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Picking a Jury; Hunting a Killer

Aired February 15, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.
There is a lot more ahead tonight, including a surprising look at one of the tricks of the legal trade.


ZAHN (voice-over): They help lawyers win before the trial even begins, ranking potential jurors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm looking at how they're dressing, how they're carrying themselves in the courtroom.

ZAHN: Weeding out the unwanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to be dangerous for us.

ZAHN: Tonight, jury consultants and the business of choosing a friendly jury.

Then, a gruesome serial killer taunting police and evading capture for decades. The hunt for the BTK killer, one city's endless nightmare.


ZAHN: We start tonight with a 15-year-old boy who was on trial for murder. As far as a jury in South Carolina was concerned, the anti-depressant drug Zoloft did not make him do it; 15-year-old Chris Pittman was convicted today of two counts of murder for killing his grandparents just three years ago. Before the judge sentenced him to the minimum 30 years in prison, Pittman spoke in court.


CHRIS PITTMAN, DEFENDANT: All I can really say is that I know it's in the hands of God. And whatever he decides, well, that's what it's going to be.


ZAHN: While Pittman's defense team argued that Zoloft clouded his mind and sent him spinning out of control, the jury didn't buy that.

The Food and Drug Administration says 11 million prescriptions for antidepressants were written for children in 2002. And, in a sense, the case put that practice on trial.

Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has that part of the story.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At dawn that November morning, as the ashes of the house began to cool, firemen found the first corpse.

SGT. JAMES MCNEIL, CHESTER COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: A body discovered. Actually, two bodies were discovered.

COHEN: Joe Frank Pittman and his wife, Joy, asleep in bed killed by two shotgun blasts. Their 12-year-old grandson, Chris, was missing. Hunters found him in the woods in the next county in rural South Carolina. The boy blamed a black stranger.

MCNEIL: Basically, he told them that he was abducted by a black man and he had killed his grandparents and burned the house.

COHEN: But Chris' story soon changed.

(on camera): Did he confess?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gave us a statement stating that he shot and killed his grandparents.

COHEN (voice-over): Now 15, the boy listened as his confession was read in court.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "I got the shotgun out of the cabinet. I went in their room. I just aimed at the bed. I shot four times."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This kid waited his grandparents went to bed, went to sleep, came in and shot them in the face, in the mouth with a shotgun, as cold and brutal act as I've witnessed in 25 years of prosecuting.

COHEN: Chris' father, Joe Pittman, was bewildered and battered by the loss of his parents and the loss of his son.

JOE PITTMAN, FATHER: Right now, I don't see my son. I don't see that light in his eyes. I see darkness.

COHEN: Beneath this smile, Chris Pittman was a troubled child. Court records show his mother abandoned him as a baby. He had a rocky relationship with his father and ran away from his Florida home when he was 12. He was sent briefly to a psychiatric treatment center, then went to live with his grandparents outside Chester, South Carolina, where he spent summer vacations.

Mitchell Snelgrove was one of his Chris' best friends.

MITCHELL SNELGROVE, FRIEND: I don't know many people that would just get up on their grandparents' lap and say, I love you, pop-pop, or something like that in front of one of their friends. But that's what he did.

COHEN: And Mitchell's family, Chris Snelgrove, was the family pastor. He says when Chris came back that fall, he'd changed.

CHRIS SNELGROVE, FAMILY PASTOR: Just knew that he was different toward me and that he seemed to never really look me in the face or to talk directly to me.

COHEN: Chris was having problems at school. He was accused of choking a younger boy. His grandfather threatened to send him back to Florida. And that night, by his own admission, the 12-year-old boy took the shotgun from the gun safe, went into the bedroom in the dark, killed his grandparents, and then used candles and lighter fluid to set the house on fire.

Chris, his family, and his lawyers are blaming the gruesome murders on a pill, Zoloft, a popular antidepressant.

Andy Vickery is Chris' lawyer.

ANDY VICKERY, ATTORNEY FOR PITTMAN: He had these command hallucinations inside of his head. They didn't come externally. They came from inside his head, you know, kill, kill, kill.

COHEN: According to Vickery, the family doctor prescribed Zoloft to Chris on November 5, 2001, just days after his arrival in South Carolina. He killed his grandparents on the night of November 28. Zoloft is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be prescribed to children and teens with depression, but often is.

Among the defense witnesses, a former FDA official who helped green-light these antidepressants, Dr. Richard Kapit. He interviewed Chris Pittman and believed Zoloft made him psychotic.

DR. RICHARD KAPIT, PSYCHIATRIST: He was hallucinating at the time and he was responding to those hallucinations. I have looked at the statements around the time of the event and I have talked to people who knew Chris Pittman. And all of those things make me think that he was under the influence of Zoloft at the time and that this affected his mind, and it was in that abnormal state of mind that he committed these crimes.

COHEN: But prosecution psychiatrists Dr. Pamela Crawford testified the boy showed planning by waiting for his victims to go to sleep that night. She said setting the fire to get away was a sign of guilt.

DR. PAMELA CRAWFORD, WITNESS: It shows not only that he knew it was wrong, but he knew that it was legally wrong to do this, that he knew there would be some consequence.

COHEN: For more than a decade, a controversy has swirled around whether Zoloft and similar antidepressants can make people violent; 250 million prescriptions have been written for Zoloft. And Pfizer, which makes the drugs, denies it was connected to the deaths. The company issued this statement: "There is no scientific evidence to suggest that Zoloft contributes to violent behavior in either adults or children. It's unfortunate that unfounded allegations in this case may create undo concern on the part of the patients who benefit most from this medicine."

(on camera): The FDA has never stated that there is a proven link between antidepressants and violence towards others. But the FDA is concerned about suicidal behavior among children taking Zoloft and similar drugs. Last fall, the agency told doctors to watch their younger patients carefully for signs of agitation, aggression, anxiety and hostility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury unanimously find the defendant guilty of murder.

COHEN (voice-over): In the end, the jury decided Chris Pittman's behavior may have been changed by Zoloft, but that the drug was not to be blamed for the murders. Chris Pittman was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It always seemed like the defense was grasping at straws, trying to use the drug and the side effects as a smokescreen. Would it actually push him to the point where he would commit murder? No. We came to the decision that it did not. Just because you take a prescription medication doesn't mean you can't be held accountable for your actions.


ZAHN: So, Elizabeth, that begs the question. If you have this conviction here today, does that mean Zoloft is off the hook completely?

COHEN: Well, it's off the hook in this case, but Zoloft and other antidepressants in the same class are not off the hook in civil litigation, parents who are suing companies because their children went on these drugs and then killed themselves.

And the FDA is actually much more clear about these drugs and suicidal thoughts and behavior than homicidal thoughts and behavior. I'm reading from the FDA's medication guide. They say antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts and actions in some children and teenagers -- Paula.

ZAHN: This case raised a bunch of really interesting issues that I think we'll all be debating for some time. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks for the update. Appreciate it.

This of course has been a terrible ordeal for Chris Pittman's family. In just a minute, I'm going to ask his aunt why she's gone from blaming him and hating him to believing that today's verdict was dead wrong.


ZAHN: The guilty verdict against Chris Pittman has devastated his family. His father said the jury had no compassion, no heart and promised not to give up fighting for his son.

And joining me now from Charleston, South Carolina, Chris Pittman's aunt, Melinda Rector. She testified on her nephew's behalf, even though he was responsible for her parents' death.

Melinda, thank you for joining us at such a tough time for your family.


ZAHN: This has been so terrible for your family all the way around. We just mentioned the loss of your parents, now this conviction. And, in the beginning, I know you had tremendous hate for your nephew, but you came to a different point of view over a period of time. What happened?

RECTOR: A lot happened.

I still have my own grief to deal with, Paula. And I'm not a psychopharmaceutical or psychotherapist or any of that, so I just knew there was a lot of questions that I had and a lot of things that didn't make sense. So I just, in my mind, went through everything, worst-case scenario and still couldn't make sense of it, until one day I was sitting down doing paperwork and had a yellow highlighter. And then things started popping at me and everything started making sense.

ZAHN: And at what point did you believe that Chris killed your parents because he was on Zoloft?

RECTOR: When I saw, in the paperwork that I was doing, with my yellow highlighter, and I could correspond with him being on medications, put on medication, medication changed, or when the medication was even discontinued, things that would happen to my nephew that I saw to be out of character for his behavior.

And when I started tying it all together, it made perfect sense.

ZAHN: But that theory didn't make any sense to this jury. Why don't you think the jury bought that story?

RECTOR: Because they did not know my nephew and they did not know my family. And in trying to get to know the family, we were always objected to. They didn't get to hear what we really knew about him.

And the prosecutor did an excellent job in making him out to be a troubled child from the first grade.

ZAHN: Chris' father said this was a jury that had no heart, no compassion. Do you agree with him?

RECTOR: I can't agree with that. I think that we had -- the jurors had to go by what was presented to them. And I don't think the presentation -- what was presented to them was enough about that specific span in his life for them to see what we saw. They didn't know him. ZAHN: The jury, of course, was exposed in graphic detail to the murder of your parents. And I know that must have churned your gut, as well as everybody else in the courtroom, when you had to be exposed to it.

But after the damage of that was done, do you think there really was anything the defense could have said to reverse that picture?

RECTOR: I really am not sure on that what they could have done, unless they could have shown more of the documents that were there. If they could have put it in a timeline and maintained it to the time of when the incidences truly started happening.

ZAHN: Did you have an opportunity to speak with Chris today?

RECTOR: Yes, I did, just recently.

ZAHN: Are you comfortable sharing with us what you said to him and what he said to you?

RECTOR: Well, just before, a few minutes before we went on, I got to talk to him on the cell phone. And he said, hey, Aunt Mindy. And I said, hey, Chris, how you hanging in there? And he was crying. He said he was hanging in there the best that he can. And I told me, I says, I love you. We're pulling for you. We're going to continue doing everything we can to get you out of there and get you home.

And that's what we're going to do, and just reminding him we love him. And he says, I know. And I gave the phone to his dad.

ZAHN: And his dad, of course, a number of times, making it very clear what he thought about this decision by the jury.

Melinda Rector, once again, I know this isn't easy for you to have to remember all of what your family has endured. Thank you for sharing your part of the story with us tonight.

RECTOR: Your welcome, Paula. Thank you for listening.

ZAHN: And we will be right back.


ZAHN: A series of brutal murder leaves a Kansas town terrorized, residents paralyzed by fear. The suspect leaves tempting clues, then disappears, only to surface again decades later. It may sound like the plot for a best-seller. But, this time, it's real and the killer is still on the loose.

David Mattingly has the latest chapter in this disturbing case.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): January 15, 1974, Julie Otero is murdered in her home in Wichita, Kansas. The killer then murders her husband and two of her children. Months later, a chilling letter arrives at the local paper. "When this monster entered my brain, I will never know, but it is here to stay," the killer writes. "Maybe you can stop him. I can't. He has already chosen his next victim."

(on camera): Do you remember that first day when someone came to you and said, I think we have a serial killer?

RICHARD LAMUNYON, WICHITA POLICE CHIEF: It was something that I had in the back of my mind, but it's only something that you read about, something that you watch on television.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): In the '70s, Richard Lamunyon was a young chief of police and among those stunned by the twisted brutality in the way the killer treated his victims. He remembers the fear and the frustration as he tried to reassure the public.

LAMUNYON: I think we'll solve the crime. The question is, when will we solve the crime?

That was me 27 years ago. Yes, that was me.

MATTINGLY (on camera): You still stand by that statement?

LAMUNYON: I still stand by that statement, yes. We will catch him. And I have thought that all along, because he wants to be caught. He wants to be identified.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Some now believe that moment may be at hand. The on-again/off-again killing spree has left at least eight dead, possibly more. The killer calls himself BTK, which stands for "bind them, torture them, kill them," a pattern he has followed with most of his victims. He has also developed a taste for publicity.

Over 31 years, he has sent many notes to Wichita police and the local media and once even reported one of his murders to 911.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You will find a homicide at 843 South Pershing.


MATTINGLY (on camera): Experts following the case agree the killer's greatest talent may be deception. His actions do not fit into any one particular profile and his communications contain such a wide array of possible clues that no clear picture of him emerges.

(voice-over): The last known murder was 1986. A 28-year-old mother named Vicki Wegerle was killed, like all the others, in her Wichita home. But this time, there were no calls, no notes. So many years went by that some believed BTK was dead. They were wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This morning, we have more information on the letter sent to "The Wichita Eagle" by the BTK killer. MATTINGLY: Last spring, after nearly a 25-year silence, the killer unleashed a flurry of communications to local media, including a package dropped in this Wichita park containing the driver's license of one of his victims.

(on camera): How unusual is this, for a serial killer to give back mementos that he has taken?

ROBERT BEATTIE, ATTORNEY: I've never heard of that happening before at all.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Wichita attorney Robert Beattie has written a soon-to-be-published book on BTK and is among those believing the killer has reemerged with a purpose.

(on camera): Is it possible he's winding down, maybe coming to some sort of conclusion?

BEATTIE: He may be winding down to a conclusion or climax or he may be teasing us. While we're all expecting something, he will just disappear like Jack the Ripper.

MATTINGLY: Do you think he'll kill again?

LAMUNYON: I -- you cannot rule that out. I personally don't think he will. And the reason is, you know, he still has these memories. I think he's guilt-ridden now. And I think he will -- that the final hurrah that he refers to is the idea that he will come forward.

MATTINGLY: But if there is a final chapter to be told, to whom will the killer tell it? One veteran Wichita journalist who has been reading the words of this murderer for 31 years decided it was time to take a chance and talk back.


ZAHN: Well, David Mattingly just raised a disturbing question. Would you give a publicity hungry killer the publicity he wants?


LARRY HATTEBERG, KAKE ANCHOR: This is not a guy you want to tick off. This is not a guy you want to make mad. This is a guy you want to keep happy. So if this constant publicity keeps him happy, so be it.


ZAHN: And, in a minute, we're going to take you behind the headlines to meet the man who has opened up a dialogue with the BTK killer.


ZAHN: It was about a year ago when the people of Wichita, Kansas, got a chilling reminder their 25-year-long nightmare wasn't over.

Part two of David Mattingly's story now goes behind the headlines in the hunt for the serial murderer who called himself BTK, bind, torture and kill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today's message is eerily similar to a postcard KAKE received last week.

HATTEBERG: The theory is that this guy has probably been living amongst us for the past 30 years, going to the store with us, going to the movies. And that's the scary part.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could make BTK into something more in terms of that, but right now all we have got with him is just the one story.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): After apparently vanishing 18 years ago, the Wichita serial killer known as BTK reemerged last March with a flurry of mysterious packages and cryptic notes, three of them delivered to television station KAKE.

HATTEBERG: Then you can say the BTK thing...


HATTEBERG: ... coming up tonight.

MATTINGLY: And today, it is clearly the story that drives the news.

HATTEBERG: Well, that search for BTK continues today.

BTK is the master puppeteer. He controls the police department. He controls the media and he controls the public. And he's the guy pulling the strings.

MATTINGLY: News anchor Larry Hatteberg was a young photographer at the scene of the first BTK murders in 1974 and he has covered every BTK murder ever since.

HATTEBERG: It was a terrible, terrible murder. And I remember thinking -- and we talked about it on television and of course it was discussed in the newspaper -- that things -- murders like this don't happen in Wichita, Kansas.

MATTINGLY: But this time, it's different. There's a new generation of viewers instantly fearful of what this killer might do, though, strangely, there are so far no new victims. The frequency of recent notes, however, suggests BTK has not lost his apparent need for attention, a trait that dates back to his first letter to this station in 1978.

HATTEBERG: He wrote to us and he said -- quote -- "How many more people do I have to kill before I get my name in the paper?" This is not a guy you want to tick off. This is not a guy you want to make mad. This is a guy you want to keep happy. So, if this constant publicity keeps him happy, so be it.

MATTINGLY: So, on February 3, Hatteberg had the idea to start a conversation, address the murderer directly in a newscast, in hopes of keeping the communication going. After 31 years of reading the words of a killer, Hatteberg was talking back.

HATTEBERG: We know he is watching and we know he is listening. And to him, we say, the message has been received and passed on.

As long as he's talking, as long as he's writing, as long as he's communicating, he's not killing. And that's the thing that we don't want to have happen is to him -- is for him to kill again.

MATTINGLY: There were similar attempts to open a dialogue 31 years ago. At one time, Wichita Police even asked KAKE to air subliminal messages. Flash frames telling the killer to call the chief didn't work and so far the killer has not responded to Hatteberg.

MATTINGLY: Do you think he was watching?

HATTEBERG: I think he was probably watching. I think he watches us every night and I'm pretty sure he was watching tonight because he watches for the publicity and he got a lot of publicity with this story tonight.

MATTINGLY: What would you do if you walked back into this news room and found that he was waiting for you at the other end of the telephone?

HATTEBERG: I would talk to him and then call 911, in that order.

MATTINGLY: But if the day soon comes as some suggest that BTK decides to reveal himself, Hatteberg is ready with the question on everyone's mind.

HATTEBERG: I want him to be sitting right where you are and I want to look into his eyes and I want to say, why? What made you do this? What was inside your soul that caused you to do what you did? What kind of demons are in there? I want to talk to him. All of us want to talk to this guy.

MATTINGLY: It remains to be seen however if anyone will get that chance. Whether BTK is through terrorizing the city he has kept on edge for 31 years or he's just ending the chapter to a long and brutal story.


ZAHN: David Mattingly with part two of that story. And KAKE anchor, Larry Hatteberg who you just met says he plans to continue trying to send messages to the killer despite how controversial that may seem to some of you.

You also need to know about a scary new trend involving sex and illegal drugs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A three day marathon of unprotected crystallized sex that did leave me infected with HIV, with no idea of who gave it to me.


ZAHN: Meet a man who uses music to sound a severe warning that could make a life or death difference. That's coming up next.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Now, sex and drugs and a deadly new trend. A bus this week in Georgia is just one sign of how methamphetamine abuse is evolving from a rural problem to an urban one. In the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna, police shut down a meth lab in a home and seized 40 pounds of drugs worth $2.8 million. Now, in New York this week, concern about meth and AIDS. Health officials here are studying a new more powerful strain of the AIDS virus. It was found in a man who used methamphetamine and had unprotected sex with multiple male partners. You might remember that 20 years ago, the gay community declared war on HIV and safe sex became the rule. Now, meth seems to be changing all of that. Here's medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


TOMMY FOSTER, HIV POSITIVE: At high school, I was a total geek. I didn't smoke, I didn't drink until I was in college, and I was drug- free until I was 24.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: 27-year-old Tommy Foster is a struggling actor in New York City. He looks like an all American boy.

FOSTER: Just say no. No. Who needs a lover? Not I.

GUPTA: The songs are Broadway tunes. The context, his life story. The date, the one-year anniversary of the day he was diagnosed HIV-positive.

FOSTER: For nearly 20 years I was Nancy Reagan's poster child for a drug-free America. Just say no, and the DARE program scared me silly.

GUPTA: You might say he's a poster child for a new face of HIV/AIDS. Difficult times and a craving for acceptance led Tommy into a rising subculture which is tearing up the gay community both medically and morally.

FOSTER: I gave in to a craving, a three day marathon of unprotected crystallized sex that did leave me infected with HIV and with no idea who gave it to me.

The purpose in me doing my show is to offer myself and what happened to me up as a specimen to be examined.

GUPTA: Crystal methamphetamine also known as crystal, meth, crank, ice, or Tina (ph) is a cheap, highly potent stimulant. It first surfaced in poor areas of the rural Midwest and southern United States. More recently it's been glamorized in certain sexually charged environments and some gay communities across America.

(on camera): You can snort it, you can smoke it, you can inject it, you can swallow it. Simply put it messes with the serotonin and dopamine in your brain. Those are the cells that stabilize mood. It will keep you up for days, take away all your inhibitions and it's as addictive if not more so than heroin.

FOSTER: You get a rush of almost like adrenaline immediately. Just thinking about doing it causes my body to react as if I had just done it. And it's like all of a sudden your eyes focus in a way like you've never seen things before. Immediately, it turns everything sexual. Everything sexual.

DR. HOWARD GROSSMAN, HIV SPECIALIST: With the advent of drugs for erectile dysfunction, we're seeing the tying of crystal and staying up all nights and staying up for days in a row tied in with sex.

GUPTA: Dr. Howard Grossman has been working with AIDS patients since 1981.

GROSSMAN: They can go on and on having sex for days, literally, and they do it. I mean, it's like a man's fantasy come true, let's face it.

GUPTA: Which is why crystal is being blamed for contributing to the increase in HIV infections among gay men, which according to the latest CDC reports is up 17 percent.

DR. PERRY HALKITIS, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: It's 20 years into the epidemic, you would think this wouldn't be going on anymore.

GUPTA: Perry, who's been tracking crystal use in New York since 1998, published the first study to show a clear link between crystal meth use and HIV transmission.

HALKITIS: Men who use methamphetamine tend to be hypersexual. They tend to have higher levels of anonymous partnerings, more partners, more men that they have sex with unsafely than men who do not use this drug.

GROSSMAN: I have patients who tell me they haven't had sex in the last three years without being high on crystal. And so how do they separate that out? When they go into recovery they are afraid they are never going to have sex again.

GUPTA: In the mid eighties after Rock Hudson disclosed he was dying of AIDS more than 50 percent of gay men in New York and San Francisco were HIV positive. The numbers have dropped since then but crystal use may have a hand in reversing that trend. PETER STALEY, HIV POSITIVE: The fact that 10 to 15 percent of gay men are using it and half of those are HIV positive is a very shocking number.

GUPTA: Peter Staley was diagnosed with HIV in 1985 when it was considered a death sentence. Anger and frustration pushed Staley to join ACT UP and he became one of the most recognizable faces in gay rights and AIDS activism. He was on the front line of a societal transformation.

STALEY: Every gay man started wearing condoms if they engaged in sex. And it almost completely eliminated the spread of HIV in gay men.

GUPTA: And when the protease inhibitors arrived in late 1990, people started living longer than ever before. But something else happened.

STALEY: I think safe sex fatigue set in and there also was a rise of complacency about what living with HIV actually meant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are young guys that aren't scared of it anymore, so they're being a little more lax about it. I knew better. But on the drug, you'll let anybody do anything.

GUPTA: After a 2 1/2-year struggle with his own crystal addiction, Staley was compelled to move again to the front line.

STALEY: This is a very dangerous drug. It's destroying the lives of many of my friends. And we need to have that conversation and ask why we're playing with this particular drug.

GUPTA: Staley started that conversation by placing provocative, in your face ads around New York's Chelsea. That's New York's self- proclaimed gay ghetto, which triggered an immediate reaction from all sides, including the city government, which helped fund the campaign.

Staley's now working with New York's HIV Forum to change the social norms around the drug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The title of the campaign is "Crystal Free and Sexy. What's sexy to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm crystal free.

GUPTA: A similar ad campaign was launched in San Francisco's gay neighborhoods, where crystal use has been rampant for the past few years and has left a devastating hangover.

And they're targeting the highway, where men cruise for drug induced sexual encounters, the Internet. Along with ads for "party and play" or "bb," which is slang for tina and unprotected sex, are pop-up ads, surveys and links to crystal information sites. Straight talk about crystal, sex and HIV.

STALEY: You can't stop the spread of HIV unless you talk about sex.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Methamphetamine in New York City is right now primarily a problem in the gay community. It is not going to stay a problem in the gay community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has already spread into straight communities and the people who party and it will spread into colleges and high schools and lower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want other people to end up in the situation that I'm in. I want to make a difference. And I'm not going to wait until I'm a big movie star to do it, because I may never be a big movie star.


ZAHN: As if this stuff wasn't serious enough, it came -- reported over the weekend that there is a new strain of HIV virus that has doctors incredibly concerned. What do we know about it?

GUPTA: A couple of things. It's different then anything we've ever seen before for two reasons. It doesn't appear to respond to any of the medications. And there are good medications out there to treat HIV. This virus is not responding to three out of the four generations. The fourth generation's still being used to try and test it.

But I think more concerning is that a person went straight from diagnosed with HIV to almost full-blown AIDS in a very short period of time. That's very concerning. Obviously, people had this period of time in between diagnosis and AIDS that they could possibly be treated.

ZAHN: Is it clear yet what effect meth use would have on this new strain of HIV virus?

GUPTA: You know, it's so remarkable. I mean, you see crystal meth. And all the gains that have been made and sort of thwarted the progressive of HIV in the gay community are being erased by this one drug. It's just unbelievable to sort of hear that.

But also, when it comes to this particular virus, if you have men who are engaging in high-risk behavior, they're uninhibited because of the drug and they're doing things they otherwise wouldn't. I mean, you know, smart people now doing that, you could perpetuate the strain that might otherwise have been isolated to just one or two individuals.

ZAHN: What a nightmare.

GUPTA: It's something to really be dealt with here.

ZAHN: Sanjay Gupta, good to see you in person for a change. Nice to see you outside of that little box. Usually, you're down south.

Time to check in with Larry King, who's up at the top of the hour.

Hi, Larry. How are you doing tonight?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Hi, Paula. And for you, I didn't do it last night, but here's my love Valentine tie.

ZAHN: A day late but it makes all the difference, Larry. Thank you. I'm so touched.

KING: It's my history. We celebrate Valentine's on the 15th. This one's for you.

ZAHN: A brand new holiday. Thank you. Who you talking to tonight besides me?

KING: We've got quite a guest list. We've got everybody, practically, involved in the tragedy down in South Carolina, Christopher Pittman, who was convicted today of murder. We'll have his father. We'll have his sister. We'll have his maternal grandparents. We'll have his attorneys. And we'll have a member of the jury, all at 9 p.m. Eastern, Paula.

ZAHN: What a tragedy all the way around for that family.

And we want everybody to mark their calendars, February 15th, brand new holiday. Thanks, Lar. Appreciate the gesture.

KING: Bye, honey.

ZAHN: Now here's something to think about. The next time you get called for jury, people you don't know could be checking up on you. You don't to miss our next story about what's really involved in picking a jury.


ZAHN: Michael Jackson's trial has been delayed once again. Two weeks ago, it was a death in the family of Jackson's defense attorney. Today, you might have heard that Jackson was rushed to the hospital with a case of the flu, so the judge put jury selection on hold until next Tuesday.

That, of course, gives both sides extra time to study the jury pool. And more and more lawyers are turning to consultants when picking the people who will sit in the jury box. Martha Stewart's lawyers used them, as did Scott Peterson, and it's a good bet, so are Jackson's.

Tonight, a rare look inside the process of picking a jury. Here's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (voice-over): Twelve empty chairs, 12 ordinary citizens, a seemingly simple pairing at the heart of the American justice system, but playing out behind the scenes... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Jones denies that he was left of center.

TOOBIN: ... the business of jury selection, a complicated and highly specialized science.

JASON BLOOM, JURY SPECIALIST: I'd pay particular attention to jurors No. 6 and juror No. 10.

TOOBIN: Enter the jury consultants.

GENE HACKMAN, ACTOR: Find something on every one of them. Pull their files. Review every word, every photo, every medical record. Do it.

TOOBIN: In the 2003 movie, "Runaway Jury," experts say Gene Hackman's portrayal of a consultant blinded by power was exaggerated. But in real life, a consultant can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

CINDY ANDREWS, JURY SPECIALIST: Ask them what they like best about their job.

GUPTA: At CSI, Courtroom Science Incorporated, near Dallas, Texas, nothing about jury selection is left to chance. Its state-of- the-art facility claims to be the largest of its kind in the world with mock courtrooms, closed-circuit cameras, video editing and a high-tech control room that rivals some TV studios.

For jury specialists Jason Bloom and Cindy Andrews, it's a legal laboratory, perfect for pretrial experiments.

ANDREWS: I think people would be surprised to learn there is a great amount of effort that goes on in the front end of the jury selection process. It's not just what happens in the courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your medical studies?

ANDREWS: There has been vast amounts of information gathered on the jurors ahead of time.

TOOBIN: Among CSI's services, mock trials and training workshops.

BLOOM: What we try to do is help the attorneys build rapport with the jurors, because rapport is a big part of persuasion. Maybe that involves stepping closer towards them. Maybe it involves smiling more.

ANDREWS: They're going to be highly attuned to everything that's going on in the courtroom.

TOOBIN: Their work is highly develop confidential, so CSI simulated a jury selection process for CNN's cameras.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your hands if you can follow the law. TOOBIN: It frequently starts with a written questionnaire, containing several red flag questions designed to root out jurors' potential biases.

BLOOM: You're fishing for information. So you need to be able to tell the attorney that if you want to find these fish, you need to use these pieces of bait.

TOOBIN: The next step is called voir dire, French for to speak the truth. During this stage, attorneys ask potential jurors a wide variety of personal questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your career background?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And you said your father was a minister.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you more of a sympathetic person or more of a practical person?

TOOBIN: Every question is carefully crafted to reveal key information and insight into each juror. They also watch for clues in a juror's body language and appearance.

ANDREWS: I'm looking at how they're dressing, how they're carrying themselves in the courtroom, their level of deference to the judge.

BLOOM: It scares me when I get some closed body language, because it means that they're not really open to that attorney. Maybe they're even offended by some of the questions he's asking.

TOOBIN: While the process is called jury selection, the two sides are actually deselecting jurors who might rule against them. But in high stakes trials, consultants are increasingly on guard against a threat known as the stealth juror.

BLOOM: Stealth jurors are people that want to get on the jury because they've got a hidden agenda. Other people in high profile cases may want to get a book interview, may want to get a TV interview, may have other alternative agendas for wanting to get on that jury.

TOOBIN: What's good for the prosecution may not be good for the defense. But both sides try to avoid certain high-risk jurors: people with strong personalities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're ridiculous. They are ridiculous.

TOOBIN: Self-appointed experts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where you can actually assign, like, percentages of negligence.

TOOBIN: Leaders, who could all have the power to sway a jury, like Henry Fonda did in "12 Angry Men."

HENRY FONDA, ACTOR: No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's sure.

TOOBIN: Consultants also pay attention to a group's interaction. To that end, they recruit a pool of people who match their ideal jury and closely watch them during mock deliberations.

BLOOM: Watching to see who's talking the most, watching to see how one person can sway another person or another group of people, looking to see, really, where the heat of the battles are in the deliberations.

TOOBIN: Cindy ranks every potential juror with a score or grade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did we give No. 1?

ANDREWS: We graded her an F.


ANDREWS: Likewise, an F.

TOOBIN: Then she come piles a strike list of dangerous jurors to eliminate and a wish list of ideal jurors to keep.

ANDREWS: There's a little bit of gamesmanship or chess playing in the sense that you're trying to outsmart the other side.

TOOBIN: Finally, each side takes turns dismissing jurors in a rapid-fire elimination process known as preliminary challenges. Some call it the big spin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Defendants challenge No. 13, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Defense exercises their first peremptory challenge to juror No. 3.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Defense challenge No. 9, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plaintiff will exercise its second peremptory challenge as to juror No. 7, your honor.

GUPTA: All this research isn't cheap. A trial consultant's day rate can be as high as $5,000, and a mock trial can run another $20,000 a day.


ZAHN: Fascinating. Jeffrey Toobin reporting for us tonight.

One more note about jury consultants. They actually pay people to be spectators in court -- shadow jurors they call them -- who closely match the real jurors. And then they give them feedback every night about what worked and what didn't.

When it comes to putting on the dog here in New York, you're going to find some very interesting tales. Beauty secrets for these paws after a quick pause. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The they will be handing out the top awards tonight at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show here in New York, so Jeanne Moos went hunting for the dog groomers' best-kept secrets.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mysteries of Westminster. Let us let you in on some dog show secrets. For instance, they sometimes spray stuff on paws so the contestants don't slip.

There are grooming techniques from top...


MOOS: ... to middle.

(on camera) Don't want you shaving me there.

(voice-over) To tail end.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has a little -- lost a little bit of hair on her tail so I'm covering it up.

MOOS: And what is that thing?


MOOS: Simone has eye makeup on her tail.

(voice-over) At the dog show, there's nothing sheepish about a sheep dog in pink footies or ears wrapped to keep the fur straight, slobber free until show time.

And if your dog looks like a mop, drying after a bath is crucial. Ask the owner of this Hungarian Pumi named Hunk of Burning Love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's thoroughly dried so that he doesn't mildew.

MOOS: Nothing worse than a mildewy dog.

Some breeds barely beauty secrets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like wash and wear.

MOOS: Owners practice everything from belly rubs...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're bonding.

MOOS: ... last minute cell phone calls. They say Chance likes hearing from his owner's mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's Grammy, yes. MOOS: And then there's the not so secret world of bait used to keep the dog's attention. But if you are going to use garlic chicken, it's best not to shake hands. Just as we use makeup, show dogs use powder, especially on those trouble spots.

(on camera) Nothing insulting but they're always a little yellow around the mouth.

(voice-over) Reach for the cornstarch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you have to have it all out of the dog when you go around the ring, because you don't want the dog running around in a cloud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have seen people take magic marker and paint noses.

MOOS: Show dogs tend to be groomed with people products.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I use Aveda Volumizer on my dog.

MOOS: If it's good enough for man's best friend...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It shines him up.

MOOS: ... it's good enough for me.

(on camera) Same stuff as the dogs. How do I look?

(voice-over) And if you don't want to leave Westminster with your tail between your legs, tickle theirs. It will stand up.


ZAHN: Hey, Jeanne, you win. Nice volume on the hair there. Wonder if you ever got the product out of it.

The Westminster Dog Show gets more popular every year. Last night, at Madison Square Garden, the show held its first sellout crowd in history.

That wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for joining us. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. He'll be talking with members of Chris Pittman's family about the verdict in the Zoloft case.

Again, appreciate your joining us tonight. Hope to see you again tomorrow night.


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