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Update: Under the category "you can't plan in this business," I had expected to take Friday night off, but now I will be working. We have lots to report and it makes sense for me to come in off vacation since I have been steeped in the Natalee Holloway (search) story since the beginning. Here is what happened this morning:
Early this morning I got a tip: The Kalpoe brothers (search) have been re-arrested and another suspect was also under arrest. The arrest was at 6 a.m. Because rumors run wild in Aruba on this case, we wanted to get another source. We did not dare report it until we were absolutely certain.
Calls went out quickly everywhere for confirmation and our producer in Aruba (George Szucs) got busy... very, very, very busy. Armed with his cell phone, his video camera and the car, he took off to chase down the story.
We also solicited the help of investigative reporter, Tito Lacle. With "all hands on deck," our people were able to get the arrest confirmed. In fact, in short order, we had two confirmations of our original tip.
I was also told by my producer in Aruba that there would be an 11 a.m. court hearing. A very short time later, he was at the courthouse — way ahead of everyone (including the parties to this investigation.) I called him on his cell several times and at one time said, "What's going on?" He said, "I am the only one here."
A short time later — and well before 11 a.m. — he called and told me that the Kalpoe brothers' mother had arrived. Since the producer and I have met many times with her, she was easily recognizable to him. He attempted to talk to her but she did not want to talk. This is understandable.
Needless to say, all morning long, we have all been pounding the phones. We are learning much about the other person arrested — Freddy — and will give you those details at 10 p.m. tonight.
What has caught my attention most is the timeline we have pieced together. From Satish's lawyer the other night on the show, we learned that someone was on the Internet at the Kalpoe residence from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Why did that person get off the Internet at 3 a.m.? Note that 3 a.m. is the exact time that Joran van der Sloot's (search) second call went to Deepak's cell phone (the first was 2:40 a.m.)
Stay tuned. We will have more tonight.
Want to know how fast time flies? I was told yesterday that our blog — www.gretawire.com — is two years old! I almost fell over when I heard that. Two years? Time flies! I started the GretaWire in August of 2003. I would have guessed, had anyone asked me, that gretawire.com is one year old and was stunned to learn that it is two. For those of you who wonder how many people read it, I am told we now have more than 100,000 each day reading it.
It has been fun to write and to interact with viewers and readers (yes, some e-mailers tell me that they don't have cable to watch the show, but read the blog online everyday.) I appreciate them reading it and I appreciate those who watch the show, read the blog and e-mail me.
I should have realized gretawire.com is two years old since I now recognize and "know" so many of you who write me every day (Edith... George... Vangy... and yes, even Flowwolf who has a bit of problem with "clean" language.) I like to learn peoples' views and I like to read criticism — from some criticism I learn much and can improve. Who doesn't want to get better?
I have also had a chance to learn some new things about myself from the two years of writing the blog and getting e-mails from people: I am stupid, can't comb my hair, ask idiotic questions and have a boring show... just kidding. Of course there are those who send those e-mails but I also get many very, very nice ones.
The blog is not stale... we are trying new things all the time. In the last two years we have added www.gretapoll.com to the page and now we have pod casting of show segments. You can check out the pod casting by clicking on "GretaCast" on www.gretawire.com. The pod casting allows you to download segments on a MP3 player and listen while you jog or listen while you sit on the couch eating potato chips, too lazy to pick up the remote and watch the show on TV! Lots of choices....
If you watched the show on Thursday night, you know we discussed the prosecutor's request for a DNA (search) sample from Joran van der Sloot — which his lawyers are fighting. Maybe the defense should not fight this request. The prosecutor, I am told by reporters, wants to test his DNA against male DNA found on Natalee's toothbrush in her hotel room.
It occurred to me that if the DNA on Natalee's toothbrush turns out to be Joran's DNA, that could help Joran immensely. Why? Natalee's friends say Natalee never met Joran until the night of May 29/morning of May 30. If that is true and if his DNA is on her toothbrush, then she RETURNED to her room after her ride to the beach with the three boys. It means she slipped into the room without her roommates noticing (sliding glass doors of their first floor room? The hotel hall door?) and brushed her teeth. Since her roommates were out partying the night before they left, it seems the three could be "heavy sleepers" — or maybe not home themselves. The defense will no doubt argue — if that is Joran's DNA — that she then LEFT her room and disappeared at the hands of someone other than Joran.
Here is my bet: It is not his DNA. It is very easy to deposit DNA and could be something so simple as someone else picking up her toothbrush and moving it. There were many male friends of the family who went to Aruba right after she disappeared and there was foot traffic in and out of that room which became a bit of a central command in the search. But bottom line: I am not certain and we need to wait and see.
Now for some of your e-mails:
E-mail No. 1 — I debated whether to post this e-mail (I responded to Naurine in a personal e-mail.) But then I decided that since the e-mail was extremely important to me, it might be to you. The e-mail has few words, but says much. No one knows the pain a parent feels from losing a child except another parent who has had the same experience. Naurine, unfortunately, knows how Beth Holloway Twitty feels:
I really believe Beth's biggest problem is the fact she did not get to tell her daughter goodbye — my son was killed in a motor vehicle accident on July 15, 2005. He was so badly mangled that no one was allowed to see his body, and we all feel that leaves something unfinished.
Logically, I know if Dan was not who was in the coffin, he would have come home that evening. But you are left with that little niggling doubt that destroys your peace of mind. This feeling may diminish with time, but I constantly feel like he is going to walk in the door and I am sure Beth still has hopes that her daughter will be found alive, even though common sense will tell both of us "it ain't gonna happen". Forever wishing, I suppose.
Bless Beth's heart and may she find the courage to face her tragedy
E-mail No. 2 — this next e-mail refers to one that I posted Thursday:
Ok Greta, about this Mr. Friedman, this blew my mind! He's blaming you for his son smashing a glass in someone's face? Does he mean that his son seen a man assaulting his sister, and in a split second thought, "Greta said anything goes in international waters, so I'll smash this glass in his face and get away with it," or did he get on the boat with the idea of doing whatever he wanted and getting away with it? Someone who thinks as shallow as this guy does, I don't think I would trust him to watch your show! I'd be afraid of what little tidbit of information he would distort!
Keep up the good work Greta!
Panama City, FL
E-mail No. 3
Greta, please do something about that terrible banner! Yellow caps and white text on a light gray ground simply doesn't do it! Thanks from a regular reader and former proofreader...
E-mail No. 4
Am I only person to wonder about 2 & 2 = ??? Think about this: Natalee dies by accident or otherwise — Joran panics, calls Daddy for advice. Daddy says, "I'll handle this... no body, no crime." What if Natalee was buried on Van der Sloot estate — and then Paulus declares the property off limits to search. What better place to hide the evidence of a crime?
E-mail No. 5
As a recent visitor to the island I have been following your coverage of this from day one. I am getting the feeling that it is only a matter of time before the Kalpoe brothers sell Joran down the river!
E-mail No. 6
You want "those" residents of the District of Columbia to own the Nats? Do you remember that a major tenet of Marxism was the peoples' ownership of the means of production?
ANSWER: I don't know what you mean by "those" residents of D.C. (I am one) — but the Green Bay Packers (search) are owned by millions of citizens (I own one share worth $200.) That means that when I watch the "Green and Gold" beat every other team — OK, maybe not every other team — I cheer for MY team, not some fat cat's team. I have bragging rights that I am an owner. I am proud to be an owner.
Major League Baseball is now selling the Nationals and wouldn't it be nice if we could all buy one share — millions of us — and own them like the Packers? I don't want some "dot-com" person to buy the team and thus I find myself cheering for HIS team. I would like to be an owner and cheer for MY team. No, I can't buy the team myself, but I could afford a few hundred dollars for "bragging rights." A public offering might be lots of fun and create much team spirit. Incidentally, with my one share of the Packers, I get nothing but the chance to brag but it is really fun to brag.
One other thing Rollin, I think your suggestion of a communist plot for public ownership of a professional sports team would not "sit well" in Green Bay. I dare you to go to Green Bay and tell people there they are part of some communist plot!
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