A Mother's Nightmare
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 28, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, Beth Holloway Twitty has endured every parent's worst nightmare. Now she's hoping Natalee's story will serve as a cautionary tale for other teens and their parents.
As you know, 18-year-old Natalee disappeared on the island of Aruba uring her senior class trip. The mystery surrounding her disappearance, of course, is still unsolved. Her mother joins us now from Birmingham, Alabama.
Beth, thanks for being with us.
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY'S MOTHER: Thank you, John.
KASICH: Hey, Beth, tell us about what — tell us what you're — you've got a — you've got this crusade going, God bless you. Tell us a little bit about what you're trying to do.
TWITTY: Well, hopefully, John, maybe as early as February, I would like to take Natalee's message and her story to high school podiums. And I'm hoping that, by raising an awareness level with our young sons and daughters, and that they see that, you know, what happens to Natalee could happen to them just as easily.
KASICH: You know, Beth. I've had a lot of people say that, you know, "there but for the grace of God go I" in this story. Is there anything that you would have changed in terms of, you know, her going to Aruba, you giving her any warnings? Or what would you have done differently?
TWITTY: You know, I was thinking about that, John, and I realize it's kind of twofold. I mean, I think that we really have to do our best to teach our young sons and daughters that they are responsible for themselves and to take that initiative, to make that plan before they ever put themselves in that sort of situation, such as Natalee did. Maybe to have a plan with some friends that, you know, I'm not leaving this establishment alone. And you know, somehow we have to get them to take that initiative.
And then, I think secondly, John, I would have never sent my son or daughter to the island of Aruba if I would have just scratched the surface a little bit. I think when you really begin to investigate and look into the ingredients that can exist on some of these islands, I think you have to really question as, can this be a deadly combination? And in Aruba's case, yes, I feel it is, John.
KASICH: Beth, let's talk a little bit about that. You know, there was a terrible case in Columbus, Ohio, where a young woman, young, very 21-, 22-year-old girl left the bar alone. Her friends were with her. They were in a big group. But nobody was responsible for each other.
Isn't that a key for this? That no matter what I tell you, don't let me go anywhere, don't let me be alone? Is that a critical message here?
TWITTY: Well, actually John I believe the young lady that you're referring to is where I actually delivered Natalee's story to. It's in Columbus, Ohio, to her former high school.
And I think what my message is is trying get our young sons and daughters to, you know, you're responsible for yourself. I mean, you have to make that initiative to have a plan because, you know, you can have that false sense of security even if you're among 150 friends, as Natalee was, on an exotic island. You have that false sense of security that nothing can happen to you.
But I think we have to teach them that they have to take that initiative to make that plan with another individual.
KASICH: I think that's — sort of the buddy system, I'm not leaving unless you're leaving and you're not leaving with anybody else.
What about the chaperones? You know, my feeling about that is these chaperones — I tell you, I was chaperoning some 18-year-old kids. I'd say we're out of here. You're getting out of here.
Shouldn't there have been more people here? I hate to be spending time in the past but is that something for us to learn? That when kids go on a trip like this you've got to have more chaperones; they've got to be more in charge?
TWITTY: Well, you know, I think in Natalee's case that, no matter how many chaperones would have been there it wouldn't have helped. I really feel that in her case — I was thinking I landed on the island the same day that those three suspects took her and look how hard I have fought with the government for almost seven months now.
KASICH: It's unbelievable.
TWITTY: So in her case I don't think it would have made a difference. I think in Natalee's case, the biggest thing that could have helped her is if she could have had a plan to not leave an establishment alone.
But, you know, I realize, though, that it is something to look into. And I believe since this happened to Natalee that some high schools are now hiring professional chaperon services. That might be an option.
KASICH: That's — you know, Beth, my wife has told me that she was in certain circumstances and situations. That's why she's so sympathetic and she can — you know, she just understands how — what a freak accident this was. And she says, "My God, it could have happened to me."
Let's talk about the questioning. There was a report that there was going to some requestioning of these three suspects, the Kalpoes and Van der Sloot, and we haven't heard another thing. Could you shed any light on this?
TWITTY: No, I wish I could, John. I mean, you know, I hate to get my hopes up, but I really did get my hopes up a little bit last week when Steve Cohen was admitting publicly that these suspects would be reinterrogated.
So I think that everyone is waiting and watching. I don't think that we've forgotten that they have made that commitment.
And you know, John, what is so frustrating is the United States has been willing to provide any additional resources, any additional tools. And Aruba just simply refused. And that's what's so frustrating...
KASICH: That's insane...
TWITTY: ... maintain total control in the investigation. We're just ready for them to do something with it.
KASICH: Now, this guy Cohen, who was the spokesman, apparently, who said there was going to be a requestioning. You know what's so hard for me to believe, Beth, is it's been like seven, eight months and we've gotten, like, nowhere on this whole thing. You can commit perjury, it doesn't matter. You can't plea bargain with any of these people to turn one against the other.
Tell us about this guy Cohen and this questioning. Are they just going through the motions or what?
TWITTY: You know, John, I hope it's not just an exercise in futility that he's doing. But here they are. They're suspects. They have publicly admitted that they know these three individuals are responsible for Natalee's disappearance. They all know the condition Natalee was in. They know the conduct that they engaged in with her. And yet they just simply refuse to just move forward on them. I don't — I don't know why, John.
KASICH: Beth, what's your resolution for the year 2006? You've had obviously one impossible holiday season. Do you have a special resolution you'd want to share with us?
TWITTY: Well, you know, it's something that I mentioned just a little bit earlier, is I do want to take Natalee's message to high schools because, you know, I so hope that if one thing can come out of this good it's that we can prevent this happening to another parent's son or daughter.
And it will also keep Natalee's message alive. And I think that it will keep Aruba trying to recognize they have a responsibility and a duty to solve a crime that was committed on their island.
KASICH: You know, Beth, I sound like a broken record every time I talk to you, but you know how much I admire you. And the whole country just feels for you. I admire, you're just — you're so tough, but you're so kind. And I think this — I think this crusade is going to be helpful and I think it will make a difference. And I want to thank you for what you're doing. Thanks for being with us.
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