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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 23, 2013 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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erin? >> we're obviously hoping that will get solved. there's a lot of frustration. he's an elvis impersonator and worried he's not going to get hired due to all of this. our continuous coverage of the bombings continues now in boston. anderson starts now. erin, thanks very much. good evening, everyone. we have breaking news tonight here on many fronts from boston. and in a moment woul meyou'll m man who came face-to-face with the suspect. just imagine what you would have done in his shoes. you go into the backyard, take a look and see this. only not from a chopper, not in black and white, but up close in bloody living color. you'll hear from him ahead. you'll also hear from a watertown man who photographed the fire fight. this shows the two suspects taking aim at police at the end of the chase thursday night. another shows the wrecked police
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suv down at the bottom right there that a police officer used in a move straight out of an action film putting it in gear, letting the vehicle roll empty to draw fire and give fellow officers a moment to get in better position to take down the older suspect. we have much more on that fire fight tonight. other late developments. the local d.a. saying massachusetts will not pursue state charges against the surviving suspect. leaving all prosecution to the feds. additionally he says the 19-year-old may soon be relocated from beth israel deacon hospital because some families of the victims being treat there had object to him being at the hospital. we're also learning the suspect told investigators the wars in iraq and afghanistan were motivation for his brother and himself. that's what a government official is telling us. we learned the older suspect bought a large amount of fireworks leading up to the attack, which may help explain the process. in addition to all of that, people who live and work on this stretch were briefly allowed
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back today. it's still a no-go area for vehicles and the general public. and family members held a funeral mass for 8-year-old martin richard. we laid our son martin to rest, his parents said, and he is now at peace. we're going to have a memorial service coming up. it was a private funeral service today. a lot to talk about in the hour ahead. first the latest on the the investigation from drew griffin and jake tappert. you have more information. but what can you tell us? >> well, anderson, we told you last night that according to u.s. official, the initial investigations and interviews they were doing with joe scar tsarnaev says they acted alone and they were motivated ed by e jihadist thoughts. the idea that islam is under
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attack and they needed to fight back. iraq and afghanistan being examples of that perception. again, this is just what dzhokhar is saying. it's not as if anyone is taking his word for it. they are going to investigate more of what they were saying. in addition, anderson, we also told you that dzhokhar and his brother were self radicalized according to dzhokhar, that they watched youtube videos on the internet and that's how they became radicalized. one thing the government official is telling it seems to me is the videos are from anwar al awlaki, they are likely, likely, the official says, to have been part of this video radicalization. anderson? >> jake, preernt that updatapprt update. drew, what are you learn sng. >> we wasn't to watertown and talked to the police chief and, anderson, we're finding out incredible details about the
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night of that mass shooting and the heroic events that took place there. this is a guy that they write action movies about. imagine him driving right into the midst of a fire fight and not knowing it and take a listen to what happens next. >> oh, yeah. there is a serious gunfight going on. the second person on the scene. he pulled up. he immediately gets at least one shot right through his windshield. so he is under fire as soon as he shows up. and he again, just they don't teach you this stuff in the police academy. you don't plan for this. you don't train for this. he has the -- i don't know how to describe it. the courage and determination to keep fighting, and he decides to put the car in gear because his car is taking fire. they're shooting at him right in that car. >> so under this incredible fire, which sounds really like it was a battle taking place in
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iraq and afghanistan. this police sergeant from a sleepy town, watertown, massachusetts, decides to use his suv as a battering ramp to give his fellow officers a little time to get back tr the firing brothers. here's what happened next. >> he puts it in gear and lets it roll down the street while he's able to take up a position so he's a little bit safer. and at the end he said i hope he's not mad that the crew is a little bit damaged. i said, are you kidding me? that was brilliant under very difficult situation to think that there and be able to do that. >> he gets out of the car and lets his car float on in. >> right. they think he's still in the car. they're unloading in the car while he is able to take a position inside, you know, returning fire. >> we saw that suv come out with
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a wound in the front. the back windows are completely shot out. we didn't know what the story was until today. just amazing that he just floated this car right down there. >> and jake tappert was talking to a witness. the streets are still shut down. are they still investigate sng. >> they are still investigating. it looks to me they are trying to figure out the trail that dzhokhar took. these streets will be open, but again, meticulous detail in examining every piece of evidence. >> jake, you caught up with a guy that is watching some of the scene from the window of his apartment a few floors above. what did he tell you? >> and he also took pictures. >> yeah, it's incredible. andrew kissenberg is his name. he and three house mates live on laurel street. he had the presence of mind to go and while ducking hold up his phone and take pictures while
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live tweeting, while live tweeting. and here's one of the things he said to me when i interviewed him earlier today. >> as soon as i saw that it was gunfire, i ran immediately up the stairs to my bedroom on the third floor. and i also got my camera right up against the windows and glas glass. >> so, anderson, let me walk you through the pictures that we'll show on the screen and i can explain what andrew explained to me. first of all there's this one where you stee the brothers, you see the shooters firing at the police. and what is circled there on that picture, that is one of the bombs. these pressure cooker bombs that they used during the terrorist attack. and they're behind the suv there. i believe that's the one that they car jacked. and the next picture is of after
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tamerlan went to the police. he charged into the police with his guns, and tamerlan was taken down, and you see him in the distance being taken down. now that's not the right picture. that's the picture. circle there is tamerlan on the ground, and the car that is driving towards him, that is dzhokhar driving towards the police and his brother. this is after, of course, tamerlan has been taken down. and then the third picture, that's the one that you showed before, if you can put it back is the car in which they had all their bombs. and this is when the bomb squad sends a robot bomb detector over -- there it is -- to check and inspect the car for explosives. really just remarkable photographs. we would never have images of the gunfire if it weren't for andrew kissenberg. he is seeking people to donate to the one fund in exchange for
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showing these -- letting us have the license for these pictures. anderson? >> so, jay, what he is saying is he saw the vehicle allegedly driven by dzhokhar literally drive through the road black, basically just smash its way through the police roadblock. and did he also see the vehicle drive over his brother? >> i don't think that -- he didn't tell me that he saw that. he saw the car go through and get away. but at that point he was about half a block away. he couldn't get all the visions in detail. >> okay. >> anderson? >> and drew, you have some information about fireworks or pyrote pyrotechnics that were purchased before the bomb. >> yeah, tamerlan went to new hampshire and bought two large fireworks. he went in and said what is the biggest, loudest thing you have?
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and this is what he bought. two of these locked and load kits. it's about $200 worth. these are reloadable mortar kits of firearms. you have to register with an i.d. the store owner went back to his records and found this for place and went back to the police a few days ago with the information that said he was there. >> and the police say that one of the things that he found in search of their apartment was pyrotechnics. >> the dorm room of the young one, they found pyrotechnics. >> you could use this. you could use the powder inside. you could test with the powder. most say we probably wouldn't use this for the actual pressure cooker bombs because this wasn't strong enough, et cetera. but it does show that he was buying fireworks. not only buying fireworks, but not afraid to show his i.d. and
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get it registered. >> this shows a level of planning. we're all just piecing these puzzles together. jake, i appreciate it. nothing compared to the night that david henneberry had on friday. that's his backyard and the boat that dzhokhar was found in, that is where -- that's his boat. that's where the suspect was discovered by police. you may have heard the story of how it happened. that story we've all been hearing publicly is not quite true. tonight for the first time mr. henneberry is telling it how he was. he said a torn boat cover was not what drew him outside and he did not, as reported, see blood on the boat's exterior. take a listen. >> i know people say there's blood on the boat. he saw blood and went in. not true. >> not true? >> not true. >> the word is you saw the boat. you pulled back the wrapping. you saw a body. it moved and you called 911. >> oh no, no.
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>> no? >> oh, no, no. >> so he went to the garage and grabbed a stepladder. >> i got two or three steps up the ladder. i rolled it up. i could see through the shrink wrap. i didn't expect to see anything. i looked at the boat and looked on the the floor and i see blood. >> a lot of blood? >> a good amount of blood. and my eyes went to the other side of the engine box. there's a body. >> at that moment what did you do? what were you thinking at that moment? >> oh my god. >> he couldn't see suspect number two's face. he was glad he couldn't see his face. >> i know i took three steps up the ladder. i don't remember stepping down off the ladder. this hits you more afterwards when you think, my god, he probably slept last night. i don't know. it just -- it's surreal. >> in that instant police
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responded, and he and his wife were taken away. >> people are calling you a national hero. >> the people can get soming from -- >> you know, in many ways they do. >> then i'm at peace with it. >> remarkable story. mr. henneberry says he doesn't want to be reimbursed for the damage to his boat. he wants all the money to go to the bombing survivors and the families. he says he has a perfectly good canoe in the garage he can yauz in the future. let us know how you can help. coming up, scrutiny over what homeland security knew about tamtam tam tamerlan tsarnaev. obviously, we're outside a fire
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house. the firefighters are responding to a call. also ahead tonight, a statement today -- a statement today on the investigation from tamerlan's wife katy russell. we'll tell you what she is saying and what we learned about her today.
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welcome back. we're coming to you from a cold and rainy boston tonight from boylston street. take a look behind the street. the neighborhood fire station, one of the oldest fire stations
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in the city, they have signs remembering the four people who lost their lives. the three who lost their lives in the blast. amongst them sean collier who was allegedly killed by the suspects. our breaking news tonight on many developments. an official telling us the surviving marathon suspect said he needed a brother motivated in part by the wars in iraq and afghanistan, saying as well that they were self radicalized from the internet. casting doubt on that, however, is the older suspect's trip to russia, including hot beds of radicalism. there's also the interest a year earlier that russian authorities showed in his activities. however, back home the focus on him faded. the lawmakers now want to know why. secretary napolitano getting grilled on capitol hill today, including this from republican senator chuck grassley of iowa. >> was your department aware of his travels to russia, and if you weren't, the reason? >> the travel in 2012 that
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you're referring to? um, yes. the system pinged when he was leaving the united states. by the time he returned all investigations -- the matter had been closed. >> is it true that his identity document did not match his airline ticket and if so, why did tsa miss the discrepancy? >> there was a mismatch there. >> well, there was that and there was also more. now with what else we know and what more we still do not. >> tamerlan sar nevada first hi hit the radar in 2011. >> they sent a letter to the fbi and other agencies that we think this guy has become radical. you need to watch him. >> an fbi statement said the question from russia was based on information that he was a follower of radical islam and a
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strong believer he changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the united states for travel to join us specified underground groups. the fbi says it checks data bases, telephone communications, online activity. it also actually interviewed tamerl tamerlan tsarnaev and family members. they say they did not find any terrorist activity so they gave the information to russia and did not ask for or receive more additional info. case closed. >> because additional information didn't come in, then the fbi says under our purposes for our system with all the the records and the investigation that we're allowed to do here, it hasn't risen to the level to warrant further investigation or full time surveillance. >> a federal law enforcement official agrees and says tamerlan was not on a terror watch list or any no-fly list because the u.s. never deemed him a threat.
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so there were no alarm bells when tsarnaev came back to the u.s. six months later. >> but the time he returned, all investigations, the matter had been closed. >> but even sew, it's not clear if the department of homeland security was charged with monitoring travel even know that ztsarnaezatsarnaev was on his r. >> we are trying to make sure that all of that information that was available was shared. if it wasn't, there may be somebody who dropped the ball. >> a u.s. official said even when there's a hit in the system it doesn't prompt anyone in law enforcement to take action. it's just monitoring for suspicious travel. joe johns, cnn, washington. zbr well, we're getting more breaking news now. a u.s. official telling cnn's jessica yellin about the ongoing investigation that there is no hard evidence of accomplices. there is no known evidence to
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extremists. they're still not certain what radicalized them. additionally investigators determined that the pressure cookers used in the attack came from the department store macy's. the official says investigators did that because too many people in the public were falsely accusing the wrong people of being the bombers. and investigators believe the older bomber who did the car jacking and the younger brother was nearby and then they picked him up. let's dig deeper with peter bergen. jou juliet kayyem joins us here. what have you learned about the elder brother's travels to russia last year? do we really have a complete time line of where he was and when at this point? >> anderson really it's six months that are unaccounted for. he did come here. he stayed with neighbors and
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people in local stores where he lived report seeing him. his family is very much in denial about his vomit and the local community doesn't want to open up about where he was. were there holes in the period of time that he was here hi aunt said he went to chechnya for a couple of days, but it's really far more questions than answers at the moment. he was meeting, what precisely he was doing here. there's a huge amount that we just don't know. >> what i really don't understand is this is a guy who didn't have a job, apparently didn't have much money. apparently had to drop out of community college and yet he manages to spend six months in russia. he has a wife and a newborn baby, and he abandones them for six months peter, it seems very questionable to me. we note that no foreign terrorist groups were involved. do you buy that? do you believe these two
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brothers could have devised, built and tested these weapons on their own here in massachusetts, or do you think there's some kind of overseas component to the training in some way? >> i think it's incredibly unlikely they didn't get some training to blow up two bombs simultaneously without training or practice. it's extremely unlikely. and if you look at the two cases of terrorists attempting to make guns in the country post 9/11. one was in 2010. he had training from pakistani taliban. the other was planning to drop bombs in the manhattan subway in 2009. he had training from al qaeda. there was one other case of a confused man who converted to islam. seemed to also admire timothy mcveigh. he tried to build a bomb. he almost killed himself in 2011. that's the other other example i can think of for somebody who
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tried to go it alen without training and it almost killed him. >> i know you also think there must have been some sort of overseas or some level of training or bomb testing to take place. i talked to tom fuentes, the former assistant director of the fbi earlier today. he was saying he thought it could be done on the internet. he used the example of the toronto 18. he said somebody involved in that plot claimed they got information over the internet in a home study program and actually tested a device in their own home. do you buy that? >> no, not at all. i've spent 30 years dealing with explosives. i'm still scared of them. i wouldn't touch them without someone standing over my shoulder. i don't know how they got detonators. that's sort of key. diddic that use cell phones for secondary power sources? i could go on and on and on, and the chances of you and i going the the store and coming home and assembling these things and
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making it go off is very, very remote. it's very hard to do, or they got very, very lucky. i just don't see it. >> juliet, there are so many questions and not a lot of answers, but again, why this guy who doesn't have a lot of money, doesn't have a job, travels around russia. i know he's staying with relatives but there's still lots of times we can't account for. he leaves his wife and infant child behind. it seems very questionable. why would russia allow them in if they contact the fbi and say we're concerned about this guy's links to radical islam. >> this is exactly where the investigation is going and does suggest that not even the russians viewed him as a terrible threat. when the administration says we have a ping but we didn't continue the investigation that may be based that the russians were also finding not a lot of this. and the russians have a lot lower legal standards on
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investigations than the united states does. so a lot of the pieces seem consistent. that there was a questioning about him. the fbi went to him. the russians were sort of tracking him and that they couldn't find anything. and i think it just goes to how difficult some of these individual cases are. i tend to be like tom fuentes where i can see elements of which maybe they had a lot of inspiration from abroad, from the internet, something happened in russia, but a lot of evidence that they're going to show in court suggests that everything was done here. that's where the investigation is going to go. there's going to be the methods and ideology. those are two very different things. >> it seems the russians may have been onto something. they had suspicions about the older brother yet the fbi says they checked him out. they didn't think him to be a threat and so there was no reason to follow up. we don't yet know what the concerns were actually based on. >> anderson, i've dealt with
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russian intelligence before. a lot, in fact. they don't come to the cia or the fbi with a name in describing somebody as a radical unless they have something concrete. they don't simply turn in their citizens to us saying look at them. they had some reason to look at this. you have to keep in mind that russia is only optic on the chechens. we don't know anything about them. we don't speak chechen and on and on and on. and so when the russians say something, you pay attention. there is no other alternative. >> peter, how much do we know about terrorist training in that part of russia? and going on still in chechnya? is the intelligence good enough that we have a sense of whether there are militants over there training people to launch attacks on american soil? i know one was killed by
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american forces not too long ago. >> i think a foreign fighter al qaeda dimension of the chechen insurgency is really something that was more historical and really more of a problem before 9/11. al qaeda, you know, had members that would go to chechnya recently. and talking about ayman al zwari who is the leader was arrested in 1996 and spent six months in jail. he told the russians some story that wasn't true and they released him. so that's an indication that al qaeda certainly knows part of this well. i see this as more of a pre 9/11 period when the chechen war was at the height. and the detraction for foreigners, al qaeda, foreign firefighter has also received it as well. >> nic robertson, i appreciate you reporting.
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juliet kayyem, thank you very much. we are learning more about the suspect's family members. we are going to play you a conversation their mother had with kate walsh. she is still there. and tamerlan's wife katherine has given a brand new statement on the bond. we'll tell you what she is say. and later the unsolved murder of one of tamerlan's friends and two others in the boston area in 2011. is it possible he could have been involved in those murders? we'll tell you what we know right now. using stereoscopic cameras. ♪ and even stop itself if it has to. ♪ the technology may be hard to imagine. but why you would want it... is not. the 2014 e-class. it doesn't just see the future. it is the future.
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welcome back. we're hearing more from the mother of the bombing suspects who says it was a terrible thing but she knows her sons have nothing to do with it and she thinks they are being framed. we spoke with the mother on the phone and then briefly on the street. take a listen. >> my sons were innocent! and i love them and i want the whole world to know. i love them! and i will love them. and i want to join them. if they're going to kill me today. i will be happy. happy, okay? okay, and i will say allah allahu akbar! >> they were killed because they were muslim. nothing else. >> we're also learning more tonight about the wife of tamerlan ztsarnaev. her name is katherine russell.
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she goes by katie and says she knew nothing of what her husband was planning and is doing everything she can to help in the investigation. >> tamerlan tsarnaev's widow hustled out of her home tuesday morning. investigators want her help as they piece together the alleged boston bomber's plan. >> the reports of involvement by her husband and brother-in-law came as an absolute shock to them all. >> they lived with tamerlan in a cramped apartment as authorities try to figure out when and where he may have assembled the bombs, investigators want to know what, if anything she knows. >> she is doing everything she she can to assist in the ongoing situation. >> russell's attorneys say she didn't know anything. she last saw him before she went to work on thursday. they say she worked as a home health aide while tamerlan stayed home with the couple's
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young daughter. >> very outgoing. very friendly. very smart and very talented. >> that's the katie russell amus remembers. her high school art teacher says she talked a lot about earning her college degree. >> are you surprised how her life has turned out so far? >> i was surprised to find out she had dropped out. i hadn't seen any indication of her particularly interested in my religion. >> she was raised christian. she moved to boston for college, met tamerlan and dropped out. authorities say she converted to islam and was a muslim who wore the head scarf. >> now you are joining me from north kingstown, rhode island. her attorney says she's doing everything she can to cooperate. as she sat down and had interviews with the fbi? >> at this point we don't think so. and if she has, then her attorneys are certainly not saying it publicly.
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they keep telling us that they are talking to authorities on her behalf, but they still haven't confirmed that she herself is ready to sit down directly and talk to investigators one-on-one, anderson. >> so for them saying she is doing everything she can, that is lawyer speak if she hasn't sat down to talk with them. how much -- i mean, do we know, was she living in that apartment? we know she saw him on thursday after the bombing. was she living full time in that apartment, oz was she also spending time at her parents in rhode island? were they living together? >> well, the attorneys say they were living together in that apartment in cambridge. that was the apartment that the brother's parents got when they first came to this country. so basically, she would see a lot of her mother-in-law, the brother's mother. she wouldn't see quite as much of dzhokhar, the younger brother, because he was back and forth to college. and i just got to say one thing.
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for all the talk about tamerlan being so iced and not having any american friends, let's remember he married an american girl named katie from the suburbs of providence, rhode island. so not everything there squares. >> yeah, and we talked to a number of people who considered him a friend over the last several years. so as you say, not everything is square. still learning a lot. i appreciate the update. a lot of questions remain about who the brothers really are, what they are about. in light of the bombings, authorities in massachusetts are looking closely at another crime. the unsolved murder of tamerlan's friend and two others back in 2011. so tell us what we're learning about this triple murder? >> what we know is a team of investigators are looking at it very closely. this was a triple murder that
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happened about 18 months ago in massachusetts. the reason it's back on the radar is because one of the victims was a very close friend of tamerlan tsarnaev. initially the cops thought it was drug related. but they used to work out and train together at a mixed martial arts center in boston. brendan mass was brutally murdered around september 11th. they think it was right around that time, along with two other men, and according to investigators at the time the heads of the victims were pulled back and the throats were slit from ear-to-ear. now marijuana was found at the scene and we're being told it was sprinkled all over the bodies, almost more of a symbolic gesture. also thousands of dollars in cash were found left behind at the crime scene. still police thought it was all about drugs. the district attorney stated at the time that the belief was that the victims, including
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brandon mess knew who the killers were. killers plural. the reason they believe is because mess was skilled in martial arts and he could have potentially fought back if he had the opportunity. a source is also telling us tamerlan tsarnaev is believed to be the last person who saw his friend brandon alive. about three months later tamerlan heads out of the country and that's where the threat grows cold. they're relooking at that, anderson. we simply don't know. we hid interviewed back then? >> no. walton, massachusetts, sort of a small town, police force. we understand they asked massachusetts police to step in
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to offer them help. which is routine. that's what happened when you have a police department who doesn't have the resources. so it's unclear if they didn't get around to questioning tamerlan tsarnaev or whether it was just a stone that was not looked at. >> deb, i appreciate the update. it's been a time of heal. not only in boston but a texas town of west where a fertilizer plant exploded last week and killed many people. many of them first responders. coming up next, a man who was an i-witness to both tragedies. he survived the boston bombings and was in west when the explosion occurred. and tals the man accused of sending letters to president obama laced with ricin. the charges are dropped. what he is saying now and what law enforcement is saying now coming up.
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have hail damage to both their cars. ted ted is trying to get a hold of his insurance agent. maxwell is not. he's on setting up an appointment with an adjuster. ted is now on hold with his insurance company. maxwell is not and just confirmed a 5:30 time for tuesday. ted, is still waiting. yes! maxwell is out and about... with ted's now ex-girlfriend. wheeeee! whoo! later ted! online claims appointments. just a click away on
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well, welcome back. we've obviously been focusing a lot on boston, but our thoughts are also with the people of west, texas, where i was last week. last week an explosion at a fertilizer plant killed nine people. you're looking at exclusive new pictures for the area where firefighters were killed. you can see the area has been absolutely devastated. the explosion left a crater measuring 93 feet and 10 feet deep. 93 feet wide and 10 feet deep. between the boston bombings and explosion in texas, it's been a tragic da in two parts of the country 1,800 miles apart. incredibly one man survived them both. >> joe and amy look at this past week of disasters in boston and west, texas, from a very different vantage point than others. so unique it's hard to contemplate. they also look back with a deep sense of gratitude. >> we just feel blessed that
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we're both okay. and we're able to sit here and talk with you today. >> joe's story begins last monday in boston. he was running his first marathon for a charity. this picture was taken of him at the finish line. just seconds after he crossed -- >> amy was ten feet from the first explosion. >> his wife amy was so very close, but not injured. >> it doesn't make any sense when the person standing beside me in boston was so maimed. >> meanwhile, amy had no idea where her husband was and grew panicked when she couldn't reach him on his cell. >> for an hour, it was the worst hour of my life. i didn't know if he was dead or alive. amy went back to their hotel. >> i thought, dear lord, just let him be there when i get there. thank god, there he was. >> tell me how it felt when you saw her? >> it was incredible. we were both very happy.
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and not getting any response. >> joe and amy flew back to texas on tuesday to reunite with their children. on the next day, wednesday, joe had a business trip so he would leave from boston to dallas. after a few hours he started heading back home. and to get back to austin you have to drive through the town of west, texas. joe was minutes away from the west fertilizer plant when he was stunned to see huge plumes of smoke. he pulled his car over. >> right out of the middle of the black smoke came a giant explosion. i saw a fire ball and then a giant cloud of smoke. it was just so big and it was so loud. it shook my car when i was driving. i was worried about stuff flying out of the sky. i kept looking up. i quickly jumped out and took a picture. >> you must be thinking to yourself i just went through this on monday. >> yeah, the first thought is i can't believe this. and what is it?
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is it another terrorist attack? is it a bomb? what is this explosion? it was so massive. >> how old are you? >> 43. >> in 43 years have you ever been near a bomb or explosion before? >> no. >> and then it happened twice in three days. >> yes. >> joe got back in his car and in a jittery voice called his wife amy back at home. i said, you'll never believe this, but i've seen another explosion. and started to describe it to her. and her first reaction is just get home as quick as you can. >> and that joe did. returning home to a wife and children who want him to city around for a while. >> gary tuchman joins me live from west in texas. i understand you're outside of an inner faith memorial service for the victims right now. tell me about it. people are coming out in a very touching service. they call it a service of
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healing and thanksgiving. it was run by muslim, hindu and the high faiths. it was very emotional. there were seven first responders inside who got applause from the hundreds of people who were inside the church. i do want to update you about the investigation. as we speak there are a dozen state and federal investigators on the scene trying to figure out how the fire started. we also know the death toll has gone from 14 to 15. the latest person to be added to this the death toll was a man who lived at a nursing home who was destroyed. here was a man who almost lived to a century and died this way. it's so horrifying and pitiful. back to you. >> yeah, president obama will be in waco on thursday for the big memorial service there. gary, i appreciate it. i just had breaking news in another major story tonight. a mississippi man accused of senti i
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sending ricen laced letters to the president and a senator says he was framed. we'll have a look at ha when we come back. ♪ so we play 'em like rachmaninoff ♪ ♪ just hooked 'em up with score alerts ♪ ♪now we're about to set it off ♪set it off like a score alert ♪ beep beep what? ♪if you set your phone to vibrate ♪ ♪ then it might alert your button flies all the ♪ ♪ girls and the guys wanna keep that credit score ♪ ♪ high like a private jet free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ don't forget narrator: offer applies with enrollment in
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welcome back. another breaking story we're following tonight. the mississippi man accused of sending ricin tainted letters to president obama and other officials have been cleared the charges against paul kevin curtis were dropped today. here's what he said after he was released from jail. >> this past week has been a nightmare for myself and my family. my mother has suffered as well as my children. i would like to get back to normal, which for me means being the best father i can be to my children, supporting my favorite charity, save a life foundation, and entertaining through my music. >> well, curtis is an elvis impersonator. his lawyers say he was framed and authorities are looking at another suspect. it's a pretty stunning turn in a
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story that broke after the boston bombings. dan, no doubt this guy has been through a lot. what more did he say about his ordeal? >> well, he's a colorful character. he's an elvis impersonator. and he is someone who performed ten years ago for the u.s. senator from mississippi, who he was accused of sending a threatening letter to. so well known in the area. but al an interesting character because he talked about how he's been arrested more than 20 times but never convicted. he said when they came to and were talking about ricing and said he thought they were talking about rice and didn't even eat rice. an unusual character nonetheless. he did talk about what a nightmare it was for him to be locked up mind bars for something he said he did not do. >> last seven days staring at
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four walls. not really knowing what's happening. not having a clue why i'm there. just being in a state of overwhelmed is the best way can describe it. when you've been charged with something and never heard of it. ricin or whatever. i thought they said rice. i said, i don't even eat rice. >> how did the authorities focus on this guy in the first place, and where does the investigation go from here? >> well, you know, there was a lot of information that was out there on the internet, on facebook, writings of his that led authorities right back to him. but all along he was saying with his legal team that he had nothing to do with this. that he was framed. that because he had so much information out there already that someone just took his words and turned it against him. as for where it goes from here, we don't know, that's an important question because authorities will only tell us they have new information and they're following the new information.
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>> all right, dan. i appreciate the update. there's a lot more happening tonight. randi kaye joins us from the 360 bulletin. randi? >> anderson tonight the flooded midwest is bracing for rain and snow. record flood levels over the past two weeks. heavy rain and flooding have already taken several lives. and suspected child predator eric toth entered no plea to charges of child pornography. a high quality tip led to his capture in nicaragua. the former private schoolteacher and camp counselor was a fugitive since 2008. and the justice department has filed a lawsuit against lance armstrong. they accuse him of violating a contract with the u.s. postal service. after years of denial armstrong admitted in january to using performance enhancing drugs. anderson? >> randi, appreciate that.
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we'll be right back.
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