Today the Huffington Post covered the story we posted 10 days ago about MSC Cruises crew members throwing black bags overboard from the MSC Magnifica cruise ship into the water. 

MSC says there is nothing new shown in the photos and three videos we posted because they are just a different angle of an incident reported by a passenger last December.

I say hogwash to that.  The video taken by the passenger seems to show garbage bags thrown from the port side of the cruise ship; whereas, the videos taken by the crew member shows the garbage MSC Cruises Magnifica Cruise Ship Dumpingbags thrown from the stern.

Also, if you look at all three articles we posted, you will note that the piles of debris which the former crew members say were pitched overboard involved at least two different incidents from different MSC cruise ships at different times into different waters. 

The large pile of broken down pallets from the MSC Magnifica were reported thrown into Brazilian waters in November / December 2013. The pile of pallets from the MSC Poesia were reportedly thrown into the waters between Florida and Mexico in January 2013.  The crew members we spoke to said that this type of debris was systematically dumped overboard at least once a week while the ships were underway at night.

The former crew members also told us that the dumping of garbage bags were far from a single event from one single cruise ship. They have sent us many photographs of this practice, including incidents where bales of cardboard, plastic and debris wrapped in clear plastics were stacked from floor to ceiling and and then thrown into the sea (see photo above right).

It is not surprising to us that MSC Cruises has never responded to our requests for information. The cruise line refuses to inform us of the identity of the Brazilian authorities who are investigating these incidents. MSC may be trying to  keep the former crew members, who know that the practice is more widespread than MSC will admit, from talking to the authorities.

CBS News aired an interesting program today where additional details of the incriminating statements by the "three Russians" about "missing honeymooner" George Smith were revealed.

CBS interviewed former Assistant FBI Director John Miller who explained that the day after Mr. Smith’s disappearance, the two Rozenberg men and "Rusty" Kofman were eating breakfast in the cruise ship’s George Smith Missing - Cruise Ship Murderdining room when they began filming each other. Miller explains that the men were recorded laughing about the situation and mocking Mr. Smith. 

The camera then stops on one of the three men (who was not identified) who said: "We gave that guy a paragliding lesson without a parachute."

To my knowledge, these precise words have never been revealed to the public before.  Although the release of the actual statement is new, the existence of the tape is not.  The FBI has been in possession of the tape since 2005.

Obviously this statement is incriminating, considering Mr. Smith went over the railing of his balcony and the Royal Caribbean security report on the morning of the disappearance states that young men were seen leaving the area near the Smith’s cabin at around 4:30 AM.

With this statement as well as other evidence we are familiar with in the case (we represented Jennifer Hagel and hired forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee to investigate whether George was thrown overboard), it is disturbing that the FBI has not made an arrest.  

It’s long overdue.

 

 

Video credit:  CBS News

Last summer we wrote a series of articles about Mr. Smith’s disappearance: Disappearance of George Smith IV – Six Years Later.

Yesterday, Paul Motter’s popular online cruise community "Cruisemates" published an interesting article entitled "Mainstream Media Stupidity over Cruising."  The article is about the weird and sad story of an irate and perhaps drunk father throwing his 7 year old son overboard during a cruise around a harbor in Southern California on a sight-seeing boat.   

Cruisemates was upset that most of the stories carried headlines that the incident occurred aboard a "cruise ship" as opposed to a tour boat. 

I was initially sympathetic to Cruisemates’ plight.  Most media reports characterized the tour boat as a "cruise ship" when in fact the overboard incident occurred on a little 100 passenger tub cruising around the harbor.    

I was one of the first to blog and tweet about the bizarre story about the dad who pitched his crying 7 year old son over the rails and into the water (the child was rescued and is physically okay).  I was careful not to label it as a "cruise ship" incident.  And I also offered my perspective that I have never heard of a child ever being thrown from a cruise ship, or any other type ship, for that matter.  

But Cruisemates then went overboard in its defense of the cruise industry.  Passenger safety is a touchy issues for Cruisemates.  When the cruise lines were under siege in a series of U.S. Congressional hearings over the past many years inquiring into the disappearance of passengers on cruise ships, Cruisemates was on the front line defending the cruise industry in the media.  Every single overboard incident, according to Cruisemates, was a suicide or due to drunken recklessness.

Cruisemates’s unequivocal defense of the cruise industry has been unwavering, but has left it blind as a bat.  Cruisemates writes yesterday:

"There is absolutely NO documented crime where a person, dead or alive, was ever thrown off of a cruise ship, and I expect the news media to know and respect that fact."

The family of Karen W. Roston may tend to disagree with this statement. 

Ms. Roston was 26 years old when she went overboard on the last night of her honeymoon cruise Scott Roston - Karen Roston - Murder - Cruise Ship Overboardfrom the Sundancer cruise ship operated by Admiral Cruises of  Miami.  Her husband, Scott Roston (photo right), claimed that high winds blew her overboard as she ran on the jogging track on an upper deck.  But evidence introduced at his criminal trial indicated that the winds were just 4 – 5 mph.

An article in the LA Times explained that investigating FBI agents found Ms. Roston’s hair embedded in the rubberized jogging track along with a broken earring matching one she was wearing in a photograph taken at a shipboard dinner.  Mr. Roston was observed with scratches on his face after her disappearance.  A medical examiner concluded from an autopsy that Ms. Roston had been strangled.  Mr. Roston was tried for murder.  The prosecutor stated "she was strangled and then thrown overboard . . . " 

A jury convicted Mr. Roston of murder.  An appellate court affirmed his conviction in the case of United States v. Roston, 986 F.2d 1287 (9th Cir. 1992).  In affirming the murder conviction, the court noted: 

Here, there was evidence of a substantial struggle.  Parts of the decedent’s earrings and remnants of her hair were found on the deck 11 1/2 feet from the railing where she went overboard.  The injury to her forehead was consistent with the prosecution’s theory that her head had been smashed against the deck of the ship.  The hemorrhaging and bone warping in her neck indicated she had been strangled.  The cumulative effect of this evidence suggests that the decedent’s assailant, over the course of a fairly prolonged struggle, intended to kill her.  Moreover, the killing process continued beyond the struggle and strangling.  The decedent was not dead, but only unconscious when she was pushed or thrown into the ocean.    

Cruisemates’ claim that there is no documented crime where a person was thrown off of a cruise ship is false.  Its claim is disrespectful to the families of loved ones like Ms. Roston, and others thrown overboard from cruise ships.  

 

Photo credit:  AmericanTribune.org