The Scary Side of Paradise

The Bahamas. A feast of sun, fun, and upscale resorts, right? Try adding murder to the mix, toss in a dubious justice system, and spread over a teeming underclass.

Fogleman had arrived on Paradise Island July 18 in response to an invitation made earlier in the summer by Philippe DesRosiers. On the day she disappeared, she phoned her mother in Richmond. "Mom, this place is kind of depressing," Fogleman's mother remembers her daughter saying. "It's full of construction workers." She told her mother she intended to rent a car and do some exploring. Apparently she picked up some beer and cold cuts at a little grocery store near the Paradise Island bridge before heading out in a rented silver Nissan Stanza (later discovered abandoned in an alleyway far from Anton's neighborhood). That night at the Jungle Bar, the last watering hole before Cabbage Beach, Fogleman downed pina coladas with two other young women and at about 11:00 p.m. left the bar with them, according to a bartender. Two days later DesRosiers reported Fogleman missing.

A month after Fogleman disappeared, police found her naked body buried under large gray stones. A mere 100 feet away, police found the body of Joanne Clarke beside a discarded condom wrapper. Clarke, a teaching assistant from Banbury, England, an industrial town north of Oxford, was nine days into her planned three-week vacation when she disappeared. Her best friend, Maggie Connolly, nanny to the son of a Nassau businessman, had invited her to the Bahamas, and Clarke had booked a ticket out of London's Gatwick Airport for August 12. She phoned her mother from the terminal. "She was so excited," Susan Clarke recalls. "She had gone on a few foreign holidays, but this was her first long haul outside Europe."

Clarke, Connolly, and her young charge, ten-year-old Brandon Cole, spent the day together on August 21, basking in the sun. By 3:00 p.m. Brandon had grown restless, so Connolly left the beach to drive him home. Clarke was to meet her friend two hours later in the parking lot at the end of the long, lonely path leading from the beach to the golf course. She never showed up. Somewhere along the way, police contend, she came across Anton McIntosh, who raped and murdered her.

"Not my Anton," Uris McIntosh says of the charges leveled against her grandson. "Rape and murder? He wouldn't know what to do with a woman." Friends and neighbors who concur with her assessment gathered outside Magistrate's Court Number 6 when Anton was officially charged on September 21. Inside the courtroom, Magistrate Cheryl Albury read the charges.

"Do you understand the charges I have laid before you?" Uris McIntosh recalls her saying.

Anton paused, scrunching up his face. "Not really," he said.
"'Not really.' Is that a yes or no?"
He rocked back and forth but did not respond. Later, outside the courtroom, Carolyn McIntosh collapsed.

Over the days and weeks that followed Anton's arraignment, rumors surrounding the murders began to take on lives of their own. Many appeared in the pages of The Punch, a twice-weekly, British-style gossip rag widely read by Nassau's poorest residents, who tend to be far more suspicious of official government statements than they are of rumors printed in the paper. Even Anton's grandmother thinks The Punch is accurate most of the time, though it has, she says, managed to get virtually everything wrong about her grandson.

Anton, The Punch reported, was a Jet Ski operator who rented an apartment on the eastern end of New Providence Island and was related to a member of parliament. He'd been arrested, one reporter wrote, after the woman who claimed she had rented him the apartment phoned to report a man returning home with deep scratches running down the side of his face.

In fact, Anton has never lived in an apartment and has no relative holding elected office, and police say they never received any such tip. The Punch later provided readers with detailed accounts of Anton's three cellblock suicide attempts. A reporter who gathered that information for the story but didn't write the piece says there was only one attempt. Anton's grandmother claims there was none, and the police would not comment. And then there were the unpublished rumors, like the one explaining that young Anton had first been inspired by a horror movie to experiment with murder and discovered he enjoyed it.

Like so many young men in Nassau, Anton does love violent movies, not to mention lurid video games. Both figure prominently in the alibis his mother says she never had a chance to give police, who did not question Anton's family following his arrest. According to Carolyn McIntosh, Anton wasn't even on Paradise Island when Joanne Clarke vanished from the beach Friday afternoon, August 21. While Maggie Connolly scoured the beach looking for her best friend, Anton was at home watching TV with his mother. That evening, as Connolly passed around a photo of Clarke, Anton was at the Jedi Club, the video arcade at a big, pink, American-style mall, playing his favorite games, Street Fighter EX2 and King of Fighters '98. Late that night, as Connolly began to fear the worst, Anton and his mother were at the local multiplex, watching Wesley Snipes zap bloodthirsty vampires in Blade.

And the month before, when Lori Fogleman disappeared? "We weren't even on New Providence," says Carolyn. On July 10, she explains, they had traveled by mail boat to Andros, a large, sparsely populated island southwest of New Providence, where they stayed for more than two weeks, playing volleyball, swimming, and watching the boats go by in the annual regatta. Uris McIntosh says that on July 26, six days after Fogleman was last heard from, she had retrieved Anton and his mother from the dock at Potter's Cay, near downtown Nassau.

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