Tragedy strikes the heart of sleepy rural Freetown

Austin Thomas – Our Freetown Correspondent

The Sierra Leone Telegraph:  15 September 2013

Misty morning in RegentA double tragedy struck the sleepy village of Regent last Thursday, when a twenty-two year old John Macauley – a resident of the village took his own life, after his girl friend had lost her life in hospital, where she had undergone an abortion.

John was found dead on Thursday morning in an unfinished house in the village.

According to villagers, John was last seen with the girl’s relatives at the hospital mortuary in Freetown. After leaving his girlfriend’s body at the mortuary, he arrived at Regent where he decided to take his own life, in fulfillment of an apparent suicide pact.

John is said to have bought a notebook and pen before going to an unfinished house, almost a mile from where he lived, to record the reasons for his suicide.

John wrote that he was afraid of being blamed and possibly arrested for the death of his girlfriend.

loveBut what is more poignant, was his reason for the suicide, left on the floor of the room where he was found hanging.

He said he had made a blood covenant with his girlfriend – based on the deep love they had for each other, to take his life if she dies, and vice versa. He said he was deeply hurt by her death.

John also recorded that they had both agreed they should be buried together on the same day, same time and in the same grave.

This tragedy has shocked an otherwise quiet and almost sleepy close knit community, inhabited by few hundreds of people.

The caretaker Buck Mansaray, whose wife is believed to have discovered John’s remains, in his statement to the police, said that his wife found John Macauley hanging from the ceiling of a house that is under construction.

He said that she ran to the quarry site where he was mining stones to inform him about the gruesome discovery.

Regent Road leading to the villageMansaray told the police that he then ran to the house, where he immediately recognized the victim as John Macauley.

He said the unfinished house was being built by John’s cousin. John had entered the house through a window as the door was locked, Mansaray told the police.

(Photo: Regent Road – leading to the village)

He also told the police that upon entering the room, he saw the lifeless body hanging from the ceiling. John had stripped himself of his clothes, except his underpants and socks.

Mansaray said he saw John’s clothes, the notebook and a knife placed in a corner of the room where John had died.

He mentioned to the police that John may have eaten more than a full packet of ‘African surf’ – a local soap powder, before stepping on two house building blocks, which he then kicked in order to hang himself.

The guardians of John Macauley are said to be shocked and speechless, as they never expected him to take his own life, for the death of a woman that he loved.

John’s body was taken to the police post at Regent, before being whisked to the mortuary in downtown Freetown, where he was united with his lover, hoping as he requested in his suicide note, that they would both be buried – on the same day, at the same time and in the same grave.