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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Hostage Standoff at Clinton Campaign Headquarters Ends Peacefully; Fourth Suspect Detained in Murder of Sean Taylor; Evel Knievel Dead at 69
Aired November 30, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone, from Rochester, New Hampshire.
This small city is accustomed to being in the national media spotlight every four years, for politics, not, however, for a hostage drama at a campaign office, Hillary Clinton's campaign office, which, thankfully, came to a safe conclusion just a short time.
Here's how it ended, with Leeland Eisenberg down on the ground, a man with a history of legal and mental difficulties in custody at this moment. In the hour ahead, we will be flushing out that picture and taking you literally inside the crisis from beginning to end.
We're also awaiting a press conference, new information, a fourth person now detained in the murder of NFL star Sean Taylor. That press conference should be occurring any moment. We will bring it to you live, as well as have complete analyst of the Sean Taylor case immediately after that press conference.
We begin, though, with the hostage crisis which unfolded just steps away from here, just a few blocks from where I'm standing, the address, 28 North Main Street, one of a string of Clinton storefronts throughout New Hampshire.
COOPER (voice-over): It began at about 1:00 p.m. when a man walked into the Clinton campaign office claiming to have a bomb strapped to his chest. The device was wrapped in duct tape. Reports say he ordered an unknown number of hostages to lie on the floor.
He asked to talk to Hillary Clinton. He also released a woman and her baby. That woman went into a nearby door and said, call 911. Within minutes, word of the standoff spread.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband called me and asked me what I was doing. So I told him I was working.
And he told me that I needed to leave the building immediately, and I didn't understand why. He told me that there was something about a bomb. So I immediately grabbed my jacket and ran out the door.
COOPER: Then CNN's Washington bureau received a call from one of the hostages, a woman who was very upset. She talked to a CNN staffer and then put the suspect on the phone. He old us that he had mental problems and couldn't get anyone to help him.
After he hung up, CNN notified politics. Throughout the afternoon, the hostage and the suspect called back several times, talking to other CNN staffers. By 2:00 p.m., police started arriving in droves. The SWAT team took up nearby positions. An armored vehicle appeared. And much of this town was on lockdown, including the schools.
CAPTAIN PAUL CALLAGHAN, ROCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT: There is a large perimeter of Rochester that is blocked off. It's probably about four or five square blocks, the area. And, no -- and residents are not allowed back into that area.
COOPER: Around 3:30, another hostage was set free, a woman wearing a green top. You can see her led away by police.
SAREENA DALLA, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: She looked visibly distressed. She avoided eye contact with us, though. She just kept her head to the ground.
COOPER: As the day went on, we began to learn more about the suspect. His name is Leeland Eisenberg. He lives in the area. He's well known to police and reportedly says he's angry he couldn't get mental health care at a reasonable cost. And he's angry at the mental health care situation in the country. Authorities were not sure if he was armed with a bomb, but they weren't taking any chances.
DAN COULSON, FORMER MEMBER, FBI HOSTAGE RESCUE TEAM: He's the one that said, I have a bomb. And, if he starts to -- to come out of there and approach their perimeter, then, in my view, they have no choice but to neutralize him at that point.
COOPER: The hostage situation was about to enter its sixth hour when it came to a sudden and dramatic ending. And, then, live on television, Leeland Eisenberg slowly emerged with his hands raised from the Clinton campaign office.
Following the instructions of police, he kneeled and then lay on the ground. He was handcuffed and taken into custody. Around the same time, the fourth and final hostage was seen running from the scene. None of the victims was hurt. And this terrifying ordeal finally came to a peaceful end.
COOPER: And that's certainly good news, indeed.
A short time after that, Senator Clinton spoke to reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am very grateful that this difficult day has ended so well. All of my campaign staff and volunteers are safe. I want to thank them for their extraordinary courage and coolness under some very difficult pressures and dangerous situations. I was in touch during the day with the families of those who were held hostage, and I really commend their extraordinary courage under, again, very difficult circumstances.
Every four years, extraordinary young people come to places like New Hampshire because they want to change our country. They believe in our future. They work around the clock. They are so committed to their cause.
And I just want to commend every one of them.
And I'm especially just relieved to have this situation end so peacefully without anyone being injured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator Clinton did not say and was not asked whether she did or did not speak with the suspect, Leeland Eisenberg.
As we said, a picture of Mr. Eisenberg began to emerge slowly early on. There is often much we don't report in an incident like this. In this case, we knew that there were TVs inside the office. So, there was much we didn't want to say. When we saw an armored vehicle with police moving toward -- moving toward the storefront before the -- the -- the standoff was resolved, we didn't mention it because it could have been involved in operations, and it was one of the vehicles actually used in the final operation.
Chelsea Coull is a receptionist at a hotel nearby. She actually came up and talked to us a little bit a couple hours ago. We didn't put her on the air then, because, again, we thought Mr. Eisenberg might have been watching. But Chelsea joins us now.
Chelsea, Leeland Eisenberg's stepson came into your restaurant about an hour or two after this whole hostage drama began.
CHELSEA COULL, SPOKE WITH STEPSON OF LEELAND EISENBERG: Yes.
COOPER: And he was telling you about his stepfather. What did he say?
COULL: Well, he originally came in for some coffee, said that he had a long morning, well, prior to coming in, him and his mother. And he said...
COOPER: They had been talking to the police?
COULL: Yes, they had been talking police.
And he had said that, you know, my stepfather is the one causing this mess in Rochester.
COOPER: And what did he say his -- what was the stepfather's state of mind, according to him? COULL: Not in the right state of mind. He had been unemployed for three months, had been drinking heavy 72 hours prior to this.
COOPER: He had been drinking for 72 hours, he said?
COULL: Yes. Yes. And he said he needed help, he wasn't going anywhere in life, and he just needed to be hospitalized.
COOPER: And, according to this man, Leeland Eisenberg spent the night at his house last night...
COOPER: ... and asked him about highway flares?
COULL: Yes, asked him where he could purchase highway flares and roadside flares. And he didn't think anything of it. And then the next morning, before he left, he said, watch for me.
COOPER: Watch for me on television?
COULL: Yes. Oh, just watch for me. And his stepson had -- didn't put two and two together, obviously, because he wasn't in the right state of mind. He was under the influence.
COOPER: And they were having marital problems as well?
COULL: Yes. Three months prior, his wife had asked for a divorce.
COOPER: Well, clearly a lot going on.
How was his stepson -- how did he seem to you?
COULL: He seemed fine, more annoyed, really. He just -- he wanted to go in there and grab his stepfather. He even asked police if he can get in there and tackle his dad and bring him out. And...
COOPER: Well, it's good that everything ended peacefully.
COOPER: For a town like this, I mean, nothing like this happens here, does it?
COULL: Oh, no, not at all. It's actually such a great community. And it's too bad that Rochester has to be put on the map for this.
COOPER: And it has a lot of other reasons to be on the map.
COULL: Yes. COOPER: People are really friendly here and we have had a great reception.
COOPER: Chelsea, thanks. It's been a real pleasure.
COULL: Oh, awesome.
COOPER: Thank you.
COOPER: We're glad things ended so peacefully today.
Leeland Eisenberg's stepson was also talking to the police as the crisis unfolded, as Chelsea said. He reportedly told them that his stepfather had asked him last night where he could buy the highway flares.
He also told him to be sure to watch them on TV today.
Now, by the time police handcuffed the hostage-taker just after 6:00 p.m., they had learned a lot about him, including his history of mental problems.
CNN's Jason Carroll has been working the story. He joins me now.
Jason, what have you learned?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of information now coming forward about this man, Leeland Eisenberg, troubled man. That's the profile that we're getting, Anderson, 47 years old. Apparently, he had called CNN several times throughout the day. For safety reasons, of course, we didn't report that.
He was telling folks at CNN that he was...
COOPER: You know what? Sorry. You dropped your mike. Hold on.
CARROLL: Thank you.
CARROLL: Live TV.
COOPER: Basic cable.
CARROLL: He had called -- he had called CNN several times throughout the day, basically saying that he was a mental patient and that he was troubled, but that he needed help, and that help was going to cost thousands of dollars, money he did not have.
And he had also asked that CNN put him in touch with Senator Hillary Clinton. He obviously wanted to speak to her for a number of reasons. Obviously, we did not do that.
He was also very well known to local police here. Apparently, back in March, there was a local campaign to put leaflets in unlocked cars, you know, reminding people to lock their cars. Leeland Eisenberg received one of those. He became very upset, saying it somehow had violated his constitutional rights.
Also, according to local reports, today, at 1:30, he was scheduled to appear in court for a domestic violence hearing. His wife had actually filed divorce proceedings against him back in November, citing irreconcilable differences. She had also alleged that this man, Eisenberg, her husband, had a severe alcohol problem, a severe drug problem, that he had threatened her, allegedly, on several occasions.
We actually, just a short while ago, Anderson, before we arrived here, went to his neighborhood located just about six miles from here, spoke to one of his neighbors who saw him hop in a cab this morning. He said this guy appeared fine, that he appeared quiet. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary this morning when he saw him hop in this cab.
But you speak to other neighbors, who say that (AUDIO GAP) explosive temper, and they said that they are not surprised by what ended up happening out here today.
COOPER: Well, when you look at that video of him coming out of the storefront, getting down on the ground, being handcuffed by police, this thing could have ended in so many other bad, terrible ways.
Is it known at this point what device he actually had on his person?
CARROLL: At this point, that's what they're still trying to figure out, trying to sort that out. I think that information is available. But, as you can imagine, authorities are being very careful about what information they release and how they release it.
Probably by tomorrow, my guess is, they will probably put out some sort of statement about exactly what sort of device, whether it was in fact these traffic flares, which he reportedly asked his stepson for, or not.
Jason, appreciate the reporting. Keep working the sources. There's a lot still, I know, yet to learn about Leeland Eisenberg.
COOPER: He's clearly a man with a very troubled past.
What is still unclear tonight is what exactly drove him to such extremes (AUDIO GAP) medical center (AUDIO GAP) and Pete Earley, a former "Washington Post" reporter and author (AUDIO GAP) Hey, Jason, could I get your mike? I'm having some mike problems of my own here with this live television.
This one work?
Ironically, he was recently in Rochester giving a speech on mental health issues.
Doctor Lieberman, thanks for joining us.
What would drive someone to take hostages?
DR. JEFFREY LIEBERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST IN CHIEF, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL: Well, this man sounds like he was really down on his luck and had a history of mental instability in the past. And if he had apparently sought to get help for this, somehow wasn't able to get it, and he decided to take matters into his own hands, he was basically desperate and pushed to the brink.
COOPER: Does someone like -- clearly, it seems like, in this case, he wanted attention. I mean, you walk into Senator Hillary Clinton's office, you're going to get instantly a lot of attention.
LIEBERMAN: Well, that's true.
There was evidence for some kind of forethought and premeditation. He said to his son, stepson, when he was leaving, watch for me today. Watch the news. He had the foresight the night before to ask where he could buy highway flares in order to simulate a bomb that he would wear, a suicide bombing.
And he walked into the potential next president of the United States' campaign office. So, he had some calculation in this. But it looks like he was a middle-class man that previously had been employed. He had a family. So, he had some intelligence.
But, clearly, this is a man who was down on his luck just because of the adversity of life, but also was compounded by the fact that he had a history of prior mental illness, which, obviously, was not being adequately treated.
COOPER: And how do you deal with someone like that, whether you are a hostage of them or a police officer trying to deal with them? I mean, how do you try to rationalize with someone who is not in the right state -- frame of mind?
LIEBERMAN: Well, the first thing is to recognize that, when somebody takes hostages and achieves to do something unlawful, is to whether they're motivated by greed or some kind of a specific rational motive, or it's a result of some desperation and mental illness.
If it's the latter, as it frequently is, unfortunately, then the first thing is, is to be calm about it and not spook them, and try to reason with them, get their trust, establish a dialogue, and understand better what is driving them to do this. In his case, there was a report that he was mentioning he had a chip in his brain. OK. Well, that's a sign often of psychosis, severe mental illness, where somebody has a break of reality, and they believe that, in this case, they're paranoid that the government has planted some type of monitoring device in their brain.
If that's the case, then police should recognize that. And they should determine that this is a psychiatric problem that they need to talk this person down from and get them help.
COOPER: Pete -- Pete Earley joins us as well.
Pete, Eisenberg called CNN during the time he was holding hostages. He told one of our staffers that he had mental problems, that he couldn't get anyone to help him. Does that surprise you, to hear someone complain about the system like that? I mean, we have talked in the past on this program about the difficulties of people getting mental health services.
PETE EARLEY, FORMER "WASHINGTON POST" REPORTER: It does absolutely not surprise me.
Once again, we have someone with a severe mental illness, it seems, falling through the tracks, just like Mr. Cho fell through the cracks in Virginia and ended up murdering 32 people in Virginia. This is another sign of how broken our mental health system is in America today. Even if you're crying out for help, it's often impossible to get it.
COOPER: In your case, your son had a mental illness. What does it take to actually get help for someone who may be violent toward themselves, may be violent toward others, but it's -- it's very difficult often proving that?
EARLEY: Well, it's difficult to prove that.
We have set the bar at dangerousness. A person has to be a danger either to himself or someone else before you can take someone who is clearly psychotic in and get them help, get them committed.
And the problem, of course, is that, when they become dangerous, you have acts like this, and they get arrested. Right now, we have 365,000 people with bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and major depression in jails and prisons. They are sick, but they're in prison; 500,000 are on probation; 700,000 go through the criminal justice system every year.
We -- our system is broken. In Virginia right now, there's a waiting list with 1,400 people on it trying to get some kind of service. And a recent study showed that 475 people in Virginia, 475 who are going to be very, very sick, will simply be turned out on the streets, because we don't have beds or any way to get them into services. That's shameful.
COOPER: Dr. Lieberman, what's the takeaway from all this? LIEBERMAN: Well, I agree with Mr. Earley that too many people who need mental health care and psychiatric treatment aren't getting it.
But I wouldn't say that the system is broken. The fact of the matter is, is that there is treatment for mental illnesses available through hospitals, through clinics, through doctors' offices. The problem often is, though, it's not widely known to people who need it how to go find it and to get it.
Secondly, when they do find out where to receive it, they may not have medical insurance or health care coverage to cover it. Frequently, mental illness is not covered or reimbursed to the same way that non-psychiatric medical illnesses are. And, of course, we have a large number of people who are uninsured.
And the third thing that happens is that, when somebody has a mental illness, it's a problem with the brain. The brain is the part of the body that reasons, that exercises judgment. So, many people who are ill with depression, with schizophrenia, with psychosis don't think they need treatment.
And, in our society, we preserve the right of the individual to decide what they want to do on their own. And, so, nobody can make them seek treatment. And families who know that their loved are affected often plead with them, please get treatment. They plead with the doctors and the mental health care professionals, please help my son or my daughter or my relative.
But, if they won't agree to it, only if they have proven to be dangerous can we override their free will and say, you must be treated, against your will.
COOPER: It's so difficult for the families.
Pete, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
EARLEY: Well, I wanted to say that what's really frustrating about this is that we know how to help most people who have mental illnesses, as the doctor said.
But it's a matter of getting them into services and getting them treatment. But we know how to empower people and help them recover. But you have to have services and you have to -- look, my son's medicine costs $500 a month. He doesn't have a job. He has no insurance. How can he pay for that?
COOPER: And, Pete Earley...
LIEBERMAN: Anderson, can I make a comment about that?
COOPER: Sure. Dr. Lieberman.
LIEBERMAN: Well, one of the issues that -- Mr. Earley is absolutely on target with everything that he just said -- one of the things that's really ongoing now congressionally is that there is a mental health parity bill in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
And this may not restore everything that needs to be, but at least it will go a long way to improving that people with mental illness can get coverage for their treatment, as opposed to have no coverage for it.
COOPER: Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, appreciate your time.
Pete Earley, as well -- thanks for being on the program again, Pete.
EARLEY: Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead: digging deeper into the science and the art of hostage negotiating. We're going to talk with one of the best negotiators in the business, more on what it takes to defuse a human powder keg, so that it ends the way it did today here in Rochester, where our special coverage continues.
We're also awaiting a press conference, a fourth suspect detained in the murder of Sean Taylor, NFL star.
I will be right back.
COOPER: I'm joined now by the state attorney general, Ayotte.
KELLY A. AYOTTE, NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY GENERAL: Kelly.
COOPER: Kelly Ayotte. I'm sorry.
And Colonel Booth (ph) with the State Police.
It went probably as well, from this vantage, as it possibly could have. Are you pleased with how everything ended today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was just a tremendous outcome, as far as we're concerned. There was such a great level of cooperation between state, federal and local police departments.
And it couldn't be more textbook than the way it went down this afternoon and being able to successfully have the hostages released and have nobody injured in this.
COOPER: Do you know what -- I mean, at this point, what did he want? What was the point?
AYOTTE: Well, you know, the case is still under investigation, as they just resolved the situation tonight. And he certainly had his own personal troubles. And that seems to be what has driven this. And the police are, of course, investigating that more thoroughly.
He did want to speak with Senator Clinton at one point. And...
COOPER: Did he end up speaking with her?
In fact, the police made the decision. She deferred to their tactics in the situation. And she was very cooperative. The campaign was very cooperative with the police. But they wanted their SWAT and their seasoned negotiators to handle it, rather than injecting people from the campaign.
COOPER: How did the negotiations go? I mean, what was his -- what was the communication like back and forth?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the communication was difficult in the beginning because we were dealing with a number of cell phones and also landlines. And you had campaign people that were dialing out. You had him dialing out. And so...
COOPER: Because he called CNN numerous times throughout the day as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so the fact was, it was difficult in the beginning to isolate the communication lines, because what we wanted to do was isolate that enough, so that the person that was in control of this was the negotiator.
COOPER: Well, it was just a tense day, and it could have ended so badly.
We appreciate all that you have done. It was really a remarkable effort on everyone's part.
Colonel, appreciate your joining us, as well as you, State Attorney General. Thank you so much.
COOPER: Appreciate it.
AYOTTE: Thank you.
COOPER: With us now is CNN's Jim Acosta, who is on the scene at trailer park in nearby Somersworth, New Hampshire, where Leeland Eisenberg lives.
Jim, what are you learning?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we're standing across the street from the home of Leeland Eisenberg.
And, at this time, we can tell you that there are family members inside the home, from what we understand, perhaps a stepson. And on the door is a sign that is basically saying at this time, please respect our privacy. We're not making a comment.
But, when those folks do come out of the home, we will be checking in with them to see if they will make any kind of remarks.
But, in the meantime, we have been talking to neighbors here in the community about Mr. Eisenberg. They describe a man who has a very quick temper and has abused alcohol in the past.
And I'm joined by Lucie Sukduang and George Isaacson, who are two of Mr. Eisenberg's neighbors.
And, if you can tell us, Lucie, you were watching this afternoon when Leeland Eisenberg surrendered, and you realized right away, that's him.
LUCIE SUKDUANG, NEIGHBOR OF LEELAND EISENBERG: Exactly. Exactly.
ACOSTA: You were telling me -- what was your reaction when you saw that?
SUKDUANG: Very shocked. Jumped off the couch and could not believe it. And I'm still in a state of shock, yes.
ACOSTA: And you were telling me earlier this evening that you noticed some -- some troubling signs from Mr. Eisenberg. Can you say exactly what you saw, what you noticed?
SUKDUANG: Well, just hearing that he had the alcohol problem, going for alcohol, being a loner.
ACOSTA: What do you mean going for alcohol? What do you mean?
SUKDUANG: Well, taking his walks every day, about 5:00, to go get his beer. I presume that was what he was picking up, and cigarettes.
I knew he was troubled for some reason. But he was a quiet man with us, always pleasant with me.
ACOSTA: And, George, you also told us earlier that you overheard arguments. There were loud arguments coming from this home.
GEORGE ISAACSON, NEIGHBOR OF LEELAND EISENBERG: Yes.
We were sitting out on Lucie's deck. And we could hear them from her deck way over here yelling and screaming. And one day, we heard her -- you know, someone slam the door. And it just stopped. So... ACOSTA: And this happened frequently?
ISAACSON: Yes. Yes, I would say -- oh, I would say about four times at least, at least four times.
ACOSTA: And one -- one of the other things that we heard from one of the neighbors here is that the police actually had to come out to this home to separate these two or intervene at one time.
Does it surprise you at all that it's come to this, that this happened today?
SUKDUANG: Yes, it has, because I never thought -- what his reasons were today, I know it must have been a sign, crying for help. He wanted to get help. How Hillary could have helped him, I don't know.
ACOSTA: Lucie and George, thank you very much.
Anderson, as you can tell, the neighbors here in this community have known for some time that this -- this man was troubled. It was only today that they realized just how far he was willing to go to express these problems that he'd had -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jim, appreciate that.
A reminder to us all, this was of course a public news event for many, but, for one family, for the Eisenberg family, this is a -- a private tragedy today. And what they must be going through at this hour is hard to imagine.
We're going to have more on this breaking story coming up.
Also ahead, new developments tonight in the mystery of the murder of Sean Taylor, four people now detained. We will have an update shortly, and also anticipating a live press conference with new details on the killing. We will bring that to you live, of course
And, later, a sad day for anyone who smiled whenever Evel Knievel put on his helmet, got on his bike, and flew through the air. We will remember some of those amazing stunts and talk to one of his friends -- coming up on this day that Evel Knievel has died.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Pictures of four people now detained. We have got a press conference from Fort Myers, let's go to the press conference right, and the death of Sean Taylor.
ROBERT PARKER, MIAMI-DADE POLICE: ... but we wanted to make sure that you get a pretty thorough briefing on our update here.
Of course, we're here tonight to talk about progress in the homicide of Sean Maurice Taylor, a 24-year-old male. We know that this offense, a murder occurred on Monday, November 26th, here in Miami-Dade County, at the victim's home located at Old Cutler Road (ph) in the city of Palmetto Bay. We're here to tell you who we have arrested in this case. It involves four individuals ranging in age from 17 to 20. I'll tell you their names and their ages.
It is first is Eric Rivera Jr., a black male, 17 years of age. Charles Wardlow, a black male, 18 years of age. Jason Mitchell, a black male, 19 years of age. And Venjah Hunte, a black male, 20 careers of age. We know that these individuals on the night of occurrence entered the residence. We know that once that they were in the residence, they encountered Mr. Taylor. We know that Mr. Taylor was mortally wounded by a single gunshot.
We know that these individuals then exited the residence and fled in a waiting vehicle. We're certainly looking into the prospect that one or more of these individuals, these subjects previously visited the victim's residence.
Our investigation also revealed that these individuals were under the assumption that the residence was vacant and that Mr. Taylor or no one else was in the residence, in other words, that they were under the assumption that it was unoccupied.
As this investigation proceeds and further investigation -- further leads are developed, additional arrests are certainly possible. We would like to certainly -- Miami-Dade Police Department would certainly like to thank for the grateful appreciation and offer our profound appreciation to a number of law enforcement agencies and entities that assisted in the course of this investigation.
That includes the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, which has representation here with us tonight. It includes the Lee County State Attorney's Office. It also include the U.S. Marshal's Office, the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the City of Fort Myers Police Department, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Florida Department of Parole and Probation, the City of Miami Police Department, as well as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, all of whose assistance in this investigation was invaluable.
And each and every one of them participated in bringing about a swift and successful closure to this tragic and unfortunate crime and event. And absolutely, absolutely key to solving this case was citizens' tips following our plea for information which we made just two days ago.
I'm now going to open it up for questions. Following my questions, there will be some brief remarks by U.S. Marshal Christine Farrow (ph), and following that there will be a Spanish translation, so.
QUESTION: ... said anything about whether there was a birthday party at the residence that one of the suspects had been to? Can you say anything about that? There's one report about that.. PARKER: As I indicated, we're looking into whether or not one or any of these individuals were at the residence previously. We cannot confirm that information at this time.
QUESTION: Director, the implication of that -- they had been there previously. The implication is they knew somebody in the Taylor family (INAUDIBLE).
PARKER: We're looking into that very possible eventuality as well. We won't say that that is or is not the case, because we have not verified that yet. But that is certainly something that we're looking into it.
QUESTION: Was there a fifth person waiting in the car?
PARKER: We're looking for additional individuals. We have not verified that there is a fifth person. But if there is, certainly we should hope to get that information as a result of interviewing these individuals.
QUESTION: Can you give us is nature of the citizen tip or tips?
PARKER: Information that led us to the area of where these individuals are and some pretty good information as to who they were.
QUESTION: So it's clear they were targeting the house, not the football player?
PARKER: That's very clear. They were not targeting the individual. But let me make this clear. They were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone. They were expecting a residence that was not occupied. So murder or shooting someone was not their initial motive.
Their initial motive, though I can't deny that they knew the fact that Jason Taylor (sic) lived there, their obvious motive was to go there and steal the contents of the house.
QUESTION: Has anybody confessed?
PARKER: Your question, the same question, has anyone confessed? Let me say that, yes, we do have confessions but I'm not going to talk about the details of the confessions at this point.
QUESTION: Have you recovered the weapon?
PARKER: I'm sorry. I'm just going to tell you that we have confessions within the investigation. I'm not going to tell you which ones confessed and which ones didn't. We have more than one confession, I'll put it at that.
PARKER: That's the determination to be made by the state attorney's office. And the question was, will they be charged as an adult?
QUESTION: Have you recovered the murder weapon?
QUESTION: ... were they stopped by (INAUDIBLE) proper authorities (INAUDIBLE)?
PARKER: There's nothing in my briefing, or I don't know of anything about a stop by Florida Highway Patrol, no.
QUESTION: ... fingerprints in the house, is that what lead you to them?
PARKER: I'm not going talk about the details of our investigation or what we used. I will simply say that we explored and continue to explore evidence as well as information, leads, tips, confessions, all of that information in terms of making arrests thus far.
QUESTION: What are they charged with?
PARKER: What are they charged with? Obviously the largest or the strongest charge has got to be the charge of murder.
QUESTION: Against all four?
PARKER: In this case, that is going to be the strongest charge. That charge will be made. All of these individuals have been arrested. The state attorney's office is certainly going to be in a position to vet out which will be charged with what...
COOPER: You've been listening to a press conference given by Robert Parker down in Miami. He is the director of Miami-Dade Police. John Zarrella, who has been following this story since the murder of Sean Taylor began joins us now from Fort Myers.
John, some remarkable information we are hearing. A lot of the questions seemingly answered by law enforcement.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, quite a few of them, Anderson. And I am here. And right behind me is where these four individuals have been held all day long. During the course of the day we saw three of them being walked in handcuffs from one end of the building to the other end of the building.
And at one point we saw a stenographer coming, carrying his recording device and a table with him. So presumably when we heard Director Parker talking about the fact that they did have confessions from more than one, that those confessions were very likely on that tape that we saw being walked by. Now some of those keys points, and at some point they were in that house. At least one of them may have been in Sean Taylor's house prior to the night when Sean Taylor was killed. That Director Parker did make very clear. And also the fact that there are four, possibly more suspects, but four in custody right now, and of course, the largest of the charges, the gravest of the charges will be murder.
Now, they did say, one thing that we've been wondering all along. Was Sean Taylor targeted? Well, not directly targeted, according to Parker. They didn't go there trying to kill someone. They thought they were going to an empty house. Did not know he was there.
And, Anderson, you know, the reason that Sean Taylor was there was because he had been injured, he had been hurt, had not played the last couple of weeks with the Redskins. He was in Miami for a second opinion on his injured knee. He had flown down.
The Redskins apparently did not even know he was he was in Miami until they got world that he had been shot. And of course, eight days prior to this, there was a burglary at his house and we do not know at this point -- Director Parker did not say whether the burglary eight days earlier to it -- before his killing, was related, Anderson, to the break-in this time which resulted in Sean Taylor's death -- Anderson.
COOPER: An important point though that we did learn is that these alleged burglars did know that this was the house of Sean Taylor. They might not have thought he was there, but according to police, they knew that this was his property.
ZARRELLA: Yes, clearly they knew. Clearly someone had told them that this was Sean Taylor's property. They didn't go there just trying to break into some random house. It wasn't a "random" burglary attempt. They knew the home they were going to. That is pretty clear. How they knew it, those are the details that still have to be sorted out.
And the other detail we don't know is, exactly how they were arrested, what breaks in the case, what tips. All we know is that there were tips that led police to these arrests today. We don't know where they were arrested, at what time they were arrested today -- Anderson.
COOPER: And as the police said, it was tips which led to the arrests. And they do believe they have the gunman in custody. Tips led them to that gunman. A remarkable development on this day of many remarkable developments here in Rochester and down in Florida. John Zarrella, thanks for the reporting. We'll check in with you if any new developments -- if any new incidents develop over this next hour.
Just ahead though, latest details on the hostage crisis that rocked this small city of Rochester, New Hampshire, today. We now know Leeland Eisenberg was struggling with a long list of troubles. What might have pushed him over the edge today? That is what we are going to try to find out. Plus, what SWAT teams are trained to do in situations like today's. What are the tricks of talking down a hostage-taker. You'll hear from one of the best negotiators next on 360.
COOPER: Leeland Eisenberg on the ground. A tense hostage standoff here in Rochester, lasted some five hours, finally over a few hours ago. The best ending possible. Our next guest knows what it is like when hostage situations end well and not so well. Robert Louden is the former chief hostage negotiator for the New York City Police Department. Mr. Louden joins us on the phone.
Thanks for being with us again. Obviously it ended as best as it possibly could. What is the most important thing? When you first call up a hostage-taker, what -- that first conversation, what is that like?
ROBERT LOUDEN, FMR. NYPD HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: The initial conversation is remarkably calm and quiet on the part of the police. It's basically to let the individual know -- even if you believe they are going sue you, you let them know you're there, you let them know why you're there. You don't get involved in stating rank or negotiator or things like that.
Hi, my name is Bob, I'm from the police department. What's going on? What has happened here? How can we sort this out? Very, very direct, very calm, very forward thinking.
COOPER: But at the same time, it sounds almost non-judgmental.
LOUDEN: Well, a negotiator, among very many things, has to be -- or at least has to act very non-judgmental. Their main role is to listen to what's being said to them, listen both to the words and also to try to get the subtext of what they're saying. And do it as non- judgmental as possible.
Do it in a way that you're not accusatory, you're not threatening. You're looking for them to tell you what's going on, to tell you how you can help them get out of this without people getting hurt.
COOPER: So you're not asking them off the top what they want. You're asking them, what's the matter, what's the situation?
LOUDEN: Absolutely. Because not everybody who gets involved in these situations early on know what they want, and so you don't want to plant in their mind by saying to them, what are your demands? They say, oh, I guess I should have some demands. And then sometimes you get some outlandish demands that then you will have to talk about.
No, basically, you just want to listen to them. If the situation which apparently is what unfolded today is somebody who is extremely frustrated with the system, apparently some mental health problems, apparently some substance abuse problems, blames the bureaucracy, blames the world, blames whatever for some of his problems. And so his main demand really is for somebody to pay attention to me. Hey, world, look at me. I'm important. And so even without stating a demand or asking for a demand, his first demand is met. It doesn't mean it's home free, but at least you can now start to say, OK, we are paying attention. Somebody is paying attention. Talk to me about it, tell me about it. And I'll see what I can do.
Not, I'll promise the help you. Not, I'll guarantee you anything. Not, of course, I'll get you your care, because he knows that's not true. I'll see what I can do.
COOPER: Right. Mr. Louden, it's always good to talk to you. I'm glad to talk to you in a situation that ended so peacefully today. Robert Louden, thanks for joining us.
We're going continue to follow developments from here in Rochester, but up next, we remember Evel Knievel. For years he amazed us with his motorcycle stunts, since I was a kid, everyone talked about Evel Knievel. Why he struck such a chord with so many of us over the years. That's next on 360.
COOPER: In the 1960s and '70s, just about every little boy and plenty of girls too knew that Evel Knievel could jump his motorcycle over just about anything. Sometimes, though, he failed (INAUDIBLE) sure, he did that, like in 1974 when his rocket-powered sky cycle, remember that, did not make it across Idaho's Snake River Canyon. I want a rocket-powered sky cycle.
Anyway, Evel Knievel died today at the age of 69. He has been in failing health for some time now, but as Randi Kaye shows us, his legend is still jumping.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trucks, sharks, even Idaho's Snake River Pass. If it could be jumped, Evel Knievel wanted to try it.
EVEL KNIEVEL, PROFESSIONAL DAREDEVIL: My name is Evel Knievel, I'm a professional daredevil.
KAYE: Clad in red, white and blue, Knievel thrilled audiences for decades. Still, with so much success, he may be best known for his greatest failures, the 1974 attempt to jump Idaho's Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle, and an unforgettable crash in Las Vegas while trying to jump the fountains a Caesar's Palace. Knievel always walked away, but with more often than he liked, with a pretty good limp.
Before he retired in 1980, he had suffered 40 broken bones.
KNIEVEL: Teddy Roosevelt said on time that it's better to try and win glorious triumphs and victories even though you're checkered by failure and fate, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy victory or defeat because they have lived in such a great twilight that they have never tried either one.
KAYE: Knievel was born Robert Craig Knievel in Butte, Montana, and raised by his grandparents. He traced his career back to the first daredevil show he ever saw, when he was just 8. He was a ski jumper and ice hockey player in high school, then went on to work in Montana's copper mines. He served in the Army, even sold insurance.
But he was happiest in the seat of his bike.
KNIEVEL: I was the luckiest guy in the world that I got (INAUDIBLE).
KAYE: In 1999, Knievel married his long-time girlfriend in Vegas. They later divorced. It was his granddaughter who confirmed his death. His health had been deteriorating for years. He suffered from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis. The Associated Press quotes long-time friend and promoter Billy Rundle, who said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Florida home and died before an ambulance could get him to the hospital.
Rundle told the AP: "You just don't expect it, Superman just doesn't die, right?" Knievel's death comes just two days after he settled a federal lawsuit with rapper Kanye West over the use of his trademark in a popular music video. Evel Knievel was 69.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Evel Knievel's marketing agent joins me now. Darren Prince, the CEO of Prince Marketing Group.
Darren, thanks for being with us. You know, we all have memories of Evel Knievel. (INAUDIBLE) king of larger than life figure performing these dangerous stunts. How do you think you are going to remember him?
DARREN PRINCE, EVEL KNIEVEL'S MARKETING AGENT: Me personally or the world?
COOPER: You personally.
PRINCE: Me personally. He was just the most sincere guy I ever met. He was caring. He just loved people, he loved working, he loved the action, the excitement of business deals that we were working on together. And just very caring.
COOPER: What do you think it was that captured the world's attention? I remember as a little kid just being fascinated by Evel Knievel.
PRINCE: He was Superman. He just kept getting up and doing it again. He did the impossible. And there was nobody else doing what he did at that time. He was the only person...
COOPER: And how did he come up with the name Evel? Where did that come about?
PRINCE: I believe the name was given to him by a motorcycle shop that he had a partnership with back in the 1960s. And he actually took the I and made it into an E. So it was E-V-E-L so children wouldn't think he was an evil person.
COOPER: What do you think it was that drew him to do this stuff, I mean, to be a daredevil, to do these kind of stunts?
PRINCE: I think he just loved the thrill and he loved to entertain. And he was one of the world's greatest entertainers. There is no doubt about it.
COOPER: Was it hard for him to give it up?
PRINCE: I think it was. But he was very smart with what he did with his brand and his intellectual property. And he did things that most athletes and celebrities couldn't do. So he knew there was a whole 'nother world of business opportunities and partnerships out there for him so that gave him a whole 'nother life of excitement.
COOPER: And his son Robbie continued his son continued making jumps?
PRINCE: His son Robbie continued making jumps and actually made jumps that Evel couldn't make. He had much better equipment five, 10 years later when he was attempting those jumps.
COOPER: What -- is there one particular jump that you think stands out for Evel Knievel?
PRINCE: The Caesar's Palace jump was it. I mean, where he did -- just to get Caesar's Palace to make that happen, he actually called up six or seven times the president of Caesar's Palace with different name each time saying that he heard a guy by the name of Evel Knievel is jumping Caesar's Palace. And by the sixth phone call the president of Caesar's wanted to find out who this Evel Knievel was. And they put a deal together for him to make the jump.
COOPER: You're kidding. So he was calling up himself and using different and voices?
PRINCE: That's how that happened.
COOPER: That's great. What about the jump over Snake River Canyon?
PRINCE: Snake River Canyon, I guess the mechanic, as he told me, that put it together made a couple of mistakes, and that's why the chute didn't properly eject when he made the leap (ph). But that's definitely right up there with Caesar's, I would say.
COOPER: Well, it's hard to imagine that Evel Knievel is gone. But man, what memories he has left behind. Darren Prince, appreciate you joining us. Thanks, Darren.
PRINCE: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, another development breaking as we speak on an alleged hostage-taker, Leeland Eisenberg. New information, stay tuned.
COOPER: Leeland Eisenberg surrendering tonight to police here in Rochester, New Hampshire, after about a five-hour standoff. Very tense moments here over the course of the evening. As we have been reporting, pieces of his troubled life are emerging. Moments ago, CNN's Jason Carol uncovered some more. He joins me now.
Jason, what are you learning?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this could be another possible piece in the pie of what has been going on with this man, Leeland Eisenberg. Apparently back in 2002, a lawsuit was filed by a man by the name of a Leeland Eisenberg against the Archdiocese of Boston.
That Eisenberg had alleged that when he was 21 years old, he was sexually abused by a priest, a priest who provided him with alcohol. He had gone to a parish at that time being 21-year-old, saying that he was homeless, he was an alcoholic, he needed help.
This parish took him in and hired him as a handyman. He said when he was working there during the time, at least in the civil lawsuit, that he had been sexually abused by a priest.
Now we spoke to the attorney, Bob Sherman (ph), who had actually represented this Leeland Eisenberg. And he would not confirm if it is the same Leeland Eisenberg that we're dealing with here today. But certainly, some of the timing certainly fits, if you look at when he was allegedly abused, when this happened, and when the lawsuit was filed.
So we're still trying to work on some more details about that. But it could be a very interesting development.
COOPER: Certainly not a very common name. So the chances of it being someone else are slimmer, I suppose.
CARROLL: Without question.
COOPER: Yes. All right. Jason Carroll, appreciate the reporting. Very dramatic moments here throughout the day, about a five-hour standoff. The -- about a -- started around 1:00 p.m. this afternoon when Mr. Eisenberg walking into the office of Senator Clinton here in Rochester, a small storefront office, opened up his coat and showed the people in the office what was said to be a bomb.
We, at this point, do not know what device he had around his body. But it did -- certainly was realistic enough to lead police to the standoff for five hours. Eventually four people were released and Mr. Eisenberg himself walked out of the office, laid down on the ground and gave himself up.
That does it for this special edition of 360, live from Rochester, New Hampshire. We are going to see you again at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight for another edition of 360. Senator Clinton is expected to give a press conference in the 10:00 hour. We'll bring that to you live. A lot of new developments, especially this sex abuse angle.
"LARRY KING" is coming up, we'll see you soon.
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