EYEWITNESS: Criminal minds…

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…in Guyana 

It’s now been four months since the three West Berbice youths – first the Henry cousins Isaiah and Joel, then Haresh Singh – were brutally murdered. Their relatives and all Guyana are praying that these cases be solved ASAP – if for nothing else than bringing closure to the bereaved families as to why their children were so violently snatched away.

But there’s another reason for a quick wrapping up of the case. As we know, opportunistic PNC Leader David Granger and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon had rushed to one of the grief-stricken Henry homes and had made wild and unsubstantiated POLITICAL connections to the murder of the cousins. Following that incendiary statement, all hell broke loose on West Berbice when Indian-Guyanese – equated with “PPP supporters” – were violently assaulted in widespread protests along the Public Road. Haresh was then murdered. Even though one of the PNC factions called for peace, the country remains on edge because other PNC elements have kept up drumbeats of a racial/political nexus with the Henrys’ murders.

The Guyana Police – assisted by the Caricom RSS – conducted an investigation of the crime scene and determined that the murders of the Henry boys – whose bodies were brutally hacked and “Xs” carved into their heads – weren’t committed where the bodies were found. They arrested some locals – including relatives of Haresh – but soon released them. An autopsy was conducted and crime scene samples were sent to and received from the St Lucia Forensic Lab, but these didn’t provide any clues as to the perpetrators of the heinous crimes.

The GHRA emerged from its hibernation to demand that a team of Argentinian Anthropological Forensic scientists be flown in to investigate. Since this team focuses on IDENTIFYING randomly discovered murdered bodies and the three murdered youths were known, there was some skepticism as to what exactly they could do. The only area they might’ve helped in was if DNA material from the crime scene needed to be checked to discover if they were from others than the murdered youths. The Leader of the Argentine team did come to Guyana, visited the crime scene and requested some documentation from the Police. The latter promised to share materials/info from the crime scene and the autopsy, but the offer hasn’t been taken up to date. The Government had always explained they’d asked the US and Britain for assistance, since these were ongoing relationships.

The FBI just responded, and will be offering assistance in some required area to solve the crime.

Progress and hope!

…and psychological profiling

One area of law enforcement that the FBI’s justifiably famous for is the psychological profiling of perpetrators of violent crimes – performed by their Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). They routinely receive requests from foreign police, and we hope that it’s this unit that’s being engaged. Unlike the Argentine Anthropological Forensic team, which specialises in identification, the FBI forensic psychologists detect and classify the major personality and behavioural characteristics of criminals based upon analysis of the crime committed. We don’t have to be fans of “Criminal Minds” to know that these are the folks we need to solve these crimes.

It takes a particular mindset to butcher the youths as was done. Typically, the profiling will be in five phases – 1: An assimilation phase, where all information from the crime scene and autopsy is analysed; 2: The “classification stage”, to integrate the above information into a framework which essentially classifies the murderer as “organized” or “disorganized”. 3: Reconstructing the behavioural sequence of the crime; 4: Identifying the perpetrators “signature” – eg whether this was a professional killer; 5: Check if the murder was “staged” – as it appears the Henrys’ were.

Even a layman can tell Haresh was murdered by someone else.

…and intellectual authors 

Anyone with even a cursory familiarity with Guyana’s political history would know that our politics is as dirty as can be.

Which political party “profited” from the murders?