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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Castro Arraigned; Ariel Castro's Daughter Speaks Out; The Investigation Continues in Cleveland; Prince Harry Goes To Washington
Aired May 10, 2013 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): International cyber theft ring steal $45 million, almost all of it cash from banks around the world. How on Earth did they pull this off? Someone has some explaining to do.
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BERMAN (on-camera): Welcome back to this special edition of EARLY START. I'm John Berman in New York.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. I'm live in Cleveland. We're going to get to the very latest here. A private person, a torture chamber, these are just some of the words used by prosecutors to describe what went on for an entire ten years inside the house right here behind me on Seymour Street.
The man who lived at 2207 Seymour Avenue, Ariel Castro, made his first court appearance yesterday. He was arraigned on kidnapping and rape charges, and prosecutors plan to pursue an aggravated murder charge. Why? For the death of one of his victims' fetuses. They're saying those were five alleged deaths there.
We're also getting an exclusive first look at the backyard of Ariel Castro's home along with a glimpse of his shadowy past. Let's go live to Pam Brown. She is at to the house of one of the victims, Gina DeJesus. What can you tell us, Pam?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Zoraida. We're actually at the aunt's house of Gina DeJesus. And as you can see behind me here, there are batches of balloons outside the home really just showing the outpouring of community support since Gina DeJesus arrived here at her aunt's home.
Our Anderson Cooper spoke to one of her aunts, Sandra Ruiz, and last night, she said that Gina is in good spirits, that she's doing well, and that the family is thrilled to have her back. Take a listen.
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SANDRA RUIZ, GINA DEJESUS AUNT: She's very, very happy to be outside, but unfortunately, it was short-lived.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Why, some news helicopters or something? RUIZ: Yes.
COOPER: Terrible. What -- I mean, how is the family doing to have her back?
RUIZ: Words cannot express, cannot express, the joy that we have.
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BROWN: And, Zoraida, also in the interview where aunt talks about how, in some ways, you know, she left one prison and, in some way, she's in another prison talking about just all the media attention, the fact that she was outside and then had to come back in because of the news helicopters. So, the family is, of course, requesting the privacy and really giving Gina her space to adapt back to this new reality for her.
BERMAN: Pam, it's John back in New York here. Could Ariel Castro, at this point, when we know about the charges he is facing, could there be more of them?
BROWN: Well, John, right now, we know that he's facing four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. And we heard from the county prosecutor yesterday, and basically, prosecutors are evaluating all possible charges they can bring forward. And there was talk about bringing aggravated murder charges forward.
We heard yesterday in that initial incident report that Castro allegedly caused miscarriages of Michele Knight, that he would punch her in the stomach and starve her so that she had miscarriages, at least, five that we know of. And of course, John, if aggravated murder charges are brought forward, he could face, Castro could face the death penalty. But again, no other charges have been filed outside the seven charges before.
SAMBOLIN: I'm hearing about some writings that happened back in 2004. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
BROWN: Yes, Zoraida. According to sources, Castro wrote, quote, "a diary of his actions." These were documents that he wrote, basically, detailing his actions and the reasons behind his actions, rationalizing his actions. And he talks about in these notes, according to sources, how he was abused by a family member. And he said that that justifies his actions towards these three women that he allegedly abducted.
And you know, to point out here, this was written in 2004 according to sources. This was after all three of the women had been abducted. And we know that at least part of it, an aspect of these notes, talked about thoughts of suicide.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Pamela Brown live outside of the aunt of Gina DeJesus for us this morning. We really appreciate that. Thank you very much.
So, we're also hearing for the very first time from the daughter of Ariel Castro. Angie Gregg spoke exclusively with CNN, to Laurie Segall. She recalled the disgust that she felt the moment she first heard what her father had done. Despite the anger and all of the heartbreaks she now feels, Castro's daughter says her father was generous to her and her sister, even giving her a puppy.
And a clear picture this morning of how this all happened, the man who was engaged to Ariel Castro's former wife says there were signs throughout the years that he could, indeed, be a monster. CNN's Brian Todd has more for us.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Looking down and despondent, Ariel Castro hears the words from a judge, indicating he won't get out of jail any time soon. With four cases against him, that means his bond is $8 million. His defense attorney says he doesn't have any money.
Castro doesn't respond as she speaks to him. The prosecutor has plenty to say about how Castro allegedly treated Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight while they were held in his house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- captivity -- repeated beating. They were bound and restrained and sexually assaulted, basically, never free (ph) to leave this residence.
TODD: The details get more horrifying in a police incident report obtained by CNN. One of the women held captive, Michele Knight, said in the report that she was pregnant at least five times but was starved and punched until she eventually miscarried. According to the police report, Amanda Berry stayed at the six-year-old girl she gave birth to inside the house is Ariel Castro's child.
A source familiar with the investigation tells CNN when Berry went into labor, Castro ordered Michele Knight to deliver the child. The baby was delivered in a plastic tub or pool to contain the mess.
(on-camera) And the source says, once the child was born, there were moments of horror and panic. The child stopped breathing, according to the source. Everyone screamed, and Ariel Castro allegedly threatened to kill Michele Knight if the baby didn't survive.
(voice-over) According to the report, Michele Knight said she breathed into the child's mouth to keep her alive. The revelation that the women were bound, the chains and ropes were in the home, is consistent with the accounts of Fernando Colon. He was engaged to Grimilda Figueroa, Ariel Castro's ex-wife, until her death last year. Colon told me Castro would beat Figueroa mercilessly, sometimes with barbells and --
FERNANDO COLON, FMR. FIANCEE OF CASTRO'S EX-WIFE: She told me she was locked in the house, he had tinted the windows, she had padlocked the doors. The only time that she was able to come out was for her appointments. That was it.
TODD: But Fernando Colon could have motivation for accusing Arial Castro. Colon was convicted of molesting two of Castro's children several years ago. He has long said he's innocent, claims Ariel Castro orchestrated the charges against him to deflect attention from Castro's own alleged crimes.
Colon is now planning to appeal his conviction. The three kidnap victims say they never left Ariel Castro's property, but there are counts that Castro did take the little girl out. Moses Cintron says he occasionally saw Castro with the six-year-old girl in a neighborhood park. The girl, he says, wouldn't play with other children but would pet his small dogs.
MOSES CINTRON, SAW ARIEL CASTRO RECENTLY: She was well-dressed, you know, and well cared of. Slightly slender, but, you know, she was also kind of white.
TODD: Cintron now says he'd like to take one of his dogs to the girl to let her play with it so she won't have to come back to that park.
Brian Todd, CNN, Cleveland.
SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Brian. And we're also hearing for the first time from the mother of Ariel Castro. Lillian Rodriguez made a tearful plea for forgiveness to the young women and to their saying, mothers and their families saying, "I suffer because they suffered."
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LILLIAN RODRIGUEZ, ARIEL CASTRO'S MOTHER (through translator): I have a sick son who has done something serious. I'm suffering very much. I ask for forgiveness from those mothers. May those girls forgive me. I suffer the pain they suffered. I'm suffering for my son's pain. My son is sick and I have nothing to do with what my son did.
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SAMBOLIN: Castro is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. You know, this is just such a torturous situation for everyone involved, John.
BERMAN: Truly. All right. Zoraida, thanks so much. And we will go back to Cleveland in just a moment.
It is 38 minutes after the hour. Other top stories we're following this morning --
BERMAN (voice-over): A Tunisian man in custody in New York. He allegedly wanted to spread terror through the U.S. and start up his own terror network here. Ahmed Abbasi was arrested and charged with lying to immigration authorities. Investigators say Abassi radicalized one of the suspects in a plot to blow-up a passenger train in Canada.
A grim milestone as the death toll from a garment factory collapsed last month in Bangladesh has now passed 1,000. Government officials say that 1,039 people are confirmed dead in that accident weeks after the April 24th collapse. Workers continue to sift through the rubble of the nine-story building looking for more bodies. This is the deadliest industrial disaster in that country's history.
Federal prosecutors say an international cyber theft ring is responsible for stealing $45 million from banks around the world. They allegedly used prepaid credit cards to pull this off, hacking into accounts to raise the limits, and then using this method. $200 card could be worth as much as 20,000 bucks. That's not bad.
Prosecutors say eight defendants charged Thursday hit more than 2,900 ATM machines in just ten hours back in February. They allegedly used that money to buy Rolex watches and Mercedes SUV, Porsche panorama, and other high-end luxury goods. They're trying to launder that money fast.
"Maxim" magazine mocking Manti Te'o. The magazine named the San Diego Chargers' rookie's invisible girlfriend to its hot 100 list. "Maxim" says, quote, "We think it might be nice to have an invisible girl of our own to love. Why not? She's got a ton of great qualities, including looking awesome in a bikini."
BERMAN (on-camera): It's not going to get easier for Manti Te'O.
Still ahead, they're just wild about Harry. I mean, who isn't? Britain's Prince makes a royal splash in our nation's capital. We'll have a live royal report next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is day two of the latest British invasion. Prince Harry's visit to Washington, D.C. and the royal bachelor had the ladies swooning and snapping pictures on Capitol Hill. Yes, nothing says dreamy romance like the Capitol Hill. Our Max Foster is on royal watch in Washington this morning. Good morning, Max.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Extraordinary scenes there in Capitol Hill when I was there yesterday. Today is going to be a bit more about Harry, the soldier. Prince is going to be wearing uniform. He's going to go to Arlington. But let's have a look back at yesterday.
FOSTER (voice-over): It's already got a name, Harrymania, and the prince did his best to ignore it.
(on-camera) So, here he is, Prince Harry on the first stop of his U.S. tour. And this particular event is an exhibition about landmine clearance. It was, of course, close to Diana's heart, and this particular leg is about keeping his mother's memory alive, her legacy alive. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Frankly, I found him to be a very attractive young man. And I think he's very serious certainly about this issue, so I was very impressed.
FOSTER: Then, a surprise stop at the White House with the first lady was helping children make gifts for Mother's Day. Harry showing his creative side. Swiftly on to a reception at the British embassy in Washington. They call it gentle diplomacy, a chance for influential Americans to meet the prince and learn about doing business with the U.K.
PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: This gives me great personal pleasure to my mother who believe passionately in this cause. She would be so proud of my association with it (ph).
FOSTER: On day two, expect Prince Harry in uniform, paying his respects to JFK and the tomb of the unknown at Arlington National Cemetery.
FOSTER (on-camera): So, in the next couple of hours, actually, John. So, another busy day for the prince.
BERMAN: What else is on the agenda, Max? It looks pretty full for today?
FOSTER: Yes. He'll go to Arlington, then he goes on to Walter Reid, the medical center there. He's very, very interested in the cause of war veterans, particularly, those who've been injured. So, he's going to see some of the prosthetics work there, for example, and meet various people who've been injured in war.
And he wants to pay tribute to those people. He sees them as our war heroes. Then, he flies off to Denver for another reception, and then into the weekend, he's taking part in the warrior games, John, which is Paralympics, really (ph), for wounded soldiers.
BERMAN: All right. Max Foster on the Harry watch for us in Washington today. Thanks so much. Great to see you again. We'll talk soon.
Other news now, so when an alligator takes a bite out of crime, it's got to hurt. A Florida gator did not appreciate a suspect hiding from Pinellas County sheriff's deputies in his creek. And the reptile just tore into the guy. The suspect was treated for bite wounds on his face, arm, torso before his trip to jail. You know, they say crime doesn't pay, but apparently, to alligators it might be a wee-bit delicious.
Up next, the space station is leaking, and apparently, this has been a problem for years. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. I'm Zoraida Sambolin live in Cleveland. And here are the newest developments in the case of three women who escaped from captivity. The prosecutor is expected to add now aggravated murder to the list of charges already placed against suspect, Ariel Castro, for the termination of his captives' pregnancies. Castro's mother made a tearful plea for forgiveness for what her son has done.
And Castro's daughter tells CNN exclusively that she was disgusted to hear what her father has accused of doing, but she says strange things from her childhood are now starting to make sense. And she's talking to us exclusively about that. And Katie Segall (ph) who actually got that story for us is going to appear with us on the seven o'clock hour of "Starting Point."
And we're going to share so many more details about that interview. It really sheds a lot of light into at least now as she's looking back, you know, all these missed signs that potentially were there.
There's so much complicated history in that interview, Zoraida. We look forward to hearing more of that in just a little bit.
Meanwhile, 51 minutes after the hour, other top stories we're watching this morning --
BERMAN (voice-over): An Olympic gold medalist's death is raising questions about the safety of high-speed yacht racing. Thirty-six- year-old Andrew Simpson was killed when his yacht crashed in San Francisco Bay yesterday, trapping him under water for about ten minutes. This is the second violent crash of a high-speed yacht in just the last seven months.
The body of Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has finally been buried, but police will not say where. They released a statement thanking the courageous and compassionate individual who offered up the burial site. Tsarnaev's uncle says his nephew was buried outside of Massachusetts.
So, just two days after being convicted of murdering her boyfriend, Jodi Arias is now inside a prison psychiatric ward. Arias will not be in court today. The sentencing phase for the trial has been postponed until next Wednesday.
Looks like some big changes are in store for "American Idol." Randy Jackson who has been a judge on the show since it started is calling it quits. The once powerhouse singing competition has struggled lately. "Idol" is going through its second straight year of double- digit ratings declines.
The International Space Station is leaking. NASA says the leak of liquid ammonia, which is used to cool downpour systems, is not an immediate threat to the cool up there. This has been going on for the last few years, apparently. NASA officials say they're looking into it. They thought this leak was fixed last November. Yikes.
BERMAN (on-camera): Still ahead, so, what's 2,500 pounds, 3,500 calories and topped with creamy goodness? You're thinking Michael Bloomberg, right? A delicious treat for the health nut mayor coming up next.
SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. The city of Cleveland is finally able to celebrate the safe return of the three women who escaped from captivity. A so-called victory vigil was held in a local park. Participants released balloons into the air. Look at that. They were enjoying that celebrating the return of those girls. Isn't it nice to have a victory vigil?
And the outpouring of support for the three victims in Cleveland has been so overwhelming that the police are asking for help in letting the three women recover from their ordeal. Hundreds of people turned out to welcome home the two women who, so far, have returned to their families. So now, police are asking that they be left alone.
Any cards or gifts for Amanda Berry, except for cash, should be dropped off at a police department's first district on West 130th Street. Any cards or gifts for Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight should be dropped off at the second district, and that is on Fulton Road.
And if you want to donate money, you can do it at any key bank under the name, "The Courage Fund." All of the money that is collected there is to go to the victims here. John, back to you.
BERMAN: A lot of people, Zoraida, really do want to help out right now. So, that's some great information. Thanks, Z.
Fifty-seven minutes after the hour. Some stories trending online this morning, the third-pounder may have been a quarter pound too many. McDonald's is cutting the angus burger from its menu. And nearly five bucks a pop, it may not have been as attractive as items on the dollar menu. McDonald's say it may still have a future role on the menu. So, fear not. May go the way of McRib (ph) may see it from time to time.
Meanwhile, call it sweet revenge. A New York bakery just unveiled a gut-busting confection that pokes fun at the city's calorie-conscious mayor, Michael Bloomberg. You will, of course, that the mayor made national headlines for the ban on extra-large sugary soft drinks, an attempted (ph) ban, the cupcake called The Mayor is 25 pounds, nearly 3,600 calories, with his honor's face smack dab in the middle of it.
The mayor, as you might expect, is not sweet on the idea. He says obesity is no joke and he called the cupcake, quote, "one of the dumbest things people have done." I think that's an exaggeration. I think people have done way dumber things than that.
To check out other CNN Trends, head to CNN.com/trends. Meanwhile, EARLY START continues right now.
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SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Confession. Reports that Ariel Castro confesses to something. Details of a decade of torture and torments for three captive women are emerging and they are horrific. We have the latest live from Cleveland.
And we have a CNN exclusive. "My father is a monster." Ariel Castro's daughter speaks for the very first time.
BERMAN (voice-over): So, first, Jodi Arias is put on suicide watch after her murder conviction, and now, she's in the psych ward. What prompted this move? That is coming up.
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BERMAN (on-camera): Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this special edition of EARLY START. I'm John Berman in New York this morning.
SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. I'm live in Cleveland, Ohio. It is Friday, May 10th. It is 6:00 a.m. in the east, and it's shocking new details this morning about the private hell that these three women suffered for ten long years inside this house of horrors right behind me on Seymour Avenue.
Prosecutors say Ariel Castro operated a private prison and torture chamber right inside his home. He's being held on $8 million bond this morning. He is charged with kidnapping and he is charged with rape. An aggravated murder charge could come next. This is for the alleged killing of all the fetuses.
And a CNN exclusive this morning, the daughter that is closest to Ariel Castro speaking out about the charges against her father. Listen to Angie Gregg (ph) described the moment when she learned he'd been arrested.
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ANGIE GREGG, ARIEL CASTRO'S DAUGHTER: It was like everything crashed down. Like I just wanted to melt into the floor. Like I just -- I just wanted to die. I have no problem cutting him out of my life. I have no problem doing that. I never want to see him again.
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