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Balancing Act

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Our show seems nomadic lately.

First, beginning in May, we started jumping all over the continent — D.C., New York, Santa Maria (search), Redwood City (search), Little Rock, etc. And now, while we are in a foreign country — Aruba — even our nightly set location changes. Some nights we are on a balcony, some nights on the deck on the ground, two nights ago in a "wind tunnel" on the grass near our hotel and who knows where tonight. We are nomadic at the hotel where our created bureau is because we are dodging activities at the hotel that could interfere with the broadcast.

We have had to dodge two weddings and several parties at our hotel. Of course the weddings and parties are joyous occasions with lots of music — but inappropriate background for such a serious matter as a missing person. The events we dodge have been planned for many months and of course we can't bump them (and would not try.) Instead we move around the hotel with our lights and cameras. On more than one occasion we were not successful and viewers complained. I agree it was not good — but we try our best. We can't predict always the music content, the volume or how long it will play. There is always a challenge to do a show "on the road."

I am ready to go back to USA... but every time I think I want to go back I remind myself that Natalee Holloway's (search) family stays behind and with only bad news (likely) in the future. I am so lucky compared to Beth... her life must be pure hell. At some point in the near future the media will fold its tents and move on to the next story. Meanwhile Beth and her family like so many other families just waits and waits and waits and waits. I feel bad — but not sure what the solution is. I am not sure where this story is headed, but I confess to having little optimism for a good ending... maybe no optimism at this point is more accurate description of my feelings.

After last night's show, I did an interview for Dutch TV. It was "payback" for their correspondent doing our show in the first segment of last night's show. The correspondent had interviewed Paul van der Sloot the day before and we were curious what he told Dutch TV. It turns out that the correspondent and I had crossed paths before — in 2000, in Palm Beach, Florida for the now infamous election recount. It is not uncommon to keep running into people in this business in various places. I had given him an interview in 2000 and so he was happy to do our show... and then, of course, I did his show again. (This could go on forever!)

I asked how they would handle the fact that I don't speak Dutch and was told there will be subtitles. (By the way, because I have a Dutch last name, I was asked by a family friend outside the Van der Sloot house and at a lighter moment in a distressing story, if I speak Dutch. I confessed no and quipped that I am still working on English. The friend then said "shame on you with such a Dutch last name!")

Your e-mails — randomly grabbed from the show e-mail account:

E-mail No. 1

Greta,
The monkey worries me. I wish they would investigate around and (under?) the cage — I don't know, the monkey was just so unexpected, (like the clown in "Body Heat" meaning something is odd.) Also, surely the dirt piles outside the Van der Sloot property have been checked — are the dogs checking that property? Thank you for your show and forthright approach to your work. I am so glad you have become friends with Beth Twitty — and miracles happen everyday — we'll pray for a miracle.
Thank you,
Milinda Sheldon
MI

E-mail No. 2

Greta,
Since this is a delicate story of a young and beautiful missing girl, I think it may be hard to ask certain questions. But, Charles Croes brought up Joran's statements of Natalee using drugs and alcohol the night of her disappearance. Are you going to ask her mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, about the statements that Joran told in the presence of Charles Croes?
Sincerely,
Arlene B. Jermakian-Heed

E-mail No. 3

Greta,
Just a thought here on the Holloway investigation case: Is any one on the island missing a small watercraft or boat from around that time frame? Maybe reported taken that night or shortly after but just prior to the arrest of the suspects. If her body was disposed of, has any one tried to figure out the approximate distance that the body could have been taken — with the time frame that was reported to the police — if she was just walking, driven in a car or taken on a boat? I am sure that these have already been asked and figured out but I have not seen anything on it reported yet by the news media.
David J. Bold
Korea

ANSWER: David, last night we had a segment on our air about the currents in the early morning hours of May 30... so it appears you and I think a bit alike. It was a rather difficult segment to do — not because of the science of oceanography etc. — but because Natalee's mother and family come to our show every night and watch. They are still hopeful for good news and maybe this story could have an Elizabeth Smart ending — so our bleak discussion about currents is not easy for them.

We have a challenge on the show — educating and informing but also showing some level of sensitivity to the family. I hope last night's show met that balance. From time to time we will make the wrong calls, but be assured that at least we think things through and try to do it right — assuming there is a right way to do things under these circumstances. As an aside, the family has made passing reference to me about tides and currents so they have also thought about this. Of course, this is very difficult thought for them.

E-mail No. 4

Greta,
Does Aruba have dumpsters? If so, wouldn't this have been the fastest and easiest way to hide a body? Have the landfills been searched? Or is it too late?
David Pursel
Honolulu, HI

ANSWER: I am most hopeful that the search is complete... but of course since Natalee has not been found, it is thus far unsuccessful.

E-mail No. 5

Hi Greta,
I love your show, and we listen to you every night on FOX Radio at work. I just came up with an idea of where Natalee Holloway might be. I have read a lot of crime stories and murderer stories and about serial killers. One thing that is a common thread, is that when they have to make a quick and sure decision of where to hide the body, they bury it on their own property.
I think she is buried on the Van der Sloot property and they did it before the mother arrived back from her trip. He was probably sweating profusely having you and Mrs. Holloway in the house. It looks like a fairly large property.
I think the girl got killed somehow, Joran called his dad in a panic in the middle of the night, knowing his mom wasn't home and his dad is very smart legally. His dad ran over there to pick him up and get the body and take it back to their place, where no one would see them in the middle of the night on their own property, doing whatever they needed to do. They had never done anything like this before, its natural to do it within your own environment, with your own tools and things that you need. Also, I think the property has a tall fence around it. Investigators probably didn't have a dog sniffing around the property. Have they even returned to the property to search further?
I don't think they even told the mother, feeling she would panic and talk. They feel everyone is looking elsewhere for Natalee, away from their home.
Also, they said he was on time to school that morning, and getting on the bus. So all he had to do was jump in the shower and get ready after they had finished. Didn't have to take a chance of being seen, or driving home or anything. Why aren't they doing some kind of re-enactment of the crime? And the biggest mistake of all is not investigating Joran immediately. Very sad for everyone involved.
My only other theory is that she is/was kidnapped and taken to the Middle East for some sheik's harem. Wouldn't be the first time. Thanks for your time, you always do a great job.
Luena

ANSWER: Luena, your theory is interesting and possible but thus far not supported by evidence as far as I know. This case is very troubling — there are other theories, likewise, not supported by the evidence that are possible. For example, what if Joran did leave her on the beach like a cad... and that she decided to go for a swim and went way out and drowned? Of course, like I noted, there is not evidence of my hypothetical but it is possible. We just don't know.

What has caught my attention and no doubt caught yours is that Joran was so quick to cook up a story... it certainly makes me suspicious of him but I would like to learn more evidence.

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