By Michael Jordan
Who would strangle a five-year-old girl after
having a dream about ‘Dutch gold’ buried in
Or stab a nine-year-old boy to death and dump his
corpse in a latrine?
And who would squeeze the life out of a new-born
baby on the orders of a so-called
‘spiritualist’ in the hope of getting a visa
to the United States?
The answer: people right here in good old Guyana.
People who believe that sacrificing a child to
various spirits will bring them wealth, or good
fortune, or cure an incurable illness.
We friendly, hospitable Guyanese may not like to
admit it, but cases like these have been with us
for as long as we have had a police force.
Perhaps the most infamous case occurred in the
fifties, It has become known as the Lilawattie
It happened in the quiet little community of
Stanleytown, New Amsterdam.
It all started when a woman, Kathleen Fullerton,
dreamed that a demon-like man told her that there
was Dutch gold buried in her backyard.
The man in the dream told Fullerton that she could
get her hands on the gold if she sacrificed a
The dream had come at a time when Fullerton and
her husband, Edward, were going through very hard
She consulted her brother, Eric Benfield, who also
lived in Stanleytown with his reputed wife,
Eric, known as ‘Shave Ice man’, had a deep
interest in the occult and often held
‘spiritual’ sessions in his apartment.
He immediately hatched a diabolical plan.
Eric and his spouse lived in a back apartment in
the same building with their landlady, who had a
five-year-old daughter named Lilawattie.
He decided that his landlady’s little daughter,
Lilawattie, would be the perfect sacrifice.
With the help of his sister, Kathleen and her
husband Edward, Eric killed the child and hid her
in his apartment.
However, the landlady soon realised that her
daughter was missing and a search was launched for
the missing child.
One woman, who remembered the case, said that the
culprits hid the dead child under their mattress
when the child’s mother came to their apartment
to see if Lilawattie was here.
When they thought that the coast was clear, they
dumped the body in a nearby latrine.
However, suspicion fell on them and police
eventually searched the larine and recovered the
For that crime, Eric Benfield, Edward Fullerton
and his wife, Kathleen, were all hanged.
But strange as it may seem, in these enlightened
times of computers and the internet, there are
still some people who practice ritual murder for
Murder & Mystery
One such man was Michael De Noon.
In 1993, according to police, Michael de Noon, a
young father, somehow got it into his head that he
could acquire a US visa if he sacrificed his
new-born baby daughter, Mary, to the
Reportedly acting on the advice of a female
‘spiritualist’, De Noon forced his wife to
take their baby in the dead of night to a desolate
spot at the Lamaha Canal.
He then muttered an incantation, threw some money
in the still black water, and then strangled his
De Noon then dumped the corpse into the water.
He then forced his wife to accompany him to a city
But while he slept, the woman sneaked out of the
hotel and went to the police.
She then took detectives to the spot where Michael
De Noon had disposed of his daughter’s body.
De Noon was arrested and charged.
However, the cold-blooded killer died in the
Georgetown Prison a few years ago without facing a
high court trial.
Believe it or not, the most recent child sacrifice
occurred about six years ago.
This time the victim was nine-year-old Daniel
Daniel, nicknamed ‘Jackie Chan’, disappeared
from his home at Brickery, East Bank Demerara on
September 21, 2003.
According to police reports, Daniel was last seen
alive at around 18:00 hrs, when he and a brother
went to fetch water a short distance from their
But instead of returning home, Daniel reportedly
told his brother that he was going to visit a man
known to the family, who lived in Brickery.
The lad’s mutilated body was found four days
later in a latrine aback of an abandoned property.
The corpse bore three stab wounds to the chest and
one behind the neck. His left arm was severed at
the wrist and his head was shaven.
Detectives believe that the boy was murdered by an
East Bank, Demerara, couple on the orders of an
‘obeah man’, who said that offering the lad as
a sacrifice would rid them of an incurable
Police reportedly acquired a statement from a
woman who claimed that she witnessed her husband
and another man killing the nine-year-old and
dumping him in a pit latrine at Brickery, East
Indications were that the prime suspect made
unsuccessful attempts on an older boy in the
However, that child had reportedly managed to
Detectives believed that Daniel unwittingly sealed
his fate when he went to visit the home of one of
the suspects after he was sent to fetch water.
The suspect’s wife reportedly said she saw when
the lad was killed, mutilated and placed in a bag.
Acting on this information, detectives arrested a
woman, her husband and a so-called ‘spiritual
healer’ from Greater Georgetown.
Two people were charged with Daniel’s murder,
but the case against them was dismissed.
Will there be other sacrificial murders in Guyana?
Only time will tell.