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Ariel Castro Charged, Arraigned; Psychology of Surviving an Adduction; Body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev Buried; House Committee Holds Boston Bombing Hearing; House Hearing on Benghazi Attack; Elizabeth Smart Reaches Out to Rescued Women

Aired May 9, 2013 - 13:30   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR Appearing in a packed Ohio courtroom today, Ariel Castro, the man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them prison in his home for nearly a decade. He was arraigned on kidnapping and rape charges. He's now being held on an $8 million bond. Castro kept his head down during the entire proceeding earlier this morning. He never spoke a word. He didn't enter a plea.

Another new development in the case today, a high-ranking law enforcement source says officials have recovered an apparent suicide note that Castro is believed to have written back in 2004. The source says the note refers to a relative abusing him in the past.

Prosecutors say Castro beat and sexually assaulted the three women and restrained them with ropes and chains. But they say the women weren't always tied up. So many people are wondering why they didn't try to escape earlier.

CNN's Anderson Cooper put that question to a woman held captive and tortured by her polygamist husband. Here's what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA COWEN, HELD CAPTIVE BY POLYGAMIST HUSBAND: Everybody asked, why do women stay. And it's so many different reasons. It's not just one. I mean, it's threats. I'm quite sure the women were threatened. I was threatened. He probably threatened them, the child, even probably threatened family members if they left.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Law enforcement source says there were beatings, that he would do trial runs where he would leave, pretend to leave, and if they looked like they were trying to get out, he would surprise them and beat them.

COWEN: Exactly. And that happened to me several times also.

COOPER: Really?

COWEN: Oh, yes, definitely. With victims like that, they go through a survivor mode. You know what I mean? I think it's called Stockholm Syndrome, where they kind of relate to the captor, you know, and try to please him. Really, they're just trying to stay alive.

COOPER: It happens pretty quickly from what I understand. People kind of accept their new circumstances.

COWEN: Now, that's a psychological trauma. They do. And they see there's no hope and really go into a depressed mode and a post- traumatic stress disorder. So, you know, I'm surprised and glad that the girls made it out alive. You know, a lot of women do not make it out of situations like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Thankfully, these three women did survive.

Joining us from Los Angeles is David Swanson, a licensed clinical psychologist.

David, thank you very much for coming in.

What's your take on why these women didn't try to escape earlier?

DAVID SWANSON, LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, look, I think when you're put into a situation like that, the fear is overwhelming. You're getting constantly beaten, bones are being broken, teeth are being lost. You heard Anderson talk about this, when you try to leave, oftentimes, you're put to the test and beaten for any of those attempts. So your sense of hope that you'll get out of something like this diminishes over time.

BLITZER: On Monday, as you know, Amanda Berry took the lead on the escape. Why does that tell you -- what does that tell you about the mindset of her and the fact that the other two women were apparently too afraid to follow her and to try to escape that day?

SWANSON: You know, Wolf, that's a great question. And she is truly a hero. You and I both have kids. And I think, in my heart, I truly believe that what happened is this child gave her a new resolve. It renewed her hope. And one thing for sure, she was not going to let her child die in a house like this. And I think that's why you saw her make that attempt, to save her child.

BLITZER: Take us through the psychological stages -- and you've studied this -- of a kidnapped victim.

SWANSON: When something like this happens to you, it is overwhelming. You can't believe it. You're in denial. You're in shock. But as the beatings continue and as you start to find that there's no hope of getting out of here, you start to kind of accept this. And so very oftentimes, people learn that if I can appease the person who's keeping me captive, I'll stay alive. And that's the dynamic that you start to see happen. They start to please the person who's abducted them and they start to kind of not really want to rock the boat because, oftentimes, they know that's going to bring them a lot of pain and punishment.

BLITZER: There's no indication, at least I haven't seen any, that any of these three women identified with the alleged captor. So what causes some victims to have what we all know as the so-called Stockholm Syndrome? Others don't necessarily get it, but some do, where they begin to identify with the captors?

SWANSON: Yes. These cases are very rare, Wolf. What we know is that usually cases of trauma, they make us regress emotionally. And so if you think back to that earlier stage in life, that first year of life, attachment and bonding with the caregiver kept you alive. They fed you. On the other hand, we also suspect that this is a process of rationalization. You're in a situation where you're constantly beaten and traumatized and this is too much to take. So the brain kind of makes that switch. It starts to say, let's look at the brighter side, I'm being fed, I haven't been beaten in seven days, I think I can do this. And this is a process of survival mode just trying to stay alive.

But, again, when you look at the stats, only about a quarter of people who are abducted actually endure the Stockholm Syndrome.

BLITZER: Interesting point.

David, thanks very much.

David Swanson, joining us from L.A.

The first hearings on the Boston bombings began actually this morning. One former Senator says it was possible to prevent the attacks. Stay with us.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The standoff over where to bury the Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is now over. Police in Worcester, Massachusetts, say Tsarnaev's body is now entombed. But they're not saying where. And it's -- it had been at a funeral home in Worcester since the attack on the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago.

Here's what police had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. KERRY HAZELHURST, SPOKESPERSON, WORCESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT: As a result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased. His body is no longer in the city of Worcester and is now entombed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Tsarnaev's mother said, by telephone from Russia, she does not know whether her son is buried and she does not know if he is -- where he is buried.

Up on Capitol Hill here today, here in Washington, the first congressional hearing into the Boston bombings. The House Homeland Security Committee opened the hearing earlier this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, (R-TX), CHAIRMAN, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: The attacks in Boston shook this nation and brought back memories of that day in September 2001 that changed our lives forever. I'm confident that we will emerge from this tragedy stronger than ever before. Anyone who thinks they can execute an attack on this country and change our way of life greatly underestimates our spirit and our resolve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Our Joe Johns is following this story for us.

Joe, what are the lawmakers hoping to learn at this hearing?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this was an overview with the Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis' star witness and exploring what was done right and what was done wrong and probably why. The single most important questions got asked and answered. Near the beginning of the hearing, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, you saw there, Mike McCaul, asking Ed Davis if his department had been informed that Russian intelligence had issued a warning to the United States about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Davis said no, and that's important because Davis said if Boston police had been told about the guy, they might have kept an eye on him. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAUL: You knew of a Russian intelligence warning that this man is an extremist and may travel overseas and the fact he did travel overseas and come back into the United States, would that may not have caused you to give this individual a second look?

ED DAVIS, COMMISSIONER, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: There's more to this story, of course. The FBI, which wasn't represented at the hearing today, says it checked out the Russian warning, didn't find anything derogatory about Tsarnaev and then asked Russia for more information. When Russia didn't give them anything else, they dropped it.

The other thing to say about this, the FBI has a list of procedures it has to go through in dealing with one of these initial investigations. So legally, there's a question whether they had the legal right to do anything more than they did. Some time down the road perhaps, Wolf, we will hear more about that. The hearing's over by the way.

BLITZER: Couldn't they have at least consulted with local law enforcement about this guy? I can understand that they can't necessarily put him on any list if they came up empty handed, but before they came to that conclusion, why didn't the FBI at least ask the police in Boston you know anything about this guy? Should we be checking him out? Anything like that? JOHNS: That's an absolutely reasonable question. And all we know is what the FBI says. And what the FBI says is that they checked him out, nothing found, closed the investigation. The investigation is what other steps the FBI might have been able to take.

By the way, it's pretty clear from speaking to sources at the FBI that they felt they had a pretty good working relationship with Ed Davis and gave him a lot of cooperation and got a lot of cooperation in return otherwise.

BLITZER: Yes. I hope they learned some lessons.

They also heard from the retired Senator, former chairman of the Senate committee, Joe Lieberman, made an appearance on Capitol Hill. What did he say?

JOHNS: He kicked off the hearing. Something he said really sticks in my mind. He says in his view, it might have been difficult, but he does believe the Boston bombings might have been prevented. So that's something else to sort of stick in the bucket and think about for a while. A lot of other people as well have said that -- Wolf?

BLITZER: In fairness to the FBI and everyone else, all of us are a lot smarter with 20/20 hindsight than at the time.

All right, Joe, check out to see why the FBI never bothered, apparently -- if we believe what that police chief said, and I believe the police chief -- why they never even consulted --

JOHNS: Absolutely.

BLITZER: -- about Tsarnaev once the Russians said this guy is a problem.

All right, thanks very much.

JOHNS: And we've reached out to them, you bet.

BLITZER: I know you'll be back in "The Situation Room" later today as well.

It may be the largest bank robbery in history. And the criminals didn't even use a gun or a weapon. Standby, we'll explain.

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BLITZER: And this Sunday, don't forget Anthony Bourdain heads to Morocco. A city, Tangier, unlike any other, with a party atmosphere and, of course, great food. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," 9:00 p.m. eastern, Sunday, only here on CNN.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: In Utah, a teenager accused in the death of a soccer referee could be charged as an adult. The district attorney's office in Salt Lake City -- Salt Lake County, I should say -- says it intends to charge the teen with homicide by assault. The referee seen here was punched in the face during a match last month. He suffered serious head injuries, died a week later.

More fallout today following the House hearing on the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans at the diplomatic outpost. Republicans are calling for a Select House Committee to look into what the administration knew and when they knew it. The House speaker, John Boehner, also called on the White House to release specific e- mails from the days immediately after the September 11th attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We learned that on September 12th, the day after the attacks, and four days before Susan Rice's TV appearances, a senior State Department official e-mailed her superiors to relay that the Libyan ambassador -- she had told the Libyan ambassador that the attack was conducted by Islamic terrorists. The State Department would not allow our committees to keep copies of this e-mail when it was reviewed. And I would call on the president to order the State Department to release this e-mail so that the American people can see it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Yesterday, a high-level Foreign Service officer testified about the final time he spoke with the now-slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Gregory Hicks also said an inflammatory anti- Muslim video out there on YouTube, initially cited as cause of the alleged protest, was a nonevent in Libya. He testified that everybody at the U.S. mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning, despite subsequent Obama administration claims.

We're going to have much more on the Benghazi investigation coming up in "The Situation Room" during both our 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. eastern hours.

Federal prosecutors today formally charged eight people for their part of a worldwide cyber crime ring. A U.S. attorney in New York said the suspects took out nearly $3 million from Manhattan banks in a two-hour period. They used stolen PIN numbers and debit cards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY, NEW YORK: Good morning, everyone. This was a 21st-century bank heist that reached through the Internet to span the globe. But instead of guns and masks, this cyber-crime organization used laptops and malware. Moving literally at the speed of the Internet, the organization made its way from the computer systems of international corporations to the streets of New York as well as major cities around the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: The feds and the Secret Service, they are still working on naming everyone in a global high-tech ring of thieves believed to have stolen a total of $45 million from banks in several countries.

It's a fascinating advance in medicine. Scientists have developed prosthetic hands that are letting amputees do things they could never do before. And a Pennsylvania man now has two of them.

Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: March 1, 2008, that was the day that life as Jason Koger knew it, changed. The husband and young father was riding his four-wheeler when he came in contact with a downed power line. Next thing he remembers, waking up in the hospital three days later. He was alive, but both his hands were gone. They'd had to be amputated.

(MUSIC)

(LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: He didn't let that new reality get him down. His focus immediately, making life with prosthetics.

(MUSIC)

GUPTA: Five years now after the accident, Koger is embracing another first. He's the first double-hand amputee in the world to receive prosthetic hands that can be controlled with a mobile application.

This is part of a new wave in prosthetic technology. The Eye-Limb Ultra Revolution are now available to the masses. The U.K.-based developer says it is the closest thing to a real human hand. Unlike most conventional prosthetics, this hand boosts five individually powered fingers, including a fully rotatable thumb. The new app technology allows for movements that many of us take for granted, like this, a tripod grip to pick up a pen. The skin over the prosthesis helps double amputees, like Jason, use the app, and he can even customize grip patterns to use tools like his electronic drill.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: That's amazing. Amazing technology.

Elizabeth Smart certainly knows the horror of being a captive but says she can't even imagine what it was like for women held for nine years in Cleveland. Up next, we'll ask her if it's possible to fully recover.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The dramatic rescue of three women held captive in Ohio has certainly shocked the nation and indeed the world. Elizabeth Smart knows firsthand the nightmare of being kidnapped and then held captive. She has some advice now for the women and their loved ones.

Here's CNN's Stephanie Elam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH SMART, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: It is just more confirmation and more proof to me that happy endings do exist.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elizabeth Smart, who says she's thrilled for the three women freed in Ohio, knows firsthand about happy endings. In June of 2002, when she was just 14 years old, Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom by Brian David Mitchell. He held her hostage until she was discovered walking down the street with Mitchell five miles from her home some nine months later.

(on camera): How do you even digest that kind of time?

SMART: I don't think you even can. I was only gone for nine months and I felt that was an eternity. I can't imagine nine, 10, 12 years. It's unbelievable. But I think it says just a world about the courage and the strength of each of these women.

(CHEERING)

ELAM (voice-over): Women who, despite their strength, may be overwhelmed by all of the attention, says Smart, while, at the same time, trying to process their emotions.

SMART: It's a different route for everybody. For me, my family, my religion, the support of my community have all been a huge factor in my recovery. It can be very -- it can be a very dark, hard journey, but time passes. And just take it day by day.

ELAM (on camera): Is it possible to fully recover?

SMART: I would say I recovered. I'm recovered, but, at the same time, I would certainly hope that today I'm a better person than I was yesterday.

ELAM (voice-over): And despite what was taken from her, Smart can forgive.

SMART: Forgiving someone doesn't necessarily mean you have to invite them to your home for Sunday dinner. You can forgive them and have nothing more to do with them and move on with your own life.

ELAM: It's a message from her mother that Smart would share with the rescued women.

SMART: This man has taken so much of your life, there's not words strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is, but the best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy, because by dwelling on the past and by holding on to the pain and the hurt that you've had to go through, that's only allowing him to steal more of your life away from you, and he doesn't deserve that.

ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Salt Lake City.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: She's one impressive young woman, Elizabeth Smart.

Thank you, Stephanie, for that report.

Carnival Cruise back in the news again. This time, two passengers vanish from a ship. We'll have details.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Authorities in Australia are looking for a couple who fellow overboard off a Carnival Cruise ship. They believe the 30 year old and the 27 year old fell from as high as halfway up the side of the ship. They went overboard about 93 miles off the coast of New South Wales. They were on a 10-day Pacific Island cruise with family and friends at the time. Sad story.

That's it for me. See you 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room."

Brooke Baldwin picks it up from here. She's live in Cleveland.