Stalled Investigation?

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I don't know when you will be reading this, but I will be in New York City on Monday to appear on ABC's "The View" to talk about legal stories. The concentration will be on Natalee Holloway (search) but will include other legal stories, too.

I have been on "The View" before and know Star Jones (search) from the "old days" when she covered the O.J. Simpson trial and so did I. She was the correspondent for "Inside Edition" and I was at CNN. We were competitors for news, but also very friendly in the courtroom with each other.

You often read in the papers about news organizations' fierce competition with each other, but, in reality, it can be very different "in the field" where people are friendly (and competitive.) Plus with all the movement in the business you never know when a competitor will suddenly become a colleague so it makes sense to get along.

After "The View" I will head back to Washington, D.C. to do our show there since it is always easier for me to be in our home studio than "on the road."

As for the e-mails, thousands are pouring in and almost all of them are about Natalee Holloway. I am not sure where that story is going, but I do know that September 4 seems to be a big date — that is when Joran van der Sloot (search) is due back in court for the judge to determine whether to release him or not. If there is no new evidence, it seems to me that he will walk out the door. It remains possible that he had nothing to do with her disappearance but it sure is fair to be suspicious of him — he was the last to see her and had a "story" (later he changed it) very early on.

I have no idea if he has been telling the police more information or what the two "field trips" to the beach may have revealed. We know — and this is really bizarre to me — that people in the United States have confessed to crimes they did not commit (later proven by DNA.) False confessions sure seem odd to me — but from time to time they happen. With heavy-duty interrogation they are more likely to occur. I have no idea what Joran is saying or not saying.

It is also possible that the Aruba authorities know much about Natalee's disappearance and just are not telling us. Of course they have no legal obligation to tell the U.S. media, nor Natalee's family. However I do think — at a minimum — the decent thing to do would be to keep Natalee's family informed. They may claim it would hurt the investigation to tell Natalee's family but I think the family can keep a secret — even with us in the media pounding them and everyone else for information.

It is also possible the investigation is going no place... which is what many suspect. The slow start to this investigation is very disappointing.

Here are some randomly chosen e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Dear FOX,
I think Natalee Holloway might be in an ordinary cave, tied up and gagged somewhere on Aruba with no food.
Jacqueline Bender

E-mail No. 2

Hi Greta,
What effect do you think the Natalee Holloway case will have on the judicial career of judge-in-training Paul van der Sloot?
The photos of Paul van der Sloot in the news stories showed one of the most ashamed looking people I have ever seen.
Hopefully, he is destined for some other line of work.

ANSWER: If it turns out that neither he nor his son has anything to do with Natalee's disappearance, then this should have zero effect on his career. However, if he has anything to do with the disappearance, then, of course, things will be different and should be. If his son is guilty, and Paul has nothing to do with a crime, it should not have an impact on him — that would not be fair — but I suspect people would hold it against him.

E-mail No. 3

Wondering if searchers are looking for Natalee under newly planted trees? Or under something that has been moved?
Cindy Collins

E-mail No. 4

I have told you before how hard it is for me to understand why you choose FOX to work. Your "Global Warming" question response reflects the number of deadheads who watch that channel. It's disgusting that most of them see no point to that.
I hope you realize you could go to almost any channel and get a better job. I keep wishing to see you move to almost any other channel.
AKA Happy Gilmore

E-mail No. 5

Recently, after watching a particularly poignant interview with Beth Holloway Twitty on your show, I wrote a personal letter to the Dutch ambassador to the U.S. I implored him to help this family and do whatever he could to aid in finding Natalee.
To my surprise, he wrote back, personally assuring me that the governments of Aruba and the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the U.S., are working very hard to resolve this matter. He enclosed a copy of a recent statement he made concerning the case. It seems that he has had quite a bit of communication from the citizens of the U.S., and he is listening.
Let Beth know that there are many people pulling for her and praying that her quest will not be more than she can bear.
You keep the pressure on, Greta. If it were not for you, Beth, and the media, I fear this would have been swept under the rug, and left there forever. Don't you worry about the people finding fault with things. We who care about the ethical treatment of Americans in foreign places know that you are doing the right thing for the right reason... and so is Beth Twitty.
Marsha Gaines
Orlando, FL

E-mail No. 6 — this next e-mail relates to my poll question last week about global warming:

Question of the Day,
Only news people and liberals, with lots of time and no common sense, would worry about something, that:
1. Probably is not happening.
2. Is not anything we can actually effect. Sunshine is, what it is.
3. Would probably be good for the world, if it happened, to save energy on heating.
4. Could be controlled with a satellite to block summer sunshine.
Lin Lohman

E-mail No. 7

As a high school principal I have had to deal with several tragedies. These experiences have taught me much. Teens believe that they are invincible. Their lack of experience, at times, interferes with their ability to completely think issues through to a satisfactory conclusion. In desperate situations, they can panic. For solutions they often retreat to the familiar. At times they can act immaturely or irresponsibly. Teens are not evil, nor are they ill intentioned. Some are children in adult bodies.
In the Holloway case any number of unexpected things could have happened. The numerous stories told by the boys indicates some degree of association with something that they wish no degree of involvement. The unexpected could have happened and they panicked. If they were involved in some form of cover-up they probably relied on knowledge of areas with which they had a degree of familiarity. Has anyone interviewed their friends to determine whether they had previously spoken of adventures to unexplored areas while camping or hiking? Have local girl friends been asked where they may have gone with any of the boys on assorted outings?
Two other things come to mind. 1) Aruba is not the United States and their laws and procedures for handling cases should be respected. 2) These boys may have left her, and truly don't know what happened.
After reading your posted e-mail, I wish to encourage you. To some extent you must develop a thick skin when it comes to some of the criticism that you receive. You are obviously a bright woman so trust your instincts. They contributed to your previous success and high ratings. I enjoyed your book and watch your show nightly. Your regular panel of commentators, the variety of topics, and the interviews with first hand participants makes your show an interesting watch.
Fred Zimmermann
Little Egg Harbor, NJ

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