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CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
A Look Inside the Mob; Hitler's Psychological Profile
Aired April 26, 2005 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, HOST: We're going to take inside the mob for a bit. We'll look at the secret world of the mob, a changing world. We'll begin with witnesses, Larry, who turn states evidence, many of them Mafia turncoats. Henry Hill's life as a former mobster inspired the movie "Goodfellas." His story isn't pretty, but it is a window into a world we don't usually see, except in the movies. Federal witness protection program isn't supposed to call attention to itself. Mr. Hill left the program almost 20-years-ago when he broke the rules. Today he says he no longer worries for his life. He says there's no one left who wants to kill him. We begin with CNN's Kelli Arena.
KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The only heat this former wise guy is packing is a plate of steaming pasta. A far cry from his New York gangster life immortalized in the film "Goodfellas."
RAY LIOTTA, ACTOR: I don't want to go anyplace that's cold.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have a choice in that matter.
ARENA: Mob turncoat Henry Hill is now a cook in North Platte, Nebraska. Because of his cooperation with federal agents, Hill helped put senior members of the Lucchesi crime family in jail. He spent nearly a decade in the federal witness protection program. Did you ever think 20-years-ago this is where you'd be?
HENRY HILL, MOB INFORMANT: I thought I'd be dead 20 years ago.
ARENA: But today it's the program that saved Hill's life that could be in jeopardy. Witness protection is offered to people who can provide key testimony, but only at the risk of their lives. The U.S. Marshals Web site boasts that no one who followed the rules has been killed or harmed while in the program. Henry Hill says he and his family had to be moved more than a dozen times.
HENRY HILL: You get a call, they're outside. Two cars, moving you. You get three minutes. You're stuffing it in a bag. They don't even give you a -- and let's go, boom. And you're out of there. I mean, and that's it. And then you don't even know where you are going next. But that's OK, you're alive.
ARENA: But the Justice Department's inspector general warns that winning streak could soon end.
GLENN FINE, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INSPECTOR GENERAL: We were concerned that if the staffing of the program does not keep pace with the increase in the number of participants in the program, the quality of the program could decline.
ARENA: The program protects more than 17,000 witnesses and family members. That's up 12 percent from 1995. While the number of agents assigned to protect them has declined nearly 30 percent. Guarding these witnesses isn't easy. Gerald Shur created the program back in 1970.
GERALD SHUR, WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM FOUNDER: There are people who need help in getting jobs. They need help in getting to a hospital. They need help in getting people to school. They need psychiatric help.
ARENA: Getting marshals to work for the unit is difficult. They get paid less than their colleagues in other divisions. And the problems come at a crucial time for the program, faced with protecting a new generation of witnesses, witnesses testifying about terrorism and new extremely violent youth gangs.
(on camera): So how important do you believe that the witness protection program is in terms of helping?
HENRY HILL: One hundred twenty percent, a million percent.
ARENA (voice-over): Shur says the program is essential.
SHUR: All of our cases eventually break down to a witness saying "I saw him do that. I was with him when he did that. I did that with him." And without that witness, we don't have a case. And so it is imperative that we keep these witnesses alive.
ARENA: He worries that officials are complaisant and will stay that way until someone in the program gets killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because whether he goes to jail or whether he stays on the street and beats the case, he's a dead man.
ARENA: Shur says that's a very real threat and not something that just happens in the movies.
Kelli Arena, CNN, North Platte, Nebraska.
BROWN: This is real life as well. An incredible story about the alleged double life of two former New York city detectives. Decorated with medals during their long careers and now in shackles.
Lou Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, are accused of being hitmen for the mob, charged with eight murders, five of them allegedly committed while they were working the streets of New York.
Here's CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stories laid out in court papers. It begins in Brooklyn around 1986. Lucchesi underboss, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, blindly seeking revenge on members of the Gambino crime family. The rivals had shot Casso, but had failed to kill him. Casso needed help tracking down his would-be assassins. U.S. Attorney Rosalyn Mauskoff says that detectives Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa were happy to oblige.
ROSALYN MAUSKOFF, U.S. ATTORNEY: Caracappa and Eppolito were paid handsomely for selling out the files of the NYPD.
FEYERICK: Just how much? $4,000 a month, prosecutors say, with additional work costing extra. The first target -- alleged Gambino associate James Hidell. Court papers say for $35,000, the two detectives kidnapped the young hood outside of a Brooklyn restaurant. They stuffed him in the trunk of a sedan, then brought him to Casso who interrogated him, then killed him. Investigators say that Eppolito and Caracappa stood guard. There was also the alleged contract killing of Gambino captain Eddie Lino. The two detectives accused of following Lino from his social club, pulling him over on the highway, then shooting him dead. A hit that put $65,000 in their pockets.
The two cops are also implicated in the murder of John Gotti's body guard Bobby Boriello, and the attempted murder of Gotti underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano who would go on to testify against Gotti.
And how did the two detectives always seem to find their targets, by searching files inside NYPD headquarters where Caracappa worked as head of the major case squad.
MAUSKOFF: Eppolito and Caracappa used the confidential files of the NYPD as their personal yellow pages.
FEYERICK: Lawyers for the two detectives believe prosecutors may be relying too heavily on the word of Casso himself or his alleged associate Burton Kaplan (ph).
ED HAYES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He and Casso participated in a million crimes together. Who knows what murders they committed together? Casso killed everybody he could find. Him and Genghis Kahn, have been two of the great killers of history. All right. They're probably related.
FEYERICK: Louis Eppolito grew up around the mob, even wrote a book about it. His father a Gambino soldier, was know as "Fat the Gangster." His Uncle Jimmy "The Clam" was a Gambino captain.
Andrea Eppolito defended her dad on the day of his arraignment.
ANDREA EPPOLITO, DAUGHTER: My father loved being a cop. He was so proud of all of the things that he did while working for the city.
FEYERICK: Both men have pleaded not guilty. And both likely wish they were back in Las Vegas eating at the Italian restaurant where they were enjoying a quiet meal when the feds burst in handcuffing them and taking them away.
Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
BROWN: On now to Chicago, a city with a storied past. A bloody past when it comes to the mob, as well. A past the present appears to be catching up to. The city's vast backlog of unsolved gangland murders may have gotten smaller yesterday with the arrest of 14 people, 2 of them ex-cops.
So from Chicago tonight, CNN's Jonathan Freed.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their names could be taken for Hollywood caricatures. Joseph "The Clown" Lombardo, Frank "The German" Schweihs, and Paul "The Indian" Sherio (ph). But according to a federal indictment, they're among 14 deadly serious characters at the center of organized crime in Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bunch of murderous thugs.
FREED: Says FBI special agent Robert Grant, including two ex- police officers, all charged in connection with 18 unsolved murders between 1970 and 1986. Most notably, the killings of reputed mob enforcer Tony "The Ant" Spilotro and his brother whose bodies were found in an Indiana cornfield.
(on camera): So, how long were you a police officer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a few years. That's how I worked my way through law school.
FREED: Tom Kirkpatrick heads up the Chicago Crime Commission, an independent group tracking mob activity in Chicago since the days of Al Capone and the showdown with Elliott Ness and his federal agents, the Untouchables.
KEVIN COSTNER, ACTOR: You got him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I got him.
TOM KIRKPATRICK, CHICAGO CRIME COMMISSION: Since 1919 when we started keeping track, there's been 1,111 gangland slayings. Only 14 people have been convicted as a result of that. In this indictment, they're going to solve 18 murders, 18 gangland slayings. More in one indictment than has been solved in the last 87 years. That's a fantastic amount.
FREED: If they can make it stick.
KIRKPATRICK: But they don't go to trial unless they've got the juice.
FREED: Kirkpatrick calls the indictment a blueprint for how organized crime operates.
KIRKPATRICK: We've got book making. You've got video poker. You've got extortion. You've got shakedowns. You've got dirty bookstores. You've got vice of every description plus murder.
FREED: The alleged head of the Chicago Outfit, as it's known, James Marcello was among those arrested on Monday. And Kirkpatrick is convinced if all charges hold up, about a third of the mob's operations in the city will be wiped out.
It goes after to the entire Chicago Outfit structure, from the number one guy down to the second tier guys, down to the third tier operatives.
FREED: And he says since much of the case is built on inside informants, those left standing won't know who to trust anymore. So far...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd rather not comment on that.
FREED: The defendant's lawyers aren't saying much. Kirkpatrick believes win or lose in court, the indictment is sending a chill through organized crime with the message you'll be caught no matter how lodge it takes.
Jonathan Freed, CNN.
BROWN: Gianni Russo's known mobsters, written about mobsters and, as it turns out, played mobsters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Carlo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Yikes. Tonight, the actor and author is here to talk about what was, but likely will never be again. Nice to see you. Welcome to the program.
Just as an aside, and we've run clips, it seems on about half of them, there's always been a ton of mobster movies. Is there some charm in it all beneath the violence and the crime and the rest?
GIANNI RUSSO, ACTOR: Well, I think the world finds it very sexy, obviously. I mean, Cagney made a career of it. I tried to make a career of it, and fortunately, it worked. So, the mob and the appeal to the mob as we see with "The Sopranos," it always has an audience.
BROWN: Why is -- I think the question really is, why is that? I mean, these guys, if you kind of strip away a lot of this stuff, really are just thugs.
RUSSO: Basically, yes. And -- but I guess women find it sexy, and it's that gray area, the intrigue of it all. That's how people get lured into it, also, because of the fact.
BROWN: I guess they do. You've written about a lot of this stuff. The mob as it was, the mafia, as it was, appears to be breaking down, in part because these guys who used to be so good at keeping their mouths shut can't stop blabbing.
RUSSO: Well, the loyalty is no longer there. With the sophistication of electronics today, everybody is worried about themselves. So, years ago, you know, you had the code of silence, and if you went to jail and did five-year bit or a 10-year bit, your family was taken care of. When you came out, you were all right.
But, now with the Rico Act, fortunately, you know, these people are stripped of everything, all their assets, and if they don't make a deal, they're coming home to nothing. It's a different world now.
BROWN: Do you think if Sammy the Bull Gravano hadn't talked first first -- I mean, he was sort of the biggest name to start chirping early on -- that the mob would still be what it was, or was -- is there something else involved? Sort of, society changed, the guys who were in the mob changed. Any thoughts there?
RUSSO: To me, it started earlier on, because, when Vincent Teresa turned on the Petriacco family, and then as your earlier guest -- I saw the clips on him -- Henry Hill -- I mean, this has been going on a while. I think, where they've escalated it now -- and I think the reason Sammy turned, obviously, they played the tapes of John in the apartment upstairs and said that, you know, obviously, he thought he was going to get hit. I mean, that was how treacherous John was, so it was him or John, so he picked himself, obviously.
BROWN: In the end, actually what does seem to have happened is one mob, one gang, has just been replaced by other mobs, other gangs. What was an Italian business has now become something else. So there's always a market for it somewhere.
RUSSO: Yes, and as we see now with the Russian mob, I think, right now, is probably the most powerful because of the fear. I mean, they're treacherous. Where Italians, you know, when they organized, they only took care of the one that they needed. They didn't wipe out families like the Colombians do. So, I think it's a different -- a totally different world.
I mean, and again, with these newcomers, I think it's disorganized crime now, not organized crime. To me, it's like guys who are taking care of themselves and their own neighborhoods, but it's far from as organized as it used to be, as I know it.
BROWN: It's certainly violent. Nice to see you. Thanks for being with us tonight.
RUSSO: It's my pleasure, thank you.
BROWN: Thank you.
In a few moments, the big question out in California and a lot of other places, too: so, whose finger is it anyway?
But right now, coming up on a quarter past the hour, Erica Hill's in Atlanta with some of the day's other headlines.
Good evening to you, Ms. Hill.
ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS: And good evening to you, Mr. Brown.
We actually start in California where the attorney general proposes a bold initiative to help police investigators solve crimes. He wants all bullets sold in California to carry a tiny identification number. Ammunition stores would be required to list those numbers in a state registry. Advocates for gun owners say the proposal would only create bureaucracy.
Insurgent attacks are on the rise in Iraq after a substantial drop earlier this year. The Pentagon said today the recent rise and fall puts the number of insurgent attacks about on par with last year, but added, American and Iraqi troops are gaining ground.
President Bush displayed a visible show of support today for embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The Texas Republican joined the president in a town hall meeting in Galveston, Texas, and was invited to fly back to Washington aboard Air Force One. DeLay faces allegations he violated House rules by taking trips paid for by lobbyists.
In Arizona junk food is out, at least during school hours. Arizona's governor has signed a law banning the sale of candy, soft drinks, and snacks at elementary, middle and junior high schools. That law takes effect next year. It is designed to promote good nutrition.
And that's the latest from Headline News at this hour. Aaron, back to you.
BROWN: Thank you. That's how old I am. They didn't have -- we had an apple machine in school.
HILL: And you were one of the lucky ones.
BROWN: Probably. Thank you. See you in half an hour. Much more ahead on the program tonight, starting with a law that makes it simpler to shoot first and ask questions later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where to draw the line on deadly force? At the doorstep, the front yard, any place at all? Pulling the trigger just got easier. You got a problem with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please come back to Wendy's.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wendy's chili. Financially, it was painful. It hurts. But nobody died. Or did they? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This goes well beyond a hoax or an accident or somebody finding a piece of finger in a chili.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So really, whose finger is it?
Also, could you survive what he survived?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't panic, he remained calm. He knew what he had to do, what kind of energy he needed to save.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight days in the frozen wild. A story of more than just survival. From New York, and around the world, this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: Anna Ayala was in court in Las Vegas today. She'll be in court in California again soon. She's charged there with grand larceny in the Wendy's chili caper. The woman who claimed she found part of a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili. According to police, she has a history of trying to get money from companies, and they believe she's at it again, which sounds great, except for one small thing. There really was a finger.
Here's CNN's Frank Buckley.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The steaming bowl of Wendy's chili actually had two pieces of a finger in it.
SGT. NICK MUYO, SAN JOSE POLICE DEPT.: The fingernail, or tip of the finger, and then actually, a larger portion of knuckle that -- where the finger would join at the hand.
BUCKLEY: The woman who said she found the finger at this restaurant in San Jose, California, claimed she bit the finger.
That first night, she asked to remain anonymous.
ANNA AYALA: It was in my mouth. It was hard, crunchy.
BUCKLEY: Wendy's and police immediately began investigating. Whose finger was it? Was it one of the employees'? They quickly learned that, no, they all still had their fingers. Could it have come from a supplier? One meat wholesaler said with the controls and regulations in place in his business, that was highly doubtful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just knowing this particular industry, it would be very difficult for something like that to occur and not be known.
BUCKLEY: And then what seemed like a possible break in the case -- the woman who said she discovered the finger, Anna Ayala, was from Nevada. Sandy Allman of Nevada had part of her finger bitten off in February by a spotted leopard. Carol Asvestas wondered if the two could be connected?
CAROL ASVESTAS, WILD ANIMAL ORPHANAGE: It's just so uncannily coincidental, and it looks the same, you know, to me.
BUCKLEY: But police compared fingerprints. They didn't match.
MUYO: We know now for a fact that the finger does not belong to the woman who lost her finger in the attack of the spotted leopard.
BUCKLEY: Police say they also compared the fingerprint to millions of prints in the FBI fingerprint database. No match there either. Meanwhile, police had discovered that Anna Ayala had a history of suing people, and they served a search warrant on her Las Vegas home.
AYALA: I'm sick of it! I'm tired of it! I am tired of it.
BUCKLEY: So was Wendy's. Some restaurants in California reported sales off by up to 50 percent. Police quoted a company official as saying Wendy's Corporation was losing $1 million a day.
Meanwhile police were questioning Ms. Ayala's story. In an affidavit, the detective noted that the finger was not consistent with an object that had been cooked in chili at 170 degrees for three hours, as is policy for Wendy's in the preparation of their chili. Police believed Ms. Ayala was trying to make a buck at Wendy's expense. She denied it, and her sister agreed.
MARIA AYALA, SISTER: My sister is not crazy. My sister is not out to get anybody.
BUCKLEY: But late last week, police went to Ayala's Las Vegas home and arrested her. A headline writer couldn't resist.
In court, Ayala told a judge she was ready to return to California to face the charge of attempted grand theft.
(on camera): But there is still that one major unanswered question -- whose finger is it?
(voice-over): Tests are still being performed on the digit. Police don't know if it belongs to a man or a woman, or even if the finger's owner is dead or alive.
MUYO: This goes well beyond a hoax or an accident or somebody finding a piece of finger in a chili. This could very well be something as mysterious as an unreported homicide.
BUCKLEY: No one is suggesting Ayala committed murder. Wendy's is offering a $100,000 reward for the first person to offer verifiable information into the origin of the finger. Last week, the company also offered free Frosties to 100,000 customers in the bay area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please come back to Wendy's. Because we do serve wonderful hamburgers and sandwiches and everything else. BUCKLEY: Company officials say the promotion worked. Sales went up over the weekend.
Other aggressive promotions are being planned, while police continue to aggressively ask, whose finger is it?
Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.
BROWN: Charles Horton is one American who missed all the news coverage on the finger story. That's because he was busy making news himself, though no one knew it at the time. For Mr. Horton, what began as a day of cross-country skiing solo nine days ago turned into a remarkable story of survival. Reporting tonight for us, CNN's Keith Oppenheim.
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The people who found Charles Horton say this is one rescue they won't ever forget.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say this is going to be the top of our list. A man to survive eight days in the winter like that with a broken leg. That's amazing.
OPPENHEIM: The doctor who treated him said Horton wasn't your average outdoorsman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charlie's been trained. And I think that a lot of people in that situation would not have had a chance of making it.
OPPENHEIM: On Sunday, April 17th, Charlie Horton drove to a wilderness area in northwest Colorado to go cross-country skiing. On a moderate slope, he fell and broke his right leg.
CHULA WHEBY, FRIEND: He didn't panic. He remained calm. He knew what he had to do, what kind of energy he needed to save.
OPPENHEIM: Chula Wheby's family owns the home in Steamboat Springs, where Horton, a certified massage therapist, lives. A week after the accident, Wheby and her family discovered his cat unfed, his phone messages unanswered.
WHEBY: We all got back on Sunday from our vacation and looked around, called friends. They hadn't heard from him. Listened to his answering machine. And on there it said, where are you? I thought we had an appointment? And it was not like him.
OPPENHEIM: Fortunately, the family knew generally where Horton had planned to go skiing. As rescue teams began the search, conditions were getting worse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sunday it started to rain and snow. And by Sunday night, he was soaked pretty much to the skin. And at that time, he questioned his ability to survive much longer.
OPPENHEIM: Charlie Horton did survive. Despite his broken leg, Horton built a shelter to stay warm. At one point, he tried to crawl three miles to his car, supporting himself on his elbows. It was eight days before he was found.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The snowmobile team had gone by him. And he had mustered up enough energy to get his whistle and blow his whistle. And one of the rescuers were able to hear it.
OPPENHEIM: When he was found, Horton was suffering from dehydration, hypothermia and frostbite. He was very, very cold.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Horton was quiet. You know, at a temperature of 88 degrees, most people are quiet.
OPPENHEIM: Now that Horton is in stable condition, his friends say his knowledge of what to do in a crisis made all the difference. His survival may have surprised the experts; it didn't really surprise his friends.
Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Chicago.
BROWN: Just ahead on the program tonight, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signs a law redefining how Floridians can legally use a gun. Is it a law promoting self-defense or a license to kill?
Sixty years after his death, historians weigh the significance of a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler compiled by the U.S. government during World War II. Much more ahead as NEWSNIGHT continues from New York.
BROWN: New York City on a spring night, and it has been spring in the city. As you look down Central Park South, the park to the left side of the screen.
This story deals with the basics: fight or flight, protecting what's dear, deadly force. It also deals with the law, which is anything but simple. In some localities, you can shoot a burglar climbing in through a window, but not out, of the same window. In many but not all places you have a duty to retreat from danger if you can before pulling the trigger.
In Florida today a new law went into effect that essentially means a person can open fire anywhere, any time he or she simply feels threatened. Simple and not so simple.
Here's CNN's John Zarrella.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A year and a half ago, Greg Drewes lost his only son.
JOHN DREWES, VICTIM'S FATHER: That's him, that's Mark. That's about three weeks before it happened.
ZARRELLA: The man who shot and killed Mark Drewes said he was sorry.
JAY LEWIS, DEFENDANT: I want to apologize to the Drewes family for their loss and for the mistake I made that night. And every day I think about your son.
ZARRELLA: The night he died, Mark Drewes and some friends were playing door-knocking pranks. Jay Levens told police he was scared. He had heard sounds outside his door, thought it was a burglar. When he opened the door, Levens said he thought Drewes was armed and turning towards him. He shot Drewes in the back. Levens pleaded guilty to manslaughter. If the incident happened today there might have been no punishment for the man who shot Greg Drewes's son.
DREWES: It's a bad joke. It's an unbelievable, bad joke.
ZARRELLA: Under a new Florida law, the state attorney who handled the case says he might not have been able to file criminal charges.
BARRY KRISCHER, PALM BEACH CO. STATE ATTORNEY: It was my belief that it was as reasonable for him to have merely shut the door, rather than pull the trigger. Under this law, he has no obligation to shut the door. Under this law, he has a right to stand there and shoot.
ZARRELLA: The legislation, signed into law by Governor Jeb Bush, says any person can stand their ground, meet force with force, if he or she believes it's necessary to prevent death or bodily harm. There is no longer a duty to retreat, whether in your house, your car or on the street. Common sense, says the governor.
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: When there's a life-threatening situation, to have to retreat and put yourself in a very precarious position defies common sense.
ZARRELLA: The Florida legislature overwhelmingly supported the bill, which was backed by the National Rifle Association. It's the kind of law the NRA says will reduce crime rates.
MARION HAMMER, NRA ACTIVIST: The law is constructed to give law- abiding people the right to protect themselves when they are attacked. I think the message to criminals is going to be -- you break into a home, you run the risk of being shot. You attack people on the street, you run the risk of being shot.
ZARRELLA: Greg Drewes fears some people will simply take advantage of it.
DREWES: You shoot somebody in anger, what are you going to say? I did it -- I made a mistake. I wasn't in danger at all. Take me away? They're all going to lie. They're all going to say, I did it protecting myself. I was in definite fear of my life.
ZARRELLA: Some states already have similar measures. Critics say the laws give people the opportunity to use deadly force even when it isn't necessary. Supporters say law-abiding people can now protect themselves without fear of prosecution.
John Zarrella, CNN, Boca Raton, Florida.
BROWN: As we just saw in the piece, the National Rifle Association lobbied for the law, is supporting others like it around the country. Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president and the chief executive officer of the NRA. We spoke with him earlier tonight.
BROWN: Not to sound like the defense attorney cross-examining the witness here, but would you agree that, as a practical matter, people by and large, are not prosecuted in this country if someone breaks into their home and they don't flee, they shoot the person. That's not really -- that doesn't happen very often if at all?
WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXEC. VP, NRA: Well, I would hope not. We have that great 1921 Supreme Court decision that basically said that detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an upheld knife, which basically -- where Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said there's no legal duty to retreat.
On the other hand, you set this against a backdrop of what's going on in the United Kingdom, where crime victims are regularly prosecuted for using force and then sued by the criminal. I think this is something down the road we need to pass to ensure that the U.S. never ends up in that same situation.
BROWN: Let's try and sort through where this gets -- at least to my mind -- a bit less black and white and a bit more gray. It's easy in a carjacking, or it's easy if someone breaks into your home with a gun or a knife. Now, those are easy calls. What's reasonable? Is it reasonable if kids are acting up ringing doorbells, running away, pounding on windows? Does that constitute a reasonable fear for your life?
LAPIERRE: No, it doesn't. I mean, and the fact is that I think one thing we've learned over the years is, good people make reasonable judgments in situations. What this law simply does is give the crime victim the presumption of innocence. It advantages the crime victim and puts the criminal at a disadvantage.
BROWN: Good people make reasonably sound judgments, most of the time. But some of the time they don't. And it's that -- it's the "some of the time" that I think we might disagree with or we need to talk about, what do you do in the "some of the time," when you look at a situation where force really isn't appropriate, and does the law go too far here in presuming a threat where none actually existed? LAPIERRE: In those crime situations, where a victim has to use force to save their life, the victim shall be given the presumption of innocence. And I think that's appropriate.
BROWN: Just two more questions. Anything just inherently distasteful to you about being in a situation and, rather than using force, just getting the heck out of there, just running, which is one way the law is generally applied. If you can avoid the violent situation, you should.
LAPIERRE: Well, what the bill says is, there's no legal duty to retreat if you're a crime victim. Let me give you an example. Let's take a nurse walking home late at night that has a right-to-carry permit. Some criminal attacks her on the street with a knife. Now, going through her mind in a split second is, do I run? Can I run fast enough? Before he catches me and maybe stabs me? This law simply says if she has a firearm, if she uses it or some other object to defend herself, she has the presumption of innocence with her. Hopefully that will give criminals pause before they attack someone and protect a potential victim.
BROWN: Be interesting to see how people think about it as they think about it. It's always good to talk to you. Thank you.
LAPIERRE: You, too, Aaron. Thanks for having me.
BROWN: The head of the NRA.
Still to come on the program -- here's a question for you. Sixty years later, what made Hitler tick? Some newly discovered research from six decades ago.
And, later, the war as seen and photographed by the people who fight it. We take a break, first. Around the world, this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: Saturday is April 30th. People will celebrate a birthday. Couples will say I do. April 30th, an average spring day.
But not really so average. April 30th has a place in history. Sixty years ago this Saturday, Adolf Hitler committed suicide as World War II was coming to an end. Historians have spent six decades trying to figure him out.
So what's the historical significance of a recently uncovered psychological profile of Hitler, written during the war by U.S. intelligence? From Washington tonight, CNN's Bob Franken.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The masses in Germany worshiped Hitler, for promising that their fatherland would return to past glory. All the while, they were following a man described by United States intelligence as sexually ambivalent, paranoid, self-absorbed, self-loathing.
DR. JERROLD POST, FOUNDER, CIA PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY UNIT: He took his inner demons and exported them, in a sense. And put them into the political world.
FRANKEN: The profile was done for the Office of Strategic Services. OSS later became the CIA. The authors described a Hitler who was confused about his relationship with an abusive father, ashamed of his mother's submissiveness, ashamed by his early failures, frustrated at not succeeding as an artist.
He became a man, they said, seeking grandiose escape from his horrendous self-doubt, but able to inspire a weakened nation seeking its own escape.
POST: People were walking around in Germany as he was gaining in strength with wheelbarrows full of marks, and there was a hyperinflation. Parents couldn't support their own families. And in this wounded psychology came this individual who had the answer. It's not us; it's them.
FRANKEN: Hitler apparently took his own life, shot himself, hidden from the collapse of his Third Reich in this underground bunker. Two years earlier, the profiler said suicide was the most plausible way he might die. A dramatic exit, they wrote, that would be extremely undesirable to the allies, because it would establish the Hitler legend.
(on camera): The profilers were right in so many ways, yet war leaders question their reliability. A skepticism that persists to this day.
PETER BLACK, HOLOCAUST MUSEUM SR. HISTORIAN: We as historians can do very little with psychological or psychiatric analyses that really don't study the person, if they're done from afar.
FRANKEN: Many in the military and espionage communities cautioned against relying too heavily on them. But psychological profiles of world leaders are now routine. And the profiles of Hitler are described as the founding documents in the study of the minds of potential enemies.
Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.
BROWN: Very nearly a quarter to the hour. Once again, in Atlanta, Erica Hill with some of the day's other headlines -- Erica.
HILL: ... autopsy results show the two toddlers who disappeared from their home on Saturday drowned in a nearby pond. The medical examiner says there is no evidence of foul play, but the investigation does continue and their deaths have not yet been ruled as accidents. Their bodies were found yesterday. A civilian volunteer group that patrols the border between Arizona and Mexico looking for illegal immigrants is now planning to expand its patrols to the border with Canada. The Minuteman Project claims the federal government is not doing enough to secure the borders. Federal officials say border patrol should be left to federal agents.
Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam. Well, you might try Pikesville, Maryland -- actually a tennis court there used to (INAUDIBLE) the animals. The buffalo somehow got loose from a farm and wandered freely around town until police officers did manage to round them up.
And in Phoenix today, hospital officials announced that a surrogate mother delivered quintuplets for a childless couple. Five babies, all boys -- four of them are doing just fine; one baby was born with a heart problem. He is in stable condition.
And that's the latest from HEADLINE NEWS at this hour. With that, Aaron, we turn it back over to you.
BROWN: I'm still working on that buffalo story. Thank you very much.
When we come back, Iraq. A 60th of a second at a time. Life for American soldiers as seen by American soldiers through the lens of their cameras. We'll take a break first. This is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: A soldier died today in Iraq, a highway accident about an hour outside of Baghdad. Another American killed on Sunday, a roadside bomb. Each and every night, we report the dying in Iraq. Better sometimes sadly so than we can report the living.
The reason is simple. By and large, we are not everywhere in the country. No one is, except for the men and the women doing the living and the killing and the dying. So tonight, Iraq as the troops in Iraq see it. Images assembled for the April edition of "GQ" magazine, but captured 100 percent by GIs.
GREG POND, PHOTO EDITOR: Everybody at "GQ" felt that there was a need to see the war in a different way. One of our editors thought it would be interesting to approach soldiers and ask them if they could send us their own personal pictures of the war. We wrote a letter, we sent it to "The Army Times" newspaper. They put it on their Web site. We thought maybe three pictures would come. What we received in the end was about 15,000 pictures from 2,000 soldiers.
BRENTON MCKINNEY, CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER, 2ND GRADE: My name is Brent McKinney. I was attached to the 3rd ID, part of a medivac unit. I do not consider myself a photographer. We were just taking pictures that we wanted to show friends and family when it was all over with.
POND: These are essentially letters home during wartime. This is the war in their words, but the words in fact are their pictures.
What we've hit is an extraordinary range of emotion. There are wonderful, candid, spontaneous moments. We've also some very, very poignant moments of soldiers grieving for their fallen comrades.
CAPT. J. PHILIP LUDVIGSON, STRYKER BRIGADE: The image behind me is one of a baptism that happened in Mosul, in the spring of 2004, right after I got there. Attacks had started to be stepped up quite a bit. Obviously, when that happens, soldiers always tend to think about their spiritual state of mind. It was just such a perfect, beautiful spring day. Everybody just gathered around with the bees buzzing and flowers blooming. And that whole kind of thing, it seemed very surreal.
POND: There are photographs in the heat of battle. A wonderful picture taken by a Marine at Camp Pendleton, Louis Agostini (ph), he's a military photo journalist. He was with Marines in the middle of the battle of Fallujah. And that emotion. I mean, these guys really didn't know if they were going to make it home that day.
SPEC. EDOUARD H.R. GLUCK, 1ST BATTALION, 124TH REGIMENT: My name is Edouard H.R. Gluck. I was a national guardsman with the 1st Battalion, the 124 U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Florida Army National Guard. This photograph behind me, I shot in Ramadi, Iraq. One of the more volatile cities in the, so proclaimed, Sunni Triangle. The unfortunate nature of the town they were in, didn't allow them to ever really get out of their gear ever.
POND: This was the first war in the history of mankind that was so heavily documented from the start by the men and women who actually were fighting the war. It ended up being a huge opportunity to show the world what the war was like in a completely new way.
BROWN: Talks about it in the past tense, it's still going on. Morning papers when we return.
BROWN: Okey-doke. Time to check morning papers from around the country and around the world. And many good ones today. Of course, I do say that every day, don't I? Because I'm trying to keep your attention.
"The Christian Science Monitor," I like this story. "Action Hero Governor in Retreat Lately. Governor Schwarzenegger out in California has hit some hard times. Trying to manage the P.R. But you know, in politics it's not all up. There are some downs. So, he's hit the skids a bit. We'll see how that plays.
"The Washington Times." "Bush Gives DeLay a Boost, Texas trip a message to foes of House leader." Is there any more confident looking guy on the planet than Tom DeLay? I mean, the world is falling on him. Got to hand it to him. I love this story in the "Rocky Mountain News." Over in the corner, it's going to be hard to see, OK. "Hero Lost His Eye But Not His Resolve Delores Clark (ph) comforts her son, Akeo, 29 (ph). After Denver police honored him and 37 others, this young man stopped a sexual assault, was stabbed in the eye and said he'd do it again. God bless him for not standing on the sidelines.
"San Antonio Express News," oh, this is why I love this. "Senate's GOP Boss Won't Deal On Judges." That's Bill Frist, right? "Frist says the talks will continue, but he rejects compromise." So what the heck are they going to talk about?
"The Oregonian" out in Portland. Glad to have them back with us. "Social Security Battlefield Shifts, Congress takes up the issue, pressure builds on Gordon Smith." Republican Senator from the state of Oregon.
"Day one in D.C. on Social Security," says the headline. "We've hit a wall." On the other hand, I don't think we're going to see private accounts, just my opinion on this.
"Bush Says Accounts Can Work, he praises Galveston Social Security alternative."
"Stars and Stripes" haven't done this in a while. "Split Second Decision Lands Marine Lieutenant in Court, Article 32 Hearing set for officer charged with killing two Iraqis."
Also, "Marriage by Mail, Montana law allows couple to wed while he's at war and she's at home." And presumably the other way around as well.
"Chicago Sun-Times," you've probably been wondering about this, "Proof About Brad and Angelina?" The pictures, OK. Who cares?
The weather in Chicago tomorrow, thanks you. No, thanks. We'd appreciate it though, if you'd stick around for a few more moments, we'll be right back.
BROWN: We'll see you tomorrow, good night.
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