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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Escape from Captivity; Body Politics; Sanford's Spectacular Comeback

Aired May 8, 2013 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Three women missing for a decade found alive. Police continue their investigation into a Cleveland house of horrors. Three suspects behind bars and now, their families are speaking out.

Charles Ramsey says he is no hero. The neighbor who helped save the three kidnapped women will tell you how all of this went down and what is haunting him right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And new developments in the dilemma over what to do with the body of suspected Boston marathon bomber as protesters line the streets in front of the funeral home that holds his remains.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this special edition of EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin live in Cleveland, Ohio. It is Wednesday, May 8th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

So, let's get started here. We are waiting to find out this morning what kind of horror these three women endured during a decade of captivity in this home right behind me on Seymour Avenue here on Cleveland's west side.

FBI agents have been combing through the house ever since Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight's dramatic escape on Monday. It's not yet clear what they have found inside.

Later today, FBI will interview kidnapping suspects Pedro, Onil and Ariel Castro for the very first time. The brothers could also be charged today.

And Amanda Berry's whose chilling 911 call brought an end to this unimaginable ordeal getting a chance to reconnect by phone with her grandmother and other family members in Tennessee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA BERRY, KIDNAPPING VICTIM (via telephone): Hello?

FERN GENTRY, AMANDA BERRYS' GRANDMOTHER: Amanda?

BERRY: Yes, grandma.

GENTRY: Yes. How are you?

BERRY: I'm fine.

GENTRY: Glad to have you back.

BERRY: It's good to be back.

GENTRY: I thought you were gone.

BERRY: Nope, I'm here.

GENTRY: We're happy down here for you.

BERRY: Thank you so much. I miss everybody. I love you guys so much.

GENTRY: The little girl is your baby?

BERRY: Yes, she's my daughter, born on Christmas (ph).

GENTRY: I thought about you all this time. I never forgot you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh.

And now to the investigation. A lot of questions this morning about what went on inside this home for the last 10 years.

Martin Savidge is live from the county justice center where the suspects are being held.

And, Martin, what we want to know really is, are we going to be seeing charges today in connection to this?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Zoraida. Boy, how moving was that phone call.

Talking about the charges on the three brothers that now stand in custody in the justice center behind us here. I talked to FBI agents about this. This is a joint investigation. So, it is both federal and local.

The FBI is saying that normally, it would be about 36 hours they were anticipating charges, could be a little bit longer due to the, quote- unquote, "special nature" of this investigation. They wouldn't go for the details.

If the charges come today, it is likely it will happen in the building behind us here. It's also anticipated more interrogations of those three brothers will take place. But the focus right now still on that home, and fan FBI forensic team going through it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE (voice-over): The investigators scour the home on Seymour Avenue, searching for evidence in this house of horrors. Throughout the day and late into the night, FBI agents meticulously search, removing the front door, searching the crawl space, carting away a red pickup and a jeep.

At one point, bringing in a cadaver dog. It's not known what if anything the dog found, the FBI taking the lead in the search.

DET. JENNIFER CIACCIA, CLEVELAND P.D.: This is just the tip of the iceberg this investigation will take a very long time.

SAVIDGE: The three suspects, 52-year-old Ariel Castro, his brothers Pedro and Onil behind bars. They will face more interrogation today.

Authorities have 48 hours to file charges, and that window closes later tonight.

In the neighborhood, residents are still celebrating the jubilance tempered with shock and disbelief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unreal.

TITO DEJESUS, FRIEND OF ARIEL CASTRO: I know who lived there. They panned the camera to his house. It's like I turned white. My wife told me, what was wrong? Are you OK? I was like, I was dumbfounded.

SAVIDGE: Away from the cameras, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, the three women who endured a decade of captivity trying to piece their shattered lives back together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a miracle, a very, very large miracle. And we're all excited.

SAVIDGE: And in Tennessee -- Amanda Berry's grandmother got a very important phone call from the granddaughter she hasn't seen in years.

BERRY: Hello?

GENTRY: Amanda?

BERRY: Yes, grandma.

GENTRY: Yes, how are you?

SAVIDGE: A giant step in trying to close the door on this house of horrors.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: Right, at that moment is when the lights went out here. As far as the interrogation of the three men, I was asking how exactly or who will conduct it, they say it's a combination of FBI, and also the local sex crimes unit. As we adjust the lights here.

And the reason we're told is that it gives you an indication of where this investigation may be going, Zoraida. If it's a local sex crimes unit, it's clear that they are looking at these women as possibly being held for that time as sex slaves.

Zoraida, back to you.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Martin Savidge, reporting live for us. We're going to try to fix those lights and check back in with you. Thank you.

And Cleveland dishwasher Charles Ramsey is being called a hero for his role in rescuing the three women and child who were held captive for years. He's quite a character. He's become a viral video star for his colorful description of everything that happened.

In an exclusive interview, Ramsey tells CNN's Anderson Cooper he's had a hard time sleeping after helping to set the captives free.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What does it feel like to have been living next to this for a year?

CHARLES RAMSEY, HELPED FREE MISSING WOMEN: See, that's why now I'm having trouble sleep. See, up until yesterday, the only thing that kept me from losing sleep was the lack of money. Do you understand what I'm saying?

COOPER: Yes.

RAMSEY: So now that that's going on, and I could have done this last year, not this hero stuff, just do the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: So, we're going to hear more of what Charles Ramsey had to say to Anderson Cooper. That is coming up at the bottom of the hour.

And Jaycee Dugard who herself was held captive for a year says the women who were abducted in Cleveland can't let that experience define them. Dugard says she was 11 years old back in 1991 when convicted rapist Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy shocked her with a stun gun and held her captive for years in Antioch, California.

She appeared in Washington last night to accept an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAYCE DUGARD, HELD CAPTIVE FOR 18 YEARS: Thank you for tonight and I want to say what an amazing time to be talking about hope with everything that's happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBLIN: Dugard also says the women rescued in Cleveland need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world.

And, John, I've got to tell you, I had an opportunity to speak with Michele's family yesterday. And they, too, are going through this healing process. But they are so overjoyed that this girl has reappeared. They said for a while they had no idea that she had been kidnapped. They thought she had gone to live with somebody else.

And all of these developments, as they were happening, all they're looking forward to is bringing her back home.

BERMAN: Zoraida, the mixture of emotions in Cleveland simply has to be overwhelming. Thanks so much for that. We'll come back to you in just a moment.

SAMBOLIN: It is.

BERMAN: A lot of other news to talk about this morning.

New this morning, while you were sleeping, a Southwest Airlines flight diverted because of several unruly passengers on board. The flight took off from Orlando, Florida, and was headed to Providence, Rhode Island, but late last night, it diverted to Charleston International Airport. Three passengers were disruption, unruly and failed to follow instructions from the flight crew. They are in FBI custody.

Also new this morning, at least three people killed when a container ship rammed a control power in the northern port city of Genoa, Italy. Seven people were reported missing right now. Rescue crews on the scene searching the water for them.

There's fear that some people are trapped inside the elevator of the control tower. That tower is huge. It stands 160 feet tall and was just destroyed by the impact. No word on what caused the injuries or the ship to crash.

We're also following new developments in the Boston marathon bombings. The dilemma over what to do with the remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev continues this morning. Protesters have been demonstrating outside the funeral home where his body has been taken. Tsarnaev's uncle is asking the government to help find a solution.

CNN's Paula Newton live in Boston this morning.

Good morning, Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, good morning, John.

You know, we could learn within hours that there is some type of solution to this. The problem is it may fall short of what many here in Boston would like.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON (voice-over): The body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev is still at this funeral home. His resting place has been so contentious Worcester police are now trying to broker a way out, meeting with the funeral director and Tsarnaev's uncle.

But it's clear there is no simple solution in sight. SERGEANT KERRY HAZELHURST, WORCESTER POLICE DEPT.: I don't think he's going to specifically target Massachusetts. I think he's trying to reach out to anybody or anywhere.

NEWTON: The mayor of Boston vows Tsarnaev won't be buried in his city.

MAYOR THOMAS MENINO, BOSTON: It's not dignified to put him in Boston. He's not from Boston. He's from someplace else. He should go back to his homeland.

NEWTON: Ruslan Tsarni, Tsarnaev's uncle, knows his family would like his nephew's remains returned to Russia, but it's unclear if Russia would accept his body for burial.

In the bizarre set of circumstances involving Tsarnaev's remains has been hurtful to some. The family of Brittany Loring says they are trying to put the whole thing out of their minds, concentrating instead of their sister and daughter, a bombing victim trying to recover from leg injuries and a skull fracture. For Brittany, a difficult road ahead, rehabilitation, how to pay for medical bills. They say that's where the attention should be, on the victims.

ALYSSA LORING, SISTER OF BRITTANY LORING: To hear that people are trying to block his remains from being buried, I have mixed feelings about it. I try not to think about it, though, because it's not anything that my energy is going to help.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Such an absurd situation for the family and victims to deal with that at this point. John, we have reached out to Tsarnaev's family in Russia. Still no word from them. We still know their preferred option is that Tamerlan's remains return to Russia. I have no idea if that's possible and neither does the government at this point -- John.

BERMAN: Hopefully, it is something worked out in the next few days. Obviously, as you said, an absurd situation for the families involved.

Paula Newton in Boston, our thanks to you.

Amanda Knox labeled a seductress, an ice queen, a devil, a killer. But she insists she did not murder her roommate, Meredith Kercher during their year abroad in Italy. Knox talks about what she's been through in her new book.

And during last night's CNN special, "Amanda Knox: The Unanswered Questions," our Chris Cuomo asked about Kercher's loved ones and their need for justice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The bottom line is if they want a retrial, what does it mean about how they feel about you? AMANDA KNOX, FACING MURDER RETRIAL IN ITALY: It means they think I'm guilty. And I know this. And I mean, they are grieving the loss of their family member. They deserve to have every answer.

The idea that someone knows what happened or was a part of what happened and isn't saying anything and isn't being held responsible is maddening. I understand that. But it's not -- I'm not responsible for what happened. I didn't do it. I wasn't there. I don't know anything more about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Knox says the prospect of going back to Italy to face trial again cripples her with.

A political resurrection is complete. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford returns from scandal and scores a big win. How he pulled this off, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

It is a spectacular political comeback. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, once so badly tarnished by an affair that few ever thought he would recover -- well, he is now headed back to Congress.

Our national political correspondent Jim Acosta breaks down his big win.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA CONG.-ELECT: Some guy came up to me the other day and he said, you look a lot like Lazarus.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once left for dead in the political wilderness, Mark Sanford blazed a comeback trail that will take him all the way to Washington.

SANFORD: I just want to acknowledge a -- a God not just of second chances, but third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight chances because that is the reality of our shared humanity.

ACOSTA: Sanford captured a vacant South Carolina congressional seat by a decisive margin, overcoming a scandal that nearly destroyed his political career. The extramarital affair with a mistress from Argentina that he once falsely claimed was the hike on the Appalachian Trail may finally be behind them.

(on camera): Is this redemption?

SANFORD: You know, I think we're always on a search for redemption. And I think this is certainly a great political redemption. We'll see where things go from here. It's less about that than there is about the second chance to make an impact in Washington, D.C., where I think impact is desperately needed.

ACOSTA: If Sanford's life has at times seemed like a trashy romance novel, this latest chapter has been a really page-turner. For some voters, all was forgiven.

KAREN DAVIS, VOTER: Ye who is without sin cast the first stone.

ACOSTA: Others not so much.

(on camera): Are you tired of him?

HEIDI MCALLISTER FRANCIS, COLBERT BUSCH: I don't like him. I don't trust him.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But it wasn't enough to help Sanford's opponent, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert in this conservative district.

ELIZABETH COLBERT BUSCH (D), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I will continue to fight for all of you in South Carolina.

SANFORD: Thank you as well for being here. Appreciate it. Thank you.

ACOSTA: As for Sanford, his personal life is also on the mend. His mistress is now his fiancee, a chapter she's keeping private for now.

MARIA BELEN CHAPUR, MARK SANFORD'S FIANCEE: Thank you so much for everything. But it's his night. So I hope you understand.

ACOSTA (on camera): People are going to want to know, can we trust this guy? Is he going to let us down?

SANFORD: You asked that question before. You're coming back with the same question. I give you the same answer which is that -- that trust is ultimately earned.

ACOSTA: Sanford could be sworn in as early as this week, but Democrats are mocking his victory, with one top operative saying he should be placed on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But it's Sanford who is getting the last laugh -- he won.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: About 18 minutes after the hour right now.

Other top stories we're watching this morning.

Delaware has joined the growing list of states approving same-sex marriage. The Democratic Governor Jack Markell signed the measure into law shortly after the state senate approved it in a 12-9 vote. That makes it the 11th state, plus the District of Columbia to do so. Gay rights activists hailed the law's passage saying it represents momentum for supporters of marriage equality laws across the nation. As things heat up in Michael Jackson's wrongful death trial, a stunning new court filing. Allegations of child sex abuse from a dancer choreographer who defended Jackson during a 2005 child molestation trial. Wayne Robson, who is now 30, is asking for permission to file a late claim against the dead singer's estate. Details of the allegation are sealed.

The judge in the trial of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes says Holmes must show good cause to change his not guilty plea. Yesterday, defense attorneys notified the court of plans to change the plea do not guilty by reason of insanity. They will make their case before the judge next Monday.

Coming up, a record day on Wall Street. The Dow closes above 15,000 for the first time ever. So, should that rally make you optimistic about the economy?

Details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. We are minding your business this morning.

And it looks good. The Dow closes above 15,000 for the first time ever.

Christine Romans is here to talk about this.

The big question, you know, it's a big round number. What's the real significance behind it then?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, these are always psychological milestones, but this one is a big one, in part because this is the fastest start to the year in any bull market since the 1999 tech boom.

And your investments in your 401(k) are based on the S&P 500, the broader market, and it is up big as well for the year. So, let's not talk about 15,000, let's talk about what we've done here.

The Dow is up almost 15 percent for the year, that's more than it gained during all of last year, NASDAQ up 12.5 percent. And the S&P 500, the stock portion of your portfolio, likely reflects the S&P 500 is up 14 percent. Those are your major gains for an entire year, it's only May.

So, let me show you the rally in terms of real money. Let's say you invested 2,500 bucks in January of this year. If you bought in a fund that tracked the Dow, your investment would be worth $2,872. You know, that's the math. If you bought in to the NASDAQ, $2,812; $2,850 for the S&P 500.

Now, most of you I hope are dollar cost averaging, meaning you're buying every month through your 401(k), or with a special arrangement with the mutual fund company or something. And that means it moves out these gains, but you've had a very nice year.

In the savings account, I just saw a C.D. advertised for $10,000 for a half percent to hold your money for two years. That's why people are in the stock market. The price of your home likely hasn't gone up by very much over the past few years. You're not getting a 15 percent, or 20 percent raise at work, that's why people are telling me they're not feeling this rally overall. But investors say it's the only place to try to get in and make some money in the economy right now.

Do you think you're a sucker if you right now to buy stocks?

BERMAN: Is it a good time?

ROMANS: Well, by one measure, the rally still has some serious potential. P/E ratio, they measure how cheap or expensive stocks are, John, by using stock prices and what the company earned. So, by this measure, the current value for this market is about 15. That's the P/E ratio today.

Look at '90s bull market. Look at the historical average.

So, if you follow P/E ratios, that's telling you the market doesn't feel rich quite yet. As for today, investors seem to be taking a little bit of a break. We've got futures down slightly right now. I think you're going to see some jagged action as we look for clues about what the economy is doing.

But investors keep plugging away in here. They say the Fed is keeping inter interests rates low, the economy is slowly healing. It's the only game in town. They keep buying stocks.

BERMAN: Quite a run.

ROMANS: Yes, sure is.

BERMAN: All right. Christine Romans, thanks so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: Ahead on EARLY START, he's being called a hero by many. He is going viral online. More of Anderson Cooper's exclusive interview with a neighbor who helped save those three women held captive in Cleveland.

Plus, a plea from Dennis Rodman to his buddies in North Korea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: The plot thickens. Shocking new details emerging in the Cleveland triple kidnapping case. We are live on the scene with the very latest.

And the hero neighbor and now the Internet sensation, Charles Ramsey, has one wish -- that he could have saved the three women a lot sooner.

BERMAN: And new evidence involving the attack on Benghazi. House Republicans say they will make this new evidence public today.

Welcome back to a special edition of EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: Nice to see you, John. I'm Zoraida Sambolin, live in Cleveland, Ohio.