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Paula Zahn Now

Families of 9/11 Victims Testify in Moussaoui Trial; Severe Weather Threatens Midwest

Aired April 06, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone, from New York. We are in the heart of the city tonight, a beautiful spring night, so we decided to get outside, in the middle of the buzz of the city, and take our show outdoors tonight.
I happen to be standing at Columbus Circle, just steps away from Central Park and the gleaming towers that are the home of CNN's New York broadcast center. Now, I don't want you to be alarmed by all the police cars you see behind me tonight. We happen to be in the middle of an anti-terrorism drill, something that happens more routinely than we all would hope for in this city.

And that brings us to our top story tonight, a question any New Yorker will gladly answer: What should happen to the man who was in on the plot to attack America?


ZAHN (voice-over): The CNN "Security Watch" -- he was going to fly an airliner right into the White House. He knew the 9/11 attack was coming. Now a jury has to decide if he should die for keeping quiet. Rudy Giuliani and victims' families testify about the tragedy that might have been prevented.

The "Eye Opener" -- you have heard about domestic violence, but did you know that more and more victims are men?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was coming around at me like a wild animal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She pulled a knife out.

ZAHN: What's behind this violent new role reversal?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of women out there with a lot of anger, and they are letting it go.

And how vulnerable are your children? What can we all learn from an undercover detective who makes herself a target for sexual predators?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Here we go. He says he's going to lift my shirt.

ZAHN: Are you doing enough to protect your kids when they are online? JIM MURRAY, PEACHTREE CITY, GEORGIA, POLICE CHIEF: We have had as many as 15, 16, 17 hits at one time, trying to have a conversation with what they think is a 14-year-old child.


ZAHN: And we begin tonight on the "Security Watch" and the very moving testimony today at the death penalty trial of al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui -- on the stand, a witness to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers right here in New York, attacks Moussaoui might have helped prevent. The witness described a heart-breaking memory, the image of the burning towers, and a couple hand in hand jumping to their deaths to save themselves from the flames.

That witness was Rudy Giuliani, New York's mayor during the attacks. And his testimony was just the beginning of the daylong drama.

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena was in the courtroom today, and she just filed this report.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors want jurors to hold Zacarias Moussaoui responsible for the horrors of 9/11 and decide that he should be executed.

And to remind the jury of exactly how horrible those attacks were, they showed dramatic videotape like this, and made jurors relive the tragedy of people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center.

They were shown pictures of body parts lying in the streets, blocking rescue crews. And they heard former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani describe the stench of burned flesh that permeated New York City for weeks.

Abraham Scott, who lost his wife on 9/11, has listened to most of the testimony.

ABRAHAM SCOTT, HUSBAND OF SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIM: We were all in tears when they were showing the excerpt of the plane hitting the -- the Twin Towers, people jumping out of -- out of the towers, trying to save their lives, people on fire. It -- it was just -- it was just horrific.

ARENA: For the most part, the jury remained stone-faced. But at least two members had to fight off tears during the day. The same panel of nine men and three women who decided that Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty will now decide whether he gets it.

Following Giuliani's testimony, jurors heard from the families and friends of some of the nearly 3,000 victims. New York police officer Jim Smith spoke about his wife, Moira, also an officer, who died helping evacuate people from the World Trade Center. Breaking down, Smith said he now tells his little girl her mom was a hero.

Tony Sensaviro (ph) told of his friend, firefighter Danny Suhr, who was killed when he was struck by a falling body. One expert consulted by Moussaoui's defense said it's going to be very difficult for the jury to focus on the legal facts.

DAVID BRUCK, DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA CAPITAL CASE CLEARINGHOUSE: Whether this jury or any jury composed of human beings is going to be in any shape to do that, after they have been subjected to the extravaganza of grief and agony that the government has carefully, over these last few years, planned and stage-managed, after shopping around for the most heartrending week of testimony it could possibly find, that's a very, very open question.

ARENA: In opening arguments, Moussaoui's defense team urged jurors to keep an open mind. They say their experts have diagnosed Moussaoui a paranoid schizophrenic, reason enough to spare him execution. Moussaoui was in the courtroom listening, laughing at times, at other times, seemingly bored with it all.


ARENA: After hearing testimony about people dying in the flames of the World Trade Center, as he was leaving the courtroom, Moussaoui started singing Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA," except that he changed the words to "Burn in the USA" -- Paula.

ZAHN: Continuing a disgusting scene out of that courtroom -- Kelli Arena, thanks so much.

Among the 2,900 victims of 9/11 was Mark Bingham. He happened to be a passenger on United Flight 93, which went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Joining me now is his mother, Alice Hoagland, who does not want Moussaoui executed.

Thank you so much for being with us.

I -- I understand you were...


ZAHN: Oh, our pleasure.

I understand you are not personally opposed to the death penalty. Why, then, do you want Moussaoui spared?

HOAGLAND: Well, I have spent my life feeling angry and -- and empathetic with mothers who have lost sons and daughters to criminals. For that reason, I can't say that I really oppose the death penalty.

But, in this case, after giving a lot of reflection, there are two reasons that come to the surface when I think about the death penalty as it applies to Zacarias Moussaoui. I don't want him to have the pleasure of dying a martyr. And I suspect he is pitching for that.

I think that, among his twisted comrades in the al Qaeda, he would be viewed with -- with an elevated respect if he were put to death by the U.S. judicial system. And, for that -- that reason's enough to oppose his execution. I'm hoping that, in the United States...

ZAHN: Was it a difficult...

HOAGLAND: Go ahead.

ZAHN: Sorry. There's a little bit of a delay here. Was it a difficult decision for you to testify on behalf of the defense?

HOAGLAND: Yes. In a word, yes. It feels very strange to be described as testifying for the defense, because, clearly, Zacarias Moussaoui is a guilty man.

He has the blood of nearly 3,000 people on his hands, including the blood of my son Mark. The FBI originally characterized him as the fifth hijacker, destined to be aboard Flight 93. And, if that had been the case, he would have been right there with box-cutters and knives, killing people, the way that his four henchman on board Flight 93 did.

The FBI has backed off of that since then. And Moussaoui himself says that he was supposed to hijack yet a fifth airliner. So, his role is unclear. What is not unclear, what is manifestly clear, is that he had the information, and he deliberately withheld it all through August and September, right up past September 11. That makes him very guilty.

ZAHN: All right, Alice. I'm going to have to leave it there. You are getting drowned out by -- it is so strange that this would be happening at this moment.

But we are in the middle of a terrorism exercise here in New York City. This is something that happens routinely. But I, unfortunately, wasn't able to hear the very tail end of your answer.

Once again, this is nothing to be alarmed by. We see this happen sometimes as often as two times a week. We happen to be in Columbus Circle, which is always a particularly popular area for these kinds of exercises.

Now on to some other material. Last night, we told you about a shocking e-mail, apparently from a student on the Duke University lacrosse team, fantasizing about killing and skinning a stripper. What is the fallout tonight at the university? And is there any progress in the investigation of an alleged rape involving members of that same team?

And, as we speak, the skies in the Midwest are looking pretty ominous. What areas are in most in danger of tornadoes tonight? Well, guess what has happened so far? Twelve of them have touched down.

Then, a little bit later on, a new face to an old problem -- what is turning men into the victims of family violence and women into their attackers?

Before we move on, though, more than 18 million of you checked out our Web site today.

Our countdown of the top 10 most popular stories on starts with the discovery of 74 more bone fragments near the site of the World Trade Center. Also, investigators have found eight more recordings of emergency calls from the morning of September 11.

Number nine -- one of Norman Rockwell's most famous paintings, "Breaking Home Ties," was found hidden behind a fake wall in its owner's Vermont home. His family members say he wanted to make sure it was safe for his children. Experts believe the painting could be worth $5 million. Numbers eight and seven are up next.

And just as quickly as that terrorism drill unfolded, I'm happy to say it's over here, as we leave you with this scene from Columbus Circle tonight.

We will be right back.


ZAHN: There happens to be a startling new trend in family violence cases. Who's losing control? It isn't always the men. You are going to be very surprised about how many women are beating up men in this country. Stay with us for those eye-opening numbers.

Welcome back to the hustle and bustle of New York City tonight on this beautiful Thursday night. I happen to be outside our home, CNN's New York broadcast center. We are standing in the middle of Columbus Circle, yes, and just about, what would you say, 13 feet away from Central Park, enjoying some of this early spring weather.

But, in the plains tonight, it is a completely different story. There is some very dangerous weather at work. Forecasters warn, low pressure moving across the plains towards Ohio could bring more severe thunderstorms. And there are already a dozen tornado warnings in Kansas alone.

We have two reports for you tonight. Rob Marciano is at the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, for the big picture.

But we are actually going to begin with Ed Lavandera, who is at the storm front in Topeka, Kansas, tonight.

What are the conditions like there on the ground right now, Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, the winds are picking up. We have already heard reports of 15 confirmed tornadoes touching down across Kansas and Nebraska, too. Let me show you, this is the tail end of one of the storms that triggered about -- a couple of tornadoes here already this afternoon.

From this vantage point, we have quite a majestic view of the Kansas plains. This is looking out toward the west. And even though it looks rather calm right now, this is an area that forecasters are very concerned about. This is -- we are on the western edge of Topeka. So, looking back out this way, there are quite a number of storms that forecasters are quite concerned about. And they say, in the next 40 to 35 minutes or so, those storms will be -- will be making their way to where we are right now.

Let me show. This is a common sight throughout the -- the region. This gentleman here is a man named Steve. He's a -- a weather spotter and helping out the National Weather Service, a volunteer who is phoning in conditions and radioing in the conditions that he has seen here.

He told me a little while ago that the top wind speeds we have seen here so far is 25 miles per hour. He's kind of been walking me through.

These clouds here, you can already start to see that they start getting taller and taller in the -- in the sky. And that's what they are the most concerned about -- Paula.

ZAHN: Ed Lavandera, hope you stay safe there. Having grown up in the Midwest, Ed, that sky looks very familiar with -- to -- to me. And I know it can change very quickly. Thanks for the update.

Now let's move to Rob Marciano at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, for a look at what is ahead.

Rob, you happen to be in the middle of the nerve center here, or there. What do the meteorologists say about what we can expect in the next 24 hours or so?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's going to be a long haul. That's for sure.

Well, might -- might want to start off by saying this is nearly unprecedented, to get media access to this place on such a busy day, when they go with a -- today, a high risk of seeing tornadoes. And, by the way throughout the afternoon and evening, that risk area has expanded and is starting to take up more space across the central plains.

To be -- to have access is really unprecedented. Things have been happening in the way of a lot of discussion between the meteorologists and a lot of noises going off. And you may hear that throughout this next minute-and-a-half.

To my left, this is the lead forecasting position. And this gentleman's job, Steve, is to figure out what areas are going to next be under the gun. He's in charge of issuing the next watches, depending on what the atmosphere is doing and what those cells are doing.

How many have been an issue so far today? Or, I should say, how many are in effect right now? One, two, three, four, five, six watches, most of them tornado watches, some expiring in about an hour or so, others not expiring until well after midnight.

And Steve was just talking to Corey (ph), a little collaborative effort. They are about to issue another watch box out for parts of Iowa and northwestern Missouri that will likely go into effect, and then last through much of the overnight or at least into the early morning hours.

Past that, Paula, we are looking at the threat for severe weather again tomorrow. This system will moves east, southern Tennessee, northern Alabama, Mississippi and northwest Georgia also under a high risk for seeing tornadoes tomorrow afternoon.

That's the latest from Norman, Oklahoma.

ZAHN: Certainly...

MARCIANO: Back to you.

ZAHN: Certainly not the kind of weather patterns anybody wants to have to worry about. But thank you very much, both of you, for the updates, Rob Marciano and Ed Lavandera.

Now, across the country, police are seeing an alarming change in cases of family violence. Did you know that, in some areas, one in four victims of abuse happens to be a man who was attacked by a woman? What's behind that change? We will explore that tonight.

Also, the continuing scandal over Duke University's lacrosse team. Were some of the players behaving like the characters in the movie "Animal House"? Or were they behaving like criminals? We will debate that.

First, though, coming in at number eight at our countdown -- Senate Democrats and Republicans say they are very close to a deal on an immigration bill that would open the door to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants in this country.

Number seven -- the president gets some very pointed criticism during a speech today in Charlotte, North Carolina. One man in the audience challenged the war in Iraq, as well as the domestic spying program. The president responded by saying he would not apologize for protecting the country -- pretty fiery exchange between the two -- numbers six and five when we come back.


ZAHN: And welcome back to our brand new home outside tonight, across from our parent company's world headquarters here in Columbus Circle. And, in tonight "Outside the Law," we are just beginning to learn more about the Duke University lacrosse team, which has been shattered by allegations that some players raped a stripper during a party. And what we are learning is not good. The team apparently has a history of bad behavior, many of the players having been arrested for underage drinking or disorderly conduct.

And the crude e-mail we covered last night for the first time may be another example. The e-mail, apparently written by a Duke player, talked about killing and skinning a stripper. As you can imagine, that revelation is having a lot of impact in a community already torn apart by the rape allegation.

Here's Jason Carroll with tonight's "Outside the Law."


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fallout from allegations three Duke University lacrosse players raped a young woman has reverberated beyond the campus, right to city hall, where Durham's City Council was briefed on the police investigation.

PATRICK BAKER, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, CITY MANAGER: The Durham Police Department has responded quickly and adequately under the circumstances.

CARROLL: The local NAACP is also weighing in on the case. The three accused players are white. Their alleged victim, who is black, says they taunted her with racial slurs. The allegation has tested racial tensions in a city already strained.

REVEREND WILLIAM JOSEPH BARBER II, NAACP: We have never asked for a rush to judgment. But we do not want a delay in justice. We cannot tolerate vigilante justice. We cannot tolerate vilifying the victims.

CARROLL: All this follows Duke having to deal with yet another damaging accusation involving one of its lacrosse players -- not long after the alleged rape, lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen allegedly sent a graphic e-mail describing plans to have another stripper the following night, saying: "I plan on killing the bitches as soon as they walk in and proceeding to cut their skin off."

OMARI WALLACE, CLASSMATE OF RYAN MCFADYEN: He was a good guy. He -- he -- he seemed to be a really good guy.

CARROLL: Omar Wallace says, the e-mail's tone doesn't match the McFadyen he knows as an outgoing friend.

WALLACE: The fact that I knew him, the fact that he was, you know, somewhat close to me, like we -- we have -- we have -- it's just I -- like, I'm really -- like, I'm really speechless about the whole situation.

CARROLL: The university suspended McFadyen. The lacrosse team's coach, Mike Pressler, resigned. Through his attorney, Pressler says he is no more a guarantor of the behavior of 18- to 21-year-olds than are parents of that age, also saying his resignation should not be viewed as if he did something wrong.

(on camera): Duke's president says the resignation was appropriate. He almost formed five committees to look into Duke's response to the allegations and into the team's conduct.

(voice-over): More than a dozen of the players have minor offenses, mostly for underage drinking. Duke law professor Jim Coleman is chair of the committee looking into the culture of the lacrosse team.

JIM COLEMAN, LAW PROFESSOR, DUKE UNIVERSITY: I think our greatest challenge is going to be able to do this job without speculation, without people sort of pushing conclusions on us, before we have had a chance to determine what the facts are.

CARROLL: Coleman says the committee will review disciplinary records from the past five years and interview current and former players. They have three weeks to come up with their findings. And they also have their skeptics.

CATHERINE SANGER, STUDENT, DUKE UNIVERSITY: I won't be satisfied until it's clear what exactly went on.

CARROLL: The players say, nothing went on. They are waiting to see if the district attorney says otherwise and files charges.


ZAHN: Something we will be following very closely from here -- Jason Carroll reporting.

The story, of course, is reaching the boiling point tonight.

Joining me now, two people who come at the case from opposite sides, Criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman and Pam Bondi, an assistant state attorney in Florida.

Good to see both of you.



ZAHN: So, Mickey, let's start off with this very vile e-mail we just heard excerpted. I actually have heard defense attorneys saying today they would use this in a positive way to defend their clients. How -- how can you do that?

SHERMAN: Because we are lying.


SHERMAN: No, we are not lying. The idea is that this kid is obviously a moron, I mean, clearly, a moron. But it is so out of whack that, if he really was going to commit some crime on a stripper, or anybody, he wouldn't be telegraphing his move, especially after the incident the night before, on the Internet. It's just bizarre. Nobody's going to be skinning anybody.

It makes no sense. So, you would show that e-mail as just proof that these kids are out of control, but that doesn't mean that they are criminals.

ZAHN: Pam, how would you use it if you were prosecuting, assuming you are going to end up prosecuting any members of this team?

BONDI: Well, Paula, I think it's great evidence.

What it shows is that he has, first of all, a total disregard for -- for -- for women. And the fact that it -- it shows that he had -- he didn't think anything he did was wrong, because he says, well, the next thing I would do is kill them and skin them, which he -- they probably wouldn't have really thought about doing that.

But what it shows is really an escalating pattern here. And when you mix alcohol and a personality like that, that could say something so disturbing, it's very frightening.

ZAHN: Pam, as you were talking we were showing a picture of Ryan McFadyen. And this is the man accused of writing this e-mail. As it turns out, the woman who was attacked is not identifying him as one of her attackers. So, how does this complicate the case?

BONDI: Well, Paula, what -- I think what was happening what we have heard so far is, these -- these boys, these young men were using each other's names and fake names, which really shows their intent and their premeditated intent.

That's why the police have taken DNA. They have dozens and dozens of witnesses, I'm sure, to still interview. And DNA is the best evidence we have now. So, I think they are just waiting on DNA to see if these guys talked to other people and made admissions to their friends.

But -- but, right now, hopefully, they will still have a strong case without her being able to identify them.

ZAHN: And who knows. That wall of silence you were talking about may ultimately crack.

So, Mickey, if you were representing any members of this team, as they are awaiting the results of this DNA testing, what would you tell them to do?

SHERMAN: It would be very simple. I would find out if they were guilty at all. And, if they were, I would have them rat out their friends. If they were not guilty, I would have them rat out their friends. I know that's not the party line against -- with organized crime lawyers. But you have got young kids and their futures involved. And I would have them fess up if there was any way to move the ball forward.

You know, the worst part about this e-mail, Paula, is that I don't think it's going to be used as proof that they committed the crime. But if anybody, any of these kids get arrested, the jury pool out there is now aware of this. It's a window to the collective crappy character of all of these boys.

And the fact that it's the lacrosse team, I mean, that's silly that they have got these committees looking into whether or not lacrosse practice breeds bad habits. That's silly. This is not a political issue. It's kids out of control. And the fact that they have criminal records, that's not a big deal, unless they have criminal records for sexual violence against women.

ZAHN: Well, it's a -- a good point, but something certainly people down South are talking an awful lot about. Mickey Sherman, Pam Bondi, thank you, both of you, for your perspectives.

And just a reminder: That DNA testing, with the results, might not be back until some time last (sic) week -- or at least the results announced publicly until next week.

Do you know who your kids are sending messages to when they are online? Coming up, what are police doing to protect them from sexual predators in cyberspace?


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands in Sarasota County, Florida. And this is Darlene Hilker (ph). She was in an abusive relationship. But her role in that relationship may not be what you think -- that story coming up on PAULA ZAHN NOW.


ZAHN: Right now, we are on number six in our countdown. Court papers released today show that Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's former top aide, testified that President Bush authorized the release of parts of a classified report on Iraq to counter criticism of the government's case for the 2003 invasion.

Libby, as you might remember, had been indicted on perjury charges as part of the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name to the press.

Number five, the hunt for a convicted killer. Authorities say Richard McNair escaped yesterday from a federal prison in Pollock, Louisiana. You'll have to wait for number four on our list, because we will have that for you right after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: And I would like to welcome you all back to a very nice night out here in New York City. Why are we outside tonight you ask? Because it's beautiful out here. And we were so sick of winter we wanted to see what spring felt like at 8:00 at night, because we are usually trapped in a studio literally a couple hundred yards away in the world headquarters of our Time Warner parent company. So we join you from the heart of the city today, Columbus Circle.

And coming up in this half hour, just who is out there trying to contact your son or daughter?

Have you heard about the second big change as well on "THE TODAY SHOW"? Who is getting Katie Couric's anchor seat at NBC?

But right now, I'm going to tell you something that stopped me cold when I heard it for the first time. The people who help victims of domestic violence say they are seeing more and more men abused by women. That's right. Men abused by women.

This is especially surprising because government statistics are showing a pretty big decline in the abuse of women, fortunately, since the 1990s. So we sent our Ted Rowlands out to find out more about this trend and meet some of the men who are victims of domestic violence. It's tonight's "Eye Opener."


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Darlene Hillker (ph) and her husband were married on Valentine's Day in 1999. But over the years, according to Darlene, the arguments started to get out of control.

DARLENE HILLKER: Anger was building up so much in my husband and I.

ROWLANDS: Before the seven-year marriage ended in divorce, it became violent. But it was Darlene, not her husband, who ended up in jail.

HILLKER: It's not just, you know, husbands beating up wives. It's not that. Women can fly off too.

ROWLANDS: Darlene was convicted of assaulting her spouse, part of what some law enforcement agencies and analysts say is a developing trend: women physically abusing men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm seeing an increase in my male victims with female offenders.

ROWLANDS: Mary Thorman (ph) is a detective in North Port, Florida. She says about 25 percent of domestic violence calls to her department now involve female abusers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Typically, it's a lot of throwing objects. It's a lot of scratching. You'll see a lot of facial scratching, neck scratching, even chest. ROWLANDS: As part of her criminal sentence for attacking her husband, Darlene was sent to Domestic Abuse Shelter Homes or D.A.S.H., a Sarasota County, Florida organization that counsels women who abuse and the men who are victims.

HILLKER: I grabbed my husband's genitals. And that's what I was arrested for. He did his screaming and hollering. You know, jumped back.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Was he surprised?


ROWLANDS (voice-over): The woman next to Darlene who doesn't want to be identified, was arrested for stabbing her live-in boyfriend after a family dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was going out the door and it just picked myself from the floor and I grabbed a knife. And I was going after him. And his mother -- she started screaming no, no, no. And he turned around and I just swiped at him. Swiped him just like a credit card.

ROWLANDS (on camera): Where?


DONNA LECLERC, COUNSELS ABUSERS & VICTIMS: We do see a lot of knife use by women in what we are doing. But more importantly, we see objects being thrown, pushing, shoving, hitting, biting.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Donna LeClerc, the executive director of D.A.S.H., says women often get away with abuse because many men are too embarrassed to report it and because many police officers still assume the man is at fault.

LECLERC: Officers still today make an assumption based on size and gender. The large man, the little woman. And even sometimes when the man is the one that's bleeding from the head, they still are stereotyping that the man is the abuser and the woman is not.

LEO (ph): Whether it happened or not, she signs that affidavit, you are on your way to jail. Right then and there you are on your way to jail. No investigation. No anything.

ROWLANDS: These three men, Leo, Paul (ph) and Tom (ph), all say they've lived with abusive women.

LEO: She would throw things. She would absolutely throw things. One time she did grab me by the throat. And she was screaming in my face.

ROWLANDS: Leo says his live-in girlfriend started attacking him after he stopped working, following a heart transplant.

LEO: She pulled a knife out. I mean she pulled a knife out. And I'm looking at the knife and I'm looking at her. And I did try to reach for the knife. And she did swing the knife. I don't know if she was trying to actually cut me or not. I don't think she was. I think she was trying to scare me with it.

TOM: My hands were so clawed by her, at work a day later. You know, I'm writing something down and somebody looked at me and said oh, you must have a mean cat. And I said what do you mean? They said look at the back of your hands. And I said oh, yes. Mean cat. You know, what am I going to say with all of my employees at work?

ROWLANDS: Tom's wife was arrested nine years ago while they were living in Michigan. The police report says she admitted to officers that she, quote, "blew up and threw a bucket and a glass at him." She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. Tom says he came to a realization during his divorce.

TOM: The first time I'm sitting in the courtroom and there's a poster that says, you know, are you a victim of domestic violence? And I kind of looked up at it. And I started reading the questions. And tears started coming down. And I said damn. I said yes.

PAUL: She was coming around at me like a wild animal, both hands and arms swinging. Just -- I think she had her eyes closed even half the time just so mad at me.

ROWLANDS: Paul says his ex-wife attacked him dozens of times, but he was one that went to jail. CNN's efforts to contact Paul's ex- wife were unsuccessful. A police report says Paul attacked his wife and threatened to kill her. But he says that's a lie.

PAUL: She came around at me with a knife and I end up doing six months over it.

ROWLANDS: So why do men stay in these relationships?

LECLERC: For a man to leave an abusive relationship means still today there's a good likelihood he will not have time with his children.

PAUL: My kids meant more than anything to me. And I'll take all the abuse you can give me if it means being with my kids.

ROWLANDS: Paul came to Florida to work with a friend's cement business. With help from D.A.S.H., he's trying to prove that he can raise his children.

PAUL: I want to teach them all that I can and just be there for them. Anything that they ever need. I love them more than life itself.

ROWLANDS: The Department of Justice says domestic violence against women dropped about 40 percent from 1993 to 2001.

LECLERC: Men have gotten the point it's not OK to do those things, but somehow that's turned around, and now it's OK for women to do those things. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of women out there with a lot of anger and they are letting it go.

ROWLANDS: Many people believe that when it comes to domestic violence, more and more women will be going to jail in the years to come. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Sarasota, Florida.


ZAHN: And, when we come back, we are going to meet a detective who goes undercover when she goes online. What is she doing to catch predators before they catch up with your children?

And a little bit later, it's kind of hard to keep up with this one. Who is going where? Jeanne Moos tries to keep up with the latest anchorwomen on the move.

Now No. 4 in the countdown. Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney apologized today in the House for her altercation with a Capitol Police officer last week. A grand jury is investigating possible criminal charges. No. 3 right out of the break.


ZAHN: And we are back outside, New York City tonight. Directly across the street from our studios in the world headquarters of our parent company. You could call it the cruelest crime with the youngest victims.

This week we are hearing the voices of some of those victims. Hearings on Capitol Hill, and to online child pornography and sexual predators. But child cyberporn is a multibillion dollar business. And it is a business that is growing very fast.

So how do we protect our children? Well, we can lock the doors and the windows. But too many of us as parents forget that there are trap doors in the computers our kids use to do their homework and talk with their friends. And certainly we can't hover over our kids 24 hours a day on their computers. Here's Gary Tuchman with more.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We tell our children to respect their teachers. In Delaware though, police allege this teacher Rachel Holt had sex with a 13-year-old student 28 times during one week this past March.

We tell our children to be courteous to adults. Carlie Brucia's trust may have cost her her life.

ANGELA LAKIN, CARLIE BRUCIA'S AUNT: It's hard to describe the pain that is felt without having to feel so much loss.

TUCHMAN: We tell our children the Internet is a wonderful teaching tool. But perhaps we aren't putting enough emphasis on this opinion.

JIM MURRAY, POLICE CHIEF, GEORGIA: The Internet was the best thing ever invented for child molesters.

TUCHMAN: Jim Murray is chief of the Peachtree City, Georgia police department, which has started an aggressive Internet task force for predators.

Don't talk to strangers is age-old advice in the real world. But it's the same advice in the cyberspace world.

MURRAY: By the tame you say to your 13-year-old daughter, I'm going to make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and by the time you bring it back, a pedophile could contact your child and steal their innocence away that quickly.

TUCHMAN: We watch the task force in action.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to chat?

TUCHMAN: Captain Rosanna Dubb (ph) goes into a chat room and says she's a 14-year-old girl named Georgia Peach. Adult men swarm to the site, including a man who calls himself "hot guy from Texas." He asks if she's single.

(on camera): You single? I mean, obviously, you're 14, right?

(voice-over): He keeps asking her what she would like to do. And then he types this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, here we go. He says he's going to lift my shirt.

TUCHMAN: The officer plays along. It's the only way to catch most of these people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey says "rub yourself" and I'm going to say, "Oh, cool."

TUCHMAN: And with those comments, police say hot guy has committed a crime.

MURRAY: He could be arrested, he could get up to 10 years in a state penitentiary.

TUCHMAN: Every time she logs onto a new chat site as Georgia Peach, men are talking to her within seconds.

(on camera): This guy is 28 and you've said you're 14, tells you that he likes kinky, dominant girls?


MURRAY: We've had as many as 15, 16, 17 huts at one time trying to have a conversation with what they think is a 14-year-old child. TUCHMAN (voice-over): Police arrest many of these people after face to face rendezvous's are set up. So when it comes to the Internet, this advice.

MURRAY: Put it in a room where it's in a family room and only allow your children on it when there you were. Get blocking devices so you can block places you don't want your children to go. And get tracking software so you can go back and check every conversation your child has.

TUCHMAN: Tell your child never to give personal information over the net and to stay out of chat rooms. Banning the Internet is an option for some. But for those who don't do that, the chief says you should bluntly tell your children the Internet is fertile ground for predators. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Peachtree City, Georgia.


ZAHN: And when we co come back, we are going to turn our attention to something just a little bit lighter than that. Who is taking Katie Couric's place at NBC? Well they've made the big announcement. But before we get to that, Erica Hill has the "Headline News Biz Break." Erica?


ZAHN: Some awfully big changes are coming to a T.V. near you. Who is going where? Stay with us, Jeanne Moos has her eye on all of them. She'll bring us up to date.

Now to No. 3 on our countdown. A nearly 2,000-year-old document offers a new view on the story of Jesus and Judas. The gospel of Judas made public today for the first time implies that Jesus asked Judas to betray him. No. 2 on our list straight ahead.


ZAHN: Well, come in. I think we will. Tonight we join you from outside our studios on a beautiful spring night. Well there's an awful lot of shuffling going on in our competitors studios, which brings us to No. 2 on our countdown. The empty seat at the "Today Show" didn't stay empty for long. A day after Katie Couric announced she is leaving the morning show for the "CBS Evening News," NBC announced her replacement, Meredith Vieira, co-host of "The View" on ABC. So now that we're done playing musical chairs while eating alphabet soup, Jeanne Moos takes us beyond the headlines.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Get out your hanky. On this day, "The View" was clouded with tears.

MEREDITH VIEIRA, TALK SHOW HOST: I believe in growth, but right now I'm feeling terrific growing pains. And that's all I have to say.

MOOS: For Meredith Vieira, the view is apparently better over at the "Today Show," better but bittersweet.

BARBARA WALTERS, TALK SHOW HOST: Now I need a hug. Don't you?


MOOS: Better get out two hankies.

STAR JONES REYNOLDS, TALK SHOW HOST: And I'm going to miss the person to my right. I just want you to know that.

JOY BEHAR, TALK SHOW HOST: I'm not going to kiss you on camera. I am not, because we are going to make-out with you after.

MOOS: Vieira's next stop was NBC's press conference, where she sat next to the new man in her life, co-host to be, Matt Lauer. A definite change from "The View's" all-female cast.

VIEIRA: I had the chance to meet Matt and I said at the time, it was like going out on a blind date and you really like the guy. Either because I've been nine years with four women, that I'm just man crazy. I've become a lesbian, I get a guy, I don't know.

MATT LAUER, TODAY SHOW CO-HOST: I'm thrilled Meredith to know that it was me or a lesbian.

MOOS: Don't take all the lesbian jokes wrong. Vieira has a husband, the former network news producer who manages nicely despite having multiple sclerosis. Vieira and Matt Lauer met alone at his apartment about five months ago to see if they would click.

LAUER: We had dinner and I noticed that by the end of the evening we were giving each other a lot of grief.

MOOS: Already they are sounding like Regis and Kelly.

LAUER: I'll come over to CBS to pick you up and she goes...

VIEIRA: ... ABC, sorry.

LAUER: Can I tell the story?

MOOS: You'd be all smiles too if you were about to make this kind of money. One tabloid figured out Katie would be making $60,000 a day doing the "CBS Evening News." That kind of money inspires this kind of cartoon. "I realize how difficult and challenging a job it is to be a news anchor." Meredith Vieira used to do hard news, but her recent years at "The View" have been more provocative.

VIEIRA: I'm going to have to be reigned in a little. It's funny, I had 20 years of news where I never said anything. Now every other word out of my mouth is orgasm.

MOOS: She and Lauer are both Sagittarians sharing the same birthday, December 30th. One day, Matt was lamenting the loss of Katie.

LAUER: I'm going to miss her like crazy.

MOOS: And the next.

LAUER: I mean, even today I feel a little like I'm cheating. Katie just announced yesterday. She's somewhere in the building and I've got the new girl right here.

MOOS: If you can't co-host with the one you love, love the one you co-host with. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: Riding a bicycle all the way across the country sounds like a lot of work, although I like to cycle myself. But would you really want to devote your whole retirement to it? Well you are about to find out in tonight's "Life After Work." Here's Jennifer Westhoven.


GARY COUSE, RETIREE: I have my tent, my sleeping bag, ground sheet and air mattress in here. I have my clothes over here.

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These small bags are all that Gary Couse is taking with him. Starting at the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, Gary and his fellow riders are headed cross country to Florida.

COUSE: We are going to St. Augustine so it will be about two months to get there. We will average about 60 miles a day. So it will be six or eight hours a day.

WESTHOVEN: Gary started biking near his home in Georgia after he retired as an engineer. This is his second try riding across the USA.

COUSE: I went down a hill too fast and couldn't make a curve at the bottom of the hill and ran off the road and ended up breaking some bones in my face when I went off the bike. And that was the end of that trip. So I definitely decided I wanted to do it again.

WESTHOVEN: He uses special maps from the Adventure Cycling Association to plan each day's route, showing the sites and where to stop for the night.

COUSE: We have 10 to go.

You do see a lot that you normally wouldn't see when you are riding a bike because of the slower speed. Last year I saw an illegal sneaking across the road one day with a jug of water. Just different things like that that you wouldn't see otherwise in a car or a plane.

During your working life, you really can't afford the time. Now that I'm retired, it's a great thing to be able to do it.

WESTHOVEN: Jennifer Westhoven, CNN.


ZAHN: And you might remember that Tom Cruise made an awfully big splash on the "Today Show" last year. And today he's the No. 1 story on You know why? Hint, it's not because of Katie Holmes, the soon to be mother of his child. Find out next.


ZAHN: And we leave you now with No. 1 on our countdown. Tom Cruise opens up about his childhood in an upcoming issue of "Parade" magazine. He describes his father as quote, "a bully and a coward." He also says he was bullied regularly at 15 different schools while growing up.

And that wraps it up for all of us here from Columbus Circle. It was awfully nice to be outside. I hope you enjoyed the scene on your screens tonight. We'll see you again tomorrow night. Appreciate you being with us. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now. Good night.