Kirsty MacColl left this earth 22 years ago—on December 18, 2000. The brilliant English singer and songwriter—among her many gems was the song "They Don't Know," which was later recorded by Tracey Ullman to astounding success—was killed at the age of 41 by a power boat, while she was scuba diving with her sons near Cozumel, Mexico. Her mother started a "Justice for Kirsty" campaign after her death. The campaign's website explains:
After Kirsty's tragic death in Cozumel, Mexico in December 2000, her mother, Jean MacColl, launched the Justice for Kirsty Campaign. Its primary purpose was to establish whether the Mexican judicial system had investigated the case sufficiently thoroughly for Kirsty's family, friends and fans to accept that justice had been done in accounting for her untimely death. It did so by rallying the outrage and anger at the accident, and raised funds to allow Jean and the committee to pay for lawyers, and to approach governments at the highest level.
The committee announced on 5 December 2009 that they were to cease campaigning, having received news that the Mexican authorities had closed their case file on Kirsty's death, and regarded this as the end of the matter. They said they had exhausted all avenues of investigation and taken statements and affidavits from many witnesses. None of these had led to further information as to who may have been implicated, apart from the boat hand Cen Yam, who had already been convicted of causing the accident.
The committee was successful in achieving most of its aims. The clumsy cover-up that followed the accident was exposed, and pressure from the campaign and the British government compelled the Mexican authorities to re-open their enquiries. In the unstable circumstances in Mexico in recent years, it is unlikely that any more could be achieved: the case has been re-examined very thoroughly.
I'm going to remember Kirsty today by listening to one of my favorite performances of hers: a wonderful version of Billy Bragg's "New England," which they perform together and which includes an extra verse that Bragg wrote for just for her. Enjoy!