The Experience of living with a wanted man By Dale Andrews

Kaieteur News

June 20, 2004

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The names of the characters in this story have been changed to protect their identities.

Cindy Samuels first set eyes on Carl in 2000 while living with the father of her children in Buxton.

At first she paid no mind to his overt advances, but his persistence soon wore her down.

Carl waited until Cindy moved back to her home village further up the East Coast of Demerara (having separated from her children’s father) and then began intensifying his advances.

“When I moved back home, he used to send me money, but he never ask me for a relationship. Then one day he asked me if he could visit me. I agreed and even then he did not ask me for a relationship,” Cindy said.

Carl waited until he got home and then telephoned her to pop the question. Needless to say, Cindy agreed.

What was to transpire in the next year would have caused many women to get a nervous breakdown.

At first everything was normal. Carl kept visiting Cindy and even became like a father to her two children.

“He was doing construction work and all was well with us,” Cindy recalled.

What she did not expect was having to be part of an enterprise that targeted primarily policemen, as Carl became one of the country’s most notorious wanted men.

In 2002, five criminals broke out of jail and sparked a crime wave that sent shivers down the spines of almost the entire population.

Carl had had a run in with the law prior to the jailbreak and was badly beaten by the police, who had accused him of being part of an armed robbery in Annandale.

Despite this, he was far removed from the criminals who had sought refuge in his home village. But in April 2002, Carl was fingered in the murder of a popular policeman on the East Coast of Demerara. That started a life on the run for him, a situation that Cindy was unfortunately dragged into.

She told Kaieteur News that although her lover was being hunted by the police, at no time did she ever think of leaving him.

In fact, the next few months of her life were dedicated to providing him with whatever assistance she could, even if it meant sacrificing her life.

“I had urged him to go in to the police and clear his name, but he refused. Then his name was published in the papers and he went into hiding,” Cindy said.

Her days of partying with Carl ended abruptly, since he was no longer free to move around. But that did not stop her from seeing Carl, who by now had to inform her whenever he wanted to pay her a visit.

Sometimes, he would visit at nights and on other occasions he took chances by turning up at her house in the day. Needless to say, Carl was now always armed.

“Sometimes he would call me and tell me dat he coming. All this time I was never afraid. I even took chances to go with him to Buxton and town. At one time we were in a car and he tell me how he afraid fuh me, since de car was a ‘hot car’. The police de already hear bout de car. But nothing happened,” Cindy told this newspaper.

She soon found out that Carl had linked up with other suspects who were also being hunted by the police. According to her, they all treated her nicely.

“I used to sit down between them and I used to feel safe,” she said.

Her relatives were against the relationship and would often advise her to leave Carl, but that fell on deaf ears.

But the relationship was not all smooth sailing, as Cindy began to experience some near misses with her life while she was with Carl.

“There was one time when I was in a house with some top criminals. We left dat house late de night and de next morning I hear dat de police shoot up de place. When I hear dat I scream, because I could’a been in dat house when de shooting de tekking place,” recalled Cindy.

Several sightings of police vehicles forced Cindy and Carl to change direction whenever they were traveling together. Cindy even confessed to moving weapons for her lover and his gang.

By now Carl had become one of the most wanted men in the country and although his name was mentioned in a number of robberies and murders, Cindy refused to believe it was true.

“I start fuh visit he in Buxton. I had to go in there late in de night, but I was never afraid of being watched,” she confessed.

She said that one night while she was in Buxton with Carl and his gang, a message came that the police were about to raid the village.

“We had to move from one house to de next, but de police didn’t come dat night,” Cindy stated. But then came a day, one week before he was killed.

Cindy said that Carl went to church and the preacher delivered a great prophecy.

“He tell me dat de preacher seh, ‘somebody in here will be cornered by the police and although he would have his weapon, it will malfunction and the person will be seriously injured’.

“Even then, I was not afraid. He used to tell me dat he know he gon dead and I must go out de country. But I tek de money he give me fuh buy de ticket and spend it out.”

Cindy was determined to stay with Carl, no matter what.

She recalled the day he was killed. “He come by me early de morning and carry me children to school. We even pass a police patrol at Enmore. Den he go home and come back later with some ah he boys and we started cooking. My brother was sent out to buy something and he come back and tell we dat de police in de area,” Cindy said.

She fell silent as she began remembering that fateful day in 2002.

With news of the police presence, Cindy, Carl and his gang appeared not to be afraid.

Cindy was sent out to get something else and it was while at the shop that she heard the volley of gunshots.

“I started to faint, but I tell meself dat nothing ain’t gone happen to Carl. After de shooting done, somebody come and tell me dat Carl get shoot. I didn’t go back in de house. Den later dey tell me how he de asking fuh me before he dead,” Cindy remembered.

She said she was forced to go into hiding after overhearing someone telling the police that she was not far away.

She eventually went to the police and after a brief detention she was released.

Cindy, who has been accused of setting Carl up, believes that a policeman who lived in the area was responsible.

Among her accusers were Carl’s relatives as well as quite a few Buxtonians.

“I never shed a tear for Carl when he died. He always used to tell me dat I mustn’t cry fuh he. Is not until de day he bury dat I cry,” she said.

Unlike many other women who would only go through such a life once, Cindy said she would do it again if she had another life to live.