Liberia: Princess Cooper’s Autopsy Report Sparks Unanswered Questions


WHEN PRINCESS COOPER’S family issued a statement two weeks ago questioning the Liberia National Police’s initial ‘No Foul Play’ report, they probably preempted what the autopsy report by the Liberian government would suggest.

THE FAMILY seemingly hoped their announcement would quiet disturbing rumors and conspiracy theories that have been circulating around Princess’s  sudden March 24 death.

AND ON MONDAY, March 18, the Liberian government’s autopsy report said, “Princess Cooper died of Tuberculosis (TB),  resulting in excessive bleeding.”

THE PATHOLOGISTS stated that “Princess Cooper scientifically died of natural cause, and however, recommended contact tracing be done to curb the disease.”

THAT TUBERCULOSIS is to blame for the 25-year-old’s death seems to have lost its edge, and has been replaced by other questions that have come to light since the release of her autopsy findings Monday.

RUMORS and “conspiracy theories” tend to thrive on unanswered questions and gaps in information. The speculations around Princess Cooper’s death have been getting dark and not surprisingly include the specter of foul play.

JUST AS QUICKLY as those ideas are mentioned, Liberians immediately rejected the autopsy report Monday, insisting that such report  is disrespectful to Princess Cooper’s memory and to her grieving family.

POPULAR Talk-Show Henry Costa on Monday posted on his Facebook page Monday: “Chay, Liberia. Wow! No wonder the people don’t trust their own government. So, Princess Cooper died of natural causes. What a joke! Jesus Christ!”

PATRICK HONNAH, a critic of President George Weah also posted on his Facebook page, saying: “Like the four auditors, like Mabutu’s death, like the 3 missing boys, like little Blessing raped to death, like a young lady in her 30s gang raped to death, sadly another story has come to an end and just like that!! How I wish I could put all these people in a room and simply ask them to explain!”

IT’S NOT LIKELY the speculations surrounding Princess Cooper’s mysterious death will fade anytime soon unless the Liberian government can address some of those unanswered questions. 

“It may be hard for people to accept that a seemingly 25-year-old girl could just die as a result of Tuberculosis,” said Emmanuel Tamatai, a youth leader in Bong County, central Liberia.

PRINCESS COOPER’S death has probably aroused people’s need to feel safe. They might not want to imagine that they, too, could fatally injure themselves by doing something as ordinary as getting ready for bed at night. Strangely, it might be more comforting for some to believe in the more sinister idea — that some evil force or person was responsible for the the 25-year-old’s death, not some unfortunate accident.

CONTRARY TO THE expectations of Liberians after the current administration came into office, a general feeling of insecurity and helplessness is on the increase in Liberia.

FROM ARMED ROBBERIES to ritual killings,  Liberians are worried that they have been given the short end of the stick. 

IN ALL OF THIS, the security forces appear to be helpless as well. The Police, especially charged with internal security virtually lie prostrate in the face of security challenges. 

INDEED, Liberians no longer have the inner confidence that the country can actually protect lives and property and provide a climate where prosperity could spring from.

ADDED TO THIS is the tension caused by the rising cost of living, inflation, failing businesses, the abysmal rate of exchange of Liberian dollars to the United States dollars, unemployment, and a feeling of despondency are challenges we also face. 

PEOPLE ARE DISENCHANTED with the current government because of its failure to address the basic daily problems, which confront them. Uncertainty about the fate of the economy and how to face the future is also a major concern.

ENSURING GENERAL security is the main duty of government to the people. Any government, which fails to guarantee the safety of life and property is not worth the salt.