Crime: Stupefying Sam

As a poor boy from Hepzibah (pop. 400), W. Va., Samuel Desist had every reason to live down to his patronym. But, setting his sights on an Army career, he enlisted and persisted. By 1962, when he was 39, Sam Desist wore a major's gold oak leaf and was press officer for the U.S. Army at Orléans in France. Desist also acquired a chic French wife, who bore him two sons, and a taste for la vie as it is not lived in Hepzibah.

At Orléans, where he got to know some of the city's first families, the American major soon...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!