The Observer’s brilliant cartoonist, Leslie Lumeh, last Tuesday treated the public with another masterpiece. He portrayed a shark prowling the Atlantic in a vicious pursuit of its next victim.
It was a reminder of the frightening American film Jaws of 1975 which drew millions to world cinemas.
The cartoon was a very serious reaction to at least two recent mysterious deaths allegedly by drowning.
The first was that of Michael Allison, whose body was found on Monrovia’s south beach in 2014. Until now the public is not yet convinced that his was a purely accidental death.
The second was that of Harry A. Greaves Jr., former Managing Director, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).
Mr. Greaves’ bruised, stark-naked body was found on Sunday morning, January 31, 2016, also on Monrovia’s south beach behind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had gone missing the day before, Saturday, January 30, after his driver, Moses Flomo, drove his boss to the RLJ Resort at Kendeja in
Paynesville. Greaves apparently spent most of the day there. Late into the afternoon Flomo, just checking, decided contacting his boss by mobile phone and found it “switched off.”
Alarmed and bewildered, Flomo quickly ran home to inform Mrs. Precious Andrews Greaves. She, too, was startled, and had no clue that within several hours, early Sunday, she would be invited to behold and confirm that she was already a widow. It was indeed on that fateful Sunday morning that the police invited her to accompany them to the beach behind Foreign Affairs to identify her husband’s body.
Later that Sunday, Mrs. Greaves confirmed to the Daily Observer that she and Harry “were in the process of separating,” and that he had already begun removing his belongings from the home.
Within the 24-hour period from the time he left home Saturday morning and Sunday when the body was found, what had happened to Harry Greaves? Had he an appointment at the RLJ with another man? A woman? A business associate? Was he just there to have a drink, some ice cream? Or just to get away from the frustrations with marriage or anything else?
Had there been anything sinister or ominous harboring at the RLJ beach awaiting him, which he had not suspected? If there were, how did he fall into the trap?
Most people, including the widow, who was by then fast becoming an estranged consort, have flatly and forcefully discounted suicide. Harry was not like that. He was too proud, too self-confident, too ambitious for that, she and most others have contended.
What explains the injuries on the head and other parts of the body? There are also reports that he had been sodomized, sexually or by way of an instrument forced into him, as “punishment,” some say, by an individual who felt particularly affected by Harry’s frequent outbursts, especially against the National Oil Company of Liberia.
In criticisms of NOCAL’s dismal fate, Harry was one of the most vociferous. How could a company so liquid in cash, so promising, come so quickly to ruin after being presided over by the President’s own son?
Harry seemed to have been personally bitten by disappointment in an associate he had known—or so he thought—and worked with for decades—Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Had he come to the end of his belief in human nature? How could one person he had worked with so closely, so long, now in power, end up placing at the complete disposal of her son an entire, money-spinning national asset to do with it whatever he wished?
Was Harry particularly bothered by the glaring conflict between Ellen’s emphatic pledge against corruption, made on the first day in office in 2006, and NOCAL’s staggering and totally unexplainable collapse under her and her son’s watch?
Could this have drawn Harry to desperation and even to the futility or emptiness of life itself?
What had happened between him and his beloved wife? After all, he seemed to have heavily invested in Precious Andrews’ business, PA Rib House, even to the extent of expansion into the successful outlet in Paynesville. “We are building Liberia’s first drive-in restaurant,” he once boasted to this newspaper.
Leslie’s fish may yet be fishing not so much for who is next, as for answers to the burning question, what really happened to Harry?
We understand that those who performed the autopsy have concluded that Harry died by drowning. For true?