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2 sisters slain in Milton home

Brother is shot, killed by police; 3d sister stabbed, expected to live

By Megan Woolhouse
Globe Staff / March 29, 2009
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MILTON - When police broke down the door to the upstairs apartment on Belvoir Road yesterday afternoon, they encountered an unimaginably gruesome scene: 23-year-old Kerby Revelus slashing the throat of his sister, who had been celebrating her fifth birthday.

Revelus then turned on his 9-year-old sister Sarafina with the same kitchen knife. Their 17-year-old sister Samantha had been stabbed to death. It was then, Police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. told the Globe last night, that officers shot and killed Revelus - saving Sarafina's life.

It was Sarafina who had called police after she was told to by her older sister.

"It's very horrific," Wells said. "Beyond anything I've ever [seen] in my 25 years."

The 5-year-old, Bianca, had just been decapitated when officers rushed into the house, Wells said by phone late last night.

"His intent was clear," Wells said. "He was trying his best to kill all of them."

The sisters' mother, whom police did not name, was at work at the time of the attack. The father's whereabouts at the time was unknown. The girls' grandmother was in the basement doing laundry. Bianca's birthday cake, decorated with candles, sat on a table.

Sarafina was taken to Boston Medical Center with stab wounds but was expected to survive. Wells said she is with her parents.

The four officers who responded to the call, including the first officer who witnessed the decapitation, have received counseling.

Wells said he was proud of the officers' quick response, saying they broke down the door to the apartment with the barest information about what was happening inside.

"The fact that they decided to force their way in saved the life of this young girl," Wells said. "It's pretty heroic. They got her out pretty quick."

The violent episode took place within minutes. Police got a call for a domestic dispute on Belvoir Road just a few minutes before 5 p.m. yesterday. Investigators said last night that they were unsure what precipitated the attack.

Norfolk District Attorney William J. Keating said at a press conference last night that Revelus may have been involved in an argument with a neighbor that somehow "translated into an internal argument with his siblings" and erupted into full-blown violence.

Keating did not say how many rounds were fired or exactly when police arrived at the house. Officers tried to resuscitate Samantha Revelus, he said, but were unsuccessful.

"What we have is an awful, awful tragedy, that has struck one family extremely hard," Keating said. "It's hard to imagine the grief to the Revelus family."

A large crowd gathered last night near the two-story, gray, aluminum-sided house on Belvoir Road, a residential street off Blue Hill Avenue, as police investigated the deaths.

A couple that walked down Blue Hill Avenue toward the Belvoir Road intersection about 6:30 p.m. identified themselves to police as the parents. They were escorted toward the house, the man in tears and the woman wailing and saying: "Tell me what's going on! Tell me! Tell me!"

Her sobs echoed down the street off and on for nearly a half-hour.

Jocelyn Ashley, 18, who attended Milton High School with Samantha Revelus, stood with onlookers last night outside the crime scene. She said she and Revelus had been at a rehearsal yesterday morning for a fashion show.

"She was just talking about the prom," Ashley said. "She was happy."

Ashley described Kerby Revelus as "a loner."

She said she saw Revelus Friday and spent most of the day hanging out with him. She said he liked to play basketball in the neighborhood.

Ashley said Revelus was nice to her when she moved to the neighborhood two years ago. "He was always laughing and joking and just being Kerby."

Kernny Pierre, 16, said he met Samantha Revelus when he was in the sixth grade at Pierce Middle School.

"She was nice, always smiling, always happy," he said. "I would always go and sit next to her at lunch. It's crazy."

Milton High School principal John Drottar said the loss of Revelus, a senior at the school, was "a tragedy."

"She was a wonderful young lady, a great student, and just a sweetheart of a kid," Drottar said last night by phone.

Grief counseling will be available at the school today from 1 to 3 p.m. and all day tomorrow, he said.

Revelus was a member of the poetry club, he said, and she was planning to go to college next year.

"We'll just take one day at a time," he said.

In 2004, the district attorney said, there had been another "domestic issue," an assault complaint involving Kerby Revelus.

"It involved punching," Keating said.

More recently, Keating said, Revelus was charged with a firearms violation that resulted in his incarceration. Keating said he was released several months ago.

Violent crime is rare in this town of 26,000, which was voted one of the top 10 places to live in 2007 by Money Magazine.

Yesterday marked the second homicide case in the past six years. In July, two men were fatally shot at Brook Road and Randolph Avenue when a car pulled alongside and fired 14 shots.

Maria Cramer of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents John M. Guilfoil, Matt Collette, Caitlin Castello, and Padraig Shea contributed to this report.

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