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Suspect Arrested in JonBenet Ramsey Murder Investigation; Lebanese Troops Prepare to Move Into Southern Lebanon; Internet Cafes and Terror Plot in London

Aired August 16, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us.
Tonight's "Top Story": the breaking news of an arrest in one of the most notorious and most baffling murder mysteries of the last decade, a case that sparked a worldwide media frenzy the moment it broke, the killing of JonBenet Ramsey.

She was only 6 years old when her body was discovered by her parents in their Boulder, Colorado, home on the day after Christmas 1996. She had been molested, beaten, and strangled.

As we speak, the suspect in her killing is in Thailand. And a law enforcement official tells CNN, he's a 41-year-old man named John Mark Karr, a onetime schoolteacher and a U.S. citizen. He has been under investigation for an unrelated sex crime.

The U.S. finally lifts the cloud of suspicion that has been hanging over JonBenet's family, especially over her parents, for more than 10 years. Colorado authorities originally suspected John and Pansy -- Patsy Ramsey, that is -- of being involved in their daughter's killing. Tragically, today's news comes too late for Patsy Ramsey. JonBenet's mother died of cancer less than two months ago.

Let's get straight to what law enforcement are saying tonight.

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena has been working the story. She joins me live with the late details.

Kelli, what are they telling you?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, the arrest warrant was issued last night in Bangkok, Thailand.

Now, the Ramsey family was notified. And there is a press conference that's scheduled for tomorrow.

Here's what we know factually. Law enforcement officials say that, as you said, his name is John Mark Karr. He's 41 years old. He's American, and he was a schoolteacher.

Law enforcement officials tell CNN that Karr actually confessed to some of the elements of the crime. They say that he had been communicating, on and off, with somebody in Boulder who was working with law enforcement on the case. Investigators say that Karr's online communications were a key part of this investigation.

Now, the Boulder, Colorado, district attorney's is the lead in this investigation. It always has been, Paula. In a statement, it said the suspect was arrested on August 16, following several months of a focused and complex investigation.

Now, investigators have told me that Karr is a relatively new name in this investigation. This is not someone that they have looked at before. JonBenet's father, John Ramsey, in an exclusive interview with CNN affiliate KUSA, says that he doesn't know the suspect. And he says that he's known about this part of the investigation for months, and that his wife, who, as you mentioned, died in June, also knew.

Now, Karr is expected to be transferred to the U.S. very soon, under escort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. ICE, by the, way put out a statement, Paula, saying that it was pleased to assist in helping locate the suspect. And the Department of Justice also says that it helped facilitate the arrest warrant.

ZAHN: So, what else do we know tonight about where the suspect has lived from time to time, and how he might have had any contact with the Ramseys, particularly if John Ramsey is saying tonight he didn't know him?

ARENA: Right.

I mean, that -- that is still what is unclear. And, hopefully, at at -- tomorrow's press conference, we will get a better picture. But I have been going through some property records of a John Karr who does seem to match the suspect, date of birth and so on.

And this shows someone who has moved around a lot, Paula. In 1996, the paperwork indicates that he lived in Alabama when JonBenet Ramsey was murdered. He's also listed at living in Georgia several times. So, you know, that's part of -- of this story that we're trying to get more facts on.

But he at least was around where -- where she lived at the time, but not exactly in her neighborhood.

ZAHN: A lot of unanswered questions tonight. We know you are going to continue to work the phones throughout the show.

ARENA: Sure will.

ZAHN: If you have got new information, we will come back to you, Kelli. Thanks.


ZAHN: It's extraordinary how this small-town murder case almost immediately turned into a national story.

And Anderson Cooper looks into the story that gripped the nation 10 years ago. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONBENET RAMSEY, 6 YEARS OLD (singing): I want to be a cowboy's sweetheart.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" (voice-over): They are images frozen in time, a child beauty queen, 6 years old, performing on a stage. We know her name, but we never knew her -- not in life, that is.

On the day after Christmas 1996, the body of JonBenet Ramsey was found in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado. The killer beat her, strangled her, and left a handwritten ransom note. It was the city's only murder of the year.

The killing of JonBenet Ramsey instantly became the focus of the nation. JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, said an intruder murdered their daughter and, in an interview with CNN, urged parents to be careful.

PATSY RAMSEY, MOTHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: If I were a resident of Boulder, I would tell my friends to keep -- keep your babies close to you. There's someone out there.

COOPER: But the police and much of the media were turning their attention back to the parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do remain under an umbrella of suspicion, but we're not ready to name any suspects.

COOPER: Even after a grand jury failed to indict the Ramseys, to many, they remained objects of suspicion.

In 2000, on "LARRY KING LIVE," Steve Thomas, a former Boulder police detective, confronted John and Patsy about the murder.


STEVE THOMAS, FORMER BOULDER POLICE DETECTIVE: I felt that Patsy is involved in this death, in this tragedy. And I felt it had become such a debacle and was going nowhere. Out of frustration, I left the case and police work.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": John, why did you agree to come on with Steve tonight?



KING: I mean, this is rather historic. I don't -- I'm trying to remember if there has ever been television like this.

JOHN RAMSEY: This -- this man, as a police officer, has called my wife a murderer. He has called me a -- complicity to murder. He has called me a liar. He has slandered my relationship with my daughter, Patsy's relationship with JonBenet.


COOPER: Thomas wrote a book, claiming the Ramseys were involved in their child's murder. In 2001, the Ramseys sued, and, a year later, settled out of court.

About the same time, John and Patsy wrote a book, telling their side the story, that a predator hid in the house, and, after attempting to kidnap JonBenet, murdered her.

Then, in 2003, the Boulder police ended its investigation and handed it over to the DA's office. The district attorney vowed to reopen the case, but refused to eliminate the Ramseys as possible suspects.

Just a month later, however, the DA changed her mind. A judge ruled, in a civil case, that an intruder most likely killed JonBenet, and the prosecutor agreed, finally lifting the cloud of suspicious over the parents.


ZAHN: And, just moments after the news broke this afternoon, Paula Woodward of our affiliate KUSA-TV in Denver, did speak with John Ramsey by telephone. And here is some of that interview now.


PAULA WOODWARD, KUSA REPORTER: Mr. Ramsey, what do you know about what has happened today with regard to an arrest in the case?

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, I know that to be true. And I was notified this morning that an arrest had been made.

And I'm just absolutely impressed with the effort that went into accomplishing this by the Boulder DA's office and the other agencies that were involved all over the world, including the Thai police. And it's very just beyond impressive, what they accomplished.

WOODWARD: What is it that you would like to say about what you know about the suspect?

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, I don't -- you know, I don't -- certainly, based on what happened to us, I don't think it's proper that we speculate or discuss the case.

WOODWARD: Your wife, Patsy, died in June of complications from ovarian cancer. Did she know about this?

JOHN RAMSEY: She knew that they were working very diligently on it, and that they had a suspect, and that they were in the process of locating him. Yes, she did.

WOODWARD: You have three children. How are they reacting to this? JOHN RAMSEY: Well, I have talked to them. And they're thankful that this step has been taken. But I have told them the same thing, that, you know, we need to be observers, and -- and let the -- the proper justice system evolve.

WOODWARD: Without identifying the suspect, did you know the suspect?

JOHN RAMSEY: I -- I really can't comment on that. To my knowledge, no, I didn't. But I don't know enough.

WOODWARD: What was the hardest part for you and your wife during this whole ordeal since your daughter was murdered?

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, the hardest part was losing a child, and by -- by far.


ZAHN: And joining me now, criminal profiler Pat Brown and Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom.

Good to see both of you.

It is so heartbreaking to hear John Ramsey talk. First, they suffer the horrible loss of their daughter. They live under this cloud of suspicion for 10 years.

We all know investigators immediately look at these family members. But this was a family that was belittled, with no evidence anybody could ever point to that directly linked them to the crime.

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: well, it was such an unusual crime, Paula, and it seemed to happen inside the home. There was a note left inside the home. And, so, it would be natural for investigators to look at the parents first, but not exclusively.

There was always so much evidence that an unknown intruder did it. And look at this guy, a second-grade teacher who went to Bangkok, a place known for sexual activity between adults and children. Perhaps this is a known pedophile.

What I have always thought is that, since -- since 2003, the investigators found unknown DNA on JonBenet's underwear and under her fingernails. And they have been consistently in databanks, trying to match it to new DNA identifications that come in from new criminals.

Perhaps that's how they caught this guy, perhaps through online communications and more modern tools. But they didn't give up on the case. That's the...

ZAHN: Sure.

BLOOM: ... good news.

ZAHN: And Kelli arena reporting at the top of the hour, Pat, in fact, this online component was critical to breaking open this investigation.

Approach this from the eyes of a profile here, what we know about this guy. He was 31 years old at the time of JonBenet's murder. Lisa was just talking about some of what we know about his possibly -- or we know he had been a teacher at some point in time. Try to put the pieces together for us tonight.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, Paula, we don't know yet that this is the right man, but, certainly, if he has an interest in children, he might choose a profession that he's going to be around children.

And, if he's going to Thailand, yes, that is a -- a place where you can procure children, for pretty low prices. So, they're going to be looking at all these aspects, as to, is this part of the guy's personality? And, if they have got him online, it -- it's amazing how much people will give up as information online, because people love to talk. They love to share their feelings and emotions.

And, if they think they're safe in doing so, it's amazing, to the depths which they will do that. And, so, if you can keep them talking, keep them -- keep them giving up every little piece of possible emotion that they have inside them, it's surprising what they can get.

And I guess they got something, because, otherwise, I don't think they would be going public right now, if they didn't.

ZAHN: Well, not only did they get something, but law enforcement officials are saying that this suspect had contact with someone in Boulder who was in close contact with law enforcement.

BLOOM: Right, and that he's confessed to certain aspects of the crime.

I mean, look at the crime itself. There was a sophisticated garrote around the neck of JonBenet Ramsey, indicating an experienced sexual sadist. Look at the Ramseys, no history of child abuse, no motivation to kill their own child. We have a beautiful little girl who -- here, who was high profile for a 6-year-old, because she was in the pageant circuit.

People knew her. Her parents were well-to-do people in Boulder, Colorado, perfect targets for a kidnapper or a pedophile. It made sense all along that it would be an unknown intruder, somebody like this guy, if, indeed, he is good for this crime.

ZAHN: But there were pieces of the puzzle that didn't make sense, and -- and, Pat, in particular, the -- the ransom note, that...


ZAHN: ... that a lot of people believed was written after the crime was committed.

BROWN: And that -- that's one of the peculiarities of the crime. And it may be an anomaly, that this is just one of those peculiar things that happened that is almost unexplainable.

Or, perhaps, he was sitting there for so long, he got bored and decided to amuse himself by writing a note. But that's exactly why the Ramseys came under suspicion, because there were so many things that did not make sense for a sexual predator.

So, they -- the police have to look at the Ramseys. And they had their own behaviors. They were their own worst enemy in the beginning of this particular case, acting in ways that set up red flags.

So, may -- of course, you know, when you have never had a child murdered, you don't know how to act. So, we can't necessarily blame them for that. But, in -- indeed, that is what happened.

And, in the long run, I have to also add, Paula, it may have been the best thing that could have happened, because -- because the suspicion was so over the parents for so long, this case never died, and everybody kept looks and focusing on this case, wanting to solve it.

Other cases just vanish quickly, go underneath the rug. But this case stayed out there. So, maybe, in the beginning, it was bad for the parents. But, maybe, in the long run, it's good for the case.

BLOOM: And, Paula, you know what has always gotten me is that JonBenet said, in the days before her death, that she was expecting a special visit from Santa. She was killed on Christmas Day. Did this intruder dress up like Santa to get into her home and gain her trust?

ZAHN: Well, and -- and that's what everybody is so confused by. How can a guy who allegedly had never been in this home before case it out as quickly as he did, lie in wait when the parents were coming home from a Christmas party?

I guess, in the days to come...


ZAHN: ... we will a lot learn more from the district attorney.

Pat Brown, Lisa Bloom, thanks so much.

BROWN: My pleasure.

ZAHN: Now, one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this case is, as we have explained, that JonBenet's parents were actually considered suspects themselves for years.

Next in our "Top Story" coverage, I will ask a private investigator for the Ramseys about what it was like to live under that umbrella of suspicion and about Patsy Ramsey's untimely death from cancer.

And then later, tonight's "Top Story" in the Middle East: Less than three hours from now, thousands of new troops will start moving into the war zone, but this time, it's for peace, not for fighting. We will take you there.



JOHN RAMSEY: We have, in a sense, turned the justice process over to the media. And, you know, people are tried on the 6:00 news, and -- and, you know, without benefit of argument or -- or defense.


ZAHN: And that was John Ramsey, father of JonBenet Ramsey, speaking with our affiliate KUSA-TV in Denver, right after the arrest of a suspect in his daughter's murder.

It is tonight's top legal story: the incredible news about the arrest of a suspect in a crime many people thought was simply unsolvable, the killing of John Ramsey's daughter, JonBenet, nearly 10 years ago.

Joining me on the phone, John Douglas, a former FBI profiler and a private investigator for the Ramsey family.

Thanks so much for joining us.

We heard John Ramsey say, in that same interview, he didn't know the suspect. But did this man's name ever come up in any of your investigations?


The last -- the last really in-depth contact I had was with the -- the -- the new district attorney, who brought me out, which never happened to me before. I assisted the defense side, and then they brought me out to assist the prosecution to do an analysis.

The only thing that I was told was that there was approximately 50 or so pedophiles in the area that were not looked at as suspects at the time, that the investigation was kind of tunnel-visioned towards the -- towards the Ramseys.

And I was brought out there primarily not -- not so much as an investigator for them. I was kind of an independent person to take a look at the case to determine if this family was capable of perpetrating this crime. Does this case look like the type of homicide that a family member would perpetrate?

And I...

ZAHN: And, John, at what...

DOUGLAS: I went out there in January 1997. It was January 7, about two weeks after the murder or so.

And, within four or five days, I -- I came to the opinion that the family was not responsible for this murder. And I caught a lot of flak from my former colleagues in the FBI and the police, and to this day. In fact, now, they're calling me up, apologizing to me. But I caught a lot of heat.

But parents do kill. And they should have been considered as suspects. But -- but, once you look and see the method and manner of death of -- of the child, what was done to her, how she was garroted, how she was sexually assaulted, how, after, in her death, or her last breath, or her last beat of a heart, she was struck in the head with some blunt -- blunt-force instrument, cracking her skull, eight-and-a- half inches, that you could not detect by looking at her. It wasn't until the autopsy was conducted that you -- you can see that.

So, here was someone who not only killed this child. But, still, after she was dead or dying, he still had this anger and aggression towards this young child, and struck her in the head, you know, viciously.

ZAHN: So, though, you still have to concede, even within those four to five days of your getting involved with the investigation, there were still some things that looked rather odd, the -- the fact that the father found the body, and the police had already searched the home, and they didn't discover JonBenet, and then, of course, the rambling ransom note, which a lot of investigators thought must have been written after the crime.


And -- and I said that then, and I have said it over the years. No one, whether you -- you believed it was the Ramseys, or if you believed if it was someone else, would have had the presence of mind to write that ransom note post-offense, because, in the ransom note, we were able to determine that there are statements in that ransom note that are -- that the killer is pulling right out of movies, "Speed," "Dirty Harry," and the movie "Kidnap," which was playing in Boulder that week, the week that she died.

No one would have had the presence of mind to sit down and -- and write a three-and-a-half page letter, you know, like that. The other thin was, was the -- John Ramsey found his daughter. He was -- did not go down in that basement on his own. He was told to go down there, which the investigation never should have had him do -- do that.

He went down there with a neighbor. Generally, if the parent kills their child, in my experience of working these kinds of cases, the -- the person responsible isn't the one who goes and finds the child. He will get a neighbor or someone else and direct them to the area where they disposed of the child.

And the other thing was, was that the police, the comments came out that the child was -- was like -- it was like an undoing, a caring for the child, like a softening of the crime scene. It was further from the truth. The child was garroted. The child was found face up, with her hands bound over her head. When John Ramsey went into that room, the first thing he did was loosen the ligature around one of the wrists, and remove the duct tape from her mouth. Then, there were investigators who believed that course of action on the part of John Ramsey was -- was -- he was doing that because he put the duct tape on her mouth, and he was trying to obliterate his own fingerprints, which was nonsense.

Any father...


DOUGLAS: Any father would have taken the same action.

ZAHN: And, of course, he has denied, from day one, that he had anything to do with this crime. And all he's saying tonight, he is pleased...


ZAHN: ... with the outcome of this investigation.

One could only imagine what it has been like for him to live...

DOUGLAS: Oh, it's terrible.

ZAHN: ... under the cloud of suspicion.

John Douglas, thank you so much for joining us tonight.


ZAHN: And our "Top Story" coverage continues in just a few minutes.

Right now, let's go straight to Melissa Long at our Pipeline studio for our countdown of the top 10 stories today on

Hi, Melissa.


Nineteen million people got caught up on all the news of the day by logging on to our Web site,

A lot of people were interested in the story that came in at number 10. And I totally see why. I think you will, too. Louisiana Congressman Bobby Jindal ended up delivering his third child, a son, at home this morning. Jindal says he stepped in when he realized he couldn't get his wife to the hospital in time.

At number nine: the release of newly discovered recordings of emergency calls made during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center nearly five years ago.

And story number eight tonight is about an ex-football star's bid to become the governor of Pennsylvania. A new poll out today shows the former Pittsburgh Steeler, Lynn Swann, 20 points behind his opponent, the incumbent, Ed Rendell. And it's worth pointing out, as well, President Bush was in PA earlier today, showing support for his top candidate in that state.

ZAHN: Melissa, thanks so much.

LONG: Sure.

ZAHN: See you in just a little bit.


ZAHN: Now, next in our "Top Story" coverage: Two legal experts who have been following the twists and turns in the Ramsey investigation ever since the beginning, are they surprised by today's revelations?

First, more from Lin Wood, the Ramsey family attorney, about John Ramsey and today's startling developments.


LIN WOOD, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN RAMSEY: He's managed to survive by never getting too high and -- and probably by never getting too low.

I know that he feels some sense of relief. I know that he feels that this is a -- a major step, potentially, in the final resolution of the case. We may be -- and I say may be -- one step closer to a final resolution of the case.

But, again, I would urge that Mr. Karr be given that presumption of innocence.



ZAHN: In a moment, we're going to hear some of what Patsy Ramsey said some six years ago, as she repeatedly tried to prove to America she had nothing to do with the murder of her daughter.

But we continue our "Top Story" breaking news coverage right now in the important news. An arrest has been made in the killing of JonBenet Ramsey. It was a case that grabbed all the headlines 10 years ago -- the 6-year-old girl from Colorado murdered brutally in her own home.

Tonight, we know that authorities have arrested a 41-year-old American man in Thailand. His name is John Mark Karr. He's a former schoolteacher.

Let's turn to our "Top Story" right now, correspondent Tom Foreman, who covered the story back when it broke, in 1996, criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman, and defense attorney and former prosecutor Jayne Weintraub. She has done it all.

Good to see all of you.

So, Tom, quickly explain to us what we know about how critical the Internet was in -- in breaking this case wide open again.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, we don't know a lot. We're working on a comprehensive series of reports on all of this for "ANDERSON COOPER 360" tonight.

And what we do know is that there is this sense that this man was communicating with other people, and, somehow, in these communications on the Internet, passed on some information about this.

Now, we don't have any proof of this yet. The -- mainly what we know about this guy is that we don't know much. His name didn't come up in the beginning of all these investigations. He's a bit of a blank page to everybody out there, even those of us who have covered this case very, very closely, and who really thought, for years, that all of the leads had run out, and that there would -- never would be an arrest -- Paula.

ZAHN: Jayne, does this make any sense to you? Because this man, apparently, was under investigation for an unrelated sex crime -- we know that Colorado authorities combed through registers -- registries of sex offenders out there. Why would it take some 10 years to get this kind of tip?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, FMR. PROSECUTOR: Well, Paula, the only thing I can think of is perhaps, as far as the DNA match is concerned or any forensics are concerned, we've become technically more advanced every year. And law enforcement every year has enforced more guide lines for every conviction, for every arrest, to submit to a DNA sample, to put in a database. I'm sure ten years ago they didn't have the databases that they have today. So I think that was one of the problems.

I think that he flew under the radar because my own private theory is that he was probably a tutor for JonBenet because he was a second grade teacher and he lived near where their second home was in Georgia. So perhaps, because of all her travel in the beauty pageants, he was hired as a tutor, which would make perfect sense.

ZAHN: All right, that's clearly supposition on your part, that's nothing that CNN can confirm, but we do know, Micky, according to law enforcement officials, that Karr has confessed to certain elements of committing this murder. Now, what we're all wondering is that we have heard so much evidence in this case, what could we possibly not know about what happened?

SHERMAN: One can only hope that one of the things that the Boulder authorities did right, and there weren't a lot, because when they were at war with the district attorney's office versus the law enforcement people, it was pitiful.

ZAHN: Well we should explain that you didn't have experienced homicide people. SHERMAN: Yes but even still there was no cooperation. But, you bring people in. You bring people in. You find the resources when you get a crime of this nature. But they apparently each had their own little fiefdom and they were uncooperative. But, obviously at some point they held back some information, thank goodness, and apparently that information they were able to elicit from this person, that's my best guess, and that's the linchpin that brings this person in. But my feeling is this is not a great example of how the system works, it's a great example of how the system didn't work. Because shame on all of us.

We all, all of us, so many people assumed that it's got to be the Ramseys, and they're rich people who made good because they hired fancy lawyers, got away on their jet, but they're probably guilty. And everyone out there can say well I never thought that, but clearly the bulk of this country thought that they were guilty.

WEINTRAUB: Call that a rush to judgment.

ZAHN: Well absolutely, there was an absolute rush to judgment.

SHERMAN: We cheated these people out of grieving for their daughter. When you think about that, how horrendous is that?

ZAHN: It was a horrible thing. They've suffered so many tragedies, here and Tom Foreman you know that better than anybody. You were right in the middle of the case as it came down. This is a husband and wife who had to literally go on camera and tell the public repeatedly we did not kill our daughter. It was humiliating.

FOREMAN: It was humiliating, Paula, and certainly they suffered a lot through this process, but part of the problem continued to be the lack of any plausible explanation beyond it. Again, you've got some big hurdles that have to be cleared even now as they bring somebody to charge on this. How did this person get into the house on that night, with no sign of forced entry? How did they know their way around this house, which by all accounts was huge.

It had all sorts of hallways that even friends couldn't figure their way around? How did he murder this child, leave the body in the house and why did he make it look like a kidnapping and how did he get away? Because that is so hard to answer, all of those questions, that's why investigators kept coming back to the family. And one of the reasons, Micky, that everybody kept thinking that it might be them involved is because the investigators, when they would tell you things, even off the record, kept saying it's got to be the parents.

SHERMAN: Because the odds are that that's what it is. And that's the problem, is they look for information that would basically support what they've already thought. They looked for information that would confirm but not in fact find new evidence.

WEINTRAUB: They don't investigate. They go on a theory and then they just want to validate it when the Ramseys took and passed a polygraph on more than one occasion.

SHERMAN: Five different polygraphs.

WEINTRAUB: And that has to be highlighted here because if we've learned one thing, these expert poligraphers, there's no voodoo to it anymore. It's basically computerized. It's not subjective.

SHERMAN: And Jayne will tell you, when we have clients, our clients who take polygraphs, they always flunk. They're always guilty. It's amazing, I never have any clients who could pass a polygraph. These people passed five. That's incredible.

ZAHN: I guess the real give away in all of this was an investigator early on bailed out of the formal investigation, he was so outraged that his colleagues had come to the conclusion that they killed JonBenet Ramsey, he went off and ended up working with them and trying to prove their innocence over the last ten years.

SHERMAN: He's one of the heroes.

ZAHN: That's what a lot of people are saying tonight.

All right, Micky, Tom, Jayne Weintraub, thanks to you all tonight, and a reminder there will be much more on "AC 360" coming up at 10:00. More top story coverage here in just a moment.

First Melissa Long continues our count down.

LONG: And Paula, at number seven on the list this evening, U.S. authorities have arrested an alleged Mexican drug lord at the top of the DEA's most wanted list. The government says he ran a massive trafficking operation. Number six, a 16-year-old cancer patient in Virginia wins his legal fight to refuse additional chemotherapy. Instead his treatments may include alternative medicine, possibly radiation therapy. So, he won his court battle, now let's hope he can beat cancer.

And number five is this hour's top story, the arrest of the suspect in the December, 1996 killing of JonBenet Ramsey. As we've been reporting this evening, Boulder, Colorado authorities say the suspect is an American citizen named John Mark Karr. He was picked up earlier today in Bangkok, Thailand. Paula.

ZAHN: Melissa thanks so much. We'll see you in a little bit and continue our coverage here. We are just hours away, though, from another major development in another big story today, the crisis in the Middle East. Coming up next, will moving thousands of Lebanese troops in to the war zone actually help keep the fragile peace?

Another top story we're following tonight is the alleged terrorism plot in England. We'll have the very latest for you on that investigation. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Welcome back, our top story coverage takes us now to Lebanon, where in just a few hours the first Lebanese troops will start moving into the southern part of the country. Earlier today Lebanon's cabinet approved deploying 15,000 troops as part of the U.N. cease-fire that ended a month of bloody fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. And already tonight Israel has begun handing over its positions to U.N. forces. Beirut bureau chief Brent Sadler has the latest for us right now.


BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Lebanese army troops may have been assigned an impossible mission, to take control of battle-scarred territory in south Lebanon where Hezbollah guerrillas have roamed freely for six years. Under a complex military plan, as Israeli troops vacate positions under a phased withdrawal, United Nations forces will take over.

The U.N. would then hand over responsibility to Lebanese troops, a process that could take weeks or months. Lebanon's cabinet decided to go ahead with the plan after days of uncertainty because of Hezbollah objections, especially to U.N. demands that Hezbollah's fighters give up their weapons and disappear from the battle zones.

FOUAD SINIORA, LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER: There won't be any weapons other than the weapons of the central government.

SADLER: But in its final decision the Lebanese Cabinet ministers including two from Hezbollah avoided a definition of what would happen to Hezbollah fighters and their weapons now or in the future.



SADLER: Lebanese President Emile Lahoud made this clear. "Hezbollah resistance weapons are the only weapons the Arab opponents of Israel have," he said. "Be assured no one can disarm the resistance by force."

Most experts expect that Hezbollah fighters will mix in with the local population and hide their weapons as Lebanese and U.N. troops arrive. A vague compromise that may undermine international efforts to reinforce some 2,000 U.N. troops already in south Lebanon with a stronger, better equipped force, a key Israeli condition under the U.N. cease-fire resolution.

LIVNI: I think that this is a moment of truth for the international community. A full implementation of resolution 1701 can lead to a change in the region in Lebanon and lead to a better future for us all.

SADLER: Turkey could also be a key troop contributor, but involved nations like these may have second thoughts about sending troops to a war zone where a low profile, but still armed Hezbollah is a threat.


SADLER: And Israel says it's still at war with Hezbollah is by no means over and can't begin to do so until there's full compliance with that United Nations Security Council resolution that brought about the cease-fire Monday and not until the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah that started this latest Middle East Conflicts, are returned home -- Paula?

ZAHN: Brent Sadler, thanks so much for bringing us up-to-date at this hour. Our top story coverage continues in a few minutes. Right now, let's go back to Melissa Long, who's going to continue the countdown now. Hi, Melissa.

LONG: Hello, Paula. And the death of a veteran character actor is No. 4 on our list. Bruno Kirby, you know him best for his roles in "Good Morning, Vietnam" and "The Godfather: Part 2" has died after a battle with leukemia. He was 57.

And No. 3, a British tabloid apologizing for printing photographs of Prince Harry, apparently groping a woman at a nightclub. The newspaper had claimed that the pictures of the night out on the town were taken this summer, but they were actually three years old. A bit of a royal blunder by the "Sun" publication.

ZAHN: Oops. Of course the pictures you just showed us were quite civil. We didn't see the naughty ones that the newspaper got in trouble for. Melissa, thanks.

LONG: I can't claim responsibility. That's your team.

ZAHN: OK, good. We were just trying to clean things up here. Thanks, Melissa.

Our top story coverage now focuses on the fight against terrorism. Internet cafes may be more than places to sip coffee and surf the Internet. Coming up next, how a coffee house near London may figure into an international plot to commit mass murder in the skies.

And a little bit later on, a threat that doesn't involve terrorists, it involves germs. It's tonight's top story in medicine. Parents, beware, it's something we all need to worry about it. We'll explain why.


ZAHN: And we're back. Our top story coverage moves on to the rapidly changing developments in the transatlantic terror investigation. British police now think computers used by the suspects could hold crucial evidence of a plot to kill thousands of air passengers heading for here in the U.S. In London, Deborah Feyerick has just filed this look at the latest turn in the investigation.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four days after raiding this Internet cafe an hour outside London, British police returned the cafe's six computer hard drives and its main server. Manager Saleem Butt, who runs the Asian Spice Cafe in Redding says police told him they took the equipment as part of the anti- terrorist operation.

This is what they took?

SALEEM BUTT, MANAGER, ASIAN SPICE CAFE: This is what they took. They haven't returned my CDs and CD-ROMS, bits and pieces which they collected from the back of the counter. They haven't been returned. I don't know when they'll do that.

FEYERICK: So you're missing your CDs and CD-ROMs, but they returned all of this.

A security source close to the British investigation tell CNN authorities believe some of the terror suspects used these computers to send e-mails to associates at another Internet cafe about 50 miles away.

Roy Ramm who spent years at New Scotland Yard said that's a classic technique for covering tracks.

ROY RAMM, FORMER COMMANDER, NEW SCOTLAND YARD: Whenever you're looking at any kind of organized crime or terrorist network, the intention is to try to put as much distance between yourself and other members of the network as possible, because just one call, one link can build a conspiracy. So what you're trying to do is build distance.

FEYERICK: Butt says on a normal day, about two dozen people walk in and use his computers. He says he keeps a log of what people wear and how much time they've spent online, but no one signs in. He did not recognize the names of anyone in custody.

(on camera): Did any of the names ring a bell to you at all?


FEYERICK (voice-over): Police say they'd been watching the alleged jetliner plotters for months, one security source close to investigators tells CNN the alleged plotters avoided meetings, perhaps because some of the suspects may have sensed they were followed. A view Roy Ramm echoes.

RAMM: I think that when people are involved in something, then there is a certain sense of paranoia and they may have thought they ran the surveillance. There's always a chance they could have spotted something but equally they could have spotted something that was completely unconnected from the operation.

FEYERICK: And it's not just computers from Internet cafes.

Security sources tell CNN police have computers from homes of some of the suspects and police are confident that analysis of the computer data will allow investigators to pinpoint the dates the alleged suicide bombers intended to carry out their deadly plan.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FEYERICK (on camera): And Paula, those security sources tell CNN investigators are close to finalizing their case. And it is possible that the suspects could be charged by the end of next week -- Paula?

ZAHN: Deborah Feyerick, thanks so much. More ahead on our top story coverage. First, let's go back to Melissa Long for our countdown.

LONG: Paula, a security scare in the sky. No. 2 on the list tonight, a United Airlines flight from London to Washington was diverted to Boston after a woman passenger became unruly. Federal officials say there are no signs the disturbance was related to terror.

And No. 1, new concerns about airport screening after a 12-year- old boy managed to get on a plane at England's Gatwick Airport without a passport, a ticket, or even a boarding pass. Authorities say he was removed before the flight took off. And Paula, I found this so interesting. He had already snuggled into his seat, had a snack and a drink before the crew really noticed there was a problem.

ZAHN: Oh, I wonder how many people are going to get fired over that. That's not good. Melissa, thanks.

We've got an alarming top health story for you tonight. Our top story coverage coming up next. A drug resistant germ that's spreading not only in hospitals, but now even in schools.


ZAHN: Our next story is pretty scary one for all of us who are parents. Our top story in health tonight carries with it a very important warning for all you parents out there, especially those of you who have children who perform sports. The warning appears in tomorrow's "New England Journal of Medicine" which features a study showing an alarming increase in a mysterious staff infection that is sending children to emergency rooms all over the country. The infection is caused by a drug-resistant bacteria called MRSA, and you're about to see just how dangerous and even deadly it can be.

Here's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen with tonight's Vital Signs.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What in the world made this baby go from happy and healthy to desperately ill in just days?

This did. A superbug so powerful it's alarming doctors across the country for its ability to rip through a child's body. For Evan McFarling it started last Spring when he came down with a fever.

MATT MCFARLING, EVAN'S DAD: It just didn't seem like that big of a deal right at first.

COHEN: The pediatrician told Evan's parents not to worry.

TIERNEY MCFARLING, EVAN'S MOTHER: It's just probably a little bug, it will go away in a few days.

COHEN: But, it didn't. They took Evan back to the doctor.

T. MCFARLING: And once again he said don't worry about it, fevers can last up to seven days.

COHEN: But Evan's fever went on for ten days. His pediatrician tried three different antibiotics, none of them worked. Finally a chest x-ray solved the mystery.

M. MCFARLING: And I mean we went from a checkup to we're going in to heart surgery in about 20 minutes.

Can you smile for me baby? No, we're not ready for smiling yet.

COHEN: The tissue around Evan's heart was filled with bacteria and not just any bacteria, the dreaded superbug called MRSA or Mersa, a staff infection so sophisticated it knows how to outwit most antibiotics.

DR. JAIME FERGIE, DRISCOLL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: It's becoming sort of a perfect storm in infectious diseases.

COHEN: Many times it's impossible to tell how a child caught the bacteria. The bacteria enters the skin in a way parents might miss, through a scrape or a pimple, sometimes it's mistaken for a bug bite. The number of these infections is escalating quickly in many parts of the country. Here at this hospital in Corpus Christie, Texas in 2,000 they had around 50 MRSA cases. In 2002 that number jumped to 300 cases. In 2005 750 cases. And in the past six months three children have died here from MRSA. Day after day children's hospital see this. Kids like Evan, Sylvester, Veronica, Kevin, Sulema, who were perfectly healthy before contracting the infection.

FERGIE: The patient we saw had really nothing in common. It was not that they came from a particularly school or day care.

COHEN: And that's what scares pediatricians. Take Josh Grant. He was healthy and to this day his doctors don't know for sure how he got the infection. He needed four surgeries to get rid of the MRSA bacteria, which had spread into his lungs, through his spinal cord, into his neck, and into his left arm.

HOYA GRANT, JOSH'S DAD: The doctor went in and scraped his lungs, and they said it was a possibility that he could bleed out and that we could lose him.

COHEN: That was in may. Today Josh is still weak and needs physical therapy. His parents advice to other parents? In this day of superbugs, you can never be too careful.

GRANT: If you even get a fever make sure you see the doctor, jump on it with both feet, because no parent ever wants to go through what our family went through.


ZAHN: We all need to listen to that. Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reporting for us. So here are a couple of things you should know to protect your family from these deadly staff infections. Kids who play sports, as we mentioned at the top, are much more susceptible and you're likely to find the bacteria in gyms where people share equipment, and the likelihood of spreading or catching it increasing in crowded living conditions.

Finally how to protect yourself and your kids. You have to disinfect and bandage any wounds or scratches, shower or bathe after any workout or sports activity, and never share towels or soap. Remember to see a doctor immediately if some kind of boil develops, because early treatment, as you've seen in our report tonight, is critical.

We're just minutes away from the top of the hour. LARRY KING LIVE tonight, JonBenet Jovi, or I am so sorry, that would be Jon Bon Jovi, we switched the show, talks about his two decades of rock and roll and how he copes with the tabloids and boy has he gotten an ear full. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: And one more look at tonight's top story, the breaking news that will be on every front page tomorrow, authorities have confirmed an arrest in the 1996 killing of JonBenet Ramsey. The suspect is in custody in Thailand. He's a 41-year-old U.S. citizen named John Mark Karr. That's it for all of us here. Thanks so much for being with us tonight, have a good night.


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