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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Two innocent women beheaded in their own beds in Jamaican gang feud

23:14 |

Three suspects have been arrested over the brutal murders of a mother and daughter who were beheaded during a home invasion.

Six other suspects are being sought for the killing of Charmaine Rattray and her 19-year-old daughter Joyette Lynch on July 20 in Spanish Town, Jamaica.

Police chiefs told a news conference at the Jamaica Constabulary headquarters in Kingston that criminal charges would be filed soon.

Gruesome: Three men have been arrested after two women were beheaded in their beds in Spanish Town, Jamaica

Assistant police commissioner Novelle Grant said: 'We are, I want to assure you, committed to our task and we will continue to investigate as robustly as we can.'

The night-time decapitations in a typically quiet neighbourhood on the outskirts of the town have sent shockwaves through much of the island's society.

Authorities said the killings appeared to be related to a power struggle within the Clansman gang, which has been at war for years with the One Order gang over drug and extortion rings.

To avenge a death or send a message, Jamaican gangs will sometimes murder someone who merely lives in a neighbourhood controlled by rivals.

Gang-related? Police believe the innocent mother and daughter may have been killed as a message between rival gangs

Two days before the women were butchered, 18-year-old Scott Thomas - a reputed Clansman named by police as a suspect in several killings - was beheaded in his Spanish Town home by a group of men armed with guns and machetes.

In an apparent copycat crime the same week, 37-year-old Gary Smith of August Town, Kingston, was decapitated by a group of attackers who dragged him out of his house. His attackers are still at large.

National Security Minister Dwight Nelson congratulated investigators for arresting the suspects in the women's murders.

'The security forces have signalled they will not cower under the brute force and barbarity of heartless criminals who are bent on unleashing nationwide fear and anguish,' he said.

Violence: Police are still hunting six suspects behind the killings. Two other people have also been beheaded in Spanish Town in the last few weeks

Prime Minister Bruce Golding said the beheadings deeply shocked islanders as security forces were trying to get a handle on the island's violent crime problem amid an anti-gang crackdown.

He said a sense of fear was palpable during a recent visit he made to the neighbourhood of Lauriston, where the women were killed in their beds.

'The most effective way to deal with this and to send a clear signal that this society is not going to tolerate it is to work as feverishly as I know the police are working to bring to justice those who are responsible,' he said on his monthly radio show.

Some residents have fled their homes after the women's murders in fear for their lives.

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