George Alan Smith IV was a 26-year-old Connecticut man who went skipping under unusual situations while on a 12-day tour with his new bride, Jennifer Hagel Smith. Although it is inferred he went overboard at some point during the early morning hours of July 5th 2005, how that occurred stays a mystery.
George Smith came from the upper-crust Connecticut town of Cos Cob, near Greenwich. His family holds a famous liquor store there, and he was the store's General Manager. He had been wedded to his wife, Jennifer, for 10 days. She was a teacher, who was to start a new job teaching third-graders upon their return. The newlyweds were honeymooning on a Royal Caribbean International cruise of the Mediterranean, which departed from Barcelona on Wednesday 29th June 2005 and was due to end in Greece, France, Turkey and Italy, among other areas. The cruise ship the couple were dwelling on was the MS Brilliance of the Seas & they had reserved Stateroom 9062, a cabin with a balcony positioned on Deck 9. By all accounts, George & Jennifer seemed to be having an incredible time those first few days of their honeymoon. Pictures show them embracing by the pool & on the second night after a day expended wandering Villefranche-sur-Mer in France, the Smiths’ agreed to have a get-together in their cabin, the disturbance of which kept their neighbour awake until almost 3:30 am. The following morning this neighbour documented the occurrence to the guest-relations desk & inquired what could be done. If it occurred again, he was said to call the reception desk & they would deal with it.
On Monday 4th July 2005, the Smiths were halfway through their cruise & had expended the afternoon exploring Mykonos, a famous Greek island. Jennifer had documented that they had been on a high as they came back to the ship that night because they had sighted the actress Tara Reid who was filming her show "Paradise" on the island. The couple had schemed a romantic feast on the ship for that night, which happened without incident. After the feast, they expended some time at the casino & all reports said they were in decent spirits & appeared to be acting normally. As is normal on maximum cruises, the Smiths had become friendly with various other visitors on the ship, mainly other couples but they also struck up friendships with a 20-year old student Josh Askin from California & another group of four raucous Russian-American men. The four were touring with relatives; their group, numbering eight people in all, comprised of two families, both with the surname Rozenberg. One family hailed from South Florida and the second is thought to be from Brighton Beach, a Russian section of Brooklyn. Between them, the families had three sons aboard, all told to be in their teens or early 20s: Jeffrey, Zachary and Greg. Also in the group was a 20-year-old called Rostislav Kofman aka ‘Rusty’.
After some time expended at the casino, the Smiths met up with another newlywed couple who they had befriended & who had gotten wedded on a similar day as the Smiths had. They then went to the onboard disco, where the Smiths & their companions were joined by Josh, two of the Rozenberg boys & Rusty Kofman (it is not obvious whether they had all socialised before this night). They all settled around a table drinking absinthe, which the cruise faculty reported is NOT sold on the ship & must have been smuggled on board.
It was at this phase that Jennifer Smith's attitude is called into problem. Josh reported that Jennifer came to be very flirtatious with one of the croupiers at the casino, a South African man called Lloyd Both. When the group left the casino to go to the disco, Both escorted them, keeping up close to Jennifer the whole time. At the disco, Jennifer proceeded to flirt with Lloyd & also chanced to drape herself over other men. At this point, George glimpsing his wife's improper behaviour tried to interfere. But An argument between the couple ensued, ending in Jennifer hitting her new spouse in the groin & fuming out of the disco, with Both following after her (although this circumstance is denied by others witnesses who say he stayed behind). Soon after the Smiths’ disagreement, at about 3:30 am, the disco shut & Josh, the two Rozenberg boys & Rusty became familiar that George was highly intoxicated & was too drunk to step alone so they assisted him to his cabin. But When they came to the room, Jennifer wasn’t there & George was determined he wanted to discover her. George changed his shirt & supported by Josh & the three Russian boys, steered to the solarium, where the cruise ship’s younger crowd would huddle after the disco ended each night. Jennifer wasn’t there either so the group then assisted George back to his room, entering at 4:02 am—a time ascertained by a computerized monitoring system that tracks when key cards are utilized to unlock room doors. This was the final time anyone reported glimpsing George Smith.
It was after this time that bustles coming from the Smiths cabin, interpreted by one neighbour as “loud cheering—what sounded like a college drinking game...as well as huge pitched yelling”, were first noted to crew members. At one point this neighbour thinks he might have listened to at least one individual leaving the Smiths' room & talking in the hallway. After this, an assertion with "at least three voices" was reported appearing from the Smiths' balcony. At around 4:15 am, the neighbour reports listening to sounds ushering people out of the cabin & listened to the words "Goodnight, Goodnight" continually, followed by the cabin door close. The neighbour says he then paused about 10 seconds before unlocking his door and watching out, where he asserts he saw three men, whose individualities have never been disclosed publicly. Other neighbours reported listening to three male subjects chatting in the hallway at around this similar time & they asserted two of the men had "accents" ( could be the Rozenbergs?). This is where problems begin to occur, it is reported that 4 men supported George back to his room, but only three are glimpsed and listened to leaving, so who stayed behind? Maybe the group misremembered and just three men went back to the room, or maybe one left earlier? Either way, it is blurred who is in the cabin after 4:15 amm. ❤️
It was after 4:15 am that the similar neighbour claims to have listened to a sole voice speaking in a casual tone, followed by furniture being pushed around, and he inferred the Smiths may have been cleaning after the party. He tells this "clean up" remained around 10 minutes before the noises strode to the balcony & he asserts he listened to one of the metal balcony chairs being pushed. All was peaceful for around a minute, & then he interprets a very noisy thud, which was so noisy it made his bed vibrate. He asserts it was not the noise of somebody falling off the balcony, but rather, it sounded more like somebody tumbling on the balcony, except it was so wild he didn't think a sole person falling could have generated it. He believed it could have been furniture, such as a sofa, tumbling or being hurled on the floor. He told no cries of voices followed the thud & all was peaceful after that. So probably despite what this neighbour states, the noise he listened were George falling off the balcony and slamming the canopy below. But did he stumble or was he shoved? The neighbour told he always listened to the Smiths coming & going from their room because he could hear their door unlocking & shutting, but on this occurrence, he didn't hear anything. So if somebody was yet in the cabin with George, did they manage to evacuate silently? The neighbour tells the next aspect he listened was the staff members coming to the room to react to the noise complaints from the passengers. Nonetheless, they only knocked & didn't come into the room, as the sounds had quit & no one arrived at the door.
When question by administrations, Josh told that he, Rusty & the two Rozenberg's kept up with George for 10 or 15 minutes in his room after returning from the solarium. During this time Josh asserted he used the toilet. He tells that everyone evacuated by 4:15 am, leaving no one inward but George. Rusty refutes this saying everything occurred 15 minutes earlier & they all left & were back in their cabins by 4 am. He asserts he has a timestamped photo substantiating this. Whatever the timing Rusty asserts the last time he saw George was when the boys left him on his bed; George thanked them for looking after him, kissed one of the boys & guaranteed to purchase them a round of drinks the next day. According to Josh, he got on to Rusty’s cabin with the others & was back in his cabin y 5:15 amm.
During this whole occurrence, Jennifer was nowhere to be glimpsed. According to various witnesses, she was glimpsed evacuating the disco at about 3:15 am—just minutes before George & his companions left. It should have taken her less than five minutes to come back to her stateroom & if she did return, might she have been there for some of the party & then left? She was not in her cabin all night. From the disco it seemed she took the elevator down to Deck 9, but she must have been so intoxicated she became disoriented. Rather than turning right, into the big port corridor that steered to their stateroom, she swivelled left, into the starboard corridor. From there she strolled until the corridor finished off in an alcove with a supervision door. It was here Jennifer passed out & was discovered by staff. She alleges that she may have been drugged & led to this alcove by somebody who left her there.
Jennifer was discovered passed out at nearly 4:30 a.m. on the floor of a lounge region on Deck 9. The staff members who discovered her got on to look for her spouse back at their room, they entered the room but could not discover him, so they put Mrs Smith in a wheelchair & she was taken back to her vacant cabin just before 5 am, where she was placed on the bed. The crew reported that even though they did not survey the cabin, nothing looked cautious so they left Mrs Smith to nap. Jennifer tells she knows nothing from that night after the group left the casino, but tells she napped for around three hours & then waked up as the ship arrived & let people off at Kusadasi, Turkey. She said although her spouse was nowhere to be glimpsed when she aroused, nothing else appeared amiss in the room and she rapidly recalled a 10 couples massage she had reserved earlier in the week, so got outfitted & headed two floors up hoping George would greet her there. When he did not reach the spa, she supposed he was passed out himself in a friend's room & would come back to their cabin when he recouped consciousness. She contends he had passed out outside their room on two previous occasions during their trip & so she was not instantly concerned.
Nonetheless, Royal Caribbean officials told that Mrs Smith came about an hour and a half earlier for her massage & was in the medication room when staff members arrived looking for her. They reached Jennifer to say that the cruise ship crew had received calls that morning from passengers who, in the sunlight, had glimpsed blood on the awning outside their room, and blood had been discovered outside the room and on a lifeboat canopy below their terrace. They said they believed her spouse had fallen overboard in a tragic, alcohol-fuelled casualty. A member of the staff was authorized inside the room to obtain Mrs Smith's belongings & she reports that she was supported from the boat along with Josh (who had come forward after listening pages for George across the intercom) & the two were interviewed by Turkish administrations. She then reports that she was left behind in Turkey to make her way home, nonetheless the crew from the ship forcefully deny this, telling she asserted on leaving the ship on her agreement. The cruise crew have also been criticised for washing away the blood discovered inside & outside the room, although they contend they wiped the region only after Turkish administrations had authorized them to do so. Police also boarded the ship, took a picture of the bloodstained canopy & surveyed the Smiths’ cabin. They reportedly discovered tiny droplets of blood on a bedsheet & a towel.
The Smith family documents that minor was done by Royal Caribbean International or the Turkish administrations to examine George's disappearance, rather, they claimed he had been incredibly intoxicated & had fallen overboard, nonetheless, nobody has ever been discovered. The FBI was shortly involved & once home in Cromwell, Jennifer documented that within a week, she met with the FBI & decided to give blood & hair samples to their agencies & to take a polygraph test that she tells she passed. The inquiry soon appeared to concentrate on the group of four Russian boys and Josh Askin, who the Smiths had befriended.
There was a lot of hesitation on the part of the media to recognize these young men, which appears very odd. But what also was odd was the Russian boys' behaviour throughout the cruise, which earned a lot of interest & was interpreted as unusual, arrogant & very rude. For instance, when asked by a staff member to put out a cigarette in a non-smoking area of the ship, one of the boys cursed the worker & began again smoking. Their parents were instructed several times about their sons' attitude nonetheless it appears little was done to govern them. After the boat left Turkey on 5th July without Mrs Smith, the Rozenbergs and Mr Kofman proceeded to cause difficulty. Two more occurrences about them allegedly happened over the next 48 hours, one involving assertions between the Rozenbergs & crew over the age of their son Greg & whether he should be authorized to enter the disco & another involving the four boys denouncing at crew members. The parents were ultimately summoned & were said that if another occurrence happened, they would all be said to leave the ship.
On Thursday, July 7th, a young girl documented being sexually attacked by Rusty & the three Rozenberg boys & that the occurrence was videotaped. Rusty was the just one recognized on video & contended the sex was consensual. Nonetheless, rumours were circulating & finally 13 people as a whole were discarded from the ship, comprising the Rozenberg families & the Askin family. Maybe the most damning chunk of indication pointing to their probable interest in Georges disappearance is a videotape discovered of the Rozenberg boys' phones that seems to show three of the four men remarking on George's supposed demise in a very cold way. The Smith family lawyer stated, "the most incriminating declaration (from the video) comes when one of them stands up at the end of the video, crouches his shoulders & flickers gang signs saying, 'Told ya I was a gangsta' & in the context of the conversation about George's demise, almost as if he's gloating about having done something to George."
Since then the FBI have examined both the rape allegations & the disappearance of George, but so far, no charges have been made. There has been a lot of dispute over the Royal Caribbean's presumed method of the crime scene & Mrs Smith in the consequence of the disappearance, with distinct statements coming from both sides. George’s family & his spouse insist he was killed & the cruise crew covered it up to avert a media frenzy. They state they think the FBI will make arrests in the future. But why would someone want to murder George? There’s been an assumption that he talked of having a huge amount of cash in his cabin, but no one involved in the case tells any money was missing. George’s family miss him dearly & are still expecting justice 13 years on. Jennifer successfully reached a 1 million dollar concession with the cruise ship company over the casualty & has since remarried & had two kids. George’s family stay suspicious of her to this day & think she knows more than she has spoken of.