10 Years Later: Searching in Aruba for Natalee Holloway … The Search of the Aruba Landfill in 2005 for Missing Natalee Holloway (PICS)


On July 23, 2005 Scared Monkeys conducted an interactive, town hall style  on-line interview with Tim Miller of Texas Equusearch, the non-profit search team that had been searching for Natalee Holloway in Aruba since she had gone missing on May 30, 2005.  Texas Equusearch had been flooded with emails of encouragement and tips from the many followers and readers at Scared Monkeys that Tim granted the interview. Interactive web interviews are commonplace today, needless to say they were not in 2005 and the logistics to make it happen was nothing short of a miracle. Following the interview as I thanked Tim Miller on the phone and for TES’s great work in their search for Natalee Holloway, Mr. Miller did an amazing thing … he asked if I wanted to go to Aruba and help search for Natalee. Once we cleared up some logistics and made sure that we could pay for the ticket to Aruba ourselves so not to impose on TES or have them divert any funds from the search on our account, we let it be known that Red was going to Aruba to search with Texas Equusearch.


Returning to Aruba, a place where my family had vacationed since the 1970′s, long before the many high-rise hotels and wining vacations there on game shows. Aruba, a place where I got to know so many families, who treated us as one of their own and a place where I had even dated an Aruban girl, who’s family was pretty well connected. Talk about your long distance relationship, before the days of social media and Facetime or Skype. A place where I hung out with more locals than tourists. Aruba, a place where I lived and worked as well. Now I was going back to help find Natalee Holloway.

I have to admit i was not sure what I was getting into and was not sure which searches I would be doing, land, water, both? I had told Tim that I was going to be a member of the search team first and reporting on the story second. Little did I realize than just a couple days before going to Aruba that that I would be helping search in the Aruba landfill as The witness claimed he saw the men dumping the body on the afternoon of June 1. The following article discusses the landfill search on such a generic and antiseptic way. Let me just say it was far from that and maybe one of the most rewarding and disgusting thing I have ever done in my life.


Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

A volunteer group searching for Natalee Holloway dug through a landfill for a third day Sunday but found no clues, while the missing teen’s mother left Aruba for the first time since her daughter disappeared two months ago.

Crews equipped with trained dogs, a bulldozer and a tractor hoe dug 15 holes in a landfill where a witness claims he saw men dump and cover a female body two days after Holloway disappeared, said Robert Cook, spokesman for the volunteer Texas EquuSearch, which is coordinating the landfill effort.

Searches at the landfill Friday and Saturday also produced no sign of Holloway.


From July 30, 2005 … Red searched the landfill from 10 AM till 3 PM. He said it was one of the foulest and god awful smelling places he has ever been in. For three days we searched the landfill and for every hole that was dug to a certain level, some one then had to get into it to do a more fine search with rakes and shovels. The picture below taken by a digital camera, although it looks grainy. That would be because of the constant Aruba trade wind blowing all the sand and crap in the dump around.

During the landfill search, I not only searched for Natalee Holloway with the members of Texas Equusearch, I also was digging next to her dad, Dave Holloway. I thought to myself as we were digging in the worst filth and the most disgusting stench that I had ever experienced in my life, I so wanted to help this man and find his daughter. Then I thought to myself in the next second, it might not be the best thing to happen when he was present. It was one thing to take part in this search, another thing to find human remains in a landfill, but quite a different thing to have to see a grown man break down in uncontrollable tears and emotions if we actually found her. This was the roller-coaster of thoughts and emotions that took place ever day as we searched for Natalee Holloway.

This search will forever be seared in my mind, body and soul … as previously stated, one of the best and worst things I have ever done in my life.


Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

Unlike most landfills in America where those in charge can locate and track what was dumped where and when, Aruba had no such tracking system. Imagine that. Instead, we had to go by the witness as to what area of the landfill he thought he saw the vehicle and where the dump site was. All the while the witness covered his face for fear of being recognized and to prevent the foulness from getting into his nose and mouth. So how did we know how far down to dig or where to dig holes? At a certain point we got in the holes and looked that the daily news papers that were thrown away to see what date they were to find the date just before May 30, 2005. That was the methodology.


Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

And for every hole that was dug like the one above, when we got to what we thought was close enough to the correct proximity of time, some one had to get into the hole and comb throw it to see if we made needed to dig deeper or had to use a rake, shovel and your hands to search. That would be yours truly in the blue shirt in the hole.

landfill RED

Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

And all the while Red and the members of Texas Equusearch were in the landfill in some of the most foul and hideous conditions trying to help Beth and Dave find their daughter on a witness tip we were following up on, the media was kicking their feet up from a distance trying to get a picture with their telephoto lenses.


Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

Or better yet, a close up of the media getting a sun tan while we are in the landfill busting our butts to get some closure for the Holloway/Twitty/Reynold’s family.

landfill media

Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005




Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

landfill RED3landfill RED2

Landfill RED4

Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005


Picture via Scared Monkeys – 2005

Part 1: It Has Been 10 Years Since Natalee Holloway Went Missing, No Body … No Crime … And No One Tried, But We Know Damn Well Who Is Responsible, Don’t We Joran Van der Sloot?


May 30, 2005 … Alabama teen Natalee Holloway has gone missing in Aruba while on a class trip with her fellow Mountain Brook classmates to celebrate their graduation from high school, to begin their college careers and the rest of their lives. Or so they all thought. All of these young teens with their whole lives ahead of them, just celebrating one more time together before they went their separate ways in what was supposed to be a safe vacation surrounded by sand, sun and the sea. Like so many classes before them, a visit to Aruba was supposed to be the one last high school fling. Sadly, for Natalee Holloway it would be the one last thing she ever did in life, never to attend college, never to have the rest of her life. Enter Joran Van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe and everyone’s lives would be changed forever and not for the better.

Natalee Holloway and Friends 2005 Aruba

Natalee Holloway and friends in Aruba 2005

The first post Scared Monkeys ever wrote on this missing persons case was entitled, ‘This Can’t Be Good For Tourism, Where’s Natalee Holloway’. At first glance, one night think it was rather crass and insensitive. But having visited Aruba since the 1970′s, having friends on the small Caribbean Island, even having dated a beautiful Aruba girl in my teens, and having lived and worked on Aruba, I pretty much knew what the prime concern would be for “One Happy Island” and that was to save its tourism industry at all cost. Even if it meant trying to push the dirt under the rug and hide things in the closet. The cover-up, collusion, corruption and cronyism would only be made worse in the case of missing Natalee Holloway when the individual last seen with the beautiful blond Alabama teen was Joran Van der Sloot, a boy of Dutch privilege who’s father was a judge in waiting with so many connections legally, politically and with law enforcement that all signs pointed toward the Holloway, Twitty and Reynold’s family being given the run around from the very beginning. I say this prior to ever having researched the case in depth or having talked to or met any of the family members. From experience, I knew the family was in for a hell of a time from past experiences on Aruba where the most simple of things are made into some of the most exasperating efforts in futility. I knew that Dave Holloway and Beth Twitty were in for a hell of a roller-coaster experience.

No one will ever convince me otherwise that the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the subsequent search and investigation in Aruba was obstructed on two levels, one from the Van der Sloot family and Paulus Van der Sloot with his connections to prevent his son from going to prison and two, on a police, prosecution and government level to attempt to sweep this under the sand and save their economy that depended upon American tourism.

Aruba_3 suspects JVDS_K

18 year old Natalee Holloway went missing on Aruba and was last seen leaving an Aruba bar, Carlos N’ Charlies, with three boys, Joran Van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe. The news of Natalee’s disappearance was not made public to the adults in attendance with the teens until the following day when it was time to head off for the airport to leave. Natalee was missing. From the outset, something was very wrong in how this case was being investigated. The Aruba police had the mindset that Natalee was just off having fun and she would return because this happens all the time. REALLY? That might have been some what okay reasoning for Aruba LE had any one of the three people Natalee was last with were missing too. However, they were not, they were already lying. What changed this case, brought it to the forefront and escalated it to new heights that we have never seen before in a missing persons case was that Aruba and the powers that be never imagines that the Holloway/Twitty family would have arrived so quickly on Aruba and hit the ground running trying to find Natalee. The Holloway/Twitty crew were doing the police and detective work that the Aruba LE should have already had done. Like I said, from the outset something smelled to the high heavens, and it was not just inept and incompetent police work, some was so bad it was obvious it had to be intentional.

Aruba_Carlos n Charlies

Carlos N’ Charlies 2005

The lies begin from the three amigos, Joran, Deepak and Satish … From the beginning of dealing with the three individuals who were last seen with Natalee, the lies were flowing. They stated that they dropped her off at her hotel, the Holiday Inn after having left Carlos n’ Charlies. How can the last three people ever to see Natalee not be considered suspects? especially when video surveillance tape showed that the three had never done any such thing. Wouldn’t that or shouldn’t that have been the first thing that Aruba LE should have checked? Instead, the family had to do the investigative work.

Holloway was last seen by friends getting into a vehicle and leaving the Carlos and Charlie’s nightclub in the capital of Oranjestad  before dawn Monday.

Police questioned and released three Aruban men who said they dropped Holloway off early Monday at the Holiday Inn, where she had been staying about 3 miles from the capital of Oranjestad, said police assistant inspector Jules Sambo. The three were not suspects, he said.

Natalee Holloway_missing poster


On June 5th, 2005 two black men were arrested in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Why, because they were black. How racist is that? The former security guards, Mickey John, 30, and Abraham Jones, worked for the vacant Allegro hotel, two blocks from the Holiday Inn where Holloway stayed. How does anyone arrest two black men for a crime when the last people seen with a missing person walk free? Thus, we see from the outset the mindset in Aruba to blame this on anyone, two hapless black men, just because Aruba can. And they might have gotten away with it had Beth Holloway not come to their rescue and state, they were innocent.

Aruba_Mickey John Arrest

The 2005 Arrest of Mickey John

A judge ruled Wednesday there was sufficient cause to keep holding two former hotel security guards in connection with the disappearance of an Alabama high school honors student.

The decision means authorities may hold Nick John, 30, and Abraham Jones, 28, for nearly four months while prosecutors investigate possible murder and kidnapping charges in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, defense attorneys said. Neither man has been formally charged.

The two men were arrested Sunday on suspicion of first- and second-degree murder and capital kidnapping, the latter of which is invoked when a kidnapping victim is killed, according to court-appointed defense attorneys Noraina Pietersz and Chris Lejuez.

Later in the case, I had the opportunity to meet Mickey John in the States through the aid of FOM and talk to him as to what happened, his involvement, if any, and his opinions on the case. After talking to him for 5 minutes it became obvious he had nothing to do with Natalee’s disappearance and what just an easy patsy to blame it on. Was Micky John a choir boy, of course not, but he was hardly a murderer. John told me that he would never make any type of statement, especially in Aruba fro fear he would be arrested again for no reason. What had always bothered me to this day was how did the Aruba LE, prosecution and judiciary allow the last three people ever to be seen with Natalee Holloway go from persons of interest and prime suspects to witnesses? From 6/8/05, Attorney general spokeswoman Vivian Van Der Biezan also told a news conference that three “persons of interest” who were questioned and released last week were considered “witnesses,” not suspects. HUH? They dropped the dime on Micky John and Abraham Jones and the Aruba legal brain-trust fell for it hook, line and sinker. Of course the fact that Joran Van der Sloot’s father, Paulus, was a lawyer and a judge in waiting with his many connections had nothing to do with this attempted cover up and frame job. It would not be until June 13, 2005 that Abraham Jones and Mickey John was released from jail.

Aruba_ Abraham Jones

Abraham Jones Released!

This announcement was telling on two fronts, one, justice finally prevailed in that these two black security guards were finally let out of jail as they had no involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the other would be something that would become a common occurrence through out the investigation in Aruba. The second interest fact was that Scared Monkeys broke the news of the release of the two security guards before the AP. Needless to say that prompted many news outlets to contact us and ask how that was possible. This became one of the events in the case that prompted the news outlets to track SM, not the other way around. That’s what happens when you have people on the ground and know others with connections that supplied info and data on a case that was so fluid.

On June 6th, volunteers in Aruba searched for missing Natalee Holloway. About 700 volunteers joined police, soldiers and FBI agents on Monday, combing scrubland and beaches on Aruba’s southeastern tip in an unprecedented search for an Alabama teenager who vanished a week ago on a trip to the Dutch Caribbean island. The Aruba government gave their civil servant employees the day off to help search for Natalee. However, only about 18% of government employees showed to search on what was the biggest story to hit Aruba since their independence from Holland. Also, who did not search … Joran Van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe or Satish Kalpoe.

Aruba_3 suspects arrested

It would not be until June 8, 2005 that the three boys, Joran Van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe would be arrested by Aruba authorities in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. However, Natalee went missing on May 30, all this time for these three to get their stories synched together and to be coached by Joran’s father, Paulus Van der Sloot. Eight days go by and the individuals who were last seen with a missing person were allowed to sanitize, erase, get rid of and clean up all loose ends with the help of their master white-washer, Paulus.

Aruban police arrested three more suspects in the case of the missing American honors student Thursday, the attorney general said.

Attorney General Caren Janssen said police arrested three men that police had previously questioned and released in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway.

Authorities have described the three as students – two Surinamese and a native of the Netherlands – who told police they dropped off Holloway at her hotel around 2 a.m. on May 30. Hotel employees, however, say that security cameras did not record her return.

The Dana Pretzer Show – Tuesday, April 7, 2015 – With Special Guest Blink from Blink on Crime at 9pm ET Discussing the Robert Durst Case


  • Blink from Blink on Crime will be with me for the entire show discussing the Robert Durst case


The Dana Pretzer Show – Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Download Podcast

Daily Commentary – Tuesday, April 7, 2015 – Preview of Tonights Dana Pretzer Show with Blink from Blink on Crime

  • Blink and Dana will be discussing the many facets of the Robert Durst case

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The Dana Pretzer Show – Wednesday, December 31, 2014 – Happy New Year! 2014 a Year in Review!


  • Red discusses political, world and national events in 2014 and what he expects in 2015
  • Blink reflects on cases in 2014 and what to expect from Blink on Crime in 2015

LISTEN NOW (pre-recorded earlier today)

The Dana Pretzer Show – Wednesday, December 31, 2014 Download Podcast

Daily Commentary – Wednesday, December 31, 2014 – Preview of Tonights Show, 2014 Year In Review, Happy New Year!

  • Don’t miss tonight’s 2014 year in review show with Blink from Blink on Crime and Red, the main man and owner of Scared Monkeys

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The Dana Pretzer Show – Thursday, October 16, 2014 – Podcast Only – With Special Guest Blink from Blink on Crime



  • With Blink from Blink on Crime discussing the Morgan Harrington case and the Hannah Graham case and other crimes that suspect Jesse Matthew might be connected to


The Dana Pretzer Show – Thursday, October 16, 2014 Download

Daily Commentary – Thursday, October 16, 2014 – Preview of Tonights Podcast with Blink from Blink on Crime

  • Blink will be with me discussing the Morgan Dana Harrington case and the Hannah Graham case and how the two are connected

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Jesse Matthew, Suspect in Missing UVA Coed Hannah Graham Disappearance Linked by DNA to Second Missing & Murdered Case of VA Tech Student Morgan Harrington

Breaking News in the Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington cases, Two linked by DNA

BREAKING NEWS- sources inside the investigation of both the murder of Morgan Dana Harrington and the abduction with the intent to defile of 2nd year student at UVA, Hannah Graham  have confirmed to S. Christina Stoy, Editor in Chief of www.blinkoncrime.com that DNA belonging to Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr matches the DNA link to that of a wanted suspect in the Harrington murder.

Further tests are being conducted to connect Mr. Matthew to a 2005 Fairfax sexual assault as well.

Virginia State Police are saying that Jesse Matthew, the suspect in the case of missing UVA student Hannah Graham, is also linked through forensic evidence to the 2009 death if 20 year old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.  Our sister site, Blink on Crime has done extensive research on the Morgan Harrington case thru the years. Matthew was recently arrested in Galveston county, Texas and charged him with the class 2 felony of abduction with intent to defile.  No arrest has ever been made in the Morgan Harrington case, and the cause of her death is still under investigation. According to CNN affiliate WTVR, there are at least two other women besides Graham and Harrington who have disappeared from the same area since 2009. Alexis Murphy of Lovingston and Samantha Clarke of Orange also went missing there.

Morgan Harrington, left – Hannah Graham, right

The arrest of Jesse Matthew — the suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham — has resulted in a “significant break” in the 2009 death of another young woman in the same area, police said.

Virginia State Police say there is a “new forensic link” between the Hannah Graham case and the death of Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, who went missing after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville in October 2009. Her remains were found on a farm months later.

Almost from the start, speculation was raised about the possibility of a connection between Graham’s disappearance and Harrington’s death.

For more updates go to Blink on Crime and Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Forum: Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington.

Look for a story later today at Blink on Crime connecting the two cases between missing Hannah Graham and murdered Morgan Harrington.

Blogger Clayton Thomas Kelly Arrested After Sneaking into GOP Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran’s Wife Rose Cochran’s Nursing Home Room

Bring gutter politics to a new low …

28 year old Clayton Thomas Kelly of Pearl, Mississippi was arrested on Friday night on a charge of exploitation of a vulnerable adult after he sneaked into the nursing home room of current Republican Mississippi US Senator Thad Cochran’s wife, Rose Cochran, to photograph her and then posting the image in a video.  He is being held on a $100,000 bond. Kelly, is a political blogger, who operates a “Constitutional Clayton” blog, a Youtube channel and other social media. Kelly has posted numerous pieces in support of  Chris McDaniel and opposition to Cochran. He also appears to have interviewed McDaniel on video at least once. What kind of a sick SOB does something like this? One can dislike a political candidate all you want and support an opposition candidate against the establishment, but what that has to do with violating the privacy of an elderly spouse who is in a nursing home bed ridden and suffering from progressive dementia is beyond me.

Clayton Thomas Kelly

Left to Right: Clayton Thomas Kelly & Chris McDaniel, pic from blog: ‘I met MS Senator Chris McDaniel’

A Pearl man who runs a political blog is accused of sneaking into a nursing home where U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife is bedridden and photographing her, then posting the image in a video political “hit piece” on the internet.

Madison Police arrested Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, of Pearl on Friday night on a charge of exploitation of a vulnerable adult. He’s being held on a $100,000 bond.

Kelly is accused of sneaking into St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, where Rose Cochran has resided since 2000, suffering from progressive dementia and now bedridden.

UPDATE I: The Cochran campaign is now questioning when, exactly, McDaniel campaign manager Melanie Sojourner learned about the nursing home break-in.

The Cochran campaign is now questioning when, exactly, McDaniel campaign manager Melanie Sojourner learned about the nursing home break-in, implying that it was before news of Kelly’s arrest became public and attempting to tie his actions back to the state senator’s campaign operation. McDaniel’s coalition director told the Clarion-Ledger that he was aware of Kelly’s video, which featured the illegally obtained photograph of Rose Cochran, before Kelly’s arrest, but a campaign spokesman and McDaniel himself reiterated that Kelly had no ties to the campaign itself.

UPDATE II: McDaniel also distanced himself from Kelly’s actions in a statement issued on Saturday.

“I’ve reached out to Senator Cochran directly to express my abhorrence for the reprehensible actions of this individual,” reads the statement.

“This criminal act is deeply offensive and my team and I categorically reject such appalling behavior. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Cochran and his family,” McDaniel said. “Politics is about the exchange of ideas and this type of action has no place in politics whatsoever and will not be tolerated.”

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