By Philip Weiss
In 1975, a brand new crew of Peace Corps volunteers landed at the island country of Tonga. between them used to be Deborah Gardner±a appealing twenty-three-year-old who, within the following yr, will be stabbed twenty-two instances and left for lifeless within her hut.
Another volunteer became himself in to the Tongan police, and lots of of the opposite americans have been certain he had dedicated the crime. yet through the country division, he back domestic a loose guy. even though the tale was once saved quiet within the usa, Deb Gardner's loss of life and the outlandish aftermath took on mythical proportions in Tonga.
Now journalist Philip Weiss "shines sunlight at the evidence of this grotesque case with the fervor of an avenging angel" (Chicago Tribune), exposing a gripping story of affection, violence, and clashing beliefs. With bravura reporting and shiny, novelistic prose, Weiss transforms a Polynesian legend right into a singular artifact of yank heritage and a profoundly relocating human tale.
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Extra info for American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps
Either he can erase the victim’s body by destroying it entirely or secreting it where it won’t be found, or he can rearrange the crime or stage a wholly false scenario to erase all connection between himself and any criminal act. Either way, he appears to remain free and clear of any involvement in a dastardly act. Although men have been carrying out this kind of crime for centuries, it is only now that the extraordinary glare of television lights and an almost ‘‘shock-and-awe’’ level of news coverage are beginning to drive him out of the safety of the darkness.
Although he admits seeing her that day, he denies harming her or having any knowledge of her whereabouts, and no charges have ever been brought against him or anyone else. • Lisa Tu of Potomac, Maryland, a forty-two-year-old Chinese immigrant caring for two teenagers and her elderly mother, disappeared in 1988. , restaurant manager heavily in debt from business failures and gambling losses, said she never returned from a trip to San Francisco to visit a sick friend. But police believe he killed her as she slept on their couch, then attempted to assume a new identity, traveling to Las Vegas, forging checks under her name, stealing from her son’s college fund, and enjoying the services of prostitutes.
Q • Hattie ‘‘Fern’’ Bergeler, fifty-seven, was found floating in the bay near her Florida home in August 2002 with a bedsheet wrapped around her head and cinderblocks tied to her neck and ankles. Her multimillionaire husband, Robert Moringiello, a retired aerospace engineer, claimed the two had lost sight of each other while driving in separate cars to visit his children. But he had still not reported her missing by the time her remains were identified—a month after he claimed to have lost her in traffic.