New inquiries in Bacon groundskeeper’s death

May 2 will make five years since Dan Tuckfield, a former lifeguard and expert swimmer, died mysteriously in the nude in a Jacuzzi in a private section of the palatial enclave of The Point House at Lyford Cay, hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon’s estate.

Now, new inquiries having into the suspicious way in which Bahamian officials in the Ingraham administration signed Tuckfield’s controversial death certificate and his body reportedly being cremated within 48 hours of being discovered and hustled out of The Bahamas, could spell new trouble for the embattled hedge fund manager.

Tuckfield, a native of South Florida was groundskeeper for Bacon. From all indications Tuckfield was an outgoing party type person who went overboard “feeling good” through his abuse of cocaine and other barbiturates.

In 2009, Tuckfield is reported to have whispered too loudly while at a popular bar in Adelaide that something nasty was about to go down at the neighboring property of Peter Nygard, the Canadian fashion designer.

Within days, Nygard’s house was ablaze in fire, which is reported to have destroyed more than 70 percent of the Mayan-themed 100,000 square foot mansion.

Court documents filed last month by Nygard in a defamation counter suit against Bacon for $50 million allege that the lone roadway for fire engines to get to the property was blocked for more than 20 minutes by Bacon’s workers while the house burnt.

Did Tuckfield know too much? Was he a loose end with a loose mouth?

In the New York counterclaim, Mr. Nygård said that as he had refused to sell his Nygard Cay property to Bacon a decade ago when he had offered to buy it, Bacon’s representative threatened that Bacon would get the property “one way or another”.

Examiners are now asking for answers to some simple questions, but this reportedly has not been made easy because certain files with pertinent evidence and documents pertaining to Tuckfield’s death investigation have gone missing from the vaults of the authorities.

Simply put, the question reportedly being investigated relates to whether Tuckfield’s death was actually as a result of the reported heart attack, or was he murdered.

Investigators are now carefully examining the motive behind Bacon’s representatives pressing to have Tuckfield’s body released so soon after it was discovered when they knew or ought to have known that the body was expected to be autopsied.

It is reported that there is no certification on the face of the official medical certificate of death by Tuckfield’s last attending physician to confirm that he suffered from coronary disease such that it would have led to him dying of a heart attack. Such certification is reportedly necessary when there was an intention to cremate.

The records show that Kemps Funeral Home in Palmdale, New Providence handled Tuckfield’s body. Funeral service for his family and friends was held at Kalis-McIntee Funeral and Crematorium in Wilton Manor, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In his obituary, the Sun Sentinel newspaper reminded that Tuckfield was a star swimmer.

“In November 1991, while flying from Chub Cay in The Bahamas, the plane went down along with the pilot and three other passengers. During the frightening ordeal, two of them died, but the rest survived due to Dan’s lifeguard training. After 40 hours in the chilly, shark-infested waters, he emerged ashore to direct the coast guard to the other two survivors”, the newspaper said.

Tuckfield was born on April 3, 1956 in Miami, Florida. His three children, Dan Jr., Courtney and Nico, survive him. He is also survived by his mother Margaret Tuckfield, his father Jack Tuckfield; his wife Gloria and Dan’s siblings, Jack Jr. (Ilene), Mark (Lucinda), Mike and Patti Fargo (Dave). Dan Sr. was a native Floridian and graduated from Coral Park high school in 1974.

Said the Sun Sentinel, “Being employed in Nassau, Tuckfield was able to use his God-given talents to dive, captain a boat and manage properties. People were drawn to him because of his love of life and his being larger than life. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body and he brought joy to so many people. He will be missed but remembered with each rolling wave.”
Now five years after his death, his family and friends may finally learn how Tuckfield met his death on Bacon’s secretive property.

Keod Smith - Keod Smith

Keod Smith is a Barrister in The Bahamas practicing at Commercial Law Advocates, Trinity Place Nassau.

He served as a Member of Parliament for 2002 – 2007 and as Ambassador for the Environment and Chairman of the BEST Commission from 2002 to mid 2006.

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