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London Bombing Investigation Stalled?; Danica Patrick in the Fast Lane

Aired July 11, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Some frustration and a lot of uncertainty in the city of London. After five days, the bombing investigation is at a dead end.


ZAHN: (voice-over): Open questions in the London bombings. Were the terrorists homegrown or from abroad? Will they strike again? Is there still hope for a missing American?

DAVID GOLIVNER, FRIEND: We want to find him, and find alive.

ZAHN: And if this is what it was like outside, how could a woman who lost her own home...

ED HANSON, PENSACOLA BEACH RESIDENT: She rescued us. I mean, where would we go?

ZAHN: ... provide shelter for others during the hurricane?

Plus, hell on wheels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just going to kick the boys' butts tonight.

ZAHN: And second appeal.

DANICA PATRICK, NASCAR DRIVER: I just want to be racing against the best all of the time.


ZAHN: Danica Patrick. Is racing ready for a woman in the fast lane?


ZAHN: We start tonight with a mystery that has the world's top investigators absolutely stumped. Five days after the London bombings, you think there would be some leads on the terrorists, but there aren't.

In fact, there is so little progress that the British are now asking for help from the Americans, from Europe, from just about anyone.

Let's ask senior international correspondent Nic Robertson why everybody's having a such hard time.

Good evening, Nic.


Well, I think one of the biggest clues as to why they're having a hard time, if you look at what happened in Madrid in Spain last year after the bombings there, the Spanish investigators, within a few hours, found an unexploded bomb. It had a cell phone in it. The cell phone gave a lead to who was the behind the bombs. The Spanish police were able to begin to roll up the group behind it.

There has been no such breakthrough here. Nobody has come forward and indicated who might have been behind the bombs. The bombs all exploded. The British police haven't found any that didn't detonate. Therefore, those fragments of information that need to be pieced together to give an indication of who might have been behind the bombs, that hasn't been done.

What we are hearing is that the British police are holding some information close to their chests, if you will. They're saying that it was high explosives. They're not saying what those explosives were. It would be reasonable to assume that they've done some analysis, some chemical analysis, on the residue left from the bombs. And that might indicate where the bomb-making material came from.

They are not saying that. They are also, we're told, looking very closely at the people who have gone missing since the bomb. That maybe give us a clue as to why the police haven't been announcing the names of the dead so far. So, perhaps, that gives us some clues, but really no hard -- no hard leads so far, Paula.

ZAHN: So, given the fact that there doesn't seem to be any major breakthrough, how would you characterize where this investigation is tonight? Is it indeed a dead standstill?

ROBERTSON: It's not at a standstill, obviously. And this is what the police keep telling us here.

They are still going through the debris. They're trying to piece together whatever fragments could tell them what detonated this explosive material. Was it a mobile phone? Can they find out who -- who owned that mobile phone?

They're also working with their counterparts from around Europe, the United States as well. For instance, the Spanish top terrorist, top Islamist terrorist team, counterterrorist team, are here. They're cross-referencing names with the British police here, going through the list of people that the British have been watching to see if the Spanish have any information on them. Is somebody that has gone missing in the U.K. now in Spain? So, they're going to through the lists. And we heard they have been able to rule out at least one person who was in Britain, is now in Spain. They've been able to rule him out. But that is what they're trying to do. They're working with all the European resources and from the U.S. as well, Paula.

ZAHN: It struck me that the prime minister today, when he addressed Parliament, made it pretty clear that his country will not rest until they have some of the answers you're talking about tonight. But when is it reasonable to expect them to have any of these answers?

ROBERTSON: It could be quite some time.

The amount of video material they have to go through -- they have seized thousands of hours of videotape to go through, not only from the -- not only from the transit network, from the underground system, from buses in the area, but some shops in the area. They have appealed to people to come forward with their video, whatever video cameras they may have had running close to the train stations, close to the bus that exploded.

So, they have to go through all of this material. The hardest thing at the moment seems to be to find all that debris. And perhaps, to a degree, they're lucky that these explosions were underground, because that will protects the sites from rain. They're lucky so far there has not been many rainfalls since the explosion. The bus bomb, all that debris lying around there, the police can still pick it up from the ground. They're going through the buildings, the park land nearby. So, in some ways, they've had some breaks, but nothing substantial yet, Paula.

ZAHN: And I guess, Nic, the one thing that was made abundantly clear today, this is a country that's really seeking the help from other countries, particularly the United States, right now.

ROBERTSON: Absolutely.

ZAHN: Nic Robertson, thanks so much for the update. Appreciate it.

The London attacks hit some American families very hard as well. Two sisters from Tennessee were rushed back from London, back to the U.S. over the weekend, for reconstructive surgery. Two other Americans were wounded. We don't know exactly who they are at this hour.

And then there is the agonizing case of a New Yorker who has been missing since last Thursday.

Becky Anderson has his story.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're the faces of the lost, posted on the street, plastered across the newspapers, a global collage of the missing.

American Mike Matsushita is one of them, a New Yorker raised in the Bronx. He moved to London just a few weeks ago, started a new job just days before the bombing. Mike Matsushita vanished in the chaos on his way to work.

(on camera): Have you heard anything?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing at all. Nothing, no.

ANDERSON: Back in the Bronx, the local media pounced, chasing after Mike's distraught relatives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn that camera off, please.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn that camera off, please.

ANDERSON: The New York tabloids did no better. "Missing," blared "The Daily News" front page, "Fled New York After 9/11."

GOLIVNER: Absolutely 100 percent not the case.

ANDERSON: David Golivner (ph) grew up with Mike, considers him a brother. He accompanied Mike's parents to London on Saturday and dismisses the idea that his friend ran scared from New York.

GOLIVNER: If I was on a subway and a bomb went off, he would be the guy I would want to have standing next to me. He's like strong, courageous, stable person that would be able to help people get out of the situation, not the kind of a person that would flee.

ANDERSON: David was optimistic on his first night in London.

GOLIVNER: We want to find him, find him alive. I think basic bottom line, that's why we're here.

ANDERSON: But, as we met up with David the next morning, a certain reality set in.

GOLIVNER: We're just going for life, basically, and waiting. Really, honestly, all we're doing is waiting.

ANDERSON: David started to reflect on the life's journey of his lost friend. Born in Vietnam, Mike moved to New York as an infant, grew up in the same neighborhood where his parents still live.

GOLIVNER: This sort of our crew back in the Bronx.

ANDERSON: Mike wasn't the type to stay in one place. In 2000, he packed a bag and headed to Australia, his first stop in a five-year odyssey.

GOLIVNER: His route was everywhere. It was Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam.

ANDERSON: He found a perfect job, a tour guide with intrepid travel for those with a yearning to explore. David told us how Mike led groups through jungles showing people the wonders of the Far East, introducing them to new experiences, like orphanages in Cambodia.

GOLIVNER: I was like, you know, dude, what are you doing? This is like -- he's like, no, these kids are amazing. Hanging out with them, it's like the happiest thing I have ever done in my life, because they've got nothing. But they're always smiling. They're always happy. And it like taught him a huge amount about life.

ANDERSON: Mike came upon a fellow restless spirit, another intrepid tour guide, Rosy Cowan (ph) from London.

GOLIVNER: Said, dude, I met the most amazing woman. She's just -- lights my heart on fire.

ANDERSON: A few weeks ago, Mike moved here to be with Rosy and took a desk job working with computers. Sharing an apartment in the Islington section of town, they began to settle into a common, quieter life.

(on camera): On Thursday morning, Mike was on his way to his new job. He would have gotten a tube close to home and would have changed here at King's Cross.

(voice-over): Mike Matsushita hasn't been seen since.

GOLIVNER: As the days go on, you get more and more the sense of dread and the pit in your stomach grows. But we're hammering that down.

ANDERSON: Yesterday was excruciating. Waiting for information, Mike's loved ones could only hope.

GOLIVNER: I'm going to remain optimistic until somebody official looks me the eye and says that there's a reason not to be.

ANDERSON: Today, that word came. Mike died in a London underground tunnel near King's Cross.

(on camera): What did you feel when the police came?

GOLIVNER: I felt shocked. When you're given the flat-out news that he's dead, it's -- I mean, it's a physical reaction and you just -- your brain is going through all these different emotions and at the same time, trying to make sense of what's going on, which just isn't possible.

ANDERSON: And now David is waiting again, for Mike Matsushita's remains to be found, so his old friend can make his final trip home.


ZAHN: A wait that so many families will senselessly have to go through.

Becky Anderson reporting for us tonight.

I want to share with you another story about a missing person right now. A woman, a mom called a news conference in London today. And once she started talking, we simply couldn't turn away.


ZAHN (voice-over): Marie Fatayi-Williams has flown to London from Nigeria to look for her son.

MARIE FATAYI-WILLIAMS, SON MISSING SINCE ATTACKS: This is Anthony, Anthony Fatayi-Williams, my son, 26 years old. He's missing.

ZAHN: He may have been on the bus where the fourth and final bomb went off last Thursday. He called his office just six minutes before the explosion to say he couldn't use the subway and was looking for another way to get to work.

Near the scene of that explosion, surrounded by her son's family and friends, Marie Fatayi-Williams pleaded for help.

FATAYI-WILLIAMS: This is now the fifth day, five days on, five days on. And we waiting to know what happened to him.

ZAHN: But her strongest words were directed at the terrorists.

FATAYI-WILLIAMS: Whose cause is being served? Certainly not the cause of God, not the cause of Allah, because God Almighty only gives life and is full of mercy.

Anyone who has been misled or is being misled to believe that, by killing innocent people, that he or she is serving God is to think again, because it's not true. Terrorism is not the way. It's not the way. It doesn't beget peace. We can't deliver peace by terrorism, nor can we deliver peace by killing people.

My son Anthony is my first son, my only son, 26, my only son, the head of my family. African society, they hold on to sons. He has dreams and hopes. And I, his mother, must fight to protect them. Innocent blood will always cry to God Almighty for reparation. So, how much blood must be spilled? How many tears shall we cry? How many mothers' hearts must be maimed? My heart is maimed at the moment. I pray that I see my son, Anthony.

ZAHN: So far, her prayers hasn't been answered.


ZAHN: So painful to listen to her. But the true nature of terrorism, as only a mother could talk about it. Unfortunately, we checked out tonight's late reports out of London. There is still no word of any kind on her son. Our heart goes out to her, as well as the other families that have to endure this long painful process.

Coming up, the natural disaster here in the U.S. She lost her home in last year's brutal storm.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, this is your house and this is what you lost in Ivan?


KAYE: Describe the damage here.

PARKINSON: Yes. This whole area is gone.


ZAHN: And this year, Hurricane Dennis came after where she works. How did she survive the 100-mile-an-hour winds? Her story straight ahead.


ZAHN: Just ahead, as Hurricane Dennis zeroed on Florida, one amazing woman who had already lost her home had to worry about losing an entire hotel.

And do you know this woman? You will when we tell you what her day job is.

But, first, time to catch up on the latest headlines. And we know whose this woman's day job is, Erica Hill.



ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think my day job is actually...

ZAHN: Nothing -- no gray area there. Hi, Erica.

HILL: No, no, not so much. Nice to see you, Paula.

We start off, actually, tonight with a new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll. It was released just minutes ago and shows a surge in number of Americans who expect terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in the next several weeks. The poll, which was taken after the London bombings, shows 55 percent believe attacks on the U.S. are likely. That's a 20- point jump since the London attacks.

And on the CNN "Security Watch," while Congress debates more money to protect the rails, records show Homeland Security has spent less than $1 million this year for rail security. Some Democrats accuse security officials of slow walking. A high-ranking Republican suggested too much security money, $5 billion a year, goes to air travel.

Well, travel of any kind is getting more expensive, as you probably realize. At the gas pump, well, pretty bad there. Prices hitting a new record high over the last week, jumping more than 4.5 percent, an average of $2.33 a gallon now, 41 cents a gallon higher than it was a year ago.

And take look at this. The hurricane that was Dennis left homes flooded up to their roof lines in Austell, Georgia. You can forget about the cars in the driveways. At least two deaths are blamed on the storm that left more than 800,000 without power. Dennis, of course, now a tropical depression. It's dumping on the Ohio Valley. And we're pretty happy to see parts of it leave Georgia. Let me tell you, Paula.

ZAHN: I bet you are. I kept on seeing that map yesterday with all those tornado warnings cropping up everywhere.

HILL: Yes.

ZAHN: We were glad to be spared, it appears, the whole storm here.

Erica Hill, thanks. But we're rooting for all those people who are cleaning up the terrible mess in the wake of Dennis.

Coming up, last year, Hurricane Ivan destroyed her home. She moved to the hotel that she now manages. Well, this year, along came Dennis and now it was her new home that came under siege. One woman's sign of trouble when we come back.


ZAHN: Along the Gulf Coast, thousands of people are picking up, drying off and trying to recover from Hurricane Dennis. For many of them, it isn't very easy. They still don't have any power. And it isn't just along the Gulf Coast.

Suburban Atlanta is a long way from the ocean, but one of the roller coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia now looks like a water ride. You're going to see it shortly, I hope. Might be fun. You would have to swim to it.

The remnants of Hurricane Dennis dumped six to eight inches of rain in the Atlanta area. Never got to see it, but it was a pretty strong picture. Maybe at the end of the show, we'll show it to you.

Before Dennis rampaged through Florida, more than one million people were ordered out of the storm zone. But a lot of them stayed behind. This is a story about some of those who remained because of their commitment to keep their community up to date about the disaster as it was happening.

Drew Griffin weathered the storm with them in Fort Walton Beach.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zero, nine, eight one. We have the late -- call us here and we will help -- what is going on out -- caller, go ahead. You're on 98.1, the Ticket. And we are going get tropical storm conditions. Hey, Jay, how are you doing buddy? Well, I'm just telling.



ZAHN: Well, although there's no hurricane brewing out here tonight, we have some little gremlins messing with that story. But it's a pretty amazing story, when we see how these storm riders made it through Hurricane Dennis. And we're going have that for you on the other side.

We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Back to our hurricane coverage now, I hope.

Imagine losing your house in a hurricane and then making it your mission to make sure other people get shelter from the storm. Well, in Hurricane Dennis over the weekend, one of our favorite stories that we picked up was discovered by correspondent Randi Kaye. Randi was right in the path of the storm in Pensacola, where she met a hotel manager who made sure her guests felt at home even in the middle of a hurricane.


PARKINSON: How you doing?


PARKINSON: I'm doing fine, honey. I'm doing fine.

KAYE (voice-over): This is no dress rehearsal for Linda Parkinson. She knows what's coming.

PARKINSON: We were without power for five days. And we had cold water. We took cold showers, which was great. But BellSouth came in and gave us a generator. And we were all -- the whole place just broke up in claps and yells when the lights came on, because it was so great.

KAYE: Linda is the general manager of the Ramada Inn in Pensacola. She remembers the damage Ivan caused at her hotel last September. The Ramada served as a shelter for hundreds of folks during Ivan. Linda was the den mother.

PARKINSON: Thank you for coming. God bless you. God bless you for being here. We need you so bad. This is one of our housekeepers. You eat your breakfast and get to work. OK.

KAYE: And this year, Linda finds herself in that same role again. She is just praying, this time around, there's a happier ending.

(on camera): So, this is your house and this is what you lost in Ivan?

PARKINSON: Yes, ma'am. Yes.

KAYE: Describe the damage here. PARKINSON: Yes. This whole area is gone. This was a big balcony up here. And this was a porch that came out over the bay, over the sound here. And the whole bottom floor was gone.

KAYE (voice-over): Linda has lived here at the hotel since Ivan chewed through her house last year.

(on camera): How does it feel to make you look at these?

PARKINSON: Yes. Kind of sad. Yes. Yes. I miss it. I miss it a lot.

KAYE: You're a little emotional about it.


PARKINSON: Yes. I guess we all do. When it comes to Ivan, we get a little emotional, yes. It's about being home. But this feels like home, too.

KAYE: How do you feel about being responsible for all these people, about 400 people?

PARKINSON: Well, I feel like it was my God-given duty. And I love my work. And I love the challenges. And I'm quite nervous right now. But I do feel we're all going to be fine. And I want to make everybody as comfortable as possible.

KAYE (voice-over): Many of the same folks who Linda watched over during Ivan last year are back this year. They know they're in good hands. Ed and Marsha Hanson stayed at the hotel with Linda for five- and-a-half weeks last year, after Hurricane Ivan badly damaged their house Pensacola Beach.

E. HANSON: She rescued us. I mean, where would we go? We would be out on the roads heading towards Birmingham or Atlanta and God knows where. And so now we can stay here with all these nice people and enjoy her hospitability.

MARSHA HANSON, PENSACOLA BEACH RESIDENT: She is just busy as a bee. Have you seen her all day? She hasn't sat for a moment. And she's tending to everybody. She's cleaning. She's serving. She's checking with her staff. She's trying to take care of the entire hotel and all of the occupants. I mean, she's just -- she's constantly moving.

KAYE: Sunday afternoon, as the winds picked up, Linda's heart sped up, her eyes focused on the big red sign out front. She remembers how Ivan made it spin. PARKINSON: Right at -- when the eye came over, OK, and it got real quiet, I was in the office, looked out the window. And it said Ramada. And I'm going, I didn't know there was a Ramada on both sides. And they said, no, there isn't. And, all of a sudden, the sign started going around and around and around.

And, of course, we thought, oh, my gosh, it's going to fall. But, thank you God, it didn't. And we had it rewelded. So we're going to see if it stays this time. KAYE: In the height of the storm, the sign spun wildly, then crashed to the ground, just feet from the CNN's live report.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes the sign. It's down. It's falling apart. Get back. Get back. Get back.

KAYE: And the new air conditioner waiting to be installed after Ivan was pushed across the parking lot. Linda's hotel lost power and some roof shingles. But she'll deal with those later. First, she needed to make sure her guests still felt at home, until they can get home.


ZAHN: What a big heart she has. Randi Kaye. Even though the storm is over, the hotel is still booked solid. Well, with service like that, who wouldn't want to hang around there?

Coming up now, back to the story we tried to bring you a moment ago. Here's Drew Griffin from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, on some of the people who stuck it out through Dennis, because of their commitment to keep their community up to date about the disaster exactly as it was happening.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's Saturday afternoon.

SCOTT MCKINNEY, WTKE: Caller, go ahead. You're on 98.1, the Ticket.

GRIFFIN: Sports talk radio, WTKE, the Ticket, is on the air.

MCKINNEY: That is 877-981-0981.

GRIFFIN: But sports host Scott McKinney is talking about a different season opener.

MCKINNEY: Caller, go ahead, you're on 98.1, the Ticket.

GRIFFIN: Since 7:00 a.m., the calls have been going nonstop.

MCKINNEY: Hey, how are you doing, buddy.

GRIFFIN: McKinney is listening. And just above his studio, his co-workers are trying to brace themselves for an oncoming hurricane. Within 24 hours, the Ticket and all of it listeners will be battered by a second major hurricane in less than a year.

MCKINNEY: Just like Hurricane Ivan, you are on the cusp of another major weather event here coming up at some point tomorrow afternoon.

GRIFFIN: Scott McKinney will spend the next day getting his listeners prepared for their ordeal, talking them through it, consoling them afterwards, but only if his engineers can keep him on the air.

These are the last-minute preparations. Where is the gas, the propane?

MCKINNEY: One hundred and fifteen miles per hour...

GRIFFIN: The baseball scores exchanged for an electronic bulletin board. McKinney's studio rapidly becoming a darkened fortress for the mission ahead.

MCKINNEY: When you're here, you try to remember everybody out there is worried, too. And they need to hear someone who's calm and the voice of reason. You know? And assure us that everything's going to be OK.

GRIFFIN: The staff will spend the night reassuring listeners.

Already, the forecast is getting worse.

MCKINNEY: There is a growing concern that Dennis could become a category 4 hurricane if this trend continues.

The storm now likely...

GRIFFIN: Nightfall Saturday. Downtown Ft. Walton Beach is empty. The tourists long gone. The locals inland are hunkered down. McKinney has been on the air 14 straight hours.

MCKINNEY: We're still 285 miles out. We still -- we have been on the air 14 hours nonstop, and we're still -- you know, 16 to 18 hours before it ever hits.


MCKINNEY: Thank you so much.


GRIFFIN: A local restaurant shows its thanks by donating their last delivery of the night.

MCKINNEY: 85.2 degrees west, about...

GRIFFIN: Sunday morning, after a few hours' rest in his office, McKinney is back. Overnight, Hurricane Dennis has grown in strength. McKinney trying to determine if the storm will stay west to Mobile, or move east towards his town.

MCKINNEY: Throughout the evening here, we're keeping a close eye on it.

GRIFFIN: The callers are growing nervous. There is nothing to do now but wait and worry.

Twelve hours ago, McKinney was trying to help people buy gas. Now he knows, his is the voice that may help some from panic. MCKINNEY: There is a soothing effect when people know that they can tune in and get that information.

GRIFFIN: By noon, the forecast is even worse. Dennis is category 4, and the eye appears to be wobbling east.

As the wind picks up, the question now, will the station be able to stay on the air? Will the leaking roof hold? And can Scott McKinney keep talking? Power hits are coming now every couple of minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) getting ready to feed us, we're off the air.

MCKINNEY: Yeah, exactly. Well, if you can hear us, don't...

GRIFFIN (on camera): What's happening at this radio station, hours -- hours before the hurricane even strikes are these power outages. Then the power goes back on. At some point, this station is going to switch to a generator and hope the generator holds out so the people of this Panhandle can still have some connection to the outside.

(voice-over): The eye of Dennis is now less than two hours from the beach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, and its dark skies coming with it.

MCKINNEY: Yeah, this thing is going to be -- it's moving fairly quickly.

GRIFFIN: McKinney decides to take his show on the road, at least briefly.

MCKINNEY: The speed limit signs are almost about to come off the sides. The winds are unbelievable at the top of this bridge.

GRIFFIN: But he warns his listeners, don't try this at home.

MCKINNEY: We're only about I guess three to four blocks from the station. We're telling everybody, don't get out, because it is not worth it out here at all.

GRIFFIN: The wind gusts are cracking tree limbs outside. The power has gone out in some areas. McKinney is now the only link many of his listeners have to what's happening in their beachside community. But that link is about to be broken. WTKE stayed on the air through last year's powerful Ivan, but Dennis is even tougher.

Near the height of the storm, a power hit at the station's transmitter knocks out the signal, and it's just too dangerous for the engineers to venture outside to fix it.

For the next few hours, McKinney and his staff ride out the storm just like their audience, waiting for Dennis to move on.

MCKINNEY: You got to eat, I mean. GRIFFIN: The winds calm a little, and engineers Frank Hale (ph) and Rob Bechton (ph) make a dash for the transmitter a mile away.

(on camera): It's 4:15 in the afternoon. We think the storm has now passed. The station has been off the air for about four hours. This is the transmitter site. They're going to now try to figure out what's wrong and get back on the air.

(voice-over): In minutes, the cables are repaired, and Hale (ph) starts the generator that puts the Ticket back in business.

MCKINNEY: All right. Well, where have you all been? (INAUDIBLE) from Pensacola, how is it over there?

GRIFFIN: Monday morning, the storm gives way to sunshine. And McKinney for the first time can see out the window.

MCKINNEY: I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.

GRIFFIN: In the coming days, he and the station will get back to sports, but for now, they remain on deck in what has been a much more serious game: Helping a community know the score when it really matters.


ZAHN: Thank God none of them got hurt in the process. Drew Griffin reporting.

Luckily, the Emerald Coast area he was reporting from suffered only minimal damage, but overall, estimates range from $1 billion to $5 billion in damage done by Dennis.

Coming up, we will shift gears, literally. The hottest rookie in car racing talks about her ultimate goal.


DANICA PATRICK, RACECAR DRIVER: My goal is not to be the first female to do things, or it's not to be a poster child, or a calendar girl. It's to just win. Because everything else takes care of itself when you win.


ZAHN: Meet a high school dropout who became the first woman ever to lead the Indy 500. Please stay with us.


ZAHN: Still ahead -- she's just 5-foot-1, just 23 years old. But she's already a sex symbol, a role model and an historic figure. What drives racing star Danica Patrick? You'll find out shortly.

But first, time for another visit with Erica Hill of HEADLINE NEWS -- Erica. HILL: Thanks, Paula.

Some heat today for the president's top political adviser, Karl Rove. The White House is now refusing to comment on reports that Rove leaked a CIA agent's name to reporters. Two years ago, the White House called any possible Rove connection, quote, "totally ridiculous."

An autopsy is being performed on a Los Angeles toddler to see if she was killed by police bullets or by her father, who was using her as a human shield. The girl was killed in a gun battle after a three- hour standoff. The father, who may have been despondent over his business, was also shot and killed. Police say he was intoxicated, on drugs and alcohol.

Today, rescuers finally reached three survivors huddled near the base of a mountain in North Cascades National Park near Seattle. Three others died yesterday when a rock slide tumbled on a climbing expedition. Rain and freezing temperatures delayed the rescue effort.

And the man accused of planning to kidnap the son of David Letterman, strikes a plea bargain. Kelly Frank was a painter at Letterman's Montana ranch, who allegedly told a friend he wanted to hold Letterman's 16-month-old son Harry for $5 million in ransom money. He could get a maximum sentence of 10 years on the lesser charges.

And that's the latest from HEADLINE NEWS at this hour. Paula, back over to you.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Erica. Appreciate it.

Coming up: A rookie driver who suddenly found herself in front of the pack.


D. PATRICK: It comes so very quickly and I'm only in race number six right now. And I have this huge fan base and I have so many kids that look up to me now.


ZAHN: Danica Patrick is a star even though she hasn't won a race yet. We'll tell you why, next.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Moving up on about 14 minutes before the hour. Let's check in with LARRY KING LIVE, to see what he has for us tonight at the top hour. Hi, Larry.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Hi, Paula. Good show. We'll do a follow up on the hurricane, catch up with the head of FEMA and everything. And then, the bulk of the show will deal with Bob Woodward and his book, "The Secret Man." We'll talk about the jailing of Judith Miller, the revelations about Karl Rove, lots of things with Bob Woodward of the "Washington Post." Plus, an update on the weather.

All ahead at 9, dear Paula.

ZAHN: Thank you, dear Larry. Lot of journalistic questions to pose to Mr. Woodward tonight. I might fire one off if you would accept my phone call this evening.

KING: I will. You can call in. Call on the secret line.

ZAHN: Do you know how many times I've called? I'm sort of like, I don't know. They don't want to take my phone call.

KING: No. You call the control room, we'll take it.

ZAHN: All right. I might be saying hello to the two of you later.

KING: You've got it.

ZAHN: Thanks, Larry. See you at the top of the hour.

Bet you won't remember who won this year's Indy 500, but maybe you know who finished fourth. A lot of people who aren't big Indy car fans watched the race and she's the reason.

In tonight's "People in the News" profile, Heidi Collins introduces us to Danica Patrick.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lady and gentlemen, start your engines.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you want to see intensity, just look in her eyes. Danica Patrick, on the track at the Texas Motor Speedway, doing what she does best.

BEV PATRICK, DANICA'S MOTHER: Look out boys, here we come.

COLLINS (on camera): Are you the real deal?

D. PATRICK: You tell me, I don't know. I'm out here to prove that I can be consistently fast and consistently in front, and go out and win races.

COLLINS (voice-over): Since her fourth-place finish at this year's Indianapolis 500, the world has focused on this 5'1, 105-pound 23 year old.

ANNOUNCER: Danica Patrick: She'll be the leader in turn number one.

COLLINS: She's the first woman ever to lead a lap in the Indy 500 and she did it for 19 laps.

CROWD: Go Danica!

COLLINS: Danica has become a media favorite. The cameras and fans are never far behind. In the headlines it's Danicamania. Her run at Indy improved ratings for the ABC broadcast by an astonishing 59 percent over last year. Danica Patrick merchandise...


COLLINS: ... Flying off the shelves. But before all of the fame and money, Danica was a little girl with a big dream.

D. PATRICK: From an early age: Probably about 13 years old is when I knew I was going be a race car driver.

B. PATRICK: It was like throwing a duck in water. And she was a natural at it and she never could get enough of it.

D. PATRICK: I am going to win.

B. PATRICK: Going to win.

COLLINS: Bev and T.J. Patrick, former snow mobile racers, soon discovered their daughter's talent for go-cart racing.

B.PATRCIK: She was a very typical little girl -- volleyball, basketball, cheerleading. You know, we tried to introduce them to everything, to see what they liked to do and go-carting was just one of the things that we did for fun.

COLLINS: By 16, Danica was well on her way.

D. PATRICK: The biggest moment in time and the most defining moment in which I knew that I was going to be a race car driver, had to be when I left school at 16 and moved to England. And that was where you make that final commitment of: OK, I'm not taking the normal path anymore.

COLLINS: Danica did not graduate from high school. Instead, she went to England for three years to race open-wheeled cars against the top young drivers from around the world.

David Letterman and racing legend Bobby Rahal, co-owners of the Rahal-Letterman team, recognized her talents and took a chance. In 2002, they signed her up.

D. PATRICK: Here I am, boss.


COLLINS: Danica hit the Indy Racing League circuit in March of this year, in Homestead, Florida. It was her first race and her first crash.

COLLINS: Amazingly, she walked away with a slight concussion and just a few scratches. But in a field of all-male race car drivers, Danica stands out. In April, 2002, as part of her marketing push, she agreed to pose for these pictures in the speed issue of FHM: "For Him" magazine. D. PATRICK: I feel comfortable with photo shoots and the FHM. I enjoy being girly.

COLLINS: Behind that long hair, the makeup and the sexy photos, there is a fierce competitor.

D. PATRICK: I hope to win races and I think that when you hope to win races, the end result of that is, you know, you win pole positions and you win championships and things like that. So, you know, that's my goal: Is just to win.

COLLINS: Does that bother you?

D. PATRICK: I'm trying to do an interview.

T. J. PATRICK, DANICA'S FATHER: When she's in a race car, she's a tomboy and when she's out of the race car, she's a lady. She's very good at it. She can somehow make the switch with no problem.

COLLINS: And Danica flips that switch instinctively.

(on camera): What are you thinking when you're out there?

D. PATRICK: Nothing. You really aren't thinking about much when you're in the race car. I don't, anyway. You're feeling the car. You're feeling what it's doing. It's very natural and it must be instinctive. To be a good race car driver, you have to have good instincts. I don't claim to know a lot about cars and I don't necessarily know if I have to know a lot about cars. It hasn't hurt me too bad yet.

I just want to be racing against the best, all the time.

COLLINS: It's race night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Green flag. Green flag.

COLLINS: Danica Patrick will have her chance to beat the best.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: All right, fasten your seatbelts. When we come back, Danica Patrick tries for her first big win.


D. PATRICK: I don't think people have an understanding for how much our car moves when we're behind somebody or around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still there. Outside.

D. PATRICK: It's really difficult. It's very hard, and you're always pushed to the limits of your comfort zone.


ZAHN: So how did she do? Stay with us and find out.


ZAHN: And we continue the story of Danica Patrick. After a tough apprenticeship in England, she is now back in the States and running with one of the fastest crowds anywhere. Here again, Heidi Collins.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just going to kick the boys' butts tonight.


COLLINS: It's race day at the Texas Motor Speedway. Thousands of fans, men and women, are hoping to get a glimpse of "Sports Illustrated" cover girl, Danica Patrick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a hottie. That's why 90 percent of the guys that are here are here to see Danica.

COLLINS (on camera): So you aren't really racing fans, then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, yeah, but we're bigger Danica fans.

COLLINS: Do you think that it can get dangerous to be seen as, you know, sexy over serious athlete? Do you think it detracts or distracts from what you're trying to do out there?

D. PATRICK: I don't think it distracts from what I'm doing out there. But I do think it attracts fans. I think it attracts interes -- adds some depth and diversity to a story. So, somebody's looking for a good-looking person that races a car? Well, it helps that I'm good- looking then.

COLLINS: Danica has joined a number of other women sports pioneers, who have become role models for girls of every generation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at all of these guys out there. You got here doing your own thing, a big step for women everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's nice to see a female succeeding.

D. PATRICK: I can't believe that what has happened has meant so much and I have become a role model.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You're the only girl driver.

D. PATRICK: You're right. I am.

It's hard for me to fathom, because I feel so young and feel so early in my career, and I have so much to do and so much more racing left in me that, you know, I thought this would come later in my career, but it's come so very quickly.

B. PATRICK: Her (INAUDIBLE) for herself is up here and mine is just right down here. She has such high expectations. To see her going 200-plus miles an hour, I still don't understand how she knows how to do it.

COLLINS (voice-over): While Danica's engine gets a last-minute tune-up, she's concentrating on what lies ahead.

D. PATRICK: Well, what makes this track fast is the fact that there's a lot of banking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Green flag! Green flag! Green flag.

COLLINS (on camera): Does being small help you?

D. PATRICK: I don't think being tall or short or fat or skinny or anything is going to help or hurt you that much. There's so many elements that come up in a race. You have to get on the lap track as quick as possible, you have to avoid accidents as quickly as possible, and all these things don't necessarily matter what size or shape or form you come in. Just matters how much experience you have and how talented you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're still outside. (INAUDIBLE).

COLLINS (voice-over): Danica has had only two and a half hours of practice on this track. She's up against 21 men, most have raced here many times before.

T.J. PATRICK: All right, stop there. Good job. Put on the brakes.

D. PATRICK: My goal is not to be you know, the first female to do things, or it's not to be a poster child, or a calendar girl. It's to just win. Because everything else takes care of itself when you win.

COLLINS: Ahead, 200 laps, 300 miles. Danica tries to break through, but has difficulty. Unable to catch up to the lead pack...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Checkered flag. Great job. Great job.

COLLINS: ... Danica finishes a disappointing 13th.

D. PATRICK: Yeah, I'm disappointed. Of course I am. But I am also not an idiot. I know that it takes time to learn things. And while I'm racing against these guys that are so good, you know, it's going to happen, it's going to take time -- it's going to take time to be ready for all situations out there.

COLLINS: But there will be other races, other chances for Danica.

(on camera): Would you say there's a big difference between Danica the person, you know, off the track, and Danica the competitor?

D. PATRICK: My personal life and my business, my racing life are very separate. They're very different.

My racing life is very intense. When I go away from the track and when I'm home, with my fiance, you know, it's about him, you know, and making him breakfast, make him lunch, iron his shirt for the day. And I procrastinate like crazy, and you know, I sit around and I get manicures and pedicures all the time.

COLLINS: But put her on anything with wheels, and the competitor comes out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eighty, 90 miles an hour, in and out of traffic all the time.

COLLINS (on camera): Mom, you'll drive with her?

B. PATRICK: Oh, I'll ride with her, yeah, but I might be, like, strapping that seatbelt on a little tighter when she's driving.

COLLINS (voice-over): In this very dangerous sport, Danica Patrick has already accomplished so much. But as far as she's concerned, it's just the beginning.

D. PATRICK: I'm proud of what I have done so far, but I have so much further to go.


ZAHN: Go, Danica, go. Since Heidi Collins caught up with her, she was the fastest qualifier for a race in Kansas, but finished ninth. She will be racing again this weekend in Nashville, and so will a guy whose name you might not be able to remember, Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon.

That's it for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. Tomorrow, does the drug Ritalin harm children? Well, the Church of Scientology says so. We're going to take a look at the controversy.

Coming up next, LARRY KING LIVE. His guest tonight, reporter Bob Woodward.

Hope to see you tomorrow night. We'll be back same time, same place.



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