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‘General Starkey’ lived only one score and six years
BY KARYL WALKER Sunday Observer staff reporter [email protected]
Sunday, February 03, 2008

NO chronicle on Jamaica’s most notorious badmen could be complete without mention of People’s National Party (PNP) political thug, Anthony Tingle, better known as ‘General Starkey’.
Like all political enforcers who took the plunge into the dark world of crime in the 1970s, General Starkey was a product of the divisive political system which started after the 1944 general elections – the first general elections after Universal Adult Suffrage was achieved.
General Starkey his crony, ‘Hutch’ and their gang ran amok in the Arnett Gardens and Jones Town communities after the fall of Burry Boy and Feathermop in 1975. After Burry Boy and Feathermop died, the breach was easy to fill.
Political enforcers came crawling out of the woodwork. Many of the young men in the poor ghetto areas were attracted to the lifestyles of the leading political thugs and provided a pool of criminal talent from which political bosses could draw.
Starkey and Hutch took their name from a popular American television crime series featuring two cops called Starksy and Hutch.
Following in the footsteps of those that tread the treacherous path of political thuggery before them, Starkey and Hutch filled the void left by their immediate predecessors, with an even more vicious approach.
The 1978 peace treaty, which was conceptualised by rival gang leaders Claudius Massop (of JLP aligned Tivoli Gardens) and Aston ‘Bucky Marshall’ Thompson (of PNP stronghold of Matthews Lane), and resulted in a peace concert at the National Stadium in April of that year when Bob Marley invited then Prime Minister Michael Manley and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga on stage for a symbolic peace gesture, was standing on shaky ground.
The breakdown in relations between the rival political tribes was the result of a series of events.
Months after the peace treaty was hatched, fans from both communities who attended a football match between Arnett Gardens and Tivoli Gardens, which was organised to reinforce trust between both factions, broke out fighting after a series of taunts and counter-taunts inside the stands at the National Stadium.
After the match, a bloody brawl broke out in the stadium parking lot and several fans from both sides sustained serious knife injuries. It is said that General Starkey was one of the main antagonists and that he personally injured some of the opposing supporters during the skirmish.
Starkey was said not be in favour of the peace treaty and used the incident as a catalyst to remove the protectors of the peace in communities he roamed through.
Soon after the incident at the stadium, it was revealed that members of the Central Peace Council had swindled more than $30,000 – a significant sum at the time – from the council’s coffers.
With the disintegration of the truce, political gunmen who had been itching to do what they did best, had no restraints giving rise to a bloody tribal war which led to more than 800 persons being killed in 1980.
Those were the times when General Starkey and his gang would wage battle against a gang known as the ‘Rema 13’ – which included JLP thugs such as ‘Curly Locks’, ‘Bam Bam’, ‘Coolie Paul’ and ‘Fisherman’ – causing countless fatalities and leaving hundreds of families homeless.
But General Starkey’s life of crime began long before those turbulent tempestuous times.
In 1977, he topped the police most wanted list and a reward of $3,000 was posted for his capture. The posting of General Starkey as a most wanted criminal by police was frowned upon by the PNP’s youth organisation, who issued a statement saying the PNPYO was ‘extremely disturbed’.
More than six months later, that party’s disciplinary committee suspended the PNPYO president, Paul Burke, for issuing the statement. Burke’s suspension was a signal that the inventors of the political monsters, were now fed up with their creations and were sanctioning their demise. In 1978, police killed more than 30 persons who were listed on their top 40 most wanted list.
While General Starkey was on the most wanted list, he would came face to face in battle with a streetwise, ‘tough nut’ policeman who at the time took it upon himself to hound and flush out wanted fugitives.
The cop, Keith Gardner, known in the streets as ‘Trinity’ and who is now an assistant commissioner of police, reportedly drove into General Starkey’s lair in Jones Town and confronted the gangster. The result was a running gunbattle between the cop and fugitive in the streets of the impoverished community.
General Starkey managed to elude ‘Trinity’ on that occasion and because of his community defender status at the time, residents of Jones Town, set the vehicle in which ‘Trinity’ was travelling alight, burning it to a crisp.
In January of the following year, General Starkey, gave himself up and was charged with two counts of rape and shooting with intent.
The culture in which witnesses are afraid to come forward with evidence was very much alive in the 1970s as it is today and General Starkey was soon back on the streets as no evidence was offered against him.
A year later, General Starkey’s name was again on police files and he was again wanted by law enforcement for his alleged involvement in another set of shooting charges.
With the walls of the law closing in around him, the fugitive fled the island and turned up in Canada, where two days after his arrival, The Canadian Royal Mounted Police arrested and charged him with three counts of attempted murder and other charges. He was sentenced by a Toronto court to four years imprisonment at hard labour.
By July 1980, General Starkey was deported to Jamaica, where he was again shackled and charged by local cops for shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm.
However, on September 19 of that same year, General Starkey was back on the streets after no one turned up at the Gun Court to give evidence against him.
But like all those criminals before him, General Starkey’s rein at the top of the criminal mole hill was brief.
After being one of the main political enforcers in Arnett Gardens for the better part of three years, General Starkey and his gang fell out of favour with elements inside the community and were forced to relocate to nearby Jones Town.
The dispute that led to General Starkey’s expulsion is said to have had its genesis in the murder of a betting shop clerk on Lincoln Crescent in Arnett Gardens in May 1981. The killing of the woman did not go do well with some of the ‘Junglists’ who blamed Starkey’s gang.
Minutes after the shooting a man was held and taken to the scene of the crime and shot dead. His killers tagged his body ‘This killer of the betting shop woman’. Shortly after, another man was taken to the scene and also murdered.
One month after the betting shop incident, on June 1, 1981, Anthony ‘General Starkey’ Tingle would meet his waterloo.
The gangster and his cronies had just attended a dance in Jones Town and had retired in the wee hours of the morning. However, a contingent of about 20 policemen swooped down on the area and surrounded a house occupied in which a number of the men were sleeping at 32 Love Street.
The police reported that the men opened fire at them and after a lengthy gunbattle, General Starkey and seven of his cronies, including his brother Michael McLeod, lay dead.
The other dead men were identified as Barrington Fitzroy, Paul Johnson – both of Septimus Street, Jones Town – Errol Shorter, Conrad Bryan and Leroy Reid of Orange Street, and Michael Jackson.
Police say they recovered a M16 assault rifle, 80 rounds of ammunition, gas masks and soldier uniforms at the death scene. Two officers were reportedly injured during the firefight.
General Starkey was 26 years old when he was cut down in a hail of bullets.
This series of articles is not intended to lionise or glorify the acts of criminals but to put a historical perspective on criminality in Jamaica, with the hope of shedding light on why the country is now teetering on the edge of lawlessness. Of significant note, as well, is the fact that the subjects of these stories die violently and very young.

Read more:–lived-only-one-score-and-six-years#ixzz1z3Z2Jzjh

14 Responses to GENERAL STARKEY

  • Mr Rebel says:

    dwl @”top of the criminal mole hill”

    man dem did terrible man

  • soap opera says:

    Going to a staff meeting but I will be back for this one, don’t think he died at 26, he was a lot older. My friend still have that “General” tatoo on her arm.

  • Dog says:

    All these criminal were directly controlled by politicians, both pnp n jlp is to be blamed, they made all these people think they are above the law, these politicians build houses to create garrison s , so they will have getto people to do there bid, then when they dont need you anymore , they send police loyal to their party to kill your ass. How many mothers must weep? Should we praise these politician for building garrison such as , jungle , tivolie,rema, payneland, and many more? They may have put a roof over many jamaicans head,but is iy worth.the price and obligations to our men n women that lost their lives over the years, why would a politician build a community where only his supporters live,but to create a stronghold for himself. Egypt and many countries all over the world are geting rid of leaders n politicians that are not making their lives better, WHAT ABOUT YOU JAMAICANS, are we going to remain dormant,its full time for change,its time to demand more,its time to get up,stand up for your rights,

  • Met says:

    dog yes we need a revolution that will allow the people fi run out all who ina gordon house a day time

  • Dog says:

    Back then met starkey a big rapist, him just ride up at the school gate and tek wey the young school girls go rape them,the girls were so scared of them, thia beautiful indian girl I went to school with she was taken to jungle and rape by numerous men, when the junglist dem a come a one thirty show,the whole cross roads tremble

  • Johnboi says:

    Is it the same Indian girl who had Starkeys’ 1st son? Mi naw justify d man but she did love him, so mi no kno bout d rape part. (She use to attend St Anne’s Secondary). Nuff a d scoolas dem den like now only want badman, (or who dem perceive to b badman)

  • Dog says:

    @johnboy no this girl lived in america now,her mom came and took her to america , cross I went to school so I saw them almost everyday,the gold 350 and 750 ,

  • Johnboi says:

    Starkey was no originals Junglist…. Him go a Jungle wid friend, Some junglist neva agree wid somethings him do but a no Lincoln Road killing mek him dead. Dem did luv when him defend dem doh. Politician just say your time come fi stop run things, like they do did all dons.

  • soap opera says:

    @ dog that man was no rapist, all girls wanted him cause of the fame and de name the general.

  • Dog says:

    Yes he was, right in my school yard , the school girl dem scared of them,

  • i live in jones town for years,i i remember this like yesterday.this man protect us from the rema man that would sneak in the the night to get at us…[email protected] dog you must be one of the girls that wanted him because i was not scared of him…he always look out for the people of jonetown…who memeba when we didnt have light for a week and he didnt leave us not one night…pls he will always be my GENERAL…


  • Anonymous says:

    Like most a di bad man dem none of them was not from jungle the and others came from country ,but Starkey came from lizard town r back a wall,real bad man


    When I was 14 years old he killed a man that was visiting the area right beside me. Another time I stood behind him and watched him aimed his gun towards Rema and when he fired that 44 Magnum I was so frightened I got low and ended up in the gutter waters that flowed down price street.

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