Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Egyptian Ferry Sinks at Sea; Frozen World War II Airman Identified?; Unsolved Massachusetts Murder Mystery

Aired February 3, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again.
A new development in the execution style shootings of Rachel and Lillian Entwistle. Tonight, Neil Entwistle, the husband and father who left the country, then vanished from sight, has reappeared.


ANNOUNCER: His wife and infant murdered in Massachusetts. He turns up in England, then vanishes. And, today, he reappears, still refusing to answer questions. Tonight, the latest details about the man police call a person of interest now hiding in plain sight.

High seas, but no distress signal, no collision. So, what happened to the ferry carrying 1,400 people that mysteriously went down at sea? Tonight, 360 is live with the latest details on what caused this tragedy.

And a CNN exclusive -- a World War II airman found frozen in the mountains. Who was he? For months, a forensic puzzle -- now the mystery of the frozen airman is solved.


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: Good evening.

We begin tonight with new developments in the murder mystery that has baffled and saddened people on both sides of the Atlantic. Twelve days after the bodies of these two people, Rachel and Lillian Entwistle, were discovered in their rental home outside of Boston, 13 days after her husband and father, Neil Entwistle left the country, and three days after he and his parents dropped out of sight, questions have only grown about the man police are calling a person of interest.

Today, a chance -- if only a fleeting chance -- to get some answers -- Neil Entwistle reappeared.


COOPER (voice-over): For the first time in three days, Neil Entwistle was caught on camera, as he returned to his parents' home in the former coal mining town of Worksop, England. He said nothing to the waiting media. In fact, he has said nothing since arriving in England the day before his wife and you baby were found dead at their home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, found curled up together in the couple's bed together upstairs.

Mother and daughter had been shot at close range, Rachel in the head, baby Lillian in the stomach. Since news broke of this mother- daughter murder, it seems the world has gotten to know their smiling phrases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the surface, they appeared to be living the perfect American dream.


MARK GERAGOS, ATTORNEY: Mary's already accusing this guy. Mary has already got this guy accused as the suspect.



COOPER: The irony is in that, in the small town in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where Rachel and Lillian lived and died, they were strangers.

ROBERT FALCIONE, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "THE HOPKINTON NEWS": No one in town knew them. I haven't spoken with anyone who's had any words with any of them.

COOPER: Neil, Rachel and Lillian moved to Hopkinton on January 12, just 10 days after Rachel and Lillian were found dead.

Police believe the murders happened some time between Thursday night and Saturday. Neil Entwistle flew to London Saturday morning and shows no sign of returning.

MARTHA COAKLEY, MIDDLESEX, MASSACHUSETTS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He is somebody we would always be interested in talking to, in that he's the husband of two people who have been killed. There are other people that we are interested in talking to, but he is not -- I am not going to label them a suspect at this stage.

COOPER: The killings have shaken Hopkinton, a close-knit community outside Boston, Massachusetts, that has not seen a murder in more than 10 years.

FALCIONE: We have been cheated, because we never got to know these beautiful people, number one. And, number two, this horrible act was committed in this community, which is known for so much more.

COOPER: Sixty miles southeast, in Kingston, where Rachel grew up, people do remember her fondly. Friends say she was an outgoing girl who loved nature and the works of Henry David Thoreau. Teachers at Rachel's high school remember her as a top athlete, a team player and a leader.

RICHARD KELLEY, VICE PRINCIPAL, SILVER LAKE HIGH SCHOOL: It's devastating to the entire community. She was on the National Honor Society. She was a peer mediator. She was a peer tutor. She was a peer counselor. She also was a star on our track team.

COOPER: Neil Entwistle grew up in Worksop, England. Friends there say he was a friendly, laid-back guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never, never saw him in a bad mood, never once during my time at school with him, and never a fallout with him. And I can't really say anything bad about him.

COOPER: Neil and Rachel met in England during her junior year abroad. They married and Rachel became a teacher, Neil, a computer programmer. After backing parents, they moved to Massachusetts last summer, living first with Rachel's mother and stepfather, then moving to the house in Hopkinton.

In photos, they appear a picture-perfect family. Everything was not perfect, however. Prosecutors say Neil was running a get-rich- quick Internet scheme called "Million Maker," which encouraged customers to start Internet porn sites and promised profits of $6,000 a month.

Another software business the couple ran on eBay was shut down when buyers complained the goods weren't being delivered. More than a dozen posted angry notes on their site, one calling Rachel a thieving liar.

Prosecutors say they're looking at all facets of the Entwistles' lives, including their business dealings.

Neil Entwistle did not return for his wife and daughter's funeral. Both were buried on Wednesday -- a somber service, a single coffin. Today, their grave site was filled with flowers and mementos left behind by friends and family, who are still shocked by their deaths, still waiting for answers.

JOE FLAHERTY, ENTWISTLE FAMILY SPOKESMAN: And this family's going to be very patient. They're very strong, and strong in their faith, and strong in their belief that this case will be ultimately solved and those responsible will be brought to justice.


COOPER: With us again tonight from Miami, defense attorney Jayne Weintraub, and, in Boston, former prosecutor for the state of Massachusetts Wendy Murphy.

Thanks for being with us.

Wendy, let me start with you.

Today, the district attorney released a statement on the investigation, saying -- quote -- "No one has been ruled in, and no one has been ruled out, as the perpetrator. Neil Entwistle is still considered address a person of interest in this investigation. However, reports that we have indicated that he is the only person of interest are not accurate."

Why -- why put out a statement like this?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I know it sounds so curious, doesn't it? Oh, they must have boogeyman who really did it.

That's not at all the case, Anderson. The Boston papers both wrongly published a statement that he had turned from a person of interest to the only person of interest. That was not the statement that came out of the district attorney's lips. She didn't ever issue a statement like that. So, this was just a correction, that he hadn't changed in her mind.

And, look, the -- the bottom line is, she has to be fair, not just look fair, but be fair. And if he suddenly becomes the only person of interest, that's the same as calling him the suspect. And she doesn't want to do that, because, as a prosecutor, she thinks it's unfair, especially at this point in time.

I give her credit, not only because the guy's life is on the line. I mean, he could face the rest of his life behind bars. But this is a potentially highly political case, where we have to worry about relations with Great Britain.

And, remember, Martha Coakley, the DA on this case, was the prosecutor on the Louise Woodward case, the so-called nanny trial, not -- I think nine years ago at this point, when -- when tensions between the countries became a very big problem for her in that prosecution, because of false claims, in my opinion, of unfair treatment of Louise Woodward.

So, she's very sensitive. I think this was the right thing to do, but it's not any big news of the day.

COOPER: Jayne, today, Entwistle returned to his parents' house. Why -- why show up again? I mean, where -- do you think he's doing the right thing?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Where else would he go? He's grieving for his wife and his baby. And he went back to -- to people that love him to take care of him.

COOPER: Well...

WEINTRAUB: And I don't think that the prosecutor issued that statement to be fair. I think the prosecutor issued that statement to lull him into a false sense of security.

COOPER: What -- what do you mean...

WEINTRAUB: And I don't think it's odd that he...

COOPER: ... to lure him back here somehow? WEINTRAUB: Absolutely.

And I don't think -- I don't think that it is odd anymore, given the media frenzy that's beginning here in the United States and the U.K., that he avoided the lynch mob at the funeral.

COOPER: Do you think it's surprising, Wendy, that he didn't make some sort of statement about -- you know, just to release some sort of condolences?

MURPHY: Yes, surprising? I mean, it is unconscionable that he wouldn't say: I loved them. I'm innocent.

Say anything at all. I mean, I think it speaks volumes that, not only is he, in my opinion -- and I'm not the DA, so I can think of him as the only suspect and say my opinion about that -- but I think it's -- it's pretty clear that he thinks the case against him is damn strong, and that's why he's not saying anything.

Look, it was reported early on that he did speak to police, not in the formal interrogation, where he refused. But, right away, when he landed in England, he called police and he talked to them. I think we forget that. His statements could be the thing that will damn him in this case. And he spoke to family members, Rachel's family members.

That's pretty good evidence. It almost doesn't matter what he said. That's the kind of stuff that you can make a really strong case with.

COOPER: Well, Jayne, another strong case would be made by anything they would find in the automobile, which they have impounded. That -- I mean, if they found something there, that would certainly undercut any defense he might have.

WEINTRAUB: If they found a casing that matched the bullet that's inside of -- of Rachel, yes, it would. Short of that, no, it wouldn't because, again, Anderson, almost any evidence that they're going to find, even blood of the baby -- I mean, babies get scrapes all the time.

Anything like that isn't going to be evidence that he's the killer. Only evidence of the gun, the weapon, the murder weapon, or the bullet, which would be the casing from the bullet, that would be evidence that he might be linked to...


COOPER: And, of course, the more time that passes, the more difficult that becomes.

We are going to talk about this more ahead. Stay with us, Jayne and Wendy, as well.

Just ahead, when the case goes to trial, if it goes to trial, if there is a case, will the defendant, whoever it is, try the insanity defense? And how well does that work? We're going to take a look at past cases to see that it's not always as easy as it may play out on TV.

Also, a nightmare at sea -- a ferry sinks, hundreds missing -- almost as many angry questions being asked.

And a young woman's life of sex slavery -- a story that is hiding in plain sight.

You're watching 360.



FLAHERTY: She was beautiful. She was intelligent. She loved to laugh and have fun. She was the essence of a -- a great wife and mother and sister.

She loved being a mother. Lily (ph) was the center of her life. Everybody who met her fell in love with her.


COOPER: More now -- more now on the Entwistle murders and the reappearance today of the husband, Neil Entwistle, in England.

Here again, we ought to point out he is -- he has neither been charged with any crime, nor named as a suspect in any crime. We will also repeat what Martha Coakley said today. Mr. Entwistle is not, she said, the only person of interest.

That said, not only is Mr. Entwistle a person of interest. He's an interesting person, both for what he has done and for what he reportedly said. According to a British paper, "The Sun," Neil Entwistle called Rachel Entwistle's family, saying -- and I quote -- "I can't remember how I got to England. Is it true Rachel and Lillian are dead?"

Some would put that down to shock. Others, especially a defense attorney, might also wonder if statements like these could sustain an insanity defense in front of a jury. We wonder that as well, about how well such defenses tend to work.


COOPER (voice-over): Exhibit A., Andrea Yates, who drowned her children in a bathtub. Jurors rejected Yates' insanity defense and found her guilty of capital murder.

That conviction was later overturned because of flawed testimony from the state's star witness, and she now sits in a state mental hospital, awaiting a retrial.

Exhibit B., Jeffrey Dahmer -- the insanity defense failed for him, even though he admitted to cannibalizing his victims and a head was found in his refrigerator. He couldn't convince a jury, however, that he was criminally insane. The fact is, criminal insanity pleas are rarely successful.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Insanity defenses almost always fail, because jurors react to it -- to it the way normal -- you know, they're just normal people. They say, come on. There -- there -- there's no -- it just sounds like an excuse.

COOPER: Take Dennis Rader, the BTK serial kill, who terrorized Wichita, Kansas.

DENNIS RADER, DEFENDANT: I handcuffed her, had her lay on the bed, and, then, I tied her feet.

COOPER: Rader is serving 10 consecutive life sentences, one for each person he brutally killed. He claimed he was possessed by demons, but a team of experts ruled, no, no insanity defense for him. He ended up pleading guilty. In fact, the insanity defense is used in less than 1 percent of all cases.

DANIEL ROBINSON, INSANITY DEFENSE EXPERT: The insanity defense is -- is rarely used. And, in fact, it fails more often than it succeeds.

COOPER: What does it mean to be legally insane? Consult a legal dictionary and you will find, under insanity defense -- quote -- "The defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts."

For example, in 1982, a jury concluded John Hinckley Jr. didn't understand that shooting President Reagan to impress actress Jodie Foster was wrong. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Some said he got away with murder. But did he?

PROFESSOR NORMAN GARLAND, SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: The fact is that people found not guilty by reason of insanity, except in the most infrequent of cases, are serving time in a mental institutions up to double what they would have if they had been found guilty originally.


COOPER: Joining us again, defense attorney Jayne Weintraub and former prosecutor Wendy Murphy.

Wendy, why are -- why is the insanity defense so rarely successful?

MURPHY: Perhaps because it so rarely is incredible.

You know, look, I think Andrea Yates was probably insane. I think that even Jeffrey Dahmer was probably insane on some level. But there's a big difference between being mentally ill and being unable to conform your conduct to the society's rules. Even the wackiest people know that -- know that you shouldn't kill somebody. You know, my 4-year-old knows right from wrong. So, it's a hard thing to -- to get your head around, if you're trying to forgive somebody something as serious as murder. But, you know, for this guy, he doesn't have a history -- which is the most important question to me -- he doesn't have a history of mental illness...

WEINTRAUB: You don't know.

MURPHY: ... let alone insanity.

Look, all the friends that are coming out of woodwork, saying he was a wonderful bloke, not one of them is saying, he was a little wacky. And I just got to laugh at the idea that he didn't know how he got to London. If he thinks that's planting an insanity defense, are you kidding me?

It's called a plane, first of all. And to think that this guy had the wherewithal to not only buy a one-way ticket, which I think shows a high degree of planning and awareness that he's not coming back because he did a very bad thing...

COOPER: But...

MURPHY: ... but he expects people to think he had no idea how he got there, and someone is going to buy that as an insanity defense? I don't think so.

COOPER: Jayne, what about that? And can someone who is insane buy a ticket, get on a plane, and take a flight?

WEINTRAUB: Sure. That doesn't mean that they don't know right from wrong at the time they're committing the offense. And that is the standard of a legal -- legally insane person.

You know, you could be crazy, literally, and not legally insane. It's such a high, high standard. But the reality of what happened here is, number one, there's no record of what was said, as being published only in one tabloid, as I understand it, in the London "Sun."

And, number two, if he did say it, and it was contrived, it was stupid. His lawyer should be having him evaluated psychologically anyway. And, number two, his lawyer should be telling him to shut up and get inside.

MURPHY: It's a little late for that.

Look, seven hours on a plane is a doozy of a blackout. And I don't even think you, Jayne, can turn that into something to use at trial. You're a fantastic defense attorney, but you're not a magician.


WEINTRAUB: Look, I wouldn't put on an insanity defense, unless I had psychiatrists who could back up what the psychiatric testimony would need to be.

Anybody who kills, at close range, their wife and 9-month infant child isn't all there, Wendy.

MURPHY: Yes. They -- well, they're just evil.


WEINTRAUB: And I'm not saying that he did it, because...

COOPER: Wendy...

WEINTRAUB: ... from what I'm seeing, there's no evidence anyway so far.

It is still in Boston, not Salem, Massachusetts. We are in Boston, Massachusetts.


WEINTRAUB: And you still need some evidence, even a scintilla, that he committed a crime.

COOPER: Also, Wendy, in this case, I mean, finding -- it seems like finding an actual time of death, which seems very important to -- to this timeline, to the sequence of events, may be impossible.

MURPHY: I don't know. I mean, I -- you know, in addition...

WEINTRAUB: It is now.

MURPHY: In addition to having been a prosecutor in this office, I also served as counsel to the chief medical examiner in Massachusetts.

So, I can agree with you, on the one hand, that time of death is almost never proved with precision, especially if a few days have passed. But you can bet that they have a few hours at this point...

WEINTRAUB: Wendy, they blew it.

MURPHY: ... a few hours within which they're pretty scientifically clear...

COOPER: Now, Jayne, why are you saying they blew it?

MURPHY: when she died.

WEINTRAUB: Well, because, if Wendy was chief counsel at the M.E.'s office, she will remember and she will know that, within the first 10 hours of death, you can very clearly tell, almost to the hour, how long someone has been dead by the state of the body, the skin, the rigor mortis, is the body cold, the temperature of the body.

When we used to go to murder scenes as well, that was first thing that they looked for, so they could establish a time of death. Once the first 24-hour period goes by...

COOPER: Right.

WEINTRAUB: ... you basically have lost it.

MURPHY: It does get more difficult.

WEINTRAUB: And it is also the only piece of evidence...

MURPHY: I'm not disagreeing with you that -- Jayne, I'm not disagreeing you that...

WEINTRAUB: Wendy, it's the only thing that could have exonerated him.

MURPHY: ... it gets more difficult after time passes. I'm saying it's not as murky...

COOPER: We're going...

MURPHY: ... as people are making it sound.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there.

Wendy Murphy, Jayne Weintraub, thanks. Good to see you.


COOPER: Appreciate your perspective.

MURPHY: Thank you.

COOPER: Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the other stories we're following right now -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Alabama, investigators believe arsonists are to blame for at least five of the six church fires that broke out between midnight and 3:00 a.m. today in two adjacent counties.

Three of the churches were destroyed. The FBI has opened a civil rights case to see if those fires were racially motivated. All but one of the churches have predominantly white congregations.

In Florida, federal investigators say the driver of a semi that slammed into a car which was stopped behind a school bus had been awake for more than 30 hours before the accident. You may recall, all seven children in the car from the same family were killed. A 15- year-old girl was behind the wheel at the time. There were no adults of the vehicle. Blood tests did not find any alcohol or drugs in the truck driver's system.

More progress for Randy McCloy -- he is the soul survivor of the Sago Mine disaster -- his family saying today, the 26-year-old miner has shown signs of trying to speak, but he is still unable to talk at this time. But he is more alert, they say, and also able to eat two to three meals a day with assistance.

And the rocker and the biker who have been making headlines for years making another one now -- they have parted ways. Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and rock star Sheryl Crow announcing tonight they split up. The power couple announced their engagement in September.

You can unleash the bicycle-built-for-two jokes now. Yes. Sad, a lot of breakups this week.

COOPER: You know -- yes, I guess. I -- how long -- I didn't know they were -- how long were they...

HILL: You're upset over it, aren't you? You can't even talk about it.

COOPER: Yes. I haven't been following it, to be honest.

HILL: I know. I understand.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, were they together long?

HILL: A few years, I think.


COOPER: You don't know, either.

HILL: I have no idea what I'm talking about.


COOPER: Erica, thanks very much.

People in the office were upset about it, though. I don't know why.

Mexican federal agents have captured one of the world's most wanted fugitives, a man the U.S. calls a foreign narcotics kingpin. Authorities say Oscar Arriola Marquez is the leader of a cartel that has smuggled more than two tons of cocaine a month into the U.S. since 2001. The DEA says the cartel also traffics marijuana and has drug -- drug cells in eight states.

Marquez is also accused of running one of the largest money- laundering operations in the entire world.

In the next hour on 360, we are going to take you inside the largest tunnel found just last month that was used to smuggle drugs into the U.S. It is uncertain whether Marquez was involved in its construction. That is still under investigation.

Stay with us for a special edition of 360, "Battle on the Border." That's coming up at the top of the hour.

A story that had to wait six decades for its final chapter. Coming up, an exclusive update on the identity of the airman found preserved in the ice of a Colorado glacier.

And 1,000 people remain missing tonight -- imagine that, 1,000 people -- after the sinking of a packed ferry on the Red Sea. Searchers are frantic and relatives desperate. The latest on the search in a live report -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, anyone who has ever had a loved one in uniform leave the house one day, never to come back, not even in a flag-draped coffin, will tell you that the not-knowing is the worst thing of all. Something happened, something awful and final, but what and where and when?

For one American family, that terrible not-knowing only ended just this week, after more than 60 years.

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez has this exclusive update on the case of the frozen airman.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a stunning discovery last October that opened up a World War II cold case unsolved for more than six decades.


GUTIERREZ: Here, entombed in a grave of ice and granite, 14,000 feet high in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, climbers found this 22- year-old frozen Army airman, still wearing a World War II uniform and an unopened silk parachute.

For 63 years, this young cadet remained in his icy grave. It would take the nation's top forensic scientists four months to unravel the mystery. They determined the airman must have been on one of more than two dozen military test flights that went down over the Sierra during World War II. The location of the remains told them, the airman was one of four men whose flight disappeared back in 1942.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are having a brother missing in action. And we are doing a DNA testing.

GUTIERREZ: Before the frozen airman could be identified, scientists would first have to collect blood samples from the families of the four missing men, then wait several more weeks for results.

Finally, one family we have been following in Jacksonville, Florida, heard the news they had hoped to hear.

ONA LEA MUSTONEN, NIECE OF LEO MUSTONEN: OK, fine. It -- would it be inappropriate to ask if it is my uncle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The preliminary is that it -- it is your uncle.



O. MUSTONEN: Thank you. Wow. OK. That's really great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if there's -- if there's anything else, (INAUDIBLE) You have my number.

O. MUSTONEN: OK. Thanks, Captain. OK, bye-bye.

I didn't think that would happen. It is him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is him? Oh, my gosh.


GUTIERREZ: It was literally a once-in-a-lifetime moment for Ona Lea and Leane Mustonen. The man who called them was from the Defense Department.

It turns out, the young man who had spent 63 years in ice at the bottom of a glacier was, in fact, Ona Lea and Leane's uncle, Leo Mustonen, an Army cadet who was 22 when his plane disappeared.

O. MUSTONEN: It's filling a pain and just bringing it all together. Just to know how somebody died or what happened to them, it stops the question mark.

GUTIERREZ: Their mother, Louella Mustonen, was married to Leo's brother.



O. MUSTONEN: .. smile.

MUSTONEN: Big, from ear to ear.


GUTIERREZ: She says he enlisted in the Army during his senior year in high school. He was training to become a navigator. His disappearance back in 1942 left such a void, his mother, Anna (ph), never got over it.

MUSTONEN: She cried every day. She waited for months, but there was nothing coming.

GUTIERREZ: Louella and her daughters, Ona Lea and Leane (ph), say they finally have answers after so many years.

O. MUSTONEN: A lot of joy for him, and for mom, for the whole family. And -- and I think and I think that's the one thing that has really gone through, just the sense of closure, that we know what happened to him. Maybe we have something from him, something as -- to remember him by and -- and, perhaps, a burial.

GUTIERREZ: And, so, the young cadet who spent 63 years buried in the Sierra will finally be laid to rest, along with the mystery of the frozen airman.


GUTIERREZ: Leo Mustonen's remains and a folder containing his personal belongings that he had with him when his plane went down, his shaver, fountain pen, the 51 cents he had in his pockets, and even his black plastic comb, will be returned to his family, perhaps within the next several days -- Anderson.

COOPER: It's just an incredible story. That it finally has resolution is great.

Thank you, Thelma.


COOPER: Appreciate it.

Lost at sea -- the desperate search to save lives. Coming up tonight, the frantic effort to find survivors of a ferry accident. Did the ship's age have anything to do with this disaster? We will investigate ahead.

Plus, smuggled into the United States, literally as sex slaves -- how girls are being sold and used by Americans.

Across America and around the world, this is 360.


COOPER: A manhunt continues for someone described as armed, dangerous, even suicidal. This man, 18-year-old Jacob Robida, is believed to be responsible for a hatchet and gun rampage at a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts, late Wednesday. We told you about it last night. It left three patrons wounded, one of them critically. Robida's friends say he had some strange beliefs. They say he spoked admiringly of Nazism and had a swastika tattoo.

But these friends claim he never expressed any particular hostility toward homosexuals.

One of the victims of the attack spoke out for the first time today.


ROBERT PERRY, VICTIM: The hatchet came so fast that I don't think I had time to think. But, when it hit my head, all of a sudden, I said, this is something really serious is happening here. And just about putting those thoughts together, and I heard the gunshot. And then it escalated to a -- a bigger thing. And then I was on the floor in a pool of blood. So, I -- at that point, I said, I guess I'm going to die, and this looks -- looks like the way it's going to end.


COOPER: Again, this is man being sought in the attacks in New Bedford, 18-year-old Jacob Robida, whom police call armed, dangerous, even suicidal.

Tonight, the United States has joined the international rescue effort to save more than 1,000 people from the frigid waters of the Red Sea. In one of the worst maritime disasters in memory, an Egyptian ferry carrying 1,400 passengers and crew sank earlier today. At least 340 survivors were rescued. So far, at least 100 bodies have been recovered. Hundreds of others remain lost at sea.

CNN's Cairo bureau chief, Ben Wedeman, is in Safaga, Egypt, with the latest -- Ben.


That boat went down about more than 24 hours ago. And, since then, it has been quite a scene of panic and unhappiness here, many hundreds, probably more than 1,000 people, many of them relatives of those passengers on the Salaam Boccaccio 98 ferry, coming here to try to get more information about those -- their loved ones.

Now, Egyptian officials are saying they were able to get 340 -- more than 340 people out of the water and into hospital. Now, I went to one of those hospitals, which is about 60 kilometers north of here, in the resort town of Hurghada.

I spoke with some of those survivors. And they told me that about, two-and-a-half-hours after the ferry left the port of Dubah in Saudi Arabia, they saw and smelled smoke. And that smoke smelled like it was coming, they said, from an electrical fire.

I also had the opportunity, Anderson, to speak with some people here who had gone on previous voyages on the very same ferry. They described a ferry that was antiquated, that was overcrowded with too many trucks, too many vehicles, and too many people.

Egyptian authorities have, of course, launched an investigation at the orders of President Hosni Mubarak. Obviously, there's a lot of pressure to get to the bottom of this disaster -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is so terrible.

Ben -- Ben Wedeman, thank you very much.

The ferry that sank was 35 years old, as Ben said. It was built in 1970. Now, the owner said the ship was fully compliant with maintenance regulations. However, the ferry was involved in at least one collision.

So, the question is, what could have gone wrong? Earlier, I spoke to Captain John Keever. He's with the California Maritime Academy. He joined me from a 500-foot training vessel, the Golden Bear. And we used the Telestrator to try to get a sense of what may have happened aboard this ship.


COOPER: So, Captain, we don't yet know what happened to this ship. But you say there have been -- historically been some problems with this kind of ferry. What kind of problems?

CAPTAIN JOHN KEEVER, VICE PRESIDENT, CAL MARITIME: Well, ferries of this type, which carry cars and people, don't always have a lot of subdivision inside the vessel. So, they can -- the watertight integrity is very important, because, if -- if water gets into the vessel, it can cause them significant problems very quickly.

COOPER: So, when some water gets in, it can really travel throughout the entire length of the ship?

KEEVER: Correct.

It -- once the water is in, the -- the watertight integrity is voided, and it -- the -- the -- not only does the water go from one end of the ship to the other, but it can also go back and forth in the ship , which starts to affect the stability of the ship.

COOPER: I'm -- I'm also looking at this picture. And -- and, I mean, there seems an awful lot of this ship, it seems by top-heavy. There's a lot of it out of the water. How much is actually underneath the water to stabilize it?

KEEVER: Well, in most cases, ferries of that nature are -- don't have a lot of draft under the water.

They want to have a shallow draft, so they can go into relatively small ports. And, in this particular case, it looks like it has got an exceedingly heavy topside. In fact, it even looks like there may have been some of the topside added on after the original construction of the vessel.

COOPER: Let's talk a little bit about what kind of life-saving equipment has to be on board a ship like this. You say life jackets are the most important.

KEEVER: Clearly, a -- a life jacket, similar to this one, for a -- from a passenger's point of view, is the most important thing.

When they go on to a ferry of that type, there are going to be bins that have life jacket labeled on them. There will be pictures that show them how to put the life jackets on. This is the only thing the passenger on his own can take care of on his own.

When you move beyond this, then you're going to need help from the crew. COOPER: And you're -- you're standing, I know, by your ship's lifeboats. We don't yet know whether lifeboats were -- were deployed on this ferry.

It could have happened so quickly. We can see the lifeboats in -- in the picture of the ship that we have. When the ship went down, what would have happened to the lifeboats? Do they go down with the ship?

KEEVER: Well, lifeboats are stored in davits, similar to the one you see here.

And the lifeboats are -- have to be hooked very tightly on to the ship, because, once the ship's at sea, it's going to be moving a lot. So, if -- if no crew member were to work on that lifeboat and the ship were to sink, that lifeboat would everything sink with the ship.

COOPER: You also mentioned that -- that maybe parts of the ship were added on to. In particular, this bridge section right here, you say may have been added on. Why does that matter? What -- what role might that play?

KEEVER: Well, when the ship was originally constructed, naval architects work out the stability of the ship, its ability to stay in an upright, floating condition.

And when you change the amount of weight that's in the bottom of the ship or on the top of the ship, you affect that stability.

COOPER: And -- and how tight are safety regulations on a ship like this?

KEEVER: They should be fairly tight, although they are regulated by the state -- the flag state of the vessel.

And in the case of that vessel, from what I saw on the Web site, it was registered in Panama. So, it would come under the regulations of that flag state for construction and inspection for -- to any changes or modifications to this ship, which are somewhat different than regulations that might be imposed on a vessel of that type in the United States or in Northern Europe.

COOPER: But if this boat is in the Middle East, and people are adding things on to it, it's -- it's up to Panamanians to -- to -- to investigate it?

KEEVER: Exactly. They would have to get authorization from the Panamanian inspection agency or -- and, sometimes, the Panamanian government, because it's a small government, would contract with classification societies to do the inspection on their behalf.

But that's true. It would be the rules and inspected by the Panamanian government.

COOPER: Well, as I said, we don't know what -- what caused this, but we certainly have a lot to talk about. And you have given us a lot to think about.

Captain, thank you.

KEEVER: Thanks for having me.


COOPER: Well, helicopters, planes and ships are now scanning the sea, searching for hundreds of survivors. It is a very difficult mission, to say the least. That's under the best of circumstances. Sadly, that is not what rescuers are dealing with tonight. The conditions are terrible.

CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano is live from Atlanta with more -- Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, the winds have blowing all day, Anderson, as you can imagine, the seas, very rough, although the winds have calmed down a little bit tonight, down to about 15 miles an hour. And, tomorrow, it looks to be a little bit more tranquil, as far as the winds are concerned.

You know, this is the time of year over there where the heat of the desert and the summer sun is replaced with the potential for blinding and -- and sometimes deadly windstorms. That's exactly what happened at the time of this -- of this sinking.

Here you go. Here's -- here's the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia. Here's Egypt. And this comma-shaped cloud is something we might see in the states, a typical storm system. Over in the desert, it comes across dry. This starts about last night, when the -- when the -- the ship sank, and ends about six hours ago.

Behind this, behind these clouds, that's where the wind is. And before the sinking, there were reports of sandstorms on the -- on the African or the Egypt side of -- of the Red Sea, on the eastern side after the sinking. So, it seemed to have taken place right around when the worst weather was.

This picture was taken earlier today, when they were out looking and searching on -- on their rescue mission -- tough to get a handle on things, but you can see there are still some very big swells here, probably 10- or 15-foot swells, with whitecaps on top of that.

All right, let's take a little tour of the Red Sea, give you an idea of what exactly it's like. You know, it -- it's not a big lake. This is a sea. We start you down at the Horn of Africa, the southern part. This is actually very nice down here, some world-class diving. Temperatures of the water could be 85, 90 degrees in the summertime.

You go midway up, on one side, you have Sudan. On the other side, you have Mecca, where many -- many folks make their pilgrimage. And then you go a little bit farther north, towards -- up towards the Suez Canal. And that's when the water gets a little bit tricky. The currents get a little bit more tricky, and the water temperatures also get a little bit more cold. At times, there are spots where this sea is 7,000-feet deep. So, we're not talking about a big lake. It is, for sure, a sea.

All right. So, folks who -- who are in the water, possibly right now, how long do they have to survive? Well, if they have a flotation device of some sort, and temperatures are in the 70s, well, they could last out there quite a long time, if you're in good health, possibly indefinitely.

Temperatures, though, probably, where this sinking happened, probably somewhere 65 -- 60 to 70 degrees. So, they have roughly a day-and-a-half, to maybe two days, to get those folks, if they have survived, out of the water.

Fifty to 60 -- just to give you an idea -- you only have six hours. And then in -- temperatures in the 40s, we are looking at up to three hours, as far as a survival time.

So, still have some time to play with, Anderson. As mentioned, tomorrow should be a little bit more calm, as far as the winds are concerned. And it will be a sunny day. So, visibilities will be good as well. When these sandstorms kick in, as you can imagine -- and you have experienced it as well -- the visibilities are horrifying.

So, tomorrow promises to be a better day, after a -- a tragic day today. That's for sure.

COOPER: Yes, terrible. The searches continue.

Rob, thanks.

For many immigrants, the United States is a land of opportunity. But, for some, it is the place where they were forced into slavery. Coming up, a disturbing story of human trafficking into America, right across our borders -- where Mexican women and children are promised jobs, they are instead turned into prostitutes. We are going to take you inside the crime and the crackdown -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, slavery in this country was supposed to have ended more than a century ago, but the troubling thing is, it is still vibrant today. The Justice Department says that as many as 17,500 people are bought and sold each year in the United States. Some of the victims were -- were simply searching what -- for what we all want, a good life, with many opportunities. But they were forced to do the unthinkable, to give up their bodies for prostitution.

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez investigates.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a hidden crime.

ALEX (through translator): Yes, I believe we were slaves.

GUTIERREZ: From secret residential brothels in the city. ALEX (through translator): They wouldn't let us leave or go anywhere.

GUTIERREZ: To brothels in agricultural fields.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of these women, they are here against their will.

GUTIERREZ: Women are being bought and sold.

HEIDI RUMMEL, ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: It's a very lucrative crime. And that's why people are willing to exploit other human beings.

GUTIERREZ: It's called human trafficking. And only drugs and guns generate more money for organized crime. Meet Alex (ph).

ALEX (through translator): The woman who brought me here told me I would work in a restaurant and I would pay her off with my labor.

GUTIERREZ: Instead, Alex was forced to pay off her debts with her body. We can't show you her face because she's a federal witness in the case against her captors.

ALEX (through translator): We were thinking, my God, we're all going to die here.

GUTIERREZ: Alex was smuggled from Mexico through the desert to a house here in Los Angeles, where her dreams were shattered.

ALEX (through translator): They didn't tell me what was going to happen. They just told me, you're going to go with this man.

GUTIERREZ: It was a frightening realization. The restaurant job was a farce. Alex and a dozen others, including two 14-year-old girls, were forced to work as prostitutes.

ALEX (through translator): We were working 24 hours. It didn't matter if we were sleeping. They would get us up. If we were hungry, there was no time to eat. All that mattered was their money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the drop-off sites.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming in this way.

GUTIERREZ: Sheriff's Deputy Rick Castro leads a small strike force against human traffickers. We follow the team as they conduct ongoing surveillance of an agricultural a field in the suburbs of San Diego.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got more activity out there.

GUTIERREZ: Deputy Castro and Sergeant Marcos Ramirez told me it's common for traffickers to set up brothels for migrant workers.

RICK CASTRO, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Only the customers will be coming in.

GUTIERREZ: Here, we watched from atop a mountain ridge.

CASTRO: The girls will generally bring in little pieces of carpet.

GUTIERREZ: On this night, our camera captures several people running into the field.

CASTRO: These kind of operations are pretty common.

GUTIERREZ: Deputy Castro is an expert in trafficking. He says, in the past three years, he has noticed a marked increase in traffic victims and they're not easy to identify.

CASTRO: Unfortunately, when I first started interviewing some of these victims, I didn't know what human trafficking was. And I let a lot of victims -- when I think back, I let a lot of victims go.

GUTIERREZ: It is a transient operation, where women are brought to the fields. They disappear into a grove of trees. This is where business is conducted, through the bush and on the ground.

SERGEANT MARCOS RAMIREZ, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: They're out there in this bush doing it because they have to.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): And if they don't want to or if they try to run away?

RAMIREZ: They will be dealt with severely by the persons who are basically the ones that we're after.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Castro says punishment for running away is brutal.

CASTRO: These girls will get raped violently. They will got sodomized, beaten very badly. And, in one case specifically, I remember that the female was beaten with a clothes hangar for about two hours. And just by witnessing this torture for two hours, those girls will have that lasting impression for the rest of their life. And they will never, ever go against that trafficker.

RUMMEL: The youngest girl at this house was 14 years old.

GUTIERREZ: Heidi Rummel is an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

RUMMEL: October, she had 80 clients, in November, 91, in December, 97.

GUTIERREZ: She shows us the journal of a young victim who was forced to prostitute herself here in a house without windows.

(on camera): Why do you think it was important to keep these journals? RUMMEL: Because the defendant had promised them that, when they left, he would pay them for the clients they had serviced. They didn't receive money during the time that they were working here.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Over four months, the girl was forced to have sex with 274 clients. Her trafficker, Sammy Chung (ph), is now serving 12 1/2 years in federal prison.

From Texas to New Jersey to California, international trafficking rings have been busted across the country. As of February of this year, the Justice Department has 203 open trafficking investigations.

ALEX (through translator): I would get sad at times, because I would imagine my dreams escaping like water through my hands.

GUTIERREZ: Alex is convinced that many of the clients knew that she and the others were being forced to sell themselves, but didn't care.

ALEX (through translator): To the men, I have so little to say. I hope they will take a step back and think, especially if they have children or daughters. I don't think they would like to see their daughters in those places.

GUTIERREZ: For her traffickers, Alex was a reusable commodity who could be used over and over again, just like the women we see here running across the field on a degrading journey that may have no end.


COOPER: Well, that was just one aspect of the widespread sex trade. Earlier this week, we told you about the trafficking of children in Tijuana, which we saw for ourselves at the beginning of the week.

Tonight, we have an update. After our piece ran, Mexican officials received a tip from a viewer who had seen the story. That tip led to the arrest of at least one American man who was caught making pornography with three little girl in Tijuana. That man is now in jail. And those three little girls are safe tonight.

And, as I mentioned on the blog earlier this evening, for that, we are extremely grateful.

In the next hour, we will show you some of the other disturbing activity happening at the border. And we will take you inside the largest drug smuggling tunnel ever found between the U.S. and Mexico.


COOPER: A few items "On the Radar" tonight, stories you might be talking about next week.

A viewing on Monday in what's expected to be a public outpouring of affection for the late Coretta Scott King takes place at the old Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, made famous, of course, by her husband and father-in-law. This weekend, her body lies in repose in the Rotunda of the Georgia State Capitol.

Also, on Monday, coal mines across the country are expected to take a cue from the nation's top mine regulator. David Dye is asking for a one-hour shutdown, so mine operators can review safety procedures.

And Michael Stipe, the lead singer of REM, is releasing a new E.P. to keep the plight of Katrina survivors in the public eye. He will join us on the program Monday night to talk about that.

In the headlines next week, it's "On the Radar" tonight.

The Department of Homeland Security wants your help tonight in finding who built a tunnel recently discovered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents under U.S.-Mexico border. The 2,400-foot tunnel is the longest ever found under the border. It spans from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego, California. More than two tons of marijuana were found inside.

Investigators have now set up a bilingual toll-free 24-hour hot line for anyone who has information about the construction and use of this tunnel. Take a look at the number. It's 1-877-9-TUNNEL. That's 1-877-9-TUNNEL.

Ahead, we're going to have a special report, "Battle on the Border." We will take you inside that tunnel underneath the U.S.- Mexico line. It's a firsthand look you can't get anywhere else.

First, we want to thank our international viewers for watching.

Coming up next, stay with 360, "Battle on the Border."



© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines