Saint Lucia’s greenery, fertile soil, abundant sunshine and perfectly distributed rainfall was the visionary location for Gloria Greenwood to have lived and retired. Fulfilling the likeness of her name, Greenwood, Gloria made a paragon of her garden in Glasgow Hill, Marisule, where she spent her golden years with her trusted canine companions, seeing that it flourished. Her neighbours described the scene as “glorious”, satisfying her first name as well. Unfortunately, when she was 79-years-old, Gloria Greenwood’s garden would also be the venue of her gruesome fate: she was found bruised and bloodied there on Sunday 16 October, 2011. Her “glorious garden” now had a hue of death.
Gloria’s daughters, Anne Pearson and Gillian Greenwood, reside in England and were both in that country when they realized their mother was not answering her phone that morning. Quickly, they called her neighbours and friends to enquire if anyone had heard from her in the recent hours. It wasn’t until one concerned friend reportedly sent her son to check on Mrs. Greenwood that it was learnt she was lying in her garden. Later, a medical practitioner pronounced her dead at the scene.
That weekend in October so many years ago recorded six deaths. A STAR article noted that Gloria’s friends and neighbours spoke warmly of her. At the time one said that he hoped her death would not be added to the long list of unsolved murders.
Six years later, Gloria Greenwood’s daughters confirmed to this reporter that the 55th court listing for their mother’s case has been scheduled for 1 December, 2017. Thus far, nothing fruitful has come out of any of the court sessions. In addition, similar to the cry of many victims of crime, and their families, in Saint Lucia, the daughters have received scant information from the scraps of communication issued by relevant authorities. “Communications have been unbelievably poor. I wrote to several people who I thought would have been in a position to advise us,” says Anne, “Police Commissioners, DPP . . . only to have my communications totally ignored.” She continues, “We were put in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, on the advice of my local MP, and they have been our only useful contact with the justice system.”
Officials within the justice department, especially on behalf of the police, have claimed that authorities are doing the best they can with the resources provided. During an interview with the Commissioner of Police, Severin Monchery, on 20 October, 2017, he cited the constraints against the police force: “Number one, we need to look at our lab – the lack of being able to analyse some of our samples. There are other areas we have to look at, such as lack of information given to the police. If your witnesses are not prepared to come forward then it is very difficult to solve the crime.”
Last Tuesday this reporter enquired of the Minister of National Security and Justice, Hermangild Francis, about the backlog of cases and the resulting effects on solving and fighting crime. He mentioned instances where actions had been taken to improve the justice system, such as when a courthouse was opened at Bordelais on Wednesday, 15 November 2017. Minister Francis also commented on the commendable work of the forensics lab, despite circumstances: “The lab is reopened partially so the persons are actually there working. So far they are still doing well, despite the limitations of the building not being insured because of cracks; they are actually taking a big risk to stay there. So they do what they have to do and then they move out as quickly as possible. Things are happening.”
However, Gloria Greenwood’s family is not experiencing the improvements. Daughter Anne Pearson mentioned, “Given that people were apprehended very soon after the murder, with our mother’s possessions on their person, this should have been an open and shut case. Certainly we were given this impression during the three weeks we were in Saint Lucia.” The STAR’s initial report on Gloria Greenwood’s murder also stated that neighbours recommended the investigation of an individual known to have broken into Greenwood’s house before.
Similar to Margaret Pratt and others, Anne Pearson and her sister have been awaiting information from Director of Public Prosecutions, Daarsrean Greene. Pearson told the STAR on Friday 17 November, 2017, “We await a report from the DPP which was initially due three weeks ago but was postponed to today – five weeks after first promised/mentioned.”
By Wednesday this week Pearson, hopeless and yearning for some form of an update, said, “The promised report we await from the DPP, about which we were advised, is still not with us. Two delivery dates have now passed. We do not expect anything until hopefully/possibly this time next week, God willing, by which time British officials should have met with the DPP.”
Anne Pearson, Georgina Mortimer and Margaret Pratt recorded a video in August stating their concerns with the Saint Lucian justice system. The controversial post caused scores of Saint Lucians and
other interested parties to share their thoughts on the matter. However, at this time, Margaret Pratt and Anne Pearson still claim to be struggling to find information and to receive justice for their loved ones. Right now Greenwood’s daughters worry that officials working on the case will all retire or witnesses will die before it is solved.