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FBI Checking If Killing Connected to Cross Burnings

July 10, 1993

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) _ FBI agents have been called in to help determine whether the shooting death of a Jamaican man was connected to a series of cross burnings, police said Friday.

The death of Patrick McGeary, 38, was the first slaying in several years in the sparsely populated U.S. Virgin Island of St. John, said Lt. Noel Martin.

McGeary was killed May 24 near the site of a cross burning two days earlier. At least three other crosses were reported burned in the area in April and May.

″At this time we can’t say what the reason for the burnings is,″ Martin told The Associated Press, adding that the FBI had joined the investigation.

FBI agents in San Juan, Puerto Rico, were unavailable for comment Friday.

Martin said there had been no reports of threats among the island’s racially mixed population of 3,000. He said police have no suspects.

Many islanders are unfamiliar with cross burnings, which are usually associated with white supremacists in the United States.

McGeary, 38, a native of Jamaica, had lived in a houseboat on the resort island for several months. He was a former chemical engineer for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, the island’s weekly newspaper, Tradewinds, quoted family members as saying.

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