September 12th, 2008
12:03 PM ET

For Ike, the reality may be worse than the warning

Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

"Certain death"– that's what the latest National Weather Service bulletin says will happen to those who don't heed the warning to get away from Hurricane Ike as it blasts away at the Texas coast.

The language in that bulletin is shocking– and it should scare the pants off of anyone within range of it. Take it from me, the reality may be even worse than the warning.

That bulletin reminds me of the one that Robert Ricks sent out the day before Hurricane Katrina.


Filed under: Hurricane Ike • Susan Roesgen
September 8th, 2008
06:18 PM ET

...look at that same hammock now!

Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

So yesterday I sent in a snapshot of my location in Florida awaiting the possible arrival of Hurricane Ike. This is on the beach in Islamorada... and the quiet before the storm. It was just another day in paradise.

... look at that same hammock now!!

Filed under: Hurricane Ike • Susan Roesgen
September 3rd, 2008
05:29 PM ET

After Gustav: Snapshots from the field

Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

Just wanted to share two snapshots from my travels around New Orleans this week after weathering Hurricane Gustav:

This church, 'Unity Baptist' is in a part of town called "Central City" a few miles to the west of the French Quarter...

This tilting house is in Uptown New Orleans.. (the area that includes Tulane U, Loyola U, Audubon Zoo...) A neighbor told us that the owners were renovating– you can see the green paint is fresh.. and inside, the house has been gutted, and new wooden support beams have gone up... we don’t know if the owners have even been back to see it...

Filed under: Hurricane Gustav • Susan Roesgen
May 20th, 2008
07:31 PM ET

R. Kelly Sex Tape in Court

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Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

So this was it.

The 25-minute sex tape that could send R&B superstar R. Kelly to prison for fifteen years on child pornography charges.

Some reporters said they'd seen parts of it – or heard about it – but this was it.

On the opening day of Kelly's trial, the judge ordered the lights lowered and the blinds drawn in the courtroom. What is the jury thinking? Can't see them up in the front, in the dark. What's R. Kelly thinking? He seems to be staring at the defense table, not watching.

What are reporters thinking? I don't know about the rest of them, but I know what I'm thinking. I'm thinking I'm a paid voyeur. This tape is so hot that even courtroom sketch artists were warned that if they drew any depiction of what's on it, they could be charged with child pornography themselves. And I'm going to watch every bit of it, so I can see what this trial is all about. Oh boy. Here we go.


Filed under: Susan Roesgen
May 5th, 2008
03:18 PM ET

FLDS polygamists: an extraordinary family tree

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Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

In the secretive, illegal world of American polygamy, life has been good to 67-year-old Wendell Loy Nielsen of El Dorado, Texas.

By his own account, Nielsen has 21 wives, and 36 children.

His oldest wife is 13 years older than he is, and his youngest wife is 43 years younger - she's just 24. His oldest child is 21 years old, and his youngest is a six-month-old baby.

That's one of the longer, single-family geneaologies we uncovered in the "Bishop's List" - a series of documents listing the age, marital status, children and addresses of members of the FLDS's Yearning for Zion ranch in El Dorado.

 The list indicates five of the wives are 16 years old - that's underage by Texas law. If those girls are also mothers, or even if they're not, but their marriages have been consummated, they could be considered victims of statutory rape under Texas law.

The "bishop" in charge of families keeps the list to keep track of members, and make sure there's enough housing and food. That's what Carolyn Jessop told us. She's a former polygamist wife who wrote the bestseller, ESCAPE.

And the bishop, she says, is her ex-husband, Merril Jessop.


Filed under: FLDS update • Polygamy • Susan Roesgen
April 28th, 2008
06:53 PM ET

Diamondbacks around the FLDS compund

Susan Roesgen
360° Correspondent

Nearly 2000 acres of scrub grass and cactus and little yellow wildflowers....

Texas hill country....windy, hot, dry.
I heard a rattle in the grass about five yards away and now I'm standing perfectly still.

I know what that sound is.

This place looks like my family's backyard in Montana. That sound is a rattlesnake.

I don't know whether to walk forward or backward, and I've wandered too far from the rest of the crew to yell.

My Dad beat a rattler to death with a rake in our garage once, and my high school boyfriend killed one with a golf club after it bit his hand on the 18th hole.


Filed under: Susan Roesgen