Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Friday, January 06, 2012

Cruising The Med: Murder Mystery Mayhem

Originally Posted:  July 13, 2005

I am re-posting this four part story  in order that I wrote the blog pieces back in 2005  since DATELINE will be airing on this story tonite alleging they will reveal never before 'heard' information.  

I was on the ship and blogged about this as it was unfolding. Upon return from the cruise I published Murder Mystery Mayhem.  It generated a response from I communicated with the Russian American kids who were the last to see George alive which I shared in a subsequent post ( Setting the Record Straight). I received over 1000 interview requests from Larry King to Nancy Grace - I granted three interviews only-  the first interview was to Joe Scarborough on MSNBC. I received over 200 Instant Messages from media who had stalked me via various message boards and uncovered my IM address  AND over 3000 emails from conspiracy nuts to law enforcement to those simply intrigued with the story.

I doubt NBC has anything new to share - at least nothing was revealed in the interview with Ann Curry.  The photos of the room were already shown in the media as was the blood stain on the awning. EVERYONE covered this story- but without a body or a weapon or a motive NOTHING was ever determined beyond the conclusion drawn in the Vanity Fair piece which I also reference in this series of blog posts.  In all likely hood George fell overboard from his cabin.  End of Sad Story. 

Cruising The Med:  Murder Mystery Mayhem
A honeymoon couple board a cruise ship, and he disappears under mysterious circumstances, with blood found in his stateroom and on the awning underneath his balcony, his new wife is escorted off the ship, to the American embassy in Turkey, where she is met by her parents; a young woman is raped aboard the same cruise ship, and a 52 yr old man dies of a heart attack or possible aneurism brought on by heaving endless vomiting, at least 5 members of a family travelling together are offboarded in Italy accompanied by the FBI and Italian authorities, divers are dispatched to make sure the British Cruise ship while in several ports of call, remains safe from potential terrorist attacks, and the family of the missing man are alleged to have boarded the ship in Italy, while FBI agents remain on board to further investigate these incidents.

Is this the script for a new adventure at sea feature film, a movie of the week, a new book about to become a best seller?

NO! This is what happened on the " Brilliance of the Seas" Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship during my 12 nite Cruise of the Mediterranean!

Here is a link to one of many articles FBI Continues Investigation of Missing Greenwich Man discussing the first incident.

With all due respect to the families involved, this is really a very glossed over pretty in pink version of the facts surrounding this incident.

First of all, I saw pics taken by a passenger of the blood that was spotted on the awning...this was NO small amount of blood, and several sources confirmed that blood stains were noticed along the side of this large cruise ship which seemed to draw the attention of the Turkish Naval Security as we arrived into port. I noticed the Turkish Navel Security boat from my balcony - the security officer was focused intently on one area of the ship. Later I would figure out that it was Georges blood dripping down the side of the ship that had caught the attention of the Turkish Naval Security. I wonder if a man his size falling approximately two stories off his balcony would generate that much blood loss simply from the fall? My stateroom attendant and several other people told me that blood was also found in this couples stateroom.

The couple was paged incessantly by the staff on the morning July 5th and neither responded to the pages.I was told that the new Mrs George Smith, aka, Jennifer Hagel, was originally found  at approximately 4:00am on July 5th,  passed out on Deck 9; on the opposite side of where her stateroom was located not in the gym working out, as his been reported in the press.   She was returned to her stateroom via a wheelchair by ship's security personnel at approximately 4:15-4:30am. She was coherent and had told ships security that because she was drunk she got lost trying  to find her stateroom door and simply curled up on to the floor in  a drunken sleep.  After returning to her stateroom, she simply went back to bed, assuming George was still on the ship probably partying with other passengers.  Sometime around 9:00am ( possibly earlier)  Jennifer was located in the spa having a massage. George was still missing.

My stateroom was located many doors down from their room, my uncle and his wife were in a stateroom that was even closer than mine. He remembers being awakened by a LOUD thump around 3am. He opinioned that the thump was the body hitting the awning..but again..this is MERELY his opinion. However a woman I spoke to a great length while descending the steps that lead from Fira down to the tenders in Santorini(more about that adventure later) also heard the same loud thump at the same time. She and her husband had a stateroom near the Smith's stateroom and reported hearing loud noices, loud male voices telling George to calm down...they heard George ranting, and heard alot of indistinguishable banging sounds. They also heard security knocking several times on the Smiths stateroom door in the early hours of the morning,- no one answered the knocks. Security left, came back about half an hour later, knocked again several times, again no answered. For some reason security then knocked on this woman's door, and asked her and her husband if they had heard any unusual noices or disturbances; she replied no.

Later on that day, this same couple would be interviewed by the FBI and other authorities about what they heard and witnessed. For several days they had complained about loud partying, loud aggressive voices, mostly male, and also commented on how often this young couple in their mid twenties were seen partying with a group of loud obnoxious much younger teens...well...I think it was safe to assume that they were 18..or 19 or 20...but clearly several years younger than the couple. The Smiths were seen buying these young adults alot of drinks.

This article states that the couple were seen in the disco and in the casino on the nite in question.
Well that's true...but what it doesnt mention is that the couple were seen and heard arguing loudly, there was a disturbance that occured in the disco with them at the heart of it, as well as the "group of young adults they frequented" . In the disco or possibly the casino several witnesses saw and heard them fighting and Mrs Smith was seen kicking Mr Smith in the family jewels!

I was told that at both these incidents, they were escorted out of the disco and casino by security personel, altho I cannot confirm that.

The FBI boarded the ship to investigate. I was told by several sources that George's parents had flown into one of the ports of calls, either Greece or Naples, and boarded the ship, undoubtedly to investigate first hand what had occured but I can't confirm this.

Several other sources also shared with me that George had been bragging endlessly about having 50k dollars in cash in his safe, and there was alot of sexual innuendos being banted about with regards to the newly married Mrs Smith and these young men they were partying with. NONE of this is verifiable AND I have doubts about the veracity of the statements, but several sources did mention this to me independently of each other.

I later found out that these same young friends who the Smiths had befriended, were implicated in the alleged rape of a young woman - In not certain of her age- on the eve of the ship arriving in Naples. I do know that these young friends were part of a large family ( cousins, siblings, aunt, uncles, parents) travelling together...and that they were considered obnoxious, loud mouthed, overbearing, and allowed to roam recklessly throughout the cruise ship, they drank alot, they partied alot, and they were none to bright. As the entire family was being escorted by the FBI off the ship, the daughter was heard telling her Mom " we ought to go shopping since we will be hear alot longer now". They were removed or" Off boarded " by the FBI and local authorities, pursuant to an investigation into the rape that they allegedly instigated. Coincidently, they were the same guys at the heart of George's mysterious disappearance.

An extensive land, air, sea search was conducted, but the body was never found.

I question whether George did fall into the ocean by accident, but I'm not expert. There was too much blood on the awning and along the side of the boat to have been caused simply by a short two story fall, not to mention the blood in his stateroom. The awnings are not flat, they form a slight pyramid, that would cause a body to roll off, and they do not have a rail that would prevent anyone from falling into the sea, so they are a great place to dump a body you want to feed to the fishes. Coupled with the blood that several stateroom attendants say was found in their stateroom, it's hard to imagine that this was simply an accident.

No matter what's happened, its a sad situation, and one that will most likely leave us with many questions and too few answers.

As for the alleged rape...its been kept low key....few people know it even occured...no announcement was made by the captain, as he had done about the "tragic accident that occured where a man fell overboard". I can understand why it was best not to make any announcement about it....the identity of the rape victim and her family needs to be protected...especially if she is younger than 18, and Im sure the investigation into what happened is still ongoing,not to mention, for PR purposes, this isn't exactly the best kind of press a cruise line wants. Rumours were spreading that the guys that raped her, video taped the act. .

Several passengers began video taping the "offboarded" family while they were confined to the ship in Naples.

I'm not sure why these passengers were filming them....but look for the film to" mysteriously" appear on the internet! ( who me, cynical?? - yupp cuz I know human nature)

Incidentally the pics taken on board of the newlyweds were immediately removed(for those of you who have never gone cruising - pics are taken by onboard photographers when you board, you have dinner, you meet the captain...etc and are displayed for you to view and purchase ) I would not be surprised if a pic of this couple taken on board "mysteriously" appears on the internet! * rolls eyes* ( yupp Im cynical but I know human nature!)

While at sea enroute back to Barcelona, a plane appeared out of the blue, flying very low over the cruise ship. Several of us suspect that this plane belonged to paparazzi as opposed to terrorists! But one can never be too certain!

Shortly after the London Subway Bombings by Islamic Terrorists( I won't sugar coat this like the BBC did) our cruise ship security became somewhat tighter. I was told divers around the ships are considered post 9/11 security protocal so they may have in fact been present in all ports of call..but I was only aware of them after the bombings.

So there you have it...now I promise to update you all later on the highlights of the cruise.
My three favorite ports of call:
Cap Ferrat ( the port of Call is Nice (Villefrance) but we had all seen Nice, Monacco, Cannes - so we hired a driver to take us to Cap Ferrat - its beautiful, quaint, and the shopping is great!
Mykonos - I could have stayed there forever!
Barcelona- Is a beautiful city full of life, energy, beauty, art, and great food, and the famous unfinished Gaudi church which defys description!



Related:
Cruising The Med: Setting The Record Straight
Cruising The Med: The Final Word
Yet Again
Desperate Lies
Cruising The Med: Honeymoon Murder Mystery

25 Comments:

  • At 9:32 AM, July 13, 2005, Blogger H2SO4 said…

    Awesome commentary.. Glad your home safe, and look forward to the further post of your adventure..

     
  • At 3:41 PM, July 13, 2005, Blogger Sgt. B. said…

    Ummm, Huntress, darling... Next time you decide to cruise the Med, may I suggest a security escort?

    (I can live out of a carry-on bag, sleep in the closet, and be ready to go in less than 24 hours...)

    *grin*

     
  • At 4:43 PM, July 14, 2005, Blogger Barb said…

    Boy, I hope my European adventure is a leetle bit tamer than this! I'm glad you're back, and in one piece. Next time take a former Marine with you ;-)

     
  • At 1:12 PM, July 15, 2005, Blogger uscjb said…

    Huntress,
    I was on the same cruise. I can attest to your account of the events described. I agree that the "overboard" incident is more than a tragic accident. My brother is quite the socialite and was witness to many of the couples arguments. My stateroom attendant, as well as other family member's attendants confirmed the accessive amount of blood. I, however, had heard that Ms. Hagel was found "hiding" in the spa. When authorities confronted her, she screamed and cryed claiming to be in fear of her own life. The idea that this may have been an unfortuante accient never crossed anyones mind. I find it fishy that the new bride had no idea where her husband was all day. And never questioned anyone. Also, if she had seen the blood, why would she hide?

    Also, the rape victim was 18 years old. 5-6 of the rowdy boys escorted off the ship were involved. I have also heard that they videotaped the offense. Since their disembarkation, two other young women have come forward with similar allegations.

    In contrast to your account, my stateroom attendant said that the older gentleman had not suffered from a heart attack, but rather a brain anyeurism while violently vomitting.

    I do believe that it is in the best interest of the cruise company to keep the facts of these matters "hush, hush." Which is very unfortunate for the families of the victims. Unless someone comes foward with an accurate account, we are only left to speculate on stories heard "through the grapevine."

    By the way... Did you see Good Morning America this morning (7-15)? The Smith family sat along side Jennifer Hagel. She was portrayed as the victim.

     
  • At 2:09 PM, July 15, 2005, Blogger uscjb said…

    All of this seems really unfortunate. Maybe security was one of the many areas Royal Caribbean has chosen to cut back expenses. I found it obvious in many other aspects as well. Hopefully, they have learned from their short sighted mistake.

     
  • At 9:59 PM, July 16, 2005, Blogger Huntress said…

    USCJB - I also noticed that RC had cut back on many important aspects of this cruise..the food was mediocre at best, security was minimal and incompetent
    (they had the legal right to and most definately should have offboarded the group in question MUCH EARLIER ON!)
    the attitude of the guest relations people and key managers in the dining room was Horrendous...they were downright rude! The information about the tours was not always accurate..and this crap about waiting for hours to get into Nice because of "dock traffic" was shameful. We just disregarded our number and walked onto the tender when they called "number 3" after people had been waiting for over an hour and half.
    What irked me is that one could buy booze at 9:00 am but I could NOT get a yogourt ice cream cone UNTIL 11:30 because" thats part of the mid afternoon snack which begins to be served at 11:30 NOT BEFORE"... Can you imagine someone saying that to me?? I can buy booze at 9:00 am but not a freaking free yogourt cone until 11:30!

    This is one example of what belies the mindset of this cruise line! No wonder all these incidents were related to heavy alcohol consumption! What kind of example does that set for kids...adults can drink whenever they want...but one needs to wait for free ice cream cones!

    Sad sad sad.

    Gratefully, I was able to put all these less than stellar things way into the back of my mind and not let them effect how much I enjoyed being with family and revisiting various ports of call. But frankly for the money we spent....the value was not there!

    I think I'll go back to Princess Cruises in the future.

    In rereading what you wrote about Ms H. hiding out in the spa, fearing for her life...that's very interesting. It's quite plausible...but there is something about that story that just doesn't "smell" right. My spidey senses are tingling! Where was she between 2:00 am and 4:00 am when her hubby "accidentantly" fell overboard??
    Lets face it..he was killed and thrown overboard way before we reached kusadasi..I was on my balcony from 5:00 am and nothing out of the ordinary happened from that time on......but where was she prior to that time..between 2:00 am and 4:00 am?? Not in the spa...which is closed...not in the gym....not in the casino and disco.neither of which are open beyond 2:00 am to my knowledge. The rumours of her infidelity are rather numerous and I've learned from years of working in Hollywood that sadly most rumours have their basis in truth.

    If she feared for her life as you heard then surely she would have called security and shared with them her fears rather than just hide in a spa. Again I was told by several reliable sources that she was found passed out in a druken stupor on another deck, yet no one was able to tell me which deck and where on that deck she was found! The cruise line has refused to comment on where she was found!! I find that very very interesting and highly strange!
    I'm not aware of the spa being open 24/7 and frankly if thats where she was found..why not just say so?? Where on earth did some guy in Turkey get the impression she was working out in the gym??? IF at about 9:00am she was found in the spa....then she wasn't in there more than a couple of hours.The place doesnt open before 6:00 or 7:00 am to my knowledge.
    It begs the question, where was she PRIOR to being in the spa. It's an insult to my intelligence to be told she was in her stateroom and didn't notice anything was amiss when she woke up and didnt find her hubby! That is simply not true. Security had been knocking on HER stateroom door throughout the nite and no one answered...as my source attested since they knocked on her door in the same wee hours of the morning! No one was in the room when the stateroom attendant entered and saw the blood and that was early in the morning. The pages for the couple began around 8:00 am!

    There is WAY more to this story than she is letting on! And clearly...the spin being given to the press about this nice sweet genteel couple is NOT the entire truth....too many of us witnessed anything but stellar behavior from this couple over the course of many days!

    I wish I had seen the GMA interview.I'd love to have seen the further spin they put on this!

     
  • At 2:20 AM, July 17, 2005, Blogger jchag said…

    i just want to say that i have known jen hagel my whole life, and she is a wonderful person. i hope that the rumors about her can stop and the truth can be found. i would be shocked to find out that she is involved. i hope she and the smith's have the opportunity to find the real truth.

     
  • At 7:20 AM, July 17, 2005, Blogger Huntress said…

    Im sure she is,but peoples personalities change alot when huge amounts of alcohol are involved, and many many people witnessed behavior from both of them that was, shall we say, very unflattering and less than stellar.

    A man has died under mysterious circumstances, and many people are sadly affected by his loss,accidental or not. I also hope that the truth is uncovered; and if that truth turns out to involve your friend in a less than flattering way, I hope you will still stand by her.

    Like I said, there are two very different images of these two people; somewhere in the middle of these two extremes lies the truth, and both families deserve to the truth..NO matter that the truth reveals.

     
  • At 11:56 AM, July 17, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    I am an old friend of George's, and needless to say I am shocked, horrified and saddened by this news. I am also EXTREMELY suspicious about the true circumstances of his death, particularly in light of the reports provided by those who were on the ship, but I was already very suspicious after reading the scant -- yet conflicting, inconsistent -- facts reported by the media thus far.

    For one thing, the idea of waking up in the morning and "thinking nothing of it" that your new husband is out with "friends" at 7 a.m., after a heavy night of drinking, is simply absurd. I was recently married myself and this is just plain bizarre to me. However, even you accept this strange account as plausible, why are there seriously inconsistent reports about (i) where on the ship Jennifer was "found" when the pages started (i.e., was it the gym, the spa, or passed out drunk on a deck somewhere?); (ii) AND, even if it is true/makes any sense that she woke up in their room, thought nothing of George's absence, and went to the gym, HOW COULD SHE NOT NOTICE THE AMOUNT OF BLOOD THAT LATER CAUSED THE CLEANING STAFF TO CONTACT AUTHORITIES??

    This obviously makes no sense and is very disturbing. Was Jennifer out all night with a "friend" also aboard the ship, and that is why she has no idea what happened that night? Or did she get so drunk that she passed out on the deck and never made it back to the room (and George was presumably also too drunk to assist her -- this would not shock me because he always was a heavy drinker); and if that is the case, the reason behind the lies and inconsistencies now is that she is simply too mortified and ashamed to admit that she cannot explain what happened to her new husband because she was too wasted that night and never even slept in her own room?

    I think it is clear to everyone that these obnoxious, misbehaved (possibly criminal) youths had something to do with George's demise, whether directly or indirectly. While I agree that it is strange for two twenty-something newlyweds to be hanging out with and buying drinks for younger guys during what is supposed to be a romantic getaway (rather than a frat-style drinking binge), I am not totally surprised by these reports in light of what I know about George: he is (was) a hard-partying, fun-loving, social guy that felt more comfortable in crowds. Granted, this is not my idea of a honeymoon, but it seems that Jennifer had no problem with it, since she was seen drinking and partying with the group til all hours of the night -- and, according to her own story, did not find it unusual that her new husband would be "out with friends" at 7 a.m.! Was it one of these "friends" that she was with when something horrible was happening to George?? I do not want to outright accuse her of something like this, but lots of us have LOTS of questions about her behavior and explanations. It is well-documented that the disco, casino, gym and spa are all closed after a certain hour (i.e., 2 a.m. at the latest), and that some loud voices and ultimately a banging sound were heard by multiple people around 3 a.m., and Jennifer's whereabouts (still unknown to us) were revealed when she surfaced around 8 a.m. WHERE WAS SHE BETWEEN 2 A.M. AND 8 A.M.?? As George's friend, I want to know, and I want someone to tell us why no one has been questioned or arrested, or why nothing has been reported explaining same.

    I am not necessarily accusing this woman of being involved in his death. But I am definitely accusing her of lynig about something to save her own reputation, and that is not right.

    George was a bright, talented, funny, sensitive and very handsome young man. His family cares deeply about him. Yes, while he was no angel and the stories of his hard partying and arguments with Jennifer do not surprise me at all, he deserves more than a few skeletal stories in the local press and a search effort that was already called off a week ago. I am just hoping that the lack of reports on this is due to a significant lead the FBI has that they do not want to publicize yet -- for instance, is the blood really George's blood?? They have not even confirmed that it is his -- and what if it isn't?? That would be a pretty major piece of evidence.

    From what I have heard, George's family is "standing by" Jennifer, and of course, Jennifer's family (including her former police sargeant father) are protecting their girl. All I know is that if I had disappeared on my recent honeymoon and my new spouse returned home the day after my disappearance, telling my family that he has no idea what happened to me because he was too drunk to remember anything -- my family would have a VERY BIG problem with it.

    Does anyone out there have any new information??

     
  • At 1:03 PM, July 17, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    By the way, I have to add -- if I were in Jennifer's shoes, and I REALLY had nothing whatsoever to do with this terrible turn of events, or I had nothing to HIDE, then there is no way I would have left Turkey only a day after the disappearance of my spouse. The idea that I would leave the honeymoon to fly halfway across the world to seek refuge with my parents is insane -- I would be there trying to find the TRUTH, regardless of how long it would take or how difficult it may be. Again, I am not accusing her of a crime, but either she is hiding some very critical facts, or she is seriously immature/dependent.

     
  • At 8:12 PM, July 17, 2005, Blogger jchag said…

    search4truth, i agree with you. please don't think i was disrespecting George in any way. I am also married and I could never go to sleep and not wake up and notice that my husband didn't come home. I also would not be hiding and not participating in the search. So I understand why you have suspicions. If I hear any new information, I will be sure to keep you posted. We have heard nothing new here in Cromwell at all.

     
  • At 10:41 PM, July 17, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    I just saw a story on FoxNews tonight about George, and I am even more upset due to the piss-poor coverage of this tragedy. Why are these "journalists" purporting to BELIEVE this ludicrous tale that Jennifer was ever, at any point, in their stateroom that night, when it has been documented by fellow passengers that: (i) she was seen passed out on a deck some distance from their room that morning; (ii) several attempts were made to contact the Smiths by knocking at their door in the early morning hours (after reports/complaints of loud male voices and other noises coming from their room around 3 a.m.), and no one ever answered; and (iii) last but not least, it makes NO SENSE that, even if you believe she had woken up in the room and didn't think George's absence was odd, she could somehow not notice all the blood that caught the attention of the cleaning staff??? And who the hell goes to the gym or the spa at 7 a.m. after what was widely observed as a long night of very hard drinking??? Why have we still not heard any confirmation as to whether the blood and bloody handprint belong to George?? And where are the young troublemakers (to be kind) that were seen with the Smiths prior to George's disappearance, why have they not been interrogated and/or arrested, and why hasn't their whereabouts during those critical hours been accounted for in the press?

    I suspect that this story is not getting better coverage perhaps because the Smith (and certainly the Hagel) family want it that way, at least for now. Perhaps they want to avoid public attention/scrutiny during such a difficult time. But -- putting aside the sensational nature of any story involving two attractive newlyweds and a possible murder on the high seas -- I want answers in order to ever have some closure here.

    I urge anyone that was on the ship to contact U.S. authorities if you saw or heard anything relevant. If George died in a tragic accident and fell overboard, the authorities will make that determination in time. But if there was something more to it, more sinister and evil, as many of us suspect, then the authorities need INFORMATION. Please don't be silent or rely on the blogger community to get your point across. George and the entire Smith family deserve for the truth to come out.

    Does anyone have more information on any media appearances or statements by either family? I read that the Smiths and Jennifer appeared on Good Morning America last Friday, is this true? If so, does anyone know whether it is possible to access a link to the story? I cannot find one.

     
  • At 10:50 PM, July 17, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    For purposes of promoting visibility of this discussion so that the truth might ever come to light, information about George can be accessed by searching the following terms:

    George Allen Smith IV
    George A. Smith IV
    George Smith IV
    Jennifer Hagel
    Jennifer C. Hagel
    Jennifer Carly Hagel

     
  • At 10:04 AM, July 18, 2005, Blogger looselip said…

    There was no appearance on Good Morning America, so stop looking. How do these crazy rumors get started? So many inconsistencies in all your "investigative reporting" from all this "he said, she said". Did it ever occur to you that no one is denying or confirming these so called "facts" because they are cooperating with FBI and do not want to do anything to jeopardize a REAL investigaion? I understand that silence only encourages cynism and sarcasm, but I think I will rely on the professionals for my facts instead of relying on an overated gossip column.My thoughts and prayers are with both families.

     
  • At 2:31 PM, July 18, 2005, Blogger cmd20 said…

    Not being in this situation no one can know how they would behave. It sounds as though something very fishy was going on. I can't blame the girl from running back to mom and dad. She probably knew her husband was gone. She was probably in shock, terrified, you name it. Her husband is gone and she's all alone. I'm sorry but I don't think anyone has a right to say how they would react in that situation (especially since a lot of the details are unknown). In addition, don't forget she's only in her mid-20's. Still pretty young.

     
  • At 10:26 AM, July 19, 2005, Blogger Al's Girl said…

    Good LORD, Huntress!!

    You try to take an innocent Med. Cruise and are now embroiled in intrigue and mystery. I feel so sorry for the family of the missing man - and I hope that some resolution can come of things.

    Thanks for the heads up on RC too - YUCKERS!

    Glad you are home safe and sound and blogging away, btw!

     
  • At 8:40 AM, July 20, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    "Did it ever occur to you that no one is denying or confirming these so called 'facts' because they are cooperating with FBI and do not want to do anything to jeopardize a REAL investigation?"

    Yes. It obviously has occurred to me. That is what I am hoping for. In the meantime, however, I will continue my so-called "investigative journalism" because, as George's friend, I am intent on finding out what really happened, and the only way to find the TRUTH is by asking questions, and by probing the various accounts of what happened to separate FACTS from rumors. Did it ever occur to you that this very process is often what fuels/strengthens/hastens/facilitates the "REAL investigation"?

    Last time I heard someone say they were going to rely on "the professionals" for their facts was President Bush on the Rove scandal. Good plan.

    As an aside, I respectfully disagree with those who think Ms. Hagel's age should have anything to do with her actions, especially her immediate departure from Turkey to go into seclusion at her parents' home in CT. We are not talking about a 17 year old girl. She is 25.

     
  • At 10:44 AM, July 20, 2005, Blogger Debc9 said…

    Search4Truth - we (Fox TV's "A Current Affair") are searching for the truth too. Please contact me as soon as you can, I'd love to talk to you about this, and about what we have been able to uncover.

    Sincerely - Deb

    Deb Cote
    201-305-7290
    deb.cote@acurrentaffair.com

     
  • At 2:28 PM, July 20, 2005, Blogger looselip said…

    To search for truth - There are people that are a lot closer to George than someone that self describes herself as an old friend. They want the truth and are willing to let the proper people do their jobs - I suspect you are an old friend, and not a close fiend, or you would know more about George as one half of a beautiful couple and how he might react to such slanderous remarks about himself and someone he loved. I agree with you about encouraging people to contact the FBI if they have any REAL information to pass along, but I don't agree with publishing scandelous and unsubstantiated comments that have been obtained from hear-say.

     
  • At 4:32 PM, July 20, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    I do not need to waste my time explaining the extent to which I knew George, or justifying my comments by telling everyone how close we were. You have lost sight of the purpose of this exchange and should take your fight elsewhere if you are looking to pick one. Have a nice life.

     
  • At 4:40 PM, July 20, 2005, Blogger Search4Truth said…

    Deb -- in the interests of full disclosure to all others who are participating in the info exchange on this blog, I am posting this message as a follow-up to my email to you, indicating that I am not willing to go on record, nor do I know anyone personally (other than George) who was aboard the ship. Good luck with your coverage of the story, I hope you persist in your search for the facts.

     
  • At 5:41 PM, July 20, 2005, Blogger Kitty Yancey said…

    Hello, I am a member of the media who is trying to find out and accurately convey what happened aboard Brilliance of the Seas.

    It is hard to do that when the investigation is shrouded in secrecy and information is being withheld. Should anyone have any thoughts or information, please contact me at kyancey@usatoday.com.

    Thank you.

    Kitty Yancey
    USA TODAY

     
  • At 4:28 PM, July 26, 2005, Blogger BethC said…

    I am producer with Court TV and we are covering the George Smith story. We are looking for people who were on the ship who are willing to share their story with us. We are also desperately looking for friends of the couple who can help us learn more about them. There has been a lot of misinformation out there about this case.

    Thank you,

    Beth Carey
    Senior Producer, Catherine Crier Live
    Court TV
    (212) 973-7936
    careyb@courttv.com

     
  • At 6:09 PM, July 26, 2005, Blogger Sean Scully said…

    Ok, so count me in too. I'm a reporter for People magazine. And we'd like to talk. And let's face it - the only way for us to get the story right is to talk to people who know. So let's talk.

    Sean Scully
    (215) 765-2927
    sscully474@aol.com

     
  • At 4:18 PM, August 02, 2005, Blogger confuzzled said…

    I taught at the high school she went to. All I can say is WoW! Feel sorry for both families and the media is sniffing around our small community. They are asking questions in some very funny places. They have a lot to learn about small town New England. I'd love to see who talks!

     

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