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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 9, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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i'm jake tapper. i leave you in the very capable hands of wolf blitzer in "the situation room." take it away, mr. blitzer. >> thanks very much. happening now, accused of turning his cleveland home into a prison for three young women ariel castro appears in court today charged with kidnapping and rape. his two brothers are now free. new details on the house of horrors. you'll hear how the captives were locked in a basement surrounded by flyers listing them as missing and how one eventually lost her ability to speak spanish. new information emerging about the alleged cyber theft ring accused of stealing $45 million from banks around the world including nearly $3 million at new york city atms. we'll show you how they did it. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a dramatic first court appearance for the man accused
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of kidnapping three women and turning ten years of their lives into hell. ariel castro never once lifting his head up was ordered held on $8 million bond. $2 million for each of the three women and the child born to one of them in captivity. we've just learned a little while ago that the prosecutor may even seek the death penalty. >> i fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders, and each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies that the offender perpetuated against the hostages during this decade long ordeal. my office of the county prosecutor will also engage in a formal process in which we evaluate whether to seek charges eligible for the death penalty. >> meantime, investigators are
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combing through writings found in castro's home, which one source says contain specific details that may attempt to justify his actions. while two of the three women are now home with their families, michelle knight remains hospitalized. this hour she is said to be in, quote, good condition. brian todd is joining us with more. what happened? >> reporter: wolf, ariel castro looked very despondent when he walked into the court. he was handcuffed but did not have leg shackles on. he looked despondent. he never really looked up or spoke. he didn't make eye contact with the judge. he did not appear to make eye contact even with his own attorney. he did not enter a plea but as you mentioned, bond was posted at $8 million. $2 million for each of the cases against him. and one of the more dramatic moments of the hearing this morning came when the city prosecutor brian murphy kind of detailed some of the allegations against him. take a listen to what mr. murphy
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said. >> the charges against mr. castro are based on premeditate ed crimes, the decision to snatch three young ladies from cleveland's west side streets to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit. two of the victims endured this horrifying ordeal for more than a decade. the third was close to a decade. and eventually there was a little girl believed to have been born to one of the women while in captivity. also in captivity they endured repeated beating. they were bound and restrained and sexually assaulted, basically never free to leave this residence. >> and again, we have to reiterate ariel castro did not enter a plea today. we're told by officials here he may enter a formal plea when there are more formal arraignment proceedings within 30 days. also, his defense attorney told
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us after the hearing he's been on suicide watch in the city jail. now that his case is going to cuyohoga county she expects he'll be on suicide watch in the county jail also. >> you've also detailed an initial incident report with very gruesome details about what allegedly happened to these three women. update our viewers. >> reporter: the details are jarring, wolf. yes, cnn has obtained an incident report from monday night when the police first rescued the three ladies and the child from that house. according to that report and also backed up by a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation telling us this. here are some quotes from that incident report. now, this is related to michelle knight, quote, michelle stated at least five times she was pregnant. he starved her for at least two weeks, then he repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried. here is another quote. this is about the time when amanda berry was going to give birth to the girl who is now 6
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years old who we're told according to this report is ariel castro's child and was born in that house six years ago. quote, amanda stated she had the baby in the house. they put a baby plastic pool under her so the mess was easier to clean up. and some more disturbing details here about that delivery. quote, michelle, meaning michelle knight, delivered the baby and told her that, excuse me, ariel told her that if the baby died that he'd kill her. the baby stopped breathing at one point but she, michelle, breathed into her mouth and breathed for her to keep her alive. then there is one other quote about them being in the basement that says, from this report, that ariel castro, quote, chained them in the basement but eventually he let them free from the chains and let them live upstairs on the second floor. going back to these quotes from the report about the birth of that child, wolf, that's maybe one of the more disturbing
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details about the circumstances around that birth and ariel castro allegedly threatening to kill michelle knight as she is delivering this child trying to do something she clearly didn't have any training to do. >> brian todd, i know you'll be back later with more. thanks very much. ariel castro's two brothers are free this evening. they were also in court today answering misdemeanor charges unrelated to this case. the brothers were initially arrested with ariel but so far authorities say they haven't found any connection to the three women. >> as it relates to pedro and onil castro, no charges will be filed against these two individuals at this time. there is no evidence these two individuals had any involvement in the commission of the crimes committed against michelle, gina, amanda, and the minor child. >> police have said that castro kept everybody in their words at a distance. cnn's brooke baldwin is also in
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cleveland watching what is going on. she just wrapped up a powerful interview with a journalist and family friend who actually got to spend some time with one of the women, gina dejesus, earlier today. brooke, you did a really great interview with her. tell us what she told you about how gina right now is doing. >> it was absolutely stunning. i spoke with lydia espara a family friend of the gina dejesus family and also a journalist here in cleveland, a weekend anchor at a local affiliate woio. i tell you, she had just sat down with gina dejesus. she covered her missing story ever since she was plucked off lorain avenue back in 2004. and in this conversation, you know, she talked to me about how gina confided in her that she lost the ability to communicate with her mother in her native tongue, puerto rican. she lost her ability to speak spanish, having lived as a prisoner in this home on seymour avenue for ten years.
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it was one nugget of several that i believe from this conversation. let me set this sound bite up. she begins by being invited into this dejesus family. she has really become an unofficial family member because of the decade she has come to know and cover the story. >> i go inside the house and i have my moment with nancy and we're crying and with felix and we're crying because i haven't spent any time with them and i'm friends besides being a journalist. it is such a tough line trying to be a friend and do your job. but first i'm a human being so that is the attitude i took. >> yeah. >> i went and cried with them because that is what i did and i cried and then i was like, am i going to be able to see gina? the niece says, yeah. and gina wants to see you. >> what? >> and i said, really? yeah. mom asked her. she goes, lydia is out there. do you want to see lydia. >> you've never met gina before. >> never. >> everything, missing posters, talking to the family, i used to
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keep her pictures on my desk. any time i covered a vigil i'd keep everything on my desk to remind me she was missing. i would talk to nancy. she would tell me stories. she was shy. she would never get in a car with anybody. >> how was she? >> she is doing fabulous. it was unbelievable. my hands were sweating because here is someone i never imagined would come back to us. and so when i went inside, i embraced her and she embraced me reluctantly because she is obviously been locked in a basement for nine years. we talked and the first thing i said is you look nothing like your composite. she is a tiny little thing. she is very small. short hair. she had longer hair when she disappeared. and her skin is a little pale from the lack of vitamin d from being outside but she was just so kind and so happy and a relative came up to her and said, was talking in spanish and she looked at her mom and said, mom, i don't remember my spanish anymore. >> really. she can't speak spanish anymore. >> no. interesting thing. she had one of her flyers in the
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basement with her. i have several flyers i've kept over the years. she wanted to see them. i didn't have time to show them to her. she wanted to see them. i kept a file but she had some of her flyers in the basement. >> reporter: in the basement of this home? >> right. >> reporter: while she was held. >> she knew. >> reporter: she knew. who would have -- >> she knew. >> reporter: he would have brought -- >> she knew, the other reporter i was working on was with amanda berry. she knows bill from watching the reports. so him and i are the ones that have worked this story. >> so they watched television in this home. >> correct. >> reporter: he allowed them to watch television. >> that is how they know who has been working on the story. the irony is i saw his picture and i actually knew members of his family, extended family. i actually had seen the suspect on my church grounds at church festivals. >> reporter: wow. >> for me it was very unsettling that i am covering a story that
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possibly one of my nieces could have gone missing. >> reporter: so it is tough, wolf, for this dejesus family to wrap their heads around the fact that this family friend ariel castro, you know, i know innocent until proven guilty but could be capable of doing this. you heard her mention that gina had a -- her own missing persons flyer in the basement where she was held. we've also learned through this police report that she and the other young women watched television news coverage. in fact, lydia told me gina immediately recognized her from watching her live tv reports on her own disappearance. i asked lydia if she asked gina at all about the time, how she was treated by ariel. she said she didn't want to get into that just yet. it was a conversation between the two of them. no cameras. i'm sure this will be the first of many visits lydia will have with gina. she told me after we wrapped the interview and the commercial break she told me she brought a wad of "people" magazines to gina just so she could begin to catch up on what she has missed
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for ten years. >> she's missed a lot. brooke, you also have some exclusive photos of the scene in ariel castro's back yard. walk us through the pictures. >> reporter: yeah. so i did a little wandering today, wolf, with my producer julian cummings. we walked behind this home here, ariel castro's home on seymour avenue. we walked to the back alley and walked to the street parallel to this. let me begin with this first pitch from your the perspective of the back yard neighbor of aerial castro. so the first image is a wide shot. this is a day time shot. if you can see sort of through this fencing there is a white cross and if we can get to the tighter shot of the cross you can see this is just something that this back yard neighbor had never noticed until the fbi has been through and they've been digging these holes and some things were uncovered. so there was a little white cross in ariel castro's yard. two other pictures i want to show you, you can see some of
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the junk if you will from the back of ariel castro's home. but it's this fourth picture that is really the telling picture. keep in mind we've really not seen pictures of this back yard until now. i've been here in cleveland for a couple days. we've seen fbi from the front of the house wearing their white protective suits. we've seen the dogs. we've seen the shovels. we've seen the cameras. this is our first vantage if you're looking at the bottom half. this is a night time photo and the fbi erected this tarp so they can do their investigating and gathering their evidence and the bottom half is sort of the bottom half of these fbi agents in these suits digging what this neighbor told us was a pretty sizable hole, sizable enough for these agents to be able to sit in and then the tarp has since been removed. they have since filled in this massive hole with dirt. but it was just, wolf, our first glance as to what's been happening behind, you know, behind these tarps, behind this house of horrors. >> yeah. god only knows what was happening inside that house for ten years.
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all right, brooke. i know you'll be back with us later as well. thank you. the last person to see gina dejesus before she was taken captive may ironically have been ariel castro's daughter arlene. she was with friends, she was friends with gina. she tells abc's "good morning america" she is disappointed and embarrassed by her father's alleged actions. >> i had no idea. me and my father were never really that close. every time we would talk it would just be short conversations and just a hello, how are you doing? and let me know if you need anything. and that was it. every time. >> when asked what she wanted to say to gina and the other two women, now about what they've been through, she choked up. >> i would like to say, i -- i am absolutely so, so sorry. i really want to see you, gina.
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and i want you to meet my kids. i'm so sorry for everything. >> a sad story. a lot has certainly changed since these three women, very young, were kidnapped. let's give you some perspective right now. back in april, 2003, when the second victim amanda berry was last seen the united states had just invaded iraq. neither facebook nor twitter had been launched. apple was years away from making a cell phone. nba superstar lebron james was finishing his senior year of high school. norah jones was topping music charts and barack obama was a young state senator from illinois and few people outside of that state had heard of him. coming up you'll see dash cam video of a traffic stop involving ariel castro several
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years ago. could police have busted the case wide open back then? up next, the lawyers, lawmakers holding their first hearing on the boston marathon bombings. were there warning signs that could have headed off that tragedy? i am an american success story.
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back to cleveland in a few moments but there is another developing story happening right now. three weeks after his death the boston bombing suspect tamerlan tsarnaev finally has a final resting place. several cemeteries as all of you know refused adamantly to accept his body. police in worcester, massachusetts say the remains have now been entombed after, quote, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward. the location was not disclosed. the person was not disclosed who took charge of the body either. all of this coming as congress today held its first formal hearing on the boston bombings. let's bring in our crime and
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justice correspondent joe johns who monitored what was going on. there was some dramatic stuff. >> that's true, wolf. this is just the beginning of a long look back at what worked, what didn't, and why. meanwhile today we started to hear a few details about a report just before the marathon that came close to predicting what happened. an intelligence assessment done by state and local officials in massachusetts days before the boston marathon said there could be bombs at the finish line according to a government source. but a state police spokesman is playing that down. there was a statement that start and finish lines generally speaking are likely targets in a race event based on common sense. the spokesman said it is important to note this was not in response to any specific threat or information. on capitol hill there was a sense of dejavu relearning the lessons of 9/11. >> since the bombing, questions have been raised about whether the dots were connected before and after the attack. we learned over a decade ago the
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danger in failing to connect the dots. >> the issue? spreading the word about potential threats, whether boston police have been told of a warning from russian intelligence which went to two federal agencies about suspected boston bomber tamerlan tsarnaev. the answer according to the boston police commissioner was no. >> before the bombing were you aware that based on this russian intelligence the fbi opened an investigation into tamerlan? >> we were not aware of that. >> would you have liked to have known about that? >> yes. >> but here's what davis said when asked if it would have made any difference. >> it is very hard to say. we would certainly look at the information. we would certainly talk to the individual. from the information i received the fbi did that and they closed the case out. i can't say that i would have come to a different conclusion. >> reporter: the bottom line question is whether the bombings could have been prevented. former senator and homeland security chairman joe lieberman said yes. >> i believe that though it
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would not have been easy, it was possible to have prevented the terrorist attacks in boston. in the literal sense the homeland security system, we must acknowledge that we built after 9/11 to protect the american people from terrorist attacks, failed to stop the brothers. >> after today's hearing on capitol hill the boston fbi issued a detailed statement that said, state and local members of the joint terrorism task force are supposed to stay aware of possible threats in their jurisdictions and that they're given access to a data base called guardian which had the assessment of tamerlan tsarnaev in it. basically they're saying if boston police didn't know about tsarnaev they should have checked the computer because his name was in there. >> do we know in fact if the boston police ever checked that guardian system in the computer? >> i've reached out to the police commissioner's office to ask that question and haven't heard back yet. >> let us know what he says. thanks very much. just ahead amanda berry's grandmother speaking to cnn.
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she has an emotional message for the granddaughter. she hasn't seen her in a decade. could police have busted the case wide open years ago? you'll see some dash cam video. this is pretty amazing. of the traffic stop involving, guess who? ariel castro. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] nothing gets you going quite like the power of quaker oats. today is going to be epic. quaker up. today is going to be epic. hoo-hoo...hoo-hoo. hoo-hoo hoo. sir... i'll get it together i promise... heeheehee. jimmy: ronny, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico? ronny: i'd say happier than the pillsbury doughboy
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back to cleveland right now where amanda berry's grandmother is hoping to be reunited with the granddaughter she hasn't seen in a decade. she spoke to cnn today. she shared this emotional
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message. >> amanda, you hang in there, honey. you be strong. i'm praying for you. and i love you. we all love you down here. so you remember that. and day by day you will get better. and we'll all be together pretty soon. but i love you with all my heart. and, god, i hope you're okay. i just hope you're all right. and that you can make it day by day one day at a time. >> ariel castro's last known run-in with police didn't have anything to do with the three missing women, although we now know he was allegedly holding them captive at that very moment. cnn's martin savidge has obtained very dramatic video from a traffic stop involving a
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motorcycle he was driving illegally. >> it's a little after 8:30 p.m. on thursday, j 12th, 2008, on the west side of cleveland. traffic officer jim simone is on patrol when he spots a motorcyclist whiz past. it's ariel castro. now, what catches the officer's eye and probably was too quick for you is the license plate on the back of the bike is turned sideways. simone says that is an old trick when riders have something to hide. so the officer follows castro into the gas station and confronts him. >> let me see your driver's license. >> excuse me? >> let me see your driver's license please. >> what's wrong? >> reporter: castro it turns out doesn't have a motorcycle driver's license. that is a serious offense. it could lead to his arrest. it may be why castro seems nervous. this by the way is the last known interaction that castro has with law enforcement before he was arrested last monday a little less than five years
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later. and notice how polite castro is when the officer comes back with the other news. that the plates on the bike don't belong to that bike. >> these plates don't belong to this bike, do they? what year yamaha is this? >> this is 2000. >> where is the harley? >> oh, the harley. i sold it and i traded it in for this one. >> well, ariel, you keep getting deeper and deeper and deeper. >> i know. i just got off work. i'm a school bus driver. >> castro makes his plea seeking sympathy saying that he's a school bus driver. in the end the officer gives castro two tickets, one for not having a motorcycle operator's license and another for the incorrect license plates. simone could have arrested him, but he lets him go and it appears his plightness and the fact that he is a school bus driver has bought him some slack. officer simone drives off. 20 minutes later we see castro
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again, pushing his motor bike for the mile it will take him to get to the house back on seymour. martin savidge, cnn, cleveland. >> so many what ifs. when we come back, the political debate over the deadly attack in benghazi. it's intensifying just one day after an emotional hearing up on capitol hill. i'll speak with a local reporter in cleveland with new information about the three missing women found alive after ten years in captivity. she's still the one for you -
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well, dad, i spent my childhood living with monks learning the art of dealmaking. you've mastered monkey-style kung fu? no. priceline is different now. you don't even have to bid. master hahn taught you all that? oh, and he says to say (translated from cantonese) "you still owe him five bucks." your accent needs a little work. a day after a very emotional hearing up on capitol hill on the deadly benghazi consulate attack. the house speaker john boehner is accusing the obama administration of stone walling while the secretary of state john kerry is pledging answers. joining us now our chief national correspondent john king. our chief political analyst gloria borger. and the senior correspondent for "time" magazine our sister publication michael crowley. thanks very much for coming in.
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how much pressure is the white house under to deliver some answers? >> i think they're under more pressure today than they were a couple days ago. you had a very compelling witness at that hearing yesterday. somebody who had been a career foreign service officer for 22 years describing the desolation and the sort of sense of being abandoned by his government the night of that attack, giving on-the-ground details about the support they asked for and couldn't get for whatever reason. this hearing with a credible witness served the purpose of raising a lot of questions which is what the republicans really wanted to do stirring the pot so the administration is being called upon to answer more questions about what occurred that night. look, they already admitted there were systemic failures there. the question republicans want answered is, okay. we know there were systemic
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failures but was there an actual coverup? that is the point they're trying to get to. >> sometimes the cover up is worse than the actual crime if there was a crime or oversight or mistake. john you have a good piece on you write tough congressional legitimate oversight or partisan politics. the question mark. leading republicans say the former. most democrats the latter. truth is, it is both. what is going on? >> that presents a challenge to both parties. to gloria's point there are legitimate questions. what happened? why were those locations so insecure? what were the communications with the state department and the white house? why did susan rice say something on television the sunday after that nobody thought was close to the truth or accurate? the administration, there is a legitimate role of oversight for the administration which has given conflicting reports at times. any committee has the right to ask those questions. if the white house just says it is just politics that's the wrong answer. republicans have to be careful,
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too, because at the one time the leaders of the investigation are saying we will lead, go where the facts take us with no predisposition but some are already on record saying there is a coverup. just today john bolten the former u.n. ambassador in the george w. bush administration is on an e-mail by the national republican congressional committee saying ah ha. we've learned some things at the hearings. send money. you click on the link and it says benghazi was a coverup. you can't on one hand say we're open minded and then in the middle keep trying to raise money and play politics with it. >> you know, michael, a lot of the sub text if you will is that this is an opportunity to go after hillary clinton. it was on her watch all of this happened. she was the strict of state. she may want to run for president in 2016. this is a good way to sort of beat her up a bit. >> absolutely. she had what i think was generally seen as a quite successful tenure as secretary of state. some people who say what were her big landmark
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accomplishments? i think that is a fair question to ask. the political reality is that her approval ratings are as high as they've been in her career in public life and republicans don't have that many angles of attack. this is the one vulnerability in her record. to me it is not clear they've really established she fell down on the job or has done something terribly wrong but i think that they've -- they see a chink in the armor and will just drill in as deep as they can. i wonder if americans to some degree aren't saying why are we still talking about this? it happened a long time ago. not that much new information coming out. from her perspective so far she is getting off fairly well. >> i think they were pretty careful at the hearings, there were a couple members that weren't, but to kind of pull back from attacking hillary because what they wanted to do was make this a question about at least right now the obama administration, whether there was a coverup and keep it there for right now rather than making it so blatantly political and attacking hillary clinton would be about 2016. >> though at the hearing,
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online, at twitter, other people were going at it much harder. there were other questions about what the president was doing. that was more interesting to me. >> exactly. >> two questions for secretary clinton if she decides to run. this won't hurt her among democrats who are very loyal. does she think this is proof i'm going to get bruised up again? a lot of democrats saying remember iran contra? everyone said george h.w. bush the vice president was in the middle and was not telling the truth when he said he wasn't in the loop. democrats tried to use it against him. he was the last vice president to succeed an eight-year administration and keep it in the party. >> my feeling is four americans are dead and we have to learn the lessons to make sure it doesn't happen again. whatever mistakes were made we have to fix those to avoid this down the road. just ahead a local reporter with inside information on the cleveland house of horrors, going in depth. britain's prince harry is in town. he begins a u.s. visit with
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stops on capitol hill over at the white house. first though a preview of this weekend's next list. >> this will be the 40 megawatt solar field. >> they told him he could never do it. >> it was a disruptive idea. >> he said someone has to bring solar energy to this place. i was like, please, not you. >> it will be the field with the best security in the whole world because we have two armies guarding it. >> israel's first solar field. on "the next list." >> whatever he can envision, he can then figure how to make it happen. >> it is so moving. >> if he can see it, he can do it. incredible. >> you just put his teeth in something like a bulldog and he doesn't give it up. ♪
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his last visit to the united states ended with some controversial photographs shall we say of him in a las vegas hotel suite. you remember those. britain's prince harry begins another visit today to the united states. you can bet it will be a lot tamer. he is here in washington. he was up on capitol hill, over at the white house. our royal correspondent max foster is here. you're watching every step of the way. so far what happened? >> i was on the hill.
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it's extraordinary. the british press have come up with a new word for the lexicon, harry-mania. literally, well, dozens of female staffers gathered in all the corridors and screaming as he walked throu senate office building. it was quite a poignant event for him, an exhibition about land mine clearance. >> there with senator mccain. >> absolutely. this was of course very close to princess diana's heart. what you're seeing with harry is picking up on her causes, trying to keep her legacy alive. and senator mccain, himself, pretty impressed by the man he met. >> frankly, i find him to be a very attractive young man and i think he is very serious certainly about this issue, so i was very impressed. >> the first stop on the tour under way. >> he's trying to go from the legislative branch to the executive branch. he then went over to the white
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house. >> yes. a surprise visit though we were warned. it was a surprise visit for the kids in the white house. the first lady holding an event making presents for mother's day. he is really good with kids as you can see. there he was. yes, it seemed to go quite well. they seemed to get on quite well. and there was some suspicion that he might be meeting the president, himself, but that didn't happen today. there he was with michelle obama and then later on, wolf, he is going to go to a reception at the british embassy and it is what they're calling gentle diplomacy. it's this idea you'll see throughout this tour, receptions, one in denver, one in new york. it is really about promoting british trade actually and what they do is bring prince harry in, then get -- give people the opportunity to meet him and they sell the uk. >> we invited him to come here to "the situation room." i don't think he is doing a lot of tv. >> he may speak with us toward the end of the tour. >> when you say "us" what does that mean? >> a group of us. >> the traveling royal correspondents?
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>> but it won't be any one specific. we tried our hardest to get you an interview. next time. >> prince harry is always welcome. i am sure he is a great guy. >> he is a good guy. >> you've met him right? >> yeah, yeah. he has, you know, the vegas thing, it was a big mistake for him. he was embarrassed. he said he let his family down and what he is trying to do with this tour is show he can be a senior royal. the queen is stepping back and harry is being drawn in. >> good for harry. he is welcome to the united states. thanks very much. max foster our royal correspondent. coming up an alleged cyber theft ring accused of stealing $45 million from banks worldwide including almost $3 million at new york city's atms. we'll show you how it was done. also, a local reporter with inside information on that cleveland house of horrors.
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new details on a cyber theft of extraordinary scope. tens of millions of dollars looted from banks around the world. let's go to cnn's mary snow in new york. mary, what happened? >> wolf, it was a massive and complex operation. a u.s. attorney here in new york, along with the secret service, says they left an electronic trail, and they worked with law enforcement in 16 other countries as part of this investigation. a bank heist using key strokes instead of guns. thieves stealing $45 million from banks and financial institutions. u.s. attorney loretta lynch calls it the largest known theft of its kind. >> moving literally at the speed of the internet, the organization made its way from the computer systems of
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international corporations to the streets of new york, as well as major cities around the world. >> lynch announced charges against eight men in new york, accused of being part of a ring that involved potentially hundreds of people in two attacks. they used prepaid debit cards linked to accounts that had been hacked by cyber thieves, thousands of miles away. the thieves had raised withdrawal limits. >> a card that might have had $200 on it literally has $20,000 on it. or $2 million on it. >> the prosecutor describes how it worked. hackers first targeted a credit card processor in the united arab emirates in december. then a second and larger attack in february in oman. it was sent to teens, including one in new york. those teams would then head to atms with plastic cards, even hotel key cards with stolen information. authorities say here in new york, eight men were able to withdraw $2.4 million within a
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ten-hour period. some 3,000 atm withdrawals were said to be made that day as part of the heist, with these gift cards. prosecutors recovered cash, and rolex watches. they're given about 20% of the money and the rest is sent to the ringleaders. what's unclear in this case is who those leaders are, specifically the hackers. sean henry, a former executive assistant director of the fbi says, they typically come from one area. >> my time in the fbi, many of these cases emanated out of eastern europe. out of russia, ukraine, romania, throughout eastern europe. although now they're starting to spread into areas like asia and latin america. historically, they've been in eastern europe. >> catching hackers is a cat-and-mouse game law enforcement plays. as for the eight suspected so-called cashers in new york, one of those men considered to be the ringleader was found murdered in the dominican
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republic in april. >> what a story. thanks very much. mary snow in new york. let's get back to cleveland right now. we're getting more information about the case involving those three missing young women who were found in ohio. joining us now, the investigative reporter scott taylor from our cleveland affiliate woio. scott, thanks very much for coming in. i know you're getting a lot of information, you've been breaking news on this all of this week. what's the latest nugget you're learning? >> well, last night, wolf, right around 9:00, we got details of what our sources are claiming is a letter, a letter written by the prime suspect in all of this, ariel castro, that police found this letter sometime earlier this week inside his home. it's a letter that investigators believe was actually written by him back nine years ago, and that's after -- shortly after he had all the three women tied up,
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chained, gagged in his basement. we're talking about michelle knight, amanda berry and gina dejesus. in this letter, he allegedly writes that he's a sexual predator. he admits it. he talks about being sick. he talks about having a problem in his head. and he also goes on and says that he has only hurt three, just three women, did bad things to them, and nobody else. >> does he also say in that letter, and i've heard it said that we may have that as well that what he alleges he was abused as a young person, and that's why he's now doing this? >> well, he doesn't go to that length, but he does mention that he was abused around 5 or 6. he talks about his failed marriage. he talks about his children a little bit, how much he loves his children. he also goes on and actually apologizes, he apologizes and
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then he also talks about killing himself. that's where some people are getting this idea that the suicide note, killing himself and taking out all his money that he saved and actually giving them to his -- giving the money to his victims. he actually mentions my victims. >> he didn't do any of that. let's talk a little bit about what's going on in the neighborhood. we know you have excellent police sources there. searches, i take it, are continuing around that house, elsewhere in the neighborhood as well, is that right? >> yeah. tuesday night, into wednesday, they really locked down the castro home. then they came back and started taking a look at adjacent abandoned buildings. they've taken cadaver dogs in, they've taken a lot of evidence bags in, they've come out with some. so they're getting some idea that maybe something else is there in these adjacent homes. and all of cleveland is hoping they don't find anything.
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but they are definitely looking right now, wolf. >> do you have any knowledge of what was it like inside that house, any more information, any more details coming out? >> my sources have been talking to me since monday. we do know that when michelle knight was first taken back in 2002, when she was 20, she was placed in the basement. she was put up on a wall, in chains, almost like a trophy. then came amanda berry in 2003. only 17. picked up as she came back from that burger king. i want to tell you that castro, indeed, he wrote this letter, he talks about the abduction of each one. and then he gives somewhat of a chilling warning to potential victims of other abusers. he said, whatever you do, don't get into anyone's vehicle at all. now, we also know that as soon as amanda berry's child was born, remember, she was born
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around christmastime, she's now 6 years old, that's when castro, if he's the one who did all this, brought them up and put them in separate rooms. but occasionally they would actually watch television. now, you know, wolf, that last july, they started looking for amanda berry's body in a backyard, digging it up. well, all the girls were together, and actually watching that, as it all unfolded. >> i know you've got good sources. good information. a lot of it very consistent with us. i want to point out that's your information, a lot of it that you've been reporting, woio, reporter scott taylor. thanks for that. >> thanks, wolf. coming up, everyone wants to know how the former captives are doing right now. i'll talk with the cleveland councilman who met with gina dejesus and her family.
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read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. happening now, ariel castro appears in court. he's silent. monstrous new details emerge about his alleged crimes, described by prosecutors, as torture, and depravity. also, you're going to hear this hour from a woman who met with one of the victims, gina dejesus
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today. and you'll find out more on the impact of her ordeal. and john boehner adds his voice to republican outrage over the benghazi terror attack and makes a direct demand of president obama. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- rapes, beating, starvation and forced miscarriages, new details emerging right now. horrifying crimes allegedly committed by ariel castro against three young women prosecutors say he held captive for a decade. castro appeared in a cleveland courtroom today for the first time and now we're learning prosecutors may seek the death penalty. cnn's brian todd is in cleveland for us. brian, what's the very latest on ariel castro? >> wolf, ariel castro's defense attorney says he's been on suicide watch in the city jail,
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and she expects that to continue in the county jail, in the future. as you mentioned, the county prosecutor has just said that he's going to evaluate whether to seek charges that could lead to the death penalty. now, as we learned new and more horrifying details of the captivity of these three women, ariel castro appeared at his arraignment hearing, and didn't seem to be handling his own captivity very well. looking down and despondent, ariel castro hears the words of the judge saying he won't get out of jail anytime soon. his bond is $8 million. his defense attorney says he doesn't have any money. castro doesn't respond as she speaks to him. the prosecutor has plenty to say about how castro allegedly treated amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight while they were held in his house. >> they were bound and restrained and sexually assaulted, basically never free
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to leave this residence. >> the details get more horrifying in a police incident report obtained by cnn. one of the women held captive, michelle knight, said in the report she was pregnant at least five times, but was starved and punched until she eventually miscarried. according to the police report, amanda berry stated the 6-year-old she gave birth to inside the house is ariel castro's child. a source familiar with the investigation tells cnn when barry went into labor, castro ordered michelle knight to deliver the child. the baby was delivered in a plastic tub, or pool, to contain the mess. and the source says, once the child was born, there were moments of horror and panic. the child stopped breathing, according to the source. everyone screamed. and ariel castro allegedly threatened to kill michelle knight if the baby didn't survive. michelle knight said she breathed into the child's mouth to keep her alive. the revelation that the women were bound, that chains and ropes were in the home, is consistent with the accounts of
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fernando colon, he was engaged to ariel castro's ex-wife until her death last year. he said castro would beat figueroa mercilessly, sometimes with barbells. >> she told me she was locked in that house. he had tinted the windows. she had padlocked the doors. the only time she was able to come out was for her appointments. that was it. >> but fernando colon could have motivation for accusing castro. he was convicted of molesting castro's two children years ago. he said castro orchestrated the charges against him. colon is now planning to appeal his conviction. the three kidnap victims say they never left ariel castro's property, but there are accounts castro did take the little girl out. moses sin troen said he saw castro with the 6-year-old in a neighborhood park. he said the girl wouldn't play with other children, but would pet his small dogs.
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>> she was well dressed, you know. and well cared. slightly slender. but other than that, you know, but she was also kind of quiet. >> cintron now said he would like to take one of his dogs to the little girl to play with it, so she won't have to go back to the park and relive some of the memories. >> we're learning a whole lot more what's going on every single day, what horrors occurred in that house over a decade. brian, thanks very much. we're also learning dna samples were taken from castro today, and officials are asking the state crime lab to rush the results to run his dna through a data base and see if it matches any samples from other crimes. let's get some more right now with our legal analyst, sunny hostin and paul carron. first to you, paul, ariel castro being held on $8 million bond. but when i heard that this
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morning, i said to myself, why is he even eligible for bail? i don't care how much. >> well, it is kind of shocking. in the united states, you're pretty much always eligible for bail of some kind. what a judge does in a situation like this, where you have such a serious case, and the high likelihood that he will spend the rest of his life in prison, you set a bail that's just unreachable. obviously that $8 million figure is not a bail that he's likely to ever be able to make. >> i hate the principle, but sunny, $8 million bail, bond as they say, you don't really need $8 million. realistically, how much would he or some crazy person out there need to get him out of prison? >> usually about 10% of the $8 million, wolf. but i don't think there's any question that he's not going to be able to meet the bond. >> let me ask you this, sunny. if somebody came up with $800,000, some nut, some -- let's say somebody just for the hell of it, some really rich person, would the judge really
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release him on bond for $800,000? >> you know, i suppose it's possible. but oftentimes judges will revisit a bond situation. so again, i just suspect, facing the charges that he is facing, i just can't imagine he's getting out on bond. and remember, this county prosecutor, the first county prosecutor, a new one, first one in 14 years, he has vowed to clang the local justice system. he's now even talking about seeking the death penalty against this defendant. because of the murder of michelle knight's unborn children. a case like this is not a case i think where you can anticipate a defendant being released. >> you know, wolf, just following up on that subject, it's not just posting $800,000. you would need $800,000 in cash, and then you would have to have collateral to cover the $8 million in value.
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so who's going to come forward and do that. i can't imagine that it would be possible. also, there will be follow-up indictments in this case. a new judge will review the evidence, and undoubtedly, if anybody thought for a moment that he was going to get out, the bail would be increased once again. so i don't think it's a realistic possibility, although, of course, anything's theoretically possible. >> theoretically. at least let's hope he stays behind bars. this nogs of being charged and getting the death sentence, sunny, how real listic of that, convicted of murder? >> you know, after the county prosecutors' press conference, i looked it up, and under ohio law, there certainly is a statute that says no person shall purposely cause the death of another or unlawful termination of another person's pregnancy. so the law is there. i think the question is, these crimes took place over a ten-year period. how do you prove, as a prosecutor, that she was in fact pregnant, that michelle mcknight
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was pregnant. but it's possible that it can be proven. so you've got a county prosecutor, again, very aggressive. former prosecutor, former judge. i actually think this is possible. >> here's what i fear. tell me if this is at all real listic. paul, you're a former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney. he gets good lawyers and pleads insanity. how realistic is that, that he could succeed if he pleads insanity? >> well, clearly there's mental illness here. and he's probably suffering from some -- or many severe forms of mental illness. but the one thing about an insanity defense that is very hard for defense attorneys, they have to prove essentially that the person who's claiming to be insane didn't understand what he was doing was wrong, and wasn't able essentially to plan the crime. now, here, over a ten-year period of time, he's using ropes, he's using chains, he's using various sorts of nefarious
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methods to hide these victims in his house. and he's driving a school bus. you know, for many, many years he's driving a school bus. so i don't think he'll meet the legal standard of insanity. i think he has no chance of prevailing with that defense. >> since last november, the judge said he's been receiving unemployment benefits, taxpayer money as well, since losing his job as that school bus driver. were you surprised, one final note, to both of you, sunny, first to you, that his two brothers were free today, no charges filed at all? >> i was surprised, because criminal investigations often have a lot of twists and turns, wolf. and this investigation really is at the very, very beginning. so i was surprised that that decision was made. and i'm also a bit surprised that they said there's no evidence against them. because we know, as this case is unfolding, more and more bags of evidence are being taken out of this home. and so i am surprised by it.
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>> what about you, paul? >> we're only in the first chapter in this horror story. and i'm convinced that, with a new prosecutor onboard, with a continuing investigation, he's looking into murder charges. i suspect there are going to be links, maybe to the brothers that would be sufficient to bring criminal charges. now, bear in mind, if they were at the house, and they were aiding and abetting by supplying food or other things to keep these women captive, you could make out a conspiracy or aiding and abetting theory. that's what prosecutors will be looking at. and i don't think this story is anywhere close to the end yet. we're going to hear a lot more about it. >> i totally agree. guys, thanks very much. paul callan and sunny hostin, two of the best in the business. we're hearing for the first time from ariel castro's mother. she cries, apologizes, and reveals she met the little girl castro apparently fathered by one of his victims. listen to this.
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[ speaking spanish ] >> imagine being the mother of ariel castro. wow. we're also getting more information right now on the victims. up next, you're going to hear
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from a woman who met with one of the victims, gina dejesus just today. you'll hear how she's doing. it's a fascinating story. we're going back to cleveland, that's coming up. the life-or-death decision for jodi arias, now postponed. we have details of the surprise twist today in the trial. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the united states postal service a budding artist can ship like a big business. just go online to pay, print and have your packages picked up for free. we'll do the rest. ♪
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everyone wants to know how the three young women held captive for a decade in a cleveland house are doing. we're about to hear from a journalist who's covered this story for years, from the very beginning. actually became a friend of the family of gina dejesus, and just a few hours ago met with gina face to face. they hugged, they spoke. this reporter saw a telling example of the toll the ordeal has taken. she spoke with our brooke baldwin who is on the ground in cleveland. brooke is joining us now. brooke, i watched your interview with her. it was emotional. it was so riveting.
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share with our viewers some of that material, because it is so compelling. >> yeah, it's incredible. i spoke with lydia. as you said, she's a family member of the gina dejesus family. you know, when you cover a story as lydia has in cleveland for nine years, keep in mind gina dejesus went missing back in 2004, so she got to know gina through missing person fliers, and through her family. she was basically taken in by the dejesus family. and when she was live on air, when we saw the happy homecoming just yesterday, she actually got a phone call from the family saying, hey, get off tv, we want you at this house, because you're part of this family. lydia talked to me a little while ago about the experience of laying eyes on this woman she covered for nine years, and her conversation with her. and some of the things she revealed about the change in her, being held prisoner, in this home, for just about a decade. take a look.
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>> it was -- it was unbelievable. my hands were sweating, because there's someone i never imagined would come back to us. so when i went inside, i embraced her. and she embraced me reluctantly, because she's obviously been locked in a basement for nine years. we talked. and i said, you look nothing like your composite. she's a tiny little thing. she's small, has shorter hair. she had longer hair from the time she disappeared. her skin is pale, lack of vitamin d from not being outside. a relative came up and was talking in spanish, she looks at her mom and says, mom, i don't remember my spanish anymore. >> really? she can't speak spanish anymore? >> no. >> so isn't communicating with her mother in their native tongue. they're puerto rican. she lost the ability to speak spanish. she just forgot. a couple of other items i thought was interesting. she said gina, when she was held in the basement of ariel
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castro's home here on seymour avenue, she had with her somehow this missing persons flier of herself, dating back to 2004. also, we've learned from police that these three young women had a television, ultimately they were able to watch the news coverage of their own disappearances. and so when gina actually met lydia, she recognized her from television here in cleveland. that was a special moment for her. and then, you know, i asked, were you able to ask gina about the time spent in this house of horrors, about what was done to her? and she said, no, no, i just didn't want to get into that just yet. this was the first of likely several visits. but she did tell me, wolf, she brought a couple of "people" magazines to gina at her home, just to get her caught up to speed as to where we are in 2013. >> she was abducted when she was only 14 years old. she's now 23 years old. and correct me if i'm wrong, she now says she forgot how to speak
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spanish over the past decade? >> right. that's what lydia just said. think about it, you're 14 years of age. and even if you're brought up speaking a language in a home, when you're removed from that environment, and who knows how much she was able to speak, period, we learned from police that these three women were held in separate rooms. they were aware of one another's presence until ultimately they were trusted, and could stay upstairs. but they weren't speaking spanish. and so she lost it. >> amazing situation. i know you've been walking around the neighborhood over there. i know the house is right behind you. >> yeah. >> give us a little flavor, a little sense of what's going on now. >> what was interesting today, wolf, we've had crews here ever since monday/tuesday, when these girls were freed. we haven't been able to move. what you can't see is police barricades two feet behind me. we can't get any closer to this home. what i was able to do, just a
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couple of hours ago, just walking around as journalists do around a neighborhood, and i went kind of behind this home on seymour avenue, and my producer and i said, let's wander around back. we know the fbi's been here. we've seen them in their protective suits carrying shovels, seen the canine units and cameras. we go around the back. we're able to talk to, and to persuade, if you will, this neighbor, who basically shares a backyard with ariel castro, separated by a chain link fence. so for years there was so much junk, if you will, that he couldn't see into the backyard. now that the fbi has come, let's begin showing these pictures. he shared these pictures only with us at cnn. so the first picture you'll see is this daytime picture, it's a wider shot. and you kind of have to squint your eyes to see, but there is a white cross. we'll get to another picture which is a tighter shot. and this struck this neighbor, adams, as just as odd.
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he had never seen this before, this tiny white cross in the back of ariel castro's neighborhood. you flip forward a couple of pictures, and you can see, i was talking about the junk in the backyard, you can see some of that. we weren't sure if we saw a shed, inflatable pool, couldn't quite make out what's in the picture. but the final picture is the nighttime picture that the fbi had dug. it's deep enough where some of the agents were able to sit in it. it's a tarp, so you can't entirely see what they're doing. basically they're back there for evidentiary purposes. this is the first time, wolf, we've seen what's going on the last couple of days here in cleveland. >> horrible. horrible indeed. brooke, thanks very much. brooke baldwin reporting for us from cleveland. we're also learning new information about ariel castro's mysterious writings. that's coming up. plus, the fight is over. the boston bombing suspect, tamerlan tsarnaev is buried. we have a details. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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torture and depravity, that's how prosecutors in cleveland describe the alleged crimes of ariel castro, charged with kidnapping three young women and holding them captive in a house for a decade. he appeared in court today for the first time. bail was set at $8 million. martin savidge is in cleveland watching all this unfold. he has more. martin, what's the very latest? >> well, wolf, now that the charges have been filed, it sort of goes now from municipal court, gets handed over to cuyahoga county where the prosecution will take place. that's where tim mcginty steps in, the prosecutor.
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in january he started the job. a look at the case that has fallen into his lap. he was out speaking this afternoon about the charges, and it appears he's going to add new ones, and they are extremely serious. listen to how he put it all together. >> i fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders, and each act of murder that he created by terminating pregnancies that the offender perpetuated against the hostages during this decade-long ordeal. my office of the county prosecutor will also engage in a formal process, in which we evaluate whether to seek charges eligible for the death penalty. >> the death penalty, you heard it right there. i think there originally had been some concern, especially
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hearing the charges yesterday, of had rape and kidnapping, talking to people out here, they were feeling, boy, that doesn't seem quite serious enough. today you hear now what the county prosecutor will look to see if the death penalty applies. >> you're learning more about the supposed journal, or letters that ariel castro has written over the past decades. share with our viewers what you're picking up? >> well, you know, evidence teams went through that home almost immediately after authorities were able to evacuate and get the girls out. the fbi has been combing through it for a number of days. clearly what they're looking for is some evidence. they found a lot. the one they've keyed on is this kind of letter. initially it might have been referred to as a suicide note. but it goes on longer than that, i'm told by law enforcement. and in fact, there are mentions of suicide. and it is believed to have been written by ariel castro. but he also talks about a number of other things, among which he alludes to what he says is abuse
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that he suffered at the hands of a family member, apparently offering that as some sort of justification for his twisted actions. again, this coming from law enforcement. they don't put any real context into that. they don't buy it. but that's the kind of evidence they're finding, wolf. >> it looks like this is intensifying in terms of the prosecution, they're going forward, much more serious charges. and it doesn't look like there's any possibility that he could be released on bail, even if somebody were to come up with those $8 million, or even 10%, which would be needed in the short term. >> right. yeah, he said -- you know, basically he's broeblg. i'm talking about ariel castro. he'll have to have a public defender that will stand up for him. there's no way anybody believes he's going to make the $8 million bond. i'm sure that was the whole idea when the bond was set in that particular way. so this case is going to become extremely serious. it already is. and in the minds of the public, it is one that they want to see
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full justice pursued. there are so many who believe there could be others involved. authorities say, of course, the two brothers have been cleared. that's as a result of talking to the women themselves. but could there still be other threats to be followed. that's being worked on. in fact, dna has been collected from ariel castro, it's going to be tested overnight, very quickly. they want to see once they enter it into a data base, if in any way he might have been involved in any other crime. >> this investigation is only just beginning. martin savidge, thanks very much for that report. people who have known the kidnapping suspect, ariel castro, over the years are remembering incidents that in retrospect have taken on an ominous significance. mary snow spoke with two such women who now live in new york. >> daisy cortez and her daughter, bianca, are haunted by just how close they came to ariel castro. who's accused of kidnapping and
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hold captive three women in this cleveland home. this is the castro they remember. he played bass in a band with cortez's late fiance, roberto. the video is dated 2003. the same year the second of three victims disappeared. cortez and her daughter met castro through the band in 2002, and say he even came to their home on a number of occasions. they described him as someone with a poker face, quiet, but nice. now they're disturbed recalling how he paid attention to bianca who is now 19. >> i remember he used to play with my hair, stroke my shoulder. >> you didn't think anything unusual at the time? >> nothing. >> now looking back? >> now looking back, it's disgusting. because you really -- i didn't know, back then, there was no intention of it. now looking back, i can only imagine what was going through his head. there's no words for that,
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really. >> it's so scary. oh, my god. i can't believe it. >> cortez back then was a reporter in cleveland and covered the stories about the girls who went missing. she said everyone was talking about it, and remembers bringing up the topic with castro. >> you talked with him about the missing woman. >> yes. >> and what did he say to you? >> he said, oh, wow. oh, wow. no emotion. >> mother and daughter do remember cortez's fiance roberto getting increasingly frustrated with castro for canceling performances at the last minute. >> his reaction, weird. he said, that guy is weird. >> cortez said the last time she spoke to castro was in 2004, after her fiance was killed in a car accident and castro called to offer his condolences. nearly a decade later, now in new york, they feel they escaped a close call with a man they now consider a monster. >> now you go to sleep with one eye open, because you don't know
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who your neighbor is. this man was so close to us, for all i know, my neighbor could be, you know, you just don't know anymore. >> and wolf, even though daisy cortez and her daughter moved to new york in 2005, they visit cleveland often. they have family and friends there, and they've kept close tabs on the case of the missing women over the years. now they say they just want justice. wolf? >> everybody does, indeed. thanks very much, mary snow. coming up, a cleveland city councilman who spoke with one of the women, gina dejesus. he's standing about i to join us. coming up. also, house speaker john boehner adds his voice to republican outrage over the benghazi terror attack. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home
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she's described as being in, quote, good condition. amanda berry is home, as well as gina dejesus. gina has been meeting with some of the people who never gave up hope on her case. among them, the cleveland city councilman mat zone who is joining us now. councilman, thanks very much for coming in. i know you met with the dejesus family here, with gina herself. how is she doing? >> she's doing incredibly well. i'm surprised at how amazing this young woman is doing, and she's got a smile from ear to ear. she's just thrilled to be home in her house. was able to sleep in her own bed last night. it's pretty remarkable that we're here really celebrating this moment. >> we certainly are. what has she been doing? can you share with us what she's been doing with her friends, her family since she got home? >> not many friends. mostly family. she's catching up with her family. hugging her cousins, and her brother and sister. and just reengaging with the
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community. and wanting to learn about current affairs, and what's happening. and i think it's really a special moment in the dejesus household. >> she's 23 years old right now. she was only 14 years old when she was taken captive. do you know what the first thing she wanted to do, or eat, or say when she got home? >> yeah. i mean, when i had the opportunity to speak with her today, she was looking forward to maybe going to see a dentist. she wanted to get her teeth whitened. she looked great. she wanted to get some makeup. she wants to fix herself up. things that we take for granted. these little simple things in life. and just makes you appreciate how precious these things are. and i hope she gets to do everything that she wants to. >> how emotional has it been, not just for her, but for her family? >> extremely emotional. you know, i was a freshman councilman, i received a phone call from the mother the day
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after she went missing, wanting to organize a vigil and rally just to call attention to this. that's how i met her parents, through a series of encounters, and meetings over the course of nearly a decade. i never saw once this family ever waiver, and think for a moment she wasn't still alive and that they weren't going to be reunited. i think it's a real testament to the faith of the dejesus family and their support network. they really do have a solid support network. >> we were told, what, she forgot how to speak spanish over this past decade? is that right? >> she did. you know, she was fluent in spanish before she was held captive. and it was interesting, when i was there, even talking with her mother and father, before gina and i started to speak with one another, the mother told me, you know, i said something casually in spanish, and she was like, mommy, what did you say? it was a cute little moment. >> tell us about the cleveland courage fund. i think some of our viewers might be interested in helping
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out. what is that all about? >> sure. so we partnered with the cleveland foundation. we established the cleveland courage fund. it's a fund that's going to assist the three families. my office has fielded hundreds of phone calls over the past several days about what can we do. so we established the fund yesterday, with this foundation. it's going to be an open and transparent fund where all the proceeds are going to go to the three families. and if people want to do a generous kind act, i would encourage them to direct their resources there. the family needs a lot. these are three humbled working class families. and they really need the support of the community, and the world, quite frankly. and i just hope people will be able to generously donate to that fund. >> and the link to the website, the cleveland courage fund? is it >> you can go to the
3:41 pm if people want to send in a contribution, send it to the cleveland fund. care of the cleveland foundation. there's a facebook page for those who are on social media. you can go to the cleveland courage fund. we're tweeting about it. and the cleveland foundation's website has a link directly to the courage fund. >> matt zone is the cleveland city council member. we really appreciate what you're doing. thanks very much for joining us. and please give our best, best wishes to the dejesus family, and all the others as well. thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. i sure will. >> coming up, we're also getting some new information into "the situation room" right now, from the mother of one of the kidnapped victims. stand by. we'll share that with you. we're also watching an important political story. there's more fallout from the terrorist attack in benghazi.
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pamela brown is getting new information on ariel castro, the suspect in this horrible case in cleveland. pam's joining us now. what are you learning, pam? >> well, wolf, we've known that ariel castro has been talking with cleveland police, federal authorities, the prosecutor since his arrest on monday, and that he's been cooperating with authorities. and now we're learning from a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the cleveland kidnapping investigation, that ariel castro
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has confessed to his actions. the confessions came in detailed statements given to authorities during his interrogation, according to the source. the source was reluctant to describe precisely what castro had confessed to. as we heard today, wolf, during castro's initial -- about the three women, held captive allegedly inside his home, assaulted, bonded, abused, and of course, he is facing four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. again, we don't know exactly the details surrounding what he has confessed to. we're learning that castro has confessed to at least some of his actions that we've been hearing about. >> we do know he was read his miranda rights, but he is apparently talking to investigators, talking to police. pam brown, doing some excellent reporting for us in cleveland. pam, thanks very much. we're going to have much more on
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today the top republican on capitol hill made it clear his party intends to keep up the heat on the obama administration when it comes to what happened in benghazi last september 11th. here's our chief congressional correspondent dana bash. >> reporter: john boehner tried to put benghazi directly at the president's door step. >> the white house has done
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everything possible to block access to the information that would outline the truth. and the question you have to ask is why? >> reporter: he's calling on the president to order officials to give congress emails that will show who deleted references to al qaeda from administration talking points about the attack. >> what in alcan door is your goal here? >> the goal is to get to truth. four americans, four americans lost their lives. >> reporter: even after wednesday's six hour hearing there are still several unanswered questions. one, whether it was a political decision to remove any mention of al qaeda from those talking points. a fear of stepping on the president's campaign message that he crippled al qaeda. republicans say yes. obama aides intentionally misled americans. the white house insists the answer is no. >> the only edits made by anybody was stylistic and nonsubstantive. >> reporter: but greg hicks
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raised doubts about the administration's claim changing the talking points wasn't political. he testified it was clearly a terror attack not what was in the talking points a protest. >> ambassador strengthens would have reported a protest immediately if one appeared on his for. >> reporter: another unanswered question whether in the aftermath of the attack obama officials tried to cover up mistakes they made like failing to properly secure the consulate and bass tor. hicks was told not to talk without a state department lawyer present. >> people at state told you not to talk to the guy who is investigating. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: hicks did talk without the lawyer and said that resulted in an angry call from cheryl mills top adviser to hillary clinton. >> she was very upset. >> reporter: the suggestion at the highest levels obama officials were trying to hide something. a clinton aide denies the call was angry. cnn was told darrell issa will
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not make pursuing mills a top priority. another mystery is why the military was not in a position to help americans in need? here's what thomas pickering who led the internal state department review told cnn's jake tapper. >> they were not postured nor placed in a way that could have made a significant difference. >> reporter: the house armed services chairman w denied access to a classified timeline of events and orders given that day. that would help answer another open queson. who gave the order to stop four special ops personnel. knowing these questions are not going away the current secretary of state plans to get a full briefing soon on benghazi. >> i'll tell you this, the state department will leave no stone unturned. >> republican source tell me they will have another hearing in the near future with thomas
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pickering and michael mullen. one republican calls that at least most republicans call that incomplete at best. we should expect other hearings. there are five separate committees in the house looking into this and there's no end in sight. >> the house and senate could look into it as well. >> five actively told to do so by the house speaker. the senate is run by democrats. they are not as actively looking into it. but there are very prominent senators like john mccain, lindsey graham who are not letting this go. >> thanks very much. i know the story won't go away. up next our jeanne moos has the story of a psychic that looked into a cleveland kidnappings and got it very, very wrong. nom, nom, nom.
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cnn jeanne moos says this week's rescue in cleveland shows you can't always believe psychics. >> reporter: it's one thing to be a psychic predicting love or the lack thereof. >> can you tell me where my love life is going? >> nowhere. >> reporter: but there's nothing funny when it comes predicting life or death. >> she's gone, honey. >> do you know where she's at? >> in the house or thounsd.
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>> reporter: in that want case psychic silvia brown was right but now she's under attack. >> what a horrible human being. >> reporter: for being wrong about this girl. >> help me i'm amanda berry. >> reporter: almost nine years ago amanda berry's mom went on the maury povich show. >> will i ever see her again? >> in heaven. >> reporter: the host read the part of the psychic. >> hate this when they are in water. she's not alive, honey. >> reporter: not alive? then who is this? >> i've been kidnapped and i've been missing for ten years and i'm here. i'm free now. >> reporter: amanda's mom is the one no longer alive. she came home from the psychic's reading telling the "cleveland plain dealer" she was devastated. she died a little more a year later after being hospitalized.
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now will a brown -- silvia brow getting ripped. you wouldn't have to predict what brown would say about her mistake. i've been more right than wrong if there was ever a time to be grateful or relieved to be mistaken this is that time. only god is right all the time. my heart goes out to amanda berry. there was one part of brown's prediction that her supporters say turned out to be accurate. the radio host read the psychic's words describing the man. >> cuban short kind of stocky build heavy set. >> reporter: turns out the suspect is latino with the last name castro. one commentator posted psychic wins lottery again, the headline you'll never see anywhere, instead we saw this headline and even we could predict what that could do to a mother's head. jeanne moos, cnn, new york.
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you can always follow what's going on in "the situation room" on twitter, tweet me @wolf blitzer, erin burnett, "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" tonight breaking news. law enforcement official tells cnn ariel castro has confessed. this as his mother speaks out and she says her son is sick. plus new details about the ten years the women were held captive. we're going to tell you how ariel castro ranked and punished his victims. and how could anyone have been capable of committing these crimes. ariel castro in his own words. let's go "outfront". good evening everyone i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight we begin with breaking