By Michael Jordan
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these two cases are connected. But some would say that it must be more than coincidence that two men, with pretty much the same backgrounds, ended up being murdered in the same way, two months apart, and being dumped in similar locations.
On November 25, 2009, a group of joggers running at the back of the Ocean View International Hotel, Liliendaal, spotted the body of a man lying on the seawall.
The victim was clad in his underpants and a t-shirt. He was also wearing a pair of slippers. A bag containing another pair of footwear and a cellular phone was near the body.
Someone had slit his throat, and that person had also stabbed him in the face several times.
Police who visited the scene found a bloodstained rock nearby.
The victim was quickly identified as 39-year-old stage actor and Bourda Market vendor Joel Fraser, of 27 Laing Avenue, West Ruimveldt.
According to reports, Fraser, called ‘Sweets,’ was last seen in the vicinity of Bourda Market just before midnight the day before. An associate in the acting fraternity had reportedly dropped him off there at around 23:00 hrs.
According to other reports, earlier that same night, Fraser had attended rehearsals for the comedy production “Nothing to Laugh About.” He had then left to attend the Mori J’von Comedy Jam rehearsals, a production in which he was playing an integral role
Shortly after midnight, he reportedly called a female friend and said that he was at the Bourda Market.
The motive, too, seemed unclear. Some clues suggested robbery. According to reports, the actor had a laptop computer and production material for the premiere of the Mori J’von Comedy Jam. The computer and material were missing.
But the ferocity of the attack on the victim, particularly the wounds to the face, seemed to suggest that revenge could be a motive. However, Fraser’s relatives and close friends all indicated that he had no enemies. Those who saw him shortly before his demise said that he did not seem to be upset about anything. The whereabouts of the victim’s trousers also presented a mystery.
Police would question two female associates of Fraser’s, but never came close to solving the case.
Then two months later, on January 18, 2010, a man living in a shack near the Kingston seawall was strolling in the area when he spotted a body lying under a coconut tree.
The victim, a man of mixed ancestry, was clad in long khaki pants, brown striped shirt and a pair of black sandals. Both of his ears were pierced. The body had a gaping wound to the neck and multiple chop wounds to the hands. Police would surmise that the victim sustained the injuries to the hands while trying to ward off the attacker.
Detectives retrieved a cutlass a short distance from the corpse.
The following day, relatives of the victim identified the slain man as 44-year-old Elton Campbell, also called Llewellyn Fitzgerald Campbell, of Lamaha Street, Kitty.
Like Joel Fraser, he was also a Bourda Market vendor.
One relative said that she had seen Campbell about a week before, at a relative’s birthday party at Plaisance, East Coast Demerara.
One vendor remembered seeing Campbell about three days before his murder. According to the individual, the man had appeared to be in good spirits.
Some ranks remembered the murder of Joel Fraser and speculated whether there was a connection between the two cases.
The fact that Campbell’s trouser pockets were turned outwards when he was found also gave rise to speculation that he was robbed and slain.
But what was the victim doing in that dismal area?
There was talk that detectives were looking at the fact that one of the man’s close associates lives a short distance from where the body was found.
But, as in Joel Fraser’s case, no arrests were made. Both cases remain unsolved.
If you have any information about this or any other unusual case, please contact Kaieteur News by letter or telephone at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown offices. Our numbers are 22-58465, 22-58458 and 22-58473. You need not disclose your identity.
You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address [email protected]
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