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New Barry Bonds Investigation?; Bus Stop Danger; Zacarias Moussaoui Testifies; Why Do People Tell Giant Lies?

Aired April 13, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thank you all for joining us.
Tonight, incredible testimony, hours of ranting by an admitted terrorist.

Zacarias Moussaoui says, if he had the chance, he would join another hijacking conspiracy today.


ZAHN (voice-over): The CNN "Security Watch" -- an al Qaeda terrorist on the witness stand. Zacarias Moussaoui says he has no regret, no remorse, and called Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh a great American.

Is he insane? Should he be executed?

The "Eye Opener" -- why won't they stop? This may be the deadliest danger your child ever faces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a chance for a child to die.

ZAHN: Will anything make drivers stop for a school bus?

"Mysteries of the Mind" -- this girl claims she was kidnapped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Things were -- were just not adding up in -- in -- with her initial story.

ZAHN: This woman said she had cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just a horrible, horrible, cruel, vicious lie.

ZAHN: This couple said their sextuplets were in intensive care.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you do this, ma'am?

ZAHN: Why did any of them do it? What's behind these giant lies?


ZAHN: We start tonight with some breaking news about one of the biggest sports stars in this country. CNN has learned a federal grand jury is looking into whether to indict Barry Bonds for perjury. The San Francisco Giants slugger has been dogged for years about rumors about steroid use. He has repeatedly denied knowingly using them, but what he told a grand jury in 2003 now is a federal case.

Ted Rowlands is just now breaking the story. He joins me live with the details -- Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, this is potentially a huge development in the Bonds steroids scandal.

For the first time, Barry Bonds is really looking at the real possibility of criminal charges against him.


ROWLANDS (voice-over): On December 4, 2003, Barry Bonds testified in front of a federal grand jury in San Francisco. Prosecutors asked the baseball superstar whether he had used steroids.

MICHAEL RAINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR BARRY BONDS: Barry testified truthfully to the grand jury. Barry Bonds is clean.

ROWLANDS: But it now appears federal prosecutors are pursuing a case of perjury against Barry Bonds. Multiple sources tell CNN that, for more than a month, a different federal grand jury has been hearing testimony over whether Bonds lied when he testified in 2003.

If the grand jury indicts Barry Bonds, an eventual trial could land him in jail.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is extremely bad news for Barry Bonds, because a federal prosecutor doesn't start looking into perjury unless he has a pretty good idea that he's going to find perjury at the end of the day.

ROWLANDS: Barry Bonds was one of several athletes forced to testify in 2003 as part of the BALCO case, which centered around a San Francisco-area lab, its founder, Victor Conte, and Greg Anderson, a longtime friend of Barry Bonds.

Conte eventually spent four months in jail, after pleading guilty to distributing illegal steroids. Anderson was sentenced to three months on the same charges.

At the time, Bonds and the other athletes were given immunity from the federal prosecutors. The deal, which is common, was simple: Tell the truth and nothing will happen. Lie, and we can come after you for perjury.

Barry Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, has long maintained that the federal government has it in for his client.

RAINS: We think this has always been the case of the Barry Bonds show. It hasn't been U.S. vs. Conte, U.S. vs. Anderson. It has been U.S. vs. Bonds.

ROWLANDS: At this press conference in December 2004, Rains accused prosecutors of intentionally trying to set up Bonds in front of the grand jury, so they could later pursue a perjury case against a famous baseball player.

RAINS: Look no further than Martha Stewart. The trap is perjury. The trap is, as they did with Martha, you get them in there. You offer them the immunity. Then, you ask them the questions. And then you get them for 18-USC-1001, lying to federal officers, exactly what they got Martha for. That is the trap. And that was the trap that was being laid.

TOOBIN: Prosecutors are supposed to go after big fish. It's those kind of prosecutions that tell everyone that it's not OK to lie to prosecutors or to the grand jury.


ROWLANDS: And to be clear about the process, when the prosecution is finished presenting their case to this grand jury that has been hearing testimony for over a month up in San Francisco, they could return an indictment against Bonds.

And, at that point, charges could be filed. Bonds could be arrested. And then he would get a full trial, of course, innocent until proven guilty, a clear, clear indication, though, Paula, that the federal government believes Barry Bonds lied when he testified in 2003, and it appears as though they were going after him.

ZAHN: But, if, indeed, he did lie, why has it taken the government so long to go after him?

ROWLANDS: That's a good question.

They have to, essentially, prove that he knowingly used steroids, if they're going to prove that he lied. So, whether or not they have new information that they didn't have back then, physical evidence, or witness testimony, or if it has taken them this long to come up with this plan and pull the trigger to go after him, who knows? There's a lot of politics that go into decisions like this.

But the bottom line is, they have decided to go after him in this form, present it to a grand jury, and see what happens.

ZAHN: And I know you will be keeping us apprised of any new developments.

Ted Rowlands, thanks so much for breaking that story for us tonight.

We move on to the "Security Watch" and the testimony of a terrorist. Admitted al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui took the stand today to try to persuade a jury not to order his execution for his role in the 9/11 attacks, attacks Moussaoui might have helped prevent. Now, throughout this trial, Moussaoui's outbursts in court and reactions to graphic testimony have seemed bizarre, and certainly have been infuriating. And, today, his words seem even more so, but one thing he said today may be undeniable.

He said, "We will never understand each other.'

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena was in court today for his caustic testimony.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the second time in this trial, Zacarias Moussaoui took the stand, against his own attorneys' advice. And, once he started talking, there was little they could do to control the damage.

When asked whether he had in any regret over the 9/11 attacks, he said "None whatsoever." In fact, he said he was disgusted by witnesses who wept on the stand over the loss of their loved ones.

"We have done it for this," he said. "We wanted to inflict pain on this country."

Maureen Santora, who lost her son on 9/11, says Moussaoui's testimony made her change her mind about the death penalty, and now wants him executed.

MAUREEN SANTORA, MOTHER OF SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIM: I came to get an understanding of how a group of people could be as hateful as this and kill 3,000 souls. And I got my answer today.

ARENA: Moussaoui told jurors he thought his lawyers did a bad job defending him and said they should have argued that life in prison was a better punishment, because to execute him would make him a martyr.

JOSH BERMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think, at this point, it doesn't matter what he says about martyrdom or his interests in dying or not dying.

I think what he said in the first stage of this death-penalty trial was critical. Going forward, I think the jury will have to grapple with mental health issues, schizophrenia.

ARENA: Defense lawyers are trying to convince the jury Moussaoui is mentally unstable and should not be sentenced to death. Moussaoui insisted he's not crazy, but he provided some answers that could be described as delusional.

He said, President George Bush will free him from prison by the end of his term, and he believes that 100 percent, because he had a dream about it.

Jurors will soon have to decide whether to execute Moussaoui by lethal injection or let him live his life out in this maximum-security prison in Colorado, known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies.

Before Moussaoui took the stand, the jury heard from retired prison warden James Aiken, who described what Moussaoui's life would be like. "He will never get lost in a crowd, because he will never be in a crowd," he said.

ARENA: Aiken said, the U.S. prison system is designed to handle people like Moussaoui. "I have seen what happens," he said. "They rot."

Kelli Arena, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.


ZAHN: And we change our focus when we come back. If your children are in school, there's a very good chance they face a deadly threat, not just once in a while, but twice a day. What has to be done to make drivers stop breaking the law and stop for school buses?


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David Mattingly in Durham, North Carolina, where allegations of rape have been public for weeks on the Duke University campus. But the question now is whether or not a grand jury will charge Duke lacrosse players with the crime -- details when PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.


ZAHN: But, right now, more than 17 million of you went on to our Web site today.

Our countdown of the top 10 stories on starts with the seizure of more than two dozen puppies from a man who tried to smuggle them into the U.S. from Mexico. Authorities say many of the dogs are in poor health.

Number nine -- many New Orleans residents fear, rebuilding may be a lot more expensive than they first thought because of new FEMA guidelines that recommend homes and businesses be raised at least three feet -- numbers eight and seven coming up next.


ZAHN: There's a new development to talk about tonight in the Duke University rape investigation. And it could be used to question the credibility of a woman who says three Duke lacrosse players raped her at a wild party.

Now, according to the Associated Press tonight, a recording of a police radio transmission has one of the first officers to see her saying the woman was passed out drunk.

Well, this news comes as people in Durham, North Carolina, wait to see when a grand jury will take up the case. It could be as early as Monday. David Mattingly just filed this report for tonight's "Outside the Law."


MATTINGLY (voice-over): The field on the prestigious campus where they became sports stars is uncharacteristically quiet, almost as though the college was bracing for bad news. And, instead of cheering fast, voices are now being raised in Durham because of the Duke's men's lacrosse team in a much more serious matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This young lady has identified the three men who have raped her. They should be in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Victoria (ph) -- Victoria (ph), I will tell you right now that your information is incorrect.

MATTINGLY: The alleged rape victim, a black woman, says she was attacked by three white men at a lacrosse team party. Everyone connected to the scandal is going into the long Hollywood weekend wondering if a grand jury called for Monday will return indictments and finally put names and faces to these serious allegations.

Attorneys for the players have been questioning whether a crime even occurred.

BILL THOMAS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We have -- now have DNA away, which we think shows that this rape did not occur. The allegations that has been made are that this was a brutal rape conducted by three men over a period of a half-an-hour in a small bathroom.

MATTINGLY: And while their lawyers publicly play defense, the players are quietly going to classes. Their season was ended. Their coach resigned. The doors and windows remain closed at the off-campus house where the young woman says she was raped during a raucous party in which she and another young woman were performing as hired strippers.

Now, a full month later, officials on and off campus look for ways to mend racial and cultural ties, strained by the scandal.

CRAIG KOCHER, ASSISTANT DEAN, DUKE UNIVERSITY CHAPEL: When wounds bleed, it's better for wounds to bleed in the open, so that healing can take place in the open.

MATTINGLY: Duke University has launched five separate investigations, examining the university's response to the scandal, the campus culture, and an apparent pattern of partying and bad behavior by this former team of winners.

(on camera): Instead of chasing a national championship, the athletes are now under a cloud, looking for ways to salvage their tarnished program and protect their academic futures.

David Mattingly, CNN, Durham, North Carolina.


ZAHN: Joining me now, criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman.

We just heard in that piece, Mickey, there's speculation that we may hear something about this going to a grand jury as early as Monday.


ZAHN: What do you think the prosecution has? We already know, according to the defense attorneys...


ZAHN: ... there's no DNA linking these players to this attack.

SHERMAN: And we're not supposed to know what they have. It's supposed to be done in a secret proceeding.

But it was the district attorney who originally came out, saying that these young men were all suspects and that he was waiting for the DNA to come back. So, he kind of fired the first DNA salvo out there, which, apparently, has kind of exploded in his face.

But most rape cases, believe it or not, are not based on DNA. It's a he said/she said. So, you want to look at the physical evidence. Was she in fact bruised? Was there a torn part of her private part? So, that's really the -- generally, the most important part of the evidence. But, these days, people want to see specific forensic evidence.

ZAHN: In the meantime, we have just gotten new details from the Associated Press that...


ZAHN: ... according to their reporting, the other stripper who went to the party with this alleged victim that night ended up calling 911, saying she couldn't get this woman out of someone else's car.


ZAHN: We now have reports that, when this woman was taken to the hospital, she made no mention of having been raped by lacrosse players.

Is any of this meaningful?

SHERMAN: It is, but here's the problem for the defense in that case.

The prosecution, unless we find out that the girl, that the victim, that the stripper, the exotic dancer, whichever label we use, unless we find out that she was severely drunk, inebriated, or under the influence of drugs, most experts, rape crisis people, will say -- and I don't necessarily agree with this -- but they will say, her refusing to get out of the car, her refusing to move, her freezing up, her refusing to name the people who hurt her, are consistent with someone who has been raped.

I personally, and many people think, that is contrary to common sense, but, you know, I have never been raped. And, you know, most people, I assume, have not been. But that's the problem the defense has.

ZAHN: Ten seconds left. Do you think we will see some indictments come down in the next couple days?

SHERMAN: Boy, if we do, it's a sinking ship. I -- I think -- I mean, this guy should learn a -- the -- the DA should learn a lesson from the Kobe Bryant case. Don't start the fight, unless you have got a shot at winning.

ZAHN: Well, this guy happens to be in the middle of a race for DA as well.


ZAHN: So, it complicates everything further.

Mickey Sherman...

SHERMAN: The -- the politicization of this is -- is horrible, as well as the polarization.

ZAHN: Mickey Sherman, thanks.

SHERMAN: Pleasure.

ZAHN: Always appreciate your perspective.

This week, in Kansas, an Amber Alert was issued when a teenager simply vanished for about 17 hours. But do you know what was really missing in this story? It wasn't the teen. It was the truth. Coming up, what makes people tell these great big lies?

And, since flashing lights and stop signs don't seem to work, what will make millions of law-breaking drivers stop for school buses? You are going to be outraged when you see how many millions of Americans blow right through those bus stop signs.

Before that, though, number eight on our countdown -- in New York, rescuers are trying to save a cat that has been trapped behind a brick wall for two weeks. City building officials have started removing bricks, one by one, in an attempt to free the animal.

Number seven, a fifth retired general joins the ranks of those calling for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to step down. The latest criticism comes from Major General Charles Swannack, who led the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq.

Well, meanwhile, the White House says it stands by Rumsfeld -- numbers six and five straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: I want to tell you something right now I think you are going to find really upsetting, if you send your school -- or kids to school on a school bus.

Now, by one estimate, tens of thousands of drivers are endangering the lives of our children every day by ignoring one basic law: When a school bus stops to pick up or drop off kids, so do you. Well, I see people break the law every day. When I put my son on the bus in the morning, I literally have to get out there in the middle of the street to tell drivers to stop.

Here's consumer correspondent Greg Hunter with tonight's "Eye Opener."


GREG HUNTER, CNN CONSUMER CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the biggest your dangers your child faces every day, getting on or off a school bus. Traffic is required, by law, to wait, but, too often, people drive right by a stopped bus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a chance for a child to die.

HUNTER: Peter Minella (ph) heads an association of school bus operators in New York state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We estimate, 50,000 times a day, in our state alone, people pass school buses when they're stopped to let off kids.

HUNTER (on camera): Every day?


HUNTER (voice-over): School transportation say, millions of motorists nationwide pass buses illegally.

Look at this video from Maryland, and North Carolina. You won't believe what we saw when we followed this bus in Long Island, New York, for just one day.

(on camera): You know, that police officer says you shouldn't even be driving.

(voice-over): Police say, a growing number of drivers don't see or blatantly ignore school buses stop signs, making a split-second decision that can lead to a lifetime of pain.

In February, when Gloria Woodson rushed to this accident near her Saint Louis home, she knew something terrible had happened.

GLORIA WOODSON, MOTHER: I'm still thinking, that's somebody else's child laying on the ground, not knowing it was mine.

HUNTER: Woodson's 6-year-old son, Aaron, had just step off his school bus and was crossing the street, when police say a truck drove around the bus and hit the first-grader, knocking him into the air, as his classmates watched in horror.

Police found the truck a few blocks away and say the driver, 28- year-old Ronald Brown, not only left Aaron lying in the street. He asked his girlfriend to tell investigators the vehicle had been stolen.

COLONEL JOSEPH MOKWA, SAINT LOUIS POLICE CHIEF: I think it's somebody that is totally irresponsible, self-centered. And you have to question their humanity.

HUNTER: Brown pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene. His attorney declined our request for an interview, but says it was an accident, that his client is not criminally responsible.

Aaron, one of the Woodson family's 12 children, died at the scene of massive injuries.

(on camera): That's got to be one of the saddest moments of your life, as a mama.

WOODSON: Yes. Broke my heart.

HUNTER (voice-over): But tragedies like this aren't unusual.

Statistics collected since 1970 found that, nationwide, passing vehicles have killed more than 400 children boarding or exiting their school bus.

(on camera): What goes through your mind when somebody runs a stop arm?


HUNTER (voice-over): Derek Graham, president-elect of the nation's school bus transportation director, says, with more traffic and so many driving distractions, many people aren't paying attention, or are in too much of a hurry to heed flashing warning lights.

GRAHAM (voice-over): They see that amber light on the school bus just like the yellow light on a traffic signal, and they want to try to beat the light, beat the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a common thing. Yes, I see it all time.

HUNTER: Hank Drum (ph) has a school buses driver in Long Island, New York, for eight years.

We wanted to see what bus drivers encounter on a typical day. So, we wired Hank's (ph) bus with cameras and rode with local police, who follow buses to catch violators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of traffic on this highway. HUNTER: When a bus has amber lights flashing, that means slow down. Once the lights turn red, traffic is required to stop. Some drivers did just that, stopping well in front of the bus. Others hit the brakes just in time. But watch what happened here. Instead of slowing down, this SUV went right by the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stopped you because you passed a school bus there.

HUNTER: In New York, the penalties for illegally passing are stiff, five points on a driver's license, a $250 fine, and up to 30 days in jail.

(on camera): Did you see the school bus lights flashing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did see it, but the lights were yellow, so I thought it was safe to still keep proceeding.

GRAHAM: When you see a soccer ball roll in front of your car, what do you do? You immediately hit the brakes. Now, why can't we develop that same kind of reaction around a school bus?

HUNTER: Did you know that, when you pass a stopped school bus, you could, like, hit a kid and kill them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I -- I -- I really did not -- I really, really did not mean to do anything, I swear to God.


HUNTER: Yes. Do you know how serious that is?


I did not see any...

HUNTER (voice-over): The officer gave her a ticket, as she tearfully apologized. This driver should have known better. It turns out she's a teacher.

But our day was just beginning. In the afternoon, as the bus unloaded a child, we saw this white car turn right anyway -- behind the wheel, another apologetic driver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a retired elementary school principal. That's the -- absolutely the -- the -- if I saw someone do that in front of my school, I would chase them down myself.

HUNTER: But it kept happening. On this busy road, another school bus passed the bus, along with seven other vehicles in both directions, too many for the officer to safely pull over.

And then there was this car that blew right past the stop arm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was one of the most blatant ones that I have seen in eight years. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I didn't see a stop sign out.

HUNTER (on camera): It was out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, if you say it was out.

HUNTER: Does that bother you, that you didn't see a flashing stop sign?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. Are you kidding me, sir? Sir, are you kidding me? I'm trying to get to work. I don't have time for your questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you miss a vehicle that size? It's big and yellow, and it's flashing at you, and waving red stop signs.

HUNTER (voice-over): Peter Minella (ph), who represents New York school buses operators, questions the ability of drivers who pass illegally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel comfortable getting behind the wheel, when you did that?

HUNTER (on camera): Do you question your driving ability, not seeing something like that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not passing my driving ability. My driving ability is quite fine.

HUNTER (voice-over): Well, not exactly. The officer says he doesn't even have a driver's license, only a learner's permit, requiring him to be with a licensed driver.

(on camera): You know, the police officer says you shouldn't even be driving.

(voice-over): He didn't drive anymore. The officer ticketed him and made him leave the car.


HUNTER: Some school districts are putting cameras on buses, like we did.

In Iowa, a school camera caught 40 drivers in six months.

(on camera): So, how does this technology work? Well, it's pretty simple. If you approach a school bus and a stop arm is out, you're supposed to stop. But, if you don't, and the bus has cameras like this one, it catches you coming and going, including my license plate.

(voice-over): These digital images can be retrieved on a computer and e-mailed to police.

Schools in North Carolina are trying to make buses more noticeable. Compare this bus to one with new electronic lights and signs.

But some say, tougher laws are needed to change driver behavior.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People lose children for lots of reasons, unfortunately. And this doesn't have to be one of them.

HUNTER: North Carolina lawmaker Dale Falwell (ph) and his wife, Cynthia (ph), lost their son Dalton (ph) in 1999. The 7-year-old was hit in front of their home as he tried to board his bus.

(on camera): What happened to the person that hit your son?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She received 100 hours of community service, after she killed our child.

HUNTER: Did she ever spend a day in jail?


HUNTER (voice-over): Falwell (ph) sponsored a state law making it a felony to injure a child by illegally passing. He hopes to prevent other families from suffering the same fate.

Near Aaron Woodson's home, this shrine now marks the place where he died coming home from school, a roadside reminder of the consequences of not stopping for a school bus.


HUNTER: Ron Brown, the man who allegedly hit Aaron, the first- grader, in Saint Louis in February, could get up to 11 years in prison, if convicted on all counts. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. But he's not charged with illegally passing a stopped school bus. Not a felony.

ZAHN: It is not a felony if you injure a law when you break a law and blow by that stop sign?

HUNTER: In most states it's not. I know it sounds absolutely outrageous.

ZAHN: Ridiculous.

HUNTER: That's why the law in North Carolina is cutting edge, and very important, and bus transportation people around the country, they want tougher laws. They also want those cameras, so they can snap a picture, send it to the DMV and send you a ticket for five points.

ZAHN: I wish there was a camera on my son's bus because I am not kidding you -- you have no idea how angry it makes us parents. We literally get out in the middle of the street and -- I'm not joking, dozens of cars are blowing by at 30, 40 miles-per-hour, with three people, including a bus matron trying to get them to stop.

HUNTER: It's terrifying and it's real. It's real.

ZAHN: I wish we could get cameras on every bus out there. Greg Hunter, thanks for calling attention to a very serious problem.

So, have you heard about the couple that was getting donations for their newborn sextuplets? Well it turns out they didn't have any babies at all. So what makes people tell these great big lies?


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Susan Candiotti at Walt Disney World in Florida, where a German tourist dies after taking a spin on the "Mission: SPACE" ride. The second tourist to die on that ride since it opened in 2003. More on that story coming up on PAULA ZAHN NOW.


ZAHN: Before that, No. 6 on our countdown. Questions about the future of a former Van Halen frontman, David Lee Roth's morning radio show. You might remember Roth replaced Howard Stern on several top CBS radio affiliates, just about four months ago.

No. 5 is our lead, confessed al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui on the witness stand for the second time in his death penalty trial. He said he would like to see attacks like September 11th happen every day. No. 4 on our list when we come back.


ZAHN: Two days ago in Independence, Kansas, a 16-year-old disappeared. Her friends put up missing posters, an AMBER alert was issued. The hunt turned frantic when a girl called 911 to say she had been kidnapped. But 16 hours after she vanished, there were hugs and tears of joy. The girl turned up alive and well and said she had gotten away from her kidnapper. But today police announced it was all part of one big lie. The story made us want to delve into one of the "Mysteries of the Mind." What drives people not just to tell white lies, but to tell giant, hurtful ones, the kind that have been in the news an awful lot lately?


ZAHN (voice-over): Their names and circumstances are different, but the stories are strikingly similar. A Missouri couple claimed their sextuplets were in intensive care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're in critical condition.

ZAHN: How generous were their neighbors? Police are still investigating, but now everyone knows there were never any babies, it was all a lie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you have to say to the people that donated money for your babies that don't exist? Ma'am? ZAHN: In Massachusetts, a perfectly healthy schoolteacher pleaded guilty to larceny and gross fraud. She told people she had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and took more than $35,000 in donations, some of that money from cancer survivors.

ELAINE PHANEUF, CANCER SURVIVOR: It's not just the money she got. She could keep the $100 or whatever my daughter gave her and I wouldn't care. It's just a horrible, horrible, cruel, vicious lie.

ZAHN: Lying isn't always about money. After Georgia's runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks skipped out on her wedding and turned up in New Mexico, she told police she had been kidnapped, then admitted she lied because the was nervous about getting married. There are also lies for sympathy. For months, radio listeners in Grand Junction, Colorado followed a woman's progress through boot camp. They never saw her, she was only a voice on the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you guys heard the news?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband was killed over in Iraq.

JACKSON: Amber, no.



JOHN: When? When? When?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Um, I heard -- oh, let's see, Saturday afternoon.

JACKSON: Oh, my gosh.


JOHN: ... Oh, Amber.

ZAHN: It was all a lie. Sarah Kenney pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation and received probation.


ZAHN: Now for some insight into what makes people tell giant hurtful lies, I'm joined by Stan Walters. He's the author of "The Truth about Lying: How to Stop a Lie and Protect Yourself from Deception."

So Stan, as we just saw in this piece, people are going to extreme lengths to hide the truth. What is that rooted in?

STAN WALTERS, AUTHOR: One of the things I always tell my corporate clients that I work with is that always remember that lying is done for selfish reasons.

It's always for the goals and objectives of the individual, and they lie either through hype, to harm or to hide something. In these cases we just profiled, you see there's a lot of hype, there's attempts to harm other individuals or to hide a wrongdoing so that they won't be exposed for the fraud or the crime they've committed.

ZAHN: And some of these lies were pretty darn elaborate. What kind of red flags should have gone off for anybody trying to determine if they were telling the truth or not.

WALTERS: One of the things that we've found is that people are very poor at spotting deception. We only catch 50 percent of the lies that happen in front of us. That's because No. 1, we look for the wrong symptoms.

The myths of eye contact or too much body language or fidgeting, we don't know what the reliable signs of deception are and those can be found in research and that's what I teach our corporate clients in law enforcement and intelligence.

And the third reason, we have preconceptions. And we have to remember that a lie is only successful under one important condition -- somebody's got to believe it.

ZAHN: So could you have caught any cues from any of these stories we profiled tonight? You're a guy that knows more than anybody. Or would you have been duped too?

WALTERS: I would like to think I would have caught most of them. I was following many of those cases as they were developing and immediately began to see signs and cues in their behaviors that suggested to me that -- evasive and needed follow-up and questions and inquiries to bring out the fact that there was a lot of deception going on.

ZAHN: In a couple of these cases, these people have been caught before, particularly the sextuplet case. So what -- if one is a chronic liar, what does that tell you about some underlying problems they may be carrying with them?

WALTERS: Typically with a chronic liar we often refer to them as pathological liars. It indicates that there are possibly some flaws emotionally in a person, that there may be some personality disorder. There was emotional illness at work. And in the most extreme cases, none of these cases that we have seen here, or you may even deal with somebody who is psychotic. But it becomes a pattern -- they start out thinking they can control the lie.

But in the long run, the lie winds up controlling them. And one lie begets three more, and it develops its own legs and continues. And they can't find their way out of the maze.

ZAHN: Tell you one thing about faking illness is about as low as it gets, isn't it, Stan?

WALTERS: Yes, indeed.

ZAHN: Very sad. Stan Walters, thank you so much.

WALTERS: My pleasure, Paula. Thank you for inviting me.

ZAHN: Hopefully you educated a couple of us out there so we can spot them next time and maybe not give out dishwashers and cars and even down payments on homes. Stan, again, thank you.

Have you ever dreamed about riding a rocket? Well, a ride at Disney World is supposed to be as realistic as you can get without actually taking off. Wait until you hear, though, what has happened. Perhaps maybe too realistic?

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brooke Anderson. Fan frenzy for the upcoming film "Snakes on a Plane" has reached a new altitude on the Internet, months before the film is due to slither into cinemas. Why "Snakes on a Plane" is already a smash hit in cyberspace, when PAULA ZAHN NOW returns.

ZAHN: Now, number four on our countdown, a story we first covered last night. Two former members of Democratic Congressman John Conyers' staff say he made them babysit his children, run errands and work on political campaigns. He's declined to answer questions about the allegations. We're going to keep on top of that story. Please stay with us. Number three is next.


ZAHN: Tonight, a major thrill ride at Disney World is running once again, just a day after a woman died after riding it. And this is the second time a passenger has died following a ride on Mission Space. Still, Disney says its engineers checked out the ride and declared it safe to start up once again. Here's national correspondent Susan Candiotti.


CANDIOTTI (voice-over): If you want to get just a taste of what it's like to take off on a rocket ship, Disney's Mission Space ride at Epcot Center is billed as the ride for you. Stomach sickness bags are included.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It made you feel very heavy, and sort of pushed down.

CANDIOTTI: After 49-year-old German tourist Hiltrude Blumell (ph) died Wednesday, the ride temporarily shut down. Ten months ago, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania boy died. His death was blamed on an undiagnosed preexisting heart problem. What caused the German woman's death remains unknown.

A Florida state official says Disney told him the woman felt dizzy and nauseous after getting off the ride Tuesday, and that she may have had high blood pressure and other health problems. Someone called for help. OPERATOR: 911. Is your emergency police, fire or medical?

CALLER: Yeah, this is Mission Space. I got a lady, it's a guest, she's feeling sick after taking a ride.

JACQUEE POLAK, DISNEY SPOKESWOMAN: On Wednesday, we had learned that she -- her condition had become very serious, and then we were later notified that she had passed away.

CANDIOTTI: The ride spins passengers around in a centrifuge, said to equal two times Earth's gravitational pull. Riders tell CNN it feels like your chest is being pushed against the wall; then, a sense of weightlessness.

Signs warn to avoid the ride if health problems exist or are suspected. And there are height requirements.

(on camera): Thanks to the Florida legislature, Disney and other major theme parks are exempt from state laws allowing inspections, requiring them to report injuries, or giving the state the authority to shut down their rides.

In that sense, Disney polices itself.

(voice-over): However, Disney has a written understanding with Florida, agreeing to annual reviews, visits and quarterly accident reports.

TERRY MCELROY, FLORIDA AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: The Disney engineers understand -- are the experts in this area. We don't normally inspect this ride, we don't regulate Disney, so we don't have the experience with this that we have with other rides.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): An autopsy on Hiltrude Blumell (ph) will be done Friday.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Orlando.


ZAHN: Well, Disney says tonight Mission Space is safe. Nearly 12 million people have ridden the Epcot attraction since it opened. Among them, 12 people who were hospitalized, including the two you just heard about who died.

Still ahead, "Snakes on a Plane," and all over the Web. Is a movie that isn't even out yet guaranteed to be a hit? First, though, Sophia Choi has the "HEADLINE NEWS" business break.


ZAHN: A movie that's coming out this summer has the Internet already crawling with excitement. Fasten your seatbelts, or maybe unfasten your seatbelts. Get ready for "Snakes on a Plane."

First, though, number three in our countdown. Hundreds of lesbian and gay parents are planning to take their children to this year's White House Easter egg roll that falls on Monday. Some conservatives are calling it a political statement. Lesbian and gay groups deny that.

Number two and one on our list, straight ahead.


ZAHN: So here's something to think about the next time you go to the airport with shrinking seats and longer lines, what else could go wrong? Well how about snakes? Snakes on a plane? Well, that catchy title is really paying off on the Web and soon it's going to be coming to a theater near you. Here's Brooke Anderson.


ANDERSON (voice-over): A reptilian thriller is slithering throughout the World Wide Web. It's called "Snakes on a Plane" and legions have been bitten by its campy appeal.

BRIAN FINKELSTEIN, SNAKESONABLOG.COM: It's just -- the title itself is obviously so kind of simple and so audacious, it tells you exactly what you're going to get from the movie from day one.

ANDERSON: "Snakes on a Plane," a movie from New Line Cinema stars Samuel L. Jackson as an FBI agent travelling on a plane full of both passengers and yes, deadly snakes.

Jackson says he was sold on the title alone and that seems to be the consensus of Web-based fans. The film, which isn't scheduled to strike theaters until August, barely has an official Web site. But it's the blogs that have caught the attention of news organizations, including NPR, "The Washington Post," the "Chicago Tribune," and "The Hollywood Reporter."


ANDERSON: By doing a simple Web search, you can find many fan tributes to "Snakes on a Plane," music videos.


ANDERSON: Mock film trailers, T-shirts, hats, posters, and comedy routines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are snakes on the plane and they're biting and they're scaring people.

ANDERSON: The on-line phenomenon was sparked by a blog created by Josh Friedman that featured a made-up line of dialogue for Sam Jackson.

JOSH FRIEDMAN, BLOGGER: There are (BLEEP) on the (BLEEP) plane.

ANDERSON: Before long, snake-a-holics demanded it be included in the film. When New Line reassembled the cast for additional shoots, the expletive-laden line was added, taking the film from PG-13 placement into R-rated territory.

BORYS KIT, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: This is one of the first times that I know of that a studio has gone in to add scenes because of a groundswell of fans clamoring for certain things to be in this movie.

ANDERSON: New Line, owned by Time Warner, which is also the parent company of CNN, says it was not behind the on-line hype for the movie, but it hopes to see it continue.

The studio told CNN, quote, "We're delighted that fans have taken an early interest. We plan to build on the growing buzz over the next few months."

To that end, New Line contacted snakes fan and Georgetown University law student Brian Finkelstein about the unofficial marketing he's doing through his Web site,

FINKELSTEIN: All they have said to me is that they are aware of what's happening online, and they heartily endorse it, but they are in no way in control of it. They don't pay me, for example, although I kind of wish they would.

ANDERSON: "Snakes on a Plane" has already lifted off the runway and sunk it's fangs into the Internet, but will it soar to box office heights? Brooke Anderson, CNN, Hollywood.


ZAHN: Well, I guess all of you out there will determine that. Meanwhile, many baby boomers are counting the years and looking forward to doing less. But that's not the case for the couple you're about to meet. Jennifer Westhoven has tonight's "Life After Work."


JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A former public relations account executive, Marika Stone now practices yoga on the beach. And when she's not practicing yoga on the beach, she's teaching it in a classroom.

MARIKA STONE, 2YOUNG2RETIRE.COM: I'm teaching a class to people who have been working all day. And they come in and their faces are just so tight, and their bodies too. And by the end of the class, it's just sort of ahh. One of the things that surprised me was that I could learn something brand new, you know, in my 50s. And there's a nice balance between family life and professional life, which, to be honest, I really didn't have before.

Thanks for being here today.

WESTHOVEN: Meet Marika's husband and business partner, Howard Stone.

HOWARD STONE, 2YOUNG2RETIRE.COM: I was in an airplane coming back from Hong Kong and I was realizing how tired I felt, and I knew that we were going to have grandkids real soon and I said, "You know, am I going to be doing this for the rest of my life?"

WESTHOVEN: Not one to retire or even use the word, he calls these his bonus years. Howard hung up a career in international ad sales and publishing and works as a life coach. He and Marika wrote a book and run a Web site,

Here's their message.

H. STONE: The thought of life that used to be thought of as decline and disappearance is a time to have the most growth, the most possibilities, and take some chances and kick some butt, you know? Rock the house instead of the rocking chair. This is what it's about.

WESTHOVEN: Jennifer Westhoven, CNN.


ZAHN: We hear you, we'll try.

Still to come, a new development in a story that could affect millions of contact lens wearers. We're going to have the very latest for you in a minute.

But before that, No. 2 on our countdown. A Pennsylvania man is in jail tonight, charged with killing six members of his family. The authorities say the bodies were all found in the basement of his family's home.

No. 1, we covered it earlier, Walt Disney World has reopened a ride at its park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It was closed following the death of a woman who had ridden on it. Disney said the ride was inspected and it is safe.


ZAHN: We close with a developing story tonight. Walgreens is pulling the contact lens solution ReNu with Moisture Loc off the shelves. Bausch & Lomb has urged customers not to use it and has also asked retailers to take it off the shelves. Federal officials are investigating whether it's linked to an eye infection that can cause blindness.

That's it for all of us tonight. Thank you so much for dropping by. We'll be back same time, same place, tomorrow night on Good Friday. But until then, have a good night. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.


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