Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Utah Boy Scout Lost and Found; Venus and Serena

Aired June 21, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Nothing less than a miracle for one desperate family. After days of agony, their prayers are finally answered.


ZAHN (voice-over): Lost and found.

JODY HAWKINS, MOTHER: We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home.

ZAHN: After four days and nights in the rugged wilderness, a missing Boy Scout survives his ordeal.

DAVID EDMUNDS, SUMMIT COUNTY SHERIFF: He just wanted something to eat and wanted to see his mom.

ZAHN: Eleven-year-old Brennan Hawkins' miracle in the mountains.

And sisters, rivals, champions. But is off-court life hurting on-court performance? Tonight, Venus and Serena, the Williams sisters.


ZAHN: We begin tonight with the rescue of 11-year-old Brennan Hawkins. The Boy Scout spent four days all alone in the rugged Utah wilderness, as thousands of people searched for him, no one giving up hope.

Well, today, two volunteers on horses discovered him about a mile and a half south of Lily Lake, five miles west of where he was last seen.


EDMUNDS: When they found him, he said he had seen the horses before and he was scared to approach them. And he was very disoriented, obviously. And he didn't know what to do. He hadn't had anything to drink. We specifically asked him about that. He hadn't had much to drink at all. As soon as they got there, he ate all of the food that they had on them, all the granola bars and everything, obviously extremely hungry.


ZAHN: Well, tonight, Brennan Hawkins was wheeled into Salt Lake City Hospital for a checkup. I'm surprised he had that much strength to even pay attention to all of the well-wishers who had gathered outside of the hospital. He appeared to be in pretty good shape.

And his mother, well, just listen.


HAWKINS: We have never known men of such integrity and faith and honor in our lives.

The Bardsley family, we love you. People say that the heavens are closed and God no longer answers prayers. We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home. We love you. We thank you.


ZAHN: Of course, what we all want to know is how Brennan got lost in the first place, how he survived four days in the wilderness.

Keith Oppenheim joins me now from Summit County, Utah.

It's rarely that a reporter gets to see a happy ending to a story like this. Describe to us how people are reacting to this incredible news.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, people started to react, Paula, just as I got here.

I got here around noon local time. And as I turned off the state highway onto the dirt road towards the command center area, where I am right now, I saw an ambulance that was moving and a couple of vehicles following. I didn't know what it was. I started talking to the crew. I said, do you guys know if anything is going on?

No one really did yet. But, in about a half hour, we started to really notice a major mood change. We saw some guys on horseback and they were whooping it up. And, suddenly, we started to realize that this story was making a major turn.

As for Brennan Hawkins, we really wondered, how did he get there and what was it like? This is a beautiful area to go camping, but not a good area to get lost. So, we decided to find out for ourselves where Brennan was.


OPPENHEIM (voice-over): This is Lily Lake, a picturesque spot deep in the Uinta Mountains, the very area where Brennan Hawkins was lost and found. As we arrived, it began to rain. That didn't stop Ron (ph) and Jen Cantor (ph), two volunteers, from taking me on their all-terrain vehicles close to where Brennan was rescued. The general spot, they said, was an area burned out by forest fires. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been up there on my four-wheeler and there is nothing up there. If you're up there on the top, there is no coverage way up there. So...

OPPENHEIM (on camera): Now, how far do you think it was from the Boy Scout camp and the climbing wall where he was last seen to that spot over there? Make a ballpark guess.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd probably say a couple of miles.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): The Cantors have spent time up here and have gone camping in this wilderness with their children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've gotten lost at night myself just once for two hours in the dark.


OPPENHEIM (on camera): When you were camping out here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And that was enough for me. I can't imagine an 11-year-old boy for four days out here.

OPPENHEIM: Not knowing what to do?


OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Keep in mind, this terrain is well above 9,000 feet. And the temperatures can get severe, even in summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see, there is still snow there. And there is usually snow there year-round. I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They said he was really lucky to have 50-degree weather at night, because, normally, I don't think it's really that warm at night. I mean, we've been up here a lot. And it gets kind of cold at night. And so I think he was really lucky to have 50-degree weather at nighttime.


ZAHN: And so many things seemed to go right, besides the mild temperatures.

I was surprised to hear how close he was to being within the danger of the head of the Bear River, within 100 yards, which a lot of people felt, if he had gotten anywhere near, could have been a very fateful encounter.

OPPENHEIM: That's true, Paula. If he had gone into that river -- just take a look at it. You can see it's a really fast-flowing, cold river, because it's basically filled up with melted snow. That would have been bad.

But from where he was last seen to where he was found, it does not appear that he would have crossed that river. The lake that he was near, Lily Lake, was also a little bit aways. He was in an area that was very deforested because of a forest fire, as you just heard. If the rain had deteriorated or had there been lightning, there would have been a couple of dangers. One is fire and another is hypothermia. If it had been a cold night, like it might be tonight, that would have been very bad for him. So, it's possible he was saved just in time.

ZAHN: Of course, authorities say they haven't had an opportunity to really talk to Brennan about exactly what happened. This young man is going to have a fabulously interesting story to tell about how he was able to survive that wilderness.

Thanks so much. We very much appreciate your time, Keith Oppenheim.

Joining me now from Salt Lake City is Dr. Ed Clark. He's the medical director of Primary Children's Medical Center. He's heading the team treating Brennan Hawkins tonight.

Good of you to join us, sir. How is Brennan doing?


Brennan got here about 3:30 this afternoon. And our initial assessment of him, we were quite amazed what good condition he was in. We've taken him through a complete medical evaluation. We found the obvious things, sunburn, bumps and scrapes and bruises, and quite significant dehydration. But with I.V. fluids, he has bounced back very, very well.

ZAHN: What is his level of alertness tonight?

CLARK: Well, it's funny you should ask that. Paula, I was just in his room. He was talking on the cell phone with one of his friends. And I heard him say rad and cool. And, at the same time, he was watching television, talking to his parents and talking to his grandparents.

ZAHN: What a comeback for this young child, because rescuers describe him as being quite delirious when they found him and not seemingly aware of exactly what was happening to him.

CLARK: You know, it takes a little bit of I.V. fluids and the reassurance of being around his parents and loved ones. And children bounce back. But I can't emphasize how remarkable it is that he survived this four-day ordeal in the wilderness.

ZAHN: You know that part of your state well. Just how lucky is he to have survived four days all alone?

CLARK: Well, all things came together to allow him to survive.

The weather was extraordinarily cooperative. We didn't have the severe spring and early summer thunderstorms, the risk of hypothermia, the wild animals in that region. And while he moved, he kept his head. He didn't have any broken bones that sometimes we see when children run away and fall and injure themselves.

CLARK: I know the sheriff was saying that he was desperately hungry and he was very thirsty when they found him. And they weren't going to pressure for -- him for any details.

But did Brennan describe to you or your team what went wrong, what happened, what he did over that four-day period?

CLARK: You know, Paula, there is plenty of time to get into that story.

We've been working on the medical aspects of it. We want to feed him, but we have to do it slowly, because we do not want to upset his metabolism. We don't want to stir up his G.I. tract. And so, we're working really on the medical aspects and letting his family be with him to provide the support that only they can.

ZAHN: How are mom and dad doing tonight? I don't think any of us will ever forget their heartfelt pleas day after day to encourage volunteers to keep on coming out, even when some folks were all but giving up hope.

CLARK: You know, Paula, there's words hardly that are better than grateful. They are extraordinarily grateful.

This is a community that gives. This is a community that responds to the needs of our citizens. And you saw it in this case. And we've seen it many times before.

ZAHN: And, Doctor, just a final question for you tonight. As you watched this story unfold, did you ever think it would end up the way we're seeing it ending up tonight?

CLARK: You know, Paula, as the children's hospital for this region, we hoped and prayed that he would be coming to us. But, at the same time, we worried what condition we would find him in.

We couldn't have a better outcome. To find him alive at the end of four days and even, on top of that, to find him in remarkably good condition is a real gift.

ZAHN: Well, it takes a real presence of mind to be able to bear what he did.

Dr. Ed Clark, thank you for sharing those details with us tonight. Let the Hawkins family know how thrilled we are for them. And if you get any information out of Brennan, we'd love to hear his amazing tale of the last four days.

CLARK: Oh, I think we're all looking forward to hearing this story. This is going to be quite incredible.

ZAHN: Good luck to you and your whole team, Dr. Ed Clark.

CLARK: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: We have found some expert advice to anyone planning a family expedition into the wilderness.

First, of course, don't go alone. Before you set off, tell someone where you are going, when you will get there. And here are three other important things to keep in mind. Take along a small lighter, a poncho. And everyone, especially the children, needs to take a whistle and teach everyone not to be shy about using it.

And while you're hiking in the wilderness, look around. Identify landmarks. They will help you retrace your steps. But, if you do get lost, here is a big rule. Don't panic. Don't run. Don't climb a tree. In either case, you could hurt yourself. That is just going to make things worse.

If you're stuck outdoors for the night, don't worry about food or water. But stay warm and dry, at least as much as you can. That poncho and lighter you packed away could come in handy.

Since we went through that pretty fast, can you find all of this on the Web site in "Wilderness Bob's Outdoor Survival Guide" DVD.

Coming up, though, allegations of religious intolerance at one of our nation's top military schools.


CURTIS WEINSTEIN, AIR FORCE ACADEMY CADET: He's like, aren't you Jewish? I am like, yes I am. And it was, like, in the middle of a game or something. And he's like, how do you feel that you killed Jesus?


ZAHN: When we come back, a startling report about the pressure to conform.

And a little bit later on, a pair of sisters who haven't just broken barriers. They have smashed, lobbed and backhanded them.


ZAHN: Listen to this from an Indiana congressman yesterday.


REP. JOHN HOSTETTLER (R), INDIANA: Mr. Chairman, the long war on Christianity in America continues today on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. It continues unabated with aid and comfort to those who would eradicate any vestige of our Christian heritage being supplied by the usual suspects, the Democrats.

But like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians.


ZAHN: After a half-hour of arguing between Republicans and Democrats, Congressman Hostettler retracted that remark.

But what brought it on in the first place? Anger over a Democratic proposal describing religious proselytizing at the Air Force Academy as -- quote -- "coercive and abusive."

In the end, the House voted to require the Air Force to report to Congress on what is being done to promote religious tolerance at the academy.

Here is Sean Callebs with how it all got started.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cadets march in step, governed by their honor code: "I will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate anyone among us who does."

But this issue lies outside the honor code. Longstanding allegations of religious intolerance Have surfaced, yet many are still afraid to talk about it.

MIKEY WEINSTEIN, AIR FORCE ACADEMY GRADUATE: They're just terrified to come forward. They're Absolutely afraid that their careers will be ruined. They have spouses. They have children.

KRISTEN LESLIE, YALE DIVINITY SCHOOL: One individual said to me, you can't say who I am. My job is at stake.

CALLEBS: One who is speaking out, Captain Melinda Morton. After serving as a missile launch officer, she became a chaplain late in her career.

CAPT. MELINDA MORTON, U.S. AIR FORCE: I had no less than three of my fellow chaplains come to me and ask me how in the world I thought I could -- I would consider myself to be a Christian if I didn't believe that we ought be hoping and praying that everyone at the Air Force Academy would be Christian.

CALLEBS: After two-and-a-half years at the academy, Morton, a Protestant chaplain, is making her concerns public.

(on camera): One of your colleagues told us, evangelicals can't check their religion at the door. Should the academy force them to check their religion at the door, to separate church and state?

MORTON: To associate your power and position with a religious agenda in the military is inappropriate. And it is against regulations.

CALLEBS: But it happens at the Air Force Academy.

MORTON: Yes, it does.

CALLEBS (voice-over): And she says that her tour at the academy has been cut short and that it is retaliation for speaking out. The academy says that's not the case, that Morton's deployment is a normal rotation. Since the summer of 2001, the academy has so far received 55 complaints about religious intolerance.

(on camera): Has anybody been punished at the academy for religious intolerance?

COL. DEBRA GRAY, AIR FORCE ACADEMY VICE COMMANDANT: It depends on how you define punished. I know of some people who have been counseled for various things.

M. WEINSTEIN: My hope is the academy will come to the realization that...

CALLEBS (voice-over): Mikey Weinstein, himself a member of a prominent academy family, became involved in this last summer. Curtis Weinstein, then a first-year cadet, made a sobering confession to his father.

M. WEINSTEIN: Curtis told me that he was going to be getting into trouble. And I said, what are you talking about, son? And he said, the next person that calls me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Jew or accuses me of killing Jesus, I'm going beat the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them. And if I get court-martialed or whatever happens, you have to know that's what is going to happen.

C. WEINSTEIN: I didn't even really know the cadet. And he's like, aren't you Jewish? I'm like, yes, I am. And it was like in the middle of a game or something. And he's like, how you to feel that you killed Jesus?

M. WEINSTEIN: And I asked him how many times that this had happened. It had happened on a large number of occasions in diverse locations at the academy with a diverse number of cadets. At that point, he started to clam up. He wouldn't tell me anymore, because knew what I was going to -- he didn't want to turn me into a thermonuclear warhead.

Conference call in the morning and then we can do the meeting.

CALLEBS: But Mikey Weinstein did explode, this from a man who himself went through the riggers of the academy.

M. WEINSTEIN: Well, this is my JAG badge. I was a JAG in the Air Force.

CALLEBS: Who served in the military's judicial system and comes from a family of military leaders. He took his concerns directly to senior officers.

M. WEINSTEIN: If this was happening to Curtis, God knows what else was happening to everybody else that was going on.

CALLEBS: Weinstein eventually went to the media. The academy was still recovering from a sexual assault scandal that had been exposed a few years earlier. And the Air Force had brought in new leaders, including Lieutenant General John Rosa as superintendent and Colonel Debra Gray to change the atmosphere. Then, last July, about the same time that Curtis Weinstein was speaking to his father, Colonel Gray invited members of the Yale Divinity School to help the chaplains improve their work with cadets on the issues connected with sexual assault, nothing about religious tolerance. Professor Kristen Leslie led the group. They attended a basic cadet training. This is where the molding of young cadets begins, where they're broken down and built back to become officers.

LESLIE: If someone comes up to them with more authority, even an older cadet, and says to them, we want you to be a Christian, get out of my face is not one of the appropriate responses.

CALLEBS: While observing that indoctrination process, the Yale team officially reported that it saw an academy chaplain deliver what they describe as a fire-and-brimstone sermon to a group of more than 600 cadets.

LESLIE: The chaplain who was there in the midst of the sermon extorted his cadets that they needed to go back to their bunks and bear witness, to proselytize, to bring their bunk mates to become Christians and, if they didn't, and, in fact, that there would be consequences for them. I was struck at how bold the evangelical conservative message was in that environment.

CALLEBS: The Yale Divinity group reported that openly urging cadets to try to convert their peers was not good pastoral care and created a place of hostility for the cadets.

GRAY: I was around basic training an awful lot. And I never saw such a sermon as this. It doesn't mean it didn't happen. Obviously, they observed something. I would say that that is -- each religion has a different format and a different structure to what they do. And if that's the type of service it was and it was voluntary that people participate in that, then that's what they do.

CALLEBS: The critics and the academy agree there have been a significant number of problems involving religious intolerance. The question is, are these system-wide?

GRAY: To me, when I hear systemic, I here leadership condones.

CALLEBS (on camera): Not system-wide?

GRAY: Exactly. And so what I try to say is, one, we don't condone it. And we're doing everything we can to educate and train and hold people accountable, which is kind of the circle that leaders go through. But then, when we talk systemic, does it happen a little bit everywhere? Maybe. I mean, we're a big organization.

CALLEBS (voice-over): Academy chaplains say more than nine out of 10 cadets here describe themselves as Christian. And about a third of those are evangelical. So, they represent a sizable portion of the cadet corps.

Chaplain Phil Guyn knows many of the evangelicals on campus and says that understand the mission of the academy. PHIL GUYN, AIR FORCE ACADEMY CHAPLAIN: The institution of the United States Air Force Academy is not about faith sharing. This institution is dedicated to equipping young men and women to be officers and leaders of character in the United States of America and in our nation's military.

CALLEBS: Even lunch at the academy is an military exercise involving 4,000 cadets. Melinda Morton says, put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how hard it is to resist religious pressure when it comes from senior leaders.

MORTON: If the message is, they got where they got because of their evangelical faith, and they have a lot of brothers, brothers, in the Air Force going to help them out because of their evangelical faith, boy, that's something you might think about. If you're investing all you're investing here to get through the Air Force Academy, maybe that's something you ought to think about, too.

Can chaplains proselytize?


CALLEBS: Last month in response to complaints:

MORTON: Actually, chaplains may not proselytize. Chaplains may not proselytize.

CALLEBS: The academy launched a system-wide program to teach cadets and staff about respect. The first of what they say will be many steps to deal with problems.

Melinda Morton helped draft the program and it will be one of her last responsibilities before her new deployment.

MORTON: I am extremely sad for my Air Force. I am extremely sad for the academy. I am -- I am beyond disheartened. It is a tragedy. These young people will be in harm's way very, very soon. And we can't provide them an example in which they can live and learn and worship? That's very sad.


ZAHN: Sean Callebs reporting for us from Colorado Springs.

The Department of Defense inspector-general is investigating Chaplain Morton's claims of retaliation. Another investigation continues into charges of religious intolerance at the academy. We're going to update you on those reports when they are finally released.

And we received word late today from Chaplain Morton that she has resigned from the Air Force.

Coming up, a world-class sister act.


VENUS WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: If I'm not absolutely very, very busy, then I get bored.

SERENA WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I have this energy. I don't know where it comes from. I don't sleep.


ZAHN: The Williams sisters both winning their matches at Wimbledon today, Serena and Venus still playing tennis, but they have plenty of energy to spare for other things as well.

Please stay with us.


ZAHN: You recognize them. Still to come, the family, the competition, and the controversy surrounding the tennis world's top sister act, Venus and Serena Williams.

But, first, at just about 29 minutes past the hour, time to check in with Erica Hill at Headline News to serve up the top stories.


ZAHN: Hi, Erica.

HILL: I liked it.


HILL: We start off with news that a volunteer search team from Texas will arrive in Aruba tonight to help look for Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. She vanished three weeks ago.

The team will be using dogs and sonar. An attorney for her family says behavioral experts are also being brought in to observe the four suspects in custody. And, tonight, CNN has learned Holloway's family actually met with the parents of one of the suspects.

Former preacher and Klansman Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of manslaughter today, 41 years to the day that civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Killen could get 20 years in prison.

At least seven people are dead, nearly 200 hurt following a truck-train collision in Israel. The train was on a run from Tel Aviv to Beersheba.

And the bankrupt Winn-Dixie supermarket chain is slashing 22,000 jobs. It will also close more than 300 stores in the South. Analysts say pressure from Wal-Mart is one factor in its problems.

Now CNN's Anderson Cooper is going to take a look back for us at the celebrity trial judge who became a celebrity himself.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't you discuss...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Describe what his mood and demeanor was like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The detective...

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The O.J. Simpson trial made Lance Ito the world's most watched judge. Ito let cameras into the courtroom for the duration of 1995's trial of the century, turning courtroom proceedings into a national spectator sport. He was often criticized for allowing the trial to degrade into a media circus.

JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.

COOPER: Ito's role in the O.J. trial made him a celebrity. He lost his privacy, was satirized...

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": I think I know who has O.J.'s knife. Judge Ito's barber, apparently.

COOPER: ... and lampooned on national television, including the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Despite speculation he would run for public office, Ito is still a judge in Courtroom 110 at the L.A. Superior Court.

ITO: That was a real interesting case.

COOPER: Judge Ito is married to Captain Peggy York, then the highest ranking woman in the L.A. Police Department. Ito turns 55 this year and has no plans on retiring any time soon.


HILL: Those dancing Itos, Paula. That's the latest from Headline News. Back over to you.

ZAHN: And much to our consternation, he has never done a long- form interview about that trial.

HILL: Maybe one day.

ZAHN: I don't know. I keep on begging him. Thanks, Erica. See you in about a half-hour from now.

And now it's time for you to do a little work. Here you get to pick a person of the day. The nominees: Ninety-five-year-old sprinter, Kozo Haraguchi, for setting a world record in his age group -- no, he's not 111-years-old -- Vietnam's prime minister for meeting President Bush on the 10th anniversary of normalized relations between the U.S. and Vietnam, or Washington, D.C., Police Chief Charles Ramsey for proving that anyone can be a victim of crime when his car was stolen right outside his home.

Vote at I'm going to let you know who wins a little bit later on in the hour.

In a minute, though, a family that wasn't blessed with just one superstar but two of them. And with a father who knew it.


RICK MACCI, FORMER COACH: For Richard, I said, "You got the next female Michael Jordan on your hands." And he put his arm around me. He said, "No, brother man, I got the next two female Michael Jordans on my hand."


ZAHN: So coming up next, how Richard Williams raised two of the best tennis players in the world.


ZAHN: Hard to believe it has been nine years since the Williams sisters first pushed just about everybody else out of the picture in the tennis world, and since then between them they've won four singles titles at Wimbledon. But this year, Venus Williams has slipped in the rankings and Serena is coming off an injured ankle. So they both have something to prove.

And today, in the first round at Wimbledon, Venus beat Eva Birnerova in two sets and Serena had a little trouble but managed to beat Angela Haynes in three sets. So it's on to round two for the sisters who are the subject of tonight's "People in the News" profile. Here's Kyra Phillips.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Venus Williams. She's a fashion designer, and she owns her own interior design firm.

VENUS WILLIAMS, TENNIS STAR: I like to further myself. I like to explore myself. And if I'm not absolutely very, very busy, then I get bored.

PHILLIPS: This is Serena Williams. She, too, designs her own line of clothing. She is also a model and an actress.

SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS STAR: I don't know how I do it. I just -- I have this energy. I don't know where it comes from. I don't sleep.

PHILLIPS: Oh, yes. They play a little tennis, too.

Venus and Serena Williams have grown up, from teens in beads to babes in boots. These sibling sensations took the tennis world by storm. And they've blossomed into two independent young women on and off the court.

V. WILLIAMS: Everyone has dreams, and I think I've been fortunate to be able to go after a lot of mine.

S. WILLIAMS: Every year, I grow. And I've grown ten years in the past year.

PHILLIPS: Venus and Serena Williams were born in 1980 and 1981. They're the youngest of five daughters. Oracene and Richard Williams raised their girls in Compton, California, a notorious section of Los Angeles known for its gang wars and drive-by shootings.

RICHARD WILLIAMS, FATHER OF WILLIAMS SISTERS: I wanted them to be in a neighborhood that didn't have no other choice but to pull themselves out themselves. And it was able to do it.

SONJA STEPTOE, "TIME" MAGAZINE: There are drugs. There are gangs. And in the midst of it were these two little black girls with braids all over their hair and hair ribbons, who had long legs, and long arms, and incredible tennis talent.

S. WILLIAMS: I just think it just was able to prepare me in a way for the situations in the future. I'm able to get through them without no -- nothing really bothers me anymore.

PHILLIPS: While the surroundings were tough, Richard Williams had his daughters' destinies planned out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These two were brought up to be tennis stars.

STEPTOE: He had a dream, before they were born, that this is what he wanted. And it's almost as if he willed it into being by sheer dent of his conviction.

PHILLIPS: By age 10, Venus Williams had become the number-one ranked 12-and-under player in Southern California. Her talent was apparent on and off the court.

RICK MACCI, FORMER COACH: I went to Compton in 1991 in the spring. And Venus asked to go to the bathroom. And she walks out the gate. And for the first ten feet, she walks on her hands. And then the next ten feet, she did backward cartwheels. And I'm sitting there going, "I've never seen anything like this."

And I told, Richard, I said, "You got the next female Michael Jordan on your hands." And he put his arm around me. He said, "No, brother man, I got the next two female Michael Jordans on my hands."

PHILLIPS: That quest for unparalleled success was constantly reinforced.

MACCI: It was almost like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and we'll be one and two in the world. This was almost like an arrogant, cocky, as-a-matter-of-fact, this is going to happen, there is no doubt. This is what was being talked at 10, 11, 12, all the time.

PHILLIPS: It was a vision Richard Williams was more than happy to share with the world.

STEPTOE: In those days, I think we all sort of said, "Uh-huh, yes, Mr. Williams, OK, I'll write that down." In the back of your mind, you're thinking, you know, "What's he talking about?"

JON WERTHEIM, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": Tennis has this rich history of these tennis fathers from hell. This wasn't an example of that. This was a tennis father from outer space.

PHILLIPS: The girls training was no walk in the park.

MACCI: Richard one time said, "I want Venus to play a match today with a boy who is the biggest cheater in your academy." So I put 12-year-old Venus on the court with some 17-year-old boy, one of the best players in Florida. There was about 40 kids on the fence watching the match. Any time the ball was on the line, the guy cheated her. Venus got beat 6-0. And that's Richard Williams. He wants his daughters' skin to get thicker.

STEPTOE: He trained them to be tough. He said, "There are going to be people at these tournaments that are going to call you nigger. They're going to cheat. They're going to do everything they can. They're going to scream when you serve. They're going to try to make you think the balls are out. And you better be tough."

PHILLIPS: At the same time, the Williams sisters were being taught tennis wasn't the only thing in their lives.

MACCI: He always treated them like kids. And he always talked to me about that. "We're not going to practice today. We're going to the mall."

ORACENE PRICE, MOTHER: The priorities first would be to God, and then family. And then everything else is secondary.

PHILLIPS: In 1994, after going three years without playing in a competitive tournament, 14-year-old Venus Williams made her professional debut, winning her first match before losing to the second-ranked player in the world.

WERTHEIM: Everybody saw Venus Williams put a scare into this top-five player and said, you know, maybe this Richard Williams isn't so crazy after all.

PHILLIPS: By 1997, Serena had joined Venus in the professional ranks. And the sisters made an immediate splash.

STEPTOE: Their outfits were colorful. They were colorful. Their hair was different. It was colorful.

WERTHEIM: They were covering balls that no player would even try to get to. And the power -- even at age 16, their power was nothing that anybody had seen before.


ZAHN: But coming up, pressure and controversy as a sibling rivalry gets very serious on center court.


WERTHEIM: ... it was all Venus in the first half. And then once Serena got over the hump, she's been rolling over Venus ever since.


ZAHN: Competition at the highest level and a family tragedy at home when our "People in the News" profile of the Williams sisters returns.


ZAHN: If Venus and Serena Williams play each other at Wimbledon this year, it will be a couple of days from now in the fourth round. And that could be a controversial match, if the past is any indication. Once again, here's Kyra Phillips.


PHILLIPS: By 2001, Venus and Serena Williams had reached the top of the tennis world, winning three of the last five grand slam tournaments. They'd gotten gold at the Olympics, Venus in singles, together in doubles. But success also meant they would have to play each other, something their father had never encouraged.

R. WILLIAMS: I never would have allowed it when they were little kids, because I think it's a good way to tarnish the family. To be honest with you, I didn't want them playing each other head-to-head on the WTA tour, either, or should I say the -- what is it, Williams Tennis Association?


PHILLIPS: There was no mistaking the emotional strain the sisters experienced when they did face one another, most notably in the 2000 Wimbledon semifinals, where Serena walked off the court in tears after losing to her big sister.

WERTHEIM: Both play the same game. They both are power players, which usually leads to a lot of unforced errors. Also, though, they warm up with each other before their matches, so it's not as though one's got a secret weapon the other hasn't seen that she's ready to unleash.

PHILLIPS: It added up to questions about the sister's willingness to play one another. The "National Enquirer" even printed a story that alleged Richard had pre-determined which sister would win their 2000 semifinal match-up at Wimbledon.

S. WILLIAMS: Come on, it's the "National Enquirer." My god. The next thing you know, I'm going to be pregnant by some Martians.

R. WILLIAMS: I would never tell my daughters to lose or to win under no circumstance, but I would tell my daughter this here, when you're out there, do the best you can do.

WERTHEIM: I don't think the matches are fixed. And I don't think they ever were fixed. But I think people see how the level of play dropped so dramatically when they compete against each other. And you also have the Richard factor to contend with.

PHILLIPS: Richard Williams seemed to get more outrageous as his daughters became more successful. He bad-mouthed other players, held up signs, and danced at tournaments. He supplied the press with a seemingly endless string of outlandish comments and stories.

STEPTOE: Well, I think Richard is a modern day P.T. Barnum. There's no question about him. He's full of bluster.

WERTHEIM: This is a man who just doesn't distinguish between fact and fiction. And he's buying Rockefeller Center for $3.9 billion, and he owns thousands of buses, and he has a seat on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. And I'm not sure it's sort of controversy so much as it's amusement.

R. WILLIAMS: Any black person come along in this country and say anything, he's crazy. Well, I tell the world today, I'm not crazy. I tell you one thing, I have plenty of money, though, but I'm not crazy.

PHILLIPS: Despite the drama, the sisters pushed forward, playing each other and beating everyone else.

WERTHEIM: Clearly, they're uncomfortable playing against each other. But if you sort of look at the results, it was all Venus in the first half, and then once Serena got over the hump, she's been rolling over Venus ever since.

PHILLIPS: By the fall of 2002, Serena and Venus Williams were numbers one and two in the world.

R. WILLIAMS: I've been dreaming about this all my life. And when it happened, I wasn't ready, I guess. I mean, they keep catching me off guard. It's just such a thrill.

PHILLIPS: But 2003 would bring devastating news. Yetunde Price, their half-sister, was killed in a shooting in Compton, California.

S. WILLIAMS: We're doing -- we're all doing. And I think that's the best way to describe it, you know? We're so close as a family. We've always been really close. My sisters are my life, and just I couldn't live without them. They're like the blood that's in my body, and so it's always tough.

PHILLIPS: The sisters also battled injuries that kept them off the court, yet gave them time to pursue other interests.

PRICE: That's always been a major focus of ours, for the transition out of tennis, because you're only a star for so long. And then, what do you have next?

PHILLIPS: Venus now owns V Starr Interiors, a design firm which did the set for the "Tavis Smiley Show" on PBS and has worked on New York City's bid for the 2012 Olympics, designing rooms for the Olympic Village.

V. WILLIAMS: Maybe you're working with a small space, and there's all kinds of challenges that come up. And it's kind of the same way in tennis. It's always changing. It's never the same. It's always new challenges.

PHILLIPS: Serena Williams has begun pursuing an acting career, appearing on "Law and Order: SVU."

S. WILLIAMS: And they carry you on their shoulders to the stage and shine the spotlight on you, what do you call that?

PHILLIPS: She also has her own fashion line, Aneres, which is Serena spelled backwards.

S. WILLIAMS: I draped this one dress. I'm like, "OK, I need you to make this dress with all of this different fabric. If you can send it, I'm going to work on it in England. I'm going to tell you what to buy, buy the tool for it." And so it's really exciting. I really enjoy it.

PHILLIPS: However, as the sisters enjoyed life off the court, their commitment to tennis was questioned, doubts furthered by their lackluster results when they did play.

WERTHEIM: Tennis has had all of these players where all they've done is eat, drink, sleep, breathe tennis. And here come these two sisters. And they're reading, they're trying to take up foreign languages, they travel with their laptops, and they're fashion and acting. And people somehow get a bad feel somehow they are short- changing tennis.

PHILLIPS: Both sisters insist tennis is still their passion but admit the game is not the only thing in their lives. And that's something they're proud of.

V. WILLIAMS: Everyday, I try to be me. And in doing that, I hope that I can be successful on every plane that I try for.

S. WILLIAMS: I realize that, you know, anything can happen on any day and everything could be all over in a moment. And you've got to live your life to the fullest.


ZAHN: Kyra Phillips reporting.

So what does one of the all-time tennis greats think of Serena's other interests? Martina Navratilova told the Associated Press, "You can't have two careers." I guess we know what that means.

Coming up, we return to our top story, the rescue of Brennan Hawkins. I'll be talking with a Boy Scout leader who knows him very well. What a miraculous rescue. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: So who would you pick for the person of the day today? The 95-year-old record-setting sprinter, the prime minister of Vietnam, or crime victim/police chief Charles Ramsey of Washington? The winner with 79 percent is sprinter Kozo Haraguchi. We will be right back with a final update from Utah where a miracle -- all miracles unfolded today when Brennan Hawkins...



JODY HAWKINS, BRENNAN HAWKINS' MOTHER: We have never known men of such integrity, and faith, and honor in our lives. The Bardsley family, we love you. People say that the heavens are closed and God no longer answers prayers. We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered, and children come home. We love you. We thank you.


ZAHN: We continue with the breaking news tonight, the rescue of 11-year-old Boy Scout Brennan Hawkins, lost in the Utah wilderness for four days until he was found today. Thousands of volunteers searched for him.

And joining me now on the phone is John Knight. He is a neighbor of the Hawkins family and a Boy Scout leader who knows Brennan very well.

You must be so relieved tonight, John.

JOHN KNIGHT, BOY SCOUT LEADER: We are. All the volunteers are just ecstatic for this wonderful development.

ZAHN: I know you've had the opportunity to talk with some of the men who rescued him on horseback, as well as some of those rescuers who were on ATVs that got so close to him. What did they tell you about the moment they saw him?

KNIGHT: It was quite amazing. I spoke with both the horsemen that rode past him and then turned back around because they wanted to search another area. And they spotted him, and just at that time, there was an ATV driver that came up behind him. And they kind of converged at the same time upon Brennan. And I hear that they didn't know if it was a real person, or a ghost, or what. They just couldn't believe their eyes that he was right there in front of them.

ZAHN: And did they describe to you how he looked?

KNIGHT: They said he was in quite good shape. He wasn't very talkative at the time. But he wanted to -- they gave him some water. They fed him. And he wanted to talk to his mother.

ZAHN: That just makes all of us who are moms almost cry. We can just imagine how this kid felt so isolated along the way. What else did they tell you about his spirits and his level of alertness?

KNIGHT: Actually, they told me that he had stated to them that he had not eaten or had anything to drink for the entire time that he was missing. And so they said he was quite delirious, but he perked up quite quickly after they gave him some water.

ZAHN: And, finally, this family has been so grateful for all of the help. They made a heartfelt plea for his rescue. Just a quick final thought on their sense of gratitude tonight?

KNIGHT: Well, they told me to thank all of the volunteers, that they could not put into words their gratitude. They couldn't imagine getting Brennan back if it hadn't been for the coordinated efforts of the Summit County search-and-rescue team, the volunteers, and the news media that put out the story.

ZAHN: Well, John Knight, the picture says it all. As we look as Brennan Hawkins waving to everybody in the good condition for the hospital tonight.

Thanks for your time, sir.

And thank you all for joining us. Good night.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines