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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
The Senate Nuclear Option; Kendrick Johnson's Death, Accident or Murder?; Phones on Planes
Aired November 21, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, a Senate vote that you're definitely going to feel. It's not called the nuclear option for nothing.
Also on "360", is the answer in this video, the parents who lost their teenage son want to know, was a young man named Kendrick Johnson murdered? Was the investigation bungled? See what a leading expert says after viewing this footage.
Also tonight, she wore the suit to Dallas. She wore it covered in blood back home to show what was done to her husband. Jackie Kennedy's outfit, what it meant to a shattered country and why it may not be seen by anyone maybe 100 years. We'll explain why.
We begin with the biggest change in the way government does business -- your business, in decades. Because it involves Senate rules and Latin words and partisan bickering, the temptation is to tune out. The fact is, though, what Democrats in the United States Senate today matters if you care who runs government agencies who touch the life or courts or cabinet departments.
All involve people nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Confirmation takes a simple majority, 51 votes, however, any senator can demand a higher threshold, a super majority of 60 votes.
Today citing all the times the Republicans have used that 60-vote hurdle to block presidential nominees, Senate Democrats today voted to take it off the table for all but Supreme Court nominees.
That change is called the nuclear option. And it's what the name implies, a really big deal, blows up the rules.
The question is, why did the Democrats do it? President Obama made a surprise visit to the press briefing room and singled out the GOP.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I realize that neither party has been blameless for these tactics. They have developed over years and it seems as if they've continually escalated but today's pattern of obstruction, it just isn't normal. It's not what our founders envisioned.
A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything no matter what the merits just to refight the results of an election is not normal. And for the sake of future generations, we can't let it become normal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Republicans meantime are threatening retaliation. They are also claiming hypocrisy, pointing out that leading Democrats including a then Senator Obama opposed a nuclear option back when Republicans controlled the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: If the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), NEVADA: Senators have used the filibuster to stand up to popular presidents. To block legislation. Yes, even as I've stated, to stall executive nominees. The roots of the filibuster are found in the Constitution and in our own rules. It will change the Senate forever and that's not good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. Well, they were all pretty clear about it back then. Asked today by Dana Bash why the flip-flop Senator Reid said, quote, "I have the right to change how I feel about things."
Dana joins us now along with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
So no doubt plenty of hypocrisy to go around but in terms of blocking nominees, is it really as bad as the Democrats are claiming, Dana?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly is different. They are right about that and you just have to look at the facts that the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service put out, and that is that of all the filibusters in the history of the Senate, when you're talking about nominees, half of them have happened during the Obama administration.
Now if you dig deeper into that, people can differ about what you actually call a filibuster, but regardless, it certainly has been more than before and so that really is another reason, Anderson, that Harry Reid gave the answer to me that he did, which is he's changed because of the fact that the atmosphere has changed. COOPER: Jeff, we've been hearing threats to blow up the filibuster for a long time. Why now?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Because the situation got so extreme. You know --
COOPER: So you buy into it. You say it really is extreme?
TOOBIN: You know, absolutely. You know, Barack Obama has nominated five people to the D.C. Circuit, which is the second most important court in the country. It's really the farm team for the Supreme Court. It's where John Roberts were, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, all were there before they went on the Supreme Court.
Of those five nominations, four were filibustered. What this -- and, you know, that's just unprecedented. What today's vote will mean is that three of those four will now get on the D.C. Circuit, and that could have major implications for whether the laws that Obama managed to pass in his first term are upheld now that the -- now that the challenges are starting to work their way through the court.
COOPER: So, Dana, what about on the Republican side? I mean, they're saying they're outraged by what -- by what happened. Is this going to poison the well for future bipartisan agreements?
BASH: It could. There is no question about it. Even Republicans who tend to work across the aisle like John McCain was telling me and other reporters today that it might be harder for him to do things like get treaties passed which require big majority -- super majorities of 67 votes because of the fact that Republicans may support the concept of the issue at hand, but they might not want to give Democrats a win after they have had their feathers ruffled.
But the other thing to keep in mind is just sort of big picture and practical level, what you're going to see now is pretty much every one of the president's nominees except for the Supreme Court, which is a whole different issue, is going to get through the Senate unless there is some really controversial issue about qualifications and that is a big, big change.
COOPER: And Jeff, do you think this is maybe as important to Obama's legacy as Obamacare?
TOOBIN: Absolutely. Especially when you consider the current political context. The House is in Republican hands. No legislation, not even immigration, it appears, is going to get through. So there are not going to be any laws passed. So all Obama can do now for the rest of his term is to get his people on the courts, in administrative agencies, and this is how he can do it because now he only needs 50 votes.
It certainly raises the stakes for the 2014 midterm elections because a lot of those Democrats are up for reelection. If the Republicans retake the Senate in 2014, nothing is going to happen the last two years of Obama's presidency. COOPER: Jeff, appreciate it. Dana Bash, thanks very much.
I want to come back to Jeff shortly on the next story. It's one that CNN has been following it from the beginning. It's our exclusive tonight. New insight into the death of a 17-year-old Georgia high school student Kendrick Johnson whose body was discovered rolled up inside a gym mat.
Doubts about the investigation grew when his death was ruled accidental. His parents suspect murder. It grew into tales suggesting sloppy forensic work came to light, not to mention the treatment of his corpse which had been empty of internal organs.
The doubts deepen when his family and CNN obtained surveillance video from school cameras.
Our team spent the past few weeks painstakingly going through it. Tonight, the results of those efforts, what the video says and doesn't say about the death of this young man.
One note, now in all the clips you're going to see we deliberately blurred the faces of other students.
Here is Victor Blackwell.
JACQUELYN JOHNSON, KENDRICK JONSON'S MOTHER: We are Kendrick Johnson. That's my child and we're going to fight until it's all over, until we get the truth. That's all we've ever asked for, for truth about what happened to Kendrick Johnson.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jacquelyn Johnson and her husband Kenneth hope to find that truth in the hundreds of hours of surveillance video recorded the day sheriff's investigators say the 17-year-old died.
Look carefully, there he is in a white T-shirt and jeans carrying a yellow folder. The Johnsons now have this video as the result of a lawsuit. CNN filed its own motion to get access to all the video.
Investigators in Lowndes County, Georgia, told the Johnsons and their attorneys that Kendrick climbed into a gym mat reaching for this shoe and that his death was an accident.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, JOHNSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: They know their child did not climb into a wrestling mat, get stuck and die. Where is that video?
BLACKWELL: The Sheriff's Office says that moment was not recorded. The Johnsons also question moments in the surveillance video like this one. Kendrick is seen running in the gym and then another image appears showing other students. It jumps from one moment to another. The Johnson's attorneys say they can't tell from the surveillance video what happened to Kendrick and when the other students entered. CHEVENE KING, JOHNSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: We don't have any time code with which to synchronize the events that are shown in the video.
CRUMP: Either the camera did this on their own or a human being interacted to make this camera do these things.
BLACKWELL: An attorney for Lowndes County Schools tells CNN, "What we produced to the sheriff is a raw feed with no edits."
The attorney for Lowndes County Sheriff's Office tells CNN, "My client has confirmed that the video was not altered or edited by anyone within the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office."
CRUMP: We believe that somebody corrupted this video because it just does not make sense to us.
BLACKWELL: So who is right?
To find out, we took our copy of the video provided to CNN by the attorney for the Sheriff's Office to an expert.
(On camera): We brought the hard drive more 2300 miles here to Spokane, Washington, to deliver it to the leading expert in forensic video analysis, Grant Fredericks. He's a former police officer, a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice and a contract instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico.
We are here to get an answer. Has the surveillance footage been altered?
GRANT FREDERICKS, CERTIFIED FORENSIC VIDEO ANALYST: Those files are not original files. They're not something that investigators should rely on for the truth of the video.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): CNN hired Fredericks' company, Forensic Video Solutions, to analyze the surveillance video.
(On camera): The first thing that the attorneys and the family were concerned about, they didn't see a time stamp but you found one.
FREDERICKS: Well, the time stamp is in another stream of video, so you have to be able to access it using special codex, so you have to pretty know where to find it but it's there. Once the time stamp is located, you can then begin to make sense of it and begin to track people.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): By piecing together the time codes, Frederick's team found more than 18 minutes of surveillance showing Kendrick on January 10th, starting at 7:31 a.m. as he entered school, ending the last time he was seen alive at 1:09 p.m. in the gym.
FREDERICKS: The motion video that we're looking at here and the fact that we get time periods when there is no motion is very common. So I'm not really concerned about that part of it.
BLACKWELL: But what about the blurred image, the only angle that shows the corner where Kendrick Johnson was found dead?
(On camera): The Johnsons and their attorneys believe that this was intentionally blurred to hide something. What is your expertise tell you?
FREDERICKS: Yes, this is -- this has not been intentionally blurred. This is likely -- the camera itself has probably been hit and the lens has been pushed out of focus for some reason. If you look very closely, you can see the defined lines that are inherent in digital video. Those lines are still intact so they have not been blurred, therefore it was actually the lens that's blurred. The blurriness actually has the defined lines. So this is clearly just a blurred lens.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Clarity about the blur, the time stamp revealed and an explanation for the jumpy video which made the Johnsons and their attorney suspicious the video had been edited but Fredericks has a bigger concern.
FREDERICKS: This video is not the best evidence. It's been changed and altered so that we are missing information and what we have been provided is not the best quality.
BLACKWELL: Altered by copying but also raising questions about whether everything was copied.
COOPER: Well in part two of Victor Blackwell's exclusive report tonight, we're going to investigate a new mystery as the expert says what appears to be missing from the surveillance video and why it could be critical to the case. That's coming up next.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper. Tweet me using hash tag "ac 360."
Also later tonight, George Zimmerman's wife speaking out about his latest troubles and so is the man who got him acquitted in the Trayvon Martin case, his former attorney, Mark O'Mara, joins us.
COOPER: More now of our exclusive investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson, specifically what school surveillance video can tell us about how he died and what is missing from it.
Again, here is Victor Blackwell.
BLACKWELL: CNN has hired Grant Fredericks and his team at Forensic Video Solutions to analyze the hundreds of hours of surveillance from Lowndes High School, although he does not believe the jumpy video is the result of editing he says there are some other major problems.
FREDERICKS: Those files are not original files. They are not something that investigators should rely on for the truth of the video. They have been altered in a number of ways, primary in initial quality and likely in dropped information. Information lost, there are also a number of files that are corrupted because they have not been processed correctly and they are not playable. So I can't say why they were done that way, but they were not done correctly and they were not done thoroughly. So we're missing information.
BLACKWELL: Fredericks says that's likely due to how investigators acquire the surveillance video.
FREDERICKS: Right now what they've done is they have it left up to the school district to define what it is they want to provide to police and I think that probably is a mistake.
BLACKWELL: According to Lowndes County Sheriff's Office incident reports, a detective watch a portion of the surveillance video the day Kendrick Johnson was found, then he asked the school board's information technology worker for a copy of the surveillance video for the entire wing of the school with the old gym for the last 48 hours.
Five days later, that IT worker provided a hard drive, and according to the incident report, the detective verified it contained the requested surveillance video.
FREDERICKS: The investigator's responsibility is to acquire the entire digital video recording system and then have their staff define what they want to obtain. You don't want somebody who might be party to the responsibility to make the decision as to what they provide the police.
BLACKWELL: And after hours of analysis, Fredericks questions whether Lowndes County schools provided all of the surveillance video from the old gym to investigators.
FREDERICKS: There is a hole of time where none of the cameras provide any record that I've been provided.
BLACKWELL: Fredericks has all the camera angles and all the video released by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.
FREDERICKS: There are four cameras in the gym that records motion from when the lights turn on in the morning until when the lights are turned off at night, except for the area of interest.
BLACKWELL: The moments before Kendrick Johnson enters the gym. Look at what happens to the recordings from these four cameras in the gym. The time is recorded with the video. The first camera captures images from the start of the day until 12:04 p.m. then nothing. It picks up again at 1:09 p.m.
There is consistent surveillance from the second camera until 11:05 a.m., then it stops and picks up again more than two hours later at 1:15 p.m. The third camera also drops at 11:05 a.m. It picks up again at 1:16 p.m. And from the final camera, there is surveillance until 12:04 p.m., no recording for more than an hour, then it picks up again at 1:09 p.m.
FREDERICKS: I would absolutely expect there are going to be some record of that activity, and we don't have any here.
BLACKWELL: Here's why Fredericks would have expected the Motion Activated System to record during that time. During that hour and five minutes, several students are seen walking into and out of the old gym from the surveillance camera just outside the gym door. We count seven male students and three of them walk into the gym of three minutes prior to Kendrick Johnson walking in.
FREDERICKS: I can't tell you whether there was no information recorded in the video system or whether somebody made an error and didn't capture it or whether somebody just didn't provide it.
BLACKWELL: When surveillance in the gym resumes at 1:09 we see just these few frames of Kendrick Johnson running in the gym. Here's that moment from all of the cameras in the gym, although there is a record from only two, and the camera just outside the door. Notice the hall camera time stamp appears to be 10 minutes behind and there is no confirmation either time matches the exact time of day.
It is the last time his image is captured on video. For the next hour, there are multiple gaps in the video surveillance in the gym.
(On camera): And that is crucial. It's a really important.
FREDERICKS: Well, it really is the only option to answer the question really what happened.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): And there is no video showing the initial discovery of a body in the gym. The next time we see Kendrick Johnson is the following day when he's being wheeled out of the gym in a body bag.
(On camera): Do you believe it's a coincidence that that time period in the gym is missing?
FREDERICKS: Oh, boy. Investigators are always suspicious and should be suspicious and it's suspicious that that time period is not there. So, yes, I would be suspicious. And until I have the digital video system in my hand, until I can say or an investigator can say everything is intact, this is what's recorded, I would still be highly suspicious of this.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): So after fighting for months on a city street corner and in the county courthouse to get the surveillance video, Kendrick Johnson's parents still do not know who was in the gym before Kendrick ran in, nor who, if anyone, was there or what happened in those moments after.
COOPER: Victor Blackwell joins us. So what does the school district and the sheriff's department saying?
BLACKWELL: Well, Anderson, we sent a long list of questions to both an attorney for the sheriff's office and an attorney for the Lowndes County School District. Well, we have not received an answers to our questions from the attorney from the sheriff's office but we have received a response from the attorney for the school district. No comment, although that attorney has said that he will make the original hard drive available to the court and of course, the Johnsons want to make sure that all the information from the school's hard drive was then given to the sheriff's office which they hope eventually was all passed on to them and of course, we'll find that out -- Anderson.
COOPER: Wow. All right. Victor Blackwell, staying on the story. Thank you, Victor.
Digging deep now, I want to check in with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin.
So, Sunny, from Victor's reporting it appears like the school didn't hand over basically all the tapes. What do you make of that?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's really curious at best. And I'll tell you, usually when you're investigating a case you don't ask the school or whichever custodian of the records to give them to you, you go and you retrieve them.
COOPER: Right. Especially because the school could be facing some kind of liability perhaps.
HOSTIN: Exactly. So it just really doesn't make sense. It's not how investigations typically are conducted. And you don't only ask for a specific amount of tape, you ask for tape, you know, a month's worth or three weeks' worth, so it's just very curious that this is how it was conducted.
COOPER: Do you find it odd, Jeff, that it was left up to the school to do this?
TOOBIN: Well, yes, it's odd but it's also is the way life tends to work in these sorts of investigations. Stuff is lost. Stuff is never found. I mean, this is a -- you know, it was chaotic bad investigation from the start. They are now trying to reconstruct it a year later, which just makes the task even more difficult. So yes, it's too bad, but it is not really surprising that it's -- you can't reconstruct exactly what was on the surveillance cameras.
COOPER: The other thing I don't understand is that Victor reported a couple of weeks ago that there are basically two different reports by the coroner. There is -- and there is big discrepancies, there are basically two different versions of the coroner's report from the death investigation. There was -- and they're dated a week apart. There was the one that was given to Victor, given to CNN, and then there's the other one that he got ahold of.
I want to read an example. In the version that Victor got through the coroner's office in the comments section it says, quote, "I do not approve the manner this case was handled. This is from the coroner. "Not only was the scene compromised. The body was moved. The integrity was breached by opening a sealed body bag, information from my lawful investigations was withheld," which sounds very serious, and then the version that was dated a week earlier, that was obtained through the police department. That comment section was empty. Does that seem --
COOPER: How is that --
HOSTIN: I've never seen anything like that. I don't -- I'm sure you haven't, either.
TOOBIN: Never. Never.
HOSTIN: And it's interesting because when I first heard about this case, I was skeptical and I thought but for this to be true, what the parents are alleging, you would have to have a cover-up involving so many different entities. You would have to have a cover-up involving the school, involving law enforcement, involving the coroner's office, and they should all be pointing the finger at the other at this point and that wasn't happening.
Well, now we see that perhaps that has been happening. You have a coroner saying, you know, listen, my investigation was flawed from the beginning because law enforcement officers at the scene didn't help me. The body bag was compromised. I've never seen anything like that and you're starting to think it's a CYA kind of situation.
COOPER: Well, I mean, that could be the -- I mean, you could say it's some sort of a cover-up. You could say -- also say that maybe it's them just trying to cover their shoddy work.
TOOBIN: Who -- right. Who made the mistakes? But again, you know, the big picture here is, I think we all want to find out was there a murder?
HOSTIN: If so, who did it? These kind of mistakes make that all the more difficult.
COOPER: And as you say, given the amount of time that's passed, the shoddy collection at the scene initially and the shocking removal of the organs of this young man, I mean, his organs were replaced. Nobody is saying who took out his organs and replace them with newspaper.
COOPER: Which, again, just seems like something I've never heard of.
HOSTIN: And no one has ever heard of it. And again, if you look at each individual situation, you think, well, you know, mistakes are made. Sometimes videos are erased. Sometimes autopsies are done incorrectly but all of these things exist in this one particular case. That is curious at best, at best.
TOOBIN: And as you say, the passage of time makes it so much harder. The surveillance cameras, with the blood on the wall, the blood is gone, with the shoes that were apparently on the floor.
COOPER: Right --
TOOBIN: No one knows what happened to the shoes.
COOPER: I don't understand, though, why, if there is blood on a wall, even if it's near a crime scene, you would think testing that blood --
HOSTIN: Well, it's crucial.
COOPER: Would be -- would be a pretty obvious thing to do.
HOSTIN: It's investigation 101.
TOOBIN: It certainly is curious but I also would like to put in for a vote for at least the possibility of incompetence and mistake rather than some sort of (INAUDIBLE).
HOSTIN: Absolutely. Sure.
COOPER: Yes. We'll keep looking at it.
Jeff, thank very much. Sunny, as well.
Well, for more on the story, of course you can go to CNN.com.
Just ahead, you may soon be able to phone home in the middle of your flight. What the FCC is proposing and when it could take effect.
Also later, George Zimmerman's soon-to-be ex-wife, why she now calls him a ticking time bomb and needs help. I'll talk with George Zimmerman's former attorney Mark O'Mara. It's the first time he's speaking out about the latest episode.
COOPER: So tonight, air travel may be one step closer to getting a lot nosier. The FCC said today it's considering lifting its ban on cell phone calls in flight. Now the agency plans to take up the proposal next month. Its move just comes weeks after the FAA said it would lift restrictions on the use of electronic devices in the air.
A lot of people have been skeptical that cell phones pose a real safety in flight will feel vindicated, others will be horrified by the real possibility being surrounded by fellow passengers yammering for an entire cross-country flight.
Richard Quest joins me now with the latest. I think this is a terrible idea. I'm just saying this directly. Yes.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNN'S QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: This is not a technological issue on planes.
COOPER: It's not.
QUEST: It is a sociological issue because airlines like Emirates and Ryanair used to in Europe and other parts of the world, Qatar Airways, phones are already being used in flights above 10,000 feet. Let's be clear about that. What the FCC is doing is having a discussion about this. They are opening the Pandora's Box. It will be at least a year before anything comes about from this discussion process, but it is coming. I'll lay you money.
COOPER: Really? You think it's inevitable? All right, we'll shake on it. All right, the FAA has said OK, you can text, you can send e-mails and things like that and that's up to each airline when they actually start instituting that. That we know is happening. These discussions -- it's not a technology issue. How will passengers respond?
QUEST: It can be done and can be done safely because there is an antenna on the roof of the aircraft which prevents these things from sending too strong signals on the plane. So it can be done technically and it can be done safely. The real issue, @richardquest, are you in the favor, yes or no @richardquest?
COOPER: For instance, I would not want to hear you talking on a cell phone on a plane. I would think -- you are quite valuable and for instance, I enjoy your company.
QUEST: Be careful there, be careful, Cooper. Be nice.
COOPER: I'm not -- I'm just saying who wants to be sitting next to anybody talking on a plane?
QUEST: That's a good question and I wouldn't like to sit next to myself, either.
COOPER: I'm not saying I don't want to sit next to you. There was a quiz on Richard Quest --
COOPER: How did people vote?
QUEST: The 95 percent say no. Everyone wants connectivity, e- mails, the -- very few people want phone calls. Have you fed the dog? The pilot said we're over boy see, Idaho, I couldn't see it myself. Nobody wants that.
COOPER: I totally agree with that. I absolute agree with that.
QUEST: There might be a viewer who really wants to use their phone.
COOPER: Well, let us know @richardquest. You fly a lot, though. See, I find air travel now so difficult. I feel for flight attendants --
QUEST: The flight attendants that have to be referees.
COOPER: It will be exhausting for them. Their job is tough enough.
QUEST: Flying isn't pleasant and we have to get from point A to B and on row 96S, it isn't going to be pleasant.
QUEST: I'll take a picture of you.
COOPER: All right, Richard Quest, thank you very much. Let's get caught up in some of the other stories we are following. Gary Tuchman joins us with the 360 News and Business Bulletin -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Michael Skakel, a cousin of the Kennedys walked out of a Connecticut courthouse a freeman for the first time in more than a decade. The judge set the bail at $1.2 million and ordered him to stay in Connecticut and to wear a tracking device. Skakel's conviction in the 1975 murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley, his former neighbor, was vacated last month. He's awaiting a new trial.
A Massachusetts grand jury has indicted 14-year-old Philip Chism for murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery. Prosecutors said the indictments detail horrific and unspeakable acts. Chism allegedly assaulted and killed his algebra teacher, Colleen Ritzer, last month in the girl's bathroom of Danvers High School.
The traveling companion of an 85-year-old American detained in North Korea says he believed that there has been a terrible misunderstanding. Hopes North Korea releases Merrill Newman soon. The two men were on an organized tour and had boarded their flight home when Newman was detained last month.
A mammoth cargo plane that landed at the wrong Kansas airport yesterday took off today without incident on a runway half a mile shorter than it usually uses. An investigation has begun to determine what caused the pilot to land at a small airport in Wichita 12 miles from its intended destination, McConnell Air Force Base.
Speaking of planes, Anderson, I agree with you and Richard, no cell phones, we don't want them.
COOPER: The plane landing at the wrong airport is kind of crazy.
QUEST: Yes, but it's not unique.
QUEST: Absolutely. What happen is pilots coming into land where airports might be close to each other and on the same configuration and runway settings. Get confused or don't concentrate at the key moment. They see a runway, it's got the right number. They start the approach in to land.
QUEST: I can tell you it's happened in the 1960s, the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, at least 14 incidents in the last 10 years.
COOPER: You have information.
QUEST: Turkish Airways, Pan Am.
COOPER: Have you seen those Kobe Bryant ads for Turkish Airways?
QUEST: If you think you had a bad day, can you imagine ringing up the boss and saying look, well, I've got something to tell you.
COOPER: All right, Richard, thank you very much.
Just ahead, George Zimmerman's estranged wife speaking out about the man she no longer recognizes, his former attorney, Mark O'Mara is also talking for the first time since his latest legal troubles here on 360.
Plus, the suit forever linked to the terrible day in Dallas in an incident became an icon and locked away, the extraordinary journey of the outfit that no one will ever forget.
COOPER: What's obviously been a difficult week for George Zimmerman, first arrested on domestic violence charges after his girlfriend called 911. He spent Monday night in jail and while sitting in a cell, he was served with divorce papers. Shellie Zimmerman gave her take. Here is what she told Katie Couric on her talk show, "Katie."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELLIE ZIMMERMAN: I don't know who George is anymore. I would like to think I married a person who was a good person and going through the past year and a half, I don't know how that changes a person or how a person's spirit breaks, but it certainly seems like that's what happened to him. I found out that he was lying about a lot of things, and he became like a pacing lion, very unpredictable. Every single day it was like adrenaline going through my body constantly not knowing what it was going to be like from day to day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Shellie Zimmerman of course stood by her husband during his murder trial. Couric asked her if she had any regrets about that. She said part of her does. She said she doesn't think George Zimmerman is racist. For the first time since Zimmerman's latest legal troubles, his former attorney is speaking out. Mark O'Mara helped get Zimmerman acquitted on murder back in July. He joins me now. Good to have you here. Obviously, you did not know George Zimmerman before Trayvon Martin was killed. She said she saw a change in him during the course of the trial. Did you see that?
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FORMER ATTORNEY: Well, I think she's right. I think that the George Zimmerman that existed before February 2012 was a kind and gentle person and one that she described and his friends described. When the FBI did their investigation to see if he was racist, they talked to 40 people and not one said he was or violent or dangerous or anything, but peaceful and mellow so that's who he seemed to have been before the event that happened on the 12th -- I'm sorry, February of 2012.
So, now if you look forward, to see what happened to George Zimmerman and I know every time I say that, people say well what about Trayvon Martin and we understand he passed away that night and with all respect for what he went through, we know that George Zimmerman went through a trauma, both that night, the trauma of getting beat up, which happens in all that traumatic but police officers have to shoot somebody and justified self-defense, they go through an enormous amount of counseling.
They are treated very carefully. So that wasn't done with George, rather, he was turned into one of, as was labeled, one of the most hated men in America for having to defend his life. So I'm not sure what happens to a 28-year-old and put him in hiding for 16 or 18 months, but maybe this is fallout.
COOPER: Subsequently to his acquittal, we saw him pulled over by police a number of times for speeding. There was the incident with Shellie Zimmerman and now the incident with his girlfriend. What do yaw make of the incident with his girlfriend?
O'MARA: The first time everyone jumped to conclusions who he is and what he did. I don't know the true story that night. I'm not involved in that case and will not be. I'm sure there are two sides to the story. I know already things have come out about people selling the story even before that event and trying to get a TV program with it.
So there seems to be a lot more behind the scenes, but I know the George Zimmerman that existed back before 2012 have to have been changed by what he went through and if this is some fallout and I'm not excusing any allege behavior, but if this is fallout, people say George needs to be understood better and counseled --
COOPER: Are you skeptical of someone like Shellie Zimmerman speaking out now? Obviously she's in divorce proceedings against her husband. There has to be a reason she's speaking out now. Let me just play something else that she said on Katie.
KATIE COURIC: I think when people hear of all these incidents following the trial, it does cast further doubt on his actions that night.
COURIC: Do you feel that way?
COURIC: Does it cast further doubt for you?
ZIMMERMAN: Further doubt, yes, absolutely.
COURIC: But yet.
ZIMMERMAN: It casts a lot of doubt like you said, because like I have said. I don't know the person that I've been married to, so of course, I'm going to have questions and doubts, but I wasn't there that night.
COOPER: To that you say?
O'MARA: Well, quite honestly --
COOPER: Do you have any doubts?
O'MARA: I don't have any doubts about what he did that night was absolutely justified self-defense. It was never a second-degree murder.
COOPER: Are you worried about him now? You're not representing him, but are you worried about him?
O'MARA: I've come to have a friendship with him in the last year and a half. No question. He went through a traumatic event that lasted 18 months. Those people want to continue to hate George Zimmerman. We'll see what he's done since the acquittal as justification but there is no question that what happen that night in February 2012 happened because it had to happen and it was justified.
COOPER: Financially speaking, he seems to be in rough shape. According to court documents he only has $150 on hand and $2 million in debt to you.
O'MARA: Don West and I spend 3,000 hours each --
COOPER: Do you think you'll be repaid?
O'MARA: He has possibilities. I think those possibilities are shrinking with actions like this. I didn't take it on expecting to get full payment. He has an agreement he will if the money is available.
COOPER: So the legal defense fund didn't pan out.
O'MARA: It took care of a lot of expenses. It allowed him to bring on experts and survive until trial and pay off some of what was done. No, there is a lot of money due to a lot of people that put in work. Don and I are two of the people, but we know that money is never to come to us or far in the future if something good does come to George.
COOPER: Good to have you here.
Most people remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot and no one can forget what the first lady was wearing, the story behind Jackie Kennedy's pink suit and why no one will see it for 100 years. We'll explain why.
COOPER: Tonight at 9:00 Eastern a special documentary on the Kennedy assassination. There are so many iconic images. For one Jackie Kennedy in that pink suit may be one day on display for the public to see but anytime soon. Randi Kaye has the story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRSPONDENT (voice-over): In the words of President John F. Kennedy, she looked smashing in it, which is why the president asked Jackie Kennedy to wear the watermelon pink suit to Dallas on November 22, 1963. It looked like Cocoa Channel, but her suit was a knock off made in America. The first lady had worn it at least six times before that fateful day.
Here she is in 1962 awaiting the arrival of the prime minister of Algeria. That's John Jr. in her arms. In Dallas on November 22 at this Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the president even joked about his wife's fashion sense.
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear.
KAYE: Later that day, President Kennedy would be dead. And the first lady's stunning pink suit stained forever with her husband's blood would begin a long and mysterious journey. When aides suggested she change her clothes after the shooting, she refused. Philip Shenon wrote a book about the Kennedy assassination.
PHILIP SHENON, AUTHOR, "A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT": Her remark and I think she made it more than once is no, I'm going to leave these clothes on. I want them to see what they have done.
KAYE: Hours later, Mrs. Kennedy continued to wear the suit during the emergency swearing in of Lyndon Johnson as president.
SHENON: That whole scene is obviously just surreal. She arrives in the cabin in Air Force One in these clothes, covered with the president's blood, and expected to stand there and witness the swearing in of her husband's successor.
KAYE: Mrs. Kennedy was still in her suit when she arrived later that evening in Andrew's Air Force Base in Maryland where she received her husband's body, the president's brother at her side in the middle of the night. Once at the White House her personal made put the suit in a bag so Mrs. Kennedy wouldn't have to look at it.
Then, sometime in 1964, the bloodstained suit arrived here, at the National Archives Building in the nation's capitol. It comes in a box along with a handwritten note from Jackie Kennedy's mother on her personal stationary. It read simply Jackie's suit and bag worn November 22nd, 1963.
All this time Mrs. Kennedy's pink suit is forbidden from public view and will likely stay that way for a long time. In 2003 after her mother's death, Caroline Kennedy gave the suit to the people of the United States with the understanding that it wouldn't be put on public display for 100 years, until 2103 and then the family must be consulted before an attempt is made to display the suit, all in effort to avoid sensationalizing that horrible act.
And it's believed only a hand full of people, maybe only as few as two have seen the suit since. Along with the suit and hidden from view, the blue blouse Mrs. Kennedy wore in Dallas, her stockings, blue shoes and blue purse. What they don't have is the first lady's pink pill box hat.
SHENON: The hat is a mystery. The hat goes to the Secret Service initially and the secret service turns it over to Mrs. Kennedy's private secretary and then it disappears. It has not been seen since.
KAYE: The archive is making every effort to preserve the suit. It's stored in a windowless vault, in an acid free container where the air is changed every 20 minutes or so and kept at a temperature of 65 to 68 degrees, which is best for the fabric. The suit's story, a perfect ending for a first lady who craved privacy after so much pain.
COOPER: Fascinating to hear. After 360, a CNN special, "The Assassination Of President Kennedy."
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight we have a story from Portland where the manager of an apartment complex has a simple problem even there is a fence around the property of the building he manages. Martin Connelly says something keeping getting in there and stealing the weeds or greens or someone I should say because Martin told local news station KATU in this part of Southeast Portland, it's not animals that are the problem.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In some neighborhoods, there are coyotes and skunks and dealing with sue chefs and the things that come with that.
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COOPER: That's right, sue chefs. He says they are hopping the fence, stealing herbs and using them in dishes at trendy restaurants nearby. His neighbor saw one guy stuck on the fence with leaves and you can tell the chefs had been there because he seen beard nets left behind and evidence.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found this recipe lying back here the other day, pdx pork belly, sometimes smells like brisket.
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COOPER: Smells like brisket. He says basically no herb is safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got grape leaves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is all just wild?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, some duck, I believe. Most of the cat mint I think is gone. I think they got most of that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they are just throwing stuff in bags?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Tupperware, bags, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right, this whole thing seems like a joke and appears to have started out as a tongue and cheek poke, but the guy says the problem itself is real even though it sounds like a sketch of a show that says Portland is into locally sourced food.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The chicken is a heritage breed, wood land raised chicken that's been fed a diet of sheep's milk, soy and hazel nuts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is local?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you one more time, it's local?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hazel nut is local.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How big is the area where the chickens are able to roam free?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry to interrupt, I have the exactly the same question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four acres. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name was Colin. Here are his papers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks like a happy little guy running around.
COOPER: Garnished with locally stolen herbs. If part of it is for entertainment value, this is the best story of its kind since the days of Beatrix Potter.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like Mr. McGregor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Whether it's Peter Rabbit stealing vegetables or beard net droppings, it's a fable for the ages and for "The Ridiculist." That does it for us. Thanks again for watching. The CNN special, "The Assassination of President Kennedy" starts now.