Dateline NBC Profiles the Case of the Disappearance of Honeymooner George Smith Aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruiseship Brilliance of the Seas in 2005 (VIDEO) … JUSTICE FOR GEORGE
George Smith, missing since 2005 …
“We have truth on our side. “My son’s life is not going to be in vain.” - (Maureen Smith, George’s mother – Jan. 2006)
The disappearance of George Smith aboard who went missing in 2005. Scared Monkeys has followed the case ever since. The family of George Smith are tremendous people who deserve answers. Dateline NBC reviews the Royal Caribbean 6000 page file and provides a profile on the case and new details never before released. Even though George disappeared in 2005, the case is still being investigated and the Smith family never rests in getting JUSTICE FOR GEORGE.
What is most amazing in this case and may provide answers as to what happened to George Smith, the controversial and confrontational settlement between Royal Caribbean, Jennifer Hagel Smith and the Smith family may have been the smoking gun. Part of the settlement was the handing over of their files, a treasure trove of data and information.
This segment shows the last day of George Smith’s life and what took place the night prior to his disappearance and presumed death. The newlyweds George and Jennifer Hagel Smith went to dinner and then headed off to the on board ship casino. Also at the Casino Royal were the passengers Josh Askin and the individuals who would become known as the “Russians” (Rostislav “Rusty” Kofman and cousins Greg and Zachary Rozenberg ). It was reported that some passengers had heard that George Smith had said that he had large sums of money back at his cabin. Whether George did or not is irrelevant, what those that over heard him say; however, is relevant. Did the money play a role in what happened to George Smith, was it a robbery gone horribly wrong?
The party moved from the from the casino to the disco. Josh Askin through his attorney states that when things got a little weird and sleazy. He references that the group was met up with the an off-duty casino floor manager who had his arm around Jennifer and was coming on to her completely forgetting and ship employee – passenger boundaries. Jennifer leaves the disco with Lloyd, the casino floor manager after many witnesses noticed an argument between Jennifer and George. The disco closes and the four Russians help an drink George Smith back to his room. Thanks to the electronic key cards (locklink), there was a trail of who went where and when. It is reported that after George, Josh and the Russians got back to George’s room, they left again with George to go find Jennifer. When she left the disco, she never went back to the room. After looking for Jennifer, they return to George’s room at 4:01 am. Later that morning a passenger in the room next to George’s hears words, things being moved and then a loud thud. Then there is silence.
The ship wakes up the next morning to a surprise. Teenager Emily Roush wakes up early camera in hand and takes a picture of the infamous blood stain pic. Ship crew starting searching cabins near the blood smear and notice that cabin 9062, George Smith’s cabin is empty. They track Jennifer down in the spa, she says she does not know where George is. He was not in the cabin when she woke up. Jennifer says she does not remember anything from the night before. George Smith is now determined missing. There are actually pics of the cabin taken prior to the Turkish police coming on board and reviewing the Smith cabin crime scene. Pics show blood spots on the bed sheets. Not much, but whey would there be any? A couple days later Josh Askin and the Russians would be accused of a gang rape, which they videoed. Italian police never prosecuted them; however, Royal Caribbean kicked them and their families off the ship.
The focus is on Josh Askin, what does he know? From the outset he defended Jennifer as saying she did not know what happened, but pointed the finger at the casino manager Lloyd. Of course the question needs to be asked why Jennifer left with Lloyd and never made it back to the cabin? Where was she when her husband fell with a thud? Both Jennifer and Lloyd denied having anything to do with George’s disappearance and death. They both took an FBI polygraph and passed. According to accounts, the casino managers girl friend puts him back in his cabin at 3:25 am. Numerous passengers say they saw Jennifer leave the disco alone. Jennifer was found passed out on the 9th floor by the crew. She was brought back to her cabin in a wheelchair at 4:57 am. When she crawled into bed, George was already gone. So why would Josh Askin be so quick to point the finger at others and say Jennifer left with Lloyd, if she did not? Josh became a target of the FBI. Askin’s lawyer says he passed a polygraph, the FBI says quite the contrary.
When Josh Askin was deposed in 2009 by George Smith family attorney Mike Jones as part of the family lawsuit over the George Smith estate, Askin was hardly forthcoming. He evoked his 5th Amendment rights as to whether he was even on the cruise ship in 2005. As we always say … Innocent people have nothing to hide. Following the bizarre depo that made Askin look extremely guilty, Askin’s attorney said to Jones that he should look at Greg Rozenberg. It was stated that he left the party in George Smith’s room early.
Greg Rozenberg was also deposed for the civil case; however, his took place in prison. He had been convicted for trafficking oxycodone. But Rozenberg denies killing George Smith although he believes that there was foul play. However, in reviewing the alibis of Josh and the Russians there appears to be a glaring discrepancy. The so-called food binge and chow down in the Russian’s room may never have happened. The ship had no record of any records of room service being ordered, received, taking an order or delivered. Hmm.
Presently the FBI is investigating the case; however, they have not named any suspects, not have they states whether they are investigating an accident or a crime. Although, how many accidents do the FBI investigate? Now the FBI Russian organized task force is looking into the case. That hardly seems like the investigation of an accident.
The Smith family thinks that Josh Askin is the key to what happened. What about the ship’s video surveillance cameras that have to show a clear picture? Then there is a photo of the blood stained railing that shows bloody finger prints of what looks like George clinging on for dear life.
There is a question that just makes no sense in all of this. Obviously George’s mom, dad and sister Bree fight for answers as to what happened to George. It has always bothered me that Jennifer Hagel Smith did not. She has moved on with her life and remarried. Obviously one would eventually do that, but why did she never really want answers as to what happened to her husband that fateful night? How does one think that their spouse met with foul play, but not care what the circumstances were? It just seems strange, strange indeed.
We can only hope with diligence and perseverance, the family of George Smith can get …. JUSTICE FOR GEORGE.