University lecturer murdered in repeat tragedy for family
Residents of Fern Road in Eltham View, St Catherine, woke up in shock yesterday morning as news spread about the gruesome murder of their neighbour, attorney-at-law Clover Graham.
The discovery of Graham's body, with the throat slashed, marked the second time such a tragedy has rocked the university lecturer's family in just under five years. She is the mother of Taiwo McKenzie, one of two so-called good Samaritans who were murdered in November 2007. McKenzie's body and that of his girlfriend, Jhanel Whyte, were found in bushes at Mount Salus in Red Hills, St Andrew, with their throats slashed.
Fifty-six-year-old Graham, who was employed to the Legal Aid Clinic in Kingston and was a lecturer at both the University of Technology (UTech) and the Norman Manley Law School at the University of the West Indies, as well as a United Nations representative, was found dead at the Caymanas Polo Club, off Mandela Highway, yesterday morning.
In a statement yesterday, the police said the body of Graham, who was also from a Gordon Town address, was found about 6:50 a.m.
The police said a missing person report had been filed over the weekend after several attempts by family members to contact her failed.
The gruesome find was too much for some family and friends to bear as they struggled to come to terms with the attorney's death.
"She had gone to visit a friend about 7 or 8 last night," said her brother, Edgar Graham. "She was spoken to and the next thing I hear this morning is that they found her body. Even her house was broken into, but I am not sure if they were waiting on her there."
Made no sense
One resident with whom The Gleaner spoke said Graham was a quiet person and it made no sense that someone would want to kill her.
"She was so humble. She came here to live about two years ago and since then we have never heard her in any argument with anyone," the resident recalled.
"She live good with everyone. You could see her walking in the mornings with her earphones in her ears. When I hear this morning I cried and from that I can't move. Not even cook I can't go cook, it is so touching," another person said.
Ian Wilkinson, president of the Jamaican Bar Association, said he was saddened by the incident.
Wilkinson said Graham was a hardworking member of society who contributed positively to legal aid services in Jamaica.
"Ms Graham worked in the legal aid department for many years, offering service to all those who accessed the legal system and for her to die in such a manner is not only ironic but very sad and we are extremely moved by this. This is the last thing I was expecting to hear," he said.
"We wish to express condolences to her family on behalf of the bar association and all those who have worked closely with her and we are hoping that the perpetrators will be brought to justice," he added.
Former student shocked
Rochelle Russell, a former student at the UTech who Graham had taught, was still in shock when she spoke with The Gleaner yesterday.
"I can't understand why somebody would take her life in such a manner. She was very humble and had a good relationship with her students. Trust me I still can't believe," Russell said.
Graham's death comes two months after the men accused in her son's murder were convicted.
In November 2007, McKenzie and his girlfriend were travelling together in a motor vehicle and met in an accident with André Ennis and another man who were travelling along Border Avenue in St Andrew on a motorcycle. The men were taken by the couple to the University Hospital of the West Indies where they were treated and released.
The following day, it is alleged, arrangements were made for the couple to take medical supplies to the injured men at an apartment in Havendale. However, the couple was never seen alive again after making the trip.
Convicted of the double murder last June are Ennis, a 24-year-old labourer of Havendale, St Andrew, and 24-year-old Passmore Millings, also called Shane Brown, of Gregory Park in St Catherine.
They were said to have participated in the abduction and subsequent brutal murders of the two.