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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Christine O'Donnell Fires Back; Home Invasion Murder Trial Continues; The Disease Detectives
Aired September 22, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: "Keeping Them Honest," Christine O'Donnell refusing to answer direct questions from us, but insisting reporters are twisting her words. Is she right or is she trying to play the victim while ducking hard questions?
Also, Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. facing new ethics questions of his own -- details on that tonight.
Also, in "Crime & Punishment": a home invasion that ended in the murder of a mom and her two daughters. The trial is ongoing, and, today, new evidence and insight on an alleged motive, testimony so disturbing, the sole survivor of the slain family had to leave the courtroom.
And, later, Sanjay Gupta continuing his series on disease detectives, a gripping race to solve two life-and-death medical mysteries, a little girl's life hanging in the balance. So does a mom's. We will show you how a team of disease detectives is racing to save their lives.
We begin, though, tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a Republican Senate candidate dodging questions and a Democratic congressman kind of doing the same.
First, Christine O'Donnell, the Republican senator candidate from Delaware, continuing today to avoid questions. She announced last night she wouldn't be talking to the national media. She did that on a national forum Sarah Palin recommended she use, FOX News.
For days now, our reporter Gary Tuchman has been examining these old checks Ms. O'Donnell used to pay for what appear to be personal expenses. The problem is, she appears to have been using old campaign funds, even though her campaign was over.
If true, it would be a violation of federal election laws. Now, Ms. O'Donnell denies any wrongdoing, but has so far refused to answer specific questions about those checks.
Today, at a campaign event, reporters and their cameras were allowed in, but couldn't ask any questions. O'Donnell made clear she isn't happy with the coverage she's getting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), DELAWARE SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: It's wonderful to be here among so many friends. I'm -- I'm glad the media is here, because -- but I'm also a little bit disappointed, because I wanted to talk candidly. And, for some reason, everything I'm saying is getting recorded and twisted.
So, I'm still going to talk openly with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, I don't speak for the media in general, but, on this program, we're not trying to twist anyone's words. We're simply trying to get some basic questions answered.
These are questions which were first raised actually by O'Donnell's own former campaign workers. Kristin Murray was the campaign manager for O'Donnell's 2008 Senate campaign against then Senator Joe Biden. She put out this robocall making very serious allegations against O'Donnell.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KRISTIN MURRAY, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR DELAWARE SENATORIAL CANDIDATE CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: This is her third Senate race in five years.
As O'Donnell's manager, I found out that she was living on campaign donations, using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt.
She wasn't concerned about conservative causes. O'Donnell just wanted to make a buck.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, now a watchdog group is calling for an investigation by the U.S. attorney in Delaware. Christine O'Donnell says they're a liberal group out to get her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'DONNELL: So many people are excited about what's going on here and want to see us win. But so many people also want to see us fail. I'm sure you have heard the CNN reports that a George Soros, very liberal, left-wing group headed by Melanie Sloan has filed some trumped-up complaints against our campaign.
These are the kind of distractions that they want to dominate the news to distract from our winning message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, the group she's talking about is the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. They're called CREW, and they are part -- and they are partly funded by George Soros and his Open Society Institute.
They insist they're nonpartisan, and they have gone after plenty of Republicans, as well as Democrats. Their director, Melanie Sloan, was on the program last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIE SLOAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: CREW is not a left-leaning group.
CREW takes all comers. We go after Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives. We go after public officials and candidates who do the wrong thing. We're about right and wrong, not Democrat and Republican.
COOPER: Funded by George Soros?
SLOAN: Indeed, the Open Society Institute, which gets its money from George Soros, has indeed given us money. But if Soros is -- gives money to us because he thinks we only go after Republicans, then I guess he's sadly disappointed by all of the actions we have taken against so many Democrats, including Eddie Bernice Johnson, who I have been on your show discussing, Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, and a whole host of others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, we asked Melanie Sloan a question, and she answered the question . That's more than we can get from Christine O'Donnell, something our reporter Gary Tuchman found out yet again today when he tried yet again to get in a question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ms. O'Donnell, we don't want to talk about personal issues, just about the serious financial allegations. Is there anything specific you can tell us? We have given you a couple chances.
O'DONNELL: Call Cleta Mitchell.
TUCHMAN: We talked to your attorney, but we (INAUDIBLE) everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, we truly would like to hear Ms. O'Donnell's response to the claims and the questions they raise. We have invited her to come on the program every day since last Wednesday. The invitation still stands.
Now, the other candidate not answering questions is a sitting member of Congress, a Democrat, seven-term congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. A Chicago businessman has told federal investigators that Representative Jackson asked him to pay for airplane tickets for an alleged mistress, a social acquaintance, to make several trips between Washington and Chicago.
This picture from "The Chicago Sun-Times" shows the woman, Giovana Huidobro, a hostess in a D.C. restaurant. Now, as far as our report tonight, the allegations of a mistress are frankly irrelevant, but trips paid for by someone else, if true, may be a violation of the House gift ban, which limits gifts to $50.
Jackson did release a statement apologizing, but listen to what he was actually apologizing about. He said -- and I quote -- "The reference to a social acquaintance is a private and personal matter between me and my wife that was handled some time ago. I ask that you respect our privacy. No, I have disappointed -- I know I have disappointed some supporters. And, for that, I'm deeply sorry, but I remain committed to serving my constituents and fighting on their behalf."
You will notice the statement doesn't say anything about the real allegations. Did he ask this businessman to pay for trips? And, if so, what did the businessman expect to get in return?
Now, all of this came up because of this guy, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The man who told investigators about the alleged mistress is the same guy who told investigators that Jesse Jackson Jr. tried raising millions in campaign funds for Blagojevich, or at least said he would, so that Blagojevich would appoint him to President Obama's Senate seat.
Jackson also denies that.
Joining me now is Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief for "The Chicago Sun-Times" and columnist for AOL's PoliticsDaily.com, also senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
So, Lynn, people are obviously, you know, open to interpret -- interpret the social acquaintance thing, but, beyond that, the ethical issue here, what is the biggest question, whether or not he actually asked this businessman to pay for plane trips?
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Right.
Anderson, the issue here is that congressmen are very specifically not supposed to solicit gifts, whether it's an airplane ticket or anything else. That is one of the most clear-cut rules that members of Congress have.
COOPER: Even if it's a gift for somebody else?
SWEET: Right, because it still benefits you. You -- you know, I could ask somebody to do something that might not be for me, but it's done at the request of a member of Congress. That's a solicitation. That's not what they're supposed to do.
COOPER: What would it say about the congressman, if in fact this is true, I mean, that he had this relationship with this businessman? It -- it would be hard to imagine this would be the first time that this person was asked to do something like this, or, clearly, they must have had a close relationship if -- if this businessman is telling the truth. SWEET: Well, the businessman has been a fund-raiser for Jesse Jackson. He raised money for Blagojevich. He raised money for other people in Illinois politics. That, by the way, is common. You know, people who are big donors and fund-raisers do it for a lot of people.
What is very serious here, and what's new, is that, up until now, it -- we -- our story at "The Sun-Times" was the first one that showed that there is some evidence that Jesse Jackson Jr. was involved in a conversation having to do that fund-raising.
This refutes statements he had made earlier that he didn't know that Mr. Nayak was out there raising money for -- allegedly for Blagojevich, allegedly in return for a Senate seat appointment.
COOPER: Jeff, in terms of legality, where does this stand? I mean, it's a minor -- it's a minor thing. It's a couple of plane -- plane trips. Is it serious?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, yes, it's potentially serious. It's not the kind of thing that could get you expelled from Congress, but certainly it could generate an Ethics Committee investigation. The whole thing is embarrassing.
The whole thing is inappropriate, if in fact -- and we have to remember we don't know for sure that this fellow's testimony is true...
TOOBIN: ... though Jesse Jackson has not denied that it's true. But if...
COOPER: Though he has denied the Blagojevich -- the Blagojevich claim that -- that he said he would try to raise $6 million.
TOOBIN: Right. I mean, I think that -- that...
And, if I might add, this...
SWEET: ... this man is -- is under investigation. Mr. Nayak has his own problems with federal authorities. He's under investigation, and he was a cooperating witness in the Blagojevich case.
TOOBIN: Which is all the more reason to view with some skepticism what he says.
And I do think that this allegation that Jackson offered to raise $6 million for Blagojevich in turn for -- in return for the Senate seat is kind of absurd on its face. Jesse Jackson can't snap his fingers and raise $6 million. He doesn't have $6 million. I don't think that is going to go anywhere. But the issue about the buying the tickets for this woman, potentially a girlfriend, that very much fits within the definition of gift under the congressional rules, and it does seem to be a flat violation of the congressional gift ban, particularly since he didn't report it.
That could certainly generate an Ethics Committee investigation, a censure. Mostly, though, I think it's a political embarrassment that will limit Jesse Jackson's political career, at a time when the mayoralty of Chicago is -- is vacant, and he's one of the people who is interested.
COOPER: Lynn, do you think it would have an impact on -- I mean, he's running for reelection in November. Will it have an impact?
SWEET: Well, I think it won't have an impact on his November 2 reelection bid. His Republican opponent has just a shoestring campaign. It's a heavy, heavy, heavy Democratic district.
This would be hard -- it would be hard to think that he wouldn't win in -- in -- in November 2. This would have an impact on other ambitions he might have for statewide or city office.
COOPER: Do you think, though...
SWEET: But, by the way, he...
COOPER: Go ahead.
SWEET: ... already was under some -- you know, he had some practical political problems anyway because of the whole Blagojevich mess anyway. This just now compounds it.
Do you think it likely, though, that the Ethics Committee would look into this, given the fact they're looking into Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, and are -- are, I think, probably sensitive about being accused of investigating African-American members of Congress?
SWEET: I -- I agree with you that, as a practical political matter, there is some rumblings that I heard that as what would be -- have an outcome.
But, even before you got there, right now, there had been the -- the Ethics Committee, the Committee on Standards has already deferred any work on the Jackson matter stemming from the original Blagojevich mess, because the Justice Department had its case pending. Blagojevich's retrial happens in January. So, as a practical matter, I would not expect anything soon, because the committee still, which likes not to do anything most of the time, will probably be very happy waiting for this retrial to be over.
COOPER: All right, Lynn Sweet, appreciate that, and thanks for your reporting.
Jeff Toobin, as well, thank you very much. Our political panel joins us ahead to talk about the GOP's new pledge to America. It's going to be released tomorrow. We have a copy tonight. It's basically a blueprint of how they say they would govern if they take back the House. The tone is interesting. Have they borrowed language from the Tea Party? We will show you that.
Also, you can join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
And ahead: disturbing testimony about these moments captured on a bank surveillance tape. The mom you see there, the woman, her two daughters were being held captive at home. She was later killed. So were her daughters -- disturbing testimony in court today, new evidence about what the possible motive of the killers were. We will have details on that.
And later: A team of highly skilled disease detectives racing to save a little girl's life, can they solve the medical mystery. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports. And will a grueling -- grueling week of tests pay off for little Kylie and her parents?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe, some day, we will get that phone call, hey, we think we might know what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, if Republicans take back the majority in the House in November's election, as they're expected to, they have a blueprint of how they're going to govern.
Tomorrow, GOP leaders are going to unveil what they are calling their pledge to America, a 21-page document that outlines their positions, calling for smaller government, rolling back the economic stimulus plan, and repealing the health care reform law.
CNN obtained a copy of it tonight. Some of the language in it bears a -- a resemblance to Tea Party rhetoric. "In a self-governing" -- this is one of the lines. "In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed. And, regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent."
It goes on to say: "An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people. Like free peoples of the past, our citizens refuse to accommodate a government that believes it can replace the will of the people with its own."
They also go on to say, "We invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America."
House Democrats, as you would expect have already denounced the plan as a pledge to Wall Street, corporate America, insurance companies, and wealthy Americans.
Let's talk about it now. Eliot Spitzer joins me now, co-host of CNN's upcoming program "Parker Spitzer," Katie -- sorry -- Kate Zernike, national correspondent for "The New York Times," also the author of "Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America," and Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. He's also the author of the new book "The Confirmation."
Ralph, is this basically Tea Party language?
RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think there are three audiences.
I -- I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Contract With America 16 years ago, when -- when you were both trying to energize the grassroots of the Republican Party, but you were also, critically, trying to talk to Perot voters. We won that vote, by the way, 2-1.
So, I think there's three audiences, number one, the -- the base of the party. And, certainly, among social conservatives there's a reaffirmation of marriage, of family, of the protection of innocent human life, of -- of not having rogue judges who legislate from the bench. They're going to be happy with that.
I think the second constituency is the Tea Party. And you alluded to some of that language in your opening.
And I think the third audience, the most critical audience, Anderson, in my opinion, is the disaffected independents. These are the ones who voted for Barack Obama overwhelmingly two years ago. Today, their job disapproval for him is in the high 50s. They're going to hold the key to this election.
And by saying they're going to repeal Obamacare, they're going to extend the Bush tax cuts, and they're talking to restrain spending, they're talking to those independents.
COOPER: Eliot, anything new in this?
ELIOT SPITZER, CO-HOST, "PARKER SPITZER": No.
But there's not only nothing new. This is the worst of Herbert Hoover and George Bush. If -- if this were actually implemented, it would take us back 50 years in terms of destruction of education, health care, infrastructure, our ability to compete.
Deficits would go through the roof. And the very people who created the crisis that we are living through even today would benefit once again. This is a sop to the very Wall Street banks, big businesses, and the wealthy, who benefited from George Bush for a decade and now are back saying, President Obama didn't solve it in 18 months. Therefore, we want to go back and run the system again.
It is one of the craziest, out -- most outlandish, fringe documents I have ever seen. When you really parse it, it is amazing, Anderson. REED: So, Eliot, having federal spending where it was '08 is Armageddon?
SPITZER: No. No, no.
SPITZER: Invoking the 10th Amendment -- no, Ralph, when you look at what this really says and what it carves out and, then what it says you will cut, what you are doing is destroying the infrastructure of America, going back to the very broken, disproven policies of Hoover and Bush.
SPITZER: And there is absolutely no question about that.
COOPER: Kate, I mean, you wrote the book on the Tea Party. Is the language taken from the Tea Party?
KATE ZERNIKE, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Absolutely. Absolutely.
I mean, the Tea Party has something called the Contract From America, which is a play on the Contract With America. They say this is a Contract From America. It's bottom up. It's what people -- it's what the Tea Party people want. It's what Americans want.
And they have this provision to -- they -- they say there should be nothing -- every -- every piece of legislation should say exactly where in the Constitution it's authorized. This is something that Tea Party candidates like Ron -- Rand -- sorry -- Rand Paul talk about. So, this is very much Tea Party language...
REED: Who is ahead by 15 points, by the way.
ZERNIKE: But -- but, still, it's...
REED: Oh, come on.
ZERNIKE: I mean, we cannot spend our way to prosperity, this is something -- this is like -- this is what Glenn Beck talks about on his chalkboard. And we know how influential Glenn Beck with the Tea Party movement -- you know, liberal Keynesian economics. I mean, this is not a neutral document. It's very -- very heavily -- the language was very charged.
REED: You have got a $1.4 trillion deficit in a single year. You have got unemployment hovering near 10 percent. This economic policy is a disaster.
People are heading for the lifeboats.
REED: Rahm Emanuel's going back to Chicago to run for mayor. They can't get off this sinking ship...
SPITZER: Ralph, listen...
REED: .. .fast enough, and you think it's a danger to the republic to say we ought to have laws consistent with the Constitution?
SPITZER: We had an experiment.
REED: No wonder...
REED: ... slaughtered.
SPITZER: We had eight years -- we had eight years of Bill Clinton, at the end of which we had surpluses, 23 million jobs created, and the middle class was doing well; eight years of George Bush, an economic cataclysm the likes of which we haven't seen since the depression -- exhibit A, exhibit B.
This is going back to George Bush and the broken policies that have been disproven over and over. And you're saying, gee, you didn't fix it in half-a-year. Therefore, your time is up.
Ralph, this is false and it is demagoguery in what...
REED: Eliot, I not only read the document. I talked to -- I talked to folks in the House before it was put together. This says spending should go back to where it was in '08. I don't remember the world falling apart at that level.
SPITZER: All the carve-outs, so that everything important would be...
(CROSSTALK) REED: And raising taxes in the deepest and longest recession in the post-World War II period is just not a smart thing to do, whether you're a Keynesian or you're a conservative.
ZERNIKE: But it's also interesting. They say when -- you know, budget caps were used in the 1990s when a Republican Congress was able to bring a budget into balance and eventual surplus.
I think Bill Clinton might remember that slightly differently. Remember, the Republicans shut down the government twice. I mean, this was -- this was not a Republican Congress-led effort.
REED: But there wasn't a balanced -- there wasn't a balanced budget until there was a Republican Congress. The Democrats didn't balance it.
REED: There was a fight.
SPITZER: Ralph, here's the proposal I would make to you.
SPITZER: Would you, say, swap out the extension of the tax cuts for the very wealthy and use the revenue to reduce payroll taxes, something that would actually generate job growth? If you had to choose between a payroll tax cut and extending the tax cut for the wealthy, which would you choose?
REED: I don't think you have to choose. I think it's a Faustian choice.
REED: Forty-three percent of the income that you want to tax is small business income.
SPITZER: That's simply not right.
REED: ... Subchapter S.
SPITZER: No, that's simply not right.
REED: OK? I run a small -- I run a small business.
SPITZER: So do we.
REED: I'm hoarding cash right now and trying to stay alive through this -- through this economy. SPITZER: You should be hiring somebody. If you hired somebody, maybe we would be -- we would have a solution. Which would you rather cut?
REED: But my taxes are getting ready to go up, Eliot. That's the problem.
SPITZER: This was what President Bush passed. And we, as fiscal conservatives, who say we know about balancing budgets are saying we need revenue to afford what we need to do.
REED: Eliot, you can't pass that proposal in a Democratic Senate. You're certainly not going to be able to do it...
SPITZER: You're talking about politics, not substance. Let's keep to economics about what works.
What Bill Clinton did was not popular when he did it either, but it worked, 23 million jobs, a surplus. He understood economics and markets.
REED: That was a -- that was after he signed the Republican tax cuts in the Contract With America.
SPITZER: No, simply not the case.
REED: It was after he signed our budget and our tax cuts, after he vetoed them twice, that the economy took off, and the Dow went up, and all that happened.
SPITZER: ... fiscal policies he put in place in the first two years, very difficult votes, that led to many people losing their careers, actual profiles in courage in the legislature in Washington.
REED: Look at job growth.
REED: I was there, Eliot.
REED: Look at job growth from '93 to '95, and look at it from '95 to '99. (CROSSTALK)
SPITZER: Can I raise one other issue here?
SPITZER: You talk about fully funding missile defense?
SPITZER: Can you show us the evidence that it works, after...
REED: Yes, they have had successful tests.
SPITZER: No, they have not. Come on. Let's get those documents released.
SPITZER: It hasn't worked even once in a meaningful way.
REED: This document calls for two things that the Obama administration is not currently doing. It calls for strict enforcement against economic sanctions against Iran, including prohibiting the foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations from doing any business with Iran.
And then it calls on Obama to work with our allies to take decisive action to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
SPITZER: President Bush was very successful with Iran.
REED: You keep wanting to talk about Bush. I hate to break the news to you, Eliot, but Barack Obama is the president.
SPITZER: But what you're doing after a year-and-a-half is saying, OK, time's up.
He has dug us out of a hole, the deepest economic hole. Even your chart here, which shows what the job predictions were, without the stimulus, the unemployment rate would have been up to here. Every economist understands that.
REED: I would highly recommend dropping George W. Bush from your talking points.
REED: And I think that what ought to happen from now on is, he owns this economy. (CROSSTALK)
REED: He said that, if we passed the stimulus, unemployment wouldn't go over 8 percent.
REED: It's approaching 10 percent.
SPITZER: We're not talking about polls. We're talking about actual data and how we will build an economy, which requires investment in infrastructure. It requires investment in education. It requires investment in -- I agree with you about enforcement when it comes to China.
REED: Yes. Translation: higher spending, higher taxes.
SPITZER: No, no, no, not at all, not at all.
SPITZER: We're going to cut the right taxes, the payroll tax, not the tax on the wealthy, who don't either spend or invest at this point.
COOPER: No doubt we will be talking about this a lot tomorrow as well.
COOPER: Eliot Spitzer, Kate Zernike, Ralph Reed, appreciate it.
A quick reminder...
SPITZER: We're friends, by the way.
COOPER: This is going to go out in the hall later, I'm sure.
Don't miss "Parker Spitzer" right here on CNN weeknights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern starting Monday, October 4.
Tonight in "Crime & Punishment": the home invasion that ended in a triple murder. You have seen this video, a mom desperately withdrawing $15,000 to try to save the lives of her two daughters and her husband being held hostage in their home. She ended up dead, along with her daughters -- tonight, new information on what happened when she left this bank.
And new details about the two men now on trial for a crime that has shocked the nation -- what police say one of the men said about the motive.
And later: This woman's own muscles are growing wildly out of control. She doesn't work out, take steroids, and no one seems to know what's causing it. Can a team of disease detectives find the answer?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It became increasingly difficult just to walk. At some point, I knew, really, if it continued, it would kill me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, tonight; chilling new testimony in the home invasion robbery, sexual assaults, and fire that left a Connecticut -- Connecticut mom and her two daughters dead.
At one point today, things turned so graphic in the courtroom that the only survivor of the attack, the victim's husband and father, had to leave the courtroom.
A police detective described his lengthy interrogation of this man, Steven Hayes, one of the two men facing charges that could bring the death penalty. We also learned details about this key moment, when Jennifer Hawke-Petit was forced to withdraw $15,000 from her bank account, her family being held hostage at the time at home, a moment that led to this 911 call by a bank teller.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lady who is in our bank right now, who says that her husband and children are being held at their house. The people are in a car outside the bank. She's getting $15,000 to bring out to them. That if the police are told, they will kill the children and the husband.
Her name is Jennifer Petit, P-E-T-I-T. She lives at (ADDRESS DELETED). She says they are being very nice. They have their faces covered. She is petrified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Randi Kaye has new details from court today in tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report. Randi, we finally learned the alleged motive behind this just horrific crime.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We sure did, Anderson. Chilling details today What we now know after years of waiting is that this crime may have taken place because one of the suspects, Steven Hayes, was, quote, "desperate for money." That's according to a Connecticut police detective who interviewed Hayes after the murders in July of 2007.
The detective testified in court today that, when he interviewed Hayes after the suspects had been caught leaving the Petit home, he noted a, quote, "strong odor of gasoline" coming from Hayes' body. Remember, the home was allegedly set on fire by Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky, so it would make sense that there could have been a gasoline odor on him.
The detective also said, Anderson, that Hayes showed, quote, "no emotion," and that he remembers him being pretty quiet.
COOPER: So the guy was just desperate for money? That was their plan all along, just get money?
KAYE: It seems so. According to the testimony today, the two men devised a plan to, quote, "break into a house, tie some people up, grab some money," and get out as fast as they can. Well, we know that wasn't what happened in the end.
We don't know all the details, of course, of what happened in that house, but we do know from police that Jennifer Hawke-Petit was sexually assaulted and strangled. That was after the mother of two was captured on that bank security camera as she withdrew $15,000 to try and pay off the attackers and save her family.
You can see how calm she is in that security video. Well, that's because nobody at the home had been sexually assaulted before she had left for the bank. She hoped it would be OK at that time.
But by the time she did return home, police testified today, that the younger suspect, Komisarjevsky, had already sexually assaulted the youngest daughter, 11-year-old Michaela. She and her sister, 17-year- old Haley, were left to die in the fire allegedly set by the two suspects.
Now another disturbing detail from court today. The detectives said Hayes told him both men had a beer and a shot of liquor in a bar before they parked their van and walked up to the back of the Petit family house, Anderson.
COOPER: So they came across Dr. Petit first. He was, what, asleep in the house downstairs?
KAYE: Right. He was actually downstairs, asleep on the couch, and they saw him there. Dr. Petit, the only family member who survived this attack, was sleeping.
According to the detective on the stand today, Hayes told him that it was the other suspect who entered the house first through an unlocked basement door and beat Dr. Petit with a baseball bat in the head. They had found that bat in the basement. Then Hayes said he left him inside. He let him inside.
The detectives said Hayes told him that they searched for money but, quote, "didn't find as much as they thought there should be." That's when the detectives said the two men went upstairs and tied Mrs. Hawk-Petit and the girls to their beds. They allegedly put pillow cases over the children's heads.
The detective said Hayes told him that, at some point, quote, "Things got out of control and that after he smelled smoke, Komisarjevsky, the other suspect yelled that Dr. Petit had escaped and they needed to get out of that house.
At that point police say, Anderson, the men jumped in the family's SUV and ended up crashing into police cruisers as they left.
COOPER: They confessed to the crime at some point, didn't they?
KAYE: They sure did. They were looking for a deal. Both men tried to confess an exchange for life in prison. But prosecutors said, "Unh-uh. No deal. And they are now pursuing the death penalty in this case. So as a result of that, Komisarjevsky's lawyer told us that the men chose not to confess in the end, since there was no deal on the table, so they pleaded not guilty -- Anderson.
COOPER: I mean, it's just such a stunning crime. Randi, appreciate the update.
We're following a number of stories tonight. Joe Johns joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Parts of the health-care reform law go into effect tomorrow. Today President Obama met with some of those who say they're already being helped by that law. One new provision ensures coverage for children with preexisting conditions, but some insurers are responding by no longer offering policies just for kids.
The owner of an egg supplier linked to the salmonella outbreak this summer is apologizing, telling a House subcommittee he is horrified eggs from his company might have gotten anyone sick.
The mayor of Bell, California, and seven other current and former city leaders arrested in a corruption probe made their first court appearance today. Prosecutors say they misappropriated more than $5.5 million, including payment for meetings that never happened. Bell's been in the spotlight after word leaked of sky-high city salaries.
And a dramatic end to a high-speed chase near Miami today. Police tipped the bumper of a stolen Toyota Camry, forcing it to spin out of control and crash into a parked car. One of the suspects tries to run for it and gets zapped with a taser. Look at this. It's crazy. Then another suspect was dragged along the ground and tased. And then they and a third man, all under arrest tonight.
And that stuff, it looks like "Miami Vice," but you know, it is actually really very dangerous out on the streets, Anderson, that kind of thing.
COOPER: Yes. Still ahead, Joe, new allegations against a prominent pastor who leads a flock of more than 25,000. A third man is now suing Eddie Long, accusing him of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager. We have the details and what Pastor Long is saying about the allegations tonight.
Also ahead, the parents of a sick little girl desperate for answers. Dr. Sanjay Gupta following the disease detectives at the National Institutes of Health as they try to figure out what is wrong with little Kylie. The doctors are her parents' only hope.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just scared me, because I didn't want it to be the end.
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COOPER: Tonight we pick up with the life-and-death stories of two very sick patients: a little girl and a grown woman, both desperate for answers. They've come to a special program, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, where teams of highly- skilled disease detectives tackle the toughest medical mysteries around. Cases that no one else has been able to solve.
Tonight their search for a diagnosis continues. Three-sixty M.D. Sanjay Gupta joins us now -- Sanjay.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you, the pressure is intense now. I mean, because you've got to remember. Kylie and Sally have been to dozens of doctors. No one has been able to help them.
Kylie, she started developing tremors on the right side of her body. At first no one even believed her parents.
COOPER: Right. First it was like a little twitch of her cheek.
GUPTA: A twitch of her eye and her voice started changing a little bit. No one believed the parents. They literally were videotaping her.
Sally, her muscles started growing out of control, even the muscles around her eyes. I mean, she literally was starting to change the way she looked, and her whole body was changing. No one could figure this out.
So now we catch up with them just as they're undergoing a week of testing at this place called the UDP. And I can tell you again, it's a very intense week.
GUPTA (voice-over): At 53 years old, Sally Massagee was physically ripped.
SALLY MASSAGEE, PATIENT: Everybody assumed I spent a whole lot of time in the gym.
GUPTA: But Sally didn't lift weights. In fact, whatever was causing her body to bulk up uncontrollably was also taking away her ability to live her life.
MASSAGEE: It was very frustrating. I was losing the ability to do the things I loved to do. It became increasingly difficult just to walk. At some point I knew if it continued, it would kill me.
GUPTA: She'd seen countless medical specialists. No one had an explanation. That's why Dr. William Gahl and his team of world-class specialists at the Undiagnosed Diseases Program was trying to solve the mystery.
(on camera) This is super impressive. You really see a cleavage right in the middle of her back, because those muscles are so -- so big.
(voice-over) Dr. William Gahl is the program's lead investigator.
(on camera) When you see these pictures, I mean, they are pretty incredible. Did you think steroids?
DR. WILLIAM GAHL, DIRECTOR, NIH UNDIAGNOSED DISEASE PROGRAM: Sure. We pretty much all thought it, except that the letter said she's not taking steroids, she's not taking anything anabolic, and she did weight lift a little bit but many years before. So there's no possible effect of that. So the endocrinologist had eliminated all those things that we would naturally think about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she falls asleep she tightens up some.
GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Gahl and the UDP see only the rarest cases.
GAHL: There's still a fair amount of rigidity.
GUPTA: Not only do they want to save lives, but they also want to advance science by identifying new diseases.
GAHL: Bottom line, it's not acromegaly (ph). It's just confined to the muscle. What in the world could this be?
GUPTA: During a week of intense tests, there are scans, blood work, an examination of everything going on inside Sally's body.
(on camera) So this is Sally's MRI of the brain. That's pretty incredible.
GAHL: When the images were found, it was seen that the muscles, even the muscles that govern the movements of the eye, which are really small muscles, are huge. The neuroradiologist saw this and sort of went wild over this. Look at the size of those. They're three to four times bigger.
GUPTA: They've probably never seen anything quite like this.
GAHL: Right. There's no way to make those muscles big by, like, moving your eyes a lot. It's not like lifting weights, so why would they be that big?
GUPTA (voice-over): It's a clue. It's something inside the muscle itself. So the UDP team took a sample.
(on camera) It took some muscle from her arm.
GAHL: Right. And really this was one of those, sort of judgment decisions, because she had had a muscle biopsy one year before that was read as normal. So we weren't like 99 percent sure we should do this. We were like, 70, 80 percent sure.
GUPTA (voice-over): In five days, the tests are complete. Sally is sent home to North Carolina but no diagnosis. Not yet. In fact, Gahl and his team treat their patients like a crime scene. They collect all the evidence they can find and then try to make sense of it.
GAHL: What we do like, sort of detective work, but remember, a lot of the detective work takes place after the patients have gone.
GUPTA: But that decision, to take the sample of muscle tissue from Sally's bicep, in time, that will prove to be a key part of this puzzle.
At midweek for 5-year-old Kylie, her body has only given up a few clues. But the specialists are eliminating possible causes by finding what is working normally.
(on camera) So this is the right side of her brain, and this is the left side of her brain. It's the right side of her body that's affected, so you would expect to see changes on the left side of her brain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think things are structurally pretty normal, so it's some sort of wiring problem that's not visible.
GUPTA (voice-over): An electro-encephalogram, or EEG, shows Kylie's brain is symmetrical, which is positive news. But there are these spikes (ph)...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very, very symmetrical.
GUPTA: They could point to epilepsia partialis continua. That's a rare brain disorder that affects the brain's motor center. However, that would only explain Kylie's symptoms, not what's causing them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're understanding the phenomena but we don't really have a full understanding of the underlying mechanisms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this will help it not hurt. GUPTA: By Friday the tests are complete. Dr. Gahl and his team are planning what they're going to tell Kylie's parents.
Waiting in another room, Kylie's mom and dad are anxious, hopeful.
GINA MCPEAK, KYLIE'S MOTHER: They might have some things back from that, so it's exciting and I'm nervous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we want to document that for her.
GUPTA: But the doctors have no diagnosis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're working all sorts of thing that have yet for us to come back for us to consider.
GUPTA: Instead they explain how the results will guide their investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We continue to work together on this.
GUPTA: For Kylie's mom and dad, Gina and Steven, the emotional toll of the week is just so overwhelming.
GAHL: We don't consider this to be a final diagnosis. The parents are really having sort of a tough time. And this is quite typical for this program.
G. MCPEAK: It was just I think too much for me at that exact moment, so...
S. MCPEAK: It scared me because I didn't want it to be the end.
GUPTA: For the next several months, the UDP team will chase every clue, hoping it leads them to a prime suspect. What is killing Kylie and how to stop it.
S. MCPEAK: Maybe some day we'll get that phone call: "Hey, we think we might know what it is."
COOPER: To go through that whole week of that brutal test and then to leave not knowing, that's got to be just devastating.
GUPTA: That's -- that's the way it is for most patients here, and that's, you know, sort of what doctors expect. But I can tell you, you're absolutely right. I mean, you know, in that meeting, I think Gina and Steven, Kylie's parents, were really fully expecting to get a diagnosis.
And I mean, to see their hopes so high and then to be dashed like that, I think was really hard. But that is how it is. They're going to go through all these different pieces of data now to try and figure it out. And some of it might involve bringing Kylie back, bringing her siblings back, the parents back to do more testing. That's sort of how it works.
COOPER: This is the third part of a four-part series, so tomorrow night's conclusion, what do we see?
GUPTA: Tomorrow we're going to get some answers. Obviously, this was something that has been transpiring over time, but we're going to finally come to the conclusion of what is happening with Sally and with Kylie and Sally and what doctors know so far.
I want to remind you, as well, Anderson, part of goal of the UDP is to take care of patients.
COOPER: UDP is Undiagnosed.
GUPTA: Undiagnosed Disease Program. Take care of patients but also to try and advance science. That's really one of the goals. Give you a little bit of a look at what's happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA (voice-over): In time, an analysis of Kylie's DNA revealed the genetic clue. They found a mutation in a particular gene that makes a protein called laforin.
(on camera) Is it possible that what we're talking about here with regard to Kylie is something that's truly never been described before?
GAHL: It's very possible.
GAHL: A brand-new mutation and maybe identifying a gene that is -- is not known previously to cause a human disease.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: We think in medicine that we have defined a lot of things.
GUPTA: But there are things we're truly learning every single day, and sometimes it's through these -- through these medical mysteries.
COOPER: Well, that's tomorrow night on the program. Looking forward to it. Sanjay, thanks.
Coming up next on the program tonight, more allegations against the pastor of a mega church. Another young man claiming he was forced into a sexual relationship with his pastor, Eddie Long. What the pastor says about it, all ahead.
Also, major victory in Florida for gays and lesbians who want to adopt kids. We'll explain what's going on there. Stay with us.
COOPER: Let's get an update on a number of stories we're following. Joe Johns is back with a "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOHNS: Anderson, a third young man has filed a lawsuit against Eddie Long, pastor of an Atlanta mega church. The 23-year-old man claims he was coerced into a sexual relationship with Long, who denies the allegations. Just yesterday, two other young men sued Pastor Long, making similar claims.
In his ministry, Long has denounced homosexual behavior. His spokesman says the lawsuits are, quote, "without merit."
There's a baby food recall tonight. About 5 million cans of Similac powdered infant formula are being recalled due to possible bug infestation at a manufacturing plant. The Similac liquid version is not part of the recall.
Victory for Florida and gays and lesbians who want to adopt children. A Florida appeals court says a ban against such adoptions violates the state's constitution. The case is tied to a gay man trying to adopt two children.
And pop star Jennifer Lopez and legendary rocker Steven Tyler or Aerosmith are joining "American Idol" as judges when the tenth season begins. They'll replace Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, and Kara DioGuardi, all of whom have left "Idol." J-Lo says she will be tough on the contestants, but she says she will not be mean like Simon Cowell was.
I didn't think he was too mean.
COOPER: I didn't think he was mean. Simon's always been my favorite. He's the one I always -- always watched for.
COOPER: All right. Our "Shot" tonight, Joe, as we all know, things don't always go right for reporters working on a story, especially during a live shot. This is a video we found on YouTube. A reporter trying to demonstrate how easy it is to break into a car.
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All the thief needs is a hammer, an empty parking lot...
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JOHNS: Iron (ph). That's what he needs.
COOPER: Yes, poor guy. And of course, that video, well, it got us...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got us thinking. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Part of this, this little guy's having fun but...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Oh, no.
COOPER: Our favorite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it's part of their senses. A couple is going out to them (ph), right? Ooh!
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JOHNS: Oh, ow!
COOPER: I love her look afterward where she's, like, stunned.
JOHNS: Good grief. Ouch.
COOPER: She's like, uh. Oh. I feel bad for her. Yes. Let's see it one more time.
JOHNS: Yes, I don't think it was her cat.
COOPER: Definitely was not. Definitely was not her cat. Certainly not. Joe, thanks very much.
Up next at the top of the hour, "Keeping Them Honest," Christine O'Donnell not answering questions still.
Plus Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. under pressure about questions trying him to a woman and a Chicago businessman. Details ahead.
COOPER: Thanks for watching. Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest," Christine O'Donnell refusing to answer direct questions from us but insisting reporters are twisting her words. Is she right or is she trying to play the victim while ducking hard questions?
Also Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. facing new ethics questions of his own. Details on that tonight.
Also, in "Crime & Punishment," a home invasion that ended in the murder of a mom and her two daughters. The trial is ongoing, and today new evidence and insight on an alleged motive. Testimony so disturbing the sole survivor of the slain family had to leave the courtroom.
And later Sanjay Gupta continuing his series on disease detectives; a gripping race to solve two life and death medical mysteries. A little girl's life hanging in the balance. So does a mom's. We'll show you how a team of disease detectives is racing to save their lives.
We begin, though, tonight, "Keeping Them Honest," with the Republican Senate candidate dodging questions and a Democratic congressman kind of doing the same.