In the second week of January 1977, a young Mexican decided to swim in the bay after drinking beer after beer on La Playa Hornos, a beach where Acapulcans enjoy spending afternoons with their families. "He should have known better," says a local reporter who covered the incident for El Tropico, one of the city's oldest daily newspapers. The man, never identified, dove into the filmy water about 2:30 p.m., the reporter says, and commenced a vigorous freestyle toward the open ocean. The sight of someone alone so far out in the bay was unusual, and other Mexicans on the beach began to watch. Twice they saw a dark fin surface near the swimmer, now more than 100 yards out. The second time the fin rushed on the swimmer, who was suddenly sucked below. The body washed ashore six hours later, missing the left leg and badly mangled in the neck. The victim was buried in a pauper's grave beyond the cliffs, that ring the city.
If 'Jaws" seemed scary, Lloyd Grove's report on Acapulco shark attacks in the September Crawdaddy is positively creepy. It's not just the story's documenting of fatalities that makes the Mexican beach seem like a great place to avoid; there's also the sepectre of town versus jaws.
Warning placards have disappeared from resort hotels, the police say that there simply are no sharks and the newspapers don't report the deaths, according to Grove.