Sir Richard with his Great Dane, Horsa. *File photo
Sir Richard with his Great Dane, Horsa. *File photo

FRIDAY, FEB. 8: It is 40 years since Sir Richard Sharples was assassinated as he strolled around Government House with his Great Dane, Horsa.

The murder of the Governor and his aid-de-camp, Captain Hugh Sayers, sent shock waves across the world and is now firmly etched in the history of the island.

It also prompted an upsurge of political and racial unrest, which culminated many years later in the deadly riots that accompanied the execution of Buck Burrows for the killing.

But speaking publicly for the first time, the former Governor’s son, Christopher, told the Bermuda Sun his family had not let the traumatic events of March 1973 diminish their affection for Bermuda.

He added: “My family, which includes my mother, children and siblings, have visited Bermuda on many occasions since March 1973.

“Although, inevitably, much has changed during these past 40 years, we still very much love coming to the island to meet with friends and others whom we have always found to be most hospitable and welcoming.

“Bermuda’s natural beauty remains undiminished and its pristine beaches are surely among the best in the world.

“The traumatic events of 1973 are now a more distant memory and we do not allow them to diminish the affection we have always had for the island and its people that we have come to know so well.”

Mr Sharples’ comments come as a new book by British author Mel Ayton delves into the murder of Sir Richard and Police Commissioner, George Duckett,

The book, called “Justice Denied”, is the culmination of four years work in which he interviewed Bermudian and British Police Officers, the Governor’s widow and former prison officers.

Mr Ayton himself worked in Bermuda between September 1971 and December 1973 as a prison officer.

He told the Sun: “During my time there I got to know the two men who were tried and convicted for the assassinations of the police chief and Governor.

“Although there were suspicions others were involved in the assassinations, no one was ever brought to justice.

“Around 12 years ago I left teaching to write full time. After two of my books were published I decided to research the Bermuda assassinations in an effort to discover if the whole truth had been told.

“To these ends I was given access to the Scotland Yard murder files.”

The book points the finger of guilt for the murders at a black power militant group, which Ayton calls the ‘Third Man’.

He added: “The book names co-conspirators who were never brought to justice and my findings are supported by a previously secret Scotland Yard murder file.

“The file provides incontrovertible proof that the two men who were eventually hanged for the murders of the Police Chief and Governor acted simply as ‘hit men’ and were controlled by others.”