The death of former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer in Jamaica could have been by poison, rather than strangulation, according to reports. A crucial toxicology test is presently awaited.
Police investigating Bob Woolmer’s death have received a tip-off that the coach was poisoned by ‘aconite’ believed to be the “perfect” drug to mask a murder.
According to ‘Sunday Mirror’, an anonymous man, thought to be from Pakistan, phoned police claiming that aconite killed the coach following which Jamaica’s Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields, who is leading the probe, has ordered new tests on Woolmer’s body to look for traces of the drug.
Woolmer was allegedly strangled to death more than a fortnight ago, hours after Pakistan’s shock World Cup loss to Ireland.
A Kingston pathologist has concluded the former England batsman was strangled, most likely with a towel or pillow, as there were no marks to his neck.
A blood-stained pillow found in former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer’s hotel room has reportedly become a key piece of evidence. It was soaked with blood at both ends, Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner reported yesterday.
Jamaica’s deputy police commissioner, Mark Shields, refused to say what items were recovered from Woolmer’s room at the Pegasus Hotel.
Mr Shields is under pressure, with Scotland Yard sending a senior detective from its homicide and serious crimes unit, two detectives and a specialist scene-of-crime officer to Jamaica. Police are also still studying the contents of Woolmer’s laptop and emails, as well as hotel video surveillance footage.
If Woolmer died through aconite poisoning, his internal organs would seize and slow down his breathing until they finally stop. Death is usually by asphyxiation within 30 minutes and this could explain how Woolmer died without putting up a fight.
“The aconite tip is a major breakthrough and is being taken extremely seriously. The man who called Kingston police station had a Pakistani accent and was very specific about aconite and how it was administered,” Shields was quoted as saying by the paper.
“The symptoms Bob suffered before he died are identical to aconite poisoning, which is why it is a major line of inquiry now. It would also explain how such a physically imposing man, at 6ft 1in tall, died without putting up a fight. You’d struggle to get two people into his bath room let alone three, so it could be no-one was there,” he added.