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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Deadly Tornadoes; America Votes 2008; Al Qaeda Comeback; In Her Own Words; Missing Millions: Forgetful Suspect; CSI: Reality; White House Dinner

Aired May 7, 2007 - 23:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
REED TIMMER, STORM CHASER: We saw the tornado on the ground. And it was -- it was skinny, and it appeared to be moving slow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're OK. We're OK.

TIMMER: And, then, as we were within about 100 yards from it, we saw that it was a very violent tornado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not want you to be out looking at this storm.

TIMMER: And that's when -- when Joel said, you know, enough's enough. We're too close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go. Don't go. Jesus Christ. Get in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was actually very, very worried that we weren't going to be able to back up quick enough and avoid the tornado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Highway 83. That would be Arnett and to the west, moving...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finally ended up driving backwards about 40 miles an hour and put a little distance between us and the tornado. We think there was a barn that it hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hear that? Oh, no. Those are structures. Oh, no. No. Wow!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then that debris just got caught up into the tornado. And there was actually a piece of debris that we can count going around the tornado about four times.

TIMMER: But, still, extremely violent. You could see trees getting ripped out of the ground. And this is definitely the closest we have come to any tornado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't move!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Unbelievable. That tornado, terrifying as it looks, doesn't begin to compare to the one that leveled Greensburg, Kansas, the town -- now a little more than a street grade with block after block of rubble where homes used to be. At least 10 people died there, two more pulled from the rubble today, along with a survivor yesterday.

President Bush is expected to visit Greensburg on Wednesday. No official confirmation yet from the White House.

CNN's Gary Tuchman is there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Norman Volz came back home on Monday to his Greensburg, Kansas, house that was destroyed on Friday.

As the tornado approached, he and his wife huddled in a hallway in a house that had no basement.

But then, this huge rusty girder now leaning diagonally flew through the air and hit Beverly Volz in the head.

TUCHMAN: Did you realize your wife was seriously hurt?

NORMAN VOLZ, TORNADO VICTIM: Yes. I knew she was hurt bad. Unfortunately, I couldn't do much about it.

TUCHMAN: Beverly was in bad shape. She and her husband were trapped by rubble, his kneecap was broken. He was petrified for his wife.

(on camera): Did Bev say anything when she got hurt to you?

VOLZ: Yes. She -- she said she was hurt. And I knew it. I could see it. And we just -- I don't -- I don't remember exactly what we said. We just -- I was trying to get her out. I didn't have the strength. And we just talked like a couple would talk after they had been married 30 years.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Beverly Volz was brought to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

VOLZ: There's Bev, best person in the world.

TUCHMAN: Norman was able to find his wedding album in the rubble of their home. Bev was 19, Norman 21, when they married in 1973.

VOLZ: I'd probably just as soon go ahead and have him be a pallbearer.

TUCHMAN: Now, he plans Bev's funeral and is just starting to come to terms with the reality that she's gone.

VOLZ: She was kind of like me. She enjoyed work and she was a home body. She loved to weave, loved to knit. And her yard was her pride and joy.

TUCHMAN: All over this tiny southern Kansas town, people were coming to terms with their new realities.

It is not exaggeration. Almost all of this town is gone. But most here are able to count their blessings that their loved ones escaped unscathed.

Norman, who in the midst of all of this, didn't know what happened to his father, reunited with him on Monday. As it turns out the elderly man had gone out of town before the twister came.

Now, Norman focuses on his life without his childhood sweetheart.

TUCHMAN: Tell me what kind of woman she was.

VOLZ: She was -- to me, she was perfect.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN (on camera): Very sad story.

Today, two more victims were found. The total for this small town is now nine. Authorities had earlier said 10 people died in this town. They are now saying they counted one person twice.

And here's some very discouraging news. We did hear from officials that last night a survivor was found. That was very encouraging news. We're now being told they were wrong about that. Indeed, a person went back to their house to check out the house. They thought he was a survivor. He was not.

They are still looking, however, at this hour for people who might have survived who might still be in the rubble.

It is expected that President Bush will come here this week. The FEMA director, the governor of Kansas, is saying the president will be here Wednesday. So far the White House has not confirmed the day. President Bush has declared Kiowa County, this county, a major disaster area.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Gary, are folks in shelters tonight or are they staying with friends for the most part?

TUCHMAN: There are a lot of people in shelters that have been set up in the area. And also people are staying with friends in neighboring towns, but nobody is staying in this town tonight, Anderson. It is closed to people. Curfew 6:00, local time. Everyone's out. They're expected to come back tomorrow.

Huge turnout today of people looking at their homes. And it was very sad watching them all come in, coming back to nothing.

COOPER: Yes, it's just heartbreaking. Gary, appreciate the reporting.

People across the plains have come to expect tornadoes, of course. Just rarely so many and so bad. Conditions have to be just right for things to go so wrong. Here's how this disaster came to be.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): They touched down in Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, and Kansas. In all, the Weather Service is investigating more than 140 tornado sightings that were reported on Friday and Saturday. It's one of the largest outbreaks in history. And it struck in the heart of Tornado Alley.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We came around that curve right there, and our pickup wasn't even on the ground. It was like -- it felt to us like it was spinning. We could see everything just flying, and the -- it sounded like diesel engines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jet engines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jet engines. You know, it was horrible.

COOPER: The weather conditions presented a recipe for disaster. On the morning of May 4, a low-pressure system drawing warm, moist air from the Gulf Coast collided with a cold front over Kansas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have got a large funnel.

COOPER: That triggered super cell thunderstorms, sometimes spawning mesocyclones. These monster storms began to rotate. When that happened, the tornadoes appeared.

Some did little or no damage. But, of course, the same can't be said in Greensburg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our life is destroyed here, I guarantee you. Everything we had was at that hotel. And it's leveled. That whole side of town is leveled, our family's houses, everything.

COOPER: According to the National Weather Center, that tornado was first reported at 9:18 p.m. just outside of Greensburg. Over the next hour, it cut a path 22 miles long. Its estimated wind speed, a mind-boggling 205 miles per hour.

Although residents were warned of the storm, they may have had no idea just how large a threat they were dealing with. That's because even with all we know about them, it remains a mystery why some tornadoes vanish in seconds and others turn into massive killers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Well, when you see the next report, you may be struck by the -- excuse me, you may be struck the way seeing it struck us. The terrain is so flat, there's literally no place to run, not even a ditch to climb into. No natural protection at all. People have storm cellars and that is it.

Jeff Flock is there reporting for us. Here's what he found on the outskirts of Greensburg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is what much of Greensburg, Kansas, is doing today. That is combing through the rubble. Many folks getting the first chance to get back into their homes since the Friday tornado.

We are out on the edge of Greensburg, and perhaps you can see this is the kind of destruction that hit here. This is where the storm hit first. We're out in farm country, about seven miles from the downtown and perhaps with a 360-degree view, you see we're out here on the Kansas plain.

The storm came from this direction and began to destroy farmsteads out here first before it got into downtown.

The folks that lived here, not being close to downtown, didn't hear the sirens. The folks in downtown got about a 20-minute warning, so they had time to prepare. Folks out here did not.

So when they saw the storm coming, they immediately go for the basement. But as perhaps you can see even though they got this door closed, the roof began to come off their house. And as they're racing down the stairs, the Unrue (ph) family that lives here, they begin to get debris down on their head as they get down into the basement.

They're going for the southwest corner because that, of course, is the direction from which the storm is coming. They manage to get in a safe place back in that southwest corner. But as perhaps you can see, the debris getting down here into the basement following them down, they had to clear quite a bit of it before they could get out.

They were OK, but as perhaps as you could see upstairs, their house didn't fare as well.

I'm Jeff Flock, CNN in Greensburg, Kansas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We uncovered some sobering facts about tornadoes for tonight's raw data. Take a look.

In a typical year tornadoes are responsible for about 80 deaths in America. For the most part, the twisters touch down between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The largest outbreak ever recorded was on April 3rd and April 4th of 1974. In that two-day period, 148 tornadoes swept across 13 states.

Well, up next tonight, politics, presidential hopefuls pushing for your vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER (voice-over): The race for the White House. New poll numbers. Why some who aren't even running seem to have the edge. And which candidates does that spell trouble for.

Plus, millions of dollars missing.

CAROLYN WASH-LAVENDER, INVESTOR: I have nothing. Zero. Zilch.

COOPER: And police blame one man, an economics professor. He's now behind bars, but what happened to their money? He says he has amnesia. You decide. Is he telling truth? When 360 continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER (on camera): New poll numbers out today on the race for the White House. Already, according to our latest CNN opinion research poll, in the Democratic race, Senator Hillary Clinton has the edge with 41 percent, up slightly from last month, followed by Senator Barack Obama with 27 percent, down 1 percent. And former Senator John Edwards in third with 14 percent.

As for registered Republicans, their top choice for the nominee is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, with 25 percent. Senator John McCain, a close second with 23 percent. And a third, former Senator Fred Thompson, with 13 percent. Important to note, he's not even an official candidate.

Joining me to go over the numbers and a lot of other things, former Presidential Adviser David Gergen; along with HuffingtonPost.com Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington; and Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for the "National Review."

Ramesh, let me start with you. Is it that Giuliani has done so well or that McCain has not been doing well that accounts for these Republican numbers?

RAMESH PONNURU, SENIOR EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, I mean, I think it's important to note that Giuliani's been falling, and his lead has now shrunk to a mere two points.

I think when Giuliani got in, Republicans thought of him as the 911 hero, somebody who was very tough. And they've learned more things about him as time has gone on, and what they've learned, they don't like.

McCain, on the other hand, they've had -- a lot of Republicans have had a lot of grievances against him for a long time. And so he's been sort of stuck at this low level for a while.

The trouble also is that right now he doesn't seem authentic. He doesn't seem as though he's enjoying this race. Things don't come naturally out of him the way they did in 2000 where he really did seem to be sort of spontaneous and energetic. And that's hurting him a lot. COOPER: Yes, Arianna, he used to be the -- McCain used to be sort of the conservative that a lot of liberals...

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Loved.

COOPER: ... loved. And is he still that guy? Or has -- is -- has his move to the right changed that?

HUFFINGTON: Well, his (UNINTELLIGIBLE) move to the right has changed that. I mean, he's no longer the darling of the media. He's no longer the darling of the liberals. But more important, he is no longer who he was. I think he's made this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bargain to basically sell his soul in order to be able to win the primary. And he's not even winning the primary because he's not who anybody loved.

COOPER: David, do you agree with that?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, I -- I think Arianna's got a good point. But it's -- it's also with John McCain, age has taken a toll.

You know, Anderson, we often talk today about the new 70 being the old 60. People seem to have the energy at 70 people used to have at 60.

With John McCain, his...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: For me, by the way, the new 40 is like 80 because I'm feeling like 80, so.

GERGEN: Yes. Well that's because you travel all over the world incessantly.

The -- but with John McCain, there's a sense that 70 is 70 and the old 70. And I -- I worry because I have such a strong regard for him as a human being. He's got more character than anybody (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

I have some sense that those days he spent in captivity when he was really tortured and beaten severely may be taking a toll on him now. He doesn't have the -- quite the energy, the edge. And as Ramesh says, the enthusiasm that he seemed to have eight years ago.

COOPER: But you know, it's interesting, Ramesh, though, I mean, the two leading Republican candidates are pretty much -- or traditionally have been sort of centrist Republicans. Giuliani and McCain, for all the talk of needing to appeal to a very conservative group in order to win the primary. That doesn't seem to be the case for these two guys. I mean, how are they able to get away with it?

PONNURU: No. I mean, I think it's a remarkable story that in fact the guy who's leading in the polls for the Republican nomination is somebody who has supported public funding for abortion and may still -- his position is sort of a pretzel right now. Nobody quite understands the thing. But I think a lot of Republicans are more interested in winning in 2008 than they are in doctrinal purity.

COOPER: Arianna...

(CROSSTALK)

HUFFINGTON: They're interested in winning the primary because they're further and further apart from where the public is, you know, on the war, on the social issues, on evolution, on stem cell research, you know, on major issues they are now no longer where the majority of the public is.

So they're again making the bargain that they have to win the primary before they can look at the general. But it's a very difficult bargain.

COOPER: You're shaking your head.

PONNURU: No. A majority of the public is closer to the Republican positions on those social issues.

HUFFINGTON: On war?

PONNURU: On the social issues, not on the war, than they are on -- to the Democrats.

And even on the war, they take -- the Republicans, with the Democrats, on the backward looking questions about whether we should have gone in and how the war has been managed.

On the forward looking questions, do we cut off funds now? The public is not solidly aligned with the Democratic Party, and that's why the Democrats themselves are split about what to do now.

HUFFINGTON: But the public is aligned with the Democratic Party on getting the troops out and having a deadline and all these key issues that Republicans are in complete disagreement with.

PONNURU: No, I don't agree with that. I mean, I think if you ask the public in polls, do you believe we should cut off funds, that sort of thing, the public doesn't say yes.

COOPER: I'm shocked that both of you don't agree with each other on this topic.

David, Hillary Clinton, on the Democratic side, is -- I mean, clearly, if you look at the numbers, the race is hers to lose at this point. What does Obama have to do? Does he just keep doing what he's doing and you know, the race can be anybody's or is it -- I mean 14 points is a lot. But again it's so early. Does it mean anything?

GERGEN: Yes, it does mean a lot. But I don't think it's hers to lose, Anderson. I think that she's still a formidable candidate, the most likely to win. But his numbers today, even though he's 14 back, his numbers today generally are higher than they were three months ago almost all across the board in all of the polls. He is lighting fires.

What he has to do, Anderson, more than anything else pretty soon, not only grow into and tell us more about who he -- what he stands for, but he's got to find a couple of states where he can win, and he hasn't found that yet.

You know, he's doing well in national polls against Republicans. But if you look at the early states that mean so much, whether it's Iowa or Nevada or New Hampshire or South Carolina -- all of those right now, Mrs. Clinton has the lead and a pretty strong lead among Democrats.

COOPER: We should also mention John Edwards is doing well in Iowa.

GERGEN: Yes. But she's ahead of him everywhere. And John Edwards is very competitive with Barack Obama. So Barack's got to find an early state and then a big state because when he comes to those massive primaries, all of that -- her machine will pay a lot of dividends in those big, massive primary states.

HUFFINGTON: But it's very significant that he's doing better than she is when matched up against any Republican.

COOPER: You're talking about Obama...

(CROSSTALK)

HUFFINGTON: About Obama, yes. It's very significant that he beat her in primary fundraising, which is remarkable if you think that he went against the formidable Clinton machine.

And the fact that he's connecting so remarkably well with young people, with large audiences across the country. And you know, there are months and months ahead.

COOPER: Yes. I know, we're going to be talking about this forever it seems.

Arianna, thanks very much -- Ramesh Ponnuru, David Gergen, thank you very much. Appreciate it, guys.

GERGEN: Make it so you feel 70 already, right?

COOPER: Yes, correct, exactly.

Disturbing new intelligence reports says Osama bin Laden may be stronger than he's ever been before. That story is coming up.

Plus, more than $100 million vanished. People across the country believe they were scammed. The person who allegedly took their money claims amnesia. You decide if he's for real.

Plus, the Hasselhoff feud. A new development tonight as his ex- wife comes forward. Ramesh Ponnuru is dying to join in on this story, when 360 continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Car bombings and other attacks killed at least 27 civilians in Iraq today. The attacks claiming more and more lives these days.

And a new story in this week's "U.S. News and World Report" says it's not getting better. It says al Qaeda's top leaders have regrouped and are stronger than ever. And Iraq is one of its top battlegrounds.

The latest proof -- an attack on a radio station in Baghdad.

CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Barely recognizable as a radio station -- a burnt-out computer, a twisted chair, all that remains of one of Iraq's most popular and fiercely independent broadcasters, Radio Digla.

When it first took to the airways three years ago, its groundbreaking cross community talk radio show offered hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Iraqis have many things to say. They want to complain, they want to cry, they want to shout.

ROBERTSON: Then, came countrywide violence. Two of its journalists were killed, several kidnapped. But it kept on broadcasting.

A civil war took hold, Radio Digla's call-in shows became rare beacons of unity amid airwaves polarized by stations with sectarian agendas until last week, when insurgents burst in. Staff grabbed guns. Even now they're afraid to show their faces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I began shooting them because our friend -- or killed or I don't know what happened.

ROBERTSON: Do you think they're going to kill you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That -- this is why they come, to kill us.

ROBERTSON: The Station Director Rikaby was in London. Staff called him for help.

AHMAD RIKABY, RADIO DIGLA DIRECTOR: I heard all of the shoutings. I heard the bullets. I heard how my guys, actually seven or eight people, were fighting 80 members of al Qaeda inside the station.

ROBERTSON: The chief guard, who vowed to lay his life down for the journalists, was killed almost immediately. They were outmanned, outgunned. Their only hope, to call the Iraqi army.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tell us, later, later.

ROBERTSON: Call back later?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call back later. OK, I said to him, to the man who was on the phone with me, when later? They come to kill us. These -- we want you to help us.

ROBERTSON: Desperate, they called again. To their horror, the army told them it was too dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told me the area was not secure. They wouldn't sacrifice their soldiers to come help us, the station's acting director tells me.

In an hour-long gun battle the eight men on the radio staff held off 80 al Qaeda fighters, saving themselves as well as women and children in the newsroom. Soldiers finally showed up and drove them all to safety.

(on camera): Iraqi army spokesmen say they've been warning Radio Digla for months that al Qaeda had been moving into their neighborhood and that it was becoming so dangerous the army couldn't protect them.

Rikaby watched the transformation.

(voice-over): A map of west Baghdad shows neighborhoods that many residents consider under al Qaeda control. Often, they run from radical mosques.

RIKABY: I hope they're watching us now. They should know that they have destroyed only walls and some computers and maybe a mixer, but they definitely didn't destroy our will.

ROBERTSON: Their Web site is still up, although silent. That's where they plan to relaunch their message of unity.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You know, Nic, we mentioned before your piece that U.S. intelligence agencies recently said al Qaeda may be stronger than ever, in part because bin Laden and his followers have set up their headquarters in the mountains around Pakistan. Is that what you're hearing on the ground as well?

ROBERTSON (on camera): Well certainly in our recent trips to Pakistan, that's what we found, that the Taliban and al Qaeda are getting stronger. They have a strategic depth there and that allows them to plan and put out their message.

And just a couple of days ago, bin Laden's second in command released his latest message. The lead on it is all about Iraq, all about overthrowing the government here. And certainly, the perception is that there's areas of Iraq and areas inside Baghdad now -- large areas as we saw there -- that al Qaeda now dominates and that's despite this surge in security forces in Baghdad -- Anderson.

COOPER: You know, the so-called surge, what the administration is calling a surge, what others will call an escalation of troops, was supposed to create conditions for political progress on the ground in the Iraqi government, in Baghdad.

Now you have a situation where Iraq's top Sunni official threatened to quit the government and take the 44 Sunni politicians with him if changes in the constitution aren't made by next week. How serious is that threat, and how big a blow would it be to the security situation and to any kind of progress?

ROBERTSON: He's absolutely serious. He's been on the phone with President Bush. He's told President Bush what he thinks. The United States, he says, signed up with him a year and a half ago to these constitutional changes that were supposed to encourage Sunnis to get involved in the political process. A year and a half later, he says, that hasn't happened. He says that Sunnis are marginalized, that they're losing out. And when they step out of the political process, this means that all the political developments that President Bush wants to see happen by September this year, when he can make and his commanders can make an assessment of progress here, it makes it so much harder for that progress to happen.

We're talking here about deals to share the oil in the country, about bringing the former Saddam era Baathist officials back into power -- all things Sunnis want. They're not going to happen. It will make political progress appear as if it's stagnating -- Anderson.

COOPER: And a lot of folks at home may not be following this so closely, but it is incredibly important no matter what happens on the streets of Baghdad, in terms of security.

General Petreaus and everyone will tell you there is no military solution, that it's got to be a political solution. And if what's happening, if there's no political progress being made in the Iraqi parliament, there's no progress being made ultimately in Iraq.

Nic, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.

Still to come, David Hasselhoff's ex-wife speaks out on the video of that drunken night. And a judge rules on his visitation rights with his kids. We'll have the latest on that.

Also tonight, these stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): Millions of dollars missing.

CAROLYN WASH-LAVENDER, INVESTOR: I have nothing. Zero, zilch.

COOPER: Police blame one man, an economics professor. He's now behind bars. But what happened to their money? He says he has amnesia. You decide if he's telling truth.

Plus, a royal visit to the White House. All hail the queen at a state dinner. As a new poll finds eight in 10 Americans love Elizabeth II, while it's less than half for her host, Bush II, when 360 continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER (on camera): There is David Hasselhoff and his former wife, actress Pamela Bach, in as they say, happier times. The two are involved in a messy and very public custody battle. That is just part of the story.

This is the other big part -- the videotape obtained by Extra, showing Hasselhoff apparently drunk. The tape is now a major part of his legal war with his ex.

Today, a judge in California temporarily suspended his visitation rights to his children. Pamela Bach is, as I said, speaking out very publicly. She spoke to Larry King tonight with her attorney.

Here she is in her own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAMELA BACH HASSELHOFF, DAVID HASSELHOFF'S EX-WIFE: The big picture is really there is a man who I love, my daughter loves, my youngest daughter loves, it's a disease we hate.

An alcoholic is wrapped around a bottle. And then the family and friends are wrapped around the alcoholic. We're going to protect it. That's why I don't believe Taylor Ann would have released it. I know I didn't. I know my youngest daughter -- when you're the family of a disease, it's the elephant -- you don't talk about it.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING": What's your goal in this case?

(CROSSTALK)

BACH: It's a small unit.

KING: What's your goal?

BACH: My goal is that David really gets -- seeks help and that he gets healthy and that he's around for when they get married when they have grandkids.

KING: You want him to see his daughters?

BACH: Absolutely. But right now, if he's still in -- in, you know, the disease and not really in the recovery program, it's not going to serve anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: That's just some of what Pamela Bach has to say. You can watch the entire interview on "LARRY KING LIVE" at the top of the hour.

Now, a crime story that could be torn from the pages of a daytime soap script. An economics professor turned investor. He took in millions, but now the money is missing, and he says he can't remember a thing.

CNN's Susan Roesgen reports from South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The city of Charleston is not used to scandal.

CAROLYN WASH-LAVENDER, INVESTOR: I got the paper and I was in the kitchen by myself, and I just started screaming. My husband was still asleep. And I was like, you're not going to believe this. You are not going to believe this.

ROESGEN: Carolyn Wash-Lavender can't believe that all of the money she saved from her small beauty salon business may be gone.

Popular Economics Professor Al Parish, who called himself Economan on his Web site, offered investment accounts in stocks and valuables like jewelry and art.

The catch is, Parish was not licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has now charged him with fraud.

And when he was arrested last month, investigators started to add it all up. At least $150 million unaccounted for.

(on camera): It isn't just locals who are afraid they've lost money. Nearly 600 investors trusted Al Parish all across the country.

(voice-over): Investors in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Atlanta; San Diego. But the biggest loser may be the college where Professor Parish taught, Charleston Southern University, which invested $10 million.

DAVID DANTZLER (ph), ATTORNEY: It is very much like a treasure hunt, at least as far as lawyers and receivers go.

ROESGEN: Atlanta Attorney David Dantzler (ph) is trying to find out what one person could do with so much money.

DANTZLER: It has been mind boggling, because the task has been overwhelming to kind of collect, secure, and then inventory and try to come up with a plan that realizes the fair value of these things. And that continues to be work in process. We don't know all of the even answers even now.

ROESGEN: So what happened to the money? Well, Al Parish could have had one heck of a garage sale. These are some of the items investigators found and carried away from the al Parish mansion -- rare original sketches from Disney animated movies. And that's not all. Fancy pens, the finest from Mount Blanc. Parish had a passion for expensive watches too. And silver, but not just any silver. Parish bought antique silver made in the 1700s by Master Silversmith Paul Revere.

The question is, were these items investments or simply for Al Parish's private pleasure? Parish isn't talking because he says he has amnesia.

Andy Savage is his lawyer.

Have you asked him, where's the money?

ANDY SAVAGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I have not.

ROESGEN: Why not?

SAVAGE: Because that medical problem that he's suffering, if it is a genuine medical problem, is not something I want to interfere with.

I have asked him if he's aware that he's been charged with these things, that these allegations are made, and he has a present day sense of those charges. And he has very affirmatively said that he wants to do all he can to cooperate, to find out what happened.

ROESGEN: For now, the Economan is in jail, considered a flight risk, leaving investors like Carolyn the beautician with official looking paperwork for accounts they believe are worthless.

WASH-LAVENDER: I have nothing. Zero, zilch, nothing.

ROESGEN: You really believe that -- you really believe that these are all...

WASH-LAVENDER: Oh, they're all fake. They're all fake. Everybody's is fake. Everybody's is fake. There's none of this truth. What he did was, when he took everybody's money, he just went and spent it on himself.

ROESGEN: And at this point, federal investigators are afraid Carolyn might be right. They have not found any evidence that Al Parish stashed the money somewhere. They're afraid almost all of it has been spent.

Susan Roesgen, CNN, Charleston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Hard to believe.

The queen and a Super Bowl Champ Peyton Manning makes a splash at the state dinner for Elizabeth II. Though, he didn't arrive in Washington fully prepared. We'll explain and show you what happened at the dinner in just a moment.

Plus, the real life "CSI." How investigators can catch a burglar by studying what he ate, next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: An open window, a tripped alarm, a broken door -- just some of the telltale signs that a burglary has been committed.

Every year thousands of Americans are victimized by home invasions. And solving them can be tough. But thanks to forensic scientists, the best clues are often the ones that criminals leave behind and in the strangest places.

CNN's Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin writes about it in a recent edition of "The New Yorker." He filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (voice-over): It was summer here in a New York City neighborhood when two men broke in to rob a home. Before they took what they wanted, they made at least two big mistakes. One left his sweater behind, the other took a bite of a hamburger.

But what they did is not unusual. It turns out that many thieves make themselves comfortable when they're in your home.

DET. SERGEANT JOSEPH BLOZIS, NYPD'S BIOTRACKS PROGRAM: While they're burglarizing a house, many times they decide I'm a little bit hungry, I'm going to go for the refrigerator and have something to eat, maybe something to drink. And many times they'll go through closets and like the person's attire, and would literally switch clothes inside the residence.

TOOBIN: The New York City Police Department is now taking advantage of this peculiar behavior.

In a new program called Biotracks, technicians scour anything burglars leave behind for DNA evidence.

To see how it works, I head to their sterile lab environment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was the shirt that was left at a burglary scene by the perpetrator. And as you can see, it's what we like. In other words, it hasn't been washed recently. So hopefully there's a lot of skin cells, especially in the neck and the armpit area. But the first thing we'll do is remove any hairs.

TOOBIN: Shirts, beer bottles, rubber gloves have all yielded DNA. Even once, believe it or not, lab techs found saliva on a partially eaten communion wafer.

BLOZIS: In this church burglary at the altar it was determined that the perpetrator decided he was going to help himself to the communion host. We were able to identify a DNA profile from that host which he took a bite from.

TOOBIN: The samples give cops a DNA profile of their burglar. Then they plug it into the national database of prior offenders, known as CODIS.

Once bizarrely, one DNA sample produced two matches, meaning two people from a single sip on a soda bottle.

(on camera): The only two people in the world who have the same DNA profile are identical twins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TOOBIN: You had a case involving identical twins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both were convicted offenders and, therefore, both of their profiles were in the database. And the way that we were able to determine who the perpetrator was, was that the twin brother was incarcerated at time of that particular burglary.

TOOBIN (voice-over): The Department of Justice pays for Biotracks in New York, along with similar programs in Denver, Los Angeles and Miami, and wants to see the technique not only go national, but have their real CSI labs be more like the ones on TV.

JOHN MORGAN, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE: What we would like to do is instead of having really, two and three-month turnaround times on DNA analysis, which I what the real world is, to be able to make it more like what you see on TV, where you have the DNA analysis turned around in a matter of days.

TOOBIN: And catching burglars doesn't just stop burglaries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we've learned from Biotracks is burglars graduate and they eventually become more violent criminals. And so we need to get them at the early part of their career.

TOOBIN: So what about those robbers in New York who left behind a sweater and a half-eaten burger? Well, the sweater guy's in jail. His DNA led straight to him. And police say they've created a DNA profile for the hamburger helper, and it's only a matter of time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, this biotracking, does it work? I mean, does it really work?

TOOBIN (on camera): I mean it really works because, you know, we talked earlier about the questions about things like hair evidence and fiber evidence. This is DNA. So this is foolproof stuff. And the amazing thing to me -- I mean, I've been the crime world for a long time. I had no idea that burglars ate sandwiches, drank beers when they -- but they did. And by doing that, they leave behind their DNA.

COOPER: That's amazing. Jeffrey, thanks.

TOOBIN: Fun story.

COOPER: Yes, interesting report originally for "The New Yorker." You can look at Jeffrey's reporting in "The New Yorker" magazine.

Just ahead, what to cook for a queen? You can be sure the chefs didn't serve burgers and fries.

CNN's Richard Quest -- take it away, Richard

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Toast, tiaras and oh so terribly proper. The Bush White House proves it's up to the task of a white-tie dinner. We're raising the sartorial standards on Anderson Cooper 360, in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Mr. Bush and Miss Windsor raising a glass in the White House tonight. White ties and tails -- or as they say at Buckingham Palace, the whole shmere.

CNN's Richard Quest is traveling with the queen. He'll be along shortly.

But first, CNN's Ed Henry sets the table.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The queen arrived for this White House's first-ever white-tie dinner. And you could tell this was new territory for President Bush.

The pageantry began on the south lawn, with trumpets blaring. The old guard fife and drum corps and a 21-gun salute.

And one faux pas when the president almost made it sound like the queen is about 350 years old.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 -- in 1976.

She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.

HENRY: If the queen was miffed, she didn't show it.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: And it is a time to look forward, jointly renewing our commitment to a more prosperous, safer and freer world.

HENRY: The president, reeling from the unpopular war in Iraq, seized the opportunity to highlight Britain standing with America.

BUSH: Your majesty, I appreciate your leadership during these times of danger and decision.

HENRY: Eighty percent of Americans have a favorable view of the queen in the latest CNN opinion research poll. The president clearly can afford to bask in the queen's glow. But etiquette is not his bailiwick, so he had to be coaxed.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I will tell you that we did have to talk the president into white tie, and so he was glad to wear white tie. But I don't know about the rest of our guests, especially the ones from Texas, they're probably having to go out and rent theirs this afternoon.

HENRY: Ditto for Super Bowl Winning Quarterback Peyton Manning, who told CNN he got a last-minute invite to the state dinner on Saturday while he was at the Kentucky Derby.

A panicked Manning checked into the Willard Hotel without white tie and tails, so the concierge knew who to call. Frenchman Georges De Paris, tailor to every president since Lyndon Johnson, fitted the quarterback at 9:00 p.m., Sunday, and worked through the night on a new tux with tails.

GEORGES DE PARIS, TAILOR: I finished this by 6:00 a.m.

HENRY: And after a handoff from the tailor, the NFL star made it to the ball in his 44 long, same size as the president.

(on camera): The president has come a long way from 1991 when he greeted the queen at his father's White House in cowboy boots that said, God save the queen. The queen laughed, but Mr. Bush's mother, Barbara, was none too pleased.

Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Joining us now, CNN's Richard Quest. And in case you were wondering about the accent, you ought to know he's from Wisconsin.

Richard, so we know Peyton Manning made the guest list. Who else was at tonight's dinner?

QUEST: Tonight's state dinner was very, very different from those seen during the Clinton years. There was no show biz glam. There was none of that celebrity honor that the Clintons used to invite to these events. It was really a case of round up the usual suspects.

And you know, there was the powerbrokers of Washington. We saw, for example, Colin Powell. We had the Chief Justice John Roberts. And Cheney was there. And it was lovely to see Nancy Reagan who was at the White House. But other than that, I'm afraid to say I suppose the only household Arnold Palmer, the golfer was there, but other than that, there was no showbiz from Hollywood.

COOPER: And what about the toast at the dinner. Who made the toast? QUEST: Well, that was pretty much to form. The president toasted the queen and the queen toasted the president. And that's how it should be. They were very warm toasts. This has been about reaffirming the close links between Britain and the United States, Anderson. And with that in mind, the two countries were keen to show that they were united and strong.

COOPER: And besides toasts, what was served at the five-course meal?

QUEST: Oh, it was a very grand meal. Five courses, instead of four. That's important. Remember, this whole thing has been about showing how important the U.S. believes Britain to be.

So, we had sole (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The queen would have loved that. The queen likes simple food, nothing spicy. And forget the shellfish. She likes -- so we had sole. We had pea soup. We had spring lamb. We had a funny sort of salad with arugula, which I didn't quite understand. And a magnificent confection of roses which Lord knows, having seen the pictures of it, how they ever attacked it to eat it.

COOPER: Now, you're wearing the white tail. You described this in the last hour a little bit. The difference between the white tail and the black tie, what is it?

QUEST: It's the white tie and the black tie. And the difference is formality. The moment you are told to wear this penguin suit, you know you are going to the very highest level.

Again, that was the importance of this event for the administration.

Now, Anderson, last hour you admitted, rather candidly, I thought, frankly, that you never had worn one of these things.

COOPER: Correct.

QUEST: And well, look, I'm taking this rental back tomorrow. I'm sure the shop will give me a deal if you'd like to buy it.

COOPER: Maybe so. Maybe so.

Hey, very briefly, a couple of people -- viewers complained in our last hour you said the etiquette is men bow to the queen, women curtsy. American citizens, though -- I mean, this is America. Are they supposed to do that?

QUEST: No, no look, let's get rid of this whole bromide once and for all. Yes, America is a republic, and there is no question you do not have to bow or curtsy. So that -- but at the same time, if you wish to go like that, to a visiting head of state, royalty, you can. There's no rules.

COOPER: Richard, they just turned off the lights at the White House behind you. I think that's the sign they want you to leave.

QUEST: Not a moment too soon.

COOPER: Richard Quest, thank you. I bow to you. Thank you very much, Richard. Appreciate it.

Now, turning from the queen to, well, I'm not even going to make the joke.

You know you're feeling it, those awful gas prices. Is there any relief in sight or is four bucks a gallon in our future? The report and the forecast, next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Randi Kaye joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi again, Anderson. A deadly explosion on the Las Vegas strip. One man was killed early this morning the garage behind the Luxor Hotel Casino when a device left on his car exploded as he tried to pick it up. Police say the device seemed to be constructed in a way to target a single individual. Another person with the victim narrowly escaped injury and is working with investigators.

On Wall Street, it is the running of the bulls. For fifth straight day, the Dow had a record close. Today it rose 47 points, finishing at 13312. The S&P was also up, but the NASDAQ closed down.

Also on the rise, those pesky gas prices. The Lundberg survey says the average cost of a gallon has reached a new record high -- $3.07. Some market analyst says we're only at the beginning. They believe we will soon see prices exceeding four bucks a gallon. At some stations in San Francisco, gas prices already are just a nickel shy of the $4 mark -- Anderson.

COOPER: Hard to believe.

Randi, thanks very much.

For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is next. Here in the states, "LARRY KING" is coming up. His guest, the ex-wife of David Hasselhoff.

I'll see you tomorrow night.

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