Though they may be rare, instances of children killing their siblings have always occurred throughout history. Of course it is perfectly natural for children to have rivalries with their brothers and sisters, as most of us who grew up with siblings can attest to. However, no matter how irritating we may have found them, the majority of us never would have given serious thought to murdering our siblings. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for these 15 children, who took their intense rivalry to a whole different level by committing the worst crime possible — and all before their 19th birthday.
These shocking stories may seem like something out of a fictional horror story, but are actually all real cases of children who took the ultimate revenge on their brother or sister; either in a fit of rage or, perhaps more disturbingly, a carefully executed plan. How, and to what extent, these minors should be punished remains a controversial subject, but one thing is for certain; they will carry the burden of knowing they killed the person closest to them for the rest of their lives.
15. Constance Kent
The brutal murder of three-year-old Francis “Saville” Kent in June of 1860 justifiably rocked the whole of England. The youngster, who came from a wealthy family from the Wiltshire countryside, was found in a privy on the family’s land; he had been stabbed numerous times and his throat was slashed. Though the initial investigation focused on the child’s nursemaid, and then his father, Detective Inspector Jack Whicher eventually turned his attentions to Francis’ half-sister, 16-year-old Constance.
This caused a huge stir given the girl’s well-to-do background, and the case against her soon collapsed. However, five years later Constance made a chilling confession to a clergyman — she had taken her brother in the middle of the night and killed him using one of their father’s razor blades. Though she never gave a motive for the murder, many believe it was jealousy due to her father showing more affection to the children of his second marriage. She was eventually sentenced to life in prison, though only served twenty years before changing her name and moving to Australia.
14. Erika de nardo
To most people who knew them, the Cassini-De Nardo family seemed pretty perfect. They lived in an affluent neighborhood in Novi Ligure, Italy and had two children; 16-year-old Erika and 11-year-old Gianluca. However, unbeknownst to everyone, something dark was brewing under the surface. Erika had started using drugs with her boyfriend, and had developed an intense hatred of her family. In one diary entry she wrote: “That damn child made me angry today and I beat him”…
Things came to a terrible head on the night of February 21st, 2001 when Erika’s mother, Susanna Cassini, and her brother were found murdered at the family home. They had each been stabbed over 100 times. Though she told investigators that the killings were the result of a botched robbery, Erika and her boyfriend were found guilty after being secretly recorded talking about themselves carrying it out. Erika was sentenced to 16 years in prison and her boyfriend was sentenced to 14. Erika’s father, who was out at a football match at the time of the murders, forgave his daughter for the horrific crime.
13. Elizaveta Dubrovina
Though not technically a child given that she was actually 19 at the time, the case of Elizaveta and her 17-year-old sister Stefania, is worthy of inclusion due to the shocking brutality of the crime, which is particularly chilling given that is was apparently committed by a sister. Model Stefania was found at an apartment in St Petersburg, Russia, hacked to death with her eyes gouged out and ears cut off on February 23rd 2016.
According to reports at the time of the murder, Elizaveta was envious of her younger sister, who enjoyed a glamorous lifestyle as a nude model. The pair were allegedly partying with a male friend, who had gone to get more alcohol when the shocking attack occurred. The siblings didn’t have the best start in life, after being removed from their parents in their earlier days, and it has also been reported that Elizaveta had been treated at a psychiatric hospital. The girls’ aunt said of the crime “My blood turns to ice. These poor children are not guilty in their gruesome childhood and in all their unhappy life which unfortunately ended for Stefania.”
12. Cristian Fernandez
On March 14th 2011, 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez beat his 2-year-old half brother to death while being left to watch him alone. Though the details of exactly what occurred that day remain unclear, it is thought that after their mother left their Florida home Cristian began being abusive to his sibling, eventually shoving him hard into a bookcase. He was initially charged with first-degree murder, though this was changed to manslaughter in 2013 after a plea deal with prosecutors, meaning he will stay in juvenile until he’s 19.
Although it may be easy to see Cristian as something of a monster for doing something so horrific, details about his traumatic upbringing possibly hold clues as to how he came to commit the crime. He was put into foster care at the age of two (along with his 14-year-old mother) after being found naked and dirty wandering the streets alone while in the care of his drug-addicted grandmother. He was also sexually assaulted by a cousin and badly beaten by his stepfather, who later committed suicide. With a clearer picture of his early life, it perhaps is not quite so shocking that Cristian ended up lashing out at his little brother.
11. Girl A
Though the majority of teenage girls argue with their sisters, one moment of blind anger caused a tragedy for the next family. Back in 2007, a 14-year-old girl (who couldn’t be named for legal reasons) pleaded guilty to manslaughter after stabbing her 16-year-old sister during a squabble at their home in West Yorkshire, UK. The older sister shouted that her sibling’s boyfriend “wouldn’t amount to much”, before the younger girl screamed “you’re going to get it” and plunged a carving knife into her back.
According to the girls’ mother, who witnessed the whole thing, the younger sister screamed “I’m sorry, I love you” after she came to her senses and realized what she’d done. Though the attacked girl was able to run into another room after, it was too late; the knife had punctured her lung and caused severe internal bleeding. She was taken to hospital but died a few hours later.
10. William Gorzynski
On October 26th, 2009, William Gorzynski plunged a knife into his 14-year-old brother Matthew’s chest in a moment of rage. The reason? The pair had gotten into a heated argument over computer speakers. William, who was watching TV at the time, complained that his brother’s music from the computer was too loud, and after yelling at each other the dispute became physical. William then went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife, stabbing Matthew once in the chest.
William then called 911 in a panic and admitted what he had done to a police dispatcher, adding the attack “was an accident”. He sobbed down the phone and pleaded “Please hurry”. He was sentenced as a juvenile in the case and was sentenced to 12 months in a young offender program followed by a period of supervised release. However, the teen’s biggest punishment of all will undoubtedly be living with the knowledge that he took his own brother’s life — and for such a trivial reason.
9. Keith Randulich
Most big brothers would never dream of hurting their little sisters, let alone murdering them in such a brutal manner, but sadly this wasn’t the case for 18-year-old Keith Randulich. On May 22, 2009, after arguing with his mother when she refused to buy him a gun, he took his 4-year-old sister Sabrina, down to the family’s basement and stabbed her in the neck until he “felt bone”. Keith later told police that the girl had pleaded with him during the attack “Stop — why are you killing me?”.
The teen told police that he had wanted the gun in order to murder a relative who he claimed was molesting his sister, and when his mother refused to get him one he decided to kill Sabrina instead. The coroner in the case said that there was no evidence the little girl had been sexually abused. Keith was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2011. His mother had sent a letter to the judge begging him to have mercy on her son.
8. Demetrius Key
13-year-old Demetrius Key was arrested for first-degree murder in October of 2007, after beating his younger brother to death. Their mother had left the older boy in charge of his siblings while she visited a cousin, despite the fact that he had been violent towards his younger brother before. Demetrius told police he had become angry with 8-year-old Leavers after he had eaten a dessert that he wasn’t supposed to, and was worried that his mother would blame it on him.
Though he first said he had hit the younger boy with a metal shelf bracket, then changed the story to a broom handle, he eventually admitted to investigators that he had punched him, choked him and then banged his head on the floor, before going to find his mother to tell her that the sibling had “passed out”. The boys’ mother, Tangela Key, was also arrested on an aggravated child neglect charge.
7. Jason Nawara
14-year-old Jason Nawara was described as a polite, mature and responsible boy, so it came as a huge shock to the local community when he murdered his 10-year-old step-sister Tammi Dale Peck, on July 5th 1993. According to a friend of the teen, he had spoken of killing Tammi before that summer day when he shot her in the back of the head while their parents were out.
The fact that she was found naked next to two jars of petroleum jelly and a latex glove also pointed to sexual abuse, and according to the doctor who examined her, Tammi had had some kind of sexual activity before the day that she was killed. Despite his reputation as a model son, Jason was definitely troubled; adopted at age two he had long struggled with abandonment issues and had run away twice and was also accused of several burglaries and thefts.
6. Patrick Boykin Jr.
Patrick Boykin Jr. was just 11 years old when he killed his 13-year-old sister Constance, while they were getting ready for school back in 1999. The usually well-behaved young boy shot her in the back twice with their mother’s gun while she and their dad were at work, then dialed 911. Unlike many of the other cases, Patrick appeared to come from a normal loving home with no evidence of any kind of abuse.
However, the boy did seem unperturbed by what he had done; one investigator from the scene later remembered how he was given a Coke at the scene while waiting for his hands to be tested for gunpowder, and he became excited when a message in the bottle’s cap showed he had won a free drink. As for a motive for the killing, Patrick gave two explanations. He told his parents that Constance had asked him to shoot her, before simply telling him “I love you”, but to the police he said that he had actually been instructed by the devil to kill her.
5. Boy A
One of the most shockingly brutal cases of siblicide occurred on January 19th, 2000, when a 12-year-old Bristol boy, (unnamed for legal reasons) murdered his baby brother. The boy wandered into a police station and told them what he had done, then produced the kitchen knife he’d used. Asked why he had done it, he simply said “I want to be with my mum”. The police then went to the home, where they found the six-month-old baby with 17 stab wounds to the face, neck and back and with his hand severed. The boys’ mother had been asleep downstairs at the time and wasn’t aware of the attack until the police arrived.
The boy pleaded guilty to manslaughter, saying during a police interview that after arguing with his mother earlier he had gone to get a kitchen knife to hurt his brother, but he didn’t know why. One thing that was made clear was the boy’s very difficult upbringing; Lady Helena Kennedy QC, defending said of the killing: “It was the act of a boy who is still a child and was brought up in circumstances of serious deprivation and, at the time of the killing, was mentally ill.”
4. Helen Patricia Moore
In March of 1980, 18-year-old Helen Patricia Moore’s 7-year-old brother Peter, was found dead at the bottom of the stairs of the family’s Sydney home. Her mother called the police, and as a result a shocking story of a very disturbed young woman was finally revealed. Not only did Helen confess to murdering her little brother, she also admitted to killing two other children and attempting to kill two more.
It began in May 1979, when she was taking care of her 16 month old cousin. She suffocated the baby, but the death was attributed to cot death. Then in January the following year she tried but failed to suffocate a 12 month old she was babysitting; after realising the boy was still alive she called an ambulance and thankfully he made a full recovery. Just one month later she tried again, smothering a two-year-old with a pillow. The child survived, but was left blind and severely disabled. She then went on to murder a two-year-old girl weeks later.
3. Garrett Dye
9-year-old Amy Dye had already had a traumatic upbringing before she was killed by her brother in February 2011. Her mother had abusive boyfriends and she was allegedly sexually abused by her father, before moving to live with her great-aunt in 2006 at the age of six.
Sadly, her story ended as sadly as it began; the police found her body under a thicket near the farm where the family lived; she had been beaten to death with a hydraulic jack handle. It was Amy’s 18-year-old adoptive brother Garrett who plead guilty to her murder; he told police he had killed her because she wouldn’t stop talking. What makes this story even more tragic is that her death could have been avoided; records from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services revealed that Amy had repeatedly told adults at school that she was being abused at home, and though social workers made note of her claims, for some reason they were never followed up.
2. Arva Betts
Arva Betts was just 11 years old when she killed her brother and left her sister brain damaged on March 13th, 1989. Arva told police she had strangled 2-year-old Andrew Caesar to death after he tried to drink bug spray, and she then choked and hit 15-month-old Tiffany Caesar for breaking some figurines. Arva also explained to investigators that she was often left alone to supervise her young siblings while her mother worked as a nurse’s aide, and felt neglected and unloved.
At 12 years old she was the youngest person to have ever been indicted for murder in Broward County, though she eventually plead guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter, alongside aggravated child abuse. She was sentenced to 12 years probation and forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation as well as counselling. Mental health experts involved in the trial testified that she had been abused at home, and had subsequently been let down by both mental health officials and school staff.
1. Mario Toliver Jr.
Mario Toliver Jr. went on the run for six days after killing his sister on January 23rd, 2014, at their family home in Oakland, California. The 14-year-old fatally shot 17-year-old Justice Toliver, then fled the scene before eventually turning himself into police on the 29th. There were reports that the pair had got into a fight about laundry, after Justice bleached his clothes, however his defense attorney claimed that this was not the case during his trial, in which he plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
He had had no prior convictions before the killing, and had recently become a father for the first time. His sister was also mother to a 2-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to up to 10 years in a juvenile correctional facility, though his time incarcerated will be dependent on how well he does with therapy. His family stuck by him throughout the trial and have said he was remorseful for what he had done.