Was Robyn Gardner, Missing Woman in Aruba, a Cheater or a Prostitute?

The shocking facts, allegations and suspicions swirling around this high-profile investigation.

By , Columnist

On August 2, 2011, Robyn Gardner, 35, supposedly "drowned" in Aruba while allegedly snorkeling with "traveling companion" Gary Giordano, 50. In the weeks since her disappearance, evidence has built substantially against Giordano, the only suspect in the case, making this a very dense, complicated and high-profile ongoing criminal event.

Giordano has yet to be charged with the murder of Robyn Gardner, though he is currently being held in Aruba while prosecutors build a case against him. In a very interesting turn of events, Giordano has recently been joined in Aruba by defense attorney Jose Baez, the man who helped get Casey Anthony acquitted of murder earlier this summer.

But before attempting to untangle the web created by, and likely to end up strangling, Gary Giordano, let's investigate another shocking allegation: that the missing woman, Robyn Gardner, was a prostitute.

Rumors have swirled since shortly after Gardner disappeared. Skepticism surfaced when Gardner and Giordano were found to be "traveling companions" and friends, not romantic partners. The speculation grew after it was discovered that Gardner had a live-in boyfriend, Richard Forester, in her Gaithersburg, MD, home at the time of her trip to Aruba with Giordano. Gardner told Forester that she was traveling to Aruba "with family."

Though Giordano has repeatedly claimed that he and Gardner were simply "friends," new details have emerged that paint a very different picture of their relationship. People Magazine reported that photos of Gardner and Giordano recovered from Giordano's digital camera show the pair in "beyond pornographic" sexual poses and positions.

Gardner's friend Christina Jones confirmed that Gardner had been working at a dental practice, but was recently laid off. Jones stated that, "She wanted to go to Aruba to get away, to clear her head." But was Gardner, strapped for cash after being laid off, traveling with Giordano because she was being paid?

Something very clearly does not add up. But will the suspicions that Gardner isn't exactly the "American Beauty" that television personality Nancy Grace has dubbed her matter in regard to this case? Prostitute, cheating partner, innocent victim, or something in between - she didn't deserve to be murdered.

And, to be sure, this case was certainly a murder. It seems to be only a matter of time before Gary Giordano is suffocated by the mountain of lies, backtracking, and double-dealing he's piled on top of himself. Innocent "traveling companion" he was not. Below, some of the disturbing facts and allegations about Gary Giordano's past and present:

  • A former girlfriend of Giordano's was granted a restraining order after Giordano stalked her, secretly videotaped them having sex, and posted pornographic images of her on the Internet.
  • Another woman who dated Giordano, Jeanette Farago, told The Washington Post that Giordano stalked and harassed her while they both lived in Montgomery County, Maryland. At one point, Giordano offered to take her on a two week cruise and bought her a ticket, but she refused.
  • In the months prior to the Aruba trip, Giordano was in serious financial trouble and attempted to scam a staffing company out of $5 million. He was accused of fabricating documents in that case.
  • Giordano has a history of theft. He has stolen from individuals in amounts up to $500, and was arrested for shoplifting jewelry at Costco.
  • Within two days of reporting Gardner missing, Giordano attempted to redeem an accidental death insurance policy on Gardner that could be worth up to $1.5 million. This raised an alarm, as it is unusual to take out a policy for a week-long trip, particularly since Gardner had a serious boyfriend. Gardner's boyfriend knew nothing of this insurance policy, and believed she never would have signed that kind of document voluntarily.
  • Gardner was initially arrested at the airport, trying to make his way back to the U.S. three days after reporting Gardner missing. When asked about his "travel companion," Giordano is reported to have responded, "She's taking another flight."
  • Giordano has proved difficult for investigators to identify in surveillance video from the afternoon of Gardner's disappearance, because of the number of times he changed his toupees.
  • Blood has been located not far from the beach where Gardner was supposedly last seen snorkeling before she was "swept out to sea." Authorities said that they also found blood on a rock behind the dive shop at Rum Reef, which is the last place the two were seen together.
  • Giordano reported Gardner missing at 6:23 p.m. after returning from allegedly snorkeling. A local fisherman, however, reports that he saw Gardner and Giordano walking along a reef after 4:00 p.m., and then drove away a short time later without ever going in the water.
  • Giordano reappeared on security cameras shortly after 6:00 p.m., shirtless but still wearing his toupee. Witnesses have described him as "eerily calm" in the hours following Gardner's disappearance. Surveillance video shows him crisscrossing the restaurant where he first reported Gardner missing; investigators have stated that it appeared that Giordano wanted to be seen on every camera in the restaurant in order to establish an alibi.
  • Police in Aruba are currently investigating what they call "serious inconsistencies" in Giordano's story. Among these is Giordano's claim that he and Gardner had nothing to drink the afternoon of her disappearance, though Gardner was captured on surveillance looking very "woozy," while eyewitnesses at the restaurant they dined at hours before her disappearance claimed both individuals were drinking. Giordano later backtracked and claimed that Gardner had drunk alcohol and had ingested sleeping pills that day.
  • Authorities are also set to stage a reenactment of Gardner's disappearance, using eyewitness testimony and surveillance video to gain a better understanding of the evening Gardner disappeared. The re-enactment will also serve to give authorities a better view of the inconsistencies in this case.

Where there's smoke, there's fire. And Giordano is producing a hell of a lot of smoke: theft, conning, stalking, harassment, domestic violence, concealment, and lying, to name a few. Changing toupees frequently, taking out an insurance policy, and attempting to leave the country are all enough to convince most sensible people that he's guilty. But there's one tidbit left that leaves me certain Giordano is a murderer, and one creepy-ass mofo to boot.

According to Jeanette Farago, the woman Giordano previously pressured to go a cruise with him, Giordano once "showed up outside my window wearing a deer mask and illuminated his face with a cigarette lighter. He was just really creepy and scary,” Farago said. “He scared the bejesus out of me."

If some dude is willing to dress up like a deer in order to stalk a woman, murder seems to be pretty normal in comparison, no?

What do you think about this high-profile investigation? Is Gary Giordano guilty? And was Robyn Gardner an "American Beauty," or something less innocent?

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Rachel East is a freelance writer specializing in relationships and relationship advice. In addition to her regular column on TMR, Rachel contributes relationship content to the Levo League, formerly known as Pretty Young Professional, a website for young, professional and ambitious women. Her writing…

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