Monday, September 24, 2012

St. Maarten: Suspect in Brutal Slaying of American Couple Arrested

Early on Sunday (September 23), St. Maarten police arrested a suspect in the slayings of a South Carolina couple whose bodies, slashed by a knife, were found in their beachfront condominium on the tiny Dutch Caribbean territory.
As this report is filed, the unidentified suspect is in custody, pending a police press release.
Tragically, the bodies of Michael and Thelma King were found on Thursday (September 20) in their condominium at the Ocean Club Resort on St. Maarten, a 16-square-mile territory with about 50,000 inhabitants that shares a small island with the French dependency of St. Martin.
Autopsies of the couple are scheduled today (September 24). Family members of the slain couple should also be arriving momentarily.
COMMENT: According to the Charleston-based Post and Courier, Mr. King was a retired insurance executive who later started a successful printing business that he sold. He said King also owned a couple of restaurants on St. Maarten.

When a friend couldn't reach the Kings by phone on Thursday, they went to their home to investigate, at which point the bodies of the couple were found.

As I have said on numerous occasions and cited from my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD, "there are no safe countries anywhere," which is why I am so emphatic about the need for security training for all citizens of the world.

Additionally, to manage personal security risks, every person must have a focused sense of security awareness, particularly those who have financial means.

Depending on whether the Kings opened their home to their assailants or were surprised by intruders they encountered inside of the home, such information will be useful in determining what security vulnerabilities led to the deaths of the couple.

Particularly in developing regions of the world, my philosophy is guided by the need for formidable levels of residential physical security, as it is impossible to predict when or where a violent crime will occur.

Another unknown variable at this time is whether the slaying of the couple was prompted  by a motive of robbery, or whether the reason for their murders stemmed from other motives.

Regardless of the motive, effective physical security is one sound way of reducing vulnerabilities which might lead to a violent crime.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.

A 2012 update of my book will be available in  print and via e-readers (Kindle, iPad and Nook) in early November.