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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Fugitive Father Captured; Showdown Over Iraq War Funding Heats Up

Aired April 25, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, again.
We begin with breaking news about a criminal on the run finally being brought to justice.

This is the man. His name is Byron Perkins. And he became known as the worst dad in America. He used his son's potentially fatal illness to get out of prison, promising to donate a kidney to his teenage son. Instead, once he got out of prison, he and his girlfriend took off. They fled to Mexico.

Now, after a year on the run, he and his girlfriend are back, under arrest, back in American custody, coming back on U.S. soil to finally face justice.

CNN's Susan Candiotti has been covering the late developments. She joins us now.

Susan, do we know if he's already been flown back to the United States?


He's supposed to have landed in Los Angeles just about this time. And he is going to be escorted from Los Angeles. He will have a hearing first thing in the morning, an extradition hearing. If he waives extradition, Anderson, then they will take him to Kentucky, where this whole thing started.

COOPER: Any idea at this point how he was able to stay on the run so long?

CANDIOTTI: You know, and a lot of people are amazed that he was able to last this long, for so long, for over a year.

No, we're still waiting for details on exactly how Mexican and U.S. marshals caught up with him in Mexico.

COOPER: What -- is he being returned with his girlfriend?

CANDIOTTI: He is. His girlfriend is Lee Ann Howard. And she's a fugitive from justice, too. They both have long criminal records.

And, when they took off, it wasn't clear whether they had any money stashed away somewhere or whether, you know, when they were hiding out in Mexico. In the beginning, when we first found out about them, they were leaving -- running up hotels bills, and running out on them. So, we don't know what he's been doing in all this time.

COOPER: And, before he ran for his life and ran away with the kidney he promised to donate to his son, and basically played a federal judge for a fool, he was about to be sentenced to a long time behind bars; correct?

CANDIOTTI: A very long time, because of his long criminal record. They had busted him on a probation violation. And he stood to spend at least 25 years behind bars.

So, Anderson, it's amazing, to this day, to try to figure out how it was that that judge believed him when he said he would be good and stay out of jail and donate this kidney to his son, when he potentially was going to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

COOPER: And where was he captured?

CANDIOTTI: He was captured in Puerto Vallarta. Apparently, he had spent the last few days there. And, before that, he was in another part of Mexico called Manzanillo, not far from when you and I first heard he had been when tourists spotted him after they saw our story some time back.

COOPER: Let's take a look at what they have been through, the course of this since, as we have been following this case now really since it began more than a year ago.

Let's take a look at the past.


CANDIOTTI (voice-over): They got him, Byron Perkins, nicknamed the most hated dad in America, busted in Mexico, back in the U.S., in a heap of trouble, a dad who cried in front of a judge who let him out of jail last year, so he could donate a kidney to his son, Destin, a son who desperately needed a kidney to live.

Perkins fooled them all and took off running with his girlfriend. It was only after CNN ran the story that tourists in Mexico recognized him and called police. The couple had run up a hotel and bar bills and skipped out on those, too.

For over a year, the U.S. Marshals searched for the odd couple, and finally caught up with them in Puerto Vallarta. Authorities say they spent time before that near Manzanillo.

Last fall, we visited with Destin after he got a new kidney from an anonymous donor. Back then, he said this about his dad. And his mom says, nothing's changed.

CANDIOTTI: Do you think you could ever forgive him?

DESTIN PERKINS, SON OF BYRON PERKINS: Forgive him? Probably not. That's -- it was a pretty bad thing that he did to me.


CANDIOTTI: And, so, while this man has been on the run, Destin says, now that he's been caught, he is very much relieved.

And, while Perkins was gone, his father died, and his mother has cancer. Suffice it to say, it's fairly likely that Perkins is going to be spending a very long time behind bars, now that he's back in the U.S.

COOPER: Susan, thanks for the latest developments.

You know, a lot of family members in the Perkins family were hurt by what Byron Perkins did. His mom had posted bail money to get her son out of jail. He left her in the lurch.

But no one, as Susan mentioned, was more physically and emotionally hurt by what Perkins did than his son, Destin. He got a donor kidney, thankfully, last summer. He's doing much better.

I spoke to him by phone a short time ago.


COOPER: Destin, where were you when you heard that your dad had been apprehended?

PERKINS: I had just walked in the house, through the front door, and sat down, and the phone rang.

COOPER: What went through your mind?

PERKINS: It was shocking. I mean, it took a big lift off my shoulders. I mean, it's been -- it's been worrisome.

COOPER: Did you expect him to get caught?

PERKINS: Sooner or later. But, I mean, I didn't think it would turn out anything like this. I thought it would be more like them turning themselves in, or not -- I wasn't expecting it to be this soon, you know, that...

COOPER: He and his girlfriend have been returned to the United States. Do you want to see him?

PERKINS: There's a lot of anger between me and him right now. I mean, I would like to see him, just to tell him what I think and just ask one question, why he did it.

COOPER: Why he did it. What do you think he would say?

PERKINS: It's kind of sad that -- that he would run out on me like that.

COOPER: You must have been angry.

PERKINS: Oh, yes, there was a lot of anger going on there between us. It was -- it was depressing. I mean, it really wasn't healthy on me at the time. I was 16 years old.

And to have to worry about this, I mean, it just wasn't healthy for me.

COOPER: I remember talking to your mom at the time. And I think it was a couple months later, and you were on dialysis. You were finally able to get with a kidney; correct?

PERKINS: Right. I got a kidney from San Diego, California. As of today, I'm doing fine, just fine. I mean, the kidney's working great.

COOPER: Well, that's fantastic.

Are you able to you -- I know you used to like to play football. And I heard -- your mom told me you used to ride dirt bikes. Are you able to do that stuff again?


But, I mean, I'm taking a lot of precaution right now. I mean, this is a very valuable thing I have got right now. I don't want to lose it.

COOPER: You said you would want to say some things to your dad. I don't want to pry. And, if you don't want to say, it's fine. But, if you want to say, what would you say to him?

PERKINS: I mean, I don't know how he could lay his head down at night just knowing that he ran away and left me up here to die like that.

And that's just one of my main questions, is why he did it and how he could do it.

COOPER: He also left -- I mean, your grandmother had posted bail for him, and he left her in the lurch as well.

PERKINS: He's not only put me through a lot, but it's been a lot of strain on her. I mean, the time he's been gone, his father's died of cancer. I don't know if he's aware of that. But, I mean, he's gone.

COOPER: You know, you're 17. But how do you deal with something like this? How do you get over it, you know?

PERKINS: Well, it's basically the same way I have gotten myself through this whole kidney ordeal. You have just got to look at things a positive way.

But I just tell myself every day, there's always somebody worse off than me.

COOPER: And do you want to see him back in jail?

PERKINS: That's where both of them deserve to be, as far as I'm concerned, the rest of their life. I mean, they both deserve to be behind bars.

COOPER: Well, Destin, I'm glad things are going well for you. And I'm glad you're -- you're with your family at your grandmother's house now. And I'm glad your dad is finally going to be facing justice.

Thanks so much -- thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us.

PERKINS: OK. Thanks.


COOPER: Joining me from Louisville is Deputy U.S. Marshal Dawn Izgarjan, the lead agent in the search.

How were Perkins and his girlfriend captured?

DAWN IZGARJAN, DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: Hi, Anderson. It's good to talk to you again.

COOPER: Yes, it's good to be here under these circumstances.



IZGARJAN: Absolutely.

They were caught by Mexican law enforcement officers in Puerto Vallarta, just like Susan Candiotti reported.

COOPER: How was it that they were able to be on the lam this long?

I think it was probably about a year ago that you and I spoke, maybe a little less than that. And one CNN viewer had believed they had seen them around Puerto Vallarta. Do you know their movements at this point?

IZGARJAN: The details are sketchy right now. But I did just get off the phone with one of the deputy U.S. marshals that is stationed in Mexico City. He actually flew back -- or flew to Los Angeles with Perkins and Howard.

And he said that they just moved all over Mexico. They got as far as Cancun, and they were working their way back, just working odd jobs. They never stayed in any place for any length of time.

COOPER: So, they were working odd jobs. That's how they had the money.

Did the -- the marshal you talked to, did he say anything about their mood right now? Did they say anything on the plane on the way back?

IZGARJAN: He didn't tell me if they said anything on the way back.

He said that, when he arrived in Puerto Vallarta and did see them, that they appeared to be relieved that this was over.

COOPER: Interesting, relieved.

And they landed in the U.S. just a short time ago. What happens now to them?

IZGARJAN: Now they will be transported to a holding facility. And they will be arraigned tomorrow morning before a federal magistrate.

COOPER: And that's in Los Angeles?

IZGARJAN: That will be in Los Angeles.

COOPER: And what was Perkins originally in jail for? He was facing a lot of time.

IZGARJAN: He was in jail for felon in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana, and possession of a weapon during a drug trafficking offense. And he is facing a lot of time.

COOPER: And his girlfriend, Lee Ann Howard, she has a criminal record as well; correct?

IZGARJAN: She has an extensive criminal history also, yes.

COOPER: So, basically, now, do you know what charges they will be facing because of going on the run?

IZGARJAN: I do not. I...


IZGARJAN: I just think that's up to the U.S. attorney's office.

COOPER: All right. Fair enough.

Great work from the Marshals Service. Deputy U.S. Marshal Dawn Izgarjan, appreciate you joining us. Thanks. Congratulations.

IZGARJAN: Hey, Anderson?



Can I just please say that I -- how much appreciation we have for the Mexican law enforcement officers working this case? They were relentless. They never gave up on us. And they just did a phenomenal job. And we appreciate their help greatly.

COOPER: That's good to hear you got cooperation. Appreciate it, Dawn. IZGARJAN: Thank you.

COOPER: Thanks.

IZGARJAN: Thank you.

COOPER: Far more Americans need new kidneys than get them. Here's the "Raw Data."

In 2005, more than 46,000 Americans needed a new kidney. More than a third have been waiting two years or more. Less than a third, just 13,266, received a kidney.

And, thankfully, as we said, the young Perkins did get -- Destin Perkins did get a new kidney. And he's doing just -- just well, thanks. He's doing very well.

Straight ahead: The showdown over Iraq heats up between Congress and the White House, a vote on setting a deadline to bring troops home, the threat of a presidential veto, bitter allegations all around, and, from us, the facts -- a reality check.

Also tonight: a kind of terrorism here at home hiding in plain sight.


COOPER (voice-over): A deadly message: See a crime, even a killing, and say nothing, or else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was shot once in the back and twice in the back of the head, and was killed instantly.

COOPER: Stop snitching -- the rappers who preach it, the companies that promote it, and the price people pay for speaking up.

Also tonight: She's fading from "The View" -- what Rosie O'Donnell is saying about her departure, and what her nemesis, Donald Trump, is saying now.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: Rosie is a self-destructive loser. And, ultimately, ABC got tired of it.

COOPER: And, to borrow the Donald's line, did somebody tell Rosie, you're fired? -- ahead on 360.




GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, U.S. COMMANDER IN IRAQ: There has been progress, and that is in the reduction in sectarian murders in Baghdad which is about one-third now of what it was in January. That's an important development, because the sectarian murders can be a cancer in a neighborhood. It is something on which our commanders and the Iraqi commanders have focused quite a bit.


COOPER: General David Petraeus shortly after briefing congressional leaders on the situation in Iraq, and arguing against setting a timetable to pull troops out.

It turns out it wasn't enough to stop the House from doing just that, narrowly approving a war funding bill that calls for combat forces to start leaving Iraq by October 1, and sets a non-binding goal to complete the pullout by next April. The Senate vote is expected tomorrow. And, if it passes there, President Bush promises a veto.

Earlier, with a debate still going on, we sat down with CNN's Michael Ware, just back from spending time with American forces on the ground in Iraq.


COOPER: Michael, you literally just got back from Iraq. You were recently embedded in Diyala Province.

How does the situation on the ground compare to what we're being told over here?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, having just arrived back in then United States today, Anderson, I'm struck by the almost delusional nature of the debate that's under way.

I mean, what we're hearing, in the wake of General Petraeus's briefing to Congress, I mean, it's so out of touch with what's actually happening on the ground. I mean, the truth is, America has a lot of tough decisions to make right now. It needs to define for itself what success really will be.

COOPER: We heard today, after meeting with General Petraeus, John Boehner, the House minority leader, said that -- he was saying, a lot of the sectarian violence is being backed by Iran, has been caused by Iran.


WARE: Old, old story. The sectarian...


WARE: Absolutely.

The sectarian violence is two things. One, it is the ultimate legacy of former al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Now, he was assassinated by the U.S. using a precision bomb that blew him up in a house. He said from the very beginning -- he wrote it: My plan is to create sectarian violence, a civil war, because that will feed al Qaeda's aims.

That also feeds Iran's aims. The more that these two halves of this society go to war, the more it feeds America's enemies.

And, to hear American politicians talking about putting pressure on Maliki, a lame-duck prime minister who has no authority with his own people or his government, to force a reconciliation, that reconciliation is in nobody's interests.

COOPER: Well, if not Maliki, what are the other options? Are there other options?

WARE: A great question, Anderson.

The alternatives that are being considered are non-democratic. They point specifically to places like Pakistan and Egypt, where you have military strongmen with a quasi-democracy who first deliver security, and democracy comes after that.

COOPER: Where does the so-called surge -- others say just escalation -- where does it stand? How is it going? Too soon to tell?

WARE: Oh, way too soon to tell.

But what I can tell you right now, that, in terms of Baghdad, if you want to look at it through a microscope, without looking at the rest of the country, the surge will have an impact.

But, at the end of the day, if America wants to win in Iraq, it would need to surge the whole country. But it can't. So, what it's done, in Baghdad, you're seeing changes in the violence.

You hear these politicians saying, sectarian murders are down.

Yes, that's true, but at what cost? American deaths are up.

COOPER: Michael Ware, thanks.

WARE: Thanks, Anderson.


COOPER: Up next up on 360: a deadly shooting, a millionaire rapper involved. Police say at least 25 people saw it, including the rapper, but no witnesses came forward. The reason can be explained with two words: Stop snitching. It's a criminal code that is becoming an epidemic.

Tonight, we talk to the woman who lost the father of her son in the shooting -- next on 360.


COOPER: See a crime, even a murder, and say nothing, or else -- why so many are buying into the deadly stop-snitching message, and who is cashing in on it -- 360 next.



COOPER: If there's a serial killer living next door to you, though, and you know that person is, you know, killing people, would you be a snitch if you called police and told them?

CAMERON GILES, RAPPER: If I knew the serial killer was living next door to me?


GILES: No, I wouldn't call and tell anybody on him, but I would probably move. But I'm not going to call and be like, you know, the serial killer is in 4-E.


COOPER: That was rap artist Cam'ron in an interview I did on "60 Minutes."

And, yes, you heard him right. Cam'ron says he wouldn't talk to police because of the code of ethic he follows, and because it would hurt his street cred and his album sells.

It's a criminal code of silence that is being sold with a two word slogan: Stop snitching. It's in song lyrics these days and music videos, on T-shirt and Web sites.

And, tonight, we are going to dig deeper into the story.

We begin with the shooting death of rap star Busta Rhymes' bodyguard.


COOPER (voice-over): Israel Ramirez, Izzy to his friends, had a great sense of humor. He loved to laugh. And he loved his three sons.

STEPHANIE HIRES, MOTHER OF ISRAEL RAMIREZ'S CHILD: He was a beautiful dad. And he's a missed dad, a very missed dad.

COOPER: One cold winter night last year, his life ended abruptly in a hail of bullets in front of this Brooklyn recording studio.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says, at least 25 people saw the shooting. But nobody is talking.

RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: None have cooperated with the police. So, we're at a standstill in this investigation.

People say: We didn't see it. We were looking the other way. Or they will say, frankly: Ask Busta Rhymes. We have to work in this industry. So, he was there. Ask him.

COOPER: Israel Ramirez was a bodyguard to rap star Busta Rhymes, and he thought he was a close friend.

Rhymes was filming a music video with other big-name rappers that night. Kelly says Rhymes was standing right next to Ramirez when he was shot.

KELLY: Would like to think that any citizen, when a close friend, a confidant, is murdered right next to them, would give us some bit of information. He has given nothing. He has not cooperated with us at all.

COOPER: And that's happening in a growing number of murder cases across the country. Witnesses are refusing to come forward.

Part of it is fear of retribution and a longstanding distrust of the police in some inner-city communities. But Kelly and others also blame a big-money message that record companies are selling hard: Stop snitching, as in, don't talk to the cops, no matter what.

It's a message rappers preach to prove their tough ghetto roots and keep up their street cred. And the young fans are buying it up.

GEOFFREY CANADA, PRESIDENT & CEO, HARLEM CHILDREN'S ZONE, INC.: A lot of these people, they are millionaires. They're no longer in any hood at all. They are not rapping about something they have been through. They're saying anything they need to say to make money.

COOPER: Busta Rhymes did offer these words to his former bodyguard Izzy at the end of a music video.


BUSTA RHYMES, RAPPER: Just wanted to make sure that people seen this, so they know that you ain't die in vain.

Love you, and I miss you, homey. Hope we made you proud.


COOPER: But, for Ramirez's former partner and the mother of one of his children, that's not nearly enough. She's still holding out hope that Rhymes or someone will speak up to help find Izzy's killer.

HIRES: I will never lose hope. I truly think something will come about one day, because someone somewhere is actually going to just clear their own conscience, because they are going to have to.

COOPER: Until then, whoever shot Israel Ramirez is free to kill again.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Again, this is a man who was shot in front of some 25 people, including Busta Rhymes, and none of them have come forward and talked to police.

We tried to reach Busta Rhymes for his comment, but were not able to get one. He has refused to talk in the past.

Stephanie Hires is Israel Ramirez's former girlfriend and the mother of his son, Stiles Ramirez. He's 7 years old now.

I talked to her earlier today, along with the Reverend Al Sharpton.


COOPER: Stephanie, it's been more than a year since Izzy was shot and killed.

And, when you hear that there were some -- as many as 25 witnesses, and no one has come forward to -- to tell police what they saw, what do you think?

HIRES: I think it's a shame that so many people can actually sleep at night, and not be able to just tell what -- what happened, what took place.

I couldn't understand how the police precinct could receive so many calls at one time, and no one's seen anything. No one gave any information, not even a picture, not even a written -- anything, just anything. You could have went into a magazine, cut out pieces of paper, and made up a letter and sent it out to the police, saying -- not necessarily saying your name or how involved you were in the situation, just anything to help.

COOPER: You want justice for Izzy?

HIRES: Yes, I do. He deserved justice. He was doing a job. And he lost his life doing a job. And the person he was bodyguarding felt safe when he was around him. So, yes, justice needs to be served.

COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, does it surprise you that -- that no one has come forward to at least just, even anonymously, tell police what they saw?


I think that, when we create a climate where people, in some code of nonsense, say that we are protecting murderers and thuggery and drug dealers, what was the fear of those in the past, before our time, and even when I was younger, that they didn't want to be misused by law enforcement, now that kind of fear is being manipulated and played on by those that have put our community under siege.

And I think that this is an incredible situation that must be fought and must be exposed. And this exploitation must stop. COOPER: You know, Reverend Sharpton, I -- when we aired this piece last night -- and we talked with this with Geoffrey Canada a lot last night, and Russell Simmons -- I got a lot of e-mails from people, saying, look, you don't understand, in American African communities, the historic distrust of the police.

And -- but this goes much beyond just historic and very reasonable distrust, at times, of the police. This is something, a message that is being marketed and manipulated.

SHARPTON: No, I think that there is genuine mistrust of the police. And I think that many people have that mistrust based on conduct.

But I think that, to submit and to succumb to saying, therefore, I'm going to become the silent protectors of those that will commit crimes against my community, is not the answer.

No one raises more questions than I do about police. The answer is to make the police departments operate fairly and even for everyone. The answer is not to tell criminals, you ain't got to worry about being brought to justice here, because the next step will be, when we fight police cases, then those that testify there are told, you shouldn't be talking.

COOPER: Stephanie, when -- I don't know if you saw the "60 Minutes" piece that -- that we did.


COOPER: We interviewed a rapper, Cam'ron. And he said that, if he lived next door to a serial killer, that he wouldn't tell police there was a serial killer next door. He would move, but he wouldn't tell police.

Does that kind of attitude surprise you?

HIRES: Yes, that does surprise me, because you're actually saying, even as a parent, that you're telling your children to lie. And that's not a good thing.

COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, did it surprise you?

SHARPTON: It doesn't surprise me, because I understand some of what's going on and what's being said.

But the answer that I would say to him and others is, what about the people that can't move? What about the people that don't have that option?

We have got to solve the problem of criminal justice in our community. And solving it is not to give refuge to those that want to prey upon us. I think that, clearly, we have got to correct policing. But the way to correct it is not to sit there and say, you can do whatever you want. I'm not going to say anything, and I'll just move away and allow you to be exploited. So now, I'm going to sit there and be the prey of bad cops and robbers? I think that that is ridiculous and I think it makes our community in a double way the exploited and oppressed. And that, I think is wrong.

We've got to struggle toward justice, not struggle toward giving some kinds of amnesty to all of those that are wrong in our community.

COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, what responsibility do these hip-hop artists and the record companies, these multi-billion dollar million dollar record companies that are behind them, what responsibility, what role should they play? Because they're the ones right now, you know, wearing the Stop Snitchin' T-shirts and calling each other snitches and telling -- you know, spreading this message?

SHARPTON: Well, I think they've got a large responsibility. You know, first of all, when I was growing up, snitching is if you were a part of an organization or group that was being wrongly portrayed. You don't turn around for your own self-aggrandizement or advantage, not that you were trying to sell dope or murder people.

I think that when we look at these huge corporations that are benefiting from it, that are really exploiting our community, we've got to call them into accountability. Just like they stopped rap records that they felt were anti-police, now, we've got records where they're really making our communities victims.

Two of the icons in that world are Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. We haven't even resolved their murders. That cheapens the lives of all in our community, when people can just be murdered and people walk away like they didn't even kill a human being. That's not the answer.

That's one of the reasons we begin as of next Thursday starting a march on these companies. Because these owners don't live in communities that that could happen. They would not let their children or their husbands in this case be killed and no one pay a penalty for it.

Why should we become less than anyone else in society because of some marketing plan by people that wouldn't live under the same code?

COOPER: Who are you going to start marching on? I was looking it up. Busta Rhymes is the parent company which supports and promotes him is Universal Music Group. Their CEO and chairman is a guy named Doug Morris.

Who are you marching against on Thursday?

SHARPTON: Next Thursday May 3rd we're going to start -- we're going to march in front of all of them with a decency march. We're starting in front of Sony, going past Sony Universal, going past Warner group. We're putting them all on notice.

Because we think that the kind of code, in terms of using words like the "N" word and the "B" word and the word "ho," these kinds of things need to be addressed industry-wide. We said after Imus we were going to do it. We're going to start next Thursday and then we're going to go one by one. But we're going to visit them all next week

COOPER: Stephanie, for you, this isn't, you know, some political argument. This isn't some thing out there. This is very real. Your former partner, the father of your, you know, beautiful son, was shot to death, by all accounts, by police accounts, in front of Busta Rhymes, in front of some maybe as many as 25 other people.

What would you say to a Busta Rhymes who hasn't been willing to even tell police what he saw?

HIRES: I would like to know what can he tell my son when he wants to know what happened to his dad. I would like to know him as a dad what could -- what could someone tell your children if it happened to you? How can they feel? They have no one to call, no one to say daddy to, no one to run to, speak to, just to get a hug, just say, "I love you."

COOPER: I hope someone comes forward and talks about what they see. I hope Busta Rhymes comes forward and at least tells what...

HIRES: I sleep well at night, and I wake up with a smile. So it's OK.

COOPER: Stephanie, thanks.

HIRES: Thank you.

COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, appreciate you for being on the program. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you.


COOPER: We'll continue to follow this, this week and next week, as well, for that matter.

Still to come, Rosie O'Donnell quitting The View. John McCain making a presidential declaration and President Bush shaking his booty?


COOPER (voice-over): He's running.

He's doing -- what is that? The Hokey Pokey?

And these two are trading punches. "Raw Politics" heating up.

Also tonight, she's fading from "The View". What Rosie O'Donnell is saying about her departure and what her nemesis, Donald Trump, is saying now.

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Rosie is a self-destructive loser, and ultimately ABC got tired of it.

COOPER: And to borrow the Donald's line, did somebody tell Rosie, "You're fired"? Ahead on 360.


COOPER: I want to bring you new video just into CNN, pictures of Byron Perkins. That is him in handcuffs and the yellow cutoff T-shirt at Los Angeles International Airport just moments ago. He and his girlfriend were apprehended. They are in federal custody, back on U.S. soil after more than a year on the run in Mexico.

This is the guy who fled to Mexico after he bluffed his way out of jail. That is the first shots we are getting of his girlfriend. He bluffed his way out of jail, promising to donate a kidney to his desperately ill teenage son.

Now he's back, nailed in Puerto Vallarta. He didn't give the kidney, of course. He just went on the lam. His son is doing just fine, no thanks to him. He got another kidney from another source.

He now faces an extradition hearing tomorrow and a long time in prison back in Kentucky and some extra charges because of running away.

We'll have more on this at the top of the hour. Tomorrow night on 360, we'll bring you an in-depth report on a life or death subject.


COOPER (voice-over): Before their infamous murders, these killers were odd but not obviously dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can happen anywhere in the nation.

COOPER: A college student, a housewife, a quiet middle-aged guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In big towns, in small towns, in rural neighborhoods.

COOPER: So how did they all go unnoticed? Why weren't they stopped before they acted?

Tomorrow night, our special report, "Killers in our Midst".


COOPER: We continue tonight with the raw nerves over the war in Iraq. So how is it that the commander in chief found time today to boogie? That is raw material for tonight's edition of "Raw Politics".

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Democrats won Congress on their promise to deal with Iraq. So when the top man on the war comes to town, all the big Dems are ready to talk, right? Wrong.

General David Petraeus told Congress behind closed doors, the coalition is making progress in Iraq, despite all the interference by Iran and al Qaeda. And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi skipped the meeting. Republicans, ready, aim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're disappointed that Speaker Pelosi is not going to attend this. But we will be there.

FOREMAN: Da da-da! Steny Hoyer to the rescue. He points out Pelosi had a 30-minute private phone conversation with the general.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), MAJORITY LEADER: It is usual generally traditional that speakers receive individual briefings from individuals like General Petraeus.

FOREMAN: So where was Pelosi? Sources say she was in her office rallying votes for the Democrats' troop withdrawal deadline, the very thing Petraeus says will be disastrous. The president still promises a veto anyway.

John McCain announced his bid for the presidency two months ago.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That I will be a candidate for president of the United States.


FOREMAN: No, wait, six weeks ago. I mean, last week. OK, today, no fingers crossed, it's official.

MCCAIN: Today, I announce my candidacy for president of the United States.

FOREMAN: He would be the oldest new president ever, but he needs some older presidents first, some Jacksons. Keep an eye on his fundraising; it's been weak.

Who's strong enough to keep New York safe? Rudy Giuliani says Democrats don't recognize the danger of terrorism.

But they do recognize a softball. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all slapped it out of the park, saying Rudy is just playing the politics of fear.

And finally, Malaria Awareness Day, and the leader of the free world did the mosquito. As you can see, he also beat a drum. And can't beat that.

That's "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.


COOPER: Tom, thanks very much.

Don't miss "Raw Politics" and the day's headlines with the new 360 daily podcast. You can watch it on your computer at Or get it from iTunes, where it's one of the most popular downloads.

Up next, Rosie O'Donnell's big announcement, the reason she says she's disappearing from "The View" and a reaction from, as you guessed it, Donald Trump. Ahead on 360.


COOPER: Rosie O'Donnell has taken her own view of things somewhere else. The combative co-host is leaving "The View" in June after just one feud-packed season. Take a look.


ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Breaking news. Breaking news. Breaking news. Did you hear this on CNN? It's breaking news.

COOPER (voice-over): For some, it may have been breaking news, but for us, well, not unexpected. Rosie O'Donnell's leaving from "The View" was met with either shock or a sigh of relief.

O'DONNELL: I've decided -- and we couldn't come to terms with my deal with ABC so next year, I'm not going to be on "The View".

COOPER: Her tenure on the daytime talk show was brief but certainly memorable. She first took her seat at the table in September 2006.

O'DONNELL: This is my first day on "The View". I'm in the Meredith chair, and it's exciting.

COOPER: The former standup comic was never what you'd call a shrinking violent. But no one seemed prepared for the deluge of controversy she'd come to court.

O'DONNELL: And I'm taking my medicine, so everything's fine.

COOPER: In just the last seven months, she'd pick fights with, well, just about everybody. She called fellow daytime talk show host Kelly Ripa a homophobe, following this bit of banter.


CLAY AIKEN, SINGER: I'm in trouble? I should just...

RIPA: No, I just don't -- I don't know where that hand's been, honey.

O'DONNELL: Now, listen, to me, that's a homophobic remark. If that was a straight man, if that was a cute man, if that was a guy that she, you know, didn't question his sexuality, she would have said a different thing.

COOPER: She also took on fundamentalist Christians.

O'DONNELL: Just one second. Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam

COOPER: And shared her views about what happened on 9/11.

O'DONNELL: It is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved.

COOPER: Oh, yes. She also offended Chinese Americans.

O'DONNELL: Well, you can imagine like "Ching chong, ching chong Danny DeVito. Ching chong chong, 'The View'. Ching chong."

COOPER: And she insulted the president.

O'DONNELL: You know, this administration, it's getting close to the end, people. Say the word, impeach.

COOPER: And then, of course, there was that feud with Donald Trump, painting an ugly picture of the man and his beauty pageant.

O'DONNELL: Everybody deserve a second chance, and I'm going to give her a second chance.

TRUMP: Well, Rosie's a loser. She's always been a loser. I've always understood it. She failed with her magazine. She failed with her show. As you know, at the end it was doing very poorly in terms of the rating. Rosie is really somebody that's just unattractive in every sense of the word.

COOPER: "The View's" creator, Barbara Walters, has at times seemed embarrassed by O'Donnell. But today, she said this.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": I hoped that it would be more than one year, but we have had, to say the least, an interesting year.

COOPER: In the end, of course, it's the ratings that count. And Rosie's ravings have given "The View" a ratings rise. So Rosie may be gone, but not for good.

O'DONNELL: But it's not sad. Because I loved it here, and I love you guys. But I'm not going away. I'm just not going to be here everyday.

Cooper: Hold onto your hats. There's no telling where she'll turn up next.


COOPER: Well, Rosie's bitter feud with Trump has produced a lot of choice words on both sides, of course. Here's a little more from the Donald. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Her ratings were really good when she and I were going at it in January. Since then, her ratings have been falling precipitously. They've really been coming down quickly.

Now, Rosie's always been that way. Her last show was thrown off for ratings. And the fact is her ratings turned out to be bad, because people get tired of Rosie. They get tired of listening to her.

So you know, if you look at from a ratings standpoint, from a lot of other standpoints, I think ABC just made the decision, we don't want to put up with this abusive person.


COOPER: (whistling) Hey.

Still ahead on 360, a tornado tears a deadly path through a Texas border town, killing people on both sides.

Plus, the fiery end to the search for a man suspected of killing a state trooper and wounding two others. Next on 360.


COOPER: Our "Shot of the Day" is coming up. Frankly, we can't get enough of this shot, the Bush boogie, the president moving to the music. See how he stacks up against some of our other favorite dancers.

But first, once again, Tom Foreman with the "360 Bulletin" -- Tom.

FOREMAN: Hi, Anderson.

The cleanup effort is under way after a deadly tornado hit along the Tex-Mex border. Three people were killed in Mexico, seven others in the Texas town of Eagle Pass. Five of the victims were from the same Texas family and found huddled together in the wreckage of a mobile home. At least 80 others were injured.

In the Catskill Mountains of New York, authorities have recovered a body from a farmhouse that went up in flames. Police had surrounded the house before it caught fire, because they thought a shooting suspect was inside.

His name is Travis Trim. He's accused of shooting to death one state trooper and wounding two others. Tests will be done to see if it's Trim's body they recovered. Meanwhile, police say they aren't sure how the fire started.

In Los Angeles, the Phil Spector murder trial has started. The music producer is accused of fatally shooting an actress in his mansion more than four years ago. In opening statements, a prosecutor told the jury Spector is sinister and deadly with a long history of victimizing women. His defense team said the death was a tragic accident.

And on Wall Street, the Dow closes above the 13,000 mark for the first time ever. Blue chips gained 135 points and finished the day at 13,089. The NASDAQ added 23, and the S&P 500 shot up 15 points.

Big day out there, Anderson.

COOPER: Historic day. Tom, time for the "Shot of the Day". We just have to show the video again, President Bush getting his groove on in the Rose Garden today, marking Malaria Awareness Day. Watch and enjoy.




COOPER: So, Tom, how do you rate the moves?

FOREMAN: I think that -- I think, Anderson, that's good. I'm going to give that one an eight.

COOPER: An eight?

FOREMAN: Pretty good. He had the right sense of humor about it.

COOPER: That's true. That's true. Always helps.

FOREMAN: Yes, but take a -- look, I've got my own. I was there a couple weeks ago. Take a look again. Give me a score on this one.


BRAD SHERWOOD, COMEDIAN: He will rap it when you give him a chance. Look at him move, doing the rapping dance. That's true, he's a dancing resident. Crossing his arms. He's rapping and a-chilling and showing his charm.



FOREMAN: Check out Karl Rove, man.

COOPER: I've got to give a "one" on that one.

FOREMAN: A "one"?


FOREMAN: That was pretty -- he kind of danced like a broken lawn chair.

COOPER: Yes. I wouldn't even say it was a dance.

If you want to see dancing...

FOREMAN: A German jazz band.

COOPER: If you want to see dancing, hold onto your hats. You've got to see the 360 production crew. Take a look.




COOPER: There you go! There you go!

FOREMAN: Yes, that's great.

COOPER: Tens all around. Tens all around.

FOREMAN: The great part is that was just a normal afternoon. I'll give them 101. What's that, 101.

COOPER: There you go. There you go. Perfect.

All right, Tom. Thanks.

We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some amazing video or some presidents dancing, tell us about it: We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

Still ahead tonight, more on the breaking news we've been following. A fugitive dad has split after promising to donate a kidney to his son, now under arrest. That is him arriving just a few minutes ago. We're live with new developments coming up next.


COOPER: A sickening crime, a man promises to donate a kidney to his ailing son and then flees the country. Tonight, a new twist. The story still developing, 360, next.


COOPER: We begin with breaking news. A father in custody. Definitely not father of the year material. Byron Perkins, moments ago being escorted through the Los Angeles International Airport. He used his son's nearly fatal illness to get out of prison. Then, instead of helping, he high-tailed it across the border to Mexico with his girlfriend.

Tonight, more than a year later, Perkins and his girlfriend are both back on U.S. soil, finally facing justice.

CNN's Susan Candiotti has been following the sad story since the beginning. She joins us now with the latest -- Susan. SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.

Well, the jig is up now for Byron Perkins and his fugitive girlfriend, Lee Ann Howard. They've been on the run for more than a year now, leaving Kentucky and winding up in, of all places, Mexico. Both were wearing casual beach wear. You saw them being escorted through Los Angeles International Airport. Perkins' girlfriend still has very long hair.

You couldn't tell by looking on the expression on Perkins' face just exactly what he was thinking, but boy, wouldn't you like to know?

The U.S. marshals say that the couple has been hop-scotching around Mexico for more than a year now. And where did they get the money? Well, according to authorities, they'd been doing odd jobs here and there. We know that in the past that they would run up hotel and bar bills and then run out on them.

But apparently after that, they started off in Puerto Vallarta and then made it all the way to Cancun before slowly making their way back to Puerto Vallarta. And eventually, that's where they were caught. That's where they've been for last three days or so. So finally, their luck ran out.

COOPER: Susan, remind people a little bit of how this all began. Byron Perkins was in prison, but convinced a federal judge to let him out by promising to donate his kidney to his ailing son.

CANDIOTTI: That's right. And literally, Perkins cried in front of this judge. Everyone in the courtroom said they were so touched by his sincerity. And he said to the judge, "I promise to you, if you let me out of jail I'll go to have these tests done, and then I will donate my kidney."

Well, on the last day, when he was supposed to show up for test he took off. They couldn't find him, and that was it.