U.S. man confesses to heinous murder

Basil Givner, 56, murdered and dismembered his Nicaraguan translator and drinking buddy, Harley José Silva, 34

(posted August 4, 10:12 a.m.)- U.S. citizen Basil Givner, 57, is being held by National Police in Jinotega after confessing to the gruesome murder and dismemberment of Nicaraguan Harley José Silva, 34, according to Police Commissioner Fernando Borge.

Commissioner Borge told The Nicaragua Dispatch that the U.S. citizen, originally from Baltimore, was arrested yesterday when police arrived at his rented house in Jinotega and found him eating calmly and working on his laptop. In the other room were the dismembered limbs of his victim, a young Nicaraguan man who apparently worked as a translator and would go on drug and alcohol binges with Givner.

The murder apparently took place on July 25.

The confessed murderer, who told police he killed Silva because “I couldn’t stand him anymore,” had already removed parts of his victim’s body—including his head—in garbage bags that he put out on the curb for the garbage truck. The disposed body parts were found after the garbage was delivered to the landfill, Borge said.

Police were tipped off about Givner by neighbors who reported a foul stench coming from his apartment. Family members of Silva also reported him missing and suspected it had something to do with Givner.

Borge said the National Police acted fast to nab Givner, who apparently had no intention of fleeing. On the contrary, police say the U.S. man acted “as if nothing had happened,” even as he was confessing to his heinous crime.

Police found a saw and hatchet in Givner’s house.

Borge says authorities are currently investigating who Givner is. They say he has lived in Nicaragua for five years—four years in Jinotega and, previously, one year in Managua. Borge says police believe Givner is originally from Germany, despite having U.S. citizenship. Though he has no criminal record in Nicaragua, police say they are investigating some odd chronicles they found on his laptop, including claims that he has some sort of war record in France.

Givner apparently met his victim eight months ago on a bus from Jinotega to Managua. The nature of the two men’s relationship is not clear, other than they would both spend considerate amounts of time getting high together, according to the initial police investigation. Police say Givner speaks “very little” Spanish.

The two men apparently started to fight last month, perhaps during one of their binges. Givner told police that Silva tried to set his mattress on fire while he was sleeping, and that’s when he decided to kill him.