If you watch much television you've probably come across the show "Cold Case Files." In the course of a tightly packed hour the brilliant and hard working cops, acting on a tip, manage to resurrect a long forgotten crime, connect the dots and collar the criminal. Unfortunately, in the real world of police work, life rarely imitates art. But tonight one Belizean media house--this one--is betting some big money that a financial incentive will capture a sadistic killer.
Janelle Chanona, Reporting
More than six years after their loved ones were tortured, sexually assaulted and brutally murdered, relatives of Sherilee Nicholas, Jay Blades, Erica Wills, Noemi Hernandez and Jackie Fern Malic are haunted by memories and the fact that the killer or killers have never been found.
Fabiana Scott, Aunt of Jackie Malic
“As I said she was my angel. She was my really angel and my friend.”
June Gabourel, Mother of Sherilee Nicholas
“Joyful person, always happy, playing, always willing to help people along the way. But I don’t want to believe that this was her time because for me it wasn’t. It was just an untimely death for her and it was a shock and pressure for me. But I am strong and I give thanks to my Almighty because he keep me going on.”
Stewart Krohn, Managing Director, Channel 5
“I cannot believe that five murders like this could have been committed and nobody aside from the killer or killers would have known. Somebody saw something.”
This morning, general manager of Channel Five Stewart Krohn, officially announced his company’s intention to use cold hard cash to solve the most disturbing set of crimes in Belize’s history.
“We are announcing today the offer of a reward of one hundred thousand Belize dollars for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of any one of these five murders. One hundred thousand dollars for the person who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers. We believe that where conscience was not sufficient, cash may do the trick.”
“We don’t really care who turns in the killer or killers, if it means a co-conspirator goes free and gets rich, so be it. We’re fine with that. What we are interested in is the same thing that so many tearful mothers and relatives have stated on our own news media, all we want is justice.”
As part of the initiative, tipsters will be able to use the anonymity of the Crimestoppers program to share evidence.
Chris Garcia, Crimestoppers Belize
“Your identity is safe. And I know it’s a lot of money that’s on the line here: a hundred thousand dollars. Crimestoppers, the usual reward is up to a thousand dollars well we have handled a thousand dollars and we certainly can handle a hundred thousand dollars without anybody being identified. It’s a safe way of now getting your conscience clear if you know something and whether you are home or abroad, it will be possible for you to use the Crimestoppers means of getting your information to the Police Department.”
Maureen Leslie, Deputy Commissioner, Belize Police Department
“I am the mother of two girls and my head of national crimes, superintendent Magdaleno, he’s also the father of girls and all my other colleagues are really concerned and really appreciate Crimestoppers and Channel Five involvement.”
According to Deputy Commissioner of the Belize Police Department, Maureen Leslie, the murder cases of the little girls over six years old have not been closed.
“We are just waiting for something substantial, enough evidence that we make an arrest and then those files can be forwarded to the D.P.P. for further action.”
“This is very close to home they are all girls and it’s a serious thing that we have been unable to really resolve and solve these cases. It’s like a black mark on the department because every so often we have these cases and we have not been able to successfully conclude the investigation.”
During this morning’s program, a two minute public service announcement that will be broadcast on local media was aired for the first time.
“Please come out. Please, I’m begging you all. I beg you. I pray for the person please anybody whe see this person or know who do it, please come out and just go to the police or go to the Crimestopper, do the phone in and let this finish. Because it’s going to release our hearts.”
If you have any information that would lead to the identification, arrest and conviction of the killer or killers of Jay Blades, Sherilee Nicholas, Jackie Fern Malic, Erica Wills and Noemi Hernandez, you can call 0-800-922-TIPS, that's 0-800-922-8477. For tipsters living in the U.S., you are also able to contact the Crimestoppers through the toll free number 1-866-471-8477.