March 17, 2012
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 She has written an as yet unpublished book about her life and how it intersected with the people who met their fate on the Island of Palmyra.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.
March 17, 2012
We arrived in Deming, New Mexico several days ago. Mary departed, shortly thereafter, for home to tend to taxes and other business. I’m at Rockhound State Park in Deming, New Mexico waiting out a forecasted very windy Saturday through Tuesday.
Shortly after arriving in Deming, New Mexico, we visited with a friend whom I’ve known about 15 years. She prefers to remain anonymous…no photos or name please. Makes me wonder if she’s hiding from the law. :)
Anyways…back on October 25, 2011 I wrote a Blog entry that you must look at if you are going to understand this Blog entry. It’s about a convicted murderer who wrote a book to tell his side of a true story. His name was Wesley Walker also known as Buck Duane Walker. Here’s the link…
After reading that Blog entry my anonymous friend wrote me saying she is friends with Wesley Walker’s first wife. I knew that we would be passing through Deming, New Mexico in a few months and asked if she could arrange for us to meet her. The first wife agreed and the schedule was set.
Now one more fact before I continue that relates to this Blog entry’s title. If you are follower of my Blog…you already know that I have been an avid reader all of my life. One of my very famous quotes that I claim to have invented is…
Why is an RV and a good book muck alike? The answer is…because both of them can take you to wonderful places!
The RV takes you physically there and a good book takes you mentally there.
When you read good book it is just a story about some topic. It usually has no real-life connection to you the reader.
However when we recently met Wesley Walker’s first wife and spent a delightful three hours getting to know her…the two books identified in the earlier link took on a whole new meaning…
Pat McKay had some interesting stories to tell. It is not essential to this Blog entry that I tell you what she told us about her past relationship with Wesley Walker.
Let’s just say that our “Brush With Real Life” was most interesting and leave it at that.
That’s one more thing I just love about my full-timing RV lifestyle…you get to meet so many interesting people!
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
October 25, 2011
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…
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.”
“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.”
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.”
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…
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link: