Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post is never at a loss for words. This article is no exception.
“As for me – I once spent a vacation there, but I wouldn’t go back if they paid me.”
As Mr. Dunleavy managed to talk to Beth in the airport on her way to Montreal, I had the pleasure of talking to her leaving Montreal. We discussed some of the recent goings-on of the case and the one year mark. Beth stated that it was important for her to show Natalee’s room, so people could understand and see what Natalee was like. I for one as did many noticed that Natalee was focused and happy to begin college. It was obvious that she so looked forward to it. A far cry from the words that Joran Van der Sloot has claimed that Natalee wanted to stay in Aruba.
Beth and I also discussed her new project, the Safe Travels Foundation. Her new web site is up an running. Check it out, please remember its a work in progress. Beth also discusses her web site in the following article from the New York Post.
THE memories for Beth Holloway Twitty came flooding back.
Memories of a beautiful young daughter, Natalee, whose passionate love of life vanished on the island of Aruba exactly one year ago today.
But also nightmare memories – of a frustrating, bumbling investigation on the island and ugly threats against her life.
“One of the several threats I received was that if I stayed on the island, I would be chopped up in little pieces, put in a fish trap and floated out to sea,” she said.
John Q. Kelly, her Manhattan-based lawyer, who on the stand chopped O.J. Simpson into little pieces in a civil suit, told me:
“Obviously, we don’t know exactly where those threats came from, and the police there don’t seem to care. But there is a huge back-street drug market on the island and, frankly, a lot of people don’t want Americans poking around there.
“The investigation has been a terrible example of a mixture of utter incompetence and corruption.”
Dave Holloway, Natalee’s father and Beth’s ex-husband, told me, “Three weeks after Natalee’s disappearance, the assistant prosecutor, Amalin Flanegin, quit the case.
“She indicated to me she pointed police in the obvious direction . . . and they ignored her.”
I caught up with Beth Holloway on the phone as she was boarding a flight to Montreal to expand an organization she started, Safe Travels Foundation. “It is to inform people before going to foreign places how to proceed locally if faced with a crisis,” she said.
“I’m extremely unwelcome in Aruba, so we could not even have a memorial service for Natalee one year after her disappearance. I’ll never set foot on that island again.”
“Nor will I,” echoed Dave.
As for me – I once spent a vacation there, but I wouldn’t go back if they paid me.
Sandra Eubank Gregory, 34, a Birmingham, AL attorney was abducted from a parking lot outside of her downtown law office at 8:30 AM EDT and is presently missing.
UPDATE (FOX NEWS): Sandra Eubank Gregory Found Alive and Suspect is in Custody
Editorial: Time for America to get tough with Aruba; Parents simply won’t risk their kids’ victimization for a bargain.
It is not very often when an editorial in a news paper espouses much of the same message almost word for word as a post on Scared Monkeys. However, the following editorial comes very close. In some instances I had to do a double take to make sure it was not actually us who contributed the piece.
What is interesting is that in many respects this has become the feeling of the silent majority of the United States. People who make their voice heard with their wallets rather than there mouths or fingers. In some cases, people use both.
Aruba knows the “Natalee Holloway” tourism costs. For better or worse, in the United States, “Aruba” has become a poster child for teen travel safety abroad. What outcome is best now?
Americans should “kick butt and take names.” Few Americans doubt Aruban complicity in luring youthful Natalee away with drinks, drugs and deception. Fewer still doubt Aruban law enforcement’s ineptitude — and complicity. Ineptitude or callous indifference allowed the perpetrators to abduct, rape and murder with impunity. To avoid prosecution, conspirators disposed of Natalee. Aruban judges shielded them, even as they acted.
We echoed this same sentiment in Teen Travel Examined in the Wake of the Natalee Holloway Disappearance. Aruba has become the face of (un)safe Travel .
Like it or not, Aruba has become the face of the safety issues that face teens and college students in America. It is no small accomplishment or a badge of honor to actually be referenced in the same sentence as 9-11 when it comes to altering the way one travels.
Do those in Aruba, the travel, hotel and tourism associations and the government officials really not understand the impact of how they have handled the Natalee Holloway investigation? It was one thing for a tourist to go missing in Aruba, it was quite a different event to see how the investigation was botched, intentionally or not.
In one of the most strongly worded and tightly scripted editorials in some time, the writer hits a home run with the following comments which describes perfectly why Aruba faces a tourism disaster.
Callous indifference to human life, decency, judicial and law enforcement cronyism, and sordid support of rapists and murderers will cost the island visits from families with female adolescents, no matter how cheap. Parents simply won’t risk their kids’ victimization for a bargain. Americans remain appalled that dumping young girls on the beach passes for acceptable behavior in Aruba.
Perhaps advertising can sweep Aruba’s dirty little problem under the rug. However, Beth Twitty’s traveling the country with her personal story of grief caused by “travel to places like Aruba” will play until the end of time. What’s Aruba’s cost?
For those that deem what is happening to the Aruban tourism as unfair, there is an answer to that was well.
Unfair? It was unfair for young men to take Natalee’s life, but they did. They fed her booze — and what else more, we’ll never know. Then they dumped her — by their sworn accounts. Someone should pay now; it’s not fair.
If Natalee’s perpetrators aren’t responsible, who is? For Americans, the base answer: those accountable for shielding those responsible. Who is that?
Jose Javier Cruz, 34, the son of Houston Astros sports icon, Jose Cruz, Sr. is missing. Jose Javier Cruz was last seen at his home about 12 days ago. His pick up burned out pick up truck was found ten days ago near Katy Mills Mall.
Is The Netherlands really an Appropriate Venue for the Natalee Holloway Case? A country that would Allow This Political Party?
As the family of Natalee Holloway waits for the NYC judges decision on their civil law suit against Joran and Paulas Van der Sloot we see some amazing, bizarre and rather eye-opening happenings taking place in the Netherlands. The Netherlands being one potential venue that the Van der Sloot’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, has stated should have jurisdiction.
On May 15, 2005 the judge hearing the civil case determined she would allow the case to to forward and take it “under advisement.”
A couple of the many issues that was put forth by the family as to why the venue should be in NYC rather than Aruba or The Netherlands was safety concerns, a majority of the witnesses were from the US (NYC area) and Aruba gains the greatest percentage of its tourism from New York state.
The majority of the American tourists come from this state (NY), about 17 percent of the total. In relation to 2003, 2004 had a growth of 13.47 percent, which dropped to 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2005.
One could also consider whether the Holloway’s and Twitty’s could get a fair trial in Aruba or The Netherlands. We have already seen the Aruban investigation into Natalee’s disappearance botched (purposely or not) and performed in an unprofessional manner.
“Total madness”, according to a criminal law expert of the University of Leiden, Hans Nijboer. “This is a total error”.
Who is to say any court proceeding would be any different seeing that Paulas Van der Sloot had been part of the system and impartiality let alone conflicts of interest seem to be non-existent. The family and Natalee’s friends have stated that they fear going back to Aruba. Who wouldn’t? On the last night of a four day vacation they lose their best friend and then are blamed. The family and friends have actually been blamed for Natalee’s disappearance by an irresponsible Aruban media.
How many defense attorneys in the United States have tried and successfully asked for a change of venue for their clients and got just that. Maybe attorney Joe Tacopina should be asked that very question. Just how many times when it was convenient for your client did you request a change of venue and jurisdiction?
We have already seen what the Aruban courts are capable of. The closed door, secret star chamber is hardly the answer to bring justice to a civil case where that very issue of secrecy and with holding information has created more problems and potential conspiracies. The “good old boy” network of revolving Aruban judges, many of them potentially Paulas Van der Sloots peers hardly seems like a proper or just jurisdiction. It would be a kin to having the trial in Mountain Brook, AL. Think for one second Joe Tacopina would allow that? Does one even think that Tacopina would not fight for a jurisdiction change if the venue was Alabama or the other two states that joined the boycott?
That lead us to The Netherlands. Once again we have the issue of Paulas Van der Sloot and a “home field” advantage of potential cronyism . The mere appearance would scream foul. However, one would also wonder whether The Netherlands would be a proper venue taking into account the following article that makes one’s skin crawl and need to shower after reading. Is a country that would allow paedophiles to be a political party really the proper jurisdiction for a “sex crimes” and kidnapping case? It would hardly seem so.
Amsterdam – Dutch paedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalisation of child pornography and sex with animals.
The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party said on its Website it would be officially registered on Wednesday, proclaiming: “We are going to shake The Hague awake!”
The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether.
“A ban just makes children curious,” Ad van den Berg, one of the party’s founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.