As crime-plagued Venezuela reels from the high-profile murder of former Miss Venezuela, Monica Spears, the investigation as to who did it is moving at a rapid pace. That is a rapid pace for a country where many crimes are not thoroughly investigated and justice often elusive.
The Monday night roadside murder of Spears, 29 and her 39-year-old British husband, Thomas Henry Berry has brought focus on at least eight different criminal gangs thought to be operating in the Interrrional del Centro highway where the murders occurred. The criminal gangs create a road obstruction where by the vehicle occupants are required to exit their vehicle. The tires of Spears cars were flat and they were asking for assistance when they were killed.
Apparently a tow truck had already lifted the disabled car when the fully-armed assailants appeared out of the bushes and starting firing randomly killing the couple and injuring their five-year-old daughter, Maya. Other reports indicate the couple refused to give up their locked vehicle when they saw the armed assailants.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro noted, “ They fired with viciousness.” He however did not comment on the country’s rampant violence and that the country has the dubious distinction of being the fourth deadliest nation on the planet. Not surprisingly the country does not release its murder rate. Outside organizations peg the rate at 24,000 in 2013 that represents a murder rate of 79 per 100,000 people.
Criminal gang members of the ‘Los Rapiditos’ organization have been detained for questioning but have not been charged. Those arrested include two teenagers.
Spears won the coveted Miss Venezuela crown in 2004 and went on to act in telenovelas, dividing her time between Miami and Venezuela.