Beth Holloway

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Beth A Holloway
Born Elizabeth Ann Reynolds
c. 1961 (age 52–53)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Residence Birmingham, Alabama
Nationality American
Other names Beth Twitty
Beth Holloway-Twitty
Alma mater Arkansas State University
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Occupation Speech pathologist
Motivational speaker[1]
Spouse(s) David Edward "Dave" Holloway (divorced)
George "Jug" Twitty (divorced)
Children Natalee Ann Holloway
Matthew Holloway
Parents Paul Mundell Reynolds
Ann Nichols

Elizabeth Ann Reynolds "Beth" Holloway, also previously known as Beth Twitty, (born c. 1961[2]) is an American speech pathologist and motivational speaker.[3] Holloway specializes in teaching special needs children in public schools.[1] She has been the subject of media coverage for her efforts to locate her daughter Natalee Holloway, who went missing during a high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005.[4]

Following Natalee's disappearance, Holloway has become a speaker on the topic of personal safety.[1] She founded the International Safe Travels Foundation to educate the public to help them travel more safely,[5] and the Natalee Holloway Resource Center to aid families of missing persons.[6]

Background[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Elizabeth Ann Reynolds was born and raised in the town of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where her parents, Ann (née Nichols) and Paul Mundell Reynolds, still reside.[1][7] She later lived and worked in Tennessee.[8] She received her Bachelor's degree in speech pathology with a minor in special education from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She continued her studies at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, where she received a Master's degree in speech pathology. She is a member of the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Beth Holloway married college classmate David Edward "Dave" Holloway and settled in Jackson, Mississippi. They had a daughter Natalee Ann, who was born in Clinton, Mississippi in 1986, and a younger son Matthew.[9] After they divorced in 1993, she raised the two children on her own. In 2000, Holloway married George "Jug" Twitty, a prominent Alabama businessman, and moved with her children to Mountain Brook, Alabama.[10] Jug Twitty began divorce proceedings on December 29, 2006, stating the two have "such a complete incompatibility of temperament that the parties can no longer live together."[11]

In October 2007, Holloway said that she was dating John Bennett Ramsey,[12] the father of JonBenét Ramsey, whom she met at a fundraiser following the death of his wife to ovarian cancer.[2] However, Ramsey downplayed their relationship, stating that they "developed a friendship of respect and admiration" out of common interests related to their children.[13]

Holloway presently resides in Birmingham, Alabama with her son Matthew.[3]

Daughter's disappearance[edit]

Main article: Natalee Holloway
Holloway's daughter Natalee was last seen leaving Carlos'n Charlie's with Joran van der Sloot in Oranjestad, Aruba.

In May 2005, Holloway's daughter Natalee was in Aruba on a graduation trip with fellow students from Mountain Brook High School.[14] Natalee was scheduled to fly home later on May 30, but failed to appear for her flight.[15] She was last seen by her classmates outside Carlos'n Charlie's, a Caribbean chain restaurant and nightclub in Oranjestad,[16] in a car with locals Joran van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe.[17]

Involvement in investigation[edit]

Immediately following Natalee's missed flight, Jug and Beth Twitty traveled to Aruba with friends by private jet. Within four hours of landing in Aruba, the Twittys presented the Aruba Police Force with the name and address of Van der Sloot as the person with whom Natalee left the nightclub.[17] Holloway stated that Van der Sloot's full name was given to her by the night manager at the Holiday Inn, who supposedly recognized him on a videotape.[18] The Twittys and their friends, with two Aruban policemen, went to the Van der Sloot home looking for Natalee. Van der Sloot initially denied knowing Natalee's name, but he then told the following story, with which Deepak Kalpoe, who was present, agreed:[19] Van der Sloot related that they drove Natalee to the California Lighthouse area of Arashi Beach because she wanted to see sharks, before dropping her off at her hotel around 2:00 a.m.[20]

Dutch Marines search for Natalee Holloway near the California Lighthouse.

Beth Holloway alleged in televised interviews that Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers know more than they have told, and that at least one of them sexually assaulted or raped her daughter.[21] Holloway stated that she received copies of police statements stating that Joran van der Sloot admitted having sex with Natalee at his home and described intimate details of her. She has never released copies of the alleged statement, though she characterizes them as admissions of "sexual assault" However, Vinda de Sousa, former Holloway/Twitty family attorney from Aruba understood that the admission may have been for consensual sex.[22] In addition, former Aruban deputy police commissioner Gerold G. Dompig denied that any such statement was made, stating that Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers consistently denied having sex with Natalee.[23]

On June 12, 2005, three days after the arrest of Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers, and in response to a nationally televised address by Aruba Prime Minister Nelson Oduber reaffirming Aruba's commitment to solving the case, Holloway stated, "I'm not getting any answers".[24] She added, "I don't feel any further along than the day I got here".[24] Holloway subsequently stated that her complaints were not addressed specifically at the Aruban government, but arose from frustration at not knowing what happened to her daughter.[24]

On July 5, 2005, following the initial release of the Kalpoes, Holloway alleged, "Two suspects were released yesterday who were involved in a violent crime against my daughter",[25] and referred to the Kalpoes as "criminals".[26] A demonstration involving about two hundred Arubans took place that evening outside the courthouse in Oranjestad in anger over Holloway's remarks, with signs reading "Innocent until proven guilty" and "Respect our Dutch laws or go home".[27][28] On July 8, 2005, and after Satish Kalpoe's attorney threatened legal action over Holloway's allegations, which he described as "prejudicial, inflammatory, libelous, and totally outrageous", Holloway read a statement that said her remarks were fueled by "despair and frustration" and that she "apologize[d] to the Aruban people and to the Aruban authorities if I or my family offended you in any way".[28]

Criticism[edit]

Holloway was criticized for her focus on Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers, to the exclusion of any other theory as to what happened to Natalee. According to the lawsuit filed by the Kalpoe brothers, she has (on various television programs) repeatedly accused them, and Joran van der Sloot, of "sexual assault" and "gang rape" of her daughter.[29][30]

Holloway was also criticized for making what have been deemed to be inconsistent and contradictory statements (for example, as to whether there were operating security cameras at the Holiday Inn). According to Julia Renfro, U.S.-born editor of the Aruban tourist-oriented newspaper, Aruba Today, who befriended Holloway in the early days of the investigation, Holloway pandered to tabloid television and her "behavior was odd from the get-go".[31] Renfro noted that "Holloway immediately concluded that her daughter had been kidnapped and made no effort to check hospitals or police",[32] adding that within a couple of days, after fixing responsibility on Joran van der Sloot, Holloway "was telling TV interviewers that she knew her daughter had been gang-raped and murdered".[32]

Media coverage[edit]

News crews covering the disappearance of Holloway's daughter.

On February 16, 2006, while Joran van der Sloot and his father Paul were in New York City for an interview with ABC Primetime, they were served with a lawsuit filed by Holloway and her former husband Dave, alleging personal injury against Holloway and alleging that Van der Sloot's father created a permissive environment.[33] However, the case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds on August 3, 2006.[34]

On February 3, 2008, an undercover exposé produced by crime reporter Peter R. de Vries aired on Dutch television showing video of Van der Sloot purportedly smoking marijuana and admitting to being present during Holloway's death. The show became the most watched non-sports program in Dutch television history.[35] Following the airing of the program, Beth Holloway, adhering to the position that the tapes represent the way events transpired, believed that Van der Sloot dumped Natalee's body, possibly alive, into the Caribbean. She told the New York Post that her daughter would still be alive if Van der Sloot had called for help.[36] On September 22, 2008 in New York, De Vries accepted an International Emmy Award in Current Affairs for his coverage while accompanied by Holloway.[37]

Holloway also alleged that the individual Joran van der Sloot supposedly called that evening was his father Paul, who according to Holloway "orchestrated what to do next".[38] She and Dave Holloway alleged that Joran van der Sloot was receiving "special legal favors".[38] After the court decision not to rearrest Van der Sloot was affirmed, Holloway stated, "I think that what I do take comfort in, his life is a living hell",[39] later adding, "I'd be good with a Midnight Express prison anywhere for Joran."[40]

I think he is a time bomb and he will strike again.

—Beth Holloway[39]

Book[edit]

Holloway said that she vowed to share her story shortly following her daughter's disappearance, in the hope that other families would not suffer what she had to go through. After five months of unsuccessfully searching on Aruba, her attorney John Q. Kelly took over the case and she spent the next two years traveling to various high schools and colleges to present messages about personal safety. When she thought about reaching more travelers with her story, Holloway said that her efforts evolved into writing a book.[41]

HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins published Loving Natalee: A Mother's Testament of Hope and Faith on October 2, 2007. Written under the name "Beth Holloway" following her divorce from Jug Twitty,[42] the book retells events leading up to the night Natalee Holloway disappeared in 2005, and the ensuing investigation during the aftermath.[43] It then focuses on the obstacles faced in Aruba by the Holloway and Twitty families in their search for Natalee.[44] Holloway recounts her anger at what she felt was a lack of cooperation from local officials such as the Aruban police, including the failure to obtain a warrant to search the home of Van der Sloot.[45] The book was soon on The New York Times best seller list.[46]

Film adaptation[edit]

In October 2008, the Lifetime Movie Network announced plans to create a television film based on the book.[47] Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post questioned whether it was too soon for such a film to be made.[48] Holloway said that she was not sure at first that she could take this step, but felt that it was "the right thing to do" after meeting the creative staff in Los Angeles.[41]

On April 19, 2009, Lifetime aired Natalee Holloway,[47] starring Tracy Pollan as Beth Holloway-Twitty, Grant Show as George "Jug" Twitty, Amy Gumenick as Natalee Holloway and Jacques Strydom as Joran van der Sloot. The film does not solve the case, but stages re-creations of various scenarios, based on the testimony of key players and suspects. The broadcast of the film attracted 3.2 million viewers, garnering the highest television ratings in the network's history at the time.[49] Although it set ratings records for Lifetime, the movie was not received well by critic Alec Harvey of The Birmingham News. Harvey called the movie "sloppy and uneven, a forgettable look at the tragedy that consumed the nation's attention for months".[50] However, Jake Meaney of PopMatters found the film to be surprisingly "calm and levelheaded", and praised Tracy Pollan's portrayal of Holloway.[51] Holloway said that she was honored by Pollan's portrayal and that there "could not have been a better choice."[41]

Extortion plot[edit]

Police photo of Joran van der Sloot.

Around March 29, 2010, Joran van der Sloot allegedly contacted Holloway's attorney John Q. Kelly with an offer to reveal the location of her daughter's body and the circumstances surrounding her death for an advance of US$25,000 against a total of $250,000.[52] Kelly said that he secretly went to Aruba in April to meet with Van der Sloot, who was desperate for money, and gave him $100. Kelly notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation to set up a sting operation with the Aruban authorities.[53][54] On May 10, Van der Sloot allegedly accepted the amount of $15,000 by wire transfer from Birmingham to his account in the Netherlands, following a cash payment of $10,000 that was videotaped by undercover investigators in Aruba.[55][56] In exchange, Van der Sloot told Kelly that his father buried Natalee's remains in the foundation of a house. Authorities determined that the information that he in return provided was false, because the house had not yet been built at the time of Natalee's disappearance.[57] Van der Sloot later e-mailed Kelly that he lied about the house.[53] Holloway was shocked that the FBI did not promptly file extortion charges against Van der Sloot, allowing him to leave freely with the money to Bogotá, Colombia, on his way to Lima, Peru.[57][58] The FBI and the office of the U.S. Attorney contended that the case had not yet been sufficiently developed.[54]

On June 3, 2010, the U.S. District Court of Northern Alabama charged Van der Sloot with extortion and wire fraud.[59] On June 30, 2010, a federal grand jury formally indicted Van der Sloot of the two charges. The indictment filed with the U.S. District Court seeks the forfeiture of the $25,100 that had been paid to Van der Sloot from Holloway's private funds.[60] Van der Sloot was apprehended on June 3 in Chile and is presently being held at Miguel Castro Castro maximum security prison in Lima, Peru, where he is charged with the first-degree murder and robbery of Stephany Flores Ramírez.[61] Though Holloway made television appearances as new developments arose, she was directed by the FBI not to discuss her daughter's case or that of Flores Ramírez.[62]

Prison visit with Van der Sloot[edit]

In a September 2010 interview from the prison, Van der Sloot admitted to extorting Holloway, stating: "I wanted to get back at Natalee's family — her parents have been making my life tough for five years."[63] On September 11, Holloway traveled to Peru with Peter R. De Vries and his Dutch television crew to visit the prison.[64] According to Van der Sloot's attorney Maximo Alonso Altez Navarro, his client was taken "practically by force" to a meeting with Holloway that took "less than one minute."[65] Altez Navarro said that when she asked questions about the disappearance of her daughter, Van der Sloot responded by saying that he could not speak to her without his lawyer present and handing her his business card. Altez Navarro claimed that Holloway was "snuck" into the prison without being identified by the Dutch media crew who she was with.[66] A prison spokesperson stated that Holloway's name was not found in the visitor registry.[64] Holloway and the crew were removed from the prison, reportedly after a hidden camera was discovered by the guards.[67] Representatives for Holloway and De Vries denied that a hidden camera was involved nor was anything seized.[68] Colonel Abel Gamarra of the Peruvian National Police stated that no arrests had been made. Holloway's attorney John Q. Kelly commented, "I know she didn't tell me ahead of time because I would have asked her to exercise a little more caution." While in Peru, Holloway spoke with Flores Ramírez's brother Enrique on camera.[66] On September 17, Holloway and the group left the country for Panama and arrived in Aruba on the same day.[69] Holloway spent a few days in Aruba working with De Vries on a documentary about her missing daughter to be run on Dutch television, reportedly with the cooperation of prosecutors who had been investigating Van der Sloot.[68] The video premiered in November 2010 on SBS6 in the Netherlands and CBS in the United States, resulting in the suspension of Miguel Castro Castro prison warden Alex Samamé Peña.[70]

Advocacy[edit]

In response to Natalee's disappearance, Holloway founded the International Safe Travels Foundation,[11] a non-profit organization designed "to inform and educate the public to help them travel more safely as they travel internationally".[5] She is represented by the Nashville Speakers Bureau as a paid motivational speaker on the topic of personal safety.[1]

In May 2009, before the fourth anniversary of her daughter's disappearance, Holloway was accompanied by America's Most Wanted host John Walsh as Natalee's case was added to the cold case exhibit on display at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington, D.C.[71] In April 2010, Holloway announced plans for a service called "Mayday 360," to intervene immediately when young people get into trouble overseas. She stated that if necessary, former federal agents with specific knowledge of a country could be dispatched there.[72] On June 8, 2010, the Natalee Holloway Resource Center opened at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment to aid families of missing persons.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Speaker info: Beth Holloway". Nashville Speakers Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "John Ramsey and Beth Holloway Twitty Are Dating". Fox News. June 4, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Beth Holloway". Mahalo.com. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Missing teen case grips US media". BBC News. 2005-06-25. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  5. ^ a b "About ISTF: Our Mission". The International Safe Travels Foundation. Archived from the original on 2006-06-28. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  6. ^ a b "Mother opening Natalee Holloway center to aid families with members missing, in trouble". The Birmingham News. Associated Press. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  7. ^ Rob Martindale. "Ancestry of Natalee Holloway". Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Author: Beth Holloway". HarperCollins. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Did Witness Lie in Holloway Case?". Associated Press. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2007-11-28. "Aruban authorities say he remains a suspect in the May 30, 2005, disappearance of the Clinton, Mississippi, native." 
  10. ^ Holloway, Dave; R. Stephanie Good and Larry Garrison (April 2006). "Everybody's Child / Aruba". Aruba: The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. ISBN 1-59555-063-1. OCLC 63472537. 
  11. ^ a b "Natalee Holloway's Stepfather Seeks Divorce". Fox News. 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  12. ^ "Beth Holloway: A Mother Copes". Good Morning America. June 4, 2007. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  13. ^ Stephen M. Silverman (June 5, 2007). "JonBenet's Dad & Natalee Holloway's Mom Together". People. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  14. ^ Koch, Wendy (2005-06-02). "Search continues in Aruba for missing teen". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
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  18. ^ Hansen, Chris (2008-02-22). "The search for Natalee Holloway". NBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
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  22. ^ "'The Abrams Report' for April 19". MSNBC. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
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  30. ^ "Man says he did not assault Holloway; teen's mom disagrees". USA Today. 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  31. ^ Williams, Carol (2007-06-04). "In Holloway case, Aruba also suffers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-11-28. "[...] when locals mutter about American media distortions and 'missing white woman syndrome'." 
  32. ^ a b Williams, Carol J. (2007-06-09). "As missing-teen case cools, Aruba turns against family". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
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  40. ^ a b c Rachel Cohen (April 2009). "The Beth Holloway Interview". Lifetime Movie Network. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Loving Natalee: A Mother's Testament of Hope and Faith (hardcover)". HarperCollins. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  42. ^ "New Book, Few Leads On Holloway Anniversary". MSNBC. June 2007. 
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  44. ^ Dennis Lythgoe (October 7, 2007). "'Natalee' heartbreaking story". Deseret News. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  45. ^ "Best sellers: Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. October 21, 2007. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  46. ^ a b "Lifetime planning Natalee Holloway movie". United Press International. October 7, 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  47. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (July 13, 2009). "Natalee Holloway Movie: Too Soon?". New York Post. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  48. ^ Kissel, Rick (April 20, 2009). "Lifetime Movie scores with 'Holloway". Variety. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  49. ^ Harvey, Alec (April 17, 2009). "'Natalee Holloway' a disappointing TV movie". The Birmingham News. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  50. ^ Jake Meaney (January 22, 2010). "Review: Natalee Holloway". PopMatters. Retrieved August 20, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Interpol: Van der Sloot tried to extort Holloway's mother". CNN. 2010-06-08. 
  52. ^ a b "Holloway attorney details van der Sloot sting". Today. 2010-06-11. 
  53. ^ a b "Joint Statement by United States Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley Regarding the Joran van der Sloot Investigation". Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  54. ^ "Alabama charges Van der Sloot with extortion in Holloway case". WSFA News. 2010-06-03. 
  55. ^ "Details of the Alleged Van der Sloot-Holloway Extortion Revealed". Fox News. 2010-06-06. 
  56. ^ a b "FBI gave $25,000 to van der Sloot in attempted sting, official says". CNN. 2010-06-09. 
  57. ^ Mangan, Dan (2010-06-09). "FBI cash funded shoot 'slay' trip". New York Post. 
  58. ^ "Alabama authorities: Van der Sloot tried to sell Holloway details". CNN. 2010-06-03. 
  59. ^ "Federal Grand Jury Indicts Joran Van der Sloot For Wire Fraud, Extortion". WHNT-TV. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  60. ^ "Van der Sloot charged with first-degree murder". Houston Chronicle. 2010-06-11. 
  61. ^ "Natalee Holloway Resource Center Opens". WTOK-TV. 2010-06-08. 
  62. ^ "Van der Sloot admits Holloway family extortion plot: 'Why not?'". MSNBC. 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  63. ^ a b Briceno, Franklin (2010-09-17). "Holloway's Mom Confronted Van Der Sloot in Jail". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  64. ^ "Natalee Holloway's mother meets with van der Sloot". CNN. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  65. ^ a b "Natalee Holloway's mother sneaks into jail, confronts suspect". MSNBC. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  66. ^ "Attempt to interview Joran van der Sloot fails". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  67. ^ a b Myers, Shanisty (2010-09-20). "Holloway and de Vries leave Aruba". WIAT. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  68. ^ "Beth Holloway is Back in Aruba". WIAT. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  69. ^ "Van der Sloot prison warden suspended over tv interview". WIAT. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  70. ^ Sims, Bob (2009-05-12). "Natalee Holloway case on exhibit in national crime museum". The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  71. ^ Messing, Philip (2010-04-05). "Natalee Holloway's mom teams up with security team". The New York Post. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 

External links[edit]