A Crime That Escaped Police Notice

A Crime That Escaped Police Notice

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - It was about sunset when young man (M) was trying to cross one of the main roads of Khartoum North when a speeding bicycle strongly struck him. Passersby rushed him to a hospital, but it was too late. He died.

“It is Allah’s wish”, those present continued to say, not willing to believe that a person can get killed by a hit from a bicycle.” A bicycle kills a person, we have never heard of such a thing, ”they continued to wonder."

The cyclist very soon became accused of murder, though not intentional murder. He was taken to the traffic police office and the bike was kept as material evidence (crime instrument).

According to the daily newspaper Alsudani (The Sudanese), the victim’s next of kin accepted what had happened as an accident:  That is because there was no relation between the cyclist and the victim. Also there were eyewitnesses who saw what happened and took the victim to hospital.

But according to the law, there was need for a thorough medical examination, perhaps an autopsy to determine the actual cause of the death. So the deceased was evacuated to Omdurman Teaching Hospital Morgue for examination and possible autopsy, while the accused was released on bail.

At the morgue kin of the deceased were reluctant about these medical examinations, quite content that what had happened was an accident.

But, following the rules, the morgue authorities insisted upon the medical examination.

The morgue doctor eyed the corpse, checked the nature of the wounds on the body and the head, which were some bruises. And though the accident was very plain, the doctor was looking at it from a different angle… a sort of thinking outside the box! In fact from the early beginning he drew a different criminal map for what may have happened. And based on his experience in forensic medicine, the doctor decided an autopsy to confirm his suspicions, not heeding the murmurs of the relatives of the deceased who thought this was needless delay. “What is the need for an autopsy on a person killed in a bicycle  accident,” they wondered.

Inside the morgue operation theatre the doctor puts on his medical gloves and mask, and, lancet in hand, goes down to business.

As he worked the edge of his lancet, the doctor moved closer towards more secrets and suspicions. But when he finished the job, put the lancet aside and washed his hands, he had a surprise for the police and the victim’s family: The man was subject of a ferocious attack with a sharp tool, ruling out that the bicycle accident was the cause of young man’s death.

This report of the doctor totally changed the course of the case. Instead of a traffic accident, now we have a case of premeditated murder. This has confused the family of the deceased and raised lots of questions, though obliging them to take the matter seriously. The bicycle driver was not ruled out as an accomplice, as a cover up for the real offender.

The investigators took the matter so seriously and started a search for the assailant. Police returned to the first scene of the incident looking for clues. There were drawings to be made on the ground. They found nothing of value.

But they picked a small piece of information about the victim. They found out that he was driver of a passenger minibus owned by a woman living in Khartoum North. After some search they discovered that she lived in a house very close to where the bicycle accident occurred. In fact the house opened directly on the main road where the incident occurred.

Here investigation took a more serious course. They found the house where the woman lived. They cleverly entered the house and took the woman to a nearby police station. From the beginning she looked in complete break down. She confessed that she and her brother had assaulted the man, her brother hitting him with a spade on the head for a dispute between the two of them. She said the young man left her house and headed towards the main road (where the bicycle incident occurred). She said she knew nothing about what happened after that.

Here the police concluded that the man, affected by the hard hit on his head, tottered as he moved towards the main road and was hit by the speeding bicycle, causing the incident to look like a traffic accident by means of a bicycle.

The police arrested the woman’s brother and questioned him. He did not hide anything, giving a complete confession of what he and his sister had done. The two of them were taken as the main accused in the crime, while the  cyclist was set free.

The Alsudani newspaper reporter has struck an interesting similarity between this incident and the famous case of 19-year old   American  Keith Warren who was found hanged in his own home garden in Maryland on July 31, 1986. Police, that inspected the place, considered the matter a suicide. Regardless, Warren’s mother received a note five years later from an anonymous person that contained photos of the crime, showing how he was killed. Despite hectic police effort, the offender could not be found.




Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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