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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Details on Boston Bomb Attacks; FBI Has Bomb Suspect's Laptop; Body of Bombing Suspect Claimed; Massive Wildfires Raging in Southern California; Woman Reappears after 11 Years
Aired May 2, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening, everyone. Breaking news tonight on the Boston bombing. How it might have been even worse. The surviving suspect reportedly says he and his brother were considering a July 4th attack.
We also have breaking news in southern California, as well. You can see for yourself what is happening there. From a spark to the 7,000 acres on fire just today. You'll see what happened in the smoke and flames surrounded one of our crews.
Also tonight, only on 360, the sister of the latest American held captive by North Korea pleads for his freedom.
And the lady vanishes. The mother of two drops her kids off at school and drops off the radar for 11 years. Now she has reappeared. That's the way she looked 11 years ago on the left and then on the right, that's the way she looked today. What happened in that missing decade and will her kids forgive her? We'll speak to one of them tonight.
We begin, though, with the breaking news in the Boston bombing. What the younger suspect reportedly told investigators about a different and potentially even deadlier plan. There is that, there's new information about a potentially key -- piece of key evidence. The younger suspect's laptop.
New details also about his older brother, someone's finally claimed his body. Chilling new details about where the pair allegedly built the bombs and whose innocent life they were endangering.
Because there's so many new items and angles, I want to walk through it all step by step with the reporters who've been up close working their sources.
Susan Candiotti, Deborah Feyerick and Joe Johns.
So, Susan, let's start with you. We are learning a lot of new details now from law enforcement officials. What can you tell us?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson. This U.S. law enforcement official telling CNN the bombs used in the marathon attack were built in the apartment where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived with his wife and child. The initial plan was to carry out the attack on July the 4th, but the bombs were ready earlier than they expected and the brothers decided to move up the date according to my source. The suspects chose instead the Boston marathon.
And I'm also told that Tamerlan's younger brother, that's bombing suspect, Dzhokhar, told investigators about the chosen date and where the bombs were constructed. And it's hard to imagine how that could have been done right there in the apartment where he lived with his wife and young child.
COOPER: Now -- so this is -- this is based on one law enforcement source. I know the "New York Times" has also been reporting this same information now. So that they built -- they built the bombs, allegedly, or at least according to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the apartment?
CANDIOTTI: Yes, and it's hard to understand how that could happen what with his wife and child living there. I mean, how do you do that without having people smell it or see remnants of it?
We also don't know at this time, Anderson, whether she had prior knowledge of it or knew about it after the fact or that much is unclear as well as where the bomb was tested. That's also a big question that we have. You know, how did they get these bombs in and out? And where -- again, where did the training happen?
COOPER: OK. And again all this information allegedly coming from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. So it's a question of whether authorities believe him or not, correct?
CANDIOTTI: Apparently they do at this point.
COOPER: All right. Susan, appreciate that.
I want to move on to the other details in the FBI investigation. Joe Johns has been working sources on that all day.
So the FBI, Joe, now has Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's laptop. Where did they get it? Where did they get it? And are they learning anything from it? Do we know?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we're told the laptop was turned over to authorities by Dias Kadyrbayev, this is one of the men from Kazakhstan who was arrested on conspiracy charges just yesterday. It's our understanding there's already been a quick review at least of the hard drive, there's no indication, we're told, of the suspects arrested yesterday were involved in the actual Boston bombing, of course.
A law enforcement source says pulling data from the computer really doesn't take that long unless the hard drive is damaged and there's no indication of that. But what's potentially more time consuming is tracking e-mail or other messages, especially with someone overseas, which could end up involving -- asking FBI attaches in other countries to try to track down leads -- Anderson. COOPER: So just to be clear, these are the same guys who allegedly went over to the apartment because Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said after the bombing, come over and take whatever you want. So one of them had the laptop according to your source.
COOPER: And also they had allegedly disposed of the backpack that had fireworks that had some of the gun powder or the explosive parts of it actually removed, correct?
JOHNS: That's right. And if you read the affidavit from the FBI carefully that was delivered to the court, the information about the laptop just seems to drop off. Kadyrbayev gets it and you don't hear anything more about it. Well, now we know from our sources that Kadyrbayev apparently turned that laptop over to the authorities.
COOPER: Now also investigators, I understand, are looking at cell phone records and have more than one in their possession. Do we know any details?
JOHNS: That's true. And there's a lot of interesting stuff about cell phones. Two sources tell CNN that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev actually shared a cell phone account with at least one of the men from Kazakhstan who was arrested yesterday. We're also told by sources that authorities have been investigating the cell phone records of the suspected bombers. One source says investigators have more than one cell phone, but we don't know whose cell phones they're talking about.
The cell phones are important for the text messages, of course, as well as any pictures, and also the time stamps that can help out with the chronology of events -- Anderson.
COOPER: So they shared a cell phone. Is that why authorities, you know, yesterday we played exclusive video on this program that Susan Candiotti got us of authorities surrounding the house that had the -- the guys from Kazakhstan in it thinking that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in it. And we heard authorities saying, come on out with your hands up, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Is that why they went to that house? Because they were tracking that cell phone or do we know?
JOHNS: That's a very interesting question. And it's not clear at all. But what we know is they apparently shared this cell phone account. We don't know a lot more about whose name was on it, whether there were different numbers or what have you.
JOHNS: That's something we'd like to know.
COOPER: All right. Joe, appreciate that.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body was claimed today. Deborah Feyerick has been reporting that angle of the story. Do we know who claimed the body and why it took so long?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, we don't. The only that the medical examiner's office would confirm to us is that, in fact, yes, the body was picked up at about 5:25 today. We saw what appeared to be a black hearse arrive and then remove we believe a body. WCBV was reporting that, in fact, Tsarnaev's body was inside.
We reached out to the funeral home which is about 40 miles south of Boston. They would not confirm it. The widow, Katie Russell, has said she does not want the body. She said that it belongs to the family. We know that he's got an uncle in Maryland, a sister in New Jersey, an aunt in Toronto, and of course, his own parents who are still in Dagestan. So it's not clear who has claimed that body.
Also, Anderson, a local Islamic council here said that an imam would not perform the burial rites. So it'd be done by a layperson. They don't want to sort of elevate his death in any way. Also, we hope to find the cause of death determined tomorrow -- Anderson.
COOPER: Right. That's what I think is most significant about this development about them claiming the body. Because all along, authorities were saying that until the body was claimed, no cause of death and a death certificate was filed. No cause of death would actually be announced. And now that the body is claimed, I guess the office was closed. But in the Friday morning, tomorrow morning, they will announce the cause of death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
There have been all those questions about was he -- was he driven over by his brother? Exactly how he was killed, correct?
FEYERICK: Yes, exactly, because his death followed a fierce shootout with police officers. And so they're going to determine, in fact, whether it was a bullet that killed him. Was it blunt trauma that he suffered when that car apparently did hit him? How he died and what time he died. Whether he died on scene or whether he died when he was en route to the hospital because of his injuries -- Anderson.
COOPER: OK. I've just been told that Susan Candiotti has just gotten some more information since moments ago when I talked to her.
Susan, what have you learned?
CANDIOTTI: Well, we've learned additionally to make matters worse that the original plan, according to our law enforcement official, is -- was to be a suicide attack on July 4th. A suicide attack. However, it is not known -- it's unclear at this time what changed that plan, why they decided to go with the pressure cooker bombs instead dropped at the marathon.
COOPER: Interesting. And, again, if authorities believe that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother -- were making, actually, assembling these bombs in their apartment, that also then again raises even more questions what if any involvement anybody else may have had whether there was some instruction in the bomb making, whether it was anyone else actually helping them make the bombs, whether, you know, again, so many questions still we don't know.
COOPER: But it's an interesting development.
CANDIOTTI: It is. And how you can go about hiding something like this in an apartment where he'd live with his wife and young child. Certainly at the very least putting them in danger.
COOPER: Yes. That's for sure.
Susan Candiotti, appreciate it. Joe Johns and Deb Feyerick, as well.
Follow me on Twitter. Let me know what you think about all this new developments. Some I'm going to be tweeting throughout the hour.
We're going to take you next to the fire lines, hundreds of homes in jeopardy right now. Hundreds of firefighters doing battle with a wall of flames that grew out of nothing in just a few hours.
And later, lost and found then and now. How one woman disappeared. That's her 11 years ago. She was a mom back then. She abandoned her kids and that's what she looks like now. She was discovered on the streets in Florida 11 years later. I'm going to talk to her son, find out whether he wants to even talk to her, wants to get some sort of explanation from her, even an apology from her. He was 12 years old when she abandoned him. We'll talk to him ahead coming up.
COOPER: Welcome back. There's more breaking news tonight. One of the fastest moving wildfires anyone has ever seen. That's what it looks like about an hour north of Los Angeles. This evening, at least 6500 acres on fire. The fire isn't even 24 hours old.
Earlier today, CNN's Paul Vercammen found himself right in the middle of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Right here at Newbury Park, this is one of the leading edges of the fire. One of the main hot spots. They've been trying to drop water via helicopter on this area. But as you can see, it's so smoky, it's almost impossible to get a good look at where the fire is burning. I can tell you right now, it's burning all up there along that ridge threatening all these houses in this neighborhood.
But the smoke is just absolutely horrific. And the heat, the heat is tremendous right now. The firefighters really up against it. You can see just where it's burning. It's encircling this entire neighborhood and these people are right now trying to evacuate.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: And Paul Vercammen joins us now.
Paul, it's amazing at just how little you can actually see. How visibility is basically nonexistent when you're that close to it. What's the latest on the fire?
VERCAMMEN: Well, the good news is they have not lost any houses. They've had outbuildings burn here in Newbury Park. The acreage, 6500, that's going to go way up. As we speak right now, you can see up on this hill, another edge of flame, firefighters up there right now with hoses trying to get this out. They've done a very good job all day long. You can see it -- defending the houses. They've also commended the homeowners because they've cut back brush.
And in another area, if these were wood shake roofs, Anderson, no doubt many of these roofs and the houses would gone up in flames and the embers would've skipped on from place to place to place. That has helped them. They've gotten about 600 firefighters on the lines right now defending these neighborhoods in Newbury Park. And they're also attacking it by air. If we're so fortunate, you might even see a water drop as we're live.
The helicopters have been circling and just dousing this hillside. The idea right here is to let it burn all the way almost down to the street and, of course, fire can't burn on what's been burned before and that will cause a natural fire break. They've been very smart about that all day and had great success, obviously, with no homes burned.
And as you pointed out, it was probably one of the fastest moving fires that anyone could ever imagine from 40 acres, suddenly over 6500 in just a few hours really -- Anderson.
COOPER: How long -- I mean, do they have a sense of how long they might take to get it under control? I mean, I guess a lot depends on the weather.
VERCAMMEN: Oh, it absolutely does. These are nice, calm winds. This could be a completely different picture if they were whipping up as they did earlier. There are 25-mile-an-hour gusts, but then all of a sudden it would whip up and you'd probably get a 40-mile-an-hour gust. And if you can look way off in the distance, that's a complete separate plume of smoke, Anderson. That's mainly chaparral and brush. It's burning toward the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Point Magu area.
They've got to get that under control at some point. But they had to make choices. And the choice number one is save houses. And so at some point, they're going to have to shift resources out of these neighborhoods and get after that flank of the fire. There's just so many of them, it's unwieldy. And that's why they don't have any containment. And certainly they want to get as much of this doused before winds whip up again.
The fear always is these winds can whip up embers, spark fires in other places spotted in different neighborhoods. So they've got a lot -- they've got a lot of work to do. You've got to commend them for what they've done so far.
COOPER: Have you seen them setting backfires?
VERCAMMEN: Absolutely. And I'm talking about skillfully setting these backfires. Just down the roads away as we saw some of those guys walking around with the flares on their hips. So in that neighborhood that you saw me in earlier on the videotape portion that you saw, fire burns very quickly uphill. So time and time again, they would sort of measure where the fire was going and if you can imagine this, you might burn it just about 10 yards up from somebody's backyard and then the fire would go ahead burn uphill and cut off the advance of flame.
They did it excellently today and I think that they may also try to light a backfire here. Although if you look up on the ridge, it seems like with the water drops and all of that, they got it under control. I know there was a discussion about maybe lighting a backfire right behind this very house that you see right here. Because of the fear that it could come down and engulf this neighborhood.
So backfire is a big part of the strategy here led by the Ventura County Fire Department and people coming really from all over Southern California to help out. California has that mutual aid system where I'll help you on this fire and later on in the summer, please help us on ours. And that's been in full effect here.
By the way, I can see a chopper coming around. It's possible, Anderson, that they'll make another attempt at a water drop, not positive, but I'll try to let you know if they do.
COOPER: And while we're watching for that, I mean, what does this mean for the season? Because this is a bit early. And I know forecasters have been saying this could be a really bad season.
VERCAMMEN: Oh, it's just been absolutely horrendous as we watch this drop. This vegetation is so dry. We've had about 25 percent normal rainfall two years in a row.
COOPER: Wow. Look at that drop.
VERCAMMEN: And you can see the skill with which these -- that was tremendous. That was a direct hit. The concern, again, is that vegetation. It's just so absolutely bone dry, Anderson, as I was saying before and you saw that skillful drop. Two years in a row we've had rainfall that's been about 25 percent of normal. And this is May and they're concerned. In talking to some firefighters in the last couple of days, this is more like late summer or early fall weather.
May 2nd is not supposed to be sort of fire D-day already.
VERCAMMEN: And you can see that we had that one down at Banning yesterday and here we are in Newbury Park. As you move north, you get a lot of wide open undeveloped area, all concerned here in California and of course for the rest of the western United States because of that drought -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Well, best of luck to those firefighters, amazing the skill that they have in trying to fight those fires.
Paul Vercammen, appreciate the reporting. Please be careful, you and your crew.
Tonight, an amazing story of a woman lost and now found. Brenda Heist is her name, she disappeared from her home in Pennsylvania 11 years ago. She abandoned her family and kids. She was last seen dropping her kids off at school. Her husband and two children thought she was dead, but now she suddenly turned up in Florida 11 years later much to their shock.
Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what Brenda Heist looked like when she mysteriously disappeared in 2002. A Pennsylvania mother of two with a steady job. From the outside looking in, everything seemed normal enough. But things were about to get, well, strange.
Brenda Heist was about to walk on her life, just simply vanish.
This is Brenda Heist today 11 years later after she resurfaced suddenly, completely without warning. Her family thought she was dead. She was, in fact, declared legally dead. So how did this person transform so dramatically to this?
It started in February 2002. Brenda and her husband Lee were preparing to divorce and she was upset about how she was going to make ends meet.
(On camera): Sitting in a park crying, Brenda Heist was approached by some people who invited her to go on a trip. On a whim, she accepted, ended up hitchhiking to south Florida, where it's believed she spent the last 11 years. For much of that time, she lived with a man in a camper and worked odd jobs. But for the rest of her time in Florida, she was homeless, living under bridges, scavenging for restaurant food all under an assumed name.
(Voice-over): We know all of this because since Brenda resurfaced, she's talking. Detective John Schofield of the Lititz Borough, Pennsylvania Police Department has been working the case for all 11 years.
DET. JOHN SCHOFIELD, LITITZ BOROUGH POLICE: She said she thought of her family and children every day and her parents. However, she never acted on that and never made any phone calls. Not one. She's pretty much at the end of her rope down there, living on the streets. I mean I think she just has had it. Her health wasn't good and she was just tired of running. TUCHMAN: Her husband is remarried. This picture shows Lee Heist and his new wife along with the two children that he and Brenda Heist had together now all grown up.
A short time ago, Lee Heist told us on the phone about how stunned he was when he found out Brenda was alive.
LEE HEIST, EX-WIFE DISAPPEARED FOR 11 YEARS: We felt that perhaps she had been carjacked because of where the car was found. We never knew for sure. But I really did think that she had died and, unfortunately, probably in not a pleasant way. This was a terrific shock.
TUCHMAN: Lee Heist had been questioned by police about the disappearance and he wrongly lived under the shadow of suspicion for a long time.
HEIST: There were people in the neighborhood who would not allow their children to play with my children because of what they perceived I might be.
TUCHMAN: The Heists' daughter is now in college, the older son is a college graduate, seeking work in the law enforcement field. Lee Heist was asked in our telephone interview if he wanted to talk to Brenda who is now in protective custody.
HEIST: Well, honestly, I don't think after -- after all of this that there -- anything good would come of a conversation. It would -- I don't think it would be beneficial to her and certainly not to me. But to my kids, absolutely. And I would do whatever is necessary to make sure that if she wants and if the kids want and would be their decision I would certainly make arrangements for them to meet with their mother, absolutely.
TUCHMAN: As far as charges against Brenda Heist, it appears there won't be any. Police say there's nothing illegal about walking away from your family.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Well, you heard from Lee Heist, the father, Brenda Heist's former husband. His son is also named Lee Heist, just to avoid any confusion. I spoke to the son Lee Heist a few minutes ago. Here's what he said.
COOPER: Lee, this is a -- I mean, this is a stunning development, obviously. It's a stunning story for a lot of people who've heard it. For you, I can't even imagine what this has been like. What was your initial reaction when you heard the news?
LEE HEIST, MOTHER WENT MISSING FOR 11 YEARS (via phone): When I heard the news I -- really, it was just literally a shock and a surprise. I think it's still basically it's just that. I'm -- it's kind of surreal. You know what I mean? I never really would've expected her to turn up alive or in this fashion at all.
COOPER: Are you -- are you happy she's been found alive? Are you angry? What's the emotion?
HEIST: Yes. That's really hard. Right now it's such a mix of emotions. And more just like details come out about her being alive, somewhat angering to know that she left. But I mean, I guess I'm happy that it wasn't some kind of violent end for her, you know.
COOPER: Do you want to see her? I mean, do you want to actually talk to her, meet with her?
HEIST: As of right now, I haven't really made that decision. I think -- actually I think my sister and I might make that decision together. But we want to give it a little bit of time because it sounds like she is going to go see her side of the family, her brothers and mother and maybe see how that goes and I think we'll go from there.
COOPER: Obviously you've seen the pictures of what she looks like now. When you see that picture, what do you think?
HEIST: The change in appearance was probably the biggest shock I had when I first saw it. I was -- I think that image is probably going to be, you know, burned into my memory. Just completely -- I can recognize her, but completely looks like a different person.
COOPER: Do you remember the day she left?
HEIST: I do. I remember it pretty well.
COOPER: What happened?
HEIST: She dropped us off at school like any normal day, didn't act any different. I remember we walked home from school, it was only a couple of blocks away. And she wasn't there. We assumed that -- my sister and I assumed she was grocery shopping or something. By the time a couple hours had gone by, we called our father who was at work and told him she wasn't home yet.
We didn't have cell phones or anything. So he came home and I guess he called the police that night. But honestly, I remember correctly he was like telling us, you know, maybe she's just out with some friends. You know, she could be out, you know, we'll see her tonight. And as the weekend went by, it kind of grew a little more like maybe she's actually missing. But I remember -- I think my dad was just trying to keep us -- keep us calm, you know, kind of rationalize it or something. Just to see what happens.
COOPER: And over the -- I mean, I understand she left the laundry half done, dinner was defrosting, that at one point your dad was even a suspect. They were, I guess, undergoing divorce at the time. HEIST: Yes. They were getting ready for the divorce. I don't know how they went into it. It happened not long after they told my sister and I about it. But yes, he was -- I understand the spouse is usually the first suspect. That was a big deal for us. That was probably one of the hardest things about everything.
COOPER: I suppose it's possible she could be watching tonight. Is there anything you would want to say to her now? Or are you not ready to even contemplate what you would say to her?
HEIST: If I had to say something to her, I guess right now I'd probably just tell her, you know, that -- I mean -- I'd ask her why. I hope that some day I get an answer to that. That I really wish she could see what became of my family because we've done very well despite it. I know I kind of want her to see like what she missed out on.
COOPER: Do you want her to ask for forgiveness?
HEIST: Yes. I think so. I would like that.
COOPER: Well, Lee, I can't imagine how difficult this is for you and even talking about it is probably tough. So I appreciate you talking to me and I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.
HEIST: Oh, yes, absolutely.
COOPER: Lee Heist. Lee, thank you very much.
COOPER: It's hard to imagine what you would do in this case. We were talking a lot on Twitter about it.
For more on the story, go to our Web site CNN.com.
Just ahead, my exclusive interview with former Green Bay Packer safety LeRoy Butler. In a tweet this week he congratulated the NBA's Jason Collins for coming out publicly he's gay. It's a four-word tweet, that tweet of support cost him a speaking gig at a church. The church immediately called him up and canceled his speaking engagement there where he was booked to talk to kids about bullying of all things.
We'll talk to LeRoy ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back tonight, a 360 exclusive, when NBA player, Jason Collins, came out in a "Sports Illustrated" cover story this week, he saw an outpouring of support from President Obama, the first lady, celebrities, other public figures, coaches, other athletes.
Now among those who applauded his courage was Leroy Butler, a former safety for the Green Bay Packers. On Monday, the day Collins made history, Butler tweeted a four-word message. Congrats to Jason Collins. That was it, four simple words, but not simple at all to a Wisconsin church that had booked Butler for a speaking engagement.
The topic was bullying, which seems ironic what happened next. Butler said the church canceled his event after some parents complained about his tweet. Butler says he was given the option of removing the tweet, apologizing to God and apologizing to the church.
If he did all that, the church would let him speak as planned. Butler said he would not do that. He could've named the church. He has not named the church and his first television interview about the incident. He's talking to us tonight. Leroy Butler joins me now.
So Leroy, I find this amazing. You sent basically a four-word tweet congratulating Jason Collins. How long after that did this church contact you and how did the conversation go?
LEROY BUTLER, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, it took about -- I guess a couple of hours, but I think that's the circulation time. Because when I got the initial phone call from the church, it was from one of the administrators, and she expressed -- first she asked me. Did you send out a tweet to some young man about being gay?
I said, yes, yes, Jason Collins. Isn't that a great thing? And she said, no, I don't think you can speak to our kids about that. You need to talk to the pastor and I was a little shocked. But then the pastor called me and that's when we got into the old -- the whole religion thing about gay people and things of that nature and the conversation just went back and forth for us a couple of minutes.
COOPER: But just to be clear, you weren't going to be speaking to the kids about Jason Collins, you were actually speaking about bullying.
BUTLER: No. Yes, yes. Anderson, I speak all the time every summer to churches, organizations -- I mean, I do it all the time. And I tell my story how single parent home, African-American, from the projects, going to Florida state and playing for the green Bay Packers for 12 years, which is a great story.
I wasn't necessarily going into that because that wasn't part of my story. But when I touch on bullying, you know, then that's the problem that they had because they didn't want me to use Jason as a part of the bullying. And I thought, well, that's just crazy to me.
COOPER: There were some provisions, I understand, that the church laid out to you that they said if you did such and such you could still come and speak. What did they say you had to do?
BUTLER: And this is when I got angry because it tests you as a man. And they basically said this, if you apologize, ask God for forgiveness and remove the tweet, you'll be able to do this speaking engagement with the kids. And I said, so, basically you're asking me to -- some 16-year-old kid is somewhere in a closet with his father's gun that he found and he's thinking about putting it to his head because he's been tormented in school every single day because they may have found out he was gay or they suspected he's gay. He doesn't have a voice right now. You're asking me to take all that back so he doesn't have a voice? I won't do that. That's taking my dignity and respect away. I want that young man to come out of the closet, put the gun down and be a part of society. When did we get to this starting to judge who gets to be a part of what society? It just bothers me. And I told the pastor, blame it on my mom because my mom brought me up to love everybody.
COOPER: And you're not naming the church because you're a good guy and you don't want bad things to happen to this church no matter what they've done to you, right?
BUTLER: Right. I don't want to do evil to evil, what my mom says. What if somebody didn't like the church, if I released the names and now here are kids get bullied, that church will get bad e- mails. It just kind of starts all over again. She just told me to stick to the topic, to stick to what's important to me and about everybody being treated fairly.
And this whole religion thing and even I noticed, Anderson, some of my conservative friends take a different approach to this and it kind of really bothered me. They're making it political or making it religious. Well, it's just an agreement between me and the church to come speak at your youth program about bullying. I do it all the time. I'm just standing by it.
COOPER: It's amazing too. The topic is bullying and you could argue their behavior is not a great representation of, you know, who these folks are supposed to be. When you were on a team, did you have gay teammates you knew about? Did you have any issue with playing with anyone who was gay?
BUTLER: No, I never suspected anybody or saw anybody that was gay, but I play with someone who later came out. If you can run, jump, slam a basketball, throw a basketball, get an interception. If we win a Super Bowl ring, I don't care who you bring to the ring ceremony, I just want to win the ring. That's what it's all about.
There are so many guys, we're macho, we're football and all that, isn't that what it's all about? Winning the championship? Not who is in my bed when I turn the lights out. That's nobody's business. And I know it's been rumored, Anderson, about maybe some guys getting together coming out. I would let those guys say this.
They got support from straight guys like me that won't judge them. So if you want to come out, take your time or come out tomorrow, whenever, it doesn't matter to me. I just want to know if you're with my team, which is the Green Bay Packers, can you help them win a championship, whether or not your sexual orientation has nothing to do with in the locker room.
COOPER: Well, Leroy, it's a pleasure to talk to you. You're a great speaker and I hope you get a lot of other different speaking engagements from a lot of different organizations in the wake of this because you've got a good message to talk to a lot of people about.
BUTLER: Thank you very much, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, you take care.
Up next, an urgent plea from the sister of the American man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea. It's an interview you'll only see here on 360 and we'll check back in with Paul Vercammen as firefighters battle that huge blaze in North Belay.
COOPER: You're going to meet a woman who has a very simple wish. She wants her brother back. Unfortunately, her brother Kenneth Bae has been the latest American to be seized while in North Korea charged with crimes against the state and sentenced to hard labor, 15 years.
He's now part of North Korea's ongoing effort to get global attention in concessions at almost any cause. Now, they've tried nuclear threats, missile testing without much luck. They now seem to be back to a tactic they've tried a number of times recently including with the capture and imprisoning of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.
Dan Rivers is monitoring developments from Seoul, South Korea. He joins us now. So what's the latest on Kenneth Bae?
DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the United States government is calling for amnesty, calling for his immediate release to the North Korean government. North Korea has not reacted at all. We've been watching North Korean TV here in Seoul. They haven't mentioned the case. So it looks like they're holding on to him as some sort of bargaining chip in the wide strategic picture.
That very much fits in line with what they've done in the past. They've arrested U.S. citizens who have strayed into North Korea and then asked for a high-profile U.S. politician to come in, in the past. That's been people like former President Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter who have come in and secured the release after, you know, having face- to-face talks with the North Korean leader.
This, of course, is a new era with a new young leader, Kim Jong- Un, an untested quantity in many ways. The interesting thing with Kenneth Bae's case, Anderson, is he was there officially conducting tours. He's been in and out many times. He wasn't like the other cases where he strayed in without a visa. He was actually there with their permission.
COOPER: Yes, I want to talk to his sister about that. Dan, I appreciate the reporting. My next guest, as I said, is not a dignitary, not a negotiator, she's the sister to Kenneth Bae. Terry Chung is her name. She's Kenneth Bae's younger sister. She's speaking out for the first time in this program.
Terry, have you or any other members of your family been able to actually have contact with Kenneth?
TERRY CHUNG, KENNETH BAE'S SISTER: You know, we've had one phone call from him in the last six months and that phone call came last week. So we heard from him once.
COOPER: How is he doing?
CHUNG: You know, he sounded incredibly calm under the circumstances. His main goal was to try to reassure us and comfort us and make sure he was OK. And he was worried for my parents' health. That they were getting too distraught.
COOPER: I know he has a wife and kids. How are they dealing with all of this? I can't imagine.
CHUNG: Yes, you know, his wife -- they live in China and he has three children who are in the United States, Jonathan, Sophia, and Natalie. And as you can imagine, everybody's just devastated by the turn of events. The 15 years in a labor camp in North Korea and just the thought of my brother ending up there is just unbearable.
COOPER: There have been conflicting reports about what your brother was doing in North Korea. Do you have any idea what he was doing there?
CHUNG: Well, you know, he's -- that's his job, he's a tour guide. And he has guided tours into North Korea from China and that's what he's doing. He didn't have any problems going there. So he didn't have any reason to suspect there would be any trouble this time around.
COOPER: I understand he was bringing Chinese businessmen in this time. Do you know anything about why he was arrested?
CHUNG: You know, there's been very little information or details about that released. We can't really know for sure why he would have been arrested. And, you know, he's only has the biggest heart for the people in the nation of North Korea and, you know, he was really happy that he was helping in some small way to economic growth.
COOPER: I've received one news report saying he also had an interest in orphans in North Korea and might have had some photographs of orphans and that might have angered the authorities. Is that true?
CHUNG: You know, I don't know the specifics about that. I think he could've maybe delivered because of who he is and he's generous and giving and maybe he would've -- could've delivered bread to orphanages once or twice. But, you know, I don't really know if that was the reason or why. I mean, we're baffled just like anybody else about why a man like my brother could be arrested.
COOPER: When something like this happens, I mean, how do you -- how do you deal with it? It's not like you can send an attorney over there to help plead his case. It's not like any other country or do you basically have to sit by the phone?
CHUNG: Yes, there's a lot of just -- a lot of months of waiting. We're really just at the mercy of North Korea and their legal proceedings and whatever procedures that have -- a war taking place. So, yes, there have been endless months of waiting. COOPER: It might be that much more difficult when there have been the recent tensions with North Korea and the kind of the bellicose rhetoric from North Korea. Do you worry that your brother -- that his imprisonment will be used as a bargaining chip? That he becomes a pawn in all of this?
CHUNG: You know, we can't worry about that when every time there's a headline about the strange and intense relationship between the two nations, you know, we just worry about my brother getting caught in between in the political nature of this process. And we just pray and ask for leaders of both nations to please just see him as one man caught in between and just ask that he be allowed to come home.
COOPER: Well, I wish you the best and I'm so sorry you're in this situation your brother is, as well. Thank you so much for talking with us.
CHUNG: Thank you so much for having me.
COOPER: Hard to imagine. Firefighters now battling a fast- moving wildfire in California. We're going to go back to Paul Vercammen who is on the frontline of the firefight next.
COOPER: Breaking news right now. I want to go back to Paul Vercammen in Newbury Park, California. There are live pictures right now from affiliate KTLA, the latest in that fast-moving wildfire. It's amazing, Paul, just how quickly this fire has spread just in the last 24 hours. Can you give a sense of the scope of this fire at this point?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we can. I mean, Anderson, right here, you're looking at one of the flanks they're fighting in this neighborhood. And of course, as we discussed before, priority number one, save houses. A couple great water drops, that's why you see all that white smoke, steam hit that.
If we pan over, push in a little bit, you can see the firefighters on the ridge. There's another sort of level of smoke. Some of that, I believe, is two, three miles away. So we have a flank of flames miles and miles wide. And with that huge plume of smoke back there, there's now a smoke advisory out by Ventura County Fire.
The problem is, the university has a lot of agribusiness, you can study it there, some of the world's strawberry fields. They're afraid of pesticides catching fire and the smoke being extremely toxic so a lot at play right now. They still have their hands full. You can see the firefighters and the work they're doing to make sure none of this hillside catches fire again and spreads to houses -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, I'm just amazed their ability to drop water where it's needed and go out on the ridge. Paul, thanks very much.
A lot more happening tonight. Isha's here with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, dramatic closing arguments today in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Prosecutor Juan Martinez called Arias a manipulative liar who was on a mission to kill her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander when she set off on a road trip in 2008. Arias says she killed him in self-defense. If she's convicted of premeditated murder, she could face the death penalty.
Rhode Island today became the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Lawmakers pass the bill in a 56-15 vote. Just a short time ago, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed it into law. It takes effect August 1st.
And Anderson, Reese Witherspoon spoke out today for the first time about her disorderly conduct arrest. The 37-year-old actress allegedly interfered with the arrest of her husband on a drunk driving charge last month. Here's what she told ABC's "Good Morning America" about hassle the cop who was doing his job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: I had no idea what I was saying that night. I saw him arresting my husband and literally panicked. And I said all kinds of crazy things. I told him I was pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I said crazy things. And if you only hear me laughing because I have no idea what I was talking about. And I am so sorry. I was so disrespectful to him and I have police officers in my family. I work with police officers every day, I know better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Wow. That's quite the performance.
COOPER: Amazing. Isha, thanks very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: We ran out of time for the "Ridiculist" due to the breaking news, incredible images out of California and the wildfire. Some of you may have noticed that we're trying something different in our 10:00 hour all this week, a less formal look at the news.
Christian Amanpour, Jeffrey Toobin, Amy Holmes, are the regulars at our round table, last night's surprise guest or special guest was Anthony Bourdain, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani also joined the conversation. He weighed in on the Benghazi terror investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: When you don't investigate a crime from the very beginning when the crime scene is all chaos, it's hard to reconstruct it later. And, of course, it's a long time now and no one's being held to answer for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's not much of a government there to work with. It's a do it yourself situation. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it's still --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Traffic being directed --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people who helped organize the attack, but the FBI can't.
COOPER: That CNN personnel could go into the consulate and find the evidence laying around. It's pretty stunning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So we'll be back one hour from now, another round table tonight. See who the special guest is. A lot to cover, the latest in the Boston bombings, also the latest out of Gitmo, the hunger strikes, what the U.S. should or shouldn't do about it. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now. See you in an hour.