Bovell victim overjoyed at his death
“I will go to his funeral to see his face…I wanted to look him in the eye”
Kaieteur News
December 28, 2006

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The death of notorious fugitive Neil Bovell brought much relief to hundreds of persons, not least among them, Velda Bernard.

On October 3, 2003, Bernard was held captive by the wanted man for more than a day in the backlands of the West Coast of Demerara.

The fugitive had snatched the woman in Stanleytown, West Bank Demerara, after he had killed her 64-year-old father, Vernon Bernard, and set fire to their house.

She managed a dramatic escape three days later while the suspect was asleep.

Three years later the schoolteacher is relieved that her father's killer and her one-time nemesis is dead.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Bernard said she screamed with joy when she got the news.

“A friend of mine called me and told me that she saw a hearse in the area and while she heard rumours that it had come to collect Bovell, she was not sure if that was true. Then Uncle Adam (Harris) called me and I screamed with joy. I was so mad though because I wanted to see his face,” Bernard said.

She told this newspaper that she can now live without fear because she felt that as long as the fugitive was alive there was the possibility that he could hurt her again.

“I was always edgy,” she stated.

Bernard, who now lives on the East Coast of Demerara, is positive that she will never return to the West Demerara to live, even though Bovell is now dead.

She said that the place brings back memories of her ordeal with Bovell three years ago.

Most of her friends have also fled their homes out of fear for the fugitive who reportedly stalked many womenfolk in the Stanleytown area.

However, Bernard will not miss his funeral.

“I want to go to his funeral, just to see his face. I always promised myself that if ever he was captured (alive), I want to see his face and to look him in his eyes. I wanted to confront him, to ask him why he did what he did to my father and me. I just wanted to know why,” Bernard told Kaieteur News.

She explained that she knew Bovell before the incident since he did not live too far from where she resided.

In fact, Bovell was her relative, which she only learnt about after that fateful day in 2003.

She believes that with Bovell's death, justice has not been served for her, but for her dead father.

“Not for me… but for my father. I cannot turn back the time, but I am glad that he is dead even though it took a while,” she stated.

Bernard expressed thanks to the Guyana Police Force for not giving up on capturing the notorious fugitive.

“They have made Stanleytown safer for a lot of people. At one time I was wondering if they had given up,” Bernard said.