That’s the wind dancer that’s my uncle’s boat you can see on the bow they used to say wind dancer the boat is just trashed something really bad happened there I am ezra north and Don North is my uncle Don decided that he was going to go do what everyone dreams to do he sailed the entire Caribbean and found.
Absolute paradise it is breathtaking we understand why Don.
Loved it so much there my uncle lived on this boat for 22 years this was his life Don just wanted to live his life in nature he was a.
Beautiful person Don knew that bad things did happen that there are a pirate he did have a gun he bought a Taser just in case something did happen in mid January we started asking each other around the family have you heard from Don and all of us said no we sent an email.
To him I said Don hey what’s up buddy people were looking for you where are you but you know Don didn’t write back It was as if he had sailed into a black hole.
Thinking I don’t think this looks very good time was of the essence we knew there was one person who could make things happen and that was Don winner I can’t walk away.
From something like this if I can get involved.
In help I’m done there’s a lot of moving pieces in this thing different physical locations people using aliases there’s all kinds of opportunities for bad things to happen oh my god I gave him this hat this isn’t good this was Dawn’s worst nightmare our.
Friend gand was missing something terribly evil penetrated this this utopia dark side of paradise tonight’s 48 hours mystery the Mystery Continues in 90 seconds my uncle was absolute free spirit love people loved animals love plants he was just a lover of life when dawn north and his sailboat the wind dancer disappeared in.
The waters off Panama in January 2011 his nephew Ezra was sick with worry it’s hard to work it’s hard to eat it’s hard to sleep you’re thousands of miles away from someone you love and you’ve got a million scenarios playing out Ezra an engineer for an oil company.
Was determined to enroll the.
Mystery of what had become of.
His uncle friends recommended the one American in Panama who might be able to find Don North all they said to me was called Don winner this man can help you Don winner is a former intelligence officer with the US Air Force and an investigative journalist who runs a website for expats he’s also a CBS News consultant when I get involved in something like this I drop.
All the other stuff and I go focus on the I’m the most important thing.
What is it about you and who you are that.
Makes you want to get involved why not what wouldn’t you if you knew that there was a family member that was asking.
For help wouldn’t you drop what you were doing to go help that guy I mean it’s just the right thing to do winner told Ezra that he needed to file a missing-persons report this should do it I.
Love you keep in touch okay Ezra abruptly said goodbye to his wife in Houston Texas and headed for Panama what was it like for you to arrive here in Panama City that first time overwhelming Ezra and winner hit the ground running and likes for the ending Don North’s come on by support they were searching for any information about Don north for Ezra being in the Caribbean.
Brought back memories of happier times with his uncle.
Darn my uncle was like one of my best friends he taught me how to scuba dive he taught me out of hunt is everything that you want from an uncle the life he lived and what a life it was back in the 1990s Don North sold his stateside gardening business bought a.
Boat and set sail cruising from Florida to Curacao to Colombia kicking back and just enjoying life every day of his life he did what he wanted to do and he was a beautiful person don.
Was a member of a tight-knit Cruiser community people who choose to live their lives on the water tell me about the crazy lifestyle for a lot of people who.
Live their life on a couch with a remote in their hand it is extraordinary what you do I think we cruisers enjoy the the freedom of being out there and being.
Self-sufficient Glen Tuttle and his wife Eddie are friends of Don North both are retired FBI agents who have been cruising the Caribbean for years you can literally catch dinner under the boat you can snorkel and spear fish and catch lobsters and it’s it’s a paradise he loved life I know he loved me we had a lot of fun together Becky Reynolds Don’s.
Former girlfriend recalls the first time she set eyes on Don I just remember just seeing the yellow dinghy with a pink motor.
And I slept oh my god who’s this character and he just struck me as just a very kind of funny guy and interesting character and we exchanged numbers becky and dawn wound up living together for five years they’re sailing days were idyllic even though Don didn’t actually do much sailing in the five years that I have known Don North we sailed probably seven times wait a minute wait a minute he lived on his boat it sits on the water he liked to be on his boat.
But that was his home he liked his boat he liked his radio he liked his dog Kuna he liked.
His plants that was done Captain Jack Van Hollen and Dennis Morris were fellow cruisers who knew Don well Oh Don was a classic his claim to.
Fame was he never went anywhere fast and if there was any wind he wouldn’t go after cruising the Caribbean for 20 years Don North finally found his little piece of paradise and he dropped anchor here in the beautiful San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama Don spent most of his time on the island of chichi man where he had a special bond with the Kuna Indians tell me.
About your uncle’s relationship with the indigenous people here the Kuna he he loved them he respected him he helped them garden he helped them dig a water well and what they think of your uncle they loved him but by mid January 2011 no one not the kunas or any of.
Don’s friends had seen or heard from him.
In weeks December 20th 2010.
Hola this will be the last email for a while as my phone modem broke in one of Don NORs last emails to his nephew he told of a series of terrible storms ravaging the San Blas Islands dawn.
Out rescuing this man Xavier Martine whose boat had sunk after hitting a reef as Ezra.
Up Dawn’s trail all they had to go on was a handful of clues when we started looking for him we were told by other cruisers that yeah he’s sailing to Colombia he’s sailing with captain Martine supposedly Don was making the five-day trip to Cartagena to renew his visa and.
Took along Xavier Martine for company when he was missing at first I thought no Donald’s show up I just kept thinking down I’ll show up one of the last times I spoke to him he said please don’t forget me and I I said Don how could I ever forget you so but then came the worst news imaginable a man’s body.
Was discovered floating near the San Blas Islands with dawn North missing for more than three weeks and a body discovered floating off the Caribbean coast of Panama Dawn’s former girlfriend Becky Reynolds got a horrible feeling I called Ezra and he.
Just said pray as hard as you can and that scared me that if their concern was like that it just doesn’t happen fortunately the body was not Don North but friends and family remained deeply worried I felt sick at that point I realized that there’s something very wrong going on and something bad must have happened the bullet-ridden body was identified as a frenchman jean-pierre bou hard captain of a large catamaran he’d been shot in the head tied to an anchor and thrown overboard Don’s friend Glenn.
Tuttle we knew immediately it was more than a coincidence that this Frenchman had been found murdered and our friend Don North was missing but.
What was the connection working his sources winter learned that the dead Frenchman was last seen with Xavier Martine the.
Same man Don North was with when he sets sail for Colombia it instantly became alright everybody.
Find Xavier Martine winner was convinced Xavier Martine would lead them to Don North what was going through.
My mind was we got business to do their first stop the headquarters of the national police force we went to the.
Office of the chief of operations and and I said as we’re down in his office and said here’s a deal this is what happened this is what.
We think is going on and we want to get the ball rolling.
And when winner talked the Panamanian police listened just months earlier he had helped them catch accused serial killer Wild Bill Hobart an American who preyed on retired expats how many murder cases have you solved here in Panama for and that’s in a year here now.
Don’t mess with Don winner don’t kill anybody winner convinced Panamanian authorities to form a special task force to look for Don North they also enlisted the FBI.
Which has agents stationed in Panama City so because of all that then the the investigation went from from zero to a hundred percent literally.
In a matter of two or three hours ezra and winner joined the task force.
As it began the hunt for Javier Martine the biggest fear was that he might split and be gone and be on the run for years before he.
Finally turns up I consider him as a pirate a pirate because.
He was committing crimes during his travelers a pirate who became the focus of a manhunt overseen by this man Gustavo Perez national director of police at the time he leads thousands of officers like these commandos.