Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Death of Kirsty MacColl

Kirsty MacColl was riding high on this day in 2000; her album Tropical Brainstorm was being critically acclaimed and selling well, in an industry where the two are often mutually exclusive, while its single, In These Shoes, was turning into her biggest hit in fifteen years...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Taking a well-earned break in the Mexican resort of Cozumel with her partner James Knight and two sons, she decided to go scuba diving in an area which was restricted to watercraft. Emerging from a dive, MacColl saw a powerboat speed into the restricted area toward her son Jamie; she managed to push him out of its way, and he suffered only minor physical injuries. Kirsty, however, was struck and killed instantly.

The boat in question was owned by Mexican supermarket mogul Guillermo González Nova, who was aboard with his own family at the time, but not at the helm - or so he claims. An employee of his named José Cenyam readily confessed that he was piloting the boat at the time of the accident, but eyewitnesses disagree; they also disagree that he was, as he claimed, travelling at a speed of one knot when he collided with MacColl.

Cenyam was sentenced to a prison term of 2 years 10 months on a charge of culpable homicide, but paid a fine of $90 (and $2150 in damages to MacColl's family, an amount based on his wages) rather than serving time; there is every indication that Senor Nova paid his employee to take the fall. Ever since the accident the Mexican government has been 'unable' to find him for questioning.

Today marks the first day of the eleventh year her family has been trying to get Justice for Kirsty; the BBC released a documentary by Olivia Lichtenstein entitled Who Killed Kirsty MacColl? in 2005, which featured new evidence and interviews with Kirsty's family, including her partner James, son Louis, and 80-year-old mother Jean. Like this blog post, it's all part of a concerted effort to keep this case in front of the public until there is, at last, some justice for Kirsty.
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