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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 25, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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test. on our broadcast tonight, under arrest. 33 years to the day has a landmark cold case been solved? tonight, a suspect and lingering questions. extreme werkt. a danger heat wave and the fight to put out a big fire this holiday weekend. the butler did it. that's what they're saying about one of the pope's most trusted aides. >> and space odyssey. how history was made today. "nightly news" begins now. good evening. it was exactly 33 years ago
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today, may 25th of 1979, it was also a friday. it was also the start of memorial day weekend with when a little boy vanished on his way to school in new york city. and he quickly became a face we associate with the start of a nation movement. his name was etan patz, and now a man is facing murder charges after confessing to the killing. tonight, he's hospitalized and on a suicide watch and awaiting the next steps in what will be a complicated legal process all these years later. it's where we begin tonight with nbc's ron allen. >> the father of etan patz returned home today to a crush of media as the man who police say admitted killing his son, pedro hernandez, was charged with murder in a new york hospital instead of a courtroom because of an undisclosed illness. hernandez is married, a father of a college-aged daughter.
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>> he was remorseful. he seemed to -- i think the detectives thought it was a feeling of relief on his part. >> police say hernandez had told relatives over it years that he once killed a child in new york, and last month when investigators launched a high-profile but ultimately unsuccessful search for etan's remains, police sources say one of the relatives called in a tip. 33 years ago today, 6-year-old etan was walking two blocks to catch a school bus, doing it alone for the first time. near the store where hernandez worked. police say during a long detailed confession, hernandez admitted strangling the boy, putting the body in a bag, and dumping it in the trash. it was a case so shocking, it awakened the nation to a problem of missing children. >> etan simply disappeared. this disappearance has led to the most extensive search for a missing child in new york city for decades. >> his image was everywhere.
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police searched the neighborhood door to door. his parents agonized. >> i think more thoughts about where etan is and how he's being detained and what he's eating and what he's thinking. creep in more often. but yo you can't continue to dwell on that or you don't keep going. >> the family has never moved. or changed their phone number, hoping etan would call or come home. in the decades since, countless sightings, theories, leads, and even other suspects have gone nowhere. tonight, in the neighborhood where hernandez had been living a quiet life for years, his confession was stunning. >> i still can't believe it, really. i mean, but you never know. you see this happening and you ask people, did you believe what happened? i say no. >> some crime experts caution a confession may not be enough to get a conviction. >> they're going to have to be
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able to place him at the crime scene, show he had some type of motive, and perhaps even some inclination to commit the crime before or after, before they're able to tie this up. >> hernandez will face a single count of second degree murder. in court, his attorney said he has mental issues and he has hallucinations. police admit they don't have any physical evidence linking him to the crime and they say the do not expect to find the remains. >> ron allen here with us in new york tonight starting us off. ron, thanks. this case, of course, was one of a few that changes the way the country dealt with crimed against children and put child abduction into the front of america's consciousness for better or worse. we get more from chris jansing. >> the photos are faded, but rosa glover's memories are fresh from the day in 1989 when her
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son disappeared from a playground in harlem. >> i figure he's out there somewhere, we just have to find him. >> the arrest in the etan patz case has given families of missing children nee hope and changes since the abduction have been dramatic. >> in 1979, you couldn't enter missing children information into the fbi's national crime computer. you could enter information about stolen cars but not stolen children. >> patz's disappearance led president ronald reagan to sign legislation establishing the database of national children. every year, an estimated 200,000 children are abducted by family members. 58,000 by nonfamily members. 10015 are stranger abductions where the child is kilded, held for ransom, or taken with the intention to keep them. technology has been a game changer. pictures that once went out on
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milk cartons are now sent out immediately. >> at the center for missing and exploited children, the recovery rate 12 years ago was 62%. now, it's 97%. elizabeth smart snatched from her bed at fraeb, was found nine months later. jaycee dugered was found after 18 years. and though adam walsh was killed by his abductor. 27 years later, his father was grateful when the case was solved. >> rosa glover still has hope. technology allows her to see what her son might look like now at 23. >> i have to find him. >> she believes someone somewhere with answer the heart breaking questions she's asked herself every day for 21 years. where is my son? chris jansing, nbc news, new york. in other news in this holiday friday night, with almost 2 million americans expthded to visit the state of florida this memorial day
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weekend, the place they call the happiest place on earth may also be the smokiest this evening. a small sprawling and smoky brush fire near the theme parks in orlando led authorities to close i-4 in both directions. that's a big deal. flames were actually visible from the road at the exit for downtown disney. there have been backups all day, and remember how many of those cars are full of kids, and that means frazzled parents at the wheel. we have actually got some weather we're watching for this holiday weekend, in addition to extreme heat. we have a pretty good storm forming, speaking of florida. jim cantore is at the weather channel headquarters with that. hey, jim, good evening. >> three things we're watching for you this weekend. of course, it would be mice if we could take the tropical system and put it over a parched central florida. the biggest thing is the heat. secondly, severe, we're going to ramp up the tornado count, and the tropics. first the heat, if we get to 95
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degrees in indianapolis, that will be the hottest indianapolis 500 ever. you're talk about some 400 people out there enduring that heat. on sunday, the trough, which is bringing snow to west yellowstone, lips out and producing tornadoes, we think. min minneapolis, omaha, and there's our tropical enttty trying to develop offshore of wilmington. a lot of models bring us back west. that means some unsettled weather for the beaches, rip currents here, and potentially maybe good news at the end of this, some of the worst drought in the country over georgia and south carolina, maybe a little rain there. >> hope it's not enough to keep you too busy this weekend. jim cantore at the weather channel headquarters tonight. politicians give a lot of speeches. today, one pop titian in one speech decided to get very personal. vice president joe biden was talking to military families when he decided to tell his own
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story, and it became an emotional moment. he told of the day in 1972 when he was a newly elected senator and was out of town when he got a phone call with news that his family had been in a terrible accident. >> we knew, we just felt it in your bones. something bad happened. and i knew. i don't know how i knew, but the call said my wife was dead, my daughter was dead, and i wasn't sure how my sons were going to make it. christmas shopping and a tractor trailer broadsided them. in one instant, killed two of them and, well -- for the first time in my life, i understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. and i remember looking up and saying, god, if i was talking to
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god myself. you can't be good. how can you be good? it became solace for me to talk to people i didn't even know but called me and said they had been through it. they called, gave me their phone number, and i called. just someone to say you can make it. there will come a day, i promise you, and your parents as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife, brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. it will happen. >> joe biden, who was speaking today to military families who themselves have suffered a loss. about the accident that took the life of his wife and his 1-year-old daughter back in 1972. now to what happened high above earth today. today marked the future of the space program in this country. it's not our space program as much as it is a private company,
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a commercial space krath that docked to with the international space station. our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> station houston, you have a go for capture. >> flying high above australia at 17,000 miles an hour. a private company this morning managed to accomplish something only four nations have ever achieved. at 9:56 a.m. -- >> chapture is confirmed. >> the space station's arm reached out and grabbed a space craft named dragon. >> it looks like we got a dragon by the tail. >> at spacex headquarters out of los angeles, celebration and tears. >> i would like to thank the whole spacex team. you guys are awesome. >> the man behind it all, spacex founder, elon musk. >> it's a fantastic day and a great day for the country and for the world. >> with a space shuttle fleet retired, nasa has been relying
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on russian space craft to ferry astronauts and cargo to and from the station while waiting for private business to take over. surprisingly, this company, just ten years old, beat out some big competitors to win a $1.6 billion nasa contract. >> they completely built and tested and flew this space craft in a manner that has really been remarkable. >> the average age at spacex is just 30, but it combined years of nasa know-how with different thinking to pull this off. >> this mission is only the beginning of a widening of space acce access, including not just cargo to orbit but people to orbit. >> the first spacex manned mission could be years away. tonight, with dragon in the station's arm, it's champagne at spacex. tom costello, nbc news, washington. still ahead along the way on a friday night, the scandal at the vatican you might have heard about toot.
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the allegations involving secret documents, corruption, and the pope's butler is under arrest tonight. and later this evening, a golden anniversary for a wonder of the modern world. a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business. ♪ and even better for your customers. ♪ for safe and secure ways to stay connected, visit are choosing advil. i'm keith baraka and i'm a firefighter. and it's very physically demanding. if i'm sore i'm not at my best. advil is my go-to. it's my number one pain reliever. [ male announcer ] make the switch. take action. take advil. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you?
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my inspiration for quitting were my sons. they were my little cheering squad. [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. correspondent richard engle is warning us from cairo tonight, things could get dicy in egypt in a hurry. there are two major candidates there headed for a run-off election. neither of them is what so many egyptians said they wanted when they took to the streets in protest last year. one is from the muslim broorth hood, he said he wants to impose islamic law. he's openly hostile to israel. he's facing a candidate with
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ties to the mubarak campaign. he's promising to crush dissent. >> a new scandal is rocking the vatican tonight. it's making headlines around the world in the process. it involves secret documents, allegations of corruption, a bombshell new book, and today, the arrest of one of pope benedict's most trusted aides, his own butler. our details from nbc's jim maceda. >> pope benedict's personal butler, paolo gabriele, always seetded up front in the popemobile, but today, he was arrested after police found hundreds of confidential documents in his house. he allegedly leaked the documents to the media, including investigative reporter geonluigi nutzi who unveiled a corruption. some small wheels in the vatican machine decided rightly or wrongly to make public important
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events, like palace plots, he said. they confirmed the butler was arrested and called the book and the leaks criminal and launched its own investigation. among the incriminating documents, letters to the pope from the archbishop revival a small netwalk of construction companies awarded vatican contracts at inflated prices. but the whistle blower was punished and against his wished, packed off to the u.s. where he's now the vatican ambassador in washington. other leak eed documents reveal vatican in fighting over financial transparency. on thursday, tudesky was fired at the vatican bank's president. >> he said he was ousted because he was the one who wanted transparency. >> it's unclear if the pope's butler acted alone or was taking orders, but the alleged leaked by the man close stz to the pope may have lifted another veil on the secretive activity.
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johnsonville. sausage is all we do. catch you up on two consumer stories in the news this week. begining with a warning about the new tide pods, the detergent capsules. the maker of tide said they're going to child proof the container they come in. some kids have mistake enthem for candy. several children have been hospitalized. on the up side for consumers, another invention from the folks add mit. this joins a long list that includes the fax machine and gps. this has to deal with a minor issue we have all dealt with, how to get the ketchup out of the inside of a bottsal. it will also work for jelly and jam and honey. it can be used on plastic, glass, or metal and made from
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100% organic materials. this kind of thing is going to happen over and over and over as more of the tsunami degree reaches our shores. this time, it was a basketball that washed up in alaska. it was traced all the way back to a middle school on the japanese coast that was destroyed by the tsunami. the school would like to have it back for a good luck charm for their basketball team. the folks in the small town of craig, alaska, are collecting all of the debris that's washing up. the associated press is out with its annual look at ceo pay in this country, the best paid people in america did better last year. their pay rose an average of 6% to the highest level since '06. topping the list, david simon, the head of a shopping mall empire took in a whopping $137 million, almost all of that in stock awards. he was followed by two media executives. median ceo pay for publicly traded companies came out to
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$9.6 million a year. that comes out north of $3,000 an hour for a 60-hour work week. it would take the average american worker 244 years to make that money. for a minimum wage worker, it would take 636 years. we want to answer the question, who is a big dog? we're getting a response from a photo we posted yesterday. we had an unannounced vetter to our editorial meeting. penny the australian shepherd mix. penny did not want to leave, and truth be told, i did not want to let her go. but she will make someone very happy, like only a loving and grateful shelter dog can. when we come back here tonight, the spectacular birthday celebration out west for a main ument to a time when americans did big things best. [ male announcer ] this is lois. the day starts with arthritis pain... americans did big things best. o americans did big things best. n americans did big things best.
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stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. it helps to have people around you... they say, you're much bigger than this. and you are. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. that's how it is with alzheimer's disease. she needs help from me. and her medication. the exelon patch, it releases medication continuously for twenty-four hours. she uses one exelon patch daily for the treatment of mild to moderate alzheimer's symptoms. [ female announcer ] it cannot change how the disease progresses. hospitalization and rarely death have been reported in patients who wore more than one patch at a time. the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds
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may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers who take certain other medicines should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems such as bleeding may worsen. patients may experience slow heart rate. [ woman ] whenever i needed her, she was there for me. now i'm here for her. [ female announcer ] ask the doctor about your loved one trying the exelon patch. visit to learn more. what may be the party of this memorial day weekend will be in san francisco as they beautiful city celebrates the 75th anniversary of the beautiful golden gate bridge. our report from nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> if you really can leave your
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heart in san francisco, chances are it's on the golden gate bridge. >> the bridge has a personality, it has a life, it has a feeling to it. it beckons people. >> all the way from africa. long way. >> on its 75th anniversary, the golden gate is still a wonder. >> it's one of the things you need to see in the world. >> not just for its beauty but the sheer fact it was built at all. skeptics called it impossible. >> the greatest challenge was the south tower in the turbulent ti tides. high winds, fog. >> there were economic challenges, too. the country was in the midst of the great depression. as the bridge took shape over four years, so, too, did the idea that america could rebuild. it was the world's longest suspension bridge at the time. >> it really symbolizes progress to me. >> edgar stone was just 17 when he and buddiy ies camped out al
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night to be the first across. it's not much different today. >> as soon as you see the bridge, you get the feeling it's a special place. >> rocky delurocca has worked here for 28 years. overseeing the painting of the international orange. >> i dream in international orange. a great color. >> this color that makes the golden gate bridge such an icon was actually an accident. it was just a primer on the metal until the architect saw how it looked against the land scrape. >> i couldn't mage any other color. >> it could have been a very different picture for the bridge that has stolen hearts. >> it's just a great sim bm of ma america and what america can do. >> and given hope for 75 years. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, san francisco. how about that? that's our broadcast on a friday night. for this week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. have a wonderful memorial day weekend and please pause to remember our veterans.
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good night.


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