Well, let's see...from media reports:
(1) They initially told the parents that this happened all the time and the girl would turn up, suggesting that maybe she had voluntarily fled the Island without her passport and maybe was hooking in Venezuela voluntarily;
(2) They initially asked the parents how rich the parents were (red flag right there);
(3) They did a half-assed interview with the 3 people last seen with her, and bought their story since Daddy worked for the justice dept, and arrested some black guys who turned out to be nobody, without further investigating the kids within The First 48;
(4) The kids MADE ADMISSIONS, which weren't further or properly investigated, and the kids have been allowed to confer to get their stories straight;
(5) They waited far, far too long to search the houses and vehicles of the last people to see her alive;
(6) The police and prosecutors were "too busy" to let Equisearch bring millions of dollars of equipment onto the Island to look for a body -- they should have welcomed every bit of aid, particularly since the authorities have basically admitted that they're not really doing anything anymore to find bodies -- and they have been a hindrance rather than a help in many cases where folks were looking in various places for the body;
(7) Private investigators continue to turn up evidence that the police overlooked or missed;
(8) They have now tried to blame the victim and her parents;
(9) Folks from world-class police departments like New York, LA
and Chicago have talked about what they would do differently now, and what they would have done differently then;
(10) There are glaring conflicts of interest wherein folks involved in the investigation are overtly inclined towards the interests of the local father;
(11) They keep doing stuff like saying, "Well, we'll wait until the kid gets back from college to interview him further." Puh-leese. Imagine if a New York detective told the New York Times that he would wait a month to interview a known suspect whom he admittedly wants to question but is presently out of the jurisdiction. Here, the guy would call the authorities wherever the witness is, and get on a friggin' plane to go interview him.
These people obviously weren't used to handling matters like this. That's fine, and a nice thing in a way. But they have refused proffered help, and have continued to compound their mistakes.
To say that American investigations haven't been subject to media scrutiny is just crap. I can give you a few examples: (1) The bombing of Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta at the Olympics, where there was incredible media pressure and where the local authorities were basically forced to reach out for help, and good thing, since they snagged the wrong guy at first; (2) JonBenet Ramsey, which the media still pays attention to, and where the local authorities, very much like here, botched the investigation because stuff like that didn't happen in rural Colorado, then compounded their mistakes out of pride, and where cold-case detectives may be able to put something together years from now; (3) Michael Jackson's many episodes; (4) the Lacy Peterson investigation; (5) that Washington intern investigation.
While Aruba-defenders may say that, "Hey, girls get drunk and stupid and raped all the time all over the world, not just here," that's not really an excuse for a flawed investigation. This girl didn't "just" get raped, she got dead. We know this because one of the Kalpoe twins ADMITTED that "something bad happened" to her after they admittedly gang-banged her. To say that girls on Spring Break get drunk and raped and killed all the time isn't either: (a) correct or (b) defensible. It's an unusual, horrible event that deserves immense scrutiny and swift punishment wherever it occurs. If it happened in Fort Lauderdale, it would get publicity and intense political pressure would be put on the local authorities by State and Federal investigators and politicians to do the job effectively and to permit them to bring their considerable expertise and resources to bear on the investigation. Because Aruba is a soverign country, the only way to bring the political pressure that would be brought in the States is by doing what they are now doing. And, frankly, if it keeps one more 17-year-old from ending up dead on Spring Break, fine by me.