Jul 12, 2012 News
Guyana lost one of its premier Pathologists, Dr Edward Simon, who passed away in London, England on June 25 last after a prolonged illness.
Dr Simon, who was the Director of Standard Medical Laboratory on Croal Street, was 86-years old at the time of his death.
He was known for the meticulousness with which he carried out his duties when it came to forensic
science, especially autopsies.
His work was featured in a number of high profile unnatural deaths in Guyana including the suspected murder of Felicity Holder, the 11-year old schoolgirl whose body was found in the bathroom of her great-aunt and her reputed husband in 1997.
Dr. Simon in his autopsy had found that someone had raped and strangled Felicity. That person had then tried to cover up the actual cause of death by staging her hanging.
Suspicion fell on Oscar Lamazon, the reputed husband of the child’s great aunt. He was charged, sentenced to death, but then freed in 2004 by Justice Jainarayan Singh. In the judge’s opinion, the prosecution had failed to produce an iota of evidence to show that he had killed Felicity.
During the autopsy, Dr. Simon had taken samples from the slain girl’s vagina and from under her fingernails.
He hoped that the samples, once tested overseas, would reveal the DNA of Felicity’s killer.
But according to Dr. Simon, he sealed the forensic samples and turned them over to the police.
The intention was that the specimens would be sent for DNA testing in Dade County Forensic Laboratory in Miami, Florida.
But, when time passed and he received no feedback from the police about DNA results, Dr, Simon decided to check with the police.
To his consternation, he was told that the samples had never left Guyana after all.
Dr Simon had also witnessed the 2004 post mortem of murder accused Mark Thomas, called ‘Kezorkee’, who was a figure in the infamous ‘Phantom Squad’ that was fingered in the deaths of a number of criminal suspects.
Thomas’s sudden death while he was hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital had raised suspicions considering the explosive death squad allegations surrounding him and others following the murder of cattle farmer Shafeek Bacchus.
Dr Nehaul Singh, the government’s pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination, was unable to find what caused the man’s death. The autopsy was observed by pathologist Dr Edward Simon on behalf of Thomas’ employer, Aubert Van Sertima.
Again Dr Simon was said to have taken samples from 12 different parts of Thomas’ body and had recommended that they be sent to a laboratory in Miami.
However, once again even as the samples were prepared to be sent off via DHL Worldwide Express, the police took possession of them informing that they would keep the samples frozen and would decide who would send them off to which laboratory.
Nothing ever came out of the matter.
Thomas reportedly had his last meal shortly before he died and many had speculated that the man might have suffered a heart attack.
But the post-mortem ruled this out, as nothing was found wrong with his heart.
Dr. Simon was again featured in the news when he was detained by Trinidadian airport security personnel after his licenced firearm was found in his luggage.
As it turned out, the doctor had forgotten the weapon in his suitcase before he left Guyana on his way to England. It was surprising that the local Customs and Immigration officials did not find the weapon, and not for the first time.
He was subsequently released without charge.
Dr Edward Simon who would be buried tomorrow leaves to mourn his wife, Iris; Sister Eileen; four children and 12 grandchildren among other relatives.
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