TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Castro tapes, miracle baby

Sep. 6, 2013 at 3:30 PM ET

What you missed TODAY: Police release Castro tapes, journalist reveals kidnapping details, miracle baby's parents gush.
TODAY
What you missed TODAY: Police release Castro tapes, journalist reveals kidnapping details, miracle baby's parents gush.

1. Days after Ariel Castro hanged himself in his prison cell, NBC News acquired police interrogation tapes that revealed just how close the convicted kidnapper and rapist came to being caught. Included are details about a call he made to one of his victims’ mothers, as well as his own suicidal thoughts written down in letters.

Video: Exclusive: Three days after convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro hanged himself in his jail cell, NBC News has obtained interrogation videotapes and personal letters that provide insight into how he avoided arrest over the years and detail his long-held thoughts about suicide.

2. Amanda Lindhout, the journalist who was held hostage for more than 15 months in Somalia, described to Savannah this morning how she kept her will to live through beatings, starvation and sexual assaults.

“I think it's the human spirit inside of all of us that has an enormous capacity to survive,” she said. “I went through something that was exceedingly difficult, so I had to dive pretty deep to find out what I was made of, so I had the opportunity to do that.”

Video: Amanda Lindhout, who was abducted and held hostage in Somalia for 15 and a half months, details her ordeal in a new book “A House in the Sky.” Interviewed on TODAY, she talks about a failed escape attempt and describes how she kept her will to survive.

3. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state and her husband, Daniel, gushed about their new baby daughter, a “miracle” according to health experts.

Born without kidneys, little Abigail Rose Beutler may be the first child with Potter’s Syndrome ever to survive the condition.

“She is doing amazing,” Jaime said. “She has a few challenges, but man, she’s determined.”

Video: Rep. Jaime Beutler of Washington state and her husband, Daniel, say that their baby is doing very well after being born despite a usually fatal condition, and describe the devastating moment when doctors told them their unborn child could not survive.

4. “It’s a tantalizing and provocative question: Do people with Down syndrome hold the key to the mystery of Alzheimer’s development?” Mass. General’s Dr. Brian Skotko posed the question as part of this week’s “Age of Alzheimer’s” series.

Scientists are now studying the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s in hopes of finding a cure for the disease.

Video: Medical scientists are now studying the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, hoping to find new clues that could provide a key to unlock a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. NBC special anchor Maria Shriver reports.

5. Hoda’s phone’s blowing up! After accidentally revealing her number on air Thursday, the Fourth Hour anchor’s phone filled with voicemails and texts — more than 4,000 of them!

“There were a couple of porn ones in there, which I kind of enjoyed," she joked this morning to Savannah.

Video: TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb share video calls with a few of the viewers who continue to call Hoda after she accidentally shared her phone number with TODAY viewers on Thursday.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!

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