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Is John Mark Karr a Murderer?; Former Hostage Jill Carroll Shares Her Story

Aired August 24, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
John Karr, from Bangkok, now in a jail cell in Boulder, just arriving tonight. What a long, strange trip it's been. And it is only just beginning.


ANNOUNCER: No luxury this time: John Karr's second flight, murder charges waiting, bizarre new revelations, the whole country watching.

Held hostage in Iraq, eating dinner with suicide bombers, house to house, day after day.

JILL CARROLL, FORMER HOSTAGE IN IRAQ: Finally, somehow, something broke, and, like, I would just start crying all the time.

ANNOUNCER: A cable news exclusive -- Jill Carroll on finding the hidden strength to endure 82 days in the captivity of killers.

And new storms gathering in the Caribbean, one storm on a very dangerous track.


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Reporting from the CNN studios in New York, here is Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Thanks for joining us.

John Karr in Boulder tonight, jumpsuited, fingerprinted, being held in isolation. Whether that means he's back in Boulder, as he claims, nobody knows. That is the latest mug shot, new mug shot of him. There is no hard evidence, at least none that we have seen so far, that John Karr has ever been in Boulder before -- all the angles tonight, what happened on his flight from Los Angeles, what happens next in court, and when it could happen -- also, unsettling new details now coming to light about John Karr's past, his one-time connection with another unsolved murder, and what his former child bride is saying about his fascination with little girls.

And new word tonight about his DNA from a leading expert, Barry Scheck, about how much investigators have to work with -- or how little -- and whether it really is enough to implicate or clear John Karr.

We begin in Boulder with CNN's Susan Candiotti.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John Karr's latest mug shot, taken at the Boulder County jail, his three- hour flight from California to Colorado aboard a state police plane shrouded in mystery.

Authorities said they were worried about his safety -- his new home, one of these cells, after being fingerprinted and checked out by a psychiatrist -- next stop, court, within three days.

The Boulder district attorney says, JonBenet Ramsey's suspected killer will be charged with one count each of felony murder, premeditated murder, first- and second-degree kidnapping, and sexual assault of a child. Karr will be advised of his rights, including a right to remain silent, something he hasn't been so far.

JOHN MARK KARR, JONBENET RAMSEY MURDER SUSPECT: No. Her death was -- was an accident.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you were in the basement?

KARR: Yes.

CANDIOTTI: He's expected to be held without bond, but can ask for a hearing to challenge it.

After that, he could be back in court in another two to three days, when charges are formally filed, and face a longer preliminary hearing, about a month later. That's when the DA has to show just enough evidence to try to prove to a judge that Karr murdered the 6- year-old beauty queen.

It's expected prosecutors may ask for a DNA sample.

CRAIG SILVERMAN, FORMER DENVER, COLORADO, CHIEF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Can somebody have picked up chewing gum or a cigarette or a glass of water he had sipped from? There are lots of ways to get a person's DNA surreptitiously or through court order.

Once he gets to Colorado, of course, they're going to go through the legal process. But you would expect they already have had chances to get his DNA.

CANDIOTTI: Despite reports the little girl's DNA sample was contaminated, experts familiar with the case insist, it was properly stored, and will not present any comparison problems.

Attorneys who have worked on the investigation say, if Karr can't be linked to a spot of blood found on the child's underwear, the case against him may collapse.

Meantime, prosecutors are trying to keep a secret: what evidence they have, including what's contained in e-mails and letters Karr wrote to Colorado journalist and professor Michael Tracey that led police to the pale, thin teacher in Thailand.

John Karr may finally get his wish, allegedly made to cops while he was moved from Thailand this week: to prove he was able to slip into the Ramsey home Christmas night 1996, and explain the death of a blonde-haired beauty unsolved for nearly a decade.


COOPER: Susan, do we know anything about who is representing John Karr?

CANDIOTTI: Well, not yet.

Of course, we know that -- for a fact, that the two lawyers, the women from California, have said that they wish to represent him. But they are not cleared to practice law in the state of Colorado, which can be overcome.

Nevertheless, we know, at this hour, there is a public defender who entered the jail shortly after he did, and said that he was going to be meeting with him. And it's possible that he might be representing John Karr when he makes his first court appearance.

COOPER: And -- and the first court appearance is when?

CANDIOTTI: Well, it -- it must happen within the next three days, the next three business days. The sheriff has said, because of the lateness of this hour, he might not have a hearing tomorrow. It might be Monday, but we don't know for sure.

COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks.

"It's like this guy fell out of the sky, in some ways, for them, and they're trying to figure out what they have going." Those are the words today of an ex-federal prosecutor.

Here to help us make sense of just what it is they do and don't have on John Karr, another former fed, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, along with former Denver Chief Deputy District Attorney Craig Silverman.

Guys, thanks for being with us.

First of all, these charges, one count each, felony murder, one premeditated murder, what -- what's the difference, Jeff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: The -- felony murder means murder while committing another crime. It varies a little bit state by state, and it's all overlapping. But felony murder means committed -- murder while committing another crime. And first-degree murder is simply the murder itself. Craig, why...


COOPER: Why haven't they tested this guy's DNA? I mean, from all reports, it seems like they haven't. Initially, people thought, well, in in Thailand, they did.

That -- that now seems to be not the case.

SILVERMAN: Well, let me tell you about Mary Lacy's office. They are very good at keeping secrets. They kept the arrival airport a secret.

They may have the DNA. Understand, when somebody gets stopped on a DUI investigation, there is usually a preliminary breath alcohol test. It's not admissible in court. It's followed up with the formal procedure. Here, I expect, tonight, John Karr was served with what we call a 41-1. That's a court authorization to gather non-testimonial identification evidence.

There would have been a Colorado nurse there, pulling the hair, collecting the saliva and the blood, and that that's going be transported, apparently, to the Denver Police Department. And they will have official results within three days.

But I -- I believe they might have had results even before this, which might have triggered this interesting chain of events.

COOPER: So, Craig, you think they already have results?

SILVERMAN: Well, look, this guy was living in a little room in Bangkok. He had to eat in restaurants. You follow him around. He was surveilled for seven days. It's not hard to get his abandoned DNA, and have it tested, and determine whether this is the guy or not.

COOPER: Jeff, what do you make of that?

TOOBIN: I -- I -- that would be very impressive. That kind of stuff, I think, mostly happens on "CSI," more than in real life.

It's very difficult, logistically, to do that in Boulder County, much less find a glass in Thailand, ship it to the United States, do the test. I suppose it's possible. Frankly, I would bet against it, knowing how law enforcement works.

COOPER: And we're looking now at this new mug -- this is a mug shot just released, really, within, I think, an hour or so ago, I guess his Boulder mug shot. Obviously, it's lit from below, not very flattering.



COOPER: You know, John Karr's first wife, who was, apparently, 13 herself when they got married, has said that he had fantasies about little girl -- little girls.

This kind of stuff, Jeff, I mean, obviously, it's -- it caused a lot of speculation on TV. Does it actually matter?


TOOBIN: I -- I -- I would doubt a statement like that would even be admissible in court.

I mean, it -- it is so prejudicial. And, you know, what legal relevance it has to a -- to -- to -- to this specific charge, I think that would be a somewhat tenuous connection.

I -- I think it's important to remember, if you look at all the evidence that has been made public so far, almost all of it is stupid or crazy or incriminating things that Karr himself has said. Nothing has been corroborated so far. That is where this investigation has to go. You know, this -- the list of things he said that's bad for him, you know, whether it's at the press conference or on the plane, is long. But corroboration of this crazy story, nonexistent.

COOPER: Craig, do you agree with that?

SILVERMAN: Well, I don't know all the facts.

But I would say, all of the facts since the arrest are trending toward the prosecution. Not only does his ex-wife say that he had these fantasies, but the mother of the first wife says he used to sign letters SBTC. Now, that's a little vague. But, if it was before the ransom note, that's a heck of a piece of evidence.

Also, Wendy Hutchens and her tapes from Petaluma, they contain some detail that are really profound, and will be relevant at a trial.

And, then, you have the handwriting. I'm not saying it's -- it's absolutely his handwriting. But the fact that he could not be excluded -- which I dare say Jeff, Anderson, and I could probably have been quickly excluded -- that's an interesting development, as well.

TOOBIN: But, I mean, just keep in mind how speculative -- spec -- you know, handwriting analysis is -- is practically voodoo, in and of itself. But, you know, this SBT thing -- SBTC on the ransom note, you know, we...


COOPER: Right. It was signed, "Victory SBTC." That's...

TOOBIN: Right.

COOPER: That's the ransom note we're showing right there.

TOOBIN: There has never been anything shown so far that he ever used those four letters before. His ex-mother-in-law says maybe she remembers it. I mean, let's just keep...

COOPER: What about high school yearbook?

TOOBIN: Well, I don't know think anyone has seen the high school yearbook.

SILVERMAN: Sure we have. It's the Buccaneer yearbook. And he said, "I shall be the conqueror," which kind of fits with victory above it.

TOOBIN: Well...


TOOBIN: Yes, he -- he used word that -- that have those initials. I think that's somewhat different than using the phrase itself.

I mean, you can't go to a jury and say, so, put this man in prison for the rest of his life...


SILVERMAN: It's suspic...


COOPER: But it -- but it -- I mean, CNN reporters have seen the yearbook that says "I, you know, "shall be the conqueror." It does -- it's an odd phrase.

TOOBIN: It's an odd, unusual phrase.

COOPER: It doesn't matter in court, you're saying?

TOOBIN: Well, I'm -- it -- it could probably -- it's probably admissible.

SILVERMAN: It's interesting that...


TOOBIN: But it's -- I -- I just think, in terms of actual evidence that -- you know, to put this guy away for life, I -- I just think is -- it's -- it's pretty thin.


They are going to have to have more, you betcha, Jeff. I agree with you. It's interesting, he misspelled conqueror. And there are a number of misspellings in the ransom note. A lot people who accused the Ramseys said, they are trying to disguise their education. But here's a guy we know to be kind of a misspeller.

TOOBIN: I -- I -- I wouldn't want a quiz on the spelling of conqueror myself.


COOPER: I will be...



SILVERMAN: It ends in O-R...

TOOBIN: That's right.


SILVERMAN: ... not E-R.

TOOBIN: OK. Well...


TOOBIN: ... fair enough.


COOPER: ... keep in mind.

Craig Silverman, appreciate your expertise.


COOPER: And, Jeff Toobin, as well, thank you very much.

More now on some of the past details of John Karr's life we have just been talking about -- new information is emerging that homicide detectives elsewhere have known about Mr. Karr for years, just one of a barrage of allegations now surfacing.

CNN's Dan Simon has them all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you deny that you're the same person charged...

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in Northern California says, it once looked at Karr as a potential suspect in the death of a 12-year-old girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a great kid.

SIMON: Georgia Moses was killed in 1997, her body found in Petaluma, where Karr later lived. The crime remains unsolved, but authorities have ruled out Karr as a suspect.

During the course of that investigation, the sheriff's department says it was given e-mails believed to be from Karr that revealed a fascination with JonBenet Ramsey. They said the writer -- quote -- "made uncertain allusions placing himself in the killer's role."

The sheriff's office says, it forwarded its findings to Boulder authorities, who haven't commented.


WENDY HUTCHENS, CLAIMS CONTACT WITH JOHN MARK KARR: I had to do everything possible to try to get this guy off the streets.


SIMON: The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department also acknowledged that this woman, Wendy Hutchens, who appeared earlier on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE," supplied investigators with tapes of conversations she says she had with Karr.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Wasn't it kooky for you to talk to a guy like this?

HUTCHENS: It was really difficult. It was really difficult. I would cry for hours after our conversations.


SIMON: CNN has not been able to verify that it's Karr speaking on the tape. However, the voice indicates a clear infatuation with JonBenet Ramsey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JonBenet. God, what a powerful thing, to just be alone with that little girl, that doll face. You know, she -- she was just so incredible in mind, and so unreal in death. She's just so alive. She's so alive. She's so alive. She's so alive. I mean, she's wonderful.





SIMON: One of Karr's former wives said he had a fascination with little girls.

On ABC's "Good Morning America," a seemingly traumatized Quientana Ray says, she married Karr when she was only 13 years old.




SIMON: Ray's parents also told "GMA," they remember, letters he wrote to their daughter were signed "SBTC," the same initials found on the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note. The letters were not provided.

KARR: I -- I love JonBenet, and she died accidentally.

SIMON: Despite admissions like this, Karr's attorneys say they don't believe he has actually confessed, arguing that the media has taken his words out of context. They have advised him not to say anything further.


SIMON: Anderson, there is some surprise in legal circles that these two lawyers from Northern California are handling this very high-profile case out of Colorado. They are not licensed to practice law in Colorado. If they stay on, they will have to get some kind of exception, or they will have to team up with some law firm based in Colorado -- Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right. Dan, thanks very much.

Now, a few more quick notes about DNA -- it's considered the gold standard, of course, of evidence. Really, just a small fraction of our DNA is actually unique. Here is the "Raw Data."

You might not know this. Approximately 99.9 percent of human DNA is the same for all people. Just one-tenth of a single percent of DNA differs from one person to the next. Those differences are critical, however -- the odds of a DNA match being incorrect, more one in 100 billion.

So, if DNA is all prosecutors need to determine whether John Karr is guilty, then why is there no indication that Karr's DNA has been tested? You heard Craig Silverman saying, maybe it is. But, frankly, we don't know. We will examine that.

Plus: two American journalists held captive in Gaza by a previously unknown group, as we hear tonight from Jill Carroll, the American reporter kidnapped and freed in Iraq, finally telling her remarkable story. You will hear for yourself exactly what happened to her during nearly three months of captivity.

And the media may have moved on, but the crisis in south Lebanon hasn't -- new developments, today, France promising more peacekeepers. But is it too little, already too late?

The latest when 360 continues.


COOPER: The latest on two American journalists kidnapped in Gaza, and Jill Carroll talking about her life in captivity, what it was really like, we will have that in a moment.

But, first, Tom Foreman in Washington with the "360 Bulletin" on some of the other top stories -- Tom.


Shots fired today at elementary school and two other locations in Essex, Vermont. Two people are dead, four wounded, including the shooter, who turned the gun on himself. School there is not in session yet. Only staff members were in the building. Police do not have a motive, but they believe the shootings stem from a domestic dispute. Two of the victims are the shooter's ex-girlfriend and that girl's mother.

The FDA has approved over-the-counter sales of the so-called morning-after pill. People 18 and older can purchase the Plan B emergency contraception without a prescription. Those under 18 still need one. Supporters of the decision say it will cut down unplanned pregnancies. Opponents fear it will lead to increased promiscuity.

In the Phoenix area, roads were washed away, as heavy rains flooded normally dry riverbeds. Look at that. Several motorists were trapped and needed rescue. Nobody was seriously injured, though.

And time to burn all those astronomy books you had as a kid. They are all out of date. Pluto is no longer the ninth planet in our solar system. It has been deemed too small, too strange, an orbit just too weird. Astronomers have a new term for celestial objects its size. They're called dwarf planets. Astronomers have debated the classification of Pluto ever since it was discovered, some 78 -- 76 years ago now -- Anderson, bad news for Pluto.

COOPER: It is. It's -- doesn't look that small, but, anyway.

FOREMAN: No. Well, it's smaller than our moon, if you can imagine that.


COOPER: All right. Tom, thanks.

FOREMAN: All right.

COOPER: There is evidence that may conclusively determine who killed JonBenet Ramsey, of course, DNA evidence left at the crime scene. But, from what we have heard, John Karr's DNA has not been tested, at least not that we know of.

Joining me now is Lawrence Kobilinsky of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, here in New York.

It -- it's going to boil down to DNA.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, it -- DNA is very important. But, again, there is other -- there are other forms of evidence.

For example, a partial palm print on the door of that basement area, that's pretty important information, as is the footprint, the impression of a shoe next to where the body was in the basement. All of this evidence adds up. I mean, DNA is critically important. But you have got to see the entire picture.

You put that together, that's where the case is.

COOPER: The DNA, apparently, that exists, a -- a spot of blood from her underwear. There was also DNA underneath the fingernails. But it wasn't conclusive.

KOBILINSKY: Well, it was, apparently, degraded. And, therefore, it...


COOPER: What does that mean exactly, degraded?

KOBILINSKY: Well, it means that the DNA was in very small quantity. And it also means that the DNA was fragmented.

That could happen for a number of reasons. But the main point is, they weren't able to -- to get any information from that particular DNA. And, similarly, there was one -- one of the two stains on the panties was also of low quality, or degraded, and, therefore, really didn't provide us with important information.

COOPER: But the information was -- the -- the DNA was retested back in 2003, with new testing procedures. And it at least proved that it was not a member of the Ramsey family...


KOBILINSKY: That is correct. They have all been excluded as potential donors.

And, furthermore, it is from a male. It may be a -- a mixed sample. Part of it comes from the victim, and the remainder from a male assailant.

COOPER: How long would it take to test this guy's DNA?

KOBILINSKY: Well, actually, that's very quick.

As -- as long as they make it a high-profile, you could do the work in about a day-and-a-half.

COOPER: What do you think this -- I mean, as you watch this trial proceed, what are you going to be looking for in the next several days?

KOBILINSKY: Well, absolutely the DNA.

I mean, if it turns out that the DNA matches -- that is, his profile matches this unknown specimen -- then, clearly, he was there. On the other hand, if it does not match, it doesn't exonerate him, because we haven't ruled out the possibility of two individuals. And he could have had an accomplice. So, we have to look at the other evidence. And I think, of course, we have to make sure he has been in Boulder, because, if it's shown that he's not, than then the case is over.

COOPER: CNN's Jeff Toobin was saying, from -- back from his days as a federal prosecutor, that the -- the handwriting analysis is basically like a voodoo science...


COOPER: ... is very difficult.

KOBILINSKY: You know, I think he's exaggerating the reality.

It -- of course, it's not at the same level of DNA, because DNA has a solid scientific foundation, many, many years of hard research and validation. But handwriting analysis has been used in courts. It's admissible as evidence. Of course, you have to hope that it -- it's being done by somebody who really understands how to do it.

COOPER: Well, that's the thing. I mean, Jeff has been saying in the past that, to actually have it be done correctly, it has to be administered by a professional...


COOPER: ... that there is a series that the person has to go through. It's not just a question of finding two pieces of paper with different handwriting and comparing them.


KOBILINSKY: That is correct.

And -- and, you know, we have heard that one examiner actually gave a statistic to -- to show how confident he was that the handwriting matched. You really should not be applying statistics to this type of analysis. There is no database. There is no foundation for that. It's an exaggeration.

COOPER: Again, appreciate your perspective, Dr. Kobilinsky. Thanks very much.

KOBILINSKY: My pleasure.

COOPER: Coming up: two journalists held hostage in Gaza.

Tonight, another journalist who faced a similar fate in Iraq shares her story.



CARROLL: I started to say, no, no. Like, my "No" got sort of louder and louder. I mean, like, I sort of realized very slowly what was happening. Like, I realized they weren't stopping. They were coming at us with guns. And, you know, you don't realize right away that these things are happening to you. You don't think it.


COOPER: Jill Carroll describing the moment she was kidnapped, and, later, her life in captivity, held by killers, one of them wearing a suicide vest -- what she faced, ahead.

And two new storms gaining strength, as we speak, we will track their path and find out if and when they may head this way.

You're watching 360.


COOPER: The captors of two FOX News journalists kidnapped in Gaza last week have made their demands known: the release of all Muslims held in U.S. prisons, in exchange for the freedom of the two men.

The wife of the FOX News cameraman, Olaf Wiig, told -- spoke out today.


ANITA MCNAUGHT, WIFE OF OLAF WIIG: I do not question that you who are holding them have suffered greatly, as everyone in Gaza, in the Palestinian territories, is suffering. But these two men are not responsible for the injustices that you speak of. And they should not be punished for them.


COOPER: Well, someone who knows what it might be like for those two journalists is Jill Carroll.

You will remember, she was held hostage in Baghdad for nearly three months earlier this year.

"The Christian Science Monitor" provided us large portions of an interview where Carroll, for the first time, describes her experiences in captivity.


COOPER (voice-over): If there are ordinary days in Baghdad, January 7 started out as one of them.

Jill Carroll, her translator, Alan Enwiya, and their driver were leaving the office of a top Sunni politician they tried to interview, when a group of men came at them, yelling and waving guns.

JILL CARROLL, FORMER HOSTAGE IN IRAQ: I was trying to get out of car. And I started to say, no, no. Like, my "No" got sort of louder and louder. I mean, like, I sort of realized very slowly what was happening. Like, I realized they weren't stopping. They were coming at us with guns. And, you know, you don't realize right away that these things are happening.

COOPER: The men overpowered Carroll, shoving her back into the car.

CARROLL: And then, as I was bending down and kind of being shoved over, I looked -- I was looking out the corner, like through -- the -- in the crack of a door was opening, you know? And -- and I saw -- you know, I saw Alan was there. And they -- then I saw them kill Alan.

Iraq was my life, you know? It was my life. It was all cared about.

COOPER: Jill Carroll first traveled to Iraq in 2003, just after the fall of Baghdad. A spunky 28-year-old, she freelanced for several newspapers, including "The Christian Science Monitor" and "The Washington Post."

RAJIV CHANDRASEKARAN, FORMER BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF, "THE WASHINGTON POST": She didn't have a satellite phone, and a flak jacket, and a -- and a suburban crammed with -- with provisions, and all sorts of other technical gear that -- that foreign correspondents popping into Baghdad at that point had.

Sure, she was naive. She -- she was a neophyte. You know, she -- she had never done anything like this before.

COOPER: Dressed in black Muslim robes, and speaking some Arabic, Carroll moved easily in Iraq, acquiring perhaps a false sense of security. She was, after all, an American and a woman, and, therefore, a prize capture for militants.

CARROLL: And, so, we're driving off, and they were screaming "Jihad, jihad, jihad." And they were, like, overjoyed, like they -- like they won the lottery. I mean, they just were so happy and excited.

This other guy was driving. And he was saying, oh -- got -- he got on the phone to call home and say he was coming phone. And he -- and then he got off the phone. He said, "Oh, my -- my -- my mother and my sister and my wife are so -- they love you so much. They are so happy to have -- that you are coming."

COOPER: It only got more surreal. Over the next 82 days, Carroll was shuttled among six safe houses, guarded, at times, by whole families.

JILL CARROLL, JOURNALIST: People are always looking for some guy with a big beard and with a Koran in his hand driving the car, they look like regular Iraqis, regular people, and have the kids in car, have their wives in car.

COOPER: She says her captors didn't harm her physically, she was looked after, well fed, though she could barely stand to eat. CARROLL: You have to eat a lot of food to be polite and it's not a time to be rude, you must be most polite ever, you don't want these people to get mad at you so I would choke down this food and the bread would like stick in my throat. And just my stomach, I'd want to throw up.

COOPER: Everyday experiences became fraught with risk. One of her captors sat down in front of television one day and handed Carroll a remote control.

CARROLL: Trying to figure out what to watch. I know you shouldn't watch anything to that would make him upset, news is out, politics is out, anything with Iraq out, I didn't know what would make him mad.

And anything - he's obviously incredibly religious, so anything that's inappropriate to a pious person, so I don't want any scantily clad women, I don't want any of that stuff, I don't want to see any violence, don't want to give him ideas, so found an English channel, came across Oprah. On channel 1 from Dubai. This is good. OK, this is good. She won't have anything weird, she won't have anybody out there doing anything bizarre, no naked women running around and whatever and so we watched Oprah and was that fine.

COOPER: Just a few days into captivity, Carroll's kidnappers turned cameras on her, ordering her to make a hostage video, the first of many she would record in captivity, many of which have never aired.

CARROLL: It's really wrenching. It's very -- I can't tell you how hard it is. I mean you are sitting on TV pleading for your life, people with guns everywhere and you know what this means. I knew what that meant. It means, three or four days, put you on al-Jazeera, they do it again, they cut your head off. That's what they do. I knew that.

COOPER: Three of Jill Carroll's hostage videos broadcast, her once serene face dissolving into tears as weeks turned months.


COOPER: Well, Jill Carroll's full story of her capture and captivity can be found on "Christian Science Monitor"'s Web site,, including what Jill Carroll did to win over her captors. We'll have more with the journalist on her 82 days as hostage in Iraq when 360 continues.


COOPER: Jill Carroll, the American freelance journalist held captive in Iraq earlier this year is speaking out about her ordeal now, in an interview provided to us by the "Christian Science Monitor," Carroll describes how she tried to win over her captors in a desperate attempt to gain her freedom.


COOPER (voice-over): One month into her 82-day ordeal, Jill Carroll says she began to crack. Moved from house to house, forced to record one hostage video after another, repeatedly promised she'd be set free, only to remain a captive.

CARROLL: The next two months, I started to like lose it. One point, I just finally, somehow something broke and I would just start crying all of the time.

COOPER: Back home her parents were begging for her safe return. Making their case on Arab television and on CNN.

MARY BETH CARROLL, JILL CARROLL'S MOTHER: I, her father and sister, are appealing directly to her captors to release this young woman, who has worked so hard to show the suffering of Iraqis to the world.

COOPER: Mary Beth Carroll spoke of her daughter's love for Iraq, how Jill made sure her reporting reflected the local perspective. Mary Beth needed the militants to see her daughter as a real person, not just a symbol for a cause. On the other side of the globe, Jill was working a similar strategy.

CARROLL: I had heard people say before if you were ever taken hostage, you should humanize yourself to them, immediately in the first house, I started talking about my sister, I have a twin sister, we're the same. We're halves of one whole, oh, she will be so worried about me because what will she do without her other half?

COOPER: She started studying the Koran, memorizing whole passages to the delight of her captors.

CARROLL (voice-over): It became a slippery slope. Because after a while the question became, OK, you've been learning about Islam for the past three days, why haven't you converted yet? I said, wow, gosh, didn't plan to convert. I wasn't doing -- I wanted to find a way to reach them.

And that was actually more dangerous, because when you go halfway it's like worse because then they think you've seen the beauty of Islam and you are saying no to it and that's way worse than just being an ignorant infidel, if you will.

COOPER: She also turned to another book, her reporter's notebook, making her captors a pledge they found irresistible.

CARROLL: Why don't you tell me everything you want world to know and I'll right it all down and one day when you let me go, because they always said they would let me go, you let me go I'll tell the world.

COOPER: She said she interviewed the men for hours, they lapped up the attention and rewarded her with chocolate.

Carroll says her captors were also making bombs and they did it in front of her. One man spent his days wearing a suicide vest, loaded with explosives, just waiting to go off.

CARROLL: He would cook our meals, this one guy, he would cook our dinner on this open flame on this little gas stove. You had to sit back carefully from the stove to cook because he was afraid the heat would set off the dynamite and I was like, for God's sake. But this is all because, in case soldiers came into the house, he would blow up the house and kill all of us including the soldiers.

COOPPER: Jihad for them was the one true cause, martyrdom, and honor, not just for the men.

CARROLL: So this woman, this woman I was with all this time, one day, during the second or third day we were in the kitchen, and her husband came in, that guy and he says, you know, Umali (ph) she wants to be a suicide bomber. And Umali, yeah, do I. She obviously really blushing, he was praising her and she was really proud of it. And I was like, she's got three little kids right there in kitchen floor playing. I'm playing with the kids that night and they're making dinner and she's four months pregnant.

COOPER: It went on like that for weeks. Carroll thought of other captives who had made it out alive and those who hadn't. She says she prayed to herself, recited Shakespeare under her breath.

One more morning, nearly three months into ordeal, the militants drove Carroll to the headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni political group, they handed her a gold necklace and wad of American money.

CARROLL: And they grabbed my hand, and he start taking out money out of his wallet, and putting $100 bills into my hand, these are $100 bills we're sorry for your trouble. This one is for your computer, this one for your father, tell him we're sorry.

COOPER: And then just like that Jill Carroll was set free. She wandered into the Iraqi Islamic Party office and before too long, she was on her way back to the United States.

CARROLL: I'm overwhelmed at how wonderful the paper has been, my family and everyone.

COOPER: But Carroll's homecoming was not without controversy. Shortly after her release, the Iraqi Islamic Party produced a videotape of an interview she had done with them just after she was set free.

CARROLL: They gave me clothing, plenty of food. I was allowed to take showers, go to the bathroom when I wanted. Very good. Never hit me. Never even threatened to hit me.

COOPER: On heels of that tape another hostage video surfaced, Carroll claiming Americans liars, predicting victory for the insurgency. Did she mean it? Carroll insists she did not.

CARROLL: I knew what I was supposed to say. I learned what to say. And so I said what they wanted me to say. Of course. Like, you don't say no. That's not part of it. If you say no you're dead.

COOPER: She said she feared for her life during both those tapings, even after she was free. CARROLL: Especially after a few months or a few weeks, you are not thinking normally, even after a few days, you are not thinking normally at all and you are in massive survival mode.

COOPER: And in the end, that is what matters. Jill Carroll did survive. She's back at the "Christian Science Monitor," working as an editor, safe behind a desk in Boston.


COOPER: Jill Carroll's full story of the 82 days in captivity can be found on the "Christian Science Monitor's" Web site

Another Middle East hot spot in southern Lebanon, the guns quiet but peace is anything by secure. Tonight the French pledging more help but it may not be enough to stop more fighting from breaking out. We'll take you there.

And in Iraq, there is no silence just more bloodshed. We'll show you a side of the war may have never seen before. An inside look at what's really happening to the people caught in the crossfire when 360 continues.


COOPER: New developments today concerning crisis in the Middle East. The international peacekeeping force building in southern Lebanon just got a boost. French President Jacques Chirac announcing that his country will send 2000 troops to the region which is far more than 200 troops it initially agreed to send. While much of the media seems to have moved on from the story the situation on ground in Lebanon is still dangerous, difficult and for some, desperate. Here is CNN's Jim Clancy.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is Lebanon cleaning up to rebuild or just clearing the ground for another round of conflict? No one here is certain.

The cease-fire may hold because Hezbollah on one side and Israel on the other see it to their short term political advantage to keep their guns silent. Into that vacuum, the United Nations is urgently seeking to bring 13,000 more peacekeepers.

That mission will be in the blazing sun of south Lebanon. But its goals, even its rules of engagement slip into blurred shades of gray. Israel wants the Lebanese army and international troops do what it couldn't do in a month of heavy fighting. Disarm Hezbollah. Hezbollah insists its arms will be out of sight, not out of reach.

That uncertainty has every major European power hesitating before committing to put its soldiers in middle.

(on camera): This is the focal point of tensions, behind me the Lebanese-Israeli border, extending from the Mediterranean east ward along a twisting path across the hills of south Lebanon. The United Nations and others warn that while it may look peaceful, any minor incident could trigger a major conflict.

(voice-over): A journey along the border shows the ferocity and destruction of the month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel. It also gives up evidence of the strategic struggle between Tehran and Washington.

Hezbollah posters hurl insults at the U.S. goal of bringing democracy to the Middle East. Hezbollah points to the destruction and says, this is your democracy.

Hezbollah claims its performance during 34 case of fighting won it popular Arab support. Perhaps. But it hasn't convinced people who live along the border, who say they have been the real losers and the cease-fire, "This is anesthesia, they are fooling us" this woman tells us, then begs for any foreign country to take her and her family in as refugees, because she says she's ready to leave her own country.

Residents say Israeli troops cross over the border every night, they can no longer work their fields for fear of being shot by snipers.

As a young woman pleads, where is my father? Oh, God, where is my father? Others are pondering whether Lebanon the nation is about to be lost. Politicians who have been demanding Hezbollah disarm and stop using Lebanon as its battleground for Iran's ambitions, now warn international peacekeepers will become hostages. Just like the people who live along the border.

And to survive it, this little girl admonishes, shh, be very quiet, the Israelis are over there and if you make noise then -- even the children of Lebanon know, this could explode. Jim Clancy, CNN, along Lebanon's southern border.


COOPER: Earlier I discussed fragile peace in the Middle East with "Washington Post" diplomatic correspondent Robin Wright.


COOPER: Robin, what do you make of what is happening on the ground in Lebanon? I mean, you have the French, couple hundred French peacekeepers there now, all of them engineers, basically building accommodations, France now says they'll send in 2,000, Italy has promised about 3,000. This international force, A, is it every going to coalesce into 15,000, is it going to work?

ROBIN WRIGHT, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think today was an important development, the fact that the French upped the commitment from an increase of 200 to 2,000, that really is a turning point. It will mobilize, I think, other European countries, which are vital to give this force some muscle.

COOPER: It really does boil down to everything now depends on this peace keeping force, if it works perhaps some positive situation can emerge from all of this, if it doesn't work, it just spirals downward.

WRIGHT: Absolutely. And there are still problems with the mandate, for example, what do you do about that border with Syria, which is the area through which Hezbollah has brought its rockets, its missiles, its arms, some of the Iranians have passed freely. This is as important in some I was and southern border with Israel is.

COOPER: How strong now is Hezbollah? I mean, obviously in the short term, their strength not necessarily on the ground but politically, psychologically their strength has increased. Will that last? Can that last?

WRIGHT: A wonderful question. And it really goes to future of Lebanon. The reality is that Hezbollah came out of this stronger politically, probably weaker militarily. The question is, will there be a reckoning within Lebanon among the different political forces who are not happy with the losses that have been incurred. Now the Shiites who have backed Hezbollah the most have suffered the most and it may be because Hezbollah has been out there first with a lot of cash, with bulldozers to clear the rubble that they will get credit for rebuilding.

COOPER: But as soon as there is a cease-fire, as soon as there's other stories, it's like no one's paying attention anymore and this is - it's in bad cease-fires that future hostilities are born.

WRIGHT: Absolutely. We didn't pay attention after the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and look what happened. You make a very important point. We tend to be one track in terms of our conflicts. We can do one at a time.

COOPER: It's so interesting. You don't hear the word disarm anymore. That first week I remember hearing disarm from the Israelis just about every time they spoke. And it sort of conjures up notions of international peacekeeping force asking the Hezbollah to line up their weapons and cataloging them and somehow destroying them. That ain't going to happen.

WRIGHT: You are absolutely right. And I think this is one of the issues for the Bush administration and how it fared out of this crisis, said it didn't want the status quo ante. That was the term Condoleezza Rice and the president used repeatedly. The problem is for Washington that in fact Hezbollah will keep its arms, the Lebanese see it as a resistance movement. Israeli troops remain in Lebanon. Until you get Israel withdrawing, the issue of with drawing is not on the table.

COOPER: So that Bush administration idea of - and the notion Condoleezza Rice talked about of the new Middle East, is that just dead?

WRIGHT: The problem is, you are seeing throughout the region a profound reaction against what happened. Anger at not just Israel but the United States. And the idea of the new Middle East. But because of what's happened in Iraq and the messy aftermath of the U.S. invasion or intervention, the ongoing presence of American troops, what happened in Lebanon, problems in Afghanistan, the fact that the road map designed and the tensions between the Palestinians and Israelis is dead, that people are now saying that the new Middle East will be a very different kind of Middle East where you see ascendance or the popularity, anyway, of groups like Hezbollah.

COOPER: That is a frightening prospect, indeed. Robin Wright, appreciate you being on the program. Thanks.

WRIGHT: Thank you.


COOPER: And we are tracking two growing storms tonight. The hurricane season has been pretty slow so far, that may be all about to change.

Also tonight, Tom Cruise in trouble, dropped by a big Hollywood studio, focusing new light on his ties to the Church of Scientology and including this vault they have. What are they hiding deep inside the vault? When 360 continues.


COOPER: A year ago today, New Orleans didn't know how bad things were about to get. 2005 hurricane season was raging, 10 named storms had already formed, including four hurricanes, first came Cindy there on the left, then Dennis on the right, then Category 5 storm Emily, followed by Irene, the monsters Katrina and Rita were just around the corner.

But this year at same point in the season, we have yet to see a single hurricane, so far just four named storms, one of them poised to become the season's first hurricane. Joining me now, CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf. Reynolds, what does it look like?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the latest we have for you, Anderson, is some development now moving into the Caribbean. We already have Debbie that is in the Atlantic, now we focus more on the Caribbean and to set the stage for you, earlier this afternoon, a hurricane hunter aircraft went into this cluster of showers and storms, did investigation and noticed there was some closed circulations which indicates a developing storm system.

What we have is tropical depression number five, the fifth of the season, with winds, maximum sustained, at 35 miles per hour. Now we know where it is, question is, where is it this going to go? The latest path we have from the National Hurricane Center, forecast path more to the west, and just south of Puerto Rico by 2:00 tomorrow afternoon.

Now by that time, it is expected to strengthen with winds at 45 miles an hour, it will then not be a tropical depression but tropical storm, this will be tropical storm, let's see, Ernesto, then Ernesto is expected to continue its westerly drift, moving just south of the Dominican Republic, with winds at 60, so we're going to see a rapid intensification of this storm, it will then make its way south of Cuba right near Jamaica and when it gets to Jamaica, Anderson, we are thinking it is going to be a little bit of fluctuation with strength as it interacts with land but then, notice this, wind speeds going up to 70 miles per hour into Monday and into Tuesday should be near the Yucatan Peninsula, near the western tip of Cuba and then if it moves into the open waters Gulf of Mexico, where water temperatures are into the 80s, with minimal shear environment. It's anybody's ballgame. A lot can happen.

Obviously a lot can happen from now until tomorrow to the day after. So we need to watch it very carefully but it is time to start preparing along parts of the Gulf of Mexico and certainly into the Caribbean.

COOPER: There is also an update in the next hour or so, is that correct?

WOLF: Absolutely. And we'll bring that on to you.

COOPER: We'll bring that to you as soon as we get an update from the National Hurricane Center. Reynolds, appreciate it.

Back to the long strange trip of John Karr in a moment, including new revelations from his past. That's him arriving in Colorado today. Facing the music.

Then on to Iran we will go, a new report calling it a growing threat. New allegations of connection between the military in Iran and trouble in Iraq.

And Tom Cruise versus Hollywood, what a long, strange trip that has been as well. Details when 360 continues.


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