Serial Killer in Tobago?
London yesterday offered condolences to the family and relatives of Tobago’s latest double murder victims, British national attorney Richard Wheeler, 73 and his wife Grace, 67, a real estate agent.
The couple were hacked to death at their Riseland Gardens, Carnbee home between Monday night and Tuesday morning. Their bodies were discovered by a handyman.
A team of investigators from Trinidad, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Homicide Bureau, Vincel Edwards, visited the home of the dead couple yesterday.
Criminologist Prof Ramesh Deosaran believes the patterns of circumstances of these attacks point to a real possibility of a serial murderer operating in Tobago since 2008.
I SAW DEATH
[TT Newsday] – ENGLISH-BORN attorney Richard Wheeler had a premonition of death last week during a bout of sudden illness which prevented him from travelling to London to witness the world rugby championships. Wheeler was said to have confided in close friends the “bad feeling” he developed and reportedly went as far as telling them that his experience was life changing.
He was said to have told them, “I saw death.” Wheeler who adopted Tobago as his home reportedly collapsed at the ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago while preparing to board a flight to the United Kingdom. He had to be hospitalised and when he was discharged, told friends about his feeling.
Wheeler was said to be a rugby fanatic and wanted to see the international tournament first hand.
If he had travelled he would have been out of the country during the period of an assault on his home by criminals who ended up murdering him and his wife, Grace, 67.
The bodies of the elderly couple were found on Tuesday by a gardener.
Mrs Wheeler was found on the lawn with her throat slit. Inside the house in Carnbee, Richard’s body lay on the floor. He had been chopped repeatedly in the back of the head.
Yesterday, friends took to social media to commiserate with the Wheeler family, especially his son, Geoffrey who also resides in Tobago. Most of them expressed shock over the murders, with one indicating he had read the news on the BBC website.
Meanwhile, homicide investigators believe the person or persons who carried out the act knew their way around the couple’s home and the guard dogs which the Wheelers had invested in for their protection may have also been acquainted with the killer or killers.
Police said the alarm system at the Wheeler’s house was not triggered when the couple was ambushed and killed.
Not one bark came from the guard dogs during the grisly attack, further fuelling the theory that the killer(s) were very familiar to the couple.
Newsday understands that Forensic Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov will travel to Tobago today to carry out autopsies on the bodies of the couple. The couple were parents of three sons, Michael, Simon and Geoffrey.
Newsday understands that other relatives are expected to arrive in the country to make arrangements for the funeral service.
Richard was born in England and his wife was a Trinidadian.
According to sources, British police officers are also expected in Tobago shortly to seek further information on the murder probe from the local team of homicide officers investigating the murders and to also render any expert advice and assistance.
Senior officials at the British High Commission in Trinidad are said to be monitoring investigations.
While the prime theory points to robbery as the motive for the murder and that the killer/s may have thought the house was empty and killed the couple when they (the intruders) were confronted, police sources said yesterday they are not ruling out another theory of a psychopath specifically targetting elderly Caucasian couples living in the sister-isle.
In 2008, Anna Sundsval, 62, and her companion Oke Olsoon were chopped to death in Bon Accord.
To date this double murder remains unsolved. In 2009, English couple Murium Greene, 59, and Peter Green, 65, were chopped and left for dead in Bacolet. They survived and returned to their home in England. This case is unsolved.
And in November 2014, Germans Hubertus Keil, 74, and Birgid Keil, 71, were chopped to death on Bacolet Bay. Again, this case is also unsolved.
Police are advising visitors to the island especially elderly couples to exercise extreme caution when they are out in public or in the yard of their home.
A team of officers led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vincel Edwards and 12 homicide officers are involved in the investigations.
Yesterday, investigators returned to the scene of the murders to carry out further investigations.
Sturge, Young square off
[Trinidad Express] – The Parliament Chamber at the International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain seemed like a court house yesterday as attorneys Wayne Sturge and Stuart Young squared off as Sturge launched a scathing attack on members of the legal profession.
The showdown took place in the budget debate at the Senate sitting, where Sturge, an Opposition Senator, trained his guns on Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Young, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, as well as president of the Law Association Reginald Armour and vice-president Gerry Brooks.
1.1M cash transaction lands pastor, car dealer in court
[Jamaica Observer] – Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams today lauded the crime fighting efforts of the Westmoreland Proactive Intelligence Unit (PIU) after a pastor and a businessman were convicted of conducting a cash transaction in excess of one million dollars.
According to the police, the Westmoreland pastor, 44-year-old Ray Foster today appeared in the Montego Bay Residents Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to committing the crime when he purchased a motor vehicle earlier this year.
Foster and his co-accused 60-year-old Oswald Spence, who is the owner of a car dealership in Montego Bay, St James were charged for breaches under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) on Friday, September 18 and Wednesday, September 23 respectively.
The men were arrested following a raid carried out at Foster’s home where two receipts were found showing a transaction for the purchase of a 2010 Toyota Yaris motorcar amounting to J$1.1 million from Oswald Spence.
Further investigations by the PIU led to a search of Spence’s business place where a receipt book was retrieved with the carbon copies of the receipts found at Foster’s home.
Foster and Spence were subsequently arrested and charged for breaching Section 101A of the POCA with a cash transaction in excess of JMD 1 million.
Spence pleaded guilty for breaches of the POCA in the Montego Bay Residents Magistrates Court on Wednesday, October 07.
“I am extremely pleased with the tenacious attitude of the investigators and how quickly they were able to secure convictions. The hardworking team from the Westmoreland Proactive Intelligence Unit must be lauded for their proactive approach to crime fighting and their intelligence gathering skills. The message is clear we (the JCF) are coming after the law breakers”, stated Dr Carl Williams in a release today.
Both men are scheduled for sentencing November 30, 2015.