Return to Transcripts main page


Ariel Castro's Brothers Speaks Out; A 12-year-old Brother was Arrested; Four Weeks Since Boston Bombings: How Survivors Move On; Young Afghan Woman Faces Future After Taliban Attack

Aired May 12, 2013 - 17:00   ET


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Alison Kosik in for Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks for joining us. These stories are topping our news this hour.

In hiding after being wrongly linked to a shocking crime, the brothers of kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro are now speaking out exclusively to CNN.

A break in the mysterious case of an 8-year-old girl found stabbed to death in her California home. Investigators have arrested her 12- year-old brother. The shocking details, straight ahead.

In Washington, top IRS officials knew as far back as 2011 that agents were singling out non-profit conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Coming up in a few minutes, we will find how outrage has growing and what the White House response has been so far.

But first, Martin Savidge has exclusive interview with the brothers of kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro. Martin joins us live now from Cleveland.

Martin, this is the first time Pedro and Onil Castro have spoken out. What did they tell you?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, they have so much that they have to say, Alison. And it was really difficult to sort of figure out where do we begin this conversation. We talk about it all. We talk about the first moments which they were taken into custody. They say for 36 to 48 hours they had no idea why they were even being held. But most of all what they wanted to talk about was the fact that they are so grateful, so glad, so happy that these three young women have finally been freed from the grips of the horrible home on Seymour Street. An also, what they wanted people to know was that they this in no way had had anything to do with the crimes of their brother but they're afraid now that they'll be forever condemned. Listen.


SAVIDGE: Do you worry now that people will always suspect that you actually did have a role?

ONIL CASTRO, ACCUSED KIDNAPPER'S BROTHER: Absolutely, yes. And the people out there that know me, they know that Onil Castro is not that person and it has nothing to do with that, would never even think of something like that. I was a very liked person, individual. I've never had any enemies. No reason for anybody to think that I would ever do something like that. It's a shock to all my friends. They couldn't believe it.

PEDRO CASTRO, ACCUSED KIDNAPPER'S BROTHER: Same. I could not never think of doing anything like that. If I knew that my brother was doing this, I would have -- I would not -in a minute, I would call the cops because that isn't right. But, yes, it's going to haunt me down because people going to think, yes, Pedro got something to do with this. And Pedro don't have nothing to do with this. If I knew, I would have reported it. Brother or no brother.


SAVIDGE: One of the things that's really very strong that comes out of this interview is that they are both those brothers are close friends to Felix Dejesus, the father of Gina Dejesus, one of the women who was held. These two brothers consoled him. They talked with him during those years which he was looking for his daughter, when he fearing for his daughter. Then this find out when they were in jail that their brother allegedly had been holding Gina the whole time inside that house, a house that they had been inside. They were shattered and absolutely devastated. Continue to be so but they're also under extreme pressure. They can't go home they say because of the death threats made against them -- Alison.

KOSIK: Martin, how eager were they to speak publicly? How did this interview come about?

SAVIDGE: It was extremely difficult. I mean, getting in touch was not a problem. I have a lot of contacts here. I used to work in Cleveland and there a lot of people who still like me here so that was key. But building the trust and these are men who aren't accustomed to talking to a television camera. Their families worried somehow what they said would be misconstrued.

You know, when you sit down and talk with them. You know it is coming from the heart. You can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices that they want to get this out because they cannot stand the thought that anyone believes they could have been connected. There is so much more and we'll have that for you beginning tomorrow morning, Alison.

KOSIK: And we certainly will be watching.

Thank you, Martin.

And be sure to watch Martin's full exclusive interview with Ariel Castro's two brothers. That is going to be happening tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern on CNN's "STARTING POINT."

An arrest in the death of 8-year-old Leila Fowler is bringing even more heartache to her family. Authorities arrested Fowler's 12-year- old brother yesterday in connection with the homicide.

Dan Simon joins me live now from Valley Springs, California.

Dan, when this investigation started two weeks ago, what was the brother telling police?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Such a dramatic turn of events, Alison. Originally, the brother said that he was home alone with the sister, that the parents were at a baseball game. That much we know is true. But then the brother says that he heard an intruder and that he noticed his sister was hurt and she had been stabbed. And he said that he saw this intruder run away from the house.

So, there was an assumption by the authorities here and by everyone in the community that they were looking for what the brother described as a 6'0" tall man and somebody who had a muscular build, somebody with gray hair. And so, obviously, this community was on edge. You are talking about a community of only 7,500 residents. So, when the sheriff came out yesterday and announced that the brother himself was arrested for the crime, there was a great deal of shock. This is what the sheriff had to say.


SHERIFF GARY KUNTZ, CALAVERAS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: Detectives arrested Leila's 12-year-old brother at the valley springs substation on charges of homicide. Citizens of the county can sleep a little better tonight. This is still an active investigation. We know you may have many questions. I will not be providing any information about this investigation at this time.


SIMON: Well, the man question today is why, what was going on in this young man's life to make him react in this way allegedly. Were there some psychological problems? And also, what evidence do authorities have on the 12-year-old who is not being publicly named yet? Was there DNA evidence? Some type of confession? Those answers will come later -- Alison.

KOSIK: All right, a very shocking turn in that case.

Dan Simon, thank you.

A three-day standoff ended in New Jersey with a suspect dead and three hostages freed. Police got a call Friday to check on the woman who lived in the Trenton house with her boy friend and five children. When officers arrived, the boyfriend grabbed three of her kids and held them hostage upstairs. Police burst in early this morning killing the boyfriend Gerald Tyrone Murphy. The mother and her 13- year-old son were already dead. Police says they were -- they believe that they were killed two weeks ago. The woman's fifth child who was 19 was hiding in the basement.

A grisly crime scene shocked this law community of Waynesville, Indiana. Four bodies with gunshot wounds have been discovered in a house. Our affiliate WXIN reports, they have been identified as 53- year-old Catherine Burten (ph), 41-year-old Erin Cross (ph), 41-year- old Shan Burten (ph) and 39-year-old Thomas Smith (ph). Officials are calling it a quadruple homicide but no arrest has been made.

In Washington, growing outrage from Republicans over how the IRS treated tea party groups. Top IRS officials knew as far back at 2011 that agents were singling out non-profit conservative groups and making it harder for them to get tax exempt status. That's all in a new treasury department report expected to come out this week.

Athena Jones has details.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: This is truly outrageous.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Obama administration is facing growing anger from Republicans over the IRS' treatment of conservative groups.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care if you are a conservative, a liberal, a Democrat or Republican, this should send a chill up your spine.

JONES: Starting as early as March 2010, organizations with tea party, or patriot, in their names were among those singled out for extra scrutiny, subjected to long delays and mountains of paperwork when applying for tax exempt status.

COLLINS: It contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government.

JONES: Some IRS officials knew about this practice as early as June 2011. According to an IRS inspector general's report expected to be released this week. But then IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman said this to Congress in 2012.

DOUG SHULMAN, IRS COMMISSIONER: Yes, I can give you assurances. As you know, we pride ourselves on being a non-political nonpartisan organization. There's absolutely no targeting.

JONES: The IRS says senior officials like Shulman didn't know about this problem at the time of his testimony. On Friday, the agency admitted mistakes were made, but insisted they were in no way due to any political or partisan rationale.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And we certainly find the actions taken as reported to be inappropriate.

JONES: After being pressed about the issue, White House spokesman Jay Carney released this statement over the weekend. If the inspector general find that there were any rules broken or that conduct of government officials did not meet the standard required of them, the president expects that swift and appropriate steps will be taken to address any misconduct. Members of Congress are promising more investigations.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: But the IRS can target the right, it can target the left the next year and that is exactly what we want to make sure. It never happens in America.


KOSIK: And Athena Jones joins me now live.

Athena, here is a question for you. But when they talk about extra scrutiny for tea party groups what kind of measures are we talking about here?

JONES: Well, Alison, there are all sorts of examples. Most of them have to do with these groups feeling like they were being buried in paperwork. I had a chance to speak to the cofounder of a group called Tea Party Patriots, that is one of the nation's largest tea party organizations. And she said at one point the IRS asked and received all of the postings on their facebook fan page. That means all of the comments posted by more than one million facebook fans. As you can imagine now what has been pages and pages, thousands of pages she said of information to be handed over. So, that's just one example o the kinds of things this group say they were subjected to -- Alison.

KOSIK: OK. Athena Jones at the White House, thanks.

JONES: Thanks.

KOSIK: Three women freed from a decade of horror in Cleveland are asking for privacy today. And you are going to hear from a father who lost his own little girl in a brutal abduction.

Plus, O.J. Simpson is back in the spotlight this week and back in court. We will tell you what he is fighting to get.

And a woman lost her nose and her ears at the hand of her family. Her emotional story of what drove her to survive.


KOSIK: Three women abducted and held captive in CLEVELAND are trying to start a new chapter in their lives releasing statements today saying they need time to heal and recover. Their stories have already sent waves of hope to families of missing children.

I'm joined now by Marc Klaas, the founder of the Klaas Kids Foundation. His daughter, Poly, was and ducked from a sleepover in 1993 and found murdered two months later.

Mark, you know what it's like to have a child missing. Tell me what your first thoughts were when you heard that these women were found alive.

MARK KLAAS, FOUNDER, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, my first thoughts were that it was a mistake. The reality is that when children are taken by predators to have one turn up alive ten years later is almost unheard of. We can name the kids on one hand in fact. So, to have three turn up simultaneously, all being victims of the same individual is akin to winning the kidnap super lottery. KOSIK: You know, every single day we hear these just horrible details. They're so disgusting and so cruel, women being tied up, abused and raped. I mean, where do these families begin? How can these families recover from this?

KLAAS: Well, it is not going to be easy for anybody but I think that the two younger girls are going to have an easier time. Their families still embrace them. They never gave up hope on them. But it seems like the other girl, Michelle, was the brunt of had his wrath, of his sadism. Terrible things went on with that girl. I understand law enforcement took her off of the missing person list for a month because they couldn't even verify with her family she's the one missing. So, I think she is the one that is going to have the hardest road to recovery. But what they need to do is focus their psychological needs, find a good counselor that they can trust that will help them heal, embrace their family and embrace their faith.

KOSIK: you know, we heard from Gina Dejesus' mother that she never gave up hope. What can other families who -- with missing children take away from this story?

KLAAS: Well, several things. I mean, we have already seen headlines all week long of parents of other missing children who say they have renewed hope. Hopefully, also it will encourage law enforcement to look into some of the cold cases that have sort been laying dormant for a long time. And then, I think it demonstrates that families will never give up hope on their own missing children as long as there's no proof that the children are dead. I've seen it time and time again. It is something we experienced in our own situation and it was only after they were able offered their own proof that we finally believed and understood we would never see Polly alive again.

KOSIK: Just want to switch gear to another story that we have been covering. A 12-year-old boy arrested in the stabbing death of his 8- year-old sister, Leila Fowler. What's your reaction to hearing this?

KLAAS: It's so terribly sad. This family has lost twice. First they lost their precious little girl an now they've lost their son to this horrible heinous crime that he committed. I guess on the bright side is that the community doesn't have to worry that there's a predator out there arbitrarily murdering little girls. So, at least they have the peace of mind of knowing that their kids can now go to school without fear of being harmed.

All right, Marc Klaas, thank you for your time.

KLAAS: Sure. Thank you.

KOSIK: Summer vacation is almost her. Are you ready to spend big and do some shopping? Some retailers think you may want to do actually summer on the cheap this year. I'll explain in a moment.


KOSIK: Summer is just around the corner. But are you in a spending mood? This week we are going to get hard numbers on just how much we have been opening our wallets. Alan Valdes is the director of Ford trading at DMA securities. He is in New York.

Alan, you know, there is really nothing more important to our economy than consumer spending. So what kind of numbers are we expecting this week -- tomorrow?

ALAN VALDES, DIRECTOR, FLOOR TRADING, DMA SECURITIES: You know, Alison, you are 100 percent correct. People think of earnings and revenue and they are very important but this economy is powered. Seventy percent of the U.S. economy is powered by consumer spending. So it is very critical. And this week we get a bunch of numbers on consumer spending.

The number we are looking at right now is a little weak on that side. If you look at the earnings this past quarter, bottom line has been strong. They beat 60 percent of the time. Top line, that revenue line, is up only about one percent, a little over one percent. But you see, American companies are really starting to get hold of that. If you look at sears this week, they announced they are leasing program like the you a toes do for their big-ticket items. Apparently they can't consumers can't spend that much for washing machines or refrigerators. And burger -- McDonald's rather took the Angus burger off their menu because so many people are going for the $1 meal.

KOSIK: That's interesting.

And Wal-Mart earnings, Alan, are expected to come out later this week. If you look at shares, they are up 30 percent this year. But lately, there have been rumblings of a slump at Wal-Mart. What do you make of it? Is it really sort of the indicator of what's to come?

VALDES: Yes, Alison. Traders watch Wal-Mart real carefully. Remember, 130 million Americans shop at Wal-Mart a week. It is a good barometer of what's really going on in the economy out there.

They have been in a little slump, it seems. A lot of the retailers, the big retailers are a little slow right now. A lot has to do with the tax increases, with the high price of energy in the last few months or that's starting to ticking in. So, we are going to be curious and watch with those sales at Wal-Mart. They are very poor.

KOSIK: OK. So, we are getting some figures on housing this week. Housing starts and housing market index both coming out this week and we are seeing a housing rebound and its recovery. But, how much is, you know, of what the market is coming back on, you know, seems to really vary region by region? Are we really in for maybe a national comeback or is it still really just pockets of the country?

VALDES: Well, you know, it is pretty good all over the country. Ninety percent of cities in the U.S. priced are up from last year. That's pretty good. But there are some real hot markets. New York, of course, here is always hot. But Miami, I know, you are a southern Florida woman -- Miami's real hot. I mean, they are building between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. There must be 100 cranes in operation that are building. But, you know, it is interesting, years ago Miami, you would see these huge massive condo projects. Now, they're scaling back, building condos but not as big but the average starting price is $700,000.

KOSIK: That is really steep. I didn't know that. So, you learn something in here.

VALDES: But you know, Alison, I saw a little weekend getaway from you in Miami just up the street in news cafe, the Versace mansion on the market -- $100 million.

KOSIK: I think I will have to pass on that. Maybe just walk on by when I visit.

Alan Valdes, thank you.

VALDES: thanks, Ali.

KOSIK: Now, from financial fitness to physical fitness. If you need a little inspiration to change your life, look no further. Sanjay Gupta is here now with a fit nation update.

DOCTOR SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Alison, I spent a good part of this week in Florida training with our fit nation six pack. Now, we are less than four months away from our big triathlon in Malibu. I got to tell you, after what you saw this week, I am positive they are all going to be ready.


GUPTA: As you can see, they are all looking pretty good. I got a little of my own training in as well. If you want to see more of how our training we went in Florida, check out or now the featured fit nation section of the CNN iPad app -- Alison.

KOSIK: OK. We will check that out. Thanks, Sanjay.

The brothers of kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro are speaking out in an exclusive interview with CNN's Martin Savidge. They reveal what it felt like when they were wrongly linked to the crime.

And an unexpected mother's day surprise for one Florida mom. A massive gator, Steve McCollin (ph).


KOSIK: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alison Kosik. Thanks so much for joining us and happy mother's day.

These are the stories trending online today.

Seth Meyers has a new late night gig. He will be the new host of NBC's "Late Night." Meyers takes over for Jimmy Fallon who will begin hosting the "Tonight Show" early next year.

In Canada several homes have been destroyed by a massive wall of creeping ice. The ice moved in suddenly taking residents by surprise. No one has been injured, but the homes have been evacuated. Billionaire Richard Branson is sporting bright reddish-orange uniform of his virgin Atlantic flight attendants. Branson dressed up as a flight attendant and serve drinks on a flight to make good on a bet he made with a friend. Branson says he had fun but he's glad it is over.

If you're heading to the movie for mother's day, great gats by is back. But it won't do well enough to knock off one of this year's box office king "Iron Man 3." According to a (INAUDIBLE) relation, the superhero three-quel is expected to take in about $69 million this weekend. That is more than $800 million worldwide since premiering May 3rd. The Great Gatsby is only projected to gross about $51 million and Tyler Perry's new film, Peeples coming in fifth place with just three million.

Tonight Anthony Bourdain heads to Morocco and the city of Tengears (ph). It is all about the food, the music and the atmosphere.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: I'm pretty much never getting out of this. I feel like Elton John at home. There are some countries you go to as soon as you get off the plane, the place smells like someplace you want to be. Right away. And that's true of Tangier. But for me, part of this part of the world that really does it for me should be happening any minute now. It is magic.

Oh, yes, it's when the other ones start to come in, that's when it gets really good. So beautiful. You get three of those going, you know you're not in New Jersey. You know you're someplace.


KOSIK: And you can see Anthony's entire trip tomorrow night (sic) right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. That's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, on Sunday night.

Facing death threats after being wrongly linked to a horrifying crime. Now you'll hear from the brothers of kidnapping suspects of Ariel Castro in an exclusive interview with CNN.

Also, the bombing suspects - the bombing survivors in Boston are moving on. We'll take a look at what one of them is doing to stay strong and forget the horrors of that day.


KOSIK: Now to a CNN worldwide exclusive. When Ariel Castro was arrested on charges of kidnapping and raping three women for over a decade in his Cleveland home, police also arrested his two brothers, showing their faces to the world. In the minds of many, all three men were monsters.

But last Friday (sic), police released Pedro and Onil Castro, saying neither man had anything to do with the alleged abductions and torture of Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight. Now for the first time since their release, both men sat down and talked exclusively with CNN's Martin Savidge about their brother and their ordeal. They are grateful the women and the 6-year-old girl are finally free and safe, but they're also haunted by missing clues, haunted by the media, and receiving death threats for something they say they did not do.


SAVIDGE: Do you worry now that people will always suspect that you actually did have a role?



ONIL CASTRO: And the people out there that know me, they know that Onil Castro is not that person, has nothing to do with that would never even think of something like that. I was a very liked person, individual. I have never had any enemies. No reason for anybody to think that I would ever do something like that. It's a shock to all my friends. They couldn't believe it.

PEDRO CASTRO: Same. I couldn't ever think of doing anything like that. If I knew that my brother was doing this, I would not be -- I would not -- in a minute, I would call the cops because that isn't right. But yes, it's going to haunt me down. Because people are going to think Pedro got something to do with this. Pedro don't have nothing to do with this. If I knew, I would have reported it. Brother or no brother.


KOSIK: And you can see much more of Martin's exclusive interview, including hearing the one strange rule they say Ariel Castro demanded his brothers follow when inside his home. Plus, you'll also hear what they say happened when one brother confronted Ariel about the mysterious little girl that looked so much like him. That and much more beginning tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Eastern on CNN's "STARTING POINT."

Tomorrow marks four weeks since Boston marathon bombings, and survivors are trying to get their lives back to normal. Our Paula Newton reports on how Boston is moving on.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Even in Cambridge, the place that the Tsarnaevs called home for years, the days are mercifully quiet again. More and more talk of terror gives way of what you would expect here. How are those Bruins and Red Sox doing?

The Red Sox at Fenway Park. What could be a better tonic for this city now so determined to carry on? For many victims and their families, going to sporting events like this has really been part of their rehabilitation, their recovery.

With undeniable courage, Heather Abbott is back at Fenway Park. It was a Red Sox game on the day of the marathon that brought her to Boston. After the game, she was grabbing a bite to eat at the race finish line. And then there the bombs went off. She lost her left foot.

So, imagine the strength it takes to come back to Fenway and throw out the first pitch. Abbott is firm. There's no use looking back, she said.

The investigation does continue. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother, is still recovering in a hospital and will likely receive more criminal proceedings in the coming days. Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow, has hired a new lawyer with expertise in terror cases. Investigators still want to question her.

And then there's Tamerlan Tsarnaev. An FBI team is still on the ground in Russia investigating what contract and influence extremists might have had with him.

DAVID FILIPOV, BOSTON GLOBE REPORTER: We don't have that evidence. But that's the evidence that everyone was looking for. That connection, that link.

NEWTON: David Filipov is a veteran Boston Globe reporter who lived in Russia for a decade. He's spent the last month trying to retrace Tsarnaev's path to extremism. The older brother he says clearly went looking for literature and videos about it.

FILIPOV: Now, did looking at that convince him, hey, I'm living in a place surrounded by Americans, Americans are killing Muslims, therefore to go out and kill Americans? This idea that I'm so radicalized that I identify with the enemy with these people here and I'm going to kill them -- that's something rational people have trouble with.

NEWTON: That's what this city is starting to come to terms with. As the investigation becomes more complicated, the simple question of why is almost impossible to answer.

Paula Newton, CNN, Boston.


KOSIK: Another amazing survivor story is just ahead. An Afghan woman mutilated by her Taliban husband gets major reconstructive surgery here in the U.S. We're going to show you what her face and her life look like now.


KOSIK: A young Afghan woman who was disfigured by her Taliban family is refusing to let that horrifying attack ruin the rest of her life. Aesha's nose and ears were cut off, a punishment for running away. The brutality of the attack was revealed to the world on the cover of Time magazine in 2010. Three years later, Aesha is rebuilding her face and life in the U.S. Christiane Amanpour has her remarkable story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): It is a work in progress. Twenty-two-year-old Aesha's face and her life, imperfect and incomplete.

AESHA: People laugh at me here, too. But I don't care if they laugh or if they don't laugh. When people ask what happened to your nose, I told them, it is none of your business.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): But Aesha's nose became the world's business when her face graced the cover of "Time" magazine in 2010. Her nose and her ears were hacked off by her husband and her in-laws. She'd been in a marriage borne out of Taliban justice.

As so often happens to young women in Afghanistan, she was handed over when she was 12 years old as blood money after her uncle was accused of murder.

AESHA : Otherwise, they said, we will sentence you to death. And my father agreed.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Aesha says that her in-laws physically and verbally abused her for five years.

AESHA : In Afghanistan, when a woman is given to settle disputes, this is the treatment she receives.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Too many Afghan women know this suffering. A recent poll ranked Afghanistan as the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman.

Aesha dared to run away from the abuse. She was caught, though, and imprisoned and then returned to her in-laws, and that's when they mutilated her face and left her for dead. But somehow she survived and found her way to help. She was brought to a NATO military base, where she was treated.

AESHA: When I was in the hospital with Americans, that was the first time when I felt like a human being.

How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm good; how are you?

AESHA: I'm good.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): And then she was moved to a women's shelter in Kabul. Nine months later, her haunting image appeared. And now she was even more of a target for the Taliban. So she had to leave the country. A U.S. foundation agreed to bring her to California for a new face and a chance at a new life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you in America? AESHA: (Inaudible).


AESHA: I am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to get your nose?


AMANPOUR (voice-over): But because of the years of trauma she had endured, she was deemed not ready to take on the additional burden of massive and difficult surgeries. And so she was moved across the country to New York, where a team of women began to give her some counseling, some life skills and the education that she's never had, starting with her ABCs.

ARIELA PERLMAN, AESHA'S TEACHER: This is our first project that we did together. Sometimes we felt like we were with a 3-year old, a 7- year old, an 11-year old, a 15-year old, a 45-year old, depending on what she was feeling at the moment and what she felt she needed to communicate.

SHIPHRA BAKHCHI, PSYCHOLOGIST: Her behavior could be erratic. She could be having fun and you know, wanting to be social and talkative one minute and then locking the door and throwing the covers over her head another minute. And her behavior was impulsive and very difficult at times.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Even though she made some progress in therapy, Aesha was still emotionally empty because what she needed, what she wanted most was a family to call her own.

And soon she met an Afghan family from Maryland, Mati, his wife, Jamila, and daughter Mina (ph).

JAMILA ARSALA: (Inaudible). What do you like here?

MATI ARSALA : Uncle Mati?


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Aesha won them over and persuaded them to take her in. And now for the first time in her life, she was choosing her own path and she seemed happy.

JAMILA ARSALA: I like here because I'm going to the pool. I put my purse like this. When she (inaudible) going to the playground there is a swing and she loves to swing.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): After seven months with this family, Aesha would have the first of many surgeries to start rebuilding her face.

AESHA: I'm OK, I'm happy. My surgery, I'm not scared.

MINA ARSALA (PH): I'm pretty sure once she gets all her surgery she'll have a lot of guys drooling.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): This is Aesha after that first surgery. She would look worse before she would look better. And she had surgery after surgery after surgery.

AESHA : It was very difficult in the beginning. But then I got used to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: : Do you like your nose? How do you feel about it?

AESHA : It's good.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Aesha still has more surgery to go. After doctors finish her nose, they'll begin to reconstruct her ears. But to live in the United States and to be independent, she needs at least to learn how to read and write. As it stands, she's got the education level of a young child.

JAMILA ARSALA: So she stays at home; she do her jewelry. Then she watch movies or some series. This is her life now.

MATI ARSALA: She is in her own world. She is going through these things, you know.

JAMILA ARSALA: We talked with her about that after this process you have to come back to your real life. It will be not so easy.

AESHA: You know that I am not afraid of anything in life. I can handle anything as long as I am good and healthy.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): On this swing, Aesha doesn't worry about her future, and she's soaring free right now. But how softly will she land? Christiane Amanpour, CNN, New York.



KOSIK: And we'll be right back.


KOSIK: Imagine this, looking out your front door and there it is, an eight-foot-long alligator. Ahh! That's what one family in Florida found this morning. Some gator experts came and pulled it away from the front door. They dragged it all the way into the yard. The gator tried to take the guy's hand a few times, but they eventually managed to get his mouth tied shut and hauled it off to a park in the Everglades.

You know what the family thought? The family thought it was a Mother's Day prank at first, but ah, no, no no. But this gator was very real. Good thing is, no one was hurt. Now that's a dangerous job. CNN NEWSROOM with Don Lemon coming up in a few minutes.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: How do you top that?

KOSIK: I bet you can top it. You have a lot coming up.

LEMON: We have a lot of very serious news coming up, Alison. Tomorrow marks four weeks since the Boston Marathon bombings. Boston doesn't have surveillance cameras mounted around the city to monitor people, so police use store-mounted cameras and cell phone video to help I.D. the suspects. Are we living in a time, though, where streets should be monitored 24/7 for public safety, or does that compromise American values of privacy and liberty? We'll talk about that.

Also, 25 years later, it is still the worst drunken driving crash in U.S. history. A school bus hit by a truck with a drunk driver behind the wheel. Twenty-seven people killed that day. The accident helped to propel Mothers Against Drunk Driving to the forefront. We're going to hear from a survivor of that crash, who has now produced a documentary that includes other survivors and the families of the victims.

And this really qualified if you're talking about golf as trash talking. You don't usually hear about trash tacking that much in the sedate world of golf, right? Tiger Woods and his occasional rival, Sergio Garcia, are trading shots and I'm not talking about the ones used with golf clubs. Not those We'll be talking about it in about an hour.

KOSIK: Well, that's kind of interesting. So, is this coming to blows or?

LEMON: I think it's coming to blows with their words.

KOSIK: Oh, okay. All right, well, I'll be watching. Sounds like you have a lot coming up.

LEMON: All right. Good to see you.

KOSIK: Good to see you, Don. Here's a question for you: what do O.J. Simpson, Jodi Arias, and the winner of the Kentucky Derby have in common? They're all part of our week ahead, coming up next.


KOSIK: O.J. Simpson is fighting for his freedom. He'll be in a Las Vegas courtroom this week, seeking a new trial. And that tops our look at the week ahead. Simpson has been locked up since 2008 after being convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery in a bizarre dispute over his memorabilia. Starting Monday, Simpson's lawyers will argue he deserves a new trial because his legal representation the first time around was so bad.

Also Monday, Aurora, Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes is expected to enter an insanity plea. He faces charges for killing 12 people in a shooting spree last July. On Wednesday, the Jodi Arias murder trial resumes with the aggravation phase. Jurors will decide if she gets the death penalty after she was convicted of first-degree murder.

On Wednesday, we'll get the Consumer Price Index. It will tell us whether we paid more for various goods and services last month.

On Saturday, it's the the 138th running of the Preakness stakes in Maryland. Orb, the colt that won the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, will go for the second leg in the coveted Triple Crown. No horse has won the Triple Crown since 1978.

That will do it for me. Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Don Lemon. Have a great week.