tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 13, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST
that was the -- that was the experience. and i'm sure there would be a lot of people who'd like to see a silent harvey weinstein. i'd like to accommodate them sometime. >> i think you could be very popular, harvey. >> i think i will be. >> nice to see you. >> thank you, piers. a pleasure. >> that's all for us tonight. >> that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com there are new developments tonight in the penn state child sex abuse scandal. the hearing for the former football coach at the center of it is set for tomorrow. preparations for a media frenzy began just a few hours ago. closing off streets, roping off sidewalks, getting ready for what's going to be the first step in the biggest criminal proceeding seen in small town pennsylvania in decades. the latest on that in a minute. we begin tonight with yet more evidence of a cozy web of friendships, professional relationships and old school ties that may have kept a serial child molester out of prison on the streets and close to kids. if the charges -- and i say if the charges against jerry sandusky are true, and that will be for a jury to decide, he likely had a powerful network of enablers or at the very least countless people who had powerful interests in not believing the allegations against him.
and yes, tonight that circle grew. take a look. this is the former home of thomas horman, retired penn state chief of police. he was living there in 1998. 1998, remember that year. today we've learned his neighbor back then just three doors down, was, you guessed it, the blue house, jerry sandusky. that's jerry sandusky's house there. not only were they neighbors, not only did their kids play and ride bikes together, they worshipped at the same church. this one called st. paul's united methodist. neighbors and fellow church members back in 1998, which is when the mother of an 11-year-old boy went to university police with a sexual complaint against coach sandusky. now, according to a grand jury report she said it happened on campus at a practice facility, sandusky allegedly touching the boy inappropriately in the shower. the investigation included officers listening in on phone calls of the mother confronting sandusky. according to the grand jury report, sandusky replied, "i was wrong. i wish i could get forgiveness. i know i won't get it from you. i wish i were dead."
despite that, when the local d.a. declined to press charges, chief horman closed the case. and according to the grand jury report, jerry sandusky continued to bring kids on campus and allegedly continued molesting them for years after that. as for the details of why he closed the case, his department isn't releasing them. in fact, the entire university is exempt from pennsylvania's open records law. but former chief horman, he's not the only one with prior connections to sandusky. there's the judge, leslie dutchcot, who released sandusky on unsecured bail. she donated to and volunteered for sandusky's second mile children's charity. she's no longer handling any sandusky-related proceedings, we should point out. there's wendell courtney, penn state's legal counsel, who also served as second mile's lawyer. there's fired head coach joe paterno who was grooming sandusky to succeed him who claims he wasn't even told at the time that his right-hand man was being investigated. wasn't told even though penn state athletic director tim curley his boss perhaps in name only was brought into the loop.
plenty of people in position to stop a child molester if that is in fact what jerry sandusky was. but given the opportunity, none of them did. then there's assistant coach mike mcqueary, now on leave. there are new developments tonight, important developments concerning him. his story apparently shifting yet again. you'll recall he told the grand jury he witnessed jerry sandusky raping a boy in the athletic building showers back in 2002. according to the grand jury report, he first called his dad, then joe paterno, then later talked to tim curley and gary schultz. a few weeks ago he took issue with that account. in an e-mail obtained by allentown's "morning call" he claimed "i did stop it. not physically, but made sure it was stopped when i left that locker room." now, according to cnn contributor sarah ganim another version of his store is appearing. writing in the qus harrisburg patriot-news," she quotes what a family friend told the grand jury. this friend she reports sat with and listened to mcqueary as he recounted what he had just seen in the locker room. again, according to sarah
gannim's reporting, the friend told grand jurors that mcqueary did not in fact witness the rape itself. mcqueary told him he heard sex sounds and the shower running. then according to his account, a young boy stuck his head around the corner of the shower stall and looked right at mcqueary as an adult arm reached around his waist and pulled him back in. seconds later mcqueary saw sandusky wrapped in a towel leaving. joining us now senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin, also sunny hostin of "in session" on our sister network trutv, and criminal defense attorney mark geragos, who is here in new york. jeff toobin, the fact that now there is this basically third version of what mcqueary may have seen, why are there all these conflicting stories if this is testimony to the grand jury? >> people tell conflicting stories. and remember, mcqueary has been vilified for not having taken more steps to stop this rape or to report it, so it would not be surprising if in recounting it subsequently he describes his role in a somewhat more heroic way.
so i am not at all -- and it is also true just in the nature of criminal investigations when people tell their stories multiple times they tell it in different ways. it's always a problem for prosecutors. it's not necessarily an insurmountable problem, but clearly mcqueary will be a difficult witness for the prosecution. maybe still believable, but -- >> if he said one thing to police in 2010 but said another thing back in 2002 to this guy who heard his story the first time, that would seem to be a big inconsistency. >> that's a huge inconsistency, and that's part of the problem with the way this thing has been presented so far. they did the summary of the grand jury testimony. they didn't put out what was actually said. the prosecutors did that. there's a whole lot of stuff we don't know about. it's one of the reasons i've kind of railed against this, saying, well, there's all kinds of evidence or there isn't evidence. until tomorrow we haven't seen anything. we don't know anything that's been cross-examined yet. but i will tell you if he's told
one story that is dramatically different, if you say on one hand i saw a sex act. if you say on the other hand, i saw somebody who peeked their head out and i saw an adult arm, you couldn't get more diametrically opposed. and that's a major problem. >> and a problem not just in whatever evidence there may be against sandusky but also two other people have been arrested. penn state officials basically because of allegedly what mcqueary informed them of. but if he did not inform them that he saw a sex act but just a more general vague thing, then it seems like the charges against them could be tossed out. >> look, i don't think that what he's saying is that inconsistent. i don't think we're hearing all these different versions. i think we're hearing a lot of pieces of the entire puzzle. i think what we need to look at is what he told the grand jury. that is what he told under oath -- >> well, we don't really know what he told -- >> we don't know. >> we have a summary of what he said. >> well, the summary is by a prosecutor. that's -- you can take that and 25 cents will buy you a cup of coffee. >> if the summary was so
accurate, we would have heard this alternate version that somebody also testified to the grand jury about. >> which they conveniently left out. which is exactly what you normally have when -- >> we're going to hear tomorrow, we're going to hear tomorrow. and the bottom line is this is why witnesses of sex crimes don't want to come forward, because they become vilified, because they're scrutinized and mike mcqueary is as much a victim of sandusky -- >> wait a second. why are you a victim -- >> he is. >> -- if you say on one hand -- >> he's being vilified. >> -- i saw a sex act and somebody's been arrested and two guys, as anderson says, have also been arrested for not reporting that. >> he said he heard something and he saw something. what about the ten kids? >> i don't see mcqueary as a victim at all. here is a grown man who is seeing at least very clear evidence, if not actual evidence of a sex -- of a child being raped, and all he does is tell his daddy. i mean, i have no sympathy -- >> but now it sounds like maybe all he heard was slapping sounds and -- you know, which he interpreted as one thing and
didn't actually see anything but just saw this boy peek his head around. >> you know what? do more. this is too serious to say, well, i'll talk to my dad. i mean, err on the side of protecting children. >> but he didn't only do that. that's not fair. he didn't only do that. he did speak to -- >> we don't know what he did. >> -- paterno. he did do more. >> but the version that this other person that's how -- that's been revealed by this other person that testified to the grand jury is much closer and jibes with what sandusky has been saying, that they were horse -- whatever. that's a ridiculous term, horseplaying. set that aside, is it appropriate for a grown adult to be horseplaying with a naked child in a shower. obviously not. sandusky is saying there was horseplay, this kid was playing around in the showers, turning all the showers on, running around. that could jibe with what this other person is saying mcqueary told him. >> what makes this particularly problematic for the prosecution is that for this incident, as far as i'm aware, the prosecution doesn't know who the boy is. obviously, the most important
testimony in this case would be the victim, the alleged victim. apparently, we don't know who the alleged victim is here. in the other incidents the alleged victims will testify, and you don't need a mcqueary. you don't need another eyewitness. >> and tomorrow the alleged victims are going to be there -- >> absolutely. >> all of them? >> ten of them. that's extraordinary. >> i don't see how they can all do it in one day. >> i agree. >> it's hard to put ten witnesses on, particularly about a complicated, embarrassing, awkward set of facts. i would imagine this would go several days if, you know, if there really are -- >> so mark, what would happen? so there's the testimony tomorrow and whether it goes a couple days or not, what happens then? >> well, look, the judge will decide whether or not there's enough evidence to send this thing for trial. that's a probable cause proceeding. at least in california i always joke if my client is breathing he's going to get past that and they're going to hold him to answer for a probable cause proceeding. so nobody expect anything dramatic where this thing is going to completely unravel and it's going to get dismissed. i think what will happen -- i
think frankly it's a lot more damaging or potentially damaging for the prosecution in terms of locking in testimony and then having at least the cross-examination if it turns out that a lot of the things that have been said that are out there in the ether aren't true, the prosecutor is going to start backpedaling. i've seen that happen before. that can be a dangerous thing. >> this is why again, and we've said this before on the show, lawyers say do not talk to the media, do not do media interviews, because it puts alternate versions or versions out there that can then come back on cross-examination. >> even witnesses who are trying in good faith to tell the truth tell things different ways. their memory changes. they're nervous. so every time you tell a story you risk opening yourself up to cross-examination. and that's why prosecutors always say keep your mouth shut. >> but i think we can't underestimate the fact that ten young men are going public at a public hearing to talk about something that young men and young women never want to talk about, child sex abuse.
and i think when you look at this case -- >> we don't know whether they're going to -- >> we don't know, number one, what they're going to say. we don't know number two -- >> they're going to say they were sexually abused by jerry sandusky. that's what they're going to say. >> that's not true. because in fact sandusky's attorney has come out and said actually the versions of several of these boys, you know, they've had cordial relationships with sandusky and actually back up sandusky. so we actually have no idea other than what's been as mark keeps pointing out this grand jury testimony -- >> they would not be called by the prosecution unless they were going to talk about the child sex abuse. >> that's not true. >> that's the bottom line. >> i'm telling you you're going to be very surprised tomorrow sxwlp well, let's see. >> interesting discussion. appreciate it. nice to have you here, mark. mark geragos, sunny hostin, jeff toobin. let us know what you think. we're on facebook, google plus. add us to your circles. follow us on twitter twitter, @andersoncooper. i'll be tweeting tonight as well. coming up, newt gingrich, even mitt romney now says he's the front-runner. but do his claims always fit the
truth? keeping him honest along with the other candidates and president obamas with pl. james carville and rich galen are here. also, the clearest signs yet of the brutality in syria. gunshots at a funeral. the family burying their son. you saw where he died on friday. the same regime that murdered their child apparently seemed to open fire on them today. details ahead.
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a lot of big developments to talk about in the presidential campaign tonight. ed it is getting really interesting. several rough moments today for mitt romney who is now admitting he's no longer the gop front-runner. first a quick "keeping them honest" check on things that politicians say that often sound like facts, but simply aren't. two examples from the gop debate in des moines over the weekend. two claims that came up wanting when we put them to the test. here's the first. newt gingrich responding to an allegation from michele bachmann that he and mitt romney once favored a cap and trade as a way of reducing carbon emissions. >> a lot of what you say just isn't true. period. i have never -- i opposed cap and trade. i testified against it the same day that al gore testified for it. i helped defeat it in the senate through american solutions. it is simply untrue. >> keeping them honest, that is simply untrue. whatever you think of cap and trade, it began as a conservative initiative as a way of letting market forces lower the cost of cutting emissions. in 2007 here's what gingrich said on pbs's "frontline."
he said, "i think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulphur, and if you have a tax incentive program for investing in the solutions that there's a package that's very, very good." he adds, "and frankly, it's something i would strongly support." and there's more. the non-partisan factcheck.org turned up congressional testimony from just two years ago in which the former speaker said he would still support cap and trade for major polluters if accompanied by incentives for nuclear power and so-called clean coal. also in the debate there was this from mitt romney. >> let's not forget, only one president has ever cut medicare for seniors in this country, and it's barack obama. we're going to remind him of that time and time again. >> keeping them honest, that's not true either. again, according to factcheck.org, the 1997 balanced budget act which passed with bipartisan support and was signed by president clinton called for $112 billion in cuts over a number of years. recently national public radio
spoke with joe antos, a health care economist for the conservative american enterprise institute. when it comes to medicare, he said, "we've had a series of cuts year after year, decade after decade." so governor romney's statement also fails to fit the facts, that's the republican side. the president for his part, recently talked to "60 minutes" and that interview aired last night. listen to what he said he thinks republicans have been up to lately. >> i think that when i came into office in 2008 it was my firm belief that at such an important moment in our history there was no reason why democrats and republicans couldn't put some of the old ideological baggage aside and focus on common sense, what works, practical solutions to the tough problems we were facing. and i think the republicans made a different calculation, which was, you know what? we really screwed up the economy. obama seems popular. our best bet is to stand on the sidelines because we think the economy is going to get worse and at some point just blame him.
>> now, that's a popular talking point for democrats these days, but it's a pretty loaded charge. it implies that republicans are happy to take this country's economy to its knees so they can take the white house in november. again, a popular talking point, but no facts presented to back it up. digging deeper now with democratic strategist jamsz carville and rich galen, republican strategist who served as press secretary. james, what do you make of what came out of the debate on sunday? newt gingrich has to know he's a republican front-runner, he'll be under a lot more scrutiny, he has a record of supporting cap and trade. for him to claim otherwise doesn't seem an astute political move. >> i guess it isn't. but once you say something like that, and they had a huge audience for that thing, it was over 7 million people, and then if you try to clean it up after it's sort of lost interest. and who knows in but i doubt if he's going to suffer very much for saying something which was obviously untrue and as you pointed out it was a conservative idea. the idea of milton friedman, who's a conservative, you know, icon, if you will. so just like the individual
mandate was a conservative idea. so i'm a little flummoxed why he wouldn't want to embrace it but it's become toxic over there. so he just baldfaced out and out denied something that he had clearly done. >> james, do you actually think newt gingrich will be the nominee? >> you know, i never thought so before. i'm shaken a little bit. but i think he's getting ready to have a very rough couple of weeks. i think the republican establishment, whatever that is, a lot of people in the republican party are very concerned about this. and i think today we saw a taste of what's coming. i think more and more's going to come. and it's going to be a pretty rough couple of weeks here. >> rich, two new polls today show newt gingrich still in the lead in iowa, but with the lead seemingly slipping, you used to work for gingrich, do you think he's going to end up winning the nomination? >> i do not think so. the bigger -- from a tactical standpoint, james and anderson, the republican rules this year are everything will be proportional, all of the
caucuses and primaries will be proportional for january, february, march. winner take all primaries cannot begin before april 1st. that almost guarantees, and by design, that this will probably be a long slog. and i just, as we're speaking here tonight, i don't think newt has the underpinning, the money, or the organization to be able to go five or six months all the way into california and new jersey on june 5th. >> anderson, just to echo what rich was saying, there's also some evidence at least in the gallup poll that his national numbers are starting to slip. once these things -- if this is real, i don't know. the evidence is not overwhelming. but if the evidence continues and they keep coming at him hard, once you start slipping, it's a pretty slippery slope out there. >> yes. let me just say this. six weeks ago herman cain was leading the polls. and now he's gone. so six weeks down the road, who knows? >> that's what i just find so fascinating about every
presidential race, you know, just that it is a marathon and somebody's up and seems like the rising star and then a few weeks later, who were they? who was that person? i want to play another moment from the debate on saturday night when mitt romney offered rick perry a $10,000 bet. some people kind of raised a lot of eyebrows saying he's offering such a big bet, maybe it shows how rich romney is or out of touch he is with kind of ordinary americans. let's take a look. >> you were for individual mandates, my friend. >> you know what? you've raised that before, rick. and -- >> it was true then. it's true now. >> rick, i'll tell you what. 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business -- >> oh, okay. >> did that strike you as an odd moment, james? >> you know, what struck me is romney has all these debates, i don't know how many there have been, eight, nine of them. and every debate he holds his cool and everybody comes out and
says the same thing, that romney was the guy who really could speak better, he was knowledgeable and everything, and for the rest of whatever, he's going to be remembered as this moment in this debate. and it's kind of odd, but when you're in his position, you're judged by your worst moment. that clearly was one that he'd give more than $10,000 to take it back, i guarantee you that. >> also 50 bucks to the boys and girls' club would have been a much better bet. >> yeah. >> but i think romney's got a bigger problem. he has allowed republicans, or at least the narrative, as we like to say these days, to be, well, newt is doing so well because people think he'll do better debating obama. i think what the romney people have to do, james, is to get that changed to forget who's going to be the better debater, what i need you to think about as you go into your high school cafeteria or into the polling place, is i need you to think about who do you trust more sitting behind that desk in that office in that building 15 blocks from where i'm sitting?
>> yeah, romney is off his game. under his skin. and his attacks have changed and his message, he's gotten away from any kind of message. it was kind of an economic message for a long time. and they've got some smart guys over there. but they've got some real challenges. and their biggest challenge is these conservatives combination don't like him, don't trust romney. it's just daunting to sit there in a campaign and see that your number just never moves. you have sympathy for the guys on the other side sometimes, the consultants, not so much the candidates. i kind of feel sorry for these guys. nothing they do works very well for them. >> i think romney's best ally in iowa is ron paul. >> how so? >> oh. >> i think he's going to do very, very well. and to the extent that the debate helped perry and michele bachmann, that tends to diffuse the vote that was otherwise going to gingrich.
romney will get his whatever it is, 27%, 28% of the moderates in iowa, and the rest of it may be more diffused, especially led by ron paul. i think he may surprise us all. >> before i came on air, anderson, i watched a ron paul negative on gingrich. i'm not exactly an altar boy when it comes to that kind of stuff, and that was just as blistering a negative as i've seen in my life. it's well done. i don't know who is doing his television but i mean it was a well-done blistering negative. it went on and on and on, how effective it is. i'd like to see that in a focus group. you know, it was a lot of charges in one ad. but it was well produced. >> interesting. james carville, rich galen, thanks very much. we'll continue watching. next, violent repression in syria. a city that may be in the crosshairs of assad's security forces, why a crackdown in the city of homs is imminent. more than a year after their son took his own life, tyler clementi's parents are talking about their struggle to come to terms with the loss and how they feel about the upcoming trial
of the young man accused of driving tyler to suicide. ♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪ ♪ but her folks didn't know 'cause her folks didn't go ♪ ♪ to free-credit-score-dot-com hard times for daddy and mom. ♪
could be under way right now. the city surrounded by tanks and trenches. water, electricity, communications cut off. food supplies reportedly running low. the opposition says residents were ordered to stop their protests of basher al assad's regime by monday night. it is now after 3:00 a.m. tuesday local time. we of course don't know exactly what's happening in homs or anywhere else in the country for that matter because the syrian regime will not let us in, won't give us visas, won't let us see for ourselves, won't let international observers in either. they've promised otherwise now too many times to count. but those promises, like so much coming from this regime, are lies. activists say security forces killed 21 people across the country today. fierce fighting in a number of cities. the u.n.'s high commissioner for human rights say more than 5,000 people have now been killed since the uprising began. 10-year-old maharal husseini was one of those 5,000. we told you his story friday night. he was killed by a sniper's bullet in his own home. the video is still hard to watch. you see the bullet hole. a man points to a pool of blood close by.
he then follows the blood trail down the stairs. he continues on saying things like we're not safe, this government is murderous, it's killing people, it's killing its own people. and finally at the bottom of the stairs we come upon mahar's body. unbelievably over the weekend it only got worse for maher's family. we found this video. his family and friends carrying his body to the grave. watch what happens next. [ gunfire ] >> that is exactly what you think it is. the funeral procession itself
coming under fire. [ gunfire ] al assad security forces are known to target cemeteries and funerals. and you can see how these men are risking their lives just to bury this little boy, bury him with a little bit of dignity, more dignity than he had in death. as i mentioned, basher al assad won't let foreign journalists into the country. so we have to rely on amateur videos like this and firsthand accounts from syrians who risk their lives to tell what is happening there on a daily basis. it's nearly impossible to make contact with anyone in a city under siege. but earlier i was able to speak with a medical student in homs. to protect his identity we're only using his nickname, abu rami. >> the syrian government warned people in homs to stop protests and hand in weapons by tonight or face attack by government forces. have they made good on these threats? what is happening now?
>> until this moment there are 12 people who were killed, including two children, one 4 years and the other 14 years. and there is a crime happening today. the security forces and the militia of army, they killed an entire family here. it is very hard situation here to describe it to you. there are many wounded people. there are many casualties. it is difficult to rescue these injured. >> you have some medical training. you have been treating people. what kind of injuries have you seen? what kind of wounds are you seeing? >> some cases the body were -- some organs of the body were cutting off and we couldn't make anything to make this blood stop shedding. and the bullet in straight in the head and the neck. they are shooting directly to
gain killing access. this very hard to rescue this action. >> it must be very difficult to not have blood, to not have equipment to save these people's lives. what do they say to you when they are dying? >> it's very hard to explain. you know, in some cases many, many people, they died between my hands. and when they say to you when they are almost died they said, oh, please, please help me. if he were a father he said to me please take care of my children, take care of my family. if he was a son, take care please he said to me, please take care of my parents. and when their family comes and see what's going on, they don't say anything. they full of encourage and they will continue this way that they are choose by going everywhere
and calling for their freedom, calling for to end this dictatorial president. here in syria, we are suffering from this regime every day. >> abu rami, stay safe. thank you. >> thank you. >> again, it's early morning right now in homs, tuesday morning. we don't know exactly what is happening now. let's check the latest on other stories we're following. tom foreman joins us with a 360 news and buzz bulletin. tom? we begin with the transfer of u.s. troops out of iraq. today president obama and iraqi prime minister nuri al maliki declared the war formally over with u.s. occupation ending on december 31st. mr. obama says the goal for iraq is long-term success. >> this is a season of homecomings. and military families across america are being reunited for the holidays. in the coming days the last american soldiers will cross the border out of iraq with honor and with their heads held high.
after nearly nine years our war in iraq ends this month. on wall street investors' hopes of a possible solution to the euro zone crisis are fading. the dow fell 163 points. eu leaders agreed to a deal in principle friday, but concrete action is still months away. plus, intel announced it will miss sales forecasts this quarter due to a hard drive shortage caused by thailand's floods. the owner of the new jersey nets is taking on vladimir putin, not on the basketball court, but in next year's presidential elections. according to "forbes," mikhail prokorov is russia's third richest man. so he can afford it. and hockey fans are usually used to seeing hats or occasionally squids if you're a red wings fan thrown onto the ice during games. but look at this, at new york's utica college, the teddy bears were flying on saturday night. fans tossed 4,500 stuffed
animals out there to give to needy kids. nice stuff, anderson. >> that's cool. tom, thanks. when you're stressed out, running around in your home, a little humor can help. look what we found on youtube. a 4-year-old girl did her best to cheer up her dad with a little prank. watch. >> ah! >> i am sorry, daddy. >> that's okay, honey. you scared the bejesus right out of me. >> i'm just going to jump out and scare him. >> there you go, tom, scaring her father. >> there you go. we dads need that now and then. >> that's right. tom, thanks very much. a lot more ahead. the serious stuff ahead. coming up, a primetime exclusive. tyler clementi's parents speak out for the first time since their son killed himself after his college roommate allegedly recorded him with a webcam kissing another man. tyler's parents tell cnn's jason carroll whether that roommate has apologized to them and if they're ready for the upcoming trial. also ahead there, may be criminal charges filed after a brawl at a college basketball game over the weekend. the latest on that coming up.
up close tonight, a primetime exclusive. tyler clementi's parents speak out for the first time since their son committed suicide more than a year ago. tyl tyler, you'll remember, was just 18 years old, a student at rutgers university when his roommate allegedly used a webcam to stream video of him in a sexual encounter with another man. after that incident tyler jumped from a bridge. the roommate dharun ravi last week rejected a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail.
instead he'll go to trial in february charged with 15 counts including hate crimes. since that day more than a year ago tyler's parents, joe and jane, have stayed silent while they mourn for their son. now, in this primetime exclusive, they explain why it's just been too hard to talk, why they're talking now, and what they hope happens next. here's cnn's jason carroll. ♪ >> reporter: this is how tyler clementi's parents want to remember their son, doing what he loved best, playing the violin. >> we'll never hear tyler play live violin again. we don't want any parent to have to suffer the kind of pain and devastation that we've gone through for the last 15 months. >> it's a never-ending process. and it kind of ebbs and flows almost like an ocean. it comes and goes, and it's very overwhelming at times. >> reporter: their son tyler was an 18-year-old promising rutgers university student. he committed suicide, jumping
off the george washington bridge on september 22nd of last year after his roommate, dharun ravi, allegedly used a webcam to record clementi kissing another man. his parents won't talk about it, but prosecutors say clementi was still trying to come to terms with his sexuality and was driven to kill himself over fear of being outed on the internet. >> i don't understand how somebody could be so cruel or so mean. you're in a new community. you're trying to make friends. and for whatever reason someone feels that they need to be better than someone else. >> reporter: clementi's last message written on facebook, "jumping off the gw. sorry." >> it was unbelievable to read it. i mean, for a long time i didn't believe it. i didn't think that he had done that. i thought maybe was kidnapped or he had run away. you know, all of those things. and when they found his body, then i was forced to accept the fact.
>> i have gone over it many, many times in my head. and i really cannot come up with a -- i guess because there is no good reason for what tyler did. it was something he did do, and it's something that cannot be changed. >> reporter: now the legal battle over who, if anyone, is responsible for clementi's death. ravi's former friend, molly wei, charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly allowing her computer to be used to record clementi, struck a deal with prosecutors and will testify against ravi. ravi, clementi's former roommate, now 19 years old, faces 15 counts, including bias intimidation. the former rutgers computer student once wrote about clementi on the web saying, "what if i catch him with a dude?" >> this represents the maximum you're exposed to if you accept it. >> reporter: clementi's parents watched in a new jersey courtroom as ravi declined a plea deal, one where he could have potentially avoided jail time in exchange for community service. >> you want to know why he's rejected the plea?
simple answer. simple principle of law. simple principle of life. he's innocent. he's not guilty. >> i mean, this has been their consistent position all along. and we weren't surprised. and we're prepared for the trial. >> reporter: do you have faith that you will receive the type of justice that you're looking for? >> well, i've said from the beginning that what we want is justice. we want accountability. and i have faith in the court system in the state of new jersey. >> if we don't see it here and now, we will ultimately see that justice. >> this is his violin. >> reporter: clementi's room at his parents' ridgewood, new jersey home is still very much like it was when he left it more than a year ago. do you come into this room very often? >> at times. i come and sit. but it usually makes me very sad. so i don't always. >> reporter: clementi's death has brought new attention to the issue of gay teens and bullying. the family receiving support from around the country.
but even with all the support there is still the pain of loss, one made worse, the clementis say, by not having at the very least an apology from their son's former roommate. >> i think it probably would help with the process of healing. i think i can work through it without it, but it certainly would make things easier. >> i would characterize it as i'm heartbroken. i'm heartbroken at what happened, and about the loss of my son. and how it happened. breaks my heart. >> so difficult for those parents. jason carroll -- that was jason carroll reporting. the clementi family has started a not for profit organization working to prevent teen suicide and implement anti-bullying programs and promote civility and peace. for more information go to the tylerclementifoundation.org or our website, ac360.com. we'll have a link to it. again, that's thetylerclementifoundation.org or ac360.com.
still ahead, a bench-clearing basketball brawl seen on national television. now the college athletes involved may face criminal charges. we'll explain ahead. also dozens of occupy protester as rested as they try to shut down ports on the west coast. and if you think some of the holiday cards are strange, wait till you see the one that made it onto our "riduculist." citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal.
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a music industry executive shot in downtown hollywood on friday has died. john atterbury was wound nad rampage along sunset boulevard. the 26-year-old gunman fired repeatedly at cars, apparently at random. it was all caught on amateur video. >> there's a madman in the streets. oh, my god. are you all right? >> the gunman was shot by police and he died later. no word yet on a possible motive. on the virginia tech campus, the funeral for 39-year-old derek crouse was held today near where he was gunned down.
the shooter killed himself a short time later. governor bob mcdonald spoke at the funeral calling him a lifelong public servant. three members of florida a&m university's marching band were charged today with hazing a freshman band member. according to arrest affidavits, the alleged victim suffered a cracked femur, deep bone bruising and blood clots after being repeatedly beaten in november. that's the same month that drum major robert champion died in a separate alleged hazing incident. saturday's all-out bloody brawl between college basketball rivals xavier and cincinnati could end up in court. an ohio prosecutor said today he'll decide if criminal charges are appropriate for all those involved. eight students have already been suspended from both teams. four of the cincinnati players apologized today in public to their fans. one broke down. their coach visibly angry, said he will not tolerate this type of behavior. >> if my players don't act the right way, they will never play another game at cincinnati. right now i just told my guys, i
will decide -- i need to meet with my a.d. and my president, and i'm going to decide who's on the team going forward. that's what the university of cincinnati's about. period. i told them the way i feel -- i've never been this embarrassed. i'm hoping president williams doesn't ask me to resign after that. police arrested dozens of protesters who tried to shut down ports in several cities today, many of them along the west coast. the protests were tied to the nationwide occupy movement. port officials say shutting down their facilities only hurts port workers. and if you missed it live last night, meet the cnn hero of the year. >> the 2011 cnn hero of the year is robin lim. >> robin lim was awarded the honor at an all-star tribute hosted by anderson. lim has helped thousands of poor indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth through her free health clinics all across
indonesia. that is the latest news. now back to anderson. coming up, a mayor's christmas card turns heads and, well, gets him onto the "riduculist." we'll be right back. passport? here you go. driver's license. past five years' tax returns. high school report cards. and i'm gonna need to see a receipt for that watch you're wearing. you know, you really should provide us with a checklist of documents we're gonna need up front.
time for the "ridiculist." tonight we're adding what i like to call a very taxidermy christmas and a scrappy new year. the mayor of san juan, puerto rico, has chosen quite an not usual backdrop for his christmas card this year. check it out. someone sent this to awkwardfamilyphotos.com. but i find it less awkward than
awesome. this christmas card has it all. it's got the mayor, smiling family, pretty snowflakes, and of course the time-honored holiday scene of a leopard attack an antelope. merry christmas, everybody. hope you like severed jugular veins. this is not the only unique holiday card we've ever seen from a politician. take a look at congresswoman loretta sanchez's card from back in 2009. and yes, it's signed from both the congresswoman and her cat gretzky. meow. sadly next year the cat was gone but the memories live on forever. especially on the congresswoman's o'2010 christmas card, which was a tribute to gretzky, 1991-2010. a lot of people like to include their pets in their holiday cards. here's a season's greeting that nbc news correspondent mara schiavocampo sent to one of our producers, david puente. i don't know what i like better the dog peeing on the fallen christmas tree or the other dog eating a present. so that card is pretty creative. but still, now might be a good time to remind you that it's very important to look at your christmas card photos very closely before you send them out.
elaine from "seinfeld" had to learn that one the hard way. >> did you look at this picture carefully? >> carefully? >> because i'm not sure, and correct me if i'm wrong, but i think i see a nipple. >> what? >> here, take a look. what is that? >> oh, my god! >> so when it comes to celebrity christmas cards, you can always count on the kardashians. on her blog -- oh, yeah, she has a blog. khloe writes that christmas has always been a big deal in the family and that they always go all out. like this one. kris jenner. kris kringle. the matching ties and head bands. it's all there. or how about the easy rider christmas card from days of yore? you can almost smell the leather. and as long as we're going way, way back, this isn't a card but it's a very festive photo of a very young justin timberlake, complete with garland around his
neck, a jacket that shines brighter than the moon on the new fallen slow and a christmas gift in a box that he's holding it somewhat higher than he did many years later for his "snl" video with adam samberg. ♪ something real ♪ i want to give you something from the heart ♪ >> something special, girl. ♪ it's my [ bleep ] in a box ♪ ♪ my [ bleep ] in a box ♪ it's my [ bleep ] in a box ♪ my [ bleep ] in a box, girl >> i think he'funny. speaking of our videos, can we talk about my favorite one of the year? it's the honey badger. let's watch just a little bit of it, shall we? >> the honey badger has been referred to by the guinness book of world records as the most fearless animal in all the animal kingdom. it really doesn't give a [ bleep ]. if it's hungry it's hungry. ooh, what's that in its mouth? ooh, it's got a cobra. it runs backwards. the snake's up in the tree. honey badger don't care. honey badger don't give a [ bleep ]. it just takes what it want