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CNN Live At Daybreak

Teenage Killer?; Violence in Schools; Alito & Abortion; Psychic Children?

Aired November 15, 2005 - 05:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: From the Time Warner Center in New York, this is DAYBREAK with Carol Costello.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you. Thank you for waking up with us. Welcome to the second half-hour of DAYBREAK.

Coming up in the next 30 minutes, a 1985 document sheds light on Samuel Alito's legal view of abortion, or does it?

And they are called Indigo Children, but do you believe?

But first, "Now in the News."

President Bush arrived in Japan just about an hour ago. It's the first stop on his four-nation trip to Asia. In the meantime, the president is facing all kinds of trouble back home. His job approval rating is at a new low.

Israel and the Palestinians have reached a deal on a key Gaza border crossing. The deal brokered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice allows Palestinians more movement between Gaza and the West Bank.

Massive damage on the street in Karachi, Pakistan this morning after a powerful car bomb blast. At least three are dead. A dozen others wounded. Officials say the target may have been a KFC restaurant.

To the Forecast Center for some stormy weather.

Bonnie Schneider in today.

Good morning.



COSTELLO: We'll keep our ears open.

Thank you, Bonnie.

A teenaged boy accused of killing his girlfriend's parents is behind bars this morning. Police tracked him and his girlfriend down in Indiana. The big unanswered question, though, was the girl abducted or did she go along with the boy willingly?

CNN's Allan Chernoff tries to find out.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A weekend of terror for 14-year-old Kara Borden ended here, outside Indianapolis, about 600 miles from home, where her 18-year-old boyfriend, David Ludwig, allegedly shot and killed her parents. The Volkswagen Jetta they were driving crashed after a police chase at speeds up to 90 miles an hour.

DAVID COX, INDIANA STATE POLICE: I had pulled him from the car. There was some slight resistance, but that was it. She was just frantic, crying, screaming.

CHERNOFF: Police say, early Sunday morning, David Ludwig brought Kara home after a full night out together. Kara's parents, Michael and Cathryn, summoned Ludwig back to their home. He returned, concealing a handgun. During an argument, Ludwig allegedly shot Kara's father, Michael, in the head, then shot her mom, Cathryn.

(on camera): Making the story even more horrific is the fact that Kara's 15-year-old sister, Kaitlin, told police she saw her father being killed right by the front door, then ran inside of a bathroom as her mother was shot. Minutes later, Kaitlin ran out the back door towards a neighbor. Her 9-year-old brother, David, had already run across the street to this neighbor's home, from where he called the police.

(voice-over): Police stormed the home, but found only the two bodies.

On a street that appears simply idyllic, neighbors are shocked.

DAVID JONES, BORDEN'S NEIGHBOR: It just makes you think. It makes you stop and take a good, long, hard look at everything around you and so much we take for granted, that you just never know.

CHERNOFF: Still unknown, whether or not Kara played any role in the murders.

SKYLER JONES, KARA'S FRIEND: She was a really nice friend. She was an amazing friend. Her parents always made us feel at home at her house. It was just a nice place to be.

TOM MANNON, NEIGHBOR: She seemed to be a typical all-American girl, just a sweet kid on the street, and just a beautiful kid. And she knew my girls very well.

CHERNOFF: David Ludwig, neighbors say, often dressed in black and favored a Goth look. He was home-schooled and had worked as a lifeguard and at Circuit City this past summer.


COSTELLO: That was Allan Chernoff reporting.

The teenage suspect could face an extradition hearing today or tomorrow.

And we're going to talk more about this in the 6:00 Eastern hour of DAYBREAK. We're going to have a local reporter on.

A manhunt now under way in Iowa for two convicted murderers. Authorities say 27-year-old Robert Legendre and 34-year-old Martin Moon escaped from the maximum-security portion of the Iowa State Penitentiary last night. They were both serving life sentences.

Attacks on teachers and school administrators may be more common than we think. The latest government numbers show 4 percent of teachers nationwide reported they were physically attacked by a student in 2000.

As CNN's Randi Kaye reports, increasingly teachers and administrators are victims of angry, unruly kids who lose it.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Teacher Gretchen Simpson walks with a limp and drives a car with handicap plates, all because she was attacked by one of her students at a Georgia school.

GRETCHEN SIMPSON, TEACHER: I'm not supposed to get on my knees. I'm not supposed to be on uneven surfaces.

KAYE: January 2004, Pointe South Middle School outside Atlanta, Simpson tried to subdue a boy she says was acting unruly on the bus.

(on camera): The student escaped, but when Simpson went after him, she says he pounced, beating her with a stick dozens of times, even biting her through her silk jacket and drawing blood. Simpson tried to shield herself. But by the time it was all over, she had a broken finger and a twisted knee.

SIMPSON: I'm seeing a psychologist for post traumatic stress syndrome.

KAYE (voice-over): Many of these attacks go unreported. But we've discovered numerous incidents in just the last month. Alabama teacher Judy Jester, beaten to death by a 15-year-old student, her skull cracked. Philadelphia teacher Mark Seigers (ph), a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, pummeled by 17-year-old twins during English class. And in Maryland, teacher Dario Velcarsal (ph), beaten with a baseball bat in his biology classroom. A witness says it was a tenth grader wearing a ski mask.

RON STEPHENS, NATL. SCHOOL SAFETY CENTER: The victimization against teachers and administrators continues to be at an unacceptably high level.

KAYE: Dr. Ron Stephens with the National School Safety Center in Los Angeles tracks violent school attacks for the federal government. In the last decade, he says 10 percent of the attacks involved teachers. Stephens says student attackers are younger than they used to be and more violent, simply because they are exposed to more violence at younger ages. He points to video games, movies and other entertainment.

STEPHENS: And this is the youngster who goes from a normal to ballistic in a heartbeat.

KAYE: Turning a classroom into chaos and putting teachers, like Simpson, in harm's way.

SIMPSON: I thought I had a coat of armor.


COSTELLO: That was CNN's Randi Kaye reporting. Randi also says a government report indicates nearly 1 in 10 teachers say students have threatened to hurt them.

Still to come on DAYBREAK, is a 20-year-old memo shedding light on how Samuel Alito might rule on abortion?

Also, Indigo Children, are they gifted or disturbed or perhaps a little of both? A closer look is coming up.

But first, here is a look at what else is making news this Tuesday.


COSTELLO: Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is making the rounds on Capitol Hill, meeting with senators who will vote him up or down. While the nation's highest court deals with all kinds of legal issues, it is the issue of abortion which is focusing the most attention on Alito.

John King has more on the memo.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Judge Samuel Alito's own words from a job application 20 years ago are the latest evidence he opposes abortion and the latest exhibit in his increasingly bitter confirmation battle.

"It has been an honor and a source of personal satisfaction to help advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," Alito wrote in 1985 as he sought a promotion in the Reagan Justice Department. "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

Abortion rights groups were already on record opposing Alito's confirmation and now hope the new documents released by the Reagan Presidential Library strengthen their argument that Alito is the wrong choice to replace abortion rights supporter Sandra Day O'Connor.

NANCY KEENAN, NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA: There is no doubt that he would very much either overturn Roe or basically restrict Roe to the point that it's not even applicable in this country.

KING: But the White House and its conservative allies say Alito's personal and professional embrace of the anti-abortion agenda 20 years ago says nothing about how he would deal now with Roe v. Wade and other abortion questions that could come before the high court.

WENDY LONG, JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION NETWORK: Everybody who knows him has said he's a very fair judge, an impartial judge who doesn't prejudge any case. And he'll decide it based on the facts and the law of that case at the time it comes before him.

KING: In private meetings with senators, Judge Alito has voiced great respect for precedent. And Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter issued a statement saying that while Alito's comments 20 years ago are certain to come up at his January confirmation hearings, a review of his record as a federal judge for the past 15 years "found a very heavy commitment to legal interpretation which might differ from his own personal views."

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, said the new document showed Alito to be "an eager and early partisan in the ranks of ideological activists in his party's extreme right wing."

Judge Alito's views on discrimination, gun control and police powers are also drawing Democratic scrutiny. But abortion is the biggest battleground among the interest groups using the Alito confirmation fight to raise millions of dollars on the Internet and through direct mail appeals.

RICHARD VIGUERIE, AMERICAN TARGET ADVERTISING: What you're going to see in the next two-and-a-half months is as close to a political Armageddon as we're going to have.

KING (on camera): As this fight plays out, it is worth noting there are six votes on the current high court to uphold Roe v. Wade. So even if Judge Alito is confirmed and takes a different view than Justice O'Connor, Roe would still have a five-vote majority.

John King, CNN, Washington.


COSTELLO: Your news, money, weather and sports. It's 5:43 Eastern. Here is what's all new this morning.

President Bush landed in Japan just over an hour and a half ago, the first leg of his four-nation Asian trip. He'll also visit South Korea, China and Mongolia.

The rejection of the so-called Morning-After Pill was unusual. According to a congressional report, the FDA may have rejected easier access to the pill without seeing all the science. The FDA says they acted properly, while critics say the decision may have been politically motivated. In money news, video game giant Electronic Arts is dropping the price on some of its games. The move is seen as a way to spark sales in an otherwise soft market. Anticipation over new gamer technology has led to slower video game sales.

In pop culture, there will be no second season for Martha Stewart's "Apprentice." Some reports said the decision was made due to low ratings for the Wednesday night spin-off, but producers say there never was a plan to bring Stewart back for round two.

In sports, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is the American League's Most Valuable Player. Rodriguez edged out Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to win his second MVP award. But A-Rod says he'd gladly trade the award for a World Series Championship. The National League names its MVP today -- Bonnie.


COSTELLO: Thank you, Bonnie.

That's a look at the latest headlines for you.

Now here's a question for you, have you ever wondered if your child is gifted with psychic powers? Many children say they are, actually. In fact, there is a name for them, they are called Indigo Children.

But as CNN's Gary Tuchman reports, others say Indigos aren't gifted at all, they're actually suffering from a disorder.


SANDIE BERSHAD, INDIGO CHILD: Paula (ph), what is your problem? At 14 years of age, you go through a really rebellious time, and that's what...

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through the lens on her computer's camera, 17-year-old Sandie Bershad communicates with friends across the world.

S. BERSHAD: That's Eric (ph). He is from Sweden.

TUCHMAN: But from her bedroom on the Jersey Shore, Sandie says she is wired into another universe, a sort of supernatural super highway.

(on camera): Your dead grandmother visited you last night in your bedroom? And what did she say to you?

S. BERSHAD: Just to say hello, that she loves me, that kind of thing. She usually just comes to visit. Her energy is very, like, nice, like, healing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sandie, who spends a lot of her time on the beach, believes that guiding spirits surround her.

(on camera): So right now you see angels?


TUCHMAN: And where are they?

S. BERSHAD: They're over here.

TUCHMAN: Over here?


TUCHMAN: Like near my shoulder?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): It may sound like science fiction, but a growing network of believers say these types of visions are fact. Teens, like Sandie, claim they're part of a special generation born after 1978 known as Indigo Children for the deep blue auras that psychics say they see around them. Indigo Children have high IQs and tend to be rebellious and oversensitive. They're often also said to share special gifts, heightened intuition and psychic abilities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is one of them, isn't she.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An Indigo, like my son.

TUCHMAN: In recent years, the Indigo phenomenon has made its way into movies, books, Web sites and even to the therapist's office.

JULIE ROSENSHEIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: They will say, I've heard that you deal with Indigo Children or children who are highly sensitive. Can you help me with my child?

You think? I don't know.

TUCHMAN: Psychotherapist Julie Rosenshein says parents seek her help with kids they believe are Indigos, many of whom have trouble socializing and paying attention in school.

ROSENSHEIN: Usually I'll get an e-mail that will say my child is having meltdowns, she can't sleep at night. She says that she sees things in her room. Can you help me?

TUCHMAN (on camera): And what do you say?

ROSENSHEIN: I usually say, wow, you're seeing something at night? Do you know that sometimes angels visit at night? And their eyes will sometimes cloud up with tears even maybe because it's the first time that anybody really affirmed for them that what they saw was not crazy, did not make them crazy.

TOM BERSHAD, FATHER: They're not really sure exactly what... TUCHMAN: Sandie's parents, Tom and Marjorie Bershad, say from an early age their daughter was highly intuitive and overly sensitive and has never liked to be touched.

(on camera): Do you believe she sees dead people and angels?

T. BERSHAD: I believe that she sees something. What it is, I don't know. But I believe that she's definitely seeing something.

TUCHMAN: Are there ever times, Sandie, where you wish you were just like the more typical kids and didn't have any of these kinds of visions or spirits or anything like that?

S. BERSHAD: No, life wouldn't be interesting then.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sandie says she is less depressed and doing better in school since discovering her Indigo roots. But skeptics warn that being Indigo may really mean just having a colorful imagination or Attention Deficit Disorder.

DR. DAVID STEIN, AUTHOR, "STOP MEDICATING, START PARENTING": You take highly misbehaving children, and who are very, very bright, many of them are, and call them as Indigo Children, and I think it's a stab at trying to apply a more positive label to these children rather than the more pejorative terms like ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Marjorie, when a doctor says there's no such thing as Indigo Children, it's just a label that parents are putting on kids who have ADD or some other condition...

MARJORIE BERSHAD, MOTHER: I disagree. In my heart of hearts, I disagree. I've seen too many things.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Dr. Trent Nichols is a gastroenterologist in Pennsylvania who treats children for extreme food sensitivities. He believes that up to 3 percent of those he sees are Indigo Kids.

NICHOLS: I think we are seeing children that really seem to be way advanced for their years or sensitive to certain things, or sensitive about other things in their environment. And I see this in some of my patients now. I don't think we saw it before. I don't remember it 30 years ago doing that, because I've been a physician since '69.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So you think something is going on here?

NICHOLS: Yes, I think something, but it is hard to say what.

TUCHMAN: So the claims of people that these could be a special group, Indigo Children, can't be rejected out of hand?


NANCY STEPHENS, AURA PHOTOGRAPHS: Inhale. Exhale. TUCHMAN (voice-over): Psychics claim that Indigo Children have indigo-colored energy fields or auras around them.

STEPHENS: Smile. Good. OK.

TUCHMAN: We asked a woman who claims she could take pictures of your aura to come to the Bershad's home and snap some shots of Sandie and me with her so-called aura camera.

STEPHENS: That's the center of your being. And you do have transformation coming in.

TUCHMAN: In my photograph, there was a little indigo color. But in Sandie's, indigo dominated the picture. So are Indigos really the next step in human evolution as many believe or suggest? If you have any doubts, Sandie says, just ask her angels.

S. BERSHAD: They want the world and we want the world to know that we are here and we are here to help and that they want everyone to become more aware of Indigos, to get used to it.


COSTELLO: That was CNN's Gary Tuchman reporting.

Experts say the Indigo behavior exists mostly in children born in the last 10 years.

All new in the next hour of DAYBREAK, New York City is the Big Apple, Chicago is the Windy City, but what's Baltimore? The city is looking for a new identity.

Also, you see it all over U.S. currency, in God we trust. One atheist is now suing over that. Looks familiar, doesn't he?

That's all coming up in the next hour of DAYBREAK.


COSTELLO: Who couldn't use a little laugh on a Tuesday morning? Yes, it is that time when we have to pause to laugh.

David Letterman is going to make us laugh. Well, maybe he's not going to make Vice President Dick Cheney laugh. Listen.


DAVID LETTERMAN, "THE LATE SHOW": Boy, it's an exciting day here in New York City. You know why? Vice President Dick Cheney is in town, ladies and gentlemen. Yes. He's trying to squeeze in as many fund raisers as he can before his indictment. So that's...


But New York loves it when Dick Cheney is in town, because he makes the rest of us seem friendly. And... (LAUGHTER)


COSTELLO: Poor Dick Cheney.

Time for our DAYBREAK "Eye Openers" now.

Grizzly bear hunts may be coming to areas around Yellowstone National Park. The government is expected to unveil a plan today that will eventually remove the grizzlies from the endangered species list. About 600 grizzlies now live around Yellowstone. The recovery of the grizzlies could lead to hunting programs in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Scientists have found some confused fish off the California coast. They discovered so-called intersex fish. Intersex fish, yes, in the salty Pacific Ocean. Now normally fish that have male and female parts are found in contaminated freshwater. Scientists fear that sewage poured into the ocean is leading to something fishy.

Some more normal fish are on display at the new Atlanta Aquarium. A select few people are getting an early look at the exhibits ahead of next week's planned opening. The Atlanta Aquarium will be the world's largest and boasts the only two whale sharks in captivity outside of Asia. Of course that's not them.

The next hour of DAYBREAK starts right after this.


COSTELLO: It is Tuesday, November 15.

Two teenagers are in custody after triggering a nationwide search. It started with a double murder and ended with a high-speed chase. Now authorities are looking for answers.

Plus, first it was the "Pledge of Allegiance," and now a self- proclaimed atheist has a new protest. He's putting his mouth where his money is.

And President Bush starts a whirlwind tour of Asia, but he's facing a storm of disapproval back home.

ANNOUNCER: From the Time Warner Center in New York, this is DAYBREAK with Carol Costello.

COSTELLO: And good morning to you.

We'll have more on the president's trip to Japan in just a minute.

Also ahead, what does your city stand for? Hear about one city's search for an identity.

And most girls dream of being a princess, but this woman is giving up that treasured title all in the name of love.