Synopsis of Final Argument
Final Argument is an Inquiry Into the Torture and Murder of Mac and Muff Graham on Palmyra Island Perpetrated by Buck Walker and Stephanie Stearns.
Two sailors from San Diego, Mac and Muff Graham, were brutally murdered by Buck Walker and Stephanie Stearns on Palmyra Island. Muff’s death was particularly egregious in that she was horribly tortured before her death. Upon death her remains were chopped up and stuffed in a small aluminum container and buried on Palmyra.
After killing the Grahams and stealing their sailboat, Walker and Stearns returned to Hawaii to repair a plank in the hull that was damaged by bullets that were discharged from Muff’s derringer as she fought for her life with Stearns in the cabin of the Sea Wind.
On arrival in Hawaii the hull was repaired and the boat repainted. Before Stearns and Walker could depart for the South Seas they were discovered aboard the Sea Wind and arrested for theft of the boat.
They were tried in separate trials. Both were found guilty of theft and several lesser charges. Walker was returned to prison on parole violations and Stearns sent off to jail for several months.
Seven years later, Sharon Jordan and her husband, while beach combing on Palmyra, discovered the remains of Muff Graham. Upon discovery, warrants for murder were issued for both defendants.
On apprehension, their trials for murder in the first degree were scheduled. Walker, in a separate proceeding was tried first. After two weeks in trial, he was found guilty, the jury deliberating for less than two hours.
Stearns trial followed in February 1986. She was defended by Vincent Bugliosi, well known prosecutor of Charles Manson. He was assisted by Leonard Weinglass of Chicago Seven fame. In a daring and brilliant tour de force directed by Bugliosi, after several weeks of trial, Stearns was found not guilty, despite overwhelming evidence she was directly connected with the planning and execution of the Grahams.
The defense team was aided by Judge King who made several rulings which assisted Stearns. Another factor that played a major role in Stearns’ victory was the extraordinarily weak and confused prosecution directed by Elliot Enoik. Stearns, a prolific liar overwhelmed the jury with the onslaught of her lies. Prosecutor, Elliot Enoki, was completely out-gunned by the defense. (During summation he went so far as to apologize to the jury for his lack of preparedness.)
The decision of the jury was a shocking miscarriage of justice with blame aplenty to go around. All the dots were in evidence — they simply had to be connected. Apparently that was too much work for the somnambulant jury.
Final Argument is a tale of the sea, a derelict wooden ship and murder. It is a belated Final Argument made on behalf of the Grahams that sets the record straight.