Return to Transcripts main page
STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Inside A "Torture Chamber"; Who Is Ariel Castro?; A Mother's Lament; Inside The Mind Of A Monster; Bangladesh Factory Collapse; Jodi Arias In Psychiatric Ward; Grow House Shootout; Prince Harry Goes To Washington; ISS Leaking Coolant; Same Sex Support In Minnesota; Scooping Up The Cash
Aired May 10, 2013 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We spoke to her aunt last night. Anderson Cooper interviewed her and her aunt says that she is in good spirits, but that she is still readjusting to this new reality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA RUIZ, GINA DEJESUS' AUNT: She's in great spirits. You know, finally some people listen, and she spent an hour and a half outside and I've never seen her -- I mean, it's just exciting.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": What -- I mean how is the family doing, to have her back?
RUIZ: Words cannot express, cannot express, the joy that we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And we have noticed that authorities have been parked outside this house 24/7, ever since Gina Dejesus came home here. So it's clear that the family wants their privacy so that Gina can re- acclimate to her new life along with Amanda Berry and Michele Knight who remains in the hospital.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Pamela you have some details on some writings, maybe a diary reportedly written by Castro back in 2004. What was in those writings?
BROWN: That's right, Zoraida. I've been talking to sources, and we learned that these writings are basically justification from Ariel Castro for his actions with these women. This letter was written in 2004 after he allegedly abducted the women, and in the letter we're learning from WOIO reporter, Scott Taylor, that he said they are here against their will because they made a mistake of getting in the car with a total stranger.
He goes on to say in these letters, I don't know why I kept looking for another. I already had two in my possession. So it really just gives you a chill learning about what he allegedly wrote in this note, justifying his actions. And also he talked about being abused by a family member and how that basically helped him rationalize his behavior toward these women. SAMBOLIN: That's really disturbing that he writes that they made a mistake. Pamela Brown reporting live right outside of Gina DeJesus' home. Thank you very much for that.
And a clearer picture this morning of how all of this happened. The man who was engaged to Ariel Castro's former wife says there were signs throughout the years that he could be a monster. CNN's Brian Todd has more.
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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bond is set at $2 million on each case.
TODD: 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.
BRIAN MURPHY, CLEVELAND CITY PROSECUTOR: While in captivity there were repeated beatings. They were bound. They were restrained. Sexually assaulted, basically never free 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 she was pregnant at least five times, but was starved and punched until she eventually miscarried. According to the police report, Amanda Berry said the 6-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 and 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, that 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.
FERNANDO COLON, FORMER FIANCEE OF CASTRO'S EX-WIFE: She told me that she was locked in the house. He had tinted the windows. He had padlocked the doors. The only time she was able to come out was for her appointments, that was it. TODD: But Fernando Colon could have motivation for accusing Ariel 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 said 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 6-year-old 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: And we are also hearing for the first time from the mother of Ariel Castro. Lillian Rodriguez made a very tearful plea for forgiveness to the young women and their mothers saying I suffer because they suffered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Ariel Castro's daughter is also speaking out. Angie Gregg spoke exclusively with CNN's Laurie Segall. She says the accusations leveled against him took her by complete surprise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGIE GREGG, ARIEL CASTRO'S DAUGHTER: The Ariel that I knew, that if you would have asked me this last week, I would have told you he's the best dad, and the best grandpa, and he was very kind and loving, and he did for me and he did for his grandchildren. I just -- I would have never saw this coming ever until I saw it with my own eyeballs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Angie Gregg also said that she is so disgusted with her father that she never wants to see him again.
And joining us now from Washington to talk more about this investigation, former FBI Special Agent Jim McNamara. Thank you so much for being with us, Jim. Premeditated, deliberate, depraved, these are the words a prosecutor used yesterday to describe Ariel Castro's alleged actions. What can you tell us about the psychology of a man that is capable of confining and repeatedly abusing three women for 10 years?
JIM MCNAMARA, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, you're dealing with a psycho path and a psycho path doesn't understand simple regular emotions that regular people do, like empathy and sympathy. And with this offender you're also dealing with a sexual sadist, who enjoys the suffering of his victims. Along with that comes a pretty strong streak of narcissism. It's all about him.
SAMBOLIN: You know, we heard in the writings that he actually wrote that these girls made the mistake of getting into the car with him. What does that tell you?
MCNAMARA: That's a pretty common trait among psychopaths. Laws are written for suckers, they're for other people, not for psychopaths, and they tend to project and rationalize. They project onto the victims it's their fault. It's never the psychopaths fault for committing the crime.
SAMBOLIN: This is supposedly the case of a monster who was hiding in plain sight. He allegedly had regular interactions with neighbors. Even his brothers claim to have absolutely no knowledge of what was actually going on inside of this house. You know, we've spoken to one of his daughters who is incredibly close to him who also was inside of that house and had no idea. So how is it possible that he led this double life for so long?
MCNAMARA: A lot of these sexually motivated offenders are very good at compartmenting (sic) their lives. People such as Dennis Rader, DBTK in Wichita case we worked on. So he compartments his life. He doesn't share the illegal things he's doing because he knows it's not acceptable to people around him in society.
SAMBOLIN: All of these girls have said that they were lured. Is there a special type of victim, a guy like this who preys in that particular way?
MCNAMARA: Sexually motivated offenders are fantasy driven. They target their victims in three different ways. First is desirability. What he wants in the victim then he'll look around the area that he lives in or works in, and call that desirability availability. Who's available in the area that fits what he wants.
Thirdly he'll look for the most vulnerable victim and that's what he's done with these victims. He's chosen young, petite teenage girls, and with his communication skills that he's got, he's able to talk them into the vehicle.
SAMBOLIN: You know, I want to focus on one of the victims in particular. She's still in the hospital, her name is Michele Knight. And she told investigators that Ariel Castro starved, beat her until she miscarried each of her five pregnancies. Yet he is the assumed father of Amanda Berry's 6-year-old daughter. So does this indicate that Castro was treating his alleged victims differently? Why would he do that?
MCNAMARA: It's his personal choice. What he's enjoying is the suffering of his victims. One of the popular misperceptions is that these types of offenders enjoy torturing people. The torture is a tool. He enjoys the suffering of his victims. So if he's got multiple victims, it's his choice as to what he does with them.
SAMBOLIN: You know, one last question for you. What do you think is going through his head right now?
MCNAMARA: The only thing going through his head right now is he's sorry he got caught. The only remorse he feels is for himself.
SAMBOLIN: All right, Jim McNamara, we really appreciate it, former special FBI agent. Thanks for your time this morning.
MCNAMARA: Great talking to you.
SAMBOLIN: John Berman has breaking news in New York. Thank you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our breaking news this morning, really a miracle from Bangladesh. An amazing story of survival, after being trapped for 17 days, 17 days, a woman has been found alive, inside the rubble of that collapsed garment factory in Bangladesh.
CNN Monita Rajpal is live in Hong Kong. She is following the story for us. What is the latest, Monita?
MONITA RAJPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, incredible pictures that you're just showing there on the screen. The rescue recovery workers were brought to a standstill when they heard a faint voice coming from within the rubble screaming, I'm alive, I'm alive, please rescue me.
You can imagine the recovery workers were there to pull out dead bodies. That's what they've been doing for the past 17 days. Instead, hearing this faint voice they were able to pinpoint exactly where she was, and they pulled her out, as we see there on the screen there right now, amazing.
Hundreds of people gather on the scene, including military personnel, and officials who then put her on a stretcher, and rushed her to a military hospital. The Bangladeshi military official and the chief coordinator also rescue operation has told CNN that he believes she may be in her 20s, and this is the incredible part, John.
He doesn't think she has, from what he was able to see, initially, that she doesn't appear to have any major injuries right now. As there was no bleeding on the outset and she was able to communicate with people. In fact, the prime minister of Bangladesh even was able to call her and she spoke to the prime minister.
So incredible, incredible story of survival there, 17 days without food and water, and she is alive -- John. BERMAN: More than 1,000 people killed in that disaster. This morning learning that one woman apparently did survive. Monita Rajpal covering that story in Bangladesh for us. Thank you so much this morning. Really appreciate it.
We have a glorious picture of a much different kind to show you right now happening in Lower Manhattan. The final piece of One World Trade Center being put in place, again, this is a live picture, high up above a beautiful morning here in New York. The last section of the spire was brought up to the top of the building last week.
When completed, One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the western hemisphere at 1776 feet, that work again going on live this morning, simply beautiful pictures here in New York.
We have some new developments this morning in the Jodi Arias murder case. Arias something held in a prison psychiatric ward under constant supervision in the psych ward at the lower Buckeye jail in Phoenix. HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky says he doesn't believe that Arias is faking it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": If somebody's in a psychiatric ward, a clinician takes that responsibility just to meet criteria to be there. That's not just a manipulation. On top of that, Christi, I would say if I were the warden and had somebody doing a news interview where she just said I want to die, boom, that person goes in a locked facility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The sentencing phase of arias' murder trial has been postponed until next Wednesday.
Wild shoot-out to show you at close range caught on camera. Surveillance footage of this fierce gun battle last July outside a suspected marijuana grow house. This was shown in a Miami courtroom yesterday. The video shows one of the suspects getting out of the car and shooting police officers and also shooting at FBI agents. A detective was seriously hurt. The suspect Gerard Delgado was killed when police returned fire. Police say they found 80 pounds of marijuana inside that house.
So ahead on STARTING POINT, Prince Harry taking the United States by storm, and making some fans along the way, as you can imagine. Not just John McCain, by the way. We are live in Arlington, next, with what we can expect from the prince today. You're watching STARTING POINT.
BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone. Day two of the latest British invasion, Prince Harry's visit to Washington, D.C., the royal bachelor had the ladies swooning and snapping pictures on Capitol Hill. You know, nothing says dreamy romance like Capitol Hill.
The big question, what is on tap for the prince today? Max Foster on royal watch for us from Arlington, Virginia. Good morning, Max.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, it will be very different today. You'll see Prince Harry in uniform. He's going to come here, known as the saddest acre in America, has always the precious graves from those war veterans. And he's serving officer. So in the back of his mind is the fact that he could one day die in combat, as well. But yesterday was all about Harry mania.
FOSTER (voice-over): It's already got a name, "Harry Mania," 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 land mine clearance. A cause close to Diana's heart and this particular leg is about keeping his mother's memory alive, her legacy alive.
SENATOR 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 (voice-over): Then a surprise stop at the White House where 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: This gives me great personal pleasure to my mother who believed passionately in this cause, would be so proud of my association with it.
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: And he's also, then, John, going to go on to Walter Reed Medical Center to meet veterans from Afghanistan where he's been serving as well to meet the guys and women injured in war. He sees them as heroes. Today, in his view, it's all about them.
BERMAN: Clearly, Max, important to him. It will be an important visit for wounded vets as well. Max Foster, great to see you today. Thank you so much for that report.
Coming up next, $45 million, a brazen heist from thieves who used nothing more than their computers, some ingenuity, how they pulled it off, how they laundered the money, how they get caught, coming up next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. It's 53 minutes after the hour. Some stories we're watching at this very minute, a leak in the International Space Station. NASA says this is not an immediate threat to the crew. The station has been leaking liquid ammonia, used to cool down the power systems. This has been a nagging problem for several years. NASA did think the leak was plugged back in November.
The state of Minnesota now a stepped closer to becoming the 12th in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. Supporters mobbed members of the statehouse chanting their thanks after the House voted in favor of letting gay couples marry. The State Senate plans to consider the bill on Monday. It is expected to pass, and Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota has pledged to sign this into law.
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, they raised the credit limits and using this method, a $200 card could be worth as much as $20,000. That's not bad inflation.
Prosecutors say eight defendants Thursday hit more than 2,900 ATM machines in just 10 hours back in February. They allegedly used that money to buy Rolex watches, a Mercedes SUV, a Porsche and other high end luxury goods. They were trying to launder that money fast.
This week, Anthony Bourdain heads to Morocco, in the city of Tangier, where he learns how to buy lamb's head and hangs out with master musician who recorded the Rolling Stones. Anthony Bourdain "PARTS UNKNOWN" airs Sunday at 9:00 on CNN. Here is an amazing taste.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": Pretty much never getting out of this. Feel like Elton John at home. Some countries you go to, as soon as you get off the plane and the place smells like splay you want to be, right away and true of Tangier. But part of this part of the world that really does it for me, should be happening at any moment.
It's magic, yes. When the other ones start to come in, that's when it really gets good, so beautiful. You get three of those going. You know, you aren't in New Jersey. You know you are someplace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The coolest job on planet earth. Anthony Bourdain "PARTS UNKNOWN" airs Sunday night . Do not miss it.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT, we have new disturbing details from Cleveland. The suspect, Ariel Castro allegedly wrote about the kidnapping, what he wrote years before he was caught. That's coming up next. You're watching STARTING POINT.
BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman in New York.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin in Cleveland. The STARTING POINT, the suspect forcing three women to live in depraved conditions for 10 years is speaking, and could face more charges and the maybe even the death penalty now. This as we get a new look at the house of horrors.