Sep 17, 2020
Victims of Deadly California Wildfire Found in Cars, Roadway
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Fifteen people were killed last week in the North Complex fire burning about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, and two people remained missing, the Butte County sheriff's office said late Tuesday.
DNA testing was used to positively identify 10 of the victims, Sheriff Kory Honea said. They included Jacob Albright, 72, of Feather Falls, whose body was found in a vehicle on a property in the community.
The two bodies in the roadway were found in Berry Creek — one about 10 feet from an all-terrain vehicle, the other also near a vehicle, Honea said. One of them was identified as Paul Winer, 68, while the other has not been identified.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that more than 17,000 firefighters were battling some 25 major fires that were ignited in the past month, after an unprecedented lightning siege in mid-August.
The death toll stands at 25, with at least 4,200 structures destroyed statewide and more than 38,000 people under evacuation.
Bewsom said environmental stewardship is not a partisan issue in the state that has had governors from both major political parties.
“We need to reconcile the fact there are no Democratic thermometers and no Republican thermometers,” he said about global warming.
In Butte County, winds thrashed the fire into explosive growth on Sept. 8, driving it through rugged Sierra Nevada foothills and destroying much of the town of Berry Creek.
Two people found on a 5-acre property in Berry Creek couldn’t escape fast enough, Honea said. The body of Philip Rubel, 68, was found inside a burned pickup truck, and Millicent Catarancuic, 77, was discoered down an embankment.
"They had packed their belongings in preparation to evacuate but later decided not to evacuate based on erroneous information that the fire was 51% contained,” Honea said.
The two lived on the compound with Catarancuic's sister, Suzan Violet Zurz, who remained missing.
Others killed in the fire were Randy Harrell, 67, of Feather Falls and John Butler, 79, Sandra Butler, 75, Jorge Hernandez-Juarez, 26, Khawar Bhatti, 58, and Josiah Williams, 16, all of Berry Creek.
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Judith Light On Impact Of Manhunt: Deadly Games: Really Informing You, Waking You Up
In 1996 the United States of America witnessed a horrific tragedy when the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia were upended by deadly terrorist attack. In the aftermath of the attack, a security guard and police officer named Richard Jewell was cast as a villain when he was investigated as a suspect by the FBI and local law enforcement. In the new series Manhunt: Deadly Games, viewers get a chance to see a dramatic re-enactment of what transpired on July 27, 1996, how Jewell was falsely accused and the eventual apprehension of the actual perpetrator, Eric Rudolph.
Judith Light stars as Richard Jewell’s mother, Bobi Jewell, in the series and spoke with CBS’ Matt Weiss ahead of tonight’s premiere.
MW: Hi Judith, hope all’s well! The first thing I wanted to ask you before we get into Manhunt: Deadly Games, just to take it back a little bit, do you remember what you were doing and what that moment was like in ‘96 when you heard about the attack?
JL: I don’t remember exactly what I was doing, but I remember hearing about it; and I remember being glued to the news to listen to what was happening and what the story was.
MW: How did that impact you at the time?
JL: I found it devastating, in that somebody who had actually been a hero and saved so many lives was actually being vilified. We didn’t know that until the FBI found the actual bomber Eric Rudolph. It was their diligence and their work that uncovered the actual bomber. Because they kept saying that there were things that that didn’t match up with Richard. You watched a life be destroyed.
MW: Now on Manhunt you’re playing Bobi who was Richard’s mother. Did you get a chance to speak to her or any of the other people who were involved?
JL: No. I prefer not to speak to a person that I’m that I’m portraying. Out of respect and deference to them and their life. As long ago as this was, I’m sure that there are still feelings and sorrow. I feel most importantly that I’d be respectful.
There were tapes that we saw, there was research that we did. We had a wonderful writer Andrew Sodroski, our producer Michael Dinner and Spectrum, Lionscape, Kevin Biggs, Catherine Hope. All of these people really pulled together to have us know what we were looking at, know what we’re talking about so that we could make sure that we were true to the story in the most responsible way without talking to anybody who had been literally involved.
MW: When you do something like this, there is that weight on your shoulders of doing it respectfully and making sure you’re portraying things the right way. Can speak a little bit more about that? How much did it mean to you to get this across respectfully?
JL: You can’t do it without having that or you mustn’t, I would say. The need to take care of someone else’s life that you’re portraying is essential. It sort of comes to the point, the way we all, not we all, but in large part today because of everything that’s going on we don’t always treat each other with kindness. We’re not always respectful of someone and their feelings and what they might be going through.
I think seeing this particular piece, this manhunt, is to remind us that we really need to be careful with each other, tender with each other. We are all fragile and particularly right now even more so. I say that with thoughts of 1996 and Bobi and Richard Jewell and also for now.
MW: These true crime anthologies have gotten so popular in the last few years, but this is unique in the sense that this isn’t a hidden story. This is something that a lot of people were very aware of. Potentially for some younger viewers this could be the first time that they’re really getting introduced to it but for the most part people are aware of the story, what does that mean to you to bring this back into people’s mind?
JL: I think it’s important. I think it’s important for people who weren’t aware of it then and young people who weren’t even born then. I think they get to see what the need is for people to find the real person who did this and not to just instantaneously blame someone. I think this puts the media in a spotlight, you’re journalists, we need you, we need you to be uncovering the truth in monumental ways.
Back then we needed it and it really resonates for now in terms of the media and journalistic responsibility. I think it’s going to be a real history lesson for a lot of people in a very palatable way without being didactic or pedantic. Teaching you something, but really informing you and waking you up to how we treat each other as human beings, how the media can work or not work. What we need to do in terms of being respectful to a story that for many people still resonates through the years.
A lot of people still say, oh yeah, the Atlanta bombing yeah that was Richard Jewell. We need to make sure that everybody knows it’s Eric Rudolph.
MW: Right, absolutely. Well thank you so much Judith, it’s been a pleasure talking to you today. All the best with the premier and stay safe!
JL: Thanks, you too, stay well!
Manhunt: Deadly Games premieres tonight, Monday, September 21st at 10:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Check your local listings for more information.