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March 11, 2011

What It’s Like to Chill Out With Whom the Rest of the World Considers As The Most Ruthless Men: Ratko Mladic, Goran Hadzic and Radovan Karadzic (+) Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator By Jill Louise Starr NJ USA https://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite/what-it-s-like-to-chill-out-with-whom-the-rest-of-the-world-considers-as-the-most-ruthless-men-in-the-world-ratko-mladic-and-radovan-karadzic-confessions-of-a-female-war-crimes-investigator http://tinyurl.com/4v8egw3 Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about. International Relations Consultant & War Crimes Investigator - War - Peace - Preventive Diplomatic Strategies - International Law - Charitable Causes - International Business - International Political Economy - Human Rights - Politics - War Crimes Investigations - Anti-Terrorism - Law Projects Center Funded Projects (YCICC) Internationally https://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite

Bojana and I hugged; she introduced me to her family (father, mother and brother who was a high school student in Beograd).  Afterward, Darko showed me the room upstairs where I would sleep which was actually Bojana’s room also informing me of our three week itinerary; he had it all planned out.  Darko told me we would all spend the night over Bojana’s house, the next day sleep at his apartment outside Beograd and later explained the next day we would stop at his father’s family’s house for dinner and leave from there making our way into Montenegro for a ten day vacation staying at his friend’s resort on Budva’s seaside coast.  Along the way Darko told me he would give me the best tour I could ask for and he did.  He showed me military installations and one of my favorite stops was the NATO bombed Chinese embassy which I stood in front of only several yards from. 

    My night at Bojana’s residence was wonderful. I was never showed as much love and hospitality as I did from her family. Although it was late in the evening (about 11pm Serbian time) when we arrived, Bojana’s mother, a wonderful woman, treated me as her own daughter.  She insisted that Darko, Bojana and I enjoy what seemed a 10 course home cooked meal.  She was still cooking while she served us a variety of cooked steaks, vegetables and pastries. And like many Italian families she insisted I tried and ate everything.  To top the night off before bed Bojana and her father performed an accordion duet live in the kitchen for me.  Apparently, Bojana and her father were professional accordion players and Bojana explained that her father’s employment consisted of playing nightly in a local bar. Thereafter, we went to bed with full stomachs.

    The next morning we all enjoyed an equally exquisite breakfast.  Bojana’s family had livestock in the backyard and her mother cooked us a fresh eggs and steak for breakfast like never before experienced. We said our parting goodbyes and left for Darko’s apartment in the hills of Beograd.  We brought my suitcases in and upon entering I noticed there were lots of stray dogs around the apartment entrance.  One in particular was very cute and Darko explained that the various residents fed it because it was so adorable.  I found it interesting that so many old men were just hanging about the entrance to the apartment building drinking and just sitting there with seemingly nothing to do.  They remained there throughout my entire trip.

    Even when Ratko Mladic came to see me on my final day in Serbia in full military regalia giving me a parting gift (a book he inscribed to me entitled Serbija) while Darko took pictures of Mladic with his arm around me, the men remained there merely looking like old bums. Retrospectively, I wonder if they weren’t some watchmen and/or guards. Unto this day I always wondered what Darko did with those photos.

    I was surprised what a very large apartment Darko owned.  He showed me into his guest room and I unpacked my suitcases in just enough time to inform me I was to consolidate all my truly necessary items for Montenegro into one small bag that would reasonably fit into his trunk in the morning because he needed enough room for his and Bojana’s luggage also.  He laughed at all the things I brought with me to Beograd telling me that I had no idea how to pack. 
    By the time I was done with that task Darko told me it was time to go meet some friends at a local café for coffee.  It was late summer and the outside café’s in Beograd were the best ! 

    We met up with a few friends in some restaurant in Beograd; there was about five of us sitting there just chatting and drinking coffee when I noticed an older gentleman sitting a few seats down with feathered salt and pepper colored hair not saying much except for an occasional laugh and nod at us.  I wondered wherefore Darko a man about thirty would associate with such an older person, as for me being several years older than Darko, I thought to myself, what a cute guy.  Then upon closer inspection, I realized it was doctor Radovan Karadzic.  I knew he was a psychiatrist.  By no means was this to be our last meeting.  Throughout the time I spent in Serbia Darko met with Karadzic on many occasions in Beograd.  The meetings were usually brief; only to exchange oral information and/or a few papers with Darko and whisper something or other in Darko‘s ear.   He looks as the news media portrays him dressed in his gray wrinkled suit and tie and salt and pepper colored hair. A couple of times I saw him walk around Beograd in his  infamous hat like in the photo posted below. Radovan was always a master of disguise because he was always dressed different every time I saw him (in Ostrog and many times in Beograd). He was a perfect gentleman all times I met him with Darko. After finishing our coffee, Darko said we ought leave and get a good nights rest because we had to leave early the next day for Montenegro.


     The next morning we all got into Darko’s blue Audi (car) and left for his Father’s house.  I remember arguing with Darko about wanting to bring lots of luggage with me and he replied I didn’t need all that stuff and I could only bring one normal sized bag with me and I had to leave the rest of my things at his apartment; I did. On the way to his father’s, Darko made a few important stops for the purpose of giving me the grand tour.

    We only stopped briefly at some military installations; we didn’t get out of the car.  We drove up to the gates and Darko pointed out, “look Jill, this is an important military facility.”  Darko always sarcastically smirked as he pointed out these places to me.  The only place we got out was in front of the bombed out Chinese embassy in Beograd.  There were Serbian military officers in front of the embassy.  I was amazed owing to I always had thought bombed out buildings were totally demolished.  But standing in front of the Chinese embassy that was bombed by the NATO in 1999 taught me the definition of a “smart bomb.”

    Only the portion of the building hosting the embassy employees on the upper level of the building itself was demolished and in particular the window where the Chinese embassy officials worked.  I could see in the window and I even got a sad glimpse of the Victorian styled chair IT WAS PINK IN COLOR , merely sitting there empty in the bombed out window.  I wondered who used to sit there and if they were dead or alive. No other parts of the building was seriously damaged.  There were even flowers and trees still growing untouched in front of the building.  I strongly believe that NATO knew exactly what they aimed at when they bombed the building. 
    I brought a digital camera with me on my trip but upon returning to the United States, all the film Darko claimed to snap for me was returned by my local film developer as blank.  I wondered if Darko told me the truth about snapping photos for me at all.  Throughout my trip he insisted on taking all the photos I wanted claiming I take poor pictures. 

    It since crossed my mind he may have removed the film from my camera prior my departing Serbia so I could not take it back with me.  One thing I am sure of  is both Darko and Bojana refused having any photos taken of them throughout my entire stay.  After leaving the scene at the Chinese embassy, we made our way to the home of Darko’s father driving through a beautiful park not dissimilar to Central Park in Manhattan along the way.  I can’t be certain what park it was because I didn’t know the geographical area; we soon arrived at our destination.

    Darko’s father lived in the most incredibly beautiful green hills in an area of Serbia existing somewhere between Beograd and Montenegro.  Immediately upon entering and meeting his father, stepmother and grandmother who recently passed away, I felt part of the family.  Although his family did not speak English, Darko and Bojana translated for me.

     Darko’s grandmother was an extraordinarily warm and wise woman in whose presence I felt comfortable and happy the entire time.  Before dinner there was the customary libation of grappa (a Serbian hard liquor of incredible potency).  If only I could find grappa here in America.  After another dinner that would give Manhattan’s top chefs a run for their money,  Darko brought me upstairs into a guest room to take a nap.

    I told him I was not tired but he insisted I nap saying we would be driving all night before reaching Montenegro and I need my rest.  I must have slept an hour before he awakened me to say our parting goodbyes and begin our journey.  I was extremely excited; Darko promised me a three week Adriatic holiday allowing me swimming privileges at every beach from Hercegovni to an area he said was only ten meters from Kosovo’s border.  We couldn’t go into Kosovo Darko said because it was too dangerous.  I knew Darko had been shot several times and almost killed in Kosovo previously so I didn’t push the issue. As a former lifeguard and avid swimmer, I couldn‘t wait for my vacation to start and Darko delivered it to me as promised.    

    The onset of our journey began at sunset; still adjusting to the time zone differential I dozed off in Darko’s backseat; for how long I’m uncertain.  I dozed on and off until sunrise when we reached the Montenegrin border.  I mean, there wasn’t much to see driving in the dark cover of night.  The wider well lit highway we initially set out upon gradually narrowed as the highway lights became fewer.  Eventually there were no highway lights at all.  My body continuously shifted from one side of Darko’s backseat to the other making sleep difficult.

    It was obvious the road we traversed was analogous to Pacific Coast Highway in California driving through Big Sur. It was mountainous, dangerously ridden with hairpin turns and no guardrails.  In Montenegro, inexperienced travelers could almost mistake the scenery for Big Sur with the beautiful blue Adriatic sea hugging the bottoms of the cliffs we not so cautiously traveled.  I asked Darko to slow down because he was driving like speed racer.  He replied not to worry explaining he could drive these roads blindfolded he knew them well.  I thought to myself, better safe than sorry buddy. 
    It is a good thing I had some prescription Xanax with me, I popped one, maybe two just to relax while simultaneously trying to hide this act from Darko since he hated drugs in general.  He especially hated my taking the prescription medications my doctor gave me saying I didn’t need them, they were addicting and poison.  He also strongly disdained cigarettes; Bojana smoked covertly.

    The sun was just rising when Darko awakened me excitedly pointing out the tunnel we were driving through.  I think he said at the other end we’d be entering Montenegro.  Driving to the Budva Riviera in Montenegro we drove through some similar tunnels; the scenery was unbelievably breathtaking.  There is no other place in the world I’d rather be than in Budva Montenegro and I recommend everyone vacation there.  We were making our way to a seaside resort a friend of Darko owned.  Still driving like speed racer around the hairpin turns and mountainous cliffs compromising the road, we finally arrived at our destination safely.  I admit Darko is an excellent driver; his driving is reminiscent of agent 007 in James Bond movies.
        Because of the Kosovo war, there was not one functional  ATM in either in Serbia and Montenegro.  To be safe I split the five thousand dollars we had between Darko and I.  I held onto half and he the other.  One of my favorite stories I tell people of my trip is how I swam with my money throughout the trip; it made me feel secure always keeping some cash on me at all times; even when I was swimming a quarter mile out in the Adriatic sea.  Darko told me not to; I did anyway. 

    Owing to that, the cash I held was often wet.  One particular time we went to a bank in Montenegro.

    The banks there are so remarkably careful of counterfeiting, they refused exchanging my United States dollars for Euros because my money was wet; the three of us returned to the hotel using my blow dryer to evaporate the dollar bills until dried.  The three of us henceforth joked about this saying we laundered the money.    

    Upon arriving at the resort, Darko introduced me to his friend and we worked out the financial gratuities for our stay.  We paid him eight hundred United States dollars for ten days; meals included.  Unlike hotels in America, meals meant an extremely large home cooked breakfast consisting of large varieties of meat, coffee and juice.  Lunch and dinner consisted of many course meals where main dishes consisted of either freshly caught seafood or meat.  Our accommodation consisted of two medium sized rooms with separate entrances; one for myself and another for Darko and Bojana.  To reach the beach we only needed to walk across the street and down a small path; one could see Italy at the other end of the horizon on a clear day.  I was ecstatic loving to swim.  Since Bojana didn’t swim, Darko couldn’t always accompany me to the beach so I‘d just walk to it myself for periodic swims throughout the day; August was a very hot month.  Of any country I’ve visited, Serbia and Montenegro wins my top prize for fun, food, beauty and hospitality. 

    Everyone is friendly, warm, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back and most persons speak some English owing to children learning English as a second language in school at a young age.  Unfortunately, American school children do not grow up learning another language other than native English which leaves them I feel at an intellectual disadvantage.

    Each day Darko took us to another beach for a day enjoying food, drink, music, perhaps some shopping and primarily, swimming.  As long as I could swim for hours each day I was happy.  By the time nighttime rolled in all of us were so tired each day we usually had dinner and retired early, except for one night.  This just happened to be the one night of my entire vacation I was overly exhausted wanting to retire early at any cost.  Inversely, this was the one evening both Darko and Bojana incredibly excited informed me to take a shower, dress and get ready for a big surprise. 

    When I asked Darko what this surprise was and its great importance being I was so tired; he merely insisted I go get ready for it.  Darko was always very bossy in my estimation constantly telling us when to sleep, awakening Bojana and I up early, limiting our time before breakfast for dressing, blow drying our hair etc. which the two of us always complained about privately to each other.  I always accepted this as part of his personality but this night it annoyed me to no end; I simply wanted sleep, surprise or not. 

    As usual I gave into to Darko’s demands by hurrying to my room, showering, changing, and preparing myself for a night out.  If you’re a woman, you understand when you have a crush on someone as I did Darko, you usually give into his demands easily; so I did.   

    Upon changing, Dark and Bojana were waving me to hurry to the car;  exhausted I got in and slammed the door.  Less than ten minutes up the pitch black road Darko pulled the car over and we got out.  Darko and Bojana said, “Hurry Jill look down there.”  At the bottom of the cliffs was the most beautiful city of lights I’ve ever seen.
    Darko said proudly, “this is Budva Jill, that‘s where we are going.”  It was many times more beautiful that Paris or Manhattan at night and situated in a valley about a mile and a half wide forcing the Montenegrin peninsula farther out.  It was a remarkably amazing sight, Budva itself being lit up with a wide variety of bright lights surrounded by an aura of pitch black.  By this time Bojana started complaining to Darko to move his car in more because someone may come around the sharp turn in the darkness sideswiping it.  Darko never worried much about illegal parking or his speed limit owing to whenever getting pulled over, he just made manifest to the officer his huge governmental badge and they let him go;  the badge was at least three times larger than the usual American police officer badge and was gold in color.      

    Darko became annoyed with Bojana’s complaints so we returned to the car, got in and descended about five minutes down the treacherously dark road into Budva and parked.  I couldn’t believe it! It was like a dream,  We walked down around Budva, Darko pointing out everything. 

    We stopped to have a drink at one of the many outdoor bar/café’s and listened to the live entertainment while we sipped our drinks.    Then I went to buy another bathing suit at a small shop when Darko told me to follow him and Bojana into the most amazing bar I’ve ever seen, anywhere in the world.  The bar itself was actually a small island rocky island;  to reach it one had to walk underground below the Adriatic Sea maybe a little less than one quarter mile.   Upon entering the bar it had many levels; all outside surrounded by the roaring nighttime surf of the sea and live entertainment.

    I saw a few people illegally swimming and asked Darko if I could swim there too.  He informed me the swimming was closed for the evening.  We ordered  drinks and sat there chilling for a while.  On the walk back Darko showed me all the gambling casinos along the Riviera.  It looked like anyone could get whatever they wanted in Budva if they had the correct amount of money with them. 

    Montenegro was to me akin to a luxurious playground for the ultra rich, famous as well as infamous.  We then walked back via way of the tunnel, stopped at a small outdoor restaurant all ordering a type of delicious pancake we enjoyed by dipping it in chocolate syrup and drove back to the hotel to get some rest.

        The next day Darko took merely us to another gorgeous beach.  It was reminiscent of Greece.  The water was sapphire blue, clear and warm.  The beach itself was not large, but completely hidden by huge rocky cliffs.  The three of us took a kind of small craft about a quarter of a mile out into the Adriatic; Darko and I jumped in for a swim.  Bojana was partially nude sunbathing at the time on the boat and since she was unable to swim, Darko teased her by stealing her clothes, pretending not to give them back to her.  She immediately became upset demanding Darko return her clothes;  Darko soon complied with her demands.  Thereafter, we ended the day with lunch and drinks.  The following day was one of my vacation high points.  We visited the Ostrog monastery.   
    Driving to the Ostrog monastery was long, hot and boring.  It lied somewhere deep beyond the Montenegrin coastline inland.  We drove a long windy road without even so much as a store on it.  After a couple of hours, Darko stopped for lunch at the only restaurant I noticed the entire trip.  You’d think it would be small being situated in the middle of what I considered, “nowhere.”  However, this was not the case. 

    There was actually a long line and tons of people there having lunch.  I could only imagine like us they were on their way to visit Ostrog.  The restaurant itself was classy and I can only liken it to seeing a luxurious restaurant in the middle of the Mohave desert.  While I was visiting Ostrog monastery in Montenegro, Darko introduced me to a Serbian priest asking me if I wanted confession. The man looked almost verbatim to Karadzic in his monks getup. I mean the way the latest news photos of Karadzic in his monk getup looks.  I only became cognizant of this recently since the photos of him since his arrest have been made publicly manifest.

    In particular I remember the priest’s large darker curl on the top of this priest’s head like in the recent Karadzic photos; I wondered who would make their monks hair like that. This priest blessed me and told Darko in Serbian he could not hear my confession owing to his not understanding English well. He gave me a gift, a book about the monastery itself which I gave to Archbishop John LoBue in West Milford (my priest).  
    While visiting Ostrog, we venerated the holy relics leaving an offering of either food or money at the door leading to the holy relics; I can’t remember which now.  Leaving, we looked around the gift shop, had coffee at the small Ostrog monastery café  and Darko gave me a tour where the monks sleep and shower.  Then we made the long drive back to the hotel.  We had the usual dinner at which time Bojana was overcome with a terrible toothache.  I told her I’d pay for the filling tomorrow; Darko knew a dentist 10 meter from Kosovo‘s border.  Tomorrow we‘d swim there and have Bojana‘s tooth looked at.  The town we went to the next day possessed an ethnic Albanian majority and organized crime was everywhere.   
        There is one more sough of significant event that occurred to me during my stay on the Budva coast. Darko was extremely insistent one friend of his “read my palm.” You guys just aren’t going to believe this, and I can’t be 100% certain because I only met this man who read my palm once, but I could swear it was Goran Hadzic (!) He was dressed like an old 1960s “hippie” with some old ripped blue jeans and old dirty T-shirttoo. He had long straggly hair but I( could never forget his tall drawn out thin pail nose and face.  I did not want anyone to “read my palm” because as a staunch Orthodox Christian chick, it was against my religion to do have my palm read. But I gave in to Darko’s persistence for this man to “read my palm.” I really did not agree with much of which he told me, he took a long time to read my palm, like about for 45 minutes and I really wanted to go across the street swimming instead.  But this man told me I had a “strong lifeline” on my palm. After that I never saw him again.
    And I think he also gave me a business card; the same one that  the BBS displays on their website of
“quantum energy practice/ alternative medicine,” and I definitely remember the care  bearing three Greek Letters “Alpha or Delta” like on the card (like a triangle, that letter. in the internet news media. I lost it a long time ago.
    Before retiring for the evening I went for a small walk around the corner from the hotel to buy some snacks; there was a small store there.  I never felt endangered at any time by anyone.  During my stay in Montenegro I walked to the store myself almost daily buying drinks and other items I could enjoy privately in my room at night.  I never noticed previously to that evening’s walk just how many persons actually were vacationing from Western Europe in Budva the fall 2002 like me. 

    After promenading to the store, upon returning to the hotel, a German man sitting outside the hotel and speaking in broken English introduced himself.  When I told him that I was from New Jersey in the United States he became extremely interested and warmly said he is pleased I was able to enjoy the area.  I replied, “I was tired and needed to retire.” Saying he understood he returned to his card game.

        We had the usual dinner at which time Bojana was overcome with a terrible toothache.  I told her I’d pay for the filling tomorrow; Darko knew a dentist ten meters from Kosovo‘s border.  Tomorrow we‘d swim there and have Bojana‘s tooth looked at.  The town we went to the next day possessed an ethnic Albanian majority and organized crime was everywhere.   

    We awoke early as to get Bojana to the dentist.  This is actually where the Montenegrin bank had refused to exchange our money for Euros.  Managing cash was difficult in Serbia and Montenegro owing to that the national currency in Serbia was still dinars and in Montenegro it was Euros.  Most businessman preferred either Euros or American dollars, but one never knew which.

    Upon parking, Darko led the way down the busy street towards the dentist who I remember being an ethnic Albanian man.  Apparently, they visited this dentist previously and he was extremely friendly.  Not at any time did any ethnic Albanians cause me, Darko or Bojana any problems because I was American and they were Serb.  The dentist was going to take a while and since the bank would not exchange our American dollars for Euros, we could buy neither lunch nor anything else and we all possessed a ravenous hunger for lunch.

    Ignoring Darko’s warnings not to go wondering myself, I left the dentist office under the pretense of going for a walk while Bojana had her dental work completed.  Before Darko could catch me I was gone.  I walked up the main street about one mile and began asking people in English where I could exchange United States currency for Euros.  I came upon a well dressed ethnic Albanian high school student, a girl speaking perfect English who told me to walk up the street about another half mile and when I see men selling the cigarettes outside on a bridge table, ask them to do the deed; I did. 

    The girl asked me about America saying her greatest wish was to study in New York City one day.  When I told her about my experience at the New School for Social Research, being dismissed for my anti NATO views on the Kosovo war she replied to me, “maybe she was wrong about wanting to study in Manhattan.”

    I made my way to the table with about five ethnic Albanian men hanging about selling cigarettes and asked them in English if they could exchange money for me; they did.  They were definitely organized crime.  They took my wet cash, examined the bills, one man walked into an apartment building with my cash while I merely waited.  He didn‘t rob me and returned with my Euros.

    Surprisingly,  I found everyone in both Serbia and Montenegro very honorable in their business dealings; even if those dealings are organized crime.

    Upon receiving my Euros from the men, I walked away back to see if Bojana was through with the dentist; she was.  I excitedly told Darko that I had successfully managed to exchange American dollars for Euros thinking he’d be pleased with me; he wasn’t.  Darko was always very protective of me.  Instead of commending me he immediately got very angry; scolding me he said exchanging money illegally in the streets of Montenegro was both illegal and dangerous.  You can’t change the past so I diplomatically apologized and Darko soon forgot his anger I lieu of the fact that now we all could have lunch.  Afterward, Darko brought us to a beautiful beach nearby.  The majority of the sunbathers were ethnic Albanian and again no one  harassed us based on our ethnicity.  I tried pushing Darko into driving into Kosovo but he flatly refused.  I found it interesting that the international news at this time was reporting that there were hundreds of thousands of homeless ethnic Albanians being ethnically cleansed to Albania, I did not see one ethnic Albanian or Roma homeless on the streets anywhere. All seemed normal only ten meters from the Kosovo border.  After a day of swimming and partially nude sunbathing, we returned to the hotel.

    Insofar as sequence of events, at this junction in time it was the last few days I spent in Montenegro; it’s difficult now to remember the exact timeline of events.  In other words, I remember visiting Old Town  and Podgorica also in Montenegro but uncertain of which locations we visited first. 

    During the last two days, Darko took me one day to Old Town in Montenegro for dinner; there we greatly enjoyed an expensive seafood meal after which we walked around.  Darko got a parking ticket that night in Old Town and greatly complained about its five dollar fee;  for some, five dollars is equal to an entire week pay in Serbia.  I think I offered him the five dollars for the ticket feeling guilty because it was only for my benefit he parked there at all.  Darko wanted to show me Old Town; he already knew what the beautiful cobble stone streets looked like.     
    We also went to the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica.  I really don’t remember much of Podgorica except for walking around the streets one night.  Since we didn’t swim there so it wasn’t a high point for me.  When our ten day stay in Montenegro was finished we all packed and returned the way we came in Darko’s car.  The day before we left, Darko’s car required maintenance.  We didn’t have enough cash on hand left to pay for the needed repairs so I called Arnold Stark, my fiancée in the states, asking him to please wire us five hundred dollars cash to Montenegro; he did.  This is a fact that Arnold himself can verify being that he alone possesses the charge card receipt for wiring us the money through Western Union to a town not far from Budva.  With Darko’s car repairs complete, we returned home for Beograd.

    On the way back to Beograd we made two more important stops.  One was Hercegovni where we met up with Darko’s cousin, a soon to be freshman college student and her friends.  We had a couple of drinks, snapped some photos and Darko and I went for a quick swim in the sea.  When it began to rain, we called it a day.  The other stop was somewhere on the way back, where I have no idea.   We pulled up to a large lake.  Darko pulled his car onto a large ferry boat.  There were some people on the ferry, but primarily soldiers from the Serbian military fully armed with guns; I felt 100% safe with them.  Reaching the other side we drove around but I can’t remember much. 
    Returning on the ferry, we piled into Darko’s car and appeared at his apartment several hours later.  We were all extremely exhausted and passed out as soon as possible in our separate rooms.  Again, we walked past the same old men sitting in front of Darko’s apartment building seeming to do nothing; they waved at us.      image

    There were only two days left of my vacation at this point; I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.  I’d come down with terrible stomach symptoms that began in Budva several days prior.  This was probably owing to my ignoring Darko and Bojana’s warning not to drink tap water but only bottled; a lesson I ought have learned in Indonesia as a young girl.

    We were all feeling tired and slightly under the weather merely wanting to recuperate.  Notwithstanding, Darko, always an avid early morning riser, insisted we promenade Beograd’s renown indoor marketplace; an extremely large indoor flea market.  We walked approximately an hour or two.  I tried on several dresses before finally buying myself one; the type I can’t recall.  Bojana bought herself Serbian brand makeup after which Darko informed us it’s time to leave.

    Shopping was always boring to Darko unless it was for himself and during his stay in the United States Darko, Bojana and I hit many malls in New York and New Jersey such as Willow brook in Wayne, New Jersey.  Other favorite stores we often visited were Daffy’s and Macy’s in Forest Hills, Queens, New York.  I vividly remember the Republika Srpska diplomatic contact, Dejan Miletic,
 to the Hague court in the Netherlands visiting.  Me, Darko, he whose name was, Dan, Dejan Miletic (he gave me his  busines card at the restaurant), in English, along with my daughter little Jill went to Macy’s at the Willow brook Mall in Wayne NJ allowing Dan to buy some gifts for his girlfriend back in Bosnia.  Afterwards, we all enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Six Brothers Diner on Route 46 not to far from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

    I can’t recall whether it was prior to vacationing in Budva or after, but close to the Beograd marketplace we visited the apartment of a Serbian basketball player and his disc jockey roommate (the walls of the apartment were covered with music CD’s from around the world). It was a very impressive CD collection.  He said he often spent time in Manhattan studying when not having to compete.

    I became increasingly sad during this time owing that in another day I’d again be saying goodbye to the man I loved, Darko; perhaps leaving Serbia forever.  I wanted to stay and live in Beograd permanently but I had duties to my graduate studies at FDU in Hackensack, New Jersey.  Had I known the university (FDU) would be soon dismissing me from their graduate program similarly to the New School for Social Research, I would have stayed in Beograd.  I always told Darko my greatest desire was to live in Serbia and/or Montenegro.      He always replied, “Jill you have your children and your studies now.  After your children leave and you complete your graduate degree, then you can come reside in my country.”  After the New School discriminated against me and I was recently receiving poor grades at FDU from professors that had formerly studied and graduated from the New School themselves, I felt I wanted to leave America thinking strongly I would have more academic freedom in Serbia.  In fact during my entire Serbian trip, I discovered that myself and others freely spoke our minds on a myriad of subjects such as politics and theology without being badgered.  This was my personal experience and I know allegedly not all Serb citizenry under  previous regimes enjoyed such privilege.

    Upon leaving the marketplace we enjoyed lunch at Darko’s which Bojana prepared; she was an excellent cook!  My favorite Serbian food is Gibanica (I think this is the correct spelling).  Gibanica is an exquisite main dish comprised of Greek filo dough, beef, cheese and sometimes spinach baked in layers similarly to Italian lasagna.  After lunch, I decided to walk by myself to a local store for purchasing some items.  I wanted some air alone outside not wanting Darko to see me cry.  As aforementioned, I became extremely sad about returning to the United States the following day.  When returning to the apartment, Darko suggested I nap a while so I did.  I don’t remember what time it was when Darko knocked on my door waking me up.  He informed me we  were heading out soon to meet up with a friend of his named, Sharko, he wanted to introduce me. 

    We left Darko’s apartment after dusk and about ten minutes later parked nearby a beautiful green park lined with trees along the river, somewhere in Beograd. 

    Uncertain exactly where we were going, I allowed Darko and Bojana to lead.   Strolling down the narrow paved path a few feet wide cutting into a grassy hill, we headed directly towards a boat restaurant.  Traversing the small shaky wooden bridge, we boarded.  The place was empty; we were the only persons present besides one waitress. 
    We sat as follows; Darko and Bojana sat next to each other as in American restaurant booth’s and I sat alone across vis-à-vis.  The boat itself was very luxurious resembling the interior of several large boats formerly owned by the late Aristotle Onassis.  I have several books on Aristotle Onassis so I have seen photos of the interior of his large boats.  The waitress came over to take our order; there was no menu.  We verbally told her which libation we wanted; as she walked away Sharko came in.  Sharko was Ratko Mladic; he wore old faded blue jeans sagging a bit around his waist.          
    I wasn’t scared at all.  When first shaking hands with Mr. Mladic I thought quietly, this couldn’t possibly be happening; but it in objective reality it was really happening.  I’ve met many interesting people since graduating WPUNJ in New Jersey in 1997.  I personally coined the term, extreme sociologist which I consider myself.  I may not be rich, but achieved my scholarly goals notwithstanding either FDU or the New School for Social Research in Manhattan dismissing me from their graduate study programs.  Since completing my undergraduate degree, I’ve desired to better understand our world by meeting with and talking with the world’s most controversial individuals.  I believe in traveling to hidden and seemingly remote places around the world, partaking in local cultural activities for better understanding wherefore people behave as they do.

    Mladic first seated himself across from me, in a separate chair the right of Darko.  The waitress returned asking Mladic what he preferred to drink; he ordered expensive wine saying jokingly it was “two hundred dollars a bottle,” smiling.  I was already drinking an alcoholic beverage of some sort I can’t remember along with Bojana.  Darko rarely drank and sipped on something non-alcoholic.  Extolling me to Mladic,

    Darko explicated whereby I was the only American college student standing firm on grave issues pertaining to international justice insofar, the NATO and the former Yugoslavia. 

    Darko finished boasting about me to Mladic after which I in an extremely forceful forthright manner explained to Mladic my political views insofar as NATO’s breaching international law by launching military aggression against the former Yugoslavia, by bombing the Chinese embassy in Beograd, and, by purposely bombing other civilian targets in Serbia and Montenegro in 1999.  I have a film of when NATO bombed a newborn baby hospital unit in Beograd; disgraceful!  

    Mladic seemed impressed with my viewpoints on war and peace.   He was very warm friendly man; very relaxed and laid back.  He smiled the entirety we were chilling out just enjoying each other’s company and drink.  Hanging out with Mladic was no different than chilling with my other friends back in America.  I ordered another drink with Darko’s disapproval.  As aforementioned, Darko strongly disdained mind altering substances, always trying to help me overcome my craving for them.  Then, Mladic opened his wallet, showing me photos of his wife and children;  he had a very attractive family as portrayed in his wallet sized photos.  I think he missed them, perhaps empathizing to the loss I felt being estranged with my own two children for so many agonizing years.

    Like General Mladic, I possess very few photos of my own children.  The photos Mladic had in his wallet were obviously very old because his children were still very young in the pictures.  It was evident he didn’t have any recent photos of his family in many years; I sympathized with him in this respect.  After reminiscing over family photos he got up sitting next to me across from Darko and Bojana.  I let him hold my hand gently massaging it.  He kissed my hand, inviting me to spend the night with him in the hills of Beograd; I declined on account of my strong Orthodox Christian theological convictions. I admit Mladic having warm inviting hands and greatly enjoying the manner in which he touched me.  I did consider him an attractive man; yet as aforementioned I declined his invitation.

    He accepted my decision although he did ask me again; again I replied the same answer.  It was getting late and I was departing Serbia the following day in the afternoon.  Still sipping my drink, I began urging Darko to return to America with me making a life for himself teaching as a professor at a university.

    In retrospect, I now feel tremendous guilt and shame because of my advances towards Darko owing to Bojana my best friend sitting  there with me vis-à-vis.  Feeling a bit tipsy from drinking, Mladic continued making sexual advances towards urging me to go home with him.  Darko laughed seemingly thinking Mladic’s advances towards me were cute stating, “go ahead Jill, spend the night with Sharko, it’s fine…Sharko‘s a good friend of mine…don‘t worry if you want to…I promise you’ll not miss your flight back to America tomorrow…“  I continued declining the advances and when it became obvious I wouldn’t change my mind, Darko said we had to leave because I had to finish packing for my flight and get a good nights sleep. 

    We all departed identically to boarding the boat restaurant, crossing the small narrow wooden bridge; Sharko/ Mladic departed with us.  After exiting, Mladic and I stood in front of the boat restaurant for several minutes.  I began crying because I loved Serbia not wanting to leave the next day.  Mladic pulled me close to him and embracing me, he kissed both my cheeks.  I kissed his cheeks also embracing him.

    In examining photos online of the Topcider Serbian military barracks in Beograd recently, the photo scenes look identical to where I met Ratko that night.  Even the photos of the trees, walkways and benches/Gazebo and river where we met look exactly the same. I remember the shape of the trees there that night even. The scene that night when we met looks very much identical as seen in the newly released Mladic home videos.

    I wonder if Mladic did not have any security when he met me because Darko had brought me in the Topcider military barracks to meet Mladic that night; I believe he did. I would not have known the difference since it seemed merely a beautiful park.
    Darko and Bojana were walking ahead towards the car leaving me and Mladic alone.  Knowing, I’d continue crying, I broke our embrace saying “goodbye.”  Mladic promised to visit me the next day dressed in his full military uniform before I left Serbia.  I didn’t want to part; but I did.  I saw Darko and Bojana walking towards their car up the grassy hill and followed.  I walked briskly catching up with them; I was exhausted and still had to finish packing back at Darko‘s apartment.  Once more I turned and saw Mladic drive away in an old brown Mercedes Benz on its left front side.  I was surprised to see it was scratched and slightly dented.  Arriving back at Darko’s place, I completed preparations for departing the following day and fell fast asleep.

    The next day I woke up around mid morning feeling depressed so  I went for a walk to a local store picking up some things.  Returning to Darko’s, we were standing outside his apartment discussing something when I turned seeing Mladic approaching me in full military regalia.  We shook hands glad seeing each other.  Of all photos I’ve seen online, Mladic never looked better than he did then. 

    His military uniform was clean, ironed and he wore every military metal ever earned it seemed to me.  He was as honorably decorated as any of the American Joint Chief’s of Staff; even wearing his gold colored in sigma upon his green military cap.  He had many gold colored metals hanging from his uniform on the left side by his chest.  I was privileged to see him this way; I confess being impressed.

    I was surprised to say the very least.  Darko said to stand next to Mladic insisting on snapping some photos of the two of us.  Mladic placed his arm around my shoulder and I his; we both smiled as Darko  snapped some photos.  When finished Mladic presented me with a gift.  The book I posted online for you all to view, signing it to me under the alias name, Sharko thanking me for beautiful times spent together in Beograd.  We embraced and he left as Darko interjected saying we had to hurry to the airport before I miss my flight.
    Darko’s German friend delivered me back to Beograd airport the same manner as picked up.  There was little time, my flight was actually locking the gate and about to depart without me.  Darko ran up to someone important showing his governmental badge as I recall, asking them to hold the flight until I board.  There was hardly time for JAT to weigh my luggage; they did however inform me it weighed over the limit allowed.  Darko said there was no time to be picky about what I was bringing back to the States ; I obeyed leaving one full suitcase behind with him as to not miss my flight.  Quickly helped me through customs and the gate,  I tried prolonging our goodbye.  Darko didn’t want seeing him cry and urged me on as the Serbian flight attendant waved me to hurry.  The gate was closed up and I had to run with my carry on to board the plane.  One last time I turned briefly to see Darko; he tried hiding the tears swelling in his eyes as I. 
I took my seat on the JAT flight back home to America.  Upon reaching JFK my luggage was lost and it was delivered over the weekend to my home in Bloomingdale New Jersey.  This is what it’s like to chill with the most ruthless men in the world. No biggie really.

        THE END

Law Projects Center Int’l [Beograd / New York]
Miss Jill Louise Starr [Director of LPC New York]
138-A Hamburg Tpk.,
Bloomingdale, N.J.
07403 U.S.A.
To: All Interested Parties
Date: March 11th 2001
Subject: Int’l Criminal Court Preparatory Commission Meeting Report [Draft Documents on
Establishing a Permanent ICC]
March 1st – March 9th 2001
United Nations, N.Y.C.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In the true spirit of former United States President, Woodrow Wilson’s American Democratic
Ideals#, I hereby forward you draft documents from the recent United Nations meetings held
in New York City on establishing a permanent International Criminal Court.
I strongly believe, if all countries in our world will soon be submitting both themselves and
their citizenry to a new ICC establishment possessing exclusive international legal jurisdiction
over the entire world, that you should fully comprehend its meaning and raison d’etat.
Hence, I believe that all persons possessing a strong commitment to enhancing democracy,
internationally applying equitable social justice and peace for our perpetual human survival and for our posterity [without prejudice], should read these documents.
Respectfully Yours,
Miss Jill Louse Starr

PS: I probably have other documents I’ll have to check. Start reading these including a scanned photo image of the secret Richard Holbrook and Radovan Karadzic Immunity Agreement.



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Jill Starr - Sep 23, 2010 7:28 AM - Remove

Watch for my my updated book edition.

I have many items to add to my book.

Jill Starr - Oct 21, 2010 12:08 PM - Remove

A few months ago, I swear that I received a telephone call from Ratko Mladic.

I never answer my telephone but on my caller ID was a Serbian country and City Code.

I immediately recognized the voice. They said they "Just wanted to tell me that they were O.K. with my book, and they kept telling me "they feel me." And, "they wanted to me to not worry about my writing my book."

They said, "they had not spoken to me in 10 years and, "they wanted to call me to tell me "everything was Ok."

JIll Starr NJ USA

Jill Starr - Oct 21, 2010 12:08 PM - Remove

I swear this is true

Jill Starr - Oct 21, 2010 12:13 PM - Remove

I will never forget his handsome voice (+)

Jill Starr - Oct 21, 2010 12:15 PM - Remove

I never told anyone about this before

Jill Starr - Nov 16, 2010 12:30 PM - Remove

Some U.S. generals came to Serbia as guests, to check how the Serbian Army has progressed and is it eligible to join NATO. After the official talks, one of the visiting generals approached a Serbian general and asked him: - "Well, tell me how was it to fight against the strongest army in the world?" The Serbian general answered- " No idea, colleague, we have never waged war against Russia!"

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