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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Storm Survivor Kept Camera Rolling; Larry Flint Protests Against Killer's Scheduled Execution; Father of Brittany Murphy Says She was Poisoned; Crack-Smoking Mayor Threatens War.
Aired November 19, 2013 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We just don't have many other confirmed details. Lots of stories running rampant. Few utterly confirmed details. Can tell you this, Mr. Deeds ran for governor of Virginia against Governor McDonnell, but he lost back in 2009. This is a photo of him and his family right before he gave his concession speech. You can see his wife giving one of his daughters a hug while his son hugs another daughter in the foreground of that photograph. State police there say another person was also found dead inside that home. And we've heard from the University of Virginia Medical Center that, in fact, it is confirmed he is in critical condition. We're expected to get more details from a police news conference scheduled for about 29 minutes from now. We'll continue to update you just as soon as we have more interviews. Creigh Deeds in critical condition after being stabbed in his home.
Other big news. Parts of the Midwest in full recovery mode. Reality is setting in officially after the deadly tornadoes left a huge pile of destruction. The details that we know for sure. As you get the helicopter view. Wow. Just take a look at that. Eight people died in all of that wreckage. Those storms roared through on Sunday. Six people dead in Illinois, two people dead in Michigan. There were 76 reported tornadoes. The national weather service estimates that winds between 170 and 190 miles per hour hit Washington, Illinois, and that's the site of the worth damage. More than 500,000 people still without power this morning.
And one man, who luckily survived that storm in Illinois, for whatever reason, decided not to back down as that tornado was marching straight for him and his home and his family. And what did he do? He just kept his video camera rolling.
Our Gary Tuchman has the story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's coming toward us.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the tornado that came through Washington, Illinois. A frightening and increasingly familiar image in this video age. But what's unique about this video --
CHRIS LANCASTER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: Oh, my god. Holy (EXPLETIVE DELETED). TUCHMAN: -- is that the man shooting it kept shooting as it started to destroy his house. It could have been the last thing Chris Lancaster ever did. But he survived.
LANCASTER: I got hit by debris or something and it cut my eye in three places.
TUCHMAN: His wife and children survived too. But this is what happened to their house. Gone. Even they can barely recognize it.
LANCASTER: This is my bedroom, right here. I was sleeping on that side the bed and when the sirens went off and the wife yelling at me, I jumped up and threw clothing on. And I ran through the house. I checked here. The kids were over here. So I went this way.
TUCHMAN: Incredibly, the plates in the kitchen cupboard remain completely intact. The rest of the kitchen destroyed. The home was Mandy Lancaster's dream house.
(on camera): After you came out of the basement and saw what the tornado did to your house, were you incredulous that you survived?
MANDY LANCASTER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: Yes. I don't know how anybody made it through this.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Mandy did not want her husband to shoot the video. But he was transfixed.
LANCASTER: That water tower just to the left of it was where I started seeing it coming across, coming across, coming across.
TUCHMAN: It wasn't until after the tornado hit, that Chris joined his family in the basement. The day after, they look for keep sakes.
LANCASTER: The video of my wedding.
TUCHMAN: And they try to figure out what happens next.
MANDY LANCASTER: I don't know where to go. I don't know what to do. All I can do is stand here and look at it.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Like so many families here, Chris, Mandy, they're children have lost almost everything. But right now this family prefers to focus on something they haven't lost, each other.
LANCASTER: The good Lord above was with me. All I can say is I got three angels up there, my father, grandparents, they're looking down on me. They were my guardian angels today. They said, you got to stay here and take care of your family.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Washington, Illinois.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BANFIELD: If you knew you were going to die at midnight tonight, what would you be thinking? Certainly, not that the man you tried to kill was trying to save your life. And you will not believe who that man is. Let me give you a hint. You know him well. He's famous. That's coming up next.
BANFIELD: Welcome back to "Legal View." I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
The serial killer whose gunshots put a famous pornography king in a wheelchair for the rest of his life just has one day on this earth to live. Joseph Paul Franklin killed nearly two dozen people and paralyzed Larry Flint decades ago. And for those crimes, he's scheduled to die by lethal injection just after midnight tonight.
It's not unusual to see protesters block an execution. It happens all the time. But you will not believe who is trying to block this one.
Here's CNN's Kyung Lah with a jaw dropping interview.
JOSEPH PAUL FRANKLIN, CONVICTED OF MURDER: I threw that down and the table and thought I'm going to kill that guy. You hear me?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The single, unwavering drive in him, murder. His target, Larry Flint, infamous pornography, founder and publisher of "Hustler" magazine, which in 1977 featured this controversial photo spread.
FRANKLIN: And I saw that interracial couple that he had photographed there having sex, you know, and it just made me sick.
LAH: Franklin, his hair wild, his gaze wavering, unblinkingly recalled from death row his murderous spree, driven by a hate for Jews, blacks, and any whites associated with them. He was a sniper, carrying his rifle and scope in guitar cases. He staked out a synagogue in St. Louis and gunned down a man. In Salt Lake City, he killed two young black men jobbing with white female friends. In Cincinnati, Ohio, children were not spared. Even civil rights leader, Jordan Vernon, shot, but survived. Larry Flint would be a trophy killing for the white supremacist.
(on camera): So you were hunting him down?
FRANKLIN: Yeah, I was hunting him down. I'm not going to deny that.
LAH: You remember the shots ringing out?
LARRY FLINT, FOUNDER & PUBLISHER, HUSTLER MAGAZINE: Yeah. Well, just sort of like a hot poker hitting me in my stomach.
LAH (voice-over): Flint will never forget March 6, 1978 as he walked to a courthouse where he was facing obscenity charges. The shots, like most of Franklin's targets, came from a distance. Flint would barely survive the two bullets that struck him. He would never walk again.
LAH: By the time the police finally arrested Franklin in September of 1980, at least 22 people were dead. Days away from his execution, Franklin spoke to me from death row about his three-year killing spree.
FRANKLIN: Three years, just the same length of time Jesus was on his mission, from the time he was 30 until he was 33.
LAH (on camera): And what was your mission?
FRANKLIN: Well, to try or get a race war started.
LAH (voice-over): He showed me a tattoo. Faded with time, you can still make out that it's the grim reaper.
(on camera): Do you think you're a hero to those hate groups?
FRANKLIN: That's what they tell me. You know. I would rather people like me than not like me. Just like anybody else. You know what I mean? I would rather be loved than hated. You know?
LAH: Even if they are the Nazi Party and other hate groups?
FRANKLIN: Yeah. They're not the only ones who love me, though.
LAH: Do you feel any hate looking at me?
FRANKLIN: Looking at you? No, of course, not. Huh?
LAH: I'm not white.
FRANKLIN: Yeah, I know. But you're -- you know, I have no feel whatsoever hatred toward you, especially not a female.
LAH: Well, you shot plenty of women.
FRANKLIN: Yeah, I know. I know. That's true. You've got a point.
LAH (voice-over): Franklin says he's no longer a racist, that he was wrong and he's sorry for his crimes. He now wants mercy. There is almost no one in his corner, except --
(on camera): If you could stop it, would you stop it?
FLINT: Oh, yes. I would say put him in prison for the rest of his life.
LAH (voice-over): Why? Principle. He's against the death penalty. Flint has filed a lawsuit trying to stop his own shooter's death. But don't mistake all of this for mercy.
(on camera): Is that how you see this, that you're forgiving him at all?
FLINT: I'm not showing him anything. If it wasn't Joseph Paul Franklin and some other person who shot me, my feelings would be the same.
LAH (voice-over): And what does Franklin think about the man that he tried to kill and has never met and now fighting for his life.
FRANKLIN: My old pal Larry.
LAH (on camera): Your old pal, Larry?
LAH: I'm not sure he would refer to you as your old pal.
FRANKLIN: I like Larry.
LAH (voice-over): But it appears that even Flint's efforts won't stop it.
FRANKLIN: Most people with heading toward a burning hell and they don't know it.
LAH (on camera): Do you think something lies for you on the other side?
FRANKLIN: Yeah. But it isn't a burning hell, though, because I'm a servant of the Lord.
LAH: I think we're about out of time.
FRANKLIN: Well, let's not say that. You just --
LAH: Time is important to you now, isn't it?
FRANKLIN: Oh, yeah, it has been for a long time. You know. And maybe we'll meet again sometime.
LAH (voice-over): Kyung Lah, CNN, Missouri.
BANFIELD: He more than likely won't be meeting Kyung again sometime. Joseph Paul Franklin is scheduled to be executed in a matter of hours. Just after 12:01.
I'm joined by CNN's senior analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
You and I have so many conversations about the death penalty. I don't think I've ever asked you this. How often is it that the victims come out and say, don't do this? And, two-prong question, does it make any difference?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's not all that unusual. In recent years victims have had a lot more say in the legal system. The Supreme Court has said that state's can allow victims to speak to juries about whether to impose the death penalty.
BANFIELD: But this is during the process.
TOOBIN: That's during the process. But afterwards, there are a lot of victims' families who say we are morally opposed to the death penalty and certainly that's what Larry Flint is doing here. There's no legal right to have your opinion followed.
TOOBIN: And in this circumstance, it seems like the chances are just about zero that Flint's wishes will be honored. So he can express them, but it doesn't mean it's going to work.
BANFIELD: What does it take for the 11:59 phone call from the governor's office? We hear about them and see them in the movies all the time. A, what are the odds and, B, what does it take to get that phone call from the governor?
TOOBIN: Well, this is the unusual powers of clemency in virtually every state.
BANFIELD: You're the king.
TOOBIN: If you have no -- you have no restriction on what you can do. You can just decide that clemency is appropriate. Now, most governors don't do that. Most of them allow executions to proceed. Here, of course, you have one of the most notorious, horrible criminals really in American history. This guy is beyond notorious. So I think the odds of this execution being stopped are really approximately zero. And the governor of Missouri has not indicated that he's going to stop this at all.
BANFIELD: And here is the other question I think a lot of people watching the video might have thought. Wait a minute. Doing the math, we're around 35 years since the bulk of these crimes. There was a body of work of this murder. 22 at least. Why so long? It's not unusual to hear 20 years before an execution after a crime. But 35?
TOOBIN: This is one of the issues with the death penalty. Again, it depends on your perspective. Many supporters of the death penalty show -- say that this shows that the system is not working quickly enough. Opponents say, look, the legal system cannot process these cases quickly enough. Look how much time and money we're devoting to getting this guy executed. Better off, put him in prison for life. It would save the government a lot of money to do that. BANFIELD: When you say a lot of money, would have saved tens of millions with 22-odd cases, all of those appeals and all of this time and litigation. Good lord.
TOOBIN: That's one of the reasons that the death penalty is down in recent years. The cost is so great, that a lot a lot municipalities, a lot of states aren't even seeking it.
BANFIELD: I see an hour-long special. Are you busy?
TOOBIN: I'm ready.
BANFIELD: OK, Jeffrey Toobin, I always love talking to you about this stuff.
Thank you for that. Appreciate it.
There's another case that's kind of getting strange. Remember Brittany Murphy and her strange death four years ago? It's now being revisited as her father is demanding more testing because there are some bizarre toxicology results that he's now bringing forward. But do they actually reveal that she died in a different way? Find out next.
BANFIELD: So we continue to follow some of the breaking news that's coming out of Virginia. State Senator there Creigh Deeds was stabbed in his own home. He survived this attack. We don't have a lot of details yet confirmed. If you nova have a politics, you may know that he ran for governor of Virginia, against the current governor, back in 2009, but he lost. We have photographs of him as well as long woo his family. This is a picture right before he gave his concession speech in '09. His wife is in the background. In the foreground is his son, his son hugging another one of his daughters. Again, before going out to give the concession speech after losing to Governor Bob McDonnell.
State police are saying that there was one other person also found dead inside that home. We have heard from the University of Virginia Medical Center that he is in critical condition. And we're expecting to get further details and an update from the police in a news conference that eight minutes or so from now we've got our live cameras ready. You'll be privy to that. A sad story, and across party lines, all sorts of messages of good hope and will to that will family, as well.
Another story we're following, the father of actress Brittany Murphy, wants the investigation into his daughter's 2009 death reopened because he believes that the star of the movie "Clueless" was, in fact, murdered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELO BERTOLOTTI, FATHER OF BRITTANY MURPHY: I have a feeling that there was a murder situation here.
Yeah, it's poison. Yes, yes, I know that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: So Angelo Bertolotti says his daughter Brittany Murphy was poisoned and he says he has the lab reports to prove it.
Our entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner, is with me.
This one hit me out of the blue. What is he talking about, what kind of report?
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Her family has had a lot of questions since her death. They didn't ever believe the cause of death was what was reported. So they've been asking questions for many years. Now you did hear Brittany Murphy's father on "Good Morning, America" this morning. He was saying his daughter was poisoned. He produced these toxicology reports that he says backs his story up.
According to these reports, conducted by a lab that Bertolotti paid for, heavy metals were discovered in hair samples that the lab tested. There were things like arsenic, copper, lead, mercury and uranium. Mr. Bertolotti thinks has been suspicious of the L.A. coroner's determination that Brittany Murphy died due to a combination of pneumonia, iron deficiency and, quote, "multiple drug intoxication."
Now, just a few months after she died, her husband, Simon Monjack, also died suddenly from what the coroner said was pneumonia. This was really interesting at that time because the coroner's office didn't find anything suspicious in either of these deaths. Both came so close together from the same cause, it just raises a lot of questions in this family's mind. They're continuing to ask questions now. They're not going to stop, I don't think.
BANFIELD: That coroner saying at this point, sorry, we have what we have and this doesn't change anything.
TURNER: And they're not going to reopen any inquiry into her death.
BANFIELD: Very weird.
Nischelle, thank you for bringing that to us. Appreciate that.
Again to Toronto, where the crack-smoking mayor just remains defiant, running, pushing, yelling, apologizing. Coming up after the break, his greatest hits. When I say hits, I literally mean his greatest hit, next.
BANFIELD: If you like all that crack smoking up in Toronto, you may have missed something. We put it all together for you so you won't miss a thing. You're welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED TORONTO CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: Mr. Mayor, have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two yea years?
ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: Yes, I have.
I can assure you I am not an alcoholic. I am not a drug addict. Have you drank? Have you done drugs, yes, I have.
The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That's all it was.
I do not use crack cocaine.
Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine, can again, and again, I apologize.
It is very, very humiliating.
For the past six months, I have been under tremendous, tremendous stress.
I love my job. I love my job. These mistakes will never ever, ever happen again.
FORD: I've had enough. I was sick and tired of all these allegations all this (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Excuse my words. Sorry, he shouldn't have sworn in front of the kids.
I'll do a drug and alcohol test right now. And I put a motion forward that every counselor do it, too. I know people party on the side. I know lawyers, doctors -- everybody has a good time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who has done it.
FORD: I'm not going to name names.
Mark my words, friends, this is going to be outright war in the next election. I'm going to do everything in my power --
UNIDENTIFIED TORONTO CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: Mayor Ford, your time's up.
FORD: Everything in my power to beat you guys.
BANFIELD: Like getting run over by a Ford, ain't it? Keep it classy, Mayor. Keep it classy.
Thanks for joining us, everybody. AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today. We're following some breaking news this hour. A Virginia State Senator and former candidate for governor, Creigh Deeds, in critical condition this hour with stab wounds after being attacked in his home.
MALVEAUX: State police say another person was found dead in his home.