May 6th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Exxon Valdez revisited

Dan Simon | BIO
CNN Correspondent

With the oil leak in the Gulf, we wanted to see what things are like two decades after the worst spill in U.S. history. So we headed north to Cordova, Alaska, a small fishing community most affected by the the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. It’s clear the community is still living with the aftermath.

Cordova, Alaska fisherman John Platt still struggles daily with the effects, both financial and psychological, of the Exxon Valdez oil spill some 21 years later.


May 4th, 2010
07:36 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: The radical next door

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/05/04/new.york.bomb.suspect/story.suspect.times.square.orkt.jpg caption="The blueprint for terror strikes against large, guarded nations such as the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, has changed." width=300 height=169]

The arrest of Faisal Shahzad reads like something out of novel. From the car left in Times Square on a busy Saturday night loaded with a home made bomb, to witnesses noticing the smoke and flashes of light inside, to the New York mayor being rousted from a black-tie dinner in DC to rush home, to the breathless, last-minute race to the airport to nab the suspect before he went airborne to Pakistan. It makes for great reading when the end comes out right. But it is also a sobering reminder of the fact that sooner or later, the ending will not be what we hope.

And in my experience more security analysts are saying when the next successful attack comes (and given enough time, it will) chances are good it will involve people who are living among us right now.


Filed under: Reporter's Notebook • Terrorism • Tom Foreman
May 4th, 2010
05:20 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: "Murder in Mississippi: Not exactly black and white"

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Program Note: Watch Randi’s full report tonight on Anderson Cooper 360° at 10pm eastern.

We just finished up in court here in Jackson, Mississippi. We came here to attend the hearing for Vincent McGee. He’s the 22- year-old African American man accused of murdering 67-year-old Richard Barrett, a well-known white supremacist. Barrett rallied across the country in support of segregation. He believed non-whites, especially African Americans, were inferior. He was the leader of the “Nationalist Movement” and would often invite fellow white supremacists and skin heads to his home for “warrior weekends” during which they would take target practice at photos of Martin Luther King.

Barrett was found stabbed and beaten in his home outside Pearl, Mississippi on April 22nd. Police say he had 16 stab wounds and 35 percent of his body had been burned. Plus, he had suffered blunt trauma to his head. We learned in court a neighbor had seen smoke coming from the home and when firefighters arrived they found Barrett’s body in the kitchen, with his head severely burned and several stab wounds around his neck. Police say he had been killed first, then the house set on fire to cover up the crime.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/04/getty_barrett_horiz.jpg caption="Richard Barrett, a well-known white supremacist, was found murdered in his home."]

In court, Deputy Sheriff Brent Bailey said Vincent McGee confessed to killing Barrett and taking a knife from his house. McGee was in court today dressed in a bright yellow jumpsuit, bullet proof vest, and shackles on his hands and feet.

In his first statement, Deputy Bailey said McGee told him he went to use his Facebook account at Barrett’s house and Barrett made a sexual advance toward him so he killed him. But in his second statement, the Deputy said McGee told him, “he went to confront Barrett about some money… they got into an argument about the money and Barrett dropped his pants and asked him to perform a sexual act. He hit him with a radio… grabbed a knife, wrapped a belt around his hands, and kept stabbing him until he quit moving.”
Police say Barrett had hired McGee to mow the lawn.

So if it’s true and Barrett did proposition McGee for sex, how ironic is it that a white supremacist who railed against blacks and homosexuality for decades would then ask a young black man for sex? Or is this just a way to try and get out of a capital murder charge? We’ll ask the defense attorney.


May 4th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: Oil reaches islands

Justine Redman
AC360° Producer

Editor's Note: Watch Gary Tuchman's full report tonight on AC360° at 10pm eastern

Gary Tuchman, photographer Phil Littleton and I are on our way to the Chandeleur Islands, 35 miles off the coast of Mississippi. They're uninhabited barrier islands, not much but some patches of land sticking out just above the water's surface, we think. And we believe the oil spill has hit them.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/04/tuchman.mississippi.jpg caption="Gary Tuchman on his way to the Chandeleur Islands, which may be the first place oil has hit land."]

We found a man with a boat willing to take us on the three hour sail from Gulfport. We've got our satellite gear, and rubber boots, and we're hoping it all works out to have Gary live from the islands for AC360° tonight, taking a look at the sort of thing we can expect to see on the mainland if the oil reaches that coastline.

May 3rd, 2010
05:19 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: "Why did the Pope hesitate?"

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Program Note: Watch Gary's full report tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Gary Tuchman and I were in the Bay Area last week wanting to speak with Stephen Kiesle. Kiesle is a former priest, but also a convicted sex offender. He was accused of molesting children while studying to be a priest in the 1970's. He pleaded no contest to some of those charges, but also said he no longer wanted to be a priest. His bishop at the time agreed. Kiesle should not be associated with the Catholic Church.

The problem? Someone in the Vatican disagreed. Despite the fact that Kiesle already admitted to the charges and petitioned to be de-frocked with full support from the bishop, one man said no.

That man was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, a top Vatican official. The same man who is now Pope Benedict the XVI. After years of back and forth, Ratzinger said more information was needed because of Kiesle¹s young age. In a letter signed by Ratzinger, he wrote "the good of the universal church" needed to be taken into consideration.

Kiesle lives in a private community just north of San Francisco. An invitation is needed to get in and see anyone inside. Because of that he's been shielded from the media. We spoke with people who say they were molested by Kiesle and are frustrated and angry that the church didn't remove him quickly after he admitted to his crimes.

We were invited into the private, gated community by one of the residents. We pulled around and saw Kiesle getting into his car. Gary wanted to ask him if he was sorry for molesting children and wanted to know how he felt about the long delay in his removal from the priesthood.

Watch our story tonight at 10pm on Anderson Cooper 360.

April 29th, 2010
05:13 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: "Murder on the border"

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Program Note: Watch Randi's full report tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

We are on our way to cover the story of the Arizona rancher police say was killed by illegal immigrants, drug smugglers who Sheriff Larry Dever says crossed the US/Mexico border illegally and worked their way through the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge, which is federal land. The victim in this case, cattle rancher Rob Krentz, owned 35,000 acres of land that butted up to that wildlife refuge.
His ranch is in the middle of nowhere. We flew 6 hours to get to Arizona and then drove another 3 hours or so to the tiny (supposedly haunted) town of Bisbee, AZ.


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