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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Colorado Wildfires Raging; Syria Crosses Obama Red Line; Cancer Charity Rip Off; The Life And Alleged Crimes Of Whitey Bulger; Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial; Zimmerman Jury To Be Sequestered
Aired June 13, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Evening everyone. A lot of breaking news tonight: Syria crossing the chemical weapons red line; Colorado wildfires; and brutal weather hitting another big chunk of the country.
Also tonight a "Keeping Them Honest" report. It's going to make your blood boil but you've got to see it to believe it. A few cancer charities have taken hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. What we found out what they are really doing with your money and it's not helping the people in need.
Later, he shared a spot in the "Most Wanted" list with Osama bin Laden and was even harder to find. Now Whitey Bolger is in court, back in Boston, the city where some songs (INAUDIBLE) far more knew him as a terrifying mob boss and 19 families are still mourning the loved ones he's accused of murdering.
We begin tonight with the breaking news of the fires that have now turned thousands of acres in Colorado and hundreds of homes to ashes. The worst wildfires in state history. The flames have also sent tens of thousands of people fleeing.
Martin Savidge has been in the fire zone from the start.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Colorado's Black Forest fire is barely contained. And now deadly claiming two lives. The number of homes destroyed by Colorado's Black Forest fire in less than 24 hours has more than tripled. It is now the most destructive blaze in state history and officials say it's far from done.
Jack Hinton was one of many to get the bad news.
JACK HINTON, COLORADO WILDFIRE VICTIM: When you hear a total loss, then you almost go numb. You just -- you look at each other and we cried a little bit and we just try to decide what's next.
SAVIDGE: But the racing flames are consuming homes faster than officials can keep track even re-burning in areas previously spared.
SHERIFF TERRY MAKETA, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Homes we knew were standing yesterday I personally witnessed go down last night.
SAVIDGE: Many evacuees could only wonder what they will find once they are allowed to go home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is what it is. Right? So I either have a house or I don't have a house. There is nothing I can do about that.
SAVIDGE: Black Forest is a type one fire, the worst there is, making it a national priority. Already thousands have been forced to evacuate with more joining them daily as the evacuation zone continues to grow.
Hundreds of firefighters struggle against 30 to 35 mile per hour winds that push the flames in ever changing directions. Helicopters and military planes drop water and flame retardant.
And Black Forest is just one of three fires scorching Colorado. To the south is the Royal Gorge Fire that continues to burn in the popular tourist destination. At least 20 structures have been destroyed and a suspension bridge damaged.
While a lightning sparked fire burns hundreds of acres in Rocky Mountain National Park.
For now weather forecasters predict no end to the severe conditions feeding the fires or to the heartache the flames continue to bring.
COOPER: And the images are stunning. Martin Savidge joins me now.
Martin, you've been talking with fire commanders. What's going to take to stop these fires, particularly that Black Forest Fire?
SAVIDGE: It's going to take a change of the weather and specifically it's got to take the dropping of the winds. They say that is the biggest problem they're dealing with right now. It's a huge problem because the winds keep shifting and with it, of course, the flames. Very unpredictable especially when it gets into certain areas of the range and the valleys and things like that.
So that is the biggest problem. The wind has to die down then on top of that temperatures have to go down, with the humidity levels have got to come up. It is nature that is controlling everything right now -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. And it's been less than a year since the previous record of worst Colorado fires. Are they increasing -- I mean, is this because of the drought?
SAVIDGE: They are, they are increasing and that is a worry, of course, for anyone who lives along the front range here because, you know, it's a significant problem. Waldo County fire, you just pointed out, that was, you know, 346 homes destroyed at that point. Many people said well, that'll will be a long time before we're ever threatened by something that bad.
It wasn't a long time. It was less than one year. I covered that fire and now authorities here are facing something even worse and the problem is 346 was where that fire ended. This one is still going and still ramping up.
The problem is drought, as you mentioned, the other problem is the fact that this a very popular area. People love to live here. More have come. The other problem is a lot of these homes are built right into the trees that they love but are so dangerous right now.
COOPER: And -- I mean, what's the answer? More firefighters, equipment? What?
SAVIDGE: You know, the fire officials say that there are times, that there are conditions where it wouldn't matter what you have, and we're in those conditions right now. They say you could have a fire engine on every street. They could not have stopped these flames. It's not more equipment, more people, and more aircraft. It is basically going to require a change of lifestyle.
Homes are going to have to be built differently, codes are going to have to be toughened, fire resistance is going to be something built in and this is something that will take years to bring about but it has to be a change of mindset first of all -- Anderson.
COOPER: Martin, thanks. Stay safe.
We're joined now by Janette and Kristian Coyne. With flames coming fast, they packed up the computer, the baby albums, took what they could. They got themselves and their 20-month-old daughter to safety. They made it. They made the right choice. Their home was destroyed. They -- watched it burn on the news from a local fire station, unbelievable.
Janette, Kristian, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so glad you're safe. How are you both holding up right now?
KRISTIAN COYNE, LOST HOME IN COLORADO WILDFIRE: We've had a couple of days to process. We knew on Tuesday, we saw it live on TV. So, you know, with 48 hours to think about it and, you know, deal with some insurance and everything, we've got a refreshed state of mind.
COOPER: Janette, you --
JANETTE COYNE, LOST HOME IN COLORADO WILDFIRE: We have a lot of friends and family supporting us.
COOPER: You have a lot of friends and family supporting you. You -- Janette, you had actually just gotten home when you saw the smoke. What do you do -- what do you do in that situation?
J. COYNE: I went to see what it was because I wasn't sure what it -- if it was very big, and when I got out there, I realized it was probably bigger than something I should deal with, so that's when I dialed 911, ran home and called Christian. He lives -- or he works very close to our home. He raced home. We literally had five minutes and we left because it was -- the flames were there.
COOPER: And within five minutes, what do you -- what do you take? What do you grab? J. COYNE: The first thing I grabbed was the baby album, then I grabbed our personal computer because all of our pictures are on that computer. We grabbed the fire box which houses our passports, Social Security cards and that was it. Like -- we just -- we had to leave.
COOPER: Thank goodness you had a fire box. That was incredibly smart and well-prepared.
Kristian, when you got home and you saw how close the fire was, I mean, what first went through your mind?
K. COYNE: I didn't actually see the flames like Janette did. I saw the smoke bearing down and I was freaked. I -- you can't describe what goes through your mind.
COOPER: Janette, you wouldn't have been allowed back into your home but you actually saw it burning on television. I can't imagine anything worse than that.
J. COYNE: Yes, it was probably the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. You have that moment where you say, is that really my house? But we knew it was. However, now I'm grateful that I know. A lot of people here just don't know and we are able to process it because we know where we stand. Unfortunately, we saw it 50 times over and over and over on the news but at least we know.
COOPER: Kristian, what do you do now? I mean, how do you pick up and move forward? You said you've had some time to process this, but how do you start picking up the pieces?
K. COYNE: One minute at a time. I mean --
J. COYNE: We don't know yet.
K. COYNE: Yes. At this point, you know, we have no idea of the status of our property, if it's -- you know, if all our trees are completely burned down or, you know, if it's something that we can rebuild on --
J. COYNE: We're focused right now on our friends and family that are still -- our friends and neighbors who are still impacted by this fire. And it's a completely out of control situation, and I really were worried about the people around us, the people we care about and our community, and I think that's what we're trying to focus on right now, and we'll figure out where we head tomorrow.
COOPER: Well, you're good neighbors and I appreciate you talking to us and again, I'm so sorry for your loss of your house and thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
K. COYNE: Thank you.
J. COYNE: Thank you. COOPER: As you can see from the wind there, from Martin Savidge's report, that the weather plainly making things tough out there for firefighters.
For more on that as well as the dangerous storms hammering the Eastern Seaboard, I want to check on Chad Myers in the Weather Center -- Chad.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, to hear the microphone blowing in the wind and to see that shirt blowing gives you an idea of what the wind is like there. It's not only windy but it's dry. The relative humidity this afternoon was down to 9 percent. I mean, you walk outside in your wet hair that hair will dry in five seconds.
It's the dry air that came out of the mountain. It's still coming out of the mountain right now. Denver, you're on up into the 80s, Colorado 82, 83 here, Colorado Springs, and the winds are southeast to south at 20 miles per hour. And it doesn't get better tomorrow.
Now it does on the weekend a little bit. It gets a little better. Temperatures cool down a little bit and the winds are down to about 15. But still a 15-mile per hour wind pushes oxygen into the fire and the fire just continues to go. Saturday, Sunday, 82, 83, 86, 84. There in Colorado Springs.
We're not talking about places in the mountains, either. You think about forest fires. They happen in the mountains. No, this is actually kind of not even in the foothills. This is just north and east of Colorado Springs. You drive up, as you go up I-29 and 25 you see it right there.
What we're seeing here windy conditions for the next couple of days, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, red flank conditions, wind gusts 30, 35 miles per hour. And it doesn't get any better.
Now something else to watch today. You wanted to talk about this. This severe weather. A big storm rolled through Washington, D.C. into Baltimore. A lot of damage around Rockville, Laurel, into Columbia, trees down everywhere. Not major damage but just trees down. At a time 500,000 people were without power.
I'm going to give you a little perspective on this. Here is Atlanta, Georgia, right now and this weather is right into the city here. I don't know if I can even see this next picture, but it's back here behind me somewhere. Let me see if I can find it. There it is. That's what Atlanta looks like right now. That's the picture from the top of our building. It is just rocking back and forth, wind gusts about 60 to 70 miles per hour.
It was a tornado warning for a time up near Canton, Georgia, just north here about maybe 15 or 20 miles north of the city and the rain, the wind, and even some hail across the area is still for tonight and into late night tomorrow. It is going to be a brutal night for some spots, all the way from the Carolinas down into Mississippi.
If you have a NOAA weather radio, please leave it on or turn it on or learn how to program it. I know sometimes it's not the easiest thing to program. But please do it because there could be wind, there could be flooding tonight. It's still not over for a lot of people in the southeast -- Anderson.
COOPER: Chad, thanks very much.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper.
Next, more breaking news. The White House says Syria has been using nerve gas on its own people, crossing that red line that President Obama had talked about being a game changer. So tonight the question is what exactly changes and how deeply involved is America going to get in Syria?
Later, "Keeping Them Honest" report, I really urge you to see. If you are a regular viewer of this program, you know we've exposed charities that abuse and squander the hard-earned dollars that you donate. We've looked at veterans' charities but we have never seen any -- any charities like these, these alleged cancer charities. We'll show you them ahead.
COOPER: More breaking news tonight, President Obama called it a red line, a game changer, solid evidence now that Syria's Assad's regime is using chemical weapons against its own people or has.
This evening the White House said they have that evidence. They're acting on it, sending more support to the opposition's supreme military council, quote, "different in scope and scale," end quote, than before. So a lot of questions, how was this decision reached and the timing of it, what happens next and what are the complications.
Here with some answers chief national correspondent John King, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and former George W. Bush homeland security adviser Fran Townsend who currently sits on the CIA External Advisory Board.
Christiane, what do you make of this?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I make of it that the president just come to the conclusion that his allies have already come to, that is that chemical weapons have been used 100 to 150 people at least who've been killed with sarin gas, only by the Assad regime, not by the rebels as some were trying to claim.
The British and the French have already made that. We interviewed General Salim Idris weeks ago and his doctors on the ground who told us about all their tests, their body samples, their, you know, soil samples that prove that sarin had been used.
So why is he doing it now? I think he's going to be meeting with a lot of these leaders during the G-8 Plus. They are very freaked out and they should be that Iran and Hezbollah have gone in and basically captured Qusair, a very, very strategic town near Homs, that the rebels had that was able to supply them and now they're very concerned that the Assad regime is going to go against Aleppo and get Aleppo. And I just was talking to Salim Idris and he is very, very concerned about the head of the Syrian Military Council on the ground in Syria. They're very worried that the whole ground has shifted and that Assad is on the verge of potentially of winning but they need much more than what Ben Rhodes did not outline. We don't know what they're getting.
COOPER: Well, Fran, that's the thing. I mean, A, we don't know what they're getting. What do you make of the timing of this? Is -- do you see this as coincidence?
FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: No, I mean, Anderson, look, they have been ringing their hands for weeks after, as Christiane says, our allies have been very clear that they believe this is the case. So we know that the U.S. military had gotten planning orders, that doesn't mean they're going to act. But it is clear almost a year ago that the U.S. military was playing for a different contingencies. A no-fly zone. The securing of chemical weapons depots.
And so the question really becomes did they wait until they had made internally a decision, not one they're yet prepared to announce about what actions they're willing to take as a result of the crossing of the red line. Otherwise it's sort of incomprehensible. What were you waiting for?
COOPER: But John, in terms of what actions they're willing to take, you know they haven't gone into many specifics today on a call and other than, you know, arming the opposition, what -- I mean, there is a lot of details that need to be worked out. What exactly that would mean?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of details that need to be worked out, Anderson, and then the big question, once you get in and the administration insisted it's getting in now in a limited way, if the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate by that, continues to go in Assad's favor, do you then -- have you made an investment in which you have to do more?
I will tell you this, administration is very careful about the details but I am told tonight by a senior administration official that there is now, is, not will be, is now direct U.S. military assistance on the ground in Syria, for something that did not exist if we were having this conversation just a few days ago.
As to exactly what that is, exactly who it's going to, the administration is not prepared to talk about that as yet. Some members of Congress have been briefed on this. I'm told we will hear from the president about this if not tomorrow within several days because they do understand that the White House now once they have now decided to step across this red line, if you will, with the Assad regime, they need to think of a better explanation to the American people on just what they're prepared to do and what they're prepared not to do.
COOPER: And Christiane, who are they prepared to actually give this aid to? AMANPOUR: Well, what they know that there is a Syrian military opposition that's aligned with the Syrian National Council. They know who they're giving these weapons, too. There's no doubt about that. And what they need to do is bolster the moderates because otherwise guess who's getting the weapons? The extremists. Yes. From wherever they can get them. So if you want to have influence in Syria, if you want to back the people who you know and who maybe, you know, friendly to afterwards, you've got to get in there and help them.
Right now they are telling me that they have AK-47 and RPGs and not much else. Assad has airpower, helicopter power, heavy artillery, and we've seen the results. Plus he has ground troops, shot proofs, coming from Hezbollah, supported by Iran. It is a very unbalanced situation.
COOPER: There is a lot of Americans who do not want to see the U.S. get involved militarily again in the Middle East given what's going on in Afghanistan, what went on in Iraq. Is this a potential quagmire?
TOWNSEND: Look, Anderson, there is no question because what people must understand is the proxy nature of what is going on. So you not only have the extremists - the Al Nusra Front and you've got the rebels who are fighting and trying to just survive at this point. You also have Hezbollah and Iranian influence there. You've got the Russians who care about the force in Tartus which we've spoken about over the last few years.
There's a real --
COOPER: Sectarian divisions as well. I mean there's Allawites --
TOWNSEND: That's right.
COOPER: There's all these different groups.
AMANPOUR: Developed by the force of inaction. The force of inaction has created what we're seeing on the ground right now. All the scare tactics, all the worst-case scenarios that the, you know, the administration and others talked about, some of them legitimate obviously, have now happened by force of inaction.
Because the ground has been cemented with the Assad regime having the majority of the fire power and the manpower and the rebels being basically left alone until the extremists come in and get their weapons from the kinds of people neither you nor I or the administration wants to see has power in Syria.
COOPER: John, there is also the question of what happens if, say, Assad is overthrown or gotten rid of one way or another. Then what happens?
KING: That is a big question, but, Anderson, the fact that we're having this conversation tonight shows how much the coin has flipped, if you will, because for more than a year now the president of the United States has said it is not a question of if Assad will fall, it is only a question of when. Well, tonight, actually because of the advances on the ground over the last week or two, it is a question of if. And the administration realizes that.
Assad has regained the upper hand which complicates things here. And so none of the choices here are good. That has the White House -- you talk to the White House, they say they range from bad to worse to very worse. But you have what Fran calls rightly so a proxy situation in Syria. The Iranians were invested, Hezbollah is invested.
Look at the map of this neighborhood. It's the most complicated neighborhood in the world. Every time you look at it you think it can't get worse or more complicated. And it does.
The president, though, right now is making an investment and the question is, how deep is he willing to go? How much support is he willing to give? And when he sits down with those leaders at G-8 how much more are the Brits, the French, how much more are the Arab allies willing to do?
The president, though, by making this investment increases his personal stake, his personal responsibility in the outcome.
COOPER: Christiane Amanpour, Fran Townsend, thanks. John King, as well.
One quick note from Jessica Yellin, while National Security staffer Ben Rhodes was briefing the media on Syria, President Obama was speaking on a separate event. He made no mention of Syria, perhaps keeping his distance from the issue.
Next, we don't use superlatives like unbelievable often on this program but our next story is nothing short of that. Cancer charities that abuse and squander your hard-earned donations like none we have ever seen before. We're "Keeping Them Honest," I urge you to watch it.
Later, once one of America's most wanted fugitives and Boston's best known villain goes on trial. Whitey Bolger, the prosecution calls him a hands-on killer, did the dirty work himself, while the FBI men did his bidding. What could be the final chapter to a truly incredible crime story when we continue.
COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, a yearlong investigation by the "Tampa Bay Times" as the center for investigative reporting and previous reporting here on AC 360 shows that a small but aggressive segment of the charity world seems to care little about actually helping others. Instead, it generates six-figure salaries for some of the people who run the charities and feed as multi-billion dollar professional solicitation industry that only cares about profit.
And what we've also found out is that no matter how blatant the scam or how obvious the proof is that donations are being squandered, no one seems to be going after them. CNN's investigative correspondent Drew Griffin tonight "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Drive down these country roads outside Knoxville, Tennessee, and into this small industrial park, and you'll find the headquarters of a family conglomerate of cancer charities that return lavish salaries to their owners but according to their own tax records donate very little to dying cancer patients. And the last thing the people running this charity want to do is answer questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't -- don't turn your camera on me. OK?
GRIFFIN: Across the country in Mesa, Arizona, another outpost of the conglomerate. It's called the Breast Cancer Society. Its CEO and executive director, the man escaping in the truck, James Reynolds, Jr.
(On camera): Excuse me, sir. Mr. Reynolds? Hey, excuse me. Mr. Reynolds, right here, buddy. Mr. Reynolds? Hi. Hi, can you stop for a second? No, where you going, Mr. Reynolds? Mr. Reynolds?
(Voice-over): Back in Knoxville there is another cancer charity, the Children's Cancer Fund of America. And this one run by yet another member of the family, Rose Perkins.
(On camera): Hi, is Rose Perkins in?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's not available and she's not doing interviews.
GRIFFIN: OK. Why won't she do us any interviews? She's running a charity here for kids with cancer, right? That seems like a good idea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's -- and that's why I've just been told to tell you she's not doing interviews.
GRIFFIN: Can you tell us what you guys do? Any positive things you do with the money you collect?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can send your questions to her e-mail.
GRIFFIN: OK. What's that e-mail?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we'll answer it.
GRIFFIN: If you're asking us for money, what would you say you did with our money?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We help children with cancer.
GRIFFIN: How do you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean how do we do that? We help children with cancer.
GRIFFIN: Yes, how? In what way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We provide them a financial assistance.
GRIFFIN: Financial assistance and do you have any idea how many --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I -- if you have any other question, please send them to her e-mail.
GRIFFIN: OK. My question --
(Voice-over): Rose Perkins did e-mail us and tells us her charity "has a clear conscience because we feel we are making a good difference in people's lives." But also told us an interview is "not something we can consider."
That may be because of the questions we'd like to ask her and the other members of her extended family who are essentially making a living on your donations.
Rose Perkins, the CEO of the Children's Cancer Fund, is paid $227,442 a year. Her ex-husband, James Reynolds, Sr., is president and CEO of Cancer Fund of America. He gets paid $236,815. And James Reynolds, Jr., president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Society, has a salary of $261,609.
It's money that comes from donors like you who in 2011 sent these three charities $26 million in cash. How much of those donations actually went to helping cancer patients? According to the charity's own tax records, about 2 percent in cash.
Example, the Cancer Fund of America raised $6 million through its fundraising campaign in 2011 and gave away just $14,940 in cash.
But that is not what you would hear from the telemarketers hired by the Cancer Fund of America run by James Reynolds, Sr.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, how much of my $10 would go -- who is this to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cancer Fund of America Support Services.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cancer --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One hundred percent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of your donation goes into the fund where we purchase medical supplies for these cancer patients. We also do the hospice care for the terminally ill and we supply over 600 hospice offices with medical supplies all over the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But how much of my $10 will go -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It goes 100 percent toward the charity itself. I'm calling directly from the charity and that is not a telemarketing agency.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that's great then.
GRIFFIN: According to the Iowa Attorney General's Office which gave us these recordings, those phone call statements are one great big lie. The callers were telemarketers being paid to make the call. The state of Iowa fined the telemarketing company $35,000 for making false representations.
As for donations of other charities, the Cancer Fund of America claimed on its 2011 tax filings, it sent $761,000 in so-called gifts in kind, not actually cash, to churches, some hospitals and other programs around the country. When we called or e-mailed those other charities to check, many of them said they did get something, things like these supplies.
But several of the groups told us they never heard of the Cancer Fund of America or don't remember getting a thing. The Cancer Fund also takes credit for serving as a middleman, brokering transfer of another $16 million worth of gifts in kind to individuals and other charities, many of them overseas.
Those contributions double up both as revenue and donations on the same tax forms. Back at the Cancer Fund of America's corporate office, even the chief financial officer, who by the way has a salary of $121,000 couldn't explain what was happening.
(on camera): We just have all these, North Mississippi Medical Center, never heard of you. Barco Oncology Institute, nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if that's one of the ones we looked up, but again --
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The him is James Reynolds Senior. The founder who finally told us in an e-mail, his boy thought it unwise to talk to CNN even though in a different e-mail he called the news of phantom donations quote, "most disturbing." As for his son, James Reynolds Jr. and his charity in Arizona.
(on camera): How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The camera needs to stay outside.
GRIFFIN: Can he stay there? Is Mr. Reynolds here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry. He's not here right now.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The public relations officer for the Breast Cancer Society, Kristina Hixon, who by the way, is married to James Reynolds Jr. sent us e-mails telling us the Breast Cancer Society's guiding mission is to provide relief to those who suffer from the effects of breast cancer and that we've made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of men and women. But declined our request for an on-camera interview and when our camera found James Reynolds Jr., he made sure we got the message with a single finger solute.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Drew, this is just unbelievable. I mean, you've done so much great reporting on these charities that are scams. These people's faces I feel like should be put on t-shirts and everybody should see their faces and know their names because what they are doing is horrific. The fact they are running away like cockroaches from your cameras is all you need to know.
If you're running a charity and you're asking for people's money, you should have nothing to hide. You're doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing hide. It's unbelievable to me. What is your estimate on how much cancer patients and some community groups actually did receive from the Cancer Fund of America and these other charities?
GRIFFIN: We took a look at these IRS tax records, their own reporting along with the Center for Investigative Reporting and the "Tampa Bay Times," Anderson, we think it's just about 2 percent. Think of it, you give one of these charities a dollar, they will give 2 cents in good to somebody out there, and that's just kind of our best guess of this. It's really, as you say, it's ridiculous.
COOPER: And the fact that it's like fathers and ex-wives and the girlfriends and brothers, I mean, this is just insane. These people are probably living it up in country clubs in the communities and I bet people in the community have no idea of what they are doing and people they are socializing with. These people should be, you know, put on posters I feel like. Are regulators concerned because it seems like they should be?
GRIFFIN: Look, you and I have been doing these stories, Anderson, for a year and a half. We do know, we have a source with direct knowledge that says Cancer Fund of America leaders have been deposed in part of a multi-state review of these charities by various state agencies, but let's be honest we've been laying this out for a year and a half. We had interest from the Senate Finance Committee.
I'm coming to you live from Cincinnati where IRS workers had time to review applications for Tea Party groups, but nothing seems to get done when we lay it all out. We and our partners have a list now of the 50 worst charities in America on our web site and we're showing you how bad it is. I just don't understand why no one in government, whether it be state or federal, can do anything to stop this.
COOPER: Do we have still photos? Control room, do we have still photos of these people? Put it up. I want to look at these people again and say their names. James Reynolds Jr. There on the left, James Reynolds, Sr. and Rose Perkins. These people are running away like in the old "60 Minutes" piece and Mike Wallace walks into a garage and people run away.
Why are you all running away like cockroaches? That's what these people are doing. I challenge any of these people. We will give them an interview. If you don't want to talk to Drew, talk to me anytime, anywhere. I will come down and meet you if you don't want to talk to Drew. I mean, this is unbelievable. We're going to stay on this. Drew, appreciate the reporting. Thank you. Incredible.
Just ahead, at 83 years old, the Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger is finally standing trial for the alleged crimes he committed as a much younger man including 19 murders.
Plus potentially damaging testimony in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial, what executives from the concert promoter's parent company were saying about the pop star just days before his death.
COOPER: Crime and punishment, day two in the trial of Whitey Bulger. The defendant now 83 years old is charged with crimes he allegedly committed decades ago as the leader of a notorious gang in South Boston. In an opening statement, prosecutors describe Bulger as a hands-on killer kingpin that did his own dirty work. He is charged with racketing, 19 murders. We're going to get the latest on today's testimony, but first Randi Kaye traces Bulger's path to infamy.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whoever would have guessed this bright-eyed blonde hair teenager would grow up to be one of the most notorious gangsters of all time. Born in 1929 in South Boston, James Bulger was a fitness buff whose platinum hair earned him the nickname Whitey. It wasn't until his 20s that James "Whitey" Bulger started robbing banks and cultivating his image.
"Boston Globe" reporter Shelley Murphy says, he wanted to be seen as an honorable criminal, the Robin Hood of South Boston. He would often cruise the neighborhood offering rides home to elderly.
SHELLEY MURPHY, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": So when people would sit around saying he's out there, he's a robber, he's criminal. The women would say that Jimmy Bulger. He's a nice boy.
KAYE: A nice boy with a nose for trouble. In the 1950s, Bulger was sent to federal prison for bank robbery and then transferred to Alcatraz. After his release in 1965, Bulger became a top lieutenant in the Winter Hill gang and began to solidify his reputation as a vicious gangster.
MURPHY: Nothing happened inside South Boston without Whitey's blessing and people were terrified.
KAYE: Terrified because Bulger was considered a cold-blooded killer. After he and his partner gained control of the Winter Hill gang in 1979, Bulger allegedly took part in 19 murders including these two women who may have known his secret. Whitey was working with the FBI. Kevin Weekes was Bulger's right-hand man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were killed and then their teeth were pulled to prevent the identification.
KAYE (on camera): Bulger denies harming those women and denies ever helping the FBI, but in 1997 the "Boston Globe" revealed he had been working with FBI Agent John Conoley since 1975. It may have worked to his advantage, if someone went to the FBI with information about Whitey, he heard about it and those people got killed.
MURPHY: This is about a corrupt relationship with the FBI. The government tried to hang it on one agent and make him the scrape goat but we seen files that show the FBI and Justice Department at very high levels knew he was a suspect in murders, at least four murders just in a two-year span and continued to use him as an FBI informant.
KAYE (voice-over): Conoley was later prosecuted for racketeering and obstruction of justice. Other members of Whitey's gang have said Conoley agreed to leak information to him and his partner as a favor to Whitey's brother who was president of the Massachusetts State Senate. They all grew up together in South Boston.
Whether or not Bulger was using information he gained from the FBI to take out his enemies, while the FBI was protecting him will be a key issue at his trial. In 1995 when investigators decided to indict Bulger, it was John Conoley who warned him giving him time to skip town. Whitey Bulger fled Boston and later joined by his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, and managed to disappear.
After tips and alleged Whitey spotting all over the world, they settled into a modest apartment in Santa Monica. They paid rent in cash and neighbors knew them as a retired couple Charlie and Carol Gasco. For 16 years, they avoided capture, but in 2011 investigators got the break they needed, thanks to a national ad campaign spotlighting Whitey's girlfriend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you seen this woman? The FBI is offering $100,000 for tips leading to Catherine Greig's whereabouts.
KAYE (on camera): CNN broadcast a story about the ad and a former beauty queen living in Iceland recognized Greig. She lived in the same Santa Monica neighborhood as Grieg and Bulger. So she quickly called the FBI.
(voice-over): After brief surveillance to confirm the tip, agents moved in. After all those years on the run, finally, at 81 James Whitey Bulger was in custody.
RICHARD DESLAURIERS, FBI, BOSTON DIVISION: We have captured one of the FBI's ten most wanted fugitives, a man notorious in Boston and around the world.
KAYE: Inside the couple's apartment agents found more than $800,000 in cash, stuffed into the walls. In 2012, Catherine Grieg was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping Whitey.
KEVIN REDDINGTON, CATHERINE GREIG'S ATTORNEY: She was in live with Mr. Bulger and certainly a person that does not regret what she did in living her life with him.
KAYE: Now, it's Whitey Bulger's turn.
MURPHY: The two things he most wants to prove at trial is he was not an FBI informant and wants to prove he did not strangle two women who are among the 19 victims he's accused of killing and the reason for that is good bad guys don't strangle women and do not rat on their friends.
KAYE: Whitey Bulger's defense team says he may take the stand, but not before jurors spend the next few months listening to testimony from law enforcement and henchmen who want to see their former crime boss pay. Randy Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Incredible history. CNN's Deborah Feyerick is covering the trial. She was in the courtroom today and joins us now from Boston. So what was it like in the courtroom and how does this guy appear to you?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's so fascinating because you have to remember this is a man who spent decades trying to avoid the spotlight and now he's completely exposed. He sits in the center of the courtroom between the witness box and the jury. He never moves. He barely moves. He just sits looks straight ahead. He never acknowledges the witnesses. He never looks back.
He looks at the monitor and switches out glasses now and then. He sits there very stoically. The only time I actually saw him move today, Anderson, was when prosecutors introduced a number of weapons, one of them a Mag-10 pistol with a silencer. It was more than 12 inches long. That's the only time I really saw him turn his head, but he's listening to the crimes he's been accused of and the evidence against him. He barely moves -- Anderson.
COOPER: If he did take the stand, those surveillance videos of him from 30 years ago are really interesting to look at. They were played in court today, yes?
FEYERICK: Yes, they were. That's another interesting point. These are surveillance videos taken 30 years ago when Whitey Bulger was at the height of his crimes. It's important those who are Italian because he said he couldn't have been an informant and you see him in phone booths placing calls. And the question is whether he knew until he was arrested that those videos actually existed because he thought he had the lock on making sure when he was being investigated, when he was being watched, there was no evidence of that.
COOPER: Amazing. Deb Feyerick, thanks very much.
Coming up, testimony in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial reveals what executives from the concert promoter's parent company were saying about Jackson's mental well-being days before he died and also the "Ridiculist" ahead.
COOPER: A lot more happening tonight, Randy Kaye is here with the 360 Bulletin -- Randi. KAYE: Anderson, testimony in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial reveal that had his concert promoter, CEO wrote to another executive that Jackson was having a mental breakdown just days before his death and that executive replied asking it was preshow nerves bad or get a stray jacket call our insurance carrier bad? Jackson's family is suing the concert promoter saying the company ignored red flags pressuring Jackson to attend rehearsals for the comeback tour.
The judge in the George Zimmerman murder trial announced today that the jurors will be sequestered for what is expected to be a two to four-week trial. Jury selection now underway in that trial.
Steven Spielberg is warning about the potential implosion of the movie industry. According to the "Hollywood Reporter," it says there is a danger of several high budget films flopping and changing the paradigm, which could drive ticket prices way up.
And a man in California accidently sold his wife's $23,000 wedding ring at a garage sale for 10 bucks. He thought he was selling an empty watch box. Lo and behold, his wife put herring in there before she went to the hospital to have a baby. Apparently, all they know is a blonde woman bought the box. The couple is obviously hoping to get that ring back.
COOPER: Randi, thanks. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist" and tonight, we're adding heavy metal haters. Heavy metal songs about me like "Uptown Girl" and "Tiny Dancer Before Me," I Anderson Cooper are the subject of a soulful ballot. The name of the song, well, it's called "Anderson Cooper" and has an under stated charm like myself if I say so myself. The band's name is Cryptic Murmurs and it captures my easy going essence.
Take no Wolf Blitzer because I should be known as Anderson Cooper, CNN's cyborg. I'm not sure that's a compliment, but let's face it I've been called worse, but if you indulge me, sit back and get ready for another soothing clip from my theme song.
Does face rhyme with hurricanes? It's the musical equivalent of a warm bath. I sometimes sit in the middle of hurricanes. Sometimes I have an annoyed look on my face. Thank you very much. I can't get mad because this song is making me feel so warm and cozy. You have to soak in more of it.
Yes, yes, thank you, thank you. All these years I've been waiting for someone to come along and vouch for my hardiness chops and the folks at Cryptic Murmurs are reminding everybody I never once lost my composure accept when I laugh uncontrollably like a little girl. We won't play that clip again, but let's check in with Cryptic Murmur and see what they have to see about me, perhaps my nose for news or cryptic coat.
I stole my hair from the main of a Pegasus. Do not trip me up with references to Greek mythology. By degree, I mean, I Googled what Pegasus is and second of all, what are they talking about? OK, whatever. That Pegasus wishes he had my hair not to mention my blue eyes but no worries Cryptic Murmurs, I thank you for your tribute.
My cyborg body will allow me to feel emotions and for you heavy metal haters, look that stern look off your face or you won't get invited to the party back stage on "Ridiculist." That does it for us. We'll see you again at one hour from now another edition of 360 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts right now. Rock on.