Disclaimer: Before we start: do yourself a favour and read this on a computer. Or a tablet.. Not on a smartphone. The layout of the text, photos and paragraphs is only neat and comprehensive on a bigger screen. Blogger is not great with this. Also make sure to read the proper page, so https://koudekaas.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-disappearance-of-kris-kremers-and_11.html, without ?m=1 at the end. This is how it looks then.
October 11th 2019 - Sas asked me below one of my youtube videos about the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne: "Is there a website on which the readers here can see the official chronology of the Photos that were made by Kris and/or Lisanne? Which were taken with the phone, which with the digital camera and what are the times and days on which the pics were made..? Do you have a link to such a website for the readers here..? It could be convenient for the readers to have that oversight in this case." - Great suggestion! I have photos from the fantastic Juan, who has done an insane amount of work on this disappearance case; not just in his own videos on youtube, but also from years and years of following and writing on different forums and doing a lot of investigation of specifically the photos and their EXIF data and whether or not some may have been photoshopped. Here and here you can see some of his videos. And here you can find a video I made, showing you all the photos Kris and Lisanne took with their camera, or at least: the ones we now know of. Photo's were taken mostly all with the Canon SX270 HS digital camera
DISCLAIMER: The quality of many (not all) of the photos is poor. The reason for that, as I also understand it from Juan, is that most (not all) of the photos as we know them have not been officially released by the family, but instead have been leaked to the press. It was mostly the Panamanian media who printed these photos and who readjusted the size of the original photos. Most versions as we know them are only between 1024x768 and 1600x1200 pixels in size nowadays, whereas the priginals are 4000x3000 pixels. Lawyer Arrocha also gave a photo to a befriended journalist who posted it. And Dutch TV programs like 'Een Vandaag' and 'Break Free' also published some in their TV programs on this disappearance (whole series with subs can be seen in my main blog post on this case); there we had to work with screenshots from the broadcast in the case of some photos, which resulted in even worse quality photos. There is also a better photo here and there, one of Lisanne's relatives uploaded a large sized photo of the girls on the summit as a facebook background photo. But the majority of the photos are too poor in quality to allow for proper zooming. Which... results in us seeing all sorts of strange things when actually zooming in too much. It makes reliable analysis of the background difficult in most cases. The family have been asked in the past to publish all the original photos, to give the larger community online the opportunity to help 'detective' along, but without result. So the mediocre photo quality is not the camera's fault. The original photos have a decent good size. It is the result of these photos having been resized before publication (after leaking) and us having to do with these second hand versions.
See all of this in video form here:
First the photos taken in Bocas del Toro, between March 15 - March 29, 2014
Last two pictures are taken by Kris from two young Dutch men who Kris and Lisanne befriended in Bocas del Toro around March 21st; Bas van Lieshout and Edwin Cornelis. They were not in Boquete at the time of the girls' disappearance and no suspects
Second, the photos taken in Boquete
between March 29 - March 31st, 2014
between March 29 - March 31st, 2014
On Saturday March 29th, Kris and Lisanne arrived by shuttle bus in Boquete in the afternoon. They also checked out the nearby Spanish language school. On Sunday March 30th they explored Boquete, had lunch in town in 'Boquete Bistro' and explored the direct area. On Monday March 31st they went to a local children's school in the morning to start their volunteer work, but were sent away and told they had no place for them that week. The girls then went to the Spanish language school to tell what happened and waited for a good part of the day there for a coworker to try to find them another volunteer job for that week. On Tuesday April 1st they hiked the Pianista Trail and possibly went for a swim. (Swim may have happened the day prior also).
Video stills from a short video taken:
Third, the photos taken in Boquete on April 1st 2014
We know that at least 30 photos were taken this day with the digital CANON camera. We have the photo numbers and times but we only know around 17 of these photos, pictured below. We also only know with certainty the exact photo numbers of 7 of them. At least one of the photos, the one from Kris on the Mirador, seems to have been taken by her iPhone. This photo also has no meta data available. On April 1st the photo numbers start at #479 (IMG_479) and end at #509. From #481 the times are known: 17:16 PM, recalculated to 11:16 AM.
Specific photo numbers and times:
Photo #479 - April 1st (time unknown)
Photo #480 - April 1st (time unknown)
Photo #481 - 11:16 PM (officially 17:16 PM)
Photo #482 - 11:20 PM (officially 17:20 PM)
Photo #483 - 11:21 PM (officially 17:21 PM)
Photo #484 - 11:25 PM (officially 17:25 PM)
Photo #485 - 11:25 PM (officially 17:25 PM)
Photo #486 - 11:25:48 PM (officially 17:25:48 PM)
Photo #487 - 11:42 PM (officially 17:42 PM)
Photo #488 - 11:42 PM (officially 17:42 PM)
Photo #489 - 11:42 PM (officially 17:42 PM)
Photo #490 - 12:02 PM (officially 18:02 PM)
Photo #491 - 12:03 PM (officially 18:03:08 PM)
Photo #492 - 12:03 PM (officially 18:03 PM)
Photo #493 - 12:42 PM (officially 18:42 PM)
Photo #494 - 12:42 PM (officially 18:42 PM)
The next photos are probably all taken at the Pianista summit:
Photo #495 - 13:00 PM (officially 19:00:20 PM)
Photo #496 - 13:00 PM (officially 19:00:50 PM)
Photo #497 - 13:01 PM (officially 19:01 PM)
Photo #498 - 13:01 PM (officially 19:01:10 PM)
Photo #499 - 13:01 PM (officially 19:01:38 PM)
Photo #500 - 13:01 PM (officially 19:01:44 PM)
Photo #501 - 13:01 PM (officially 19:01 PM)
Photo #502 - 13:02 PM (officially 19:02 PM)
Photo #503 - 13:06 PM (officially 19:06 PM)
Photo #504 - 13:06 PM (officially 19:06 PM)
Photo #505 - 13:20 PM (officially 19:20:33 PM)
Photo #506 - 13:20 PM (officially 19:20:36 PM)
Photo #507 - 13:54:50 PM (officially 19:54:50 PM)
Photo #508 - VERSION 1: 13:54:00 PM (officially 19:54:00 PM)
Photo #508 - VERSION 2: 13:54:58 PM (officially 19:54:58 PM)
Photo #509 - DELETED
Photo #491 (IMG_491)
12:03 PM (officially 18:03 PM)
(Last photo by Alexander)
Photo #493 (IMG_493)
12:42 PM (officially 18:42 PM)
Photo #unknown (possibly #495)
Photo #495 was taken at 13:00 PM (officially 19:00:20 PM)
Photo #unknown (possibly #496)
Photo #496 was taken at 13:00 PM (officially 19:00:50 PM)
Photo #unknown (possibly #497)
Photo #497 was taken at 13:01 PM (officially 19:01 PM)
Photo #unknown (possibly #498)
Photo #498 was taken at 13:01 PM (officially 19:01:10 PM)
Photo #499 (IMG_499)
13:01 PM (officially 19:01 and 38 seconds PM)
Photo #500 (IMG_500)
13:01 PM (officially 19:01 and 44 seconds PM)
Photo #505 (IMG_500)
13:20 PM (officially 19:20 and 33 seconds PM)
Photo #507 (IMG_507)
13:54 PM (officially 19:54 and 50 seconds PM)
Photo #508 (IMG_508)
13:54:00 PM (officially 19:54 and 00 seconds PM),
OR: 13:54:59 PM (officially 19:54 and 59 seconds PM)
Photo #508 - DELETED
Fourth, the photos taken in the
dark of night, on April 8th 2014
Specific photo numbers and times:
Out of the 90-something photos taken:
Photo #510 - April 8th 01:29 AM
Photo #511 - April 8th 01:30
Photo #512 - #540 - April 8th
Photo #512 - #540 - April 8th
Photo #541 - April 8th 01:37 AM
Photo #542 - April 8th 01:38:12 AM
Photo #543 - April 8th 01:38:28 AM
Photo #544 - April 8th 01:38:48 AM
Photo #545 - April 8th 01:38:57 AM
Photo #546 - April 8th 01:39:12 AM
Photo #547 - April 8th 01:39:21 AM
Photo #548 - April 8th 01:39:32 AM
Photo #549 - April 8th 01:39:42 AM
Photo #550 - April 8th 01:39:54 AM
Photo #553 - April 8th 01:40:32 AM
Photo #554 - April 8th 01:40:48 AM
Photo #555 - April 8th 01:40:59 AM
Photo #556 - April 8th 01:41 AM
Photo #559 - April 8th 01:41 AM
Photo #561 - April 8th 01:42 AM
Photo #562 - April 8th 01:42,25 AM
Photo #565 - April 8th 01:43,28 AM
Photo #567 - April 8th 01:44,12 AM
Photo #569 - April 8th 01:45,01 AM
Photo #570 - April 8th 01:45,14 AM
Photo #572 - April 8th 01:45 AM
Photo #573 - April 8th 01:45 AM
Photo #576 - April 8th 01:46 AM
Photo #577 - April 8th 01:46 AM
Photo #579 - April 8th 01:48 AM
Photo #580 - April 8th 01:49,47 AM
Photo #582 - April 8th 01:50,05 AM
Photo #583 - April 8th 01:50,26 AM
Photo #584 - April 8th 01:51,56 AM
Photo #585 - April 8th 01:52,28 AM
Photo #586 - April 8th 01:53,02 AM
Photo #587 - April 8th 01:53,13 AM
Photo #590 - April 8th 01:55,01 AM
Photo #591 - April 8th 01:55,36 AM
Photo #592 - April 8th 01:57,03 AM
Photo #593 - April 8th 01:58,26 AM
Photo #594 - April 8th 01:58,35 AM
Photo #595 - April 8th 02:00,37 AM
Photo #597 - April 8th 02:05 AM
Photo #599 - April 8th 02:12 AM
Photo #600 - April 8th 02:15,25 AM
Photo #602 - April 8th 02:29 AM
Photo #603 - April 8th 02:31,25 AM
Photo #604 - April 8th 02:37,11 AM
Photo #605 - April 8th 02:46,16 AM
Photo #607 - April 8th 03:09 AM
Photo #608 - April 8th 03:22,47 AM
Photo #609 - April 8th 04:10,59 AM
All new night photos printed here have been first published by JUAN. Discussion: please be aware that all but five of these night photos have been leaked by a source. They have therefore not been verified by officials. I don't doubt myself that they are, indeed, the real night photos, because their location and characteristics match exactly with the night photos which were in fact officially released by the families and authorities. In this video I made, I show for instance how a very specific leaf keeps coming back and has been photographed from different positions and angles. The newly leaked night photos continue to show this leaf in different ways, just as the V-shaped tree keeps coming back. You cannot fake such photos, I think. Details such as the exact timestamp have also been taken directly from these leaked photos. This data may or may not be correct. Also, there are a couple of new night photos that seem enhanced versions of others; not different photographs taken at the time. The parents from Kris and Lisanne stated that there were 90 photos taken that night, whereas Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf mentioned 77 photos. I'm going by the parents' statement for now. The last known normal picture that was taken on April 1st was #508 (Kris at the small stream). The first nighttime photo which we know the time and number of, is #511, which was taken on April 8th at 01:30 am. The next known picture is #541, taken at 01:37. Photos 512-540 we unfortunately do not have.
From photo #542, photos were taken in quick succession initially. At times as many as seven pictures were taken within a one minute time-frame. Sometimes photos followed each other every 10 seconds, sometimes every minute. Most photos were taken between 01:39 and 02:00 am. Then the frequency of the photos went down a bit. The last known photo was taken at 04:10 am. Some photos were taken in landscape mode while others were shot in 'portrait' mode. Photo #550, of the plastic wrapper on a stick, is for instance shot in portrait mode, while it is technically a landscape shot. But perhaps the portrait mode was chosen to document the main object as detailed as possible. It seems that the person who took the photos was seated or laying down even in one very specific area. You see the same trees and foliage coming back in many different photos, and often the camera is aimed at the sky and the tree lines. So all these photos are now proving us that the flash of the camera was not used to find their way while walking around. No evidence for this whatsoever, more evidence for the contrary in fact. The photographer was pretty static. Also, the 'figure resembling Kris laying down in a ravine' now proves to be just a leaf, lit up by the flash of the camera. The outline comes back in many photos, taken from different angles, and is clearly just a leaf, not a body. There are drops lighting up in the dark sky in many photos; either they are rain drops, or perhaps water mist from a nearby waterfall. If the drops are rain, then it is peculiar that the camera lens rarely ever seems to be wet. And it begs the question why the photographer spent over three hours out in the open air, in the rain, in the dark of night? And why all these photos were taken suddenly, after a week of NO photos or videos? Also very strange; not a single photo indicates us who exactly is taking these photos. Not a hand is visible, no selfies, nothing. It could be anyone. There is just no clear evidence that Kris and Lisanne took these photos. Only the back of the head photo of Kris seems to prove that the girls were present. Although this photo could have been taken anywhere and any time, as it is very easy to just adjust the time stamp of such a photo. Also, we can not see if it really is Kris' face that is beneath the hair, nor if she is dead or alive. Unfortunately neither the parents of Kris and Lisanne, nor the investigators, have ever released the original photos. And the ones we do have, are copies of the originals and thus have inferior resolution, making it easier to see all sorts of things in the background when magnifying the picture too much. If only we had the original high resolution pictures and all their data..
FIRST: these two new photos from the girls' camera also showed up recently, published by Juan. Someone numbered them as IMG_479 and IMG_480, meaning they would immediately precede the first daytime photos of the Piansta Trail. Then there is a swimming photo. However, the river in it is not an area near the Pianista Trail, instead it is the Caldera hot springs region. Could this be the evidence that - as stated by some witnesses also who claim to have seen them there on March 30th and/or March 31st - Kris and Lisanne had already visited the hot springs in the day(s) before their started their Pianista hike on April 1st 2014? If true, then the following nighttime photos could have been taken at another location than the wilderness behind the Pianista Trail. Or perhaps this stream was on or behind the Pianista trail simply.
Photo #511 (IMG_511)
Probably taken around 01:30 AM
Photo #541 (IMG_541)
Probably taken around 01:37 AM
Photo #542 (IMG_542)
Probably taken around 01:38 AM
Photo adjusted with lightness settings etc:
Photo #543 + 544 (IMG_543)
Probably taken around 01:38,28 / 01:38,48 AM
Photo #545 (IMG_545)
Probably taken around 01:38,57 AM
Photo #546 and 547 (IMG_546)
Probably taken around 01:39,12 AM
Photo #548 (IMG_548)
Probably taken around 01:39,32 AM
Photo #549 (IMG_549)
Probably taken around 01:39,42 AM
Photo #550 (IMG_550)
Probably taken around 01:39 AM
Photo adjusted with lightness settings etc:
Photo #553 (IMG_0553)
Taken around 01:40:32 AM
Photos #554 and #555
Taken around 01:40,48/ 01:40,59 AM
Photos #556 and #559
Taken around 01:41 AM
Photos #561 and #562
Taken around 01:42.25 AM
Photos #565 and #567
Taken around 01:43.28 / 01:44,12 AM
Photos #569, #570 and #572
Taken around 01:45 AM
Photos #573 and #576
Taken around 01:45 / 01:46 AM
Photo #unknown (probably #577)
Taken around 01:46 AM
Photo from Alexander:
It also seems that the previous photo #576 is of the exact same
photo as 577, only altered in photoshop (by whomever leaked
these photos I reckon, or even by investigators possibly) to make
the details of the rock in the background stand out more.
Hence why the foreground seems so over-lit suddenly.
Here you can compare the two photos. When you look at the specific specks of lit up water drops in the sky, you can see that these two photos were taken at exactly the same moment in time. Even a second later and the background drops would have looked different. So they are the same photo, one had its brightness adjusted to show the details in the background. And whomever leaked them gave both photos (erroneously) a different photo number.
Photo #580 (IMG_0580)
Taken around 01:49,47 AM
See the full photo HERE
So we finally have the full photo of the hair of Kris. The uncensored one, I should say. No clear head wound is visible. Aside from some vague markings under the hair, possibly. What does stand out, is how clean and dry the hair is looking. It makes you wonder how someone's hair can look so clean, 8 days into a disappearance in what is assumed the jungle of Boquete. Sleeping without protection from the elements, without a cap to put your hair under, without even a pillow to sleep on. When you compare this 'new' and full view photo with the 'old' head/hair photo, they overlap in detail. Only the right top part of the photo cannot be compared. It seems to be the real deal though. BTW: the time on the Polaroid is a time which a TV program (Een Vandaag) put on it (03:54), when they aired that photo on TV. But ever since the night photos were all leaked, the real times became known (little room for error still as we have no official confirmation those times are correct). This source also leaked the diary entries. I do not know the identity of this source who leaked it all. And it is a guess for any outsider like myself, but the rest of their date and timestamps seem correct, so I opt to believe that 03:54 is not the correct time, and that instead 01:49,47 AM is the correct time of this photo, within this series of photos. I will add the photo copy of it which has this timestamp (don't forget to extract 6 hours from it):
Photos #582 and #583
Taken around 01:50,05 / 01:50,26 AM
Photos #584 - #587
Taken around 01:51,56 / 01:53,13 AM
Photos #590 - #593
Taken around 01:55,01 / 01:58,26 AM
Photo #594 (IMG_594)
Taken around 01:58 AM
Photo adjusted with lightness settings etc:
Photos #595 and #597
Taken around 02:00 / 02:05 AM
Photo #599 (IMG_594)
Taken around 02:12 AM
Taken around 02:15 AM
Taken around 02:29 AM
Photos #603 and #604
Taken around 02:31,25 / 02:37,11 AM
Photo #605 (IMG_605)
Taken around 02:46,16 AM
Taken around 03:09 AM
Photos #608 and #609 (IMG_608/609)
Taken around 03:22,47 / 04:10 AM
David pointed out to me that: "If the collection seen in Juan's album is accurate to the source retrieved from the original disc you meet huge problems in their credibility as several are indeed direct duplicates, and at least two of them are inexplicable: this one and this one. Look closer at the two, look at the raindrops frozen in time there, and you see that these are very clearly the same picture! The exact same photograph, but one has had the display completely smothered by a bizarre whiteout effect while the other is clear. How can this happen inside a digital camera? I have no idea. Surely it can't. And yet there is also a similar picture in the album showing the boulder/Marker display that has had a similar treatment... the exact same photograph but with one having extreme light strobing that obliterates the main object in the image. Are these leftover works from others who handled the images in the weeks and years since the Police received them, or original shots within the camera's memory card? We will likely never know. But as two examples of strange and inexplicable shots that are in fact duplicates of clearer images, you do wonder if deliberate manipulation was undertaken at an early stage and the 'originals' accidentally left saved to disc. And if that were to be the case then virtually all of the pictures have to be treated as suspect..."
I replied: "Wow. Yes I did see instantly that those photos were of the same SOS marker, but only now that you point me to this, and after flipping between these two photos back and forth a few times, I see that they are indeed the exact same photos, damnit. With exactly the same water drops. They can't have been taken in quick succession of one another therefore, because even a second of added time would have changed the position of those lit up drops. And someone may have had a right laugh with those tree photos also, readjusting them a bit in the composition by cutting and re-framing the size of the photo, and the brightness and colour intensity. One photo was erased, but unfortunately for those who did it not without a trace, because we still have the empty case file and its number to prove it once existed; other photos were duplicated and altered in photoshop. Looks like we're definitely being fooled to some extent at least, but by whom? The fact that Dutch investigators and news channels released at least 3 of these night photos as we have published them too as 'real evidence', may mean that they found them as such on the memory card. Which may have been altered before they got it."
*And let's not forget that when the backpack was found, the bag and its content - including the camera - was first handled by the tour guide F. before he handed it to police. Then the Panamanian media got their hands on some of the photos (paid for it perhaps even) before even the Dutch officials did. And the data of the photos has been seen and altered by the Panamanian officials before the Dutch even received the memory card for inspection. Then there is the source who leaked these photos and the intermediaries who shared them. A long long chain, and therefore difficult to find the weak link.
Update: after so many new photos surfaced, I asked Juan if he wanted to make an updated video of ALL the photos taken by Kris and Lisanne's camera, chronologically. He has the new material in his possession and therefore he should make this perfected video, luckily he was willing to! Check the video out here. Another one made my be also
Shoes of both girls
The diary entries from first Lisanne and then Kris, show you solely what they wrote about their time in Bocas del Toro and then Boquete. Juan and I both translated one set of diary entries from Dutch into English for you. We're both aware of the fact that these diaries were private and not written by the girls with the intend to be published online. But in the light of this drama, we just feel that they are important pieces of information about the state of mind of both Kris and Lisanne in the days leading up to their disappearance. I have tried to give them a voice throughout these blog posts, which I wrote and researched in my free time (and without monetizing my work). But ultimately I did not personally know Kris or Lisanne. And here we have their own voices, their own writings. Sad as it is to read this after their deaths, it is the most direct introduction into who they were and how they thought. Offering a small reality check for those of us overly eager to fill in our own images of who they were and what their interactions were like. Had this been a collection of generic holiday memories, I wouldn't have published them, but the diaries contain interesting and hard to read passages. Especially Lisanne seemed to not feel good psychologically after arriving in Boquete. It also shows that they were cautious, but also young and fun-loving.
"Waaaaah it takes so long! What a trip. Luckily I almost forgot about it already upon arrival in the beautiful and cozy Bocas del Toro. I would not want to be found dead in San Jose, although the chance of this is quite high in San Jose. But I could live in Bocas for the rest of my life. Maybe when I ever retire? I am sitting in the sun, which I can't hold out much longer by the way (hot!) and I take a good look around me at my new accommodation for the next two weeks. The heat is already very special by the way, even in the shade I have the feeling that I can still burn alive. But despite this, the sun is actually quite nice. How intensely happy it can make a person. Kittens, stray cats, yes, they are regular customers here. They walk everywhere! Just like mini salamanders, even in the shower! If they manage to keep the spiders away, they could actually become my best friends."
March 18th 2014 "Red Frog Beach, one word A - MA - ZING!! We have also seen a dolphin, the ultimate enjoyment. Drinking from a coconut, a real one yes! And gettig sunburned, I worked well on my tan, what more do you want?!"
March 19th 2014 "Spanish Class, it's pretty complicated. Yet I do notice that I learn to recognize more and more when I listen to conversations, which is a fantastic feeling. The rest of the day we enjoyed relaxing around the hostel. Three lovely afternoon naps in the hammock, a game of cards, some food and snacks. In the afternoon (medio tarde!) we had a nice cocktail at Casa Verde. Lovely time alone with Kris, we had nice conversations and afterwards we were, of course, a little tipsy. Long Live the Holiday. La puda vida [sic. The good life!] In the evening we had cooking class, tortillas and gazpacho were on the menu. Fortunately we live completely according to the Caribbean style so I will have to withdraw from the Dutch [way of] life. A 7-hour cooking class means that at half past seven the ingredients really still have to be bought, haha. And that also means that there is food on the table at 10 o'clock. A very educational evening for my patience and concentration. I believe I failed! But the food was very good. After dinner quickly with our behinds under the shower because Wednesday evening is Aqua Lounge Day! A disco a la Caribbean Style. Large outdoor area with swimming pools and ocean views. Amazing! Enjoyed dancing and drinking with the boys. Yes, Bas and Edwin. Our Dutch hostel friends and not to forget Mart! Later Ethan, our Australian negro, joined. Around 3 o'clock we were kindly asked to go find our beds, but a tropical downpour made us delay this about 3 times. Eventually we finally went. Nothing was dry anymore!! But it was a special experience to dance in the rain when it is 30 degrees outside. By the way, you have to use the water taxi here to go to places, really cool. For $1 you can go to the other side, a small beach and Aqua Lounge. You can visit other islands for $5. Two down, so many more to go! Hasta manzana! (see you tomorrow!) Haha apple!"
March 20th 2014
"I have such thick legs, it must be from the heat that my ankles look like rhino legs. We had FAN - TAS - TIC food with the boys in a little Caribbean restaurant. I have never before eaten such tasty pasta with tomatoes. Then followed a little Snickers cake and a 2 liter can of sangria. Yes, this was again the ultimate enjoyment. Now fingers crossed for nice weather tomorrow, because today was three times nothing. Hasta mañana! Today's slogan: it was AMAZING hihi."
March 21st 2014
"This morning I had Spanish lesson, the last one for Ethan, Davis and Bas. It started raining at 8 am and it only started to dry up again around 1 pm. Because the weather was so bad we couldn't really make plans. We have brought a deck of cards and have dived into Casa Verde! Initially together with Mart and later Edwin and Bas joined. It cleared up and the afternoon flew by with a number of beers and games. Wonderful! At 6 o'clock we had a BBQ with the whole group on the small island! We played volleyball and I got completely punctured by mosquitoes. Fortunately there was enough beer and fun! Later that evening we went out to La Iguana. A few dances and beers later it was suddenly 4 o'clock. Time to go to bed. Tomorrow the Deep Sea tour is on the program!"
"This morning I had Spanish lesson, the last one for Ethan, Davis and Bas. It started raining at 8 am and it only started to dry up again around 1 pm. Because the weather was so bad we couldn't really make plans. We have brought a deck of cards and have dived into Casa Verde! Initially together with Mart and later Edwin and Bas joined. It cleared up and the afternoon flew by with a number of beers and games. Wonderful! At 6 o'clock we had a BBQ with the whole group on the small island! We played volleyball and I got completely punctured by mosquitoes. Fortunately there was enough beer and fun! Later that evening we went out to La Iguana. A few dances and beers later it was suddenly 4 o'clock. Time to go to bed. Tomorrow the Deep Sea tour is on the program!"
March 22nd 2014
"Buenas dias! No Spanish class today! Secretly that is kind of nice though, lovely weekend! Getting up with a clear blue sky and sun is really as it should be, lovely lovely! At 09:30 on our way to Zapatilla. Crossing over the water with the boat to spot dolphins and sloths. Well we were successful! So cool! Then sailed through the mangrove. That really made me realize that we are in Central America, far away from the Netherlands. After the mangrove with 300 km/h over the open ocean water to Zapatilla. I could not believe my eyes, it was one big paradise. Exactly like in your dreams, Bounty Bounty Bounty Island. Deep sea boarding, diving with a board into the water like a mermaid, and coming back up again, and all that while you are hanging behind a boat. What a cool experience. After that we had some free time (yes, English, Spanish, Dutch, it is very confusing sometimes all those languages). Made a wonderful walk on the dreamy Bounty Island (after a deliciously prepared lunch). I also snorkeled a bit and swam a little. Seen so many beautiful fish! Now chilling out in a hammock and will have a bite to eat soon! Today was really incredible!!!"
"Sunday morning, no warm buns at the Mathildehof but a watermelon smoothie and an omelet in La Buquita on Bocas del Toro. That's a different story! Learned a bit of Spanish and had an afternoon nap. In the evening we had a bite to eat together and were in bed on time, a real Sunday! 2 hours at the beach!"
March 24th 2014
"Monday morning, at 7 o'clock the alarm goes off, are we in the Netherlands? Noooo! We join Carlos's Spanish lesson. Nice guy, good teacher! Kris is still not feeling well, but we decide to go to Starfish Beach anyway. So cool! So many starfish in mega clear water. Another bit of paradise! Delicious dinner in our favorite restaurant on Bocas in the evening, two courses and a small jug of sangria! Holidays!"
March 25th 2014
"Kris feels very unwell and decides to stay in bed all day. I have to make a switch myself, but I decide not to let my day be ruined because of this. Off to Spanish class! It went pretty well! After the lesson I chilled and brought the laundry away. It is not really wise to take to the streets on your own, but I did it anyway! Bought some postcards and went into some shops. Some Lisanne time! In the afternoon I picked up some smoothies for us and chilled with the boys in Casa Verde. Nice!!"
"Kris feels very unwell and decides to stay in bed all day. I have to make a switch myself, but I decide not to let my day be ruined because of this. Off to Spanish class! It went pretty well! After the lesson I chilled and brought the laundry away. It is not really wise to take to the streets on your own, but I did it anyway! Bought some postcards and went into some shops. Some Lisanne time! In the afternoon I picked up some smoothies for us and chilled with the boys in Casa Verde. Nice!!"
"I'm sitting here, with tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. The view of the mountains is beautiful, the house is spacious and the family is friendly. I'm even here with Kris, who is so very familiar. But still I want to go home. I had no problems for two weeks and suddenly I went completely crazy. The transition from two weeks of lively holiday to stepping into the life of a real Panamanian family is just too much for me. I cannot make myself understood and this is real life, not a vacation anymore. I was way too naive to think that I could handle this. Because this is exactly the type of situation that I just can't handle. Not even now that I'm 22 and living on my own. I'm in way over my head. I want mom and dad to hold me tight and tell me that everything will be alright. But I can't let them know how I feel now, because I don't want them to worry. It is precisely because I am 22 that I think I have to solve this myself. Still, I now feel like a small child of 2 yelling for her mother who is 2 meters away. I didn't really want this, but I went anyway. I thought I should be able to do this, the final test before I can be really happy with myself. So far I have failed badly. Shit."
"I just saw that I had skipped a few days, but I will of course quickly tell you what happened in those three days. On Wednesday the 26th we have lessons in the afternoon. Quite a shame for such a beautiful day, but we are in Bocas for the Spanish lessons after all. Around 5 o'clock we close off and we go into town for a bit, to see nice shops and stalls. We walked past the Wine Bar and decided to eat there. Shared 3 small appetizers and a glass of wine. Wednesday evening means only one thing: Aqua Lounge! Put on nice clothes and let's move it! We lose Bas out of sight already fairly quickly and so we celebrate the evening with the three of us. That evening I also meet the chef of our favorite restaurant, brilliant! Around half past three we are thrown out and it's time to go to bed. 4 o'clock in bed, and at 7 o'clock the alarm goes off for Spanish class oops oops oops ... the alarm clock rings ... I was just asleep! Groggy we drag ourselves out of bed. Today is the second last lesson. In the afternoon we decide to enjoy our vacation for a little longer. Off to Red Frog Beach! Yes!! Again beautiful and not crowded at all. The afternoon flies by. In the evening we join the boys. The restaurant with the fireworks show. Ate a delicious fish! Of course we play some more games of cards in Casa Verde. No matter how tired and broken we are, it is our second last night here so there shall be dancing in La Iguana. Again half past three, oops! Friday morning, 7 am, the alarm clock rings. BROKEN! But today is our last day in Bocas, so we'll just have to work hard. Spanish lessons are fun! Learned animals, translated a song and learned games which we can play with the children in the children's school. Saying goodbye to Carlos. What a cool guy he is. In the afternoon also Skype with mom and dad and afterwards we spent a lovely time at the small beach. Stunningly beautiful for a "small" beach. Oh yeah! The power went out last night. All of Bocas was without! Very special to see how everyone conjures up their candles and emergency lights. Fortunately it was already fixed at 8 o'clock! Continued with the last evening. Of course three course dinner in our favorite restaurant, with the boys! Then we had a drink and played some cards. It was a perfect ending to our two weeks in Bocas. Saturday morning around 10 o'clock we are ready to leave for our new destination: Boquete! I am fairly ready for it, but it is also a shame to leave Bocas. We have booked a shuttle service to get to Boquete. Everything went well and 4 hours later we stood in the school in Boquete. And 45 minutes later we were sitting on the couch with our host family. Wow!!"
March 30th 2014
"Okay, the tears are gone but it is still strange. I still feel like a tiny intruder in this family. Delicious French toast for breakfast! Explored Boquete in the afternoon which was nice. What a world of difference with Bocas! Here its windy and everywhere around you there are mountains. Magnificent! You can go almost anywhere here for 60 dollar cents. In the afternoon we also went to the school to check out some excursions, that will be fine. We mainly eat rice here by the way! Tomorrow our first day in Aura! Exciting!"
March 31st 2014
"Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! Our first day was a disaster. As we arrive at Aura on time, we are not even recognized or given a friendly welcome. The only thing we hear is "no proxima semana" = we are only welcome next week. WHAT?! We returned to the [Spanish] school disappointed and indeed, the daycare only has work for us next week. But of course we don't buy anything for that. Maybe we will be able to start tomorrow at Casa Esperanza. Fingers crossed! To alleviate our disappointment we went to Sigrid for a full body massage. Some enjoyment! Another day tomorrow, hasta la mañana!"
April 1st 2014
"The time has finally come. We are in Costa Rica. What a trip it was! 12/10 hours flying to Houston, waiting 4 hours there and then another 4 hours to San José, Costa Rica. We arrived here at the hostel around 10 o'clock, which actually felt like 4 o'clock in the morning due to the time difference. How tired we were, because we had already got up at 4 am to arrive at Schiphol airport on time, so we had been awake for 24 hours! We were picked up by a friendly little mister, together with his wife. The same man will soon pick us up again to take us to the bus. It is now around 7 o'clock in the morning. The sun was already rising around 4,5. I am writing this now in the garden of the hostel. Very cute little courtyard with many plants and a kind of fountain/altar made of mosaic. I can't wait to travel to Panama soon. I think the bus trip will be very beautiful, hopefully we will see some nice things from the country. So exciting, the journey has really begun!"
(Drawing of a sun). "It is so hot here! I really have to get used to it. It's like 30 degrees here, sitting in the sun is way too hot. I am currently in the hostel. We arrived yesterday around half past six. The bus trip was an adventure in itself. The bus trip itself went well. But first we had to speed through San José by taxi because we had no cash on us. When we got out in Sixaola, we and two locals were the only ones left. We had to just figure out for ourselves how to get to the border. The bus driver only spoke Spanish. We were sent one way and with our backpacks we really stood out among the locals. We arrived at the border, which consisted of an old bridge. It was very bizarre to cross the border that way. Once on the other side we arrived at a building where we had to pay money for a sticker on a passport (I think we were scammed). When we stood at that real immigration [checkpoint] a man approached us and asked if we had to go to Bocas. We were a bit suspicious because we didn't know very well if we could trust him. All the people were in a great hurry because they thought we would not be able to catch the last boat. For this reason we decided to just jumped in the car and hope for a happy ending. And it came. After a hellish ride where the driver was driving so fast that I didn't even dare to look, we arrived at a small stepping stone for the boat to Bocas. After about half an hour we finally arrived. After two days of traveling it felt incredibly surreal to be at the destination finally. Yesterday we also had a bite to eat but I was so tired that it didn't really get through to me. But now that I am writing this I am sitting at the bar of the Spanish school with some nice Spanish music in the background and I am starting to realize that we are really here and that we can happily enjoy this holiday. Our first Spanish lesson will start in 15 minutes. I am very curious. It is wonderful here". (drawing of 3 suns and a sailboat)
(drawing of cloud with rain). "We are in Panama and it is raining. And not just a little bit, it is pouring down. We already came home last night due to the pouring rain. We then went to Aqua Lounge for the first time, a somewhat larger club just across the street. Fortunately we have lessons today in the afternoon. Let's hope that the sun will come through a bit again. The day before yesterday we went to Red Frog Beach. It was really beautiful. We were dropped off at a jetty and had to walk a bit ourselves and that was beautiful. The jetty continued over the mangrove and turned into a path in the forest with giant plants and beautiful flowers. The beach itself was also beautiful, very clear water and few people. Davis was with us and he is really a sort of survivor. There we were, drinking from a coconut on the beach, delicious. Today we are planning to do a tour on Saturday, looking forward to it!"
March 25th, 2014
"It is Tuesday around 10 o'clock in the morning and I should actually take classes but I am sick. After having had a nervous stomach - gippy tummy – for 3 days, it finally all came out today. This morning at once I had terrible diarrhea which now persists. Which sucks because now I dare not to go anywhere, and so I spend the whole day in my little room. Super lame but now I do have the time to write down everything from the last days. Friday we went to a school BBQ. Was good fun and then we went to the iguana again and had a super evening with Bas, Edwin, Davis and Chad. Saturday we did a super nice excursion. We went in a small boat and first we went dolphin spotting. We then saw one that we followed for a while but then more and more boats were coming so he was gone again. Then we sailed to the edge of the mangrove and there we saw sloths in the trees. We saw at least three and one of them climbed all the way in a tree and at the end he then hung like a hammock. That was very cool, I am really happy that I could see those animals so clearly. Then we had to sail for another half an hour and it looked like we were going to an island in the middle of the ocean. When we arrived there we went deep boarding. This means that you hold a kind of clear plastic board and you let it pull you through the water by a boat. You wear goggles and with this you can view everything that is under water. We saw beautiful coral, also those plants with long thick strings and many different fish. I thought I'd be pretty scared because I don't really like fish but it was really nice to see everything. The water is also so clear here. Then we had a nice lunch, pasta and we had time left. Then we went for a walk across the island and arrived at the other side of it, and it was super beautiful. Truly a fairytale island. Then we walked back along the coast. Super. The island was called Zapatilla. On the way back we made a quick stop at a spot with shallow water to watch all the starfish. The trip was really super. Yesterday, Monday we went to Starfish Beach. In a super hot and super crowded van we drove to the other side of our island. On the way there people were dropped off at places of which I thought, where would those people live? More or less in the jungle. Then we were brought to the end location with a small boat and at first we didn't see any starfish and we thought, well that's just great.. But when we went into the water we suddenly saw a lot of them and with the snorkel that we had rented we could see even more, and also some nice fish. So those are the adventures we had. It feels like we've been here for centuries already, but it's only 1.5 weeks. We still have so much to go. Hasta luego."
March 30th, 2014
"Wow. How much has changed since the last time I wrote something. We are now staying at the host family. The last days on Bocas we mainly enjoyed the beach, good food and going out. We had quite a bit of sleep to catch up on. The time we had in Bocas was really amazing and we really had a holiday there. So it really felt like goodbye, because we probably won't be coming back there. I have never seen a place with such a beautiful coastline and palm trees and such. Really super. Yesterday we arrived in Boquete. The journey actually went very well. The small bus even had air conditioning. We also found the school in no time. We had to get out earlier than the other people on the bus, so that was a bit strange because we got off almost in the middle of nowhere. The school called the family where we would stay. It was really nerve-racking to wait for them because you really hope there is a click. Fortunately it went well. Last night we really had to get used to the new situation. You suddenly stay with a family that you are not (yet) part of. You know nothing about their habits and you actually don't know how to behave. On top of that you can hardly speak a word with them, so you also cannot express how you feel. We were also really exhausted yesterday, but after a good night sleep all is not so bad anymore. So once we have stayed here for a while I am sure that it will be all right. The family is very sweet. The mother's name is Myriam. The eldest daughter Y. Myriam also has 2 other children. A. and A. Y. also has 2 children, J. and S. The youngest is 1 and the other almost 3. They are all very friendly and used to visitors who cannot speak Spanish. The eldest daughter does speak English. But for our Spanish it is better to speak as little English as possible. We also went to Boquete today. Very nice and cute village. Tomorrow we will start at Aura. Very curious how that will go." [I removed the full names of the kids, Scarlet]
=April 1st, 2014 (although the day of March 31st is described..)
"Today was a strange day. We were going to the project for the first time. We were quite nervous and found it nerve-racking. When we arrived we introduced ourselves, expecting the woman to know who we were because she was expecting us, after all. But that was not the case. She showed no sign of recognition and said that it was not possible now [to start volunteer work there] and that we should come back next week. Very unfriendly and not at all warm or cordial. So when we left again we were very disappointed. We were not received openly and did not feel welcome at all, unexpectedly to us. We also did not understand what was exactly going on. Then we went back to the language school to tell our story and to get some answers. It turned out that there was no place/work for us after all this week, so we couldn't start yet. The school also found it very strange because we had planned things months in advance. Then we had to wait all day for Marjolein to hear if we could be part of another project for this week. Eventually we heard that she had not been able to speak to the volunteer coordinator yet, so she wasn't sure, but she did think we would be able to start there. She also said that it was a nice project and after reading about it we also became enthusiastic. Tomorrow they will try to get a hold of that woman and suppose that we like it there, then we can also just stay there. Because we both don't really want to go back to Aura anymore, because we didn't feel welcome at all there, and it was really a huge disappointment. Let's hope that the other project is really fun. Well, lets go with the Panamanian flow then."
One of the early Panamanian TV specials on this disappearance case of Kris and Lisanne; with English translations
Part 1 and part 2. BIG thank you to Juan for doing the translation part.
Also an update video from Juan, about communication he had with the Dutch prosecution and comments left by Lost in the Wild presenter JJ
Despite claims of the girls having 'drowned in wild flowing rivers', this photo comparison shows just how dry it was in Boquete when Kris and Lisanne arrived there (and throughout their first week in Boquete it stayed dry, the rain season did not start yet). Right a photo of Lisanne posing next to a dry and run over river bed. Below there is on the left a photo I found here and taken in 2019, and on the right a photo taken on approximately March 30th when Kris and Lisanne explored the town. The entire river bed is dry. Plants grow in the gully where the river normally flows. This matches reports about the exceptional dry spell the town was in back then. You also see it on their photos of the Pianista trail; dry trails, no mud. And as we can now see also no 'wildly flowing rivers', as the tour guides like us to believe, as well as prosecutor Betzaida Pitti. As you can see in the shapes of the mountains in the background and other background elements, these photos were taken at almost the exact same location. But during very different climatological circumstances; one during normal conditions, the other during an exceptionally dry spell. And a Boquete local wrote this on a forum at the time (on July 2nd of 2014): "We must bare in mind that two months ago, there was a severe (fuerte) drought in the area, that affected the water levels in the whole cordillera of Talamanca."
Although this photo from a news item on TV shows that water streams usually on the left side of the green wild plan growth. Nevertheless: in the photos taken by Kris and Lisanne, there really is no water visible at all, not even a small stream on the left.
Interesting Dutch blogger has dedicated a string of blog posts on the Kris and Lisanne disappearance and calls Ingrid Lommers a spider in a criminal web
Here you can read his blog series. They are all written in Dutch, but I am sure your web browser has a translation option if you don't speak Dutch. I will summarize some of the authors findings more elaborately below. Author Ilidio Tavares has combined information he found online on the case with his own ideas of what happened with Kris and Lisanne. He tries to paint a full story, from A to Z, which can explain all the strange details in this case. In his version of events, Kris and Lisanne met Eileen W. already in the Netherlands, where she studied tourism. Through this connection, the girls came into contact with Ingrid Lommers, the owner of the Spanish language schools in Bocas del Toro and Boquete. Ilidio calls her The Empress, the black spider in a web of intrigue, crime and corruption, who used the girls as pawns and sacrificed them to a crime cartel. Ingrid was the one who not only arranged the volunteer work in a local school (despite neither of the girls speaking Spanish), but she also cancelled it for the girls, without their knowledge. That is also why the staff of children's school Aura never gave Kris and Lisanne a proper explanation for the refusal to have them start their volunteer work on Monday the 31st of March. Ingrid and her staff pushed Kris and Lisanne to go explore the area in their first week there, feeding them with info on the Pianista Trail. He writes that in his scenario, the girls were already dead women walking at that point. Ingrid is the bad one in this story, not tour guide F. He had heard something about the kidnapping, but only wanted to help in the end. And Eileen is the beautiful but naive (not to say stupid) pawn in his scenario. The Empress wanted to gain more power and let her empire grow. She got involved in the dark world of the cartels. She receives money and protection in exchange for western good looking female tourists, and according to Ilidio, she delivers. On Tuesday the 1st of April, the staff of the language school arrange for a taxi to pick the girls up, to bring them to the start of the Pianista Trail. They have been given orders by their boss Ingrid Lommers, who resides still in Costa Rica at that moment. Ilidio thinks that the taxi driver and the other 2 males in the cab were all part of the conspiracy. Once they get in the cab, the people of the cartel take over.
I always like reading theories and scenario's from other people who closely follow this disappearance case. Ingrid, the owner of the language schools, had herself arranged the volunteer work at the local school for Kris and Lisanne. They had called and contacted her multiple times beforehand, asking again and again confirmation if they really could start working at the school, Aura, on the morning of Monday 31st of March? Yes, they were told consistently by Ingrid and/or her staff. The parents of the girls confirmed this, they also read the confirmation emails. So how is it possible that the school staff knew nothing about these Dutch volunteer workers when the girls arrived there? And sent them away? You'd normally assume that there was just a kink in the cable and a problem with communication. But, could it even be possible that Ingrid set them up? Or cancelled their work, without their knowledge? And then had her staff push them for excursions that week, including the Pianista hike? It sounds pretty extreme. But some people knew they were up on that mountain that Tuesday April 1st. Some locals said and wrote that she has some bad connections in Boquete. Maybe some criminals put pressure on her to deliver female tourists, in exchange for... protection? Or something else, money, power? I wouldn't 100% exclude this option, although it is probably not true. But Ingrid was involved in several steps along the way. She knew they were coming and helped set it all up when Kris and Lisanne were still in the Netherlands. She said to have arranged the volunteer work at the local children's school for them. She or her staff seem to have made errors with this, clearly, as the Aura staff were rude to the girls and sent them away. Also, her staff member Eileen was with Ingrid in Bocas, in the langauge school there, at the same time as Kris and Lisanne, before they went to Boquete.
Regarding the rest of this Dutch bloggers' views, his theory as a whole sort of explains the disappearance, the motive of the criminals, the broken bones and the phone use and night photos. It isn't completely fitting however, theoretically, in my view. Some open endings for instance:
*If Kris was still alive but too weak on April 11th to type in her PIN code in her iPhone, how come then that on April 6th (when she supposedly had fled her ordeal, carrying her backpack) she no longer entered her correct PIN code? While her phone had 70-something attempts to activate it?
*If both girls took a serious tumble during their escape after April 6th and did fell into a ravine of sorts, how come their backpack, shoes and the jeans shorts found show no signs of this? No tearings, no slid marks. Or did they wear different clothes at least by then? But the backpack would certainly have showed signs of a fall in that case, and it didn't.
*If Lisanne's body was buried already at the start of the second week of April 2014, how is it possible
that a near intact foot of her was found in June of 2014? With skin and meat on it and all? And how can an intact rolled up ball of skin from her have been found then at the end of August of 2014?
*Why would cartel members allow the girls to keep their mobile phones? Kris and Lisanne could have hidden all sorts of secret Dutch messages in those phones, for instance under the contact data of others. And what a risk it would have been to later place those phones in the backpack again and have authorities investigate them.
Dutchman Rick M. walked the Pianista Trail and wrote this about it:
December 23rd, 2019. (Source)
December 23rd, 2019. (Source)
"Scary! When I first heard about the El Pianista trail, it gave me shivers down my spine! Two girls (Lisanne Froon & Kris Kremers) lost their life's during this trail, when supposedly they got lost. What exactly happened is a mystery to this date. As Lisanne and Kris were from my home town, I wanted to do this hike even more to show my respect, despite all that could happen. The track was easy to navigate and I nowhere felt unsafe. The hike was actually very beautiful, besides the uncomfortable feeling I had about what had happened here 5 years ago. As I already reached the summit after 1,5 hours of hiking I spotted a memorial that was placed to remember the girls. To this day, there now is a sign that says not to walk further, as it's dangerous to continue. Despite all the horrors this Forrest holds, and me being curious, I went past the sign. As I descended more down along the muddy road it started to rain heavily, as from that moment, and with the story of the girls in the back of my mind, I decided it would be too risky to continue and turned back from hence I came. All by all it's still a mystery what happened, but I can say this hike gave me the shivers all the way."
Michael K. replied to Ricks post: "You don't know me, but I knew Lisanne. I've been working on this case for a while. I don't know how much research you've done in advance, but in this area there is probably a serial killer at work. In addition to these two girls, several tourists were found dead. And according to local residents in that area, more than 20 people were killed. Many suspect that a 'much too friendly tour guide' has something to do with it. Good job of you though! But I don't know how prepared you are .. Just .. don't make the same mistake. Expect the unexpected in such a country, but don't let it blind you to have fun. Good luck, have fun!"
Rick replied: "Hey Michael, how interesting to read. I did look up a few things on the internet before I did this hike and came to the same conclusion. I also came across this specific tour guide during the hike, but at that moment I did not yet know who he was and that it was him. All in all very crazy. I hope I don't disrespect someone by sharing this story this way, I wanted to do the hike out of compassion for the girls. Hopefully you could give her loss a place."
Photos from Kris at a
Halloween party in 2011
3D images of Kris and Lisanne Photos from Zachary Womack
Zachary made up several 3D images from some of the pictures which Kris and Lisanne took on their trip. He explained to me that 3D photography relies on taking two pictures (one for each eye) and then blending them together in one image. 3D images can be useful as they provide depth information compared to a normal 2D image. Also, items that are in one image and not the other “pop” out making them easier to spot. Last, 2 images of poor quality can be “enhanced” in 3D allowing you see more than if looking at one image. Colored glasses, or other types of glasses are needed to give the 2D image a 3D appearance. For these images, you will need to get the “red blue” (Anaglyph type) glasses to view them. Zachary also explained that the 3D images are in no way perfect, as the girls were not trying to create them… He did the best he could given the angles and the fact that there was only a few that could be converted.
Thank you! Click on each photo to view it enlarged
Juan posted this video the other day and shows a remarkable photo in it (photo #541 taken at 01:37 that night)
All credits to Toni also for creating this overlap photo. One of the nighttime photos which were published by Juan, shows this odd picture. Around this point in his youtube video, Juan shows an overlap photo, very craftily found and made, which makes a convincing case for the assumption that the nighttime photo is an overly lit up close up from the face of Lisanne.. There are quite a few photos in Juans file, taken in the night of April 8th by supposedly Kris and Lisanne themselves - I have doubts about that personally - , which show a strange round lit up 'something'. You can see them all here (press the arrow on the right of the photo to go through them all). In some photos it seems that perhaps a finger was held before the lens and flash, but in other photos there seems to be light almost in the right top corner. Sometimes it may be a chin perhaps, being overly lit by the flash. OR....... could this be the lit up (by the flash) bent middle finger in front of the lens? In that case, this photo was taken by a man. Hardly any women have hairs on their fingers/hands. Anyway, you can check them out for yourselves. There is a very lively discussion also in that google album of Juan, really interesting to read up on.
Host family mother Miriam Guerra has stated to the Panamanian press at the time that Lisanne was not feeling good the day(s) before the Pianista hike. From her diary we know that she wasn't feeling good psychologically when she stayed in Boquette. And physically she was said to suffer from asthma-related respiratory symptoms, as well as a leg injury. This non-specified leg injury may have stemmed from her volleyball sport. But in this close-up from Lisanne's right foot for instance, taken the week prior to their Pianista hike (while in Bocas del Toro), you can see that Lisanne had a red swelling on the bridge of the foot. In her diary Lisanne confirmed also to have suffered from circulation problems due to the heat: "I have such thick legs. It must be from the heat that my feet look like rhino legs".
Near the end of the year 2014, an American tourist couple was robbed at gunpoint on the Pianista Trail, on the same stretch which Kris and Lisanne walked
"UPDATE on La Pianista / Palo Alto Criminal activity - - Before Christmas this year, a tourist couple was robbed at gunpoint while walking on the Pianista trail above La Pianista restaurant in Palo Alto. In collaboration with the victims, who had left the country, a private investigation was conducted, which resulted in the identification of two suspects, whose names were handed over to the police by Alto al Crimen. Unfortunately, because the victims had already left the country and because only untraceable cash was taken from them, no further action was possible at the time. Since then, the home of Carol and Tom Hurst was broken into in the same neighborhood, and a failed break-in was attempted of the Rock Restaurant. And a few weeks ago another tourist couple was robbed at gunpoint on the same trail. These victims reported the incident to the police, and immediately the previous suspects were brought in and positively identified. Unfortunately, the victims had to leave the country before they could testify and the suspects were let go and allowed to run free again. It's only a matter of time before these guys are eventually removed from the community, but in the meantime, it would be a good idea to prevent anyone from walking the trail above La Pianista and especially to alert visitors for this area." - In addition: the two turned out to be two brothers who lived along the Pianista Trail, or so I read. Could they perhaps be the Il Pianista brothers? Also, a woman has been physically attacked nearby the Pianista Restaurant, several burglaries took place (example of an armed robbery here) and several foreigners living nearby have been murdered. And that is only for the year 2014, there has been a lot more crime in the years prior. It is clear however that known criminals walking around in Boquete, of which police know that they have committed crimes in the past, who either were or were not prosecuted. But NOBODY was officially interrogated in the Kris and Lisanne disappearance. Not a single person was interviewed or had their house checked for DNA or scent or blood of the two young women, just in case.. (source) Another example:
"August 8, 2012. BREAK-INS – PALO ALTO LOOP AREA. Unfortunately, over the last two weeks, we have seen an eruption of break-ins on the Palo Alto loop between The Rock restaurant and the area of the Palo Alto bridge. We can confirm the following: About a week ago, a single female walking on the road was assaulted in the vicinity of la Pianista restaurant. She was attacked from behind by a male Panamanian 15-19 years old, but was able to kick him in the genitals and scream, which ended the attack. Apparently the objective was to steal her backpack, which commonly have laptop computers in them."
And these Dutch bloggers and tourists also went to Boquete; their blog details their experience with the Pianista Trail in July 2013 (so 3/4 year before Kris and Lisanne went there, and look which dog accompanied them)
July 20, 2013 (Translated from Dutch), bloggers are Thijs and Anique: "We arrive in Boquete mid-afternoon. We notice immediately that it is indeed cooler here. Through the accommodation of our choice, which is full, we arrive at a great hostel where we are the only ones. We continue with our culinary wizardry from the past weeks, and start cooking here as well. For the remainder of our stay we remain the only ones in the hostel, except for one night. In the evening we watch movies in a communal space. Good for our Spanish. The day after our arrival we make a walk through the pleasant, but otherwise not very special village. We also make a plan for the coming days, because over here it is more about activities in the area, than about Boquete town itself. We make a great hike, partly through meadows and mountains and we get company of a nice husky dog. Safer and convivial! However, we only hike to the point where the cloud forest takes over from the grasslands. Both in the hostel and on the way we are warned that tourists have been robbed on this trail in recent months. This, combined with the cloudy weather, makes us decide to [turn around earlier and] go back to the hostel."
January 16th, 2020. (Source, source) I have always cast the suggestion aside that indigenous people could be behind the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne. It seemed to me that they had no reason to do so, other than what some suggest to be cannibalism. Now it is breaking news that members from this indigenous Ngobe tribe, which has been mentioned so many times in this disappearance case of Kris and Lisanne because it were members from this large tribe who - with the help of tour guide F. - found their bone remnants as well as their backpack, have now fallen victim to a crazed religious sect. Panamanian police have discovered a freshly dug mass grave in the community of Alto Terrón, with the bodies of six children and one pregnant woman in it. All but one were siblings and descendants of the woman, ranging in age from 1 to 17 and according to police they belonged to the Ngobe tribe. They were most likely the victims of bizarre exorcist rituals, according to officials. Police came to the remote area after three tribe members showed up in hospital with extensive injuries and told that they came from a sect, who were torturing other members. The police had also been made aware of a social media post, showing one victim being burned. “The victims had been kidnapped from their homes by other members of the community, beaten and killed, said Rafael Baloyes, the chief prosecutor for the province of Bocas del Toro.” “On their arrival, the police interrupted a haunting religious ritual unfolding inside a makeshift church. “There were people held against their will, being mistreated,” Mr. Baloyes recalled. One of those detained was a nude woman. Al Jazeera wrote: “There was a naked person, a woman inside the building, where investigators found machetes, knives and a ritually sacrificed goat. The rites had been going on since Saturday, and had already resulted in deaths. They searched this family out to hold a ritual and they massacred them, mistreated them, killed practically the whole family," said Baloyes, adding that one of the suspects in the killing is the grandfather of the children who were slain.” - The captives, who had been tied up and tortured, as well as beaten with bats and Bibles, were going to be killed “if they did not repent their sins,”. 15 people were freed from captivity by the police, including several pregnant women as well as children. Ten suspects — nine adults and one minor (nine males and one female) — were arrested and placed under investigation on charges of deprivation of liberty, homicide and sexual abuse. Newspaper El Siglo mentions the names of all the suspects here. Staggeringly, one of the suspects was the grandfather of the children whose bodies were found in the grave. The authorities also seized machetes “and other tools” that were presumably used against the victims, according to a statement from the Public Ministry of Panama. “The suspects are members of an evangelical church called the New Light of God, officials said. Interviews with community members revealed that the sect began practicing rituals more than three months ago, Mr. Baloyes said, though the kidnapping and torture started only last Saturday, when a sect member claimed to have received a message from God. Investigators have found no evidence of other victims or secret graves, the prosecutor added.” All the victims and suspects were residents of Alto Terrón, a community in Ngäbe Buglé, an indigenous administrative region in a densely forested peninsula in western Panama, between the Caribbean Sea and the Chiriquí Lagoon. I am curious if we will ever hear of more victims. Update: some of the perpetrators have been arrested, but more than 8 other perpetrators/killers are still out on the loose.
Kris and Lisanne's disappearance reminds me in some ways of another missing persons case from The Netherlands.
One that has never been solved until now, and where officials both at home and in the country where this one plays out, were very quick to point towards an accident. Without any proof. Sophia Koetsier went to Ugandan on October 22nd 2015. The attractive 21 year old medicine student did an internship in a Ugandese hospital and afterwards travelled around a bit longer with two other Dutch medicine students. On Wednesday afternoon, October 28th 2015, they arrived in Murchison Falls National Park. They stayed in a cheap backpackers place called Student Center. After a boat trip on the Nile they arrived there at around six pm. They unloaded the car and Sophia announced she was going to the bathroom, a separate building, a little further away. The guide on the terrain had told them that the toilet was about 50-100 meters out, but that they couldn't go there alone at night because wild animals might be around. They were supposed to tell him that they had to go, and he'd bring them with his car. They dropped off their luggage and the 2 friends went to the toilet. While walking back, they passed Sophia, who told the guide she had to go to the toilet too. The guide waited near the barracks where they would sleep, but could not see the toilet as it was located behind a bush. After a few minutes the guide approached them and asked if they had seen Sophia. They assumed she was somewhere nearby. This is the last time Sophia was seen. Her two friends raised the alarm and within 15 minutes a search party, including park rangers, was in place. Without any results. In the following days police and park rangers searched further, on land and in the river, but Sophia was not found. They do find a plastic water bottle about 20 minutes walk from the toilets, one that her friends say Sophia also carried. Searches were conducted by helicopter and on the ground, with local search dogs and a mixed group of police and park rangers. On November 4th 2015 a Dutch police team arrived, equipped with a drone. Sophia was still not found. But along the river, they did find her sunglasses, a shoe, a water bottle, pieces of colorful fabric from her trousers which were partially tied to twigs and were scattered on the ground near a tree, other pieces of fabric including her black underpants were also found 5 meters or 17 ft up high in that same tree (which were confirmed to be Sophia's) , and a etui without any contents in them. Later near the river some folded up clothes were found from her. Also her Ray-ban sunglasses, a right shoe, half a dollar bill, Then the big blame game started. Some said that wild animals ate her. Other said that she accidentally drowned. Others referred to her parents admittance that Sophia took medication for bipolar disorder, and this must have taken her own life. No leads have been found since then, and it still remains a mystery what happened to her. The alligator theory was soon dismissed as no blood was found near the river, nor where there any screams heard or any traces of her found in the river. Also her folded clothes near the river could not be the work of wildlife. "The last thing that was found from Sophia is some clothing in the vicinity of the river," says Van de Goot, who is part of the investigation team. "That was some distance from the place where they stayed. She is said to have disappeared from the toilets. Hours and hours later, perhaps even days later, these items of clothing were found." The forensic pathologist questions the scenario that was outlined by the Ugandan police. "I don't want to deny or flatten out that scenario. But because her clothes were found on land and neatly taken off, I consider a scenario with only wild animals extremely unlikely." Because the two friends of Sophia stated that Sophia had acted strangely the days prior to her disappearance (she locked herself in the toilet for longer period of times). The friends called with Sophia's mother, say they are worried about her behaviour and the mother warned them not to tell Sophia about this or their plans to have her return home sooner, because she may walk away then if she is having a bipolar flare up. Soon after Sophia (who didn't hear this conversation the friends say, but the parents stress that during a manic flare Sophia is highly sensitive) to the toilets, never to be seen again. However the crime scene was not closed off and many people touched Sophia's (clothing) items before police collected them. Ugandan police state that Sophie drowned herself and was eaten by wild animals. Her parents think that she fell victim to crime, because they bought the exact same pair of trousers that Sophia had been wearing, and with the best attempts in the world they could not tear it apart with their hands. As was done to their daughters trousers. Not even with their teeth. They do not believe that their daughter could have done this herself. They believe other people were involved. They feel it is the easy way out to declare their daughter 'crazy' and state she must have had a fatal accident. With no bodily remains, nobody really knows...
But their theory is supported by forensic analyst Richard Eikelenboom. After researching the found pieces of fabric from Sophia's trousers, he thinks that the Sophia's cotton trousers must have been cut into pieces with a knife or scissors (something she did not carry with her). In addition, the Dutch Forensic Institute examined her underpants to determine if this was from Sophia. That turned out to be the case, but DNA from an unknown man was also found on it. This has not been investigated further, and neither have her other found items been further investigated. "It may be DNA from a cop who has taken the panties off the tree. But we don't know that", says Eikelenboom. "New research could show whether Sophia herself tied the pieces of pants to the branches or someone else. If you tie a knot, you have to put strength and you leave a lot of skin cells behind." And there are more mysterious aspects to this case. Her black underpants was shoved with the help of a branch four meters high in a tree. Her right shoe, found on the banks of the Nile. was spotless. Also the profile of the bottom part of the shoe. "How is that possible?" Says mother Marije. "The earth is orange there." And Sophia's water bottle and personal items were found on nearly exactly the same spot. But several days after one another. Someone must have put the items there after the water bottle was already found. Her parents think of the worst possible scenario's: local devil or spirit expulsions, rape, torture, murder. Ugandans with war trauma's. They worry that their daughter is still alive and is continuously abused. But then again, she did have manic episodes in the past, where she can walk off just like that. What hell for her parents. In Uganda her friends also detailed how she didn't sleep much and was gone one night, sitting in a lookout post all night. She didn't want to miss anything and had set herself a goal, a mission; to survive a night out there like she did in the lookout post. Sophia had also chatted to a friend the night prior, and told how it annoyed her that her two travel companions were audibly worried about her. That she wanted to be alone. Perhaps Sophia set herself another goal that night, went for a walk, tried to climb into the tree and survive another challenge night. She may have thrown the water bottle down. Then moved on the next day and ran into foul play, with a 3rd party coming back to place the other items the day or night after (explaining why the water bottle was the only thing found initially, followed by all the other personal items a day or so later on virtually the same spot suddenly. Or she ended up in the river herself and just never made it out there in any shape or form... (Although don't forget that people started looking for her there within 15 minutes of her not returning from the toilets). But if she had a bipolar episode she could also have reacted different from normal to other people. In the days prior she sat up all night once to talk to local men at a camp fire, and another evening she randomly interviewed strangers in the street, for instance. Anyway, a deviation from our main story! But mainly to underline just how easy officials throw a mysterious case onto an accident. Like with Kris and Lisanne. Just like with the Kris and Lisanne case, Nikki van Passel worked with Sophia's parents as spokes person for them to the media. Here and here you can find facebook pages for Finding Sophia Koetsier
Interesting 2-part podcast on the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne. They also discuss the missing photo #509
Here is the main page, below I add the youtube versions of this episode. Its from November 13th, 2018.
Some interesting comments below the video on the main page, concerning the missing photo #509. Someone called Mary wrote about this: "I’m a photographer and wanted to answer your question about deleting the photo. If the photo was deleted from the camera it still exists on the memory card and can be retrieved. The only way to permanently delete the image would be to format the card, which can be done using the camera, but it would permanently delete all of the images on the card. You could probably permanently delete only a single image from a computer, but if you know that then you are probably aware of the fact that you could permanently delete all of the images right from the camera without going through the hassle of taking the card all the way to a computer and then putting it back."
Alex Poland wrote on November 15th, 2018: "So I fully expect this to be redundant by now, but jumping in before I even finish the last 10 minutes of the podcast: quick layman's terms explanation of How Camera Memory Works (and any electronic device's, really). Forget, for a minute, that a digital camera stores information as 0s and 1s and imagine its memory as a pile of Etch A Sketch toys, or maybe like an old timey slate tile they'd use to write on with in chalk in schools before paper became cheap to produce. One photo is always one tile. Say your camera's memory has fifty tiles and as such can fit fifty photos. At first all tiles are blank and all lie on one pile. The 'free to use for photos' pile. You want to snap a photo. You grab a tile on random from that pile and quickly draw photo #1 in chalk on what we will call tile #1. You put that tile aside. You then draw photo #2 on tile #2 and place it with tile #1. They are now a new, 'currently in use, do not wipe' pile. You continue snapping pics, but pause after, idk, photo #7. You've decided you do not like photo #2 after all, and you only have 50 tiles, might as well free up some space now. So you grab tile #2 from the 'do not wipe' pile and put it back on 'free to use' pile, but /don't actually erase the chalk drawing. This is what happens when you erase a photo from camera's memory. The data making up the photo is not instantly gone, the device just makes a note to itself that 'this particular tile/fragment of data can now be reused if needed'. If you don't do anything else photo #2 can still be viewed and recovered using special software after connecting to a computer, even though just by flipping through from camera it appears to be gone. Now, what happens when you want to take photo #8... This is where it gets interesting. You grab another tile from the 'free to use' pile. It might be a completely new tile #8 you haven't used before OR it can be the former tile #2. What you do in that case is erase the chalk lines of photo #2 from and draw photo #8 instead. At this point photo #2 has stopped existing and cannot be recovered anymore. That's theory. In practice this does not work quite like this, new photo will not usually immediately replace another for a number of reasons, including photo not being necessarily stored in memory as one chunk of continuous 0s and 1s. It could be in several pieces and some of it may be gone and some still possibly recoverable. Now, I have an engineering background, I'm not a forensic data recovery technician and don't have experience with recovering stuff from physically damaged memory, but some things that come to mind assuming the camera wasn't damaged:
- if nothing resembling the missing photo can be recovered from the 'free to use' memory it could mean it was deleted by a user (one of the girls purposefully deleting a bad selfie or someone's finger slipping, the fact that my old digital camera had a 'delete photo' button physically on the device comes to mind) and it has then been overwritten by the device itself in the course of taking further photos. This is somewhat likely if the camera was already quite full, if there were already 500 photos on its memory card and then it proceeded to take 90 more... well, exact type&specs of camera would be helpful to know here.
- if nothing resembling the missing photo can be recovered from the 'free to use' memory it could also indeed mean someone took the camera, connected it to a computer, went in with a software made to delete files forever and erased it... IE picking up tile #2 and wiping the drawing before placing it on the 'free to use' pile, which is not what happens by default."
Juan said about missing photo #509: "All we know is the Dutch Forensics Institute (NFI) couldn’t find a trace of photo or video #509. Not even 1%, or the name.. If this file was manually deleted by Kris or Lisanne, you’d expect a 100% recovery, if no one touched the memory card. Some people claim the camera can skip a number, which has never happened to me [Juan bought the exact same Canon photo camera and tested it out thoroughly], 20.000 pictures down the road.. So it’s very suspicious, especially since it’s sitting in between the last regular photo and the night pictures. And the girls never ever did even zoom in.. They didn’t have an understanding of the camera really. And deleting a file isn’t that easy, on the camera.. You need the right menu first and then push the trash can on the not so obvious second click wheel.."
I'm not even so sure that the Panamanian investigators don't know what's on photo 509.
Juan showed that some of the photos have not only been viewed already on June 17th, before the card went to the Dutch investigators, but that some of the photos were also altered in a photoshop-type of program. So who knows if these people have seen things on the card, which the Dutch 'may' never had the chance to see. We just don't know... We don't even know if that photo #509 still existed on the card when it was handed to the police, or whether it was already missing before they had their first look. Surely the Panamanian investigators can shed more light on that. But if you consider what a botched investigation they did overall ... no fingerprints of the searchers were taken or stored, no soil samples taken from the place where the bones/bag etc were discovered, no soil samples compared to those found on the bag, no water samples taken from the water bottle, the guides house wasn't searched or checked for DNA, hairs, blood spatters etc, no suspects were interviewed and the list goes on and on. So maybe we shouldn't expect too much transparency from Panamanian police in that respect.. Isn't it astonishing that there was never any inquiry or follow-up investigation by the Dutch police on all this though.. From what we know and what has been made public, the Dutch basically said: we just couldn't find back photo #509. In this video, police explain what they do know about the phones and the camera.
David M. wrote about this: "My phone has long-since made my digital camera redundant, but back in the day it received regular use from me and I have a fair bit of experience therefore in using the card for convenient storage and transfer, and then removing its content for editing etc. So what strikes me the most about the 'cut & paste' conclusion is that cutting and pasting from your card to your computer and/or image editor is not something you would do, it is easier and natural to just drag & drop or open the photo file directly by just double clicking on it - the photos are automatically Jpeg on cameras usually so every computer and image editor can open then up without any issue. So simple. To cut and Paste on the other hand requires you to create a new page/window in your editor and make sure it is of the right size (huge given the image is digitally captured) and it is far too much hassle to do that, nobody does that. As the fact is it isn't necessary to do that.... So all it tells me as a certainly is that this one photo, out of all of them on there, was struck from existence very intentionally and very deliberately. I myself had no idea it was possible to read the history of a card as Juan demonstrated, no idea, it isn't common knowledge at all you can actually do that, and without a doubt whoever first accessed the camera and card and interfered with that picture etc didn't know it either. I don't think #509 would show on the camera review screen when reviewing so whoever erased it from existence thought they were doing something that could never be detected, the photo was gone with no evidence it had ever even existed. That belief, that no one but they would know there WAS a photo, is an important detail in itself. There was something about what that picture showed that they felt was very inconvenient and had to cease to exist..."
Juan said about all this to me: "No one uses cut and paste in such a situation, no, when you want to get one photo off the memory card and onto the PC. Because if you can't display the 'paste', you've lost everything. But that's not the point. The point is, suppose that someone removes photo 509 on the camera, or removes 509 from the card and puts it onto a PC; even then you can always recover the entire file with recovery software, or at least a percentage of it. But certainly the title, certainly the evidence that that a file 509 existed. If you format a memory card, there is also no problem: then only the index is deleted, which tells you on which jumble of sectors that one photo is stored. But recovery software does not care about that: recovery software scans all those sectors and sees what photo fragments it can still find. Only if then new photos are saved, after formatting, do you have the chance that parts of photo 509 will be overwritten by new photos. But if you prepare a memory card as a murderer yourself, that will always come to light. Your PC ensures that the field LAST ACCESSED is changed with every photo, internally, by your PC . You won't get to that, you can't reach that part. And it is then possible that the LITTLE ENDIAN indicator may change to BIG ENDIAN. I think someone may have created his own scenario on that memory card, and he did so with a lot of ignorance and violence. And that is why the data looks so sloppy, bad and incomplete on the photo copies. It may have been a mistake of him that photo 509 is missing .. or the Panamanian investigators did that. Pitti's helpers.. They didn't care about doing that whatsoever. But in any case, it is highly unlikely that Kris and Lisanne did that.."
Jason Burbank wrote: "When files are “deleted” they are not actually erased. The operating system simply removes part of the file that says it’s an active file and it can now be written over. The way to truly delete a file is to write over it with other data, like all zeros. If you don’t, you can recover it with free programs such as: https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec This is probably why the investigators said someone must have deleted it from a computer because If you delete a file from your micro sd card on the camera, it doesn’t write over it. I know this because I’ve accidentally erased the wrong photo from the camera and was able to recover it."
Juan said more interesting things about these photos
He said regarding the year 2013 coming up in Kris and Lisanne's photos, instead of 2014 (the actual year); "Uhm it is just standard for every camera you buy, that the year of production is the first thing that shows up in the time/date settings. In this case 2013. But there is no default. With the Canon Powershot I bought after getting interested in this case, the first archive number was 102 by the way, and not 100. Pay notice; in Kris and Lisanne's camera the photos from April 1st started with archive number 102. But there is this thing with these powershot camera's, that this number jumps up one digit EITHER every new month OR every new day. And when you read out the memory card on a computer, the new archive number goes one digit up anyway once you put the memory card back into the digital camera. So, if Kris and Lisanne happened to have had my Canon camera, their photos would have started with the number 102 in Bocas del Toro (first stop in their holiday and first time they made holiday photos). The official EXIF name for those photos is then 102-0491.JPG. And then the next set of photos (for instance those of the Pianista hike) would have started with the number 103, automatically. I would love to have access therefore to the case report of those photos. See if the pictures taken in Bocas del Toro have the numbers 101-400.JPG. If not, manipulation has taken place. And I would like to know when that digital camera of theirs was exactly purchased. Or when it was given to them at the very least, perhaps right before they took off to Panama. Because normally when you receive such a camera, you first make a round of test photos. And then watch these test photos on your PC. I would like to see for myself with what number their photo sequences started. If theirs did start with archive number 100 (and not with 102 like with my newly purchased canon camera, the exact same model as they had), then when exactly did their archive numbers jump to 101? Was this the next day? Or later? I'd want to know when exactly they started using this camera, because that may have been with their last Christmas for instance, meaning they could have already made 200 photos with it before even setting foot on Panamanian soil, and then it would have been impossible for their Panama series to start with 100. The numbering goes on, by the way. When I take photos 0 to 200 in February, meaning 102-0001.JPG to 102-200.JPG, then the first picture I take in March automatically becomes archive number 103-201.JPG. And you can not bring that archive number down yourself, not even with a hard reset of the camera; you won't get to that part of the memory. So, that once again tells us that that digital camera from Kris and Lisanne is the only reliable witness here, and the ignorant Dutch forensic institute did nothing with it. Too afraid to offend the Panamese." - "But we do know that in the case of Kris and Lisanne's Canon camera, the night photos (taken 8 days later) also started with 102. Photo #542 for instance has the full code of 102-0542.JPG. Although this code is visible in the copy of the original photo, which we've had access to through the press. So in their case the file numbering does not jump one digit every day, automatically. Their default setting must thus have been 'file numbering - continuous'. And below it "Create folder - monthly'. It takes quite a few steps to manually alter these settings. Too many steps for the girls, considering their general straight forward, no fuss use of this camera. They never even zoomed in while making photos. Just like the different photographing modes their camera offered were never further used. With one click of the wheel, you could manually choose between 12 different modes, from manual to action to high speed to macro to video, etc. But their camera was always set to AUTO, going by the Exif data of their photos."
Cody_nzealand also got slightly lost on the Pianista trail, and díd in fact video document it, here and here.
And this is a video that shows very clearly the start of the Pianista Trail
After 23 seconds you see the house of Oliva on the left.
After 1.04 minutes you see the garden of Martina.
After 2.32 minutes you see the bridge you have to cross according to Lonely Planet.
After 5.00 minutes you see a truck (with people).
And on the right another good video showing the Pianista Trail:
Footage from three different dates included: first from May 16, 2014, where the Kremers family discuss a peculiar tip-off about two bodies. Police immediately looked at the spot where these bodies were said to be, but they found nothing. Hans Kremers talks about the psychological impact of this event. Then follows a clip from Oct 1, 2014, where Kris' parents tell about their trip to Panama, walking the Pianista Trail, and why they still have not seen any official report on what happened to their daughters or on DNA evidence. "Why do we have to wait so incredibly long for the NFI report? Why do we have to wait so gruelingly long for the DNA research? To the point where we start to think that authorities have put things on purpose in the lowest gear, hoping that we will stop bothering , or something." And third a clip from March 5, 2015, where Hans Kremers talks about letting go of Kris.
Interview with Hans and Roelie Kremers: How do you live on without hope? Article
October 12th 2014. By Kim Bos. Half a year after their daughter Kris Kremers disappeared in Panama, her parents are trying to rebuild their lives. This is difficult, because they still have many questions. This afternoon, Roelie Grit may start removing the loose branches from the garden. She tells it with a half smile, as if to mock the banality of it. Her partner Hans Kremers goes to volleyball later. Roelie: "We are working to build the outer edges of our lives back up again, or so I call it, by doing normal things again." Over half a year ago, their daughter Kris Kremers (21) went with her friend Lisanne Froon (22) on a trip to Panama. On April 2, they did not return to their guest house in the village of Boquete. In late June this newspaper spoke for the first time with the Kremers family - the family Froon was there also at the time, but they are nowadays reluctant to interact with the media. The conversation involved the search efforts to find the girls, and about having to live between hope and fear. The parents tried not to think in doomsday scenarios. Roelie Grit had a mantra to expel creepy scenes from her mind. "She's alive and she will be found," she would say over and over again to herself. But a few hours after that interview in June, it was announced that "human remains" of the girls were found by the river in the area where they would go hiking. "Hope is gone ..." wrote Nikki van Passel, spokesperson for the Kremers family and closely involved in the case, in a late night text message. Now the parents of Kris sit at the same sturdy wooden table in their living room. Next to still stands the small table with candles and pictures, which Roelie Kremers had decorated for Kris after her disappearance. When they called it 'a table of hope'. Since it has become clear that their daughter is no longer alive, it has a different name: 'Kris' little place'. How do you live on without hope? In other words, how are the parents doing now? Hans: "Sometimes the grief is really affecting you, but other times those moments are limited. We also have two sons aged 18 and 24. If Kris had been our only child, I suspect we would have sunk far deeper into our grief." Hans and Roelie do not appear defeated. Occasionally the conversation falters briefly because they have to swallow hard. They can express very eloquently how they feel. Roelie: "We try to find a balance. On the inside it is a big ravage; inside we need to give the loss a place. But we also want to remain combative. "
"DNA of a third person has been found on the backpack and on the phone. The bag contains sand and vegetation residues. Where does that come from? This is detective work, you would expect that the police starts investigating that."
Was there a crime? Hans and Roelie can not collapse because they have "a kind of mission." Did the girls get lost, or was there a crime? For the parents it is not yet clear. Roelie: "We want to do everything we can to find out what happened to her. We feel that we owe that to Kris." Last Tuesday a casket with the remains of Lisanne Froon arrived in the Netherlands. With that, the Panamanian forensic investigation of her is finished. The parents of Kris Kremers have decided, together with their lawyer, that they do not yet want to receive the remains that have been found of their daughter, so that the research continues. They also want their daughter to come home as 'complete' as possible. From Kris a pelvic bone and probably a piece of rib - Roelie and Hans have not yet seen that confirmed in black and white - have been found back so far. "Surely you can not organize a funeral if the possibility exists that a few weeks later more pieces of your child pop up?" 'Pieces'. Roelie finds it a very unpleasant word to use when talking about Kris. Usually they try to describe it differently. The parents try to allow the mundane aspects of everyday life back into their lives again, bit by bit. But the content of their conversations and the things they wonder about are often rare. How do you talk about the body of your deceased daughter? "I remember when I was writing an email to you," says Roelie against spokesperson Van Passel who also sits at the table again, "and then I thought: how do you have to call that? Which word do you use for that? It is one of the most painful things. That your child is found in pieces along the river." Hans: "You have to name it now and then, but there always remains a hesitation in it." Roelie: "It undermines her so much." At the moment there are no searches taking place for the rest of the remains of Kris and Lisanne. The research is the responsibility of the Panamanian authorities. They confirmed lately that another search effort would in fact take place. But when, where or with whom, the parents of Kris do not know. They find this uncertainty exhausting.
They fear for example, that the police in her quest for answers is relying too much on the assumption that the girls got lost, and that the possibility of a crime is barely explored.
Radiant in the last photo - Hans and Roelie have doubts about the commitment of the Panamanian and Dutch authorities. They fear for example, that the police in her quest for answers is relying too much on the assumption that the girls got lost, and that the possibility of a crime is barely explored. And why is not more done to get the whole truth out and on the table? Hans: "A report by the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) indicates that Kris and Lisanne took their last photo with their camera at two o'clock in the afternoon. We have seen that picture, Kris is pictured just beaming on it. But then there are many beautiful places on the route, when you keep following it. If they truly got lost then why weren't those beauty spots photographed? And if they got lost, then why did they not take any more pictures? That raises questions, doesn't it? Maybe something happened after that photo was talen at two o'clock."And on that trail you can hardly get lost, the parents of Kris, who also took the walkway itself, say. They also want the investigators to start looked at phone records from Kris Lisanne from before their disappearance. Hans: "Who knows, they may have had contact with someone, perhaps there is more important information." But there is no mention of it in the NFI report, according to Hans and Roelie. There are many more questions that the parents want answered - but which can often can't be answered.
Hans: "It's almost like the authorities have the attitude of: you just listen, good citizen; we are the police and we do the investigation, and no-one else has anything to do with this. Once we come to a conclusion, we'll let you know."
During the conversation Roelie and Hans occasionally get mad - in a controlled manner, they raise their voices a bit at most. They just spoke about the hassle regarding the NFI report, which only arrived at the prosecution in Panama a month after the study was completed. Hans: "First they received a Dutch version. And later a translated, brief summary of six pages. "A spokesman for the prosecution in the Netherlands let them know they "did not find this slow at all". Panama could request an extensive version of the report if they wanted to, the Dutch prosecution said. Hans: "The authorities don't make any effort to find out more answers, while we think that there are specific things where they can still work on. DNA of a third person has been found on the backpack and on the phone. The bag contains sand and vegetation residues. Where does that come from? This is detective work, you would expect that the police starts investigating that." Roelie: "In the first place in Panama, because officially the country where the disappearance took place takes the responsibility for this investigation, but when you can conclude that they do not do this investigation, then you expect as Dutch citizens that your own authorities make themselves hard for this and do this job. But it just doesn't happen." The Dutch police travelled during the beginning of the searches twice to Boquete to assist. After that, you are on your own.
There are many beautiful places on the route, when you keep following it. If they truly got lost then why weren't those beauty spots photographed?
You are on your own - Roelies view on humanity has not changed since the disappearance of their daughter, she says. She still has a positive outlook on life. But her trust in the authorities has changed. "We are brought up in the Netherlands with the idea that you can trust the authorities, that they stand up for their citizens. That idea was rooted very deeply with me. Now I no longer believe in it. That is very unpleasant." Nikki van Passel: "For me this is also one of the conclusions after this disappearance. If you are abroad and something happens, who will you help? People need to realize that they may be left alone to face the music then." Van Passel also represents the families of other people who disappeared abroad, like Mary-Anne Goossens and Ingrid Visser and Louis Severein. "If you are abroad and something happens, you're on your own. Nobody realizes that." Hans and Roelie have received a lot of help from Panamanian institutions especially, they say. In the first two weeks after the girls went missing, people searched very hard. In December, when the river reduces in water size and drops a few meters, another last search attempt is planned. Hans: "Whether the authorities want to help or not." The family has enough Panamanian contacts that they can enable. In April Hans and Roelie hired a Panamanian private detective who was involved for a few months. And there are local tour guides who like to go out looking for the parents. The costs can be covered by money collected by Answers for Kris, the foundation that the parents founded." The past few weeks I have longed sometimes to not have to occupy myself with Panama for a bit. I want to focus on Kris and process her loss. Roelie: "We think sometimes about what we want her funeral to be like. That may sound weird, but we at least have the luxury to think about this for a bit longer. Normally you must arrange all that very quickly."
The case of Kris and Lisanne
March 15, 2014. Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon leave for Panama. They follow two weeks a language course and then volunteer.
2nd April. The girls have not been in their house all night. The woman of the family where Kris and Lisanne stay, call the parents of Lisanne.
June 13th. Along the river Culubre finds a local resident a backpack with stuff from Kris and Lisanne. Starting today combing a search team of guides and residents at the request of the family from the area.
June 19th. Panamanian media report that 'human remains' are found: bones and two left shoes. The residues analyzed in the next days and it is established that it is Kris and Lisanne. Fixed
July 31st. The parents of Kris in Panama. Find Indians along the river six pieces of bone. In the first instance, it can not be said to be of Kris or Lisanne - it would be of animals or people of a different age. But about two weeks later still shows a DNA test that a piece of rib Kris is covered.
1st October. The remains of Lisanne Froon found in Panama, arrive in the Netherlands. Remains of Kris Kremers remain at the express request of the family in Panama because the case is otherwise closed.
Writer Ramón Hernández published a compilation book in October 2015 about the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne and has his own thoughts on what likely happened to them
Source. Writer and journalist Ramón Hernández wanted to clear up the case of the missing Dutchwomen. His compilation book is called "Mystery in the Path of the Pianist", and it is a compilation of the journalistic Panamanian publications on the girls' mysterious disappearance. Hernández selected relevant news articles and photos that were published between April 29th 2014 and October 2015 for his book. Hernández is called 'one of the heroes from November 3rd 1959, when he and Aquilino Boyd led the "Operation Sovereignty".
"Their death was a crime and not a disappearance, as the prosecutor in Chiriquí says". Hernández added: "I think that the public prosecutor did not know from day one how to lead and carry out this investigation. I am asking that the fact that this was a crime is further investigated. Because in my opinion, it may not be possible for the murderers to be free."
But Ramón Hernández said that he also wanted to reflect in his book "the failure of the investigation system in our country, and the confirmation what the lawyers of the young Dutch women's families state about the death" - Hernández agrees that they died as the result of a crime; of foul play. Hernández also talked during the book presentation about another - older - disappearance; that of Betsy Marlena Mendizábal, who disappeared on Juanary 30th, 1976 in the region of Mariato, in the province of Veraguas.
And lets not forget that Panama has not only its own industry to protect, but that The Netherlands and Panama also have - and had at the time - a budding trade connection.
Wiebe de Boer, diplomat and Dutch ambassador in Panama for the Dutch, had already showed his good diplomatic qualities when he defended Panama and Boquete in particular as a quaint and safe mountain abode, skirting past Panama's serious crime numbers. As Ken Lee commented below one of my youtube videos: "In 2017, there were a total of 396 murders in that nation [Panama], out of a small population of just 4 million. This places it at #184 of 230 countries globally in terms of murder rate, i.e 10 murdered out of every 100,000 people (where #1 rank=lowest murder rate). Those comments about safety of the place are simply off." Nevertheless Wiebe de Boer was unwilling to speak even a single negative word about his host country. On his twitter, you can scroll back to 2014 and read his tweets about trade and cooperation, even posted on April 1st 2014, but not a word about the missing Kris and Lisanne.. Despite De Boers role in the transition of the belongings from the girls from Panama to their Dutch families. MH17 victims are later referred to however, but Kris and Lisanne, missing in his host country of Panama are entirely ignored on his social media feed. Strange... He seems primarily interested in keeping the trade- and diplomatic relations with Panama good.
In this article, De Boer is quoted as pushing for an increase of financial and trade relations with Panama. And by 2010, the Netherlands were already one of the top 5 trading partners for Panama, and (after the USA) is in fact their second biggest export destination, with the Dutch responsible for taking over 10% of their goods. In addition the Dutch government (incl. their banks, FDI's, NGO's) is responsible for investing around 2 billion dollars so far in Panama. In February 2014, companies from the Netherlands have shown an interest in developing a new container port in Corozal in the 46 hectares belonging to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), as confirmed by the Dutch ambassador to Panama, Jakob Wiebe de Boer, who adds "The Netherlands can transfer to Panama the operational experience of the Port of Rotterdam". During the summer of 2014, The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) was in discussions to build this new port in Corozal, with work set to commence in January 2015. On 22nd October 2014, the same Dutch ambassador to Panama, Wiebe de Boer announced that "the regional office in Panama will increase its staff numbers from 200 to 400, so that from there activities for the entire Central American region will be established. Dutch banks are involved as partners in the controversial hydro dam on the Changuinola River."
Excellent work from a Reddit user named Barbarossa170, who investigated the angle of the sun in the summit photos
Here this disappearance case is discussed in detail. Barbarossa170 writes on May 8th 2020: "I worked in IT forensics in the past, supplying services for local as well as state law enforcement in my country. I have worked on digital evidence relating to cases ranging from copyright infringement to homicide. I'm not an accredited subject matter expert however (I worked under the supervision of several during my time in forensics though), do not represent any official forensic institution or law enforcement agency and haven't worked in the field for a while. None of what I am going to put forward here is based on a claim to authority in any case. You can research and recreate all of this yourselves. This is just to put my interest into this particular aspect of the case into perspective. In this case there has been ongoing discussion about the veracity of EXIF file data (data embedded in images on the womens' camera showing the time and date of the pictures taken). Discussion specifically focuses on the timeline as the EXIF data shows Kris and Lisanne on a mountain summit at around 1300h local time when several eye witnesses place them in the village where they had been staying at that time, making it unlikely that they would have reached the summit before 1500h. The camera on which the pictures where found was missing for some time after the girls' disappearance, alongside their cellphones, only to be found by locals, contained in the women's backpack, in perfect condition, despite them allegedly having been "dragged to death" by a river. This opens up the possibility of the files having been tampered with to plant false evidence. The time the women reached the summit is of importance since it would put the first distress call they made at 1639h into perspective. The pertinent question being: was there enough time between them reaching the summit and the first distress call to make the hypothesis that they walked on for a long time after the summit and thus got lost at some point (more or less) likely. The official position of the Panamanian government as well as the Dutch investigators is that the EXIF data is correct. Various online sleuths have called this into question, in the case of the Panamanian officials with good reasons since the case was botched at every turn, with such enthusiam in fact that one cannot help but think that they intentionally tanked the investigation.
When I first read this, I was taken aback at how much credence was given to the metadata given the camera may have been in the hands of the perpetrator for a long time. EXIF data on a camera/SD card can be easily manipulated given access to a computer and the willingness to research how to do it. It is by no means complicated at all. Added to this is the fact that one picture seems to have been securely deleted from the camera, which would not have been possible for the women to do but would have required the camera to be hooked up to a computer. The picture I looked at in particular is image IMG_499, showing Lisanne Froon on the summit. In the koudekaas blog I linked above, it is stated the experts determined the EXIF data to be correct and the picture to be taken around 1300h local time. I set out to see if I could replicate that result, especially since the blog calls the determination by experts into question and since there is no further information as to what exactly the experts did to determine the time of day retroactively. My methodology was as follows: I used a rendering engine commonly used in visual effects (Octane Render) to light a 3D model of a human. Octane Render has a so-called daylight model, which enables the user to input coordinates, date, time of day and GMT offset (for the local time zone). Thus, the user is able to accurately replicate lighting conditions of a clear sky at any given time anywhere on the planet.
I used the following data;
Coordinates: 8.78024 | -82.441360
Date: 1st of April
GMT offset: -5
I then rotated the model so the lighting direction matched the photo (meaning Lisanne's rotation relative to the sun, not the sun's position) and input 1300h, 1400h as well as 1500h as the time of day. Here is the result. As you can see, the image most closely matching the pattern of light and shade on Lisanne's face and body, particularily the arm, is in fact the rendering with the setting of 1300h. The lighting pattern on the arm and the face changes drastically as the sun's position changes, the forehead receives much more light at both 1400h as well as 1500h and the angle and extent of the cast shadow of the head also changes noticeably.
The conclusion to this analysis is that the Dutch investigators where in all likelihood correct in assuming that the time of day contained in the EXIF files was authentic. In fact they probably used similar methods to the ones I used to test their hypothesis.
There is a word to be said about the next photo, showing Kris Kremers standing at a similar spot but with much more diffuse lighting. There have been allegations that these photos were in fact completely "photoshopped", with the disparity in lighting between these photos as well as distortion often cited as evidence. Regarding the changing lighting conditions: every photographer will attest that this can happen very quickly. A cloud drifts in front of the sun and suddenly you don't have clear cast shadows anymore, only diffused light. The change of lighting can also be seen in the surroundings; less harsh shadows overall. As to the allegations that these photos are completely photoshopped (as in: the girls were pasted into the images) - Without the original files, no conclusive judgement can be made, but suffice it to say that photoshopping people into photos like this, especially with hair blowing the the wind, as is seen in IMG_499, is far from trivial. It would have taken a person with professional expertise in retouching to "fake" these photos. Personally, I see this option as very unlikely. There is an obvious drawback to this analysis: while it does show that the time of day contained in the EXIF data is most likely correct, we have no way of proving the date was not tampered with (meaning the pictures could have been taken a day before their vanishing, for instance). That being said, the Dutch investigators also had access to the data contained on the women's cellphones, including at least one picture taken on that day. If there had been a disparity between the date of that photo and the photos on the camera, it would have been noted in the investigation. Could the data contained on the cellphones have been tampered with as well? Technically yes, of course, but practically it would in fact require specialized hardware, software and extremely niche know-how to extract and the reimport the files. This hardware, manufactured by companies such as Cellebrite, is very expensive and only available to law enforcement, the military and intelligence services. The bottom line here is: the official timeline, placing the women at the summit at around 1300h is in all likelihood correct and the hypothesis that the EXIF files were tampered with in regards to date or time of day seems highly improbable."
When asked in the comments below his post what Barbarossa170 thinks of the phone and camera use in this case, he brings up arguments which I have stressed as well all throughout these blog series on the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne, and he answers: "There usually is a single reason for such a bizarre array of evidence, clues and lack of data, and that is shoddy-beyond-belief policework. We're left to wonder about all of this because this whole case was botched so thoroughly. What sticks out to me most in terms of IT related issues is what in IT forensics is called the "pattern of usage" of the cellphones and the camera starting from the first distress call, which is highly unusual to put it mildly. People who get lost or in trouble at some point start to record videos, messages or write up texts in their cellphones. This was 2014, cellphone usage was not that different from today and the women were young and competent users. It is also really strange that only 112/911 was called, right from the start and all throughout the recorded cellphone activity. Does this indicate foul play, the perp perhaps making those calls? It might look like it, but the cellphones were in fact logged into with the correct PINs (until one wasn't anymore, usually this is taken to mean that Kris Kremers had become incapacitated somehow by that point in time). Could the perp have forced the women to give up their PINs so he could manipulate the cellphones, e.g. to erase data? Possibly, however, particularily in the case of erased data the Dutch forensic team would with 100% certainty have found traces of that. You can securely erase data from a PC if you know what you're doing, but data on your phone once deleted isn't really deleted at all until it gets overwritten (there are ways to secure delete on a phone but that requires specialized apps, the presence of which again would have been noted in the investigation). So either the women for some strange reason showed very unusual usage behaviour while they were in distress or the perp got them to give up their PINs to do nothing else but periodically call 112/911. Did the perp have insider knowledge about IT-forensics and knew he couldn't do much else besides dialling without leaving traces? Seems even more unlikely. Just bizarre.
Regarding the night time photos, again they are just bizarre. I keep using that word but it's just a perfect fit for all of this. The only time I've ever seen something vaguely similar is when I examined cameras used by a person suffering from mental illness. They were taking pictures in their dark basement, hundreds of them in fact, showing nothing in particular. Some of the pictures in this case do show something however (hair, the little twig contraption with the red material, the paper/receits arranged on the floor) but all of them seem to be shot in such a way that it's impossible surmise what is really happening. That not one out of 90 pictures clearly shows, for example, the SOS written in paper (which is the prevailing theory) is just bizarre, yet again. Now, I wasn't a police officer or criminal investigator, I only worked in tech, but in all cases I had access to the corresponding case file and in some I spoke with the investigators about what they had been doing, so I have some experience with police procedure. Based on that second hand experience alone I can tell you that there is no way in hell that had this happened in North America or Europe, there wouldn't have been several people brought to the police station to question with a high degree of scrutiny and a lot of pressure applied via interrogation techniques. Beginning with all the eye witnesses, including the taxi driver, the restaurant owner and the school teachers, who place Kris and Lisanne in the village/ at the trail much later when in fact the photos show they were on the summit at around 1300h. They just let that go. Baffling. The often brought-up guide F. would undoubtedly been taken into investigative custody, due to his highly suspicious behaviour (going to the place of residence of two customers who didn't show up to a tour, whom he had allegedly never met before, entering their rooms and also inserting himself into the search effort with such enthusiasm. Not saying any of this is proof he is guilty, but it is more than enough to hold him and question him thoroughly). But Panama wasn't interested in clearing this up, and so we're left with this mess."
Lossincasa replies: "The night photos, I said elsewhere, at first impression were as if taken by an animal. What you say, is how I rationalize it immediately after, a sick person or injured, confused etc. If it had happened earlier and not that eleventh(?) day of their ordeal it wouldn't have been as mysterious. There are a lot of days in between with no evidence at all. Great catch on the 911. Why not use or enter another number? Call their parents out of panic etc. I understand conserving battery, but when in panic or fear you tend to at least attempt something. All their possessions neatly placed in a bag is also highly suspicious. As if someone gathered everything idk and placed where water or elements couldn't harm. The police handled this extremely poorly."
About the discrepancy between image 499 and 500 in which the sky and shadow angle change considerably in the span of 6 seconds, he says: " I don't really see a huge red flag here. We don't see the patch of sky containing the sun (it's off-screen to the right), so we can make no conclusions if there were clouds there or not. What we do see is: diffuse light everywhere- including the foliage. If you compare 499 and 500, it's not just Kris who is lit with diffuse light, it's also the surroundings. So that much is consistent at least." "I'm also struggling to come up with a reason for a perp to mess with those daytime photos. The night time photos are another matter entirely. I'm not sure at all who took those and why." "Regarding the EXIF/ XMP data, it would be interesting to see the original forensics report from the Dutch investigators. This kind of nitty-gritty detail is often lost even on the police officers and prosecutors assigned to such cases. Given what we know from public sources the report should have clearly stated that there are anomalies in the data which cannot be explained without intervention with other means than just the camera, at which point all of the information gleaned from the data is potentially tainted and not to be trusted. Pretty much the only thing we can test as far as I can tell is the sun's position in the photos vs. the alleged time, as I did. They seem to have done that. It is possible that much of this digital mess was produced without bad intentions due to ineptitude of the Panamanian investigation. The way this usually works is that the drive containing the data (whether that's a hard drive, a flash drive, an SD card etc.) is backed up and all the digital investigation is then done on those copies to preserve the original state of the evidence. If Panamanian investigators were just completely inept as well as ill-equipped (meaning they didn't have forensic software) they may have simply plugged that SD-card into a PC and examined the files, perhaps even moved files to the PC's hard drive and back onto the card. At this point everything beyond what is actually shown in the images is pretty much completely unreliable. I've personally "lost" complete drives during forensic analysis, because of technical issues or human error. Not a problem in those cases since those were just copies, you just start over again, but if you don't have the technical know-how you can end up unintentionally destroying evidence."
(1) Here No 'bracelets' (=hairband), hair done up:
(2) 'bracelets' on both wrists, hair open:
(3) 'bracelets' on, hair done up:
Great posts from Barbarossa. The bracelet is a hair band and coincides with Lisanne's hair being loose or tied up. It remains to be seen if his light/shadow analysis is correct, but so far the only person who did something similar is a member of the Dutch forensics team. And we the public never saw those results or heard about the details. So I consider this a much welcomed second opinion. As you can read further down this part 2 blog post, there has been a swimming photo unearthed which shows Kris and Lisanne with some male youth, who both also died relatively shortly after. I do think that Kris and Lisanne turned around after photo 508 was taken and made some more photos on the summit (2nd time). This may also explain the different clouds in the summit photos, the many shots taken in super quick succession supposedly, the changing hair styles within 8 seconds. And then went back down the mountain. The missing photo 509 may therefore not so much show a person they met, but possibly also a location which would have completely discredited the official (Panamanian) reading that they kept walking into the jungle and got lost. In fact, they went back down, were seen by several witnesses around 16:00 looking for a taxi and they went swimming. The local youth they met there.. well they met their own different fates (keep reading for the info on that) and I think they were kidnapped afterwards. But also keep in mind here that there is one more very important witness to mention here: Kris' boyfriend spoke with her on Tuesday around 14:00 PANAMANA TIME. If they really were at the stream of photos 507 and 508 by then, they wouldn't have had cell tower reach, so how could Stefan call or text with her then? (The family says 'contact' but didn't specify what exact type of contact). They told this a few days after the disappearance, very early on, when memory was still very fresh about such details. To me that says they turned around and walked back. It also leaves the door open for a 13:45 pm start of the trail, because up until the summit there is cell phone reception. But not after the summit.
Also check out the great artwork made by Dwain Reynolds to go by this youtube video on the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne; The Lost Girls of Panama
Also check out this fab video from the same makers about the
Mystery of Mysteries: the Dyatlov Pass Incident!
About photo #550
Bennengelly wrote me below this blog post in Spanish (translated here): "Hi. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the picture where you can see a branch with pieces of red plastic was taken at 1:05 am." - I suspect he bases this for the most part on the Dutch TV program Een Vandaag, who showed this:
Good question! Yes unfortunately the Een Vandaag team made errors in their display of the photos. In this screenshot, they show that photo 550 was taken at 01:05 indeed. But this is incorrect information. They may have been very sloppy there because in the same TV program they also showed extracts from the official police file documents. And on it you see the times for the photos 510, 511, 512. All taken in the night of April 8th, at or around 01:30 am. Photos were taken in close succession and photo 550 comes obviously after photo 512, so could in fact never have been taken at 01:05 am. As the program makers showed (screenshot on the right), they had the correct police file info, and they also had a public prosecutor/investigator and police member in the studio during the show, to emphasize that they indeed shared such case file info with these journalists. Juan also noticed this inconsistency and wrote the following about it:
Juan also checked the EXIF data of all the photos that have been made public, and found the following data, which match the ascending (time) order which we saw in the police case file screenshot above. So the general consensus is that photo 550 was taken around 01:39, corresponding with its EXIF data and matching with the screenshots we have of the official police case file report... Thanks to Juan for explaining me this further today.
Current mystery in France: the disappearance and death of Lucas Renoud
(Source) One such a mystifying case of a young man getting lost in nature, in a very popular and widely visited stretch of nature, in the summer, has recently hit France. 20 year old student Lucas Renoud visited the waterfalls of Hérisson, in the Jura region, on June 18th of 2019. He went there with some colleagues to hike to the local waterfalls. The media report that it is a walk of average difficulty. He walks at the end of the line (something read often in the Missing 411 stories) and was pictured as such, carrying the dog of one of the colleagues. He called his mother with his mobile phone around 17:30 pm to wish her a happy birthday and they chatted a bit. When the colleagues prepare to leave the nature park around 20:00 pm, they notice Lucas is missing. They alarm the authorities. That evening at 22:20 pm, Lucas manages to call emergency number 112 (works in Europe in general) and he tells the person on the other end of the line that he has gotten lost and that he has been walking all this time but is having sore legs now. His call lasts 8 whole minutes but then ends abruptly. That night help is sent to the nature park, and a helicopter with thermo camera's searches through the night, as well as 90 rescue people including mountain rescue personnel and dog units. But after about a week (one source says 20 days, an updated article states 5 days) they stop the search. The family of Lucas keep searching, also with the help of a drone. They find nothing. But on June 28th an unsuspecting hiker finds Lucas' body, behind a tree.
Lucas is eventually found only 30 meters from a main trail, and 500 meters from the parking lot... Despite this park being flooded with tourists and locals at that time of year, nobody found him in time...
Fast forward, 5 months later, and Lucas' family have still not heard from officials what their son died of and what the autopsy report showed.. His body was too badly affected by wildlife to determine a cause of death, the official reading sounds, and the family was therefore not allowed to identify him. But he suffered no traumatic injuries before his death. Blood work showed that he had taken normally dosed medication, but no overdose or anything. But it looks like he got lost and perished. Amazingly, this happened in a popular stretch of nature, in summer, and only 30 meters from the main trail. Despite being searched for extensively! Gob smacking. Made me think about the Kris and Lisanne case. Entire teams and families looking for someone, yet missing him while he was so close by... What could have gone wrong here?
Could photo #491 theoretically have been taken much later in the sequence and be a post-summit photo?
Going by the information we have about this photo, it has number IMG_491, was taken at 12:03 PM (officially 18:03 PM), about an hours walk distance below the Mirador (summit). But what if we cannot believe these camera times? Juan has dedicated many youtube videos on this suspicion and you may have read a lot about it already in my previous two blog posts about the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne. Jeremy emailed me about this photo however, writing that he knows that it is meant to be pre-summit, but that Kris' manner of standing and looking matches in his opinion more closely with the photo's post-summit. "This would be interesting because it would mean Kris started the walk happy, at some point pre summit was moody, then was happy again at the summit and was moody again post summit. I don't know any women that have mood changes like that. If the picture is genuinely pre-summit than the group dynamics, either between the two girls on their own, or two girls plus others, is not good. It might explain why we seem to have no pictures of the Cloud Forest part on the way up." Perhaps it does match Kris' general pre-summit cheerfulness and post-summit moodiness better. Jeremy also spots in this photo that there are signs of a small stream of water in the foreground, and that the path clearly shows two parts to it with grass in the centre: "You don't get that on paths used by people or animals, you get that from vehicles, cars, trucks etc... Both are very important because vehicles can only access the part of the Pianista trail before the cloud forest part and there are no streams crossing the Pianista trail once you enter the forest. The other observation is that there are trees alround, and that is important because whilst there are several places on the early part of the trail where you can have cars on the trail and where there's water crossing the trail, only one of them has trees also. I've found some maps which show the beginning of the trail, the bridge and how far cars can go, the cars can go all the way to the start of the forest. Basically, cars can go up for quite a way; it seems to stop only when the trail enters the forest." - The exact spot has never been identified as far as I know, although some forum members think it is THIS location, which was shot by a Dutch journalist who hiked the Pianista Trail with a guide in the wake of the girls' disappearance and this was before the summit. But I honestly do not identify the surroundings as the same ones as in photo 491.. (thanks to Juan for making this photo):
Juan reminded me that the Dutch TV program Een Vandaag, who were the first and only journalists who showed a selection of the photos from the camera of the girls, also showed this photo 491 at the end of the daytime photo series. The very last one, placed behind photo #508. And oddly enough, they gave the photo we now all know as photo 491, the same time also as photo 508: 14:00 pm. You can see it in the actual video here. While they already had insight at that point in the memory card, the chronology of the photos, the times, the phone data, all of it; this TV episode was made with the cooperation of the Dutch Forensics Institute after all (NFI). So maybe Jeremy could be right here, and perhaps the TV makers were right there, and this is indeed one of the last photos. It doesn't seem likely but this is yet another strange occurrence; the way photo 491 was presented both visually and in the added timestamp as the last known daytime photo. If true, this would be another sign that the chronology and time stamps of the photos have been meddled with and have been manipulated in one way or another. What would be a possible motive in this specific case of photo 491? Perhaps to break up the sequence of grim or strange looking photos of Kris from beyond the Mirador summit? If Kris also seems to look stern or unhappy in photos taken before the summit, then combined with the cheerful and elated Mirador photos it seems more like she just 'had her moments' throughout the hike. No specific reason for why she suddenly looked so worried in the last daytime photos then.. It's just a theory of course and most likely an incorrect one. But I wanted to put it up here anyway.
Was helped tremendously by Jeremy who found great online maps of the area and did a lot of searching work for finca's. I'll keep reading on public forums (some have thousands of pages..) about this disappearance case, and adjust the maps accordingly if needed. As the map shows, Kris and Lisanne could have walked wrong already after the meadow (where Kris' parents end up near the end of this video), but then they must have also found small wooden sheds and even the first inhabited house. And if they walked further even more houses (Alto Culebra).
Going by the old timeline:
if Kris and Lisanne started their hike later (matching the witness statements from the language School staff and the taxi driver), they would have started their Pianista hike around 13:45 pm, would have been at the summit around 15:30, then at the quebrada (first stream) around 16:30, so ten minutes before first calling emergency services at 16:39 pm. Within this old timeline, the girls would have started calling emergency services either 10 minutes after crossing the stream (pictured on photos 507 and 508), or they would have turned around and called 10 minutes after the start of their walk back to the summit. At the first small stream, the distance from the Mirador (summit of the Pianista Trail) and this small river crossing is around 45 to 60 minutes worth of (normal) walking distance. It is possible, not to say likely, within this timeline that the first emergency call was made somewhere on a hill that can be seen in the left side screenshot. It’s actually a decent increase in height. With thanks to Jeremy S. who made these screenshots. One shows the elevation, another shows roughly where the girls would have been when they made their first emergency call - assuming the witness based timeline. Again: the distance from the Mirador to the stream is the equivalent of 45 minutes, and we for now assume (with this screenshot) that the first call to 112 was made 10 minutes after crossing the stream.
These images also show quite clearly that the girls had gone no real distance after the Mirador yet and that they were still a long way from the first cable crossing over a further away river. It also clearly shows the girls were no real distance from the stream they'd just crossed and in fact, given it was a hill rising from the stream with worn areas it's possible that when they made the first call they could look down and see the stream crossing still. It's also possible that they called when they reached the top of the hill and realized that the way ahead didn't lead to a path taking them back to Boquete, but instead further away. Jeremy S. also wrote me: "Although I firmly believe the girls were victims of crime I'm open to the possibility that the girls got lost first. For that reason I've created this map with shows all possible routes to the 1st stream." Thank you also Jeremy for your great maps.
These days there are signs placed at the top of the Pianista Trail, warning people not to keep walking further without a guide, because there is more treacherous terrain ahead. But there is also a small water fall ahead... On the photos 507 and 508 of Kris crossing a small river, a trail is shown that goes to a waterfall. A larg waterfall beyond the Pianista summit. But it is hard to find. Is it possible that the girls deviated from the main path at some point to find this waterfall? And that they got lost along the way? Jeremy S. managed to find aerial 3D imagery of this mysterious waterfall! See screenshots below:
On guide F's TripAdvisor review site, there have been 27 lovely positive reviews so far. 5 out of 5 stars. But 4 weeks ago, someone posted a rather negative review.
Sophie J. wrote around July 22nd 2019: "Great guide, but not for women traveling alone. - It took me almost a year to finally post this review. I strongly recommend women to not hire F as your guide if you’re by yourself. It’s a big contrast if you look at the other reviews, where F. is described as a very nice person, which he probably is for many people. I have to say, he’s very charming, funny and you can probably, as you will read in the other reviews, have a great day with him. Did a walking tour with him. He’s the guide that knows the area by heart. Not long after we left he subtly started to flirt with me and also touching me, first my hand, but also my arms, shoulder and legs, even after telling him many times to stop doing that. He wears a big machete and suggested to chop off my legs (this of course was a joke but still...). He has an obsession for Northern European women and I felt very unsafe. It’s a personal story, but google his name and you’ll unfortunately find more stories like this about him." - Date of experience: September 2018
Violet rose commented on this topic: "I’ve read some of the reviews, and the fact that one of them commented “The hike we did was very cool and completely off the beaten track. We saw no people other than the indigenous people who live in the area” struck me. There are photos the girls took, of which locals said they couldn’t have gotten to those areas without a guide."
And for those who may think that even mentioning the suspicions against this tour guide is 'slanderous': I agree. For someone to be (considered by some to be) flirty, does not mean that he is a criminal or has anything to do with the disappearance of Kris and Lisanne. This tour guide probably gets some public attention because this case is followed by many people, and he was involved in about every step of the way in this disappearance case. He talked to the girls before they disappeared; he was the first to enter their room; the photos from the room show their belongings having been rummaged through and a business card from this guide having been added on the bed of one of the girls. He went first to look for them in the jungle; he was called first by the woman who found the backpack before she brought it to the police. He is said to have found all the bones, including a foot-in-shoe that lay behind and "almost under" a tree, by his own admission. The bones were found relatively close to Alto Romero. He personally guided the parents of Kris and the brother of Lisanne around, and he was able to steer where people did and did not go. He gave contradicting statements in the media about when he saw them or not and when he first went looking for them. So I suppose that is why some people ask questions about this specific person. But even if he was too flirty or pushy with one client; that does not mean that he is a criminal. By all accounts, he spent a lot of time and energy trying to find the missing girls and help solve this case. And his services were used by both the families of the girls. The Froons call him a family friend.
These travelers for instance also walked the Pianista Trail in 2019
and knew of the tragic ending of Kris and Lisanne. They paid their respects to them at the top. They also wrote some more interesting things: "Before you enter the dense jungle, you walk for about twenty minutes through open fields with an total clear and open view. The paths largely lead themselves, but there are still a few points where you can go the wrong way. After a 5-minute walk, you can cross the river through a small bridge and then turn right onto the path. If you don’t do this, you have to cross the river through the water a few minutes later. Once in the jungle we had to cross the river again and immediately afterwards we missed a path that led us to continue our route across the river. Fortunately, a friendly local gave us a little further the advice to climb up and follow the usual path. The higher you go, the narrower the paths become. You will also notice that the path is getting soggy and that the necessary grip is required (think of good shoes and possibly a walking stick). Just when you think there is no end to the climb, you are there. What a nice feeling to be ‘on top of the mountain’ in the clouds. And yet you also get a completely different feeling at this place because you will also find the memorial to Lisanne and Kris here. Goosebumps. It is nice to see that the memorial to this terrible event is well maintained by the local guides. The Pianista Trail is a much harder trail because it has many height meters. If you are not trained at all, then we do not recommend this draw. In addition, it is quite muddy, and it gets slippery the higher you go. We were there during the dry season and for the most part walked the way back with a stick to avoid slipping. When it has rained for a few days, it seems uncomfortable and irresponsible to go to the top. The trip takes about 4 hours and we personally do not recommend doing this hike on your own. You encounter very few people along the way and especially during the last part there is a risk of slipping. We met one boy at the beginning and otherwise only one Dutch girl with a guide. She indicated that she was happy that she used a guide. She has chosen F., a famous guide in the area who also maintains the memorial site of Kris and Lisanne."
Juan said some more interesting things about these photos
He said regarding the year 2013 coming up in Kris and Lisanne's photos, instead of 2014 (the actual year); "Uhm it is just standard for every camera you buy, that the year of production is the first thing that shows up in the time/date settings. In this case 2013. But there is no default. With the Canon Powershot I bought after getting interested in this case, the first archive number was 102 by the way, and not 100. Pay notice; in Kris and Lisanne's camera the photos from April 1st started with archive number 102. But there is this thing with these powershot camera's, that this number jumps up one digit EITHER every new month OR every new day. And when you read out the memory card on a computer, the new archive number goes one digit up anyway once you put the memory card back into the digital camera. So, if Kris and Lisanne happened to have had my Canon camera, their photos would have started with the number 102 in Bocas del Toro (first stop in their holiday and first time they made holiday photos). The official EXIF name for those photos is then 102-0491.JPG. And then the next set of photos (for instance those of the Pianista hike) would have started with the number 103, automatically. I would love to have access therefore to the case rapport of those photos. See if the pictures taken in Bocas del Toro have the numbers 101-400.JPG. If not, manipulation has taken place."
But we do know that in the case of Kris and Lisanne's Canon camera, the night photos (taken 8 days later) also started with 102. Photo #542 for instance has the full code of 102-0542.JPG. Although this code is visible in the copy of the original photo, which we've had access to through the press. So in their case the file numbering does not jump one digit every day, automatically. Their default setting must thus have been 'file numbering - continuous'. And below it "Create folder - monthly'. It takes quite a few steps to manually alter these settings. Too many steps for the girls, considering their general straight forward, no fuss use of this camera. They never even zoomed in while making photos. Just like the different photographing modes their camera offered were never further used. With one click of the wheel, you could manually choose between 12 different modes, from manual to action to high speed to macro to video, etc. But their camera was always set to AUTO, going by the Exif data of their photos.
Juan: "And I would like to know when that digital camera of theirs was exactly purchased. Or when it was given to them at the very least, perhaps right before they took off to Panama. Because normally when you receive such a camera, you first make a round of test photos. And then watch these test photos on your PC. I would like to see for myself with what number their photo sequences started. If theirs did start with archive number 100 (and not with 102 like with my newly purchased canon camera, the exact same model as they had), then when exactly did their archive numbers jump to 101? Was this the next day? Or later? I'd want to know when exactly they started using this camera, because that may have been with their last Christmas for instance, meaning they could have already made 200 photos with it before even setting foot on Panamanian soil, and then it would have been impossible for their Panama series to start with 100. The numbering goes on, by the way. When I take photos 0 to 200 in February, meaning 102-0001.JPG to 102-200.JPG, then the first picture I take in March automatically becomes archive number 103-201.JPG. And you can not bring that archive number down yourself, not even with a hard reset of the camera; you won't get to that part of the memory. So, that once again tells us that that digital camera from Kris and Lisanne is the only reliable witness here, and the ignorant Dutch forensic institute did nothing with it. Too afraid to offend the Panamese."
Juan also said about photo #491, where Jeremy outlined the contours of a dog: "I looked at the original photo 491, and I understand what and why he has outlined this. But I am afraid it is pareidolia [the tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns]. Its something I am guilty of myself too at times: we have little to go by in this case, the photo resolutions are poor [we've got most of these photos through media leaks or publications and they down-scaled the photos size], so when you just glance long enough at a photo and blow the size up enough, you will find something. Your brains will make connections. If you look closely at the zoomed in photo 491, you see these patterns of black and white squares turn up all over the background of the photo. Yes, you can vaguely see a dogs outline, but then you see similar patterns all over the forest, criss-cross, only in the other cases they don't resemble a dog. Problem is that if there would really be a dog lying there, its outline would be more clear than this. It wouldn't be looking as vague as a ghost then. I think this is just coincidence and the result of too low a photo resolution. But it's normal to see all sorts of things when zooming in, as this case is lacking in material and we all desperately want to solve it. Something else however, I think, is the more than prominent photoshop suspicions of photo #499. There you really do see dark contours around the arm, seemingly something that was forgotten to be erased. Or Lisanne's face which looks blown up suddenly, as if it was stretched.
Below one of my youtube videos on this case, youtuber Missing Mysteries mentioned something interesting
Missing Mysteries, June 14th 2019: "If you pause @ 12:32.... that is the exact spot where Kris was standing. Except the rock she was standing on is gone... quite literally where the stream is now cascading down.... that's where the rock was. In fact... all those big rocks are gone. Could that be from the river? Those rocks were pretty big... I don't see that river moving them. Its almost like someone wanted to redirect the stream. But why? I'm sure its not anything crazy and completely natural... just found it peculiar that those big ass rocks she was standing on are now gone.
I replied: "Well spotted!! You are right. I made photo comparisons of the photo of Kris in April 2014 and this stream in August 2014 when the Kremers family walked there. Wow, only a few months between them but there is more water and you are so right, where is the big rock where Kris stood on? Perhaps with the rain season starting late that year, by August the amount of rain flowing down had somehow created a new stream path. But how did it get rid of that large rock? Your guess is as good as mine! I have no clue how such a heavy rock could have moved by natural forces like that either... HERE and HERE are the original photos from Kris in that same stream.
I honestly cannot think of a single logical reason for why some of the bigger stones would have been removed.. The rainy season did start from April onward and the video from the Kramers was shot in August of 2014, so perhaps a lot of rain had fallen, making the stream swell up. But would it have been able to dislodge some of the bigger stones? Who knows. Another more far-fetched explanation could perhaps be that something happened at that point to Kris and Lisanne. And there was blood from one of the girls on one or two of those bigger (missing) rocks for instance, and it was disposed of by a 3rd party soon after photo 508 was taken? Seems really far-fetched though. Besides; the rock Kris was standing on would have been heavy, is someone really going to move it to confuse people?The missing rock isn't in the Answers for Kris video at all, so if someone moved it then they carried it completely away from the stream crossing. The key question would then be: why? It doesn't make sense, for someone to move the rock, the photo of the stream crossing isn't crucial evidence or that picture would have been removed like 509. And aside from A. natural causes and B. human intervention, Jeremy S. also suggested to me a third possible option here (C): the Kremers were led on another path after the Mirador than the one Kris and Lisanne were following. He marked several routes down the Mirador, all passing the same stream, but at different locations. Could it be that the Kremers simply were led along another path and another stream crossing?
I have to say: for me the above photos from the Kremers' video and the photo 508 are shot at the same location, without a doubt. I cannot imagine that another route, passing the same stream but at a different location, could look also so alike to the original. I just cannot imagine that, I reckon the other stream passing will look different from this one. But by itself, it is an interesting proposition; that guide Feliciano took them on another route. I just have never seen photo evidence of different trails to choose from on the Mirador... Everything everyone always writes and says (incl the Kremers) is that once you follow the path (clearly filmed by them) on the Mirador, it is one ongoing clear route. NO crossing paths, no ways to go left or right, no intersections; just a clear to follow trail, embedded in rocks and walls of stone initially and then easy to follow near the streams. So where would the family exactly gave been whisked off to an alternative route? And why has no blogger or writer (as far as I know then) reported and documenten these alternative trails? Also to me the river crossing in the Kremers video is identical to the one pictured in photos 507 and 508. To assume that another trail passing the same stream further up or down the road, would look identical to it.. I find it too far fetched personally as long as there is no photo evidence to back it up. Below images of the alternative routes which could have theoretically have been taken, down the Mirador and past the first stream:
UPDATE: Juan mailed me a photo he made himself in the past, overlapping the photo 508 with a video still of the Answers for Kris video. And it does look to be the exact same crossing.... He first thought the same: that Kris' parents must have passed that stream on another route than the girls did. But he is now convinced it was the exact same crossing. That leaves us with the unexplained missing stones.
Newspaper La Estrella de Panamá published a guide for tourists and hikers back in 2014, preparing anyone for a jungle walk
(Source) July 9th 2014 - "The disappearance of young Dutch women Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers in the Boquete area has been the front page of the main national media during the last weeks, and it has also had an international impact. Without entering into speculation of what were the real reasons and causes of this disappearance, it seems obvious that people very often venture into nature without the right equipment and precautions, thinking that they will enjoy a simple walk, without realizing that many areas of Panama's forests are still very remote and desolate. On this subject, check out my last collaboration with newspaper La Estrella de Panamá.
EXPLORING NATURE The love of excursions to the countryside and the mountains has become popular lately in our country, but we must take certain precautions so that they do not end up becoming unpleasant episodes. The news of the disappearance of two young Dutch women in the area of Boquete when they were apparently trekking the area, has unleashed a deep public debate in recent weeks about the dangers that such situations can entail. Panama has many forest and mountain areas that can be ideal destinations for outdoor and country activities, but you don't have to be reckless: take care of the activity planning, as well as the equipment that we are going to take with us.
THE PREPARATIONS When going out to nature, the most important recommendation is not to go alone. Having at least one or several companions (better if someone is an experienced guide) will be vital for emergencies, and for a successful rescue if needed. Family members, friends or authorities in the area must be informed of our planned route and schedule. We always have to obtain prior information on the route, distance and difficulty of the route that we are going to make, as well as consult the expected weather conditions, postponing the activity if they forecast heavy rains and storms. Before starting the route it is suggested to apply insect repellent, and even if it is jungle land, wear the legs of your long trousers tucked into long socks, to avoid unwanted visitors.
THE PREPARATIONS When going out to nature, the most important recommendation is not to go alone. Having at least one or several companions (better if someone is an experienced guide) will be vital for emergencies, and for a successful rescue if needed. Family members, friends or authorities in the area must be informed of our planned route and schedule. We always have to obtain prior information on the route, distance and difficulty of the route that we are going to make, as well as consult the expected weather conditions, postponing the activity if they forecast heavy rains and storms. Before starting the route it is suggested to apply insect repellent, and even if it is jungle land, wear the legs of your long trousers tucked into long socks, to avoid unwanted visitors.
MINIMUM TEAM We must wear comfortable and appropriate footwear for the ground you'll hike on, as well as resistant clothing if we are going to transit through areas of forest or closed jungle. You always have to bring water and some food, preferably foods that provide a lot of energy and that are light to carry, such as nuts, cookies, chocolate, or fruit, even when we only anticipate a short journey. If we are going to make a long walk of many hours, or if we even have the plan of spending a night in nature, it is convenient to carry in our backpack the following implements, protected in plastic bags: an identification and some money; a clock or GPS to control the time and distance travelled; dark sunglasses; cell phone with charged battery; an emergency kit to treat cuts, blisters, insect bites and relieve of pain; toilet paper; a whistle to make us be heard from a distance; flashlights or headlamps with charged batteries to illuminate at night; sunscreen cream; a raincoat for rain; spare clothes, especially socks; a lighter in case you had to make fire; a machete, knife or razor to break through and cut; Quality tent / sleeping bag if you have to spend the night.
DURING THE HIKE It is necessary to maintain a constant rhythm but adequate to the capacities of the less strong member(s) of the group, so that the group always stays together. Make scheduled stops of 5 or 10 minutes every hour to rest. None of the members should stand anywhere where they cannot see the others, because when you lose track of your team for even a short period of time, you may end up lost if the land is dense wilderness. With steep slopes it is preferable to climb them in a zigzag motion, and when passing through private farms you have to leave the gates closed to avoid their cattle to flee off. Do not ingest natural fruits or fungi that you find underway if there is no full conviction that they are edible.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY If due to bad weather conditions, disorientation on the route, exhaustion, accident or illness, we must suspend our planned itinerary or be rescued, the following tips will be very helpful: if one of the members of the expedition cannot continue the hike, others they will seek support while someone stays with the injured / sick person; if we lose the path we should be following, it is best to return along the same route looking for the starting point, and not improvise alternate routes; In case of a thunderstorm, you have to stay stuck to the ground squatting away from metal elements and trees.
RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT In nature we must have environmental awareness, leaving the areas we pass in the same conditions in which we have encountered them. Therefore it is not necessary to cut or destroy vegetation on a whim, or more than strictly necessary to facilitate a passage. We will never contaminate water resources with soap or detergent, we will carry the waste with us back in a cartridge intended for that purpose, and our toilet stop needs will be away from camps and roads. In case of lighting a fire, do so with caution and only in authorized places, paying attention to the direction from which the wind blows, and extinguishing it perfectly with dirt and stones on top once we leave the area.
CANINE COMPANIONS Many people like to take their dogs on the walks in the countryside, both for company and for protection. Keep in mind that not all races are trained to withstand intense physical exercise, so they should not be accompanied by specimens that are not accustomed to long walks, are old, or are sick. Dogs have a very good sense of smell and sense of direction, being able to give advance notice of the presence of certain animals or unscrupulous people and defend ourselves from them. You always have to count on that, just like we will need water and food, and although they will usually walk without a leash in unpopulated areas, in case of camping at night they should be left tied tightly next to our tent.
This writer from a local Boquete forum said about the Kris and Lisanne disappearance on April 23rd of 2014:
"Youth has nothing to do with it. You only have to be fearless and trusting to become a victim. Maybe only trusting. It has been over three weeks since their disappearance, and while I would like to think they might still turn up alive, the odds are not high for that happening. There was a university student that was killed a year or so ago and it was said that it was to harvest organs. While older people may be mugged for money, young people may be mugged for more sinister reasons. [..] I believe the population of Boquete is doing all that can be done in the search, however, crime investigation is not one of Panama’s strong suits. I hope there is some finality to this case by the time I return from my trip, but I wouldn’t count on it." - Nevertheless the official Panamanian reading is that Kris and Lisanne got lost and fell off a cliff.
Then follow a host of safety advises for those living in the Boquete region, underlining that even back in 2014 it was not the peaceful sleepy expat-retirement village that the Panamanian media wanted to portray it like: "While I am gone, I want you all to be cautious. Be aware of your surrounding and who is close by. When you get out of your car, lock it as you stand by it. Do not walk away and lock it as you walk. When you get money from an ATM, do it is a secure location and be aware of anyone watching you. There are many areas even in David that it aren’t wise to be walking at night. If you do so, don’t do it alone. Don’t make a practice of wearing a lot of jewelry. Leave gold watches and large diamond rings at home. In fact, it is better not to bring them to Panama. Panama is a poor country. It is easy to be a target if you appear to have money. It also doesn’t have to be that much money. Don’t allow anyone to enter your house that you don’t know. There have been recent cases of people dressed in high profile company uniforms that appear to do repairs that don’t work for the companies. All doors should be locked at all times. Unlock to leave and lock once outside. In this house, every bedroom is locked when we retire for bed. That is right, All rooms have doors with locks and all of them are used at night. Iron gates are double locked. Once with a lock and chained and locked. Our neighborhood is vigilant for strange people and cars in the neighborhood. Most houses have dogs inside and or outside. Our neighborhood also has a paid security that patrols at night. Some houses have alarms and cameras. There is so much beauty in Panama and it is such a tranquil place that it is easy to lull yourself into thinking that nothing can happen in paradise. If you live correctly, you will most likely enjoy Panama. If you live thinking that nothing will happen to you in your neighborhood, them you may have a rude awakening. It might be to a man standing over your bed with a gun. The current case of the two Dutch girls is another wake-up call that everyone needs to be careful. My heart breaks for the parents who are wondering what is happening and can do nothing but wait. Be safe."
Ross Blankert replied on April 24, 2014: "[..] My advice is the same. Don’t be a target. Don’t do stupid things. I don’t go out at night. I don’t drink and I try to make friends of my neighbors. For the girls, I believe these two spent time on the internet in the Bibliotecha each morning."
I received some interesting observations from someone called Jeremy, who pointed me to a possible hiding of the dog Blue in one of the photos from April 1st
He found an image on a Russian forum on this disappearance case (when your computer allows you to auto-translate, it is very well readable when you're not speaking Russian), where forum members really studied photo #491, taken at 12:03 AM - according to the New Timeline. So after some meddling in photoshop with the photos brightness and contrast, people think they may have found, in the bottom right of the photo, the dog Blue. I have to say, I had to ask Jeremy for an outline of the dog, as I didn't see it myself, but after he kindly did I did see what he meant. The dog appears to be keeping himself cool in the shade, laying down with his mouth open or even his tongue hanging out. Of course, this may be like one of those infamous Rorschach tests; either you see 'it' (and once you do, you can not easily 'unsee' it), or you don't... So I may see things that really are just the equivalent of a suggestive ink dot, but is it possible that the black and white outline on Blue's face is visible here?
The colour pattern does roughly match the real colouring of Blue I think..? The white patches with the dark above. Of course, when you look long enough at something, your mind can see mostly anything in it. In the original photo I hadn't noticed a dog whatsoever and the tongue/mouth looked to me like the extension of a sunlit leaf. I truly saw nothing in the original, but did my own attempt to lit things up with some simple photoshop actions; adjusting brightness, contrast and such. I ended up with a photo with lots of chessboard type of patterns all over the place. Asked Juan about it, he said: that's due to the poor quality of the photo (which isn't the original from the girls' camera, but the photo we could all see through leaking of it in the local Panamanian media). This photo we have only has a small size: 1024x768. So once you zoom in or enlarge the photo, you can see the strangest stuff, according to Juan. But truth be told, once being pointed to this dog outline I find it just as hard as Jeremy does to not see the lighter and darker patches that could be the dogs fur markings, the eye sockets, the ears and one leg (dogs front left). Jeremy emphasized that it’s also the sort of behaviour dogs are prone to in warm weather; to lie down in the shade, sometimes with tongue hanging out, once the humans stop for a break or to take photos. Interestingly, if it is in fact the dog, then that implies the picture of Kris may have taken some time. The camera data does show that aside from this photo #491, another photo
(#492) was taken within a minute. So they did stand still for a bit. And if the dog Blue was indeed with Kris and Lisanne on April 1st 2014, when they ascended the Pianista Trail, then that also tells us something perhaps about what may have happened to them; I don't believe that a known to be loyal dog like Blue, who features in several blog posts from tourists he accompanied on their own walk up there, would voluntarily leave Kris and Lisanne alone. He would more likely have been sent away then by them or by someone else, or got scared by something, or perhaps (theoretically) the son of the owners of the dog - Giovanni and Doris from the Il Pianista restaurant at the start of the trail - 'may' perhaps have even been up there and took the dog back home (some locals linked him to a youth gang). I don't even exclude the possibility by the way, that Blue was with their son S. that day, and that is why Blue left the girls and came back home without them: because the son is perhaps involved in the girls' disappearance and instructed the dog to return. Or perhaps the son is involved and his parents planted the red herring that they spoke the girls (they said explicitly that they were alone, the two girls) and that they gave them Blue. To cover up for the fact that their son and his gang members in fact took Kris and Lisanne after the Pianista trek to a nearby river to go swimming: https://imgur.com/o7Ld29p After which they vanished without a trace. I would most certainly not rule out foul play in this case. Either way, thanks again Jeremy for your ideas and observations, below this post is another bit of info from him.
I asked Juan about this photo #491, where Jeremy outlined the contours of a dog. He said: "I looked at the original photo 491, and I understand what and why he has outlined this. But I am afraid it is pareidolia [the tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns]. Its something I am guilty of myself too at times: we have little to go by in this case, the photo resolutions are poor [we've got most of these photos through media leaks or publications and they down-scaled the photos size], so when you just glance long enough at a photo and blow the size up enough, you will find something. Your brains will make connections. If you look closely at the zoomed in photo 491, you see these patterns of black and white squares turn up all over the background of the photo. Yes, you can vaguely see a dogs outline, but then you see similar patterns all over the forest, criss-cross, only in the other cases they don't resemble a dog. Problem is that if there would really be a dog lying there, its outline would be more clear than this. It wouldn't be looking as vague as a ghost then. I think this is just coincidence and the result of too low a photo resolution. But it's normal to see all sorts of things when zooming in, as this case is lacking in material and we all desperately want to solve it. Something else however, I think, is the more than prominent photoshop suspicions of photo #499. There you really do see dark contours around the arm, seemingly something that was forgotten to be erased. Or Lisanne's face which looks blown up suddenly, as if it was stretched.
DISCLAIMER: The quality of many (not all) of the photos is poor. The reason for that, as I also understand it from Juan, is that most (not all) of the photos as we know them have not been officially released by the family, but instead have been leaked to the press. It was Panamanian media who printed these photos, always readjusted the size of the original photos therefore, and most are only 1024x768 in size nowadays. Lawyer Arrocha also gave a photo to a befriended journalist who posted it. And Dutch TV programs like 'Een Vandaag' and 'Break Free' also published some in their TV programs on this disappearance (whole series with subs can be seen in my main blog post on this case); there we had to work with screenshots from the broadcast in the case of some photos, which resulted in even worse quality photos. There is also a better photo here and there, one of Lisanne's relatives uploaded a large size photo of the girls on the summit as a facebook background photo and that one has a better resolution therefore. But the majority of the photos are too poor in quality to allow for proper zooming. Which... results in us seeing all sorts of strange things when zooming too much. It makes reliable analysis of the background impossible in most cases. The family hás been asked to publish all the original photos, to give the larger community online the opportunity to help 'detective' along, but they're not all that well-wishing towards 'us'. So it is not the camera's fault. The original photos have a decent good size. It is the result of these photos having been resized before publication (after leaking) and us having to do with these second hand versions. My verdict: there is no dog visible here. It's pareidolia. - Just to be clear once more: I share on this blog all sorts of information on this case, including other people's theories. Just because I share them with you does not mean that I myself believe in each and every one. Try to keep in mind that this is a cold case currently and that not even the cause of death of Kris and Lisanne is known. Let alone what exactly happened. So any theory that could be theoretically true, I try to cover here.
I received more interesting observations and ideas from Jeremy. I will paraphrase some of it here
He wrote that nighttime pictures may really not have been taken at the second monkey bridge, as is assumed by some people. Or at any monkey bridge for that matter. J. doubts that their location was in fact by the rocks or on one of the riverbanks near one of the cable bridges, because to him, the specific patterns of rock eroding on the nighttime photos point more towards a place with consistent water erosion: for instance near a waterfall. J. looked at many pictures of the rocks surrounding the various cable bridges over the river: the rocks are right next to the crossing and whilst naturally higher than the river, these rocks are significantly above the river bank. Looking at these rocks, they are towering (in height) above the surrounding ground. So water erosion should only be seen on those rocks that are directly near the cable crossing and which thus catch water. [Or these high up rocks should be subjected to flooding regularly, perhaps, but the river had been very low and calm for a long time already however in the first week of April 2014 and the rain season had not yet started]. The rest is too far away and above the water to get that type of erosion. Honestly, I am not a biologist myself and I do not know if this is a correct assessment. Perhaps the markings on the rocks from the nighttime photos were created by mosses or after rainfall or whatever, I honestly don't know and it must be difficult to judge with certainty based on photos for many people. But I do like people who think outside the box and there may be truth to these assessments perhaps. So it's worth exploring a bit. - But, the nighttime pictures do show rock that is not only elevated by the look of it, but that also shows the effect of water erosion, J. thinks. Going in the direction of the drop off. He claims that the only type of place that has permanent erosion at the edge of a drop, are places surrounding waterfalls. Waterfalls also tend to have considerable drops offs, otherwise they'd just be rocky rivers rapids. So J. proposes the theory that the night pictures therefore weren't taken by a bridge, but by the edge of a waterfall. This may also explain another problem with the nighttime photos: One of the pictures is meant to show rain, even though the picture that covers the immediate area to its left shows no rain. [Same for the 'SOS' photos; supposedly taken on the same night, but there is no clear rain damage seen on the mirror or on the toilet paper - something which is usually clear to see, just try it yourself and spatter some water on toilet paper]. Of course, it could just be fine rain - even though the drops that light up in the flash look of a normal size. But maybe another possible explanation for this, J. proposes, is that it's actually water spray from a waterfall that lights up in the flash from the camera. Hence why you do see water drops against the dark background, but no real signs of water on the rocks and anything placed on top of them. This also means that the place where these night photos were taken does not necessarily have to be on top of a waterfall, but could also be (theoretically) around a mid point - a waterfall often has a series of levels. Then spray droplets could quite easily be in one picture and not in another, taken in the area immediately adjacent.
And another interesting aspect of the waterfall theory, is that often near waterfalls you can find caves. The lawyer of the Kremers family as well as the parents have long suggested that these photos could have been taken from a cave. (I don't see that myself in the photos however; they seem to have been taken outside I think, but it is true that despite the rain, there weren't many water drops on the actual camera lens in the night photos). Perhaps that could also explain why Lisanne's remains managed to stay intact for as long as they did; in late August 2014, a rolled up ball of skin from Lisanne was found after all, and turned out to be rather intact and in a very early stage of decomposition, just like her foot; this did not fit the time since death and the forensic specialist has stated that her remains must have been kept or stored therefore in a cool and dark place.... Indeed, caves generally are noticeably cooler than the local area. But even then we have the problem that her bones were found nowhere near a cave, and in fact near the hamlet of Alto Romero. There has been no information released however on the exact finding spot of the rolled up skin that belongs to Lisanne... The fact that many people have made the good point that the location of these cable bridges are far from desolate, reinforces this theory; the places near those monkey bridges have been searched and the girls were not found there. They are also daily crossed by people and have inhabited finca's nearby. No sign of the girls ever having walked around there or been looking for help there. Also, I am not convinced that the "give away" sign for the location of the nighttime photos are some cables in the background of the plastic wrapper photo. In the attached photos you can see where some people think those lines may be visible. I don't see them very clearly myself and even if they are there, they don't seem to match the direction which the cables make on photo. See my attached photo where I showed the cables direction with red arrows. None really match the very low (supposed) double lines in the nighttime photo. And none of the rocks appear to be near the point where these cables come together in reality. J. is also not convinced that the digital camera time and date stamp are 100% reliable, so doesn't rule out the option that these nighttime photos were not taken in the early hours of April 8th, but instead may (theoretically) also have been taken much sooner, even on the morning of the 2nd day already.
Waterfalls in the area So, J. wonders if there are many waterfalls in the area, and if so, whether or not they lie on the same main trail which the girls walked, or on a branch off the main one perhaps. Or perhaps there are more waterfalls in the area that are not on any trails, and only known to locals or guided groups. Waterfalls in the vicinity are the Three Waterfalls, also called The Lost Waterfalls. This chimes in with the messages I received from Sas, and which I already posted. I will combine these two updates therefore as there is a good overlap in information. So how far is the area of the Three Waterfalls (aka The Lost waterfalls), from the Il Pianista Trail? In this blog post, hikers describe it as follows: "Today we had something much more mellow in mind – we wanted to get to the “secret” waterfall that Susan and I had not seen yet, but the others in our group had been raving about. The trail begins at the Il Pianista Ristorante (outstanding Italian food, BTW) in the Alto Lino area just north of Boquete. You need to wade across the Rio Pianista after 200m, but then it’s a steady, leisurely incline for 2km before you start to climb a steeper, narrow path. Today, we were accompanied by two young guides, Jefferson and Miguel (as it happens, these cousins are nephews of our gardener, Sergio) – and it was a good thing, because finding the waterfall required us to get off the trail and take another cow path that leads into the cloud forest. We could not have found it on our own. Since we’re right in the middle of rainy season, it was a pretty muddy slog – but not too bad." - So part of the trail is indeed the same route that Kris and Lisanne took. But then you deviate (to the left on the map) and go in another direction. Still, it is technically very well possible that Kris and Lisanne wandered around in the vicinity of where their last normal photos were taken, and ended up near the hidden (and thus not that easy to find) waterfalls on day 8. And with all the talk about the night photos 'possibly' having been taken in a cave - which has never been identified further by the way - these waterfalls also are near a cave: "Upon your arrival to the second waterfall you can explore an underground cave and enjoy a picnic at the base of one of Boquete’s most exquisite waterfalls & rejuvenate yourself with an invigorating shower in the falling waters." Issue is that they are often visited by tourists, as well as by volunteers and search teams, ánd that they are only about 20 kilometers/15 minutes drive away from Boquete... So why wouldn't Kris and Lisanne have been found if they were holed up there?
So the waterfalls are in the vicinity, but not very close by. It's a big hike to the west. On a smaller map of the Il Pianista area, websleuth member Matteo_111 has discovered some side trails. See the map he made on the right here, with the side trails marked in red. We know already that you can reach the Lost Waterfalls by cow paths through the jungle, while starting at the Pianista Trail, as the cited blogger confirmed this. Matteo_111 may have marked this path on his map, or maybe the cow path is too small to find on satellite images online.. So it is possible to reach those waterfalls from the north-east, if you are desperate enough to get there. But it is not the official way to get there; these three waterfalls lie on private land and you normally need to sign in to enter the grounds. But maybe there is another way to reach the waterfalls without having to pass the main entrance and sign-in post, when going through the jungle and coming from the other side.. The Lost waterfalls also have a cave. At first glance it does not look like the nighttime photos though...
Blogger Ian Mackenzie wrote about his hike to these waterfalls on August 2018: "My hike to find the “lost waterfalls” of Boquete began. A hike that would find me climbing up through thick jungle via a steep, muddy and rocky trail, occasionally aided by ropes. A hike that was undoubtedly one of the most taxing I’ve ever done. But one where the payoff of three beautiful waterfalls surrounded by jungle dripping with every hue of green imaginable was more than worth the effort. Located just outside Panama’s backpacker and ex-pat hub of Boquete up in the coffee-growing mountains of Chiriquí Province, the lost waterfalls aren’t really “lost” at all, of course. “Hidden waterfalls” would probably be a better description." He wrote about the first of the three waterfalls: "Directly ahead of the trail, a huge stone wall covered with foliage played host to a single-drop fall that plunged into a deep canyon below. I looked for a way down to its base for a closer look but that proved impossible. So instead, I made the most of my time alone to enjoy what seemed to me like a hypnotic slice of jungle paradise. Where the only sounds were the persistent calls of the forest and the plummeting river. A lost waterfall indeed. And then it was time to move on deeper into the jungle. The lung-busting steps that led up from the waterfall eventually brought me back on to the main trail. And that was by now on a distinctively upward trajectory."
And about the second waterfall he wrote: "So, after checking out a nearby cave, I took the rope-enabled trail to the top of the waterfall and stepped out on to the rocky precipice. Holding back the vertigo whilst triple-checking my footing on the slippery rocks, I stood there for a while to drink in the incredible view over the jungle canopy to distant Volcan Baru. Once again, without anybody else around, it felt as if I’d truly found something special. I’m sure that in the high season (between December and March) this spot wouldn’t be so tranquil. But right then, at that moment, it seemed like this jungle wilderness was just mine to discover." - So there is a cave, visitors can go in and April would be outside of the tourist season and possibly not very busy there...
About the third waterfall Ian Mackenzie wrote: "Things started to get very serious when I set off again in search of Waterfall 3. This was by far the most challenging section of the trail and it’s one that many don’t even attempt. No wonder given the steep, muddy conditions and a not-so-obvious route at times. The jungle began to thicken and I became aware of the foliage closing in around me. Of particular concern was the warning I’d received about looking out for snakes in the trees rather than on the ground. So not only was I searching for firm ground to step on but my eyes were at the same time looking around for signs of slithery movement above. at last, I arrived at the end point of the trail and another stunning waterfall. [..] This time it was more about the sense of achievement in getting there rather than seeing the waterfall itself. It was also an opportune moment to rest and regain my strength while the spray from the falls provided a welcome cool down." Thanks for the information Ian and here you can see his great blog with lovely photos. He also uploaded two videos from the waterfalls, here they are:
And there is more... This blogger, Susan Saundercook, describes the road towards the entrance of the Three Waterfalls: "If you are renting a car, drive up the Bajo Mono loop, passing prime tourist sites: the rock climbing wall, the San Ramon waterfall and the abandoned castle (a beautiful, possibly haunted, home right next to the river). You'll get to a point in the road where you have to go left or right – turn right, following the Lost Waterfalls signs and drive for about 1 kilometer. Park on the side of the road and walk in. If you are taking a taxi up, let the driver know you want The Lost Waterfalls (there is another great trail in Bajo Mono called the Waterfall Trail, which can cause some confusion). Most of the taxi drivers know the owner of The Lost Waterfalls (either personally or by reputation) so if there seems to be some confusion, clarify by saying 'Wendy's Waterfalls'. The little buses you see in town (buses ruta urbana) also go up there." So, this abandoned castle, I had seen it come by on a youtube video already... Locals had gone to this eerie looking abandoned place, when out look for Kris and Lisanne, who were still missing at that point in time. They talked in Spanish to each other about how good a location this place would be to hide someone. Well, turns out it is right on the road to the Waterfalls! Could it be, theoretically, that the girls were kept in that solemn looking horror building? And managed to escape in the night of the 8th, make it to that touristic park and up that waterfall where they tried to hide? Covered by the natural sounds of the water? - Ok this is not the same video, I cannot find it back now, but this one does show this freakish abandoned place better than a photo. I think you can actually hear the noise of one of the waterfalls in the video.
So.... the Lost Waterfalls are on a private trail and on private property (maintained by Eliecer, a caretaker who lives on site with his family) and you are required to sign in and pay a fee. And the trail features three waterfalls in three different locations. The first two are more easily accessible, but the third one lies in more wild terrain and is the one for the more adventurous types. And the second waterfall features a cave to the left of the waterfall, a trail that allows you to hike up to the top of the waterfall and look down on its clear pool. I honestly don't know if this is the location of the nighttime photos... I am certainly not convinced that they were taken near one of the cable bridges, as I don't see any bridge lines in the background and I also don't think those supposed lines would follow the general direction of the wires as you can see them in photos. But it is also a matter of guessing and believing that the night photos' location is a waterfall. But let's play the thought experiment game again, and assume it is correct; the girls or someone else took those photos in the cave of Waterfall Two, or on top of/near one of the other waterfalls. How would that link to our information about Kris and Lisanne?
Possible Scenarios for the night time pictures There are 5 possible scenarios then, Jeremy elaborated further, and some are more likely than others in his opinion. Aside from the OBVIOUS scenario where the girls got lost and were out there alone, trying to notify search teams from afar. But aside from that obvious possibility, there are: 1) The Attackers take the photos to support the "lost in the jungle" theory. 2) The Attackers take them as part of a game with investigators, like a hidden message; the attackers know the girls and the location they've been held in are documented but they know that investigators will just see a black picture. The real location is documented in theory, but the photo settings are so poor that no photoshop specialist will be able to unveil them. It allows them to have a good laugh at the investigators whilst congratulating themselves at how clever they are. 3) The Attackers let the girls escape as part of a "fun" cat & mouse game and then take pictures of the game as it plays out. 4) One of the girls takes them as part of a brief escape*, knowing they can't outrun their attackers in the dark in an area she doesn't know, she hopes that the flashes might be seen by someone. She climbs to a high point above Kris (or above Lisanne depending on who is in the picture) and flashes until caught. 5) One of the girls attempts to sacrifice herself as part of an escape* hoping to draw all attention to her and leaving the other free to make a run for it.
Jeremy's opinion: It's entirely possible, assuming the night pictures happened on the 8th and not the morning of the 2nd, that the attackers weren't on location all the time (jobs, other commitments) but rather only there on an ad hoc basis. If the girls somehow managed to escape, but were entirely unsure where the attackers were in relation to themselves, they may well have opted to try using a sudden burst of activity, in the hope that something would be spotted, or in the case of the sacrifice theory, in the hope that one of them got away. If the girls did escape, then the sad part of course is that on the left of this FBI enhanced photo you can see a light source, with what looks like a person holding it and almost directly behind the girl, slightly to the left, is a man with a hood I think, his lower part is obscured by foliage i.e. their escape failed totally. There may be another light source on the mid upper right. And Jeremy also has a theory about the night photo that shows sticks with red plastic attached to them: "The way illusionists/magicians work, is to get the attention focused on something specific, whilst something else is actually the important part. I wonder with this particular picture, whether or not we've been tricked. That we're focusing on what's in front of our nose rather than what we should be looking at, given that it's most likely one of the attackers taking the photo. The attackers are probably having a good laugh at us trying to work out the meaning whilst in the background waiting to be revealed might be the girls, the rest of the attackers, the location, who knows what. It's a pity we don't have access to a copy of the source photo data so we could do our own manipulations because I suspect that hidden in the background, waiting to be revealed, is something we need to see.
The big question is of course if this area has cell phone connectivity; can you call here with your mobile phones, yes or no. If the answer is yes then the chances of Kris and Lisanne having been here and freely using their own phones is smaller... But it would still be possible then that either this phone data was incorrect or meddled with, or even (theoretically) that someone else handled their phones and called from a cellar or from the jungle. And if Kris and Lisanne were indeed at the waterfall at any night, either the 8th or earlier, then they must have been there temporarily; perhaps during a nightly escape. Because these waterfalls are tourist attractions and they have been searched by volunteers and Sinaproc, plus there were tourists there regularly; possible every day. The girls would have been found if they were holed up there. Same for the big cave, people would have found them there I think. But perhaps there are some caves behind the waterfalls which we've not heard about? Seems unlikely, or else tourists would have written about them in the many blog posts available online on these waterfalls. But I do think it could still be possible that the girls encountered foul play, and that the perpetrators loved to toy around with not just Kris and Lisanne, but also with police and everyone else investigating. If so, they must have a right laugh about all the videos and blog posts still coming out, seriously discussing their false leads. And the suggestion from Jeremy that one of the girls may have sacrificed herself to give the other a chance is original. I'd never thought of that yet. It is hard to explain those 90 nighttime photos, taken over three hours in the middle of the night. Could that perhaps be a possible explanation for them? But in the end their bones were found more or less in the same area, near Alto Romero. There is no doubt that they either died in the same area, or these few bones were thrown out in the same area. But Lisanne's remains had a dramatic slow decomposition rate; flesh and skin still on the foot, a rolled up ball of skin from her shin bone was found, still intact and with maggots. This was found at the end of August and it did not match a 4 month deceased state. Whereas Kris' bones were bleached and looking like they'd been out there for years instead of 9 weeks. May this mean that Lisanne died much later than Kris? Its remarkable that intact skin from Lisanne was found at the end of August. Either she had not been dead long, or her skin and bones had been stored in a dry cool place for a long time. All points toward a 3rd parties involvement though... Its a right shame that the families have not released all the 90 photos. Perhaps Panama was against it, they also prevented the parents for a long time from speaking about the phone data If we only had them all, there may indeed be some clues lurking in the dark.
The Hidden Waterfall nearby
Then there is also a hidden waterfall, located closer to the last known location of Kris and Lisanne (the stream of photos 507 and 508). Here and here you can read blog posts about this waterfall. Perhaps the night pictures also look a little bit like the top of one of the big waterfalls? Which would be much nearer to their last known location... Shame there is no photo taken from the perspective of the top of the waterfall, so we can see what it looks like from above....
Sas wrote me: "I was looking on the internet and I was on this site. I think its from a woman that makes journals of her trips ..the photo that catches my eyes was this one: the type of rock does remind me of the photo in the Kris and Lisanne case. I don't say its the same spot, but the rock type looks in my honest opinion the same.. Maybe that woman on that website knows more about the location of the photo.." [..] "Because the 'looks' of the rock parts look to me quite the same kind as on one night photo. I think that night photo was taken from above, looking down. Where in that area are the same kind of rocks and views..? To be honest when I compare this with these photos, I see an open part in the bushes on the right side...on both pics.. (On the place where some people think there could be laying someone, mostly thought Kris). Could it be the same spot as on the night photo? I don't know..but the shape of the rocks, and those brow/pink dots (vegetation plants) on the rocks.. look to me the same. Even the rock on which the girl stands.. In the area next to her left foot, it has the same kind of carving as on the night photo.. The night photo was taken further to the right, and you see that shape from another perspective.. Those lines and carvings in the stone are almost like a signature or fingerprint of the stone." (Added is a photo of a woman standing on a rock overlooking one of the Lost Waterfalls).
I replied: "Ahh ok, yeh I understand what you mean. Hmm... The grey rock looks kind of comparable in colour and texture. Although similar looking rocks may be found all over Panama of course... But the night photo seems to have a lot more foliage, green plants etc around the edge? I think (?) that it also has a more gradual descend down, whereas the photo you shared has less green foliage and plants at the edge and shows a steeper decline in height perhaps? But its hard to say with certainty, because of the night versus daylight and the angle also of the photos. Ah yes I agree, the brown/pink dots principle on the grey stone is kind of similar. (Btw: I don't know how common such speckles are on all the other rocks in that region?) Indeed they must have taken the photo then at another part of the rock. But the more dense vegetation at the end of the rock of the night photo does seem different perhaps? Ah yes I understand what you mean with the lines and indentations in the rock making it like a personal marking of sorts. And the discolorations do indeed look a bit similar. Here the three waterfalls are on the map. Compared to the Il Pianista Trail (not a huge deviation and in the same area).
And there may be another waterfall. In fact, next to the small and narrow waterfall which the girls would have passed after the small stream where they took the last daytime photos #507 and #508, there is also another, larger waterfall beyond the Pianista summit. But it is hard to find. Is it possible that the girls deviated from the main path at some point to find this waterfall? And that they got lost along the way? Calista Hart wrote about the girls' disappearance in her blog:"In April my Spanish teacher told me that two young women had gone missing from the sister school in Boquete, Panama. They had left all of their belongings, and not told anyone where they were going that day. The last anyone saw of them they were talking to two strange men, making plans to see the waterfall." In this blog post, a description of how to get there is given, plus photos of the fall. This waterfall is considered the hidden one, as there is no official description of how to get there. "The Pianista really is a knockout, winding through meadows with stunning mountain vistas along the rushing Rio Pianista, and with an abundance of lush cloud forest vegetation. This trail goes up to the Continental Divide (a more ambitious hike that we did with a group last year), and if you’re especially adventurous, it can take you all the way to Bocas Del Toro on Panama’s Caribbean coast. (CAUTION: no one should EVER go beyond the Continental Divide without an experienced guide. Just Google “Dutch Girls in Panama.”) Today we had something much more mellow in mind – we wanted to get to the “secret” waterfall that Susan and I had not seen yet, but the others in our group had been raving about. The trail begins at the Il Pianista Ristorante (outstanding Italian food, BTW) in the Alto Lino area just north of Boquete. You need to wade across the Rio Pianista after 200m, but then it’s a steady, leisurely incline for 2km before you start to climb a steeper, narrow path. Today, we were accompanied by two young guides, Jefferson and Miguel (as it happens, these cousins are nephews of our gardener, Sergio) – and it was a good thing, because finding the waterfall required us to get off the trail and take another cow path that leads into the cloud forest. We could not have found it on our own. Since we’re right in the middle of rainy season, it was a pretty muddy slog – but not too bad."
View of the Lost Waterfalls from above...
I always assumed that Panama was unlike Mexico, to name a rogue Latin-American state. That Panama was a cute little country with small friendly people who may love pan-flutes and who have a famous canal. Well, that is most likely a wrong assumption. I've seen so many series, documentaries, read so much about the state of Mexico (ok it is not Panama, but still interesting) with its rivaling cartels, brutal violence and mass corruption. Journalists are also killed there (assassinated, murdered I mean) at a staggering rate. There is a good BBC documentary on youtube called 'Dying to report - BBC News', its not very long but very raw. Here you can find a database of those Mexican journalists killed in the past 19 years only. It's claimed in one of those documentaries that up to 90% of Mexican state officials and politicians are in the back pockets of these cartels. Police included. Sounds wildly incorrect, or so I hope.. I wouldn't know myself though, never been to Mexico or done any further research into it. But it's estimated that an average 90 people are killed every single day in Mexico (and that figure does not include drive-by shootings, kidnappings, extortion and other serious crimes, as cartel and gang violence continue across the country). Anyway, Mexico is not Panama, but Panama may have its own share of small and large crime, with the drugs routes from Colombia crossing the country, and with the general level of poverty. Over 20 people went missing in this exact same region (near Boquete) in the few years after 2014. Some were found eventually, murdered, some have never been found at all. As a youtuber called Dorian Gray wrote about this: "I was reading an email report about forced prostitution and slave-labour, in Panama as well as other areas, where criminals tend to pick off poor migrant for "work". They call them "meat". Victims include many Russians and East Europeans, too. [..] I see no reason why Kris and Lisanne weren't (or couldn't have been) targeted, due to their looks, figures, youthfulness and vigour. I'm not sure why people cannot get their heads around this possibility, as it happens all the time in these corrupt places. Also, Kris & Lisanne were "shy", so their 'isolation' from large groups could have made them a greater target, as I truly believe they were targeted as far back as in Bocas."
And for anyone just reading up on this disappearance case: it is never too late to chime in and to help think along. There are lively discussions in the comment sections under youtube videos dedicated to this case, as well as on forums and places like reddit for instance. Anyone can always join in. Because nobody knows for a fact what happened. I may highlight crime scenarios here, but not even that is proven. The girls may have gotten lost and by sheer bad luck never have been found. It happens all the time. People go missing all the time in nature, never to be found back, or some are found back eventually and turn out to have been close to civilization all along! But mysteriously never made it out nor were found. And every new set of brains that helps with brainstorming, may help broaden the spectrum of discussion, so to speak. But there is no all-round consensus. I think this disappearance case speaks to the imagination of many people because there are so many puzzle pieces to work with. The phone usage, the times of calling or switching the phones on and off, the photos, the found items, the bones, the fingerprints, the things they did and also the things these girls DIDN'T do. You could pick so many angles to approach this disappearance. I mean, I think there have been meters and meters worth of texts written about the folded up bra's alone, no kidding. Would they or wouldn't they have voluntarily taken them off, while lost in the jungle? And there can be things said about dozens of other little aspects of this case. It often feels like the truth is there in plain sight, in front of us. We just have to see it. So many puzzle pieces.. But we lack the vital ones. It will never be solved as it stands now. Of course, if it ever were solved and we'd know for a fact what happened to Kris and Lisanne, discussion forums, videos like Juans and blogs like mine and others would no longer have much appeal. It would only be funny to see how 'right' or how 'wrong' we have been all along with our suspicions and analysis (I may be totally wrong too in my beliefs!). Yet everyone wants to see a breakthrough, me included...
Another case where the Latin-American authorities were very quick to conclude that an 'accident' took place - only here they were actually wrong
In April 2018, German cyclist Holger Hagenbusch and Krzysztof Chmielewski has from Poland were holidaying in Mexico. During a pan-American (world tour) biking holiday, the two men went missing in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Holger had already traversed Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. The 43-year-old German cyclist was planning to travel throughout Latin America, after which he would continue to Africa. "You can only really experience foreign countries without the pressure of time," Hagenbusch wrote in a blog post for German biking supply manufacturer Mainstream MS-X. "So I let myself be inspired locally by the locals and experience what is happening right in front of the wheels." The cyclist met Krzysztof Chmielewski (37, a Polish citizen and had been travelling the world by bike for three years) in the town of San Cristobal de las Casas on April 20 and decided to travel together to the ancient Mayan ruins at Palenque, some 200 kilometers (130 miles) away. Holger Franz Hagenbusch's brother took to the social media platform on Sunday after failing to hear from the cyclist for 11 days. "He is cycling in Mexico. His last location was San Cristobal. His destination was Ciudad del Carmen, but he never arrived there," said Rainer Hagenbusch in his Facebook post. An appeal to find the missing German cyclist riding through Mexico gained traction online, with Facebook users sharing posts and possible sightings. The families of the men also ushered Mexican authorities and the German Embassy into action to find them. The Federal Criminal Police Office also got involved. Mexican journalist Ciro Gomez Leyva circulated a video that showed images of Holger Franz on his journey through Mexico. 'We're going to find Holger', it sounded everywhere.
Then on April 26th 2018, their bodies were found in a ravine. Mexican authorities soon after claimed that the two men had died from an accident. Chmielewski's body was found first, 40 metres below the road. His body was found next to a bike - but it was not his own. It belonged to his German companion, which aroused suspicions. Hagenbusch was found eight days later - on 4 May - further down the ravine, but beneath the same road that runs between Ocosingo and San Cristóbal de las Casas in the country's far south. After they were found dead at the foot of this sheer rock face in the Mexican state of Chiapas, authorities were quick to claim that they had accidentally both cycled off a cliff. The regional attorney general in Chiapas, Arturo Pablo Lievano, originally said there was no evidence of bad intent and everything pointed to an accident. He said they may have been run off the road by a vehicle. "Cycling here is very risky, they could lose control and fall into a canyon", explained the prosecutor Liévano. It was also claimed that the Pole suffered head injuries during the fall and his body was later partially eaten by wild animals. Investigators echoed Liévano's words, stating that the pair "appeared to have lost control of their bicycles" while on a winding mountain road. However, Hagenbusch's brother, Rainer, told the German press he believed they had been killed and there had been some sort of attempted cover-up. And when Rainer flew to Mexico and saw his brother and Krzysztof in the morgue, he was shocked. Holger had a shot wound in the head and Chmielewski was missing a foot and was decapitated. All that from a fall in a ravine, obviously. Rainer wrote on his Facebook page that both bodies had been mutilated. "The Polish cyclist was decapitated and had a foot missing," he added. Only then Mexican authorities, faced with the indefensible, retracted and had to admit that yeh...
It was only after this information that the prosecution’s office claimed the mistake had been made during the investigation. And after a group of fellow cyclists also questioned the official version of events, a special prosecutor newly appointed to take over the case concluded that the cyclists had in fact been murdered. "It may have been an assault, because our investigations up to now indicate this was an intentional homicide," special prosecutor Luis Alberto Sanchez - assigned to the case by deputy of Liévano - told journalists. "Our investigations up to now indicate this was an intentional homicide," he said. "The tests carried out definitely indicate that there is a hole in a skull. The skull may belong to the German cyclist. The hole looks like a typical result of a gunshot" – said Luis Alberto Sánchez. He added that the head of the Pole was torn off his body and there was a mark on his skull made by a heavy object. It is not known yet if it was made before or after the death of a victim. Talking to BBC Mundo, Mr Sánchez said the assailants were probably trying to cover their tracks. "Those that did this wanted to make it appear like an accident, so they put the bike there, but they made a mistake and used the German's bike," he said. He added that the motive appeared to have been robbery. Mr Sánchez also told the BBC: "We think that they were travelling short distance from each other, maybe one was assaulted first ... and then the second one arrived and they were both captured." "It was very premature to call this an accident. The bike [belonging to the German] did not show signs of having been in a traffic accident," he added. Investigators now believe that the pair
were assaulted on either the 19 or 20 April. In the end Mexico had to admit that the two men were robbed and murdered. Aaaaand as usual, empty and hollow consequences were promised (but never followed up on).The Chiapas state government vowed to "intensify the investigation" to solve the case. The region around San Cristóbal is apparently considered a tourist region, but, nevertheless, Mexico is struggling to deal with a wave of violent crime that has left a record 25,000 victims dead last year. Ever since the government launched a controversial military offensive to fight the country's powerful drug cartels in 2006, the country has registered more than 200,000 homicides."
Another case that was quickly ruled an accident is the case of the missing Canadian Jesse Galganov for instance, who went backpacking alone in Peru; never to be seen again. His mother even hired an Israeli private investigator, Mossad-style, and yet nothing was ever found back of him or heard about his whereabouts, despite the use of search teams, dogs, detectives and drones. Wiped away. And a few years ago I read about two West Australian surfers who were killed on a gang-plagued Mexican road. The van of surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman was found burnt out alongside a Mexican highway with their charred bodies inside. The van was intercepted by a gang driving a car that flashed police-like lights. Mr Coleman was shot in the face when he tried to resist. The robbers then killed Mr Lucas, drove their vehicle to another location and set it on fire. Anyway, life is cheap in many countries. Not saying don't go on holiday abroad :) But I do think people should be aware of these risks and possibilities and keep a sane head, especially when venturing out alone on 'hikes' and such in lawless no mans land. See good and interesting videos on the disappearance of Jesse here and here.
There was a similar case of two French tourists in the jungle in Salta, Argentina. Here is a documentary on the matter. On July 15th, 2011, two French students of the Sorbonne would be found dead in the nature reserve of Quebrada de San Lorenzo, located 8 kilometers from the city of Salta in the north of the country. In the afternoon, the two young French women hiked through the reserve, towards a summit called, fittingly, El Mirador. Unfortunately, the ran into the wrong crowd. Several Argentinian men requested their phones and camera. When the women objected, they were dragged from the trail. After their possessions were stripped off them, Cassandre Bouvier and Houria Moumni were raped, tortured and killed by firearms. Cassandra was shot first and when Houria tried to escape, she was shot in the back. Then the perpetrators forged visitor data with the help of a park ranger, to make it look like another group of people entered the reserve after the French women. However, after police found their bodies two days later, investigating of the crime scene quickly guided them to the trails of the perpetrators, who used the phones of the girls.
Amanda - a physical therapist - went out on a hike in the nature reserve of Makawao on May 8th. She had a day off work and had not left behind a message for her live in boyfriend, nor texted or called him. One day later her abandoned car was found on the parking lot of the reserve, at the Kahakapao Trail. The car key was found under a tire of the car and her mobile phone was left inside the car, as well as her wallet, ID card and credit cards. A backpack and full bottle of water were also found on the passenger seat of the car. Her running shoes were missing from her house and backpack, making investigators assume that she had gone for a run. The car showed no signs whatsoever of foul play or violence. Friends and around 100 volunteers, professional trackers and search dogs have since searched for her. From a “base camp” in the Makawao forest reserve, her father John Eller and the rest of a mostly volunteer team had been spearheading a huge search in hopes of finding Eller alive. Yesterday a helicopter (hired by her family) spotted her inside the Maoi forest, about 6 kilometers away from her car and far off the beaten path, and got her out alive. Amanda had caught the helicopter attention by standing in the middle of a small river in a ravine and waving. It was near two waterfalls, called Twin Falls. She had fallen in a deep ravine, slightly twisting her leg and been unable to get out. "Ms. Eller had intended to go on a short trail walk, one she had done before. She went off the path at one point to rest, and when she resumed hiking, she got turned around. “I wanted to go back the way I’d come, but my gut was leading me another way — and I have a very strong gut instinct,” she said. “So, I said, my car is this way and I’m just going to keep going until I reach it.” But instead she ventured further away from her car, ending up many kilometers north. “I wanted to give up,”Amanda Eller said from her hospital bed late Friday night. “But the only option I had was life or death.” “I heard this voice that said, ‘If you want to live, keep going,’” she said. “And as soon as I would doubt my intuition and try to go another way than where it was telling me, something would stop me, a branch would fall on me, I’d stub my toe, or I’d trip. So I was like, ‘O.K., there is only one way to go.’” Temperatures in the area can dip down to the low 60s, with high humidity, cool mist and frequent rain. Amanda had been wearing a thin tank top and capri-length yoga pants. She had left her water bottle, cellphone and wallet in her car, leading many to believe that she had been abducted, or worse. But Amanda said she had not taken those things because she had planned to be gone only a short time.
On the third day, as police officers and firefighters began to search for her, Amanda abandoned hopes of finding the trailhead and started looking for water instead. Things only got worse. She fell 20 feet off a steep cliff, fracturing her leg and tearing the meniscus in her knee, according to her friend Katie York. The next day, she lost her shoes in a flash flood. She moved much more slowly after that. “The whole time I was going deeper into the jungle, even though I thought I was going back where I came from,” Amanda said. At night Ms. Eller covered herself in ferns, leaves and whatever else she could find on the ground. Some nights she slept in the mud. She spent one night in the den of a wild boar. She ate whatever she could salvage, including wild strawberry guavas, plants she could not identify and moths that landed on her body. “I was getting so skinny that I was really starting to doubt if I could survive,” Ms. Eller said. She had begun to crawl instead of walk, and was faced with a steep drop-off ahead that appeared impassable. Meanwhile, an army of volunteers turned seemingly every stone. They rappelled into ravines, searched caves, free-dove into pools and navigated fast-moving streams looking for her. Others killed aggressive wild boars and checked their intestines for human remains. At least one volunteer was attacked by a boar. On Day 17, Ms. Eller was near a stream searching for “some plant to eat for dinner and some place to sleep that wasn’t directly in the mud” when she saw a helicopter. She said she had seen and heard multiple helicopters fly above her during her ordeal, according to her friend Ms. York, but none had spotted her. This one did. “I looked up and they were right on top of me,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and I just broke down and started bawling.” Rescue workers had been combing the thickly wooded 1.5-mile radius around Ms. Eller’s car. But on a whim, the searchers in the helicopter on Friday decided to go farther, about seven miles from the central search area by air — the equivalent of 30 miles walking in such rough conditions, said Javier Canetellops, a search coordinator who was in the helicopter. “We all did a double-take,” he said, referring to when they saw Ms. Eller. “Where we found her is an extremely treacherous area.” She was airlifted to an airport and taken to a hospital, where she is expected to recovery fully from what she called a “spiritual journey” to stay alive. “I am forever indebted and overwhelmed by the amount of people that came out to help me,” Ms. Eller said. “It was pretty miraculous.”
Amanda was not wounded and had only mild sunburn, although her legs had more severe sunburn and skin damage. She drank from the river and fed herself with plants and berries. Her family had also offered a 50.000 dollar reward for anyone who found her. Both her parents and her boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol, stated earlier that they felt she was still alive and out there. The boyfriend had prior even been asked to take a polygraph test with police, and passed the test. Eller’s family had said in the previous week that they believed that if anyone could survive being lost or injured in the vast forest, it would be Amanda. As a doctor of physical therapy and a spiritual person who cares about clean living, her mother said, “She’s very strong. Her whole constitution has been fine-tuned. That’s going to serve her well in this particular situation.” “We’re still hopeful,” John Eller said (last week), as the sun set and volunteer crews began leaving the forest after another day of searching. “The guys that have experience in this [say] you’ve got weeks [during which a person can survive alone]. If you can get water, you’ve got weeks.” I must add that on the map, this Maui nature reserve looks relatively small and the Twin Falls are fairly close to the coast. (See map I added). But according to the New York Times, the reserve is more than 2,000 acres, and is surrounded by thousands more acres of dense forest full of steep ravines, lava rocks, giant ferns and thick vegetation that often must be hacked with machetes. Chris Berquist ("The guy with a beard that talks really loud at everyone") wrote about their method of searching: "We found Amanda because we did it right. We covered the ground so well that we had little to no doubt that she wasn't with-in our reasonable radius. You rallied and pushed further out. Pushed harder. Stretched yourself to the limit and did the work! That is the only reason I could confidently ask for a heli to look further out and try to send our people deeper. Because we did Everything we could to make sure that she wasn't there. Everything. And you did it well. You guys and gals turned that map BLUE!"
I have been thinking for a while about the comparison between that Amanda Eller case and the Kris and Lisanne case.
Both 'found' at about 7-12 kilometers from the starting point. Both went missing for weeks. Just like with K+L, Amanda was lost in a specific, more or less marked area. Just like K+L there were hundreds of volunteers looking for her, as well as dogs and a helicopter. But that is also where the comparison ends. Maui seems a safer place than Panama. The Twin fall, the area where Amanda was found was very close to the coast and civilization. From what I read, the researchers went about very methodically in Amanda's case. Those researchers worked so methodically that they progressed far too slowly. From that parking lot they just turned over every stone and only around day 15 or 16 (so the day she was found) did they decide to extend the radius, and that helicopter arrived for the first time in the area where she actually was. If they had also searched there from the beginning, she would probably have been out there for only a few days. Amanda heard the helicopter come over several times and at one point she could stand in the riverbed and wave for attention. She stood at a spot where they could see her, she waved her arms. In K+L's case there were multiple (!) helicopters, flying many days and covering all of the area behind the Pianista Mirador. And they found and saw nothing... The girls had all the possibility of the world to hear the helicopters come and go, come and go, and find a place where they could be seen; there were many meadows, open spots, many places along or in the riverbeds and there were logically other ways to attract the attention of actively searching people in a helicopter with a garment for instance.. Just take a piece of your coloured clothing and wave it. Yet, nothing. So unlike with Amanda, in the girls' case all the area where their remains were later found WAS in fact covered by rescue teams and helicopters. Amanda was only 7 kilometers away from the car park I read, in the end. The remains of K+L were found further from the Pianista, but not that much further, and all that area was covered by searchers. Why would K + L not have done the same thing as Amanda if they had simply lost their way? Of course, they may have been stuck under trees and unable to flag the helicopters. But given how often those things were pulled out and the size of the area that they covered, why did no one find Kris and Lisanne on some day at least?
They were giants compared to the average Panamese (in hot-pants), they supposedly were at a riverbank near a crossroad with a monkey bridge, which is used regularly by locals. That spot is at the main road! They could have walked back, and rescue teams have walked there, as well as other tourists who were looking for them. Early May there was no one there, there was no jeans shorts on a rock, there were no SOS paper signs or red plastic back remnants. The chef of SINAPROC said in the news: "we combed through the entire are and they are not there. If they were, we would have found them by now". Isn't it strange that a few minuscule bone remnants are found in that jungle, but not a trace from these two super tall girls in hot pants? The Amanda Eller case only highlights for me how different the K+L case is and that they did most likely run into foul play. Unlike Amanda.. If one of the girls broke her foot or leg, they would have stayed put near the rod and would have been found very early on, as all these roads were combed through. If one had an accident, the other would have been able to get help. If they somehow both fell in a ravine, it must have happened on the Boquete side of the Pianista Trail (as there are slopes there), but guides going down there with ropes to look for them found nothing. Their backpack and jeans shorts were also found intact, without marks, damage, tears or anything really. The cheap plastic sunglasses inside were in perfect state. It doesn't add up. And even if we are to assume they went through the same thing as Amanda, being turned around, wandering in the wrong direction, getting both injuries that prevented them from walking onward: that still does not explain the mass of mysterious details and strange elements: if they got injured, why not stay on the path? How can two girls both simultaneously get injured and if not so, why would the other not walk back to get help? Why did they not make any photos or videos for 8 days while being 'lost'? Why did they never, not once, try to call their families or host family? Amanda left her phone in the car, whereas Kris and Lisanne had both their phones ánd a digital camera on top. Not a single draft message for home, no video, while that camera had plenty of battery left and memory card space. Everything that phone did could have been done with a locked screen. Why was photo 508 removed and removed beyond recovery? How come hardly any of their remains were found back? How come Kris' bones contained phosphates linked to bleaching techniques, while the soil didn't have this element in it? You know, the questions that have been plaguing this case for years now (and which I repeat a lot on here lol).
An interesting discussion on Websleuths about the different clouds in Lisanne's photos -
Het Lichtpuntje wrote: "I know this is already discussed, but I would like to bring this up again, because in my opinion there is something not correct. This is a photo of the Mirador (see photo A. below). Taken by local guide P.. Lets compare the photo with both the photo's of Lisanne (photo B. and C. below). Let's compare all three photo's (photo D below) and you can see that the two photo's of Lisanne are a Panoramic photo. The mountain in Lisanne's photos is almost fitting except in the middle. But that's a little, tiny bit. In the photo beneath, the top of the mountain is not visible due to the cloudy weather, as you can see. So both photo's of Lisanne are made within 6 seconds of each other?? The photo data confirm that these photos were taken within a 6 seconds interval, in which Lisanne had to walk to another spot, with a different background, change her hair from swept over one shoulder to the other and then the camera had to be aimed right too, without a screen that allows you to see if you focused correctly. Also true that the difference of the sky/clouds seems like night and day. It's not a fluid motion, like the mountains in the background. The mountains, they fit perfectly. Could these photo's therefore have been made on different times of the day? Morning/afternoon/late afternoon. One on the way up and one on the way back? Or is this just the special effect the Continental Divide shows some days; clouds on one side and blue skies on another?
Photo B and C.
If it is true that the girls turned around and went back to the Mirador after taking photo 508, then by the time they started making their two emergency calls from 16:39 pm onward, they could then not be lost in the jungle... Instead they would have been on their way back, down the mountain already. Possibly already had reached the main road again, going back to Boquete. This then changes the possible reasons why they could have called emergency services. They wouldn't then have called because they lost their way beyond the Mirador. They also wouldn't have called because they had fallen in a cliff: the cliffs along the Pianista trail were combed through and descended by volunteers, Sinaproc and local guides in the subsequent days and there was no trace of the girls. In fact, this scenario would then reinforce the chance of them having been followed or taken by a third party. Because someone or something may then have forced them away from the same path they had taken to walk up the mountain.
Het lichtpuntje then continues: "This was the weather at that day, April 1st. You can see that at exactly 13.00 PM was the highest amount of cloud(s) 14%. Is this what we see in the left photo of Lisanne? And then we have the photo on the right with less clouds, from which we can see due the shadow/sun that is was approximately 13.00/14.00? Don't tell me now that the sky/clouds are the difference between Caribbean and Pacific. This is to much of a difference. Also the right photo of Lisanne......it looks like she is way bigger than at the left. Also her hair is at one photo on her right shoulder and the other her left shoulder. There are things that don't make sense. But the point is.that within 6 seconds, there would have been no time for (new) settings; they used the same camera, the same sun... the same light.... Maybe the only difference is where the photographer is standing.
DutchTreat replied: "IMO there's no way that the 2 pictures of Kris were taken within 6 seconds. Some other observations I made: - Lisanne on the right looks a lot more 'sweaty' at her forehead. There is no way that the sky is that different within 6 seconds and literally divided by a vertical line. I think that when you look at the sun's position in the sky and the shadows cast on Lisanne's face/body where Lisanne is on the right, that it does not match the position in the sky on the picture with Lisanne on the left. If you would put the picture with Lisanne on the right and Kris on the right next to each other, there is NO WAY those two pics were made around the same time. Look at the sun's position/shadows on faces/bodies. To me it looks like the picture with Lisanne on the right is made at 13.00 PM. But I think the other 2 pictures were made much later. My guess is on their way BACK TO BOQUETE. And by the way, the resolution of the picture with Lisanne on the right has a different resolution/pixels than the others. How is that possible? If the sun is shining from the right upper corner in the pic on the right. It is IMPOSSIBLE that Lisanne's butt in the left picture is illuminated by the sun, while her front is shadowy."
Het Lichtpuntje replied: "Next photo.....same sky....same sun.....almost the same cloud(s)........how much time is there between the 2 photo's?? I think not much, because of the cloud. So where are the sharp shadow lines at Kris?? The ones on Lisanne are clear. The sharp straight shadow line on her left arm (on the photo) looks still very strange to me. Next photo shows the clouds.
DutchTreat replied: "Kris' entire front and face should be covered with shadow, because she's completely standing with her back towards the sun. Baru, do you know how the sun moves during the day at the top of the Pianista summit? If it is a the right upper corner at 1.00 PM, at what time is it on the left side almost vertical?"
Matteo replied to Lichtpuntje: "All of this can be explained by looking at the position and angles from which the pictures were made. See comparison in this photo. In the three pictures, you can detect one plant. It is standing different towards its background. That indicates the direction from which the picture was taken. You can also notice the arrow marks at the horizon of the mountain rim. The horizon on the left picture of Lisane stretches far more to the left (bow) than on the upper picture, the same goes for the right picture, but then to the right (bow). Considering the foreground, you should overlay the indicated same plant, but considering the background there is a part of the horizon / mountain rim not on the pictures. I split the pictures according to the background. So Kris AND Lisanne changed places in the 6 seconds between the pictures. Clouds are often very locally at the northern side of the CD as we know. The difference in angle is some 80 degrees I guess, so that makes it quite possible to have one sunny and one cloudy picture at almost the same time."
Het Lichtpuntje replied: "Well it's 6 seconds between the photo's and at the right photo there is much sunlight if you look at the bushes, leaves, shadow etc. The leaves are glowing in the sun in the right photo, you can see that very clearly. And then 6 seconds later at the left photo, where are the glowing leaves, where is the clear shadow on Lisanne..? It's all about the 6 seconds."
Het Lichtpuntje wrote: "I was only trying to explain that this photo and blue sky and abrupt clouds also look weird, but I believe this. And if I cut it in half, I still believe it. Like I said, this is 1 photo. The photo's of Lisanne are 2 photo's. You can fit them perfectly!
Chiatos replied: "I don't know what to think about this. Apparently, there isn't a gap between the 2 pics with Lisanne, but an overlap. You can deduce that by looking at the vegetation. So if we place the pics overlapping each other, then the clouds indeed do not coincide. I have also recognized the leaves and plants Matteo has pointed out. [..] Right photo: It seems as if the sunlight is perpendicular, so coming from straight up. Left photo: It seems as if the sunlight is coming from left. But: because Lisanne is leaning forward, she creates her own shade on her shirt with the upper part of her body. So actually, also here, the sunlight may also come from straight up? I'm not an expert in sunlight, but what I do see, is Lisanne's wrinkled shirt in both pics."
DutchTreat replied: "Regardless of the Lisanne on the left and Lisanne on the right picture. If you look at both Lisanne and Kris on the right, you cannot deny that there is something not right. Kris' entire front and face, should have been covered with shadow. Those two pictures cannot possibly have been made within 2 minutes time. It's more like 2,5 hours time difference. And what would be the implications of that ......."
Romijn replied: "The fact that it is the same plant IS important, because it makes clear that both pictures were take from a different angle, one in the east direction, the other to the south and that has a huge impact on the view and explains why on one picture we see a totally clouded sky and on the other an almost blue sky. You just should not put these pictures next to each other as if they were made in the same direction. It also explains why shadows and wind directions are different."
DutchTreat replied: "It does not explain why the sun is shining from the right upper corner on the picture with Lisanne on the right. And from the left upper corner, where Lisanne is on the left. The sun is at a fixed spot in the sky at a certain time of the day. The photographer cannot manipulate the sun's position. If the left side of a person is covered by shadow. The left side of that person will not suddenly be illuminated if the photographer takes an other angle/position.
Matteo replied: "Hi Lichtpuntje, Cameras do lie. Not deliberately of course. When you take a picture the camera measures the light and adapts to it, to make the best possible picture, all done by computer nowadays. When you turn and take another picture and the light is very different, the camera will create another optimum for the length of the opening of the lens and how far it is opened (diaphragm). You will notice that on the picture. This explains the big difference between the sunny and the cloudy picture of Lisanne. On the cloudy picture of Lisanne you see less contrast and the whole picture is lighter: the clouds are white and lighter than the blue air and everything is less sharp lined out. Even when you take a picture at the same spot but you capture less blue air or more dark corner, the light will change, and the camera adapts to less or more light. That is normal: With the picture of Kris it is more or less the same. Less blue air and Kris against a darker background makes her better visible in the picture. she is given more light by the camera. Lisanne at the same spot though, is taken against the clear sky. The picture suffers from contrast and Lisanne has much more contrast and shadow and less light. It must have been like this, so 6 seconds were no problem at all: Try some of these things when you take pictures next time.
DutchTreat replied: "[QUOTE: danyoromijn said: "On the picture where Lisanne stands on the left (with thumbs up), I actually get the impression the sun shines from up and a bit right, since the shadow of her arm on her t-shirt streches out a bit to the left. When the sun would shine from the left side, the shadow would stretch out more to the right of her elbow.] - "You're wrong. Look at the picture where Lisanne is standing on the left. Look at the thumb of her right hand. It casts a shadow on the fingers of her right hand. That is impossible if the sun would be shining from the same position as in the picture with Lisanne on the right. These pictures were NOT taken within six seconds. There should really an expert be looking at these pictures. Because if it can be established that this is not possible, it would also mean that the data of the pictures has been tampered with..... and we all know what that would mean."
Danyo Romijn replied: "I see what you mean with the thumb, but the shadow formed, looking as if it goes from up-left to right-down is caused by the shape and the direction of the thumb itself. On this picture the sun comes from up and a bit towards the photographer. The sun never could come from the 'left' side, because there is the north and the sun never shines from the north. It just is a bit difficult with those shadows and directions, mainly because the sun at this place on earth and a bit after noon shines from up (and not that obvious from the south)."
IceT wrote: "Here is another picture that illustrates your point. It shows tendrils of thinner clouds extending across the Continental Divide from the thicker masses of clouds north of the Divide. A photo taken from the Mirador toward the SE could show small individual clouds in a mostly clear sky, while a photo aimed 90 degrees to the left could show a much thicker cloud cover north of the Divide. This seems to be what we see in the photos of Kris and Lisanne."
Also, look closely at the shadows of the sun in the different photos on the summit
which were all taken within the same 15 minutes according to their digital camera data. In some there are strong shadows on Lisanne's body, while there is hardly a shadow visible on Kris. Is it certain that these photos were all taken at 13:00, going by the angle of the sun? But then again; check out the aerial photo below; it clearly shows the way in which cloud packs can close in suddenly over there:
Looking at the blue sky versus the cloudy sky in the background of the new Pianista photos, are these new photos perhaps indicating that the girls did in fact make it back down the Pianista Trail? Photos from the way up (sunny and blue skies), versus photos from the way down (cloudy)?
These summit photos were all taken within the same 15 minutes according to their digital camera data. Firstly there are the difference in sky in some of these photos. Although I must admit here that both the cloudy sky photos were taken facing the 'other' side the the Mirador. Possibly there was a very extreme division line during those 15 minutes between cloudy on one side of the mountain and sunny/blue skies on the other? I don't know, the contrast is quite extreme I think. Then secondly there is also the other matter, that in some there are strong shadows on Lisanne's body, while there is hardly a shadow visible on Kris. Is it certain that these photos were all taken at 13:00, going by the angle of the sun?
If it is true that the girls turned around and went back to the Mirador after taking photo 508, then by the time they started making their two emergency calls from 16:39 pm onward, they could then not be lost in the jungle... Instead they would have been well on their way back, down the mountain already. More likely they would have been already down at the start of the trail by 15:30, and they may have been already at the swimming location of the new photo by 16:39 pm. This then changes the possible reasons why they could have called emergency services. They wouldn't then have called because they lost their way beyond the Mirador. They also wouldn't have called because they had fallen in a cliff, or drowned in the river, as Betzaida Pitti keeps holding onto. In fact, this scenario would then reinforce the chance of them having been followed or taken by a third
party. Or could it be the other way, and were the cloudy photos taken on the way up, and the blue skies from their way back down again to Boquete? This was the weather at that day, April 1st. You can see that at exactly 13.00 PM was the highest amount of cloud(s) 14%. Is this what we see in the left photo of Lisanne? And then we have the photo on the right with less clouds, from which we can see due the shadow/sun that is was approximately 13.00/14.00? (Notice also by the way how on the right photo of Lisanne, it looks like she is way bigger than at the left). Also notice how Lisanne's hair is at one photo flipped over on her right shoulder, and in the other photo it falls over her left shoulder. And in a third photo she has her hair tied back. Supposedly those photos were made within 6 seconds of one another. On different sides of the mountain. Lisanne on the right also looks more 'sweaty' on her forehead. So maybe they are in fact taken at very different times; one on the ascend, the other on the descend again, after having walked to the little stream from photos 507 and 508. Also, there seems to be quite a different sun angle present in these different Mirador photos. Sometimes the suns position on the faces and bodies of the girls are more diagonal, coming from straight above, other times there are more shadows and a different angle of the sun. Some seem to have been indeed taken around 13:00 pm, but others may have been taken later in the afternoon, in fact. My guess is on their way BACK TO BOQUETE. I mean, these two pictures below of Lisanne and Kris have officially been made within a 2 minute time-frame. It looks more like a 2,5 hour difference though, going by the extreme difference in shadow on the face and body. Shouldn't Kris' entire front and face have been covered with areas of shadow? By the way, in none of the other photos of the girls, taken in those precious week of holidaying, are the ever photographed with their thumbs up like that. Could this be an indication that they were not alone on that summit?
Although this photo from a day or two before their hike does show that there can be tight cloud formations hanging over the mountains, right next to blue patches of sky:
Juan made an excellent photo collage of the known photos, picturing together the scene on the Mirador and showing (in my opinion) that these clouded skies were taken at a different time of day than the clear sky photos. It also shows I think that the girls were not facing the (opposite) other side of the mountain in the cloudy photos:
One of the earliest interviews with the parents from Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
Dates from April 5th, 2014. (Source). I have added English subtitles to the video. You can view it here:
Dates from April 5th, 2014. (Source). I have added English subtitles to the video. You can view it here:
Below I wrote out the things that are said in this interview:
Hans Kremers: "Uhm... the moment we last were in contact was.. Monday I believe. And I know that Stephan, Kris' boyfriend, last had contact with her on Tuesday, 14:00 Dutch time [08:00 Panamanian time]. And that is the last message."
Roelie Grit: "It was at 14:00 local time in Panama."
Hans Kremers: "Oh, 14:00 local time in Pamama, ok."
Interviewer: "And how was she doing then?"
Hans Kremers: "Things were good. They were having a good time. They were very cheerful and enthusiastic about everything they were experiencing and seeing there. They were excited about things.
Interviewer: "And you said that they had all sorts of plans for the rest of the week?"
Hans Kremers: "Well Saturday [March 29th] they arrived at their host family and ... and then they had planned to start doing volunteer work at the school on Monday. But then it turned out that the staff of this school were like 'Huh? We expected you next week'. So then they had a whole week to fill. And this Monday they started to make plans for the rest of the week. And we know that they continued making these plans on the Tuesday. We know that they looked online about things to do in the area. And they booked some tours, for the Wednesday, the Thursday and the Saturday."
Interviewer: "What was the first signal for you that something was wrong?"
Hans Kremers: "Well we thought to ourselves; gosh she isn't responding. And by Wednesday we decided to send another message. Asking her how she was doing and asking her to send something back to us or to let us know somehow. But we received no answer to that. And I think that the parents of Lisanne had daily contact with her. Yes. And they also could not get into contact anymore at that point. And they started to call.. to Boquete... No? Oh no, you have been called from Boquete then. But then we received a phone call from Peter, Lisanne's father, at night, saying they were missing.... Yes...."
Interviewer: "Do you have plans to go to Panama?"
Hans Kremers: "Yes, by now we are starting to think about that yes. Initially we hesitated because.....what were we supposed to do there? We worry about getting in the way of investigators, not knowing the language, nor the area... so who are we to think we could find them sooner than the local guides there. But today we have been discussing that we do like to go."
Interviewer: "What may have happened to them, you think?"
Hans Kremers: "Well... that is a question I would rather not speculate about.. All sorts of things could have happened. And clearly something hás happened. Or else they wouldn't be missing now.
And something bad has happened to them. Whether that means they got lost, or had an accident or.... it could be anything.
Interviewer: "[mumbles..] encouraging signals.."
Hans Kremers: "Well, encouraging signals in the sense that everyone in Boquete Panama is busy and preoccupied with their disappearance. And everyone is actively searching for them. And I do get the impression that they are using every tool to try to find them. I mean... helicopters are flying round there, 25 people are looking for them. Today another 20 volunteers were added to search for them... They are trying to get this case covered on a local radio show, which all the indigenous tribes there listen to... So to me, those are all positive signals that everybody is doing everything they can to find Kris and Lisanne. And you also received messages... for instance a young men has gone missing in that same area for 4 or 5 days... and he turned up safe and sound in the end, because there is enough water in that area as well as fruit. So those are hopeful things. Yeh..."
Interviewer: "And how is the cooperation going with Foreign Affairs?
Hans Kremers: "Excellent. Foreign Affairs have taken this disappearance serious right from the start. They are easy to reach, we can always call them. Well, Lisanne's father can tell you the same in a bit. Very cooperative. And the fact that the Dutch ambassador has also been in Boquete - or still is - to keep the attention on this disappearance and to ensure that the helicopters are used. Yeh, great.
Peter Froon: "Last Wednesday night we were called, around midnight, by a school teacher in Boquete. Who wanted to tell us that both the girls had not returned to their host family. We took that for factual information, and then called Judith from Het Andere Reizen [travel agency that offers volunteer work abroad] on the emergency number. Initially her response was that perhaps they had just gone out for a bit, and that surely it would be alright. But she started making phone calls to Panama nevertheless. And at that point it became clear that Kris and Lisanne had been missing for over 24 hours already. That was when all the alarm bells started to ring, and we realized that something serious could be going on. That was when Hans called us about filing a report at the police.
Interviewer: "Yes because if I understand it correctly, you had until Monday or Tuesday [day of the girls' disappearance] contact with your daughter every single day?"
Peter Froon: "Yes. Pretty much every single day we had some form of contact, even if it was only short. Last Friday we had Skype contact. She was very cheerful during that contact. Everything went well. She looked well. There was no indication whatsoever that something was wrong.
Interviewer: "And how is this for you; like I already asked Hans, do you have any internal doubts about whether or not to go to Panama?"
Peter Froon: "Yes we did have that discussion. I have fear of flying.. and we also wondered; what more can we do over there.. But our son and two others, a good friend of his and her brother, instantly said that they would go to Panama. So, with that I had my peace."
Interviewer: "So they are on their way?"
Peter Froon: "They departed this afternoon at 13:15. And tonight they will arrive there. One sleepover and then tomorrow they move on.
Interviewer: "To Boquete.. And I hear that many people are searching for them, also volunteers: do you have the feeling that everything is done in order to find them?"
Peter Froon: "Yes, we certainly do. Because it is a difficult search area. We have the feeling that all the possible means are used now in order to search for them.
Interviewer: "Uhm... I understand that you only knew each other from Schiphol? [From bringing the girls to the Dutch airport].
Peter Froon: "That's where we saw each other for the first time. Kris and Lisanne are friends. They also live together in the same [student] house. They also work together in town. And they came up with the plan for this travel together. And we first met at Schiphol when we said goodbye to them.
It was very nice. In high spirits. And we will stay that way [full of hope]."
Something I picked from this interview:
Roelie, Kris' mother, says that that last contact with Kris was on the day she went missing, Tuesday April 1st, at 14:00 PM local time. But this poses a direct problem with the information we have at the moment. Because if we go by the times on the digital camera photos, then Kris and Lisanne were near the first stream beyond the Pianista summit by then. Which is about an hour down from the summit, and also an hour away from the last point of mobile reception with any cell tower. Kris' parents walked the same route later and confirmed that once you descend beyond the summit, your phone no longer has any connection. So how is it possible that Kris' boyfriend Stephan last had contact with her around 14:00 in the afternoon? This interview was very very early, only several days after the parents learnt about their daughters disappearance. Memory will have been fresh still, then. But how could this information possibly fit in with the official story we have been sold? If they were at the first stream, pictured on photos 507 and 508, at 14:00? Does this mean that the photo times are incorrect after all? Was the taxi driver Leonardo right after all when he stated to police that he dropped Kris and Lisanne off at the start of the trail at 13:40 that Tuesday? In that case, Kris could have had contact by phone with Stephan, while doing the first part of the ascend; an area with cellphone reception. This timeline issue has never been really solved. I wrote extensively about it in part 1 of this blog series. Either you believe the taxi driver (later murdered) and the staff of the language school, who all place Kris and Lisanne after 13:00 and before 14:00 that day on the Pianista Trail. Although one staffer later changed her story and said in private to some investigators in the 'community' (by now) that she last saw Kris and Lisanne in the Spanish language school on the Monday afternoon in fact; not on Tuesday 13:00, as she and Marjolein previously had told owner Ingrid. As far as I know, Marjolein still stands by her statement however. But lately Juan has published new material in this case, including a swimming photo of Kris and Lisanne. Scroll down this blog post for a lot more information on this topic. The swimming photo is not dated, but shows (in my opinion very clearly) Kris and Lisanne swimming with two local youth, who both died relatively soon after under very suspicious circumstances. My own theory has since been that Kris and Lisanne were not alone at the Pianista Trail. That there were people with them, and that the witnesses who said they saw Kris and Lisanne at the trail head again around 15:30 pm that day may have been right; that the girls took a taxi (the one of the later murdered Leonardo) and went swimming afterwards. Either they had arranged to do so with the lads in the photo (having met them on the Sunday for instance, while out and about in Boquete), or they may have met them there. But going by the warm sunlight in the photo, my bet is that this photo was taken in the later afternoon. And because neither of the girls ever mentioned the event to their parents, to the massage lady they spoke to for 1,5 hours on Monday evening or to their host family, and because they also did not mention a swimming event in their diaries, I think it is likely that this swimming trip took place on Tuesday afternoon. After that swimming photo was taken, something went wrong.. Perhaps they didn't return affections which caused anger; maybe they were offered a lift but never brought back to their host family; maybe some other scenario took place. Problem now is that if Kris indeed had contact with her boyfriend Stephan around 14:00 on Tuesday, then the official timeline can not be correct. There was no cellphone reception beyond the summit. But if the (previously defended by me) old timeline is correct, and they started their hike shortly before 14:00 that day, then there is no time window left for them to make it to the point of photo 508, ánd return back to the start of the trail again, ánd have time left to drive to the Caldera area for a swim. You can't have it all, in other words. So which scenario is correct here? I asked Juan for help:
Juan: "Yes I have the same problem, I also believed in a late hike but indeed, I also prefer to let this hike end in Caldera [the swimming event].. But it is all possible, if you let them do that Pianista hike only briefly. Yes this is a very big stretch of the imagination, considering all we have been told and think to know now. But don't forget that there seems to be something going on with a lot of those summit photos. They may not even have been there, theoretically. What if those witness stories are correct, and they did return soon after, and Lisanne was really too sick to do that whole long hike? And then afterward to Caldera to swim.. A very difficult puzzle, because you would even need to doubt that Kris ever really stood at that distant stream from photo 508. Besides, some witnesses have said that Kris and Lisanne were in Caldera on March 30th and 31st... So well, maybe the swimming photo dates from before April 1st. But then.. I really do not know anymore, you also have zero certainty as there are no hard facts it seems.. And then you have your own personal favourite scenario's also. Like for us that the Caldera swimming photo was their last, and that they ended up in that area, far away from the Pianista trail. But that doesn't necessarily have to be true. Even while sticking to my firm belief that those night photos were taken in the Caldera region". [..] Yes, "Leonardo Gonzalez the dead taxi driver claimed, he dropped them off at the Pianista restaurant, at 13:40. Cell phone reception was no problem then.. while all the witnesses can be correct as well, they returned around 15:30 again.. And the rest of the Pianista hike is a smoke screen illusion, manipulated by the perpetrators. Camera times only became an issue, after June 14. And then they even needed to be recalculated. And the reports are pretty useless then, in my opinion. It's just, whose side are you on... the report, with the times and phone usage, manipulated by the perpetrator.. Or the boyfriend of Kris, who recites a very fresh memory, and who probably checked it thirteen times and showed it to the parents etc.."
My take on this: "Regarding the many people who believe that Kris and Lisanne had an accident: I just think that there is no evidence for this. I think the basis of it all was that a lit up leave in one of the night photos, was described by Jeremy Kryt of the Daily Beast as the possible outline of Kris' body, down in a ravine. Now that we have mostly all the nighttime photos, we see that same shape from different angles and in fact, it is just a leaf lit up by the flash. Not the outline of a body. That should put a line through the Kris-body-accident theory. But it doesn't. People still believe it. In fact, another reason for this is probably because on day 6, Kris' iPhone was no longer receiving the correct pin codes. That could indeed indicate that she was no longer conscious or in a good enough state to remember or tell them. It can also be a tactic and a purposeful red herring by a 3rd party however. Both are still an option. Another possible reason why one of the girls 'must' (may) have died sooner than the other, is the extremely different states in which their very few bone remnants were found. Kris' seemingly long dead, because her bones were bleached and completely bare, also containing phosphates. Lisanne's bones in a very early stage of decomposition (and a rolled up ball of skin from her leg was even found 5 months after they disappeared, also in a very early stage of decomposition). This could indicate that she died much later than Kris. Or it could in fact indicate that someone stored her remains in a cool and dark place, and dropped them shortly before they were found. We just don't know for certain! - What makes me personally doubt an Accident scenario, is the fact that a small army of people were looking for them in a relatively small, inhabited area. Every single blogger I read about who hiked this route, ran into multiple people every single day. Also while they were deep into the wild and away from the Pianista Trail's summit; even when they walked all the way to Bocas on the coast, they ALWAYS met other people along the way. Farmers with their cattle, indigenous people and children, tourists, guides, you name it. Nobody mentioned even one day of pure solitude there. So to think that Kris and Lisanne spent days, even a week, near a monkey bridge (passage for many people), alongside a river where houses lay that are inhabited, while having a bounty on their heads of 30.000 dollars to be found, is to me beyond any logic or credibility. And if they fell in a ravine or something, then this must have happened near the summit of the Pianista trail; those places were literally combed through by many, including sniffer dogs from the Netherlands. They weren't there. Yet their bone remains were found at a distance of more than 14 walking hours up north from this area. Nobody with a broken pelvis and shattered foot would walk that far (away from civilization, not towards it). Also, the jeans shorts from Kris and the backpack that were found also show zero indication of a fall. Or of an animal attack. No damage, everything in dry and good condition. I just don't think the facts in this case can make for a convincing Lost scenario..."
The search troops at work:
I like to repeat one more time what issues I keep having with the Getting Lost scenario - pls skip when you are utterly tired of this:
things nobody seems willing or able to solidly explain and rebut: the official version of events is that they either fell into a river and drowned, or fell in a ravine of sorts and couldn't get out, OR were eaten by wild animals. Pick your favourite and then try to explain how that makes sense considering that:
1. Ravine: assume they slid off a steep slope, and this slope may have been too steep for them to climb back up on without any gear and they were stuck. Firstly; this Pianista trail they were following was well kept, clear to follow, and no-one has to date fallen in a ravine there. So for this to happen to one of the girls, on a clear sunny day without rain or mud on the road, is hard to imagine. But for two of them, both, to fall in a ravine on this beautiful day of April 1st is near impossible. But what if.. Lets follow this highly unlikely scenario; they both fell in a ravine: going by the dates on their pictures and mobile phones use, at least one of them must have been stuck there then for at least 11 days. No heavy rain fall was washing them out there in this first week as there was hardly any rain, only short showers: checking statistics about the local weather in Boquete that week, only on April 3rd, around 17:00, heavy rain started, which lasted throughout the next day until the evening/night of April 4th. Then it took until April 8th for more rain to fall, which only lasted a few hours in the late afternoon/ early evening. However, the place where some steep edges are, lie on the Boquete side of the Pianista trail (so the side very frequently walked by people), and close to the summit of the Pianista trail; NOT after the Pianista summit. If they had fallen there then rescue teams and searchers had definitely found them. They combed through the entire jungle there, multiple times (especially the trail of the Pianista itself), and were certain the girls weren't there. They even scaled down on ropes on several locations on this main road, as was shown on TV camera. When Frank van de Goot, who led the Dutch forensics team in this case, hypothesized that the girls must have fallen into a ravine of 30 to 40 meters deep at the start of the Pianista Trail (and this being the only place where they could have fallen off the mountain; at the start of the Pianista trail), he offered not a single shred of proof. Instead, this wild claim raises nothing but questions: why have there never been pictures released of this supposed spot? Why no proof of the underground there showing any signs of 2 people falling on it from 40 meter height? SINAPROC are specialised in these things and regularly find missing hikers back, they looked for trails and clues of a fall everywhere along that route and found nothing. They went down with ropes for no less than 500 meter in crevasses along the Pianista trail, so they combed the place out. And even stated so on TV; the girls were not there according to their findings. A fall there would have left traces and those first days after their disappearance it was dry and sunny, not rainy so no trails could go missing. Why would both have fallen there? So no tracks at all. But lets assume theoretically they fell in there anyway: (asif two adult girls would fall in at the same time, or one would go down after the other to 'save' her, sigh....) why then wouldn't they have been found there by the onslaught of rescue groups and volunteers and army and dogs, if they really were there? They would have heard them so why not call out for help? Not to mention the rescue dogs easily smelling them there. The girls were for many days to come seemingly capable of using their phones attempting phone calls or looking for reception; they were conscious and had heard the rescue teams, dogs and all that came with it if they had fallen close to the main trail or in that jungle at all; there was a big reward for the person who found them so there was extra incentive to find them. Yet, nobody did..
And why wouldn't they have been able to call from there, given that that area has confirmed mobile phone reception? And even if this scenario is true: how did their backpack end up from the ravine into the river, without any decomposing fat on it, no blood, and most of all; everything in perfect order? You think two cheap sunglasses would come out of a 40 meter fall without a single scratch, yet these girls were broken up from it? The backpack itself was undamaged, the content was undamaged, no tears budges and Kris' shorts was looking normal; clean. No damage as you would expect from sliding off a stone wall or muddy ravine slope. And how would their (very few) found remains been scattered over a huge area then? Some found upstream, not downstream? How would their remains have ended so many more kilometers north, against the rivers current? (The Pianista River runs south, not north, yet their remains were found much further up north along a river that runs northwards). Animals there are not eating bones and wouldn't drag a foot or a pelvic bone for many kilometers, and they are ruled out anyway as the bones found had no microscopic teeth marks, damage, dragging bruising or anything whatsoever; they were completely clean of markings. Besides, Kris' shorts were also found near the river and their bra's were in their backpack; would they have fallen off a ravine naked then? Unless they fell down, at least one got injured, they somehow made their way from there to the river and... waited? Besides, the spots that truly have some height are near the summit of the Pianista trail, and in this Dutch TV program, local guide P. even explains that they descended attached to long ropes down these spots to look for them. Then Dutch forensic investigator Frank van de Goot stated that they suspected that the girls fell somewhere after the summit, but before the small stream pictured in photo #508. Yet, there is NO place there where you can fall. The road is stuck between rock walls, or has no cliffs or anything really to fall into. So that is a strange suggestion as well, and he never gave single specific spot or photo evidence of this wild claim. Also, given that they took their last daytime photo #508 at around 14:00 PM camera time, and ran into trouble 2,5 hours later, going by their phone records, they could have unlikely made it back in that time from the small stream of photo 508 to the start of the Pianista Trail. Investigators calculated that the girls would have needed more time for the walk back, at the least half an hour more. Kris' father calculated that they would have been just under the summit around that time, had they turned around after taking photo 508. And if one at least was wounded, how would they be able to end up 12+ kilometers north, into the jungle, where some of their remain were found? When you are injured, you stay put (and they would have been found on or near that main road where they started to call 911 at day one). Large scores of rescue workers combed through the entire jungle there, multiple times (especially the trail of the Pianista itself), and were certain the girls weren't there. Also, guide P. showed and declared on Dutch TV that he and others went down with ropes on those places on the Pianista Trail where the girls could potentially have fallen down. (And they weren't there, and neither any traces of them).
2. River: at that time (first week of April 2014) the rivers were rather shallow and not wildly fast flowing yet. From what was pictured and seen on news reports at the time, the river im sprache was not standing very high, and it wasn't very fast flowing at all. Although the current is in general said to be strong, making it very difficult to get back out once you fall in, but the girls could swim very well, and the river wasn't that large that they couldn't make it to shore without drowning I think. It also has many rocks crisscross within the water, where you can hold onto. And although those monkey bridges are feeble, you don't cross them together at the same time; only one person can go at a time, so the chance that both girls fell into the river there at the same time is also very small. Besides, then their backpack would have gotten wet, not to say soaked, and instead it was found dry with dry content. If a river is said to be powerful enough to tear apart dead bodies, it can't leave a cheap lycra backpack floating in it dry and undamaged. Also, along the river near the monkey bridges are local native people living; why wouldn't they go to them for help, instead of passing a monkey bridge and river, moving even further away from the Boquete region where they had to go? And if they were lost, why would they cross rivers anyway, leading them further away from their starting point, further into the wilderness? So with no marks found on the few bones they did find, no animal jaws and teeth could have torn the foot off, in Lisanne's case, but there were also no signs of the river and rocks in it breaking up the bodies or damaging them. You would certainly expect to see markings on bones and damage to fragile items in the backpack, if the bodies had bounced over rocks and swept through wild rivers. How did her severed foot end up almost under the root of a tree alongside the river, if she was floating in it?
3. Animals: (photo left the amount of registered snake bites) The black panther and puma are rare sightings there and shy; they don't go out to look for human contact. A jungle specialist from the region has wandered that jungle for 40 years and never ran into one, he said they don't even live in the Boquete region. Most bigger wild animals have long retracted to the deeper jungle, further away, due to the many humans walking through this part of forest. This travel blogger went to the same area and wrote about it: "We never saw a mammal and heard monkeys only once, quite different from our experience in other tropical forests." And even if we wildly assume a big cat attacked, them then the bones found would have had bite or drag marks and their clothes wouldn't have been found the way they were; the jeans shorts from Kris would have had blood on them or been ripped or damaged (it was not, all clean and no blood or other bodily fluids on it). The backpack was also not torn or damaged in any way. So this in itself, and the fact Dutch investigators found completely clear bones with no microscopic signs of teeth, damage, bruising, biting or violence on the bones, which would be visible if an animal ate them clean, more or less debunks the animal attack theory. And a big snake such as the Bushmaster would have also left marks on the bones. And none of those animals can crack big bones or eat and digest big bones, so where are their skeletons? Their skulls? Hardly any bones have been found other than one foot, one upper leg bone part (a femur), a lower leg bone (tibia) and half a pelvic bone and one rib. IF a wild animal in fact did kill them, how did their clothes come off - Kris' jeans shorts was found in one piece in or near the river and both the girls had their bra's neatly folded in their backpacks - and how come they were cleaned of any blood, both visible and microscopic? So this official statement was pretty vague and unfounded, and it wasn't well received. Nevertheless, this down to earth commentator - Danny R. Smith - said about this: "I've had cases where only a few pieces of the skeleton remained. Animals can take pieces and run off. Think of a pack of coyotes each grabbing what they could and heading over the hill. Searches are usually constrained by terrain and quite honestly manpower and hours. A fifty foot diameter or maybe a hundred yards, depending on the terrain. There is so much overgrowth in that region there could be bones within those distances that will never be found. As far as markings, the absence of the markings on the remaining bones just means an animal did not disturb that part."
Questions I have with the wild animal scenario are: - Why have none of the bones found shown a single microscopic marking from teeth or claws on them then? They were all clean and if a wild animal had killed them, or dragged these bones around, the bones and tissue would have had at least some signs of it under the microscope? -And why did none of their clothes, shoes and backpack that were found back show any signs of wild animals then? Not a single scratch, tear or blood mark on them... -Also, where are the skulls and other big bones which animals cannot crack then? - Jaguars and panthers are so rare in those areas and so shy, that many wildlife specialists and guides from the area have never seen one in their lifetime. -And would they really have both been attacked and killed by the same wild animals then, at the near same location? Because the few bone remnants of both girls were found more or less in the same area, close to Alto Romero. I think that the science in this case actually speaks strongly against a wild animal attack... These forensic findings were leaked by the scientists, not spread by the official prosecution. They seem legit to me, people like Jeremy Kryt have had access to the autopsy and forensic reports and findings and swears that they are real.. And last but not least: why did they then call emergency services on day 1 already? First emergency calls were made during daylight and not at night. Where is the Jaguar/Panther on the photo..? In fact; not even a single nighttime photo (as far as we know) shows an animal, despite three hours of flashing the camera. Not once was an actual animal caught in the camera's flashlight. Which doesn't mean that there were no animals around, but they most likely weren't killed and/or dragged around by a big animal.
It seems there were some risks involved with this Pianista trail. People had been robbed in the past. People had gotten lost in the jungle. A guide was recommended. The girls seemed confident however, perhaps due to the low difficulty grade of the walk. It takes around 1,5 to 2 hours to climb to the top, which has stunning views, reaching all the way to the coast on clear days. Then downwards is achieved in around an hour, depending on your level of fitness. Especially the climbing part can be tiring when the day time temperatures and sun are high, combined with the high humidity in Panama. But for young, fit people it should not be a problem. Lisanne was known to be sporty, she played volleyball at a high level and liked to go for walk. Kris was slightly less athletic but in good physical shape nonetheless, which is also visible in their photos along the trail and at the top. At the start of the trail, the path is clearly visible and well defined. But as you ascend, it gets more narrow and the jungle does close in. Nevertheless, it should be clear which is the main path and where to go. And once you descend again from the summit (which is cooler than the valley), moving on instead of the recommended turning back, the trail is for a long time still clearly distinguishable, especially on the dry and sunny day of April 1st 2014. However, the further you move on, the more risks of getting lost. Sometimes people keep walking because they assume the route guides them in a circle back to where they started. Which is not the case. In fact, it drags you further and further into the jungle, and the next settlement is a 4 day walk. It takes days of walking before you reach the river Culebra. And there are risks with these rivers too; they have monkey bridges; dodgy swanky frail cables where you can move over, but which can easily give way under you, make you lose your balance or swing you into the river. Even locals perish on these bridges sometimes. They are placed high above the river and a fall can cause injuries. If the water is high and runs fast, you can drown too. At the start of the girls' trip however the water was relatively low and slow flowing. But several days into their ordeal, rain started to fall so that may have affected the river to some degree. Tourists don't know that further away, more reliable crossings are placed over the river. There is also said to be another bottleneck on the route, where you need to pass a metal gate to continue the Pianista Trail, instead of walking along it (which would direct you in the wrong way).
I found this series mesmerizing and very eerie; it's called 'West Cork' and is about a 1996 murder there of a French (beautiful) woman who was staying in Cork over the Christmas holidays, alone in her desolate holiday home. Then something terrible happened. It is set to be claimed that the victim was surprised by the killer, who called to her holiday home late at night as she read on the night of December 22, 1996. When the conversation with the late caller “degenerated”, she first tried to get back into her house before fleeing. The young woman, injured, after first trying to reenter the house, fled across the field, pursued by her aggressor, before being trapped at a wall which she tried to scale, because her front gate was closed. But she was caught and beaten to death as she tried to climb the wall in order to escape. The attacker also used a breeze block found along the escape route for this, as well as a blunt instrument with a “ridged” edge. Ms Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s husband, French film producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, said she had called him at around 11pm Irish time on from bed and was getting ready to sleep. The victim was found in her nightclothes. A trace of blood compatible with the victim’s profile was found on the outside of the back door. The case still hasn't been solved but a lot has happened in the meantime and I found it such an atmospheric and interesting listen; you are thrown back and forth between suspicions of possible perpetrators. Very well made, a real in-depth psychological and crime based saga. But also more intense than seeing a documentary, because you only hear the voices and the recorded wind and the waves and the desolate wild nature of that place. Making up images and scenes in your own head can be more frightening than seeing it on TV perhaps. (You can download the entire West Cork podcast series here). And see my blog post on this murder case here.
Read my blog post about the mysterious death of Magdalena Żuk, 27, here.
This blog post has recently been moved from another site, which is primarily a health blog (has little to do with crime). I add screenshots of the comments people left there