Authorities pursue leads in murder of general

The front pages, and many interior pages, of every newspaper are filled with details concerning the murder of retired Army General Juan Rene Beauchamps Javier, who was shot to death in his farm house near the city of Nagua on the North Coast. The assailant fired a single mortal shot to Beauchamps head, and then raped the general’s unnamed companion, afterwards forcing her to drive him to the road beyond the farm’s gates, where an accomplice mounted on a motorcycle was waiting. The crime took place Monday night around 11:00 p.m., a scant half hour after the couple departed the house of another retired general, Newton Cintrón, where they had spent the evening. Beauchamps returned to his farmhouse as it was being ransacked by his murderer. The surviving victim of the assault described the assassin as "a black man, with curly hair, about six feet tall, between 38 and 40 years old." Police were not prepared to offer information regarding any clues or evidence found at the scene, nor would they speculate as to the motivation for the crime. Newspapers, however, narrowed the motives to "revenge" or "a crime of passion," (that is, an overheated love triangle.) That Beauchamps had enemies is indisputable. He served as Minister of Interior and Police, as well Armed Forces Minister during the 1970’s, which is remembered in the DR as a time of political repression. In 1973, serving under President Joaquin Balaguer, Beauchamps led the operation that confronted and defeated a left-leaning insurrection led by the popular Francisco Camaaño Deño. The fact that along with jewels, cash, and a revolver, Beauchamps killer also stole the rifle that had belonged to Camaaño ­ retained by Beauchamps since 1973 ­ has suggested to some that a motive of revenge might underlay the murder. The crime dominated today’s newspapers, all of which carried the story on the first pages. They also devoted several pages each, and many photographs, to the details of the crime, the comments of police and prosecutors, the life of the slain general, and his funeral services, which were held in Santo Domingo yesterday.