Now, you have suffered with me through the disappearance of my friend, Barbara Struncova. During the month of December, as I shared her story, I heard from many of you who knew Barbara, and I wove as many of your words as I could into the tale. I would like to share the following things that I was unable to include:
Barbara may have inherited, or have been set to inherit, money from the sale of a house that belonged to her grandmother, or some other family member, in Europe. “Jim” may have known about this.
As I understand it, Barbara’s family has stated that they do not wish to pursue the case any further.
I contacted one of the investigators that Barbara’s uncle hired, and expressed my interest in this case. He read my message, but he has not replied.
A friend who was having coffee with “Jim” and Barbara one afternoon near the time Barbara went missing, remembers ”Jim” making the comment that Barbara’s uncle would support them. Barbara rolled her eyes and smiled.
No one told Barbara’s mother about Barbara’s disappearance. Her mother learned about it by reading it in the newspaper.
“Ivan” still lives in Costa Rica. I contacted him, requesting help to understand Barbara’s family’s wishes in regards to her disappearance. He politely declined to correspond with me.
No one is able to tell me whether or not the blood on “Jim’s” flip-flop was ever determined to be a match with Barbara’s family.
“Jim” was deported from Costa Rica in 2008.
While “Jim” was in the USA, he stole his brother’s passport, and used it to return to Costa Rica. He used it again to leave in 2010. There is no immigration record indicating that he was even in Costa Rica at the time Barbara disappeared.
“Jim” may have been unable to get his own passport because of criminal offenses in the USA, which may include the failure to pay child support and the writing of fraudulent checks.
“Jim” never suffered a heart attack, did not nearly die, and has not ever been a smoker.
After their investigation in Costa Rica, the Czech investigators hired by Barbara’s uncle flew to the USA, where they watched “Jim”’s house for a short time.
The FBI cannot become involved unless the Costa Rican OIJ specifically requests help from the USA. No such request has been made by the Costa Rican government.
Stories that ”Jim” has used over the years to explain Barbara’s disappearance:
She went to travel in the Caribbean with an ex-boyfriend.
She went to Panama.
She returned to Czech Republic.
Her family quietly shuffled her into rehab for a drug habit.
She had a secret life dealing in/smuggling drugs.
She owed the drug dealers a large sum of money, so they killed her.
I dream of justice, but my personal quest is for the truth.
Justice will come in one form or another, born from the belly of Karma.
While we wait, we must live patiently and well, telling true stories to each other.
Read “Remember Barbara”
Barbara is not unlike other mysterious deaths, in Costa Rica. The first one I encountered shook me to my core. Now, I just calculate 2+2. They’re not hard to figure out. Good story and good writing. Barbara is not forgotten.
You have certainly immortalised Barbara for many people, Diana. Your writing is truly superb, and your obvious integrity shines through. Maybe, just maybe, you will uncover the truth one day. But, as you say, justice will come. Thank you so much for recounting the story so vividly and, yes, grippingly.
Thank you so much, Anna. Writing this story has been an act of trying to make something beautiful out of rage and confusion. If this story ever arrives at another conclusion, I will be sure to let everyone know.
It is hard to understand her family’s attitude. Thank you for telling her story.
Thank you Sandi. Yes, the family’s attitude is the part I least understand.