Tag Archives: Barbados Tourist Murder

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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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Crime & Law, News Media, Police

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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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Police, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

barbados-police-complaint

Professional Journalism or Subtle Propaganda?

Yesterday we told you about the Royal Barbados Police Force failing to attend calls for help at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. The sanctuary staff reported crimes in progress including theft of fish, threats and gunshots. The police did not attend, and the Graeme Hall staff had to go to the police station to file a report. (Previous BFP story here)

Now the Barbados Advocate has covered the story, but “adjusted” the wording surrounding the non-attendance of the police to be rather ambiguous. One would think from reading the article that the police attended, they were just a minute too late. (Click the above article image in red)

It went on for hours. Theft in progress. Threats. Sounds of gunshots.

And the Royal Barbados Police Force never arrived… but the “professional” news media is soft-peddling the facts of the story for political purposes.

Years Of Unacceptable Police Non-Performance

In the past three years, the Royal Barbados Police Force has come under heavy and increasing criticism from citizens and the courts for various failures, shortcomings and wrong-doings. We can debate forever about what caused the deterioration of what was once a premier law enforcement organisation in the region, but few citizens will argue against the statement that the RBPF has been in deep decline for a number of years.

The most recent (and well deserved) criticism followed the Long Beach murder of a Canadian tourist, Terry Schwarzfeld. Subsequent to the arrest of Curtis Joel Foster for the murder, the public discovered that the man had committed a series of tourist robberies and rapes in the very location where Schwarzfeld was murdered – a series of vicious crimes that had been hushed up by the police and the news media for almost a year!

The best the Bajan media could come up with that approached criticism of the police was a recent article in The Nation titled Long Beach Robbery Cases Under Review. When questioned why the police had been so ineffective in protecting tourists from violent attacks at one location for a whole year, Dottin lamely replied “We will certainly learn from the review that is being undertaken. But I want to stress it is a reasonable question.”

The words “Under review” from Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin pretty well sums it up… the failings of the Royal Barbados Police Force will be “reviewed” by the police themselves, who are in truth unaccountable to anyone but themselves. There is no civilian oversight of the police in Barbados.

Public Relations Campaign Instead Of Professional Performance Levels By Our Police

But true to the Bajan model for deflecting and ignoring criticism, the police and their media friends are now engaged in a massive “good publicity” campaign to boost the image of the Royal Barbados Police Force. No changes have been made, you understand. What they are doing is to announce plans and intents – along with a good dose of “We hear and We care” statements. The Barbados Advocate jumped on board to announce Police On The Right Track.

No outcomes or successes will be announced because, well, the RBPF are selling image, not effect – intent, not changes implemented. In today’s Nation, Dottin has the police as victims, saying You just can’t win against a critical public. Poor baby. Not to fear though, for the Barbados Police have just signed a deal with the USA to report illegal firearms into a US database. Great… that rates about four news major articles ’bout what the police “gonna do”.

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

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

Let’s Look At Real Police Performance, Shall We?

A series of violent tourist robberies and a rape occurred on Long Beach over a year. Anyone who has watched a detective movie has seen crime maps on the police station wall with different coloured pins denoting various crimes, locations and frequencies. The police are able to look at the map and spot trends, clusters of crimes, high crime areas and crimes with similar suspect descriptions and methods. The LEADERS in the police then prioritise and task personnel to take care of the worst and most important crime clusters.

You know, crime clusters like a series of tourists being robbed, beaten and raped on the same stretch of beach for over a year! Oh sure, after the murder that just had to come as the robber became more and more emboldened by the lack of police at his favourite robbery site over a whole year – we have the pathetic politicans saying that NOW they are going to de-bush the area and put more police patrols on the beach. Too little, and way too late for Terry Schwarzfeld. (Nation News: Extra protection measures for Long Beach after attack)

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 Commissioner Dottin to do the honourable thing. 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.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Police, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

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 Tourist Attack Now Murder: Canadian Victim Terry Schwarzfeld Dies In Ottawa

schwarzfeld-murder

Our prayers go out for Terry’s family and friends.

Ottawa Citizen: Victim of Barbados Attack, Terry Schwarzfeld Dies

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