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Paula Zahn Now
DNA Match in New York City Murder Investigation; New Case of Mad Cow Disease in Alabama; Two Florida Men Vanish Without a Trace
Aired March 13, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us.
Tonight, with modern science and old-fashioned police work, a crime scene investigation takes a dramatic turn.
ZAHN: "Outside the law" -- in the murder case that stunned New York, now there's a prime suspect. But is there enough evidence to close the case?
RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: There's still aspects of this case that we are -- we're developing.
ZAHN: "Beyond the Headlines" -- a fascinating double mystery. A man is pulled over by a deputy.
DON HUNTER, COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA, SHERIFF: We have a very intriguing mystery on our hand, yes.
ZAHN: And vanishes into thin air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police officer was asking for I.D. and then eventually put him into the back of the car, and then left.
ZAHN: And, then, months later, the same deputy and another disappearance -- what's going on? We try to unravel this true-life mystery.
And don't date him. How much do you really know about the man in your life?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This woman was married to a guy for, I think, 12 or 13 years, and come to find out that he was having an affair with another man for the majority of their marriage.
ZAHN: Big girls don't cry. They log in here and blow the whistle on the men who break their hearts.
ZAHN: We start tonight with a rush of new developments in a story much of the nation is now following. We have been watching it since the beginning, just over two weeks ago. A 24-year-old graduate student disappeared after a late night of drinking at New York City bars. When her body was found, there was no doubt she had endured a brutal, sadistic death. The prime suspect in the case is the bouncer at the last bar she visited. But will he be charged with rape and murder?
Allan Chernoff has the very latest in tonight's "Outside the Law."
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After an intensive police investigation into the rape and murder of grad student Imette St. Guillen, prosecutors this week plan to present evidence before a grand jury in Brooklyn.
They will be seeking an indictment against Darryl Littlejohn, a bouncer at the bar where the 24-year-old student in criminal justice was last seen alive.
RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Littlejohn is the prime suspect in this case, and his indictment will be sought for the murder of Imette St. Guillen.
CHERNOFF: Seventeen hours after St. Guillen left the bar, her body was found wrapped in a bedsheet in this isolated lot in eastern Brooklyn. Her face was taped, her legs and hands bound.
(on camera): The perpetrator used plastic ties, like this, to bind St. Guillen. Investigators found blood on the ties around St. Guillen's wrists. They were able to extract DNA, analyze it, and determine that the blood is Darryl Littlejohn.
KELLY: This is a very significant development, that, when you talk about DNA here, we're talking about the certainty of one in -- in a trillion. So, it is a -- you know, a very important piece of -- of evidence for us.
CHERNOFF: Forensic scientists are still analyzing other evidence, including DNA taken from particles on a minivan seat confiscated from Littlejohn, according to a source briefed on the investigation.
Prosecutors have even more to show the grand jury. Cell phone transmission towers tracked Littlejohn's mobile phone the night of the murder to the immediate area where the body was dumped. And, police say, they have witnesses who saw St. Guillen leave the bar with Littlejohn.
Last week, the police put Littlejohn into a lineup for another rape investigation. But the victim did not pick him out. His attorney in that case said Littlejohn had become a scapegoat.
KEVIN O'DONNELL, ATTORNEY FOR DARRYL LITTLEJOHN: It is going to be very difficult for him to get a fair trial in the city -- in the state, never mind the city. CHERNOFF: Today, O'Donnell did not return CNN's calls. Littlejohn has a long criminal record, convicted of armed robbery, weapons possession, and drug dealing. He was convicted under several aliases, some of which are comic book characters.
While Littlejohn has not yet been charged in the St. Guillen case, he's being held in Rikers Island jail for violating a 9:00 p.m. parole curfew by working as a bouncer at a bar where Imette St. Guillen spent her final night.
Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.
ZAHN: And that bar where she was last seen alive is still open, but it has been picketed for the past couple of nights by people who are outraged that its owner, apparently, didn't do a security check before hiring Littlejohn as a bouncer.
Now, DNA evidence may very well lead to an indictment in this case. But, as we all remember from the O.J. Simpson trial, it is no guarantee of a conviction. So, how strong a case can the police actually bring?
Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy joins me from Boston tonight. Criminologist Casey Jordan and criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman are here with me in New York.
Good to see all three of you.
So, Casey, if this DNA evidence is so substantial, why haven't they arrested this guy for murder?
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, because they don't have to yet. They have got him on his parole violation. They can hold him legally for 30 days.
And that gives them a good window of time in which to dot their I.'s and cross their T.'s and make sure they have everything in order, in terms of the evidence they need to get an indictment.
JORDAN: They don't want to screw this up.
JORDAN: Hang on, Mickey.
ZAHN: Mickey, you're laughing.
MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm sorry.
JORDAN: He can laugh. But they -- if he -- if they arrest him and he's released on bail, we know that he could use the time while he's out to either destroy evidence or to get an alibi together. So, they're taking it slow.
ZAHN: How would you defend suspect Littlejohn?
SHERMAN: Let me just answer. He's not getting out on bail, period, OK?
And, I mean, people are running through the streets of New York with torches and pitchforks now. I mean, this man is hated. And if one in a trillion isn't enough, how many T.'s and -- and I.'s have to be dotted? I do...
ZAHN: So, what do you think is missing?
SHERMAN: Something does not compute. I -- again, I hope it's the guy. That would be great.
But, in our -- in our zeal, in our rush to find the guy who committed this horrible crime -- and she's our Laci Peterson -- I mean, this is a lovely young girl who died so needlessly and -- and -- and horribly -- that we are dying to find the guy. I just hope we haven't made this -- I hate to use the term rush to judgment -- because if he -- if they have enough prove, if it's a trillion, if it really is, why haven't they arrested him? It does not make sense?
ZAHN: Wendy, as a prosecutor, are you troubled by the fact that the semen stains found on the blankets that Imette St. Guillen was discovered in did not match Mr. Littlejohn? And, apparently, what was found under her fingernails is inconclusive as well. Isn't that a problem for prosecutors?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, yes and know.
I mean, it would have been nice if there had been a match. But, look, it may be that this was a guy who knew how to cover up the crime scene, and, so, you shouldn't expect to find anything under the fingernails. Remember, they were ripped off. I mean, it's possible he tried to get rid of whatever evidence there was.
And it's not like they excluded him. It was just inconclusive. And that -- you know, who knows where that bedspread was? I don't expect to find anything but a big mess on that. I think it's really important that they were able to tie him to this crime with forensic evidence at all at this point, given that it does appear that -- that there was some cleaning up of the body and so forth.
So, you know, the more sophisticated, the more slick the criminal, the harder it is to find good forensics. And the fact that we found blood on the tie used to bind her wrists, the compelling piece of the story is that, although we know they touched each other, and so we might have expected to find some kind of DNA, some evidence they had contact with -- with each other, this is what I call sinister DNA, because there is absolutely no innocent explanation for how his blood got on an implement that was used to tie her arms behind her back.
It's such a powerful piece of evidence, because it not only places him at the scene. It tells us a pretty ugly story about what he did at the scene. ZAHN: Do you think that is an absolutely bulletproof piece of evidence?
SHERMAN: If -- if they have it. If they have his blood on her ties, it's a trillion. I mean, you know, nobody is going to beat that.
But, if it is, as everyone says, including Commissioner Kelly, then -- then, what are they still investigating? I know they -- they want to do a complete job, and we all want that to happen. But it just doesn't make sense, that -- that they would not have arrested him immediately.
This city is crying for some kind of not closure here, but the beginning of the end of this case.
ZAHN: Casey, what else do you think investigators are looking for at this hour?
JORDAN: I have not heard the answer on hair and fiber analysis. We don't know where her hair that was chopped off is, and we know that they're looking to match some cat hairs that were on that blanket to a cat that lived in the basement at the bar.
We don't know whether it's matched up yet. So, maybe that is what Mickey is referring to. Maybe -- maybe there is no match. And they just want to make sure they get their ducks in a row and anticipate things that don't match up.
SHERMAN: Yes, but there's also a couple of silly issues. As you said, I can't believe that they -- they hired a guy with a criminal record as a bouncer. The last I checked, that's who you hire as bouncer, thugs with tattoos and body piercings. You don't guy buy Mensa tests.
ZAHN: Yes. But a lot of the -- the thugs don't have as many aliases as this young man did, Mickey.
SHERMAN: It depends on the bar. It depends on the bar.
JORDAN: ... comic books.
ZAHN: All right, you all.
Thank you for all of your perspectives here tonight, Wendy Murphy, Casey Jordan, Mickey Sherman. Glad to have you with us.
There's a new case of mad cow disease right here in the U.S. What does it mean for your next trip to the meat counter? Should we even be worried at all?
And, in Florida, two men simply vanished without a trace, but with one thing in common. Does the deputy who picked them up know more than he's telling?
And this man has made an eye-opening transformation, from imprisoned killer to ordained Episcopal priest. Is it genuine or a clever way to get out of jail?
On to you guys -- more than 18 million of you went to our Web site today.
Our countdown of the top 10 most popular stories on CNN.com begins with the search off Rhode Island for three missing college students. Police say they got into a rowboat early this morning. They haven't been seen since then.
Number nine -- gas prices are back on the way up. The latest survey show an 11 percent rise across the nation in the past two weeks alone. The average price for a gallon of regular is $2.35.
Stay with us -- numbers eight and seven next.
ZAHN: Boy, it's a mess out there, parched grasslands, strong winds and fire. Half-a-million acres went up in flames yesterday. How much more of north Texas is on fire tonight?
Well, we learned this afternoon that mad cow disease has turned up in Alabama. It is a frightening disease, because scientists think people who eat infected beef may develop a rare, but fatal brain disorder.
Now, this case in Alabama is only the third time mad cow has actually been confirmed here in the United States. It raises an awful lot of questions.
So, we asked senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to answer some questions a lot of us are asking tonight.
So, should we be nervous about this, Doctor?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's interesting, Paula.
I mean, the short answer is no, of course. I think that a lot of people have been talking about mad cow for some time. And, here in the United States, we said this is a disease that occurs in other parts of the world, and now we have had three cases in our country.
So, it shows that, you know, this -- this is a disease that can be detected and found here in the United States. But the question everybody wants to know is, should this affect your eating of beef? And the answer is, really, no. There was no indication at all that this particular animal got into the food supply chain.
And that -- that's an important point. Also, what I found interesting is that it was the thinking that this animal is at least 10 years old. And that's significant, Paula, because the ban on feed went into place in 1997. And -- and the ban on feed was to keep infected animal parts from getting into the feed. So, that's how they believe the virus was being transmitted in the first place.
So, this animal may have actually fallen into that period just before the ban was placed. So, the point is that it's maybe safer now than before the -- before this animal was actually born.
ZAHN: And the only way it can be transferred through humans is how, just through eating the infected meat?
GUPTA: Eating infected -- parts of infected animals. And I say that deliberately, because it's not so much a steak or, like, a piece of -- of beef. It -- it is more from specific parts of the animal, and specifically parts of the brain and -- and nervous system.
And, you know, that -- that's not something that people typically eat. So, it's unlikely, in this country, anyways, that mad cow disease could even be transmitted by what we typically eat as a typical diet here.
ZAHN: So, hamburger Tuesday can go on tomorrow night?
GUPTA: Hamburger can go on tomorrow night, for sure. You know, I mean, this -- this is not a -- not a problem for the average person. It should not affect their eating of beef at all or -- or any kind of meat -- Paula.
ZAHN: Thanks for setting the record straight tonight, Doctor.
GUPTA: Thank you.
ZAHN: Appreciate the house call.
ZAHN: A newly ordained priest has an absolutely unbelievable story. Some people don't believe it at all. Has a one-time killer truly changed his ways or is he simply trying to get out of prison?
And, in Florida, two men vanished without a trace. Are detectives trying hard enough to find out why? And does a former deputy sheriff know a whole lot more than he's telling?
First, though, number eight on our CNN.com countdown -- a new study shows that taking aspirin, as well as a blood thinner, to prevent a heart attack may not help and could actually double the risk of heart attacks, stroke or even death.
Number seven, new faces are entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Blondie, Ozzy Osbourne, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Sex Pistols are all being inducted tonight.
Don't move -- numbers six and five straight ahead.
ZAHN: In tonight's "Eye Opener," we have all heard about the power of redemption. But, really, how many of you could bring yourself to trust, say, a convicted killer? Well, you're about to meet a man who went from prison to the priesthood and freedom, a transformation some consider a miracle. His victim's family thinks it's an absolute outrage.
Here's Ted Rowlands with tonight's "Eye Opener."
REV. JAMES TRAMEL, PAROLED PRIEST: Good to see you.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty-eight-year- old James Tramel spent his first day of freedom with the people he has been praying with for the past 10 years.
TRAMEL: Just looking forward to today, to kind of spending time with my congregation and family that I haven't seen in so long.
ROWLANDS: From inside the walls of the Solano, California, state prison, convicted murderer James Tramel managed to transform himself into the first priest in the history of the Episcopal Church to be ordained behind bars.
BISHOP WILLIAM SWING, EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CALIFORNIA: When we stack him up against the other people in the process, he looks good. He's smart enough. He's spiritual enough. He's had great experience with human beings, and proven to be a wise counselor.
ROWLANDS: At the age of 17, Tramel was convicted of second- degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Michael Stephenson. Tramel says he watched as a prep school classmate killed Stephenson in a park in Santa Barbara, California, for no apparent reason. Afterwards, Tramel and his friends showed the body to their other friends, before they were both arrested.
EDWARD STEPHENSON, FATHER OF VICTIM MICHAEL STEPHENSON: It wasn't enough time. The time did not fit the crime.
ROWLANDS: Edward Stephenson is the father of Michael Stephenson. He says, if he said if Tramel wants to preach, he should be doing it behind bars. Stephenson says, he has gone to every one of Tramel's parole hearings, and he believes that Tramel has pulled the wool over people's eyes to get out.
STEPHENSON: I think he found a way to get out of jail by starting to find God, and he is out now, and only because of those reasons. I don't think there's anything else that would get him out of jail.
ROWLANDS: But, for members of Tramel's congregation, whom he has been preaching to by telephone from prison, his release is the answer to years of prayers. BETSY HESS BEHRENS, CHURCH MEMBER: Because something bad happened doesn't mean that more bad should continue to happen. That's not going to change what happened in the past.
ROWLANDS (on camera): Last year, before Tramel was an ordained priest, Governor Schwarzenegger denied his parole. This time, the governor has let it go through, and many people believe the fact that Tramel is a priest helped him win his freedom.
(voice-over): Tramel not only became a priest behind bars. He also met Stephanie Green. The two are now engaged. She is an Episcopal priest as well at the same church in Berkeley, California, where Tramel will preach. She was at his side on his first day out of prison.
TRAMEL: I'm just, you know, overwhelmed and deeply grateful to be home. It's really kind of a bittersweet feeling. As joyful as I feel, you know, I'm also thinking a lot about the Stephenson family today. And this has to be a tough day for him.
STEPHENSON: I just feel that that's sweet words rolling off his lips, but they're meaningless, because I really don't think he knows -- I really don't think he means it.
ROWLANDS: Now that he's free, it's up to James Tramel to demonstrate whether he has actually found God or just a good way to get out of prison.
Ted Rowlands, CNN, San Francisco.
ZAHN: James Tramel claims he thinks about that murder every day and hopes to talk with the Stephenson family someday. So, far, the Stephenson family has refused.
What does a former sheriff's deputy know about the disappearance of two men? Well, coming up, a CNN investigation looks into some of the disturbing contradictions in his story.
And all over the Midwest tonight, what used to be neighborhoods now in shambles, what's happening to the people who lived here?
Now on to number six on our CNN.com countdown -- a federal judge puts the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui on hold until Wednesday, after court documents show a government lawyer tried to coach an upcoming witness. Moussaoui is the only person to be tried in connection with the 9/11 attacks.
Number five, in Iraq, bombings in and around Baghdad kill at least 11 people, wounded more than 40. Meanwhile, Britain today announced its plans to cut its forces by 10 percent. That's about 800 troops by may. British defense officials say it's because Iraqi forces are taking more responsibility for security. Number four is next.
ZAHN: Coming up in this half-hour, Mother Nature's March madness, from fires in Texas, to deadly spring storms in the Midwest. Who could get hit next?
And if you're a woman scorned, do you know the latest place to vent your fury? Well, Jeanne Moos does. She's going to show us a little bit later on.
Meanwhile, we have been looking into a very unusual case in Florida, where two men were picked up by the same sheriff's deputies, never to be seen again. Their families are in absolute agony. So, what could have happened to these men? Why isn't this case making national headlines? And why don't detectives even seem to be making any progress?
Well, the circumstances are so upsetting that we decided to investigate, and, surprisingly, discovered there's no shortage of clues and some of very suspicious contradictions. So, we're bringing it all to you tonight for a fascinating story you are not going to see anywhere else.
Deborah Feyerick went to Florida to look "Beyond the Headlines."
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Somewhere along these busy streets in Naples, Florida, two men disappeared. Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos never met, yet, they're linked by this man, Sheriff's Deputy Steven Calkins. He's the last person known to have seen either man, saying, after putting them in the back of his patrol car, he took them not to jail, but, instead, to Circle K gas stations.
They have not been seen since.
(on camera): Does that strike you as a little odd?
DON HUNTER, COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA, SHERIFF: We have a very intriguing mystery on our hand, yes.
ROWLANDS (voice-over): A mystery baffling Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter.
HUNTER: The fact that two men, their last known recorded contact was with a deputy sheriff of the agency, and they cannot be found, I find that more than troubling.
FEYERICK: Documents and tapes obtained by CNN reveal Deputy Calkins lied repeatedly to investigators, passing one lie-detector test, then failing another, and changing important details of his story.
Marcia Bugg was very close to her son Terrance.
(on camera): How could he just disappear? MARCIA BUGG, MOTHER OF TERRANCE WILLIAMS: He can't. He can't, unless somebody did something to him.
FEYERICK: So, what happened? Deputy Calkins says, January 12, 2004, he pulled Terrance Williams into this cemetery, saying the car Williams was driving appeared to be having problems. But three witnesses, including this one, who asked that we not show his face, told investigators the car seemed fine. Rather, it looked to them like Williams was being arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police officer was asking for I.D. He patted his legs and said: "I have nothing. I have no I.D."
He placed him against the vehicle, with his hands on the vehicle. He patted him down, and then eventually put him into the back of the car, and then left.
FEYERICK: Williams, a 27-year-old father of four, had recently moved to Naples to be near his mom, and was working as a fast-food cook.
He had no driver's license and expired plates. Yet, rather than write him a ticket or take him to jail, Deputy Calkins told investigators he simply decided to help Williams with his car troubles and give him a ride.
(on camera): This is where Deputy Calkins says he drove Terrance Williams, a gas station just a few miles from the cemetery. The only problem, investigators say no one who works here ever saw Terrance Williams be dropped off, and there's nothing on surveillance video.
(voice over): About three hours later, the witnesses tell investigators, Deputy Calkins returned to the cemetery alone. Surprisingly he then called in the car as an abandoned vehicle. CNN obtained the dispatch tapes on which you hear Calkins talking in slang.
DEPUTY CALKINS: I got a "homie" Cadillac on the side of the road here. Signal 11, signal 52, nobody around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
CALKINS: The tag comes back to nothing. It's a big, old, white piece of junk, Cadillac.
FEYERICK: Calkins makes it seem as if he's never stopped or questioned the driver.
CALKINS: Maybe he's out there in the cemetery. He'll come back and his car will be gone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, really. Mr. no registration.
CALKINS: Well, he was blocking the road about an inch off the road, you know. FEYERICK: Yet, witnesses say the car hadn't been blocking the road until Calkins moved it to that spot before having it towed. Having just denied knowing the driver, Calkins then runs a background check on Terrance Williams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last name?
CALKINS: Williams. Common spelling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Date of birth?
CALKINS: Four-1-75. Black, male.
FEYERICK: Four days later when Williams' mom calls the sheriff's office frantically searching for her son, a dispatcher reaches Calkins at home. Listen to what he says now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate to bother you at home on your day off, but this woman's been bothering us all day. You towed a car from Vanderbilt and 111th Monday, a Cadillac. Do you remember it?
CALKINS: Oh, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you remember, she said it was near the cemetery.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people at the cemetery are telling her you put somebody in the back of your vehicle and arrested him. And I don't show you arresting anybody.
CALKINS: I never arrested nobody.
FEYERICK: Eight days after the incident, Calkins finally filed this report saying he drove Terrance Williams to the Circle-K. To investigators, the story sounded eerily familiar. Three months earlier, Calkins told them a similar story about Felipe Santos.
At 23, Felipe Santos was an undocumented worker who had a girlfriend and newborn baby at home. The morning he disappeared, Felipe was driving to work with his brother, Salvador and Jorge, when he got into a minor car accident. Deputy Calkins answered the call.
In an incident report, he writes, "I placed Felipe under arrest for no driver's license and put him in my back seat. I then decided not to take him to jail as he was being very polite and cooperative."
Calkins says instead he took Santos to a Circle-K, adding, he last saw him walking to this pay phone. Yet, his brothers never heard from him.
SALVADOR SANTOS, BROTHER IS MISSING: The first thing my brother would have done if he had left him at the Circle-K is call our boss to come pick him up.
FEYERICK: And as with Terrance Williams, no one at the gas station remembers seeing Felipe Santos.
JORGE SANTOS, BROTHER IS MISSING: That was the last time I ever saw my brother. Up until now, I haven't heard a word.
FEYERICK (on-camera): Do you think Felipe Santos is alive?
SHERIFF DON HUNTER, COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA: I act as though he is.
FEYERICK: Do you think Terrance Williams is alive?
HUNTER: I'm acting on that supposition, yes.
FEYERICK: Do you think Deputy Calkins had something to do with their potential disappearance?
HUNTER: I'm not permitted to speculate.
FEYERICK (voice over): The only thing investigators know for sure is that Deputy Calkins, a 16-year veteran, a husband and father of three young kids, lied.
(on-camera): Did he ever give you any cause for concern either in his behavior or his demeanor or anything prior to these disappearances?
FEYERICK: He lied to authorities. Why not charge him with obstruction of justice?
HUNTER: There was no crime committed. There still has been no evidence of any crime committed.
FEYERICK: Did you search his vehicle?
HUNTER: Yes, we did.
FEYERICK: Did you find any evidence in that vehicle?
FEYERICK: Did you search his home?
HUNTER: We do not have permission to search his home. We first have to establish probable cause.
FEYERICK (voice over): The sheriff says investigators followed every lead. But in documents, CNN discovered blood was found in Williams' car. Investigators say it's not significant. But lawyers for the family say why not test it to be sure?
(on-camera): Have you done everything in your power to find these men?
HUNTER: In my view, we have. I am at a loss of what next to do.
FEYERICK (voice over): After an internal investigation, the sheriff ultimately fired Calkins for lying, unprofessional behavior and not following proper procedures. Calkins appealed his dismissal and lost. He has not been charged with any crime.
It's unclear what Calkins is doing now. He never responded to repeated requests for an interview. On this day we spotted him working on his lawn.
(on-camera): My name is Deborah Feyerick. May we have a moment of your time?
CALKINS: No, thank you.
FEYERICK (voice over): Yet he did talk to a local paper and is quoted as saying, "I didn't do anything wrong." He blames the coincidence of the missing men on very bad luck. Felipe Santos was an illegal immigrant. Terrance Williams had a criminal record. Both had impending court dates, Santos for the traffic accident, Williams for custody issues.
The families say, even so, they wouldn't have just walked away. As Marcia Bugg (ph) drives the street where she believes her son went missing, she wonders if maybe he's hidden somewhere in the underbrush.
(on-camera): Do you think he's dead?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. A mother knows, a mother knows.
FEYERICK (voice over): The Santos family continues to hope that Felipe is OK and that he may one day see his young daughter.
S. SANTOS: It's very hard to go two years not knowing anything about him.
FEYERICK: As for the ex-deputy, he told a local paper he still wants a career in law enforcement. His house is up for sale. The investigation into Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos continues as a missing persons case.
Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Naples, Florida.
ZAHN: The mystery goes on.
Meanwhile, across the nation tonight, thousands of people are dealing with mother nature's fury. More than 162 fires have been reported in Texas in just the last day. Will fire crews get any kind of break?
In the Midwest, it isn't fire but flooding and deadly tornadoes. How are people coping tonight? Number four in our CNN.com countdown, actress Maureen Stapleton died at her home today in Massachusetts. A longtime smoker, Stapleton suffered from chronic pulmonary disease. During her career she earned a Tony, an Emmy and an Oscar. She won that Oscar for her role in "Red." Maureen Stapleton was 80 years old. Number three when we come back.
ZAHN: It is a dangerous mess out there tonight. Tornadoes, storm threats and wildfires wreaking havoc across much of the country tonight. In Texas, firefighters are battling blazes that have scorched more than 600,000 acres. Seven people have been killed in the process.
But this weekend in the Midwest -- oh, check out this picture -- at least ten people killed in several tornadoes. This is what nature's fury looked like in Missouri on Sunday as funnel clouds left a swathe of destruction.
Four people died in Moberly, Missouri, when winds destroyed three homes there and communities in Kansas and Illinois are still reeling from heavy floods. It damaged countless homes, downed power lines. We have two reports tonight for you, first from David Mattingly, who joins us from Springfield, Illinois.
He is just back from a helicopter trip getting a bird's eye view of some of the devastation we have just spoken about. And Ed Lavandera, who joins us from McLean, Texas. David, let's get started with you, first. What did you see?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, people on the ground will say when the tornadoes approached their homes it was like an explosion and their houses were just flying apart. And from the air what we were able to see very much looked like a place that had been literally blown up when these tornadoes hit, particularly around the town of Rennick (ph) that we saw. There was very little left standing. The houses were in thousands of pieces.
We saw debris scattered half a mile from some houses, timbers from houses and siding in ponds, strewn across fields, sheet metal wrapped around all sorts of trees and fence lines.
This is very open country. So anyone standing outside would have been severely injured if this tornado had come through at a different time. We followed the path for miles. Easily 20 miles out from where this thing originally set down.
We were still seeing trees that were snapped off and buildings that were flattened and all the while looking at this thinking how much worse it could have been had it been in a metropolitan area because this was just vast farmland where it set down where it was very sparsely populated. So it could have been much worse if it had gone somewhere else.
ZAHN: Doesn't give much help, though, unfortunately, for the people who have lived through this one. David, thanks so much. We'll move to Northeastern Texas, where firefighters are still battling a fast-moving wildfire. Conditions remain very dry tonight. Ed Lavandera is back with us from McLean, Texas tonight. How dangerous is it out there?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. We have driven close to 100 miles today through the Texas panhandle and it's been very hard to grasp just how much of this land has been scorched here in the last day; 690,000 acres have burned since Sunday morning. We can see charred land as we drove around, for as far as the eye could see.
Seven people, as you mentioned, have been killed. Four of those people died in a highway accident. Those people were trying to escape the fast-moving flames. Close to 2,000 people in seven counties have had to be evacuated. We were in the town of Miama, Texas, which is north where we are today, where we watched firefighters standing on a ridge basically protecting a town of 600 people from being consumed by the blaze.
They were able to do that but they're convinced the flames haven't died down yet and they will continue to monitor this. They say only about 40 percent or so of these wildfires have been contained so far.
ZAHN: How long might it take to completely get this thing under control?
LAVANDERA: Well, you know, it's very interesting, because it's not like you just see flames popping up all over the ground here. These are mostly hot spots all over the ground. So essentially firefighters are standing waiting, seeing what might spark up. But it's something they're watching closely.
ZAHN: Ed Lavandera in McLean, Texas. David Mattingly in Springfield, Illinois. Both powerful reminders of just how unpredictable Mother Nature can be.
We're going to switch gears a little bit. Have you ladies ever wished there was a way to check up on your next date before he takes you out? Jeanne Moos has a place you need to check out. Pretty easy to do but right now lets turn to Erica Hill with the Headline News "Business Break."
ZAHN: "LARRY KING LIVE" gets started just about 15 minutes from now. He's going to give us a preview of what's going to unfold tonight on TV. Hi, Lar, how you doing?
LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: How are you doing, Paula? First an update on that suspect in the killing of Imette St. Guillen in New York. We'll have his attorney on, by the way, Kevin O'Donnell and David Golson of The New York Sun and Dr. Henry Lee. And then we'll spend the bulk of the hour with Tammy Faye Messner and her continuing battle with cancer. All that ahead at the top of the hour with viewer phone calls.
ZAHN: She has been so open about what it has meant to fight that disease. I think a lot of people have learned about early detection through her. So, Larry, we look forward to that conversation.
Maybe she can help save some lives tonight.
So all you women out there, what you really need to know about that cute guy who just asked you out. Well, what's he done on dates with other women? Jeanne Moos knows where they're telling absolutely everything. It could save you a lot of trouble.
Number three in our CNN.com countdown, our lead story. Police in New York have a prime suspect in the murder of Imette St. Guillen. They say blood found on the plastic ties used to restrain her have been matched to Darryl Littlejohn, a bouncer at the bar where she was last seen alive.
Number two, just ahead.
ZAHN: All right, for all you men out there tonight, it is true confession time. We admit, we women do talk about you when you're not around. Only these days, a guy's reputation can get way out ahead of him thanks to the Internet. And if you need any more proof that you better treat us right, here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before you caress him, maybe you'd better caress the keys of your computer. Don't date him, girl.
TASHA JOSEPH, CREATOR, DONTDATEHIMGIRL.COM: Sort of how the FBI has their most-wanted criminals in a database, I wanted to put all of the cheating men of the world in the database and that's how it started.
MOOS: We can't show their faces, but there are nearly 1,200 alleged cheaters posted at dontdatehimgirl.com with warnings like, "Ladies, watch out, there's a dog on the loose," or "Run, run, as fast as you can."
(on camera): Think of it as a dating credit report. Just type in the name of any suspected cheater, say Jude Law. And if he's been reported, up pops a profile. But celebs like Jude and Kobe aren't the norm. Regular guys are, turned in by the women they supposedly wronged. "I caught him on my computer looking up other chicks. Found text messages to another girl about how he loved her and needed her and ew, puke."
Former journalist Tasha Joseph came up with the Web site.
JOSEPH: Well, I have been cheated on twice in my life.
MOOS (voice-over): Web site visitors can add a cheater or check out the cheater of the day feature. "I caught this man on many swinger sites." Another warned, "Danger, controlling psycho. He may be hot and well-endowed, but don't be next on his growing list of women scorned."
A Montana woman posted her guy on the Web site, only after first trying what Samantha did on "Sex and the City." The target of the Montana woman's flyers went to court and got them stopped. Samantha had better luck.
CHANDRA WILSON, ACTRESS: Ma'am, it's against city law to deface public property.
KIM CATTRALL, ACTRESS: This man said he loved me and I caught him (bleep).
WILSON: Carry on, ma'am.
MOOS: Men are invited to tell their side of the story, but only a few do. One said his accuser developed a crush and stalked him. Another claimed his tormentor was a psychotic neighbor who first tried to lure him into a threesome. So far no one has sued the Web site, though some irate man have set up a protest Web site, classaction- dontdatehimgirl. In a few weeks, cheating women will get a taste of their own medicine.
JOSEPH: We're in development with a Web site called dontdateherman.com.
MOOS: The one who's hand you're holding could hand you over to the dating police.
JOSEPH: I'm in a great relationship with a great guy and he knows exactly what's going to happen with him if he were to be caught cheating. He would be like the featured cheater on the home page.
MOOS: A home page for home wreckers, bless your cheating heart. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ZAHN: One more thing. The Web site has a backlog of some 2,000 alleged cheaters. Jeanne tells us she tried to reach some of them, but funny thing, they never return her calls. Go figure.
In tonight's new beginnings, making a clean break from the past from a nightmare job to the stuff of dreams. Here's Linda Stouffer.
JANET WONG, CHILDREN'S AUTHOR: Go ahead, be important, dream big.
LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is just one of the messages children's author Janet Wong shares through her stories and poems. She hopes to inspire children of all ages, inspiration she could have used while studying at Yale Law School. WONG: I never really wanted to be a lawyer. The problem is I never really knew what I wanted to be. I was director of labor relations at Universal Studios. My job was to negotiate nine different union contracts and to fire people. And I was firing sometimes as many as 10 people a week.
I said to my husband, "I think I'm becoming a mean person." And he said, "Yes, you are." And I thought, you know, I want to do something good with my life.
And one day I was browsing in the children's book store and the idea hit me, somebody wrote these books. Maybe I could take a year off from my job and try it. And so I did. And at the end of the year, I had a stack of rejection letters, but I did love writing. And so I kept on writing and six months later, my first book "Good Luck Gold" was sold.
STOUFFER: The award-winning writer has published 15 childrens books and has six more coming out. In 2003, she was one of five authors selected to read at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
WONG: When I go to a school and I see 500 faces looking at me, kids will rush up and tell me, "You know what, I've never written a poem just for fun but I think I'm going to try." I can say to myself, yes, I am doing important work and I love it.
STOUFFER: Linda Stouffer, CNN.
ZAHN: And she had the guts to go for it.
Coming up at the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE," Tammy Faye Messner on her faith and her battle with cancer.
First, No. 2 on our CNN.com countdown. The investigation into the death of former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Recent tests revealed he had taken some unprescribed drugs that may have harmed his health. Milosevic died Saturday of a heart attack while in the prison in the Netherlands, where he was on trial for war crimes.
No. 1 is coming up next.
ZAHN: Now, No. 1 on our CNN.com countdown. "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown took a stand in London's high court today to defend charges he stole his ideas from a book published back in 1982. All of this right before his book is turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks. I'm sure he doesn't want that kind of controversy.
Well that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. We appreciate your joining us. Tomorrow, her doctors said she needed more treatment for anorexia, a very serious case. Well, her insurance company said she'd been in the hospital long enough. So what happened when they discharged her? Well join me tomorrow at 8:00 Eastern and we'll show you what she had to put up with.
Again, thanks for dropping by here tonight. Appreciate your time, we'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night, have a good night.
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