Why America Cares About Natalee Holloway

Why America cares about Natalee Holloway (search), that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Not since Laci Peterson (search) has there been such interest in a criminal case. Even "Factor" viewers, who are not usually fixated on crime, are engrossed in Natalee's tragedy. That's because she could be anyone's daughter, just as Laci could have been anyone's wife. Natalee Holloway is the all-American girl, a good student, good daughter, good friend. Her disappearance is simply horrible. And most parents feel the pain of her family. We can all picture that happening to us.

As you may know, we do not speculate here on "The Factor." We have no idea what happened to Natalee or why she left the bar with some Aruban men. I've heard some irresponsible media speculate about that, and it makes me angry. For now, every American should be praying that Natalee is found alive and that any person who harmed her in any way pays a drastic price.

Aruba (search) itself is already paying a price. That island depends on American tourism, and a case like this can't help the tourism industry there. Aruba is basically a benign island, very little violent crime. But according to the DEA, it is a drug transshipment center for the Colombian cartels.

That being said, it seems the Aruban authorities are being diligent in investigating what happened to Natalee and are cooperating with the FBI.

Now, every American child should be following Natalee's story. You should make sure your kid knows what's going on. This is a cautionary tale. That could happen in New York City, Miami Beach, anywhere. If young girls party in public, they had better be careful. Predators are everywhere. Think back to when you were 18 years old. Did you do dumb things? I did. Plenty of them.

But today the stakes are much, much higher, because discipline is broken down in many places. Violence and anti-social behavior is much more intense than it once was. Just in a few moments we'll show you some video taken of high school students misbehaving in Arkansas. That never would have happened 20 years ago.

It is every parent's duty to be honest with their children, to warn them about the evils of the world, to advise them of proper behavior. Of course, young people will often ignore that advice and there's nothing to be done about that.

But the awful case of Natalee Holloway should be page one in your house and in classrooms all over America. If this could have happened to her, it could happen to any young woman. And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

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—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com