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        Author Ayton returns to island

                                                          Owain Johnston-Barnes

                                   Published May 8, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2018 

BOOK SIGNING Mel Ayton with Brown and Co Bookmart  Manager  Martin Buckley.


Mel Ayton pictured above at Casemates Prison and  the former Prison Officer's Mess, Ireland Island, Bermuda May 2018


Mel Ayton's Justice Denied is about a subject that most U.S. readers will consider a bit obscure: some murders in the British colony of Bermuda in the late 60s and early 70s.  But in fact, the significance of what Ayton outlines is substantial.  These murders were not mere street crime, but political assassinations directed against top officials, and the impetus for the murders came from the black power movement in the United States.

America, in reality, exported a poisonous ideology. Appallingly, some of the conspirators were never brought to justice because of the temporizing and timorous behavior of colonial officials. Ayton's use of sources is sound, and his historical judgments well-grounded.    This is solid and reliable history. Professor John McAdams, author of JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy (2014),


   Click on title above to read former Detective Sergeant George Rose's account of his part in the investigations into the Bermuda murders -


Click on this link to read Justice Denied Review (scroll down page)

Author sets out case for ‘third man’ in book on Sharples murder

Jonathan Bell

Published Mar 11, 2013

The case for a third man in the assassination of Governor Sir Richard Sharples is presented in a new book on the murders of 1972 and 1973.

Yesterday marked the 40-year anniversary of the night when Sir Richard was gunned down with his aide-de-camp Hugh Sayers.

‘Justice Denied’, by British author Mel Ayton, implicates but does not name a purported key accomplice to assassins Erskine (Buck) Burrows and Larry Tacklyn.

Sure to incite controversy of its own, the book is now available at local stores.

The book calls for Bermuda’s government to “reopen the 1972/73 murder cases and bring those who were co-conspirator of Burrows and Tacklyn to justice”.

The book also suggests Tacklyn fired the fatal shots against Sir Richard, and blames the assassinations — which included the murder of Police Chief George Duckett in September, 1972 — squarely on the influence of the Black Berets black power group.

And it repeatedly suggests there was “sufficient evidence against the ‘third man’ to charge him in a court of law with conspiring to assassinate the Island’s Governor”.

However, Mr Ayton writes: “The authorities decided it was not in the interests of Bermuda to bring the ‘third man’ to justice.”

His book also charges the Progressive Labour Party with stoking Bermuda’s racial tensions in the 1970s by adhering to “racially exclusive, militant Third World socialism”.

It charges the PLP with inviting “radical” speakers to Bermuda to deliver “ideologically-biased versions of black history and culture” while the former administration held power.

Mr Ayton based his research on files released ten years ago by the British Foreign Office, and relied extensively on files subsequently provided by Scotland Yard.


        New Book on Bermuda Assassinations


The Royal Gazette has published an article today (11/3/13)  about a new book by British author Mel Ayton providing details of the assassinations and murders committed in 1972 and 1973 by Erskine “Buck” Burrows and Larry Tacklyn who were both hanged in 1977 for their involvement. “Justice Denied” implicates a third man, who is not named, as a key accomplice.

The book is available at local bookstores although all copies have been sold this week and more have been ordered. For anyone living overseas ‘Justice Denied’ can also be ordered from 

Amazon's description of the book is as follows:-

Justice Denied - Bermuda's Black Militants, the 'Third Man' and the Assassinations of a Police Chief and Governor is the first full account of the 1972/1973 assassinations of Bermuda's Governor and Police Chief. The book includes a Foreword by Dr. Carol Shuman,  psychologist, former newspaper reporter,editor and author. 

During the 1970s, a black power organization in Bermuda who modelled themselves on the American Black Panthers, conspired to bring about social change "by any means necessary", including assassination. The struggle for equal rights in Bermuda during this period both imitated 

events in the United States and was heavily influenced by them, especially the role American black militants played in encouraging Bermuda's youth to challenge the white power structure on the island. Bermuda became the first nation to suffer the violent effects of the importation of 1960s-style American Black Power militancy. As a result, Governor Richard Sharples was murdered as well the island's Police Chief George Duckett and others.

Justice Denied points the finger of guilt at a faction of the black militant group, led by the 'Third Man', who controlled the convicted assassins. The author names the Bermuda businessman, a convicted drug dealer, who assisted the assassins in financing their political aims through drug deals and bank robberies. He also concludes that the real story about the assassinations was 'whitewashed' by consecutive Bermudian Governments in the interests of racial harmony.

This investigative book is based on interviews with police officers involved in the investigation into the assassinations and murders as well as interviews with prison officers familiar with two members of the assassination team. Additional material for the book was gleaned from the previously secret Scotland Yard Murder Files, British Foreign Office Files, court records, newspaper archives and interviews with the Governor's widow.

For those of us who served in the Bermuda Police at the time of the murders this should be a fascinating read. We had hoped to provide a brief review of the book but missed out on purchasing the first copies and we await the next order arriving.


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