I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Natalee Halloway - the end

Nancy Grace, Greta van Susteren and Beth Twitty are furious that Aruban authorities have all but closed the case on Natalee Halloway's disappearance. I wrote the following at the time placing the blame on Natalee's parents.
With all of the coverage I see no blame placed on the parents of Natalee Halloway. Yes they are to blame as are all of the parents who not only allow but pay for their high school seniors to go on these trips. It is irresponsible parenting to allow a recent high school graduate to take off unsupervised to an exotic location at the time in their life when they are most likely to do something irresponsible and stupid. An unsupervised 17 or 18 year old in a location where alcohol and even drugs are readily available is courting disaster.

My message to Natalee's mother is this. While I feel your pain and sympathize with you, do something constructive. Admit that it was a mistake to allow her to take the trip and tell the parents of future high school seniors of the dangers of such irresponsible decisions.
Over at the Moderate Voice Shaun Mullen seems to agree:
As the father of a son and daughter who were once 18 years old, I had a hard time reconciling how a bunch of teenagers could be allowed to booze day and night (even if Arbua’s drinking age is 18), do drugs, screw and otherwise carry on.

It turned out that Natalee was rip snorting drunk and had sex with at least one of the primary suspects. Before you could say “boffo Nielsen Ratings,” this bimbette — a straight-A student who apparently missed school the day common sense was taught — had pushed the Iraq war and other major stories from the top of CNN’s newscasts. Beth Twitty, Natalee’s beyond obnoxious mother and a fount of bad information, soon became as familiar a fixture on the station as Condoleezza Rice.

Police, soldiers, volunteers and tracking dogs combed hillsides and beaches of the 75-square-mile island. A pond was partially drained, a landfilled picked apart and the seabed offshore combed by divers. Dutch fighter jets equipped with search equipment conducted overflights.

Investigators interviewed hundreds of potential witnesses, but unlike their American counterparts would not talk to reporters on or off the record.

This really pissed off Nancy Grace, Greta van Susteren and other TV talking heads who proceeded to dump all over the Dutch legal system because it differed from the U.S. in some significant ways, and we know how perfect our system is. In retrospect, it is apparent that Natalee’s mother and her posse from Alabama did as much to hamper the investigation as help it.

Having covered a goodly number of missing person and murder cases, my hunch is that in the absence of a body or even a shred of evidence of a crime, a bombed Natalee stumbled or fell off a cliff and into the ocean where she became shark chum. Were any of the three primary suspects present, let alone hands-on participants in her demise? Given that none of them have admitted as much after nearly three years of on again, off again grilling, I tend to doubt it.
As I said at the time this was a case of bad parenting and the right thing for Beth Twitty to do would have been to use her celebrity status to warn other parents of the dangers.

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