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Interview With Former President Bill Clinton; Authorities Investigate Mysterious Death of Census Worker

Aired September 25, 2009 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news on the census worker found dead in Kentucky, confirmation the word "fed" was written on his body. The coroner confirms that, and the AP now reporting, when he was found, he was naked and bound with duct tape, according to an eyewitness. We are gathering details. We will have that story shortly.

Plus, tonight's big 360 interview with former President Bill Clinton on not sending more troops to Afghanistan, why he now says he was wrong about gay marriage, and today's showdown with Iran.

And that's where we begin, a dramatic day and a showdown that at this hour is unresolved. President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain today accused Iran of building a secret underground nuclear plant and put Iran's leaders on notice, giving them two months to comply with inspections, or face tougher sanctions.

Strong words, but Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted his country has done nothing wrong, that the plant, its second uranium enrichment facility, was not a secret. An Iranian official did notify the IAEA about the facility in a letter this week, but only apparently after learning that it had been discovered.

U.S. and French intelligence officials have reportedly been tracking activity at the site for several months. Today, President Obama did not rule out a military response.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With respect to the military, I have always said that we do not rule out any options when it comes to U.S. security interests, but I will also re-emphasize that my preferred course of action is to resolve this in a diplomatic fashion. It's up to the Iranians to respond.


COOPER: Well, we have been down this road before. This is not the first time Iran has defied international weapons inspections.

I talked about the showdown with former President Bill Clinton.


COOPER: President Obama today announced that Iran has a secret nuclear facility, one that they have been hiding from inspectors for -- for years now. Does this change the -- the situation? Does this change the way we should deal with Iran?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, that's a decision he's going to have to make.

But I think that he and Prime Minister Brown and President Sarkozy did exactly the right thing to bring it out in the daylight. And, so, Iran's got some explaining to do.

Meanwhile, the United States and our allies will have to decide whether it makes sense to go forward with the plans to talk with them. It may be all the more urgent, now that they have done this.

You know, my -- my...

COOPER: They say this is the second or third time that they have been caught cheating, though, on nuclear issues.


COOPER: Can they be negotiated with?

CLINTON: Well, that depends on what the terms of the negotiations are.

I think what they may want to do is talk to them one time anyway just to see, now that they know what we know, it -- it's -- it's just like Saddam Hussein when he was there. You can negotiate with anybody, if you can verify.

What was that line President Reagan used to have, trust, but verify? If you -- if can you verify, you can make a deal with anybody. But -- but what it means is, there's basically no room for trust there. You can't believe what Ahmadinejad said.


COOPER: Well, just as all this was beginning to break this morning, a group of "TIME" magazine editors were sitting down to interview Ahmadinejad.

"TIME"'s senior editor, Bobby Ghosh, was in the room. He joins me now, along with Peter Brookes, senior fellow for national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

Ahmadinejad seemed surprised when you brought this up during the interview. I just want to show the -- kind of the look on his face. It looked like some of his people started to scramble a little bit. It was very quick. But can you kind of see this -- this smirk when Richard Stengel asked him the question.

Do you think you caught him off guard with this?

BOBBY GHOSH, SENIOR EDITOR, "TIME": I think we certainly caught him off guard. He -- until that point, he was completely confident. He was giving answers that he's practiced many times over. But this one caught him completely off guard. He -- he didn't know exactly how to -- he bobbed and weaved a little bit. He got aggressive. He said, it's not our business to tell the American administration about every facility he have.

And he got a little defensive. He said, we have been cooperating with the IAEA and we have been doing everything by the book.

So, he was not absolutely certain about how exactly to deal with this information.

COOPER: Peter, Iran says, look, this nuclear facility is for peaceful civilian purposes. But, according to the U.S. government, a document obtained by the AP, intelligence officials believe it's on a military base controlled by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. And, if that's true that, that complicates this -- this already tense situation.

PETER BROOKES, SENIOR FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Yes, I mean it's very hard to say that this nuclear program doesn't have a military dimension, which most security analysts say means nuclear weapons, if it's found on a military base.

I mean, this is a tremendous concern. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has a very strong hand in their nuclear program and in their missile program. So, if it is indeed on a military base, it -- despite the fact they maybe be trying to keep it secret, it really muddies the waters in terms of their real purposes here.

COOPER: We're going to have more with our panelists just after a quick break.

Let us what you think about Iran's secret nuclear plan. Are you surprised? Join the live chat happening now at We're still gathering information on this breaking news, disturbing details in the death of this Kentucky census worker found tied to a tree with a rope around his neck, the word "fed" written on his body. That is now confirmed by the coroner.

Now new questions after a witness tells the AP he saw the victim was naked, bound with duct tape -- details ahead.

Later, the big 360 interviews: President Bill Clinton on Afghanistan, politics, and his 180 on gay marriage, for the first time explaining why he has changed his mind.


CLINTON: I had all these gay friends. I had all these gay couple friends. And I was hung up about it. And I decided I was wrong.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: You're looking at several of Iran's suspected nuclear sites. And, of course, it is impossible to know how many there are -- more on today's showdown with Iran over revelations of a secret nuclear facility.

We're back with "TIME" senior editor Bobby Ghosh, and Peter Brookes, senior fellow for national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

You know, Bobby, Ahmadinejad is saying the stuff he always says, which is, look, we comply with all the requirements. This is -- this was not a secret facility.

What -- what can really be done now? I mean, what -- there's talk of sanctions. But unless Russia and China are on board, sanctions are pretty ineffective.

GHOSH: Well, the Russians seem to now be amenable to something. Medvedev said earlier this week that there are circumstances in which sanctions are the only course.

The Chinese are still holding up. But if -- if President Obama can bring Russia on to his side, then the Chinese will be isolated and there may be room to get the Chinese to take a harder line.

There's a logic question to be asked, which is, will sanctions work at all? If Iran is maybe one year or a year-and-a-half away from possession of the bomb, then sanctions may not work quickly enough for it to be effective.

There is opportunity. This site that we're talking about is not operational yet. It can be stopped. The process can be reversed. The question is, at the -- at a meeting in Geneva next week, when the Iranians are confronted with this -- with evidence of this -- their effort to hide this, how are they going to respond?

Are they going to be abashed and ready to talk turkey, to -- to come to terms, or are they going to go back to their traditional mode, which is aggressively deny, deny, deny, until one day they say, oh, this one? You're talking about this factory?

COOPER: Peter, what do you think is going to happen?

BROOKES: I'm very skeptical. I think Bobby makes a good point.

I think time is on Iran's side. And I think, when we meet with them next week, they're going to dissemble, they will parse, they will spin. The fact is, as -- Anderson, is, we have to take them at their word.

They have said they will not discuss or negotiate over the nuclear program. I mean, how many times do they have to tell us this? I mean, I understand what President Clinton said there about testing their diplomatic intentions, so that you can try to bring people together. But, you know, we have been negotiating with them through the E.U. and other means, for six years now, since their secret nuclear program was discovered in 2003, six years. Why do we think it's going to change now? I'm not -- I have no reason to believe that Iran is going to change course at all at this point.

COOPER: But, in terms, Bobby, of possible military strikes, it's not that easy. I mean, these are -- this is not Iraq that -- that Israel struck years ago, when they were developing nuclear facilities. These are hardened sites underground, heavily protected.

GHOSH: And they're widely dispersed as well. And -- and we're not entirely certain where every last piece of this puzzle is. Israel's own ability to strike now remains -- is now unclear. Can Israel send planes over the territory of Iraq, for instance?


COOPER: For that, they would need U.S. permission?

GHOSH: They would need U.S. permission...

COOPER: And Iraq...


GHOSH: ... and Iraqi permission.


GHOSH: It's far from certain that a military strike is -- is sort of immediately possible, which is why I think the -- the Obama administration, President Obama, is correct in trying and engaging in a dialogue, and using the military strike as the last resort.

COOPER: Peter, is a military strike an option? I mean, are -- is there another option, besides just jets flying over and bombing?


Well, I mean there are more draconian economic sanctions, Anderson. For instance, Iran, you know, imports about 40 percent to 50 percent of its gasoline. You could have people who do provide gasoline, such as India and other countries, cut that back. You could have the Saudis drop oil prices. You could do other things before a military strike.

But there are not too many really good options. And the Iranians are hell-bent on a nuclear weapons programs, they're not going to stop it. But in terms of a military strike, it would be difficult to end the program, but you certainly could push its back.

For instance, in 1981, when the Israelis struck the Osirak reactor in Iraq, they didn't end the Iraqi nuclear program. They pushed it back about 10 years. If you went after the top four facilities in Iran and damaged them enough, you would delay Iran becoming a nuclear weapons state. And that's, at this point, because it's been six years or more, 20 years really, your options are really limited.

COOPER: All right, we are going to have to leave it there.

Bobby Ghosh, good to have you on the program. Thank you very much.

GHOSH: Any time.

COOPER: Peter Brookes, as well, thank you.

BROOKES: Thank you.

COOPER: You can read "TIME"'s entire interview with Ahmadinejad on our Web site at

Still ahead, the breaking news: new developments in the death of that Kentucky census worker, what the coroner is now confirming -- the word "fed" was written on his body -- and what an alleged witness told the AP about the victim being bound with duct tape.

And, later, the big 360 interview with former President Bill Clinton. We cover a lot of ground, Afghanistan, gay marriage, serious issues, and some not-so-serious ones.


COOPER: I read a story that -- an interview you gave that Boris Yeltsin was found in his underwear trying to hail a cab late one night.

CLINTON: Yes. I don't remember the hailing-the-cab thing. I do remember that he did go down and he tried to get a pizza.


COOPER: Late at night?


COOPER: Uh-huh.

CLINTON: And not fully clothed.



COOPER: Still ahead: my one-on-one interview with former President Bill Clinton, his candid comments on same-sex marriage, today's explosive political climate, and Boris Yeltsin' late-night pizza run not fully clothed.

First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica. ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo might not close by January -- the White House acknowledging today thorny legal and logistical questions involved in closing the prison could in fact delay President Obama's self-imposed deadline.

A terror suspect accused of plotting to bomb a Dallas skyscraper appearing in federal court today. The 19-year-old Jordanian national is accused of trying to detonate a truck packed with explosives below a 60-story office tower. He was arrested yesterday by FBI agents posing as al Qaeda operatives.

Meantime, Colorado terror suspect Najibullah Zazi arriving in New York City tonight, where he faces charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Zazi is accused of plotting to attack New York's commuter trains, that suspected attack apparently set for the September 11 anniversary.

A new audiotape believed to be from Osama bin Laden -- the al Qaeda leaders warns Europeans to distance themselves from the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan or face retaliation. Bin Laden also denounced civilian deaths caused by NATO airstrikes, threatening, Europe will be held accountable, unless they pull troops from the war.

On Capitol Hill, former Democratic Party Chairman Paul Kirk sworn in as the late Edward Kennedy's Senate replacement today. appointed by the governor of Massachusetts, now Senator Kirk will serve in the interim position until voters pick a replacement for the late senator's seat in a January special election.

And as the Group of 20 world leaders gathered in Pittsburgh today, first lady Michelle Obama treated their spouses to a whirlwind arts tour. It is her first major international meet-and-greet in the U.S. That tour included performances by a world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma and a trip to the Andy Warhol Museum -- Anderson.

COOPER: Should be interesting, that.

Still ahead, breaking news in the mysterious death of a Kentucky census workers. Investigators will not say whether it was murder or suicide, but, tonight, the witness who found the body offers new information that could answer that question. David Mattingly has the latest.

And our "Prime Suspect" series continues. See how the hunt for one killer led to another -- when we come back.


COOPER: More now on our breaking news and the disturbing new report about a census worker found dead in Kentucky. The man was discovered with a rope around his neck. He was tied to a tree and his feet were on the ground. We have known that now for several days.

Today, the coroner confirmed that the word "fed" was written on his body. Authorities do not know or won't say if it was a murder or a suicide. But, tonight, new information may answer that question.

David Mattingly is working the story for us.

David, what do we know?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the body of census worker Bill Sparkman was found on September 12. There was a rope around his neck. He was tied to a tree limb. And, tonight, new details from the Associated Press indicate that what investigators found was much more disturbing than that.

The AP is reporting that Bill Sparkman's body was found naked. His hands and feet were bound with duct tape. There was duct tape over his eyes and neck. He was gagged. And something that looked like an I.D. tag was taped to the side of his neck.

Now these details are reportedly coming from an eyewitness who was among the people who found Sparkman's body. We attempted to contact that person tonight, but we were not successful.

We were, however, able to reach the Kentucky state investigators, who are still not willing to confirm any of this -- these details. It is explained to me that they do not want to put out any information that might affect their investigation. And, tonight, they're still saying they have not nailed down exactly how Bill Sparkman died. They know the preliminary cause of death is asphyxiation. But they still won't say if it's murder.

Of course, the options of suicide and this being an accident would seem very unlikely, Anderson, given these latest details from the AP.

COOPER: What about these reports that words the word "fed" was written on Sparkman's body?

MATTINGLY: We got confirmation of that today from the Clay County coroner. He said that the word "fed" was written on the body in felt-tip marker. But he would not go any further than that. He would not say where on the body, how large these letters were.

We were asking those kinds of questions because we want to know if someone perhaps was sending a message, that they attacked Sparkman because he was a federal employee. But we did confirm that the word "fed" was written somewhere on his body.

COOPER: We have been very careful over the last several days in our reporting on this not to jump to any conclusions or speculation. What does the FBI now say?

MATTINGLY: Well, yesterday, they were cautioning not to jump to any conclusions on this, because they have not confirmed that this was a murder. They have not confirmed that this man was attacked and killed because he was a federal employee.

That has to happen before the FBI will take over this investigation. So, we're relying on what the Kentucky state investigators are telling us. And they're going by the book. They're not confirming any of this information, only to say that this man -- that they're investigating this man's death and are not ruling out anything at this point.

COOPER: David Mattingly, I appreciate the details. Thanks.

Let's dig deeper. Joining us now, Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Brian, we don't know why somebody would have killed this man or exactly what happened to this man. What do you see now, given the AP's report about duct tape and gags and the word "fed" being scrawled on his body? What does that -- what are the options in terms of what could have happened?


And, initially, look, we're looking at several things, someone with just a severe violent disorder, could be just an amorphous anger. An anti-government extremist, that's another person. That's looking more and more likely. But, again, there's a lot that we don't know.

Third, it could be someone who's an illegal drug-runner, pot farmer in the rural area who felt that this guy was somehow getting too close to their illegal operations. And, lastly, it could be someone with some personal animus against Mr. Sparkman who is trying to cover it up by suggesting a political motivation for it.

So, those are the -- you know, the four basic things we could look at. But, at this point, this was such a symbolic and personal anger, that I'm -- I'm led to lean towards someone who has severe anti-government feelings, perhaps someone who is seeking revenge. Maybe they were audited or had some problem with some kind of government official.

COOPER: OK. To display the victim in this way seems, I mean, telling, one way or another. I mean, there's clearly something to that.

LEVIN: It's a lynching. I mean, quite simply, it's a lynching.

The issue is, was this something that, you know, is a politically motivated lynching? Or was there some other nefarious personal motive playing into this picture here? And, again, you could have someone who's an illegal operator of a pot farm who also is an anti-government extremist.

But, again, I mean, this was a highly symbolic act. And if these facts that are alleged are true, it causes me to lean towards some kind of, you know, anti-government extremist. But, again, everything's on the table. We let the evidence take us where we're going, not the analyst.

COOPER: Brian Levin, appreciate you being on. There is still a lot we do not know. We're being very cautious in what we're reporting on this and what we're saying.

Brian, appreciate your time. Thank you.

Let's -- you can join the live chat right now at, a disturbing story, to let us know what you think about it.

Coming up next: my interview with President Bill Clinton, why he changed his mind on same-sex marriage, his reaction to the tone of today's politics, and some lighter stuff, answers to our lightning round of questions.


COOPER: You had lunch with President Obama. Did you give him any advice about turning gray gracefully?

CLINTON: Turning gray gracefully?


CLINTON: He's getting a little gray, isn't he?

COOPER: He's getting a little gray, yes.

CLINTON: You know, I think he's happy about it. You know, I think, he knows he's young, hip and cool.



COOPER: I sat down with former President Clinton today for the big 360 interview. We spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting here in Manhattan.

It's a wide-ranging talk full of surprising, pointed and some candid comments. We will bring them to you tonight, including his hysterical account of Boris Yeltsin' scantily clad late-night pizza run in Washington.

We begin, however, with the rising political rhetoric we're hearing at the tea party protests, town hall meetings, and all across the country. Has it reached a level that Clinton has never seen before? You will hear his opinion. You will also find out why, for the first time, he changed his stance over same-sex marriage.

"Uncovering America" tonight, here is the former president.


COOPER: You said you recently changed your mind on same-sex marriage. I'm wondering what you mean by that. Do you now believe that gay people should have full rights to civil marriage nationwide? CLINTON: I do. I'm no longer opposed to that. I think, if people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it.

I have long favored the right of gay couples to adopt children.

COOPER: What made you change your mind? I mean, was there one thing? Was it a..

CLINTON: I think what made me change my mind, I looked up one day and I said, look at all this stuff you're for.

I have always believed that -- that -- I have never supported all these -- the moves of a few years ago to ban gay couples from adoption, because there are all these kids out there looking for a home. And the standard in all adoption cases is, what is the best interest of the child?

And there are plenty of cases where the best interest of the child is to let the gay couple take them and give them a loving home.

So, I said -- you know, I -- I realized that I was, you know, over 60 years old. I grew up in a different time. And I was hung up about the word. And I had all these gay friends. I had all these gay couple friends. And I was hung up about it.

And I decided I was wrong. That if -- that our society has an interest in coherence and strength and commitment and mutually reinforcing loyalties. and if, gay couples want to call their union marriage and a state agrees -- and several have now -- or a religious body will sanction it, I don't think the state should be able to stop religious bodies from sanctioning it. I don't think the rest of us should get in the way of that. I think it's a good thing, not a bad thing.

COOPER: Do you think kids are more polarized now? When you see the simple tea party protests, when you see these raucous town-hall meetings and you hear President Obama called a Nazi, a socialist, are things -- is the debate more -- just nastier now or -- I mean, it was pretty tough against you when you were president. Is this just politics as usual?

CLINTON: The intense sort of brutal personal attacks began really in earnest in the mid- to late '70s. And have pretty well characterized -- after my first two years in Congress, I saw some independent body studies that said that I'd actually received more support from the democrats than president Johnson did in those first two years. But I'd had the most unanimous opposition from the Republicans of any president in modern history from the other 20 in Congress.

So this thing's been building over 30 years. I do think that it's broken in the people. I think it's different in the people. I think you saw that in the last election. The public is so tired of all this. They want to just get together and go forward with a solution. The congressional Republicans need to know that just saying no on everything and praying for the president to fail is not a good strategy.


COOPER: President Clinton, just to clarify, he said he believes gay marriage should be left up to the states. It's a state issue. But he is in support of it.

Much more of with my interview with the former president ahead. The war in Afghanistan. Find out whether Bill Clinton believes more troops should be sent now. He also answers some fun lightning round questions we had for him, including the -- about the bracelet he's been wearing on his wrist for years.

Also tonight, "The Shot" and what a "Shot" it is, if it's real. The long-distance basketball throw you kind of have to see to believe. And even then, I'm not sure to believe it. When we continue.


COOPER: We learned today that five American service members were killed in Afghanistan. The deaths come as top military commanders met to discuss bringing more U.S. troops into a war that most Americans want to end.

President Obama's under pressure from people, from the Pentagon about what to do next in Afghanistan. Today former president, Bill Clinton, shared his thoughts with me about the war, the options and what it may take to win. Here's more of the big 360 interview with former President Clinton.


COOPER: The generals are saying more troops. General McChrystal says more troops. He's going to put in a request very soon. Conservatives are saying President Obama looks weak. And he seems to be seriously reconsidering supporting General McChrystal's idea.

CLINTON: Well, I guess since -- given Hillary's position, I ought to start by saying I don't know anything. So I'm just telling you what I observe. Some of these things I go out of my way not to be privy to. But here's what I think he's doing.

General McChrystal is clearly right. That is, in what he says if we want to prevail there, we need more military forces. But what the president knows is that, if we put military sources -- resources in there to try to re-create an Afghan version of what the Iraqi surge was, it doesn't mean we will prevail. OK?

Why? Because the surge worked, in addition to the skill of our troops, because the local Iraqis were sick of the al Qaeda in Iraq.

COOPER: And Afghans are on the fence right now. CLINTON: And Afghans are on the fence. And I think the president must be thinking, "Well, at least I need to wait until we see how this election plays out."

COOPER: So you think it's smart to wait on new troops?

CLINTON: I think -- if I were in the president's position now, I might -- I might want a little time. Not because I don't think McChrystal is right. There's no -- I think that what the military guys told you is right.

But it doesn't follow, from what they told you, that if you put them in there and we started to win war that the -- we're prepared to sustain more casualties and make a bigger commitment, that it would work, unless we also had the kind of commitment you saw in Anbar with the uprising in Iraq.

COOPER: And we saw that on the ground in Helmand. We went out with Marines. They went out with the local governor, trying to get the locals to believe that, you know, this governor was going to start to care about their interests. And after they left, you asked them, you know, you ask these villagers, "What do you think?"

And they say, "Look, we're not supporting America. We're not supporting the Taliban. We're, you know, we're just watching this thing."

CLINTON: Yes. So -- so I don't think that the president is being disrespectful or unheedful to General McChrystal. I think he -- he, like General Petraeus before him, they've really -- these guys get this kind of insurgency. They know what to do. They know how to do it. And our people on the ground are extremely gifted. We can't succeed without them. But alone, it's not enough for success.

COOPER: With CGI, a lot of people hear about it in the United States. They don't quite understand the basic fundamentals of how it works. What is the idea, what you're trying to do?

CLINTON: The idea here is that we bring in, around the United Nations. We invite leaders from every continent to come here and meet with business leaders from America and around the world. We try to get way beyond the politics and just say, if you wanted to change the reality on the ground in this or that way, how would you do it? And then people come in and promise to do it.

COOPER: You raised tens of billions of dollars. Did you ever think that, in your post-presidential life, you could have perhaps as big an impact as you had as president, on tens of millions of lives of people around the world?

CLINTON: I think I'd have to live a very long time to do that. But I think that people -- I operate in a less static-filled environment now, so that, you know, I don't have to -- I don't have the fights I had when I was president.

When you're out of office, you can ask yourself, "What do I care about that will have a big impact on the future?" And I don't get derailed by the day's events, because I don't have those responsibilities anymore.

So the precise answer to your question is, like in this AIDS thing, where our foundation provides medicine and two-thirds of the kids get it, that's a huge impact. You can have a huge impact in discreet areas.

But still, being president gives you a chance to shape the lives of hundreds of millions, billions of people. That was an honor. I'll have to live a long time to have a bigger impact. Maybe I'll get lucky and do it.

COOPER: I know we're out of time, but just a quick lightning round. Last minute, just some quick answers to quick questions. You still play the sax?

CLINTON: Yes, but not as much as I want to. I'm going to play more this year. One of my resolutions is this coming year I'm going to play more and maybe start taking lessons again.

COOPER: You wear a bracelet on your right hand. What is it?

CLINTON: It's a Colombian welcome bracelet, given to me by a group of children who sing for peace against the narcotraffickers. And I've worn it now for more than seven years.

COOPER: Two last quick questions. Rowdiest White House guest when you were president? I read a story that -- an interview you gave that Boris Yeltsin was found in his underwear trying to hail a cab late one night.

CLINTON: Yes. I don't remember the hailing the cab thing. I do remember that he did go down and -- he tried to get a pizza.

COOPER: Late at night?


COOPER: And not fully clothed.

But I also said, Yeltsin, everybody knows he drank too much from time to time. But he hated communism, he believed in freedom. He was the best leader Russia could have had at the time. I adored him.

Yes, he was a rambunctious guy. Yes, on occasion he said and did things he probably shouldn't have. But he -- he was the right man at the right time.

COOPER: And finally, you had lunch with President Obama. Did you give him any advice about turning gray gracefully?

CLINTON: Turning gray gracefully?


CLINTON: He's getting...

COOPER: He's getting a little gray.

CLINTON: You know, I think he's happy about it. You know, I think he knows he's young, hip and cool. And I think, you know, I actually almost accused him of spraying the gray in there.

COOPER: Mr. President, thanks very much.

CLINTON: Thanks.

COOPER: Thanks so much.


COOPER: We have posted some behind-the-scenes photos of my interview with former President Clinton. Check them out at

He's being called the flying stalker, a pilot accused of using his plane to harass his target on the ground. The story of that coming up.

And the explosive video surfacing in the trial of two men accused of extorting millions of dollars from actor John Travolta after his son's death. Details when 360 continues.


COOPER: All right. Let's get caught up on some other stories. Erica Hill joins us again with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a new video reportedly shows two people accused of trying to extort millions from actor John Travolta, asking the actor's attorney for $25 million. Now, in exchange for the form that Travolta signed to stop the ambulance from taking his dying son to a hospital so he could be, instead, flown to Florida.

Those details on the video coming from "People" magazine, which has watched the tape. The defendants eventually agreed to a $15 million exchange.

Now a month later, Travolta fired a complaint -- filed a complaint with the cops that led to the trial, which is now under way in the Bahamas. The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Police in California are arresting this pilot, who they say stalked his ex-girlfriend by repeatedly flying his plane low over her house. Tom Huey's girlfriend filed for a restraining order last year. He was not served with it, however, until he was arrested after landing a single-engine plane.

And a woman who had the wrong embryo implanted gave birth to a baby boy today, according to a statement from the couple. The couple said a fertility clinic implanted another couple's embryo into Carolyn Savage's uterus. Now in essence, she became an unwitting -- unwitting surrogate for another family. After learning of the mix-up, the Savages decided to carry the baby through to term and to give him to the genetic parents.

Now, a 360 follow for you. Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins has died in a California prison. She admitted to killing actress Sharon Tate 40 years ago. Atkins had been battling brain cancer. She lost her final bid for parole earlier this month. Susan Atkins was 61.

COOPER: Our "Prime Suspect" series concludes tonight with a search for a serial killer, a mad man who terrorized Los Angeles for decades. We're going to introduce you to the detective who spent years on his trail. We'll also show you the stunning twist in the investigation, a surprise that nobody was prepared for. It's an extraordinary story with an unbelievable ending.

Kara Finnstrom has more on tonight's "Prime Suspect."


KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This man, LAPD Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, is hunting for a phantom. For more than 24 years on these streets, a serial killer has come and gone. Then he came back to kill again. Police say he murdered Barbara Ware. She's one of his 12 victims, all killed here in south Los Angeles; all but one, black women; some working as prostitutes.

DENNIS KILCOYNE, DETECTIVE: He would spot them and does spot them, victimize them, and then just discards their body in alleys like they're trash. He is a monster.

FINNSTROM: He's nickname the Grim Sleeper, because the killings suddenly stopped as if he was asleep for 13 years. But in 2007, police think he struck again.

The files on him are thick. Cops do have the killer's DNA.

KILCOYNE: We've got this beautiful DNA profile, all these dashes and dots and this and that, but there's no name and address, or face to go with it.

FINNSTROM: They searched all the federal and state databases and could not make a match. So Kilcoyne brought in Detective Diane Webb. Webb monitors the 5,200 registered sex offenders in L.A. And though DNA had gotten them nowhere, she still thought it might be the key.

DET. DIANE WEBB, LAPD: You can't escape your DNA. It's -- it means you've been there.

FINNSTROM: So Webb had an idea. Databases have gaping holes. And she knew she did not have a DNA sample from all the sex offenders in her registry.

(on camera) The detectives' trail then led to local police stations like this one, where sex offenders or 290s, as officers call them, have to register. The idea was to get all 90-something of those sex offenders on Webb's database to provide a saliva sample through a DNA kit and to maybe get their match and their man.

(voice-over) The samples go to the crime lab in Sacramento. Then detectives wait. It's a long shot, and even today everyone is still stunned by how this would turn out.

WEBB: I didn't think we'd get lucky enough, but we got lucky in another way.

FINNSTROM: It would be months before the lab called. There was a match. And they were faxing it in. The new DNA samples led to this man, 73-year-old John Floyd Thomas Jr. He is not the Grim Sleeper, but his DNA match makes him the prime suspect in a string of other murders.

KILCOYNE: Lo and behold, there's another serial killer. And it just snowballs. I mean, he's responsible for many, many murders. And they hit the jackpot.

FINNSTROM (on camera): Detectives believe Thomas is the so- called West Side Strangler, a serial killer who terrorized neighborhoods in West Los Angeles in the '70s and '80s. Thomas is now charged with raping and murdering seven elderly women. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this week.

Detective Rick Jackson had been looking for him for a long time.

DET. RICK JACKSON, LAPD: It's a great feeling to be able to tell a family member news that we have, you know, closed out a case.

FINNSTROM (voice-over): But Detective Kilcoyne worries there may no DNA trail leading him to his guy, the Grim Sleeper.

KILCOYNE: We're probably going to find that this guy is somebody who has got a family at home, has got a regular job and, just every once in a while, for whatever reason, he wanders off and, you know, becomes the devil.

FINNSTROM: They have not heard from the Grim Sleeper in two years. But the last time, he disappeared for 13 years. So they assume he is still out there.

Kara Finnstrom for CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: Bizarre. On Monday, Drew Griffin from our special investigations unit brings us an exclusive report. At the time this fire on Vail Mountain was the most destructive act of environmentalist sabotage in U.S. history. There would be more fires, far more damage, and a defiant and uncompromising message. Don't mess with the trees, or the air, or the water, or they'll come after you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the time, were you considering yourself, hey, this is -- this is a terrorist act?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think pretty much, yes, we considered ourselves being at war, you know, with the government.


COOPER: On Monday, the story of how those guys were finally shut down.

Coming up next, our Shot of the Day. An attempt to sink the world's longest basketball shot. What happens? Well, we'll show you, and we'll try to figure out if it's real or not.

Also tonight, tension rising over Iran's secret nuclear facility. President Obama's strong words and exclusive reaction from former president, Bill Clinton ahead.


COOPER: Erica, time for tonight's "Shot." We actually have a double "Shot" tonight.

First one, an astounding basketball shot that begs the question, is it real -- or fake, obviously. That would be the alternate. Check it out. A student at Texas A&M throws a basketball from a top tier of Aggie football stadium.

HILL: Third deck there.

COOPER: Straight into a basket.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! What? Oh, my God!


COOPER: All right. Let's see it from a different angle.

HILL: Isn't that -- there's another angle that's better. Here we go.

It's wild. They swear that this is not fake, that there was no fancy editing on the Web site. These guys called Dude Perfect, it's six guys. They swear it's all real.

COOPER: I don't know. I don't know whether to believe it. They seem excited.

HILL: I would be excited, too.

COOPER: It's amazing. It is pretty cool.

HILL: It is very cool. They have a number of these videos, actually, that are really cool. And then there's one of them that they did, the summer camp edition. They're actually trying to raise money to send kids to summer camp. So they're doing something good with all their crazy basketball shots.

COOPER: It's cool. All right.

So our favorite, I think, "Shot" of the week was mine. It was this.




HILL: It doesn't get old, does it?

COOPER: No. I like when he starts to lift his legs.

HILL: He's just itching to go. Did you -- did you make note of these moves for the next time you go see Ellen?

COOPER: I literally was like -- bouncing around like this baby after I saw this video for a couple days.

HILL: I did hear the music coming from your office. Beyonce on a loop.

COOPER: Yes. Yes. So I guess...

HILL: That's a good one. Do we still have the crew doing the dance?

COOPER: Really?

HILL: Dancing to "Single Ladies"?

COOPER: Let's see. There we go.

HILL: There we go.




HILL: I don't know. They're giving that baby a run for his money. Look at Bob.

COOPER: There we go.

HILL: Yes.

I think the first time we did this Jerry, who's on the right of your screen, I think I heard he may have gotten a date out of that. COOPER: I like it. I like the split screen. Yes.

HILL: You're making him cough again. Don't make him cough again.

COOPER: Don't get me coughing.


HILL: I don't understand...

COOPER: I never saw this part of it. I love Bob's -- and his hand thing that he made.

HILL: He made a full cuff out of foil. It was amazing. It was really well done.

COOPER: All right.

HILL: In fact, I'm shocked that MTV didn't ask them to perform at the VMAs.

COOPER: I think we're out of time.

Coming up at the top of the hour, Iran's secret nuclear plant. Iranian president denying doing anything wrong. Even smirked at one point today about it. How far will this showdown go?

Also, our exclusive interview with former president, Bill Clinton. We'll be right back.