Remove the lower front panel from the front of the washer by removing the 3 screws in the bottom of it. Then reach inside the washer by the door lock and pull the manual release tab on the bottom of the lock. This may reset the door lock it will release the door too.
Good news and bad news. The white cap and thing attached (filter?) were screwed in really tightly and after removed, it had a lot of black moldy stuff on it and some coins in the "tray" and some "threads" but no larger fabric things. Nothing was stuck up in the holes as far as we can see. It drain the water out, but the controls still won't work. Plugging and unplugging allows you to turn on power but then if you push another button it locks the door and the other control buttons will not function. You have had great suggestions so far - what next?
We bought the washer from Sears (it is a Kenmore HE 2 plus) 4 years ago - does Whirlpool make the Kenmore washer?
Thank you SOOOO much! You have been great! The washer breaking down was definitely not in the plan for the day - so having your help was truly wonderful!!! Thanks so much for your patience and all of the excellent advice that you gave us!