Scoop: 48 HOURS on CBS - Saturday, July 5, 2014
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The new reward, along with a fresh team of FBI agents assigned to the case, have given the family hope for closure they've long sought in the case of their missing son, Richard Schlesinger reports in an updated rebroadcast of "48 HOURS: "Murder at Sea?" to be presented Saturday, July 5, 2014 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"I am convinced people know what happened to George," his mother Maureen Smith revealed to 48 HOURS. "I know that maybe someone will come forward now with this $100,000 reward."
The family has been searching for answers for nine years, Maureen said, and she is sure he was murdered. "It's nine years of fighting and we're going to keep fighting, and at this point in time, I think we needed an Extra little push," she added.
"I think it's a matter of time, and I think the reward will propel people forward," Smith's sister Bree told 48 HOURS. "People need to come forward and tell what they know, and there needs to be justice."
Smith vanished while on his honeymoon cruise in 2005. 48 Hours has been on the case since 2006, an investigation that includes revelations of questionable alibis, failed polygraphs and a provocative video that involves three men who last saw Smith alive.
Nine years ago, George Smith never returned from a honeymoon cruise with his new wife, Jennifer Hagel Smith. After a night of heavy drinking and gambling in the ship's casino, George vanished. A passenger in a neighboring room heard men arguing on the Smiths' balcony. Another passenger heard furniture being moved. Jennifer Smith was later found passed out in a hallway. The next morning passengers photographed a bloodstain on a lifeboat canopy. The ship's captain described it as a likely accident. Smith's body has never been found.
The FBI has focused on four men who were the last to see Smith alive and now have a new team of agents on the case. Michael Jones, the Smith's attorney, believes an important piece of evidence is a videotape that was recorded just hours after Smith went missing by three of the four men to last see the newlywed alive - Rusty Kofman, Zach and Greg Rozenberg. "They pass a video camera around filming themselves commenting about George's death in a very callous way," Jones previously told 48 HOURS. "But the really incriminating statement is one of them stands up at the end of the tape and sort of hunches his shoulders and flashes gang signs and says, 'Told you I was gangster,' and in the context of the discussion about George's death, almost as if he's bragging about having done something to George."
The man talking on the tape? "Greg Rozenberg," Jones said.
Lawyers for Rusty Kofman and Zach Rozenberg declined to comment about the tape. Greg Rozenberg's attorney said his client wasn't aware Smith was dead when the tape was made and was just making a stupid comment. All four men say they had nothing to do with George Smith's death.
48 HOURS: "Murder at Sea?" is produced by Lourdes Aguiar and Peter Shaw. Jennifer Simpson Ashmawy is the field producer. Kate Harrington is the update producer. Suzanne Allen is the senior coordinating producer. Judy Tygard is the senior producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.