Without a Trace

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By the time you read this, we will be "on the road" — but thankfully, not by air... really "on the road." I am "over" sitting on orange plastic chairs at a gate waiting for my flight to be called. So it is with great pleasure that I jump in a car with my colleagues and head to Philly!

Washington, D.C. is not that far from Philly — about 130 miles — but we are likely to run into traffic outside D.C., outside Baltimore and outside Philadelphia. And, if we are real lucky, we will hit that same traffic in reverse — Philly, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. — on our way back.

Why Philly? As you know and as I have written before, it is easier to understand and report on stories if you get a first hand view of the scene. When I tried cases when I practiced law, I always went to the scene of the incidents to better understand and to better communicate to the jury. Of course one can report on a story without going to the scene but if I can go, even with hours of travel, I would prefer to do so.

The story that has grabbed our attention is that of a missing pregnant woman — LaToyia Figueroa (search). We reported on her weeks ago when she disappeared, but there's still no sign of her and it is hard to understand how a pregnant woman vanishes into thin air. As you may know, murder is one of the leading causes of death of pregnant women so of course our level of optimism for her is growing dimmer and dimmer as the weeks pass. But, maybe we will get lucky. Who would have guessed that Elizabeth Smart (search) would return alive and healthy? LaToyia is now six months pregnant and leaves behind another child (which is another reason why murder seems to be the cause of her disappearance.)

If we have time, we are also going to check on another story we did months ago — a couple left a bar in Philly and no one has heard from them since. There is no information about their disappearance... no cell phone use, no truck found etc. (As an aside, sooner or later we will "strike gold" — meaning that we will find someone who has vanished and end the agony that all these families go through. It is absolutely astounding how many people in this country disappear each year. The pain for the families is immense.)

Tonight Nola Foulston, the head district attorney who prosecuted the BTK serial killer, joins us. I am a great fan of Nola's — she and her team of prosecutors have done a great job in prosecuting Dennis Rader (search). They were so professional, so thorough, so smart, that Rader caved in and pleaded guilty — saving the families of the victims from the hell of a trial and saving millions and millions of Kansas taxpayer dollars.

I forgot to include this link in the blog yesterday when I noted that my sister-in-law has a new cookbook out. Click here to check it out.

And now for some of your e-mails:

E-mail No. 1 — Recently I have received some e-mails from viewers who are newsletter subscribers who say they no longer automatically get the blog daily delivered to their e-mail accounts. I decided to investigate the problem — I asked our I.T. department to check into it. Here is what I have learned... in an e-mail from the I.T. department:

I.T. has investigated the newsletter issue — we are not "blacklisted" by any of the ISPs we investigated and the e-mails are definitely going out. Often an individual does not receive an e-mail because it ends up in their junk e-mail folder based on the spam settings they have set up for their account. If they do not review this junk folder and "whitelist" us at least once, we continue to be sent to their junk folder. We are working up a comprehensive checklist to send to people who are not seeing the newsletter in their inbox — it can be the result of a variety of issues that we have no control over — and this will let them know what to check on their end. I will let you know when we have this finished.

E-mail No. 2

Hi Greta,
In your GretaWire on the morning of August 17th, you made this comment: "So what do I do when I drive in to work? I talk on my cell phone like everyone else."
"Everyone" is a broad statement... I don't talk on a cell phone in my vehicle, or anywhere else. I've never owned one, have no use for one. My old-fashioned landline is good enough for me. If someone needs to talk to me, if I'm not home when they call, they can leave a message on my answering machine and I will get back to them when I get home.
Still love the show, even though you're spending too much time on the Holloway case,
Albert Sims
West Monroe, LA

ANSWER: You are right. Not "everyone" is on the cell phone. I admit, I am wrong about this.

E-mail No. 3 — An e-mail from my first known subscriber to the GretaCast:

Thank you for making your show available on iTunes! I now have all the audio that is available. One tip though, upload a picture for your pod cast... if you look at the others they all have graphics for the individual pod casts (i.e. CNN, Dem's pod cast, the presidential radio address in pod cast form... )
Thanks again,
Aaron M.
Chicago, IL

E-mail No. 4 — from our old friend, Jim Hammer:

Reading your blog is always fun... but reading a viewer's email who thought you and I were married? That takes the prize.
What can I say other than I'm flattered AND that I think your REAL husband, John, is funny, smart, good looking and great guy.
By the way... Laura Ingle (one of my best friends) is single and would be a great catch for some lucky guy.
She'll kill me if she reads that!
See ya soon,
Jim Hammer

E-mail No. 5

Dear Greta,
Just returned from vacation in Cancun. Have been following the case since the beginning. While in Cancun went to Carlos ‘n Charlies to see what type bar it was. Upon entering the bar/restaurant I noticed people having dinner and drinks in the table area. At the bar area I [witnessed a girl performing oral sex on a man] in broad daylight while other patrons were observing. It was 5 p.m. on Sunday. I was never so disgusted. As I said to the waiters, "What are you doing?" The waiters responded, "None of your business, none of your concern." I can only imagine what went on at Carlos ‘n Charlies in Aruba the night Natalee went missing. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Please keep this story alive, you are doing a great job.
Marijo Heffner
Williamsport, PA

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