Asked and Answered

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As for the posted pictures today... because we were in Philadelphia on Thursday to report on the then-missing, now confirmed murdered, LaToyia Figueroa (search), we decided to update ourselves and you on a story we did six months ago about a missing Philadelphia couple. Danielle Imbo and Richard Petrone, Jr. walked out of a Philadelphia bar late in February and vanished into thin air. No one knows what happened to them and Richard's truck has never been found. We had never been to the bar where they were last seen so we went there with Richard's father (and showed the interview with Richard's father on Friday.) We took some still pictures, too, so I have posted them for you on today's blog. Click on the link in the photo box above to check out my photo essay. Friday was the six-month anniversary of their disappearance and here is a short report done. There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of this couple.

When I get many e-mails on a topic I like to answer them here rather than attempt to respond to each individually. I have gotten hundreds asking whether a psychic should be sent to Aruba to help in the investigation. There was a psychic there weeks ago — I was introduced to her briefly — and obviously she has had no luck. I know nothing more — I don't know her name, whether she is still there and who summoned her.

Likewise I don't know who summoned the polygraph expert to Aruba (search). We were told that an American lie detector expert is in Aruba and Beth Holloway Twitty (search) and others confirmed this last night. Beth said she did not ask him to go to Aruba. The polygraph can be a useful tool — but not a conclusive one. Here I don't expect it to be useful — no one has asked to be polygraphed (you can't force someone to submit) and so much time has passed with lots of interrogations that the results would be suspect. In short, I am having a hard time understanding why a polygraph expert is in Aruba on this case.

Here is a fun fact: "my" general, General Bob Scales, and his wife were in Aruba on this month. I ran into him in the Washington, D.C. bureau about a month ago and I asked him what was new and he told me about his upcoming vacation, which happened to be planned for Aruba. Of course I teased him about going to Aruba and asked him for his help on our coverage while he was there. He was also coincidentally booked at the hotel where we have our Aruba "bureau." His vacations plans were totally unrelated to our coverage and had been planned months ago. It was just a coincidence. (By the way, I think the two best in the business are Generals Scales and Don Edwards. They give it to you straight, are very smart and both have real experience. Whenever I see either on the television screen, I stop and immediately listen.)

I get many e-mails suggesting that Aruba be boycotted. Obviously you should decide for yourself, but you might find it interesting to note that Natalee's family has not asked for that type of support. The island is gorgeous and every American tourist I have met has said that he or she feels safe there. The many shopkeepers and hotel employees have been gracious and shown great interest in finding Natalee and tourism is their source of financial support. As you probably know, many rumors are flying — see E-mail No. 3 below.

Now for some e-mails:

E-mail No. 1Monday's poll question asked in essence if women got equal pay for equal work and this e-mailer is responding in his e-mail to it:

In my office all the males work 5 days, 40 hours/week either 8:00 to 4:00 or 8:30 to 4:30. Of the female employees who have the same job, 1/3 only work 4 days (32 hours a week) and one only is in the office 6 hours a day (30 hrs a week.) Yet they would feel put upon if they were paid less, even though they are not working as long. Actually it's probably the males being discriminated against.
Mark Komis
Batavia, IL

E-mail No. 2 — As you know, rumors can and do fly on the Internet. This next e-mail adds to the rumors posted on the Internet and discussed in Monday's blog (the rumor that Jug Twitty and my husband and others are involved in a business deal.) I was amused by this next e-mail and maybe you will, too. This e-mailer teased me saying he had heard/read the rumors, too... but he claims to have heard more information about the alleged land deal and more.

I heard it was two Frenchmen, half a dozen Chinese and each of them had a cat (that makes six cats) and that you have been traveling back and forth to the coast on a Greyhound bus disguised as a stripper from Scores in Manhattan.

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
I just saw the following item on an Aruban message board. I linked to it from the Mountain Brook message board. Although it may just be an awful hoax, I feel confident that you will make sure the proper authorities check it out. I'm sure the authorities could find out who the author is and whether this person has any real knowledge of women disappearing:
“Date: 06-08-05 21:47
Don't bring any young beautiful women to Carlos ‘n, Charlies. Dozens have disappeared after visiting that restaurant over the last 7 years.”

ANSWER: Rosemarie, thanks for the note. I have not heard or read this message. I would think that if there were several missing women in Aruba I would have heard it by now. I have spent many weeks there with my ear to the ground and so have other media outlets. If we heard such a rumor, we would all track down the families to see if true or not and no one has done that. Hence I am assuming this is just a wild fictional rumor.

E-mail No. 4

Unlike you, I am not a lawyer nor have I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Since the Aruba situation seem to be going down the drain because of their inadequate system of justice, why wouldn't it be a good idea for Natalee's mother and family to file a few lawsuits of their own? I'm for shaking-up the Aruban judicial system.
Information is being withheld from the family by the Aruban prosecutor and judges. If the family turns-the-table on these Aruban legal beagles and sues, (e.g., Joran and the brothers for conspiracy, the father and MOTHER for obstruction of justice, etc.), won't they be able to question in court “on their own,” and demand a complete search of the father's home and grounds, etc.? My fact-less conclusion is that one of the three boys killed Natalee and the FATHER took over to cover-up the crime.
Chuck G.
Madison, WI

E-mail No. 5

I absolutely believe women should receive equal pay. Men can't compete for jobs where women are paid substantially less.
David Brown
Elkmont, AL

E-mail No. 6

I'm sick and tired of Greta's stupid questions regarding the Natalee Holloway case. The worst was when she asked the mother of the Kalpoe brothers when they got out of jail, "Which son did you see first?" Does it really matter?
Then, tonight, she asked Natalee Holloway's mom several stupid questions regarding her meeting with the Aruba prime minister.
Greta's constant probing into the case is an embarrassment, do you understand? Her line of questioning is redundant and insulting to our intelligence.
John Reid
Menlo Park, CA

E-mail No. 7

Greta darling,
Love that jacket! If I were the gardener, I would submit to the polygraph. Followed by Deepak and then Satish! This is merely speculation.... oh, did you ever find out who the gardener works for? I bet that would be interesting... could you mention it on the air?
Ron Watson

ANSWER: Ron, you loved the purple jacket last night? Well, my colleague Brian Wilson teased me about it yesterday in the hall outside our offices! I told him he was welcome to borrow it anytime he wants to do so. Brian has a new blog — click here to check it out. You and others also might want to e-mail him telling him he should wear a purple jacket. He will be completely confused as to why he is getting the e-mails. It might be good for him!

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