Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Grenada
Report on certain political events
which occurred in Grenada 1976-1991

VOLUME ONE

PART 5

THE BODIES/REMAINS CONTINUES

Section 8:

[the text reads] PLEASE FIND ATTACHED THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS AS THEY RELATE TO THE BODIES/REMAINS

  1. ARMED FORCES INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY, WASHINGTON, D.S., 12TH DECEMBER 1983, CONSULTANT REPORT ON THE IDENTIFICATION OF REMAINS, GRENADA, WEST INDIES.

[Document - NOTE: the T.R.C. Report copy the web administrator received has underlinings in the consultation report below that are not consistent with the format of the original Report. These underlinings have been eliminated. Also, one page is repeated in the T.R.C. Report with a minor change or two. It appears the original consultation report was scanned or retyped, and errors resulted.]

ARMED FORCES INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY

WASHINGTON D.C. 20304

Address Reply to the Director
Attn:Afip

12 December 1983

Consultation Report on the Identification of Remains

Grenada, West Indies

Background

United States authorities suspect that a sixteen-member military council seized control of the government of Grenada, West Indies and killed Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, three of his Cabinet members, and two union leaders on 19 October 1983. U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel recovered commingled remains, believed to be the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, from a shallow grave near Fort Rupert, Grenada, placed them in four body bags, and stored them in a temporary morgue facility without refrigeration.

The Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (J-4) forwarded a State Department request to Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFILP) (sic) on 9 November 1983 for assistance in identifying the remains in Grenada. AFIF (sic) deployed a team of give to Grenada that evening. The team included two forensic pathologists, two forensic dentists and a forensic photographer (TAB A). The team chief coordinated the team's activities through the U.S. Mission, Grenada.

DISCUSSION

The Graves Registration team recovered the remains prior to the AFIP team's arrival. The recovery process was not documented and no photographs were available. Local commanders indicated that the AFIP team would not be able to inspect the recovery site because the Fort Rupert area was not secure.

The commingled remains contained in four body bags consisted of charred, fragmented tissue in a state of advance decomposition. The Commingling of fragmented bodies and personal effects precluded accurate association of body parts or personal effects with specific remains. For this reason, this report refers to remains and personal effects according to body bag number (LM-1 through CR-4) (sic). We placed associated bony parts into approximate anatomic relationships, measured all major bones and bone fragments, listed all parenchymous organ fragments which we identified, radiographed all specimens, and collected tissue for toxicologist examination.

The remains represent bodies of at least five people. The four body bags contain five lumbar spines and extremity parts consistent with five individuals.

Estimates of stature based upon examination of various long bones range from 65 inches to 73 inches. Stature estimates for the tallest skeleton range from 68 inches to 73 inches, significantly below the reported stature of Prime Minister Bishop, believed to [be] about 75 inches tall.

Anthropologic studies of the three intact pelves indicate they are male adults ages 30 to 50 years, one with caucasoid and two with negroid characteristics. Perimortem trauma is present on all three pelves.

Skeletal trauma appears to be of the crushing type, and no evidence of cutting, stabbing, or chopping wounds is present. These finding are compatible with the history of being overrun by vehicles or falling from a height.

Autopsy reports indicate that five people at Ft. Rupert were fatally shot. But the examining pathologist claims that the Ft. Rupert autopsy reports were fabricated and that he did not actually see the bodies of the Prime Minister and others who allegedly died at Fort Rupert. He alleges that he was told only the names and how they died. Nevertheless, we believe the autopsy reports may be reasonably accurate, and the reports of gunshot wounds and blunt trauma are consistent with our observations.

The tissues of GR-2 and GR-4 contained two bullet cores identified as 7.62 x 39 mm (M43)Russian armor piercing cartridges (TAB B). Although the (GR71) (sic) pelvis had injuries suggestive of missile trauma, we could not associate particular wounds with these specific missiles.

Personal effects contained items of female attire, including some reportedly belonging to Jacqueline Creft, but we found no identifiable anatomic evidence of female remains. A lumbar radiograph allegedly of Jacqueline Creft showed a bifid lumbar spine, but thorough examination of the bodies failed to disclose this distinctive abnormality.

Personal effects also contained items associated with Fitzroy Bain and Evelyn Maitland, both of whom the autopsy descriptions list among the dead from Fort Rupert. No antemortem records were available on either of them to allow identification from the available remains.

The only available antemortem records were dental records from Jacqueline Creft and Unison Whiteman, lumbar spinal radiographs from Jacqueline Creft, skull radiographs from Prime Minister Bishop, photographs of Prime Minister Bishop and abbreviated autopsy reports of questionable authenticity. This limited availability of antemortem medical, dental or other records from the Prime Minister, his Cabinet, and other missing persons severely compromised our ability to identify the remains.

Except for dentition, small fragments of skull bones, fragments of brain tissue, and a fragment of skin with black chin hair, the remains are not from heads and necks. The chin hair is not consistent with Prime Minister Bishop whose photographs show significant gray hair, and his beard hair was longer.

We compared recovered dentition to available records and compared other body fragments to available radiographs and autopsy report. Only one set of teeth was present in all of the examined material, but an isolated jaw fragment contained another tooth. Antemortem dental records on Jacqueline Creft and Unison Whiteman do not match either of the dental remains, and the dentition seen in the skull series on Prime Minister Bishop does not match the available dentition. Unique crown and bridge work present in the complete set of teeth may permit identification at a later date of additional records become available (TAB C).

Fingerprint identification was not possible. No fingerprint records were available, and no hands or portions of hands were present in the material examined.

Toxicology results revealed small amounts of alcohol and the presence of ace4aldehyde (sic). These findings are indicative of putrefaction. No evidence of medication or of drugs of abuse was present.

SUMMARY

The material available for examination and the records available for comparison are insufficient to establish the identity of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, members of his Cabinet, and other persons who allegedly died at Fort Rupert, Grenada, on 19 October 1983. The remains are commingled, and documentation of their recovery is poor due to the hazardous conditions at the time of recovery.

The remains consist of at least five individuals of whom three are definitely males from the 35 to 50 year age range and with mixed caucasoid and negroid characteristics.

Examination of available dentition, long bones, and hair provides no characteristics to suggest that Prime Minister Bishop is among these remains. This does not preclude the possibility that small parts of his remains are among fragments without unique features.

The observed injuries and the reported events associated with these remains indicate that the manner of death is homicide in which gunshot injury remains indicate that the manner of heath and blunt trauma constitute the apparent cause.

CONCLUSION

  1. The remains consist of commingled body parts in a state of advanced decomposition.

  2. The remains represent at least five individual people.

  3. Remains representing three males are definitely present, but we cannot state that any of the remains are female.

  4. Stature estimates range from a minimum of 65 inches to a maximum of 73 inches.

  5. Maximum stature estimated from any other available long bones examined is 73 inches, significantly less than the reported stature of Prime Minister Bishop.

  6. Of the three intact pelves. (sic) One has caucasoid characteristics and two have negroid characteristics.

  7. Age estimates based upon examination of three pubic sympyses range from 35 to 50 years old.

  8. The dentition available for examination does not match Jacqueline Creft or Unison Whiteman.

  9. The dentition available for examination is inconsistent with the dentition seen in skull radiographs of Prime Minister Bishop.

  10. A radiograph of a lumbar spine reported to be from Jacqueline Creft did not match available specimens.

  11. The only evidence of a female casualty among these remains is the presence of female clothing.

  12. Bullet identification indicates that ammunition associated with the remains represents 7.62 x 39 mm Russian armor piercing type.

  13. Receipts present in the personal effects contain the names of Fitzroy Bain and Evelyn Maitland.

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