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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Massacre Suspect Due In Court; "The Country Is Thinking Of You"; Remembering The Shooting Victims; NCAA To Penalize Penn State

Aired July 23, 2012 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It was rigged with things like trap wires and gas canisters. That he was armed to the teeth ready for war and that it could have been a lot worse had his rifle with a 100-round magazine not jammed.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to begin our coverage with Jim Spellman live outside the courthouse in Centennial, Colorado. And Jim, the suspect I understand is in solitary confinement. What does he face today?

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far he's not speaking with police at all, not cooperating. In about five and a half hours, he's going to make his way from the jail here through an underground tunnel into the court for his, what's called, an initial advisement.

This phase is the beginning of the legal proceedings. Steps down the road for the state will be to decide what they are going to charge him with and formally charge him.

And the defense could ask for a competency hearing that would address whether he's competent enough to stand trial. That would have nothing to do with any sort of insanity defense for the thing itself.

Now while this is going on, the police are still working on their investigation. Remember, it took them two days just to get into the apartment and be able to take his computer out and examine other things in there.

They'll work through all of that as they continue to build their case. Here's Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates speaking about the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF DANIEL OATES, AURORA POLICE DEPARTMENT (via telephone): We're focusing on anyone who knew him and statements he may have made. We're building a case to show that this was a deliberate process by a very intelligent man who wanted to do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SPELLMAN: Another thing for the prosecutors to decide here is whether they'll go for the death penalty. This office has in the past and there's every reason to believe they may choose to do that again this time -- John.

BERMAN: Jim, and they were speaking to someone else over the weekend that caused a lot of buzz, the notion maybe there was a second suspect, but they threw water on that, right?

SPELLMAN: Yes, there were many reports that there was a second suspect or second person of interest. The Aurora Police came out and said, yes, they interviewed an associate of James Holmes, but they have no reason to believe he was involved in this.

Again, once they got access to the apartment, it really enabled them to expand their investigation and find out who he was associating with and who is communicating with. They'll perform many more interviews like that as they move this investigation forward.

BERMAN: All right, Jim Spellman in Colorado, thanks very much.

We're going to have much more on the Colorado movie massacre ahead, including just what we're going to expect in court this morning. Coming up at the bottom of the hour, "Denver Post" reporter, Jordan Steffan will join us.

And what causes someone like this to snap? At 6:50 Eastern, we'll speak to Dr. Helen Morrison, a forensic psychiatrist in one of the country's leading experts on serial killers.

SAMBOLIN: With so much attention on the alleged killer, it is important to keep the victims as the main focus. President Obama visited the community of Aurora, Colorado, the message, the country is thinking of you.

He met with victims and the families yesterday. This White House photo is showing the president hugging Stephanie Davies who helped keep her friend, Ali Young, alive after she was shot.

The president is saying he is there as a father and husband, not as a president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I had a chance to visit with each family and most of the conversation was filled with memory. It was an opportunity for families to describe how wonderful their brother or their son or daughter was and the lives that they have touched and the dreams that they held for the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The community is now beginning to heal and you know, Zoraida, when we left you Friday, we only knew the number of those killed and wounded. Now we know the names and their stories. Sometimes they are hard to hear and sometimes it is uplifting to hear somebody's stories.

SAMBOLIN: You're right. Thousands gathered at Sunday night's vigil to remember the victims and to pray for those who are still injured this morning.

One of those recovering in the hospital right now is 25- year-old Ashley Moser. She had taken her only daughter, 6-year-old, Veronica, to that midnight movie tragically, here's a picture of her, little Veronica was killed.

Her mother who was slipping in and out of consciousness had no idea about her little girl's death until this Saturday when her family finally broke the devastating news.

Moser's family says, of course, she's crushed. She is expected to recover from her injuries. As she was going in and out of consciousness and all she was asking about was her little girl.

CNN's Poppy Harlow is live in Aurora. Poppy, you've been spending a lot of time with people on the ground there. How are they coping?

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: They are coming together and that's exactly, Zoraida, what we saw last night at the vigil. You know, the governor here, John Hickenlooper read off the names on stage at the vigil of all of those who died and their families.

Many of them joined him on stage. After he read each name, the crowd responded we will remember. The family members did not speak, a lot of government officials did as well as prayers from different pastors in the community.

One thing that stood out to me was when the mayor here, Steve Hogan, spoke and he said this. He said the pain is still raw, but we will reclaim our city in the name of goodness, kindness and compassion focusing on strength and kindness.

I spoke to people last night at the vigil, a variety of people, and one of the things I asked everyone is can you even begin to forgive at this point? Here's what they told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forgiveness isn't only always for the person that you're forgiving that committed the crime. It's also for yourself and it's part of that healing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That 6-year-old little girl was killed. My daughter is 1 years old and I have a 3-year-old daughter myself. I don't think it can be forgiven.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Part of the prayers this morning were not only for victims and their families and for first responders and for everybody that's helping, but for the shooter and his family because for me personally and for our belief system it's not our place to judge.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: I can tell you being here since Friday last night that vigil was the most uplifting moment that I have seen and right behind me, there's also a make shift memorial right here by the theatre.

That people just come to throughout the day, Zoraida, to share their stories and to meet with others who are grieving. And we still have others to focus on this hour.

We have 17 victims that remain hospitalized and eight in critical conditions including the 12 who lost their lives. This community will continue to grieve and also try to heal from this unbelievable loss.

SAMBOLIN: It's really great to see that they are coming together, really tough, Poppy, to look at those faces right now as they go through this process. Thank you so much for sharing with us this morning. We appreciate it.

BERMAN: It is hard to see those faces, but here's something that might make you smile. Some new video overnight, members of the Denver Broncos visiting the shooting victims and a number of emergency room staff who treated many of Friday morning's massacre victims.

The Broncos doing their part to raise everyone's spirits. New Broncos' quarterback, Peyton Manning, he wasn't there, but he did manage to put in a phone call to four of the patients.

SAMBOLIN: That is very nice, right? It's the little things sometimes that just make all of the difference in the world.

So folks, if you want to help out and I know a lot of you do. You can go to givingfirst.org. There you will find several non- profits supporting victims and families of the Aurora movie theatre shooting.

BERMAN: And so many people do want to help out this morning.

All right, there is a lot of other news out there. It is 7 minutes past the hour. In just a day after the statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno came down, the hammer is set to fall on Penn State. Coming up, the punishment expected in the wake of Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It is 11 minutes past the hour. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Just a few hours from now, in an unprecedented move, the NCAA will announce penalties for Penn State. A source tells CNN Penn State is expected to be hit with more than $30 million in fines, but the school's football program will not -- not, face suspension.

Yesterday, a campus statue of late football coach Joe Paterno was taken down. The school's president called the statue a quote, "recurring wound to victims of child abuse."

The Paterno family released a statement saying, quote, "tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community. We believe the only way to hope is to uncover the full truth."

A lot going on there right now. CNN's Susan Candiotti is live in state college. Susan, these are big, big penalties. What kind of impact could these sanctions have on Penn State's football program?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's going to have a terrible impact. Of course as you said, it is expected that they will be able to play football. There won't be a suspension of the program.

But as one source said, the penalties are so tough that they might hope for a death penalty because they would include as you indicated fines of $30 million, certainly a loss of postseason action, no Bowl games for a certain period of time, and a loss of so far unspecified number of scholarships, which could certainly hurt in recruiting players for years to come -- John.

BERMAN: Another thing is they are going to make it easier for players on the team we hear to transfer immediately and that could just gut the team, again, immediately.

One of things that we've been tossing around is saying this is unprecedented. The reason this is unprecedented, Susan, is because this is for stuff that went on not having to do directly with the football program, not recruiting violations or money being paid. This feels different than anything we've seen in football, doesn't it?

CANDIOTTI: Yes, it hasn't happened this way before. According to the source familiar with this case, part of that has to do with a message that the NCAA is trying to send.

Once they got that report from former FBI Director Louie Free, they had a road map for them and they are trying to make a point here.

The point being that the culture at universities not just Penn State, but at universities around the country, is that the sports program cannot trump everything else. It cannot be the most important thing on campus.

BERMAN: And we all saw the pictures of that statue disappearing in sort of the dark of night. What about the timing of that, Susan?

CANDIOTTI: Well, you know, it happened, John, as you know, very early yesterday morning, Sunday morning. Still there were a lot of people looking around for that to happen because it was anticipated certainly.

But they did it a good month before the students were expected -- are expected back for the fall semester and clearly, they had security concerns and that's why they did it when they did it.

They also might have been trying to send a signal to the NCAA that they are planning reforms, but perhaps it's too little too late.

BERMAN: It is good, I suppose that it's happening a full month before the students arrive and begin their new year and hopefully a new chapter for Penn State. Susan Candiotti down there in state college. Thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: I wonder what the response is going to be from the students, right? When the scandal first broke out, the way that they responded, I wonder how it will be now.

BERMAN: Maybe it's changed after the Free report. They should all take a good look at it I think.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it's 14 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date. Here's Christine Romans with this morning's top story.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And good morning again you two.

The man accused of one of the worst massacres in U.S. history will make his first court appearance. In just a few hours, 24-year- old James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others, he is being held in isolation right now. Police say he is not cooperating but they continue to uncover some twisted new clues.

Border patrol agents will assist in its investigation of a deadly accidents, 100 miles southeast of San Antonio. Eleven people were killed, 12 others injured when police say one pickup truck veered off U.S. Highway 59 and slammed into two large trees last night. All 23 victims were loaded inside both the truck's cab and bed.

Jury selection is set to begin in the murder trial of former Illinois Police Sergeant Drew Peterson. Peterson is facing murder charges for the 2004 bathtub drowning of his third wife. Her death has originally been ruled an accident. He is also a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife but hasn't been charged in her death.

Rescue at sea. The pilot of an F-16 U.S. fighter jet that crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan yesterday, safely ejected and rescued by a Japanese ship. The Japanese coast guard says the unidentified pilot is in stable condition. The cause of the crash is still not known.

Fire crews getting the upper hand on a stubborn brush fire that burned some 75 acres in northern California near Vacaville. At one point, the fire grew to eight alarms, threatening structures, prompting evacuations. But thankfully, no properties have been destroyed and no injuries are reported.

Heartbreak at the British Open. Ernie Els capturing his championship on Sunday. But everyone is talking about the way Adam Scott lost it.

BERMAN: Brutal.

ROMANS: Els draining 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, and watching along as everyone else is Scott, 32-year-old Australian who's never won a major methodically melted down, bogeying each of the final four holes under a four stroke lead with four holes left to play.

BERMAN: Just awful. Total implosion.

ROMANS: For Els, it was his fourth major championship. So, congratulations to him but, wow.

BERMAN: I left. I actually was watching and I stepped out. I'm like Adam Scott is going to win, no problem. And I came back, and I'm like how could he possibly have blown it.

ROMANS: Never leave the TV, John. Never leave the TV.

BERMAN: To everyone out there, never leave your TV sets.

SAMBOLIN: Especially when we're on.

Thank you very much, Christine.

Do you have an iPad?

BERMAN: No.

SAMBOLIN: You don't? You need to get one. They are very, very cool.

But this is as close as you can get to actually diving into your iPad. An app developer bringing a whole new interactive experience to your fingertips in this week's "NEXT LIST".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT SNIBBE, COMPUTER ART DEVELOPER: Before the iPad, I used to check that I made useless programs. But they are as useless as a song, a movie, a story, something like that. And all of a sudden with the iPad, I could just go directly to people and say, check this thing out. It doesn't even -- we don't have to label what it is. It's just called Gravilux, it's called Bubble Harp. See if you like it and all of a sudden they did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Very cool. Do not miss the entire story on "THE NEXT LIST" Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: And you will loan me your iPad?

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely, so that you can play with it and then you're going to have to go buy one.

BERMAN: I hear there's some good games.

All right. Coming up, all eyes from Wall Street fixed on Europe today. Christine is back with how the debt crisis there will be felt here in the U.S. and soon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: We are minding your business this morning.

U.S. stock futures trading lower and it's likely to be a volatile week in the markets.

BERMAN: It is because of Europe. Europe's debt problems a big concern this week. And Christine Romans is here.

Christine, you live this stuff and it seems as if Europe is weighing you down this morning.

ROMANS: Europe is getting me down. I'll tell you. It is. And here's why, because we're looking at Spain. We're looking at Greece. We're concerned about both of those places. Is Greece going to get its fiscal house in order to get more money from the Europeans so that they can pay its bill?

And in Spain, we saw Spanish GDP number, Spanish growth actually negative. That economy is contracting and couple of regions in Spain saying they are having trouble paying their bills as well.

So, Spain is 14th largest economy in the world when you look at borrowing costs for Spain. They are 7.55 percent.

This is something people like me really, really watch, because when it costs governments much more money to borrow money, it shows what kind of stress they are under.

SAMBOLIN: Look at the comparison.

BERMAN: You can't operate at 7.5 percent, can you?

ROMANS: You can't. It's a big flashing yellow, help us, help us. So, we're watching Spain.

And the interesting thing about that number there, 1.44 percent in the U.S. All of the world's problems, but especially Europe, means that investors are rushing to the safety of U.S. bonds, driving our interest rates even lower. It's never been cheaper to borrow money for a lot of different things in the U.S. if you can get somebody to lend you the money.

So, that's what we're watching there. And also, the euro, the currency is about $1.21. So, the European currency has been falling. This is the lowest it's been. I think it's now fallen below the average of the whole time the euro has been -- a region, has been a currency.

So, the one thing you need to know about your money today, Congress has 162 days left until the fiscal cliff. So, while we're talking about earnings this week, while we're talking about Europe, a little reminder, that something very bad is going to happen to us that we're going to do to ourselves and Congress has 162 days to figure it out.

BERMAN: We knew you would get there. The bad news is there's even worse news is this.

ROMANS: Preventable bad news makes me crazy. File fiscal cliff under preventable bad news. There you go.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Christine.

Coming up, inside the Aurora shooting suspect's apartment. What investigators found after they disabled explosives meant to kill them.

If you're living the house right now, you can watch us any time on your mobile phone, on your desktop. Just go to CNN.com/TV.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Inside the suspect's apartment -- a Batman poster and something investigators called "improvised napalm".

SAMBOLIN: Inside the suspect's head. A James Holmes heads to court we get insight from one of the leading experts on serial killers.

BERMAN: And violence on the streets of Anaheim in California, protests break out.

SAMBOLIN: Crazy pictures.

BERMAN: Crazy. This after apparently a police shooting there. Just went nuts there in Anaheim.

And welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Glad you're here. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Twenty-eight minutes past the hour.

We are just hours away from getting our first look at the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting, as people still mourn and wonder why 12 people lost their lives at the midnight movie screening on Friday.

President Obama visited with families who lost loved ones yesterday. He also met with survivors who told him stories of heroes who save lives. He addressed the community.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: God bless all who helped to respond to this tragedy. And I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country, but also reflect on all of the wonderful people who make this the greatest country on earth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Everyone wants answers. The accused shooter James Holmes will appear before a judge this morning.

Jordan Steffen is a reporter for the "Denver Post." She is joining us now live.

Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Let's start with the preliminary hearing. What are you hearing we can expect to learn today?

JORDAN STEFFEN, DENVER POST: Well, we haven't actually talked to any attorneys connected to the case but experts have told us that the defense is expected to seek a competency exam for Mr. Holmes and whether or not he's deemed competent to stand trial could in fact determine if the defense will enter a not guilty plea by reason of insanity.

SAMBOLIN: Does he have a public attorney or private attorney? Do you know?

STEFFEN: I think that they are private, yes.

SAMBOLIN: OK, let's talk a little bit about the police investigation. Are there any new details that you're hearing?

STEFFEN: We're not -- I'm hearing what they took out of the apartment, they've removed his computer and they're doing their best to get information out of that.

They are continuing to speak with neighbors who have said he was very introverted, quiet. They seldom heard anything from his apartment -- no loud noises, TVs, stereos, anything along those lines.

They are continuing to investigate how the materials came to the apartment. He received some 40 packages in the months before the shooting, which is how authorities think he was able to obtain that much ammunition and some of the materials and chemicals that were used to create the devices in his apartment.

SAMBOLIN: Have they talked to anybody -- a lot of people are trying to figure out what was going on in his head. There are folks who said that as you said he was introverted, but there are some reports that he was kind of a regular guy with girlfriends, kind of normal.

Have you heard anything along those lines?

STEFFEN: We have heard that, you know, he was normal. There were a couple of people who said they say a one man, one girl moving in and out of the apartment. Definitely nothing that would give anyone any kind of indication he was planning something like this.

Friends in California have told reporters that he studied, easily maintained a high GPA, made A's in his courses. So, I think that he did seem -- while introverted, very normal to a lot of people.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Well, I know that you all have been on top of the story. We appreciate your time this morning. Jordan Steffen, reporter for the "Denver Post" -- thank you.

BERMAN: The Denver paper doing so well on the story right in their backyard.

SAMBOLIN: Incredible.

BERMAN: All right. Thousands of people from across Colorado gathered Sunday outside the municipal theater in Aurora to remember the victims of the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: Jon Blunt.

AUDIENCE: We'll remember.

HICKENLOOPER: A.J. Boik.

AUDIENCE: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Jesse Childress.

AUDIENCE: We will remember.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper remembering the names of the 12 people killed in a shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It means we're coming together, it means a lot. All of the people who turned out showing love to everybody and see how much it hurt us and how much it's bringing us together as a community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like the Dark Knight, we will rise again because we are all Colorado.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The mayor of Aurora and many people who attended the vigil all said they are determined that the massacre will not define their city when history looks back on the events of this past week.

SAMBOLIN: The horror inside Aurora's Cinema 16 Theater could have easily been followed by another deadly tragedy. Suspected shooter James Holmes telling police at the crime scene that he had booby trapped his apartment. Bomb experts finding trip wires, dozens of repurposed fireworks shells, jars of gasoline and something one official referred to as "improvised napalm".

Retired FBI bomb specialist Ray Lopez says the scene of the suspect's home could have turned out a lot worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAY LOPEZ, RETIRED FBI BOMB SPECIALIST: It could have been much worse. Had they not been able to get inside the apartment and identify those chemicals and other components that they found in there, you think about that, you have lay people such as neighbors and other people that might have gone into the apartment and done something that quite frankly would have killed other people. So, you know, it would have gone on had the police officers not acted so quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: One neighbor did stop by Holmes apartment because of loud music that was playing. She says she thought about opening the door and peeking in but decided against it. That is one lucky woman.

What causes someone like this to snap? At 6:50 Eastern, we will speak to Dr. Helen Morrison, a forensic psychiatrists and one of the country's leading experts on serial killers.

BERMAN: It's now 33 minutes after the hour.

Let's get a quick check of your travel forecast. Here's Rob Marciano.

Rob, hot, hot and more hot?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right and couple of cooling thunderstorms for some folks, including the Northeast. Good morning again, guys. The core of the heat is across the central part of the U.S. where the drought continues. Temperatures there will be over 100 degrees in some spots.

We do have a couple of thunderstorms rolling across the Catskills, the Hudson River, about to get into Worcester County. These are not severe but enough to slow down your commute for sure.

More rain across southern Florida -- stubborn, somewhat tropical low, kind of throwing in some moisture here especially across Homestead, Miami, and through Fort Lauderdale.

Here are the record breaking high temperatures from yesterday. You expect more of that across Texas, Nebraska, Kansas Iowa today. It will last for the next three days, maybe cooling down a little bit on Friday. But no significant rain expected in this area at least today.

Where you will se thunderstorms that could drop significant rain is across Minnesota into the lower Great Lakes, including Chicago, and we've already seen some thunderstorms across Upstate New York later on today, might recharge the atmosphere just enough to create some damaging winds and some large hail.

So, just be light on your feet as we go through the afternoon. There's your heat, slightly cooler in New York City, 86 degrees, real nice stuff is in L.A., 79 degrees, no worries there .

Zoraida, back up to you.

SAMBOLIN: Be light on your feet. Thank you.

MARCIANO: It helps.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks, Rob.

Coming up, the race for the White House. One candidate is really burning through cash these days. Who is it and what can that mean for the race? That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: It is 39 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.

And we're talking politics right now.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: And President Obama and Mitt Romney are now back on the campaign trail, both in San Francisco, in fact. This after suspending both of their campaigns in the wake of the mass shooting in Colorado. Both campaigns say they are keeping their ads off the airwaves in Colorado for now. Obviously, the mourning and healing happening there takes precedents over politics.

But there is a lot that seems to be shifting politically right now as we speak. I'm joined by our resident expert, CNN's Peter Hamby in Washington.

First off, Peter, I think it's safe to say any talk of Mitt Romney announcing a V.P. before he leaves for the Olympics is completely off the table. But more importantly this morning, everyone seems to be talking about money and how fast the Obama campaign is burning through it.

PETER HAMBY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right, John. I mean, this is one of the biggest political stories of the last week, overshadowed and rightly so by the shootings. But on Friday night, both campaigns and their affiliated committees filed with the Federal Election Commission their fundraising numbers for June.

The Romney campaign and Republican National Committee for the second straight month outraised the Obama campaign and his Democratic allies. Romney and his folks raised $106 million to the Obama campaign's $77 million.

The Obama campaign's vaunted money machine is really being tested here. And the bigger number than the fundraising totals might be the cash on hand totals. Take a look at this. The Romney campaign plus the Republican National Committee and their sort of shared joint Victory Fund have $170 million in the bank to spend right now. The Obama campaign and his DNC fund have $144 million in the bank.

Those numbers are there for a couple of reasons. One, the Romney campaign still has to spend primary money and can't spend money raised for the general election until after the conventions.

But take a look at this. This is the amount of money spent on television ads, John. The Obama campaign in June spent $38 million on TV ads. The Romney campaign spent just $11 million. This is not news to you if you live in a swing state, if you live in Colorado or Iowa, Nevada or Virginia, you've seen these television ads of Mitt Romney singing "God bless America" over images of him outsourcing jobs.

So, this is part of the attempt to define Mitt Romney early and really saw that spending disparity in June. We'll see if that changes after the convention. It probably will.

BERMAN: A decision to spend now may be at the expense of spending later and that is of concern, I think, to some Democratic operatives. Mitt Romney, this week, Wednesday, heads off on his overseas trip. This is sort of a rite of passage now for presidential candidates -- England, Israel, Poland.

What can we expect from these three stops? And why these three stops, Peter?

HAMBY: You're right, John. This is a rite of passage. This is Romney's attempt to sort of project the air of statesman.

We're going to see him as a man of the world, meeting with, you know, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. He's going to meet with Lech Walesa in Poland.

You know, the Olympics are also starting. So, Romney is going to have a chance to tell his story of turning the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 while he's over there a little bit.

Also going to Israel. He'll be in Jerusalem and he's going to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was asked about this on "FOX News Sunday" yesterday, this is said how he will greet Mitt Romney when he arrives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I think that you're far too wise a journalist to think that I'm going to get into your field of American politics. But I will say that I will receive Mitt Romney with the same openness that I received another presidential candidate, then-Senator Barack Obama, when he came.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMBY: John, let's not pretend that Netanyahu is not paying close attention to American politics right now, despite him saying so. Don't forget, Netanyahu and Mitt Romney are old friends.

BERMAN: They worked together.

HAMBY: They worked at the Boston -- yes, with a Boston consulting group, your town of Boston back in the day, in the late '70s. So, they've known each other to a long time. And this is in contrast to Netanyahu and Obama who have a sort of notoriously fraught relationship.

So, I bet we can see some chummy behavior from Romney and Netanyahu when he touches in Israel, John.

BERMAN: Yes, Bibi and Mitt probably hanging out at Fenway, catching a Sox game in the late '70s.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Peter Hamby in D.C., thanks so much for joining us.

SAMBOLIN: That's my favorite line.

All right. Forty-three minutes past the hour. Let's get you up-to-date on this morning's top stories.

The man accused of one of the worst shooting massacres in U.S. story will make his first court appearance in just a few hours now. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 people. He's being held in isolation right now. Police have recovered key items, including a PC from his apartment but only after they disarmed several trip wires and booby traps inside his home.

BERMAN: The NCAA expected to punish Penn State in historic fashion today, one day after Joe Paterno's statue was hauled away in shame. A source tells CNN the school may face fines as high as $30 million and lose scholarships for turning a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky's abuse of young boys. But the NCAA is not expected to deal the so-called "death sentence" to the famed football program.

SAMBOLIN: Government forces striking back against rebel troops in Syria, Syria's two biggest cities -- fighting reportedly intense overnight in the struggle for Damascus and Aleppo. The government offensive in one neighborhood involving more than 1,000 troops, backed by armored vehicles and tanks and bulldozers.

Opposition forces claim President Assad soldiers executed 20 people suspected of helping the rebel fighters.

BERMAN: It was a violent weekend on the streets of California after police shot and killed an unarmed man in Anaheim. Protests breaking out of the scene hours later. Neighbors throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

Cops responding by sending in a police dog and firing bean bags and pepper balls. Last night, protests flared again with demonstrators setting a dumpster on fire. The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on leave.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Katherine Jackson is not missing. The mother of Michael Jackson and guardian of his three kids is staying with a family member in Arizona to destress. That's according to her son, Jermaine.

A family member reported that Jackson family matriarch is missing on Saturday and concern mounted when Michael Jackson's 14-year-old daughter Paris tweeted that she hadn't seen her grandmother in a week and wanted her to come home now.

BERMAN: That was a weird, weird story.

SAMBOLIN: All the talk. I know.

BERMAN: Weird strangeness.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (on-camera): Now, with the Aurora suspect heading to court in just a few hours, the question remains why. We take a look at one of the country's leading experts on serial killers coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It's a little more than 10 minutes before the hour now. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We're happy you're with us.

Colorado officials are combing through evidence this morning trying to figure out what caused 24-year-old James Holmes to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Aurora police chief, Daniel Oates, spoke yesterday on CBS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOICE OF CHIEF DANIEL OATES, AURORA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're focusing on anyone who knew him and statements he may have made. We're building a case to show that this was deliberative process by a very intelligent man who wanted to do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Dr. Helen Morrison is a forensic psychiatrist and one of the country's leading experts on serial killers. She is with us now from Chicago. Dr. Morrison, thank you so much for joining us this morning. You just heard him characterized as a brilliant man. You have spent a lot of time with some mass murderers, John Wayne Gacy, specifically here.

And so, is there a profile in everything that you're hearing about him that he fits as a mass murderer?

DR. HELEN MORRISON, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Generally yes. Obviously, I've not examined him, but he does fit the profile of an individual who becomes a mass murderer, meaning that he plans, he implements and the victims are usually individuals that he doesn't know, but he's just chosen because of his anger and sense of revenge because of his rejections.

Now, when I talk about rejections, when I'm talking about is somehow this individual who was supposed to be brilliant was not making it in the doctoral program in neuroscience. So, he comes from being an honor student at California. He goes to Colorado. He's on a special grant.

And then, somehow, he must have learned that like many people, you choose to resign or you're let go because he wasn't performing. Why he wasn't performing, we don't know.

SAMBOLIN: Right. We don't really know --

MORRISON: But obviously --

SAMBOLIN: We don't really know why he dropped out of that program, but you speculate that that, perhaps, was part of the motive here?

MORRISON: In the opinion that we have with research we've done with mass murderers, the primary motive is generally rejection, a loss of something and then rage and a lot of anger to quote "get back" at society in general. The same thing happened in Columbine, because the individuals there felt one of them at least felt terribly rejected and was able to get a partner to help him.

But this individual did it on his own. He planned it. Obviously, he planned with a number of chemicals or items that he received. And he was able to implement.

SAMBOLIN: Some meticulous planning.

MORRISON: Oh, it was absolutely meticulous planning. So, that really speaks against the fact that he was out of contact with reality, but we don't know that --

SAMBOLIN: Let me ask you something -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, but there's a lot we're trying to cover here. His mother, Arlene, is a licensed registered nurse for more than 30 years. His father is also a professional. His mother said and I'm going to quote here, she said this to ABC, "you have the right person."

She said, apparently, speaking on gut instinct, we understand. "I need to call police. I need to fly out to Colorado." What does that say to you when your parent says that?

MORRISON: Well, if the parent says that, then they must have had some clue. But again, you have a clue but you don't have any proof. You certainly can't put anyone away for thinking or having a gut feeling. You have to have some indication that the person is of imminent danger to himself or others.

SAMBOLIN: And just lastly very quickly, we know that he told police that he had booby trapped that apartment. What do you make of that? MORRISON: I just make of it, it could be one of two things. It could be one that he was feeling remorse, which I highly doubt. But the other thing could have been that he was proud of his planning and his implementation which a lot of people have said was brilliant.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Dr. Helen Morrison, child analyst (ph) and psychiatrist, forensic psychiatrist in Chicago, thank you for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.

MORRISON: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: It's a little bit of insight there, right?

BERMAN: Absolutely.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Straight ahead, a special edition of "Starting Point," Soledad O'Brien live in Colorado where James Holmes will make his first court appearance today.

BERMAN: And we're going to get today's "Best Advice" from the top from the president of the United States. That's coming up.

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BERMAN: All right. It is just a few minutes before the hour. "Starting Point" with Soledad O'Brien on deck from Colorado.

SAMBOLIN: And we wrap it up as always with "Best Advice." Here's Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And this "Best Advice" is because since Friday we've all been focused on the movie theater massacre in Colorado. Today's advice comes from President Obama. He visited with the victims last night. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: God bless all who helped to respond to this tragedy, and I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country. But also reflect on all the wonderful people who make this the greatest country on earth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And so, usually, we'll give you advice from, you know, people who come through here, but that we thought given the news flow for the last few days, that was more appropriate.

SAMBOLIN: I totally agree. And I love focusing on, you know, what we can do, everybody collectively. The question -- the issue here is that we don't have the whys as to why such a senseless tragedy happened, right?

ROMANS: It's so great -- as I watching Poppy's coverage from Aurora to see how people everyday are getting up and trying to figure out how we can make today a little bit better when it's all still (INAUDIBLE).

SAMBOLIN: And how to forgive.

BERMAN: Yes. I'm always hugging my kids three times extra when something like this happens. You know, remember what's good at there and hold onto it.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely, you're right.

BERMAN: All right, guys. That is EARLY START for today. I'm John Berman.