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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

FBI's Mystery Case Files

Aired October 13, 2006 - 23:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to this special edition of 360, the FBI's Mystery Case Files. They haunt those left behind, both the families of the victims, and the FBI agents determined to solve them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Little girl lost ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I were a resident of Boulder, I would tell my friends to keep your babies close to you.

ANNOUNCER: A cold case they'd thought they'd solved.

(CROSSTALK)

ANNOUNCER: But the D.A. had the wrong guy. Now what?

A pizza delivery man caught robbing a bank. That's what he said just before the bomb around his neck blew up. Was he an accomplice of the crime, or the victim of a deadly game?

And burglars with a taste for high-end jewelry and low-tech weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They've done things like put liquid soap in front of the security guard.

ANNOUNCER: Robbers as slippery as soap. They've made off with millions -- why they're so hard to catch.

Across the country and around the world, this is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, FBI's Mystery Case File. Reporting from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: In the blunt language of police work, they're called "cold cases." And though the FBI insists most are open and active, the reality is that many investigations have simply run out of leads and hit a wall.

Over the next hour, we're going to update you on several infamous crimes that have two things in common, they all received intense media coverage and with one exception they have never been solved.

Tonight, perhaps with your help, a criminal will receive justice. Joining me for this special edition of 360 is John Walsh. His young son, Adam, was murdered more than 20 years ago. And as the host of "America's Most Wanted," Walsh has helped in the capture of more than 900 fugitives.

We begin with a child beauty queen. We know her name. We know what happened to her. But what we don't know is who did it and why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KARR, FALSELY CONFESSED TO KILLING JONBENET: I love JonBenet and she died accidentally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you an innocent man?

KARR: No.

COOPER (voice-over): We may never know why John Karr said what he said, but for a few weeks, it appeared that one of most famous murders of the 20th century was solved. As it turned out, the charges against Karr would be dismissed and what was suddenly a very hot case, turned ice cold yet again.

To understand why this mystery continues to fascinate millions around the world, we have to go back to the beginning. And a beautiful little girl.

They are images frozen in time, a 6-year-old girl, dancing on a stage. Her name, JonBenet Ramsey. Christmas day 1996, the Ramsey family returns from a party to their spacious house in Boulder, Colorado.

LAWRENCE SCHILLER, "PERFECT MURDER, PERFECT TOWN": They came home around 10:00 p.m. JonBenet supposedly fell asleep in the backseat of the car. She was lifted out of the car by her father and up the back stairs which was a spiral staircase to the second floor and she was placed in her bed.

COOPER: Then, JonBenet's mother, Patsy, tucked her baby in. The Ramseys say it was the last time they saw her alive. The next day, JonBenet's body was found in the basement, the crime scene was horrific. She had been beaten and strangled with a garrote. And at the bottom of the staircase there was a ransom note. It was the city's only murder of the year. And it quickly gained national attention.

The Ramseys said an intruder took their daughter's life and in an interview with CNN, urged the community to be careful.

PATSY RAMSEY, JONBENET'S MOTHER: Keep your babies close to you. There's someone out there.

COOPER: But from the start, the Ramseys were under a cloud of suspicion, even after a grand jury failed to indict them.

On "LARRY KING LIVE," Steve Thomas, a former police detective, confronted them about his theory.

STEVE THOMAS, FORMER BOULDER DETECTIVE: I felt that Patsy is involved in this death, in this tragedy, and I felt that it had become such a debacle.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": John, why did you agree to come on with Steve tonight? I mean, this is rather historic. I'm trying to remember if there's ever been television like this.

JOHN RAMSEY: This man, as a police officer, has called my wife a murderer, he has called me a liar.

COOPER: In 2003, after a judge ruled that someone else most likely killed JonBenet, the Boulder D.A. cleared the Ramseys of the crime. The Ramseys were confident DNA testing would bring justice. For Patsy it never happened. She died of cancer this past June.

Just two months later, John Karr would be paraded before the cameras. The father and former teacher stunning everyone with a shocking admission...

KARR: Her death was an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you were in the basement?

KARR: Yes.

COOPER: Karr was arrested, extradited and charged with a decade- old murder.

LIN WOOD, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN RAMSEY: We may be, and I say may be one step closer to a final resolution of the case.

COOPER: There was one big problem, however. Evidence. Karr said he was in Boulder in December 1996. His family says he was with them in Georgia for Christmas. And when Karr's DNA was not found at the crime scene, prosecutors pulled the plug.

SETH TEMIN: The warrant on Mr. Karr's been dropped by the district attorney.

COOPER: Just like that, instead of a closed case, the JonBenet investigation is back to wide open. And in a cemetery outside of Atlanta, next to her mother's grave, a little girl remains buried. She would now be 16 years old.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Joining us over the next hour, John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted."

Let's talk first about the JonBenet Ramsey case. What do you think of John Mark Karr?

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: I think that he's a low-life who wanted his 15 minutes of fame. I think if he could have killed JonBenet, he would have possibly. I think he's a hard core pedophile that probably was in Thailand molesting kids. But I don't think he had anything to do with JonBenet Ramsey. He just wanted his 15 minutes of fame. I think it's absolutely disgusting that in the child pornography possession case that they just let him go on, that somehow that computer evaporated.

And I've got to ask this question. We spent how many millions of dollars to put Martha Stewart in jail and then put an electronic monitoring bracelet on her for a year and a half? And we let a known pedophile who was flown back at taxpayer's expense, who confessed to a murder he didn't commit, walk out of jail a free man disappear? He's going to go somewhere and molest children.

COOPER: When you look at the details of the JonBenet Ramsey case, though, is this thing ever going to get solved?

WALSH: You know, it's not like on TV. You know, the guy who was this main suspect in Adam's murder was never charged. The police work was very shoddy. They lost a piece of bloody carpet in Adam's case of the main suspect. That carpet would have been able to prove with DNA now who killed Adam, if the guy, that was the main suspect, died in prison.

I think the JonBenet Ramsey case is the same thing, that John Ramsey will never see justice. Very poor police work. Everybody admits that. Evidence lost. Nobody looked at, but the Ramseys. I think it's another American tragedy that probably will never be solved and I personally believe that somebody came into that house, and so do a lot of other detectives, and killed JonBenet Ramsey and that killer's still at large.

COOPER: And so -- I mean, the details of it, the ransom note that was taken from the kitchen, written in the kitchen, you know, with the dollar signs that just happened to be the same amount that John Ramsey got as a bonus that year. I mean, there's so many details of it which sort of raised more questions than they answer.

WALSH: Yes, possibly coincidences. But you know, they never looked at anybody else but the family. And there was a Christmas party with 200 people there the day before. And the FBI always says, is it the maid? Maybe it's not the maid, it's the maid's crack addicted boyfriend that's on work release that has access to the house.

Maybe it's the caterer, maybe it's somebody that knew. And there's so many details that haven't been released in that case. And a grand jury held in the state of Colorado came up with the same conclusion. And this was different D.A.'s from different counties that said the police work was so bad, that case will probably never be solved.

COOPER: And that's the problem, I guess, with a lot of these sort of "cold cases," that as the years go by, evidence gets lost.

WALSH: Oh, absolutely. Evidence disappears, witnesses change addresses, witnesses die. And you know, but I truly -- my belief that justice delayed is not always justice denied. We've caught guys on "America's Most Wanted" that have been out there for 20 years. So I always say, don't give up. Unfortunately, as the case goes on, the chances of solving it are diminished greatly.

COOPER: More mysteries ahead. This one began with a terrifying call to 911.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER: I'm calling about that bank robbery at PNC Bank, Summit Town Plaza.

OPERATOR: Yes, what happened?

CALLER: The guy just walked out with a -- I don't know how much cash in a bag. He had a bomb or something, or something wrapped around his neck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The guy with a bomb around his neck was a pizza delivery plan. And what he told the police just before the bomb went off still haunts his family. Was he a victim or a criminal? That mystery coming up.

Plus, they've robbed dozens of jewelry stores in 12 states, walked off with more than $7 million of goods. Three years later police are baffled. What makes their crime so cunning? When this special edition of 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): May 26, 1978, a mysterious package is opened at Northwestern University and instantly explodes. Over the next 17 years, 15 more mail bombs erupt in the faces of innocence victims, killing three, injuring 23 others.

Dubbed the Unabomber, his targets were mainly university professors and airline executives.

On April 3, 1996, Ted Kaczynski was captured by the FBI in a Montana cabin after a tip from Kaczynski's brother. The Unabomber was sentenced to four consecutive life terms plus 30 years for his crimes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The Unabomber case was eventually solved.

This next case, which came to be known as the pizza bomber mystery, remains a mystery. And tonight it may be heating up. It is one of the most bizarre cases on the books. More than three years ago in Pennsylvania, it played out in gruesome detail as local television cameras rolled.

Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the last day of his life, Brian Wells sat in an Erie, Pennsylvania street. Police had just caught him after he apparently robbed a bank. But this was not a routine apprehension.

This surveillance picture shows Wells in the bank with a lollipop in his mouth, a gun shaped like a cane in his hand, and a large mysterious object under his shirt. The reason police were avoiding him after the arrest, made clear by this 911 call.

CALLER: I'm calling about the bank robbery at PNC Bank, Summit Town Plaza.

OPERATOR: Yes, what happened?

CALLER: The guy just walked out with I don't know how much cash in a bag. He had a bomb or something, or something wrapped around his neck.

TUCHMAN: Police didn't know if it was a real bomb, but they called for the bomb squad. You can faintly hear Brian Wells as everyone nervously waited.

BRIAN WELLS, PIZZA DELIVERY MAN: Can you please take these handcuffs off?

TUCHMAN: Police handcuffed Wells because they initially thought he was a criminal who robbed the bank. But Wells, a pizza deliveryman, told them he was forced to commit the actions against his will by people who put the time bomb around his neck.

WELLS: He pulled a key out and started a timer. I heard the thing ticking when he did it. It's going to go off.

TUCHMAN: We can't show you what happened next. But you can hear it.

(Explosion)

TUCHMAN: The bomb did explode and Brian Wells was killed in a horrifying fashion. Three years later the case is unsolved. The magnitude of the mystery, compounded by the bizarreness of the story.

JOHN WELLS: My brother told them it was a group of strangers that accosted him at gun point, shot at him when he tried to run away.

TUCHMAN: After he was killed, police found the cane-shaped gun in Wells' pizza delivery car. They examined the bomb and said they had never seen anything quite like it.

ROBERT RUDGE, FBI: It is unique in its construction. The lab's opinion at this point in time is that it is not likely that it was commercially manufactured and we do not believe that it has any legitimate industrial use.

TUCHMAN: And authorities also discovered scavenger hunt type instructions, which declared Wells would be blown up in 55 minutes if he didn't follow all the steps. "Act now, think later or you will die," said one of the demands. It was followed by the warning, "stay calm and do as instructed to survive. If police or aircraft are involved, you will be destroyed."

J. WELLS: Words cannot express the feelings I have towards this investigation.

TUCHMAN: Brian Wells' brother says that because initially investigators said this...

RUDGE: From the FBI's perspective, we are still continuing parallel lines of investigation and we have not ruled out participation by Mr. Wells.

TUCHMAN: In other words, no arrests yet. And while authorities have investigated whether Wells was murdered by ruthless and heartless criminals, they have also examined whether Wells put the bomb on himself.

J. WELLS: The fact that the police want to hide behind an innocent victim for failing to do their jobs, I think they're going to have to live with their actions that day.

TUCHMAN: So after three years, where does the FBI stand? The agency now does not want to go on camera. But an FBI spokeswoman in Washington says the Erie, Pennsylvania, office is in a very critical stage with this case. But nothing will be taking place until at least the first of the year that the public will be able to know about.

And what could that be? The FBI won't give a hint, which means this mysterious case has taken still another curious twist.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: This case is just fascinating. I mean, it's so bizarre to see it all captured on video like that. The FBI said they haven't been able to rule out the participation of Brian Wells in this crime.

WALSH: I think that Brian Wells was an innocent pawn in this game, a game perpetrated by three people, one of them he knew. And I'll try to lay it out for you, Anderson.

Here's a guy -- the regular pizza delivery boy calls in sick that day and Brian Wells goes in. Here's a guy that volunteered at the Boys and Girls Clubs, volunteered at YMCA, a quiet guy with a simple life. No criminal history whatsoever.

Two pizzas are ordered. He goes down a dirt road to a fake address. And Brian Wells, before he died, said that there were three people there, that they put a collar bomb around his neck and told him to go rob a bank, and gave him a gun with no bullets in it, homemade shotgun. Now, the main suspect, William Rothstein. They go to his house. Brilliant guy, shop teacher, very eccentric. He's a suspect. They go into his house and what do they find? A body in his freezer. William Rothstein says, my fiancee, Marjorie Diehl Armstrong, paid me $2,000 to hide this body.

So now the main suspect has a body in his house. But they catch a fugitive that we were looking for in the house, a guy named Floyd Stockton.

COOPER: Who you had profiled?

WALSH: He's a wanted rapist for raping a mentally challenged, a retarded 19-year-old girl. They get Floyd Stockton, he goes back to Washington state. And guess what? The pizza delivery guy that called in sick dies three days later of a drug overdose, the guy that I believe set up Brian Wells to go to the pizza parlor to work for him that day.

William Rothstein, the main suspect, died of cancer. And guess what happened to Floyd Stockton? He's disappeared into the air. These guys all loved this treasure hunting game. I believe that they lured Brian Wells, they put this bomb around his neck. I don't think they cared about the bank money. They wanted to see if they could get way with murder and they could watch this treasure hunt unfold.

COOPER: FBI says they've been closing in on a suspect. They've been saying that now for quite a while. No arrests have been made.

WALSH: Two of them are dead, one of them is missing. The lady, Marjorie Diehl Armstrong's in prison for the murder of her husband, will not talk. And I still think that Brian Wells was an innocent pawn in a deadly game.

COOPER: On to another FBI mystery, another senseless crime, where this time the victim was only in the 8th grade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK LACK, FORMER FBI AGENT: The Christina Williams case affected me in ways that no FBI case had ever affected me. It was a purely sweet, little, innocent 13-year-old who had never done anything in her life to harm anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A former FBI agent, still haunted by an unsolved murder. Coming up, his quest for answers. Who killed sweet, innocent Christina?

Plus, how hard work, determination can pay off. We'll look at how one cold case was solved. Investigators never gave up until they connected the dots and but a rapist behind bars.

You're watching a special edition of 360, the "FBI's Mystery Case Files." (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Erica Hill in Atlanta. We'll have more from the "FBI's Mystery Case Files" in just a moment. First, though, this 360 bulletin.

Late new evidence tonight that North Korea wasn't bluffing. Officials tell CNN the United States now has evidence of radioactivity from a site where Pyongyang claims it tested a nuclear device. The U.N. Security Council votes tomorrow on a resolution on sanctions against North Korea.

Police in Florida are investigating a grizzly multiple killing. A man, a woman and two children were discovered this morning along the side of Florida's turnpike near a busy interchange with I-95. All were shot several times. The victims were Hispanic. The dead children, ages 4 and 6, were held tightly in the woman's arms. So far there is no word on suspects.

And the FAA is changing the rules in the wake of the crash that killed New York Yankee Pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor. Small planes will no longer be allowed to fly low along the East River unless the pilot is in contact with air traffic controllers. Now the ban does not apply to helicopters and sea planes.

I'm Erica Hill. We'll return you back to our special, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Eight years ago there was still hope that Christina Williams would turn up safe, somewhere, somehow. The FBI was desperately searching for the 13-year-old girl who had simply vanished from the military base where she lived. Today, the FBI is still search, not for Christina, but for her killer.

Again, here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN: Christina Williams was like many 13-year-old girls. She kept a diary, had a favorite color, purple, and collected beanie babies. One June evening she took her new puppy, Greg, for a walk.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS, CHRISTINA'S DAD: It was her dog that we got for her birthday about two months earlier. Christina is a very, very punctual 13-year-old and very reliable. And about a half hour into it, my son realized that my daughter hadn't come back.

TUCHMAN: Greg was found walking home alone. Christina appeared to have vanished. Police called in the FBI. The community formed a volunteer center and searched.

RICK LACK, FORMER FBI AGENT: I've never seen the community so grasp on to an investigation.

TUCHMAN: Volunteers searched by foot, by bike, even by horseback and ATV. No sign of Christina.

Former FBI agent Rick Lack.

LACK: The Christina Williams case affected me in ways that no FBI case had ever affected me. It was a purely sweet, little, innocent 13-year-old who had never done anything in her life to harm anybody.

TUCHMAN: Everybody helped and hoped. The media pitched in.

"LARRY KING LIVE."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a child missing...

TUCHMAN: "America's Most Wanted," and "Oprah." Thousands of tips rolled in. Many believed she had been abducted by someone in their midst.

LACK: We felt this was the work of someone intimately familiar with Fort (INAUDIBLE), who is likely there, if not every day, many times during the week.

TUCHMAN: There were suspects, alleged sighting as far away as North Carolina, and searches for a gray Ford Grenada. Nothing led to Christina.

Seven months to the day after her disappearance, Christina's body was found in these woods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is my sad duty to announce that the body found January 12, 1999, is that of Christina Williams.

TUCHMAN: Christina's remains were found in the woods, four miles from where she vanished, badly decomposed. Any forensic evidence, gone.

Today, a memorial sits near those woods. And the FBI is still searching. For Rick Lack, Christina's story is more about questions than answers.

LACK: What could we have done differently? What could we have changed early on in the investigation? Did we miss anything? Was there something that popped up on the radar that should have drawn more attention? And it still bothers me to this day that we have not been able to resolve this case, to give that family the closure and to get somebody in jail.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So Christina Williams, I mean, the FBI says the investigation is ongoing. They say they think she was killed by a white man with a history of sex crimes, but they don't have any anybody. How would they come up with that? Is that just sort of a generic catch-all? Is that who usually commits these sorts of crimes? WALSH: Well, you know, nowadays we know that we should look at the registered sex offenders and people with track records in so many cases like Jessica Lunsford and the Shasta Groening case in Coeur d'Alene, Iowa. It was sex offenders who had jumped their parole and their probation and that were tracking these little girls.

So I went out to cover this case years ago, and it was a heartbreaking case because this little girl was raised in Japan. Her family was an Army family and they had just been transferred to that base. And they really weren't in touch with and in tune with the violence in America and the possibility of kidnappings.

You know, these cases, as much as we look on television and say there's always a happy ending, you know, that CSI comes in and finds all of the forensics, they arrest somebody...

COOPER: Yes, I mean, it's been eight years. You profiled this back in 1998.

WALSH: I don't think this case will ever be solved.

COOPER: How long does it take before something becomes a cold case? Is there a golden window of opportunity?

WALSH: Well, absolutely. I mean, you know, cases of missing children, stranger abducted children, the Justice Department says that most of those kids are murdered within the first four hours.

COOPER: Really?

WALSH: And that the -- you know the sooner you get on the case, the better your chances are of recovering the child. It's the same thing in any crime as the crime gets older. And let's say it's a busy precinct, it's a busy precinct that might have 14 murders unsolved or 27 murders or whatever. And then that case goes right down to the bottom as new crimes happen. If it's a small P.D. and they only have one detective working on it, and it retires. A cold case can become a cold case in six months.

COOPER: It's almost frightening to think that, you know, your kid can go out for a walk and the dog come homes and the child doesn't and they just disappear and the criminal disappears as well.

WALSH: Oh, absolutely. I mean, it is so heartbreaking. And for this family, the not knowing was killing them. That, you know, they at least have the remains. When you find remains, that ends the search for the child. It's not closure. I'll always be the parent of a murdered child and I'll always in my lifetime be seeking justice for Adam. But I have come to the realization that I won't get it, and Christina's family won't get it either.

COOPER: Yes, that word "closure," I think is sort of a TV word. I think in real life it doesn't exist for someone who's lost a child.

WALSH: It doesn't exist for victims, no. COOPER: It's not just murders that are left unsolved, of course. The FBI is also on the hunt for a pack of gutsy thieves known as the gate cutters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN PIKUS, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, ALBANY FBI: They've done things like threw liquid soap in front of the security guard. On one occasion, liquid soap in front of the security guard office, hoping that the security guards would slip as they came out the door.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Nearly 60 jewelry burglaries in a dozen states. Thieves with fancy tastes have taken more than $7 million in goods. We take you inside the manhunt.

Plus, after years of seeking justice, what it's like for a family to finally solve a cold case. A success story, when this special edition of 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: With a cold case, you can always hope that the criminal you're looking for is going to make a mistake, trip up, get sloppy, or maybe even start bragging about the crime. None of those things has happened in this next case, not yet anyway. In this case, the criminals are burglars who have robbed dozens of jewelry stores mostly on the east coast. They're cunning, fast and brazen. And they are still on the loose tonight.

Here's CNN's Joe Johns.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police call them the gate cutters, four to six thieves who break into stores by cutting through metal rods and security gates. In three years they have burglarized 59 jewelry stores in 12 states. The total haul? More than $7.5 million worth of merchandise. Their crimes are cunning, their M.O., consistent.

JOHN PIKUS, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, ALBANY FBI: The burglaries occurred always at malls and at night, generally from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. The perpetrators accessed either a door, pried open a door leading into the mall; or towards the end of the mall hours, their working hours, they were mingled amongst the moviegoers.

JOHNS: Investigators say the gate cutters first heist was in Hicksville, New York, in 2003. Then they quickly made their way up and down the East Coast, spending only three to seven minutes inside each store they hit.

PIKUS: They had to defeat the surveillance devices within the store. But because their access to the store was so limited in time, they could actually just burglarize the store and get out in such a short period of time that once they knew the positions of the guards, there wasn't anybody really to stop them.

JOHNS: Their methods may not have been sophisticated, but they were certainly successful.

PIKUS: They've done things like threw liquid soap in front of the security guard. On one occasion, liquid soap in front of the security guard office, hoping that the security guards would slip as they came out the door. It sounds low tech. It gives also an idea of how emboldened they are and how brazen they are.

JOHNS: According to investigators, they also know their merchandise. Taking high end jewelry that's hard to trace. In fact, police say, not one item taken by the gate cutters has ever been recovered.

PIKUS: A lot of the jewelry were the men's jewelry like chains, neck chains, wrist chains. They don't have a serial number on them, so it's difficult to trace this jewelry. The Movado watches that they seem to favor run anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars in price. If you go on eBay right now, you'll find hundreds of them for sale.

JOHNS: Their last known heist happened in Bay Shore, New York, in November of 2005. Since then, the gate cutters gang apparently has been silent. And they left police with little evidence, just half a dozen or so grainy surveillance photos. Still, investigators say, one day they'll bring the gate cutters to justice.

PIKUS: I believe we have a good chance of catching them. It's just a matter of time. A leopard doesn't change his spots. It's something that maybe they have gotten used to with the money and they will go back to probably using the same techniques in the future. And they haven't done it already.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: This story is really different than the other ones we're featuring because no one has been hurt or killed. But why do you think it is so important to get these guys?

WALSH: Well, I think it's a matter of time. I mean, this East Coast gate cutters crew is a brazen group of guy whose go into malls, usually at closing time, I mean around 9 o'clock when malls close and people are leaving, et cetera, and they slide under the jewelry store gate before it goes down, or cut it, and go in, five or six of them. We have really good video.

I mean, they're getting so brazen, that a couple of the guys have actually put their hoods down. They steal specific kinds of jewelry. They'll leave expensive jewelry, to steal certain kind of watches. They estimate that they've gotten away with about $5 million worth of jewelry. They've robbed 57 jewelry stores in malls up and down the East Coast. And I'm absolutely amazed that someone hasn't turned them in. COOPER: Especially because there are, I mean, there are six of them, and you would think someone would talk somewhere.

WALSH: Six of them. And here's how sophisticated they are. They will put super glue on security guards' doors, handles of their cars and in their door locks; put a lubricant on the exit, so when they get out, if a security guard chases them -- and they know the security guards are really not highly trained, et cetera.

But my fear is that, one of these security guards or someone in that mall is going to see them doing this, because they've done it many, many times right at closing time when people are still exiting the food courts and going to their cars. I think somebody's going to get killed and I'm amazed that somebody hasn't turned them in.

I hope that people will watch this video tonight and say, you know what? I think I know that guy and make that call.

COOPER: Is it possible they just disbanded, though? I mean, it's been almost a year since the last robbery that was attributed to them.

WALSH: Very easily. Very easily. And they may get together, they may start up in another area. They may be somewhere hiding, you know, living off of the fence loot and they may get back together.

But the point I'm making is, that they did successfully rob 57 different locations and they may, you know, start up again and kill somebody. But I think these guys are catchable. Some of the cases we're talking about today I know in the bottom of my heart will probably never be solved. I can't understand why these guys haven't been taken down. A lot of people know who these guys are and they ought to have the guts to make the call before these guys kill somebody.

COOPER: In another case, there is quite a twist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE BYRD, SHERIFF, JACKSON CITY, MISSISSIPPI: First looking at it, you might think it was just somebody threw out some garbage or threw out some trash. But upon further investigation is when the body was found.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A body found with no identification. The suspected killers behind bars. But police are still trying to figure out who the victim was. Maybe you can help.

Also, what it's like to solve a mystery. It took investigators five years to track down a rapist halfway across the country from the city he first terrorized. How they did it, when this special edition of 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: April 19, 1995, a truck bomb explodes at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring more than 500.

Authorities immediately suspect the man who rented the truck, Gulf War Army Veteran Timothy McVeigh. His friend and fellow Army Veteran Terry Nichols is also sought for the bombing.

McVeigh eventually confesses to the crime, claiming he was avenging the government's raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. He's found guilty of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction.

On June 11, 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed for his crimes.

Terry Nichols is convicted as a co-conspirator and murderer. He'll spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Relatives of those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing were able to face their loved ones' killers during their trials. And in McVeigh's case, at his execution.

But of course, not every family gets that chance. Sometimes the family and the victim are a mystery. Police in Jackson City, Mississippi, have an alleged killer behind bars. What they're now trying to figure out is who he killed.

Here's CNN's Rick Sanchez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the summer of 2001 in these Mississippi woods near the Alabama state line, a man picking up cans for recycling money stumbled on something strange, something large and wrapped in a blanket. He called police, and reached Sheriff Mike Byrd.

MIKE BYRD, SHERIFF, JACKSON CITY, MISSISSIPPI: First looking at it, you might think it was just somebody threw out some garbage or threw out some trash. But upon further investigation is when the body was found.

SANCHEZ: The body, police say, was that of a white or Hispanic man, shot in the head. He was bound by rope and duct tape, then wrapped in several sheets and blankets to cover up the crime. Police suspect he was murdered somewhere else and dumped here.

Lieutenant Ken McClenic and Captain Nick Sears show us where the body was found.

LT. KEN MCCLENIC, JACKSON CITY, MISSISSIPPI: Where we suspect the crime was committed or where they had the body at one time, if you leave that house, this would be the first secluded location that you could dispose of a body.

SANCHEZ: The victim was middle aged. 5'5", weighed 250 pounds, had short hair and tattoos, including the letter "E" on his left forearm and a bird on the back of his shoulder. Because he had no ID, they couldn't figure out who he was. And because they didn't know where exactly he was killed, they didn't know where to search.

BYRD: If a case is not solved within 36 to 48 hours, it can become cold unless you develop leads that will lead you into an area where you think that you're going to solve this case. We didn't have that.

SANCHEZ: And because of that, the investigation dragged on. But finally, three years later, a break. Police get a tip that someone was bragging about committing the murder.

This man, Steven Leon Andrews, was charged with capital murder and robbery. Police say he murdered his victim while asleep in an apartment. And they say based on tips they received, it may have involved drugs.

Andrews is now in custody, awaiting trial.

CAPTAIN NICK SEARS, JACKSON CITY, MISSISSIPPI: It's hard work and you know, just a little bit of luck, and you know, we fortunately solved this.

SANCHEZ: But something remains unsolved. Who was the victim? The suspect, who denies the charges, tells police he doesn't know. And nobody else seems to know either.

BYRD: I've never, in my 35 years as a police officer, have never found one that we couldn't identify the victim.

SANCHEZ: Police have sent fingerprints to local, state and federal agencies, including the FBI. They're offering $1,000 reward to anyone who can come forward and solve the mystery.

SEARS: He does have a family out there somewhere. And they, you know, I think they need closure as to know -- they're looking for a missing son, you know, we think, and I think they need to have closure in that themselves.

SANCHEZ: But where is that family? Have they already come forward, but police in Mississippi haven't gotten the word? And if they haven't come forward, why not? It would seem they would want to know where he is as much as Mississippi police want to know who he is.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: How unusual is this case? I mean they have the body of a victim, they have a person in custody. And yet they don't know the identity of the victim?

WALSH: I think it's a lot more commonplace than people want to accept in this country that spent $44 billion to put a robot on Mars to send us back pictures of ice crystals, but here in New York City, they have a place called Potters Field, which is littered with thousands, thousands of unmarked graves of Jane and John Does. This is a commonplace thing in America.

In this case, this may be a Mexican-American or a Hispanic illegal, someone that didn't have status in this country. Still a human being that was murdered, and that family somewhere, whether they're in Mexico, or Central America, would like to know what happened to their loved one.

But I've seen this -- we've profiled cases of unidentified children, we've profiled cases of unidentified women and men all over this country. And it is really a sad thing that we still to this day don't have a very unified system.

Finally, people are starting to put cases of unidentified dead into the FBI computer, into the NCIC, and law enforcement is starting to exchange information.

But I think people would be amazed that in the 21st century, we still bury people all over this country, every single week, that are in Jane and John Doe graves.

COOPER: Especially because in this case, I mean, there are identifying marks on the body, there are even tattoos on the body, which you would think someone could see and say, oh yes, you know my cousin got that or my brother got that.

WALSH: But there's no centralized system, Anderson. I mean, you know how these cases get solved? They get on programs like "America's Most Wanted," they get on a program like this. You give some of the identifiers and somebody puts it together and says, oh my God, I've been looking for my cousin for two or three years now. He did have that tattoo.

That's why we're always so specific with unidentified people on "America's Most Wanted." We talk about their dental work, we talk about identifying marks because usually there's somebody looking for that person.

COOPER: A lot of times in a cold case, investigators are led down the wrong path.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. THOMAS MCDEVITT, PHILADELPHIA P.D.: Because we had over 1,200 tips come in. And every single one of them -- almost every single one was a white male.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A rough description that turned out to be wrong. But police never gave up, and tracked down a rapist halfway across the country. How they did it, next, on this special edition of 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: July 27, 1996, a bomb explodes at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The Olympic park bomber continues his rein of terror at an abortion clinic, a lesbian nightclub, and at another abortion clinic.

Authorities begin to search for Eric Robert Rudolph, whose truck is spotted near the last explosion, and he's eventually added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

Rudolph remains on the run until May 31, 2003, when he's apprehended at a Murphy, North Carolina, supermarket. In 2005, he was sentenced to four consecutive life terms, plus 120 years for his crimes.

As we said earlier, sometimes even the coldest case can heat up years later. Persistence and good police work can pay off. It did in the case of Eric Rudolph.

And also in the case of the Center City rapist in Philadelphia. It wasn't easy and it wasn't quick, but in the end, the killer was caught.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was summertime 1997, and this trendy, Philadelphia neighborhood was on edge. Someone in Center City was breaking into apartments, blindfolding women and raping them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a vicious, vicious person that was just there to dominate the woman and take advantage of her.

KAYE: Women were terrified. Investigators, stumped. And the Center City rapist was only becoming more violent.

A year after the attacks began, a young doctoral candidate from the University of Pennsylvania was raped and strangled.

(on camera): It was 3 a.m., 23-year-old Shannon Scheiber had just returned home to her second floor apartment. She was running a bath before bed and had left the sliding glass door open a few inches to let some air in.

(voice-over): The Center City rapist saw it as an opportunity. This would be his fifth attack in this city.

All they had to go on was a rough description of a white male suspect. That would turn out to be wrong.

(on camera): So how did that impact your search?

LT. THOMAS MCDEVITT, PHILADELPHIA P.D.: It hurt us a lot because we had over 1,200 tips come in and every single one of them was -- almost every single one was a white male. KAYE (voice-over): Investigators issued a John Doe warrant, using DNA found at the scenes.

MCDEVITT: Which says that person with this genetic profile is now wanted.

KAYE: For two years, the rapist continued to haunt Center City. Then suddenly the attacks stopped.

MCDEVITT: We didn't know, was he still here like he was before, just not doing anything, or did he leave?

KAYE: Two years after the last attack in Pennsylvania, someone began raping women in Fort Collins, Colorado, 1,750 miles away.

OFFICER KIM COCHRAN, FORT COLLINS P.D.: The general M.O. was that he was entering through unlocked doors and windows of apartments in the early morning hours.

KAYE: Fort Collins investigators also had DNA -- saliva and sweat from the rim of a baseball hat. The DNA all came from one attacker. But who? Clues came in a letter from the rapist himself.

COCHRAN: At the end of the letter, he said that he didn't want to talk about Philadelphia, that was another place, another time, and that he was there, but the girl was alive when he left, but no one obviously would believe him. That really turned out to be, I think, the turning point of the investigation. And a direct comparison was done between the unknown profile in Philadelphia and the unknown profile from the cases in Fort Collins, and there was a match.

KAYE: But the case wasn't closed yet. Investigators still didn't have a suspect. A computer search helped them determine who moved from Philadelphia to Fort Collins during the years in question.

(on camera): And eventually you got this list down to two people?

MCDEVITT: We narrowed it down, we got it down to two people. Troy Graves was at the top of the list.

KAYE (voice-over): Troy Graves, a black man, 29, married, an Airman at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, near the Colorado border.

TROY GRAVES, RAPIST: I'm still a human being and capable of some good and that's about all I have for today. Thank you.

KAYE: Graves pleaded guilty to attacking 14 women, six in Philadelphia, including murder victim Shannon Scheiber, and eight in Colorado.

(on camera): Had you ever lost hope?

MCDEVITT: Never. Never. We knew we would get him. It was just a matter of time that we would get him. KAYE (voice-over): It took five years, investigators in two states and two DNA labs to get him. But they did. And Graves will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Philadelphia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: In a moment, we'll wrap up this special edition of 360, the "FBI's Mystery Case Files," with final thoughts from John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted." Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're rejoined by John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted."

What do you think people should take away from this hour? I mean, what should we learn and keep in mind as we move forward?

WALSH: I think they should realize the gravity of these cases and it isn't what you see on television. There aren't a whole bunch of forensic CSI labs. The bad guy doesn't always get caught. There isn't justice for the victims. They don't go through the criminal justice system. The body isn't always identified.

There are literally tens of thousands of cold cases, very really tough cases -- Chandra Levy, for example. I can name so many famous cases. You know, Natalee Hollaway, cases like this, that there probably won't be a TV ending to. There probably won't justice. And that's -- won't be justice for that family -- and that's a bitter pill to swallow.

And I think that people ought to realize that this is a big, great country and we need to have better exchange of information and we should put that priority, because I've said to you before, justice delayed is not always justice denied. But I think it should be bumped up with all of the things we do in this country, that solving these cold cases and the resources put to them, they should be better organized and more people should care about them. Really, because there are millions of Americans that looking for justice.

COOPER: And people can make a difference out there, as you've said.

WALSH: Absolutely. I've seen it. In the 20 years on "America's Most Wanted," people say to me, how the heck did you guys ever catch 970 -- I'm sorry, 907 of the world's worst fugitives in 30 countries? How did you catch 15 of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted?

How did you recover those missing children and Elizabeth Smart? You know what I say? Because one person made a difference. One person had the guts to make that call to our hotline and say, I think I can make a difference in this case. That's what breaks these cases, caring, individual people. I always hold out hope that these cases will be solved and an individual person, especially in these old cold cases, can make a difference.

COOPER: Well, John, thanks for what you're doing. Thanks very much.

Thanks for joining us in this special edition of 360, a look inside the "FBI's Mystery Case Files."

To report a tip on any case, call your local FBI field office or go online to https://tips.fbi.gov.

"LARRY KING" is next.

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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