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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Christian Activist Killed in Iraq

Aired March 10, 2006 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, 360: Larry, thanks very much. We begin this evening with some very bad news indeed, just confirmed by CNN. Tom Fox, the only American among four Christian activists kidnapped last year in Iraq has been killed. According to the State Department, the FBI has verified that a body found in Iraq on Friday was, in fact, that of the 54-year-old Fox of Clear Brook, Virginia. His family has been notified. A State Department spokesman said, quote, our heartfelt condolences go out to them.
There was no information, however, on the other three hostages. The Christian peace maker's team released a statement about 30 minutes ago. It begins, quote, in grief we tremble before God who wraps us with compassion. The death of our beloved colleague and friend pierces us with pain. The group goes on to say, in response to Tom's passing, we ask that everyone set aside inclinations to vilify or demonize others no matter what they have done. In Tom's own words, we reject violence to punish anyone. We ask that there be no retaliation on relatives or property. We forgive those who consider us their enemies.

We are joined now in Virginia by John Surr, an old church friend of Tom Fox's who remained in e-mail contact with him while he was in Iraq. We appreciate you being with us and very sorry for your loss.

JOHN SURR, FRIEND OF TOM FOX: Thank you.

COOPER: What was Tom doing in Iraq? What was his mission?

SURR: He was with the Christian peace makers' teams. These are pacifists whose believe in going into danger and standing between the two sides and doing what they can to make things better. It's kind of like the firemen who went up the twin towers on 9/11. I mean, Tom was the sort of man who was willing to give his life. He was willing to go in there at all costs.

COOPER: And he knew the dangers.

SURR: He did. He was fully aware.

COOPER: What kind of a guy was he?

SURR: A wonderful, very kind, loving guy. He worked a lot with our young people, our teenagers. He was a musician. He was a -- well, he was the clerk of our Quaker meeting before I was. And he was --

COOPER: Did you -you'd known him for some 20 years.

SURR: Oh, yes.

COOPER: You must have worried tremendously about him.

SURR: Well, we knew that he was doing what he felt was the right thing, what he felt was fulfilling his life's purpose.

COOPER: And as a religious man, how do you explain what happened to him?

SURR: Oh, well, it was a very sad combination of his chances. He lived there for almost two years in Baghdad with no air conditioning and no electricity, with the Iraqis in an apartment building, with no flack jacket, no armed guards and...

COOPER: He lived without armed guards in Baghdad?

SURR: In Baghdad, and thrived. And people loved the Christian peacemakers there. After Tom was abducted, we got messages from all over the world especially from the Muslim community, saying what a wonderful thing that he had been doing. Actually his work in Baghdad was to help the Iraqis try to find out what had happened to family member who had been abducted.

COOPER: Do you think -- you know, if he's looking down on what has happened to him, do you think he would have regrets about having gone to Iraq?

SURR: Oh, no.

COOPER: Really?

SURR: Oh, no, the work of the Christian peace making teams is going on in Baghdad as we speak. And it's very valuable work. It's very, very sad that he has died, but the work is saving lives and is helping people rebuild a society that has fallen apart.

COOPER: Well, again, I'm so sorry for your loss and all those who knew him and I appreciate you coming in and just talking about him a little bit. Thank you very much.

SURR: Thank you.

COOPER: We are expecting a press conference perhaps at some point throughout this hour and we will bring you elements of that press conference.

Another story tonight to tell you about out of New York. What may be a major setback in the hunt for a sadistic killer. The victim was this young woman. Imette St. Guillen, a criminology student, 24 years old. She was murdered last month. Her body was dumped here right on the spot, an isolated spot outside New York City. She was wrapped in a quilt. She'd been raped. She'd been sodomized, bound with tape, her hair cut, sock stuffed down her throat. Take a look. This was the bar where she spent her last night alive. It is closed down right now. It may never reopen. There was someone else at the bar with her. That's what the bar looks like right now, a live shot. There was someone else in the bar with her that night, a bouncer, a man who lied about his past, hiding his long criminal record, drug convictions, armed robbery, but no history of violence toward women. Darryl Littlejohn, he is the only person of interest. Police took forensic evidence from the crime scene and they wanted to see if it matched up with his DNA. They're also comparing the evidence of carpet fibers from his home and the seats from his van.

Tonight police have reportedly have their forensic results and it may not be what they were hoping for. Joining me now from New York is "New York Daily News" reporter William Sherman. He has new information on those tests. William, appreciate you being with us. You have been reporting extensively on this case and reporting what appeared to be results in some of the tests that the NYPD has been conducting. Let's talk about those tests. First, the carpet fibers found in the tape, are they a match to the carpet in Littlejohn's apartment?

WILLIAM SHERMAN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Yes, the fibers found on the tape that was used to mask her mouth did match the fibers found on the carpet in Littlejohn's house. One problem there, however, is that that is a very common carpet. But the match was a piece of evidence that the police welcomed.

COOPER: They've also tested, I understand, the blanket in which Imette's body was wrapped. What have you learned about those tests?

SHERMAN: Well, her body was wrapped in a blanket. There was semen on the blanket, but unfortunately the semen on the blanket was somebody else's, not Littlejohn's and did not match Littlejohn's DNA which the state has had on file since 2000.

COOPER: We've got a picture, I believe, of this blanket. Where did the blanket come from, do you know?

SHERMAN: The blanket reportedly came from the bar.

COOPER: OK. So it's possible wherever it had been used previously that is where the semen would have come from?

SHERMAN: Precisely.

COOPER: What other DNA tests have come back as inconclusive?

SHERMAN: The police have gathered Littlejohn's belongings, several cartons in sacks of material from the Falls bar and so far, as we understand it, there has been no positive match. Now, there's something very interesting about DNA, and that is that they look for markers called loci. And they would like to have at least 10. Thirteen is great, seven is a starting point. They have not hit that point where they're confident that they have more than 10 loci or markers matching Littlejohn's DNA. But the biggest setback for the police so far has been, yesterday when a 22-year-old Japanese woman who had previously identified Littlejohn in a photo lineup as having raped her last October, yesterday she went in an actual physical lineup before six men. She stared Littlejohn right in the face through a two-way mirror and said that he was not the man. In fact, she thought that perhaps somebody else had done it. All six men were first in profile, then head on. They had baseball caps turned on backward and at the end of the lineup their they were each asked in turn to say shut up, which apparently is what the 22-year-old woman recalled her rapist as having said and she couldn't identify him.

COOPER: Given that lineup, given what has resulted from the DNA testing thus far, do you get any sense that the New York City police department are backing off their interest in Littlejohn?

SHERMAN: No, I don't. What you have here is a case, not just with the rape of Ms. St. Guillen, but two -- actually three others that they're considering, is -- and I hate to use this term, but a very sophisticated and knowledgeable rapist. There is no semen found inside the women. There are no traces. He apparently -- whoever the rapist is, in at least one case has actually used baby wipes to wipe the women down to remove any or at least what he thinks are any possible traces of his DNA. So it's -- this person, this man whoever is doing these rapes, and it might be more than one man, is a very, very careful a and the police department, in a way, have met their match.

COOPER: And we're going to examine that aspect of the crime coming up. William Sherman, from "Daily News," appreciate your joining us. Thank you very much.

SHERMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: My next guest is a forensic scientist at the school where Imette St. Guillen was a student. She's also -- he is also a crime scene expert. Lawrence Kobilinsky joins me now from New York. Lawrence, thanks for being with us today.

LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Good evening.

COOPER: Professor, let me ask you, we just heard from William Sherman that a lot of the evidence, that the tests have returned results that were really not what the police were hoping for, inconclusive at this point. You say some of those results not surprising. Why?

KOBILINSKY: Well, in my experience, when we deal with fingernail scrapings in rape cases, it is very common that the profile that comes back is that of the victims, even if the victim scratched the assailant. And the reason for that has to do with the difference in amount of the victim's DNA relative to the perpetrator's DNA. There's what we would refer to as a masking effect, so that what you see is the female DNA and not the male DNA. Now, I think -- COOPER: That's because when someone, say, is being strangled they might touch their own neck at the same time as touching the perpetrator?

KOBILINSKY: Well, there is such a thing as touch DNA, but what I'm -- which is where you can pick up a very tiny quantity of DNA, perhaps even six or seven cells using a very sophisticated technique called low copy number. Be I want to focus on the DNA under the fingernails because we know that she fought back. He she fought her attacker. Her fingernails were broken and presumably she scratched her assailant. And the thing is, is perhaps they could not pick up these loci that we just heard about. However, if they move to another kind of test called YSTR testing, they will see the male component and it could very well be that there will be information that will either include Mr. Littlejohn or exclude Mr. Littlejohn. There is other testing that needs to be done with DNA and we need to be very cautious and patient because these tests do take some time.

COOPER: There's also a lot of still outstanding questions. One of the things you focus on is Littlejohn's cell phone. Where does that fit into the investigation?

KOBILINSKY: Well, Anderson, this is -- of course, we would call it circumstantial evidence, but as we have all heard, his cell phone was active in Queens near his apartment or from his apartment, from his house, but it was also active in the vicinity of Brooklyn where the body was discarded or dumped. And it is very circumstantial, but the question is, is what is Mr. Littlejohn doing at that site where the body was dumped at approximately the time that the body was dumped, a couple of -- several hours earlier. But nevertheless, it adds up to some very -- it's circumstantial but it points in a direction.

COOPER: And in terms of just the meticulousness of this and the possible cleaning up of the crime, the wiping down of her body, I mean, sir, this is like a CSI effect.

KOBILINSKY: There's no doubt about it. People talk about the CSI effect mainly that jurors hold prosecutors to a higher standard. They expect high tech. But what I'm talking about with the CSI effect is that criminals are learning what law enforcement can do by watching television, reading newspapers and going to the movies and they're learning from their colleagues in prison.

COOPER: So she was actually cleaned up?

KOBILINSKY: She was cleaned up. In fact, in the other rape cases that we have heard about in Queens and in Elmont, New York, one of the victims was actually forced into the shower so that any physical evidence, including semen would be removed and the other victim was forced to clean herself with these baby wipes. Imette was also cleaned, so that there would be no semen found. This guy is smart. No question about it.

COOPER: And so disturbing, Professor Kobilinsky, appreciate you being on the program. Thank you. KOBILINSKY: My pleasure.

COOPER: As Professor Kobilinsky said, CSI has really changed everything, not only what juries expect and what criminals know and do. It is certainly a frightening thought that criminals are watching the same TV shows that we all are but they're taking notes. CNN's Ted Rowlands has more on what police are calling the CSI effect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FROM CBS: What am I smelling?

Bleach?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this episode of "CSI" the killer uses bleach to cover up a double murder.

FROM CBS: There's no footprints; there's no handprints.

ROWLANDS: In (INAUDIBLE) Ohio, a real life killer does the same thing, uses bleach to clean up after murdering a 43-year-old woman and her 70-year-old mother. It turns out, according to court documents, the alleged Ohio killer liked to watch "CSI" possibly learning that bleach gets rid of DNA by watching TV.

FROM CBS: The killer poured bleach down all the drains.

Suck another life out of DNA.

CAPT. RAY PEAVY, LOS ANGELES CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT: It's showing the crooks how not to get caught.

ROWLANDS: Captain Ray Peavy runs one of the homicide unit in Los Angeles County. He says "CSI " and other shows make it more difficult to nab criminals because, after watching these shows and seeing the incredible science investigators are using, criminals are cleaning up.

PEAVY: Things like cigarette butts, blood, semen, hairs, all those things that used to be left, you know, I won't say regularly but they weren't certainly not cleaned up after them, those things are no longer being left at crime scenes.

BARRY FISHER, DIRECTOR, LOS ANGELES CO. CRIME LAB: So we'll take a look in here in our identification or fingerprint section.

ROWLANDS: This is the Los Angeles County crime lab, a real CSI unit where they do a lot of the same stuff you see on TV, analyzing bullet fragments, blood, fingerprints and just about anything else they can find at a crime scene.

FISHER: This stuff is really cool. People are absolutely fascinated about using science to solve crimes.

ROWLANDS: Barry Fisher, a criminalist in this lab for 30 years, thinks shows like "CSI" may teach criminals a thing or two, but he says it won't do them any good. FISHER: It's categorically impossible to remove all of the evidence that somebody's going to leave at a crime scene. They may try but they're not going to succeed in covering it all up.

ROWLANDS: Shows like "CSI" are not only being blamed for educating criminals, but also for tainting juries. Prosecutors from around the country say they are losing cases because some jurors show up wanting to see overwhelming physical evidence, just like they see on TV. Larry Pozner, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver, says jurors' expectations have changed.

LARRY POZNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The result of the CSI effect is that jurors want more evidence. When they don't get it, they become very suspicious.

ROWLANDS: Can a TV show really have this much affect on the criminal justice system? Elizabeth Devine is a co-executive producer for "CSI Miami." She used to be a criminalist in the LA crime lab. She rejects the notion that shows like hers have changed criminals or jurors.

ELIZABETH DEVINE, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CSI MIAMI: It underestimates a little bit the intelligence of our audience and the American people if they are -- or if people are believing that they can't tell the difference between a television drama and reality.

ROWLANDS: As for that real life Ohio double homicide case, in true Hollywood fashion, the cops found their main suspect hiding in this house. 26-year-old Germaine McKinney, the one police say learned from "CSI" how to cover his tracks was arrested after allegedly trying to use one of the victim's credit cards. McKinney put up a fight but just like most "CSI" episodes, in the end, the alleged killer is taken away in handcuffs. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Fascinating. We have new developments tonight in the case of the dead beat dad and his girlfriend on the run. The low-rent Bonnie and Clyde have made a, well, they've made a most wanted list now. We have new information on why she's wanted as well. Turns out she once tried to have her ex-husband rubbed out. We're following their trail.

And keeping them honest in the wake of Katrina, tonight, why isn't FEMA disclosing the criminal records of some displaced evacuees? We'll show you what one Louisiana sheriff is doing about it. Tonight, he is keeping them honest.

And two pregnant women terrorized by road rage. A harrowing incident, all of it caught on tape. Those stories and more when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

WOMAN: Oh my God. We're both pregnant.

OPERATOR: Oh my God.

WOMAN: What do we do? What do we do?

(END AUDIO TAPE)

COOPER: Caught on tape, a harrowing road rage incident. Two pregnant women were targeted by a driver out of control. That's story's coming up.

But first, fresh details tonight about the dead beat dad who promised to help his ill son by donating a kidney. His father was a perfect match. Instead, dad got out of jail and disappeared. Byron Perkins, that's his name, that's his picture and that's his girlfriend, Lee Ann Howard. They are now on the U.S. marshal's most wanted list and tonight we have learned an awful lot about Lee Ann Howard. What a story she is. If you thought dad was a loser, what until you hear what we've heard about his gal pal. CNN's Susan Candiotti is on their trail.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sure, his mom Lee Ann Howard has had run-ins with the law, but son Eric never thought she'd make anyone's most wanted list.

ERIC HOWARD, LEE HOWARD'S SON: I've just always thought of her as my mom. I never really thought of her as a run away criminal so this is sort of a weird way to think of her.

CANDIOTTI: His mom is now a Federal fugitive, last seen in Mexico with boyfriend Byron Perkins, the runaway dad who skipped out on bond after promising a kidney to his ailing son. Jailhouse phone calls obtained by CNN show how Lee Ann Howard was love struck by her imprisoned boyfriend Byron Perkins. The couple talked about packing medicine and getting money and clothes and, oh, yes, romance.

LEE ANN HOWARD: I love you, Byron.

BYRON PERKINS: Yeah.

HOWARD: Just don't sound like you do anymore.

PERKINS: I do.

CANDIOTTI: Howard's criminal record doesn't quite match her boyfriend's but police say they're quite a pair.

SGT. GARY MARTIN, KENTUCKY STATE POLICE: Apparently these are some real -- they deserve each other. That's the way I can sum it up.

CANDIOTTI: Kentucky State Police Sergeant Gary Martin led a team that arrested Howard in 2002 in a murder for hire plot to kill her ex- husband for insurance money. CNN exclusively obtained these images of Howard from a hidden camera tape shot by police. It helped convict her. The man she hired to kill her husband was an undercover cop. On tape she tells him, quote, I want him taken care of.

MARTIN: It was a $200,000 double indemnity policy that if it looked like an accident, that she would collect $200,000.

CANDIOTTI: Howard received a seven-year sentence on the murder for hire plot. Police say she did about six months and was released on probation. Now U.S. marshals say she's wanted for skipping out on state charges of robbery, drug trafficking, and being a repeat felony offender. Eric, who now lives with his grandmother, says when he was younger, his mom's life in and out of jail threw him at first.

ERIC HOWARD: It was really sort of an eye opener to what she was really like. But I was still living with her so I had no choice but to look at her as my mother. And now that I'm older and away from her and I see all of this on TV and all the news that's happened, it's -- I see her differently.

CANDIOTTI: Howard's 19-year-old son says Byron Perkins was nice to him and to his mom. But how Perkins is now treating his son Destin --

ERIC HOWARD: He needs a kidney and I can't believe Byron would do this and he wouldn't give his son a kidney.

CANDIOTTI: Perkins' own mother is mortified. What do you tell Destin about his father and what he did.

BARBARA BARR, BYRON PERKINS MOTHER: I want Destin to know that I'm very sorry for what his dad did to him. And that we will find him a kidney some way or somehow.

CANDIOTTI: Because of Destin, U.S. marshals are pushing their search for the couple in Mexico. Newspapers there are starting to spread the word.

RICK McCUBBIN, U.S. MARSHAL: It's like Kentucky's version of a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. You know, it's a couple that are in love. They're on the run. They're committing crime. Who knows how that will end.

CANDIOTTI: A mother's son in Kentucky is making a plea.

ERIC HOWARD: Turn yourself in, why did you do this? You know we need you to turn yourself in because they're going through a lot of crap because of you, everyone is.

CANDIOTTI: Susan Candiotti, CNN, Louisville, Kentucky.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You got to feel for the kids in this case. You can see now why the U.S. marshals are now giving this case the highest priority. Earlier we spoke with Dawn, his guardian, a deputy U.S. marshal in Louisville.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So, Dawn, you've added Byron Perkins and his charming girlfriend Lee Ann Howard to your top 15 most wanted list. What is the significance of the upgrade? Does that actually help you catch fugitives more?

DAWN IZGARJAN, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE: It helps us in a lot of ways. It helps us raise the priority. We have access to more resources, to more funds, manpower, helps us work with the national law enforcement and with international law enforcement personnel.

COOPER: We know Perkins is a career criminal. His girlfriend Lee Ann Howard, she's got quite a record as well. We've got some pictures of her from this hidden camera where she was busted in 2002 for trying to have her ex-husband killed. What is Howard currently wanted for?

IZGARJAN: She's currently wanted on those outstanding charges of the conspiracy to commit murder. She's wanted on a robbery first charge. She's wanted on trafficking marijuana, cocaine charge and the persistent felony offender charge.

COOPER: I also understand she's got a stab wound, an old stab wound in her back. I mean, they sound like just a charming, great couple. Are they considered armed and dangerous?

IZGARJAN: You know, Anderson, they are considered armed and dangerous. At this time we don't know if they have any weapons. But they -- we would consider that they would have -- there's a possibility and definitely we consider them to be dangerous.

COOPER: The last time we spoke, you'd received a lead from a couple. They were watching this on CNN. They had actually met Perkins and Howard down in Mexico. They saw the fugitives' photos on called CNN. They called it in. How is the search going? Are there any more leads?

IZGARJAN: We have received several leads and each one has -- is in the process of being investigated and we appreciate all the callers that have called in to the tip lines.

COOPER: I was saying I don't know how you do this job because I was convinced last week that -- I mean, seemed like you guys were just on the brink of catching them with these people calling in. Do you think they're still in Mexico?

IZGARJAN: I believe that they're still in Mexico. There's really no reason for them to come back yet, doesn't seem like he ever has any intention of coming back.

COOPER: And Howard is insulin dependent. So she's got to be getting injections every day, right?

IZGARJAN: That's true from my understanding.

COOPER: In your career, have you ever come across anything like this? I mean, you probably dealt with a lot of low lifes. But for a dad to go on the run when he could have given his son the life-saving kidney has got to be about the lowest.

IZGARJAN: I agree. This guy had a chance to do the right thing and he just takes off and leaves his son.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Just boggles the mind. If you have a tip for authorities, here's the number to call, 1-800-CRIMETV. It is free if you're calling from Mexico, the U.S. or Canada. Take an up close look at those two.

Coming up, Dubai ports deal, it may be dead, but if you think that means no Arab companies are running sensitive U.S. sites, think again. We'll tell you the real story ahead. But first Erica Hill from Headline news has some of the other top stories tonight. Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a development today in the case of Vice President Cheney's one-time chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby. A Federal judge ordered the government to produce secret White House notes to help Libby's attorneys fight the charges against him, those charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The order sets the stage for a possible clash with the Bush administration over executive privilege.

FEMA said today it is extending a deadline for benefit applications by a month in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to give non-English-speaking hurricane victims more time to seek help. The agency is worried large numbers of Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking victims in the state that bore the brunt of the storm haven't yet sought help.

Two pregnant women are luckily OK tonight after their vehicle was rammed and then pinned to a wall in suburban Detroit. This from another guy in an SUV that was pushing them into a wall. The attacker later charged with drunken driving and felony assault with a motor vehicle. His motive remains unclear. Police said, quote, we couldn't comprehend what he was blabbering.

Well, finally for you, your maximum daily adult requirement of cute. Sixteen baby pandas frolicking at custom made playground in China. I mean, how cute is that? The facility set up by China's research center for panda protection. They really are adorable.

COOPER: Oh, Erica, I see your cute pandas and I raise you a monkey and a dog.

HILL: Yes! I love it. Ben is kind of panda like because he's black and white. Ben of the dog. And don't forget Anderson, I hope you have your tickets because whiplash the monkey and Ben the dog appearing tomorrow in Austin, 3:30. (INAUDIBLE)

COOPER: All right. Well, I don't think I'm going to be able to make it. Maybe it'll come to the big city in New York, thanks, Erica, thanks.

Coming up just ahead, the United Arab Emirates postpones trade talks with the U.S. Coincidence or fallout from the scuttled ports deal. What do you think?

Here's something else to wonder about. Who's being paid millions to supply U.S. Navy ships in the Middle East? You will not believe what we found.

Also tonight, a terror warning for the NCAA basketball tournament. The FBI issues the alert. We'll tell you why and where the threat may be coming from.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, the port deal -- political earthquakes often have aftershocks, and some say that is what happened today when a Dubai- owned company decided to pull out of a deal to manage U.S. ports. Well, the decision got rid of one problem for President Bush, but the question is, did it create another?

The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, is in trade talks with the U.S., and the latest round of negotiations were supposed to happen on Monday. Not anymore. That is not the only news today.

Here's CNN's Brian Todd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In these CNN exclusive pictures, rows of GM and Ford cars and trucks not in Detroit but in Dubai -- warehouses, cranes, containers from every corner of the world, a bus strapped to a container on a ship, images of a power house of transshipment, tourism, trade. The question now, will the U.S. continue to be a major partner with the United Arab Emirates?

At stake last year, $10 billion in trade, money that could balloon if both nations sign off on a free trade agreement. Experts tell CNN the postponement of high-level trade talks after the port deal collapse is not coincidence. Those involved in the negotiations don't make that link.

REEM AL-HASHIMY, UAE COMMERCIAL ATTACHE TO U.S.: And that's just a minimal postponement, and we don't see it as in any way delaying the process.

AMB. ROB PORTMAN, U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: Because I think the issue really was more a question of security rather than investment or trade.

TODD: Here's another question of security in this relationship. CNN has learned Emirates-based Inchcape Shipping Services landed a $50 million contract last year to provide fuel and food for U.S. Navy ships and sailors throughout the Middle East. As a result, this Arab company gets advance notice of U.S. vessels' schedules.

We asked CNN security analyst Alec Fraser, who once commanded this Navy ship in the region, why it's acceptable for Arab companies to access American warships but not run U.S. commercial terminals. CAPT. ALEC FRASER, U.S. NAVY (RET.): Well, aside from the fact that the supplies are all being inspected, which is a major difference over supplies coming into the United States, it's almost impossible to supply bananas, oranges, meats, fuel on a global basis from one central location. It has to be done locally.

TODD (on camera): A Navy official tells CNN there's never been a security problem with Inchcape Shipping but says virtually all security for American ships at those ports is handled by the Navy. An ISS official tells us the company has undergone rigorous external security checks and all of its port staff have had their backgrounds completely vetted.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: More "Security Watch" now.

Today the FBI issued an advisory about a possible terror attack in America. That advisory comes after an Internet site encouraged suicide attacks at sporting events and stadiums and arenas. The government has no specific or credible information of a terror plot but is recommending now that stadium operators be on the lookout for any suspicious activity.

Coming up, Katrina evacuees, we all know they have a it hard enough. Now some face a new danger, asking themselves who exactly is living next door. The problem is it's hard to find out because of some rules of FEMA. Tonight, you're going to meet a sheriff taking on FEMA, demanding help to track down criminals. What he's discovered may shock you.

Plus, is the next president of the United States at this meeting? Well, there is a good chance. A lot of big-name political players were there gathering, getting ready for 2008. Who wasn't there, who was? We'll have that come up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back.

We turn now to Caddo Parish, Louisiana, in the northwest corner of the state. It call itself the gateway to the West. After Hurricane Katrina, some fear the parish has turned into a gateway for criminals who are on the run. That includes the sheriff, who is fired up. He can't get FEMA and state officials to help with background checks on evacuees.

Imagine that, FEMA and state officials not working together. Where have we heard that before?

Anyway, this sheriff has taken matters into his own hands and he's making arrests. He is keeping them honest, and so is CNN's Susan Roesgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHERIFF STEVE PRATOR, CADDO PARISH, LA: Like your daddy tells you, he's going to follow you on your date, you're going to act a lot different than if you know daddy's not watching.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sheriff Steve Prator wants the criminal in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, to know he's got his eye on them. But the sheriff is worried about the newcomers in his parish in and around Shreveport.

Since the hurricane, more than a thousand evacuees have moved in. Some have left, but there are still hundreds the sheriff says he knows nothing about. FEMA says privacy laws won't allow the agency to release the information the sheriff could use to do background checks.

PRATOR: Don't keep the shovel from me and expect me to go dig a ditch. And these background checks are the shovels. I mean, that's the tools that we need.

In law enforcement, we work on intelligence and information. And that's what we're not being provided. Then you have all of these criminal records right there...

ROESGEN: Frustrated by FEMA, the sheriff got the names and Social Security numbers of 37 evacuees from his confidential source. Out of those 37 names, the sheriff says 33 had criminal records, with a combined total of 340 prior arrests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff's office?

ROESGEN: Armed with the informant's information, Sheriff Prator went to one of the shelters last week and rounded up two parole violators. But the sheriff says he wants to know the backgrounds of all 638 evacuees still in hotels in his parish, especially the backgrounds of any sex offenders.

PRATOR: We want to know if the kids are staying here that there's not -- excuse me -- there's not a sex offender that lives right next door that decided he's going to live New Orleans, nobody knows where he is, and he might come up here and take advantage of these little kids or something like that.

ROESGEN: Helen Pierce has three young children in this shelter. She says she welcomes the sheriff's push for background checks to keep her kids safe.

HELEN PIERCE, EVACUEE: You know, he should have the right to know who's living here. And we also have the right to know as people.

ROESGEN: But FEMA says no one has the right to know the evacuees' backgrounds unless the evacuees volunteer the information.

FEMA representative Steve DeBlasio told me, "It's a privacy issue that ties our hands with a $2,000 penalty per violation." But he also says, "I believe law enforcement has a right to know who the FEMA evacuees are and I'm trying to do what I can." DeBlasio says he's trying to help, but the sheriff says he still doesn't know who's in FEMA-paid hotels and shelters.

PRATOR: I lay awake at night frustrated sometimes and wondering, what else do I need to do to try to convince people that this is what we need to keep -- keep our parish safe?

ROESGEN: Susan Roesgen, CNN, Shreveport, Louisiana.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: One sheriff working hard.

We have an update on those dog teams. This week we've been following the case. A number of dog handlers had gone down to New Orleans. There they were from Maine, from elsewhere.

They were searching. They had actually found two bodies still in the rubble. But because of a bureaucratic red tape, basically, some sort of lack of communication between FEMA and the state, some of these dog teams actually had to leave.

If there's a hint of good news in this bureaucratic fiasco that led the two teams to leaving, it's the fact that the state and FEMA now say operations are moving much more smoothly. FEMA is paying for hotel rooms for the dog handlers and other contract workers involved in search and recovery operation work until the 15th.

After that, the state medical examiner's office is going to pick up hotel costs for dog handlers. They're going to have another team coming down from Shreveport and another team coming down in a couple weeks.

Let's hope they actually make it.

Coming up, it was a sex crime recorded by the very man who committed it. A shocking case out of California. Today, the young defendants were sentenced for the attack but not before their victims spoke to them face to face.

Also tonight, the search for the president. There's a good chance the winner of the next election is at a meeting that took place today. We'll tell you who was there and maybe, more importantly, who wasn't ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A young woman whose sexual assault was videotaped finally confronted the three men who attacked her. It happened in a California court today, and just moments before they were sentenced for a crime that stunned their affluent community.

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez has the story from the terrible beginning to the final judgment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Greg Haidl, Kyle Nachreiner, and Keith Spann, three teenaged friends who lived the good life in the O.C., Orange County, California. The friends did everything together: skateboarding, class projects...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

GUTIERREZ: ... even raucous horseplay. And they loved to put it all on tape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And is that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) camera on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're (EXPLETIVE DELETED) fuzzy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not recording it, Steven (ph).

GUTIERREZ: What 17-year-old Greg Haidl taped with this camera one summer night four years ago inside his father's ocean-side home sparked a scandalous gang rape case.

DAN HESS, PROSECUTOR: This is an unusual case in that the entire crime is on video.

GUTIERREZ: The scene of the crime, the home of former assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, Greg Haidl's father. The victim, a tall, blond 16- year-old Jane Doe who was invited here to a party.

When she arrived, Haidl, Nachreiner and Spann are drunk. She begins to drink and passes out. The tape shows her lifted on to a pool table where each boy takes a turn assaulting her while another runs the camera.

HESS: The defendants raped Jane Doe, they forcibly orally copulated her, they penetrated her with a number of objects.

GUTIERREZ: Including a juice can, a cigarette, and a pool stick. The prosecution told jurors, Jane Doe was viscously gang raped while unconscious during the 21-minute video.

HESS: When Jane Doe's eyes are closed and she's unable to talk and she's flopping like a rag doll and she's unconscious on the pool table, you'll see that they're celebrating.

GUTIERREZ: But defense attorneys questioned the victim relentlessly about her own past. Jane Doe admitted she had had consensual sex with both Greg Haidl and Keith Spann the night before the assault but vehemently denied other allegations.

JOE CAVALLO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She likes being photographed, she likes sex in strange places. She has sex with boys she barely knows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted to be a porn star and she told her friends that.

CAVALLO: She's just not a truthful person and she's not a -- she has terrible character, she has terrible morals.

GUTIERREZ: The first trial ended in a hung jury. Last January, the Orange County district attorney retried the original case again.

CAVALLO: She lies a lot, and you should not convict these boys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The jury finds as to defendant Gregory Haidl, guilty; Kyle Nachreiner, guilty; Keith Spann, guilty.

GUTIERREZ: The defendants were convicted on multiple felony sexual assault charges. Today, before sentencing, an emotional Jane Doe was finally able to address her attackers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was ripped of my adolescence, womanhood, hopes, goals, dreams and my life. All that I was and the woman I was becoming was savagely thrown away by three men.

GUTIERREZ: Jane Doe said in addition to being physically violated, her character was assassinated during both trials, leaving her life in shambles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt angry, hurt, betrayed, lost, abandoned, worthless, and most of all, dirty.

GUTIERREZ: Now 20, Jane Doe is picking up the pieces of her life. She completed rehab for methamphetamine use. Her attorney says she has sued the defendants and their lawyers, accusing them of engaging in malicious tactics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to apologize to Jane Doe.

GUTIERREZ: Before the sentencing, Haidl and Nachreiner expressed remorse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. It was never my intention to hurt you and cause you pain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a day goes by that I don't regret that night. I can try to repent for my own irresponsible behavior, the effect it had on Ms. Doe and her family.

GUTIERREZ: The defendants, 20-year-old Greg Haidl and 21-year- old Kyle Nachreiner and Keith Spann, were each sentenced to six years in state prison. And for the rest of their lives, they will have to register as sex offenders.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, when 360 continues, we'll visit Memphis, Tennessee, which is exactly what delegates of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference are doing just now, along with men who wouldn't mind their votes for president. Some surprises about who's there and who didn't make the trip. And a special edition of 360 follows. We're counting "26 Hours of Terror," the untold stories of the Atlanta courthouse shootings and of the manhunt that followed.

Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, hard to believe we're talking about the presidential campaign already, but, you know, there really isn't an official beginning to the presidential election campaign. Nothing like NASCAR's green flag or the popping open of the starting gates of the Kentucky Derby or the firing of the starter's pistol at an Olympic road race. But there are signs that the contenders are getting ready.

Look down towards Memphis, Tennessee, this weekend, where delegates are gathering for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and you'll see more than a few.

CNN's John Roberts reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): No matter how you say it, cattle call, opening bell in the '08 elections, a chance to kick the tires on the new Republican models, it is first official opportunity for hopefuls to hit the stage as potential presidential candidates.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I know many in the media view this conference, at least in part, as a beauty contest for potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in '08. Well, you can see I'm no beauty. I'm older than dirt, I have more scars than Frankenstein, but I've learned a few things along the way.

ROBERTS: John McCain is the presumed front-runner, a campaign veteran who has worked since his 2000 bid to mend fences with conservatives. The other five hopefuls here this weekend? Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and senators Bill Frist, Sam Brownback from Kansas and Virginia's George Allen.

SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: It's good to see folks getting charged up. And you like to get people motivated for something in the future.

ROBERTS: The field this year is wide open. The first time since 1908 a sitting president or vice president haven't run. For the delegates, the conference is pretty much one-stop shopping.

DEBBIE LOVE, DELEGATE: I'm listening, I'm opening, taking notes, seeing, you know, watching, communication skills, ideas, direction, vision, really. It's vision.

ROBERTS: Absent from the festivities, Rudy Giuliani, who judging by this misspelled button, could use a bit more name recognition. A previous business commitment was the official reason, though political watchers think his moderate policies wouldn't go over well here.

What most everyone does agree on, before 2008 there's another hurdle to jump.

SEN. BILL FRIST (R-TN), MAJORITY LEADER: November will be a challenge. I think we all know that.

ROBERTS: Control of Congress hangs in the balance in the upcoming midterm elections. President Bush's sagging poll numbers, the ports deal, Iraq, Katrina and other problems have people like Lynn Cheramie on edge.

LYNN CHERAMIE, DELEGATE: It's a little worrisome, but we have time, we have time to write those things.

ROBERTS: Despite the anxiety, though, you hear very little public criticism of President Bush. That is until you talk to Dr. Mark Klein, a California psychiatrist running for Republican nomination.

DR. MARK KLEIN, PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL: I think this is actually the worst administration I've ever seen in my entire life.

ROBERTS (on camera): You know, that's not an opinion we hear a lot around here.

KLEIN: Well, you know something? It really would be a good idea for the party to hear an alternative opinion.

ROBERTS: Republicans are still publicly confident that they'll hang on to control of Congress, but they're also deeply worried that the ports controversy has handed the Democrats a very big club, one that they'll use to mercilessly hammer the Republicans.

John Roberts, CNN, Memphis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS joins us with some of the business stories we're following right now.

(BUSINESS REPORT)

COOPER: We also want to thank our international viewers for watching right now.

Coming up, a special edition of 360, "26 Hours of Terror," the untold stories of the Atlanta courthouse shootings and the manhunt that followed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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