Email received from dozens of BFP readers recounts horrible crime – but is it true?

UPDATED: September 7, 2010 10:11pm Bridgetown, Barbados

Story now thought to be widely circulated rumour. Unfounded, probably not true.

As received from several readers, this second email is from Gordon Seale. Mr. Seale also posted additional remarks in the comments section following the article…

“I had been told a few days before that an awful crime had occurred. I was incensed and tracked down the person to verify. I have known her for about 50 years. She told me that it was true and that she had spoken to her daughter who had been in touch with the family who did not want their information known, so no names etc.

I sent out an email to some influential people and some friends and this e mail has been widely – I mean very widely circulated.

Yesterday I was in touch with the Police at a senior level and they put detectives to investigate the matter. No one has been able to confirm any aspect of this having taken place. I had contacts with the Air Ambulance people etc. They have no record. Nothing was reported to the Police and they had heard nothing, so obviously had not been able to investigate. The QEH which one would expect would have been called have no record according to Peter Gilkes.
I can also say that the Senator Peter Gilkes was on this immediately and has been inundated with e mails and phone calls.

The long and short of this is that this rumored incident cannot be verified and seems to be inaccurate at best.

I should have carried out further investigations prior to sending this e mail out, one fails to realize the speed at which e mails can mushroom, it is truly astounding.

It is a relief to report that unless further verifiable evidence is presented then we must assume this matter was at best an exaggeration.

It would be quite important that you take the trouble to circulate this e mail to all those who you sent the original e mail to and ask them to do likewise.

Gordon Seale”

Original Article as published September 6, 2010 23:12 hours GMT…

Rumour or Truth? Tourists from Ireland are the purported victims

Hundreds of people in Barbados have received an email telling of a horrific crime against tourists around Kadooment. Barbados Free Press knows that hundreds of people have seen the emails because dozens of our readers forwarded it to us along with the emails of all who had previously received it. You know how that ‘forward to all’ function in your email works.

The email was reportedly written by Gordon Seale of Bougainvillea Beach Resort. We haven’t called him for obvious reasons, but perhaps one of our readers can do so and let us know the results or have Mr. Seale stop by BFP.

That a serious crime, especially against a foreign family on holiday, was not reported in the media is not unusual at all. There have been many instances where stories of violence were covered up. Don’t want to upset the potential tourists, you know! Look here, here, here and here for a few examples.

Our question: “Is the story in the email true?”

If the story is true – it’s news and we should be questioning the dishonest censorship of our news media.

If the email story is a HOAX, better to address it in public here than to keep it circulating to hundreds more people.

The sad truth is that we should be able to say “Oh, if such a serious crime wasn’t reported in the news, I doubt that it happened and it’s probably a hoax” – but without confidence in our news media we are unable to do that. When our Barbados news media has a proven track record of covering up violent crime against tourists, we citizens just can’t trust our journalists to deliver the whole truth every day. Sad, really.

So let’s have some confirmation or denial for the hundreds or more people who have received this email and wondered if it’s true.

Here is the email. REMEMBER IT COULD BE A HOAX. That’s what we’re trying to determine…

“From management of Bougainvillea

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

(recipients’ email addresses and names removed by Barbados Free Press)

I am very sad to report that the rumour of this awful crime has been confirmed.

Here’s what I know to be a fact; a Barbadian couple living in Ireland (I believe) came home on holiday and rented a private house in Maxwell. They went out for the evening sometime around Kadooment, leaving a son 17, another son 15 and a daughter 13 at home. Two men entered the home and beat the boys very badly, breaking one boy’s arm in 2 places. The little girl was raped both ways so severely that she sustained a broken back and broken pelvis. When the parents arrived they had to call an air ambulance and immediately flew the kids to the hospital in Miami.

I do not know if this was the reason nothing has been heard in the press or whether the family wants to remain anonymous for fear of what affect this could have on the little girl.

I am sure you will be as shocked as I am at this crime but I assume these 2 animals are walking among us.

I plan to schedule a meeting with the Senior Superintendent at Oistins early next week to find out what has been done to catch them. I will offer a reward for their capture once convicted.

Gordon Seale
Chairman
Bougainvillea Beach Resort
http://www.bougainvillearesort.com”

REMEMBER THE ABOVE EMAIL COULD BE A HOAX. That’s what we’re trying to determine.

UPDATED: Another email received by many… but is it true?

This is another email making its way around Bajan computers. Is it true?

“September 3, 2010

Last night a friend and work colleague’s son was attacked and robbed at gun point by 2 men wearing masks while he was leaving the First Caribbean ATM at Rendezvous (Barbados). He was beaten up about the head and shoulders by the butt of the gun and kicked and cuffed about his body. His mobile phone, jewellery, money and car were stolen.

If you have seen a (registration #, colour, year and model removed by BFP pending confirmation), please contact the nearest Royal Barbados Police Force police station. Please share this information with all of your friends in the hopes that someone can give any information that can assist the police.”


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31 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Police

31 responses to “Email received from dozens of BFP readers recounts horrible crime – but is it true?

  1. meme

    I got the email and my friends too. The broken back reads questionable but it could be true. Coverup in the bajan media could be true. We have to wait to see.

  2. Green Monkey

    Hello Nation News and Barbados Advocate lurkers.

    If the horror stories described in the many emails to BFP and set out above are false, I should think you will want to set the record straight in your publications to set minds at ease and reassure Bajans, our visitors and potential visitors that these 2 shocking crime stories are nothing but unfounded rumours with no actual basis in fact.

    In fact, knowing how the mainstream media generally resent the way the internet and blogs are usurping the role of and exposing the foibles of the traditional media, it would be a real plus for you if you were able to report to the public that scurrilous and unfounded rumours of non-existent crimes have been circulating via email and blogs at this troubling time to potentially and needlessly cause further harm to the reputation of Barbados as a peaceful, holiday island.

    On the other hand, if you chose to remain silent and don’t publicly comment on or report on these stories to either confirm or deny the substance of what so far are are only rumours, then, given your past history, the tendency (justifiably, in my opinion) will be to believe that you are engaging in your usual self-censorship and purposely avoiding publishing reports on violent crimes that would impact negatively on our image as a tourist destination. The “rumours” will likely therefore continue to circulate and perhaps be further embellished by even more sickening and disturbing details, as your silence is taken by many as your standard operating procedure coverup when it comes to these types of events.

    So its up to you now. We will be watching with interest to see if any reports either to deny or confirm these very disturbing rumours of recent violent criminal attacks make it into your pages.

    PS. And for the other mainstream media in Barbados, eg. VOB, CBC etc. All of the above goes for you too.

  3. Dre

    Actually I heard this story too and thought, by reason of it not being published, that it was a rumour and could not have happened in Barbados. I was wondering how a 12 year old girl could be randomly gang raped by men, but now that I’ve read the context in this email I see it. This is horrific and really, I tend to believe it. There’s hardly smoke without fire and, in Barbados, widespread rumours are often the truth.

  4. Opposition is at sea

    The person Gordon Seale issued a retraction this morning to his reckless and out of place earlier email.

  5. BFP

    Hello Opposition is at sea,

    Where did Mr. Seale issue the retraction? No one has sent it to us. Was the entire event fabricated? Are parts of his email true? Who fabricated the parts that aren’t true?

    What’s the story?

  6. Scared bajan

    A work colleague of mine called a friend at the police station and she confirmed to him that the story about the tourist is true. I also personally know the young boy that was robbed and his parents and that story is definetely true, call the police and verify, they found his stolen car wrecked!!!

  7. reality check

    If this is the same Gordon Seale, Chairman of Bougainvillea Beach Resort, he is in the tourism business and is not a flake.

    Who threatened him?

    Maybe he can respond or direct us to a source who can confirm or deny the accuracy of the rumours.

    Needless to say, no family is going to want to have their 12 year old daughter hounded by press but the rumors are serious for Barbados and any journalist worth his or her salt would have made the necessary calls to get the real story.

  8. John Da Silva

    I wrote Gordon on Facebook asking him about the e-mail. He did write it, but since doing do and after carrying out extensive investigations himself, has found no evidence to support what was told to him by someone he trusted. Please see the response from him below:

    ——————

    I had been told a few days before that an awful crime had occurred. I was incensed and tracked down the person to verify. I have known her for about 50 years. She told me that it was true and that she had spoken to her daughter who had been in touch with the family who did not want their information known, so no names etc.

    I sent out an email to some influential people and some friends and this e mail has been widely – I mean very widely circulated.

    Yesterday I was in touch with the Police at a senior level and they put detectives to investigate the matter. No one has been able to confirm any aspect of this having taken place. I had contacts with the Air Ambulance people etc. They have no record. Nothing was reported to the Police and they had heard nothing, so obviously had not been able to investigate. The QEH which one would expect would have been called have no record according to Peter Gilkes.

    I can also say that the Senator Peter Gilkes was on this immediately and has been inundated with e mails and phone calls.

    The long and short of this is that this rumored incident cannot be verified and seems to be inaccurate at best.

    I should have carried out further investigations prior to sending this e mail out, one fails to realize the speed at which e mails can mushroom, it is truly astounding.

    It is a relief to report that unless further verifiable evidence is presented then we must assume this matter was at best an exaggeration.

    It would be quite important that you take the trouble to circulate this e mail to all those who you sent the original e mail to and ask them to do likewise.

    Gordon Seale

    PS No one has asked me to write this nor applied ANY pressure for me to do so.

  9. Gordon Seale

    I confirm that the e-mail copied by John DaSilva is genuine and was sent by me as a follow up.

    I have only just had this article sent to me.

    Gordon Seale

  10. Gordon Seale

    Further –
    e mail/electronic communication has certainly come of age in Barbados. My e mail was intended to get some action on an investigation which I could not do on my own and to stimulate a reward for the alleged perpetrators. This e mail was instantly reposted to literally thousands of people by those recieving it, showing that Bajans take violent crime very seriously and will not tolerate it.
    Both of these are positive aspects.
    The speed and size of the circulation has come as a bit of a shock.

  11. yatinkiteasy

    Next time, don`t send e mails or say anything like this unless you have verified it to be true. Now you know how powerful the internet is.
    Hopefully your actions have not caused us to suffer as a safe family vacation spot.

  12. Mathilde

    Even if the first email isn’t true I can say for a fact that it is based exactly on what happened to a school friend of mine 20 years ago. I remember they took her out of school for several months after the incident, but her back was not broken. She was bajan and not irish, but the two brothers part fits as well. So I don’t know if this is someone churning up the past and rehashing it as ‘news’ which would be insensitive in the extreme, or a horrible coincidence.

  13. Jinx

    Although it seems this matter is cleared up for now, visitors to our shores simply must be as aware of thier surroundings as surely they must be in thier own countries. The peace and tranquiltiy which the brochures no doubt project, should not be interpretted as a “crime free” destination.

  14. 133

    When approached about the matter
    local Police said they have no knowledge of it!
    it simply wasn’t reported to local Police,
    so how can they act on it???

  15. Mobert

    ‘Have been in touch’, phone calls, no records.

    So what. Are you people naive?

  16. 155

    Since BFP always wants to publish the truth what good is it that you are leaving this now discredited story on your website. Soon the lie will be replicated all over the world.

  17. Notunusual

    One is left to wonder if the average family would want to report a violation of this nature to the Police. If it is not reported there is nothing for the Police to go on.
    Isn’t it time for Barbados to allow testimony in these type of trials to be done remotely, so a young girl does not have to face the horror of confronting her torturers? I would expect that many more rapes would then be reported.

  18. Maxwellian

    In all honesty I don’t have a problem with how BFP, or Mr. Seale for that matter, handled this. For Mr. Seale a lesson learned.

    With all that is going on of late it should serve as a wake up call to all of us that Barbados is wrought with an entire generation of disenfranchised youth ‘pon de block.

    Ask anyone that lives in Maxwell the night air is quiet, only broken by the occasional sounds of crashing waves and gunshots from Silver Hill.

    I passed the Chicken Galore outlet in Bank Hall this afternoon– what a sight. The loss of the 6 women in town is unthinkable.

    Something has to give.

  19. Amazed

    Unfortunately, I was told of the attack and rape incident the day after it was to have happened. It made me keep my daughter home that weekend as I felt sick to my stomach from the details that I was told. I was also told that the family were protecting the children especially the daughter and flew out by air ambulance immediately. Having it not reported in the newspaper may have been in an effort to protect the minors involved, whether that is wrong or not I cannot judge. I do believe the public has a right to know when criminals and RAPIST are amongst us, BUT I am assured that the Police are actively investigating. I pray that they are caught and hanged. However, it does not make me sleep any better until that has happened.

    I also have been told that a visiting Catholic Bishop and Priest were held up and robbed on a public beach whilst out walking. Anyone heard about that?

    There are many crimes daily that do seem to go unreported, my only hope that the BPF is handling them and it is time to get serious about the crime wave in Barbados.

    To open a can a worms, I ask, “Do we really want one Caricom? The other islands are plagued with violent crimes, and we are opening our doors.”

    Lawlessness is rampant on our little rock. Why is it that so many fellas on the block say that it is OK to serve time, you get 3 square meals and somewhere to sleep. And yes, I have been told that directly.

    Why is it that it is much easier to collect unemployment for so many strapping young able bodied persons. I have personal experience with my work place that as soon as many of these young men work for a few months, they walk off the job. They then come and ask for their ‘green paper’ and say they are ‘resting’ for a few months and collecting unemployment.

    Video surveillance is going to be a necessity on our roads (by traffic lights especially); in the stores, on the outside of all shops, gas stations and schools. Some may shout out about ‘privacy’, but it may save your life, or someone you care about. We can’t be polite to these criminals. We need to stand united against them.

    I pray for the families of those who lost their loved ones in the fire. They know who they are that did this. I pray for justice.

  20. Reasoned voice

    The email had already been circulated to hundreds of people before Barbados Free Press received it. I want to thank Marcus and the people at BFP for providing a forum to confirm or deny rumours like this and for leaving the story up so others who receive the original email can search online and discover the truth.

    If there is no place online for people to discount this rumour it will continue to circulate for years doing who knows how much damage to our tourism industry. In this way BFP performs a valuable service.

    We shouldn’t forget the point made in BFP’s original comments that the reason the email was so believable is that the Barbados news organisations regularly censor stories about serious crimes. BFP gave several examples and I can think of more.

    The news media in Barbados has seriously undermined their own credibility through self-censorship, subservience to whatever government is in power and the media’s cowardly refusal to investigate specific instances of corruption in a meaningful way.

    I’m sorry to be so long winded but every word is true.

  21. A. Rab.

    Another fake story?

    Barbados Free Press is famous for posting lies on the internet.

  22. Politically Tired

    Thank you BFP for trying to get to the bottom of this whether true or false. I forwarded it to you only, I was worried about the time frame, around Kadooment, & no one hearing of this till the last week or so. If this is a hoax, shame on whoever for starting it, if its not, shame on the Police.

  23. Notunusual

    Let us for the moment assume that it is true, how can anyone establish the facts or the Police investigate, if no one connected to this is willing to give dates, times and descriptions. It effectively becomes a crime that never was.

  24. air traffic records

    If you have an approximate date and description of the family involved, then there should be a record of all planes and traffic at the airport including any medevac planes and a list of all passengers with addresses. Please note I said “should be.”

  25. Pingback: Dear Commissioner Dottin: About those internet “rumours” of Barbados Police corruption and incompetence… « Barbados Free Press

  26. J

    If this had taken place almost certainly the family would have had to take the child to the QEH to be stablized before medevac-ing her. I don’t think that any loving family would attempt to move a child who is bleeding and has a broken back without getting medical attention for her first. I don’t believe that air ambulances especially those capable of crossing the Atlantic from Barbados to Ireland spend their time sitting on the tarmac of our airport waiting for a passenger who can afford the $35,000 or so USD it costs to use such a service. The ambulance would likely have to come from Miami and that takes 4 hours for a large plane, much more for a smaller aircraft, then the flight to Ireland would take 8 hours or more. No loving family would make their seriously injured child wait for 12 hours before being seen by a doctor.

    I find it hard to believe that this would have happened and nobody at the QEH would have talked. The doctors take the Hippocratic oath, but the ancillary staff do not and those *itches talk.

    So for the reasons I’ve stated I would expect that this was a rumour, and I am surprised that a man of Mr. Seale’s maturity and life experience would pass on such an email. Saying “I hear so” is NOT the same as the TRUTH.

    Almost certainly what gave this story such drive is that people want to believe the unstated part that the “victim” is a young white girl and the “perpetrators” are young black men. This plays into the racist fear of black men as being both sexually desirable and sexually threatening. That white women should fear black men. Yet virtually all of the – and I hate this word – miscegnation that has taken place in the new world came about because adult white males victimized black adolescent girls. And yet nobody fears the white man rapist, but people fear the “animalistic” young black male rapist? And this fear is so real and so carefully nourished that if there is no young black “animalistic” rapist, then we have to conjure some up.

    Quoting Mr. Seale “I am sure you will be as shocked as I am at this crime but I assume these 2 animals are walking among us.”

    Rapist or bogey man?

  27. BFP

    Hi J,

    I think there are a few reasons why the story spread so rapidly by email and one of them is that people don’t trust the police or the news media to report the truth. Certainly the presumed black rapist and white tourist scenario would be pounced upon by certain racist groups even though as a majority black country with a heavy reliance upon Brit tourists, any crime against a tourist is likely to be black upon white just because of the demographics.

    That’s why it is important that when such a rumour is spreading like wildfire through emails etc., that people can Google the rumour and discover that it is false. Even years later we continue to receive many false emails but when they are debunked on the internet by websites like Snopes and Barbados Free Press at least a person can immediately know it’s not true.

    The latest one I received was about the tail letters of Air Force One (President’s 747) being “N166ER”. It’s false of course, and I was able to determine that with a few keystrokes and fire the email back to my friends telling them to stop distributing falsehoods.

    Marcus

  28. J

    Thanks Marcus. The primary reason I come on your blog and the other is to add a voice of reason. I should maybe change my handle to “The Voice of Reason” I have a good freind who always tells me that I am “too reasonable and too rational” I didn’t kow that it is possible to be “too reasonable and too rational”

    I have a well educated, elderly friend who attempted suicide becasue he was caught up in an internet scam and lost tens of thousands or hundresd of thousands of dollars.

    Now would an ugly old man believe that a young beautiful foreign woman was in love with him. That is quite un “reasonable” Yes bhe believed this and lost his money and almost lost his life.

    As one point I had a file box full of scam emails everyone of them promising me a million dollars or more if I would just send them my name, address bank account number etc.

    But I REASONED, the people who know and love me don’t give my any money, so why should a complete stranger give me money?

    Once or twice for bare sport I respond promising them a million dollars (or more of course J ain’t got no million dollars but lives from paycheck to paycheck like most NORMAL human beings) and asking for all their personal information including their grandmother’s maiden name, and the hand of their first born son or daughter in marriage. That’s J pretending to be Bi.

    I NEVER again hear from the rascals.

    Once J is awake, REASON is on the job.

  29. Christina

    I also saw this letter and the crime is
    horrendous.
    Mr. Seale did get confirmation from someone in the family that this was true.
    He wanted justice and I do not wrong him for this.
    It could be that the family does not want publicity or like someone posted above for the innocent to go through a trial, and face those awful men again.
    But not reporting all that happened to the authorities is not right and someone so horrid, should have the full force of punishment.

    If this is true this childs life is destroyed.
    I sincerely hope that the government will take every step possible to get the proper information.
    Bad things happen everywhere.
    I will keep following this story and hope the authorities will have do what is right.

    Thank- you.

  30. Diaspora-ite

    If anyone doubts the power of the internet to disseminate [true or false] information, have a read of David Baldacci’s novel “The Whole Truth.”

    It’s all about “Perception Management [PM],” something first developed by the US military to make their adventures more palatable to the general public.

    This sounds like a classic case of PM at work, but it begs the question: whose is profiting from spreading information such as this? What agenda is at work here?

  31. @ J, check this http://quatloosia.blogspot.com/
    I have sent replies to some of the scams, Nigerian not always originating in Nigeria. My replies were, I would love to help you with your plight and therefore have been in touch with the local police, the RCMP and Interpol for a smooth transaction.
    For some reason I have not received any more requests for help. Go figure……….