Monday, March 1, 2010 at 6:57AM
Please watch the Bradley’s Story on “Vanished”
My involvement with Amy Bradley
[Last Updated 7/27/2001]
I have finally made the video mentioned in this story publicly available on YouTube. You can see it here.
My name is Chris Fenwick. I am a television director and video editor. In the spring of 1998 I was working for a corporate client on “The Rapsody of the Seas”, a Royal Carribean cruise ship. My job was to produce an entertaining video for my client. The video was to be shown on the last night of the cruise.
I had one camera man working with me that came with us from California and we also paid Royal Carribean for the partial use of their staff video engineer. His name was Steve. Because of the nature of editing in this short turn around environment I spent nearly the entire duration of the cruise in my cabin working. When I tell people that I was workin for 10 days at sea on a cruise ship they always assume it is just a “walk in the park”, however, it really was a difficult week, very hard work and LONG hours.
Wednesday March 24, 1998 Morning
On Wednesday morning rumours and stories began to circulate around the ship that some girl had committed suicide. We heard these stories from Steve, the crew member who was working with us. As sad as the story is of a young woman being on a cruise in the Carribean and still decided that she needed to end her life was, I still had a whole lot of work to do. I couldn’t really be distracted by this news.
Steve (in Black with the video camera) and Bob Briggs the Director/Camera Operator who came from California
Thursday March 25th, 1998
On or about Thursday afternoon I decided to take Steve up on his offer to come and see his edit suite that was on board the ship. Being kind of a “gear slut” I’m always interested in equipment used in my industry. During my short visit to see Steve in his edit suite, he casually informed me that he had been instructed by ship security to make sure that there were no images of the missing girl in his “Cruise Video”, the type of videotape that you would buy at the end of your cruise showing all the great things that you had done all week on board.
Thursday afternoon someone came by and posted a flyer on my door while I was working. It was a yellow piece of paper, as I remember (could have been white) that had a photo of the missing girl. Her name was Amy Bradley. I put the flyer in my room but continued to work.
I had two computer systems and an edit system in my stateroom.
Somehow by Thursday evening I had heard that maybe she had not commited suicide but there was a possibility that she was abducted. There was even a suspect. His name was “Yellow” obviously a nick name, but he was the Bass Player in one of the ship bands. I am not sure where I came across this information, although it was probably through Steve and his inside, behind the scenes contacts.
The reason I remember this is that at sometime late Thursday evening I took a break from my work to go to the disco on the 11th deck of the boat and have a soda and watch the people dance. I remember seeing Yellow around the disco and I vividly remember thinking, “wow, there is that guy that they think took the girl, he looks kind of creapy”. I went back to my room to work more.
Friday March 26th,1998 - 3AM
Sometime later that night, probably around 3AM, I took another walk to stretch my legs. It was not unusual for me to work all night and sleep during the day. While I was standing on the 8th deck, my deck, looking over the large center atrium of the boat, I witnessed 2 young girls, probably around 19 or 20 years old, walk toward the stern of the boat on the starboard side. Minutes later a young man ran from where the women had walked toward the bow of the boat.
Soon, a woman with blonde hair and another gentleman and at least one man from Royal Caribean began to congregate on what may have been the 6th deck across from where I was standing. They began to question the 2 young girls. It was around this time time that it became obvious to me that the people I was watching was the family of the missing girl. I was curious as to why this meeting was taking place in the middle of the night and being wide awake I decided to eavesdrop to find out what I could. Apparently the 2 girls had seen Amy Bradley, the missing girl, during the early morning hours of the day she vanished. They were trying to find out anything and everything that the two girls had seen.
What I witnessed was the older woman was immensly distraught. I over heard her saying, “please, think very carfully did you see anything else? Are you sure you didn’t hear anything else, are you sure you didn’t see anything else.” The poor women was so frantic I just remember everyone trying to get her to calm down and be cool. Later I found out her name was Iva Bradley.
After seeing the frantic nature of the woman it kind of “put the humanity” on the story for me. It dawned on me that the woman had disappeared on Tuesday morning and we had heard that she had been in the disco on Monday night, if that was the case, we were in the disco with one of our cameras on Monday night. Maybe I had some video of Amy in my room on one of my video tapes.
I returned to my room and began scanning through tapes that would have been shot on that night. Amazingly enough on the last tape of the night and the last shot on the tape, there was indeed a shot of Amy dancing on the dance floor, the part that was really creepy to me was that the shot revealed that Amy was dancing with Yellow, the man that was suspected of having something to do with her disappearence.
Immediately I got out a blank BetaSP tape, a broadcast tape format and made a component level dub of the master tape showing Amy dancing with Yellow. I wrote my name and room number on the tape lable and put it in a box. I then returned to the location of the early morning meeting between the crew and the Bradley family and the 2 young girls. There was a man there but the meeting had broken up.
Friday Morning about 4AM
I approached this man and asked if he was part of the Bradley family. He informed me that he was a good friend of the family. I told him my story and how I came to have this tape in my possesion and told him that I would gladly meet with the family if they wished to see the tape in my room. The man told me that he would take care of it and thanked me for the help. It was now somewhere around 4AM.
I returned to my room to sleep.
Friday Morning about 9AM
Later that morning I went to where breakfast was being served and witnessed the Bradleys and the man I gave the tape to having breakfast together. I was dying to know if the Bradleys wanted to see the tape but I didn’t want to impose on their time. They were visibly distraught. However the man I gave the tape to walked away from the table for a moment and I approached him and asked if he had given the tape to the family. At that time he told me that he had given the video tape of Amy dancing with Yellow to the authorities.
This is where the story gets really interesting to me.
Mid afternoon on Friday, while I was in my room working, I recieved a phone call. The man on the phone told me his name was Lou Costello, I probably made some sort of joke about “Abbott and…”. He asked me if, “I was the guy with the video tape of the missing girl” I told him that yes, I was. At that point he told me that he was going to have to get that tape from me. I informed him that there was no way I was going to give up my master tapes. I never give away master tapes and that besides that, it was on a tape format that I’m sure he didn’t have access to (afterall, I had seen the on board edit facilities) and that I would be glad to make a broadcast quality dub of the tape if he liked. He then informed me that the FBI were involved in this and that they would want the original tapes. I told him that if that was the case and the FBI wanted my master tapes then they would have to contact me.
I also informed Mr. Costello that “the entire reason for me being on his boat was to finish editing the tape that needed to air that night at midnight in the ship theater”. I would be done with my duties around 12:30 AM and I would be glad to help him or make copies or whatever at that time. However, would he please allow me the time that I needed to finish my job. At that, I believe Mr. Costello said he would be in contact with me later and he hung up.
That was the last that I heard from Mr. Costello. I finished my job, I packed my equipment, and the next day I got off the boat in San Juan, Puerto Rico and went home to San Francisco.
Months Later, maybe 4 to 6 months later, after telling the story of the missing girl to everyone I knew it occured to me that no one had ever called to get the master tapes that Lou Costello had insisted that the FBI was going to need. So I took it upon myself to call the FBI. I have no recollection of what office I called or who I talked to but someone took a message that I had video tape of dancing with the person that was believed to be involved in her disappearance. The person who took the message informed me that it would be forwarded to the officers in charge of the case. At that point I felt that I had done everything that I could do.
Somewhere around December of 1998 I watched the story of Amy Bradly on America’s Most Wanted on television, I was somewhat surprised that they did not show the tape that I had supplied to “the authorities” thru the man that was a friend of the Bradleys.
Then in the summer of 1999, Amy Bradley’s story was again on TV but this time it was on Unsolved Mysteries. After the segment aired my older brother called me and asked if I had seen the piece and wondered why the video that I had was not part of the story. I informed that I had no idea. Unknown to me, my brother had called the Unsolved Mysteries hotline and asked about the video tape and wondered if they knew about it’s existence. A few days later my brother got a call from Iva Bradley, the mother of Amy. She talked with him and he informed her of some of the details of my story and Iva asked if she could talk with me.
Soon Iva Bradley and I were talking on the phone.
After hearing some of the ordeal and the pain that she and her family were going through I told them that I would do what I could to help. I found out that the man that I had given the tape to was Mike McCord. Mike is Ron Bradley’s boss, Ron is Amy’s father. The Bradleys were on a business trip that was a perk to the sales people in their company. Mike McCord apparently had given my tape to one of the FBI officers that was handling Amy’s disappearence. It was the last time that copy of the tape was seen.
My Own Commentary.
The images on the tape are interesting and quite frankly kind of creepy, however the pictures are not the most interesting thing about the video tape. What is more interesting is the tapes story, it’s journey, and it’s eventual disappearance. I gave the tape to Mike McCord. Mike tells us he gave the tape to the FBI. Twelve hours later I get a phone call from Lou Costello, head of security. Lou Costello is head of SHIP security, but he has no connection, officially with the FBI. Mike McCord gave the tape to an FBI agent. It has never been seen since.
Why is it that Lou Costello is doing the work of the FBI trying to get the original tapes from me?
Why wouldn’t the FBI send an agent to my room if it was so important? Better yet ask yourself this question.
Why does Lou Costello even know about the tapes that I have? Why is the FBI talking with the head of security about details of the case?
The FBI is pretty adament about not sharing details of a case that is in progress.
I also find it highly suspicious that Steve the ship video guy was instructed to remove all the images of Amy in the video that he was editing. Granted it would be kind of a downer for you to show your travel video to someone and then say, “Oh yea, that there is the girl who vanished on board.” The fact that the request came from security and not a PR person is wierd, at least it is to me.
In the summer of 1999 I made another copy of the tape for the Bradleys. I have spoken with Iva several times over the last few years.
Everyone always askes me, “Did they ever find Amy Bradley?”. The answer, tragically is no. There have been some very credible sightings by people who made positive ID’s of Amy. The family has been swindled out of tons of money by people who prey on these types of victims. It really is a sad state of affairs.
If you want more information about Amy Bradley there are TONS of things online about her. I would suggest you go to www.google.com and search for “Amy Bradley”.