Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Gruesome Discovery, 1987

Ocracoke Island has a well-deserved reputation as a quiet place of refuge, a tranquil and serene respite from the worst aspects of the outside world. But every once in a while, evil intrudes into our insular lives. One of the worst occurred on April 26, 1987.

On that date the body of a man who had been shot and stuffed into a canvas bag was found washed up on the sound side of the island. The canvas bag had cinder blocks tied to it. To my knowledge, the man's identity was never determined. The crime had all of the earmarks of a drug deal gone bad, and the state of the body and canvas bag suggested the murder had occurred quite a distance away, probably somewhere in the Caribbean.

Although Ocracoke is in many ways an oasis of peace and tranquility, events like this occasionally shock us with their brutality. The good news is that this horrible crime happened more than 30 years ago, and far away.

Even in the 21st century Ocracoke still offers a respite from the cares of the world.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the dramatic story of life-saver Rasmus Midgett and his rescue of the crew of the barkentine Priscilla in August, 1899. You can read it here:

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