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The show originates from New York City tonight. Natalee Holloway's father, Dave, has a new book out about his daughter's disappearance and the investigation. He will be in New York to do our show. I thought it would be better if we were together in the studio rather than doing a satellite interview. Plus, I have to be in New York on Tuesday for a special we are working on, so it makes sense for me to go up a day early. I hope you watch!
I often get asked how we decide which missing persons cases to cover. There is no particular formula, but we do get many ideas from viewers. On Friday night, we did a segment on the disappearance of 17-year-old Wade Lurk of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. We decided to cover Wade's disappearance because on Friday I received several e-mails from viewers asking us to look into it. In reading the e-mails on Friday, I remembered getting other e-mails earlier in the week about Wade, so I sent a note off to my senior producer in New York. Someone on our staff investigated further and learned that we could get the cooperation of the family (his parents said they would come on the show to get the word out about Wade) and Sheriff Gary Stolzer said he would talk about the case as well. Within a few hours, the segment was a "go." This is not an uncommon way we get stories.
We have been covering the allegation that members of the Duke University lacrosse team sexually assaulted a woman that they had hired to dance at their party. In case I forget to say it each night or run out of time when we cover the story, let me say it here:
1) The mere fact that an allegation of rape is made is not proof that a crime or rape was committed.
2) We should now refer to the woman as an accuser and not a victim since we don't yet know if her complaint is a true one or not; if she is lying in her allegation, she is not a victim (the people she falsely accuses are the victims.) If she is truthful about the assault, she is the victim, but it is premature for us to make that determination.
3) Injuries are often a significant sign that the sex was not consensual, but it is not always proof beyond a reasonable doubt; there may be other explanations for injuries. The injuries could have been inflicted later by someone else, self-inflicted, inflicted at another time, etc. Also, the location of the injuries of the body might have some bearing on the investigation.
4) The absence of injuries is NOT proof rape did not occur. Rape is sex against one's will and often women will submit to the act and not fight it to avoid being physically hurt beyond the rape.
5) A prompt report of rape can be significant, but a late report or no report is not evidence a rape did not occur. Many women don't report rape due to shame or take a long time to report it since they are embarrassed and need to decide whether to report it or not. The crime of rape is the most underreported violent crime.
7) In this case if DNA/semen is present, that will identify who had sex with her. It will not determine if the crime of rape has occurred. Obviously with consensual sex without a condom there is semen present.
The bottom line is this: Each case's facts must be carefully examined. You must also look at the facts from many different directions not just through your own eyes with your own biases. We all have biases, but you have to put on the brakes, step back and look at the information available carefully so as not to reach the wrong opinion. I have no idea if rape occurred or not. You should not "know" yet either, since there is so little information.
Now for some e-mails. Incidentally, most of my e-mails still are about Natalee Holloway's disappearance:
E-mail No. 1
Come on Greta, update the e-mails on your blog. Each morning I look forward to new ideas and information and each day I read the same e-mails I have been reading for two weeks. I know you must get hundreds every day — put your staff to work, please.
B. J. Maddox
ANSWER: I can't tell if this is a joke or if B.J. Maddox needs to hit the refresh button. In any event, I write a new blog daily!
E-mail No. 2
Thanks for reporting this case, there isn't much media attention in the Netherlands so I always check your Web site on updates. However, I do feel that reporting in the U.S. with regards to the Holloway case have been one-sided and seems to be out of control. I mean, come on, what Dr. Phil did is just so wrong and dangerous behavior and he received no real criticism whatsoever while the Arubans are criticized for every step they take.
Here we have a case of a teenage girl missing, something that happens more often in the U.S. than in Aruba. Yet this seems to be so big in the U.S. that even a state governor goes so far that he actually calls for a boycott of a (poor) island. Now, please correct me, but why blame all Arubans for this? I feel Aruba has done anything possible to trace Nathalee. From fighter jets to letting the FBI (who have quietly withdrawn from the case, why?) help to search for this missing girl. How many families of lost teens in the U.S. get the help of fighter jets? The Arubans have done everything possible to find this girl and although I feel for Beth, I think she needs to stop blaming people for what happened to her daughter. No matter how much grief she has, it's irresponsible and pointless. The whole population of Aruba cannot be held responsible for the actions of 1 or 2 people — whoever they may be. I personally think Joran is telling the truth. At least about the part that he left her on the beach. I think she was taken to one of the South American countries. I know it sounds like a bizarre CBS TV movie but unfortunately it happens more often than we all think. Do you know if there is any investigation on that front?
E-mail No. 3 — this next e-mail relates to the idea Aruba has of posting security cameras on their beaches:
They may be a great idea. If the boycott continues to hurt Aruba, they can sell the footage to "Girls Gone Wild."
E-mail No. 4
Shep did a magnificent job reporting during Katrina and the aftermath.
I certainly agree with this statement. I thought all of the FOX News crew were wonderful, but Shep really stood head and shoulders above the rest with his coverage of the dead and dying on the Interstate. I could see him loosing control a little more each day. He saw things that were just unacceptable happening, and he did not turn away. He hung in, demanded help be sent, and stood for something. He enlisted O'Reilly's help, and gave Hannity a piece of his mind, but he covered that story. He could have gotten in his news van and driven away, but he stayed and covered America's shame. He should win some sort of award.
As you said, your best reward is people watching FOX News. My 85-year-old mother fell in love with Shepard during that time, and now refers to him as "our little Shepard." Perhaps that is his award.
E-mail No. 5
Greta, on your show this evening 4-7-06 you referred to a Canada Goose as a Canadian Goose. The proper name is "Canada goose." Thank you, keep up the good work.
ANSWER: I did? I don't remember... oops.
E-mail No. 6
Maybe they should use the mad cat that was on your show a while back to fight the mad goose. Ben Bannister
E-mail No. 7
I'm sorry, but I've been on many cruises and they are safer than walking down the street of my hometown. My hometown is a small Midwest town where not many lock their doors and the only gangs you worry about are the 10:00 women's coffee club at the restaurant because they all know you and want to talk your ear off.
With the Smith cruise deal, the thing that smells the worst is the wife passed out drunk in the middle of the night. On top of that, why wasn't she with her husband that night and so they'd of course go back to the room together? If they were so much in love, they wouldn't have wondered off from each other.
How can anyone question or blame the cruise line when the people themselves don't take ANY personal responsibility for themselves? I've never had any cruise line or cruise employee force drinks down my throat to get me drunk so I can't make rational, realistic moral decisions for myself and end up passed out at the end of a hallway!
That's the problem with what we call the "other" world (the coasts of the country), they can't take responsibility for their own stupidity and when they do idiotic things and bad things happen to them, they look for an excuse or look to blame others for their own immoral stupidity.
The cruise line isn't to blame, the stupidity and lack of self-responsibility of the husband and wife are to blame! Cruise lines can't be moral police or change someone's stupidity or taking responsibility for themselves. If something like that would have happened in a Midwest town, people would have shook their heads and said we feel bad, BUT, too bad, they brought it on themselves for not acting responsible and the wife needs to get into AA, not a court room.
You can't blame a cruise line for someone's total lack of values... period! Cruises are safe but stupidity can't stop things from happening and stupidity can't be stopped by a cruise line.
E-mail No. 8
Thank you for broadcasting news about Wade Lurk, a senior at Valle Catholic in Ste. Genevieve, MO. As a 5th Grade teacher at Valle, I taught Wade and have watched him grow up to be a fine young man with a bright future. Our school (400 kids in Pre K-Grade 12) is like a family and this disappearance has devastated us — but also brought us together in prayer.
Thank you again for getting his story 'out there.' We have hope. God bless you.
Ste. Genevieve, MO
E-mail No. 9
Bernie and Ted are correct. Summons all the team members who were at the party, charge them for withholding evidence in resolving the case and the information will surface.
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