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THE SITUATION ROOM
America Says Goodbye to Ted Kennedy; Libya Comes to New Jersey
Aired August 27, 2009 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to keep you up to the moment on all the breaking news that we're following.
The nation begins an emotional farewell to the patriarch of America's most famous political family. The motorcade carrying Senator Kennedy's casket arrived at the library just a short while ago. We are watching for members of the public to file past the coffin and members of the Kennedy family will be sitting vigil at the library tonight and tomorrow along with special invited guests.
Let's go to our chief national correspondent, John King. He is over at the JFK Library in Boston.
I think it's fair to say, John, these lines are tremendous. A lot of people have gathered outside the library and those doors are about to open.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thousands, Wolf, thousands. And they have been here all day. They continue to come.
The busloads are coming and dropping people off. The line snakes as far as I can see and into a lot across. They have not opened the doors yet, Wolf. They were scheduled to open just now at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time here. But they have started to allow the public to get closer and closer, much nearer the door.
And we have seen a few members of the family trickle out. The family obviously went in with the procession when Senator Kennedy's casket arrived a few hours ago. Jean Kennedy, his -- the lone survivor of the nine children of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, left a short time ago. Her sedan drove her away. A few other family members have trickled out, not yet, though, the senator's widow, nor his own children.
So, they are still inside obviously. And the family spokesman told us a short time ago the family members could stay for the beginning of the public viewing. Some of them might stay to be in the room as the public comes in. And we won't know that of course until it unfolds.
We also did learn a few more details of what will happen at the end of this public viewing, 12 hours scheduled over two days. Then, the Kennedy Library will close to the public. And an invitation-only remembrance, a wake, the celebration, the family tells us, of Senator Kennedy's life tomorrow night, we learned a bit more about who will speak at that. And his longtime friend and aide Paul Kirk, who was a chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is the co-chairman oft Presidential Debate Commission, a very close associate of Ted Kennedy, he will be the master of ceremonies and speak tomorrow night.
And among the others, Caroline Kennedy, the senator's niece and the daughter of course of the late President Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, the former congressman, nephew of Senator Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, they will speak. Senator John McCain, a Republican colleague, will speak. John Kerry of Massachusetts, a Democratic colleague will speak, as well Vice President Joe Biden, Wolf.
So you see the dignitaries there and the family members who will pay tribute to Ted Kennedy. First, though, it is almost time for the public, his constituents here in Massachusetts, others who have come from around the country who have waited for hours for just a few moments to pass by the casket and say farewell to a man who served Massachusetts in the Senate for 47 years.
BLITZER: John, and we're going to come back to you as soon as the doors open and the crowds begin to go inside the presidential library.
I want to show our viewers now an exclusive look at the plot where Senator Kennedy will be buried. We are learning more about the special service plan over at Arlington National Cemetery late Saturday here in Washington.
Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, is the only reporter allowed on the grounds of Arlington to see the plot.
Barbara, set the scene for us.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, here at Arlington, just a little while ago, we had a very special, private look at Senator Kennedy's final resting place.
STARR (voice-over): The final resting place for Senator Edward Kennedy will be by these trees on the sloping green hill close to the graves of his brothers, John and Robert.
Arlington superintendent Jack Metzler showed us the site.
(on camera): The senator will be laid to rest here?
JACK METZLER, SUPERINTENDENT, ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY: Yes, he will be.
STARR: And his family will...
METZLER: His family will be here. And we're understanding that approximately 200 people will attend the service. It will be a closed funeral to invited guests only. Senator Kennedy will receive military honors. STARR: Cemetery staff are already working at the burial site. But this area will clothes early Saturday while the grave is prepared.
It was just in the last few weeks that this site was selected. It is an area Senator Edward Kennedy knew well.
METZLER: Senator Kennedy was here all time. He came on the anniversaries of -- of the deaths. He would come on the anniversaries of the births. If he was available, he would just come. Sometimes, he would announce himself. Other times, we would just be up here doing maintenance and we would find him up here.
If he came to funerals of -- of one of the soldiers from his -- from his state, he would also, before he left the cemetery, always stop and have a prayer or a -- a quiet visit here. Sometimes, he would spend five minutes. Other times, he would talk to the people until they quit talking to him. He would spend a half-hour, 45 minutes just talking to people and visiting with his brothers.
STARR: President Kennedy visited Arlington just a few days before he was assassinated in November 1963. From the top of the Hill, he looked out over this vista of the nation's capital and said, it was so beautiful, he could stay here forever.
Now all three Kennedy brothers will be reunited on this Arlington hillside.
STARR: Wolf, a lot of people might be wondering how it is that Senator Kennedy rates burial here at Arlington. They told they are getting a lot of phone calls from the public about this.
A couple of things. First, he was a member of Congress and he also served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier from 1951 to 1953. Those two things alone qualify him, make him eligible for burial here at Arlington. Why a hearse? Why is Senator Kennedy not getting the full military honors of a caisson, of that riderless horse?
Well, that is reserved for the highest-ranking generals and of course for presidents of the United States. Ted Kennedy was an enlisted man -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Good explanation. Barbara, thanks. And good report.
I want to walk our viewers now through some of the truly remarkable images we have seen so far on this day. This was the first glimpse right here that we saw of Senator Kennedy's flag-draped coffin. It was carried military style out of the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Many of us of course couldn't help but remember similar images when Kennedy's brothers were killed.
Now take a look at this, this image over here. The Kennedy family gathered together to watch the coffin being taken away. That's Senator Kennedy's sister Jean standing in the front with widow, Vicki. Jean Kennedy Smith is the last surviving member of that generation of Kennedys.
This picture really drove that home. Take a look at this. It is not just the Kennedys who are grieving. We have seen crowds of people line the streets. Some waved, some cried as the Kennedy motorcade made its way to the JFK Library in Boston. The senator is a national figure, but for many in Boston, certainly a home town hero as well.
When the motorcade finally arrived at the JFK Library, we got another close-up look at the Kennedys. We are seeing so many of those famous faces, new pictures of a family that's been to too many funerals. We are also seeing more -- we will be seeing a lot more of them in the next several hours and the next few days.
Let's go to Jack Cafferty right now. He has "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Despite the fact that the second generation of Kennedys has so far failed to distinguish themselves to the degree that John, Robert and Edward did, a bunch of them have still managed to find their way into elected office.
In addition now to finding a replacement for Ted Kennedy in the United States Senate, it is likely to become a bit of a parlor game trying to figure out who will eventually emerge as the political leader of the remainder of the Kennedy family.
Some of the possibilities include the late senator's sons, Edward Kennedy Jr. and Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, who have been named as a possible replacement for his Senate seat, along with his nephew, former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II.
"The Daily Beast" reports that when Caroline Kennedy failed to launch a bid for Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat, many thought that meant the end of the Kennedy dynasty. But they point out there are several younger Kennedys who just might be waiting to step in. These include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is a lawyer and environmentalist, Kerry Kennedy, who has led human-rights delegations to dozens of foreign countries, Christopher Kennedy, who has avoided politics until now, but is seen as a possible replacement for Barack Obama's Senate seat, or was, in Illinois, and Maria Shriver, the wife of California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been a very involved first lady in California and is considered one of her husband's closest advisers.
So, the question this hour is this: Will the end of Camelot mean the end of the Kennedys' influence in America? Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile to post a comment on my blog -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks, Jack. Thanks very much.
Stand by for much more coverage on the farewell to Senator Kennedy. We're going to be showing you what is going on at the library right now.
But there's other important stories we are following as well, including a New Jersey neighborhood torn up over a disturbing visitor. Will the Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi, pitch a tend in their backyard?
And a missing child found 18 years later and the couple who allegedly abducted her under arrest.
And stay right here for live coverage from Boston as the public gets a chance to pay respects to Senator Edward Kennedy.
BLITZER: People are beginning to move toward the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. They're making their move to go inside and pay their respects, final respects to the senator from Massachusetts. There are thousands of people have gathered there. The library will remain open at least until 11:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.
The body lies in repose. It will continue to lie in repose tomorrow from around 8:00 a.m. Eastern until 3:00 p.m. We're continuing to watch. We are going to get back to the story momentarily.
But there is some other important news we are following right now, including the United Nations General Assembly. It convenes next month. And there will be some drama. And it may lie in a residential neighborhood in nearby New Jersey. The Libyan government seems to e preparing a space for their leader, Moammar Gadhafi, in New Jersey.
CNN's Jill Dougherty says not everyone will welcome their temporary neighbor -- Jill.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, right behind me here in Englewood, New Jersey, is the residence owned by the Libyan government. Is this where Moammar Gadhafi could pitch his tent next month? The neighbors we spoke with say, no way.
(on camera): This is your old fence line.
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, "THE KOSHER SUTRA": Right. And this is the fence that they just installed.
DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Three weeks ago Rabbi and reality TV star Shmuley Boteach says he came down to find his fence gone, a dozen of his trees chopped down and a construction crew fast at work next door, a residence owned by the Libyan government.
BOTEACH: Everything you're seeing, maybe 40 vehicles inside that property...
DOUGHERTY (on camera): Wow.
BOTEACH: ... are for one thing, Moammar Gadhafi.
DOUGHERTY (voice-over): When the Libyan leader attends the U.N. General Assembly next month, speculation abounds he will pitch his trademark bedouin tent that he takes on international trips on the lawn of this mansion in the affluent community of Englewood, New Jersey. The Libyan Embassy refuses to comment, but Rabbi Boteach is pitching a fit.
BOTEACH: And all of us who watched Gadhafi's stomach-turning spectacle of welcoming the Lockerbie bomber as a hero do not want a man like him, an abetter, funder, and lover of terrorists, to be in our neighborhood.
DOUGHERTY: Bert Ammerman, who lives just a few miles away, lost his brother Tom in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
BERT AMMERMAN, BROTHER OF PAN AM FLIGHT 103 BOMBING VICTIM: I thought when Megrahi was released, that was the sad last chapter. I didn't realize that something else could kick you in the stomach or slap you in the face.
DOUGHERTY: If Gadhafi is allowed to set up his tent in Englewood, he says:
AMMERMAN: It is as, if December 21, 1988, never occurred. It's as if 189 Americans were not massacred at 31,000 feet. It's as if 270 innocent citizens weren't murdered by Megrahi.
REP. STEVEN ROTHMAN (D), NEW JERSEY: It was deja vu all over again.
DOUGHERTY: Congressman Steve Rothman was mayor of Englewood 26 years ago when Libya bought the property. Not only does the town lack the resources and security to deal with the Libyan head of state, he says; the residents don't want him here.
ROTHMAN: They believe that he is a murderous dictator with American blood on his hands. Also, they know a number of the families who lost relatives in the Lockerbie bombing. So, they would feel terrible if he were to come here.
DOUGHERTY (on camera): Congressman Rothman thinks all this will be resolved diplomatically. But he also says he is prepared to use any methods at his disposal to make sure Gadhafi doesn't stay here in Englewood.
Meanwhile, construction here at the residence continues -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jill Dougherty in New Jersey for us, thank you.
We are also learning right now some new details about exactly what happened when a Florida couple who cared for more than a dozen special-needs children was murdered.
Let's go to CNN's Ed Lavandera. He's following the story for us in Pensacola, Florida.
What is the latest, Ed? ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we were able to see video images from surveillance cameras inside the home. Until now, we have only seen a few of the images taken outside the home.
We are able to see the surveillance video inside as well as some 2,000 crime scene photographs.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): As masked men break into the home, Byrd Billings throws his arms up in the air and then falls to the ground, apparently shot in the leg by two men who appear in the living room right behind him. Melanie Billings reaches for a small child standing a few feet away. One of the gunmen then picks Byrd up and holds a gun to the back of his head.
The couple is moved into their bedroom and out of the cameras' range. A judge ruled the video images cannot be released. So, these are sketches of the key moments captured on the family's video surveillance system.
DAVID MORGAN, ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, SHERIFF: Is was apparent again from the tape when we viewed the tape that they meant business from the moment they entered that home.
LAVANDERA: The video images are grainy and dark. Investigators are working with the FBI to enhance the images and identify the suspects more clearly.
MORGAN: They do video enhancement, but also size, height and weight of individuals, your movements. And you can tell who individuals are, yes, meaning that the suspects, you can identify in the tape because of their body size, their shape, those sorts of things.
LAVANDERA: Perhaps the most chilling video of all comes from a second-floor bedroom. You see a young girl in her bed and a red van appears just outside her window. As the murders are carried out below her, the noise startles the young girl. She walks to the door and back to her bed, hiding under the sheets and appears to cover her ears.
The gunmen reappear, getting inside the van. The girl runs to the window and watches the van drive away.
MORGAN: Then the children commented that they heard the count of "one, two, three" two times. And then of course one of the children commented that his mommy had been shot in the shirt when they asked for assistance.
LAVANDERA: Byrd and Melanie Billings were found murdered in their bedroom. The small child in the living room is left pacing around, presumably horrified and confused. Another child runs to a neighbor's home for help. That neighbor calls 911.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are in the bedroom, ma'am. They're dead. Please come.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ma'am, I am trying to get somebody there. So, you said the mother and father both have been shot?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: Wolf, we were able to see those video images and pictures today under a very tightly controlled situation here in the state attorney's office in Pensacola to make sure that none of those video images are disseminated publicly or over the airwaves.
But clearly what we saw today painted a horrifying and chilling picture of what happened in those less than five minutes when the Billings couple was murdered -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Horrifying and chilling, indeed. All right, Ed, thanks very much.
We are going to go back to Boston, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. There you see the casket. It is now lying in repose as they say. And pretty soon, the doors will open. And thousands of people who have gathered in huge, huge lines outside the library will be allowed to walk past the casket and pay their respect. The military honor guards are there. And there will be vigil participants.
We are going to show you what's going on when we come back.
BLITZER: Well, they're beginning to move in Boston outside the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The casket is inside. There you see live pictures, the honor guard surrounding the casket of Senator Ted Kennedy.
There will be people that pretty soon will start walking by and pay their respects. We will show you what's going on momentarily.
BLITZER: All right, I want our viewers to stand by for live coverage as Senator Ted Kennedy's casket is on display for the public in Boston. The body lies in repose. We are watching for members of the Kennedy family as well. They are holding vigil tonight.
And an 18-year-old crime mystery has now been solved. A girl who was abducted at the age of 11 is found and her alleged captors are arrested.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: The breaking news right now, we are following an important new part of the Kennedy family's history and the political history of this nation. The farewell to Senator Edward Kennedy is now under way in Boston.
This is the scene right now at the JFK Presidential Library, where Kennedy's flag-draped casket is in place. This hour, members of the public are getting a chance to pay their last respects to the senator.
Let's bring back our chief national correspondent, John King. He's outside the library. And our senior political analyst David Gergen, he's in Hyannis Port, outside the Kennedy compound.
The folks are finally, John, beginning to get inside. And there are huge, huge lines waiting to pay their respects.
KING: A huge line, Wolf, waiting by the thousands out here. But it has begun moving quite smoothly since they opened the doors a short time ago and you have been showing the live pictures from inside, Senator Kennedy in the closed casket lying in repose, members of the public going by, many of them constituents here from Massachusetts who have told us they wanted to be here. They felt an obligation to be here because of how long and how well they believe Senator Kennedy served this state long.
One interesting thing, as this begins, Vicki Kennedy, the senator's widow, is still in there, as are most members of the Kennedy family who came with the hearse. We had been that family members might leave, at least a good number of them, before the public was allowed in.
Jean Kennedy, the last survivor of the nine children of Joe and Rose Kennedy, has left a bit earlier. But most of the family members are still in there. As you see there, former Congressman Joe Kennedy, Vicki, the widow, right there saying thank you, wearing the pearls, leaning forward to say thank you to the members of the public streaking through.
They are black and white, Wolf. They are young and old. Many are in wheelchairs. Most are from here in Massachusetts. Joe Kennedy, the former congressman, smiling, he is the son of Robert F. Kennedy. And it is Vicki there to the far left of your screen, Vicki Reggie Kennedy, for the last 17 years, Senator Kennedy's wife and a woman credited with the senator once used the term saving him.
It is a remarkable scene, a beautiful day outside. People waited so patiently. And, Wolf, as this unfolds, the state is saying goodbye to a man who served in the Senate for 47 years. It has been more than a half-century since the state of Massachusetts has not had a Senator Kennedy, so a remarkable tribute and a passing and a changing of the guard, if you will, here in Massachusetts -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And David Gergen, you live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You teach at Harvard. This library has been so special to the Kennedy family. It is only appropriate, of course, that the body lie in repose at the JFK Library.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Absolutely. The -- the Kennedy Library is one of the foremost attractions in Boston and has been since it was built. John Shattuck, the director, has revived it as an intellectual center. There are all sorts of lectures that go on there regularly.
But the Kennedy family, Ted and Caroline, in particular, have taken a strong interest in the library, as well as the Kennedy School at Harvard, where I'm privileged to teach.
They -- and they've got an enormous hold upon the -- Ted Kennedy has an enormous hold upon the public imagination here in this state, as you well know, Wolf. He's -- it's -- the family that goes back in the Senate, really, back to 1952. It's over -- you know, it's almost 60 years that they basically have been in the Senate. And Joe Kennedy cast a very large shadow over this state.
So it's -- it's -- it's not totally surprising to see the outpouring, but I think it would be very warming to the family to see this outpouring of -- of sympathy and support and rallying behind the family at this moment.
BLITZER: And we're seeing pictures of Vicki Kennedy, the widow; Joe Kennedy, the nephew.
All right, David, is there an heir apparent -- I've asked this question of others -- inside the Kennedy family who will take charge, will be the leader of this -- this political dynasty?
GERGEN: That's a very interesting question, Wolf. And there's no one like Teddy, who did step in and take charge. As you know, when -- when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the -- the -- Teddy Kennedy became the keeper of the "Camelot" flame, as well as the keeper of the family. And that's one of the reasons that we have now, I think, by last count from the press, it was something like 85 members of the family have gathered for this occasion.
But if you're looking for a successor, someone very close to Ted Kennedy told me months ago while he was still alive that he felt the senator would very much like Vicky, his wife, to serve the remainder of his time in the Senate. She has denied any real interest in that.
People also look to Joe Kennedy, Jr. II, who was Bobby's son. He served in the House of Representatives for a dozen years. He now runs a -- a non-profit organization that helps to bring fuel oil to folks in Massachusetts and in this region and is very popular here still. He, conceivably, could run for the seat. And -- and (INAUDIBLE).
Also, there's an -- outside -- just outside the family now, Paul Tsongas' widow is also being mentioned. Niki Tsongas has been in the House of Representatives. But if you look at the Kennedy family, there's no single person that -- who is the obvious heir in the same way that Teddy was back in 1968.
BLITZER: Stand by for a moment.
We see some pictures of Caroline Kennedy, the senator's niece, who's also there in Boston at that Presidential Library -- John King, this -- this memorial to Senator Kennedy is going to bring -- bring together a lot of Democrats and Republicans.
KING: It -- it is, Wolf. And just a little reflection (INAUDIBLE) back in the picture, inside there, with Vicki Kennedy and the former congressman, Joe Kennedy.
Caroline Kennedy outside, working the rope lines. You see that at many political events and you're seeing here, as the family responds.
We were told that on the drive in, Vicki Kennedy turned to others in her car and said simply, wow! She was overwhelmed at the outpouring of support. People lined up in some places, three, four and five deep on the streets of Boston. And then they saw, obviously, the huge crowd waiting here outside the Kennedy Library.
And we are told by a family source that she was simply overwhelmed and overjoyed at the outpouring of support for her husband, the late senator.
You mentioned all the dignitaries coming -- a big celebration of the senator's life, an invitation only event. It will be available, though, for press coverage tomorrow night. The vice president, Senator McCain, Senator Kerry, Caroline Kennedy will speak at that, as will the former Congressman, Joe Kennedy. You see him right there.
We do have some new information. The family had said earlier that all four living former presidents would attend. But George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, his office says now that he is unable to attend and that the former president, again, George H.W. Bush, called Vicky and Caroline Kennedy to explain that he will be unable to attend.
So former President Clinton, former President Carter and former President George W. Bush, the most recent Bush president, will be in attendance on Saturday, Wolf, at the funeral mass, but not George H.W. Bush, who succeeded Ron Reagan, of course, and who knew Senator Kennedy quite well.
And, again, as we look at these remarkable pictures inside, there are 12 hours scheduled for the public to be able to wander in and pay their last respects. And the family has said that if there are more people waiting out here, they will do everything they can to keep the library open a bit longer -- Wolf.
BLITZER: President Obama will deliver a eulogy Saturday morning at the church service, as well. Guys, stand by.
We're going to continue to watch this crowd move past, pay their respects to Senator Kennedy.
We're also watching some other news, including some breaking news in California. A kidnapped victim resurfaces -- an 11-year-old girl kidnapped 18 years ago has just resurfaced. This is a shocking story to police, as it is it's to the victim's family. We're going to go to the scene. A police press conference has just occurred. We'll get the latest on what happened after this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following some breaking news in California, where a woman who was kidnapped back in 1991, when she was only 11 years old, has resurfaced, stunning police and her family.
Let's go to CNN's Dan Simon.
He's in the Bay Area of Northern California.
The latest information just coming in -- Dan, what has happened?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Wolf.
This case quickly unraveling in the most unimaginable way.
First, let me set the scene where I am. I'm in Antioch, California. And behind me, you can see this house. All day long, authorities have been searching it, including FBI agents, have been inside that house today.
We are learning that this woman -- she's now a young woman, 29 years old -- went into the Concord Police Department yesterday, just a short distance away. She was actually with her captor.
Speaking just a few minutes ago, filling in all the puzzles -- all the pieces of this puzzle, Fred Kollar with the El Dorado Sheriff's Department.
I want you to listen now to what he had to say.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED KOLLAR, COUNTY UNDERSHERIFF,
EL DORADO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: On August 25th, Tuesday, the U.C. Berkeley police encountered a suspect, Philip Garrido, seeking access to the U.C. Berkeley campus. This alert Berkeley police officer took notice of Philip Garrido and two young women who were in his custody. Federal -- I'm sorry, police officers looked into Garrido's background and found that he was on federal parole overseen by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Garrido was convicted of crimes in 1971 involving rape and kidnapping.
U.C. police contacted state parole, which resulted in Garrido having a follow-up visit at the state parole office. Garrido...
KOLLAR: Certainly. Garrido brought along with him two minors, as well as Nancy Garrido and a female named Allissa.
QUESTION: Could you spell that?
The parole agent had never seen these individuals, Allissa and the two young children, during his visits at the house and thought that the females in Garrido's company were suspicious and contacted the Concord Police Department.
Ultimately, the female named Allissa was identified as Jaycee Dugard. Subsequent interviews with Jaycee and the Garridos provided information that only the victim and the kidnappers could know. DNA confirmation is being sought to confirmation Jaycee's identity.
The Garridos, Nancy and the male, were taken into custody and an investigation led to their residence in Antioch. The two minor children turned out to be children of Jaycee and the male suspect, Garrido. They, along with Nancy Garrido, were living together at the residence in Antioch since the original kidnapping.
A search of the residence revealed a hidden backyard within a backyard. The hidden backyard had sheds, tents and outbuildings where Jaycee and the girls spent most of their lives. There was a vehicle hidden in the backyard that matched the vehicle originally described at the time of the abduction. The tents and outbuildings in the backyard were placed in a strategic arrangement to inhibit outside viewing and to isolate the victims from outside contact.
Family reunification has begun and will be a long and ongoing process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: So, Wolf, obviously, some very disturbing details here. The bottom line, two suspects in custody, Philip and Nancy Garrido. They took this young woman captive all those years ago, 18 years ago, in the South Lake Tahoe area.
This all came to light recently when some officers on the campus of U.C. Cal Berkeley spotted Mr. Garrido acting suspiciously. Eventually, his parole agent was brought into all this. And Garrido showed up to a meeting with this parole agent with the victim in this case, as well as two children. And through it all, authorities determined that that person he was with, A, that she, in fact, was the victim who was kidnapped all those years ago, Jaycee Dugard, and the two minor children were, in fact, the children of both the suspect and the victim in this case.
It doesn't get more chilling than that -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Dan Simon watching this story for us.
Let's get some more.
Our Internet reporter, Abbi Tatton, has been finding things online about the persons arrested in this case -- Abbi, what have you discovered?
ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, Philip Garrido, a known sex offender with an entry on California's state sex offender registry, an address in Antioch, details about his offenses. They're listed online as forcible rape. We heard more details from that press conference just moments ago, that the charges that he was arrested for years ago, in 1971, rape and kidnapping charges.
Full address and information on Philip Garrido here online and, also, those pictures we just saw from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office upon his arrest today; and, also, with his wife, Nancy Garrido.
This capping off an 18 year search for Jaycee Dugard. On the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children's Web site, they have the poster that they put out years ago -- all those years ago, the photo of 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard at the time and an age progressed photo, as well, as they imagined her as a woman in her 20s. We now know she's 29 years old when she has now reappeared.
The president for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children today calling this reappearance absolutely huge for their work, for their center -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Abbi, thank you.
When we come back, a conservative group decides to suspend its anti-health care ads out of respect for Senator Kennedy.
How much will it help the Democrats in their push for health care reform?
We'll talk about that and much more with the best political team on television.
BLITZER: You're looking at live pictures from inside the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, where the casket of Senator Ted Kennedy lies in repose and people are walking past, paying their respects. There are thousands of people outside. They're supposed to stay there. The doors opened at least until 1100 p.m. Eastern tonight and will resume tomorrow morning. We'll continue to watch what's going on at the library. Meanwhile, the death of Senator Kennedy is already having an impact on the health care debate.
Our national political correspondent, Jessica Yellin, kicks out our -- off our political Time Out -- Jessica, tell us the impact.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of the impact he's having, Wolf, you know, Senator Kennedy called health care the cause of his life. Well, now, President Obama will not have to worry about seeing this ad if he happens to be channel surfing today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY CONSERVATIVES FOR PATIENTS' RIGHTS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The beach is nice this time of year, but while President Obama vacations, concerns mount about his health care plans.
Because his public option health plan could lead to government- run health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Now, that's because the group behind it is suspending the ad campaign, they say, out of respect for Senator Ted Kennedy. They issued a statement about the senator saying this: "His devotion to many issues and his relentless passion made him a hero to his supporters and a worthy adversary to his opponents. His voice and his presence will be missed."
Now, it might be surprising news to some that they've done this, considering that the group, Conservatives for Patients' Rights, which is run by a former health care executive who had to pay a settlement to the government, has spent more than $4 million in recent weeks on ads against health care reform.
So all of us -- all of this leaves us wondering, how long will this detente last?
Will the good feelings around Senator Kennedy be enough to pass health care reform in his name -- Wolf?
BLITZER: Good question.
Let's ask Gloria Borger; David Frum and Dana Bash -- Gloria, what do you think?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think, in the end, it's probably not going to change the debate very much between the Republicans and Democrats. It may force the Democrats to take a look at each other and try and get together -- because they've had real flips within the party on that -- and try and pass a bill that will probably end up being called the Ted Kennedy Health Care Reform Bill. But I'm not -- I'm not sure, in the end, whether we can say right now whether this is going to -- you can draw a straight line (INAUDIBLE).
BLITZER: Can it have an impact, David?
DAVID FRUM, FORMER BUSH SPEECHWRITER: I -- I hope not. I mean, it's -- it would be -- it would be improper and outrageous to say, look, for my a last -- my request, I'd like to you give me something that is worth a trillion dollars. The Democrats can build a big marble statue to him in the center of Washington, DC. They could build, probably, thousands of them and it would cost -- cost less. This is not the kind of thing that you get as a gift to the memory of somebody. Name a scholarship after him, name a battleship, by all means.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And we have seen statements from some of Ted Kennedy's biggest supporters -- the union groups, for example. They're pushing for this. But in talking to people on both sides of this debate, the Democrats and Republicans today, they both say that they, unfortunately, just don't see this. It's not going to be like after JFK was -- was assassinated, they passed the Civil Rights Act in his honor and in his name, to put forward something that he wanted as his legacy. Many people don't think that this is going to happen.
BORGER: You know, it's a -- it's a little late in the process. The train has left the station, as the cliche goes. And I think -- and we've spoken about this so much this week -- that if Ted Kennedy had been able to participate in this debate early on, that we may -- we might not be where we are now, because this was somebody who, that he -- that he wanted to legislate, he wanted to get something done. And he might have been willing to give a little bit more to get something out of Congress.
BLITZER: There's a limit to sentimentality.
I guess what needs to be done, if the president of the United States wants this legislation passed, David, he's really got to make it happen himself. He's got to do what so far he's been reluctant to do, to take overall charge, set up a war room and -- and sort of squeeze everyone to do -- to do it.
FRUM: Well, I'm not sure that even that would do it because (INAUDIBLE)...
BLITZER: I'm talking about the Democrats.
FRUM: OK, because if he...
BLITZER: Because he can do it with the Democrats alone.
FRUM: Right. But it is not at all clear that the Democrats in the Senate like the bill that their House colleague have passed. And we know, for example, the head of the (INAUDIBLE)...
BASH: They don't like it.
FRUM: ...the Senate Finance Committee, that's the problem. And, indeed, if he tries to cram the House bill through, he's only going to be met with defeat.
BLITZER: Why can't he cram through the presidential bill?
FRUM: If the presidential bill looks like the House bill, it will be just as obnoxious. What he needs to do is work with the senators, which is a much more (INAUDIBLE)...
BLITZER: Because, a lot of people, Dana, think it was a blunder on his part to leave it to the House and the Senate to come up with their respective bills, he should have forged the legislation to begin with and then cram it.
BASH: Well, what Democrats on the Hill will tell you is that they thought it was OK that he started out that way, that it would have been a mistake to present a bill to them. But that what they have been very frustrated about -- these are both liberal and conservative Democrats -- is that he hasn't been more forceful in laying down markers on what he specifically wants to -- to force that compromise.
And to that end, perhaps what you're suggesting may be an idea that the White House may take up. That could be something that he could do in Ted Kennedy's name...
BASH: -- call everybody down and say, let's do it for Ted Kennedy and these are just Democrats.
BLITZER: Let's see what he does. He's resting up on vacation now, so he's going to be -- his batteries will be fully charged when he gets back...
BORGER: I'm not so sure he's resting so much.
BLITZER: ...to Washington.
BLITZER: Guys, thanks.
Let's go to Jack for The Cafferty File -- Jack.
CAFFERTY: The question this hour is will the end of "Camelot" mean the end of the Kennedys' influence on America? Brian writes from Idaho: "Certainly not. It means the opposite. There is now a power void at the top of the Kennedy chain that, for decades, has been occupied by Ted Kennedy. The Kennedys are famous, but only one at a time. JFK, RFK, then EMK, Edward. Had Ted Kennedy died in a way as unfortunate as his brothers, we'd be talking about a different Kennedy today. They are great not because their name defined them, but because they define their name."
J.R. writes: "I think that with Ted Kennedy's death, the Kennedy family's political influence will not be nearly as strong. But given their history of public service, I believe they'll continue to serve their country and inspire people all over the world, just as Senator Kennedy would have wanted."
Leslie writes: "As long as the Kennedy progeny remember where they came from and the call to service that was issued to their clan a long time ago, "Camelot" will never end."
Joe writes: "The legacy of the Kennedys, especially in politics, lies squarely on the shoulders of the three brothers. Many of the younger generation don't have the gravitas that their fathers and uncles did. The probable successor was John, Jr., but of course, he, too, was a tragic victim of the Kennedy curse. The Kennedys' influence and legacy will most likely start to wane within the next generation. In two generations, they will most likely be part of the notable families of our history, but their power will be gone."
C.R. in Dominica writes: "No, Jack. I suspect in the not too distant future, one of the Kennedy clan will step up, take his or her place in history. There are just too many of them for something not to happen."
And, finally, Lou says: "When you think of gaining our independence, we credit Washington and Jefferson. We when we think of the end of slavery, we credit Lincoln. The Kennedy name will go down in history as the family who brought civil rights to America. And though the death of an era is always sad, how fitting that it coincides with our first black president."
If up didn't see your e-mail here, there's lots more on my blog at CNN.com/caffertyfile. Check it out -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We will do that.
Jack, thank you.
A grandmother gets angry and a TV cameraman and gets hoed as a result. Jeanne Moos looks at a Moost Unusual hoe down.
BLITZER: Here's Jeanne Moos with a Moost Unusual story.
JEANNE "Camelot" , CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): The press could have it worse. You could get hit by a tear gas canister...
"Camelot" : -- or smacked with a plastic bottle...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY XETV)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not appropriate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't give a (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" : -- or have a loaded gun pointed at you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY RUSTAVI 2)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" : So relatively speaking, what's a little garden variety hoe?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY WESH)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, don't put that camera in my (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE) face, man. Get out of (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE) porch right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" : It's the grandma hoe attack. A cameraman from WESH TV in Orlando, Florida took the brunt of it...
"Camelot" : -- while a shooter from another station, WOFL, videotaped the guy getting attacked.
"Camelot" : The two news crews came looking for a mother who reported to police that her 15-year-old daughter had been working in this strip club. But neighbors said it was the grandmother who came to the door.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY WESH)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody don't (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" : Aside from the obvious question, why does she have the hoe with her when she answers the door, the online debate centered on whether the press deserved it: "leeches," "subhuman media pukes, you got what you deserve," "you go, granny," "you go, girl." She went, all right. The reporter from WOFL told Fox News what the hoe down was like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY FOX NEWS)
HOLLY BRISTOW, WOFL REPORTER:
Just to look in her eye and seeing the way she was swinging that hoe, the first thing going through my mind was, I need to get out of striking distance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" : The other reporter stood her ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY FOX NEWS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get the (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE) of here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" (on camera): The question is, does grandma have a Second Amendment right to bear hoes?
(voice-over): Some thought she should be arrested. But the hoe hit the camera, not the man, and the cameraman did file a police report, but hasn't decided whether to press charges. He might want to brush up on his tools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "JEOPARDY," COURTESY SONY PICTURES)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker.
KEN: What's a hoe?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
AL: What's a rake?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A rake is right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
"Camelot" : Forget "Jeopardy," the game. This is a hoe to put your life in jeopardy.
"Camelot" : Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Up next, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT".
Lisa Sylvester is sitting in for Lou -- Lisa.
LISA SYLVESTER, GUEST HOST: Thanks, Wolf.