Tag Archives: Barbados Tourist Attacks

Barbados High Court Judge: Public execution murders and witnesses won’t testify, undermining courts.

When the police cannot or will not protect witnesses, can we expect anything else?

High court Justice Randall Worrell (above) is worried about a trend that is undermining our court system and threatening the very fabric of our society: after witnessing their friends murdered on the street in execution-style killings, witnesses don’t want to testify to the point that they are changing their stories or running off the island.

Well, do ya think? Consider that most of the time when the police are called, they take their own sweet time to arrive. A month or so ago there was a gun battle at a football match in Boscobel and the police never arrived for almost an hour! At the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary shots were fired the police never came at all. Continue reading

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Tourism Matters: More Barbados tourists robbed on the beach in daylight

Reassuring words from the police mean little on TripAdvisor and Facebook

by Adrian Loveridge - Small hotel owner

If I had to name one single issue that could seriously endanger our most important industry, it would be any breakdown in our overall ability to keep our visitors safe and secure.

Sadly, it seems that a few of our policymakers, both in tourism and those involved in national security believe that by keeping crime against tourists out of the local media, no-one is going to hear about it.

What they do not appear to comprehend is that with the internet, social media and the increasingly popular blogs, it’s almost impossible to keep anything secret.

The days of playing ostrich are gone! Continue reading

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Guilty plea in killing of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld raises official hopes that the story will now go away

Murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Curtis Joel Foster 25, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Barbados High Court on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. He will be sentenced on February 17th next. (Canada.com news here)

Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld was walking at Long Beach at the south coast on February 28, 2009 with her daughter-in-law when Foster attacked and robbed them in broad daylight. When the women resisted, Foster used a piece of wood to club them. Mrs. Schwarzfeld never recovered from her head injuries and died in Canada after she was flown back in a coma.

On the surface this brings some small resolution for the victim’s family and friends, but as much as the word “closure” is thrown around by the news media, we know that the people who loved Terry Schwarzfeld will never forget the circumstances of her passing. Good Bajans everywhere offer their sympathies and regrets and pray that her family and friends will not be lacking in strength and support.

Tourist Murder happened after police ignored a year of robberies and rapes at Long Beach

As much as everyone now regrets the murder of Terry Schwarzfeld, it turns out that a blind man on a fast horse could have seen months in advance what was eventually going to happen to some poor soul at Long Beach.

The Royal Barbados Police Force had to admit publicly that the organisation failed to note the violent crime rampage against tourists at Long Beach for over a year preceding the murder. Long Beach was a robbery and rape “hot spot”, but we Bajans and the tourists were never warned. Neither was there a coordinated police response to stop the attacks.

It turns out that the Commissioner of Police failed to appoint staff to record and analyze crime types and locations to note “hot spots” so that sufficient police resources could be assigned to protect the public or to arrest Curtis Joel Foster and stop his reign of terror. It took the murder of a tourist before anyone paid attention, and even then the police, the government and the Bajan news media initially went into their standard “cover-up” mode that happens when a tourist is attacked. (See BFP’s article Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”)

Have Barbados Police Ever Heard Of A Crime Map???

Locating crime hot spots and detailing sufficient officers to protect the public and arrest the culprits is not rocket science, ya know.

As we’ve seen in countless television shows: the police put a big map of the area on the wall. When there is a robbery or violent crime, the officer puts a pin into the map at the location. The colour of the pin tells the type of crime. Then the officer says, “OH! Look at all the pins at Long Beach over the last few months. Rape, robbery, assault. I guess we’d better have a closer look.” Then the officer reads the descriptions of the culprits as given by the victims, notes the time and day of the week and other circumstances and says, “Hey, this looks like one guy is doing this, does his attacks late in the afternoon against lone women tourists at Long Beach. I guess we’d better watch the place or dress up a female police officer like a tourist, have her partners remain hidden and see if we can arrest this man before he kills somebody.”

The police don’t even have to use a fancy computer program, just pins on a map. If our police want a fancy program to map out the crimes, they might want to try using Google Maps for free as many other police forces do. It is really disgusting that Google offers a solution that could have saved Mrs. Schwarzfeld. But, hey – Commissioner Dottin didn’t see fit to put up an ordinary map and some pins on the wall so ya can’t really expect him to be knowledgeable ’bout something as sophisticated as Google Maps that children use to assist them with their school geography projects.

“Somebody” failed to note the violent crime rampage against tourists at Long Beach for over a year. “Somebody” failed to detail sufficient police resources to protect the tourists and arrest the suspect.

And because of those police failures, Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld died – and our most important industry is further imperiled as it is being pummeled by the economic crisis.

“It is time for the Royal Barbados Police Force to have the dynamic leadership and resources that it needs to protect Barbadians, our visitors and our economy. It is time for our government to realize that policing and public safety are more important to our economy than our beaches. It is also time for Commissioner Dottin to do the honourable thing.”

Further Reading

For more background on the year of violent crime at Long Beach and crime statistics, check out BFP’s article Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

BFP articles about Policing and the Terry Schwarzfeld Murder

October 12, 2009: Police urge Bajans to not walk alone in secluded areas, be wary of strangers approaching your home

September 7, 2009: Terry Schwarzfeld Tourist Murder: Preliminary Hearing Begins against accused Curtis Joel Foster

August 30, 2009: Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld Called “White Trash” – Senior Advisor to Barbados Prime Minister Publishes Articles on Same Racist Website!

June 29, 2009: British Tourist Shot, Robbed Near Sandy Lane Resort Barbados On June 4, 2009 – Victim Alleges Silence By Barbados News Media, Hotel, Tourism Authorities

March 23, 2009: Arrest In Terry Schwarzfeld Barbados Tourist Murder – But Can We Trust Our Police?

March 19, 2009: Barbados Tourist Attack Now Murder: Canadian Victim Terry Schwarzfeld Dies In Ottawa

March 9, 2009: Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, National Canadian Coverage: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”

March 8, 2009: Update – Barbados Tourist Beating Victim Terry Schwarzfeld – Condition Worsens “Significant Brain Damage”

March 5, 2009: Canadian Women Attacked On Barbados Beach – Shocked Barbadians Offer Regrets, Sympathy and Best Wishes To Victims, Families and Friends

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Terry Schwarzfeld Tourist Murder: Preliminary Hearing Begins against accused Curtis Joel Foster

Terry Schwarzfeld murder

Widower of Murder Victim Schwarzfeld complains he is kept in the dark about trial

The Canadian news outlets are reporting that the preliminary hearing in the Terry Schwarzfeld tourist murder started today in Bridgetown, Barbados. Bajan Curtis Joel Foster is charged in the February 2009 robbery and murder of the Canadian tourist.

None of the Barbados newspapers carried stories about the upcoming preliminary hearing – which doesn’t surprise most folks as the Bajan newspapers were extremely reluctant and late in covering the story at the time of the murder. It was only after the Ottawa Citizen newspaper criticized the Bajan news media and at the same time lauded Barbados Free Press as being the only outlet to speak out for Schwarzfeld that the Bajan media initiated coverage.

The fact that Bajan citizens have to rely upon foreign newspapers for news about something so important as a tourist murder trial is bad enough – but the worst is the statement made to the Canadian news media by Schwarzfeld’s widower, Stephen Cotsman.

Mr. Cotsman told the Canadian press that the government of Barbados does not keep him properly informed about the ongoing events.

“(Barbados Authorities) seem to inform me after every event… So I don’t know what stage it’s at or anything like that.”

Stephen Cotsmen – widower of murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld tells the Ottawa Citizen and the world that Barbados authorities do not keep him sufficiently informed.

Barbados Government incompetence makes a bad situation worse

This mistake once again shows that the Barbados Government just doesn’t get it when it comes to the importance of looking after guests on the island who run into any sort of trouble – let alone having their spouse murdered on a Barbados beach in broad daylight.

Had Mr. Cotsman felt he was being properly informed and looked after by the Bajan authorities, he would have said something else – perhaps even saying something relatively positive about Barbados considering the circumstances. But no… we as a country didn’t even have enough courtesy to keep the family of the victims informed. Did our government not detail a person to be responsible for this important function? Did the police not detail a responsible and caring officer to be the liaison with the family and witnesses?

Poor show all around by our police, government and tourism authorities.

Ottawa Citizen newspaper: Hearing begins in Barbados killing – Family ‘surviving’ after women’s death

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British Tourist Shot, Robbed Near Sandy Lane Resort Barbados On June 4, 2009 – Victim Alleges Silence By Barbados News Media, Hotel, Tourism Authorities

“It did concern me that other British tourists who were staying at the hotel were completely unaware of what had happened. I am not saying it was deliberately suppressed but it doesn’t excuse the fact that no tourists were told about it..”

“There need to be warnings to British tourists that there are armed robbers operating in West Coast Road.”

… British lawyer Andrew Thompson tells the U.K. news media about his Sandy Lane Resort vacation – Suffolk barrister shot in Barbados and in a second article here.

Update: Many Newspapers picked up the story including the Daily Express: Britons’ Shooting Terror At Celebrity Caribbean Retreat

Couple Robbed, Husband Shot Walking Back To Sandy Lane Resort

Not A Word In Barbados News Media – Visitors & Hotel Guests Not Warned About Nearby Shooting, Robbery

Hotel is popular with Simon Cowell & Other Celebrities

British Tourists Robbed, Husband Shot in Barbados

Recovering from shooting: British Tourists Robbed, Husband Shot in Barbados

Suffolk barrister Andrew Thompson and his wife Isobel were walking back to Sandy Lane Resort after dinner on June 4, 2009 when they were held up by two men who had to dodge through busy traffic to reach them. Mr. Thompson was shot almost immediately after one robber demanded his wallet and the other snatched his wife’s purse. The shot ripped through his lower leg and caused major damage.

Mr. & Mrs. Thompson are veteran Barbados vacationers, visiting the island some 20 times and staying at Sandy Lane 10 times. They say they’ll be back – but they wish that someone had warned them and their fellow Brits that gunpoint robberies and shootings of tourists happen. They also complain that none of the other Sandy Lane visitors heard about it in the days afterward and so might have been at risk themselves while walking in the same area after Mr. Thompson had been shot and robbed.

The story only just appeared in the British news media some three weeks after the incident and, to Mr. Thompson’s knowledge (and our’s), has yet to be mentioned by the Barbados news media. (Dear readers: if the Thompsons & BFP missed coverage, please let us know and send us the reference.)

Memories of Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Murdered Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Back in March of 2009, Canadian tourists Terry Schwarzfeld and her daughter-in-law Lauana Cotsman were attacked and robbed on Long Beach on the Barbados South Coast. Sadly, Mrs. Schwarzfeld died from the beating after being returned to Canada in a coma.

Soon, Canadians were outraged to learn that many tourist robberies and rapes had been taking place at Long Beach but the Barbados news media, police and government hadn’t warned visitors even though the media and authorities knew of the ongoing danger! For an entire year or more the Barbados news media and authorities concealed a string of violent offenses at Long Beach and put many visitors at risk until one was finally murdered by the same serial criminal who was stalking the location.

Disgusting.

In the ten days immediately following the Schwarzfeld murder, the initial response from the Barbados Government and the Barbados news media was to say nothing and hope it all went away. Only after the Canadian press criticized Barbados for a cover-up did the Barbados Government and our news media mention Schwarzfeld.

FACT: Barbados Authorities Learned No Lessons From The Schwarzfeld Murder

Here we are only a few months after Terry Schwarzfeld was murdered – and once again foreign news media is reporting that Barbados tourists and Sandy Lane hotel guests were not warned that a robbery and shooting of a tourist had taken place nearby!

Once again the foreign news media is reporting that Barbados does not warn tourists of dangerous areas where there have been recent or ongoing attacks.

Have we learned nothing? Barbados and other tourist destinations can no longer cover up incidents of robbery, rape, shootings and even murders as was done in the past. Can you image what the foreign press would be saying if another Sandy Lane Resort guest had been shot or murdered in the same area after the first shooting – and the hotel guests hadn’t been warned of a recent incident?

This is the internet age and information cannot be contained. As Barbados Free Press has stated time and time again…

“…the international traveling public will accept a few unfortunate tourist incidents – but only if there is not one hint of a cover-up or sloppy, uncaring response. Everybody knows that trouble happens – and they also know that what happens after the trouble occurs is the true test of any organization.”

It is outrageous that once again the foreign news media is reporting that visitors to Barbados are not warned of recent shootings and robberies against tourists right where they are staying!

Here is the story from the Nation News about the despicable behaviour of the Barbados news media and authorities in covering-up the Long Beach tourist attacks for a year until Mrs. Schwarzfeld was murdered! Continue reading

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Arrest In Terry Schwarzfeld Barbados Tourist Murder – But Can We Trust Our Police?

UPDATED: Barbados Police Commissioner Says Reward Played A Part In Arrest

An article posted online at the Barbados Advocate tells of a press conference today (Monday) where Commissioner Dottin and others announced what they could about the arrest of a 24-year-old Barbadian for the robbery and murder of Terry Schwarzfeld…

Dottin told the media: “I am very happy to tell you that the investigation has made substantial progress and we have in custody a 24-year-old man and charges will soon be laid against him for matters arising out of this incident. The investigators have recovered property, jewellery as well as a camera and an imitation firearm that was reportedly used in the attack on the two visitors.”

“I can confirm that he is a Barbadian, but I am not going to say anything more about him. Under our Constitution, a person is guaranteed a fair trial and I am not going to say anything this morning that would be prejudicial to that trial.”

… read the entire article at the Barbados Advocate before they remove it forever here.

Original BFP story posted this morning…

Voice of Barbados Radio First To Air Story

schwarzfeld-murder92.9FM VOB Radio reports that a suspect is in custody for the daylight beach murder of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld.

After virtually ignoring the case the politicians, police and the Barbados news media shifted into high gear upon Terry’s death.

We Bajans know that the record of the Royal Barbados Police Force is not exactly stellar when it comes to preventing or solving crimes: even the recent murder of a retired senior police officer in front of his family remains unsolved. So forgive us if we wonder whether they have Terry’s real murderer under arrest, or one of the usual suspects who “confessed” rather than face what he knew was coming if he remained silent.

Barbados Free Press sincerely hopes that the evidence the police put before the court consists of more than only a confession generated by fear.

A shame we have to think it let alone say it aloud, but there it is.

VOB Radio: Breakthrough in Long Beach Attacks

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Barbados Government Announces 25% Off Participating Restaurants! (Now We Don’t Have To Mention The Beaten, Brain-Damaged Canadian Tourist Terry Schwarzfeld)

Terry Schwarzfeld Remains In Coma

Terry Schwarzfeld Remains In Coma

The Government of Barbados has paid a New York publicity firm to send press announcements all over the world informing people that participating Barbados restaurants will give them 25% off their meals with the purchase of a Barbados Gourmet Card. Barbados Free Press was sent a copy of the press release that starts…

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 9 /PRNewswire/ — The island of Barbados will offer an exquisite culinary experience paired with incredible savings for 2009 with the introduction of the Barbados Gourmet Card…

WOW! That Should Take Care Of All The Bad International Publicity Over Barbados Beach Crime

Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley, Commissioner of Police Dottin, Prime Minister David Thompson and all the rest should just admit it: they don’t know what to do to prevent crimes against tourists, and when the crimes happen they don’t know how to handle the fallout. Our so-called leaders are ineffective at setting and achieving real outcomes. Talk? They do that just fine. Action? Well, that is another story.

Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld is in grave condition in a Canadian hospital – her husband says so brain-damaged that the likelihood of recovery is slim – and on a daily basis the Canadian press is parading before the public other victims of robberies and assaults on Barbados beaches. This is a major news story in Canada and it is not going away.

So far our “leaders” only “solutions” to the Long Beach assaults involve…

1/ Say that assaults are rare.

2/ Instruct the local news media to not cover the story, and for certain not put it on the internet.

3/ Ignore the issue further and hope it will fade away as these things used to do when government and tourism partners could control the spread of the news by threats to withhold tourism advertising revenues from domestic and foreign news media outlets.

That “action plan” used to work, but then came the internet and that was the end of the government’s ability to control bad news or kill a story.

But they still don’t get it. Forty years of operating in a corrupt system with no accountability has made Bajan leaders ineffective and unable to produce real measurable results in any endeavor. Their perceptions are so warped they don’t even know how bad it looks to the outside world.

Mr. Prime Minister, when will Bajans and Canadian and American tourists hear from you on the single issue that has dominated the news coverage of Barbados for the last ten days?

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