May 09, 2006


Naked Birmingham
by Chuck Geiss

Why can’t we find Natalee Holloway?

Recently the Dutch and Aruban press have turned very critical of the Aruban police investigation into the disappearance of Holloway, the first public signal that corruption might be the major obstacle to solving the case. Several Dutch criminal law experts have gone on the record calling the investigation methods “strange and unprofessional” and the investigation itself “total madness.”

At the center of controversy is Gerald Dompig, Aruba's Chief of Police. According to reports, an anonynous man in tears called Dompig with information about where the body of Holloway was buried. A month passed before authorities began the search, yet ealier Dompig spoke openly with the press about new clues. “This is very strange,” said legal psychologist Peter van Koppen. “Normally the area is closed off immediately, to dig and search for clues, but not in Aruba.”

Menno Dolman, a criminal law expert at the University of Amsterdam, was also baffled by Dompig’s slow response. “It is incomprehensible that police, after an important tip about the location of Natalee Holloway’s body, would not go search immediately.”

Regarding Dompig’s leaks about the investigation, University of Leiden’s criminal law expert Hans Nijboer comments: “Total madness. It is against all principles and illogical to bring forth information about the tips before starting the search. [First] competent investigators investigate the case.”

Dompig, who recently resigned his post as Aruba’s Police Chief under mysterious circumstances, is becoming the center of controversy over many odd details related to the case. For example, Joran Van der Sloot and Deepak and Satish Kalpoe were quickly identified as the last people to see Natalee Holloway alive the evening of May 30. However, Dompig waited over a week to gather evidence from the Van der Sloot home, as well as a variety of other sites on the island that might have harbored clues about Holloway’s disappearance. It is widely known that Dompig and Joran Van der Sloot’s father are friends.

There are dozens of other details about Holloway’s disappearance that remain a mystery. Why did Stephen Croes (a DJ and local operator of a party boat) come forward early in the investigation to corroborate the first tale about the three boys having dropped Holloway off at the Holiday Inn, a story the three boys later admitted was a lie? Croes now says “he was trying to help,” but what was his motivation to stick his nose into such a high profile investigation if he knew the details weren’t the truth? Was he a plant intended to throw the investigation off course, or was he just stupid? (I say both...more of the latter, of course.)

Authorities remain tight-lipped about the fishing huts on the northwest corner of the island near the hotel where Holloway was staying. Shortly after Holloway disappeared, the fishing huts were vandalized and missing items included fishing cages and knives—equipment that could have been used to dispose of a body.

Forensic evidence taken from the Kalpoe’s vehicle that was later determined unusable was never recollected. Why? (A brown belt was found at the dunes, and it was thrown away saying, "This belt is too old." They also threw away some other pieces of evidence claiming they weren't useful and/or not applicable to the case. Also, what is the conclusion of all the evidence that was sent to Holland? It is my understanding that maybe some of the forensic testing has been done...but the Dutch said this case is not at the "top of their list". No one knows the results...if there WERE any results.)

There is a series of videotapes, now labeled “the Chicago tapes” (I have no idea why they are named that) that show island authorities in rental cars searching the northern dunes and painting rocks in areas where Holloway might have disappeared—activities that would obviously corrupt a crime scene. There is information about four boys seen carrying a shovel near the dump in the early morning hours of May 31, reports of suspicious automobiles near the Racquet Club, the fishing huts, and the dump during that evening, and information about a woman being attacked near the fishing huts eight days before Holloway disappeared. All those leads remain loose ends.

Following Dompig’s resignation, Geoffrey Van Cromvoirt was arrested
on April 16. News soon surfaced that Cromvoirt was friends with Michael Dompig, the son of Gerald Dompig. Both worked on the Aruban Visibility Team, a security group that patrolled the beaches at the hotels where Holloway was staying. Recent accounts in the Aruban newspaper Diario reported that the boys often boasted that they “had fun with female tourists, even impersonating or representing themselves as island police.”

It is coincidental, to say the least, that Cromvoirt’s father owned an island security firm that, among other things, was in charge of video surveillance at the Holiday Inn where Holloway was staying. Cromvoirt was released on April 24, but authorities say that he remains a suspect in the investigation.

Weeks ago, Gerald Dompig appeared in the American media to proclaim that “Holloway died of a drug or alcohol overdose,” but one day later told Dutch newspapers that “Holloway was raped and killed.”

Amid this most recent controversy, Aruban newspapers are now reporting that islanders have become resigned to the fact that Dompig and his team have botched the investigation. From all accounts, Aruba is a small island and like many small communities, everyone knows everyone else’s business, a fact that was very apparent during my interviews on the island 11 months ago. After almost one year of an investigation riddled with unresolved questions, incompetent police work, and lies, it is becoming easier to believe that this crime remains unsolved because of the efforts of a few people who actually don’t want to see justice served.

Someone knows what happened to Natalee Holloway, they just aren’t talking. Yet.


Sue said...

Do one of you ladies have a email i can sent you some stuff
I found something interesting last week
I shared with SM they found interesting
maybe another set of eyes might find it interesting also Jorans Missing Shoes

soxfan said...

The key to this case lies with the two security guards. That is why they have not pressed a lawsuit!

blackhawk said...

Another great article!
Its kinda mind boggling...ALE is beyond belief...People have to be aware that all the players are still in place on this Happy Crappy Island except for Koen and Joran...they had the money to run back home...but what will happen if we let things cool down??
We know what will happen they will be back to their old bag of tricks and tourist's will be there targets again...Young lady tourist's to be exact..Keep the pressure on and keep crushing them bigtime we still gotta crush the truth outta them,its the only way!!

Michelle said...


Email: I posted it on the first page now.

Anonymous said...

sue, please e-mail me about jorans

Anonymous said...

yea like I feel really good about taking a trip to Aruba. NOT !

what a bunch of creepy liars on that island.