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NEW DAY

Birdies for Blessings Campaign Helps Feed Schoolchildren Over Weekend; Does Law Enforcement Want More tools to Stop Violence Perpetuated by Mentally Sick People?; Rampage Renews Gun Control Debate; Love and Death in Paradise

Aired May 27, 2014 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SOUCIE: Well, what it would do is provide comparative data. In other words, the base frequency offset and the other information that's in there, they'd be able to compare that to previous flights. Especially if the aircraft had taken the same route, but that stuff changes day by day, and route by route. So what's more important to me is the fact that the information about the aircraft analysis they did since the accident, where they looked at the aircraft flying to the north and flying to the south and they said before that the reason that they know that it's in the south is because that information was provided, but they don't have that information.

They didn't show that work either, but there might be reasons for that, because of the fact that this is a very complex system. It involves Honeywell, it involves Boeing, it involves the (INAUDIBLE) manufacturer and all of those people were sitting at the table when they did this map. So it's, I think, a little bit optimistic of us to expect that all of that would be released. There's a lot of legal reasons why it can't be. There is some other things going on. So as Mary said it will come out eventually, but it's going to take some time.

PEREIRA: All of this raw data was released. Does it change to you the investigation? Does it change to you the search? You said, and I've heard you say it, you believe it's mechanical looking at this raw data now?

SOUCIE: Yes. And this actually supports that, in my mind, because if you look down on page 39 of this document, it actually talks about the very specific time when the ACARS data came off-line and there's something very significant that happens at that point.

And that is that the base frequency offset was prior to that had only been 135, had jumped up to 270-something, which is a significant difference, saying that the Inmarsat system, the equipment, was trying to make up for a dramatic movement or change in the data, which would indicate that the ACARS system had lost its information, or that something else mechanically or electrically had affected the information bus on the aircraft, the 429 bus. So it sits - can be - we're going to be able to get a lot of information off of that for sure.

PEREIRA: Well, there's a lot of information in this data. Minds far brighter than mine for sure need to look at it. We appreciate your bright minds joining us, help us making senses on this. Mary, David, as always, we appreciate it. Chris?

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much.

Now we want to take you to this week's "Impact Your World." When British golfer Justin Rose moved to the U.S. in 2004 he and his wife were surprised to learn how many American families struggle just to put food on the table. So they teamed up with a national charity to help feed hungry kids.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Thank you.

KATE ROSE, WIFE OF JUSTIN ROSE: You're welcome, sweetie.

CUOMO: For these kids, blessings come in the form of apples, corn, even tuna.

K. ROSE: That's a nice smile you have there.

CUOMO: Thanks to blessings in a backpack, elementary students on a federally funded school meal program can take home a bag of food for the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: It helps me, because sometimes we don't have enough money to buy food.

K. ROSE: We can't expect children to turn up on Monday morning at school and expect them to learn, and be in a good state for learning when they just simply haven't had enough food unfortunately over the weekend.

(APPLAUSE)

CUOMO: Kate Rose and her golf pro husband Justin helped feed 1600 kids in five Orlando area schools. The 2013 U.S. Open champ raises money through his Birdies for Blessings campaign.

JUSTIN ROSE: How are we doing?

For every birdie I make I give $100, which is the amount to feed a child for the school year. One of my sponsors Zirik (ph) matched me birdie for birdie. So, every birdie I make, that feeds two children for the whole entire school year. That gives me a lot of incentive to be out there on the golf course working hard to improve my game.

(APPLAUSE)

CUOMO: Another incentive is believing that blessings in a backpack is feeding the future of America. Like six-year-old Tatyana.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I would like to be a healthy singer, a dancer, I'd like to be an artist. I'd like to be everything when I grow up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: How precious is Tatiana, first of all?

BOLDUAN: I want to hear her more.

CUOMO: These beautiful dreams. And this is a great example of doing well and doing good. You know, helping improve his game, with high stakes. Helping people who need it.

BOLDUAN: Both can happen. Imagine that?

CUOMO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on "NEW DAY," after the California rampage, a grieving father really slams lawmakers for what he says is failing to act on gun control legislation. What more, if anything, should the government be doing?

CUOMO: Also, a gripping murder mystery in tropical seclusion. A woman accused of killing her husband in their Costa-Rican hideaway. She says he was suicidal. Whom do you believe? The facts, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD MARTINEZ, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: What has changed? Have we learned nothing? These things are going to continue until somebody does something. So where the hell is the leadership? Where the hell are these people we elect to Congress and we spend so much money on? These people are getting rich sitting in Congress, and what do they do? They don't take care of our kids. My kid died because nobody responded to what occurred in Sandy Hook. Those parents lost little kids! It's bad enough that I lost my 20-year old, but I had 20 years with my son!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: That was Richard Martinez, the father of Christopher Martinez, the young man who was gunned down in the California rampage. He is one of six people killed. His father is now calling on Washington to take action, as you heard right there. But what are politicians, what are the lawmakers willing and able to do at this point? Let's discuss the options and, really, the political realities of it, of gun control legislation. CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes, CNN political commentator and Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" Ryan Lizza joining us right now.

So, Tom, let's talk about this with you from the law enforcement perspective. There was a wellness check. There was a family who had this boy in therapy. He was getting the help that many say he needed. But it clearly didn't work. What do you think from the law enforcement perspective, what more could law enforcement have? What other tool could law enforcement have at their hands to help prevent something like this? Does law enforcement want any additional tools? TOM FUENTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Kate. I think the problem is, does the public want law enforcement to have more tools? What you're talking about is a situation where someone makes a complaint to law enforcement, whether it's family, a therapist, a neighbor, and says, this individual is having mental health problems, and you're talking about a situation where the police can go out, talk to the individual, and then put them in an institution against their will.

So that's a big step, and that's what has not happened in the last 20 or 30 years since I was a street cop, when we could put somebody in an institution on, with a lot less information than what they had in this case. And that was the concern. That the police shouldn't have that much power on the street to be able to lock somebody up, whether it's a mental hospital or jail or any other system against their will without really strong information, and it usually requires the person to do the act. To do some violent act to trigger it.

CUOMO: Right. So the bar's clearly now too high. The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. So, Ryan, the question becomes what is the political fix? If you are going to change the law, you've got to do it through politics.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah.

CUOMO: Representative Tim Murphy comes up with a bill, puts it out there. It seems like a reasonable thing. A lot of forensic people in the psychiatry world like it and the mental health components start coming it. The advocates come out against it. Why and what is the state of that bill?

LIZZA: Well, look, it's got two problems from - that some of the mental health groups are opposed to. One is this, any kind of involuntary treatment as Tom was just talking about, it used to be much more common, but is now much more controversial and there are people who don't like the idea of the government involuntarily committing someone for any reason. So, that's become controversial. The second part, a little less controversial, but that has raised some eyebrows, is change to the medical privacy laws.

Once you turn 18 years old, even if you have a long history of mental illness, your medical records are your own business, and the law known as HIPAA does not allow your parents to peek into those anymore. So Congressman Murphy's law would change that and it would someone with a severe history of mental illness, their parents would be allowed to be updated and continue to get information about their treatments. Which, you know, sounds like a reasonable provision to a lot of people.

So those are the two most controversial parts of the law right now, Chris, and -- but I will say this, it's got - as opposed to almost anything else in Washington, that law has dozens of bipartisan backers in the House of Representatives right now. So, compared to most legislation down here, it's got some momentum.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk, though, about the political reality of it. Tom points to, Ryan, Tom points to what does the public want? Is the public ready to give law enforcement more tools? And that's the same question to lawmakers. What does the public want lawmakers to do? The last big push that came right after Newtown was from Manchin and Toomey, the Manchin-Toomey proposal that would really make it, background treatment - stricter background checks for all commercial gun sales if you will. That failed in the Senate. Why? Because of politics. Because of tough re-election battles for even Democrats. Some Democrats even voted against it, because of that. That hasn't changed, and that isn't going to change, even after this midterm. Right?

LIZZA: That's not going to change, and I hate to be cynical about this, or pessimistic, but gun legislation in the current political climate is just very, very unlikely. Look at the conditions last year after Newtown. You had one of the most disturbing gun tragedies in the history of this country, you had a president re-elected with a majority at the peak of his popularity. Democrats controlling the Senate, and the public supporting the legislation you just mentioned, Kate, Manchin-Toomey, at something like 60 to 70 percent and it won a majority, 54 votes in the Senate.

BOLDUAN: Right.

LIZZA: And it still did not become law. So I think as the debate moves a little bit from gun control to mental health, folks down here are a little bit more optimistic about something passing.

CUOMO: That's the key. The gun debate has become toxified. You're not going to get any movement on it and you don't need to with this, because there is no gun law that's ever been requested ...

LIZZA: Absolutely right.

CUOMO: That would have stopped this kid from buying guns. Fuentes, you know it, and Ryan, you know it.

LIZZA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: So, it really becomes, let's focus on what the area of fixes. Let's deal with the mental health environment. You know, anybody who listens to Mr. Martinez, you know, that could be your kid. We saw it in Newtown. We keep seeing it again and again. We made the changes for terrorists, Tom. How is this not analogous to the different breath we given law enforcement when terrorist allegations are made?

FUENTES: I'll tell exactly why, Chris, because we have data bases for terrorists. We have ways to check, ten different ways to check whether a person should get on an airplane or not. Whether a person should be picked up and arrested or not. Whether that information should be shared with other governments around the world or not.

Right now you had shooter after shooter in these incidents already in the mental health system. Already being treated and the police don't know about it. And/or gun shop owners don't know about it, and have no way to check whether somebody in this severe of a mental illness state can buy a gun. There's no -- there's no connection between the information regarding the person's mental health condition and the ability to go purchase a weapon.

BOLDUAN: Tom Fuentes, Ryan Lizza -- thanks for the conversation.

LIZZA: Thank you guys.

BOLDUAN: We'll continue it, at least here. Thanks so much.

FUENTES: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, a murder mystery like you have never heard before. A woman accused of killing her husband in Costa Rica. She says he committed suicide. There is so much more to this. The mystery goes deeper.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

What began as love at first sight ended in tragedy. A single bullet four years ago, Ann Bender was charged with killing her millionaire husband John as he lay next to her in bed, but what it murder, or as she claims, suicide? In a new CNN special airing tonight "LOVE AND DEATH IN PARADISE", our own Randi Kaye journeys to Costa Rica to tell the story of this troubled couple's descent into madness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ann Bender remembers all too well the joy before the madness of January 8, 2010. Here inside her home, she took me up the elevator, leading to her bedroom -- the place where her husband died.

(on camera): Is it hard for you to come in here?

ANN BENDER, ACCUSED OF KILLING HUSBAND: It's a little tough.

KAYE (voice over): though she still finds it hard to be in this room, Ann was willing to take me step by step through the final hours she and John spent here.

Ann says they followed their nightly routine. John turned out the lights, and they got into bed. Ann says she began to doze off.

BENDER: I was lying on my belly, face down, my head facing towards him. And I opened my eyes, because I heard him talking.

KAYE (on camera): So what was he saying?

BENDER: He referred to my suicide attempts, where I had been in bed next to him and he said something to the effect of knowing how it feels to wake up with your spouse dead.

KAYE (voice over): Though it was dark, Ann says she could see that John had a gun pointed at his head. Ann says she took action, almost instinctively. BENDER: I reared up on my knees, lunged towards him -- and in the process of putting my hands around his we fell towards each other, and he had the gun loaded and cocked. And I lunged, we fell towards each other and it went off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREIRA: Randi Kaye is here to tell us more about this investigation into quite a mysterious story. So give us an idea Randi -- thanks for being here. Talk about the evidence that's lined up against her.

KAYE: Well, we talked to prosecutors there. And they said the main thing that stands out to them, is this single shot that John Bender died from. It's a single shot to the right side of the back of the head. Most people if they're going to commit suicide don't go to that area. That's the one thing.

The other thing is his body position. He was in bed, and he was sort of in a fetal position -- looks like he was sleeping according to the prosecutors. So there's no way he would have shot himself during that. There also wasn't any gun residue found on John Bender's hand. So if the gun went off in his hand, why wasn't there any gun residue?

And they also talked about the motive. Both of them were mentally ill -- so they said maybe she had some type of a psychotic break. Maybe there's something that happened in that moment that drove her to kill her husband.

PEREIRA: You talk about the mental illness. Was there any evidence or any understanding that he might have been suffering from depression at that time or particularly suicidal?

KAYE: We talked with a lot of people who knew him. And many of them said on several occasions throughout the years there were signs that he was very depressed and was sort of getting worse. We also talked to some neighbors who know them very well, and who said that they were there about six months before John died, and that he was in a very, very dark place and she was, too. She was ill. She was weak, and the two of them were not in a very healthy place.

PEREIRA: If all of these things ring true, it's interesting that these two people would find themselves together. That house that is -- it's unbelievable. What an unusual place. You got a chance to walk around. What did it feel like?

KAYE: Well, we flew over it first. We took a helicopter there, because it's in such a remote place. It's on 5,000 acres; it's 80,000 square feet. They wanted to make it a lab one day when they were both gone. Ann says they would like to make it a university that might take it over or something like that it would become a lab with a very successful refuge for animals.

PEREIRA: Randi Kaye, thanks so much for joining us. We should point out the CNN Special Report "LOVE AND DEATH IN PARADISE", it premieres tonight. You have to see that, 9:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

Thanks so much, Randi.

KAYE: Thank you.

PEREIRA: Back to you.

CUOMO: Wow. What a story.

Coming up on NEW DAY, listen to this. Hundreds of hundred dollar bills are popping up all over San Francisco -- maybe not hundreds, but a lot of them. Before you running out there, though, just wait until you hear why. Certainly qualifies as "The Good Stuff" coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Today's "good stuff," today's edition, whoever's behind the Twitter account Hidden Cash. The handle just popped up giving cryptic clues where people could go to find envelopes loaded with cash around the San Francisco area.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL GARVES, SEARCHED FOR HIDDEN CASH: They were checking Twitter and said that right outside in the plaza somebody was hiding hundred dollar bills there was one underneath the chair out here and I guess we were just a little bit too late to grab it today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The anonymous donor has one request -- that recipients pay it forward. It turns out, guess what? People are doing just that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALFIE ESTRADA: I donated it to Aids Life Cycles, one of my favorite charities. I thought it was an easy way to turn something fun into something good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: That's not all. Twitter is loaded with examples of people using the money for others. Our affiliate KTVU caught up to the mystery man behind the hidden cash. Turns out he's a wealthy real estate developer who wishes to remain anonymous. He says this isn't some replacement for charity. He gives money to that as well, but this is more for fun and encouraging people to do the right thing. He says he's going to expand Hidden Cash to other cities, in hopes people will keep paying it forward.

Money, they often say, is opportunity; so most of all, thank you for putting it to good use. You are "The Good Stuff" whoever you are Mr. Rich Real Estate Dude.

BOLDUAN: Bring it here.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: You think he hides out?

PEREIRA: He might have a hideout, in disguise.

BOLDUAN: I'm on the hunt now. Going out to San Francisco -- expand to New York.

PEREIRA: A quick programming note, everybody, Thursday CNN is premiering a new series called "THE SIXTIES". It's from executive producers, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. It's the decade that changed the world -- the space race, the Cold War, free love, civil rights, much more. The 1960s reshaped Americans lives in ways that still affect us today. Watch or set your DVR for "THE SIXTIES" premiere, Thursday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on CNN.

CUOMO: Good music if nothing else.

PEREIRA: Exactly right.

CUOMO: A lot of news this morning. Let's get you to the "NEWSROOM" and Ms. Carol Costello. You weren't around for the '60s. Born in what -- '82, were you? But out there it's a wild time, Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN HOST: How did you know?

CUOMO: All I can say is that was a good song. Have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.