June 01, 2007


The Best Quote of the Week:

"If these questions aren't answered, it would appear both cases (Natalee Hollway and Amy Bradley) will end in a whitewash and the Dutch justice system will receive a well-deserved black mark on its record. One can only guess about the repercussions to the tourist industry in these islands."

Another whitewash, or is it? And why ignore Curacao?

Natalee Holloway. It's a name that hangs like a cloud over the island of Aruba. Her disappearance two years ago has given both the island and its Ministry of Justice a black mark. Finally, after being on the sidelines for most of the past year-and-a-half, authorities from the Netherlands have acted.

This, of course, raises the question of just why it took them so long to discharge their judicial obligations with respect to an island that is listed as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Considering the glare of publicity given to the initial investigation by the island's police, as well as their lack of results and possible questionable procedures, the homeland authorities had to know what was happening. Especially since units of the Dutch Air Force were sent there in what became a show of noise without results.

A skeptic might ask if the current effort is only a political move or a serious initiative for solving this crime. One possible positive aspect might be the involvement of the Aruban police charged with combating drugs on the island. But that still means a section of a department that didn't distinguish itself in the first place is again being involved.

Another question is just why the prosecutor is evidently being promoted and sent back to the Netherlands. This is the same person whose efforts at arresting then quickly releasing suspects was named a "catch-and-release program," by TV host Nancy Grace.

Now that these investigators are already on Aruba, why stop there?

On the island of Curacao there is another case that demands their attention. Like the Holloway case, this one involved the disappearance of another American woman. But, in the case of Amy Lynn Bradley, it's known that she survived.

Ms. Bradley was kidnapped in March 1998 as the cruise liner she and her family were vacationing on docked at the island. Some passengers reported last seeing her with two men holding on to her as they walked along a deck. Minutes later, both men were seen again without Ms. Bradley.

Apparently, there are situations where unruly passengers, and maybe misbehaving crewmembers are removed from ships. Still it's a wonder that a woman, dressed only in a pair of shorts and a top, could have been taken off a ship without either being challenged or really noticed. Especially since a liner doesn't arrive at a dock without a crew there to receive it. I'll let the readers arrive at their own conclusions about this situation.

Things get even more curious in the months that followed. Shortly afterward the kidnapping, Mr. Bradley and his son headed a search party that returned to the island. Upon his arrival the Chief of the Harbour Police gave Mr Bradley a tour of the island. Bradley allowed that the tour didn't inspire confidence in this effort. Later he was told that the Chief made an interesting remark to members of the search party. In effect he told them the family should go ahead and search for her and get it out of their system, as they would never find their daughter.

At first glance, this might be a comment by a man that knew the island and what the family was up against. Over the next 11 months, other events transpired to give some doubt about just what this comment implied.
  • That fall, two Canadians encountered Ms. Bradley as she was being walked along a beach. After hearing reports about her, and remembering the tattoos she had, they reported this to the family.
  • Almost a year later, a US Navy petty officer, visiting a brothel located close to the harbor and off-limits to servicemen, met Ms Bradley. She identified herself to him and asked for his help. Unfortunately he chose not to report the incident for another two years.
  • When the family contacted authorities on the island, Mr. Bradley said they were told, "...we have no illegal prostitutes here." By that time the brothel didn't exist, as it had been demolished after being damaged by a fire.

This means that, for at least most of a year, Ms. Bradley was moved around the island in broad daylight as well as enslaved in a brothel right under the nose of the harbour police. Yet during all this time both the harbour and island police failed to find her, even they both knew about her kidnapping.

Another interesting fact is that apparently no one has found or identified the brothel owner. In the Bradley case, questions need to be asked, as three offences might be involved. This writer is certain that a civilized country like the Netherlands has sanctions against kidnapping. While there is a law in the Netherlands Antilles against forcing someone into prostitution, a Caribbean women's rights site explained it's never enforced on the islands.

Finally, since it is the 200th anniversary of the ending of the trans-Atlantic slave trace, there is a chance these laws are still on the books in the Netherlands. And this offence, if still enforceable, just might be a capital crime.

Both the Bradley and Holloway cases raise many questions. Another, for Aruba, is if any police or judicial officials will ever be disciplined if it's found they mishandled this case. On Curacao, will officials, and another individual, ever face justice or discipline over the Bradley case?

Both cases demand answers from the authorities based in the Netherlands, who have the judicial obligation in the islands. If these questions aren't answered, it would appear both cases will end in a whitewash and the Dutch justice system will receive a well-deserved black mark on its record. One can only guess about the repercussions to the tourist industry in these islands.


Anonymous said...

That was a good article. The writer is from carribeannetnews.com click on his name to his site. The writer get's the big picture

Richard said...

I have worked with the Bradleys for some six years in their search for Amy, doing research and offering ideas and "moral support." Many people now are aware that photographs of a woman on the Web site of an "adult vacations" resort in Venezuela have been identified as Amy Bradley. Experts have testified that they believe the photographs are her.

There have been "sightings" over the years, and the most recent of which I know was a few years ago. In this encounter, as in the brothel cited in the letter, Amy used her name.

The extent of human trafficking worldwide is immense. I am one of few people who believe that it might be the explanation for the Natalee Holloway mystery. I will continue to think that it could be the answer until we get confessions or until evidence is found.

What kind of evidence? Not Internet deductions; try a body, a crime scene or a confession that can be validated.

Natalee vanished two years ago. It may sound absurd to think that someone can be imprisoned or concealed from view for that period ... until we remember that the Austrian girl whose name I can't remember was concealed in a house for some eight to ten years.
And that was in her own country ... her own city ... with no cultural or language barrier.

Anyone who reads the news will find many inexplicable stories that, in a book, would be dismissed as too improbable. That doesn't prove that this scenario outlined above is true; but so far, no evidence of Natalee has been found on Aruba. We know that the chief of police Jan van der Straaten said that Natalee was dead, and when asked how he knew, replied, "Because I've seen the evidence and you haven't."

Curious, then, that a few months after that comment, Aruba asked neighboring nations to be on the lookout for Natalee. Curious, indeed ....

Anonymous said...

Dude! Do you seriously believe the BS you are writing? At least have the decency to get some your facts right before you start stating your conspiracy theories.

It is very clear to me that who ever wrote this article did not do so when emotionally stable or neutral. There is a high tone of hatred and contempt against the inhabitants of Aruba and Curacao.
As one of those proud inhabitants my self, i find it very sad to see that somebody is dedicating so much time in this pointless blog just to "bitch" about useless topics that are actually none of YOUR GODDAMNED BUSINESS