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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Kidnapped Girl Found Alive 18 Years Later; Nation Mourns Senator Ted Kennedy; New Orleans Four Years After Hurricane Katrina
Aired August 27, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening from New Orleans.
We're at Musicians' Village, surrounded by volunteers for Habitat For Humanity, New Orleans Habitat, and as well as AmeriCorps during Katrina. Their good work goes on. And we're here to report it four years after the storm.
We're also here to bring you a less welcomed story to light. We come to you, as well, as the nation remembers Senator Edward Kennedy, a live picture tonight of the casket bearing his body now reposing at the Kennedy Library, which looks out on to the sea he so dearly loved.
We begin, however, tonight with breaking news, a story that is both miraculous and at the same time deeply horrifying and includes a bizarre jailhouse interview with the man -- of creating that horror. This was Jaycee Dugard in 1991, the year she was abducted, for all anyone believed, never to be seen again alive.
This was the latest computer-assisted picture of how she might have looked today, 18 years later. The miracle tonight, the sketch is no longer necessary. A 29-year-old woman turned up yesterday at a San Francisco parole office. The horror? She was there with a convicted sex offender and her two children, the oldest of which would have been born when she was only 14 or 15.
Her story of captivity is just emerging right now, the rest of her life, thankfully, just now beginning.
Randi Kaye has the details.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Until now, Jaycee Lee Dugard had not been seen since June 1991. She was grabbed as she walked to her bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California. Her stepfather, on the driveway, saw his little girl, blonde, blue-eyed, all dressed in pink disappear into a strange car.
(on camera): What do you remember about the day that Jaycee disappeared?
CARL PROBYN, STEPFATHER OF JAYCEE LEE DUGARD: The minute I saw that door fly open, I was trying to jump on my mountain bike and trying to get to her. My neighbor was out front watering. So, I told her, call 911. They had a two-minute head start. KAYE (voice-over): Those two minutes turned into nearly two decades. There were searches, missing flyers, and reward money. Nothing brought Jaycee back, not even her mother's plea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 1991)
TERRY PROBYN, MOTHER OF JAYCEE DUGARD: Jaycee, if you hear mommy, I love you, and I want you to come home tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Jaycee finally did come home -- yesterday, when she suddenly walked into a police station outside San Francisco with her alleged kidnappers and told officers who she was.
C. PROBYN: My wildest dreams after 18 years. I mean, this is like a -- the total package, like winning the lotto.
KAYE: Early this morning, Jaycee's stepfather got the call he's been waiting for from Jaycee's mom. They are now separated.
C. PROBYN: She goes, "Are you sitting down?"
And I said, "Yeah."
And she goes:"They found Jaycee." And she paused for a few seconds. She goes, "She's alive."
So, we both cried for about 10 minutes, before we could talk.
KAYE: Jaycee's accused kidnappers, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, are in custody, charges expected tomorrow.
(on camera): Here's how it all unfolded. On Tuesday, a security guard at the U.C. Berkeley campus noticed Mr. Garrido handing out flyers with two young children. A background showed he was a convicted sex offender on parole. When questioned by his parole officer yesterday with his wife, the two children and a woman he called Alyssa at his side, it turned out Alyssa was Jaycee Dugard.
Authorities say he admitted kidnapping her all those years ago and fathering two children with her.
(voice-over): Even though parole officers had visited Garrido's house over the years, nobody ever spotted Jaycee Dugard. Why not?
FRED KOLLAR, EL DORADO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, UNDERSHERIFF: There was a secondary backyard that is screened from view from literally all around, only accessed through a very small, narrow tarp. Her and the two children were living in a series of sheds. There was one shed entirely sound-proofed, could only be opened from the outside.
KAYE: Phillip Garrido served time for kidnapping and rape in Nevada. Out on parole, he wears a GPS tracking device. The children he fathered now with their father, Jaycee. Eleven and 15 years old, police say they have never been to school or to the doctor. Still, they and their mom are free.
C. PROBYN: I'm just so happy. I haven't gone there.
KAYE (on camera): Where is this emotion coming from?
C. PROBYN: Ah, it's years locked up. I'm an old Vietnam vet that is shell-shocked. I mean, how much nerves do I have, that I would have to go through this?
KAYE (voice-over): Tears of joy, after so many years of sadness.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Los Angeles.
COOPER: It is hard to believe, living in a backyard for 18 years, having two children that no one even knew about, never went to school, never saw a doctor. The suspect, Phillip Garrido, is speaking out, though it's hard, at this hour, to imagine why.
Dan Simon has that angle. He's outside the house in Antioch, California -- Dan.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi, Anderson.
As you said, we're outside the house, authorities still searching it. They have been here all day long. We just saw somebody come out carrying two very large bags of evidence.
Meanwhile, we're told that a KCRA reporter, a local affiliate out of Sacramento, NBC affiliate, talked to the suspect, actually, as he was in jail. It was a jailhouse conversation done over the telephone.
And, in that conversation, which we have obtained, you hear Garrido speak. And he's not exactly coherent, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But he repeatedly talks about some documents, documents that he claimed to have handed over to the FBI, that, if you read them, they would contain information that -- quote -- "would pretty much blow the mind of every human being."
Take a listen to that conversation.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PHILLIP GARRIDO, DEFENDANT: Wait until you read that document. I -- my life has been straightened out. Wait until you hear the story of what took place at this -- at this house.
And you're going to be absolutely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place with me in the beginning. But I turned my life completely around. And to -- to be able to understand it, you have to start there.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Dan, does -- does this guy make any comments with his relationship with -- with the victim?
SIMON: He -- he does, Anderson. And it's really quite disturbing when you hear this.
He says that, if you were to have a conversation with the victim -- at least he insinuates this -- that that victim would tell you that the relationship that the two had would basically have been nothing but positive.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GARRIDO: You're going to find the most powerful story coming from the witness, from the victim. You wait. If you -- if you just -- if you take this a step at a time, you are going to fall over backwards. And, in the end you are going to find the most powerful, heartwarming story.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Unbelievable. "Heartwarming story." I mean, this is an 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her home.
It's hard to believe that no one knew he had this hidden compound in his backyard. Was there any suspicion in the neighborhood that this guy was out to lunch?
SIMON: Yes. Well, in fact there was some suspicion.
We talked to a neighbor just a short time ago who said he saw a couple of children living in that backyard. And -- and, a couple of years ago, that neighbor actually called the local sheriff's department, says the sheriff's department came out, had a conversation with Garrido, but the property was never searched. That was basically the end of it.
Another neighbor was also suspicious, because he had some conversations with Garrido. Garrido made -- made a reference, something about mind control. The neighbor himself didn't really understand it, just thought he was a strange person. But I -- I should tell you that everybody blown away by what's happened here today, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, it's simply -- it's impossible to believe. Imagine what this young woman and her family have been through these past 18 years. Dan, appreciate the reporting.
We know others have lived through this kind of nightmare before. In 2002, you will remember, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City. The couple who took Smart held her for nine months before they were arrested and she was reunited with her family.
Elizabeth Smart and her father, Ed Smart, joined me earlier today. Here's the 360 interview.
COOPER: Elizabeth, Ed, thanks so much for being with us.
Elizabeth, from your own experiences, what do you think Jaycee is going through right now?
ELIZABETH SMART, FORMER KIDNAP VICTIM: Well, for me, I felt relief and happiness, and I was just excited to be home and back with the people that I know love me and care for me and want what's best for me.
So, I would think that Jaycee is probably feeling something along those lines as well.
COOPER: And, Ed, from -- from a father's perspective, what was it like getting that call, being told that, you know, after so long, your -- your child is alive?
ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: The end of the nightmare. Just, you know, it was very surreal. The -- the moment of finding that it was really her was just like this one miracle in life that I could have. It just was overwhelming and, you know, just joyful.
COOPER: And, Elizabeth, that -- that reunion obviously incredibly emotional, obviously incredibly joyful. There's got to be a lot of ups and downs with it. Can you -- can you talk a little bit about just what that's like?
ELIZABETH SMART: Well, for me, it was just like overwhelming happiness, because, I mean, I was out of that terrible situation. I was with my family. I was with my friends.
I thought life was just going to resume as back to what it had been before. So, I was just very, very happy. And then, of course, like, I wondered what was going to happen, what my captors were going to be -- where they were going to be kept, what was going to happen to them. I mean, there was certainly some questions I had.
COOPER: What do you think the reunion is -- is like for -- for this young woman, Jaycee, who's been away for -- for so long?
ED SMART: When we were transferred up at the Salt Lake Police Department, one of my biggest concerns was that law enforcement would try to immediately get the full story from Elizabeth.
And I'm -- I'm hopeful that Jaycee will not immediately have to go through that, because, I mean, that's basically reliving the whole nightmare of the time that she was gone. And, you know, now is a time to rejoice, to be happy, to, you know, reconnect as a family. You know, the other will come, and it has to come.
But, you know, right now, it's just a time to live and -- and feel the joy and happiness that life can bring.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: A lot of joy in that family tonight. We will have more with Elizabeth and her father next, as new details in this remarkable and troubling case continue to emerge.
Let us know what you think about all this. A live chat is under way at AC360.com.
Also ahead tonight, Senator's Ted Kennedy's journey home -- the sounds and sights of a very emotional day and a look at what comes next.
COOPER: We will have more with our live interview with Elizabeth Smart coming up.
You're looking at a live picture right now, the Reverend Jesse Jackson viewing the casket of Senator Ted Kennedy.
The people Ted Kennedy represented for nearly half-a-century came to see him today, came to say goodbye, paid their respects, making their way past the casket tonight at the John F. Kennedy Library, a library he tirelessly helped build.
As Tom Foreman reports, his journey here from Hyannis Port took him through the places he loved, past the people who loved him.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ted Kennedy left Hyannis Port for the last time in the hands of a military escort, under the eyes of the family he loved, and in the hearts of the voters he served for nearly half-a-century.
TAMRA DEMALO, PAYING RESPECTS TO SENATOR TED KENNEDY: He just wanted to make the world a better place and make a difference. And I just don't feel as comfortable without him in Congress anymore.
FOREMAN: Tamra Demalo waited hours, like so many along the 70- mile motorcade route, to see the hearse winding through the streets of Boston that the senator knew and where he was known so well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As an African-American woman, I can only honor this man. He -- he didn't back up. He wasn't scared to confront the powers that be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just feel sad, sad, a little overwhelmed.
FOREMAN: The procession passed landmarks named for Kennedy family members, the senator's office, too. At Faneuil Hall, where a movement for independence took shape in the 1700s, the bell rang 47 times, once for each year Ted Kennedy was a U.S. senator.
(BELL RINGING) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wanted to turn out and pay tribute to the senator. He's done so much for organized labor and for -- for all labor, organized or not, you know, for all working people. So, you know, we thought it fitting to come out and stand out today with the procession.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted them to get to see a little bit of this and to see what they meant. It feels like kind of at the end of an era.
FOREMAN: Finally, the hearse arrived at John Kennedy's Presidential Library. Friday, there will be a memorial service. Saturday, President Obama, past presidents, and dozens of his fellow senators will attend a private funeral service at a nearby church.
But, this evening, the Kennedys welcomed the public here, thousands of citizens saying goodbye to a man most never met, but will never forget.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, senior political analyst David Gergen had the privilege of knowing Senator Kennedy. So did John King, as a correspondent, and, before that, as a constituent. John spoke with members of the family today. He and David join us now.
David, a dramatic day, thousands of people lining the streets from Cape Cod to Boston to pay tribute. What -- what -- what did you see today? What stood out?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I was at Hyannis Port, there where the motorcade began, Anderson.
And, as Teddy Kennedy paid farewell to his home and left behind a place, a home, a compound, if you would, that was so meaningful to him in life, I think back to Franklin Roosevelt, how he once said that everything in him grew stronger when he went back to Hyde Park.
And the same thing was true with Teddy Kennedy when he back -- went back to Hyannis Port. And, today, as he left, some 87 members of his family in buses and cars, by the count of the press -- there were people all along the streets, neighbors who turned out with their dogs and their kids and their bikes.
And it was a -- and it was a real sense of neighborhood and losing a neighbor that I think was quite moving, as the motorcade began and now has this next stage in Boston, where John King is.
COOPER: John, you spoke to Senator Kennedy's wife, Vicki, his nephew, RFK Jr. I want to play some of what -- what he said about his uncle. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: I think Teddy ultimately had a wonderful life. And he was -- he was just a naturally buoyant, happy person. And, you know, he -- he felt a pain. He was engaged in his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And, John, what are the -- the events over the next several days? I just -- yes, John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, let me start with the event that is still going on. There are still thousands waiting. The doors are supposed to close in a little more than half-an-hour. But it will not. They will keep it open -- still thousands waiting.
This is the most diverse crowd I have seen in my life, young and old, black and white, brown and Asian, many in wheelchairs or in walkers. And there's coming to pay their final tribute. And they could do that for the rest of the night tonight, until they close the door. There's more time tomorrow.
Then there's an invitation-only Catholic wake, if you will. It will be a -- a memorial service for Senator Kennedy in which the family says it will be a celebration of his life. The funeral mass is on Saturday. The president of the United States will deliver the final eulogy there. But, Anderson, it is the people of Massachusetts and some from outside of Massachusetts, but paying tribute now to the senator who served this state for 47 years.
And one last footnote. You just heard from Robert Kennedy Jr. there. He was the senator's nephew. He is still about 40 yards from me. He has been out here for three hours now, shaking hands and thanking all the people who are still streaming inside to bid Senator Kennedy farewell -- Anderson.
COOPER: David, Vice President Biden said that -- that perhaps the senator's death will be a catalyst to push through health care reform.
Do you see that as a possibility? And, certainly, that's something that -- that some folks would not be comfortable with.
GERGEN: Anderson, as much as his friends would like to see it, right now, I -- I don't.
I think it's -- I think that Senator Kennedy's presence was missed in the last few weeks. I think he -- we would be much closer, as John McCain has said, to a bipartisan agreement had he been there to help negotiate that. And now there are Democrats who will want to rally around.
But I don't see much evidence of Republicans coming around. The divisions in the country remain very deep. Town halls just in the last couple days have continued to be highly contentious. I -- and I -- I do think there's a window for President Obama to rally Democrats. And -- and he can begin doing that a little bit in his -- in his eulogy on Saturday. But, most importantly, when President Obama comes back to Washington, he's got a small window to rally Democrats in the name of Teddy Kennedy. And maybe he can move it.
But I don't see the country moving his way. I think it's going to be up to President Obama to assert his leadership.
COOPER: John, what about the -- the -- the succession to Senator Kennedy? Will the law be changed to -- so that the -- the governor can essentially just appoint somebody in the interim?
KING: It's still an open. The governor has said he would like it to happen, after originally being quite hesitant about it.
They are now trying to reach out and informally survey key members of the legislature. If they change the law, Anderson, what would happen is, you would get a temporary senator and then the special election. The current law says the special election cannot be held for five months.
Many in Massachusetts and especially the late Senator Kennedy did not want that the vacuum, because of the big pressing debate about health care and other issues.
I will tell you this as a footnote. If the law is changed -- and that's a big if still -- remember that -- there is growing conversation in Massachusetts Democratic circles that some will try to convince the senator's wife, his widow, to take the temporary appointment for the five months. She has said she's not interested in running for his seat. But there would be pressure on her if -- big if -- they change the law.
COOPER: All right, David Gergen, John King, I appreciate it. Thank you very much -- a long day for both of you, I know...
COOPER: ... and a difficult day.
Coming up next on 360, more of our breaking news: a young girl kidnapped at age 11 found now 18 years later. We will have more of our conversation with Elizabeth Smart and her father, their reaction to the reappearance of this kidnapped girl 18 years after she was stolen.
COOPER: More on our breaking news out of California: the return of a girl missing for 18 years.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted in 1991, when she was 11. She was last seen at a bus stop back then. Yesterday, the FBI told Dugard's family that she has been found and is safe. On the right, you see a picture of what she is believed to look like now. Police have arrested a sex -- a convicted sex offender and his wife for the kidnapping. Authorities also say that Dugard and her abductor had two children and that the suspect kept the kids and Jaycee in sheds hidden in the backyard for 18 years, never saw a doctor, never went to school -- deeply disturbing stuff.
And, as details unfold, we will learn even more about what this woman endured for so long.
Before the break, we spoke to Elizabeth Smart and her father, Ed Smart. She, of course, Elizabeth, was taken from her home back in 2002, held captive for nine months. We wanted to hear her reaction to this story.
Here's my -- more of my interview with Elizabeth and Ed Smart.
COOPER: It was a police officer, a campus police officer who -- who was kind of very observant who really started this ball rolling, which ultimately led to -- to Jaycee being -- being discovered.
And, yet, what we have now learned is that she was living in a backyard for 18 years, that her children never went to school, never went to see a doctor. Do you think the public is observant enough, questioning enough of -- of things they see?
ED SMART: I think that, you know, there are some people -- in -- in Elizabeth's case, there were two people that saw her at the same time. And, so, I think a lot of people are very observant.
I think that, sometimes, we need to put ourselves out. And -- and, if we feel uncomfortable about something, you know, you might look stupid, but, you know, it's better to check than to -- to not. I think that, you know, there are other children out there like this that want to be found, and that, you know, we just need to work on how we feel.
In this scenario, I don't know all of the details on it, but you would think that, you know, somebody would notice a tent in a backyard. It sounds like it must have been remote or -- it's -- it's hard to second-guess anyone. And I wouldn't want to try to. But it's important to be observant. I think that's really key.
COOPER: Elizabeth, what's your advice for Jaycee?
ELIZABETH SMART: I would tell her to just relax and enjoy her family and spend some time reconnecting, and maybe, if it's possible, to think back and think of things that she used to enjoy doing with her family, and maybe going out and doing them again, and finding new things she would want to do with her family.
One of the things that I liked the best was when -- after I came home, my family, we went on a vacation. And no offense to any media or anything, but we didn't do anything. We just spent time together as a family, which was very -- like, it was the best thing that I could have done.
COOPER: And, Elizabeth, you would agree with your dad that it's important to just let her take as much time as she needs, and -- and, you know, tell her story or not in her own way to her family, to her loved ones?
ELIZABETH SMART: Yes, I would agree with my dad.
I'm -- I mean, I'm -- for me, it's something very personal, and I -- I don't just talk about it all the time with everybody. And -- and, so, I would -- I would think maybe she feels the same way. And, if she chooses never to say anything about it, I think it should always be her decision, and that there are a lot of people that are out here that love her and support her in what she decides to do.
A big thing that I try to stress in the section that I participated in writing was to set goals for yourself, to continually be moving forward and to -- continuing on with your life, and not letting, like, this horrible event just take over and consume the rest of your life, because we only have one life.
And it's -- it's a beautiful world out there. And there's so many things to learn and to see and to grow in. And I just would encourage her to find, you know, different passions in life and to continually push forward and learn more and reach more for them, and not to look behind, because there's a lot out there.
COOPER: It's something that happened to you. It's not something -- it's not who you are.
ELIZABETH SMART: Right.
COOPER: Obviously, I mean, this is extraordinarily good news for -- for everyone involved in -- in this story. And it gives hope to countless other families out there who are still waiting for their loved ones to -- to either be found or -- in one way or another.
Is it -- is -- I mean, I guess some would say, well, it -- it gives false hope to some people, because many people will never find their loved ones, and, yet, there are cases like this, like Elizabeth's case, like Jaycee's case.
So, I mean, it -- it's a hard thing. You -- hope is important to -- to hold on to, isn't it?
ED SMART: It is.
You know, a lot of people, during those nine months, said, you know, how can you believe that she's still out there, and, you know, you're -- you're crazy or, you know, any number of comments. But, you know, I -- I had this impression that Elizabeth was still out there. And -- and we never gave up hope.
That's not to say that there weren't doubts in our mind. But, you know, for this family, I -- I have heard today that a lot of them kept on hoping. And, you know, here it is. It's real. A miracle has happened.
COOPER: Well, so many others are -- are waiting as well and hoping as well.
ED SMART: Absolutely.
COOPER: Ed and Elizabeth, I appreciate you -- you being on with us tonight. Thank you very much.
ED SMART: Thank you.
ELIZABETH SMART: Thank you.
COOPER: A remarkable day.
We are in New Orleans four years after Hurricane Katrina hit. The anniversary is this Saturday, in case you have forgotten. And I hope you haven't.
We're going to give you a tour of the city, show you where progress has been made. And there is so much progress to show you. We will get that tour with resident James Carville, who will walk us around.
If you have a question for James, you can text your questions to AC360, or 22360.
We are in Musicians' Village. New Orleans Habitat For Humanity, with the help of AmeriCorps, has built 72 new homes here. It's a great place.
We have got a band here, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs.
We will be right back.
COOPER: We are back here in Musicians' Village. The band is Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs. This is Musicians' Village, Habit -- New Orleans Habitat for Humanity. They have been rebuilding homes here; 72 new homes in this area so far.
Four years ago tonight, the country -- well, four years ago on Saturday night, as this week is the four-year anniversary, the country watched this city as a massive hurricane zeroed in on the Gulf Coast. And this Saturday marks the anniversary of Katrina's landfall.
Now, we all know what happened next. We all know how a force of nature collided with human error, with government indifference, and a catastrophe was caused. Well, today, New Orleans continues on its road to recovery. The city is back. The city is alive. The numbers are encouraging. The city has recovered 77 percent of its pre-storm population. For jobs and occupied homes, it's 70 percent.
Challenges, of course, however, remain, like public school enrollment. It's about half of what it was before Katrina. Crime, low-income housing.
But there are hope, and there is progress. There are hard- working people who every day are making progress and a big difference. People like those here at Musicians' Village, Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps. Seventy-two, as I said, new homes and counting in this one neighborhood.
The homes here for musicians who need affordable housing, started -- the idea was started by Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis. They're behind the project.
But as we said, problems in the city do linger. So do questions about what happened four years ago in the wake of Katrina. This is a story about vigilantes, who were actually roaming the streets, armed with guns, some allegedly shooting people. They were private militias, some taking the law into their own hands.
Why did they do that? And are police actually investigating? Tonight Gary Tuchman went looking for answers in this troubling report.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Listen to these shocking comments made by Hurricane Katrina survivors days after the storm.
WAYNE JANAK, ALGIERS POINT RESIDENT: We shot them. They were looters.
TUCHMAN: Is this true? We came to New Orleans to find the people in this documentary shot by Danish filmmakers and to talk to this man, who says three nights after Katrina, he saw three armed white men, one of whom pointed his gun at him.
DONNELL HERRINGTON, SHOOTING VICTIM: He said, "(EXPLETIVE DELETED), I'm going to get you."
TUCHMAN: Donnell Herrington says he was merely walking to a ferry boat in the mostly-white neighborhood of Algiers Point when he was shot in the neck. But it wasn't over.
HERRINGTON: I managed to get up to my feet, and the guy let off another shot. And he hit me in my back. I fell and hit the ground again.
TUCHMAN: His life was saved by this surgeon, who says his hospital typically gets one or two gunshot victims over a 30-day period. But in just the few days following the Katrina...
(on camera) How many gunshot wounds did you get?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six to ten.
TUCHMAN: So that's pretty unusual?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The doctor says about half of those gunshot victims died. Clearly, people were taking matters into their own hands.
There was no shortage of panic, paranoia and lawlessness in New Orleans. So there were many in Algiers Point who took extreme measures, measures they say had nothing to do with race but security.
(on camera) Is it fair in your neighborhood, you organized basically a private militia?
VINNIE PERVEL, ALGIERS POINT RESIDENT: Private militia, neighborhood watch.
TUCHMAN: But a neighborhood watch with dozens and scores of guns.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Vinnie Pervel says he doesn't know who shot Donnell Herrington but told me he and his neighbors had a huge number of weapons at the ready to keep criminals away, and that some of his neighbors had been firing shots.
PERVEL: I used the Second Amendment. I beared [SIC] arms to protect myself. And I'll do it again.
TUCHMAN: Algiers Point residents were very blunt in the documentary.
JANAK: That was our sign down the street. We had a .12 gauge shotgun.
TUCHMAN: In the documentary, they appear to be drinking beer while making these comments.
JANAK: It's like it was pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, we shot it.
TUCHMAN: Four years later, we found Wayne Janak at his home.
(on camera) You said, quote, "It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it."
JANAK: Taken completely out of context. First of all, they said, "What was the noise look over here."
And I said, "I grew up in South Dakota." I said, "The first day of pheasant season, everybody shoots at anybody that's moving."
TUCHMAN: The inference was that you shot at somebody here.
JANAK: Right. Which is totally untrue.
TUCHMAN: Yes, but did you say that because you were drunk?
JANAK: I don't know. I don't remember the interview.
TUCHMAN: Were you bragging?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Nathan Roper (ph) was also interviewed in the documentary.
NATHAN ROPER, ALGIERS POINT RESIDENT: You had to do what you had to do. If you had to shoot somebody, you had to shoot somebody.
TUCHMAN: We happened to run into Nathan Roper (ph) in an Algiers Point bar.
ROPER: They never asked me if I shot anyone.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Yes, I don't think you said you shot somebody. You said if you had to, you'd do it.
ROPER: If I had to. If they were polka dot, green, yellow, white, black, if they were on my property causing harm to my property. Food, I gave plenty of food away to people that walked...
TUCHMAN: but you would have shot somebody who came on your property?
ROPER: If they were coming to harm me, absolutely.
TUCHMAN: But you -- that didn't happen?
ROPER: No, that didn't happen.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Vinnie Pervel, who wasn't in the Danish documentary, says he almost fired at somebody.
PERVEL: There was one, when I actually forewarned them. I said, "Look, I know you're there. I'm going to count to three, and I'm going to shoot." I said, "One, two" -- and I heard, "No, don't shoot." And you hear footsteps. He's running off.
TUCHMAN: Police and the military were nowhere to be seen in those chaotic days. But four years have gone by. So what you're about to hear from the man who was shot is simply stunning.
(on camera) How many times has the New Orleans police talked to you about this case?
HERRINGTON: Zero. None. TUCHMAN: Never?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): A.C. Thompson is a journalist for a nonprofit news organization called ProPublica. He's been investigating the case for about two years and wrote about it in "The Nation" magazine.
A.C. THOMPSON, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: Across the city, people died of gunshot wounds and other violence. And it seems that there was no real effort by law enforcement to figure out what happened to these people.
TUCHMAN: After Thompson's article this past December, police said they would look into the allegations. But when CNN contacted them, they declined to make any comment.
But now the FBI is on the case, interviewing Donnell Herrington and people who stayed behind in Algiers Point.
PERVEL: At the time, after the storm, I thought I guess we would be considered, like, a neighborhood hero. When the FBI contacted me, I felt like a vigilante, a thug.
TUCHMAN (on camera): What are you?
PERVEL: I'm somebody who's going to protect my home. I don't care what it takes. I'm going to protect my home.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Donnell Herrington doesn't know who attacked him.
HERRINGTON: I believe that they were -- those guys were hunting black people.
TUCHMAN: And he believes there are people in this tight-knit community who do know.
COOPER: So do you know if New Orleans police have seen that documentary?
TUCHMAN: Well, if the brass is watching CNN right now, they know at the very least they've seen some of the highlights.
TUCHMAN: But officially we don't know. They've had every opportunity to talk with us. They've made a point, they've made it clear they don't want to talk with us about it. We don't know what the reasons are. So we don't know if they're officially having an investigation. But we do know the FBI is investigating this case.
COOPER: Gary, appreciate it. Up next, a look at New Orleans four years after the storm. James Carville and I took a tour of the city. He showed me his New Orleans. You can text your questions to James about the city's recovery and also to historian Doug Brinkley, to AC360.com or 22360. As I said, Douglas Brinkley will be here, as well as James Carville to answer those questions.
And we're listening to some of the sounds in New Orleans. This is Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs in Musicians' Village.
COOPER: All right. We are back with a crowd from AmeriCorps, from New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.
A lot has changed in New Orleans in the four years since Hurricane Katrina hit. No doubt about that. Much of it is for the better. More than $20 billion has been invested in the infrastructure, community facilities, housing like this Musicians' Village.
And as we mentioned earlier, the population is back to nearly 80 percent of pre-storm levels. Some people are returning, and others are moving here for the first time, like the ultimate Washington insider, James Carville, a Louisiana native, who along with his wife, Mary Matalin, moved outside the beltway, back here to New Orleans.
James gave us an up-close tour of his hometown today.
JAMES CARVILLE, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: Over here is a nursing association. There's a really trendy bar here.
COOPER (voice-over): On F'reret Street, James Carville sees signs of growth all around him.
CARVILLE: The interesting thing about Brad (ph) Street is, this here got a good bit of water. Everything here after the storm was wiped out. Seven blocks that way, some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the southern United States. Seven blocks that way, some of the poorest, more dangerous neighborhoods.
A little bit of a sense I have is how F'reret Street goes, how goes New Orleans. Because it's a place that, it can make a comeback and it is.
COOPER: The F'reret Street Gym was the first business to re-open in this neighbored after the storm.
KEVIN WILDES, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: Nice to meet you.
COOPER: Father Kevin Wildes, an avid boxer, is president of Loyola University.
(on camera) How is New Orleans doing?
WILDE: I think it's doing very well, especially in terms of the private sector and the nonprofit sector. This gym is one small example. He had -- Mike had, I think, three feet of water in here. He got in after the storm. He cleaned it up, got it opened again. And you see it in the shops and restaurants all over the place.
COOPER: While areas that got the most water, like the Lower Ninth Ward have been slow to rebuild, in much of New Orleans, signs of the storm are hard to find. More restaurants are open here now than before Katrina.
Carville took us to eat at Pasquales Minali.
(on camera) Have you ever been in a city where people eat more or, if they're not eating they're talking about what they just ate, or what they're about to eat?
CARVILLE: What we do is, like, we'll talk about where we're going for supper while we're eating lunch. I already know. I kind of have -- always have an appetite. It's not a -- not a decision that you just don't make off the top. It comes with a lot of thought.
COOPER (voice-over): After lunch we drive to what was once a rundown housing project. It's now being rebuilt into a mixed income neighborhood.
CARVILLE: This is a real -- has real potential of being a real success story. There could be a white guy here, and an African- American there, and a Hispanic there, and somebody, you know, an Asian there. And that's the kind of stuff -- that's the kind of city people that live here, we want to live in that kind of city.
COOPER: In past years, as I came here after the storm, you know, there was -- you didn't get a sense of kind of energy and actually seeing results. But this time, you're actually kind of seeing what the money has been spent on.
COOPER: I mean, you're starting to see things being built; you're seeing schools being fixed.
CARVILLE: Well, we're doing better. You're starting to finally see it. And it just -- it took me the understanding that it just can't happen overnight. It takes a while for this stuff to build up.
COOPER (voice-over): There's no doubt daunting problems remain: crime, infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, access to health care. But Carville is optimistic: the progress is real; money is being spent; the city pulses with life.
CARVILLE: When you're living in New Orleans, you have to understand, you don't just live in a city. You live in a culture. We have our own food, our own music, our own funerals, our own social structure, our own architecture, our own literature. COOPER (on camera): It's a completely unique.
CARVILLE: Completely unique, but it's not just a city. It's a culture. People, we don't -- we admire what Atlanta has done. We admire what Denver has done. But we don't want to be Atlanta and Denver. We want to be New Orleans.
COOPER: Our cultural tour guide, James Carville, is here now, along with presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. He joins us from Austin, Texas.
Appreciate both of you being here.
This city is -- there's progress all around. There's no doubt about it.
CARVILLE: Yes. Again, it was -- people were impatient. It just takes a while, but you can feel the steam being built up, from the reconstruction efforts and people moving back. The NGOs, the Habitat for Humanity. The businesses are starting to open up again. So you know, you can feel the momentum starting to move now. It's taken a while, but it does feel a lot better.
COOPER: Doug, you say that it's kind of a tale of two cities, though.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: Yes, well, first off, we've got to launch James' campaign for mayor. He should be the next mayor of New Orleans. His return has been -- his return brought a lot -- made a lot of people happy when he came back to Louisiana.
But in general, I think...
COOPER: A lot of restaurants happy, too.
BRINKLEY: Well, that's right.
But look, I think there's still some serious problems that the city has to face. First off, a lot of families that have wanted to return haven't. Some neighborhoods are still in -- in ghastly decline and disrepair. If you go to the Lower Ninth, you won't find a 75 percent return rate. It will be a lot lower, something more around 25 percent, for example.
I think a lot of the historic African-American communities are still struggling greatly.
And there's some problems that can only be addressed on a national level and not just money for infrastructure. Because FEMA is doing a much better job and the new director, Craig Fugate, is getting very high marks.
But I worry about issues like the wetlands. You know, Anderson, we talked about coastal erosion four years ago. And we're talking about Louisiana losing a football field of land a day. And this isn't changing. And that's an environmental reality that Louisiana and the country has to face, the disappearing wetlands.
But it is exciting to see, four years later, so much progress and such an optimistic spirit reigning in large swaths of New Orleans.
COOPER: And crime is still a huge problem here, as well.
CARVILLE: Yes, it is. But it -- we addressed it before; we can address it again. It's not -- it's not something that we can't solve. In fact, there's some evidence that it's starting to get slightly better. But there's a ton of work to do.
We're nowhere -- Doug is right. The coastal erosion thing is the greatest ongoing environmental disaster maybe in the world right now. But that's a great opportunity, because we can develop technology, and we can begin to address this, as we must.
And he's also right in many areas of the Lower Ninth, or Lakeview and other places that got a lot of water. Again, it's a function of how much water you got and all. But F'reret Street, places like that, a real success story. Any place that's got a lot of water. They're coming back. You can feel some momentum. I think we're moving in the right direction, finally.
COOPER: Doug, we've got a question, a text question from one of our viewers. Vanessa wants to know, "Can the levees sustain another hurricane like Katrina?"
BRINKLEY: I don't believe so. I don't they think can sustain a Category 4 or 5. I don't think enough work's been done. Senator Mary Lanford has been trying to hammer on that Army Corps of Engineer and keep a consciousness.
You've got to remember that in New Orleans, part of Katrina, unlike Mississippi, which often unfortunately gets forgotten in their recovery, but it was a man-made disaster in New Orleans, with the Lego levees built poorly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A lot of the flood protection has been improved. It's -- but it's an ongoing fight.
And my worry is that our nation just kind of says, "Things are up and running. New Orleans is back." A kind of boosterism sets in. When there's still some deep problems.
And I'm not convinced, if a Category 4 or 5 storm hit, that the -- that the levees are going to continue to hold up. I don't think they've been revamped enough.
And I think we have to keep our focus on how can we build, like the Dutch have done in the Netherlands, a Category 5 sustainable levee system in the Gulf South and in New Orleans area in particular.
CARVILLE: Doug is right. I will describe the levees as better than it was when Katrina happened. And it's getting better. And he's also right about the Netherlands. But my wife and I just went to the Netherlands this summer and toured their flood protection facilities. And we can learn a lot from what they did.
But -- but progress has been made. But, you know, the combination of coastal erosion or Category 4, 5 storm, we would have some real problems.
But they're raising a lot of levees around here. There's a lot of construction going on. And I think I can say confidently, it is better, and it's getting better. But we can't lose our focus. That's -- that's a fact.
COOPER: James Carville, we appreciate your tour today. Thanks for the great food, as well.
And Doug Brinkley, as well. Thank you very much. I appreciate you adding in your expertise tonight.
BRINKLEY: The music's great.
COOPER: It is. Those guys are great. Unbelievable.
BRINKLEY: They're playing...
CARVILLE: Congrats on the new book, Doug.
COOPER: We're going to have more of that in just a moment. Erica Hill has some of the other headlines tonight. She's got a "360 Bulletin."
In the meantime, we've got Shamarr and the Underdawgs, all the folks from Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps. A great crowd here, Musicians' Village in New Orleans. We'll be right back.
COOPER: We're back in New Orleans. Let's head up to New York, get some of the lead stories there, Erica Hill with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Erica, there's actually a tropical storm watch in effect, we want to tell you about for the North Carolina coast. Tropical Storm Danny is slowly approaching the area. The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to continue moving west, northwest over night before it turns north tomorrow.
Tracking maps show Danny brushing North Carolina's coast early Saturday before heading toward New England later in the day. We'll keep an eye on it for you here at CNN.
Meantime, it is back to school with swine flu. Colleges across the country are reporting spikes in the number of students with suspected cases of the H1N1 virus. Health experts say hundreds more could fall ill as the virus winds its way through campuses. The CDC recommends students with flu-like symptoms stay home from class. Meantime, in Chicago, a new study from city health department officials find swine flu infected 14 times as many children as adults over the age of 60. They looked at numbers from April to July. Now, no children have died. Officials, though, do say their analysis suggests prevention efforts should focus on children.
Also tonight, new details on the murdered swimsuit model whose body was found in a suitcase. Police in California say they found evidence of a struggle in Jasmine Fiore's car, including blood. The suspect, reality show contestant Ryan Jenkins, committed suicide.
Michael Vick back on the field tonight, playing in his first NFL game since being released from prison. Vick's new team, the Philadelphia Eagles, hosting Jacksonville. And despite a small group of protesters outside, Vick had a warm welcome from the crowd.
Finally, just what's missing from this picture? Lovely family outing on their bikes. The president, taking a bike ride around Martha's Vineyard today. Well, you may have noticed he's not wearing a helmet. We have a close-up photo where you can see a little bit more closely.
Sasha and Malia had their proper head gear on. The president not so much.
White House spokesman Bill Burton says he doesn't know why the president wasn't a helmet, knowing that he generally does.
And Anderson knows that I always give him a hard time about not wearing his helmet. So there you go.
COOPER: I know, I don't.
HILL: Just because the president isn't wearing one doesn't mean it's...
COOPER: Come on. Give the president a break on this.
HILL: No. It's not safe.
COOPER: Didn't look like there was any traffic there. There were no cars, no traffic.
HILL: You can still fall and hit your noggin.
COOPER: Coming up, all right. "The Shot" is next. Music from New Orleans, a live performance for 360. That's ahead. We'll be right back.
COOPER: For tonight's "Shot," the sounds of New Orleans. This is Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs. Jazz, blues. No matter the form, the music will always be heard and played here. It's part of the city. So what better way to celebrate the continued rebirth of New Orleans than with a song from local musicians? Listen.
COOPER: That's it for now (ph). Stay tuned. We'll be right back.