Man beheads five-year-old sister

A man fatally stabbed his 17-year-old sister, decapitated his five-year-old sister in front of a police officer and then turned toward his nine-year-old sister with a knife in his hand before officers shot him dead in what their chief described as "a killing field".

There was no clear motive for the events that unfolded on Saturday, the day after the five-year-old’s birthday, in Boston, USA. But there was no doubt about the carnage wrought by 23-year-old Kerby Revelus against his sisters in the two-family home they shared with their parents and grandmother.

Five-year-old Bianca was killed as a cake for her birthday, which investigators believe was Friday, sat on the kitchen table. Nine-year-old Sarafina dialed 911 and watched police shoot her brother as her elder sister, 17-year-old Samantha, lay dead on the floor.

Sarafina was hospitalised Sunday with defensive wounds to her hands and stab wounds in her abdomen and one of her legs, police said.

"In policing, we see the raw human emotion every day, but to think that a human being could afflict such an atrocious, violent act on his own family is unbelievable," Milton police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. said. "When I walked up to the first officer (on the scene), I could see the whole story right in his face. This just told me that this was something very bad."

Saturday’s attack came about 24 hours after Revelus had gotten into a fistfight with a man living next door, Wells said.

"Blows were exchanged," he said. "I don’t know the cause of it, but we’re confident that did happen. He had been agitated in the hours that followed that, going into the day and last night."

Investigators believe Revelus targeted Samantha, a senior at Milton High School, and fatally stabbed her with a household knife while their grandmother, who neighbors say lives on the first floor, was doing laundry in the basement. The children’s parents were away; their mother, identified by friends as Regine Revelus, is a nurse at a Boston hospital, Wells said.

Sarafina, a student at the Tucker Elementary School, just behind the house, called 911 around 5 p.m. An officer on patrol in the neighborhood arrived within a minute, Wells said, and could hear an altercation inside as he reached the second floor. The 911 operator tried to persuade Sarafina to open the door, but when she didn’t the officer broke through.

"As the officer entered the door, (Revelus) decapitated (Bianca) in front of him," Wells said. "He actually walked into a killing field. He walked into such carnage, as far as the atrocity of it, I’ve never seen it."

Within moments, four officers were inside and two of them shot Revelus as he tried to get to Sarafina, Wells said. Revelus fell, still clutching the knife.

Details about the number of shots and who killed Revelus were pending the outcome of an autopsy on Sunday.

Revelus had recently served jail time on a gun charge, Wells said, but the details would not be released until courts opened Monday. Neighbors said Revelus was in a car that was pulled over by police and from which one occupant threw a gun into a sewer.

Police had been called to the family’s house in 2004 after a domestic violence report that Revelus had punched a woman living there, Wells said.

A neighbor, Norm Walsh, said his daughter Kate Walsh, a Hollis, N.H., police officer, reported hearing two shots as she went outside to bring in groceries from the family car. Moments later, a blood-covered officer emerged carrying Sarafina, seeking towels to stanch her bleeding.

"It’s shocking to me," said Norm Walsh, whose son is the same age as Revelus. "He played a lot of pickup hoop in the driveway."

Walsh said the family members had lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years and were warm. They were of Haitian descent, as are many residents in the neighborhood, where Creole is spoken alongside English.

"The family is a solid family. Both parents worked; good kids. Completely makes no sense," Walsh said.

Samantha’s classmates referred to her by her nickname, Princess, and remarked at her grace, class and friendliness. She had been one of about 20 students who had been at the high school Saturday afternoon to rehearse for a poetry jam on Thursday. Saturday morning, Samantha also had practiced for a school fashion show.

"She had a stage presence like you couldn’t believe," classmate Kassi Stein said.

Sobbing, she added: "She had just a soft voice and everyone would lean in to hear what she was saying."

In one of the poems Samantha was to recite, "Acquaintance," she wrote of the strength of women in the face of "ignorant souls."

The poem closed, "So what lousy wind brought you here? What values you offer? She’s a woman, a queen, a goddess. Don’t treat her like any other."

A two-hour grief counseling session was held at the school Sunday afternoon and will be offered Monday to students and employees.

The officers involved in the case were placed on administrative leave and were receiving counseling from the Boston Police Department.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine