I didn't know what was going on.
GUPTA: What was going on? Something called sleep sex or sexsomnia. Experts say that for most people with sexsomnia the act happens in their own bed, with their partner, or alone. It can range from mild entreaties for sex to violent aggression. In rare cases, sexsomnia can be paired with sleep walking and the sex happens outside the bedroom, even with strangers.
As hard as it is to believe, sexsomniacs who are mostly men, say they remember nothing the next morning. And that may be worst part of it for people like Dave, later being told about the behavior, becoming flush with shame and remorse.
DAVE: It's not something you go to bed thinking, OK, I think I'm going to attack my wife in the middle of the night.
GUPTA: Sexsomnia is one of a host of sleep disorders called parasomnia, waking behaviors like eating, acting out violence, even driving, that all happen while still in a deep slumber.
DR. COLIN SHAPIRO, TORONTO WESTERN HOSP. SLEEP LAB: We think of waking and sleeping as being it's an either/or phenomenon, and we don't have a concept in our minds of an overlap between waking and sleeping.
GUPTA: But they're not always distinct. Doctors believe that with sexsomnia, something as simple as a car horn outside can jar a person out of deep sleep and inspire a minor state of wakefulness.
For many, it's a harmless state. For others, not being in control of their actions while sleeping can be dangerous. And it's that potential to lose control that scares Dave.
DAVE: When my daughter was young enough to still want to, you know, get scared in the middle of the night and want to jump in the bed me, that thought was always present that that would be terrible if I kicked into that mode while my daughter was in bed with me. That would not be good.
GUPTA: Therein lies the dark underbelly of sleep sex, when the sexual advance is unwanted. Like the case of Richard Anderson, who was given probation after using sexsomnia as a defense for molesting two young girls. And Jan Ludika (ph) in Toronto, who fell asleep at a party and allegedly had sex with a woman. She said it was rape; he says he didn't remember.
After testimony revealed that Ludika (ph) had a history of sleepwalking and parasomnia, and no prior history of sexual abuse, a judge acquitted him. Dr. Colin Shapiro testified in Ludika's (ph) defense.
SHAPIRO: The issue becomes is, is one responsible for one's behavior when one's asleep? And there's a wide experience in law that if you don't know what you're doing, you're not responsible for that action. And so there are a number of situations where people have been found not guilty of an offense because they -- it occurred while they were asleep.
GUPTA: Still, cases of abuse during sleep sex are rare. Most people are like Julie and Dave.
Experts say the key to avoiding sleep sex is dodging certain triggers.
MIKE MANGAN, AUTHOR, "SLEEP SEX": Such as alcohol, stress, fatigue, drug use, avoid bodily contact with a bed partner, and that sort of thing.
GUPTA: And pharmaceuticals, particularly a drug called Klonopin may help.
Dave believes stress and alcohol trigger his sexsomnia, so he's cut down on both. He and Julie accept sleep sex as part of their lives, even sometimes joking about it.
JULIE: It's just somewhat annoying because I lose sleep. But I'm not worried or concerned.
GUPTA: But if there ever is cause for concern, Dave says he'll get help.
(on camera): Now, just saying sexsomnia sounds sort of non- medical, maybe a little bit out there for some people. But some various theme sleep experts we've spoken with acknowledge these parasomnias, including sleep sex, are real sleep disorders.
As studies are done in the field we may get a better handle on just how many people are affected and exactly how to treat these disorders.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
COLLINS: And the story is very much on the radar tonight. A lot of people writing in to the 360 blog.
From Cliff in Los Angeles, "My wife has said that just the idea of having sex with me is enough to put her right to sleep. So, which of us has this disorder?"
Seriously, though, it is not a laughing matter, says Cindy in Tucson. "My sister's husband suffers from this. My sister considers it rape when he forces himself upon her when she is also asleep. They are having marital problems because of this."
And also from J.D. in Seattle, "I applaud the approach of not making light of this disease. For me, the real possibility that I could wake up one morning to find that my entire life has changed because of something I did in my sleep is not something that strikes me as funny."
So it is a tough, tough story for these folks.
KING: I think if you were inclined to make a joke about it, these stories convince you not to do so.
COLLINS: Yes, no kidding.
KING: It's very interesting.
And we want to thank our international viewers for watching.
Everyone else, stay up, and we'll get more mysteries of sleep.
COLLINS: Stay up because we're going to tell you about sleeping, yes.
For instance, there is actually a disorder that in its worst form can actually turn a sleepwalker into a murderer.
KING: Also, hundreds die each year after falling asleep behind the wheel. Are there stay-awake tricks that really work?
Plus, think your dreams are unique? It turns out that people worldwide share the same visions. Do your dreams make the top 10 list?
It's all next on a special hours of 360.
COLLINS: Don't turn in yet. We've got a special hour looking at the mysteries of sleep. You won't believe what some people are up to while they're snoozing next on 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm tired every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hard to really get out of bed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He twitches and carries on all night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sleep is a very dynamic and complex process.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do we need to sleep? Do we need to sleep?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are confronted by a 24-hour world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I get a little anxious and wired up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our society is horribly sleep-deprived.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your reaction time is slower.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next thing I knew, I had gone off the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our sleep is getting squashed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the dreaming process is a process of memory integration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dreams are symbolic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your help is as close as your pillow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: Each and every night most of us undergo a profound change. We leave the waking world and we go to sleep.
Hello. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Over the next hour, we're going to look at what's keeping us up and how to get a better night's sleep. We'll also look at the dangers of fatigue.
We begin in the middle of the night, and one woman's failed attempt to try and sleep.
GUPTA (voice over): It's 4:00 a.m. Jolie Fainberg (ph) wakes up and can't get back to sleep.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very tired. I woke up.
GUPTA: We've all been there, insomnia. But for some, like Jolie, it happens all the time.
She's busy enough during the day to be tired, so why can't she sleep?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pick them up. OK. Daddy will (INAUDIBLE).
GUPTA: She and her husband Stan, both in their mid 40s, are raising two energetic toddlers. Esther is 4 and costume-loving Sophia (ph) is 3.
Jolie cooks, cleans and shops...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says we don't like bad ones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we don't like bad ones. That's for sure.
GUPTA: ... has clothes laid out a week in advance and dinner on the table every night by 5:30.
(on camera): Would you -- would you call it stressful?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I mean, it's very busy. There's a lot going on.
GUPTA (voice over): Jolie also works at Children's Health Care of Atlanta, where she heads up a program that fits implants on children with severe hearing impairments.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your hand. Remember, you listen? We're going to do that.
So I leave the office and sometimes I leave things undone. And I will often wake up in the middle of the night and realize, "I didn't do that. Oh my gosh, I forgot to call them back. Oh no."
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