The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Tips on How to Prepare For Possible Terrorist Attacks; Clara Harris Fate Now in Hands of Jury; Interview With Laci Peterson's Family

Aired February 12, 2003 - 20:00   ET


CONNIE CHUNG, HOST: Good evening, I'm Connie Chung. Tonight they are deploying anti-aircraft missiles around Washington, D.C. as America braces for a possible terrorist threat.

ANNOUNCER: High anxiety. The warnings, the threats.

GEORGE TENET, DIRECTOR, CIA: The enhanced security that results form a higher level of threat can buy us more time to operate against the individuals who are plotting to do us harm.

ANNOUNCER: America braces for the unknown.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: We have to better than duct tape as our response to homeland defense.

ANNOUNCER: Protecting yourself and your family.

Clara Harris says it was an accident.

GEORGE PARNHAM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But you're judging the mind of the person, and I want you to have the courage to do it.

ANNOUNCER: She's accused of turning her Mercedes into a 4,000- pound murder weapon.

MIA MAGNESS, PROSECUTOR: It is time for you to call her what she is, and that is a murderer.

ANNOUNCER: Closing arguments in the murder trial of Clara Harris. Her fate is now on the hands of the jury.

Missing for months, and her baby already due. Laci Peterson's family continues the search. Tonight they share their hopes and fears with Connie.

Top dog. We'll meet the best in show winner of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

And "Our Person of the Day." The man who keeps secrets goes public.


ANNOUNCER: This is CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT. From the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, Connie Chung.

CHUNG: Good evening. Tonight the U.S. government is applying muscle to its newest terror warnings. The Pentagon is deploying anti- aircraft missiles, Stingers fired by Avenger Missile Launchers, in and around the Washington, D.C. area, including the Pentagon.

With recent intelligence reports suggesting a terror attack may be, quote, "imminent," some terror analysts have said al Qaeda may want to finish the job at America's military headquarters. The FBI is also warning local law enforcement that al Qaeda may be about to use a so-called weapon of mass destruction such as biological, chemical or radioactive agents.

All this after the release of what is believed to be a new Osama bin Laden audiotape heightened terror concerns, coming on the heels of the raised terror alert level and dire warnings to Congress from leaders of America's intelligence community.

At a Senate hearing today Central Intelligence Director George Tenet was asked about the bin Laden tape.


TENET: Whether this is a signal of impending attack or not is something we're looking at. I can only tell you what the history is. What he said has often been followed by attacks, which I think corroborates everything that we're seeing in terms of raising the threat warning in terms of the specific information that we had at our disposal last week.


CHUNG: Following up on those warnings, the Department of Homeland Security offered Americans a list of steps and supplies to prepare for a possible attack. That list drew political criticism and questions about exactly what people are supposed to do. So we asked CNN's Jeanne Meserve to take a close-up look at the survival inventory.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... batteries, radio, first aid kit, a hard hat, fluorescent tape...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hard hat. That's the first time I heard that one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it's for debris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a nice American flag hard hat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sounds great. I'll take two. JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a banner week for some hardware stores in New York and elsewhere as Americans stock up for a possible terrorist attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that in the long run this is going to be unnecessary, and I think it's really creating quite a panic among the people. We're selling a ton of duct tape though.

MESERVE: Shoppers explained their rush to the registers this way...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Better being safe than sorry, right?


MESERVE: But will the terror items shopping list make you safer?

DR. JEFFREY ELTING, D.C. HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION: It could, but it depends on the environment, the agent, where you live and a lot of other factors.

MESERVE: One recommendation made by the government is being viewed with particular skepticism.

JONATHAN TUCKER, U.S. INSTITUTE FOR PEACE: I think the recommendations about duct tape and plastic sheeting are probably excessive.

MESERVE: And some will tell you ineffective. Sealing windows and doors will be little help in a biological or radiological incident, but could provide some protection in certain chemical scenarios.

DASCHLE: This is not an adequate response to the seriousness and the extraordinary difficulties that our country is confronting as we consider what repercussions could come from these attacks.

MESERVE: The most appropriate response, some experts say, would be to better prepare and equip the nation's first responders. But Congress hasn't approved money for that. So they say use the good information about preparedness.

Have a family communications plan, three days of food and water, a battery-operated radio, medicines and some suggest you add a few special items.

RANDY LARSEN, ASNER INSTITUTE: Have cookies in our stuff if you have kids. You could be stuck in your house for a little while here. I might even have a little Johnnie Walker in there or something.


MESERVE: It is impossible for anyone to give you detailed instructions about what to do ahead of a terrorist attack because those instructions will vary depending on the type of weapon and kind of delivery system and where you are. But experts agree on this -- the thing that will help you most in any emergency is a calm head and an innovative approach -- Connie.

CHUNG: Jeanne, you and I are in the two cities that are possible targets, New York and Washington. But should everyone else in other cities do the same thing, prepare?

MESERVE: Yes, they should because the whole object of terrorists is to hit where we don't expect them to hit. And there are potential targets in virtually every community in this country. So the prudent thing would be to prepare wherever you are.

CHUNG: Well, the next question in my mind would be when? Do we prepare for a safe house now?

MESERVE: Well, federal officials were very careful when they put out this information to say we don't want to frighten people, this isn't a dire situation, we aren't recommending that you run to the store now. But we are at threat level Orange and it might be the smart thing to go ahead and get these things in your household right now.

CHUNG: And what should we do if we're not at home or if we know that our child is at school, or whatever, because of the time of day?

MESERVE: Well, it's a real problem. And what they're recommending is that you have thought about this ahead of time, you have some sort of emergency preparations made at the office, even have some supplies in your car, so wherever, whenever you will be to some extent ready to cope with the situation.

CHUNG: And have a plan within your own family?

MESERVE: That's right. Every -- every expert I've talked to has underlined that this is the most important thing in the advice that's been put out there. Think about the what ifs, talk with your family about a communication plan. It may be easier to make long-distance telephone calls than local telephone calls in a crisis situation.

So designate some point of contact outside your region that will clear information for your family. Also think about where you might reunite, get together if in fact you do get separated during a crisis -- Connie.

CHUNG: Jeanne, we're also told that we should have battery- operated radios. And who will be giving us this information that we so desperately want on the radio?

MESERVE: Well, I could tell you that the federal government is working to prepare information now to have ready to push out in the event of an emergency. It's dealing with a wide range of different scenarios or even preparing it in different languages so they can reach different portions of the public.

So that information may be pushed out at a national level, but it's going to be very important to listen to what your local broadcast outlets are saying, your local officials, because the instructions are likely to be specific to your area. CHUNG: Jeanne Meserve, I feel so reassured knowing that you have all this information for us. Thank you, Jeanne. Appreciate it.

MESERVE: You bet.

CHUNG: Joining us now is Defense Analyst Ben Venzke, who also is co-author of "The al Qaeda Threat," an analytical guide to al Qaeda's tactics and targets. He is CEO of Intel Center, which specialized in terrorism and security issues, and he joins us tonight from Washington. Thank you, Ben, for being with us.

BEN VENZKE, CO-AUTHOR, "THE AL QAEDA THREAT": Thank you. It's good to be here.

CHUNG: We're told that we should get duct tape and plastic sheeting and close up all vents, windows, doors with the plastic sheeting. Now, you know, all I can think of is wouldn't vapors come through anyway and wouldn't it be better to go outside where all those vapors would dissipate?

VENZKE: No. Absolutely not. Especially in the beginning when something has just happened, you're not sure what's going on, you haven't received any kind of official guidance from your local emergency authorities.

You want to create an environment, it's not going to be perfect, it's not going to be a completely airtight seal, but you want to reduce the likelihood that you're going to be exposed to anything. And by choosing a room in the interior of your home, turning off your air-conditioning, the ventilation, closing the windows and then covering them with some type of plastic can go a long way in making that a much more survivable, or a safer situation until you're given official guidance what to do.

CHUNG: Would it be best to go into your basement if you have one?

VENZKE: It depends what kind of event we're talking about. If there is some type of nuclear event, absolutely. If you're being -- if you're going underground, you're going to an area where there is more shielding that's being naturally provided by the Earth, it's much safer.

You could also, for simplicity's sake design that to be the safe room, that in the event that there is some kind of chemical or biological event that's a room that has very few windows, if any windows at all, you could have the plastic there and a disaster kit ready in that room.

You want to keep it as simple and easy as possible.

CHUNG: So if you don't have a basement, what happens if you are in an apartment, or whatever? Do you worry about the fireplaces as well?

VENZKE: Well, when you're creating a safe room for dealing with a situation like this, you want to take a room that has as few outside openings as possible, be it windows, vents, fireplaces, anything that has an opening to the outdoors or to the fresh air outside. You want to close all those. So if the room that you choose has fewer openings, it's fewer things to seal, it's fewer things you have to try and make sure are closed airtight. But that's the -- any area you choose, you just want to reduce the number of openings.

CHUNG: All right. There actually has been a run on duct tape, I'm told, and so I'm wondering if that foam spray or any kind of gel would be better or usable.

VENZKE: Well, there's a lot of things out there that people are marketing. They've labeled for homeland security, for home defense, and these types of things. Really in this type of scenario you want to keep it as simple as possible. Duct tape and plastic, it's good it's sound advice. If you want to buy some kind of mask or something, the one mask..

CHUNG: Like a gas mask?

VENZKE: Like a gas mask, but really it's an escape hood. And that's the one that's used by the Congressmen, the senators everyone that's up on capitol hill, even tourists. If there was an attack there, they have these masks available. And what they do is they provide a couple hours during which you can breathe and get out of the area that has been contaminated to a safe location. And the Quick 2000 is what they use up on Capitol Hill. It's been tested.

And I'd be very wary of anything else, even if it says, for instance, something that we know is used by the military. We could consider it to be trustworthy, some of these require maintenance, they require proper training to use and can be actually dangerous if you don't know what you're doing when you put them on. You want something that's dummy proof, if you will. That you can simply pull over your head and get out of the contaminated area and be in a safe environment.

CHUNG: So those gas masks that we have seen before, you're saying stay away from them?

VENZKE: I would stay away from any of the military masks because they require training, they require different filters. Some filters work perfect under certain conditions and under certain conditions they do provide you no protection whatsoever. So you want something that's fairly universal, fairly simple to use, and relatively easy.

CHUNG: Ben Venzke, I thank you so much for being with us.

VENZKE: Thank you.

CHUNG: Useful information.

Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a national command center for coordinating information and response in the event of a biological or a chemical attack. Within the HHS is the Office of Public Health Preparedness. The director of that office is Jerry Hauer, who joins us tonight from Washington.

Jerry, thank you for being with us.

Sure, Connie.

CHUNG: How prepared is the United States for a biological or chemical attack?

JERRY HAUER, DIR., OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS: Well, Connie, I think we've made great strides over the last 12 to 18 months. Prior to September 11 we couldn't get many people in Washington to take this issue seriously. Were it not for the dark winter exercise, we would not have gotten many of the people on the Hill engaged.

CHUNG: And the dark winter exercise?

HAUER: Was a smallpox exercise that was done in the summer before September 11. Now everybody recognizes that these groups will go to great extremes to try and impact this country. They are taking the issue of chemical and biological terrorism seriously. The president certainly does. Secretary Tommy Thompson before September 11 was already working to increase the number of doses of smallpox vaccine, to increase the number of medical response teams. The secretary took this issue very seriously. And we have -- we have done a number of things to ensure that our stockpiles of antibiotics are pre-deployed around the country at strategic locations and can be deployed in very short periods of time.

CHUNG: Would you say that some cities are safer than others?

HAUER: I would say some cities are better prepared than others. I think some cities are further ahead. Certainly New York City has done a lot of work over the last six or seven years, and is probably one of the best prepared cities. Seattle, Los Angeles, all have done a good job. Other cities have not put the amount of effort in to this issue that they probably should have. After September 11 they started their planning process. But they're playing catch-up. And they're getting there, but they're not as far along as some of the other cities that have been working on this for five and six years.

CHUNG: Tell us about the Federal Command Center. I mean, I'm wondering as an individual citizen, is that Federal Command Center going to help me in some way?

HAUER: Well, the command center that Secretary Thompson built at HHS is the one focal point within HHS where we coordinate all the medical and public health resources in the United States should something happen, whether that's a chemical incident or a biological incident. The teams...

CHUNG: So are you saying that the dissemination of information will be quick, and that's how you're going to make sure that everyone knows what to do? HAUER: Absolutely. Again, the command center is the focal point within HHS to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security so that we get information out to people as quickly as possible so that they know what to do during an incident.

CHUNG: And how do you get that information out?

HAUER: Well, we get it out through a number of means. We have websites. Through the media. A lot of what we're doing is education beforehand.

CHUNG: What if there's no electricity?

HAUER: Well, people have to rely on portable radios. That's one of the things that we recommend people have in their little home emergency kits so that they can listen to a portable radio. One of the things that many cities plan for is having police cars with loudspeakers get information out to people as they -- as they get new information. Setting up shelters, we can get information to people. You know, we certainly rely on electricity, but there's certainly alternate means of getting information out to people.

CHUNG: Jerry, someone actually did ask me about shelters today. Right now there are no designated shelters, but there will be?

HAUER: No. We are not looking at designating shelters. What we have been doing as part of our planning is looking to designate points of distribution or points of vaccination so that if we have to distribute antibiotics in a very rapid fashion all of that is preplanned, people would know where to go to get antibiotics or to get vaccinated against a viral illness like smallpox. Many cities, again, have preplanned that and are educating people. Some are just beginning that process.

CHUNG: All right.

HAUER: But I don't see that at this point in time that we'll be looking at the old notion of fallout shelters.

CHUNG: All right. Jerry Hauer, I thank you so much for being with us.

HAUER: My pleasure.

CHUNG: And for sharing your knowledge with us.

Still ahead: the threats of terrorism haven't slowed down U.S. Plans for war with Iraq. Stay with us.

ANNOUNCER: Next. She was behind the wheel of the car that killed her husband. Now her fate is in the hands of a jury. The latest from the murder trial of Clara Harris. When CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHUNG: Tonight the fate of Clara Harris lies in the hands of the jury. Closing arguments were presented today in the trial of the dentist and former beauty queen accused of murdering her cheating husband by running over him repeatedly with her Mercedes. And CNN investigative correspondent Art Harris has been following this story.


ART HARRIS, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Clara Harris's lawyer told the jury she was blinded by emotional pain the night she caught her husband coming out of a hotel with another woman.

GEORGE PARNHAM, HARRIS'S ATTORNEY: The shock of your life seeing your beloved walk out in the arms of another woman. What does that do to the ability to react?

A. HARRIS: But the prosecutor belittled Clara's testimony that she didn't realize what she was doing when she ran over her husband with her silver Mercedes.

MIA MAGNESS, PROSECUTOR: Her statements to you about what she did amounted to essentially "I don't remember." "I don't remember, but I remember I didn't do it." Not very helpful, is it?

A. HARRIS: No one disputed the facts. Her Mercedes crushed the life out of orthodontist David Harris. Her intent was the issue. The defense pointed the finger at the other woman.

PARNHAM: I don't care how you slice it. She is a home wrecker.

A. HARRIS: The prosecution's answer.

MAGNESS: I mean, for heaven's sakes, the man is cheating on you, you do what every other woman in this county does. Take him to the cleaners. Take his house, take his car, take his kids, take his respect in the community, and you can make him wish he were dead, but you don't get to kill him.

A. HARRIS: Clara Harris's stepdaughter, Lindsey, sat in the courtroom as the prosecutor, Mia Magness, recounted the teenager's testimony about what Clara said as the car hurtled towards her father.

MAGNESS: She said, "I'm going to hit him," and then she accelerated. And what did Lindsey tell you? Lindsey said he was right there, "I could see him. I could see that he was scared."

A. HARRIS: For effect, Magness held up a tooth of David Harris's, knocked out at the crime scene. The defense reminded the jury that the father, the mother, the brother of the dead husband, David Harris, had all testified on behalf of Clara, the accused killer.

PARNHAM: They told you that Clara Harris is a good, loving, caring wife, mother, daughter-in-law.

A. HARRIS: The prosecutor acknowledged the sympathy Clara may have elicited from the nine-woman, three-man jury. But said that should have nothing to do with finding her guilty.

MAGNESS: It is time for you to call her what she is, and that is a murderer.


A. HARRIS: he jury took all this into their first day of deliberations -- Connie.

CHUNG: Art, I understand that the jurors wanted part of the testimony reread to them. Can you tell us about that and tell us what the significance of it is?

A. HARRIS: his was testimony the prosecutor brought up in her cross-examination, and it had to do with Clara Harris's statement to police after the incident when she said about her husband, "I wanted to hurt him."

Now, she did not remember that in her testimony, but she had told that to the police. So this is not a good sign. And the jurors will have that to sleep on.

CHUNG: Art, would you grade the prosecution's closing argument?

A. HARRIS: I'd say the prosecution would get an A-minus. Mia Magness was very focused. She went over the evidence and the eyewitnesses point by point and basically honed in on the fact that you can be a scorned woman but you don't have the right to kill the man who scorned you.

CHUNG: Now, during the trial, wasn't the prosecutor a bit abrasive and a little hard? What was her demeanor this time during the closing arguments?

A. HARRIS: Very interesting, Connie. She was much softer. And seemed to acknowledge the sympathy factor with the jury because she knows that Clara perhaps has bonded, had struck a chord with other women on the jury.

CHUNG: How would you grade the defense?

A. HARRIS: I'd give the defense an E for effort. George Parnham brought up the marriage and put the other woman and the ex-husband on trial, as he has in the past. But he rambled a bit and could have been more focused.

CHUNG: And finally, how did Clara Harris look today?

A. HARRIS: Clara Harris was alternately somber and sad and nodded when the defense pointed out how much she loved her husband, but also broke down in tears when the accident and the details were recounted -- Connie.

CHUNG: All right. Art Harris, appreciate it. Thank you so much. I guess the jury is now sequestered, right?

A. HARRIS: For the night.

CHUNG: OK. Thank you, Art.

So what exactly is the jury deliberating and how will they reach their verdict? Our legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, has been following this trial and joins us now with his thoughts.

Jeffrey, I thought what was so fascinating is that the judge gave the jurors these various alternatives of what kind of verdict they could come up with. So will you explain that?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They have three choices -- intentional murder, which people understand. It's just intending to kill someone and killing someone. Manslaughter, and the key idea of manslaughter is recklessness. The example was used is if you fire a gun into a wall of an occupied apartment, you know, knowing people are next-door. That could be reckless. That's manslaughter.

The next...

CHUNG: You have to decide that she is not guilty of murder.

TOOBIN: Right. You work your way down.

CHUNG: OK. Go ahead.

TOOBIN: You start with murder. And then you go to manslaughter. And then the final one is criminally negligent homicide, which is the least. That is putting rat poison in sugar and then putting it up on the wall. Maybe someone dies, maybe someone doesn't. Those are the three choices available to the prosecution -- to the jury.

CHUNG: To the jury.

In Texas they have something called sudden passion. What part does sudden passion play in the verdict that the jury comes up with?

TOOBIN: Unusual system in Texas. The jury doesn't just deliberate on guilt and innocence. They also play a big role in sentencing. And if Clara Harris is convicted of murder, and only of murder, when they come back on sentencing they will have to decide, was the murder convicted -- committed in sudden passion, in which case that will lower the sentence considerably. So it only comes up if she's convicted of murder.

CHUNG: Oh, I see. So it's not an automatic life sentence if she's convicted of murder?

TOOBIN: By no means. In fact, this is really a remarkable range of possibilities. She could even be convicted of murder, very unusual, but she could be and still just get probation. So if she's convicted, sentencing could cover a wide range of options, from probation to life in prison.

CHUNG: That's extraordinary.

And the jury decides, not the judge on the sentencing?

TOOBIN: Texas is very unusual in this regard. The jury plays a big, big role in determining what the sentence is. They don't have the final word. The judge has a veto power he can raise and lower under certain circumstances, but Texas the juries play a big role in sentencing.

CHUNG: All right. One question that I'm curious about, because I read the prosecutor did not have to prove intent to murder?

TOOBIN: Well, see, intent is one of these legal -- has a legal definition that is somewhat different from sort of the common sense definition. What intent means doesn't mean a long-term plan, but in the context of an intentional murder all it means is that in the second you commit the act you intend that they -- that the person die.

It doesn't mean that you have a long-term plan, that you got up in the morning and intended to murder your husband. All it means is that when you were committing the act you, intend the logical result, which is the death of the person.

CHUNG: So in this case can you apply...

TOOBIN: Well, I think it applies very directly in this case from the prosecution -- the prosecution is saying, Look, obviously, when she got up in the morning she wasn't planning on running him over in the car.

But when she saw him leaving the hotel and drove the car at him, she was trying to kill him. She had made up her point at that -- at that moment to hit him one, twice, three times, and she intended to kill him, and that's what makes it murder. That's the prosecution's theory.

CHUNG: And just a quick question about the testimony being reread that Art told us about.

TOOBIN: Good sign for the prosecution, I think. Trial lawyers always talk about is that a good note or a bad note? Prosecutors are saying that's a good note. They're hearing our challenge of her credibility on the issue of her intent. That's the whole case.

CHUNG: Oh, I see. All right. Jeffrey, thank you so much.


CHUNG: All right.

Right now, tonight's look at "the World in 60" starts with state secrets about a possible war against Iraq.


CHUNG (voice-over): President Bush gave top congressional leaders a classified briefing today on plans for possible war with Iraq. The administration says the new audiotape, purportedly of Osama bin Laden, proves a link between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Turkey will be defended from possible attack by Iraq, with or without NATO support. NATO members are struggling to resolve an impasse after France, Germany, and Belgium blocked plans to send military equipment to Turkey.

The U.N.'s nuclear agency declared North Korea in breach of international agreements, referring the matter to the U.N. Security Council. The council could decide to impose sanctions on North Korea, a move the north says would be tantamount to war.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is recovering after surgery for prostate cancer. Doctors say the operation went well and the Democratic presidential hopeful is expected to go ahead with his presidential bid.


ANNOUNCER: Next: Laci Peterson, the mother-to-be, still missing. How is Laci's family coping with her disappearance?

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT continues in a moment.


CHUNG: Fifty days after Laci Peterson, 8 1/2 months pregnant, disappeared from her Modesto home, the closest thing to a new development is that someone vandalized the office of her husband, Scott Peterson. As far as police are saying publicly, they have no more leads to the vandalism than they do to Laci's disappearance.

Police were at Scott Peterson's home for about 10 minutes last night, but have still not said whether he is or is not a suspect in the disappearance.

Joining us tonight from Modesto from Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha Laci's brother Brent, and her sister Amy.

Thank you so much for being with us.



CHUNG: Sharon, I remember so vividly when you were speaking before a battery of microphones about Laci and crying. I'll tell you, I started crying, and I think everyone out there was crying.

How are you holding up? I know this has to be so difficult for you.

S. ROCHA: It's extremely difficult. We just take it one minute at a time.

I know every day brings something new to us, but I literally take it one minute at a time. One minute, I can have a smile on my face and the next minute, I'm crying. I think about her all of the time, all of the time.

CHUNG: Sure.

Brent, I know that you wanted more information from Scott Peterson. You want him to be more forthright. What do you think he has not told?

BRENT ROCHA, BROTHER OF LACI PETERSON: I don't know what he has or has not told. I'm not privy to that information. What I do know is that he hasn't been as forthcoming as we would like to see him. And, from our perspective, he has not cooperated with the Modesto Police Department to the extent that we would be happy with.

CHUNG: Do you believe that he's actually concealing information?

B. ROCHA: I have no reason to believe that he is or is not concealing information, no.

CHUNG: I'm wondering, Amy, when did you begin to doubt Scott Peterson? Was it before or after you learned about this affair?

A. ROCHA: It was more after I learned about the affair. That just made me -- it's hard to believe, because he hid that from our family and we didn't know. And he had a chance to tell our family the truth in the beginning about that and he didn't. So, yes, my family has changed after that.

CHUNG: Sharon, Scott Peterson did a number of interviews. He acknowledged the affair, but he also said that Laci was OK with it. Do you think that was true?

S. ROCHA: No. I don't think that Laci knew about the affair. I really -- I really don't believe that she knew about it.

Laci was the kind of person that -- she was a happy, upbeat person. We would have noticed a difference in her attitude, in her behavior. Whether she said anything to anybody or not, there would have been a definite and obvious difference in her attitude. And if she had known about it, I truly feel that she would have told somebody. If not have said something to me, she would have said something to at least one of her friends. And nobody was aware of it.

CHUNG: Sharon, did you question anything else you heard coming out of Scott Peterson's mouth when he did these interviews?

S. ROCHA: There was just a couple of things. That was one of the things that was questionable to me.

And another was that he had told the police on the night of December 24th that he had had an affair. We were a little concerned about that, because we had asked him about it a couple of days after Laci had disappeared and he had denied that to us.

CHUNG: So, you do believe that there is some level of duplicity there?

S. ROCHA: Yes. There's been a difference in some of his answers to the same questions.

CHUNG: Brent, when you watched these interviews with Scott Peterson, did they make you angry?

B. ROCHA: Oh, yes, Connie.

Those interviews really bothered me, to see him say some of the things that he said. But, at the same time, I was very happy to see him talking to the media, because there were numerous things that he said that were not true or accurate. And I think that was the positive result of those interviews.

CHUNG: Such as?

B. ROCHA: Inaccuracies such as when he told police about the affair. There was also a few other local channel interviews that he did -- and just quite a few things he misstated himself on or gave different answers from what he previously said before.

CHUNG: Sharon, you had been so supportive of your son-in-law, Scott Peterson, until you found out that he indeed had had an affair. Do you believe that Scott Peterson is capable of doing something terrible to your daughter?

S. ROCHA: The way they were as a couple, we would never be able to believe that. They were just so loving towards each other. They were always happy together. And there was no indication that there was ever any kind of a problem between the two of them.

CHUNG: Sharon, if there's anything you'd like to say, we'd love to give you the opportunity. If Laci happens to be listening out there, what would you like to say to her?

S. ROCHA: I'd like to tell her that I love her very, very much, and I miss her tremendously, and I want her home. And we're looking for her and not to -- not to give up, that we're still searching. We'll never give up looking for Laci.

CHUNG: And do you have anything you'd like to say to Scott Peterson, because I know you have not been in contact with him?

S. ROCHA: No, not at this time.

CHUNG: All right, Sharon, Brent, Amy, we so appreciate your being with us.

Still ahead: Could the struggling economy actually have an upside for your wallet?

Stay with us.


CHUNG: A truce has been called in a battle between hip-hop and Madison Avenue, as you'll see in tonight's "Snapshot."


CHUNG (voice-over): A hip-hop network founded by music mogul Russell Simmons has called off a planned boycott of Pepsi for pulling an ad featuring rapper Ludacris. The group says it has a charity donations deal with the soft drink giant.

The success of the movie "Chicago" has Hollywood taking a fresh look at musicals. "The L.A. Times" says Steven Spielberg is even thinking about directing one.

Wall Street stocks have lots of company in the bargain basement these days. Retailers are sharply discounting lots of consumer goods, including DVDs, C.D.s, home electronics, clothes, and fine wine.

Nebraska's governor is backing a proposal to pay University of Nebraska football players a stipend. Supporters of the bill believe players should be able to capitalize on the multimillion-dollar industry of college football.

"USA Today" reports The Grateful Dead will live on as The Dead, which is what fans called it for short. The four surviving members haven't used the name Grateful Dead since front man Jerry Garcia died in 1995.


ANNOUNCER: Next: best in show. We'll meet Mick, the new top dog, when CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT returns.


CHUNG: His name is Torums Scarf Michael, but like many superstars, he goes by just one name, Mick. And after the Westminster dog show last night, they're calling him something else as well: best in show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our best-in-show dog at the 2003 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show goes to the Kerry blue terrier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's Kerry blue Mick.


CHUNG: Listen to those screams. The Kerry blue terrier has now won the dog world's triple crown, not to mention more than 100 other best-in-show titles.

Now, David Frei co-hosted the Westminster dog show and joins us tonight. And we also have with us tonight the best in show, Mick himself, courtesy of his handler, Bill McFadden.

Bill? Whoa.

(APPLAUSE) CHUNG: What a star. Beauty, eh?

BILL MCFADDEN, MICK'S HANDLER: He's pretty special.

CHUNG: Yes, really. All right.

Would you sit down? So, it must have been so exciting for you.

MCFADDEN: It was tremendously exciting. It was just a really exciting atmosphere. The crowd was huge and it was tough competition.

CHUNG: And did -- I understand that Mick just jumped right into the winner's circle, the best in show. How did he know he won?

MCFADDEN: Well, he thinks he's won every time.


MCFADDEN: Which is a nice attitude to have, I guess.

CHUNG: Sure.

MCFADDEN: But he always thinks he's the winner.

CHUNG: But a couple of years now, last year and the year before, he came in second.

MCFADDEN: But he still thought he won.


CHUNG: Why do you think he won this time and last year and the year before came in second?

MCFADDEN: Well, I think, this year, he really put on a performance that was hard to deny.

Last year, particularly, he was distracted by I'm not sure what, or maybe I was distracted. But he didn't perform as well as he did this year. This year, I couldn't have asked for him to do anything better.

CHUNG: He was perfect?

MCFADDEN: Yes. I mean, it was like, with a terrier, you want them to be on their toes and kind of stalliony.

CHUNG: Right.

MCFADDEN: And he was that, but he wasn't out of control.

CHUNG: David, why did he win, because you know dogs so well?

DAVID FREI, CO-HOST, WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW: He is a fabulous specimen of a dog. I mean, you can see it all over him that this dog is an athlete, he's beautiful, he's in command and in control. And with terriers, like Bill said, they have to be right on the edge all the time, because that's what they were bred to do. And they have their own world and they allow us to live in it. It's not like a lot of other breeds. They just sort of want to be in their world.

CHUNG: Oh, please. David, give me a break.


FREI: No, it's the truth. You follow this dog around for a day, like we've done, and you'll see that with Mick especially.

CHUNG: Really?

FREI: Oh, he's very special. People on the street are stopping him. He's got a whole entourage going on, too. And he just -- he knows that he's the star.

CHUNG: And you and your wife take care of him?


CHUNG: Night and day?



CHUNG: Now, I understand he might be retiring. Is that true?

MCFADDEN: Well, I'm not going to use the retire word because then if I decide to show him, I'd feel like I was lying.


MCFADDEN: He may never be shown again, but he's not retired.

CHUNG: But if he does retire, is he going to be performing in a different way?

MCFADDEN: Yes. It's the kind of retirement a lot of guys would dream of.


CHUNG: You're going to have him breed.

MCFADDEN: A stud, yes.

CHUNG: So tell me, David, you had a couple of dogs that you submitted for best in show. Aren't you a little sad that your dogs didn't win?

FREI: Well, my dogs never won best in show at Westminster. That's a lifetime dream to be out there on that green carpet. But there's just no feeling in the world like it. I wish I could have experienced it, so I could be telling the story instead of Bill.

But we -- in the dog world, that's what we all strive for. It's our World Series, our Super Bowl, call it what you will. But this week on that green carpet is really what it's all about.

CHUNG: Well, you know what? He's just rubbing up against me here. He's the best.


CHUNG: Bill, thank you so much for being with us.

MCFADDEN: Thanks for having us.

CHUNG: And congratulations.

MCFADDEN: Thank you.

CHUNG: David, thank you.

FREI: Connie, thank you very much. Nice to see you.

CHUNG: And we'll be right back.

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead: our "Person of the Day." The man who keeps secrets goes public.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT continues in a moment.


CHUNG: Tonight, a classic case of being willing to bear bad news led to our choice for today's "Person of the Day."

Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet has been testifying before Senate committees. At a time when the nation is preoccupied with Iraq, Tenet told senators Iraq is harboring supporters of a top acquaintance of Osama bin Laden. But he also warned that terrorism is the biggest threat to America and that the threat is rising.


GEORGE TENET, CIA DIRECTOR: We see disturbing signs that al Qaeda has established a presence in both Iran and Iraq. In addition, we are also concerned that al Qaeda continues to find refuge in the hinterlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda is also developing or refining new means of attack, including the use of surfaced air missiles, poisons and air and surface and underwater methods to attack maritime targets.


CHUNG: Tenet remains a figure of controversy. Critics hold him responsible in part for intelligence lapses prior to September 11. But today, at least, no one can say George Tenet hasn't warned Americans of the dangers they face as they choose the battles to fight, making him today's "Person of the Day."

Tomorrow: If it's no longer if, but when the U.S. goes to war, when will that be? We'll check in with U.S. military units around the country as they prepare to ship out to the region.

And coming up next on "LARRY KING LIVE": For years, she woke up America. Now Joan Lunden reveals her big secret.


Clara Harris Fate Now in Hands of Jury; Interview With Laci Peterson's Family>

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.