August 28th, 2009
08:22 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Couple Pleaded Not Guilty to 29 Felony Counts

Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender, was arraigned in California on Friday.

Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender, was arraigned in California on Friday.

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight, new developments in the bizarre and disturbing story unfolding in Antioch, California—a kidnapping cold case solved after nearly two decades.

Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender, and his wife, Nancy, were charged today with kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard in 1991. Authorities say they kept Dugard, now 29, captive in a secret backyard compound for the last 18 years.

The couple pleaded not guilty to nearly 30 felony counts, including kidnapping for sexual purposes and forcible rape. Investigators say Garrido fathered two children with Dugard, the first when she was just 14.

How could all this have unfolded for so long right in the middle of a residential neighborhood?

Today, the local sheriff made a stunning admission–saying his department missed a chance three years ago to crack the case wide open.

We’ll have more details on how exactly they dropped the ball. We’ll also talk to the heroes who acted on a hunch days ago, leading to Garrido’s arrest.

There’s also breaking news in the Michael Jackson case. The coroner ruled today the singer’s death was a homicide. The report says Jackson died from “acute propofol intoxication.” It also says a combination of additional drugs contributed to his death. Randi Kaye will have all the details from Los Angeles.

For a second day, thousands of people filed past Sen. Ted Kennedy’s coffin at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, paying their last respects. The public viewing ended this afternoon. An invitation-only memorial service is underway at this hour, with a veritable Who’s Who of Washington gathered to pay tribute to the lion of the Senate. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut just finished his remarks. A former Kennedy aide is now singing one of Kennedy’s favorite songs, the senator’s flag-draped casket just feet away. We’ll bring you the highlights from Boston, on the eve of Senator Kennedy’s funeral.

We’re also continuing our special coverage from New Orleans, four years after the storm. After the floods, important people promised they would never let the city flood again. They vowed to rebuild the levees bigger and stronger than before. But that hasn’t happened. Why not? We’re keeping them honest.

See you at 10 p.m. EST

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • The Buzz
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Garrido pleads Not Guilty??? He & sex offenders like him should be strung up by their privates. How many other sex offenders have been let go & how many cases like this are there???? ONE is TOO MANY!!!!!

    August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  2. kristin strand

    Here is why this horrible event happened:!!! My husband is on the Sex Offenders list in Illinois for having a consensual relationship with me, when hes was 32, and i was 16. We are married now with two children and I am 26 years old!! So far,he has had 12 years on the registry,24 court appearences,dozens of house calls by cops,weve been pulled over at least ten times for no reason,26 probation appointments and weve had to go to the police station numerous times over simple clerical errors on the registry that claimed my husband wasnt registered.. The point is,if anyone wants to know how the cops can miss real registered pedophiles deviant actions,its because they are monitoring thousands of consensual,statutory cases like ours,instead of focusing intensley on real pedophiles and rapists. The media is to cowardly to address this and only profiles the worst cases for sensationalism. This horrible tragedy will happen again and again and it is because the police simply cannot monitor everyone,nor should they. It is high time to weed out juvenille and non threatening,consensual cases from the registry and focus on the real dangerous ones. Was Elvis Prelay a Sex Offender for Marrying Priscilla at 14/15?

    August 31, 2009 at 4:48 am |
  3. Michael - Newport Beach, CA

    Annie Kate, I can't believe the most you wrote about was john mccain? You posted a response for this article and yet most of it was about john. I won't capitalize his name for the main fact that you used this forum to preach mccain. Sad in every sense of the word, sad. This particular article that you spoke about (which you should re-read) was about the girl who was abducted for over 18 years. I think you're like a lot of people that over look these types of things...I feel sorry for you. 18 year of rape and you write about john mccain...? Good luck in life. Poor girl...

    August 31, 2009 at 3:21 am |
  4. roy

    This has similarities to kidnappings related to Franklin Cover-up in 1980s

    August 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  5. Seanne

    I woukld suggest that someone look very seriously at the probation system for Contra Costra County, and the psychologists from the Oasis Center in Walnut Creek in the county, who are hired by the courts to analyze those going through their criminal system. The one who is the most likely to be of importance to this case, or perhaps I may be wrong, is a so called psychologist who teaches at the Kennedy School and Wright Institute, calls himself Dr., although he is only qualified as a Doctorate of Education from University of Northern Coplorado in Greeley, Colorado in 1977, and a Bachelors in Biology from Adams College in Colorado. Andrew P. Pojman is not qualified professionally, even though he is a licenced psychologist in northern California, but he has a really terrible record of "psychobabble" analalyzing juveniles and adults for Conta Costa County judicial system over the past twenty years. or so. Pojman used to be a Resident Advisor on the UNC campus where he and his wife lived in dormitories in 1975 – 6, was very obsessed with handicapped students and he would say terrible things that were made up in his head about them without the slightest provocation. He had many run ins with the staff about that, he was very arrogant about his own powers of deciding bizzare and basically morbid psychological assumptions based on some child psychologists, not based on any sort of converstions other than dormitory regular life, such as students who moved in or out of the dorms. He was very "big mouthed" and a bully basing all his reasoniing in that he "played All Star football, and that he was a married man" whenever he was approached about his own behavior with fellow students, especially handicapped students with whom he would try to trick into playing "secret magic" card games with all the time. Hence, the complaints about him to university staff, who did nothing, I am afraid. So, I would not be surprised at all if there was some sort of connections with Mr. Pojman and this Contra Costa County screw up, innocent as it may seem in the mistakes made, or not seen correctly.

    August 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  6. Deta

    I am just saying if it was a BLACK MAN they would have checked his I.D and looked into his house and under the rug and any where else they could.Because it was a white man they think that they will not do any harm.Police officers take for granted that a white man would have anything to hide .SURPRIZE? No I don't think so if you look at it they should have found this child years ago but in their thinking why would this man do something like that .I am quite sure that they all knew that this child was missing and yet did nothing.Why you ask? Because they did'nt even keep this child on the front burner of police work. So who is going to help this woman/child now?

    August 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  7. Lauren R.

    About Jaycee Duggard: please stop asking why she didn't escape. She survived, and she was courageous for doing that in ANY way she could. We must never ever wonder about the victims of sexual assaults or put any kind of blame on them. We should feel joyous she is alive. Period. Jaycee, you and your daughters are welcomed home, with open and loving arms.

    August 30, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  8. rbarn

    aren't we just sick of these incredible stories like this, when it comes to innocent children we miss the bar by a 1,000 miles from the authorities, from parents, from parole boards the laws should change if you hurt a child it should be a punishment that you will never ever forget!!! and then you let them out to distroy another life it's too sad

    August 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  9. Susan Segal

    As a parent and a human being I am apalled by the fact that this was allowed to happen. The police, after receiving a call to say that there were children living in the yard should have actually taken a look there!

    There was a comment last evening that this is what the sex offender registry was put in place for. I agree with that. However, what we have done has been to put as many people as possible on the register with different rules in different states and now it is huge, containing many people who are no real danger to anybody. This, I believe, has done two things. 1. Watered down the meaning of being on the register and 2. Created a large number of mostly young males who are, for life, being placed outside of the normal society. I worry that this means that we are creating a huge population of young men who have little or nothing to loose because they are never going to be accepted as human beings. This is currently a growing problem.

    I understand that its not popular to point this out but it is a problem that we, as a nation, need to address or suffer the consequences.

    How about a program on this?

    For obvious reasons I would not want my name mentioned on air.

    August 29, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  10. Cheryl Greenwell

    I hope you will start to include more about Nancy Garrido; all the media seem to think the animal here is he; well she is just as much to blame. She has been keeping that girl for all these years knowing all to well what was going on. She even took the girl from the bus stop. To me she is more guilty concerning Dugard, at least he is crazy.

    August 29, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  11. dorothy


    August 29, 2009 at 4:56 am |
  12. dorothy

    How can he say that he is not "GUILTY". When he no he is guilty as ever. I don't understand how a sex offender can off so easy. And a drug dealer get life for selling drugs on the street's. When it come too a sex offender a child do not ask to be kidnap. When one buy drugs that's there doing. One day I were watching the news and they said they don't have the money to keep sex offender in prison. And one wonder, they have the money to keep drug dearlers in prison. Are it's cos most drug dearlers that are in prison are black, and most sex offenders are white. If I had to pick who I want out on the streets. I will pick the drug dearler. Who want someone out there kidnapping there kid, and who knows what they will no to them. Most of them are killed by sex offender's. All sex offenders should be lock up and never let out. I wish I could change the law.

    August 29, 2009 at 4:55 am |
  13. visitor

    Deliberate neglgence is the case here. The authorithies should have caught this maniac decades ago if they had only put a litlle of the littlest effort. But they didn't. They never cared. They ought to quit their jobs and should be ashamed of themselves all their lives. They're not fit to be cops. From top to buttom whoever was involved in this case from the beginning. As for the couples, they should rot themselves behind bars and burned themselves in hell including their attorneys who are still willing to represent these two devils.

    August 29, 2009 at 3:59 am |
  14. Debra Dinubilo

    Why didn't the kidnapped girl try to leave? She's now 29 years old with two children. I also understand that she remembers her life before the kidnapping. What am I missing>

    August 29, 2009 at 2:55 am |
  15. Bonnie

    As a nurse, I would like to say that what the doctor did with MJ is reprehensible. Even with Dr. orders no nurse would give that many respatory supressant drugs in any combonation. He knew better, and he was monitoring him with a pulse oximeter! Are you kidding! He should have been on a heart monitor at the very least.

    August 29, 2009 at 2:32 am |
  16. Karen Foti

    We have not heard a thing in the media about the wife of this monster-How can she have sat there all these years and allowed this to have transpired? She is just as much a sex offender as her husband. His comments about the story made my stomach turn- "a heart-warming story?"!!!! There is nothing farther from the truth. He is diabollical and psychotically delusional. Ironically, his 11 year old who he credits for his turnaraound is being taken from him at the same age that he so callously robbed Jaycee of her future and her family of her presence. I hope he spends every next day of his life in miserable captivity experiencing the same misery he inflicted upon Jaycee and his own children. I have even more anger toward the wife who was complicit in this horror. I am reminded of the case in NYC of little Lisa Steinberg and her mother Hedda, she was just as culpable in the crime as her abusive spouse regardless of whatever abuse she suffered, she was the adult and it was her job to do the right thing.

    August 29, 2009 at 2:15 am |
  17. Saundra Hughes

    I somehow do not believe that the wife of the kidnap monster is really his legal spouse. She looks victimized and lifeless. But I guess one would have to be lifeless to carry out such horrible deeds. I think all of us should now be more vigilant with children and never let captured/ convicted sex offenders out of prison. This story has made me very angry and sad for the victims

    August 29, 2009 at 2:01 am |
  18. jennifer DiGiovanni

    PLEASE enough about Micheal Jackson. You are suppose to be a REAL reporter.. Investigate how child molesters get out of prision and remain free!!! DO YOUR JOB as a reporter!! Stay away from STUPID Micheal Jackson>>>
    PS Say HI to Kelly Rippa I love you guys together!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  19. Lori

    Thank you CNN. You are off the charts! (In a good way of course)

    August 29, 2009 at 12:59 am |
  20. Dr.E.Pomer

    Where are judges when it comes to releasing sex offenders who cannot be deemed mentally competent? Surely Phillip Garrido did not become mentally unstable overnight as even reported by his father who describes his son as unstable even as a teenager. How did police take 18 years to find Jaycee Dugard when a neighbor made a specific complaint about children in the back while the investigating policeman didn't even search the property? Was a background check every done after the neighbor's 911 call that Garrido was a sex offender? How is it that the same car that was seen abducting Dugard sat today in Garrido's driveway? And the probation officer never noticed anything untoward? I trust there will not only be a thorough investigation of everything that went wrong but that the Dugard family will rightfully sue as their daughter and granddaughters will need much therapy to have a shot at recovery, as well as educational tutoring and housing. But most of all, we pray that Jaycee Dugard and her children can ever live a semblance of a normal, emotionally healthy life given what they have been subjected to.

    August 29, 2009 at 12:53 am |
  21. Ashley H, Canada

    Those idiots plead "not guilty"? Unbelievable. Are they insane??? We all know that for the last 18 years they've been commiting these crimes! Lock them up in prison for a very long time.

    It's great news that Jaycee was found alive. I hope she and her kids are healthy, and that they're doing well.

    How come Anderson isn't in New Orleans?

    So, is Dr. Murray going to be charged with manslaughter, or homicide or something like that?

    August 29, 2009 at 12:34 am |
  22. KIm

    How will this tighten up laws for sex offenders ? What proceedures could change ? Was there a probation officer ? It's good the sherriff came out to admitt mistakes. Honest description of reflection on what should have happened. Wonder if her children have talked to a psychologist or social services and what's happening for them ? One of the psychologist thinks it's best to create a similar environment for an adjustment period for them all. How about a soft,cozy,warm and safe bed with grandmom's homemade cookies and milk ? Also,a wonderful book read and mom right there with family. A hot shower and maybe a steak on the grill with granddad. God bless this family !

    August 29, 2009 at 12:03 am |
  23. Ivy

    Anderson, strange as it may be, not many in your field can write. Tonight's "Evening Buzz" is not only "so you," but it is well-written, lively and intriguing. In reading it, I could actually hear your voice in mind. It's refreshing to encounter someone so erudite and relevant. Wish some of your talent rubbed off on certain media types you interview. Good job, bon mots, etc!

    August 28, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  24. Cowboy

    It sadness me to see and hear about tragic things in this world that orcure in our everyday life.Who's to blame doe?Their isn't anybody in this world that can point a finger doe.We all or guilty for the things that go on in this world.People or getting kipnaped,rape,robbed,killed,and mis treated evrywhere.It hurts not only me but many people like me,a person with a heart.When will we open our eye's and mouth,to see the truth and speak the truth we that they call citizens.We or steady going into debt on none since.We should be going into debt by saving or human raceThe goverment should focuse more on us instead of everybody eles business.

    August 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  25. Dawn Miller

    What the heck would NEW ORLEANS do w/o ANDERSON ? That is the question??? He has kept everyone abreast of the goings on and for this I am truly grateful. 4 LONG years tomorrow and Anderson is still going strong! I have enjoyed this weeks coverage of New Orleans and looking very forward to tonights broadcast. Anderson keep up the great work the people of New Orleans NEED YOU! It is my hometown and always will be even though I've been in Vegas for 14 years. I was visiting in 04 and evacuated to Lafayette for Ike(brought back memories of Betsy, Camille etc.) and left before Katrina. Hoping to make it to Mardi Gras Feb. 16, 10. We love you Anderson and thanks for everything.
    Sincerely, I Remain, Dawn in Vegas

    August 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  26. M

    I was shocked at the panel on Anderson Cooper 360 regarding Garrido and how he got away with things for so long. Hello! Budget cuts for years within the California system. Cities and Towns cutting law enforcements and no budget for any that are in place. State buildings being closed on Fridays.... This is what America is coming to. People don't realize that the rich are getting richer and police are not willing to put any effort into situations because of no overtime, pay freezes etc. They see big business and what they get away with and many are not willing to put their neck out in case of the cost and what will come down if overtime is called upon to continue investigating a case. With matter worsening in California and cuts to the poor and sick, more and more problems will arise. California is planning a early release of thousands of inmates because of overcrowding, and no monies for prisons. Where are these criminals going?! To a neighborhood near you!

    August 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  27. David Lowenstein

    While the sad truth of a male sex offender's sexual fixation with a young woman – barely a woman- at that, is a perverted commonplace;
    what on earth motivated his wife, accomplice, and fellow traveller in the detention, forcible confinement and rape of an 11 year old child?
    Where is this woman's connection to womankind?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  28. Amey

    Jaycee Dugard's story is a horrible ordeal but I am happy that she was found. Cant wait to see what she looks like. She has a long road of recovery ahead of her.
    Its hard to believe that Garrido and wife were able to get away with this for 18 years. We as a country got to do better in tracking and locating sex offenders.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  29. Jeffrey

    Mr. Cooper,

    I would like to know if any of the police officers who failed to perform their jobs three years ago were fired? Why has there been know focused on the wife, she was just as much a part of this thing as he was?



    August 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  30. Vince (Baltimore)

    When was Phillip Garrido convicted as a sex offender and what is the story behind it?

    August 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  31. Joseph,Canada

    @Ron, west coast from yesterday:When you were 11, were you kidnapped, raped and impregnated? This young lady is the VICTIM of a child molestor. Your question re her possibly being a willing participant is unfair, insensitive, and just plain WRONG.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  32. Rhonda

    What is wrong with this world? How did the parole officier for Garrido not know that this man was sick. My question is, WHY DID HIS WIFE CHOOSE TO BE A PART OF IT?
    I am glad the young lady is finally free from her captors. As a survivor of rape myself, I know this young lady needs all the love, support, and help she can receive from a rape counselor. My thoughts and prayers are with this young lady and her family.

    August 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  33. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Pyscho...who would think that it was OK to hold a minor hostage and have children with her and think that is sane?

    August 28, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  34. Cherisa

    Wish more time on air could have been devoted to Katrina recovery, in NOLA and along the gulf coast. It seems we pause long enough to just acknowledge it then move on.

    August 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  35. Annie Kate

    I hope you will include showing John McCain's remarks; they were witty and showed how much Ted worked with the GOP on the other side; his remarks were so good and I'd love to hear the man sing again (I forget his name); he was really good. So far its been an interesting wake and I'm glad CNN is covering it.

    Looking forward to hearing more about the young girl who was kidnapped at the age of 11 and just turned up yesterday, 29 years old with 2 children aged 11 and 15. Has the family or the young woman talked with the press yet?

    August 28, 2009 at 8:42 pm |