“How does a child “accidentally” die from being strung up and hanged? If this does not show clear intent to murder, then what does?”
Why did they burn the house?
Part 3 of 3 – a look at the Anna Druzhinina murder. Read Part 1 here.
By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D
Persaud and McCollin both stated they burned the house to destroy the evidence. This statement is not supported by the facts which DPP Leacock failed to present. John Jackson had taken five years to build a section attached to the old plantation house at the back, as a gift of love for his wife, Larisa. It was a beautiful, large bedroom suite, surrounded by windows and a magnificent view of the ocean. One had to climb a staircase detached from the main house to get to it. Persaud knew of the significance of this new part of the house. It was as far from the spot of the murder as one can get. They did not burn it to destroy evidence. Persaud instructed McCollin to burn it as part of his revenge on John Jackson to inflict maximum pain. McCollin started the fire by lighting the cover and sheets on the king size bed. No fuel was used.
The other section they set fire to was the front bedroom where they lay Anna across the bed. This, too, was not the scene of the hanging. Petrol and diesel was poured all over Anna’s body with a 6” line of it on the rug and tile floor, leading out the door and 5’ across the balcony. As the Jackson’s car came up the long driveway, Persaud told McCollin and McCollin lit a match to the line of petrol then hid in the hallway so that when the parents entered the house they would see their daughter’s body burning. Evidence indicates that Persaud was positioned in the room adjoining the bedroom waiting with the spear gun to attack Mr. Jackson when he came to Anna’s body. Fortunately, John Jackson got to Anna’s body before flames engulfed her and he stomped out the flames. The spear gun malfunctioned and Persaud fled the scene out the back and over the balcony. When McCollin saw Persaud leaving, he too left down the staircase, swinging his ax at one of the dogs as he made his escape.
“Persaud knew that Anna’s father had hanged himself at the top of the stairs when she was a baby in Russia. Persaud’s revenge plan was to hang Anna in the same manner in order to inflict maximum pain to her mother and step-father.”
The new bedroom suite on the back was entirely destroyed. The burning was part of Persaud’s revenge plan. They did not bother to pour petrol or light a fire in the part of the house where they knocked Anna down, tied her up, or carried her to stand on the paint cans. All evidence of the actual location of their crime remained untouched by fire. This explanation was not presented to the Court as evidence.
Persaud, not McCollin, must have got the fuel cans because the three dogs (including a Great Dane and Rottweiler) would have attacked McCollin if he went downstairs to search for fuel cans. Persaud was known to the dogs, but McCollin was not. Also, it was pitch black and there was no electricity for lights in the storeroom. Only someone who knew the house would know where to get the fuel cans.
Murder or manslaughter?
DPP Leacock stated, “We could not prove the necessary intention to kill, but placing someone, who is tied, to stand on a bucket is wanton and deliberately reckless.” Leacock further stated Persaud placed Anna in “a situation where death is almost certain.”
The police statements stated that McCollin warned Anna that if she moved she would die. They knew with a certainty that she would die because they admitted to telling her as much, and then they left her until she collapsed to her certain death. How does a child “accidentally” die from being strung up and hanged? If this does not show clear intent to murder, then what does? Continue reading