Posts Tagged With: palmyra

CHANCE ENCOUNTER IN DEMING

Jim’s long time friend, who chooses to remain anonymous, introduced us to her two best friends, Mary Berg and Pat McKay.  Mary is a psychic and does individual readings. Once she was asked to help the local police department on a case of theirs. She is an upbeat, interesting woman to talk too.

Pat McKay, is the former wife of  Buck Duane Walker,  who murdered Muff and Mack Graham,  a couple living on their sailboat on the Island of Palmyra. Palmyra  is  located off the coast of Hawaii. It was a sensational case when it happened in the 1960’s and the book, The Sea Shall Tell,  was written about the event, and the capture and trial of Buck’s girlfriend,  Stephanie.   Pat was married to Buck for ten years, and knew him for 40 years.  He was a mesmerizing, clever, self-educated man and a psychopath. She visited him in prison, got to know his girlfriend,  Stephanie after the murders,  and even had a strange tie to Muff and Mack Graham, the two murder victims.   Pat’s family introduced  her aunt to date Mack before he met Muff. The Graham’s lived aboard their boat sailing the world over in much the same way RVers live on wheels, moving from one destination to another.

Pat  was grateful it was not she who sailed to Palmyra with Buck Walker. The book  was written by Richard Henderson and the attorney, Vincent Bugliosi who defended Stephanie.  Pat claims it was really Henderson who wrote the book. It was later made into a movie by the same name. Jim became quite fascinated by this case because he discovered  that Buck  Walker, while serving life in prison, wrote his version of the events that happened on the Island, under his father’s name, Wesley Walker.  Jim found his story interesting, well written and credible.

We enjoyed meeting Pat, and hearing about her interesting life.  She has written an as yet unpublished book about her life and how it intersected with the people who met their fate on the Island of Palmyra.   She met Jim’s friend while living in Mexico and they both moved to Deming.

It is interesting to meet someone who has a lot of  “inside”  information about the real life characters of a book you just chanced to read.  I can’t wait to read Pat’s book and will let you know on this blog when it is available. Sometimes you meet people who change your life. It was so for Pat McKay.

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And The Sea Will Tell…The Movie…

Back on September 12th I wrote a blog entry about a good book…here’s the link…

http://wp.me/pDCku-2mc

Since that time I’ve written a couple of other Blog entries about Palmyra Atoll/Island…one mentioning that I had ordered the movie made based on the book.

The movie arrived a couple of weeks ago…

and last night Mary and I watched it. In reality it is not a movie…but a two-part TV mini-series of 90 minutes each. All things considered it was an okay film. In my experience rarely is movie as good as the book…as is the situation here. I gave it a B+.

Since I first read Bugliosi’s…I have read Wesley Walker’s 895 page book (he was convicted of the murders) telling his story. Frankly I liked his story better than Bugliosi’s and wonder why Hollywood did not do a film about his story. Here’s the link for that Blog entry…
http://wp.me/pDCku-2AL

Nonetheless…the mystery still remains unsolved. It really happened…but what really happened??? It appears we will never really know.

Both books make for excellent reading…I highly recommend them.

In other news…

Yesterday was cloudy and cold…temp only got to 51. I spent the morning working on two of Mary’s three computers which she had complained were running slowly. She says that whatever I did seems to have worked. Hauled more firewood so we can keep warm and read. A little computer time also. 22 days until my departure to the south land. Rain last night. I’m hoping not to get snowed on before I depart.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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Impressions Of A Book I Really Enjoyed…

My last Blog entry about Palmyra Island also known as Palmyra Atoll was written on September 15th, 2011. In case you missed it, here’s the link…

otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/the-curse-of-palmyra-island/

Arriving at Mary’s home in Murphys, California on October 11th, I found my copy of Palmyra: The True Story of an Island Tragedy written by Wesley Walker…the man convicted of the murder…waiting for me. All 895, 6×9, pages of it. I immediately started reading the book and only yesterday completed it. For the record…I thought I would record my impressions of his book.

My very first impression at the start of reading the book was…unless you had read the book written by Vincent Bugliosi and Bruce Henderson…And The Sea Will Tell…you would be hard-pressed to tell what this book was about.

Facing a life in prison sentence he decided to try his hand at writing. He had already written three fiction novels…when on page 419 in his book Walker writes…

“Then I read the great hoax of a book by two sleaze-artists (meaning Bugliosi and Henderson) of a different order, allowing the full import of the insult to my intelligence to sink in. Overflowing with self-righteous anger, I spent the next three years transferring furious words to some 2500 pages of a reply. My trial alone covered 820 pages.” Then an incident occurred which caused him to think “Let’s settle the hash of those clowns, finish the unfinished business of the past. We’re near our rocking chairs on the front porch and we need tranquil minds to enjoy the view. And so I returned for a last visit, to relive it all, retell it yet again. To remember.” That’s when he sat down to write what became his book…Palmyra: The True Story of an Island Tragedy.

As I started to read….another immediate impression was he was far more literate than I had imagined him to be. All my previous impressions of Wesley Walker came from one source…Vincent Bugliosi and Bruce Henderson’s book…And The Sea Will Tell. They painted him as a low-life con artist.

The book was easy to read and very interesting. I found I enjoyed his writing style and really started to like the guy.

An interesting aside…during a period of time when he was an escaped felon…he was arrested at the Torch Lite Motel on Fourth Avenue in Yuma, Arizona. That motel is about one block from where I park the motorhome while in Yuma…at the American Legion. I have actually walked through the parking lot of that motel.

He spends lots of pages describing his life and lifestyles. For some period of time he was a sophisticated marijuana farmer. He seemed to have a really laid-back attitude and as I read I pictured him with the face of Willie Nelson.

Here’s a 1974 photo of Walker the Honolulu Star-Bulletin…

Here are some other interesting items from his book…

Page 294 and 295…

“Lawyers are the ones who always win, whether or not they win or lose cases. Unfortunately, poor people do not have the luxury of being permitted to make decisions about the quality of counsel, whether to consider fees or reputation. In our system, the judge has the prerogative of choosing you lawyer for you. The best lawyers simply do not appear on judge’s lists of lawyers to be appointed. Only the names of young and desperate lawyers are on the judge’s lists, and if they remain there long, it’s a sure sign they are not in demand. It’s the hack lawyers last refuge before chasing ambulances or going on welfare and drink. And thus, my lawyer Earle Partington was appointed. Partington could have done better by learning a new trade and doing honest work for a living.”

Page 299…

“Although I had long known it on some vague level never quite verbalized, later, when I had all the time in the world to contemplate the basic questions that would torture me, I would come to the firm conclusion that there was a vast difference between justice for the poor and for those who could afford it.”

Page 404…

After he is found guilty, the Federal Marshall who had been his guard all during the trial said to Walker…”If you ask me, your lawyers were the best thing the prosecution had going.”

My conclusions…

Walker spent 22 years in prison. He had lots of time to think about everything in his life. He does an excellent job telling us about his life. He does a particularly good job describing what life is like as a fugitive running from the law as well what life is like as a prisoner in a maximum security prison. He also reviews every flaw in his trial and goes on to tell…in his words…what really happened at Palmyra.

What really happened at Palmyra..according to Walker? I’m not telling. I wouldn’t want to spoil your reading of this book!  🙂

I really enjoyed his book and it will go into my “books to be re-read” box. It’s a really good book if you enjoy this kind of reading.

I have no affiliation with the publisher. Here’s the link I used to order the book…

http://palmyramystery.com/web1/Page_1x.html

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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Rest Stop…Hmmm…Maybe Not

As you can most likely tell…I had a little problem coming up with a title for today’s Blog entry.

Yesterday I drove the motorhome the about 65 miles from Stockton to Mary’s home in Murphys, California. Mary met up with her youngest son who lives in Stockton and retrieved her Prius from him to drive home.  He uses the vehicle rather than let it sit while Mary is on the road with me.

I’ll be here at Mary’s home until just after Thanksgiving. By then it starts to turn cold and the snow cannot be far behind…so it’s time for me to get out of Dodge. Mary will remain home for the holidays and fly to meet me once again in early January…most likely somewhere in Arizona.

So while stopping here for the next several weeks seems like a rest stop from being continuously on the road…it will not be. I always manage to stay plenty busy while here. My primary role will be to do a thorough cleaning job…both inside and out of both the motorhome and Bronco. The motorhome has not been washed since last April…and it’s ready! The Bronco is just as ready.

The road of life is a dusty and dirty one!

In other news…

Back on September 15th I wrote a Blog Entry about Palmyra Island aka Palmyra Atoll…a tiny speck of land in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. An unlikely Blog entry for a full-time RVer. In case you missed it…here’s the link…otrwjam.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/the-curse-of-palmyra-island/

Waiting for me was the 895, 6×9, page book written by Wesley Walker…the man convicted of the murders.

I got 62 pages into it yesterday and it makes for interesting reading…that is his side of the story. I’ll write another Blog entry about this subject once I complete the reading of the book. Meanwhile…I’ve got to get busy…cleaning. Later!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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