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Candidates Continue Making Appearances; Florida Wildfires; Senator Kennedy Remains in the Hospital; Morehouse Valedictorian

Aired May 18, 2008 - 18:00   ET


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no challenge we cannot meet. There is no destiny we cannot fulfill. That was the bet that I was making 15 months ago, Oregon.
And I am here to report to all 30,000 of you that after traveling through 48 states, after speaking to hundreds of thousands of people, after shaking hundreds of thousands of hands, after kissing hundreds of thousands of babies, I am here to report that my bet has paid off. That my faith has been vindicated. Because everywhere I go, people are saying we want something new. We're ready to turn the page. We're ready to right a new chapter in American history. And this is the message that Oregon is going to send on Tuesday. We are tired of business as usual. And we are going to change America.

CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

OBAMA: Now, I know, though, that this election has taken a long time. There are babies that have been born and are now walking and talking since we started this election. There are some of you that expressed concern and worry that maybe we're not going to be able to bring the party together after its over with.

Now I just want everybody to understand that Senator Clinton and I have had a terrific contest. She's been a formidable candidate. And she has been a formidable candidate. She has been smart and tough and determined and she has worked as hard as she can. And she has run an extraordinary campaign. It's been an extraordinary campaign, but -- and look. We have real differences on certain issues.

But whatever differences exist between myself and Senator Clinton pale in comparison to the other side. Because we know that no matter what else happens, when we go to the polling place in November, the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot.

The name of my cousin, Dick Cheney, will not be on the ballot. That was really embarrassing when that news broke.

But, that doesn't mean that George Bush's policies won't be on the ballot. I admire John McCain's service to our country. He is a genuine American hero and he deserves our respect and admiration for that. But John McCain has decided to run for George Bush's third term. We cannot afford to have George Bush and his ideas still in the White House after this election.

We can't afford Katrina incompetence. We can't afford warantless wiretaps. We can't afford tax policies that are skewed toward the wealthiest Americans while ordinary Americans are struggling.

John McCain -- John McCain has said that he is willing to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes. He says, we might have a presence there for 100 years. Now, I don't know about you, but, I don't think that's a way to make America safe. I don't think having our troops on two or three or four or five rotations is a way to make America safe.

I don't think that spending a trillion dollars on an occupation in the middle of the Middle East is somehow going to make us safe. I think it's going to be a recruitment tool for terrorists. I think it will cause more problems for us over the long term. That's why I opposed this war in 2002. I'll bring it to an end in 2009. There's going to be a real difference in November and Democrats will be unified.

John McCain was quoted the other day saying he looked over George Bush's economic policies and he thought that we had made great progress. Now, I don't know who he was talking to. I know he wasn't talking to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already lost their jobs since the beginning of this year. I know he wasn't talking to union workers like UFCW and SEIU and UNITE-HERE who have seen their jobs being shipped overseas and have lost not just their jobs, but their benefits, their health care, their pensions. Their way of life. He's not talking to them.

He's not talking to the millions of people who are at risk - AFSCME, AFSCME Oregon. He's not talking to the millions of people who are at risk of losing their homes because of unscrupulous mortgage lenders. He's not talking to the millions of young people who are trying to figure out how they are going to finance a college education. You don't think we made great progress over the last seven and a half years. I don't think we've made great progress over the last seven and a half years. And that's why we can't afford four more years of George W. Bush's ideas in the White House whether it's John McCain or anybody else. We have to unite in November and I'm confident we will be.

But, if we're honest with ourselves -- I love you back.

But, Portland, if we are honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge the problems we face are not just the problem of one man or one party. Because many of the challenges we face, we've been talking about for decades. We've been talking about health care reform for decades now. Through Democrat and Republican administrations. And yet, year after year, nothing changes. Why is that?

Because the drug and the insurance companies spent a billion dollars over the last 10 years preventing reform through lobbying and campaign contributions. So if we're going to bring about universal health care that both myself and Senator Clinton have talked about, we are going to change how business is done in Washington. Otherwise, you're going to tinker around the edges but ordinary families are going to struggle.

The same is true on energy. Look at this beautiful day here in Oregon. We've been hearing for year that is unless we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, unless we control the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, that we are threatening this fragile planet of ours. We want to pass this on to our children. I want my daughters, that you just saw, to be able to bring their children and look at this gorgeous scene. I want them to be able to enjoy Oregon the same way all of you enjoy Oregon.

But we're not going to be able to do it if we have the oil companies setting the agenda for energy policy. I mean, we've been talking about energy since 1970s. And yet the only thing that's changed is we actually import more oil from foreign countries. Many of the hostile. ExxonMobil made $11 billion three consecutive quarters and you're paying $3.75 at the pump.

And when George Bush decided to formulate energy policy, he assigned it to Dick Cheney and Cheney met with the environmental groups once, he met with the renewable energy groups once and he met with the oil and gas companies 40 times.

So is it any wonder, then, that the laws coming out of energy are very good for ExxonMobil, they are not so good for you. We cannot change our energy policy unless we change how business is done in Washington. And that has been at the heart of this campaign.

At the beginning of this campaign, we said a conventional textbook Washington campaign just won't do. Reading polls because we're worried about what the Republicans will say about us. That just won't do. Trying to calibrate and calculate every singe step that you take just won't do.

The Democratic Party, the party of Jefferson and Jackson, the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy has always been at its best when we led not with calculation but with conviction, not with polls but with principles. When we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose, a higher purpose.

That is the kind of party America needs us to be right now. A party that doesn't just focus on how to win, but why we should. That's why I'm running for president of the United States. That's why you are here today, to change politics fundamentally so we can start solving problems for future generations.

Now, there are two specific things that we're going to have to do. Number one. We have to drive out the special interests that are controlling Washington.

You know, John McCain now has had to get rid of five of his top advisors because they are all lobbying, many of them, for foreign governments. That's because he practices the same kind of politics that we've grown accustomed to in Washington. When I decided to run this campaign, the first thing we said was we're not going to take money from PACs, we're not going to take money from federal registered lobbyists because we want to be accountable to the American people.

And that's why you can have some confidence. We can tell the lobbyists in Washington their days of setting the agenda are over. They have not funded my campaign, they will they run our White House and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president of the United States of America.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Barack Obama, in a park in Portland with 50,000 people. It is being described as one of the largest crowds to date that has heard Obama in an open air environment like he's there now. That's according to our producers. Portland is a state that's supposed to go to Obama. It's Tuesday, the primary. Kentucky, the same day. And that one is supposed to be leaning for Senator Hillary Clinton. We'll be watching it for you here.

In fact, Jim Acosta is already doing that. He's there in Portland now. That's quite a crowd you have behind you now, Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a big crowd, Rick.

And they have been gathering all day. And I'm sure it's not just because they had the local band the Decembrists warming up this crowd for Barack Obama.

He arrived just a short while ago with his wife and daughters. And they've had sort of a laid back campaign weekend. I think, by my count, they have had two ice cream stops. Which is not a bad idea when you have your daughters out on the campaign trail.

But you may have noticed, as Barack Obama has been talking over the last several minutes that the senator from Illinois is striking a conciliatory tone. He talked about how everybody understands they have had a terrific contest, he says and that there are real differences between he and Senator Clinton, but he described her campaign is an extraordinary campaign. That she ran an extraordinary campaign.

So you can hear that there is some fence-mending going on this weekend, not just on the part of Barack Obama, but Hillary Clinton. She's also been doing this throughout the weekend and the last several days. She was campaigning earlier today in Kentucky where she talked about, not the differences between herself and Barack Obama, but the challenges that lie ahead, should they hope, a Democrat take the Oval Office.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NY: It's not going to be easy, but I think the rest of the world wants us, again, to be a leader on behalf of our common values and our common future. And what's so sad is you can't be a leader if no one is following. We have to begin to rebuild those relationships and build those coalitions and alliances again. And it must begin by ending the war in Iraq and bringing troops home quickly and responsibly as possible.


ACOSTA: And Rick, another indication as to where this campaign is heading, earlier today Barack Obama was taking questions from reporters. One of the reports asked a question, do you think Senator John McCain has received the level of scrutiny that you have? Directing the question to Senator Obama, the response from the senator from Illinois, no, he doesn't think so. And he's hoping that that will happen over the next several months as the general election campaign appears to be getting started. Rick?

SANCHEZ: What's interesting, Jim, if you ask that same question of Hillary Clinton. If you ask that of John McCain, you'd get similar answers. They all seem to think they are the only ones taking the heat. I guess it all has to do with perspective. Jim, here is what we're going to do. Hope to get back with you. We'll stay on top of the story. We'll get all the reaction of what's going on in Portland, Oregon. And also we'll continue to work the angle from Kentucky, where Senator Clinton, we should add, is supposed to do very well on Tuesday.

Jim Acosta doing yeoman's work out there in Oregon. Thanks, Jim.

Now let's go to Florida. En fuego. Large chunks of the state are burning bad. Separate fires from the panhandle, see it there down all the way through the Treasure Coast all the way down to the Florida Everglades in Miami-Dade County. Forty thousand acres of brush and swampland are actively on fire as we speak. Most of it inside Everglades National Park. It's thick, it's blowing smoke, it's shutting down stretches of interstates in parts of Florida all the way from Brevard County on south under a blanket of sooty, smelly haze.

And let me tell you, it's a real difficult thing to have to live through in the area around South Florida, where it's already hot and high humidity levels as well.

Let's hook up now with Shomari Stone. He's with our affiliate WFOR. He's on the phone in Miami-Dade County. We were being told earlier today, Shamari, that there are actual pieces of ash are floating around in the air. And you see them in the area around Miami proper. Is that true?

SHOMARI STONE, WFOR CORRESPONDENT (on phone): Yes, it is. When I woke up this morning, I saw ash outside my house. Right now, this fire is only 20 percent contained and moving in a northerly direction. But the good news is people are not in any danger, the fire is not spreading to populated areas in Miami-Dade and Broward County, but Rick, as you sated, the smoke is a big concern.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, it's not the fire. The fire in and of itself is something that always happens naturally in Florida Everglades anyway. What is a concern is what could happen with A, traffic and B, people's respiratory systems.

STONE: That's right. Health officials are continuing to urge people to stay indoors. In fact I just talked to a Division of Forestry official roughly three minutes ago and she told me she wants people to stay indoors to avoid the potential dangers of the smoke, especially if you have respiratory ailments. It's making some people sick. I interviewed a gentleman who told me that he feels nausea and another told me he has a bunch of headaches.

What is interesting is that Broward General Medical Center officials are seeing a five to 10 percent increase in patients. That's the hospital in Broward County. They are suffering from smoke inhalation, compared to last week, they are seeing a five to 10 percent increase.

SANCHEZ: You know, hey, thanks so much, Shomari. Put that map up again, if you would, Claude. I'm from that area so I can tell you. Here's the problem. See that little fire that's there next to West Palm Beach? That's the Florida Everglades. That's just west of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. If the wind is blowing from the Gulf of Mexico to the left of your screen toward the Atlantic Ocean, that means all that smoke is going to hit all those people out there.

So the question is, which way is the wind going? Jacqui Jeras, checking in on this with us. Jacqui, that's the real problem with those people, it's not so much the fire, it's the smoke, right?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, it burns your throat. You can smell it in your hair and your clothes. The ashes are on top of people's cars. It's certainly unpleasant. You really can't run from it, wherever you go. Things have dispersed a little bit today throughout the day but late tonight and early tomorrow morning, when the winds calm down, the air becomes more stagnant and that smoke is going to become a lot thicker.

And now just to give you an idea, this is a map from NOAA. And these are the hot spots, all these little red dots where things are burning. But you can see the winds coming in from a southwesterly direction and sending that smoke out miles and miles. And look at that. They can smell this possibly and certainly see some of the impacts of this all the way over in the Bahamas. So this is affecting a lot of people today.

Showers and thundershowers across northern parts of Florida trying to get developing here in South Florida. There you can see the winds in the southwest. Kind of in the teens. That's sustained but we can gusts up to 20-miles-per-hour. And so with those strong winds and lower humidity, red flag warnings have been issued from West Palm Beach extending down through Miami-Dade County. Isolated thunderstorms are expected again tomorrow. But look at this. This is a statewide issue, Rick.

Not just South Florida but this goes all the way up toward Apalachicola. You've got very dry conditions for about the southern half of the state. And we're expecting real dry conditions and hot again for the middle of the week.

SANCHEZ: Jacqui Jeras you're going to be following it all night long. We'll get an update from you as well. Tonight at 10:00 we're going to do some special reports on this.

Now this, a hospital update on the senior senator from Massachusetts. This parade of Kennedy family members and well wishers. We've got some of the pictures there as you can see at Massachusetts General Hospital visiting the bedside of Senator Ted Kennedy. There you see Caroline. The latest from his physicians now, the 76 year old senator is not in danger, but not out of the woods either. Again, Senator Ted Kennedy, suffering a seizure yesterday.

Straight to Boston, CNN's Dan Lothian picking this up for us. Dan, what do we know?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I communicated with the family spokesperson a short time ago and I was told that the senator was watching the Celtics game so that is some good news. He is obviously feeling a bit better.

And I also heard that he has been surrounded by many family members including Joe Kennedy, his nephew. They were there visiting and left a short time ago from the hospital. The senator has also been reaching out to his colleagues out on Capitol Hill. Senator Obama spoke to him by phone earlier this morning and Obama out on the campaign trail in Oregon said that the senator sounded great. He sounded like his old self. That everyone seems to be optimistic, but obviously there are a lot of concerns still. Because everyone wants to know what caused those seizures.

Still, we have not been able to get any information as to those test results. Doctors were conducting numerous tests. Doing that over the next couple of days to find out exactly what caused the seizure and to come up with some kind of correction for those seizures. That's the very latest here from the hospital. Back to you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Dan Lothian, we'll be checking in with you throughout the night. We thank you so much.

We've just now been getting in some never before seen pictures. These are being released by the Chinese government. State run media, we should add. They are dramatic rescue missions. This is a special. Look at that hand. Did you see that hand? It's from a special camera that goes inside some the destruction and can see in places where no one has been able to see before. And they are seeing things that are down right alarming and somewhat scary as well.

We can also tell you this, we have some pictures, President Hu has been visiting displaced persons in these camps. It's the first time out among the people, as it were, meeting survivors. Actual pictures of him comforting children. Not something you normally see. There he is, on the right. It's not something you normally see from leaders in China. The Chinese government is now allowing the world to see the unusual and unprecedented videos and images from the quake zone. Look at that little boy crying.

China's official reported death toll rose Sunday to 32,477. Today, one week since the massive earthquake. Rescuers pulled at least 64 people alive from the wreckage of that collapsed building. We'll be staying on top of that story, as we get more videos we'll be sharing them with you as well.

One more natural disaster of note. This one from cyclone-ravaged Myanmar. Word today that the generals who serve as the country's heads of states, visited people in the hardest hit coastal areas. Of course we can't independent verify that since journalists aren't allowed into the city.

It's been two weeks now since the equivalent of a Cat 3 hurricane slammed Myanmar's low-lying cost. I know I mispronounced that earlier and said Myanmar.

The UN predicts the eventual death toll will be somewhere above 100,000. And it accuses the military rulers of lax and uncaring response thus far. We know you may want to help. So here you go. Go to We've got a special page on the devastation in Myanmar and in China as well, complete with links to aid agencies offering help for the region.

It's a chance for you to impact your world through CNN.

Rising gas prices, higher food costs, needy people. Even needier. The economy is putting the breaks on Meals on Wheels.


CALLER: I'm scared to even leave out my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) house.

DISPATCH: OK. Ma'am, be there as soon as possible.

I really just don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what happens to you.


SANCHEZ: What? How could this happen? A desperate cry for help seems to fall on deaf ears. Coming up, you'll hear the story.


SANCHEZ: Have you noticed the price of gas recently? I did. In fact on my way into work today. Three seventy five a gallon is what I saw across Atlanta. There's an all new record, we understand. So, if 3.75 is what I put into my tank, that would be a bargain. A bargain! Because it's $3.79 on average across the country right now. Absolutely having an impact on every single one of us, no doubt. But in some ways, you may not realize. CNN's Kathleen Koch now taking a look at how soaring gas prices could put the brakes on the seniors getting their much needed hot meals.



KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Baltimore, Maryland retirees Tom and Harriet Carter delivering food and friendship.

TOM CARTER, MEELS ON WHEELS: Meals on Wheels, how are you today?

Some of these people don't get to see anyone unless you come in contact with them, bring them food at all. It's so rewarding.

KOCH: But volunteers have to pay for their own gas. And soaring prices at the pump have forced the Carters to cut back to just one day a week.

T. CARTER: I would be a standby on other days. I can't do it all the time with gasoline continuing to rise, on a daily basis almost. MICHAEL WHITE, MEALS ON WHEELS: I have a thousand things going on now, sir.

KOCH: Back at the central Maryland headquarters for Meals on Wheels procurement manager Michael White is haggling over prices.

WHITE: Twenty-two eighteen, is that natural juice?

KOCH: Hi oil prices have pushed the cost of Styrofoam papers and cups up 25 percent. Beef and chicken up 16 cents a pound. Milk, a staple, is constantly on the rise.

WHITE: They are averaging two cent as month increase. Just do the math. It's just killing us.

KOCH (on camera): Many of the 5,000 Meals on Wheels programs around the country had to scale back. Four in 10 now have waiting lists, the largest percentage ever. And the number is growing.

(voice-over0: Baltimore, one of the largest programs in the country may have to reduce services too.

Does that mean people go hungry?

TOM GRAZIO, MEALS ON WHEELS: It means people go hungry, yes, ma'am. And the notion of me having to decide who gets to eat today because we have volunteers on one route versus another is quite disconcerting.

KOCH: So Meals on Wheels is asking for do nations and trying to recruit more volunteers like the Carters.

T. CARTER: Without volunteers, you have no ...

H. CARTER: No program.

T. CARTERS: Meals on Wheels.

H. CARTER: You have no program.

KOCH: Meanwhile, the 3,000 served by the program worry about being cut off.

BILL HOWES, MEALS ON WHEELS CLIENT: It would be very disappointing.

KOCH: And so very many do.

Kathleen Koch, CNN, Baltimore.


SANCHEZ: Take a look at this video. This driver is getting beaten up, but he is also continuing to drive his bus. We'll tell you why as he explains it. See the bus moving right there? We'll have that for you. Also a woman calls 911 for help and gets ignored. Even made fun of. A story you'll have to hear to believe.'


SANCHEZ: Would you hit the gas and start driving if something like this was happening to you? You just start getting beat up out of nowhere? This Milwaukee bus driver did just that after this brutal and pointless thing happened. Driver Earl, he doesn't want us to use his last name, was at a routine stop when a man jumped on the bus and started pummeling him. Earl drove a couple more blocks thinking there was a cop nearby. He said he was thinking of his passengers safety. His attacker grabbed the wheel, drove the bus into a tree and ran off.

EARL, MILWAUKEE BUS DRIVER: I was shaken up by it. But I'm going to get back up in the saddle. I enjoy my job.

SANCHEZ: Milwaukee police say they are still looking for Earl's attacker. Mr. Red there.

I don't give a -- you fill in the blank. That's what he said. You probably heard that phrase uttered countless times and countless ways, but maybe never this way, from a 911 operator? This happens in Nashville, Tennessee. Phil Williams from our affiliate WF - pardon me, WTVF has one woman's harrowing story.


SHEILA JONES, CALLED 911: I was looking out the window for him and I don't see him.

PHIL WILLIAMS, WTVF CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is how her call for help began.

JONES: Boom, he hits the door. And he's coming through fast. I'm like this, no, no, no stop. What are you doing? You didn't call.

WILLIAMS: It was an angry ex-boyfriend who hard barged into her house.

JONES: Right here is when bam he got me.

WILLIAMS: At Metro Nashville's 911 center, her first call is recorded at 2:08 p.m.

JONES: Get the police here now. My life is threatened. Please God. Please God. Please God. Please God. Get me police over here now. He's got a knife on me. My life threatened.

I felt danger, I felt threatened. I felt fear. I felt - it was like I was seeing myself being dead that day.

WILLIAMS: And you wanted help.

JONES: And I wanted help.

WILLIAMS: Get out of my house.

JONES: For Sheila, hearing that call obtained by News Channel 5 Investigates resurrects the painful emotions of that day. WILLIAMS: Get out of my house.

911: Is he a boyfriend?

JONES: He's ex. Get out of my house. Get outside now. He just went outside.

WILLIAMS: You're emotional, you're desperate, you call for help. Then what happened?

JONES: Nothing.

He told me look out because I ain't going to see him when he comes.

WILLIAMS: (Inaudible) get this. Sheila's 911 ordeal drags on for almost three hours through call after call.

JONES: They keep saying they en route, they en route, but they ain't came. It's been a long time and he keeps calling me, threatening me.

911: All right. I see where you've called and I'm going to update them and let them know what you've told me, OK?

JONES: Yes, ma'am.

That one call and said they were en route to you and a more important call came up so they diverted to that call. I'm saying, a knife, my life, what kind of call did they get? Was someone actually dead then?

WILLIAMS (on camera): So where was the officer? Well, our investigation shows he was out helping another officer on a traffic stop.

JONES: A traffic stop? And never showed up.

WILLIAMS (voice-over): All while Sheila was praying for somebody, anybody to help her.

JONES: It was so ugly. Just sitting in there just - it was like it just happened. That's how I feel right now, like it just happened right now.

911: Is this Sheila Jones?


WILLIAMS: Almost two and a half hours later Sheila calls again. This time she is told there is no one assigned to answer her call.

JONES: Ain't no one coming out here?

911: Yes ma'am. As soon as the sergeant gets an officer available he's going to send someone out there.

JONES: What do you want him to kill me so you can put yellow tape around me and say we got there just for the death? Is that it? I don't understand.

It felt like I was a test person, a test subject. We're going to see how long before he goes back and actually kills her. That's what I felt like.

WILLIAMS: And Sheila had not heard what we had heard. What the 911 call taker says after she hangs up.

JONES: I'm scared to even leave out of my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) house.

911: OK, ma'am. I updated the call. We'll get somebody there as soon as possible.

I really just don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what happens to you.

JONES: The people they've got answering these phones. He actually said that?

WILLIAMS: He actually said that.

911: I really just don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what happens to you.

JONES: You know right now I'm scared to death because if anything happened to me now I can depend on them. Who do I put - who do I put - what do I do?


SANCHEZ: What a story.

Phil Williams from our Nashville affiliate WTVF. We've learned, by the way, that that 911 operator that uttered that very profane comment has been fired.

Are there more bodies out there? Just how many people died at the hands of Charles Manson and his clan? We may soon find out.

Also, he is the first white valedictorian from Morehouse. A historically black college. I talk with Josh Packwood about his new title. We'll hear from him as well.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Say the name Charles Manson and sooner or later you're going to hear about the hidden graves of Death Valley. Folklore to some, Manson's unaccounted for victims to others. Next week we may finally learn what happened at the Barca Ranch. Here is the layout. This is where the Manson family hid out after the Helter Skelter murders, a killing rampage so gruesome people all over the country were afraid to leave their homes.

Tuesday forensic experts are going to return to the ranch with one goal in mind. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES MANSON, CONVICTED MURDERER: Do I look like I'm guilty about something? Do I look like I have remorse or fear about anything?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Charles Manson, cult leader, convict. It's been almost 40 years since Helter Skelter became synonymous with a gruesome killing spree whose victims included actress Sharon Tate and her unborn baby. Could it be that Manson had other victims as well?

Paul Dostie, a California police detective says yes and told CNN's Ted Rowlands that he knows where bodies are buried.

PAUL DOSTIE, POLICE DETECTIVE: It seems very viable. I would say we have a tremendous amount of probable cause to look.

SANCHEZ: And Dostie has been looking, searching. The desolate terrain around Barca Ranch, Manson's Death Valley hideout where the cult leader was captured by police hiding in a bathroom.

DOSTIE: Charlie was hiding in the cabinet right here.

SANCHEZ: That was August 16, 1969. Yet all these years Dostie says something else had been hiding on the property. Three to five bodies, long rumored to be buried at Barca Ranch. Cadaver dogs and soil taste (ph) indicate the rumors just may be right.

Emmett Harder says Manson cult members told him all about it after Manson's trial. He was mining for gold near Barca Ranch in the late 1960s and says he often spoke with Manson, Charlie "Tex" Watson and several other clan members.

EMMETT HARDER, KNEW MANSON CLAN: This one girl didn't get along with Manson or Watson at all. And they took her for a walk and they came back in a short distance and we never saw her again.

SANCHEZ: Yet no one associated with Manson was ever reported missing to police. We sent letters to Manson and his first lieutenant, Tex Watson, asking if bodies were buried at the ranch. Manson didn't respond, Watson did saying, "No one was killed while I was in the desert. But I don't know what took place after I left."

As for Manson, he's not eligible for parole for four years.


SANCHEZ (on camera): Yeah, we should tell you, by the way, his next parole comes up in 2012 and his followers' parole hearings are much sooner and that's why it would be important if they did find those bodies so they can actuate the case.

So let's fly in over this house. You see that little space down there? Bottom left. That is - move the "developing story" thing. That is the bathroom. That is where they found Charles Manson. Now go just to the left as you look at that house on the screen. That's one of places that they're going to be looking. Now go just above the house, or actually, behind the house, toward the hill, right adjacent to the home. That's the other place they're going to be digging and then over toward the hill in a little more remote area, that's the third place where they are going to be digging as well.

The thing is if there really is a crime scene out there, it is at least 40 years old. Former FBI special agent Don Clark joins us now from Houston. Don, thanks so much for joining us.

How do you find something that's been down there for 40 years and does it diminish the changes that you will?

DON CLARK, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, I wouldn't say that it diminishes the chances that you will, Rick. We have done so many things scientifically now, the law enforcement community and scientific community, to be able to address these types of issues and there are things out there that law enforcement can use to really try to identify human remains some places or another.

So I suspect that all of that type of information will be used to try to see if they can locate a body.

SANCHEZ: If they're really there, why wouldn't they have turned up sooner?

CLARK: Well, if they're really there and they haven't turned up sooner, perhaps no one had really directed themselves to that area. Keep in mind that recently, now, all of these things are coming out about other people being buried there, notwithstanding that there are talks about this even years ago that there may have been bodies there but today you now have the scientific technology to say, look, can we go back in there and really find these people and not only find them on that ranch but be able to connect them with what they've done and what they've been able to find out about Charles Manson over all of these years.

SANCHEZ: What you have read of this case, taking aside your 40 years as an expert with the FBI, do you believe that Charles Manson did in fact kill other people and that they may be buried out there in that desert?

CLARK: Well, it's - from an investigative perspective, it's not so much a what you believe, it's kind of what the evidence tends to point you to. And I must say from the things that I have been able to say, it is very likely that there could be other people out there because I also know, Rick, from my experience, is that people who involve themselves in the type of activity against humanity that Charles Manson did, they don't usually stop at just one or two but for some reason or another they have a reason to continue. And having the layout that he did, it is possible that there are others there.

SANCHEZ: Don Clark, thanks so much.

We'll keep up with this. If there's any news about this coming up this week we'll be reaching back out to you and we'll have another conversation about it.

CLARK: You got it, Rick, look forward to it.

SANCHEZ: Thanks again, Don.

Some mixed reaction at Morehouse as the historically black college names its very first white valedictorian. Josh Packwood, there he is with a tall guy. And hear how life has changed for this young man after gaining his new title. I'm going to sit down and talk to him.


SANCHEZ: Now here's an interview I really want you to see. Never in its 141 year history has Morehouse College, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many other prominent African Americans, seen a white valedictorian. Really, a white student, but a valedictorian, that is until now.

I spoke to this young man. His name is Joshua Packwood. I wanted to know how he ended up in a historically black college in the first place, so I asked him.


SANCHEZ: You're a white guy, right?


SANCHEZ: You're going to a historic black university?



PACKWOOD: I mean for many reasons but I guess the few that really stand out to me were in particular gaining a different perspective on issues and on just a different philosophy of life, I suppose.

SANCHEZ: You can get a lot of different educations going to different schools.

PACKWOOD: Absolutely right.

SANCHEZ: What is it about a historically black university that you feel would do something different for you?

PACKWOOD: Absolutely, for me, Morehouse in particular I felt would provide kind of a never ending stream of motivation and inspiration in terms of the students. This institution has survived since 1867, formed soon after the Civil War, gone through numerous trials and tribulations yet has stood strong and produced amazing world leaders.

SANCHEZ: I could say the same thing about Harvard. I could say the same thing about the University of Georgia. I could say the same thing about a lot of schools. You could have gone through a lot of schools that are not historic black and gotten the same thing. So convince me what it is about this school that really attracted you because I'm not buying your argument so far.

PACKWOOD: Well, I don't think you can say the same thing about Harvard, because quite frankly, Harvard has a s300 year legacy, a $25 billion endowment. They should be producing world leaders. We have $140 million endowment, we are a private, small, all male black school in the South so I don't think it was a good comparison.

SANCHEZ: I love hearing you - that's right. There's a little gumption there, isn't there?

PACKWOOD: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: A little attitude about this for you.

PACKWOOD: There is. There really is. Because I really do think Morehouse is a special place and I think the students there have come there with a mission and that mission is what really drew me to the school.

SANCHEZ: What do you now feel and know about African Americans that perhaps others don't know about maybe you didn't know before?

PACKWOOD: How diverse African Americans are. How diverse the people of the African Diaspora are. I've been absolutely amazed by the diversity of beliefs, the diversity of religions at my school. And many people would look at my school and they'd say it's all black, it's all male. How diverse could you be? That's a homogenous group.

And yet it's not. I've been at Morehouse for four years yet I still can't give you the definition of black. I still can't sum up what black culture is. So even after four years of what many people would term as an immersive experience, I still can't give you some clean definition, clean-cut way of looking at it.

SANCHEZ: Most blacks would say the same thing about themselves ...

PACKWOOD: Absolutely. As whites would say - what is the white experience?


PACKWOOD: I'm sure you can't tell it. I can't tell it.

SANCHEZ: What about an African American who would say this, Morehouse is one of the few great things we African Americans have and here comes this white guy, goes to our school and he ends up being the valedictorian instead of one of our brothers?

PACKWOOD: Well, first off I think any member of my graduating class would say that I am their brother. And I am proud to call every single one of them my brother. But the beautiful thing about Morehouse is that it's not about race, it's really not, it's about mission. Now that mission came out of the issue of race. It came out of the problem of race, of the color line that was created in our country and that's what that mission was born out of. So it's absolutely - race is a central aspect but it is not the defining aspect of Morehouse. It's about producing servant-leaders. My experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

SANCHEZ: Is this country still prejudiced?


SANCHEZ: Does it still have a race problem?

PACKWOOD: It does.

SANCHEZ: Racism?


SANCHEZ: Good interview, thanks.



SANCHEZ: Interesting guy. I did this just before stepping on and sharing this newscast with you.

Here is another story. John McCain is taking a break from the campaign trail and hitting the comedy circuit and he is poking some fun at himself and the Democrats. Quite good at it, by the way. We're going to let him deliver the punch line.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. Here is a treat for you. John McCain last night on "Saturday Night Live."


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to give you this piece of advice. I want to give you this piece of advice. Democrats, I have to urge you, do not, under any circumstances, pick a candidate too soon.

SETH MEYERS, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": So you don't think Hillary should drop out?

MCCAIN: Absolutely not.


MEYERS: Cool it.

POEHLER: You cool it.

MCCAIN: That's right. Fight amongst yourselves.


SANCHEZ: Earlier in the show McCain poked fun at himself and his age. He mentioned his, quote, "great, great, great, great grandchildren, the youngest of whom are nearing retirement.

Quite good at it, by the way. Thanks so much for being with us. We'll be looking for you tonight again right here at 10:00 p. A special report on some of the fires in Florida as well. We'll see you. Good night.