-20% above last year’s total

With the third quarter of this year gone there have been 103 murders which is 20% (all figures rounded) more than the total number of killings recorded by police in 2009.

For last year, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud recently told Stabroek News, there were 83 murders. On Wednesday, he reported that police had recorded over 100 murders so far for this year.

Disorderly behaviour, that is instances where persons had a disagreement and were subsequently involved in a fatal confrontation, accounted for 35 of these murders, Persaud said. He further reported, based on statistics compiled by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) that 24 murders were yet to be classified.

GPF figures reflected that 22 murders were robbery related, 14 resulted from domestic violence and 9 were classified as execution style killings. The total number of killings recorded by the GPF as at the end of September, Persaud said, was 104. September has recorded the highest tally for the year – 17.

However, a total of 103 murders would have been reported by this newspaper up to the end of last month. Despite the difference of one case, the numbers recorded by the GPF and Stabroek News reflect a notable increase in murders.

In 2009 there was one murder every 4 days. For the first three quarters this year (273 days) there has been one murder every two and half days. An average of 11 killings has been reported every month this year. If this trend continues for the last quarter then there may be an approximate 40% increase in murders for this year when compared to the previous.

The shooting to death of waitress Kulmattie Singh during a robbery; and then the executions of Vibert Weekes on Upper Robb Street and Nicholas Hoyte in Alberttown between January 8 and 12 were among the first murders which baffled police in January.

These cases, which are among many others accumulated during the months following January, remain unsolved.

After 15 murders in January, the majority of which were gun related, there was a decrease in killings the following month to seven reported cases. From March 1 to June 30 there was an average of 9 murders every month. Cases which generated much interest during this period were the execution-style killings of Mon Repos businessman Rajendra Motilall Sonilall in April and Jamal ‘Radio’ Beete who was discovered on the second floor of a George Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown house in June.

The shootings continued well into July with the killings of Constable Vickram Singh in Georgetown and then Constable Kelvin Shepherd, who was reportedly killed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Ivelaw Murray before he allegedly killed himself, in Berbice.

There were 15 reported cases of murder in that month, 13 in August and the highest recorded number of 17 in September.

At the beginning of September gold dealers Ramdeo Deonarine and Jarinarine Raghubir were discovered dead in a Bartica building. The men’s hands and feet were tied and their throats slashed.

Investigations later reveal-ed that $1.2 million, 100 ounces of raw gold and a computer were stolen. Several persons have since been charged in relation to the matter.

Later in the month police investigators were left to deal with the massacre of five persons, including a child, in Cummings Lodge. Attackers in two cars used high-powered guns and in a fusillade fatally wounded three-year-old Neil Jupiter, his parents Steve Jupiter and Fiona Singh, Christopher Gordon and Sherwin Jerome. Persaud has since said the three men were linked to illegal activities.

However, no one has been arrested or even hauled in for questioning in relation to the killings.

Guns have been responsible for 36% (more than a third) of the murders for so far this year. There have been 21 stabbings, five cases of chopping, 15 cases of wounding by another method, five cases of battering, four victims drowned, three electrocuted, five burnt, three strangled, one suffocated, and three died in other circumstances.

Meanwhile, 81 of the murder victims were male.

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