June 7th, 2011
11:59 PM ET

Therapy to change 'feminine' boy created a troubled man, family says

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° beginning at 10pm ET for Part 2 of "The Sissy Boy Experiment."

Los Angeles (CNN) - Kirk Andrew Murphy seemed to have everything to live for.

He put himself through school. He had a successful 8-year career in the Air Force. After the service, he landed a high profile position with an American finance company in India.

But in 2003 at age 38, Kirk Murphy took his own life.

A co-worker found him hanging from the fan of his apartment in New Delhi. His family has struggled for years to understand what happened.

"I used to spend so much time thinking, why would he kill himself at the age of 38? It doesn't make any sense to me," said Kirk's sister, Maris Murphy. "What I now think is I don't know how he made it that long."

After Kirk's death, Maris started a search that would uncover a dark family secret. That secret revealed itself during a phone conversation with her older brother Mark, who mentioned his distrust of any kind of therapy.

"Don't you remember all that crap we went through at UCLA?" he asked her. Maris was too young to remember the details, but Mark remembered it vividly as a low point in their lives.

Wanting a 'normal life'

Kirk Murphy was a bright 5-year-old boy, growing up near Los Angeles in the 1970s. He was the middle child, with big brother Mark, 8, and little sister Maris, just a baby at 9 months. Their mother, Kaytee Murphy, remembers Kirk's kind nature, "He was just very intelligent, and a sweet, sweet, child." But she was also worried.

"Well, I was becoming a little concerned, I guess, when he was playing with dolls and stuff," she said. "Playing with the girls' toys, and probably picking up little effeminate, well, like stroking the hair, the long hair and stuff. It just bothered me that maybe he was picking up maybe too many feminine traits." She said it bothered her because she wanted Kirk to grow up and have "a normal life."

Then Kaytee Murphy saw a psychologist on local television.

"He was naming all of these things; 'If your son is doing five of these 10 things, does he prefer to play with girls' toys instead of boys' toys?' Just things like this," she said.

The doctor was on TV that day, recruiting boys for a government-funded program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Well, him being the expert, I thought, maybe I should take Kirk in," said Kaytee Murphy. "In other words, nip it in the bud, before it got started any further."

Kirk becomes 'Kraig'

Kaytee Murphy took Kirk to UCLA, where he was treated largely by George A. Rekers, a doctoral student at the time.

In Rekers' study documenting his experimental therapy, he writes about a boy he calls "Kraig." Another UCLA gender researcher confirmed that "Kraig" was a pseudonym for Kirk.

The study, later published in an academic journal, concludes that after therapy, "Kraig's" feminine behavior was gone and he became "indistinguishable from any other boy."

"Kraig, I think, certainly was Rekers' poster boy for what Rekers was espousing for young children," said Jim Burroway, a writer and researcher who has studied Rekers' work.

"We have been wondering where is Kraig? A lot of us have talked about it. Where is he today? Is he married or is he gay? Or specifically does he even know that Rekers has been writing about him?" said Burroway. "I found 17 different articles, books, chapters, that he has written in which he talked about Kraig."

Rekers' work with Kirk Murphy helped him build a three-decade career as a leading national expert in trying to prevent children from becoming gay, a career as an anti-gay champion that would later be tainted by his involvement in an embarrassing scandal.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Gay & Lesbian Issues
June 7th, 2011
11:51 PM ET

The RidicuList: Texting at the movies

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper adds people who talk and text in movie theaters to AC360's RidicuList.

Related: 'Cell Phone Lady' added to The RidicuList

More on the Alamo Drafthouse Blog: She texted. We kicked her out.

June 7th, 2011
11:46 PM ET

Crime & Punishment: Testimony focuses on cadaver dog

Editor's note: Gary Tuchman reports on testimony from a dog handler Tuesday in Casey Anthony's murder trial.

Related: Cadaver dog alerted to Casey Anthony's car, parents' back yard, deputy testifies

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
June 7th, 2011
11:41 PM ET

KTH: New lies from Gadhafi's regime

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper provides an update on the military conflict in Libya.

Related: 'We will not surrender, we will not give up,' says Gadhafi

June 7th, 2011
11:35 PM ET

KTH: Questions surface about Weiner's conduct

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper reports on questions that are being raised about Rep. Anthony Weiner's online behavior.

Related: Democratic leaders ostracize Weiner

Should Rep. Wiener Step Down?: Join the Live Chat
Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill on May 31 regarding a lewd photo tweet.
June 7th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Should Rep. Wiener Step Down?: Join the Live Chat

There is a growing push for Rep. Anthony Weiner to step down after he confessed to inappropriate online relationships with six women. Should he? We're Keeping Them Honest. Plus, imagine trying to 'cure' a five-year-old boy because he plays with dolls. Don't miss our special report the "Sissy Boy Experiment."

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
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5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
June 7th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Democratic leaders ostracize Weiner

Washington (CNN) - Democratic leaders in Congress turned their backs Tuesday on embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner a day after the New York Democrat admitted to improper sexually tinged communications with women and lying about it.

"I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can't," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters. Asked what he would say if Weiner sought advice, Reid smiled and responded: "I'd tell him to call someone else."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who called for an ethics investigation Monday, released a letter Tuesday that detailed her formal request for the inquiry. Weiner publicly apologized Monday for "sexting" on Facebook and Twitter with six women over the past three years and then denying it for a week.

Weiner has said he would "welcome and fully cooperate" with the probe. However, a senior Democratic aide said Pelosi's letter was not required, and her releasing it was more of a political move.

"This certainly adds pressure for him to go," said the senior Democratic aide, who spoke on condition of not being identified.

The public disrespect by his own party leaders bodes poorly for Weiner in the aftermath of a scandal that first surfaced over the Memorial Day weekend. Weiner said Tuesday he would not step down, but that didn't stop House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, from calling for his resignation.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
Beat 360° 6/7/11
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden toast each other during a luncheon at the US State Department June 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
June 7th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/7/11

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Joey Gardner
“Here’s to Wiener Schnitzel”


"To Oscar Mayer, the last honorable Weiner."

Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
June 7th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Gadhafi: 'We will not surrender, we will not give up'

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed Tuesday that "we will not surrender," even as NATO airstrikes bombarded his compound in Tripoli.

"I am now speaking as planes and bombs fall around me," Gadhafi said in a live audio broadcast on state television. "But my soul is in God's hand. We will not think about death or life. We will think about the call of duty."

At least three explosions rocked Tripoli late Tuesday night; it was not immediately clear what they hit.

Earlier in the day, NATO targeted a military base and Gadhafi's compound, state television reported. A spokesman for the Libyan government said that at least 31 people were killed, including a number of civilians, and dozens more were wounded after 60 missiles struck the capital city.

The compound was under "intensive continuous bombardment," according to state TV, which reported buildings and infrastructure were destroyed.

"We will not surrender, we will not give up," Gadhafi said. "We have one option - our country. We will remain in it 'til the end. Dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter."

The blasts Tuesday, and others Monday that Libyan officials said hit state television buildings, elicited heated responses from the government spokesman.

"We believe NATO understands that its military campaign is failing miserably," said spokesman Musa Ibrahim. "No one has the right to shape Libya's future except for Libyans."

Ibrahim said Tuesday's morning blasts hit the popular guard compound and revolution compound, which are military barracks near Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

The spokesman said the attack on the television network killed two people and wounded 16.

NATO disputed the account.

"We did not target or hit the Libyan broadcast facilities. What we did target was the military intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli," the alliance said. "The story coming from Libyan officials that we targeted and hit the state broadcaster's building is bogus."

The back and forth between Libyan officials and NATO continues a public relations war between the two sides.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
June 7th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

Deputy: Cadaver dog alerted to Casey Anthony's car, parents' back yard

(CNN) - A dog trained to locate human remains alerted his handler to them in two locations: the trunk of Casey Anthony's car and a corner of her parents' back yard, the handler testified in Anthony's capital murder trial Tuesday.

On first pass by the dog, Gerus, around Anthony's white Pontiac Sunfire on July 17, 2008, "he started indicating in the rear of the vehicle," said Orange County, Florida, sheriff's Deputy Jason Forgery, a K-9 handler. "I could tell he was working something."

As the dog came around the front of the car, Forgery said he asked that the trunk be opened. When Gerus came around to the trunk, he put his front paws inside, then lay down - a signal to Forgery that he had detected the scent of remains.

He said Gerus also alerted in the southeast corner of the Anthony back yard. However, during a cross-examination that grew testy at times, Forgery told defense attorney Jose Baez that after technicians had examined the area and scraped the surface of the land, he returned the following day and the dog did not alert in the back yard.

Casey Anthony, 25, faces seven counts in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading investigators. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.

Members of Caylee's family reported they last saw her on June 16, 2008, but no one alerted police until July 15, when the girl's grandmother, Casey Anthony's mother, tracked Anthony down and demanded answers.

Prosecutors allege Anthony used chloroform on her daughter and suffocated her by putting duct tape over the little girl's mouth and nose. They allege Anthony put her daughter's body in her car trunk before disposing of it. Caylee's skeletal remains were found in December 2008, less than a mile from the home of Anthony's parents.

Anthony has pleaded not guilty and denied having anything to do with her daughter's death. Baez has said that when all the facts are known, it will become clear his client is innocent.

The Orlando woman's attorneys argue Caylee drowned in the family pool on June 16. They say Anthony and her father panicked and covered up the death. George Anthony denied the claim during his testimony.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
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