March 30th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Video: Prosecutor: 9 teens charged in bullying that led to girl's suicide


Nine Massachusetts teenagers have been charged with involvement in a months-long campaign of bullying that led to the suicide in January of a 15-year-old girl, a prosecutor said Monday.

Phoebe Prince's body was found hanging in the stairway leading to her family's second-floor apartment in South Hadley, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel told reporters in the western Massachusetts town of Northampton.

"It appears that Phoebe's death on January 14 followed a torturous day for her when she was subjected to verbal harassment and physical abuse," she said.

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March 30th, 2010
02:29 PM ET

10 people, ages 8-21, shot dead in Mexico

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/03/30/mexico.young.people.killed/story.policia.jpg caption="Mexican police are investigating the killing of 10 young people, between the ages of 8 and 21, in Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico." width=300 height=169]


Ten children, youths and young adults between the ages of 8 and 21 were gunned down, presumably by drug traffickers, in the northern Mexican state of Durango, the state's attorney general said Monday.

The incident happened Sunday on a road near the town of Pueblo Nuevo in southern Durango.

Attorney General Daniel Garcia Leal said that unknown gunmen who had set up a fake checkpoint on the road shot and even threw grenades at the victims, the state-run Notimex news agency reported.

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Filed under: Mexico
March 30th, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Video: 'Christian warriors' arrested

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

Filed under: 360° Radar
March 30th, 2010
01:46 PM ET

Cops: Missing family went to Mexico


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/02/22/california.missing.family/story.mcstay.split.courtesy.jpg caption="Authorities originally believed evidence collected at the home of Joseph and Summer McStays suggested they hadn't planned on being gone long." width=300 height=169]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

New evidence may suggest that a Southern California family that disappeared in early February voluntarily left for Mexico, investigators said.

Joseph and Summer McStay and their children, Gianni, 4, and Joseph, 3, have not been seen or heard from since February 4.

But key questions about the mystery and the apparent inactivity of bankcards, credit cards and cell phones since they vanished continue to baffle police and troubled family members.

“I’ve been in this business for over 35 years but I've never seen anything like this, Lt. Dennis Brugos of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department told CNN.

“This whole thing doesn’t add up,” Michael McStay, the brother of Joseph McStay, said in a phone interview. “If they left, I don’t need to know why. The bottom line is I need to make sure they are OK.”

Information gathered on the McStay's home computer reveal the couple was making travel inquires about Mexico on the internet a week before they were reported missing, Brugos said.

“It had to do with travel in Mexico with children and whether you needed to have passports for children,” Brugos said. “It looks as if there were some planning.”


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
March 30th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Video: We can put an end to slavery

Kevin Bales
Special to CNN

For the first time in history, slavery can be brought to an end. What's more, we already know how to do it. Even if the cost of ending slavery were astronomical, we should do it - but in fact the cost is surprisingly low.

A number of forces have come together to create a unique moment. On one side there has been a recent rapid growth in the number of slaves worldwide. The population explosion, coupled with natural disasters, epidemic disease, civil war, grinding poverty, and especially government corruption, made millions of people vulnerable to slavery. The result is some 27 million people in slavery today.

These are real slaves, controlled by violence, paid nothing, unable to walk away, and making fat profits for criminal slaveholders.

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March 30th, 2010
11:13 AM ET
March 30th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Life or death for Dating Game killer?


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/07/t1.crime.datinggame1.jpg caption="Rodney Alcala appeared on 'The Dating Game' in 1978." width=300 height=169]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

The serial killer who appeared on The Dating Game will learn his fate today.

A judge in California this morning will formally sentence Rodney Alcala, 66, for the murders of four women and a girl. A jury earlier this month recommended Alcala receive the death penalty for his crimes.

Alcala was a winning bachelor on The Dating Game in 1978. A few months after the taping of the show he raped and murdered 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.

Samsoe’s earrings were found in a storage locker Alcala kept in Seattle, investigators said.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
March 30th, 2010
10:04 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Scientology: A history of violence – part two

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/video/bestoftv/2010/03/29/ac.scientology.pt1.cnn.416×234.jpg width=416 height=234]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight we continue our report on allegations made by a number of former high-ranking members of the Church of Scientology. The allegations are about physical abuse they say took place within the Sea Organization, the international management branch of the Church.

Last night we told you about Marty Rathbun, who was a member of the Church of Scientology for 27 years before leaving in 2004. Rathbun says he was the Inspector General and answered only to Church leader David Miscavige, the same man who he says would use physical abuse against other members of the Church’s elite management team. But Rathbun’s ex-wife says he’s lying and other current Sea Organization members agree. They say Rathbun was the attacker, not Miscavige.

Tonight we hear from other former high-ranking officials within the Church who say they either witnessed or were physically assaulted by Miscavige. Again, the Church strongly denies these allegations. Decide for yourself tonight.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
March 30th, 2010
08:40 AM ET

Dear President Obama #435: In praise of cooler heads

Reporter's Note: I write a letter a day to the president, even when he is away.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/03/29/michigan.arrests/smlvid.terror.raid.wxyz.jpg caption="Nine people federal prosecutors say belong to a "Christian warrior" militia were accused of plotting to kill a Michigan law enforcement officer." width=300 height=169]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Look at you, sprinting off to Afghanistan! I know that such trips by presidents are always symbolic. It’s not like you’re going to jump into a Humvee and lead a charge, (although, if you decide to, please give me a heads up…) but I still appreciate the effort. I’ve said many times that as long as we have troops overseas, we must never forget about them and nothing reminds us more than a little presidential press.

That said I am following the news tonight about the arrests of this militia group that was allegedly planning some sort of war on police here on the home front, and sometimes I really wonder what is going on in our country.

I understand people being angry when political leaders take a direction they don’t much trust. I comprehend the maddening frustration that comes with seeing the world change in a way that one may find hard to accept. For example, that new Kirstie Alley show has me waking up in cold sweats…

But this notion that we have folks arising with weapons and fury intent on waging physical war against our government strikes me as just loopy. I know, they make all their speeches about standing up to oppression and fighting the forces that would take over America, and frankly as long as they are making speeches and seeking non-violent ways to accomplish those goals, I say more power to them.


March 30th, 2010
06:32 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 3/29/10

Editor's Note: After last night's AC360°, we heard from many of you about Drew Griffin's report on the Hutaree Militia. Many of you weighed in with your opinions on our weeklong series, “Scientology: A history of violence.”

I just heard a comment on your show claiming that on the Hutaree web site it tells of attack plans to be carried out on the Government, local and or state. This isn't true at all it's says that nowhere on the web site .It says nothing about attacks. Have you read the web site or just reporting what you hear??

I was interested in the Scientology segment but felt you cut off the Scientologists from saying their piece. There were four people sitting there but only one got a chance to say anything. I'd like to hear their side of the story tomorrow night. Please give them the chance to actually talk!

I understand you interviewed a few guys who are Ex Scn, what about interviewing some of the guys who are working in happily? It seems we only see televised these few guys, not the majority.

While I applaud Cooper taking on the Church of Scientology, I am disappointed in the way AC360 feeds the story out. This is potentially one of the most important stories Cooper's ever done – or at least it could be if he REALLY uncovers what's going on. There is a reason people are so afraid of criticizing the church – I believe it could be one of the most corrupt institutions around. So many frightening stories and interviews and video online about what really goes on there, and MANY in-depth books as well.

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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