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CNN Larry King Live

Update on Imette St. Guillen Murder Investigation; Interview With Tammy Faye Messner

Aired March 13, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Tammy Faye Messner's life or death battle, the latest on her brave fight with cancer. The one and only Tammy Faye, as intense and emotional as it gets.
But first, dramatic new developments in the grisly rape and murder of a beautiful young grad student. Blood evidence links an ex- convict bouncer to her bound and brutalized body. We've got the latest with the attorney for the man police now call the prime suspect.

Plus, renowned forensic scientist, Dr. Henry Lee, and more all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

In New York is Kevin O'Donnell, the attorney for Darryl Littlejohn, the ex-convict police call the prime suspect in the sexual assault and murder of Imette St. Guillen.

Davidson Goldin, the columnist for the "New York Sun" has been covering this from the get-go.

And, in New Haven, the famed forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee.

Davidson, first bring us up to date. What's the latest?

DAVIDSON GOLDIN, "NEW YORK SUN": Well, the latest, Larry, is just yesterday Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told us what we all already knew which was that Darryl Littlejohn is the main suspect in this case. Cops were waiting until they had some forensic evidence. That evidence came in yesterday morning.

DNA samples, blood was found on the ties that apparently bound Imette's wrists matched Mr. Littlejohn's DNA. That follows cell phone records. Apparently police say that they can track through cell phone towers as Mr. Littlejohn's phone allegedly moved from tower to tower. They have him in the vicinity of where Imette's body was found.

They also have some carpet fiber from Mr. Littlejohn's home that matches some carpet fiber that was found on the blanket that wrapped Imette's body only that's apparently very common carpet fiber and probably not the strongest evidence.

And finally, Larry, there are a couple of homeless people who claim they saw Mr. Littlejohn abduct or at least take Imette with him that night. The problem is they're homeless people. One of them admits she was using drugs that night, probably not the most reliable witnesses.

KING: Kevin O'Donnell, the attorney for Darryl Littlejohn, a former prosecutor yourself, are you up against it here?

KEVIN O'DONNELL, ATTORNEY FOR DARRYL LITTLEJOHN: Well, Larry, obviously it appears that I have quite an uphill battle but that battle is caused by the improper taint as a result of the police leaks, including Police Commissioner Kelly's news conference yesterday.

That is not the place to disclose any type of information and it's important to point out, Larry, that that is nothing but information. It is not evidence until it's put before a judge and the judge introduces it to the jury.

KING: The DNA story then you feel should not have been released?

O'DONNELL: Absolutely not, Larry. All it's done is taint the potential jury pool. I have serious concerns about the release of the DNA information. First of all, why did it take them two weeks to release this information if they were going to release it?

This is a test from what I understand that should have taken no more than 72 hours to draw a conclusion. I think the only reason why it's been released is because the entire investigation has been fueled by the media and the police are succumbing to the media pressure.

KING: Have you met with your client?

O'DONNELL: I have. I met with him for a few hours today, Larry, and it hasn't been until today that I was in a position to commence an investigation.

KING: Does he say he's innocent?

O'DONNELL: Larry, when he is indicted and there's not going to be question that he will be indicted, he will plead not guilty and I am going to defend him in the same manner in which I defend every client that I represent.

KING: Dr. Lee, is it strange to release this much information so soon?

DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Not really, you know, the DNA they have a perfect explanation. First they look at the fingernail because her fingernail they found some DNA but it did not match Littlejohn. In addition there are some fingernail break away so they have to look at some other avenues to have a provided direct link.

Now they've typed the blood stain on the plastic (INAUDIBLE) which used to tie the victim and found Littlejohn's DNA, however did not say clearly in the news release is that the blood DNA or other DNA. Of course, a good defense attorney can always challenge that DNA may be left on the plastic retainer long time ago not the recent deposit. I'm sure, you know, they're going to do additional work but don't forget New York has a very unique and different system than most of the cities or states. In Los Angeles or Florida or Connecticut the state police forensic lab or city police lab, forensic lab, does the DNA.

But in New York, the medical examiner's office does the DNA. Meanwhile, city police forensic laboratory does the criminalistic work. So that takes a while to transfer the evidence.

KING: Davidson, was there a lot of pressure on the police in this case?

GOLDIN: Larry, I don't think you can underestimate the pressure. This is the most brutal murder any of us here can remember in quite some time and the initial fear here that many people had was that perhaps this was a Mexico City style abduction.

People just don't disappear from the streets here in a trendy area like Soho at four o'clock in the morning. I know for a lot of people in the country that sounds late and it is late but bars are still just open, are just closing in New York, like in Chicago and a few other places.

So, the streets still have activity and the idea that she might have been abducted was quite frightening. So, I think many people here have some relief if Mr. O'Donnell's client is guilty because at least that would mean there isn't some homicidal maniac wandering the streets but, in fact, just one bouncer at one bar who committed an awful crime.

KING: Kevin, do we give too much attention before arrest, before trials with all news media and the like? Do we overdo the suspect?

O'DONNELL: In this particular case, Larry, absolutely and the problem that I have now is that the integrity of the entire judicial system has been compromised because of these police leaks.

The entire country has drawn the conclusion that it's my client. Now, it's not going to be the opinion of the entire country that matters, Larry. It is the opinion of the 12 jurors that are selected to try this case whose opinion matter.

KING: We're going to do a lot more on this. We thank Kevin O'Donnell, Davidson Goldin and Dr. Henry Lee for joining us.

Tammy Faye Messner is next. Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back.

Tammy Faye Messner was last on LARRY KING LIVE July 22nd of last year to announce that her colon cancer was back for the third time and had spread to her lungs. Back then she was optimistic and ready for another round of treatments. Tonight, she's here to talk openly and honestly about her prognosis and her latest battle with the ultimate disease. Tammy Faye Messner, who had a birthday recently, what were you 64? Can we say that?

TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: You can say that I guess if you want to tell the big story.

KING: You look so trim.

MESSNER: Well, thank you. I've lost about 20 pounds so I'm down to about 94 pounds.

KING: And that loss is due to the disease?

MESSNER: Well, yes because I haven't been able to -- I felt like I couldn't swallow and I don't know if it was just a psychological thing or what but I felt like I couldn't swallow. Every time I -- and my appetite totally went away. I don't know what happened.

I just couldn't even look at food and they had to put me on the drip, you know, to where I'd have to go sit for a couple hours in the hospital and get that drip in me so that I could even walk.

KING: All right, give me your status.

MESSNER: Well, Larry, the doctors, you know, they say that colon cancer or any cancer that has spread, stage four cancer, that the prognosis is generally a year. Well, I've outlived that by several years already. I've been in stage four cancer ever since the doctors have known me and so that's been -- I've been in stage four cancer for probably ten years.

KING: Where is it now? It's gone from the colon to where?

MESSNER: I'll tell you what it is. I have a growth the size of an egg and I understand it's right here on my lung and they killed it with radiation just a few weeks ago and we thought we killed it all and I was at 44, is a number, is a cancer number that people will understand that have cancer, and it went down to 15, which everyone was very excited about.

And, I just went and had a bone scan where they put the stuff in you and you become -- you light up everybody's life. They don't dare get near you for a while because when they take your picture you're all sparkly inside in the places where the cancer is. And, they found that inside that egg of cancer it has begun to rile up again.

KING: So, you have colon cancer that has spread to the lung?

MESSNER: Yes, so I really have colon cancer.

KING: I see. And it is growing again in the lung?

MESSNER: In the lung, yes.

KING: What are they going to do for it now?

MESSNER: You know we don't know. I'm going home. They wanted me to start on oral, on an oral chemotherapy and this is a chemotherapy called, I wrote it down so that I wouldn't forget it, it's called X-E-L-O-D-A, Xeloda.

KING: Taken by mouth?

MESSNER: You take it by mouth and it's supposed to stop the tumors from growing because, as you know, cancer is just tumor after tumor after tumor after tumor. That's the crappy part of cancer, you know. It just keeps going.

And so I'm going to start that when I get home and I didn't want to take it before I came because you had asked me a couple of times and I was too sick and finally I decided I'm just going to bite the -- I'm just going to go. I'm just going to go and...

KING: Stage four though is...


KING: Stage three is usually that's pretty terminal.

MESSNER: Yes, you know what, Larry, numbers don't make any difference to God. Numbers don't make any difference to God. There's a little sign that says whose report will I believe? I will believe the report of the Lord and his report says I am healed. His report says I am well.

And I truly believe that God, you know the God that I believe in and I believe that he's able, that a number is just a number with him, a stage is just a stage with him and I believe that -- I'm believing God that one day I'm going to come back and I'm going to look right in your eyes and I'm going to say, "Larry, I told you. It's all gone."

KING: Don't you think though that he dealt you a dirty blow here?

MESSNER: Why not me? He deals them. It seems like everybody is getting dirty blows so why not me, you know? I don't feel any different than anybody else. You know this time has been particularly hard on me because right after Christmastime I felt like I couldn't breathe and I started going into the doctor and I was starting having panic attacks. Have you ever had a panic attack?

Anybody out there who has ever had a panic attack knows what that's like. You'd rather die than have another one believe me. You feel like you can't breathe. And here I am upstairs in our room walking up and down the hallway past our bedroom and I'm screaming the name of Jesus and I just keep saying "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

You know the Bible says that his name is all powerful that his name is above every name and that his name can stop anything. And, I kept saying I need to know that Lord. I need to know that it's you. I've served you all of these years and I need to know that your name is above every name and it's above the name of cancer.

And immediately I found that terrible pain attack began to go away as I just began to say the name of Jesus. And, I've taken my pajamas, I've gotten some pajamas and I've just written Jesus and I've written scripture verses on it and that's what I cuddle up with at night. I cuddle up with scripture verses all over my body written on my pajamas.

KING: Have you had any surgery?

MESSNER: Yes, I have. I had 18 inches of my colon taken out.

KING: And it still spread?

MESSNER: Yes, it still spread but that lasted nine years, which is unusual that it would go nine years. They say five years is generally a good sign and mine lasted nine years and nine years later it comes back again.

KING: So, what do they tell you now?

MESSNER: Well, I've got two doctors right now and one of my doctors is kind of a pessimist and the other doctor is quite an optimist and they have -- you know I've got to be so careful in my mind. I think people that have any kind of debilitating disease you really have to watch the seeds that you plant in your mind because they grow.

And, I never read the stuff on cancer. I don't -- I just don't read it because I trust God with me and I trust him. I'm a realist. I really am a realist. I know I could die tomorrow but I know there's a few other people that will die tomorrow and I will still probably be here. And so...

KING: And the pessimist doctor says what?

MESSNER: The pessimist doctor tells me he mentioned the word hospice.

KING: Really?

MESSNER: And when he planted the word hospice in my mind I went flying over to my other doctor.

KING: And what did he say?

MESSNER: And he said, "Tammy" he said "You are a walking miracle." This is Dr. Plunkett, Stephen Plunkett said "You are a walking miracle." He said, "You have lived with cancer in your body for probably 20 years" because they didn't know how long the colon cancer was there before they ever, you know, just found it, and it could have been there for years and years.

And he said, "You're a walking miracle" and he said "And I believe that" -- he said "If anybody is going to tell you that you're going to have to go to hospice and get things arranged" he said "It will be me." And so he and I talked very optimistic. He's a Christian doctor and we talk very optimistic about what God can do.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back. In a little while, we'll go to your phone calls for a tough lady, Tammy Faye Messner. Don't go away.



MESSNER: If I died right now, I would consider myself one of the most fortunate women in the world to have lived and been able to do the kind of things that I've been able to do in my life and I'm very grateful. I'm very grateful to the Lord for taking a little girl who had nothing to give but was willing to try and doing what he's done with me. I never dreamed that someday my name would be known everywhere. Only God could do that for somebody with no talent. Thanks, God.


KING: No talent?

MESSNER: No talent.

KING: Tammy Faye Messner, we have in front of us the pills Tammy deals with.

MESSNER: This is some of them.

KING: Just some of them that she deals with every day.

MESSNER: And, you know, I think what the problem is, Larry, with cancer and I was talking to my girlfriend Deborah (ph) about this the other day and she said that what happens your life becomes a trip to the doctor every week, several trips every week to the doctor.

And so, you become to feel like a victim and I don't like to feel like a victim. I will not be a victim but that's what you begin to feel like. And then you pray and you pray and you pray and you get discouraged and the big thing the devil uses against people is discouragement and disappointment in God.

You know, God, I prayed, I prayed, prayed and I don't feel any better, you know. And you get discouraged thinking God's not hearing you. You're thinking he's not listening where he has a plan that we know nothing about. We have to be willing to go by his plan not our plan.

KING: You ever doubt that faith?

MESSNER: I've never doubted my faith ever, never one time.

KING: During all the sickness nothing?

MESSNER: No, I've never doubted it. I've been a mighty sick girl but I've never doubted it. KING: What about this esophagus problem that you have trouble swallowing?

MESSNER: Well, that is scary because I lost about 20 pounds and I didn't need to lose 20 pounds. I'm down to about 97. And it was so funny, we got one of these doctor scales at home and I went down to 100 and I couldn't find out, I couldn't go any further down because I couldn't figure out how to fix, how to work with the machine. And I said, "Hey, honey, this machine's broken. It won't go down below 100." So, Roe comes up there and does his magic and there I am 97.

KING: What is the esophagus problem?

MESSNER: The esophagus problem is the fact that when they did the radiation I think it did something to the esophagus that causes me not to -- I get scared. I get scared to swallow pills. I get afraid to eat. I'm very, very careful what I eat.

KING: Afraid to eat because it hurts?

MESSNER: Because I'm afraid I'll choke or something and nothing tastes good because of that. When you get afraid to eat nothing tastes good. It's just been lately where once again I was praying with my girlfriends and one of the prophets in the Bible, in the Bible God said something to him and it was so simple and he just said to him, I don't know if it was Jeremiah or who it was, "Arise and eat."

And ever since then I decided I'm going to rise and eat and I have been eating at least one good meal a day ever since that and thank God for that. When you asked me to come on the show this time I was so sick the first time you asked me, as you know, I couldn't come.

And then I wrote a -- I have (INAUDIBLE) once in a while too. People think I'm so strong and they think that I'm this big old tough person and my last letter I wrote on the computer this is how I am.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. And this is what we prayed as kids. God bless mom and dad, Tammy, Donny, Larry, Judy, Danny, Ruth and all the little children all over the world. And then I'd always put in and take care of all the little animals.

But we prayed that every night and all of a sudden this prayer has become so real to me because I don't know if I'm going to wake up in the morning. And so when I came, when you asked me to come to the show, I started to cry and I said, "Roe, I can't go do Larry's show because I don't know if I'm going to say goodbye to a friend I really love or if I'm going to tell him that I'm going to make it and everything is going to be OK."

KING: Why did you come? You didn't have to come.

MESSNER: Maybe because you asked me and I just love you. You've been so good to me and my family. When it wasn't popular to be good to us you were good to us, Larry, and I'll always love you for that. KING: And you're a very, very special lady and you never give up do you?

MESSNER: I never give up, no I don't.

KING: Even the crying is not giving up?

MESSNER: It's not giving up. It's a release. If I didn't cry I'd explode all over the place. You wouldn't want that. That wouldn't be a pretty sight. So, this is probably a better sight than seeing me explode all over the place.

KING: Are you able to travel OK?

MESSNER: I travel OK, I did. Of course, you flew me first class. Thank you very much for that. That helped.

KING: The staff did it.

MESSNER: Thank you staff. And, that helps a lot because then you're not stuck back with crying babies and all. And, I was able to make the trip real well and I'm so glad.

KING: The doctor who said hospice do you not see him anymore?

MESSNER: Well, no I still see him. He's my oncologist.

KING: Oh, he's the oncologist.

MESSNER: He's my oncologist, yes. I love Dr. Taylor and I think that as an oncologist he feels that, you know, he's looked at my situation that he's got to be very honest with me, you know, and usually they give it a year. A person is given a year at stage four cancer. But, as I told you my other doctor said "My goodness, I've outlived that year by many years," you know and so it's all how you look at it.

KING: It's a tough specialty oncology.

MESSNER: Yes, it is.

KING: Because you're around people, you know...

MESSNER: Dying all the time, people that you get to love so much.

KING: Yes.

MESSNER: Here I am with all these people, you know. I'm in with all these people that you don't know if they're going to make it or not going to make it and you know you all become friends and you all talk to each other and you get those hugs. You need those hugs so bad. I have found that since I have had cancer I need a hug. I just need somebody to say it's going to be OK, even if it isn't. I need somebody to say it.

KING: We'll take a break here and we'll be right back with your calls for Tammy Faye Messner. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Tammy Faye. By the way, before we go to calls, you take morphine right?

MESSNER: Yes, I do.

KING: You can get addicted to morphine.

MESSNER: At my point, stage in the game, you don't think much about that. But I've been to -- I've been to Betty Ford, so I know how to do addictions.

KING: But you do -- so the morphine's for pain, right?

MESSNER: For pain. I really have tremendous pain and with this -- this right here, and in the back of my shoulder right here, and then I have -- cancer has touched (INAUDIBLE) a little bit of my spine. Two of the things in my spine, cancer's touched and once in a while that will get real bad.

KING: Buffalo, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: I'd like to ask Tammy -- you're in my heart and prayers and you've been for a lot of few years and I wish I just -- could just reach out and hug you and love you.


CALLER: And tell you God will be will be with you and he'll stand by you.

MESSNER: Thank you.

CALLER: And I'd like to know what kind of pills you are on.

MESSNER: I'm on morphine. I'm on -- I'm on something called hydrocortidone (ph) and that's when the morphine doesn't work and I need an in between pill because I'm only supposed to take two of these a day. They're...

KING: They're strong.

MESSNER: ... yes, and so when these aren't quite as strong. So when that doesn't work. And then when I go home I'm going back on chemotherapy. That...


KING: Chemotherapy will be a pill, right?

MESSNER: Will be a pill, yes. I haven't taken it yet so I'm a little nervous about it. Thank you so much...

KING: You've gotten it previously, what (INAUDIBLE)...

MESSNER: I've had chemotherapy and I've had -- I've got a scar here from where they took it, you know, where they put this thing in.

KING: Salt Lake City, Utah, hello.

CALLER: Tammy Faye, were a customer of mine at Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Springs and I love you. You are a dear person. And I'd like to know where a person can write to you. I would love to get back in touch with you.

KING: Where can they write to you?

MESSNER: Box 1281, Matthews, North Carolina, 28105.

KING: That's 1280 -- Box 1281, Matthews...

MESSNER: Matthews, M-A-T-T-H-E-W-S, North Carolina, 28105, honey.

KING: Box 1281, if you want to write to Tammy Faye...

MESSNER: Thank you.

KING: Box 1281 Matthews...

MESSNER: North Carolina...

KING: ... North Carolina...


KING: ... 28105.

MESSNER: An old North Carolina girl. Really I'm a Minnesota girl but I love the south.

KING: Pikeville, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hi Tammy and Larry.


CALLER: It's so nice to talk to you, Tammy, you're so beautiful.

MESSNER: Oh, you're sweet. Thank you.

CALLER: And I've been sitting here crying. And you're a winner either way. Whether you go or whether you stay, honey.

MESSNER: That's one wonderful thing about knowing the Lord. In my estimation, we win either way. It's a win-win situation. And thank you for reminding me of that. Even I need to be reminded of that once in a while. You know we get selfish. We want to stay on this earth because I love my children. I love my husband. I love my -- the people that I'm around. I love life. And it's -- it's hard to remember that sometimes. You know I always wonder -- I hope heaven's not going to be boring, Larry. You don't think it will do you?


KING: Don't know.


KING: Not with you there.

MESSNER: I've got to be busy, Lord.

KING: You're friendly with Benny Hinn and his wife.

MESSNER: Yes, Benny and Suzanne and it was in the middle of the night, and I was having a panic attack, and I had their home phone number, so I got on the phone trying to call Suzanne and I couldn't get her. They do these dumb things on these phone numbers where they put it to this, to this, to this, this and I don't know all that stuff. And so I was getting ready to hang up and it was like a miracle happened and it said if you haven't finished your phone call yet, you may finish it right now.

Well I hadn't even started it, didn't even know how to do it. And I said, Suzanne, I believe I'm dying. I told her that. I said, the pair of pajamas that you and -- Oral Roberts prayed over, I have lying on me right now. I have the Bible lying on me. I said but I believe God is getting ready to take me home and would you please don't tell anybody, just pray for me. And I was looking through Christian television, just frantic for someone to talk about Jesus.

I had to hear his name, Larry. I had to hear his name. And all of a sudden, appeared Bennie on Christian television. And he lays his hands -- he puts his hands up like that. And if you're real quick you can get your head right through his hands. And I jumped out of bed, as sick as I was, people are going to think I'm crazy after this show (INAUDIBLE) so it's OK.

And I went up and I put my head between -- between Bennie's hands. And all of a sudden, the peace that passeth all understanding that the Bible talks about came to me, and I realized that, you know, our pastor -- one time -- remember that time I told you that I didn't mind dying but I didn't want to be on the next bus load? Well, our pastor in our church a couple of Sundays must have watched the show because he said he heard somebody say that and that was stupid and asinine and that he wanted to -- he wanted to go to heaven that day, you know.

And it made me very angry at him right away. You know I thought well you little stinker. And then -- I'm older than he is. I'll bring him up. And then I got to thinking, you know, he's right. We should not be afraid of heaven. We should not be afraid of dying. If we serve God all of our life, we should be looking forward to the time when we meet Jesus face to face.

KING: Yes, if you believe, you should be.

MESSNER: And so I say -- I'm sorry I got a little aggravated at him that day.


MESSNER: He helped me.

KING: I think what bothers you most is not dying, but the way you die. The pain.

MESSNER: Yes, the way you die...

KING: The chemotherapy. The doctors.

MESSNER: All the stuff, the stuff of dying. Somebody ought to write a book called "The Stuff of Dying".


MESSNER: Get busy, Tammy.

KING: North Kingston, Rhode Island, hello.

CALLER: Larry, thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Tammy, you're not a 44, you're a 10. And you know, Tammy, I have had breast cancer twice. I also had lung cancer. I was stage 4 two years ago. When I went in to have my lung removed, I want you to know, you were the wind beneath my wings.


CALLER: And in fact I -- like you, I love my makeup. And I went into the operating room with my mascara on...


CALLER: ... and one of the nurses said, "Oh, you look like Tammy Faye."


CALLER: And that's an honor. But I want you -- you're going to be here for a long time yet because you have more work to do. Congress has made some major cuts in our budget for cancer research. Would you be willing to go before Congress to, you know so that the NCI...

KING: That's true.

CALLER: ... can still receive money for research?


CALLER: Would you be willing to do that for us?

MESSNER: I would be very glad to do that. I just don't know how to do that but I would be very happy to go before Congress.

KING: Well they'll in touch with you. Box 1281, if you want to contact her, Matthews, North Carolina, 28105. And Tammy, she never quits. Beginning in May, she's planning...


KING: ... a new cooking show.


KING: Tammy Faye and Joann.

MESSNER: And it is a wild and crazy show, which it can only be if us two wild ladies are on it together. It's a cooking show and it really isn't. I look -- turned over to Joann when we were doing this and I said well I didn't know you really needed to cook -- know how to cook to be on this show. What happened, they gave me -- Joann, channel 16 in Greeneville, South Carolina. Now, this is a little television station. This is - and so we're kind of -- that's my daughter on the left by the way. And so we're kind of going back and reinventing the wheel here in Joann's little kitchen, in little kitchen, and we had a good time. I made my fudge. They gave me too small a pan. And the fudge boiled over and the kitchen started fire.

KING: But can you eat?

MESSNER: Well, I ate a little of that fudge. It tasted pretty good.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll be right back with more of Tammy Faye and more of your phone calls, don't go away.


MESSNER: Almost every Saturday night we made fudge. We listened to the Saturday night barn dance and the good old Opry and we would sit in there and make fudge and we'd all get our baths at that time. Cleanest ones went first, dirtiest ones went last.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there were how many kids?

MESSNER: Eight kids and I was the first...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight kids, same tub...

MESSNER: ... because I was the cleanest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... need I say more?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The same water and the same tub?

MESSNER: Yes and we'd heat the water up and put it in this great big old bucket that daddy brought home from work...


MESSNER: Big, big huge bucket (INAUDIBLE) and then we'd go in, one butt at a time.





KING: The interesting part of this tape as we come back is this was after they told you couldn't sing anymore.

MESSNER: They told me I couldn't sing anymore. And my voice came back, louder than ever. And then after this, this bout with cancer, I haven't been able to sing again.

KING: You can't sing now?

MESSNER: I can't sing now.

KING: Meaning what?

MESSNER: Meaning that it's going to have to come back again.

KING: You couldn't vocalize?

MESSNER: I couldn't vocalize (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Norfolk, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hi Tammy, how are you?


CALLER: You have been a big inspiration to a lot of people. Actually, I was on your show as a child here in Portsmouth, Virginia.

MESSNER: Oh, one of my kids.

CALLER: Yes. Speaking of shows, do you ever hear, keep in touch with your surreal life cast mates?

MESSNER: Yes, in fact Erik Estrada just sent me, thank you Eric, the most beautiful, beautiful flowers I've ever seen. And I've just got -- I just -- all the whole gang, the whole gang is calling me.

KING: That was a fun show.

MESSNER: That was a fun show. And then we have really bonded. And we're -- we still all watch out for each other, which I think is so wonderful. I got a real nice letter from Traci Bingham. I got a call from Vanilla Ice, wanting to talk to his other mother.

KING: Flint, Michigan, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Tammy.


CALLER: I've watched you over the 49 years of my life. And you've lived a full and colorful life. Who do you admire and look up to? And what else do you want to do in life in the rest of your life?

MESSNER: Well I look up to Billy Graham. He has -- him and Joni Earecksonph). You know -- do you know the Joni Eareckson story? I look at Joni Eareckson and I think, man, I don't have it bad at all. I mean to think that someone has to turn you over two or three times a night just so you can live, you know, and has to put your makeup on.

Nobody would ever get my makeup on right. I'd be in a real mess. But I mean, she has to be taken care of day and night. And then Billy Graham I say because he's been able to practice what he preaches. And I thank God for a man of God who (INAUDIBLE) practice what he preaches.


MESSNER: And what do I want to do? I want to be able to practice what I preach. And I've got a lot more stuff out there, given the opportunity that I want to do.

KING: Anderson Cooper is standing by. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. Anderson, what's the big story tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, a couple of big stories. We're going to have the latest on the St. Guillen murder case with angles you haven't seen anywhere else, like how investigators narrowed in on Darryl Littlejohn through what's called pinging, actually tracking him by following his cell phone even when wasn't in use.

We're also looking at why the intense media focus on the St. Guillen murder. Is the focus so intense because she's attractive and the suspect is a black man? The answers might surprise you.

Plus, tornadoes ripping across the country, taking lives, ruining livelihoods, another twister was just spotted in Alabama. We'll bring you the latest, all that and more Larry at the top of the hour.

KING: Well it's been an incredible weather story, hasn't it...

(CROSSTALK) KING: ... this past couple of years, jeez. Anderson Cooper with "AC 360" at the top of the hour. We'll be back with Tammy Faye and more phone calls right after this.


MESSNER: I want my funeral to be a really happy time. I want everyone laughing. I want really fun songs sung. I want people clapping their hands. I don't want nobody crying. I want everybody laughing and remembering how crazy I was. Now, I want to be cremated. I'd like to have them put me in a maraca and put your name on it. And then when they're up at church and they're playing the maraca and they're having a good time, singing, and that will be you in there with your bones shaking.



MESSNER: Now you'd think that after all I've been through, I'd be tired of doctors. But I'm considering one last gift to myself for going through all that yucky stuff. How soon after chemotherapy can you have plastic surgery?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would depend on the type of surgery you're having. Usually we like to wait at least six months following chemotherapy. What are your desires? What are your goals?

MESSNER: Well, at least as can be, just like that there, like here, and then just up on the edges of my eyes just a little bit. Because I'm having a hard time getting my eyelashes on.


KING: Did you do that?

MESSNER: No. I didn't do that. After I found out his price. I don't know how anybody can do that.

KING: Mount Holly, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hi Tammy.


CALLER: Larry, thanks for taking my call.

KING: Hello.

CALLER: I'm a stage three-breast cancer survivor. I've had 33 radiation treatments.

MESSNER: Oh, bless your heart.

CALLER: And 13 months of chemo. And I'm scheduled for another chemo treatment in the morning. I have one once a week and I've been doing that for 13 months so people like you talking and explaining is what keeps us keeping on. And I was wondering...

MESSNER: Well we're going to hang in there, aren't we?

CALLER: I was wondering if you were maybe going to have any meetings around close by in the Charlotte area of support groups of cancer survivors.

MESSNER: Well you know, I haven't been doing that but once I get my show started, I think that will probably be a part of that.

KING: You do a lot of good tonight, you know. Help a lot of people.

MESSNER: Help a lot of people cry, goodness gracious.

KING: Las Vegas, Nevada, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello Tammy, a pleasure and honor to talk to you.

MESSNER: Thank you.

CALLER: I wanted to ask you and you too, Larry, I wanted to ask you if you and Jim Jay Bullock still stay in touch because I really enjoyed the two of you on your talk show very, very much.

MESSNER: Jim Jay Bullock?

KING: Yes.

MESSNER: Jim just called me. Jim just called me. We stay in touch all the time. Yes, we do. He's my brother.

KING: What's he doing now?

MESSNER: He always tells me, I'm still running all over the country. He's -- he'll be -- I don't know. The last time I heard, he was in New York doing one of the off Broadway things in New York.

KING: Manteo, North Carolina hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi.


CALLER: How are you? Thank you for taking my call, Larry.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: And I -- Tammy, how are you doing?

MESSNER: I'm doing a lot better, thank you.

CALLER: Good. I wanted to let you know you're such an inspiration. And my question is, how is your family coping?

KING: Yes. How are the kids? MESSNER: The kids. The kids and I have talked about dying. We really have. I never thought I would talk about dying with my children. But my son said, mother, he said you carried me in your tummy for nine months and then you feel like you can't cry in front of me. And he just put his arms around me and just let me cry and cry and cry.

And Larry, my son lives in Atlanta. That's Jay there. And he lives in Atlanta and he comes and sees me every -- every few days he comes and sees mom and spends two or three nights. Tammy Sue comes and cleans the house for me and takes care of things that I no longer have quite the strength to do.

I do what I can do. I wash clothes and I do what I can do. But the floors are a little hard and changing beds are a little hard. And so my precious daughter takes care of those kinds of things for me.

KING: Jim Bakker, do you hear from him?

MESSNER: He has hooked his Web site up with mine, which I thought was very kind. And they do pray for me, I know that because I continue to get notices that they're praying for me there in Branson, Missouri. And I just want to say thank you.

KING: He's in Branson?


KING: You've got to feel both -- you could be discouraged but encouraged at the same time.

MESSNER: I'm very encouraged. I'm not discouraged. I cry. But I'm not discouraged. I'm very encouraged because I feel like there's so much ahead and if God will allow me to do it like a television show. Remember every time I leave the show Larry says to me well, when are you going to get your own show? And I come back and we talk about the fact and I practically die and I get my own show. There's my own show. That starts in May, so...

KING: Cooking.

MESSNER: Cooking. Cooking with Tammy. You can make it. And so it looks like God has some more work for me to do. And Larry, we'll just figure this out and take it as it comes.

KING: We'll be back with more of Tammy Faye right after this. Don't go away.


MESSNER: Tammy, you're not going to believe it, they asked me yesterday, they asked me if I wanted a Valium. I said, no, that's Jim's drug.





MESSNER: I said no, I don't want Valium. I said I can't take Valium. It works wrong on me. I said just give me one milligram of Ativan. They said well, have you ever taken Ativan? Well, I went to Betty Ford for it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've always known your mom's a little crazy...


MESSNER: (INAUDIBLE) and everybody kind of knows that so it's OK.




KING: Remember if you want to write to Tammy, it's Box 1281, Matthews, North Carolina, zip code is 28105. Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Hi. I wanted to congratulate Tammy on her tenacity in fighting this disease. And my question is, March is national colorectal cancer awareness when month and I was reading a report the other day saying there's still a large majority of Americans who are not being screened on a regular basis for colon cancer. And it's such a painless, simple...


CALLER: ... easy test and it saves lives and I...

MESSNER: It's just embarrassing...


MESSNER: ... I think that's what the problem is.

KING: It's a nothing test, though.

MESSNER: I know. You know that's what they say and they say it's a nothing test.

KING: The bark is bigger than the bite. MESSNER: Yes. I said put a paper bag over your head and get in there.

KING: You think about it and know you out anyway...

MESSNER: Yes, yes, that's true.

KING: Is that the way yours was discovered?

MESSNER: Yes, I was bleeding from the colon. I bled for a year before I finally gave in.

KING: You mean you avoided the test?

MESSNER: Yes, I avoided it.

KING: New York City, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Yes, hi. I'm from Brooklyn. I have a (INAUDIBLE) song. He said that everyone talks about going to heaven, seeing Jesus and the Lord, but no one wants to die. First of all, Tammy, I want to say that I mean I just admire you and I think you're a fighter. But it's the combination to me of a religious life, is to finally see the Lord, be with Jesus. You're going -- if you're a real believer, don't you believe you're going to see your loved ones, you're going to be reunited? So I mean...

MESSNER: Oh, yes. I truly believe that...


CALLER: So my question is, if you're a true believer, why -- why hold on -- why do people want to always hold on? I mean I'm not the one with cancer, I'm not dying, I don't -- I'm not living with the fear...

KING: Why do you want to live if you know the next place is better?

MESSNER: Oh, selfish nature. I think it's just our old selfish nature. And I want to thank my pastor for helping me with that. And I say, shame, shame on Tammy. That's back at me.

KING: No, I mean...

MESSNER: It's just our nature is to live. You know. If God had not put -- our whole nature and life is to want to live no matter what. When you see people in these foreign countries and they're living on a potato a day or a piece of bread a day and they fight to live, why would they want to live? I don't know. But they want to live. It's just something God has put within us.

KING: And it doesn't take away from the fact that you don't think it's contradictory.

MESSNER: Definitely not. Definitely not. No, I want to see Jesus. And when I get to -- when I get there it's going to be -- it's going to be a wonderful day for me. So I don't want everybody bawling and crying. I want -- I will finally be home. My mother, on her casket, they put a little sign that said, "Going Home" and she looked so peaceful. And she had a little twinkle in her -- they left her eye -- I don't know what happened, but her eye got left open a little bit.

And it was twinkling like she thought, she won. She won. Eight kids and we got us all raised and now she was going home to heaven to be with Jesus. And I know one of these days I'm going to see mom and I'm going to see Donny, my brother, who died younger than I am, and my sister who died younger than me with breast cancer.

And I'm looking forward to that. I really am. But like you say, who did you say said that again? I laughed. You said you don't die. You're not afraid of death, you just don't want to be there when it happens?

KING: Woody Allen.


KING: Not afraid of death...

MESSNER: Not afraid...

KING: ... just don't want to be there when it happens.

MESSNER: Just don't want to be there when it happens.

KING: Thank you, doll.

MESSNER: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Tammy Faye. What can we say? And if you want to write to her, it's Box 1281, Matthews, North Carolina, 28105.

Tomorrow night we re-look at the incredible story of Jeffrey MacDonald, the Army captain who was convicted of killing his wife and children many, many years ago. Now there may be new DNA evidence that could change that verdict. That's all tomorrow night.

Right now it's time for "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper in New York -- Anderson.