By Michael Jordan
It took me two days to find the spot where they killed ‘Big Six.’
After all, it had happened 17 years ago, near a narrow wooden bridge in Savage Street. This is a long road stretching from North-East La Penitence to the West La Penitence area known as ‘The Island.’
But I couldn’t find that bridge, and I eventually learned why. The authorities had torn it down years ago. An ugly concrete bridge, located between Savage and Sussex Streets was now in its place.
I couldn’t help wondering whether ‘Big Six’ might still be alive if that concrete bridge had been there on the night the gunman ambushed him. He wouldn’t have had to dismount from his bicycle and present himself as an easy target.
But Big Six’s mom doesn’t believe in untimely deaths. So I guess she would just say that it was her only son’s time to go.
His real name was Adrian Williams, and at an early age, he knew that he wanted to be a policeman like one of his uncles, whom he held in high esteem.
Immediately after leaving school, the 18-year-old from Friendship, East Coast Demerara, enlisted in the Guyana Police Force. He was now Constable 15418 Adrian Williams.
Joan Williams had no concerns about her son’s safety, since, “At that time, they weren’t killing police.”
But by 1996, after just two years in the Force, Constable Williams was wondering if he had made a career misstep. He had reportedly told some relatives that the job was becoming dangerous. His mother would later receive reports that her son was threatened after he and some colleagues had raided a house and found drugs on the premises.
He decided that he would enroll in the Guyana Technical Institute the following year.
At around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, 1996, Constable Williams visited his mother at her stall outside the Stabroek Market. He then set off on his bicycle to the East Ruimveldt Police Outpost to work the night shift.
He was immediately summoned to go out on duty. A woman had alleged that someone was threatening her life. She pleaded with the ranks to accompany her to her West La Penitence home.
Williams, accompanied by Rural Constable Sean Jack, set out on their bicycles to investigate.
According to reports, the woman suggested to Williams and Jack that they take the Punt Trench route to her home. Instead, Williams and Rural Constable Jack took another route through Savage Street.
William and Jack eventually reached a narrow wooden bridge separating Savage Street from Sussex Street. According to reports, the two ranks dismounted and were crossing the bridge when two men who were standing on the bridge confronted them. There was the sound of rapid gunfire and a bullet-riddled Constable Williams fell dead. Rural Constable Sean Jack dropped his bike and escaped without a scratch.
Meanwhile, the woman who had made the complaint began to wonder why the police ranks had not turned up. She then returned to the East Ruimveldt Outpost, where she received the grim news.
But why had the gunmen murdered Constable Williams? There was no crime wave back then, and the killing of a policeman was a rarity.
Investigators questioned the sole eyewitness, Rural Constable Sean Jack. They found nothing to implicate him in Williams’ death.
Detectives later received information that suggested that Constable Williams had an unfortunate encounter with members of the trigger-happy Michael Craig Gang.
Craig was one of the most feared gunmen of that era. He committed brazen armed robberies and he seemed to relish killing. In the late nineties, Craig and his gang trailed a jewel store owner’s son and gunned him down. They later turned up at a fair at Linden wearing the stolen jewellery. The local cops never caught him.
Craig fled to the United States but it was a short-lived stay. He entered a New York store and tried to stick up the owner. The New York cops riddled him with bullets.
But police believe that the individual who actually pulled the trigger on ‘Big Six’ was a Michael Craig associate known as ‘Green Man’. He was killed at Nismes, West Bank Demerara.
One cop suggested that Williams may have ordered the loitering men on the bridge to disperse, and they responded by killing the uniformed cop.
Joan Williams had received similar information about the identity of her son’s killers. But that doesn’t mean that she believes that the real perpetrators were ever apprehended.
“He might be out there still. People in the area called a name. One of his (Constable Williams’) friends called a name of a man who used to live in Albousytown and escaped to French Guiana. I don’t know if there was any investigation. They go willy-nilly and kill about six people…some known criminals; one ‘Green-man’ and others.
“I kept going to Eve Leary and they say that they looking into it, and that they have no leads. They offered me a job, which I refused. My son get kill and you want to kill me too? I asked for compensation.”
But Mrs. Williams said that she had to wait until 2002, when other policemen were being slaughtered, before the Home Affairs Ministry awarded her $1M in compensation.
She would later make the yearly journey to Eve Leary to lay a wreath for her son, during the memorial service for fallen police ranks.
“I remember him every day. He was a jovial person. He would always say something to make you happy. I grieve no more. I don’t believe in untimely death. Death is inevitable, and you have to let go and hold onto the memory.”
If you have any information about these or any other unusual cases, please contact us by letter or telephone at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown office. Our numbers are 225-8491 and 225-8473. You need not disclose your identity.
You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address: [email protected]
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