ARUBA—No Justice; No Closure

(Excerpted with permission from Eddie’s Corner, the weblog of Eddie Rose at www.eddierose.org)

On March 14, 2007, my girlfriend Ann Gillespie and I docked in Aruba.  This venue was not our choice, but rather one of several islands visited on an otherwise glorious 14-day Caribbean cruise aboard the Sea Princess. 

Once a seemingly idyllic spot, Aruba gained notoriety in May 2005, when Natalee Holloway, a beautiful 18 year-old American girl on a high school graduation trip to Aruba, was raped and murdered by the son of a prominent and powerful Aruban family.

But rather than punish the perpetrator, incompetent police officials, aided and abetted by a corrupt judiciary and an apathetic Aruban citizenry, allowed him to go free.  Eventually, fearing prosecution, the perpetrator and his family fled to the Netherlands.

The very nature of this relatively small island (Aruba) leads to the inescapable conclusion that Natalee’s body (which was never found) could not have been buried on land.  Although only the perpetrator knows exactly what happened, the most likely scenario is that, after a night of drinking and partying, the perpetrator slipped Natalee a date rape drug, subsequently took her to one of Aruba’s beaches, and sexually assaulted her.  Whether Natalee had a severe physical reaction to the alcohol and drugs, and/or threatened to report the perpetrator to the authorities, the perpetrator panicked and killed Natalee.  He then borrowed his daddy’s boat and dumped her body in the ocean to cover up the crime.

It has been stated by the (Aruban) police that the perpetrator changed his story of the events of the evening at least a dozen times.  This is not the mark of an innocent man, but rather the typical behavior of someone with blood on his hands.

What is really troubling, however, is the attempt of the Aruban government, through its mouthpiece www.aruba.com,  to cover up this horrendous crime.  As far as they are concerned, it’s “business as usual”.  In fact, it’s all about business.  All they are concerned about is the tourist dollar, and they wouldn’t want us gullible gringos to think anything could possibly be wrong with Aruba.

But something is terribly wrong with Aruba.  When the murder of an American citizen goes unpunished just because the perpetrator is part of a prominent and powerful Aruban family, and when the Aruban government and the Aruban people try to sweep it under the rug as if nothing ever happened, it’s time for the American people to boycott Aruba.  We will definitely NOT go back to Aruba until and unless justice is obtained in this matter.

Aruba likes to glamorize itself as a means of boosting tourism.  Its motto is “One Happy Island”.  Tell that to the parents of Natalee Holloway.

The Honorable Eddie Rose

Former Laguna Niguel City Councilman

“A Voice—Not an Echo”


About Eddie Rose