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Las Vegas Casino Thief Sentenced; American Journalist Jill Carroll Finally Free; Life Without Illegal Immigrants?

Aired March 30, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. And thank you all for being with us.
Tonight, an absolutely incredible real-life crime story straight out of a Hollywood script.


ZAHN: The "Eye Opener" -- end game in Las Vegas.

She pulled off what seemed like the perfect crime.

ED KOCH, REPORTER, "THE LAS VEGAS SUN": You didn't rob casinos. You didn't rob armored cars at casinos. You just didn't do it.

ZAHN: A brazen robbery that netted millions of dollars and left a cold trail for years. Now justice and a puzzling double mystery.

KOCH: Where is the money? Where is the accomplice?

ZAHN: "Beyond the Headlines" -- life without illegal workers: pricier food, more expensive homes.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: The economy would collapse, because there whole industries that couldn't survive.

ZAHN: Can a country that has gotten used to cheap labor survive without it?

And what was she thinking? Tanya's torment -- a teenager separated from friends and family, missing for 10 long years. She says she couldn't escape.

TANYA NICOLE KACH, MISSING FOR 10 YEARS: There were times when I would -- I would threaten to leave, and there were times he threatened to kill me.

ZAHN: But could it be, she didn't want to leave?


ZAHN: We begin with an amazing story breaking tonight, a story that really sounds like it has come straight out of a movie script.

Just a few hours ago in Las Vegas, a 34-year-old woman was sentenced for her part in a daring daylight casino heist, a $3 million cash haul that led to a 12-year international manhunt. She eventually turned herself in, but her alleged accomplice is still out there somewhere. And, so, too, is all the money.

This international mystery is tonight's "Eye Opener."

And Ted Rowlands, who was in the courtroom for the sentencing today, joins me now with all the details.

Hi, Ted.


It was a very emotional day in a Las Vegas courtroom. As Heather Tallchief sat and watched video of her 11-year-old son, she broke down, watching him plea for his mother to come home. But, today, she found out, it will be a while before she is rejoined with her son because of her role in one of the biggest heists in Las Vegas history.


ROWLANDS (voice-over): On the morning of October 1, 1993, an armored truck pulled into the Circus Circus Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

SCOTT STEWART, FORMER CIRCUS CIRCUS CASINO SECURITY GUARD: Being that it was a Friday, it was a normal busy day for us, because we had to get all the casinos ready for...

ROWLANDS: Scott Stewart was one of two guards from the truck that went into the casino to fill ATM machines with cash for weekend gamblers. The driver of the truck, 21-year-old Heather Tallchief, stayed behind.

STEWART: She was supposed to pick us up at that other exit there, so we could continue our route.

ROWLANDS: Because it was a Friday and Circus Circus was one of the crew's first stops, the armored truck was packed with more than $3 million in cash. When Scott Stewart and his partner came out of the casino, the truck, the money, and Heather Tallchief were gone.

STEWART: Everything kind of swarms through your mind at that point. You know, was -- was she in an accident? Is she hurt? Is she OK? Did the vehicle get taken from her? Did she take the vehicle?

ROWLANDS: Tallchief had no criminal record. She had worked for the company for about a month. At first, there was concern for her safety. But that concern soon turned to suspicion.

JOSEPH DUSHEK, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: We knew it was going to be big and we knew that there would be a lot involved in trying to locate her.

ROWLANDS: FBI special agent Joseph Dushek was assigned to the case. He says, almost immediately, agents had casino surveillance video showing Heather Tallchief driving away on her own. As law enforcement launched an all-out search, the story of a 21- year-old woman and a $3.1 million heist immediately captured the attention of Las Vegas.

ED KOCH, REPORTER, "THE LAS VEGAS SUN": There were people actually rooting for her, hoping that -- hoping that she got away and, somehow, made a life for herself elsewhere.

ROWLANDS: But agents didn't think Tallchief was in it alone. And, a few days after the heist, they got a break. The armored truck turned up in a garage. Investigators found fingerprints identifying Tallchief's partner.

DUSHEK: Sure enough, found out that the fingerprints belonged to a Roberto Ignacio (ph) Solis. He had a long record. He was very violent, prone to violence, had a lot of convictions.

ROWLANDS: Roberto Solis had been involved in an armed robbery before. In fact, he served more than 20 years in a California prison for killing an armored truck guard. This time, investigators say Solis and Tallchief had pulled off an elaborate heist. Weeks before stealing the money, they started a fake armored car repair business, calling it Steel Reinforcement Services.

They told people in the area to expect armored trucks to go in and out of the garage. So, when Tallchief pulled up driving the truck full of cash, nobody was suspicious.

DUSHEK: And there is their first customer. They just pulled in to get the armored truck reinforced.

ROWLANDS: Agents say it took less than two hours for Solis and Tallchief to take most of the money out of the truck and get out of town. Witnesses say the couple disguised themselves. Tallchief acted like a sick older woman in a wheelchair. Solis pretended to be a doctor.

They drove a rental car to the airport and flew in a private jet to Denver.

DUSHEK: They had rented the jet months in advance. When they landed, the pilot told us, said, hey, it is a miracle. Look, she got up and walked out of the wheelchair...


DUSHEK: ... to the limousine waiting for them.

ROWLANDS: Agents were able to track Solis and Tallchief to Miami, but never found them. Meanwhile, as weeks went by, speculation in Vegas was growing.

KOCH: People were more surprised than anything. Simply put, you didn't rob casinos. You didn't rob armored cars at casinos. You just didn't do it, because you didn't want, for lack of a better word, the agents of the casinos to find you, because, if they found you first, and you got the money, no one would ever see you again.

ROWLANDS (on camera): But, after Miami, the trail went cold. There was no sign of Tallchief. There was no sign of Tallchief, Solis, or the money, until, out of the blue, 12 years after the heist, Heather Tallchief came back to Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For those of you who haven't met her yet, this is Heather Tallchief.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Here she was, after all this time, at a news conference. Heather Tallchief, now 33 years old, was turning herself in. She would tell investigators how she and Solis got away with one of the biggest heists in Las Vegas history.

Tallchief says she was a pawn brainwashed by Roberto Solis.

HEATHER TALLCHIEF, DEFENDANT: What he told me was: "Today, I want you to -- I want you to follow these orders and to listen well. Carry these plans out without fail."

And then he gave me instructions for how to drive the vehicle, step by step, street -- street by street, to a predestined garage.

ROWLANDS: In a written statement filed in friend court, Heather Tallchief details her version of the story, including, how ,at age 21, she met Solis, then 47, in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.

She described Solis as a charismatic businessman, who started by reading her tarot cards, but quickly pulled her into what she describes as a world of satanic worship. It included painting their bodies as part of a ritualistic sexual routine.

ROBERT AXELROD, ATTORNEY FOR HEATHER TALLCHIEF: He practiced a cultish, druid, crazy sort of form of religion involving sexual magic, that she allowed him to convince her was the way to greater enlightenment.

ROWLANDS: Tallchief says -- quote -- "I worshipped him and believed everything he said."

She says, before going to Vegas, they went to Mexico, where Solis had plastic surgery. While there, she says he introduced her to peyote and books on devil worship, saying -- quote -- "He directed me to make a hooded magician's cape for him and a plain cape for myself. We wore these frequently."

Then, she says, they went to Vegas, where she says Solis urged her to get a job as an armored car driver. She says -- quote -- "I suppose that I should have suspected that he had some illegal motive in this, but I did not."

DUSHEK: She didn't even have a driver's license and didn't know how to shoot. So, she had to go to a local firearms range and learn how to shoot, and actually learn how to drive.

AXELROD: She was so much under the influence of Roberto Solis, who was an incredible criminal con man.

ROWLANDS: Tallchief says, after the heist, they did go to Miami, but then moved on to the Cayman Islands for a few months, before getting themselves to Amsterdam.

In the statement, she says -- quote -- "Not long after Solis and I ran away, I decided to leave him and turn myself in."

Why didn't she?

AXELROD: Really, two things. One, he told her that, if the authorities ever saw her or identified her, that they would shoot to kill, and that she was the only suspect, not him. She had never seen any news about this, and she believed him. And she found that she was pregnant.

ROWLANDS: Pregnant with Solis' child, a boy they named Dillon (ph).

Two months after the birth, Tallchief says, one night, she fled with their child and about $1,000 in cash. She says she never saw Solis again. For several years, Tallchief says she worked as a prostitute, which is legal in Amsterdam. Eventually, she took a job cleaning rooms in this hotel, while raising her son.

AXELROD: Her son has always known that there was a secret. He has always known that he had to behave in a certain way, that he had to live a low profile.

ROWLANDS: Tallchief says she turned herself in to give her son, Dillon (ph), an honest life.

AXELROD: He would have had to have lived a false identity with her for the rest of his life.

ROWLANDS: While she's in jail, Dillon (ph) is being cared for by a man Tallchief says has taken on the role of father and husband.

KOCH: It has a elements -- of -- of a movie. And now you have got the final scene of it, of her turning herself in. And, well, there is one more piece of the puzzle left to this movie, is where -- where is the money and where is -- where is her accomplice?

ROWLANDS: Tallchief says she has no idea, and neither does FBI Agent Joseph Dushek, who is now retired, but says he hasn't stopped looking, even taking this wanted flyer of Solis with him on vacations.

DUSHEK: I have been to Mexico a few times. You never know what you might see, or you might get a tip. Out of all of the cases I have, this was the one I wanted to see solved the most.

ROWLANDS: Heather Tallchief says, after she's released from prison, she plans to finish raising her son and reconnect with the family she left behind while on the run.

Meanwhile, the hunt is still on for Roberto Solis, the man who, so far, has gotten away with one of the largest heists in Las Vegas history.


ROWLANDS: And, today, a federal judge sentenced Heather Tallchief to the maximum sentence, using 1993 guidelines, five-and-a- half years. She will serve that time in a medium federal facility. They're hoping that will be in Connecticut, and they're hoping to bring her son to the United States, so that at least she can visit with him. Prosecutors say, this sends a message that, no matter how long she was gone, she is responsible for stealing that money.

And, meanwhile, Paula, Roberto Solis is still out there.

ZAHN: What a bizarre story.

Ted Rowlands, thank you very much.

Tonight, there are some major developments in some other stories we have been following for weeks now. Kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll is finally a free woman tonight. How had she been treated by her captors, and when will she be home with her family?

Also, the minister's wife who, police say, confessed to killing him, were there any signs of trouble in their home? Tonight, for the first time, we are going to hear from someone who knows her very well, someone who has already visited with her in jail.

Plus, how would America be different without illegal immigration? What if all the people here illegally just went home? We are going to pose that question and answer it for you a little bit later on.

But, first, more than 17 million of you logged on to our Web site today.

Our countdown of the top-10 most popular stories on starts with Secretary of State Rice's latest warning to Iran. Today, she said the country doesn't need to give up on its nuclear energy program, just uranium enrichment that could lead to the creation of nuclear weapons.

Number nine, President Bush says he's committed to getting Congress to approve broad immigration reforms, including a so-called guest-worker program. Mr. Bush is in Cancun at a summit with leaders of Mexico and Canada -- numbers eight and seven when we come back.


ZAHN: She was married to a Tennessee minister. And police say she has confessed to killing him. But why? And what has she told a friend? We will be talking with her good friend a little bit later on tonight.

Meanwhile, American journalist Jill Carroll is finally free, safe at this moment in Baghdad's Green Zone, and could be returned to her family as early as tomorrow. Now, today, after nearly three months as a hostage in Iraq, she simply walked into the office of an Iraqi political party in Baghdad, identified herself, handed over a letter from her captors, and then asked to use the phone, a remarkable end to an absolutely terrifying journey.

International correspondent Nic Robertson has more from Baghdad.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Less than two hours after she was released, Jill Carroll was already appearing on Baghdad TV, receiving gifts, including a Koran, from the Iraqi politician who helped get her to safety. She had lost none of her reporter's instinct for telling the story.

JILL CARROLL, FREED HOSTAGE: I was treated very well. It's important people know that, that I was not harmed. They never said they would hit me, never threatened me in any way. And I was just I'm just happy to be free, and I want to be with my family.

ROBERTSON: Despite the good treatment, she learned little of where she was being held, cut off from the outside world, except, once, being allowed to watch TV.

JILL CARROLL: I really don't know where I was. The -- the room had a window, but the glass was -- you know, you can't see. And it's curtains. And you couldn't hear any sound.

So, I would sit in the room. If I had to take a shower, I walk two feet, you know, next -- to next door, take a shower, go to the bathroom, come back.

ROBERTSON: Her freedom had come a little after noon in Baghdad. Back home in the U.S., her family learned of her release in real time, first in a phone call directly from Jill, then on TV.

JIM CARROLL, FATHER OF JILL CARROLL: We got the call this morning. I got the call a little before 6:00. Jill called me directly. And it was quite a wakeup call, to say the least. And she was -- she is doing well. I was glad to see her on TV this morning. She's apparently in good health and mentally strong. And we're all very pleased about that.

ROBERTSON: It was all a shock to her family, and even to Jill herself.

JILL CARROLL: They just came to me and said, OK, we're letting you go now. That's all.

QUESTION: Have you -- you in your knowledge that there was negotiation to make you free?

JILL CARROLL: I don't know. I don't know what was going on.

(CROSSTALK) JILL CARROLL: They didn't tell me what was going on.

ROBERTSON: She walked from where her captors let her go into a small office belonging to a Sunni political party, clutching a letter, written in Arabic, asking for help. And that's what she revealed her freedom.

JIM CARROLL: It was a fantastic conversation, obviously. We're feeling ecstatic. It's been a long haul, and we're done with it now.

ROBERTSON (on camera): From her worst days in captivity until now, Jill Carroll appears to have lived up to her reputation of being a tough woman. Incredibly, the coming days, and even months, former hostages say, could be equally challenging, as she readjusts to her freedom and gets to grips with everything she has been through.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Baghdad.


ZAHN: And joining me now are two of Jill Carroll's friends, Natasha Tines, who has known her for several years now, and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a friend and former Baghdad bureau chief for "The Washington Post."

Thank you both for joining us.

So, Rajiv, it was just two months ago that we saw Jill crying, begging for her life, and, then, today, a very different Jill emerged, a very composed on, commenting on how well she was fed, how nice the furniture was, how often she got to bathe. Were your surprised by her lack of anger?

RAJIV CHANDRASEKARAN, COLLEAGUE & FRIEND OF JILL CARROLL: Well, you know, this is Jill. She is a -- she is a composed and -- and -- and savvy and -- and courageous woman.

And I -- you know, I think we have to put both of these videos in perspective. You know, we have heard from other former hostages that often hostages are forced, literally at gunpoint, to -- to be very dramatic, to be -- to be incredibly impassioned and tearful on some of these videos.

And then, you know, again, today's video, we -- we have to remember that this was in the -- done in the presence of party officials from this Iraqi Islamic party.

ZAHN: Sure.

CHANDRASEKARAN: She was not yet in the safe embraces of American officials or her family. So, you know, we need to wait to see, you know, what she is going to say when she's in a truly safe place and she can really open up and talk about her experiences in -- with candor and detail.

ZAHN: She was in a little safer spot earlier today, when some of your friends who are colleagues of Jill's got to visit with her. What did they say was her state of mind at that point?

CHANDRASEKARAN: Well, she was incredibly emotional. When she saw my colleagues from "The Washington Post," good friends of hers, they embraced. She was crying. It was -- it was an incredibly powerful, emotional moment.

Everybody was really overcome. And -- and, then, she was able to call her -- her -- her parents and her -- her sister. And, you know, I -- I -- I think that, by the time the -- the video that was taken that was shown today, that that video was filmed, she really did have a little time to become a little bit more composed, a little bit more relaxed.

But certainly, initially, I mean, it was -- it was just this -- this incredible outpouring of emotion, to see her, her friends...

ZAHN: Sure.

CHANDRASEKARAN: ... that she hadn't seen for so long.

ZAHN: Now, Natasha, you had dinner with Jill's sister last night, on the same night that her appeal aired on Arabic TV, calling for her sister's release.

Let's listen to that a little bit right now first.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no one I hold closer to my heart than my sister Jill. And I deeply worry about how she's being treated.


ZAHN: Had it not been for these pleas by her sister, by her parents, might she never have come home?

NATASHA TYNES, FRIEND OF JILL CARROLL: Well, I believe that her parents and her friends and everyone was very smart about handling the media. They were very smart about making their messages across the Arab satellite TV stations, including Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. And I'm sure these messages and these -- these made a huge difference in -- in her release.

ZAHN: Well, I know you two are very relieved. She has been released and looking forward to her return.

Natasha Tynes and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, thank you for your time tonight.


ZAHN: Just a week ago, police say a woman confessed to killing her husband. But why? And exactly what did she tell her friend who has seen her in jail? I will be speaking with that friend in just a little bit. And are they here legally or not? How would things actually be different without illegal immigrants? As the immigration debate rages on, we have got a reality check for you tonight.

Right now, though, we have move along to number eight on our countdown -- a new study just out today on prayer and healing. Duke University Medical Center researchers found heart surgery patients showed no benefit when strangers prayed for their recovery.

And, at number seven, in Hawaii, warnings to stay out of the water along parts of Waikiki's beaches after a massive raw sewage spill. Officials say they're worried about high levels of bacteria.

We have number six and five when we come back.

Seven-B: one of our crew members, who I think he just fell on the floor.

Are you OK?

Yes, he's all right.

So, we will be back with the whole team in just a moment.


ZAHN: A little bit earlier on, we mentioned that President Bush got into the passionate debate over immigration today on the road.

In Cancun, he told Mexico's President Fox that he is committed to letting millions of guest workers enter the U.S. legally, but temporarily. Also today, back in Washington, senators continued their sometimes very angry debate over what to do with millions of undocumented workers who already live here illegally, workers who also do some of the hardest work for the lowest pay.

Well, no America city has grappled with that problem longer than New York.

And that's where chief national correspondent John King found a certain New York attitude toward immigration. You might sum it up this way: Forget about it. Just make it work.

It is a story that takes us tonight "Beyond the Headlines."


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 7 Line through Queens weaves through more than 300 year of immigrant history, legal and illegal, a lesson Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes to those in Washington calling for a crackdown.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: We not going to deport 12 million people. So, let's stop this fiction. Let's give them permanent status. KING: But over coffee at an Indian diner, pondering the what-if. What would a New York City and an America look like if illegal immigrants were forced out of the shadows and forced to leave?

(on camera): What would happen to the economy here?

BLOOMBERG: Well, the economy would collapse, because there's whole industries that couldn't survive. And even if Americans were willing to take those jobs, it would take a long time before they could.

KING (voice-over): Take these illegal day laborers out of the picture, and the impact would be on the construction industry.

MOISES, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (through translator): I have just arrived, barely four months ago. We all deserve an opportunity. We all deserve a chance to work, because it is hard in our countries.

KING: Overall, illegal immigrants make up 5 percent of the U.S. work force. But they hold 24 percent of the jobs in farming, 17 percent in the cleaning sector, 14 percent in construction, and 12 percent in food preparation.

Ediwin came illegally from China 17 years ago, works as a cook.

(on camera): Are you ever afraid that some -- that police or somebody will -- will try to check your papers or -- or, for some reason, throw you out of the country?

EDIWIN, ILLEGAL CHINESE IMMIGRANT (through translator): This is such a country of opportunity, I'm willing to stay and take the risk, because, from day to day, life is pretty good here.

KING (voice-over): Those advocating a crackdown say, secure the borders first; then deal with the 12 million or so illegals already here.

MARK KRIKORIAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: We actually calculate that, over a period of five years, you could probably cut it in half, if you put your mind to it. And I'm not talking machine guns and land mines. I'm talking normal law enforcement.

KING: Finding them would be a nationwide challenge, an estimated 12 million in all, three million in California, 1.5 million in Texas.

JEFFREY PASSEL, SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, PEW HISPANIC CENTER: Florida, Illinois, New York, but, nowadays Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, so, they have been spreading out around the country.

KING: Shamila is the face of another dilemma, if Congress wanted any major crackdown. She has been here illegally for 20 years. Her 9-year-old son was born here, so is a U.S. citizen.

SHAMILA, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: I am afraid when I go outside that, God forbid, for some reason, that I'm pulled over or something like that happens, and I'm sent back and I'm -- or be even separated from my son.

KRIKORIAN: It is not the job of the American people to make up for the mistakes and bad decisions of these illegal alien parents.

KING: The mayor calls such talk nonsense.

BLOOMBERG: These people are going to be here permanently. Let's recognize it and get on with it.

And, you know, I just don't have a lot of patience to listen to people that say, it shouldn't be.

Maybe it shouldn't be. You have a right to that opinion. But it is.

KING: A half-million illegal immigrants blended into this city of 170 languages, a place the mayor says should serve as an example for those he believes are trying to ignore both history and economic reality.

John King, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: It is estimated that about half a million illegal immigrants come into the U.S. every year, 78 percent of them from Mexico and Latin American countries.

The question tonight is why would a 14-year-old run away from home? Was it that she really was held captive for 10 years after she ran away? And if that's true, why didn't she even try to escape? We're going to take a closer look at her amazing story.

Also the minister's wife who is in jail tonight and authorities say she has confessed to killing her husband. What was her motive? I'll be talking with a friend who has actually visited her since she was put in jail.

No. 6 on our countdown. Supermodel Naomi Campbell was today charged with second-degree assault. Police say she hit her housekeeper with a phone during an argument at Campbell's New York apartment.

No. 5, some good news tonight, Sago Mine survivor Randy McCloy is finally home. He was released from the hospital a little bit earlier than expected. You might remember that 12 of his co-workers were killed in the January 2nd explosion at the West Virginia mine.

No. 4 straight after the break.


ZAHN: We're following the incredible story of a 24-year-old Pittsburgh woman who resurfaced last week after having been missing for 10 years. The way Tanya Nicole Kach tells it, in 1996 she was an eighth grader from a broken home. She says she began a relationship with her school's 37-year-old security guard and ran away with him. But she didn't live happily ever after. Last week 10 years after anyone had heard from her, Tanya walked into a convenience store and asked for help.

She was later reunited with her parents. Police then charged the man she had been living with, Thomas Hose with sex crimes involving a minor. He wasn't charged with kidnapping and denies any wrongdoing. He posted bond and got out of jail yesterday. Meanwhile, Tanya Kach has been telling her remarkable story to reporters.


TANYA KACH, WAS MISSING FOR 10 YEARS: I didn't get to go to school. I didn't graduate. I didn't have a sweet 16. I didn't get to go to the prom. I didn't get to find real love.


ZAHN: Do these interviews reveal more of Tanya's story than we first realized? What was she thinking at the time? We're going to examine that right now with the help of Dr. Alan Manevitz, a psychiatrist and trauma expert who works at New York Presbyterian Hospital.


ZAHN: So one of the most disturbing stories about Tanya's case is that over that 10-year period, she never tried to escape. Let's listen to her describe why she didn't.


KACH: He told me he cared. And I believed him. And I didn't think I was loved. I thought I would be on the streets because I didn't think anybody cared. He would tell me your case is dead, it's cold. There were times when I would threaten to leave. And there were times he would threaten to kill me. Just not many, but there were times -- he would pull a guilt trip on me.


ZAHN: Why didn't she leave? Was she brainwashed?

DR. ALAN MANEVITZ, PSYCHIATRIST AND TRAUMA EXPERT: Absolutely brainwashed. And it is very hard for us to understand that from the external side of things, looking at this experience and not really understanding the internal instinctive drive that somebody has to survive.

She was hypervigilant to his needs, she wanted to avoid trouble, she saw the world through his eyes. And therefore she took on his perspective and followed his instructions. She would lock the door behind her. She would shower at night, she would tiptoe so nobody else could hear her in the house. ZAHN: She describes in pretty painful detail what it was like to live, for the most part, in one room for 10 years. Let's listen to that.


KACH: I was in that room, I didn't see the light of day. I mean I did through the windows but didn't go out, didn't see people, only two people I talked to.


KACH: Only two people I talked to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who were the two people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her captor and his son.


ZAHN: How damaging was an experience like that?

MANEVITZ: It is very damaging. I mean, to understand why she could live that way -- it's because in that situation, any small act of kindness that this man provided for her allowed her to sort of identify with the positive side of him and disassociate from the part of him that was entrapping her.

ZAHN: What a nightmare. Thank you so much, doctor, appreciate it.


ZAHN: It is important to know that Thomas Hose's attorney says Tanya Kach was never kidnapped in the first place or forced to stay with Hose. In fact, the attorney doesn't even acknowledge that Hose and Kach had any kind of relationship.

A minister's wife remains in jail tonight. She is accused of murdering her husband. But does anyone know why? What is she saying to her friends? Well I'm going to ask someone who has talked with her in jail.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, exactly what words was Justice Scalia thinking of when he did this? Wait until you hear the multiple interpretations.

To No. 4 on our countdown, investigators in Cumberland, Maryland, trying to figure out what started a deadly fire at a privately owned zoo. Several exotic reptiles, birds and monkeys were killed in that fire.

We're going to have No. 3 on our list just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: There's some action tonight to talk about in a case that shocked all of us: The Tennessee preacher's wife accused of killing her husband. In a quick hearing today, a judge sent the case to a grand jury, and Mary Winkler's lawyer for now did not ask for bond. Winkler, a mother of three, was arrested the day after her husband was found shot in the back in their home. Police say she confessed.

But the question everyone has right now is if she did it, what could send the seemingly perfect wife with the perfect family over the edge? It's a story outside the law tonight. And joining me now, someone who has spoken with Mary Winkler in jail, a close friend, Pam Killingsworth.

Pam, you had about a 35-minute conversation with her. Did she say anything about killing her husband?

PAM KILLINGSWORTH, FRIEND OF MARY WINKLER: No, we didn't talk about that. I had gone to tell her that we were praying for her, and just to give her some comfort, because I knew that probably she hadn't seen anyone other than maybe her father.

ZAHN: Did she have any sense of remorse about what had happened?

KILLINGSWORTH: She was very quiet. She was smiling. She seemed peaceful, very peaceful.

ZAHN: And at no point did she ever say to you, I'm sorry, I've let down the congregation, I've let down the church, I'm so sorry about that happened?

KILLINGSWORTH: She did apologize and say that she was sorry, and that she wanted me to go back and tell our elders to please pray for her and ask for forgiveness for her in behalf of her.

ZAHN: Her attorney is now saying that she suffered from some form of postpartum depression. Did you ever see signs of that in her behavior?

KILLINGSWORTH: The times that I were with the children and with Mary, I didn't see that. She was always smiling, always happy. I just didn't see that.

ZAHN: And did you ever see any red flags raised in the marriage? A lot of people had a lot of contact with this family, because they were so familiar with everybody in their congregation.

KILLINGSWORTH: I didn't see any red flags. People that have talked with me out in the community that were around Mary and Matthew at ball games and different events, they didn't see anything either. I know -- go ahead.

ZAHN: Sorry, Pam. I'm still a little (inaudible) by something you said a little bit earlier on when you were describing her demeanor in jail, where you said she was very quiet, she was peaceful. Were you surprised that she didn't show more emotion? Given the fact that she is sitting in jail for killing her husband? KILLINGSWORTH: Yes, I was surprised. I expected her to be very upset. But she just -- she was very calm. She was worried about the needs of -- seems like everyone else. Her children. She mentioned her children. She mentioned Matthew. She mentioned the church. The concerns were all with others. And not one time did she, you know, say I'm so worried about being here, I wish I could get out.

ZAHN: Well, Pam Killingsworth, thank you for sharing that conversation with us tonight. Appreciate it.

And still ahead, a Supreme Court justice foregoes the legal technicalities, as he is meaning perfectly clear. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see this picture. What do you think that means? Well, we're going to hear a lot of different takes when we come back.

We'll get right to that after Erica Hill and the HEADLINE NEWS business break.


ZAHN: It is beginning to feel like that here as we hit 65 degree today. Erica Hill.

LARRY KING LIVE coming up at the top of the hour, of course completely spoiled by California temperatures. So it would be no big deal to you that we enjoyed our first day of real spring here today. Who is joining you tonight?


ZAHN: Sixty-five. It felt great.

KING: Sixty-four here.

ZAHN: OK. Well, see, got to fly east every now and then for the better temperature.

KING: That one day a year, you got it better. Anyway...

ZAHN: Exactly.

KING: Tonight, we'll cover a lot of what you've been talking about. We'll deal with the strange case of the Winkler family and the whole goings-on in Tennessee. We'll also devote a major portion of the program to the release today of Jill Carroll, what a great story that is. We'll concentrate on both and take viewer phone calls.

And tomorrow night, Bill Clinton will be with us.

But tonight, all that ahead at the top of the hour, immediately following the lovely Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: Thank you. Hey, Lar, those suspenders aren't bright enough. What color are they?

KING: Orange.

ZAHN: Orange. Glow in the dark. Have a good show.

KING: You don't like them?

ZAHN: No, I do like them very much. I was just going to give you a hard time here.

KING: Frank Sinatra's favorite color.

ZAHN: Orange is good on October 31st, Lar.

KING: Thanks -- oh. You'll pay for that.

ZAHN: Good show. I know I will. And so might this man, Larry. Check out this picture. Coming up, a Supreme Court justice cuts through all the legal mumbo-jumbo. You don't need a legal degree to understand this, do you? So what is he talking about?

Number three on our countdown, Georgia Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney now says she's sorry about her confrontation Wednesday with a Capitol Hill police officer. Capitol Police say it happened after McKinney went around a metal detector, as lawmakers are allowed to do, while she was not wearing her congressional lapel pin. Number two on the countdown is next.


ZAHN: Some questions tonight about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. For starters, what exactly did he mean by a gesture he aimed at a reporter and is the gesture obscene or just a little bit unpleasant? Either way, it happens to be front-page news. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is an Italian gesture not normally associated with the Supreme Court, but there he is.

(on camera): This is Supreme Court Justice Scalia.


MOOS (voice-over): On the front page of the "Boston Herald."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To call it obscene, I think that's kind of strong. I would say it was being rude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he was just scratching his chin.

MOOS: Unfortunately, there is no videotape, just this one still picture just as Scalia was coming out of mass when a reporter asked him how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.

That's when Justice Scalia fanned his hand away from his chin.

(on camera): And he supposedly said this world.


MOOS: The photographer says he said this word and he said he didn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Photographer said he said that?

MOOS: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's bad. That's very bad. Forget about it, that's very bad. No Italians talk that way, we don't like that to each other unless we hate you.

MOOS (voice-over): But Justice Scalia cited a book called "The Italians." "The extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin means I couldn't care less. It's no business of mine."

The conflicting interpretations call for expert analysis.

(on camera): Are you guys Italian? You Italian?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to be Italian, now I'm American.

(voice-over): We headed for Little Italy in the Bronx. For some the gesture was too delicate, even to discuss.

(on camera): What do you mean you don't know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I don't know what it means.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not really bad, but it's not quite like the finger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be obscene or it could be like don't bother me. I don't want to be bothered. I don't take that as being anything bad because in my family, they did it all the time and they still do it.

MOOS (voice-over): In a letter to the "Boston Herald," Justice Scalia accused staffers of having watched too many episodes of "The Sopranos."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anti-Italian discrimination.

MOOS: So the "Herald" ran the gesture past "Sopranos" cast members. The guy who plays Vito said, "It's not like crabbing your crotch. Not that bad an obscenity, but it's an obscenity."

Even if you can't define it, you know it when you see it or you can see what you want in it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you, I love you. MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: And we love you, Jeanne Moos. And there's this, no matter what Scalia meant this time, he may have to watch his gestures more carefully in the future because there happens to be a bill in the Senate right now to require the Supreme Court to allow cameras to cover oral arguments.

So what do you plan to do when you retire? Well you're about to meet a man who left the world of advertising and found a brand new home in music. Here is Jennifer Westhoven with another story about "Life After Work."



JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tom Patty is living his dream, retired in southern California.

PATTY: I was never one of these people who lived to work. And I always had a great time every weekend. I figured if every day could be a weekend, that would be a good life.

WESTHOVEN: Tom used to be an ad agency president but he was always actively planning to just bike, sail and play his guitar in retirement.

PATTY: Once I stopped working, I got more into music and somebody taught me how to write a song. And I liked that. It was really me. I wrote 15 or so songs and widdled it down to 10 and decided they weren't awful. And then I got a guy from the Beach Boys to help me produce a C.D. And it was a wonderful experience, it was really terrific.

WESTHOVEN: Tom's album didn't hit the charts, but going to do something that he loves, writing songs that capture his laid-back lifestyle.


WESTHOVEN: Living in the O.C., Tom proves life after work can be one long weekend.

PATTY: This is my 2,365th day of being on retirement. Very good friend of mine had a great idea, start a journal when you retire. And I've done it every day. And at the end of every day, I write another great day in Dana Point.

WESTHOVEN: Jennifer Westhoven, CNN.


ZAHN: We change our focus now to some really serious weather going down in the central U.S. Coming up, an update on some of the storms that caused both tornadoes and some really bad wildfires. Where the storms are headed? An update for you next.

But first onto No. 2 on our countdown, and that is our story from earlier tonight. The case against Mary Winkler, the Tennessee woman who is accused of murdering her husband. It will go to a grand jury and police say she fatally shot the popular young minister and that she's actually confessed to the crime. But they have not yet revealed a motive.

No. 1 on our list is next.


ZAHN: We have some really bad weather, have to talk about what's going on right now. It has caused a double dose of trouble in south central Kansas. Check this out, at least one tornado swept through the town of Hutchinson, Kansas. But there happened to be even a bigger problem than this, and that is wildfires.

At least 18 brushfires broke out after the line of storms blew through. Officials think that high winds knocked down power lines, which fell into dry grass, starting some huge fires. Several houses have been destroyed. Turns out the people in a 21 square-mile area were evacuated.

And as we speak, tornado watches remain in effect tonight for eastern Kansas.

Now onto No. 1 on our countdown. American journalism Jill Carroll finally free after being held hostage for nearly three months in Iraq. She says her captors never threatened her with harm. She happened to be on assignment in Baghdad for the "Christian Science Monitor" when she was kidnapped.

And that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. We hope you'll be back with us tomorrow night, same time, same place, because we'll be here. Hope to see you then, have a great night. "LARRY KING" starts right now.


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