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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Passengers with Stolen Passports?; Victim's Family Members Speaking Out; Mystery of Flight 370; Oscar Pistorius Breaks Down, Vomits In Court As He Listens To Pathologist's Testimony; Russian Troops Bring Barbed Wire And Landmine Signs To New Border Being Created In Crimea; Father Of Sandy Hook Killed Breaks His Silence; Honoring The Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight Vanished With 239 People On Board
Aired March 10, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And later you'll see what reduced the blade runner to tears and made him sick -- sick to his stomach. The most dramatic day yet in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in our "Crime & Punishment" segment tonight. We'll also have late-breaking developments and breaking news in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
That is our main focus tonight. Two passengers on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing were traveling on stolen passports, that we know, and were carrying tickets purchased by an Iranian middle man. The FBI is now deeply involved, obviously.
Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has been working his sources on this. He joins us now with some fresh information.
So what's the latest you're hearing about the persisting questions over terrorism and those stolen passports?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you, Anderson, the very latest we've received just in really the last hour, I'm told by a U.S. official that there are more and more indications that the loss of MH-370 was not terror related. They will caution it is still early in the investigation. But more and more signs are pointing to this not being a terror event.
Now because it is early, they keep all lines of investigation open and we saw today that Malaysian authorities passed on to U.S. authorities some of the biometric data from these two men who travelled on stolen passports, including their thumb prints which have now been received by the FBI, and the FBI will now run through a U.S. terror database, to make sure that nothing turns up that -- these people based on their biometric data were not tied to or suspected of having ties to terrorism.
So that's where it stands. They're keeping all lines of investigation open, but the read now I'm getting from U.S. intelligence officials is that they're -- they have more and more indications it's not a terror event. COOPER: So, I mean, presumably some theories may be able to be ruled out, you know, based on those fingerprints that are being analyzed by the FBI. When they say it's not a terror event, when you hear about stolen passports, it certainly raises lots of suspicious. There are other options, I guess, not related to terror, stolen passport rings and the like?
SCIUTTO: No question, and that's exactly -- that's what I'm told. And this is not definitive yet because they're still looking into it. But the circumstances of this, including this Iranian middleman you mentioned. You know, the tickets bought through an Iranian middleman who paid for them in cash and bought one-way tickets to Europe. You know, all very suspicious things. But that the pattern including the use of a middleman with a history with this travel agency in Thailand where the tickets were bought, that it fits the pattern of a human smuggling ring.
That's what I'm told. It fits the pattern, they haven't established it with clarity yet. But that those signs look more likely to be a human smuggling case than a terror case.
COOPER: All right. Jim Sciutto, appreciate the update on that.
Again, it remains to be seen how significant this all is, we'll know a lot more when searchers find the wreckage. They have not obviously done that yet.
As Jim Clancy reports their effort is growing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Increasing, enlarge our area of our search in the next few days.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The massive multinational search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 grows by the day. The U.S. is sending a second vessel to aid in the effort joining more than 40 ships and 30 aircraft from nearly a dozen different countries already there.
A number of false leads have already been chased down by investigators, samples from an oil slick, nearly 10 miles long, discovered Saturday off the coast of Vietnam, did not contain jet fuel and objects thought to be debris. A life raft and a plane's tail weren't.
HUGH DUNLEAVY, MALAYSIA AIRLINE COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: After more than 30 hours without contact with the aircraft, we believe family members should prepare themselves for the worst.
CLANCY: Meanwhile, family members have spent the last three days worrying about their missing loved ones, becoming increasingly frustrated by the weight and lack of information. Relatives have gathered in Beijing's airport, where nearly two-thirds of those missing are Chinese. Among the missing, three Americans, including 51-year-old Phillip Wood, an IBM executive living in Kuala Lumpur, described by his family as incredibly generous, creative and intelligent.
TOM WOOD, BROTHER PHILLIP WOOD WAS ON FLIGHT: Pretty calm, pretty strong. We're hanging in there.
COOPER: Jim joins us now from Kuala Lumpur.
Jim, I remember when that Air France flight from Rio to Paris disappeared. It took five days to actually find just wreckage floating in the water. It took two years actually to recover the black box. But officials are now expanding the search radius, time is not on their side, though. The longer it takes, the harder it gets, doesn't it?
CLANCY: It certainly gets harder, but you know, I think the simple answer is that they don't know what else to do. They have searched the area where they believe that that plane was at the time that it disappeared from radar, they found nothing. Every lead has proved false. You have no choice but to expand the search area, they're under pressure, the relatives are distressed, we've got Chinese families flying in on extra flights, that have been put on by Malaysian Airlines.
They're coming here to be closer to the last place that they saw their loved ones. Before they got on that flight, an hour later, vanished into thin air. Authorities here have been pushed by the Chinese and others to come up with answers, they're pushing themselves. They say, we're going to try to intensify this, we're going to expand the search area, we're going to find that plane -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, the question is, when of course.
Jim Clancy, appreciate the update live from Kuala Lumpur.
And later on in the program, as we mentioned, Phillip Wood's two brothers are going to join us tonight talking about their brother and the faith that they share that is getting them through these incredibly difficult days.
We want to run through as many the possibilities as we can, mechanical, manmade, as to what may have happened and how the investigation is proceeding.
Joining us, two women who have been on the front lines when airliners have gone down or been brought down. National security analyst Fran Townsend, President Bush's -- George W. Bush's homeland security adviser. Fran sits on the DHS and CIA External Advisory Board and Mary Schiavo, former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She currently represents victims and families of transportation accidents.
Fran, first of all, Jim Sciutto reporting tonight from his sources, they seemed to be moving away from the idea that this could be terrorism, stolen passport, perhaps part of a human smuggling ring. What do you make of it?
FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it's -- it was natural that investigators were going to take the leads that they had, stolen passports from Thailand, Austrian and Italian, paid for in cash, same travel agent, they were going to -- they were going to look at that, and Kuala Lumpur has a terrorism nexus, right? Including to two 9/11 hijackers.
And so it was natural that the law enforcement and intelligence communities were going to take that seriously. Of course as you begin to run these leads down, you've got the thumbprints, you've got pictures, now they're going to look at, if it's not terrorism, is it a larger criminal network? Is it a passport -- you know, a fraudulent passport operation, a human smuggling operation?
COOPER: Which might have been just coincidence that it was on this plane that has disappeared?
TOWNSEND: Exactly right. They're going to look to see were there other stolen passports used on that plane, by the way, and working with Interpol. The other thing that this may actually raise, we find now, although the United States and European Union scan all passports, 100 percent against the Interpol database for -- looking for stolen passports, obviously not every country does.
COOPER: I was shocked by that.
COOPER: I mean -- and we're going to have more reporting on that tonight on the program. But just how common stolen passports are and how you would think well, there's no way someone could use a stolen passport. But in a lot of places you can.
TOWNSEND: That's right. And so this is going to raise for international standards, what are they, why don't others all scan for that database.
TOWNSEND: And what can we do to increase sort of the security screeners.
COOPER: Mary, what do you make of the fact that the debris has not been found. Again, I keep going back to this Air France flight because it's the closest one I could think of, where it took five days to find the debris. But if something occurred at 35,000 feet catastrophic, you would think there would be a wide debris field.
MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Yes, there's a widely scattered debris field but this -- Air France is not the only prior accident where it took several days. There have been in history many accidents where it took several days for them to find it. The ocean is a very big place. But so much on the plane is able to float. The seats, the life vests, the life rafts, the service carts.
There have been cases where parts of the wing and the tail have been able to float, so I don't have any doubt that they will eventually find it, and I believe very firmly they will get those black boxes, they always do. But this won't be the first case where it's taken, you know, four or five days for the debris to appear.
COOPER: The good news on this, compared to, again, that Air France flight from years ago, was that water was, I think, 13,000 feet deep. The water in the area -- the gulf of Thailand where they're searching is, I believe, 296 feet, which is actually very -- not deep at all.
SCHIAVO: That's right, and it will be easier on the searchers. They have to listen for the pings from the black boxes, those batteries can last up to about a month. They've got the submersibles.
In many accidents, for example in ValueJet TWA 800, it was divers that found them. In ValueJet they actually touched them. So they're, you know, far from out of hope at this point. They've just started on the debris and the black boxes.
COOPER: In terms of -- when something like this happened, I mean, how involved is the U.S., Fran?
TOWNSEND: Well, you have Americans -- you're going to have some of the family members of one victim, but there -- once there are Americans involved, the U.S. law enforcement, the FBI takes the lead for the U.S. role, and they'll coordinate and provide support to Malaysian authorities, they'll work with their Thai counterparts, where the passports were actually stolen. They'll work with Interpol and they'll work with the other countries where they have victims.
COOPER: Mary, what do you make of the idea that officials are now moving away from the terrorism idea?
SCHIAVO: Well, I think statistically, you look at it, for example, in about 80 percent of the cases, our Natural Transportation Safety Board find some form of pilot error. The three large causes are mechanical, including maintenance and manuals, aircraft manuals, pilot error and weather. We don't have a weather component that we know of. So statistically speaking, the odds are, it will be a mechanical and pilot error.
Terrorism actually ranks far less than the number of accidents. And because it is a Boeing, Boeing will be there in full force. I mean, there's 1,000 reasons for them to participate, and it's called 777.
COOPER: Also a lot has been made of the fact that the pilots didn't communicate. But again I go back to that Air France flight. Pilots didn't communicate then either, even though they were wrestling with the aircraft that we now know it took two years to figure it out. But we're wrestling with the aircraft. So people shouldn't assume that just because the pilots aren't communicating, that doesn't mean they couldn't have communicated, correct?
SCHIAVO: That's right. And in many catastrophic crashes they don't. They didn't bear, they didn't in TWA 800 and many others where it wasn't terrorism, but something very catastrophic happened at a high altitude. There just wasn't time, they were fighting.
COOPER: Mary Schiavo, it's great to have you on, your expertise. Fran Townsend, as well. Thank you very much.
As I mentioned, more now on the passport angle and just how common passport theft may be. This is really surprising.
Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown reports.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a scary thought to think you could be flying on an international flight with the passenger using a stolen passport, but authorities say it's very possible.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So many governments do not check outbound passengers. And by the way, that's over one billion tickets a year that are issued without a check being performed to see if the documents were stolen or lost. Used to get those international tickets.
BROWN: The database at Interpol headquarters in Leon, France contains an astounding 40 million records of stolen passports. It's a responsibility of each country's government to check that database for passengers on international flights, not the airlines.
FUENTES: The airline is not able to actually make an inquiry with Interpol or even the local police about whether you're wanted or whether the passport has been reported stolen. The country, the government does.
BROWN: While the U.S. routinely checks every passenger's passport with Interpol database, many other countries do not, leaving a gaping hole in the security of international flights.
FUENTES: The member countries, the 190 members, that belong to Interpol are not charged a fee for accessing any of those databases so if the country has sufficient resources and technical capabilities to wire into Interpol's virtual private network that's running 24 hours a day, then, you know, they certainly would be able to access that database and check it. It's just up to the will of the country to set it up and do it.
BROWN: Accords to Interpol's statistics, out of 800 million checks worldwide every year, 60,000 passengers try to board planes using lost or stolen passports. Authorities say many of those people are your garden variety criminals like drug traffickers, human smugglers and fraudsters.
COOPER: And Pamela Brown joins us now. Amazing, 60,000 people trying to use lost or stolen passports. It's a huge number. And amazed at how few countries actually are checking for this kind of thing. How does the U.S. handle inbound international flights?
BROWN: Well, Anderson, the U.S. routinely checks all the passports of passengers coming in to the U.S. An opinion on when the U.S. gets a manifest on an inbound international flight. Officials may detect a passenger used a lost or stolen passport. Once the plane is already in the air, and in that case, when that happens, Customs and Border Patrol agents meet the plane as soon as it lands to confront that passenger.
But, Anderson, you're right, you know, this is an issue that officials with Interpol have been screaming about for years, trying to get more countries to use their free database. So it is clear, though, that the U.S. is one of the biggest users of the database, running passports through it more than 250 million times a year.
COOPER: Wow. All right, Pamela Brown, appreciate that update. Fascinating stuff.
You can follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper, tweet using #ac360.
Coming up next, a 360 exclusive, I'll talk with the brothers of one of the missing Americans about where they find their strength at such a difficult time for any family.
And later, the evidence that made Oscar Pistorius lose his cool and throw up in court. Details ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back. Our breaking news tonight, attention being focused on a pair of stolen passports and the passengers who used them to board a Malaysia Airlines flight -- the Malaysian Airlines flight that is now missing. The FBI now running their thumbprints through their database. American authorities also have access to their pictures for comparison to any potentially bad actors.
Now for a moment, though, I want to focus not on the people that we don't know, but one we do. Phillip Wood, an IBM executive who's been working in Beijing for the last couple of years, he was relocating to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Saturday's flight was supposed to be his final one before taking up his new post, according to the Associated Press.
He was heading back after a visit with his family, including brothers Tom and James who join us tonight.
So, James and Tom, I obviously can't imagine how difficult this time is for you both.
James, how are you and your family holding up?
JAMES WOOD, BROTHER PHILLIP WOOD WAS ON FLIGHT: We're doing OK, we are -- we're getting through. We're taking it sometimes an hour at a time, sometimes just a minute at a time, but we're holding together and we are working on this because of faith. You know, honestly, we're getting through this on our faith and we're taking it just a little at a time. It's been a little bit numbing, to be honest.
COOPER: Understandably. And James, I know Phillip has two sons, one of them is in college. I mean, are you in touch with them constantly? How are they holding up?
J. WOOD: Yes. Absolutely. They're doing OK, too. We just saw them a couple days ago, and they're with my mom and dad right now. And -- so we all process our grief a little different. And so they're being a little quieter right now. So --
COOPER: James, how did you first learn that your brother's plane was missing?
J. WOOD: My dad. He called me, he left a -- he left a voicemail on my phone, just said hey, James, give me a call. And about 17 minutes later I actually remember looking at the -- at the phone, and it was 17 minutes later, I called him back, and I knew when I listened to his voicemail something wasn't right so he let me know.
COOPER: And, Tom, I know Phillip's girlfriend was waiting for him in Beijing. I know initially she said that the information -- you know, access to the information was very slow from Malaysian officials. Has it gotten any better?
T. WOOD: Honestly -- her name is Sarah, and so we want to reach out to her as well. And just tell her how much we love her. We know she's going through a tough time there in Malaysia, and we've got communication with the State Department and the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, but as of yet, you know, we know as much as everyone else. Just seems to be -- it seems to be getting more bizarre, you know, the twist and the story where they can't find anything.
So we're just relying on faith and, you know, we've got a lot of people praying for us in church and family and friends, and, you know, they're helping us through this, and thank goodness we had two good parents that instilled that in us, you know, a belief in God and that's really, you know, what we're trying to get out there to everyone, that, you know, people need to have God in their lives, you know, because everybody's going to go through difficult situations. And that's what's getting us through this right now.
COOPER: Well, you know, you talked about wanting people to know your brother. What's he like?
J. WOOD: Phil is probably one of the most intelligent guys I've ever known. A deep thinker, deep thinker. You know, it's funny, I'd said the word gregarious at one point. And even though he could be gregarious, it was in a small group, he could just crack you up. But then he would switch over and be a deep thinker that really philosophized down deep.
T. WOOD: You know, he was a guy that always had good advice for us. And, you know, and we'd go to him when we needed to talk about things. We're very close and he was an incredible artist. A great father to his boys, and, you know, best friend to his sister and James and I. And we just want everybody to know that as well about him, I mean, everybody that knows him already knows that.
And we've just been getting calls and e-mails from people we haven't heard from that have been part of his life and our life with him. And, you know, we just wanted everybody to -- you know, we're trying to keep his memory going, and you know we're holding out hope, because as of yet, there are no answers to any of this.
T. WOOD: So --
J. WOOD: Can I read something to you just real fast?
COOPER: Sure, go ahead.
J. WOOD: OK. This is -- this is a scripture that's just keeping me going, personally. From Colossians 3: 1 through 3. Real quick.
"Since you've been raised in new life with Chris, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth, for you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ and God."
And that is what I'm thinking about.
T. WOOD: Those words keep us going. Those were the words.
COOPER: Yes, I can understand why.
James and Tom, thank you so much.
J. WOOD: Thanks, Anderson.
T. WOOD: Thank you.
COOPER: Stay strong.
As you can always, you can find out more on the story and others that we're covering at CNN.com.
Just ahead, the airliner at the center of the mystery tonight, Flight 370. The Boeing 777, one of the most popular, safest planes on the planet. It was flying at the safest time on a flight. We'll have more details on that.
Plus a dramatic day in court for Oscar Pistorius. Breaking down again. This time he actually got physically ill. The testimony that made him sick. Robyn Curnow was in the courtroom ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Our breaking news tonight, the FBI running two sets of thumbprints through its database trying to identify the passengers who used those stolen passports aboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The mystery of the flight could not be any more baffling right now. A jumbo jet disappearing apparently without a trace. No distress call. No debris. Just gone.
And not just any jet. One of the most high-tech planes on the planet, the Boeing 777, built for long distances, considered one of the safest planes in the world, which only deepens the mystery.
Here's CNN's Rene Marsh.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Boeing 777 is one of the most high-tech planes in the sky and a work horse of international travel.
MARK WEISS, FORMER BOEING 777 PILOT: The 777 I have to say was probably the nicest and most sophisticated, but also one of the easier airplanes to fly.
MARSH: It's so sophisticated it beams messages to the ground to identify maintenance problems before it even lands.
STEVE WALLACE, FORMER ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR: There are systems to communicate with the company. There are even systems sometimes that monitor the health of the engines as automated reports.
MARSH: The 777-200 extended range models like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are capable of flying from New York to almost anywhere in the world nonstop.
WALLACE: It really has an excellent, excellent safety record.
MARSH: That's why the mystery behind how this flight vanished has stumped the world even pilots like Mark Weiss who flew 777.
WEISS: This was way out of the ordinary. This is just something that happened instantaneously or relatively quickly and overcame the crew and overcame the aircraft.
MARSH: Since the first 777 rolled off the assembly line in 1994, the planes have made about five million flights. Yet its first fatal crash came last July when this Aseana Airlines 777 crashed in San Francisco. Three people died. The cause still under investigation. But in this crash, finding the plane itself is still the first priority.
Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: The priority indeed. Perspective now from retired U.S. Airways captain, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who of course made that remarkable landing at the Hudson River. He's an aviation and safety consultant for CBS News. Also former American Airlines captain, Jim Tilmon, he flew commercial jets for nearly 30 years.
Captain Sullenberger, for a Boeing 777 to disappear, I mean, it's one of the most reliable airplanes out there, isn't it?
CAPT. CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER III, CBS NEWS AVIATION AND SAFETY CONSULTANT: It is. And it disappeared apparently during one of the least risky phases of flight, during cruise. The most risk obviously is during landing or takeoff. And so long-range, long haul airplanes are by definition going to spend more of their time in cruise and be statistically safer than short-range airplanes that make more takeoffs and landings per day.
COOPER: And Captain Tilmon, I mean, the 777, it's got built in redundancy, I understand. It has backup systems if things go wrong. So those systems weren't enough to right whatever went wrong. And the crew didn't have enough time or wasn't able to for whatever reason to actually communicate. What does that tell you?
CAPT. JIM TILMON, AVIATION EXPERT: It tells me that something catastrophic took place there that was very sudden, unplanned and they had a lot to deal with very quickly.
COOPER: Captain Sullenberger, I mean, you certainly know what it's like to have to make a quick decision when something goes wrong on a flight. You say that when faced with a sudden emergency, pilots have a list of priorities, can you explain what those are?
SULLENBERGER: Absolutely. In fact, most pilots know them by heart. They very simple. First, 88, then navigate and only last communicate. So the pilots would have been working together as a crew. There would be one pilot who was assigned to be the pilot flying in charge of controlling a flight path and doing it very well. While the other pilot was monitoring to assist, aid and monitor not only the performance of the airplane, but the performance of the other pilot and make sure that everything was being done according to their procedures.
That pilot monitoring would be the one typically who would be using the checklist, who would be talking to air traffic control on the radio, every way supporting and assisting the pilot flying. There are well defined roles and responsibilities. We've learned how to take individual pilots and use techniques, human skills to make them more synergistic, to make them better as a team than they ever could be as a collection of individuals.
COOPER: What do you make, Captain, of the Malaysian military, they are saying that their radar showed the plane may have been turning around before it vanished. Is that ring to you? Because in cases where planes change course, I would imagine there is a protocol. There is a list to follow?
TILMON: I like the fact that they say it may have been turning. I'm not sure it was. Let's say the airplane broke up because of something that happened there. Radar returns may not be as accurate as it is normally. So I'd like to examine that radar return a lot more carefully and I'd like to look at a lot more things before I make the determination that it's going to do a 180 out there. I'm surprised to think that the captain would make a 180 at that point in the flight.
COOPER: Captain Sullenberger, in terms of actually finding this aircraft if it is in the water, I go back to that Air France flight. That was in water, I think about 13,000 feet deep. My understanding, the water in this area is only 296 feet deep. In terms of the black box, that has actual sonar device, it sends out a signal, doesn't it?
SULLENBERGER: Yes, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder would have acoustic beacons that operate on a battery power about 30 days. And they should be sending out pings that would be audible to vessels that have under water listening devices. Of course, that's assuming that they're functioning, that's assuming they're not buried in the mud of the sea floor. That's assuming that they are buried in aircraft wreckage that obscures the signal and it assumes that vessels looking for it are within range of that acoustic beacon.
COOPER: How far away can they be?
SULLENBERGER: I think it depends on the conditions in the ocean, how deep it is, and whether there's a thermal layer, temperature gradient that might channel the acoustic signal away from the surface, it's hard to say, but probably tens of miles if it's not buried in wreckage or in the sea mud.
COOPER: Captain Sullenberger, do you agree with Captain Tilmon that it must have been something catastrophic that happened quickly?
SULLENBERGER: I think all indications are that it was something catastrophic that happened quickly, we just don't know yet what it was. And we probably will not know until the wreckage is found and the recorders have been recovered and analysed. Hopefully they'll provide useful data about what was said and done on the cockpit, in the cockpit and what the flight parameters were in the moments leading up to this event.
COOPER: Captain Sullenberger, it's always good to have you on the program, sorry it's under these circumstances. Captain Tilmon as well.
Just ahead tonight, Oscar Pistorius literally got sick to his stomach in court today, during graphic testimony about Reeva Steenkamp's injuries after the shooting. Robyn Curnow was in the courtroom. She joins me ahead.
COOPER: Crime and Punishment now, an emotional day in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. The Olympic athlete not only broke down in the courtroom, he actually got physically ill throwing up as the pathologist testified about his girlfriend, Reeve Steenkamp's fatal injuries. He described the graphic detail, the damage caused by three bullets that Pistorius fired into his girlfriend through a toilet door.
He said it was probably the bullet that hit her in the head that killed her almost immediately. Robin Curnow was in the courtroom. She joins us tonight.
Robyn, obviously very emotional day in the courtroom. I know you were inside, what happened?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it was clearly very emotional for Oscar Pistorius. I mean, all of us watching, we were just obviously bystanders to what was a clearly gut-wrenching experience for him. He vomited. He wretched. He gagged into a bucket that's been given to him in the dock. He rarely found it physically difficult to listen to the testimony of this pathologist who quite clinically, I must just say, went through the list of wounds, of exit wounds, of different injuries Reeva Steenkamp had on her body.
No matter how clinical, how medical this information was that she'd been in the hip. That's she'd been hit in the arm. That she'd been in the head. He rarely could not deal with it and you know, literally there was soundtrack of him gagging through this quite clinical testimony. It was quite harrowing, I must say.
COOPER: I don't know that I've ever seen a defendant throwing up in court testimony and it being allowed to continue. This is not a jury trial so it's not something that would impact the jury. Did the judge respond in anyway or say anything?
CURNOW: I think what was key about the judge's questions at one point, she did sort of say to his defense. You know, what's up with your client kind of scenario. This to say, is he going to continue making this noise? If he is going to continue behaving like this? Is he fully aware that he needs to pay attention to what's being heard? She wasn't the least bit interested in his emotional or physical health. She was very, very keen to know that if he was so sick and if he was so disengaged and so traumatized by the whole procedure. That he might not be taking in the details.
COOPER: Did the pathologist's testimony, did it bolster the prosecution's version of events? I mean, how they alleged this killing played out?
CURNOW: From our understanding of what the pathologist said, what he laid down in terms of forensics was interesting because he basically said each of Reeva Steenkamp's wounds, the one to her hip, the one to her arm, the one to her head would have been potentially, actually if not fatal, so he said that you couldn't possibly have screamed or had a series of screams and yells for help after these very traumatic injuries, which, of course, plays into Oscar Pistorius' defense. And the time line of what's going to be argued.
And as we talked about this over the past few days and over the weeks ahead, it's going to be whose time line, of course, works out or fits into the details. It's all very crucial, when did she scream. If she couldn't scream, how does that fit into each of the time lines? So at the moment, what we're hearing are little bits of this puzzle and I think as we look back over the past six days, we're getting a clearer picture of both sides' case, but it hasn't quite formulated. We haven't quite got a sense of how each side is going to play this out.
COOPER: Many more tomorrow. Robyn, thanks very much.
Let's bring in our legal analysts, former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin and criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos. Mark, how does Pistorius, I mean, throwing up in court, A, have you ever seen that before? And how does actually play out because as we said, there's not a jury, it's just the judge.
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think the way it was described today is what I would imagine if you got a court trial. If there were a jury there, my guess is they would have immediately called a recess. They would have sent the jury out of the room. But since you've got a judge, and at least by all accounts the judge was basically saying, look, if your client can't handle this and is not going to be able to assist you then maybe we're going to take a break. I understand that, but to anticipate what Sunny's going to say, I don't think --
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You can't anticipate what I'm going to say.
GERAGOS: You can fake throwing up. I mean, obviously, he's traumatized. I mean, the argument is that maybe it didn't resonate with the judge emotionally or the emotion didn't resonate. But if you see somebody there who's listening to the pathologist and has that kind of a visceral reaction, you can't help but be affected.
COOPER: You don't buy the throwing up?
HOSTIN: I don't buy it. I mean, either he deserves an academy award or he's off. Either way it doesn't work for him. I mean, I have never seen --
COOPER: Or he was physically ill and emotionally upset by this --
HOSTIN: Which means he's pretty volatile and I think that actually help the prosecution --
GERAGOS: Are you saying the fact that he threw up because of the pathologist's testimony that means he's volatile and angry and therefore more prone to kill somebody?
HOSTIN: Exactly. Someone that is not emotionally stable. Someone that couldn't sit in the courtroom and listen to testimony, that to me, if I'm the judge and it's not in front of a jury. It's in front of a judge. I'm thinking either this guy deserves an award for his performance or there's something off about him and I think it's not helpful to Oscar Pistorius.
GERAGOS: Or option number three, that he's --
HOSTIN: There is no option number three. GERAGOS: That he does feel an immense amount of guilt.
COOPER: Sunny interprets that as a sign of being off.
GERAGOS: She interprets that as off.
HOSTIN: Volatile, emotionally unstable.
GERAGOS: Could you imagine if there was someone you loved and you had -- except for a second that what he's saying is true. He thought it was an intruder. He's behind gates. He's scared of crime. He's somebody who feels vulnerable because he's had his legs amputated and he ends up killing her. How bad would you feel?
COOPER: It's almost impossible to judge someone based on how they are acting or reacting in a courtroom because I mean, there have been many cases where people say, the person's not emotional, and therefore they must be hiding something, they must be guilty.
HOSTIN: Well, I think you're right, Anderson. I mean, we can't read too much into it, but let's look at some of the facts. The reason her injuries were so egregious is because he used these hollow point bullets that are designed to sort of blow out from the inside. Who does that? And I think in terms of someone --
GERAGOS: Well, someone who doesn't have legs.
HOSTIN: Someone who wants to inflict that kind of damage. I think when you look at the charges here and you're looking at premeditation, perhaps he gets away with premeditation, but culpable homicide is like --
COOPER: First of all, in South Africa especially in Johannesburg where there is a high crime rate, a lot of home invasion. It's not all that atypical to have a gun in the house for somebody in his situation.
HOSTIN: But not necessarily with the bullets that were outlawed in South Africa, Anderson, and then we're talking about someone who's shooting into a locked bathroom door is incapable of perceiving the threat behind the door.
COOPER: For you, the main question is, if he didn't know it was his girlfriend in the bathroom. He got out of the bed allegedly he's sleeping next to her.
HOSTIN: Who does that? If you hear something go bump in the night, you turn to the person that you love next to you and say, did you hear that? We know from the testimony of his ex-girlfriend he had the same exact situation, and he turned to her and said, did you hear that? He didn't seem to do that this time and his story just doesn't really make sense.
COOPER: How does the fact that it's not a jury trial, which they don't have in South Africa. A lot of times you think things boil down to jury selection. So in this case, how just having a judge impact it?
GERAGOS: That's the wild card in this case. The judge and when you get a -- when you have to have a bench trial. Here in the U.S., there are certain jurisdictions where a misdemeanors you don't get a jury. It's the biggest determination. It's a crap shoot. You never know how the judge is going to rule. In a case like this that is so emotional, you have someone who is famous and would normally in front of a jury get a presumption of innocence. They don't get that.
COOPER: We got to wrap up there. We got some great news about Mark and Sunny. They are going to be back at 10:30 Eastern Time tonight with the debut of their new program "MAKING THE CASE" talking about this trial and a lot of trials. They clearly don't often agree on legal issues. We look forward to that, 10:30 tonight. Definitely going to check that out.
Up next, new proof, that Russia does have troops in Crimea, as if you needed more proof. Check points, the Russian flags and signs, warnings of land mines, what our CNN crew found and what they were not allowed to do, in a very dangerous situation on the ground.
Also ahead, George Zimmerman signing autographs at a gun show, details on that ahead.
COOPER: New development tonight in the showdown over Ukraine ahead of a planned referendum on whether Crimea should breakaway and join Russia. Members of the pro-Russian Crimean parliament have appointed their prime minister as the region's commander in chief, clearing the way for the formation of a Crimean army, which the prime minister says about a 100 men have already joined.
He says the decision to form an army was because of illegal armed groups in the area. Meanwhile, Russia says it doesn't have a military presence on the Crimea Peninsula. But CNN has found new evidence Russia troops not only have a presence, but they're constructing barbed wire borders and bringing in landmines. Anna Coren reports from Crimea where she and her crew were involved in a test encounter with armed forces.
COREN (voice-over): Parked along the highway linking Crimea to Ukraine, a convoy of Russian military trucks and armored personnel carriers. We're approaching a check point flying the Russian flag where troops are searching cars, targeting media crews and confiscating equipment. We hide our cameras as soldiers inspect the van. One of them is spotted. It's taken and turned off.
This is now effectively part of Russia and they don't want us filming the evidence. The local soldier in charge, who sworn allegiance to Russia, agrees to an interview. "We're defending our people," he tells me. "This is not about Russia, but about protecting our homeland." As we drive through the checkpoint, we see a new border that's being erected along this wind swept plain. Once out of view from Russian troops, we stop the car and resume filming.
(on camera): While Russia says it has no military presence on the Crimean Peninsula, well, here your proof. Russian troops has dug in armed personnel carriers have rolled out barbed wire, dug fence posts and there are also signs that indicates that there are land mines in the area.
(voice-over): A local resident says they aren't just signs, this is a mine field. One of my neighbor's dog ran in there and was blown up, he tells me. Why are the Russians laying landmines? Why are they being so aggressive?
For those living here, the military buildup on their doorstep is alarming. I'm frightened about the future, this grandmother tells me. We don't want a war, we just want to work live peacefully and feed our families.
Several miles up the road, the Ukrainian checkpoint appears. They too are digging in setting up camp, well aware this stand-off could turn bloody. We are warriors following the orders of the people of Ukraine, says this soldier.
If they want us to defend Crimea, we'll do this and we're willing to die. The sacrifice they're willing to make for the sovereignty of the Ukraine. Anna Coren, CNN, Tionga on the Crimean Peninsula.
(END VIDEOTAEP) COOPER: A referendum in Crimea set to take place March 16th. Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Deborah Feyerick has a 360 Bulletin -- Deborah.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the father of Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman, Adam Lanza, is breaking his silence. Peter Lanza told the "New Yorker" magazine that his son would have killed him in a heartbeat if he had a chance. He also said he thinks about his son and the massacre every waking hour and wishes Adam was never born.
Mr. Lanza also said Adam was never typical. A family of mental health professionals never saw the potential for violence. Adam killed himself after he shot to death his mom, 20 children and six staffers at the school in December 2012.
Peruvian authorities say in 24 years when Joran Van Der Sloot finishes his sentence for killing a student there, they will extradite him to the United States. He's accused of extorting money from the mother of Natalee Holloway by offering bogus information about Natalee's disappearance in Aruba nearly nine years ago.
George Zimmerman who was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin signed autographs at an Orlando gun show over the weekend. The event was moved to a gun store when the larger venue canceled after getting complaints about Zimmerman's appearance -- Anderson. COOPER: All right, Deborah, thanks very much. Coming up, still no sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the 239 people on board the plane that vanished three days ago. Tonight we honor those who are missing next.
COOPER: As the search continues for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, there are so many unanswered questions. We still do not know what happened. Dozens of planes and ships from 10 countries are looking, but haven't any sign of wreckage or the plane. What we do know is that 239 people were on board. For them and the people who love them, we want to end the program tonight honoring those who are missing.
COOPER (voice-over): For three agonizing days, family members of the missing, waited with tears and with prayers for any news on their loved ones. I'm not going home until I know what happened, this father says, we lost loved ones, they need to answer our questions. When are you going to tell us and what are you going to do? We still don't know if they're alive or dead.
The oldest of the 227 passengers is 76 years old, the youngest just 2 years old, five of the passengers on board are under the age of 5. They come from at least 12 different nations in the world including three Americans. The 50-year-old Phillip Wood from Texas is known as a kind and gentleman, a man of integrity, a man of God, according to his family.
Maling Ching is a Malaysian national who lives in Pennsylvania, who works as a process engineer at a chemical company. Twelve Malaysian and eight Chinese employees of a Texas based semiconductor company were also on board. Most of them engineers who were traveling on business.
(Matesh Mekerigi and Shado Mubai) live in Beijing and had been on vacation in Vietnam according to its Facebook. They have two young sons. Also on board, a group of Chinese artists including a renowned Chinese calligrapher. They took this photo at an art exhibition in Kuala Lumpur before the flight home. Not everyone pictured here was on the flight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, everyone. This is YouTube video.
COOPER: The 12 crew members are all from Malaysia including the captain who posted this YouTube a little over a year ago. The search continues for any clues on the missing plane, with no sign of wreckage, some families still hold out hope that a miracle may still be possible.
COOPER: Our thoughts are with all of them and all of those family members waiting for those and those still searching. That does it for us. We'll be back at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Tonight, another edition of 360. Make sure you check "MAKING THE CASE" with Sunny Hostin and Mark Geragos at 10:30 Eastern Time tonight.
"PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.