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As you might have guessed, I get e-mails from viewers telling us to stop doing the Natalee Holloway case AND I get e-mails thanking us for doing the Natalee Holloway case and asking that we keep up. Yes, you can't please everyone all the time and we are not totally driven by what pleases people. We don't program for ourselves and we don't always do stories that please us (if we always did shows that pleased me, the show would look like it belongs on Animal Planet channel since I am so fond of animals.) Each night we do several topics in the news in an effort to please everyone.
We try to program for what is going on in the news and we try and complete stories that we start and get deep into. Yes, we are deep into the Holloway case. I would love to move on and not cover the Holloway case any more. I would love to have a resolution to the story so that we could say we finished it. But I also don't want to drop it simply because it has gotten hard to figure out the investigation.
In the beginning, I had an expectation that the resolution could be — maybe not would be — a great one, perhaps even an "Elizabeth Smart" one. Now the resolution I hope for is simply answers. The family wants answers and so do many viewers who have become very interested in what happened to Natalee. Everyone can deal with and be satisfied with truth, not spin. No one likes to feel that they've been had and when you think you are getting less than candor, you feel had.
The latest information coming out of Aruba — that Deputy Police Chief Dompig no longer heads the investigation — has me perplexed. What is going on in the investigation? I had tried to tell myself for months that the investigation is not and was not what it appeared to me on the outside: a bunch of PR and no more. I hoped that I was imagining that the investigation was going nowhere. More often than not, investigations seen from the outside are very different from what it is when you are on the inside, so I figured that perhaps my doom and gloom view of the investigation was wrong. I hoped I was wrong. I want this investigation to succeed, so even in the face of ominous signs, I have told myself that it really is not what I have been thinking. I still hope that.
In December, I was told that the chief prosecutor had told one of our sources that "fireworks would happen in January." I was excited to hear that. I read into that statement about fireworks that there was progress... and significant progress. That did not happen. January came and went with no fireworks. Two weeks ago on CBS News' "48 Hours," Dompig said the investigation was in its "last critical phase." That sounded good to me, too. Does that mean they are close to solving it? Last week a reporter told me that the police said there would be big news within 24 hours. That 24-hour period has come and gone more than seven times and no big news — unless, of course, the police meant the security cameras they plan for the beach, which we just learned about last night! (By the way, married men and women beware! Don't bring your girlfriends/boyfriends to the Aruba beach. You could get caught on camera. And the rest of us? How long can we hold our stomachs in when we strip down to our swimsuits?)
Maybe this new switch in the investigation will really result in action and in resolution. I hope so. I would love to have egg on my face in this investigation and be proven wrong in my thinking that this case will is not going to be solved.
Yes, there are perfect crimes and perfect mysteries. People can vanish with no sign and this could be one of those cases. But what is wrong here is that there appears to be a lack of information — or worse, candor — from Aruba. The family can accept candor and we who follow this investigation with great interest can accept candor. It is when you hear odd things about the investigation — or worse, you suspect spin or lies — that your mind begins to wander. Yes, sometimes revealing information can jeopardize an investigation, but I think we are beyond that in Aruba. And some information from the authorities might go far towards helping the family deal with this crisis.
Now for some e-mails:
E-mail No. 1 — On Wednesday, I posted E-mail No. 6 as follows:
Oh yeah, it just gets better and better doesn't it? Now, we have this DHS person, Mr. Doyle, arrested for Internet sexual predation and pornography with a 'ghost girl.' I agree his behavior is disgusting, but how is it illegal if there is no 'real' victim? Where the hell does this end?
Why are these law enforcement people not after the parents of the real child victims of the predators and make some serious community service mandatory - no exceptions? Let's show the parents they are the real facilitators of these sexual crimes... and parade their sorry butts on TV.
Mike R.'s e-mail provoked e-mails today:
This is in response to Mike R.'s e-mail. Tell Mike it is illegal because Mr. Doyle actually thought that this WAS a real 14-year-old girl and he had every intention of following through with whatever he had "allegedly" planned with/for this child! How many other 14-year-old or younger girls has he done this with for REAL or even worse had real encounters with? So what we should let him off because it was not a real 14-year-old girl? It is this very sort of "sting" operation that may make it safer for "real" kids to use the Internet one day. Oh, and as a parent of a 15-year-old daughter you dare to suggest that now it is the parents' fault that their kids get molested and sexually propositioned on the Internet?
I do agree that parents should always monitor their children's Internet habits, know their friends and whereabouts and take every precaution to protect them on the Internet, but it is sick to think that a child cannot even use the Internet without this sort of trash happening to them. One of the best ways to protect your kids is to keep them off chat sites and sites like www.myspace.com, but don't blame it on the parents instead of the perverted, sick, criminals that do this!
E-mail No. 2
Mike wants to know how it could be legal to arrest Doyle with no "real" victim. IQs on his home planet must be terribly low if he doesn't get it. Lets not blame the perp, but go after parents and the victims?! Educating him would be like trying to teach a pig to sing;
1) It frustrates you,
2) It is impossible and,
3) It annoys the pig.
Nice job during the scramble last night.
E-mail No. 3
I was so disturbed by E-mail No. 6 from your 4/5/6 blog. I am so thankful that law enforcement agents are out there posing as "ghost" children to catch these offenders. Would this person rather there had been a real child? Talk about shocking!
E-mail No. 4
E-mail No 6 from Mike: Every once in a while one of these e-mails REALLY twists my tail. I don't see how you put up with it day after day... but I know it comes with the territory.
Mr. Mike apparently has never been a parent or he would know that despite a parents best efforts the perverts will find a way, if possible, to get at their kids. I'm not saying that a careless parent is blameless but often when a parent has crossed all the T's and dotted all the I's the perverts still find a way. That's what they do.
Also, Mr. Mike apparently doesn't know much about the law either. In any sex-related crime the Supreme Court settled a long time ago that baiting and entrapment were legal and proper means of enforcement. Otherwise, there would never be any arrest. How likely is it that a pervert will approach a kid with a cop present?
E-mail No. 5
I just could not let the insane rant from Mike R. go by without comment. I am a retired federal agent who investigated child predators/molesters on and off the Internet. Though parents should be involved in the computer activity of their children; saying the actual or attempted molestation of children is the parents fault is like saying a drunk killing a child crossing the street in the middle of the block is not to blame because the child was jay-walking. Methinks this guy protests too much. It makes me wonder how many convictions for child molesting he has in his record.
E-mail No. 6
Hi Greta: Great show last night. You are such a professional that we never knew all that chaos was going on behind the scenes. I always enjoy hearing how it all works there, fascinating! On the missing FOX News People: You probably know better than I what they all are doing but thought I would give some info I have seen on the air:
Last time I saw Catherine Herridge she was going on maternity leave.
Kiran Chetry had a little girl and is on maternity leave and incidentally is married to one of your FOX weathermen.
Amy Kellogg — not sure about her.
Rick Folbaum, thought I saw him on the weekend a few weeks ago, but may be
Linda Vester, she used to have the noon hour-long show and went on maternity leave and it was changed to Juliet and Mike. So not sure if she decided to stay home or not.
Laurie Dhue was on the noon show a few days ago and announced she was going to a network show like Geraldo did. She looked lovely as usual, it was great to see her!
As for Dari Alexander and Steve Harrigan? No sure about Dari, but I bet Steve is somewhere "in the field" as usual.
We see all these people everyday, week in and week out and we care about all of them. Maybe this helps and I know you probably can add info to the status on all of them.
Thanks and just love to see Bernie on. He is so funny and keep getting Mark Furman. I think he has a good insight and really knows what is important in getting to the heart of investigations.
Have a great week!
Broken Arrow, OK
E-mail No. 7
I have been following the Natalee Holloway case since the beginning. What I find really strange is how Chief Dompig had a smile on his face while being interviewed from the reporter for the "48 Hours" show. It was like he thought the whole thing was funny. It really makes me wonder about him. It looks like he is enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame.
As a mother, I can really feel for Beth Twitty and the rest of the family. I hope and pray that this case is solved. I don't know if I could handle going through what that family has gone through. One thing that really bothers me is that a lot of people feel you are spending too much time on "That Blonde in Aruba." Since when do we decide whose life is more important due to their age, hair color, and what they might have been doing the night they disappear. Where I come from all life is valuable. That is another scary phenomenon. Keep up the good work. Someone has to do it and I'm glad you have the courage to stand up for what you believe.
Mary Jo Kohler
E-mail No. 8
Greta Van Looser, [sic]
Get off the Natalie [sic] obsession! No one really gives a s__t. To 99.9 percent of Americans, Natalie [sic] is no more than a traffic fatality statistic. You are terminally vapid and booring! [sic] Go back to the law library or back under your rock.
Former Fox viewer,
ANSWER: Do you think Carl likes the show and likes me? I can't tell. (P.S. When I read your e-mail to the crew in the studio, my line producer said she is glad that people still care about something and appreciates your passion. She makes a good point.)
E-mail No. 9 — This e-mail is from my colleague Adam Housley and is making me jealous. I got the e-mail as I sat on the set getting ready for the show, of course, not so sure I want to be sitting around an airport:
You gotta get Slingbox. On my computer watching sports in the airport via wireless card! SO COOL! Thanks so much for posting my pics.
E-mail No. 10
After reading Dave Holloway's book, it seems as though they need cameras not only on the beach, but on the whole island. I imagine they are trying to do whatever they can to get their tourists back. Isn't there anything the FBI can do to help this poor family get some answers? It sure makes you think twice about traveling outside the U.S.
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