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Sheriff: Suspect Swung Machete At TSA Agents; Report: TSA Clears Convict For Pre-Check; ISIS Claims Responsibility For Mosque Attacks; Tunisia Facing Threat of Terrorism; Strange Case of Robert Durst; Bobbi Kristina Transferred to Rehabilitation Center; In the Midst of March Madness; Aired 6-7a ET

Aired March 21, 2015 - 06:00   ET





VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Happening overnight, an airport in chaos. A man armed with a machete and bug spray attacks TSA workers at New Orleans International Airport.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And terror in Yemen, the death toll mounts after bombs explode at two mosques where scores of people were worshipping at the time. ISIS is claiming credit for that attack.

BLACKWELL: Could millionaire, Robert Durst be tied to other unsolved crimes? The FBI is asking detectives across the country to dust off their cold case files.

PAUL: It's 6:00. You are up early and we are ready for you. Good morning, everybody. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. As always, good to be with you, but we have to start this morning with this terrifying scene at the New Orleans Airport last night.

Crowds of frightened travelers there sent scrambling as a man with a machete was shot by police. This incident started when Richard White, 62 years old, stormed through a security check point and dousing TSA agents with wasps stray and then threatened them with his machete.

PAUL: This was a dramatic scene we are told. One agent fought right back with a piece of luggage. Another opened fire and shot him in the leg, the chest and the face.

BLACKWELL: White, and you see him here on the stretcher in a cell phone picture, he was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. We do not know what his condition is, but of course, we will continue to update you as we learn more.

PAUL: We do want you to listen to the sheriff the Jefferson Parish sheriff because he is going to describe exactly what happened.


NEWELL NORMAN, JEFFERSON PARISH SHERIFF: He walked down the TSA pre- line, encountered the TSA officer who was checking the boarding passes with the scanning machine to be scanned. He was challenged at that point in time by the TSA officer.

The response was he pulled a can of wasp spray and sprayed the officer in the face. He proceeded past that checkpoint and encountered the second TSA officer and then the third TSA officer almost simultaneously. One was a female and one was a male.

He sprayed the male in the face. The male TSA officer grabbed a piece of luggage in order to defend himself as it relates to the machete. He turned. He went through the magnetometer with the perpetrator chasing him.

They got to the end of the line and they both made the turn around the benches and were heading out of the exit. When going through the magnetometer, the TSA alerted the law enforcement officer who's manned at the exit.

The law enforcement officer proceeded down the exit line to come around, come in very close contact to the individual with the machete and that officer fired three times, hitting the perpetrator once in the left chest, the left facial area, and the left eye.


BLACKWELL: All right, clear description of what happened there. Let's dig deeper now with Tom Fuentes. He is the CNN law enforcement analyst and the former assistant director of the FBI.

Tom, let's just start generally because this is not the first attack against a TSA officer in an airport. What is your reaction to what happened in New Orleans?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. Sounds like you have a mentally disturbed person, who decides to attack the officers right at the checkpoint, and that's the first time he would have encountered any kind of a checkpoint in the airport. That's what they're there for.

So the unfortunate thing is that that's the first line of defense and in some cases the last line of defense for people like him to get passed security and get into an airport.

BLACKWELL: Let's explore that. So you say that's the first line of security and maybe sometimes the last. Do you think there should be an extra layer? Because if he decided that he wanted to use that machete at check in or at the drop off point, there would have been no security between him and the passengers?

FUENTES: Well, you have to have a security point at some reasonable place in the airport. The problem is, you know, it's been discussed in the past why don't they put the magnetometer machines at the front door, then that becomes the first checkpoint, and that would be the point that he would pull a machete.

I have commented before that it's not practical. You cannot have people lined up on the sidewalk with all their luggage not even checked in yet at the airport especially, you know, we have wind chills of 20, 30 below zero and many cities in the U.S. is winter.

You cannot have people lined up on the sidewalk for a half hour with the infants or the elderly. You're going have to, at some point, let people indoors and decide where you're going to set the checkpoint up.

[06:05:11] And of course, TSA guards manning the checkpoints are not armed, so there are police officers that are supposed to be close by, and that's what you have in this case. You have a police officer who when alerted to the whole problem of this person attacking the officers, that officer came and opened fire on the individual.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you make a good point. Wherever you put that check, someone who has some nefarious motive will do whatever they plan right before that. Tom Fuentes, stay with us because we want you to weigh in on this next story as well.

Second unsettling airport story this morning for you, but this it appears the Transportation Security Administration has some explaining to do.

PAUL: Yes, according to a new report by a government watchdog, the TSA let a convicted murderer and former member of a domestic terror group through its pre-check program.

Now CNN aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, has some of the details for us here.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Christi, Victor, a government watchdog group says the TSA created a significant aviation security breach. A whistleblower sounded the alarm after TSA cleared a notorious convict for pre-check, which is a less stringent screening process at U.S. airports.

It's usually reserved for low risk passengers. Travelers get to leave on their shoes, their coats, their belts and laptops can stay in the bag and they don't have to remove certain gels and liquids from their luggage.

So the question is how is it a traveler with a lengthy criminal background that included membership to a domestic terror group and the use of explosives given this perk?

Well, there are two ways go get pre-check status. Randomly picked or apply. In this case, the traveler was randomly picked. That means the flyer did not have to provide finger prints or criminal history like pre-check applicants have to.

Now the traveler's name was checked against the terror database. The name was not on a watch list and the TSA says, if the passenger was a threat, the name would have been in the database. The officer, we should point out, at the checkpoint, knew about the felons criminal background, that went to a supervisor to flag that fact that passenger had been given pre-check status, the supervisor OK'd clearing the traveler.

We should point out that one change that's come out of all of this is the officers at the checkpoint they now have more discretion to send someone to standard screening if they deemed it necessary -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right, thank you so much, Rene. Tom Fuentes, we want you bring you into this conversation as well. So the report calls this an aviation security breach. What do you call it?

FUENTES: Well, I think, Chris, it's a breach, I think maybe we're over blowing this simply because when you go through TSA pre-check, you're still being checked. I just went through pre-check a week ago.

I am on the regular pre-check background list and somebody saw something suspicious in my bag, pulled me aside, and made me open it and go through that and it was completely justified to open the bag and have them look at it.

So it's not that everybody flies through the line because you're on pre-check. Now yes, you don't have to take off your shoes, but we have not had a shoe bomber attempt in 13 years and some of the liquids and some of the other things.

So you know, I can understand where there's some concern, but you still go you through check. I resent because the idea of pre-check is to be a convenience and if everybody in the uncle can go on the list, it's not convenient anymore to have people like that in the line.

I am curious of how a TSA officer would recognize this person as a convicted felon and have all that background when you have hundreds and hundreds of people passing by every hour. How he happened to know this one individual.

But at that point where he has been identified, they do not have to send him to standard checking. They can do the standard procedure right there at that point.

PAUL: Well, and Rene mentioned that, you know, the officers there on duty will have more discretion after this. But I was interested in the fact that he was randomly chosen. Do you think there needs to be some modifications in the way that they do that?

FUENTES: Yes, I would hope so. I disagree with the random pick because the idea of it is that you've been pre- qualified that you travel so often and that you have so many miles and you're a trusted traveller and how you trust somebody when you randomly pick them it sounds to me to be ridiculous.

If this person did not recognize him, he would not have any additional checking. So I don't like that idea at all. I think that part of it is a security breach. But in this case with this person, once he would have been identified, they can initiate all of the regular checks and make him take his shoes off or whatever you want.

PAUL: All right, Tom Fuentes, so appreciate you. He is going to stick with us, and we'll see him a little bit later in the hour as well. Thank you, sir.

FUENTES: Thank you.

[06:10:02] BLACKWELL: Breaking overnight, a tragic story out of Brooklyn, New York. A house fire has killed seven children and the youngest just 5-years-old.

A woman and a teenage girl that were injured in this fire, it appears the victims were all related so one family here losing seven children. Police says it's not clear yet what started this fire, and of course, there's an investigation under way right now.

Critical situation in Yemen after the suicide bombs at mosques there. ISIS declares this latest terror strike is just the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. is not ready to say yes, this was ISIS, but if it's true, is ISIS coordinating attacks around the world?

PAUL: Secretary of the State John Kerry meanwhile says there has been progress regarding nuclear talks with Iran. He is set to speak in just about 30 minutes in Switzerland. We will bring that to you live as soon he steps up to the podium.

BLACKWELL: Despite this being the start of spring, mother nature says let me give you a little bit more winter before I go.

PAUL: It's does not look like spring.

BLACKWELL: Yes, there's another storm moving in impacting millions.


PAUL: It's 14 minutes past the hour. We're so glad to have you with us. New this morning, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 70 Syrian forces have been killed in ISIS attacks in Central Syria. The attacks in homes and provinces targeted areas manned by government loyalists. Now several ISIS militants we've learned were also killed.

BLACKWELL: We have new details this morning on the terror attacks in Yemen. ISIS is claiming to be behind the deadly blast that ripped through two mosques killing 137 people. Suicide bombers pretending to be disabled carried the attacks by hiding explosives under plaster casts.

[06:15:07] And a message from ISIS says these attacks are just, quote, "The tip of the iceberg and more will follow." Now we have to add that CNN cannot independently verify the legitimacy of these claims.

Let's bring CNN's senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh. Nick, what else have you learned about these attacks? NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, today there are the very painful task of burying the dead in the capital of Sana'a, and the Saudi government has announced it will transfer many of those, hundreds of injured. There was an urgent appeal across Sana'a for blood yesterday.

They'll be transferring those who need medical help to Saudi Arabia to try and assist. As you mention there, it appears chillingly that those first suicide bombers, who went into the mosque attacks, hit the crowd of worshippers, hiding explosives in their plaster casts, and then as we know the secondary device detonated outside.

That was responsible for the sheer volume of casualties here, those who rushed to help caught by those explosions. You mentioned that ISIS had a responsibility. There's a key element that adds some degree to that.

The other main suspect for an attack like this, an orchestrated multi- suicide bombing would be the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Now they issued a statement yesterday in which they very clearly said it was not them.

Now they also said that they wouldn't target crowds or gatherings and you can debate whether that's true or not. But the fact they are not stepping forward to claim responsibility and ISIS are does potentially lend some credibility to the ISIS' claim.

Although I should point out many observers see ISIS as a very small force in Yemen, dozens potentially. They have been making statements perhaps trying to get their feet on the ground there.

If they're behind this attack, it would be a deeply troubling new chapter and they're already fractures and horrified and many worried this could mark alerts towards further sectarian violence.

So many if not all of the victims at these mosques bombings were from Shia from the Shia-Muslim sect and ISIS, al Qaeda, those perhaps behind the bombings. Sunni is not replicating the Sunni-Shia violence across the Middle East now. Not yet on scene really in Yemen, but potentially now starting -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Nick Paton Walsh for us, giving us the latest on those tragic bombings in Yemen. Nick, thank you so much.

PAUL: You know, we're watching to hear from Secretary of State John Kerry this morning. He is expected to speak in about 30 minutes. We will bring you his remarks live.

He is Lausanne, Switzerland where the latest rounds of talks on a controversial nuclear deal with Iran have wrapped up. They wrapped up yesterday. They will resume on Wednesday. The deadline for a frame work agreement is March 31st, but again he will speak in 30 minutes to give an update on where that progress stands.

BLACKWELL: And of course, we will get that to you.

If you have not checked the calendar, you probably would know that it's spring, but it is --

PAUL: Do you even matter when you're looking outside and seeing snow.

BLACKWELL: Let's show them 30 million people are getting hit with another winter weather advisory, when are we going to see spring really?

PAUL: It's a case of road rage that makes you ask what is wrong with people. I say that everyday what is wrong with people. A Texas woman -- I do -- a Texas woman was shot in the head for honking her horn for another driver. There's a manhunt on the way for that shooter.



BLACKWELL: So I have to tell you that it's the first day of spring.

PAUL: Really, really?

BLACKWELL: Yes, but when you look at this, it does not look or feel like spring, at least for millions of people across the northeast.

PAUL: We feel for you people. We do.

BLACKWELL: We really do. We're happy we're not dealing with the snow. This is from New York City. People there are getting another blast of winter weather. The affects from the latest storm are being felt all the way into the Baltimore and D.C. areas as well.

PAUL: I am from Ohio. I remember having snow like this in April. It was rare and we were all just over it. Ivan Cabrera, please let these folks -- give them some relief and tell them this is the last you're going to feel it.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know I cannot say. I have been in Boston -- I should not say that. We had a couple of feet in April so you know it can happen, but the north east is the one area that needs warm weather and it's the area, not only are we snowing, but the temperatures are going to be plummeting over the next few days.

Look at this, this is not impressive for January, February, but it is when you talk about almost April here, 5.3 inches, that's enough for a record through Friday on the first day of spring.

New York and LGA, JFK, all of them got into that as well. Take a look at the radar, it's just depressing stuff. As you look the forecast radar over the next several hours, maybe another inch in places like Boston especially to the north and west. But then we're going to be done with this. The problem that I

actually see more than anything is what you're going to be feeling over the next few days. The temperatures are going to be unbelievably cold for April here.

Yes, we're going go for another arctic blast. We're not talking 20s or 30s. This morning it's going to feel like the 20s. That's bombing compared to what is coming. The forecast highs for today, we're going to be in the 40s. That's not too bad.

Take a look at the Sunday morning wind chills. This is brutal stuff for spring at this point, 15 degrees is the way that it's going to feel in Boston, 9 in Albany. I look at Buffalo at ten degrees and freezing stuff. This is what is coming, and it's going to stick around for a few days.

No snow after this, so there is that, and the rest of us are going to be looking at much warmer temperatures as I do not have to tell you guys it's going to be nice down here in the south. Most of the country is in good shape. Not the northeast. That's been the story.

PAUL: I think that my mom and dad are going to come down earlier than expected.

BLACKWELL: Spend the next week or two.

All right, thank you, Ivan. Still to come the latest on the case against Robert Durst, this morning, his lawyers want him released from prison. We will tell you specifically why, all that and more coming up stay with us.



BLACKWELL: Coming up on bottom of the hour now and taking a look at the top stories developing, police at the New Orleans International Airport shot a man who allegedly welding a machete last night. His name is Richard White. He is 62 years old.

He was shot in the chest, the face, and the thigh after he sprayed people with bug spray and then started coming after them with the machete that he kept in his wasteband until that point. Police are unsure why he was doing this. One TSA agent was shot in the scuffle and had none life threatening injuries.

PAUL: The terror group ISIS


is claiming responsibility for attacks on a pair of mosques in Yemen now. That attack left at least 137 people dead. State-run media reporting suicide bombers pretended to be disabled and hid explosive under plaster casts. Some say that attack is just the latest sign that picture violence to be plunging Yemen into a civil war.

BLACKWELL: And the people in Tunisia, they marched against terrorism on the country's Independence Day. It's two days after extremists killed 23 people in a museum in Tunis. Officials say the men had weapons training in Libya. About half of the people killed in Wednesday's attacks were tourists.

PAUL: We have the new information I want to share with you regarding the terror attack in Tunisia. Their officials say two of the suspects received weapons training in camps in Libya and in a new audio message ISIS is also claiming responsibility for this attack. Now, we need to point out CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of that message, but obviously it's very troubling. We want to go out to Jomana Karadsheh right now. Jomana, is this attack - ISIS's would we dare call it a debut in Tunisia?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, it certainly is the first of its kind to hit Tunisia where we have seen in the past. This country has been fighting the extremist groups and it's had the Jihadi problem for years. But this has been Tunisia's nightmare. They have been concerned about this. You are talking about an estimated about 3,000 Tunisians fighting with extremist groups. Many of them with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. There has been concern about that. And, of course, the biggest concern has been the spillover of what is going on in Libya, across the border. There was porous borders. Many Tunisians have been going across to Libya and training like we're hearing from officials about the two attackers saying they are trained in Libya. There have been training camps for Jihadists, Christi, therefore past few years.

CNN has reported extensively about what is going on in Libya and the Jihadists groups really exploiting the chaos in that country the political and stability and the security vacuum there to set up camp. And over the past few months, we have seen the emergence of groups there that have pledged allegiance to ISIS. And there has been a lot of concern from the neighboring countries including Tunisia and also Egypt. And as you recall we have seen some high profile attacks taking place inside Libya targeting. We have seen the foreigners at a five star hotel, back in January claimed by ISIS and also that horrific video with the beheading of the Egyptian Christians just last month. So a lot of concern about the impact of the instability in Libya, and that growing presence of Jihadist groups including ISIS in Libya and its impact on the region and Europe too. That's not far away from that country. Christi.

PAUL: Right. Jomana, and a lot of people, experts talk about how recruitment and trying to fracture the recruiting of ISIS is going to be key here. We know that they recruit via the Internet many times through the U.S. and in Europe. Because - are borders so porous when you talk about Libya and Tunisia, they are so porous that the recruitment is different in that area?

KARADSHEH: It's very easy. Let's put it this way, Christi for militants to travel to Libya. This is a country that's pretty much a failed state right now. There's no real control. You have two rival governments. You have, you know, different factions and militias that are fighting each other, and in the midst of all of this chaos, it has been really easy for various militants from different countries, not just Tunisia, to travel to Libya and train. This has been happening there since 2012 where these militants have gone to Libya to these training camps there and some affiliated with al Qaeda, other Jihadi groups and now we are seeing, of course, ISIS.

And from their traveling to Syria where they have been fighting. So, that country really not just for recruitment, Christi, it has become a very -- it's a perfect place for the jihadist groups to set up camp there and also, a training and breeding grounds for the various extremist groups. Now, the big issue is how do you counter that. What can be done to tackle that issue in Libya again, a big threat to the region and Europe too, Christi.

PAUL: Already. Jomana Karadsheh, thank you so much for the update. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: A case of road rage or possible road rage. It's pretty hard to believe and it was all because a woman honked her horn. We will have more on the search for the shooter in this case.

And new information on Bobbi Kristina Brown. It's been almost two months since Whitney Houston's daughter was found unresponsive in a bathtub. We have got the latest on her condition. An important move here. We will tell you about that.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One SUV ran off the road and shot at her window. I call you (ph). And she's bleeding from the head. (INAUDIBLE)


PAUL: Police in Texas searching for the driver who opened fire on that woman there during a rush hour road rage incident. Kay Hafford was shot in the head by a man in a white SUV after she honked her horn at him. That's it. She was shot, but was still able to pull over and get some help. She is in the hospital where doctors say she's expected to be OK, thankfully but she does have some head trauma.

BLACKWELL: New information about the condition of daughter of late singer Whitney Houston and the singer - Bobby Brown who's been at the medically induced coma for almost two months now. You remember, the Bobbi Kristina Brown was being treated at Emory University Hospital after she was found unresponsive in her home near Atlanta in January. We have got on the phone with us CNN Sonny Hostin who has sources close to the family of Bobbi Kristina Brown. Sonny, what have you learned?

SONNY HOSTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Good morning, Christi. I learned yesterday that Bobbi Kristina has been moved from Emory Hospital to a rehabilitation facility. A long term rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. That decision was made by her father Bobby Brown, and again, you know, many people have been speculating that she was going to be taken off life support, and that sort of thing.


HOSTIN: But the family still believes that Bobbi Kristina can come out of this coma and at this point they have moved her to a long term rehabilitation facility in the hopes that she can make a comeback, really, and be rehabilitated. BLACKWELL: Well, the move to a rehab facility would suggest that her condition has improved. Do you know if it has?

HOSTIN: I do not have an update as to her condition. I have no information about that other than the fact that she certainly has been moved to this long term rehabilitation center.

BLACKWELL: But the move would suggest that optimism on behalf of her family?

HOSTIN: No question about that. The family remains optimistic that she will get better.

BLACKWELL: OK. Sonny Hostin joining us. Thank you so much for the update, Sonny.

PAUL: Well, the attorneys for Robert Durst want him released. Remember, he is this eccentric billionaire arrested and behind bars for murder. But boy, his bad story really kind of leaves you shaking your head. We're going to give you the whole scoop here.

Also, you're going to want to watch next hour for what some are calling a medical miracle. A toddler in Pennsylvania survives after 90 minutes without a heartbeat. His story coming up.


PAUL: 44 minutes past the hour right now. And Robert Durst lawyers are calling for the millionaire's release.


PAUL: The attorneys for him, for Durst, filed papers yesterday stating that he was unlawfully arrested earlier this week for the 2000 murder of his longtime friend Susan Berman. And Durst lawyers say the arrest was timed to coincide with the final episode of the HBO documentary series about Durst called "The Jinx." Durst will make another court appearance Monday to determine whether there's probably cause to keep him in jail. But this is just another turn for him in what is a bizarre pattern of coincidences.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It started with a 1982 disappearance of his first wife Kathleen Durst.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the beginning it was Prince Charming and Cinderella. As time went by, I would say that it became more and more violent. She would call me late at night for hours about his violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Friends say Kathleen believed her life was in danger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said to me - promise me if something happens, you will check it out. I am afraid of Bobby. And I just, Kathie, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She vanished in January of 1982 and Durst did not report it for days. The millionaire reported seeing her last when he dropped her off at a train station. Her friends suspected something sinister had happened.

ELLEN STRAUSS, FRIEND OF KATHIE MCCORMACK: I went through his garbage, and I found that he was throwing her things out right away. He knew she was not coming back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But because law enforcement never found Kathleen Durst body and never had a crime scene, Durst was never charged with his wife's disappearance. She was ultimately declared dead.

Then Susan Berman, the longtime friend of Robert Durst was shot execution style in her own home. The timing of her murder was unusual, happening shortly before police would question Berman over the disappearance of Kathleen Durst. Durst maintained his innocence.

ROBERT DURST: I felt terrible for Susan. It was astonished that they were putting all of this together that I did it or I caused it to be done.

DICK DEGUERIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Bob Durst did not kill Susan Berman. He does not know who did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leads in both cases went cold and Durst moved to Galveston, Texas. Then, Morris Black. In 2001 Durst was charged with the killing and dismembering of his Galveston neighbor Morris Black. Durst posted $300,000 bail, but failed to show up for his hearing. He was later arrested in Pennsylvania when he was caught shoplifting from a super market. The evidence against Durst appeared overwhelming. Morris's body parts were found floating in separate garbage bags in the Galveston bay and inside the bag, a newspaper with an apartment address linking Robert Durst to the crime. Durst ending up admitting to the gruesome killing claiming self-defense, but in 2003 Durst was acquitted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Robert Durst, not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many were outraged with the jury's verdict.

JOANNE GONCORA, JUROR, ROBERT DURST TRIAL: The trial that we sat as jurors on was how Morris Black died. You know, and so, the question was, the actual charge that we had to answer was, was he murdered or was he killed in self-defense or by accident? And the state could not prove it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With no evidence linking Durst to his wife's disappearance or his friend's murder and now an acquittal. He was a freeman. For more than a decade Durst stayed out of the headlines until one shocking statement caught on mic during the taping of the HBO six part documentary series initiated by Durst himself.


I killed them all of course.


PAUL: OK. Just so you know because I think that it was covered up, but apparently he said yeah I killed them. Pat Brown, criminal profiler and CEO of the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency joining us now. Pat, thank you so much. The first thing that I have to ask you about is the fact - the Morris death. So he admits to killing Morris. He said that was self-defense and he gets out of that. He's acquitted. He dismembered the man. How is dismembering somebody self-defense? How does that get to that point?

PAT BROWN: Well, I actually have heard about an interesting case before where the person was actually not guilty of homicide. In this particular case the man took a woman home with him. They went to bed together, and when he woke up she was dead and he was so drunk he didn't remember what happened, he thought he strangled her or did something - smothered her in the night. So he did cut her up into pieces but later on they found out that she died of natural causes. So, can it happen? Yes. Could it have been in self-defense? Yes. It could have. Could he have panicked? Yes, he could have.


BROWN: However, it's always easy to blame the victim and say, well, they made me do it. You know, because the victim isn't around to say, what's true and what is not true. The simple fact that that head was never found. He made sure the head was never found.

PAUL: Yeah.

BROWN: My guess is because there's a bullet hole in the back of it, which would kind of kill the self-defense thing. But I believe if this has been a professional jury, we would have seen a conviction. But what happens with the regular jury is kind of a crapshoot. So, I think this is what we're looking at in any future case. Can he get off again? Very likely.

PAUL: Can that statement that was caught in the HBO series there, can that be used against him in some way?

BROWN: Well, here is the problem with that statement, which is why I do not think they have got a great case. He muttered something in the bathroom. This was not a confession to a specific question. He did not sit on his death bed, for example, and say I killed Berman. He did not say that. He was not answering in a response. Somebody didn't ask him, did you kill Berman? And he said, yes, I did. That will be a confession. What we have is a guy muttering some strange things while he's going to the bathroom.

Now, was it connected to what they were just talking about? Perhaps. Was he thinking about something else? Maybe. Maybe he was just making up some scenario in his head, yeah, they are going to say it to me. You know, you killed them all. You know, I killed them all. He could have said that. They can use a million defenses in a court of law, along with him maybe being, you know, have beginning his Alzheimer's. He's a little crazy, you know.

PAUL: All right. So, you know, the FBI is asking local authorities to take a look at cold cases in the areas where Robert Durst lived. And he may be linked, some say, to another case investigation in 1997 disappearance of 16 year old Karen Mitchel. I want you to take a look at this, if you would, please. The original composite sketch, there it is, compared to Durst. You cannot deny a bit of resemblance here. In your experience as a criminal profiler, what do you make of this?

BROWN: I am always a little concerned about when we talk about somebody resembles somebody - you know, composite. Because there are people who simply look like each other. Is it Durst? I don't know if it is. The problem is where is this girl's body? We don't have one. So, we have a missing person's case. We don't have a DNA to connect to him. You can't say he's guilty of something because he looks like a composite. So, unless this body of this girl shows up on his property some place or they find her body and his DNA is on her, it really isn't too meaningful. So, I do ...

PAUL: Much like we could say with this first wife whose body has never been found either.

BROWN: Exactly.

PAUL: Real quickly, though. Durst is - he's being held in a mental facility, mental health unit in a detention center. His attorneys say he is not mentally ill. What do you think?

BROWN: Well, you know, in my opinion he acts like a psychopath and if he's guilty of killing three people, he probably is a psychopath. Can he also show some psychosis or some dementia? It's possible. But are they going to use an insanity defense if they go to court? No, because they are going to say, he did not even kill anybody. Now, he may have mumbled something in the restroom because he is a little off, but that does not mean that he is crazy. It just means he is a little, you know, he's got some issues.

PAUL: My goodness.

BROWN: You know, that's not an insanity defense because he did not do it.

PAUL: All right.

BROWN: That's what they're going to say.

PAUL: Pat Brown, we appreciate your insight. Thank you so much for being with us.

BROWN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And that case is fascinating the more we learn about it.

PAUL: Oh my gosh. It's bizarre.

BLACKWELL: Yes. PAUL: With a capital B.

BLACKWELL: We are rounding out this hour. Coming up at the top of the hour at 70 Eastern. A man armed with the machete and wasp spray stormed through a security area in New Orleans airport. It's unbelievable. We'll have the latest on this chaotic situation. But coming up, highlights from the March Madness upset. How is your bracket looking? I mean once Baylor lost, everything fell apart for mine.


BLACKWELL: We will take a look at the rankings coming up.


BLACKWELL: Another big March Madness upset, as if we have not had enough already.


BLACKWELL: Breaking hearts, busting brackets. And also prevented NCAA tournament history. Go to Coy Wire now. He's with us with more. What happened here?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Oh, a lot of good stuff. I mean actually since the NCAA tournament expanded the 64 teams 30 years ago, there's never been a day where all 16 higher ranked teams won. Yesterday it came close, though. There were 15 games played with the higher rank seed won and that sighed a record set in 2000. Then, on the last game of the day, the one and only upset. And it was a good one. Number 11 day only had six players on scholarship, not one taller than six foot six, but they played huge against six seed Providence. The players played with heart, hustle and muscle and even got under the skin of Providence coach Ed Coolly. Check that out. Coolly lost his cool. He tossed that chair during a time-out and that earns him a technical. So, coach, be careful. You are going to get another one there, big man.

So, but listen. Dayton pulled away from Providence, 66 to 53 and advance to the round of 32. Now other than that upset it was a pretty tame day yesterday. But Thursday we had close calls. We actually witnessed a new NCAA tournament record, five one point games in one day. There were bracket busters to upsets. The one that everyone is talking about is Georgia State. Head coach Ron Hunter led the squad from a chair. He torn his Achilles tendon while celebrating the team's birth the week before. He celebrated this too. Splash. His son R. jay hit the game winning three-pointer.

PAUL: And there he goes.

WIRE: Knocks him out of the chair.


WIRE: As they upset - you know, he ended up breaking his cast. So now he has to see the doctor again. Start all over, but he said you know what? I would not change any of it for a second.


RON HUNTER, GEORGIA STATE HEAD COACH: This has been an interesting, interesting week. We're winning, I am getting banged up, I'm getting cut on. I'm getting everything. The players are absolutely just killing me with all this right now. I am rolling around in not even in a wheelchair, in a scooter that's half broken. It's just been an interesting week, but I won't trade it for the world.

WIRE: Awesome. Love that guy. Now, there's a lot going on today. Kentucky is going to play and try to continue their undefeated run. But I'm sure we will see some more upset before all said and done as well.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, we'll take a look at where we are in our CNN ...

PAUL: Let's not.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, let's do it.

WIRE: Let's do it.

PAUL: You say that because you're one ahead of me so I hear. One.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. I will probably be behind next week.


BLACKWELL: So, let's do it now.

Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: You are welcome.

PAUL: Coy, thank you so much.

WIRE: You are welcome.

PAUL: We have gotten so much news to tell you about this morning, too.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your "New Day" starts right now.


PAUL: Police shoot a man who stormed through security at the New Orleans airport. He was carrying buy spray and a machete. We'll tell you what happened.