Mark Wignall | One more Duppy in the cemetery
According to reports, when Marlon Perry, aka 'Duppy Film', was shot dead by the police, he was wearing a bulletproof vest, meaning that he was not prepared to surrender or be captured by the cops.
For an evil young killer like Duppy Film to be on the run for eight years would have meant that he was a resourceful man and that it was likely supported by his reputation for committing murder. In the past, men who were given the name 'dons' and 'area leaders' for very defined inner-city communities earned their stripes by mainly practising ferocious brutality. And, of course, various politicians would sanitise their reputations by speaking of how they were 'protectors' of the people in those communities.
This time around, the police have made a duppy of Duppy Film and there will be few, if any, who will be willing to come forward to state how misunderstood the killer was. He may have had a past not unlike many of those still roaming the country who were dragged up through life and exposed to parental fragmentation and being themselves the object of brutality.
THE FLIP SIDE
On the flip side, there are many normal, well-adjusted adults who came out of single-parent households and suffered at the hands of a single mother or the boots of an irregular father. Those individuals learned over time not to allow the past to conquer them in the present and in their quest for a better future.
Duppy Film (pronounced in the Jamaican 'Flim') was somewhat of a lone wolf, but it is my understanding that in his formative years, he was the head of a pack of killers. He was no don or area leader, so we are not expecting that any politicians will be showing up at any funeral held for him like those Jamaica Labour Party pols who turned out for Jim Brown or the People's National Party ministers who felt that they had to pay homage to Willie Haggart.
While it is certain that Duppy Film would have had loyal females close to him, because there are some women who are particularly attracted to such characters, I do not expect to see any coming forward with an abundance of tears. And how refreshing it is that there is no community of supporters coming forward to make the concerted plea that he was shot in cold blood and that the police 'a wicked'.
A few years ago when I interviewed the brutal 'Chen Chen' at his hideout in Clarendon when he was wanted by the police, his expressions would shift in a minute from tears for his murdered woman to extreme rage and his promise to kill SSP Reneto Adams.
He was also the product of a badly fractured childhood and was exposed to violence of all sorts before he was 10 years old. Seated across from him, I got the distinct impression that something other than reason was impelling all of his actions and, mostly, I just wanted to end the interview and leave his presence. His evil was palpable.
There is a distinct uptick in public support for the police, especially in the reports of arms and ammunition recovery, and the despatch of killers like Duppy Film. It is nowhere near to 100 per cent and it will take a long time to reach there.
The very fact that the killer was despatched while in a guest house must mean that the cops had their finger on good information coming in. It is even quite likely that they were tracking his movements for more than what would be implied as a sudden raid on the guest house. We need much more of that intelligence-driven action.
Many of our young but hardened murderers are wearing their guns and their reputations as death merchants as badges of honour. Without stating it to those close to them, they really do not expect to live for much longer. The irony or the danger in that is that it creates a torrid mix of fear, rage and added ferocity to their actions.
We need not be ambivalent about the police sending Duppy Film to the cemetery. He had long self-authored that eerie trip. He has found his natural home.