Would American law enforcement have done a better job?
An essay by Sam Redman
Why do so many people talk about the efficiciency of the FBI and US law enforcement in locating suspects or missing people?
Here are three interesting cases which illustrate the effectiveness of the FBI in finding persons who are missing or wanted:
1. Chandra Levy - Unable to be found by FBI or local police searching in Washington DC, an area about 68 square miles, smaller than Aruba(75). She was found (but, not by law enforcement) after over year of fruitless searching and investigation by hundreds of law enforcement personnel. Her body was discovered by a man "seaching for turtles" in a city park. In the following article about her this quote appears,
"she is just one of thousands of young women missing in the United States."
In the US, about 100,000 are officially listed as missing persons. Eight-thousand of those were 20-somethings.
2. Eric Rudolph, the Birmingham Alabama, abortion clinic bomber. He eluded the FBI for five years. He had been hiding out in a wooded area. He was caught at a dumpster by a local (Murphy, North Carolina) sheriff's deputy. The manhunt that lasted five years and cost millions of dollars. FBI had searched these same western North Carolina mountains for years with a huge staff of FBI agents and prior to his capture had reduced those searching to 30 agents. Did you notice that? Reduced to thirty agents full time and still couldn't catch him. Here is a link about that search:
An interesting quote from that article:
"After a nearly four-year, more than $30 million manhunt, the FBI is scaling back its search for suspected 1996 Olympic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph, according to officials in the case.Rudolph has been on the FBI's Most Wanted list since May 1998 for a string of bombings in Atlanta, including the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics, and an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama."
It is astounding that at one time, more than 200 agents from the FBI and other federal and state agencies were combing the hills of western North Carolina looking for Rudolph, but the search was cut back after four years of fruitless searching. The very wooded area where the FBI had confined their search was exactly where he had lived for the entire five years he eluded the FBI.
3. Elizabeth Smart is another example of a seach that was conducted over a year with no results (she was recognized by a citizen at a rest stop on the highway in Utah, not found by the FBI).
There are dozens of other prominent cases like this where the FBI and hundreds of other search agencies in the US could not find a victim or suspect. US investigative teams have further distinguished themselves in their (up to now) futile searches for the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and for Osama Ben Ladin.
In the light of a review of these experiences, perhaps it is easier to understand why the Aruban and Dutch authorities are not as eager to have FBI assistance. And it is perhaps easier to understand that not every case is quicky solvable.