The Holloway Case
I have been silent on the diappearance of Natalee Holloway to date, but the recent airing of a hidden videotape of Joren Van der Sloot provokes some reaction.
My first reacton was and continues to be that this not what I would consider a story of national import. Rather, it is a story of national voyuerism, which is why I have withheld comment. I am commenting now because this incident has lessons for parents, young people and the law.
The only bright spot in this affair is the impact it is likely to have on the parents of teenage girls sending their daughters off on class trips. No matter how responsible your daughter is, don't do it. The more responsible girls actually have a worse time of it, since if they are letting lose for the first time, they are likely to poison themselves with alcohol, which is likely what happened here (unless some evidence can be found that Natalee was slipped a Ruffee (the date rape drug)). 18 year old girls should not be going on such trips, especially if they have never been exposed to alcohol. If you must send your kid on such an excursion, make sure they know how to drink safely. Trusting them not to drink in a tropical paradise where drinking is legal or enforcement lax is irresponsible.
As to the case of our young punk who thought he did nothing wrong, and the million young punks like him, it is no sign of masculinity to have sex with a girl who is drunk. Not only don't gentlemen do such things, but it is considered rape. Since we know from his statements that his goal was to have sex with Natalee in her drunken condition, he should at least be charged with attempted rape. Since her body was not found, murder cannot be charged, since there will never be any proof that she was alive when her body was disposed of. What we do know is that obstruction of justice occurred when the police were not called to pick up the body. Perjury likely occurred as well in the investigation. Natalees body was not treated respectfully, which is also a crime. Finally, if it can be proven than Joran was buying her drinks in order to make her more amenable to his rape attempt, he can likely be charged with manslaughter since these drinks caused her death - and God help him if he slipped her something else. If he needs sex that badly, he will likely get plenty of it in prison - although I don't think he will like it.
Now, about the justice system itself. No trial is likley necessary to determine that Joran is a drunken scumbag. He should likely have been subjected to mandatory treatment for his alcoholism and general amoral attitude before this incident ever occurred - as should many in his shoes. In a just world, he would be given the opportunity to plead guilty by reason of insanity with part of his punishment confinement in a mental institution for the minimum term for attempted date rape, if not involuntary manslaughter and some form of restitution to Natalee's family as a condition of release. Of course, knowing that he will be in a jail cell in Aruba as somebody's wife may a prevertedly just outcome in this case (not that I am advocating such treatment, however the spectre of it should give this punk some pause).