Investigation into murder at Yale

September 16, 2009 1:44:53 PM PDT
Asphyxiation caused by neck trauma. That cause-of-death disclosed today by the Connecticut medical examiner about Yale grad student Annie Le.

Now the question remains: who killed her and why?

We may soon get some answers to that. Authorities are awaiting DNA test results from samples taken from a lab technician, who has been questioned and released. We're following the case, and will have the latest, tonight at 11.

We're also getting the amazing, and disturbing, final communication attempts between the air traffic towers at Teterboro and Newark, and the small plane that collided with a tourist helicopter on August 8. The NTSB, investigating the collision over the Hudson River, released the failed attempts to get the pilot to switch frequencies. At one point he repeats a different frequency than the tower at Teterboro asked for. It just so happens that the controller was also on a personal cell phone call at the time. Did that contribute to the miscommunication?

And the NTSB also released the frightening pictures of the collision and the crash. I just saw them and I'm still shaking.

Also at 11, the race for Mayor of New York officially is underway. Both Mike Bloomberg and Bill Thompson were out stumping, with Thompson ? the inarguable underdog ? receiving the endorsement of a New York firefighters union. Eyewitness News will host a debate between the two candidates a week before the election, on October 27 at 7 p.m. I'm fortunate to be moderating the event.

This was a fascinating primary election, although you wouldn't know it by the record-low turnout. It was also bitter. The race for Manhattan District Attorney was so toxic that the runner-up in the race, Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, said after her defeat last night she was through with politics forever.

She lost to Cy Vance, Jr., son of the former Secretary of State. And perhaps Judge Snyder reflected on her experience so bitterly because she ran a rather nasty campaign ? attacking Vance as much as she touted her own qualifications. Maybe she now has second thoughts? I'm just sayin'.

Also at 11, we're following a remarkable medical story unfolding here. A 14-month-old girl from Ecuador has a hole in her heart. And she's set for an operation after she lands tonight at Newark. Her name is Melanie Macias, and she was approved for a life-saving heart operation because of the efforts of the National Police Defense Foundation and Gift of Life, Inc.

New Jersey State Troopers and New York City cops will meet Melanie and her family at Newark Airport and then escort her to Snyder's Children Hospital in New Hyde Park on Long Island.

Jeff Pegues is on the story for us.

Former President Jimmy Carter is also making news tonight, for his remarks to NBC News yesterday about much of the criticism directed towards Pres. Obama being based on race; that many Americans simply aren't accepting a black man as their President. "The President does not believe that the criticism ? is based on the color of his skin," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today.

Few expected the President or his minions to run with Carter's statements, provocative and, perhaps, arguably on target as they might or might not be.

Here's what Mr. Carter said:

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that share the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans.

"And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."

Would love to hear your reaction to all this. CLICK HERE to e-mail me your thoughts.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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