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"Grips you by the throat from beginning to end."—Cleveland Plain Dealer
ALONE WITH HER NEW HUSBAND on a tiny Pacific atoll, a young woman, combing the beach, finds an odd aluminum container washed up out of the lagoon, and beside it on the sand something glitters: a gold tooth in a scorched human skull. The investigation that follows uncovers an extraordinarily complex and puzzling true-crime story. Only Vincent Bugliosi, who recounted his successful prosecution of mass murderer Charles Manson in the bestseller Helter Skelter, was able to draw together the hundreds of conflicting details of the mystery and reconstruct what really happened when four people found hell in a tropical paradise. And the Sea Will Tell reconstructs the events and subsequent trial of a riveting true murder mystery, and probes into the dark heart of a serpentine scenario of death.
In 1974, wealthy Californians Mac and Muff Graham sailed to Palmyra Island, 1000 miles south of Hawaii, in their boat the Sea Wind . Buck Walker and Jennifer Jenkins arrived soon after on the same atoll, fleeing drug charges in Hawaii. Several months later, Walker and Jenkins returned to Hawaii in the Sea Wind , claiming that the Grahams were presumed dead when the dinghy in which they had gone fishing was washed ashore unmanned. However, in 1980, vacationers on Palmyra found bones soon identified as those of Muff Graham, who was determined to have been shot. Walker and Jenkins were charged with murder: in separate San Francisco trials, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and she was acquitted. Writing with Henderson ( Empire of Deceit) , Bugliosi ( Helter Skelter ), who served as Jenkins's attorney, offers a case history which could have been a true-crime classic if not for the 250 tedious pages devoted to his client's 23-day trial. Photos not seen by PW. Literary Guild main selection.