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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Massive Blaze On Historic New Jersey Boardwalk; Christie Addresses Blaze On New Jersey Boardwalk; Deadly Floods In Colorado; Twitter Announces Plans To Go Public; Syria Announces Intentions to Sign On to International Chemical Weapons Ban; Gun Permits for the Legally Blind
Aired September 12, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Outfront tonight, three stories breaking and developing at this hour, a six-alarm fire involving the famous New Jersey boardwalk that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and just finished a rebuild. We are going to go live to the scene. Governor Christie has arrived. He will speak live this hour. Plus, Syria agrees to sign on to the international chemical weapons ban. Is that enough to call off American air strikes?
And deadly in addition in Colorado continue to rage tonight. You see that scene there. One of the most incredible rescues you have seen. Three people have lost their lives in these floods. We're going to go live to Boulder tonight for the latest. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, I want to begin with the breaking news, a major fire engulfing a town destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. You're looking at aerial pictures. You know, this is in the town called Seaside Heights, in New Jersey, that had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. I know someone who drove over the bridge right near this as it was starting earlier today and it seemed very small and has quickly become something that is absolutely mammoth.
It started on the rebuild boardwalk in Seaside Heights early this afternoon. Firefighters have been brought in from other counties in New Jersey given the size of this. You can see -- you can't even see the air because of the smoke that is coming up. The blaze is still moving. Nineteen buildings have been taken over already.
Again, I want to emphasize this started small and turned into something absolutely toxic. This is the same boardwalk which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy just nearly a year ago. Now emergency responders are actually tearing up parts of the new boardwalk to try to prevent this fire from spreading down.
The New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, at the beginning of the summer, went to Seaside Heights. This was the symbol of, look, New Jersey, has rebuilt. We have recovered from Hurricane Sandy. This boardwalk had reopened. He is now at the scene and is going to be speaking in just a few moments. We're going to take that live. I do want to emphasize when you see these pictures though, our understanding at this point is that miraculously there are no reports of injuries at this time. Again, we can't confirm that, but we don't have reports.
I want to bring in now OUTFRONT John Saaddy who owns six businesses on three blocks that run parallel to the boardwalk. He joins me on the phone. John, you know, I was just talking about someone who was driving over the bridge early this afternoon when this started, that it seems to be small. The images on our television screens are just stupendous and horrific. What did you see? How quickly did this spread?
JOHN SAADDY, BUSINESS OWNER, SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY (via telephone): That was the problem. Underneath the boardwalk was a fire high highway. There was no way for the water from the top to come down into the beams underneath. So it's basically a big chase and it spread incredibly in one hour, I watched it go three blocks. I was with someone. We had just garden hoses watering the roof and the deck and the boardwalk out front because all the embers getting up into the air. It was a 30-mile-an-hour wind. They were coming down and starting small little fires on top of the rooftops.
BURNETT: You're describing it. People were just trying to deal with it on their own at first with garden hoses. That fire highway. Just got underneath the wood and just spread quickly that way? Is that a fair way to describe it or how would you describe it?
SAADDY: Yes, certainly the boardwalk in that area, in that part of the area in Seaside Park, in Seaside Heights, the boardwalk, the businesses are on the west side of the boardwalk with a view of the ocean. This side actually has businesses on both sides of the boardwalk. There's about 28-foot wide boardwalk and in between the businesses is this boardwalk highway.
BURNETT: All right, I understand. That gives people a sense of this. Now do you have any idea, John, from where you sit with businesses, what started this?
SAADDY: No idea. Although the heat, up there on the boardwalk, we're watering the rooftop. The roof was so hot in the last couple 90-degree days. The roof tops were very hot.
BURNETT: What about your businesses?
SAADDY: My businesses are fine. I'm one block in running parallel and thank God, the wind was blowing actually north into the east. If the wind was the other way blowing west on to the island, it would have been a big problem.
BURNETT: Now, John, you know, a lot of people watching from around the country. You know, they saw the images of Superstorm Sandy and they saw the recovery. They saw your governor. What is this lake for you? You just went through your livelihood being destroyed. Rebuilding and now this is happening. SAADDY: Actually, the bigger problem was the battle with building regulations in New Jersey, a very difficult, built to the new codes and of course, the fight with the insurance companies. Unfortunately in my experience, if you didn't have the resource to fight insurance companies, the insurance companies came in and really destroyed people.
I felt bad for the middle class who couldn't fight and they had to take 10, 15 cents to the dollar. I was very upset with Obama and Christie who did not come help these people. An example with 36,000, eight months after that, they're up to 807,000. I mean, because I have the resources to fight them. It was very unfair.
BURNETT: Well, John Saaddy, thank you very much. I wish you the best of luck because I know obviously this situation is developing rapidly. I want to also bring on the phone now Keith Paul who is a CNN I-Reporter and a resident of Toms River, which is actually basically adjacent to Seaside Heights. Keith, tell me what you're seeing.
KEITH PAUL, SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY (via telephone): Right now I'm standing over here in front of the iconic Saw Mill Bar, which has been around forever. It looks like the fire has now spread on to the Saw Mill and there are people just standing outside crying. It is very sad.
BURNETT: People are standing outside crying, you said.
PAUL: Yes, yes. I just saw two people walking from the boardwalk. I was told that their businesses over there, head to stand on the boardwalk and they were over there crying, walking on the road. You know, these people -- I guess, you know, maybe the one good sign about this is Seaside Heights has two piers. One is the Fun Town Pier. One is the Casino Pier.
This fire is over at the Fun Town Pier, which did not rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. They rebuilt the stretch of boardwalk in front of it so that's all new, but they did not rebuild that pier. They were going to rebuild for this winter for the 2014 season. So if it was the Casino Pier, they completely rebuilt and it that would have been really tragic. I guess if there is any light, the fact that the pier was not rebuilt yet.
BURNETT: Right. So the new boardwalk but not the buildings, this is an important point. Now Keith, you've been working there like a lot of people who live around there. Kids get jobs when they're 14. You're 40 years old now. What goes through your mind when you satisfy this? And obviously you're seeing this in person on the ground. We're looking at aerial images, which show the entire skyline completely obscured by flames and smoke.
SAADDY: To be honest, it's sad. It is really, really sad. I've been over here my entire life. I own a business right over the bridge in Tom's River. I plan to open a business in Seaside over the next five years. And just seeing what's happened to us over the past year, I mean, it is just about the one-area anniversary of Sandy. It is sad.
BURNETT: It is. It's tragic. And Keith, as John was just saying, John Saaddy who owns businesses. They are not sure -- he was not sure exactly what caused this. Do you have a serve of what caused it and what caused to it move so rapidly? John described it as a quote/unquote, "fire highway."
PAUL: Well, yes. Here's what happened. I can't confirm this, but from my understanding, it started in the ice cream shop. And I want to emphasize, I can't 100 percent confirm this. I'm trying to at this time, but that's what I've been told by several people including one police officer. The problem is that the way that this alley way is set up on the boardwalk.
It is very tough to get fire engines and stuff in there. And they can, but it spread so quickly. We're experiencing 35-mile-an- hour wind gusts. Luckily like John said they are going northeast, but it's still going north up the boardwalk so it's just starting block to block to block.
BURNETT: John, you're still with us. You were talking about those winds that Keith just referred, but you also had something that would be really important for our viewers to know about why this may have spread, something to do with the firefighters.
SAADDY: Well, there is an issue right now. There's a huge firemen's convention in Wildwood and my understanding is --
BURNETT: Which is another town in New Jersey.
SAADDY: Another, a resort town, approximately about 80 miles south of Seaside Heights. My understanding, 60 percent or 70 percent of the departments are down there.
BURNETT: So you're saying it may have been that there weren't a lot of people there at the beginning to help. I know they're now bringing in firefighters, but your view that could be part of the reason this has become so enormous.
SAADDY: I have no idea but I know some of the newer equipment was brought down there to show. They're proud of their equipment and their firefighting techniques and they are down. It is a convention. It is educational and they're down there to learn.
BURNETT: All right, well, John and Keith, thank you very much. Obviously, we'll have them standing by. Governor Chris Christie obviously who as all of America saw, during Superstorm Sandy appeared with the president and he's appeared at Seaside Heights to celebrate the reopening of that boardwalk is there right now.
And he's going to be speaking live. So we're going to be taking that in just a couple moments when he gets to the microphone. And we also have other news that we're following when we come back, including three people confirmed dead in Colorado's floods where we'll go live to Boulder. And a huge announcement from Twitter tonight, we're going to break down what it means. And of course, we have the breaking news on Syria tonight with a big development out of Syria.
And the latest on the investigation into a man killed days after his wedding. Authorities say his wife pushed him off a cliff and there was a major development tonight on her.
And a legally blind man also legally able to own and fire a gun, should he be? We'll be back in a moment.
BURNETT: We're back with breaking news. This is Governor Chris Christie speaking at the scene of a horrific fire in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. We apologize for the transmission, but this is what it is like given the condition there. Let's listen to the governor.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: -- this is obviously a just unthinkable situation. For us to be standing here and watching this, what's going on behind all of you is just unthinkable. I was advised this afternoon at about 3:30 that a fire had begun on the Seaside Park section of the boardwalk and that it was beginning to spread obviously due to the winds which are gusting at 30 to 40 miles an hour.
It began to spread at that point. I was with Commissioner Constable among others. He immediately contacted the State Fire Marshal Bill Kramer and we began to work the locals here to deploy resources. So we have firefighters and trucks from all around New Jersey working together. Currently Seaside Park and Seaside Heights has support from towns in Ocean County, Mammoth County, Burlington, Cape May, Union, Mercer, Atlantic, New Jersey State Police, and the state forest firefighters.
Preliminary number in terms of support and in caution, these are preliminary so we'll update them later, 35 engine companies, 15 ladder companies, any number specialty units and on the scene now we have approximately 400 firefighters. The division, the state division of fire safety is working with the local incident commander to supply whatever fire service resources are needed.
When I arrived on the scene, I met with the local incident commander, the state fire marshal and other support personnel from Seaside Park and Seaside Height assured them that whatever resources would be necessary, that we would provide them and I would stay on the scene to make sure that was done.
Bottom line, everybody is working together. The current fire line goes from Stockton to Lincoln, along the boardwalk. Fire personnel have dug up the boardwalk at Lincoln Avenue and dug a 20-fat trench. That's where firefighters are making their stand right now to stop the spread any further north on the boardwalk. Right now we believe that we're finding some success, but we have a ways to go yet to make sure we don't see it spread further north. At this point in time the damage is almost completely on the boardwalk impacting about 20 or so businesses on the boardwalk that spanned about a six-block length. Early today there were some embers that hit a condominium complex, but that fire was put out with minimum damage to the complex.
There have been several minor injuries to firefighters, mostly heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Those folks are being treated as we speak. Now they're also having some challenges with water supply because of damage to the system post-Sandy. So in order to work around this, we are drawing lines from Barnagut Bay. So much of the water that you see fighting the fires right now is being drawn directly from the Barnagut Bay. Lines are being run from the bay all way here to the boardwalk.
For all the people and the public out there, folks who are well intentioned whether they're property owners in this area who are second homeowners and outside the area, whether you're just folks who's love the shore and want to make sure that everything is OK here, my advice to you, in fact, my admonition to you is do not come here. Do not travel. Stay away.
We are still trying to bring more fire equipment in here. This is something that will be going on for quite some time and we need to have easy access to this area of the boardwalk. Anyone who comes down to this area, whether it's by car or on foot runs the risk of impeding our ability to fight this fire most efficiently.
So I understand your concern, I understand your curiosity, but please do not come here until you hear through the media that it is all clear to return to this area. I want to thank both mayors who have been on top of the situation. Police Chief Boyd from Seaside Heights who was an enormous help as this fire started to spread and is continuing now with his men, as are the folks Seaside Park Police Department as well.
We have a lot of work still to do here. And we're hoping that the trench and the stand we're making on Lincoln Avenue will stop the fair there and keep it contained from there south on the boardwalk. I can take a few questions. Mark?
The whole thing, as you head north, it is new boardwalk. Where we dug the trench, it is new boardwalk. Yes, sir. We are not going to speculate any on the cause or anything at this point. Our focus right now is on getting that fire behind you out. The state fire marshal is here.
Ocean County Prosecutor Coronado is here. His folks are on the ground along with the state fire marshal. We will deal with the cause of fire at the appropriate time, but right now we're not going to take any questions on speculation on cause because all it would be would be speculation.
BURNETT: We're going to keep watching this. Obviously, this is the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, speaking at the scene of the fire, the place that has come to symbolize the recovery after Superstorm Sandy, a major and horrific fire tonight. So we'll keep monitoring that, 400 firefighters the governor was talking about.
I want to get to the more breaking news that we have this hour because there are floods in Colorado. So a horrible fire in New Jersey, a flood in Colorado, at least three people dead. One person missing after a devastating storm swept through Boulder County. More than half a foot of rain dropped that quickly flash floods then resulted.
Emergency crews have been working around the clock and the death toll could continue to rise in Colorado. Entire neighborhoods have been cut off. Buildings destroyed. Roads completely washed away. The city of Boulder has declared a state of emergency and the National Guard has been called in to help.
OUTFRONT tonight, Ana Cabrera in Boulder with the latest. Ana, what are you seeing? Obviously that water just seems to be rushing by there.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is nonstop. The rain will not let up. It is pouring right now. You can see several inches of water still on the roadways here. Cars making their way very slow through. This water also kicking up a lot of debris, it's bringing down debris like this rock, the size of a basketball.
The governor has issued a disaster declaration. In the meantime, hundreds of residents remain displaced. We've heard of houses, collapsed cars overturned and rescuers struggling to reach those who need help.
CABRERA (voice-over): For Colorado, a state parched by drought, this was not the answer to anyone's prayers. A dramatic rescue in Boulder County, three cars partially submerged. Three people trapped. A rescue crew made to it this man in time to break his window and hand him a lifejacket then just as he is about to get out. Floodwaters flipped the car on to its roof. After a few agonizing seconds, they pulled the man free. He was taken to the hospital. He is expected to be OK, but others weren't so lucky. At least three people have died.
SHERIFF JOE PELLE, BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO: We know that we've lost lives. We anticipate that as the day goes on, that we may find we've lost others.
CABRERA: Nearly 7 inches of rain fell overnight triggering emergency situations like this across the state, but the biggest problem for responders, getting to the people who need help the most.
PELLE: In some of those places, there are 9 feet or 10 feet debris walls with, you know, 6 feet to 8 feet of water backed up behind them. So it is very dangerous to start digging into them with a lot of assessment and a lot of caution.
CABRERA: Blocks of houses are surrounded by water, firefighters stranded after their truck was swept away, and helicopters grounded by the bad weather. JOCK LITTLE, FLOOD VICTIM: I've been around Boulder for 25 years. We haven't seen anything like this in that time period.
CABRERA: Jock Little stopping for just a minute to talk with us then back to work in the drainage area, but shovels and rakes are no match for mother nature's fury.
(on camera): You said there was a television right here.
KEVIN MALONE, FLOOD VICTIM: Big screen here knocked over. I mean, just everything was kind of upended.
CABRERA (voice-over): Kevin Malone said several feet of water rushed through his windows to his family's basement living behind a muddy, soggy mess. This is that television along with the desk and bags of basement belongings now sitting in the garage.
MALONE: That's Pauline, my wife's grandmother.
CABRERA: But the biggest lost Kevin says are old family photos.
(on camera): Some of these pictures are over a century old?
MALONE: Yes, yes. No question about that. I mean, this was a fellow, he was a flyer in World War I and he lost his life.
CABRERA (voice-over): Pictures that remind Kevin of what is most important. After all, his family is safe. Ana Cabrera, CNN, Boulder, Colorado.
BURNETT: Developing story we're following tonight. Still to come, a major announcement about Twitter breaking news after the close of market trading today.
And then more breaking news from Syria, making I guess we'll call it a gesture on the international stage, but it could be big. Is it too little too late though to prevent an American air strike?
Plus, a disturbing story out of Boston tonight, a special OUTFRONT investigation. Police able to foil a man's plan to eat children.
And human kind achieved something today for the first time since, well, ever on this one. We're going to show you the images in tonight's shoutout.
BURNETT: Our fourth story OUTFRONT, breaking news, after markets closed today, Twitter going public, massively popular social media site. If you don't know it or aren't on it, you certainly have heard of it. Announced it is filing this afternoon, appropriately enough they announced it by tweet, which by the way, is totally allowed in this day and age. Saying it has initiated paperwork for an initial public offering, which would mean that all of us would be allowed to buy shares of Twitter. Now, this has been rumored for years. People have said when will Twitter go public? It could obviously mean a lot of money.
Well, despite today's announcement, the company's inner workings could remain secret for some time with crucial questions like how does it make money? CNET.com executive editor, Molly Wood is OUTFRONT.
Molly, I have to ask you. People have rumored about this for a long time, right? But this is something, you know, anybody watching can buy shares in these companies, people know this company. How big of a deal is this?
MOLLY WOOD, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, CNET.COM: Well, you know, we're now at the point where Twitter is being valued at potentially $14 billion, which I think is much more than you would ever expect to hear from a site that does 140 character text tweets. They have figured out how to make money in much to our surprise.
BURNETT: When you look at this, you know, versus other big IPOs out there, how does this one look to you? For a lot of people at home saying, OK, look I saw how Facebook did for a lot of regular people at least out of the gate, horribly? Why would I to go somebody and say I want to buy into Twitter?
WOOD: That is a fair question although Facebook as of this week is at an all time high. So the market is looking better no matter what, the market for IPOs and the market for social media in general. And Twitter is in a much stronger position than Facebook was. For one thing, they're really diverse identifying away from being more than just a 140 character text/tweet news site.
They're getting into video. They are playing with social TV. They just bought a company that very successfully delivers mobile advertising, which was a big criticism of Facebook. When they went public, they didn't know how to monetize mobile and had to admit it and then on top of that, Twitter has proven over the last year, a year and a half that they can make money off of advertising with promoted tweets that do not annoy users. That's the most important part of all.
BURNETT: Yes, absolutely is. All right, well, thank you very much, Molly. Obviously it's a big deal there, $14 billion, that breaking news out of markets today.
OUTFRONT next, Syria saying it will do something it has never done before. Is it way too little way too late, and enough to stop a strike.
And a major development today in the case of the woman authorities say pushed her husband off a cliff just days after she got married. Today's development is -- there's no other way put it. It's huge and the family of the man who died, incredibly angry tonight. We have a report live from Montana.
And should a blind man be allowed to carry and shoot a gun?
BURNETT: We have breaking news on Syria. The country now saying it is signing on to the international chemical weapons ban. This is a move by the Syrian government to avoid any kind of strikes.
The question is this: Is it way too little and way too late?
I want to go to Jim Sciutto. He is traveling with Secretary of State Kerry who's been meeting with his Russian counterparts in Switzerland.
And, Jim, I guess let's get straight to this. Syria is signing on to this but they have this incredibly huge stock pile of chemical weapons and nobody even knows exactly where they all are. So, what does this really mean? Is it too little too late?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. side is listening. When you think that 48 hours ago there was no talk of a diplomatic solution, and now, you have Syria signing on to the chemical weapons ban. That's a step forward. But it's all going to be in the delivery.
That's why you have the working groups working late into the night on the nuts and bolts of the actual hard work here, cataloguing Syria' chemical weapons, collecting them and destroying them.
And already, we're seeing coming out in public, some of the real differences here. Secretary Kerry referenced one of them in his first public comments when he arrived in Geneva and that's that President Assad has said he believes he has 30 days to release all the details about his chemical weapons, if that would be standard. Secretary Kerry said there is nothing standard about these talks. They expect a much quicker delivery.
Then, Erin, you have the other problem. No one really involved in these talks trusts anyone. You have a trust deficit between the U.S. and Russia. Certainly, you have the Syrian president saying they don't want to work with the U.S. They don't trust the U.S. and of the U.S. relying on Russia to make Syria good on its word.
So, no one is expecting to solve all those problems in the next 24 hours. What they do want to have is the framework for an agreement that shows that they can overcome these differences in the next few days toward something concrete.
BURNETT: And, Jim, you know, obviously, you know, they're having these talks, right? All right? But the problem is, the real headline today came from Vladimir Putin and the op-ed that he put in "The New York Times". He wrote that America is not exceptional, slamming President Obama who had discussed and just that in his address to the nation earlier this week, and said America is dead wrong on who is using gas in Syria.
How much did that op-ed overshadow what was going on in Geneva today? I mean, obviously, in the United States, that was the story.
SCIUTTO: Yes, not the warmest comments. Well, the op-ed came out as we were taking off from Washington for Geneva. We asked senior U.S. officials onboard the flight about it and they said, listen, they had read the op-ed. But the Russians came up with this proposal. The U.S. thinks it's a serious proposal and they are here to test the seriousness of that proposal.
So, their view is that as long as the Russians are engaged, as long as they can talk seriously about doing something about Syria's chemical weapons, it's more important what said here than that was said in "The New York Times." But I think it does speak to the real and genuine differences between these two sides and the question is, are those differences irreconcilable? That's what we're going to find out over the next 24 to 48 hours.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto. As we said, late tonight from Geneva.
And I want to go to Montana now because the accused newly wed murderer has been released. That's right. You just heard what I said and I didn't misspeak.
A Montana judge has decided to let Jordan Linn Graham out on bond until she goes to trial for the murder of her husband. Now, police say Graham pushed her husband Cody Johnson of a cliff at Glacier National Park, just eight days after they were murdered. Now, prosecutors say Graham has changed her story several time. She claims they were in a fight and he fell. Then she admitted she pushed him off in a fit of anger, still says she didn't intend to hurt him.
OUTFRONT tonight, Kyung Lah. She's in Missoula, Montana, where she's been all week with the latest.
And, Kyung, what is the reaction to the judge's ruling to let her go?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've spoken to a few friends among the last hour or so, Erin, since this has all happened. One saying this is crazy, another saying that it is like a slap in the face
There is intense outrage. But there is also sadness. A lot of them simply don't understand how this can happen.
Here is what two friends told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
LEVI BLASDEL, FRIEND OF THE COUPLE: When she walked away from that scene, got into the car and drove the hour and a half back to Kalispell, her driving that far within that time and not calling 911, not wondering if he is just unconscious at the bottom of the hill. She went home and she fabricated this lie and she lied to all the friends and all of the family, didn't admit the truth to the police. LYTAUNIE BLASDEL, GRAHAM'S CHILDHOOD FRIEND: She should be paying for what she. She's admitted to it and that enough should be grounds to keep her in jail.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
LAH: Now, the U.S. Marshal's Office confirms that she was release a short time ago. She was released to the custody of her parents. She is on her way home where she will be subject to home monitoring, basically released on her own recognizance. No bond.
One of the things we should add, Erin, this is not the end of the story. The U.S. Attorney's Office is fighting this. They've already filed a motion to stay the order hoping to get her back into custody before this trial -- Erin.
BURNETT: Hey, Kyung, you know, people might watch, her own recognizance, no bond, and say they can understand how people would be very upset by this. But how does someone who admits -- she does admit to pushing her husband off the cliff now -- legally get to walk out of jail?
LAH: Because there is a legal standing. And we heard the judge talk about this yesterday in the hearing as both sides were arguing this out. What prosecutors had to do is they had to meet this legal standing to keep this woman, who is presumed to be not guilty of this charge, which is second degree, before the trial.
So, in that gap, before the trial, it's an issue of trying to meet that standard to keep her in custody. What this judge is saying is that the prosecutors simply did not need it.
BURNETT: And, Kyung, what about the timing here?
LAH: The timing here is that she's out. I mean, she has been released. It happened very, very quickly. It happened so quickly that basically the order was put in. She was seen by the judge and she was gone just minutes later.
It really -- according to one of the friends here, he feels like he has whiplash, it happened so fast.
BURNETT: Kyung, thank you very much. She's been covering that story from Missoula all week.
There's the national showdown over guns going on tonight and across the country, we've seen a series of blows to gun control. In Chicago, gun owners don't have to register their firearms anymore. That policy has tracked guns in the city for over 40 years. In Missouri, a controversial measure that would have prevented enforcement of federal gun laws nearly passed but it didn't because of push to override the governor's veto fell one vote -- just one vote short of approval in the state Senate.
In Iowa, though, the legally blind can legally get a gun permit. We wanted to know what that meant. State law in Iowa says every Iowan had the right to carry a weapon.
But what about safety? So, we investigated.
Ted Rowlands is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good shot. Come down. Squeeze real slow. That was a 9.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Barber is completely blind and has been since birth. Even though he can't see his target, he thinks he has every right to own a gun, to protect himself and his wife Kim.
MICHAEL BARBER, BLIND GUN OWNER: I'm comfortable. I am. And I'm convinced that I could do what needs to be done if the time ever came.
ROWLANDS: This was the first time Michael practiced shooting his new handgun. He missed some shots, but also hit the target a number of times, including a few bull's eyes.
BARBER: I would aim by hearing, by feel. You know, the person is going to be in close proximity to me. I hope -- you know, I hope I never have to do that. I really do. I would just as soon not.
But, you know, if I had to protect myself, yes, I would.
ROWLANDS: But not everyone is comfortable with blind people carrying guns.
Cheryl Thomas with Iowans for Gun Safety.
CHERYL THOMAS, IOWANS FOR GUN SAFETY: Where we have an issue is in this conceal and carry, that a person who is visually impaired and cannot see would be in public with a gun and potentially endangering public safety.
ROWLANDS (on camera): Lawmakers here in Iowa changed state gun laws three years ago. Before, if you wanted to carry a gun, you needed permission from your local sheriff. Now, if you meet the minimum requirements, you can get a permit to carry a gun online, including someone who is completely blind like Michael.
(voice-over): Warren Wethington is the sheriff of Cedar County, east of Iowa City. He thinks the law is just fine as is. And with a daughter in college who is blind, he believes those who are concerned don't understand guns or blind people.
SHERIFF WARREN WETHINGTON, CEDAR COUNTY, IOWA: People think that they're going to shoot blindly, just start shooting at noises. And people don't understand that visually impaired people are reasonable people, too.
BARBER: I certainly wouldn't just begin shooting willy-nilly to protect myself, you know, and especially if I didn't know for sure where I was coming from, because I don't want to shoot innocent people. I'd duck and hide someplace.
ROWLANDS: Michael says he plans to keep practicing at the gun range with an instructor so he's ready to use his gun if he has to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good shot.
ROWLANDS: For OUTFRONT, Ted Rowlands, Des Moines, Iowa.
BURNETT: It's a pretty amazing report when we heard that, when we had to go filmed that and show it you. Let us know what you think. Is it right that he should have a gun or not?
Well, now, the money and power of movies. Harry Potter is back, I mean, sort of.
So, here's what was announced today. Actually, it's a really big deal. Warner Brothers is going to release the new film series based on the world of Harry Potter, but it's not going to actually be about Harry himself but follow the adventures of a guy named Newt Scamander. I'm sorry. I don't know how to pronounce it.
Anyway, most of you probably do. He is the hero of another wizard book by J.K. Rowling called "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".
J.K. Rowling is actually writing the movie script. And she said, "The new film will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years. Newt's story will start in New York."
J.K. Rowling is worth nearly a billion dollars. She is already the riches author on Earth. I would say probably by some sort of exponential figure. Why is she going back to wizards? Clearly, because she loves them.
But we asked Dan Casey of Nerdist, yes, and he says, "In addition to the dump truck of money they probably drove to her house, it's about her relationship with Warner Brothers and her fans."
So, in today's statement, Rowling said she couldn't imagine anyone else writing her characters and, you know what, she is J.K. Rowling. So, Warner Brothers said, sure, go ahead. Do it. She liked the Harry Potter movies that they did.
And Warner Brothers is distributing her new television show. It's called "Casual Vacancy", which is based on one of the two adult books she's written since Harry Potter. Still, though, the source material for the new films, I'm saying films, plural, that means multiple hours of films, is a mere 42-page children's book. And Rowling is a first time screenwriter.
Will the new money deliver the numbers and the cold hard cash? Will you go see the films? As always, let us know on Twitter @ErinBurnett and @OutFrontCNN.
Still to come, police say a man planned to kidnap, rape and -- you're going to see this story. It's kind of don't even want to talk about it but it is important one to see. They found this man. They caught him.
It's an OUTFRONT investigation and it is next.
And, then, do you hate Internet ads? There may be a way to avoid them forever. That is the big idea and if it's a big idea, it's here OUTFRONT.
And the shout-out tonight, this world milestone -- Voyager I launched in the 1977, the first manmade object to leave this solar system. Voyager is currently about 11.6 billion miles away from Earth still chugging, traveling at a speed of 38,000 miles an hour -- 36 years old and it's still working.
Researchers say the average smartphone is 240,000 more memory than what's on board the Voyager. Just think about that for a second.
The shout-out goes to the Voyager for being the little spacecraft that could.
BURNETT: We're back with tonight's "Outer Circle" we go to London where tonight, the duke and duchess of Cambridge attended a charity event for the wildlife conservation. It was the first time the royal couple left their new baby Prince George at home with the nanny for a night event.
Max Foster is OUTFRONT where the red carpet event took place.
Max, it must have been one heck of a scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, tonight was really about the duchess of Cambridge because this was her big formal appearance after having Prince George. She didn't disappoint the crowds in that long sequined gown, certainly images that would be beamed around the world and shown in magazines and newspapers over the next 24 hours.
But it was also about Prince William, because today, he announced that he was leaving the military. He wants to focus on his causes for the next year and conservation is one of the key causes.
Tonight was about awarding conservation pioneers in Africa. We're going to see a lot more of them over the next year now that he's left the military. But he is not necessarily going to be a full time royal, we're told, because next year, he may take on some other kind of public service role which they'll announce nearer the time -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Thanks to Max. I like the zebra behind him, by the way.
Anyway, Sunday night, CNN gives you a closer look at Prince William, his passion, new father, new hope. Sunday night, 10:00 Eastern and Pacific on CNN.
Well, now a man's sickening plot to cannibalize children in Boston. Forty-year-old Geoffrey Portway was already being watched by authorities for sharing child pornography in a series of online chat rooms. When police finally raided his home last year, they discovered a plan more horrifying than anyone could imagine.
Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT, and, of course, given the topic of this, I want to make sure everyone watching this is aware that this is disturbing.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From outdoors, the small dingy house gave no hint of the potential horrors within. Downstairs, a homemade dungeon with sound proof walls, a cage with a small mattress, a metal table with restrain loops, and a homemade coffin painted blue inside with a set of speakers.
(on camera): How big is a coffin?
JOHN MACKINNON, SPECIAL AGENT, HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS: An adult could not fit inside it.
FEYERICK: So, child size?
MACKINNON: Child size.
FEYERICK (voice-over): As the supervisor with Homeland Security Investigations, John MacKinnon thought he had seen it all until that dungeon and a locker filled with meat.
MACKINNON: We tested the meat. It was livestock. It was not human meat.
FEYERICK (on camera): Were you worried?
MACKINNON: We were very concerned.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Concerned because court documents now show, the man who lived there, Geoffrey Portway, had nearly 20,000 images of child pornography and was online talking about sexually torturing, killing and cannibalizing a child.
Portway allegedly told one of his online chat conspirators, quote, "I have no minimum age. I would eat a newborn."
Officials say child cannibalism is the subset of the larger world of child exploitation plaguing the Internet.
(on camera): Is this just the tip of the iceberg? You arrested 50 people now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the tip of iceberg.
FEYERICK: Bruce Foucart heads the Boston team that uncovered an international child exploitation ring that ultimately led to Portway. He says pictures are getting more and more brutal as online demand for fresh faces and images has exploded.
BRUCE FOUCART, SPECIAL AGENT, ICE/HSI: It's like trading baseball cards, only they are trading top of the line child pornography production.
FEYERICK: One of those pictures was of a 2-year-old boy holding a stuffed bunny.
(on camera): Describe the look on that little boy's face that you saw?
GREG SQUIRE, SPECIAL AGENT, HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS: He's terrified. He looks like he's in agony.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Federal agents blurred the child, but you can see his small fingers clutching the toy. Using clues from the original photo, forensic analysis and basic detective work, the Boston HSI team tracked the child to the Netherlands.
SQUIRE: A lot of the suspects will try to mask their identity by blurring out things like wedding rings, fingertips, watches.
FEYERICK: Within hours, a daycare worker was arrested and charged with abusing nearly 90 children in his care. He was found guilty. A search of his commuter led investigators to more pictures and more leads. To date, almost 170 children have been rescued in 11 countries as a result of the operation, a significant number but still just a drop in the ocean.
As for Portway who pleaded guilty to various child pornography charges, his lawyer says child cannibalism was just a fantasy, and that there's no evidence he even harmed a child. But between the chats and the dungeon, prosecutors believe he was close to acting on his fantasy.
BURNETT: That's just unbelievable story. He pleaded guilty to 20,000 images. You have this cannibalism part of it. This shocked the most seasoned investigators and these guys see horrific stuff.
FEYERICK: They really do. They were -- the volume was incredible because even the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they've got about 400 images. They've been able to identify about 124 children.
This was vast. This was just extraordinary and they are trying to rescue these children. But the Internet makes these -- it very easy to upload images and to get them out there. BURNETT: And then you think about the fact that they are saying these people are treating it like baseball cards, and there is a lot of people who are doing this, which is impossible to imagine. What kind of sentence will this guy get, Mr. Portway?
FEYERICK: Well, it's likely that he's going to get about 27 years. He had co-conspirators --
BURNETT: That's it, 27 years?
FEYERICK: Twenty-seven years, but he'll be away from children, which is good. But there are others -- where a child puppeteer. There was also a guy who's working at a hospital for terminally ill children abusing them.
You've got to be careful. The threat is everywhere.
BURNETT: Deb Feyerick, thank you.
Now, please let us know your feedback on that story.
Up next, what if you never had to see an ad on the Internet or your phone again? That would be an incredible idea, right? Yes, it's next.
BURNETT: We're all being watched -- you write an e-mail, you know, or you search for something on the Web, shortly after an ad pops up telling you where to buy that you mentioned in the email, or that, you know, airplane thing you were searching for. Pretty annoying, right? Pretty awful.
Today's "IDEA" is the solution and Dan Simon is OUTFRONT.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The early days of the Internet -- dialup, slow connections, simple graphics. But Chad Russell says in many ways, things were better.
CHAD RUSSELL, ADTRAP: It was page, text and pictures, and that's it.
SIMON: In other words, no ads. Today, they are everywhere -- inescapable and sometimes annoying. Of course, they pay for many great services we get for free but Russell has basically declared war on them.
RUSSELL: At some point, it's gotten a bit much.
SIMON: And now, this 31-year-old high school dropout may be on the verge of shaking up the entire Internet advertising industry.
RUSSELL: And this is AdTrap. SIMON: The idea kicked off with a video on the fundraising Web site, Kickstarter, where Russell showed off his invention called AdTrap that connects between the modem and router, and what one he says that blocks every kind of ad on a Web site.
(on camera): I have one of the first units right here. It's pretty easy to set up. Now, let's give it a try.
(voice-over): Check out the video on the top without the AdTrap. You get an ad. On the bottom with the device connected, straight to the video and the company says it works on any device.
RUSSELL: There is no software to configure or settings. That was really one of the goals of the project, is to make it easy for people.
SIMON: He wanted to raise $150,000. He wound up with well over $200,000.
AdTrap cost $139, based on early orders, demand seems incredibly high.
RUSSELL: I think the success of the product is really showing you how the general public feels right now about the state of advertising.
SIMON: As for potential lawsuits from advertisers, Russell is anticipating them and that's why he's already retained a prominent Silicon Valley law firm.
For OUTFRONT, Dan Simon, CNN, Palo Alto, California.
BURNETT: Pretty cool idea.
Anderson starts now.