‘Him trick we good!’

SHOCKED residents of Christian Gardens in St Catherine say 50-year-old Robert “Backra” Fowler the man who police say has confessed to the murder of accounts clerk Khanice Jackson had duped them for years, as he never exhibited behaviour suggesting that he was capable of such a heinous crime.

Fowler was Tuesday charged with murder in relation to the brutal killing of 20-year-old Jackson and is scheduled to appear in court on April 9.

Police, who theorise that Jackson was killed between 7:00 and 9:00 on the morning of March 24, 2021, said Fowler strangled her with a piece of rope, hid her body inside his house in Portmore, St Catherine, went to work, then returned home and later disposed of it.

“Me shocked! Everybody shocked! Mi pass Robert and tell him ‘good morning’ every morning. Him is a quiet man. When him a talk to you, you haffi strain fi hear. Him quiet inna the community. Him nuh talk more than so. Him neva inna no altercations or arguments wid anybody. Him surely trick all a we. Him trick we good. But we nah hide nothing ’bout him. We just sorry fi the children dem weh a face all a dis now,” one woman said.

Fowler, a motor vehicle mechanic, is reportedly a father of two daughters and a son.

“I know his mother. I know his three children. I never know him coulda do something like this,” the woman added.

On Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey said several items believed to be Jackson’s were found at Fowler’s home.

A retired police officer and resident of Christian Gardens recalled how Fowler confided in him that he was planning to commit to a life of Christianity in January.

“He took me to the church with his taxi. When I reach the church and coming out of the taxi I told him that he can come to church because church is a good place. So he went into the church with me. While in the church, he went up for prayer at the altar. The pastor prayed for him and he went down, said he is going to repent, and start coming to church regularly. And from that day until today day I don’t see him back at church,” he said. “Hearing all of this now, I don’t know what to say.”

Another resident, who said he knew both Jackson and Fowler, told the Jamaica Observer he was shocked at the crime.

“Him did a pretend fi be somebody else. Him always a drive out go a work and him always a move round. Me always a wonder if him have some big link, because him always a move round. That is a man weh always a give woman money, enuh. Nobody nuh expect dis. All if people see the girl [Khanice] a go in dem probably not even tek it fi nothing, because people always go over there to him. Nobody couldn’t predict this. The man just tek weh the girl so,” he lamented.

A woman, who said she had been Fowler’s taxi client for years, told the Observer she was hit by a terrible headache when she saw his picture being circulated on social media on Wednesday. The woman said his name didn’t ring any bells, but she couldn’t forget his face after having so many encounters with him.

“It is an absolute shocker! He has never made an attempt on me. He was quiet and soft-spoken. I was introduced to him by my brother who went to school with him. He worked on my vehicle and my brother’s vehicle,” she said.

“I have not spoken to him in some years, because he would always give me the runaround to fix things on my vehicle, and he is always telling me something else needs fixing. Eventually I found out he was lying about the work that needed to be done on my vehicle, so I found another mechanic,” she said.

According to the women, at that time Fowler was working at a garage in Richmond Park, St Andrew.

“I cannot remember the name of the garage, but he would also work on vehicles by Elletson Road Police Station around the back. He lived in the area, because I dropped him home with his tools when he finished servicing my vehicle at the police station. This was some years ago,” she said.

A teacher, who claimed to have educated Fowler’s children, said she fears they will be stigmatised by the actions to which he has reportedly confessed.

“I know his children and the schools they attend. The children are going to be stigmatised, especially his son. The youngest daughter will be severely affected. He was very involved at school,” she wrote on Facebook.

She told the Observer that she was saddened by the tragic situation.

“I taught his children, and I know how much he is involved in their lives. So they are hurting and I will not put them through anything else. I prefer to comfort them.”

Jackson’s body was found last Friday morning near Portmore Fishing Village on the Dyke Road in a state of partial decomposition. She had been missing since Wednesday, March 24 after she left her home for work about 8:00 am.

Deputy Commissioner Bailey said it will be determined if Fowler is to face additional charges after a post-mortem is conducted on the body.

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