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Author Ayton returns to island

Nostalgic trip: author Mel Ayton, right, with Bookmart manager Martin Buckley

The author of a book on the 1970s assassinations that rocked Bermuda has made a return to the island to sign copies of his work.

Mel Ayton wrote Justice Denied on the murders of Governor Richard Sharples and Commissioner of Police George Duckett, for which Erskine “Buck” Burrows was convicted and hanged in 1977 and Larry Tacklyn was hanged for the murder of a shopkeeper. Mr Ayton, a former prison officer at the old Casemates jail, set out a case for a “third man” involved in the killings.

He said the book, published five years ago, had been a success. He said: “I was very impressed — Bermuda’s an island of 65,000 people, and for that it has sold remarkably well.”

Mr Ayton added: “I imagine some tourists bought them, those who are interested in the island’s history. But most of them are more interested in what Bermuda has to offer. The sun, the sand and the beaches.”

Mr Ayton said he came to the island on holiday after a visit to his US publishers about other projects. These included an adaptation of his book Hunting the President on US presidential assassinations, for a 12-part television series and a new edition of The Forgotten Terrorist, on the 1968 murder of Robert F Kennedy, which will include a foreword by famous lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Mr Ayton signed copies of Justice Denied at the Bookmart last Wednesday. He said: “We thought while on holiday why not hop in a ship, come to Bermuda? After 35 years, it’s a fantastically nostalgic trip.”

Mr Ayton said he planned to take another look into the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr for his next book and research James Earl Ray, the man convicted of Dr King’s murder, and his time in prison.