Murder at the Yacht Club

A German Hotel Owner is gunned down at his Business

Nicolai Winter, the German owner of the French Harbour Yacht Club was gunned down at his hotel by a man in this thirties, presumed to be from the mainland.
On March 6, 2007 around 9:30pm, the murderer checked into a room at the hotel and came back to ask for Winter's assistance in opening the room door. While Winter with three other Yacht Club staff walked towards the room, the assailant pulled out a 9mm gun and shot Winter several times. The assailant then fled the property on foot.
According to Yacht club staff Winter was alive for some time after the shooting. Bay Islands Voice was notified of the shooting and called Preventiva Police, DGIC and Ambulance in Dixon Cove. No one picked-up the phone. After a visit to the Dixon Cove ambulance station the attendant said "none of the vehicles are working."
The frontier police and DGIC police arrived at the crime scene 30 and 60 minutes after the shooting, but no immediate search of surrounding area was done and no road blocks were set up. The murderer, presumed by the police to be a contracted killer, was not apprehended.  Winter bought the Yacht Club in 2004 for in excess of one million dollars. The legal future of the Yacht Club is far from certain. According to Honduran law, in absence of a testament, Winter's closest relatives: his mother, or his sister will inherit the property.
According to Felipe Danzilo, a lawyer involved in the sale of the Yacht Club, Winter did not yet make all the payments on the property. The previous owners of the Yacht Club: Marcel Hauser and Peter Beuth, still hold a mortgage on the Yacht Club.
Within a week of Winter's death the old owners of the hotel brought the "Pluribus" company owned by Daniel O'Connor, a American business owner from Tegucigalpa, to serve as a "safe keeper" of the Yacht Club business interests. O'Connor made efforts to assure the continuous functioning of the business: that the employees received their salaries, hotel stayed open and he plans on having the Yacht Club's restaurant open by Semana Santa. "Every business has a value as long as it is running," said O'Connor.
O'Connor, who has lived in Honduras for 12 years, was shocked by the lack of concern about the murder displayed by local business community and local business leaders. "This is disappointing in a community that prides itself on being tourism oriented," says O'Connor. "This will bring a negative impact on tourism here

Source :

Another Expatriate Murdered on Roatan

No sooner did we send the December issue of the Voice off to print and upload it to the web page than we learned that Patrick Zyngg, a Swiss citizen who had lived on Roatan many years and operated Subway Water Sports (a longtime Voice advertiser), was found dead in his home in Brick Bay, Roatan, yesterday afternoon, stabbed in the throat. The body was found lying on the floor by an employee. Police said he had been dead 12-24 hours, which indicates the crime occurred sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Detective Hector Ponce of the Criminal Investigation Division (DNIC) said there were no signs of forced entry or struggle, which leads detectives to suspect the assailant, was someone the victim knew.

Zyngg was the second expatriate businessman murdered in the Bay Islands in as many weeks. Ponce confirmed the suspects in the November 16 murder of US citizen Vernon Fine, who operated Vern's Catamaran service between Roatan and Utila, were in custody in La Ceiba awaiting trial. Ponce said police suspected it was a contract killing, because it does not appear anything was stolen. But they have no theory as to what the motive would be, because Ponce said a search of the boat turned up no evidence of any illicit activity.

Concerning the October murder of Canadian tourist Themy (Tim) Vallee, Ponce said the suspected shooter was still at large, thought to be on the mainland. We asked him for a photo to publish, and he said he would try to provide one. The man suspected of having driven the vehicle used in the crime is in custody in La Ceiba, Ponce said.

Maria Smith My Husband and I went to Roatan in 2010 to look at real estate. We were considering relocating there. We rented a house and one day my husband caught a local guy trying to break into our house. While the THIEF was running away he told us if we called the police he would come back and kill us. I think the lady that rented us the house set us up to be robbed. We left the island and have no plans to return. It is too DANGEROUS!!! Roatan's ECONOMY will suffer DRASTICALLY Because of so much CRIME!! So Sad That A beautiful island has turned into an oasis of torture and hell! Word is spreading here in th US To STAY Away from ROATAN!!!

Source :  Bay Islands VOICE

December 20th, 2012

by Robert Armstrong

How many deaths will it take ‘til he knows
That too many people have died?

- Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind” –

As we bid farewell to 2012 we can all hope that the tragic and brutal death of Patrick Zingg, longtime owner of Subway Watersports on Roatan (and a Voice advertiser) will be enough for everyone to say “enough!”

Zingg, a quintessentially quiet Swiss, defied all the characterizations that many residents here rely on after someone is murdered to comfort themselves and reassure themselves that it can’t happen to them. He was the very opposite of the “Type-A” personality. Speaker after speaker at his memorial service last month referred to him as “reserved.” He was said to have had a “quiet grace” about him and a “twinkle in his eye” and to have moved about “like a Caribbean breeze.”

By all accounts he was an honest small-business owner. There are no indications or even rumors that he was involved in anything illicit or had any “questionable associations.” A letter writer refers to him as “kind” and “generous.” Another remarks, “He did not deserve to die like this.” Who does?

Zingg was found dead on the floor of his home in Brick Bay November 29, stabbed in the throat. At press time the case was unsolved. He was the third foreigner and the second expatriate investor killed on the Bay Islands in a six-week period. Two more people were murdered on Roatan in the first half of December, before we went to press, keeping up the pace of roughly a murder a week on the island since September. That’s too much.

As we mourn Patrick’s passing, however, we can take solace that it may have been the necessary “last drop” (última gota) that tips the balance and spurs the island community to take actions that are long overdue to combat crime on the islands. There are already encouraging signs that that may be the case.

Less than two weeks after Patrick’s death, Roatan Mayor Julio Galindo convened a meeting of business owners and community leaders at which he bluntly announced: “If we don’t do something about security here, we are done. It’s going to finish us.”

Many long-time residents rolled their eyes and said they’d seen the same movie before. Every year, they said, there is a crime wave preceding the Christmas tourism high season, and nearly every year there is a meeting of concerned citizens to address the problem. Then tourism picks up, the crime abates, and everyone forgets about it. As one friend of ours, who preferred to remain anonymous, put it: “SSDD – same (excrement), different day.”

But Galindo said he was determined that this would not be just “another meeting,” that he would follow through with the Central Government authorities to assure that Roatan and the other Bay Islands got the authority and the support they need to address their worsening public security problem. Then, to his credit, he convened a second meeting the following week where, in the presence of judicial and law enforcement authorities, he delivered a detailed action plan that appears at least at first glance to hit all the right buttons.

The Voice does not involve itself in or report on Honduran politics or endorse candidates for political office (Galindo is up for reelection this year). However, in a strictly non-partisan spirit, we think the Mayor’s plan deserves our serious consideration and support, and we say this not just because many of its recommendations have appeared recently on this page.

For example, the Mayor is calling for tighter screening of visitors to the islands for criminal backgrounds (see December My Voice), improving police investigative capacity (October) and recruitment and training of islanders to form part of the local police force (August).

More significantly, the Mayor has picked up the tool we highlighted in our November issue: that the Bay Islands have the legal authority under existing legislation to take considerably greater control over their own internal security, including having their own police force. It’s an idea whose time has come.

We wish the Mayor luck. But he can’t do it alone. Who wants to help?

Great-granddaughter of cereal heiress found stabbed to death on Honduran island

By World News

Saturday Dec 28, 2013 2:45 PM

By Daniella Silva, NBC News

The great-granddaughter of the heiress to the General Foods cereal fortune was found stabbed to death in her luxury spa on the Central-American island of Roatan, police in Honduras said.

Roatan Police Chief Alex Edgardo Madrid told reporters Friday that Nedenia Post Dye, 46, of Santa Monica, Calif., was found dead on Dec. 22, at her residence in the resort town with multiple stab wounds to the back.

Dye was the great-granddaughter of businesswoman Marjorie Merriweather Post, who inherited the Post Cereal Company empire in the 1910s at age 27. The company would later become the General Foods Corporation, one of the world's largest food companies.

Dye had lived in Honduras for more than 15 years, police said, and was the owner of the luxury Spa Baan Suerte in Sandy Bay, Roatan.

Madrid said police arrested a local musician, Lenin Roberto Arana, and charged him with murder.

Arana, who goes by the stage name "Canario" ("The Canary") was apprehended while trying to flee in Dye’s vehicle, Madrid said.

He added that Arana said the two were romantically involved.

Arana told local reporters he was innocent and said Dye was "like my mother."

“She is like a mother to me,” he said, before bursting into tears.

Dye was helping the musician to get off drugs, according to the Associated Press.

"She was a good woman who worked with young people at risk, drug addicts and alcoholics," Madrid told the news agency.

At a talk last year at her Alma Mater George Washington University, Dye discussed why she had left the United States for Honduras.

"My friend and I had an idea to start a business," she said, according to the report by the university’s alumni publication. "I wanted to go to Asia but she said 'No, Central America is closer. If [the business] fails, we can swim home.'"

Dye also said she had launched an effort to help island children who were talented at soccer financing a project through which the teens are taken in by a team, educated, and trained.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

QMI Agency

First posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 09:13 AM EDT | Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 07:54 PM EDT

A British Columbia man was shot and killed in an apparent robbery while on holiday in Honduras.

Tim Vallee, 34, was a conservation officer with the Pacific office of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Honduran news site says Vallee was with a friend and two local women at a bar in the city of Coxen Hole on the island of Roatan Tuesday night. According to the report, the four left after midnight and walked on a path away from the main road, where they were robbed at gunpoint by two men in a pickup truck.

One of the gunmen fired an apparent warning shot that hit Vallee in the head, according to the report. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The robbers got away with just a cellphone.

On his Facebook page, Vallee, who also went by the name Themy Alexandre Vallee-Apostolakis, updated his status on Oct. 8 with his travel details.

"Gone to Roatan Island (Honduras) for 10 days !!!" he wrote.

On Tuesday, Vallee said he was watching the World Cup qualifier soccer match between Canada and Honduras.

"I'm in Honduras watching my country getting nail solid by Honduras...I guess we should stick to hockey," he wrote.

Police have identified two suspects native to the area: Eon Stewart Carter, 27, who they believe drove the truck, has been arrested; and a warrant has been issued for Roger Natividad Ruiz Avila, 22, who police allege was the shooter.

"We would like to convey our sincerest condolences to Tim's family," Fisheries and Oceans Canada said in a statement released Friday morning. "Our thoughts are with them in what we know must be a very difficult time."

Canada's foreign affairs department said officials are providing consular assistance to the family and are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.

Vallee was in Toronto on Oct. 8 for his flight to Honduras after making his way to Ontario from Montreal.

On Thursday, Vallee's mother, Chantale Vallee, posted a note about his death on his Facebook page.

"I regret to announce the death of my son Themy, which happened on the night of Oct. 16-17, the victim of an armed attack in Honduras," she wrote in French. "We are all still in shock. I will keep you posted."

Vallee's friends were devastated by the news.

"RIP Tim I am so sad and shocked to hear about this my condolences go out to all your friends and family," Kevin Rolland wrote on Vallee's Facebook page. "The hockey team will miss you here in Abby and I am sorry we didn't get to meet in Toronto this week like we were suppose to was great getting to know you this past 2 years you will be missed my friend."

Vallee was from Montreal but lived in Abbotsford, B.C., according to his Facebook page, where he played on a tight-knit hockey team.

"I know I share the feelings of not only our Hockey Team, but also anyone who as ever had the pleasure of meeting you when I say that you were always the bright spot in the room," Alex Peterson wrote. "All who met you respected you and those who knew you loved you. You will always be in our hearts and in our minds my dear friend. We will never forget you for being the spark plug that energized us all."

Roatan 2012