tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 4, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
welcome to "world news tonight," the breaking news, the death of joan rivers. word now of an investigate, what her daughter is now saying. plus our interview with the comic legend, what she said about johnny carson, the moment that broke her heart, taking me inside her new york apartment. also breaking, one of the most wanted men in the world. who is the american man allegedly helping isis with their terror? is he the man behind so many of their videos raised right here in america. severe storms on the move tonight. flash floods, drivers stranded and this evening the new hurricane gaining strength. and the shark attack, the two young women in their kayaks when the shark takes a bite, flipping the kayaks over. what happens next.
good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night and we do begin with the headline that broke this afternoon. we learned joan rivers, the joan of comedy, has died at the age of 81. tonight an investigation into the procedure that led to this just as tributes pour in from fellow comedians and her fans. for five decades rivers wielded her wit like a weapon, unapologetic, tireless. her biggest break he told us, her gig on johnny carson and that catch phrase, can we talk. tonight what we're hearing from her daughter and that new investigation under way and what joan rivers told me about johnny carson the moment the friendship was lost. first abc's mara schiavocampo outside the hospital here in new york. mara, good evening. >> reporter: david, good evening. rivers was admitted here at mount sinai hospital exactly one week ago. she remained on life support and surrounded by family and friends until the very end.
joan rivers only child broke the news this afternoon sharing that my mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. although this is difficult to do right now, i know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon. melissa rivers, seen here returning home this evening. just hours before, news the new york state department of health launched an investigation into this manhattan clinic where rivers went into cardiac arrest during a routine outpatient procedure. they're looking into the unanswered questions of just what happened. although there has been no evidence of wrongdoing, a separate autopsy will also be conducted on rivers. >> joan, right here! >> reporter: ellen degeneres tweeting, joan rivers will
always be a pioneer. she paved the way for a lot of comedians. i'm very sad she's gone. fellow comedian louie c.k. saying simply, i looked up to her. i learned from her. i loved her. rivers' funeral is scheduled for this sunday here in new york. no word on whether it will be public but rivers always said she wanted it to be a, quote, huge showbiz affair. i sat down with her a couple years back and she revealed the private pain that fueled the humor, heart break over her husband and her friendship with johnny carson. >> reporter: we will never forget joan rivers allowing us back stage here in new york city. she would perform up until the end. but much of america first saw joan on ed sullivan. >> here's little joan rivers! >> reporter: joan rivers, emerging from behind that curtain nearly 50 years ago. >> were you pregnant on ed sullivan? >> pregnant, you weren't allowed
to say it. soon we're going to hear the pitter patter of little feet. >> that was breaking ground? >> that was breaking ground to say pitter patter of little feet. >> reporter: hers was a ground breaking and sometimes back breaking journey. >> this is where my career has come to, i'm sitting on a stool that's coming apart. >> reporter: she invited us to her new york city apartment, the photographs everywhere, and us, too. >> i usually don't let people come over unless i'm very sad or very drunk. >> reporter: joan took us back to her first days on the "tonight show" with johnny carson. >> right smack then and there, changed my life. >> weren't you the first permanent guest host? >> yeah, and only. >> reporter: that gig with carson would lead to another offer to do late night comedy on another network. >> as soon as i got the fox show i called johnny and said i've got it. he hung up on me and never, never spoke to me again. >> reporter: but her show was soon over and so was her
friendship with carson. as joan struggled, her husband was struggling. he took his life in 1987. >> humor comes from great pain and great anger. with my husband i had both barrels. i'm still not over his suicide. i'm still furious with him. they say to me, oh, you'll go to heaven and meet edgar. i'll kill him! >> reporter: joan, a single mother was completely alone personally and privately and then the call. a daytime talk show in the works up against oprah and donahue at the emmys. >> at the winner is -- i'm shaking. joan rivers! >> two years ago i couldn't get a job in this business. i could not get a job. it's so sad that he's not here because it was my husband, edgar rosenberg who always said you can turn things around. >> reporter: a decade later she was back again on the red carpet asking and saying anything. she talked openly about her many plastic surgeries and how she explained it in the beginning.
her daughter still a baby. >> of course my eyes were black and blue and i was carrying melissa. no one did their eyes in those days. people would say what happened to you and i would say, the baby punched me in the eyes. they bought it. people were so stupid in those days. >> poor melissa. >> the kid hit me in the eyes. >> reporter: it turned out behind all of that humor, humility. >> i'm proud of nothing, my darling. i am swimming upstream. i don't know where it's gone. if you don't do what you want to do, you're a fool. >> joan rivers sitting down with us. barbara walters with us now. joan was your friend. was she the same privately as she was publicly? >> publicly we know, brash, she would say anything, all the things that women wanted to say and perhaps didn't. privately she was very elegant, a houseful of antiques and silver and rather quiet. >> i'm curious, barbara, if she
had any idea this these final days about the support that came in from all over the world, what would she have made of it? >> we have all said she would like nothing more than to work, and to know that she had this kind of an audience even when she was unanxious, i think she would have been smiling. i will miss her. >> barbara walters with us tonight on her friend joan rivers. we'll have much more coming up tonight on "nightline." so many people remembering joan rivers tonight. but we do move on now to the other breaking story, the international manhunt for an american man and this question, is he the master mind behind so many of those isis videos, the terror. he was raised here in america and here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross tonight. >> reporter: for a group that seeks a return to the seventh century, isis has become a master of 21st century social media. and tonight the hunt is on for an american who may have helped to create some of the graphic, gruesome videos of the battles,
executions, even child recruits seen in new images today, all rolled out on twitter, facebook and other sites like some slick american media campaign. >> isis understands very well that in order for an act of terrorism to be effective, it needs to actually terrorize people. >> reporter: which is why law enforcement officials now tell abc news they are focusing on this former college student from boston, ahmad abousamra, believed to be one of the architects of the isis social media strategy. he was put on the fbi's most wanted terrorist late last year with this description posted online. >> he is 5'10", slim build with a high-pitched voice and this is an excerpt of him speaking. listen to a recording of his voice. >> they don't have a warrant, they don't have a right to do that. >> reporter: abousamra grew up in boston, the son of a prominent doctor. an honors student at a catholic high school, abousamra went on to northeast university, where he studied computer technology, the very skills authorities say he's using now.
the internet campaign authorities say he helped engineer with its horrifying images has been vital to the ability of isis to capture the world's attention and win new recruits from the u.s. and elsewhere. >> it has actually energized their base. they feel that they are finally in a confrontation with the united states of america. >> reporter: and that is exactly what the fbi says he wanted to do when he fled this country and became a fugitive in syria, fight and kill his fellow americans, david. >> brian ross on the possible home grown terror, brian, thank you. now to the severe weather on the move at this hour. take a look at the weather wall tonight, strong storms moving in this evening across the midwest and what has already been a week of wicked weather. we're getting pictures of flash floods in charlotte, north carolina, inside that car a mother and son trapped, later rescued. in alabama lightning as severe weather moves through.
ginger zee tracking the storms and the hurricane gaining strength tonight. ginger with the images coming in right now. >> reporter: severe storms shredding the northern great lakes. a tornado warning is on this storm. >> reporter: winds gusting to 84 mph near wadena, minnesota left this mess. the haunting shelf clouds creeping across the horizon, in green bay. hail up to baseball sized near fargo. and way too much rain. look at the streets of st. cloud wednesday, an inch falling in six minutes. the scoopable hail wounding crops and cars. and in charlotte, north carolina wednesday three to four inches of rain overtaking the streets and sheena raley's car. >> i didn't even see the water. i just started floating. >> reporter: her five year old son inside. firefighters pulling them to safety. >> i just know it was the grace of god that kept me and my son. >> wow, both pulled to safety. ginger is tracking that hurricane tonight. >> hurricane norbert. we're watching it south of baha
california. it's going to hug baha and get very close to l.a. but i think high surf is the only thing we would see, waves up to four or eight feet. an even potentially bigger issue would be fueling the monsoon. we're talking two to three inches in that spot. >> thank you. we move on tonight that that developing headline out of ferguson, missouri where teenager michael brown was shot and killed by a white police officer last month. the justice department announced they will launch a civil rights investigate to determine if the predominantly white police department has a pattern of discrimination. a verdict in the high stakes case of rising star in politics. former governor bob mcdonnell taking money and gifts and spending it all with his wife. jeff zeleny with what the jury decided. >> reporter: they had dreams of
being president and first lady, but tonight, they're convicted felons. former virginia governor bob mcdonnell and his wife maureen -- found guilty of trading their power and prestige for luxury gifts and cash. accused of giving the owner of a diet supplement company special access to government in exchange for rides in a ferrari, a rolex watch, a fifth avenue shopping spree and tens of thousands of dollars in cash. the mcdonnells once sold themselves as the ideal political couple. he carried her over the threshold of the governor's mansion but in court he painted a stark picture of a broken marriage that left him spiritually and mentally exhausted, so bad, he said, that they were barely speaking and therefore could not have conspired to accept favors. walking into court this afternoon, mcdonnell smiled. >> i am sure they will do the right thing. >> reporter: but when the verdict was read, he sobbed. the couple faces decades in prison. jeff zeleny, abc news, washington. now to nevada tonight and to pictures persistent experiment in the science museum that went horribly wrong.
frightened children running and screaming when a chemical reaction explodes and the flames right in front of their eyes. more than a dozen were hurt and fire officials are saying that during the experiment the museum poured the chemicals in the wrong order, creating that fire ball. now to the case that made national headlines, the horror, the father accused of leaving his son in a hot car to die. that father indicted for murder. abc's steve osunsami back on the case. >> reporter: prosecutors here don't buy for a second that what happened in this silver suv was an accident, convincing a grand jury today to charge this georgia father with three different murder charges and other offenses for leaving his son in his steaming vehicle on june 18th. 33-year-old justin ross harris, a former corporate web developer for home depot, could be fighting for his life. prosecutors tell me they'll decide soon if they'll try for the death penalty. >> i anticipate it being probably within the next two to three week time period. >> reporter: police say harris left his son, 22-month-old
cooper harris, in the suv outside his office for several hours while he was sending lewd pictures to women who were not his wife -- one of them just 17 years old. police say he knew a hot car could kill after watching these safety videos just days before his son died. >> if you see a child left alone in a vehicle, please call 911. >> reporter: outside the courthouse his attorneys saying he is not guilty and simply forgot to drop his son off at daycare. >> he's doing terrible. he's lost his son, his livelihood, his freedom. >> reporter: witnesses who saw him pull into this parking lot in a panic on the way home from work say he looked truly devastated. >> i heard of cries of a father who just lost his son. >> reporter: there are no charges announced against harris' wife. she has maintained that she and
her husband are innocent and suffered a terrible loss. a headline about the third american infected with the deadly ebola virus, rick sacra, healed to nebraska neb tomorrow for treatment. it was last night on "world news" we showed you the american workers making those randolph glasses, worn by robert redford, actor tom cruise and even don draper from "mad men" and american fighter pilots, too, all made by randolph, massachusetts workers, determined to keep making them m here. within minutes of our report their site crashed in four minutes. they were flooded with orders, five times as many as they normally see. much more on "world news tonight." the shark attack. just listen to this. >> we're stuck in the water and there's a shark. >> two young women and their 911 call from the water, the shark that takes a bite out of their
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be? >> reporter: the operator telling them to hang on, help is on the way. >> we're fine but we're really scared. >> was there a seal? >> no, there's something in the water. >> okay. >> there's a [mute] great white. what if he comes back? >> reporter: luckily the shark did not come back and the pair made it to shore unharmed but look at the teeth marks on the kayaks and the giant hole on the paddle. back on land the two recalled the terror. >> we didn't see a fin or anything. we had no idea if it was going to come back. >> i'm screaming for help, anybody help. >> reporter: the summer sightings of great whites are on the rise. the population booming, particularly in the northeast. just days ago, off another massachusetts beach, this shark seen from a police helicopter prompting life guards to clear the beach. later this quote from the movie jaws inscribed in the sand, "you're going to need a bigger
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i want paparazzi. i want publicists making a scene. i want it to be hollywood all the way. don't give me some rabbi rambling on. i want meryl streep crying in five different accents. i want to look gorgeous, better dead than i do alive. i want to be buried in a valentino gown. i want harry "wizard" to make me a toe tag. i want a wind machine so strong that even in the casket, my hair will be blowing more than beyonce's on stage. >> joan rivers making us smile right until the end. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. we'll give joan the last word. good night.
this is the "jeopardy!" battle of the decades! please welcome our former champions -- the last time today's representative from the 2000s was on "jeopardy!" he lost to ibm's watson. when he was invited to this tournament, he thought, "against humans -- i can do that." from seattle, washington, please welcome... from the 1990s, she was the first woman in "jeopardy!" history