'What kind of demon possessed these killers?'

'What kind of demon possessed these killers?'

Friday, December 13, 2019

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This is an edited version of the victim impact statement read in the Supreme Court on Wednesday by a relative of Joeith “Chrystal” Lynch and her mother, Charmaine “Gloria” Rattray who were brutally murdered and their heads severed in July 2011. Before sentencing the four men convicted of the gruesome crime, High Court Judge Justice Vivene Harris had ordered that no mention should be made of the individual's name or gender in any report on the proceedings.

The death of Chrystal and Gloria has affected me in so many ways, but let me start by telling you a little about her. Chrystal was like a daughter to me. We had a very close relationship. I call her Sunshine because when she was born that's what I wanted her to be named.

Everyone loved her, she was the only child for her mother. They had a bond like no other. Wherever you saw Gloria, Chrystal was there. She called her her handbag. Chrystal was a good, decent young lady, full of manners, and she loved children. She was always taking care of younger children, always taking care of her younger sister. She was also a bit of a tomboy. She climbed any tree, played ball, go river, fly kite, whatever, just having fun, always smiling. She had this beautiful smile showed all her teeth (lol).

Chrystal did well in school. She attended The Queen's High School where she achieved eight CXC subjects and four CAPE subjects. Her intention was to go to university and study medicine. She would've been the first of her father's children to go to university. In fact, about a week before she died she learnt that her loan was approved by Students' Loan.

Chrystal and Gloria were both devoted Christians active in church, on the choir, and Gloria was an evangelist.

So imagine my surprise when I got a call that they were both marked for death! My first instinct was to call her, which I did. She said when she went on the road the boys were looking at her funny, like she did something wrong. I asked her what happened, she said someone died next door last night and [she] heard screaming so she opened the door to look and her mother told her to close the door.

She said in the morning when everyone went to look she was going through the gate and Gloria called her back and told her to stay in the yard. I said to her, 'I heard that they plan to kill the both of you'. She said she heard. At this point I could hear the fear in her voice, so I asked her what Gloria was saying. She said Gloria said she had not done anything wrong and she's just walking round the house praising God. I told her to tell Gloria I wanted to talk to her and I needed them to leave from the house because it look serious and I would call back.

When I called back, Chrystal was in tears. She said her mother said she's not leaving because she's done nothing wrong, and if is her time, is her time. So I said to her, 'Chrystal, you come if Gloria don't want to come.' She said 'Mi can't leave mommy.' I said okay, I will call back because I want to speak to Gloria, which never happened. Calls went unanswered. About six the next morning I got a call that they were dead. I felt like I knew already, but when I heard how they died and that their heads were severed, I felt something inside of me die.

Sunshine was gone! How could they live in a community all their life, she was surrounded by family, everyone knew what happened and who did it, but all were too scared to come forward, and still are, even now.

One of the relatives keeps having panic attacks, even since the trial started. It is as if it has brought everything back. She had a panic attack at work while reading about it in the newspaper.

Some other relatives had to relocate because after the funeral the family was threatened through Facebook. They looked for everyone related to Chrystal and sent death threats, something about them dying the same way she did.

For me, it was terrifying, the most horrible thing I have ever been through. I was one of the persons who had to go to the post-mortem to identify the bodies the headless bodies. When I saw the chops on them you can see that they were fighting for their lives. But the worst thing for me was the heads one was just skull and hair, and the other was stink because it was in the river water and had started decaying.

What kind of people have the heart to do this to someone? Chop them, shoot them, and then cut their head off. Then you throw their heads away like their life is worth nothing. Chrystal spent all her life in Lauriston, that's where she was born. Everyone knew her, so I'm sure the young men knew her very well. They were in her age group, so maybe they had played together at some point in their lives.

What kind of demon possessed them to do this to two innocent women. Don't they have mothers, sisters, grandmothers. Don't they have a heart? God, man!

To see that the casket could not be opened at the funeral just robbed them of their dignity murdered like they were criminals.

At one point I questioned God why would He allow His children to die such a horrible death. But then I remembered even He was crucified innocently.

At the moment I don't go to St Catherine at all. I stay clear! I'm paranoid. I don't sleep well. I've lost so much weight. I'm unable to eat meat with chopped bone because the image is still fresh in my mind. The smell, the aching in my heart just at the mention of their names.

These young men have no idea the mayhem they have caused the hurt, the pain, the anguish. Chrystal was destined for greatness and you robbed her of a life, of a future, of a chance to take her mother out of poverty. That was always her dream to move her mother from Lauriston to give her a good life.

Her mother worked hard and sacrificed so she could go to school and be the best. All her hard work and sacrifice went down the drain, all in one night, because of some stupid reason that don't make no sense.


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