Return to Transcripts main page


Identity Crisis; Middle East Breakthrough?; NFL Star Killed; Chicago's Most Wanted

Aired November 27, 2007 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from the stage of the Progress Energy Center For Performing Arts here in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.
This time tomorrow night, the Republican candidates for president will just be wrapping up their debate. I will be moderating, but they will be answering your questions, nearly 5,000 questions posted on YouTube, some of them playing on that big screen right now.

The questions have been excellent, penetrating, insightful, and, most of all, authentic. We and YouTube have been counting on your participation to make this beyond the ordinary debate. And you have really come through. And we appreciate it. Tomorrow is going to be an excellent night.

Tonight, we are going to set the stage, look at what is at stake for the GOP and spotlight the question that a lot of Republican voters are asking, one that Republicans rarely do, namely, who are we and what do we stand for?

Also tonight, new details emerging in the fatal shooting of NFL star Sean Taylor. Was the killer a would-be burglar, a hit man, someone a lot closer to home? We will walk you through the theories and Taylor's sometimes violent past.

And later, an alleged killer who reportedly confessed to the crime and the battle royal between France and America to try him. The crime took place in Chicago, not Paris, so why aren't the French giving up the suspect? You will find out tonight.

All that and more, but first, what is a Republican? Four years ago, that was easy. A Republican supported President Bush, his reelection, and by and large, his policies. Well, three years and one congressional defeat later, it gets a lot more complicated.

With no incumbent to rally around, Republicans are groping for a new identity. And with the clock ticking down to Iowa and New Hampshire and Florida, the verbal shots are heating up. You might see more of it tomorrow night.

Tonight, we are looking closer at how the GOP rebuilds a damaged brand.

"Keeping them Honest," we start with CNN's John King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TONY DIMATTEO, PINELLAS COUNTY GOP CHAIR: OK, so we got the double order for the tables.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tony DiMatteo prefers to worry about the next election, not to dwell on the 2006 national Republican drubbing.

DIMATTEO: We got bogged down in the war. We got it handed to us, but there was external reasons beyond our control. Hopefully, the national party will remedy this.

KING: DiMatteo is the GOP chairman in Pinellas County, Florida, and thinks his state could serve as a national model.

DIMATTEO: It is a moderate Republican county. I think, in general, Florida is a moderate state.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Vince, I hope you will reconsider voting for me, OK?

DIMATTEO: So, I think that is why people like Giuliani are doing very well, for instance, because he's -- generally, on a lot of social issues, he is considered a moderate.

KING: But one Republican's solution is another's nightmare, Richard Viguerie among the veteran activists who view Giuliani as a threat to the party's social conservative brand.

RICHARD VIGUERIE, AUTHOR, "CONSERVATIVES BETRAYED: HOW GEORGE W. BUSH AND OTHER BIG GOVERNMENT REPUBLICANS HIJACKED THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE": There is a major, even massive, amount of anger, frustration, unrest, a feeling of betrayal. Rudy Giuliani is a major focus of this concern right now. But it is -- it's far beyond just Giuliani.

KING: The debate over Giuliani is one symptom of a broader Republican identity crisis.

GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It takes time to damage a brand. It takes even longer to rebuild it.

KING: The president who took office imagining a lasting Republican majority is now unpopular and all but ignored by the candidates looking to replace him. And the party's image is tattered. One reason, two dozen Republicans in Congress are retiring. Only 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans. And just 40 percent in a recent Pew Research Center study had a favorable view of the GOP.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford says voters no longer trust that pulling the Republican lever means less spending and lower taxes, not the legacy Mr. Bush had hoped for.

SANFORD: He is not the only one to blame. I want -- I don't want to suggest that. In as much as the presidency, if you're the party in power, is the sort of titular head of the Republican Party, certainly, some of the buck stops there.

KING: Picking a new leader is one step in the rebuilding process. But consensus on a winning agenda is just as important.

WHIT AYRES, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Well, the real challenge for the Republican Party is figuring out how to keep the base happy, while at the same time, reaching out to the independents who voted Democrat in 2006.

KING: Pinellas County is a case study. Since Mr. Bush was elected in 2000, Republican registration in the county is down slightly, Democratic registration up a little, and the number of independents way up.

DIMATTEO: So, that tells me we just have a lot more work to do to get registered Republicans involved in the process.

KING: Plenty of work for DiMatteo and others here at the county level...

DIMATTEO: I'm glad I'm not the national party chairman, because I think it is a puzzle.

KING: ... while the national party tries to find its way.


COOPER: Joining us now is John King, along with CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Good to have you both with us.


COOPER: Is this an opportunity for Republicans, or do they see it as a party in disarray? I mean, how concerned are -- are the -- those in the inside of the Republican Party?

KING: Well, they are incredibly concerned. But they do see it as an opportunity.

You have an identification battle over who should be the leader of the Republican Party and incredibly diverse personalities, whether you go from Romney to Giuliani to McCain to Thompson and so on.

But they are also fighting over what Republican stands for. There's a big fight over immigration, big fight over the role of the government in health care, big fight even over social policy.

If Rudy Giuliani wins, he's rewriting the rules of Ronald Reagan's party. So, it is not just about who should lead the Republican Party. There is a fascinating debate about just what the Republican Party should stand for.

BORGER: You know, one thing I think everybody agrees on is that this is an election about change. So, it is very tough for Republicans, because nobody wants a third term of the Bush administration.

So, how do they differentiate themselves from this unpopular president? They support him on the war. So, they are going to have to come up with ways to say, look, we are not George W. Bush's Republican Party, and we're not his presidential candidates.

COOPER: That's why we rarely hear George Bush's name mentioned.


COOPER: We hear Hillary Clinton mentioned all the time.


KING: George W. Bush is never mentioned, except when they are asked about the war, and they say the president got it wrong at the beginning. He finally got it right now. We have to continue the policy.

It is striking that these Republicans never -- the Democrats talk about Bush all the time. He is their pinata. But the Republicans hardly ever talk about him.

COOPER: What about money? I mean, Gloria, at a congressional level, the Democrats have a lot more money.

BORGER: It is really interesting to me, because, normally, when I was growing up, covering politics, it was always the Republicans who were able to raise the large amounts of money.

What you see now is the Democrats really outraising the Republicans. And I think, Anderson, that reflects the enthusiasm on the Democratic side for a shift in power. It really does. It says that Democrats are willing to give money to Democrats, because they want to win the White House.

COOPER: We are also seeing the rhetoric -- or, John, you were going to say something?

KING: Well, and the Democrats have also a huge head start. The Republicans are starting to catch up on the very issue we're here for, a YouTube debate, taking advantage of the new media, taking advantage of the Internet. Democrats had a huge head start in organizing and raising money on the Internet and building enthusiasm.

The Republicans saw what the Democrats have done. They are starting to learn. But it is a huge Democratic edge right now.

COOPER: Well, they are also starting to learn from Ron Paul, it seems, because...

KING: Yes, they are.

COOPER: ... he is raking in an awful lot.

KING: Yes, they are. COOPER: What are you expecting to see tomorrow night here on this he stage? I mean, the rhetoric has started to heat up. It has started to get some very pointed jabs between these candidates.

KING: I think you have the best job in politics tomorrow night because they are going to go at it. They are five -- when they are wake up the morning after this debate, it is five weeks to Iowa. And, as you can tell from the last 72 hours on the campaign trail, they are going at each other, and going at each other hard.

You won't have to prompt them. You may have to stop them.

BORGER: I think they also realize that folks are going to -- sort of, around Christmas, they are going to pay more attention to their family. So, they really only have a few weeks now to get the voters' attention.

And this is a wide-open race, Anderson.

COOPER: It is remarkable.

And, you know, Romney was ahead, Iowa, New Hampshire. Now he has got Rudy Giuliani deciding, wait a minute, I can't let this guy win Iowa and New Hampshire.

So, Giuliani is attacking him. I think you're going to see these folks really go after each other tomorrow.

COOPER: All right. We shall watch.

Gloria Borger, appreciate it.

John King, thanks very much.

KING: Thank you.

COOPER: As I mentioned at the top of the program, and as John and Gloria were just talking about, in 24 hours, less than 24 hours, the Republican candidates are going to be right here on the stage. I'm hosting it. But they are going to be answering your questions, YouTube questions that were submitted for the last several months.

Take a look at one of them we got from a fifth-grader in South Carolina.


QUESTION: Hi, candidates. I'm Ross (ph). And I'm 10 from South Carolina.

The issues I care about are nature and endangered animals. But when I look at your Web sites, John McCain is the only Republican who talks about nature. But all the Democrats are talking about it, like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards.

So, why does it seem like all the Democrats care more about the environment? So, who would be the best president for the environment and endangered animals?


COOPER: I remember that kid. He actually submitted a question for the -- the Democratic one.

Again, the debate tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m., Eastern. You will see if his question got picked, followed by a special edition of 360.

Straight ahead, though, tonight, today's Middle East summit, the "Raw Politics" and raw reality. They just promised to reach a peace deal by the end of next year. But is that (AUDIO GAP) look at what really lies ahead.

"Crime and Punishment" -- tonight, the NFL murder mystery. What happened at the home of Sean Taylor, the murdered NFL star? The latest on where the evidence points, when 360 continues.


COOPER: A moment in history. The question now, will it be one -- will it one day be remembered as a historic moment --President Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at today's peace conference at the Naval Academy in Annapolis?

They will meet again tomorrow at the White House, after agreeing today to hammer out a peace treaty by the end of next year.

Now, we have heard a lot in the run-up to Annapolis about this being a great opportunity to settle historic disputes between Israelis and Palestinians.

CNN's Tom Foreman joins me now.

Tom, any truth in that, and should we care?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the short answers are no and yes.

The no part, most Middle East analysts say that this conference has a snowball's chance in Saudi Arabia of producing a peace deal.

The yes part, if you are concerned about what you pay for gas, how the world sees Americans, or how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will turn out, you better hope for some kind of progress.


FOREMAN (voice-over): At stake, the future. What happens between Israelis and Palestinians shapes political, economic and military realities for everyone in the region, even beyond.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The time is right because Palestinians and Israelis have leaders who are determined to achieve peace. FOREMAN: True. Most Israeli people want no more attacks from Palestinian militants. Most Palestinian people want no more attacks from Israeli troops. But the loudest voices are often from extremists, who are less concerned about peace than they are about land and power.

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: How can we have a state when Israel insists to continue occupation, to continue settlement building, to continue building the apartheid wall?

FOREMAN: Israel was created after World War II by the United Nations, which said Jewish people should have a country in the place they called home.

But many Palestinians lived there, too, and still consider it their homeland. In addition, Israel has long occupied lands taken in wars with neighboring countries. The result? Many groups claim the same turf. And some of the most extreme factions have tried to stake those claims by force, like the Palestinian group Hamas, which was not invited to this conference. That matters, because, even if a peace deal were struck, analysts say those groups could just attack and blow the deal apart.

HAIM MALKA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: That's right, because violence ultimately trumps the negotiated path. And those -- those groups have continuously used violence to disrupt any negotiating process.


FOREMAN: I know all of this is hard to understand. But this thing, anyone can understand. A lot of people here won't even shake hands with each other at this conference. That is what you are dealing with.

And yet, this is the Rubik's Cube of the presidency. Almost every president at some point tries to go after it. And look at this parade of presidential photo-ops, decades of chief -- chief executives trying to solve this puzzle.

And in fairness -- well, as you saw, that you would see them all shaking hands -- there they are -- Jimmy Carter, all the way back there, many meetings, and they have made some progress. But, time and again, what happens is, a president starts down this road to that distant nirvana called peace in the Middle East, but never, ever arrives.

And the best raw read I can get on all of this is, while many good, decent people in the Middle East say they want peace, what too many of them want is to win. And then they think it will be peaceful when they do.

So, that is the fundamental problem they are facing in Annapolis -- Anderson.

COOPER: And some groups clearly think, by military means, they still can win. It doesn't seem that way.

Tom, appreciate that.

Presidential adviser David Gergen has been there, literally in the room, as some of these moments have unfolded over the years. He has seen presidents go to the mat to try to get an agreement. And he's watched them watch their hopes fade. He joins me now.

David, anything really come out of this today?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think it is important that -- and the president deserves credit for actually getting the peace talks started again. They have been paralyzed for seven years.

And what we do know from history, Anderson, is, these talks are often fruitless, but it is better to have the parties talking. You get less violence when they are talking than when they're not talking. That's when you really get the worst times.

And there have been some breakthroughs. Listen, some years ago, you know, had it had not been for Sadat going to Jerusalem, Egypt would still possibly be at war with -- with Israel. It's often been said in the Middle East, if you take Egypt out of the picture, you don't have a war. And unless you get Syria out of the picture, you don't have peace. And that's our problem now.

But give -- give the president credit for two things. One, he got the talks started again. And, secondly, he got Arab nations to the table. That has not happened before. And that is helpful. We still have to be skeptical, but there is reason here to say good for getting it started.

COOPER: You -- you say give the president credit, though, but wasn't it also the president who -- who basically wrote this off years ago, who made a conscious decision, and Condoleezza Rice, who seemed to have no interest in really pursuing an aggressive Middle East peace strategy?

GERGEN: Come on, Anderson. You are in the state of South Carolina. People believe in redemption down there.

Yes. He -- I try to stay out of this -- he thought what Clinton, Bill Clinton, did at the end of his administration, trying to get a peace deal right at the end, was a very bad thing. And now he is doing the same thing Clinton did. So, he is going to have to eat a certain amount of crow on that.

The reason to be skeptical, though, is that there is such weak leadership on all three corners of the triangle. In Israel, Olmert has got a fragile coalition. Among the Palestinians, you know, Abbas has got a fractured people. And, here, in the United States, of course, George W. Bush, lamer and lamer duck.

COOPER: And without strong leaders on -- in all those corners, it is very hard to actually get anything accomplished. What is the next step? I mean, how do you -- what is -- people talk about this peace process. What does it actually mean? I mean, what do you actually have to do?

GERGEN: In this case, they are promising that the two leaders, the Palestinian leader and the Israeli leader, will meet actually every two weeks or talk every two weeks. And then they will have teams of people working on the underlying tough issues, like borders, and refugees, and Jerusalem, and -- and the question of settlements.

What is striking, Anderson, is that the United States does not appear to be sending somebody to those talks or overseeing those talks. You know, in the past, we have had, for example, Henry Kissinger used to shuttle back and forth. And that's when the -- when the talks started breaking down, the American could serve as a mediator. He can go back and forth and carry messages and try to guide the talks.

Without an American at the table, that is going to be a very unusual dynamic. It means, if any terrorist throws a bomb into the middle of the other person's territory, it's going to make it really hard for that person to get to the table. That's the problem with weakness.

And, Anderson, the reason it is a high-wire act is, once you start going down this path as a moderate government, if it -- if it -- if it doesn't work, you raise people's expectations, and, if the whole thing collapses, as it did with Bill Clinton when Arafat turned on him and put a knife in his back, if it collapses, then you can get the hard-liners, the Islamic militants can actually have more power in the region.

And that is why this is tricky. It is important to do it, but it is very dangerous stuff. And, especially at the end of your presidency, it is really hard to bring two other leaders who happen to be weak in this case to the table. That is why I think there is a lot of skepticism tonight, as Tom Foreman said.

COOPER: Mahmoud Abbas particularly weak, given that he's in the West Bank. He doesn't control Gaza any longer. Hamas controls that.

GERGEN: Right.

COOPER: David Gergen, appreciate your expertise.

Thanks, David.

GERGEN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Heading to the Caribbean now, a suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway has a few gripes behind bars.

Erica Hill has that and more in our 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Aruba, Joran van der Sloot, a suspect in the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, is complaining about his treatment behind bars.

He says he wants family visits, a TV, magazines, even a Bible. He and two other suspects say they are innocent and have no idea what happened to Holloway.

The president of the American Red Cross forced to resign today because of a personal relationship with a subordinate employee. Mark Everson would only say he was leaving the job for, quote, "personal and family reasons." He is married with two children. Everson started the job in May, as the Red Cross worked to restructure itself following criticism about its response to Hurricane Katrina.

And a British teacher is in a Sudanese jail tonight. She is accused of blasphemy because the class mascot was named Mohammed. The mascot is a stuffed teddy bear. The kids actually voted on the name. But, if she is convicted, this woman could be whipped dozens of times or sentenced to months behind -- behind bars. Sudan is an Islamic country, where insulting the religion is illegal -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is hard to believe that she could get actually flogged because of this.

HILL: It is.

COOPER: Shot of the day from last night has actually transformed, Erica, into "What Were They Thinking?"

Remember Miss Puerto Rico? How could you forget?

Last night, we reported on how she earned the crown of Miss Universe while allegedly sabotaged with pepper spray. She claimed it was sprayed on her outfits and even on her makeup.

She is all smiles in these photographs. But, off camera, she had claimed that she had to shed her clothes and apply ice bags to her face and body. Well, now NBC is reporting that police are actually investigating whether she made it all up.

HILL: Wait a minute.

COOPER: They want to know how she was able to -- I know. Can you imagine? They want to be able to know how she was able to stop crying between camera appearances, which, for me, when I cry between camera appearances, it is very hard to recover.

HILL: Well, yes, it takes some time. I mean, plus, not only...


HILL: ... with the swollen eyes, but it is tough to stop yourself continually with the makeup. I know you are a sensitive guy.

COOPER: You don't have to tell me. I'm -- you know, the eyes get puffy just about every time.

HILL: It's rough. The nose runs. COOPER: Erica, thanks.

HILL: It is not pretty.

COOPER: Not pretty at all.

Up next: Sean Taylor, an NFL star, shot in his own home. Was it a robbery gone bad or perhaps premeditated murder? We will have the latest on the investigation.

Also ahead tonight, "Crime and Punishment," or lack thereof -- why a man who reportedly confessed to killing a beloved father and doctor may never face justice -- incredible story coming up on 360.


COOPER: Sean Taylor was one of the young superstars of the NFL, a safety for the Washington Redskins. He was known for his agility, his speed, and his strength. Well, tonight, he is dead.

His girlfriend told police that Taylor was shot by an intruder in his Florida home yesterday morning. He died today. Taylor was just 24 years old.

This story is getting a lot of attention tonight. And there are many questions, unanswered questions. Who would kill Sean Taylor, and why? We have some new details and some new developments tonight. There is also Taylor's own brushes with the law to talk about.

CNN's John Zarrella is outside Taylor's home with the latest on the investigation -- John.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Anderson, while Sean Taylor's family mourns his loss, his friends, his relatives and the police are asking the question over and over again, was this a random act of violence or something more?

Police are telling us this is clearly a homicide investigation. They are also saying that there are clear signs of a break-in, that there are, there was some entry into the house. Now, his father, just a little while ago, went public for the first time, saying that he is asking that whoever killed his son to please turn themselves in, and that he holds no malice towards the killer, that he is at peace with God -- Anderson.

COOPER: John, what exactly do we know happened inside that house?

ZARRELLA: Well, you know, here is what is really strange about all of this.

Now, if you are a burglar coming into the house, you know an NFL player was living there and may well be home. Are you going to make all kinds of noises in the house? And that is apparently what happened. Noises were made. Sean Taylor and his girlfriend are in the bedroom. They hear this. Taylor grabs a machete from under his bed. He comes out. He gets to the door.

At the time he gets to the bedroom door to lock the door, the door is broken down. Two shots are fired. One misses. The second shot hits him in the femoral artery, and he is basically bleeding to death on the floor in the bedroom. If you are out to kill Sean Taylor, are you going to be making all this kind of noise?

Now, take a look here at the house behind me. You know, you can see behind me, there is a five-foot concrete fence here, wall here. There is also a gate. There is an extensive alarm system in this house. But, for some reason, the alarm system was not on.

There are also signs that perhaps -- and we are being told by more than one source that the phone lines were cut. And, lastly, this is Old Cutler Road here. It is generally a very busy street, a well- lit area as well, Anderson. There is traffic constantly on this road. So, it is someplace that you would think would be very difficult for burglars to just break into -- Anderson.

COOPER: So, someone actually broke down his bedroom door, John, before he actually could get there and lock it?

ZARRELLA: Right. That's exactly what we're hearing, that, as he was going to the door to try to lock it -- this is coming from his attorney, Richard Sharpstein -- that, at that point, the door is broken in and the two shots are fired.

COOPER: That is a strange detail, for a burglar to consciously break down a door to a bedroom. Obviously a lot of questions unanswered.

Roland Martin joins us now, a CNN contributor.

Roland, you know, Sean Taylor is not the first NFL player to be confronted with guns and violence. Just in the NFL -- NFL alone, at least nine players have been shot in the past 16 years. What -- what is going on?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think you also -- I mean, look, there is a reality. Many of these guys are perceived as targets.

It is also a matter of, where do these shootings took place? And, so, if it took place, you know, in the case of the NFL, a Stephen Jackson firing a gun at a strip club -- of course, Pacman Jones had the whole in Las Vegas at the all-star game.

But keep in mind, this case with Sean Taylor, Dunta Robinson -- plays for the Houston Texans -- somebody came into his house in Fort Bend County in Texas, bound him, stole his jewelry.

Here in Chicago, Antoine Walker, Eddy Curry, both of them, home invasion, came in, bound, gagged, tied them up, stole jewelry, stole money, and then took off.

And so, many -- many professional athletes say, look, we are targets. People in the neighborhood know who we are. Folks follow us home.

There was the case of the player for the Denver Broncos at a club, party going on after a big win. They are in the limo. Something happened. A car pulls up, fire shots in. He is shot and killed.

And so, many pro athletes are very concerned. I talked to many of them. I know many of them. And they say, look, this is a problem in terms of us being seen as targets.

COOPER: Interesting.

John, there were actually some incidents -- or an incident -- at Taylor's home previous to this. What happened?

ZARRELLA: Yes, no question about it.

Here's what happened. On the 18th, eight days before this happened, there was a break-in. Nobody was home at the time. But the house was ransacked. Drawers were left pulled open. There was reportedly a kitchen knife left in one of the bedrooms. An air conditioner vent was tampered with and a safe was tampered with.

And it goes beyond that, Anderson. A couple of years ago, Sean Taylor was involved in an incident in 2005 where he thought that somebody had stolen an ATV. He confronted these people with a gun. He later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor aggravated battery and assault.

His attorney, Richard Sharpstein, has turned over all his files from that case to the investigators here, because Sharpstein says, who knows, maybe there's a connection. Police are telling us they do not believe there is any connection at this point and that this was just a random act of violence.

MARTIN: Anderson, keep in mind -- Anderson, keep in mind something here. Sean Taylor typically would be with the players. He was supposed to be with the team. And so we don't know if -- if this intruder or intruders thought that Taylor was not home, thinking the house was empty. Because again, normally during the season, although he had a sprained knee, he would be with the Washington Redskins. Clinton Portis made that point, as well.

There are so many unanswered questions here. But I can tell you, in conversations with many pro athletes, they are very disturbed by this. One I talked to yesterday said, man, they would think, you know, hey, with the amount of money in the contract, you have guys right now talking about panic rooms, putting them in their homes to protect themselves from various intruders.

I mean, this is a reality that I don't think the general public really understands.

COOPER: Sean Taylor, the son of a police chief. It is terrible that a crime has touched down in that family.

John Zarrella, I appreciate the reporting.

Roland Martin, as well. Thanks.

Next on 360, wanted for murder, and police know exactly where the guy is. Why they say their man is being protected from facing justice for an unspeakable crime committed right here in America. The story ahead.


COOPER: And that's a look at the Progress Energy Center here in St, Petersburg, Florida, the site of tomorrow's YouTube debate.

In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, a grieving Illinois family is hoping to bring an accused killer to justice. The victim was a doctor and a beloved father. His death was brutal. The crime reveals just how far a suspect will go to elude capture and how far -- how far a country is willing to go to protect him.

CNN's Randi Kaye reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What you're looking at is a man investigators say is about to become a murderer. Watch closely. This security camera captures him entering the Chicago office building where the victim, a doctor, worked.

JON CORNBLEET, VICTIM'S SON: He basically had called in, asked to be the last patient of the day. Came in under a phony name.

KAYE: Investigators say the man's real name is Hans Peterson, that he'd met the victim, Dr. David Cornbleet, a popular dermatologist, just once until this day, when police say Peterson returned to kill.

JON CORNBLEET: There was a huge struggle between the two of them, and it wound up with my father being stabbed to death.

KAYE: Jon Cornbleet says it was a vicious attack. His father, he says, was stabbed more than 20 times. Dr. Cornbleet's daughter, Jocelyn, found his body.

JOCELYN CORNBLEET, VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: I could see, as I got closer, that there was blood across it. I knew someone had killed him.

KAYE: But who? At the time, Jon and Jocelyn had no clue who'd murdered their dad. Hoping to get tips, they posted details about the killing online at Someone who said he knew Peterson contacted both them and police.

(on camera): Did he say he confided in him, that he had done this? Or had he heard about it or seen evidence of it?

JON CORNBLEET: He confided in him, and he had come forward to us.

KAYE (voice-over): The tipster, it turns out, was a U.S. Marine on leave from Iraq and a friend of Peterson's roommate. We contacted the tipster, who told us his friend confided in him, saying, I think my former roommate killed someone.

Peterson had lived with his friend for about six months. The tipster says Peterson had reportedly grown increasingly antisocial and manic, often staying awake for days.

(on camera): The Cornbleets say that tipster told them at the time of the murder, Peterson was living here in New York City. They say he drove his car from here to Chicago, about 800 miles, killed Dr. Cornbleet, and then got right back in his car and returned home.

When he got back, he reportedly told friends he had completed his mission.

(voice-over): Why would Peterson want to kill Dr. Cornbleet? Back in 2002, when Peterson was living in Chicago, Dr. Cornbleet had prescribed Peterson a widely used acne medication, which according to the victim's family, Peterson said made him impotent.

Peterson's father told CNN the acne medicine made his son crazy and created a monster.


KAYE: Before he took the medicine, Thomas Peterson said his son was an OK kid who had a little depression. He says his son took just two pills.

JON CORNBLEET: You don't go in and take charge of a man twice your age and murder him. That's just not how you deal with it in a civilized society. So I don't -- I don't believe his claim whatsoever.

KAYE: U.S. authorities say they have DNA found at the crime scene that matches Peterson. Case closed, right? Not exactly. Peterson was about to take U.S. investigators on a trip around the world.


COOPER: And when we return, we are going to take you on that very same trip and find out where the alleged killer went and why, when 360 continues.


COOPER: Before the break we told you about an accused killer who is wanted for the cold-blooded murder of a Chicago doctor. Now, the suspect reportedly confessed to the crime. The victim's family says the grisly details were spelled out in a four-page document.

But this guy may never stand trial, and the reason is hard to believe.

Once again, here's CNN's Randi Kaye.


KAYE (voice-over): Before Hans Peterson could even be questioned about the stabbing death of Dr. David Cornbleet, a Chicago dermatologist who treated Peterson years ago for acne, Peterson fled to the French island of Saint Martin. Peterson's mom is French, so even though he was born in the U.S., he could obtain dual citizenship.

U.S. authorities say he did just that in May, a month before police put out this warrant for his arrest for first-degree murder.

The victim's son, Jon Cornbleet, says Peterson turned himself in and confessed after officially becoming a French national.

Cornbleet says he's seen the four-page confession and says Peterson admits attacking his dad, alleging the acne drug prescribed to him made him impotent. And, Cornbleet says, Peterson claimed he hadn't planned to kill, but to cut off Dr. Cornbleet's hands and feet, then close the wounds with a blow torch.

Peterson is in jail on the French island of Guadalupe. He is yet to be charged or enter a plea. U.S. officials believe Peterson may be banking on the fact that France wouldn't extradite him after a confession on French soil. That way he'd avoid a trial here and, in doing so, any chance of the death penalty.

Dr. Cornbleet's children say Peterson is making a mockery of the U.S. justice system.

JON CORNBLEET: He is basically poking fun at it and getting away with murder, in a sense.

JOCELYN CORNBLEET: He clearly has stated, I know I'm going to get a better sentence from you guys, so I'm French today. Today I'm going to be French.

KAYE (on camera): Jon and Jocelyn Cornbleet have set up a Web address, which links directly to the State Department. It's called They're hoping people will e-mail the State Department and demand Peterson be returned to U.S. custody.

(voice-over): This Illinois state's attorney says Peterson is an American citizen who should be prosecuted in an American court.

BERNIE MURRAY, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY's OFFICE: He grew up on the West Coast. He went to school in the Midwest. He also went to law school in the East Coast. As far as we can determine, he never lived in France. We know he cannot speak French. He may have vacationed in France, but we're not even sure of that.

KAYE: The fight to extradite Peterson goes all the way to the nation's capitol. Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama sent this letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking for help. SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Hans Peterson made a calculated decision. He felt that he would have better treatment if he went into the French judicial system and left the United States. I think that it was a clear calculation on his part. I hate to see him benefit or profit from that decision.

KAYE: Law professor Anthony D'Amato says the 2002 treaty between the U.S. and France says neither country should extradite nationals.

ANTHONY D'AMATO, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: Parliament would have to meet. They would have to pass a new law. The president would have to sign -- it would take a year or two, even if they were motivated to do it.

KAYE: France has yet to charge Peterson with anything, so he hasn't entered a plea.

(on camera): What do you think your father would think about this -- this effort that you're making, on his part, for justice?

JOCELYN CORNBLEET: We're tenacious. He raised two tenacious children, and he raised us not to give up. And that's what you get when you have two kids who don't give up so easily. We're going to go until -- until there's absolutely nothing else we can possibly do.

KAYE: Until you get justice?

JOCELYN CORNBLEET: Until we get justice.

KAYE: That shows his sense of humor.

JOCELYN CORNBLEET: He was totally quirky. He's proposing to Snow White.

KAYE: Justice for this family can only be found on American soil.

Randy Kaye, CNN, Chicago.


COOPER: That's one of those stories that's simply hard to believe. Despite Hans Peterson reportedly confessing, and what authorities say is the DNA at the scene, he may never be brought back to Illinois to face the murder charge.

A lot of questions here. Joining me for more on the story is CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, I don't understand. I mean, criminals are extradited from other countries all the time. Why can't this guy be extradited?

TOOBIN: Well, because he's a French citizen. Even though he doesn't appear to be much of one, he is a French citizen. And under this treaty, France will not extradite its own citizens to the United States. They'd extradite an American, but not one of their own. COOPER: So can he be charged for the crime in France and put on trial there?

TOOBIN: He actually can. I mean, he can be tried. They can bring the evidence either to Saint Martin or do it on the mainland of France and have a trial.

Of course, the big difference is, if he's actually convicted in a French trial of this murder in Chicago, the most he could serve is 20 years, whereas if he was convicted in the United States, the least he would serve is 20 years and, of course, he could get up to the death penalty in Illinois. So that's obvious...

COOPER: So it is likely there -- is it likely there will be a trial, though, in France? I mean, does that happen?

TOOBIN: It does. It happens very rarely. I mean, I think, you know, one thing in favor of the Cornbleets' family is that he is now in jail in the Caribbean. You know, he's not walking the streets. So France is investigating the matter.

But as you can imagine, it's an incredibly cumbersome thing to conduct a Chicago murder trial in -- on French soil. So it's moving very slowly. But it could happen.

COOPER: It is -- it's hard to believe. Jeffrey Toobin, appreciate it. Thanks.

We'll continue to follow the case.

Just ahead, he's a finalist for CNN's "Heroes" all-star tribute. Tonight, an American soldier who's found a way to hit the Taliban where it hurts them most -- opium production. You'll never guess what he's convincing Afghan farmers to plant instead of poppies. That's next.


COOPER: Months ago, as part of our own "Heroes" project, we asked you to help us in identifying unsung heroes -- ordinary people who are making an extraordinary difference in the world.

The idea was to salute six people in six categories. The response we got was overwhelming. We received more than 7,000 online nominations from 93 different countries.

It was not easy, but our CNN judges narrowed the list to 18 finalists and from there our blue ribbon panel took over, selecting six honorees. We're going to tell you who they are next week in a live CNN broadcast, but over the next few days, you'll meet the finalists, starting tonight with the community crusaders.

We begin in Afghanistan with Sgt. Major James McDowell.


SGT. MAJOR JAMES MCDOWELL: I'm Sergeant Major James McDowell.

I'm here with the soldiers in Afghanistan.

We actually came here and saw that there was not a whole lot here. What you see here in Afghanistan would probably look the same 30 years ago, would probably look the same 300 years ago.

They're hard people who live a rough life, but they're honest.

The farmers need help here. What they really need in this country is some kind of a plan. If you don't give a plan to the Afghan people, to make their lives better, well, they're going to come up with their own plan. And their own plan could be whoever offers the best deal to them.

The Taliban pretty much told them what they had to do. There was a certain thing that was expected of them, and one of the things was poppy, as far as we could see, you know. You could see nothing but poppy. It was for miles.


In 2007 Afghanistan grew 8,200 tons of opium.

This equates to 93 percent of the world's opium supply.

Source: United Nations


MCDOWELL: Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world. Right now they're making more opium and drugs than the whole world can use. That's not good.

We just started asking people, what can we do? And one of the farmers said, well, if you give me some saffron, I'll grow that. It's the most expensive spice in the world by weight.


Since creating "Operation Spicy Devil," McDowell has raised $75,000 to donate 40,000 saffron bulbs to Afghan farmers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing, brother?

Nice to meet you.


MCDOWELL: Yoran (ph).

What we're going to leave behind, with the help of the Afghan government and the people, is a better way for them so that you're not just seeing rusty American relics in a bazaar 100 years from now saying oh, the Americans must have been here, too, with everybody else.

I want to do something good. I want the soldiers to stay alive. And I want this country to succeed.


COOPER: And he is doing something good indeed.

When we come back, two more community crusaders on two different continents. From war-torn Uganda to the frontlines of domestic violence right here in America. Both literally saving lives, next on 360.


COOPER: Before the break, we introduced you to Army Sgt. Major James McDowell, a finalist for our CNN "Heroes" all-star tribute.

We received more than 7,000 online nominations of unsung heroes in 93 countries. Next week, in a worldwide CNN live broadcast, we're going to tell you which six heroes our blue ribbon panel selected from those thousands.

Right now, we want you to meet two more finalists, both of them community crusaders on different continents thousands of miles apart.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're ready.

JULIE REMS-SMARIO, CNN HERO: I'm Julie Rems-Smario. I support deaf women to live without violence.

I became a social worker part time to support myself through graduate school, and I was working with abused deaf children. And what really bothered me about my job was mothers who were in quote, unquote, "at-risk families." That ultimately meant that their husbands or partners were abusive.

Those families experienced two choices. They could either leave the abuser or lose their children.

People often ask me, are deaf people abused more than hearing women? And my experience is about the same. The differences that deaf women experience -- a lot more barriers, and so they're more at risk than hearing women.


Deaf Hope is a non-profit organization created by deaf women in Oakland, California.

It is the only organization of its kind in North America.

(END GRAPHIC) REMS-SMARIO: They go elsewhere for resources, and are frustrated by not getting an interpreter or frustrated by feeling looked down upon, and here they don't have to feel that way. That's the most important part of our organization, that we are 100 percent accessible to deaf women and their children.


Since it was formed in 2003, Deaf Hope has served over 500 abused women.


REMS-SMARIO: The heart of our service is our 24-hour hotline. Survivors can use e-mail to send a message to advocates on their pager, and an advocate will respond typically within 20 minutes.

Our goal is to ask them what they want, provide choices and they get to make their decision and we support that decision.

I have a long-term dream for Deaf Hope, and that is opening a new shelter and transitional homes, seeing that happen and having deaf women and their children with a place to go where they don't have a fear of violence anymore. That is my goal and dream.



SISTER ROSEMARY NYIRUMBE, CNN HERO: When I decided to go to join the sisterhood, I was only 15 years old.

I wanted to really give my life to serving people. When I came here, Northern Uganda was already going through the war of the Lord's Resistance Army. There were a lot of children being abducted. A lot of people taken of their home. The girls are used as sex slaves and they were given to different rebel commanders.


Roughly 8,000 girls may have been abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army since the beginning of Uganda's civil war.

Source: Unicef


NYIRUMBE: When I came here, I found the school was almost empty. I made a radio advertisement telling people we would give an opportunity for girls to come for training. I found that I attracted a lot of formerly abducted girls.


Girls attend St. Monica's Girls Tailoring School for free.


NYIRUMBE: I decided straight away to find a way of restoring the dignity of a human person. We do it in a very technical way by introducing them to skills, and the skills I believe I am giving them is towards self-reliance.

I introduced secretarial course, I introduced catering course, and I introduced this practical tailoring for one year.

I told the girls many times, when you come to me, ask me, can you give me work? And I will pay for the work.

And that's what I want everybody to do with you when you're finished from here.

My happiest moment is always when I see these girls succeed in what they want to do. And when a girl comes back to me and tells me, I am trying my best, I am working, I am settled, I feel happy.


COOPER: All of them, true heroes.

As you can probably tell from the three nominees that you've heard from tonight, our judges had their work cut out for them.

Thursday, on 360, we're going to introduce you to more of the finalists for our CNN "Heroes" all-star tribute, which is next week.

December 6th is the date, 9:00 p.m., Eastern. Christiane Amanpour and an I will co-host a live broadcast, where we will announce which six honorees our blue-ribbon panel selected. It's going to be a great night.

Mary Jay Blige (ph), Wycliffe Jon -- or Jones (ph) and Cheryl Crow (ph) will join us as we honor these every day heroes.

We're looking right now forward to that. And don't forget another big night -- less than 24 hours away -- the GOP CNN/YouTube debate, live from St. Petersburg, Florida, on this stage. A night when you'll get to ask the candidates questions. That's it starting at 8:00 p.m., Eastern.

For our international viewers right now, "CNN TODAY" is next. Here in America, "LARRY KING" is coming up.

I'll see you tomorrow night from St. Petersburg.