Cruising The Med: Honeymoon Murder Mystery
Shortly after I blogged about George Smiths disappearance in "Cruising The Med: Murder Mystery Mayhem" I received an email from a friend of the russian -american boys who were at the heart of this mystery since they had been the last to see George alive.
After engaging back and forth for days via email, I got permission to share what he told me in an effort to put forth his friends side of the story, and did so in "Cruising The Med: Setting the Record Straight".
Who knew that I was about to be hit with a media tsunami, the likes of which I've not experienced even though I worked in Hollywood for years: hundreds of emails relentlessly requesting interviews even before the mention of my blog on a now defunct tabloid news show which then resulted in even more media requests; 1000s of Google searches that directed people to my blog; the onslaught of relentless instant messages (I had NOT listed my instant message screen name on my blog but apparently some people had enough time on their hands to track down my screen name from message boards I used to post on) from media and others pretending to be "friends of one of the boys or friends of George or Jen"- to those willing to admit they were the media and relentlessly trying to secure an interview or further comments; thousands of non media emails from the curious(what was the Smith's cabin number, did George win alot of money, how far is the disco located from their stateroom, was their marriage on the rocks, did I know Clete, what did I think of Clete's account ) and the crazy ( from those posing as either George or Jennifers "close friend", to psychics claiming to know what happened but apparently unable to correctly identify Jennifer Smiths maiden name, to some wingnuts insisting that boys were part of the Russian mob and that I was being "obviously" coerced and or threatened by them, and a lot of raunchy sexual requests - honestly some peoples children!) all of which continued relentlessly even after I penned my last post "Cruising The Med: The Final Word".
Exhausted from being endlessly pursued by the media - and against my better judgement- I agreed to give three interviews :
1) ABC - Good Morning America 2) Joe Scarborough 3) Fox News .
I regretted doing all three and expressed my regret and anger in "Yet Again".
The onslaught didn't stop there - the media continued their sad attempts to gain information from me, which led me to pen "Desperate Lies" -my admonition to the media.
I kept hoping this story would quickly fade away - to be replaced by a mulititude of other far more important stories - but human nature and the media being what they are - combined with the fact that neither Jen Hagel Smith nor George Smiths family nor the russian american boys themselves would give interviews - but just like the energizer bunny, it kept on going and going and going.......
Everytime some media outlet ran the story - I got emails and more emails and more emails.
Convinced by November that this story was FINALLY put to rest- my illusion was shattered in December when Jennifer Hagel and The Smiths began to appear all over the media in what was a very obvious attempt at wanting to publically blame Royal Caribbean in order to help win litigation against the Cruise Line.....................and along came more emails!
I just ignored them, I had refused to even talk about this story with my family and friends from as early on August. I blogged about alot of other things..and yet people still emailed wanting me talk about the Cruise Ship Honeymoon Mystery - Fowl Play or Simply A Tragic Accident??
Over the course of time "the friend" and I stayed in touch, sharing bits of our lives with each other - and he continued to share with me more details of that night on the cruise ship...all of which would much later appear in the media as they continued their pursuit of "the truth".
Even though he made me privy to information that I could have shared weeks before its revelation by Greta Van Sustern, and Nancy Grace, and the rest of the media, I chose not to!
These media "luminaries" spent so much twisting what I had previously written and continued speculating and incorporating their sordid hypothesis into every segment they aired or article they wrote that the Da Vinci Code plot began to sound more plausible!
It also came to my attention that the FBI was reading my blog. Hello to the FBI and by the way if you think I don't know that some of the people Instant Messaging and emailing me were "moles" for you......think again!!!
So why am I revisiting this now?
The April issue of Vanity Fair features "The HoneyMoon Cruise Mystery".
Fearing the worst and expecting much of same recycled tabloid trash I had decided not to buy Vanity Fair until I got an email early this week from Rusty's friend ( the guy whose been emailing me). He and Rusty felt it was the most fair and balanced piece of reporting to date.
Having just read it myself.......... I have to wholeheartedly agree!
Major kudos to Bryan Burrough who does a terrific job of piecing together what may have led to this honeymoon tragedy. It's an in depth non salacious fact driven piece.
Based on the evidence presented to him-which for the most part matches up with what Rusty's friend told me and what I gleaned and/or witnessed while on the cruise and subsequently blogged about - he draws the only conclusion that one can realistically believe at this time.