Today brought a probable end to the saga of Kirby Archer as he was sentenced to five life terms for murders committed aboard the "Joe Cool," a chartered fishing boat. Tamara Lush dug into his dark pass earlier this year for the Broward New Times and uncovered a life fraught with chilling acts and legal trouble.
During their divorce his first wife accused Archer of having a tryst with a high school boy and fathering a child with his niece. Archer denied both, but indeed he is listed as the father on his niece's child's birth certificate. He was also under investigation for several child-sex-abuse allegations. Earlier in his life, he was dishonorably discharged from the Army for going AWOL. And months before he committed the murders, he stole $92,000 in cash from a WalMart where he worked.
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Of course, his worse crime was committed in September 2007 when Archer and a friend, teenaged Guillermo Zarabozo, boarded the Joe Cool and murdered the crew out at sea (Zarabozo is awaiting retrial on murder charges). Investigators believe that Archer's plan all along was to get to Cuba where he would be free from the threat of extradition for his sex-abuse and theft charges. In the end, his desperation landed him in jail for the rest of his life.