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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
South Carolina Loses Nine Firefighters in Line of Duty; Ohio Authorities Continue Search For Missing Mother
Aired June 19, 2007 - 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: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, major new developments in the search for Jessie Davis, the missing Ohio woman nine months pregnant. A security camera captures Jessie on the last day she was seen alive. We will show you the images.
Also, a 1-day-old baby is found just miles away, according to the Associated Press, the umbilical cord still attached. We're live with the latest.
Also tonight: a deadly inferno, the South Carolina disaster that killed nine firefighters and the tornado of flames that may have sealed their fate.
Plus: outrage over O.J. Simpson. The manuscript for his what-if book have been leaked. We have the new details and the 360 exclusive interview with Fred Goldman, who has the rights to the book. And it might surprise you to hear what he wants to do with it.
We begin with the hunt for Jessie Davis. Days after she vanished and days before her due date, a newborn baby was discovered in a wicker basket about 45 miles away, again, the AP saying, umbilical cord was still attached.
While police await DNA tests, they are releasing a new image of Jessie in the final hours before she disappeared.
CNN's Jim Acosta has the latest.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The baby girl was found on the porch of a rural home last night. A couple just back from a dinner out discovered the newborn dressed in a sleeper, along with a blanket and can of baby formula. But there was no note. She was rushed to the Wooster Community Hospital, where she's now in good condition.
DAVID RHOAD, WOOSTER COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: A baby was brought here, was handled according to our policies and procedures, as normal.
CHIEF DEPUTY RICK PEREZ, STARK COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: She was 1 day old.
ACOSTA: Because Jessie Davis was carrying a baby girl herself, just two weeks from giving birth, investigators took DNA swabs from the infant to test for a match.
Detectives say they still have no idea what happened to Jessie. Today, they released this image from a store security camera. It shows Jessie and her son, Blake, last Wednesday, the last day anyone saw her. And they showed a photo of the comforter that's now missing from Jessie's home, the comforter her family believes was used to abduct the 26-year-old.
Authorities are still asking lots of questions.
PEREZ: Currently, we're looking into all of the associates of Jessie Davis, and we're keeping everything open at this time.
ACOSTA: But they're not calling anyone a suspect, including Bobby Cutts Jr. He is the father of Jessie Davis' children. He was seen at this canton bar on the night she disappeared.
LEE GIAVASIS, CHAMP'S BAR EMPLOYEE: He came in and he sat over there by the pool table.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eating dinner.
GIAVASIS: Had a couple of drinks, had some dinner. And...
ACOSTA (on camera): Nothing unusual?
GIAVASIS: Nothing unusual at all.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Champ's employee Lee Giavasis says he also happens to be the brother of Nikki Giavasis, another woman who had a child with Cutts, before he fathered children with his current wife and before his relationship with Jessie Davis.
According to police records, Nikki Giavasis brought charges against Cutts, saying he broke into her home in 1998. Those same records also show that Cutts has received a number of commendations in his job with the Canton Police Department.
COOPER: Jim, what else do we know about this baby that was found?
ACOSTA: Not much else, Anderson.
It's sort of a mystery tonight. We do know that she is in the custody -- while she's in the hospital, she is in the custody of the local children's services officials.
And, as for the family of Jessie Davis, whether or not they're out there, trying to take a look at this baby, we haven't been able to confirm that, because we haven't been able to talk to the family. They have canceled all of their interviews that they had scheduled for the evening, and haven't been seen from about 6:00 this evening, when the police last had that press conference.
Jim, appreciate it.
Also joining us tonight, Todd Porter, a reporter for the "Canton Repository" newspaper. He interviewed Bobby Cutts Jr. for an hour today.
Thanks very much for joining us.
What are the headlines of what he said?
We're having some problems with the audio on that.
Jim, in terms of the investigation, where do things stand? We understand DNA has been taken from this baby that was found?
ACOSTA: That's right. They took DNA swabs, I mean, obviously, knowing that Jessie Davis was carrying a baby that was two weeks from being delivered, a baby girl, no less. They knew the sex of this baby, had already named her Chloe.
And, so, when this baby girl was found suddenly on this front porch of this home about 45 minutes from here, you know, investigators, they didn't have to put two and two together. They knew exactly what to do. And, at this point, they are awaiting the results of those tests.
COOPER: All right. Appreciate it.
Todd Porter, again, a reporter for the "Canton Repository" newspaper joins us now.
Todd, you interviewed Bobby Cutts Jr. today for about an hour. What were the headlines of what he said?
TODD PORTER, "CANTON REPOSITORY": Come again, Anderson?
COOPER: What were the headlines of what he said? What were the most salient points?
PORTER: He -- well, I asked him if he had anything at all to do with the disappearance of Jessie Davis, and he said, absolutely not.
He's pretty distraught right now. I think the whole thing has sort of turned his life a little bit upside down. He's very concerned about the well-being of his 2-year-old son and how he's going to handle this. He said that he's doing about as well as can be expected.
You can hear the complete audio of these tapes on CantonRep.com in a couple of hours.
But the primary thing was, he said he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Jessie Davis.
COOPER: Has he seen his son since all this happened? PORTER: He has spoken within him and he saw him over the weekend. He's said that his son misses his mother very much. And he's dealing with things about as well as you can be expected for a 2- year-old.
COOPER: What was their relationship, exactly? Because I know he has a wife, who he allegedly is estranged from. Where does -- what is the timeline on all this, in terms of his relationship with Jessie, if there was one?
PORTER: Yes, I'm being told that he has been separated from his wife for about eight months, with -- I mean, you don't have to be a genius to do the math on that, if Jessie was approximately nine months, a little bit shy of nine months pregnant.
His relationship, it seemed like it was an ongoing relationship with Jessie Davis. He told me today that his wife knew all along, knew full well of the relationship. And he said that, you know, it was not the first time that they had been separated either. He said, once -- when we were apart, he said that some things happened and that everyone has problems in their marriages.
COOPER: Do we know how long he's been married to his wife?
PORTER: I'm not sure. I'm not sure how long he's been married to his current wife. I don't believe it's been any more than three years, though.
COOPER: Did you ask him anything about the significance, or what he might consider the lack of significance, of that -- I guess it was a retraining order taken out against him by a former girlfriend?
PORTER: Yes, we -- we talked briefly about that, because, right now it, seems like a lot of he said/she said with his former girlfriend.
He did say that, at one point in time, in a house in which he lived, she had locked him out of it. He kicked the door in to get inside, and that was pled down to some -- a minor -- a minor violation of trespassing, which -- and he also pointed out that, two years later, he was hired on the Canton police force, and there's a thorough background check into one's criminal history.
COOPER: We saw pictures yesterday of a search going on either at his premises or vehicle. Do you know the situation about that? Did he consent to a search? Do you know where the search took place?
PORTER: Yes, he did consent to a search.
The search took place at his home. I believe that the search took place at his home on Friday by the police. And, then, more recently, in the last few days, his vehicles, including his wife's vehicle, which was in his garage, was searched by the police and by the FBI.
COOPER: But he says he consented to that search? PORTER: Yes, he did consent to that search.
COOPER: What -- does he -- did he say anything about future custody of -- of the baby boy, or was there any talk of the future? Or is he -- is he not talking about that?
PORTER: No, I don't think he's in any state of mind right now to even cross that bridge right now, because I think -- we're talking about a guy who is not living day to day. He's living minute to minute right now.
He -- he doesn't really know which end is up and which end is down. He really was a sullen person when I spoke to him today. And I'm not sure how any of us would react in the situation.
COOPER: Todd Porter, appreciate you joining us. Thanks very much.
The discovery of this 1-day-old girl only adds to the mystery, as does the bleach found on the carpet in the master bedroom.
Lawrence Kobilinsky is a professor of forensic science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice here in New York. He joins me now.
What do you think went on?
DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, PROFESSOR OF FORENSIC SCIENCE, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, Anderson, I think the bleach is a very critical piece of evidence. People don't keep bleach in their bedrooms.
I think this could indicate some level of premeditation. It's widely known that bleach is used to destroy blood evidence.
COOPER: Right. I mean, you see that on TV crime scenes.
KOBILINSKY: You see it all the time. Everybody knows it.
COOPER: Does it work?
KOBILINSKY: It does work. It can really eradicate evidence, especially blood.
I find it interesting, because, you know, we have to ask about motive here. What's the motive behind this? I know a lot of people are pointing to Cutts. But, you know, what's the motive? It is quite possible that this is one of those abductions of a fetus by cesarean.
It could be that somebody came in there to get that baby, knowing full well they would have to open the abdomen, meaning there's blood, and meaning they need bleach to cover up.
So, you know, I think that we shouldn't point our direction, our thoughts in Cutts' direction. We can keep an open mind. This could very well be a woman who committed this crime and removed her from the scene.
COOPER: We should point out police are saying point blank Bobby Cutts Jr. is not a suspect. They don't have any suspects at this point.
COOPER: But, in order to do that, I guess the intimation being this -- this 1-day-old baby that was found, according to the AP, with the umbilical cord still attached, some 45 miles or so away may be related.
KOBILINSKY: Well, absolutely. And to find out if the baby is related, you need to do a DNA test.
COOPER: How long will that take, because that -- that's under way, apparently?
KOBILINSKY: Well, actually, very quickly, I think maybe a day- and-a half, if they really push this. And they will. You need to have an exemplar. I mean, you don't have the mother. So, you need to go to the home, get a toothbrush or a hairbrush, maybe her clothing, and extract her DNA.
And then you could make the comparison. You do not need a father to do this kind of testing.
COOPER: Taking a baby from -- would the mother have to be alive in order to take the baby?
KOBILINSKY: Yes. I think, if the mother is deceased, for whatever reason, you know, the baby is not going to live very long. So, if, in fact, the baby is 12 hours, maybe a day old, we have to assume that the mother was alive at that point, and hopefully still is.
COOPER: Which would mean some sort of abduction initially.
COOPER: Which then doesn't necessarily explain why there would be bleach, unless there was some blood.
KOBILINSKY: That's -- I think -- again, I think somebody had a pre -- this was premeditated. And I that, you know, somebody brought bleach to that bedroom, with the understanding that, you know, clean up the evidence. Everything seems to be pointing in that direction.
COOPER: How unusual is it to see somebody clean up a crime scene? I mean, I imagine it's more and more happening -- it's happening more and more because of all these police shows.
KOBILINSKY: Absolutely. Indeed, you know, watching "CSI," you get some ideas on how to get away with crime. But, remember, there are two crime scenes here. It's not only the home. It's also this wicker basket that the baby was found in. There may be evidence on that basket or within that basket or on the clothing of the child, if, in fact, this is the right child. There may be important evidence that will give us a lead as to who did this.
COOPER: Lawrence Kobilinsky, we appreciate your time. We will speak to you again in our next hour of 360.
Up until last Wednesday, Jessie Davis lived a very ordinary life, a single mom expecting a girl in just a few weeks. She had already packed her bag for the hospital.
A lot has been said about the search for Jessie. Tonight, we want to tell you more about her.
CNN's David Mattingly reports.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the pictures, you can see that she is attractive, guess that she is popular, and suspect that the smiles come easily to her. But what these frozen moments don't tell you is what Jessie Davis means to the people who know her best.
WHITNEY DAVIS, SISTER OF JESSIE DAVIS: She was just kind of the one that you looked up to. Just -- you know, she had done everything before everybody else, so we kind of would go to her to get advice for things. She was very nurturing. She would do anything for any of us.
MATTINGLY: Growing up the oldest of seven children, four girls and three boys, Davis ruled the house as the loving big sister. The family moved twice, before settling in Ohio years ago.
And younger sister Whitney says, it was Jessie who helped keep the siblings close and laughing.
DAVIS: She was so funny. You know, and she didn't have to try. She just could always make everybody laugh. You know, whether it was a joke or making funny faces at people, just, you -- she was always able to make everybody laugh.
MATTINGLY: Until the day she apparently vanished, Jessie Davis would talk with her siblings every day, most of them, anyway, even Whitney, and a brother, who both moved out of state.
DAVIS: She would call and talk to my brothers, my sisters, my mom, everybody, several times a day -- very close family.
MATTINGLY: According to her sister, Jessie's greatest ambition in life was to have a family of her own, a dream she realized, in part, with the birth of her son, Blake.
But the father was a married police officer, and is said to also be the father of Jessie's child, named Chloe, just weeks from birth. The Davis family will not discuss the relationship. But, just as she would leap to the defense of her siblings, Jessie's family bristles at people who might question her decision to have a child with a married man.
DAVIS: We know who Jessie is. We know exactly who Jessie is. You know, nobody is perfect. People make mistakes. But we know who she is and the kind of person she is.
MATTINGLY: Whitney Davis says there was never any talk from Jessie of an engagement. She worked as an underwriter for an insurance company to pay the bills. And she says her sister was happy with the tough choice of being a single mom, and independent enough, apparently, to pull it off.
DAVIS: She's amazing. She spends all of her time with Blake. She would do anything for him. She didn't like spending any time away from him.
COOPER: David joins us live now from the scene.
David, why is Jessie Davis' family so reluctant to discuss the relationship with officer Cutts?
MATTINGLY: Well, they don't want to distract from this investigation. And it really bothers them that any kind of details about her personal life might be keeping the public from thinking about possible tips, possible clues that might lead -- actually lead someone to her.
So, they are being very careful about what they say. They want the focus to be entirely on finding Jessie.
COOPER: David Mattingly reporting -- thanks, David.
Straight ahead tonight, see which big-name political -- or potential candidate could be getting closer to running for president. And we're not talking about Fred Thompson.
Also tonight: the notorious book you thought was dead and buried now surfacing.
COOPER (voice-over): O.J. Simpson's so-called confession leaking on to the Internet. We will talk with the victim's dad, Fred Goldman, about the book, Simpson's book, that he's now fighting -- get this -- to publish.
Also: a wall of flames, a fateful decision.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all were just mad dashing in there. I was stunned.
COOPER: Stunned at the sacrifice, rushing in to save lives, even though it meant losing nine of their own. How did it happen? And why was the fire so deadly? Answers tonight on 360.
COOPER: Get ready to see a lot more of Bill Clinton on the campaign trail. He will be stumping for his wife over the July 4th holiday in Iowa. He's co-starring with her and Johnny Sack in perhaps the unlikeliest take on "The Sopranos" you will ever see.
"Raw Politics" and red sauce dished up tonight by CNN's Joey "Long" Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the presidential candidates are continuing to rock out on the campaign trail, but one candidate is marching to a beat all her own.
(voice-over): From one infamous couple to another, Bill and Hillary Clinton playing out the final scene of "The Sopranos" in her latest campaign video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, what's the winning song?
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You will see.
B. CLINTON: My money's on Smash Mouth. Everybody in America wants to know how it's going to end.
H. CLINTON: Ready?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: No one got whacked in this episode, but the Clintons did reveal the winner of Hillary's latest campaign song on her Web site.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CELINE DION, SINGER (singing): You and I...
(END AUDIO CLIP)
JOHNS: A tough-talking Fred Thompson laying down the international law and order in London today -- the former senator hoping to polish up his foreign policy credentials, telling a think tank that -- quote -- "You can't take the military option off the table in dealing with Iran." And the non-campaign trail continues.
Another non-candidate, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is acting more and more like a presidential contender every day. He was in New Hampshire over the weekend, talking to Google employees Monday, and now he's teaming up with his pal Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, slamming Washington for being too partisan.
He's even announced a change in party affiliation. Which one? Neither. He's calling himself unaffiliated. Something's awfully suspicious here, Mr. Mayor.
And, speaking of awful, Senator Harry Reid issued a warning on the Senate floor Monday: The July 4th recess might be in jeopardy if debate over immigration and energy doesn't come to an end.
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We have got work to do.
JOHNS (on camera): Sounds like fireworks. Does anybody really think the Senate is going to give up all of those parades and patriotic photo-ops without a fight? As the Sopranos might say, forget about it.
And that's "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.
COOPER: Joe, thanks.
An update now on Drew Griffin's report last night on earmarks, lawmakers spending your money mostly on their districts, but not owning up to it until after the fact.
Today, Representative Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland's 6th District posted his earmarks on his Web site. They totaled about a little more than $300 million in defense- and non-defense-related budget requests for budget year 2008.
Congressman Bartlett brings the number of House members who have disclosed their earmarks to 31. That's out of 435 members that we surveyed. We will continue to keep them honest.
Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Baghdad, a massive truck bomb rocking a busy commercial district and killing at least 78 people. More than 220 were wounded. That attack damaged a historic Shiite mosque. Iraq's prime minister is blaming the violence on Sunni extremists and supporters of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
After meeting today at the White House, President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said they share a common vision for a Palestinian state living peacefully beside Israel. Both men also voiced their support for President Mahmoud Abbas, calling him the only legitimate leader of the Palestinian people.
And you may remember the Florida judge who raised eyebrows during the Anna Nicole Smith case. Really, who could forget the man? Some called Larry Seidlin the crying judge. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin called him Judge Judy's wacky little brother. Well, turns out he's retiring next month.
In a letter to the governor...
HILL: Yes, he said, Anderson, he just wants to devote more time to his family.
HILL: Of course, there is all that speculation about maybe that time for family could also include -- mmm, I don't know -- a new TV family?
COOPER: His larger extended family.
HILL: If you will.
HILL: So, stay tuned for that one.
COOPER: His syndicated family.
HILL: Syndicated Seidlin, quite a ring to it.
HILL: Yes. Yes. Exactly.
HILL: Did you know he used to be a cab driver?
COOPER: Yes, I did know that. I learned that...
HILL: And he was a tennis instructor.
COOPER: I did not he was a tennis instructor.
HILL: Oh, yes, very important to wear your tennis whites that match. He said it was very important how you look on the court, too, apparently.
COOPER: Well, that's one of those many, you know, the...
HILL: Pearls of wisdom.
COOPER: ... pithy things from the bench that we heard.
HILL: Yes, indeed. Time now for "What Were They Thinking?" You may have thought Judge Larry Seidlin was appropriate for that segment, but, no, no, we have more for you tonight, coming to us Los Angeles, City attorney there Rocky Delgadillo recently talking out.
Well, the prosecutor got hotel heiress Paris Hilton, of course -- or she who must not be named -- jailed for violating probation -- of course, she was driving on a suspended license -- later condemned her early release, was pushing for more jail time.
Today, though, he was actually apologizing about a similar incident involving his own wife, apologizing that he didn't talk about it earlier. That's because, in 2004, his wife crashed his city-issued SUV while driving on a suspended license.
Despite how it sounds, the prosecutor says his wife's violation really not the same as Paris Hilton's, because neither he nor his wife knew her license was suspended at the time. And, unlike Paris Hilton, his wife was not driving drunk.
But he realizes he probably should have spoken up earlier, and, by the way no, longer going to let his wife drive the SUV.
COOPER: I'm sure that is going to go down very well in the Delgadillo household.
HILL: Oh, yes.
COOPER: Erica, thanks.
HILL: See you later.
COOPER: Now here's Kiran Chetry with what is coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": She was doing her job, but doing it means she had to leave her home and her country behind. We met a woman, Anderson, who helped U.S. troops in Iraq. She was an Arabic interpreter, putting her life and family's life in danger.
The Americans have helped her every step of the way, as well, including the man who opened his home to her and to some of the thousands of Iraqis who have fled their country.
We are going to hear her incredible story tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," 6:00 Eastern -- Anderson, back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Up next on 360: Witnesses described it as a tornado of flames, an inferno inside a South Carolina sofa store. Nine firefighters did not make it out alive. What went wrong? The investigation is next.
COOPER: Authorities in Charleston, South Carolina, have tentatively ruled out arson as the cause of last night's massive fire. It destroyed a furniture warehouse store and took the lives of nine firefighters who did what firefighters did every day, and, tragically, sometimes die for.
CNN's Rusty Dornin now on how it happened, moment by moment.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seven p.m. Monday: Sofa Super Store was still open, but there were no customers left, just two employees working in the back. Police say the first 911 calls came from the outside. People saw smoke. Witnesses say, when firefighters pulled up, they didn't hesitate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all were just mad dashing in there. I was stunned.
DORNIN: The fire blew up. After all, furniture burns quickly. The building had no sprinkler system. One employee escaped. The other was trapped.
JOE RILEY, MAYOR OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: I think one got out quickly. And then the other, our firefighters actually broke a hole in the back, so they could get out.
DORNIN: While that was happening in the back of the building, an eyewitness says, other firefighters were busy in front.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of them started breaking the windows all the way down the front. Well, as soon as they did that and let all the air in, the flames got bigger. Of course, the guys were still in there. So, they blew the horn to get people out. And a bunch of fireman jumped out of the windows and were rolling on the ground, throwing up.
DORNIN: Firefighters didn't break all the windows. The fire did that.
CHIEF RUSSELL THOMAS, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, FIRE DEPARTMENT: Some of the windows blew out. I'm unsure whether we had a flashover. I'm unsure of that.
DORNIN: Before long, it was clear some of the men were missing. That word, says firefighter Peter Rogers, spread quickly.
PETER ROGERS, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, FIRE DEPARTMENT: Within -- within 20 minutes, with that size incident, it finally got around to the different companies that -- that, hey, we're -- we're missing -- we're missing Tommy. We're missing Louis. We're missing Captain Benke. It came around faster than you would think.
DORNIN: Joe Riley, mayor of Charleston since 1975, was there. He was stunned.
RILEY: Going from maybe one person missing, which was horrible to think of, to then finding that, well, it might be five, and then six, and then seven, and then watch my firefighters and my chief with the enormous grief that they feel.
DORNIN: The heat was so intense, it melted the metal supports. The roof fell, but investigators don't believe that killed all nine firefighters. Some may have been trapped by the debris.
Midnight came, and the solemn procession, as the first bodies were removed -- by dawn, the third and last procession, as the ninth fireman's body was tenderly carried away, saluted by colleagues and mourned by a city with a broken heart and a pain that won't go away any time soon.
Rusty Dornin, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.
COOPER: What a sacrifice. Those firefighters went up against the worst situation imaginable: flashover, a tornado of fire. Up next, what it looks like from the inside and how firefighters train to survive it.
Also tonight these stories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): O.J. Simpson's so-called confession, leaking onto the Internet. We'll talk with the victim's dad, Fred Goldman, about the book, Simpson's book, that he's now fighting -- get this -- to publish.
Plus, one of the world's most compelling women confronting one of the world's most neglected tragedies.
ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: It's a part of conflict that we often don't have the time to also think about, you know, these people that have been through all of this. Ask every refugee what they have gone through.
COOPER: My conversation with Angelina Jolie about lives at stake in Darfur, ahead on 360.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Some of what it must have looked like last night inside the burning store in Charleston. Flashover, literally a fire storm. Witnesses describe seeing a tornado of flames engulf the building.
The idea of the funnel of fire is chilling enough. CNN's John Zarrella has more now on this deadly phenomenon.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Black smoke and flames swirling like a twister from the top of the furniture shore. To anyone who hasn't seen this before, it looks like a tornado of fire.
What it is, firefighters tell us, is the final end stages of a deadly phenomenon called flashover. Even in protective gear, you can survive it for only seconds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is burning. Everything ignites, almost simultaneous, where you have fire, literally fire from ceiling to floor, wall to wall. That's flashover.
ZARRELLA: At the Coral Springs Fire Academy, cadets and veteran firefighters are taught how to recognize when a flashover is coming and, most importantly, what to do to survive it.
Dressed in protective gear, we went inside the simulator, what is literally a steel shipping container.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, we got fire in the hole!
ZARRELLA: The fuel, bales of straw and wooden pallets. Very quickly, the smoke and flames are raging.
(on camera) I can see smoke beginning to billow here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we have now is basically a fire, the beginnings of a fire.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): Remember, the firefighters tell us, most fires they face would be much more intense than this, because our homes and businesses are filled with plastics and petroleum-based products, which burn hundreds of degrees hotter than wood and straw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we're getting close to where we call rollover, where the gases that are collected, the smoke is actually starting to burn.
ZARRELLA: Even in this controlled environment, it becomes chaotic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
ZARRELLA: And the chirping sound starts and stops over and over, which is a good thing. These are sensors in the firefighters' uniforms. When yours goes off, every 30 seconds you shake your rear to stop it. If one goes off and doesn't stop, you know someone is in trouble.
(on camera) The temperature is mere 400 degrees. The smoke and the flames are billowing around us and over our heads. These are the conditions the firefighters in South Carolina likely faced. (voice-over) And the fire would have progressively gotten more intense. Here, the hoses are used to fight back the flames.
(on camera) We're approaching temperatures of 800 to 1,000 degrees, weren't we?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight hundred to 1,000 degrees if the ceiling and the gases were building or igniting, about 600 degrees about head high. And at the floor, 200 to 300 degrees, about hot enough to boil water.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): In this simulator you never quite reach flashover conditions. That would be deadly. But here the firefighters learn what to see, what to feel as they approach flashover and that ultimate tornado of fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you're going to feel is that heat and that smoke just coming down like a blanket, a silent, quiet blanket but with intense heat that's coming down, coming down. It's going to push you to the floor, and that's really a sign that something's going to go wrong.
ZARRELLA: Hundreds of firefighters from departments all over Florida have gone through the training here. In fighting a fire, any advantage they can get, they want.
John Zarrella, CNN, Coral Springs, Florida.
A quick programming note: tonight on World Refugee Day, we're going to be asking some tough questions about the surge in refugees around the world, from Iraq to Darfur to Afghanistan. We want to know why more isn't done to help millions of people living on the edge.
Angelina Jolie will join me again, just as she did last year, to talk about her work as goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR. Here's a preview.
COOPER: The number of internally displaced people has grown dramatically in the last year. You were in a camp. There's a photo of you with a 7-year-old boy, I think, who was tied to a pole. What was that?
JOLIE: It was -- as shocking as it is to see that picture, I was shocked when I saw that. And my instinct, with children of my own was, how could this kid be tied? Somebody let him go and somebody take care of him and somebody -- the reality is, he was -- he was about 3 years old, they said, when the bombs hit. And he was in Darfur, and he disappeared for 48 hours. And before that, he was a very normal little boy. And now, he -- and I did see him do it a bit -- he tries to hurt himself. He does -- I forget the name for it, but he whacks himself into walls. And he goes running off and he'll try to hurt himself and others.
And he's -- and after spending about half an hour with him, I thought maybe they -- maybe they thought that it was from the bombs, but maybe he's just, there is something different about his mind. You know, maybe he's an autistic child. Maybe he's -- but I spent half an hour with him and he was, and he was a very normal, little kid. He was just really, really scared. Really scared.
And to spend half an hour just touching him and pet him, you know, and hold him and look at him. And it was -- it's really -- it's a part of conflict that we often don't have the time to also think about, you know, these people that have been through all of this.
And every refugee, what they have gone through, the therapy that it would require, the deep, deep internal wound that has happened to these people and what they're going to need, not just a new house and you know, some food aid, but really what they all need.
COOPER: You're going to hear all of my interview with Angelina Jolie tomorrow on World Refugee Day. It's a special edition of 360, "Without a Home: Refugees in Crisis", starting at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Up next, though, tonight a pair of 360 exclusives: an interview with the couple who found a baby on their doorstep, a little girl who might -- might -- be the newborn daughter of Jessie Davis, the missing mom. That is the question tonight.
Also, another exclusive, Fred Goldman on O.J. Simpson's book, "If I Did It". Why he wants to publish it and how someone else may have beat him to it. Fred Goldman joins us next.
COOPER: That infamous manuscript, in which O.J. Simpson writes about the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, has never been published. And until today, it remained the best chance Ron Goldman's family had at collecting the money that Simpson owes them from a wrongful death lawsuit.
Last week a federal bankruptcy judge cleared the way for the Goldmans to pursue the book's publishing rights, which are owned by a corporation run by Simpson's oldest daughter.
But today the celebrity web site TMZ posted the manuscript online, setting off a new legal fight.
Fred Goldman joins me now in a CNN exclusive interview, along with his attorney, Jonathan Polak.
Gentlemen, thanks for being with us. Fred, you are obviously upset about TMZ putting this online. A, do you know how they got it?
FRED GOLDMAN, FATHER OF RON GOLDMAN: No, I don't, but hopefully we'll find out.
COOPER: And what is the damage of them putting it online?
GOLDMAN: Well, I don't know that we've been able to assess the exact amount of damage, but there's no question that putting it on the web site and in its entirety, for that matter, has severely damaged its value, to a point that we don't know yet that that dollar amount that it's damaged it. They've done so and did so for their own gain, obviously.
COOPER: And initially, they had a link in which anyone logging online could actually link to the entire manuscript. Is that correct? That's right, I read in your court papers?
GOLDMAN: That's what we understand, absolutely correct.
COOPER: When did you first hear about this?
GOLDMAN: I first heard about it this morning. I got a call from Jonathan, who said, "I have some bad news for you," and it's unfortunately another slap in the face.
You know, we've gone 11 years trying to get this punishment, if you would, for Ron's murder, by getting this judgment honored. And the first asset that comes along that has any value of any kind that we're able to take away from the killer, now gets published by TMZ.
COOPER: How much does he owe you?
GOLDMAN: Well, the judgment originally was $19 million. It's grown to $38, $39 million now, because he certainly hasn't paid one single dime.
COOPER: And he gets money from his pension, and that you can't touch. Is that correct?
GOLDMAN: He gets money from all kinds of sources.
COOPER: But it's untouchable?
GOLDMAN: Well, a good part of it is, and we're at work, with Jonathan's help, in trying to make sure that that doesn't stay that way.
COOPER: Jonathan, you filed a motion of contempt against TMZ. We've got the copy of it here exclusively.
CNN is obviously owned by parent company Time Warner, which also owns TMZ.
What kind of retribution are you hoping for in filing this motion?
GOLDMAN: We plan to hold them, them being TMZ, their executives, their senior editor, Harvey Levin, we're going to hold all of them accountable for the damage that they caused, whatever damage that might be. And if that damage runs into the tens of millions of dollars, then we're going to be looking to TMZ to write us a check.
COOPER: You know, some folks will say, look, freedom of the press. They're allowed to publish if they get this through sources. You're saying they're actually in contempt of court because of a judgment you guys got?
JONATHAN POLAK, ATTORNEY: Well, they did two things wrong. The first thing is they violated a federal bankruptcy court order that prevented anyone, including the press, from doing anything to diminish the value of this company's, Lorraine Brook and Associates, this company's assets.
This book and the right to publish the book is the only asset that company has, and it's as if TMZ came in and literally stole that asset from the bankruptcy court.
We have a hearing tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. I fully expect that Judge Cristol, the bankruptcy judge, is going to have a lot to say about that, and I doubt that he's going to be very happy.
COOPER: Fred, when you...
POLAK: They also violated the copyright in the book, which is held by the bankruptcy trustee.
COOPER: And you say the copyright was clearly visible even on the link that TMZ had?
POLAK: Yes. TMZ actually had a link where you could not only have access to the entire book, not just a section of it, the entire book. They also allowed people to go and download the book, the entire book, onto their hard drive.
God knows how many people have copies of that around the United States and around the world. We'll expect that it will be surfacing in numerous other avenues over the next several days.
COOPER: Fred, when this book was first announced that O.J. had done this book, you called it sick. Why now the desire to have it published, or how -- I mean, obviously, I know why. How difficult a decision was that?
GOLDMAN: Well, our initial reason for putting what we felt was the kibosh on this whole thing was, one, we wanted to make certain that the killer didn't accomplish any income from this; and two, we envisioned it as the potential of a how-to murder two people book.
What we have found since is that he had well been -- long before been paid all of his money, $780,000, well before we found out about it. And the book now, more is the equivalent of, for lack of any other description, an admission of guilt. And I'd love people to read his admission of guilt.
Whether he calls it a work of fiction or not, or non-fiction, the fact is that he murdered two people, and I'd like everybody to hear him virtually say it.
COOPER: Jonathan, how difficult is it trying to get the judgment, which has been awarded to the Goldman family, from O.J. Simpson and from these various entities which he sets up? I mean, how much of a shell game is there going on here, not just for this book but in all the stuff.
I mean, Fred is saying he makes money from all different sources, signing autographs and stuff. How conscious an effort is he making and his attorneys or representatives making, in your opinion, to hide the money?
GOLDMAN: Well, I won't use my words. I'll use Judge Cristol words, the bankruptcy judge down in Miami, Florida. Judge Cristol called what O.J. has done and continues to do an intentional and deliberate act to defraud, to defraud Fred Goldman and other creditors.
That's exactly what O.J. Simpson has always done. And, when someone who is as well-financed, and well-associated with smart professionals, as O.J. is, it's really hard to go track those assets down. As soon as cash comes into him, it gets moved away.
We've heard rumors of cash being paid under the table, cash being paid to family members, cash being paid to other third parties. When money changes hands like that and it's in the form of cash, the bankruptcy -- or sorry, the court system is simply too slow for us to be able to go and do that.
And we're put in the unenviable position of having to try to chase the money all the time.
That's what's so -- what was originally kind of exciting in a way about this book, and in a strange type of way, because we were presented with an opportunity to go and actually file to get financial justice for the Goldmans.
For TMZ to do this now is just really frustrating.
COOPER: You filed a motion. We'll see what happens. Gentlemen, appreciate you being on.
Fred Goldman, as always, thank you.
GOLDMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: And attorney Jonathan Polak, thank you very much.
By the way, we called TMZ for reaction to this story. They have no comment. We also put in calls to O.J. Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, and have yet to get a call back from him. After the break another exclusive. We'll talk with the couple that found the little girl at their doorstep who might be tied, a newborn baby girl, who might be tied in with the disappearance of Jessie Davis. We do not know, but it certainly raises questions. We'll talk to them ahead.
COOPER: At the top of the program we reported at length about a mystery baby, a little girl who might -- might -- be connected to the missing mom, Jessie Davis, who vanished last week on Friday, nine months pregnant with a baby girl, an unborn baby girl.
The infant was discovered yesterday on a doorstep in Wooster, Ohio. Now only on 360, the woman who founder her.
Sue Redman joins me now on the phone.
Sue, thanks very much for being with us. How did you come across this baby?
SUE REDMAN, FOUND BABY GIRL: Well, my husband and I returned from dinner about 7:40 yesterday afternoon, and as we drove in, we noticed a basket sitting at our back door. Since we live in a rural area, I assumed this was maybe a little donation from the neighbor in the form of produce or something.
We entered through the garage. I came in, and then went to the back door to find out what was in the basket. Upon opening the door, I was totally shocked to see a sleeping, beautiful, little girl in the basket, with the basket was a bottle of milk, a can of formula, three diapers and a change of clothes.
COOPER: What did you do then?
REDMAN: Well, I -- it was 88 degrees out, so I knew I needed to get this child in the house.
COOPER: You're a nurse, correct?
REDMAN: Yes, I'm a nurse. I immediately instructed my husband to call 911, because I knew this was not a usual situation.
The sheriff's deputy came very quickly. I was instructed to see what sex the child was. In removing the clothes, I obviously saw that it was a little girl, but also that it had a very fresh umbilical cord. The umbilical cord was still damp, and it was fastened or tied off with a black rubber band. It had a meconium stool in its diaper indicating, again, that it was very newborn.
So we wrapped the child back up, after I changed the diaper. The child had difficulty breathing, because it had a lot of mucus, very thick mucus in its throat. I -- four or five times I had to turn the baby over and strike it gently on its back to remove the mucus.
After doing this about four times, I told the deputy sheriff, "We really need to get this child to the hospital." So he called the emergency squad, and the child was transported then to the hospital.
COOPER: What does the baby look like, Sue?
REDMAN: Well, it is a white child. At least the skin is white at this time. It has a moderate amount of black hair. She's quite small. I judged her to be less than six pounds, and I guess the official weight is 5 pounds 15 ounces. She's a beautiful little girl.
And the basket and her clothing and all appeared to be brand new, very clean. Someone had taken much care in preparing her to come to my doorstep.
COOPER: Sue, we're going to talk more with you just on the other side of the break. We have to take a short break. We'll be back at the top of the hour. More on this story, including new surveillance images of Jessie Davis on the last day she was seen alive. And all the other late developments in this case and this breaking story.
Talking to Sue Redman, who found this newborn baby girl, next on 360.
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