Monday, February 4, 2008

The other, less happy news story

In light of the delightful Super Bowl upset last night, the attention has sort of shifted away from the continuing horrible saga of Natalee Holloway and her very premature (presumed) death.

Am I alone in wanting to harm that young man who is the prime suspect? The most recently released tapes—tapes full of lies, or so the liar now claims—are almost unbearable to watch. His nonchalant relaying of the events, complete with slurs against that young girl, is enough to incite me to rage, and I’m not even Natalee’s mom. What must her parents be thinking as they view snippets of the covert, casual interview in that SUV?

It’s unfortunate that his name, when pronounced by an American, sounds a lot like our word for liquid waste. But his latest claims, that he simply told that fellow who was driving what he wanted to hear? I’m sorry, folks; I’m not buying it. If you’ve been under investigation, on and off, for over two years as a suspect in a disappearance-cum-murder, you don’t say what people want to hear unless it implies your innocence.

My heart breaks for Natalee’s mom and dad. Even in most tragic deaths, the mourning survivors can at some point begin to move on: not so with this situation. They live in limbo, waiting for her remains to surface, for an arrest that sticks, for some sort of conclusion to this most awful part of their lives. And it doesn’t come. Even a trial in which a suspect was acquitted would at least allow motion forward. But there is no forward motion. (What’s increasingly shocking to me is that vigilante justice isn’t more prevalent, especially by distraught parents.)

And the most unfortunate part of the story isn’t that punk’s name; it’s that he, too, is someone’s beloved child. Every time I’m really beginning to believe he’s Satan’s spawn, I try to picture what his parents are going through. Not the same hell as Natalee’s, I’m sure. But it can’t be easy for “Urine’s” parents, either. In addition to having their lives smashed open, they have to continue to come to terms with what their living, thriving son may be guilty of committing.

Other than probably those fellows who were at the beach with her, I don’t know if any of us will ever really know what became of that girl. All I know is this: no senior trips out of the continental U.S.A. for any teen I love and can control in any way, unless perhaps if it’s a carefully chaperoned missions trip to a country that doesn’t serve booze to children with too much money and too many advantages. It would be even better if the point of said trip was to spend each day working so hard that every night, the exhausted team fell into bedrolls—individually, and for sleeping purposes only.

And even then, it’s not foolproof. Nothing is. Look at all the unrest in Kenya. If you’d planned that trip a couple of months ago, it looked pretty safe. Now? Not so.

Anyway. I’m happy for the Giants, but very sad about some other, more familiar (dare I say “old”?) news stories.

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