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Amanda Berry Arrives Home; Amanda Berry Expected to Speak Soon; Amanda Berry's Sister Speaker to Press; House Benghazi Hearing Under Way.
Aired May 8, 2013 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If there's a hero in all of this, it is Amanda Berry because she's the one that took the risk and managed to bring about the rescue of the other two women in the home. And of course, she was doing it on behalf of her 6-year-old daughter who was with her.
Regarding the three suspects, they're being held in the facility behind us here. This is the justice center in downtown Cleveland. You're right. We anticipate charges before the day is out. If that happens, arraignment tomorrow morning, we are told it happens around 8:00 in the morning, courtroom 3D. There, the men would be read the charges against them. They'd be asked if they want to enter a plea. They may or may not if they waive it. We're told if there is bond granted, it's going to be a very large amount of money or there may not be bond granted at all. That's what's anticipated over the next 24 hours. We do know the suspects they started interrogating them last night. The FBI and local authorities continue that today -- Ashleigh?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Martin Savidge, standby the justice center for a moment.
I want to bring in Jean Casarez, my colleague, legal correspondent for "In Session" and HLN.
Jean, one of the things as an attorney I know you would understand is the delicate nature the police would have to adopt in terms of gleaning any information from these three victims. A decade of captivity from all indication of the evidence. Severe abuse, not only mental abuse, but the severe physical abuse -- ropes, chains, this kind of nature. What do police do? What kind of detective does the interview of these victims?
JEAN CASAREZ, IN SESSION LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, it's an important part of this investigation because they can give answers that can lead to further investigation by the police. Now, we do know that law enforcement initially said that the victims had been spoken to shortly after they gained their freedom. They may have law enforcement investigators that specialize with victims that are survivors. Even with abductees. It could be a female rather than a male. And I think, in large part, the victim may guide how long the questioning, the initial questioning takes place.
But on the other hand, they've got to get some answers. They need to know some things because they want to find evidence that can help prove a case if, in fact, those charges are filed.
BANFIELD: I have to ask you in terms of the delicate treatment, but the critical information soon. Because my thought is that these victims need to forget. They need to move beyond this. But we need their memories now. We need every ounce of their memories now.
CASAREZ: And these victims will testify in court if there is a trial they are living victims. What they say now is critically important for a legal basis and then emotionally. You've got to protect them too. There are victims' advocates which help living victims. And charges have not been filed. But rest assured there are victims advocates helping them. Maybe psychologists have come up already to help their memory. They've got to remember things. And one thing we have learned is that the memory can forget things that you don't want to remember.
BANFIELD: That's part of this. We need these victims to forget. Move beyond and put this behind them.
Joey Jackson, I know you're listening in on this interview with Jean Casarez. I can only imagine the kind of almost mass approach to handling these victims and getting what information we can from them while at the same time respecting the pain and suffering they have gone through, are going through and need to move beyond.
JOEY JACKSON, ATTORNEY & PROFESSOR: Well, you know, interestingly enough, Ashleigh, you will put it best, it's a delicate situation. On the one hand, you want to hold these people accountable. And based upon that, you need all the information that the victims can give you to piece together the case and successfully prosecute one.
At the same time, there's other issues to be concerned about which is, you know, their physical health, mental health, emotional health and stability because you don't want them to be victimized again. I think the police have the professionals there that work with the departments who know how to deal with this. I suspect they'll do it very well and they'll be able to piece together an effective case while at the same time respecting the victims, respecting their families and also integrating them back into society.
BANFIELD: I just want to cut you off for a moment. I apologize. There's a motorcade that's arrived outside Amanda Berry's home. You can see the neighbors are waving. My guess is she may be in one of those vehicles. Just to our viewers just joining us, she's coming home to go into her home. And she is -- she's going to take a moment to gather her thoughts. The police have asked that the press give her her space.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER, WJW: Some of the authorities bringing her home in this black minivan. Once those doors open, I am going to let you listen in. Obviously, some very exciting -- those two officers of the law in the front seat of that minivan.
Looks like she's going around -- well -- this is, again, the best shot that you will see. But let's see what door she comes out of. She's going around to the back door at the House. And I'm not sure what you will see right there you see the FBI, public information officer, the tall blond there along with the sergeant, from Cleveland Police Department; Vikki Anderson, the FBI special agent who often deals with us, the media, and then a couple of others. Can't tell you what their names are. They obviously need their identities to be anonymous, but these are two of the FBI agents who were bringing her home.
These are the two FBI agents who have worked not just with this family, but with the family of Gina DeJesus. I'm sure they are, as is the rest of the world, stunned that for 10 years they have worked on this case and they are the ones who actually get the honor, the privilege of bringing Amanda home. Amazing story that's unfolding right here.
BANFIELD: You could see from this helicopter picture, courtesy of our affiliate, WJW, one of the authorities that emerged from those vehicles was holding a small child. Came out of that vehicle holding a small child and going in the back door again.
Again, this is a remarkable story that's unfolding live in Cleveland right now, just incredible, as Amanda makes her way home, and is able to be with her family.
She has indicated to the press she would like to make a public statement and thank those who have kept her in their thoughts for the decade, decade plus now that Amanda Berry had been in captivity. She vanished just before her 17th birthday back in 2003 at the age of 16. And now at age 27 with a 6-year-old daughter, born in captivity, she's coming home. And she is going to make that statement. The police presence is very strong outside of her home.
I also just want to make sure you're aware that Gina DeJesus has not indicated she'd like to make a public statement at this time. Michelle Knight, who had been in captivity the longest, has suffered the worst apparently in terms of her condition. Authorities saying that she was weakest and quite frail. And although they had told the press that she had been released from the hospital, the police have made a mistake. She was not released from the hospital right away with the other two. Her condition was more frail.
I want to bring in my colleague, Gary Tuchman, who is also reporting live out of Cleveland.
Gary, what do you know?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Standing outside of Amanda Berry's sister's home right now. She has arrived at the home. We haven't seen her yet, but there are hundreds of people standing outside her home and a six-motorcycle entourage of Cleveland police led the way down this quiet street or what was once a quiet street and she's pulled into the driveway. So we're awaiting for her to come out, she is expected to talk to the neighbors and to the news media that's out here in the front of her house right now are signs, welcome home, Amanda. Wish it, dream it, do it. Flowers, balloons, it's going to be a very festive atmosphere when she comes out and speaks. We expect that to happen any minute.
BANFIELD: Gary, thank you for that. Standby if you will.
Joey Jackson, we saw that picture just moments ago of the motorcade going into the back. The helicopter shot was clearly showing a picture of one of the authorities in that vehicle taking that small child in the back door. That child is 6 years old, apparently that's young Jocelyn, Amanda Berry has confirmed that's her daughter born in captivity. Joey, the FBI has indicated that a child victim specialist has interviewed not only all three of the women because they were children when they went into captivity, but they have also interviewed the 6-year-old daughter of Amanda Berry, Jocelyn Berry. Do you know what they would do in terms of interviewing a 6-year-old as opposed to women in their 20s and 30s?
JACKSON: Sure, sure, Ashleigh. It's certainly a different situation. And first of all, what a human interest story. A day of mixed emotions. You know, you're jubilant, but, of course, the family's missed all that time. They have specialists that deal with this all the time. They have victims' advocates and other people. They know how to speak to children. They know how to elicit information from children. And, of course, they know how to do it in a delicate way because this is something that could be indelible. It could leave a mark on this child for years to come. I would suspect that people who do this all the time will get information from that child. I suspect that, you know, with the mother around, certainly, I think the child would depend upon how forthcoming she is, how shy she is. But they'll spend a lot of time with her, get the information they need and be in a way to present the case that's very effective. They could also, Ashleigh, briefly be charges that emanate from that child and the birth of the child there. What access did she have to any type of health care? Did they engage the welfare of that child? So we should look for that too if not in the criminal complaint, certainly later in the grand jury phase.
BANFIELD: Oh, there just could be hundreds, hundreds of charges that these three men could face in relation to all of the potential crimes that emanated from that 10-year period in that home.
Standby, if you will, Joey, for a moment.
I want to go to the justice center where Martin Savidge is standing by with new information -- Martin?
SAVIDGE: Just wanted to point out, you're talking about these FBI agents that are involved here. There's two specific and very special groups. One of them is the victim, child victim specialist. You've mentioned this person. This is a person brought in from outside Cleveland. It is a member of the FBI, but not an FBI agent. This is the person that has the very specialized task, that very difficult task of talking to the women who were the victims and talking to the child. That is going to be done in what they call a soft setting. It is done over multiple days. It is being led by the FBI. The next people, and these were the people that were mentioned that were escorting the woman that is now coming home. These are the victim witness specialists. They're different. They're local FBI agents who have been in this town. They have been interacting with the families of these kidnapped women for 10 years. These are the ones that saw it begin, these are the ones that have earned the honor, that's what it would be considered, to now escort this person home and to say, welcome home, this is the start of bringing you back into the world. So two very specialized tasks, two very different groups of people, one local and one brought in for what is a remarkable event -- Ashleigh?
BANFIELD: Martin Savidge live outside the justice center in downtown Cleveland.
And the picture on the right-hand side of your screen, full screen is, it's obvious, welcome home, Amanda. Amanda's home. Amanda Berry, who has not been in that home as a child, teenager now, or as a young woman in her 20s for a decade. She's now in that home and she's going to come out. She's indicated she'd like to make a public address. She'd like to tell the public -- I don't know much about her ordeal, but she wants to tell the public about her thoughts. She wants a moment to gather her thoughts inside that home. We are waiting.
The police have a heavy presence outside the home asking the press to keep a respectful distance and there are hundreds of people, now, outside of that home, neighbors who are welcoming her there.
Our Gary Tuchman is right there alongside of them.
Gary, could you give me a feel for these neighbors, what they're saying, their mood s how they're feeling?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Ashleigh, it's a very surreal atmosphere. Never seen anything quite like this. Where you have girls who are now women who are missing for years, you know, for a decade and you have neighbors who in most cases don't know Amanda but are here as part of the celebration. They're so eager to see her. And everyone is excited and happy to see her. And they're waiting for her to come out. I can tell you, this is the only house she knows now. She was with her family, with cousins who were sitting on the porch expecting her to come yesterday saying this is the only place she can come because her mother passes away, her father lives in eastern Tennessee and her father recovering from surgery. So he's not going to be able to come up to Cleveland for at least a week. She may fly down to Tennessee to see him. But this is her only kin, her sister who lives here. And now the moment is about to arrive. The police pulled in as you see, six motorcycle officers, also police cars, security in the neighborhood, helicopters flying overhead and everyone just waiting to see Amanda Berry and her 6-year-old child born in captivity -- Ashleigh?
BANFIELD: It's just such an extraordinary story, Gary Tuchman.
I've got Jean Casarez here beside me, as well.
Look, obviously, this is a moment of jubilation for so many people welcoming her home. Obviously, Amanda Berry so relieved to be out of captivity, but at the same time, there's so much that young woman is facing. And in terms of the investigation, in terms of moving forward, I can only imagine what she's going to face and how many days of official work that she has to go through with police before she can truly just enjoy that home and enjoy her neighbors.
CASAREZ: Well, I think this moment could be extremely significant. This is the first time she's been in her home in many, many years. This could trigger memories.
BANFIELD: Gary just mentioned, her mother died while she was in captivity. And I believe this is her sister's home. And now this is the family home. It's hard for us to put -- it's hard to get your head around the fact that her sister was also a teenager when she disappeared.
CASAREZ: Sure. And this could trigger things, memories, and I can't stress enough the forensic investigation is going on at that home. And they're going to uncover things. But what she tells investigators on the continual basis is going to be critical to what they possibly can find forensically.
BANFIELD: I hope they can do this quickly. I hope they can release her from having to face these memories every day with people she has never known, with people who aren't her family members as delicate as they are in their job.
And we also heard from Martin Savidge that there are specialists with the FBI who are doing this investigation and questioning these victims.
CASAREZ: And you saw that two of them were female in the car that got out. The second car, two of those agents are female.
BANFIELD: It's going to be critical to all of this.
Our Martin Savidge standing by outside the justice center.
What are you hearing?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, just a couple of things, again, about Amanda's story. It is remarkable. She disappeared. They know when, it was 7:10 p.m., April 21st, 2003. One day before her 17th birthday, she was leaving work at a burger king at the area of 110th street and she said she had a ride home. That was the last she was ever heard from until now this dramatic week. That's one of the remarkable aspects.
But let's focus on the three men in custody right now. They, of course, apparently know the rest of the story after that. And what we're hearing from authorities, neighbors too, it sounds like it was a horrible experience that those three women were involved in. We also know that among those that are active in the investigation, the sex crimes unit of Cleveland and that indicates to you the focus.
BANFIELD: Martin, I apologize. I'm only going to cut you off. I want to get back to the neighborhood. The police are speaking. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: -- Amanda's rule today. Got it.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER, WJW: There you go from the commander of the --
BANFIELD: Sadly, we missed what he was saying. I think this was just another caution to the press and to the hundreds of neighbors who have shown up at Amanda Berry's Cleveland home, to just please give her space. Do not rush her when she comes out of her home.
She has agreed to give this public statement, to come out and face the public and address them. I don't know what it is she's going to say at this point how much of her ordeal she's going to discuss. Likely not much, but at least she's agreed she would like to do this. And the press -- the police are just making sure that the press and the neighbors who congregated give adequate space as they come out to address the public. And as I said, we are live outside that Cleveland home. Amanda Berry's, I believe, sister's home. So sadly her mother died while she was in captivity. And not many years past the disappearance of her young daughter who hadn't even turned 17.
It was the day before her birthday that Amanda Berry disappeared. Her birthday presents were still on her bed, according to family members. And that's what they told police when they said this is no run away. This is a young girl about to celebrate her birthday with her family, excited, with no issues at all that would indicate that she would run away and yet for 10 years, they would paper the neighborhoods with flyers, beseech the public to keep her alive in their hearts, to remember and then most importantly, they would not lose hope that one day they would see Amanda, even as the years droned on to a decade. Amanda Berry now home.
I want to bring in Dr. Wendy Walsh, who is a behavioral specialist who will talk about the vast areas that the police and families are going to have to cope with in trying to unravel this horrible mystery but also deal with the tenderness that these victims are going to have to be dealt with just because of what they've been through for such an extended period.
Wendy, can you weigh in with your background on what the police and families are going to have to deal with?
DR. WENDY WALSH, BEHAVIORAL SPECIALIST & PSYCHOLOGIST: I believe you asked me to weigh in on what kind of difficulty this might be to hold a press conference so early. It seems a little early, but television is what these young women have been exposed to. They may have been isolated and in captivity, but keep in mind that their only connection to the outside world was through the television. So for them to want to be able to speak their story and tell their truth through the television is probably very important to them.
Now, I would caution them to wait a little longer. We may see some cases of some kind of arrested development, in other words the emotional stage of which they were kidnapped is sort of where they may have stayed. We don't know how much education they got during that time. It's going to be a long, slow process. But for some reason it's important for her to talk to us today.
BANFIELD: Wendy, you make such a great point that these young women may have had their exposure to television. You could hear in the 911 call that Amanda Berry made the day she escaped that home that I'm Amanda Berry, Amanda Berry, I've been kidnapped, I've been on TV for 10 years, but I'm free now. She seemed very clear that the public should know that she'd been missing this long. And she mentioned television as well.
I want to just quickly go back to our live signal and listen in live at the house of Amanda Berry.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: We have worked diligently on this case. Vikki Anderson is a spokesperson, as is Sandy Morris, one for the police and one for the FBI.
VIKKI ANDERSON, FBI SPOKESPERSON: The sister of Amanda Berry will be coming out to speak to you guys in a couple minutes. We're asking she just make her statement. No questions. Please respect the privacy. The family's been through a lot in the last few years and they would like a little time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about Amanda?
ANDERSON: Not today.
UNIDENTIFIED WJW REPORTER: OK. Well, very different from what the commander has explained from the FBI, Vikki Anderson, telling us that it will be Beth Serrano, Amanda's sister who has talked to us many times, no stranger, unfortunately, for her --
UNIDENTIFIED WJW REPORTER: OK, very hard to hear Vikki Anderson from across the street, but what she said is Beth Serrano, Amanda's sister, will make the statement. And we will not see Amanda Berry. We will not see Amanda Berry's daughter. We're going to hear from Beth. They're not going to take questions.
Here she comes. Let's hear her.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Back it up.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Break it up. Break it up.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Everybody down.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Stop it. Stop it.
BETH SERRANO, SISTER OF AMANDA BERRY: We have Amanda and her daughter home. I want to thank the public and media for their support and courage over the years. And at this time, our family would request privacy so my sister and niece and I can have time to recover.
We appreciate all you have done for us throughout the past 10 years. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements. And thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Stay back please.
UNIDENTIFIED WJW REPORTER: We're waiting for the police to push back some of the media right now.
We're in a media crunch here, as you can see Beth Serrano. That is the sister --
-- of Amanda Berry.
BANFIELD: Gary, I don't know if you can hear me. This is such a confused scene. Obviously, they had not planned for the number of media outlets that needed to try to at least get the audio to be able to hear what Beth Serrano was just saying. But it's a confusing situation. I know you're somewhere nearby, can you tell us a little about Beth, appearance and what's going on in between sort of this whole crush of neighbors and the press?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Ashleigh, we were told Amanda was going to speak. We were kind of surprised, to be honest with you after what she went through that she would be ready to deal with many members of the news media, but hundreds of neighbors here. But indeed, she is not ready to speak. Her sister, Beth Serrano, just came out. I don't know if you could hear her but she was very thankful for support. She was very emotional. Said we need quiet right now, but my sister is in the House, she is in the house with her child. We are elated. Then everyone clapped and she went back in the house. We anticipate one of these days maybe soon talking to Amanda too. But we understand, as human beings and parents and brothers and sisters, need to get privacy right now. It's a wonderful moment, a happy ending that thankfully truthfully many people did not ever, ever in this Cleveland area expect to see.
BANFIELD: Gary Tuchman, completely understandable with the amount of information being released at such a rapid pace how there can be confusion, how the police can make the mistake and tell us that Amanda had indicated she wanted to speak and, in fact, the FBI saying not at all, this is her sister who's going to come out.
I'm not 100 percent clear, I couldn't hear perfectly. It did sound as though her sister, Beth Serrano, mentioned we need time to make a statement. So I don't know if there will be another statement in the future, but at this point this is very, very confusing and it is such last-minute nobody prepared for a press conference. So understandable that the press, you know, tried to get as close as they could to hear what was being said.
Our Martin Savidge is standing by live in Cleveland as the justice center.
I don't know if you could hear much of what Amanda's sister, Beth, just said, but it doesn't look like we'll get a statement from her any time soon. What are you learning?
SAVIDGE: Well, I heard the statement. I could hear pretty clearly, one, they wanted to thank the media and public for their support. And also twice she made a strong appeal she needs privacy, her sister needs privacy, they need time. It's been a decade or more. They need to get back together again. I think it's clearly understood. Frightening actually to hear. I could only hear the commotion that's there. And that's part of the story here is that when you talk to local officials, they don't get it as far as how much media is here or why. The reason we know why is it is so rare, Ashleigh, in these circumstances of missing people, not one, three of them, walk out of this horrible circumstance alive. And that is remarkable, and I think news that the world wants. It's no wonder they're being overwhelmed.
BANFIELD: It's no wonder at all. It is such a remarkable story. It is filled with good news that they are alive and safe. It is cluttered with horrors, terrible news, the likes of which are only going to get worse as the increased details in this investigation become public and ultimately as any potential legal investigation leads to a trial or any kind of action against these three -- these three alleged perpetrators, brothers allegedly involved in the captivity of those three young victims.
As the story continues to unfold, we are watching it live from all angles. We are also watching live as critical hearings begin on Capitol Hill on the affairs of Benghazi. And that is coming to you live next with my colleague, Wolf Blitzer. We continue to cover this story here and bring it to you live, next.