April 14th, 2008
09:33 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/14/08

Breaking news tonight, for the first time in 4 years the gates are open and CNN is inside the polygamist Yearning for Zion ranch. Some of the 139 women who voluntarily left during the raid are now returning. And they’re coming back without their children. We’ll hear from one mother who hasn’t seen her children since authorities removed 416 children, saying they were in imminent danger of abuse. But is it necessary to separate mothers from their children? Legally, how long can they be separated?

Gary Tuchman is covering this story from Colorado City in Arizona, where thousands of FLDS followers held a rare meeting to learn what has happened to family members in Texas.

And, “bitter-gate” continues. As the Pennsylvania primary draws closer, Sen. Clinton vies for the working class and rural vote by talking about guns, drinking beer, and calling her opponent elitist.

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features a behind the scene look at the set. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. Nancy Bastawros

    I think they have the girl who made the call but if I were her and saw all the stuff that happened after I came out I would be a little reluctant to release any information about myself too.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  2. marissa in san francisco

    the one good thing is that i think Texas has mandatory life sentences for sex with a minor under 16.

    i have to defend the polygamists in one sense – we should still have the right to marry whoever we want and call a family whatever we like. weather it's two men, a man and a woman, two men and a women or 3 women. Your family is your own prerogative.

    It's the poison of controlled information and pedophilia that make these communities revolting

    April 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  3. anna

    I think the call was a hoax and I think that the state of Texas will end with mud on their faces. The problem I have with this is that the media will spin it every which way they can. The woman Kathleeen was obviously the worst possible choice of persons to interview and you can bet Cooper was well aware of this before putting her on the air. The truth is we have no idea what goes on in that place, and a big newsflash for most of you it is legal for 16 year olds to marry in the majority of states. 16 year olds have been getting married for a very long time, it is not a new phenomenon nor are the men all pedophiles, if you think it is unusual you have been living under a rock.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  4. Chuck in Alabama

    Hmmm.. aren't there strange men "protecting" that ranch in Crawford, TX too? Wonder what kind of skullduggery is going on in there. LOL

    April 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  5. Angelique

    I dont think Ive ever seen that look of "WHAT?" on your face. That lady is a nut job and exactly the reason those kids need help. Wow!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar

    I wish Anderson see his blog, Poor Anderson, he don't have his computer in Miami.............

    April 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  7. Kristin Sorianosos

    I know this is random but who watches American Idol??

    Erica Hill if you watch it, who is your favorite?

    Plus Anderson Cooper should be on the show "Dancing with the Stars" dontcha think???


    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  8. MaryBeth

    That woman they just interviewed also referred to her children as "the children." She talked about "the children" sobbing, not "her children."

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  9. Minou, New York City

    Erica, you hit the nail on the head!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  10. Hutch


    Now that's another thing to be bitter about. Polygamists living off our tax dollars!!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  11. mick

    i hope that these children dont get lost in this process, i believe her when she said that they only had two bathrooms for all those people

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  12. Cheryl K, South Africa

    if all is well and legal in that compound, why are they so secretive? Something is wrong there.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  13. Brent

    How silly was Carolyn's whining about Katleen's telling her husband she was planning the great escape? She must be yet another feminist yahoo who thinks her husband has absoulutely no say when the wife wants to kidnap the children.

    Oh yeah...the government invading your home, abducting your children, then lieing to you....is the exact same thing as someone telling the husband that his wife is about to run away with his kids. Anyone who thinks what the government did here is just.. is obviously sympathetic with jack booted thugs who think the state knows how to raise kids better than their parents do. Oh yeah, their called liberals.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  14. ericacnn

    Kayle, Gary is not only an incredible journalist, he is truly one of the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet. We are all lucky to work with him.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  15. Brandi down the bayou.

    Oh, great job moderators!! lots of posts going through tonight! Hi crew! hope yall are enjoying yourselves this evening, give us a dance for a commercial!! I love you guys! <3

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  16. laura

    Dan in Bama
    No she won't look at the cameras because she was reading

    April 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  17. Chuck in Alabama

    It's the 21st Century. Why haven't the investigators matched voice patterns to find the girl who made the phone call?

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  18. Sue Polinick/Pennsylvania

    🙂 thanks Brian

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  19. EJ - Ohio

    It will be even more sad if after all of this nothing can be done.

    I hope that there will be at least

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  20. Nancy Bastawros

    Oh so thats why. Thanks!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  21. Jana, Indiana

    Are all the lawyers from Texas?

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  22. Rachel from Toronto

    Wow... 300 lawyers for this case. That is pretty intense.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  23. Ara

    JoAnn that was so funny. A lighter moment on a serious issue!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  24. Derrick

    Example: The Vatican is very private; it has it's own army – you can't just walk in. Catholics have very strict rules about how their members are suppose to behave. Most religions are not open to gawkers. Just because you don't like the religion is no reason to disallow it. Everyone is free to worship as they see fit. If rape is occurring, Texas is within it's right to prosecute the rapist(s). Prove rape and Texas is on the right side. If Texas' case is only because the people act differently than everyone else, they're open to litigation. From earlier reports they've been monitoring the compound for four years. If the law was being broken, why wait so long. They need to find that 16 Y.O. or prove rape.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  25. Minou, New York City

    Always good to hear Jeff Toobin! He brings up good points.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  26. Brandi down the bayou.

    ok, hard on them? and being forced to get married at such a young age and consummate that marriage before even leaving the chapel isnt hard on young girls? they dont even see what they are doing to their children! Im absolutely infuriated right now.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  27. ericacnn

    Jarrett, I'm not sure if the interview will be posted on the site, but I'll pass the request along to the web team.

    I've been looking fwd to Jeff Toobin's segment tonight - and I know many of you have posed some of these same legal questions on the blog. Legally, this must be a nightmare for the courts. Emotionally, it's a wreck for everyone involved. And for all of looking in from the outside, it boggles the mind.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  28. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    see Monica seems more sincere

    April 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  29. Saera El Paso, TX

    that's some real emotion

    nothing like that Kathleen..

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  30. Chuck in Alabama

    As hard as the questions must be, don't you think it's more difficult to live with the guilt of knowing they are party to child molestation and abuse?

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  31. laura

    Yes, please stop playing that weird song! it scare me!!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  32. ed

    These women seem like they are only giving interviews for propaganda. Be it bad propaganda.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  33. Ara

    Megan O I agree with you. This song gets on my nerves, and I really hope CNN would stop playing it. Its too weird. Makes my skin crawl!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  34. Lesli

    I agree with Megan in Toronto.

    Please stop playing that creepy song!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  35. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    see Monica comes across as more sincere

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  36. Kayle

    Haha Erica,
    I kind of feel bad for Gary you always see him getting kicked out and chased around, but he's got conviction and he always gets the story, thats why Gary rocks.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  37. Sue Polinick/Pennsylvania

    plus they send young boys /men out to construction work..what they earn goes right into the compound/compounds round the USA

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  38. mick

    that big building in the compound seems to me to have had to cost alot of money to build, where are thay getting the cash if they are sucluded from society

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  39. Betty Ann

    Warren Jeffs creeps me out with his singing! SCARY!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  40. Rose

    That's quite the claim made by the polygamist woman just interviewed. She believes that their treatment is comparable to the Jews in Nazi Germany? That's an extremem allegation!

    Now this is what I am curious about. Where does this polygamist sect get all of their money to build these compounds and massive sized places of worship? What or who financially is backing all of this? Maybe this is a question that has already been answered. If that is the case, I would like to know. Erica, Anderson, can you provide us with an answer?

    April 14, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  41. Dan in Bama

    Riki – That lady wont look at the camera becuase the eyes are the windows to the soul – and she can't tell such lies looking straight at you!! Not making direct eye contact is a tell-tell sign of the mistruths – and outright lies – being conveyed

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  42. Chuck in Alabama

    Not taking the FLDS's side here, but, I gave tours of Fort Concho while I was stationed out in San Angelo. For the record, those buildings they housed these women and children in are not suitable living quarters for that many people. These building are reconstructed examples of the "Buffalo Soldier" barracks that were there in the 1800s.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  43. Renee

    Please CNN, CNN audio people, Moderator, Erica and anyone out there in CNN Land. Would you please stop with the creepy Jeffs music? It is so creepy and sad. You all played it all last week. Please, thank you and all the best!

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  44. joey

    hey come on guys, she's 42 yrs old & college educated, she must know what she's talking about. 🙂 lol

    Why do they all look like Whistler's Mother??

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  45. EJ - Ohio

    "This Warren Jeffs song totally creeps me out…..kind of wish you all would stop playing it"

    Ditto! lol

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  46. Lesli

    Response to Evarest

    I don't think that their abuse is as out in the open as you believe. I think the women are kept in their place by intimidation.

    I think that perhaps except for this marriage bed abomination, the sexual abuse also takes part in the confines of the marriage and family.

    You are right – these things – abuse as well as teen pregnancy take place in the "outside world as well." The difference is that people in the "outside world" have more access directly to police and have a better chance of getting the attention of people in the outside world who can help. This contrived world does not allow women or children any rights. That's what this is about.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  47. Megan Dresslar

    Yes, Erica.
    I am agree with you I am scared of Gary Tuchman in Colorado, I am imaged that too.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  48. ariston I miami beach, FL

    Don't you think it's a bit ridiculous someone is comparing this to the holocaust?

    Even if it were the same amount of deaths, which it's obviously not case, I would hate to compare two tragedies.

    Ariston Neto
    Miami Beach, FL

    April 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  49. Stacy

    Erica, tonight one of the network broadcasts did a story about how our own government actually gave contracts to some of the FLDS companies. Any plans to look into that?

    April 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  50. Nancy Bastawros

    This may be a silly question, but why are the children getting individual lawyers instead of 1 lawyer per family (or mother)?

    April 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
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