Saturday 6 June, 2020

Some of the savagery against women out west over recent times

59-year-old farmer, Valerie Thompson, of Clark's Town, Trelawny.

59-year-old farmer, Valerie Thompson, of Clark's Town, Trelawny.

It has been extremely heart-wrenching to consume news of the vicious murders that have been perpetuated across the island, especially in western Jamaica, almost day after day.

But it has been even more discomforting when the savagery has been targeted at members of the fairer sex.

For instance, the St James police reported the brutal murder of 51-year-old Annis Lewis-Kerr, who was shot and killed by unknown assailants in a motor vehicle along a roadway in St James as recent as Thursday afternoon.

Kerr was killed in the Bogue area of Montego Bay.

Reports by the Freeport police are that shortly after 5:00 p.m., residents living in Bogue Hill came upon a person slumped around the steering wheel of a white Toyota Vitz motorcar, and raised an alarm.

The police rushed to the scene and discovered Kerr’s body with multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body.

The scene was processed and the body removed to the hospital, where the victim was pronounced dead.

On Thursday, March 28, according to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), the information arm of the Jamaica Constabulary (JCF), 48-year-old Marcia Thomas, otherwise called ‘Cia’, and her spouse, 50-year-old Robert Gardner, otherwise called ‘Fire Links’ or ‘Roaster’, were shot and killed by unknown assailants who swarmed their home in Kinloss district in Trelawny.

Reports from the CCU are that residents heard explosions and summoned the police.

Upon their arrival, the police found Gardner lying outside his house, while Thomas was found in the bedroom, both suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The Trelawny police were also summoned to probe the gruesome murder of a woman whose naked body was found on her farm by members of the family who went to look for her after she did not return home as usual on the evening of Thursday, February 14.

The deceased was identified as 59-year-old farmer, Valerie Thompson, of Clark's Town, Trelawny.

According to reports, Thompson left her home at about 8:00 a.m., to attend her farm. An alarm was raised by members of her family after she was not seen up to 6:00 p.m.

During a search, the naked body of the farmer was found lying on the farm with what appeared to be chop wounds to the head.

On the morning of Sunday, March 10, the St James police reported that the body of a woman, with her head bashed in, was found along a beach in Montego Bay in the parish.

She was identified as Kerry-Ann Campbell of Johns Hall in St James.

Last September, a United States-based Jamaican female entertainment promoter was fatally shot and her male companion shot and injured during an attack in St James.

The deceased was Judith Miller-Warren, commonly called ‘Co... Tractor’, who was a native of Anchovy, St James, but had made America her home for some time.

Judith Miller-Warren, otherwise called 'Co... Tractor'.   

Reports are that about 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday, Miller-Warren and a male companion were sitting in a motorcar in the Nigger Ground section of Anchovy, when they were pounced upon by a group of men who opened fire, hitting the two.

They were rushed to hospital, where the female entertainment promoter was pronounced dead and her male companion was admitted.

Miller-Warren was said to have recently arrived in Jamaica.

The police theorise that robbery was the likely motive behind the attack.

Also fresh in the memory of the nation was last year's murder of 25-year-old chef, Tricia Lee-Wynter, whose decomposing body was found in Westgate Hills, Montego Bay after she went missing.

Her body was discovered on the second floor of an unfurnished building by residents of Westgate Hills who went to investigate a foul smell coming from the building.

The nation also vividly recalled that nearly a year ago, eight persons were killed on a single day in Grange Hill, Westmoreland, by rampaging gunmen.

Numbered among the dead were Nadine Rowe and her 11-year-old child, Nicoy Bourne.

The massacre was carried out in four separate gun attacks in the Sterling, Fullersfield and Top Lincoln sections of Grange Hill.

Later in the year, on Tuesday, September 18 to be precise, a female sex worker was reportedly bludgeoned to death by a golf club-wielding business man in Falmouth, Trelawny.

The deceased, Candice London Edwards, hailed from De La Vega City, Spanish Town in St Catherine.

The Trelawny capital was the scene of another killing of a female the following month, when 50-year-old businesswoman, Jacqueline Cargill, was shot and killed by gunmen at her business establishment along Foreshore Road in Falmouth.

It is theorised that Cargill, who was of a Florence Hall, Trelawny address, was the victim of a contract killing.

Nancy Hardy

Female foreign nationals were not all spared from the murderous onslaught locally. This was forcibly manifested last year when the body of 72-year-old US national, Nancy Hardy, was exhumed from a shallow, makeshift grave in the Fish River Road community near Orange Bay in Hanover, a few days after she went missing.

The body was found wrapped in a towel, with the hands and legs bound, and the mouth was stuffed with a rag.

Hardy, who was of Amherst, Massachusetts in the United States of America, and Phase 3, Whitehall in Negril, lived in Jamaica for some two decades.

Since then, two men have been charged with her death.

The accused men are 33-year-old Kemar Grant, alias ‘Granty’, of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, and 32-year-old Cedrick Johnson, alias ‘Smurfs’, of Alexandria, St Ann.

Grant, who was initially listed as a person of interest in the case, was charged with the offence of murder, while Johnson was charged with having been an accessory to murder.

The killing of Hardy followed that of Heidi Ann Muth, a 68-year-old retired teacher from Southern California, who was stabbed to death near Montego Bay in September 2017.

She was found dead along a dirt path in the upscale Coral Gardens neighbourhood. The police said Muth was stabbed in the head and elsewhere in the upper body.

It was later revealed that the American was owed money by someone on the island, and may have been in the country to retrieve the funds.

A month after that, the nation was again thrown into trauma with the murder of two women in the city of Montego Bay, at a nail salon in Catherine Hall.

Nail technician and owner of the salon, 41-year-old Cleopatra Fletcher, and her customer, 52-year-old Dawnette Shettlesworth, were identified as the two victims.

According to police reports, a gunman entered Fletcher's shop at about 5:30 p.m. and opened fire, fatally hitting both women in their upper bodies.

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