Hope Fades

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Monday night was a bit chaotic in that I had to cut off more than one guest. I hate doing that, but there is little choice sometimes. The worst cut off was of the reporter in the segment we did on missing Ashley Dawn Ivy. The reporter, Jason Carter, gave me relatively short answers throughout the segment, so I thought I was safe asking one more question before we went to break (which incidentally was the D segment — the hard break.) As luck would have it, his response was longer than anticipated so I had to cut him off. I hate doing that. It is so rude.

I think last night it occurred to me for the first time that Natalee Holloway's family will never get answers as to what happened to Natalee. I have also thought it a tough investigation but not a hopeless one. Lots of investigations are tough, but I see hope when I see people working together and examining clues. After reading the new Vanity Fair article, I think this case is nearly hopeless. I hope I am wrong. Natalee's family — and the many others similarly situated with missing children — deserve answers. Yes, there are the perfect crimes and we have to accept that fact, but what bothers me here is that it seems to now be down to a grudge match between Aruba and Natalee's family. A grudge match won't solve a case under any circumstances. Instead of working on solving the disappearance, there is now just finger pointing which gets us no place. In the Vanity Fair article it is repeatedly suggested that the Aruban authorities are mad because of the manner in which Beth and her husband Jug reacted from the moment they heard their child was missing and arrived in Aruba. Frankly, people get upset — very upset — when their kids disappear. They get even more upset if they think — rightfully or not — nothing is being done to find the child.

One complaint in the Vanity Fair piece is that the police claim they were pressured by the family to arrest the three suspects — Joran, Satish and Deepak — and that the early arrest now means they can never solve the case. Two things: 1) Police should be strong and only make arrests when they believe it is appropriate. No police force should be so weak as to fall prey to influence. That is terrible for a number of reasons including the risk that a wrong person could be arrested. I don't have much faith in a police force that claims it makes arrests under pressure. 2) Pointed out to me by a viewer in an e-mail: Who pressured the police to make the first arrest of the three black men? They were released days later when the Joran, Satish and Deepak were arrested. Were they pressured then, too? Or is this complaint about the family now simply a way to blame others?

Let me repeat, I don't know if there is enough evidence to ever solve Natalee's disappearance, but I do know if the police and prosecutor don't adequately communicate with the family, there will be continued problems. I also know that experienced police and prosecutors know how to handle very upset parents — that is part of the job, since all parents get very agitated when their kids vanish. A good contrast is the case of missing — now found murdered — college student Taylor Behl. If you recall, her mother Janet Pelasara had high praises for the Richmond, Virginia police work — and not just because they found her daughter's body. The police were smart enough to work with her, show her enormous respect under her great pressure and tragedy and communicate with her. The police in that case made it plain that they were on the same page with the mother from the beginning.

Some randomly selected e-mails:

E-mail No. 1 — The next two e-mails relate to a story out of Wisconsin: A pregnant woman got out of the car her husband was driving after a fight and is now missing. Per the husband, this was the second time in about three days. In the first case, she walked about eight miles all night long to a church:

My ex-wife would pick a fight and then walk home. As time went on, she got worse. You could not convince her to get in the car and she would make a big scene. Just before we divorced, she did it in Maine and we lived in Connecticut. She is alive, but something could have happened.
Ray Tallmadge
Lecanto, FL

E-mail No. 2

Come on, Greta, you're a good detective! She's not out there in the "cold" weather wandering around! Somebody would have seen her and helped her out. The husband, obviously came back and got her and shortly after that killed her and dumped her body somewhere. How many missing pregnant women show up alive? Especially with abusive, druggie husbands/boyfriends? She's like all the high-profile missing women, except the goofy runaway bride. Sad, but true.
Gail O'Connor
Carrollton, TX

E-mail No. 3

I think this is terrible. Natalee is dead. All her mother wants is an answer. The Arubans are wrong and bet your butt they know what has happened to her. Natalee's mother has done no wrong, yet the Arubans are making her out to be the bad guy.

E-mail No. 4

I have been watching tonight's program wherein you are discussing the Natalee Holloway story in Aruba. Please know that within the first several days and maybe week the Twitty family was not trying to get the police in Aruba to bring about criminal charges against Van der Sloot. At the early stages the Twittys were merely trying to influence the officials on Aruba to do everything they could do to find their daughter. The accusations of the police that the Twittys interfered in their investigations is bogus. At the early stages it was merely a question of finding a missing person.
Victor Balest
Medina, OH

E-mail No. 5

I don't believe the Kalpoe brothers or Joran van der Sloot or Paulus van der Sloot, Joran's father, or Joran's mother should ever be allowed to have a visa to come to America! Can you help see that they never come to America?
Betts McKenzie
Columbia, SC

E-mail No. 6

If the Aruban government and investigators claim that they were coerced out of their normal investigative routine — which would have been to leave Van der Sloot and the Kalpoes free so that they could use surveillance on them, then why did they immediately arrest the two original suspects (the black men from the hotel)? If their investigative policies and practices are as they claim in this new article — they shouldn't have arrested these two — they should have left them free and used surveillance on them.
Something continues to stink of a cover-up to me.
Thanks for your time

E-mail No. 7

I've been saying all along there is way too much room for abuse when it comes to The Patriot Act, I rest my case as I listen to Feiger. It's no longer the United States of America, is more like Communist China around here.

E-mail No. 8

Last night before a commercial, you said you would report on Natalee calling home saying she was in love with a Dutch boy? You never came with the story or did I misunderstand or "fall asleep?"
Thank you,

ANSWER: Ouch! You caught me! I made a mistake and forgot to ask. It is in the Vanity Fair article, I didn't even realize I forgot to ask until I read your e-mail this a.m. The Dutch Boy is presumably — from the article — someone else she met earlier in the week.

E-mail No. 9

You do a great job. As for those who blame Natalee Holloway's family for the failure of the so-called investigation in Aruba, I hope they never suffer the disappearance of a child and have to endure what Natalee's family has endured.
Mark Miller
Bethesda, MD

E-mail No. 10

You call the police of Aruba weak. Jossy fed you all a line of B.S. You asked Beth or Jug about it. They said repeatedly, "You know, Greta, that is the first I'm hearing of this." They scream at police, you guys film it and give your "unbiased" opinions. The police didn't give in to the Twittys. They gave in to the American media frenzy. Period. Start calling it the way it is or stop covering the story. Beth told you two different stories about the 1st night at the Van der Sloots and you never questioned a thing. She told Catherine Crier a totally different story and then had to backtrack when actually questioned. I think Beth hasn't been honest with anyone. And tell Hammer that someone can actually pass out while making out with someone consensually. Happens millions of times a day all over our country. Ask Bernie.
Hope you read this,

E-mail No. 11

Deputy Police Chief Dompig's assessment for the lack of progress and investigation impediment makes no sense. The first 10 days of the trial was mismanaged and unprofessional. Strangely, the poor security guards were quickly apprehended and thoroughly interrogated.
Danny Grantham
Biloxi, MS

E-mail No. 12

All those Arubans who turned against Beth were insincere about being with her and wanting Natalee found and the crime solved. Had they been sincere, nothing a mother could do would "turn" people against her if they had sincerity in the beginning. They only seek $$$$'s, not justice.
CJ Picker
Huntsville, AL

I thought I might add this feature today, since I do read your e-mails and like to know what you think about things. Here is your chance to weigh in — I am curious what you think about the following:

A) Women who wear lots and lots of perfume on airplanes: Do you like it? Hate it? Think it rude? Don't care? Or, are you one of these heavy perfume wearers?

B) People who speak VERY loudly on public transportation to the passengers next to them — so loudly that everyone can hear the content of their conversation: Doesn't bother you? You don't understand why some can speak quietly to another sitting next to him/her and others cannot? Don't care? Or, are you one of these loud talkers? And do you think some loud talkers simply have no clue that they are talking very loudly so that everyone can "share" their conversation? The loud talkers have hearing problems and don't realize how loud they are? Other ideas?

Send your thoughts and comments to: ontherecord@foxnews.com

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