Living with a murderer: How the man who killed a woman and her two sons was arrested
Five years ago, the barber Abishai Caesar, was arrested by Police after his girlfriend complained of his abuse against her. It was then that she decided to reveal a chilling truth: the man she was living with had killed a woman and her two sons and had been on the run for four years – and she knew how he did it and why.
Abishai Caesar, was, on Wednesday handed three death sentences for the September 2012 murders of Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara, liquor store owner Jennifer Persaud and her two young sons.
The woman who stared down the face of death and finally mustered the courage to tell police that Caesar, her reputed husband, was behind the murder of a businesswoman and her two young sons, had spoken out about the life of misery she had faced.
Caesar was at the time 31 when he was arrested for threatening behaviour and assault causing actually bodily harm to his wife.
The woman, who will not be named, went to the police after Caesar had forced her to strip naked and parade in their yard at the crack of dawn – a threat on which he delivered to shame the woman, and her family who lived a short distance away.
Hours earlier, at just about midnight, he had brutalised her and said he would deliver on his promise to kill her.
Once Caesar had left for work at the barber shop he operated in the Tuschen New Housing scheme, East Bank Essequibo, the woman seized the opportunity to escape.
She went to her father’s house, a short distance away, and when it got dark, she went to the police. She would have had to pass Caesar’s barbershop to get to the police outpost.
She told the police that she had been forced to strip, and of the beatings she had received hours earlier. She also told them of previous cases of abuse.
Reports are that Officer McBeth of the Tuschen Outpost went to the home of the couple – a zinc shack built on government reserve at the back of the Tuschen Scheme. The barber was not at home.
On April 24, 2016, at just about lunch time, McBeth visited the barber shop in White Tank Street in the Tuschen Scheme, where he arrested Caesar and took him to the Leonora Police Station.
Once the woman was told of Caesar’s arrest, she returned to the station and told police they should also question Caesar for the 2012 murders of Anna Catherina liquor store owner Jennifer Persaud and her sons Afridi Bacchus, six, and Jadon Persaud, 18 months.
It was a truth that the woman had lived with for years; living a life of fear because Caesar had threatened to kill her and her family if she squealed on him.
The woman said that on the night of the murders, Caesar had told her he needed money and was heading out.
She said she had seen him go up the neighbour’s house – that of Mrs Persaud. She said she retired to bed, but then she heard screams coming from the house.Later, Caesar returned home and confessed to her that he had gone to the house to steal. She said Caesar told her he had managed to find only $3,000, but that Mrs Persaud had awoken and so he had to kill her because she had recognised him.
She said Caesar told her he had seen the young boys lying in the house and had figured they would get up because of the noise, and so he decided in a split second to slit their little throats also.
Caesar was never a suspect in the case, and the couple continued living next door to the murder scene for a while, until they moved into a house situated in the seawall section of Anna Catherina.
Later, they moved in with Caesar’s sister at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, but they were put out of the house, the woman said.
They then moved into a house with an elderly lady a little down the street from Caesar’s sister, and in January 2016, Caesar said he had acquired some money and was going to squat on a piece of land on the government reserve, and they moved there with their daughter.
The woman is originally from Port Kaituma in the North West District, but did not grow up with her parents. She was sent to the Coast to live with her grandmother at the age of four, and when she was in her teens, she moved in with her father, her stepmother and their family.
It was there, at the age of 15, that she first set eyes on Caesar, then 26. He was working as a mason on a house not too far from her father’s house. Caesar would come to the house to buy egg-ball and other snacks the family was selling.
The two of them struck up a relationship, and at the age of 16, fearing that she wouldn’t do well at the CXC exams and would waste the money her family would spend on the examinations, she dropped out of school and started living with Caesar.
She said the abuse started early, but she thought that things would change as time went by. The two ended up having a daughter, and, the woman said, she had hoped that that would have caused Caesar to end his abusive ways, but that did not happen.
And then came a torrent of blows on the night of Friday April 25 and she decided she had to flee for her life and that of her daughter.
“I had to do it, or I would have died. I can’t go back on the years; now I have to look ahead.”When questioned by police, Caesar confessed to killing the Anna Catherina woman and her two children.
The woman’s father said Caesar had always suspected that his daughter was being abused, but every time he asked, she would deny there was a problem.
The last time — when she was punched to the face and he had seen the marks around her eyes — he asked her what had happened, but she did not fess up. He decided to confront Caesar, who claimed the woman was stung by bees.
“He is sick; he will (rot) in jail,” the man declared.
(This article was first published in the Guyana Chronicle on April 26, 2016)