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Latest From Aruba; Missing at Sea

Aired August 1, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, 64 days with no word of Natalee Holloway. Nothing found at the bottom of that pond, and Natalee's mom heads back home for the first time in two months, while volunteers continue searching the landfill. Will investigators get any more out of the suspect in the new round of questioning tomorrow? We've got the latest from Aruba with Natalee's father, Dave Holloway, and her uncle, Paul Reynolds. Also, T.J. Ward, the private eye her family hired. Aruban attorney Arlene Ellis-Schipper, and renowned forensic doctor Henry Lee.
And then, a groom vanishes on his honeymoon cruise. Blood stains are found on the ship. Tragic accident or murder? The FBI explores the mystery, and so do we, next, on LARRY KING LIVE.

The Aruba story continues to mystify, and let's get a complete update with Susan Candiotti on the scene in Miami, who has followed this from the get-go. Susan, what's new?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, first of all, we expect that tomorrow, that Joran Van Der Sloot will have to go through another round of questioning, at least by Dutch investigators. They're going to try to get more information from him when they're scheduled to meet with him tomorrow. And he'll be transferred from the prison, from the detention section there, over to the police department, where this team of specialists, behavioral specialists will go over, perhaps, old ground and start to go over some new ground if that's possible, to perhaps give it a fresh outlook and question him again.

There's been another development as well. And that is today, for the first time, police are making a public plea to ask for anyone who might have seen a pair of sneakers, tennis shoes, size 14, described as white and blue and brand new.

This is coming from Joran Van Der Sloot. Police say that during the course of the many statements that they took from him, during one of them, he told them that he may have lost that pair of sneakers the night that Natalee went missing.

You know, it's not unusual for authorities during questioning about your whereabouts that night to ask you, OK, where were you, who were you with, what were you wearing? And so it's during the course of it, I'm told, that he mentioned that he might have lost this pair of tennis shoes.

They've been looking for them since the very beginning, haven't found them. Didn't see them in the landfill, didn't see them around the pond that they looked at the other day, or around town. He claims to have lost them at the beach in the fisherman's hut area, police tell me, the night that Natalee went missing.

KING: Dave Holloway is Natalee's father. What's your latest read on this incredible story?

DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE'S FATHER: Well, I don't know. You know, we've had 22 different stories from this guy, and he's going into interrogations tomorrow. I bet you that his father has already coached him today or yesterday. You know, as you're aware, he's an athlete, and his dad's a very good coach and a lawyer, or has been in the legal business for at least 22 years. And it's obvious to me that, you know, this guy, he goes through all of the interrogations, and then the next day, he meets with his father and they're coaching him to continue to stay strong. And I just hope that these -- this new set of team can get to the bottom of it.

KING: Paul Reynolds, do you believe, with your own logic, that he is somehow involved with your niece's disappearance?

PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE'S UNCLE: We're convinced of that. There's -- you know, the information that we have, the initial confrontation by my sister, the multiple stories that followed, and that they have admitted their involvement. They were last seen with her. We're convinced they have information. We're convinced they know what happened. And, you know, we think the clues to that are in the interrogation records that the police have, starting at the beginning of the time period in which he was missing, going forward with the interrogations after their detainment. And we just hope all that -- those pieces of the puzzle can be put together.

KING: T.J. Ward, private investigator hired by both families. Is this beginning to be like the duck story? It looks like a duck, it walks like a duck? This kid is involved?

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes, I believe so. I believe we have the right person under the microscope. I've been back on the island for about 24 hours, and we've gotten a lot of new leads that we're following up with, and hopefully, it will bring us to some new -- some new information. And I bring -- Wednesday, I have another associate joining me, Herald Phelps (ph), with the Norcross Group, who has 21 -- excuse me, 31 years of experience with the Federal Bureau of Investigation out of Miami. And he will be joining me to try to follow up with this information and leads that we have just received.

KING: Attorney Arlene Ellis-Schipper, why is law enforcement seemingly so slow in Aruba?

ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY: Well, I don't think they're slow. It's an ongoing investigation. They have been thrown a lot of curves herein, a lot of different stories. Of course, they are bound to search in regulations on how they can approach a suspect, and they have to abide by those rules. You just cannot hang a person just to tell you a story. You have to talk to him. And, of course, now they are trying all their resources, and one of their last resources is to get expert interrogators from Holland with behavior specialists.

KING: Dr. Henry Lee, are they going to have to find a body?

DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, they don't have to find a body, but they do need some type of physical evidence. Right now, you know, the duct tape did not pay off. Draining the pond did not pay off. Now, they start looking in the garbage dump.

The garbage dump, when I look at television, looks like they just randomly dig. When we search the garbage dump, first thing, you'll have to do some intelligence analysis, use logic, separating pile. They should look at the stuff after May 19th. Especially pay attention to May 20th, around that time, any letters, newspaper, and if we can isolate that time period, and you should sort the garbage piece by piece. Look for things (ph).

And, of course, this missing sneaker, now that is something new. Size 14. That's an unusual size, pretty large size. I don't think there's too many pair of size 14 in Aruba. And they should look for that. Some reason the disposed sneaker must have some kind of evidence on there.

KING: Susan, are authorities frustrated?

CANDIOTTI: Well, I think they're trying to be persistent. I don't know frustrated, but naturally, after this length of time, yes, they would have liked to have solved the case by then, but they tell me that they're being very methodical, trying to look at every possible angle. They have looked for these shoes at these various locations in the past, as an example. They did look at the landfill before, but they're supportive of Equusearch, if they want to go -- and they are going in there and going through the specific area that the witness thinks he thought he saw something, even though police don't think -- don't give much credibility to what that witness had to say.

Nevertheless, as I said, they're trying to, as they put it, leave no stone unturned as they try to solve this case.

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more. We'll also include your phone calls. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: Now, Dave Holloway, Natalee's father, doesn't it bug you that nothing seems to have been accomplished; that it's not the biggest island in the world. Where is she?

HOLLOWAY: You know, that's what I'd like to know, Larry. And I've said it several times: If we could just find which hay stack to search, I believe we could find the needle. You know, that's been the whole problem all along is: Where do we need to search? And you know, without any clues, you know, you just have to, you know, just basically search the entire island.

KING: Arlene, while Joran is being questioned tomorrow, can his attorney be present?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER: Yes, he can. He actually, if you recall, won the case to be present at the interrogations. Yes.

KING: And under Aruban law, would rules governing any interrogation be changed if he was formally summoned to court and charged?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER: I'm sorry. I don't understand your question.

KING: OK. We're having -- I'll come back to you, Arlene. We're having a little difficulty with your mic. Let's get a call in.

Phoenix, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. I love your show. Over the weekend, Tim Miller was at the Van Der Sloot home and he said that Equusearch wants to search the well. I believe that Van Der Sloot is likely keeping the evidence and-or her body at the bottom of the well. Can we not force the Aruban government to allow us to search that well?

KING: Paul?

REYNOLDS: Requesting a search warrant for some time now. I think it's very important that Tim Miller and Equusearch go in there and look at the property. It's very suspicious to us the way that the family was confronted at their property the very first time. And, you know, it's only a logical place for us to go in there and take some special equipment.

KING: Yes. Dave, why don't you -- don't you ask them? Why can't we get in there?

HOLLOWAY: Well, we've asked those questions and you know, we've been told the police have...

KING: What do they say?

HOLLOWAY: Well, they told us the police have searched the area and have searched the area with a dog at one time. How thorough that was, you know, I'm not sure.

KING: Dr. Lee, I know you're not there and you haven't been there, but where do your suspicions travel?

LEE: Well, my suspicions, you know, they disappear after midnight. So, you probably do a geographic analysis. Look at the area. If witness say he have a car, if we look at a vehicle, any trace evidence under the carriage and wheel well, maybe give us some clue, type of sand, sedimentation, casing material; any algae material, then try to do a systematic look and search.

Obviously, his house, we should look around. And they should ask another search warrant to look at the house and if the sneaker -- if you just threw it in the water, it would float on top. So, there must be weighted to something. If still do not see the sneaker, watch to the beach. Then they should watch the tide. Which way it goes and which beech you should look for and stuff.

KING: Henry, if God forbid there were a body in the landfill and it's been two months, what would it do to it?

LEE: That's terrible, Larry. If, at two months, in that kind of hot weather, decomposition definitely going to take place. Of course, one of the witnesses saw somebody with a plastic bag and the bag contents a body.

Now, that's kind of an interesting statement. If I understand correctly, it's a black-color plastic bag. So, the witness probably won't see through. And however, the witness says they saw the body. If the body in fact in the plastic bag, even decomposed, all the remain going to be in the bag and the bag itself could be a crucial evidence. We should at least look for fingerprint.

Also, the bag we could trace to original box, which is germantal (ph) analysis and striation mark and the machine mark on the plastic bag. We can actually trace back to the box.

KING: T.J. Ward, are you optimistic about coming to an answer here? You said you discovered some new things today and you've got more evidence maybe coming tomorrow. What do you think?

WARD: Yes. We've -- well, we've gotten some new evidence that we're following up with and we're going to see if it pans out. I will say I hope we have an opportunity and we've attempted to try to do this today, to talk to the witnesses about the pond, the gardener and also the person that brought the information to the landfill.

I have my layered voice analysis equipment with me and we can sure verify enough if they are being truthful or have any additional information, if we can sit down and talk to them.

KING: Arlene, with your knowledge of Aruba, are you confident about getting answers?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER: Well, it's a mystery, really. I don't know what the prosecutor has in file, but it seems to be still very thin. They will have to find some real evidence for them to be able to summon these suspects to court. If they don't, I don't think we will see a summation to court.

KING: I know Dave and Paul only have a few minutes left. Dave, what keeps you going?

HOLLOWAY: Well, I've said this a number of times. You know, you take each day as it comes. I left Meridian, Mississippi, with a prayer with my pastor that God give us strength to get through this. And so far, so good. He has held with us. And every day, we continue to get stronger and stronger.

KING: What about you, Paul?

REYNOLDS: You know, I'm continually encouraged by the massive efforts that I see, by the volunteers and other supporters, Equusearch and the police here. There's a massive effort draining the pond. So, I don't think the intensity of the investigation has diminished at all.

In fact, I think it's increasing and people are beginning to come forward. You know, the tip line and other people, I think, are feeling more confident that it's OK to come forward with information. So, you know, we're working our way through it and we're hopeful.

KING: One more call before you guys go.

San Pedro, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Hi. Sure.

CALLER: My question is why did Natalee's mother go back to Alabama yesterday? Because, she had said all along she would never leave until she found her.

KING: Dave, do you know why your ex-wife went back?

HOLLOWAY: I really don't know. She left Friday to take a break and she is returning, I believe, tomorrow.

KING: Thank you both very much. Dave Holloway and Paul Reynolds, I know you've got to leave us. T.J. Ward, Arlene Ellis- Schipper, Dr. Henry Lee and Susan Candiotti remain. We'll be right back with some more calls. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with T.J. Ward, the private investigator hired by the Holloway and Twitty families. Arlene Ellis-Schipper, the Aruban attorney. In New York is Dr. Henry Lee, one of the world's foremost forensic scientists. And in Miami is Susan Candiotti of CNN.

Let's take another call. La Grange Park, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I would like to ask the Aruban attorney as to why and what political clout that this judge has that he closed his office, but still seems to be controlling all the police.

KING: Arlene?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER: Well, I don't think he's controlling the police at all. He does not have political clout. As a matter of fact, this is a Dutch man that came to Aruba some years ago.

I do not agree with you that he has any influence on this investigation, other than he can talk to his son, of course. But that was also a battle, as you'll recall. The prosecution office strongly contested his visitation rights. So I really feel they have done everything possible to prevent that.

KING: T.J., do you agree? WARD: Somewhat. I believe from the beginning, some information that I found out, that there was a connection between Van Der Straaten and Van Der Sloot, and all along from the beginning of the investigation, I thought it would have been proper for Van Der Straaten to step down from his relationship with Van Der Sloot.

KING: To Kelowna, British Columbia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry?

KING: Yeah.

CALLER: Yes, my question, sir, is for Mr. T.J. Ward, if I may.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Can you ask Mr. Ward, from the very beginning, in the past 64 days, he mentioned very early on about those mine shafts. Can you tell me if anything is being done with respect to those mine shafts?


WARD: Well, well, I can't answer that. I don't know what the law enforcement officials are doing. As you're well aware, the information that law enforcement has is closed to the public and is also closed to us as investigators. I was brought here by the families to do a parallel investigation and to find what information we could, and if we found any new information, to turn it over to the Aruban authorities and the FBI. So I really can't answer that honestly, to know what the Aruban authorities are doing in the course of their investigation.

KING: Susan, as a reporter, what, in all of this, is the most puzzling aspect to you?

CANDIOTTI: Well, I think in the beginning, what puzzles me is how long it took before there was a more intense look at the three young men who were last with him. But in talking with the law enforcement authorities, they insist that they were following the book, that they did things the right way. They talked to them initially. Yet don't really explain why the length of time, but they insist that they did things the proper way, and they insist that they are trying to follow through on leads as best they can.

It would seem as though they went to all these places and looked for the shoes. They went to the house. They checked out the clue at the landfill. Yet this all remains a mystery. And it is, indeed, tough when you don't have a body or any, as far as we know, any real hard evidence.

What's striking to me the most, however, is the gardener, the witness who says that he saw the three suspects in a car the night that Natalee disappeared near the racquet club, which is somewhat near the beach. So, that seems to be an interesting piece of evidence.

KING: To Telford, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello, Larry, thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I have two questions, actually. One is, only the father and son know where Natalee is. I don't believe the relatives of Natalee have been aggressive enough in exhausting all search warrants on the property. Can the U.S. government get involved?

KING: Can they, Arlene? Can the U.S. government get more involved than it is?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER: No. The U.S. government does not have jurisdiction. We are a sovereign country. This is a locally investigation. Everything, every aspect of this investigation and of this suspected crime is concentrated locally. It does not cross international boundaries.

So, there is no grounds for an international or a foreign government to get involved.

Neither would Aruban government be involved if an Aruban girl would be lost on U.S. territory. You can compare it to that.

KING: Dr. Lee, what puzzles you the most, forensically?

LEE: Well, forensically, this case, really, so far, no evidence. And when you don't find any physical evidence, that becomes a difficult case. Now, 67 days later, this becomes a cold case now. As a matter of fact, this -- more in this afternoon, (INAUDIBLE) to all this, (INAUDIBLE) law enforcement officer, homicide detective, they have their annual meeting here, to talk about cold cases. This cold case, now you need a little luck. To find one piece of evidence. If we can find something, can link to him or a piece of evidence, say, linked to her, somehow we can use physical evidence to develop some question to reinterview the suspect.

KING: A little bit of luck.

Thank you all very much. Dr. Lee will remain with us in the next segment, when we talk about missing at sea. We thank, earlier, Dave Holloway and Paul Reynolds, T.J. Ward, Arlene Ellis-Schipper, and, of course, our own Susan Candiotti.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll take a break, and when we come back, another mystery story about a guy on his honeymoon, overboard. Where? What happened? Next. Don't go away.


KING: Heartbreaking accident or honeymoon homicide? Joining us in New York is Tim Green, the host of "A Current Affair," which has been doing daily coverage of the missing honeymooner story. Tim Green, a former NFL star. He's also a terrific novelist in the area of thrillers, and his new one, "Exact Revenge," as I told him, I'm halfway through it, is a great read. "Exact Revenge."

Staying with us in New York is Dr. Henry Lee. Also in New York is Vito Colucci. Vito is a private investigator and a former member of the Stamford (INAUDIBLE) attorney, who specializes in maritime and personal injury law. And in New York is Dr. Casey Jordan, criminologist, attorney, professor of Division of Justice and Law Administration, Western Connecticut State University.

Before we start, let's take a look at a clip from one of the reports on "A Current Affair" about this case. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've all heard the reports of blood stains found on a metal overhang near the cabin of George and Jennifer Smith, newlyweds on a honeymoon cruise when George vanished in the early morning hours of July 5th, somewhere between Greece and Turkey.

Now, for the first time, in this graphic photograph taken by a passenger aboard the Brilliance of the Seas, we can see what appears to be a dramatic blood print for ourselves, found on an awning two decks below the honeymooners' cabin.


KING: Tim Green, where is that ship now?

TIM GREEN, HOST, "A CURRENT AFFAIR": That ship is in the Mediterranean now, and we just learned today that FBI agents are back aboard that ship.

Now, unfortunately, the crime scene has been sanitized. In fact, Larry, there are guests staying in that cabin as we speak. The only presumption we can make is that the FBI agents are on board the ship to interview crew members, who may or may not have been on the cruise at the time of George Smith's disappearance. As we know, all the passengers have scattered to the four corners of the Earth.

KING: Vito Colucci, where is the widow?

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: The widow is not saying too much right now. I talked to a contact in Greenwich, Connecticut, today, and they told me that the FBI is working on some leads, and they've told both families not to talk to the press.

You know, that's their prerogative to do that. Most police departments wouldn't want people to talk to the press, even though people go ahead and do it.

I'm a little surprised, though, that the widow, or supposed widow at this point, has not gone on and pleaded with the tears to say, please, somebody come forward and help us on this case, anybody else that has seen something.

KING: James Walker, what do you make of it? JAMES WALKER, MARITIME ATTORNEY: Well, this is the typical situation that we see, unfortunately, in passenger injury or death cases. The investigations seem to start slow. The cruise line, of course, has already run this through their risk management department. They've sent their attorneys, their defense attorneys, their trial attorneys from Miami to the scene. The passengers have scattered. The crime scene is now floating around in international waters from port to port. It's going to be a very difficult situation.

This particular cruise line has never had a successful conviction of any crime on their ships, as far as we know, for the past 35 years, and it looks like this may be another statistic.

KING: Dr. Jordan, is it possible this may never be solved?

DR. CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: It's entirely possible. And in fact, it's probable. More people than you would think do go missing from cruise ships. It's not an everyday occurrence, but it doesn't usually make headlines. This one is making headlines because we have the photograph of the bloody awning, and we know that there's a lot of questions that are not yet answered.

We know that blood was discovered in a cabin by a cleaner, not by the wife. It wasn't the wife who reported him missing. So there's a lot that we don't know that happened in the early morning hours, that we're just now piecing together from other passengers who were on that ship.

KING: Tim, any motive being looked into here? Is there a wealthy insurance policy? Is the wife a suspect? Are there any suspects?

GREEN: Well, you're asking some good questions, Larry. First of all, I think that there's a possibility that the wife is involved. I don't think so. That seems highly unlikely. She was in a highly intoxicated state, barely able to walk. She's not a big woman. He's a big guy. I don't believe she could have injured him and then tossed him over. That's a four-foot railing. He's a big guy. I don't believe that's the case.

It's possible that he could have done some injury to himself and sent himself over that. I don't believe that's possible. This guy was seen with three young men, who people are talking about as the guys from Brooklyn, all right? Now, we don't know who these guys are. The FBI is not talking. The cruise line is not talking.

Guess what, Larry, those same three guys may be part of the five young men who were taken off the ship in Naples, Italy, questioned by authorities for an alleged rape of a young woman on that ship. They then, according to the Italian papers, they then produced three videotapes of the sexual act they committed with that young woman. Italian authorities exonerated them. However, the cruise ship kicked they and their families off the ship.

Now, there seems to be a connection. The best theory I've heard so far -- and again, this is a theory -- but the best theory I've heard so far is that quite possibly, both husband and wife were drugged. Someone put a drug into their drinks. They were both incoherent.

That would make sense if, in fact, these same people were drugging a woman to have, you know, to sexually assault her. Maybe they did that to the wife. Maybe George Smith came to in the midst of this, found them. They had an altercation. They killed him, sent him over the side.

The other thing that would make sense about this theory is that if, in fact, a drug was given to Jennifer, she may very well not remember anything about it, because these drugs typically are amnesiacs.

KING: Dr. Henry Lee, from your vantage point, what's your read on this one?

LEE: Well, this case, of course, in it has -- there are a couple so-called manner of the death -- homicide, suicide, accidental death, or nature caused. We can safely eliminate nature cause. The suicide, probably highly unlikely. So you leave two most likely possibility, one is a homicide, one is accidental death.

Now, how can we determine that's a homicide or accidental death?

KING: Right.

LEE: We have a picture. That picture, however took at an angle, is from a camera lens (INAUDIBLE) towards this angle. So we should try to do an image enhancement to determine that how much blood actually there.

We know a normal person have about 71.4 cc per kilogram. We use his body weight, estimate here how much blood, and are those blood the whole blood, or diluted (ph) blood? Because that picture only show me the center portion. Looks like the whole blood. The periphery area looked like a very diluted (ph). Then we should enhance it to see in a high-velocity blood splatter, medium-velocity impact splatter, try to reconstruct.

To reconstruct, we have to go to that location, measure the awning, measure the size, put this in port (ph), then we can figure out these are dragging mark or just a floating pattern (ph).

KING: But the ship is out to see.

LEE: That's easy. You just, you know, same type of ship, same type of awning, or same type of material. We can reconstruct.

KING: OK. By the way, Royal Caribbean says that they are saddened. They send their deepest sympathies to the wife and family, and they continue to cooperate closely with the FBI. The FBI says we believe the circumstances warrant a thorough investigation, which is active and ongoing, and they will have no further comment on this at this time.

We'll include your phone calls. More with the panel right after this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the early morning hours of July 5th, people report hearing arguments, banging and loud voices coming from the Smiths' cabin, followed by a horrific thud, which awakened other passengers.

The next day, a large blood stain was seen on the metal awning under the Smiths' cabin. Had any of these young men been in the room? Do they know what went on? Answers are hard to come by.



KING: Attorney James Walker, concerning jurisdiction, I want to get this right: George Smith is an American. Whatever happened, apparently happened between Greece and Turkey in international waters. Turkish authorities were called in after the ship docked there. The ship sails under the flag of the Bahamas. Where was this crime, if it was a crime, committed?

WALKER: Well, there's -- it's a good issue. You've got a head in, of course, that the cruise ship itself is an African company in Monrovia, Liberia. There's really no jurisdiction over this particular situation. The International Maritime Association, the IMO, let's shipping companies like Royal Caribbean pretty much create their own play book regarding what they're going to do and who they're going to notify.

Their play book says that when you have a U.S. citizen who is a victim of a crime either in international waters or in the territory waters of a country, they are to eventually report the crime to the FBI or to the U.S. Consulate.

It doesn't really matter if the crime occurs in international water or territory waters of a country. Those countries are not going to investigate these types of crimes with U.S. citizens. No one really has jurisdiction. It all falls back into the FBI's lap. Of course, the FBI is not in the business of searching and solving disappearances at sea. And it creates real problems for solving these types of crimes.

KING: Vito, what has your investigation told you so far?

COLUCCI: Well, I think the most important thing, Larry, is that as an investigator, you can't get a mind-set on one specific thing. You have to keep all options open on something like this. Not too long ago, there was that big case in Camden, New Jersey, the three missing boys. I talked on the air about that. They kept concentrating on the Delaware River. The Delaware River. Even the blood hounds were picking up a scent going down to the Delaware River.

What happened? The kids's bodies were found in the trunk right where they live. You have to keep all options open. Don't forget, this crime was between 2:00 and 4:00 am. At 8:00, people exited that boat. Now, what I mean by that: It's a long shot and it's totally a long shot, but Mr. Smith could have walked off that boat. OK?

I need to eliminate that. It's a total long shot, but I need to look at video surveillance. I need to see who got off that boat, who got back on it. And again, I do not believe that's what happened, but you have to keep all options open. The worst thing as an investigator -- you have to use common sense and not lock into one specific thing in your mind.

KING: Pulaski, Tennessee, as we take some calls. Hello?

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering if they had checked the passenger list to see if there was someone that the bride or groom may have known on that ship.

KING: Dr. Jordan, wouldn't that be a pretty good bet they did that?

JORDAN: Well, I'm sure they did. I mean, in some ways, you're kind of blessed, because your suspect list is going to be taken from your passenger list and your employee list. Whoever is responsible for the disappearance of George Smith is on those lists, one or the other the employee or passengers.

So, you can start whittling it down from there. I think the biggest issue that we're dealing with at this point, is the fact that investigators came in hours and even days late when many passengers had gotten off the boat, taken tours. Some may have gotten back on, some may not have gotten back on.

So, you have a lot of avenues. We know that people who went and reported the noise, the thuds, the yelling, the screaming to ship personnel, when they were interviewed by the cruise attorneys later, the attorneys had no idea that reports had been made. So, there was a real disconnect from witnesses coming forward at the very beginning and the follow-up investigation that happened later.

KING: Tim green, you think he might have walked off the ship?

GREEN: No. I think he was murdered and put over the side by more than one strong man. I'll tell you one thing about the FBI that disconcerts me is the fact that we -- "A Current Affair" is out there, finding witnesses surrounding this event, who haven't been interviewed yet by the FBI.

We spoke to Cleat Hymen (ph), who's a deputy chief of police in Redwood, California, last week. And this is the guy who was in the cabin directly next door to the Smiths. He hadn't spoken to the FBI. He came on "A Current Affair." We asked him some questions about it; what he heard.

He heard noises. He heard men's voices. He heard a woman's voice. He heard a loud thump. He heard things being moved around in the middle of the night. And then, the next day he gets a call from the FBI which says don't talk to the media anymore and by the way, we'll be there Friday to interview you.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll be back with more. Extraordinary. Doesn't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Around Cromwell, you won't hear talk of polygraphs or crime scenes, only sympathy for newlywed Jennifer Hagel (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rumors are rumors, but I mean, you know, you feel, you know, for the family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone is pretty much upset over it and shocked. It's pretty horrible, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a young couple starting out their lives and they haven't even had a chance.



KING: Bakersfield, California. Hello?

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering, how long did the couple know each other before they got married?

KING: Vito, do you know?

COLUCCI: No, I don't, Larry. I don't know on that at all. I mean...

KING: Do you know, Tim?

GREEN: I want to say somewhere between one and two years. I'll say this, too, Larry, that witnesses on board the ship describe this couple as very happy, very loving, very warm, very friendly to other people as well.

KING: Do you think she's a suspect, Casey?

JORDAN: No, I don't think she's a suspect at all. I do think that there is a lot of information she has that we're not privy to. And that may be a good thing, especially if the family has its own investigation going privately, which considering all these issues with jurisdiction, is probably a good idea.

But I would guarantee that Jennifer knows something, a lot more than she's saying. You know, she was found at 9:30 on an entirely different deck of the boat. Something happened during that night. She was in the disco. He was in the casino. We don't really know, but I think she knows and I think that -- I'm hoping she's using that information to help her own investigators.

KING: Vito, are you working for anyone? COLUCCI: No. Not on this. I have made some overtures to some people who gave my name to the Smith family, but nothing as of yet.

KING: Miami, hello?

CALLER: Hi. I was wondering, I worked for Royal Caribbean a couple of years back, and I know for a fact when you reboard a ship, when you get off at port, you need a boarding pass. And then Tim's indicated the Brooklyn brothers were thrown off the ship back in Italy. How would it be possible for them to have reboarded the ship?

KING: Yeah. Tim Green, have you got an answer?

GREEN: The five young men who were taken off and questioned in Italy by the authorities regarding the alleged rape were not allowed to reboard the ship by the captain. Now, they were exonerated by Italian authorities. The Italian authorities viewed these three videotapes -- this is a report in an Italian newspaper -- viewed these three videotapes that they concluded the sex was consensual sex.

Let me just point out, again, another point about that. If there was a date rape drug involved, oftentimes if someone is under the influence of one of those drugs, an act like that might appear consensual, but might not actually be consensual. And that same type of drug, again, to Casey's point, could also lead to someone having no memory whatsoever of a crime that was committed against them or against their husband. But the five guys did not get back on the ship.

KING: Dr. Lee, do you think it's possible this will never be solved?

LEE: Well, this is another mystery, and, of course, in my opinion, we should go back to the cruise, look at the room, use some chemical, such as luminol, (INAUDIBLE), spray the room, use some light sources to see any remaining evidence. And if we can find some remaining evidence, then we can find the point of origin.

KING: Jim Walker, wouldn't you assume they're doing that?

WALKER: You're talking about the FBI? Yes, I would assume that they may be doing that.

KING: Yeah, we may assume...

LEE: Larry, we can't just assume that. But we should, you know, take a serious look of the scene, try to reconstruct what did happen.

KING: All right. James Walker, do you agree?

WALKER: Well, Larry, the problem with many of these cases with the cruise lines is the evidence is spoliated at such an early date -- you know, if you look at that photograph of that awning covered with blood, if something like that happened in your studio, you could figure out quite easily how to put a tarp over it, how to keep the cleaning crews away. It's just incredible that this type of spoliation of evidence happens. And it, unfortunately, happens quite often with the cruise lines.

They understand that they're foreign-based companies. They have always resisted federal regulation. They try to avoid income tax. They try to avoid U.S. wage laws, and so forth and so on. They think that they can get away with these types of things.

That should have been done. The ship shouldn't have left port. They could have taken the passengers off, refunded their money, made a claim for business interruption insurance, and not be out of pocket anything. That ship shouldn't have left Turkey. They should have had a team of forensic people on it, doing it at an appropriately early time.

What they did is they just turned the ship around, and took off, and kicked the band up and passed out pina coladas, and the party continued.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments on this extraordinary matter. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Passengers who were with Smith shortly before he disappeared tell News 12 Connecticut Smith had been drinking in a bar and was brought back to his room by several other passengers. He is presumed to have fallen overboard and drowned, but his body has not been found.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's sad. It's very sad. And I just want to pray for them, because they're great community people and they're very supportive. And they're just wonderful people.



KING: We're back. Dallas, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks for taking my call.

KING: Hi. Sure.

CALLER: How often does this happen? Surely, this case isn't unprecedented, but I've never heard of anything like this before. I mean, what kind of records are kept? Or -- surely, this isn't the only time it's happened.

KING: Well, the note that we got from Royal Caribbean said: "Incidents such as Mr. Smith's disappearance are extremely rare. More than 3.5 million guests sail safely on Royal Caribbean ships each year."

How rare, Vito?

COLUCCI: It's not that rare. This has brought to light a lot of things, Larry, that have been going on, not only on this cruise line, but on many other cruise lines, which just goes to show, with the Aruba case and this case, when you get away from the good police departments in our country and you put your hands in security guards that are out there three hours later scrubbing the blood away, you know, it's -- put yourself in bad situations. It's happening more and more, and we're going to see more and more of this.

KING: James, do you agree?

WALKER: The statistics show that one out of every million passengers go missing.

And let's bring that into context. There are about 8 million passengers a year who go sailing. The analysts suggests that it's going to go up to 10 million, it's going to go up to 20 million a year by the end of the decade, and if those statistics hold true, you're going to have 10 or 20 people go missing.

Now, this is the tip of the iceberg with other types of crimes -- rapes, physical assaults and batteries and so forth. There are many crimes that happen on the ship. The cruise lines are in the business of selling dreams. They don't want you to know about this. But they do happen quite often.

KING: Dr. Jordan, doesn't that shock you?

JORDAN: I think it doesn't shock me, because one of my own students from Western Connecticut State University went missing off a cruise ship several years ago, and it's been horrific for the family.

You know, it's -- most people dismiss it as he went outside to get a breath of fresh air, probably drinking, probably fell overboard. But not knowing the answers is just hell on Earth for these families, not having a body to recover, and basically having a cruise ship line that very often disavows any knowledge and any responsibility. It is a -- you know, it's not an everyday occurrence.

I know also from people who work in the barge and shipping industry that when they find smugglers and castaways on board, these people go overboard intentionally sometimes. So, you know, the whole idea of the cruise ship missing passengers -- it is extremely rare, but when it happens, it's a horrific experience for the families.

KING: Tim Green, we've got about 30 seconds. Is "A Current Affair" going to stay on top of this?

GREEN: We're going to stay on it for a while, Larry, but I really hope that the family, George Smith's family takes a page out of Natalee Holloway's family's playbook, and comes out, talks to the media, keeps this case alive. Because if they don't keep this case alive, it is going to be just another cruise, you know, crime at sea that people are going to forget about. I think the family and their legal counsel, unless they know who did it and the FBI is closing in on them right now, they need to come out and talk.

KING: Well said. It is a puzzlement. Tim Green, his book, by the way, "Exact Revenge," as we said earlier, terrific read, the host of "A Current Affair." Dr. Henry Lee. Vito Colucci, the private investigator. The attorney specializing in maritime, James Walker. And the criminologist and attorney Dr. Casey Jordan. We thank them all for joining us.

Tomorrow night, we'll look at another missing case, a husband gone missing. Michelle Kramer (ph), the wife, will be with us. We'll look into that.

Here's a man who's never missing. "NEWSNIGHT" -- well, sometimes. "NEWSNIGHT" is about to join us and he's next. Remember (INAUDIBLE) or were you too young? Mr. Keen, tracer of lost persons? It was a great radio show.



BROWN: I'm a little -- we've finally found something I'm a little too young for.

KING: You ain't never been lost. If we need something on the scene, we can always say, here's Aaron Brown.

BROWN: I'm occasionally wayward, though. Thank you, Mr. King.


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