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Book takes a fresh looks at assassinations of Governor and Police Commissioner

Writer Mel Ayton

A British author who worked in the Bermuda prison service has written a book about the murders of Police Commissioner George Duckett, Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his aide Captain Hugh Sayers.Mel Ayton is a specialist in writing about conspiracy theories, and his latest book is entitled: ‘Justice Denied: Bermuda’s Black Militants, the ‘Third Man’ and the Assassinations of a Police Chief and Governor’.The men were shot in 1972 and 1973 by assassins linked to the Black Beret Cadre, a Bermudian black power group. At the time, Mr Ayton was working for the Bermuda prison service.The 62-year-old now lives in County Durham in Northern England, having gone on to work in education before retiring early to focus on writing about conspiracy theories surrounding figures like John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.According to a report in the Sunday Sun, a newspaper covering the North of England, Mr Ayton had access to files at Scotland Yard in order to research his book about Bermuda.Police Commissioner George Duckett was shot and killed outside his Devonshire home on September 9,1972. Six months later came the murders of Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his 25-year-old aide-de-camp Captain Hugh Sayers. Both were shot dead in the grounds of Government House. Soon after that Victor Rego and Mark Doe were murdered in an armed robbery at the Shopping Centre in Hamilton.Erskine Durrant (Buck) Burrows was convicted of the murders of the Police Commissioner, Governor, Capt Sayers, Mr Rego and Mr Doe. Larry Tacklyn was convicted of the Shopping Centre murders but cleared of the Government House killings.The men were sentenced to death and hanged in December 1977, sparking riots in Bermuda.Mr Ayton believes the truth may have died with them and has documented his theories in his book.He told the Sunday Sun: “During his trial Burrows sent a written confession to the prosecutor in which he admitted killing the Governor ‘along with others I shall never name’.“Both men received the death sentence. On December 2 1977 Burrows and Tacklyn were hanged in Casemates Prison. The executions provoked revenge racial riots throughout the Island. They were incited by the Black Berets and the intemperate remarks of leading radical politicians.”Mr Ayton told the Sunday Sun the book was not simply a memoir of his time in Bermuda. He said: “The Scotland Yard files reveal the police gathered compelling evidence against another Black Beret leader and that he conspired with Burrows and Tacklyn to murder the Governor.“Until a Royal Commission reinvestigates the assassinations his name must be withheld and he is referred to in my book as the ‘third man’. He is still alive and living in a Middle East country.”For more information visit www.sundaysun.co.uk and www.melayton.com.