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. Steve Nuckels

    The financial base to support the polygamist sects has to be huge. Where and how is this capital developed and how does this much money continue to stream into the organizations?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  2. Jolene

    Say what you will but my guess is the Pope will attract big crowds while here in the US so he has a presence.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  3. Karoline, Los Angeles, CA

    LOL Bonnie–I think women don't want more than one husband because it would create way too much laundry. Plus think of what the bathrooms would look like in your home if you had 2-10 husbands. Yeesh!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  4. Minou, New York City

    Erica: why aren't you allowed to sit? he stole your chair!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  5. Tammy

    Pope Benedict's red shoes are his fashion statement, specially designed for him like all his wardrobe. He is definitely about fashion.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Andrea from Canada

    Lesli, yes, these women are a product of a cult and have no authority or identity of their own. They are brainwashed to believe that this is acceptable, and that is why it is important that they are separated from their children. They are a risk just as much as the men that have trained them to think that it is acceptable.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Megan Dresslar

    Really freeze in studio......... oh you need a heater, it will help you warm.........

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Lilibeth

    The timing of the Pope's visit is somewhat uncanny...what with all the politics going on here...

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  9. J.Perez

    The millionaire polygamist's question, "Is polygamy worse than adultery?", was an interesting end to that interview. food for thought. How much damage has been done to families and children because of that? Granted, children (16 and under) being involved in any santified(?) sexual practice just wrong.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  10. Carla Ontario Canada

    Where are the young teenage boys. Are young men allowed to marry. This has not be reported.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  11. Susan

    I'd like to see a story about how the children are being treated, what legal rights the children have beyond "representation by attorneys", where they are being housed, schooled and emotionally supported.

    Second, how about a story about the missing fathers?


    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  12. Sam Reynolds

    What I found most interesting in this polygamist case is the acceptance of the women towards the practice. Quite clearly the misogyny is going un noticed in their minds. I especially found the report on Bountiful, BC interesting as in is only a few hours away from my hometown of Kelowna.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Licci

    What are we going to do with all these children? Are they old enough to tell us what it is they want for themselves? I myself could never imagine living like this but how do you help these girls and boys? The law is one thing but the truth of what these children feel and know is something very different. If they are really that closed out of the rest of the world then were do we start?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  14. carmen

    Michael in Lafayette, they kiss the papal ring that he wears on his right hand LOL

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  15. Jared -

    First time commenting!!
    Love the show Mr. Cooper!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  16. melissa

    Even if a person could condone others for choosing their "right" to polygamy one has to consider the probable "inbreeding" that may be occurring in these sects . With one man having many wives-and those wives having many children. what is the chances that one wife would have a son and a different wife (same husband) would have a daughter and those two end up marrying or consumating?? they would both have the same father???! THIS thought is as disturbing as any of the multiple wives. The chances of inbreeding going on in those communities is higher than in normal society. and its probably happening and has happened. something to think about when people are making their decisions on whether or not this is even healthy for our society or the individuals living in that sect. This can't be healthy for those children to grow up and have a sibling as a possible partner. they only marry or have sex with the people in their own sect. and many many of them share the same fathers....

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  17. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Megan O – I am laughing so hard that I almost fell off the sofa! LOL. Anderson drinking hot water. Ha ha ha! Reminds me of his Nth Degree! Love it!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  18. Sandy

    hey anderson! keep up the great work 😛

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  19. Christina, Windber, PA

    I don't think the Pope's statement does much to heal the wounds the priests have inflicted. A good first step would be to stop punishing church goers by closing so many churches. Yes money may be short, but it's because they don't excommunicate these priests. They should not be allowed to stay in the priesthood after committing such acts.

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

    i believe the polygamist should allow exposure to the "outside world"and if afterwards their followers are still with them,then they are genuine,not locking them up without a choice,.if they only knew better they will choose otherwise.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  21. Karin in Florida

    Has anyone ever considerd the fact that the "cult members" are all related to each other? The women shown sure look all pretty similar and is no one concerned about incest and the problems it can bring by reproducing within the same extended family?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  22. Tasha

    About polygamy. Doesn't the Bible say in the New Testament that one man should be joined with one woman, I'm not so sure. If that is true then that would make polygamy adultery and a sin. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Also is AC married, I just noticed his silver hair and realized I haven't heard him talk about kids before.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  23. ericacnn

    It's acutally always cold in studios - need to keep the temp down b/c there is a lot of sensitive equipment in here and the lights get v. hot. Some nights it just feels colder than others...must be because it's Spring. Did you ever notice your office is always colder in the summer and the air is cranked up?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Tom

    I think the government of Texas probably was correct. But, I think there method of going in there like tough guys was probably counterproductive and traumatic to the kids. Also, if the kids are eventually taken away and put in foster care that may actually be worse. We treat our pets in this country better than we treat kids in foster care.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  25. Kimberly, Richmond VA

    I disagree with how the FLDS lives, but why are these children being taken away from their mothers and questioned outside of the presence of their parents? Was all of this the result of an anonymous call into the police? I think that there is more to this story and a good Constitutional or Civil Rights attorney needs to represent the mothers and children of FLDS. Their rights are being violated based on an accusation. Anderson, call Barack Obama!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Tammy

    The Vatican plans visits to fit their own politics. This trip to America is no exception. Bet on it.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Renee

    Erica: When my assistant drinks hot water she calls it "pretend tea." ie: no caffeine It has been pretend tea for 10 years at my office.

    Just wondering.....is anyone feeling a Lifetime movie out of this sect set in TX? I feel it coming with Lindsey Wagner as "head mom." Let's have Rocky play the head FBI officer.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  28. Karoline, Los Angeles, CA

    I truly agree with those who think the Pope's visit and comments are too little too late regarding all the pedophile priests.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  29. Kim

    I actually think it's good that the Pope is addressing the issue directly... the church used to always have a tendency to just stay silent on any wrongdoings perpetrated by priests before

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  30. Kathy, Chicago

    This Pope doesn't seem to have the charisma that John Paul had.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  31. carmen

    Erica, your getting more hot water for Tea or Hot water bottle?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  32. Linda Weekley

    I've been watching these interviews with the "mothers" in Texas, and it begs the question: "Where are the fathers?" Putting the women out to spin the public seems even more suspicious when the men seem to be invisible. And, of the women I've seen interviewed, I have seen no tears – even though some have tried to simulate "tearful distress". Yes, their answers are extremely evasive and suspicious, to say the least. I sincerely hope that the state of Texas does the right thing by these children, and I doubt that sending them home will be the "right thing".

    April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  33. Megan Dresslar

    Hi Erica,
    you are so great! Thanks for information FLDS..........

    April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  34. Monica

    There is, its called Hollywood!!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  35. Michael in Lafayette, IN

    Wow, I thought those people in Texas were strange. Then I saw all those men wearing strange clothes kissing some man's hand. Very odd.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  36. R.J. in Toronto

    Erica, Toronto has quite a chill going on as well. But the days are clear & nice, so the nights must be clear and cool.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  37. Kassy

    Oh wow the FLDS. This is just too sad. I grew up about 30 miles outside of Colorado City, AZ and so I have had quite a few experiences with the ppl of the FLDS faith. They are doing what they have been told to , keep sweet and quite. This is so they don't have further actions taken to them. And the stats just shown. K so the poverty levels are quite off. They WORK the system. The majority have the nicest cars around. Keep up the good work and YEAH that Anderson is back 😀

    April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  38. Wes, Victoria, BC

    Hey Anderson and Erica, who's controlling the webcam??? You're not even in the frame right now! How's about giving all us "bloggers" (such a stupid word) a wave on the webcam (once it's back on you!)??

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  39. Melinda from Texas

    I have to say, although I do not agree with the underage marriages or any kind of maltreatment to children in any culture or situation, I can't say that these kids are in any better hands with CPS!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  40. Rachel from Toronto

    i was so surprised to hear that the FDLS came to Canada in the 1940's. And also, none of the men are being interviewed... weird.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  41. Brandi down the bayou.

    Why you are welcome Brian! The simple presence of either parent could sway the childs reaction to a question. I actually believe the APA backed that up with some research too, its on their web page.

    Also, if these are the beliefs of everyone on the ranch, then all the children are in danger, they may not have been abused yet, but it will come if they are left there. Their society may not fit the "norm" and they may have freedom of religion, but to abuse another human being is inexcusable, no matter what religion.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  42. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Erica.....is it so cold that even Anderson is drinking hot water 😛

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  43. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Thanks Terri and Renee. Sheesh. I was afraid of the whole welfare issue. I truly have no words.....

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  44. Karoline, Los Angeles, CA

    Why does the Pope wear red shoes?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  45. Brian Persaud

    elisa, NY> Or because these men have no chance finding a woman in the real world, so they have to brainwash children .

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  46. Betty Ann

    Cold in the studio? Is that to keep down bacteria? 😉

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Kim

    Freezing in the studio? What happened?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  48. Michael Svoboda

    Did I mention AC360 rules!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  49. Rory

    You have to watch what you're doing Erica! We can see you lol!!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  50. Bonnie

    How come there isn't a religion that is just the opposite. One woman has 10 husbands or should I say "brother husbands"!!!!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
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