Dead men tell no tales, five escapees should be taken alive if possible
Stabroek News
May 7, 2002

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Dear Editor,

A few days following the death of Linden "Blackie" London, you published a letter of mine on Blackie's death. In that letter I asked and said among other things: " Why wasn't the public assured that Blackie was wanted for the frightening arsenal he possessed as much as for the other crimes he is alleged to have committed?"

"Where did Blackie get his arsenal? Blackie was not a gun or grenade manufacturer or retailer. He either bought, stole, or was given those guns and grenades. Didn't anyone want to know? Isn't it in the national interest for the authorities to have sought to find out how such extremely dangerous weapons came to be in the possession of a private citizen? Will the public be told if any of those guns or grenades came from the police or army stockpiles?"

"It is naive to say that Blackie is dead and the problem is solved. It is also naive to believe any insinuations that Blackie may have been sheltered by the various gangs he had assembled. As has been demonstrated by the relative swiftness with which Blackie's most recent crime spree has been aborted, no criminal can remain in Guyana and elude a focused and determined police manhunt for an extended period of time. Thence my other question: Weren't the authorities interested in finding out how Blackie was able to elude them for so long ? In short, were they really interested in questioning Blackie?"

"There is very little doubt in my mind that the cornered and frightened Blackie, his clothes on fire and hands reportedly raised in surrender, would not have immediately told the wild-eyed battalion of lawmen everything they wanted to know, had he been apprehended and interrogated. The police would have gained invaluable intelligence in its ongoing fight against the suppliers of the terrifying arsenals that give courage and comfort to the otherwise cowardly outlaws and gangs that now terrorize our country."

"I have a feeling that the police and the law-abiding public aren't the only ones celebrating the demise of Blackie. There are others, too. I also have the feeling that there will be more Blackies just as surely as Blackie turned out to be a more fearful version of the infamous Henry " Eyelash" Sumner. Sumner was shot, naked and hands raised in surrender. No one bothered to ask him from where he was acquiring his weapons and ammunition and with whom he was sharing his spoils. Dead men tell no tales, but the gun suppliers are still alive and free to supply guns, and now grenades, to those who are willing to rob and plunder."

Editor, it is my hope that the police will do everything in their power to bring these five escapees in alive. To say that the escapees are being aided and then not want to know about who is aiding them is ludicrous. Even more importantly, the police have to find out who provided the escapees with the powerful arsenal that they have had on display. If the police already have this information, then let them go out and arrest the suppliers; otherwise, if at all possible, they must bring these escapees in alive in order to obtain that information. The word must be spread among the ranks that the 'Blackie ending' will not be tolerated.

Finally, the police must immediately start and sustain a public relations campaign against dealing in illegal weapons. Mr. Royston King, here is some real work for you.

Yours faithfully,

Carl Franklin