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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Alleged Double Murderer Caught in Indiana; Tornadoes Sweep Through Iowa; Examining Indigo Children
Aired November 14, 2005 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
The parents didn't approve. Now the parents are dead. And at least one of the star-crossed lovers is a murder suspect. Romeo and Juliet, this is not.
ANNOUNCER: Forbidden love. She's 14. He's 18. Her parents said, no way. Now they're dead, murdered, and the teen is caught after a high-speed chase.
1ST SERGEANT DAVID BURSTEN, INDIANA STATE POLICE: The pursuit ended. Mr. Ludwig was taken into custody. And Kara Borden was also recovered unharmed.
ANNOUNCER: But is this girl a kidnap victim or an accomplice to murder?
A female suicide bomber's shocking confession -- tonight, why this 35-year-old woman strapped on a suicide belt and tried to blow up a wedding party.
And they call them indigo children. They have high I.Q.s, heightened intuition. And some claim they can see dead people. Tonight, are these people being manipulated by their parents, or is there something to their unusual claims?
ANNOUNCER: This is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.
A double murder suspect in custody tonight, along with his apparent girlfriend, a daughter of the victims. We are going to bring you the latest on that -- but, first, a look at the news at this moment.
A strong earthquake has shaken Eastern Japan. The 6.9-magnitude quake was centered about 330 miles east-northeast of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean. Japan's meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning.
President Bush is en route to Asia for an eight-day trip that covers Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia. He first made a stop at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base, where he took another shot at Democrats who have accused him -- his administration of manipulating the intelligence that led to the Iraq war. The president says they're rewriting the past and sending mixed signals to U.S. troops and the enemy.
Mr. Bush's trip comes as his approval rating dips to the lowest level of his presidency. A new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll found that only 37 percent of Americans approve the way he's handling the job. Sixty percent disapprove.
Mother Nature is delivering at least one last punch in a record- setting hurricane season. Tropical Depression 27 has formed in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. It could be Tropical Storm Gamma soon and perhaps a hurricane by the end of the week. Official hurricane season concludes at the end of this month.
Tonight, the nationwide manhunt for an accused killer and the girl he allegedly abducted is over. It ended this afternoon in Indiana after a high-speed police chase. It began in the predawn hours yesterday in Pennsylvania. That's where police say the 18-year- old suspect shot the girlfriend's parents to death, a horrific crime scene. Investigators say -- they say -- they believe the crime was triggered by a fight over her curfew.
CNN's Allan Chernoff reports.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 600- mile flight Kara Borden and her 18-year-old boyfriend, David Ludwig, ended here outside of Indianapolis, after Ludwig allegedly shot and killed Kara's parents. The Volkswagen Jetta were driving crashed after a police chase at speeds up to 90 miles per hour.
DAVID COX, INDIANA STATE POLICE: I pulled him from the car. There was some slight resistance, but that was it. She was just frantic, crying, screaming.
CHERNOFF: Police say, early Sunday morning, David Ludwig brought Kara home after a full night out together. Kara's parents, Michael and Cathryn, summoned Ludwig back to their home. He returned, concealing a handgun. During an argument, Ludwig allegedly shot Kara's father, Michael, in the head, then shot her mom, Cathryn.
(on camera): Making the story even more horrific is the fact that Kara's 15-year-old sister, Katelyn, told police she saw her father being killed right by the front door, then ran inside of a bathroom as her mother was shot. Minutes later, Katelyn ran out the back door towards a neighbor. Her 9-year-old brother, David, had already run across the street to this neighbor's home, from where he called the police.
(voice-over): Police stormed the home, but found only the two bodies.
On a street that appears simply idyllic, neighbors are shocked.
DAVID JONES, NEIGHBOR OF BORDENS: It just makes you think. It makes you stop and take a good, long, hard look at everything around you and so much we take for granted, that you just never know.
CHERNOFF: Still unknown, whether or not Kara played any role in the murders.
SKYLER JONES, FRIEND OF KARA BORDEN: She was a really nice friend. She's an amazing friend. Her parents always made us feel at home at her house. It was just a nice place to be.
TOM MANNON, NEIGHBOR OF BORDENS: She seemed to be a typical all- American girl, just a sweet kid on the street, and just a beautiful kid. And -- and she knew my girls very well.
CHERNOFF: David Ludwig, neighbors say, often dressed in black and favored a Goth look. He was homeschooled and had worked as a lifeguard and at Circuit City this past summer.
CHERNOFF: The district attorney plans to charge Ludwig with two counts of homicide and one count of kidnapping. If convicted, Mr. Ludwig could face life in prison -- Anderson.
COOPER: Allan, you know, you look at both these kids' Web sites, and they both seem very religious. I mean, they talk a lot about God on it, about Jesus. They quote Christian music on some of the sites. I mean, are -- are they talking at this point? Do you know? Have you heard anything from police?
CHERNOFF: Not from police.
Keep in mind, the Indiana police actually, under Indiana law, could not question the 14-year-old Kara. But Kara's friends told me that they described her, in fact, as being -- quote -- "very Christian."
Lots of folks talk about the two of them going to church, being religious. But, obviously, people have different interpretations of religion here, clearly.
COOPER: And is -- is it known, at this point, how long they were a couple?
CHERNOFF: They apparently met through a homeschool group. So, they have known each other, apparently, for some time.
But details of the relationship at the moment remain sketchy. So, we don't really know exactly how long they have been dating. Some of Kara's friends told me that they -- they were not aware of the relationship, even.
COOPER: Well, in the next hour, on "360," we are going to talk to a neighbor who -- who knew both kids well. We are also learning more right now about the two teens. And we are getting information from their own personal Web sites. This is David Ludwig's Web site. This is what it looks like. He is -- he is obviously accused of killing his girlfriend's parents now. On his Web site, he's posted a lot of pictures of himself, as a lot of kids do.
He also has an image of a laptop computer that he wants to buy. And, in one blog, he quotes lyrics from a Christian rock song, writing -- quote -- "I know where I stand and what will happen if you try it. I'm fireproof."
This is Kara Borden's Web site. Let's put that up. Yes, that's the Web site there. She -- she has a lot of pictures on herself on it. She has also put up images of her family, her baptism. In her last posting, which was dated October 24, she blogged about a soccer game and a test she has to finish.
We turn now to Iowa, where a wave of tornadoes shattered homes and lives in several towns this weekend. At least one person was killed when the twisters swept through the center of the state. Dozens of homes were destroyed. Iowa's governor has declared two counties disaster areas.
Now, those are the broad outlines of the story. They don't really begin to capture the terror of actually watching a tornado bearing down on you, on your family, on your house. There's a home video we are about to show you that was taken on Saturday which leaves nothing to the imagination.
Here's CNN's Chad Myers.
Oh. over my God. over my God.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): The pictures are incredible. With an F-2 tornado bearing down on his Woodward, Iowa, neighborhood, this man stepped out into the storm to capture it all on videotape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God.
MYERS: Thrilling? Yes. But it is actually a textbook example of what not to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God. (INAUDIBLE) Get over here! Bad, bad dog.
MYERS: Although the storm passed more than a football field away from the cameraman, you can see all the debris swirling around him. And the flying debris is a leading cause of injury and death in tornadoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh!
MYERS (on camera): Officially, in Iowa, on Saturday, eight tornadoes touched down. Two became F-2 tornadoes, with wind speeds approaching 150 miles per hour.
And just to the northwest of there, a third storm passed through Stratford, Iowa. It was an F-3, with winds near 200 miles per hour. The same cell that hit Woodward, the F-2, later reintensified west of Ames, producing another F-2 twister, prompting the evacuation of a stadium full of Iowa State football fans.
(voice-over): November brings an average of 35 tornadoes in the U.S, compared with a peak month of May, which has 192.
Strictly by the numbers, this November has been pretty typical. But it has been an unusually deadly month, with 23 dead so far. The average is just four fatalities. The reason for that? Geography. This month's tornadoes have hit towns, rather than open spaces and farm fields that comprise much of Tornado Ally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all right? You all right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
MYERS: And another night of severe weather tonight, Anderson, another day tomorrow. We are seeing the storms pop up now. They weren't really here about an hour ago. They're firing up around Paducah, also into Cape Girardeau. Some of these cells could have tornadoes by morning, and another round of severe weather possible.
Now, you think, wait a minute. This isn't spring. We shouldn't have spring weather. But look what we have. We have 76 in Dallas. It was 80 today, 31 in Denver. That's the warm and the cold. We talk about it all the time. When the warm and the cold clashes, you get severe storms. And that's what we have tonight and, again, for tomorrow.
One more thing, another tropical depression on the horizon -- Anderson.
COOPER: Unbelievable, to think they're up to Gamma already.
COOPER: Chad, thanks very much.
When -- this season, let's hope it ends soon.
We turn now to the Supreme Court, Judge Samuel Alito and abortion -- new evidence today that's sure to be red meat for both sides of the debate. Fourteen years ago, at his confirmation hearings, not only did Clarence Thomas refuse to state a position on abortion or Roe v. Wade; he denied ever discussing the landmark case.
Well, today, it became clear Judge Alito will not be able to say the same. Here's our chief national correspondent, John King.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Judge Samuel Alito's own words from a job application 20 years ago are the latest evidence he opposes abortion and the latest exhibit in his increasingly bitter confirmation battle.
"It has been an honor and a source of personal satisfaction to help advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," Alito wrote in 1985 as he sought a promotion in the Reagan Justice Department. "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion."
Abortion rights groups were already on record opposing Alito's confirmation and now hope the new documents released by the Reagan Presidential Library strengthen their argument that Alito is the wrong choice to replace abortion rights supporter Sandra Day O'Connor.
NANCY KEENAN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE: There's no doubt that he would very much either overturn Roe or basically restrict Roe to the point that it's not even applicable in this country.
KING: But the White House and its conservative allies say Alito's personal and professional embrace of the anti-abortion agenda 20 years ago says nothing about how he would deal now with Roe v. Wade and other abortion questions that could come before the high court.
WENDY LONG, JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION NETWORK: And everybody who knows him have said, he's a very fair judge, an impartial judge, who doesn't prejudge any case, and he will decide it based on the facts and the law of that case at the time it comes before him.
KING: In private meetings with senators, Judge Alito has voiced great respect for precedent. And Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter issued a statement, saying that, while Alito's comments 20 years ago are certain to come up at his January confirmation hearings, a review of his record as a federal judge for the past 15 years found a very heavy commitment to legal interpretation which might differ from his own personal views.
The ranking Democrat on the committee, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, said the new documents showed Alito to be an eager and early partisan in the ranks of ideological activists in his party's extreme right wing. Judge Alito's views on discrimination, gun control and police powers are also drawing Democratic scrutiny. But abortion is the biggest battleground among the interest groups using the Alito confirmation fight to raise millions of dollars or the Internet and through direct-mail appeals.
RICHARD VIGUERIE, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN TARGET ADVERTISING: What you are going to see in the next two-and-a-half months is as close to a political Armageddon as we are going to have.
KING: Now, as this fight plays out and the rhetoric escalates, Anderson, it is worth noting that there are six votes currently on the high court in favor of Roe v. Wade. So, even if Judge Alito is confirmed and even if he takes a different view than Justice O'Connor, Roe would still have a narrow five-vote majority.
COOPER: But, John, for all the money that is going to be raised on both sides of the debate on this issue, I mean, what option do those who oppose Alito really have once it gets to the confirmation hearings?
KING: Well, they have no option, except hoping the opponents can outvote him and defeat him in the Senate. Right now, the White House doesn't believe that will happen.
Justice -- now Chief Justice John Roberts received only 22 Democratic votes, as he got 78 votes overall. The White House concedes, it doesn't expect to even get those 22 votes. But, as of now, especially with Senator Specter's statement tonight, it believes that Justice Alito, assuming he performs well at the hearings -- and he's already in practice -- the White House believes he will be confirmed.
COOPER: John King, we will be talking about this a lot in the next couple weeks.
KING: Yes, we will.
360 next, a shocking confession -- a terrorist showing off the suicide bomb that failed her, filled with ball bearings. We will show you precisely how it works.
And the wisdom goes back as far as the Bible, but does sparing the rod really spoil the child? Surprising results of a new study on spanking. Parents, you will want to hear this.
Around the U.S. and the world, this is 360.
COOPER: We think of suicide bombers as being cold, expressionless, almost mechanical people who trade their humanity for explosives, putting the former down when they pick the latter up. And we think of them as being men, because, in the past, they overwhelmingly have been -- but not always.
We now know, of the four terrorists who were sent on a mission of murder at three American-owned hotel chains in Amman, Jordan, last week, the only one who survived was a woman.
CNN's Brent Sadler investigates. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): They call her the fourth suicide bomber, sent from Iraq to kill in Jordan. And this was her confession.
It was almost unemotional. And there was no mention at all of why she carried out this mission. Sajida al-Rishawi is made to display a belt of explosives, crudely linked with tape, say officials here, to a pack of metal ball bearings.
SAJIDA AL-RISHAWI, SUICIDE BOMBING SUSPECT (through translator): My husband wore an explosive belt and put one on me. He taught me how to use it. The targets were hotels.
SADLER (on camera): An ice-cold confession that gives a harrowing account of what happened inside this banquet room when the deadly duo reached this target.
AL-RISHAWI (through translator): There was a wedding ceremony in the hotel. There were women, men and children.
SADLER: Her husband positioned himself here. His wife was on the other side of the room over there. When the bomb exploded, the ceiling collapsed. A burst of steel from the ball bearings cut down guests, sliced through wood and shattered glass.
(voice-over): She is 35 years old. We don't know whether she has children. We are told she has deep connections to the Iraq terror network, the sister of one of terror leader Abu Musab Zarqawi's top aides. Her brother was killed during a U.S. assault on Fallujah last year.
AL-RISHAWI (through translator): My husband detonated his bomb, and I tried to set off mine, but failed.
SADLER: Even though her own bomb apparently failed, all hell was let loose in here. But Sajida al-Rishawi still managed to escape.
AL-RISHAWI (through translator): People fled running, and I left running with them.
SADLER: Sajida al-Rishawi was one of the first suicide bombers to strike at Jordan. There is still a lot of concern here she may not have been the last.
SADLER: The man who sent that woman to Jordan was the terror chief of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born terrorist who was released from jail here under a general amnesty when King Abdullah of Jordan ascended the throne some six years ago, Zarqawi now a most wanted man here in Jordan, as well as Iraq -- Anderson.
COOPER: Brent, do we know what happens now to -- to that woman who has made the confession?
SADLER: She stays in custody. She will continue to be interrogated over a long period of time. And investigators will want to know precisely her movements from the moment she crossed the Jordanian-Iraqi border, what happened to them in this country, most importantly, Anderson, whether or not there are any other contacts that were part of that four-person suicide bomb team still on the large, on the loose here, in Jordan.
COOPER: All right, Brent Sadler, thanks very much.
We have been watching that video all day of the woman showing off her suicide belt. And we assume you have seen it as well. But we wanted to take a moment to take a closer look, specifically at the device, show you how it works and how deadly it can be.
COOPER: Now, this woman's suicide belt is wrapped around both sides of her body. This is the -- the front side of the body. It's basically a giant claymore mine, as you can see.
Claymore mines are about two pounds of explosives. This belt actually has about 22 pounds of explosives in it. It's using RDX, which is a military plastic style of explosive, can be made, this belt, for anywhere, we are told, between $30 and $250.
The explosive is then just duct-taped very tightly to the body, wrapped around on both sides.
Take a look at this. These are ball bearings. You can actually get a pretty good sense of them here. And they're probably contained all throughout this. These ball bearings may be the most expensive part of this item. Sometimes, they use ball bearings. They can also use nails. These will -- will become shrapnel and will be blown a huge distance in a claymore mine, which is about two pounds of explosives.
The blast radius, the shrapnel range, is about 150 feet. Imagine what this can do. This is 22 pounds of explosives. This is the -- part of the ignition cord. It would probably, at some point, be connected up with a cable running through this woman's sleeve. And in her hand would be a simple plunger. This is the plunger right here.
As you can see, it can be pushed into the device. That's what detonates the bomb.
COOPER: So simple and so deadly.
On the mind -- we will have more on the mind-set of suicide bombers in a moment.
But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the other stories we are following tonight. Hey, Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.
Two teenagers are now in custody. But, even with their capture, plenty of unanswered questions in the wake of a bizarre double slaying in Pennsylvania, many asking tonight if 14-year-old Kara Borden was a kidnap victim or an accomplice in the killing of her parents. The girl and her boyfriend, 18-year-old David Ludwig, surrendered to Indiana authorities after crashing into a tree following a high-speed car chase.
Ludwig allegedly shot Borden's 50-year-old parents after a date that lasted past her curfew.
In Jacksboro, Tennessee, school resumed today, after last week's fatal shooting there. The 14-year-old suspect is being held without bond. The prosecutor wants to charge him as an adult, which could mean the death penalty.
In Georgia, a 37-year-old Georgia woman spending her honeymoon behind bars -- she reportedly marrying a 15-year-old last week and is carrying his child. The woman is charged with child molestation. The boy's grandmother, his legal guardian, is trying to have that marriage annulled.
And, in Colorado, blizzard-like conditions have shut down portions of Interstate 70 between Denver and Vail. That's stranded scores of travelers. The National Weather Service says mountain areas could get up to six more inches of snow by midnight.
A little chillier there than it is in Atlanta this week.
COOPER: Such weird weather.
Erica, thanks very much.
Coming up on 360, we are going to talk with a couple of experts about what makes a woman do the unthinkable, strap explosives to herself, decide to die and kill at the same time.
Then, later, they call themselves indigo children. Have you heard about this? Their parents claim they are a new breed of human able to see and hear more than the rest of us can. Some even say they can see dead people who are living and spirits returning. So, is there anything to their claims? We will check out what it means to be an indigo child.
COOPER: I want to talk further about the mind-boggling subject of people who are willing to die to make some point or another. We are joined here in New York by R.P. Eddy, the former National Security Council director of counterterrorism, and, in Chicago, by Robert Pape, author of "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic Of Suicide Bombing."
Gentlemen, thanks for being with us.
Robert, why women suicide bombers?
ROBERT PAPE, AUTHOR, "DYING TO WIN": Well, suicide attackers in general are difficult -- are difficult to identify and see in advance.
Female suicide attackers are especially difficult to see. And, in fact, what we have seen in the past is that some suicide -- female suicide attackers can get to a target that others could not. One of the most spectacular female suicide attacks was by a Tamil Tiger assassin. Her name was Dannu (ph), who committed the suicide assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991.
She was a woman, and she was actually quite pleasant to look at. And, as she approached Gandhi, he just brushed away his security in order for her to approach to put a garland around his neck. And, as she did that, she triggered a suicide belt under her garment, killing them both.
COOPER: The -- the Tamils, of course, use women quite frequently.
R.P., in Muslim societies, it is not as common, though we have seen a number of cases. Why do the women do it? I can understand why someone would want them to. They think they can penetrate the lines. But -- but what is the motivation for the women?
R.P. EDDY, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL DIRECTOR OF COUNTERTERRORISM: Well, different women in different societies have different reasons for doing this.
But, in some instances, particularly in the Palestinian attacks, we have seen it's because the women have been ostracized from society, because, potentially, they committed adultery, or allegedly did. So, here's a way to win back the grace of their family.
In other instances, in Chechnya, the black widow suicide bombers do it because their husbands have been killed. In this instance, in Jordan, it turns out that this woman's brother may have actually been killed by the allies and was a close associate of Zarqawi. So, they have their own personal reasons, like every other bomber.
COOPER: R.P., this may be a dumb question. You know, men, allegedly, martyrs, get 72 virgins in paradise, lakes of honey. What do women get?
EDDY: Well, it is not clear what the -- what the Koran actually offers a suicide female bomber. But what they get from a personal and maybe a non-heaven perspective, is, they have the ability to resurrect the family name or -- or right a wrong that they perceive that happened previously.
And there's something particularly horrifying and terrifying about the idea of a female suicide bomber. In our society, women are considered nurturers. Violence is considered a very male situation. So, this is extra discombobulating for us when this happens. And -- and you have to presume that, on the part of the Zarqawis, the others who are planning these attacks and sending these people on their way, that they realize the irony and the extra pain psychologically that's going to be wrought by having a female suicide bomber.
COOPER: And you think the next step is children?
EDDY: I do. Unfortunately, I think the next step is children. There's actually been six minors have committed suicide bombing attacks in just the last about 10 years.
Internal Scotland Yard memoranda say that they fear that the future of attacks on our subways could include children. And -- and why not, right? Again, it is -- it is extra horrifying for us as a society. That's part of the goal of these terrorists.
COOPER: Robert Pape, R.P. Eddy, thanks.
EDDY: Thank you.
PAPE: Thank you.
COOPER: Ahead on 360, they're called indigo children. They're smart, they're sensitive and they're known to be unruly. But can they really see angels, as their parents claim? We will examine whether these kids have psychic powers or are suffering from a common disorder.
And, if your kids get out of hand, should you spank them? A disturbing new study on the long-term effects when 360 continues.
COOPER: Here's a look at what's happening at this moment. A Pennsylvania teen suspected of killing his girlfriend's parents is in custody tonight, 18-year-old David Ludwig was caught in Indiana today after a high-speed chase. His 14-year-old girlfriend, Kara Borden, was with him. Police say they're questioning Ludwig but cannot question Kara without an adult present because of her age.
A magnitude 6.9 quake hit off the coast of Japan today. A tsunami warning was issued for the Japanese coastline as well as the northwest coast of the U.S. So far, there have been no reports of injuries.
The Martha Stewart version of "The Apprentice" won't get a second season after next month's finale. NBC now says it is all according to plan. Some observers felt that Stewart's gentler, kindler post-prison makeover made it impossible to play the role of a cutthroat executive that viewers would love to hate. Virginia police have identified the so-called "cell phone bandit" who is accused of robbing four banks. Remember this woman? We showed you her story the other day. They say she is 19-year-old Candice Rose Martinez, but that she is still at large.
A question for you tonight, how can you tell if your child is gifted or has a disorder? We ask you that because some parents and even some doctors believe that a number of children today are gifted with psychic powers. They call them "indigo children," and say that some of these kids can even see the spirits of the dead.
Now believing in spirits is not that unusual, a third of Americans do according to a recent Gallup poll, but saying that these children have psychic powers, well, takes it a whole other level. Some doctors say the kids have shown symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, not psychic powers.
Tonight, CNN's Gary Tuchman introduces you to some of the so- called "indigo children," and, well, you can judge for yourself.
SANDY BERSHAD, INDIGO CHILD: Paula (ph), what is your problem? At 14 years of age, you go through a really rebellious time, and that's what...
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through the lens on her computer's camera, 17-year-old Sandy Bershad communicates with friends across the world.
S. BERSHAD: That's Eric. He is from Sweden.
TUCHMAN: But from her bedroom on the Jersey Shore, Sandy says she is wired into another universe, sort of supernatural super highway.
(on camera): Your dead grandmother visited you last night?
S. BERSHAD: Uh-huh.
TUCHMAN: In your bedroom?
S. BERSHAD: Uh-huh.
TUCHMAN: And what did she say to you?
S. BERSHAD: Just to say hello, that she loves me. That kind of thing. She usually just visits. Her energy is very, like, nice, like healing.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sandy, who spends a lot of her time on the beach believes that guiding spirits surround her.
(on camera): So right now, you see angels?
S. BERSHAD: Yes. TUCHMAN: And where are they?
S. BERSHAD: They're over here.
TUCHMAN: Over here?
S. BERSHAD: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Like near my shoulder?
S. BERSHAD: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): It may sound like science fiction, but a growing network of believers say these types of visions are fact. Teens like Sandy claim they're part of a special generation born after 1978 known as "indigo children" for the deep blue auras that psychics say they see around them. Indigo children have high IQs and tend to be rebellious and oversensitive, they're often also said to share specials gifts, heightened intuition and psychic abilities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is one of them, isn't she.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An indigo, like my son.
TUCHMAN: In recent years, the indigo phenomenon has made its way into movies, books, Web sites and even to the therapist's office.
JULIE ROSENSHEIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: They will say, I've heard that you deal with indigo children or children who are highly sensitive. Can you help me with my child?
You think? Hmm. I don't know.
TUCHMAN: Psychotherapist Julie Rosenshein says parents seek her help with kids they believe are indigos, many of whom have trouble socializing and paying attention in school.
ROSENSHEIN: Usually I'll get an e-mail that will say, my child is having meltdowns, she can't sleep at night. She says that she sees things in her room. Can you help me?
TUCHMAN (on camera): And what do you say?
ROSENSHEIN: I usually say, wow, you're seeing something at night? Do you know that sometimes angels visit at night? And their eyes will sometimes cloud up with tears even maybe because it's a first time that anybody really affirmed for them that what they saw was not crazy, did not make them crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not really sure exactly what...
TUCHMAN: Sandy's parents, Tom and Margie Bershad, say from an early age, their daughter was highly intuitive and overly sensitive, and has never liked to be touched. (on camera): Do you believe she sees dead people and angels?
TOM BERSHAD, FATHER OF INDIGO CHILD: I believe that she sees something. What it is, I don't know. But I believe that she's definitely seeing something.
TUCHMAN: Are there ever times, Sandy, where you wish you were just like the more typical kids and didn't have any of these kinds of visions or spirits or anything like that?
S. BERSHAD: No. Life wouldn't be interesting then.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sandy says she is less depressed and doing better in school since discovering her indigo roots, but skeptics warn that being Indigo may really mean just having a colorful imagination or Attention Deficit Disorder.
DR. DAVID STEIN, AUTHOR, "STOP MEDICATING, START PARENTING": You take highly misbehaving children, and who are very, very bright, many of them are, and call them as indigo children, and I think it's a stab at trying to apply a more positive label to these children rather than the more pejorative terms like ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Margie, when a doctor says there's no such thing as indigo children, it's just a label that parents are putting on kids who have ADD or some other condition...
MARGIE BERSHAD, MOTHER OF INDIGO CHILD: I disagree. In my heart of hearts, I disagree. I've seen too many things.
DR. TRENT NICHOLS, GASTROENTEROLOGIST: OK. Well, come on back.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Dr. Trent Nichols is a gastroenterologist in Pennsylvania who treats children for extreme food sensitivities. He believes that up to 3 percent of those he sees are indigo kids.
NICHOLS: I think we are seeing children that really seem to be way advanced for their years or sensitive to certain things, or sensitive about other things in their environment. And I see this in some of my patients now. I don't think we saw it before. I don't remember it 30 years ago doing that, because I've been a physician since '69.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So you think something is going on here?
NICHOLS: Yes. I think something, but it is hard to say what.
TUCHMAN: So the claims of people that these could be a special group, indigo children, can't be rejected out of hand?
NANCY STEPHENS, AURA PHOTOGRAPHS: Inhale. Exhale.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Psychics claim that indigo children have indigo-colored energy fields or auras around them. STEPHENS: Smile. Good. OK.
TUCHMAN: We asked a woman who claims she can take pictures of your aura to come to the Bershad's home and snap some shots of Sandy and me with her so-called aura camera.
STEPHENS: That's the center of your being. And you do have transformation coming in.
TUCHMAN: In my photograph, there was a little indigo color. But in Sandy's, indigo dominated the picture. So are indigos really the next step in human evolution as many believe or suggest? If you have any doubts, Sandy says, just ask her angels.
S. BERSHAD: They want the world and we want the world to know that we are here and we are here to help and that they want everyone to become more aware of indigos, to get used to it.
COOPER: OK. I've never heard of this. I'm not going to ask you if you actually believe it or not. What did doctors say about it who you talked to?
TUCHMAN: A lot of pediatricians and child psychologists basically say, either they have never heard of it, or they don't really believe it. But I will tell you, Anderson, there are an awful lot of people throughout the world who do believe in this. And you do a Google search and put in indigo children, you will see 520,000 hits.
COOPER: don't understand, though, OK, allegedly these are kids or people born after 1978, what is it about that year, why would there suddenly be this rash of children in that age group?
TUCHMAN: The significance of that, 1978, the harmonic convergence that happened. This is a very new age thing.
COOPER: It certainly is. All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks. I'm actually going to get my aura photographed right now. I want to introduce you to Nancy Stephens, a photographer who says that she specializes in capturing auras, correct?
COOPER: So you sit here. This is your special camera.
STEPHENS: This is an aura camera.
COOPER: An aura camera. All right.
STEPHENS: Put your right hand and left hand on the hand plates. There are pickups that will register your predominant energy centers, which translates as your aura.
COOPER: All right.
COOPER: I'm not sure I have any predominant energy centers. But let's give it a whirl.
STEPHENS: Just look straight ahead. Take a nice deep breath. Exhale.
STEPHENS: Just takes a couple of seconds. It's calibrating your energy right now.
COOPER: It's calibrating my energy?
STEPHENS: Yes. Good. OK. We're done.
COOPER: OK. Walk over here with me, if you will. We'll develop the photograph in a little bit.
COOPER: How long have you been doing this?
STEPHENS: Since 1999.
COOPER: And -- here, if you'll just come over here. What is the aura that you're alleging you can photograph?
STEPHENS: The aura is a combination of your physical energy, your emotional energy, and important to me, at least, is your spiritual energy.
COOPER: And what can you tell or what do you say you can tell by people's aura? Is it color?
STEPHENS: Everyone has a unique -- it's like a snowflake or a thumbprint. Everyone has an unique aura. Red is your physical energy, to the other side of the spectrum which is purple, which is the spiritual side of you.
COOPER: And what is the benefit of knowing what one's aura is?
STEPHENS: It gives you insight as to what your gifts are, your strengths and also your challenges. Just like in everything in life, there's a challenge and there's a positive. There's a yin and a yang.
COOPER: I'm not sure I buy any of this. But we're going to develop the photograph in a little bit.
STEPHENS: OK. And we'll look at your...
COOPER: And we'll check out my aura.
Coming up next on 360, gift or not, if your kids are misbehaving, should you spank them? There's a new survey out that's pretty fascinating about the long-term effects of spanking. After we tell you about that, you may rethink your thoughts on how you punish.
Plus, "Sex and the City"'s Kim Cattrall, she is back with a new book, she talks about sexual intelligence and why she thinks people are still having trouble talking about sex, that's later on 360.
COOPER: Sixty-one percent of parents there are condoning spanking regularly for their child. Parents tend to create their own policies when it comes to spanking. And the conflicting advice can be mind-boggling. Consider this, the American Academy of Pediatrics took a firm stand against spanking seven years ago, saying it teaches children that aggressive behavior is a solution to conflict. But when the academy surveyed its own members, four of 10 pediatricians said they recommended spanking under limited circumstances. So, what's a parent to think? Well, a new study that caught our eye may help.
Here's CNN's senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The ritual is as old as the relationship of parent and child. And it seems everyone has a memory of spanking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I lied when I was younger, I got my but kicked, literally, or I got the strap.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I was close, a spoon, a belt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the physical violence of it, the aggression of their actions on your body.
GUPTA: The memories may be distant but a new study conducted in six countries in the journal Child Development says frequent smacking or spanking may sting in more ways than just the physical. Like other studies, it concludes that in the long run, spanking may cause children to become aggressive or anxious. And it's not just about the frequency of spanking.
DR. JOSHUA SPARROW, CHILD PSYCHIATRIST: And I think a lot of the reaction depends on what goes with it, how often it happens, under what circumstances, whether the parent is out of control or not.
GUPTA: The study says the more culturally acceptable spanking is, the less aggression and anxiety it causes. But it doesn't ask whether there may be advantages to spanking. Many experts argue that regardless, spanking children may contribute to behavioral problems.
SPARROW: Even when physical discipline is thought to be acceptable in a particular culture, or in the case of the U.S., in a particular subculture, why take that risk when we now know that to some extent it is likely to lead to more aggression in children?
GUPTA: Gregory O'Gara says when his kids are out of control, he sometimes uses what he calls a subtle smack or a whack.
GREGORY O'GARA: It is right in the moment. You know? Maybe a little smack on the butt.
GUPTA: But he says his rule is to never deliver that smack in anger
O'GARA: That's the problem with -- you know, with most parents when they're spanking their kids, they're angry and they're conveying that anger over to the children.
GUPTA: Child psychologists say the key is for parents to control their own anger and to find other ways to chastise the child, clearly conveying why they're being punished so that a lesson is learned.
SPARROW: And the problem with spanking is that it doesn't teach. In the moment, it may stop the behavior. But in the long run, it actually teaches the opposite of what we want children to understand, which is that aggression is wrong and it doesn't solve problems.
GUPTA: O'Gara says he does teach. And while his kids may not always understand in the moment why they got that little smack, at the end of the day, it's clear.
KAYLIN O'GARA: I get over it. And just know he loves me.
COOPER: Well, Sanjay, you know, plenty of parents spank and think it's effective. Does that guarantee the child is going to be aggressive according to this study?
GUPTA: Well, they make the distinction, Anderson, between frequent spanking and infrequent spanking. Of course, the difference -- it's tough to tell the difference sometimes between what is frequent. What they actually said -- the lessons that they said, don't do it in anger, that's more likely to lead to aggression of the child as well. And also, try and use a lesson of some sort every time the spanking takes place so that a lesson is actually conveyed more than the punishment or the discipline, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, what are some of the best alternatives to spanking?
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's important to keep in mind, there is a difference between punishment and discipline. And spanking can fall into either one of those categories. Some of the other things that might be alternatives are things like a time out, you know, just putting the child into an area by themselves for some time. Also, withholding a privilege as well, and certainly not an important privilege like food or water, but, you know, just a privilege -- the child that may have wanted that day to try and teach a lesson as well.
COOPER: All right, Dr. Gupta...
GUPTA: I'm giving lessons -- I have a 5-month-old and I'm giving parenting lessons.
COOPER: Yes, there you go. Well, we'll see. We'll check back in about two or three years.
GUPTA: That's right.
COOPER: In a moment, everything you thought you knew about the common cold that just ain't so. Some new studies are out on that. What you need to know to avoid the cold this year.
And later, forget about my sign, want to see my aura? This is 360.
COOPER: Earlier in the program we told you about indigo children, kids who some feel are mentally and spiritually gifted or said to have indigo-colored energy fields or auras around them. Aura photographer Nancy Stephens has taken my picture to see what kind of aura I have. And she joins me to talk about it.
How did the photo turn out?
COOPER: Let's take a look at it. What do you see in this? Uh- oh, what is that?
COOPER: That's yellow, isn't it?
STEPHENS: Yes. The yellow reveals that you are an intellect. You're very intellectual. The white above you, that white arc displays your spirit guides, otherwise known as angelic beings or deceased loved ones.
The purple on the left side reveals that you are a visionary. It's a combination of red and blue, equals purple. Red is grounded strength. It's a chi, vitality, it's leadership and courage. And then the blue which is hidden within the purple reveals that you're very good at communication.
COOPER: So, you basically -- I don't quite understand how your camera works, but I mean it gets these things, are they different for everybody?
STEPHENS: Every photograph is unique, like a snowflake.
COOPER: And what -- do you do this, what, at bar mitzvahs and parties?
STEPHENS: I get called to many unusual events. They range from -- I have done bar mitzvahs. I've done animals. Showers. I just did an Overeaters Anonymous party last weekend.
COOPER: Let's just take a look at the photo again. It is an interesting -- why do you think people want to have your services? What do you think this gives people?
STEPHENS: Because it indicates what their strengths are, their emotional energy, their spiritual energy, and their physical energy. It gives them a lot of insight as to who they are.
COOPER: Hmm, interesting. Well, I'm not sure I buy any of it, but it's -- you know, clearly, a lot of people out there do and I appreciate you coming in and showing us how it works.
STEPHENS: You are quite welcome.
COOPER: Thanks very much.
STEPHENS: A pleasure.
COOPER: Returning now to the president's aura, not a color but a number. As we said at the top of the newscast, it's about 37 percent in the polls, give or take. That's the approval rating. On the radar tonight, how his shrinking job approval rating may affect his agenda from country, from tax reform to Social Security to Iraq. A lot of the Republicans he'll need on his side have started edging away instead. According to Joe Johns, our Capitol Hill correspondent, some won't even be seen in public with him. That must hurt. Tomorrow, we'll look at the price of shrinking poll numbers and how presidents turn these things around.
Also on the radar -- literally on the radar, another line of potentially deadly storms, we're bracing for more tornadoes and perhaps another hurricane to boot. All the latest on that from the weather center and we hope not from where it gets rough.
And are all men liars? We're going to here from the author who says, yes, pretty much, on the job, in their lives, and you'll never believe this, on their resume. That's all on the radar tonight and in the news tomorrow.
To the millions around the world joining us on CNN INTERNATIONAL, thanks for watching. The second hour of 360 starts in a moment.
Captured, a teenager suspect -- a teenaged suspected of killing his girlfriend's parents then kidnapping the girl. Police say the girl's sister may have witnessed the murder. We'll have a live report and speak to someone who knows both of them.
Plus, classroom violence, just last week, a boy allegedly killed his assistant principal. So how safe is your child at school and what about the teachers? We'll take a closer look.
And an interesting result in a new study on the common cold. There is information that could protect you from the sniffles.
From around the U.S. and the world, this is 360. Be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Good evening. Welcome to the second hour of 360.
Her parents are dead her boyfriend is accused of the murders, but was she an innocent victim or a will participant.
ANNOUNCER: An 18-year-old and a 14-year-old, "Romeo and Juliet" or "Natural Born Killers"? Her parents said be home earlier, he argued. Later, her parents were found murdered and the kids had disappeared until they were stopped in a high-speed chase today. What happened?
Inside a tornado. Eight different twisters touched down in Iowa this weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God! Oh my God!
ANNOUNCER: Stunning video shot by the people who barely escaped.
Plus, up close and intimate with Kim Cattrall, the "Sex and the City" star's latest project probes the history and mysteries of, what else, sex.
This is ANDERSON COOPER 360, live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Good evening, a lot cover in the hour ahead. But first, a look at the news at this moment.
A powerful earthquake has shaken northern Japan. Magnitude 6.9 quake struck beneath the Pacific Ocean about 330 miles from Tokyo. No reports so far of damage or of injuries.
A memo written two decades ago by Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is drawing fire from abortion supporters. In the letter Alito expresses his support of the Reagan administration's fight to show the, quote, "Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." It also makes clear his opposition to racial and ethnic quotas. Alito wrote the letter while trying to get a job in the Reagan administration as a deputy assistant attorney general.
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