A young girl was discovered almost dead near the Bahamas in 1961. A cargo ship found the young girl floating in the sea. Her name was Terry Jo Duperrault and how she ended up floating in the Atlantic Ocean is shocking The journey that her father, Dr. Arthur Duperrault, a 41-year-old ophthalmologist from Green Bay and his 38-year-old wife Jean, had planned an epic family trip. But things did not end up as they planned.
The parents raised money for the big trip and with their three children – 14 year old Brian, 11-year-old Terry Jo and 7-year-old Renee – began chartering a Bluebelle boat starting from Florida’s Fort Lauderdale to explore the beautiful islands Bahama.
The captain of the ship was Julian Harvey, who brought his wife Mary Dene together and started their trip on November 8, 1961. Four days later, the trip was wonderful so far. Then, on the night of November 12, Terry Jo awoke from her brother’s screams. I woke up from the shouts of my brother who was screaming “Help, Dad, Help”. It was the sort of cry that you know something horrible is happening.
As it turned out, Harvey, who was a pilot of the Air Force with a turbulent past, decided that tonight would be the great night. After just 4 months of marriage, Harvey decided to murder his wife to collect the money from her life insurance. He planned to report it as an accident at sea. Harvey would throw Mary Dene’s body into the sea. But things didn’t go as Harvey had planned them. Dr. Duperrault saw what was happening. He tried to help, but then Harvey killed him.
The captain then realized that all members of the Duperrault family also had to be murdered. Terry Jo had gone early in her cabin and was the only one who was sleeping at that time.
Terry Jo woke up a few minutes later. Her mother and her brother were lying on a lake of blood. So she asked the captain what had happened. The captain pushed her to the lower deck and the girl returned to her room scared. But the water began to fill her cabin and so Terry Jo turned back to the deck.
Harvey had opened the ship’s flaps in order to sink it. He gave Terry Jo a rope attached to the boat to keep it, but it was sure that he wanted to kill her. Eventually, Terry Jo threw the rope. Harvey then dove into the sea to try to get to the boat, leaving the girl on the ship that was sinking. But Terry Jo unfastened a small cork float and began to sail away. Meanwhile, the Bluebelle soon disappeared under the waves. She stayed for 4 days in the Atlantic. Without water, no food. Soon the illusions began, but she continued to hope.
It was a Greek cargo ship, Captain Theo, passing through the Northwest Providence Channel that would be the savior of Terry Jo. Despite her fever, sunburn and severe dehydration, she was still alive. Meanwhile, Harvey found himself floating on Bluebelle 3 days earlier. He had Renee’s dead body with him and told them an incredible story of how a sudden storm had hit the ship, which led to a fire and then the ship sank. He claimed to have struggled to save the girl when he found her in the water.
Of course, Terry Jo had a different story to tell. And when Harvey discovered that the girl had survived and had been rescued, he knew he would soon be revealed. He closed a room in a hotel and then committed suicide.
Terry Jo concluded with her relatives and told them not to discuss the horrific and traumatic events that took place in November 1961. For 20 years, Terry Jo never said a word about what happened. It was not until the ’80s, which was opened to a few close friends for the whole experience. Soon she followed psychiatric treatment and ended up writing a book on her adventure entitled “Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean”. The book was finally published in May 2010, nearly 50 years after the event!