A Mother's Pain

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FYI: The GretaWire is going dark beginning tomorrow. I am taking some time off (the holidays) from writing.

Sharon Rocha's book, "For Laci," about her daughter Laci's murder is now out in paperback. I am sure you remember Laci — her husband Scott Peterson is on Death Row at San Quentin having been convicted of her murder. The book is a powerful one — if you have not read it, you might want to pick up the paperback. The book is powerful because it is the closest you can come to understanding a mother's pain having lost a child to murder without going through this horrible experience.

Former San Francisco prosecutor Jim Hammer was in Washington, D.C., for the past few days. Why? Jim, a member of the California Bar, waived into the D.C. Bar and had to come here to D.C. for the swearing in at the D.C. Court of Appeals. Move over Bernie and Ted — there is new competition! Jim does not intend to move to D.C. — he just wants the flexibility of being admitted to more than one state's Bar.

Jim stopped in at the D.C. bureau and we talked for awhile. He would have been on the set on our show last night, but he had to grab a flight back to California. By the way, he said Washington, D.C., is a beautiful city. He had been wandering around admiring the sights. Yes, D.C., is gorgeous...

OK, I think my senior producer (Meade Cooper) takes the prize — her dinner last night? Cookies — too many of them — from a car service. Here are the facts: A car service we use in New York for our guests sent one of our bookers some cookies for the holidays, since he is the one who books most of our guests' transportation. Apparently he placed the large present of cookies some place for everyone on our New York staff to eat and there was one person who could not control herself: my senior producer. Apparently she made them her dinner. I talk to her about every five minutes from 5 p.m. until the show and in the first calls she reported she was eating them… then in later calls came the complaints about eating them and an inability to stop… and then the complaints about eating too many cookies, feeling a bit sick and the remarks about her nutrition. Then she decided to get something salty to counteract the sugar… she got popcorn (coated with white cheddar cheese) out of the vending machine. Yes, the holidays are here. (One other thing: Everyone hates this senior producer since she can eat anything and does not put on weight. I am not sure about her arteries.)

Now for the e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

You rec'd a lot of "anti" cruise e-mails — this is a "pro" cruise. We have cruised frequently and intend to continue in spite of the viral problems. The cruises we have been on are meticulous about hygiene. You must "sanitize" your hands at boarding and before entering dining areas. One ship stopped the practice of shaking hands with the Captain… the crew is seen during the day wiping down all hand rails, elevators, counters in buffet lines. I cannot speak for the economy lines, but the better lines are doing a good job of prevention.
Jeanne D.
Waco, TX

E-mail No. 2

Quite possibly the CIA was bugging Diana due to her new boyfriend Dody at that time. We may never know why and unfortunately for her sons the conspiracy theories will go on for decades as it was with President Kennedy, Elvis, Jimmy Hoffa and that is just to name a few.
My condolences to the Kim family and to the family from North Carolina. I wonder in both instances why the suspected routes of travel were not thoroughly investigated by air? The route the Kims took was supposedly a shortcut and on the map? Why couldn't that road be followed from the air along with the route the other couple took.
Kim Palmer
Fishers, IN

E-mail No. 3

Just reading your e-mails about the cruise ships. I have mixed thoughts myself. We went on our first and only cruise in 2000 and had a wonderful time. We were on Carnival's Fantasy ship, and we made comments at the time about how much they were constantly cleaning everywhere we went on the ship. At the time we had plans to go again, but I have since had open heart surgery and my husband is not in good health. Our immune system is not what it was. We have friends that are going all the time and having no problems with the cruises.
I can't help but wonder if there is something more that is causing all of this since it has all started since 9/11. Sounds crazy I know, but... then again it might just be people are going on board already sick.
I would love to go again if things get better.

E-mail No. 4

I don't recall hearing much about people getting sick on cruise ships until after “911.” After that, I heard that terrorists were planning underwater attacks on cruise ships. Has anyone checked on the possibility that terrorists are causing all of this sickness? They could be planting these viruses on the ships. This is happening too often for me. I no longer have any desire to go on a cruise, and I am VERY suspicious of terrorist activity in these instances. It sounds just like a very slow and conniving terrorist plan to me. Thanks,

E-mail No. 5

My 13-year-old son just ask me, "Has it occurred to you that the man you trust (Bush) to get us out of this catastrophe in Iraq is the same man who put us there? If dad hired someone to run the company and they ran it into the ground, do you think dad would then trust that person to fix it?"
Karen M.

E-mail No. 6

Come on Readers! Who even thinks the CIA has time to spy on a 'social princess' with all the terrorist threats going on around our country and world. Who thinks up these theories; people who sit around and make up soap opera stories?
Karren O'Connell

E-mail No. 7

I heard another report that suggested the CIA was watching some people who called Diana. That sounds more reasonable to me. Anyway, I think they should let her rest in peace.
Betty Moore
Birmingham, AL

E-mail No. 8

I have never sailed on a cruise ship, but I spent 12 years on the ocean on a ship 394-foot long and 39-foot wide with 265 men on board, it was crowed and sometime stinking to highs heaven when we were in rough seas and the out side ventilation was shut off, we had people to get sea sick and sick for disease. We were luck we never lost any over board that we didn't recover, but some of the ship in our task forces did lose people over the side and they were never found. I done this for a living not for the fun that you have on cruise ship, but if the people on the cruise ships use their heads and have some one to look after them if they are going to get drunk and act a fool I think they will be safe. People can make it safe or unsafe, it depends on the way they want it to go.
To all those people who say they will not sail because of the diseases, well, you can get that on a plane. At least on a ship you can get fresh air on a plane you can't.
I would go on a cruise any day of the week if I wanted to.
Gulfport, MS

E-mail No. 9

I was just talking to a friend of mine at the gym and told him I would NEVER go on a cruise. They are floating cities of crimes waiting to happen. Where the ship is and the crime occurs, who is responsible, the laws... way too confusing.
I cant believe how many rapes happen on these ships and woman "going alone" are only asking for a problem. What if a woman gets something slipped into her drink? As I'm sure it often does — and she is raped. The hospital, the proof, all way too difficult to prove all the way out in the sea. My male friend (not real friend) was so ignorant and said he "loves cruises"— ignorant to the dangers that lie ahead for anyone boarding what I call "The floating crime sprees." Being drugged in my life — I can say IT HAPPENS GIRLS! It wasn't my fault either. Your boy-friend or date of stranger can slip "something" into your drink. Can't imagine it on a "floating ship in the middle of nowhere — where you DON'T KNOW your rights."
Thanks Greta — how's the Natalee Holloway case going? Jennifer Kesse xase? Both highly disturbing, Greta.
Love your show
Mrs. Ellyn Field
Brookville, NY

E-mail No. 10

Hi Greta;
Just wanted to add my two cents. My one and only cruise to the Caribbean was on board a US Navy LST #533 from Morehead City, NC, to Vieques, Puerto Rico in October of 1963. Second day out, we went through a hurricane. The same one twice. Never been on another one since.
On the couple from Myrtle Beach that was found dead in their car in NC. In the past almost thirty years we have made the trip to Myrtle Beach every summer and have traveled the same route on I-95 through North Carolina. I am quite familiar with the road in and around that location. My guess is that when the rescue personnel showed up on the scene, there wasn't any vehicle or any amount of debris that may have been from an accident. There may have not been any evidence that a vehicle had gone in to the swamp. From that the rescue people may not have thought that a vehicle would be submerged in the swamp. I think we need to wait until a through investigation is done before we start pointing fingers and blaming others. Had another motorist seen the car go into the water, then maybe the outcome would have been different.
Keep up the good work;

E-mail No. 11

Way to hand out the sympathy, Christy from North Myrtle Beach. Telling a woman who just lost her parents to "grow up" is very heart-warming!

E-mail No. 12

Dear Greta,
I think the woman who went on your program last night and criticized the police needs to realize that her parents are not the only people that the police have to investigate. When people disappear, which is often, and no evidence of foul play it is not up to police to start searching for them. She might think her parents are No. 1, but the rest of us do not. We are all sad that they died in accident, but people also disappear regularly that do not die. If her Dad had diabetes, they could have made bad choice to leave at such an early hour, and I think she owes an apology for her disgusting behavior. If she was that concerned, she should have driven down there herself, and started a search. There are other people in this world and I am sorry that she is so narrow-minded that she had to lash out at our police who do a fantastic job and do try to resolve every situation on hand.
Get a life, woman. People disappear all the time and do not show up and if police went out on searches for every one that called they would never be able to solve any crimes.
I used to drive an 18 wheeler regularly on the East Coast and I am surprised anyone makes it where they are going. The traffic is horrendous, and if she wanted to lash out at someone, try the people who witnessed accident.(it seems like there was a 911 call from someone.) They should have stopped and helped her parents.

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