Saturday, June 11, 2005

Natalee Holloway

For those of you who have been living in a cave the last week, Natalee Holloway is the 18 year old girl that vanished while on a senior class trip to Aruba. Holloway, a straight-A student who won awards for volunteer work, had earned a full scholarship at the University of Alabama, where she planned to study medicine.

I suppose I should wait for a conclusion to this case before I weigh in on it, but I just read the story in AOL news, and as I have stated before, when something in a story makes me say, "What the.......?", I have to make a comment.

Since the beginning of this story, we have been more or less led to believe that this was just a nice innocent little celebratory senior class trip. Nothing perverse or unseemly here. I don't mean to seem naive here, but up to now, I believe the media has portrayed this trip to Aruba as a sort of church ice cream social. Apparently, it wasn't. Now, quite a different picture is beginning to emerge that is disturbing, to say the least.

To begin with, now we find that this sweet innocent 18 year old girl was drunk and allowed herself to be picked up in a casino. Then, we find that she was in the company of 3 men, one of which she was reported to be "kissing" in the back seat of the car.

We all know what goes on at these senior trips. I don't mean to detract from the tragic nature of this story. If she is dead, or injured, it is indeed a tragedy, and every effort should be explored to see that those responsible are caught and punished. This should send a wake-up call to all the parents of all students that come to them and ask to be allowed to go on one of these junkets. Just because your child is a smart, responsible, straight "A" student and, as far as you know, has never done anything irresponsible before, you should remember that they are still very young and naive and they still need protection. After all, not all adults will have your child's best interest at heart. I don't blame the parents. They most likely didn't suspect their daughter of being irresponsible, and they certainly couldn't have foreseen that someone would take advantages of their child. Those that did the deed are the ones that are to be held responsible. Let's not add insult to injury by dragging the parents through the speculation that they are partly responsible. They are suffering enough. Rather, let's treat this as what it appears to be. A kidnapping and murder perpetrated by criminals. But additionally, let's resolve to learn from this experience. Tell your children that they are not bullet proof and that there are dangerous people out there in the world. That is the best we can do. The rest is up to them.


Erudite Redneck said...

Something the mom said, or the way she said it, made me think that she was the type to have let her daughter be a "little adult" and make weighty decisions way before she was capable, maybe from her tween years. It's hard to explain what I mean. The kind of mom who wants to be a "friend" more than a mom. Something made me think that because she, the mom, had allowed the girl early autonomy, in other words, that she would know what to do with it. The mom seemed to slightly bristle at he suggestion that thr girl might have made some poor decisions. The girl apparently used her maturity, and majority, to take some exciting chances that seem to have turned deadly. Very sad. If my hunch is right about the mom, the parent's responsibility goes beyond what any law could strictly address.

pecheur said...

Parental authority is a balancing act. When to let go when to keep a tight reign.

Thanks for stopping by General G.

Nice blog.

Mark said...

ER, i know exactly what you mean. My ex wife is that kind of mother i.e., more of a friend than a mother, and that's why I have custody our youngest son, and our older son is missing.

Mark said...

Pechuer, That comment reminds me of a Clay Crosse song....give them roots, give them wings. So true.

TECH said...

Mark, ER asked that I give you a bit of help on adding links to your blog. If you could send me your email address, I can send you the code to place in your template. My email address is issacskye at

Anonymous said...

Very well written and tragic story Mark. I do not blame the parents but I am sure they will blame themself's for the rest of their days on earth. I personally would not let my 18 year old daughter out of the country unless I was there but thats just me. American people should take a stand on this and not travel to Aruba for a while until steps are taken to beef up security in and around all tourists area's.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "American people should take a stand on this and not travel to Aruba for a while until steps are taken to beef up security in and around all tourists area's."

Oh my God! This is an ISOLATED deal! The Arubans are APPALLED that this happened. Take a stand? What rhetorical overkill. How silly.

There have been more murders in Oklahoma City this YEAR than in Aruba for, like, ever. America should take a stand! Boycott Oklahoma City!

Give me a break.

Mark, I'm blowing steam here. That's all. I hope that Anon ain't yer mama or nothin'.

Signed, ER
"Against 'Zero Tolerance' and Overreaction Since 1979"

Anonymous said...

Americans are what makes Aruba! When we send our children there for a little R&R for doing a great job in school they should be safe!!!!

What the heck is wrong with taking a stand and going somewhere else. There are plenty of beautiful countries to visit.

Oh yeah and I will stay out of Oklahoma City if you do. ha ha...

Erudite Redneck said...

"Against 'Zero Tolerance' and Overreaction Since 1979"