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Race to Save Unidentified Abuse Victim; Search Continues For 12-Year-Old Florida Girl; Adolf Hitler of Mixed Heritage

Aired April 27, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
A new and controversial development in the race to save an unidentified girl from unspeakable abuse.


ZAHN (voice-over): A crucial decision in a critical case. Have you seen this little girl? She may hold the key to a horrible crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has been on the same furniture in the same room and quite possibly knows the person that photographed the victim.

ZAHN: The search for a girl growing up in the darkest shadows of the Internet.

DET. SGT. PAUL GILLESPIE, TORONTO POLICE SEX CRIMES UNIT: But every other seizure, every other arrest we make, we find people that have some different pictures of her.

ZAHN: Protecting our children. Can you help rescue a victim of child pornography?


ZAHN: There has been a very important new development in a story we have been following for some time. It is a picture of a little girl. Florida authorities say it was taken perhaps as long as three years ago. She is sitting on the same couch in the same room where another little girl has been photographed as she was being sexually abused. That abuse has been going on for years now.

And people actually trade pictures of her on the Internet. We don't know the identity of either girl at this hour. And there is no evidence that the girl whose picture was released today has ever been abused. Here is the picture again. Look carefully. Authorities debated whether it should have been released at all. Their hope, though, is, if they can find this girl, she may be able to lead them to the victim before it's too late.

In a few minutes, I will be talking with the detective who has been on this case for years and has spent much of his career protecting our children. We'll also give you a phone number to call if you can help out at all. But, first, some background from David Mattingly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that's identified?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the girl with the rubber ball in her mouth, right?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every week, detectives in the Toronto Police Department child exploitation section try to identify child pornography victims from some of the vilest Internet postings imaginable.

(on camera): Do you remember clearly that first time you saw this kind of material?

KIM MOIR, TORONTO POLICE DEPARTMENT: I thought I was going to cry. It took a lot to still hold it in. My stomach just flipped. And that still happens.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But out of the 50,000 anonymous faces that officers have to endure, there is one that offers hope.

GILLESPIE: I do believe she's grown up with this. I don't think this is new to her. You can often tell when children appear to be abused or when they are abused whether or not it's the first time or not.

MATTINGLY: She's a girl but no more than 12. But when Detective Sergeant Paul Gillespie directed officers through dozens of the girl's photographs in search of clues, they came up with an idea.

GILLESPIE: When you look at one of these horrific pictures of abuse, unless you put your thumb over it, you just can't even concentrate on anything that might be in the background. So, when we see these images, we actually paint out the victim ourselves. And that led to, well, let's try to rebuild the picture without her in it.

MATTINGLY: It was so simple, they wondered why no one had done it before, erase the girl from the photograph and then fill in the parts of the room that her image had covered up. What they got were surprisingly accurate pictures of crime scenes, pictures they could release to the public, something police rarely do with evidence of cases of child sexual abuse.

(on camera): Were you taking a risk when you went to the public with those photographs?

GILLESPIE: I think you have to recognize there is a potential risk, the risk being that what happens if the offender sees them and recognizes that we're on to him. Could he do something? Could he do something to the victim? MATTINGLY: Oh, my gosh.

(voice-over): Gillespie believes the girl is being sexually abused by someone as close as a father or an uncle. But with the reconstructed photos, he decided the chances of a breakthrough were too great to keep the photos from the public.

GILLESPIE: We now know where a crime scene was.

MATTINGLY: And the gamble paid off. It was this picture of a hotel room that was the turning point. Someone recognized this bedspread from a Disney resort in Orlando and tipped off the police.

GILLESPIE: I do believe, in this large list of names that we have of people that were at the hotel within this time frame, I absolutely believe he's in that list.

MATTINGLY: But it could still take precious time, perhaps months, before police could check out the thousands of guests who stayed there during that time. All the while, Gillespie is forced to sit on even better evidence that he knows could possibly end his search tomorrow.

(on camera): It has got to be so tempting, knowing that you could just put her picture out there and almost instantly maybe get a tip.

GILLESPIE: Yes. And I do sense that's the way this has to go.

MATTINGLY: For Gillespie and the Toronto detectives, it is an agonizing dilemma. Releasing the girl's face to the public would almost certainly help find her, but could easily put her life in jeopardy. And the shame of being revealed could do her lasting harm.

(on camera): The one thing that could break this case wide open is the one thing police have been so afraid to do. They fear that, in holding back, they have made a decision that may haunt them for many years to come.

GILLESPIE: Is that worse than allowing them to suffer for the next five years every day of their life?

MATTINGLY (voice-over): At a recent conference in Texas, law enforcement and child welfare professionals made clear to Gillespie that they believe the time for caution is over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they're being put in these positions that they're putting in with this child pornography, I mean, my word, what could be worse than that?

MATTINGLY: It was exactly the answer he wanted to hear. By traveling and raising the question, Gillespie is building support for more aggressive use of the public in child pornography cases.

(on camera): There were people in that audience who strongly believe that you need to put that girl's picture out there right now. GILLESPIE: Yes. I was -- I was truthfully shocked that there wasn't one person in the audience made up of law enforcement and child protection workers that didn't think we should.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Authorities in the U.S. and Canada may soon put faces of child pornography victims among those of missing children and make them public without revealing why.

But, for now, while the girl's face remains out of the public eye, pedophiles around the world daily seek out her photographs, depicting acts of graphic sexual abuse. Toronto police say they weren't surprised when her photos turned up in the computer of a local scout leader, busted after allegedly sending child pornography to an online officer. Out on bond, the man has yet to enter a plea.

GILLESPIE: But every other seizure, every other arrest that we make, we find men people that have some, and different pictures of her. We have about 200 that we have recovered so far. And it's not unusual for when we -- during the course of a month to find two or three new pictures that we'd never seen.

MATTINGLY: And the pictures are never easy to look at. After years of peering into thousands of young tormented young faces, Gillespie complains of nightmares and wonders how much longer he'll last.

GILLESPIE: I don't know if I have too much longer to be able to do the hands-on work.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Why is that?

GILLESPIE: I don't know if I can look at too many more of the pictures. It's been almost five years now. And just when you thought you had seen the worst, you come into work the next day and then some other depravity occurs which you can't just go there.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): So, in the time he has left, Gillespie waits for a break in the case, as a young girl grows up on the Internet enduring unspeakable humiliation. And he hopes this is one child out of thousands whose rescue could be close at hand.


ZAHN: And joining me now from Orlando, Detective Sergeant Paul Gillespie of the Toronto Police Department.

Thank you so much for being with us tonight, Detective.

We are going to share with our audience the picture that you released this afternoon. And I know it was a tough call on your part. You never wanted to put this photo out there if it would harm the young girl in any way. But what is it that we are supposed to look at in this photo and understand? And where do you think it is going to lead us?

GILLESPIE: Well, the picture we released to day is somebody that we think is a material witness in this horrific abuse case. And we would like the media -- and we're thankful that you guys have done what you have done so far today -- to get it out there, so the public can have a look. And if anybody recognizes this little girl, please call us. And we would like to talk to her and potentially identify the victim in the abuse.

ZAHN: Why are you so convinced this little girl may hold the key to this other image of this other girl we also showed earlier on in this report that you know has been repeatedly abused over the years, with her images being sold on the Internet?

GILLESPIE: Since this story first broke, I'll be honest. There has been a feeding frenzy in certain parts of the Internet. And predators who seek out this material have been seeking actively this -- this -- this -- images of this series and this abuse.

We have been monitoring those chats. And about three weeks ago, we discovered this particular picture, which was released today. We have done a lot of work on the case for the last two years. And we are -- we are confident and -- because of the consistencies in this picture and another we have as well that this is from the same series. This is the same location as some of the abuse took place.

That is in the Northeast United States or Southeast Canada, and that's why we have moved forward with Orange County sheriffs. And they've taken the lead as the law enforcement agency in the states with ICE and we are going to move forward and try and identify the victim.

ZAHN: I know you seem to be convinced that this little girl whose picture you released today has not been the victim of any kind of abuse? How do you know that?

GILLESPIE: And the truthful answer is, we don't know that. We don't have any information. So, we are hoping that is the case. However, we certainly want to speak to this little girl for a number of reasons. And, hopefully, we get a call in the near future that allows us to do that.

ZAHN: What are the considerations you have to make before making the call you made this afternoon to make this public photo -- or this photo public?

GILLESPIE: I mean, we have to be aware and certainly cognizant of the fact that releasing any kind of picture like this potentially could cause harm to somebody.

But the reality is, in law enforcement, we are not doing very well at this. And we just have identified less than 500 of these 50,000 children on the Internet. So, we have to do business differently. I think we have to get a little more aggressive and we have to put the infrastructure in place to rescue these kids and then get them the help they need. And we just have to change the way we do business.

ZAHN: That is such an astonishing statistic you just shared with us, because we know you work around the clock trying to solve these cases, solving 500 of some 50,000 active cases out there. Why are these so difficult to break?

GILLESPIE: Well, and that's through the best efforts of all the best law enforcement agencies in the world. And it is a truthfully embarrassingly low number from law enforcement perspective.

To me, the main reason that we have not been very good at is, we are not coordinated in our efforts. We have a number of different law enforcement agencies around the world, the United States, that do great work and they don't really work together very often. We're not really sure what everybody else is doing. I think this is one area where we should probably just let down the guard a little bit, share everything, work with everything.

I have got a great team in my office of dedicated professionals. And they do just a fabulous job. And I just wish that we could all get on the same page and make a difference.

ZAHN: Well, I hope your calling attention to this will make a difference.

I know, when we read about a case look today, it seems like such an isolated case. But it isn't. There is so much of this going on. What do you want parents to understand about what their kids have access to the Internet and how vulnerable their kids are?

GILLESPIE: I guess two quick answers to that.

First of all, parents have to educate themselves to know what is happening on the Internet. You have to watch your kids and supervise them. And you know what? Parents are allowed to say no. And that's, to me, something perhaps we have overlooked. Second thing, parents just have to tell children at the earliest possible age about good touch, bad touch and the realities of life, that there are some bad people out there, and just to make the parent aware if anybody does anything inappropriate.

The victims are being victimized by parents -- or friends within the family, by people within a position of trust. These are not stranger attacks. So, parents just have to open the communication lines and spend some time with their kids and listen to them and watch them.

ZAHN: Well, we appreciate your joining us at the end of a very long and frustrating day. Sergeant Paul Gillespie, we hope you got a break in this case soon. And we are encouraging people, if they have any information and reaction to that photo, to get in touch with you.

Thank you again, Detective Gillespie.

GILLESPIE: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: We want to take a moment now to show you that photo again of the little girl who may be a material witness in this case. If you have any information at all about her or recognize anything at all in this picture, please call the Central Florida Crimeline at 1-866-635- HELP. Once again, that's 1-866-635-4357.

Now we are going to show you a picture of another missing girl. Her name is Margarita Aguilar-Lopez. An Amber Alert is now out for her in Florida. More on her case in just a moment.

But, also ahead, yet another little girl and another kidnapping, as the jury weighs the fate of Samantha Runnion's accused killer -- when we come back.


ZAHN: Tonight, the search continues for a kidnapped 12-year-old girl in Florida. An Amber Alert was issued yesterday for Margarita Aguilar-Lopez. Authorities believe she was abducted in the Tampa area by this man, 26-year-old Antonio Paulino-Perez, who may be driving a red van. They are migrant workers, people unlikely to leave a paper trail. So, investigators don't have much to go on beyond these photos.

But they say they believe the girl is in danger tonight. If you have any information at all about them, call 1-800-THE-LOST. That's 1-800-THE-LOST.

Now, one of the abductions that helped fix the nation's attention on missing children happened three years ago, when 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was kidnapped and killed. Today, a jury in Santa Ana, California, started deliberating in the trial of a factory worker accused in her death. The hunt for that suspect got personal for one investigator.

And Miguel Marquez explains why.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Her name was Samantha Runnion. As soon as she was abducted, Sheriff Mike Carona knew he was in a race against time.

MICHAEL CARONA, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF: If you don't find that child within the first three hours, 74 percent of the children are dead.

MARQUEZ: But this sheriff was ready, a deputy at Samantha's house just four minutes after she was taken, a sketch of the suspect widely circulated and he used what was then a new method to tell the county a child was missing, an Amber Alert.

CARONA: During the early hours we were very, very hopeful, again because we had such a quick response. Unlike a lot of other law enforcement agencies across this country, we had already run an Amber Alert.

MARQUEZ: So hopeful he made a promise to Samantha's mother.

CARONA: Where it became personal for me is the first time I had to sit down with Erin Runnion and ask her for a picture of Samantha so we could get that out to the public and telling her, much like I'm looking you in the eyes and saying "I'll bring Samantha home alive."

MARQUEZ: Carona all but begged the public for help and he got it, thousands of phone calls, tips, but soon came the call no one wanted to hear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God we found a dead body. Please hurry. Okay. I'm in the Ortegas, okay? Ortega Mountains I'm in Riverside County, okay?

MARQUEZ: The sheriff, a self-described by-the-book man, went into denial.

CARONA: To a person we didn't want to believe it. There was an absolute sense of denial by all of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They believe they found a small child, the body of a small child here in this ravine.

MARQUEZ: The race to save Samantha had failed. Now Mike Carona's mission was a manhunt. Again, he made it personal.

CARONA: Don't sleep. Don't eat because we're coming after you. We will take every resource that's available to us to bring you to justice.

MARQUEZ: Within days the hunt was over. Alejandro Avila was arrested. Again, the sheriff didn't mince words.

CARONA: I am 100 percent certain that Mr. Avila is the man who kidnapped and murdered Samantha Runnion.

MARQUEZ: Later when thousands came to mourn the little girl and the sheriff rose to speak, something remarkable happened. First they applauded. Then they stood. Later, even the president would thank the sheriff.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to congratulate you for your good work in helping make your community as safe as possible.

MARQUEZ: The race to save Samantha was not in vain. Just days after her death, California made Amber Alerts a state law. Congress and the president soon followed. Samantha's mother, Erin, became an advocate for child safety.

ERIN RUNNION, SAMANTHA'S MOTHER: Since then there have been 40, over 40 Amber Alerts issued in the State of California and every single child has been recovered alive.

MARQUEZ: But almost two years later the case that grabbed Mike Carona's heart still doesn't let go. He gave his word to Samantha's mother and he failed to keep it.

CARONA: I did make a commitment to her mother and I failed in that original commitment and that part that's the one that you just grapple with and sticks with you I mean the rest of your life, probably will the rest of my life.

MARQUEZ: This sheriff will always remember the little girl he never met.

Miguel Marquez, CNN.


ZAHN: And he will never forget his heart. That was Miguel Marquez reporting, the Samantha Runnion case again now in the hands of the jury.

Once again, we want to remind you about the search for 12-year- old Margarita Aguilar-Lopez, kidnapped in the Tampa, Florida, area on Monday. The suspect in that case is 26-year-old Antonio Paulino- Perez, who may be driving a red van. If you have any information at all on this young girl, please call 1-800-THE-LOST.

And as part of our commitment to protecting all of your children, our children, go to for more information, including a link to the FBI. You can check whether there are sex offenders in your community.

Coming up, some shocking new details about Adolf Hitler, perhaps the most evil man who ever lived.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were finding a high incidence of -- seriously, of mental illness and suicide in this family.


ZAHN: From Hitler's secret hideaway, just unearthed documents reveal some new truths about Hitler and his twisted family tree. Please stay with us.


ZAHN: Welcome back.

Still ahead, some shocking new revelations about the most evil man in history, Adolf Hitler.

First, though, just 25 minutes past the hour, Erica Hill standing by at Headline News to update some of the top stories tonight.

Hi, Erica.


We start off with the Michael Jackson trial. Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, testified today in the singer's molestation trial. She was married to Jackson from 1996 to '99. She's the mother of two of his children. Today, Rowe said she wasn't being honest when she praised Jackson as a parent during an interview in 2003. Rowe made those comments in a video to rebut a damaging TV expose of Jackson's life. She also told the court her interview was not scripted, nor was it rehearsed.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged Congress to approve more money quickly, so the Army can keep operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rumsfeld says the Army has already stretched every dollar to keep operations going through May, when the money will run out, and warned Congress to act before a Senate recess scheduled this Friday.

Sentencing is delayed for the Algerian man who plotted to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium. Ahmed Ressam was caught carrying explosive across the border from Canada in 1999. He began cooperating with investigators after he was found guilty. The judge put off sentencing until July, while he considers defense pleas for leniency.

The government may soon give dollar coins another try. The House today approved a plan for presidential dollars. The idea here, issue one coin for each president, just the way quarters are currently minted for each of the 50 states.

They're also hoping, Paula, that that may generate a little bit more interest than they have seen in the past with the dollar coins.

ZAHN: Oh, let's see. Here in New York, we don't worry about carrying change. We just carry metro cards around, a lot of paper.

HILL: There you go.

ZAHN: Thanks, Erica. See you in about 30 minutes or so.

It's time now to vote for our person of the day. Tonight's nominees, surrogate mom Teresa Anderson for giving birth to five boys and waiving her $15,000 surrogate's fee, Tom Avery for leading a team that reached the North Pole, and our final candidate, which I hope you are going to see on the screen, Vietnam veterans, finally.

You take your pick. And we'll let you know who wins at the bottom of the hour.

We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Next week marks the 60th anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler, who on April 30, 1945 in Berlin bit down on a cyanide capsule and shot himself in the head. It was the end of a life that was responsible for unspeakable horrors. Tens of millions died because of this madman.

But only now, six decades later, are new revelations coming to light about Hitler and his dark family secrets. Here's special contributor Frank Sesno with tonight's "People in the News."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FRANK SENSO, CNN SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): This place, high in the Bavarian Alps, must be one of the most beautiful, tranquil places on Earth. But it is also one of the most haunted, because this is Obersalzberg where Adolf Hitler had his mountain chalet, his beloved Berghoff. This is where his propaganda machine portrayed him as a caring, even gentle leader while his war machine ravaged Europe and created a holocaust.

This is where the fuhrer would relax. Wonderful, indescribable he called it. Hitler's mistress Eva Braun, shot home movies of their happy times here. And this, Hitler said, must forever remain the place of pilgrimage of the German people.

For some, even now, 60 years later, it still is. They come invisibly, in the dark of night to pay homage to Hitler. They leave candles, build make shift altars, etch Nazi graffiti into the trees. It's an embarrassment to the authorities who remove the candles, cut down the trees and prefer not to talk about it.

Look up and there is Hitler's legendary eagle's nest. You can't miss it. At the Berghoff, where Hitler once posed for pictures with children, all that remains now is a decaying stone wall leading to a clearing in the woods, broken bricks, a massive retaining wall, a hidden door to a bunker.

TIM RYBACK, SALZBERG SEMINAR: This is one of the most significant half acres of land on the European continent.

SESNO: Tim Ryback knows the Berghoff and Hitler's ghosts well.

RYBACK: He would bring you up to this secluded mountainside, put you before this window and this is my power, this is my realm.

SESNO: Ryback is a Harvard ph.d. who's work nearby at the Salzberg Seminar, an international think tank for 15 years. He has written extensively on Hitler.

Ryback has forged an unlikely partnership with a young German. Florian Byral, who grew up in the shadow of this mountain.

(on camera): How old were you when you first came here?


SESNO (voice-over): As a teenager, Byral climbed through a hole in the ground to explore what was left of Hitler's chalet.

RYBACK: You would see Hitler's basement, you would see the installation where the large big picture window would come down and you could even make it into the back part of the building which used to have an underground bowling alley. But it's still history slumbering underneath us here.

SESNO: Also underneath, a secret over Salzberg, three miles of tunnels, an elaborate and eerie maze built to withstand assault. The Nazis started building them in 1943 as the Allies began bombing German cities. There were living quarters, bunkers, a power supply, even an operating room. Here, Hitler could hold out, perhaps for a year.

(on camera): For the sake of history, Ryback and Byral (ph) are determined to crisscross his colleague are crisscrossing every inch of the mountain and dig deep into Hitler's secrets, including these tunnels here. But they don't stop there, they're digging deep into another secretive, dark largely unexplored part of the fuhrer's life: his family.

(voice-over): They spent years tracking down ancestors, interviewing relatives, locating and collecting documents.

RYBACK: These are really the key things we have pulled out of the various files.

We literally have thousands of pages of primary source material that no one has ever looked at before. And some of it is sitting in public archives, no one has decided to look at it. Florian's (ph) great find, of course, is the 1,200 page genealogy. No one has seen that.

This is just a listing of all the different incarnations you have Hiedlers, you have Hitlers (ph), Hitliers (ph) I mean, it's all the different variations.

SESNO (voice-over): The genealogy, commissioned by Hitler himself along with other documents, show he was very much woven into the fabric of his family. It also shows one reason why Hitler, architect of the holocaust that claimed six million Jews was the subject of rumors about his own lineage.

RYBACK: There is an entire file in the genealogy devoted to Jewish -- alleged Jewish blood in Hitler family.

SESNO (on camera): What did they find?

RYBACK: Under number 45, you see a relative named Katharina Salomon, and this was published, this was out there in public domain.

SESNO (voice-over): A Jewish-sounding name and it made headlines.

RYBACK: Here you see one in an Austrian paper, "Hitler as Jew."

SESNO (on camera): This paper followed this published genealogical survey?

RYBACK: Yeah. This one actually came out even later. This is from July of 1933. Here you have sensational traces of Jews -- of Jewish Hitlers in Vienna.

SESNO (voice-over): The name Salomon disappeared from subsequent genealogies, perhaps Ryback says, due to pressure from the Nazis, perhaps because it was a mistake. In any case, Ryback agrees with historians who think the chances the rumors were true are...

RYBACK: Highly unlikely.

SESNO (on camera): Based on your research?

RYBACK: Based on the research. And based on, when you look at this genealogy, this was a highly incestuous clan of people. And I'm not sure how the Jews would have found their way in there at any point.

SESNO (voice-over): Hitler's real family presented problems enough.

RYBACK: This is a letter from Adolf Hitler's English nephew from November of 1934 blackmailing Uncle Adolph.

SESNO (on camera); This is William Patrick Hitler.

RYBACK: This is William Patrick Hitler.

SESNO (voice-over): Eight months after Hitler took power in Germany, Willie showed up seeking a job and money from his uncle.

RYBACK: This is Willie with his mother who was Adolf Hitler's sister-in-law.

SESNO: Adolph referred to him as his loathesome nephew.

RYBACK: What Willie Hitler had on his uncle was actually Hitler's older brother was a bigamist, a convicted bigamist and Willie was going to expose that to the press.

SESNO: Probably to keep him quiet, Hitler gave Willie a job in Germany. But Willie was soon on the move again, ending up in America where he actually enlisted in the Navy. The loathesome nephew now an American propaganda story.

Through it all, Adolf Hitler publicly ignored family once saying I never even knew I had relatives. I have absolutely no sense of family, no interest in my an ancestry.

Why the charade? Perhaps because Hitler wanted to be the charismatic leader whose only family was Deutschland, the Third Reich. Perhaps because Hitler's relatives were hardly the pillars of the master race he felt destined to lead.

RYBACK: As you begin to probe below it you find a not so pure family line. But really fantastically dysfunctional family.

SESNO (on camera): Bigamy.

RYBACK: Bigamy.

SESNO: Incest.

RYBACK: Incest. SESNO: Insanity.

RYBACK: Insanity.


ZAHN: And we will be right back with the proof and more of Adolf Hitler's shocking secrets.


RYBACK: What this says is Hitler was confessing the desire for an incestuous relationship with his niece.


ZAHN: New details about Hitler's family finally emerging after 60 years next.


ZAHN: Bigamy, incest, insanity, for starters. Just trace back Adolf Hitler's family tree, you get all of that -- hardly the pure Aryan ancestry the Nazi dictator wanted to portray. But all that and more is now being revealed as we mark the 60th anniversary of Hitler's death. Here, again, special contributor Frank Sesno.


FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR: Adolf Hitler led his nation into indescribable madness, inhumanity, and evil. Sixty years later we are still repulsed and still learning new detail.

In the family ledger book...

SESNO: Tim Rybach (ph) and Florian Byrell (ph) believe Hitler's troubled, and at times, bizarre, family can provide insight into the man. They have found thousands of pages of documents, in numerous countries, archives and private homes, even in this Austrian castle.

Imagine there's a 1,200-page genealogy, half-rotten, sitting in a secret chamber behind an old castle's library -- it sounds like Indiana Jones or something like that. It did happen to us.

SESNO: It was known that Hitler commissioned a genealogy, but Bryell and Rybach found the original, including hundreds of pages of supporting documentation, six years of work by genealogist Frederick van Frank (ph). It illustrates Hitler's intense interest in his lineage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hitler, as he became more prominent, realized that there were some dark patches in the family history, and so it was in his interest to simply have this investigated as thoroughly as possible.

SESNO: The public Hitler had no family. He was simply "the Fuhrer." But throughout his messianic rise to power, the collected documents show family connections persisted and may well have haunted him.

Hitler's early adolescent years in Vienna have been portrayed as a time of struggle, Hitler as the destitute drifter, failed artist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Hitler family ledger from the early part of 1908.

SESNO: This accounting of the household expenditures was found in an Austrian archive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the most interesting of our discoveries -- it says here, Adolf Hitler has been loaned 924 crowns, Joanna Pertzle (ph). This is his aunt. Living carefully, you can get by two years on that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Family expenses, kept, conscientiously, by Hitler's mother.

SESNO: Gerhard Wineberg (ph) is one of the leading authorities on Hitler documents. He examined photo copies from Rybach and Byrell's collection. The ledger, he says, provides new insight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It confirms his stories about being so terribly poor, are just that, -- stories -- and do not reflect accurately what was going on, that he was being helped by family members.

SESNO: Family came to Hitler's aid again years later, during his trial on charges of treason after his failed coup attempt in 1923.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this was a family memoir that was written by a Hitler relative, based on the recollections of Hitler's older half-brother and older half-sister.

SESNO: The half-sister Angola (ph) recounts her attendance at the trial and a character reference she obtained from one of young Adolph's former teachers, who described him as "talented" but "obstinate."

The memoir touches on a dark family story, as well. As Hitler was rising to power, mesmerizing Germany with promises of national glory, he was infatuated with his young niece Gailee (ph), Angola's daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What this says, is Hitler was confessing the desire for an incestuous relationship with his niece. Actually, it says, explicitly, in there, that it never came to anything.

SESNO: Which may or may not be actually the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May or not be actually the case. We will never know.

SESNO: Gailee committed suicide in her uncle Adolf's apartment in Munich in 1931.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was very shaken up by her suicide. Evidence on that is solid. He kept the room that she lived in. He wanted her remembered.

SESNO: Suicide, intermarriage, and possibly incest, played a part in the Hitler family story. Hitler's father married a cousin. There was bigamy and insanity. As the war was turning against the Nazis, Hitler's top aides were still concerned about the Fuhrer's bloodline. In 1944, Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler sent Hitler's secretary, Martin Bohrman (ph), a secret report. It included photographs of Hitler's relatives and references to "half-idiots" and "crazy people" in the family.

One of these was a distant cousin, Aloisia. The memo states that she'd been in mental institutions and died in 1940. Florian Byrell wanted to know how.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1940 being the peak of euthanasia, of Hitler's euthanasia program, I -- it kind of got me awake.

SESNO: Byrell eventually located Aloisia's files and her death certificate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then you see a rubber stamp in there which says, transferred into a nonspecified installation.

SESNO: That was code for the deceptively beautiful Hartime Castle, where the Nazis sent the mentally ill and disabled. Inside was a gas chamber.

When you found that death certificate, and you read it, what did you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was struck. I was completely struck. But I wasn't ready for a case of euthanasia in a gas chamber which consumed a relative of Adolf Hitler's.

SESNO: Hitler's deliberate, sustained campaign to kill off the mentally ill and disabled probably claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Did we know before that a relative of Hitler's was consumed in this process?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to my knowledge.

SESNO: If Hitler had known that this was happening to a distant cousin, would he have cared?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't think so.

SESNO: Byrell and Rybach have found that Aloisia's family on Hitler's paternal side was deeply troubled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was another relative who committed suicide. We're in the middle of the research, but we're finding a high incidence of, seriously, of mental illness and suicide in this family, and that entire branch of the Hitler family literally just died out.

SESNO: But there was also loyalty, even affection. Hitler consistently supported his two sisters, Angola and Paula. For years at the Birkoff, Hitler's mountain chalet, Angola was lady of the house. For Paula, there was an open bank account. But Adolf Hitler was determined to keep his family and secrets out of sight.

Tim Rybach and Florian Byrell are trying to change that. They plan to write a book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you are doing a disservice to history to simply hold this man up as icon of evil, without trying to understand where that evil comes from.

SESNO: There is no indication Hitler's relatives influenced him in the slightest, but they were on his mind, and even as the Reich was collapsing around him, Hitler sent his sisters to the town of Birchesgarden (ph), near the Birkoff, for their security. There, Paula would remain, and 60 years after the nightmare in the Bavarian Alps, there is still a haunting presence, still secrets and reminders, still a family name that will never rest in peace.


ZAHN: Some fascinating and original reporting from special contributor Frank Sesno.

Hitler's regime was eventually defeated, but unfortunately, his legacy of hate still lives on. According to a German newspaper today, police report a sharp rise last year in what they call "neo-Nazi propaganda crimes," things like showing the Nazi salute and distributing pro-Hitler writings.

We're moving up on about 10 minutes before the hour. You know what that means. Larry King's right around the corner. Hi, Larry. What are you focusing on tonight?

LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Hi, Paula. Couple notes, though, Frank Sesno, it's great to have him back with us.

ZAHN: Isn't it.

KING: What a terrific -- terrific reporter he is.

ZAHN: I don't know if -- how familiar you were with any of those facts he pulled out of those researchers.

KING: Learn a lot -- you learn something new all the time. There's a great movie out too everyone should see called "Downfall." It's a German movie about the last 10 days in the bunker.

ZAHN: Haven't seen that.

KING: A great movie. Was that one of the Academy Award nominees? See it Paula, "Downfall."

ZAHN: That's two thumbs up from Larry King.

KING: Two -- and that was a great, great report by Frank. And great piece of work in -- in this show.

We're going to look at the Jackson case tonight. As you know, the former wife, Debbie Rowe began her testimony today. Wasn't on the stand too long, continue again tomorrow. So, we'll have Ted Rowlands, and Jane Velez-Mitchell and Raymone Bain, his spokesperson, Stacy Honowitz, the assistant Florida state attorney and Michael Cardoza. They'll all with us. And phone calls from viewers will be with us.

We now return you to Ms. Paula Zahn of PAULA ZAHN NOW in New York.

ZAHN: Thank you, Larry. I always feel like there was a kind of Ed McMahon warm-up there. Appreciate it.

KING: It was our trying to give you a little -- you know, a little presentation.

ZAHN: Thank you, you nailed it. See you in a few minutes.

So who is the "Person of the Day?" Surrogate mom, Teresa Anderson, North Pole expedition leader Tom Avery, or America's Vietnam veterans?

Find out when we come back.


ZAHN: Your pick for the "Person of the Day" is coming up.

First let's check the top stories with Erica Hill of Headline News.

HILL: Paula, we start with breaking news at this hour. In an overwhelming majority, the House of Representatives tonight has passed a resolution which will clear the way for the Ethics Committee to investigate allegations against Tom DeLay. Involving trips he has taken overseas and his relationship with a lobbyist who is the subject of a criminal investigation. The Texas Republican denies any wrongdoing.

In other news, a blip on a radar screen briefly sent President Bush to an underground shelter at the White House today. Security officers moved into position with high powered weapons as the alert went out. Radar indicated some kind of aircraft inside the White House no-fly zone. It turned out to be a false alarm. And the president returned to the Oval Office. Officials now trying to figure out just what the radar spotted.

The world's biggest airliner struts its stuff in a maiden flight. Airbus A380 made a four-hour flight from southwestern France. The double-decker designed to hold 555 passengers in basic configuration, but can actually accommodate up to 800. It is Europe's answer to the U.S. built Boeing 787.

A sea lion trapped at a California power plant now swims free in his natural habituate. The 300-pound male had made himself at home in the water intake area, and avoided rescue attempts. But finally he was caught in a net and then shipped out to the beach where he made a bee-line for the water.

And that is the latest from Headline News at this hour.

Paula back to you.

ZAHN: Thank you so much, Erica. Some how I think I sort of a "Free Willie" concept movie coming along with that.

We have counted the vote so far. It's time to reveal the "Person of the Day."

Your choices were, surrogate mother Teresa Anderson, who waved her 15,000 fee after giving birth to five boys.

North Pole expedition leader Tom Avery, and our Vietnam War vets, as we mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.

Your choice -- surrogate mom Theresa Anderson.


ZAHN (voice-over): In just five minutes, surrogate mother Teresa Anderson...


ZAHN: ... gave birth to not one, not two, not three, not four, but five, yes that's right, five baby boys. Teresa actually walked into the delivery room something, her obstetrician had never seen a mother carrying quintuplets do before.

DR. JOHN ELLIOTT, DELIVERED QUINTS: Quintuplets are very, very difficult to carry as a mother. Just the -- the pressure of the babies kicking, the discomfort, the pain not being able to sleep. There is just a lot of things that really day after day just keep occurring with the mom.

ZAHN: For the parents, Luisa and Enrique Moreno, it's a dream come true.

LUISA GONZALEZ, BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: When I see my first baby, I start crying. I have been waiting for this moment for a long, long time.

ZAHN: The original agreement was that Teresa would be paid $15,000 for carrying the Moreno's baby. But when they learned she was carrying five babies, Teresa waived her fee, knowing the Moreno's would now be faced with a heavy financial burden.

JARED ANDERSON, HUSBAND OF SURROGATE MOTHER: The responsibility of five children is very great. So we just kind of declined the payment.

ENRIQUE MORENO, BIOLOGICAL FATHER: I always said, since we know that we have five. That if there is five it is for a reason, and something will come up.

ZAHN: Teresa carried the Moreno boys for 33 weeks, they all weighed bit over three pounds. Gabriel (ph), Enrique, Jorge (ph) and Victor (ph) are all fine, but Javier (ph), the smallest has an underdeveloped heart.

DR. MICHELLE BEZ, DELIVERED QUINTS: Javier will be in the hospital for a while. As he will have staged surgeries down the road. We need for him to get bigger before he can have his first surgery.

ZAHN: After giving birth, the mother said she was feeling fine and she plans to keep in touch with the Moreno boys as they grow up.

J. ANDERSON: She never look back, and never regretted this. She's just glad that she could help out them, help out the family.

ZAHN: For giving the greatest gift of all and doing it with grace and compassion, Teresa Anderson you are our "Person of the Day."


ZAHN: And we should point out that Teresa Anderson is already a mother. She is married. She has two children of her own. What a gift she has given the Morenos.

Thanks much for joining us tonight. President Bush called a rare prime time news conference for tomorrow night. We will be in Washington with live coverage starting here at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We hope you'll join us then. Lots of important issues to talk about, Social Security, the environment, and a whole lot more.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.



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