Final Argument: An Inquiry Into the Murders of Mac and Muff Graham on Palmyra Island by Buck Walker and Stephanie Stearns by Tom BucyFINAL ARGUMENT was written in response to VINCENT BUGLIOSIS best seller AND THE SEA WILL TELL (ATSWT) which recounts the brutal murder and torture of MAC and MUFF GRAHAM on PALMYRA ISLA8ND August 29, 1974. ATSWT reviewed the supposed facts surrounding the murder of the Grahams on Palmyra, and followed STEPHANIE STEARNS (aka JENNIFER JENKINS) upon her arrest and trial for her role in the planning and participation in those murders. In his zeal to prove Stearns innocence, inadvertently, Bugliosi set forth clue after clue proving the guilt of Stearns and her crime partner, Buck Walker. All of which were ignored by the prosecutor, judge, jury and reading public. Stearns, herself, taunts her pursuers with photographs and spurious log notes. (Most egregious were her August 5th log remarks about drooling and dreaming anticipating possession of the SEA WIND on execution of the Grahams.) Stearns claims to have studied mathematics, yet in her supposed log she cannot engage in simple addition. Time and again she is exposed as a liar and a perjurer, yet the jury forgives lie after lie all the while ignoring the honest and forthright testimony of the Pollocks (The LEONARDS in ATSWT.) and Macs messenger, Curtis Shoemaker. Bugliosis careful analysis of the tides revealed Stearns was lying about her activities purportedly occurring on the 30th and 31st of August 1974. Unfortunately, because of Enokis refusal to allow Bugliosis tidal data into the trial, the jury was deprived of this information. To an experienced sailor, Stearns account of her navigational skill is grossly overstated to the point where reading Bugliosis book And The Sea Will Tell becomes an exercise that tests ones patience. Her moronic pronouncements (all of which went unnoticed) regarding the birth of the Iola (for the most part wisely left out of Bugliosis account of the trial) are absurd to the point of zaniness. However, Stearns murder plot was masterful. Her manipulative skills are unusually sharp as can be observed while she was at work on Palmyra Island the summer of 1974, and in her interplay with counsel and court during her murder trial. FINAL ARGUMENT exposes lie after compounded lie, set forth as truth in Bugliosis version of the facts surrounding the murder of the Grahams on Palmyra the August of 1974. It includes substantial portions of the original trial testimony that were excluded in ATSWT. Bugliosi professing his belief in Stearns innocence is duped by his client. Eager to win every point, when necessary he shaves the truth. For the most part he does this by omitting critical testimony that proves the lie such as Stearns patently absurd account of her sailing method re leisure sailing, or her improbable account of the Iolas supposed approach to Palmyra. So too, there is considerable variance between Bugliosis cross-examination as revealed in the original trial transcript re Pollock and Shoemaker and his recounting this same testimony in his book. A careful reading of FINAL ARGUMENT answers these, and many more questions that should have been asked, but were not. Alas, poor Muff, her bones at the time of publishing, languish in the care of the FBI, forty years after her torture and murder by Stearns and Walker, still not at rest, forlorn and forgotten. Most of those that knew and loved her are gone and she has been shamefully abandoned by the sailing community.
1974 murder victim still awaits burial
District Court here. It was drawn in black ink on a map of little Palmyra Island, a usually deserted atoll about 1, miles south of Hawaii. That is where they found all that remains of Eleanor Muff Graham, just a skull and some other bones--not a complete skeleton, but perhaps enough to convict a man named Buck Duane Walker and a woman named Stephanie Stearns of murder. If that happens, it will officially put to rest a macabre, year-old mystery--a story, as prosecutors tell it, of terror at sea. What really happened to Muff and Malcolm Mac Graham?
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Thirty-nine years ago today, on August 30, , at least one and probably two grisly murders occurred in one of the most faraway locales on planet Earth—a small Pacific atoll called Palmyra, a thousand miles south of Hawaii, which has no permanent human population. Walker, a tough ex-convict and noted con artist, who had also sailed to Palmyra that summer with his girlfriend, Stephanie Stearns. The Grahams were upper-crust people, pretty conservative and reserved. Their boats were anchored in a lagoon near each other, and the couples inevitably came into conflict. Stearns was pretty easy to get along with so most of the conflict came from Walker. Dark came, no sign of them. In the morning they began searching and found an overturned boat on the shore of the lagoon.
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