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Asphyxia unusual in the city of crime

Murder by strangulation is uncommon in the city while the gun is the most commonly used weapon, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Apr 02, 2007 19:14 IST

Far away from cricket and trying to keep track of the most shocking news to have ever hit the game can be tedious.

Those investigating Woolmer’s case said on Tuesday, after sifting through the images captured by CCTV, and searching through the late Pakistan coach’s laptop, there was nothing to disclose yet. It was another day of chasing rumours like someone had been arrested or the police would announce they had a breakthrough, but nothing happened.

There was time though to learn about crime in this city, which has an alarming record of murders. The gun is the most frequently used weapon and there have been a few instances of stabbing too.

Asphyxia caused by manual strangulation, declared as the cause of Woolmer’s death, is not something people here are used to. A crime reporter could not recollect a case nor could Annette Johnson, a lawyer. Mentioning strangulation drew bewilderment in conversations with locals too.

Two murders that have caused ripples here in recent times involved stabbing. Reverend Richard Johnson was killed at his residence near St Jude’s Anglican Church on November 12, while former Deputy High Commissioner of Jamaica, Peter King, met a similar end at around the same time.

These cases are connected in an uncanny way, to the murder of an Air Jamaica crew at the Pegasus in December 2005. Victims in all three cases were apparently in the company of homosexuals. People are not very forthcoming to say why, but fondness for the same sex is apparently not appreciated here.

There was still no reason to speculate that investigations would point to something similar in the Woolmer case. People to have spoken about the previous murders were quick to add “not even half in almost the 50 leads we have explored, indicate connections with homosexuality”.

It was numbing at times to go through the details of the earlier killings, but that would be similar to reading every other account of human animosity, anywhere in the world. Sitting here one lonely afternoon, with rain blocking movement as well as vision, there was little else to do.

First Published: Mar 29, 2007 02:14 IST