Barbados The Nation News – Jamaica Gleaner: Two Ways Of Reporting A Knifing Death…

From Jamaica Gleaner…

Killed Over Ganja – Feuding Sons Of High-Society Officials

AN ARGUMENT over ganja has left the son of Supreme Court judge Lennox Campbell dead and the son of principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, facing a charge of murder.

Rodney Beckles, 21, whose father, Professor Hilary Beckles, was en route to Jamaica from Barbados yesterday, is now in police custody after stabbing to death Khalil Campbell, 28, of Daisy Avenue, St. Andrew.

The accused Beckles, a student at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, allegedly stabbed Campbell 21 times after an argument over the illegal substance.

Police sources say Beckles is alleged to have denied Campbell the opportunity to smoke his chillum pipe, claiming Campbell was not mentally capable of ‘handling the weed’. An altercation developed during which Beckles allegedly stabbed Campbell several times despite attempts by two other persons to restrain him.

… finish reading this article at Jamaica Gleaner (link here)

Now The Same Story From The Nation News…

Bajan facing murder charge
Published on: 1/5/07.

AN ARGUMENT between two young men in Jamaica has left one dead and the other, a Barbadian, facing a charge of murder.

Dead is Khalil Campbell, 28, of Daisy Avenue, St Andrew, Jamaica, and facing a murder charge is Rodney Beckles, of Bagatelle, St Thomas.

Papine police said Beckles, a social sciences student of University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, is expected to be charged today.

Campbell died while undergoing treatment at the University Hospital of the West Indies, after an argument in which he was allegedly stabbed. (The Nation News story link here

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89 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, News Media, Politics & Corruption

89 responses to “Barbados The Nation News – Jamaica Gleaner: Two Ways Of Reporting A Knifing Death…

  1. God Bless David

    I guess the Nation did not want to reprint the Gleaner article for some reason… sad story, though. You would have thought that these two young men would have known better, and should have had better examples set for them by their parents. More evidence that it all comes down to personal choices one makes, in spite of one’s background, education, social connections and opportunities. Say “no” to drugs…

  2. K23B7

    Say no to drugs I agree. Millions of rastaman say something else. Jamaicans should stay in Jamaica. We will stay in Barbados. Better that way for each.

  3. Disposable Arts

    I dunno about yall, but this got me laughing out.
    “…claiming Campbell was not mentally capable of ‘handling the weed’”

  4. spin or is that interpretation

    sounds to me like they were both stoned!!!

    parents can’t be responsible for their young childrens acts unless they neglected them

  5. De Orginal

    This is a tragic incident my sympathy to both sets of parents. To the Nation news paper I read newspapers in Guyana, BBC, Barbados, Trinidad,Grenada, Antigua, and the Gleaner and the Observer. I have defended this Newspaper on occasion when other bloggers knock it but I recognise that what they have been saying about the media in Barbados is true. The selective reporting I was shocked at how the Nation edited the story it was disgraceful. Harold Hoyte you must be vex to see how your paper behaving and yah just turn yah back. It is a shame. But I should have know from that suck up editorial by the new CEO at taking up the post.

  6. Golden Claw

    I agree DA… imagine a Baje telling a Jammie he cyan handle de pipe… Chhhhhhaaaa den! Do you think Harold and Hillary does lime?

  7. M.

    Even with the best parental influences, youngsters can lose their way in today’s feral society. In terms of this latest tragedy, there but for the grace of God could go any of us who have had children. This incident is no source of amusement but, if reports are accurate, is a desperately sad indictment of today’s drug culture. Send thoughts and prayers of support instead to both families, for this is no laughing matter. Just imagine if one of those youngsters had been your son or daughter – or your favourite niece or nephew. Two families are in ruins tonight, their pain compounded by media interest and judgement; tomorrow it could be your turn. Mockery is no virtue.

  8. Greg_or

    First let me express my sympathy to the parents and family of the man who lost his life. This catastrophe shows in my opinion that there is no great benefit in sending your child through private schooling (and constantly boosting about it) rather than the public education system; it all boils down to the type of influences in your child’s life and if he/ she is made to stride towards goals like the poor and under privileged or are they handed everything on a silver platter.
    A parent can constantly tell their child not to drink, ‘drinking is bad’, but at the end of the day, if that parent does the said same thing the child will become the parent (pick sense from non-sense). How does the parent feel to know that as soon as their child is released from the nest, falls hard into the solid concrete below, especially after showing so much potential for flight?

  9. Eager Reader

    Come on now, let’s not put the senior Beckles on trial. And, I actually like the BFP approach of not passing judgement on the situation but inviting comments on the reporting of two media houses.

    The facts are that Rodney McDonald Beckles a Bajan has been arrested -and still not yet charged- for this act. I suspect that the Nation opted not to sensationalize. I hope this was not because Rodney is Professor Beckes’ son but probably because there was a dearth of information at reporting time. (I am speculating). Yet, the Nation report contained the key facts which I presume were available at the time. That Rodney is son of UWI Cave Hill Principal Hilary Beckles makes the story more tantalizing. But is it necessary to sensationalize every damn thing? All the facts were there.

    Jamaica Gleaner had more details to print in their newspaper today. Let’s see what the Nation comes up with tomorrow now that more information is coming in. But let us refrain please from putting the father on trial for the son’s activities and actions.

    Take note that Jamaica has a second daily, in fact a daily the Jamaica Observer, available at http://www.jamaicaobserver.com which has given the Gleaner a run for its money since its establishment. Peruse the Jamaica Observer. Not a word on what must have been the biggest story in Jamaica of the day. At least the Nation had something.

    Also, as a parent of two sons – 22 and 17-, I have finally (it took a long time) come around to the realization that parents can attempt to teach children right from wrong, we can try to shield them from harm and negative influences, but really the rest is up to them.

    My sympathy and prayers go out to Professor Beckles and his family and to the family of the victim.

  10. Advocate

    The Nation is pathetic but how come BFP never criticises the Advocate. The Advocate and its owner is a well known BLP man and his paper is a government mouthpiece big time. Talk about self censorship and pandering to the powers and the Advocate is even more outstanding there than the Nation. Or maybe its because BFP and the Advocate share similar conservative views on things like abortion, American foreign policy etc?
    Just wondering.

  11. American

    well said beaver.

  12. Lola

    Rodney Beckles transferred to my Jamaican high school in 3rd form (9th grade) and graduated with my year group.
    All I can say is…not many of my contemporaries were shocked when the news of Rodney’s alleged crime broke. His behaviour in the past has been unpredictable, I just wish someone didn’t have to die this time.

    While I only know the elder Beckles through his books…I definitely won’t judge him.
    Rodney was never all there, and the weed and unsavory company made it worse. Sometimes parents aren’t to blame when their children turn out badly.

    My condolences to Judge Campbell’s family, I didn’t know him personally, but what I hear Khalil was well-liked.

  13. De Orginal

    @ Advocate the reason I dont bother with the advocate Newspaper is clearly explained by yourself its positions are clear. you said it.

  14. Rumplestilskin

    A tragic event is never source of amusement but unfortunately does become public ‘food’ when it involves those in ‘high society’.

    Just reinforces the problems that exist in society today, drugs being by far the worst.

    Instead of salivating on this, I would rather salivate if we could get the ‘drug barons’ behind bars and executed, although revenge is not considered ‘civilised’ today.

    God will judge the drug barons harshly. May they rot in hell.

    Mistakes ARE made by all of us growing up and indeed throughout life and these can , if learnt from, be left behind. Most of us are fortunate to not kill or be killed, which makes mistakes rather ‘final’.

    Hoping that both parents can move on, however hard that seems.

    God will help to carry them through these hard times.

    Let us not contribute to their hardship.

  15. Rumplestilskin

    Pardon for hijacking the thread but on a partial tangent:

    I think this an oppotune time for the Barbados Government, in conjunction with private enterprise to launch a new anti-drug programme, the aim of which should be to educate throughout the schools re drugs, reinforce the need for refusal and give the children direction and also to provide a channel for rehabilation of existing school age users.

    By rehabilitation I mean getting them off and onto a changed path.

    I think the following mechanisms may be useful:

    - Allocate or increase public funding for Verdun House (accountable of course)
    - Allocate funds and arrange for programme exhanges with ‘experts’ from overseas who are trained and capable of handling large scale drug programmes (this is one area I would defer to overseas ‘experts’, who have been dealing with rehab for years)
    - Include in schools guidance counselling a programme of physcological assistance, referrals to professionals where necessary. This is for assistance to schoolchildren in being able to combat peer pressure, methods for dealing with ‘crutch’ removal etc, life assessment etc.
    - At least temporarily, being in an ‘expert’ in EVERY school, capable of recognising drug symptoms, with the power to intervene and counsel users.
    - Legislation to deal specifically with those pushers selling drugs to school age children. This must be harsh. Where children are pushers at school, these should be transferred to a new special facility in a controlled learning environment.
    - We need to advertise internationally that we are not an island to come to for drugs and deal with importers harshly. Thailand had an AIDS problem and the Tourism Minister went on record as telling visitors to not got to Thailand for sex. I do not know the result since, but I do think it is an approach worth consideration.

    While we may not be able to deal with all of the methods of import, if a tourist belives that he/she will be prosecuted and suffer for drug use here, he will not come for that purpose.

    Chip away at it. Its the only course of action.

  16. John

    I notice the price of the Nation is going up by 25%.

    Must be in demand!!

    Perhaps the Advocate will follow.

  17. Greg_or

    I do agree that all the blame can not be placed squarely on the shoulders of the parents, and the child has to take the majority of the weight of their actions, but the parents are not exempted. When I was 21 years old, I had not even seen ‘a star pitch,’ I was still trying to workout the many complexities of living under my own will, and trying not to do anything that would bring my mother shame. That was always in the back of my mind, not only because my mother didn’t have the money to bail me out of trouble, but what she had instilled in me came barrelling back to me whenever I found myself I a situation. The parent needs to give a baby attention; a child, interaction; a teenager, patients; a young adult, mentorship and when he/she becomes a mature adult, they now become the parent and exhibit what was instilled in them. Who now carries the burden?

  18. Greg_or

    I do agree that all the blame can not be placed squarely on the shoulders of the parents, and the child has to take the majority of the weight of their actions, but the parents are not exempted. When I was 21 years old, I had not even seen ‘a star pitch,’ I was still trying to workout the many complexities of living under my own will, and trying not to do anything that would bring my mother shame. That was always in the back of my mind, not only because my mother didn’t have the money to bail me out of trouble, but what she had instilled in me; this came barrelling back to me whenever I found myself I a situation. The parent needs to give a baby attention; a child, interaction; a teenager, patients; a young adult, mentorship and when he/she becomes a mature adult, they now become the parent and exhibit what was instilled in them. Who now carries the burden?

  19. Jerome Hinds

    Well reading the ‘ new ‘ ( improved Sun on Saturday ! now selling for $1.25 ) the Beckles story is handled even more pathetically by the ‘ bosses ‘ at the Nation House. If we are to rely on their story – we are still not sure if ( the accused ) is Prof. Beckles son or even a relative !

    Check the paper’s back page!!!

    SHAME !! SHAME !! SHAME !!

  20. Out Dey In Bim

    Jerome hinds & Others

    Are you all going to continue to buy this worthless piece of wrapping paper – especially now they have the gall to increase the price for us to read GIS ministers press releases,adverts and reuters & AP rehash?

    Or are you going to show the mettle you are made of,and protest with your pocket?

    Believe if or not,if most of us don’t buy the papers – just read it on line – or at the very least buy the sunday sun – they will get the message – especially if you address some letters to Ms Vivian Gittens signed or annonymous letting her know how you feel about the content or lack therof in the Nation.

  21. DONQ

    Sadness, despair…something like this happens daily, but only when the party (or parties) are “of note” does it demand such interest. Parents cannot (always) take the blame for their children’s actions, but if hearsay is worth a dime, it seems that young Rodney has been long on a path of destruction. Proof that drugs kill, either at your hands or at the hands of another. Both actually, as I feel his young life is now in peril, both spiritually and physically. In the spewing of colour hatred and digging up bones from the past in an effort to incite ill-feelings on such a small rock as BIM, perhaps if his kin were looking at the living a little closer, they would not have such a desperate situation now. Parents’ duty in to be atuned to what your children are doing and are exposed to, whether or not you can control those experiences; knowledge is power. Rest in Peace young Campbell, and peace be with you young Beckles, it should never have come to this.

  22. Anonymous

    compare the reporting of this incident by the nation newspaper with how it covered the incident involving a lawyer allegedly beating a youngster in highgate gardens last year

  23. cali

    Anon you like you close to the Highgate action. When is that case due? I will be following it with undivided attention.

  24. John

    The boy who was beaten is on two years probation. Saw this in the Nation a few weeks after the incident.

    The case against Mark Goodridge was due for 11th Dec. 2006 but I have seen nothing in the press.

  25. John

    There is another horrible example of violence directed at a 15 year old boy who is in the hospital fighting for his life.

    The four “men” who are charged in the matter range in ages from 17 to 20 years old. All four faces look as if they belong to individuals who should be playing cricket or football.

    What is the point of our so called development if things like this can happen?

  26. Peeping

    playing cricket and football? john plenty of our young men spend their days smoking weed, sourcing and selling weed, running and holding guns and generally organizing criminal activites. govt has to get these young men away from the blocks forcibly if necessary and put them into work or sports programs.

    across barbados these blocks exist in every neighbourhood. the boys on the block are seriously idle and the devil has a field day.

  27. Getting BYE

    I am praying that God will send comfort to the familes of both young men in these trying times.

    With regards to the responsibility of parents in their children’s actions: we do not and cannot control the actions of those around us, even our children. Influence is our only opportunity and even then it is up to the other party to percieve and apply the examples in their life. Even here on earth God had given us free will.

    Life is so fragile and fleeting.

  28. Anonymous

    I saw a small write up in the Nation after the December 11th, 2006 date saying the case in highgate had been adjourned.

    It is true that the Nation handled the reporting of this alleged murder very differently to the alleged beating. Long before either story was reported I had lost faith in the Nation’s journalistic ability and professional ethics. Never for a moment have I doubted their capability to sell papers though.

    Why is the young man on probation? I did not see that article. It would be interesting to know why he is on probation.

  29. John

    Anonymous

    I seem to remember it was the scissors.

    Got to the Nation archives and search on the word scissors.

    Read what Bajans do with scissors, …… besides needlework.

  30. The Nation has an moral obligation not to sensationalise with screaming headlines a story of a leading member of society’s son getting into trouble.

    But it has an equal responsibiity to give the salient facts. Deliberately omitting mention that Rodney was Hillary Beckles’ son was the equivalent of censorship.

    There was no reason why the father’s name should not be mentioned at the end of the Nation’s article. That would have been responsible journalism.

  31. Carson C. Cadogan

    You just don’t get it. In Barbados there is a set of rules for the Meades and another set for the Persians. If he was from the New Orleans, Cats Castle, Bush Hall etc. his name would have been mentioned a zillion times already by the Nation and Starcom network. These people from high society close ranks to try to protect each others names and reputations.

  32. running a busines

    Now that the Trinis are confortably in control of the Nation and have effective control over the main source of communication in Barbados, they are going to run it like a business—ie to make money—so start paying up fellow citizens!!!!

    wonder if they will still censor and spin the news in favour of their biggest client? the GOB

  33. John

    … and one thing that works to stir up passions in Barbadians and divide us is the colour issue. Our politicians have indoctrinated us well.

    Could it be that the colour issue in Highgate was used to divide us, and keep our eyes of the sparrow?

    Nah, couldn’t be. What would a set of Trinis have to gain by dividing us?

    Maybe it was just a political ploy.

    Sometime we must go back and re read what we wrote on the Highgate issue and have another think.

  34. Golden Claw

    Carson I agree with you with one exception… If he were white and from ‘high society’, say Cow’s son, it would have been headlines for sure.

  35. Just Say Know!

    If The Nation is, as quoted, “the main source of communication in Barbados” then we are in deep ca ca!
    ………
    Boo hoo..I can’t stop crying.
    Can’t stop crying for the Barbados National Attitude, which Beckles,Belle,Commissiong,R.Clarke et alumni at the Marxist-Leninist-Commie Dept. of UWI Cave Hill have bent completely out of shape, as they fanned the embers of emotional past-slavery issues., these last 30 yrs. or so! – keeping the non-issue alive and well.
    Good WORK, fellas!
    Collectively that “Dept.” has screwed over our fair island, and made the racism worse, as was (and is) the intention!

    And verily I say unto thee, that the sins of the father are visited on the sons and grandsons,
    Oh how terrible is is..that Karma could come around full circle, and slap Bex The Elder HARD in his ass..dear oh dear what a pity, and I make no apologies for the obvious racial cynicism.
    …………………
    Wonder if the other ‘drug’ Alcohol
    could be found in the blood streams of either Yute? Stout? Guinness? Beer?
    Dese yutes take ‘HypaDawg mixtures’, ya know (-you don’t know)..
    Or is legal drug Alcohol not allowed to be mentioned? or criminalised?
    Could alcohol have played a part in this Club Xtreme-esque altercation?
    How long until this happens along the Worthing Main Road,right here in Blessed Barbados?
    Did anyone see the bottle throwing incident on CBC-TV, a few nights ago?
    Familiar background scenery?
    Sorry.. I forgot..that was “in Trinidad” where such things happen, not here!
    After all this is BARBADOS.
    Blame the drugs, that’s riiight!
    It’s all Ganja’s fault, fair and square, for we have been brainwashed to think that “drugs” are ‘bad’ – and alcohol and tobacco are “good” (or they wouldn’t be legal, now would they?!)
    - such predictable stereotyping.
    NCSA would be proud of you.

    yes, we need a whole new approach,more of the same ole, to fighting this “scourge of illegal drugs”,before it “destroys the very fabric of our society” and other delightful rhetorical phrases
    trotted out ad infinitum and ad nauseum,every 18 months or so.

    Get a life!
    “Drugs” are here to STAY.
    Build a bridge and get OVER it.
    Money DOES grow on trees,
    and yes Crime DOES pay..it pays well, very well..just look around you..
    see who won the Piggies..well I gotta tell ya, that Award is MINE, next year!
    (just kidding fella, it’s ALL yours!)
    ………………
    Remember that Madness is sometimes defined as doing the SAME thing over and over, yet expecting a different result!
    Ye Warre on Drugges has been fought along the same hard-headed lines
    for 40 years now, yet we expect a different result! – cool!

    Any day now, the tide will turn, and we will have WON the war on drugs.
    Wait on it. – BANK on it.

    Dear God, ‘Straight People’ are amusing.

    Smoke sumting, nah?

  36. green lantern

    the story in the Jamaican paper means that this can’t go to trial. any person reading this Jamaican paper’s news story cannot, due to the horrible slant, see the Beckles boy as anything but guilty. this Jamaican story is obviously biased against Barbadian. the bottom-line of this story is Jamaican versus barbadian. that boy will not get a fair trial in jamaica.

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  39. One who Watches

    @ Just Say Know…

    Oh so F&%$ing true! If one does not know how to handle and use certain things in life, one should not be doing it! At least be “mature” enough (I SHOULD say “smart”, but these guys are @ UWI!) to admit when you can’t handle it! Neither of these guys, apparently, could! Spoilt babies, acting up, and look what they get! It doesn’t matter the colour or the class…rich and poor alike get spoiled and that therein lies the problem! If you’re spoilt, you will end up doing some crap that will be destructive to you and/or others.

    So don’t blame it ALL on the drugs, legal or not! Blame it on the people using them, for if they have no respect for themselves, it shows in their actions and they pay by their consequences! From the heights and terraces to the ghetto blocks and tenantries…if you are spoilt and selfish, you will be nothing but trouble, and will get into trouble, and you only have yourself to blame for that!

  40. Rumplestilskin

    Just say know: re alcohol & tobacco.

    I actually think those should both be banned also.

    But too many corporations will lose eh?

  41. Rumplestilskin

    Not to mention the taxes that will be lost.

  42. Rumplestilskin

    PPS: Allegedly, according to the Gleaner, young Beckles used words similar to yours, that he could ‘handle it’ but the other guy could not, shortly before allegedly doing the terrible act…21 times? Yeah, he could ‘handle it’.

    Lets hope you do not ‘handle it’ as well as he did.

    From schooldays I can remember how well the people that used drugs ‘handled it’.

    Some dead now. Some living but can see the effects. Some obviously still in the ‘life’, gosh knows, probably pushing & supplying. From the sons of poor families to the sons of the very rich & ‘big-up’.

    Y’all can ‘handle it’.

    Yeah, right.

  43. Reason

    But cuhdear, doh! Did anybody read the entire article from the Gleaner? There is alot of talk about the way the Nation newspaper is reporting but what about the Gleaner? I noted with interest how it completely distanced young Beckles from any Jamaican ancestry/relations … “A table tennis player, Beckles, whose mother IS BELIEVED TO BE JAMAICAN…” Either she is or she isn’t, what kind of ‘investigative reporting’ is that? As far as I am concerned, what was a personal issue between two young men has become a regional affair and the Nation and the Gleaner are doing the same thing, presenting the News in a way that does the least damage to the respective countries of each.

  44. Greg_or

    What this whole event has proven to me is that, no matter which ‘social class’ you are in and no matter how much education you profess to have, it does not exempt you from getting problems in life. Money doesn’t stop it; education doesn’t stop it; social status doesn’t stop it; only Jesus helps you avoid it or favourably deal with it.

  45. John

    Reason

    … then again, maybe the Gleaner is being sexist …. only acknowledging the importance of the father ….

  46. Anonymous

    Interesting point, John.

    Let me now play Devil’s Advocate.

    There are some stereotypes which exist in the region about the temperaments of Bajans and Jamaicans, where the former are considered to be passive and the latter are considered to be more aggressive. Could another angle be that the Gleaner is trying to preempt any notion that Beckles’ “hot Jamaican blood” had anything to do with the altercation?

    There, I have opened Pandora’s box.

  47. John

    … anything is possible

  48. M. Use

    Some of these correspondents display cynicism, aggression and schadenfreude – all negative responses, based on newspaper articles which are so often inaccurate. Both fathers of the young men involved in this sad affair seem just and honourable men, who have made phenomenal contributions to their respective societies and who no doubt did their best to mould their sons into responsible citizens. I am sure the boys’ mothers were equally principled, loving and caring. No society can ask for more than that. However, there are influences outside the happiest and most stable of homes which can destroy any parent’s lifelong good work. Why rush to judgement? Aren’t those parents suffering enough? Who knows what REALLY happened between Rodney Beckles and Khalil Campbell? Wait until the truth emerges and then, without adopting lofty condescension, encourage the creation of a foundation to avoid a repetition of this tragedy and pray for compassion for young Rodney, who is also a victim. This incident could be catalystic in helping Barbados to become the first Caribbean island to step up dramatically its drug rehabilitation programmne and to declare a ruthlessly severe ‘zero tolerance’ policy to drug use. It has to start somewhere if the next generation is to be saved. Why not here? Isn’t your son or daughter worth it? And what about those cute little grandchildren?

  49. Eager Reader

    Today’s Jamaica Observer has a reaction from the family of the victim Khalil Cambell.

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070106T180000-0500_117528_OBS__I_WOULDN_T_WISH_THIS_ON_MY_WORST_ENEMY__.asp

    This is truly a tragedy for both families.

  50. Reason

    Thank you E.R. for that link. It really helped to put things into perspective. Judge Campbell is indeed noble and maybe, just maybe, Beckles’ comment to Campbell about ‘not being able to handle the weed’ was due to his knowledge of Campbell’s mental illness. The pieces of the puzzle are falling together.

  51. Kathy

    Yes, Judge Campbell is noble indeed. Although the story on the link is horrifying, yet how inspirational that the Campbells do not excuse or cover up anything, but they literally “speak the truth in love”. Judge Campbell and his family are a great example for all in their sincerity, compassion and forgiveness.

  52. RELBADMAN

    Yall Boom******** *** off and dont come a jamaica. THem better lock up Biggs or Sent home else him going get **** up royally

    *********************

    Edited by George

    I am not sure if I should leave this violent threatening post up? You would think it came from Jamaica. Not so, came from Barbados Christ Church

  53. Authentic Fireman AZ

    Now i went to UWI and saw this young man Rodney Beckles. When I heard who is pops was I was shocked. Rodney smoked more than most Jamaicans I know, was always in trouble and if he was American, white and carried a nap sack would easily pass for the Uni-bomber.

    Now, its sad what happened, but if u even just say the young man, you would not be surprised. It was only a matter of time.

    K23B27 not everybody has a bubble desire similar to you, and if Barbados is big enough to contain you I suggest you get a dream and some ambitions larger than the size of you obviously microscopic brain.

  54. Tudor

    A very sad story. Judge Campbell’s comments should be required reading for all young people.

  55. John

    Drugs never pay. It is a shame.

    Under normal circumstances the interaction between a 28 year old and 21 year old would not have occured as it played out here.

    The 28 year old would be on his way in a job or making a life and the 21 year old would have been trying to find his way.

    Drugs seem to have brought them together.

    Sad, sad.

  56. Reason

    RELBADMAN, this situation is bad enough and sad enough without you trying to make it worse. Last time I checked, the site was for INTELLIGENT discussion.

  57. Greg_or

    I read the article and I am not convinced that the family did what they were suppose to do, by having a boy then a man, who clearly was a danger, not only to himself but to others stay on the streets. The boy needed constant attention from a medical facility; he needed to be admitted to a mental institution. A judge and a father should know better, but I guess the stigma was too much to bear. And seemingly excusing the action of his son’s slaughterer, borders on sounding callous and sounding as though he is glad a burden was lifted off the shoulders of his family. Mental issues seem to run in the family; and ‘talk about’ speaking death into the life of your own child. Education isn’t common sense.

  58. Eager Reader

    Greg_or,

    Your comments are normally rational, and I tend to agree with most of your posts, but I think that this last post is rather harsh and a bit unfair.

    The Campbell’s explained that all the various psychiatrists he saw placed Khalil on medication. It is clear that on the occasions that he took his medication and followed the counsel of his psychiatrist that he was functional. The problem is that he refused to take the medication. I am no expert but I have heard of many cases of mentally ill persons refusing to take the medication because of the way it makes them feel. (Maybe someone can explain the impact of the drugs used to treat).

    Although mental institutions are overrun with drug addicts. Drug addiction is not the only form of mental illness that requires treatment in mental insitution. I suspsect that as the case with all hospitals worldwide, where there are space constraints, it is easier to give the people whose problems cna be cured with medication the medication to make room for others.

    I think you were unfair in suggesting -based on Mr. Campell’s candour and practical approach- that mental issues run in the family. The father spoke very candidly to the son he obviously knew when he posited the very real threat -which turned out to be prophetic- that if he returned to Jamaica he would be dead in six months.

    If they appear to feel relief I can understand. It must have been hard to have to live with all your valuables locked away, to sleep with one eye shut, while waiting for the phone call that your son did something to someone or that someone did something to your son. On this occasion, the phone call came…..

    I would be relieved too. I am sure they are grieved as they plan their son’s funeral, but is clear that the parents and all the siblings went all out for the son. However despite their best efforts and the efforts of the psychiatrist, he allowed drugs to be his master. The drugs were already killing him, Beckles finished him off.

  59. Greg_or

    I do agree that some of my comments were a bit on the harsh side, but I dont think that Campbell deserved to take part or any of the blame for being stabbed 21 times. If he were stabbed once, maybe twice, I could understand the parents’ comments, but this killing was pure malice – with intent to murder. I believe in compassion and forgiveness, but not the shifting of blame to the victim.

  60. M. Use

    Tudor, how wise and honourable you are. We need more citizens like you. Society is so enmeshed in self-preservation and damage limitation at any cost that Doing the Right Thing, at the risk of loss or harming one’s public image, rarely occurs. Khalil Campbell’s father has displayed courage, not callousness, in being open about his son’s mental illness and unpredictable, anti-social behaviour; and who really knows if the ’21 wounds’ allegedly inflicted to Khalil’s body were all deep wounds or whether they included superficial scratches made in frantic self defence by the other person? Who even knows if they were really 21? In any event, if an individual is being attacked and his or her life is in grave danger, the desperation for defensive survival kicks in at a level absolutely no one can predict or control.

    Until one has been attacked with violence, it is impossible to imagine the rabid fear of facing painful, swift extinction – or the potentially severe repercussions of panic-stricken retaliation. Reason plays little, if any, part. One would just want to stop the other person, with whatever it takes and there are varying degrees of necessity with possibly increasing force. Just hope it never happens to you or your loved ones – and applaud the honest bravery of the noble Campbell family in trying to set the record straight and cap the unbridled speculation which had already unfairly denounced Rodney Beckles. From where I sit, that is genuine justice.

  61. Jerome Hinds

    I agree the whole issue is quite sad. Equally appaling is the way the Nationnews paper continue to report on this story.

    The Nation news paper of 2007-01-09 printed a small snipet of the story re: the remand of Beckles – no mention of the connection of the accused and Prof. Hilary Beckles.

    Is it so easy for a person to become “fatherless ” ???

    I guess had the accused won the Noble Prize for Peace – the story would have handled differently !!!

    Amazing, reporting in 2007 !!!

  62. Reason

    I love to play Devi’l advocate, so here goes.

    Being a judge, Campbell knows how trials go. Information that was hidden comes out and if it seems that anyone was trying to hide anything, that fact, more than any other, unsettles a jury.

    Could it be, that Campbell is a smart man and ensured he aired the dirty laundry before Beckles’ defence attorney does?

    Things to make you go hmmm.

  63. Reason

    *Devil’s Advocate. Apologies extended for the typo.

  64. My heart hurts for both sets of parents. As a parent, I can only imagine the lost of an offspring to murder or jail. There is no hope with dope.

  65. HC

    I have read, with interest, your comments. I stumbled on this web site as one of the results of a Google search, just out of curiousity as to the level of interest that has been generated as a result of this really tragic event.

    I am in a position to regard it as tragic as I have lost a cousin, one “mentally incapable of handling the weed”, one who seemed incapable of defending himself phyiscally from stab #1, stab #2, … stab # 19.

    As if the loss is not enough, the family is forced to be dealing with a myriad of other issues arising from what may be deemed irresponsible, sensationalist type reporting in some quarters. Readers of the Gleaner article should not jump to judgement surrounding what appears to be an attempt to create a “divide” between Jamaica and Barbados by the statement that did not confirm the nationality of Rodney’s mom. Persons in the position to confirm certain information could well have been tight-lipped, understandably so.

    The entire episode is one that should never have happened, the fact is, it has! It has left a void in at least two families that may never ever be filled. My continued prayers are with both immediate families who I know, from firsthand knowledge, are traumatised to the core.

    Mental illness, diagnosed or not, drug-induced or otherwise, knows absolutely no nationality or social class. In all of this, I implore the press to be responsible and not report in a manner that will prejudice judicial proceedings or further stymie the process of regional integration. One Love.

    HC, Kingston, Jamaica

  66. Solo

    Man i had tuh laff when i compare de Nation News wid de Gleaner, i guess nuhbody at de Nation din wan step pon “Sir” Hilary’s toes. Today i googled Hilary Beckles and was surprise tuh find all de past stories on de killing like dum disappear.

  67. ingrid

    let’s not judge. It could happen to anyone of us. Thank God it isn’t; be merciful and pray for those involved in this tragedy

  68. Bajanniceness

    I am sure many of you have seen the back of the nation newpaper dated saturday Jan 06. It displayed 2 classes of persons…to the bottom there were the photos of 4 lower class young men charged with seriously harming a now dead 15 year old young man and above young beckles accused of this horrible crime. Same problem…2 different classes of persons. Yet we never question, who are the father/parents of the four young men accused of savagely beating this minor to death.

    Who cares who Rodney’s father is? I don’t!!!

    We are amused by this story simply because of
    who he is and we totally miss the bigger picture.
    Look at our world! Look at our young people! What are we doing wrong! Today it is Hilary Beckles’ son, tommorow, it may be yours. Let us pray for our young people. Let love guide our thoughts and our actions for our would is fastly becoming a very dangerous place to exist!!!

  69. I covered this in my blog the day of and after the incident. http://blog.myspace.com/subliminalmentality. You people seem to be missing the issue. Hilary Beckles is not the victim, neither was his weed smoking ‘bad boy wannabe’ son. Rodney Beckles killed Khalil Campbell by stabbing him 21 times! The Nation newspaper didn’t post any of the important info because all it boils down to is politics, the Old Boys’ Club as it were. If these two boys were just random youth, it would be all over the news, from the colour of their hair to whether they were wearing boxers briefs or boxerbriefs! This isn’t about society going to hell in a handbag, it’s about the 3 C’s of Barbadian journalis (Cover-up, Conspiracy and Cowardice) as well as the “powerful” protecting their own while those in the lower echilon suffer social injustices on a daily basis, while clearly under-educated persons go “This is sad” and pitying not Khalil for being the victim of a heinous crime, but that Hilary Beckles may suffer social embarassment. The frame of mind of the Barbadian people is what’s really “Sad”.
    All I have to say is “One prickle dead at too prickle door.”

  70. John

    Bajanniceness

    How come we know the identity of the 15 year old who was beaten, and has now sadly passed away, in this case and all we got in the Highgate beating of another 15 year old boy was a picture which had been photoshopped?

    Was the 15 year old boy in the Highgate beating from the upper echelons?

    We don’t even know his mother’s identity!!

  71. As far as that boy is concerned, he wasn’t the victim either! However, since he was beaten, his identity would be concealed seeing as how he is a minor as well as an aggressor. He was a thief and had a weapon to accelerate the life of those who sought to stand in his way of crime.
    The other issue is that the Nation is inconsistent in their reporting so what would be kept back to protect in one would be in bold print in the next day’s edition. I am honestly sick of the Nation and I would love to open my own newspaper. Anyone want to be a real journalist?

  72. gunslinger

    one thing about nation selective reporting –

    anyone else notice the differernce between how the nation reported the ‘highgate’ incident – large pictures of alleged Perpetrator, front & backpage stories, etc. –
    now son of prof. Beckles arreseted for ‘murder’ and you can barely see the four line story buried in the paper.

    things that make you go hhhmmmmmmm

  73. gunslinger

    c.c. cadogan –

    you forgot – or WHITE

  74. gunslinger

    superlative-
    glad to see you realise that -”politics, the Old Boys’ Club as it were.” – works for everybody

  75. gunslinger

    i see someone said that H.Hoyte would be vex about how the story was reported.

    i smile – remeber again the ‘highgate’ case – alleged
    Perpetrator is a lawyer – H.Hoyte is divorced – his exwife would have had a lawyer in the divorce case – do u know who it was :) – check up on it

    hhhmmmmmmm

  76. et

    It is a crying shame that people feel it necessary to resort to the pigotry, bias, and downright madness to which some of the authors have succombed. Here two families “bite the dust” as it were and instead of sympathy for both sides folks are speaking about which nation is passive and which is aggressive. Utter nonsense! Drug addiction is an illness that is not understood by most of us. We know, however, that it alters minds and moods and that now one seem to win in the long run. There is no need for speculation as to this or that. Let’s all rally around the families the best way we can which is praying that God grant them peace. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with each of us. We need to love each other despite which island we live in and which island we were born in. Peace and love. et

  77. DONQ

    I wonder, with not so much interest as disgust, how come the Highgate matter gets pulled into something on par with that of the JAM/BIM murder.

    Two separate and apart instances, neither one remotely close EXCEPT for the lack of responsible journalism. If we cast our minds back, one would see that the Highgate matter received absolutely no retort from the side of the accused. It was a mass blitz on the “sick racist” attack on a “poor little black 15 year old boy” who happened to be taking a short-cut thru a noted “white” gated community.

    Question, where exactly was he short-cutting to? In there, to the best of my knowledge is a cul-d-sac; either you are there because you live there, are visiting someone there, or conducting business with a resident.

    Simply strolling thru with scissors and intent to steal does not equate to innocence. Protecting one’s property is a right and a privilege. Should someone wonder how come “the other side” has never got a chance to say what happened? I know that meetings were held with the media and none of it aired…. to date. hmmmmmm indeed gunslinger.

    Back to the JAM/BIM thing tho… do you seriously think that if this boy was not the son of a noteable citizen (actually, both of them) that so much ado would be made of this? I think not.

    What about the 15 year old who had his life snipped from him at the hands of a pack of animals OYN? Nothing on him? Oh, hold on, he was butchered by a batch of black guys, so it’s alright then huh???? Does he not deserve some measure of public outcry as to the violence inflicted on him? Or would that be too boring of a story?

    C’mon, death at the hands of another, no matter who, or what colour they are could never be a good issue to draw sensationalism out of. Then again, OJ Simpson still making his bones out of his deed. But let us not stray…

    Let’s stop the ignorant colour talk Barbados. I think it is pretty obvious in BIM now that black people form the majority, are in control of the country, have the money, do the travelling, have the cars, the businesses the overseas bank accounts. This is a fact and one that instead of black people being crabs in a bucket trying to pull each other down to get to the top coz of who is who… should rather embrace and thrive positively.

    Point of it is… why bring colour into an issue that colour had nothing to do with in the first place.

    Actually, step back, why bring the Highgate issue into the senseless death of two drug induced spoilt socialite kids who just could not get their lives together. No ambition, always being able to be covered, coddled and baled out.

    There, I have said enough… now to have you all repute, refute and rebute all that I have just said.

    Freedom of speech is a privilege, let’s not abuse it by invoking and inciting hate talk. Peace and love Barbados… peace and love.

  78. Peace and love

    Bajanniceness
    I totally agree with you that many are missing the bigger picture. You rightly said, “Look at our world! Look at our young people! What are we doing wrong! Today it is Hilary Beckles’ son, tommorow, it may be yours. Let us pray for our young people. Let love guide our thoughts and our actions for our would is fastly becoming a very dangerous place to exist!!!”
    We need to reduce the talk and increase the action. We as individuals can try our best to guide and direct young lives, but all must get on board and be on the same page. Just as we are getting on board for Cricket World Cup. We need to go back to our manual for living – THE BIBLE, and let this be our guide. We also need to teach by example and not only words. Many of our youth need love and understanding, not just lectures. We have to empathise and let them know that we too have had doubts and fears, and have made mistakes. That way they can know that we understand their experiences and are not talking down at them. We need to reassure them that God’s way is the right way.
    I would also like the Government of Barbados to seriously consider providing adequate counselling at the primary school level – THE FORMATIVE YEARS. Much more can be achieved if young minds are shaped and directed positively at this stage. This should also include guidance for parents.
    Enough said for now.

  79. Superlative

    “Drug addiction is an illness” lol. It IS a problem but to call it an illness is pandering to the mentality that “noone is responsible for their actions.” The flu is an illness, people have sense to try to avoid catching it, but it’s hard, so people catch it. Buying marijuana, buying wrappers to roll it in, rolling the marijuana, lighting the end, taking a puff, inhaling exhaling… seems to be much of a taxing endeavour for an illness, don’t you think? Furthermore, the purchase or at-home manufacturing of a ‘chillum pipe’ is an even more laudible feat! It all boils down to choices. As a 21 year old man, you either choose to smoke “weed” get high and juk up someone 21 times, or not to do either and finish your degree and go become a contributing member in society. Furthermore, this talk about two families biting the dust is bare boo because 1)Hilary turned his back on his child’s ‘illness’ and sent him away to not be a nuisance, and 2)Khalil’s family went so far as to pratically disown him prior to the event and then subsequently and posthumously, blame him for being the victim. You people need to put things in perspective before you start tapping away at your keyboards and hitting “Submit Comment”.

  80. Superlative

    Furthermore, I want to pose a hypothetical question to you hypocrites. If Rodney Beckles had slain YOUR child, would you be saying “poor Hilary and his social embarrassment:(” ? I somehow doubt it. For big hard-back people, you really are showing off this free education and the adage “You get what you pay for and not a cent more.” I’m 21 years old as well, I don’t smoke anything far less weed, I rarely drink and when I do it’s responsibly, I’m a good citizen, charitable and a hard working student, but I guess that isn’t cool so I wouldn’t get highlighted. I should really ups an ice-pick and lace it with garlic and run around stabbing up people so I could get “fans” because clearly you people all snorting lines or have puffed on that same chillum pipe with Rodney.

  81. Unknown

    It is sad to see what is being posted here, and how people try to make it a Jamaica vs Barbados argument. He was not a close friend of mine, but I know Beckles personally, we hung around the same people in high school. The truth is that even though he is from barbados, he is socially Jamaican. He still has an accent but says Jamaican things. Nationality had nothing to do with the attack so people should not draw any form of Nationalist twists to it. Beckles was an aggressive yute, some would say he acted like a badman. He used and sold weed for sure, and I heard him brag about selling other stuff. I have seen him get into fights, and have got into a small fight with him myself. But apart from that he was actually a cool yute, and I am still surprised he killed someone. One the other hand the Campbell yute was well know for being insane, and even though the media report that it was over weed, it could have been many other forms of provocation, none of which would warrant death admittedly. Also 21 stabs sounds really bad, but till we know what they defined as a stab, as opposed to a scrape or bruise, then don’t presume it was a Texas Chainsaw type situation. Leave the trial to the people who know what is going on and stop trying to make it more than it is. Two young men, their nationalities being inconsequential, got into an argument which resulted in the stabbing death of one.

  82. Lady Anon

    Young Mr. Beckles has been found not guilty. I hope that this serves as a wake-up call for him to look at the course his life is taking and make corrective action sooner rather than later.

  83. Lady Anon- Where did you hear this? Yesterday’s Gleaner had headlines about calling for his conviction, but today I could find no mention in the Gleaner of Nov 27. Was it on radio, or did you get a call?

    Today’s Gleaner does, however, headline today another student stabbing death at Jamaica College.

  84. Lady Anon

    Its in today’s nation, page 2. Story below…

    Jury finds Beckles not guilty of murder
    Published on: 11/27/07.

    KINGSTON, Jamaica – Rodney Beckles, a Barbadian student studying at the University of the West Indies, was yesterday found not guilty of murdering 28-year-old Khalil Campbell.

    A 12-member jury hearing the case in the Home Circuit Court freed the 21-year-old Beckles, son of Professor Hilary Beckles, principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.

    During the two-week trial Beckles testified that he and Campbell, son of Jamaican High Court judge Lennox Campbell, got into an argument over a marijuana spliff in January.

    He told the court that he had a penknife in his hand and during a scuffle Campbell was injured.

    The UWI student said he was attacked by Campbell and was forced to act in self-defence.

    The pathologist who performed the autopsy on the body testified that he found several defensive wounds on Campbell’s hands, suggesting that he was under attack.

    The pathologist testified that Campbell died as a result of a stab wound to the heart. (CMC)

  85. Lady Anon- Many thanks. I guess I should look under my nose, not the Jamaica press.

    That must have been some penknife to defend himself so effectively!

  86. It is wonderful to see that Lady Justice is indeed blind (has her eyes blindfolded at least) and that a jury of 12 should arrive promptly at a decision of Not Guilty of murder.

    Justice appears to have been well served, with the standing and influence of the accused’s father having nothing to do with the outcome.

  87. De skeptic

    How sure are you pandora, daddy was knighted today,that’s all the influence needed.

  88. concerned

    The fathers excuse for the son’s behavior of uncontrollable mental illness instead of drug abuse is what sealed the outcome of the case in the court. Campbell did not want to look like a failure and the path his son took so he blamed mental illness and that was use against him. I wonder how do he feel now.

  89. The juries verdict was predictable. The parents who were both in court was aware that their family friend was sitting on the jury . The friend , had a son who was convicted of murder and had served a prison sentence . This person was in communication with the Beckles throughtout the trial . Rodney has said this . i DARE ANYONE TO DENY IT.

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