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John McAfee in Hiding; Hector Camacho Dies; New Protests in Cairo
Aired November 24, 2012 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Martin Savidge in for Don Lemon. The stories you are talking about in just a moment. But first, let's get you caught up on the day's headlines right now.
You are looking at live pictures from Cairo where anti-government protesters are spending the night in Tahrir square. They are demonstrating against President Mohamed Morsi's controversial decree granting himself unchecked political power.
Earlier today, protesters threw rocks at police who responded with tear gas. We'll have much more on this story at the bottom of the hour.
An emergency at the U.S. state department today, fire trucks raced to the department headquarters in Washington shortly before noon. A flash fire in the duct work of the building forced everyone to evacuate and sent three people to the hospital, one in serious condition. Construction workers were among the few people in that building because it is a holiday weekend.
Investigators are still trying to figure out the source of a gas explosion that damaged more than 40 buildings in Springfield, Massachusetts, last night. A WWLP camera captured the moment of the blast. Eighteen people were injured, mostly emergency workers. They had been called to the scene because of reports of a gas smell. They had evacuated some of the area about an hour before that explosion.
Super storm Sandy has now cost New Jersey -- the tab is at $29 billion and the number is expected to rise. Governor Chris Christie's office says the final total will only be known after taking into account things like next summer's tourist season. New York governor Andrew Cuomo has already said that he will ask the federal government for $30 billion to help with his state's recovery.
We've got a lot more planned for you on this Saturday night. Here's what else we are working on. It's the search for a missing millionaire and it's one of the most bizarre stories, I got to say, I've ever covered in quite a long time.
Internet visionary John McAfee is a person of interest in his neighbor's murder. Now he's on the run from police in Belize and blogging all the way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you drove cliff to attempt suicide?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How was I know he was going to do a dumb thing like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: TV's original bad boy, Hollywood and fans mourning the death of "Dallas" and " Dream of Jeanne" star, Larry Hagman.
Also, new insight into what happened in the minutes and hours following the death of Osama bin Laden.
Plus, a violent crime gone viral. A teenage girl attacked, knocked out on the street. You won't believe why the suspect says he did it.
Well, his name is synonymous with safety and security in our modern electronic world. But John McAfee, the man who invented the anti-virus software so many people trust to stay secure online, had a security problem of his own. He's wrapped up in a bizarre and mysterious murder investigation ever since his neighbor was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. McAfee has refused to cooperate with police. He's even dropped out of sight. Adding to the intrigue, this murder mystery is taking place in the remote corner of the Central American paradise of Belize. This is where John McAfee settled with his millions after cashing out of the company that would become McAfee associates.
I went to Belize to try to try to find John McAfee myself to find out where he is, why he's not talking to police. And what I found raised even more questions than answers.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): To look for John McAfee, you must travel a narrow, rutted and muddy road. He lives in the remote northern part of an island 36 miles from the mainland and six miles from town. By now you might be wondering why would a person with so much money live so far out of town over such a difficult drive, I think I can give you a reason. The unspoiled beauty of Belize's barrier reef region. The farther north you go, the higher price of the real estate. In McAfee's view, it is worth a fortune.
So, I'm sitting in John McAfee's front yard. I can sit here because is actually the beach and here in Belize, the beach is considered public property for all. The house back there, the purple and yellow, the lights are on, but I can assure you, nobody's home. It is also in this same spot yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation with a young woman who claims to be one of the seven of McAfee's lovers.
Tiffany as she called herself didn't want to be seen. Like McAfee, she fears the police.
TIFFANY, JOHN MCAFEE'S LOVER: When was the last time you saw him?
Sunday around 11:15.
SAVIDGE: Do you know where he is now?
SAVIDGE: Now, a day later, Tiffany's gone, too. The only residents left at McAfee's home are dogs. And dogs may play a central role in this murder mystery. Officials say their barking and aggressive behavior was a frequent source of friction between McAfee and his neighbor, Gregg Fall, who lived here.
Last Friday, McAfee told police someone poisoned four of his dog and to put them out of their misery, McAfee shot them. Two days later, somebody shot Greg Fall, once in the head. And McAfee vanished.
Police say they only want to talk to him but the longer he remains in hiding, the more suspicious they grow.
RAPHAEL MARTINEZ, POLICE SPOKESMAN: I would dare to say that it does not seem rational no me wanting somebody for questioning and then you're hiding.
SAVIDGE: It was suspicion that led police to McAfee's back yard several days later to dig up his dogs. We went looking for the graves and it was obvious we found them. There are a couple of reasons why. One, the way they're marked. Two, the smell. And then something over here, a pile of rubber gloves which could indicate police activity.
Witnesses say instead of taking the dogs' bodies, police simply took their heads and reburied the remains. A source close to the investigation says that may be to see if the bullets in the dogs match the one in Greg Fall.
A murdered neighbor, headless dogs and a millionaire on the run, all set against a backdrop of spectacular tropic beauty. It's possible someone could write a more intriguing of a story, but it wouldn't be easy.
SAVIDGE: And the mystery does not end there. John McAfee may be out of sight but he is very much in contact with the outside world. In fact, he's been talking to reporters by phone, in fact, and telling anyone who will listen that police in Belize are corrupt and out to get him. Here is a part of his conversation with wire.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What's the end game at this point?
JOHN MCAFEE, ANTI-VIRUS CREATOR: Well, you know, I don't have a clue, sir. I am, you know, I am unable to move. That's clear. My face is plastered, all the police, all the BDF have my photo. I'm -- it's a small country. I am a white man with unique features. If I leave this house, I would be identified instantly and nabbed. So for the foreseeable future, this is my home. The end game is obviously given enough time, they will track me down. I have to eat, I have to have supplies. I'm using a telephone. They will eventually figure out which phone and triangulate it. It's just a matter of time. In the meantime, I'd like to get out as much information as I can about the wrongs in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: John McAfee is also posting his thoughts on a blog, his own blog, and sharing an awful lot of details for how a man -- for a man, rather, who is hiding from the police.
CNN's Zain Verjee has more now from London.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John McAfee is spending his time on the run, dressing up. And he's also finding the time to blog about it. He says he's been using different disguises. Let me give you a flavor of what he's saying. "One day selling tamales and burritos that I purchased wholesale from a real vendor. On another pretending to be a drunk German tourist with a partially bandaged face and wearing Speedo swimming trunks and distasteful oversized Hawaiian shirt and yelling loudly at anyone who would listen." And he goes on to say some dirty words in German which I won't tell you about.
He sounds like he's having a pretty good time, though, too good, maybe. He also adds in his blog this. The first day I colored my full beard and my hair light gray, almost white. I darkened the skin of my face, neck and hands carefully with shoe polish and put on an L.A. saints baseball cap with the brim facing backwards and tufts of the front of my sir sticking out, unkempt through the band.
Now, if that wasn't enough, McAfee says, I stuffed my cheeks with chewed bubble gum stuck to the outside of my upper and lower molars, making my face appear much fatter. I darkened and browned my front teeth. And then he gets even more creative and kind of gross with his disguises saying this. I stuffed a shaved down tampon deep into my right nostril and died the tip dark brown, giving my nose an awkward, lopsided disgusting appearance. I put on a pair of ragged brown pants with holes patched and darned. I worn an old, ragged long sleeve shirt and toted a bag containing a variety of Guatemalan woven goods.
Well, he's sharing his movements, his opinions and his various looks and a lot of detail. But the question is this, does he want to be caught?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Zain Verjee. See, I told you this is one of the most bizarre stories I've ever covered.
Next, we will be talking with a newspaper reporter who knows both McAfee and the police and knows how they're searching for him. He will give us the very latest information on the investigation and maybe even where McAfee may be. Stay tuned.
SAVIDGE: We've been telling you about the murder investigation going on in Belize, the country known best for its beautiful beaches and tropical scenery. It's an incredible story and it involve this is man.
Internet security pioneer John McAfee. His Belize neighbor, a Florida contractor named Greg Fall was found dead inside of his oceanfront home. Police want to talk to McAfee but he has disappeared. He's been talking to reporters, though, by telephone insisting that he is an innocent man and that police in Belize are out to get him.
So with all that said, let's bring in Jorge Aldana. He is the senior snap reporter with the "San Pedro Sun" newspaper on Ambergris Caye. That is where John McAfee lives. And Jorge and I were actually working last week on this very story.
So, Goo to talk to you once more. Thank you for joining us.
JORGE ALDANA, REPORTER, SAN PEDRO SUN (via phone): Good night. Always a pleasure. I'm glad to hear from you again.
SAVIDGE: Thank you. Let me ask you this. What is new in this investigation?
ALDANA: Well, not much has changed, Martin. Police are saying that the only piece of information that have changed is that they have exhumed the remains of McAfee's dogs. And what they are trying to do, according to the police first officer, Mr. Rafael Martinez, who spoke to me about the case on Wednesday afternoon, he's saying that the reason they exhumed the remains of the dogs was because they wanted to see if the bullets that, according to McAfee, he shot his dogs. So they wanted to see if the slugs on the dogs' head matches that of the one found at Gregory Fall as home.
ALDANA: That is what has changed.
SAVIDGE: Any idea how long that will take, Jorge, for them to do the ballistics?
ALDANA: Well, the ballistics and testing are done in Belize. Police first saw the case in the (INAUDIBLE) at even after those test percent results are completed, it will not be made public because of the investigation.
SAVIDGE: Well, but something will have to change. In other words, if they matched, I would think that this would take John McAfee from being a man who's wanted for questioning for just a man who's just plain wanted, right? I mean, you would see that change.
ALDANA: Well, I would want to leave that to the police. But several things could have happened. Remember that we don't know what type of guns was used on the dogs. We know that it was a nine millimeter shell that found at the property of Mr. Greg Fall.
ALDANA: But that will certainly change the police investigation.
SAVIDGE: Well, you've talked to McAfee several times. And I'm wondering, what's he like? What's he like to talk to? What do you think of him?
ALDANA: Well, to me, I spoke to him on several occasions and one of the last times I spoke to him was back in -- I think it was may when he gave a detailed explanation as to his home property. But he appeared to be, honestly, a normal person. He came across as one who was genuine about experiences. He did not come across as someone, as some may say -- have been said in some media outlets, they are concerned about his mental instability. To me, he came across as a very normal person that was genuinely concerned for his safety.
SAVIDGE: Right. Well, you know, one of the things that's interesting about McAfee is the amount of money he's actually donated to the police government over time. He gave a over $1 million boat, I believe, to the coast guard of Belize. And the Thursday before all of this happened, he made a significant donation of equipment to the police department, which is rather ironic, because then three days later, that same police department is probably now using some of that equipment to try to track him down. He had been a very good representative for Belize, good neighbor, so to speak.
ALDANA: He has been certainly, Martin, he had been a generous person in the community, in terms of trying t to interrupt like any other expect to do. You know, they will come on help. And he had been generous in the past, not only to the San Pedro police department. But when he jump - when he first came to Belize in 2008, I remember interviewing him when he donated a vessel to the Belize coast guard, the newly formed Belize coast guard. And he donated a state-of-the-art vessel. And then, thereafter, he made different donation. And you rightly pointed the last donation was a Thursday before the entire incident where fall was found dead. It turns that He also gave a donation to the local police. It's ironic, like you right appointed.
SAVIDGE: Yes. One more bizarre twist. Well, real quick, I'm going to let you go. But I want to ask, do you think he is still out there on Ambergris Caye? Do you think he is still in Belize?
ALDANA: It is difficult to see. In this modern time, police believe he is in the country. But considering you are hearing for these, considering the (INAUDIBLE) are, there are absolutely no way that police can un-aligned enforcement agencies can patrol every square inch of border, so it can happen that he is here. It can happen that hr maybe hiding somewhere. It can happen that he may be hideaway from friends or it can even happen that he had jumped order on where someone else.
ALDANA: So, police do believe, however, that he is in Belize. And so, they continue to search for him.
SAVIDGE: Well, let's hope he does the right thing and comes in and answers the questions. (INAUDIBLE) now to put the whole matter to rest.
Jorge Aldana, great to talk with you. Thank you very much. We will stay in touch.
ALDANA: Well, we hope that you came to Belize, Martin. And I will tell, John McAfee will only give in himself if you return to Belize.
SAVIDGE: Yes. Well, that would be a good sense. Ii is absolutely true, but it is so nice thought.
All right. Thank you, Jorge.
ALDANA: OK. Have a good night.
SAVIDGE: Thank you. Bye-bye.
To another story now. The death of the television icon, a look at a long career of Larry Hagman and role he relish more than any another, that is coming up.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SAVIDGE: Oh, if you were old enough to remember that when that happened, that was just one of America's great, great cliffhangers. In fact, that probably was the invention almost of the cliffhanger. Who shot J.R.? It kept American television audiences guessing for month back in the heyday of (INAUDIBLE) successful series "Dallas." And I want to show you what the south fork ranch looks like today.
This is outside Dallas where they shot the original television show and where the return to TV screen this is year. Today it's a tribute to Larry Hagman, J.R. Ewing himself who passed away yesterday in a hospital not that far from the ranch in, of course, Dallas. His infamous portrayal of the oil man was 100 percent Texas, big talk, big money and always that very big hat.
CNN's Colleen McEdwards has a look back at his long showbiz career.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Larry Hagman wore many hats in his career. But he's best known for the Stetson that he wore on "Dallas." Despite roles on film and on stage, Hagman will always be remembered as the villainous J.R. Ewing. When J.R. was shot by an unknown assailant, it became one of the most famous cliffhangers in TV history, watched by 300 million people from all around the world. Hagman never expected the show to endure.
LARRY HAGMAN, ACTOR: I just started the show doing six shows. I never thought it would do 300.
MCEDWARDS: In fact, the "Dallas" franchise was so successful, the series was recently reprised. The U.S. network TNT brought it back with a new generation of Ewings and Hagman came back, too, returning as J.R. once again. Critics say he was the best thing about "Dallas." But explaining the character's appeal, Hagman once said, the time is ripe for a real bad guy and I'm it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day, master?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to have a wonderful day, Genie.
MCEDWARDS: It was a good guy who Larry Hagman blasted into people's living rooms playing astronaut Tony Nelson on "I dream of Genie." the show is still popular in syndication. Even as a kid, Hagman orbited in showbiz as the son of peter pan star Mary Martin, his movie roles included "up the cellar" and "Harry and Tonto".
It was only after milking a huge contract from the producers of "Dallas" that Hagman became immensely wealthy. He had houses, he had cars, he had vices. Two of them included drinking and smoking. He smoked for 24 years, gave it up and became an anti-smoking activist and spokesman for the American cancer society.
HAGMAN: I met at least 30, 40 people that said they quit because of my personal involvement, which makes me feel really good.
MCEDWARDS: He stopped drinking in 1995 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent a life-saving transplant. In recent years, Hagman appeared on the big screen in films like "Nixon" and "primary colors." But it was his role as the charming and conniving oil man that audiences will never forget.
Colleen McEdwards, CNN. Atlanta.
SAVIDGE: Larry Hagman's friends and fellow cast members have been sharing their memories and feelings about his death. This is from his "Dallas" co-star, Linda Gray. She writes, so sad to lose such a wonderful, dear, bigger-than-life friend. Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us all forever.
Sad news today from the professional sports world. A former world boxing champion, remember Hector "Macho" Camacho? He has died. He won belts in several weight classes in the '80s and '90s. Became known as the much more of his flamboyant showmanship as well his boxing skill.
Hector Camacho was shot while in the parked car of Puerto Rico. Doctors declared him brain-dead and his family decided to switched off life support today. The person who shot him has not yet been found. Hector Camacho was 50 years young.
Egypt on edge. Thousands of furious protesters take to the streets after their new president makes a bold move for unprecedented power.
Plus a man arrested for knocking out a teenage girl. He never met her. And the reason why he says he did it is appalling.
SAVIDGE: There are signs of the truce between Israel and Hamas is holding this weekend. Palestinian sources say Israel has eased restrictions on Gazan fishermen, allowing them to go up to six miles from shore. The fishermen had been restricted from going more than about three miles into the Mediterranean.
Also Palestinian farmers have resumed tending their land along the Israeli border. A Hamas official says that Egyptian and Israeli officials are expected to meet Monday to discuss details of that ceasefire.
OK, to Egypt, what's happening there now makes it look like the Arab spring never ended. This is the scene tonight in Cairo. Demonstrators back spending the night in Tahrir square. President Mohamed Morsi has announced to (INAUDIBLE) whether sweeping new powers for himself ordering Egyptian courts not to overturn any decree or law issued since he took office.
This dramatic video is from the city of Damanur where un- prepared (ph) members of the Muslim brotherhood exchanged gunfire tonight with anti-Morsi protesters.
CNN's Reza Sayah is tracking the story for us in Cairo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Demonstrations continue against Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Not the big number that is we saw on Friday, but certainly still a lot of people out here, lots of food stands. About 30 tents which is an indications that many of these protesters want to be here for a while. It's not clear how long they're going to stay here. But when you talk to them, they seem determined to speak out against Mr. Morsi's controversial decrees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beginning of a new era for a tyrant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's saying nobody can revise what I say. He's actually throwing the system out of the scene totally.
SAYAH: In the meantime, big developments in meeting rooms and news conferences on Saturday where factions opposed to Mr. Morsi made moves to put pressure on the president. Of course, a number of his decrees seemed to weaken the judiciary. The judiciary answered back on Saturday by calling for a nationwide judges' strike. Also the supreme judicial council on Saturday made a statement declaring his decrees an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Opposing factions also called for a one million-man protest and sit-in on Tuesday. What does Mr. Morsi's Muslim brotherhood group do? They call for a one million-man protest, too, on Tuesday. So, critical days ahead for this country.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Let's give you a look at Tahrir Square live coming in via satellite. It's just after 5:30 in the morning. Egypt's state- run news service reports that 261 people have been injured in the clashes around the country, 43 people remain hospitalized.
British police have made an arrest in a brutal daytime assault that went viral online. The victim was a 16-year-old girl who was knocked unconscious and lost three teeth when her face hit the sidewalk. Police released the video of the attack in the hopes of capturing the suspect. British tabloid report the man said he didn't like the look on the victim's face. And that he was drinking and smoking marijuana before the attack.
Next, internal U.S. military e-mails offer new details surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden. They were classified and kept away from the public until now. We will have them for you.
SAVIDGE: We're learning new information about the super secret burial of Osama bin Laden and what happened in the hours after U.S. Navy SEALS stormed his compound inside a Pakistan.
CNN's Brian Todd has new Pentagon e-mails that operate lives at how the military handles bin Laden's funeral.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tents and very secretive transmissions as the aircraft carrier "Carl Vinson" waits for the body of Osama bin Laden. It's May 2nd, 2011. The Al Qaeda leader's just been killed by Navy SEALS. In e-mails, two U.S. Navy admirals used code words to describe bin Laden. The commander of the carrier strike group says, FedEx delivered the package, both trucks are safely en route, home base. The e-mails, heavily redacted have just been released by the defense department responding to a freedom of information act lawsuit by the group judicial watch.
A few days earlier, that strike group commander had asked another officer, do I need any special religious ceremonial preparations? After bin Laden's buried at sea, and admiral described the scene. "Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed. The deceased's body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a waited bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea.
According to the e-mails, there aren't many witnesses. In response to the question, any sailors watched the burial, the heading of one e-mail says, burial, no sailors watched. And another says, only a small group of the leadership was informed, less than a dozen total.
And another indication of the secrecy of that part of the mission, an e-mail from a top admiral to joint chiefs' chairman Michael Mullen, the paucity of documentary evidence in our possession is a reflection of the emphasis placed upon operational security.
Later on May 2nd, a note of gratitude. The deputy commander of the fleet tells the commander of the carrier group, thank you and your magnificent strike group for what you did for your country today.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
All right. Well, it is a push to let small mom-and-pop stores in on that holiday shopping rush. But for many businesses along the northeast coast, even small business Saturday might not be enough to help them rebound from super storm Sandy.
SAVIDGE: Today is small business Saturday. That's when shoppers across the nation are encouraged to support locally-owned stores, mom- and-pop operations that help communities thrive. It is sandwiched, of course, between black Friday and cyber Monday. American express founded small business Saturday three years ago to help small stores get exposure on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Goo d idea.
President Obama went Christmas shopping today and he participated in small business Saturday. The president and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, shopped at an independent bookstore in Arlington, Virginia. The White House says the president bought 15 children's books to be given to family and friends.
And of course in the wake of super storm Sandy, many small businesses that were damaged or desperate -- they are desperate for help.
Our Poppy Harlow takes a look at how Sandy almost wiped out a family-run business in Brooklyn. Now the owners are struggling to keep their 260year-old business alive.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Right before super storm Sandy, the streets were quiet outside liberty industrial gas and welding. ASHLEY MURRAY, PRESIDENT, LIBERTY INDUSTRIAL GASES AND WELDING: That's in less than ten minutes.
HARLOW: This is nightfall as the waters begin to rise.
MURRAY: At this point, I think it's gone.
HARLOW: An industrial park in Red Hook, Brooklyn, sandwiched between two bodies of water.
MURRAY: So this is the canal coming into the harbor, which is going to meet up with the river. And liberty is right here. We really had quite a surge because of the Guanos, you know, and the river, essentially meeting in this area and flooding these streets.
HARLOW: Ashley Murray's family business, devastated. This is very hard for you personally. And I can see it in your eyes.
MURRAY: Yes. It's just, we're devastated. It's been a devastating process and there needs to be a little bit more help.
HARLOW: Do you feel forgotten?
MURRAY: A little bit, yes, yes. So this was once a really nice showroom.
HARLOW: Eighty percent of her inventory gone.
MURRAY: Essentially we have moved everything into our stock room so that we can work from the sidewalk. So now this is where we are functioning our store from. We have one functioning computer, one printer and we have people coming in from the roll-down door.
HARLOW: Before sandy, you didn't have any debt.
MURRAY: Now, we're probably looking at $700to $800,000 of debt.
HARLOW: What kind of help have you gotten from the government?
MURRAY: Nothing from the government.
HARLOW: Ashley found government loans with six percent interest. Her bank did better with a line of credit at just over three percent.
MURRAY: We had chop saws and boxed items that --
HARLOW: There go the lights again. The challenge of doing business these days, even the generators fail. These are so bad here in Red Hook that this business right next door to Ashley's is literally drying invoices like this with a hair dryer. What does this business mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything. It's my life.
HARLOW: Ashley's employees watched her grow up working alongside her father. If this business went under?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would go under, too.
HARLOW: Now it's up to her to save their jobs.
MURRAY: There's so much history here. The community, our customers, we really do have -- we have a great business here. I think we can make it great again.
HARLOW: Poppy Harlow, CNN, New York.
SAVIDGE: We wish her well in that process.
It's black Friday tradition. You know, low prices, long lines and holiday greetings like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (bleep) I'll stab one of you (bleep).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Yes. We are exploring now the mindset behind that mayhem and that will be up next.
SAVIDGE: All right. You are probably wondering, Black Friday, may drew bigger crowds this year than last. So if you thought it was busier, you were right. But shoppers were less willing to part with their hard-earned dollars.
Black Friday foot traffic jumped 3.5 percent with more than 370 million store visits, according to the research firm shopper track. But sales fell nearly two percent to $11.2 billion. For some shoppers, it is more apt to call yesterday black and blue Friday, clever. The pushing, the shoving, the tussling, the yelling became as much a part of the consumer event as the shopping. And here now, a glimpse at some of the black Friday free-for-all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Bleep) I will stab one of you (bleep)!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I literally got squished. Half of my body was in that door. That was insane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! We saw the apocalypse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people are not shoppers. These people are here just like me, to witness the madness. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, there's a new thing on the market. It's called a cell phone! I've never heard of one before. I'm going to wait in line for five hours to buy the newest one, yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In front of Victoria's Secret. It's going to get wild.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is scary. I don't want to open the door. Back up!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe how many people love underwear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: And another Christmas classic just like that is born. Well, that brings a whole new meaning to the term bargain hunter.
So, let's bring in our cultural observer and comedian Bill Santiago.
Bill, Black Friday now starts on Thursday. I know that because my own family participated. Right after the pumpkin pie is served, you know. So, shoppers are rushing through their meals to get in line at the store. It's like, hurry up, honey, eat fast, we need to get up there to the mall.
BILL SANTIAGO, COMEDIAN: A lot of people skipping the pumpkin pie so they can get out there and --
SAVIDGE: Isn't that sort of desecrating a holiday to get in line? What are your thoughts?
SANTIAGO: It's turning into its own new holiday, you know. It really is cutting into thanksgiving. It's amazing that people get out there and get into that kind of trouble if they have that much energy left after gorging themselves on turkey which is supposed to make you drowsy. Imagine if they weren't sedated with that how much trouble they could be causing. And all this, of course, to celebrate the season of the birth of the prince of peace and goodwill towards the jerk trying to cut in line in front of you. I don't know where it's leading to, but it's spinning off definitely into its own holiday, for sure.
SAVIDGE: Right. You're absolutely right. It tends to, of course, overshadow the whole meaning of the season. But it also seems -- and as someone alluded to in that you tube video -- people seem to enjoy it, that it is a spectator kind of event now, that more and more people are coming out not just for the bargains but apparently to see what the heck happens.
SANTIAGO: Yes, I think the bargains is the least of it. I think people -- the discounts are nice. But people are really going out for the thrill. They're thrill seeking. It's becoming like an American version of the running of the bulls meets the price is right, you know. It's got commercialism. But it's not about the 25 percent off but the 50 percent chance of survival. If people get home alive, that's the thrill f all that. That's the bonus.
SAVIDGE: I like your imagery of the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Certainly fits.
SANTIAGO: Exactly like that. Somebody gets trampled for a laptop. People are willing to risk their lives for it?
SAVIDGE: But could it be that all of this of which we jest could be threatened by people just doing the sacrilegious thing of shopping online. In another words, not going to the stores?
SANTIAGO: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Outbidding somebody on e-bay does not give you that same in-person thrill of grabbing the toy out of somebody's hands and fighting for the death for it. You know, you really have to be there. Until they can come up with some sort of digital avatars that will allow you to battle out for it online, you know, cyber Monday is going to be a far second to black Friday.
SAVIDGE: I felt very bad for that gentleman who was wearing the hat and had the colorful expletive.
SANTIAGO: Hey man, that's the least of it. People are packing guns, they are running people over. They're stealing shopping bags out of teenagers walking out of bed, bath & beyond. No lack of mayhem out there.
SAVIDGE: No, there isn't. And I'm wondering, you know, in some way, we build this up. And I don't mean just the media. Of course, the department stores, everybody makes a big deal about these are the lowest prices and they go on sale at this time. I mean, it's almost like we've set the scenes for this kind of --
SANTIAGO: Yes, there's a patriotic component as well. Like if you don't get out there and shop on this day, risk your life on this day. You know, the whole economy could go into the tubes. It will be very black for the country if these stores do not get in the black on black Friday. It's very twisted, but it's quintessentially American.
SAVIDGE: You've wrapped it up very well.
All right, Bill Santiago, thanks very much. A pleasure to talk to you.
SANTIAGO: Until next time.
SAVIDGE: All right. Thank you, look forward it.
Well, a World War II coded message found in a very strange place, and could you crack the code because nobody else seems to be able to?
Plus, danger ahead. Yes, a house right into the middle of a busy highway.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAVIDGE: British spies are stumped. The skeleton of this pigeon dates back to World War II. It was found in a chimney in England. It was carrying a coded message in a little canister that was attached to its leg.
All right, now, we showing a house -- the British intelligence agency is hoping to trace the original of this. Now, here's the part where you can help because they have so far been unable to read the message. And they say that's really a tribute to the code-maker's skills. But about 250,000 carrier pigeons were used during World War II delivering messages from mainland Europe back to Great Britain. And everyone wants to know, could it have changed the outcome of the war in some way? We don't know. We'll find out.
All right, another interesting piece of video. This is what I saw in the preview monitor Talk about caught in traffic. The owners of this home in, where else, China, refuse to take the government's offer saying that it was too low. So what did the government do? They built a highway around the couple's five-floor building. The owners, who are in their 60s, have been reportedly holding out for a better offer for the last four years. Good luck with that.
And all of you parents will certainly have an opinion about this. A mom and dad in Florida have had it up to here with their teenage daughter. She won't listen, won't follow the family rules. So her punishment was for a few hours of public humiliation. Take a look at this report from Clair Mets (ph).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASMINE, TEENAGER WITH EMBARRASSING SIGN: It's not just embarrassing me. It's embarrassing them, too. And I hope it embarrasses them for as much as it's embarrassing me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: For about two hours in one of the busiest intersection of Palm coast, teenager Jasmine was alternately defiant and devastated over what her parents call tough love.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not love. How the -- that's not love.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Jasmine was forced to hold a big sign that said, I sneak boys in at 3:00 a.m. and disrespect my parents and grandparents. But parents, Mike and Melinda, say Jasmine's behavior has been on a downhill slide since starting high school in August, lying, drinking, sneaking out.
MELINDA, JASMINE'S MOTHER: I don't know what else to do. He says I'm babying her. He says, this is the next step to do for her. I don't know. What do you do for the kids? I have no idea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Mike says he lost hundreds of dollars taking the day off but says if public humiliation doesn't get his stepdaughter's attention, Jasmine may come to the attention of police or worse. MIKE, JASMINE'S STEPFATHER: The courts say, why didn't you do some preventative stuff first? First, This is our preventive stuff before the court have to have to get involved. And she's doing to eventually wind up in prison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The sheriff's department stopped out here briefly but did not take any action. They say those are the girls' parents, they have a right to free speech, as long as they're not impeding traffic or doing anything else to violate the law, there's no problem here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: An interesting story. And that is it. From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Martin Savidge. Have a good night.