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Campbell Brown

Tiger Woods Injured in Car Accident; Did White House Party Crashers Meet President Obama?

Aired November 27, 2009 - 20:00   ET


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Erica Hill.

A special edition, CAMPBELL BROWN Investigates, begins right after we update you on some major news happening right now.

At this hour, we are getting a more clear picture about today's car accident that injured golfing great Tiger Woods. The bottom line here, woods is out of the hospital tonight. We're told he's in good condition, but how did it start?

Around 2:25 this morning, Woods' SUV hit a fire hydrant and then a tree near his home. It's in a suburb of Orlando, Florida. A local police chief tells CNN Woods' wife heard the accident and used a golf club of all things to smash the SUVs back window and help get him out.

A police report obtained by CNN says Woods' injuries were serious. The police chief says Woods was in and out of consciousness when officers arrived with cuts on his lips and blood in his mouth. Here is what a hospital spokesman told reporters just a little bit ago.


SUSAN JACKSON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HEALTH CENTRAL HOSPITAL: Tiger Woods was in a minor car accident outside his home last night. He was admitted, treated and released today in good condition.


QUESTION: Now, why...


QUESTION: ... it say serious injuries?

JACKSON: I didn't say serious injuries.


QUESTION: The FHP report said it was serious.


JACKSON: He was released today in good condition.

QUESTION: OK. Now, when it comes to minor injuries, what's that definition? What do you -- how do you -- what do you mean by minor?

JACKSON: He was able to go home today.

QUESTION: We were told that he had facial lacerations.


JACKSON: I cannot -- I can't -- I can't comment on that. That's Mr. Woods to decide to comment.

All right. Thank you.


HILL: A lot of the initial information on the accident came from the mayor of Windermere, Florida, the Orlando suburb where Woods lives.

Mayor Gary Bruhn joins us tonight on the phone.

Mayor, thanks for being with us.

Still so many unanswered questions about this crash.

Do you have any more detail tonight on how it actually happened, how that fire hydrant was first hit and then the tree?

GARY BRUHN, MAYOR OF WINDERMERE, FLORIDA: Well, as I understand, what happened is we received a 911 call as you stated about 2:30 this morning. And with Windermere being so close, technically, ours is not in the town of Windermere, but we have what is called a mutual aid equipment.

And with us being literally less than a mile from his home, we were there and able to provide assistance within two minutes. When we arrived upon the scene, I'm told -- I'm getting reports from our chief and officers that his wife was there. Mr. Woods was laying upon the ground, and he was I want to say floating in and out of consciousness, but I would say that he was dazed.

And our officers immediately responded. Soon after, Orange County Sheriff Department responded as well, because they have jurisdiction there. Our goal was to provide the necessary medical attention that he needed, and to ensure that he was kept, you know, safe.

HILL: Right.

BRUHN: And once the -- once the individuals arrived from the Health Central Hospital, which is about less than four miles from his home...


HILL: OK. So, he was at the hospital pretty quickly. And as we heard today, he was released and is in apparently good condition. BRUHN: Yes.

HILL: The police have said alcohol was not involved here. But as I understand it, the accident actually remains under investigation and we're told that charges could be filed. Do you have any idea what those charges may be?

BRUHN: No, ma'am.

I will be honest with you. I think, from my perspective, until there is definitive answers on what is going to happen, charges -- it is always kept pending. It is one of those individual situations where if you say no, you can't go back.

I personally feel that it was an accident. There was -- if you look at the police report, which I have read, which was filed by Florida Highway Patrol, it says there was no alcohol involved. There was no -- and I would interpret that to be no drugs. I think it was just a very simple accident.

He has a Cadillac SUV. He hit a fire hydrant, which isn't going to give, no matter how big a vehicle you have, and a tree.


BRUHN: And I believe -- and this is personal opinion -- that he struck his head, and his wife came out and actually pulled him out, from what I understand.

BRUHN: And helped him.

And just to confirm, sir, she did come out from the house. She wasn't in the car. Was there anyone else in the car with him at the time?

BRUHN: There was not, as I understand.


BRUHN: And she was -- when our officers arrived, she was there trying to help him and do what they could. Our officers arrived to provide the (AUDIO GAP) provided the necessary medical attention that would be required. Our health -- I guess I would say our paramedics from (AUDIO GAP) Central arrived and took him. They then took him to the hospital.

HILL: Right.

BRUHN: He had facial lacerations. I understand he was bleeding from the mouth and the nose, which would kind of be if you think about it totally in perspective of what would happen...


HILL: Sure, if you hit your head.

BRUHN: On a steering wheel, exactly.

HILL: We are going to have to leave it there, Mayor.

Mayor Gary Bruhn, we do appreciate thank our time. Thanks for joining us tonight.

BRUHN: No problem.

HILL: We do also want to get you up to speed. We're getting some -- some other information, new developments right now in another big story we have been following for you.

Take a look at this photograph, the White House tonight confirming -- there we go -- the man and woman who crashed this week's state dinner as you can see here actually got to meet President Obama in a receiving line.

There is Michaele Salahi. Her husband is actually just off to the side in that photograph as well. There are also some new details tonight of the investigation into just how that couple was able to access the state dinner.

White House correspondent Dan Lothian joining us now live.

Hi, Dan.


Well, yes, we're getting a clearer picture about what happened on Tuesday night. That uniformed Secret Service agent did check the list when the couple arrived. Their names were not on the list. And so normally what would happen is they would not be allowed to come in or you would have to call someone else to find out if perhaps their names were on another list.

But, in fact, this Secret Service uniformed agent allowed them to go in, thinking that they would be somehow screened again at another point. In fact, they were not, and they went on to mingle with very high-level dignitaries who were there, including the vice president.

And, as you pointed out, we now know that they also met the president in the receiving line. There had been some question about whether or not they got close to the president at all. And, late today, the White House releasing that photo that you saw just a few minutes ago.

As for the couple, though, their attorney is saying that they did not crash the party and that they hope to get their side of the story out very soon.

HILL: Well, we're looking forward to hearing that, also hearing whether or not there will be charges filed. We will be following that angle as well. Dan, thanks.


HILL: And we have more headlines coming up for you in just a little bit.

Just ahead, a special edition, CAMPBELL BROWN Investigates.



CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, a special edition CAMPBELL BROWN Investigates.

Are your kids addicted to the new drug on campus? It is shockingly easy to get, it is legal, and for many students, it is their guilty secret.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am currently on Adderall, yes. I have been partying way too much. I have actually -- usually, Adderall, I have pushed all my work back, and I have just gotten used to the habit of saving it all to the end, taking a bunch of Adderall. It's basically just like candy. I don't think of it as anything other than a Jolly Rancher.

BROWN: How did a miracle drug become an addiction for so many college kids? I will Dr. Drew Pinsky. Our

Also, meet a woman born with half-a-brain who is turning medical science upside down. How she functions could save lives. Our special series, "The Brain That Heals Itself."

How have things changed since Hurricane Katrina? Tonight, we revisit a boy whose life was turned upside down.

CHARLES EVANS, HURRICANE KATRINA VICTIM: I think that Katrina changed everyone's life for a reason.

BROWN (on camera): Yes? Do you really believe that?


BROWN: And for the better?

EVANS: yes.

BROWN (voice-over): Charles Evans, four years ago, his story touched many hearts. Now he's a young man, and I went back to New Orleans to see how he's doing.


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.

BROWN: Hi, everybody.

Welcome to our special edition CAMPBELL BROWN Investigates.

For the next hour, you will see some of our favorite stories of the year, stories that you should get a chance to see again.

First, our special investigation, "New Addictions." The drug of choice on college campuses these days is one you may never have heard of. It is easy to get, it is legal. It seems to help kids handle the pressure of college life, at least at first. But as more and more students are discovering, they pay a heavy price for their guilty secret.


BROWN (voice-over): LSD and cocaine had their day, and marijuana is not likely to disappear, but there is a new drug of choice for college students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I take Adderall about at least once a day. If we're going out, probably once to get me through the day and once to do work ask and then probably another one at night to keep my night going.

BROWN: In the basement of his fraternity house, we sat down with one Syracuse University student who agreed to talk candidly about what he admits is an addiction, provided we conceal his identity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My freshman year, first semester, I really didn't get Adderall and actually got distracted a lot. I was sleepy a lot, didn't pay attention in class. I actually almost failed out of school, and then after discovering Adderall, I have made deans list these semesters.

BROWN: And that pressure to succeed is exactly what attract so many students to Adderall. Pop a pill before an all-nighter and they're able to focus intensely for hours. It's also easy to get. Adderall is a legal prescription drug available at any pharmacy, mostly given to treat attention disorders like ADHD.

DR. ANTHONY CAMPBELL, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Adderall, for the most part, stimulates the brain. Kind of puts the brain in overdrive.

BROWN: Dr. Anthony Campbell studies addictions for the Department of Health and Human Services, and sadly, he says the student we spoke with at Syracuse is part of a national trend. Nearly seven percent of full-time college students admit to Adderall without a prescription.

A. CAMPBELL: Adderall is now the drug of choice. This is the new involved thing. You hear some students who might even say take vitamin A to get an A.

BROWN: He says heavy Adderall use without medical supervision can have devastating consequences, tremors, strokes and heart problems. But these warnings don't seem to scare the student we spoke to. He doesn't believe being addicted to Adderall carries the same risks as illegal drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As opposed to other drugs, I would definitely think about that, but for Adderall, it's just like, basically just like candy. I don't think of it as anything other than a Jolly Rancher.

BROWN: Still he admits the after-effects are rough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like a zombie actually, after being on Adderall and staying up for a day or two. I just feel drained and I just pass out and, again, miss class and just start this whole order again, where I keep putting off work and then relying on Adderall.

BROWN: It's a vicious cycle that may explain how students who start out using Adderall to get them through midterms or finals wind up becoming addicted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Using Adderall so much to study has kind of like, I always had it and then realize, you know, like maybe if I can take Adderall to go out, it would help me stay awake longer. I won't pass out in random places.

BROWN: What's more, it's a cheap fix. The student says he buys Adderall illegally without a prescription on the black market. Three pills for ten bucks, readily available, he says, in the dorms or outside the library. With all the pressures of college life, it can almost seem like a silver bullet. So much so that some college students who don't use Adderall actually sound a little jealous.

ROB HIRST-HERMANS, COLLEGE SENIOR: Definitely feel frustrated when it gets to the end of semester.

BROWN: Rob Hirst-Hermans is a senior at Syracuse. He says most of his friends use the drug.

HIRST-HERMANS: I definitely feel I'm at a disadvantage, both from here and testimonials from my friends who have used it. And I mean, sitting down at the library with someone with the same amount of workload as them and, you know, taking twice as long to finish it.

BROWN: Still what these college students may not realize acing an exam is hard, but kicking an addiction is so much harder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am currently on Adderall, yes. I have been partying way too much. I have actually been using Adderall, I pushed all my work back and I have just gotten used to the habit of saving it all to the end.


BROWN: So, what should you do if you suspect your child has a problem? I talked to Dr. Drew Pinsky, a psychiatrist better known as the host of the radio show "Loveline," and "Celebrity Rehab" on VH-1.


DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, "CRACKED: PUTTING BROKEN LIVES TOGETHER AGAIN": I got to say really shocking to hear how casually that student discusses abusing Adderall. And I know that you found this drug is usually a part of a much larger addiction problem, isn't it? PINSKY: Well, it certainly can be, but your presentation, the piece you had prior to the break really was quite accurate in portraying how this thing seeps into the college life.

The fact is that kids don't perceive the potential harm. This is part of the epidemic. We're seeing a pharmaceutical drug abuse generally, which is that a lot of young people see it in their parents' medicine cabinets.

They have opiates and opioids or benzodiazepines, like sleeping pills and Valium. And amongst those things that they see their peers taking are psycho-stimulants, like Adderall.

So they have all known people have taken this for a long period of time, seem to suffer no adverse consequence, and then they realize that it can help them perform well at school. They figure there's no risk, and so they do it. And then it slowly sneaks up on them and becomes a very, very serious problem.

BROWN: And they really do differentiate Adderall from illegal drugs. I mean, you hear this kid say they'd never try cocaine, they would never try heroin, but to them, taking ten Adderall a day is safe.

PINSKY: Right. That is exactly that issue again, that lack of perception of harm. And kids are not dumb. If they perceive the harm, they're less likely to do it. The problem we have with pharmaceuticals today is they don't perceive the harm.

And interestingly, Campbell, on your list of potential adverse events, you put strokes and heart problems. And kids already don't feel biological, so they sort of dismiss those risks. After all, it didn't happen to my friend Susie (ph) who had been on this drug for a long time. But there are even more subtle and profound issues, changes in mood, changes in personality, manias, depression, suicidality, paranoias.

These are even the more common and more subtle things that can happen from these medications.

One top of that, they can trigger, exacerbate sustained addiction, per se.

BROWN: One of the big surprises, I think, reporting the piece with how difficult frankly it was finding students who weren't using Adderall. Seriously.

PINSKY: Isn't that something? Isn't that something?

BROWN: I mean, talking to our interns, other kids at campuses around the country, it appears to be an epidemic. Why do you think Adderall use has exploded this way?

PINSKY: Well, I'm not sure I can answer that with great accuracy. My sense of it is that, number one, kids have come to understand that this works. It actually does enhance their performance and they don't perceive the potential cost. That's on one hand.

On the other hand, this is a commonly prescribed medication, so it's something that is relatively saturating young people's lives. On some level, they have been around that they have seen it. They know how to get it and they know it works.

BROWN: We also heard from students who were prescribed Adderall, who said that they locked up their pills so their friends wouldn't steal them.

PINSKY: Isn't that something?

BROWN: Fourteen million prescriptions for Adderall were filled last year alone. I mean, that's a lot of pills.


BROWN: Is that number part of the problem, the fact that it's just out there...


BROWN: ... and clearly being prescribed pretty easily?

PINSKY: Yes, that is part of the problem. Let's be clear though. I mean, it is a good medication when properly prescribed, particularly under the age of 18. ADHD properly diagnosed, properly treated has very significant benefits from a medicine like Adderall. But Adderall is a psycho-stimulant.

It is a relative of methamphetamine. It's related to that. And if somebody has a family history of addiction, what to do with attention-type disorders after 18, if somebody themselves has ever had an addictive disorder or bipolar disorder, the use of this medication can be extremely treacherous. This is a no fooling issue, and young people have no sense of the potential harm that can be done.


BROWN: That was Dr. Drew Pinsky.

And coming up next: breakthrough research on the brain that could change medical science, the incredible story of a woman born, yes, with half-a-brain. You have to see this when we come back.

And your privacy at risk online. We're not talking about handing over your credit card or your Social Security numbers. The danger is a lot greater than that.


STEVEN RAMBAM, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I have a window into your soul. I know what you believe. I know what you think. I know who your family is. I know who your friends are. I know your politics.


BROWN: Just a few years ago, the idea that the human brain could heal itself would have been unthinkable. But medicine has made some incredible discoveries about our brains, about how they work, discoveries that are giving new hope to a lot of people with serious brain injuries, people like Michelle Mack. Listen to her story.


BROWN (voice-over): Michelle Mack was born with half-a-brain. And her life has turned medical thinking upside down. She can speak normally, graduated from high school, and has an uncanny knack for numbers and dates.

WALLY MACK, FATHER: Say, two years from now, 2011, April 17.


This is where I need to think also.


M. MACK: I need to think. That will be on a Sunday.

BROWN: When Michelle was born, her parents knew something was wrong. But it took years for doctors to figure it out.

W. MACK: And we went through test after test after test.

BROWN: The prognosis, she would live, but her life would be limited.

C. MACK: There wasn't a group I could turn to. Michelle didn't have cerebral palsy. I knew that. She didn't have Down syndrome. I knew that. And there was -- I had no -- no place to turn, because the doctors themselves had said, whatever you have got, you have got. And that's it.

M. MACK: It was very hard for me growing up, because no one knew the truth about my brain.

BROWN: When Michelle was 27, her mom reached out to Dr. Jordan Grafman, chief of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the National Institutes of Health who finally diagnosed her.

JORDAN GRAFMAN, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: And we did the scan and lo and behold, we saw the dramatic effects of what appears to be an in utero stroke.

So you can see here, this is the left hemisphere. We were surprised to see the extent, as was Michelle's parents, the extent of the lesion in the brain, which basically took away the left side of her brain. There's very some very deep structures remaining but the surface of her brain, the cortex, is 95 percent gone. BROWN: What surprised doctors even more is that Michelle's brain had rewired itself. The right side took over some of the essential functions of the left, like speaking and reading. Scientists used to believe that our brains were hard wired, that most brain damage was incurable. Michelle's case shows researchers that the brain has the power to change its own structure to compensate for injury.

GRAFMAN: Even over the last ten years, we've seen a change in some of her abilities that have actually gotten a little bit better. Some aspects of her intellectual functioning have actually improved over the last few years.

BROWN: Recovery has not been perfect. Michelle still struggles with abstract concepts and gets easily lost in unfamiliar surroundings.

GRAFMAN: It's quite possible that in her learning, in her development, when the right hemisphere either took over or developed some of the language abilities, that was a benefit. It cost her in some of the skills that are normally mediated by the right side of the brain. So there was a benefit in the recovery but there was a cost to other abilities that are normally found in that hemisphere.

BROWN: Michelle has also always struggled with controlling her emotions. At least now she and her parents know why.

MACK: He's helped us understand -- understand the reason why -- the reason why I tend to get -- why I tend to throw temper tantrums at the time. Because it was because I was -- because I was missing half my brain.

BROWN: Today, Michelle is 37 years old and lives with her mom and dad. She works from home, doing data entry for her church. She's fairly independent, pays rent and can do most household chores. She realizes she'll need help for the rest of her life but wants people to know, in spite of her condition, she's normal.

MACK: I wanted to do this, so that people like -- people like producers, photographers and security guards and police officers learn that -- learn about people like me, that I'm normal but have special needs and that there are a lot of people like me.


MACK: Yes, so that they can -- so that they can be more understanding.


BROWN: Stories like Michelle's can be hard to wrap your head around, literally, I mean, a girl born with half-a-brain. She's not only surviving. She's thriving. So, how can this be? How does it happen?

For answers, I talked to Dr. Norman Doidge. He's the author of "The Brain That Changes Itself." (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: So, Michelle Mack, who we just saw -- this is a really incredible case. And it's a great way to understand, I think, what -- or try to understand -- what neuroplasticity is, and this idea that the brain can actually heal itself.

Explain to people why this is such a breakthrough.

DR. NORMAN DOIDGE, AUTHOR, "THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF": Well, for about 400 years, our best and brightest neuroscientists and physicians thought of the brain as though it was like a machine with parts, and each part performed a single mental function in a single location. And this had all sorts of implications.

Machines do many glorious things. But one thing they don't do is, they don't grow new parts.

So, for instance, 95 percent of us, approximately, process language in our left hemisphere. But Michelle has no left hemisphere. How is it possible that she does -- you know, that she can do it?

Well, brain plasticity gives us an explanation as how it might work. You know, brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is that property of the brain that allows it to change its structure and change its function through mental experience.

Now, when she was in the womb, that hemisphere failed to develop. But because she was getting input and she had to learn how to speak, that right hemisphere -- which usually does visual, spatial things -- was able to actually change its circuits based on the input it was getting.

BROWN: OK. So, go back, though, to this idea that -- of just how revolutionary this is, I think. Because really, up until recently, somebody like Michelle would have been written off.

DOIDGE: Well, no one would have dreamed that it was true that she was missing half her brain.

Look. It's revolutionary, because once we thought of the brain as a machine with each part performing a single function at a single location, it meant that if you were born as a kid with some deficits, like learning disabilities, or if your brain didn't develop properly, or if you had some kind of brain trauma, it was pointless to try to change.

And it also meant that, if you were an older person and you were trying to maintain your brain, it didn't make any sense.

We now know we have plasticity from cradle until grave.

This is the cutting edge of the most important change in our understanding of the brain in 400 years. And there are models of the brain that are not consistent with it.

Most people who are trained, are trained in the model of the brain as like a machine.

BROWN: Right.

DOIDGE: You know, whenever you open the newspaper and you hear that, you know, this -- this mental function is hardwired in us, that's the computer metaphor. But this notion of hardwiring is what many people think is true science, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the brain works by changing its wiring.

So, whenever you have a revolution of this magnitude, it takes years -- it'll take decades for it to play out, so that people can benefit from it. It's like electricity. You know, it was discovered a long time ago, and we're still reaping the benefits of that kind of discovery.


BROWN: That was Dr. Norman Doidge, the author, again, of "The Brain That Changes Itself."

Still ahead, our special investigation, "Secret Societies": What really happens behind the padlocked doors of this windowless building, the tomb of Skull and Bones, Yale's oldest secret society? Its members include some of America's most powerful and privileged elite, all sworn to secrecy.


HILL: I'm Erica Hill. Here's what's happening right now.

Golf superstar Tiger Woods is out of the hospital following a car accident outside his home near Orlando. Woods' SUV struck a hydrant and a tree. The police chief telling CNN Woods' wife heard the crash and used a golf club to break out the SUV's back window and get him out. Police say alcohol was not a factor.

Wall Street caught in a worldwide stock sell-off. The Dow Jones Industrial is closing 154 points lower. The reason, a warning from Dubai that it needs more time to pay off a $60 billion debt. The Persian Gulf emirate went on a construction boom over the last two years, including building the world's tallest skyscraper and then, of course, the recession hit.

HILL: It's a safe homecoming for seven astronauts aboard Atlantis. The shuttle landing at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on time Friday morning following its re-supply mission to the International Space Station.

And 'tis the season at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters welcoming the horse drawn wagon that delivered the White House Christmas tree. The 18 1/2 foot tree will be on display in the Blue Room.

I'm Erica hill. After the break, more of our special edition "Campbell Brown Investigates."


CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our special edition "Campbell Brown Investigates." There used to be a clear difference between what's private and what's public. Well, not so much anymore. Nearly everything you do in the digital age can be tracked. You may have already exposed some of your most intimate secrets to anyone who knows how to look for them. CNN's Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve show us some ordinary people who found out the hard way.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Hardt put photos of his Hawaiian wedding on Facebook to share with close friends, but when he made mention of it on Twitter, he didn't know a link would be attached, giving more than 3,000 followers access to some rather intimate images.

DICK HARDT, PICTURES TWEETED ACCIDENTALLY: We didn't think they were offensive in any way. But my wife didn't prefer for everybody to see those photos.

MESERVE: While his case was embarrassing, others are downright dangerous. Sarah Downey was horrified when a picture of her young daughter was hijacked from her Flicker account and used in a sexually suggestive Portuguese language profile on, a social networking site.


MESERVE: Downey posted a translation to warn other Flicker users, but then she says total strangers exploited the Internet to find her phone number and worse her home address.

DOWNEY: We would go to the grocery store and I'd wonder has this person seen my daughter? Are they here, you know, trying to find us, trying to, you know, get close with my daughter?

MESERVE: Since then, Downey has tried to protect her private information. Has it worked? With her permission we gave her name to Steven Rambam, a private investigator, who harvests information from the Internet. In less than 90 seconds, he turns up 100 pages of possible links.

STEVEN RAMBAM, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Frankly, anything you'd want to know about this young lady seems to be available on the web.

MESERVE: On sites like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, more and more Americans are making their private information public. Put it together with public documents like newspaper accounts and property records and a portrait emerges.

Take Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Using free publicly available information on the Internet, a Fordham University Law School class came up with 15 pages of information, including Scalia's home address and phone number, even the movies and foods he likes.

JOEL REIDENBERG, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: If we were willing to spend $100 for the project, we would have been able to acquire far more intrusive, far scarier information.

MESERVE: Private investigator Rambam says anytime you hit the send button, your information is no longer your own. He says your frequent flier program, movie account, book purchases, even some searches can be tracked, stored and sometimes sold.

RAMBAM: I have a window into your soul. I know what you believe. I know what you think. I know who your family is. I know who your friends are. I know your politics.

MESERVE (on camera): says it has updated its policies and tools to find and remove fake profiles like the one of Sarah Downey's daughter. And Google says it gives customers the tools they need to protect their personal information. Many of us could be more careful.

In addition, some privacy experts would like to see standardized and simplified Web site privacy policies or even government restrictions on secondhand use of private information.

(voice-over): Steven Rambam sees a lot of positives to having so much information on the Internet and says the genie is already out of the bottle.

RAMBAM: Ten year from now you're going to have a choice of getting used to minimal privacy or subleasing the Unabomber's cabin. That's going to be your two choices. The fact of the matter is there's nowhere to hide.

MESERVE: As Rambam puts it, privacy is dead. Get over it.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


BROWN: More of our special investigation, the end of privacy, coming up. You'll meet a man who tried to drop off the face of the earth, and in the age of instant information, can someone simply disappear?


EVAN RATLIFF, WRITER, "WIRED" MAGAZINE: I had a fake wedding ring. I had a variety of hats and sunglasses. My best disguise was shaving the top of my head. I had this sort of businessman kind of, you know, middle manager persona that I used with that.



BROWN: Back with more from our special series "The End of Privacy."

With more than 300 million people in this country, you'd think it would be easy to just disappear. Trying to find one person is like looking for a needle in a haystack, right?

Not quite. Nearly everything we do in the digital age is tracked and there's nowhere to hide. Recently "Wired" magazine issued a challenge to its readers into one of its writers, Evan Ratliff. His assignment, to get lost in America.


EVAN RATLIFF, WRITER, "WIRED" MAGAZINE: I would disappear for up to a month and there would be a kind of bounty on my head where $5,000 would be awarded to the person that found me in person.

BROWN (voice-over): If readers caught him, they'd get a prize. If he remained hidden for a month, Evan would win.

RATLIFF: You see all those movies -- and I love those kind of movies. They show you the sort of sexiest aspects of that, but they never show you the kind of daily details of how does this guy keep getting money, where does it keep coming from? He always has an endless supply of cash. What happens if his phone battery dies?

The main thing that I did was I tried to set up my new identity. My fake persona was -- his name was James Gatz, which is actually the name from the "Great Gatsby." He had his own Facebook account. He had a Twitter account and business cards.

BROWN: Once Evan had his fake identity, he was ready to disappear and keep on the move.

RATLIFF: I started in San Francisco. I drove to -- through a little bit of a circuitous route to Las Vegas and that's where I sold my car. Then I took a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles. I went out and stayed in Venice Beach for the better part of a week.

It was sort of a spontaneous community that grew up around what was essentially a contest, you know, for them to find me. And they especially online, they got on to Twitter and Facebook and social networking sites. They made maps. They made Web sites. They made wanted posters. One guy made a tip line.

I was flying from Salt Lake City to Atlanta and I was stopping in Denver. One of the people who was following me, just a normal person, had a friend at the airlines, at Delta, which is what I was flying, and actually got that person to reveal my flight information that I was going all the way to Atlanta. So by the time I arrived in Atlanta, there was a post online that said, he's on this flight, he's arriving at this time. Somebody go get him.

BROWN: Evan narrowly escaped and concocted a variety of disguises.

RATLIFF: I dyed my hair and wore fake glasses. I actually had three different pairs of fake glasses. I had a fake wedding ring. I had a variety of hats and sunglasses.

My best disguise was shaving the top of my head. I had this sort of businessman kind of, you know, middle manager persona that I used with that. I was completely paranoid, and I thought that people were right behind me. I thought that they were a step ahead of me. At one point I thought that they were chasing me in a helicopter.

And there was a guy named Jeff Reifman (ph) who lives in Seattle. He tracked me actually from Salt Lake City to Denver to Atlanta. And then I took a train from Atlanta to New Orleans which is where I had settled in and I was living in an apartment. And he pinpointed that I was in New Orleans using this Internet address. And then from there, he actually enlisted people on the ground to go and find me.

BROWN: Evan was finally caught three weeks into the experiment on his way to get a pizza.

RATLIFF: I was amazed at how much information those people were able to dig up about me. Without any professional training, most of them, without any access to special databases, you know, without any law enforcement power, subpoenas or anything else, they gathered this huge dossier of information about me. And that really shocked me.


BROWN: Evan's story in "Wired" magazine is on newsstands right now.

We're going to catch up with a young survivor of Hurricane Katrina who shot to fame in the days after the storm. And you may remember him. His name is Charles Evans. I met him outside the city's convention center four years ago. Well, now he's back in New Orleans, but we will tell you why he wants out.


BROWN: You'd leave New Orleans?


BROWN: You want to leave New Orleans?

EVANS: Yes, I do.


EVANS: Because I just feel that there's more out there in the world for me.


BROWN: New Orleans as many people know is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina. I was there just recently. It was a trip back to reconnect with someone I had met in the frenzied days after Katrina. And some of you may remember him. He was a little boy then, an extraordinary young boy, who spoke truth to power in ways we don't often see. And his story touched a lot of people. I hoped time would be good to him, but it has been a real struggle. See for yourself.


BROWN (voice-over): I will never forget the day I met Charles Evans. It was boiling hot, chaotic. Thousands of frantic people crammed into the New Orleans convention center, an overwhelming sense of desperation.

KATRINA VICTIMS: We want help. We want help.

BROWN: I was reporting for NBC News, trying to convey the depth of the tragedy playing out before me when a 9-year-old boy approached our camera and laid it out better than I ever could.

CHARLES EVANS, SURVIVED KATRINA: We just need some help out here. It is so pitiful -- pitiful and shame that all these people out here, we have over 3,000 people out here with no home, no shelter. What are they going to do? What are we going to do?

BROWN: The nation heard Charles on NBC News that night and he became an instant sensation, the innocent face of the storm.

EVANS: Hurricane Katrina survivor.

BROWN: Immediately offers of help started pouring in. Charles was profiled in "Vanity Fair." He was whisked off to Los Angeles for a special appearance on the Emmy Awards. Something about this child spoke to millions of people. And one of those people was businesswoman Wanda Felton.

WANDA FELTON, BUSINESSWOMAN: I felt the need to do something personal, not just write a check. I felt the need to roll up my sleeves and touch somebody directly and he touched me and I felt the need to touch him.

BROWN: Cameras followed as Wanda became Charles' guardian angel, helping he and his grandmother make a new life with relatives in Mesquite, Texas. For a while, it seemed like he had finally caught a break.

FELTON: He enjoyed it. He liked the school. He was doing well. He was living like a normal kid.

BROWN: But about two years ago, Charles' grandmother decided she wanted to leave. She packed him up, moved them back to New Orleans, back to the Ninth Ward, still reeling from Katrina. Their first stop, a FEMA trailer. After that, it was hard to keep track.

FELTON: In a span of less than a year, Charles moved three or four times, changed schools. It was pretty disruptive.

BROWN: Today, Wanda and I traveled to New Orleans to check up on Charles.

FELTON: Can I get a hug?


BROWN: He's a teenager now, living with an aunt in an unfinished house on a street lined with abandoned boarded up homes and buildings.

(on camera): It's quiet in the neighborhood today.


BROWN: A lot of empty places, huh?

(voice-over): For Charles, this place feels familiar but it doesn't feel like home.

(on camera): So, you got to catch me up a little bit because it's been a long time.


BROWN: Tell me what it was like coming back here.

EVANS: It was really like hard for me, because I didn't want to come back.

BROWN (voice-over): In Texas, Charles had stability, a warm home, a good school, where he had lots of friends and where he wasn't hounded by bullies. Here, all that is gone.

(on camera): You came back here because your family wanted to come back here.


BROWN: How did you adjust? How did you --

EVANS: It was really hard, because like the people were different. The students at my school were different. You know, the teachers were different because I felt that I was learning so much more in Texas.


EVANS: And I even feel the same way now.

BROWN: So it's a little frustrating?

EVANS: Yes, it is.

BROWN: How are your cousins doing?

(voice-over): We go inside.

(on camera): This house got pretty beaten up in the storm, too, huh?


BROWN (voice-over): Charles lives here with five other people and his grandmother is visiting.

EVANS: And this is my room.

BROWN (on camera): Hi, Ophelia.


BROWN: It's Campbell. How are you?

O. EVANS: Oh, I'm fine. All right.


O. EVANS: How are you guys, doing?

BROWN: Are you taking care of her?


BROWN: Just like old times.


O. EVANS: Same old thing.

BROWN (voice-over): He is taking care of her but who is taking care of him?

Wanda remembers when Charles came to visit her in Brooklyn about a year ago. She overheard him talking to a friend on the phone.

FELTON: He was saying things like I had a hot breakfast. Now, that's not typical. These aren't things that a child normally remarks on. He wasn't talking about the things we were doing. He was talking about having basic necessities.

BROWN: Wanda has shown Charles life beyond the Ninth Ward.

FELTON: The city is slumped over there.

BROWN: Which convinced him of one big thing, he's got to get out.

(on camera): You'd leave New Orleans?

EVANS: Yes, I would.

BROWN: You want to leave New Orleans?

EVANS: Yes, I do.

BROWN: Why? EVANS: Because I just feel that there's more out there in the world for me. Before Katrina, I was trapped in New Orleans. I didn't even know that a different world exists. I thought that, you know, everything was here. But now I've seen and, you know, I still have more to see.

BROWN: Do you think you can stick it out?

EVANS: I think I could, but I don't want to.

BROWN: You'll do whatever you have to do?


BROWN: I know. You are a survivor.


BROWN (voice-over): Right now, Charles thinks his best option is an out-of-state boarding school. He has his sights set on the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania which provides free education for disadvantaged kids.

EVANS: If I get into the Milton Hershey boarding school, I'm going to take that option.

BROWN: Unfortunately, Charles didn't get in this year. But he is still optimistic and sees college in his future. And that's the funny thing about Charles Evans. Even after all he's been through, the terrifying storm, his own fleeting celebrity, the country moving on from the shock of Katrina, leaving him right back where he started, even after all that, he still hasn't given up hope.

EVANS: I think that Katrina changed everyone's life for a reason.

BROWN (on camera): Yes? Do you really believe that?


BROWN: And for the better?

EVANS: Yes, I think so.

BROWN (voice-over): We go back to the convention center where we met after the storm.

(on camera): Do you remember that? There was a blanket set up right here.


BROWN (voice-over): And after all these years, I can still see the wise, defiant little boy who approached that NBC News camera.

EVANS: We don't know what we're going to do. So we just need some help and support.

BROWN: Charles Evans is getting some support these days, but it's not enough. He deserves more.


BROWN: There are still lots of young people in the New Orleans area who need help. And to learn more about what you can do, visit our "Impact Your World" page at

And that is it for this special edition of "Campbell Brown Investigate." "LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up next.