Tuesday afternoon, I emailed the Jamaican police.
Dear Jamaican Police
Re murder of Bob Woolmer
I am writing to draw your attention to a piece of evidence that may or may not be significant to your inquiry. The press have not reported it and thus I am unsure as to whether your detectives know about it or not. On the evening before he died, some hours after the Ireland match, Woolmer was interviewed by the BBC's Alison Mitchell. I heard it on (I think, from memory) Radio Five Live here in the UK. He was asked to explain the performance of the Pakistan team. He said he couldn't explain the batting display and that three of the dismissals had been inexplicable - he then named the three individuals (I think they were Yousuf, Azar Mahmood and Kamran Akmal, but I only heard the interview once, that evening, so my memory is fallible). It was an extraordinary moment, because he was, in coded language but in effect, accusing some of the batsmen of having deliberately lost their wickets. That's what I believe I heard that evening. If you haven't done so already, I urge you to track it down and listen to it. I think it was recorded at the hotel and may well have been his final interview.
Good luck with your work,
Two hours later I got I nice email back:
Thanks very much for the information. Your email will be forwarded to the Investigating Officer.
That evening, Alison Mitchell was called into the BBC studio and made to talk about Woolmer's last interview on the TMS podcast [27min.ff]. She said she had thought the contents of the interview had been "absolutely innocuous". After the interview is replayed [34min.ff], Mitchell reads out the number of the police hotline for any information on Bob's murder, but she does not mention that she had been sitting on this interview for ten days, blissfully unaware that the police (and Woolmer's family) might be interested in what Woolmer had to say hours before he was killed.
[Download bbctestmatchspecialpodcast_20070327-2200_40_st.mp3 - TMS Podcast 2007/03/27: Right-click to download]
The transcript of the interview is also now online. It is not as revelatory as I had remembered it, but his disillusionment with Pakistan cricket comes though loud and clear. [The transcript doesn't do justice to the interview, which is better heard than read.]
Alison Mitchell (AM): What are your thoughts on losing to Ireland?
Bob Woolmer (BW): "We batted abysmally, really - just made mistake after mistake after mistake. It just compounded, and eventually we were 40 to 50 runs short.
"But I have to say we made some very injudicious shot selections - Mohammad Yousuf, Kamran Akmal and Azhar Mahmood are three off the top of my head who were playing shots which weren't necessary at the time.
"That's sad because two-and-a-half or three years' work has gone in to this, and to fall out like this is very disappointing." [More]