In fact, George Allen Smith's family was a co-founder of the ICV (International Cruise Victims), and now we find out there was no crime involved - says his wife who says she has seen all of the evidence.
I wrote this in Cruisemates News:
Jennifer Hagel Smith, widow of George Allen Smith who died mysteriously on a Mediterranean cruise in 2005, has released a statement that says her husband's family has refused to acknowledge the possibility that Smith's death was accidental. The family has insisted Smith was a victim of foul play despite a lack of evidence, according to the widow. Her attorney says the family has "described a crime scene in the cabin on the ship that simply didn't exist" and "published reports of blood evidence that the families now know is baseless."
The statement, as reported by the Associated Press, is a response to an appeal the family filed against the widow claiming she accepted an inadequate settlement from Royal Caribbean. Her lawyer further remarks that Hagel Smith has received numerous documents, including cabin access records and statements made to investigators, and "There's no evidence we can see of murder."
The crime was investigated by the FBI and no charges were ever brought. All of the evidence and the testimony of Smith's widow points to an accident or suicide.
What is most interesting about this? George Smith's family is one of the co-founders of the highly outspoken anti-cruise industry organization "International Cruise Victims." The other co-founder of ICV, and their spokesperson, is Kendall Carver whose daughter Merrian disappeared from a cruise ship also in 2005. In that case there is also no evidence that a crime ever occured. The final conclusion was that her disappearance was a deliberate act by the deceased.
So, now the best evidence we have in both of the cases of the families who started "International Cruise Victims" is that neither case involved foul play. Neither of them were victims at all, let alone "cruise victims," yet they have been such highly consistent critics that they have have sparked three congressional investigations into "cruise ship crime."
In two of the most recent additions to ICV's roster of "cruise victims", Ashley Barnett and Mindy Jordan, neither of those cases bears proof of foul play, either. Ashley ingested her boyfriend's methadone (a strong opiate) apparently by accident because it had been transferred to a Nyquil bottle. Mindy was attempting to climb from one balcony to another, high above open water in high seas. A camera caught her in the act and shows her losing her grip. Both incidents were investigated by the FBI and no charges were filed.
Are these cases sad? Of course. Is it easy to criticize anyone who has lost loved ones? It doesn't feel good at all. But since these are the same people who have put the cruise industry on trial a look in the mirror is only fair. We are desperately sorry for their losses, but are they "cruise ship crime victims?"
Jen settled with RCI - George's family sued her saying she accepted an insufficient settlement with RCI and tried to have it overturned. There was aa judgement against the family (Jen keeps her settlement). Now the family has appealed the ruling against them, and that is what led to her statement about him taking bills and the family NOY accepting the fact that there was no fourl play.
She says she has seen all the evidence, including time in & out of the cabin, bar bills, blood forensics, etc. She sees NO ebidence of foul play and hence she believes her settlement with RCI is justified.
Right now she still has her settlement, and the family has lost one judgement to get that overturned. They are trying again.
I blame the ICV for this attitude on the part of these families. They get them all worked up at the cruise lines, looking to blame them for something that had nothing to do with their cases. As long as they can get the attention of Congress and Canadian sociologists they think they can get the cruise lines to cave in.
As far as I am concerned, they are just causing themselves more heartache by holding onto the pain.
It's tragic when anyone dies but even more so when they don't have to and bring it upon themselves by very foolish actions. I wouldn't try to climb from one balcony to another in port and being stone sober, much less with the ship moving.
Part of the problem in my opinion with the Smiths is that the wife got money--other family members did not--therefore they have the hand stuck out and usually when someone sticks their hand out, someone lays something in it. That's become the way of our society in general so eventually they will get the green paper in the hand, one way or the other.
By the way... I looked up a picture of the balconies on Norwegian Dawn - they are solid all the way from the railing down, not even a foothold. You could conceivably get up and grab above the divider, but it is really risky to do so -especially in wind and high seas.