Thursday, April 11, 2013

All About Everything - Week Of April 10, 2013

"Tere Jo Duperrault became the most famous 11-year-old in the world in 1961, when she was rescued from the waters off Florida after almost four days without food or water. 

Almost 50 years later, the girl dubbed the "sea waif" by Life magazine, now Tere Duperrault Fassbender, is recounting the chilling story of her family's murder and her survival in a new book, "Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean."

"Everybody was told not to speak to me about it and so I never was able to talk about it," Fassbender said on NBC's "Today" show this morning. "It was always in my mind."

Fassbender is breaking her silence about the tragedy of the Bluebelle, the sailboat her family rented in November 1961. While enjoying a family vacation with her parents, brother and sister, the ship's captain, Julian Harvey, a pilot and war hero, murdered his wife and all of Fassbender's family. She awoke to find her family dead in pools of blood and Harvey pulling the plugs on the boat, preparing it to sink.

"I think he probably thought I would go down with the ship," she told NBC's Matt Lauer.

Instead, Fassbender now says she jumped onto a two-and-a-half-by-five-foot cork float, with the captain on her trail."

(Credit: AOL News/Michelle Ruiz)

* * * * *

I'm fascinated by survivor stories, and Terry Jo's is pretty epic. It's awful that her family was murdered, but it's incredible that she not only survived the massacre, but that she also survived three days on a tiny raft before being rescued, and was able to bring the truth to light.

In 2010, Tere (she changed the spelling of her name later in life) co-wrote a book about her ordeal. I read it and very much enjoyed it. It was scary, really, but very interesting. When she described having to sit in/on that tiny float for days, in which there was really only one position she could sit in because it was so small and she didn't want her legs to be in the water (sharks were nigh), and how every time she'd nod off for a bit of rest, she'd jerk awake, afraid of falling off the little float... wow. It makes me not want to complain about anything ever again.

If you like books about true crime, or books about inspirational people, Alone: Orphaned On The Ocean is the name of the book. I'd recommend it.

No comments: