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Murder on the High Seas: The True Story of the Joe Cool's Tragic Final Voyage Reviewed By Dr. Wesley Britton of Bookpleasures.com
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Dr. Wesley Britton

Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE

 
By Dr. Wesley Britton
Published on November 29, 2011
 



Author: Carol Soret Cope

Publisher: Berkley; First edition (March 1, 2011)

ISBN-10: 0425239772

ISBN-13: 978-0425239773 



Click here To Purchase Murder on the High Seas: The True Story of the Joe Cool's Tragic Final Voyage

Author: Carol Soret Cope

Publisher: Berkley; First edition (March 1, 2011)

ISBN-10: 0425239772

ISBN-13: 978-0425239773 

In September 2007, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter rescued Kirby Archer and Guillermo Zarabozo in a lifeboat off the coast of Cuba. Both men claimed they had chartered the boat, “The Joe Cool,” for a trip to Bimini before pirates came aboard and murdered the crew. In short order, the “Joe Cool” is discovered with no one aboard and an investigation begins. While the story would have many twists and turns to come, the pirate yarn was but one of the first of many lies the rescued murderers would spin to cover their pointless crime.

The crew of the “Joe Cool,” a luxury forty-seven-foot sport-fisher, included Captain Jake Branam, his wife Kelley, his brother Scott Gamble, and friend Sammy Kairy. As it happened, the relatives were part of a large, privileged, and quarrelsome family based in an exclusive section of Miami. Exploring the branches of the Branam tribe is where Carol Soret Cope begins her detailed report on the “Joe Cool” affair before diving into the court cases that followed, both involving the murders and then the fate of the orphaned young children of the Branams. It’s clear from the onset both Archer and Zarabozo are hiding the truth, and uncovering who did what and when was going to take considerable work by investigators and prosecutors. Was one of the killers a mastermind, the other an innocent dupe? How can you claim to be an agent for the CIA while also claiming you can make millions doing government work in Cuba? The outcome, not the slam-dunk some hoped for, isn’t the end of the story. After the killers are sentenced, another Branam brother is sued by family members for a lack of security on his boat,  and years are spent in custody suits that, for many, rubbed salt into very raw and open wounds.

 Not surprisingly, it’s the courtroom where attorney Cope spends much of her time. While Archer pleads out, it takes two trials to put Zarabozo behind bars for life. And still there are unanswered questions until the author interviews Archer in prison to hear the chilling, final revelations. Like her two previous books, In the Fast Lane: A True Story of Murder in Miami and Stranger Danger: How to Keep Your Child Safe, Cope’s meticulous and exhaustive research is what Murder on the High Seas is all about. The author interviews family members, attorneys on both sides of the bench, and the investigators who pieced together the courtroom presentations without a murder weapon, corpse, or clearly defined motive.

In short, the “Joe Cool” mystery was a sensational, headlining news story from start to finish, but this book is the first time the tragedy is told with all stones overturned and every nuance explained in straight-forward, unbiased chapters. If you’re into True Crime, this one should be a page-turner.          


Click here To Purchase Murder on the High Seas: The True Story of the Joe Cool's Tragic Final Voyage