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Where Was Big Dan’s Tavern Located?

May 9, 2020
3 min read

Netflix’s ‘Trial By Media’ is an anthology docu-series that presents multiple cases where justice might have been altered due to widespread media coverage. The fifth episode presents the most disturbing case of the anthology: focusing on the gang rape of Cheryl Araujo.

The Case:

In a pub called Big Dan’s Tavern, a woman named Cheryl Araujo came to buy a pack of cigarettes late at night. However, just before she could leave, her exit was blocked by a man who proceeded to rape her. Unfortunately, that is not where Cheryl’s troubles stopped. Three other men joined in on the gruesome and violent act, despite Araujo screaming and begging for mercy. What is even more shocking is the fact that the other men in the bar continued watching the crime, choosing not to call the authorities. The whole ordeal lasted close to two hours. Some of the other men even cheered the rapists on!

Where Was Big Dan’s Tavern?

Big Dan’s Tavern was located in the fishing town of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The town was known as “the whaling city” as it was one of the most important whaling ports in the 19th century. New Bedford is prominent for its seafood industry and is bordered on the west by Dartmouth.

To be more specific, Big Dan’s Tavern was located in the town’s North End area. North End is a working-class neighborhood, and the fact that it is one of the less safe areas in town came up in discussions of Araujo’s rape. Several people unfairly argued that Araujo should have never ventured out late into the night alone, especially to an area like North End. However, she lived close to Big Dan’s Tavern and had only ventured out to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Does Big Dan’s Tavern Still Exist Today?

No. Big Dan’s Tavern is no longer operational today. In fact, it had reportedly closed very soon after the gang-rape incident, unsurprisingly. A news report on the Washington Post from 1983 mentions how “Big Dan’s is closed now, plywood nailed over the tavern’s windows, furniture carted away, not even a sign or street number to mark the site.”

Have a look at the following video by The Herald News. It attempts to recreate the moment Araujo left the bar, after surviving the horrible incident. The video depicts the location where Big Dan’s Tavern once stood. The video also includes two key witnesses.

Read More: How Did Cheryl Araujo Die?

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