In 1968, a most incredible espionage plot or just a moth-eaten yarn of nonsense, was unraveling right under the very noses of the Bahamian government. No one knew anything, until it all happened. Was it an elaborate spy plot orchestrated by some foreign power to overthrow Haitian ruler for life, Duvalier or was it just a case of a stupid man being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
David Knox, a South African by birth, was hired in 1965 by someone in government, either in the Bahamas or Britain, as Director of Information for the Bahamas. He was arrested in Haiti in early June 1968. Knox was charged with five counts of espionage. Reports said he had backed an abortive invasion of Haiti in May 1968.
According to reports, Knox desperate to escape Haitian authorities, got plastic surgery while hiding out in Haiti, in an attempt to elude the authorities.
(The Sun Sentinel , 20 June 1968)
Who in the world was this fella, David Knox?
The Bahamas has had all kinds of strange people passing through the islands pretending to be anyone, but who they really are. “They” come in Hawaiian shirts and sandals and blend in as tourists. They are polite. Never draw attention to themselves. No one gives these strangers a second glance, and if they happen to ask for a bottle of cold beer, someone passes it to them.
But who in the world was this guy?
(The Baltimore Sun, 17 June 1968)
Sentenced to Death but pardoned by Duvalier
David Knox, along with ten other men charged with espionage against the government of Haiti were all sentenced to death. They all had their sentences commuted. The mysterious David Knox was handed over to the British High Commission of Jamaica and Haiti.
When Knox arrived back in The Bahamas, headlines read, “safe back home in Nassau.” The man had only been in the Bahamas a couple of years, could they really say Nassau was his home?
In any event, when he arrived back on September 7th 1968, he was treated like a movie star. David Knox was met at the airport and given a police escort to a private lounge for press interviews.
Curiously, the paper noted that he “had been” and not was currently British Information Officer in the Bahamas. Even more curious was his statement that he only went to Haiti for some superficial facial surgery.
Hmmmm… likely story!