On Wednesday, the San Bernardino County sheriff tried to answer one of the many lingering questions about what happened at that cabin in the woods, where it's believed fugitive and ex-cop Christopher Dorner died.
Some of the questions at the top of the list: Do the charred human remains found in the cabin Big Bear Lake belong to Dorner? And how did Dorner manage to live literally across the street from the police command post for what appears to be several days?
This mornin, fmr. LAPD Chief William Bratton joins “Starting Point” to shed some insight on the latest developments.
The trail picked up again on Tuesday, when Karen and Jim Reynolds came upon a man who looked like Dorner in their house across the street from the sheriff's command center in the Big Bear area. The fugitive had apparently taken refuge in the cabin for several days which sparked a flurry of questions for the sheriff’s department about how Dorner managed to evade capture during the 10-day search. Bratton says although “a lot has been made of the fact the command post was so close but [Dorner] was not in line of sight to that command post.”
During the Tuesday press conference the San Bernardino County sheriff said "We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out." Bratton says “The first story is never the last story.” He adds, “In terms of what went on during those several hours of the siege, those are issues that the Sherriff’s department is going to have to speak to at some point and time to explain what exactly occurred there.”
When it comes to the media, Bratton says he has learned from his time in policing that “you either get out in front of the story or story overwhelms you.”
The manhunt for ex-cop Christopher Dorner ended dramatically Tuesday evening, with Dorner allegedly holing up in a cabin that was later set on fire. This morning, Terry Turchie, the former FBI Deputy Asst. Director of the Counterterrorism Division, joins “Starting Point” to discuss the latest developments in the Dorner case and the rush to identify human remains at the scene.
Turchie says because police were already aware that Dorner was extremely violent and armed, they were going to be prepared.
“When they had the right mix of resources, if there were no hostages in there they were going to be ready to go in pretty quickly,” he says.
Turchie says the Sheriff office’s decision to pull out some resources during the hunt for Dorner was ok because “while it looked as though they were scaling down… they still had the presence there.” He adds, “they still knew how to operate there and they still knew how to get resources back there pretty quickly.”
This morning "Starting Point, Chris Voss, a former FBI Lead international kidnapping negotiator, weighs in on the final hours of a desperate manhunt for Chris Dorner.
“A negotiator will continue to try to communicate with the person inside – if nothing else to provide a distraction so the tactical to people can get in. It’s just one thing to try to confuse the subject in the middle of an assault,” Voss says.
In his manifesto, Dorner said at one point, "Self preservation is no longer important to me," which lead many to believe he might commit suicide. But Voss says the manifesto lead him to believe Dorner “was completely enamored with himself...and as a negotiator you hope at some point and time that his desire to continue that overrides the desire to die.”
This morning on "Starting Point," Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger weighs in on the latest developments regarding ex-cop Chris Dorner’s deadly spree.
Manger says in terms of public fear there is a great deal of similarities between his hunt for Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad and the search for former Los Angeles Police officer Christopher Dorner.
“Folks that were around here 10 years ago remember the knot in their stomach for a period of three weeks, and folks were changing their daily routines,” Chief Dorner says.
The former Fairfax County police chief says differences between the searches revolve around the fact that police in California knew who they were looking for so they had an advantage. He adds that the information center set up in Los Angeles for tips and the various searches were definitely a great help.
While investigators anxiously await the DNA results of the charred remains Manger says, “they'll make some preliminary decisions and know 99.999% that this is the individual. I’m sure they’re pretty certain right now that it’s Dorner.”
“A lot of folks got their first good night's sleep last night...there’s going to be a huge sense of relief throughout the public as well,” he says.
The newest episode of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has recently been surrounded in controversy due to a special guest star. In the episode that airs tonight, retired boxer Mike Tyson, who served three years in prison for raping a woman in 1992, plays a convict who molested as a child.
His casting has prompted an online petition asking NBC to replace Tyson or pull the episode. The petition was started by Marcie Kaveney, a rape crisis counselor and is also a rape survivor. This morning Kaveney joins “Starting Point” to explain.
When Kaveney learned that Tyson was cast for the role, she says, “Nobody was touching on what it might mean to the survivors to see a convicted rapist on a show...about victims and survivors of rape.”
“Ultimately rape is rape and it’s no less heinous because it happens 20 years ago than it is today,” she says. "The show bases itself around victims stories and survivors stories and that is the problem right there – is that you have survivors having to turn on that show and see Mike Tyson on a that they consider to be theirs that tells their stories that they identify with.”
Kaveney says, “Ultimately...it all comes down to survivors and that you have thousands and millions survivors watching your show and that you have a responsibility to them.” She adds, “The fact that he’s on the show at all is a problem. The fact that he’s playing a victim is an even bigger problem because at what point do you say ‘Ok, are we going to let all the rapists and the murderers out of jail because they had a terrible childhood?’ You have to take responsibility for you actions.”
Monday afternoon in Midland City, Alabama, a kindergartner was reunited with his family after spending nearly a week as a hostage in an underground bunker.
The 5-year-old boy, identified only as Ethan, was taken hostage by 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes who boarded the boy’s school bus last Tuesday and shot and killed the driver, Charles Poland Jr. After negotiations between law enforcement officials and Dykes deteriorated the FBI stormed the underground bunker and rescued Ethan. Dykes was killed, although authorities have not reported how exactly. The kindergartner who reportedly has Asperger's syndrome and ADHD is said to be okay, at least physically and will get to spend his sixth birthday safe with his family tomorrow.
This morning, psychologist Rebecca Bailey talks about the challenges of reuniting loved ones after trauma on “Starting Point.” She describes what Ethan and his family will face moving forward.
Baile=y, who worked with kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard, says reports of Ethan laughing and joking after being reunited with his family are “wonderful signs and a testament also of the human spirit.”
“Frequently we expect situations where the victim comes out in the same way that the traumatized people are at watching and waiting and hoping. So this is a very good sign,” she says.
Bailey does emphasize that every family and every situation is different.
“Certainly there will be memories and certainly this family and this child has been obviously affected by this traumatic experience but as the days go on and time unfolds we’ll find out more of what the child needs, what the family needs,” she says.
In the case where an abducted child has siblings, Bailey says it is extremely important to remember that their lives have been touched as well. She adds that “what we need to see in the next week, two weeks is the family pulling together.” Bailey says that as the family celebrates Ethan’s successful and safe return, “some of the shock will begin to wear off.”
The hostage standoff in Alabama came to an end yesterday when FBI officials say negotiations broke down with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, the abductor of a five-year-old boy taken off a school bus last Tuesday. Dykes is now dead. The FBI rescued that five-year-old hostage named "Ethan" from an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama. Ethan returns home just in time to celebrate his sixth birthday tomorrow.
Alicia Kozakiewicz is someone who has some insight into what that little boy suffered. She survived a terrifying abduction when she was 13-years-old. Now 24-years-old, she runs "The Alicia Project," an advocacy group. Alicia comes to “Starting Point” to share her experience and explain how Ethan’s parents and the community should approach him now that he has been rescued.
Alicia says she couldn’t believe she was being rescued when the FBI had come for her, but thought that they were others coming to hurt her.
“I didn't notice and I didn’t realize that I was being rescued until one of them actually turned around and I saw FBI on the back of their jackets,” Alicia says. “And I still questioned, is this real? Am I actually being rescued? Is this just a dream? And it took really until I was home with my parents to feel that.”
Alicia shares how Ethan’s family can similarly help him heal and adjust back to life. She says the key is to keep things normal.
“That’s what we have to do for this little boy. Keep certain things as normal as possible,” she says. “Things like just basic routines that he had done before..his favorite games, his favorite movies, his favorite food...just try to keep an anchor in the before. And really not equate this with this happening to him. This happened to him, it is not who he is.”
Jeffrey Dahmer was one of America’s most notorious serial killers, murdering and dismembering 17 young men and boys. In some cases Dahmer ate parts of their bodies. In 1994, Dahmer himself was murdered while in prison.
A new documentary,"The Jeffrey Dahmer Files," explores how a seemingly normal person becames a serial killer. The film features an interview with one of the lead detectives on the case, Patrick Kennedy and his chilling experience uncovering details during the investigation.
This morning, now-retired Detective Kennedy and director Chris James Thompson join “Starting Point” to discuss the new documentary.
Kennedy, who served the Milwaukee Police Department for 21 years, says he had “seen many shootings and many dismemberments and some gory things” but what he uncovered at Dahmer’s home was truly surreal. He recalls being there to arrest Dahmer and feeling an “overwhelming irrational fear” even though he knew he was not in any danger.
Thompson grew up in Milwaukee, and says he remembers people in his neighborhood discussing the serial killings of Jeffrey Dahmer as if it were “a flood or a hurricane...it was a disaster that affected a lot of people.” He adds that in other places like Madison people discussed the killings as if “it was a movie that was coming out next Friday night.”
Ultimately Thompson says his curiosity of how the Dahmer case affected people over a period of time led him to make his film. He says taking a look back 20 years later for those closely involved in the case like Kennedy, the medical examiner and others gives them “some 20/20” to see how it affected them over the years.
Today, “Starting Point” looks back at a crime that gripped the nation 20 years ago. Nine-year-old Katie Beers was locked in a dungeon on Long Island and sexually abused by her kidnapper, neighbor John Esposito, in December of 1992. He made her stay there for 17 days, chained by the neck in a locked wooden box suspended above the ground. A television in the corner provided the only distraction and the only light. Her only meals were junk food. Her captor broke down and she was rescued.
Decades after her kidnapping, Beers is revealing her story in the new book, "Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story." It was co-written by WCBS News reporter Carolyn Gusoff, the local television reporter who covered her story. Now a 30-year-old married mother of two living in rural Pennsylvania, she talks with Soledad today on remarkable story of survival and strength.
Beers describes the life of abuse she led before her kidnapping. “My childhood consisted of enslavement by my godmother and my godmother's husband,” she says. “Not only that,” she continues, “but also sexual abuse by my godmother's husband, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse by both my godmother herself and her husband, and neglect by my mother.”
She says she didn’t realize how desperate her life was until after her abduction, though she feels her childhood prepared her for the horrors of her abduction. “My will to survive during the abduction came from the abuse that I sustained as a child.”
After her rescue, Beers lived with a foster family, who she says was “instrumental” to her recovery. She also accredits therapy greatly for helping her overcome her past. “I try not to think about it,” she says. “There's no point in thinking about the past. I've gone through therapy. I've said my piece. I've now written the book, and now I feel I can finally rebury everything. There's no point in opening up old scars.”