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Suspected Gunman Sent Package to University; Remembering Rebecca Wingo; Aurora Survivors Facing Big Bills

Aired July 25, 2012 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, "A.C. 360" HOST: Erin, thanks very much. Good evening, everyone.

We begin tonight with breaking news. A major new development in the Colorado shooting that hints at the possibility at least that all of this might have been prevented -- might have -- if somebody in the alleged shooter's former university had just gotten a piece of mail in time.

We're just now learning what was in that parcel and why seeing it was so vital. In addition tonight, our first look at the chaos that first responders were facing when they arrived at the theatre Friday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Metro 10, Lincoln 25, do I have permission to start taking some of these victims via, via car? I got a whole bunch of people shot at here with no rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, load them up, get them in cars, get them out of here.


COOPER: Police -- too many victims not enough ambulances. We'll show you what they were up against, all the factors big and small that spelled the difference between life and death.

Also tonight, as we continue to remember the victims, as they lived not just as they died, tonight we speak to the mother of Rebecca Wingo. The young mother with her whole life ahead of her. She mastered Mandarin by the age 20, was raising two daughters, and working her way through school, training to help troubled teenagers.

As I said Rebecca's mom joins us later.

We begin, though, with the breaking news. A package from the alleged shooter found in the mailroom of the University of Colorado. According to CBS "This Morning's" senior correspondent John Miller, he mailed it days before the massacre, addressing it to one of his professors at the University of Colorado's campus in Aurora. It arrived days before the shooting but was not discovered until Monday afternoon when police found it in the mailroom. They sent in the bomb squad, handled it by a robot and before opening it X-rayed the parcel just in case. Sources telling John Miller who joins us now that the letter inside spoke of shooting people and included crude drawings of a gunman and his victims.

Do we know, John, from your sources, have you heard why this letter wasn't discovered sooner?

JOHN MILLER, CBS THIS MORNING SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have a little conflict there which is, what we were told by law enforcement sources earlier in the day, and I have to say, this has been made extremely more difficult than it needs to be by a gag order that's been placed on all of the investigators and the district attorney who's not commenting. So getting information is like pulling teeth, even in an issue of public concern.

But to update that, what we're told is it was mailed before the shooting, possibly days before the shooting. What the university is saying now is that it arrived at their facilities services building on Monday, July 23rd, that it was in the mix of mail there. And that when they found it, investigators were called. They looked at the package. They brought in the bomb squad. That caused the evacuation of the building right around 12:30.

So it appears that as pressure from this story builds, people are digging deeper for the data. Now the college is saying it got there Monday.

COOPER: And do you know anything about the relationship between the accused shooter and this professor? I mean, was this somebody who taught him? Was this somebody he actually sought counseling from?

MILLER: If it's the professor that we believed it to be, it was somebody who taught a series of courses that he attended, including neurological disorders and ironically, schizophrenia. But we don't know what their relationship was. I mean there are real questions there about there is information that he failed on an oral exam and that caused his withdrawal from the program.

But we're far from knowing, was the professor the person who he failed the oral exam in front of? Was it somebody else? Again, because of the gag order it's very -- it's a very difficult environment for reporting.

COOPER: And in terms of what have you been able to find out what was in the notebook?

MILLER: Well, very are little. And there are questions that remain. We were told that there is verbiage, kind of a pent-up, was the phrase, used writings about shooting people. And that there were some very rudimentary images in there of a shooter and victims.

But the real question, Anderson, which I know is what we're all wondering is, A, was there anything in there that was specific to the date the Batman show or something else? And B, is there anything that gives -- that sheds any light on motive? And right now, we can't learn that.

COOPER: Right. John, stick around. I want to bring in Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox who we often consult with.

Professor, you say it's not unusual for mass murderers to actually reach out to people before actually committing a crime.

JAMES ALAN FOX, PROFESSOR OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: Either reach out and -- either a threat or a call for help. But it's also not unusual for them to send letters, timed so that they will be received after the shooting in an explanation for why they did what they did. There was a shooter at the University of Iowa who sent letters to the media, timed with when his rampage was committed. University of Arizona, same thing.

So frequently, mass murderers will send letters as explanations, not necessarily as warnings or calls for help or threats.

COOPER: And what does it say to you that the suspect himself apparently tipped off police to the existence of -- of some sort of a letter to the university?

FOX: That he -- I'm sorry, that he did?

COOPER: Yes, that there's reports that he -- that he had said to police that he had mailed something to the university.

FOX: I can't really comment. We don't -- I don't know exactly the context in which he said it. He -- you know, oftentimes they're trying to intensify their persona by becoming larger than life, or they could just be telling some of the details that will not interfere with -- with their defense.

COOPER: Professor, I mean you've studied a lot of mass murderers, is there ever an explanation that satisfies people? That makes -- I don't want to say makes sense, but, you know, even if somebody puts into words why they did what they did, does it really make sense?

FOX: Well, frequently, they do say exactly why they're doing what they do. As oftentimes, they identify who the villains are, who they're trying to get even with. Specifically. But what people really want to know is enough information so that we can identify these individuals before they go on rampages. And we'll never get to that point. Sure, I understand that people want information and maybe we can know more about this case and this person as a -- as a guide book.

Well, that's wishful thinking. If other people -- if you have in your life a son or a neighbor, a co-worker who's in trouble, who's suffering, you know it. You don't need a document, an instruction manual based on the Colorado shooter to tell you that this person needs help.

COOPER: John, you have actually talked with investigators who used special equipment to try to kind of recreate what occurred. What's the purpose of that?

MILLER: One of the things that's going on in this case is they have such a complex crime scene, with so much -- so many ballistic evidence, so many bodies, so many elements over -- just so much to collect, that they have actually held the crime scene longer, because they want to get the bullet trajectory and all of this evidence in. It's not a scene where one or two people were shot and it's kind of what they do with photographs and charts.

So they brought in some of the most sophisticated equipment. I talked with Hal Sherman from the NYPD crime scene. I said, what's the best stuff out there? And he said, you know, the top of the line is Aris 360, it's a Canadian company. They've developed a software where you can combine this. So you take a 360-degree digital image with laser measurements that collect up to 30 million points of reference. Then you lay Aris 360 software over it and it allows you to recreate the scene to exact scale, introduce the victims where the witness statements tell you they were, put the gunman where they place the gunman. If they are using this weapon and the shell casings eject out to the right and fly eight or 10 feet, you find where those shell casings are, you can extrapolate that the gunman was eight feet to the left of that.

And then you can actually snap on what they call trajectory tool and using the witness statements and everything else, you can see where bullets were fired, where they ended up, where victims were. And it's powerful in front of a jury.

COOPER: Professor Fox, I was reading --

FOX: When you --

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.


COOPER: Yes, when you need it.

FOX: Yes --


COOPER: Some of the stuff --

FOX: When you need it.

COOPER: What do you mean?

FOX: I'm saying, this is -- this is really an open-and-shut case when you look at it. It will not be hard for the prosecution to document and prove who the shooter was. That kind of technology is extremely useful when there's kind -- when there's some doubt as to what really happened and who's responsible.

MILLER: But I would -- I would disagree with the professor on the following, which is -- and I'll defer to him on the legal matters. But the crux of this case is going to be a battle between whether the suspect is this lolling person we saw in court the other day, falling asleep and seemingly out of it, or whether he was a cold, calculating individual who was capable of putting together this extraordinarily layered and complex plot.

So when you bring evidentiary tools like this that bring the crime scene back to life as alternative theories, new information comes and you can adjust that new data into it without losing your scene, what you're able to demonstrate to a jury is he may say he was incapable of complex thought as he sits here today, but watch his actions, watch his tactical planning, watch his prowess. So you actually -- you actually can need it.

COOPER: Professor Fox, appreciate it --

FOX: But --

COOPER: I'm sorry, go ahead, Professor.

FOX: But also, you have a crime that's timed perfectly to the premier of this movie. You have the level of planning involved. This was not a difficult case to show that someone is clear headed. I mean, I understand what you're saying. Certainly we like to gather as much evidence as possible to present to the jury, but a case like this, the likelihood that the jury is going to return anything than a guilty verdict frankly is extremely slim.

COOPER: Yes. Professor Fox, appreciate your time.

FOX: But we don't want to, obviously, going to -- we still presume he's innocent.

COOPER: Yes. Of course. John Miller, thanks for your reporting. Appreciate it.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter, @andersoncooper.

Coming up, a new perspective on the chaos inside and outside the theatre that terrible night. Emergency dispatch tapes paint a picture of what it was like for the victims and the first responders who were trying to help them. That's next.


COOPER: Well, welcome back. Right now we've heard a lot about the rush to get out of the theater, Theater 9, following the mass shooting Friday in Colorado. What happened later at area hospitals. But let's look at the vital moments in between, moments that must have seemed like hours out in the crowded parking lot which that night because equal parts crime scene, triage area and traffic jam.

Tonight what it was like for victims and first responders, much of it caught on emergency dispatch tapes.

A report from Randi Kaye. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Aurora Police arrive at the scene of the shooting within three minutes of the emergency call. Five and a half minutes later, police make their first request for ambulance.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: We need rescue inside the auditorium. Multiple victims.


KAYE: About two minutes later, another call for first responders. This time to treat a child who is critical and inside Theater 9.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: I've got a child victim, I need rescue at the backdoor of Theater 9 now.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE DISPATCH: Back door Theater 9. We'll start them.

KAYE: Unable to wait any longer, police start moving victims outside on their own.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: We're bringing out bodies now. Get someone to the back as soon as you can. Rescue personnel. We've got at least three to seven hit.

KAYE: Medics are again requested for the child police are worried about.

UNIDENTIFIED FIRE DISPATCH: Again, P.D. is requesting medical personnel in Theater 9, they have a child down and cannot evacuate.

KAYE: Quick-thinking police start transporting those critically injured to hospitals in police cars.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: Metro 10, Lincoln 25, do I have permission to start taking some of these victims via, via car? I got a whole bunch of people shot out here. No rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: Yes, load them up, get them in cars, get them out of there.

KAYE: At this point more than five minutes have passed since the first request for paramedics to treat the critically injured child inside Theater 9. Still no first responders. Another plea for help from police.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: We have one we cannot move in Theater 9. Get an ambulance hurry (ph) here as soon as they're available.

KAYE (on camera): The Aurora Fire Department's first responders are on the scene just five minutes after the shooting. But for far too long they are blocked from getting to the theater and those most critical by those less injured. A sea of wounded victims streaming into the parking lot stops paramedics in their tracks, leaving the most critical patients at the theater untreated.

(Voice-over): Aurora Fire Captain Al Robnett wouldn't go on camera with us but told the "Denver Post," quote, "They were overwhelmed with patients. Patients were running towards them. They were covered with blood. We cannot move past a patient to get to another patient."

Remember the child police say is in desperate need of a medic? Another request for help goes out.

UNIDENTIFIED FIRE DISPATCH: P.D. is again requesting emergency medical to the back of the theater.

UNIDENTIFIED FIRE COMMANDER: I copy that. I'm just trying to get things under control here.

KAYE: And another.

UNIDENTIFIED FIRE DISPATCH: Sir, I apologize again. P.D. is asking for emergency medical to the back of the theater. I believe that they have another party inside Theater 9 that they can't evacuate which is a child. But they have 10 parties down behind the theater is what they're saying.

KAYE: At this point, they are about 20 minutes into the shooting chaos. Still, no rescue teams on site at Theater 9.

Emma Goos managed to escape the theater. She told Anderson Cooper about one critical victim she saw wandering the parking lot untreated.

EMMA GOOS, EYEWITNESS: He was asking for help and no one would stop to help him. And I thought -- I have to at least talk to him. I'm not trained in paramedics at all but I should talk to him. And I went over and he had been hit in the head.

KAYE (on camera): Dispatch tapes also indicate a breakdown in communication between police and fire. Police clearly knew there were dozens shot, but a fire commander tells dispatch there are perhaps just 20 victims.

UNIDENTIFIED FIRE DISPATCH: Do we have an approximate patient count at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FIRE COMMANDER: I'm just trying to sort it out right now. I'm hearing 10 here, four here. I'm going to go with 20 for right now. Let's just go with 20 people until we get this verified.

KAYE: Twenty-two minutes into this, rescue teams and the fire department are still clearly overwhelmed.

UNIDENTIFIED FIREMAN: We have nine shot. If we can get any ambulances to stage unstable, we can get them over to the ambo's. UNIDENTIFIED FIRE DISPATCH: OK, just stand by, let me get this sorted out. I'll be with you in just a minute. Just hang on.

KAYE: Finally, nearly 24 minutes after shots fired, ambulances arrive at the theater's backdoor.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE: All right. They're rolling in now.


COOPER: Really gives you a sense of the chaos there.

Randi joins us now live from Aurora, Colorado.

On the dispatch tapes, did they ever identify the child that they were trying to save?

KAYE: No, Anderson, they never ID'd her. They never who she was, but we can only guess that it was Veronica Moser-Sullivan. She was the 6-year-old who died in this theater shooting. There were no autopsy results released so it's hard to know what her injuries were and what maybe possibly if she could have been saved if they had reached her sooner.

COOPER: And any response from emergency responders about the delays in treatment? Because they -- the police seem to be on the scene immediately.

KAYE: Right. The police were there within minutes. We did get a statement just from -- just moments before we went on air from the city and from EMS telling us that they also arrived within minutes, that they started treating patients immediately. And that's true. We've reported that in our story, you just heard that. But what they don't identify is which patients. It could have been the patients in the parking lot.

It wasn't the patients who were critically injured who were at the theatre because you have to wonder that if -- why would the police be calling for ambulances over and over and over again, Anderson, for more than 20 minutes if they were staring at an ambulance right there in front of them. So clearly they weren't there. They did say, though, that they -- all of the patients were en route to the hospital within 55 minutes.

COOPER: Yes. Well, a lot of confusion obviously.

Randi Kaye, appreciate it.

Randi, talking about the people who worked to keep a horrible tragedy from being even worse. And so many people responded so quickly, as we've said.

Now because we made a promise along with the people of Aurora to remember the lives of the fallen, we want to remember tonight, Rebecca Wingo, mother of two. She was multitalented. Her friends say multilingual. She devoured books in a single sitting and was putting herself through school again. She was just 32 years old.

Her mother, Shirley, joins us now.

Shirley, I'm so sorry for your loss and I can't even imagine what you're going through and what your family is going through. We've been trying to just talk to as many family members, and we just want to hear about what Rebecca was like. I've heard so many people describe her in such glowing ways. What do you want people to know about Rebecca?

SHIRLEY WYGAL, DAUGHTER KILLED IN THEATER MASSACRE: We want Rebecca to be remembered for the loving, giving, brilliant soul that she was. We want her life in the military to be honored. She's with the Air Force for 11 years as a Mandarin Chinese linguist. She was going back to school. She wanted to work with foster children who were aging out of the system and have nowhere to go. She was just the best hearted person you ever would meet.

And we also wanted to thank everyone who's helped us so much. And we wanted to clear up some confusion about the 529, that's fine, and also the, Web site. And we want you to know, those funds are being used to bring in people from all over the world that love Rebecca, and there's a lot, and want to say good- bye to her. So thank you so much for letting us all get-together.

COOPER: You're joined also by Kate Wodahl, a great friend of Rebecca.

Kate, you were Rebecca's best friend. What was it about her that drew you together? I heard one person say that she was like a catalyst when she entered a room. She sort of lit up the room.

WYGAL: So true.

KATE WODAHL, BEST FRIEND IN THEATER MASSACRE: Yes, she did. I met her at a music show. Music was one of her favorite things. And she just -- she was so vibrant. And everybody was so drawn to her. And we just -- turned out we had so much in common. And we just became friends instantly. And we spent a lot of time together, going to shows. And she was always there for anyone that needed her, all the time. She was the most giving person and the most brilliant spirit I've ever met.

COOPER: She's left behind two daughters. How -- I mean do they understand what's happened?

WYGAL: The 9-year-old has a better grasp, but the 5-year-old, no. And we've been told by psychologists that they're too young to understand permanence. So even if the 9-year-old understands that mommy died, she doesn't -- she can't imagine that mommy is never coming back. Ever.

COOPER: I know that you've all been gathering with friends and family and just remembering, remembering Rebecca and remembering all the good things about her. And I think it's so important to remember how somebody lived their life, not just how their life ended. And so I guess surely --


WYGAL: Absolutely in this case.

COOPER: Yes. Shirley, is there anything else you want people to know about Rebecca?

WODAHL: She should be an example to everyone as the most amazing way to live a life. Just go for it and kindness all of the time.


WODAHL: She always showed kindness to everyone. She didn't have a mean bone in her body. If everyone lived that way, we'd be a much better world.

WYGAL: That's right.

COOPER: I know that --

WYGAL: We're going to do it Rebecca's way from now on.

COOPER: I know that the prayer vigil on Sunday, I've said this before, but I thought one of the most moving moments was when a speaker would read out somebody's name and the whole crowd would roar back, "We will remember you." And I just want to leave you with that tonight. And, you know, I think there's a lot of people --

WYGAL: Thank you.

COOPER: And we will remember her. And I appreciate you coming on and talking about her.

WYGAL: Thank you.

COOPER: Shirley and Kate, I wish you both strength --

WYGAL: Thank you so much.

WODAHL: Thank you.

COOPER: Yes. I wish you strength and peace.

WYGAL: And thank everybody in the world for praying for us. Thank you.

COOPER: We will remember.

When we come back, injured survivors who are facing not only long and painful recoveries in some cases, but very big hospital bills. Some hope to report on that front next.


COOPER: Some terrifying video of a 2 1/2 ton killer whale nearly drowning a trainer. This video it might have gone unseen. We'll explain ahead on 360.


COOPER: Well, they held the first funeral today in Aurora for Gordon Cowden, 51 years old. The oldest victim. In the coming days 11 more families will lay their loved ones to rest. They will be remembered.

As for the survivors and their families, many are now facing another kind of nightmare. The prospect of crippling medical bills. There's late word, though, on a way out for some of these families.

A story now from Ed Lavandera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They came to this "Batman" premiere to watch a take of good versus evil. Now the shooting survivors find themselves in an epic tale of life and death. And when they emerge from the physical scars, they'll find themselves battling another villain, daunting medical bills.

Caleb Medley was shot in the head. He's still in critical condition. His family says he's slowly getting better but will take years to recover. He's lost his right eye and is suffering brain damage.

Medley worked at Wal-Mart until January. At night, he chased his dream of being a comedian, finding standup gigs whenever he could.

CALEB MEDLEY, SHOOTING VICTIM: You know, one of those things you set up in the door? And you -- you do the pull-ups and sit-ups. I got mine all set up and I started to do one pull-up and I tore down my ceiling.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Medley's family expects medical bills to go well over $1 million. The Medleys don't have medical insurance and his wife just gave birth to their first child so friends have started a Facebook page and web site, asking for donations.

SETH MEDLEY, VICTIM'S BROTHER: Our hospital bills are going to be insurmountable. It's extremely hard. It's very difficult, but I know that we're not going to see him like this forever. It's going to be back on his feet in no time.

LAVANDERA: Petra Anderson was also shot in the head. She required complex surgeries to remove a bullet lodged in her skull. So her sister is making a desperate plea with this video posted online.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The reality of after the hospital stay is starting to loom large. My mother was preparing to go down for cancer treatment for a potentially aggressive cancer later this month. That on top of my sister's hospital bills is making it pretty daunting. That's why with we're reaching out to you.

LAVANDERA: the family says it will be far more than the almost $175,000 they've raised so far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for standing with us and letting this Joker know he may have intended it as his story, but we're taking it back.

LAVANDERA: As if fighting for your life didn't require enough superhero strength, many survivors will battle another wound, inflicted by a gunman who called himself the Joker. And none of this is funny.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Ed Lavandera joins me now from Aurora. Are the shooting victims getting any kind of financial help here?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know, there's a great deal from small efforts, people collecting money as best they can from friends or organized efforts like the web sites and that sort of thing.

But there's also we have heard late today from one of the hospitals, Children's Hospital Colorado, they told us late tonight that they will be waiving all of the medical costs for the patients that were brought there.

For those who don't have insurance and for those that do have insurance, they'll have their deductibles and those types of costs waived as well. The governor's office has a fund that has some $2 million in it.

But that was described simply as a good start as many of these people will be facing many millions of dollars worth of medical costs in the weeks and months ahead.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to try to compile a lot of these web sites and funds on our web site, I don't think it's up there yet. But we're going to try to get it up there by tomorrow at the very latest so people can check in and see if they want to help.

Ed, appreciate that reporting. There's a lot more we're following tonight. Isha's here with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a military judge ruled that the army psychiatrist accused in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre may be forcibly shaved if he doesn't shave his beard himself. Major Nidal Hasan who is Muslim has refused to shave to keep with Koranic teachings.

A group of Penn State football players say they will not leave the program in the wake of the massive NCAA fine and other penalties, following the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial.

The widow of an Israeli Olympian killed in an attack during the 1972 Munich games made an urgent plea today for minute of silence at the opening ceremonies of the London games on Friday.

Andre Spitzer and 10 other Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in that attack 40 years ago.

And North Korea's leader is no longer a bachelor. According to state run media, Kim Jung-un has married a woman named (inaudible). Anderson, no details were given about her or when the couple tied the knot. Another bachelor to scratch off my list -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Isha. Tonight, newly released video tells how close a Sea World trainer came to death when a killer whale suddenly turned on him in a performance, dragged him under the water repeatedly by the foot.

The videotape attack, it was key evidence the reason it's been released and we're showing it to you. I was key evidence when regulators slapped Sea World with safety violations after the death of a different trainer in 2003. This attack that you're about to see took place four years before the death of that trainer. The important details in the video, we'll show it to you ahead.


COOPER: A hospital lab technician accused of spreading Hepatitis c to at least 30 people by using patients' needles to give himself pain killers. Now there's word he could have had contact with thousands of patients in at least eight states. We have details ahead.


COOPER: Tonight for the first time, we're seeing a really chilling video that federal regulators used to depend their decision to slap sea world with safety violations after the 2010 death of a trainer named Dawn Brancheau at Sea World Orlando.

The newly released video shows a 5,000-pound whale repeatedly dragging a very experienced trainer under water at Sea World's San Diego Park. The trainer was injured, but managed to escape even though he was held under water for long periods of time.

Now keep in mind, this was shot four years before Dawn Brancheau was killed. Tom Foreman now takes a closer look.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Set against the cheerful background of Sea World's orca show in San Diego, the video from 2006 is chilling.

Ken Peters, an experienced trainer is swimming with a 5,000-pound female, an animal he's worked with for years, with no apparent warning the killer whale grabs his feet and pulls him under water for close to a minute.

Then it brings him to the surface where he the trainer pets the whale, tries to calm it, only to be taken down again.

CAROL RAY, FORMER TRAINER: It's a horrifying event to watch. FOREMAN: We asked Carol Ray who was herself a Sea World trainer for two years what she sees that a tourist might miss.

RAY: I think that the whale was trying to make a point. Once they finally come to the surface the first time. She is making a point by keeping him captive like that.

FOREMAN: Ray insists that many times in her experience orcas broke off from their trainers, acting out in a sense. Usually the whales were brought back under control with no serious results.

And in the 2006 video, the whale finally releases Peters who scrambled from the pool and staggers away with a broken foot.

RAY: I think he had no choice, but to simply remain calm and do what he can to get her to relax. But at the same time, if she had wanted to do more damage, she very easily could have. I think it was her decision.

FOREMAN: Amid reports of Casaka's attack in 2006, Sea World said this.

MiKE SCARPUZZI, SEAWORLD HEAD TRAINER: There are times like this. They are killer whales and she did choose to demonstrate her feelings in a way that obviously was unfortunate. And we are fortunate that our guests did have to see this and you know, we obviously do not want this.

FOREMAN (on camera): Now embroiled in litigation with the government, Sea World said it could only give us a written statement about that video.

(voice-over): Which in part says it shows the trainer's remarkable composure and the skillful execution of an emergency response, which helped result in a successful outcome with minor injuries.

Sea World's trainer returned to work shortly after this incident and remains a member of the team to this day. Just as the debate continues, too, over trainers coming nose to nose with the sea's top predators.

RAY: The only reason to get into the water with them is entertainment.

FOREMAN: Over how close man and beast should be as the show goes on. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Investigative journalist, David Kirby is the author of "Death at Sea World." He obtained the video of the 2006 incident through an information request. He joins me now.

David, good to see you again. You say this whale was trying to send the trainer a message related to her calf. How so? DAVID KIRBY, AUTHOR, "DEATH AT SEAWORLD": Her calf was in the back and she was being forced or asked to perform in a show in the front pool and this had happened several times before.

When she would hear her calf call to her, she would break from control. Sometimes she would swim in angry circles. She had actually grabbed Ken Peters twice before this incident and we don't know for sure, we can't get inside her mind.

But any intelligent mother wanting to be with her calf and comfort her calf would try to make her distress known to the people she works with including people she's quite close to, like this trainer.

COOPER: You know, folks who support Sea World say look, this is educational. It's informing people a wide audience about these incredible animals.

I don't understand, though, why it is OK to take these animals out of wild and put them in a small pool, given their size. I mean, it just seems kind of a throwback to another time, doesn't it?

KIRBY: It is a little bit like the dancing bears from the Victorian era, which now we would never permit and abhor. Kasaka was captured from Iceland when she was quite young as was Tilicum.

He was taken away from his mother from the ocean when he was 3 years old. These animals tend to stay with their families their entire lives. They have very tight bonds with each other.

When we separate them and put them in artificial pods, in an artificial ocean that is maybe 1/10,000th, the size of their natural range. I think it's only understandable why some of them not all are going to have moments of aggression.

They're going to act out. They are going to snap. I think Kasaka snapped. It was trying to tell her trainer she was unhappy. I think Tilicum definitely snapped. Ken Peters got out of the pool alive.

Unfortunately, Dawn Brancheau did not. By the way, that was just over three years after the Peters incident and three years after that incident also, a trainer was killed in Spain by a Sea World whale on loan to that park.

And there was a Sea World trainer who was conducting the training exercise when the Spanish trainer, Alexis Martinez, was rammed and killed. So three years after this incident, we had two deaths in a killer whale pool.

COOPER: We have a digital dashboard question from Facebook. Sean Evans asked, what extra safety procedures were set up after the attack in 2006 and why didn't it prevent the attack in 2010?

KIRBY: I'm not aware of any specific safety procedures set up after this attack except they finally removed Kasaka from what is called water work. Trainers are still no longer allowed to in the pool with her.

But the Cal OSHA, the Occupational Safety Organization in California issued a very scathing report on the attack and issued several recommendations to prevent it from happening again.

And they said if you don't do this, it's only a matter of time before somebody dies. Well, Sea World apparently applied a lot of political pressure to get that report removed from the record and that warning and they went about their business. And three years later, two people died.

COOPER: We'll continue to follow this. David Kirby, appreciate that you've been with us. Thank you.

A new clue in the search for missing cousins in Iowa, a story we've been following. Surveillance video apparently shows the two little girls riding their bikes together before they disappeared. We'll tell you what we know and show it to you ahead.


COOPER: Tonight, a medical story that's raising some important questions. This man, a 33-year-old lab technician is accused of spreading Hepatitis c, which is a potentially deadly disease to at least 30 people, and possibly hundreds if not thousands of more.

He's worked in hospitals in eight states, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania. Authorities say he ejected himself with painkillers meant for patients when he worked in a hospital in New Hampshire and left the syringes to be reused on patients.

Tonight, there's troubling new information about his past. Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now. So these people got infected by these technicians using dirty needles on them?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, using needles or syringes that he had already used. It's called drug diversion where a health care worker takes a drug that was meant for a patient and uses it on him or herself.

In a federal affidavit says that this man, alleges that this man would take fentanyl, which is a powerful, powerful narcotic that was meant for a patient, would use it on himself.

And then would sort of quietly replace that syringe with another one that was failed with saline that he had previously used. So far 30 people have tested positive for help Hepatitis C, the same strain that he has.

COOPER: So the reason, I guess, according to that, he wasn't intentionally trying to spread Hepatitis C. He was just trying to mask the fact that he was shooting himself with this painkiller.

COHEN: Right. When you read the federal affidavit it becomes clear that he was -- you know, they seemed to think that he was an addict. I mean, when they finally found him, he was in a hotel room, intoxicated, suicidal, and so yes, he wasn't intentionally trying to kill people. He was keeping up his habit, it sounded like.

COOPER: He worked in at least nine hospitals in eight states since 2007. Were there any signs that he was stealing these drugs meant for patients?

COHEN: You know, there is and that's what's particularly disturbing about this story, Anderson. In 2008, according to an FBI affidavit, he was working in a hospital and in the hospital, they started noticing that he was acting erratically and so they did an investigation because an employee noticed something.

I'll read to you exactly from that affidavit. What it said was that an employee in the operating room observed him enter an operating room, lift his shirt, put a syringe in his pants and exit the room.

Three empty syringes baring fentanyl labels were found on his person. An empty morphine sulfate syringe and a needle were later found in his locker.

And a drug test found fentanyl and opiates in his urine. So you look at that and you think, well, that pretty much says it right there. But from what we can tell, this was never reported to federal authorities. He later left that hospital and moved on to another one.

COOPER: So are hospitals supposed to report incidents like that one?

COHEN: They are. They are supposed to report an incident like that to the Drug Enforcement Agency. As a matter of fact, whenever even a single narcotic is missing, if they, for example, find a syringe of fentanyl missing, they're supposed to report that.

And they're really supposed to report when it goes beyond that, but you know, experts tell me that often they don't. They don't report it. They just want to get rid of the perpetrator and move on.

COOPER: And so he moves on to the next hospital in 2008, ends up at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire. Did anyone there notice anything?

COHEN: You know, some nurses did notice something. They said that he was acting strangely. His eyes were red and puffy. And in fact, it got to the point where his supervisor called him in and said what's going on here?

He said, my aunt died. I got the news last night. I've been crying since 3:00 in the morning. His supervisor said well, why don't you just go home.

And according to a federal official we talked to, he said it appeared like the supervisor just bought the aunt death story. Turned out his aunt didn't really die.

COOPER: Elizabeth, appreciate the reporting. Thanks. Let's get the latest on other stories we're following right now. Isha's back with the "360 Bulletin."

SESAY: Anderson, some video surfaces that authorities believed shows the two Iowa girls who have missing since July 13, riding their bikes on the days they disappeared.

The sheriff's office believes the girls on the surveillance video are 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins and his 10-year-old cousin Lyric Cook. And the time line matches up to when they left the house.

Tito Jackson's son T.J. has been appointed temporary guardian of Michael Jackson's children. The family drama playing out with conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the children's grandmother and guardian, Katherine Jackson.

Baseball legend Carl Ripken's mother was abducted at gun point from her home in Maryland, but is now safe and with relative that's according to authorities.

Police say the suspect showed up at the 74-year-old woman's home early yesterday, forced her into a car. Police say the suspect seemed to have used her credit card, but there's no evidence of any ransom demands.

And Anderson, disturbing video from a bar in Augusta, Georgia. A 36-year-old man was hospitalized after police say he let his friends douse him in alcohol and set his head on fire during a bar bet.

COOPER: Are you kidding me?

SESAY: Yes, an investigator said he's seen crazy things over the years, but that tops the list.

COOPER: All right, Isha, thanks very much.

Coming up, a town in Texas that is all about bikinis. "The Ridiculist" is next.


COOPER: Time for the "Ridiculist." Now I don't know whether you're aware of this, but there's a sports bar franchise in Texas called bikinis. Now I'm not personally familiar with the establishment, but I would imagine it's some kind of theme restaurant involving the history of the nuclear weapon test on bikini in 1940s.

No? So, yes, Bikinis Bar and Grill is a magical, alternate universe in which women in bikinis serve bacon, cheese burgers and beer. Now basically it's hooters only without the oppressive Victorian uniforms.

Plus one other major difference at Bikinis, they have fried Oreos on the menu, Oreos. But here's the deal with Bikinis Bar and Grill. You would think the guy who owns it would be sitting on top of the world.

Having brought together fully loaded nachos and nearly naked employees, but all visionaries who came before him, the owner of Bikinis is not content to rest on those laurels. He had new trails to blaze.

So he bought a town in Texas and renamed it Bikinis. It's not actually a town, per se. The area former know as Bankersmith, Texas, couple of acres, an old building and an abandoned bus.

Still the restaurant owner not my word, by the way, it's on their web site, anyway, the guy says he wants to turn it into a world class destination, possibly with a bikinis hall of fame.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought it would be a great opportunity to put a headquarters for bikinis and literally put it on the map.


COOPER: Now there's actually another piece to this story, some strings attached if you will. According to "Dallas Observer," another local reports back in the 1990s, a woman named Maggie Montgomery built a stage in Bankersmith and has been hosting some pretty amazing sounding live music jams there ever since.

I'm guessing it's the end of that era. Yes, in Bikinis, Texas, it's skimpy swimwear 1, music 0. But the locals they say it best.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The locals around here no matter what you change the name to from hooters to bikinis to McDonald's. The locals are still going to call it Bankersmith, Texas.


COOPER: McDonald's, very well said, by the way. Call it what you will. But in hearts of those in the know, it will always be Bankersmith, Texas, from top to bottom.

That's it for us. We'll see you again in one hour from now. Latest edition of 360 at 10 p.m. Eastern, join us for that. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts right now.