Samoan novelist and playwright charged with murder


Award winning novelist and playwright Papali’i Sia Figiel has been arrested and charged with the murder of a woman at her GaluMoana Theater in Vaivase-uta on Saturday.

Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo told the Samoa Observer, “A hammer is alleged to have been used as well as a small knife that inflicted multiple stab wounds on the deceased.”

“We do not know what the motive is of the offending but from reports, the incident occurred on Saturday and the suspect left the deceased at her home while she went out to Lotofaga and spent time with a friend.”

It wasn’t until Sunday morning while having breakfast that she told her friend about what she had done, and that led to the matter being reported to the police.

“She came with her friend to the Police Station to report it and when police went to her home to check, they found the deceased’s body there.”

Police have sealed off the crime scene at GaluMoana Theater where the novelist lived.

Police have yet to release the name of the victim, but friends of Papali’i have told KHJ News that the deceased was Dr. Caroline Sinavaiana Gabbard an academic, poet and writer from American Samoa.

Dr. Gabbard taught at the American Samoa Community College and the University of Hawaii, and retired to Samoa a few years ago.