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We landed about 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Aruba and had 90 minutes to go about three miles to the courthouse for the decision by the judges. That seemed like ample time — or so we thought. As luck would have it, one of our group got stopped at customs. Our "shooter" had to bring so much equipment into Aruba to do our show that customs stopped him and went through everything. It took more than an hour for him to get through and we began to panic. Finally we decided "every man for himself" and left him at customs and went to the courthouse without him. He finally made it through customs and took a cab to meet up with us. Needless to say, we were worried that our sleepless night so that we could get a flight to get to Aruba for the decision was wasted effort. In the end it worked out... but only after putting us in a full-scale panic.
After the decision was issued, we raced to all the lawyers' offices. We talked to two of the lawyers on camera (and showed both interviews last night) and one lawyer would not talk to us on camera — Joran van der Sloot's (search) lawyer. Joran's lawyer was polite and gracious and did speak to us... just not on camera. Incidentally, Satish Kalpoe's (search) usual lawyer is on vacation so his partner who is now handling the case spoke to us. The partner was willing to talk to us because he was a big fan of the show I did at CNN — "Burden of Proof." He said he watched it daily... the only regrettable thing he said was that he was in high school when he watched it making me feel 110 years old.
From the lawyers' offices we raced to the Kalpoe home. We knew they were home (their car was there and there was noise inside the house) but they would not answer the door for us. So we left and raced to the other side of the island to shoot tape of the search with the dogs. We shot that cadaver dog search tape... and then decided to try again getting the Kalpoe family to talk. So we got back in the car and once again raced back to the other side of the island to the Kalpoe house. We could again hear the TV on inside the house but no one answered the door. The Kalpoe brothers' mother has always answered the door to us so we are not sure why she did not yesterday (maybe she was not home... maybe she is sick of us.) Of course we will try again today — we are persistent.
I also called Paul van der Sloot from the car as we raced back and forth all day. When I identified myself, he said, "I have nothing to say" — or something like that — and hung up.
In between all the racing around yesterday, we stopped and checked into our hotel. Unfortunately there is no high-speed Internet capability in the hotel (we could not get back in the Marriott Hotel on this trip — it is booked full) so it was a scramble to get ready for the show and do the blog this morning. After our racing around all day yesterday, I had hoped to prepare for the show in my room. Since there's no high speed, I had to go back to the workspace at the Marriott to log on to our computer system. We have some high security system at FOX that requires a high-speed connection — we can't just dial up in a hotel room.
Thursday night's show started with a surprise for me. I was sitting on our set in Aruba with Beth Holloway Twitty ready go and ready to get the cue to start when suddenly I heard Uma Pemmaraju say, "Hi, I am Uma Pemmaraju sitting in for Greta Van Susteren who has technical problem."
I did not know we had technical problems or that New York had "lost" us. Of course I listened attentively and was happy when I was told, "They have us" — which meant to me that we would not be back in the show. I was momentarily disappointed that we had flown to Aruba on virtually no sleep, worked the entire day and then to think we would not make air. Things like this happen in TV... but in the end it all worked out since our technical problem was limited to a few minutes.
Incidentally, I think the problems were related to the weather here in Aruba. We have a tropical storm warning and it is now raining hard (it was raining intermittently in our show last night.) I am not sure what surprises the weather will bring us today. I do know that we have many projects planned for today which take us outside. Hence don't be surprised if I look like a 'drowned rat' when I do the show tonight.
Friday night we will again be live from Aruba as long as Hurricane Emily (search) cooperates.
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