Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Director Roman Polanski Arrested; Chicago Honor Student Killed; Nuclear Iran
Aired September 28, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, a story that still shocks, still enrages people more than three decades after the fact -- it's been that long since director Roman Polanski fled the country, accused of drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl. Now he's fighting extradition, and defenders are calling him the victim.
Should all those years change anything? Should his accomplishments count for something? What about the fact that his accuser no longer wants to see him prosecuted?
"Crime & Punishment" tonight -- also tonight, a Chicago honor student killed, his brutal murder caught on camera. Dozens watched. Nobody tried to help. Who is looking out for the kids? And why is the system failing? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Plus, Iran's latest challenge to the world, new missile testing, just days after President Obama revealed his -- its nuclear lab. This time, he seems to have the allies behind him, maybe even Russia as well. Will it be enough to stop Iran's nuclear ambition before Israel launches a strike? Will this president's approach work any better than the last one's? We have the "Raw Politics" tonight.
We begin, though, with "Crime & Punishment" and a story that everyone seems to have an opinion about. After three decades as a fugitive, acclaimed film director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland over this weekend. He was on his way to a film festival to receive an award. At an airport in Zurich, authorities served him with a warrant stemming from his 1977 conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski now faces the possibility of being extradited to the U.S.
Erica Hill has the latest.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roman Polanski is a celebrated film director, the man behind classics like "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown," winner of the 2003 best director Oscar for "The Pianist," husband of Sharon Tate, the pregnant actress brutally murdered by followers of Charles Manson in 1969, and, for more than three decades, an international fugitive.
The Hollywood heavyweight was arrested in 1977, charged with drugging, raping, and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot at actor Jack Nicholson's house. The actor was not home at the time. Polanski allegedly plied her with champagne and drugs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
SAMANTHA GEIMER, POLANSKI VICTIM: I said, like, no, no. I don't want to go in there. No. I don't want to do this. No. And then I didn't know what else to do. We were alone. And I didn't want to -- And I didn't know want to -- I didn't know what would happen if I made a scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of sex with a minor, avoiding trial, and was sent to a maximum-security prison for psychological evaluation, where he stayed for 42 days.
But, the day before his sentencing in 1978, Polanski fled to Paris, reportedly after learning his plea deal would not be honored. A warrant was then issued for his arrest. Later that year, he sat down with "60 Minutes."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES")
MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": You ran away. You ran away.
ROMAN POLANSKI, FUGITIVE DIRECTOR: Well, I, as you say, ran away because I think that I was very unfortunate to have a judge who misused justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: France refused to extradite him. Polanski is a French citizen. He continued his work as a filmmaker in Europe. In 1989, he remarried and is now the father of two. In early 2003, acclaim for "The Pianist" brought the decades-old sexual assault charges back into the spotlight, from the reaction to his win on Oscar night...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Roman Polanski.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HILL: ... Hollywood had already forgiven.
Following a 2008 HBO documentary, Polanski's attorney filed to have the case dismissed, alleging the now deceased judge violated the plea bargain. In January 2009, they again filed and asked the case be moved out of L.A. -- the request denied because Polanski refused to appear.
The victim also filed for the case to be dismissed, noting she simply wants it and the attention to go away. But the focus on this now married mother of three and the famous director is back, following Polanski's weekend arrest in Switzerland.
Erica Hill, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So, will Roman Polanski, now 76 years old, return to California in handcuffs? Should he?
Let's dig deeper with CNN legal analyst Lisa Toobin (sic) and Jeffrey Toobin -- and Lisa Bloom and Jeffrey Toobin, and criminal defense attorney Joel Brodsky.
Jeff, let me start with you. Is it likely he's going to be extradited?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I -- I think he is. It does seem like this is a crime covered by the extradition treaty. He is not presumed innocent. He is guilty. He has pled guilty. It's a serious crime. I think he has to come back.
COOPER: Joel, do you think he's going to be extradited?
JOEL BRODSKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. In the long run, extradition is always a political process. Usually, a governor or a president or a prime minister has to sign off on it. And I don't think that the authorities in Switzerland are going to actually approve the extradition of Roman Polanski.
COOPER: Lisa, your opinion? Do you think he's going to -- it's going to happen?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I have read the extradition treaty. It's not a political matter. It's a legal matter.
And the Swiss -- Swiss authorities have already done the provisional arrest, which indicates they're going to comply with the treaty and they're going to go forward. This is a crime that he's already been convicted of, as Jeffrey Toobin said. It's punishable by more than one year. Under the treaty, they have to return him.
COOPER: Joel, why do you think this happened now? I mean, this has been more than 30 years. And he had a house in Switzerland. It's not like it's the first time he went there.
BRODSKY: Yes, there is something political, obviously, behind this.
The reason why, I don't know. L.A. politics is a world unto itself. I have enough problems dealing with the Chicago politics. But there is something not kosher in the timing here. There is some reason that this took place that is not -- has nothing to do with justice and has something to do with politics.
COOPER: You think that is true, Jeff?
TOOBIN: Well, I think what is not kosher is drugging and having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
I mean, I think the issue is, why not earlier, not, why did they do it now? What the authorities are saying now is that, yes, they knew he had a house, but they knew about the Zurich Film Festival specifically, so they knew a time and place that he would be there. That's -- that's...
COOPER: That's the reason he...
COOPER: ... this time?
TOOBIN: ... now, yes.
COOPER: So, you're saying that the fact that this was a -- a predetermined date that was publicized in advance, it gave authorities in Los Angeles time to kind of prepare the extradition?
TOOBIN: That's -- that's what they have said. And that makes sense to me.
COOPER: Lisa, what is the process now that he faces, in terms of fighting the extradition?
BLOOM: Well, the U.S. has 60 days to file its formal papers -- formal papers in terms -- in favor of extradition. And then he can fight it. He can take numerous appeals in Switzerland. So, that can take several months.
If he is extradited, as I think he will be, he will be brought back here. And then he can raise all the claims of judicial misconduct that he's been trying to raise over the years through his attorneys. And the judges here in Los Angeles have said, you cannot do that while you're a fugitive. You can come back here, make all of his legal arguments, and see how far he gets with it.
COOPER: I want to talk to Joel about how you think he's going to defend himself.
But and the hold on, Lisa, Jeffrey, Joel. We will be -- we will be right back.
I want to know also what you think at home. What do you think should happen to Roman Polanski? Join the live chat happening now at AC360.com. I will log on in just a minute.
New developments tonight in the beating death of a Chicago honor student. His killing was caught on tape. Why did no one watching it stop it? A lot of people are just standing around watching. Why are so many schoolkids in Chicago dying? Is the system failing these kids? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also, the "Raw Politics" of Iran's nuclear challenge -- is President Obama's mix of diplomacy and pressure working? Is he getting results or just lip service?
Paul Begala and Rich Galen debate -- ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: In 2003, Samantha Geimer told Larry King what happened the night she was raped during a 1977 photo shoot with the film director Roman Polanski. She was 13 years old at the time. Polanski was 43.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
GEIMER: So, it got late towards the evening. And then he wanted to take some pictures in the hot tub, you know, the real pretty looking hot tub outside.
So, we took some...
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Was anyone there with you and him?
GEIMER: Just he and I, and no one else.
But then he got in the hot tub and that's...
KING: What was he wearing?
GEIMER: We were pretty much done photographing.
I guess shorts or something. I don't remember.
KING: What did you say?
GEIMER: I said -- well, that's when I realized that something was wrong. I was like, this doesn't feel right anymore. Uh-oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Samantha Geimer, now 45, the mother of three, eventually sued Polanski, received an undisclosed settlement. This past January, she said that she wants the case dismissed.
Joining me again, CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom, Jeffrey Toobin, and criminal defense attorney Joel Brodsky.
Jeff, what about that? She -- she doesn't want charges moving forward. She says it's time to move on. It's been more than 30 years. He hasn't committed offenses since then. Why should now he in face justice?
TOOBIN: It's not her decision. The case is the people of the state of California against Roman Polanski. Rape is a crime against society, not just against an individual person. Plus, he's already pled guilty. She doesn't have to testify anymore.
She's no longer got a part in the case. Now, politicians may seize on this as relevant to their decision about whether to extradite him. But, as a legal matter, it is totally irrelevant, her feelings.
COOPER: Joel, why shouldn't -- why shouldn't...
BLOOM: Anderson, if I can jump in...
COOPER: Go ahead, Lisa.
BLOOM: ... if I can jump in on that?
BLOOM: Forgiveness is really an emotional state of being that any rape victim has to do many years later in order to heal and move forward.
But she has never recanted her original allegations. Those grand jury transcripts are available. She says she begged him to stop. She said no repeatedly. He drugged her to the point where she could hardly walk. She was crying and saying, no, and stop it over and over again. She has never changed that testimony. And he has never denied it.
The fact that, 20 years, later she forgives him and took a civil settlement is completely irrelevant.
COOPER: Joel, why shouldn't he face justice now?
BRODSKY: Well, you have to remember why, not excusing what Polanski did, the -- what Judge Rittenband did back in the original case was as much a rape of the judicial system as -- as the rape that Polanski committed.
There was a plea deal. He pled guilty to a probationable offense. And, then, at the last minute, the judge was looking at sending him to jail for decades. You know, when you have a plea deal and you -- it falls apart, you go back to square one. You don't take the guilty plea, and then you put the man in jail for decades.
And I don't...
BLOOM: You know, that's just defense spin. There is no evidence of that. And, if there was judicial misconduct, it never happened. It is only speculative, because Polanski chose to flee.
BLOOM: I mean, the defense has been saying for 30 years the judge was going to impose this terrible sentence.
BLOOM: But the fact is, it never happened.
COOPER: But, Joel...
BRODSKY: But, Lisa, the prosecutor and the defense got together and in that documentary that was done on this case, and both of them...
BLOOM: I have seen that documentary.
BRODSKY: ... emasculated -- and they both emasculated the judge. They both said that he was so improper, it was like a Hollywood movie. He was telling the defense, you say this, and the prosecution, you say this.
TOOBIN: No, there is...
BRODSKY: It was -- it was absolutely ridiculous.
COOPER: But that...
BRODSKY: It was a rape of the judicial system.
COOPER: But, Jeff, that -- Jeff, that's...
BLOOM: That is a total defense spin in this case.
COOPER: That's a defense -- that's perhaps a reason why he fled. It's still -- he still has charges that he faces, which he himself pled guilty to.
And the judge -- his lawyers tried to reopen the case in 2008 and 2009. And the judge actually seemed sympathetic, at least in part, to this judicial misconduct part -- charge about the original judge, who is now dead.
TOOBIN: But the current judge said, look, if you want to get this case reopened and to get it behind you, you have to show up in Los Angeles. You have to be here.
And Polanski chose not to. And that's why it's -- it's not behind him yet. So, Polanski had the chance to show up and deal with it.
BLOOM: But this...
BRODSKY: But you can under...
TOOBIN: And he didn't.
BRODSKY: But you -- but you can under...
COOPER: Joel... BRODSKY: You can understand after...
BLOOM: Judge Rittenband bent over backwards...
COOPER: Lisa, let Joel -- Lisa -- come on. Guys..
BLOOM: ... to give Polanski every possible advantage in this case. He dismissed five of the six charges. He gave Polanski 42 days behind bars...
BLOOM: ... and threatened him with another 48 days for raping a child.
This is a judge that the defense has chosen to attack for 30 years.
BRODSKY: Well, no.
BLOOM: I mean, give me a break.
BRODSKY: And he was...
BLOOM: And they only made that film after the judge was deceased and couldn't defend himself.
BRODSKY: But both the prosecution, the man who developed the case against Roman Polanski, agreed with the defense that there was a substantial judicial misconduct. He pled guilty to a -- to a probationable defense -- to a probationable offense. Why wouldn't he get...
BLOOM: Yes, it was -- and was also subject to 50 years behind bars.
It could have been probation or 50 years. The judge was talking about 90 days. And you know what?
BLOOM: If Roman Polanski would have done his time in 1978, he would have done a couple months, maybe a year. If the judge engaged in misconduct, he could have taken it up on the record then and spared this victim 30 years of being dragged through the mud.
BLOOM: He's the one responsible for that.
BRODSKY: And he could have -- he could have spent 10 years in jail during that appeal. I don't blame him for running when you have a judge who makes a deal and then tries to put you in jail for a decade, when the original deal called for probation. Either you go back to square one and start...
BLOOM: Well, maybe if he hadn't drug, sodomized and raped a 13- year-old, he wouldn't have had to worry about being behind bars for as long as 10 years. I don't think a lot of people would have cried for him if that would have happened.
COOPER: Jeff, how long is this extradition debate going to take place?
TOOBIN: Well, it's -- a lot of that is up to Polanski, because he has to judge what -- what's -- his best chances are. It's probably going to be at least several months if he decides to fight extradition. He could wave extradition and just come back and try to settle the case once and for all.
But, given his perspective today, given what his lawyers are saying, it looks like he's going to fight it. It will be in the Swiss courts for at least several months. And then we will see whether he comes over and fights the case once...
COOPER: We have got -- we have got to leave it.
Joel Brodsky, Lisa Bloom...
BRODSKY: Thank you.
COOPER: ... Jeff Toobin, appreciate your time. Thank you.
BRODSKY: My pleasure.
COOPER: Back in 2003...
BLOOM: Thank you.
COOPER: ... Polanski's victim, Samantha Geimer, also told her side of the story to "The L.A. Times." You can read what she wrote back then on our Web site at AC360.com.
Just ahead tonight: why so many kids continue to face violent death on the streets of Chicago -- another arrest in the killing of this honor student, his murder caught on tape. I will show you some of it. It is just -- it's unbelievable, what went on -- some thoughts on how to stop the violence from a dad who lost his son in Chicago, as well as the head football coach of the USC Trojans, fighting violence himself on the streets of L.A.
And the latest on dramatic flooding and why floodwaters are still on the rise.
We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Coming up tonight: a kid who had everything going for him beat to death on the streets of Chicago -- the killing caught on tape while dozens watched and did nothing. Who is watching out for these kids?
We're "Keeping Them Honest."
But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, at least 240 people are dead in the Philippines after a typhoon tore through the country -- the storm dumping as much as 13 inches of rain in just six hours in Manila, the capital city. That is the most seen it's seen in 40 years in that city, according to officials. Hundreds of thousands are homeless.
At least three possible accomplishes have helped terror suspect Najibullah Zazi buy ingredients to make homemade bombs. That's according to the Associated Press. Investigators know their identities and tell the AP they're from New York, but would not reveal where they are now.
Zazi is accused of plotting to use WMD against U.S. targets. He welcome go before a Brooklyn judge tomorrow. His arrest nine days ago brought heightened terror alerts for sports complexes, hotels, and transit systems in the New York area.
Turning to Wall Street, stocks surging today, the Dow gaining 124 points. The Nasdaq rose nearly 40, while the S&P was up almost 19.
And first lady Michelle Obama vowing today to take no prisoners when she travels to Denmark on Friday with the president. The Obamas will be on hand to personally pitch Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Chicago is of course competing against Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro -- a big pitch in front of them.
COOPER: That will be a tough sell.
Still ahead: What are Iran's leaders thinking, two straight days of missile tests just days before a key meeting with U.S. officials? Is President Obama' talk of talk seen as a sign of weakness? Paul Begala and Rich Galen debate ahead.
And, later, SUVs on fire -- take a look at that video. An environmental terror group -- that's right, an environmental terror group claims credit. Tonight, for the first time, a former member reveals the tactics of the Earth Liberation Front.
COOPER: Iran turned up the heat another notch today, test-firing its most advanced missiles. Iranian officials called the tests routine military exercises. The White House called them provocative.
Yesterday, Iran test-fired at least two short-range missiles. And here's what's making a lot of Western leaders pay attention. One of the missiles tested yesterday, the Tondar-69, has a range of up to 80 miles. You can see why it's considered short-range. The Fateh- 110, also tested yesterday, has a slightly longer range, up to 120 miles.
But take a look at this. The Shahab-3, one of the missiles tested today, has a much longer range, topping out at 1,200 miles, and the Sajjil-2 even longer, up to 1,550 miles. That's far enough to strike Israel, Moscow, parts of Europe, including Athens and southern Italy, also American bases in the Persian Gulf.
You can't ignore the timing. These missile tests come days after President Obama's public smackdown of Iran and just days before a key meeting with U.S. officials in Geneva.
When I talked to CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Republican Rich Galen earlier, I asked them about that.
COOPER: Rich, these Iranian missile tests come days before the first contact with Iran in decades that the United States was supposed to have. I mean, is this a slap in the face to President Obama?
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it probably is. And I think they the Iranians knew exactly what they were doing. Some of those tests were preplanned, but I think the -- the theory is that the test of the long-range missile probably was just thrown on just to show that they could.
And it's that long range missile, the one that goes 1,000 miles and is -- is a solid-fuel rocket, that the -- is the one that scares everybody. I'm not so sure it would hurt anything to put this off for four or five days just to kind of let the Iranians know that we're kind of irritated by the way they have been acting.
COOPER: Paul, is this really the time for dialogue with Iran?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, even more important than the dialogue with Iran is the setup that President Obama did going into this.
You know, we have had a hard time trying to get the international community organized around stiffer sanctions for -- on Iran. The French are now on board. The Brits are now on board, and, probably most importantly, the Russians are closer to being on board. I don't want to overstate. But the Russians have moved a considerable degree.
And I think it's because of President Obama's diplomacy, his work, and his recasting of American foreign policy. So, yes, in -- in short, you want to talk to them from a position of strength and from an allied position of strength, so that the Iranians know they can't pick off any one of those six countries with whom they will be negotiating. COOPER: Paul, the rap on President Obama from his critics, and not just regarding Iran, but just international -- and on a number of issues on -- in terms of foreign policy, that -- that, for all the -- the embrace the world has -- has -- has given President Obama as president, they have not -- not much has changed.
I mean, we haven't seen NATO stepping up to the plate in -- in any great -- great way in Afghanistan. For all the reaching out, is this president perceived -- you know, is he popular, but perceived as being weak?
BEGALA: You know, I don't know. I don't think he is weak. And I think that the course he is taking is much more likely to actually succeed.
I mean, anybody can sort of pretend that they're John Wayne and say -- what did Mr. Bush used to say, wanted dead or alive and bring it on, and all that kind of macho nonsense. That made America weaker.
GALEN: Well, that was after -- that was after we were attacked, Paul. I mean, be fair. That was after we were attacked.
COOPER: Just let him -- let him finish. And then Rich...
GALEN: All right, but you have got to be fair.
BEGALA: That kind of -- that kind of macho posturing did not strengthen America. It made us weaker.
What this president is trying to do -- the only way to stop Iran from obtaining a bomb -- at least I believe -- is to change the regime. The only way to change that regime is -- is not -- if you want to go and invade and conquer and occupy, God bless you. I don't.
I think that there's a smarter way to do it, which is to try the political route of empowering those who oppose the regime domestically, but also the international route of ratcheting down sanctions.
You know, Iran, for all of its oil, doesn't have a single refinery, not one. If we can get cooperation from our allies and those six nations that -- America, plus five -- that are meeting with the Iranians, they can have enormous influence, because the Iranian economy is actually a pretty unstable one. And I think we -- I think that that's certainly worth a shot, before you start pushing buttons and -- and launching bombs.
GALEN: Oh, I don't think anybody is saying you start pushing buttons or doing anything like that, Paul.
But I do think that there is some value in -- and the -- and, to his credit, President Obama has said this -- that the -- the military option is not off the table. And so has the chairman...
GALEN: ... of the Joint -- Joint Chiefs of Staff.
So, I mean -- so, in your -- in your terms, he has -- he has sort of rattled the saber and he does have his finger hovering over the button, which apparently you're opposed to.
COOPER: We're going to leave it there.
COOPER: Well, Paul, if you want to respond...
BEGALA: You have to have force course backing -- you have to obviously have the credible threat of force backing the diplomacy. I think the president is wise to do that.
But, with Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney -- Mr. Cheney, rather, not Mr. Bush -- Mr. Cheney opposed sanctions on Iran, and now many of his acolytes seem to support war. It seems to me kind of an illogical step to skip something that actually might work and go straight to war.
GALEN: Well, you had eight years with Bill Clinton, and you couldn't destabilize the government either. I mean, this is -- everybody has been trying to do this since...
BEGALA: Well, because Cheney was opposing our sanctions, Rich.
GALEN: Oh, stop it. Everybody has been trying to do this..
BEGALA: He did.
GALEN: ... since Jimmy Carter.
GALEN: And they can't get it done. And somebody's going to have to stand up and say, OK, that's enough...
COOPER: We're going to leave...
GALEN: ... if it comes to that.
COOPER: We will leave it there. Rich Galen, appreciate it.
Paul Begala, as well, thanks.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Well, still ahead, a 19- -- a 16-year-old honor student beaten to death by kids his own age -- another senseless killing in a city that cannot seem to keep its kids safe. Why are so many young people dying on Chicago streets?
Plus, what happened to a key piece of evidence in John Travolta's extortion trial? Details ahead.
COOPER: Here's a fact that won't be mentioned when President Obama lobbies the International Olympics Committee later this week to make Chicago the site of the 2016 summer games. More than three dozen Chicago students were murdered in the last school year in that city and at least three so far in just the first weeks of this current year.
For kids, especially African-American kids in Chicago, the Olympic games are beside the point. Their main event is simply staying alive.
You're about to see a very graphic and disturbing example. This is video of the latest deadly outrage. It was captured by a student who was watching another student being beaten to death. Kids outside a community center swinging lumber on a teenager who apparently happened onto the scene. After beating him to the pavement, they stomped and kicked him to death.
The victim is 16-year-old Darrien Albert, a sophomore, an honor student at the nearby high school in Chicago's far South Side. Four teenagers are in custody tonight.
The larger question remains, with violent crime for the most part falling nationwide and even in the city of Chicago, why do kids continue to kill and die in such numbers? What's being done and what should be done that isn't?
"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, starting with Joe Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Simply sickening is about the only way to describe it. Pictures taken on a cell phone of a kid pounding another kid with a wooden board. That teenager who just got hit is 16-year-old Darrien Albert, and he's dead now.
After the awful pictures, the hardest thing of all is to see the parents.
(on camera) Could you tell me, your son, about him, who he was? What kind of person? What kind of student?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was an honor student. Loved school.
JOHNS: Good boy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Never a problem. I think...
JOHNS: Not a gang member?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
JOHNS: So who was Darrien Albert? A junior and honor-roll student here at Finger High School in Chicago's South Side. Friends say he was headed to college. Not a gang banger. So why did he die?
Police are still looking for the answer. But what we do know is that students who aren't involved in the street life here still can get caught in the middle of it.
(voice-over) Four teenagers are charged with first-degree murder. Among them, one former student and two current students at Finger High School.
Police say Darrien Albert was on his way home from school and walked into a street fight but police are not jumping to any conclusions.
COMMANDER EDDIE WELCH, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right now we're not saying that this is a gang-related incident. Right now this appears that you have a young man that's making an attempt to go home.
JOHNS: Friends of Darrien said he was trying to help a friend and got the worst of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Him trying to help out his friend. It's just like he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
JOHNS (on camera): We started looking at the deadly violence here in 2007. Twenty-eight Chicago public school students had already been killed. And parents were looking for answers.
Last year that number jumped to 37.
(voice-over) Thirty-seven in one year. That made it the deadliest place in America for school kids. Annette Nance's son, Blair Holt (ph), was killed in 2007.
ANNETTE NANCE, SON KILLED IN 2007: Someone said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. No, he wasn't. He was in the right place. He was coming from school. Let's stop saying these things.
JOHNS: The school year is just started. And as a result of Darrien's death, there will be more security. And throughout Chicago, more parents will be asking just what they have to do to keep their kids safe?
COOPER: Joe, as you said, we've been reporting on this. We've been on the ground doing specials on this now for the last couple years. What -- what are people in the neighborhood saying tonight about what the city needs to do or what parents need to do or somebody needs to do to fix the situation?
JOHNS: Well, there's a lot of talk about changing the culture of retribution that we've talked so much about.
But there's also a lot of anger here. Some people suggesting parents need to turn in their own children. Students need to turn in their own friends in order to get this thing off center, Anderson.
COOPER: Joe Johns, appreciate it tonight.
With us now, "Keeping Them Honest," USC Trojans football head coach Pete Carroll. He's fighting the fight against teen violence starting in south Los Angeles through the organization he founded, A Better L.A.
Also Blair Holt's father, Ronald. You heard from Blair's mom in Joe's report. Blair died on a bus while trying to protect a fellow student. He gave his life saving another student's life.
Ronald, we've been covering, as I said to Joe, you know, these violent crimes in Chicago for years now. We talked you to in the wake of your own son's death two years ago. What -- when you see this video, what goes through your mind? I mean, why are so many kids still getting killed in Chicago?
RONALD HOLT, SON KILLED IN MAY 2007: Well, Anderson, obviously, what goes through my mind is the loss of Blair on May 10th of 2007. As well as a lot of kids after Blair and even up to Darrien who seem to be innocent, unassuming, defenseless individuals who had no involvement in gangs, guns, drugs, or the culture of violence.
I think what you're seeing here in this mob violence that resulted in young Darrien's death is a group of individuals who lack value to their own lives. They lack vision on their own lives. They probably, for the most part, have come from destructured, destabilized and dysfunctional backgrounds and home lifes. They probably are the products of dysfunctional parents.
And so that's the core of the problem that I'm seeing, is a lot of these young men who involve themselves in this culture of violence, I would say 90 to 95 percent of them have come from homes and parents who do not pass along to them or have the wherewithal to pass along any skill sets or life lesson skill managements that they can add to the lives of their child, because they lack those major components, those critical components that is necessary to build on and live in a civilized society.
COOPER: Yes. Coach Carroll, what about that? You have this organization. You actually started just going out late at night in South Central and other places in L.A. just talking to people on the street, talking to kids to educate yourself about the issues and also just to kind of reach out to them. What you have learned? What do you -- how do you see this?
PETE CARROLL, USC HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Well, I think Mr. Holt is accurate in what -- what he's saying, you know, about the lack of structure. We see kids that want to -- they want to be safe. They're not like maybe a lot of people would think. They're looking for a way to fix their desperate situations.
And we think that it's so important that we create a support system from the communities, from the inside of the communities, really, through the intervention workers and really in an effort to create a Peace Corps of workers that can be there, available to help the kids that don't have the structure that they need to make the kinds of decisions, to make good choices, to stay out of the life that's going to lead them into something very, very terrible and dangerous.
COOPER: You actually kind of try to identify leaders in the communities even if they are in gangs and try to kind of reach out to them, reform them, and then get them to reach out to others.
CARROLL: Yes. Through the work of our guys that are from the community, that have grown up there, that have gained the kind of notoriety, if you will, that have turned their lives around to do good work. We found that we can connect with some of the most dangerous kids and give them an opportunity to get out of this life and turn their world around.
They're scared to death. And they have no hope. And so, when you live your life thinking that you're either going to die or go to jail, things like this can happen. And it's heartbreaking as it is.
But there is -- there is a way. We really believe that we can give the mentoring and give the leadership by good processing of building our intervention workers with the right backgrounds, the right support system. So that they can be there and be available on site and be the ones that know what's going on. They become the most valuable players in the neighborhood if we do this right.
There is a solution to this, we think, and we're working to create that in our smaller settings where we can support it right now here in L.A.
COOPER: Ronald, you know, you look at this videotape, and I'm just putting it up just briefly again, because it's so sickening. I just don't -- I mean, you need to see it, because it's what happened. And you also obviously don't want to see too much of it.
But there's a lot of folks just standing around, watching this go on, not trying to intervene. And, Ronald, as you know, there's -- there's a kind of culture of silence of not being a snitch, not wanting to come forward. Joe Johns was saying, you know, some people in the community tonight are saying, "Well, parents need to, you know, turn in their kids" or other students need to talk about, you know, what they know is going on. But that -- that's just not happening right now.
HOLT: Well, Anderson, when you talk about no snitch, let's change the language to give them up. Turn them in. Because what's going to happen is, if the community doesn't come together, as you saw -- in the case of Darrien, they did come together. They did show outrage. They moved to action to turn this individual in, just like in the case of when Blair lost his life.
You also have an area where children and their parents and a lot of the civic organizations, community organizers, faith-based institutions come together because they get so sick and tired of the ongoing violence.
And they have to understand that, if do you not give up the offender, even anonymously, even through Text to Tip and through the Chicago Police Department, these mob -- violent mobsters, they can probably victimize you or someone else.
I heard a young lady say earlier on the piece that she doesn't want to become the next victim. So it's good that these individuals who went out there and took Darrien's life, not with a gun but with a two by four, and they killed this young man, these individuals could quite clearly go out there and commit other crimes, take other lives.
And only God knows how many crimes and how many other people they may have attacked. And they may have murdered that we don't even know about at this point, Anderson.
COOPER: We've got to leave it there. Mr. Holt, I enjoyed talking to you. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances, often. And I was thinking about your son a lot when I heard about this. And I appreciate you being on tonight.
And Coach Carroll, as well, thank you very much. It was interesting to hear about the work you're doing. Appreciate it.
CARROLL: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: A lot more online at AC360.com -- dot com, including a link to Pete Carroll's organization, Coach Carroll's organization. Also, 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta's first-hand look at a night in a Chicago E.R. While you're there, you can also, of course, join the live chat, which is now underway.
Now, we want to show you a clip from a "Keeping Them Honest" report Drew Griffin is working on for tomorrow. It's a scam that targeted out-of-work executives, desperate to find the next high- paying job. Just one problem: the jobs they paid thousands of dollars to get were fake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the jobs that you had hoped for, saw, brought you to this company in the first place, either didn't exist altogether or were no longer available.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe -- yes. I believe they never existed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The scam was simple, but it worked. Selling hope to people who should have known better. We'll have Drew Griffin's full report for you tomorrow on 360.
Up next tonight, attacking America. A huge house set on fire in Colorado. The criminals call themselves environmentalists. Our exclusive interview with a former member of the so-called Earth Liberation Front.
And new details about Sarah Palin's memoir. Have you heard about this? We've actually learned the title. Of the following three possible titles, guess which one is the real one? A, "Going Rogue"; B, "I'm a Maverick, Too"; or, C, "Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow." The answer ahead.
COOPER: Tonight on 360, an exclusive on domestic terror, about a group of extremist environmental activists fighting the government and developers. The radicals call themselves the Earth Liberation Front.
Tonight, an exclusive look inside the group. A former member of the terror cell shares secrets of the plots they carried out until the FBI caught up with them. Here's Drew Griffin with a special investigations unit report.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were idealistic and young, all motivated environmentalists from the Pacific Northwest, hoping to stop development in America's pristine places. But their protests didn't stop anything. So Jake Ferguson and a group called The Family went radical.
JACOB "JAKE" FERGUSON, FORMER ELF MEMBER: Maybe you do an arson fire and you burn down a truck. And you're like, well, that wasn't good enough. I want to go from there. So then you do a building. Then you're doing two buildings. You know, then you're doing multiple buildings in different states, you know?
And it just kept getting more and more and more. You never want to backtrack and do something smaller.
GRIFFIN: It did start small, beginning with a dare to burn down the Detroit Oregon rangers station. It was 1996.
FERGUSON: I just kind of on a whim spray-painted "ELF" on the building and on some vehicles at the Detroit rangers station. And I think that was the first time any ELF action had happened in North America.
GRIFFIN: ELF, Earth Liberation Front, a secretive group. Fear of their attacks grew across seven western states. Living in warehouses, communicating by code, the six or seven hardcore members of The Family would develop target after target, always bigger, always bolder.
(on camera) Were you surprised at what you were able to pull off?
GRIFFIN: Scary surprised?
FERGUSON: It's a lot scarier when I think about it. Because I mean, there are a lot of times where, you know, the incendiary devices that we were transporting could have gone off in the van that we were in. You know, or there were a couple times when we were setting them up that they almost went off right in our faces.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): They were destroying entire car lots of SUVs, building incendiary devices, paranoid they were being watched.
FERGUSON: We, you know, were as safe as possible, not leaving prints. We would wrap up everything in garbage bags. You know, we'd get rid of all our clothes.
GRIFFIN: Living like a fugitive, he planned an attack still regarded as the most spectacular of his movement. In October 1998, Ferguson carried jugs of inflammable liquid up Vail Ski Mountain, part of the Family's biggest and most destructive acts.
FERGUSON: For the movement's sake, Vail was the trophy.
GRIFFIN: Damages exceeding $12 million. But it was also the beginning of the end for The Family itself.
FERGUSON: What broke things up was that we were starting -- they were starting to catch on to us.
GRIFFIN (on camera): The FBI was hunting them. And had his VIN (ph). Ferguson didn't know it, but his friends had used that van in an attack, and police traced it back to him. It was the one break they needed.
Ferguson was called in by the FBI and caught in a lie. He was given just two options: turn on his friends or spend the rest of his life in prison.
FERGUSON: I had to do whatever they wanted. And it wasn't something I felt good about, you know, getting people to confess by wearing a wire.
GRIFFIN: Dirk Engal was the assistant U.S. attorney at the forefront of the task force tracking down the ELF.
(on camera) His evidence that he provided tore apart The Family. Correct? Brought it down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It -- it certainly was essential. It was absolutely essential in our investigation to find out who the perpetrators were and to approach them, make our arrests, get our indictments. So, you're right. He was essential.
GRIFFIN: At the time, were you considering yourself, "Hey, this is a -- this is a terror cell"?
FERGUSON: I think pretty much, yes, we considered ourselves being at war, you know, with the government.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Ferguson escaped with just one felony count and five years on parole. And a fresh perspective on the damage he planned.
FERGUSON: There are a minority of people that feel that their views should be imposed on everybody. And it's full of a lot of propaganda. And they feel like they're right and everything's wrong.
GRIFFIN: Still, there's been at least one new ELF attack, just this month the ELF took responsibility for toppling two radio towers in Seattle. Ferguson says looking back, he did more harm than good for the environmental movement, and calls current attempts to rekindle the ELF terrorism misguided.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Eugene, Oregon.
COOPER: Fascinating to hear how it all began.
Coming up next, the latest in the John Travolta extortion trial. New testimony today and a key piece of evidence destroyed.
Plus, a disturbing Facebook poll about President Obama. What did it say, and how seriously should authorities take the threat? Details ahead.
COOPER: All right. Let's get you caught up with some of the other stories we're following. Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, the Secret Service is investigating a Facebook poll which asked people if they thought President Obama should be killed. The Secret Service says it is taking the posting seriously, while Facebook has removed the third- party application that lets users create their own polls.
Facebook says the poll was quickly taken down after users brought it to their attention on Saturday.
Tomorrow in a Bahamian courtroom, a video could be played which purportedly shows two people trying to extort money from John Travolta after his son's death. They are accused of trying to swindle $25 million from the actor after Travolta signed a document saying he wanted to fly his son to Florida for treatment rather than take him to a local hospital to treat his seizure.
As for the document in question, a key piece of evidence. "People" magazine reports one of the defendants destroyed it before being arrested.
The U.S. Airways pilot who made this miraculous emergency landing in the Hudson River back in January is returning to work. Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger has a new management role at the airline in addition to his flying duties.
And Sarah Palin has finished her memoir early. The 400-page book goes on sale November 15 instead of next spring. So what title did the former Republican VP nominee pick for her book? Anderson, you asked the question just before the break a bit ago. Here are the options again: A, "Going Rogue"; B, "I'm a Maverick, Too"; or, C, my personal favorite, "Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow."
The answer is, to confirm -- I know you know it.
COOPER: The answer is A. That is the actual title of Sarah Palin's memoir, "Going Rogue."
HILL: "Going Rogue."
Jill, our producer, thought up "Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow," which of course is what she had said when she quit her job.
HILL: I love it, I have to say.
COOPER: Which I think would have been a really good one.
HILL: There were also some votes here in the studio for "You Betcha." But apparently, not enough (ph).
COOPER: That's true, yes.
All right. Time now for our "Beat 360" winners. It's our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the picture that we post on our blog every day.
Tonight's picture: Miss Porky Pig flies through the air during the pig racing and diving show in Melbourne, Australia. Bet you didn't even know about that.
HILL: It's crazy down under.
COOPER: Our staff winner tonight, Joey. His caption, "Swine flew."
(SOUND EFFECT: GROANS)
HILL: Frankly, there's no way to beat that.
COOPER: That's very good.
HILL: Fine work, Joey, as always.
COOPER: Our viewer winner is Heather from Omaha, Nebraska. Her caption: "In a related story, hell froze over."
HILL: That's a good one.
HILL: Also super clever.
COOPER: Heather, congratulations. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
Still ahead, though, cute as it was, that picture left a lot of people with questions, at least on our staff. It's one frame, after all, not much context. Just ahead, we're going to show you the bigger picture of the flying pig. It's our first ever "Beat 360" shot combo. Yes, we are making history tonight.
COOPER: Yes, it's a really big night here on 360, Erica. We're actually making history with our first ever "Beat 360"/"Shot" combo.
HILL: Wait! Does everybody at home have their DVRs set?
COOPER: Please do.
HILL: OK, go.
COOPER: Our "Beat 360" picture showed a pig mid air at the pig racing and diving show in Melbourne, Australia. Perhaps you remember that since it was just four minutes ago. But the still photograph left us wondering -- I'm sure did you at home -- how did the pig get airborne in the first place? Video has all the answers; hence, our "Shot."
Dramatic animal video.
COOPER: You can see the little guy walks to the edge of the diving board, pauses a moment, pretty much self-launches. Get to that point and boom!
HILL: That is one impressive porker.
COOPER: Not sure why the pig decided not to use the slide. That would have been the easy choice. That's the one I would have picked. But...
HILL: This pig is living on the edge. That's why.
COOPER: You can see the replay. He gets a lot of thrust, almost reaching the other side of the pool. Let's take a look at that. Oh, a little jump there.
Not all pigs flew so far, by the way. This little guy barely made it to the middle of the pool. That was the other pig. This is the other pig. Ooh.
COOPER: Could have gotten hurt there, but it didn't apparently. Everything is fine. And all the pigs were eaten by the large crowd.
HILL: No! Don't say that!
HILL: That's terrible.
HILL: They were serving veggie burgers only.
COOPER: I'm sure.
HILL: Not hot dogs at that event.
COOPER: People get annoyed, but people eat -- anyway.
HILL: I don't like to think about it.
COOPER: I'm sure those pigs weren't eaten.
HILL: What about "Babe"? Haven't you ever seen the movie "Babe"?
COOPER: "Charlotte's Web"?
HILL: You're right.
COOPER: Coming up at the top of the hour, serious stuff. A decade's old story roaring back to life. One of the most talented directors ever facing extradition for one of the more notorious crimes of the '70s, the drugging and the rape of a 13-year-old. Thirty-two years later, will Roman Polanski finally do the time? And should he?
"Crime & Punishment" and the heated debate ahead.