Charlie and Gayle Anderson Murders: How Did They Die? Who Killed Them?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Death On The Beach: Jamaica: Murder In The Mountains’ depicts the gruesome and horrific murders of a septuagenarian British couple in Portland, Jamaica, in late June 2018. Jamaican native Charlie, 74, and his British wife, Gayle, 71, were mercilessly killed and their retirement house on Mount Pleasant was torched. While the local Jamaican authorities arrested on suspect regarding money fraud charges, several questions remain unanswered related to the elderly couple’s demise.

How Did Charlie and Gayle Anderson Die?

Jamaica, an enchanting tropical haven adorned with pristine sandy beaches and majestic mountains, is one of the Caribbean’s most captivating islands, enticing visitors with its laid-back lifestyle. Journalist Nick Davis reflects on the country’s beauty and tranquility but underscores the prevalent challenges of a high crime rate and local gang activities. Despite this, Nick suggests that tourists generally remain safe on the island due to the repercussions that would follow any harm befalling them from local criminals.

Among the island’s frequent visitors were Charlie and Gayle Anderson — individuals acquainted with the dual facets of Jamaica’s offerings. Stacey Anderson, their granddaughter, recounts Charlie’s journey from Jamaica to the UK in the early 1960s as part of the Windrush generation. Settling in Moss Side, Charlie, originally from Portland, Jamaica, met Gayle in Manchester. Their marriage in 1962, within months of their initial meeting, was a family secret, as societal norms of the time frowned upon unions between white women and black men.

In response, the couple rechristened themselves “Charlie” and “Gayle” to elude familial disapproval. They had two sons, resided in Gorton, Manchester, for most of their lives, and became quasi-parental figures to their granddaughters. Chloe revealed the couple’s hardworking nature, with Gayle serving as a factory manager who imparted work ethics to the children by bringing them to her workplace at dawn. Charlie, a builder and shop owner, was regarded as one of the most hardworking individuals by their family.

Charlie acquainted his wife with the wonders of his homeland through frequent visits. Years ago, he undertook the construction of their retirement home in Portland, utilizing land passed down from his father. The eight-bedroom dwelling was designed to accommodate their entire family. In a significant life change, the Andersons, after selling their Gorton home, relocated to Jamaica in June 2017, aspiring to lead a comfortable life with the proceeds from the house sale. They were deemed respectable members of the local Jamaican community.

It took the couple a little over a decade to build half the house before they had moved in, aiming to complete construction along the way. According to the show, the Anderson residence was on Mount Pleasant, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Nick stated how the couple was giving into the community — growing things and looking after local kids. Stacey fondly remembered her grandparents’ vibrant social life during their retirement. Evenings were filled with lively gatherings where they engaged in spirited games of dominos.

Charlie, displaying his enthusiasm, would often dance to the tunes played on Gayle’s vintage music system. Their home became a hub for social meet-ups, resonating with laughter and the joyous sounds of music. It seemed as if Charlie and Gayle were living the epitome of an ideal retirement, savoring the richness of their social connections and the simple pleasures of life. Hence, it was shocking when the local police responded to a double murder scene on June 22, 2018. The victims were identified as Halford “Charlie” and his wife, Florence “Gayle” Anderson.

Local police sources revealed that Charlie’s lifeless body was discovered approximately 40 meters away from their residence. He had endured a brutal assault to the head, had been set on fire, and bore the additional trauma of a gunshot wound to his left hand. Gayle’s partially burnt body was found about 20 feet from their home. She had been mercilessly shot in the face and body. The residence had been deliberately set ablaze by a petrol bomb hurled through one of its windows, adding another layer of terror to this deeply tragic and disturbing event.

Who Killed Charlie and Gayle Anderson?

The investigators revealed that a resident had found Charlie’s body and headed toward the Anderson residence to check upon Gayle when they stumbled upon her burnt remains as well. According to the officers, the gunshot wound on Charlie’s hand appeared to be a defensive wound as he faced his perpetrator(s). Gayle was shot in the face, killing her instantly. The police also stated that the postmortem burns were done to eradicate any forensic evidence retrieved from the corpses, indicating the maculate crimes were carried out professionally.

Given that Jamaica had not abolished capital punishment, the UK needed to avoid any active involvement in the ongoing investigation. However, that stance came at a cost, leading to a lack of cooperation or information sharing from the Jamaican authorities, frustrating the Anderson family further. They revealed how Charlie and Gayle had made a disturbing revelation that approximately £100,000 had been illicitly withdrawn from their bank account. The couple returned to the UK during 2018 Easter Sunday, around eight weeks before the murder.

After conferring with the bank officials, the Andersons returned to Jamaica in early June 2018, apparently reassured that at least a portion of the wrongfully taken funds would be reimbursed. Local police sources revealed that Gayle had visited the police station 48 hours before their demise to report someone she suspected had siphoned tens of thousands of pounds from their bank. The authorities arrested Saquino Farr —the couple’s handyman and driver — on June 26 on suspicion of fraud related to the couple’s missing money.

An inquest led by the Manchester Coroner’s Court determined that Charlie and Gayle were “unlawfully killed.” Even five years after the elderly couple’s deaths, the Jamaican authorities are yet to charge anyone related to the murder. Reports stated that Saquino’s case is still ongoing through the Jamaican court system. Stacey concluded, “In short, nothing has happened since the inquest in September 2020. We have continued to meet with Jamaican police online, but there have been no arrests or charges.” Local police sources state the case remains open.

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