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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Inside Iran; Massachusetts Double Murder Mystery; Police Apologize For Arrest of Anti-War Activist
Aired February 1, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
In cold blood, a mother and baby are murdered. Today, they are buried, one casket, two victims and so many questions about the husband who flew to England.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the mystery continues. Who shot this woman and her daughter? Was it her husband, the baby's father? And where is he? Why wasn't he at the funeral of his wife and child? 360 investigates.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions.
ANNOUNCER: Beyond the accusations, a 360 exclusive inside Iran -- Christiane Amanpour hits the streets. You may be surprised to find out what people there really think.
ANNOUNCER: From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We begin with a question that, frankly, we wish we never had to ask. Why would anyone murder a mother and her child? Three weeks ago, this woman, Rachel Entwistle, and her little girl, Lillian Rose, seen there, were alive. That is a fact. So is this. Less than two weeks ago, they were dead, executed brutally in their Massachusetts home by their killer or killers that remain on the loose.
Today, they were buried in the same church where Lillian was baptized, laid to rest in the same casket, the same grave. And of the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects, there was one man who was noticeably absent, the husband. He left for England shortly before the bodies were found.
So, the question tonight, why did he leave and why won't he come back? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER (voice-over): At the funeral of Rachel Entwistle, her 9- month-old baby girl, Lillian Rose, was laid to rest by her side -- mother and daughter together forever. The single coffin, too much to bear for some mourner whose had to be steadied by a priest.
JOE FLAHERTY, ENTWISTLE FAMILY SPOKESMAN: She always kept her family at the center of her life. With the birth of Rachel's daughter, Lillian Rose Entwistle, last April, Rachel shared her greatest love, that of being a mother.
COOPER: More than a week since their bodies were found, the mystery remains. Who killed 27-year-old Rachel Entwistle and little Lillian Rose? Both were found dead in the Entwistles' rented home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, on Sunday, January 22 -- Rachel, shot in the torso and head, Lillian Rose shot once in the stomach.
Rachel's husband, Lillian's father, Neil, was nowhere to be found. Police were called to the home after family and friends had arrived there for dinner that Saturday and found no one there. That evening and the next day, Rachel's mother and police would search the house three times, before they discovered the bodies Sunday evening.
Police told reporters Rachel and Lillian Rose were found wrapped in a blanket in the bedroom, where they are thought to have been killed. They believe the murders happened some time between Thursday night and Saturday.
MARTHA COAKLEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We do not believe this was random.
COOPER: Prosecutors say the small-caliber handgun used in the murders has not been found. Neil Entwistle left the country some time over the weekend. And as their search for him began, surprising information about the couple has started to surface.
Neil Entwistle met and married Rachel Souza, an American Catholic schoolteacher, while she was studying in his native England. They had baby Lillian there and moved near Rachel's family in Massachusetts. On January 12, they rented this house, where Neil would work as a computer programmer, while Rachel raised Lillian at home.
Prosecutors say Neil was running a get-rich-quick Web site that showed customers how to start an Internet porn site. Another business they both ran on eBay was shut down when customers complained their goods weren't being delivered. Some post-it notes on the site called Rachel a thieving liar.
Neil Entwistle has turned up in England. And U.S. investigators, working with British police, got him to come in for questioning, but he failed to answer key questions. So, now Neil is free, living with his parents in England. He reportedly has a lawyer. Police call him a person of interest.
He wasn't at today's funeral, which took place in the church little Lillian was baptized in just weeks ago -- her wake, filled with Halloween and Christmas photos, memories of a smiling baby girl. Rachel's parents have said little in public, but, in the obituary for their daughter and granddaughter, they made no mention of Neil Entwistle's name.
COOPER: Joining me is to discuss the case from Boston is Joe Dwinell, the managing editor for "The Boston Herald." He knows this case inside and out. He's been following it from the beginning. And here in New York, a crime scene expert, expert forensic scientist, Lawrence Kobilinsky.
Appreciate both of you being with us.
COOPER: Joe, let me start off with you.
You have been closely following the case. What's the latest?
JOE DWINELL, MANAGING EDITOR, "THE BOSTON HERALD": Well, the latest is, the state police had a top-level staff meeting. They're trying to still find the key to this case, trying to break it open. They don't have it yet.
COOPER: Do they have motive?
DWINELL: No, they're not saying much. They're saying that Neil Entwistle remains a person of interest. The DA sent out a press release yesterday saying that they are tracking his movements in Britain, but, right now, the case is ongoing, and they're trying to piece it together.
COOPER: And when we look at that video from the funeral today, I mean, that single casket, mother and child both buried inside the casket -- you were covering the funeral. How obvious was it that Neil Entwistle wasn't there?
DWINELL: Very obvious. It has been obvious all this week.
It started with the obituary, as you mentioned on the show. It then went to the family statement, and then today -- they had the wake last night, the funeral today. He is left out of the picture. It is a sad, sorrowful affair, but he is not being mentioned -- on purpose, we believe.
COOPER: Dr. Kobilinsky, time of death is critical in this case. Are they going to be able to determine it?
DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: Well, it becomes difficult, because as the postmortem interval gets longer, it becomes more difficult to give a very tight time of death.
COOPER: Why is that? KOBILINSKY: Well, because things that we usually use, like rigor mortis, liver mortis, the cooling of the core body temperature, the time of food digestion, all of those things are not very accurate, and they're gone after about 14, 15 hours.
So, I guess one of the best things that you can do is determine the potassium concentration in the eye. And that will give you, at best, a range of time. And here, it's very important.
COOPER: How wide a range of time are you talking about?
KOBILINSKY: Well, it -- it could be many, many hours to a day.
COOPER: And that's critical in a case like this?
KOBILINSKY: Especially here, where the -- the husband is a person of interest, because we know he bought his flight tickets on British Airways on the 20th and left on the 21st. So, the question is, is, could he have been there when the murders were committed? Was he there?
COOPER: Joe, have they officially said exactly -- or publicly said, authorities, when he boarded that flight?
DWINELL: No, they haven't said publicly at all. They are saying Friday night or early Saturday morning. There has been one report that he took off Saturday morning.
COOPER: How much criticism, Joe, has -- has there been of the local police? They entered the house on Saturday, entered it again on Sunday, and did not find these bodies, albeit it, it was a -- a quick search, sort of a proof-of-life search.
DWINELL: They are coming under a lot of criticism, and probably undeservedly. They are saying that it was a well-being check.
When you go into a home, you're not supposed to go open all the closets. The police chief said yesterday, we were there to help, not investigate a murder. So, he is defending his troops, saying he would do the same again today, if called upon.
COOPER: But, Joe, I mean, this was a rental house. Who knows who had access to this house. Who knows how many keys there were floating around to this house.
DWINELL: I think the key is, no one reported a shot being fired. No one reported screaming from the house. I mean, this is another piece of this very confusing case.
There wasn't something glaring that would lead the police to come in guarded, and try to look for bodies.
COOPER: Dr. Kobilinsky, the integrity of this crime scene, I mean, there were family members moving in and out; there were police searching it for more than almost 24 hours.
KOBILINSKY: Well, that's true. You are raising a very important question about whether this scene was contaminated or whether things were moved around.
Quite frankly, if that happened, then, the reconstruction of the events is going to be more difficult. I think, though, there -- there's a lot of information that is there at the crime scene that can tell us about the position of the victims, how close the shooter was to the victims.
COOPER: At this point, I mean, authorities -- and they are not publicly saying, but they must know whether or not these two were shot inside the bed. I mean, that...
KOBILINSKY: I think they do.
But, you know, there is the possibility that the bodies were cleaned up, because there have been reports of minimal amounts of blood. And that troubles me, because, when you shoot an individual, there is blood-spatter, back-spatter, and failure to find that would indicate something amiss, something may have been cleaned up.
COOPER: And, Joe, just for clarity, have they said anything publicly, authorities, about whether these two were shot in bed?
DWINELL: No, they haven't said exactly.
But they did say Lillian was shot once. Rachel was shot once. I think we need to get that -- get that straight, is that Lillian was shot in the abdomen, and then Rachel was shot in the head. Both with a small-caliber weapon.
COOPER: So, the initial report that Rachel had been shot twice, that is not correct?
DWINELL: Yes. Yes, that's true. It was not correct. They were both each shot in a different spot.
COOPER: All right, Joe Dwinell, thank you.
And, Dr. Kobilinsky, appreciate it as well.
COOPER: Thank you very much.
Digging into the past of this person of interest, Neil Entwistle, the background, a husband and father of a wife and child suddenly shot to death, what do we know about him? We will find out ahead.
Also tonight, arrest and apology -- why police say booting anti- war activist Cindy Sheehan from the State of the Union address was a big mistake. And she wasn't the only one kicked out as well. This woman was, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY YOUNG, WIFE OF CONGRESSMAN BILL YOUNG: They told me outside that they had an incident and that they didn't want this to be another incident, and that, you know, I could be arrested. So, I told them, arrest me. Take me here. Take me. Whatever. You're not going to -- you're not going to tell me I can't do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: By the time his wife and 9-month-old baby were found murdered in Neil Entwistle was already in England, where his story is big news. In fact, the British media has become obsessed with this American murder mystery. And with each report comes some intriguing new details.
CNN's Paula Newton has more now from London.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two things have defined Neil Entwistle throughout this tragedy, his absence and his silence.
He left this home outside Boston on the same weekend his wife and baby were found murdered, and he hasn't returned since, not even for the funeral. The 27-year-old has said nothing about those murders, reportedly, not even to police.
Last weekend, in London, he was questioned by American authorities, but police still describe him as a person of interest, not a suspect. His parents' home is empty now. Neighbors say Entwistle left to escape the media spotlight. And it has been intense, even here in England.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening.
On the surface, they appeared to be living the perfect American dream.
NEWTON: British newscasts and the tabloids have seized on the story. The same question nagging at people here, too -- why would anyone kill a young mother and her innocent baby?
BEN FENTON, "DAILY TELEGRAPH": Everybody in this side of the -- of the -- of the Atlantic is going to say, well, what is going on? You know, what aren't we being told? What don't we know?
NEWTON: Entwistle's childhood friends here can't believe what has happened to him. They describe an outgoing, fun-loving guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An intelligent person, friendly, would help you, generous.
NEWTON: Entwistle grew up in a community just north of London, not unlike the one he left in Massachusetts. Neighbors say he comes from a strong, stable family, now heartbroken.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, love -- lovely family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was nasty. I just thought how nasty it is for them. You know, that's -- that's the thing.
NEWTON: At his former school, teachers say what happened to Entwistle's family was -- quote -- "a bolt out of the blue."
ANDY MASSEY, VALLEY COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL: Very good student, indeed. The staff -- and some of them are still here -- remember him well, able, well motivated, worked very hard.
NEWTON: In fact, it was here that Entwistle first nurtured his ambition of making it big in business, especially the computer business. Now, as his wife and baby were buried, Entwistle managed to avoid all the questions and rumors. He has not returned to his parents' home and isn't expected to.
He's still not saying anything about the murders, and may not, until investigators have evidence to charge someone with their deaths.
Paula Newton, CNN, London.
COOPER: Well, safe to say there's a lot of people who would like to ask Neil Entwistle a couple of questions right now, including my next two guests, in Boston, Wendy Murphy, a former Massachusetts prosecutor, and, from Miami, defense attorney Jayne Weintraub.
Good to have you both on the program.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Anderson.
COOPER: Wendy, Neil Entwistle, not a suspect, a person of interest. What can authorities do to get him back here?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, let's just admit up front that person of interest is the new code for the S-word.
Ever since, you know, the Olympic Park bombing and Richard Jewell, we don't call anybody a suspect. But that doesn't mean he isn't the focus. They're not going to get him back here of his own volition. I mean, geez, a guy who won't return for the funeral of his dead wife and little infant baby -- and he's hiding out in Sherwood Forest with mommy and daddy -- he's not the type of guy who is likely to return of his own volition.
They're going to have to get him indicted. They're going to have to get an arrest warrant, use the rather good extradition treaty that exists between the United States and the United Kingdom. And I think it's going to take a long time. But I think there's no question, at some point, he will be made to return here. And it will be against his will. COOPER: Well, Jayne, I'm no defense attorney, but there -- there -- there seems plenty of problems with their case, if prosecutors were to charge Neil Entwistle.
WEINTRAUB: That's right, Anderson.
I mean, first, before you talk about extraditing and indicting, you need to have something called evidence. And, certainly, there has been none so far.
We have seen not one speck of evidence, other than he has been socially unacceptable by not returning for a funeral. And being a lousy husband or socially unacceptable are not essential elements of a murder case.
COOPER: Spoken like a true attorney.
WEINTRAUB: All we know...
COOPER: But -- but -- but, also, I mean, the crime scene, they -- you had people coming and going, friends and family and police searching the house multiple times. It's not even clear -- I mean, they -- they -- they looked in the bedroom. They didn't find the bodies. Someone, a clever defense attorney, could argue, well, they were moved there.
MURPHY: Oh, come on.
WEINTRAUB: They might even tell the truth, Anderson, and they might say that the -- that the bodies were there. The police didn't lift the covers of the blankets and see the mother and the child. It's not a very bloody scene.
It's a small-caliber weapon. And, you know, if we learned anything from Scott Peterson, we have learned that this guy should just keep his mouth shut, and he should exercise the right of privilege and not voluntarily return. There's a lynch-mob mentality, as you can hear from Wendy...
WEINTRAUB: ... waiting for his return to the United States.
COOPER: Wendy, you said, "Oh, come on."
MURPHY: Oh, look...
WEINTRAUB: This man should stay with his parents.
MURPHY: Look, first of all, the fact that the police didn't see the bodies is because he covered them in a bug puffy blanket before he fled the country.
And if there is one thing we learned from Scott Peterson, I think it's that the guilty guy's behavior after the crime is damning evidence. It doesn't mean he's socially unacceptable, Jayne, to take off, to leave the country, to run like a chicken, to remain silent, and not to attend the funeral.
He may have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. And that can't be used against him in a court of law. But there's no Fifth Amendment right to skip out on the funeral of your wife and baby, and not have that used against you.
COOPER: But, Wendy...
MURPHY: Remember what Peterson did.
WEINTRAUB: Wendy, we don't know the time of death.
MURPHY: Fake hair, Mexican border, that was used against him at trial as consciousness of guilt, as well it should have been.
COOPER: But, Wendy, couldn't -- couldn't very...
WEINTRAUB: He might have left before.
COOPER: Couldn't very easily, Neil Entwistle, have said...
WEINTRAUB: I'm sorry, Anderson.
COOPER: ... well, look, I didn't come back; I wanted to come back, but there's all already this culture, you know, this -- this lynch-mob mentality, as Jayne Weintraub said, against me; why would I return to that?
MURPHY: You know, that's a really good point, Anderson.
And, in fact, I think the DA gets a lot of points on this. Martha Coakley, whose office I worked in, by the way, for a long time, has done nothing to suggest that she was after this guy. There's been no rush to judgment here. She hasn't called him a suspect. She didn't even search the car before the funeral, for a very important reason.
She didn't want him to have an excuse for not returning to this country for the funeral, so that, when he is tried, he wouldn't be able to say, well, I wanted to come back for the funeral...
WEINTRAUB: Because they had no evidence for a warrant.
MURPHY: ... but Martha Coakley, the DA, was after me.
He had no reason for not returning. There is no...
WEINTRAUB: They couldn't make a scintilla of probable cause here, Wendy. They don't have any evidence...
WEINTRAUB: ... that he did anything.
MURPHY: Well, why don't... COOPER: So, Jayne, you would recommend, your -- if he was your client, just don't say a word; just stick with your parents' house; let them cook you chicken soup, and -- and let this thing blow over?
WEINTRAUB: You know, Anderson, he's grieving.
He lost his wife and his 9-month-old baby.
MURPHY: He's hiding, not grieving.
WEINTRAUB: He's a person, and he's probably in shock and mourning himself. He is with people that love him. He should keep his mouth shut, and he should exercise the right and the privilege of being a United States citizen.
That does not mean he's guilty of anything, except being an American citizen....
MURPHY: Come on. Let's talk about...
WEINTRAUB: ... that is entitled to certain rights.
MURPHY: Let's talk about the statements he did make that came out in the papers in -- in -- in England yesterday, that he said -- and I quote -- "How did I get to England? I'm not sure how I got here. Is it really true Rachel and the baby are dead?"
What I call that is, not only the early seedlings of an insanity defense, that, by the way, will never work, but that's a guy who knows the evidence against him is strong, because he's already starting to make up the excuses that he knows will never fly, but he has no choice but to start launching this insanity defense, because he knows how guilty he is, and he's made statements to police.
COOPER: Well, it sounds like he...
WEINTRAUB: It's so contrived. That's just why he should keep quiet.
MURPHY: He's made statements to witnesses. We don't know what they are yet.
COOPER: It sounds like he should take...
MURPHY: But he has.
COOPER: ... Jayne Weintraub's phone call and stop talking to British tabloids, if, in fact, he did.
We got to leave it there.
Wendy Murphy, Jayne Weintraub, good to have you on. Thanks.
MURPHY: You bet. WEINTRAUB: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Coming up, a drastic move -- after more tragedy in West Virginia, the governor is asking for a temporary shutdown of coal production. The state's 500-plus mines may close. We will look at what led to the sudden announcement today.
Plus, they play the music of freedom in an oppressed society. We will show you the other side of Iran, the secret side the country's leaders want to silence.
COOPER: Capitol Hill Police say they made a mistake when they booted Cindy Sheehan from the State of the Union last night. That is coming up.
But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with more of the president's speech. And she has some of the other stories we're following tonight.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Just a day after his State of the Union address, President Bush hit the road to sell his agenda to Americans.
In his speech in Nashville, Tennessee, Mr. Bush hit many of the key points he made last night on topics ranging from the economy to the war in Iraq. The president will pitch his ideas and visits to three more states this week.
In West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin asked the state's coal mines to temporarily shut down for safety checks. And the federal government is now calling for a nationwide hour-long safety time-out on Monday. Now, this comes after two deaths today at two separate coal mines in Boone County, West Virginia.
Santa Barbara County, California, now an eighth death linked to the shooting rampage of a former postal worker. Investigators say before Jennifer Sanmarco opened fire at this mail processing center on Monday, she killed a former neighbor. Sanmarco herself committed suicide. Five people shot at the center died at the scene. A sixth died today.
And these poor little guys, actually victims of the illegal drug trade -- the DEA says at least six puppies they found in a two-year investigation were implanted with almost seven pounds of liquid heroin. It was stitched into their stomach. They rescued 10 little puppies. Later on, three of them died from infection when they tried to remove the heroin.
Anderson, it's just awful.
COOPER: That's unbelievable.
HILL: Poor little guys.
I mean, we were just down on the border. And it's just -- it's amazing, the attempts, the efforts that people will -- these drug cartels will go through...
COOPER: ... to bring drugs into the country. We are going to have a special on that later on this week.
Erica Hill, thanks very much.
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan arrested and kicked out of the president's speech last night, plus, a lawmaker's wife booted for wearing a "Support Our Troops" shirt. Some lawmakers in Washington say they can't believe it -- coming up next on 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BILL YOUNG (R), FLORIDA: Because she had on a shirt that someone didn't like that said "Support Our Troops," she was kicked out of this gallery while the president was speaking, encouraging Americans to support our troops. Shame. Shame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Capitol Police say it was a mistake. Today, they're apologize for removing two people, peace activist Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young, the wife of a lawmaker, from last night's State of the Union address.
Both women were not allowed to see the president's speech because of the shirts they were wearing. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, her shirt protested the Iraq war. Young's said, "Support Our Troops." Young faced no charges. And the one charge against Sheehan was later dropped.
Washington, though, won't drop the issue as easily.
CNN's Gary Nurenberg reports.
BUSH: The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home.
GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president was speaking when Beverly Young was told to follow a man with a suit and an earpiece out of the gallery.
BEVERLY YOUNG, WIFE OF CONGRESSMAN BILL YOUNG: My initial instinct was, something happened to my kids, and I was just scared. I mean, I was shaking when I got out there.
NURENBERG: Her husband, a congressman, went to the House floor this morning, furious she was told to leave the chamber for wearing the sweatshirt saying "Support Our Troops."
REP. BILL YOUNG, (R) FLORIDA: She was kicked out of this gallery while the president was speaking and encouraging Americans to support our troops. Shame, shame.
NURENBERG: Before the address began, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, was ordered out of the chamber for wearing an anti-war T-shirt.
CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST: The officer saw me and he yelled, "Protester." And he said, "You have to leave." And he grabbed me, and they put -- put their arms behind me -- my arms behind me, and rushed me out, handcuffed me.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Free Cindy now!
NURENBERG: Sheehan was arrested and charged with unlawful conduct. Young was not, though she admits peppering police with profanity.
BEVERLY YOUNG: I was angry. Yes. I didn't mean to, it just popped out. I was so appalled that they did that. I -- I was -- I was appalled. I could not believe it. So, I told them, arrest me. Take me here. Take me. Whatever.
You're not going to -- you're not going to tell me I can't do this. You are not going to tell me that I cannot support those kids that are right, as we were speaking, being shot and blown up. They're just not going to do it. Nobody is going to do that to me. You know, they want to arrest me, arrest me. I'm -- I will go back in again. I will go -- go. Right now, I will go again.
NURENBERG (on camera): U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer says -- quote -- "We made a mistake." And he has apologized, saying neither woman should have been asked to leave the chamber. His officers, he says, will receive new training on what is and is not allowed.
Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: During last night's address, President Bush warned against a nuclear Iran. And, today, there are new concerns about that country's intentions. Coming up, the latest threats and a unique perspective from inside Iran. Find out what Iranians have to say about their country's defiance. You may be surprised.
Plus, identifying the dead after Hurricane Katrina, it is still going on, more than five months after the storm. It's a puzzle for only the best experts. We will show you how they're solving it -- ahead on 360. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambition and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In case you haven't noticed, Iran lately hasn't been playing nice with the U.S. and its allies. Well, Syrian, North Korea are still poking at the Bush administration. Iran appears to be hitting hardest right now with its refusal to give up nuclear ambitions. Today in response to President Bush's tough talk last night, Iran's president called the U.S. a hollow superpower and a bully. Iran still claims it will use nuclear energy for good. But today there are reports and new information from the UNs nuclear watchdog suggesting that Iran may be pursuing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, beneath all the bravado and defiance of Iran's president there is a quieter struggle going on inside this country. It's harder to see, but CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour did just that.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Banderabas (ph) is Iran's biggest commercial port, but many of its people are poor after three decades of economic mismanagement. Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has come here today to promise that he'll change all that. An important message, especially now that he's confronting the West over Iran's nuclear program.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All of our neighbors, Pakistan and India have nuclear technology. Why is the U.S. barring us from having it?
AMANPOUR: Most Iranians agree but they also want to tell their president about their troubles at home. Today, these special mailboxes have been set up so they can send him their personal letters.
Tell me why you're sending letters to the president?
"Because we really think he'll deal with our problems," she says. "He's ready to listen to our complaints and resolve them, like our job and housing problems."
"He may or may not help us," says this woman, Zora, "but his presidency is enough for us and we thank God."
Partly because of his humble background, partly because of his fundamentalist Islamic faith the president has many supporters here, like this local government official.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I want Iran to be developed, an Iran that will fight global arrogance. A fully pure Iran. And our president Mr. Ahmadinejad is really doing that.
AMANPOUR: But there are skeptics looking on like Ali whose letter to the president is an invitation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He says, he's one of us. So I ask him, please, spare a moment to come and see how we live. There are 11 people in my house and I am the only breadwinner.
AMANPOUR: Ali lost his job two years ago, but somehow he has to provide for all those who depend on him.
President Ahmadinejad says he has come to help the poor, people like you. As has he done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We haven't seen anything tangible so far. Mr. Ahmadinejad, instead of dealing with our problems, is confronting other countries like the U.S. And Israel, and that will make things worse. Today when I saw you, I just wanted to spill out all of my troubles because nobody in this country listens to me.
AMANPOUR: But President Ahmadinejad's fiery rhetoric does draw crowds. His speech in Banderabas the night we visited was packed as he continued his trademark attacks on the U.S. And despite threats of harsh economic sanctions which could drive the country further into poverty, he defiantly pledged not to be bullied into abandoning Iran's nuclear program.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I declare to the big powers of the world that Iran and Iranian government will follow the path to achieve peaceful nuclear technology.
AMANPOUR: Later, back in the capital Tehran, the president held a press conference.
(on camera): You have said over and over again that your priority is to serve the people. We've been talking to some of the people, particularly in Banderabas, which you just visited, and they tell us that they've heard these slogans over and over again and their life doesn't change and they get poorer.
AHMADINEJAD: I don't know which people you've interviewed. If you mean the tens of hundreds of thousands of people who were there and were chanting slogans in support of the government, the president and his programs, if you mean those people, the answer is clear. If you mean imaginary people that you have interviewed, so be it.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But there's nothing imaginary about poverty in Iran.
(on camera): This is southern Tehran, an Amadinejad stronghold. He based his presidential campaign around a promise to make life better for Iran's poor. But if Iran is further isolated, if sanctions are imposed, he'll have a hard time delivering. Iran itself says that 20 percent of its people live below the poverty line while many outside sources say it could be double that figure.
Back in Banderabas, poverty is driving Ali to despair. Tonight, like every night, he'll cruise the streets using his own car as a taxi. On a good night, he can make $8. But gypsy caps like his are illegal and if he's caught, he'll get a $10 fine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This dilapidated car is my only source of income and I have nothing else. I see absolutely no light for the future.
COOPER: I guess that's one of those imaginary people the president of Iran was talking about. Imagine growing up in a society like that. More of this rare and exclusive look inside Iran when we come back. Christiane Amanpour talks with young Iranians trying to find their voice.
Plus more on the shocking rampage at a postal facility tonight. New details about the shooter and the disturbing discovery made by investigators made near her home. Across America and around the world, this is 360.
COOPER: Well, tomorrow, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog is going to hold a emergency meeting deciding on whether to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council which in turn could impose sanctions designed to punish the defiant Iranian leadership.
Unfortunately, those sanctions could also hurt the other side of Iran, the poor and the silenced, the people against the war of words and would rather see an open society. Right now those people can't openly voice their opinions, however. CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour talked with some of them.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): There are two Irans, two kinds of people. Here, the Islamic hard liners whose defiant message dominates public prayers that are held every Friday.
And here, a hidden nation of people who are both fearful of the hard liners and desperate for a dialogue, not a screaming match, with the world. We went looking for some of those voices and we found them underground, literally, squeezed between this high rise and a highway, young musicians who are rarely heard outside this sound proof bunker.
They must play in the shadows because in the Islamic Republic of Iran it's impossible for rock groups to get a permit to play in public.
AMANPOUR (on camera): How many times have you been able to perform publicly here? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five times.
AMANPOUR: Five times in how long?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five years.
AMANPOUR: In five years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That makes it one concert per year.
AMANPOUR: Is that enough?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We would rather play every day.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): But that's not likely to happen under Iran's new Islamic fundamentalist president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He wants only traditional Persian or classical Western music on the government airways, not what he calls indecent, obscene Western music. And this suits the president's many hard lined allies just fine. We came to this mosque to hear from them.
(on camera): Why are young pop groups here not allowed to perform in public?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What they are playing is propagating European and American cultures. So we demand that Mr. Ahmadinejad confront this kind of music. This is an Islamic Republic.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Any hope the West might somehow influence change in Iran seems to be fading. With the new president, religious hard-liners are consolidating their hold on power and on people's lives. Freedoms enjoyed under Iran's previous reformist president are slipping away.
ESSA SAHARKHIZ, EDITOR (through translator): A large number of journalists, writers and artists have packed their bags to leave the country. But those who can't do so have to accept whatever restrictions are imposed on them.
AMANPOUR: He should know. At the end of the reform era, many of his newspapers were shut down by Iran's conservatives. So for many people, life under the conservative government has become a constant game of cat and mouse.
There are over a million blogs in the Farsi language, making it the world's fourth largest Web community. And the sites range from the political to the personal. This man runs his own Web site about media technology.
(on camera): Are you able to go anywhere on this Internet? Can you go to any site you want?
MUSTAFA GHOVANLAN, JOURNALIST/BLOGGER (through translator): No, we can't access sites that are pornographic or immoral but also a number of political Web sites written in the Farsi language, like "The Voice of America." (in English): Access denied.
AMANPOUR: Access denied. And now that the conservatives have won, do you think it will have an effect on your blogging, on your freedom on the blog?
GHOVANLAN (through translator): What's happened after these elections is that the bloggers have been put off from politics, so young people in Iran are now more interested in recreation.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): An astonishing two-thirds of the Iranian population is under 30. And whatever hopes the West may pin on them, for now it seems they want to escape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what I've seen, they just want to be free. They just want to have a good time. We can see boys and girls freely skiing together, sitting down together, listening to the same music. We are happy and have smiles on our face. This is one of the first times this has happened on a ski resort in Iran.
AMANPOUR: Ali Asadri (ph) is managing Tehran's snowboarding challenge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We try to take the barriers for it a little bit and make some changes to the norms.
AMANPOUR: For instance, at this unusual nighttime ski show. There's a deejay and he's allowed to blast his music because it's a techno version of an ode to one of Islam's most important religious figures. With everyone here now feeling out the limits of the new administration, playing hit and run with the sensors is practice to perfection, especially by Tehran's actors and artists.
To get her play on, this director had to rewrite some Bertolt Brecht scenes because unmarried sex is forbidden in Iran.
AZITA HAJIAN, THEATER DIRECTOR: You're an artist, so you need the art, so you try to make it in any situation.
AMANPOUR: But the situation has just become much more challenging. As we heard from the regime's true believers at the mosque.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Since President Ahmadinejad came to power he gave us our ideals back. The ideals we fought for 25 years ago.
AMANPOUR: But with President Ahmadinejad on a collision course with the outside world, opposition leaders like Reza Khatami the former president's brother, are worried that the people will pay the price.
(on camera): If the West puts a lot of pressure on Iran, what will the result be?
REZA KHATAMI, OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER: You can isolate the government of Iran but it doesn't mean that you should isolate the Iranian people. I think opening the doors is the best way, not closing the doors.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Tonight, as the lights go out on this performance, no one can predict how Iran's bigger drama will end.
COOPER: It's fascinating, Christiane, to see those kids, you know, playing in sort of this underground bunker. What happens to them if they get caught? Do they get punished?
AMANPOUR: Well, apparently so far not. I mean, they're allowed to play as long as it's not outside and in public. And they've gone to extraordinary lengths to make sure their neighbors in the apartment building don't complain or turn them in. They've sound proofed what was a greenhouse belonging to the apartment building with, you know, sort of jury-rigged the sound proof bunker there. And that's how they got on with it. It's kind of sad because they're only playing music.
COOPER: And what happens to all that youthful frustration? Where does it go? Does it built up? What's going to happen?
AMANPOUR: You know, I think that is such an interesting question. Everybody wants to know where the people of Iran going to regime change if you like. And what I got clearly the message this time was that they're tired, they're disappointed, they're disappointed in politics. They're sort of resigned now under this very hard-line new conservative government to essentially standing back from politics after the eight years of the reform era of Mohammad Khatami where everybody was involved in this Tehran spring. That's now really quite fading.
Although the opposition parties do want to now consolidate some kind of civil society. But it's very difficult at the moment. And they're all just watching and waiting to see how it's going to develop.
COOPER: It's so sad. I mean, it seems like such a simple thing. Kids wanting to play music but yet it's so politicized and has so many layers to it.
AMANPOUR: That's right. And really so much is going to be that a reversing even the small freedoms that were granted under the Khatami era, whether it be journalistic, political, cultural, social, you get a sense that that is being rolled back and that the people are escaping into simply sort of doing what they can to survive and get by and have fun when they can. But politics, at least right now seems to be far from their minds.
COOPER: A fascinating look inside Iran. Christiane Amanpour, thanks.
From Iran now to a veteran of the war in Iraq. His shooting was caught on tape not in Iraq but here Southern California. Right there, shot by a law enforcement officer. All of it caught on tape. The feds want to know why it happened. We will show you the tape and you can judge for yourself.
Also, we're keeping them honest after Katrina. Turns out it was not just FEMA and Michael Brown that messed up. See what's being said now about Brownie's boss and the Katrina mess.
Plus, what happens when you cross "My fellow Americans" with "The envelope, please." Our awards for the winners and losers of the State of the Union. You're watching 360.
COOPER: An airman who survived a tour in Iraq only to be shot by a California sheriff's deputy. All caught on tape and it's led to a big controversy. We'll have the tape coming up. First, Erica Hill joins us with some of the other stories we're following right now. Hey, Erica.
HILL: Hey, Anderson. He may be new on the job, by not afraid to go his own way. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito differing today with the conservative wing on the death penalty case. The newly minted justice refusing to let Missouri execute inmate Michael Taylor who is challenging executions by lethal injection as being cruel and unusual.
Harsh criticism today for President Bush and homeland security chief Michael Chertoff over their response to Hurricane Katrina. Congressional investigators say both men failed to take decisive action on emergency relief. The biggest blunder? Failure to designate a single official to coordinate federal decision making.
And talk about close calls. Check out this Florida's police officer near death experience here. He was giving one motorist a ticket. Another one sideswiped him. Amazingly he suffered only a few bruises. It turns out the driver who hit him was an elderly woman. She was distraught over her husband's ill health.
And the so-called 10th planet now has some bragging rights in its battle with the ninth planet Pluto. Today the 10th planet has really not got much respect from those who say it's too small to merit the designation of planet. But now the journal "Nature" reports German scientists have calculated number 10 definitely has a greater diameter than Pluto. Really though, number 10 should probably go for a snappier name. Right now, it's known as 2003-UB-313.
Maybe they can name it after Rodney Dangerfield, No Respect, Planet Rodney.
COOPER: I dunno, I think the whole UB-23 - whatever it was kind of roles of the tongue.
COOPER: Very good. Erica Hill. Thanks.
Time to thank our international viewers for watching. But coming up tonight on 360, why did a sheriff's deputy open fire on an unharmed war veteran? The tape is stirring anger, causing action. You will see it next as it plays out next on 360.
COOPER: Good evening again. We don't yet know why it happened but what happened is tough to see. People who watched it on tape want answers. And now, so does the Justice Department.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, a shooting caught on tape. An unarmed veteran who survived six months in Iraq returns home to be shot by a sheriff's deputy. The question is, why?
And keep them honest. Five months since Katrina hit, and what have we learned? Who failed the people of New Orleans?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY NAGIN, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: Thousands of people who were on the streets, in the Superdome at the convention center, we were in the most desperate need for assistance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Could it happen again?
And, your medical questions answered. Can diet soda actually cause you to gain weight? And how many pounds do you think you can lose just by walking? Tonight our 360 MD, Dr. Sanjay Gupta separates medical fact from fiction. From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360, live from the CNN Studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Good evening. We begin the hour with an American airman. He is recovering tonight from bullet wounds to the chest and leg and shoulder. He got them not in Iraq where he recently served a tour of duty but in San Bernardino County, California. His home after high speed police chase. It happened Sunday night, yesterday a home videotape of the incident hit local airwaves and now the federal government is getting involved.
The story and the tape from CNN's Chris Lawrence.
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