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August 3, 2005

On Natalee Holloway: CBS Consultant Says No Body - No Case (Updated with HarryTho evening comments)

Topics: Natalee Holloway

Without even reading the CBS article, I've felt that the outcome of this case is already written on the wall, and it was put there when the Aruban authorities released Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers for almost three weeks - providing plenty of time for the three to get together, meet with the judge-to-be, cook up their stories, and work out a strategy. The three boys couldn't have had a better teacher than Paul Van Der Sloot, a man with a history of beating the system, and a man that knows the law.

CBS News consultant Wendy Murphy told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm Wednesday, "The bottom line is there are only three people who know what happened, at best. And that's the Kalpoe brothers and Joran."

(...) "You can't prosecute a man without at least some evidence that she's dead, let alone that she died a violent death."

(...) "I think without a body, frankly, or without at least some forensic evidence indicating that she died a violent death, this case really isn't prosecutable.

(...) "Of course, I say that in the absence of a confession. But we're not going to see that from Joran. He's been held for some 64 days or so, or a couple of months. He knows that if he just holds on for a little bit longer, he ultimately will be released if there's no body found.

So where is this case going? Unless Natalee's body shows up, it's over. Deepak and Satish Kalpoe are already free, the prosecutors are left with behavioral experts talking about body language since there is no evidence, the judges in the case will give the prosecutors the middle finger in disgust, Joran will walk out of jail a free man, and Paul Van Der Sloot will be able to stop sweating like a pig on a grill. Game, set, match - Natalee's family have to pick up what marbles they have left, go home, and wonder what happened to their daughter for the rest of their lives.

All because the keystone cops in Aruba, along with an inept prosecutor in the begining, and a corrupt legal system, saw fit to stonewall justice in order to protect their share of the tourist trade.

Even Dan Reihl at Riehl World View, who I think has had the best ongoing coverage of the case in the whole blogosphere, and who has made a real effort of being supportive of both Natalee's family and the Aruban authorities, seems to be loosing a little faith in a favorable outcome in the near-term. I say this because it was his link to the CBS article referenced in this post that tipped me to Wndy Murphy's read on the case, a link on which he posted simply, "no body - no case."

But having said all this, I hope I'm wrong as hell about what I perceive to be a great injustice to Natalee Holloway and her parents, if she is in fact dead.

Late Evening HarryTho (intrepid mystery writer)Commentary:
Following my post earlier, I received the following email from HarryTho, which resulted in my response, and subsequently HarryTho's commentary.

HarryTho - Believe it or not, it is quite easy for someone to hop onto a news show and babble out the obvious convictions of the audience. Wendy Murphy's comments fall into that category. Despite the direct message of her findings in the Natalee Holloway case, what she is saying in meta-communication is that three kids from an island society have outsmarted all the law enforcement efforts brought into the case. Can that be possible? No! How is it possible for three kids in a few early hours of the morning to dispose of all the evidence connected to Natalee Holloway ... not to mention a complete disappearance of her body? The three kids are not smart enough, nor is their judge-in-training coach. My concern is that there are too many people like Wendy Murphy just following the bandwagon.

My Email To HarryTho - I'm very cynical about the possibilities of those three kids being prosecuted without some real clear evidence and a body. And I agree that the three kids couldn't have done it on their own. So either they had help, or there is no body because they participated in some kind of kidnapping or it was done for them and Natalee is off the Island and isn't dead. The latter I'm still willing to entertain, which I put up for grabs in the last sentence of the post. So, what's your take on a probable outcome?

HarryTho's comments follow -

1. What Lt. Soemers said last evening in the Greta-Fox News interview disturbs me. He felt that Natalee left the island voluntarily. Casting aside the plethora of disbelief of the Aruban police's competence, Lt. Soemers got to be a lieutenant via some hard work on the job. He seemed professional enough in the Greta interview. Why does he think she left voluntarily? If she did leave voluntarily, it must have been under some pretense.

To me, Natalee would not have left, permanently, without her stuffed, pink bunny. She might have forgotten many other things behind but not things that were very personal to her.

In the past, I have shared, based on Natalee's observed, increase in body weight between 3 May 2005 and her time in Aruba that she may have been pregnant. In my opinion, I doubt that Natalee could have faced her mother and her church community (she's a chaplain and regular bible studies reader), if she were pregnant. Maybe she took a ride to Venezuela, because someone offered her a way out of her predicament. In this way, she could have left the island of Aruba voluntarily. However, this implicates her roommates and/or old boy friend. As I recall, one person, a male, did not return with the Mountain Brook group.

If Natalee succumbed to a temptation to flee to Venezuela, she must have had a re-entry plan. A week or so into her disappearance, there was what was deemed to be a "bogus" ransom demand. It may have been an orchestrated demand in order to allow Natalee a re-entry after an abortion. With the ransom failed and the growing world awareness of Natalee's disappearance, Natalee's co-conspirators may have gotten cold feet and disposed of her, or, as I have corresponded, turned her over to the underground prostitution rings.

Bringing Americans girls to Venezuela on false pretenses is a common scam. Girls believe that they have met some wealthy Venezuelan and go to his plantation for a visit. Once at his plantation, they are rudely introduced to the fact that they have been kidnapped and are immediately relocated to the brothels.

In Natalee's case, if she were pregnant, her baby could be worth $60,000.00 or more to the baby peddlers. She would carry as much of a price as prostitute in many places of the world. As I wrote in specific, the sex freak in Brunei would pay at least $100,000.00 for an attractive, teenage cheerleader.

I am beginning to modify my understanding of the case the more I hear of the particulars. Another interesting fact was slipped by Beth Twitty in a Greta interview in Beth's home: the reason the Holiday Inn could not vouch, with certainty, that Natalee did not return to the hotel was that a portion of the video surveillance tape, covering the night in question, was blank.

I have other theories, but Lt. Soemers' "voluntary" departure points at a Venezuelan connection, as most likely.

2. Hannity of Fox News hosted Mark Fuhrman, LAPD Detective. Fuhrman seems caught up in the number of lies allegedly told by Joran van der Sloot. Lies are interesting facts. Take for example if I asked you if you drove your car to work this morning. Then I ask you to recount, in detail, how you did it over and over again, each time mentioning things along your ride that you should have noticed. Are you lying, if you forget to mention a particular store? Are you lying if you forget to mention that you put your keys into your ignition? Details sometimes mislead our appreciation of the situation.

From my perspective, Joran lied about the Holiday Inn drop off in order to avoid the penalties of the Napoleonic Code ... last person with Natalee gets arrested for kidnapping! Second, Joran was concerned about having left Natalee on the beach alone ... then again, he might have enjoyed her company inside of the Marriott Hotel and chose to protect his friends who let him into the room at the Marriott. Of which case, he would have some difficulty recounting what he did with Natalee on the beach outside the Marriott Hotel.

What Fuhrman has to know is that if Joran harmed Natalee, he would have cracked by now. He is only 17-years-old!

Lastly, Fuhrman's idea on offering one of the boys immunity in order to crack the other three is a nice idea in our legal system, but it is out of the question under the Napoleonic Code.

On another note, Frommer Travel on Nancy Grace's station recommended Aruba as a travel destination during the hurricane season!

3. Fox News (Hannity) cleared up the confusion on the private investigators hired by the Twittys and Josie Mansur: TJ Ward was hired by the Twittys; whereas, Art Wood (not Ward), a former Secret Service agent, was hired by Josie Mansur. The cable news channels have confused these two individuals. Fox News asked Josie if he would still stand by the story that his newspaper published concerning Joran van der Sloot's alleged confessions of Deepak raping and murdering Natalee and Joran stating that "they" buried Natalee. Josie Mansur stated that he would stand by those publishing in court.

Fox News (Greta) interviewed Beth Twitty. Beth says that she found out that Natalee thought that she was getting into a cab and not one of Joran's friends' cars.

Scarborough interviewed Beth Twitty. Beth made some comment that Joran played a taxi driver on the night in question. Beth's comment is supported by another blogger had mentioned that his research revealed that people saw Natalee leave Carlos & Charlie's with Deepak Kalpoe.

Greta interviewed the lawyers for Satish and Joran. Joran's lawyer, Carlo, describes him as nice guy and has complained to the court that the prosecution has not provided the defense the information that they have against Joran. Satish's lawyer (David Kock) states that the prosecution has no evidence of even a crime. Kock describes his client as a young, soft spoken boy. He feels his client is innocent, if in the event the prosecution discovers any wrongdoing. Greta attempted to interview Karin Jenssen; however, Greta almost got runover, as Jenssen drove out of the parking lot, after refusing to answer any of Greta's questions.

Greta interviewed Arlene Ellis-Schipper. Arlene does not actually see a fault in the investigation. At worst, Arlene feels the police may have given the benefit of the doubt to wrong parties, initially. However, she is cautious about referring to the initial arrestees as innocent.

Greta interviewed Tito Lacle whom revealed that the Aruban police have issued an arrest warrant for TJ Ward!!! Apparently, TJ Ward is in-country illegally and conducting himself illegally. Also, gardener-witness is an illegal person as well and has been ordered to court. He is to be deported ... Venezuela. He could be a stoolie for the Venezuelans white slave trade!

4. Arrest warrant for TJ Ward!!! He will be deported for being on island illegally.

Why is it I keep getting the feeling that the Aruban authorities don't really want outside help, and don't really want Natalee found? What could be behind their actions and inactions?

Meanwhile, back to reality TV, or at least it's cousin, Dan Riehl has the story on "Lead Investigator: Joran Van der Sloot Involved - Tells Ten Different Stories."

Final Update of night (posted 6:50 AM Thurs)
HarryTho - This response concerns the notion that the Aruban authorites may not want Natalee found. I believe this to be a reaction to the arrest warrant for TJ Ward.

Private investigators have rough reputation. They employ means of obtaining information that are not in keeping with police procedures. Naturally, their methods may offend some people. One group I suspect that is not too fond of probing into their affairs is the illegal aliens on Aruba. Case in point, the gardener-witness will be deported, after he has an appearance in court.

Aruba is an island in the stream. A lot of things happen in these places. The police are required to enforce the laws whenever they are broken. What else can be said? As an experienced private investigator, TJ must have known that he needed a special visa in order to conduct investigations in Aruba. Those who persuaded the gardener-witness to come forward had to know that he was an illegal alien. After all, they said that they checked him out and that he was credible. Unfortunately, his credible testimony did not unearth anything.

I believe the appropriate acknowledgment here is that whenever these private investigators uncover new witnesses they should take credibility more seriously. The Aruban authorities, I believe, are sending a clear message that they will not tolerate any more trumped up scenarios.

Posted by Hyscience at August 3, 2005 4:45 PM

Believe it or not, it is quite easy for someone to hop onto a news show and babble out the obvious convictions of the audience. Wendy Murphy's comments fall into that category. Despite the direct message of her findings in the Natalee Holloway case, what she is saying in meta-communication is that three kids from an island society have outsmarted all the law enforcement efforts brought into the case. Can that be possible? No! How is it possible for three kids in a few early hours of the morning to dispose of all the evidence connected to Natalee Holloway ... not to mention a complete disappearance of her body? The three kids are not smart enough, nor is their judge-in-training coach. My concern is that there are too many people like Wendy Murphy just following the bandwagon.

Posted by: harry at August 3, 2005 6:44 PM

This response concerns the notion that the Aruban authorites may not want Natalee found. I believe this to be a reaction to the arrest warrant for TJ Ward.

Private investigators have rough reputation. They employ means of obtaining information that are not in keeping with police procedures. Naturally, their methods may offend some people. One group I suspect that is not too fond of probing into their affairs is the illegal aliens on Aruba. Case in point, the gardener-witness will be deported, after he has an appearance in court.

Aruba is an island in the stream. A lot of things happen in these places. The police are required to enforce the laws whenever they are broken. What else can be said? As an experienced private investigator, TJ must have known that he needed a special visa in order to conduct investigations in Aruba. Those who persuaded the gardener-witness to come forward had to know that he was an illegal alien. After all, they said that they checked him out and that he was credible. Unfortunately, his credible testimony did not unearth anything.

I believe the appropriate acknowledgment here is that whenever these private investigators uncover new witnesses they should take credibility more seriously. The Aruban authorities, I believe, are sending a clear message that they will not tolerate any more trumped up scenarios.

Posted by: harry at August 3, 2005 11:29 PM



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