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Unsolved murders still baffle police

Unsolved murders still baffle police


The question of unsolved murders has long been occupying the attention of opposition members in the House of Assembly. During the June 27, 1996 sitting of Parliament, the late Senator Michael Hamlett flushed out a response from then Attorney General Carlyle Dougan . According to Dougan, there were 11 unsolved murders in the State between July 25, 1984 and June 15, 1996. Dougan cited the deaths of Jack Duncan of Colonaire, June 4, 1985; Otto Joseph, Kingstown Park, September 24, 1985; James Cyrus in Paul’s Lot, October, 22, 1988; Ena Sardine at Villa, May 2, 1989; Alfred Williams, at Owia, May 19, 1989, and Leroy Bascombe, in Vermont, June 20, 1990, among the unsolved murders. Hudson Durrant at Biabou, June 12, 1991; Calvin George, at Arnos Vale, December 16, 1991; Elizabeth Cain in Calliaqua, June 29, 1993; Godwin Forbes, at Sion Hill, August 26, 1995; and Elizabeth Gunn, at Colonarie, January 18, 1996 were the others mentioned by the AG. Osborne Quow, Assistant Commissioner of Police at that time, regarded the figure as minimal, and pointed out that in other Caribbean islands there were more unsolved murders than in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Quow disclosed that investigations were not closed into those matters, but he admitted that the figure mentioned in Parliament could have been higher. {{more}}He recalled working on a matter involving Brenon Wilson of Vermont in 1987. Wilson was one of five brothers who have died on account of a disputed area.

The alleged killer of Harriet Pompey had not been charged. Her former live-in companion, Lenford ‘Ranking’ Garrick, reportedly stabbed Pompey, a 29-year-old trafficker on June 8, 1996.

Quow spoke of efforts to intensify investigations into Garrick’s whereabouts, and he was hoping that the matter would have been solved in weeks. So far, no information has emerged from the police on Garrick’s arrest.

The Police also have the case of Leach King to crack. King, address given as Georgetown, died April 14, 1996.

That year turned up another mystery. It surrounded the death of South African woman Lorraine Heath, November 2, 1996. According to the Police, Alan Heath, husband of the dead woman, said that two men came on board his yacht ‘Freedom Flight’ and attacked his wife. The boat was reportedly anchored in the Cumberland area, up the North Leeward coast of mainland St Vincent. Alan Heath told the Police he heard screams and he was approached by a cutlass- wielding man who demanded money. The dead woman was found in a sitting position with stab wounds to the throat area, according to Alan Heath. Her death was the subject of some diplomatic jostling. Two South African Police detectives, Nudhal Soomaroo and Allan Alford, spent three weeks here between September and October 1997 as part of the investigations into Heath’s death. They identified two men whom they believed were possibly involved in the crime. However, since their findings, there has been no announcement that anyone has been arrested in relation to that offence.

1997 was a brutal year for two elderly women, and both incidents are still baffling the police.

Maude Adina Henry, a 78-year-old woman died in questionable circumstances sometime on the New Year’s weekend. Her body was found at her New Montrose home December 1. Her grandson found the corpse in a pool of blood that Monday morning after he returned from a trip to Owia that previous weekend.

One week before that, 65-year-old Christobel Matthias left her home at Park Hill to fetch her animals. When she did not return home, relatives went looking for her only to discover her dead at Member Mountain, Park Hill.

There were some 21 murders in 1998, but what was astounding was that there were six unsolved murders that year. Those included Hilary Moses, whose body was recovered from a burnt-out house in Vermont, January 18, 1998.

National Security Minister Sir Vincent Beache revealed in 2002 that the Police were closing in on the killer of 56-year-old Susan Mousberger. Her mutilated corpse was found at her apartment on the Grenadine Resort Island of Mustique, February 27, 1998.

The March 7 slaying of two young men, execution style on a reclaimed area near to Bottom Town in the Western Kingstown district, remains one of the nation’s most chilling occurrences. Zeilroy ‘Flex’ Harry and Kenneth ‘Cyprian’ Dublin died in a hail of bullets in that early evening incident. So far there have been no reports of any arrests and some persons are of the view that the men, having been termed as ‘badmen”, were not being given priority attention by the Police.

The person responsible for the death of 73-year-old William ‘Mr. T.’ Taylor of Layou is yet to be identified, arrested or charged. Taylor succumbed to injuries to the head one day after being struck down at his shop in Layou, June 20, 1998. On Tuesday, September 20 that same year, Gordon Williams was checking money at the New Deli Restaurant at Arnos Vale when he was surprised by a robber who shot him and made off with some cash. Williams died subsequently at the hospital, and so far, there have been no reports of anyone arrested in relation to this offence.

The saga went on with the discovery of Warner ‘Mistah’ Baptiste, a 39-year-old Dominican, whose body was found floating off the shores of Owia on the Northeastern coast of mainland St. Vincent, September 17, 1998.

There were two unsolved murders in 1999. One of those was Cleopatra Cooke, found at her home in Questelles, September 24, 1999. Her death continues to baffle close relatives. The 23-year-old civil servant was strangled. The other death that year of concern to the Police was that of Herbie Nisas, a Martiniquan whose body was found in the Chateaubelair area

November 25.

There are four unsolved murders in 2000. Pedro Haynes was shot February 9, at Queen’s Drive, about four miles north east of Capital City Kingstown. The Police have not gathered any information on which they can charge anyone.

A group of picnickers was expecting to have a splendid time at the beach resort known as Bambareaux, to the north of the Central Leeward town of Layou April 1, 2000. What they found was the body of 69-year-old Douglas Horne, the owner of the business, at the back of the apartment with several wounds to the body.

The body of Gerald Lowman, a 19-year-old of Redemption Sharpes was found in the waters at Rose Place, Bottom Town around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, August 10. He had a head injury and post mortem examinations revealed that death was as a result of asphyxia, secondary to drowning.

Rayon Thompson of Hadley’s Village in the South Central Windward constituency was found outside a shop at Greggs September 30, 2000. Thompson, aged 28, died at the Mesopotamia Health Centre. Up to today, there has been no progress with investigations into his death.

Police are still baffled about the death of 39-year-old Earl Peters. His body was found with his throat slit in a field at Belle Vue in the North Central Windward constituency Saturday, October 6, 2001. His death remains a mystery to law enforcement officers. Willis ‘Mandela’ Williams was shot outside his home at Chauncey December 21, 2001. Granville ‘Cantankerous’ Foye, emerged as a suspect in that incident, and has not been seen since.