A number of people who gave statements over the years as well as appeared at the Coroner's Inquest in Australia and the trial in Alabama. I have put below the section of the statement and/or Inquest etract and some comments. For the Inquest evidence, the first part is the question from the Counsel assisting the Coroner or one of the lawyers, then -- and then the reply from the person concerned.
DOUG MILSAP - Inquest
In his first statement to Police on 22 October 2003, Milsap does not even mention speaking to Gabe after Tina was lost. There is also no mention at all of any encounter with Gabe Watson on the Spoilsport, let alone one where Milsap said to Gabe that his story was bullshit. Sometime after this, presumably while still on the boat or at the end of the trip, Milsap complained to Stan Kielbaska, General Manager of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, that Gabe had not been treated very well by the crew while he was waiting on the boat for word of what had happened to Tina. Click here to see the notes Kielbaska made at the time.
It was not till his statement of 30 June 2006 that he mentioned that he questioned Gabe's story and had a confrontation with him. This was said to be after Ken Snyder had done the same thing. In his statement of 21 April 2007 his questioning of Gabe's story had become more confrontational and he said "Gabe that's bullshit". In addition, the order of what happened appears to have changed. Click here to read Milsap's statements.
On page 1084 of the Inquest transcript he says:
As I thought, there'd be a logical reason for it. Doctor, you also, just prior to having your conversation with Gabe, had observed that Ken Snyder had been speaking with Gabe?-- I saw that he'd been speaking with Gabe.
Yes?-- Whatever conversation he had with Gabe I'm unaware with - unaware of.
And on page 1085:
All right. Well, what about on the other hand Ken. Did he, as it were, take your side? -- Well, at the time I don't believe that he felt - remember, when I had the conversation with Gabe, Ken was standing nearby and when I started to get into somewhat of a minor verbal confrontation with Gabe about his story, Ken kind of pulled me aside and said, "Doug, this is not - this is not the time for this." And later we - we discussed it to, you know, what we thought had happened but I'm not sure I understand your question, sir.
Well, on the say back from the wreck to Townsville? -- Hmm-mmm.
Did Ken ever suggest to you that, yes, it was a rather fishy story that Gabe was putting over and, in fact, tell you that in his opinion it was bullshit as well? -- I think as we were discussing it, he agreed with me that there were - that there were many discrepancies in the story. When I pointed out to him that - that there were discrepancies in the story, he listened to my explanation and he agreed.
This seems to imply that they only started thinking that Gabe's story was not a plausible one some time after 22 October 2003. And on page 1086 he says:
Well, there'd only been one story and it was from - well, when I say one story, one author of any story and that was from Gabe, wasn't it? -- At that point what Gabe said to me was inaccurate in my opinion. However, there were - there were other events that unfolded that day and explanations that - that - that could have occurred, that we - we talked about it extensively both on the dive boat during the week we were at sea, we talked about this during the time we were in Australia further because we were - we were perplexed about what possibly could have happened and we examined it as thoroughly as we could being just recreational divers. We tried to understand as well as we could. We desperately for our own emotional needs, needed to understand what had happened down there.
Therefore, it seems to me that Milsap is saying that Ken Snyder never said anything to Gabe about what had happened and they only talked about it much later in the trip. Milsap's original statement which did not mention he even spoke to Gabe, his complaint to Kielbaska about how poorly Gabe had been treated and his observations in the first statement that Gabe was in a state of shock are also not consistent with his later statements.
KEN SNYDER - Statements
In his first statement to Police on 22 October 2003, Snyder said he spoke to Gabe after Tina was lost. There is no mention at all of an encounter with Gabe on the Spoilsport where Snyder said Gabe's story was bullshit. Nor is there any mention of Doug Milsap doing this and Snyder calling on Milsap to come away.
It was not till his statement of 30 June 2006 that he mentioned that he questioned Gabe's story and had a confrontation with him. In this statement he claims that someone pulled both he and Milsap away from Gabe. In his statement of 21 April 2007 (note that this is incorrectly dated as 22 October 2003) his questioning of Gabe's story had become more heated and he said "Bullshit Gabe. That didn't happen". He then claimed that Milsap confronted Gabe and said the same thing. He said that Milsap or someone else told him to stop. Click here to read Snyder's statements.
Therefore, again, there is no mention of any questioning of Gabe's story until his statement made almost three years after the accident. It seems to me that both Milsap and Snyder cannot be correct, at least one has to be incorrect, as both claim to have been pulled away by each other.
AMANDA PHILLIPS - Trial
At the trial Phillips claimed that at the funeral Gabe had said when they were viewing Tina's body that "at least her breasts were perky" or something similar. This is the first time she had ever claimed this was said. Her statement made on 21 April 2007 had no mention of this at all and her husband Jimmy's statement made the day before also said nothing of significance happened at the funeral apart from "Miss Cindy" (Cindy Thomas) being upset.
Amanda said that this statement really upset her. However, a few weeks after the funeral Jimmy and Amanda invited Gabe to a football match. Strange to see why you would do this when you were so upset by the alleged statement.
Click here to read Amanda's statement and here to read Jimmy's statement.