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Murder they did. A history of troubled youths in Society

March 7th, 2018 | Tags: Sandra Phillip Hodge crime murder hanging Church
Sandra Phillip Hodge. Photo: Provided
By Sandra Phillip Hodge

Crime is not new under the sun and murder, one of the worst crimes a human can commit against another human being, happens everywhere. The VI is no exception.

While local historians carefully side-step issues of crime in the culture, possibly because of personal reasons, the older heads are only too willing to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly in recalling the past. If it weren't for their excellent memories, and willingness to volunteer information, in relation to the current spate of murders, one would be inclined to think that killings in the Territory is an invention of the present generation. But those who know will tell you what the hypocritical history books tend to leave out.

Not their brother's keeper

Circa one hundred years ago, it is said, two Dawson brothers killed a third brother out of jealousy.

The story is told about three brothers who had travelled abroad and returned. One built a house with the money he earned working overseas. And this brought on envy against him from the other brothers, who couldn't build a house of their own perhaps because they wasted their money on other things.

It is said, that a certain English man named Major Peebles (after whom the hospital is named), who was a doctor, magistrate, and governor all in  one, interrogated the accused, separately, and got different stories from  each. The end result is that they were both hanged. Call it a folk tale, if you will.

Last man hung for murder

Another story from the same source is certainly not a folk tale...this happened for real as in my research I found an article in the New York Times online while searching for veracity after the story was told to me.

This is a tragic story of a young couple Jean Thomas, and George Campbell Chalwell from the eastern area of Tortola. It is said that the 26 year old Campbell brutally murdered his girlfriend Jean, who was only 19 years old. Sources said that she was also pregnant at the time of her death. No details were offered as to what could have led to this unfortunate incident.

Campbell was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death. This became an international news item, as the New York Times ran a special after he was hanged on June 28, 1972. The headline said "First Execution in 35 years in the British Virgin Islands". That hanging was also the last, to date.

Let's be honest about crime. It is no respecter of nationality, status or age. Evil affects everyone. The young people today caught up in crime are no better or no worse than those in the past they may be using more sophisticated weapons today, but murder is murder, anyway it is done.

Many are misguided, have no positive role models and no one of moral virtue they can look up to. Without making excuses, there is not enough national Motivational programmes to assist young people in making the right choices such programmes must be run by sincere and committed persons who are in it for the long haul not sporadic consultations to make a lumpsum before moving to the next buzz.

Commitment to youth development must be a serious ongoing national priority. However, it's not only government's responsibility. Parents play a major role in their children's lives. Fathers need to be fathers. And mothers need to be mothers. Teachers need to be teachers, and the Village need to pray for the youths, instead of preying on them.

It is this writer's opinion that the Christian Community can offer more to the younger generation by getting involved in programmes that target young people who are outside of the churches.

I am willing to assist wherever I can, in regard to youth development.


Sandra Phillip Hodge is a certified Youth in Development professional and Founder of Victorious Moms Outreach Ministry.

9 Responses to “Murder they did. A history of troubled youths in Society”

  • one eye (07/03/2018, 20:59) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good read
  • Agreed! (07/03/2018, 23:34) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The churches need to be more involved in community outreach rather than trying to influence the politicians and stirring up confusion. Leave Ceasar's work to the politicians in government and Churches/ministers do the Lord's outreach and discipleship and ministering to the needy.
  • Programs (08/03/2018, 01:34) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    They are programs , but only the favored youths enjoy them , ordinary youths are singles out and mistreated . tagged and reputed
  • Problemas (08/03/2018, 10:12) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Your revelation that murder has happened every where is no revelation. It is an attempt to further normalize pathological behaviour. When murders become habitual it is a problem and to accept that fact , speak out against it would be an effort for its reversal.. It would be an effort to steer the youths in a different path. When a country,not at war can tally six murders per day times 365 days that is a serious abnormality in society. From that same country in other parts of the world contributions being made frequently to the murder rate of that country,that is pathological. Not long ago a local, his brain matter oozing in death as he is blugeoned with boulders, soon after and currently a man and his murder now in history resulting from a planned and premeditated execution ..all accused from the same country. The NY Times and other publications current coverage regarding the Krimm case...the heinous murder of their babies. The internationalongoing saga of the Ethan Paitz case. The continued genocide of the Haitians in that same country.
    Saying the BVI have a local murders every 40 to 50 years, how does that address the obsessive and compulsive murders committed so frequently by one country, How does that help the youths. Cane killed Abel too .
    Condemnation of the evil inherent in such abhorrent behaviour rather than suggesting it is normal should be a start. Condoning by referencing and suggesting such behaviour as normal is in and of itself evil. Evil cannot be normalized.
  • Fix it together (08/03/2018, 10:34) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you Ms Hodge. Irma has given our community the opportunity to reassess and strengthen our commitment to youth development. This growth in crimes amongst our young people began before the hurricanes; we are now beginning to harvest the bitter fruit of our dereliction. Our churches, businesses and government must work together to enfranchise our youth. We have forgotten that our youth are our future. We have neglected and protected them to the point that many do not see a future for themselves in the mainstream of our society. We must involve them, empower them and teach them.

    There are some good ideas coming out of the Ministry of Education right now, but they are just baby steps. Perhaps a Government sponsored youth empowerment committee can be established that will draw from our churches and businesses, our schools and the prison and solicit advice from other places that have sucessfully tackled these type of issues. We need to figure our where we're going wrong and take steps to create a future of enfranchisement and hope that all of us: youth, adults and the elderly can work toward together. What do you think, Ms. Sandra- you in?
  • herman (08/03/2018, 11:55) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    If Ms Hodge outlook is truly an example of today's youth in the BVI, then the BVI is doomed. I can't help but feel that it is connected to a larger conspiracy.. Why else is there such resistance at condemning the Commission of these frequent murders. I am in total amazement and disgust. .Keep these misguided and false intentioned people away from your children..

    • XYZ (08/03/2018, 13:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Contrary to some comments on the article above, it in no way condones crime in any form, by anyone...a previous recent article by the writer called for Peace. ...there were no support for that from you who are commenting now...
      but Truth is Truth and cannot be changed.
      More attention needs to be given to youth development in the Territory, from kindergarten to early adulthood. Nobody in their right minds want to see what's happening in the USA with students killing committing mass murders on School campuses. ..we have to deal with youth issues, like it or not, and it must contain elements of moral training, and principles that are only found in the teachings of the Lord Jesus. Put the Bible back in schools. The Ten Commandments are a good place to start.
  • Dr Spock (08/03/2018, 19:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The effect on the psyche of men whose mothers and/ or other close female relatives is devastating ans profound. Frequently, serial rapists and serial murderers are products of such an environment.
    The callousness!,premeditated murder recently and the brutality of local son , Ashton, speaks to minds of+a that are beyond redemption, forever altered. The participants, sober, drug free and cognizant. They were being themselves
    Prostitution in the VI is illegal but like other illegal happenings, there is open unstated permission. There are consequences, always.
    Most children in the VI,, are well adjusted with good parenting. Casting a blanket negativity is unfair and insulting. There is however, behavioural issues and cultural practices within specific demographics, which needs to be addressed and eradicated if the VI is to survive..
  • History finatic (02/02/2024, 04:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I've been told this story of George Campbell Chalwell by his only daughter in 1989. I thought it was a forgotten story until now.

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