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
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel