Dynamite is Packed in Small Packages

I mentioned the other day that there was a story to be told about some of the happenings during and after the Murder of Bo Olsen.

As has been mentioned in other articles, the Antares was anchored in front of Bajo Pipon when five individuals boarded the ship around midnight. They attacked Bo Olsen who was on deck, shooting him striking an artery which resulted in his death.

Bo’s son, Zechariah and his 6 ½ month pregnant wife, Sujey, were below deck. Zechariah must have heard something and came up to find his father shot and being attacked by two individuals. Zech attacked the two individuals inflicting injury on both of them and was then shot by one of the other three individuals that he didn’t know was on-board.

Sujey was also attacked and beaten up about the face. The individuals put an anchor around Zech’s sholders. Sujey heard one of the individuals ask what they were going to do with Zech and they said they were going to dump him overboard.

She heard one of them ask what they were going to do with the girl and they said to just leave her. For some reason one of them said to just leave Zech too and it was better that they leave. They took a laptop and some other items such as a flat-screened TV and other small items, but nothing of real value justifying the extreme actions of murder.

They left Zech to die with a shot that had pierced his lung and another in his back only millimeters away from his spinal column.

This is where the story of true heroism begins. Sujey had to remove the anchor from around Zech’s shoulders and even though she had been beaten, she helped Zech drag himself to the back of the boat where the Shark was hanging. The Shark is not small boat. It weighs over a thousand pounds.

Sujey managed to help Zech into the Shark. She then had to cut one of the ropes securing it to the ship with a machete and got the Shark lowered into the water. Sujey is a little over 5 feet tall and is 6 ½ months pregnant. She knew she was in a race against time for her husband’s life, and knew if she didn’t get him back to Pedregal, Zech would also die. Zech is approaching 6’4” – a good sized young man.

Between them, they were able to get Zech back to the port, where he was taken to the regional hospital. The fact that Zech is alive today is nothing less than a miracle and a tribute to his fighting spirit and to that of his loving wife. He has been released from the hospital, but the recovery is going to take a fair period of time and will most likely require going to Panama City to get opinions on the bullet that is still close to the spinal column.

Wednesday was the first day following the release of the Antares, by the district attorney, that the family had had a chance and clean the ship from all of the blood that was on-board.

The port authorities had asked that the Shark be put back on the Antares as it could not be protected where it was currently located in the harbor. Unfortunately, Zech also had to go to the boat yesterday to supervise the reloading of the Shark. It took four of us to get Zech on-board as he is still using crutches and in a very weakened state. Getting the batteries changed so the generator could be started to allow the use of the winches required Zech’s expertise and it was a very strenuous and trying task for him.

I took a couple photos of the process of securing the Shark.

Here is the Shark being moved to the rear of the Antares.

This is a photo of the securing rope that Sujey had to cut to release the Shark on the night of the murder.

This is the front of the Antares. One of the masts had been damaged when it was moved to the port. I don’t know who moved it from where it had been.

This is a photo of the Shark after it has been raised, but not tied off.

After seeing the reverse process of loading the Shark, I had an even greater understanding and appreciation for Sujey’s effort in saving her husband’s life. Sujey may be a small lady, but like they say, dynamite comes in small packages.

I know that everyone would like details of the status of the investigation. That is in the hands of the district attorney and is an ongoing investigation. We can all hope that those that were involved will be brought to justice.

21 thoughts on “Dynamite is Packed in Small Packages

  1. “Hopefully the bad guys will be caught” says Tim Davis……..Absolutely, but what about all the other bad guys still out there. As far as I know they havent caught the guy/guys who killed the American in Algorobos, nor have I ever heard anything pertaining tomy Italian friend Dino’s murder in David well over a year ago. The locals just may need to admit their limited capabilities and import some serious investigative talent……the locals here have never solved any of my thefts, and I have no expectations…….the fiscalia is a joke. Ive promised myself to never again set foot inside that building. The system here needs a complete overhaul and ratcheting up of the work ethic…….

  2. The local here have never solved any of my thefts either, and there have been a lot of them, and we are talking about a small, rural community in the good old USA. The police know that they are not going to pin this sort of a crime on anyone unless the person falls off your balcony with his arms wrapped around your TV set.

  3. As for catching the “bad guys”. There is a significant difference (on a number of levels) between stealing property and a brutal murder. It is understandable that the police take a casual approach to theft – it is common in all societies. Taking the life of another is an entirely different matter. How the local police handle these murders and the resources they allocate to solving them will say alot about how Panama views the value of a life – in this case the life of a expat. It may also send a message to those in the US considering moving to Panama. I suspect that at the top of most of these people’s list of concerns is safety – paradise loses its appeal when one can be murdered there without consequences.

    I too REALLY hope that every effort is made to catch the culprits. Don Ray thanks for providing the heroic side to this otherwise tragic story.

  4. Same here. Two felonies on me, one violent. Perps name and residence known in both instances. One visit by the police, perps not home, nothing more. I am going to be gracious and say it is a lack of resources, but the reality is that known bad people can operate freely because of this, and accountability for having bad actors continue in the community isn’t dealt with.

    This is a subject that is very serious regarding living here and the law across the board is mostly broken. I would love to give names, but the broken law will also put me at risk for libel and slander.

    Buena Suerte

  5. I have a business in Panama City selling used trucks and parts. Thieves stole a dump truck from my yard. They freely operate the truck in the City today with the same license plate. All the paperwork has been done and the denuncias have filed.

    After applying much pressure the police agreed to stop the vehicle and investigate the papers. We stopped the truck with 5 members of DIJ and Transito. The driver had no papers, so the police said they couldn’t prove the vehicle was mine. They didn’t seem to care that he was operating it with no licence or ownership! I had the papers so they asked the driver who owned the truck. He said his cousin had BOUGHT it from a Gringo. They took his word for it and let the thief keep my truck. I was dumbfounded.

    I have lived and operated this business in Panama for 8 years. But this was the final straw in a long line of progressively worse incidents of institutionalized lawlessness.
    I am selling the remainder of my stock and moving home.

    My lawyer told me that the police have zero interest in prosecuting a Panamanian who has stolen from a foreigner. There would be only a drop more interest if I were Panamanian also. He suggested paying the fiscal to do his job. $2000 would spark his interest but their would be no guarantee he would follow through without more money. It was too risky.

    I decided it was time to leave Panama. Once word got out that this theft, so open and known to everyone, was so easy and the law so ineffective I would soon lose more vehicles to the close knit trucking community. It was a situation beyond words.

    I don’t mean to be negative, and perhaps things are different in David. But here in the City it is basically lawless unless you are connected or are willing to give a fiscal the option of stealing from you also.

  6. As a Panamanian, and above all Chiricano, I share the discomfort and frustration when dealing with authorities in the country. The lack of resources compounded with the lack of moral values makes me sick. After the invasion in 89′ there was a wave of robberies going on in David around every neighborhood, the solution that we implemented at the time was a “crime watch” unit. All the males will gather and we will set up watches.It worked, we even got so many on one single night that when the cops showed up they did not have enough handcuffs for all of them, and we have to resort to tide them up with their own shoe laces!! Going forward to 2005 I decided that was time to get more protection, so I purchased a gun. but a gun by itself is no protection, but a deterrent. I showed the gun and permit to some guys in the neighborhood which I knew will pass the word around, and voila!! no more incidents. CE VES PACEM PARABELLUM!!IF YOU WANT PEACE BE PREPARARED FOR WAR!! If they know that there is risk involved they will think twice, and belive me no robber is gonna be stupid to risk live for a T.V set!!

  7. Has anybody seen the latest statisctis on worldwide murder and violence rates? I knew it was up there in Colon and Panama City but according to an informed local I met in a bar watching worldcup action in Puerto Armuelles, Panama now has the ignominious distinction of being #2 after Caracas for murder rate per 100,000……in other words u would be safer living in Medellin or Rio……..but the rate has soared in the last couple of years, so 2006 or 2008 charts will not give u the up to date stats……

  8. I encourage everyone who is concerned about crime in the Boquete area to join the Boquete Crimestoppers Group, Alto al Crimen. They are moving forward with providing education, cooperation with the authorities, and a wonderful 24/7 911 number which is totally supported by private donations: http://boquete.ning.com/group/crimestoppers?xg_source=msg_wel_group. There are currently only 85 members, and many more than that are concerned about crime. Please do your part!

  9. We have been looking at Panama, as a second home, for some time now. When I read about all the good people who have been murdered or beaten it makes me sick to my stomach. I am a strong person, but this is not TV, its real. It is the end of someones life. Their death really affects the lives of their children and grand children. spouces and friends. It the case of beating, people carry that around with them for life, and look around every corner . I hear comments all the time, when referring to all the robberies, that is is just stuff. Maybe it is, but it is YOUR stuff. You worked for it, or it was passed down from family who worked for it. They didn’t sleep all day, and crawl around at night, looking to see what they can grab. We were coming in two weeks. Now, after reading all this, and more. I don’t even want to bring my family through Panama City for a 12 hour stay. What if we can not get out?? Over the last six months. I have made internet friends in Bouquete. We have had so much fun visiting back and forth and sharing information. Everyone has been so helpful. One person in particular, has bent over backwards to help us get their, and have a good time, while looking for a home. We can not parachute in, so, now what…. Abby L.

  10. Abby,

    I watch two TV stations (CBS and ABC) for morning and evening news. I doubt seriously that Panama has more murder than Denver or Atlanta or Dallas. I believe the thing to take from seeing the violence is that caution is beneficial.

    There are a lot of good things about Panama and I try to post both. It is better to come her with a realistic outlook of what you will find as opposed to some Pollyanna outlook that is promoted by International Living.

    I would not trade for my life and experiences since I have lived here.

  11. My son has lived in Denver for about 8 years. He once left his laptop and backpack on a table to use the restroom, and came back to find it gone. That was the full extent of his experience with crime. He is young. He and his girlfriend enjoy the night life there. We live in Ozark Mo. Usually if something happens with 20 miles of here, it is personal. Bouquete is a small town, should have less crime than Denver. All big cities have areas one needs to stay clear of. Abby L.

  12. Don, We had a really good visit and real estate seach while in Bouquete. I feel much better about it now. I get emails from people saying there is crime in Missouri also. Well, of course there is. In our neighborhood and for miles, there is not. What Bouquete has to offer besides the weather, is a very interesting and warm group of people. We went to the Gringo Fair, and Mark’s meeting. We were invited to a pot luck and played bocci ball (sp?). Feeling much better. I know I would have to live more “carefully” and be observant of my surroundings. The streets were fun and we even went downtown at night. That was something I had no intention of doing. The trip through Panama City went well, we didn’t see much there, except the canal, as we wanted to show it to our granddaughter. During her first two days of Spanish Class, she knew more words than anyone else. We didn’t even think she was listening, in fact, we never think she is listening. Can not wait to get back. Abby L.

  13. What a beautiful son! Well deserved happiness. Wonder if the little Nino will have “Bo” in his name. Abby L.

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