April 15th, 2008
09:29 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/15/08

Tonight, we start in Eldorado with new details from inside the reclusive polygamist compound. Hundreds of children are in state custody and their mothers say they’re being persecuted for practicing an unpopular religion. We also have new pictures taken by members of the sect that show authorities entering the compound in armored personnel carriers and carrying automatic weapons.

The Pope landed at Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon where he was greeted personally by President Bush. It's the first time ever an American president has traveled out to Andrews to welcome a foreign leader and it's the first papal visit since the sex abuse scandal exploded. Find out what the Pope said about that.

We’ll have an up close look at Sen. Barack Obama and who he is and how he became that person. This is the first in a series of in depth pieces on all three candidates.

Finally, Heisman trophy winner Herschel Walker and his battle with mental illness. The NFL superstar says he doesn't even remember winning the Heisman trophy because he was too busy struggling with a mental disorder. It’s called dissociative identity disorder and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will have all the details.

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features a behind the scenes 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 (374 Responses)
  1. Richie Amanya, Toronto

    the pope deciding the US elections? that's rather sad...why can't the US get over religion?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  2. Steve in Manila

    Sad, sad state of affairs for the children. The system thinks the parents have abused them, the parents think the state is abusing them .. poor little kids, they have no idea whats going on but methinks they will be traumatized for years to come.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Jennifer NC

    Michael polygamy is one form of adultery

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  4. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    I am not Cathloic but I understand the importance of his visit and it is always great when he can come to North America. I know John Paul came to Toronto shortly before his passing

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  5. Chuck in Alabama

    "Shepherd One" Good one Anderson!!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Lesli

    Brian P

    I am worried for the children being separated from their parents and the effect this will have on them. If some of them were not being abused they have been now – emotionally.

    Please remember that these women are a product of this cult and have no authority or identity of their own. They must do as they are told to satisfy the whims of men and they are brainwashed to believe this is an acceptable way to live their lives.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Melinda from Texas

    Hi everyone.
    I'm from Texas and definitely not a Polygamist...but I lived in San Angelo, TX at the time the ranch in Eldorado was started.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  8. AJ from Minneapolis

    What the polygamist feel to realize is that no one cares if they practice their religion, the general public is just concearned with the abuse, marriage, and births of the underage girls.....

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  9. Minou, New York City

    Brian P. : why ? because they grew up believing this is the right way to live! it's as simple as that.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  10. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Brian Persaud: Gary mentioned that FLDS members worked for local law enforcement.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  11. ericacnn

    Not sure if you can see the frost on the webcam but it is FREEZING in the studio – I'm grabbing some more hot water, brb.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  12. Michael Svoboda

    Polygamy is a distasteful way of men using their so-called religion to marry more than one woman. This is just another way that polygamist men have gotten around the laws of only marrying one woman; in other words it's just an excuse to 'cheat' with other women by saying their religion allows it. I'm glad the Texas authorities raided the FLDS ranch and they should also investigate all the others around the country.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  13. carmen

    why is it that these big men can father dozens of children and keep these women in control and when a raid happens or their children are taken they are nowhere in site?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  14. Megan Dresslar

    Thanks! EJ.......

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  15. Connie B

    In looking at the polygomist sects, especially after the comments of one of the wives yesterday about her 'college degree', what education do these children/wives received? If they are getting college degrees, from where, in what? If these people were really educated, would many still be there?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Betty Ann

    Hi Anderson!
    You are so cool too!
    I can't wait to hear about the Pope and the sexual abuse scandal~
    I hope he addresses the issue!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  17. R.J. in Toronto

    The fellow from Bountiful DID make a valid point with the adultery vs polygamy comparison. We must be mindful of other's beliefs, and keep the best interests of the children at the heart of everything that is done.

    I've been softening my heart towards the women of Eldorado, because they must be going through such anguish, as are their children.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Renee

    Pati, we are paying for all these kids. It is legalized welfare plus food stamps etc. Plus under federal tax law all of these preachers and prophets have very special tax laws. Basically they pay less than most all of us on the blog! Happy Tax Day!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  19. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Anderson you really do love to spin your blackberry.....is it like a nervous habit???

    April 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  20. Terri

    pati mc–this totally shocks me too! I can not believe this is so wide spread. It is so wrong. I just can not understand these women but I guess if you're born into it and haven't been exposed to the outside world, but what about the families we've heard about where the children go to public school and some of the "wives" go to work...that I just to not get.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Peter

    ENOUGH! Poor, pitiful mothers... who allow their children to be raped by old, nasty men. Give me a break. Why even run this side of the story? What do you expect the law to do? Who will come to the aid of these young women? What is going on in the world today? Yes, many questions...but again the Pope is here for a reason.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  22. elisa, NY

    maybe they marry the underage girls b/c they are young and therefore "purer"

    April 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  23. ericacnn

    Ooh, we can't escape you with that webcam! 🙂
    Evening, everyone

    April 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  24. Kim

    I guess very young girls are less likely to disagree with their husbands than more mature partners... it's about power and being the boss in a marriage, more a sign of immaturity in the men if you ask me

    April 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  25. Andrea from Canada

    How can he be a good Dad. I think he would at least have to kow his children's names to be a good Dad, and I highly doubt he does. I wonder how much time he spends with them. Poor kids.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  26. kristin chicago, il

    Hey anderson!! happy tuesday!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  27. Betty Ann

    Hi Erica!
    Very interesting Stats on polygamist!
    You are so cool girlfriend!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  28. Tammy

    Hi everyone. This story just seems more and more like a huge set up every day. The scripting, suddenly using the media for the cause, and the "poor me" victim roles...bleh. I think this is all just a diversion from abuse, breaking the law by engaging in polygamy, and perversion of religion for one's own gain.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  29. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Hello Erica! So good to see you and Anderson back in the same place. The best team ever! (just saying....) Now we just need some WWTT and The Shot and it will feel like home again.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  30. EJ - Ohio

    Hey Megan D. – glad you are doing well!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  31. Sahira

    I feel sorry for all the mothers who had their children taken away from them. Their world looks so shady who knows what happens to all the kids there.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  32. Rory

    Why do these groups feel the need to marry underage girls?
    A grown woman is one thing but these are barely teens.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  33. Michael in Lafayette, IN

    What is the difference between polygamy and adultery?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  34. EJ - Ohio

    " I realize these women sound like they are programmed but I’m sure this whole ordeal is overwhelming to them. I find it interesting that they are putting trust in the media, though."

    I think they tune into tv and cell phones more than they want their "husbands" to know. They know the media is one way to fight a battle.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  35. Bonnie

    A man with over 100 children says "I'm not a very good Dad." Wow and to think he may still have more!!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  36. Brian Persaud

    Brandi down the bayou.> Thank you! I agree with you completely. I keep hearing sympathy for the mothers, but they are separated for the child's safety. If they were so concerned about their child's safety, they wouldn't let their sons and daughters go through all that.

    Didn't someone, perhaps Gergen, mention last night that some authorities were members of the Church?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  37. Yen

    Lilibeth, I was wondering the same thing.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  38. Sandra

    Where are the men now in all of this? What happens with these kids?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  39. carmen

    My heart breaks for those children who obviously have been subjected to much both with life in the compound and being removed from there.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  40. Jo Ann, Ohio

    This compound looks like some bizarre movie set. These women do sound deceptive, as though they are reading from a pre-prepared script. This looks like more than just a different lifestyle choice.

    Unfortunately, Jeffs was not the only nutty one.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  41. Lesli

    I cannot understand why any of these women would have elected to leave there children behind. Visitation should be offered and maintained for the good of the children. To me its a type of abuse to put these children in the situation they are in. The mother's should not have been returned.

    Were they given a choice of a) go back, or b) go to a shelter – were they offered a chance to see their children?

    I agree with the young women, that if there are children who were not being abused – then this separation is a type of abuse.

    I understand that this situation has come about because of the abuse but was this the best way this could have been handled.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  42. Monica

    Hi Coop!
    The other day one blogger asked Erica something about politics, then she said she would never put her name on a ballot. Does reporting about the FLDS give you any feeling toward religion in general? Is it a journalist thing to feel indifferent towards the events covered, especially religion and politics?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  43. Megan Dresslar

    Hi EJ, and bloggers.......
    How are you doing?
    I am doing great!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  44. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Brian....Erica is there. she is standing by the big wall......got to love web cam

    April 15, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  45. Lilibeth

    What I want to know is how do these men support their many wives and children? I just find that unbelievable.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  46. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Frogive me folks, but I simply cannot begin to undestand how this is going on in America. This man has 2 dozen wives and over 100 children? Who supoports them all? Do 24 women take care of 100 children? If so how? This is so beyond words to me.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  47. Sarah, Atlanta, GA

    AJ from Minneapolis, I agree with you about the polygamist women seem brainwashed. They are out of it. It's like they don't have emotions and are like robots.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  48. Kathy, Chicago

    I like the tie AC. I'm not so sure they really need weapons for women and children. The courts will be crazy on Thurs.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  49. Ara

    There comes the creepy picture of Jeffs! Weirdo!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  50. Claire in Birmingham, AL

    Them saying "it's not that common" about 16-year-olds marrying only means that it DOES happen.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
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