Try the Morgue: An Inside Look at the World of Arms Trafficking

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eva Maria Staal* was an international arms trafficker. Since the '80s, she has sold weapons in Chechnya, Pakistan, China and beyond. Her work, while legal, frequently brought her in close contact with all kinds of underworld figures — from drug dealers to child and sex traffickers. Her debut novel “Try the Morgue,” draws on these experiences. It also addresses her struggles to balance the testosterone-fueled world of arm trafficking with the demands of raising a little girl.

"Of course a lot of it is fictional, because when your pen hits the paper, you start to lie," she says. But she does admit that this novel closely mirrors her own experiences.

"I went to work, which was always just another day at the office," Staal says. "And at the end of the day, you will come home, and there you will have a husband and a child and dishes that need to be washed, and that was how it was."

Staal began running weapons when she was in her early twenties, and at the time, she said, it seemed very exciting. "I was a thrill seeker," she says. "Some people jump out of a plane with a parachute, I did this, because I was sort of addicted to it." 

In her business, there was a real effort made to never sell weapons to bad people. But of course, she did not always know exactly whose hands the weapons would end in. "We always tried to sell weapons only to people for defending themselves, never to aggressors," she says. "But I must be honest to you, I sometimes closed my eyes… I didn't always dig too deep."

"I've come to my senses, you could say," Staal says, of why she quit the business. "When you're young, well, you're a bit reckless."

*Not her real name.


Eva Maria Staal

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

charles mcdougal vero beach fl from Vero Beach Fl.

I am so disgusted. I remember seeing Robin Leach and Brook Shields partying with known arms dealers ( Khashoggi ) and being presented as glamorous. These people are the scum of the earth they deal in death and the destruction of civilizations. To try and present this as any thing else is beneath you and I hope you rot in hell. This woman was interested in the money and it appears that the interviewer was captivated by the entire disgusting example of a sociopath trying to justify her repugnant life. Why are you promoting this piece of garbage and her works. Not enough that she was responsible for who knows how many deaths and mutilations of other humans now she seeks more money for her crimes against humanity. Shame on you.

Oct. 19 2012 11:19 PM
Leigh Hutchens from Utah

The Culture-
Follow the culture of "protection for leaders" that exists in the predominant church of the leaders and management of the Boy Scouts. This protection exists in local communities in Utah, Idaho, Colorado and other western states where church bishops get away with all matter of sins and sex crimes that would otherwise send these people and their protectors to jail.

Oct. 19 2012 02:16 PM
Donel Mallory from Miami

The producer and interviewer should be ashamed at promoting this 'anonymous' merchant of death and misery. 'Femme Muerte' should be banished to suffer the horrors in those very parts her evil trade delivered and profited.
You ruined my day with your vapid, ignorant indulgence of this vulgar, unrepentant profiteer and her despicable tale.

Oct. 19 2012 11:16 AM

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