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New JonBenet Ramsey Documents; Source: Teacher Killed With A Box Cutter; U.S. Seeks Release Of Two kidnapped Mariners; CNN Team Joins Search For Killer Whales; U.S. Spying Ripped By World Leaders; Former NSA Chief's Train Chat Leaked On Twitter
Aired October 25, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. It was a case that rifted and repulsed the nation, the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. She vanished from her bedroom during the night and was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her own home. Now nearly 17 years later, we may finally learn new details from court documents that are about to be public.
CNN's Ana Cabrera is in Boulder, Colorado. She is standing by for these documents release. Good morning.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. These documents are said to be from the 1999 grand jury ruling in this case, in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Now a judge ruling just this week to unseal these documents saying any official action of a state grand jury needs to be made public, even if it is 14 years later.
We expect to see 18 different pages, said to be the indictment of John and Patsy Ramsey in their daughter's murder, nine pages on John Ramsey and nine pages on Patsy Ramsey. Now, they might not change anything about the investigation, but they could provide new clues into what happened.
CABRERA (voice-over): A new twist in the cold case that first captivated the country nearly two decades ago, the gruesome murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. The child beauty queen was found dead in the basement of her family' Boulder home in 1996. A killer never captured. Now, more information has surfaced.
CHARLIE BRENNAN, REPORTER, "THE BOULDER DAILY CAMERA": We're obviously very happy that the judge has agreed with us that the grand jury indictment should be a public document.
CABRERA: A Colorado judge now agreeing to unseal a grand jury indictment from 1999 after a request from a reporter at "The Boulder Daily Camera" newspaper. The newspaper learning earlier this year that the grand jury in 1999 had voted to indict JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, on charges of child abuse resulting in death. But the Boulder District Attorney at the time decided there was not sufficient evidence to file charges. Even so, a cloud of suspicion remained. CRAIG SILVERMAN, LEGAL ANALYST: There has always been the dispute, was this an inside job by the Ramsey's or was there an outside intruder? It appears that the Boulder Grand Jury believes it was done by the Ramsey's. That's quite a revelation.
JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER: We think it was a pedophile. We think it was a male.
CABRERA: From the beginning, the Ramsey's claimed an intruder killed their daughter. Ultimately the family was cleared in the case of 2008 after new DNA testing technology proved that someone unrelated had to have been the killer. Patsy Ramsey did not live to see that day. She died of ovarian cancer in 2006.
RAMSEY: Reputation is a very fragile thing. And once that is taken away, rightly or wrongly, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to get it fully back.
CABRERA: Last week, a lawyer for John Ramsey requested the grand jury documents remain sealed. Saying, quote, "public release of the allegations of an unprosecuted indictment only serves to further defame him and his late wife."
RAMSEY: The death of a child is tough and particularly when it's a willful act of another human being who caused it.
CABRERA: Still, 17 years later the mystery of who did it remains.
CABRERA: We did reach out to John Ramsey and the current D.A.'s, now know one is commenting. As soon as we get our hands on the documents, we'll go through them and let you know what details we might learn. Keep in mind these documents are from 1999 when the grand jury had a look at the evidence before them. They heard from dozens of witnesses.
But did not have the crucial DNA evidence because the testing technology had not been developed to the extent that it later did, ultimately clearing John and Patsy as well as their son from any involvement in this case.
Again, the documents waiting, I'm just actually getting this iPad message from our producer here next to me. The documents have just been released as we speak. We're going to need a minute to go through these and follow up with them in a minute.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm going to let you read it and hopefully you'll join us in a few minutes. Ana Cabrera reporting live from Boulder, Colorado. Thank you.
Classes resuming this morning at Danvers High School in Massachusetts, three days after a teacher was brutally killed on campus. But the bathroom where a 14-year-old student allegedly punched and cut her with a box cutter remains closed. It's a crime scene. The junior at Danvers High School expressed their feelings about going back to school today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLLIN BUTLER, JUNIOE, DANVERS HIGH SCHOOL: It's a little bit nerve racking, but I think we'll pull through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going through your mind?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty much just shock, you know, trying to return to some sense of normalcy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: We're learning more, also, about the investigation. The source says the 14-year-old suspect, Philip Chism, followed Colleen Ritzer into a girl's bathroom. After allegedly killing Ritzer, another sources, the student say "Star Tribune" her body in a recycling bin and then dumped it in the woods after school. If indicted for first or second-degree murder, he will be tried as an adult.
We are expecting new details this hour about a frightening incident at the North Carolina State Fair, five people thrown from a ride and knocked unconscious. They were getting off the vortex when it started moving. According to WNCN, one person has serious head injuries and another seriously hurt. The ride operator among the injured --
Just sounded like a bunch of stuff hitting metal and that was it. And then there was no screaming. I didn't hear any screaming and nothing out of the normal on that end. But then all the sudden we had all of the ambulance and state trooper activity after that. A North Carolina state spokeswoman says fair rides are inspected three times a day.
Other tops stories this morning at 6 minutes past, the State Department is working to -- the ship's captain and chief engineer were kidnapped from the oil supply vessel off the coast of Nigeria. Their condition not known. More than 130 crew members have been abducted so far this year in the oil rich area off West Africa.
Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius makes another stop on her Obamacare road show. She's in Austin, Texas, following the visit of Chicago to this morning to promote the president's affordable health care act. She's likely to face a tough audience. Texas is home to Senator Ted Cruz, one of Obamacare's biggest critics.
The Food and Drug Administration wants tighter restrictions on painkillers. It would include reclassifying several drugs and limiting refills. The agency is pushing for the change saying it has become increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of painkillers.
Still to come in the NEWSROOM, they may be half a world away, but drone operators still know the who of battle on the frontline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're still in the war zone regardless of whether you're physically there or not. You're actually participating in the fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: That man helped kill more than 1600 people while he was still in the military and is now speaking out to protect his former colleagues. We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: One of the most controversial parts of the government's war on terror, drone targets. CNN sat down for an exclusive interview with a former drone pilot who is speaking out in order to raise awareness about what he and his colleagues went through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDON BRYANT, FORMER U.S. DRONE OPERATOR: We were consistently told when I was going through training that our job was to kill people and break things. And that's like one of those mantras that people say to get themselves to be ready to do sufficient -- stuff like that. And I don't think I could have ever been ready. I wasn't prepared. And it's largely my fault, but it's also the fault of the people that initiated the training. It was more -- the training was more imaginary than real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: That imaginary training as Brandon called it. Didn't help him handle realize of the battle field. Listen what he told them what it was like as he realized, as I said, he killed a child.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYANT: I just ended a human life. You know. How is anyone supposed to deal with that? We were told to shut up and color. And he with couldn't talk to a psychologist and couldn't do this. If we talked to anyone, we would lose our clearance. It affects a lot of people and it would have been a lot better for us if we would have been able to sit down and talk with someone to rationalize what had happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you speaking up now?
UNIDENTIFIED TERMINAL: Because I feel like the other drone operators, they get a bad rapid nd they need someone to talk how it's not a video game, how it is real life ad these people need just as much help, a huge mental health issue here that no one wants to seem to address. And it needs to be addressed. And these people need help and guidance and they need to be shown that they're actual legitimate people. They're not just an unmanned drone flying in the sky above them. And these are human beings. They're affected by this just as much as people on the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: For more of Brian's story, you can head to cnn.com.
Checking other stories this morning, 12-year-old Kaitlyn Roman appeared in court this morning. She's one of two minors accused of bullying Rebecca Sedgwick to death. The 12-year-old Sedwick killed herself after being taunted on her cell phone and online. She's facing charges of felony stalking.
Power companies in Northeast Ohio working to get the lights back on for thousands of people as the first snowfall of the season, yes, I'm going to say it, wreaked havoc across region. More snow expected to fall throughout the morning.
The World Series is knotted up at one game apiece. The St. Louis cardinals scored three and then went on to beat the Red Sox 4-2.
History was made Thursday night as a majority female crew for referees as NCAA football game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YVONDA LEWIS, HEAD LINESMAN: Everyone is used to us. The coaches know we're out there. I'm just another person out there officiating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The headlines man off the game got a little closer to the action. Good for her.
Last night CNN brought you to the documentary "Blackfish," which takes a look at sea world and its treatment of killer whales used in performances. "Blackfish" takes a history of the look of killer whales helped in captivity ahead of an incident in which a trainer was killed.
The CNN team had the chance to join in on the search for killer whales off the coast of British Columbia, the story now from Martin Savidge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking for killer whales and told this is the man I have to see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were kind of hoping maybe we could go out and see if there were any whales about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't see why not.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) October is late season for killer whale watching. I'll going to need some luck and something else. The suits to keep me dry. Because in the boat we're taking, there is a good chance of getting wet. It's a 30-foot boat, capable of highway speeds. Andrew drives listening for sightings radioed in by a network of spotters. It's not long before I get my first glimpse.
(on camera): There it is.
SAVIDGE: They are not killer whales, but humpbacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to see the back come up and then maybe the tail will follow.
SAVIDGE: We push on, catching a chorus from another sort of sea life. It's during a break onshore we get the call we've waited for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What direction are they heading?
SAVIDGE: A pod of killer whales is spotted to the north. We have to move fast.
(on camera): Looking for killer whales can be a high-speed pursuit sometimes. These boats can go up to 50 miles an hour. With the temperature of the ocean at 48 degrees, the wind chill is pretty severe.
(voice-over): But when we get there, we only see waves, suddenly there they are and the tall dorsal fin of the male rising up out of the water. We don't get any closer than 100 yards. When they suddenly turn ward towards us, we shut down the engines.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll let them pass.
SAVIDGE: It's an amazing moment. As they pass just a few feet away. We follow the pod as they make several dives before finally calling it a day. There you can see the golden sun just setting on the horizon there. Which means it's about time for us to do the same thing just like the wild orcas and head right off into the sunset. Martin Savidge, CNN, Victoria Canada.
COSTELLO: That's a lucky man with a lucky assignment. "Blackfish," by the way, airs again this Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. It's terrific.
Still to come, the tables were turned on a former spy chief with a tweeter on a train made his private conversation a public one, the embarrassing tweets just ahead.
COSTELLO: This morning, Washington faces more anger and more embarrassment over reports that the National Security Agency eaves dropped on the cell phone conversations of world leaders, leaders, pleural. The White House took out an op-ed responding to all of this. Obama's counterterrorism advisers said that, quote, "Disclosures have created significant challenges in our relationships."
She goes on to say that the president has ordered a review of our surveillance capabilities including with our foreign German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a key U.S. ally and one of the reported target of that spying. She said others shared her outrage at the EU Summit, which wraps up today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: I think it's to find a basis for the future and trust needs to be rebuilt. That implies that the trust has been severely shaken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: CNN Atika Shubert has more on the European Summit and the growing outrage against the United States.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, Angela Merkel has very clear at an U.E. Brussels about just how angry she is with these allegations of NSA spying on her personal German Chancellor Merkel has been very clear at E.U. summit in Brussels about how angry she is about the spying on her personal phone.
She called it a betrayal of trust of "The NSA was monitoring the phone calls of at least there this is all part of the NSA leaks that were put out by Edward Snowden. And according to another document given to the newspaper by Edward Snowden, the NSA was monitoring the phone calls of at least 35 other world leaders. Now both France and Germany are demanding talks with the U.S. by the end of the year.
COSTELLO: Reporting on the subject of the NSA. Sometimes you can't help eavesdropping, right, NSA? Well, a former political strategy gist found himself within ear shots on a conversation. He overheard former CIA and NSA director apparently talk on the cell phone. He started tweeting out what he heard. And no supervise, those tweets went viral.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I talked to Tom Mattzzie a short time ago. And he says he wasn't eavesdropping but Hayden was being quote the loud guy on the train. Tom Matzzie said he was reluctant to start tweeting. He didn't want to do it at first. It was about an hour and a half between the time he got on the train and the time he tweeted and the time Michael Hayden started taking the phone calls.
He believes that Hayden was being undignified and it was inappropriate for Hayden to be saying the things he was saying. Let's go ver a couple of the tweets. One of them says, quote, former NSA spy boss on a krol behind me blabing, quote, acela. And a third, quote on acela, phone ring, I think the jig is up.
Do I hide? And then he eventually spoke to Michael Hayden, got a picture with him. And I guess they're both from Pittsburgh because he says, here, me and Steeler fan Michael Hayden. Now, again, Tom Matzzie, is pretty unrepentant about this. He says he believes Hayden was banking or years of credibility to kind of hide. Hayden has pushed back on that a little bit, carol. But this is one of those things that blows up on the twit twitter atmosphere.
COSTELLO: Hayden issued a statement to CNN. He said had a nice chat with my fellow Pittsburgher. He says, I didn't criticize the president. I said these were very difficult issues. And I said I had guidance that limited the things I did when I was director of the NSA.
The tweeter Tom Matzzie is live in the 11:00 hour of CNN with Ashleigh Banfield.
I want to take you back live to Boulder, Colorado. It is breaking news because court documents have been released after 17 years in the JonBenet Ramsey case. Ana Cabrera is there. She has been reading these documents. What do they say?
CABRERA: Carol, again, these are from the 1999 grand jury indictment of JonBenet Ramsey's parents. We've just now gotten a look at these documents learning that the grand jury did indeed believe that the parents had some responsibility in their daughter's death. What's interesting is that they necessarily don't say that they believe that John and Patsy Ramsey committed the murder themselves.
There are four pages released, two on John Ramsey and two on Patsy Ramsey, and the two charges that the grand jury wanted to hold these two people accountable for had to do with assisting in the murder or in some way impeding the investigation. Now ultimately then D.A. here in Boulder Alex Hunter decided that there wasn't enough evidence for him to move forward with the case and try John Ramsey or Patsy Ramsey in this case at all. And the case was dropped.
And then several years later, back in 200, then D.A., Mary Lacy, who had taken over ended up sending a letter to John Ramsey following the death of Patsy Ramsey saying that new DNA technology and testing proved that they did not commit the murder. And ultimately the person who committed the murder was male and unrelated to the immediate Ramsey family. We have reached out to the current attorney representing John Ramsey who did not want to comment specifically.
But he referred to a letter he had sent to the current D.A. the latest information which included, again, that the DNA had ultimately cleared his client. And that's all they want to say right now. We talked to the Boulder Police Department, Carol, also, about where this investigation stands today. And we are told that this is still an open investigation. But it's a cold case.
So that means there's not an active investigation going on right now. They do continue to get tips. They continue to follow up on leads they may have. But we're told they have not had any credible tips in a very long time and no new leads that would provide a break through into who killed 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey - Carol.
COSTELLO: I know that Mr. Ramsey didn't want these documents released, but he wasn't other court documents released as well so people could get a clear picture. But going back to what it said, it believed one or both parents assisted in the murder? Is that what you said?
CABRERA: That's how we're interpreting them. I can read you. On or between December 25th and 26th, 1996 -- that's when we know JonBenet was killed in her parents' home -- that John and or Patricia Ramsey did unknowingly, recklessly to permit a child to be placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury or death to a child's health.
And it less says they render assistance to prevent the discover and conviction and punishment of such a person. In laymen's terms, we are understanding this to me that the grand jury had some kind of involvement in their daughter's death, that they should be held responsible for that involvement. But it does not clarify or necessarily pin the murder on them specifically.
COSTELLO: It makes you wonder -- I'm sorry. It makes you wonder who that person is.