How I Tried (and Failed) to Believe that Barbara Was a Drug Addict

When Barbara Struncova disappeared, all of her boyfriend’s initial statements about where she went involved her leaving in the middle of the night to travel—to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and/or Panama—either with some Czech friends who were finishing a surf trip or with an ex-boyfriend named Martin. We know that these stories are false because none of the Czech surfers took a trip to the Caribbean at that time, and Barbara’s ex-boyfriend Martin has never been to Costa Rica.

His first attempt to blame Barbara’s disappearance on drugs, as far as I know, came in early 2011. He claimed that (attempt #1) her family quietly shuffled her off to a rehab program in Czech Republic. It wasn’t a very good story, though, because rehab programs do eventually end, and people reappear from them. And where is Barbara?

Sometime in 2013, he began to admit that Barbara is dead. And I would like to thank him for letting her rest, for managing to say something true. Good job.

His claim (attempt #2), which I believe that he holds to even now, is that Barbara was murdered by drug dealers to whom she owed enormous amounts of money for her own drug habit and for drugs that she was trafficking to Europe.

Let’s talk about that.

Could Barbara have used drugs that I don’t know about? Of course. Lots of people do lots of things I don’t know about.

Could Barbara have suffered from an out-of-control drug addiction? That’s a different type of question. I tried to construct it as a possibility, because it’s important to be open-minded, but it keeps falling apart on me. Nothing fits. Maybe that story works better on people who haven’t lived in Tamarindo. Or who didn’t know Barbara. It falls wildly short for those of us who did both.

In Tamarindo, the two common street drugs are marijuana and cocaine, so we can assume he is accusing her of abusing those. Indeed, Bill spelled it out clearly in a 2012 written conversation (not with me) where he called Barbara a “coke head”. It makes my blood boil to even write that. I don’t need Barbara to have been a saint, but this is beyond preposterous.

Have you known anyone who does a lot of drugs? Smokes a lot of pot? Consumes a lot of cocaine? I mean A LOT of cocaine? As in, they have lost it and really need to be in rehab right now?

I have.

Barbara didn’t look like them. She didn’t act like them.  She didn’t hang out with them. She didn’t even know them. I try to think of one thing Barbara had in common with them, but nothing comes to mind.

Let’s review what we all know. When a person is using enough cocaine to need rehab, they most likely:
–Have unusual/irregular sleep patterns
–Express volatile emotions
–Exhibit erratic behavior
–Suffer from a chronically runny nose
–They’ve probably tried to stop on their own, and failed
–They hang out with other people who do a lot of cocaine

Barbara did not have or do any of these things.  She was clear-minded, reliable, and even-tempered.

And then there’s this. During the entire two years that Bill and Barbara lived in Costa Rica, they had housemates—other people who lived with them and observed Barbara’s behavior, sleep patterns and emotional fluctuations much more closely than I was able to. I have talked with eight of these individuals. Not one of them witnessed her exhibiting behaviors that suggest she regularly consumed large amounts of cocaine.

For these reasons, I don’t buy it. She could certainly have used drugs and I would never have known it. Big deal. But a drug trafficker? And an addict? In need of rehab? Organized by her family in Czech? And eight housemates never noticed anything? Please.

Could I be wrong? I could.  But me, you, eight housemates and dozens of friends?  Or could it be the guy who’s in jail for what amounts to being a liar?  Draw your own conclusion.

Next week let’s put the next piece of the story on the table under a bright light: The one about Barbara buying huge amounts of coke and smuggling it into Europe–with such success that, even now, it has never been investigated or even suspected by the authorities.

Today CrimeWatchDaily airs its premier episode.  If you live in the USA, this link will tell you when you will be able to see it.

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