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Quiz about Murder and Mystery On The South Seas
Quiz about Murder and Mystery On The South Seas

Murder and Mystery On The South Seas Quiz


Two couples on a deadly exotic atoll. One couple were fugitives from the law, the other were out for adventure. Was it the curse of Palmyra? Or was it murder? To find out the answers, enter...if you dare!

A multiple-choice quiz by DakotaNorth. Estimated time: 8 mins.
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Author
DakotaNorth
Time
8 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
119,509
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
7 / 15
Plays
934
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 90 (2/15), Coachpete1 (15/15), Guest 175 (5/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. On January 25, 1981, a metal container washed up on the beach of Palmyra, and let loose its contents. A few minutes later, in a lucky find, a South African women, walking on the beach, came across the macabre scene. What was so lucky about the South African women finding the contents? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. In 1974, a young couple decided to leave civilization and everyone they knew. The authorities wanted the man, and his girlfriend wanted to be with him. What were the names of this couple? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. In 1974, an older, middle aged couple decided to go sailing around the world, but before they did, the older man wanted to stay on Palmyra for about two years, while his wife did not want to. What were the names of this couple? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. On June 1, 1974, Buck and Stephanie, along with their three dogs, departed Port Allen on the southern shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Their boat, the Iola, was a small boat, and not equipped to handle three dogs, but Buck and Stephanie wanted their dogs with them. What were the names of Buck and Stephanie's dogs? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. On June 24, 1974, the Grahams departed from Hilo's Radio Bay in Hawaii. Their trip was treacherous because of high winds and storms, but as seafaring as they were, they dealt with it. How many days or weeks after leaving Radio Bay did the Grahams arrive on Palmyra? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. By the middle of August 1974, the Grahams and Buck seemed to be on the brink of war. What was one of the reasons for this? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. In September 1974, a meteorological researcher, was asked to fly over Palmyra to see if there were any signs of the Grahams and their ketch. The pilot reported back that Palmyra was deserted. What was the name of the pilot? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. In October 1974, a beautiful ketch sailed into, and docked, at the Ala Wai Harbor in Hawaii. The boat was the Grahams' Sea Wind, but the Grahams were not on board, and the name of the ketch was changed. What was the new name of the ketch? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. In late January 1981, Special Agent Calvin Shishido received a call about a skeleton that was found on Palmyra. Shishido and a team of investigators went to the islet to examine the remains. The remains were identified as being one of the Grahams, but which one?

Answer: (One Word. FIRST name only!)
Question 10 of 15
10. When Stephanie was arrested in 1981 for murder, her family, believing her to be innocent, acquired the best defense attorney they knew. What was the name of Stephanie's defense attorney? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. Stephanie and Buck were tried together.


Question 12 of 15
12. When did the trial of Stephanie Sterns begin? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. What were two of the main keys to Stephanie's innocence? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. According to Stephanie's defense attorney, one key evidence stated that her story was true. What was it? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Stephanie Sterns was found guilty of murder.



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. On January 25, 1981, a metal container washed up on the beach of Palmyra, and let loose its contents. A few minutes later, in a lucky find, a South African women, walking on the beach, came across the macabre scene. What was so lucky about the South African women finding the contents?

Answer: Because the high tide was due in a few minutes, and the container and its contents would have been washed out to sea, never to be seen again.

During the first week of November 1980, a yachting couple, Sharon and Robert Jordan, from Johannesburg, South Africa arrived on Palmyra. During their adventure, they heard stories about the disappearance of a couple on the South Seas, but they didn't connect those stories to Palmyra. After the Jordans anchored their sailboat, the Moya, they began exploring the atoll.

During one of their explorations, the Jordans came across an old building in the jungle of the island, which was left behind from W.W.II. In the building they found old newspaper clippings about the missing couple, which had been left behind by other visitors to the island. After reading the clippings, the Jordans realized that the missing couple had disappeared while visiting Palmyra. The Jordans read all the clippings and began theorizing about what happened to the unfortunate couple.

Weeks passed, and the Jordans took to Palmyra beautifully. Robert fished and Sharon cooked, looked after the Moya, and to keep herself from getting stressed, she took daily walks on the outside of the atoll. Sharon didn't like to take her walks inland, near the lagoon. The Jordans kept their routine the same until January 4, 1981. This day was different, as both Sharon and Robert decided to go fishing. They got into their dinghy and took off. During their excursion, they sailed near an old seaplane ramp on Cooper Island, which is part of Palmyra. Sharon, who was looking at the beautiful fish, yelled to Robert that she saw something in the water. Robert asked her what it was, and Sharon said it was boat. Sharon wondered if this boat had anything to do with the missing couple, and mentioned it to Robert. Robert said he didn't know, and because it was late in the day, said that they would go back the next day to investigate the sunken boat.

The next day, as promised, the Jordans began a salvage operation to raise the sunken vessel. Using a number of old empty gasoline drums, the Jordans filled them with lagoon water and sank them next to the wreckage. Because they didn't have scuba diving equipment, the Jordans had to continually come up for air. After they had the drums secured to the wreckage, Robert went down and uncapped the drums. When the last of the drums emptied, the drums became buoyant, and the old sunken boat lifted out of the water. Its metal hull had the inscription "USAF" and was covered with yellowish barnacles. After bailing the water out of the boat and pulling it to shore for closer inspection, the Jordans noticed that the boat had four rectangular storage compartments, which were about three feet deep. They noted that, oddly, two of the containers were missing, and wondered what, if anything, it had to do with the missing couple from California.

On the afternoon of January 25, 1981, the mystery of one of the missing metal containers was no longer a mystery. Sharon, taking her daily walk on the beach, and looking for seashells, headed for Strawn Island, which is also part of Palmyra. She was only a few feet onto Strawn Island when she saw something glittering in the sand. She walked closer and realized it was a human skull, with a gold-capped tooth. She also noticed that there were other various parts of a human skeleton. She screamed, and immediately quieted down. Sharon knew it had to be one of the missing couple, and looked around. She saw a metal container nearby, and lying next to it was a lid and some wire that had, presumably, once held the lid and container together. Sharon realized, from the position of the bones, that they must have fallen out of the container. Examining the lid, Sharon noticed a small bone and a woman's watch. Her gut was telling her that the bones were that of the woman. Realizing that if she left the bones and the container where they were at, that the tide would wash them away. She didn't want to touch the grisly bones, but she knew she had to. She picked the bones up and placed them back in their impromptu coffin, and dragged the container farther inland, so it would be safe from the tide.

It was pure luck, and fate, that Sharon Jordan found the container and bones when she did. It was a little after 4:00 PM when Sharon found the container and bones, and the high tide was due in at 4:26 PM. If Sharon had been a few minutes late, the high tide would have come in, and would have washed the bones and container back out to sea, never to be seen again.

Was the bones that of one of the missing couple? If so, was it murder? If it was murder, who or what could have done it? In order to understand what happened on this beautiful and deadly atoll, one must start in 1974. That was the year that four lives would be changed forever.
2. In 1974, a young couple decided to leave civilization and everyone they knew. The authorities wanted the man, and his girlfriend wanted to be with him. What were the names of this couple?

Answer: Buck Duane Walker and Stephanie Sterns

In 1974, Buck Duane Walker was a 36 year-old criminal, having spent most of his life in prison for one crime or another. When he met 28 year-old Stephanie Sterns, he lied to her about having a violent past.

Stephanie fell in love with Buck, and when he was brought up on drug charges, believed him when he told her that it was all a mistake. Buck convinced Stephanie that he was innocent, and Stephanie, wanting desperately to believe her lover, helped him any way she could. To that end, Stephanie used her life savings to buy a beat up boat, named the Margaret, but which Buck and Stephanie renamed the Iola.

Because Buck was due to go to court to answer the drug charges, Buck and Stephanie made plans to sail to a deserted island and stay there for two years, and when the two years were up, they would return so Buck could turn himself in to the authorities. With this in mind, the twosome spent every dollar they had fixing the Iola and making her seaworthy. All spring and summer they worked on the Iola, and in June 1974, they set sail for Palmyra.

Buck and Stephanie thought that they would be the only ones on the atoll, but they were sadly mistaken. They never realized that Palmyra was visited often by other couples wanting to get away.

Did Palmyra prove to be too much for Buck and Stephanie? Did the curse of the island overwhelm them and take control? Or were Buck and Stephanie cold blooded killers?
3. In 1974, an older, middle aged couple decided to go sailing around the world, but before they did, the older man wanted to stay on Palmyra for about two years, while his wife did not want to. What were the names of this couple?

Answer: Mac and Muff Graham

In the spring of 1974, 43 year-old Malcolm "Mac" Graham III and 41 year-old Eleanor LaVerne Graham, called "Muff" by Mac, began making preparations to sail their thirty-eight-foot two-masted ketch, called the Sea Wind, around the world. Sailing around the world was Mac's dream, a dream that Muff did not share. But, because she loved her husband, she wanted to please him and, to that end, she decided that where ever her husband went, she would also go.

In the beginning of the summer of 1974, Muff learned of Mac's desire to sail to Palmyra and stay their for two years, before finishing his trip around the world. Muff, having heard stories about the atoll, did not want to go and tried to talk Mac out of it. But Mac wouldn't budge. So, Muff resigned herself to staying on Palmyra for two years. At the end of June, the Grahams set sail for Palmyra.

Little did they know that they would never leave the atoll, and that they would become part of a mystery that has yet to be solved.
4. On June 1, 1974, Buck and Stephanie, along with their three dogs, departed Port Allen on the southern shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Their boat, the Iola, was a small boat, and not equipped to handle three dogs, but Buck and Stephanie wanted their dogs with them. What were the names of Buck and Stephanie's dogs?

Answer: Puffer, Sista, and Popolo

On June 1, 1974, the Iola departed from Port Allen on the southern shore of Kauai, Hawaii. The Iola wasn't equipped to handle one dog, let alone three dogs. But because Stephanie refused to leave Puffer, a poodle mixed, behind, Buck decided that he would take his two dogs, Sista, a brindle-colored part-lab bitch, and Popolo, a male pitbull with a mean streak.

Stephanie and Buck loaded the Iola with provisions to last them about 6-8 months and 150 pounds of dry dog food, but during their trek across the Pacific, Buck ate about three quarters of their provisions, and when they arrived at Palmyra, they were extremely low on provisions. Buck would not have eaten so much if they hadn't gotten lost en route to the atoll. A trip that normally takes one week took them almost two weeks.

When they arrived on Palmyra, they were shocked to discover several other couples, so Buck told Stephanie to call him "Roy" an alias he came up with during their two week trek. Stephanie asked what he was going to do about the "Buck" tattoo on his arm, but Buck never answered, and instead stalked away.

When they reached the shores, they were greeted by Jack Wheeler, the unofficial mayor of Palmyra, took Buck and Stephanie on a tour of the island. During the tour, the crew walked at the badly degenerated military airstrip. The airstrip was now a breeding place for terns, and thousands flew in the air when they saw Popolo. Unfortunately, one young chick didn't make it off the ground fast enough, and Popolo killed it and ate it. Wheeler asked if the dog was that hungry, and Buck said that the dog was that mean.

Did Buck and Stephanie really believe that 150 pounds of dry dog food would last three dogs for two years? Did they really believe, that with more than half of their provisions gone, that they could last two years? Did they really believe that the Iola, who was not very seaworthy, would last two years and the trip home?
5. On June 24, 1974, the Grahams departed from Hilo's Radio Bay in Hawaii. Their trip was treacherous because of high winds and storms, but as seafaring as they were, they dealt with it. How many days or weeks after leaving Radio Bay did the Grahams arrive on Palmyra?

Answer: 7 days

On June 24, 1974, the Grahams departed from Hilo's Radio Bay in Hawaii, with enough provisions to last them two full years and then some. The Sea Wind was an exceptionally prepared ketch, with plenty of items that one could only get at home. During their trip to Palmyra, the Grahams encountered high winds and severe storms, but because Mac was at home on the open seas, they fared the trip without incident.

On July 1, 1974, the Sea Wind pulled up to Palmyra and was anchored. The couples that were on the small atoll were astonished to see such a beautiful boat being anchored in the lagoon. An hour after anchoring the Sea Wind, Mac and Muff made their way to Cooper Island. Mac was not happy about the amount of people on the atoll, but went around and introduced himself and his wife to everyone. This was when Mac and Muff first met Buck and Stephanie.

Mac did not see, or perhaps he did not want to see, the look of pure hatred that Buck had given him. But then again, there was the unspoken resentment practically everyone felt toward everyone else. It seemed that Wheeler, Buck, and Mac each believed, at some level, that the others were intruding on his territory.

However, when Wheeler and his family left, and the other couples left, only Buck and Stephanie and Mac and Muff were left on the island.

Was the resentment too much for Buck and Stephanie to bear? Did the isolation cause them to have a breakdown of sorts, and kill Mac and Muff?
6. By the middle of August 1974, the Grahams and Buck seemed to be on the brink of war. What was one of the reasons for this?

Answer: Buck's dog tried to attack numerous times.

In the first week of July, Popolo tried to attack Muff, and Mac threatened to kill the dog if he did it again. A week later, when the islet was visited by other sailors, Popolo attacked one of the visitors, which made Mac extremely mad.

By August, the tension between Mac and Buck reached the boiling point. Only Stephanie, with her naive ways, endeared herself to Mac, and somewhat to Muff. But Buck petrified Muff and she begged Mac to go home. Mac held his ground and stayed.

During the month of August, four boxes of warfin, rat poison, that was in the abandoned bunkers, disappeared. The disappearance was noted by two visitors, Tom Wolfe and Norman Sanders, to Palmyra, but they thought nothing of it. However, months later, when the Grahams became missing, Wolfe and Sanders felt a wave of fear wash over them. They knew, or had a feeling, that the Grahams would never be seen again.
7. In September 1974, a meteorological researcher, was asked to fly over Palmyra to see if there were any signs of the Grahams and their ketch. The pilot reported back that Palmyra was deserted. What was the name of the pilot?

Answer: Martin Vitousek

In September 1974, friends of Mac and Muff became worried because they had had no radio contact with them for several days. It was highly unlikely that the Sea Wind's radio would be broken, since Mac was vigilant in maintaining everything on the Sea Wind.

A friend of the Grahams, Curtis Shoemaker, asked his friend, Martin Vitousek, to fly over Palmyra to see if he could locate Mac and Muff. To Shoemaker's horror, Vitousek reported back that Palmyra was deserted, and the Sea Wind was nowhere to be found.

What happened to Mac and Muff? Where was the Sea Wind?
8. In October 1974, a beautiful ketch sailed into, and docked, at the Ala Wai Harbor in Hawaii. The boat was the Grahams' Sea Wind, but the Grahams were not on board, and the name of the ketch was changed. What was the new name of the ketch?

Answer: It was nameless

In October 1974, Special Agent Calvin Shishido was asked to check out a boat that had docked at Ala Wai Harbor in Hawaii. According to Chris Shoemaker, the boat looked identical to the Grahams' Sea Wind, except that it was painted a different color and it was nameless. Shishido wasn't too interested in dealing with the supposed Sea Wind, because as he said, it was a job for the Coast Guard. When Shoemaker voiced his concern that he saw Roy Allen and Stephanie Sterns leaving the nameless boat, but did not see Mac or Muff, Shishido said that maybe the Grahams were shopping and that they brought Roy and Stephanie back to Hawaii with them. Shoemaker told him that it wasn't possible because Mac had wanted to stay on Palmyra for at least two years, and that he had heard about the tension between Roy (Buck) and Mac.

Shishido relented, and went to investigate, but found nothing. So, he notified the Coast Guard and when they went to investigate, they found that the nameless boat was indeed the Sea Wind and that Mac and Muff were nowhere to be found. Buck and Stephanie were arrested and charged with boat theft.

On June 19, 1975, Stephanie Sterns went to trial for the theft of the Sea Wind, and on August 18, 1975, she was sentenced to two years in a federal prison and five years' probation. A few weeks later, Buck Walker was also found guilty of boat theft, and was sentenced to ten years in a federal prison.

By all accounts, this should have been the end of the mystery of Palmyra. However, six years later, Palmyra would release another portion of the mystery, and would leave several unanswered questions in its wake. What happened to Mac? Was he, too, placed in a metal container and sunk at sea? Did Stephanie and Buck kill them, or did Buck do it alone?
9. In late January 1981, Special Agent Calvin Shishido received a call about a skeleton that was found on Palmyra. Shishido and a team of investigators went to the islet to examine the remains. The remains were identified as being one of the Grahams, but which one?

Answer: Muff

In late January 1981, Special Agent Calvin Shishido received a call about a skeleton that was found on Palmyra. Shishido and a team of investigators went to the islet to examine the remains.

When the remains were brought back to Hawaii, and examined by a coroner, it was positively identified, by dental records, as being Muff Graham. The coroner also discovered that she was beaten over the head with a blunt object, as her skull had several cracks in it. They also found that she was burned by an acetone torch and dismembered. They also estimated that she was dead approximately seven years.

The discovery of Muff's body immediately focused the investigators' attention to Buck Walker and Stephanie Sterns. Stephanie, who by this time was released from prison and getting her life together, was arrested for murder. Buck, who was still in prison on the boat theft charges, was now charged with murder. But did they do it? Could someone else have gone to the islet, and murdered Muff, and more than likely Mac? Or was it possible that Buck killed Mac, dismembered his body and fed it to Popolo and Sista, who were starving? Could this be why Mac's body was not found?
10. When Stephanie was arrested in 1981 for murder, her family, believing her to be innocent, acquired the best defense attorney they knew. What was the name of Stephanie's defense attorney?

Answer: Vincent Bugliosi

When Stephanie was arrested for the murder of Muff Graham in 1981, her family believed her to be innocent. They had heard about Vincent Bugliosi, and knew that he was now a defense attorney. They hired him, knowing that since he was able to send Charles Manson to prison for life, that he would be able to set Stephanie free.

However, Bugliosi didn't just take any case, he only took cases where he believed, one hundred percent, that the person was innocent. After interviewing Stephanie and getting her side, Bugliosi decided to take the case. He knew it would be a tough case, and he wasn't too sure if he would win, but he knew that he had to try.
11. Stephanie and Buck were tried together.

Answer: False

Vincent Bugliosi argued that Stephanie should be tried separately from Buck. His argument was so eloquent that he won that round. He also argued for a change of venue to California, because as Bugliosi stated, Stephanie would never get a fair trial in Hawaii.

Buck Walker went to trial for the murder of Muff Graham on May 28, 1985, and fourteen days later, the case went to the jury. A mere one hour and twenty-three minutes later, a verdict was reached. Buck Walker was found guilty of the murder of Muff Graham. He received a life sentence.
12. When did the trial of Stephanie Sterns begin?

Answer: February 4, 1986

On February 4, 1986, the trial of Stephanie Sterns began. Bugliosi had a fight on his hands to keep incriminating evidence out of the trial, most of it coming from Buck. The state called as witnesses all the visitors to Palmyra during the time frame of July and September 1974.

As each witness gave their evidence, Bugliosi shot them down. He made it seem realistic that Stephanie did not kill Muff Graham. But was he right?
13. What were two of the main keys to Stephanie's innocence?

Answer: Apricot brandy and high tides.

The high tides hit Palmyra two different times of the day, morning and night. The morning tide comes in between 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM in the morning, and the evening tides come in between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM. When the Grahams' Zodiac was found beached by Buck and Stephanie, it was after 5:00 AM. This was a fact that was overlooked by the prosecution. If Stephanie was not innocent, she would have stated that the Zodiac was found before 4:00 AM. See, Stephanie had no idea what time the high tides came in, so when she said that the Zodiac was found after 5:00 AM, she was telling the truth.

Likewise, the night before the disappearance of Mac and Muff, Buck told Stephanie that Mac and Muff invited them to the Sea Wind for dinner, and said that Mac said that if they weren't there when Stephanie and Buck arrived, to make themselves at home. When Stephanie and Buck arrived, the Grahams were not around. So, Buck looking around, just happened to discover a bottle of Apricot brandy, Stephanie's favorite drink.

Since Stephanie never told Mac what her favorite drink was, what were the chances of Mac having it? Also, another point in Stephanie's favor was that the day before the discovery of the beached Zodiac, Stephanie was basically left alone, giving Buck ample opportunity to murder Mac and Muff.
14. According to Stephanie's defense attorney, one key evidence stated that her story was true. What was it?

Answer: Her diary

According to Bugliosi, one key piece of evidence, Stephanie's diary, stated that she was innocent. In her diary, the day that the overturned Zodiac was found, Stephanie wrote in her diary the word "Tragedy." Its simple statement proved that she was innocent.

His reasoning for this was that it was her diary, where all her private thoughts and secrets were written. If she had any part in the murder of Muff Graham, she would have written it in her diary.
15. Stephanie Sterns was found guilty of murder.

Answer: False

Three hours after closing arguments, the verdict came back. Stephanie Sterns was found not guilty of the murder of Muff Graham, the jury having believed she had no part whatsoever. Thanks to Bugliosi, Stephanie was set free.

But what happened to Mac Graham? Perhaps, one day, the sea will tell.


All information can be found in the book "And The Sea Will Tell" by Vincent Bugliosi.
Source: Author DakotaNorth

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