Deceit, Disappearance & Death came about because one of the author’s, Pamela, always wondered what happened to the Calverts and why Dennis Gerwing took his own life. The book would not have happened were it not for Pamela’s husband, Peter’s friendship with Dennis’ brother Fred. And, Peter’s habit of saving newspaper articles about people he knew. The newspaper articles were written by friends, reporters, Tim Donnally and Daniel Brownstein. Tim & Daniel would stop by the Ovens house regularly with questions about the case.
Charlie Ryan and Pamela have known each other for many years. They collaborated on the Charles Fraser book and Charlie was curious about the case. He did not know the players, but Pamela did. They began writing chapters individually and each time she shared hers with Charlie he would re-write it. They liked the way he was writing and decided to allow the book to be in his voice. It was an interesting journey.
John and Liz Calvert were living the dream. Liz was an attorney in Savannah and John was running the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. The dream only lasted a few years before the couple was last seen the evening of March 3, 2008, following a meeting with their accountant, Dennis Gerwing.
Dennis Gerwing and John Calvert were good friends, they often dined together, and drank only the most expensive pinot noir. Gerwing had been involved with many businesses on the island for over 20 years. His nature photographs were regularly published in National Geographic Magazine. He was now a partner with Mark King, who ran the Club Group in Sea Pines, a business that managed resorts, golf courses and businesses. Dennis was a well-liked person. He was a wine expert and kind man. Peter and Pamela took Dennis and friends sailing quite a lot. He always invited them to join his party for dinner after a sail. When the mystery of the Calvert disappearance became general knowledge most people who thought they knew Dennis realized they had not known his darker side…escorting prostitutes, traveling nationally and internationally to gamble, doing business with a Russian stripper who performed on the island and eventually partnering with her and her husband to export used vehicles to Kazakhstan for sale there. Later they learned that Dennis may have owned part of the strip club…if that were true, perhaps someone was sending money inside the cars to Kazakhstan. March 11, 2008, Dennis was found dead in a Club Group villa in Sea Pines, his throat cut, the femoral artery of his upper right leg slashed and his arms cut in various places. He was 54 years old.
About the Authors
Charlie Ryan is a journalist who has more than 50 years reporting and public relations experience. He interviewed US presidents, senators, governors and countless newsmakers. This is Ryan’s 5th book. He lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife Becky and their Maltese Amalfi.
Pamela Martin Ovens is a voice-over artist and publisher who worked in broadcasting as an announcer and writer at WLW Radio in Cincinnati. She was on-air announcer and producer for WCET-TV. She also owned and operated an historic schooner on Hilton Head Island where she lives with her husband Peter and their cats Rosencrantz & Guildenstern. This is Ryan and Martin Ovens third collaboration.