‘Executions’ are the most difficult murders for police to solve as the perpetrators often cover their tracks so well that investigators have little chance of finding them. The most the police can do is hope that an eyewitness will come forward and provide them with vital information.
Last year, for example, charges were only forthcoming in one out of 15 execution-style killings recorded. At least two more have been added to the pile of unsolved murders this year, and the trails are already cold.
A senior police source with years of experience in law enforcement told Stabroek News recently that an execution is the type of crime which is well planned. The perpetrators, he said, would put a lot of time and energy into every aspect of the crime, including how to avoid detection, and it was because of this detailed planning that perpetrators were able to “cover their tracks well and are always prepared.”
The element of preparation, he noted, worked against the police and made the evidence-gathering process very difficult for investigators. Without eyewitnesses coming forward, the police can do very little.
“Generally this is one of the most difficult type of murders,” he reiterated.
The Force’s track record on execution-style killings speaks for itself.
Some six months have passed since nine persons, including a woman and toddler were riddled with bullets in carefully planned and well-executed attacks at Cummings Lodge, Stone Avenue Campbellville and Charlestown.
Police have not made much progress in their investigations although they have repeated that all three incidents are related. Police issued wanted bulletins for about a dozen well-known businessmen and ex-policeman but after questioning them – in some cases for as much as 48 hours – they were all released without being charged.
Dexter Marshall, the younger brother of one of the men killed in Cummings Lodge was later charged in connection with the execution of `Mark ‘Lil Mark’ Caesar in Charlestown.
Police later disclosed that the same gun was used in the Charlestown and Stone Avenue slayings. In the Stone Avenue incident, Patrick Goodluck who had several brushes with the law and Godfrey Grootfaam were killed.
Crime Chief Seelall Persaud told this newspaper earlier in the year that while there had been no new developments, investigations were still open.
According to the police, in the Cummings Lodge incident, Steve ‘Steve man’ Jupiter, Christopher Gordon and Sherwin Jerome ‘Dice Head’ were the targets. Jupiter’s girlfriend Fiona Singh and their son, Neil Jupiter aged three, who were also in the vehicle when it was riddled with bullets were said to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Two men, Friendship businessman, Carlos Persaud and food vendor, Brain Chung have been executed for this year compared to three for the same period last year.
The other execution victims are Vibert Weekes, Nicholas Hoyte, East Coast salt fish vendor Rajendra Sonilall, Ryan Brimmer, Terry Bacchus, Sidwell Dexter Collins, Jamal ‘Radio’ Beete; the brother of alleged gang leader Tyrone ‘Cobra’ Rowe and Leriea Bristol. These cases are still open.
On March 12, Persaud, 32, of Friendship, East Bank Demerara was found in the Le Repentir cemetery with gunshot wounds in the back. His car was earlier found abandoned in ‘C’ Field Sophia, following reports from residents. It was an anonymous phone call that led police to the businessman’s remains.
Persaud was killed one day after he left home telling relatives that he was going to buy stock for his shop.
A senior police official had said that investigators had not been able to gather any information that could lead to a breakthrough.
Police are in contact with a local telephone provider to trace the last calls made to and from the man’s cell phone, which remains missing.
Then last Thursday, Chung was shot in his head following an argument in his Da Silva Street, Newtown Kitty yard with two men. Police are currently looking for a minibus conductor who the gunmen reportedly used as ‘bait’ to lure Chung from his well-secured yard.
The police official this newspaper spoke with said that executions are committed by hired guns. In some cases he said the paid killers are part of a particular group or are in some way attached to a gang.
He said that generally police have an idea of who these persons are but proving this is always very difficult.
Stabroek News was told that hired guns were behind the death of Chung, which is said to be drug related.
Following the Cummings Lodge killings, police had described Jupiter as a “hit man” and drug transporter.
“‘Steve man’ [was] well known to the police to be involved in all sorts of criminal activities.
We have heard his name in all sorts of criminal activities that would include persons who were paid to write other people off; transporting of drugs; protecting and strong arming for drug dealers and some other matters which you get once you do good intelligence,” Henry Greene, had told reporters.
Goodluck was also linked to this sort of criminal activity.