tv America This Morning ABC May 25, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PDT
news in america this friday. this morning -- questioning the confession. >> it's the cold case that has haunted new york for a generation. but there's new skepticism this morning -- is the man under arrest really the killer of etan patz? breaking overnight. the tropical trouble on both coasts. shower sickness. the rare lung disorder linked to bacteria in your bathroom. and just off the coast of a world-famous beach, getting up close and personal with a real-life jaws. good friday morning. rob and paula are both off. i'm diana perez. >> and i'm john muller. the disappearance of etan patz in 1979. one of the most heartbreaking and high-profile cold cases. >> his parents and police never stopped looking for him.
and today, his suspected killer will finally answer for the crime. abc's tahman bradley has the latest. >> reporter: 33 years ago today, 6-year-old etan patz vanished on his walk to his school bus. the case was never put to rest. but this morning it looks like it has come to an end. 51-year-old pedro hernandez is under arrest for the murder of young etan patz. police say that he confessed to the crime. >> he lured young etan from the school bus stop. at west broadway and prince street. with the promise of a soda. he then led him into the basement, choked him there and disposed of the body by putting it into a plastic bag and placing it in the trash. >> reporter: hernandez was picked up in new jersey where he lived with his wife and daughter. the arrest came after the case was reopened last month. police didn't find any evidence in the basement, but they received a tip believed
to have come from a relative or friend of hernandez. >> in the years following etan's disappearance, hernandez had told a family member and others that he had, quote, done a bad thing, and killed a child in new york. >> reporter: the day etan patz disappeared was the first morning his parents let him walk alone to the bus stop, it changed the way many parents sent their children off the school. patz was among the first missing child to appear on milk cartons and billboards. >> millions of parents sat to home and thought there by the grace of god goes my child. >> reporter: 33 years later, etan's parents live on the same block. they never moved hoping that the little boy would find his way home. police told etan's parents about the confession from the man who police say that admit s he snatched their child.
>> pedro hernandez isn't the first man to confess to killing etan patz. how can the prosecutors be sure that he's not lying too. dan abrams say that the in investigators have an arsenal of tricks. >> you get people all the time that are claiming credit for and they have to exclude him as much as they can. so, it's possible they have suggested other crimes and said, to him, oh, we got another case, were you involved in that one, to see if maybe he confessed to more than one. >> there's little hope to find dna to link hernandez to the crime. the other major story overnight, we're on the storm watch with the tropical low brewing off the southern u.s. >> and then it's hurricane bud in pacific. bud is a major category 3 storm with 115 mile an hour winds. it's forecast to weaken before it makes landfall tonight before the popular resort puerto vallarta. abc's sam champion has more.
>> reporter: the atlantic hurricane season is supposed to begin june 1st. but tropical storm alberto jumped the gun last week. churning off the coast of south carolina. now a tropical disturbance could turn into tropical storm beryl over the weekend. two named atlantic storms haven't happened this early. we're seeing something completely new. >> this is the first time in recorded history that we have had a preseason named storm in both the atlantic and eastern pacific basins. >> reporter: despite this early activity noaa predicting a nearly normal hurricane season. with 9 to 15 named storms. with 8 growing into hurricanes, three of those are predicted to be major. there's a 40% chance that this storm will become a tropical storm in the next 48 hours. but whatever its form, most of the forecast models keep it near the southeast coast for a majority of the holiday weekend. sam champions abc news, new york. >> the other concern for most
holiday travelers is gas. americans in record numbers are expected to get in the car and go for the weekend. and somewhat unexpectedly gas prices seem to be cooperating. abc's karen travers reports. >> reporter: summer officially kicks off this weekend. americans are hitting the road for some fun in the sun. aaa predicts that americans will travel 50 miles from home for the memorial day weekend. a 1% 2 increase over last year. >> we're seeing summer travel trends picking up a little bit. >> reporter: it was just a few weeks ago that experts were predicting $5 or even $6 gas prices. >> gas prices have gone almost every single day. for almost a month. 28 in a row. >> reporter: good news for there drivers, it turned out that those forecast may have been too aggressive. as gas prices have steady dropped in recent weeks. in early april, the average was hovering around $4. it's now down about a quarter. what happened to those dire predictions? this week the price of a barrel
of oil hit a seven-month low. analysts point to a dip for demand of gas here in the u.s. and a couple global factors. >> tensions with iran have lessen. one of the things pushing oil and gas prices up. the global economy has slowed down. >> reporter: analysts said that we have likely seen the peak of gas prices. >> it's almost like a form of stimulus or a little tax cut that people are getting going into the spring and summer driving season. >> reporter: 9 out of 10 americans are expected to travel this weekend by car and the trips will be a little easier on their wallets. >> i'm happy with 3.50. as it was 3.59 last week. 3.79 the week before that. >> experts expect these prices will hold steady over the summer. that means many more happy travelers. john and diana. >> all right, karen. more than a dozen major wildfires raging across the country this morning, like this one in new mexico. high winds forcing firefighters to retreat and sit on the
sidelines. they're battling two fires that merged scorching more than 70,000 acres. it has destroyed a dozen homes. time now for the weather from across the nation as we kick off this holiday weekend -- more gusty winds across the southwest. another 5 inches of mountain snow near yellowstone park. showers in the pacific northwest and the dakotas. thunderstorms around indianapolis, cincinnati, louisville and pittsburgh. showers from new england to the carolinas and heavy rain once again for florida. >> if your holiday getaway takes you to the gulf coast, expect 90s today from texas to florida. 94 in phoenix. 75 in salt lake city. 47 degrees in billings. still ahead -- a plane carrying a governor lands without landing gear. plus, an incredible story. raw emotion as a young man is cleared of a rape conviction that sent him to prison for years. and the toddlers tussle
still no breakthrough in the crisis over student loans. senators yesterday defeated competing bills meant to keep federal college loans at their current low interest rates. a deal must be reached by july 1st or rates will be doubled. major sticking point, though, is to where to find those 6 billion there are to keep those rates in place. the economy in the battle for votes is the focus of an abc
news poll released overnight, it shows that 65% of americans believe that romney would do more to advance the wealthy. when it comes to the interest of you and your family, president obama and romney are essentially tied. more than half of those polled said that the president would do more to help the middle class. good news for anyone looking to buy a house or refinance. the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has hit a new low, 3.78%. that's the lowest rate in 40 years of record keeping. overseas this morning -- stocks are mostly higher. tokyo's nikkei average was up 17% today. hong kong's hang seng is also up by 78%. in london, the ftse opened higher. the gou gained back 34 points yesterday. the nasdaq index fell about 11. an epic battle brewing at the box office this weekend. experts saying that men in black
3 will finally send avengers from its perch. coming up next on this friday morning -- the rare lung disorder that you can get from bacteria in your shower. and in sports, a camera gets crunched by king james himself. heat highlights coming up. himself. heat highlights coming up. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air. army soldiers will be at it again today, placing an american flag by every grave marker at arlington national cemetery, more than 220,000 flags in all, a reminder of the real reason why we mark memorial day weekend. placing the flags at arlington, a tradition that dates back to 1948. and now for a look at the morning road conditions -- wet along much of i-95. slick on i-70 from pittsburgh to indianapolis. showers dampen parts of i-90 and 94 from the dakotas to idaho.
i-5 from portland to northern california. and if you're flying, airport delays are possible in new york, las vegas, phoenix, salt lake city and miami. now to dramatic reversal for a once-promising high school football star when his life was derailed. >> yesterday a judge completely exonerated him and today he's starting all over again. abc's cecilia vega has the details. >> reporter: it was the moment brian banks had been waiting a decade for. >> the people's motion to dismiss this case -- sfwlr as he heard those words that he knew to be true all along, all he could do was sob. banks had been wrongly convicted, falsely accused of raping and kidnapping a childhood friend. the judge tossed out the charges and banks walked out of court in pure jubilation, hoping for a new future. >> awesome. >> i feel like anything is possible and it is proven today by me getting my freedom back. i feel like this is just the first step to reinventing my life.
>> reporter: in 2002, he had been a 16-year-old high school football star with dreams of an nfl career. but those hopes were shattered when he was convicted. banks always maintained the encounter was consensual. but rather than face 41 years to life behind bars, on the advice of his lawyer, he took a plea deal and spent five years in prison. >> it's more than i can describe, the things that i've been through and the things that i've endured. >> reporter: banks is an innocent man because that accuser tracked him down on facebook after his release and admitted she lied. they met and the meeting where his accuser recanted was recorded. this video was key to overturning the case. >> i may not ever get the answers as to why i was supposed to go through what i went through. but i know that i'm here today and i remain unbroken. >> reporter: now, at 26, banks is picking up where his once shattered dreams left off. working out again, hoping for another shot at life in football. cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles.
now for the rough ride for the governor of new mexico the governor of new mexico abroad a private plane that landed wheels up. the governor and her husband were about to land in sante fe friday night, the pilot forgot to land the landing gear. fortunately no one injured. more and more cases of a rare lung disorder called the shower disease, it's triggered by a distant cousin of the bacteria that causes tb. it's called ntm. researches found that it in all -- in one-third of all shower heads. the spray makes it easy to inhale. the disorder is frequently misdiagnosed as num mona. most people can fight off the infection. but people with compromised immune system are at risk of harm. now time for some hoops.
the philadelphia 76ers and the boston celtics playing in the nba eastern conference semifinals tomorrow night. as for last night's action we get the highlights from espn. we start in the nba. huge game six between the heat and the pacers in indianapolis. dwyane wade and roy hibbert. roy hibbert hoping to take advantage of the fact that two heat big men were suspended. early, it was david west. here, roy hibbert with the reverse jam. heat were down nine because of the pacers' dominance inside. but then, dwyane wade got it going. the heat down seven after that slam dunk. crazy play here, lebron misses the layup and then we go the other way. george hill for the pacers. coast to coast. but if you take another look, after the bomb pass, lebron missing the shot and then crashing into the cameraman. james out to mario chalmers getting his teammates involved.
9-0 run to end the third. that pretty much spelled it out. then the superstars just took over. lebron with a beautiful, little running hook. dwayne wade in traffic. splits the defense not once but twice. and the strength to get the bucket to go and one. take another look. beautiful body control. the strength, wade had 41 points and 10 boards. then james driving past george. gets the bucket to go. lebron had 28. the heat beat the pacers, 105-93 and they advance to the eastern conference finals. big event coming up with hannah storm, she sits down with four of the nba's top players to discuss their lives on and off the court. kobe bryant, carmelo anthony, dwight howard and kevin durant. it's nba face to face with hannah storm, tonight at 8:00 on espn2. and now to a showdown that really was a complete mismatch. check out this massive 18-foot great white shark in a very close encounter with fishermen just 20 yards off of australia's
most popular beach. >> that's unbelievable. the fin sticking out of its mouth is actually a smaller shark. which had been caught. a ready-made lunch. wow. coming up next -- some incredible images in your friday "pulse," including some unwelcomed visitors at a backyard barbecue. and how about this one, a brawl at the ballet between two tiny dancers. brawl at the ballet between two little dancers.
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welcome back, everyone. it's time now to check "the pulse." we'll start with the great fights of all-time, there was the thrilla in manila. the rum nbl the jungle. >> this is the toddler tussle. check this out. two little ones all dressed up for ballet. they had ideas, though, completely forgetting about the routine and giving each other a pretty hard time. >> they were all put back in their tutu places. when adults finally stepped in. they are mad. >> unbelievable. and now to southern california, and clint eastwood's newest crime-fighting role, kind of. >> a plywood cutout of eastwood's character joe is now watching over a stretch of freeway, he's been standing guard for a couple of weeks. and there's something of a mystery here. the sign says it's part of a local public art project.
but local authorities say they don't know of any such project. finally who invited the cows to the college reunion? >> that's what they were asking last week in massachusetts. when five young steers wonder in and started drinking the beer that party goers were using for a game of beer pong. >> it turns out, they were from a farm down the road. the owner said they're not afraid of people and obviously they love adventure. they were rounded up and everyone got home safely for a good night's sleep. >> what do you do when you're confronted by these thousand-pound beasts? >> leave the beer and step away slowly. >> slowly step away. i wonder if they had time to grab the beer and run? >> all right, some of you for local news is coming up. for everyone else, the nearly 30-year-old olympian and her purity pledge. olympian and her purity pledge. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers.
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updating the top stories -- police officers have shot and killed a suspect in the street. we'll take you there. >> right now privately funded spacecraft is about to dock with the international space station for the first time, ever. mike will have the forecast. winds and cool weather will be upstaged by a chance of thunderstorms today and tomorrow. >> we'll have showers for much of the east coast. finally, a challenge bigger than the olympics. one of the country's best athletes say this is it. >> track star lori "lolo" jones
said that she wants to have sex until she's married. that presents more hurdles than the world games. our own paula faris has her story. >> reporter: she's an olympic-sized catch. stunning, sporty and a 29-year-old virgin. >> i want to wait until i'm married to have sex. >> reporter: jones, a devout christian explains her reasoning in a recent interview. >> my mom, she was with my dad for 20 years and never got married and they're not together anymore, i want to have that solid bond. >> reporter: she's been training six hours a day, six days a week for the past 12 years, part of it captured in this recent espn documentary. >> as i approach the hurdle my body has to be forward, my chin low and my arms tight. >> reporter: but her biggest hurdle is fighting the sexual temptation. calling it the toughest fight. >> they're like, hey, if you have sex, it will help you run faster. if you marry me, then yeah. >> she's well known. she's an athlete.
she's in great shape. she looks great. one would think that she could have the social life of whatever she wants. >> reporter: jones isn't the only abstinence addicted athlete. the most famous is footballer tim tebow. other celebs include tina fey and carrie underwood. sexy, single and celebite, jones is currently training for the 2012 london olympics and jokes that hollywood might be their next relationship. >> if they're making a sequel to 40-year-old virgin. i would love to. i'm a little bit awkward like steve carroll. i could definitely play that role. >> reporter: paula faris, abc news, new york. >> our thanks to paula faris, who by the way returns to this together with rob nelson. >> they're back and we get some sleep. coming up on "good morning america" -- the summer concert