June 2nd, 2009
07:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Mission to Kill Doctor?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/02/kansas.doctor.killed/art.roeder.mug.jpg caption= "Scott Roeder, 51, is being held on a first-degree murder charge and two counts of aggravated assault."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The man accused in the shooting death of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has been charged with first-degree murder. Scott Roeder, 51, appeared in a Wichita, Kansas courtroom today via a video hookup from jail. Prosecutors revealed today they won't seek the death penalty "under the facts and circumstances that are known at this time." That's what District Attorney Nola Foulston told reporters.

Police say Roeder shot and killed Dr. Tillman Sunday morning at his church, where he was serving as an usher.

Tonight, we'll have all the angles on the case. Don't miss the 360° exclusive interview with Roeder's ex-wife. She says his anti-abortion rhetoric was so strong it scared her. We'll also speak with another abortion provider who was friends with Dr. Tillman. Is he worried he could also be targeted for death? And, we'll talk with a woman who chose not to get an abortion even though she was told her baby wouldn't live that long after birth.

We also have breaking news on Air France Flight 447. Brazilian authorities are reporting tonight they found debris from the jet in the Atlantic Ocean, but no survivors. We'll show you where.

We'll also take you to Little Rock, Arkansas where a man is accused of homegrown terrorism. According to investigators, the man killed one U.S. soldier and wounded another at a military center yesterday because he was angry over the treatment of Muslims. The suspect is a Muslim convert. He pled not guilty to the charges today in court.

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Donna C

    Diane Elder,

    Your story was touching. May God bless you and keep you and your's.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  2. Carol L. Cox

    This is in response to Daniel's message when he states that: "The moment that the Sperm leaves a human to find the Egg of the women that is life. The sperm is alive because it moves and it is alive. How could you even think that its not life when it moves."

    Well, Daniel, since you believe that life is the same as male sperm, perhaps we have been focusing on the wrong gender wih this life issue. Maybe we should pass a constitutional amendment stating that all males must wear protective condoms when they find themselves in the so called upright position carrying all that potential life around.

    But then again, the male gender would not put up with such intrusion into their personal lives. Perhaps the right of privacy would actually mean something to these males then.


    June 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  3. Pilar Carreon

    Iam impress with the interview of Anderson w/ Diane Elder.What she did is a noble deed and an outstanding example for all Christian women, I commend her and her family.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  4. Fern Wiensk

    Thank you so much for your interview with this wonderful human being: Diana.
    Only higher and very brave people decide to do what she did. I was very impressed with her courage and hope she inspires many, many women to keep their babies. She gave the baby the opportunity to live and die naturally.
    Preserve the babies, besides the whales and the trees.
    Abortion is the most painful experience for a mother and her baby. Being killed by a serial killer is less painful than to be killer by one's own mother.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  5. John D.

    In a climate of hate and fear created by the conservative religious right surrounding the issues of abortion, how can we be surprised when something like this happens.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  6. OC

    Only if you have had to make this very difficult decision should you have the right to have an opinion on this matter.
    All others just have a desire to create the "other" that makes them feel empowered and better then others. Really the roots of all true evil (genocide, etc.)
    I believe that abortion doctors are very aware that they are hated and hunted by a very misguided sector of society, but choose to provide this very difficult service to women everyday.
    This is the the context in which we should remember Dr Tiller.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  7. xibo

    One of these time when an airliner crashes it will be determined that travel by air is not all it's cracked up to be. God bless each and every passanger that went down with this jet. It may be true that we all die at some point in our life but to die in this manner is beyond normal understanding. Nobody should have to die in such a way and I personally feel that the human race in general needs to backup, slow down, get real and put life in it's proper perspective.
    I dare you to ask yourself when does it all stop.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  8. Peter Bloch

    Thank you for bringing us Diane Elder. I am pro choice. And she and her husband made their choice. Her story is profoundly moving and I salute her strength and her humanity.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  9. Patricia Humphrey

    I beg to differ with the doctor you had on about all of the late term abortions being due to a birth defect. My grandaughter who cannot have children of her own has adopted two children and on their record it is written by the birth mother the reason for giving the child up was that it was too late for a early abortion. The children are beautiful and perfectly healthy in every way. Had these women been able to get a late term abortion we would not have had these two beautiful children. It breads my heart to think that these two beautiful children came close to being in a trash can.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  10. Steph

    It has always concerned me when people are convinced they know what is best, right, or moral for others. Those are only decisions we can make for ourselves. Our opinions about abortion or our beliefs about God's intentions are strictly opinions.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  11. kara

    I was a patient of dr.tillers in dec of 08 and he was an amazing man and he touched my life and i think he was a great man for helping women like me that needed choices. My heart goes out to him his family and staff.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  12. Russ I, CA

    It is this simple, if Scott Roeder is a hero to many Americans then we can all understand why Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Little Rock murderer of two American soldiers, is a hero to many Muslims. I see no difference between the two acts, both acts of religious zealots. Both are equal acts of terrorism; although the charges by prosecutors claerly show the bias as is CNNs news coverage. CNN talks of Mr. Roeder's possible "mental instability" as if it is his excuse and exonerates him, the religious far right, and anyone else who speaks favorably of his actions. There is a far right Christian movement in this country as deadly and dangerous as any Muslim religious zealot.

    We shall see if this comment is censored like my previous one.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  13. May Steele

    Dr. Tiller killed 60,000 babies- The accuded killed one! Who is the most guilty? Seems like an easy answer to me!

    June 2, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  14. Jim C

    It's is offensive to a pro-lifer like me when we are all lumped in with the killer of this late term abortion doctor, and blamming people like O'Reilley? Really??. It was a lunatic who did it.!! No different than any other murderer!! Why can't we just put the blame where it belongs! I hold NBC and other media outlets in the U.S. partly responsible for the murder of the soldier at the recruitment facility then. How 'bout that!?! MSNBC in particular did nothing under Bush but blame America for everything wrong in the universe! Not much outrage or even discussion about a Muslim slaying one of our bravest, but let's mourn and try to equate ALL anti-abortion people (most of us in America) are or incite killers!! Just more liberal driven lunacy.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  15. Todd Larsen

    I'm against abortion except for special circumstances. How tragic it is that someone who had the conviction to save unborn human lives would take a human life. In a way it is a hypocritical action on his part and my heart goes out to the family. Much unneeded suffering all the way around. I do not know how this issue can be resolved. From my point of view life is given by God and is therefore valuable. If we just happened to evolve by random chance and survival of the fittest how does one find value in human life. I believe it is a gift and not a right. If we receive our rights from our creator then they are endowed but if from the state, the state can take it away. Thanks

    June 2, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  16. Zelda

    Murder is murder is murder.
    What more is there to say.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  17. Walter

    I found the interview with Scott Roeder"s ex-wife to be amazing. Her bravery to speak on such candid matters gave me some perspective to understand how such a horrid incident could happen. My heart goes out to the Tiller family and all those whose lives are touched by this; especially Roeder's son.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  18. Stephanie

    The brutal killing of Dr. Tiller can only be defined as an act of religious TERRORISM. It important discourage further acts of terrorism by refuting the terrorist religious justification with the doctrine of the Christian church. This will passively remind the Christian Pro-life audience, that the actions of this terrorist are not the will of a Christian God but of a deranged psychopath.

    If these religious terrorist are Christian, then they must have read the 10 Commandments: “thou shall not kill”. There are no exceptions to follow, no complicated legal jargon, no condition given where taking the life of a fellow human being is permitted in the eyes of God. Now we jump forward to defining testament of the Christian faith, the gospels of the New Testament “The Good News”. To start in Matthew we discover The Beatitudes as Jesus gave us: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the sons of God” “Blessed are the merciful for they will obtain mercy” “Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God” and we (as Christians could go on)…. Matthew 7:1 says “Judge not lest ye be judged”. Jesus taught us that only God can judge human action and that humans are called to live a life of kindness, peace, and forgiveness. Jesus also gave the Christians The Lord’s Prayer (the most important and commonly recited prayer for all Christian denominations) in which we ask God to “forgive us our sins as we forgive the sins of others”. There are countless other testaments to the importance of peace and mercy in the New Testament.

    If Christians disagree with abortion (a legal and private medical procedure) then they are called by the Christian Church to peacefully offer aid to the women who are faced with this unimaginably difficult decision and to pray for their strength. At the end of the day an abortion is a legal, private, and personal medical procedure to be between a woman, her doctor, and her God. Christians are not to judge these women or their doctors; judgment is to left up to God and God alone.

    It is a personal affront to all practicing Christians for these anti-abortion Terrorists to be referred to as Christians. They are cold blooded killers who have violated man’s law as well as God’s law.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  19. lisa

    Too bad Scott's mother didn't have an abortion ! I know women who have had 6 or 7 abortions !!!! Sounds terrible, but it was their choice. Theses women were in their teens when this happened, and now are in their late 30's with children. The bottom line is, what ever the patient and Dr. decide is private !!!

    June 2, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  20. homer

    How is it that Diane Elder can be interviewed without question and the statements she made about her birthing a child with a condition incompatible with life accepted without rebuttle?There is no proof that a newborn,even one with a fully functioning brain,can focus their eyes and make "eye contact" with anyone.How can she say that this infant,who was not given any pain medicine,died a "peaceful" natural death?How can she state that the infant did not suffer when admitting that she was awakened from sleep to witness the "labored breathing" the infant had before "lifting itself up" to take a last gasp before dying"What a lying hypocrite.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  21. me

    No killing the doctors.
    I personally think that abortion before 3 month of pregnancy can be OK, but after not. Only in emergency cases or in health/life danger. Also girls need to be educated better, to give them possibility to make decisions before it is too late.
    Emotionally – it hurts to have abortion. It is a guilt of taking life, but on the other hand, if the child is born to terrible conditions, no love, or abusive parent, then it is better to not to be born, or being put for adoption. There is a lot of people who want children, and cannot.
    Every case is very individual.
    Life is very precious, but parents have to be responsible for new life.
    Some people are not fit to have children – they abuse them, hurt them...
    the nature should give children only to those who will love them, take care of them, not abuse them – idealistic, right?

    June 2, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  22. Blair Chafe

    Anderson, if you really want to inform us and be objective, then tell us – or get a medical professional to tell us – what late-term abortion actually entails. Show us some diagrams or something.

    Maybe it's not so bad. Or maybe it's completely shocking. But no one in the media wants to touch the actual details of what this procedure is.

    You claimed to want to be objective, just a moment ago. If you're hiding facts from us, you are not objective at all.

    Blair Chafe
    Ottawa, Canada

    June 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  23. Brett

    This doctor choose an occupation where he put himself in danger- Just like a police officer it is a high-risk occupation and I'm sure he knew it.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  24. Mike G

    Ironic, that this man will probably walk on an insanity plea. The laws 'protected' protected the baby killer and now it will have justice on this man.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  25. Lubu

    He is not christian terrorist right?

    June 2, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  26. RJ

    Cindy good for you as long as I`m not made responsible for your child!

    June 2, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  27. june

    here we go again, another insanity plea give me a break, so easy to say your crazy come on people wake up

    June 2, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  28. Ginny

    Please, check your names. Dr. George Tiller (not Tillman) was a hero of women's rights. The government, AMA, clergy, media, all people of sound mind must pubically decry this horrific act of domestic terriorism. Abortion is part of women's reproductive health care, period. Abortion is not going to be available in this country. Why would any young physician choose this field of specialty? The anti-abortion fanantics know this and are successful in their sick thinking; via terrorizing patients, clinic workers, stalking and murdering the graying physicians; using their 501C 'pregnancy crisis centers through which tax payer's dollars are funneled. Why, after 36 years are we still fighting over a woman's uterus? Why don't the 'do-gooders' go to any nursing home and offer help, instead of spewing hate at ab clinics? It's really pretty simple, if you don't want an abortion, don't have one. What happened to 'do unto others' and 'judge not....It's simply not their objective. Fear is a powerful thing.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  29. Berell

    First Consider Who Laid The Standard For Whats Right And Whats Wrong You'll See A Correllation Between Ethics And Religion . If A Man Kills A Man Who Has Killed Numerous Of Times Who Is Less Guilty And By Who And What Standard

    June 2, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  30. Baimaro Kamara

    Hi Anderson I always enjoy your show every night especially when it comes to very sensitive topics such as the odeals that undocumented students do go through living in the shadows in America.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  31. Veronica B

    I had an abortion at age 20 and the doctors were very cold, rough and rude. Abortion doctors only care about how much money they can make, they take no time to give you counsel or let you know about the consequences your body goes through. Not one girl in the whole clinic was happy, they were all crying before and after the experience. I deeply regret it and am an active pro-life activist. Abortion has to stop.

    June 2, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  32. Sharon S

    Why Not the death penalty???? HE planned and shot and killed a man in cold blood! Yet this murdering hypocrite gets to live????
    Where is the justice???
    This man is a disgusting hypocrite!!! He killed a man he accused of doing the same thing, ridiculous!

    This was a Planned murder, so why NOT the death penalty?
    I don't want to waste my money keeping this piece of garbage alive, people like this are a waste of space!

    June 2, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  33. Cindy

    I was told 16 years ago my baby at 20 weeks had anencephaly which would not allow her to live once born. My doctor told me that "it was a nonviable pregnancy" and would not follow me through the pregnancy. I was basically told I had to abort my baby girl. I did and was devistated. It was the worst decision that I have ever made and it caused me to have a great depression. It took me 6 years to get over terminating my pregnancy. Me personally, I would never do it again. I wish I had continued like the woman tonight did.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  34. Mary Steele

    In response to the woman who said her baby, Angela's death was "painless". That was cruel to put that baby through that, I know what it feels like to struggle to breathe, I have asthma and there is nothing painless about it.

    Disgusted in Virginia!

    (Mary 757-887-6629)

    June 2, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  35. CC

    While my heart deeply goes out to the woman who spoke today who decided to bring her baby that had a serious defect to full term, I have lost a child before and the pain is unbearable, I think she is being hypocritical. After the child was born she made the "decision" to allow the baby to live or die naturally without letting the medical staff do what ever they could for the baby to survive. This was a personal decision that she made for which she has the absolute right. However, she should therefor not past judgement on other women decision, not everyone could have mentally/emotionally deal with seeing their baby die after birth and perhaps putting thier life at risk while doing so. The point is that this very serious issue is a personal decision for a woman to make.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  36. Audrey Papke

    My friend told me, crying and crying: she had three prior abortions, and she said it was different this time – so painful. It wasn't like the others. Such a distressed cry and memory of the event. She said she went back three times or so before the doctor would abort. I'm sure she said it happened in Alpena, MI. The baby, as she finally delivered one, . . . the baby she delivered is very normal. I would imagine what sounded like a late-term – that the baby was normal.

    It hurt. It hurt so bad. She cried so . . . Indescribable . . . one could feel her pain, and that she said there was something so different this time. Her three prior abortions not hurting so desparately.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  37. Sandra Hendershot

    I have not comment on if abortion is right or wrong. My problem is the doctors, who say they care so much about women and their rights. I would have more of a tendency to believe that, if they weren't making a million dollars, and up, each year. Sandra Hendershot, Palm Bay, Florida

    June 2, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  38. Darla Abshire

    No one deserves to be shot in their own church, but what can one expect after taking the lives of so many? Babies are persons too and should not have their innocent lives shortened because someone thinks that they can take it upon themselves to play God. I was under the impression that Doctors save lives, not abort them.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  39. Pat Ormsby

    Thank you for your discussion of this issue, and the inclusion of guests representing both sides of the issue. Around 1965 I believed I was pregnant and began looking for ways to get overseas to have an abortion because it wasn't legal here and I knew my family would never help me. Luckily, I either was not pregnant or miscarried very early, but I will never forget the desperation I felt, trapped by my own body! I do not want any woman to ever have to experience that horror. No man will ever be able to understand that entrapment. I have been prochoice since then, and will now work harder than ever to keep clinics open so that women have a choice. Thanks again for airing this critical issue at this sad time following the death of Dr. Tiller.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  40. Daniel

    No one has the right to take the life of any human. If this guy was against killing then why did he kill?

    June 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  41. Wanda Jones

    This is sad on both sides. First you have compassion for the babies and you also have to except a woman's right to choose. This is a situation where there is no solution. The death of Dr Tillman is sad especially because it was done in church. The Right-wing are a bunch of terrriost. What was done to Dr Tillman was nothing but terrorism in the US. Even the rightwing network played a big part. They so much as advertised for Dr. Tillman's assination.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  42. Daniel

    I really appreciate and commend the honesty of the Mother that just spoke to Anderson regarding her experience with her child. What a brave women. The comments she made shed the light into my heart and confirmed what I already knew in my heart that Nature should take the course not us Choosing to Kill A Live Baby. When we abort babies of any age or any stage of life we are playing GOD. The moment that the Sperm leaves a human to find the Egg of the women that is life. The sperm is alive because it moves and it is alive. How could you even think that its not life when it moves. I am very proud of her and her statements. You are so brave and I am so glad you got the chance to Hold your baby girl and give her a name. I hope that many women that just watched you will hear your daughters voice through your voice and will change their mind and try to give their unborn children the chance to LIVE and have a name.
    God Bless You.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  43. Shari Harter

    Thank you for your interview of Diane Elder, the woman who at one point chose to complete the final 4 months of a pregnancy when it was known that the child would have many defects and would not survive.

    I am pro-choice, but I found her story compelling and heartfelt. I was touched by her reasoning - to let nature take its course and for her child to die a natural death, not at her hands. It required amazing strength of spirit for such a young woman, such as she was at the time, but clearly she took an intolerable pain and managed to turn it into a spiritual lesson for many, many people - millions more now due to your retelling.

    It's a good moral. Thanks!

    June 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  44. Terry e Akens

    Thank you Anderson for your interview technique and honesty to each person. I am so sorry for the death of Dr Tiller, but I am not sorry for what he had done to so many women who chose to end the life of their baby.
    The DR that is taking his place, what a piece of work. He does not even have a clue as to what an abortion does to a woman and the baby that is growing inside her. What compassion? He has none, only for his wallet..

    June 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  45. bill mac leod

    I have no use for doctors nurses or women that have or assist in abortions
    No one has a right to kill what god has created
    i feel sorry for the family of the doctor that was killed buy no remorse for the doctor
    he lived by the sword or scapel he dided by a gun
    As for the killer just maybe God wanted him to do this
    President Obama isn't doing anything about abortions

    Bill mac leod from Canada

    June 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  46. bill brady

    this guy is a nut and he killed a good man.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  47. jesse

    I am Pro-Life. And I have been active in pro-life activities. The killing of Dr. Tiller was uncall for and not what I stand for. I stand for life of the unborn and for the changing of hearts for those who believe in abortions.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  48. Kathy

    The killing for Dr. Tiller will not help to promote the cause of the pro- life point of view, though I am a proponent of pro choice, violence of this nature will never convince anyone to change their point of view. Abortion will always be controversial, but it is rarely a 1st choice for most women and is a difficult decision. Many Pro-life believers will often say that they will help you if you have the baby, but when the "rubber hits the road" and the hard word begins, the help is never there.

    Abortion is a woman's right to choose and women will have them whether they are legal or not.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  49. Nick D. Neighbour

    Let's not forget that, to some, Scott Roeder is a bloody HERO!
    Nick. N.

    June 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  50. Isabel, Brazil

    Hi, Maureen!

    Very sad not to have hope for survivors of Flight 447.

    It's very sad to know a little history of passengers. Some were working; others were a pleasure ... lives broken and families destroyed.

    The investigations of the accident will be with France, where the aircraft was registered, but Brazil will be responsible for the search for bodies and wreckage.

    Very good to know that the murderer of Dr. George Tiller has been charged with first-degree murder. He can to be with an unbalanced person.

    I wait more in a moment ... the show is almost starting!


    June 2, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
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