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Cruise Ship Nightmare; Fiery End for California Fugitive

Aired February 13, 2013 - 15:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The hunt for a fugitive ends in flames. We're taking you inside Christopher Dorner's final moments. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

BEYONCE KNOWLES, MUSICIAN: I always battled with how much do I reveal about myself.

BALDWIN: Beyonce revealed -- why Oprah is calling this new documentary a game changer.

Plus, he inspired a Jack Nicholson character, and, today, one of America's most notorious gangsters tells a judge why he should be let off the hook.


ROBIN MEADE, CNN ANCHOR: We're just getting started.

BALDWIN: ... move over Piers Morgan, Robin Meade filling in tonight. But first, she joins me live to reveal her very special guest.


BALDWIN: Top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Want to get you the new details here on this case involving that killer ex-cop, Christopher Dorner. Police are all but certain today that Dorner died last night inside this cabin here, in Big Bear, just about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. California's largest manhunt ending in a hail of bullets and a hellish fire.

Christopher Dorner killed one officer and wounded another in that gunfight at that mountain cabin in Big Bear. But official scanner traffic recorded just before the cabin caught fire raising questions today about police tactics as they moved in to get their man.

We're going to play the audio here and a little bit talk more about that with Joe Johns in just a moment.

But first, Nick Valencia, I want to come to you, live at LAPD. I know investigators, they held a news conference just a couple of hours ago. Tell me what is next in this investigation obviously as they try to formally identify Dorner's body. NICK VALENCIA, CNN PRODUCER: Brooke, it may take days before they're able to officially confirm that it was, in fact, Chris Dorner that was pulled from those charred remains at the Big Bear cabin.

But if it is any indication behind me here at LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, things are back to normal. If you give -- if the investigation is still ongoing, though, there is a lot of things to clean up, a lot of cases that are still open including murder and attempted murder charges against Chris Dorner.

But there is a lot of reluctance here among police officers to celebrate. You mentioned that press conference that happened earlier this morning. At that press conference, Lieutenant Andy Neiman spoke about the emotion surrounding the Dorner manhunt.


LT. ANDY NEIMAN, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: There is a lot of apprehension today in any kind of celebration because this really is not a celebration. This has been a very trying time over the last couple of weeks for all of those involved and all those families, friends and everybody that has been touched by this Dorner incident.


VALENCIA: Emotions here, you can tell, Brooke, are still very raw. And one quick point to point out, this is another indication to you things are back to normal. If you remember at one time there was more than 50 LAPD officers and their families receiving detailed protection. That's been scaled back to just a handful of LAPD officers -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Nick Valencia, thank you.

Now I want you to listen to police chatter that was picked up during the standoff last night with Christopher Dorner. And this chatter, it is raising a number of questions about what police did to get their man.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burn it down. Burn it down. Burn it down. Shoot the gas. Get the gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burning gas. Burning gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burning gas. Burning gas.


BALDWIN: Want to bring in Joe Johns, our crime and justice correspondent, for me in Washington.

And, Joe, what is police procedure in a standoff like this one?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, a lot of this comes down to how the fire started. San Bernardino authorities aren't saying so far, though it is a question we have been asking now.

We're told it is not standard procedure to set a fire to a building to get a suspect to come out of it. But some of the initial audio from a CBS 2 KCAL reporter made reference to a smoke grenade and then in the chaos, as you heard there someone yelling burn the house down or words to that effect. Listen.



JOHNS (voice-over): Real-time police audio transmissions at Big Bear Lake were preserved, and the second guessing started immediately. Though we don't know how the fire started, to the untrained ear, after authorities concluded they had someone in this cabin in the woods, it sounded to some like they could have intentionally set fire to it to try to smoke out the suspect.

About 23 minutes later, an early reference to burners being deployed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven burners deployed and we have a fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. Seven burners deployed and we have a fire.

JOHNS: A U.S. Marshal and expert on fugitive apprehension told me that based on the audio, he doesn't believe the authorities on scene tried to burn down the house.

(on camera): Burn it, burn it, burn it, what do you make of that?

ARTHUR RODERICK, FORMER U.S. MARSHAL: It could be just bravado talk. Obviously, there is multiple rounds being exchanged at that particular time. You have an officer down, two officers down at that point. And one of them obviously dies later, and at that point it could be just bravado, but, again, there is no operating plan that calls for torching a home in order to get a suspect out.

JOHNS (voice-over): The term burners heard on the audio was once used as slang for tear gas canisters, though police generally no longer use gas that can catch fire.

RODERICK: Obviously we want to gas the individual out of the house. They're non-incendiary type devices, so they wouldn't have any possibility of catching the house on fire.

JOHNS: He said the term burners may also have referred to so- called flash bang grenades, which are used to surprise and disorient suspects who are wanted by the police.

(on camera): What is a flash bang? RODERICK: Flash bang is like sort of a concussion-percussion type device that you toss in through a window or into a room and it creates a concussion where it numbs the hearing and blinds the eyes so that individuals that are in that room aren't able to respond to a team making an entry.


JOHNS: A lot going on there that still will have to be investigated by the authorities. Someone on the audio also reported hearing what sounded like a round from a gun being fired inside the structure, which could also give a clue, an important clue as to whether the -- it was the fire or the smoke that killed the suspect.

Art Roderick said he believes it was the sound of the suspect taking his own life, as in shooting a gun. If he killed himself, obviously that would put to rest any speculation about whether an intentionally set fire was the cause of death, Brooke.

BALDWIN: But, Joe, assuming the body is badly burned, how likely is it that we will ever know the cause of death?

JOHNS: We did talk today to a former medical examiner who said he believes it is very likely they will be able to come up with a conclusive cause of death, and actually find out whether it was smoke or fire, whether it was a bullet, self-inflicted, or even if it was a bullet fired from someone else's gun.

He thinks depending on how badly that body is burned, it is a pretty good chance you will get something clear on that.

BALDWIN: OK. Joe Johns, thank you.

Want to talk now about Dorner's victims, one of them, officer Michael Crain, a 34-year-old father and husband killed one week ago tomorrow. Today, he was remembered with the sound of bagpipes and a flag-draped coffin. His funeral there in Riverside, California, a chilling reminder of Dorner's 10-day vendetta rampage.

Crain was a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Kuwait. He was a police officer in Riverside for 11 years. Just days before killing Crain, Dorner shot dead Keith Lawrence and his fiancee, Monica Quan. She was the daughter of an L.A. police officer, a man Dorner blamed for his firing. And then in his final stand in Big Bear, once Dorner was cornered, police say the expert marksman claimed his final victim, a deputy, who is yet to be named here.

Coming up tonight at 8:00 Eastern, Anderson Cooper is devoting his entire hour to this case, "Nine Days of Terror: The Hunt for Christopher Dorner," right here on CNN.

Now to this so-called cruise from hell. You see here men, women, children, trapped on the cruise ship Carnival, standing on the upper deck. You see them all lined up as it is towed, very slowly, to Mobile, Alabama. CNN has been hearing from passengers on board that it is just too hot in those rooms below. And with reports of sewage running down the walls, and urine- soaked carpets, no wonder these people are standing up top getting some fresh air. But for the family of those trapped on the ship, the situation is tough to hear.

Nick Ware joins me now. His mom and her boyfriend, Ed, are on board this cruise ship.

Nick, let me just begin with I understand you got this text message and it read this: "Three ships supplied us with food, but people are hoarders. Ship needs to ration."

Hoarding food? Nick, obviously, we heard the food situation was bad. We heard people were in fistfights over it. What are they telling you?

NICK WARE, SON OF PASSENGER: What they're telling me is that just about every time a meal is offered, there is a four-hour line and it is the person in the front of the line who is allowed to take however much he wants.

So if people see the person in front of them taking too much, and they start to get concerned they're not going to get any, fights break out, things like that, verbal arguments.

BALDWIN: I was hearing onion sandwiches. What else are they eating?

WARE: I heard once the meat for the burgers ran out, they're basically just eating condiment hamburgers, whatever condiments they could get on a bun, and that's what they were eating. That was as of Monday.

BALDWIN: Mustard and a bun. What about the toilets? How did they describe that situation?

WARE: They told me that the toilets, the public restrooms are smelling very bad. Of course, they haven't been able to flush and most of them since Monday. They said they got some of them back up and running, but still for 4,000 people, the few restrooms they have running or operating is not enough.

As far as using the restrooms, before they had any operating, people were going in red biohazard bags. They basically explained it me is they place the bag into the toilet, go and then it's pretty obvious what they did after that.

BALDWIN: OK. We will leave it there as it is lunchtime on the West Coast.

But let me read this. This is the apology from Carnival. Look at this.


GERRY CAHILL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES: Let me assure you that no one here from carnival is happy about the conditions on board the ship. And we obviously are very, very sorry about what is taking place. There is no question that conditions on board the ship are very challenging.


BALDWIN: He says it is challenging. Nick, do you think your mom and boyfriend would be -- how would that apology sit with them?

WARE: I don't think it would sit very well. I don't think challenging is the word for it. I think horrible describes it a little bit better from what I heard on Monday. As far as the apology goes, I think the true way to express their sorrows would be to come clean and tell us what the conditions are really like on board, rather than lying to the families when they call the family hot line.

BALDWIN: Yes. A lot of people talking about the lack of communication and just 20 seconds, Nick, what do you think your mom does when she hops off that ship tomorrow in Mobile?

WARE: I imagine she will go grab a shower and something to eat. I'm not sure.

BALDWIN: Nick Ware, thank you so much. We wish your mom and her boyfriend the best as we will be taking that live tomorrow.

WARE: Thank you. Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you, sir. The cruise ship, as I mentioned, expected to dock in Mobile, Alabama, tomorrow afternoon. We will bring you live team coverage as it returns, and have reaction of course from passengers such as Nick's mom and families waiting for their loved ones in Mobile tomorrow.

Now to the shocking video posted online shot in Newark, New Jersey. It has led to this emotional and fiery response from Newark's mayor.


CORY BOOKER (D), MAYOR OF NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: This did not have to be months until a young man received justice, months until those who were responsible were apprehended. This did not have to be.


BALDWIN: More on this video that has Cory Booker furious.



BALDWIN: And from the presidential inauguration to the Super Bowl, Beyonce is everywhere. Now the megastar giving fans a rare behind-the-scenes look at her life.


KNOWLES: I felt like I had been so commercially successful, it wasn't enough. There is something really stressful about having to keep up with that.


BALDWIN: CNN caught up with Beyonce on the red carpet and asked her what inspired her to make this documentary in the first place. Her response next.


BALDWIN: Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z apparently are going on tour. "Rolling Stone" is reporting the duo is talking about at least 10 shows this summer. The negotiations are ongoing. The two performed together at this past weekend's Grammys.

But, as for Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce here, a new tell-all documentary airing Saturday on HBO, the baby bump, Blue Ivy, and the battle of her life. She says she knows who she is, she's ready to tell her story. Here is the preview. She's calling it "Life Is But a Dream."


BOWLES: I felt like I had been so commercially successful it wasn't enough. There is something really stressful about having to keep up with that. You can't express yourself. You can't grow.

It is the battle of my life. So I set a goal. And my goal was independence. Everyone was, like, what is she going to do now?

I just had a feeling that something was going on. This is crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't have to approve the rough cut. It is done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live television in two days.

BOWLES: Keep putting me in tight clothes and trying to hide it, it is very difficult.


BALDWIN: Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner as joins me now from L.A.

All right, Nischelle, give me a little preview, give a little bit more from this doc on Saturday.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, apparently there is going to be lots of details.

This film she's releasing is in part made up from her video diaries she's kept throughout the years. By all accounts, it really reveals a different side of her, that vulnerable side that we rarely see from Beyonce. She even told us that she learned a lot about herself working on this film.

She was the executive producer on it. She was involved in every part of it. And, you know, if she wanted a big endorsement for it, well, she got one last night, because Oprah Winfrey was on the red carpet with her and she raved about this documentary. She called it a game changer because she says it lets us see beyond Beyonce the celebrity and lets the audience see her as a real person.

And it is hard to imagine because she is -- does seem so perfect to see her as a real person like you and I, you know, every day.

BALDWIN: Why did she do this? What was the inspiration?

TURNER: That's a good question. She simply said one reason, her daughter, 1-year-old Blue Ivy. Listen to this.


TURNER: After I laid eyes on my daughter, I felt like I know who I am, and I'm ready to tell my story. It gave me a lot of bravery. It absolutely is my message to her, and hopefully when she goes through some of the hard times in her life, she can see this and it will inspire her.


TURNER: Now, it is interesting to think of her daughter actually watching this movie because Beyonce really talks about some personal issues here. She talks about having a miscarriage before she was pregnant with Blue Ivy, reports that she faked her pregnancy, and even she talks about removing her father as her manager.

I can imagine there is some awkward family conversations that may be playing out on the screen. But, Brooke, if I can just be a girl with you for a second here, these video diaries of her with this fresh face, no makeup, how does she still look so good?


BALDWIN: I was just thinking that. When we played the clip, I thought, my goodness, the camera is right in front of her face, and her skin is stunning. I imagine she has quite the team making sure she looks as phenomenal as she does, but I think obviously it comes from within. I don't know Beyonce. I'm not besties with her. Just a guess. Amazing.


TURNER: I'm wondering. I don't know.


BALDWIN: Nischelle Turner, I'm sure you would look the same. I'm sure you would look the same. Nischelle, thank you very much here.

And from actor to security guard, look at this. This guy look familiar? Comedian Will Ferrell protecting basketball players. This is at the L.A. Lakers game last night. Clearly dressed in the proper gear, the red jacket, the mustache, but he did his job, jokingly booting Shaquille O'Neal from the game. He's currently shooting "Anchorman 2."

Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning -- I should say -- excuse me -- nominee "Lincoln" will be available in every middle and high school in America.


DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, ACTOR: The fate of human dignity in our hands.


BALDWIN: I suppose we will find out soon enough if he wins. Disney is sending schools a free DVD of the movie, along with a teaching guide. Spielberg says he actually got a lot of letters from teachers asking to use the film in their classroom, but lawmakers still maintain there are a number of factual errors in the film.

Coming up next: questions being raised about the police audio during Christopher Dorner's final moments. We will play the scanner traffic and I want you to decide for yourself.