Around 7:00 am, on Tuesday, May 9th., 1961, as the sun was climbing higher and higher in the clear blue skies over Nassau, twenty-four year old Alvin Table of Torrence, California, and his friend, twenty-one year old Billy Sees of Etowah, Arkansas, were probably regretting a few things. Probably many things.

For Alvin Table, he probably regretted ever meeting his wife, Barbara Fisher-Table, and going to the ends of the earth to impress her.

For Billy Sees, he probably regretted ever meeting the two of them, Alvin and Barbara. If it weren’t for them, he would probably still be back in Texas stealing cars.

Yes, Alvin and Billy, had many regrets that morning, because by 9:00 am, Tuesday May 9th, 1961, they would both be dead.

Americans Alvin Table and Billy Sees in 1961, would become indelibly etched in the long annals of Bahamian history, as the first white men to be hung in Nassau, since 1719!

She was a fast one, she was. Everyone said so. She had a way of being able to wrap young men around her little finger, and getting them to do whatever she wanted. Barbara Fisher was a Texan, if that means much. She was from San Antonio. Barbara had been born into a respectable, middle class family, but youth and hormones got the better of her.

She got married at 15, and divorced a few months later.

In 1960, at 17 years old, Barbara was looking for wild adventures, when she met Alvin Table, then a so-called, door to door encyclopaedia salesman. He was twenty-three. They had only known each other eight short weeks before getting married.

(The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday 25, June 1961)

Alvin and Barbara married on March 26, 1960 after running away across the Rio Grande to the Mexican Town, Nuevo Laredo.

Barbara’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher didn’t take to their new son-in-law one bit. Not even a tiny bit. It was during their brief time living in San Antonio, Texas, with Barbara’s parents that Alvin Table meets William Wayne (Billy Ray) Sees.

Sees said that he also sold encyclopaedias.

With a growing acrimonious relationship developing in the Fisher household, the newlyweds decided that Florida was the place for adventure and a honeymoon.

Alvin Table, and his new bride Barbara Table move to Florida. Billy Ray Sees goes along with them.

They all are seeking adventure and fortune.

The men talked about finding a desert island where all three could live like adventurers in the old days. Like Robinson Crusoe.

Along the way, from beginning to end, Alvin Table and Billy Sees had been writing bad checks to finance their new life of adventure in Florida.

Scenes of wealth and glamor greeted the trio in Florida. Stars shined in their eyes everywhere they looked. Alvin and Billy decide to buy a yacht which was up for sale. It was called the Honiara. Alvin and Billy write a bogus $3,000 check to pay for the boat.

The owner of yacht decided to make sure the check was good, before turning over the keys and ownership papers to Alvin and Billy.

The check was, of course, bogus.

Writing bad checks was a serious offence, the owner alerts the police. Alvin and Billy are on the run for writing bad checks in two other States already. Florida would now make it three.

Soon, the men come up with a brilliant idea.

Why not just steal a boat outright, instead of wasting time forging checks to illegally obtain a boat.

On Sunday morning April 17, 1960, the trio stole a 40 foot Star.

Barbara would later claim she knew nothing of the bad checks or the theft. She just thought her new husband of just over a month, with no job or profession, was secretly rich.

Alvin, Billy and Barbara stock up on supplies, bought with more bad checks, and set sail for the life of Robinson Crusoe.

Two days later on the Tuesday April 19, 1960, they drifted against rocks and got stuck on Elbow Cay. Neither Table or Sees knew how to steer the boat in reverse, so they left it, and went on Elbow Cay to begin their passionate adventures. But they soon found the Cay to be nothing but rock, beach, sand and bushes. Worse still, they were stuck there.

While on Elbow Cay, a few secrets are revealed. Alvin Table was already married with two children. He left his family in Torrence, California. His marriage to Barbara was bigamy.

For Billy Sees, he admitted running away from a three year sentence in a federal reformatory for stealing cars and moving them across state lines. He was on parole when he left Texas, without permission.

The trio sat alone, moving between the distressed wrecked boat they had stolen and the rocky earth of Elbow Cay.

Several days passed without another boat in sight. Food, water and patience were running low.

Piracy and Murder

On Saturday evening on April 23, 1960, a $30,000 cruiser, a charter fishing boat, was sailing smoothly through the seas, near Elbow Cay. The fishing charter boat carried six men. Four of the men were businessmen from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The other two were the first mate, Kent Hokanson, and the boat captain, Angus Boatwright.

Sunday morning…

(The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday 25, June 1961)

Knowing how treacherous the jagged reefs were, in the shallow waters near the cay, Boatwright exclaimed to Billy Sees, that it was too dangerous to take his boat in any closer to help them.

(The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday 25, June 1961)

Captain Boatwright says to Billy, he would be happy to call the Coastguard, who could rescue the stranded trio, without much difficulty.

Billy Sees knows that by this time, news of the stolen boat, and all the bad checks, would have reached the police in Florida. Police in Texas were looking for them as well for checks they had written there and for him leaving the state while on parole. He couldn’t risk waiting around for the authorities to arrive. Billy didn’t want to go back to jail.

(The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday 25, June 1961)

Billy pulls a gun on the Captain to reinforce his demand for the boat. Captain Boatwright sensing that Billy was about to do some harm on the fishing boat, tried to grab his shark rifle. Billy Sees aims his gun. He shoots the Captain. Billy Sees fires shots into the chest and head Captain Boatwright.

(The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday 25, June 1961)

Table and Sees steal the charter fishing boat, The Muriel III. The duo leave the others ( four businessmen and the first mate, including Barbara Table (who refuses to go with her husband) and the bloody body of murdered Captain Boatwright, on Elbow Cay.

Table and Sees are now murderers and pirates.

(Chicago Tribune Wednesday 10 May 1961)

The trial lasted three days and deliberations took 86minutes.

The verdict: GUILTY!

Both Governor Robert Stapleton, and the Privy Council of Britain refused clemency for the condemned duo.

(Chicago Tribune Wednesday 10 May 1961)

Both men were buried in Nassau, as no requests for the bodies were made by anyone.

What happened to Barbara?

Barbara was sent back to the United States where she spent nine days in the Dade County jail. Authorities came to the conclusion that as she said she knew nothing about what her husband, and Billy Sees were up to, that she was innocent. The FBI believed her.

Before Alvin Table and Billy Sees were hanged in Nassau in May 1961, Barbara was married again.