Friday, March 7, 2014
MANY MURDERS IN SOUTH AFRICA GO UNDETECTED
No fear No Favour No Cold Cases.............
SONNY COX (SOUTH AFRICA) 7 MARCH 2013 (BIRMINGHAM UK)
The Oscar Pistorius case has gone viral on the Carte Blanche 199 Channel and International
Circuit. One could assume that it is the murder trial of this Century. Other cases of the past
sometimes don't reach the Tabloids, yet they are just as BIZARRE if not more devious than
the Oscar Pistorius THRILLER.
JUSTICE MUST BE SEEN TO BE SERVED.
- B Cox (JOHANNESBURG) (SOUTH AFRICA)
Killing uncovers dark side of private
eye's life Murder of private eye
reveals a murky world
Jason Bennetto looks at the death of a
Birmingham investigator whose profession made him
SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY 1995
A trail of blood stretching from the lounge of the plush suburban home to the bathroom
Barry Trigwell's last journey. His battered body, clad only in a pair of trousers, was
discovered floating in a half-filled bath. He had been repeatedly beaten with a blunt
object and had
suffered severe fractures to his skull, face and body.
The murder, discovered on Wednesday morning at his rented three-bedroomed house
in an affluent suburb of Birmingham, threatens to expose the murkier side of Mr
Trigwell's chosen profession.
Mr Trigwell, 44, was a private investigator. Not, it would appear, the type of private
who spent his time lurking in bushes trying to catch unfaithful husbands or
issuing writs to unsuspecting debtors, but a man who lived on the dangerous side
of life. John Clarke, an investigator who used to work with Mr Trigwell at
Nationwide investigations in Birmingham, said his former colleague was known as
"Barry the Bastard" by people he crossed.
He recalled: "He really enjoyed snatching children back from abroad after one of
the parents had skipped the country. He seemed to live for the adrenaline rushes.
"He was a short, stocky bloke - he looked the classic image of a Chicago gangster
. He has been involved in cases all over the world, he has been caught up in some
very heavy stuff, but this was supposed to be a quiet patch in his life.
"He charged a lot of money but he was really good at his job. He was a physically
strong man. When some of us may have taken a step back for fear of the
consequences, Barry would just go for it. Barry has made many enemies in his life."
One of his enemies entered Mr Trigwell's home in the smart cul-de-sac of Fowey
Close, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday evening, probably after his victim
returned home at about 7pm from a meal at an Indian restaurant.
The following morning a colleague arrived to pick him up - he was banned from
driving - and found bloodstains on the carpet.
Police believe his killer may have dragged the body to the bathroom or Mr Trigwell
may have staggered there and later died. His blood-soaked shirt was found
discarded in the bathroom.
Police were yesterday tracing Mr Trigwell's clients and examining his files in
search of clues. They are also interviewing his colleagues at Nationwide Investigations,
one of the country's largest agencies.
Mr Trigwell, married with a 14-year-old daughter, started work as a freelance
detective in 1974.
He bought a franchise from Nationwide in Birmingham about four years ago,
and employed two other detectives. The agency recovers snatched children, as
well as mundane work such as tracing debtors and missing benefactors to wills.
Unusually Mr Trigwell is not listed in any of the professional directories,
suggesting that he relies on specialist clients. He is not a member of the Association
of British Investigators, which has a code of practice. He told colleagues that much
of his past
work was in the Middle East and Hong Kong.
A Birmingham-based investigator, who did not want to be named, said: "Trigwell
would do anything, and if you start mixing in dangerous company, or where passions
run high, you have got to expect your life could be at risk." Another private detective
yesterday suggested that Mr Trigwell may have been investigating money launderers.
Norman Smith, the former president of the ABI, said: "This field can be particularly
dangerous, particularly when the money is from drugs."
Mr Smith said that despite the industry's media image of investigators tracking down
lost millions and solving murders, most of the work of the country's 4,000 detectives
involved finding witnesses for insurance claims and issuing writs.
The last investigator whose job apparently cost him his life was Daniel Morgan,
who was found in a south London pub car park with an axe embedded in his head in
Mr Trigwell's Birmingham colleagues yesterday refused to comment. A spokesman at
the firm's London headquarters said: "It's an awful thing - we are all in shock about it,
but I'm not going to answer any questions about our business, it's confidential."
The kiss of the black widow
A fortnight ago, Annie Trigwell died of natural causes. She was partway through serving a 17-year sentence for
planning the brutal execution of her third husband. But her death leaves many questions unanswered. Was she
actually the victim of an abusive marriage? Or was she a cold-blooded sociopath who had also killed her own
son and a previous husband? Julie Bindel investigates
The Observer, Sunday 14 October 2007
It was a cold, grey morning in February 1995 when private detective Barry Trigwell's colleague David Waight
arrived to drive him to work. The curtains were still drawn. When Trigwell failed to answer both the door and
the telephone, Waight broke in, found the gas fire on, and blood splattered on the carpet and furniture. He dialled
999. When the police arrived, they followed the trail of blood from the living-room sofa to the bath, and found the
body of Barry Trigwell, dressed only in trousers, submerged in water. He had been bludgeoned to death. Parts of his
scalp and fragments of his skull were splattered around the walls. It looked as though he had been attacked on the sofa
and then dumped in the bath after he had died. It later transpired that he was supposed to have been shot, but the assassins'
gun had failed to go off. Instead, they used a poker to do the job.
Some hours later, as Trigwell's body was removed from his home in Fowey Close, Sutton Coldfield, the telephone rang. It
was Trigwell's wife Annie, calling from South Africa, where she was visiting her pregnant daughter. When the detective told
her that Barry was dead, she said she would catch the next plane back. Nine days later Annie Trigwell was arrested for
conspiracy to murder her husband. Police had realised that she stood to gain £400,000 from insurance. Barry, it seemed,
was worth more to her dead than alive.
This is the story of the woman the British press dubbed the Black Widow. It's a tale which began in Johannesburg and ended
in a hospice in Surrey a fortnight ago, when Annie Trigwell died of cancer on 1 October. It's a story that's fascinated me
for two years.
In spring 2005, I travelled to Send Women's Prison in Surrey to visit Trigwell at her request. She was nine years into a
17-year sentence for murder, but had always maintained her innocence. A slender woman sat before me, with an unhealthy
pallor and dark eyes circled with even darker shadows. Trigwell asked me to help prove that she had been framed.
I'd received a letter about her from an organisation which challenges convictions of battered women who kill violent men
(I'm a founder member of Justice for Women, the law reform campaign). I expected to hear the usual story of abuse, resulting
in a self-defence attack. The letter read: Annie Trigwell. Age 52, white South African. Convicted for the murder of her husband,
Barry, in 1996. Was given a tariff of 20, reduced to 17. Had a son, Craig, who was shot 14 years ago. She married Barry two
years after Craig's death. Has a daughter, Nicolette, whom Barry ignored. Barry started drinking and beating Annie after they
got married. Barry used to threaten to kill Nicolette if Annie didn't do what he wanted. On a trip to the United States he
attempted to rape Nicolette. They left him at Heathrow airport and went back to South Africa.
What I would discover was a tale so incredible that if I'd read it in a crime novel I'd have criticised the plot for being far-fetched.
But this is a real story, involving multiple deaths, deception, allegations of security service and Mafia involvement and, in the
end, the painful death of a woman who may have been the ultimate Black Widow.
'I was framed to protect some dangerous people back home,' said Trigwell, as I took out my notebook. 'How could I have killed
him when I was 6,000 miles away?'
A private detective, Barry Trigwell headed up the Birmingham franchise of a private investigation firm, Nationwide
Investigations. He regularly travelled to South Africa and, in 1993, he met Ethel Anne Brooks, known as Annie, a
businesswoman dealing in medical supplies. The following year they married in Birmingham - his fourth marriage
and her third.
Barry was not a particularly attractive man, but he had charisma. 'He looked like a cross between Rod Steiger and
Edward G Robinson,' said former colleague John Clarke. 'Like a gangster.' Known as Barry the Bastard, he'd made a
lot of enemies and had once been charged with murder. When Barry was found bludgeoned to death, police figured
that his killer could be 'one of 50 people'.
'I only discovered after we married that Barry had served time for firearms and kidnapping,' said Trigwell. 'I realise
now I effectively married a gangster.'
When Trigwell first met her husband she told him she needed to transfer a 'very large' amount of money and wanted him t
o make sure it went smoothly. Soon he was smitten with this attractive woman who drove a Porsche and was brimming with
Barry's father, Len, recalled meeting Trigwell for the first time. 'I took against her as soon as I clapped eyes on her,' he said.
'Barry was besotted, though, and would not hear a word against Annie.' According to Len, several people tried to persuade Barry
to get out of the relationship, including Annie's own mother. 'He was hard in business,' said Len, 'but gullible with women.'
At the time of his death, Barry was investigating drug money laundering and monitoring the import of arms in the Seychelles.
He held a second passport in a different name so he could infiltrate gangs in other countries and provide intelligence about
dissidents and rebels. 'Barry was exceptionally good at his job,' said Clarke. 'He could make money out of anyone and anything.
And he was ruthless in business.'
One man who knew Barry through business told me that he was connected with at least one contract killing in the Eighties.
He was investigated by Special Branch officers who failed to pin anything substantial on him.
'The South African police knew that a contract had been taken out on Barry two years before his death and did nothing,'
Trigwell told me, pulling at her sweatshirt and crossing and uncrossing her ankles in the prison visiting room. 'I was framed,
and the police here knew that, too.' Barry, she told me, 'had his finger in a number of dodgy pies'.
The marriage was in trouble almost from the beginning. Months before he died, Barry asked a colleague to bug his landline
when he became convinced that his wife was having an affair during her trips to South Africa. He told his sister Julie that he
was trying to cut Trigwell out of his finances, so that she would not benefit if he died before her. Barry discovered that his
wife was indeed involved with another man - a South African called Jan Burgher. He also found, through banking contacts,
that Trigwell had been paying a large life insurance policy on Burgher for some time.
Ethel Anne Trigwell was born in 1953 in Bethlehem, South Africa, into a typical white South African community. The
family home was salubrious and set in generous grounds, and the family employed a number of black servants. Described
by one family friend as a 'well-behaved, conformist child', Annie did well academically and became an accountant.
When she was 20 she married Alan Paton. One year later, shortly before their son Craig was born, Paton lost a leg in a
motorbike accident. 'After that, Alan became depressed and began drinking heavily. He started to beat and abuse me,' Annie
told me when we met. 'He hardly saw Craig.' According to Annie, Paton was eventually detained under the Mental Health Act
in a psychiatric hospital and later died from a perforated ulcer when Craig was 11. But others have told me that Paton died
when Craig was a baby, from a drugs overdose.
Annie remarried when Craig was three. Ron Brooks, with whom she had a daughter, Nicolette, was also violent, according to
Annie. She told me that Ron never bonded with Craig, and favoured Nicolette over her son. They soon split, leaving Annie
to raise her children alone.
In 1992, the year before Annie met Barry Trigwell, Craig died. He was a few months short of his 21st birthday, when he would
have inherited a large sum of money, from insurance pay-outs or from his father's estate. Annie received an undisclosed amount
from Craig's trust fund after his death, but it wasn't until her conviction for Barry's murder that the South African police began to
wonder if she was involved. Craig died from two gunshot wounds to the head. A pathology report later revealed that either of the
two wounds would have killed him instantly.
On the night her son was shot, Annie stayed with friends, as Craig and Nicolette were going out for the evening. Annie's version
of the events was as follows: 'I was called by Nicolette, who was hysterical, early the following morning. She told me Craig had
been shot and was lying in a pool of blood. I ran into the house and then into the bedroom where Craig was. There was blood e
verywhere. That is the moment my life changed forever...'
No one has ever been arrested for Craig's murder. However, Barry's father, Len, told me that Barry offered to investigate
Craig's death, but that Annie was 'dead against it'.
After marrying Barry, Annie Trigwell moved with him to Sutton Coldfield, but would return to South Africa every few weeks
on the pretext of seeing her pregnant daughter. In fact, she was carrying on her affair with Jan Burgher.
Renting Trigwell's home in Johannesburg was a man called Alex Mitri, a nightclub owner involved with the South African Mafia,
and his wife Linda, a former Penthouse Pet and Miss Johannesburg who ran a brothel in the city. Linda was a crucial witness in
the case against Trigwell, as she testified that during one of Trigwell's visits to South Africa, she overheard her talking to Mitri
about killing Barry. According to Linda, Trigwell offered Mitri a fee of £15,000, plus £1,000 each for the two hitmen Mitri
would have to hire to carry out the job.
Paul Ras and Loren Sundkvist were also involved in the South African criminal underworld and known to the police. Mitri hired
them to do the job on Barry, and arranged for them to fly to the UK for a reconnaissance mission in late January 1995. They
returned complaining that they couldn't lure Barry out of his home. Mitri told them to do an 'inside job' and that he'd ask
Trigwell to give them a house key.
On 1 February, six days before Barry was murdered, his wife went to the Clover Hotel, a mile from their home, and left a
package for Sundkvist. The hotel manager, Tim Higgs - already suspicious of his two guests' nervous behaviour - decided to
open the package in front of a colleague. He noted the contents: £300 in cash, plus a freshly cut key with a Mister Minit
tag attached. Trigwell claimed she was delivering the package for Mitri as a favour, and that she had no idea of its contents.
On 6 February, Annie Trigwell boarded the 8pm flight to South Africa. The following evening, Barry left his office at 5pm a
nd headed for his local curry house, where he ordered a chicken biriani and three pints of lager, before taking a taxi home at
6.30pm. At 11pm, a neighbour noticed there were no lights on in the house. By then, Barry was dead and the hitmen already
on their way to Heathrow. They had let themselves in with the key provided by Trigwell. On the night Barry was murdered,
Trigwell had been eating steak with Burgher in a Johannesburg restaurant. On her arrest, she handed the receipt for the meal
to the police.
But the evidence against Trigwell and the hitmen was overwhelming. Days before Barry died, he told his sister Julie that he
had received strange phone calls from two men with South African accents who tried to persuade him to meet them. His
suspicions were aroused because he never gave out his home phone number. Dialling 1471, he wrote down the number and
asked his sister to give it to the police, 'should anything happen to me'. It was the number of the Clover Hotel. When
detectives visited, they were told about two South African guests who had spent a lot of time watching television and
playing pool. Higgs remembered the hitmen well. 'They were shifty characters,' he said. 'They told so many tall stories
I can't remember which one was the most ridiculous.'
The Avis car that Ras and Sundkvist had hired from South Africa before their trip was seen by a witness in Barry's street
at the time of the murder. After the two escaped to South Africa, the vehicle was traced to London. Forensic examiners
discovered a sample of hair and scalp on the back seat that matched Barry Trigwell's DNA. It also transpired that a woman
calling herself Anne had paid in advance for the car in Johannesburg. The woman in the Avis office in South Africa picked T
rigwell out of an identity parade.
In March, Trigwell was charged with conspiracy to murder. Mitri, Ras and Sundkvist were arrested in South Africa. Weeks later,
the three had their charges withdrawn at committal stage after Linda Mitri failed to appear to give evidence against them.
On 25 July 1996, Trigwell was found guilty of her husband's murder (the charge stepped up from conspiracy to murder) by a
unanimous verdict. She was sentenced to life imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court with the order that she must serve a
minimum of 20 years. This was later reduced to 17 on appeal.
In the meantime, pressure built on the South African authorities to extradite the two hitmen. During Trigwell's trial, Ras and
Sundkvist were presumed guilty in their absence. Had there been any doubt, Trigwell could not have been convicted.
Almost three years later, in February 1999, Ras and Sundkvist were rearrested in Johannesburg and convicted for unrelated
crimes. They could not now be extradited to the UK to stand trial for the Trigwell murder until they had served their sentences
in South Africa. The following month, with Alex Mitri still on the run, Linda Mitri died in a mysterious car accident in Durban.
She had never returned to Johannesburg since giving evidence against Trigwell. Following that trial, Linda feared that there was
a contract on her life. But as one South African police officer told me, 'Because police who attended the scene did not know she
was under police protection, they did not examine the crash as a possible case of homicide.'
In October 2003, two West Midlands police officers travelled to Johannesburg to bring the hitmen back to the UK. As the convoy
with the suspects headed to the airport, one of the cars crashed, killing West Midlands officer Robert Ling (the South African
police driver was later convicted of culpable homicide). One officer I spoke to said he believed the crash was no accident, but
an attempt to spring Sundkvist to prevent him testifying against Mitri. Ras and Sundkvist were extradited the following day,
and on 25 July 2003 were found guilty of murdering Barry Trigwell. They were jailed for life.
In April this year, I was surprised to discover that Annie Trigwell had been released from prison on compassionate grounds,
having been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I tracked her down in a Surrey hospice and called her. She told me she had only
'months' to live. I asked if we could meet, and that I had long wanted to write her story. This case had fascinated me since I
first met her. I've met some dangerous characters through my work campaigning against sexual violence, and in researching
newspaper articles on rape, murder and child abuse. I had never experienced the hairs standing up on the back of my neck,
and a strong desire to bolt, as I did on meeting Trigwell. The more I looked into the case, the stronger the urge became to
find out if this woman had killed her own son for money and discarded her husbands to subsidise her affluent lifestyle.
'Bring your tape recorder,' she told me. 'I will tell you everything.' But would she confess to any crimes, or simply repeat her
assertion that she has been framed? 'Just bring your recorder,' she croaked, tiring already. 'I want to put the record straight.'
Trigwell asked me to bring her some crime novels to read, as well. Patricia Cornwell is her favourite.
'Whatever comes out of her mouth is a pack of lies,' Julie Armener, Barry Trigwell's sister told me. 'She was one of the most
manipulative, scheming women I have ever met.'
At the hospice, I learnt from the staff that Trigwell had requested a counsellor sit in with us during our interview. I was then
greeted by the hospice manager and told that the Home Office had refused my visit. I later learnt that Trigwell had been
threatened with being sent back to prison if she spoke to me, despite the fact that she could barely walk, was in chronic pain,
At the end of August, I travelled to Rome to meet Giovanni Di Stefano, the lawyer who represented Trigwell in her attempt
to secure a second appeal against her murder conviction. Di Stefano has previously represented the road-rage killer Kenneth
Noye and Harold Shipman, and was one of Saddam Hussein's legal team. Trigwell gave me permission to look at the case papers
held by Di Stefano, and I spent the morning reading about a plot which would hardly go down in history as the perfect murder.
It was more like a lesson in how not to bump someone off. The killers left behind a trial of forensic, eyewitness and other
material evidence. It is, to my eye, a crystal-clear case of 'guilty' all round. Unless, of course, Trigwell has been spectacularly
There were more than 60 witnesses and witness statements for the prosecution, and only one, other than Trigwell herself,
for the defence - Nicolette, Trigwell's daughter.
'I will tell you who killed Barry,' said the flash Di Stefano, reeking of expensive aftershave. 'The security services, not Annie.'
This is a rumour started by Trigwell after her arrest, and arising from the work undertaken by Barry and his colleagues for the
Seychelles government in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Barry's team of investigators were providing intelligence to the
government on dissidents and, as a result, became involved with mercenaries and murderers.
'Barry infiltrated the dissidents, the ones who were looking to overthrow the regime,' says Ian Withers, who worked with Barry
for seven years, 'so he would know when explosives were coming into the country, and who was planning to hit the
government.' The evidence that the British security services were somehow targeting Barry as a result of this operation was
discredited in court.
Di Stefano called Trigwell at her hospice, putting on the speakerphone so we could have a three-way conversation. 'Annikins,
Annikins,' said Di Stefano, 'how are you going to seduce me like you promised you would if you don't get better?'
He warned Trigwell not to travel to South Africa, 'because you are likely to be arrested for two more murders if you do, and we
don't need that shit'. Di Stefano was referring to the fact that police in South Africa may wish to question Trigwell over the
deaths of her first husband Alan and their son Craig. Di Stefano told Trigwell he believed her innocence. 'Thank you
Giovanni,' Trigwell croaked. 'Will you come to see me soon?'
'I have never met a more sexually predatory woman in my life,' Di Stefano told me at the end of the conversation. 'She could eat
men for breakfast.'
Just months after being jailed, Trigwell hatched an escape plot. She had an affair with a prison officer and it was only when she
offered him £50,000 that he decided to report her. Later, letters between the two were discovered by another officer. One,
from Trigwell, read, 'Your hands caress my every curve, sending sensations through every nerve.'
Weeks later, I called Trigwell again, but was told by the nurse that she was too ill to talk. The next day, I heard that Trigwell
had died. Len Trigwell, who had also been ill, told me that news of her death had cheered him up enormously. 'That woman
was pure evil, through and through,' he said.
*Does Annie Trigwell's death mark the end? Perhaps, but Ras and Sundkvist are still in prison in Britain and Mitri is still at
large. There are people alive who know the full story of Annie Trigwell's life, and one day they may decide to tell.
The Guardian/The Observer
COMMENTS BY SONNY
Two hitmen from JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA Loran Sundkvist and
Paul Ras were arrested shortly after the incident together with Alex MITRI
who had planned the assassination with Ann ann and sourced the two hitmen
for the job .
Ethel Ann Trigwell, who planned the assassination of her husband Barry Trigwell,
went over to BIRMINGHAM to retrieve expensive antiques from the deceased
house. She was subsequently arrested there and charged for the conspiracy and
She was convicted to life imprisonment in 1996 and was released many years later
when she was declared terminally ill with cancer and died shortly thereafter. *
Anne was involved in the murder/suicide of her son who was shot through the head
with two fatal wounds.
Anne was well know in the murky Hillbrow and amongst the local
Loran SUNDKVIST and Paul RAS, THE TWO SA HITMEN IN THE BARRY
TRIGWELL MURDER, WERE CONVICTED OF HIS MURDER AND
SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT IN BIRMINGHAM IN 2003.
LINDA MITRI, the wife of one of the SA accused Alex MITRI, was not
She testified against Anne TRIGWELL in Birmingham during 1996, but, died
under suspicious circumstances on the North Coast of Natal, in a car accident,
before she could again testify against the actual ASSASSINS IN 2003.
They too had connections in the local Mafia and murky world of Crime and
MANY NEWSWORTHY MURDER CASES OFTEN GO UNSOLVED AND
UNREPORTED DUE TO UNDERWORLD SUPPRESSION OF THE MEDIA.
Betty Ketani -
A cold case, a sizzling battle: Betty Ketani murder trial, week one
IS JUST ONE OF THOSE CASES WHICH ALMOST NEVER SAW THE
LIGHT OF DAY IN A SA COURT OF JUSTICE.