Murder cold cases mount

| 15/05/2012

_DEW8298-300w-cns.jpg(CNS): Over the last eight years there have been 43 murders in the Cayman Islands, 17 of which remain unsolved, according to statistics released by the RCIPS to CNS on Monday. While the police have charged suspects in 26 of the murder cases since the year Hurricane Ivan struck Grand Cayman, not all of them resulted in successful prosecutions. The detection rate for murder going back to 2004 is an average of just over 60%, mostly as a result of five of last year’s six murders remaining unsolved. Many of the cases that have not been detected as well as those that failed to secure a conviction were gang related murders, which have proved to be the most difficult for police to solve and have caused Cayman’s cold cases to grow. (Photo Dennie Warren jr)

Although the police have had assistance from overseas in efforts to solve the most recent and past cold case shootings, there are still a significant number of murders in which no one has been brought to justice over the last eight years. With a combination of reluctant witnesses and a culture of mistrust of the police, despite a number of changes to the legislation to make it easier to secure convictions, the RCIPS still struggle to solve the gang related shootings.

The police statistics are recorded as "detected or undetected", meaning either charges were brought or not against suspects. In several cases where charges were filed and defendants tried in the Grand Court, the prosecutions failed or convictions were overturned on appeal. In some cases the judge even ruled that there was no case to answer before a trial was complete.

Back in 2004 the police faced six killings, three of which police referred to as "detected" but three remain unsolved some eight years later. The RCIPS brought charges in three cases but the charges against two suspects in the gang murder of Chadwick Bush were dropped after a witnesses retracted her statement, and in the fatal shooting of Joseph Williams the judge found there was no case for the defendants charged in that murder  to answer.

In 2005 the police solved two out of the year’s three murders but the killing of 30-year-old Todd Powery, who was shot seventeen times in Morgan's Harbour, West Bay, has never been solved. In 2006 the police made a 100% detection rate for the year’s three killings. In 2007 there were three killings and police brought charges in two cases leaving one cold case.

However, in 2008 there was a surge in the murder rate with an historic high of seven killings. Police detected four of the cases but not all resulted in prosecutions. Three of thekillings remain unsolved, including the murder of 18-year-old Josh Hooker, who was shot dead in his George Town home while he was with his two-year-old son.

The beaten body of 40-year-old Swiss banker Frederic Bise was found in the boot of his burned out car in February outside his West Bay home and again no charges have been brought in that case. Mark Jefferson remains the third cold case after he was shot three times and killed outside Kelly's Bar in Birch Tree Hill Road, West Bay. Despite trying Josue Carillo-Perez twice for the murder of 47-year-old Canadian national Martin Gareau in May the crown failed to secure a conviction.

The police did, however, secure a manslaughter conviction for the death of 23-year-old Aaron Berry, who was stabbed in the throat outside a Bodden Town bar during a fight. William Martinez McLaughlin was also convicted for the brutal murder of 20-year-old Brian Rankine, who was chopped and stabbed multiple times in McField Square, George Town.

The last killing of 2008 was one of Cayman’s most shocking murders. The burned body of Estella Scott-Roberts, the former director of the Crisis Centre and a tireless advocate against violence was found in Barkers in West Bay. Kirkland Henry and Larry Rickets were convicted of her murder in January 2010.

The historic high of murder rate of 2008 was surpassed again in 2009 when eight people were killed, six of which were gang related slayings. Police brought charges in five of the cases and eventually four murder convictions and one manslaughter conviction was secured.

However, the conviction of three men for the gang related shooting of Omar Samuels in McField Square, George Town, was overturned on appeal.

The first victim of 2009 was 17-year-old Jerome Russell, who was shot dead outside Shir Reynolds in George Town in January and his murder has not been solved. Two other shootings, which occurred in October and December, also remain unsolved. 24-year-old Fabian Ried was shot by a masked gun man while in his car in the Newlands area and 27-year-old Fabian Powell was gunned down outside Wellie’s Cool Spot when he was shot six times.

The following year the police continued to deal with gang related killings. Of the seven murders that year as many as five had gang related associations. Although charges were brought in six of the 2010 cases, three were lost in the courts, including the case of five-year-old Jeremiah Barnes, who was shot in the head in a West Bay gas station in February. Police believed the masked gunman was aiming for the little boy’s father, Andy Barnes, who identified Devon Anglin as his shooter but he was found not guilty at trial.

Anglin was later convicted of the shooting of Carlos Webster, who was shot in the head in July that year in a West Bay Road night club in front of some 150 people.

Ecuadorian numbers man Marcus Duran was shot and killed outside an apartment but a teenager who was charged with his killing was acquitted at trial. Police have also charged Raziel Jeffers for that murder as well as for the fatal shooting of Damion Ming. Jeffers has yet to face trial for these two killings but he was convicted in February of the murder of Marcus Ebanks, who was one of several young men who were shot at by two masked gunmen as they sat in a yard in Bonaventure Lane in July of 2009.

In March 2010 Alrick Peddie was shot by gunmen in broad daylight in his grandmother’s yard in West Bay. Three men were charged but were all acquitted after a judge alone trial. Only one conviction was secured for the 2010 gang killings after Leonard Ebanks was found guilty of shooting Tyrone Burrel (20) during a small social gathering at a yard in Birch Tree Hill, West Bay, in another gang related shooting. One man was also convicted of the manslaughter of Jack Forbes after he was beaten to death in Bodden Town.

The one remaining cold case of 2010 was the first killing of the year. Courtney Spence was shot in a car park in the industrial area in the early morning of 28 January. No one has ever been charged for that murder.

Last year the police opened six murder investigations but so far only one of the cases has been solved. Police have charged 18-year-old Chakame Jamelle Scott with the shooting of Asher McGaw, who was the last of five victims in gang related assassination which occurred over an eight day period in September last year. Scott is currently in HMP Northward now awaiting trial.

No charges in the four other fatal shootings have yet been brought and police are continuing to investigate the fatal shooting of Robert Bush, Andrew Baptise, Preston Rivers and Jason Christian.

The police also opened a murder investigation after the disappearance of Kerry (Kerryann) Baker, who went missing from her home in Bodden Town in July in suspicious circumstances. Her abandoned car was found at Pedro’s a few days after she was reported missing. Although one man was arrested for her murder, no charges have been brought.

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  1. real talk says:

    Unfortunately the biggest problem our RCIP has here is the ability to FOLLOW UP, just the other day i was working and a lady came in and was shook up so i asked what was wrong, she had then explained to me that 5 hours ago she was in Scotia Bank when the place was robbed, she was only 1 of 3 customers in there. At that point i became curious as nature would have it and asked her what went down and she told me that it was 3 caymanian guys, she also stated that they were from George Town specifically which she could tell from there dialect; which i then asked her "did any of the group seem to be giving any order that would indicate he was the leader, did any of them have any visible tattoos or markings, did any of them call each other by their personal name etc" at that point she kinda calmed down and chuckled claiming i've asked more questions that the officer on scence did and also said that all they did was take her contact number and said they would call her for a statement….now correct me if im wrong because if i am im about to sound REAL IGNORANT BUT last time i checked if Bank in America in Florida got robbed NO ONE was allowed to leave until a full statement was given, there are many reasons for this. First and foremost everyone is considered suspect, for all the police knew that same lady could have called the robbers minutes before and told them the bank was empty and it was the perfect time to come OR the robbers could have recognized her and she could have done the same by their voices and IF this was to be the case what if one of the robbers called and threatened her prior to giving the police statement which im sure has happened in other incidents before. hey#IMJUSTSAYIN -_-

  2. Anonymous says:

    The murder of Swiss banker Frederick Bise may be also "gang|" related, but an entirely different sort of gang than the local ones.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Caymanian people are so clueless to what is going on right in front of there faces…….The police and the community make me sick to be honest!!!!!

    There are no damn gangs! These guys don't run around in specific colors!!

    They're just killing each other over falling outs between one another. So people please talk what you know. It's easier for the police to bawl out "IT'S GANG RELATED" than do there damn job and find out what caused the killing in the first place! RCIPS are the most wotless set of police I've everseen and heard of, I wish they would kick all their asses out of the force and bring in SCOTLAND YARD!!! Only then will you see results and convictions. Most of the convictions are of innocent men, police just want to know they have someone in Northward for it (innocent or guilty).

    If there was such a thing as confidenciality on this little 76sq mile island people would be comfortable telling the police what they've seen and what they know. But police can't keep their mouths shut and innocent people die or are harrassed to the point that they fear for their lives if they play the part of "Witness" in court.

    Sorry to say but there will be more killings to come and there will be nothing done about it……it's sad but reality.

    • jsftbhaedrg says:

      No gangs? Logswood has their own facebook page you idiot. You dont have to rep a colour to be in a gang either, i learned that from the Gangland series on TV. When you start to call out a particular area to others from another, and kill each other because of it, you are a gang member.When theri is a group of you that hang out together amd do illegla things for monetary gains, you are a gang or a crime syndicate.

      I am pretty sure that covers the majority of these ididots who keep killing themselves over turf.

  4. Chris says:

    CNS…could we please also have the cold case statistics for armed robberies?

    The most recent being a Scotia Bank hold up

    in the middle of town

    in the middle of the day

    in the middle of the week

    200 yards from the Central Police Station

    that is supported by photos taken by the public during the commission of the crime. 

    With all the cctv, helicopter and additional resources and the RCIP is under immense pressure to improve their arrest and conviction record; not just their statistics but ensuring that the right people go behind bars for these crimes.

    RCIP we have supported you financially, with information and resources yet the criminals continue to gain ground against the community while your statistics continue to slide. We expect better protection, detection and convictions from the RCIP.

    • Anonymous :-( says:

      I agree with Chris. 8 murders for one year in history is too easy for Cayman and makes them look too good, make it 80 or add in the robberies, so the world will know the opposite

    • jsftbhaedrg says:

      Photo was taken by crusie shippers from what i hear.

      Carnival are starting to advertise these occurences seeing as its the second (Magnum jewlers)  that their gustes have witnessed within the last 6 months while walking around GT.

      These CCTV cameras are either useless or the people manning the desks are, probably both.

  5. Anonymous says:

    CNS, why did you not include the dissappearance of the lady from the Dump? I thought she was missing under suspicious circumstances too. Unless she was caught up and gone to heaven, leaving the rest of us down hear to suffer in Hell.

    CNS Note: According to the RCIPS the Anna Evans case remains a missing persons case and not a murder so was not included in the releae of these particualr figures as CNS asked specifically for statistics relating to murder.

  6. Anon says:

    The outstanding 2007 cold case is, I am fairly certain, the killing of Marlon Brando Ebanks who was shot eight times on 21 August.

    One of the factors that hampered the investigators here was that the whole crime scene was apparently never properly secured and was impossibly compromised by what can only be described as 'rubber neckers' walking through it.

    Best bet at the time was that the shooter was off-island and long gone before the investigation really got underway.

  7. Anonymous says:

    We need more Caymanian and UK Police on the force. We need to bring back the old officers who solved crimes and bring back control to the Cayman Islands.

    Our Greatest and only hope is to have God take this country back.

  8. Bethinking says:

    Don't waste your time, money or resources on the gang related ones.  Those are self correcting and over time there will only be two men standing.  And then one.  Make him out as the hero that ended the gang wars.  Give him a nice job to figure out the other cold cases, he might prove invaluable there.

    I come from South Florida and every time a gang member was wasted, I used to to think sad and then quickly transitioned to glad.  Why, it's simple, one less person with a gun to harm an innocent.

    Imagine if there was a Government incentive here to promote gang to gang violence.  Just might get us to the end of this rather quickly.

    Just a thought and I am sure to get reamed on this one.  But unacceptable human actions are simply unacceptable and should be dealt with harshly.

    Prior to South Florida I came from the north where we didn't lock our doors or windows when home but every house had a gun and every homeowner knew exactly how to use it.  Home invasion ~nil.

    Get the picture.

    • hjsfgxnbjs says:

      I have sugested before that the police round  them up, take them to the quarry, give them all the guns and ammo they need and watch from up top until one is left standing, who they could then make a national hero.


    When I told an expat the highest murder rate we had in one year, they couldn't believe it:  8

    • Yeah, but... says:

      8 in a city of a million and you’re doing sort of OK (but not great). Then look at Cayman, extract the professional expats and tourists, and you’ve got a population of what? 25,000 locals? 25,000 people is a small town, and 8 murders a year in that small town looks like the Wild West. Makes sense though, as West Bay looks like the Siege of Sarajevo most times. “Run faster Junior, you’re harder to shoot that way.” Keepin’ it real.

  10. Victims of Injustice says:

    Yes CNS Apathy ain't confined to One man one vote it can be use to describe how the general public feel about this Foreign Police Service we got running this little place. What mess we in here.

  11. Patient Old hand detective says:

    The great architects of change in the RCIPS have now been reduced to catchy phrases and dismal investigations and are now having to suffer huge and embarassing aquittals in the our Courts of justice.They can no longer place the blame it on the lack of equipment Man Power shortages or,Budget contraints. They have imported and hire their friends and colleaques and love interest and some very troubling elements to form this formidable team of nincompoops who's only detecting ability it appears is getting to the bank to collect their monthly salary. "No robberies ever happen during that time thats for sure" And as one poster rightly posted No law and order and no order in the law. With these so called command structures name after precious metals and their grandiose leadership issuing press statements which make absolutely no sense to the general public who have to live and work in unsafe and dangerous situations occurring on a daily basis on these streets. With over 500 police personel and not one once of prevention relying now on CCTV and a Helicopter to solve crime another expensive set of tools provide by us the little suspicious and ever patient public. Hoping and praying that they will do what we are paying them very well to do, Prevent and Investigate crime but alas they are doing something checking the licence coupon on the wind shield of my car. Yes the great architects and the intelligently aggressive look at the disasterous mess you have made of the RCIPS. Oh how trerible it must be to find out that your Foreign Servants you hired and asked to come have now become your local masters. The stress must be intolerable now? Justice delayed is justice denied how that for a catchy phrase?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good work CNS, this is most interesting. I am confused about the cases referred to as "detected" though.  Can anyone work out how many of the 43 murders have been solved? Meaning an arrest and a conviction that has not been quashed on appeal?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Remembering Courtney –  a good, decent guy. I hope the guilty are found so his family can have some peace.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the number of murder cases unsolved is more then 17…I don't remember and don't really think that the police have solved 26 murder cases..would like to see that broken down for me to believe it

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Commissioner of  Police and the Director of Prosecutions should resign in shame.

    These are things that Ezzard and Arden should concentrate on when they are on the talk show with Austin. This is what the should be calling for an investigation on

    I will bet you will not hear a word about it on their show. I am so sick of the daily McKeeva beatings. The show has become so stale, one-sided predictable and repetitive. Let the people judge McKeeva. Why hold  a one sided court every morning? 

    I challenge the Leader of the Opposition to bring  it up tomorrow and for the government to do the same on Friday.


    • Anonymous says:

      Why the thumbs down?… really like listening to that same old crap every morning?

    • Anonymous says:

      Won't happen…Austin is too hellbent on his anti-Mckeeva agenda and Alden would claim he didn't know about it. Not that I expect anything from Elio on Friday either.

  15. jsftbhaedrg says:

    Here is a thought, since gang murders are so hard to solve down here start putting gps ankle bracelets on all gang members. If they want to be in a gang they can wear one of these alongwith their colours.

    Ofcourse the other thing to do is start hiring police / forensic officers who have a grain of sense in between their ears and actually know what they are doing when it comes to murder case.

    Its pretty well known that people dont talk for fear of being shot, the island is tiny and people cant keep their  mouths shut, including the police. Remember that attempted murder at the islander complex a few years back when they had someone in witness protection and the guy who was on trial for murder turned up and gunned the guy down for all to see? So that whole "its anonymous" spiel is bollocks as far as I am concerned.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, some of us do not remember. Why don't you remind us of his name and say how you know he was under witness protection?

      • hjsfgxnbjs says:

        He was a crackhead who was in the apartment when a woman visited him, who then ordered "pizza" and when the "pizza man" turned up it was the guy on trial, who was found guilty of the attempted murder of asid crackhead.  The only reason the guy survived from the hail of bullets was because he was so jacked up on crack.

        The gunmans initials are XXX but CNS will probably censor them.

  16. Anonymous1 says:

    Thank you CNS. If the police provided this information voluntarily I will congratulate them on it because for too long we the public have been called on to assist the police in crime fighting by looking out for our fellow man and report what we know yet they have not seen it fit to come back to us to say what is the status of each major suspected crime.

    May I recommend that the police through the PR office that they already have, post in the media on the 1st and 15th of each month all major crime that they have seek the public assistance with, and inform us as to whether that case is open, closed or no longer need the public assistance. They do not have to write a long article, Just have an excel page with running cases and each two week they just enter in the column under a heading which could be 'case progress'. In doing this the public would appreciate the efforts of the police and maybe get more involved in assisting.

    Just my thoughts. Thanks again CNS for the update.

  17. WordSmith says:

    “Detected” means: “Referring to something that has been noticed”; I’m pretty sure all the murder we’re talking about have been “detected”, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about them (the converse, “undetected”, being something that no one has noticed). “Solved” means: “Having a solution, having been explained or answered”, and its opposite is of course “unsolved”. It is thus proper to say that we have detected a lot of murders which remain unsolved.

    All that aside, it is just so sad that Cayman has become a haven to criminals and particularly killers. That’s what you get for adopting American culture and letting criminals enter and stay in the Islands. But hey, the former keeps the kids entertained and the latter helps win elections, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      …BESIDES your unecsessary rant about managed to get to your point which may i add made no sense whatsoever….


      I don't mean to judge but honest Cayman doesn't need anymore CRITICS and JUDGES so how about we just omit your statement. Anyhow i'm just stating that when you point one finger there's always four pointing back. It's not wise to blame Cayman's problems on another country. For example: Caymanian's don't have a job.."ooh the expacts etc…" People getting killed in Cayman "ooh the expacts etc…"

      May I cleary add that if the police were to come out with a prejudice report about which nationalies were being murdered in our islands and who is doing the killings you may be quite ashamed to know that the majority is CAYMANIANS! Finally i'm just saying Cayman's problems is in Cayman thus Caymanians should deal with it and take the blame for it no one else. What we merely need is people in the islands to speak up! With change comes progress…sooo SPEAK UP PEOPLE DON'T LET OTHERS DO THE JOB FOR YOU IF SOME OF YOU FEEL YOU CAN DO IT OOOH SOO WELL. I'm tired of preachers who just yapyap yap practice what you preach!