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Boston Carjacking Victim Shares Terror; Fingerprint Found In Bomb Debris; Many Still Healing After Boston Bombings; 9/11 Plane Part To Be Removed; Parts Of Colorado Could See Eight Inches Of Snow; Woman Charged In Poisoned Juice Case; Yahoo Gives 16 Weeks Paid Baby Leave; Report: Possible Clue In Child's Murder; FBI: Ricin Link To Letters Suspect; Slain MIT Officer's Family Speaks; Amanda Knox Breaks Her Silence
Aired May 1, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, fleeting and thrown into the air in the Boston bombings, Kevin White now struggling with the fact he and his family are victims of a terror attack.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do understand it is not going to bring back my father's leg. It's not going to erase the last two and a half weeks.
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COSTELLO: Plus you'll hear from Amanda Knox. She says you don't know her story.
Attack with chemicals by her husband, a woman gets a face transplant. You will see her for the first time today.
And just two months after ending his work from home policy, Yahoo! offers 500 bucks to employees who give birth. Yahoo! You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Good morning. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm Carol Costello. We begin with new developments in the bombings at the Boston marathon. The widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev says she's been told that the coroner will soon release her husband's body, but she does not want it. Katherine Russell wants her in-laws to claim his body. Her lawyer says she has spent many hours this week cooperating with investigators.
Also this morning, we're following this development. Investigators have discovered at least one fingerprint among the bomb fragments. A law enforcement official tells CNN no match has been made, not yet.
The "Boston Herald" has now attached numbers to our earlier reports that the Tsarnaev family lived on the generosity of the U.S. welfare programs. The paper says the family raked in more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance. That doesn't even include the more than $5,500 in aid for Tamerlan for his college education.
In the meantime, our Pamela Brown spoke to the man who was apparently carjacked by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Pam, what did he tell you?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, that's right. I spoke to Danny, the carjacking victim for more than an hour in a conversation off camera. He is still very shaken up by the harrowing experience he had nearly two weeks ago.
He tells me he was driving around on a Thursday night, relaxing after a long day at work. He pulls over to send a text message. All of a sudden Tamerlan Tsarnaev comes over, taps on the passenger side window, Danny rolled down the window to hear what he had to say.
Danny says Tamerlan reached in, unlocked the car, got in the car, held a gun to his head and said drive while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was following behind them. That's when the 90-minute nightmare began for Danny. He tells us he says that Tamerlan was very talkative.
Kept asking him questions, was very intrigued by his Chinese heritage. Also at point, Danny's roommate called him and Tamerlan told him to speak to his roommate in English while he had a gun to his head. He told Danny that if he didn't cooperate, he would kill him.
Eventually they went to a gas station to fill up and Danny says that may have saved his life. That's when he made his great escape. Here is what he told CBS' John Miller. Let's take a listen.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took out his gun, point it to me, said I'm serious. Don't be stupid. He asked me a question like do you know the Boston explosion on Monday? I said yes. I did that. I just killed a policeman in Cambridge. I need to figure out a way to save myself. I was counting one, two, three, four, I just do it. I did it. Tamerlan tried to grab me. I was running as fast as I can and never looked back.
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BROWN: Can you imagine how frightening that was. Danny tells me that during the course of that 90 minutes, he heard the brothers talk about Manhattan. As it turns out, according to authorities, the brothers had allegedly made spontaneous plans to go to New York and set off more explosives in Times Square.
So had Danny not escaped and sparked a widespread manhunt, there could have been more lives lost. I asked Danny if he feels like a hero. He said no, he was just trying to save his life.
COSTELLO: Did you ask Danny about the relationship between the two brothers?
BROWN: Yes, Carol. That was one of the most interesting parts to me when I was talking to him. There's a clear contrast between the brothers. Danny says that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the clear leader and that Dzhokhar was the follower. He said from the very beginning Tamerlan was the ring leader, calling all the shots, barking orders to Dzhokhar.
He said that Dzhokhar was at Tamerlan's beck and call, doing whatever he asked. For example, Tamerlan wanted him to go, use Danny's credit card at the ATM machine and Dzhokhar quickly went to go do that. So there were several examples to the course of that 90 minutes exemplifying the relationship between the two of them.
You know, but it's is important to remember even though Tamerlan was the ring leader, according to Danny, and Dzhokhar was the quiet one sitting in the backseat, not saying much, Dzhokhar still had an input in all of this and still had a choice so it's important to remember that.
I did speak to a criminology professor, Carol. He says that the fact the brothers allegedly, you know, set off the explosives at the Boston marathon that that brought them closer together and solidified their bond.
COSTELLO: Pamela Brown reporting live from Boston today. Danny, a victim of terror in the United States as are, of course, hundreds of others. I sat down with one of them, Kevin White. He and his parents were victims of the bombings in the Boston and they are recovering slowly.
White still has trouble walking. His father lost his leg. His mother still has trouble with her arm and hand. I asked Kevin about the terrorists and if he still looks over his shoulder.
COSTELLO: I know you haven't had much time to watch the news and to follow the investigation, but what have you picked up? What was goes through your mind?
KEVIN WHITE, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: I saw the whole incident in Watertown and that was just unbelievable. We are actually going into -- my mom was getting discharged that day, but we couldn't get in because of the lockdown. You know, I think in a lot of ways it's sad.
It's sad that so many people were hurt for reasons that we may never really know and their misdirected anger -- I think what's great is the way that law enforcement took charge of the investigation and made sure that the two suspects weren't going to hurt anyone anymore, and they're not.
But, you know, I haven't watched a ton of it, the TV. You know, I see there's more stuff about their family and there's more speculation on things. You know, my mom said something to the effect, she was just wondering how could someone be filled with so much hate that they would want to hurt innocent people and children, but I'm just glad that that won't happen again with those two.
I think the cities and the states, especially the law enforcement, the state troopers and the FBI did a great job.
COSTELLO: Do you fear there are more people out there who were connected to this bombing?
WHITE: You know, I don't really fear it. Maybe there are, but I think, you know, that's kind of out of my control at this point. I think law enforcement is doing a great job seeing if there are other people connected. But, you know, there's not much I can really do about that. I can't really live my life in fear going forward.
COSTELLO: Are there times do you sit and wonder for whatever reason these people did this, why would they do this? Was it radicalization? Do those things go through your mind?
WHITE: I don't think I have gotten to that point yet, just because I don't know really know enough about what their thought process was. I think with the youngest brother more information will come out over time as he communicates more. That really hasn't crossed my mind.
I've been trying not to think about that because it's not going to change what happened. I think if they can figure out why they chose to do this, maybe they can help -- people can influence other people who might be going down that same path not to go down that path. So I guess that would be the best way I can answer it.
COSTELO: Even if you knew the reason why, I don't think my of us would understand.
WHITE: Even if I did understand it, it's not going to bring back my father's leg and it's not going to erase the last two weeks. My family's priorities are getting better. That's the most important thing. Making sure that things are progressing a week from now, a month from now, six months, a year and that stuff is taken care of with my father and with expenses. And focus in kind of what our priorities are right now.
COSTELLO: I also asked Kevin, you know, -- he's been the victim of a terror attack and how that felt. And his answer was you see terror attacks on television all the time and they don't seem quite real to you, but know they seem very real because he's experienced it.
As I told you before, Kevin's dad has lost his leg. Kevin still has trouble walking because he had so many shrapnel removed from his leg. His mom also continues to recover. As you might expect, their medical bills are piling up.
If you would like to help Kevin White and his parents, go to this web site. It's called youcaring.com. There you'll find information on the White family and their injuries, and how you could help them reach their goal of $100,000 to pay for medical expenses because those medical expenses aren't going to end tomorrow. They're going to be paying medical expenses for years to come.
It's 10 minutes past the hour, time to check other top stories. Crews in New York City are about to remove part of a wing from one of the planes in the 9/11 terror attack. That part was found last week near the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Medical examiners are also wrapping up their search in the area for possible human remains. Not known yet if anything was found in that search.
Colorado is getting a blast of spring snow today. Cities including Bolder and Golden could see as much as eight inches of snow by tonight. Denver could even break a record for the coldest ever first day of May.
A California woman accused of poisoning two bottles of orange juice at a San Jose Starbucks is now facing attempted murder charges. Police say the woman placed bottles on a display shelf as if they were for sale. A customer spotted her odd behavior, told store workers, who then called 911. The bottles were tainted with a lethal dose of rubbing alcohol.
Yahoo! announces new benefits for new parents. Now new moms will get 16 weeks of paid leave and new dads will get eight. Also Yahoo! is offering their employees $500 to spend on items like house cleaning and groceries plus Yahoo! themed baby gifts. The new policies come two months after Yahoo! banned employees from working at home.
Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. I think the $500 part got me because seriously 500 bucks to buy groceries and baby clothes and Yahoo! themed gifts.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's all about perks, isn't it? Especially with those tech companies and yes, it sounds really generous.
COSTELLO: But 500 bucks? No.
KOSIK: I mean, come on. Well, I don't want to say, but the company -- think about other companies people work at. Do they just give you 500 bucks for groceries when you have a kid? No. However, other tech companies were already there, Carol.
You know, this new Yahoo! benefit to parents plus these perks that we're talking about actually winds up putting Yahoo! in line with other companies because the tech industry is known for being very generous with benefits. And Yahoo! is actually behind the eight ball.
Moms at Google get 18 to 22 weeks after having a baby. Dads there get 7 weeks. Over at Facebook just like Yahoo! now, moms get 16 weeks, but it's super generous for dads who get 16 weeks there as well.
Parents at Facebook also get $4,000 in baby cash. Of course, that's a huge help for that very expensive addition. As for investors where they think they are happy with what Melissa Myer has -- Marissa Myer has done with Yahoo! at this point. You look at Yahoo! shares. They're up more than 50 percent since she took over in July -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Well, that's good news. It makes you wonder though. Are these new policies an attempt by Yahoo! CEO to sort of dig herself out of a hole when she dug herself by abolishing the work at home option? KOSIK: It makes you wonder, doesn't it? But here's what Myer actually said. She said the extent of leave is just part of a host of new benefits to support the happiness and well being of Yahoo!'s and their family. She's also given out those new smartphones to workers. She's given free food and upgraded computers.
Yes, Myer took a lot of flak in February when she got rid of that work from home option for employees. Even with these new maternity benefits, Carol, there are critics as I heard you. You're like a critic. They're great for people who have a baby, but what about everybody else who is not having a baby who wants the flexibility for other reasons?
To them I say, stop complaining. You have a job. It's a good job probably. You're getting paid. You're getting benefits. There's a new changing of the guard and when there's a changing of the guard, there's going to be change, right, Carol?
COSTELLO: Yes, we know that.
KOSIK: And if you don't like it, find a new job.
COSTELLO: You are tough. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.
Coming up next in the NEWSROOM, the family of that MIT officer killed by the Boston bombers, allegedly killed by the Boston bombers says Sean Collier was meant to be a police officer. CNN sits down with his family next.
COSTELLO: It's 17 minutes past the hour, time to take a look at other stories we're following in the NEWSROOM. Police are now investigating a possible clue in the stabbing death of 8-year-old Leila Fowler. There may be a link between Fowler's death and the kidnapping of a 15- month-old girl in a town close to where Fowler lived. A man in that case has been arrested and police have now requested a DNA sample.
A dust mask containing ricin links a Mississippi man to potentially deadly letters sent to President Obama and other public officials. That's according to an FBI affidavit. James Dutschke is accused of sending ricin through the mail. A witness says Dutschke talked years ago about putting poison in envelopes. Dutschke has denied any involvement.
Wait until you see this. Rising political tensions turned into an all out brawl in Venezuela's national assembly. One Venezuelan congresswoman told CNN she was attacked from the behind and actually thrown to the floor. Opposition groups have been protesting recently announced presidential results following the death of Hugo Chavez.
He was the final victim of the Boston terror attacks, MIT Officer Sean Collier. Just 27 years old. Police believed he was shot and killed in his car by the suspected Boston bombers. Sean died serving and protecting other when the city of Boston needed people like him the most. His family saw the qualities that made him a hero a long time ago. CNN's Jake Tapper sat down with his family and they shared their story.
JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN'S "THE LEAD" (voice-over): He loves us and we loved him, true as printed on top of his MIT obituary of Campus Police Officer Sean Collier. And one that America would come to know in the days following his murder twelve days ago.
JENNIFER LEMMERMAN, SISTER: There are two Seans that we're mourning, you know, I mean, there's this symbol of what happened that people feel so connected to. They've been so great to us as its family reaching out and wanting to provide support and wanting to honor him. That's been wonderful. At the same time you realize this is my little brother that we're talking about, and it's a whole other feeling.
ANDREW COLLIER, BROTHER: When they first started saying Sean was a hero, you know, of course my first reaction was I don't want my brother to be a hero. I want him to be hero.
TAPPER: Collier's brothers and sisters sat down with us at their parent's home in Willington, Massachusetts earlier today to remember their brother.
LEMMERMAN: He talked about how much he wanted to a police officer. That's all he's even wanted to do. When he was younger and he and his younger brother would get in each other's hair, he would run after his younger brother making a siren noises and yelling you're breaking the law.
TAPPER (on camera): What was important to him about being a police officer?
NICOLE LYNCH, SISTER: Ever since I can remember being the oldest. I was six years older than him. It was ingrained from him, right and wrong. There was no in between. Either you did the right thing or you did the wrong thing. And if you did the wrong thing, you needed to be punished.
LEMMERMAN: My mom actually told the story at the funeral where he had taken a handful of pennies from Rob's room. I mean, he was maybe 6 years old and he was convinced that they are coming to get him.
TAPPER (voice-over): Sean Collier loved the brotherhood of law enforcement, which was on full display at his memorial service last week.
TRAVIS DIXSON, FRIEND AND ROOMMATE: Sean would have loved that if he could have seen it. I mean, helicopters flying over, tens of thousands of police officers from all over the world, I mean, Ireland, Canada, all over the United States. It was a shame Sean couldn't have seen it because it was everything he loved.
TAPPER: Officer Travis Dixson was Sean Collier's roommate. He and Collier graduated from the police academy together. Their friend and fellow graduate Transit Officer Dick Donohue seen here with Collier was also wounded the night of the shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers.
DIXSON: Dick Donohue who graduated at the police academy with me and Sean called my phone and said there was a shooting at MIT. It was Sean. It's really bad. You need to get to Mass General Hospital. I knew right then that it wasn't good. I went to the hospital, saw Sean. He had passed away.
And then about an hour later, we hear officer down over the radio and we get a phone call and they say it was Dick Donohue. He's been shot. Actually at the time, Dick was hit in the femoral artery and bled out in about 3 minutes and he was dead for about 40 to 45 minutes.
So I thought I just lost two of my best friends, two academy friends. And then Dick, they brought him back to life. He's talking and it looks like he's going to make a full recovery.
TAPPER: For Collier's family, the future is about creating a living memorial to their brother's legacy including his low profile community service work, including for a local homeless shelter.
COLLIER: Sean was very humble and he didn't feel that was something he needed to talk about. He'd say he's working when he's really going to volunteer.
JENN ROGERS, SISTER: As a family trying to incorporate ourselves into Sean's life in different ways so that we can keep the things that he found important going. He might not be here, but he's not going anywhere.
TAPPER (on camera): He was going to start this year at Somerville Police Department.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was going for his final interview and that week he got the job.
TAPPER: Did he want to do that?
LEMMERMAN: It was his dream.
TAPPER: It was his dream to be a Somerville police officer and finally there's an opening?
COLLIER: We all know that feeling when we finally get that job offer we've been waiting on. It was a comfort that he was going and he knew he was going.
TAPPER (voice-over): Jake Tapper, CNN, Wilmington, Massachusetts)
COSTELLO: Well, we could soon learn the fate really of Jodi Arias. We'll get you caught up on the trial next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: Welcome back to the NEWSROOM. More than five years since her roommate was found dead in Italy. Amanda Knox is breaking her silence and trying to convince the world of her innocence and that's not been easy. Italian authorities are demanding she face another murder trial. CNN's Nick Valencia is following the story. Hi, Nick.