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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Two Arrests in Death of Chicago Teen; Manhunt for Alleged Killer; Pope Benedict Resigns; Tornadoes Tear Across Southeast
Aired February 11, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN MCMILLAN, BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR: Do not come home with a tattoo. I then told my children over my dead body will you have a tattoo. And of course I have to laugh because I have the tattoos now. And I love it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much.
Good evening, everyone. A lot happening tonight. The worst tornado that some have seen in years. A Pope resigns, which hasn't happened in six centuries. The man who says he killed Osama bin Laden reveals how his family now lives in fear and without the government's support you might expect.
We begin, however, tonight with breaking news. Authorities in Chicago have two men in custody in the murder that shocked the city. The city that's already shed too many tears. The killing of 15-year-old girl, gunned down just days after performing at President Obama's inauguration. Her funeral was yesterday.
Let's go to Ted Rowlands with the latest in Chicago.
Ted, what do we know?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, The death of Hadiya Pendleton has really struck a nerve not only here in Chicago but across the country. Tonight, they have two men in custody, as you said. According to Chicago Police, one is an 18-year-old man, the other, a 20-year-old man. Both are members of a Chicago gang.
And according to a police source, there was no witness that came forward to break this case. Police officers worked on tips and were able to go out and find witnesses. They do not have the murder weapon, according to the source. The charges that these two young men face, one charge of murder. Two charges each of attempted murder, and some weapons violations.
We're waiting for a press conference at the bottom of the hour with more details, but two arrests in the death of Hadiya Pendleton.
COOPER: Do we know what kind of evidence police allegedly have against these two?
ROWLANDS: They don't have the murder weapon, which, of course, is a problem at trial, potentially, but they do apparently have witnesses. And those witnesses, they had to go out and get. And earlier today, one of the issues with filing charges in this case, according to superintendent Gary McCarthy, was to convince those witnesses to come forward and go through with this, go to trial, get on the witness stand.
It is a huge problem with the Chicago violence issue. Nobody wants to come forward because they fear for their life. Chicago police say they've been able to get these witnesses to agree to go to trial and tell them what they know. And that is why they've been able to file charges tonight.
COOPER: You know, we've reported a lot on this whole sort of stop snitching movement and we've seen this around the country, but what a huge problem it is for police forces, and certainly in Chicago we've reported on that a lot.
So when you said they actually went out and found these witnesses, do we know any more details?
ROWLANDS: No, and when you think about it, there was a $40,000 reward. This -- this story has been played every single day in the Chicago area for the last two weeks. It's been played across the country. First Lady Michelle Obama was here over the weekend to attend Hadiya's funeral.
People knew about the reward, people knew about what had happened, but nobody stepped up because of this anti-snitching problem that is being felt here not only in Chicago but, as you mentioned, across the country. So they had to go out, get tips and basically find witnesses on their own and then convince them that this is the right thing to do.
COOPER: What's so disturbing about this whole snitching -- anti- snitching thing, so-called, Ted, as you know, is that the idea of snitching -- snitching is used to be a term that was just put on other people who had committed a crime, ratting out somebody else to get a lesser sentence. Now the idea of, you know, anybody who talks to police gets labeled a snitch. And that's a huge issue in so many different communities throughout the U.S. and certainly in this one.
Ted, appreciate the update. We'll continue to follow it.
Now let's take a look at the manhunt that Southern California authorities and has citizens there on edge. The search for rogue ex- LAPD officer, Christopher Dorner. That edge cuts any number of ways, the fear that the three killings he's already accused of may become many more. Also the gnawing apprehension that Dorner's central grievance, his charges of racism in the LAPD may spark the kind of wildfire that Los Angeles has seen all too often.
The latest now from Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Day five of the manhunt, and still no sign of Christopher Dorner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of scary because you don't know where he is, and you have friends -- we have friends who live all over the mountain. And, you know, there's concern about them.
KAYE: On Big Bear Mountain, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, 30 officers are back at it. This time, expanding their hunt to more remote areas. While continuing their door to door searches of vacation homes.
Authorities are hoping a $1 million reward offered for information leading to Dorner's capture and conviction will help. Though since it was announced, it has only led to more false sightings. This Lowe's store in Northridge was evacuated Sunday night after someone thought they spotted Dorner.
(On camera): We're also learning more about Dorner's truck, which was recovered from Big Bear Mountain last week. Investigators say the axel on the truck was broken, which may be one reason why Dorner lit it on fire. He may have had to quickly come up with a plan B.
Investigators also now say that two AR-15 rifles were found inside that burned out truck and some camping equipment nearby.
CHIEF CHARLES BECK, LOS ANGELES POLICE: Every day that Dorner is loose, the likelihood of an attack on either a uniformed police officer or a family of a police officer is likely.
KAYE: Dorner's revenge killings are in response to his termination. His threats also appear rooted in racism. The LAPD now plans to look into Dorner's firing and his allegations. In his rambling online manifesto, Dorner mentions the brutal police beating of Rodney King back in 1991. A group of officers was caught on video kicking and beating King. Their acquittals in the case led to a week of deadly race riots in L.A.
Dorner writes online that one of officer caught on the video kicking King is now a captain with the LAPD. Dorner asks, "Do you trust him to enforce department policy and investigate use of force investigations on arrestees by his officers?"
BECK: Dorner's allegations are about a police department that doesn't treat African-Americans fairly. And I don't think that's true. And I want to make sure that we don't lose that precious ground we've gained because of these allegations. And that's the totality of the reason that I will look at this investigation again.
KAYE: In his manifesto, Dorner also writes about hearing white officers use the "N" word to describe black officers. When he told them to stop, he says, they refused. And he makes this threat. "Those Caucasians officers who join South Bureau Divisions with the sole intent to victimize minorities who are uneducated and unaware of criminal law, civil law, and civil rights, you are a high value target," adding, "I am here to change and make policy. I am here to correct and calibrate your moral compasses to true north."
Erwin Chemerinsky is a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. He has written a report on abuses at the Los Angeles Police Department.
ERIN CHEMERINSKY, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE: There's been tremendous improvements over recent years. Of course, it would be naive and mistaken to say that racism is a thing of the past in any police department or for that matter in any institution.
KAYE: Charges of racism within the LAPD certainly aren't new. Back in 1991, four months after the beating of Rodney King, an independent commission found that minority officers are often targets of racial slurs, and the LAPD tolerates racism among officers.
The commission even called for the replacement of then-Chief Darryl Gates. Former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton told the "New York Times" regarding Dorner, "It would be a shame if he was able to rally to his cause people who remember the bad old days of the LAPD."
COOPER: Well, Randi Kaye joins me now. Randi -- is live at the police headquarters at the -- for the LAPD.
How much of a threat, I mean, do authorities still think he is? We heard from the chief saying that every day he's not there, the threat increases. Is that generally the feeling?
KAYE: I think so, Anderson. Certainly a great threat is what they believe. So much so that the daily schedule for the chief of police here at the LAPD, Charlie Beck, that daily schedule is no longer being made public. It used to be given out to the media. We were able to know his whereabouts. Now his whereabouts are unknown.
This is also very telling. There are reports tonight that the LAPD police captain, who oversaw the hearing that ended in Dorner's termination back in 2008, hasn't left his house, Anderson, since this manhunt began. He has a wife and six children. Hasn't left his home.
Now that's important to note because one of Dorner's alleged victims was the daughter of the police officer who represented Dorner at that same hearing. So if, if he is going after people and is going after people related to that hearing, then it's pretty smart then for that police captain to stay inside.
And I also should point out, there are 50 families under protection right now, Anderson, related to this case around the L.A. area.
COOPER: Yes. Randi, appreciate the update. Thanks.
Joining me now is John Miller who worked in counterterrorism and criminal intelligence for the LAPD. He's currently senior correspondent over at CBS "This Morning."
What do you make of the fact that -- nobody has heard from this guy in days now?
JOHN MILLER, CBS NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could mean either one of two things. He may have gone up into that snowy mountain, and that's where San Bernardino's sheriff in charged of that search. And that search has continued through bad weather and improved weather.
MILLER: Did he go up there, freeze to death and die? Did he find his way to some shelter and is hiding out? We won't really know that until that search is completed, and they seem to be pressing forward with it. The flipside of that is that he found a way out. Either a compatriot or a vehicle. And that he's gotten down that hill and probably did so immediately if that's the case, and is back out stalking, as the chief indicated he's worried about.
COOPER: It's not clear how much he was able to preposition -- he was able to preposition things at all. I mean, we know he was able to kind of plan enough that he sent out this manifesto and sent out things to news groups and also was able to stalk, you know, the relative or allegedly stalk the relative of the police officers he was involved with and kill her, according to authorities. But we don't know whether he was able to preposition any vehicles or anything like that.
MILLER: No, I mean, as you pointed out, we saw a lot of pre- operational planning. We don't have much of a window into his long- range planning except some indicators of what was found by the truck, which was night vision goggles, cold weather gear, a cot, heaters. So I mean, there are some indications that when he was going up to Big Bear and his truck before the axel broke, that he had some kind of plan.
Now he's military trained, he's a military officer, and he's LAPD trained. And I know from that training, you go into these things saying I have a plan, I have a plan B, but I also have contingency plans for both assuming that something will go wrong. And that's what we don't have a window into, what was his contingency plan.
COOPER: Are you surprised that the chief says -- has now talked about reopening the original, you know, investigation into the original incidents that he's written about and that he ultimately got him kicked off the force?
MILLER: I'm not on a number of levels. Number one, let's take what Charlie Beck, the chief says, at face value, which is the department is very much about transparency, which has been a sea change for the LAPD. But then looks -- let's take one peek behind that curtain, which is if you read the manifesto by Chris Dorner, he says, when I get justice, the killing will stop. So what this is is the police department is saying, all right, if this is about honor, if this is about your word as a man, then let us -- let us test that.
Let's say we'll reopen this investigation and look at your allegations. Does the killing stop? And are you going to come in and talk about this if in fact this is your main issue?
COOPER: It does seem like in the original incident, which is what sparks finally him getting kicked off, I mean, he claims a person -- an alleged suspect was kicked by his partner or --
COOPER: The person he was with that day.
MILLER: His claim was the suspect who was already handcuffed, that he handcuffed, that Officer Dorner handcuffed was kicked twice by his training officer -- three times, twice in the chest and once in the face, leaving a visible injury.
COOPER: And --
MILLER: That was his charge.
COOPER: And then what was determined was that this person was schizophrenic, therefore not a reliable witness. The father of this person who apparently heard from his son that he'd been kicked was deemed as hearsay because he wasn't actually there, he didn't actually see it.
I mean, what new can be learned?
MILLER: I think we've learned from cold cases involving everything from murder to an abuse case or a use of force case, that when you reopen them and take a second look, you never know what you're going to find. In this case, they interviewed the hotel clerk who looked out on it, they interviews the other hotel employee who was outside and watched it while having a smoke.
They interviewed the Harbor -- the port police sergeant who arrived on backup, and they weren't able to find anybody among those who witnessed the accident who actually saw what Chris Dorner claimed. Now Chris Dorner would make the argument that they also didn't prove it didn't happen and he would argue, how can you accuse me of false statements.
COOPER: And it could just end up being he said/she said with no actual resolution at all.
Are you surprised that he's been getting sympathy? I mean he -- Dorner, despite the allegations against him, he has been getting -- there is -- I mean, I hear it on Twitter. I hear from people, you know, a lot, and there's folks in California calling into radio stations saying, I get -- I get the anger behind what he's doing. Not necessarily the method he's using.
MILLER: I think today especially when you're talking about Twitter, talk radio, and the Internet, anybody will pick from any argument, the sliver that they're interested in, and promote their opinion. I think when you look at that against the backdrop of three murders and whether that -- whether that makes this justified, you're in a whole different conversation. COOPER: Yes. (INAUDIBLE). John, appreciate it. Thanks very much for being with us.
Let us know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter right now, @AndersonCooper. Be tweeting this hour.
Plenty to tweet about, including Pope Benedict's stunning decision to step down. Two longtime Vatican watchers join us with inside details. At least as inside as you can get when you're covering the Pope.
And later, as terrifying a view as you'd ever want to see. Take a look at this video. This isn't the half of it. We'll take you where a string of tornadoes hit, show you the damage they did. An incredible picture there.
And again, we're expecting the Chicago Police to make a statement shortly in the murder of the teenager who performed at President Obama's inauguration. Two suspects in custody. We'll be right back.
COOPER: A lot has happened since the year 1415, but one thing has not. Not once. In those 598 years, nearly six centuries, 59 leaders of the Roman Catholic Church have reigned and not one has ever resigned. Since the year 1415, not one single Pope has left the Vatican without also leaving this world. That is until today.
According to the "New York Times," this morning at the Vatican, speaking in Latin to a small gathering of cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI said he's simply too old and frail to continue leading the church. Vatican spokesman saying the 85-year-old pontiff will step down effective the end of this month. When something happens that hasn't happened since hundred years before Henry VIII was around, calling it a surprise doesn't quite cut it.
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ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY DOLAN, NEW YORK: I admit I was very startled, and I don't know what to say. I myself am waiting for information, for instructions, as to what we would do now as to follow the cardinal. As soon as I find out, I'll let you know.
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COOPER: That is Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, one of many potential successors. One of whom is expected to be chosen by Easter.
We have details tonight from "Newsweek" Italy correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau, and senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, who's also senior Vatican correspondent for the "National Catholic Reporter."
So, Barbie, this is an unprecedented move certainly in modern history. Did anyone see this coming?
BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, NEWSWEEK ITALY CORRESPONDENT: No, I don't think anyone saw this coming. This really is a shocking Monday morning news here in Rome. You know, the Pope had an opportunity obviously yesterday when he addressed his public out in St. Peter's Square, but he chose a Monday morning to make this announcement.
It's an exciting moment in Rome, of course, when you have a transition to a new Pope without the sorrow of the funeral and the death. So the mood is quite spectacular here today.
COOPER: John, what do you think is the real reason he's stepping down?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, Anderson, I think it's probably one of those cases where what you see is basically what you get. Benedict has said that he's not suffering from any specific illness or health crisis, but he simply feels given his mounting age, we're talking about a man who will be 86 in April, that he simply no longer has the force to meet the challenges facing the church. And at least in this regard, I think probably we ought to take him at his word.
COOPER: John, you've certainly covered the Vatican for a long time. I mean, in terms of who may replace him, obviously there's no way to know for sure, but what are your thoughts?
ALLEN: My thoughts, Anderson, are that the trash heaps of history are littered with the carcasses of so-called experts who have tried to predict the next Pope. I mean, that's a hazardous business. What I can tell you is a couple of the names that sort of come up at Roman dinner table conversations. Some people talk about the cardinal of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, a kind of intellectual protegee as Benedict, with a strong popular touch.
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet who runs the Vatican's all important congregation for bishops. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri from Argentina who's -- was with the chief of staff under John Paul II, a very good manager.
But the truth is, this is all sound and fury signifying nothing until those 117 cardinals who are under 80 and have the right to vote for the next Pope get here to Rome, roll up their sleeves, and get to work.
COOPER: And Barbie, is that done in the same way that we've seen in year's past after a Pope has died, I mean, the white smoke, the black smoke, all of that?
NADEAU: That's right. It will be very shortly from now that they're going to start the process in the getting the Sistine Chapel ready. They will have to put in kind of a fake slur like they did last time in order to put jamming devices that will prohibit anyone from eavesdropping electronically what is going on in the Sistine Chapel.
Also, they'll install the stove in which they'll burn the ballot and they'll prepare the chemical cartridges that will turn that black smoke into white smoke when they've elected the Pope.
COOPER: And John, what does this Pope do next? I mean he is -- is he referred to as -- like a former Pope? Where will he lives? What does he do?
ALLEN: Well, for one thing, Anderson, let's not forget, he's got another month on the job, so we are presuming he's going to carry out his regular calendar. This week, of course, features Ash Wednesday, the beginning of lent for Catholics. There is a ceremony to mark that. We presume he'll do his regular Sunday address from the papal window and so on.
Once February 28th, 8:00 Rome Time rolls around, he is going to relocate to the summer papal residence in Castel Gandolfo briefly, and he's eventually going to move into a monastery in Vatican grounds. All signals are he intends to keep an extraordinarily low profile. He's not going to be involved in the process of selecting the next Pope. And once there is a new Pope, he's going to want to make it clear for the world that there's a new man in charge and he's going to try as best he can to step off the stage.
COOPER: What do you think -- John, what do you think -- and I'll ask this to both of you, what do you think his legacy is going to be?
ALLEN: Well, look, I mean I think he's probably going to be remembered over the course of time as a magnificent teaching Pope. You know, his ambition was to sort of lead a global graduate seminar about the relationship between faith and reason and the role of religion in a post-modern sect of the world. And any -- even many of his fiercest critics, with its fresh admiration for his intellectual depth.
But as a CEO, as a business manager, I think the verdict is much more mixed. I mean, many critics would say he never got his hands successfully around the sexual abuse scandals. There was, of course, this spectacular Vatican leak scandal that featured the arrest of his own butler and created images of disarray and palace intrigue. I mean, there was a kind of chronic inability to get the trains to run on time.
COOPER: Barbie, what do you think?
NADEAU: Well, obviously, John is a much better expert to speak about his ideology than I am, but I think that he will also be remembered by the scandals that have really marked his papacy. Even going to the American nuns and clamped down on them. You know, there are a lot of people that may not be unhappy to see a change in the Vatican. You know, the Vatican butler scandal, the sex scandals, you know, protesters in St. Peter's Square.
You know, it seems like that has really marked the last several years, I think, are going to be remembered by a lot of people when they come to St. Peter's Square to look -- look at the smoke to see who's been elected to replace him. Those will mark some scars almost on this papacy.
COOPER: Barbie, appreciate you being with us. John, as well. Thank you.
There's obviously a lot more happening tonight. While the northeast was digging out from the blizzard, here's what the southeast was dealing with this weekend. Take a look at these images. More than a dozen tornadoes tore across Mississippi and Alabama. Seven counties took the brunt of it. We'll show you how bad it is just ahead.
And later, inside the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Navy SEAL who claims he made the fatal shop is speaking out for the first time in an exclusive interview with "Esquire." He says he's been essentially kind of hung out to dry by the military. Phil Bronstein, who landed the interview, joins me ahead.
And we're awaiting new details on the arrest of two suspects in the shooting death of a Chicago teen just days after she performs at President Obama's inauguration. Chicago Police will hold a news conference about charges any moment now.
COOPER: Welcome back. The southeast is reeling from brutal weekend storms. Take a look at this picture we've been showing you. Imagine seeing that on the road as you're driving down. It was one of at least 15 tornadoes that swept through southern Mississippi and Alabama yesterday. This one was touching down Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An EF-4 tornado.
According to the National Weather Service, winds up to 170 miles an hour. This is some of what it left in its wake. Several counties' widespread damage close to 200 mobile homes were damaged or completely destroyed. More than a dozen people were injured.
Tonight thousands are still without power. David Mattingly has the latest.
JOAN STEVENS, TORNADO SURVIVOR: But they're just trees. I can't -- you all be careful.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): OK, here you go.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Joan Stevens and her husband Ray survived the tornado that blackened the skies over Hattiesburg, caught on amateur video. The funnel was one of several tornadoes to batter this part of Mississippi.
The Stevens' house is in pieces, but they made it out without a scratch.
(On camera): The two of you were just right here --
J. STEVENS: Right here. And Aggie was right here, our dog. And --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got her under me and I was laying on her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just literally all right here on the floor and just covered up on each other. MATTINGLY: It could have been so much worse for so many, 200 houses and 100 apartments were damaged or destroyed. In the immediate aftermath, there were no deaths. Only two were seriously injured. The Stevens credit warning sirens the city installed just two years ago.
JOAN STEVENS, TORNADO VICTIM: We had been watching television since we got home from church.
MATTINGLY (on camera): So you were ready for this.
JOAN STEVENS: We were ready as ready could be.
MATTINGLY: The Stevens said they had a matter of minutes from the time they first heard the alarm to when the storm actually hit. After, when they came out and saw all this damage, they realized that warning was just enough for people to take cover because when they started checking on their neighbors, no one on this street, in spite of all this damage, was hurt.
(voice-over): The National Weather Service says parts Hattiesburg had up to 30 minutes warning before the tornado touched down. City officials also say that timing of the storm was fortunate.
On a Sunday afternoon, the local high school was almost empty when it hit. And the University of Southern Mississippi, one historic building badly damaged, had fewer than usual students on campus because of a Mardi Gras holiday.
Still all across the tornado's path, there were countless close calls. Hattiesburg's mayor was one of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is seconds.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You were running for your life?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Literally for my life.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Mayor Johnny Dupree managed to get inside his house just in time. The hundred year old home and the neighborhood took a beating.
(on camera): Looking at all the damage, is there one thing that really, really hurts today?
MAYOR JOHNNY DUPREE, HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI: Here?
MATTINGLY: Here, in your house?
DUPREE: No, because we can replace all this. No. I mean, nothing hurts. No, not here. Nobody in Hattiesburg was killed, no fatalities. The rest of this can be replaced. David Mattingly, CNN, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Amazing. There's a lot more happening tonight. Isha is here with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a new blizzard is hitting the U.S. up to 15 inches of snow fell across parts of seven Upper Midwest states. Minnesota and the Dakotas are taking the biggest punch.
Meanwhile, residents in the northeast continue to dig out from this weekend's massive blizzard. Up to 40 inches of snow fell in ha Hamden, Connecticut. While about 2 feet of snow is on the ground in Boston and parts of Long Island, New York.
About 20 survivors of gun violence including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband are expected to be in the audience for tomorrow night's "State of the Union" address by President Obama. Each survivor will be a guest of a member of Congress. Giffords survived a shooting in Tucson two years ago.
President Obama's expected to talk about his push for gun legislation as well as jobs, the economy and more tomorrow night.
Former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha will also be at the "State of the Union" address as guest of the first lady. Today, President Obama awarded Romesha the Medal of Honor for courageous actions during a nearly 13-hour fire fight in Afghanistan that left eight Americans dead.
Romesha's son Colin stole the show, Anderson, at the ceremony, playing pee peekaboo at the presidential podium as you see there. The president said Colin also raced around the oval office earlier in the day, fumbling a number of apples before he found the one that was just right.
COOPER: Isha, thanks very much. Up next, the incredible story of the killing of Osama Bin Laden from the Navy SEAL who reportedly pulled the trigger. He's speaking out for the first time.
Which is also as incredible as the story he told about what happened in the compound is what he tells about what is happening to him and his family. Phil Bronstein writes about an "Esquire" magazine in an article called "The Man Who Called Osama Bin Laden Is Screwed." I'll talk to him next about why.
Also ahead, a touching tribute to another American hero, Chris Kyle.
COOPER: For the first time, the Navy SEAL who says he killed Osama Bin Laden is going public in an exclusive interview with "Esquire" magazine. It's the March cover story with a blunt headline, "The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden is Screwed."
Now the article makes the case that Navy SEAL who served for 16 years is leaving the Navy without any job -- without any future security. No job prospects or insurance for his family.
"Esquire" contributor Phil Bronstein spent more than a year getting to know him. His name remains a secret for his own safety and his families. He was obviously a member of the exclusive SEAL Team 6.
Now after the Bin Laden mission, he retired to no pension, no health benefits beyond the first five years, and none at all for his family, no security just by killing the world's most wanted terrorist.
Phil Bronstein joins me tonight with more.
Your article is fascinating not only for the details it has about the raid that killed Bin Laden, but also what this Navy SEAL is facing once he leaves. I didn't realize he wasn't eligible for V.A. benefits for the rest of his life.
PHIL BRONSTEIN, CONTRIBUTOR, "ESQUIRE": Well, he's eligible for one thing. That is the V.A. has five years of free medical care for the vet. Not for the family. It's care, not insurance. The fact is a huge number of people including the shooter don't know it exists because the DOD does a very poor job of letting them know.
COOPER: But this Navy SEAL who has had this incredible career leaves with no pension, no health insurance.
BRONSTEIN: No health insurance, certainly, for himself and his family. And no protection, which is really one of the big issues because it's entirely possible his name could come out. The man who wrote a book, within days his picture was on a Jihadi web site.
All they told the shooter is we have a witness protection program that we could institute. It's not there yet, but if you want to drive a beer truck in Milwaukee, we can arrange that. You have to cut all your ties with the rest of your family and basically disappear yourself.
COOPER: In terms of what he told you about the raid, what surprised you the most?
BRONSTEIN: I think that he -- I think that the fact that it happened so fast but he had certain images in his mind. You know, particularly the shooting of Bin Laden. There was one moment when he said, you know, I had to raise my gun because I really didn't -- he was really tall.
COOPER: Surprised at how tall he was.
BRONSTEIN: Surprised at how tall it was. That was sort of my most enlightening moment for me in the sense that it was really a human moment. He also recognized in that instant, I would try to talk to this guy and realize that, OK.
This guy was one foot away from this icon, this cultural icon that we have learned, whose face we have known since 9/11. And suddenly, here is this really regular guy. He's a SEAL, and they're extraordinary, but he's a human being.
So what struck me about his narrative of the mission is not so much all of the detail, some of which -- much of which we have heard before, but his human reaction. COOPER: And his reaction upon shooting Bin Laden and sort of registering what he had done, sort of the phrase that he said to himself.
BRONSTEIN: Well, he said, you know, I just shot Osama Bin Laden. I don't know whether I have just done the best thing in my life, meaning he paid tribute to the people of New York and the people of the United States, done his job, or the worst thing in my life, which is to put a target on his back.
COOPER: And he is concerned about that. I mean, he has now taught his family how to protect themselves in the event somebody comes for him.
BRONSTEIN: He and his wife describe this in an astonishing way because he's taught her. Put the kids in the tub, because there's a retaining wall there. Then sit next door in the bedroom, sit on the bed, brace your arm with a gun against the wall so it doesn't kick, and then shoot through the door.
They can't -- they didn't have their military ids anymore. If she feels there's a problem or they feel there's a problem, they can't take their family to the command and get in the gate.
COOPER: The guy you're talking about, who you profile, it must have been difficult for him to even talk to you.
BRONSTEIN: I would say at first it was impossible. As it is impossible as you have discovered in many cases. What happened is we got to know each other over time. This is a year and a quarter. In person meetings, phone calls, a lot of communication, I know his wife, his family, members of his family, his friends. And so trust bills slowly.
And the point of this, he had the go/no go button in his hand up until the very end. He could have said, I don't want to do this. I think he came to believe if he could tell the story, that people would understand that these guys aren't supernatural.
They're fabulous, but they're human, and if they're human, like any human being, they need some support, and they need some help at various times in their lives.
COOPER: When he actually shot Bin Laden, they were within ten inches, he says, of each other.
BRONSTEIN: The shooter rolled into the room, and as he entered the doorway, he describes, there's Bin Laden pushing with -- standing with his hands on his youngest wife's shoulders, pushing her forward, or she's leading him forward. It's pitch black for anybody in the house, but these guys have goggles.
They are sort of moving this way, not toward the door and him, but kind of across a little bit, and he's literally, he says, about 10 inches. His gun is 10 inches from Bin Laden's head. He makes his observation in that incident and then shoots one shot in the forehead, directly in the forehead. Second shot is Bin Laden going down. As he's crumpled at the bottom of the bed, third shot in the forehead.
COOPER: There's also an interesting part in the article after the raid was done and they're back in Jaljalabad, and the woman who has been spear heading this whole effort and have made this her life's work, the shooter gave the magazine from his weapon to her.
BRONSTEIN: The shooter had contact with her, as have other members of the assault team. They pull the body, take it out, so Admiral McCraven can see it, and then he sees her and asks her to come over and said, is this your guy?
Then he takes out -- that was proposed to him by the point man to give her something. He took his magazine out which had 27 bullets minus the three he shot Bin Laden with this, and said I hope you have room for this in your back pack. That's the last time he saw her.
COOPER: It's a fascinating article.
BRONSTEIN: Thanks for having me on.
COOPER: We asked the Navy for a response to the "Esquire" article. In a statement they told us and I quote, "We take seriously the safety and security of our people, as well as the responsibility to assist sailors making the transition to civilian life. Without more information about this particular case, it would be difficult to determine the degree to which our transition programs succeed."
In Arlington, Texas, thousands gathered today at Cowboy Stadium to remember former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling memoir "American Sniper." As you know, he was shot to death on February 2nd.
Another veteran is charged in the double murder. Kyle is considered one of the deadliest snipers in U.S. military history. In his book, he said he killed at least 160 enemy combatants.
After retiring, he became an advocate for veterans struggling with PTSD. Today, his wife remembered her husband as a warrior through and through. She also said this.
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TAYA KYLE, CHRIS KYLE'S WIFE: There isn't enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me. I know you had no idea you were teaching me, but there is something only God and I have known for a long time. God worked through you to make me into the woman I am supposed to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Chris Kyle was just 38 years old. He leaves also behind two children. His funeral will be tomorrow. Just ahead, we're going to update you on the breaking news out of Chicago. The arrest in the killing of a teenager and the reaction from her family.
COOPER: Welcome back. Back to our breaking news, Chicago police charging two men in the murder of the teenage girl who performed at President Obama's inaugural. Authorities in Chicago have been holding a news conference. Ted Rowlands has been listening in. Joins us now with latest details -- Ted.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we're getting more details on the two men who have been arrested. Both facing murder charges and attempted murder charges. One is 18-year-old Michael Ward and the other, 20-year-old Kenneth Williams. Both of them are gang members in a gang here in Chicago.
And Michael Ward, the 18-year-old, according to Superintendent Gary McCarthy, has confessed that he was attempting to shoot at a rival gang. He thought that Hadiya Pendleton was with a member or members of a rival gang in that park when he opened fire.
He was, of course, mistaken. It was Hadiya who had just finished final examines and she was with a number of friends from school. He said he got out of a car, walked up, and shot into the crowd of people, and then apparently got away with the help of Williams.
They were trying to retaliate against a gang who had shot Williams the prior year, and in that case, according to the Superintendent McCarthy, they actually made an arrest and caught Williams' assailant, but he refused to press charges.
Back to the anti-snitching theme we talked about at the top of the hour. It was pervasive in this case, and one other point they pointed out is that Ward, the 18-year-old, was actually arrested for a gun violation, possession of an illegal firearm, in January of 2011.
And if the stronger gun laws were on the books, the ones they're pushing for at the state level here in Illinois, he would have been in jail, and Hadiya Pendleton would be alive.
COOPER: Ted, I appreciate the update. Joining us now by phone is Shatira Wilks, who is the first cousin of the victim. Shatira, I'm so sorry for your loss and your family's loss. I'm wondering the family's reaction tonight.
SHATIRA WILKS, HADIYA PENDLETON'S COUSIN (via telephone): Well, first of all, let me say thank you for having me on your show. And on behalf of my family, we are elated to know that there is one person or two now of the streets that could very well cause harm to my neighbor, another relative, or anyone in the world.
We're excited to know that the police, Chicago Police Department, worked diligently, the superintendent, however, there is no level of comfort. Not long term comfort. You know, we are still miserable. Miserable would only be the term to really acknowledge the feelings of the parents and the family. I'm sorry.
COOPER: What do you want people to know about Hadiya?
WILKS: What I want people to know about Hadiya is that she was a 15- year-old girl that really is the face of every parents' dream child. And I am so serious when I say that. Hadiya has so many different things awaiting her in life. She was a wonderful, wonderful kid.
And it's hard to believe that thugs, you know, that have already obviously have histories of doing this, carrying guns, would even have the capabilities to even breathe in the same room that she walked and lived in. That is the truth because this girl was really a hero.
My little cousin really was an angel and you know, I'm just really excited that they have possibly found the correct two guys, such a crazy, senseless act of violence. To hear they thought this was a rival gang, I mean, how retarded is that?
It was a group of girls, a volleyball team and one boy. You know, I am a firm believer that excuses only work for the person telling them, so I'm assuming that that was justifiable for them.
COOPER: The names of the two who have been charged, Michael Ward and Kenneth Williams, are they familiar to you at all?
WILKS: No, they're not. Never heard of them, never. No, but I do believe, I am a believer that somewhere along the lines, they were turned in. As I stated previously in most media outlets, that I believe that this reward of $40,000 really was a bounty.
It was just a matter of time that someone was going to compromise their guilt and turn them in. However, I do believe also that these people are obviously so dangerous, they were just snitched on to where their location was, and no one would be, I don't believe, accepting the award, to my knowledge.
I don't think this just happened haphazardly. I do believe that someone may had picked up the phone and said, guess what, I think these guys are in this vehicle and about to turn down this street? I'm very thankful if that's what happened.
COOPER: Shatira, again, my condolences to your family and appreciate your talking to us. Thank you very much.
WILKS: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
COOPER: Shatira Wilks tonight. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Time now for the "Ridiculist." No matter how you spend your weekend, unless you were in Des Moines, Iowa, for the Sixth Annual Bacon Festival, I think you missed out.
This event is no laughing matter, the 8,000 tickets sold out in just three minutes. The event has doubled in size every year. Features everything you might expect from a bacon festival and some things you might not, such as the pardoning of a pig by the governor.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, Bonnie.
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COOPER: That is a very sweet little pig. How did the bacon festival get started you might ask? Well, that is a magical tale full of winze.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all happened by complete accident, like anything wonderful, electricity, penicillin.
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COOPER: Yes, there's just one -- you never saw Alexander Fleming standing in front of a dress made of penicillin. This was designed by a dress maker in Des Moines, and the CBO of bacon fest, that would be the chief bacon officer, he's blown away by his majesty.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It widely surpassed anything I thought was achievable. I mean, look at it. It sparkles.
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COOPER: Sparkles? Come on, bacon guy. It's a dress made of bacon. It doesn't sparkle. It sizzles. There's one other element of bacon fest we simply have to talk about courtesy of our affiliate KCCI.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And of course, there was the annual coronation of this year's bacon queen. After Q & A from the bacon fest organizers and an intense talent competition, the winner was announced.
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COOPER: The bacon queen, after coronation, she donned the bacon dress. And do not let that clip of the talent competition fool you. This year's bacon queen totally brought it home.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want the title. I think it's very vital. And bacon is the title. Bacon is so fine, is so fine to eat some swine. It's bacon bacon bacon. Bacon is so fine, is so fine to eat some swine. It's bacon bacon bacon.
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COOPER: Bacon rap. That is what I call bringing home the bacon on the "Ridiculist."
That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now, another edition of 360 at 10 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts right now.