Unwavering Resolve

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Click on the link in the photo box to check out the photo essay that I posted today.

As is obvious if you watched the show last night, we are back in Aruba (search). We landed about 3:30 p.m. — just ahead of two things — the tropical storm and Dutch F-16s (search). Apparently the F-16s started just before we landed since our commercial airline pilot was quite anxious to see them and avoid them (likewise, I like to see them and want to avoid them in the air....)

We grabbed a rental car and, rather than go to our hotel and check in, we did our "tour" — we went to all the lawyers' offices as well as the home of the Kalpoe brothers (search). We are hopeful we can get the Kalpoe brothers to speak to us (maybe today?) but with the prosecutor planning to appeal their release, it could be a greater challenge.

Last night we had a surprise — an audience. We are not usually an audience show. I teased all the people who showed up that I felt like my colleague Linda Vester who hosts "DaySide" with an audience. I think with the weather here — drizzle — that our show became the "hottest ticket" in town. I feel bad for the people who travel to islands for sun ... and get rain. I am told this weather will last a few days (I actually like it — that hot sun of our first three trips was tough!) At the end of our show, if you stayed until the end, you will know that we swung the camera around and showed the audience. We did the same thing in Santa Maria for the Jackson trial. As more and more people from the community showed up, we decided to let them wave to their friends (yes, our "Today Show moment.")

I spoke to Beth Holloway Twitty (search) and her husband, "Jug," a few minutes before the show. While they are enduring terrible times, they did tell me how much they appreciate the outpouring from people around the world. I told them that we received e-mails of support from people around the world, too. Beth remains determined to stay until she gets answers. I hope that is soon. I can see the "wear and tear" on her.

Some random e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Regarding the statement Joran made to the man you interviewed: It has been my experience when a suspect makes a statement such as, "Natalee got out of the car at the hotel and fell down," he is creating a reason for injuries that would be observed on a body after it is found. The fact that the suspect said he dropped Natalee off at the hotel can be an indication that she may be found close to the hotel.
Perhaps investigators there should go to the area of the hotel and check again. As I mentioned on your blog before, street drains and manholes can be lifted and a body could be placed into it. No one would suspect anything if they smelled an odor, because drains and manholes stink normally. Another place to look would be under a grass compost pile. If any of the hotels have them to dump their grass cuttings they should be checked.
Robert Birch, PI
Dorothy, NJ

E-mail No. 2 — Note this e-mail, a viewer in Norway shares our great interest in what happened to Natalee:

Dear Greta,
Referring to my earlier e-mails about the Natalee case I believe the reconstructions at the beach yesterday, Sunday 7/3, when the three suspects were taken to the beach separately, supports what I have earlier written about this case.
A central point in my theory regarding what happened to Natalee is that Natalee was not driven to the beach at all the night of her disappearance. Rather, she was taken somewhere else as part of a well prepared plan to abduct her. At this other location she was possibly handed over to other accomplices to the crime and taken off the island, before she was even reported missing.
If the investigators, too, are leaning towards this theory, the "reconstruction" Sunday 7/3 makes sense. I assume what the police want to find out is if the three suspects stories match — in particular regarding their testimonies about driving Natalee to the beach and leaving her and Joran there.
What the police wants each of them to detail during this "reconstruction" is exactly where their car entered the beach, exactly where they parked the car, exactly in what direction, exactly which way the driver turned the car around to return from the beach etc., etc.
If their stories don’t match the investigators can conclude — exactly as I have done for a long time — that the three of them didn’t drive Natalee to the beach at all that night. The entire "beach story" is a hoax to draw the investigators to a point of no significance.
In doing so, the three suspects’ statements - about the security guards, which they later retracted, then the contradictions regarding driving Natalee to the beach, where Joran at first denied being alone with Natalee on the beach, but later "admitted" it story about leaving — may all be part of a very deliberate plan to make the investigators believe that the beach plays an important role in Natalee's disappearance — because all three suspects were, at first, apparently "hiding the truth" about the beach and only reluctantly "admitting" that they took Natalee to the beach.
All the while, the crime took place at a totally different location!
I believe the purpose of Sunday’s "reconstruction" was to establish so many inconsistencies in the three suspects’ explanations about the exact locations and other details pertaining to their "beach story," that the investigators can rule out the beach as the crime scene.
Furthermore, in doing so, the investigators or the prosecutor in the case, may use this new information in order to gain the judge’s ruling to allow the investigators to continue to keep the three suspects incarcerated.
So much for explaining what did NOT happened to Natalee. Now to what MIGHT have happened. While I can say with almost 100 percent certainty that this crime did NOT take place on the beach, I can only "suggest" what MIGHT have happened. One such theory is that Joran was pressured into befriending Natalee, so that he (with the assistance of his two accomplices) could abduct her and hand her over to members of a foreign mafia, who would then arrange to take her off the island for trafficking/prostitution.
I suggested that Joran - who was well known for his gambling — might have run up such a huge gambling debt - in private high stakes "fixed" poker games, for instance — that he was being seriously threatened and forced to assist the mafia in abducting Natalee — as the only means of settling his debt.
I also suggested that Joran, known for his gambling, might have been deliberately chosen by the mafia because his father is a prospective future judge on the island. Setting up Joran, and forcing him to assist in Natalee's abduction, would give the mafia an enormous "leverage" vis-à-vis Joran's father — a future local judge — should the mafia ever need that in the future.
One should not rule out the direct involvement of Joran’s father. As is known, he and Joran were gambling together earlier in the night when Natalee disappeared. I find it a bit strange that a high profile man, like Joran’s father, goes gambling with his son at a local casino. However, this could be a cover for a last opportunity for Joran and his father to go over the details of Natalee’s abduction — which was to take place later that night.
Now, as for the likelihood of the mafia holding such power on Aruba, that they could actually plan and carry out such a serious crime, let me explain the following — which I actually didn’t know when I detailed this theory for FOX News for the first time, about a week ago.
I actually pictured the local casino in Aruba as a crummy, smoke-filled room with a wobbly roulette table and a poker table in a "back room." Since then, I have learned that the worlds leading online poker company, PartyPoker.com, holds some of its major tournaments there.
As a former top professional poker player with many major tournament victories in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other places, I know personally both the president of PartyPoker.com PartyPoker.com and most of the top professionals. I’ve personally played with them hundreds of times.
Let me underline that there is absolutely no reason to believe that PartyPoker.com is involved in Natalee’s abduction. This company makes so many BILLIONS of dollars a year on their completely honest and legal online poker websites, that there is no way they would get involved in any criminal activity — hence running the risk of spoiling such a profitable business.
What I am suggesting however — and which I accidentally witness in a TV program shown here in Norway, where I now live — is that almost every one of the world’s top professional and amateur high stakes poker players was present in Aruba during this major PartyPoker.com tournament. Watching the program on TV here in Norway, I personally recognized dozens of them from Las Vegas and other places I’ve played.
These are players who would not even blink if they won or lost several hundred thousand dollars in a night. With this number of top players gathered in Aruba literally hundreds of millions of dollars will change hands over the poker tables in a couple of nights. And the really high stakes games will be conducted in private homes or hotel rooms away from the casino.
Such an amount of unregistered money, which may easily be whitewashed at a local casino, is bound to attract tough international mafia members — just like flies are drawn to an open garbage can. And the mafia knows how to draw a passionate gambler into its web.
This is all I am going to say about this. I simply wanted to mention this, to explain why my theory in the Natalee abduction case is not such a wild idea as one might first think. Natalee may even have been a "special order" for the private pleasure of a foreign mafia boss — to be disposed of after a couple of weeks. After all, Aruba is not far away from some of the world’s most notorious cocaine mafias — for whom murders are daily events.
For further details about my theory in the Natalee case, I suggest FOX News consult my three former e-mails regarding the case.
Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this in more detail.
Sincerely yours,
Sven Arntzen
Oslo, Norway

E-mail No. 3

My family just returned from Aruba tonight. Seemed to me most of the people of Aruba are interested in finding Natalee, however, they ALSO seem very worried about U.S. tourism. All we heard from our driver was that it was one incident (I agree) however, he didn't say anything derogatory about Natalee. He seemed more upset that Van der Sloot lied.
We were on a cruise ship and another family told us their driver was saying horrible things about Natalee, such as she was doing drugs, had done this before, etc. I told them that I would have DEMANDED him to take me back immediately where he picked me up. That IS uncalled for. If something bad happened, it's done, admit it and deal with it. Most families would still travel to Aruba. On the other hand that sure is a horrible way to turn away tourists.
By the way, I watch your show EVERY NIGHT... I missed it while on the cruise ship. I looked for you in Aruba... Where were you? My whole family teased me because they know I am addicted to your show. When I went into a store I came out and they said they had seen you (lie) and gave me a fake autograph! Ha-ha!
Pittsburgh, PA

E-mail No. 4

Me and my mom love watching your show. We'll call each other on the phone after all the day's stories. My mom loves watching you too. That Mr. Duncan needs to have the death penalty. He is a sick freak! He will do it again if he is let out. Please keep that bastard behind bars please. And inject him with a lethal drug. He doesn't need to live. Please keep up with what you do, Greta! You are great! You are doing a great job in Aurba with the Natalee Holloway case. Tell her mom that our prayers are with her. I hope she finds her child. I could never go through something like that!
Thank you,
Lori Russell

E-mail No. 5

I am so disappointed at what you will do for ratings.
Betty Johnson
Lamoni, IA

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