Monday 22 July, 2019

Father reflects on the horrific crime that took his daughter’s life

Bishop Dr Amos Campbell has not seen his deceased daughter's lifeless body as yet, only a photograph of her naked, mangled remains at the Mandeville Police Station.

He is still wrestling with the idea that his only daughter, Khyhymn has recently departed from this life.

"This is a difficult tablet to take, not only difficult to take, but also a tablet that cannot be swallowed," Campbell told Loop New reporter Claude Mills late last week.

Campbell's daughter's body was found almost two weeks ago on the back seat of a car in a cooler box on the Winston Jones Highway near Mandeville in Manchester. Police reports suggest that the body was nude and had what appeared to be cuts to the back and front of the neck and face, and the throat had also been slashed.

The main suspect behind the killing, Linton Stephenson, 59, also called Gary Stephenson, a deacon at the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, is now dead from what is suspected to have been suicide.

Campbell, the head of the Religious Education Department at Hampton School for girls in St Elizabeth, cannot fathom how his 25-year-old daughter could have been killed and dumped in such an unspeakable manner, which he labelled a "crime beyond measure".

Said he: "I wouldn't wish this feeling on my worst enemy, a crime of this nature should not attempt to enter the heart of man."

The leader of the True Vine True Holiness Ministries said he did not know Stephenson, who had been on parole for killing his wife in St Mary some time ago, and in addition to Khyhymn’s murder, was also wanted for assault and illegal possession of firearm.

Campbell questioned how such a man could have moved up the ranks of the SDA church so quickly and satisfied the ordination guidelines to have been made a deacon just two years after being released from prison.

"I know that members of the SDA are upset with comments that I have made recently, but they don't understand the point I am making. Some members have told me that the SDA likes to use new members, but it is obvious that due diligence was not done. This man came out of jail in 2016. Maybe he was putting his life together, or maybe he was just a wolf in sheep's clothing, so how did he become a deacon without anyone doing the due diligence on him?" the bereaved father asked.

"Once a man gets a high-ranking office such as a deacon, that means that anyone can trust him as a mentor, especially since he was an older man."

He then ventured down a line of theory.

“I understand that he had a girlfriend on the choir, and someone told her things about him, a pre-emptive move, and she returned the (engagement) ring to him. I believe the rejection overcame him, he was an angry man," suggested Campbell.

On Facebook, he made references "to the brutal murder of my daughter by a Seventh Day Adventist cult from the Mandeville Seventh Day Adventist Church".  He expressed the belief that a radical sect or fringe group has infiltrated the SDA church.

"I deliberately selected my words. Some of my Adventist friends feel uncomfortable, and the SDA may be disturbed. But I believe that the ritualistic way my daughter was killed, with all the cuts over her body, he didn't only want to kill her, he wanted to spill her blood, the cuts... she was stabbed all over her body like (in) some bizarre ritual," Campbell said.

He also expressed the belief that his daughter - often referred to lovingly as 'Squit' by her mother because of her diminutive frame - would not have fought back under attack, and for her to be killed so brutally was a clear indication that something more macabre was at work.

Linton Stephenson... the man suspected to have been behind the strange murder of 25-year-old Khyhymn Campbell in Mandeville, Manchester.

"I have been reliably informed that Stephenson wasn't the only one, there are more of them. So you have the SDA Christians and you have the cult,” suggested Campbell.

“Stephenson was clearly a member of the cult, and they operated in groups; there are more out there," he said without anything but circumstantial assumptions to support his position."

Campbell said he is still trying to figure out the psychological profile of the ‘killer deacon’. Campbell said a female contacted him via Facebook and told him that the same man "made after her on Monday".

Campbell added: "And he killed my daughter on Tuesday, he was an angry man, and I understand that he was running robot taxis as well, so I don't know how Kym got in contact with him."

While not venturing into any theories about how his daughter reportedly came in contact with the now deceased man, Thompson also had questions about the level of policing that has been applied to the murder case.

"To date, the police have not officially called me to say that this man has been positively identified as the man who killed my daughter. I know that there are four to five detectives working on this case, and not one of them has called to say they have found the man dead and it is a case that he may have committed suicide... no one," he said.

He said Stephenson had apparently forced his way back into the Bloomsville Circle home where he lived in Mandeville, which had been declared a crime scene by the police.

"I am left to wonder at the level of policing that is taking place. I recently spoke to two (police) inspectors and one of them said that the police had nailed up the door in case he (Stephenson) decided to come back, but Stephenson gained access to the house via the roof and then killed himself. However, the detectives working the case are yet to inform me of anything," he said.

Campbell also said the police are yet to inform him of a date for an autopsy to be done on the body.

"I have not seen her physical body, only seen an image... a detective corporal… has informed me that the autopsy will be done soon," he said.

As for the rumours and speculations about the reasons behind his daughter’s death, Campbell advised members of the public to desist from conjectures, stating that their tales have brought a new level of terror to death, and in the process, have further savaged already heartbroken family members.

"If you are not cognisant of the facts, it's okay to be silent. With the rise of technology and social media, some people seem to take pleasure in spreading misinformation. It seems to sell, but remember that a family is distraught. We are missing a daughter, murdered by a sadistic person, so the misinformation only adds insult to injury," he said.

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