Crane man hacks wife, toddler to death

-leaves mom critical after severing hand

A Crane, West Coast Demerara man early yesterday morning butchered his wife and two-year-old-son and critically wounded his mother during a rampage that was eventually brought to an end when he was shot by the police.

Dead are Vanessa Sookram, 34, who is said to be partially disabled, and her son, Joel Ganesh.

Their assailant, who was identified as Suresh Ganesh, 28, called “Tarzan” and “Battery,” allegedly also turned the murder weapon, a cutlass, on his mother, Jennifer, and severed one of her hands.

Joel Ganesh
Joel Ganesh
Vanessa Sookram with her common-law husband Suresh Ganesh, who is reported to have hacked her and their two-year-old son to death in their home yesterday at Crane, West Coast Demerara.
Vanessa Sookram with her common-law husband Suresh Ganesh, who is reported to have hacked her and their two-year-old son to death in their home yesterday at Crane, West Coast Demerara.

She was said to be in a critical condition up to press time last night.

Ganesh was shot to his hip and leg after he attempted to attack the police during their attempts to arrest him. He was taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH), where he underwent surgery. He was discharged late yesterday afternoon and taken for a psychiatric evaluation.

Sookram was chopped to her neck, which was almost severed, while Joel was chopped to his abdomen, which left him virtually gutted.

While relatives were unable to say what led to Ganesh’s rampage, police sources told Stabroek News that he had accused Sookram of having an affair. This newspaper was also told that the man was seen drinking with some relatives on the evening before the attack and he had reportedly vented about text messages that he claimed were sent to the woman.

According to relatives, Ganesh is known to abuse alcohol and drugs on a regular basis. They said he and Sookram shared a relationship for several years and during that time he had subjected her to severe beatings. Three years ago, this newspaper was told, he had also chopped one of her cousins during a misunderstanding but he was not charged.

Sookram, according to relatives, left him on three but she returned despite their urgings that she leave. She was also the mother of an older child, who is being taken care of by her mother.

It is believed that after murdering Sookram and their son, Ganesh called out to his mother, who lives in the house in front of his, and requested breakfast. As a result, the woman carried bread for him, at which point he whipped out the cutlass and continuously chopped her. The woman’s husband and her younger her son heard her screams and responded and Ganesh reportedly fled with the murder weapon in hand.

One resident, Daniram Indardat recalled hearing screams coming from the yard and he rushed to render assistance. The man said he tried to call the police and the hospital on several occasions but got no response.

Indardat related that he saw the suspect at the seaside around 6 am yesterday “with the cutlass and a salt-bag in his hands.”

While another resident recalled seeing Suresh running at the side of her fence with the cutlass in his possession after the chopping.

Police received information a few hours after the murders that Ganesh was seen in the vicinity Pouderoyen, a few villages away from Crane, and they immediately rushed to the area where he was spotted with the suspected murder weapon.

There, Ganesh also ran into a yard at Lot 84 Samaroo Dam, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, where he chopped, David Persaud, 51, a security guard, to his left shoulder, back and left hand. One of the man’s fingers was almost severed as a result.

“Me hear me neighbour a run and holler and when me look out, the same man that the police shoot, run in the yard and start fire chops on me husband,” Persaud’s wife, Surujdai Narine later told Stabroek News.

The man’s actions left the entire community shocked. Residents gathered in their numbers as the news spread and were heard voicing their anger at what had occurred. (Additional reporting by Sharda Bacchus)

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