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.
Ariel Castro admits close calls in interrogation tapesPlay Video
Bear chills out in kiddie pool; homeowner loses his cool
46 rescued from sinking fishing boat off Alaskan coast
Police body cam captures domestic dispute turned shooting in Florida
Caught on camera: Small plane crashes into Connecticut home
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.”
Journalist describes kidnapping ordeal in SomaliaPlay Video
Olympic diver David Boudia talks about new book, daughter, faith
Daniel Silva: I write my spy thrillers on yellow legal pads
Chris Colfer on 'Land of Stories,' 'Absolutely Fabulous'
Sydney Schanberg, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, dies at 82
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.”
Parents of miracle baby recall devastating diagnosisPlay Video
Watch expectant mom reveal her baby's name live on TODAY
Stop summer brain drain: Keep your kids active with butterfly gardens, more
Summer family fun: Outdoor gadgets for kids of all ages
Kathie Lee and Celine Dion share sincerely about losing loved ones
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.
Could Down syndrome provide clues to Alzheimer's?Play Video
Japan Approves Robot Suit
Attorney for OSU Crash Suspect: Toxicology Test Will Come Back Clean
Lawyer: OSU Parade Crash Suspect 'Suffers From a Mental Illness'
Easing Alzheimer's With Better Lighting
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.
Hoda to America after phone snafu: 'Thanks for calling!'Play Video
Theater legend Jimmy Nederlander has died
Hoda agrees with Amy Schumer: Cake in your hands is good!
Sunrise or sunset? KLG, Hoda debate which is more beautiful
It's 'Bachelorette' recap time: Get KLG a barf bag ASAP!
And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!