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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

The Strange Resignation of Congressman Eric Massa; David Letterman Blackmailer Sentenced; 'Dating Game' Serial Killer?

Aired March 09, 2010 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: the strange story of Eric Massa got even stranger. Why did the congressman resign? Some of his own answers include cancer, inappropriate language, a White House plot, Rahm Emanuel in the shower, and a staff tickle fight. What's the real We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

Also ahead, a runaway Toyota on a busy freeway, speeding over 90 miles an hour -- tonight, the frantic 911 calls, and you will hear from the man who was at the wheel and almost died from it "Up Close."

Later, he fancied himself a lady killer. It turns out he was. Bachelor number one on that old show "The Dating Game," it turns out he was responsible for murders, one, two, three, and more -- "Crime & Punishment" tonight.

First up, think of all the ways that politicians get into trouble. There's taking bribes. There's drunk driving. There's infidelity. You can run the list. Rack your brain. Go ahead. But chances are, you will never, ever come up with tickle fights. That's right, tickle fights.

That's just one of the things that Congressman -- or former Congressman, I should say -- Eric Massa, a New York Democrat, admitted today on national television, tickle fight with staffers at a home they shared.

There is, however, a very serious side to this story. Massa quit yesterday, saying, in part, the White House forced him out over his opposition to health care reform. And, for a brief moment today, it looked like some conservatives might try to make him their hero because of it.

But, in the end, even talk show host Glenn Beck didn't quite know what to make of this guy, or, perhaps, as Hunter Thompson once said, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

So, why did Massa resign? Joe Johns tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're calling him everything from a hero, to a moron, to a liberal, and a deviant scumbag. Much of the confusion comes from the various stories he's offered for quitting. SHAWN HOGAN, CHAIRMAN, STEUBEN COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE: The story changing day by day. It seems to change minute by minute.

JOHNS: So, "Keeping Them Honest," we went to lay out Massa's explanation.

First, he said he was quitting for health reasons.


ERIC MASSA (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I had a heck of a cancer scare.


JOHNS: That's the explanation he offered Wednesday to a key supporter back in his home district.

HOGAN: He said that he had a reoccurrence of cancer, and that he couldn't fight cancer, be an effective congressman, and a candidate all at the same time. He did not mention any ethical problems to me.

JOHNS (on camera): Did he say ethics violation? That brings us to story number two. On Friday, Massa admits, in fact, he was the subject of an ethics investigation. There was a complaint about what he did or did not do to a male staff member. At first, he said it was about language -- quote -- "I know that my own language failed to meet the standards I set for all around me and myself. I fell short. And I believe now, as I have always believed, that it is not enough to simply talk the talk, but, rather, I must take action to hold myself accountable."

Then, on a Sunday radio show, he said it was about something else. There was a wedding party. He says he had too much to drink, and, he says, reacted to a suggestion that he, a married man, should have been chasing after a bridesmaid.


MASSA: And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you, and then tossed the guy's -- tousled the guy's hair and left.


JOHNS (voice-over): Then, reports surfaced, it was more than that. Massa may have been groped staffers along the way, but he fervently denies it was sexual.


MASSA: Now they're saying I groped a male staffer. Yes, I did. Not only did I grope him. I tickled him until he couldn't breathe. And then four jobs jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JOHNS: Massa story number three: He says he was targeted and all but forced out by fellow Democrats because he opposed the health insurance reform bill, on grounds it didn't go far enough.


MASSA: I was set up for this from the very, very beginning. If you think that, somehow, they didn't come after me to get rid of me because my vote is the deciding vote in the health care bill, then, ladies and gentlemen, you live today in a world that's so innocent as to not to understand what's going on in Washington, D.C.


JOHNS: Three explanations of why he quit, health, a messy ethics investigation, and pressure from fellow Democrats, claiming they opposed him because he was the deciding vote on health care, which clearly is not true.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: So, let us know what you think of all these explanations that Congressman Massa has given. The live chat is up and running at We're going to talk to David Gergen and Arianna Huffington in just a moment, try to make sense of this -- this Congressman Massa.

Later, David Letterman and the blackmailer -- the truth comes out in court today. We will tell you what the blackmailer got and what both men had to say about it.


COOPER: Well, it seems somehow fitting that "Alice in Wonderland" is number one at the box office.

Congressman Eric Massa's departure from Congress and what he's been saying about it have a real kind of beyond-the-looking-glass favor to them. Listen.


MASSA: Now they're saying I groped a male staffer. Yes, I did. Not only did I grope him. I tickled him until he couldn't breathe. And then four jobs jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.



MASSA: When four guys jump on you to wrestle you to prove that you're 50 years old, anything can be called anything, Larry. And what it's all about is innuendo. It's all about using language to destroy people. You know, I don't get to know who my accuser is. I don't get to know what the accusation is. I don't get to know any of that. And, in fact, I never will, because there is no ethics investigation, because I'm not a member of Congress anymore. I can't fight -- I can't fight that, represent my district, and run for a reelection, and the health care bill.

And, oh, by the way, I may have cancer.


COOPER: Eric Massa on -- that was both on "Glenn Beck" on FOX and "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight.

Joining us now, Arianna Huffington of "The Huffington Post," and senior political analyst David Gergen.

David, what do you make of this? I mean, on the one hand today, he seems to be saying that he's taking responsibility for groping or tickling or -- or whatever horseplay he was doing with a couple of -- members of his staff. And, on the other hand, he's sort of intimating that he was pressured out or this -- this is politically motivated.

What's your take?


DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Anderson, you know, people say that Washington politics is a freak show. And Eric Massa is writing a whole new chapter.

I don't think we really know exactly what happened here. What's really important is that he made an explosive charge, that he was forced out of Congress by an orchestrated effort by Democrats.

Today, on "Glenn Beck," when he was pushed and pushed on that, he didn't deliver the goods. He finally said: I wasn't forced out. I forced myself out.

That's the big story here right now, I think.

COOPER: Yes. Clearly, Arianna, there were some conservatives earlier who were hoping that he would somehow reveal some shady doings, some corruption, either on Capitol Hill or the White House. And it's really kind of amounted to nothing right now.


And, to his credit, Glenn Beck acknowledged that much at the end of the show, when he apologized to his audience for wasting an hour of their time. In fact, you know, Anderson, I never thought anything would make me feel sympathetic towards Glenn Beck, but having to interview Eric Massa for an entire hour make -- made me really feel for him.

And it was clear that, not only didn't he deliver, but his story is become more and more preposterous.

COOPER: I -- I mean, I think Glenn Beck is an enormous talent in what he does, but he clearly seemed kind of clutching at straws at some point today...


COOPER: ... you know, kind of saying like -- and, as you said, he turned to the camera finally and said, you know what? I think I have wasted your time.

I just want to play a quick SOT from -- from him earlier today on "Beck" earlier today.


MASSA: I never translated from my days in the Navy to being a congressman.



MASSA: But I did not -- let me be very clear.

BECK: I don't know of tickle fights in the Navy. I have never been in the Navy. I don't know of tickle fights in the Navy.

MASSA: Oh, hey, let me show you something.

BECK: You're going to show me tickle fights...


MASSA: I'm going to show you a lot more than tickle fights. Can you imagine transporting back to this today? It looks like -- like an orgy in "Caligula."


COOPER: David, you were in the Navy. What do you make of the whole tickle fight explanation?


GERGEN: I don't remember any tickle fights.


GERGEN: And I -- listen, I don't know whether this fellow needs media help or mental help. It's probably both.

It -- I think he's sort of a mess. I don't know -- he's -- I think he's addled by all of this. In some ways, you know, he's become a political corpse. The best thing we can do is draw -- put a sheet over him and move on. I think the critical thing is, he does not have the goods in making this wild charge about the Democrats forcing him out.

COOPER: Arianna, is that -- is that your take as well, that, at the end of the day, this is just some temporary sideshow?

HUFFINGTON: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I'm sure there may be another chapter to this, when his accusers may come out and speak, or write a book about it. But when it comes to...

COOPER: Or sue him civilly, maybe.

HUFFINGTON: Or sue him. You know, any of these things may still happen, because, so far, we have only heard his side of the story -- or, rather, his multiple sides of the story.

But he is not really going to have any effect on the health care battle. It only means that Nancy Pelosi now needs 216 votes, rather than 217. But he was not the defining vote, as he tried to make the world believe.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to leave it there.

Arianna, thanks for being on, Arianna Huffington, David Gergen as well.

Up next and "Up Close" tonight, one man describes his frantic battle to stop his runaway Toyota , as the federal government steps in to investigate.

Also tonight, "The Dating Game" killer -- bachelor number one had a very dark secret. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bachelor number one


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your best time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best time is at night, nighttime.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you say that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because that's the only time there is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only time? What's wrong with morning, afternoon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they're OK, but nighttime is when it really gets good. Then you're really ready.


COOPER: Yes, creepy then. It's even creepier now. Bachelor number one, it turns out he was a convicted serial killer. He was just sentenced tonight. We will tell you what punishment he's going to get in "Crime & Punishment."


COOPER: "Up Close" tonight: a terrifying ride inside a runaway Prius.

Federal investigators are looking into a new report of sudden acceleration involving a Toyota model. Now, the company has recalled millions of its cars due to the problem, as you know. But, so far, the only Priuses that have been recalled are those with braking problems.

But, on Interstate 8 outside San Diego, a 2008 Prius went out of control. The 911 tapes were released just a short time ago. Listen.


911 OPERATOR: How fast are you going?

JIM SIKES, PRIUS DRIVER: Eighty-something.

911 OPERATOR: You're going 80 miles an hour?

SIKES: Eighty-one now.

911 OPERATOR: Eighty-one? And it's still stuck?



COOPER: Today, the driver described what it was like trying desperately to stop the car.

Here's Ted Rowlands.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are with Jim Sikes. This is the gentleman who was in his 2008 Prius down here in San Diego County when it went out of control, saying that the accelerator, Jim, apparently just sort of took on a life of its own. Explain what happened.

SIKES: Correct. That is exactly what happened.

I was actually heading east on Interstate 8 in San Diego, and I pushed the gas a little extra, in fact, very hard, to pass a car that was coming on the freeway. And, as I did that, it just, the gas pedal felt kind of weird, and it just went all of the way to fast. ROWLANDS: Then you called 911?



911 OPERATOR: This is 911. Do you have an emergency?

SIKES: My car, I can't slow down.

911 OPERATOR: You can't slow it down?



911 OPERATOR: What kind of car are you in? I heard a Toyota. What color is it?

SIKES: Blue.

911 OPERATOR: Blue?


911 OPERATOR: What kind of Toyota? What kind of Toyota?

SIKES: Prius.

911 OPERATOR: A Prius?


911 OPERATOR: And what's going on? Is your accelerator stuck?

SIKES: Yes. I -- I tried to pull...

911 OPERATOR: Yes?

SIKES: Yes. Yes.


SIKES: I was actually going around cars and came close to hitting one semitruck. And I was speeding up faster at that time. I was in the 80s somewhere. And I kept hitting the brakes, kept hitting the brakes, and it was not slowing down at all. It was just accelerating.

ROWLANDS: What was the sensation like?

SIKES: It was an odd sensation. I felt it in my foot. And I pushed the pedal and it just kind of felt like it just moved on its own. It is the only way I can describe it. It moved on its own and then it took over. It was pushing harder than I was.


SIKES: I'm trying to control the car.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Have you tried to put the car in neutral?


911 OPERATOR: Can you try that?


ROWLANDS: You didn't try to put it into neutral?

SIKES: No. I was afraid to try to over there and hit it in neutral. I was holding onto the steering wheel with both hands -- 94 miles an hour in a Toyota Prius is fast.

ROWLANDS: Why didn't you turn the car off earlier?

SIKES: Because it was not safe. Those are very windy roads. And I didn't know, if I turned the button -- if I hit the button, if the steering wheel would lock or if the wheels on the car would lock.

ROWLANDS: Is there any doubt in your mind that the floor mats had nothing to do with what happened?

SIKES: The floor mat had nothing to do with yesterday's event, period. The floor mat did not move.

I won't drive that car again. I mean, I have no problem with Toyota. Just, I won't drive the Prius. There's obviously a problem that needs to be corrected.

ROWLANDS: And Jim Sikes' Toyota Prius right now at this Toyota dealership in El Cajon, California, just outside San Diego.

Toyota released a statement saying they are sending a technician here to take a look at the car and to help out in any way they can. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation is also sending inspectors here to, not only look at the car, but also to meet with Jim Sikes to hear about his ordeal.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, El Cajon, California.


COOPER: Can you imagine that? It's scary stuff.

We are following several other important stories.

Stephanie Elam joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Stephanie.


Well, a Pennsylvania woman has been indicted on charges she conspired to support terrorists and kill on foreign soil. If convicted, Colleen R. LaRose, also known as JihadJane, seen here in an old mug shot, faces life in prison.

Women who have one or two drinks a day don't gain as much weight in midlife. That's compared to those who don't drink at all. That's according to a new study in "The Archives of Internal Medicine." But researchers warn, an alcohol diet is dangerous and could be linked to various medical problems.

And Lindsay Lohan has filed a $100 million lawsuit against E- Trade. She claims the talking E-Trade babies in this TV ad that aired during the Super Bowl and the Olympics were modeled after her. The babies make reference to "milkaholic Lindsay." The actress has undergone treatment for substance abuse. An E-Trade spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.


ELAM: It seems to me maybe a little hard to prove there.

COOPER: It might be a tough one to prove...

ELAM: Yes.

COOPER: ... although not coincidental, probably, that they did name her Lindsay. Who knows.

ELAM: Yes, but I just think it's going to be a hard one for them to actually get people on their side about.


COOPER: No doubt, yes.

Yes, coming up right now, our "Beat 360" winner. It's our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the photo that we put on the blog every day.

So, tonight's photo is Israeli President Shimon Peres meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Jerusalem today.

Our staff winner tonight is Kirk, his caption: "Yes, indeed, Shimon. Nothing says fodder for 'Beat 360' humor like the Arab- Israeli peace process."



COOPER: Was that a snore?



(LAUGHTER) COOPER: Our viewer winner is Vanessa from Texas, her caption: "V.P. Biden and Israeli President Peres attempt to do the robot."


COOPER: That's sort of...


COOPER: All right, Vanessa, congratulations. A "Beat 360" T- shirt is on the way.

Coming up: David Letterman and his blackmailer, a plea deal from the guy who tried to shake down Letterman. Remember all that talk by the blackmailer's attorney that his client was innocent and that there was a lot more to the story? Well, he certainly changed his tune today. Hear what they said in a moment.

And later, gang life and death on the streets of L.A. -- two brothers, two murderers, one mom's anguish. As the cops search for the killers, they confront the code of silence on the street. Why will no one yet again come forward and tell what they saw?


COOPER: Here in New York today, a guilty plea from the guy who tried to extort $2 million from David Letterman.

Robert Joe Halderman attempted to blackmail the "Late Show" host last year by threatening to expose his affairs if Letterman didn't, in his words -- quote -- "pay me a lot of money" -- end quote.

With the plea deal, Halderman, a producer for CBS News, was sentenced to six months in jail. He was also given five years probation. He had this to say after his plea.


ROBERT JOE HALDERMAN, CONVICTED EXTORTIONIST: Again, I apologize to Mr. Letterman, his family, to Stephanie Birkitt and her family, and certainly to my friends and family.

I will not be doing any interviews. And I thank you all for your patience.


COOPER: Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us now.

What do you think about this punishment? I mean, Letterman said -- and I quote -- "that the police and the district attorney's office handled it professionally and skillfully and -- and appropriately."


COOPER: Was justice served? TOOBIN: I agree. I think this was a rational solution to a weird case. You know, six months in prison is not nothing, but it -- it's not going to ruin Joe Halderman's life. He's going to be able to go on.

COOPER: I think Joe Halderman has already ruined Joe Halderman's life.

TOOBIN: Well, yes. He's not going to go back to CBS News.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: But he will be able to find some other way to make a living. He's got a long community service, 1,000 hours. That's a long time.

And, you know, the -- the Letterman family gets to move on in privacy and, you know, deal with the problems that -- that he caused. So, I -- I think it's a rational solution.

COOPER: It's interesting, though, to me, because, I mean, I was thinking back to, when all this story broke, and -- and Halderman's attorney was on a lot of shows, making the circuits, basically kind of intimating that there was another shoe to drop, that there was a lot more out there.

We put together just some of the things he said...


COOPER: ... while on some of these shows.

Let's take a look.


GERALD SHARGEL, ATTORNEY FOR ROBERT JOE HALDERMAN: There is another side of the story. It's not -- it's not the open-and-shut case that you just heard about.

I will say that the case that's been described by the prosecution makes absolutely no sense. In the history of extortion attempts, there's never been, as far as I know, someone paying by check. But I assure you that -- that the public should not rush to judgment. The public should not simply take the word of David Letterman at face value.

I happen to know why he didn't go through with the transaction. I happen to know about how this prosecution came about. But it's not something I'm going to be discussing now. That's going to come out at the trial.


COOPER: So, we now know Halderman did break the law. He was an extortionist in this case. And all that sort of sense that, oh, there's all this other stuff, I mean, can lawyers pretty much say anything they want?

TOOBIN: Well, I have to say, there is no better lawyer in New York than Gerry Shargel. I have seen him in action many times. He's a terrific lawyer.


COOPER: It was sort of an impossible case.

TOOBIN: Yes, he was guilty.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: The guy pled guilty.


COOPER: ... paid with a check.

TOOBIN: Right. And, you know, he's -- he's blowing smoke. He's trying to defend his client, which is certainly his -- his -- his job.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: But, I mean, in fairness to Shargel and in fairness to Halderman, this was an odd case.

The -- the classic extortion case is, you give me $2 million, or I will kill your daughter. That's a classic extortion. Those people deserve to go to prison for a long time.

This is, give me money or I will write a screenplay. I mean, it's -- it's certainly extortion. It's certainly illegal. He should go to prison. But, you know, crimes are different. Not everything deserves the death penalty. And -- and I think this is an appropriate resolution.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

TOOBIN: A happy ending.


COOPER: A happy ending.


COOPER: I won't ask you about the Lindsay Lohan E-Trade case.

TOOBIN: I think Lindsay doesn't have much of a case on that.



TOOBIN: The baby didn't remind me of Lindsay.


TOOBIN: No. It didn't occur to...

COOPER: That would be the key element of the case?

TOOBIN: Well, yes, it didn't occur to me, but, you know...


COOPER: All right.


COOPER: You can join the live chat. Let's us know what you think at

Still ahead: a mother in mourning. This is a story we had been following for a long time -- her sons cut down by gang violence. Will she get justice for her child, one of whom was a U.S. Marine? Our series "Homicide in Hollenbeck" after the break.

Also tonight: He was much more than that dating show contestant. Take a look at this guy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one, would you say hello to Cheryl (ph), please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have a great time together, Cheryl.

The best time is at night, nighttime.



COOPER: What Cheryl did not know is that bachelor number one was a brutal criminal who has now also been identified as a serial killer. He learned his punishment tonight -- details. Plus, you will hear from his fellow contestant on "The Dating Game" -- when we continue.


COOPER: You may not realize this, but there are more than 21,000 gangs in America. And they exist in small towns and in big cities all across the country. The toll they take on lives and communities is staggering.

We found that out firsthand five years ago with our reports from the Hollenbeck division in Los Angeles. And since then, gang killings are down in L.A. but the power of the gangs on the streets remain. All this week, we return to Hollenbeck to see what's happening now, talking to gang members and relatives and cops. Sadly, we discovered that the code of silence is still thriving and that killers are literally getting away with murder because their fellow citizens are too scared to come forward. They're scared of retribution or simply being labeled a snitch.

But tonight the story of one mom who lost two sons to the streets and who is still waiting for justice.


COOPER (voice-over): Soledad Brock often visits the Oddfellows Cemetery in Hollenbeck.

SOLEDAD BROCK, MOTHER MOURNING TWO SONS: Give me the serenity, God, to accept the things that I'll never be able to change.

COOPER: this is the final resting place for her two young sons. Ronald Brock was a Marine; Angel, a gang member. They looked almost like twins, but their lives took two very different paths. Both, however, were gunned down in the same year at the same house where they grew up in Hollenbeck.

BROCK: People tell me, you know, it's time for me to move on and to forget. But I don't think anybody understands that your whole life was gone seven years ago.

COOPER: Seven years after their deaths, five years after we first reported their stories, detectives say they have solved one of these Hollenbeck murders, and there is a surprise twist in both cases.

The Hollenbeck area covers 16 square miles east of downtown Los Angeles. There are 34 gangs here with some 6,800 members. Some of the gangs have existed for generations in this area, and the lure of gang life is strong.

RICHARD MOYA, FORMER GANG MEMBER: People are out there and they have a special order.

COOPER: Former gang member Richard Moya once considered his gang his family.

(on camera) Why be in a gang? What's the appeal?

MOYA: It's not the appeal. It's more like the bond; it's more like the friendship. It's more like the comfort, something that you probably don't even get within your own household.

COOPER (voice-over): Moya says for every friend you get in a gang, you create far more enemies.

Some are able to resist the temptation of joining a gang. Ronald Brock took a very different path than Moya and his brother, Angel. After boot camp, after September 11, Ronald wanted to defend his country, though his mother worried he might die overseas. BROCK: I honestly didn't want him to go.

COOPER: Before his deployment, Ronald came home to visit his girlfriend. He was planning to propose to her. That weekend Ronald arrived at his mother's home, he was confronted by gang members just outside the house. Moments later, there were gun shots. One of those bullets was fatal. Ronald Brock was just 19 years old.

DWAYNE FIELDS, DETECTIVE: And we know that Mr. Brock or we believe that Mr. Brock was not armed when he was killed.

COOPER: Thirty-year veteran detective Dwayne Fields supervises the Hollenbeck gang unit. He says Ronald's brother, Angel, was the actual target.

(on camera) Ron Brock was just at the wrong place, wrong time?

FIELDS: Wrong place, wrong time. He was in -- his brother was -- a gang neighborhood, where his home is. His brother was a gang member. He had his head shaved because he's United States Marine Corps, and United States Marine Corps shaves their heads. And most of the thugs out here, most of the gangsters out here have shaved heads.

He's a male Hispanic. Unfortunately, he's in Los Angeles with a shaved head. And they thought that he was a gang member. And there's no evidence whatsoever to lead me to believe that he was. Wrong place, wrong time, mistaken identity.

COOPER: And what's been tough about solving that?

FIELDS: Witnesses. Witnesses.

COOPER: No one's coming forward?

FIELDS: No one's coming forward.

COOPER: Did they think he was his brother?

FIELDS: I believe so.

Looks like we maybe have a deal house informant.

COOPER (voice-over): Seven years after Brock's death, detectives are still looking for his killer.

FIELDS: Go over to the house, see if we can find...

COOPER: Detective Fields needs an eyewitness or another gang member to identify Ronald's killer.

(on camera) Some people, you know, say -- they don't -- people aren't -- the community, you talk to people and they say, look, people don't come forward and talk to police because they're scared. They're scared of retaliation. Is that a valid fear?

FIELDS: Sure, yes. And I think that's in any community. I think that anybody that reports a crime kind of worries about that. But 29 years in this job, I've only lost one witness in 29 years. And I've dealt with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of witnesses. So it's not as common as someone might think.

Most of these gangsters are cowards. They're not going to do anything.

COOPER (voice-over): Gangs only need to make a few examples to send a message. Take the case of Bobby Singleton, a homeless man who was murdered to prevent him from testifying against a gang member.

(on camera) Singleton's body was found under this L.A. bridge. He'd been shot in the head and in the neck five times. Police said it was overkill, designed to send a message, a warning to others never to speak to police.

(voice-over) Soledad Brock was still grieving for her son Ronald when, seven months after her son was killed, her other son, Angel, who was in a gang, was killed in a barrage of gunfire.

FIELDS: He was approached by a couple of different gang members, rival gang members, he and another fellow and a major gunfight ensued. The problem with that one, Anderson, was even though we know how many guns were involved -- we had .9 millimeter, .45, 7.62 rounds, 30 caliber carbine rounds. I mean, it was a gunfight. The problem is, is we know how many guns were there, how many were involved, we don't know who pulled the trigger first.

COOPER (on camera): It's possible Angel shot first?

FIELDS: Possibly. Possible he was hit by friendly fire. He was shot in the back of the head.

COOPER: So the only way you can solve that now is if somebody who was involved in it?

FIELDS: We arrested the guys involved in it.

COOPER: Did the guys who were arrested, did they talk?

FIELDS: No. We had witnesses on that case finally come forward and say these are -- what they did is said, "We saw these two individuals, rival gang members, approach with guns in hand, but didn't see the actual shootout itself."

COOPER: You think they actually did see the gunfight but didn't want to...

FIELDS: Probably. Probably.

COOPER (voice-over): Letting go in Hollenbeck is hard. A gang- related funeral nearby, a reminder that violence is never far away.

Soledad Brock's sons now lay side by side. But nobody has been held accountable for the murders. Two days before he was killed, Ronald Brock learned his girlfriend was pregnant. BROCK: He would've been a really great father.

COOPER: His daughter is now seven. Her name is Ronnie Angeline Brock, named after her father and uncle.

BROCK: She looks like him, like the way she smiles and the way she talks, the way she walks, everything.

Thank you, God, for not letting me go. Thank you for always being there for me.

COOPER: Each morning, Soledad Brock says a prayer for justice and a prayer for her sons, Ronald and Angel, and for the little girl who will grow up never knowing either of them.


COOPER: We should point out that Ronald Brock would have been 20 years old today. It was his birthday. He was a Marine who wanted to serve his country, and he was shot to death by a coward in Hollenbeck.

Tomorrow, our series continues with the cold-case murder and the fear of an all-too-familiar motive. Here's a preview.


FIELDS: I believe that the gang thought that he must have had some information, because his home boy was still in jail and he wasn't. And I believe that they killed him on that. They killed him for nothing.

COOPER: So Gabriel was killed by his own gang?

FIELDS: I believe so.


COOPER: A gang member killed by his own gang. "Homicide in Hollenbeck" all this week on 360.

Coming up next, "The Dating Game" serial killer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bachelor No. 1, I am serving you for dinner. What are you called? And what do you look like?

RODNEY ALCALA, CONVICTED SERIAL KILLER: I'm called the banana, and I look really good.


COOPER: Cheesy and creepy, yes. Even creepier when you realize he's actually a convicted murderer. He's just been sentenced as a serial killer. I'll tell you if he's going to be put to death, and we'll interview one of the contestants who sat next to him. Also tonight, the children of Haiti. Tonight, the fight for Patricia, a little girl rescued from the rubble in Haiti. It was thought she was an orphan, but now a couple has come forward claiming to be her parents. But are they really? That story ahead.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight. A truly creepy story. This is a clip from "The Dating" -- "The Dating Game" back in the 1970s. Bachelor No. 1, the guy you see there, was just convicted of five murders.

Bachelor No. 1 is a serial killer, it turns out. And he had already had a violent record when this episode aired. He didn't just appear on the show; he actually won the date. In a moment, I'll talk live with another contestant who sat next to him that day.

But first, here's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back in 1978, "The Dating Game" was a popular TV show. And in his only appearance, the 35-year-old photographer was a hit.

JIM LANGE, GAME SHOW HOST: Please welcome Rodney Alcala. Rod, welcome.

FOREMAN: He was, in game show fashion, charming, funny, and suggestive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your best time?

ALCALA: The best time is at night, nighttime.

FOREMAN: Flash forward. This is Rodney Alcala now, convicted of murdering four women and a 12-year-old girl in separate incidents around Los Angeles around the time of that show, when he acted like just another guy.

ALCALA: We're going to have a great time together, Cheryl.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Serial killers are tremendous actors.

FOREMAN: Pat Brown, a criminal profiler, watches that show and sees nothing unusual because, she says, that's what he wanted.

BROWN: Serial killers are predators and, yes, they act like an animal that is trying to get his prey, and the rest of the time it's trying to blend in so we don't notice him.

FOREMAN: At least one person noticed something. Bachelor No. 2, Jed Mills, still recalls how Alcala seemed dark, slimy, and obnoxious, treating others like objects until he wanted something.

ALCALA: I'm called the banana, and I look really good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you be a little more descriptive?

ALCALA: Peel me.

FOREMAN: investigators have long pursued Alcala, even before he appeared on "The Dating Game." He'd been convicted of kidnapping and raping a young girl. He was convicted twice in the killing of Robin Samsoe, that 12-year-old on her way to ballet class. Twice the case went to retrial before finally this latest conviction for her and four other murders.

(on camera) And over the years, investigators have raised many questions about possible connections between Alcala and other murders. But time and again, they have not come up with enough to charge him.

LANGE: Say hello to Rodney Alcala. Rodney Alcala.

FOREMAN: At the end of that game show, Alcala even won the girl. Published reports show, however, say they never went on that date. And perhaps that's just as well.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


COOPER: Well, just a couple of hours ago, a California jury sentenced Rodney Alcala to death for his conviction on those five murders.

Let's dig deeper now with Jed Mills, who had the misfortune of sitting next to Alcala on the episode of "The Dating Game." He says he'll never forget his encounter with the serial killer. Jed Mills, a veteran TV and film actor, joins us now.

Jed, so you were on "The Dating Game" back in 1978. What do you remember about Rodney Alcala?

JED MILLS, FORMER "DATING GAME" CONTESTANT: I remember that he was very strange and obnoxious. Imposing and trying to be smiley and friendly at the same time, not giving you a chance to speak when he was speaking. Very -- very imposing.

COOPER: You said he was sort of creepy. What was creepy about him?

MILLS: Well, he was -- his aura. His -- he was -- he would be very quiet, and then he would all of a sudden jump in on a conversation I was having with the other gentleman on the show and impose his very opinionated opinions on what we were talking about in a very loud voice and very close up in our faces.

And then he would back off suddenly and be quiet again until that moment when he found another -- where he could wedge himself into it very abruptly and very rudely. He wasn't friendly. He wasn't someone who was forthcoming in terms of how are you? How are you doing? But much more -- much more controlling. Very controlling.

COOPERS: And he was a winner of this episode, but I guess the contestant refused to go on the date with him. Do you know why?

MILLS: Well, only what I hear from when I did another -- another interview. And they told me over at first -- "Inside Edition" that she found him too creepy. And that when she met him and sort of talked with him and spent a little bit of time with him, she decided not to go on the date, which may have been the best decision of her life.

COOPER: What went through your mind when you learned that he'd actually been convicted of raping a child before he was a contestant and since then has been convicted for murdering five people?

MILLS: Well, as creepy as I thought he was, I had no idea that he was a murderer, rapist guy. But I just knew that he -- had an aversion to being next to him.

What went through my mind was more what I felt. It was very bizarre, appalled sort of. They told me on the telephone when they called me to be interviewed on "Inside Edition" that he was a serial killer and had killed seven women and raped and killed a 12-year-old girl. And it was horrible. It was -- it was like a nightmare come true after 32 years.

COOPER: Yes. Jed Mills, appreciate you being on. Thanks, Jed.

If you want to take another look at Rodney Alcala on "The Dating Game," you can go to and watch the entire clip. It's not only cheesy, but it's very creepy.

Coming up next, a baby rescued from the rubble in Haiti. She was thought to be an orphan, but now a couple in Haiti says this child belongs to them. We're going to unravel the mystery of baby Patricia ahead.


COOPER: In New York today, an emotional tribute to the 101 U.N. workers killed in the Haiti earthquake, the single greatest loss in the U.N.'s 64-year history. Hundreds of staffers joined the victims' families to honor their memory.

Nearly two months after the quake, so many lives still remain in limbo. So many families were ripped apart in the chaos. Weeks ago we reported on the rescue of a baby pulled from the rubble, barely alive. Tonight, a remarkable twist in her story.

Here's Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was at this hospital in Port-au-Prince about seven weeks ago when I witnessed an incredible rescue of a tiny baby. She was just 2 months old when she was pulled from the rubble. She'd been there alone for five days.

(voice-over) She was found cradled in the arms of a dead woman rescuers believed was her mother. The baby girl was near death, barely breathing. Doctors with Project Medishare at the University of Miami fought to stabilize her so they could fly her to a hospital in the United States.

Doctors thought the baby was an orphan and told the driver they'd name the baby after her if she made it to the plane on time. The driver's name was Patricia.

Several hours later, baby Patricia landed in Florida, seemingly on the verge of a new life.

(on camera) But it turns out this story is far from simple. A couple from Haiti has now come forward, claiming that baby Patricia is their daughter. They say she's no orphan and that her name isn't even Patricia. It's Jenny and they want her back.

We're told the parents live here in Canese Verte (ph) in one of these tent cities. I'm going to go try to find them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (singing in foreign language)

COHEN: Wow, what does that mean? What do those words mean? It's beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Every time I think about Jenny, I want to go crazy. I want to lose my mind.

COHEN (voice-over): This man, Junior Alexis (ph), and his wife, Nadine Devomai (ph), say they're the parents, separated from their daughter in the chaos that followed the quake. This is what's left of their home.

Photos of their daughter were destroyed. This is what they have left.

(on camera) And these are all her vaccinations, doctor's notes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Doctors notes.

COHEN: OK. So you say this is your baby?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, Jenny's my daughter.

COHEN (voice-over): But the baby is now in Florida foster care, and the couple must take a DNA test to prove they're the parents before they can get her back. The International Red Cross administered the test today, and it will take an agonizing week or two before they get the results. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said, "I have a lot of problems." She says, "I can't sleep, and it's giving me a lot of problems."

COHEN (on camera): I've told their story to many people, and some people say this is just a couple in Haiti that wants to get to the United States. They're claiming a baby that's not theirs. What do they say to that?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "We don't know about that," he said. "We just have a baby that they took. They're helping us with the baby, but we're here and we're happy that they're helping the baby. But it's a help, but we need our baby."



COOPER: Elizabeth, are the parents being kept apprised of how their daughter's doing, if it is their daughter?

COHEN: Yes, Anderson, the couple has been -- being kept abreast. They've been appointed a lawyer. The state of Florida has appointed a lawyer to represent the baby. That lawyer has seen the baby several times. He told me and he told the parents that she is doing very well.

And you saw that black-and-white photocopy they have. That is actually via the Red Cross. That's a photo of the baby from when she was at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Her ribs have not completely recovered. She has some broken ribs, but they say she's doing quite well.

COOPER: So it'll be a couple weeks before we know, right?

COHEN: Right. It will be a couple of weeks until the DNA results are back. And it's interesting. I spoke with a Florida state official. And he said that, you know, they have to do this DNA test. But he said he is very confident that these are the parents.

COOPER: All right. Well, let's hope -- hope for good news on that. Elizabeth, thanks very much.

Tonight's "Shot" is a thank you to some hard-working American servicemen and women. Just hours from now, the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the Comfort, will begin its journey back to Baltimore.

The ship docked -- dropped anchor, you'll remember, off the coast of Port-au-Prince on January 20. Since then, its medical staff has treated 871 patients. They performed 843 surgeries. Many of them were life-saving. At the height of the recovery effort, they were receiving one patient every six to nine minutes. The ship's ten operating rooms were running at full capacity.

Now, we told you about some of the amazing recoveries that we saw onboard the ship. You may remember Anna Zizi (ph), the elderly woman pulled from the rubble a week after the quake. She had a serious leg injury. She needed surgery. We helped put out the word that she needed help. A medical group responded, and a Coast Guard chopper took her to them.

After surgery on her broken leg, Anna Zizi (ph) recovered on board the Comfort, and her survival is truly amazing.

Then there was Kimberly, a 12-year-old girl with a serious brain injury. The American military asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, to operate on her. They were short on brain surgeons at the time. Sanjay did that surgery. It was successful, and Kimberly spent weeks recovering onboard the Comfort. At the time, she didn't even realize the hospital was a ship. She was later reunited with her family.

And who can forget 5-year-old Kenzie (ph) Charles? Kenzie's (ph) parents thought he died in the quake. They didn't know that he was alive until a UNICEF worker showed them photos of Kenzie (ph). Kenzie (ph) had been taken to the Comfort for medical treatment, where he was eventually reunited with his father.

So some things go wrong in natural -- natural disasters, but some things go right. And what the men and women aboard the USS Comfort achieved has been remarkable. Hundreds of men and women, Americans doing their duty, helping other people.

I didn't get the chance to board the Comfort when I was in Haiti, but if I had, I would had told them what I will tell them tonight as they leave Port-au-Prince. Thank you for representing our country so well. Thank you for saving so many lives. Thank you and Godspeed.

We're going to have more news at the top of the hour.


COOPER: Tonight the strange story of Eric Massa got even stranger. Why did the congressman resign? Some of his own answers include cancer, inappropriate language, a White House plot, Rahm Emanuel in the shower, and a staff tickle fight. What's the real reason? We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

Also ahead, a runaway Toyota on a busy freeway, speeding over 90 miles an hour. Tonight, the frantic 911 calls. And you'll hear from the man at the wheel and almost died from it, up close.

Later, he fancied himself a lady killer. Turns out he was. Bachelor No. 1 on that old show "The Dating Game." Turns out he was responsible for murders, one, two, three and more. "Crime & Punishment," tonight.