Hope Fading

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If you watched Monday night, you know the Beth Holloway Twitty was on our show. She was in Washington, D.C. because I wanted to study her notes to get a better idea of the investigation.

Beth took daily notes while she was in Aruba because she did not want to forget anything or get confused later. She wanted to be able to check, and crosscheck what different people told her as the days passed. Frankly, it was a brilliant idea since it does provide a powerful to step back and review the investigation. Whenever an investigation stalls you want to go back and start all over — her notes enable that to be done in a more effective, although not complete, way. She was not given all the information by the authorities so naturally there is missing data in her notes. Nonetheless there is much in her notes. My memory was certainly refreshed and I also learned much that I did not know before.

Incidentally, I think these days are more difficult for Beth than late summer. As time marches on, she faces the real possibility that she will never get answers. If you watched our interview with Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha, you know the pain of not knowing is extreme pain. Sharon did not know from December to April if her daughter Laci were dead or alive. As time marched on, she lost hope, but still kept hope. It was not until her remains washed ashore did Sharon gain more information, but she still does not know what happened — only that her former son in law did it.

While some in the media may be losing interest in Natalee, Beth is not. No parent does. Beth is determined to get the facts, find out what happened to her daughter and get justice for her daughter. She is now getting criticized by many and accused of having motives other than the desire to get justice for her daughter but that is predictable. People can get mean. I told her that I would continue to stay on the story and help get facts to the extent I can. Naturally as time marches on and as no facts are developed, it is difficult for us to shed light on the unsolved disappearance. The media may help in these cases in that it helps remind law enforcement that it is unsolved. I would like to help Beth — just as I would like to help the many parents whose children are missing. As you might imagine, I get many e-mails from parents who need help. I only wish I could help them all. You have NO idea how many missing people there are... I spend much time during the day answering e-mails and trying to help guide people as to what I think they should do in these tragic situations... but no one really has the answers.

In addition to spending the time going over the notes today with Beth, I also spent much of the day making calls to sources on the island of Aruba. In one of my random calls to a source we learned of the new search in the dunes area of Aruba. It was only by accident that we learned that the police got a new tip yesterday. We all wish we could get more answers.

Please make sure to read E-mail No. 11 below. It is from a friend of mine who I met while judging the Miss America pageant about three years ago. He was a fellow judge. You might also want to click right now the picture in the blog which relates to E-mail No. 11 — it is a proposed stamp honoring Roy Orbison. The e-mail below explains the proposed stamp.

Now for the e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Did you pick up on the comment made by the cruise ship escort that puzzled me? He made a comment that after finding Jennifer asleep (unconscious) they woke her up and she was awake enough to walk to the elevator. They requested a wheelchair at that point and took her to the cabin. Again, he commented that she was alert and knew where she was and what was going on.
That being the case, why would the crewmembers have to place Jennifer on top of the bed? Why couldn't she have just gotten up from the wheelchair and moved to the bed by herself? This may sound rather insignificant, but with the stories coming about cover-up by the cruise line personnel is this a slip up or just something we should all ignore?
John Schrader

ANSWER: You raise a good point... why did she need help to get into bed? Another question: If George Smith needed help to get into bed, what are the odds that he was able to make all that noise in the room that his neighbor, Clete Hyman, heard? Remember, four were in the room with George... and Clete saw only three leave.

E-mail No. 2

Why in the world, other than to make money on his daughter's disappearance, would Dave Holloway and his co-authors write, "Aruba: The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise"? How can they use the word "UNTOLD" in the title? I have lost all respect for Dave Holloway. I thought he was sincere in his efforts to locate Natalee or her remains but instead he will be looking at book sales numbers. I assume that Beth Holloway Twitty will also be writing a book from the view of a "MOTHER" (similar to that of Laci's Peterson's mother) OR will she be hosting her own TV show (similar to that of John Walsh). I sure hope that Natalee is looking down from above, or wherever she may be, and see what her family is doing in her name.
Norma Berger
Hamburg, PA

ANSWER: Beth is not currently writing a book (I asked her.) However, if she does in the future, I will read it. I will also read Dave's book. I think it is important for parents to write these books — and also investigators — to give us a better idea of the events that unfolded. It is not enough to simply watch television shows about it. Books are often more personal and give you more details that might be important to you as a person who has followed the news story. Sharon Rocha has a new book out ("For Laci") which I found powerful and informative.

E-mail No. 3

Dear FOX,
You are by far my favorite daily source of news and information. However, in case you aren't noticing, Greta's die-hard quest for her "dreamed of Pulitzer" is a total embarrassment to FOX News. She needs to step back and re-evaluate her goals and career path. Her sluthing (sic) and fact gathering missions around the globe are a laugh... from Aruba to the cruise liner quests for justice... she needs some guidance.
Albert Scott
Hustonville, KY

E-mail No. 4

Thank you for reading my e-mail. On the George Smith tragedy: Why isn't anyone considering the possibility that he just plain either fell off the chair on the balcony or he purposely fell off the balcony. He was quite drunk; his wife had argued and possibly kicked him earlier; he couldn't find her after searching; and was not thinking rationally when left alone in his suite. He may have become angry and pounded on the furniture (making those loud noises) and he may have decided to kill himself in the bathroom by cutting himself. Or he could have cut himself accidentally — in his distorted way of thinking; he may have thought she left him and he wanted to kill himself. Another person may have even been in his suite with him when he went crazy and witnessed him falling off the balcony. Who knows?! But it doesn't appear to have been an angry encounter with the men in his suite and no one has stated that it was a robbery gone bad. All they would have had to do was wait for him to pass out if that was their intent. I think the chair turned up against the railing is a tell-tale sign. Sometimes the simplest answer is the answer. My condolences to both families. They will never be at peace because no one will ever know for sure. Thanks for listening.
Marge Hinckley
Bayonet Point, FL

ANSWER: Marge, you could be right. It could just be an accident. I am just suspicious that it is a crime after going to the scene and interviewing people. The fact that I am suspicious does not mean it was a crime, it only means that I am suspicious of it.

E-mail No. 5

I find it hard to believe that Jennifer Hagel-Smith would have gotten so drunk on the ship that she would have passed out or whatever in the hallway. Has anything ever been mentioned that maybe she could have been drugged?
Lawrenceburg, IN

E-mail No. 6

The interview with the policeman in the next door cabin has me confused. I know that he has no reason to lie! But having been on multiple cruises, I question the loud noises like furniture moving, and then a loud thump from outside. The canopy appeared to be 2-3 decks below his. Even with the door open, I wonder how he could have heard all that?
Best wishes and God bless,
Ron Pass
Prattville, AL

ANSWER: It depends on the material of the canopy — the canopy is not canvas but a hard material. It looked like a fiberglass to me but I am not positive. If something landed on the canopy it seems to me it would make a loud thud unless the noise were overshadowed by some other noise (generator? disco? bar?)

E-mail No. 7

I have been on many cruises. It is easy to hear what goes on in the cabins through the wall. I would think that the policeman and the party on the other side of the Smith cabin heard a lot more than what is being discussed in the press. There is a possibility that Mr. Smith was accidentally shoved really hard onto the balcony and flipped over it. All of these cabins have safes. The crowds they hang in the late night bars are generally the same people. Those folks also know more than what is being said.
In regard to Mrs. Smith, these cabins are fairly small it seems as though on would have to ask if the curtains were open or closed (to the balcony.) If people threw him off the ship they would have closed the balcony door and closed the blinds. They also wouldn't have left a lot of blood around... the bathroom are very small when Mrs. Smith got up and turned on a bathroom light she would have seen blood if it was there.
Why she went to the spa wearing the clothes from the night before. I can imagine only that she was hung over-overslept, maybe the spa called and woke her up and she dashed off to keep her appointment. What about the possibility that Mr. Smith awoke on the area where he fell and rolled off into the ocean?

E-mail No. 8

Dear Greta,
I have a theory about what happened to George Smith. It is my understanding that he was gambling (heavily?) drinking (heavily!) and everyone was generally behaving badly on that fateful honeymoon. What if George bet his wife and lost her? Then, he is really drunk (so is she) (who wouldn't be?), the guys he lost her to are taking him back to his room. He wants to back out. They keep drinking. Then they argue over him wanting to renig (sic) on the bet. Three of them leave to find Jennifer (their jackpot) and one is left behind to try to convince George this is how it has to be. He is distraught! How could he have done this t his bride? He can't live with himself! He makes a grand gesture — "I will throw myself off his balcony, I am a wretch, I cannot live with what I have done!" VOILA! He goes over the side, the other guy scoots because he freaking out. And the other three guys? Well, too bad for them — they can't even find Jennifer to ravish her.... she's lost in a corridor and doesn't even know where she is. Before you know it, pages are being made, people are looking for the Smiths.... What do you think?
Overactive Imagination in Winona!
Your thoughts?

E-mail No. 9

Clarence Ray Allen deserves the death penalty! Good riddance to bad rubbish. I lived near Fran's Market when these murders were carried out. Very, very horrible. I don't care if he is 76, blind or in a wheel chair. He should have been executed years ago. I cannot stand bleeding hearts. Thank you.
Gloria Radics

E-mail No. 10

Dear Greta,
Why did it take three men to take the bridegroom to his cabin and put him to bed? Was he that drunk? If so, I can't imagine him getting up and going out on the balcony, setting a chair next to the railing and leaning over, for whatever reason, and then falling overboard. Was the wife with any of these men in the bar? Whom did she leave with? It's strange that she left alone, wound up in the corridor and no one nor the camera found her until after four in the morning. What time did these men take the husband to his room and what time were they seen leaving? Perhaps these men put the wife in the hallway. Was it near their cabin or the couple's? Hopefully, the tapes will provide a lot of missing details. They should if they haven't been tampered with.
Cincinnati, OH

E-mail No. 11 — This next e-mail is part of an e-mail sent to me by my good friend Fletcher Foster, senior vice president, Marketing Capitol Records, about a proposed Roy Orbison stamp. The actual proposed stamp is posted on today's blog. Check out the picture above.

Dear Friends:
I am actively petitioning the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp for my husband, Roy Orbison in honor of what would have been his 70th birthday. This is a grassroots campaign from my heart and I am calling on everyone that loved Roy and his music.
In political circles, the petition I have circulating the U.S. House of Representatives is nearly complete including a personal letter of support from the president of the United States!
I have an on-line petition which now has over 4000 names and I want to thank all the people who have taken the time to VOTE FOR ROY.
And now... I am asking you TODAY... to please VOTE FOR ROY by simply clicking on the below link, scroll down and then click on to sign petition and join some of Roy’s friends like Olivia Harrison, Bono, Will Jennings, Dan Aykroyd, Pamela Anderson and many others.
Thank you for your vote and thank you for forwarding this request to all of your friends.
All my love,
Barbara Orbison
Join the Roy Orbison Commemorative U.S. Stamp Campaign. Vote here, www.petitiononline.com/royvote/petition.html or follow the link at www.royorbison.com to send a letter of support to our nation’s leaders in Washington urging the creation of a commemorative U.S. stamp honoring the lifetime achievements of Roy Orbison, a true American music icon.

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