tv Today NBC September 30, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EDT
good morning. breaking news. anwar al awlaki, one of the world's most wanted terrorists, has been killed in yemen. his death a damaging blow to al qaeda and a major victory for the u.s. we're live at the pentagon with the very latest. remarkable rescue. a california man pulled to safety six days after driving his car off a dangerous mountain road. he was found by his own children. >> i thought i heard a voice and i said hello and screamed down there. then someone said, help. >> this morning they're speaking about how they tracked down
their dad and how he survived for so long. on the case, two big tries that have the world watching, the amanda knox appeal almost at an end, the trial of michael jackson's doctor just beginning. each one producing exploding testimony and courtroom drama. we're live in italy and los angeles. "today," friday, september 30th. captions paid for by nbc-universal television >> and good morning, everyone. welcome to "today" on a friday morning, a special split edition. i'm matt lauer in italy. ann curry is about nine -- not about, exactly nine times away
in hours in los angeles covering the trial of michael jackson's lawyer. . >> we'll get to both of those trials, but first the death of the world's most wanted terrorists, matt. >> that's right, anwar al awlaki was a major player in the yemeni's terror network, an american-born al qaeda leader accused of inspiring several attacks against the united states including the failed bombing of the passenger jet back on christmas day in 2009, that jet bound for detroit. we want to get the very latest on this story right now. jim miklaszewski is live at the pentagon. what can you tell us? >> u.s. officials tell us and confirm the american military launched a drone strike at a convoy in the eastern province of yellen aimed at killing anwar al awlaki. nbc has been told by a senior official that in fact anwar al awlaki is dead. he has been an elusive target for years, many drone strikes
and other missile strikes were aimed at awlakiie but he always managed to escape and with this news today this would be a huge victory in the war against al qaeda. senior u.s. military and intelligence officials have said for some time now that al qaeda in yemen and the arabian peninsula poses the most serious terrorist threat to the united states, because not only are they committed to attacking americans in the u.s., but they also have the wherewithal to do that. matt? >> mik, let's make sure we understand awlakiie's role in the terrorist network. do american officials say he actually took part in the planning of attacks against u.s. interest or did he merely inspire some of those attacks by his words? >> no, absolutely. he was considered a hands on operator for al qaeda involved in every aspect of attempts to kill americans. he was behind that christmas day underwear bomber a cup of years ago, behind the plot in which explosives were packed in ink
cartridges to be mailed to the united states. he was also inspirational to others, it's believed, the ft. hood shooter, u.s. army major who killed 13 soldiers and other plots. he was far more than inspirational. as one u.s. intelligence official he got up every day with his only intent was to kill americans on u.s. soil. >> all right, jim miklaszewski at the pentagon with more on the killing of anwar al awlaki, jim, thank you very much. let's turn now to los angeles and ann. >> matt, thanks. here in california we're following an amazing story of survival, a 67-year-old man rescued from the bottom of a ravine nearly a week after reported missing and found by his very own determined children. we'll talk to them in just a moment. first nbc's kristen dahlgren is in valencia, california, with details. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, we're
told ladavid leveau is in good spirits. happy to be alive who when he went missing his children took matters into their own hands. >> i thought i heard a voice and i said hello, and i screamed down there. someone said help. >> reporter: that someone was david laveau a retired cable worker who rescuers pulled from the bottom of a cliff late thursday after his daughters heard his cry for help. >> if anyone can find our dad, it's us. with he stopped at every ravine. >> oh my god there's our dad. i looked down and i saw my dads acar. i finally got to him and of course i hugged him and we broet cried. i said, how did you make it? and he said, i drank the water in the river and i ate leaves and bugs. >> he asked for a chocolate milkshake. he said he tried to crawl up the hill with a broken bones.
>> reporter: lavau had been missing for nearly a week and family members set out to retrace the route from oxnard, california, in the hopes of covering a trail. they found him in castaic, nearly 50 miles away. >> he had to have had an accident and gone off the cliff and we were driving through and instantly heard someone yelling help from down below. >> i said dad we're going to be there. hang on. he just was crying and crying and so i just slid down. >> reporter: but at the bottom the grim future their father could have faced. lavau's blue car landed next to a silver one to a completely separate accident. the driver of the other car hadn't been so lucky, his decomposing body still in the vehicle. >> the family that's been wanting their father to know what happened, and now they have peace. i wish it was better peace, i'm sorry for that. >> reporter: california highway patrol is investigating the cause of lavau's accident.
>> supposedly just lost control there was a bright car and if you saw where the accident happened, several cars have gone off. >> this is a bad section of road. this has been the fourth incident i've been on here where we've had cars over the side. >> reporter: lavau was air lifted to henry mayo hospital suffering broken bones and dehydration, he's in stable condition and expected to recover. >> i don't think his life is in danger right now. he's in a great deal of pain, very dehydrated and very hungry. he didn't have a lot of resources to handle with it so he suffered through it. >> reporter: family and friends whose search efforts paid off glad lavau is alive because they took efforts into their own hands. >> we found him. no one else did. we did. >> reporter: the identity of the victim in that other car hasn't been released. as for lavau, broken ribs, dislocated shoulder, multiple fractures in his back but only expected to be in the hospital, ann, for another three or four
days. >> that's pretty amazing. kristen dal gran thank you so much. we have chardonnay, sean and lisa lavau all with us. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> the first question is how did you know to look in that particular area? sean? >> we actually would not have a show long enough to talk about how long that happened. it was joint efforts in many different directions, and putting together chardonnay and her husband, jesse, and morgan gonzalez and her girlfriend bethany, and me and jessica, and lisa, and her daughter, and just everything collaborated and ended up just joining forces and ended up actually meeting almost at the same spot within a half hour. it just, it just, we were just talking about it, getting ready for this and we're still baffled ourselves.
>> you were doing this even though authorities were conducting their own search. what made you decide to jump into the search yourself. >> actually i'll let my sister chardonnay talk about that. she really handled a lot of the beginning work of the missing persons as well as the detective work, so chardonnay, its eight yours. >> well, my goodness, where do you start. what happened first is that immediately when our stories matched up that we had a problem, that my father was missing, we were connected through to the missing persons homicide department in los angeles with detective harris. detective harris ended up work ing with us and being able to put things together and try to wean out what could have been foul play and what was the real issue, and once the stories started matching up and us realizing that my father was missing from a period of time,
that we were aware of certain things with text messages, that we were able to zero in and ping his towers of the satellite towers of the cell phone towers actually to be able to narrow down exactly where my father was coming through, and knowing that he was coming back through castaic. >> which is pretty amazing. so when you finally then got to this location, and you heard his voice for the first time, lisa, you want to take it? what was your reaction? >> well, i wish i could say that i was there. i was actually -- we went up to from 126 to the highway, and sean was getting out of his car at one area, so we had actually two cars and six people looking for my dad, so what happened is, one would go to one ravine and look over the hill and my daughter and i marquelle go to
the next ravine and look over and as i was looking at the ravine before my brother, i left that ravine and i see jessica coming up the street saying, "we found him." i get out of the car at that point and all i know is i can see my dad's car, and sean and him saying, go get 911. so i left at that moment and it was a long ride down the mountain. >> very amazing, and is it true that one of the first things your father asked for was chocolate milk? he must be a big fan of that. >> a whole lot. >> we really have to correct this one. my father's favorite thing is a chocolate malt. >> malt. >> oh. >> it wasn't chocolate milk. >> sorry. >> he loves his frosty freeze. >> specifically frosty freeze. >> i'm sure he's going to get a lot of those now. it's so great to hear what
you've done. i bet the next time you need a loan or to call in for money if you're on vacation your dad's going to probably be more likely to say yes after all of this. you are all three heroes. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. 2. >> thank you. all right, now once again here's matt. >> all right, ann, thank you very much. now to one of the trials that is capturing the world's attention, the murder conviction appeal of amanda knox in perugia. right now the prosecution is delivering its rebuttal in a courtroom not far from here. amanda knox will have her chance to address the court and deliver a statement probably on monday. we'll have our exclusive and very emotional interview with her parents in just a moment, but first let's find out more about what's taking place inside the courtroom. nbc's keith miller has been covering this trial and the one before it for the better part of four years. keith, good morning. >> good morning, matt. four extraordinary years and the drama doesn't stop. amanda knox is the only female american locked up here in italy for the charge of murder, but
the knox family is hoping the outcome of this appeals trial will reduce that number to zero. amanda knox in court this morning appearing pale and weak. so much so, one of her lawyers offered comfort with an embrace. her defense team has a reason to appear confident, after delivering a powerful summation of the case thursday, concluding knox should be set free. she got no sympathy from the prosecuti prosecution. on rebuttal this morning they forcefully argued the original dna evidence is valid. it is an argument the prosecution won't let go, despite a court appointed forensic scientist calling the work of italian crime scene investigators sloppy, and the dna results unreliable. the final days of this appeal trial sent hecentered almost entirely on knox's character.
the question being raised in court, is knox capable of murder. defense lawyers said knox had been crucified by the prosecution, attempting to justify wrongfully imprisoning her for murder. >> the assessment of all the evidence has been completely revised so therefore the scenario is completely different and we look forward to the appeal. >> reporter: another defense lawyer asked the judge and jury thursday to look at the knox family, sitting in the front row of the courtroom. they are terrified, he said, also victims of this crime. it was a moving court performance that left knox's family in tears. and earned one defense lawyer a kiss of gratitude from italy's most know tierious defendant. and one of the most dramatic moments in court this morning, the prosecutors saying not just his team but some people in seattle thought that amanda knox was guilty and he went on to say that her back is covered and she
just may walk saying "once again it's the black man who will take the fall." that man is rudy guede, sentenced to 16 years in prison. >> playing the rates card. clearly the prosecution and the defense pulling out all the stops. >> this is knockout time. they know it's do or die. she will walk free or they'll keep her locked up for life >> keith miller thank you very much. after another very tense day in court on thursday, i caught up with amanda's parents, and at this stage of the appeal i think you'll see their emotions are clearly very close to the surface.ñi what is the one piece of evidence that you have heard in this appeal or in the first trial or what is the one key lack of evidence that you think vindicates your daughter? >> common sense. that's the thing that is missing especially in the first trial,
and to use the theory of the prosecution, four people inside a very small room, one person fighting for their life, three people, i'm sure their adrenalin's running, and for amanda and rafaelle to leave nothing in that room, no hair, no blood, no saliva, nothing, no fingerprints, anything, it's physically impossible to take place. and to me, that is just pure common sense. >> she's going to get a chance to stand up in court in the next couple of days. >> yes. >> after 1,400 plus days in prison, she's going to get to state her case. >> right. >> first of all, how do you think, knowing your daughter, she will steel her nerves? think about that moment and what's at stake? >> i don't expect her to steel her nerves. you know, it's actually going to be very painful to listen to.
>> but you say it's going to be hard for you, and part of me as a dad would say my daughter's going to get a chance. >> um-hum. >> to speak her mind and speak from the heart. >> yep. >> why is it going to be so hard for you to hear it? >> because she's literally fighting tfor her life. >> she is totally terrified by what's happening to her, and the fact that this is important, that she get up and try to say exactly what she's feeling and thinking. even though it's a good thing that she can speak, we will see the pain or hear the pain in her voice, and it's like watching your child be tortured. >> there was a point this morning where the judge in the case was listening to one of amanda's lawyers, and he was nodding his head. now, you're smiling. he seemed to be nodding in agreement. have you guys, first of all, did you see it? >> i heard it. i heard about it, because people were -- >> other people saw it, yes. >> people were astounded because
he is so stoic and does not show expression and to have him nod is like phenomenal. >> big. >> which raised the request he in my mind, have you two and the rest of your family become expert tea leaf readers? do you look for every facial expression, every piece of body language from the judge and the jurors to try and get a hint as to what's going through their mind, even though you don't understand a lot of what's being said. >> absolutely, because that's one piece that we can see. we watched how the jurors and the judge reacted when the prosecution was presenting, because like you said we can't understand most of it and we only get little updates in english to us so we spend a lot of time just looking at these people and so then we were then comparing how they were reacting when the defense presented. >> they stare at amanda constantly. that's what i noticed in court, constantly looking for her reaction. >> amanda really hasn't showed a lot of emotion to them, you
know, she's been fairly stoic herself. you know especially when lamumba's lawyer was just assaulting her character she winced you know at things being said about her that are just so untrue. >> the next few days are going to be a turning point in your lives. you're either going to get to take amanda home or she's going to remain in prison for a very long time, pending a final appeal. >> right. >> right. >> if it comes to that, can you go through this again? >> we will. >> we will. >> it does not matter. we'll find a way. she's not staying here. period. >> i mean, you know, amanda will find a way to live through it, if she can do that, you know, that's the least that we can do. we're not stopping, and no parent would. if you had a kid who you knew was innocent, wouldn't you do everything that you could to help them?
everything. you just don't stop. >> we're going to have much more of our exclusive interview with amanda knox's parents later in the show and don't forget of course on monday where we're expecting the verdict in this murder conviction appeal. special coverage here on "today" and on nbc news. back to new york, natalie morales is standing by at the news desk with a look at the other headlines. good morning to you. >> good morning to you, matt and everyone. an oregon couple is facing up to six years in prison for the faith healing death of their son. dale and shahhon hickman were convicted of manslaughter thursday. the couple relied on prayer alone when the newborn delivered watt his grandmother's house and developed breathing trouble. the baby would have had 99% chance of survival with proper medical care. the justice department is being asked to investigate chief justice clarence thomas, may
have violated ethic s when his wife accepted from a think tank. a monthly fee for $35 for using debit cards when they shop, consumer advocates say the move could pave the way for others to do likewise. check out this, after exchanging words with two opponents, the player in red steps on an opponent's foot, the victim waits a second, falls to the ground. must have worked because the other guy was penalizes. that's an example we're seen a little too much in soccer. 7:it 1 right now, let's go back outside to al for a check of the weather. >> thanks so much, global kids here, globalkids.org. let's find out what's happening for your weather today, we've got basically a gorgeous day out west, record highs in the
plains, wet and cool here in the northeast, and great lakes, could see some flooding. the sunshine continues down through texas, we'll see a few showers and thunderstorms in southern texas, the heat is back in the southwest, 101 in pho >> good morning. we're watching a cold front come out of the mountains. the best chance of rain will be in the mountains. >> now let answer head back to ann in los angeles. >> all right, al, thank you so much. just ahead, here from los angeles a key witness at the trial of michael jackson's doctor, claims he was ordered to gather the singer's medications
>> good morning, everybody. i'm sam stovall -- stan stovall. here is a look at one of our top stories. a group of alleged arsonists are at large and police say they are targeting victims at random. since mid september, nine homes have been hit with molotov cocktails. most of the incident occurred in the northwest section of the city.
so far, there has been no significant property damage and no reports of injuries. police do not have a description of the suspects but they are asking everyone to keep an eye out and to call if they see anyone or anything suspicious. let's get a check of the morning commute. here is traffic pulse 11. >> we have a couple of situations. one that just cleared, 895 northbound at the harbor tunnel, a disabled vehicle has been cleared and traffic is back open. hollins ferry at hammons ferry, a crash. 795 at owings mills, press. peddicoat between walfield and kinfield -- and route 23 at grafton shop pro. and 50 right at 97 a crash we are dealing with as well. a crash out -- and look outside the beltway. it the west side. the delays are easing somewhat. switching to the topside of the
harford, slow from harford to providence. over to you. >> good morning. a nice change for us this friday morning. still a little cloud cover but no fog or rain, so it should be a smooth morning commute. 58 at the airport, 62 catonsville. most of you what a pretty nice day but there will be a friend's going through by the middle of the day. i will put a 20% chance of rain shower. otherwise, and the clouds and sunshine and a high temperature of around 74 degrees. going into the weekend, significant change saturday and sunday at high temperatures will be in the 50's and still al
7:30 now on this friday morning, september 30th, 2011, as we move down rockefeller plaza, a chance to wave hello with the friends and family back home. i'm ann curry in los angeles. matt is in perugia this morning. hey, matt. >> how are you ann? sorry, fighting the sun a little bit. coming up, much more of our emotional interview with et etta mellis and curt knox. also we'll give you a lay of the land in the courtroom and show
you where the key players are situated while this appeal is ongoing and also take to you a house that has now become one of the most infamous crime scenes in all of italy. coming up soon. ann? >> thanks a lot, matt. also ahead we'll hear from the key witness who took center stage in the trial of michael jackson's doctor on thursday and also what he told the court could bolster the prosecution's case so in a moment we'll have exclusive live interview with a member of dr. murray's defense team but first we want to get a full report now on what happened yesterday from nbc's jeff rossen with the latest. jeff, good morning to you. >> ann, good to see new los angeles. seems like every single day there's a new big headline coming out of the trial in the court behind us. the latest one comes from michael jackson's own bodyguard. he was in the room when michael jackson died, when he stopped breathing and he says when that happened, dr. murray made a stunning request. pack up all the drugs. this is michael jackson's
bodyguard on the job, protecting the pop star, but on june 25th, 2009, there was nothing alberto alvarez could do to save his boss. >> he was laying on his back with his hands extended out. >> reporter: he is the prosecution's key witness on the stand thursday. alvarez told the jury when michael stopped breathing, dr. murray grabbed the medicine. >> did he then instruct you to take some vials or do something with some vials? >> yes, while i was standing at the foot of the bed he reached over and grabbed a handful of vials, and then he reached out to me and said, "here, put these in a bag." >> reporter: prosecutors say murray was trying to hide the evidence before calling 911 and recruited alvarez to help. >> he then pointed toward the i.v. stand and he said now get that bag or move that bag and put it in the blue bag, that at the bottom of the bag what
appeared to me a milky white substance. >> reporter: the milky white substance prosecutors say was the powerful anesthetic propofol. >> what did you think the items were being packed up for, if anything in. >> i thought we were packing to get him ready to go to the hospital. >> reporter: prosecutors say the drugs never made it to the hospital and dr. murray repeatedly lied to emergency workers, concealing the drugs, they say, and covering up his crime. >> this evidence in conjunction with other evidence is going to show that when his client needed to be revived he didn't care. all he was thinking about was himself. >> reporter: but dr. murray's defense attorney ham everydmere. alvarez's story. >> is it possible you are confused about the timing of these particular events? is that possible? >> no, sir. >> reporter: the defense claims dr. murray asked alvarez to call 911 immediately and alvarez told the jury that part's true. >> he said "alberto, hurry, we
have to get him to a hospital, we have to get an ambulance." >> reporter: alvarez admits he didn't call right away, distracted by michael's children. there they were, prince and paris, standing in the doorway, watching their father die. >> paris screamed out, "daddy!" >> reporter: alvarez got emotional. >> bewhen you heard paris screa out "daddy," was she crying? >> reporter: yes, sir. >> reporter: that's when he called 911. . >> he's pumpings his chest but it's not doing anything. >> reporter: two hours later he was pronounced dead. >> did you speak to conrad murray following his bed? he said "thank you for your help" and "we did our best."
>> reporter: dr. conrad murray claims his innocence and says he did nothing wrong. the defense says michael jackson gave himself a lethal dose of propofol. the trial is progressing right on schedule, ann, as we finish this first week, several more weeks of testimony left. >> jeff rossen thank you so much. matt alford is a member of the defense team. >> good morning. >> seems as though yesterday was not a good day for your client. i wonder how you're planning to recover from the testimony of getting the vials before calling 911. >> the problem is mr. alvarez his story has continued to evolve over time. he gave a brief statement initially and it wasn't until two months later when he had gotten together with the lawyer, heard about the potential
charges coming against dr. murray and he goes in and tells this new version of the facts, and then in the preliminary hearing he adds more. now he's in court adding more to it. kind of like the old adage mark twain said, i have such a good thing i remember things that never even happened. >> given the he said/he said nature of this kind of testimony and you're saying now you're going to poke holes into the credibility of the security guard. >> absolutely. >> given the he said/he said nature do you have to call conrad murray to the stand? >> no. >> he does not have to testify. >> you never make that decision in a case. a case is evolving during the entire trial. you're always preparing your client for potential that he may wish to testify, which is actually his right to make that decision, not the lawyer. >> what will make you decide whether or not he testifies, what will be the linchpin? >> for example if we feel the state hasn't proven their case there's not a chance we'll subject him to the skilled
cross-examination of the d.a.s here in l.a. county and that's generally the major factor is we know that the jury knows, and this is a smart jury, that they know that the state of california has not proven the case. >> by his own admission your client, dr. conrad murray has said that he was giving michael jackson this drug, propofol. >> that's right. >> at his home during the, for two months prior to his death on almost a nightly basis so how is that not reckless and negligent, which is part of the definition of involuntary manslaughter? >> well, it's not in and of itself reckless or negligent or to the level of gross negligence. he did admit doing that. he also if you recall, he was -- michael jackson was addicted, if not physically, at least mentally to propofol. there's no question about that, that he felt he needed it to sleep. dr. murray was attempting from june 22nd to wean him off
propofol, so therefore, do you immediately pull an addict away or do you try to wean them off? >> well, okay, let's ask the question this way. given the audiotape that dr. murray himself took with his cell phone. >> right. >> which we hear michael jackson woozy, clearly out, not himself, what can justify why a doctor would give that patient these kinds of medications, hearing what that, the voice of michael jackson as we heard on that audiotape, why is that not negligent own recklesogniz and ? >> like i said we weren't part of the scenario. we come in after the fact. >> absolutely but he was a doctor. >> he was michael jackson's doctor. even the celebrity you are, ann, we don't know the relationship between a doctor and a patient looic that. michael jackson can't go down to the doc on the box in the corner and seek treatment.
if michael jackson -- you hear from so many people if michael jackson didn't get what michael jackson thought he needed, then you were no longer with michael jackson. >> but that's a moral decision that a person needs to make as a doctor. >> and dr. murray made that decision to try to help his patient and friend of three years to help him away from this life that he had gotten himself into. dr. murray tapes that. when people say he taped it, what was he going to do, sell it or whatever he was going to do? what do you think would be the best evidence, if you were an addict, the morning after, say you're an alcoholic, someone tapes you the night you can't even remember, you've blacked out and the next morning you go, ann, take a listen to yourself. take a listen to that. you hear that. that may be the linchpin that you say my god, i didn't know it had gotten to this. i do need help. >> thank you so much. we look forward to talking to you more about this. >> thanks for the opportunitily to come on and finally get a little bit out there from our
side. >> thanks. much more from los angeles later. for now let's go back to new york and for a check of the weather with al. hey al. >> today's weather is brought to you by massage envy. from stress relief to healthier skin, massage envy is here for you. you can find nationwide locations at massageenvy.com. >> we still have hurricane ophelia to talk about, right now, it's a category 2 storm, 100 mile per hour winds moving north-northwest at 9 miles per hour. the path of the storm right now will take it to the east of bermuda between saturday and sunday morning, but we still have to keep an eye on that. we're also looking at record high temperatures out west, boise, idaho, 91. 92 in great falls, temperatures 15 to 30 degrees above normal, out to the east we've got cooler than normal temperatures, windy and wet, detroit 52. 59 in chicago, green bay will see a high of 51 degrees today.
>> good morning. we have a chance for a sprinkle. a mixture of sun and clouds. >> well it's starting to feel a little more like fall in this part of the country, that means sunday night football night in america. we've got a good one for you, the jets fly into ravens m&t bank stadium, so big it goes off the graphic. partly cloudy, 30% chance of showers, temperatures in the upper 40s on sunday night football night in america. matt?
>> all right, al, thank you very much. still to come, kate dazzles at her second formal royal engagement since the big wedding. we're live at buckle ham palace with more on that. and then the first lady michelle obama makes a surprise trip to target. we'll tell you about that. but first these messages. ahh, one. two. three. one. two. and, three. [ male announcer ] with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card,
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at cousin everett's blueberry farm, to talk about our blueberry juice drinks. they're made with my sweet, ripe blueberries, picked right from the bush, and they're good for you. taste real good, too! to give you an idea, let's whip up a quick sample. or you could just try this. [ chuckles ] yeah. ocean spray blueberry juice drinks -- real blueberries, real good. welcome back to a special edition of "today" on this friday morning.
now to the duke and duchess of cambridge adjusting to life in the spotlight, that of course includes charity work. prince william and kate have followed in the footsteps of princess diana visiting a place she cared deeply about. nbc's michelle kosinski is at buckingham palace with more. >> reporter: good morning. inevitably there are comparisons to princess diana, now the young prince and princess touchingly taking over the visits to children. here prince william is the star, cracking jokes,ing the room. catherine was the shy, serious one. as sleek as ever -- the couple of the moment make only their second formal appearance at home since their wedding. this visit is dear to william's heart. >> make sure you get a copy of
this. >> reporter: meet with children battling cancer where he has stepped into his mother's role as president of the trust. here in the same place, making her first solo appearance as a princess, almost 30 years ago. this hospital was also one of her last appearances before she died. this people's princess also dazzled in an understated gram russ form fitting dress all seriousness and concern. >> she was like if you need anything come to me, come to us. >> reporter: that's great. sounds like an invite to the palace >> it does, yeah. >> reporter: while william was right at ease, talking sports, video games, making everyone laugh. despite having been up all night flying two rescue missions and maybe having to touch the hair and tie a tad. catherine was downright shy,
much more relaxed outside. we haven't seen a lot of the couple lately, though over the weekend at a friend's wedding, kate was regal in red and pricey prada shoes. this is her job now and how did the duchess do? >> i think she's doing a fabulous job already. >> i love kate. i love kate. >> reporter: she's gotten the style thing down. it's her warmth and ease with strangers that they'll develop, as she too, walks in the footsteps left by another beautiful princess, not so long ago. apparently all the glamour and magazine covers haven't changed catherine all that much. a fashion blogger saw kate in a low-end clothing store that she tried on stuff in the dressing rooms just like anybody else and when she went to pay show that had a bunch of rewards cards, and she said she had so many of them she had to sift through to
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virginia. nbc's kelly o'donnell is in alexandria, virginia, with the details. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. there is obama has said she likes to do normal things that aren't a part of her white house life, but those trips have been pretty much a secret until now. it turns out the first lady's to do list included this virginia shopping center. check this out. behind those dark glasses, tucked under that nike cap, one of the world's most famous women. yes that is the first lady of the united states at target. >> when you have a photo of the first lady out of context there's a bit of a wow factor. >> reporter: like any mom except her aide was juggling not one but two blackberries. secret service agents were blended down in casual clothes. she spent 40 minutes in the store unnoticed by other shoppers. sources say she was recognized only by the cashier and a photographer from the associated
press who worked sources to find out she was there and really the only way they can go out and shop is if it is in cognito, on the fly, with no one paying attention. >> reporter: aides say mrs. obama likes to get out and run errands. on this trip she bought dog food and treats for bo. she has wax nottal ja before moving to the white house. >> i drove my own car, took the kids to school every day, went to target. >> reporter: no disguise when she visited high-end stores in europe. mrs. obama's much admired taste inspires trends. >> this is a gap dress. >> reporter: her fondness for affordable clothes. >> he'll be happy to know like this is like a $30 dress. >> reporter: specific brands have been part of her appeal. >> this is a j. drew ensemble, thank you. you can get some good stuff online. >> reporter: another style icon
middleton makes all the tabloids when she pushes her own grocery cart. doing ordinary things in tough economic times can be good for a public image. >> it's great pr for them, because they can say look, on this trip and others, we know what's going on outside the gates of the white house. >> reporter: and other first ladies have had that same desire. we're told hillary clinton was spotted wearing dark glasses taking walks outside the white house. laura bush was seen at a pottery barn shopping in georgetown but there were no pictures and because this wasn't an announced trip they didn't need the same security they'd have at a typical event so she was able to hide behind those glasses. >> she likes a good bargain like all of us. >> you know what was in the basket? >> i hear she bought toys and food for bo and other items and walked around the store for 30 minutes and the cashier was the only person to recognize her. >> mrs. obama could i see i.d.
in. >> what about that disguise? ann talks to ellen, just ahead, after your local news. i think it might be broken. or maybe it's trying to tell you something. yeah, but what could it be trying... oh, i left my 401(k) at my old job. and i left a jacket on the back of my door. but i think the line is talking about my 401(k). leave a 401(k) behind? roll it over with the company that's helping more people reach retirement than anyone else. when it comes to investing, never settle. fidelity investments. [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ laughs ] that's awesome. you can read that? ♪ [ female announcer ] the accufit digital system, exclusively at lenscrafters... is about 5 times more precise than manual measurement techniques. lenscrafters. than manual measurement techniques. sometimes life can be well, a little uncomfortable. but when it's hard or hurts to go to the bathroom, there's dulcolax stool softener. dulcolax stool softener doesn't make you go, it just makes it easier to go. dulcolax stool softener.
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>> good morning. i'm mindy basara. let's get a check on the morning commute with traffic pulse 11. >> good morning, everyone. things starting to clear up actually. we do have a crash in parkton and old york road and lentz, and a fire persisting in nottingham, pinemont walfield and kinfield. we are seeing delays around the area, as leslie outer loop in
the northeast corner -- 27 minutes from 95 to 83, six minutes between the harbor tunnel and the beltway on the south side. but looking good 95 southbound between the harbour town golf and 95 on the south side, nine minutes. a live look at 95 in white marsh. it looks like no delays. we were seeing some earlier but looks like southbound traffic going away from us looks fine. here at harford road, looks like a slow go along the outer loop. delays from harford back to providence. that is the latest. >> a fine start this friday, unlike the last couple of mornings. do not have low clouds or drizzle. temperatures much cooler -- 59 at the airport. same thing at randallstown. a friend coming through in the middle of the day. 20% chance for a shower. a mixture of clouds and sunshine. southwest winds of 10 to 15 miles an hour.
8:00 now on a friday morning, 30th day of september. look at some of the nice people who gathered outside our studio in rockefeller plaza, big crowd on a friday morning. we thank those people for being there. i know al has been spending some time with them. meanwhile i'm matt lauer in perugia, italy, trying to give you a lay of the land here. i'm in italy, ann is live out in los angeles. i mentioned al and natalie are in new york, and coming up in just a couple minutes we'll take to you some of the places at the center of the amanda knox murder
conviction apeople case. we'll travel to the house where amanda and meredith kercher lived together and where tragedy meredith was kercher was killed in 2000. we'll take you inside the courtroom where amanda knox was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison. it is now why where shoo is he fighting for her freedom. we'll have much more with her parents. also this morning a tragic case in san diego, a woman found at an historic mansion hanging, her hands tied behind her back. authorities ruled it a suicide but the woman's family believes she may have been killed. they'll tell us why in an exclusive live interview coming up. first that health scare for ellen degeneres, she called paramedics to her office after experiencing chest pains. we visited ellen's show on thursday and we talked to her about it. let's take a look.
listen i go the to tell you before i do anything else, got to give you the you know, on behalf of everyone. we were worried about you the beginning of the week. >> i'm fine. it got out of control, turned into something totally different. >> reporter: you had to go to the doctor. >> i'm fine, i'm good. >> reporter: all right, don't scare us like that. no more. >> i just wanted to see how much people love me. >> reporter: and we love you a lot. and we're going to have more with ellen with an interview next week. first let's get a check of the morning's top stories from natalie at the news desk. >> good morning to you, ann, good morning everyone. one of the most notorious terrorists, is dead. anwar al awlaki was killed in a u.s. drone strike in yemen today. al awlaki has been linked to several plots in u.s. including the underwear bombings and 2009 shootings at ft. hood. a 67-year-old man is being
hailed as a miracle survivor today. late thursday david lavau was pulled from the bottom of a california ravine days after his car plunged for 150 feet down. he may have been there for six days, drinking creek water and eating leaves and bugs. his injuries are not life n life-threateni life-threatening. thursday michael jackson's former body guard testified dr. conrad murray ordered him to pack up a bag of med sign vials after jackson stopped breathing. prosecutors argued murray wanted to conceal he was giving jackson a power of the anesthetic. murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter. meantime a visibly and pale amanda knox appeared in court for the continuation of today's trial. independent experts called the
prosecution's dna evidence unreliable. according to a new report tina fey and eva lon goria made $13 million in the past year making them tv's highest paid actresses. youtube is louie the cat with two faces turns 12 this month. giselle bungeon urges women who maxed out their credit cards to break the news to their husband husbands in lingerie and heels. our pick of the day, laredo, texas, isolated temhunderstorms
temperatures upper 90s. we'll get showers in the northeast, look for clouds in the pacific northwest, beautiful day i should say actually. record highs in the plains, the heat continues in the central u.s. but we're going to actually see cooler conditions around the great lakes on into the central mississippi river valley and the >> good morning. we're watching a cold front come out of the mountains. the best chance of rain will be in the mountains. >> and that's your latest weather. ann? >> all right, al, thank you so much. coming up next a woman's
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the cream hydrates to firm at night. gravity doesn't stand a chance. regenerist, from olay. we're back now the family tragedy that played out in an historic mansion near san diego. it began with a 6-year-old boy died from injuries suffered in a fall. the woman who was caring for him was later found hanged, her hands and feet bound. investigators ruled her death a suicide, but the woman's family believes she may have been murdered. we'll be talking to them exclusively in just a moment. first nbc's lee cowan is in san diego with details. lee, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, ann. everything about this case is unusual to say the least, after all how does a woman tie her own hands behind her back and then hang herself? as improbable as that may sound investigators say that's what it suggests. the families say there is more
to this story that investigators ignored. at this cemetery, a long way from the historic mansion sits a grave so fresh it's still unmarked. rebecca zehao was 32 when her sister mary found she was hanging, naked, hanging from a rope, hands tied around her back. >> i said that's not possible. >> reporter: it began with the death of a 6-year-old boy, max, the son of rebecca's boyfriend. he was in her car when max tripped and fell over a second floor railing, an accident that eventually claimed his life. investigators say rebecca was so upset she took her own life. as improbable as it sounds, they believe rebecca tied herself up, even copied the knots and videotaped it to prove it could be done. >> based on the information and evidence we have, we believe this case is a suicide. >> reporter: rebecca's family
maintains investigators got it all wrong. rebecca was happy and healthy. suicide, they say, was against her beliefs. >> we believe rebecca was killed, and we owe it to her to find what really happened to her. >> reporter: the sheriff's department ruled there was no evidence of murder, no fingerprints or dna but there was a bizarre message scrolled across the bedroom door, "she saved him. can he save her." not own investigators know what that means. the court reporters indicate there were cuts and bruises on rebecca's body. >> she was fighting something or struggling against something to have those contusions. >> reporter: investigators don't so see them as significant and neither did a medical examiner we asked to review the case. >> i don't think you can reasonably come to the conclusion based on evaluating these abrasions and bruises that it means that a struggle occurred. >> reporter: but the family also
has questions about a woman's cry for help, a neighbor reportedly heard that night. detectives investigated that possibility but say it was teens playing on a mereby beach instead. >> we now believe that it was unrelated to what happened at the mansion. >> reporter: and then there's the blood the coroners said had pooled in her back. if she died hanging, it would have pooled in her legs and ankles instead but investigators explained that away, too, saying when zahau was cut down she lay on her back for hours. still her family doesn't buy it. >> i truly believe the suicide was staged. i truly believe someone wanted to make it look like my sister committed a suicide. >> reporter: what the family is asking for now is a brand new investigation, this time being done by an independent agency instead. for now the case remains officially closed unless new evidence comes to light. ann? >> lee cowan, thank you so much.
we're now joined by rebecca's sister and brother-in-law, mary and doug and their attorney anne br bremner. >> thank you for being here i know this is a tough time. you heard the answers to all of these questions that have been raised. why do you still maintain that your sister's death was not a suicide? >> because i know my sister, and i had spoken to her the day before she died, and we had conversations about vacations, holidays, and upcoming visits. she went about her day as normal routine, and they are telling me that my sister has came up with this elaborate plan within a two-hour time frame window without tell anyone, without any history of psychiatric problems, any psychiatric medications or any previous attempts for suicides. >> nevertheless, there was this
terrible experience, having the death, actually the accident of a little boy, who would eventually die, who was in the house essentially in her care. >> um-hum. >> why don't you believe that would have been enough, given the reporting from the investigators that there was a phone call to her phone shortly before her death, that it didn't look good for the little boy, for little max. >> that phone call nobody knows what that phone call says and nobody knows what that voice mail says because it's been erased so it's all assumption, and as far as what has been said, we don't know, and my sister, i know my sister, that she would not commit suicide because there was a tragedy such as that, especially when she thinks it was hopeful that day, and she was looking forward for the ct scan the next day that was going to happen. >> how do you no he that she was hopeful the day she died? >> she texted throughout the day. we had conversations throughout the day. she also e-mailed my other sister in germany telling all of to us pray because it's looking
very hopeful. >> doug you're a police officer. >> yes. >> you look at this kind of stuff. >> yes. >> how do you assess it from where you sit in this position of being a husband and also the brother-in-law of this woman who died? >> i would like to have the police reports to make an opinion from that. >> you want a copy of the police reports? >> yes, i do. >> why do you think you deserve a copy of the police report and most people get a copy? >> the case is closed. i don't understand why we don't have them. >> why don't you believe, see this is the thing, you're a police officer. you're raising questions about whether the police officers, the investigators in this case can be trusted, when you say you want a copy of the police report. why do you doubt whether they did due diligence in this work? mary? >> because they told us about their suicide conclusion by the time we got to san diego, which was the second day we got there, and they came and talked to us within a few days and they have
already made up their mind that it was a suicide without any of the information, without any of the investigation. and they also omitted to tell us a lot of things such as adam passing the lie detector test with flying colors, and in record time, and that is not what it is, and the warrant came out and it was inconclusive. >> so you're saying that you feel that the authorities did not give you the truth or the complete truth on everything that you asked them. >> exactly, exactly. and several things were omitted especially when we asked the question specifically about details of her autopsy and when the autopsy report came out we found out about the trauma to her head, tape residue on her legs, but no tape at the crime scene. where is the tape? why would my sister bind her feet with the tape first and decide oh, by the way i'm going to switch that over to a rope? i mean, what is the reasoning to are that? >> you have so many questions you're saying that have not been answered.
anne, this case is technically closed. it has been ruled a suicide, and the boyfriend of the woman who died, your sister, mary, you know, actually had asked the a.g. for, to review the investigation, and the decision was made that we don't need to review the investigation so why are you still talking about this? >> we're asking for an independent investigation. the boyfriend asked for a review and didn't allege there was any problem with the underlying investigation. that means the a.g. won't review it under the law. he said there wasn't issue, he had confidence in it so that's why the review watts denied, he was asking for something that couldn't happen under the law. we want an independent investigation just like in the michael jackson death case with the attorney general. there are so many questions in this case, the blood settled in her back, the doctor said she had blunt force trauma to her head, inconsistent with hanging. this would take a slicirque du
soleil contortionist to do this, roped to a bed going over the side, there's two witnesses that heard her cry for help. >> independent investigator its, including independent medical examiners have taken each one of those point by point and have said it's possible, it's explainable, and so this is obviously something that is going to still be discussed and continued. thank you so much all of you for joining us. i know it's not a lot are time for you and mary, very sorry for your loss. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we'll have more information about this case on our website today.com, and we are going to be right back. my sister's new boyfriend told her that he thinks
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and putting everything through everything before we stand behind anything. doing things right has always defined what we do. and now it defines how we ship. announcing free shipping. ♪ no minimum order. no end date. from l.l. bean. welcome back to perugia, italy, after nine months of hearings the appeal of amanda knox's murder conviction is in its final days, it is the talk of the city and we paid a visit to the place where this case began. amanda knox and meredith kercher lived together in this house on a hillside not far from the center of perugia. they didn't know each other until amanda rented a room upstairs next door to merediths. it's the room past the mattress
on the patio. november 1st, 2007, meredith went to din we are friends. the very next day she was found dead on the floor of that bedroom, the result of multiple stab wounds. four days later, amanda knox and her boyfriend, raffaele sollecito, were arrested and charged with the murder. the house w declared a crime scene and closed off for a year and a half. the first trial of amanda knox and raffaele sollecito was a sensation, covered by journalists from all around the world. it took place in this building just across the street in the center of perugia, built in the 1400s, you wouldn't even know it's a courthouse except for the constant media presence outside. in december 2009 they were convicted of murder and amanda sentenced to 26 years in prison. today in the same courthouse in the same courtroom, they're appealing that conviction. as you walk down three flights of stairs into the basement of this building that used to be a university, you're struck by the contradiction, on the one hand
there's the old world architecture, the frescos on the walls surrounding you. on the other hand there's the modern technology. this place is wired with cameras to capture what goes on here. it's a cramped, small courtroom. when court is in session it's packed. you can smell cigarette smoke and what people had for lunch. the judge and assistant judge sit up front surrounded by jurors and alternate jurors. here at the defense tables amanda knox sits there, raffaele sollecito sits there surrounded by their legal teams and over there you'll find the family members, amanda knox's parents witnessing an event they can't imagine in a language they can't understand. when we come back we'll have more of our exclusive interview with amanda knox's parents and they'll talk about that, the frustration they have sitting in the courtroom knowing their daughter's very freedom hangs in the balance, not being able to understand the language spoken in that courtroom. but right now, let's go back to ann in los angeles.
>> all right, matt, thank you so much. coming up, a mom who reinvented herself as an escape artist, tries to break free from her chains life on our plaza. that's coming up after your local news. >> good morning. i'm mindy basara. let's get a final check on your morning commute with traffic pulse 11. >> good morning. in parkton a serious crash, and old york road in shutdown, all lanes block between lentz and bond road. in towson, a crash in a roundabout and nottingham, fire activity in pinemont between walfield and kinfield road.
in this city, a crash at reisterstown and pennsylvania. another crash northbound 95 just approaching washington boulevard. delays at outer loop northeast corner, 16 minutes, and 6 minutes 95 southbound. we will give you a live look at the west side of the beltway. looks like the truck fire is not delaying things too badly. topside of the belt way, delays are clearing but you see breaks from harvard to providence. tony? >> new hampshire change this friday morning. we got rid of the low clouds, fog, drizzle and it is ok. 59 at the airport. this afternoon we will make it into the 70's. high-temperature right to run 74. 20% chance for a shower but most of you will not see that. at the front will not temperatures back to the 50's over the weekend both saturday and sunday with scattered
gathering supplies. for details head to our website at today.com. i'm ann curry, in the meantime in los angeles, matt is in perug perugia,ity lathis morning and al and is on the plaza. matt to you. coming up more of our exclusive interview with the parents of amanda knox, ed ta mellas and curt knox. they'll talk about sitting in the courtroom for hours and hours and not being able to understand the proceedings because of course the language being spoken is italian, a language they don't understand. we'll talk about an emotional moment in court on thursday, when we talk to her parents and don't forget on monday, when we expect a verdict in this appeals case. we will have complete coverage for you right here on "today." ann -- natalie, excuse me, back
to you. >> a lot of anxious moments. plus from here in new york how much influence do you have over your friends and your neighbors about the things that they buy you? >> none. >> no keeping up with the jon joneses? none of that. a family who secretly pushed products and their friends during their everyday lives and reaction from their friends. they're all still friends. >> worry being product placement. >> they're selling you, it's a really interesting experiment about how much we really do influence people. >> wow. and talk about reinventing yourself, we got the story of a mom who decided to tap her inner amazing randy and become a great escape artist. she's here, in 50 plus pounds of chains and locks to show us her amazing skills. >> all right. we'll get to madam houdini in a minute. first a check of the weather. >> we have nice friends.
where are you from? >> denver, colorado. >> that's great. any special reason you're here in. >> yes. >> his birthday. >> what else? >> i had something i wanted to say. >> ooh. >> angie, i love you so much. i want to spend the rest of my life with you. >> oh, geez. >> i want to make you feel as special as you make me feel every day. angie miller, will you marry me. >> yes! >> all right! how long have you guys been dating? >> about nine years. >> wow! you've been here before, angie? >> no, actually. >> that's terrific. congratulations. >> many years of happiness. aren't you going to put the ring on the finger? come on we got to see what it looks like. >> what's your name? >> nathan. >> nathan is a smart guy.
he didn't take anything to chance. he wrote it down. he wrote down what he was going to say. he's got a little cheat sheet. that's beautiful because you know what, i baubled mine. you're a smart guy, a smart guy. >> i was wondering what that was. i thought that was a price tag. that was good. oh, she's still in shock. >> twe use a prompter >> good morning. we have a chance for a sprinkle. a mixture of sun and clouds. >> you've got a secret? >> i do have a secret. >> what's that?
>> i haven't told anybody at work but i'm going to have a baby. surprise! >> you're having a baby. is this your first? >> yes. >> congratulations. >> does your husband know? >> no. >> you don't want to say anything to him? >> congratulations? >> surprise! surprise! >> man, do you have anything for us? >> i got nothing. zero. nice to have you guys here. all right. coming right up still we're going to be talking about the influence that our neighbors actually can have on us. are your friends pushing some products on you? you never know. first this is "today" on nbc. in one day, i could have three auditions. and, it's really important that you go in looking like the role. i go straight to t.j.maxx. i find what i'm looking for. done. it's amazing to find so many gorgeous designer clothes. i'm like dut, dut, dut...
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"have you been brainwashed" pushing products on unsuspecting neighbors. marctin lindstrom has done this and they look at this experiment. >> a household 35 hidden cameras, 17 microphone, a crew of 15 running around hiding in the background, in the bushes, in the garage. >> reporter: a marketing project that went inside a real family's home, inside real lives with one goal, to have them influence the lives of others. to show how people are most vulnerable in their own environment, when they're unaware a commercial message is sneaking into their heads. >> i was looking for genuine, i was looking for real. i was looking for a family that is open-minded and open to the process. >> reporter: the perfect family had been found, a replacement
jones family, except for one important detail. they were the living breathing real time deal. >> no scripts, we simply rolled the cameras and taped all the interaction its, everything in real time. >> reporter: a series of events took place at the mortensens. friends and strangers were invited, specially selected brands were the stars of the show. the secret set, everything ready and in place, but would the fish bite? >> this experiment was conducted for martin's new book "brandwashed" tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy. also with us gina and eric morganson and still friends elise and morten madrid.
why did you do this in. >> i wanted to prove most of the stuff we do every day is not controlled by ourselves but by someone else. we are so affected by what everyone around us tells us, and we're not aware of it. >> you found the perfect family. what it was about the morgansons that attracted you? >> they were good looking. >> number one. >> number one, but the second part we tried to analyze their friends to find out how much influence do they have in the communities and what we realized was these guys are inspirational for a lot of people. they have a huge network so when they say something everyone else follows them in california and that's really the trick. >> jean and eric you have a big social circle, a lot of influence as martin said with your friends. did you find it hard to push these products? did you find it, i mean a little bit out of your comfort zone to sell them on things all the time, gina? >> it was amazingly natural because we found we did that
anyway and when people came over and they had given us these great products from dsw and kiss my face, and wine and they had taken a survey from us and lots of pages and got to know what we liked so it became very natural. >> these were brands of things you would use normally anyway. >> yes. >> eric did you ever feel you were maybe going a little too hard with the sales approach, sales pitch here in. >> you know, i'm constantly talking about brands, whether they are the brands that martin introduced us to or the stuff that we use every day and as our friends influence us on their brands. >> you're marketing, you're both involved in marketing so you were interested in the experiment of it. >> the surprising thing was, and i was shocked about that, 51% of what we're talking about every day at the dining table is about brands so it seemed to be pretty natural. >> so elise, when you found out that you had been duped all along and were buying these things, did you feel badly about
this? >> not at all. honestly i didn't feel duped at all. >> no? >> because they had to keep it a secret to make the experiment valid and true, but we live, as you know in a very livable city, the o.c., so it was just normal. we became the target of all those reality shows, so why not finding why we buy what we buy, so it was incredible. i didn't feel we got duped at all. >> jim you bought some of the products they pushed as well? >> i was looking for a present for my wife which is every man, husband's nightmare and all the sudden i went by a store and saw pandora jewelry which gina told me about so i bought her -- >> the bracelet. martin what does the experiment tell us first of all? >> nine out of ten brands were bought. >> nine out of ten? wow.
>> nine out of ten. shocking news, one of the brands had a sales increase of 1,000%. 13,000 people were influenced by those people, 13,000 people. >> future marketing right here. is this it? >> it is, all sorts of different techniques used by sleeper cell families, all that stuff taking over. >> you don't know what your neighbors are selling you. good to have you all here, martin, gina, jim and elise. we'll be back with more on "weekend today" as well. first a mom who invented herself as an escape artist performs one of her daring stunts live next. [ female announcer ] this is steve and lynn, and they have a good question.
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into a great escape literally. "today" national correspondent amy robach has her story. >> don in a puna purnell realiz had to take a plunge into a unconventional market, a word of caution, please, please don't try this at home. donna purnell begins her morning like most suburban moms, brushing her teeth, feeding the kids breakfast, feeding the dog, you the. ing on chains and padlocks. that's right, the had 3-year-old mom from medford, massachusetts, is known as alexandria the great and she is an escape artist. >> there's always an element of oh my god i can't believe i'm doing this. >> reporter: until recently no one knew she did this. why did you keep it a secret? >> i wasn't sure how it would be perceived. >> reporter: donna had been
secretly practicing escapes when she was 17 when her husband, bill, tried to win her over with a stunt. >> he did this rope tie underwater. i said i can do that. he said no you can't. i said let me try. i did it better than him. >> reporter: it stayed a hobby for 30 years until donna and bill lost their jobs. at her husband's urging donna decided her only option was to reinvent yourself. >> he said i think it's time we show the world what you can do. i said i don't think it's ready for that. don't try this at home. >> reporter: bill posted a youtube video of alexandria the great. a month later a quarter of a million views, and invitations for donna to perform. it's such an unlikely profession for anyone. >> it's okay for a 50-something--year-old person to do this and a woman at that. i can't take the mile off my
face. >> reporter: and i couldn't take the look of horror off mine when donna chained me up for an underwater escape. this is so heavy, oh my gosh. >> sorry. >> reporter: i'm imagining myself underwater now and freaking out. you do this, and this is fun for you? >> yeah. >> reporter: but donna knows it's not all fun. this profession has risks, big risks. this is dangerous. >> oh, extremely dangerous. everything has its trials and tribulati tribulations, but you have to overcome them, like life, and you have to just get through it. >> reporter: and i was hoping donna would just get through the afternoon as she let me lock her up for her underwater leap of faith. >> number two. >> reporter: we wrapped donna in 55 pounds of chains and padlocks. oh my gosh, donna, i feel awful. >> reporter: one way to escape. >> this is all it takes.
>> reporter: a bobby pin? and you can get out? >> i am going to, yes, i have three kids to come back and cook dinner for, so yes. >> reporter: after 60 seconds underwater, a sigh of relief for all of us. how'd that feel? >> good. >> reporter: good? i was holding my breath and i had to take three breaths watching you hold your breath. it's not lost on donna her most famous escape is called leap of faith because she certainly has had to take one. >> jumping in and getting out and percent veering and finding something i'm good at, it's invigorating. my name is donna purnell and i'm an escape artist. >> donna purnell is on the
plaza. >> there she goes. >> this is not a sleight of hand. this is the real thing. >> this is technique, the stuff we have is from the local hardware store, real clocks and chains. you see the marks on her. >> you can see it on the skin. >> she is shaking these things. >> i am pretty nervous underwater. >> this one is okay because she can breathe. the underwater is scary. >> look at the marks. >> this is not pretend. >> i don't want anybody to do this at home. >> you say this has built your confidence. >> yes, it really has. i guess it's invagigoratininvig. i jumped out of my box and i hope i inspire people to go with it and jump out of that box theory. >> thank you so much. we'll be back after this. this is "today" on nbc.
♪ back now, today at 8:00, with "today's extra yard" and we are featuring none other than the nfl's mark sanchez. of course he dominates on the field for the new york jets but off the field he's equally as impressive. new york jets quarterback mark sanchez may be a fierce competitor on the field, but off it, he's a real mama's boy and proud of it.
his mother olga is a constant influence, at his side from the beginning. >> i remember him saying when he was a little boy when he grows up, "i want to be a football player." every time i see him run out onto the field it brings back that first time. what we've done as a family is just support them all the way, be there, you know, from pop warner all the way to the pros. >> reporter: which is why for one of the biggest stars in the biggest city, it's the littlest people that keep him grounded. >> remember your ready set go? >> reporter: like his nephew nico and niece gabriellea. he credits his success on the field by the foundation of his family under him. >> it's a chance i get to be part of it wouldn't be possible without them. i'm thankful my parents did what they could to support me and my two ordinary olders encouraged me. >> reporter: the holehollenbeck
center in east l.a. where he grew up. >> before i donate money i donate time. >> reporter: what do you teach them? >> stay positive, smile, have fun, you can tell the young kids thinking about college at 10, 12, 13 years old that i said look, it's the most important thing you can do. a lot of them, hispanic origin like myself that's huge for me to help them. they see my last name and skin color and i hope it helps them. >> reporter: the hispanic community has shown a growing interest in the envelope with viewership up by 40% since 2008 in games simulcast in spanish. football used to be soccer but now because of you they're on your side now. >> i see big sombreros at games. >> reporter: also a fixture at games, mark's father nick, a member of the orange county fire authority. >> him being a fire captain he
has this whole crew he's in charge of. i'm the quarterback of the team, you know, nothing happens until you say go. he showed me how important it was to demand from his crew, demand from my teammates, so i'm lucky that way. >> reporter: in return, mark gives to the families of other firefighters, donating time and money to tuesday's children, helping kids who lost a parent when the twin towers fell, and he even helped design a t-shirt with sales benefiting families of first responders. >> when you get to meet the people that are affected it takes you away from football for a second, now i get a chance to hopefully help them cope with their loss. >> reporter: despite all the serious work this 24-year-old has time for a little fun. i got to ask about the white pants. >> um-hum. >> reporter: in the "gq" spread the joe namath shoot. >> they weren't a little snug but looked like it.
>> reporter: teammates are giving you slack for that? >> a lot of them are asking me to wear it on an away game with the team. i said not in a million years. >> reporter: what's it going to take for to you win you over? >> they got to win over my mom. she's got to love them. >> reporter: for now he's focused on football with his family to thank. >> i've made it to this point because of a lot of people who helped me get here. this isn't a one-man deal. >> how could you not love a mama's boy? catch him of course on the field this sunday night, "football night in america" where the jets take on the ravens. >> coverage >> good morning. i'm mindy basara. baltimore police are searching for arson is to say are targeting victims at random. since mid september 9 homes have been hit by molotov cocktails,