A blockbuster story has been published in Germany tracking crimes and the "disappearances" of passengers and crew members from cruise ships over the past decade.
Published in the popular German magazine "Wunderwelt Wisen," the article discusses the cases of passengers James Scavonne, Dianne Brimble, Merrian Carver, Christopher Caldwell, and George Smith IV, as well as the recent disappearance of Italian crew member Angelo Faliva.
Under the title "Dream Boats," the author, Philipp Saller, informs the reader that a tourist who chooses a cruise ship is choosing a holiday in a small town without a police station. He concludes that "dream ships are perfect for the perfect crime."
I first heard this analogy when I attended the December 2005 Congressional hearing regarding cruise crime issues, following the disappearance of George Smith IV. His Congressman, Christopher Shays, raised the question at the hearing – "is going on a cruise the perfect way to commit the perfect crime?"
Cruise lines currently have no legal obligation to report crimes and disappearances which occur on the high seas to the FBI. Not surprisingly, there have been very few FBI investigations over the course of the 40 year history of the cruise industry. Prosecuting crimes on cruise ships is rare.
A reprint of the article is below. We are in the process of having the article translated and will update this article when we have the English translation.
Wunderwelt Wissen (Philipp Saller)