tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 10, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
pierce, thanks. it's 10:00 here on the east coast. we begin with the breaking news in the trayvon martin killing. we begin with george zimmerman's former legal team. former. today when hal uhrig and craig sonner stepped up to the microphone, some expected george zimmerman might be with them. instead reporters around the country got this. >> as of now, we're withdrawing as counsel for mr. zimmerman. we've lost contact with him. up to this point we've had contact everyday. he's gone on his own. i'm not sure what he's doing or who he's talking to. >> zimmerman they suggested had essentially gone rogue, had contacted the special prosecutors office on his own and is in a fragile condition. >> george zimmerman in our opinion and from information made available to us is not doing well emotionally, probably suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. we understand from others he may have lost a lot of weight. our concern is for him to do this when he's got a couple of
professionals working as hard as we were for his benefit to handle it this way suggests that he may not be in complete control of what's going on. we're concerned for his emotional and physical safety. >> that was hal uhrig. zimmerman for his part said nothing about developments either through his family or website. he wrote i'm attempting to respond to each and every one of my supports everywhere. joining me is hal uhrig and craig sonner. why did you decide to speak so publicly today? >> a couple of reasons. first of all, we want to make it clear we're professionals. we've got ethical requirements. we had been asked by mr. zimmerman to represent him. we've been in constant communication with him. suddenly on sunday he went quiet and dark, if you will. we found out on monday he set up a website on his own without conferring with us.
couldn't get ahold of him. then yesterday with the additional developments after talking to the prosecutor this morning, we learned that he had communicated directly with both another national news network and with the prosecutors office contrary to our advice, with us unable to get contact with him at the phone he was using to talk with them. we couldn't go in the public and say we still represent him without getting him to confirm it and talk with us. >> mr. sonner, when i first spoke to you a couple weeks ago, you had not had meetings with george zimmerman at that time. today you reveal you still had not met face to face with george zimmerman. did you find that odd that this late in the game you still had not met with your client face to face? >> no. because there are many times i represent clients out of state and other places. in this case because of the danger that george zimmerman was in, i understood that he had to stay hidden. if he came to my office, there were a lot of people coming
through. a lot of media and so on. the black panthers had a $10,000 reward on his head. it made sense that we would only communicate by telephone, e-mail, and text. that worked fine. >> so mr. uhrig, were you ever officially his attorneys? had he signed a document saying you were his attorneys? had you met with family members? his family members? >> we had been in communication with family members. in fact, the father went to the bank with mr. sonner to set up the bank account which the website we put up for his benefit would take so we didn't touch the money. the money would go to a bank account with only his father's name on it. he was communicative with us. we sent him a written contract. he assured us he had signed it and sent it back. we haven't seen it. in light of those things, we felt we had no choice to publicly let everyone know stop asking us questions. we don't know more than you do. >> mr. uhrig, you said today that george
zimmerman is quote, probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. is that ethical to be commenting on his alleged mental state? >> yeah, absolutely. it may wind up being a defense. one thing is for certain. we are concerned about george in his physical and mental state. it did not strike us as rational. hey, look, you have every right no hire and fire whoever you want to. but to simply stop communicating with your legal team gives us pause for concern for how he's doing and might represent an absolutely normal explanation as opposed to saying he's doing something untoward. >> so was that information you had been told by -- or maybe i should ask mr. sonner since you were with his father. is that information you heard from his father or from another family member? information that george zimmerman had said to you or simply your impression of george zimmerman is suffering from that mental state? >> i'm not going to make any comments as to whether -- that's just speculation of what he's
going through because of everything he's endured at this point. the primary thing was that all of a sudden things went dark. he wasn't contacting me anymore. he wasn't calling by phone. he wasn't sending e-mails. he wasn't sending text messages. on saturday i talked with him. there was some little thing we had to resolve and everything seemed fine on saturday. then something happened on sunday and of course we learned that there was a website that was set up. which was fine that he set it up. i had lined up a website designer to do it and we'd set up a bank account because i didn't think he was going to be able to do it. but it was better that he was able to do it himself. it keeps me from being involved with his money. that's something lawyers don't want to do. is have their hands too much in their clients' money contrary to what the lawyer jokes say. we want to keep the quickest way to get disbarred is to get your hands in your clients' money or your clients' trust fund. so that was just fantastic with
me that he was setting up his own. but he was making contact -- but i was getting calls from the media saying george zimmerman has contacted us. is this really him? i found out also that he contacted the prosecutors office. >> so you feel like you had no control over your client. you had no influence on your client? >> we had lost client control because he wasn't returning phone calls. i mean, if it turns out that he was just going through a tough time and he wants us to come back for him, i think that things could be resolved. but at this point it doesn't seem likely as the phone calls aren't being returned. i don't know where he's going from here. >> mr. uhrig, a friend of george zimmerman frank taaffe has come forward saying he spoke to zimmerman yesterday and zimmerman was in a clear, concise, and lucid. would you characterize him as clear, concise, and lucid in your conversations with him? >> i didn't see him yesterday
and i don't know mr. taaffe. what i know is this. i represented thousands of clients over the years. some clients have become dissatisfied. they know how to use the phone and tell me that. or e-mail me if they don't want to call. or send me a text message. under the circumstances of this case, it seemed beyond unusual. we felt we had an ethical obligation to step aside. we've got nothing against george zimmerman. we believe in his case. we believe in his innocence. we were prepared to defend him all the way. but we cannot defend somebody who won't communicate with us and who is off the reservation talking to people we've advised him not to talk to. >> you said he's farther away from florida. are you sure he's in the united states? >> since he's not within my view right now, i couldn't tell you exactly where he's at. we had some reason to know where he was at some point in time. but i'm not going to start speculating on that. i can tell you this. i don't believe he's a flight risk. i believe as we had promised if
he is ever charged which we hope he's not that he'll turn himself in. if he calls us and asks us to participate in that, we'll talk to him about that. if not he can have another attorney help him. >> mr. sonner, can you say whether or not with any certainty he's in the united states? >> no, he's in the united states. i have had phone contact and talked with him on the cell phone. he did reveal where he was. as of sunday and monday and today's tuesday, those days i don't know where he is. but i don't believe he's going to leave the country. i mean, he called the prosecutors office this morning. so i don't think he's a flight risk. i never did think he was a flight risk. >> craig sonner and hal uhrig i appreciate you being on the program. thank you very much. we're going to continue the breaking news coverage. let's bring in mark geragos and jose baez on the phone. and also sunny hostin. mark geragos, what was your
reaction to this public withdrawal? >> oh, my god. i -- i'm sitting here, anderson, and this is just a train wreck of proportions i don't even know where to begin. >> explain. >> well, first of all, i don't understand people invoking their ethical obligations and then going out and blasting the client which is what they just did. this may be the height of chutzpah for criminal defense lawyers to say we haven't talked to our clients for two days so therefore we're withdrawing. by the way there's no court case filed so there's nothing to withdraw from, number one. number two, who are you to diagnosing your client's mental state when you haven't talked to him? this is inexplicable. i felt i was watching a "saturday night live" skit. >> it is unusual to you, mark, they were never officially retained my mr. zimmerman?
any time i retained a attorney i got a document quickly to sign saying i am retaping you. >> well, here in california -- you've got jose on the line. you can ask jose. here in california if it's a retention for over a thousand dollars, the start bar rule is it must be in writing signed by the client. to be out there doing the media tour and bouncing from place to place. my tongue is bleeding because i was biting my tongue watching this. i don't like to second guess other lawyers in the eye of the storm. but this is frankly one of the most outrageous things i've witnessed. this is really beyond the pale for lawyers to go out there saying we haven't contacted to him in two days and we need to blasting him and say it may be a potential defense that the guy's got a mental problem. when we're trying to say he was in reasonable fear for his life when he shot somebody. this is just the height of absurdity. i don't know where to begin on this. it's ridiculous.
>> jose baez, what do you make of this? >> well, anderson, first you can't have mark on before me. he stole every word i was about to say. >> okay. >> i think -- i thought i was watching a "saturday night live" skit. it's unbelievable you'd get on television and talk about your client's mental state. what you have here, as an attorney you have an ethical obligation not only to post attorney/client communication but attorney/client confidences. things you learn in the process of representing the client is confidential. any conversation they had or non-conversations they had with george zimmerman are completely protected. and the holder of this privilege is george zimmerman, not the attorneys. unfortunately, i've seen in central florida this type of a resignation -- public
resignation from another attorney who i'd rather not name. and i too think it's reprehensible. unbelievable. >> sunny -- >> jose, what do they have in the water down in florida? i don't understand what they're doing. this is absolutely the worst thing i can remember seeing any lawyers do in regards to their clients. i thought the previous interviews were train wrecks. those were toy cars compared to what this is. >> jose, let me ask you about florida law. how quickly are you supposed to sign a document retaining counsel? >> a retainer agreement is not required. unlike in other states. it is strongly suggested and certainly it is something that any confident lawyer would do to immediately get a retainer agreement. especially if you're putting your face, your name in front of a television camera saying you represent someone that you haven't even met. i think that's highly --
incredibly reckless. >> sunny hostin, you're a former prosecutor. what's your take on that? >> for once, mark geragos and i agree. and i agree with jose baez as well. i've never seen anything like this. mark, you had me on this one. i think as a prosecutor you come -- you're looking at a case. and now i'm worried. i'm worried if i am inclined to bring charges, is george zimmerman a flight risk? can i get to him if i have to issue an arrest warrant? now maybe my investigation is going a little more quickly. maybe now i'm going to bring charges a little more quickly. and so this really harms george zimmerman in the eyes of a prosecutor looking at this case and deciding whether or not to charge. >> mark -- >> who are they going to call? they're going to call these two lawyers now as witnesses as to his mental state as which jose aptly described is something that's completely protected by the privilege and they go on
national tv and say this guy is unhinged and that he's potentially a flight risk? >> mark, jose, sunny i've just been given a media alert of the state attorney general, angela corey. i'm reading it as i see it. angela corey is preparing to release new information regarding the trayvon martin shooting death investigation. issue notice within the next 72 hours miss corey will hold a conference regarding the case. media will receive notification. >> no surprise there. >> what does that tell you, sunny? >> it tells me she's concerned about this new development. >> you think this is in relationship to that development or in relation to the -- whether or not there's an arrest warrant? >> it would very well be that the investigation is completed, but it could well be that she's watching the media just like everyone else. that she watched that press conference and is now perhaps concerned about george zimmerman's safety, about george zimmerman's mental state and about whether or not he's going to flee this country.
and flee this jurisdiction. >> mark, do you think that relates to that? >> i'm telling you, sunny, this is one of the few times that i agree with you wholeheartedly. this is exactly -- it's like you're telegraphing to the prosecutor, i don't have control over this guy. i don't know where he is. he's a flight risk. i don't know. you're asking anderson great questions. is he in the country? guy says yes he's in the country. except i'm saying i don't know where he is and i can't get in contact with him. he's not in florida but somewhere else. of course she's issuing a statement because of this. >> jose baez -- saying you spoke to the guy on the cell phone -- go ahead. >> -- he's a flight risk. >> go ahead. >> because you have lawyers that are doing something that is ill advised, it still doesn't reflect on whether he's going to do something criminal and become a flight risk. so i would kind of disagree with sunny on that one. while it is a little -- it would probably raise an eyebrow, it still is not any specific evidence of being a flight risk. i don't think that should be
held against mr. zimmerman. >> mark geragos, if you cannot control your client, if your client is calling the media or calling the prosecutor without meeting with you face to face, without talking to you, don't you as a lawyer kind of want to step down or step back? >> yes, anderson. and i've done that. i've been in the exact identical position. you resign. you don't go out and slam him. you don't go out and make some kinds of off the court comments about the mental state. you just quietly resign and go on your way. it's not about you. it's not about the lawyer. your duty as a lawyer is to zealously represent your client. if you can't do it any longer, you resign, get out of the way. it's not the lawyer's ego. it happens every day. >> it's a fascinating development as we say within 72 hours the state attorney is going to be giving a press conference, it appears with some sort of new development in the case.
new information regarding the trayvon martin shooting death investigation. there had been talk all week about a possible arrest warrant within the next 48 hours or so. seems we'll know something. sunny hostin, mark geragos, jose baez, thank you. strange day. as always, more on the website. let us know what you think on facebook, twitter. i'll be tweeting tonight. was this irresponsible of these attorneys? other big news, rick santorum's departure and what it means for mitt romney's chances in the fall. we'll talk to ari fleischer and paul begala and dana bash about that. [ male announcer ] if you believe the mayan calendar, on december 21st polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space. which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd, and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life.
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ally. >> he will continue to have a major role in the republican party. i look forward in his role in helping assure victories across the country for republicans in november. >> ron paul, newt gingrich also had praise but promised to keep campaigning. the math, though, the reality is pretty simple. mitt romney now has a clear path to the republican nomination. there's new cnn polling that shows without santorum romney had a 28-point lead over newt gingrich. appears to be game over for the primaries. as we've seen for both parties, game on for the general campaign. with us is dana bash, paul begala is joiching us shortly as well. it's been obvious for awhile he wasn't going to overtake romney on delegates. why drop out now? was it really about personal considerations or something else? >> it was both. personal and political. it has been obvious for some
time. but in the near future, first of all they realize that the next big, big state where they thought they could win texas, that was not going to be winner take all. they realized it was going to be difficult. secondly, they tried very hard in many ways to get newt gingrich who has been siphoning conservative votes away from rick santorum to get him out of the race. that didn't work. the pennsylvania primary coming up. and paul begala knows pennsylvania very well coming up. it was going to be tough for rick santorum. their thought was he was going to win. but privately they were not sure because romney was going to spend a lot of money. and on the personal side, of course, i talked to people close to santorum who said spending a weekend with his 3-year-old daughter in the hospital for the second time in the campaign put things into perspective for him big time. >> our thoughts are with her and the family on this. paul, would you liked to have seen him stay in the race -- as a democrat would you like to see him in the race? >> sure. santorum had little money. he had little staff.
got john bray, a gifted guy. but not much in terms of staff or consultants. i don't think he had a pollster. i don't think he even had headquarters. yet he won 11 primaries. what he did was pointed the way to president obama. to beat mitt romney. >> how so? >> don't let him outspend you 16-1 like romney did in some places. but push on -- two things. authenticity which santorum has an abundance. i think a lot of people think romney lacks. and a blue collar sensibility that even in the republican party rick santorum brought into the race. and even until wisconsin this last major primary, romney seemed unable to get middle class or lower income even republicans, those blue collar republican, reagan democrats, that are essential to a republican victory. so i think president obama would do well to push those issues. authenticity in the middle class. >> numbers in the poll out today. one of them was a slim majority of republicans didn't want santorum to leave the race yet. what does that say about how
they feel about mitt romney? or anything? >> from the beginning mitt romney has had a conservative problem. he continues to have a conservative problem, yet he won a republican primary. they almost always go to the conservative guys. and they didn't. so i think that says that mitt romney has more of a chance than people give him right now with moderate voters. and when it comes to the conservative base that doesn't quite trust mitt romney, anderson, paul, dana, we all know it. they are going to be with mitt romney in a powerful way this november. nothing motivates republicans more than a desire to beat president obama. >> paul's talking about the reaching out to blue collar voters. both are criticized as being not necessarily the most -- i mean, they're not the bill clinton i feel your pain candidates. >> i think we're heading to an election where president obama
and mitt romney have a lot of problems with sectors of the electorate. they are both weak. mitt romney is weaker than a lot of republicans liked him to be. but so, too, is president obama. the presidency has taken a toll on obama's rating. with independents. and as hillary clinton proved in her primary against barack obama, the president has a problem with blue collar working class americans. he hasn't done anything to get over that in his presidency. with unemployment so high, he's made it worse. you're going to have one of these races where i don't think it's going to be the most uplifting, positive race that america has seen in a november election. i think you have a surly electorate and you have two candidates that the public isn't fond of either one. >> i know you like the clash. >> i do. it's not personal attacks. >> has this made romney a better campaigner? >> no, oddly. usually it does. it has in the past for other presidential nominees but not for mitt romney. that is because he has so
wrongly been freaked out about conservatives. ari's right. he's gone so far to the extreme he was attacking rick santorum from the right on contraception. rick santorum is to the right of the pope on contraception. he was attacking perry on immigration. women and latinos may be the most important constituencies in november. he has pulled himself out of the mainstream to the two vital constituencies. that's makes him a weaker candidate in november. >> dana, is an endorsement by santorum for romney is sure thing? >> well, i don't know if we're going to hear the "e" word come out of santorum's mouth in the next several days, but there's no question in talking to santorum and knowing what happened behind the scenes today which is a phone call between santorum and romney that he is going to work for mitt romney eventually in a big way. he may formally endorse him. an endorsement would not be a surprise. but i want to say about what ari was saying about conservatives, if somebody is going to go out and vote already and be a
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keeping them honest. today was supposed to be the day for the killing to stop in syria. the day by which syria's dictator promised to stop murdering its own people. well, this apparently is how the assad regime keeps the promises it makes. shelling today in homs. syria's foreign minister said the government has pulled out of some provinces today. clearly not in this area of homs. clearly not else where in the city either. apartment buildings going up in flames. the bombardment not letting up. tanks are still on city streets still firing in residential neighborhoods. ruling military operations is how former secretary-general kofi annan put it. he's the one that brokered that deal with syria.
the deal that syria is violating. he says weapons haven't been pulled out. keeping them within killing range of their residential targets. opposition groups say more than a hundred people have been killed today. we can't verify that. this is from yesterday when upwards of 145 people were reportedly killed. 1,100 people died since assad promised to stop the killing. more than 9,000 perhaps as many as 11,000 since the war. today at refugee camps across the border in turkey, anger boiled over peace keeping efforts. secretary annan, he's under the umbrella there surrounded by security. the chanting is people calling him a liar. saying the peace effort was giving assad more time quite literally to kill. senators john mccain and joe lieberman also toured the camps today on a separate trip than annan's. getting a better reception than annan. we spoke by phone. senator mccain, the syrian regime promised to withdraw
troops by today as part of kofi annan's peace plan. has the u.n. been played here? clearly they've gone beyond the deadline. >> i think it's very obvious they've been played just like the arab league proposal bashar assad agreed to before. the fact is, anderson, if bashar assad withdraws from the city then the opposition takes over. and he can't have that. resistance will take over as soon as they're withdrawn. >> senator lieberman, have we reached the end of the line diplomatically? >> well, i think we have. i don't know how many times world leaders are going to have to be deceived, lied to by assad before they realize that this man can't be trusted. to me one of the most profoundly troubling parts of the trips that john mccain and i have made these last couple of days is talking to the syrian opposition to the free syrian army and find all of the sympathetic words
from world leaders they've gotten zero. they're running out of ammunition. they don't have bullets and they're being fired at every day. so i think the answer is we've got to arm the syrian opposition and only when assad feels threatened by that, that kind of counterattack will he even think about leaving or going to real negotiations. >> to those who say look, we don't know enough about the opposition. there's fears of al qaeda involved. there's fears of extremists involved. what do you say? >> look, we've met with these people. any of our colleagues in congress who are troubled because we don't know who they are ought to come over here and meet with them as well. they're patriots. they're not extremists. and they all said to us if the u.s. and the moderate arab world doesn't get involved in helping them, then there will be an opening for al qaeda and the islamist extremists.
we can't let that happen. >> anderson, there's so many things we want to say. but again and you've been showing it night after night, it's not a fair fight. it's not a fair fight. don't we at some point say enough of the slaughter? >> the syrian government is now demanding a written guarantee the opposition is going to lay down their arms. is that just another stall tactic by the assad regime? >> yeah, i think it is another stall tactic by the assad regime. you've got to take in all the broken promises and distractions and delays of assad. and while he does that, he continues to murder his own people. >> so senator mccain, what are you hoping to see in terms of military involvement, military action? early on you called for international air strikes, some involvement from the u.s. that the u.s. is now helping with communications equipment.
other states qatar, saudi arabia are giving funds to the opposition forces. what are you hoping to see? >> first of all, the information we have is they haven't gotten anything yet. second of all, i'm pleased we want to give them communications -- united states wants to give them communications equipment. communications equipment doesn't do very well against helicopters, tanks, and artillery. and i understand the reluctance of the american people. but the job of leaders of the american people is to explain why we should do what we can to stop this. and i think that a sanctuary would be very important. no fly zone. the prime minister of turkey alluded to it today. i think the world is getting sick of this slaughter. and maybe just maybe we're starting some movement in the right direction. >> senator lieberman, there are a lot of americans who say look, and senator mccain alluded to it, another military involvement by the u.s. overseas.
to them you say what? >> well, i say two things. the first is we've got a moral responsibility here. the whole world does. you can't just stand by and watch people being slaughtered. i mean, hopefully we've progressed some from that point of our world history. the second is that every day we do nothing, it's not just the syrian people that suffer. it's assad that wins and iran wins. and if we can help bring down assad, it's a tremendous strategic victory for us against iran. but i want to come back -- >> before you go on, could i just add one point to that? there would be no american boots on the ground and this would be a multi-national effort. go ahead, joe. i'm sorry. >> it's okay. i just want to focus on one thing. in my opinion -- and this is exactly the answer we got from the syrian national council, the political leadership, and the
free syrian army leadership. they want weapons and ammunitions. they don't want us there. they just want us to give them the opportunity to defend themselves and their families. >> one thing people in syria have said to me over and over again when i talk to them on the phone is they are no longer afraid. we've heard that throughout many of these so-called arab uprisings is there is no going back. >> these are wonderful and brave people who share our values, our rights, and frankly they do look to the united states of america. i'm glad they do. i just hope that we'll give them something that will authenticate their faith and belief in us. >> senator mccain, senator lieberman, thank you very much. >> thank you, anderson. back home, a nightmare scenario. imagine being adopted and looking for birth parents finding out your father may be one of the most infamous murderers of all time. charles manson.
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the swastika tattoo still visible on his forehead. his latest hearing is set for tomorrow. he's been denied parole 11 times. vincent bugliosi prosecuted charles manson. he wrote about the case in the book "helter skelter." i talked to him if he will ever go free. you say there'so way that charles manson will be granted parole. why? >> well, these hearings are just a formality, anderson. he's had 11 prior hearings. he knows he's going to be automatically rejected. the evident is he hasn't shown up at some of these hearings. one of his co-defendants was only convicted of two murders and the parole board has refused to release her. why in the world would they dream of releasing charles manson who's convicted of nine murders. he's the one that orchestrated and master minded all of the
manson family killings. so it's ridiculous to assume that there's even a possibility that he's going to be released. >> do you have any doubt he's still a danger to society? >> yeah. he's still a danger, of course. of course he is. i think he'd be emboldened if he were set free. even if he were not a danger to society, if justice means anything in america, at a minimum he should spend the rest of his life behind bars. some people forget, anderson, that manson was originally sentenced to death. i told the jury if this was not a proper case to have the death penalty, no case would be. even challenged them saying if you're unwilling to come back with a death sentence in this case then we should abolish the death penalty in california. how many people do you have to appeal to get the death penalty? as you know the next year in 1972, the california and u.s. supreme courts both ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. >> does it disappoint you as a former prosecutor that he continues to get attention?
>> well, yeah. because i'll tell you. he, i think, enjoys his notoriety. >> he enjoys it. >> steeped in infamy as it is. you know, after my trial or after my trying him and convicting him, he told me, he said you know mr. bugliosi, you haven't achieved anything at all. all you've done is send me back to where i came from. we used to have sarcastic conversations back and forth. i said yes charlie but as far as i know you've never been in the green room before. that's at san quentin. that's the gas station. he just smiled. but the next year listening to the radio i heard the supreme court had set aside the death penalty. the first thought that came into my mind was what manson told me. he gets out of prison in 1967, 32 years of age. 17 out of those 32 years had been spent in jail. so he doesn't mind prison life.
he's institutionalized. all we do is send him back to where he came from and he doesn't mind it at all. i think he's enjoying himself. and, of course, it's just a tremendously gross violation of the entire notion of justice. >> vincent bugliosi, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. up close tonight. 43 years after the manson murders, a lot of people have a dark fascination with that guy. he has received more mail than any other inmate in the u.s. prison system. what does that say? one man who's corresponded with manson is different from the others. he says there's a good chance manson may be his father. something he was shocked to discover. miguel marquez has the story. >> reporter: matthew roberts is a haunted man. he is the son, is he the spawn of charles manson? >> it's like holy hell it does seem like it's more than just possible, but probable. >> reporter: robert's adopted as an infant had by all accounts a normal childhood in rockford,
illinois. in 1998 at age 30 he searched out his birth mother, a recluse living in wisconsin and said he was conceived in 1967 in san francisco where she met manson in a drug-fueled orgy. one account i read, there were four men present? >> that's what i understand. there was a one in four chance. >> reporter: robert says he wasn't convinced his birth mother knew manson until he began exchanging letters with prisoner b-33920. in those letters manson quoted things only his mother would know. stories about her early life. so sure he's manson's son, he twice tried to get a dna match. the test, though, inconclusive. manson's dna sample contaminated. >> unless i see someone scrape a piece of skin off his ass and bring it to the lab, i want to know. >> reporter: what is
unmistaken, he looks like manson. here are two photos, both in their 30s. a striking resemblance. the eyes, nose, mouth, and forehead. but it is the way robert speaks and what he says that sounds eerily familiar. >> every time you send somebody after me they can't find me because i'm not there in your minds. >> i know what goes on in my head. you guys can only guess. but i know what goes on in my head. >> reporter: even more eerie, the similarities run deep. roberts is a militant vegetarian, pacifist and considers himself environmentalist. claims also made by charles manson. his move in 1986 like manson, wanted to be famous. a rock star. ♪ robert's band new rising sun is pure rock 'n' roll. manson's music more folksy and at times downright weird. ♪ >> reporter: today roberts pays
the bills working at the blue zebra cabaret in san fernando valley. he's been accused of cashing in on manson's notoriety. robert says it's anything but. >> it's ruined by career. it has got me nothing but grief. >> reporter: roberts just wants to know the truth before the 77-year-old manson dies. >> if he is my father, it would be nice to lay eyes on him and been in person to person with him once in my lifetime. >> reporter: for now roberts lives with a hope and a fear of knowing who his father is. miguel marquez, cnn. >> interesting story. there's a story tonight about a hero. the middle school student who took control of his school bus after the driver slumped over at the wheel. dramatic moments captured on the surveillance camera. story ahead. what's inside is a .
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i'm isha sesay with the 360 news bulletin. an airline flight was intercepted after taking off from vancouver after a bomb threat was called into the u.s. call center. the plane landed at vancouver island and is being secured. a rescue operation is set to begin to try to reach nine miners who have been trapped since thursday. engineers are working to make sure the mine is secure. president obama is reissuing his call for higher taxes on the wealthy, making the case for what's called the buffett rule. he said middle class americans shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than buffett. and a 13-year-old saved the day after his bus driver slumped over to the steering wheel.
the driver was hospitalized for a heart condition. anderson? >> isha. did you celebrate dingus day? we'll explain in "the ridiculist." guys. come here, come here. [ telephone ringing ] i'm calling my old dealership. [ man ] may ford. hi, yeah. do you guys have any crossovers that offer better highway fuel economy than the chevy equinox? no, sorry, sir. we don't. oh, well, that's too bad.
[ man ] kyle, is that you? [ laughs ] [ man ] still here, kyle. [ male announcer ] visit your local chevy dealer today. right now, very well qualified lessees can get a 2012 equinox ls for around $229 a month. interviewer: you were there the day the priceline negotiator went down in that fiery bus crash. sister kathleen: we lost a beautiful man that day but we gained the knowledge that priceline has thousands and thousands of hotels on sale everyday so i can choose the perfect one for me without bidding.
time now for the ridiculist. tonight we're adding anyone who missed out on dyngus day. yeah. i said dyngus day. you haven't written all your dyngus day notes or your thank you notes from last year. here it is again. dyngus day isn't a totally fake holiday like "seinfeld's" festivus. it's a real thing.
obscure but real. it's a polish american tradition celebrating the end of lent. the day after easter. all over the country or three places that we know of for sure, there were dyngus day parades and parties and lots of drinking and revelry. you could have gotten your dyngus on in indiana or in ohio. but if you really want the most bang for your dyngus buck, you've got to shuffle off to buffalo. >> buffalo calls itself the dyngus day capital of the world. it's hard to argue when you see the festivities. >> buffalo, the dyngus day capital of the world. also the birthplace of the chicken wing. little known fact. they've celebrated dyngus day since the 1800s. apparently, it really took off in the 1960s. >> it caught on for a number of words. it's a funny word. it's spelled with a "y." people don't know what it means. >> what does it mean anyway? that would be dyngus day buffalo.com says it can be
traced back to the medieval word meaning worthy, proper or suitable. here's how you celebrate. >> the quirky rituals have boys sprinkling girls they fancy with water and the girls striking back with a tap from a pussy willow branch. [ laughter ] >> i'm not going to let you do this. i'm sorry. >> it's really so stupid. oh, come on.
come on. this is torture. [ laughter ] just got to let it out. got to let it out. i know. i know. it sounds like a bunch of water logged drunk people hitting each other with sticks. but there's the drinking and dancing and more drinking. there ain't no party like a dyngus day party because a dyngus day excuse to drink. it's the most random reason to drink. if nothing else, next year it's another excuse to drink if you can't hold out to cinco de mayo. you're welcome.