MP case out of Iceland

I found this five-part series in The Oregonian about Esther Gavin, a war bride of Icelandic origin who disappeared in 1952 or so. I found an article in the Icelandic press on the same case.

It’s a very sad story: At 18, Ragna Esther Sigurðardóttir married an American soldier she barely knew, and moved to Oregon, halfway around the world from home and hearth. They had two kids. Her husband, Larry Gavin, beat her badly on a regular basis and it may have been his beating her while she was pregnant that caused their daughter to suffer from mental disabilities that eventually lead to her being institutionalized in childhood. Eventually, Esther (as she was now called) got a divorce, but even though she had custody, her children were taken from her and put up for adoption and their names were changed. It wasn’t until quite recently that Esther’s Icelandic relations tracked them down, and the daughter turned out to have died in 1999.

Robert [Esther and Larry’s son] said his last memory of his mother is watching her cower as Larry held a knife over her. He grew up believing he had witnessed her murder.

I smell something familiar. I’ve read, and written, so many similar accounts on Charley the years.

Ragna Esther Sigurðardóttir Gavin has been missing for sixty years. If she’s alive she’d be 83 today.