Killing Mapepe: Sex and Death in Cold War Vieques

Katherine T. McCaffrey and Bonnie Donohue explore the killing of an elderly civilian by U.S. servicemen on leave in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico in the 1950s, the subsequent general courts-martial of two marines who were charged with his killing, and the men’s acquittal.

Images Link

All portraits of witnesses and participants are 13” x 19” archival digital prints.

The first group consists of images of the Puerto Rican marines who were present the night of Mapepe’s death:

001_Domingo Barriera-Vasquez

002_Ramon Montalvo-Custodia

003_Aristides Rodriguez_Perez

The second group consists of images of the white North American marines who were present the night of Mapepe’s death:

004_Thomas_Westenberger

005_Stanley_Bunker

006_Robert Nesbitt Clark Jr.

007_Merl F Bennett

008_Homer-Chinn

009_Edward G. Whitbeck

010_Harley_Nosler

This is an image of Julian Felipe Francis, aka Mapepe, suspended between life and death at midnight on April 6, 1953. This image is 30” x 40”:

011_Mapepe (Julian Felipe Francis)

Image courtesy of interviewee

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