By Gavin Riley
Another week and the scourge of crime continues to lay siege to the welfare of Jamaican women and children at home and abroad.
Current statistics show that the once-protected group has now become targets, as Jamaica Today takes a look at the most recent slew of deadly incidents where women and children stand as the only casualties.
Domestic violence has been identified as the common denominator in most of the killings.
Over the last 10 days, seven Jamaican women and children have been murdered in as many incidents across the parishes of Kingston & St Andrew and St James – with one incident happening as far away as Georgia in the United States.
The first incident took place at around 2:00 am Sunday, September 23, when Fabian Lucan brutally murdered his common-law wife Diane Smith, 45 and her daughter Jayshenel Gordon, 16.
After slashing the throats of the two females, following a heated dispute at home in Rose Mount, St James, Lucan fled the scene – driving to the Rio Cobre in St Catherine, where he plunged his motor vehicle into the river, committing suicide.
Jermaine ‘Jay’ Jones, allegedly stabbed his wife Opal Fern Christian-Jones to death on Wednesday, September 26 at their home in Clayton County, Georgia. The two, both Jamaican nationals, reportedly got into an argument that night, when Jay, 30, grabbed a knife and stabbed Christian-Jones, 47, repeatedly. The act of killing her seemingly wasn’t enough for him, as it is reported that he then launched a second attack, nearly beheading the woman.
Judith Miller-Warren, a popular dancer now-turned entertainment promoter was shot and killed on Saturday, September 29. Reports indicate that the she and a male companion were seated in a parked car, when they were pounced upon by a group of armed men at around 7:00 pm in an area of Anchovy, St. James, called ‘Nigger Ground’. Miller-Warren, who had made America her home for some time was pronounced dead at hospital; her male companion was admitted.
Later that night, an unidentified woman was stabbed to death along East Street in Montego Bay. According to reports, the woman who was believed to be a sex worker, became embroiled in an altercation with a male ‘customer’ sometime around 9:00 pm. Knives were brandished by both persons, who proceeded to inflict wounds on each other. The man, who managed to make his way for treatment at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, left the woman injured and bleeding at the back of a building – where she later died.
At around 9:30 pm in St Andrew, District Constable Melissa Edwards-Whyte was hacked to death at her home in Patrick City. It is alleged that the key suspect, her husband Barrington, 53, in a fit of rage, used a knife to stab the woman cop several times.
An alarm was raised by her brother, who had left the house to run an errand and returned to stumble upon her mutilated body in a pool of blood, with a machete nearby.
Mother of two, 25-year-old Sashanna Hibbert was shot and killed while closing up a business establishment in downtown Kingston on Monday, October 1.
Hibbert, who was in the company of a male companion, was accosted by two armed men along Temple Lane while attempting to close the establishment at around 5:30 pm. The men forced their way into the building, proceeded to the rob both Hibbert and her male companion of cash and other valuables, before a scuffle ensued where she was shot three times. Hibbert died while undergoing treatment at the Kingston Public Hospital. The man accompanying her was seemingly left unharmed as the gunmen made their escape on foot.
Another woman barely escaped with her life on Tuesday, October 2, after a late-night gun attack left her nursing serious gunshot wounds. According to reports, the female was among several patrons at a bar in Mansfield Heights, in Ocho Rios, St Ann around 10:00 pm, when armed men entered opening fire.
The woman and another man, Sheldon White sustained gunshot wounds. Upon the police’s arrival, both were transported to hospital, where White was pronounced dead – the woman remains hospitalized in stable condition.