Vanished with Beth Holloway

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Vanished with Beth Holloway TV Poster Image
Tabloid-style missing persons series hosted by victim's mom.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series claims to want to assist the families of missing persons, but this message is often lost in the sensational way their stories are told.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Beth Holloway is an outspoken advocate for the families of missing persons, and is openly compassionate towards them, though she's not a skilled TV personality.


Violence and alleged violent acts (kidnapping, beatings, murder, etc.), as they relate to the victims, are frequently discussed.


Alleged sexual assaults are discussed.


Occasional profanity is fully bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Natalee Holloway was thought to have been drunk and/or purposely drugged when she disappeared.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this dramatic docuseries discusses missing persons cases against the backdrop of the highly-publicized 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. It contains discussions about potentially violent and/or deadly criminal acts, as well as actual video footage of victims before their disappearance, and of people allegedly associated with their disappearance. Occasional strong language is fully bleeped.  Despite its TV-PG rating, the series is not intended for kids. Older and/or more sensitive viewers may also find what is discussed here disturbing.

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What's the story?

VANISHED WITH BETH HOLLOWAY is a docuseries produced to help people find loved ones who have mysteriously disappeared, been abducted, and/or who are potential victims of violent crimes. Hosted by Beth Holloway, the mother of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, the show presents information about missing persons cases through the use of interviews, video footage, and reenactments. It also invites viewers to assist them with on-going investigations in hopes of bringing the missing home, and/or bringing someone to justice.

Is it any good?

Like America’s Most Wanted, the series attempts to serve families who are being victimized by the disappearance and/or loss of their loved ones by using television as a way to generate information about cases to resolve and bring closure to the people involved. With the help of the show’s website, it also offers tips and other information designed to help people keep safe from potential predators.

The show’s focus on theories and speculation rather than concrete facts (which are often unavailable) makes it seem more sensational than informative. Holloway’s continuous references to her own efforts to uncover the truth behind her daughter’s 2005 disappearance, combined with her obvious inexperience as a television host and interviewer, also contributes to the show’s tabloid-like nature. As a result, it’s a little too easy to lose sight of the positive things the series’ creators are trying to accomplish.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the media can be used to serve the public. What are the different ways that television, radio, and the Internet can be used to help find the missing and/or help solve crimes? Can you think of other ways that the media can help people?

  • What is the difference between being informative and being sensational? Do you think Beth Holloway is expected to approach the stories presented here objectively? Why or why not?

TV details

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