Lost, famished, scared, and drifting alone
in the open sea for almost 4 days on a tiny raft. And all that when she was just 11 years
old. That’s the unbelievable but true story of Terry Jo Duperrault, and you’ll be absolutely
shocked when you hear all of it. The story begins like your typical American
dream. It’s 1961, and Dr. Arthur Duperrault, a prominent optometrist from Green Bay, Wisconsin,
decided to take his family of five on a long-awaited vacation to the Bahamas. For this, he took
a luxury yacht from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to make the trip all the more exciting. Apart
from Dr. Duperrault’s wife and their 3 kids, there were his old friend Julian Harvey and
his young wife. Dr. Duperrault took Harvey along as his skipper because of his past as
a Marine and World War II vet. His experience at the sails and expertise in navigation gave
everyone confidence that the voyage would go marvelously. And the trip was going just as you could imagine:
sailing across the sunny seas, swimming in the ocean, bathing in the sun. Five days of
maritime paradise. Kids laughing, adults smiling, everyone was happy… or so it seemed. The
events that followed are fit to make your hair stand on end. Even now, more than fifty
years later, it’s hard for Terry Jo to speak of what happened on the fifth night, and you
really can’t blame her… The then 11-year-old girl was awakened by
a commotion from above her cabin. She heard stomping on the deck and recognized the voices.
Alarmed by the uproar, Terry Jo went outside her cabin and onto the deck only to see Julian
Harvey quickly walking towards her. Still uncomprehending, Terry Jo asked him
what was happening, but his only reply was an order to get back below the deck. Frightened
and shivering, Terry Jo complied, lay back into her bunk, and waited. All that followed
was stark silence. It was only when her cabin started filling with water that she dared
leave it again and take another look at what was going on. It turned out that Harvey had opened up the
yacht’s sea valves to sink it with everyone on board. There wouldn’t be any radio calls
for help or a joint effort to keep the ship from sinking – crazed Harvey had taken care
of that possibility. He and little Terry Jo were the only ones still alive… Seeing that she’d shown up on deck again,
the man approached her and gave her a rope tied to a dinghy. He told her to hold it,
and that she did. But when he left her for a brief second, what the girl did next would
end up saving her life in that moment: she let go of the rope, and the dinghy started
floating away from the yacht. Harvey panicked and dove down into the ocean
to catch up with the dinghy. Terry Jo, however, managed to keep her wits about her and remembered
there was a small cork lifeboat on the yacht as well. She untied it, threw it into the
water on the other side of the yacht so that Harvey couldn’t see her immediately, and
escaped the horrible scene. But the 11-year-old girl still had more surviving
to do. For the next 3½ days, she floated aimlessly on the little cork raft that was
becoming flimsier and more deteriorated with each passing day. The nights were freezing,
yet the scorching sun beat down on her during the day. How the little girl managed to hang
on to dear life is still beyond comprehension. But she was weak, and her strength was fading. That was how a Greek freighter called Captain
Theo found the little girl, and the ship’s crew just couldn’t believe their eyes when
they spotted her. In the tiny white lifeboat, a small, frail body sat all wet and completely
exhausted. When the crew took her on board, they saw she was severely dehydrated, sunburnt,
and fevered. The yacht the family had taken, which was called Bluebelle, was nowhere to
be seen; neither was Julian Harvey’s dinghy. They later found out Terry Jo had been stranded
for 84 grueling hours in her little escape vessel with no food, water, or shelter. It
was a miracle that she managed to survive this ordeal as well. When she came back to the mainland, she was
immediately rushed to the hospital. Soon enough, the photo Captain Theo’s crew had taken
of the little survivor before pulling her up onboard as well as the story behind the
whole ordeal made headlines across the world. So what had happened on board the Bluebelle
and how did a peaceful family vacation go so terribly wrong? As it turned out, the whole thing started
with Julian Harvey wanting to collect a $20,000 life insurance policy he’d drawn for his
wife of just four months. It struck him as very convenient that she should drown in the
ocean in an “accident.” It was later discovered that he’d been married five more times before
that, being the sole survivor of a car crash with one of his wives and her mother, and
had lost two sea vessels under suspicious circumstances. All these resulted in him collecting
sizeable amounts of money for the losses. So, the plot Harvey conspired was rather simple:
to fake an accident for his wife under the cover of night while everyone else on board
was asleep. In the morning, he’d tell them that she simply fell overboard and he couldn’t
save her. His plan, however, was thwarted when the Duperraults heard the commotion.
That’s when Harvey decided to get rid of any witnesses on board, and sink the boat
to conceal the evidence. He was probably getting ready to take care
of the last witness when he handed little Terry Jo that rope. Still, others believe
that he’d planned to let the girl escape because somewhere deep inside himself, he
wanted to get caught. Whatever the case, Terry Jo Duperrault escaped the man, which would
bring him to his ultimate demise. His dinghy had been found 3 days earlier than
Terry Jo’s raft. Another freighter, the Gulf Lion, picked Harvey up and gave him to
the US Coast Guard. He told the investigators that the Bluebelle’s masts had been broken
by strong winds in the open sea. As they fell, they tore through the yacht’s hull and made
a hole in a gas tank, which started a fire. According to Harvey, he was the only one left
alive. No one suspected him of committing any crimes yet. After a few days, however, he heard the news
of Terry Jo’s miraculous rescue. That’s when he knew there was no real escape for
him, and he’d be brought to justice for what he’d done. He decided he wouldn’t
let them get him alive, so he checked into a motel room and ended it there. That all happened in 1961, but no one knew
the whole story from the little survivor’s point of view for 20 long years. Terry Jo
didn’t want to speak about her incredibly traumatic experience to anyone. She needed
time to heal her wounds. In the 1980s, she finally found the strength
to open up a bit and discuss the tragic events on the Bluebelle with a few of her close friends.
Eventually, they convinced her to seek some professional help and support as well. Terry
Jo, by then a young woman already, took their advice and decided it was time to do something
about her past. Unsurprisingly, it was still haunting her. She did get the right care and,
at long last, found some relief from what she’d survived all those years prior. And the peak of her recovery was a book she
wrote with the help of psychologist Dr. Richard Logan called Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean.
It was published in 2010, almost 50 years after the events it describes, but it still
chills the souls of everyone who reads it. Terry Jo now goes by Tere Jo Duperrault-Fassbender,
and her book is signed as such. She confesses that writing it was the final step of her
healing process. In one interview, she said that she hoped her book would also help other
people with traumatic experiences overcome their tragedies and live on. It takes real strength of character to not
only survive such a nightmare at just 11 years old but to also talk publicly about such personal
events in your own life. Tere Jo is living proof that nothing can overcome the human
will to survive and keep moving forward! Do you know of any incredible stories of survival
and rescue? Share them in the comments below! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go anywhere just
yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to check out. All you have to do is pick the
left or right video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

A Heart-Breaking Story of a Girl Found Alone in the Ocean
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100 thoughts on “A Heart-Breaking Story of a Girl Found Alone in the Ocean

  • May 28, 2019 at 6:42 pm
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    Hey there, BrightSiders! What was the most critical situation you’ve ever been in?

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 1:42 am
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    No water?
    YOUR LITERALLY IN A BOAT IN THE WATER

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 5:52 am
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    Producer : how many time do you want to use this voice actor

    Bright side : yes

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 10:18 am
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    Us humans : explored space
    Us humans : cant explore the whole sea

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 10:48 am
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    I nearly drowned in a rip i know your supposed to go limp and float but i was drugged under i screamed to my brother to help but he didn't want to die to I'm happy to be alive

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 1:59 pm
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    Subhanallah for terry Jo’s survival with 84 hours without food 🥘 and water 💧at the age of 11

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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    i lost mt ipad

    Reply
  • July 7, 2019 at 4:31 pm
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    What did he do

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 1:42 am
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    Omg ONLY 11 no way

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 3:04 am
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    reminds me of the life of pi

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm
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    i have 5 other siblings it sucks how many siblings do u have and yes I'm the oldest

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 2:01 pm
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    My sis was born in 2008

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 2:01 pm
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    🤪🤪🤪

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm
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    I feel bad for that girls

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 5:39 pm
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    I’m the 1000th comment

    Reply
  • July 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm
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    So sosaside

    Reply
  • July 9, 2019 at 3:58 am
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    My name is Theo you see it says Émile that is my dads name

    Reply
  • July 9, 2019 at 11:53 am
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    😭

    Reply
  • July 9, 2019 at 12:49 pm
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    My channel is older than urs check it out Bright Side

    Reply
  • July 10, 2019 at 12:28 am
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    I feel so bad for her. I can’t believe someone would do that. That’s so selfish. 💧😢😤😭😱😥😓😶😵

    Reply
  • July 10, 2019 at 5:08 am
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    when i heard about the titanic i was so scared of going on boats, and now that i have heard this story i am petrified of boats! 😱

    Reply
  • July 10, 2019 at 6:13 am
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    U stole the music in the video from a horror game

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 4:09 am
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    i know CPR

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 3:31 pm
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    this the number of peple happy😊
    👇

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:45 pm
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    I trained my self to not eat for a day ;-;

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 2:08 am
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    What happened to the siblings?

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 4:12 am
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    Captain Theo is a very kind man.
    c:
    One like= One compliment for Captain Theo.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 7:19 am
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    What a selfish man, what a kind man
    Edit: but really her days are numbered

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 2:25 pm
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    I still can't believe that that man would do that! It's so terrible, he's so evil!!!!

    Reply
  • July 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm
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    Bruh the girl in the thumbnail looked like my friend lol

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 12:50 am
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    okay i think it was a lie when he said "no water" because she is surrounded in water

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 6:28 am
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    Zainab

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 6:28 am
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    Zainab Ali has more likes than bright side!

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm
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    such an evil evil man

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 9:50 pm
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    For the bright side of YouTube this isn't very bright

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 12:52 am
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    4 of my phobias. scary.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 4:18 am
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    Wow

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 7:23 am
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    I hate Julian Harvey SO EVIL.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 8:07 am
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    Wow

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 9:34 am
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    Is she still alive but I was born in 2010 and I’m only 8 this is like confusing

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    And I’m scared to be alone for over 4 hours…

    Reply
  • July 14, 2019 at 7:39 pm
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    tell us your point of view on the Madeline mcann case!

    Reply
  • July 15, 2019 at 4:26 am
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    I’m twelve

    Reply
  • July 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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    This is so sad..
    Poor kid.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 2:06 am
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    Captain Theo bless your soul🙏🏾

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 8:52 am
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    The most critical situation I've been in is looking at brightsides subscribers and being so shocked

    Reply
  • July 18, 2019 at 1:20 am
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    This story is so different than what actually happened…

    Reply
  • July 18, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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    I love these video but are they real?

    Reply
  • July 19, 2019 at 7:38 am
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    What if the girl got her period on the boat for her first time
    Poor girl

    Reply
  • July 19, 2019 at 5:54 pm
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    I was born in 2010

    Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 4:10 am
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    GREEN BAY WISCONSIN?! THATS WHERE I LIVE! XD GO PACKERS!

    Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 10:51 am
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    Scary

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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    Her age at the time, 11 (almost 12 tho) and I cannot imagine knowing what to do in this situation, she’s so smart!

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 1:57 am
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    This isn’t very bright…

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 2:49 am
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    PTSD??

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 3:27 am
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    Why is this channel called bright side and their telling a sad story?

    Reply
  • July 24, 2019 at 1:11 am
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    OMG!!! JUST TOO MERCH!!! TOO MERCH!!!!

    Reply
  • July 24, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    WAIT HOLD UP. LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT-HE KILLED HER FAMILY?!

    Reply
  • July 24, 2019 at 11:54 am
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    How about her food

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 4:56 pm
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    I live in Wisconsin!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 1:44 pm
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    It is very sad but incredible about how the girl survived I loved it.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 11:12 am
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    Sounds like a Titanic story…

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 12:54 am
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    Channel name: BRIGHT SIDE

    What they post:

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 1:57 pm
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    An absolute psychopath! Given that I have an enormous phobia of the ocean, I couldn’t imagine the horror of this experience.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 3:45 am
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    I knew that Harvey man was suspicious

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 7:01 am
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    Girl: 4 days on a raft and still alive when found

    Me: dies after a day on the raft 😂😂

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    Poor girl

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 2:26 am
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    I love this channel, but it's really scary when you watch it at night 😥😥😥😥

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 4:47 pm
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    1=like 80=good luck for terry

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm
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    I think you like girls booties

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 4:34 pm
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    I went 18 hours without water in 134 degree weather in Iraq in a deployment.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 5:14 pm
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    Wow

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 7:17 pm
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    Let's go

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 7:53 pm
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    Doctor: You can survive 3 days without water

    Girl On Raft: Survives 4 days

    Doctor: wha…

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    Hey i want to weite abt my experiences in a book can u suggest some writer intrested in it

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 9:27 pm
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    when i was about 3 or 2 i broke my arm it still hunts me and i am on my brothersold phone

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 10:20 pm
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    I know this

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 12:17 am
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    How has there not been a movie of this? I have no idea how I would have handled a situation like that when I was 11.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 11:04 am
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    Which software you are using for animation?

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 12:07 pm
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    2010 is when I was born

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:00 pm
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    Also like to go in the sea

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:15 pm
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    yo, they're copying the Infographics Show.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:58 pm
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    I can't even live without WATER for a day

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 5:20 pm
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    it's not abut just listening to the story
    it's about understanding the past of this little girl

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    That is a not a evil man he is a devil!!!

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 9:51 am
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    This is so heart breaking

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 9:10 pm
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    So sad😶

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 9:15 pm
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    That is a evil 😈man
    God shouldn't Mek him live to see the 2nd day🙅

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 12:37 am
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    Everyone praise God and thank her dear Guardian Angel😇😇😇

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 11:16 am
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    Wiggle
    Wiggle
    Wiggle
    Wiggle
    Wiggle
    Wiggle

    Sorry not a proper wiggle.

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 2:14 pm
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    your animation was drawn by a right handed person. im not going off of the 90% of people are right handed statistic, but there are details within his art that prove he's right handed. like the shading.
    righties almost always shade with a / slant and lefties TYPICALLY shade with a slant. think about it for a moment and youll realize im right….or left.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm
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    she's still alive?! wow!! but hope to god se has a better life

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 9:42 pm
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    btw, is this titanic?

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 4:01 am
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    Omg chills

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 2:22 pm
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    Poor girl she lost her family because of that cruel man I feel bad for her

    Reply

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