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Brett Rivkind Suggests that Jennifer Hagel-Smith was Drugged (George Allen Smith Investigation)


Brett Rivkind, the lawyer for George Allen Smith IV’s parents, is suggesting that Jennifer Hagel-Smith may have been drugged. The same night that George Allen Smith went missing, Jennifer Hagel-Smith was found in a corridor, unconscious and far from their cabin.

Brett Rivkind, the lawyer for George Allen Smith IV’s parents, said he does not have any evidence to prove his theory about why crew members found Jennifer Hagel-Smith sleeping in a corridor July 5, the night her husband disappeared on their Mediterranean honeymoon cruise between Turkey and Greece.

Rivkind said at a news conference that it has been difficult to get information about the case because Royal Caribbean has not been forthcoming. But William Wright, the cruise line’s senior vice president of marine operations, said in his own news conference that the company has cooperated with investigators, including the FBI.

Here are some of the latest allegations from the different sides in the disappearance of George Smith.

James Walker, Hagel-Smith’s attorney, criticized the cruise line for not getting her medical help or noticing blood around the cabin.

Smith’s family has accused Royal Caribbean of covering up the disappearance. The company denies that and accuses Hagel-Smith and her attorney of waging a public relations campaign with false claims that she was mistreated.

Wright said he doubts Hagel-Smith was drugged, saying the crew members who found her didn’t notice anything unusual about her behavior.

“She woke up. She was cognizant. She was saying repeatedly that she was fine and that she simply wanted to go back to her cabin,” he said Thursday.

What is most puzzling and troubling in this matter is the time line of events:

4:05 a.m. during the night, a guest in one of the cabins adjoining the Smiths’ cabin called the Guest Relations desk and complained about loud voices and drinking game noises coming from the Smith cabin.

Security went to the Smith cabin in response to that complaint, but the noise had already stopped, and there was no answer to our knocking.

Since there was no noise when security arrived or any report or sign of violence or danger, security left believing all was well.

Shortly after 4:30 a.m., Mrs. Hagel Smith was found sleeping on the floor of a corridor on the other side of the ship and a significant distance from her cabin.

Security was notified and arrived shortly thereafter. As several ship personnel remained with Mrs. Smith, two crewmembers went to her cabin at 4:48 a.m. to see if anyone was there to assist in her return.

They knocked and, not getting a response, looked inside the cabin, found it empty and saw nothing amiss. While the crewmembers were still outside the Smith cabin, the guest in the other adjoining cabin looked out his cabin door, complained about the earlier noise, and reportedly advised crewmembers to enter the cabin. However, they had already opened the door and seen nothing amiss.

Mrs. Hagel Smith was taken back to her cabin by wheelchair at 4:57 a.m. by two security guards and a female supervisor.

She was placed on top of her bed and asked if she was all right. She answered that she was okay, and the security personnel left the room. George Smith was not present, and nothing appeared amiss.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise line is taking the stance that security had properly investigated the reported noise and commotion (4:05am) coming from the Smith cabin. Since there was no commotion when they arrived there was nothing they could do. Then they get a report of Mrs. Jennifer Hagel-Smith found in a corridor at 4:30am. They bring her back to her cabin by two security guards and a female supervisor at 4:57am. The very same cabin that there had already been a complaint about. The Royal Caribbean Security thinks nothing of this? Just a coincidence? They have to have a log of incident reports on this ship. Security then leaves Jennifer Hagel-Smith in a room that is later found to have blood in it and never noticed it.

To make matters even worse, three young men that the Smith’s were seen in the company of and would presumably be the last to have seen the Smiths would later be implicated in another alleged crime of rape.

The cruise line also said Wednesday that the FBI was investigating an alleged rape of a female passenger by the same three young men with whom Smith had last been seen. Wright said the couple had been hanging out frequently with the men before Smith’s disappearance.

January 5th, 2006 at 11:06pm Posted by | Cruise ship, George Allen Smith IV, Jennifer Hagel Smith, Missing, Missing Adult | 14 comments

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  1. Sounds like one happy little ship! Aruba here we go again.

    Comment by John Staton | January 6, 2006

  2. She is lucky she wasn’t kidnapped, she should have been checked for sexual assault, unless she is keeping it quiet. Timeline is close to a possible rape and if the husband tried to fight them off of her then killed and she was taken down the hall and left as if drunk. Too much, too close to Aruba, is that part of the caribbean just so used to getting away with that kind of thing and noone wants to do anything about it?

    Comment by Jackie | January 6, 2006

  3. Seems to be the norm, in the Aruba area, I think they are used to treating tourists the way they want to and no one does anything about it. Drugging women, disappearing men, disappearing women. Maybe there is an Aruban Triangle where everyone goes dumb about things that happen in Aruba and around Aruba. George Smith, Bud Larson, Amy Bradley, the older couple who just disappeared, Max Devrees, Jill Begora, where are they? All or MOST of these happened in the vicinity of Aruba, Paulus Van Der Sloot said “No body no crime” seems to be the motto for Aruba and the cruise ships lately.

    Comment by Jackie | January 6, 2006

  4. I agree with the previous comments….I have cancelled all future plans to travel to Aruba and to ever use this cruse line again. The Arubian debacle really stirs me up because of the brazen attitude of the government and authorities. I hope the tourist all disappear and it reverts back to coconut carving.

    Comment by David Mullins | January 6, 2006

  5. what are you people talking about? this happened near Greece and Turkey

    Comment by Grant Garnell | January 9, 2006

  6. This did NOT happen anywhere near Aruba. By the way, Jackie, I live in a city with half a million people (DC) and we have thousands of unsolved murders and missing people. We’d dancing in the streets to have only 5 total cases. We could only dream.

    Comment by Mela | January 10, 2006

  7. Hey guys this is about George Smith …

    BTW Mela … kind of hard to compare a paid for vacation on a cruise ship to an urban city don’t you think?

    Comment by Administrator | January 11, 2006

  8. This is definitely a strange case but in my opinion things don’t just happen without a reason…There is a reason that Jennifer was found far away from her cabin and I definitely think that there was commotion in their cabin and that other people were involved.This is not normal human behavior.In my opinion this is a murder case and someone out there knows what happened & I believe Jennifer was a target and her husband protected her and then was killed because of his actions.

    Comment by beeline | April 26, 2006

  9. Why can’t Jennifer remember anything? It doesn’t make sense to be so drunk on your honeymoon and to be found so far away from her husband and not remember anything. I think something happened that she is hiding out of shame or whatever and we will never know the whole truth. Her in-laws must be furious. Why was she getting so drunk with those Russian guys ? Why was she separated from her husband at all? They should have been together. Something stinks with this story.

    Comment by jackie | June 19, 2006

  10. I can see by the above posts that I will have to explain what happened here in more detail. Many people seem to find it necessary to have murder, sex and drugs involved in this case. Well, their certainly was no murder or drugs. Sex is unlikely, however I will admit that Jennifer’s activities between the time she left the disco at 3:20 AM and when she was found slumped against a “crew only” door at 4:30 AM are not totally clear.

    As far as George is concerned, when left alone in his room, he simply flew into a jealous rage, suspecting his new wife was having sex in another man”s room. Remember, earlier in the evening she was so angry with him that she kicked him in the genitals. Also, she was openly flirting with other men and they were unable to find her after a brief search. While returning George to his room after the search, the couple in the next room heard someone in a kind voice asking George to “settle down”. You can bet that George was very concerned about his wife’s where-abouts. He apparently was able to keep his anger in check while his friends were with him. However, when they left, his anger rose up and he began hitting his fist on the walls and furniture causing a minor injury and accounting for the small amount of blood found in the room. He probably looked in cabinets and drawers for a first aid kit or bandaids. The couples next door thought the room was being trashed and that furniture was being thrown against the wall, but later nothing was found amiss. Why? Because you don’t move walls. Mr. Hyman, next door, heard nothing that sounded like a struggle. No shouting or cursing, only some loud voices and arguing, probably discussing what happened to Jennifer. These people were highly intoxicated. George finally went out on the balcony to cool off, placed a chair near the railing, sat on the railing and fell over backwards in his intoxicated state. Probably landing on his head, causing a scalp laceration, serious bleeding, and eventually falling into the sea.

    What a tragic ending. Jennifer’s anger probably stemmed from George not paying attention to her on their honeymoon. Instead, spending his time carousing with other people into the wee hours of the morning. On our own honeymoon, my wife would “call me out” if I even glanced at another women or was not always by her side.

    Comment by Ramona | June 23, 2006

  11. Ramona- WOW, what an asinine final conclusion, the only evidence of impropriety that we have is that she was flirting, and that (understandably) made him mad. You then imply somehow that it’s the man’s fault if the woman flirts – amazing piece of sexist ideology in action! She currently denies that she kicked him, but getting past that, how is that she ends up out cold in a hall way – there’s simply more to it then she’s telling, don’t you think?
    Your supposition about the chair and him possibly sitting on the railing does seem to fit the evidence as we know it, it sounds plausible to me (except you’d think it would happen more often if it was so easy, as I think we’d both agree it’s common to have a good number of drunk patrons on any given cruise) but we would need to know more about the physical layout of the ship to make sure that ‘fits’.

    Comment by Steve | August 4, 2006

  12. Steve- I think you’re right on target in response to ” Ramona” …it almost sounds like a pro-active attempt to possibly support jennifer hagel’s timeline of events ( because the “real truth” is starting to emerge and she and her “guy friends” from the ship …the last seen with george smith …are setting up their alibi ‘s or their versions of that night because they know exactly what happened to george smith and jennifer hagel smith’s settlement with the cruise line my opinion…was to gain access to all of the evidence and camera surveillance records ,etc. so she could see what kind of evidence they actually have and how much of her involvement could be proven by this evidence so she can “proactively” keep her story in alignment with what facts will come out about this story in the future.

    Comment by LOLA | August 16, 2006

  13. jennifer was definitely brought to where she was found, far on another floor, she was too drunk to wander there and pass out, unlikely i’d think.
    last seen, she and her husband were with these 3 guys. they were involved for sure. they all went to the Smith’s room, to continue the party, she was probably drunk and just passed out and hubby and new pals was up playing cards for money, had alot of cash and this soon became something these 3 guys would kill him for, was there any money found on the room? they musta sliced him with a knife and tossed him out the balcony for overboard, leaving traces of blood.

    Comment by AB | January 5, 2007

  14. George had boasted that he had a lot of cash with him. Was his money missing?Does anyone know if this was investigated? Despite this question, I think his death may have been accidental. They were clearly very very drunk…on absinthe aparrently – which can be 90% pure alcohol. It is not THAT unusual for people to be become completely disoriented, to go off in the wrong direction, and yes, even fall asleep in a public space, after drinking too much, too quickly. I must admit that has happened to me. And perhaps also to fall overboard. Many people have died from falls while toxically drunk. Yes, there was a drug involved. Perhaps the most dangerous one of them all. Alcohol. Nevertheless, I do strongly support the family’s wish to get at the truth, which seems to have been hampered all along the way.

    Comment by Jack | January 9, 2007

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