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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Justifying His Actions?; Lab Rushes DNA Results; Prince Harry's U.S. Visit; Fame and Fashion for Kate Upton
Aired May 10, 2013 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: A man who many are calling a monster making his first court appearance. Prosecutors accusing Ariel Castro of operating his own private prison and torture chamber inside this home on the west side of Cleveland. This for the last 10 years.
He was arraigned on kidnapping and rape, and there are plans to also pursue an aggravated murder charge for the alleged killing of his victims' fetuses.
Following yesterday's arraignment, we're learning more about Ariel Castro, including his shadowy past and a first look into his backyard as well.
Let's go live to Pamela Brown. She is right outside the home of the freed kidnap victim now Gina DeJesus.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Zoraida. We've known that Ariel Castro has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. That was in a criminal complaint and he could be facing more charges soon. We've heard from the county prosecutor and he's saying that authorities are looking into charging Castro with aggravated murder.
Right now they are studying case law, looking at all the evidence to see if they have enough evidence to support that. This seems to be connected with the miscarriages of Michele Knight. We've learned that Michele Knight told authorities that Castro caused her to have miscarriages by punching her in the stomach and starving her at least five times.
Here's what the prosecutor had to say about these possible additional charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIMOTHY MCGINTY, CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct. The reality is, we still have brutal criminals in our midst who have no respect for the rule of law or human life. The law of Ohio calls for the death penalty for those most depraved criminals who commit aggravated murder during the course of a kidnapping.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: Pamela, we're also learning that Castro may have written about his alleged crimes in 2004. What -- what are the details of those writings?
BROWN: That's right, Zoraida. I spoke to a law enforcement source who says that this was basically a diary of his actions. This was handwritten by Castro and he allegedly justified his actions, and some parts of it blaming the girls for the abductions. He says, according to Scott Taylor, a WOIO reporter, one of our affiliates, who saw this note, he said, "They are here against their will because they made a mistake of getting in a car with a total stranger."
Castro goes on to say, "I don't know why I kept looking for another. I already had two in my possession."
So really just shocking to learn about this, Zoraida. This is a note that was taken out of the home. It was apparently written in 2004 after he allegedly abducted the three women.
SAMBOLIN: Disturbing that he tries to justify his actions.
Pamela Brown, live outside of Gina DeJesus' home. Thank you very much.
And we're also hearing for the first time from the daughter of Ariel Castro. Angie Gregg spoke exclusively with CNN's Laurie Segall. She recalls the disgust that she felt the moment that she first heard what he had done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: And despite the anger and the heartbreak that she now feels, Castro's daughter says her father was generous to her and her sister, even giving her a puppy.
Ohio State crime lab is rushing tests on Ariel Castro's DNA to provide investigators with results that could link him to other crimes now. Ohio's attorney general, Mike DeWine is joining us from Columbus this morning.
Thanks for being with us. The Bureau of Criminal Investigations lab --
MIKE DEWINE, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: Good morning.
SAMBOLIN: -- staff says that they are rushing Castro's DNA through the lab. And apparently you get those results this morning. Do you expect that there are going to be any matches or hits to the crime's database? DEWINE: Well, the test is completed. And we have turned the results over to the Cleveland Police Department and I'm sure they'll be talking about that later today. We also were doing the paternity tests and they will talk about that paternity test as well.
SAMBOLIN: And, you know, I have to ask if you can share any of the results of those test?
DEWINE: Well, I -- well, I can't. You know, we do -- we do the lab work at BCI --
SAMBOLIN: Can you at least tell us if you got a positive hit?
DEWINE: Sure. I can't tell you anything. We have turned that over to the Cleveland Police Department and that's the way it works, but we did rush it last night. We got it about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. We did it overnight and it provided the preliminary results back to the Cleveland Police Department. There is some additional testing that needs to be done. And we'll be getting we hope shortly.
SAMBOLIN: All right. So let's talk about the death penalty. Is it on the table now?
DEWINE: Well, Prosecutor McGinty in the clip that you played in his press conference yesterday talked about that. I think clearly that is on the table. You know, you have several different ways of getting that under Ohio law. I mean, just so people understand, Ohio law provides that if -- if the unborn child is killed, that that can qualify for aggravated murder under Ohio law. You also have as the prosecutor indicated --
SAMBOLIN: And let's explain --
DEWINE: I'm sorry?
SAMBOLIN: No, go ahead, sir. Go ahead.
DEWINE: You also have the issue of kidnapping, which can be a continuing act. In other words, the kidnapping is not just the taking of someone, but if you continue to hold them against their will, that can be considered a kidnapping as well. And that could be what we call in Ohio a specification, which could possibly qualify this as a death penalty case.
I think that's what the prosecuting attorney is looking at. He's a very good prosecutor, very experienced. His team is very good. And I'm sure if they can find a way under current Ohio law to charge the death penalty, they certainly will do that. That's their obligation.
SAMBOLIN: I just wanted to clarify for people who perhaps didn't know that those additional charges that could come forward have to do with Michele Knight and her allegations that she was pregnant perhaps five times and that Ariel beat her and starved her and that she miscarried.
So I just wanted to make sure the people understood the connection between those additional charges and then the death penalty now in Ohio law.
So anyway, records show that Castro was arrested for domestic violence back in -- back in 1993, but that a grand jury declined to indict him. Again in 2005, he's accused of domestic violence that included, among other things, a nose broken twice, two broken ribs, knocked out tooth, blood clot in the brain, two dislocated shoulders.
His ex-wife noted in the 2005 incident that Castro frequently abducts daughters and keeps them from mother, even though he did not have visitation rights at the time. It's worth noting that the protective order from 2005 was only dropped because the ex-wife's attorney was unable to attend the hearing.
Law enforcement failures, court system failures as well, what do you think?
DEWINE: Well, I don't really know what happened in those cases. You know, you have to go back and try to reconstruct that. So I'm not really in a position to talk about that. I will say that there has been some comment about whether the Cleveland Police Department did a good job and responded to, you know, complaints.
From what I have seen, I think they did do a good job, and I think it's -- it's really a bum wrap to look at the Cleveland Police Department and say, you know, they did not do what they should have done in this case. If you -- you know, these were very high-profile cases. Everybody in the community knew about it. The police were very, very focused on it. And so I think at least from what I've seen so far, that the police department did a good job.
SAMBOLIN: Our Pamela Brown and Martin Savidge reported yesterday and again today that investigators are examining writings that were actually found inside Ariel Castro's house and that he writes -- these very specific details of his actions and what he says are the reasons behind all of his actions. It's hard not to think about your own family when you hear about a case like this. You have you eight kids, 19 grandkids. What do you make of this case?
DEWINE: Well, it's so sad. And I -- you're absolutely right. You know I think if this was one of my children, or one of -- one of my grandchildren, how I would feel. It's just hard to even imagine how bad that is. And great joy that they had been found, but then you go back and think what they had to endure the last 10 years. It's sickening. It's just -- it's just horrible.
It should not surprise us that this man justifies what he's doing in those writings. I've seen that in other cases. You know, individuals like this who commit horrible acts, they blame the victim. It's always blame the victim. And justify it in their own mind that way. So this is -- this is in some respects a typical reaction.
SAMBOLIN: Now it's absolutely horrible. I mean, one of the details, which you're alluding to, is that he says in those writings that it was the girls' fault because they should never have gotten into his car to begin with.
Mike DeWine, I sincerely appreciate having you this morning.
DEWINE: Thank you.
SAMBOLIN: Ohio Attorney General. I know you're working really hard as well and we really appreciate your time.
And tonight, Anderson Cooper hosts a town hall meeting on the frightening number of missing persons in America. "VANISHED," an "ANDERSON COOPER 360" special that is tonight at 8:00 Eastern Time. It is right here on CNN.
And John Berman is back in New York. He has the rest of our top stories today.
Good morning to you, John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Zoraida.
Any moment now, Britain's Prince Harry will pay his respects to American service members killed in the line of duty. He'll be doing this during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. Of course Harry just finished his own military tour in Afghanistan so this obviously a very poignant moment for him.
CNN's Max Foster is on royal watch for us live from Arlington this morning.
Good morning, Max.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John. Yes, you're looking at Harry-mania you saw in Washington, D.C. yesterday. This is Prince Harry in uniform at -- in Zone 6-C. So this is the area described as the saddest acre in America. These are the freshest graves. So war victims who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some fresh graves there.
I was in Afghanistan early with Prince Harry earlier this year. He takes his role very seriously. In the back of his mind today will be the fact that he could have been killed in Afghanistan as well. If he goes back again, he could also be wounded and be a victim of war as well. So it's going to be very serious for him. After this, he goes to Walter Reed, the medical center to meet wounded service personnel. He wants today to be all about American war heroes as he described them. So it's going to be a very different tone from yesterday. Very much about America. Very much about war.
BERMAN: A very solemn, poignant day for the prince today. What is on the rest of the schedule for the rest of the visit -- Max?
FOSTER: Well, actually tonight he flies to Denver. And this is the other aspect to this whole tour, promoting British interests. A reception where senior, well-known Americans will be invited to mingle with Brits to promote the British economy. So that's the gateway really that Prince Harry brings to the British government. And that over the weekend, the Warrior Games, again back to this war veteran issue. Wounded war veterans competing in the big games.
A British team also involved there. That for him is the backbone of this tour. Then he comes your way, John, to New York.
BERMAN: For baseball, I'm told. All right Max Foster at Arlington National Cemetery for us this morning. Great to see you, Max. Thanks so much.
Ahead on STARTING POINT, an unbelievable rescue. Seventeen days after a factory collapse in Bangladesh, a woman has been found alive. We will have the amazing details, coming up next.
BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. You're looking at live pictures from Arlington National Cemetery. That is Prince Harry of Great Britain. He's arriving at Arlington National Cemetery in uniform as you can see to pay his respects to the American service members killed in the line of duty.
Of course, Harry himself serves in the British military. He just served a tour in Afghanistan. This is one of his causes. He is very involved with wounded warriors and veterans' causes all over the world, certainly his home in Britain and in the United States. It's a big part of the tour he's on right now.
Our royal correspondent, Max Foster, who is in Arlington right now, watching the prince, can tell us more about what the prince is doing -- Max.
FOSTER: Yes, it's interesting. He's here to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns but also to lay some flowers at the grave of John F. Kennedy. But the really crucial bit for him is really this Zone 6-C, this -- the saddest acre in America, and these are fresh -- the freshest graves really of war heroes who died in Iraq, and particularly Afghanistan.
Prince Harry served in Afghanistan at the beginning of this year. He takes his military role really, really seriously. And you can see from his face. This is poignant for him. It's serious for him. He's in uniform. He knows he could be killed in combat. So he's looking at these graves and he's thinking this is very, very personal for him. He actually left a note at one of the grave sites as well, and it says, "To my comrades in arms of the United States, in appreciation, Captain Harry, Wales." And that's his military name -- John.
BERMAN: We really see several sides of Prince Harry on this trip to the United States. We see him, you know, coming here on behalf of Britain to -- you know, to drum up business. He's doing parties at the embassy. He's smiling on Capitol Hill. But this is really, Max, a much different side. Prince Harry in full uniform, somber and paying respects.
FOSTER: Well, what he's always said, John, and he's a very authentic person is that there are three sides to him. There's the prince, there's the soldier, and there's the 28-year-old out having fun. And in his view, actually, he's got a right to go out and have a party and get drunk and be out all night if he is that 28-year-old. But in this situation, he is a member of the military, he's an officer, and when he is in this role, he takes extremely seriously. You'll never going to see this party prince side to him there. And also when he's royal, so when he's supporting the queen and representing the queen, he takes that role very, very seriously.
So there are three sides to his character and a very distinct, and that's, I think, part of his appeal because a soldier, an American soldier who sees this guy right now will relate to him. Because he understands their point of view. And I think that's what's quite unique about Prince Harry. It's very authentic and that comes across on TV as well, I think, of him.
BERMAN: We just saw him lay a wreath in Arlington. And looking at the graves there. As you said, the saddest mile in the United States. Those who have recently passed. Been killed in service of the country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Max, you were in Afghanistan with Prince Harry on this most recent tour. Clearly affected the way he thinks, not just about himself, but about service as well.
FOSTER: Yes, I mean, he's committed for life really to the military, I'd say. His private secretary is a former special forces officer and he surrounds himself with military officers and people of the military. He's going to have a new private secretary, also who was part of the military as well.
And you know this is a long tradition I've seen in the royal family. His uncle, Prince Andrew, was a helicopter pilot exactly as Prince Harry was. And his brother, you know, William, cannot be on the front lines because he's in the direct line of succession. Harry has been close to the front lines.
When we were with him in Afghanistan, there was some degree of frustration. You remember he has been in Afghanistan before on the front lines and was pulled out because the news leaked. This time we did a deal with him and saying -- and he basically said you can come film me, and you can interview me, and we can cover that, but I don't want any of this footage to be released until I come out because I don't want my comrades to be put at risk.
It's always the thing. You know, he's in the field, but he's a target for the Taliban. And he doesn't want to put his comrades at risk, but he wants to be involved. He wants to be as close to the front line as possible.
BERMAN: Our Max Foster live this morning from Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. We're looking at these live pictures of Prince Harry visiting some of the graves there of some of the soldiers killed and servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. A poignant -- a serious moment for Prince Harry on this visit to the United States, which will last several days.
Our thanks to Max Foster in Arlington. We have other news this morning, including some incredible breaking news out of Bangladesh to tell you about. After 17 days, a survivor has been found in the rubble of that collapsed garment factory in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. The woman called out to workers, I'm alive, please rescue me, which as you can imagine sent crews scrambling to pull her out of the wreckage. She was found 11 days after crews had given up hope of finding survivors. They'd already brought in heavy equipment into the site to recover bodies.
The death toll there now stands at more than 1,000 from the April 24th collapse, but, again, that bright piece of light right there, a survivor pulled from the rubble today. You are looking at those pictures of her from the hospital. Just amazing.
And this just in to CNN, an incredibly large search has been called off for two cruise ship passengers who fell overboard. This happened Wednesday night off the coast of Australia. Paul Rossington and Kristen Schroder were reported missing by relatives after the Carnival line ship Spirit docked following a 10-day cruise.
Surveillance video discovered later shows them falling off the ship's mid-deck at the night before when it's about 65 miles out to sea.
So ahead of STARTING POINT, she is the hottest commodity in the fashion world. How did model Kate Upton dominate a business that normally favors, shall we say, thinner bodies? Her secret, coming up next. You're watching STARTING POINT.
BERMAN: Supermodel Kate Upton appears to be on the path to super stardom. She's gone from bikini model to the movies, to the pinnacle of fashion on the cover of "Vogue" magazine.
CNN's Alina Cho has more on her meteoric rise to fame.
ALINA CHO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This mesmerizing video of Kate Upton dancing in a tiny red bikini went instantly viral on YouTube. The dance is called "Cat Daddy."
(On camera): Cat Daddy?
KATE UPTON, MODEL: Oh, yes, well, you know, apparently I can dance. I didn't know right away, but everyone seems to like it.
CHO (voice-over): Try 16 million views and counting. These days, Upton, just 20 years old, is everywhere. Shooting a movie with Cameron Diaz, on the red carpet, at the Met, beloved by top designers.
MICHAEL KORS, FASHION DESIGNER: I love a sexy, curvy girl. So -- you know, the stick figures are not for me.
CHO: But how did this curvy, one-time bikini model become fashion's the new it girl? UPTON: I think I'm really lucky and you know I never saw it coming.
CHO: Upton, the great granddaughter of one of the founders of Whirlpool, grew up in Melbourne, Florida.
UPTON: I did want to be a bikini model so the bikini is coming in Florida.
CHO: It didn't take long, Upton was discovered in her teens, soon "Sports Illustrated" came calling. One cover, then two. TV commercials for the Super Bowl, like this one for Mercedes-Benz.
UPTON: You missed a spot.
CHO: And this provocative ad for Carl's Junior. But it one thing to get noticed by the masses and entirely another to be embraced by the sometimes prickly world of high fashion. Somehow Kate Upton has managed to do both.
Here is your first look at the super model on the June cover of American "Vogue" out nationwide on May 21st.
(On camera): What makes her cross over into high fashion?
ANNA WINTOUR, VOGUE MAGAZINE: Well, I think that Kate is a very accessible model. And she reminds me of the old days of Cindy Crawford or Stephanie Seymour, I think that she has that American girl-next-door quality.
CHO: Does this show that curvy girls can make it, too?
UPTON: I mean I really feel like being healthy and loving your life is important. If that means you're curvy then that's what it means. I'm excited that it's being accepted.
CHO (voice-over): Alina Cho, CNN, New York.
BERMAN: Our best to Kate Upton, somehow beating the odds and succeeding in every facet of life.
That is all for STARTING POINT this morning. I'm John Berman. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello with all the latest from the investigation and the rescue in Cleveland begins right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, a CNN exclusive. The daughter of Ariel Castro, breaking her silence.
ANGIE GREGG, ARIEL CASTRO'S DAUGHTER: I have no problem cutting him out of my life. I never want to see him again.
COSTELLO: Angie Gregg, opening up, talking about her father, and piecing together the horrors that happened at her childhood home. GREGG: Ever since my mom lived in that house, the basement was always kept locked.
COSTELLO: The warning signs, the abuse, and her message to her father.
GREGG: There will be no visits, there will no phone calls. He's dead to me.
COSTELLO: This morning, Cleveland comes together. A vigil then a pause. To mend and heal.