Cruising the Past and Cruise Ship History. Murder At Sea Aboard A Carnival Cruise To Mexico and another aboard Union Castle Lines in the 1947 – Where are re-runs of The Love Boat when you need them?
Murders aboard cruise ships and liners are nothing new. This one happened last week on Carnival and another one took place aboard a Union Castle decades ago.
Where are re-runs of The Love Boat when you most need them? Cruise travelers these days have never had it so difficult, what with the threat of possible Norovirus and Swine Flu outbreaks, not to mention the occasional occurrence of people mysteriously falling overboard. The latest news, that a man has stabbed his wife to death this week while onboard the Carnival ship Elation, doesn’t threaten the whole ship but it does make for one creepy cruise.
After sailing away from San Diego for a 5-night cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, ship authorities were called to the couple’s cabin to investigate a domestic disturbance. After finding the wife already deceased, the ship announced “gray star”—supposedly crew code for a murder onboard—and placed the woman’s body in the ship’s morgue and her husband in the brig, or ship’s prison.
The murder happened on the final day of the cruise, which makes us sad that the husband didn’t find comfort in the wise words of someone like Love Boat bartender Isaac, who always managed to say the right things to make couples iron out their differences and disembark happier than ever. Perhaps the cruise lines put the advice-dispensing bartenders on the newer ships?
This murder happened decades ago:
Actress Gay Gibson, the victim, steward James Camb, the killer and the “death ship” Durban Castle. A first class passage from South Africa that turned from lust to murder aboard a cruise ship of the past.
Another famous murder aboard a cruise ship: Eileen Gay Gibson – Passenger Murdered Aboard Ship – Union-Castle Durban Castle October 18, 1947
London, England Actress Eileen ‘Gay’ Gibson, 21 was murdered aboard the Union-Castle’s Durban Castle by convicted ship’s steward, James Camb, 31, who then shoved Miss Gibson out the porthole of her first-class cabin, her body never found.
Ninety miles off the coast of Portuguese Guinea, as the ship was sailing from South Africa to England, the young actress was pushed through a porthole into the ocean after being sexually assaulted by a steward fellow ship mates called Don Jimmy, a womanizer who bragged he nailed a female passengers everyday of every cruise.
Some say the trysts were not always with willing participants, as several women testified at his murder trial they had been raped by Camb while aboard the ship on various voyages.
Camb never denied pushing Gibson through the porthole into the sea. Though he did say that while having sex with her she died and it was her dead body that was shoved through the tiny porthole, not a live actress.
After four days of hearing the evidence, 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury found the steward guilty of murder. He was sentenced to be hanged for the crime, but due to a temporary legal loophole, his sentence was commuted to life in prison.