The murder toll in Trinidad and Tobago today stands at around 300. At this rate, it is sad to say, we may cross the 600 mark by the end of the year because the new crime plan is being hatched. This high murder rate has desensitized us from understanding the effects of murder and it has also made the job of a crime reporter in Trinidad and Tobago boring due to the sameness of these crimes. Crime reporters, like the hundreds of health care professionals, undertakers, police officers, bystanders and citizens are now world class experts in bullet holes, cutlass chops and stabbings about body and could do with a change of scenery or Minister of National Security. However, the latter seems an impossiblility.
Since boredom is a popular cause of leaving a job I expect there will be a high turnover of crime reporters very soon, if it has not already started. To make life easier for future crime reporters, I decided to compile a list of popular phrases and sentences to include in any report of murder in the press. They can be considered as Crime Reporting templates or tasteless. I apologize if the following sound funny at times but tragedy is usually funny to those who are still alive.
Some of these are actual media reports I modified. Hopefully this is not considered plagiarism and jeopardize my chances of serving on the Integrity Commission or as President in the future.
SAMPLE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CRIME TEMPLATES
- He was popularly known as, “_____” and lived in the _______district. He was accustomed to dodging bullets since a boy and the reason he failed on this occasion is not known. No one is investigating.
- As he opened the door the gunmen barged in and opened fire. He was hit several times about the body while his best friend and partner in crime escaped either on foot or via a gold color Nissan Almera with leather seats and a recently Amor All dashboard.
- _____ was rushed to the ______ Hospital and later transferred to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where, like countless other victims with multiple bullet-hole wounds, he died since his options were limited.
- Gunmen opened fire on each other yesterday morning almost killing three bystanders and injuring a CEPEP weed whacker. The CEPEP supervisor was disgusted at this latest assault on a defenseless grass cutting implement and announced bush cutting activity will be called off for tomorrow. CEPEP workers are planning a massive protest since they won’t be paid for the lost day. The weed whacker is said to be resting comfortably in an undisclosed repair shop.
- The murder of ______, 17, is being described as a “gang related” homicide, but he was not involved in any gang or other activities. His mother described him as a good boy who developed a passion for holding up people at gunpoint since he was 12. He had several cell phones in his possession, including a Blackberry Storm, which his mother described as having a sluggish touch-screen.
- The man was identified as John “Docs”Doe, who lived at Block Eight, ______, but was killed in another block. He was described by police as a reputed gang leader but police were puzzled as to the motive for his killing.
- On Sunday, around, 10:53 pm, residents of ______ heard several gunshots, aka loud explosions, but did not venture outside to investigate since the streetlamps were shot to death two nights before. However, around 6.34 a.m. yesterday, an unidentified person found _____bullet-riddled (more than three bullet holes is considered riddled) body and contacted the police. The Officer who took the call was reported to have said “So what!”
- ____ was found with multiple gunshot wounds about the body and lying in a pool of blood. ____ was due to give evidence as a witness in a murder trial due to start next week. Police are once again searching for a motive and the reason why the Commissioner’s tenure was extended.
- According to police reports, around 7.30 on Friday night, _______ was riding his bicycle along ________ in Movant, on his way to a nearby shop, when he was approached by a gunman. The rest is history.
- Police said around 10.47 a.m. yesterday, two armed men approached “Side Winder” at a nearby shop. “Side Winder” was shot twice in the head and several times about the body. He died because the bullets hit several of the right spots. The gunmen escaped and were later never seen again. A team of homicide detectives, including ASP ______ and Inspector ______, visited the scene and bought several items including two packs of Orchard Orange Juice and a Kiss bread. Investigations are also continuing.
- Johnny “Garlic” Breads, 24, became this year’s six hundredth murder victim. Police reports state that “Garlic,” of _______, San Juan, was beaten to death with a bag of hard hops bread after he was accused of peddling 12-hole Crix to an unknown gang member who felt cheated and gassy.
- 18-year-old _____“Bonkers” Khan, of______, Port-of-Spain, was shot to death at the corner of two streets in Port of Spain. The killing took place in full view of a CCTV camera and scores of citizens who, like the CCTV camera, saw nothing. According to relatives, Bonkers was liming with friends when a group of men approached. One slowly whipped out a big gun and shot_____ in the ____. He died as expected and on time.