IT was my first day on the job – I was late. I pulled over to answer a call on my phone. Seconds later I heard three loud pops. In my rear-view mirror I saw man pulling a woman out of a VW Golf.
“Hijacking – f***!” I thought. I chucked my phone to the floor. I faced my car towards the hijacker who was frantically trying to start the engine of the Golf. Without thinking, I accelerated. I hurtled towards the vehicle. I had no idea what I was doing. My actions were completely instinctive.
He got the car started and we passed each other on the road. I looked him in the eye and shouted, “I know you now, I know you!” I got out and ran towards the woman lying in the street. Just as I got there a group of women ran out of the same house, all dressed in underwear. “Prostitutes?” I thought. “Call the police – now,” I shouted, kneeling down by her side. She couldn’t speak. Unfortunately she died seconds later.
When the police came, I gave them a description of the car and they gave chase, running him down when he lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a wall. “We’ve got him, and the gun,” a policeman on the scene told me. The police left the scene and half-an-hour later an ambulance arrived. The paramedics went straight to the woman and tore open her shirt in an effort to resuscitate her. It was then that we saw wads of cash stuffed in her bra. They were unable to revive her.
I went to the police station to give a statement. The following day a friend asked me, “Did you hear, there was a hit on a woman who owned a brothel in Savoy?” It took more than a year before the police contacted me. I learnt that the woman had been shot in the shoulder. The bullet passed into her body, piercing her organs; she drowned in her blood. “This way they don’t make a mess in the car if they are going to sell it,” the investigating officer told me.
“We are still gathering evidence but we expect to go to trial soon. However, it was another year before I was given the trial date. During that time I began to think I was being followed. A blue car often drove past my gate when I left the house and I saw it driving behind me several times on my way to work. I began to get paranoid and moved to another house. I told the investigating officer about this and he told me to be careful. Again, the car appeared my rear-view mirror and once more I moved, this time without telling the police. I never saw the car again.
Months later, I was invited to an interview with a prosecutor who read my statement to me. I told her it was inaccurate and that several details were missing including the reference to the brothel and the money the victim had on her. She said she would get back to me. A few weeks later I was contacted by a different prosecutor who read the same inaccurate statement to me. Again, I told her the story and she said she would get back to me. A third contacted me – same issue.
I was then contacted by the lead detective of the Brixton murder and robbery unit. He asked me to attend an identity parade at Norwood police station. We sat down in an office as he wanted to discuss the case with me. “Hello sir. I want to get some facts straight. He’s wearing a red cap.”
“What?” I replied.
“Do you believe in Jesus, sir?”
“No, I’m Jewish.”
“Let me read to you from the Bible. Jesus said that
those who bear false witness against his neighbour
will burn in hell. He’s wearing a red cap”
“Come, it’s time for the parade, let’s go.”
I was led into a room with a one way mirror on one of the walls – behind it stood five suspects. One wore a red cap. The only problem was a mirror so filthy that it was impossible to make out any real details of the men standing on the other side of it. I made a choice, only to be told later I was incorrect.
A few weeks alter I was summoned to court. Waiting to be called by the magistrate, I sat down next to a man who identified himself as the late victim’s husband. Soon after, the suspect was led into the court in handcuffs and the man asked me, ‘Is that him? Is that the man who killed my wife?” “Yes,” I said. “When he killed her I saw his face, he looked like a young Will Smith. It was impossible to forget him.”
Within half-an-hour the case was over. The suspect was freed on a technicality. His parents jumped up and began to toyi-toyi in the court, leaping up on the chairs, singing. He was 18 years old. It had been two years since the murder.
PLEASE NOTE: These stories are sent in by readers and each is the opinion of the reader only. people magazine is not responsible for what is sent in or how actions/procedures have been followed. *Names have been changed.