Archive - September 11, 2023

PCV Murder in Tonga

PCV Murder in Tonga

The Peace Corps Volunteer, Dennis Priven, who murdered PCV Deborah Gardner in Tonga in 1976, and never was charged for her death, has died. The Tonga RPCV community found out that Priven died on April 1, 2023. Priven was ruled not guilty in the Tonga judicial system, with national Peace Corps intervention, based on an insanity defense. He returned to the U.S. where he was briefly hospitalized but checked himself out. He eventually got a government job and reportedly retired on a government pension. The story was retold in Philip Weiss’s 2005 nonfiction book, American Taboo and fictionalized in Jan-Worth (Tonga 1976-78) novel Night Blind published in 2006.       Recently a 1970s Tonga RPCV Tom Riddle found this obituary: Dennis Priven, age 70, of Brooklyn, New York passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2023. He was born in Brooklyn on May 28, 1952 to Morris and Dorothy Priven. He . . .

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