Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Vampire Killers

The Fearful Vampire Killers (Continued)

Map of Guyana
Map of Guyana

On April 30, 2007, a media report stated that three people in Guyana had been arrested in the killing of a woman who'd apparently inspired a superstitious revulsion.  During the early morning hours, she had wandered into the village of Bare Root, where even people possessing cell phones still believed in superstition.  Two men called out to her, believing she was a girl from the village, and when she snarled at them, they decided she was not human.  Around the same time, a village resident spotted a red mark on her child's chest that indicated an "Old Higue" — a vampiric spirit that sheds its skin and transforms into fire - had come and sucked the child's blood.

A sketch of 'Old Higue', a vampiric spirit
A sketch of 'Old Higue', a vampiric spirit

Several people banded together to trap the woman in a circle of rice — which a vampire is compelled to count. They then attempted to burn her with kerosene, but supposedly she did not ignite — one more sign, to their minds, that she was not human.  Some said that when she was surrounded, she became a ball of hair.

The villagers waved a manicole (palm) broom over the woman (another vampire-related ritual) and asked her where she was from, to which she replied "Non Pariel," then repeated the phrase, "ow me daddy" several times.  As the sun came up (supposedly allowing the Old Higue to return to human form), the woman stood straight, revealing that her dress did not fully cover her and she wore no underwear. No one knew her identity, so those who surrounded her apparently beat her and when she went down, someone shoved objects into her.  They then left her to die where she lay.

The body was found on the road, states Stabroek News, and the police transported it to a funeral home to await an autopsy. A number of villagers told reporters that if the woman was an Old Higue, "she had to go, we don't want dem kinda thing in this place."  An elderly woman who lived there but disapproved of what had happened surmised that the victim had been mentally unstable and thus an easy target for the fearful and superstitious. 

the Guyana Chronicle
the Guyana Chronicle

In fact, this turned out to be the case.  A few days later, the Guyana Chronicles reported the victim's name, Mrs. Radika Singh, and described her as a mentally disabled, fifty-five-year-old psychiatric patient who had wandered away from relatives tending her and into the village.  She'd been disoriented and probably did not speak clearly. 

Her cause of death was found to be blunt force trauma to the head.  Three people were charged in her murder: Roland Spencer, 41, Rayon Bobb, 28, and Alita Roberts, 25.  Given the facts, it's unlikely they'll be able to mount any kind of defense, especially since they attacked the victim in the dark, before they could even see her properly.

 

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