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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  May 21, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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no wait i have a deaf kid in my class. my parents would have to insist. >> bullying became another obstacles. but he persevered and went on to medical school. he worked twice as hard to keep up with his hearing classmates. >> i probably spent a lot more time reading and re-reading the material, and i never doubted myself. >> today the husband and father of two is department chair of family medicine at the university of michigan. >> many patients don't even know i have a hearing loss. they just think i have an accent. >> he also inspires others like him to pursue careers in medicine. >> seeing people that are successful is always a help for all of us that may have a little bit of a struggle. >> dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in today for brooke baldwin. we begin with breaking news. a suspect wanted in the case of
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a family found murdered in their mansion in the nation's capital could turn himself in. sources tell cnn the suspect told his girlfriend that he does plan to surrender. when will that happen? no one knows. the girlfriend also says the suspect took the bus to her home in brooklyn last night. so he would have spent the night there. his name daron dylon wint. he may have been so money hungry that he tortured a child to get his way. it was a pizza that he ordered in the midst of all this that led the authorities to issue a warrant for his arrest for murder. sources tell cnn that the dna found on a pizza crust belongs to wint and an intense manhunt is under way that is focused squarely on brooklyn new york. the police chief just making this plea. >> right now you have just about every law enforcement officer across the country that is aware of his open warrant and are looking for him. i think even his family has made pleas for him to turn himself in. i would just reiterate that it's much easier if he just turns
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himself in. >> that pizza crust was found at the quadruple murder scene of 10-year-old philip savapouluos, his mother father, and their housekeeper. all victims were bound with duct tape. the boy's body showed some of the worst signs of torture. with me now, cnn national correspondent debra feyerick. what are they saying about what the girlfriend is giving them in terms of information? >> this is exactly what led police to search the brooklyn area. the girlfriend lives there. it's believed that the murder fugitive may have been in the brooklyn area last night. the girlfriend was picked up yesterday. she's being questioned by authorities. she told them essentially that wint told her he was going to surrender. that's what he said to her. but so far, he remains a fugitive. there's been no indication that he's spoken to any authorities. and it's unclear whether he was traveling on his own. he could have easily picked up
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the phone, reached eded out to police reached out to u.s. marshals but it doesn't appear that happened. we do know there's a connection between the suspect and the family because wint worked for sava savapoulos. he also attended the marine corps recruit training for a while. he never finished it so he's not a marine but he was trying to go through the training process. he is a fugitive. he's very much wanted. there's an all-out manhunt. all resources from the nypd and the washington police as well as u.s. marshals and other federal law enforcement authorities and agencies they're all looking for this man. so far, they've not heard word. >> so a connection but the question remains why. they're saying possibly money,
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but they don't know why. deborah, thank you very much. also it's not clear what role police believe this man played in the killings. they're not sure if it was just him f there was another suspect. i just spoke with a criminal profiler about what kind of person would be able to order pizza in the midst of torturing a 10-year-old boy and murdering him and his family. here's what she said. >> what people would generally call him is a nasty piece of work but i would call him a psychopath and a sadistic psychopath at that. that he could commit this horrible crime and not care one bit about what he's doing to this child, kill four people and then have no conscience. if you're hungry while you're doing this you're going to order dinner. the lucky part is he's stupid. his mother didn't teach him apparently to eat all his food. you don't leave the crusts around with your dna on it. he did a really really silly thing for a criminal. so it might be -- at least we know who it is instead of
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wondering who in the heck it could possibly be. that's an advantage for the police. >> well the murder at the savopoulos family home sounds eerie familiar. it bears similarity to the case known as the cheshire murder. they were terrorized in a home invasion in connecticut. the mother and young daughters raped and murdered. the father somehow escaping. the mansion torched, burnt to the ground. the killer though were caught pretty quickly afterwards. here with me now is the filmmaker who produced "the cheshire murders," an hbo documentary on the case. thanks for being here. it's unreal to think we're talking under these circumstances again because the similarities there are so many similarities. >> oh it's really, they're almost carbon copy cases. i used to be a prosecutor. i've never seen this kind of parallel. not only do you have these
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perfect suburban families and these lovely homes with security systems that didn't get triggered, you have a night of terror of holding a family of four hostage, forced calls by the family in the morning to friends saying don't come over. quick, violent deaths torching of the home. then the new revelations about daron are what really hammers home the strange connections. daron had a minimal criminal background. you remember the perpetrators in cheshire had similarly petty burglaryies to their name. they never graduated to the big leagues like this. then we hear there's a $40,000 package dropped off at the savopoulos house. there was arson to cover up the tracks. and there was also a military background. he also enlisted and fail the ined in his training.
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i don't know if it's a copy quality or an eerie similarity but it gives any seasoned criminologist a lot of pause. >> now they have to make their case see if there were any accomplices. what did you learn that the authorities in the cheshire family murder case were able to get the information they were able to access to piece their case together even with the home burned down? >> well the arson investigation was really instrumental. er. able to trace the pour patterns of the gasoline. unfortunately, the results showed that two of the girls were burned alive. one of them was tied to her bed. i don't know what we're going to find here. unfortunately, it sounds like that might be the case, which would just be, you know further dreadful parallel. >> but the sophistication here -- well it's sort of a mix. you have someone that's dumb enough to order pizza and leave dna on the pizza crust and leave
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it there. but someone who also thinks to erase the video from the security system. >> yeah well criminals can be alternately brilliant and incredibly stupid. the connecticut case was a good example of this. they broke into this house without triggering the alarm system. they managed to tie up dad, put him in the basement hold everybody hostage, get the bank records. at the same time they left enormous amounts of dna evidence. they let mrs. pettit into the bank unaccompanied. they basically let their chief hostage go. it's incredibly stupid for people who can be so sophisticated. it's not unusual. >> but incredibly heartbreaking. again, four innocent victims here including a 10-year-old boy, who appears was tortured. david, appreciate the expertise. >> my pleasure. coming up next breaking news.
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isis terrorists going door to door in one ancient city hunting down soldiers. this as we get word that they're now controlling 50% of syria. half of syria. president obama responding. what is he saying? also one of those bikers arrested in that deadly shootout on sunday is now walking out of jail. hear why. and david letterman's run on the late show is now officially over. he went out in the a star-studded finale last night. coming up we're talking to the science teacher behind the popular kid scientist segment. stay with me. 40% of the streetlights in detroit, at one point, did not work. you had some blocks and you had major thoroughfares and corridors that were just totally pitch black. those things had to change.
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we wanted to restore our lighting system in the city. you can have the greatest dreams in the world, but unless you can finance those dreams, it doesn't happen. at the time that the bankruptcy filing was done, the public lighting authority had a hard time of finding a bank. citi did not run away from the table like some other bankers did. citi had the strength to help us go to the credit markets and raise the money. it's a brighter day in detroit. people can see better when they're out doing their tasks, young people are moving back in town the kids are feeling safer while they walk to school. and folks are making investments and the community is moving forward. 40% of the lights were out, but they're not out for long.they're coming back.
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all right. this just into us here at cnn. doug hughes you might remember that name. it's the pilot of the gyrocopter
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in april who landed it on capitol hill to deliver letters protesting campaign finance and calling for campaign finance reform. he's facing six charges. he just pled not guilty in federal court in washington, d.c. he could face up to nine years in prison. he just spoke to the media. let's take a listen to what he said. >> i've always been concerned that i might spend time behind bars and i'm not eager for jail time. on the other hand i took responsibility for what i did. this is going to play out in the courts and it may finish up before a jury of my peers. but i accepted the consequences of what i was doing because i believed it's critical that we return our democracy to the people and that can be done with the solutions that have already been defined. >> again doug hughes there, who
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landed that gyrocopter on the capitol in april, trying to deliver those letters protesting campaign finance, calling for reform now. if he faces trial he could face up to nine years in prison. moving on their goal is to create a caliphate, an islamic state that expands through the middle east. it appears their takeover is working. a shocking claim today from a human rights group saying 50% of syria, half the country of sooer is -- syria is now under come of isis. also we have confirmation that isis has claimed one of the most valuable heritage sites in the world, the ancient city of palmyra. it's a devastating blow in the heart of syria as a separate group of isis fighters move in on targets in iraq. five days ago they seized ramadi. we now know they have pushed even further east today. the question now becomes, is the
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united states losing their war, this war, against isis? let's go straight to jim acosta cnn's senior white house correspondent. the president just gave this extensive interview to "the atlantic." what does he say? >> there's no sense of panic here at the white house. the president is not agreeing with that assessment. you do hear from lawmakers and some experts who are up on capitol hill testifying today that the u.s.-led coalition is in fact losing this fight against isis and pointing to these recent examples in ramadi and palmyra that you just mentioned, but as you said president obama gave this extensive interview to "the atlantic" magazine two days ago. we've got a portion to put up on screen for you. the president saying rather emphatically no i don't think we're losing. there's no doubt there was a tactical setback talking about ramadi there. although ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time primarily because they're not iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced. that gets to what national
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security officials were telling us earlier this week. while they say there's no formal strategy review under way, they are tweaking that strategy and trying to upgrade the iraqi security force capabilities in terms of how to go after ramadi and retake that key iraqi city. they want to empower the shia militia to go under there under iraqi security force control to try to retake that part of anbar province. it's a risky strategy but it's one at this point that the white house is endorsing. i think with some measure of caution because they know it's a very risky approach. >> a risky approach but a situation where the president said it was a source of concern that sunni fighters haven't become more engaged and obviously something needs to be done. jim acosta at the white house for us. thanks very much. let's talk about this more with mike baker, former cia covert operations officer. good to have you here and your perspective. let's talk about that first. in this article, this interview at "the atlantic," this happened
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after ramadi fell. the president said it was, quote, a source of concern that sunni fighters have not become more engaged. is he going to be able to turn that around? >> well if we devote enough resource and attention to it and get aggressive enough. but it's a source of concern that the iraqi military remains relatively incompetent over a decade. >> relatively? >> they do have some elements that work well but not enough. the idea that after over a decade now, okay what's our strategy? our strategy is to train them up. well you could ask what have we been doing all these years? so is it just, you know, sort of this wishful thing that one day they'll be able to accomplish this? we don't have any control really to speak of over the shia militia. obviously some control and resource provided by iran when you talk about those groups. we're counting on -- and this is how bizarre this has gotten. initially we pushed on the prime minister of iraq not to utilize
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the militia, not to work with the militia in a sense because we're worried about this relationship with iran. now we basically said well we think they can deal with that. everything will be okay. we're counting now on the shiite militia, in part controlled by iran to take back ramadi. >> when you hear the president say, quote, i don't think we're losing talk to me about how that assessment comes. that's not just the president, you know saying this is what i think. this means his advisers on the ground are telling him that. how did they make that assessment? how do they determine winning or losing? it just seem like such a gray area. >> if we go back in time prior to the surge that's been talked about ad nauseam and is now studied, prior to that surge happening in iraq that be eventually did result in the anbar awakening and allowed us to make the gains we were able to do then we were hearing the same things. we were hearing it's okay we're feeling optimistic.
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things are looking all right. we're moving forward. so you had that same sort of disconnect in a sense because there's a danger always that you've been wedded to your strategy. so there's this constant need to re-evaluate. we're talking about a seismic shift in the strategy. that's going to be important. but you really should be always evaluating your strategy. things always change on the ground. you need to constantly be looking and determining if you have the right path. >> which you look at the huge headline out of this human rights watchdog group today saying half of syria is now controlled by isis do you read that to mean territorially or population wise? because it matters when you push into big cities. it would be completely different if isis was able to take over a city of 8 million to 9 million like baghdad. it's different. >> but in iraq as an example, they control most of the major urban centers at this point, frankly. >> except for baghdad. >> they don't control baghdad. in syria, they've taken over palmyra, which is essentially on the road to homs and damascus.
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are they talking about territory? are they talking about population? in a sense, i would argue it doesn't really matter. they have the territory. they have the ability to hold the territory, to extort to get revenues from various enterprise enterprises enterprises, whether it's oil and gas or criminal activity or rent or whatever they may be doing. so we have to get our heads around the fact. this is a very uncomfortable thing to talk about. nobody has the political will to say we have to engage in a more aggressive fashion. unless we do, are we going to wait for years for the iraqi military to do what they haven't done up to now? >> what do you mean by that? you have the background that tells you what works and what doesn't work. former governor pataki saying you don't stay there forever, but you go in wipe them out, and leave them with a note saying if you come back we're going to do this again. are you saying we have to have those kind of american boots on the ground? >> we need more special operators on the ground
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conducting more nightly activities much like what we did with the abu sayyaf takedown. we need more boots on the ground to provide quality intelligence, to direct a more efficient, more effective, more aggressive air campaign. we need more of our personnel in the command areas with the iraqi military to provide the actual support that they need in order to become more effective. we can't just do this remotely. everybody's tired of the war on terror. everybody's fired from edtired from iraq and afghanistan. >> i wish i had more time. when you're talking about risking more american lives, the toll on the families and the generation of soldiers you have to think long and hard and debate that. >> absolutely. >> thank you. good to have you on the show. >> just ahead, civilians in syria risking their lives to save their neighbors. they go in right after the bomb explodes. dr. sanjay gupta's fascinating report. he saw first hand what they do the good work they do.
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he joins me live coming up. also after that biker gang brawl and shootout in texas, investigators found hundreds of guns hidden among tortilla chips, in bags of flour. we're talking to a man who went undercover with the hells angels about what those biker gangs are really like. vo: today's the day. more and more people with type 2 diabetes are learning about long-acting levemir®. as my diabetes changed it got harder to control my blood sugar. today, i'm asking about levemir®.
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toilets. an ak-47 was recovered from a car parked in that restaurant parking lot. and authorities are now examining the cafe's surveillance video. joining me now from tucson arizona, former atf agent jay dobbins. thanks for being with me. >> thanks for having me. >> you told me every single day that you were doing this undercover operation for two years, you were worried about your cover being blown. now with your perspective only 1 in 170 of these bikers who were arrested has been able to post bail. he's this 40-year-old. what does that tell you? does that tell you he's a top dog, he's in charge? >> well that would be an indication. i don't think money is an issue for these guys. at 170 people a million dollars a pop is an issue, but the bandidos especially they have a
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big nest egg. they have money. >> they all pay into a fund? >> well they pay dues that go to a defense fund. plus, they churn legal and illegal money that goes into the coffers. so these guy, they can fund their defense. there's no doubt about that. >> how much would you equate some of these biker gangs -- and i'm really hesitant to label them all as one. we've heard from a lot of folks saying i'm a part of this and it's not violent and we're just a group that gets together. how much do you think some of these more violent ones operate like organized crime, like the mob? >> identical. the structure is the same. they have a hierarchy with leadership at the top, foot soldiers at the bottom. the higher you go up in the hierarchy, the more insulated you are. they act also like traditional street gangs, like crips and bloods. they protect territories and
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street corners in order to engage in trafficking. the biker gangs do too. they argue over the formatting and what areas are controlled. >> 300-plus weapons were found. some of these found stuffed between flour and toilets. yet, people say this was a meeting meant to make peace. do you buy that? >> i don't. they were expecting trouble. when there's 300 guns at a handshake meeting, at a barbecue at a public restaurant, they weren't getting there to tip beers with each other and slap each other on the backs. they were there to get it on. >> when you look at these enterprises, honestly, i don't know a lot about biker gangs. i never really saw them where i was growing up in minnesota. i don't see them here in new york. how prevalent are they across the country? >> well they're in minnesota and new york too. you may not see them as frequently as you would expect
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but, you know, i'm most familiar with the hells angels. they're on six different continents. the only one they're not on is antarctica because motorcycles don't run at 50 degrees below zero or they would be there too. tens of thousands of members worldwide. >> but is it fair to say all of them are run like the mob, all of them have bad intentions? a lot of them really take issue with that. you spent two years under cover with the hells angels. >> no i don't think that's a fair statement. i think it's unfair to label all bikers under that one percenter umbrella. there's people out there that are law-abiding citizens. there's clubs that are law-abiding clubs that ride for the pleasure of riding and for the fellowship of it. then there's gangsters out there who try to control territory, and when someone insults them or their club name they kill them. >> let's talk about twin peaks restaurant. immediately after this happened there was a lot of finger pointing at the establishment in
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saying you were warned you knew this could happen. why didn't you do anything about it? do these biker gangs have established relationships with different restaurants, different locations across different cities? if so what's the liability in any of this? >> yeah, they have places they like to go. they have places where they're welcome and treated with respect. you know in my experience oftentimes we'd go into places where we were treated like royalty. we were treated like rock stars. the management of those establishments they're probably not being very responsible business owners because they're exposing the rest of their clientele and their customers to really vicious, violent crime. >> jay dobyns thanks so much. your perspective really unique unlike any other, having spent two years under cover with one of those groups. god to have you. coming up next developing out of baltimore, police launching a search for people suspected of intentionally setting fires to businesses
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during last month's protests. also what it's like to try to save lives in syria. the heroes that go in after the bombs explode. dr. sanjay gupta went along with a group called the white helmets. they're risking their lives every single day. we'll talk to dr. gupta live next. unbelievable! toenail fungus? seriously? smash it with jublia! jublia is a prescription medicine proven to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. look at the footwork! most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application site redness, itching, swelling burning or stinging, blisters, and pain. smash it! make the call and ask your doctor if jublia is right for you. new larger size now available.
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all right. now to the war in syria where our own dr. sanjay gupta just embedded with a group of volunteers who take huge risks. they risk their own lives to help others in one of the world's most dangerous places. when the bombs explode, these are the people that run right into the danger to rescue babyies trapped in rubble or parents with serious injuries. they offer anyone regardless of their political or religious
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affiliation, help. cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta joins me now from istanbul. this is where these white helmets do their draintrain. it's remarkable. they started in 2013. they've saved over 12,000 lives. you know a lot about rescues like this. you just came back from nepal. what is unique about the rescues that they have to pull off? >> reporter: well, you know the story is quite extraordinary, poppy. i should point out the training actually takes place quite a bit south of here close to the border with syria. the people who are part of this organization are all syrian. they are local people who may come from the world of being a chef or being a plumber or electrician who just got sick and tired of their communities consistently getting bombed and having nowhere to turn. so they started organizing themselves and going and doing these rescues. over time they started getting more and more training to be able to do these rescues. to your question i think one of the biggest differences, you
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know after an earthquake for example, there's obviously concerns about aftershocks. that can really impede rescue efforts. here the concern is legitimately about more attacks. in fact poppy, there's something known as double taps which means a helicopter that's just dropped a bomb that these people are now rushing to try and rescue people from may have a second bomb on that helicopter and they wait until enough people have aggregated and drop that second bomb. so that -- it's a totally different dynamic in so many ways because of those double taps. >> is there a sense sanjay that they felt forgotten, that enough international aid was not coming? because i read they survive on very modest financing from the united states from britain, from some private donors. >> reporter: this organization a civilian organization is strapped for cash like so many others. frankly, the people who work as white helmets, this humanitarian organization they don't get
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paid. it's all volunteer. they may start getting up to $100 a month starting in a few weeks, but that's been over a couple years, as you mentioned. as far as their attitudes towards the west and others it's hard to paint with one big brush everyone's attitude. i can tell you they welcomed me as a doctor. they let me tag along with their training which was fairly intense at times. i think that there has been an idea that maybe they've been forgotten. they recognize that there's this bifurcation between assad's regime and isis and exactly how that's going to play out, they don't know. but they take care of everybody. they cake care of soldiers from the government. they take care of anybody who's injured and that's sort of their primary motivation. >> what did they tell you, sanjay about whether they're hopeful. at this point, you're so far into the war in syria, right, coupled with the increasing threat from isis, the increase in terms of the territory isis has taken over. that with all they have to
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endure from the assad regime are they hopeful their country will come out of this? >> reporter: i think the best way to characterize that is it's sort of a one day at a time mentality. i asked that same question poppy. i think it's a really important question that you're asking. i would also say that there is an optimism among the white helmets. i think it's part of their dna frankly, in terms of who they are. one of the guys i met, a guy named amad he's 28 years old, a police officer. he's been working his way up through the ranks. every single one of these guys wanted to tell their story and talk about the people they had saved. when he started to tell his story, he also mentioned that he's getting married next week in syria. he's going to cross the border back into syria. he's going to get married. the whole group, 25 of these guys just busted out into applause hooting and hollering. it's an optimism that i think is certainly part of their dna, but it's also infectious.
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i think besides taking care of people they want to share that optimism with the people around them. you really did feel it poppy. >> yeah i can only imagine. you have to be or else the sadness and the misery will crush you. dr. sanjay gupta, thank you so much. and for all of you watching you're going to not want to miss sanjay's full report tonight on "ac 360." right here on cnn. fascinating. sanjay thank you. coming up next who started the fires? baltimore police now launching a search for those suspected of intentionally setting fire to businesses in baltimore during those heated protests.
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atf investigators have now released pictures of arson suspects wanted for burning five baltimore stores a restaurant and an apartment complex. take a look.
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these fires happened last month during the unrest over the death of freddie gray in police custody. the posters the atf has put out show pretty clear images of these individuals clearly setting fires. authorities are looking into the case and cause and origin of each fire. investigators say they believe as many as five incendiary devices were used. cnn national correspondent suzanne malveaux is following this from washington. so they're offering this $10,000 reward to anyone with leads to arrest these people. >> that's right, poppy. they're actually asking the public for their assistance. this is coming from the baltimore arson atf, the fire department and the marshals as well. you'll see the screen shots they have of the individuals. they believe they set these fires, it happened april 27th. i want to show you here these are some of the locations they're talking about. these are some of the locations that we were actually there when we saw this happening. there was a cvs on the corner of
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pennsylvania avenue. another cvs on franklin street. a rite-aid pharmacy a palace pizza place, a senior citizens home apartments all kinds of different places that they have actually listed. and they are asking for anybody who recognizes these individuals who sees these posters to actually call the police department, call atf and there's a possible reward here up to $10,000. >> do we know if they've gotten any leads leading up to this? because it seems like they really haven't, the fact they have to put up these posters and offer a $10,000 reward. seems like people aren't talking. >> well, you know being in the community and talking to people there, there was a lot of fear. there was a lot of confusion. you know some people might be giving some information. you can tell they have very specific addresses. they have the number of people.
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they believe they have these individuals who they've caught on these tapes that can be identified in the community if people were to come forward. they believe that they will get some information because that's why they're putting this out there now. but it has been at least a month. it's been a frustrating experience. a lot of people in the community, poppy, they felt very angry and upset that their own cvs, that the senior citizens home was burned. so there are people in that community who want these people caught as well and want to turn and change things around in their own communities. so i do think they're going to get some information as well. >> all right. suzanne malveaux thanks so much. appreciate it. coming up next we're going to switch gears, talk about david letterman, the man of the night last night. that is for sure. he signed off for the last time. the ratings were through the roof. all the celebrities turned out. now we're going to look back at some of his funniest moments with the teacher behind the kid scientist segment. you know that one well.
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we'll talk to him live and our brian stelter next.
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there is an ancient rhythm... [♪] that flows through all things... through rocky spires... [♪] and ocean's swell... [♪] the endless... stillness of green...
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[♪] and in the restless depths of human hearts... [♪] the voice of the wild within. all right. drum roll.
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we now know how big of an audience david letterman got last night for his final signoff, his farewell. nearly 14 million of you watched. it was letterman's biggest audience since 1994 and the over the years he has had a lot of regulars on as guests like his kid scientists. the most popular segment. he took a moment last night to remember their contributions over the years. >> i want you to hold it down this end like this. >> okay. you're down there. why don't you do it? [ laughter ] >> it's not dangerous. >> okay. >> normally. [ laughter ] >> when those things come off they're going to be so beautiful you won't believe it. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> i was supposed to have braces when i was a kid but i didn't. my parents used the money for a wetbar downstairs. [ laughter ] >> this is a fire extinguisher full of carbon dioxide. so -- >> uh-huh --
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[ laughter ] so we would be remiss not to talk to you about the guy behind that segment and behind those kids. the kid's scientists got their start on letterman thanks to a science teacher who showed dave his secret to helping children learn. >> our next guest is a chemistry teacher from naperville illinois who believes that teaching is most effective when it involve as few explosions. >> okay. here we go. >> what do you mean well okay? >> this is is a -- >> well gave you have to hold it in there. >> huh? i thought i was just cleaning up. >> i'm just going to help you clean ip with this clean up -- >> oh, geez. >> -- with this. >> that teacher lee marek, joins me now from chicago. also with me senior immediate yar correspondent brian stelter. a great night last night. lee, begin with you. you first appeared on "letterman" in 1990.
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i'm not going to tell you how old i was then but it was a long time ago, and you made over 30 appearances on "letterman." when you think about dave letterman what do you think about? >> well i think, it was just a fun time. it was a fun time for me. it was hectic. i was a high school teacher. so that was kind of cool and i didn't get too nervous, because i still had a job, if it didn't work. so that was good. and we brought a lot of kids on there over the years, and a lot of them had a really good time. >> they certainly did. it was your idea to bring the kids on and i do wonder from you, lee, what you think it is about dave letterman that gave him this unique ability to make sort of any sort of people you know -- fascinating to the american public right? he was sort of like turn you guys into overnight sensations, overnight celebrities? >> he did, and the kids were -- he was very -- at ease with the
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kids and he was very nice to the kids. nicer than when i was on the show. he would treat them with respect, and he'd let them give a little more science than he'd let me. i remember once when i was on myself i said can i get 20 more seconds of real science? and the producer looked at me and said what the heck do you think this is, pbs? [ laughter ] >> yeah. you got to keep them tuned in. hey, brian, look last night, 14 million viewers. thank you, dave. i can't remember a part of my life without david letterman on television in that time slot. what stood out to you about last night? >> the presidential cameos were great. see all the living presidents except jimmy carter weighing in last night. also, you know, to have to go long and have that moment with the kids was really nice. and to see his family in the audience. he's a very private guy, but there was his wife and his son in the audience. >> no tears, brian. >> none from letterman but a lot from the people in the a udians. a lot of ordinary fans lucky to be there very emotional. they knew it was a historic
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moment and no surprise. this was the highest audience for letterman in 20 years. even leno the first time he signs off, did not have that big an audience. >> lee, tell me about the t-shirt you're wearing. >> t-shirt comes from the first show when he was on nbc. the first show that i was on on nbc. each time you went you got a t-shirt. that's part of your salary package, you negotiate. >> i remember i went to letterman once and i was in college here in new york and waited in line forever to be able to go and i remember being, like mildly annoyed that the taping took so long. i am so glad i went. it was such a great moment and i'm just so glad that i had it and a lot of people that come through new york are able to do that if you stick it out long enough in line. brian, these ten celebrities it right? big names came out, talked about their best moments over the years. what's there? >> fantastic to see bill murray and you know julia
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louis-dreyfus and chris rock up there. a moment with a-list stars but the rest of the show was really all about letterman and funny moments with the kids and other ordinary people over the years. it was really as ordinary as a fally as possible given the extraordinary moment and to your point. so many people cannot remember a time where he wasn't on the 11:35. maybe people will some day say that about fallon and kimmel and colbert and all the comedians influenced by letterman. >> before i let you go lee, tell us something about dave letterman we don't know? the dave letterman off-camera? >> off-camera he was not at all like he is on camera. the few times you got to interact with him, which wasn't that often, quiet, laid back guy. throwing a football around a lot. seemed to like that football. and just seemed to be a nice guy. the people that all worked for him, they all liked him. people that worked for him, for 20 years, he kept there.
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the same people. neat at the end of the show the very end, showed the credits with all the people that worked for him. >> it's all about the team behind the person on the camera. guy, thank you. lee marek, good to have you on. brian stelter thank you, too. thanks for being with me today. "the lead" with jake tapper begins right now. president obama insisting today that the u.s. is not losing the war against isis. well -- what does the map say? i'm jake tapper. 24 "the lead." the world lead. the commander in chief defending his strategy as isis grabs more territory and national security experts begin to sap the terrorist group may have already suck ceded in creating an islamic caliphate. the national lead. a suspect finally named and on the loose. police say the man responsible for torturing and murdering a family in washington, d.c. and it leads to new york and you won't believe the clue he allegedly left behind. the sports lead. saw it