Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Former Hostage Norman Kember Is At His London Home After Four Months In Iraq; Khalilzad Confident Iraqi Government Will Be Formed; President Used Weekly Radio Address To Push His Proposals For Reform; More Plans For Immigration Changes; Woman Charged With Shooting Minister Husband In Tennessee; Tiger Woods' Father Battling Cancer

Aired March 25, 2006 - 10:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, take a look at this. Former hostage Norman Kember is at his London home, at least. Four months of captivity in Baghdad now over for the 74-year-old ex-professor. It is Saturday, March -- how good must that feel? Man.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Back home with his family. We saw him just moments ago sitting with his wife. We're going to show you a little bit of that in a moment.

HARRIS: And, welcome, everyone, to the CNN Center in Atlanta. Good morning. This is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We have a live report from the home of Norman Kember in just a minute. You want to stay tuned for that. But first, a quick look at some of the other stories happening right now.

We're getting late word this morning that Liberia will be allowed to take custody of its former president. Charles Taylor has been indicted for war crimes, and he's been living in exile in Nigeria. A Nigerian government spokesman says Nigeria has agreed to allow Liberia to take Taylor home and detain him.

Now to Tennessee, a preacher's wife is due to return home today to face charges of murdering her husband. Police say she confessed and they know why she did it, but they are keeping that confidential.

HARRIS: In Afghanistan, the man threatened with the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity could soon be released. That's according to an Afghan government official. Afghan authorities are meeting today on Abdul Rahman's fate.

Milwaukee police want some young witnesses to come forward in a missing boys' case. The new appeal comes six days after Quadrevion Henning and Purvis Parker were last seen.

NGUYEN: Pope Benedict held mass today in the final ceremony honoring his 15 new cardinals. The pope gave each cardinal a ring, signifying commitment to the Roman Catholic Church.

And the Mars orbiter is sending back its first pictures of the Red Planet. Take a look at these. Later images are expected to include color, and a wider view with more detail, but that's really spectacular already.

HARRIS: It really is.

Well, he's got to be saying there's no place like home. Norman Kember is back in England after being held hostage in Iraq for four months. His wife met him at London's Heathrow Airport about two hours ago. Kember and two Canadian peace activists were rescued by coalition forces in Iraq on Thursday. Kember read a brief statement from his home just moments ago.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is standing by with the latest -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Tony. Yes, well, he is inside his house now for the first time in fact in four months. He's gone in with his wife, Pat Kember. There's also other members of the family that were inside waiting for him, and it was a very happy moment.

As he stepped out of the car, he was all smiles. Some of the neighbors as well have come by to welcome him home. And there was a spontaneous round of applause as he and Pat Kember, his wife, stepped out of the car. Also there was shouts of "welcome home, Norman," and you could see he was delighted to be back. He then wandered into the house.

We are thinking that maybe Pat Kember may come out soon to give us a statement, but we're not sure. But we did get an official statement from Norman Kember. He gave one as soon as he got off the plane at Heathrow. He was saying that he wanted to be left alone to reflect on what had happened to him. He wasn't going to be talking immediately about exactly what had happened over the past four months or so.

Of course, November the 26th, himself, two Canadians, and also an American, who sadly was killed in Iraq and was not freed, were kidnapped on the November 26th. And on Wednesday, early morning, we had that daring rescue attempt in which all three of them were then rescued -- Tony.

HARRIS: OK. And, Paula, just to be clear about this, Norman Kember made the statement not from his home but from the airport, is that correct?

HANCOCKS: That's right, yes. He made the statement at the airport, so when he'd just touched down. And he was saying -- one thing he did say was, I think, actually, everyone is trying to interview the wrong person. He was trying to focus on the plight of the Iraqi people once again, saying that he wanted people to remember what the Iraqis are going through day by day, and trying to interview him was trying to interview the wrong person.

And he has also said that he thanked those who have been part of the rescue operation. He said, "I do not believe a lasting peace is achieved by armed force, but I pay tribute to their courage and thank those who played a part in my rescue."

HARRIS: And, Paula, let's listen to a little bit of that statement from Norman Kember.


NORMAN KEMBER, FORMER HOSTAGE: I thank the media for agreeing to show share those images of distress on me on this occasion. I now need to reflect on my experience. Was I foolhardy or rational? And also to enjoy freedom in peace and in quiet. Thank you all.


HARRIS: And, Paula, he also said that it was -- actually the ordeal was hardest on his wife, didn't he?

HANCOCKS: That's right, yes. This is something he also said as soon as he was released, in the statement that came out Of Baghdad, saying that he was more worried about Pat Kember herself, saying that she was more of a hostage than he was, because it must have been absolutely dreadful for her. So it shows what sort of a man he is, that despite what he's gone through, he was more concerned about what his wife had gone through.

HARRIS: Yes. CNN's Paula Hancocks for us. Paula, we appreciate it. Thank you.

NGUYEN: I want to take you back to Iraq now, and a story of gruesome discoveries. Seven tortured bodies have been found in Baghdad over the last 24 hours. U.S. soldiers found six of those bodies inside a car. Four other people in Baghdad died when a bomb exploded as a passing minibus went by.

Well, more than three months since Iraqi elections and still no new government in place, but the U.S. ambassador to Iraq is optimistic the job will get down.

Our Nic Robertson spent part of today with Zalmay Khalilzad. He has the latest now from Baghdad.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the ambassador was in the west of Baghdad to open a sports center and youth club. He watched young people boxing and wrestling. This was a sport center that required renovation. About half a million U.S. dollars were spent on repairing and renovating this sports facility.

The ambassador gave rings of recognition to former Olympians, Iraqis who had taken part in the Athens Olympics, but his message for them was very political. He told them the country was at a crossroads. He told them that youth sports should help defeat terrorism, that young people needed other opportunities.

He said he thought Iraq had a good future, that the future was in the youth of the people. And he told them that while they were there, that their leaders were currently meeting to form a new government of national unity. And when I asked him a little later what was the main stumbling block behind the delays of forming this new government, he gave me his explanation.


ZALMAY KHALILZAD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: I think it would be compositions and names. And that's where the rubber will meet the road, names with jobs, assignments, and that's what still is left. Prime minister, you need someone who is a unifier and is competent to do the job, and then key ministers to fill up the presidency and speakership. I think it will still take some weeks.


ROBERTSON: But the biggest point of contention has been that position of prime minister, who should get that particular job. Another big issue that there seems to be division on over the last week or so is whether or not it would be a government of national unity.

Even a few days ago, some very senior politicians here believed that the parliamentarians hadn't even decided whether it should be a government of national unity. That is one with Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, all having some of the top ministerial positions.

However the ambassador, Ambassador Khalilzad, said quite clearly to me that he believed a government of national unity had been agreed by the politicians of Iraq.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Baghdad.


HARRIS: Well the simmering debate over illegal immigration hits a boiling point. Expect to see more protests today across the U.S. Thousands took to the streets. In Milwaukee this week, they're protesting a bill that would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally.

In Atlanta, activists say tens of thousands of workers stayed home yesterday to protest a state crackdown. About 200 people converged on the state Capitol in Phoenix. Police say thousands of demonstrators marched to the office of a Republican, Senator Jon Kyl. The Senate takes up the immigration debate this week. We'll have more on the fight over immigration reform ahead on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

President Bush used his weekly radio address to push for a guest worker program. Kathleen Koch will have details in a live report from the White House in about 20 minutes.

And two guests will debate the immigration issue right here later this hour. Steve Eichler with the Minuteman Project, and activist Christine Neumann-Ortiz will square off at the bottom of the hour. Stay right here.

We want you comments on this issue. Do you think the U.S. needs tougher immigration laws. That's our e-mail question of the day. People have been sounding off about it all week. E-mail us your thoughts,, and we will read some of your responses throughout the morning program. .

NGUYEN: Well, not many Americans are happy with the way Congress is doing its job, but a new "Time" magazine poll gives Democrats an edge over Republicans. The poll asked Americans which party's candidates they would choose for the House of Representatives if elections were held today. Fifty percent picked Democrats, 41 percent chose Republicans. When asked about the performance of Congress as a whole, 49 percent say they disapprove, while just 39 percent gave a thumbs up.

HARRIS: When it comes to golf, you might call Tiger Woods the man.

NGUYEN: He is the man.

HARRIS: Super man. But this latest challenge could stretch his strength to the limit.

NGUYEN: Yes, it can.

And coming up on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, Tiger's concern about the failing health of his father. We'll talk about that.

Reynolds Wolf is here to talk about the weather. Hi, Reynolds.


VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we do. We've got a great surprise for Betty. You won't want to miss it. Plus, I have got the countdown to the most popular stories on That's coming up when CNN SATURDAY returns.


NGUYEN: We are just getting video in of riot police fighting with protestors in the capital of Belarus. Take a look. You can see a ton of them out on the streets. Now, a number of protestors had been detained, including an opposition leader, this according to the Associated Press.

Daily rallies have been held in the capital by protestors who say last week's elections were fraudulent. As you can see, there have been some clashes today, and we're going to stay on top of this and bring you the latest on this breaking news out of Belarus.

HARRIS: In other news across America, a memorial service in New Jersey this morning for victims of a tour bus crash in Chile. Their bodies were sent home last night. Twelve American tourists were killed Wednesday when an excursion bus plunged off the road in the Andes Mountains.

Princess Cruises is flying more than 2,600 passengers home with full refund. A fatal shipboard fire abruptly ended their cruise vacation. Passengers gave varying accounts of the severity of the blaze aboard the Star Princess. A Georgia man was killed and 11 others injured. Officials suspect the fire may have been started by a cigarette.

A choking game may have killed a Maryland teenager. That's what police believe. They say it's a growing trend among sexually active teens around the country. The game is to briefly choke off their oxygen supply to heighten the sexual experience.

And would you pay $6,000 to save your pet's life? That's a decision a dog owner in Rhode Island faced after a game of fetch went awry. Glen Grenier (ph) threw nine-inch stick and his German Shepherd, Schultz (ph), accidentally swallowed it.


HARRIS: Yes, the stick punched a hole in the dog's throat, it went all the way to stomach. Ouch. Schultz was rushed to emergency surgery. His life was saved, and he's on a feeding tube until his throat heals. His owners are happy but they'll have to find a way to pay that $6,000 bill.

NGUYEN: And they will because pets are like family.

Well, thousands again expected to take their anger to the streets today. The question is tough. Does America need new immigration laws?

HARRIS: Or does the issue just come in handy politically at this time? We'll have a debate live. That's next.


HARRIS: All right. It was Huskies against Huskies -- wow -- in the NCAA regional semifinal, and Connecticut needed overtime to survive Washington, 98-92 last might. UConn takes on George Mason in the final tomorrow.

OK, so let's just, for a moment -- and we won't belabor this, but let's just sort of check out our office poll, our AM team. Katie Baratone, Reynolds, is right there on top.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I've got to give her major props. She's an incredibly intelligent lady.

NGUYEN: But she doesn't know basketball.

WOLF: Yes, exactly.

NGUYEN: Apparently she knows something we don't, because she's number one on the leader board there.

HARRIS: There's the second page.

NGUYEN: We're on the second page, Tony.

HARRIS: This is disturbing. Let's get past that. Those are the brackets. As you know, our beloved Betty Nguyen is a huge University of Texas fan. NGUYEN: My blood bleeds burnt orange.

HARRIS: You recall her reaction after the Longhorns won the NCAA football championship a few months back. You recall this?

NGUYEN: We have tape of it?


RICK HORROW, CNN: This is the first time of my show with CNN that I'm really wanting Tony to do the interview with me. Because I suspect you are probably insufferable.

NGUYEN: You don't want to deal with me today, do you?

HORROW: You are probably insufferable for the whole week.

NGUYEN: I am. It's awful, but it's well worth it because we deserve this win.


HARRIS: Right, right, right.

NGUYEN: We did.

HARRIS: Texas -- alma mater -- has advanced now. This is absolutely too much to take.

NGUYEN: In many arenas, by the way.

HARRIS: To the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. They're playing LSU, the Tigers today, for a trip to the Final Four, which is in Indianapolis next week.

But today's game is being played right here at the Georgia Dome, which is like right across the street from CNN Center.

NGUYEN: Yes. And?

HARRIS: So we couldn't resist. How could we have we have invited the University of Texas --

NGUYEN: No way!

HARRIS: Longhorns cheerleaders and the band.

NGUYEN: Where are they? Oh my goodness.

HARRIS: Go ahead on. Go ahead.

NGUYEN: Oh my gosh! This is fantastic.


NGUYEN: We can't say that on TV. Oh my gosh! This is so great! How did you guys do this?

Oh, that's fantastic! Yes, go Horns! I love the end of that, because we can't say what we really say at the end of that on television. Give them what -- let's edit that just a little bit. Tony, if you only knew what we say at the end of that. This crazy. I can't believe you did this.

HARRIS: Yes, we did.

NGUYEN: Hook 'em, Horns. You know we're going to win today. You're getting hyped up.

HARRIS: You can toss to break now. We got to go.

NGUYEN: No! We've got to stick with our Longhorns!

HARRIS: No, we got to go to break.

NGUYEN: OK. We're going to break, but we'll be back. Hook 'em, Longhorns, the year of the Longhorns!


HARRIS: Held hostage in Iraq, now back home in Britain, peace activist Norman Kember arrived at his home outside London within the past hour. Kember and two other members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams were rescued Thursday after being held for four months.

A story developing out of Africa: the government of Nigeria just announced it will allow Liberia to take its former president, Charles Taylor, into custody. He has been living in exile since being forced out of office in 2003. He has been indicted on war crimes charges.

A Christian convert threatened with execution in Afghanistan could soon be released. An Afghan government source says Abdul Rahman is expected to be released. He faced a possible death sentence for rejecting Islam. The Afghan government discusses the case today.

A preacher's wife is due back in Tennessee today to face a murder charge. Investigators say Mary Winkler has admitted killing her husband, Matthew.

Milwaukee police are making a new appeal to anyone with information about these two boys. Quadrevion Henning and Purvis Parker were last seen Sunday afternoon. Police say they think there are some young witnesses out there and they want them to come forward with information.

NASA is downright giddy about new images sent from a mars orbiter. Super high resolution cameras captured a cratered Martian surface with ravine-like channels on both sides. NASA is researching possible water and live on Mars.


HARRIS: President Bush braces for a tough fight over immigration reform. A crackdown over illegal immigration sets off protests and walkouts across the country this week. A huge demonstration is expected in Los Angeles today.

The president used his weekly radio address to push his proposals for reform. More on that from Kathleen Koch at the White House.

Kathleen, good morning.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony. It's clear from these protests that the debate over immigration has become very, very emotional. President Bush addressed it in his Saturday morning radio address this morning. In that he made another pitch for his guest worker program. What that is, it's a way for non-citizens to enter the U.S., to work legally for a limited period of time and then eventually return home.

The president insisted that this was not tantamount to amnesty, that it would not put those workers on any kind of fast track to citizenship. He urged compromise from senators who start debating immigration reform on Tuesday.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the coming days, the United States Senate plans to consider proposals on immigration reform. This is an emotional debate. America does not have to choose between being a welcoming society and being a lawful society. We can be both at the same time.

As we debate the immigration issue, we must remember, there are hard-working individuals, doing jobs that Americans will not do, who are contributing to the economic vitality of our country.


KOCH: Most members of the Senate Judiciary Committee favor a guest worker program, but that committee has not yet come up with a bill so another measure has been drafted that could instead make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally, would impose new penalties on employers who hire immigrants and would even invest in erecting fences along a third of the southern U.S. border.

Hill watchers believe this measure actually stands a better chance of passing than the Bush plan. The calculation that in an election year getting tough on border security scores higher with voters Tony than showing compassion to illegal immigrants. Back to you.

HARRIS: OK, CNN's Kathleen Koch for us at the White House. Kathleen, thank you.

KOCH: You bet.

NGUYEN: Well, the debate over illegal immigrants has been simmering for a while but it heated up after Congress put it immigration reform back on its to do list. Congress is considering several bills ranging from a guest worker program to a bill passed by the House that makes illegal immigrants felons.

Here to talk about it is Steve Eichler, executive director of the Minuteman Project, a civilian border watch group and Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the organizer of the Thursday's immigration march in Milwaukee. We want to thank you both for being with us today.

STEVE EICHLER, MINUTEMAN PROJECT: Thank you for having us.

NGUYEN: Christine, let me start with you. You organized that march in Milwaukee, brought thousands to the streets. As we saw this past week, protests in Phoenix, Chicago, in Georgia, LA, students walked out yesterday in Los Angeles. More protests are lined up for today. What's the message here?

CHRISTINE NEUMANN-ORTIZ, ACTIVIST, VOCES DE LA FRONTERA: No to 4437 and yes to a pass to citizenship and yes to a pass to equality.

NGUYEN: What a lot of people are taking issue with Steve, I want to bring you in now is the bill sponsored by Representative John Sensenbrenner. We're going to put up some of the details of that for those at home who aren't familiar with it. It calls for tougher border security and enforcement, also makes it a Federal crime for undocumented workers to actually live right here in the U.S. and it penalizes people for helping immigrants.

Now a lot of people have taken issue with that in particular, the church being one. Others have said it makes good Samaritans criminals basically. So my question to you is taking into account this bill, the strength of this bill and what it calls for, is that the only way to curb illegal immigrants coming into this country or is it simply too harsh?

EICHLER: Well, it's a very good start in creating a situation to retard the mass invasion into the United States. Two million people presently are entering the United States illegally and that is a problem that has been brought on by the Federal government that has allowed this issue to fester. And their inaction has created a very difficult situation, not only for Congress, but for the American people.

The president today mentioned that this is a welcoming nation and we also can have the rule of law. We have that now. We're one of the most liberal immigration nations in the world. And I, like the Minuteman Project, believe in legal immigration. It's a fact that millions and millions of people come here and they think they can skirt around the law.

They don't have to make take medicals. They don't have to apply for citizenship. They don't have to learn a little bit of English and I think that's the issue. With Mr. Sensenbrenner and his bill, we have an attempt to be able to secure the borders and I think that's very admirable.

NGUYEN: Well, Christine, let me bring you in here now. There are a lot of issues that Steve just spoke about. I mean do you agree that there is a border crisis and drastic measures do need to be taken and this bill is too harsh in your opinion?

NEUMANN-ORTIZ: It's an insane bill. It's anti-humanitarian, anti-democratic bill and that's why you have millions upon millions of people in the streets. These numbers will only grow. This is a modern day civil rights movement and there is a new form of racism that is being promoted in this country at the highest levels and it's not welcoming.

It is about a new kind of racism with citizen versus immigrant and the reality is that we all can agree that this immigration system is broken. And it's broken because we have a global economy. We have trade agreements that have meant we have opened borders for U.S. businesses, U.S. capital, U.S. goods, but we have very restrictionist policies on labor and also.

So for instance, it's not a surprise that we do have a significant number of undocumented immigrants from China and from Mexico. Why is that? Well, it shouldn't be a coincidence that we have companies that have closed good paying jobs here, many of those union jobs, so they've created unemployment here.

They've gone to those countries, paid miserable poverty wages, dislocated agricultural workers, small business owners and again they're going wherever they can find the cheapest labor, so it's not, it's just action and reaction. We are definitely the consequence of those trade agreements is to bring more immigrants here and all they've done is create a cheap labor pool.

What is the solution? We all believe that any immigration reform has to have an litmus test, a basic litmus test. Is it going to provide citizenship? Is it going to guarantee worker rights protections for all workers which benefits everybody and is it going to unite families?

Congress has broken our immigration system, not just through a very one sided trade agreements, but they also changed the laws in '96 so that families who used to petition for somebody, those people, while they were in the process and that wait can be three to 10 years, were legal.

However, in '96 they changed the laws so that now you have to wait outside of the country while that process is taking place and with waits from three to 10 years or 20 years depending on which country you're from, of course people are forced to now be illegal. So really it's Congress with the power of the pen that has broken our immigration system.

NGUYEN: Well, Steve, do you agree with that?

EICHLER: I disagree with that completely. It's not a broken system. The system works fine. It's a broken will of politicians on Capitol Hill to be able to enforce the law. And this is not a racial issue. It's an issue of law. On our Web site at, we have done a complete analysis of all the bills and it's very clear that our borders can be secure. It has to be the will of the people in Washington, DC to do that. And as regarding doing the work that Americans won't do, I think that's a slap in the face to the U.S. worker. We've got a great working force here in the United States. We have great unions and great people and to say that they are lazy, they won't do work, that is a complete misnomer.

We cannot open up the nation to the complete world. There's what, six billion here? We're just going to open our doors, have no type of immigration policy and just say everybody is welcome, terrorists, people with bombs, disease, that's not right either. There's a responsibility that the Federal government has to the citizens of the United States. And that responsibility is to keep them safe and have an orderly nation.

And for the United States to consider a further protection for those people is right and wholesome. To have an open immigration policy where anybody can come in the United States, bring any type of disease or any briefcase bomb and then to label that racist, it's just absolutely absurd.

NGUYEN: Let me ask you this, Christine. What do you say to the argument that these illegal workers are coming to the U.S. and the taxpayer, the American taxpayer is shouldering the burden?

NEUMANN-ORTIZ: It's not true. First of all, immigrants contribute between $90 billion to $140 billion in taxes through local, state and Federal. And it's common sense, if you're working and of course, why are they here? Because there is a labor market in these low income industries and they're actually pillars of our economy. So they're not going anywhere. It's just under what conditions will they work.

So they are sustaining our economy in key sectors where Americans aren't, largely are not, though they are there, too. So they also have something to benefit by raising the bar in those industries. And the reality, of what I would say is that if you look at the Social Security system, that is really where you can see the contribution.

Immigrants and the government acknowledges this are contributing right now the pool of $376 billion and that grows by billions every year of undocumented immigrants contribution to our Social Security system. We have an aging population. We need a young workforce and the workforce is there, citizen and immigrant and the question is, however, under what conditions will Americans work?

And the reality is that you have one group that has given, as this horrible bill would do, essentially create a caste system in our country and criminalize three billion children. They would be treated now under the law as an aggravated felon. That is the equivalent of a murderer. It's the equivalent of drug and human trafficking. Where are we going?

NGUYEN: Let me stop you right there because obviously there is a problem. We're hearing both sides of the debate here. The president wants to see a guest worker program. Answer this in a yes or no, if you could please, if that going to be the compromise to this, is that the way to solve this? Go, Christine?

NEUMANN-ORTIZ: There has to be a path to citizenship, guest -- McCain-Kennedy is the answer.

NGUYEN: Steve.

EICHLER: Absolutely not. Bill number 1033 which is the McCain bill actually does not allow the U.S. worker to compete with illegal aliens. Illegal aliens will take preferential treatment over the U.S. worker. That needs to be a displacement.

Like in downtown Los Angeles, the black community is being displaced by cheap flesh, cheap importation of people who do not even have a legal status and that is going to spread across the United States and the U.S. worker is going to be completely displaced. And that is going to cause chaos in this nation.

NGUYEN: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. We can go on. There's so much more we can talk about. We appreciate you both coming on the show and speaking very frankly about the issue. Thank you both.

EICHLER: Thank you very much.

HARRIS: And now to Tennessee, the motive in a minister's killing is still a secret but police say they know who did it, his wife. She's due back in Tennessee today to face murder charges. CNN's Rick Sanchez has more from Selmer, Tennessee.


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: Mary Winkler has confessed to the murder of her husband Matthew Winkler, shooting him on March 22, 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.

However, she was nowhere to be found. So police put often 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, later Thursday night that led them to this conclusion.

JOHN MEHR, 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: 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. 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: What's more...

RICKMAN: They don't have 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, MATTHEW WINKLER'S FATHER: 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.


NGUYEN: This is no surprise. He often claws his way up the leader board, but now Tiger Woods faces a different kind of battle. Coming up, we're going to tell you why he may not be focused on golf.


VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, I'm Veronica de la Cruz at the dot com desk. We continue now with our countdown of the most popular stories on We head to London for number six, doctors there are saying PSAS, which stands for persistent sexual arousal syndrome, needs more research. One doctor says rather than being a pleasant sensation, it's embarrassing and very distressing for women. He adds some sufferers have even report being suicidal.

Number five, Aruba police say missing teen Natalee Holloway may not have been killed but instead, may have died from complications involving drugs or alcohol. And number four, a new Pentagon report suggests Iraq may have gotten information from Russia about U.S. troop movements shortly after the 2003 invasion. Russia denies the charge.

And you can get the details online at We'll have the top three stories on our countdown when CNN Saturday morning returns.


NGUYEN: Think of Tiger Woods and first you think great golfer. After that, many may think of his supportive dad Earl. Well right now, it's the dad part that's one of Tiger's biggest challenges. CNN's Larry Smith reports Tiger is playing well in Florida but his heart may be elsewhere.


LARRY SMITH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With two rounds to go, Tiger Woods is within striking distance of the leaders at the players' championship. That's nothing new, but this weekend the world's best golfer is playing with a heavy heart. On Tuesday, Woods left Florida and flew to California to be with his father Earl who is battling cancer.

TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: Just trying to make him understand that I love him dearly, just try to go out there and hopefully make his spirits feel a little bit better. He's a very stubborn man, which is good and he's fighting as hard as he can. And it was good to see. At least he's trying to hang in there, which is a very positive sign.

SMITH: Woods returned for the start of the tournament and was pleased to know his playing partner was Darren Clark who is also dealing with a cancer stricken loved one. Woos said it allowed the two to talk about their respective situations and made his uneven play easier to handle.

WOODS: It puts things in perspective real quick. You hit a bad shot, you want to get upset with yourself and you know you can hit better shots, but in the whole scheme of things, it's just a golf shot.

SMITH: Earl Woods has been the rock upon which Tiger built his success. His dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and has been battling the disease since it returned in 2004. Once a fixture at Tiger's tournaments, Earl has been noticeably absent for over a year. Should his condition worsen, Tiger won't hesitate to put down his clubs even if it means missing the masters in two weeks.

WOODS: There's a chance I may not play for a while, who knows? All depends on how my father is doing.

SMITH: Larry Smith, CNN, Atlanta.


HARRIS: Well the countdown to your top story on the Internet rolls on. Number one when we come back.


DE LA CRUZ: Well, like promised, your dot com countdown continues with the top three stories at We pick back up with number three, Randy Quaid says show me the money. The actor who played a sheep rancher in "Brokeback Mountain" said the film's producers lied to him. He was told it was going to be a low budget art house film when he signed on. The film has made $82 million in North America so far so Quaid has filed a lawsuit.

Number two, she's finally been reunited with her family after 10 years of abuse struggle and survival. Tanya Kach was caught by a school guard while skipping school. She ended up staying with him for 10 years after he brainwashed her into believing that she was stupid and nobody loved her.

And number one, we've been covering this story on CNN all morning. Police in her church said she was the perfect wife and the perfect mother, but now Mary Winkler is on her way back to Tennessee after being captured in Alabama. Police there say she has confessed to killing her husband who was a preacher. Of course you can find all those stories on line at

And go back to the Randy Quaid story. I did a little homework and I found out that SAG low budget is somewhere around $600 a day so he waived his seven figure salary for $600 a day. Do you think this is fair?

HARRIS: It's not fair. He's going to get paid.

NGUYEN: He's saying show me the money. He'll get paid.


HARRIS: We absolutely couldn't resist this. As you know, Betty's belonged Longhorns in the elite eight and have a chance it go on and advance to the final four.

NGUYEN: We all learned in a big way.

HARRIS: In a big way. So they're playing LSU, the LSU tigers later today over at the Georgia Dome, right across street from the CNN Center. So we couldn't insist, we invited to surprise her ...

NGUYEN: Blown away.

HARRIS: ... not only the marching band but the cheerleaders. Take a look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hook 'em longhorns, the year of the longhorns!

DE LA CRUZ: They should have thrown you on top of like the pyramid or something.

NGUYEN: I had no idea. Tony has been teasing me all morning. We are going to get you today and boy did you, in a very good job, Tony.

HARRIS: Got to know your role. Reynolds, got to know your role. And here's the thing. If for some chance, something crazy happens and lightning strikes and everything goes haywire and LSU wins.


HARRIS: We're going to get the big baby here on the show tomorrow.


HARRIS: Thanks, Reynolds.

And much more ahead. We're going to talk with a man in our next hour who took $39 in stamps and got all sorts of free stuff from big companies.

NGUYEN: It is incredible. As you can see, he has his own Web site. We're going to hear so much more about this. It's really pretty incredible. Stay tuned.



© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines