Over the years, we have seen major gang leaders cut down one way or other. Either by rival bullets, or at the hands of the police.
The King brothers were wiped out by rivals. Dole Chadee and his gang went too far, from importing and exporting cocaine, to multiple murders. They were hanged at the State Prison after committing four brutal murders.
Some of the big time criminals who were killed – Mark Guerra, Sean Francis, Merlin “Cudjoe” Allamby, Kerwin “Fresh”Phillip, Sheldon “Crock” Scott, Glenroy “Abdul Malik” Charles, and Herbert “Screw Up” John.
In 2016, we have seen the demise of Selwyn “Robo Cop” Alexis, a well-known leader of a gang which was involved in drugs, kidnapping and murder. As he stood outside his home at Enterprise, Chaguanas, on July 17, he was cut down in a hail of bullets, which also took the life of two other men, one of whom was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Since then, Alexis’ brother were nephew were killed in Enterprise. Alexis’ murder remains unsolved and is very likely, it will not be solved. Over the years, Alexis tormented innocent victims, kidnapping the children, so the parents could pay the ransom. He was even caught with a sweat box, but never charged, as it was suspected that police officers were on his payroll right to the very end.
Many kidnap victims were never found. Alexis was heavily involved in extortion within the business community, but no charges could ever stick. His demise has brought the end of an era, but police say another “Robo Cop” will emerge in the coming years.
During the past year, several foreigners were murdered.
* A promising British cricketer, on vacation in Trinidad, was shot to death during a robbery in San Juan in April. Adrian St John, 22, died at hospital.
John was driving a Nissan AD wagon. Two women, aged 50 and 22, of Wallerfield and Mt D’or Road, were his passengers.
Police said John stopped the vehicle to allow the 50 year old to pick up her relative. Two armed men emerged from behind two water tanks and pointed guns at them.
They were robbed of cell phones and cash. The bandits ordered John to drive away and fired a shot at the car as he drove off. He was struck in the back of the head.
Police responded and took John to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where he died.
One man was charged with that murder.
* A Jamaican national was shot dead in December while liming near a bar in Curepe.
Police said the victim, 36-year-old Robert Mc Innis, who stayed in an apartment at McInroy Street, Curepe, was near Bruise Bar, on the corner of Belle Smythe and Bushe streets, Curepe, with some other people when gunshots ran out.
When the shooting stopped, it was discovered that Mc Innis sustained several gunshots about his body. He died on the spot. No one has been charged.
* The murder of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya, shocked the nation. Her body was found under a tree in the Queen’s Park Savannah on Ash Wednesday morning, in February.
Autopsy results showed she was strangled. Reports revealed that after she played mas, she was accompanied by a young man to search for her friends in St Ann’s. She was last seen walking north along Picton Street, Newtown, entering Pollo Tropical, and then crossing the road near to Queen’s Royal College.
She was last seen arguing with the same young man before she went missing. Her body was found the following day.
Her case remains unsolved. Comments made by then Mayor, Raymond Tim Kee, led to him resigning in the wake of a public outcry.
What about other cases? So far 450 people have been murdered.
* The murder of 20year-old Republic Bank employee, Shannon Banfield, shocked the nation as well. Shannon told her mother she would be stopping in two stores on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, before heading home on December 5. She shopped at Pennywise and then went to IAM and Company store. She never left that store.
After she never came home that night, her mother led a frantic search hoping to find her.
The nightmare, however, came true on December 8, when the young woman’s body was found on the third floor of IAM store, hidden under boxes. An autopsy showed that she was smothered to death.
IAM employee, Dale Seecharan was charged with her murder. But other persons are suspected to be involved in this murder, and a cover-up may be in train.
* Four-year-old Jenice Figaro died on November 24, after she had a meal of French fries given to her by a female relative.
An autopsy later revealed that she died of blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. A woman was detained, but later released.
* March 15, 2016 – The headless body of 26-year-old cleaner, Eden Nekeisha Teesdale, was found in a barrel floating in the Mitan River, Manzanilla. She was a mother of three.
*April 15, 2016: The body of Felicia Persad was found floating near the banks of the Mitan River. She had reportedly been in an abusive relationship.
*July 23, 2016: The body of Satrohan Bunsee was found floating in Mosquito Creek by journalists and environmentalists who were investigating a fish kill incident.
* August 29, 2016: Two bodies were found, one washed ashore and one floating, in the Gulf of Paria. One was identified as Anderson Martin, of Laventille, while the other was identified as Sam Boucaud.
*October 8, 2016: The body of Wazim Nabbie was found in the Gulf of Paria; his hands were bound behind his body.
*October 9, 2016: The decomposed body of taxi driver Che Anderson Reid was found floating near Granville beach.
*November 3, 2016: The floating body of a man was found in the Port of Spain port.
*September 15: The body of 34-year-old Lisa Matagoolam was found at the bottom of a precipice in Brasso. Her hands had been bound. A man known to her later confessed to the murder.
*October 13: The body of Michael Dennis from Maloney was found near Rincon Road, Las Cuevas.
*December 11: the body of Andre Lopez was discovered down a precipice in Maraval; he was last seen alive attending a parang event in the district, and was reportedly intoxicated when he left the venue to head home.
*October 10: Vanessa ‘Buffy’ Ackee’s body was found down a precipice near Morne Coco Road.
* November 25 – the bodies of two men were found tied together, with their eyebrows shaved off and lipstick on their faces. Two men were taken into custody in connection with the murders.
*The gruesome murders of 48-year-old Raj Sookhai and 45-year-old Ann Marie Bain are believed to be the result of a car deal gone wrong.
Sookhai’s body was found on Manzanilla beach while Bain’s body was found in an Arima precipice some hours later.
* The charred bodies of Siparia couple, Ardia Yearwood-Marchan and her husband Peter Marchan, were found in a burnt pickup-truck in Fyzabad on August 3, 2016.
SHELDON “CROCK” SCOTT
KERWIN “FRESH” PHILLIP
SELWYN “ROBOCOP” ALEXIS