Stacy Wilson was a radiant 21-year-old when her life came to an abrupt and grisly end. This list of eight facts looks at what we know about her short life, her untimely death, and the aftermath of the murder.
So, what happened to Stacy Wilson?
On Monday, December 11, 2006, Wilson was attacked on a bus and in the bus terminal lot in Kingstown, Saint Vincent by a machete-wielding assailant. The man, Shorn Samuel, chopped off Wilson’s right hand…and then beheaded her. He was detained by stunned onlookers, some of whom also took some very shocking, graphic photos.
1. Shorn Samuel Had a Long History of Harassing Stacy Wilson
Stacy Wilson and Shorn Samuel both lived in the small farming town of Vermont, which is just 12 miles north of Kingstown, the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.
Samuel also goes by the names Sean Samuel and Abdul Rahim Parsons, as well as the nickname Muslim Islamaam.
Samuel visited his distant cousin Wilson and her family on a regular basis. Soon enough, though, the visits started to take a creepy turn. Samuel, who was 14 years older, told Wilson he wanted her to be his wife.
Wilson, who was clearly unnerved by Samuel, told him not to visit their home anymore. He apologized for his behavior and continued to make regular visits. His apologies turned out to be hollow.
According to Wilson’s mother, Emelia Nanton, Samuel came to visit Wilson before she left for work and started “molesting” her. Before she left for work, he often told her, “I love you and you have to be my wife.”
Since the man was undaunted and unmoved by Wilson’s demands to be left in peace, Nanton said she threw a bowl of Clorox in Samuel’s face to make him leave.
2. Stacy Wilson Was Murdered Returning Home from Work
On the afternoon of Monday, December 11, 2006, Wilson was sitting in an idling minibus at the Leeward bus terminal in Kingstown. She was on her way home, having just finished a long, stressful day working as a hospital clerk.
Samuel had visited her at work. He’d tried to get her attention. He even asked if he could speak with her for a minute in private. “I don’t want to talk to you,” she said.
Someone who had been watching the interaction confronted Samuel and asked him if he knew Wilson. He said she was his cousin.
Wilson left work around 3:45 that afternoon to catch the minibus that would take her home to Vermont. Witnesses recall seeing Samuel walking closely behind, trying in vain to speak with her.
The two boarded the bus. While the minibus was idling, Samuel wouldn’t leave Wilson alone; she got up and moved, sitting next to another woman. Samuel tried to speak to Wilson again, but she told him to leave her alone. Wilson got up again and sat directly behind the bus driver.
Samuel stood up and walked toward the front of the bus. A cutlass (a short saber with a curved blade) that still had a price tag on it fell out of his back right pocket. He grabbed it, put it back in his pocket, and stood by the front door of the bus, where the cousins continued to argue.
Samuel then took the cutlass out and began chopping at Wilson. Wilson fell into the driver’s lap, but then jumped out of the window, fleeing for her life. Her first instinct was to hide under the bus for her safety.
Samuel gave chase, chopping as he ran.
During the trial, one witness said Samuel dragged the terrified Wilson out from under the bus and chopped off her right hand at the wrist. As she fell to the ground, he began chopping at her neck. Horribly, he nearly sawed off her head until it was hanging by a piece of skin.
The deranged Samuel then held up the head, chopped away the piece of remaining skin, kissed Wilson’s face, and threw the head onto the ground.
When police arrived, Wilson’s decapitated head was found 15 feet away from her body; her hand was another 20 feet away.
Shorn Samuel, knowing the police had arrived, placed the bloodied cutlass on the ground, fell to his knees, and placed his hands on his head.
The murderer apparently showed no guilt. He even saluted the crowd as he was taken away by police.
3. A Loss to Her Whole Community
One week later, on Tuesday, December 19, friends, family, and strangers gathered to celebrate the life of Stacy Wilson at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Vermont.
Her mother, Emelia Nanton, was a pillar of strength throughout the funeral. Wilson’s co-workers, friends, and family spoke of her life and how her death had left an unrepairable hole in their hearts.
Pastor Terrance Haynes delivered a eulogy where he called for everyone to take their own lives more seriously.
“This life we share is God’s life; life is precious,” he said. He added that we need to look beyond this world to the spiritual realm.
“The enemy is mingling among the innocent human beings; he is trying to get back at God. Life is getting cheap. We need to get back to a state of normalcy,” he said.
Haynes also lambasted those who spread the horrific images of Wilson’s body all over the Internet.
Afterwards, there was a long procession from the church to the cemetery. In the drizzling rain, people sang songs and dedicated choruses to Wilson.
4. Not the First Beheading on Saint Vincent
The small Caribbean group of islands known as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a population of just 110,000. And yet Stacy Wilson was not the first beheading victim in the eastern Caribbean country.
In January 2003, the headless body of 68-year-old Albert Browne was discovered near a banana field in the southern Saint Vincent region of Marriaqua.
Following the footprints left behind, detectives found Browne’s head 300 feet away, buried in a banana hole and wrapped in a pair of pants.
At the time, it was considered to be one of the worst murders in the country’s history.
Daniel Trimmingham was convicted of murder. He died in prison in 2019.
5. Murderer Shorn Samuel Made Demands
In the months following his arrest for Stacy Wilson’s murder, Shorn Samuel demanded that he be transferred to a single prison cell for his own safety. He did not like being harassed by fellow prisoners and officers.
Samuel also demanded that new trial documents be given to him, because the ones he had were torn.
And he accused lawyer Ronald Marks of threatening him with an additional three years in prison if Samuel didn’t retain him. This was an odd claim since Marks wasn’t his attorney.
The increasingly difficult prisoner also announced would not be standing for the national anthem when it played at the institution, since his grandfather never did. “I am keeping with my principles. I don’t blame you. Do what you know,” Samuel said.
Justice Gertel Thom replied that once Samuel was a guest at Her Majesty’s prison, he would have to abide by its rules.
6. Shorn Samuel Guilty of Murdering Stacy Wilson
All of Samuel’s theatrics were in vain.
On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, the 12-person jury handed down a unanimous verdict. Shorn Samuel was found guilty of Stacy Wilson’s murder and sentenced to death.
But Samuel was never executed.
Dr. Amrie Morris-Patterson, senior registrar at the Mental Health Centre, told the court that Samuel had a long history of mental illness.
In 1996, Samuel was admitted to the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn, New York for persecutory delusion and acute psychotic episodes.
In January 2002, Samuel was admitted to the Mental Health Centre in Kingstown for a 20-day assessment after breaking a window at the National Commercial Bank.
Samuel claimed he was at the bank to get money that was being transferred to him from Saudi Arabia. It never arrived and he got angry. On top of that, he alleged that the police were after him because they were jealous. Samuel also claimed he was being persecuted because he was a Muslim living in Saint Vincent, and people thought he was related to Osama bin Laden.
On Tuesday, December 12, 2006, the day after Samuel hacked Wilson to death, he was interviewed by Dr. Morris-Patterson. The doctor observed that Samuel was reluctant at first to answer any questions. Samuel maintained that the only reason he had been arrested was because he is Muslim.
Stephen Williams, Samuel’s defense attorney, asked if it was possible that his client had experienced a psychiatric episode when he hacked Wilson to death. Dr. Morris-Patterson said it was highly unlikely.
In addition to the history of mental issues, Dr. Morris-Patterson noted that Shorn Samuel had been smoking cannabis since the age of 10.
Samuel appealed his death sentence, successfully. His murder conviction was overturned; he was convicted of manslaughter instead, by reason of diminished responsibility. His death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment.
7. Murder Seems to Run in the Family
This is not the end of the saga. Although Shorn Samuel was sent to prison, drama and tragedy continued to follow his family.
On Monday, April 15, 2013, Rosette Samuel, the sister of Shorn and an off-duty officer of the New York Police Department, shot and killed her (possibly former) boyfriend before he was scheduled to leave for Guyana. She then murdered her infant son before turning the gun on herself.
Dason Peters, 33, was found in the hallway near the front door, face-down in a pool of blood.
Police found Rosette, 43, in bed, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. Her gun, a 9-mm Glock, was found by her side, along with her one-year-old child, Dylan Samuel Peters, who was shot in the chest.
Rosette’s oldest son, Dondre Samuel, 19 at the time, escaped through a window as the shooting took place. He told police that his mother and Peters had been fighting all night. She even called the 108th Precinct to let them know she would be late for her shift that morning.
Colleagues at the Traffic Control Division said she was a loner who didn’t smile much. “She was very quiet. She didn’t have any friends,” one co-worker said.
None of her colleagues said they saw signs of violence. “There was no indication she had any problems,” said another cop.
But there are always clues left behind.
Investigators found two suicide notes in Rosette’s Flatbush apartment, one to her son Dondre and another to an aunt, asking her to take care of the young man.
Rosette’s note explained to Dondre that she killed his baby brother so that the 19-year-old wouldn’t have an extra burden. She also wrote that she left him $42,000 for continued education. She didn’t give a reason for shooting Dason Peters.
So what was her motive for killing Peters?
It’s not confirmed, but there’s some speculation that there was another woman, according to an unconfirmed source.
Police say a third note was found ripped to pieces in the toilet, but they were unable to read its contents. It’s possible this mystery letter may have been a catalyst for the whole horrible string of events, but it looks like we’ll never know.
8. Stacy Wilson’s Mom Wants Peace
As is often the case, a new crime brings up crimes from the past. Stacy Wilson’s mother, Emelia Nanton, who is still trying to put her life back together, experienced another onslaught of questions in the wake of the Rosette Samuel murder-suicide.
But all she wants is to be left alone to heal.
“Everybody meeting me and telling me how God answers prayers and what goes around comes around,” she said.
“This thing happen to Shorn’s sister and you’re looking for people to say we have to forgive each other and pray for one another, but some people acting as if I was praying for something bad to happen.”
But, she stressed, the prayers and wishes of others are certainly not hers. Instead, she said, “God does not render evil for evil.”
“Stacy has died already, I accept it. I am trying to move on with my life, but some people just making me get sad, because I am trying to get over the loss of Stacy.”