The Kayak Murder and “An American Tragedy”


Angelika Graswald, an immigrant from Latvia, has been accused of killing her fiancé while on a kayak outing on the Hudson River in 2015. (See links to New York Times articles about the case below.)

Ms. Graswald has admitted to removing the drain plug of the kayak that belonged to her fiancé, Vincent Viafore, and also tampering with his paddle. Mr. Viafore drowned on April 19, 2015 when his kayak capsized in rough water on the Hudson River.

There are eerie parallels — as my wife, Janet James, has pointed out – between this case and the murder that provided the factual basis for Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy. An American Tragedy was based on the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette on a lake in the Adirondacks in 1906.

—   Roger W. Smith

        June 22, 2016





1 thought on “The Kayak Murder and “An American Tragedy”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s