Sunday, January 7, 2007

Why Stephen killed in India, Mother's speculation-4

Thursday 7th December

On Thursday 7th I picked up a message from Stephen on the answer machine. It would have been evening time in Goa. The message was very muffled but he said he was staying at 100 Blacio …, which I assumed to be an address in Panaji. I was now very concerned and went on the internet to see who could be contacted in Panaji for help. I sent an email to the British Embassy in Panaji as below. This email never got there and has been returned every day since. I also tried their telephone number but that did not work.

To: From Maureen Bennett

Subject: Steve Bennett-missing person

Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2006 10:26:53 +0000

Mailer: Apple Mail (2.752.2)

Dear Sir

My son is stranded in Panaji. He is in fear of some people he met at

Baga beach and has removed himself to Panaji. He has left his

belongings and passport behind at Baga. I gave him the address of the

British Tourists Assistants office (13-14 Dempo Towers, Patto Place,

Panaji, telephone 0243 8734), but their office would have been closed

at that time of night. Yesterday I received a mumbled message from

him saying he is at 101 Blacio ... and that he was very worried. We

could not hear the rest of the address. I have heard nothing since then.

I am now worried for his safety. Is it possible to identify the rest

of the address he gave and a telephone number. Perhaps he has

contacted your office. Could you possibly contact the British

Tourists Assistants office and check whether he managed to get there

yesterday? We have tried to ring but cannot get through. My son's

name is Steve Bennett, aged 40.

Thanks for your help

Maureen Bennett

Later that day Stephen telephoned. He said he now had his passport and money, but he could not explain how he had got them back. I am positive he did not return to Bagga from Panaji. It is my belief that his abductors gave him these items and let him think he was now free. So who checked him out from his room at Baga Beach?

The only other interpretation is that he returned to Baga Beach and the address at Baga is this address ‘101 Blacio …’ (or Blagio) that he quoted. This would mean he was abducted at this stage.

He said he had been travelling with two men who were ‘far too friendly’, and he seemed to have travelled with them for some distance. They had told him they were going to Bombay to see a firework display and to visit a firework factory, but Stephen did not believe this as the display they were talking about had already taken place (or was not due to take place at the time they said). He was worried because they chatted to him in English in a friendly style, but were punctuating this chat with discussions in a local language that sounded like they were working out how to do something. He felt their talk to each other sounded menacing.

He said he had asked someone else about these fireworks and their story did not match up with the dates. He seemed to be in a garage, or bus station or public place, perhaps using a public telephone. At this point he thought he had might have managed to ‘lose’ these people, but he may have been trying to comfort me. I told him he must be suffering from paranoia, but he was adamant that he was not and the danger was extremely real.

He said he would try to get to Bombay to see if he could get a flight from there. I believe that he may have escaped from a vehicle taking him away from Panaji, but was caught again and murdered. I asked “Are you on a train?” He appeared to be claiming to me that he had not boarded any train, in which case he had been physically taken to this place Roha by people in either a car or a bus.

Stephen told me that the telephone number for the Tourists Assistants Office had not worked. I then asked him to repeat the address he had previously left on our answer machine, and he spelt out the word ‘Blagio’ but I still could not hear the final part of the address (as he was no longer staying there I did not think it important). I had by this time sent the above email to the BCA so I gave him their telephone number and address and told him to contact them straight away. I begged him to return to Goa, perhaps the southern part where it was likely to be safer. I said it was not safe to be travelling inland or across India unaccompanied.

He told me to contact the company who had sold him the flight to Goa to see if he could get back on Saturday. He promised faithfully to ring back in 30 minutes but he never rang back. I believe he was finally abducted just after making this call on Thursday, or he was already in captivity when he made the call.

The flight booking was recorded on my email address. I telephoned the company rep, Lara Smith. who told me he could go to the airport on Saturday morning and report to the Olympic desk, and they might get him on to the flight that afternoon. The booking reference for his flight to Goa was: 1075001456, Monarch flight No.4502. On Friday morning I left a message about the Olympic desk on our answer machine in case he rang when I was out. He never got that message.

Stephen would never contemplate committing suicide. He had children and numerous animals. He is the type who would write millions of letters about anything going on in his life, and would discuss everything at great length. His main problem was his propensity to talk to everyone, including to complete strangers, and he told people his whole life story.

It would have been totally out of character for him to do this without leaving dozens of letters. (I was constantly rebuking him for this trait). It would be totally out of character for him to do this at all, as he would considered this a cruel act. My son was definitely murdered.

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