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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
The Manhunt for David Sweat, Richard Matt Expands to Vermont. Aired 20:00-21:00p ET.
Aired June 10, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:05] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: All right, good evening. John Berman here sitting in for Andersen tonight.
We have just confirmed that the investigation has wide along with the search for that pair of killers who broke out of New York's toughest prison. Today, the search turned to neighboring Vermont.
The investigation we just learned is extending beyond that. U.S. marshals sent out feelers to three states, we don't know which ones, seeking clues to where David Sweat and Richard Matt could be. As well as who in those states and perhaps others need to be questioned. It seems they're trying to hem these guys in for obvious reasons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, NEW YORK: We need to find these escapees. They are dangerous men. They are killers. They are murders. There is no reason to believe they wouldn't do it again. They're going to be more desperate than ever. So we are doing everything we can. It's a top priority to find them and to bring them back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: In the hour ahead, we have new insight, in to how they got out of Clinton correctional facility in Dannemora. We'll hear from a former inmate.
More as well tonight on the prison seamstress, who authorities believe was the intended getaway driver and why some women are vulnerable to convicts, even killers.
We begin, though, from the newly expanded search, though. And our Randi Kaye is in Milton, Vermont.
Randi, you got to Vermont couple hours ago, the investigators were there before you. Have they picked up any sign, any trail of these killers?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No sign yet, John. I mean, officials are stressing that they believe they could have planned to come here. But there is no official sighting of the two escapees here in Vermont yet. But I can tell you what a different story here in this state compared to Dannemora, in upstate New York where the prisoners were have been. For days now, we have been going back and forth through check points.
Here today, we had to take a ferry from upstate New York to cross over into Vermont across lake Champlain. They didn't ask us for ID to get on the ferry nor did they ask when we got off the ferry. We didn't have to go through any check points to get here to the lakeside setup. So I know officials are saying they're securing the border. But so far tonight, John, we haven't seen evidence of that. But I can tell you they're in hot pursuit of the two guys because we saw it today from the air firsthand.
KAYE (voice-over): From the air, what authorities are up against is clear. So many places for the escapees to hide.
What would you be looking for in order to help with the search from the air?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there is particular intelligence. We will have the ground guys put us on something. We'll go take a look. Other times use the camera and push a sensor, wide area search for strategic views. See guys hiding, behind rocks or behind buildings or under shelters if you will.
KAYE: Late today, law enforcement made it clear they're focusing in on Vermont. They received a tip that convicted killers, Richard Matt and David Sweat may have made plans to head to Vermont. If they did, from our vantage point, the journey might not have been an easy one, especially if they were on foot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lake Champlain obviously here to the right, other side is Vermont.
KAYE: And if you got an alert right now that the two escapees were spotted, what would be our plan of action?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will proceed to where we are getting the call out. We will be on overhead and with the task, if you will. They meet us up high so we can stay out of sight. We don't spook them or it might go down low so we try pin them down.
KAYE: Even with more than 500 leads, pinning them down is no easy task.
You can see why it is such a challenge to find the guys even from the air. We were looking down on the Adirondacks. That's six million acres of trees and heavy woods. And if you look out there in the distance where the color changes at that ridge, that's the Canadian border, just 10 miles away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just to the north of the prison outer perimeter, if you will.
KAYE: We could also see Clinton correctional facility in Dannemora where the men escaped from. So you can see, though, they are not far from a heavily wooded area.
I mean, it wouldn't take a lot to disappear into the woods from the town, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. They could have gone on to the north up here. All of this, towards Canada. But they could have gone to the south or to the southwest. You look at all the mountain ranges out there. And, easy to get lost up in there.
KAYE: Easy to get lost anywhere. So much so, search teams is back in Dannemora today, just blocks from the prison, going house to house just in case they missed something.
How can you assist with that? What can you see that they can't?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, most of the time for the house to house stuff. We are really just providing top cover. It is really kind of a show of force, the intent there is to try to pin the bad guys down or try to force them to move so the guys on the ground can see them.
KAYE: A show of force against two men on the run and the clock is ticking.
BERMAN: Randi, obviously, the search started in New York. New York is a state with more resources than Vermont. Are there any plans to send troopers from New York to where you are?
[20:04:59] KAYE: Absolutely, John, if necessary. I mean, right now, New York state police and Vermont state police are working together in this case. And already, troopers have been called out to patrol some of the campground in this area. They're checking to see if there have been any strange burglaries or also asking the campground goers to make sure they provide identification as well.
They're going to be putting police boats out here on lake Champlain behind me. They will be passing out leaflets, telling folks all they can about these two guys who are on the run and checking boats as well that will out on the lake.
But the trouble is that they think they're here. Possibly, in Vermont, but still, John, they don't know where in this state they might be.
BERMAN: Yes, think possibly it is a big state.
Randi Kaye, thank you so much.
Let's get perspective from three people who know fugitives, how they think, how they run, how to track them down. Lenny DePaul, he is former commander of the U.S. marshal, regional fugitive task force for New York and New Jersey, Robert Fernandez who currently runs a similar task force covering the Washington, D.C. area, and Darren Giglio, chief investigator for the firm North American investigations. Lenny, I do want to start with you here because it is your information
that says that right now, investigators are looking beyond New York, beyond Vermont and they're following up leads in three other states as well. What does that mean?
LENNY DEPAUL, FORMER U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE TASK FORCE COMMANDER: Well, John, it certainly an intense manhunt. But it also a fugitive investigation. And it's certainly with information and intelligence that is coming into the task force, they're going to send leads all over the world if need be.
There are other states in question. I'm not part of the investigation. I am sure that they saw it necessary to send the leads to a few other states to maybe look at some people, do some interviews, conduct surveillance. Not saying that these two guys are there. We don't know where they are. Vermont, New York, Mexico, we have no idea. And folks need to keep that in mind.
BERMAN: And to be clear, you are getting this from people who are at least connected to the investigation. You've will not tell us the three states that they have expanded to at least to investigate right now because there is a fear that these fugitives could be watching the show, correct?
DEPAUL: That's a good possibility. One never knows. But there may be more than three states. I'm not sure where any leads are going beyond that. But they're certainly covering their tracks. They're not leaving any stones unturned, John.
BERMAN: All right. Robert, I want to turn to you here because if you have some confirmation of what Lenny is saying right now, that investigators are following up leads in at least three other states. They are following hundreds of leads at a time. What degree of resources are needed to follow up that kind of information?
CMDR. ROBERT FERNANDEZ, U.S. MARSHALS CAPITAL AREA REGIONAL FUGITIVE TASK FORCE: Well there is a lot of resources needed, but I just to be clear that lead going out to other states. It could be something as innocuous as talking to a distant relative. They say, OK, this person lives in such and such state. We send out a lead for someone to go out and interview them. It doesn't mean that these people were seen in any of the states.
And, as a matter of fact the focus on Vermont. We have to keep in perspective. The entire country need to stay vigilant. If you had a plan to leave and go to Vermont and it was on TV, would you still go? I mean, how far can you get in five days on foot? Or how far can you could you get in five days in a car?
I don't want people in California or Texas to say the suspicious guy who just checked into the hotel next to me. That's not him because these guys might be in Vermont. We don't know where they are. So everybody needs - the public needs to be vigilant. See the tip line on there and call us if you know anything.
BERMAN: When you get hundreds of leads, though. can you possibly follow up on every one?
FERNANDEZ: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have task force as cross the country. We have a network across the country. We are working hand in hand with the New York state police. And we have literally thousands of U.S. marshals and federal state, local task force officers that are assigned to our task force that can respond immediately on any lea. And these are experienced fugitive investigators.
BERMAN: All right, Darren, you say that these fugitives might try to blend back in to the general population. Why would they risk that? Why would they risk coming into contact with anyone at all. And if they did make the decision, how would they go about blending?
DARREN GIGLIO, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR, NORTH AMERICAN INVESTIGATIONS: So, I think as time goes by that becomes more of a realistic situation. I mean, hopefully the manhunt and all the law enforcement personnel are able to catch these people before they're actually able to blend into society.
But, you know they have to make a decision. Are they going to be off the grid or going to blend back in, into regular population. Is it going to be a populated city or not. And how are they going to do that.
You know, the first job that they are going to get is to become an actor. You have to basically assume a new identity whether that is going to also be with paperwork. There is a lot of complications that these fugitives face if they want to blend back in. It is a difficult thing, but it can be done. But I think with the way that this manhunt is going, I'm confident that they're going to be caught.
BERMAN: Robert, if they do try to blend in, change their appearance. What is it that might be the hard part? They have tattoos, these guys have tattoos. David Sweat has tattoos on his hand. It is one thing to wear a shirt cover your tattoo on your arm or your chest. But your hands, they could be a giveaway.
[20:10:10] FERNANDEZ: Absolutely. And I think this is a marvelous chance. I could -- I could do the work of 10,000 detectives right now. If anybody watching this, works at a tattoo removal place. Look at these tattoos. If you remember seeing any of this, either of these guys come in to get their tattoos removed or you work at a tattoo parlor and they wanted to get them covered, call the police. Call us.
In the future if these guys come in, don't try to stop them yourself, but discretely go somewhere and call 911. I can guarantee you it will be an army of patrol officers that respond. But that should extend further.
I have gone after prison escapees and ended up at a YMCA. There was a quadruple murder in Richmond, we just went after for a year and ended up at a homeless shelter for a few months in New England.
So anybody work in an homeless shelter, soup kitchens, YMCA, tight places, emergency medical workers. These guys if they're on foot up there, and they have broken an ankle or have a need stitches. Keep an eye - you know, look at these pictures. And it is up to you the public to call in with information. We need your help.
BERMAN: Be alert, that's for sure. Lenny DePaul, Robert Fernandez, Darren Giglio, thanks so much.
And a quick reminder, make sure you can set your DVR so you can watch AC 360 when you would like.
Next, we have more breaking news on past fears that Richard Matt would stage an escape from his murder trial. We also have more on what he is capable of.
Also, two people who can tell us what turns people into killers like Matt. You will hear from Richard Matt's accomplice who watched him torture and murder a man. And two experts on the mind of a killer. We'll ask if knowing how they tick, how the killers tick offers clues into catching them.
[20:24:42] BERMAN: More breaking news tonight in the search for David Sweat and Richard Matt. New insight as well and it just how methodical and ruthless authorities believe Matt to be long before he made his break.
At his trial in 2008 there were snipers on the rooftop, and the "Buffalo News" is reporting on some of the other action law enforcement took back then to head off any attempted breakout.
"Buffalo News" and buffalonews.com reporter Lou Michel has those details. He joins us now by phone.
Lou, you say there was actually a plan, there was a plan for Richard Matt to break out during this murder trial. Explain.
[20:15:20] LOU MICHEL, REPORTER, THE BUFFALO NEWS (via phone): That's correct, John. His -- Matt's attorney at the time, Christopher Privatera had complained there was such a large presence of Niagara county deputies in the courthouse when he was being tried for murdering and dismembering the body of that 76-year-old businessman, his former employer.
But what was not known at the time was that the Niagara county sheriff's department had received credible information that a third party was going to attempt to break him out, bust him out of the Niagara county courthouse in Lockport, New York. It never happened because of the extreme security provided by the deputies.
BERMAN: So you are getting information now that there was a plot to break him out of this trial when it was happening in 2008. Any indication from the people you are talking to that whoever was behind the plot back then in 2008 might be connected to him now and involved with this breakout?
MICHEL: No indication that way. None at all. There have been reports that he is, you know, currently reached out to people with a cell phone to people that he knows currently. But nothing, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if, you know, it is his same collection of acquaintances.
But when we was in the courtroom, the deputies fitted him with an electric stun belt to, you know, thwart him from any type of maneuver to escape. This guy is high, as I said last night, he is highly intelligent. And -- you can't put anything past him.
BERMAN: No, clearly not. If nothing else it shows you the level of concern there has been about him for years and years now.
Lou Michel, thank you so much.
Let's get more on what Richard Matt was convicted of at the trial.
In 1997 he kidnapped his elderly former boss. And what happened next is both hard to stomach and tough to imagine. For one person though, one person still alive that is, what Richard Matt did to that man is not the stuff of imagination. It is living memory. Talking about his accomplice, Lee Bates who watched it happen and served time for his part in making it happen. He spoke here with Anderson last night.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, AC360: People described him as psychotic. He is obviously a killer. Can you explain what, what you have seen him do. What you know he is capable of?
LEE BATES, FUGITIVE'S FORMER ACCOMPLICE (via phone): The better definition is evil. If you wanted to take a picture of the devil that's the face that you would see. He did kill Mr. Rickerson, his old boss in my presence.
COOPER: I understand he tortured him. He -- I mean, he did terrible things to him before finally killing him. Can you just explain a little bit to people who don't know what he did?
BATES: Tortured is an understatement. He used duct tape to tie Mr. Rickerson up. He beat him with anything, and everything that he possibly can, a knife sharpener, a security device, the club for my automobile, he physically grabbed Mr. Rickerson's hands. Pulled his fingers back until they snapped.
BATES: And this is while he was duct taped in the trunk of the car?
BATES: Even before, Richard Matt had beat on him in the house, and in attempts to find Mr. Rickerson's money. And then carried him to my automobile, put him in the trunk and periodically over the almost 30 hours that we were on the road, he would have me stop the car, pull over, begin asking Mr. Rickerson where's his money. I want, I want your money. And beat him. And -- and yes. Eventually when he opened the trunk and Mr. Rickerson told him I'll take you to the money, let me out. And Richard Matt there then said, you have been playing games with me. I don't believe you. And in a fit of rage he reached into the car, grabbed Mr. Rickerson by his head and snapped his neck in front of me.
BERMAN: Almost unbelievable description of Richard Matt, but it actually happened.
I do want to get now, two people who made professions out of probe the dark corners of human behavior, former LAPD psychologist, Kris Mahandie, and former top FBI criminal profiler, Mary Ellen O'Toole.
Mary Ellen, I want to start with you here. When you hear that description of how brutally Richard Matt tortured and murdered his boss what goes through your mind?
[20:20:17] MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, my sense is as I listen and read about him is that this is someone who is probably psychopathic. And that has some very specific meaning.
The level of violence that he shows that he engaged in is really at the extreme end. Almost to the point of being sadistic. And violence for him is not just a means to an end, but it is actually, more likely that it is something that he enjoys because it, it enables him to control and dominate people. So that sadism sets him apart.
But the thing about psychopathy that is very critical to understand is that there all these people have no conscience for their behavior. They are without a conscience. They feel no guilt for what they do which makes anything in the world possible including sadistic behavior like you have seen in his prior cases. So his level of dangerousness is truly at the extreme end of the continuum.
BERMAN: And Kris, Bates said, his accomplice said, that Matt quote, you know, "killed people and smiled about it." He smiled about it. What kind of person does that?
KRIS MOHANDIE, FORMER LAPD PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, what we are talking about is a stone cold psychopath like Mary Ellen said. And he is sadistic. He enjoys it. The power and domination over other people is extremely important to him. Whether that's physically or by pulling another person's emotional heart strings so that he can get what he wants and using people.
This is a man who knows how to charm and manipulate and will keep people around him as long as they're useful. There may be people around him now helping him. But when he is done with them he is done. And like Mary Ellen said, I agree, he is capable of anything. He will not just throw you away. He will destroy you when he is done with you. Stone cold psychopath.
BERMAN: Stone cold psychopath.
The question becomes for now, does it mean he is more likely to make a mistake? Is it easier to spot a person like this on the outside, Kris, or perhaps tell you he'll do anything it takes to stay on the loose? MOHANDIE: He'll do anything it take to stay on the loose. He's got a
taste of freedom. He's all about feeding his ego. Getting what he wants right now. He will do everything he can to blend in. He will use people. But psychopaths are frequently impulsive. And they may have a good plan and be extremely bright like him up to a point. And then they start making mistakes when it comes to the longer term planning. And that's where we have opportunity.
There is people that he will be manipulating. If you are near this guy, don't believe anything he says. When heap is done he's done. And you are at risk. You are in danger no matter what he says. They're always lying.
BERMAN: Mary Ellen, any insight on how to catch him?
O'TOOLE: Well, at this point people are saying he is, he is exhausted, he is worn out, he is fearful. But that is not consistent with psychopathy. They're remarkably resilient individuals, they are optimistic individuals even though he is being chased by, you know, hundreds of law enforcement.
And the other thing is they have a very low threshold for fear. So what would cause you and Kris and I to be extremely fearful, he is not at all afraid. And the most dangerous part of it is that he will engage in this gratuitous violence if he comes across someone not because they keep him from getting the car that he wants to carjack, because he is someone who engages in violence because he enjoys it.
BERMAN: Mary Ellen O'Toole, Kris Mohandie, thanks so much.
BERMAN: Just ahead, we are going to dig deeper what Kris touched on a moment ago. Joyce Mitchell's relationship with the two killers now on the run. Why would she even want to help them? What her family members are saying. That's next.
[20:27:08] BERMAN: Tonight's breaking news, the manhunt for convicted killer, David Sweat and Richard Matt expanded to Vermont. They now have on the run for five days. They described as dangerous, devious, and duplicitous. And yet according to authorities Joyce Mitchell, a prison Taylor, befriended them and may have planned to meet them with a getaway car after their escape. It's (INAUDIBLE) when they got cold feet. Yet, it is one of least comprehensible pieces of the story. Why would she want to help two cold-blooded killers.
Jason Carroll joins me now with details.
And Jason, law enforcement today said that Joyce Mitchell either befriended or was befriended by these two convicts. You spoke to her daughter-in-law today. What did she say about this relationship? JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I spoke to Paige
Mitchell, her daughter-in-law at length this afternoon. And she has heard a lot of these allegations. She has read a lot of reports that are out there. She said, John, that 95 percent of what she is reading and what she is hearing she said is simply not true.
First, I did ask her about that allegation, that her mother-in-law had befriended both Richard Matt and David Sweat. And she talked about that. Here is her first response to that.
She said it is appalling to me. I am totally disgusted that any one would think she had a relationship with these men and that she would knowingly help them.
I also, asked her about that allegation that Joyce Mitchell's cell phone was used in some way to call some of Richard Matt's friend, some of his associates. I asked her about that as well. This was her explanation.
She said, I believe she was persuaded to contact people for him who knew about an art piece or work of art. Her heart was in the right place. She was trying to do something nice and it backfired -- John.
And now we have the notion also, investigators are saying these men used power tools to make their escape. Did Mitchell's daughter-in-law have anything to say about that?
CARROLL: She most certainly did. And you remember, you know, the allegation that somehow, that someone had slipped them power tools to break through the cell wall. The allegation that perhaps her mother- in-law was involved, but that she spoke about that.
She said absolutely no way she would give them power tools. There is no way. It's just ridiculous. She said, she also talked about that allegation that you heard about that once they had escaped into that manhole, that she was going to be the getaway. She was going to help them once they got to the other end. She talked about that as well saying that is simply ridiculous. As you know she checked herself into hospital over the weekend because the whole thing was so stressful.
When I asked her about that, had her mother-in-law been released. She was stressed and released from hospital over the weekend. And as soon as that happened. She was questioned -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Very interesting.
Jason Carroll, thank you so much.
Joining me now is someone who knows firsthand what life is like inside the Clinton correctional facility. Kasimiro Torres spent 16 years in prison including 18 months in Clinton. He now works for the fortune society, a group that helps former inmates get back on their feet after prison. He joins me tonight. You spent time at Clinton. One of the big questions right now has to
do with this prison worker Joyce Mitchell. How much contact, we are not talking about the guards here, we are talking about people who work at the prison. Trades people or tailors in this case. How much contact do they actually have with prisoners?
CASIMIRO TORRES, FORMER CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY INMATE: Well, at - I worked in the tailor shop as well when I was in Clinton. And I may have worked with her. She looks very familiar. I'm not sure if she is the same person I worked with. So, I can't say for sure. But basically the person would be the person you go to for certain instruments or for any particular work issue you have. You would go to the civilian that runs the tailor shop. So, you have pretty good contact with them.
BERMAN: Any one monitoring that contact? Would you be alone?
TORRES: There would be a correctional officer there.
TORRES: Yeah, but not - I mean from my experience, not overly observant. I mean just casually observing.
BERMAN: So, it wouldn't be impossible to have a private conversation?
TORRES: Not at all. I have spoken to the civilian many times. We're out of the ear shot of the officers.
BERMAN: And could one of these people bring in tools, for instance? Look, we don't know how these prisoners got these power tools that allowed them to dig through the walls or break those walls. Is it possible that someone who worked in the prison could get those tools to these prisoners?
TORRES: I would probably depend on the individual and what department they are working in. But then again you have to understand that the facility is pretty much provide whatever is needed. And whenever there is something missing, whether it's a tool, or a piece of metal, they immediately lock everything down until it's found, and they do an investigation.
BERMAN: If they know it is missing.
TORRES: If they know it is missing. That's the whole thing. So, when I heard that the two individuals had tools and all the tools were accounted for, I immediately said to myself, somebody gave it to them.
BERMAN: This is the only way?
TORRES: I would have to say that has to be the only way.
BERMAN: All right, these two inmates were in the honor block.
BERMAN: What kind of privileges would that provide?
TORRES: Well, the cells are not locked like they are in the regular companies. I'm not saying they're not locked in at night like everybody else. But I know, for the most part they have a lot more freedom.
BERMAN: So, at a minimum these two inmates would be able to talk to each other more freely out in public without raising eyebrows. And maybe they would be monitored as closely when they're in the honor block?
TORRES: No, I don't think they would be monitored. I mean this is the point of the honor block.
BERMAN: These men, broke out of this prison. They audaciously, brazenly, and then they almost seem to mock everyone involved. They left a note.
BERMAN: They left a note that said have a nice day.
BERMAN: What do you make of that?
TORRES: I would say that -- to me that speaks of certain level of confidence for whatever reason. It could have been that, you know, whatever plan they had was -- well worked out. You know it could have been because they had not just a plan to get out, but a plan to stay out. Or something on the outside to help them.
BERMAN: When all is said and done here, were you shocked by this that someone could do this, get out of this facility? Or to you was this a matter of time?
TORRES: I was a little bit shocked. Clinton is notorious for the wall. It's a very large wall. And it is something that is overwhelming. You know it is a very big wall in terms of length and height, and it just seems like the appearance itself, any maximum security appearance, when you are in there seems like it is inescapable. But clearly it is not.
BERMAN: Unless you go under it like they seemed to do.
BERMAN: Cas Torres, thanks for being with us.
TORRES: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
BERMAN: Those details coupled with the help they might have had from the prison seamstress if they did. It might seem like something out of a movie until you look at some of the things that have happened in real life. Erik Menendez, for instance, married a woman, who started writing to him, when she saw him on TV. On trial for killing his parents, when he was convicted and he is serving a life sentence. So, what makes someone get into a relationship, whatever kind, with a man who's in prison for life, even on death row, someone with a violent history? Actually, it's been studied quite a bit. We'll have that next.
BERMAN: The breaking news tonight, the search for Richard Matt and David Sweat, expanding. The scope of the investigation is growing. One thing that is not new, however, the notion that a woman, prison worker may have played some role in helping them. Now, we don't know the exact nature of what the relationship was there, but when it comes to other cases we see time and time again that just because a man is a killer or behind bars or on death row, it doesn't necessarily mean his relationship life stops. The question is -- why? Dan Simon reports.
AFTON "STAR" BURTON, DATING CHARLES MANSON: Charlie (INAUDIBLE) literally.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Charles Manson's girlfriend. 53 years his junior.
TAMMI MENENDEZ: He is always there for me emotionally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SIMON: This is the wife of Erik Menendez, one half of the infamous Menendez brothers, the ones who brutally killed their parents. She made a rear appearance on "Larry King" in 2004.
TAMMI MENENDEZ: The holding of the hands when I am with him. It's a big thing. You wouldn't think so. But just being next to him.
SIMON: They are the women who will never know what it is like to do dinner and a movie, that's because their spouses have no hope of getting out of prison. Serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy, among the other notorious murderers who are in committed relationships before they were put to death. Who would decide to get involved with a prisoner?
CHELSEA MORNINGSTAR: I like him for who he is, and I like him no matter where he was.
SIMON: This is 40-year-old Chelsea Morningstar, her boyfriend Charles is serving time at a maximum security prison in Delaware for armed robbery. Incarcerated since 2005. They've been together for about a year.
(on camera): Why date someone in prison?
MORNINGSTAR: Because the option is not to date him at all. Nobody else makes me happy the way he does. [20:40:00]
MORNINGSTAR: And, so, if it's worth it to put up with garbage that comes along with him being in there.
SIMON (voice over): Chelsea says she knew him before he went to prison, but they weren't together then. It was only after he was behind bars that she made the conscious decision to get into a relationship with him.
MORNINGSTAR: He makes me a better person. I make him a better person.
SIMON: There is a host of Web sites dedicated to helping convicts make connections with names like "Inmate Passions" and "Meet an Inmate." They are complete with pictures and profiles. David in a Texas prison writes, "I'm an easy going, goodhearted man who knows how to treat a woman." William at a correctional facility in Michigan says, "I am a god-fearing man looking for a friend, someone who's down to earth and is into keeping their word." And Daniel locked up in Ohio writes, "I have a warm personality and find it easy to make friends. I love to cook and like to write." Experts say oftentimes there is a psychological condition associated with those who seek out convicts.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Hibristofilia is the sexual attraction to someone who has committed a terribly outrageous act. And usually, the more violent or heinous the act, the deeper the attraction.
MORNINGSTAR: I would prefer that he not be in prison. I would prefer that he be here and that we be able to have a normal relationship.
SIMON: Chelsea says she didn't deliberately seek a prisoner to fall in love with. It just happened. Just like it has between so many other women and their partners. People most would never associate with tenderness and affection. Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
BERMAN: Thanks to Dan. Sheila Isenberg has studied this phenomenon extensively, and is the author of e-book "Women Who Love Men Who Kill." She interviewed dozens of women who were married to death row prisoners. Sheila Isenberg joins me now.
So, Sheila, we don't know the exact nature of the relationship between Joyce Mitchell who worked inside this prison and these two convicts. So, we have to be careful on how we discuss it. I guess what I am curious about, though, is there is a difference between the relationships that women who work inside prisons have, and perhaps, women who write letters and fall in love or develop a relationship from the outside?
SHEILA ISENBERG, AUTHOR, "WOMEN WHO LOVE MAN WHO KILL": That is a good question, John. I would think that they have a lot in common. Because the main -- proponent of these relationships is a lack of reality and a surfate (ph) of romantic love and an excitement. Granted the women who work in the prisons won't find the prisons themselves exciting. But what they'll find exciting is the lack of freedom that goes along with the relationship inside the prison. You know, the secretiveness, the hiding behind closed doors, the keeping things hidden from the guards and the other prisoners. I think it is the secretiveness and the excitement, the forbidden nature of these relationships that's common to all these women.
BERMAN: Who has the power in a relationship like this? Is it the convict? Or is it the woman?
ISENBERG: It's the woman. My research showed me that this was the first time for many of these women that they were in power. And they were on top, basically. For example, if a woman working in a prison decides to help a prisoner in any possible way, maybe escape, or getting special privileges or something like that, or if the woman outside of prison, prison has a relationship with a prisoner and she's accepting collect phone calls, or making visits, or acting liaison with his lawyer, she has got the power. She can act. She is the actor, so to speak. He is the passive person. And for many of these women, this is the first time in their lives that they have been active. That they have been in the power position.
BERMAN: Then what can the convict do? What powers does the convict have in this relationship?
ISENBERG: Well, part of the word convict is the word con. And convicts are generally con men. And they con the women. They sweet talk them. And they put the women up on a pedestal. And they give them the kind of attention, the kind of affection and the kind of you're the only one. And you are the center of my world. Kind of attention that -- women don't -- gets in the real world, the outside world. You know, there's the outside world is messy. There is work. There is children. There is problems. There is real life. When a convict is inside and he has got nothing to do but concentrate on this relationship, he can write love letters, and love poetry, do paintings, and, you know, spend hours and hours, wooing this woman. And conning her into thinking she is the center of his universe. And she may, she may well be.
BERMAN: Sheila Isenberg. Thanks so much.
ISENBERG: My pleasure.
BERMAN: Just ahead, new details on the plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq to help train Iraqi soldiers to battle ISIS.
BERMAN: Some critics are already drawing comparisons to Vietnam.
BERMAN: Tonight, we are going to have a better picture of exactly how many more U.S. troops will be heading to Iraq when they will be deploying and what they'll be doing when they get there.
BERMAN: It's been barely 24 hours since plans to send more U.S. troops to train, and advise Iraqi soldiers, since those plans were made public. And already some House Democrats are saying they see similarities to Vietnam. Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me now. Jim, what's the plan here?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, you have got 450 U.S. troops going. They're going to be advising and assisting Sunni tribes in western Iraq to take the fight to ISIS, basically telling them how to take the fight to ISIS. And let's look at the numbers here. Because now in total, you have about 3,500 U.S. troops in Iraq. Now, that's nothing near where we were in 2008. You had 150,000 way down here, and particularly after the president withdrew all troops in 2011. But just in the last year. Look at how much we have come up, from virtually zero, and June of last year. That was when ISIS swept into Iraq from Syria. To 3,000. It'll now be 3,500. Look at that trend line, John, straight up. Not where we were certainly a few years ago, but it keeps growing.
BERMAN: The questions is, will that number - will 3,500 be able to do what the administration wants them to be able to do? What are your sources saying? Will they be effectively able to train the Iraqis? Will the Iraqis turn out to be trained?
SCUITTO: Well, the officials I talked to are confident they will be able to accomplish the task at hand. But let's keep in mind what that task in hand is. No one is expecting them to turn the tide of battle or have suddenly Iraqi forces taking back all this ground from ISIS. They do expect that it will get those Sunni tribes involved in the west. Basically, stop this from being a purely Shiite on ISIS battle, the government in Baghdad. Make it more of a national battle. An Iraqi battle against ISIS. But listen, John, no one I talk to in Iraq, none of the U.S. commanders there talks about this being a fight of weeks or months. They're talking about years. And when you think of this trend line. You wonder how much it is going to continue to rise, when you are talking about a battle that's going on for several years.
BERMAN: It's 3,500 now. Where will it be a year from now? Jim Scuitto, thank you so much.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
BERMAN: Turn now to a dire situation in Louisiana where flooding has left hundreds of homes underwater. The red river is at its highest levels in 70 years. Governor Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency. Take a look at this. These pictures give an idea of the scope of the damage. But the real devastation is on the ground where the battle is being fought with stacked sandbags and crossed fingers. Jennifer Gray reports.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A view most homeowners who live along the red liver in Bossier City, Louisiana, never hoped to have. Swollen, overflowing its banks, swallowing up docks, homes, cars, everything they own. This is the highest the river has been since the 1940s.
SHERIFF JULIAN WHITTINGTON, BOSSIER PARISH: We just came from the channel out there in the river. It's normally around 20 feet. It's 72 feet deep.
GRAY: We took a boat ride along with Bossier Paris sheriff Julian Whittington to get a firsthand look at the damage.
WHITTINGTON: We are actually driving - boating down the street. This used to be a street. You can see the mailboxes there. How deep the water is.
GRAY: The sheriff says more than half a million sandbags have been used. Mainly filled and distributed by local parish inmates. As residents try to build a wall around their home, desperately trying to keep the water out.
WHITTINGTON: Never happened to us before, and hope is it won't happen again.
GRAY: Dusty Williams and his dad have been working around the clock like so many families here stacking sandbags and pumping water trying everything they can to keep the rising water at bay.
DUSTY WILLIAMS, HOMEOWNER: Every time we get another forecast. We've had to come back in. And add more sandbags to it. And we've been working 24 hours a day with friends and family. I can't be more thankful to them to help us. Because there is no way we could do it all day, all night by ourselves.
SIMON: For them it has worked. But for some they weren't so lucky. Hundreds of homes in the area have been impacted. The worst filled chest high with water. Residents living along the river side of the levee say they knew there was a risk of flooding when they moved in. But when they were willing to take.
WILLIAMS: It's a beautiful piece of property. You can't, you can't - I mean whether you build on a bayou, a creek, a river. It could happen.
SIMON: It will be months before the river reaches its normal level. And residents completely dry out.
WHITTINGTON: They have been in for the long haul. And this is going to continue to be a long haul. Even though the water begins to recede. They have to continually run generators, get fuel to it. Man the pumps 24/7 until it gets down below those sandbags. Still a long way to go.
BERMAN: Long way to go. Meteorologist Jennifer Gray joins us now from Boger City. And Jennifer, those pictures are pretty frightening. What are the people there telling you they're most concerned about right now?
GRAY: Well, you know rain is in the forecast, the end of the week and the weekend. Of course, an inch here, half an inch there. Is really not what they're most concerned about.
GRAY: Their biggest concern is actually if a tropical system develops in the Gulf of Mexico in the next four to six weeks.
And dumps, four, six, eight inches of rain across portions of Louisiana, even Texas. That would be their biggest concern. And cause this river to rise even more, John.
BERMAN: We'll be watching the skies for some time. Jennifer Gray. Thank you. We'll be right back.
BERMAN: Quick update on the manhunt before we go. The search for David Sweat and Richard Matt focusing not exclusively but certainly more intensively on Vermont. U.S. Marshals are also now seeking information from authorities in three new states, seeking out any possible connections to the killers. Trying if possible to seal off any avenues of escape. We're going to put the tipline number up at the bottom of your screen. That is the number to call if you see or know anything, but do please bear in mind that your first priority should be staying safe yourself. Of course CNN will cover this throughout the night. We'll keep you posted on all the latest developments. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" starts right now.