Startling New Evidence In George Smith Case
It was a mystery that made headlines when a handsome groom vanished one night from his honeymoon cruise. Seven years later, the FBI says new evidence has surfaced that suggests he may have been murdered. INSIDE EDITION has the story.
It's a tantalizing mystery: A handsome groom goes overboard on his honeymoon cruise—his beautiful bride left a widow just 10 days after her wedding.
The body of 26-year-old George Smith has never been found.
But now, 7 years after the tragedy that made international headlines, new evidence suggests that he might have been murdered.
Incredibly, some of the men who were the last to see George Smith alive reportedly videotaped themselves joking about having thrown him over the side.
Michael Jones is the Smith family attorney.
"They make some mocking comments with vulgar language about George's death. From what I understand, it's horrifying to watch. And then, at the end, one of them stands up and makes a self-incriminating statement," said Jones.
One of the men reportedly says on the video, "We gave that guy a paragliding lesson without a parachute."
INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd asked George Smith's mother, Maureen, "What was your reaction when you heard what was said about your son?"
"I was devastated when I heard that. Devastated. Obviously, something really bad happened to my son," said George's mother, Maureen.
The death of the businessman from Greenwich, Connecticut, came following a storybook wedding to his school teacher bride, Jennifer Hagel.
For their honeymoon, they went on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas.
After a night of out-of-control partying in the ship's casino, George got so drunk, he had to be carried back to his state room and put into bed.
At some point, he went over the balcony. A large bloodstain shows where he landed on a metal canopy before tumbling into the sea off the coast of Turkey.
Hagel was found unconscious in a corridor. She says she cannot remember anything about that night.
In videotaped depositions obtained by INSIDE EDITION, two of the passengers who carried George to his room repeatedly took the fifth when asked about George Smith's death.
"Do you know if George Smith was murdered?" asked an interrogator.
"I invoke my Fifth Amendment right," replied passenger Josh Askin.
"Do you know who killed George Smith?" asked the interrogator.
"I'd like to invoke my Fifth Amendment right," answered the other passenger, Zachary Rozenberg.
In another deposition, his cousin, Gregory Rozenberg, who was serving 3 years in prison for selling drugs, denies murdering Smith.
"Did you have anything to do with George's death?" asked an interrogator.
"No. Never did, never thought about it—No," replied Gregory.
Hagel has moved on. She remarried and has a child. There's a rift between her and the Smith family they say will never heal.
"We are disappointed that she didn't fight for George how we fought for George," said Bree, George's sister.
Bree and Maureen believe George was murdered in a robbery that got out of control.
"I want to know who took my son away from me. He wasn't a Dixie cup that you throw over the side of a ship," said Maureen.
And they're hoping the new evidence will lead to arrests.
"We want the individuals that are responsible for throwing my brother George over his balcony at age 26 held accountable. We want them put in jail. We want them to rot in jail," said Bree.
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