Return to Transcripts main page


Vegas Killer Took Valium and Gambled $1 M A Night; ESPN's Jemele Hill Suspended Over NFL Comments; Backlash Over Hollywood's Silence on Weinstein. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired October 9, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] CHRIS HANSEN, HOST, "CRIME WATCH DAILY WITH CHRIS HANSEN: Nobody can pinpoint even a good guess as to what this guy's motive was.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You've read some of the details of the deposition.

HANSEN: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: I ran through a couple of them, and I was talking to a well- known gambler last hour, and the fact that he considered himself the best video poker player in the world and that was boastful according to my guest saying there was no way, but it would be normal to play the video poker machines for 10, 12, 14 hours and wager up to a million dollars.

HANSEN: Here is a guy who was obsessed with this video poker. People do that. There is a science to it according to those who play it. They get a couple of machines and there are these special days where they have promotional opportunities.

BALDWIN: Which are the pick days to play.

HANSEN: Exactly. So, paddock would go in there two hours ahead of time to get a feel for the machines and they pay out and obviously he was a bright guy, and this guy was an auditor for the IRS, he had a numbers mind, and as you mentioned earlier he had numbers on a piece of paper which we think are used to --

BALDWIN: Calculate the shots.

HANSEN: Trajectory of the shots. So, he probably made a lot of money. We know he made a lot of money in real estate, too. He was a bright guy, but what made him do this? Accumulate weapons from something like 1982 to this day, and all of the planning that had to go into this, and it's just -- it's something I've never seen before.

BALDWIN: Can you read much into the fact that he had this valium prescription from some, I think it was a year and a half ago?

HANSEN: I don't know about the valium. Look, people take anti- anxiety medication every day in this country. Is it overprescribed? Is it overused? You can probably make that argument, but I have never seen a link between those anti-anxiety medications and this sort of criminal activity. I don't think that is causational error.

BALDWIN: We have some sound, a Las Vegas police first responder talked to "60 Minutes" about what officers found in the hotel room. Here it is.


OFFICER DAVID NEWTON: LAS VEGAS POLICE: I did notice a note on the nightstand near his shooting platform. I could see on it he had written the distance, the elevation he was on, the drop of what his bullet was going to be for those -- for the crowd. So, he had had that written down and figured out so he would know where to shoot to hit his targets from there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were the numbers? I'm just trying to -- and he had done calculations or --

NEWTON: Yes. He had written. He must have done the calculations or gone online or something to figure it out of what his altitude was going to be on how high up he was and how far up the crowd was going to be and what -- at that distance, what the drop of his bullet was going to be.


BALDWIN: And you made the point and talked about the note a moment ago and he was a numbers person and to play the video poker and it's a thinking man's way of gambling. Do you have any idea just based upon what they were saying in this clip that he was a skilled shooter?

HANSEN: He had been to the range. He owned all these weapons. What is striking to me is that he had to really sit down and think this through. I mean, clearly, we knew he had other potential targets and he had explosives --

BALDWIN: In his car.

HANSEN: In his trunk and moments ago I spoke to sources in L.A. who told me he had a very specific escape route.

BALDWIN: Really?

HANSEN: They know this. He wasn't planning on committing suicide. That was his last resort, and so the amount of detail that went into this crime, is spectacular. He had drills and drill bits.

BALDWIN: But to think that he would get --

HANSEN: A metal barrier on the stairway exit.

BALDWIN: To think he would get away.

[15:35:00] HANSEN: It goes to his delusional state, but again, what strikes me and I would be fascinated once we find this out what really drove him? Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols, we knew within days in Oklahoma City. The 9/11 bombers Muhammad Atta and those guys on the planes we knew almost immediately. Most other crimes we figure out very quickly. There are only three motives for murder, money, drugs and love usually, and you feel like you've been done wrong, but in this case, we don't know yet.

BALDWIN: Chris Hansen, thank you for swinging by. We'll talk again? Absolutely.

Breaking news here ESPN has just suspended host Jemele Hill after a controversial tweet and this one about the NFL and not the president. Stand by for that next.


BALDWIN: Here is the breaking news in to CNN. ESPN has released a statement saying it has suspended the popular host Jemele Hill after a string of tweets about the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and these tweets included, here you go, Jerry Jones also has created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don't kneel some will see them as sellouts. If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said the key is his advertisers don't place the burden squarely on the players, and then in this whole string she later clarified some of her comments, tweeting this. Just so we're clear I'm not advocating an NFL boycott, but an unfair burden has been placed on players of Dallas and Miami with anthem directives.

Brian Stelter is with me, CNN's senior media correspondent, Nichelle Turner is with us, Entertainment Tonight host who is friendly with Jemele Hill and has

covered sports for years, And, former NFL player Ephraim Salaam is back.

Let me start with you, Ephraim, she says this is not calling for an NFL boycott but she does say in one of her tweets, a most powerful statement is if you stop watching and stop buying their merchandise. What do you make of this?

EPHRAIM SALAAM, FORMER PLAYER, NFL: The one thing I know for a fact is whenever you start saying boycott in the NFL, the NFL will respond. ESPN has a tremendous partnership, very lucrative partnership with the NFL. So, in any way, shape or form, if someone associated with ESPN or any other network who comes out and says the words boycott and NFL in the same paragraph, whether you mean boycott or not, they will take that as a direct threat and they will make that call. They will call ESPN and let them know they didn't appreciate and something must happen and that's what we see is happening here.

BALDWIN: Brian. What are you hearing from ESPN and what are you learning about this?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is the second strike. The first strike is she caused a lot of concerns on ESPN when she said Trump is a white supremacist a number of weeks ago, and that, of course, a different kind of comment than to talk about a boycott.

I think ESPN recognized there is a big difference here, she was talking about a political opinion before and she is a member of the voice of the resistance with her anti-Trumps point of view. The head of Disney which owns ESPN stood up for Jemele Hill, but in the wake of that controversy, everyone at ESPN is reminded about social media policy, you can't put out careless tweets that might make your company look bad or put it in a tough position. That's true of all companies not just ESPN. This is only because this is a second violation of the social media policy.

BALDWIN: Doesn't she, Nichelle to you, doesn't she get paid to be a strong woman and express strong opinions?

NICHELLE TURNER, HOST, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: She started out as a writer and columnist and she has a very strong opinion. She has a very sharp point of view and I think her point of view is necessary and she's one of the sharpest and smartest sportscasters in the game today, and I think this all started, too, I just want to put into context when a Twitter user asked her well, OK, if I want to do something and I don't think that just stopping to watch games is enough, what can I do? Her response was well, listen, when you go after the advertisers that always gets people's attention more. If you really want to effect change then try that route if that's something you want to do. I'm -- I understand what Brian's talking about and where ESPN comes from when you start messing with someone's bottom line they get mad really quickly, but at the same time I do feel it was more of a conversation and not a directive by her.

STELTER: This is the Twitter trap, isn't it? You put out 140 characters. You don't think it's going to be a big deal? You don't think the whole world's going to see it and it becomes an international news story.

TURNER: I think she knows the whole world will see it.

STELTER: If she has written an essay about it and giving it to ESPN producers and said I want to read this on air, that would be an entirely different matter, and if anything in this world, we need more editing and we need to think through what we might want to say and have the support. In this case, Jemele Hill would have gotten the support of her bosses to read that script, and read from the heart and say what she wanted to say versus Twitter which is impulsive.

[15:45:00] TURNER: I think that is what she wanted to say, but I agree, but if she'd written it down and said it on television it would have been different. If you're looking to yourself to make the change, if you think this is unfair, if you think too much of a burden is, this is how we make a change. What did we say? Let the market decide what's going to happen to him, let the advertisers decide. I think that's what was her approach is. Let the market decide what to do. If the market says if the advertisers pull out and they see that the consumer isn't happy then change will happen.

STELTER: I think it's always a little strange when we're talking about.

SALAAM: I agree with that 100 percent.

BALDWIN: Ephraim, I'm seeing you nod, what are you thinking? SALAAM: You have to realize this, as a former player, people look to

us as role models, and for us to have a voice and to speak on a myriad of issues, and it just happened that the Colin Kaepernick protest 15 months ago is something that's a hot-button topic.

It is to bring awareness to what's going on to minorities in the inner cities at the hands of law enforcement, and how can other people be involved? People ask me all of the time? How can I be involved? My wife who loves the NFL and loves watching she won't watch it. She won't watch it because she understands and she feels a certain way about the treatment of minorities, the treatment of minorities in the NFL about Colin Kaepernick having a job so she has her own, you know, her own views and her own opinions so she won't watch the game.

So Jemele Hill was simply stating if you feel a certain type of way then this is how you elicit change and this is how you affect the narrative and this is how you get people's attention and the people, be it the owners and the NFL and be all that are listening, you affect the bottom line and if you don't like something when you boycott it you don't buy it, you don't use it, you don't watch it and that elicits change.

BALDWIN: Thank you all so much. In case you are just tuning in, the super popular host of radio ESPN Jemele Hill suspended. Coming up next, Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein fired from his own company after allegations of sexual harassment and we'll discuss the response from Democrats who took thousands of dollars in campaign money from him.


BALDWIN: He is a powerful Hollywood heavy weight, and now fired from the very company he founded. Mega producer Harvey Weinstein is facing multiple sexual harassment accusations that span 30 years all revealed in this explosive "New York Times" report which includes allegations.

With me now, Maeve Reston, CNN national political reporter. Part of the story is Hollywood, yes. The other story is politics. There has been so much criticism about the silence among both circles, and the criticism extends to, you know, Washington, and mega, mega political families, including those who receive moneyed from him, like the Obamas and the Clintons. So far, though, Maeve, radio silence.

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, we haven't heard yet from Hillary Clinton about what she's going to do with those donations that she received from Harvey Weinstein over the years, but I mean, clearly, he gave to Democrats up and down the ticket, and you have seen a number of Senators step forward and they that they are returning that money, giving it to charity in some cases. That including, you know, Chuck Schumer, who took nearly $15,000 from Weinstein. And he is going to give them to several charities supporting women.

Also, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who is going to give back about $5,600 to charities in -- to the women's fund and a charity in Vermont. So, you're seeing a lot of pressure on Democrats to give this money back, but the important thing for Democrats is, where does this end? Like, he has given so much money to party over the years, you know, more than $250,000 or nearly $250,000 to just the DNC alone. So, do you give those dollars back? Does Hillary Clinton give back all of the dollars that he bundled for her campaign over the years? He's raised at least $1.4 million for her campaigns. That's according to the center for responsible politics. So, Democrats are going to figure out what line they want to walk here. They're in danger of being called hypocrite for calling out people on the Republican side who have done things like this. We're expecting to hear more from Clinton, maybe Barack Obama as well, but certainly those senators who are thinking about a '20 run.

[15:55:00] BALDWIN: OK. Maeve, thank you. We'll see what they do with the money. Maeve Reston, appreciate you.

Next, we are going to stay in California. Breaking news out of Anaheim where homes are burning, wildfires are raging, and just further north in wine country, incredible images of people being evacuated from a hospital. We're going to take you there live next.


BALDWIN: A state of emergency has been declared in three counties in northern California as firefighters, struggle to contain multiple wildfires there. We'll show you some pictures. First up, wine country. Not obviously as you know it. Towering flames, smoke and heat there forcing evacuations of homes, hotels and at least one hospital. Look at this person in a hospital bed being wheeled out away from the flames. People are scrambling as fires jumping roads and ripping through buildings. Shelters are being set up and fair grounds are being used to. Sonoma, Yuba and Napa counties are all under state of emergencies Dan Simon is there live. Dan, tell me how close to homes and vineyards these flames are.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Brooke. This fire has just been incredibly explosive. Let me explain where I am. We are in the Sky View neighborhood in Santa Rosa, and there are many dozens of homes in this one subdivision that are destroyed. You've got a couple of homes across the street that are in tact, but pretty much everything else is levelled. The scope of the devastation is just unbelievable. Most of the flames, at least in this neighborhood, are out. The fire is sort of smoldering a bit, but there still is active fire in the area. An untold number of homes and businesses have been destroyed.

As I was making my way here, I took a few photos of what I encountered. We saw a lot of businesses that were destroyed. I saw a McDonald's that was destroyed. A furniture store, a k mart, just so much devastation, Brooke. You talked about the evacuations at that hospital, as a matter of fact, two hospitals entirely evacuated this morning. When I was driving, I saw streams of ambulances headed south towards Marin county and San Francisco taking those critically ill patients to different hospitals to make sure that they were safe, and, Brooke, the smoke has been incredibly thick as well.

Just want to share just a personal story. At 2:00 in the morning, my wife woke up, she smelled smoke in our house. We actually live in San Francisco, 50 miles away, the odor was really strong. Check all of the rooms, checked on our kids and subsequently learned that the smoke was coming from Napa, an hour away, and that's how far the smoke traveled. The winds were so strong, blew smoke all the way to San Francisco. The entire city there also smelled like a wildfire, but just the devastation that we're seeing in this area is amazing. I'm not sure the authorities have a total concept of what we're dealing with.

BALDWIN: Just thinking about the authorities, thinking about, you know, my heart and mind immediately goes to all the firefighters, you know, so precariously close to fighting these flames and just so massive. 57,000 acres they're saying have been burned. Dan Simon, stay safe. Thank you so much.