June 18, 2007


**Another great post by Natalee's Freebirds!



Within days of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance the Aruban government was fast at work on phase one of covering up her crime by inserting government spokespeople onto media and internet outlets. These front men for the government immediately began a campaign of deception about the case and rumors against Natalee Holloway and her family.

One most notable spokesperson is Arlene Ellis-Schippers, a relative of a suspect in this case. The Aruban government and business leaders embarked on a disinformation campaign in the media and on the internet within days of Natalee Holloway going missing. This started by suggesting she was a runaway but soon elevated into a full blown effort to blame Natalee for her own death and cast suspicion on her family and fellow Mountain Brook students in both the media and on the internet.

Unfortunately for Aruba their misinformation campaign backfired repeatedly, the more intense it became. Americans only became more suspicious that a cover-up was taking place for the obvious three suspects, in particular the judge's son, and were more outraged. This has resulted in the whole island of Aruba being blamed for the actions of a few.

The second phase of government corruption began when it became obvious Joran van der Sloot, the son of a judge-in-training, would be unable to avoid arrest. Both Aruban government officials and Dutch judges stepped in to block the investigation and deter evidence from being collected. Aruba public ministry official Ben Vocking and Dutch judge Bob Wit blocked a search of the van der Sloot main residence twice—once when Joran was arrested and a second time when his father was arrested. The van der Sloot residence was never fully searched for nearly TWO YEARS.

The third phase of corruption belongs to the Dutch judges from Curacao who ruled on the case. These judges, who worked with Paulus van der Sloot, used the judicial system to make sure Joran van der Sloot and the other two suspects, brothers Deepak and Satish the Kalpoe were freed from further testimony in the case. The last person to be seen with Natalee Holloway, Joran van der Sloot was freed from detention on September 3, 2005 and released unconditionally by the Dutch judge Rick Smid. Upon his release he immediately fled to Holland.

Listed below are Aruba’s key yes-men, and their role in obstructing justice in the Natalee Holloway case:


Arlene Ellis-Schipper- media spokesperson for the tourism group AHATA and cousin of another suspect, Guido Wever

Arlene was one of the early spokespeople to appear on U.S. mainstream media. Her most famous comment, which she repeated on several occasions, was "There is no evidence!" She also made the comment "This case is thin, thin, thin..." on Fox News.

It was later discovered that Arlene Ellis-Schipper had a set of very disturbing conflicts of interest in the case: First, she is a cousin to one of the suspects arrested in the case, Guido Wever, a close personal acquaintance of Joran van der Sloot who was arrested for "heavy battery" against Natalee Holloway.

Secondly, Ms. Schippers was forced to reveal in a television interview that she was being paid by the AHATA, a tourism group that has been documented with spreading misinformation about Natalee Holloway and her family throughout the case.

Ms. Ellis-Schippers was later caught in a blatant lie, insisting Beth Twitty had met with Karin Janssen on a trip to Aruba, a fact that was later debunked by Twitty herself. Arlene Ellis-Schippers should have been prevented from ever talking to the U.S. media as a legal analyst for Dutch law as her cousin, Guido, was brought in for questioning within the first few days of the case. Yet she was allowed to remain as a spokesperson for well over a year.

Guido Wever fled the island of Aruba to Holland just seven days after Natalee Holloway disappeared.


Jan van der Straten- lead investigator for the Aruba Police Department and close friend of Paulus van der Sloot

Jan van der Straten's role as lead investigator in the first two months of the Natalee Holloway case demonstrates the obvious conflicts of interest found in the Aruba investigation. Van der Straten was, by Paulus van der Sloot's own public admission, a "close friend" of Van der Sloot.

Van der Straten would have been very instrumental in the decision not to arrest the three main suspects in Natalee's disappearance until 10 days after she vanished, even though he knew almost immediately that they lied about dropping the Alabama teen off at the Holiday Inn.

Van der Straten would have also been involved in the decision to arrest two black security guards on June 5, 2005 which in effect prolonged the time given to the three suspects to cover their tracks and eliminate any evidence that should have been collected immediately upon the discovery of the Holiday Inn lie.

Van der Straten stated to Dutch media on June 12, 2005 that he believed Natalee was no longer alive and when asked by the reporter why he would make such a comment he responded, "Because I know the evidence and you don't." Interestingly, two years later the lead investigator has never explained what that evidence is.

He also made comment months after he retired and moved to the neighboring island of Bonaire that the case should have been solved early on but that there were "people who didn't want to cooperate." Since suspects rarely cooperate, Van der Straten had to have been talking about a corrupt Aruban government and Dutch judiciary.

Any high-ranking official with such a close relationship to a suspect's parent should have recused himself or alternately been forced off the case, but this is Aruba, a country in the grip of Mafia control who never saw a conflict of interest they didn't like.


Ben Vocking- Aruban public ministry official and close friend of Paulus van der Sloot who blocked the search of the Van der Sloot property

Ben Vocking, also known as Ben King, is an Aruba public ministry official who worked with the prosecutor's office and was the former head of KIA prison on the island. Ben Vocking curiously took a leave of absence from his government job the day after Natalee Holloway disappeared to help his friend Paulus Van der Sloot as he dealt with his son's apparent participation in her disappearance. Joran Van der Sloot was arrested on suspicion of murder on June 9, 2005.

Vocking laid low for two weeks purportedly staying at the Van der Sloot residence. He surfaced on June 15, 2005 at the door of the Van der Sloot home with Dutch Judge Bob Wit to block the search of the Van der Sloot property when the police and prosecution authorities arrived with a full search warrant.

Vocking and Wit successfully limited the search of the Van der Sloot main residence and property to Joran's small apartment only. They would do so again two weeks later when the father, Paulus van der Sloot, was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Why would a government official and friend of two murder suspects be allowed to intermingle and co-conspire with a judge to block a search of their residence? This is just one more piece of evidence that strongly suggests widespread corruption in the case.


Judge Bob Wit- Judicial associate of Paulus van der Sloot who disallowed the search of the Van der Sloot residence

When a full search warrant was presented at the Van Der Sloot home on June 15, 2005, Dutch Judge Bob Wit of Curacao (along with public ministry official Ben Vocking) met law enforcement and prosecution authorities at the door to inform them their search would not include the main Van Der Sloot residence or the surrounding property.

Wit had personally changed the order to include only Joran’s small apartment behind the home. Judge Bob Wit intervened again eight days later when Joran’s father Paulus Van Der Sloot was arrested for reasonable suspicion in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, once again blocking a search of the Van Der Sloot home.

Without question Bob Wit knew Paulus van der Sloot - they worked on cases together and appear to be very good friends judging from such an outrageous ruling. Since when do arrested murder suspects get immunity from having their houses searched?

Judge Bob Wit needs to answer this question in the open forum of the Caribbean Court of Justice, rather than hide behind the opaque wall of Dutch law.


Judge Rick Smid- Judicial associate of Paulus van der Sloot who granted Joran van der Sloot his freedom Dutch

Judge Rick Smid, also ruling from the bench in Curacao, is responsible for Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers being free today. It was Judge Rick Smid who released the three suspects and gave them an unconditional release granting them immunity from further questioning in the case. Police statements and secret recordings of the three suspects suggest intimate knowledge of "something bad" happening to Holloway. He was also aware that Joran van der Sloot had lied repeatedly in his police statements. Judge Rick Smid chose to ignore this and grant immunity instead. Upon his release, Joran van der Sloot fled the island of Aruba to Holland where he currently resides.

Why would a judge exempt a suspect from further questioning knowing he had lied numerous times in his statements and had given conflicting testimony regarding other suspects? Judge Rick Smid also worked with Paulus van der Sloot in the Dutch judiciary system and therein the answer may lie.


Police Chief Gerold Dompig- The man who took over the investigation and was fired for his actions

Police Chief Gerold Dompig took over the Natalee Holloway investigation after Jan van der Straten retired in July of 2005. Before getting his pink slip in March of 2006, Dompig was responsible for numerous blunders and outright conflicts of interest that no doubt sealed his fate.

It was Chief Gerold Dompig who announced in Vanity Fair magazine and in a CBS television interview that he had a witness who had seen Natalee Holloway with drugs during her trip to the island. It was later revealed that his witness was his cousin, Boeti Naar, a well-known local drug dealer who lives in a plywood box on the beach in Aruba. What was Dompig's motivation for using such a dubious witness to tag Ms. Holloway as a drug user?

It was also revealed that Dompig was a spokesman for the tourism group AHATA, a clear conflict of interest that undoubtedly skewed his perspective of the investigation. AHATA is comprised of business and government officials who formed a now defunct committee called the Strategic Communications Task Force. Their sole purpose, it is apparent, was to combat anything the Holloway and Twitty families tried to do to force an honest investigation into their daughter’s disappearance.

Dompig’s fate was ultimately sealed with his decision to conduct a highly visible search of the dunes near the California lighthouse on the north end of Aruba. The search, spurred by a worthless hearsay tip from a local bartender, was announced months in advance and even garnered a Dutch search team with special equipment flown in from Holland. Nothing was found and Dompig endured heavy criticism for his mishandling of the investigation by law enforcement experts and pundits in Holland. He was fired shortly thereafter.

The FBI offered to bring in boats that were capable of searching for Holloway’s remains in deep water. Aruba's fleet is not equipped to search in deep waters, yet Dompig refused. Why would a police chief refuse help from the FBI? The answer may lie with the corrupt Aruban officials and business leaders he represented during his stint as police chief.


Julia Renfro, Editor of Aruba Today- Responsible for spreading misinformation about the victim and her family through the media and internet

Julia Renfro has contributed the lion’s share of misinformation that has come out of Aruba since Natalee Holloway disappeared. Her personal attacks against Natalee and her family have appeared on both national media and internet blogs.

It is clear she has a relationship with the Van der Sloots, in part through her association with the IFA, and has publicly stated she believes they are innocent. Her most notorious lie is that Natalee was attracted to a blue-eyed Dutch boy during the days leading up to her disappearance, a story that has been debunked many times through statements from both Natalee’s family and her friends from Mountain Brook who accompanied her on the trip.

Although the Aruban police, prosecutor general, and most recently the Dutch authorities from Holland, have publicly stated that Joran van der Sloot is still the primary suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, it seems Ms. Renfro hasn’t gotten the memo. Renfro’s behavior has raised questions of whether her mission is a personal vendetta against the victim and her family or, even more troubling, that she is part of a larger plot to cover up the crime against Natalee Holloway.


Aruba's Internet Smear Campaign- The Aruban government enlisted government employees and outsiders to help cover up the case

Aruba's highest ranking officials, including Prime Minister Nelson Oduber, and government Tourism ministers Edward Breizen and Jorge Pesquera, mounted an internet campaign in the first week after Natalee Holloway disappeared to confuse the details and eventually denigrate the victim and her family.

Government workers, tourism board members, and employees of local business owners have all been documented as using the internet for these purposes. Some of these are still very active today.

Prime Minister Nelson Oduber grabbed our interest with this announcement about his “anti incorrect news committee” on June 30, 2005:

At the weekly Government press conference Prime Minister Oduber officially presented a committee that was just appointed and with the task to minimize the effect of all the negative and incorrect information that is being disseminated on Aruba in connection with the disappearance of the American student Natalee Holloway.

“The committee has been working for some time behind the screens without too much publicity, and function on behalf of the people of Aruba in order to minimize the impact of the negative news that is being sent out.”

Jorge Pesquera is president and CEO of the tourism group AHATA and was instrumental in setting up the Strategic Communications Task Force, a group that would specialize in slandering Natalee's character and that of her family while creating smokescreens in the investigation. The SCTF worked mainly via the internet.

Tamara Waldron, an employee of the Ministry of Tourism and Transportation (headed by Eddie Breizen), made the following internet post at Scared Monkeys, falling in line with the government’s wishes:

"...looking at the picture does not mean blaming the island or its people….we should keep looking at the big picture which does involve at looking at other possibilities, other than a crime, for the dissapearance of the 18 year old..."

...So far there has not been any indication of a murder, a kidnapping etc and we should all stick together and help in searching for his girl instead of assuming things and smearing Aruba on the news. I do believe she will be found as there have been numerous sightings of Natalee, which indicate more that this is a runaway case than any other….of course we don’t know for sure, but we must leave the windows of numerous possibilities open."

Comment by Tamara Waldron | June 5, 2005, 7:13 pm

Congressman Spencer Bachus said they knew immediately that Natalee's disappearance was not the case of a runaway teen, but the Arubans didn't listen and continued to float rumors rather than arrest the main suspects.

Prime Minister Nelson Oduber went on (Aruban) national radio Friday night (June 10, 2005) to say if something happened to Holloway, it would hurt the island of 97,000, which depends on tourism and has a reputation as one of the safest spots in the Caribbean."

Many examples such as those above beg the question: Was the thought of having a murdered American tourist on Aruba such a threat to their tourism economy that the government would become involved in covering up the crime and assist in disposing of the victim?

Apparently so.

Natalee and her family deserve justice, and we will not let up until they have it!


Auntiem said...

I believe Chris LeJeuez (sp) and Tito Le Cle were also among the very early outspoken people who were snidely "bashing" Natalee.

As I watched the early coverage of Natalee's case it was THESE 2 men, along with Ms. Ellis-Schipper, that I found extremely biased and distasteful in their remarks to the Media. IMO, they, from the get go, had as their agenda, to smear Natalee and cause the J2K to appear innocent! JMO!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow I can't imagine why this case hasn't been solved

Anonymous said...

These still born dutch liars spawned a Joran monster who eats his own conscience. They had destroyed Joran's soul and innocence. Joran is a walking hell on earth, anything he touches will be devoured by the Devil.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work by the Freebirds as always. I am glad
that Arlene was featured first as the osfuscation of
the salient legal points in the case has probably
been the Arubans' most effective tactic. For example,
how is it that Joran's second story is a perfect set up
alibi under the Dutch/Aruban legal system as
described to us if Joran could produce a scrap of paper with Natalee's e-mail address on it, but the
issue has never been raised as to whether Joran
ever produced paper or electronic evidence
suggesting that Natalee had made him aware of her address? The security guards were certainly
promptly brought forward to support the Holiday Inn lie; why did the pattern fail? Interesting that
the only record that we have relevant to this issue is Deepak's contention in his 6/29/05 transcript
that fabricating evidence electronically is the same
under the Dutch system as mere lying. I strongly
suspect, to the contrary, that there has to be a distinction between mere lying and deliberately
manufacturing evidence under Dutch law. I also
strongly suspect that Joran's crazy claim in the
Current Affair interview that he did not even know
Natalee's name should be tied to Joran's effort to
distance himself as far as possible from issues relating to the supposed e-mail exchange. The
question I would like answered is whether the
suspects' immunity to legal sanction for obstruction of justice would properly be
overridden if one or more of them was found to have manufactured evidence. I can only conclude from some of Steve Cohen's last statements on Greta as well as the frequent mention of a distinction between lying as a suspect and lying as a witness, that the whole legal house of cards could start falling in on the suspects if one of them manufactured evidence so as to support the
second story. So, did they? And, if they did, is
this the reason so much has been done to sweep the second story under the rug?