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No headless body after Camp Street riot – Medical Examiner

State pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh has testified that none of the 17 bodies recovered after the Camp Street Prison Riots which killed 17 inmates were headless.

Dr Singh made the statement while testifying at the Commission of Inquiry into the Camp Street Prison disturbances on May 3.

He told the panel that his examination of the remains showed that the 17 inmates died from smoke inhalation and as a result of being burnt.

“If there was a headless corpse, the families would have complained…but there was nothing like a headless body,” he stated.

The pathologist however stated that two of the inmates suffered some sort of blunt force trauma which could have been administered by a blunt object.

Dr Singh stated that “the cause of that could be several – falling, cuffing, kicking and lashing…I couldn’t say which one…but I don’t think those that had the trauma to the head died from that.”

On March 22, Camp Street inmate Steve Bacchus testified that he recovered bodies from the washroom area and from the toilet where prisoners had died during the fire.

“One was in the toilet. One was in the bathroom – Rudolph Marks was in the bathroom,” the inmate said.

He was asked by Prison Attorney Selwyn Pieters whether one of the bodies he found after the blaze was headless, the inmate responded in the affirmative.

However, he was not able to say whether the inmate had his head severed during, after or before the blaze. Pieters suggested that the man may have died even before the blaze but Bacchus hesitantly denied.

Neither of the two men provided an identification of the inmate that was found headless, however Bacchus stated that the “skull” was found on a bed.

The inmate testified that he did not see any other inmates with chop marks or any other marks of violence. In fact, the inmate told the Commission that the two persons that were in the bathroom had a minimal amount of burnt marks.