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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Severe Midwest Storms; Wildfire Rescue Goes Viral; NSA Chief Defends Agency; Debate Over Collection of Meta Data; Shooting Victims' Reunion; Ariel Castro Pled Not Guilty; Woman Tracks Down Father's Alleged Killer
Aired June 12, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Tonight breaking news, wildfires in Colorado forced thousands to run for their lives. Punishing storms threatened a heartland. Chicago could be in the crosshairs.
Plus a firefighter who became an Internet sensation when he made this rescue.
And a 10-year-old girl fighting for her life gets a lung transplant. She's out of surgery tonight and her family says her doctors are pleased with her progress. We'll bring you more news as it happens.
Also, you met Debra Fine on this show. She's the hero who tried to stop the Santa Monica rampage killer and was herself shot again and again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBRA FINE, SURVIVED SHOOTING: Eight bullets entered the car. Right away two hit me on the left side, three more hit me on the right side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tonight, we'll reunite her with a neighbor who came to her rescue. She laid bleeding in her car.
Also "Law & Disorder." Exclusive video, the mother of a Cleveland kidnapping victim saying something you'd never expect about Ariel Castro.
Plus the woman who tracked down her father's alleged killer after 26 years and she did it all online.
And the battle in Washington over government surveillance. Has it saved you from terror attacks?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: It's dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tonight Jeff Toobin and Ben Ferguson battle it out on "The Grill." But we start with lots of breaking weather news.
I want to bring in Chad Myers from CNN Severe Weather Center.
Chad, a lot going on in the world of weather tonight.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes.
MORGAN: Tell me, first of all, about this derecho. What is it and how threatening is it going to be in the next 24 hours?
MYERS: It is a long -term event that has to get its act together. It is a squall line like a bulldozer that pushes air out ahead of it. And last year we had this. One hour after another right through Ohio, over West Virginia, even into Washington, D.C., with significant wind damage.
We don't have that setting up just yet. I know we've talked a lot about the potential today but the forecast of derecho is almost harder than forecast where a tornado is going to touchdown. The big story tonight, Piers, is that it's still going. It's still possible. I just don't see that line going yet. These couple lines this way but this line needs to do this and then move to the east, then become that big push.
But for tonight, this weather is already dark. You're going to be going to sleep. This is a NOAA weather radio. You need to get one. This is simple. This is 30 bucks. Look at this. This sound right here. That could wake you up at night. That could save your life if you are asleep and there is a tornado warning or a severe thunderstorm warning or a flash flood warning for your county.
Now in the past, these things went off all night long for every county. They don't do that anymore. They only go off for the county that you tell it to do, you tell it to go off. You tell it your county. It won't go off all night long.
South of Chicago, Fort Wayne, had a tornado, at least a funnel cloud, just north of Fort Wayne. Not headed to Fort Wayne, headed to the east, also around Columbus, Ohio, especially to the north around Mount Gilla seeing a little bit of rotation. There's a lot of weather still here. It's that derecho we worried about. I just don't see it yet but pay attention tonight, don't go to bed without at least turning on the TV. At least turning it on, looking at a radar on the -- on the Internet. It could save your life tonight.
There could be still some severe weather. It's calming down as it usually does during the afternoon hours.
The picture you're seeing here. This is what didn't calm down today. This is all that smoke. This is the fire. Five fires now in Colorado. They have burning acres and acres, thousands of acres in some spots well over 100 homes now completely lost to these fires. And the air is so dry, trees are dry, many of the trees, Piers, are dead. Colorado pine beetle killed half the trees across parts of Utah and in the higher elevations of Colorado. And it hasn't rained in a couple of years almost -- yes, I know it has -- but not what it needs to. But a huge drought out there. That drought is part of the problem.
MORGAN: Chad, thanks very much indeed for that all encompassing report.
I want to bring in now the firefighter that became an Internet hero when he rescued a fawn from Colorado's Black Forest fire. Colby Helgerson and Ted Robertson, he lost his home in that same fire.
Colby Helgerson, let me start with you if I may. All of America was touched and charmed by the images of you bringing out this tiny little baby deer in your hands. What was going through your mind when you found it?
COLBY HELGERSON, COLORADO FIREFIGHTER WHO SAVED FAWN: I'm sorry, could you repeat the question?
MORGAN: I'm just saying, what was going through your mind when you found this little baby deer?
HELGERSON: What was going through my mind when I found out you want to interview me?
MORGAN: No, no, no.
HELGERSON: I'm sorry. I'm having a hard time hearing you.
MORGAN: Let me -- let me speak -- obviously a bit of a problem with the line there.
What was going through your mind when you found the baby deer?
HELGERSON: Oh, when I found the baby deer? We were setting up a defensive tactic on a structure. We had a type one engine and a type six engine. We were just kind of going through our paces, doing what were trained to do, and we saw the deer wrapped up in a wire for a fence, and Captain Roy Dolton was able to untangle it. We were able to get it out of there and we had an opportunity, a short opportunity to be able to get it to somewhere safe, and we took that opportunity, and that was when I got caught on camera walking a baby deer to a sheriff.
MORGAN: And have you had the same reaction that I've been seeing in my office here in New York with every woman you meet, cooing and awing over your heroic behavior to this deer?
HELGERSON: I'm sorry, could you say that last part again?
MORGAN: Let me shorten my questions. How are the women reacting to your action? Because the women in my office think you're a bit of a hero.
HELGERSON: People are calling me a hero?
HELGERSON: I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time hearing you.
MORGAN: I'll tell you what, Colby. We've obviously got a problem with your line unfortunately. Let us move on to Ted Robinson.
Ted, not such a happy story for you. You lost your home in these fires today. Tell me what happened.
SHERIFF TERRY MAKETA, EL PASO COUNTY, COLORADO: We were watching Facebook when we saw some news reports of the fire and we -- my wife and I met at our property about 2:00 or 3:00 that afternoon and we began to gather our belongings and it wasn't long afterwards where the highway patrol came to our home and told us we had about 10 minutes.
We had no idea that the fire was moving that quickly or was that close to our home. We had gathered all the necessary belongings, everything you would expect to gather, our medicines and papers and of course our cat Malcolm, and we moved to the north. And I lingered there at the tree line about a mile and a half from my home. And we watched the plumes of smoke as they were rolling -- as the fire was rolling over our neighborhood.
And every time we saw a jet black plume of smoke we kind of knew that that was a home going up and we saw that happen right about where our neighborhood was and that's about when we felt like we could be sure that we had lost our home. We've been there for 22 years.
MORGAN: And Ted, I mean, we see these scenes every summer in America and so many stories like yours. To actually go through it, to see your family home going up in flames, to see the neighborhood where I believe your wife has lived since she was 4 years old, so many families and friends that you know being so badly affected, what does it do to a community?
MAKETA: It brings a community like ours very much together. We're a small enclave at the very north end of El Paso County here in Colorado. And for a woman like my wife who was raised there, she's got a very special connection with the terrain, with the -- with the area, with the feel, with the place itself, and she experiences a loss as -- as severe as ours.
All the trees are killed. The houses reduced to ashes. There's nothing left of anything that we had owned and she's experiencing this loss in a way that resembles the time when she lost her mom and her dad and that is how connected we feel to the place in which we live here. So it's a difficult experience to go through. We are very, very blessed that we've got a good support structure and lots of family here and we're able to get our belongings out in time.
MORGAN: Well, I wish you and your family all the very best in rebuilding your lives after such an appalling thing to hit you and the community. I really do and thank you both very much indeed for joining me.
MAKETA: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: And I want to turn to the other big story tonight. The political firestorm over the Obama administration's intelligence gathering. The agency's chief, General Keith Alexander, was on Capitol Hill today, staunchly defending the massive surveillance programs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER: It's dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent. This is not us doing something under the covers. This is what we're doing on behalf of all of us for the good of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The NSA is, of course, under intense fires as a result of Edward Snowden's leak. But what does this say about our nation's security and your privacy?
Battling out on the "Grill" tonight, conservative radio host Ben Ferguson and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Welcome to you both gentlemen.
Ben Ferguson, let me start with you. I haven't talked to you yet about Edward Snowden and these leaks. What is your view of it?
BEN FERGUSON, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: Well, I think he's not a hero and I think a lot of people are trying to turn him into that. We don't know what information he may have sold or leaked or he may come out with after this. So I do think that he is a traitor. And I think the fact that he ran is proof of that. He says, you know, I didn't do anything wrong. Well, if you didn't, then why aren't you still in the United States of America facing the music?
So I do think he's some sort of great hero. At the same time, some of the information that we do know I think certainly brings up issues with the Fourth Amendment. It certainly brings up issues with privacy. And when the government tells me today, as they did, that, you know, we're on the same team, we're trying to help you. We know that our government in the past have abused their powers and I don't trust the government and I think we've seen over the last month how many different ways we've been let down by this government.
And they -- we shouldn't be trusting them because look at how the IRS did things. Look at how the Justice Department targeted journalists. They have gone a little bit outside the lines and I think that's something that we've got to look at.
MORGAN: Let's see what Glen Greenwald, he's the reporter from "The Guardian" who broke this story. What he told Anderson Cooper a little earlier this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN: And if it were really my goal to do what people in Washington are accusing me of, namely harm Americans, endanger Americans, I could have just published that. And what he was saying was that's something I chose not to do and would not do.
And let me just add that from the beginning of our interactions with Mr. Snowden he was very insistent that he had vetted these documents carefully, but that was giving them to us and wanted us to exercise a very judicious journalistic judgment about what should be published and what shouldn't because he didn't want gratuitous disclosure. He didn't want just indiscriminate document dumping.
All he wanted was to inform the American people about what the government was doing without in any way jeopardizing the lives of innocent people around the world and that's exactly what we have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: OK. Jeffrey Toobin --
FERGUSON: See, that's the guy that's so --
MORGAN: Ben, Ben, hang on one second.
Jeffrey, your reaction?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Can you imagine -- I mean, here is this 29-year-old high school dropout, well, he scrutinized these documents very carefully and he decided they were not a damage to national security. He doesn't know. Thousands of people work on these programs. Billions of dollars are spent and he decides what should be made public and what shouldn't be.
I don't blame Glen Greenwald. He's -- a reporter, he's doing his job. But I think Snowden is discrediting himself over and over again. Today he gave an interview to a newspaper in Hong Kong where he said, you know, the American government is tapping the computers and phones in Hong Kong and China. How does that help the American people?
MORGAN: Well, it may not --
TOOBIN: To disclose that.
MORGAN: Well, Jeffrey --
TOOBIN: Why is that -- why is that at all something that needs to be mentioned. MORGAN: But Jeff, Jeff, it may not help the American people. That doesn't mean it's not in the public interest for it to be revealed. Should the government be secretly hacking if as he -- what he claims is true into Chinese computers? Should the Americans get all uptight about what the Chinese are doing to their computers if it turns out they're doing the same thing?
TOOBIN: We have a national security agency to do foreign intelligence in other countries. This is their job. And so in one respect it's not a huge surprise but to have someone from the inside confirm it, I think, you know, it's so far afield from his supposed concern about Americans' individual rights, which is very much a legitimate subject to discuss but to have someone like him breaking the law, which he clearly did, to bring that discussion to the fore is I think --
MORGAN: Here's the -- here's the point, Ben, which I want to make about this which is --
MORGAN: I've been debating this now for a few days. Seems to me the most -- the most salient aspect of all this is what has he actually revealed. Putting aside the kind of person he is and everything else, what did he actually disclose? I don't see anything at the moment which if I'm al Qaeda or an enemy of the United States is going to be that surprising. You know, Glenn Greenwald has said repeatedly --
FERGUSON: Yes, but we -- but then --
MORGAN: Hang on. It's not that shocking that the American intelligence agencies are looking at people's e-mails or phone calls or whatever. So if he's not surprising to the enemy, the shocking aspect is the privacy aspect to American citizens. It may well be --
FERGUSON: But it's the indiscriminant --
MORGAN: He may well be a little bit disconcerted but as you said after the IRS scandal, the wrong types of people in those agencies are going to be misusing that information.
FERGUSON: But, Piers, here's the issue. It's indiscriminate. It's one thing if you're connecting dots with known terrorists, for example, e-mailing or calling into the United States of America. I think that's where Americans would support this program.
It's the total just blanket of communications of almost everything that Americans have a problem with because we should not be treated like terrorist or be treated like the Chinese. I think most Americans, for example, they know that the NSA is going to be monitoring and trying to find out information about our adversaries.
That's totally normal and I don't think people have a problem with that because at the same time, most Americans accept that China or Russia or Iran or Iraq or any other place where they may be people that don't like us are going to try to find out information about us. But when it's normal grandpa and grandpa's phone call on Mother's Day or Father's Day?
MORGAN: OK. Just quickly --
FERGUSON: That's a problem.
MORGAN: Jeff, your quick reaction to that. It is a good point, isn't it? Why should it be so all encompassing and why aren't the American people entitled to know about it?
TOOBIN: Well, because of the technology they have, they need this enormous meta data to -- as Jeremy Bash, who is a senior official said - in order to find a needle in a haystack, you need to have the haystack. And that's the argument here. And that's an appropriate argument to have. But it's not one that is helped in any way by someone violating the law and disclosing what he decides --
MORGAN: But if that's the only way it can get it out --
TOOBIN: It's not the only way.
MORGAN: It wasn't getting out before. It was a secret.
TOOBIN: It was a secret but, you know, there are appropriate ways to do this. There are senators who are very interested in this subject. Senator Merkley, Senator Udall -- these people have been bringing this to public attention. You know --
TOOBIN: I just don't think this is --
MORGAN: Wait, wait, wait, hold your fire On The Grill. We're taking a short break. We'll have more on this when we come back.
And also, I want to talk to you about the 72-year-old grandmother who fought off a burglar with a .357 Magnum. I want to talk about the right to bear arms in that particular instance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back up you son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
Well, Mr. Perez, you have no idea how lucky you were to be able to walk away from my house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Back On The Grill tonight with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. So, here's an interesting conundrum today. Peter King came out and said quite firmly that the journalists involved from Glen Greenwald and others at "The Guardian" and presumably other papers that have also published these revelations should be possibly be imprisoned themselves. Jeffrey Toobin?
TOOBIN: I think it's a terrible thought, it's a terrible idea. And fortunately both Attorney General Holder and President Obama have said we don't want to penalize student -- journalists for doing their job. Remember, the First Amendment --
MORGAN: Well, Eric Holder said that, having already trying to do that --
TOOBIN: Well, after there was a big reaction to it. And remember, in fairness to Eric Holder he has not prosecuted any journalists yet. He has put --
MORGAN: He was trying quite hard to get to first base, wasn't he?
TOOBIN: Well, he was trying to get information from journalists to prosecute people who leak. And he put things --
MORGAN: But tell me this, Jeffrey, why shouldn't -- there is a big scandal in Britain involving lots of journalists with phone hacking and breaking the law. What has happened here -- and "The Guardian" was the paper that exposed it, what has happened here is somebody has willfully and self-confessingly broke the law in a very serious manner. Regardless of what he ends up being charged with, he's admitted that. And "The Guardian" has been complicit in putting that information into the public domain, using his information gained from criminal activity. Now, why shouldn't they also face the same potential charges as he has?
TOOBIN: Because the First Amendment specifically refers to the freedom of the press. And it says the press is an interest that the United States government, the United States courts needs to defend. And we can get information from all sorts of sources, and even if those people are breaking the law, as long as we don't break the law, that's -- that's an appropriate way to gather news.
MORGAN: Ben Ferguson, would you jail journalists over this?
FERGUSON: No, I wouldn't. I do think, though, that there has to be some integrity with journalism and I'm not sure this guy has a lot of that. What I mean by that is I do think you should at least give a heads up to -- if you're going to be revealing government secrets and let the government make their case, which a lot of organizations do do. That hey, we're going to put this out there, but you can tell us and make a case for one, maybe we should not have x, y or z in this article.
I think this guy loves just putting big scoops out there and doesn't care if it maybe puts people's lives at risk or those that are in the intel industry where they're trying to protect us. What they do for a living and the secrets they help us keep at risk, either. I think he's one of those rogue guys --
MORGAN: Whoa, whoa except that they did hold back information.
FERGUSON: Well, in theory.
TOOBIN: In fact. The Supreme -- I mean, "The Washington Post," I know published only four of the 41 slides --
TOOBIN: -- they were given, which I think speaks to Snowden's incredible irresponsibly, but it speaks well of "The Washington Post."
MORGAN: -- what you said that Snowden may not know what is that sensitive, actually.
TOOBIN: Right, and "The Washington Post" behaved responsibly.
MORGAN: Right. Let's turn to another story completely because I want to get your take on this quickly. A 72-year-old grandmother who fired her .357 Magnum revolver at a man allegedly trying to break into her Orange County home -- she said she was trying to defend herself and her 85-year-old husband. We got two bits of tape here. One is the 911 call involving Jan Cooper telling the man to leave before firing her gun, and then what she said at the press conference. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAN COOPER, SHOT AT INTRUDER: Back up you son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
Well, Mr. Perez, you have no idea how lucky you were to be able to walk away from my house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, he was not hurt in the end. A bullet whistled across his ear, apparently. And what is your view, Ben Ferguson.
FERGUSON: Yes, if she wants to adopts another child, I would be more than happy to go eat Christmas and Thanksgiving at this grandmother's house. What a bad you know what! I mean, this is awesome. She's protecting her house. She's got a husband that's a World War II veteran who apparently, from what I've been told, is in a wheelchair. And she was able to defend and protect when the police unfortunately weren't there yet.
And you know what? This is exactly why our founding fathers -- MORGAN: You know what, Ben Ferguson? Let me stop you right there because this is why I wanted to do this story when I knew that you were on tonight. I completely and utterly agree with you. This is exactly what I think the Second Amendment is actually about. It's about an elderly couple who had a handgun that was duly, legally registered for 20 years, kept safely. An intruder breaks in, ignores a warning and she fires a shot and the man is arrested. Turns out he's a serial burglar and intruder --
MORGAN: Isn't that what the founding fathers, Jeffrey, intended the Second Amendment to mean?
TOOBIN: This is an example how much the debate changed in this country. In 1968 when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan with a handgun, the reaction was the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- ban guns as much as possible. Now the reaction is whenever somebody, as Wayne LaPierre says, the only cure with a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with the gun. The idea more guns make us more safe is so deeply ingrained now. But I think it's worth pointing out it a very different attitude than used to be.
MORGAN: I agree. By the way, I completely agree the more guns, the less gun crime thing is complete nonsense. However, I do think --
FERGUSON: But --
MORGAN: Here's the point I'd make, Ben. The point about this story is that in a nation that has 300 million guns in circulation, actually an elderly couple like this probably do need to have a handgun at home in case armed intruders come by because the likelihood is it may be. That's a different argument to me than the one we have regularly about mass shootings and the rest of it with AR-15 assault rifles and high- capacity magazines and so on.
And the reason I wanted to talk about this story was to make the point I think this kind of situation is exactly what the Second Amendment was actually intended for.
FERGUSON: And it goes back to the core of background checks and everything else. If you're a law-abiding citizen, you should have the right to protect and defend yourself and be able to go buy a weapon because the bad guys don't go buy them appropriately and they don't go through a background check. And they don't buy -- they don't care what kind of gun they get on the black market.
And this is where it's proof yet again that if you have a family member, doesn't matter what age, young or old, and they have been prepared. She went to the range year after year with her husband. She knew how to shoot proficiently and she proved it in this situation. And you know what? She's alive and okay and unharmed because of it today.
MORGAN: Yes. We're going to leave it there. Just to make the point again, you can defend what she did in that situation but also, have a completely different view about assault rifles, machine guns, high- capacity magazines and background checks. That's the nature of a sensible debate.
Ben Ferguson and Jeffrey Toobin, thank you both very much indeed.
FERGUSON: Thanks for having us.
MORGAN: Coming next, the woman who tried to stop the Santa Monica rampage killer is back. You heard her survival story on this show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBRA FINE, SURVIVED SANTA MONICA SHOOTING RAMPAGE: This is where the two bullets went into my left side, and then it just tore across my chest and all the shrapnel went across my chest. And then on the other side is where the other three bullets went in. So, this is all that was left of my shirt in a matter of three seconds, four seconds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Absolutely miraculous escape there. Now the neighbor who rushed to her aid is here for an emotional reunion.
MORGAN: Now I want to turn to a story you first saw here. Debra Fine risked her life trying to stop the Santa Monica rampage killer. She's shot multiple times and left bleeding in her car. A neighbor rushed out of their house to help Debra. And tonight we're reuniting Debra with that Good Samaritan, Jerri Cunningham-Rathner.
Welcome, ladies, to you both.
JERRI CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER, HELPED SANTA MONICA SHOOTING VICTIM: Thank you, Piers.
DEBRA FINE, SURVIVED SANTA MONICA SHOOTING RAMPAGE: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Jerri, obviously we haven't seen you yet. We had Debra telling her extraordinary story the other day. What was going through your mind? You were inside your house. I believe your son had just walked outside and you heard gunfire.
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: Yes, I heard about six shots, and I really thought somebody was outside shooting my son, so I ran out onto the front porch and saw what I now know as my neighbor. I thought it was an official looking guy in a SWAT uniform, and we made eye contact. He looked at me and just about that time Debra and Laura -- I now know their names -- cars pulled up at the corner, which is, you know, 45 feet maybe from where I was standing.
And the gunman waved, told Laura in the first car to pull over. He kind of waved her over and she did, and Debra here --
FINE: Did not. CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: Well, he kind -- he used the assault rifle to motion her through, and I was just transfixed to the spot. I -- so it didn't dawn on me to leave. I don't know why. And Debra, I think, hesitated. She was -- and I saw her -- I saw you glanced up at him and when she looked at him, he just fired rapidly three, four shots into her car. At that point, I actually did run into my house, not to run away but to grab the telephone and call 911.
FINE: Well, what was really surprising when we just had our reunion a few minutes ago is that you thanked me for saving your life and I was thanking you for saving my life. I didn't realize that my car, by not listening to him and getting angry at him for waving the rifle around, I sped up, and then his full attention came to me and off of you.
FINE: So I wanted to thank you and ask Piers to put us together so I can say thank you for getting me out of the car. Nobody would get me out of the car but you and then you said, thank you for saving my life.
His eyes were trained on me until you crashed your car in front of me.
MORGAN: Well, the common --
FINE: So --
MORGAN: The common thing between you is that both of you showed extraordinary courage under absolutely horrendous conditions.
And Jerri, you then ran, I believe, to help Debra to put towels on her wound. She had these awful bullet holes that we saw the other night. Did you fear that she was very seriously hurt?
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: I wasn't afraid of the gunman, obviously, I went running back out there and he was still out there. Debra's car had kind of crashed into my driveway from him shooting her, and as soon as he -- I'm on the phone with 911, and I went over and opened her car door as soon as he drove off.
FINE: And I know you thought I was dead.
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: And I really thought she was dead. I thought -- that was when I felt the fear was when I opened -- I thought I'm going to open this and she's going to have a head wound and what will -- what will I do? That's -- that was the first time that I was fearful was when I opened her car door.
MORGAN: And miraculous, as we know, Debra survived and is alive and well with us tonight. But you weren't stopping there, Jerry, because you then saw a house on fire, and you ran in, got your garden hose, and went and tried to put that out. I mean, you're bordering on Superman here.
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: I did.
Well, it was just pure instinct, Piers, I did not -- it -- it was no conscious thought here. I don't really don't think I made sure that Debra was OK. We got pressure on her wounds. I kind of turned her over to a neighbor and we went to get garden hoses because I knew that the -- I saw that the father's car was in front of the home, and I thought for sure he was in there.
We didn't know at the time, of course, that he was already deceased, but we thought, you know, by this time there were quite a few neighbors there around and we all kind of grabbed garden hoses and went across the street, and were trying, you know, just to keep the fire down.
MORGAN: Amazing. And Debra --
FINE: So I was grateful because I was in the car.
MORGAN: Well, Debra, I was going to ask you. When you saw Jerri again for the first time tonight, I mean, you've obviously been through this extraordinary experience together where both of you could have lost your lives quite easily, what was that moment like for you when you -- when you met?
FINE: We gave each other big hugs. I recognized Jerri right away and she was the only one who would open my door because everyone else was afraid that he was going to come back, but he had actually gotten into Laura's car. So it was quite a reunion and especially with both of us thanking each other for saving each other's lives.
FINE: It was --
MORGAN: Pretty amazing.
FINE: It was festive.
MORGAN: Yes. And Jerri, Jerri, let me ask you because I asked Debra the other night about this and she said she had never really given guns or gun control much thought before this but this experience had certainly changed her mind and made her think how ridiculous it was that somebody like this young man could get access to weapons like this.
What is your view given what you've been through?
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: Well, Piers, I actually grew up down south. I think when I was a kid, I was a member of the NRA. I went to a camp where you get like little bars and I could shoot -- you know, I earned all nine bars and an expert badge in the NRA, believe that or not. I could have brought them. (LAUGHTER)
FINE: No, no, no, no --
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: I know we're going to talk about gun control.
FINE: That's OK. That's OK.
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: I think it's great if people need a gun to shoot, you know, food, but I don't see any reason why any individual in the United States or in any country for that manner needs an assault rifle. I don't think there is any useful purpose.
MORGAN: No, well, I --
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: As a rifle. Other than maybe in the military.
MORGAN: I positively concur with that view.
MORGAN: Listen, Debra and Jerri, thank you both so much for joining me. I think it's great that you --
FINE: We --
MORGAN: Debra, say -- you want to say something?
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: Debra wants to say one thing --
FINE: Yes. I did -- I did want to say something, which is my husband and I started a foundation today and it is at www.finelinefoundation -- it's our name, fine line, because this is issue is a fine line.
FINE: Finelinefoundation.org if anybody wants to go to the site. We funded it and it's -- the mission is really nonpartisan dedicated to decreasing criminal violence in the United States and we feel very passionate about this.
MORGAN: Good for you.
FINE: Piers, thank you very much.
MORGAN: Good for you. Debra and Jerri --
CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Thank you both very much and thank you again to both of you for the courage you showed that night. It was truly American. Thank you.
FINE: Thank you. CUNNINGHAM-RATHNER: Thanks.
MORGAN: Great ladies.
Coming next, facing the judge, Ariel Castro appears in court. Plus we have exclusive video from the day the three women he's accused of kidnapping were freed.
MORGAN: Facing the possible death penalty Ariel Castro pleading not guilty today for hundreds of charges for allegedly holding three young women prisoner for a decade. It comes as new details in this horrific case emerge.
With me now -- from Cleveland is WOIO reporter Ed Gallek.
Ed, welcome back to you. He didn't say anything in court.
ED GALLEK, WOIO, CLEVELAND: True.
MORGAN: He had his head held down to the floor almost the entire time. What was your take on what happened in court today?
GALLEK: Well, it was interesting because not only did he not say a word, but he walked in with his head down and he had his hands cuffed, he had his ankles cuffed as well, but I noticed in looking at the videotape later something very striking. The first step that Ariel Castro took out of the holding cell right outside the courtroom he was standing straight up.
As soon as he saw the wall of cameras, there was a wall of cameras in the jury box ready to record this. As soon as Castro saw that, the head went down like that and it never came back up.
MORGAN: You've also managed to get this exclusive footage of Gina DeJesus' mother, one of the three girls. It's from the day the three young women were discovered. And it could be quite significant. Let's watch the video first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY CRUZ, MOTHER OF GINA DEJESUS: I don't even hate him. God forgive -- I forgave him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now the significant being that she is very forgiving there of Ariel Castro. Could that play a part in him avoiding the death penalty in this case which may be the only unresolved thing left?
GALLEK: Well, it remains to be seen if the prosecutor or how much the prosecutor will take into account the feelings of the victims and the relatives. To set the scene again, this is moments after the three missing women were found alive and Ariel Castro had been found alive. We went back and looked at some raw tape. And that's how we discovered this.
This is the mother of Gina DeJesus, one of the victims walking away just moments afterwards saying, I forgive him, God forgive him, God be with him. Now how could she say something at a time like that that after all those years? Well, I do know for a fact that perhaps the most important thing to Gina's mom, even now after all this time, is that Gina is home alive. So above all else, her daughter is back home and she's alive.
MORGAN: Ed Gallek, thank you very much indeed.
Let me go now to Ian Friedman. He's a Cleveland defense attorney.
Ian Friedman, what is likely to happen here? Because the only charge that involves murder is, of course, this abortion that he forced one of the girls to go through allegedly. Is this likely to succeed as a charge, do you think, if it comes to trial?
IAN FRIEDMAN, CLEVELAND DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good evening, Piers, and thanks for having me on. I'm sorry that this case even exists and I'm sorry that we even have to talk a case like this. Right now we've got 329 counts for a period of time that lasted five years. I think what we expect next as prosecutor McGinty has stated in his opening press conference that he's going to charge for every day that he can prove a crime.
So I think we can at least expect double counts now. And prosecutor McGinty, as far as the death penalty, has got to look at all of this evidence, analyze it and then he's going to round table it with the group of prosecutors in his office. They may bring it. There is a couple things, though, today, that I think were very significant, which also helped to answer your question.
The arraignment should have just been a very, kind of a quick and really nothing outstanding about it. But we actually heard a statement today from Mr. Castro's attorney, Craig Weintraub, and I thought it was a very smart statement. What he said was, in essence, what I heard from his statement was that look, we have many cases that are going to be proven. We do not have the death penalty on there right now and what I think he was implying was we would like a very quick and just resolution so that it does not inflict greater harm on these young ladies and the community.
To simplify that, don't bring the death penalty, there will be a plea, let's do life.
FRIEDMAN: So, Piers, then moments later there was a statement that was released from the young ladies' attorneys. Very similar. So we heard a lot today about them also wanting a very quick resolution.
MORGAN: So it may -- it may be that the deal is he avoids the death penalty, which is over a particularly contentious part of the charging and in return the ladies don't -- don't have to go through a trial which may be the most sensible outcome for this. Ian Friedman, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: Coming next, to catch a killer. One woman's extra ordinary efforts to find the man who allegedly murders her father. She joins me live coming up. And it's a remarkable story.
MORGAN: Tonight an incredible story of a woman who never gave up trying to find her father's killer. He was murdered in 1986. She searched the Internet and she led police to the person who allegedly took her father's life.
Joselyn Martinez joins me now on "The Chair."
Welcome to you.
JOSELYN MARTINEZ, FOUND SUSPECT IN FATHER'S MURDER ONLINE: Thank you.
It's a remarkable story. You were 9 years old and your father, Jose Martinez, was murdered in 1986 at the family's Washington Heights Restaurant here in New York. What do you remember about that time? What happened?
MARTINEZ: It was a happy time for me. 1986, I was told I lived, you know, in an area full of crime. But it's just like within all that crime and craziness, I never felt anything strange. The business was a major part of our life because they were there every single day. So I remember them going to the business, and it was home. It was more of our home than the apartment.
MORGAN: And everything changed when a group of these thugs came in, including Justo Santos, he was 16, and they just shot your father dead, took him out in the street and killed him.
MARTINEZ: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: When you realized what had happened, what did you think? What did you feel?
MARTINEZ: I first got the phone call, and I was -- I didn't believe -- not that I didn't believe it. My grandma picked up the phone, I was with a cousin of mine. It was a Saturday night, music playing in the background. Loud music from another apartment. And we were watching television. And I heard it, it was a little bit late already, so grandma said -- I mean, for children, so she said, we're going to put you to bed.
And -- but I wasn't too worried. I was a little worried, but I said they'll solve it. You know, because I'm 9, I'm thinking they're adults, they're just going to fix whatever that is. And you know I'll see him tomorrow.
So I went to bed, I think I prayed. I think -- my grandma used to always pray so I think prayed. I slept in their bed. She put me in their bed, and I wake up, and I just hear screams from the living room, and very big screams. A hoarse voice and it was my mother's trying, I think, to go over the story over and over in her head. And so I was going to open the door to go into the living room, but I decided to just jump back into the bed.
At that moment, my brother walks in. I think maybe he's on the doorknob. And he tells me, you know, bad guys went into the business last night and your father was shot and he -- and he died. But he's in heaven now. So, you know, he's OK. I was silent. I turned my face to the left and I just had tears and I held onto my teddy bears.
MORGAN: I want to cut forward from that awful, awful time for you to 2006. You suddenly decide, I'm going to find the person that did this. I'm going to track him down. How did you do it?
MARTINEZ: Well, first I -- 10 years later I tried to get information, and when I got the nerve to go to the precinct. And I hear -- you know, I guess 10-year anniversary, I said why don't I try it? So 1996, I go to a precinct and I kind of felt like, well, it's like a dead end. You know, I was told -- I don't -- I don't know exactly if the case was closed, I can't really particularly remember, but that the person ran away and there was no extradition. And something like that. It just got complicated for me.
I tried to make a couple of other phone calls, maybe call like a prosecutor that I thought from back then or something. And then I said, what am I thinking? You know, just let that go. But I couldn't. With time, I couldn't -- I couldn't -- in 2006, I bought a book with a friend, and we're always trying to read all these help -- self-help thing. A new age so and so.
The book said write everything that bothers you. That was the first I ever jotted it down. And so I started just doing searches online. And when I realized, you know, like things like MySpace came up and stuff, I started looking for his name. But I don't know. I saved a bunch of pictures and I don't -- I didn't do anything with them. I just kept them. I think I felt busy doing something.
MORGAN: And what was the breakthrough moment?
MARTINEZ: 2008, I find these Background Checks. And I had the name of that person there, that murderer. And I wasn't sure, but I kept looking at it but I found --
MORGAN: That's online service which checks people's names, right?
MARTINEZ: Yes. I do want to say that you just can't count on a background check. I mean, I did a couple of others and I felt busy doing it. But they have a lot of information. It's not -- you know, you can't count on that information. But it was strange because that name has a variation, like a middle initial. And I said, well, look at the H, could be. But no, that's just too obvious. No. And no. So -- and then there was another one that also was a criminal that had like a similar name or the same name with a different --
MORGAN: And eventually you began to piece it all together and then you went to the police again?
MARTINEZ: No, I just put that away. I know. People don't get it. It's just weird because I just kind of felt like that wasn't --
MORGAN: So what was the moment you went to the police?
MARTINEZ: November of 2012. Well, first 2011 I wrote to a show, a very famous show, and they didn't get back to me or something. November of 2012, I get a meeting to go to the 34th Precinct, and they very nicely said, we'll do anything to help you. The chief there said, you know, I'll help you, if we can.
MORGAN: And from -- and from the information you gave them, you got from the online checking --
MARTINEZ: Well, that was in January then of 2013 when they get the file and give it to me. Not -- no, wait, they didn't give it to me. They didn't let me touch it. I wanted it, I think my intention was to go get it because this is -- I'm going to solve it. Not really. But I get the e-mail of one of the sergeants that was there, and I said, thank you very much. And he told me, if you have any other information, you can just let us know.
MORGAN: And how quickly was it the police found the guy?
MARTINEZ: Very quickly. Very quickly. And I just --
MORGAN: But all from the information you gave them?
MARTINEZ: I guess. I mean I don't think so because I think they were looking on their end but they can't tell me.
MORGAN: I want to tell play you just very quickly what Ray Kelly, the New York Police commissioner. This is what he said about you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY KELLY, NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER: It's admirable what she did. Obviously, she made a concerted effort and it paid off. And we appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is an amazing story, what you did for your father. There's a great picture of you and him there. And you did him proud. You found the man that killed him 26 years ago. Congratulations.
MARTINEZ: Thank you. I wasn't prepared to see those pictures. They mean a lot to me. Thanks.
MORGAN: You did a great job. You did him proud. MARTINEZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: Thank you for coming in.
That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts in a few moments.