Bison Dele, Serena Karlan: Watch ‘Dark Waters Murder In The Deep Screams In The South Pacific’ Documentary


The murders of Bison Dele, Serena Karlan, and skipper Bertrand Saldo are re-enacted on ID’s criminal show Dark Waters: Murder in the Deep. The episode “Screams in the South Pacific” will chronicle the tragic events leading up to the former NBA ball player’s disappearance aboard his Hakuna Matata catamaran. His brother, the alleged killer, Miles DaBord, committed suicide. On the crime show Dark Waters: Murder in the Deep, viewers will hear from Serena Karlan’s mother and grandmother, Andrew Black (FBI agent), Kevin Porter, (Bison Dele’s manager and friend), Stacey Steel (Serena’s friend), and reporter Jeff Goldberg (case expert).


Dark Waters: Murder in the Deep episode “Screams in the South Pacific” on ID

When an NBA player and his girlfriend travel to exotic destinations, they vanish in the deep blue sea. But a suspicious phone call to Certified Mint weeks later, focuses the federal criminal investigation on the player’s troublesome brother.



From Left Bison Dele, Serena Karland, and skipper Bertrand Saldo. [image via Facebook]


July 7, 2002—Tahiti, French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean

Serena Karlan’s mother and grandmother say she was a dreamy, beautiful, poetic woman with a quiet spirit. She loved philosophy and liked to challenge her mind. Finding love was important to her. But she wanted a deep connection with that person. When she met Bison Dele, she was mesmerized.

It wasn’t his money or status that attracted her. She hated the whole NBA lifestyle and wanted no part of it. Though she was falling in love with him, an inner nudging told her to run. She didn’t listen. 

Against her better judgment, she reunited with him a short time later and traveled the high seas upon his $650,000 catamaran boat the Hakuna Matata (Hukuna Matata). He gave her a check for $50,000 to travel with him, so she wouldn’t worry about her expenses back home. His adventurous spirit made her adore him even more. Their steamy nights together aboard the boat were something she’d cherish forever. FBI Agent Andrew Black makes the following comment.

“Setting sail seems like an opportunity of a lifetime. But it comes with great risks. You’ve got swells, strong winds, storms, currents, and pirates. () Kidnappings are common.”

But it would all come at a cost. To be in love with Bison Dele meant you’d have to put up with his brother, Miles Dabord, a man with a history of mental issues. Bison had told Serena stories about his terrible childhood and the relentless arguments between them.

Friends of Bison Dele say Miles Dabord was intensely jealous of his brother and wanted everything he had. Miles was the oldest. But he hadn’t done well for himself financially. And all of his get-rich schemes left him poorer—and poorer—each time he delved into one of them, so when Miles appeared on the boat out of nowhere, saying he wanted to patch things up with Bison, Serena was startled and shocked. Bison was, too. 

After Miles showed up, Serena Karlan saw a different side to Bison Dele. His brother’s presence had put him in a dark mood and a toxic state. Serena wasn’t used to that kind of dysfunction, and she wanted to leave. Bison tried to think of ways to get rid of Miles without causing a disturbance.

Sailing on the Tahitian seas is an isolating experience. Experts say it can drive a crazy person even crazier. Having Miles on board was a real concern. The last time anyone heard from Serena Karlan, she said they were headed to Hawaii and would be in touch in two weeks. But they were never seen or heard from again. 

Bison Dele’s friend and manager, Kevin Porter, started searching for them and was told by a banker that Bison had recently invested in Certified Mint. FBI agents set up a sting operation and caught Miles Dabord with his brother’s passport. He explained that pirates were holding his brother and girlfriend for ransom and that he was given permission to get the money to pay the ransom. Without any real evidence to tie him to their probable killings, Miles was released. He later turned up dead on a Mexican beach. His death was ruled a suicide by overdose. Police say the motive in the killing was strictly money, according to the New York Times.



Miles Dabord [image via ID/with permission]

So how did Miles Dabord kill them?

Some speculate he shot and killed them then dumped their bodies overboard in the ocean. The most likely theory is—Miles forced them into the dark water at gunpoint and left them. They either drowned or were eaten by sharks. Their bodies have never been found. Watch Dark Waters: Murder in the Deep tonight at 10 p.m. on ID.


[Main image via Investigation Discovery/with permission]

Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as and Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.