Sunday, November 04, 2007

loving natalee

i just finished reading the book "loving natalee" by natalee holloway's mom, beth.


you'd have to be living under a rock the past couple of years to not have heard the story of natalee holloway, the high school senior who went missing the last night of her senior trip in aruba. the story itself, had always saddened me. i mean, i get totally caught up and involved in SOME missing person cases (i say some, because not all affect me.. only certain ones do.. just add that to my list of weirdness). they break me. i don't know why, but they do. natalee's story just sucked from the moment it happened. even before reading the book, i had thought the 3 boys who were with her the night she disappeared, knew exactly what happened to her. and with the news stories that followed, i sat there scratching my head at how the boys had basically admitted to something bad happening to her, and then they retracted it.. and their stories changed two or three times.. and how the main suspects (joran van der sloot) dad was friends with the cops, and how the whole case just seemed super fucked up and botched and just not right. i don't know anyone who thinks those 3 boys are innocent. they know exactly what happened to her, and after reading this book, i believe that even more.

this book didn't give me a ton of information that i didn't already know (although there were definite jaw droppers, head scratchers, and heartbreakers), but what it did tell me, was just further proof of how messed up this case was from day one. i felt and still do feel bad for beth holloway. i guess you never truly realize just how differently cases are handled in another country, until you have to personally deal with one. beth's account of the days leading up to natalee's trip in aruba is just heartbreaking, because you know what's coming. her stories about the police and how she was treated and handled, is frustrating as a reader. you feel her pain. you put yourself in her position and you never wish that type of shit on anyone. she talks in her book about how you expect certain things just from growing up in the united states. and you expect these procedures to carry over no matter what country you're in, but that is just simply unrealistic. it just doesn't work that way. other countries are not the united states. and when it comes to something like this, it's truly a shame. these 3 boys got away with murder. whether it was accidental or not- they got away with it. and everyone knows it. and they have to live with it. i hope someday one of them breaks. you can't hold truth like that in forever. you can't. one day, one of them will slip up. and i hope someone strong enough to tell, will be around to hear it. natalee and her family deserve that much.

for me, i can simply pledge that i will never visit aruba. i won't give them my tourism dollars, and i will talk anyone out of visiting there that asks my opinion about it. i won't recommend it to honeymooners, vacationers, families, or anyone. i had already had this opinion before reading the book, but now i just stand by it even more. i don't blame the entire island for the action of 4 (joran's dad is so fucking guilty as well) individuals, but after hearing how scary matters are handled there, i simply wouldn't feel safe. if something happened to me there, the island would just write me off and say i'm in some drug house and i'll turn up sooner or later. and anyone who knows me knows that's a bunch of crap. i hope that aruba has felt a financial pinch since the natalee holloway "thing" happened. i hope they put pressure on the 3 boys who live there. i hope the locals are sick to their stomach's with how the police handled the case. everything about how this case was handled, was beyond wrong. how do people sleep at night?


Alison said...

Missing persons cases always get to me too, especially when the person missing is someone young, like Natalee. I know just the basics about this case so the book would probably be an interesting read for me. Go ahead and send it down, along with Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook. Thanks, Hooch. :)

CP said...

There definately was some sort of cover up involved. It seems whoever has money can just make things...or rather, people just disappear into thin air. My heart aches for that poor mother never recovering her daughters body.


sisterfriend said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post. I was just thinking the other day that I haven't heard any updates on this case. Is it just totally closed now? Is there any searching still going on or is it a lost cause? I also believe that the three boys are guilty and that the whole situation was so incredibly sketchy. It's sad. I think Natalee's mom deserves an answer.

RWA said...

Since this is very local to me, it pops up in the news now and then. But there hasn't been much progress.

There just isn't any evidence, and the folks down there can't make up their minds which of the stories from which of the boys to believe.

It has been handled very poorly. Unfortunately, the more time that passes, I think it's less and less likely anyone will ever know what really happened.

Anonymous said...

This one gets me too...

And Aruba used to be my favorite vacation spot...Now I'm scared to ever go back.

Meg said...

Oh it's so sad. When I was a teen, I never knew why my parents freaked out when I wanted to go to Mexico alone, but know I realize why. It wasn't because they thought I would party too much (even though I would)! I will definitely be that same mean parent to my kiddo when she gets older. It's scary out there.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the US Army just go down there and excavate the whole island until they find her? It is so small.

Good work, Jenn. I too will no longer recommend that people go to Aruba.

dana said...

It's terribly sad that Natalee's life was stolen from her. It makes me sick. I can't think of anything worse than a parent losing a child and not knowing what happened. I'd have nightmare's about it for the rest of my life.

I do believe those three boys will have to pay for their crime on judgment day. They can't get away with it forever.

jennster said...

the case isn't closed... but it got to the point that natalee's mom felt like her life was threatened if she stayed on the island. the island was tired of the bad press. people started to follow her and ask her when she was leaving. insinuating that it should be SOONER, rather than later. apparently the island is so small, that people literally feared for their lives during the course of this case. the aruban officials stated that the FBI was welcome on the case, but they never handed over 1 single piece of paper, tape, confession, or any piece of evidence for their examination. they weren't allowed to do anything. it's sickening. truly.
hopefully one day, one of the boys will slip up. joran's dad definitely knows what happened, and definitely helped cover it up. i understand that people would FREAK OUT if they accidentally killed someone- but still... an accident is better than freaking intentional murder, is it not?!?! i think that's what happened. i think she accidentally died, and he freaked and daddy helped get rid of the body. i don't think natalee's mom will ever stop staying involved in this case- but really, what can she do?

Lisa said...

I had chills the whole time I was reading your review of the book and all of the stuff that happened then.

It is heartbreaking. Like you said. How do they sleep at night?

Linlee said...

I didn't even realize this book was out there. I'll have to read it. I read the Laci Peterson book and I couldn't put it down. I read it in one night.

RWA said...

If I remember correctly the island is only about 12 miles long and three miles wide (or something along those lines).

It is not very big.

And, dead or alive, I seriously doubt that she is still on the island. With the search crews that went down there from the United States, someone would have found her on that small island.

jennster said...

r- that's what you would think.. but natalee's mom says in the book how there are so many places to hide a body.. and how everyone knows everyone on the island.. and the whole search warrant thing, and they never searched the car, etc adn so on and so forth

Peg said...

"Loving Natalee was a bittersweet tale for me to read because I am also a mom who got the dreaded phone call, the parent no one wants to be. The one whose phone rang out of the blue in the middle of the day and the voice on the other end said, Your daughter is missing".
On page 204, a young college student, Julie Popovich is mentioned.
Julie was my daughter.
It was soon after that I met Beth Holloway, a more gracious women I have never met.
We were very blessed that Julie's body was found. Unfortunately, after 21 days of exposure to August heat and rain, only skeletal remains were discovered. But we were able to celebrate her life in a beautiful sservice attended by more than 800 guests. She was laid to rest next to her beloved grandmother, and I visit her grave often, leaving flowers, birthday cards, holiday decorations, and anything "Hello Kitty". I miss and mourn her loss desperately, but I thank God everyday that she was discovered. As Mrs. Holloway stated on the Oprah show recently, not knowing is the greatest agony.