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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 4, 2009 10:00pm-12:00am EDT

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fabrication. that is a quote from howard wiseman. bob barker wrote a blog about his number one cause, animal welfare. he is calling attention to a situation involving some captive bears. right now it is erica hill and "ac 360." erica. larry, thanks. you have been following it tonight. breaking news on several fronts. we are going to continue that. the first is a horror story unfolding in western pennsylvania. gun fire and fatalities at a health club at a mall in collier township, half an hour's drive southwest of pittsburgh. local officials telling us five people are dead including the gunman. as many as 15 people wounded in this attack. "the pittsburgh post gazette" quoted witnesses saying a man carrying a duffel bag walk in the back door of an exercise
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class and opened fire. one witness said people were flying off treadmills and she fled through a fire escape. a man unrecognized by gym staff, walked in, turned off the lights and starred shooting at a class in the aerobics center. it is an l.a. fitness in western pennsylvania, south of pittsburgh. these pictures from wtae. there is also more breaking news we are on top of for you tonight. at this moment euna lee and laura ling are airborne. here we see them boarding the plane. former president bill clinton's private jet. here they are on the tarmac in pyongyang. finally they are on their way home. they are due back on u.s. soil tomorrow morning. their release and pardon secured by the former president today. his trip and talks with kim jong
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il described as a private humanitarian mission. there are reports it involved weeks of secret preparation, consultation with the white house and the state department. in fact, one korea expert says mr. clinton did not go to negotiate this. he went to reap the fruits of the negotiations. as for what was said in today's talks, that is still unknown. the white house equally quiet on the developments. the north koreans claim mr. clinton apologized and brought a message from president obama. the white house denies it. what if anything was offered besides a photo-op or two? we'll keep digging. what went into the story, it is a welcome chapter that is starting to be written. euna and laura now somewhere over the pacific. headed to their families in los angeles that is where randy kay joins us with the latest. hi, randy. >> reporter: hi there, erica. tonight we are in santa monica,
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outside the apartment building of lisa ling. she is the sister of laura ling. we are not sure if this is where the family will be reunited. the women were arrested in march. sentenced to june to 12 years of hard labor. the family hoping this day would come but never knowing for sure if it actually would. the women are on the plane heading back here to california with former president bill clinton. they should be landing sometime tomorrow morning. they have to refuel on the way. the family, of course, has been waiting 140 days. laura ling's father spoke to reporters today. he said he learned the news that his daughter had been pardoned and she would be freed on cnn. he was watching cnn and the breaking news came across and he was ecstatic. here is a little more of what he had to say to reporters today. >> of course, i'm elated. this is one of the happiest days of my life so i'm going to go
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down there and see my little girl. i knew something positive was going to happen. and it happened. and i'm so glad and so thankful for all the people that prayers and thoughts. i'm very thankful the state department. i'm very thankful for the government for doing all they can to gain the release. >> reporter: of course this is in a very tough time for the family. euna lee's husband, michael, told "360" their daughter, hannah, who is 4 years old was starting to draw pictures of hannah and her father showing that her mother was no longer in the picture which was very difficult for this 4-year-old and her father to handle. so the family, of course, had asked for mercy from the north korean government and said it was a mistake that the women crossed from china into north korea. the family released a statement tonight. it reads, we are grateful to our
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government, president obama, secretary clinton and the u.s. state department for their dedication and hard work on behalf of american citizens. we especially want to thank president bill clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and vice president al gore for his tireless efforts to bring laura and euna home. it goes on to thank people for their support and says they can't wait to hold euna and laura in their arms. al gore's company who the women worked for released this statement, current media saying thank you to the obama administration, praising bill clinton saying their thoughts are with the families who have shown remarkable courage during these 140 days. once again, erica, families should be back here, the women should be back here early tomorrow morning. we are not sure if they are going to reunite here. they are flying into burbank. doug ling said that today. we will try to catch up with them at some point. >> i imagine there is not much
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sleep for the lee or ling family. when was the last time they heard from either of these women? >> doug ling said today the last time he heard from his daughter, laura, was ten days ago. imagine this, there she is captive in north korea. she calls him and he missed the call but he did get the message. he played it on the answering machine. he said it was very emotional. imagine missing that phone call. >> he is not going to have to worry about missing her tomorrow morning. randy kay in los angeles. the former president's jet landing tomorrow morning. safe to say we will learn more when that jet does touchdown. there are so many questions including how the women were treated, how they fell into north korean hands and what was done to win their release. this story is far from over. here is what we do know from the beginning. march 17th, american journalists laura ling and euna lee are near
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the border between china and north korea working on a story for current tv when they are suddenly arrested possibly after crossing into north korea, accused of being spied and imprisonened. back home two shattered families plea for their release including laura's sister fellow journalist lisa ling. >> what has been the hardest part for you? >> for me, my sister is the best friend in the world. not having her to talk to every single day multiple times a day has been so, so hard. >> reporter: for euna's husband michael, emotions overflow when talk turned to the couple's 4-year-old daughter. >> she drew a picture recently. >> yeah. normally the old pictures she would always draw were always my wife in the center. i would be to the side and smaller and all three of us. she drew a picture and i was the center and it was just her and i. i don't even know what to say. i had to say thank you, hon.
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that is a beautiful picture. deep down inside she didn't include her mother which made me sad. >> reporter: in washington a push for diplomacy becomes immediately. >> we are engaged in all possible ways through every possible channel to secure their release. and we once again urge north korea to grant their immediate release on humanitarian grounds. >> reporter: instead north korea holds a secret trial and on june 8th, the women are sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp for what are described as hostile acts and entering the country illegal. were they being used as pawns between the white house? here is what lisa ling told anderson cooper in june? >> it is crazy to think the fact that right now there is a nuclear standoff going on and laura and euna are in the middle of it. what we are hoping is that our two countries keep these issues totally separate.
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>> reporter: north korea fired more missiles in april, may, even the fourth of july, adding to the concerns for two families in california still grappling with the fact that their loved ones were in a north korean prison. laura's husband iaian clayton described when he heard the news. >> i was writing a letter to laura as i do every day and, you know, the idea -- these three months have been the worst three months of my life. >> michael, how are you doing? how is your daughter hannah doing? >> my daughter is hopeful. she asks is mommy coming home soon. >> reporter: late monday night word former president bill clinton was en route to pyongyang a trip most experts say a trip he wouldn't make if he didn't think laura and euna would be coming back with him. tonight all three are on a plane and the families count the
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seconds to hold laura and euna in their arms. we are following breaking news. the shooting at a gym outside of pittsburgh. join the chat at ac360.com. the clinton connection. what we are learning in the former president's floel this flight to freedom. two birthdays at the white house today. what you have to do to get the president of the united states to serenade you and bring cupcakes. that and more tonight on "360." i drove my first car from my parent's home in the north of england to my new job at the refinery in the south. i'll never forget. it used one tank of petrol and i had to refill it twice with oil. a new car today has 95% lower emissions than in 1970. exxonmobil is working to improve cars, liners of tires, plastics which are lighter and advanced hydrogen technologies
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more for you now on tonight's breaking news. journalists laura ling and euna lee heading home. three simple words their families have been waiting almost five months to hear. the two women are onboard former president bill clinton private jet. they took off from pyongyang just moments ago. they were arrested in march near north korea's border with china and sentenced in june to 12 years hard labor. president clinton secured a pardon and their release. his secret mission lasting less than 24 hours. tom foreman has the details. >> reporter: officially it was all unofficial. when a former president and spouse of the current secretary of state comes calling the official overtones are unmistakable and that is why kim jong il was smiling according to jack pritchard a former u.s. envoy to the region and head of
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the korea economic institute. >> kim jong il has been plagued with health problems. >> a visit like this makes him look strong? >> he looks healthy and happy. it puts to rest speculation internally and externally about his health and command of authority in north korea. >> reporter: so how was the deal done? first, through sweden. the united states has no formal relations with north korea but sweden does. the swedish ambassador has been there since 2005 and he saw the captives repeatedly, keeping back door communications flowing there and at the united nations in new york. by all accounts the state department worked tirelessly through those channels. the white house has not disclosed details. >> this obviously is a very sensitive topic. >> reporter: but foreign affairs
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analysts believe the private talks drove public positions, the second key. for example, secretary clinton initially suggested the charges against the pair were baseless. >> secretary clinton indicated this was somewhat of a sham trial and disparaged the north korea legal system. the north koreans were furious. >> reporter: then a more conciliatory tone. >> the families have expressed great remorse over this incident. i think everyone is very sorry that it happened. >> reporter: the third key, when the obama administration responded to north korea's latest missile test by pressing for sharper international sanctions pritchard said kim jong il needed to turn down the heat. >> this is a way in a face-saving way to recalibrate the relationship with the united states. >> reporter: the final key, bill clinton himself.
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kim jong il wanted then president clinton to visit north korea in 2000. it did not happen but analysts say he never gave up on the idea and in the end that is what sealed the deal. a visit from about the biggest unofficial official america could send. erica. >> tom, thanks. more now on the raw politics with david gergen. he is a crisis management veteran inside the white house. joining us gordon channing, "forbes" columnist. good to have both of you. gordon, there is this belief stated numerous times that president clinton would not have made this trip without some sort of assurance he was going to be coming home with these two women. how much of this deal was brokered or hammered out before he got on the plane? >> i think 99.5%. someone of clinton's stature could not go to pyongyang without having everything worked out in advance.
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everyone thought this would happen because the negotiations over the last week, week and a half were intense in white house. >> the white house, david gergen, has called this a solely private mission. how private could it be? we are hearing rumblings of what was going on at the department of state where his wife is secretary of state. >> the white house and secretary of state have been trying to describe it as a private mission, a humanitarian mission, not at the request of president obama, not one done for the obama administration in order to separate out the question of the release of these two women from the question of nuclear talks. the white house does not want to be seen in a position of in exchange for the women we'll take a softer line on nuclear talks. they want to keep the two separated. i think they are doing that successfully. the signals came from the north koreans through the families that if bill clinton were to come that would be enough to trigger it. that helped to set this off.
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clearly, there has been a lot of negotiating but choreography behind the scenes in order to keep the emphasis on this as a private humanitarian mission. >> to keep that focus on the two women. gordon you are nodding your head. you also said these women were becoming a liability for the regime. >> certainly. the longer the regime held them the more and more people looked at the legal system in north korea. the north koreans didn't like that. the longer they held the women the meaner and vindictive kim jong il looked. they wanted to off load these women. it was in their self-interest. >> we should point out interesting points in the "washington post" by former u.n. ambassador john bolton. he said mr. clinton paid "a form of political ransom." he writes the clinton trip is a significant propaganda victory for north korea. whether or not he carried an official message from president
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obama. despite decades of not negotiating for terrorists, president obama chose to negotiate and sent a former president. making north korea out to be terrorists, these women to be hostages and this is a bad move. >> north korea has not engaged in a major terrorist act for about two decades. they have done awful things in that time. look at what happened since last april. they had the long range missile test the nuclear test, the renunciation of the armistice. >> they have been busy. >> then we send an emissary. that doesn't look too good. maybe bolton's words were not quite right but i get the gist. >> david gergen he wrote these reporters were pawns in a larger game of enhancing the regime's legitimacy and gaining access to important u.s. figures. is this going to give them
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better access and help them dictate where the conversation flows in the future? >> i think that is nonsense and heartless. i sharply disagree here. the united states gave nothing away. bill clinton went in the capacity of a private citizen. that is why the emphasis on privacy is so important. beyond that, if josh bolton had his way these two women would still be in prison. we ought to take a moment to say how exemplary bill clinton's behavior has been since his wife became skaecretary of state. he did something good for the country. people ought to have a higher level of respect for him and thank him for doing what he did. >> david gergen, gordon chang, thank you. one of charles manson's deadly followers and john waters about his friend leslie van
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the manson killers then and now. 40 years ago they slaughtered seven people in a crime that stunned the nation. what do they have to say for themselves today? first tom foreman with the "360" bulletin. updating breaking news in western pennsylvania. a blood bath at a health club outside of pittsburgh. five people are confirmed dead including the gunman. as many as 15 people injured at the l.a. fitness center in the suburb of collier. witnesses say a gunman came in carrying a duffel bag, walked through the back door of the gym and opened fire. iran confirmed the arrest of three american hikers who crossed from abiraqi kurdish region. they have been charged with
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illegal entry. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton and swiss diplomats urged iran to provide information on the missing americans. authorities say toxicology report found a deadly wrong way driver had high levels of marijuana in her system when she crashed her minivan and twice the legal limit of alcohol. a bottle of vodka was found in the wreckage. she killed herself, her children and three oers. in the white house press room president obama shared his birthday spotlight with helen thomas who turned 89 today. president obama served the cupcakes up with a plug for his health care reform plan. >> helen wished for world peace, no prejudice, but she and i had a common birthday wish. she hopes for a real health care reform bill.
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i will leave it up to you, helen, how you want to distribute the cupcakes. >> the president is closing in on another important anniversary here. his 200th day in office. we are going to be looking at that with a big special here, erica. thursday night at 8:00 eastern time. we will have our national report card for the second 100 days of the obama administration. this is something you can get involved in yourself if you want to. we have a way you can go to our website cnn.com, the political section and vote. question number two is health care reform. purple is not a particularly good thing. we are going to collect these through this special. we are going to let you tell us what you think about the president not only about him but congress, the republicans, about how you think things are being handled by secretary of state hillary clinton who probably got
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a boost from this latest news today. it is a great chance for you to interact with your democracy. >> it is. there you go. interact with your favorite network, cnn. i have been checking it out. you can grade the media. go to cnn.com/reportcard. here are the questions, economy, health care reform. click on that. it is as easy as heading to the grades. give it an "a,"" b," "c." it is your chance to be heard and weigh in on the president's second 100 days. cnn.com/reportcard. your chance to have your voice heard. that special is thursday at 8:00. is he a racist cop or victim of discrimination. the boston police officer suspended for explosive remarks about professor henry louis gates. he is suing the city.
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the police department and the mayor of boston. why? we get his side of the story ahead. a bit later, a famous filmmaker defending one of the manson family killers. john waters tells us why he believes one of them should be released. >> a lovely person that could be at a dinner party and no one would imagine this is that person.
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the so-called beer summit is over but the battle over a white officer's arrest of a black
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harvard professor continues to make knew. a new cnn opinion research poll shows the controversy divided along racial lines. nearly 60% of african-americans agree that officer james crowley "acted stupidly" in his arrest of henry louis gates. 29% of white respondents felt that way. another boston cop suspended for making racist comments about professor gates. tonight he says he is the victim. joe johns reports. >> reporter: first he fired off a racially offensive e-mail to the "boston globe" when it got him suspended he fired off a lawsuit saying his civil rights were violated. he complained about a column sympathetic to professor henry louis gates t. e-mail got him suspended from the police department. should the e-mail be enough to cost him his badge?
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you be the judge. he wrote if i was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana eating jungle monkey i would have sprayed him in the face with oc. barrett called it jungle monkey gibberish. he said gates "transcended back to a bumbling jungle monkey and told the writer her column should have been called conduct unbecoming a jungle monkey back to roots. >> he said he is not a racist. he went on television to apologize. >> i am not a racist. >> reporter: the higher ups in beantown erupted. the mayor said barrett is gone, g-o-n-e. >> barrett's e-mail was racist and inflammatory. these racist opinions and feelings have no place in our department or in our society and will not be tolerated.
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>> barrett's lawsuit says he was effectively terminated without due process or equal protection of the law. his contracted rights were violated and accused the city of intentional infliction of emotional distress. former civil rights lawyer lisa bloom doesn't see much merit to the suit. >> officer barrett's comments in writing are extreme and beyond the pale his continued presence would be a disruption and distraction. i think he is entitled to a hearing. that is one thing he asks for in the lawsuit. at that hearing he is going to lose. >> reporter: some might say his words speak for themselves. joe johns, cnn, washington. >> digging deeper now, we are joined by justin barrett and his attorney peter marano. >> good evening. >> you allege the mayor and
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commissioner's actions caused pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, geg redags, injury to reputation and restrictions on personal freedom. in many ways didn't you bring this on yourself with that e-mail you sent on july 22nd? >> erica, i don't think so. i composed the e-mail. i did not mean it to be offensive. i apologized. i have served my country. i volunteered to go to iraq. i serve my city of boston. if i'm charged with a crime i want a chance to answer. i want the chance for a fair hearing. that is why i got my attorney. >> justin in numerous conversations with myself has regretted the choice of words. the choice of words were poor, but they weren't meant to characterize professor gates as a banana eating jungle monkey. they were meant in a response to
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behavior, characterizing the behave. >> what do you believe the politician commissioner and mayor did wrong? why should they be paying damages to justin barrett? >> the damages to justin barrett are that he has been fired. >> he has been suspended. he has been fired yet. >> he actually has been fired. >> when did that happen? >> the mayor of the city got on tv and spelled it out, he is gone. g-o-n-e. >> when i talked to the police department they said he was suspended. he hasn't officially been fired, correct? >> well, in our opinion he has been officially fired. >> i want to be clear for everybody at home because it sounds like we are talking about different things. he has been suspended and suspended with pay. you claim the mayor has fired him on tv but no one has officially told you your client
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has been fired. >> my client has been fired. whether we get a formal letter in the mail or an audience on television he is fired. he is the man who is supposed to sit and listen to my client's explanation about his actions. he is supposed to be afforded a fair hearing before anyone says he's gone or he is a cancer that needs to be cut out. >> when you are a police officer as with so many other jobs in this country, specifically public servants aren't you held to a higher standard? whether you are on duty wearing the uniform or off duty sitting at home. certain things are expected as police officers. did your client violate the trust the public has with him? >> my client offered a response expressing his opinion as a private citizen. is he heltd to a higher standard? absolutely. being held to a higher standard shouldn't eradicate his right under the first amendment for
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free speech. that is part and parcel of the lawsuit. >> if you are reinstated do you feel you could continue to do your job effectively? >> i would stand up and perform my duties every day like i have done. i have been working since i was 12 years old. i worked every day of my life. i'm a hard worker, honest and can perform my duties. >> we appreciate your time. thanks for being with us tonight. >> thank you, erica. >> tomorrow night we will take you deep inside the war next door. michael ware uncovering the most ruthless cartels la zeta. a death squad descended on this home with guns and grenades. inside a police commander, his wife and four children killed. the youngest victim just 6 years old t. dea calls them the most sophisticated and violent of the cartels. and they already have a strong hold north of the border and it turns out they are getting stronger.
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michael ware's report coming up tomorrow on "360" right here. still ahead tonight on "360" the manson killers have been locked away for decades for the grisly murders. their crimes stunned the nation. you hear from one of the killers, why she believes she deserves to be set free. breaking news out of pennsylvania, a deadly shooting at a gym in pittsburgh. the gunman turned off the lights before opening fire. we have the latest. (announcer) this is nine generations of the world's most revered luxury sedan. this is a history of over 50,000 crash-tested cars... this is the world record for longevity and endurance. and one of the most technologically advanced automobiles on the planet. this is the 9th generation e-class.
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we are getting more information on the breaking news outside of the pittsburgh area. we are going to get you that as soon as we can. we are getting news from witnesses. stay with us for that. meantime, as we get that together for you, we look back at one of the most shocking crimes of the 20th century. all this week we are looking at a madman called charles manson and his so-called family who butchered seven people. this sunday is the 40th anniversary of those murders. last night we brought you back to the crime scenes. tonight we profile the manson killers then and now. we are going to take a look at a rather controversial plea from one well known filmmaker. john waters. he is a well known filmmaker. he has become friendly over the last quarter century with one of
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the killers and now believes that she should night be released. leslie van houten was 19 year old when she and other followers of manson went on the infamous killing spree. she continues to plea for her release. >> i was raised to be a decent human being. i turned into a monster and i have spent these years going back to a decent human being. i don't know what else to say. >> van houten wants her freedom. she has supporters including john waters. he discusses his relationship with her from his book "role models." john waters joins us now. good to have you with us. >> thank you. >> you were inspired by charles manson in many ways in your early days. >> well, i certainly was -- it was amazing.
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we were making movies that were trying to shock the world and they did. i learned how irresponsible i was in a punk rocker for charlie manson and all of that. when i've seen the horrible things that happened to the victims and their families and the families of leslie van houten and what she has gone through. she has been in jail 40 years and has taken full responsibility for her part. >> what is it specifically about leslie van houten says she should be on the street? >> she takes full responsibility for everything that happened in the labianca home. she went in a complete lunatic and ended up a very sober person who really takes responsibility and wants to lead a quiet life if she ever gets out. >> that would be a tough pill for any of the victims' families
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to swallow knowing she was, in fact, free. have you spoken with any of the victims' families. >> no, i haven't. nothing they can say is wrong. they are speaking from a personal thing and they have every bit -- i address in my piece the most devastating things they have said against leslie. i have quoted the best things they have said. >> you have quoted them extensively in this book. put in a number of the things they said and you understand where they are coming from still you are pushing for her release. have they contacted you saying we know mr. waters, back off? >> no, they haven't. they would have every right to do that. i'm speaking for what society does. if there are rules for parole and i do believe there are some people that can be rehabilitated and deserve a second chance. >> why do you think it is that leslie van houten has not been granted parole? is it simply the notoriety of these murders.
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>> yes. charlie manson has become freddie kruger. he is a halloween outfit now. people don't know the whole story and they think it is like a horror movie. leslie has tried everything, as she said, i have spent 40 years trying to become the person i would have been if i hadn't met him. i think she actually has. >> what about the other convicted murderers here who are still in jail? do you believe they should be released as well? >> i can't -- i'm not here to talk about them. it doesn't matter what i think about them. leslie is my friend. >> it is a fascinating tale. one that could leave people divided. john waters, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> last night we brought you back to the crime scene. we were profiling some of those involved, van houten and the rest then and now. here is ted rowlands with that report. >> reporter: they shocked the world, young, good looking
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american kids in their 20s laughing about butchering their innocent victims. the manson killers are now in their 60s. tex watson, leslie van houten, patricia krenwinkle, and watson and krenwinkle took part in all seven murders. the next day they came to this house with van houten where they tortured and killed leno and rosemary labianca. >> i stood in a hallway and looked into a blank room that was like a den. i stood there until tex turned me around and handed me a knife and he said, do something. i went back in the bedroom and mrs. labianca was laying on the floor in her stomach and i
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stabbed her in the back. >> reporter: watson held down 8 1/2 month pregnant sharon tate as she pleaded for her and her child's life. >> reporter: how manson convinced his flock to kill and torture without remorse baffled the world. manson family members say it was a combination of charisma, drugs and manson's knack for recruiting the right group of vulnerable followers. >> it was us. live birds with our mouths open, feed us. he would be saying the things he was thinking. we thought he had an in to our very thoughts and heart. >> reporter: they say they left broken homes. watson would be manson's right-hand man. the faces of the manson killers have gotten older.
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the courthouse smiles and giggles replaced with pleas for forgiveness. >> i'm appalled that i could even have been involved with something like that. >> it is difficult to deal with this. i admit i made a mistake because i feel terrible about it, but i cannot change it no matter what i do i cannot change one minute of my life. >> granted, i have committed one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind. i realize that and i'm very remorseful for that and would give anything if i could pay for it. >> reporter: first sentenced to death the manson killers were given life sentences when the death penalty was abolished. charles manson remains in prison and has over the years attended his parole hearings. susan atkins has terminal brain cancer.
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last year her compassionate plea for release was denied. krenwinkle and watt sob have parole hearings before the end of the year. van houten is not expected to have a hearing until 2010. 40 years later all four claim they are remorseful. the family of sharon tate doesn't believe any of them deserve the mercy that sharon and her unborn child never saw. ted rowlands, cnn, los angeles. >> not only the family of sharon tate speaking out. john waters believes leslie van houten should be released. alice labianca. the ex-wife of leno labianca. she read a letter at the 1998 parole hearing. she said leslie van houten chose her own path, to follow the instructions of charles manson, drug crazed killers as her family.
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what about my family? when do we get our parole? when does leno get his parole? sympathy thr these killers and especially this one is misplaced. new and frankly chilling detaili detailing are emerged from a health club shooting. five are dead, 15 are wounded. wtae says a man with a duffel bag walked into an exercise room and turned off the lights before opening fire. police described the scene as utter terror, some lit only by muzzle flashes. >> i was in a spinning class. the class was over with. i was in the locker room getting my i testimonies and on my way out. i stopped i guess to wash my hands. at that point i heard gun fire. >> which you were not expecting. >> that was the furthest thing -- i talked myself out of it. surely that is not gun fire in a
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gym. a few seconds later a guy came running into the locker room and he said somebody is shooting. a few of us in the locker room made our way out the back door through the pool exit. a couple of guys say we have girls shot over here. one girl was shot in the thigh. another girl shot in the back. >> what happened was is they were in a pilates class and they turned the lights out and the shooting started. one of the guys had a black hat on. that is all she knew. >> he shut the lights off in the aerobic room. i could see flashes in the dark. that is when i realized that someone was using a firearm inside of there. >> i took my headphones off and then i heard a loud banging noise repeatedly like three or four. that is when i knew what was going on, someone was shooting the place up with a firearm. >> how shocking was that?
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>> it was pretty intense. >> there is no word on the killer's identity nor an apparent motive. we will bring you more as we learn it. ahead on "360," a ban against facebook and other social networking sites. who is no longer allowed to use them? reunited after years away, a best friend returns. our favorite kind of story. ♪ anyone can prove they're strong once. the real question is can they prove it again and again.
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coming up in the next hour we'll have more on our breaking news. americans coming home. two journalists freed in north korea with help from former president bill clinton. tom foreman back with the "360" bulletin. >> the top u.s. commander in iraq disagrees with the colonel's call to declare victory. general ray odierno says the u.s. is needed in iraq until the end of 2011. last week a memo written by an adviser was leaked in which he called for u.s. withdrawal next august. a new study suggests people as young as 40 with borderline cholesterol levels are at greater disease of alzheimer's disease. the pentagon is reviewing its policy on access to social networking sites for all
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military personnel. after the marine corps issued a ban on its own computer network for security reason. marines can access facebook on their own personal computers. a "360" follow-up. nine years after an australian family saw their dog vanish, they are reunited. muff was found 1,200 miles from home thanks to a micro chip in her neck. she was reunited with her owners who were happy to have her back. >> look at that sweet face. >> is your dog chipped, tom foreman? >> our dog is chipped. >> so is mine. >> our dog stays under our control at all times. >> just in case we are prepared. >> just in case we make a mistake. she is a lovely dog and muff looks like a lovely dog. >> we are not done. the latest on the breaking news out of north korea. laura ling and euna lee in the
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air on their way home to their families, pardoned by north korea's leader. what exactly did former president clinton do and say to secure their release? look out michael phelps. who is that manly swimmer, you ask? how about vladimir putin. oh, yes. it is summertime. the living is easy and putin is shedding his dark suit, showing off his unclothed side. a nice shot when "360" cots. this is my verizon small business specialist, tom. now, i know the catering business but when i walked in here
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we continue with our breaking news of the release and pardon of laura ling and euna lee. dan lothian has late-breaking details on what has happened with this private mission. dan? >> reporter: i just got off a phone call, a briefing with some senior administration officials and highlights from that phone call. the president obama did reach out to the family members of both of the journalists calling them between 8:30 and 9:30 tonight to congratulate them. we learned that this whole meeting between former president clinton going to north korea started by a phone call from the two journalists to their family members in july.
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they mentioned that the people in north korea who are holding them had said we would be willing to grant you amnesty if you can get a high level envoy like president clinton to come here and gain your release. officials saying president clinton said he was willing to do this if he could ensure his mission would be successful. they got that guarantee. he decided to go. that is the latest from the white >> that mission was successful. much more at the top of the hour right here on "360." my nexium. announcer: for many, one prescription nexium pill a day can heal damage to the esophagus that acid reflux disease may cause over time. and nexium can provide 24-hour heartburn relief. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are possible side effects of nexium and other serious stomach conditions may still exist. announcer: ask your doctor about the healing purple pill. learn how you can save online. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
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breaking news on several fronts. we are going to continue that. the first is a horror story unfolding at this hour in western pennsylvania. gunfire and fatalities at a health club at a mall in collier township, half an hour's drive southwest of pittsburgh. here is what we know at this hour. local officials telling us five people are dead including the gunman. as many as 15 people wounded in this attack. "the pittsburgh post gazette" quoted witnesses saying a man carrying a duffel bag walk in the back door of an exercise class and opened fire.
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one witness said people were flying off treadmills and she and others managed to flee through a fire escape. witnesses the telling our affiliate wtae a man unrecognized by gym staff, walked in, turned off the lights and starred shooting at a class in the aerobics center. this is a live picture of the scene. it is an l.a. fitness in western pennsylvania, south of pittsburgh. these pictures from wtae. we are going to continue to follow this. bring you the latest updates. there is also more breaking news we are on top of for you tonight. at this moment euna lee and laura ling are airborne. you are about to see them -- here we see them boarding the plane. former president bill clinton's private jet. here they are on the tarmac in pyongyang. after almost five months in north korean captivity. finally they are on their way home. they are due back on u.s. soil tomorrow morning. their release and pardon secured by the former president today. his trip and talks with kim jong
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il described as a private humanitarian mission. there are reports it involved weeks of secret preparation, consultation with the white house and the state department. in fact, one korea expert says "mr. clinton did not go to negotiate this. he went to reap the fruits of the negotiation." as for what was said in today's talks, that is still unknown. the white house equally quiet on the developments. the north koreans claim mr. clinton apologized and brought a message from president obama. the white house denies it. what if anything was offered besides a photo-op or two for the dear leader in dispute? we'll keep digging. what went into the story, it is a welcome chapter that is starting to be written. euna and laura now somewhere over the pacific. headed to their families in los angeles that is where randy kay joins us with the latest. hi, randy. >> reporter: hi there, erica. tonight we are in santa monica,
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outside the apartment building of lisa ling. she is the sister of laura ling. we are not sure if this is where the family will be reunited. we came here just in case. as you know, the women were arrested in march. sentenced in june to 12 years of hard labor in one of north korea's prison camps. the family hoping this day would come but never knowing for sure if it actually would. the women are on the plane heading back here to california with former president bill clinton. they should be landing sometime tomorrow morning. they have to refuel on the way. the family, of course, has been waiting 140 days. laura ling's father, doug ling, spoke to reporters today. he said he learned the news that his daughter had been pardoned and she would be freed on cnn. he was watching cnn and the breaking news came across and he was ecstatic. here is a little more of what he had to say to reporters today. >> of course, i'm elated. this is one of the happiest days
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of my life so i'm going to go down there and see my little girl. i knew something positive was going to happen. and it happened. and i'm so glad and so thankful for all the people that prayers and thoughts. i'm very thankful to the state department. i'm very thankful for the government for doing all they can to gain the release. >> reporter: of course this is in a very tough time for the family. euna lee's husband, michael, told "360" their daughter, hannah, who is 4 years old was starting to draw pictures of herself at age 4, hannah and her father showing that her mother was no longer in the picture, which was very difficult for this 4-year-old and her father to handle. so the family, of course, had asked for mercy from the north korean government and said it was a mistake that the women crossed from china into north korea. the family released a statement tonight.
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it reads, we are grateful to our government, president obama, secretary clinton and the u.s. state department for their dedication and hard work on behalf of american citizens. we especially want to thank president bill clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and vice president al gore for his tireless efforts to bring laura and euna home. it goes on to thank people for their support and says they can't wait to hold euna and laura in their arms. al gore's company who the women worked for released this statement, current media saying thank you to the obama administration, praising bill clinton saying their thoughts are with the families who have shown remarkable courage during these 140 days. once again, erica, families should be back here, the women should be back here early tomorrow morning. we are not sure if they are going to reunite here. we are told they are flying into burbank. doug ling said that today. we will try to catch up with them at some point. >> i imagine there is not much
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sleep for either the ling or lee families tonight. when was the last time they heard from either of these women? >> doug ling said today the last time he heard from his daughter, laura, was ten days ago. imagine this, there she is captive in north korea. she calls him and he missed the call but he did get the message. he played it on the answering machine. he said it was a very emotional message. he didn't say what she said. imagine missing that phone call. >> he is not going to have to worry about missing her tomorrow morning. that is the good news tonight. randy kay in los angeles. the former president's jet landing tomorrow morning. safe to say we will learn more when that jet does touch down. there are so many questions including how the women were treated, how they fell into north korean hands and what was done to win their release. in that sense, of course, this story is far from over. here is what we do know from the beginning. march 17th, american journalists laura ling and euna lee are near
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the border between china and north korea working on a story for current tv when they are suddenly arrested possibly after crossing into north korea, accused of being spies and imprisoned. back home two shattered families plea for their release including laura's sister fellow journalist lisa ling. >> what has been the hardest part for you? >> for me, my sister is my best friend in the world. not having her to talk to every single day multiple times a day has been so, so hard. >> reporter: for euna's husband michael, emotions overflow when talk turned to the couple's 4-year-old daughter. >> she drew a picture recently. >> yeah. yeah. normally the old pictures she would always draw were always my wife in the center. i would be to the side and smaller and all three of us. she drew a picture and i was the center and it was just her and i. i don't even know what to say. i had to say thank you, hon. that is a beautiful picture.
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deep down inside she didn't include her mother which made me sad. >> reporter: in washington a push for diplomacy becomes immediately. becoming more public as a trial for the two women approaches. >> we are engaged in all possible ways through every possible channel to secure their release. and we once again urge north korea to grant their immediate release on humanitarian grounds. >> reporter: instead north korea holds a secret trial and on june 8th, the women are sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp for what are described as hostile acts and entering the country illegal. were they being used as pawns between the white house? and a regime seeking nuclear weapons? here is what lisa ling told anderson cooper back in june. >> it is crazy to think the fact that right now there is a nuclear standoff going on and laura and euna are in the middle of it. what we are hoping is that our two countries keep these issues totally separate.
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>> reporter: north korea fired more missiles since the women were arrested. launching rockets in april, may, even the fourth of july, adding to the concerns for two families in california still grappling with the fact that their loved ones were in a north korean prison. laura's husband iaian clayton described his reaction when he heard that news. >> i was writing a letter to laura as i do every day and, you know, the idea -- these three months have been the worst three months of my life. >> michael, how are you doing? how is your daughter hannah doing? >> my daughter is hopeful. she asks is mommy coming home soon? i just say keep your hope up. >> reporter: late monday night word former president bill clinton was en route to pyongyang a trip most experts say he wouldn't make if he didn't think laura and euna would be coming back with him. tonight all three are on a plane and the families count the seconds to hold laura and euna in our arms.
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>> we will, of course, continue to follow our other breaks news tonight. the shooting at a gym outside of pittsburgh. join the chat at ac360.com. i'm about to log on. up next -- the clinton connection. what we are learning about the former president's role in this flight to freedom. two birthdays at the white house today. what you have to do to get the president of the united states to serenade you and bring cupcakes. that and more tonight on "360." mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help? yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you. you okay? yeah.
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shopping less and saving more. now, that's progressive. call or click today. more for you now on tonight's breaking news. journalists laura ling and euna lee heading home.
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three simple words their families have been waiting almost five months to hear. the two women are onboard former president bill clinton private jet. they took off from pyongyang just hours ago and are expected to touchdown in los angeles tomorrow morning. they were arrested in march near north korea's border with china and sentenced in june to 12 years hard labor. president clinton secured a pardon for the women and, of course, his release. his secret mission lasting less than 24 hours. tom foreman has the details. >> reporter: officially it was all unofficial. when a former president and spouse of the current secretary of state comes calling the official overtones are unmistakable and that is why kim jong il was smiling according to jack pritchard a former u.s. envoy to the region and head of the korea economic institute. >> as you know for the last year, kim jong il has been
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plagued by health problems. there have been speculations he is not going to survive very long. >> a visit like this makes him look strong? >> he looks healthy and happy. it puts to rest speculation internally and externally about his health and command of authority in north korea. >> reporter: so how was the deal done? first, through sweden. the united states has no formal relations with north korea but sweden does. the swedish ambassador has been there since 2005 and he saw the captives repeatedly, keeping back door communications flowing there and at the united nations in new york. by all accounts the state department worked tirelessly through those channels. the white house has not disclosed details. >> this obviously is a very sensitive topic. >> reporter: but foreign affairs analysts believe the private talks drove public positions, the second key.
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for example, secretary clinton initially suggested the charges against the pair were baseless. >> secretary clinton indicated this was somewhat of a sham trial and disparaged the north korea legal system. the north koreans were furious. >> reporter: then suddenly last month a much more conciliatory tone. >> the two journalists and their families have expressed great remorse for this incident and i think everyone is very sorry that it happened. >> reporter: the third key, when the obama administration responded to north korea's latest missile test by pressing for sharper international sanctions pritchard said kim jong il needed to turn down the heat. >> this is a way in a face-saving way to recalibrate the relationship with the united states. >> reporter: the final key, bill clinton himself. kim jong il wanted then president clinton to visit north korea in 2000.
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it did not happen but analysts say he never gave up on the idea and in the end that is what sealed the deal. a visit from about the biggest unofficial official america could send. erica. >> tom, thanks. more now on the raw politics with david gergen. in addition to being our senior political analyst is a crisis management veteran inside the white house. joining us gordon chang, "forbes" columnist. and author of -- good to have both of you. gordon, there is this belief stated numerous times that president clinton would not have made this trip without some sort of assurance he was going to be coming home with these two women. how much of this deal was brokered or hammered out before he got on the plane? >> i think 99.5%. someone of clinton's stature could not go to pyongyang without having everything worked out in advance. everyone thought this would happen because the negotiations over the last week, week and a half were intense in white house. >> the white house, david gergen, has called this a solely private mission.
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how private could it be? we are hearing rumblings of what was going on at the department of state where his wife is secretary of state. >> the white house and secretary of state have been very carefully trying to describe it as a private mission, a humanitarian mission, not at the request of president obama, not one done for the obama administration in order to separate out the question of the release of these two women from the question of nuclear talks. the white house does not want to be seen in a position of in exchange for the women we'll take a softer line on nuclear talks. they want to keep the two separated. i think they are doing that successfully. the signals came from the north koreans through the families that if bill clinton were to come that would be enough to trigger it. that helped to set this off. clearly, there has been a lot of negotiating but choreography
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behind the scenes in order to keep the emphasis on this as a private humanitarian mission. >> to keep that focus on the two women. gordon you are nodding your head. you also said these women were becoming a liability for the regime. >> certainly. the longer the regime held them the more and more people looked at the legal system in north korea. the north koreans didn't like that. the longer they held the women the meaner and vindictive kim jong il looked. certainly they didn't like that. they wanted to off load these two women. it was a gesture of friendship. it was in their self-interest. >> we should point out interesting points in the "washington post" by former u.n. ambassador john bolton. he likens this saying mr. clinton paid a form of political ransom. this stuck out, he writes the clinton trip is a significant propaganda victory for north korea. whether or not he carried an official message from president obama. despite decades of rhetoric about not negotiating for terrorists the obama
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administration chose to negotiate and sent a former president to do so. making north korea out to be terrorists, these women to be hostages and this is a bad move. >> north korea has not engaged in a major terrorist act for about two decades. they have done awful things in that time. look at what happened since last april. they had the long range missile test. they had the nuclear test. the renunciation of the korean war armistice. >> they have been busy. >> then we send an emissary. that doesn't look too good. maybe bolton's words were not quite right but i get the general drift and he has put his finger on something. >> david gergen he wrote these reporters were pawns in a larger game of enhancing the regime's legitimacy and gaining access to important u.s. figures. is this going to give them better access and help them dictate where the conversation flows in the future? >> i think that is nonsense and heartless.
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as much as i respect john bolton for some of his views i just sharply disagree here. the united states gave nothing away. bill clinton went in the capacity of a private citizen. that is why the emphasis on privacy is so important. beyond that, if josh bolton had his way these two women would still be in prison. finally, i must say, we ought to take a moment to say how exemplary bill clinton's behavior has been since his wife became secretary of state. a lot of people thought he would be a loose cannon. he has been totally supportive. he has been quiet. he did something good for the country. people ought to have a higher level of respect for him and thank him for doing what he did. >> david gergen, gordon chang, thank you for being with us and offering your insight. one of charles manson's deadly followers and unlikely supporter. john waters abhis friend leslie van houten. two milestones at the white house, two birthdays and half a dozen presents.
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still ahead tonight on "360" the manson killers have been locked away for decades for the grisly murders.
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their crimes stunned the nation. you hear from one of the authorities today said toxicology reports found a deadly wrong way driver had high levels of marijuana in her system when she crashed her minivan and twice the legal limit of alcohol. a bottle of vodka was found in the wreckage. she killed herself, her children and three others. in the white house press room president obama shared his
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birthday spotlight with helen thomas who turned 89 today. president obama marking his 48th year. he served the cupcakes up with a plug for his health care reform plan. >> helen wished for world peace, no prejudice, but she and i had a common birthday wish. she hopes for a real health care reform bill. i will leave it up to you, helen, how you want to distribute the cupcakes. >> the president is closing in on another important anniversary here. his 200th day in office. we are going to be looking at that with a big special here, erica. thursday night at 8:00 eastern time. we will have our national report card for the second 100 days of the obama administration. this is something you can get involved in yourself if you want to. we have a way you can go to our website cnn.com, the political section and vote.
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question number two is health care reform. purple is not a particularly good thing. we are going to collect these through this special. we are going to let you tell us what you think about the president not only about him but congress, the republicans, about how you think things are being handled by secretary of state hillary clinton who probably got a boost from this latest news today. it is a great chance for you to interact with your democracy. >> it is. there you go. interact with your favorite network, cnn. i have been checking it out. you can grade the media. i hope you give us a great grade. go to cnn.com/reportcard. here are the questions, economy, health care reform. click on that. it is as easy as heading to the grades. give it an "a," "b," "c." it is your chance to be heard and weigh in on the president's second 100 days.
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cnn.com/reportcard. your chance to have your voice heard. that special is thursday at 8:00. is he a racist cop or victim of kiss krim nation? our interview with the boston police officer suspended for explosive remarks about professor henry louis gates. now he is suing the city. the police department and the mayor of boston. why? we get his side of the story ahead. a bit later, a famous filmmaker defending one of the manson family killers. john waters tells us why he believes one of them should be released. >> a lovely person that could be at a dinner party and no one would imagine this is that person. dallas. detroit. different rates. well with us, it's the same flat rate. same flat rate. boston. boise? same flat rate. alabama. alaska? with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate.
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the so-called beer summit is over but the battle over a white officer's arrest of a black harvard professor continues to make knew. a new cnn opinion research poll shows the controversy divided along racial lines. nearly 60% of african-americans agree that officer james crowley "acted stupidly" in his arrest of henry louis gates. 29% of white respondents felt that way. another boston cop suspended for making racist comments about professor gates. tonight he says he is the victim. joe johns reports. >> reporter: first he fired off a racially offensive e-mail to the "boston globe" when it got him suspended he fired off a
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lawsuit saying his civil rights were violated. he complained about a column sympathetic to harvard professor henry louis gates recently arrested by the cambridge police. the e-mail got him suspended from the police department. should the e-mail be enough to cost him his badge? you be the judge. he wrote if i was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana eating jungle monkey i would have sprayed him in the face with oc. apparently a reference to police issued pepper spray. barrett called part of the writer's column jungle monkey gibberish. he said gates "transcended back to a bumbling jungle monkey and told the writer her column should have been called conduct unbecoming a jungle monkey back to one's roots. barrett did assert in the e-mail he is not a racist and went on tv to apologize. >> i am not a racist. i did not intend racial bigotry
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harm in my words. >> reporter: the higher ups in beantown erupted. the mayor said barrett is gone, g-o-n-e. the police chief put barrett on administrative leave. >> barrett's e-mail was racist and inflammatory. these racist opinions and feelings have no place in our department or in our society and will not be tolerated. >> barrett's lawsuit says he was effectively terminated without due process or equal protection of the law, among other things. that his contract rights were violated and accused the city of intentional infliction of emotional distress. former civil rights lawyer lisa bloom doesn't see much merit to the suit. >> officer barrett's comments in writing are extreme and beyond the pale his continued presence on the police force would be a disruption and a distraction. and i think he has to go. i think he is entitled to a hearing. that is one thing he asks for in the lawsuit. he is probably entitled to a
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hearing but at that hearing he is going to lose. >> reporter: some might say his words speak for themselves. joe johns, cnn, washington. >> digging deeper now, we are joined by justin barrett and his attorney peter marano. joining us tonight from boston. gentlemen, thank you both for being with us. >> good evening. >> in the complaint you filed you allege the mayor and commissioner's actions caused pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional disstress, post traumatic stress, sleeplessness, degradation, injury to reputation and restrictions on his personal freedom. in many ways didn't you bring this on yourself with that e-mail you sent on july 22nd? >> erica, i don't think so. i composed the e-mail. i did not mean it to be offensive. i apologized. i have served my country. i volunteered to go to iraq. i serve my city of boston. if i'm charged with a crime i want a chance to answer. i want the chance for a fair
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hearing. that is why i got my attorney. >> justin in numerous conversations with myself has regretted the choice of words. the choice of words were poor, but they weren't meant to characterize professor gates as a banana eating jungle monkey. they were meant in a response to behavior, characterizing the behavior. not the person as a whole. >> what do you believe the mayor and police commissioner did wrong? why should they be paying damages to justin barrett? >> the damages to justin barrett are that he has been fired. >> he has been suspended. he hasn't been fired yet. >> he actually has been fired. >> he was suspended with pay. >> when did that happen? >> the mayor of the city got on tv and spelled it out, he is gone. g-o-n-e. >> when i talked to the police department this afternoon they didn't tell me he was fired. he was suspended and they are waiting to set that hearing
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date. he hasn't officially been fired, correct? >> well, in our opinion he has been officially fired. >> i want to be clear for everybody at home because it sounds like we are talking about different things. he has been suspended and suspended with pay. you claim the mayor has fired him on tv but no one has come to you and officially told you your client has been fired? >> my client has been fired. whether we get a formal letter in the mail or the mayor on television telling an audience he is fired. he is the man who is supposed to sit and listen to my client's explanation about his actions. he is supposed to be afforded a fair hearing before anyone says he's gone or he is a cancer that needs to be cut out. >> when you are a police officer as with so many other jobs in this country, specifically public servants aren't you held to a higher standard? whether you are on duty wearing the uniform or off duty sitting at home. certain things are expected as police officers.
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did your client violate the trust the public has with him? >> my client offered a response expressing his opinion as a private citizen. is he held to a higher standard? absolutely. being held to a higher standard shouldn't eradicate his right under the first amendment for free speech. that is part and parcel of the lawsuit. >> if you are reinstated do you feel you could continue to do your job effectively? >> i would stand up and perform my duties every day like i have done. i have been working since i was 12 years old. i worked every day of my life. i'm a hard worker, honest and can perform my duties. >> we'll continue to follow the case. we appreciate your time. thanks for being with us tonight. >> thank you, erica. >> tomorrow night we will take you deep inside the war next door. michael ware uncovering the most ruthless cartels la zeta. this is their latest work.
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check this out. a death squad descended on this home with guns and grenades. it happened predawn. inside a police commander, his wife and four children killed. the youngest victim just 6 years old. the dea calls them the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and violent of the cartels. and they already have a strong hold north of the border and it turns out they are getting stronger. michael ware's report coming up tomorrow on "360" right here. still ahead tonight on "360" the manson killers have been locked away for decades for the grisly murders they committed. their crimes stunned the nation. you hear from one of the killers, why she believes she deserves to be set free. breaking news out of pennsylvania, a deadly shooting at a gym near pittsburgh. reports that the gunman turned off the lights before opening fire. we have the latest. )%)%)%)%)%)%%
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this week we are taking a look back of one of the shocking crimes ott the 20th century. all this week we are looking at a madman called charles manson and his so-called family who butchered seven people. this sunday is the 40th anniversary of those murders. last night we brought you back to the crime scenes. tonight we profile the manson killers then and now. ted rowlands reports.
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>> reporter: they shocked the world, young, good looking american kids in their 20s laughing about butchering their innocent victims. the manson killers are now in their 60s. tex watson, leslie van houten, patricia krenwinkle, and watson and krenwinkle took part in all seven murders. five at the home of sharon tate in beverly hills. the next day they came to this house with van houten where they tortured and killed leno and rosemary labianca. >> i stood in a hallway and looked into a blank room that was like a den. i stood there until tex turned me around and handed me a knife and he said, do something. i went back in the bedroom and mrs. labianca was laying on the floor on her stomach and i stabbed her numerous times in the back. >> reporter: atkins was with
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watson and krenwrinkle during the tate murders, holding down 8 1/2 month pregnant sharon tate as she pleaded for her and her child's life. >> she asked me to let her baby live. what did you tell her? >> i told her i didn't have any mercy for her. >> reporter: how manson convinced his flock to kill and torture without remorse baffled the world. manson family members say it was a combination of charisma, drugs and manson's knack for recruiting the right group of vulnerable followers. >> it was us. live birds with our mouths open, feed us. he would be saying the things he we had been thinking. we thought he had an in to our very thoughts and heart. >> reporter: atkins, krenwinkle and van houten say they left broken homes. watson would be manson's right-hand man. the faces of the manson killers have gotten older. the courthouse smiles and giggles replaced with pleas for forgiveness.
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>> i'm appalled that i could even have been involved with something like that. >> it is difficult to deal with this. i admit i made a mistake because i feel terrible about it, but i cannot change it no matter what i do i cannot change one minute of my life. >> granted, i have committed one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind. i realize that and i'm very remorseful for that and would give anything if i could pay for it. >> reporter: first sentenced to death the manson killers were given life sentences when the death penalty was abolished. charles manson remains in prison and has over the years attended his parole hearings. susan atkins has terminal brain cancer. last year her request for compassionate release was denied. she is scheduled for a parole
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hearing next month. krenwinkle and watson have parole hearings before the end of the year. van houten is not expected to have a hearing until 2010. 40 years later all four claim they are remorseful. the family of sharon tate doesn't believe any of them deserve the mercy that sharon and her unborn child never saw. ted rowlands, cnn, los angeles. >> leslie van houten was 19 years old when they went on their infamous killing spree. 40 years later she remains in prison. she has been denied parole more than a dozen times but she pleads for her release. >> i turned into a monster and i spent these years going back to a decent human being. >> van houten wants her freedom. waters discusses his friendship with van houten in "role models."
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john waters joins us now. good to have you with us. >> thank you. >> a lot of people may be surprised you two have become friends but you were inspired in your early days by charles manson in my ways. we were making movies that were trying to shock the world and they did. i learned how irresponsible i was in a punk rocker for charlie manson and all of that. when i've seen the horrible things that happened to the victims and their families and the families of leslie van houten and what she has gone through. she has been in jail 40 years and has taken full responsibility for her part. >> what is it specifically about leslie van houten says she should be out free on the street? >> she takes full blame. she doesn't say charlie manson made me do it, lsd makes me do it.
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she takes full responsibility for everything that happened in the la bee anna home. she should be the poster child for the prison system. she went in a complete lunatic and ended up a very sober person who really takes responsibility and wants to lead a quiet life if she ever gets out. >> that would be a tough pill for any of the victims' families to swallow knowing she was, in fact, free. whether or not she had been rehabilitated. have you spoken with any of the victims' families. >> no, i haven't. nothing they can say is wrong. they are speaking from a personal thing and they have every bit -- i address in my piece the most devastating things they have said against leslie. i have quoted the best things they have said. >> you have quoted them extensively in this book. put in a number of the things they said and you understand where they are coming from still you are pushing for her release. have they contacted you saying you know what mr. waters, we get where you are coming from but please back off? >> no, they haven't. they would have every right to do that. i'm speaking for what society does.
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if there are rules for parole and i do believe there are some people that can be rehabilitated and deserve a second chance. >> why do you think it is that leslie van houten has not been granted parole? is it simply the notoriety of these murders. >> yes. charlie manson has become freddie kruger. he is a halloween outfit now. people don't know the whole story and they think it is like a horror movie. leslie has tried everything, as she said, i have spent 40 years trying to become the person i would have been if i hadn't met him. i think she actually has. >> what about the other convicted murderers here who are still in jail? do you believe they should be released as well? >> i can't -- i'm not here to talk about them. it doesn't matter what i think about them. leslie is my friend. >> it is a fascinating tale. one that could leave people feeling very divided. john waters, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you.
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there is, of course, the other side t. families of the victims. alice labianca is the ex-wife of lino bianca. he was murdered in 1969. alice labianca read a letter. here is what she said. she chose her own path, she chose to following the instructions of charles manson. she chose drug crazed killers as her family and became one of them. when do we get our parole? when does leno get his parole? sympathy for these killers and especially this one is misplaced. the breaking news out of western pennsylvania. new and chilling details emerging from the shooting at a health club south of pittsburgh where five are reported dead including the gunman who reportedly kill himself. 15 people are wounded. witnesses tell cnn affiliate wtae that a man with a duffel
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bag walked into an exercise room and turned out the lights before opening fire. police describe a scene of utter terror some >> i was in a spinning class. the class was over with. i was in the loeker room getting my items. i stopped to wash my hands and at that point i heard what i thought to be gun fire. >> what you were not expecting. >> i talked myself out of it. i was like okay, surely that's not gun fire in a gym. a few seconds later a guy came run into a locker room. i said what's going on? someone is shooting? at that point myself and him and some others in the locker room made it out the backdoor near the pool exit. >> someone said we have some girls
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shot. one girl was shot in the thigh. >> he turned the lights out and the shooting started. one guy had a black hat on and that's all he knew. >> he shut the lights off at the aerobic room. i could see flashes in the dark and that's when i realized someone was actually using a firearm in there. >> i took my headphones off because i had my headphones on and i heard a loud banging noise repeatedly, three or four. that's when i kind of knew what was going on, someone was shooting the place up with a firearm. >> how shocking was that? >> it was pretty intense. >> there is no word yet on the killer's identity nor an apparent motive. we will, of course, bring you any information we learn as soon as it comes into us. up next on "360" a been a on facebook and other networking sites. and a bit later -- reunited after years away. a best friend returns. a "360 follow-up." k you so much. constipation's uncomfortable enough, so why take a harsh laxative?
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levels are at greater risk of developing alzheimer's disease or dementia. >> another pentagon is reviewing its policy on access so social networking sites like facebook and twitter for all military personnel. it comes one day after a marine corps issued a ban on its those sites for security reasons. they can still access facebook and similar sites on their own personal computer, however. and a "360 follow-up." nine years after an australian family saw their dog vanish, they're all reunited. as we mentioned last week, he was found 1200 miles from home thanks to a microchip embedded in her neck. today she was reunited with her owners who were happy to have her back. >> look at that sweet face. is your dog chipped? >> our dog is chipped. >> so is mine. >> and our dog stays under our
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control at all times. but hopefully she'll never been 1200 miles away. >> but just in case you're prepared. >> looks like smuf a lovely dog, too. >> we're not done, of course. still ahead, the latest on the breaking news out of north korea, the american journalist, lauraling and euna lee on their way home. what did former president clinton do and say to secure their release? don't you eat activia? for my little issues? they're not that bad. summer's no time to put up with even occasional digestive problems. believe me, once they go away, it's amazing how good you feel. announcer: activia is clinically proven to help regulate your digestive system in two weeks. summer's a wastin'... take the activia challenge now. it works, or it's free. ♪ activia
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we continue with our coverage of breaking news on the
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pardon of euna lee and lisa ling from north korea. late-breaking details on what has happened with this private mission as it's been called today. dan? >> i just got off of a phone call briefing with a senior administration official. first we found out obama did reach out to the family members of both journalists, calling them between 8:30 and 9:30 to tonight and congratulating them. we found out this whole meeting between former president clinton going to north korea started with a phone call from the two journalists to their family members in july. they mentioned the people in north korea said we would be willing to grant you amnesty if you can get a high-level envoy to come here to get your release. president clinton said he would hi

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