Murder #27, Solomon Sarfo, Brixton

MurderProject_027Murder #27, Solomon Sarfo, Brixton

Solomon Sarfo, 34, was stabbed to death in Brixton Hill, south London on Sunday, 27 February, 2011. He was found injured in Tilson Gardens at the junction with Forster Road at around 11.35pm. Paramedics attended but he was pronounced dead at the scene an hour later. A postmortem gave the cause of death as stab wounds including a fatal injury to the heart.On August 1, 2011 Jamie Rickerby was convicted of murder. Rickerby had tried to rob Sarfo of a large amount of cash. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years before parole.

Brixton Hill/Streatham Hill is at the southern edges of what we call Brixton. I boarded the bus from Brixton tube south and got off just near Moorish Road.  I walked down Moorish Road past the flat where Lorna Smith was murdered. The flat’s windows where still boarded up. I made my way through the maze of the southeast part of Clapham Park estate and soon found the spot where Solomon had died. A few flowers were placed on the railings and blue bags of rubbish from a nearby construction site were all that marked the scene. While I was photographing I met a couple of detectives canvassing the area looking for witnesses or any information that would help their investigations. They chatted with me for a short time while seemingly perplexed about what I was doing and why. They told me vaguely of their suspicions about what had happened to Solomon. They seemed confident about solving the case.  I kept hoping someone besides cops would talk to me but for the couple of hours I was there no one came up to ask me what I was doing. I kept having to dodge construction trucks coming and going from the nearby building site. After a couple of hours I decided that the scene was not gonna change. The weather was grey and cold and I doubted I would get better light. I knew no one was going to come up and mourn Solomon while I was there. Solomon was from Ghana and had only been in London 5 years. Most of the people closest to him were very far away including his children and wife. London had devoured him before he had a chance to do something with his life. Maybe he had strayed into crime and drugs hoping for a quick route out of poverty. Maybe he was under a lot of pressure to provide for his family back in Africa, the lot of many immigrant men alone in London. Solomon’s Facebook page is full of the bravado common in young men but his first post in 2009 states “Can somebody tell where mr truth is. It seem this world we living in right now is full of lies”

An Interactive Map of the Murder Sites I have written about

The Landscape of Murder Photos

The Guardian Weekend Magazine piece on my project and the Guardian Website Gallery

The Caption information comes from the MurderMap Website and the MPS Press Bureau

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