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Twenty persons have been murdered within a one-week period, including the four victims who have been decapitated.
“Have we lost our heads?” seems to be the collective thought of outraged and frightened Jamaicans, as sharp bladed instruments are chosen to inflict dastardly deeds.
Gary Emanuel Smith, a 37-year-old father of two, took his last breath - early Saturday morning, as a precursor to the mourning of members of the August Town community.
He was the fourth person to be beheaded last week.
When the Gleaner touched base with residents in August Town yesterday, it was difficult to say which was more pronounced – mourning or the terrifying sound of silent fear.
If the weapons used in heinous crimes are any signal, knives and machetes are turning criminals and the uncontrollable in society into raging, bloodthirsty butchers.
The Police High Command and the political directorate have jumped at every opportunity to reel off figures showing that crime has dipped by more than 40 per cent for the first half of 2011 when compared with 2010.
However, statistics and data are cold comfort to those recoiling in fear and terror from a revolting trend.
Jamaicans say they don’t want to be part of the statistics.
Sandra* one of Smith’s neighbours complained that the police seem helpless.
“We worried cause we don’t know who is next,” she told The Gleaner.
With the police targeting the guns – the weapon of choices of many years – in their relentless bid to curb the flow into the hands of evil, signs are emerging that many inclined to commit murder are going back to the old days of sharp bladed instruments, but with a brand new level of venom and brutality.
For many Jamaicans, police data, flaunting a decline in serious criminality and emphasized by politicians as well as senior crime-fighters at every turn, is cold comfort for them, when the deeds of men appeared to have taken an even horrifying turn for the worst.
They could well do without a new brand of horror that has engulfed Jamaicans, numbing them into what appears to be another realm, even if the figures try to tell another story.
The nation was shocked into silence when a man by the name of Scott Shane Thomas, 18, a labourer of Lauriston, was decapitated Tuesday of last week.
The shock had hardly worn off less than 48 hours later when the nation was horror-struck by news that two more persons had been beheaded.
The sensibilities of most law-abiding Jamaicans were jolted further, when it was revealed that the victims were women – a mother and daughter - Charmaine Couver-Rattray, 40, and her 19-year old daughter, Joeith Lynch otherwise called "Crystal".
Severed head found in St Catherine:
In the midst of the turmoil, sparked by the goriness of the slaughters, new information emerged that another Kingston College student was murdered.
The murder happened less than a month after another student, Khajeel Mais’ untimely death elicited thunderous reactions from Jamaicans.
The police say 15-year-old Timon Thompson, a resident of Bull Retreat in Gordon Town in St. Andrew was walking along the Mavis Bank main road about 5 a.m. last week Tuesday, when he was approached by a relative and stabbed with a sharp instrument.
Blood continued to be shed senselessly, when a 13-year-old girl fatally stabbed a 21-year-old mother, who was in a state of pregnancy.
The alleged offending child is in a place of safety.
As Jamaicans recoiled in horror at the wretchedness of it all, almost unbelievably, news surfaced that yet another man was decapitated.
August Town residents woke to the news that one of their own had been taken out of his house brought to another section of the community where the gruesome act was performed