DPP to get report on Crosskill's death
Guyana Chronicle
June 9, 2002

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KINGSTON -- Jamaica's homicide detectives were yesterday interrogating the security guard of a medical complex who is alleged to have been responsible for the shooting death of the regionally-famous broadcast journalist, Hugh Crosskill Jr early Friday morning.

Police Superintendent Rosie McDonald-Barker, who is in charge of the St. Andrew Central Division of the country's police service, said that once all statements relating to the tragedy have been taken they would be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions in a report before any further action is taken by the police on the matter.

The police, however, confirm that there remain conflicting reports surrounding the death of the 47-year-old Crosskill.

The journalist, who worked for many years in his homeland, Jamaica, in Barbados with CanaRadio and then headed the BBC Caribbean Service before returning to Jamaica, was born in the United Kingdom as the son of a Jamaican father and British mother.

He is survived by wife Gilliann, from whom he had separated for some years, and their three children.

Known to have had a problem in the consumption of illicit drugs within recent years, and just prior to leaving Britain to return to Jamaica, Crosskill has been hailed across the region as one of the Caribbean's finest journalists.

Arrangements are being made for his funeral. But his traumatised father, Hugh Crosskill Sr., said he was in no mood at present to talk about such arrangements. (RICKEY SINGH)

The late Hugh Crosskill Jr
HUGH Crosskill Jr struggled with and, ultimately, was unable to overcome his own private and powerful demons.
In the end they played a substantial part in his tragic death (Friday).
But Crosskill's friends and colleagues, as is often the case in these circumstances, will carry a sense of guilt. For notwithstanding many efforts at support, they will question whether they did enough in the bid to rescue him from the demons.

Perhaps we could have... Why did we not...? Maybe if... What did we not...?

Of course, these are questions that have no satisfactory answers. For, as the saying goes, history never reveals its alternatives.

What is clear from the tragedy of Hugh Crosskill is complexity of the human individual and his existence in several dimensions at the same time. Some bright and full of promise. Some dark and dangerous, threatening to totally engulf us.

Sometimes we lose this struggle and are overwhelmed. But such defeats do not necessarily define us. They are part of who we are, of course, but not the sum total of our beings.

Just as the essence of Hugh Crosskill Jr cannot be defined by those demons (that) have haunted him in recent years.

Rather, while not denying the more recent Hugh Crosskill, we prefer to remember another Crosskill -- the one who was largely known across the Caribbean and who elicited a deep and genuine outpouring of sadness in the region (Friday).

For Hugh Crosskill was one of the finest and best-respected journalists produced by the Caribbean. Indeed, he had a profound impact on a generation of regional broadcast journalists.

It was more than Crosskill's deep baritone and clear enunciation in an accent that marked him as a Caribbean person who was brought up in Britain. He was sharp of mind, and as a reporter, tough-minded. He was aggressive and fearless. But he was fair. He understood context and his obligation to his audience to explore the story from all angles.

But Crosskill brought something else to the table, which was reflected in the outpouring (Friday) among journalists and broadcasters in the English-speaking Caribbean -- from Jamaica to Guyana and Belize. He was unabashedly a Caribbean person, who believed deeply in the logic of integration.

He transcended the narrower boundaries of sport broadcasting to become the first head, in 1983, of CanaRadio, the broadcast arm of the Caribbean News Agency (CANA), a network of journalists who daily produced a high quality news magazine. He quickly won the respect of senior officials and ordinary people across the region.

In 1988, Crosskill went to London to restart the BBC's Caribbean Service and replicated, and improved upon, what he had done at CanaRadio. In the process he helped to give greater voice to the region.

Hugh Crosskill, in the end, may not have been successful in confronting his personal demons, but he did a damn good job in helping to provide the region with a clearer perspective of itself, its successes and the difficulties it had to overcome. For that we will remain eternally grateful.
(Yesterday's editorial in the Jamaica Observer newspaper)