Information Vacuum

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Now that I have more time (I am not rushing to the airport), I will tell you something about our special audience show that airs next Friday (and which we taped in New York City on Tuesday.) I have posted today some pictures from behind the scenes at our taping. We taped a show with three parents — the parents of Natalee Holloway, Taylor Behl, and LaToyia Figueroa. As you know, Natalee has not been found but Taylor and LaToyia have been found... murdered. The three parents have very similar ugly experiences, but with some important differences. One thing they all have in common: a broken heart.

What I was hoping to discuss — and we did — was the impact of having a police force stay in frequent communication with the family even when the police have little to relay. Staying in constant communication helps relieve some of the pain and takes away some of the mystery. It also can have a significant impact on the investigation and lets the family know the case is important. When the police ignore the family, there is a high risk of trouble — including that the family thinks, rightfully or wrongfully, that the investigation is being dropped.

Of course the police or prosecutor should never reveal information that could jeopardize an investigation, but there is much that can be said in every investigation that does not harm it. Even a call like, "I just want you to know we are working on this case" is better than nothing and takes seconds to do. Often the family is sitting at home around the phone — just waiting and waiting and waiting for some news. The pain of the experience of a missing family member can't be described. It IS that horrible. A phone call from the authorities can mean much. The prosecutor has a phone, too, and a one-minute call can make a big difference. Everyone — even a busy prosecutor — can spare a minute. My guess is that in the Natalee disappearance investigation had the prosecutor been staying in constant touch with the family, there would be no call for a boycott by the family.

Incidentally, I always thought it was very bad form for the chief prosecutor to take her vacation this summer when she did. In an important job sometimes it is wise to change plans and keep your nose to the grindstone. Good and dedicated lawyers do it all the time (ask spouses of good lawyers!) Of course if she used her vacation to attend to a sick family member, or to carry some important evidence to the Netherlands, my opinion would be different. But, how do we know? We don't. She is not talking. Incidentally, I have recently heard she wants to talk but that her boss won't let her. How do we know for sure? We don't. Her boss won't talk, either! We don't get information from a press conference or an interview — leaving us to wonder.

From time to time some of my contacts in Aruba complain that the American media — including yours truly — is not fair to Aruba. No one in the business with whom I have worked takes pride in getting it wrong. We want to get it right. But if every day when we make our round of calls to Aruba we get no information, or even the "run-around," what are we to do? Drop the story? Guess what someone might say? No. There is ample opportunity for those who object to the coverage to talk to us — and they know it. I have communicated this myself and often.

On Wednesday night's show we had one visitor from the Katrina-destroyed Gulf region. We had a kitten now named "Katrina." Many animals were displaced after Katrina and other hurricanes. You may recall the video we showed you a few weeks back of when we were with some military police in New Orleans who rescued a dog from a roof.

Our other guest in the displaced pets segment last night, Lizette Chanock, started a group with others to help these animals. Her group has made trips to the region to help the pets. They gather the displaced animals and bring them back to Maryland. I have posted some pictures of some of the pets who arrived in Maryland on Tuesday. After the pets arrived in Maryland, they were seen by vets (volunteers), given a bath (by volunteers) and then sent to foster homes while their owners are located. If the owners are not located by January 1, the pets will be put up for adoption. The non-profit company Lizette started with others is called PetConnect Inc. This is a REAL non-profit — even those who work with PetConnect do not get paid! Of course taking care of getting these pets to foster homes costs money so they can use help — even small contributions are greatly appreciated. (And yes, I made a contribution.) People can make donations and or search for lost animals:
(301) 299-3798

If you read Wednesday's blog, you know that our staff pooled money and we bought lottery tickets on Tuesday for the 11 p.m. drawing. Had we won the top spot, we (nine of us) each would have received about $20 million after taxes. Prior to the show, and the drawing, we all discussed what we would buy, etc., since we had high expectations of winning... we are a very successful group when we work together as a team. And, guess what? We did win! Congratulations to the "On the Record" staff (minus senior producer Meade Cooper who could not be persuaded to part with two bucks.) We didn't win the top one — but we did win! Please note the following e-mail from my colleague/producer, Jeffrey Miller:

E-mail No. 1

Just FYI, NY State owes us B-I-G money... we won a total of $5.00 from last night's lottery! Everyone will get their money. Just tell me if you want your share as a lump sum or paid out evenly over the next year.

ANSWER: I don't know much about business (my background is law) so I don't know if I should take my 1/9th share in a lump sum or paid out over time.

Here are some e-mails — usually randomly selected but today I did pick two for and two against the Natalee Holloway matter:

E-mail No. 2

Hey Greta,
For all these non-compassionate nitwits who are writing in knocking Beth Twitty, most people in her shoes wouldn't be able to emotionally get through this, I certainly would have a hard time, may they eat their words when they are someone they know encounters a difficult trial in their life and have others judging them, acting like they know it all... shame on them and as others have stated this week in past e-mails. Why don't they get up off their rear ends and turn the channel? Guess these people don't think that anything devastating like this or similar will ever happen to them or their loved ones and/or they are just jealous of you and FOX News. Greta, you and FOX News handle the stories just right and you guys are not boring like some other channels. We want to know how this will end and don't want Natalee Holloway story to go away until we have answers.
Look forward to the audience show next week.
Cindy Welty
Orange, CA

E-mail No. 3

I saw most of your show last night. You mentioned "Natalee fatigue." In my case that will not be the name for it. I'm already sick of all the BS out of Aruba. That's all we've gotten out of them. That is all we will get. But I will never forget how Aruba and Holland handled this case, treated Beth and family — the snide, sarcastic remarks from people like Rubin Trapenburg. The Hitler remark, saying Beth was scamming people out of millions of dollars — on and on. All I have to do is think of those types of things and I get angry.
I have absolutely no faith that Aruba or Holland will get serious about this investigation. I think Beth said last night that she suspects someone in Holland is trying to cover for Urine. Of course. They're all sitting over there trying to decide the best way to BS their way out of that authentic tape with Deepak admitting all three "boys" raped Natalee. I can't wait to hear what comes out of Holland about the tape. It should be a real doozy.
I will never get "Natalee fatigue." But I will get sick of Aruba and their BS. That means I will never go to Aruba or Holland, boycott or no.
Carol Stone

E-mail No. 4

Those of you who seem to think a family trying to find their daughter or the truth about what has happened to her is a waste of time need only to get up off the couch or out of your chair and turn the channel and while you are at it thank God that it is not your child missing.
I too believe if they would get rid of the prosecutor in this case a lot more would have been done to solve it. Too many people covering each others' backs as far as I am concerned and no one seems to know how to tell the truth. No matter what comes of this just know at some time in their lives they will be punished for the wrongs they have done to others.
Thank You for standing up for what is right and good in this world. I pray every day that something will break and we will know what happened and where Natalee was put. Have an awesome day.

E-mail No. 5

I think it is very unfair and could be compared to bullying threats/techniques that the island of Aruba should be boycotted! This is absolutely ridiculous! I travel internationally quite often on vacations and yes I have a teenage child who travels with me! I do not expect that I have the same protections and rights in another country as I do in the U.S. that’s just common sense. I’m a very fair person and if a boycott is to be called because of this one case that really isn’t unique if you do your research in other countries, then every single country in the world that has had a missing American involved in an un-solved and botched case should be boycotted! This is absolutely hypocritical that one would expect/demand a boycott of Aruba and I as an American will not support this at all! As a matter of fact, I feel so strongly about this that I just might book my vacation to Aruba next year to support the NON-BOYCOTT!
Kally Georgiades

E-mail No. 6this e-mail refers to one posted in Wednesday's blog:

I agree with Tommy in the first e-mail, please let everyone know, that the Steve Avery that is in the news, is not the ex-Atlanta Braves pitcher, Steve Avery.
Randy H.
Atlanta, GA

ANSWER: Randy, do you really think I need to add that? Do people really confuse the pitcher with a guy who is sitting in jail charged with murder?

E-mail No. 7this next email refers to one posted in Wednesday's blog:

Richard Takeuchi wrote that Beth is a "bitch mother." What kind of an insensitive jerk would write something like this about a mother of a missing child? Even if he annoys her, I think it's pretty immature to call her a bitch. I am disgusted at the number of people who seem to have ZERO ability to put themselves in another person's place. (And are apparently dumb enough to admit it!)
Gee, Sorry that Beth is annoying you and interrupting your TV time, Mr. Takeuchi. That's obviously the real issue at hand.
P.S.: Good to see Jossy Mansur on the other night. Has the boycott changed his mind about Beth? He was always so supportive.
Colleen Wells
Longwood, FL

Here is an Associated Press article that I thought you might find interesting. I did. Click here to read the article.

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