Update – Barbados Tourist Beating Victim Terry Schwarzfeld – Condition Worsens “Significant Brain Damage”

So far, she has shown only what doctors call “primitive responses” to stimuli, (her husband) said, and her condition may not improve markedly. “It may not be much more than what we’re looking at.”

“Prognosis Is Not Good”

Once again, our sympathies to the family and friends of the two women tourists who were savagely attacked on Barbados Long Beach during daylight hours on February 28, 2009. BFP readers are encouraged to offer their words to the victims and their families by commenting on our original article Canadian Women Attacked On Barbados Beach – Shocked Barbadians Offer Regrets, Sympathy and Best Wishes To Victims, Families and Friends.

Sadly, Mrs. Schwarzfeld’s condition is worsening and her husband has stated to the Canadian newspapers that he fears the worst.

“…the (Canadian) Department of Foreign Affairs added to its travel report: “Visitors are cautioned to avoid unattended or isolated areas, including beaches, at any time. Travellers should be particularly vigilant when visiting Long Beach, where incidents have been reported.”

Canadian Government Issues Travel Warning For Barbados

The Canadian government has upgraded its warning on travel to Barbados as the Canadian authorities have become aware that other “incidents” have occurred at Long Beach. The Barbados government has been strangely silent on this “incident” and seems to think that if they ignore the issues being raised in the Canadian news media, it will all go away.

A damned shame that David Thompson and his people learned nothing from the Aruba Government’s totally inadequate and evasive handling of the Natalee Holloway disappearance.

Further Reading

Vancouver Sun, March 7, 2009 – Ottawa Woman Attacked in Barbados Changed Forever: Husband

Ottawa Citizen, March 7, 2009 – Barbados Victim’s Condition Worsens, Officials update travel warnings

Barbados Free Press, February 16, 2007 – Say “Aruba” – Think “Natalee Holloway”


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

40 responses to “Update – Barbados Tourist Beating Victim Terry Schwarzfeld – Condition Worsens “Significant Brain Damage”

  1. The Truth

    We’ve heard from Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. When are we going to hear from the appropriate Minister(s) in our Government? We are now in the second week of this calamity. Even George Bush responded faster to Katrina.

  2. Juris

    My sympathy to the family and friends of the victim, but aren’t we going overboard by asking Government to respond? Is it not a simple criminal matter? What can Government say? And what do you think the Canadian Government would say if it were a Barbadian assaulted in Canada? It is the police who should be saying something. This is not a matter for Government!

  3. Sad To Say

    Sad, sad, sad. This does not sound good. Can you imagine that one single deranged idiot has caused all this trouble.

  4. Sundowner

    Can we hear from the Police? are they doing anything at all to catch this man?

  5. Bajadian

    This news item has been on the CTV newsnet loop and has played every half hour all morning here in Canada. Headline is “Attacked In BARBADOS”
    Clearly not good for our tourism product.
    So to reply to Juris, no this not a “simple criminal matter” and if Tourism is our chief bread winner then YES it is a matter for our Government.

  6. Hants

    I am hear watching CTV NATIONAL newsnet which is shown all across Canada.

    They are reporting that the lady is unlikely to recover and “Police in Barbados are yet to make an arrest”.

    My sympathy goe out to this lady and her family.

    I hope immediate decisive action is taken to Keep Tourists safe in Barbados.

    One more incident like this and Barbados would experience a deep drop in Tourist arrivals.

    Remember that the only news that gets National news coverage is Bad News.

    I would like to see the BDF deployed. Some could go “undercover” as part of a basic train program for “gathering intelligence”.
    Think about it. BDF soldiers are paid salaries. What do they do for eight hours a day?

    A long term plan would be to increase the Police force by 100 officers.

  7. Stressed Out

    They (BDF) just drive around!!!

  8. The Truth

    What we need is a public apology from our Government expressing the feelings of the people of Barbados to the family of the victims and to past and potential visitors to our shores. What we need is leadership from our Government on an urgent matter which threatens the livelihood of our people. This is not a case where we can hide our heads in the nether regions and hope that no response is the best response. We need to hear what steps Government is taking to secure Long Beach and put an end to the cycle of violence against visitors who venture there to recreate.

  9. Hants

    Lord havest mercy. Again and and again and again.
    Every half hour the story is repeated and enhanced on CTV news across Canada.

    Somebody please call the BTA and PMO and let them know that this incident is being shown repeatedly all day every day across Canada.

    CTV allowed our High Commissioner 12 words in 10 seconds.

    That has no effect whatsoever.

    The Canadian Government spokesman included problems in Mexico in the same interview.
    Not good.

    Barbados we have a problem.

  10. Stressed Out

    You wouldn’t go and hang out under an overpass on the FDR in NYC…just because you are out in “Nature” doesn’t mean that it is safe…All of Barbados cannot be “child-proofed” by the government. Travelers with common sense will continue to visit.

    I would add that frequently at the SC in Rendezvous I observe a fellow standing by the entrance who appears not to have all of his facilities– and on several of those occasions I have also witnessed officers standing at the exit seemingly unaware of the situation. These are the sorts of contexts that need monitoring IMO.

  11. bajanbat

    Is this not the same PM whose watch words in the election before the recent one were “Crime and Violence”? Did he not claim that crime was out of hand. Here we have a spate of crimes in an area frequented by tourists but the volume of silence from him has us deafened. I guess raising funds for Clico is more important, ooops, sorry he is saving jobs.

  12. All DLP politicians are fatter!

    Stressed out says in effect “blame the tourists who got attacked”

    Juris says

    ” aren’t we going overboard by asking Government to respond? Is it not a simple criminal matter? What can Government say? …. This is not a matter for Government!”

    I ask if Juris is in government because he sounds like a guvmnt idiot.

  13. Hants


    Juris this is what we have been seeing repetitiously on this National television network.

    This may be just a “criminal matter” to you but it is blow to the reputation of Barbados as one of the safest destinations in the world.

    A murder in Barbados is not reported outside Barbados unless it is a North American or European victim.

    The strong reaction on this board is out of sympathy to the victims and out of a clear understanding that this matter is not a simple criminal event but has implications for our Tourist Industry.

    Let us hope CNN does not include this in their warnings about “troubled” vacation destinations like Mexico.

  14. reality check

    Of course juris is a defender of the status quo whether it be BLP, DLP or a high up civil servant. His or her comments are symptomatic of a do nothing philosophy.

    With respect to your handle, the times are too serious to pick on either party but rather inaction or failure to act by all those who have been elected to lead us needs to be attacked regardless of party affiliation.

    Both parties have failed Barbadians miserably and it is the unelected civil servants who are really calling the tunes and preventing fundamental change for well thought out and long term decisions.

    Barbados is in paralysis.

  15. Stressed Out

    Ok AllDLP my only point was that the two women made a foolish decision that put them in harms way. My second point was that in general even in well traveled areas we are still vulnerable:

  16. Report From Ground Zero

    Just back from a walk on Long beach and I wanted to share some thoughts.

    As a resident of the local community where this tragic incident has occurred I offer my prayers to the friends and family of Terry. Maybe some good will come from all this in the way of better protection from the people who are supposed to be protecting us.

    As noted, this is not the first incident in the area over the past year or so, but since this one is the most serious it’s gotten the most attention from both the media and the government/police – so maybe our cries for help will finally be answered.

    I walk on Long Beach several times a week and have been doing this for several years without ever having a problem. That’s not to say that everything is fine here, but I just want to make the point that it’s not as bad as one might think. On the other hand I would appreciate seeing more of a police presence on the beach and in the area on a daily basis. That would certainly make both locals and tourists feel a lot better.

    One bit of good news is that the well constructed shack among the trees towards the northern end of Long Beach has finally been demolished. We have been asking the police to get rid of it for a long time and finally this week they plowed it down. This area harbors undesirable activity and we are glad to see it gone – at least for at the moment. Now it’s up to the police to make sure it does not get rebuilt.

    Only time will tell.

  17. Hants

    The reports in Canada are not going to call it a stupid decision.
    They will simply discourage Canadians from travelling to Barbados.

    Travel agents are in business to make money and they will direct their clients to “safe” destinations.

    We as Barbadians have to make Barbados safe.

    The BTA and hotel owners must give their guests good advice with regards to their safety.

    The Government must deal with the protection of the Country by whatever means necessary.

    Tourism is critical to the financial well being of Barbados.

  18. Hants

    If any of you have any doubts about how this incident can affect Barbados google it.

  19. yatinkiteasy

    Among the unreported news about criminal activity…within the past two weeks, six houses have been broken into along a 1/2mile stretch on Atlantic shores…DAYTIME folks. The bold thieves made off with gold jewlery, cameras,cash etc.
    A week later, also at Atlantic shores…a drug boat pulls up onto a small beach(may have missed Lands Down).., people were up on the roof of one of the same houses that had been burgled the week before!
    This was about 4 am..the police came about 6 am and removed the bales of drugs that were in the sea and on the beach…..NO REPORT of this or any other event in the press…Why?
    Perhaps we dont want to scare away the tourists..but the people of Barbados need to know what is going on in their small island.

  20. Cold Canuck

    Common sense, Stressed Out?

    Are you saying that tourists shouldn’t walk on Barbdos beaches in the middle of the day unless they go in groups of more than two? Perhaps with armed guards? What are you saying?

    Long Beach is hardly the end of the world or “secluded” compared with many other places on the Barbados coast. Perhaps Barbados should sign those beaches that are unsafe for daylight walking?

    What are you really saying? All those beautiful photos in the travel brochures up in Canada should have little disclaimers about how many tourists robbed and beaten at this or that location?

    IF two women cannot walk on a beach in Barbados in broad daylight, then that is not a country I would like to visit.

    Get it?

  21. love barbados

    One thing I have noticed (as a professional journalist) when I’m in Barbados is that bad news is often minimized- particularly if it impact on tourism (or perhaps this odd self-censorship happens for another reason?). The problem in this instance is that this event is being widely publicized in Canada during a recession when Barbados needs Canadian visitors more than ever before. Canadians are among the most loyal visitors to Barbados so in my opinion this may hurt the tourism market in 2009…people remember things like this when they make choices about where to spend $$.

  22. Fool me once

    De only time I ever saw police on long beach is when three of them got drunk off duty and were firing pistols at bottles. Lucky us did not get shot.

    Never seen any patrolling there so why we have police anyway? If we be telling tourists not to walk on a beautiful beach in daylight we got no tourist industry left at all we be ashamed of our country.

  23. Pingback: Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld” « Barbados Free Press

  24. Rumplestilskin

    Barbados is NOT NYC, despite the many efforts to concrete the island with oversize monstrosities.

    Hence, we should not judge ourselves by the worst crime standards but by standards fit for a small island of 300 thousand people.

    Reality is that because we are a tourist destination, this incident is significant, one cannot belittle it as a simple ciminal matter.

    Tourism dependence requires much more than just ‘finding the culprit’.

    I fully agree that Government should have made a statement, including apology to the family of these ladies and some form of compensation, albiet nothing is ever enough to recover lost abilities.

    Crime is everyday here, just not to the extent of T&T in terms of constant physical violence, this incident being the exception.

    However, this needs to be nipped in the bud and the perpetrator brought to justice swiftly.

    One would not want vigilantism to become the order of the day, thus violent crime must be dealt with swiftly.

    Brings to mind the case last year of the citizen who defended his property against attempt burglary and was then charged by Police for beating the criminal.


    If someone had been there and defended these women against this savage, would that person have been charged by Police too?

    We must not allow a few criminals to terrorise our citizens nor the visitors that come to these shores for a few days or weeks of peace.

    Peace & Live Strong

  25. goldendeal

    I was considering a 2 week vacation in Barbados, after reading this article; I am now going to The Cayman Islands.
    Safety is number one priority while on vacation.
    This non caring attitude by the government officials of Barbados will not only affect tourist from Canada, but from USA as well.
    I am from USA and I have changed my plans accordingly. Many other will follow.
    With the global economy down, Barbados can ill afford bad press with it tourism.

  26. Hants

    The Commissioner of Police and his top brass should have immediately acted on the problem.

    It is their job to keep Barbados safe.

    They have the BDF and the Bajan recruits that can be deployed some in plain clothes to help.

    The Government and the BTA, BHTA and hotel owners must now do “damage control”.

  27. Fletch

    I am a frequent visitor to Barbados, and I consider it one of the safest and most pleasant destinations in the Caribbean. In the US, serious violence is a part of daily life. We understand where to be and where not to be at times. I do not believe that Barbados is anywhere near that bad, but the government should have made a statement, especially since it is a rare occurrence.

  28. becareful

    This is sad about the
    attack Ottawa Women.

    Last Year I read
    about several Canadian tourist being
    Robbed at gunpoint in
    Mexico, and 3 years ago
    this horrible attack on a Canadian Tourist in Naenae


    It’s always sad when
    horrendous crimes happen
    to Canadian Tourist while they are on vacation.

    Everyone, be Careful!

  29. A-Fish

    Hants it’s a good recommendation for security.

    In fact, I’ve been wondering why the BDF was not utilized for security. I find the BDF Trucks driving around a few times, really BDF doing what actually…?

    Barbados needs to be more vigilant than this current silent response.

    My best wishes goes to the Canadian victim. I can’t believe I’m not hearing story on Starcom Network News, did anyone catch it?

  30. Observer

    I doubt the perpetrator is unknown to the criminal courts and I expect the police will have some candidates. I haven’t seen any special appeal for witnesses which surprises me or have I missed it?
    The attacker fits the profile of someone who lurks down there regularly scoping out tourists. Someone that people will probably have observed acting suspiciously on the beach, and who probably rides up the side road on a bicycle so that he can make a quick get-away. Someone must suspect who it is.

  31. victor

    When a government is so dependent on tourists and perceives and expresses tourism as THE major commodity, no wonder its peopIe, rich, poor, aduIt or chiId are seeing visitors as a way of getting money. This outIook wiII fiIter right through society, from the richest deveIoper to the IowIiest crack addict – tourists are fair game, in fact IifebIood, to this economy. I have Iived aII over the worId and the pIace I have been robbed in most, I am sorry to say becauseI Iove this isIand, is Barbados where I have had possessions stoIen from me by a rich man, poor peopIe, crack addicts and chiIdren. I don’t know how this rumour got round that Barbados is safe. Safer than what?

  32. Anonymous

    Obviously Barbados has done a poor job of protecting it’s tourists and as a result:
    Tourism in Barbados deserves to suffer.

    If there was an attack on a Barbados women visiting Ottawa the Canadian gov’t and community would be outraged and do everything to make it right.

    Relations definitely damaged.

  33. Hants

    If they was an attack on a Barbadian woman in Canada it would be just another crime but she would get excellent care in a Canadian hospital.
    Canada is a first world country.

    If the same thing happened in the USA and she didn’t have medical insurance coverage her family would be in debt for the rest of their lives.

    Read the Toronto,Vancouver,Montreal and Calgary papers online.

  34. westcoastcanada

    Why is the Barbados government not making a statement reassuring us Canadian tourists that our safety while in Barbados is important to them and steps are being taken to prevent similar tragic events so we can walk down a beach in broad daylight and not have to worry about getting smacked over the head with a piece of driftwood? We can go to Cuba and they do have cold beer and nice beaches too….

  35. Natalie

    I knew the two women…although the beach was deserted by the afternoon, I would not feel safe or want to travel to a destination where I could not walk on the beach in the afternoon. This women was a frequent visitor and had walked at that time many times before. With all the Islands in the Carribean, I would choose another because I would be afraid to go to a place where tourists can be robbed and attacked!

  36. Natalie

    I knew the two women…although the beach was deserted by the afternoon, I would not feel safe or want to travel to a destination where I could not walk on the beach in the afternoon. This women was a frequent visitor and had walked at that time many times before. With all the Islands in the Carribean, I would choose another because I would be afraid to go to a place where tourists can be robbed and attacked! She has died this afternoon. It is nice to see the concern from the citizens of Barbados but until the man is caught…people will be angry.

  37. coolyman

    Dear Friends,
    I with my wife Have retired and were thinking to check out all the places we could live in peace until God call us home and BARBADOS was on top of the list to be visited with all the family and decied if it will be ok for us .Well now all the family who are heading this venture to settle us would not even going to the island for hollidays.
    Sorry ,I have been there and love it,But have to consider the kids who will be visiting us , so no Brabados after this accident. I can only wish you all very best of luck, search goes on !

  38. J

    On March 11 at 3:58 a.m. westcoastcanada wrote “We can go to Cuba and they do have cold beer and nice beaches too….”

    J adds …and village idiots too.

  39. Pingback: Guilty plea in killing of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld raises official hopes that the story will now go away « Barbados Free Press

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