The stepmother of Dean Bristol, the prisoner who died in a special cell at the Montagne Posee Prison last Saturday has said that the family have many questions regarding the circumstances behind his supposed hanging. Mrs. Bristol said the family finds it exceptionally hard to accept the suicide theory as he wasn’t the suicidal type.
“Why would he kill himself, when he was so looking forward to his release on the 10th November which is less than one month away? He was so excited about it when we last visited him a week ago!” she stated.
Dean Bristol was on a short sentence for robbery. He was a victim of substance abuse and accord-ing to his family he is of slight build.
“The superintendent called us to the prison. We were told we would be able to see his corpse. They made us wait in an office, then a police woman came and said they had finished the procedures and had already taken away his corpse and we would not be allowed to see it! Why?”
It is common practice for relatives to be able to see the corpse of a loved one who has passed away under tragic circumstances and whose remains are in the hands of the police. This is usually done in a controlled manner in the presence of the police. The viewing of the corpse is not only for identi-fication purposes, but also a means for the family to come to terms with the death and be able to deal with the trauma. The Bristol family feel they are being denied this right.
The family is also questioning the official version of Dean’s passing away. This is especially so because the inmates of the Montagne Posee Prison have been informing their own relatives of the incident in a different light. Since all the versions of the inmates appear to be the same and point to the involvement of a Tanzanian prison guard, the family naturally finds it difficult to accept that he has hung himself.