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Shooting at the Pentagon; Interview with Chelsea King's Parents

Aired March 4, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a prime time exclusive -- Chelsea King's parents, their personal heartbreak and how the murder of a perfect daughter -- their only child, their angel -- in a senseless, brutal crime has forever transformed their reason for living. They want justice for Chelsea. They're vowing to devote their every breath to changing laws that let sex offenders back on our streets.

And then, a football boating strategy. Four men lost at sea for 43 hours. One by one, they suffered -- first their minds, then their bodies, give out before drifting away to death -- except Nick Schuyler. He witnessed the heart of it all and he's here to tells us how he clung to their capsized boat, wondering if he could be next.


Good evening from Washington.

Before we begin, Congressman Charlie Rangel was due to be our guest tonight and we had promoted that all day today and late last night, as well. But at 4:00 this afternoon, the congressman called me and canceled his appearance.

He is -- he was chairman of the House Ways and Means and asked to leave that post, as, you know, based on alleged scandals.

He said he knew that by canceling this would hurt him, but that he had to get back to the business of dealing with the House and other matters that had to be taken care of first. He says he will reschedule.

Again, we apologize, but the congressman canceled late this afternoon.

We've got breaking news. There's been a shooting near the Pentagon tonight.

We'll go to CNN's Chris Lawrence for the latest -- Chris?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Larry, the big news right now, two Pentagon police officers are injured at a hospital. But it looks like their injuries are not life-threatening. It looks like they're going to be OK. That's the good news. The bad news is they were both shot on duty right here, just outside the Pentagon. Here's what happened. Apparently, a man came out of the Metro entrance. That's the area where the D.C. subway runs. A lot of buses come in and out of there.

He walked up to the first security checkpoint, which is an area I go to every single day. You walk up, the Pentagon police officers are right there and you usually pull out your Pentagon pass, just like this. You show it to them. You walk the 10 yards to the Pentagon building.

That's what they thought. They said he walked up very calm, very cool, didn't say anything. He reached into his coat like thousands of people do every day. Instead of pulling out a pass, he pulled out a gun. He fired at these Pentagon police officers. He grazed them. They fired back and critically wounded him.

He's in much worse shape right now. The Pentagon police are saying he appears to be an American citizen. We have no idea right now of the possible motive. But, again, the investigation continuing.

For about an hour here, the Pentagon was completely locked down. Now the entrances and exits are open except for that one entrance where the shooting took place -- Larry.

L. KING: Thanks, Chris.

We'll stay atop the story, of course, as further develops warrant.

We go now to San Diego, California for a difficult story that we've been following for a week now.

Joining us, Brent and Kelly King, parents of the late -- and that's hard to say -- the late Chelsea King, who -- how -- how, Kelly, did you learn of your daughter's death?

KELLY KING, CHELSEA KING'S MOTHER: Sheriff Gore, who's been heading up the -- the search for her, came to our home and told us that they had found her body.

L. KING: As soon as you saw the sheriff, Brent, did you kind of know what was happening or what was going to be said?

BRENT KING, CHELSEA KING'S FATHER: Yes. Hope really started to fade when I saw him come walking up the driveway. Yes.

L. KING: When -- did you fear the worst soon after or were there high hopes along, Kelly?

K. KING: You mean from the...

L. KING: Yes, from the word of her disappearance.

K. KING: Oh.

L. KING: It took a week, right? K. KING: It took a week. I absolutely had hope. I never gave up hope until we saw until Sheriff Gore came with the news.

L. KING: This is such a terrible tragedy to deal with.

What are your thoughts now about the accused, Brent, John Albert Gardner?

What do you -- we told you think about someone like that?

B. KING: I think -- I try not to even think about it. It's -- it's past the point of disgust. So I -- I don't want to spend any time thinking about that.

L. KING: What -- what were the circumstances under which she -- she left?

Where did she go missing, Kelly?

K. KING: Chelsea's an avid runner. And that's -- it's one of her great loves. And she, after school, got in her car and drove over to this park. It's a -- it's a lovely area -- very peaceful, very picturesque, exactly what Chelsea -- you know, the surroundings Chelsea loved to be in. You know, she put her running clothes on, got out of her car, you know, and went on a run.

L. KING: Was this something, Brent, having a young and beautiful daughter growing up in Southern California, that you ever feared?

B. KING: I never feared something like this.

Did I fear for my daughter?

I think every father fears tragedy for his child and tries to protect against that. But I never could imagine something like this.

L. KING: All right. Let's get to the meat of this.

What are your thoughts about sex offenders being released, your thoughts on prison, being kept in prison, trials -- Kelly, what are your feelings?

K. KING: I mean how many times do our daughters need to be raped before we put these monsters behind bars forever?

I just don't -- I don't get it. Change has to be made. And I know that there are people out there that are -- that are trying to, you know, get this change in place. And Brent and I are committed for the rest of our lives to be a part of that.

L. KING: What change do you want, Brent?

B. KING: I don't want people that ever have any kind of one strike on them to have more than one strike on them. They shouldn't be allowed to have a second strike. L. KING: In other words, once you are convicted of a case where you were convicted of being a predator, you should be put away for life?

What are your thoughts?

B. KING: Larry, I don't understand why somebody who's done what this person's done in the past should have the exact same freedoms that I have. I don't understand that.

L. KING: You were in court yesterday when John Gardner, the -- the accused -- was charged with the rape.

What was it like to look at him?

Were you there, Kelly?

K. KING: I was.

L. KING: What was it like for you?

K. KING: You know, it was -- I don't know that I can find the words to tell you.

I -- I'm looking at the face of the monster that murdered my daughter. And the hatred and the anger and -- and the disgust. I didn't know that -- that those feelings could run so deep until I looked at him.

L. KING: All right. Tell me a little bit about -- about your daughter, about Brent.

How was she named Chelsea?

B. KING: It was just my wife and I looking through a baby book. Actually, just -- we went through so many different name choices. And when we said Chelsea, we both smiled and that ended up being the name.

K. KING: Yes. It was a happy name.

B. KING: Yes.

L. KING: Nothing to do with Bill Clinton's daughter?

K. KING: No.

B. KING: No, it was not.

K. KING: And we got asked that a lot at the time. But no.

L. KING: What was she like, Brent?

B. KING: Oh, just a wonderful kid. Just, you know, the -- the daughter everybody would love to have. She brightened your day whenever she walked in a room. She found a way to make you smile. She -- you ask it and she did it. Just a great kid to be around. L. KING: She was a good student?

B. KING: Her last semester grades, she was taking six classes and straight As on all -- all six of them. Four of those were AP. So, yes, a great -- great student.

L. KING: All right. We'll take a break and come back with Brent and Kelly King on this very difficult time for them. We'll get their thoughts on the death penalty for the accused, if convicted, when we come back.



B. KING: I just thought, this is it. She's not coming back.

One of the nicknames that I always called my daughter is my angel.


L. KING: We're with Brent and Kelly King, the parents of Chelsea King.

When -- when the show began, we said it was their only child.

You do have a son, right, Brent?

B. KING: Yes. We sure do.

L. KING: What's his name and how old is he?

B. KING: Thirteen-year-old Tyler.

L. KING: How is Tyler taking this?

B. KING: They -- Chelsea and Tyler were extremely close, best of friends. And he's devastated. He is struggling through it, just like us.

L. KING: Kelly, I want to go back, before we get your thoughts, on what should happen to this accused, if convicted, to when you -- how did you first learn she was missing and those early days?

K. KING: Well, Chelsea's always been the kind of kid, without us even telling her, she'll call if she's -- you know, when she's going from one place to another, if she's going to be late, what time she's going to be home. So my husband and I had both been out doing errands and got home a little before 6:00.

And when I saw that her car wasn't in the driveway I assumed, you know, she had called Brent and told him she was running late or where she was.

I walked in the house and I said, "Have you heard from Chelsea?" And he said, "No. I thought you had."

And I said, "No, I haven't."

And right then and there, because it was so unusual and it was getting dark, I thought, hmm, we need -- you know, I started calling. And I called her cell phone a couple of times. And then something inside said I really -- I need to -- I really need to get to her. I really need to find out where she's at.

And I started calling friends, to no avail. And they didn't know where she was. We, within a matter of 10 minutes of completing those calls, we were able to go on to our cell phone Web site and locate her phone. And we saw that she -- her phone, actually, was in this -- in a park in Rancho Bernardo. And it just -- it tells you within 500 yards or so where the phone is located. So we thought, OK, wherever her phone is, she is.

So Brent got in the car and drove over there right away, went through the -- the parking lot and finally found her car, but no Chelsea.

L. KING: So then, Brent, you knew, obviously, something was really wrong, right?

B. KING: Yes. I took off down the running trail that I assumed that she was on, running as fast as I could and yelling her name. At the same time, Kelly had called 911. And I went out there and shouted at the top of my lungs and got no response. And I had several different trail choices to make and my best choice, I thought, was to come back and find the sheriff and get him to try and help us search.

L. KING: And then the whole community got involved in that search, did they not, Kelly?

It seemed like everybody.

K. KING: Everybody within our community, outside of our community. It was and it's been an amazing outpouring of support. And, I mean, we had searchers, you know, volunteer people come in to help us search and hand out flyers. And I mean thousands from the community. It was amazing.

L. KING: We'll take a break.

When we come back, we'll hear what the prosecutor assigned to this case -- what her thoughts are, right after this.



KRISTEN SPIELER, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SAN DIEGO COUNTY: The special allegation attached to the murder does make the defendant eligible for the death penalty. However, that determination of whether to seek death is made by the district attorney and that decision is made, typically, after the preliminary hearing and before trial.


L. KING: And often, to Brent and Kelly King, prosecutors will ask the relatives of the victim what their thoughts are about a death penalty. They don't have to abide by them, but they do get input.

What do you want to happen if convicted, Kelly?

K. KING: I think the death penalty is a very appropriate punishment for this -- for this case.

L. KING: Brent?

B. KING: Yes. I'm in 100 percent agreement with my wife.

L. KING: Oh, we -- I don't want to get into it.

Were you given details of how your daughter died?

You don't have to tell me, but did they inform you as to how -- what the cause of death was?

K. KING: Yes.

B. KING: Yes.

L. KING: All right. Have you heard from or reached out to other parents who sustained this kind of loss?

Is there a group kind of getting together with this?

B. KING: Yes. I -- I've talked to a few of them and hope to talk to more of them in the next few days.

L. KING: There was a story yesterday that the home of the mother of the suspect in this case was vandalized. Someone spray painted that "Chelsea's blood is on you, move out."

Now, do you feel any animosity toward the mother?

Now, he was living there, but that was not the reported address he gave as registering as a sex predator.

Do you have any feelings about the mother?

K. KING: You know, I have a real problem with the fact that he was allowed to be there, first of all. And that when news broke of this and you -- you have a son who has a past like this.

As a mother, how can you not at least think about it and think about the possibility of what may have happened and how you may know something?

Even -- yes I -- I...

B. KING: Yes.

L. KING: So -- so you're saying, as parents, if this, God forbid, were your son, you would have done something proactive?

K. KING: Absolutely.

B. KING: Yes.

K. KING: Absolutely.

B. KING: Yes.

L. KING: I understand there's been an outpouring of sympathy from people from everywhere, people who don't know you at all...

K. KING: Yes.

L. KING: Never knew Chelsea.

How has that affected you, Brent, to hear from that many people?

B. KING: It's the -- it's the thing that keeps us going. The -- the pain that we're going through would be unbearable without all the prayers and support that have been brought upon us.

L. KING: Our guests are Brent and Kelly King.

In our remaining moments with them, we'll find out what they do from now on, how they go from here, how they cope, plans for a memorial service.

And we're going to hear about a poem, as well.

Don't go away.


L. KING: We're back with Brent and Kelly King in San Diego.

We understand you want to try to create some good out of this...

B. KING: Yes.

L. KING: -- and want to join in an effort to protect other parent's children against sexual predators.

What do you plan to do, Kelly?

K. KING: Well, we're -- you know, we're -- there's a lot of people out there who are already working desperately hard to change some of the -- the laws and legislation so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

Brent and I are in the very baby stages. We're still healing. But we're in the very baby stages of creating yet another resource and outlet for victims -- victims' families and... B. KING: Prevention.

K. KING: -- just to prevent this -- this horrible thing.

L. KING: Are you planning to make this a national thing or in your area?

K. KING: Oh, yes. No, no, no. This will be national. If -- if we can get it worldwide, I mean there's no limit. Chelsea was a dreamer. And her dreams would have taken her all over the world. So, yes. There's no limit.

L. KING: Brent, any plans for a memorial service you can tell us about?

B. KING: We -- you know, we started that process today. We will have a -- a memorial service a week from this Saturday. And so we've selected the location. We will put that up on -- on Chelsea's Light Facebook page. So that's -- we'll get that out but -- out to the public.

L. KING: That will be March 13th?

B. KING: Yes.

L. KING: Will it be a place where a lot of people could come?

B. KING: Yes. Yes.

K. KING: Absolutely. Yes.

L. KING: Your daughter was very -- and it will be on her Web site -- her Facebook?

B. KING: It's -- I think it's -- we're in the process of getting that out. But it...

K. KING: But it's -- yes. It's -- it's called -- it's on Facebook. And it's No, that's the Web site.

B. KING: Just Chelseaslights.

K. KING: But, yes.

L. KING: And when do you think it will be up?

K. KING: It is up.

L. KING: It's up now?

K. KING: It's up and going now.

L. KING: Well, then, can't you tell us?

B. KING: The location?

K. KING: A week.

L. KING: Yes.

K. KING: I don't know that that's been...

B. KING: We're...

K. KING: -- posted yet.

B. KING: Yes, we still need to get the official...

K. KING: Yes, we just...

L. KING: Oh, we're showing it now.

B. KING: -- information.

K. KING: Are you?

L. KING: Yes.

K. KING: OK. Good. Good. I wasn't sure if they had gotten it up there yet.

L. KING: Your daughter was, we hear, very talented. Among her gifts was poetry. We understand you brought along a poem Chelsea wrote for a college application.

Who wants to read it?

K. KING: I will.

L. KING: All right.

K. KING: I'm just going to read a couple excerpts from it. It's tied into the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh the Places You'll Go."

L. KING: Yes.

K. KING: And Chelsea was a beautiful writer and very, very creative. So she took her lead from the style of the Dr. Seuss book and how it was written.

It's titled, "My Great Balancing Act." And it starts out, "Oh the places I'll go, I know certainly not. I know, though, I know that wherever I go, I'll learn a great many things, not just about history or math, but, in fact, about the great balancing act. I'll travel great distance, I'll live far from home. I might just find myself all alone. But nevertheless, find myself I will, and thus I will go and continue to grow."

It continues on then. And she ends, "For I am myself and this will not change. Today is my day, my mountain is waiting. And I'm on my way."

L. KING: Brent, one other thing. Why -- why -- why are you here?

Why would you come on this program tonight in this most painful of days?

B. KING: We really want a platform to be able to thank everybody that has done everything they could to try and bring Chelsea back to us. We want to thank law enforcement. They've been phenomenal. Sheriff Gore in San Diego did a fan -- a -- a tremendous job of comforting us and -- and helping us search. So we really just want to thank everybody and ask that you help us continue to keep Chelsea alive.

And Chelsea's worth so much more than one convict. She's worth so much more than that. And at some point in time, we -- we need to make changes in this world. And Chelsea is going to help us do that.

L. KING: Thank you both very much.

Our best wishes to you. Our deepest condolences and our best wishes.

K. KING: Thank you.

B. KING: Thanks, Larry.

L. KING: Thank you. Brent and Kelly King.

It started out as a fishing trip for fun. It turned into something else. Our next guest lived to tell about what it's like to be lost at sea and to watch your friends die right in front of you. Next.


KING: On March 28th last year, Nick Schuyler and three pals, including two NFL players, left on a deep sea fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. Nick was the only one to return, the sole survivor of a harrowing 43-hour ordeal at sea. He tells his story in a gripping new book, "Not Without Hope." There you see its cover.

Nick joins us now from New York. How are you doing? It's been a year.

NICK SCHUYLER, AUTHOR, "NOT WITHOUT HOPE": I'm hanging in there, Larry. I appreciate you having me on.

KING: Hanging in there would be the correct term?

SCHUYLER: Hanging in there, correct.

KING: Let's set out who this was. You are a physical trainer, right?

SCHUYLER: Correct.

KING: Who was on this trip?

SCHUYLER: My best friend, Will Blakely, and other two good friends, Marquis Cooper (ph) and Corey Smith.

KING: Cooper and Smith were in the NFL, right?


KING: And Blakely played for who?

SCHUYLER: He played formally with USF as well.

KING: Why did you write this book?

SCHUYLER: A few different reasons. I had a decision to make. Just a couple months after the accident, unfortunately, I was approached and pretty much came down to the fact that there was going to be a book, and I needed to make the decision whether or not I wanted to make that book in my words, or there could be a book out there with whatever.

So I made the decision not necessarily for myself, but for the three guys and their families to kind of help, you know, disperse any rumors that, of course, were out there. You know, once again, not for myself but the families.

KING: Better coming from the person who was there, you, than some reporter getting information from others. It couldn't be any others. It was just the four of you out there.

SCHUYLER: Correct.

KING: How are you doing psychologically, by the way?

SCHUYLER: I'm doing better. Like you said, it's been a year. Time definitely helps. But this is definitely one of those things that you'll never forget and I know will be with me my whole life.

KING: Tell me about the trip. Was it long in the planning?

SCHUYLER: Actually, we had been out the week previously, the three of us. Will didn't come with us that weekend. And we -- you know, it was a long day. You get up real early and get out to sea. And me and Corey had spoke about it during the week, how we'd never do that again. Marquis, of course, loving fishing, it was his idea to go back out, because he was leaving, you know, the next weekend, off to Oakland for camp.

So we decided, all right, why not? One more time. We'll all hang out. And, you know, we knew the storm was coming, of course. But, you know, it was planned out well.

KING: You were all fishermen?

SCHUYLER: No, absolutely not. Marquis, of course, him being -- you know, it was his boat. He was an experienced boater. And Will had done some fishing, too, growing up.

KING: You went for the fun?

SCHUYLER: Absolutely.

KING: All right. Where did you set out from?

SCHUYLER: Outside Clearwater.

KING: Heading into the Atlantic?

SCHUYLER: Gulf. Gulf of Mexico.

KING: Oh, the Gulf, right. Since you knew a storm was coming, why go out?

SCHUYLER: You know, we knew not necessarily a storm, but a cold front. We were -- it was kind of -- we kind of played it by ear, to be honest. We knew if we were going to go out as far as we did, that we'd come in earlier, which was the case. But it was kind of one of those things where there was a particular spot we wanted to hit, you know -- and, you know, being stubborn that we are, we tried that.

KING: Were they looking for any particular type of fish?

SCHUYLER: The usual, some Amberjacks, some Snapper, some Yellow, you know, Lemon Sharks.

KING: Describe the boat.

SCHUYLER: Twenty one-foot Everglades. I don't know a whole lot about boats. But, you know, there was some room. It wasn't a real big boat. There was plenty of room for, you know, the four of us. But anything more than that, especially, you know, our size, would have definitely been cramped.

KING: Was it fully equipped with emergency safety gear and the like?

SCHUYLER: Well, you know, it turned out that, you know, the emergency things -- I forget what it's called -- he didn't have one of those. For the most part, it was all there. Unfortunately, when we needed it, it was under water.

KING: Who were the experienced -- was anyone -- who was really experienced at fishing and deep-sea boating?

SCHUYLER: Marquis, particularly. You know, it was his boat and he'd been out a thousand times. He knew what he was doing, you know. And unfortunately we all just made a mistake. It wasn't anyone's fault. We just made a mistake.

KING: I understand 70 miles west of Tampa, you anchor, right?

SCHUYLER: Correct.

KING: And you fish?

SCHUYLER: Correct.

KING: What happened?

SCHUYLER: You know, we knew a storm was coming, like we said. And we decided that, you know, the seas are getting rough, and it was about time to head back, anchor up and head back. And the week before, we had lost an anchor on a similar reef or ship wreck where we were at. So we attempted to pull up the anchor, and that the anchor got stuck like it did the week before. So we tried a couple different maneuvers. And we decided our last-ditch effort would be to move the anchor to the back of the boat --

KING: Hold it right there. Let me get a break. This is called a grabber. That's just the beginning of this gripping story. Darkness and death; the worst is yet to come. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The US Coast Guard found Nick Schuyler cold, wet and alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The boat was overturned. He was on top of the boat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the search teams, Schuyler's rescue is bittersweet. He was alone.


KING: We're back. The book, "Not Without Hope," which I would bet is going to be a movie, and a thrilling one of that. Before we continue, Nick, was anybody drinking, anybody drunk?

SCHUYLER: No, absolutely not. There was a little bit of drinking going on, but in those kind of seas -- we had a couple beers, but it was over a long span.

KING: Did anybody get seasick?

SCHUYLER: I did. Actually, that's what, in turn, saved my life. I had gotten seasick early in the day. And it was already the longest day of my life. So, you know, as I got cold and wet and the waves are flipping over, I decided to put all my clothes back on. And that saved my life.

KING: The anchor's stuck. The boat capsizes. Describe what happens.

SCHUYLER: The four of us kind of came to a decision that we would, you know, floor the boat and unflip it. We all flew into the water. You know, at first, immediate reaction was, of course, to climb to the boat. None of us had a life jacket on or --

So we attempted to flip the boat, which was virtually impossible. It was still holding down by the anchor that the rope was still connected to. And the four of us -- I don't care how big and strong you are, there's absolutely no leverage and nothing to grab on to the boat. After many, many attempts trying to flip the boat, we kind of positioned ourselves near the, you know, the motor on the boat and stayed like that for the majority of the night.

KING: How many hours?

SCHUYLER: The four of us, it was roughly -- you know, we went in the water roughly 5:00. So 11, 12 hours, I'd say.

KING: How cold was the water?

SCHUYLER: I believe reports said it was 64 degrees. I know when they pulled me out, it was closer to 60.

KING: You had more layers on you because you put your clothes back on, right?

SCHUYLER: Correct. Correct.

KING: No one had a life jacket?

SCHUYLER: No, there was no life jackets. Graciously, Will and Marquis had tried to go under the boat. Will was able to retrieve a few life jackets and a throw cushion.

KING: Why didn't that save people?

SCHUYLER: It had nothing to do with the drowning. It was the hypothermia. When hypothermia sets in, it does things to the mind and the body that neither I or anyone can control. So things that happened out there to the guys that they didn't realize that was even happening. It had nothing to do with the drowning, no.

KING: You say not realize. They were disoriented.

SCHUYLER: Correct, yes.

KING: And you weren't?

SCHUYLER: Not until later. Not until later when I was by myself.

KING: What was it like to see three of your friends go under?

SCHUYLER: It was probably the worst thing I could ever imagine for anyone else. It's really indescribable. And words don't do justice. But, you know, particularly how those guys, you know, went, and to sit there absolutely helpless and defenseless, and not being able to help them or get help or whatever -- it was definitely heart wrenching. And looking into their eyes, once again, them not even knowing what was going on, was definitely difficult.

KING: Was it wind and rain?

SCHUYLER: Wind, rain, 14, 15-foot swells. Once again, the water was just absolutely blistering cold.

KING: How long were you alone with them gone?

SCHUYLER: By myself, roughly, I'd say, 5:00 or 6:00 on Sunday, roughly 18 hours -- 17, 18 hours.

KING: We'll be back in a moment with Nick Schuyler. The book "Not Without Hope."

Our CNN hero of the week -- we do this every Thursday night -- is a small town surgeon with a passion for saving lives. In Kentucky, 33 percent of working-age adults lack health insurance. And rather than let these folks fall through the cracks, Dr. Andy Moore is taking medical matters into his own hands, literally. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I went to go see Dr. Moore this is what he seen. I developed skin cancer from too much sun exposure.

DR. ANDY MOORE, CNN HERO: This cancer was so far advanced, eventually it would have killed him. He felt that he could not afford to have the surgery. In this economic time, our friends and family can't wait. They need this health care now.

All right, bud, how are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little nervous.

SCHUYLER: He's now back for that operation to reconstruct his nose.

I'm Dr. Andy Moore. I'm a plastic surgeon that performs free surgical procedures on people that have no health insurance.

Let's let the good times role.

When I started, I would simply make a call to the hospital and say, I've got somebody I'm going to do for free. It became more complex. I think it's our duty to help those type of people as often as we can. It's about taking care of people and not necessarily expecting something in return for it.




KING: We're back with Nick Schuyler, the author of "Not Without Hope." Before we get to your rescue, a lot of this happened overnight, right?

SCHUYLER: Correct.

KING: Is it true Marquis died in your arms? SCHUYLER: Yes, that is true.

KING: And Will, too?


KING: Did they say anything?

SCHUYLER: You know, Marquis was a little -- once again, the hypothermia had set in. They were definitely out of the elements, and said some things and did some things that had nothing to do with their character as individuals. Marquis, he kind of -- he was a little bit aggressive. But for the most part, it was hard to make out lot of things he was saying before he went.

Will was a little more coherent, but definitely helpless. And we said something at the end. I told him I loved him. He said the same back to me. I'll never forget that, for sure.

KING: Boy. And that was Marquis and Will. What about Corey?

SCHUYLER: Unfortunately, Corey was probably the most aggressive out of the three. Once again, with the hypothermia -- not in Corey's character whatsoever. I never even heard Corey swear before. He had said some things that were difficult to hear and watch, and some things I'll never forget.

At the same time, it doesn't tame my image on him or shouldn't anyone else. Great guys. And people don't realize when you get hypothermia and your brain shuts down, you're doing things that, you know, you never experienced before.

KING: A shattering moment in the book -- we understand, you're trying to hang on to Marquis' lifeless body. You're holding Corey. Corey's fighting you. You had to let Marquis' body go.

SCHUYLER: Correct.

KING: That had to be hard.

SCHUYLER: Yeah. Up to that point, that was definitely the most difficult decision I had to make, because I knew at that point me -- and Will had kind of spoken about it a few times, that Marquis had passed in my arms.

KING: How long after did Corey go?

KING: After I released Marquis, it was roughly, I'd say, a half hour, 40 minutes or so. Yeah, you know, I had to make the decision to let Marquis go because Corey kept trying to get away as well. Yeah, it was roughly 40 minutes afterwards.

KING: How would you describe, Nick, your condition at that minute?

SCHUYLER: Well, at that point, I was up on the boat. Once again, I had my jacket on. So I was very lucky. You know, as bad as it sounds, the four of us were fighting so much with the waves and, you know, I was holding on to Marquis and Corey, so I was able to kind of create some kind of body heat. At that point, I was definitely coherent. It didn't help that I was sick and been throwing up all day before that. But, once again, me getting sick did end up saving my life.

KING: Now, March 1st dawns. You and Will are left. It starts to rain. What happens?

SCHUYLER: At that point, we had hoped for the best, of course. We had seen some helicopters and planes throughout the night, and we thought that, OK, they're going to find us today, because of, you know, the sun light. That wasn't the case. You know, the weather ended up getting worse, and the waves were getting larger, and the swells, and, you know, 14, 15-foot waves. We knew we were a needle in a haystack from getting found.

We ended up fighting all day with one another. And without Will and the things he did for me, going underneath the boat and retrieving Gatorade and pretzels, I wouldn't be having this conversation with you.

KING: You and Will fighting it, and then will died how?

SCHUYLER: It was roughly, you know, 11 hours -- you know, 5:00 the next night. He developed some of the same symptoms the guys, Marquis and Corey, had developed, and he kind of -- he wasn't very vocal, but he was holding on to me the majority of day. I was helping him stay on, and vice versa. And he just grew very defenseless, and we both went into the water quite a few times. And we were fighting with one another.

He ended up taking his jacket off just because it had choked him. So we ended up kind of holding on to one another. We'd go under. I swear it was four or five times. One time he came up and he just was not there.

KING: The book is "Not Without Hope." Nick is commemorating his friends in a permanent way. He'll show us. And he will tell us if he ever gets past this tragedy. Next.


KING: There were rumors and stories after all this. I want to ask you about that in a minute. How were you rescued?

SCHUYLER: It was Monday morning. You know, I felt like my time was almost gone and I realized that. I was kind of leaning forward, hunched over, how I was found on the boat. I kind of looked to my left, and I had to do a double or triple take, because, you know, I had seen the tornado cutter, the boat that had found me, and it was just very surreal.

KING: So the boat found you, picked you up. You must have been suffering from hypothermia, right? SCHUYLER: Yeah, I think I was pulled in just over 88 degrees, 88.8.

KING: In writing the book, how do you remember all these things if you were kind of discombobulated?

SCHUYLER: I wasn't really -- whatever word you just used.

KING: I invented it.

SCHUYLER: That's OK. -- until the last day, when I was by myself. I think that was just part of me. I'd been up 3:30 am from Saturday. So I hadn't really slept. As far as me remembering everything, you know, there wasn't a time where I could sit there and relax, or sit there and just not hold on, because when I did that, I ended up in the water. So throughout the whole entire, you know, event, tragedy, there wasn't a point that I really -- you know, there was little things, me going in the water, that I don't definitely remember or, you know --

KING: I understand you thought about your mother a lot, right?

SCHUYLER: Absolutely.

KING: Nick, I understand you have a tattoo to commemorate your lost friends. Can you show it to us? What does it say?

SCHUYLER: Yes. It has the guys' initials, and it has the date of the event, 03/01/09, with a rope, with an anchor, of course. It says "in the hour of adversity, be not without hope."

KING: Why did you do that?

SCHUYLER: You know, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about this. And this is just another way to kind of, for me, you know, put things into perspective always. Without those three guys, and the things we did on that boat, I wouldn't be having this conversation, once again, with you.

KING: You know, there were rumors back on land there were fighting and somebody killed somebody. You were aware of all that, right?

SCHUYLER: Right. Yes, I've heard it all.

KING: How did you deal with that? How could there be rumors when only the four of you were there?

SCHUYLER: Correct. Correct. Unfortunately, I was the only one to come back. You know, people are going to say what they're going to say. Everyone's open to, you know, their own opinion. But that was one of the reasons to kind of -- you know, I chose to do this book to get all the details out there and, you know, get it all out, and know that these guys didn't give up. We fought for one another. And we were experienced boaters. And, you know, without them, once again, I wouldn't be here. KING: Have you gone on the water since?

SCHUYLER: I have not. I have not.

KING: Will you go again?

SCHUYLER: I'm sure I will. I've been to the water, and it's definitely even hard to look at. I was never an avid fisherman or anything like that. But it's just -- it's -- I don't really have a desire to, you know. I don't have a desire to yet.

KING: Have you dealt with the families of the deceased?

SCHUYLER: I have. I keep in regular contact with Will's parents and one of Corey's sisters. I've had a little miscommunication with the Coopers. We don't see quite eye to eye, you know, which is tough.

KING: Thanks, Nick.

SCHUYLER: I appreciate it. Thank you.

KING: "Not Without Hope." nick Schuyler, quite a read. Quite a show is next. Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?