Murder on the High Seas: What Happened to the Kamerers? Part II

Dated: May 27 2022

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Lies and Cover-Ups

Yourell knew that something was not right with the way the investigation was proceeding.  The boat was finally brought to Staniel Cay where she was tied up to a public dock without anyone posting guard.  Curious visitors climbed aboard the vessel to gawk at the blood and check out the cabin. The body was no longer in the dinghy.   When Yourell asked about the body, he was told, “It’s gone” without further explanation.

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Yourell was surprised by this development as he knew he had seen a body.  He even had photos of the body hanging off the dinghy.  In addition, a pilot who was flying over the island on his way to Miami also said he saw a body on the dinghy.  Yourell stated that he saw a photo taken by the plane the Defense Department had sent over the island in response to Yourell’s call about the abandoned boat. The photo clearly showed a body on the dinghy.

Conflicting Reports 

A few days after the discovery of the Kalia, a Bahamian Assistant Police Commissioner contradicted the other officials when he admitted that the two pilots did see a body in the dinghy but the body was gone when they towed the boat back to Staniel Cay. 

The Kalia was moved to Nassau where the US Embassy Vice-Consul said that the only evidence of violence were the bloodstains.

In an interview with the Sun Sentenial, Yourell stated that the attitude of law enforcement was “no body, no crime.” Yourell stated that the State Department tried to convince him that, even if he did see a body, it was not Bill Kamerer because Kamerer had a beard and the body he saw was clean shaven.  However, a letter from Patti that was written a week before their death, said that Bill had shaved his beard.

 Looking back on this incident, it becomes clear that something was not right.  An article in the Sun Sentinel published in 1993 reports when asked about Bill and Patti Kamerer and the Kalia III the response from the Bahamian General Consul in Miami, they received this response, “You mean the alleged occurrence. There is no supporting evidence to show a crime took place other than a disappearance."

This case, which received national attention at the time, is now officially unsolved.  The US State Department was contacted by Yourell who was trying hard to find answers.  According to Yourell, the US Government didn’t want to get involved.  They were afraid to do anything that might disturb their relationship with the Bahamas.

More Lies 

The Bahamian constable who said he couldn’t get the body because he didn’t have a body bag was not telling the truth. A Bahamian newspaper reported that the coroner was not available to go with the officials to the Kalia, so he gave the officers a body bag.

Other things just weren’t adding up: Alice Garrison, who visited the Kamerers shortly before their murder, stated that they kept a loaded deer rifle in a locker near their sleeping berth, but the hunting rifle was gone.  The flare gun was gone, and the mic cord was ripped out of the radio which was damaged.  The money that the couple kept in the cabin was gone as well.  

When Yourell returned to the United States, he was on a mission to find out what happened to the Kamerers.  He gave interviews and tried to get people in Washington interested in the case, but he was stonewalled.

Today, the case remains unsolved which is not fair to the Kamerer’s family.  No on seems to care what happened to this couple.  Were they killed by pirates?

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Ellie and Bob Bunting

Ellie has returned to real estate sales after spending the last 40 years teaching English at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers She has teamed up with her husband, Bob, who has been a....

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