Skip to comments.Testimony costs flight attendant her job
Posted on 07/12/2002 7:06:01 AM PDT by MizSterious
By Kristen Green
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 12, 2002
Denise Kemal was fired June 28, more than two weeks after her nationally televised testimony, because the company has a zero-tolerance drug policy.
Losing her job has ruined her life, Kemal said yesterday. "I've always wanted to fly," she said. "It took me years to get my job."
She said she is appealing the dismissal because smoking marijuana "wasn't an everyday thing." While she waits for an answer, Kemal, 28 and recently divorced, watches the Westerfield trial from the couch of her new Florida apartment.
Kemal was called to the witness stand by the prosecution June 10. She was at the van Dam home Feb. 1, the night 7-year-old Danielle van Dam was last seen, and spent the evening with Brenda van Dam, the girl's mother.
The two had become friendly through their husbands, who both work at Qualcomm. A spokeswoman for Southwest confirmed that Kemal had been fired, but declined to elaborate. She said company policy states that the "illegal use of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances off duty and off company premises is not acceptable and may result in termination because it can affect on-the-job performance and the confidence of our customers in the company's ability to meet its responsibilities."
Kemal said she was just answering questions posed to her during Westerfield's trial because "I want to make sure he gets convicted."
"Because of him, it's just ruined everyone's lives," she said.
Kemal testified that she went out with her Tierrasanta neighbor Barbara Easton and Brenda van Dam to Dad's Cafe & Steakhouse in Poway two Fridays in a row, Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. They were celebrating Kemal's upcoming move to Baltimore, where she had been transferred for work.
The second night out, Feb. 1, she was introduced to Westerfield, whom she has described as "creepy." Westerfield is charged with kidnapping and murdering Danielle. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.
Kemal said the three women first celebrated her move Jan. 25. Kemal and Easton, who lived in the same apartment complex, shared a bottle of wine before driving to the van Dams, Kemal testified. She said she smoked some marijuana in the van Dams' garage before they left for the bar.
The next week, the three women decided to spend that Friday night partying at Dad's again after Damon van Dam canceled plans to go out of town and agreed to stay home with the couple's three children.
On Feb. 1, they smoked pot in the garage a second time, Kemal testified, and she and Easton shared a beer. Later in the evening, they partied at Dad's, where they ran into Westerfield. At one point in the night, they went to van Dam's sport utility vehicle to smoke marijuana again.
Kemal said her supervisors learned that she had smoked pot because customers mailed newspaper articles about her testimony.
She had never had problems at Southwest before the trial, she said. In fact, she regularly received letters of commendation from airline passengers since she was hired in November 1998.
Once, a Texas couple she had met on a flight sent a box of candy to her home. Kemal, in turn, shipped them a set of candles for their living room.
Kemal said that even after Sept. 11, she didn't have any reservations about flying.
"I did it because it's my job, and I love my job," she said. "I get to travel and meet different people. I like to serve the public."
Unless she suddenly put 2 and 2 together about the alarms and the door and figured there may be a link. And it's entirely possible that Brenda was truly hysterical because she loved her daughter.
It's a very STRANGE phenomenon ...
You did a great service as a friend.
Politicalmom, I wrote exactly one freepmail to jacquej because I was so surprised to see the tone of her post about me at your site after I thought we had been engaging in a fairly friendly exchange over here at FR.
I followed a link to your site from here seeking trial info, that was all.
I felt the need to respond here, as you make the above statement about being "honest".
Re: VAN DAM vs. Westerfield, 6-24-02: Televised proceedings a far cry from O.J. fiasco!
To jacquej | 2002-06-24 21:38:27 sent
Well, I just saw how you were talking about me on politicalmom's forum. I would never dream of going on that board as I respect the reason she wanted to set up her own group so you all could talk with less "noise". I guess you did not see my concern about MizSterious' post and I certainly was not baiting you. I asked MizS. a question to which you replied. We then began talking and then you ran to gossip about me on another forum. For the record I respect the Constitution as much as you do, I'm sure, and that was my point. I was disappointed to see that you were not the nice person you seemed to be to go gossiping about me behind my back.
JMO. The reason you think this is is obvious. For you, and I, and countless others on FR or in the US for that matter, if their daughter was missing, they would tell every detail, no matter how embarrasing, to get their daughter back.
To others, here and in the US, lying to cover your own activities is a normal daily activity, and even if their daughter was missing, they would find someone else to blame it on, and lie to cover their ass. This type of person is easy to see, because they contradict themselves at every level. Since the details of this have been gone over and over, time and time again, neither you nor I need to see them all again.
Now, when the police went back and questioned Brenda, she denied she ever said this to DW. Based on this the police came to the conclusion that DW could only have known this if he kidnapped Danielle.
Now, for those (you, I, and we know the rest) that are capable of independent thought, does it seem like DW could have come up with these three sets of information (blouse, dance, growing up), if it wasn't Brenda telling him this? How likely is it that as he was raping/killing/kidnapping Danielle, she told him this? (that was the conclusion of the police).
I believe, that in PH, Brenda testified that she did tell these things to DW.
You are absolutely incorrect. It doesn't matter how clearly you post the actual FACTS and EVIDENCE and TESTIMONY in this case, there are those WHO HAVE EARS, BUT CANNOT HEAR, and have EYES, BUT CANNOT SEE.
You wouldn't go up to total strangers and ask them to come home and have sex with you and your husband, either, would you !?!??!?!?!
I beg to differ with you. She testified about smoking pot for several reasons. None, I suspect, had anything to do with integrity.
(1)Barb had already spilled the Beans. Brenda, Damon had already admitted it and said countless time that Denise smoked too. For Denise to have said "NO", would have made her look like an idiot, and immediately caused reason for impeachment of her entire testimony. I am sure that Dusek told Denise she had to admit to smoking pot, in order for him to be able to put her on the stand.
AND, other than that,we have no basis for believing that any other of her testimony had anything to do with the "TRUTH".
Pardon me for being so blunt, but, with all of your assertion, that DW is guilty, that you just KNOW he is, that I have to provide you proof, that other posters have to provide proof, your statements above clearly, VERY CLEARLY, display the reason you seem so MISINFORMED to many of us.
You don't really know a thing about this case.
I will say this. Until you have read as much as I have, and I know others have, you will not have a fully informed opinion. KEEP READING, then talk.
Your above statements are incorrect. Please find out the correct facts before trying to state them to support your remarks. You are paraphrasing and modifying their statements to fit your belief, instead of putting down their exact statements and allowing everyone to come to their own conclusion.
I sense desperation here, but it seems to be coming from you.
I don't think people on this board WISH her bad fortune. I think that there is the following:
She was involved in the disappearance of Danielle. It would appear that DW is a scapegoat, and that the VAN DAM's, and Denise,BARB,Rich,Keith, are hiding something.
From Denise's statement about her job, she makes it abundantly clear that she blames DW for losing her job (not herself for smoking pot). People that are used to lying, are used to blaming EVERYONE but THEMSELF.
So, people on this board most likely just think that DENISE got what she deserves, or maybe even, she didn't really get what she deserves, but a least justice was served in a tiny way.
According to the testimony, they were laying there on the floor, in her bedroom.
Persecution of the innocents. This will continue in a big way for the next few years. Slowly,but surely, the 'LAW' is getting the public to allow exceptions to every rule and right that protects us. One day we will end up at that spot where practicing religion (Christian type religions) or worshipping GOD will get you put to death. Where the innocent will be persecuted, and the evil will be glorified.
Whether any of you know or accept this, doesn't bother me, but this is what is going on in this case, and it is not the only one.
Wake up, my sheeple, the fox is wearing sheep's clothing. You will be comfortable for now, but what will you do when he comes after you?
I can agree with you on this point BS. It is possible, that she was truly hysterical. That she put together the alarms, the doors open and Danielle being gone.
Apparently she had woken up from a night of smoking pot and drinking heavily. She only woke up that early because the neighbor girl rang the doorbell. All of a sudden, when she goes to Danielle's room and finds she istn't there, she starts to put together everything. Gee , I didn't see her last night, the doors were open, the alarms were on, OH MY GOD !
I think you may be right.
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