Requiem For a Diabetic

A Fort Lauderdale man died an agonizing death in a Kingston jail. His son is suing the Jamaican government for $25million.

Stephen was in severe pain from lack of insulin, says David. He repeatedly requested to see a doctor and was repeatedly denied. After an official from the U.S. embassy intervened, Stephen was allowed to see the prison physician, but the doctor accused him of faking his symptoms and sent him back to hiscell.

At the request of the DEA, a Jamaican judge declared the fugitives "persona non grata," essentially ending court proceedings in that country so they could be returned to the U.S. Stephen and Goodwyn asked to be deported immediately, but their request was denied. (David and Ronald hired a U.S. lawyer to fight extradition.) By August31, still in prison and without medicine or medical attention, Stephen was drifting in and out of consciousness and refused to eat or drink. He died the next day "in excruciating pain," according to David, who was in a nearby cell. He says his father was "choking on blood from his nose andmouth."

Enid Zebrowski traveled to Jamaica to investigate her husband's death and recover the body. She wanted Stephen Sr. returned to the U.S. for an autopsy, but a funeral home owner told her the body would have to be autopsied in Jamaica. Results of that autopsy were inconclusive.

The Jamaican government released Stephen's body ten days later. Enid had a second autopsy done by a forensic pathologist in New Jersey, who discovered that all of her husband's internal organs, including his brain, had been removed and kept in Jamaica. The body cavity was filled with shredded newspaper, and his skull was stuffed with "white dirty socks and other rags," the pathologist noted in his report. There was no visible evidence of trauma on the body, the report notes, and the lack of organs makes it impossible to determine a cause ofdeath.

After more than two years of inquiries, the Zebrowskis received a report from the U.S. embassy that listed their father's cause of death as "arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease," or heart trouble. He had no prior history of such a problem.

Like his sister, David says he can't get his mind off his father's death. "A part of me died when my father died in that prison," he says. He's furious about the way his father's body was treated, and he wants answers about the cause of death. "I want the organs back, I want his brain back, I want to know why they put dirty socks in his head. What kind of a madman would dothat?"

Contact Bob Whitby at his e-mail address: Bob_Whitby@newtimesbpb.com

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