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Dorner All But Confirmed Dead; Unofficial Spokesman Of Heart Attack Grill Dies At 52; Whitey Bulger Says He Had Immunity To Commit Crimes

Aired February 13, 2013 - 15:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: A killer ex-cop is all but confirmed dead after this frantic last bid to escape. Whole thing ended in a raging fire and hail of bullets.




BALDWIN: Turns out Christopher Dorner, already accused of those three revenge killings, was hiding almost under the nose of the law.

His demise started with a single phone call from two women he'd tied up in a cabin. Dorner shot it out with two game wardens before crashing a stolen truck and taking refuge in a cabin where the manhunt came to an end.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an officer down. Officer down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy, officer down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medic ship's in the air. Medic ship's in the air. Officer down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another officer down.


BALDWIN: Dorner killed one officer and wounded another.

His final moments spent surrounded by the law as the cabin right here in which he was barricaded, went up in flames.

But I have a different perspective for you on the standoff that ended California's biggest manhunt.

We have put together the words of law enforcement taken from official scanner traffic as authorities moved in on their man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go forward with the plan, with the burn.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to open up all the lines, maybe have barricades up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got the burners deployed, and we have a fire.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, be ready on the number four side. We have fire in the front. He might come out the back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like one shot fired from inside the residence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy, one shot fired from inside the residence. Confirming you still want fire to run?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roll in and stage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. They're staged at the (INAUDIBLE) 38.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty-one Lincoln to all units, all perimeter units, stand by, maintain your discipline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have ammo exploding inside the ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any propane cylinders or anything back there we need to be aware of?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not that I can see from my position.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to have fire start putting water on it once the roof settle downs a little bit, and like it's starting to collapse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Confirm. Give me some time here. We're not quite there yet. I still have the 2-3 that is vulnerable and we still have ammo going off in the fire.


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

Coming up next, the unofficial spokesman for a restaurant dies, but this is not just any restaurant, folks. This is the Heart Attack Grill.

Featured on the menu, this sandwich, they call this the quadruple bypass burger. Comes in at just shy of 10,000 calories.

Maybe it looks good to you. Others say it is too much. We're going to ask this guy to respond. He's the owner of The Heart Attack Grill.


BALDWIN: Check your freezers, Lean Cuisine lovers, three customers say they found glass shards in their mushroom ravioli dishes.

And, now, Nestle is taking action, recalling more than 500,000 of them. It says no other line of cuisine products are affected by the recall, just that particular kind.

And, now, to the famed Heart Attack Grill in Vegas, where its number one patron died from a massive heart attack this week. He was John Alleman, 52 years of age, was apparently so devoted to this Heart Attack Grill that they made him sort of the unofficial spokesperson, designed a clothing line for him, and he ate there nearly every day for the last year and a half, according to the grill's Facebook page.

As for how the restaurant got its name, if you haven't heard about this, this offers up a 10,000 calorie quadruple bypass burger, flat-liner fries and coronary dogs.

Critics say serving food like this is immoral and unsafe.

Joining me is the owner of The Heart Attack Grill, Jon Basso. I see a white jacket. You're not an m.d. You call yourself a doctor of ...

JON BASSO, OWNER, THE HEART ATTACK GRILL: Well, I refer to myself as the doctor of burger-ology. But I do have to say that the American Medical Association does not recognize me.

Now, they opt not to recognize me, but I think that many, many people who do come to the heart attack grill view what we do as a medicine in and of itself, much as you would recognize a Chinese doctor of medicine.

Here is ...

BALDWIN: Hang on, let me just jump in. We'll get to this medicine here in a minute. I want to get to Mr. Alleman.

My frank question to you is heart attack grill, do you at all feel responsible for his death?

BASSO: I feel the same responsibility that any fast food chain should feel for anybody's death. The fact that you've graciously had me on your show speaks volumes for your particular show, because John Alleman's story is a story that needs to be told. He was a person living out on the edge of society, and a person who had no other outlet. To give you a very graphic illustration, these are his last belongings that the nurse gave me at the hospital because she had no one else to give them to.

He was a night watchman in a tower and he would come every day to The Heart Attack Grill because he loved the pageantry of it. He would stand outside and holler at people and say, come on in, and get the greatest burger in the world.

BALDWIN: I understand that, sir. I hear your affection and I read your twitter page, we were talking at commercial break, you were there as he flat-lined in the hospital. You tweeted watching John die this morning took it all out of me.

Still, Jon Basso, we have you on because there have been deaths before, you know. People have died. This happened before.

Bigger picture, you know, as we were talking earlier, bar tenders cut people off from drinking too many drinks. Do you feel you need to stop someone from eating so many burgers?

BASSO: Here's the point. I can't cut anybody off because if I do, I fail to deliver the message that is the core of the heart attack grill.

BALDWIN: What is the message?

BASSO: I need to be painted as the villain by the media because if I don't stand up and say, hey, hamburgers, hot dogs, rich caloric meat dishes are horrible for us if we do them on a day-in-and-day-out basis.

BALDWIN: Why not just say it, Jon, instead of deliver these 10,000 calorie burgers every day? Big difference.

BASSO: If I said it, and didn't deliver it, I wouldn't be here before all of these fine people watching right now.

Because I do deliver it, and I deliver it unashamedly, that gives us the avenue to state the fact that the American Medical Association has failed the world, and I don't say this tritely.

This is evidenced by the fact that the obesity epidemic has overtaken the modern world, not just in the United States.

BALDWIN: Do you eat at your restaurant?

BASSO: I can attest to you I do.

BALDWIN: hHw often?

BASSO: Daily. I'm an admitted junk food person. Everybody will tell you that.

BALDWIN: How is your health? How is your cholesterol? What do the doctors say to you? Do they say this is OK?

BASSO: A physician certainly wouldn't say to do that. I'm a very active person. Anybody who comes in the restaurant and watches me cook and flip burgers and run around and clean tables, they know I'm a very active person.

Here's the situation. People have weaknesses. We're all innately human. Whether a gambling addiction, sex addition, alcohol situation, or a food addiction. Food addiction is the hardest thing to kick because we always have to eat several meals a day. If you're eating, you're teasing yourself.

You can cut off alcohol, gambling, promiscuous sex, but can't cut off food. There needs to be one honest person left in the restaurant industry to wave that flag and say, look, we're all dying. I want to say I make a fine living doing this.

And critics might say, well, John, you're profiting. Of course I am. This is my job. But I've opted for a career in which I can both make money, and make a statement.

BALDWIN: OK, Jon Basso, I'll leave it there. I hear what you're saying. I'm sorry about your friend and also just kind of curious what people watching would say. Send me a tweet. I'm curious if you understand where Jon is coming from or if you think they should close their doors. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

Coming up, he's the Boston gangster who inspired the main character in the movie, "The Departed." After 16 years on the run, Whitey Bulger is in court asking a judge for immunity. Wait until you hear why.

We'll talk with a reporter who co-authored a book on Bulger's run from the law.


BALDWIN: Boston mobster Whitey Bulger says he had immunity to commit crimes to kill people while he was this FBI informant. A judge is hearing his immunity claim today. He inspired Jack Nicholson's role in "The Departed." Roll it.


JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR, "THE DEPARTED": When I was your age, they would say we could become cops, or criminals. What I'm saying is this, when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?


BALDWIN: Bulger came from Boston's neighborhood where disloyalty is considered the greatest sin. He ratted to the FBI.

Bulger was on the lam for 16 years before his dramatic 2011 capture in Santa Monica, California, and Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen joins me live from Brookline, Massachusetts. He co-wrote this new book "Whitey Bulger -- America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice."

Welcome. You covered him for years and years and years. Tell me about his 16 years on the run. Who helped him along the way?

KEVIN CULLEN, AUTHOR, "WHITEY BULGER -- AMERICA'S MOST WANTED GANGSTER AND THE MANHUNT THAT BROUGHT HIM TO JUSTICE": Well, I mean, the most important person on the run was actually his companion, Kathleen Greig, who really -- Whitey was more or less a recluse while he was on the run.

He was inside the house most of the time in their apartment, their rent controlled apartment, I might add, a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean.

But, you know, Whitey could only exist, I think, in a time and place of where he came from, and I think what we try to write in the book is not just what I guess you'd call true crime, but also social history and also wrapped in there is a love story.

Whitey had a love triangle for lack of a better term. And, as much as we know of him as being this heartless killer out there, when he wasn't engaged in an act of violent crime, he was balancing two households, one of which didn't know about the other one.

So, he was living with Teresa Stanley during the day and had a sit-down dinner every night with her four children in which he would lecture them how to stay on the straight and narrow, and then he would leave that household and take up with his other mistress, Catherine Greig in just -- it was six miles away from the house where he had his dinner with all the kids.

So, that was, I think, one of the most interesting things we found. He was a man of many contradictions. He was this sort of -- he looked for the "Father Knows Best" or "Ozzy and Harriet" lifestyle, and yet he was out there engaging in all sorts of violent acts.

BALDWIN: You know, Kevin, we covered this story when Bulger was captured and, so, I actually talked to someone. You could call him a protege of Whitey Bulger. His name was "Red" Shea.

I'll never forget the interview. His hatred for him was palpable. Roll this.


JOHN "RED" SHEA, AUTHOR, "THE RAT BASTARD": The dream of me seeing him in the streets of New York just bumping into him, and grabbing a hold of him and pulling him in to a building and asking him why, why did he, you know, become an informant against basically myself and betrayed the code of silence?

BALDWIN: What do you do in that dream?

SHEA: He wanted -- in that dream, I snap his neck. BALDWIN: You snap his neck? And this is all because you went to jail, you served time, you never ratted him out.

What do you say about rats in Southy?

SHEA: Well, it's -- I think it's, you know, realize that rats in any mob world is a no-no, and especially in Southy.

Southy, you grow up, you know, accept your responsibility, even if the guy next to you can't. If you do something wrong, you pay your price for it, and that's just the way it is.


BALDWIN: Kevin, as Whitey Bulger is preparing to testify for trial, it seems like you know so much.

Bring me sort of inside the mind of this man. What do you think he's thinking?

CULLEN: Well, we actually know what he's thinking, Brooke. In the book, one of the things that we have in the book are his letters that he sent from jail since his arrest in June of 2011.

And what he's thinking is that he wants to change the narrative. Up until this point, people like you and me have been writing that narrative, and he doesn't like that.

There are two things he's obsessed with refuting at trial. One is that he's an informant. And Whitey is a master at sophistry and semantics and his argument is that he never testified against anybody and none of his information led directly to somebody going to prison. So, he says he's not an informant. That -- we could debate that all night.

Second point he really wants to refute is that he did not kill the two women whose murders are among the 19 he's charged with. One was named Debra Davis. The other one Deborah Hussey.

And that is what really sticks in his craw because Whitey believes he's not -- he accepts he's a criminal, but he says he was a criminal with scruples and that a criminal with scruples do not kill can women.

But the charges against Whitey Bulger is that he used his bare hands to kill these women and put them in secretive graves.

BALDWIN: Your book, "Whitey Bulger Bulger -- America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice," Kevin Cullen, thank you.

Move over ...

CULLEN: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Move over, Gangnam-Style. There is a new dance craze that's sweeping the nation and even news anchors -- not me -- but there are news anchors that are doing it.

It's called the Harlem Shake. Have you heard about this? They break out the dance, next.


BALDWIN: Let me be honest with you. I've never heard of this until today.

The Harlem Shake is exploding online. People are posting videos by the thousands.

Here's the purported original.

Harlem Shake videos all start with this one person dancing alone in a room full of people who just kind of look bored. And then everyone bursts into these dance moves. You flail around. You bounce around.

I don't know what these people are doing on this subway, but let's bring in someone who I know can break a move or two, sometimes. Wolf Blitzer, we've seen you do The Dougie.

I can see you and the "Sit Room" team breaking out a little Harlem Shake.

WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Only if you come join us here in "The Situation Room" next time you're in Washington.

BALDWIN: Maybe I'll be the person with the helmet on who starts the whole thing just as long as you promise to dance.

BLITZER: OK. Thank you.

BALDWIN: What's coming up in "The Situation Room"?

BLITZER: Well, we're going to be following up on the Christopher Dorner episode. There's a lot to discuss and we're going to be speaking with a representative of the wildlife -- the fish and wildlife authority out in California.

His wardens were the first there who tipped off local authorities what was going on and we all know the end result as of now. So, we're going to get the latest on that.

We're getting more stories you've been covering, including what is going on with that cruise ship. Twenty-four hours from now or so, as you know, it's supposed to be arriving.

BALDWIN: Right around this time tomorrow.

BLITZER: Yeah, right at this time tomorrow.

But what's going on right now, we're going to try to speak to some of the folks on board and some relatives who are waiting anxiously for their loved ones to make it to shore. And, of course, on this day after the president's State of the Union, we've got full analysis. Gloria Borger's here. John King is here, David Frum, Cornell Belcher. We've got a lot of analysis of what -- where we go from here.

We try to move this story forward a little bit. These next few weeks are going to be critical, as you know, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Wolf Blitzer, thank you, sir. We'll see you in five minutes.

And I'll be right back.


BALDWIN: We are watching this crippled Carnival cruise ship that is slowing moving towards shore. No power, failing sewage systems, now, we're hearing Carnival has sent this third tugboat to help tow the ship to the dock in Mobile, Alabama.

Chad Myers is here. He's got this map here. So, Chad, where is it right now?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Still about 140 miles away. They certainly hoped that it would be closer than that by now, but all day today, this tugboat, the Resolve Pioneer, has been up against 20- to 25-mile-per-hour headwinds.

Now, this boat, this tugboat, can only go about 12- to 14-miles- per-hour on its own. Now, if you hook up a big ship behind it, trying to tow it against all this wind and that ship is acting like a big sailboat, going the wrong direction.

So, here's where we are. This is the buoy they want to be at tomorrow so they can take it through into Mobile Bay during the daylight hours. There is the Triumph right now about a hundred miles or so from that buoy where they're going to rendezvous with other boats.

There's another boat coming in, going to hook up again, maybe they'll be able to take -- make a little bit more way later on tonight.

But they will hook up with, also, more boats up here along the canal. This canal is only about 300 yards wide where you don't want to be bumping into the side of the big dredged area here.

There's Ft. Morgan. It's going to go right past Ft. Morgan then on up into Mobile Bay, about 30 miles on up into Mobile from here, on up this dredged canal, basically just in red cans and buoys and just going all the way up there.

Going to have to "red right return." Any mariner remembers that from the first days they ever go buy the Chatman's piloting book, they're going to take this thing right up through here past Sand Island, on up toward Mobile. And there's a cruise ship dock that they don't use anymore and that's where they're going to go with this boat. That cruise ship dock is right there. Hopefully, they get there about this time tomorrow.

BALDWIN: Yeah, it should be this time tomorrow.

Chad Myers, thank you ...

MYERS: You're welcome.

BALDWIN: ... because, obviously, as it is heading into port, and it will be docking, as Chad showed us, there in Mobile, Alabama, we, of course, will bring you live team coverage as it's returning.

I know a lot of family members, some of whom we've talked to on this show, are eagerly awaiting their return, as I'm sure some of these moms and dads and husbands and wives are ready to get home, have a good meal and nice, good shower.

We're all over that tomorrow. Meantime, I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me.

Let's go to Wolf Blitzer in Washington now.

Hey, Wolf.

BLITZER: Brooke, thanks very much.