The Leonora axe murders
- he lured his family into the house, and slaughtered them one by one…
By Michael Jordan
This is part horror story, part ghost story, and now that I have your attention, let me tell you what happened at Lot 118 Sharp Street, Leonora, West Coast Demerara on Thursday, May 29, 1980.
They say that it was raining that day, but several workmen were repairing the roadway, when 13-year-old Isardi Haripaul returned from school.
She rapped on the door and her father, 32-year-old Devakaparsaud Haripaul, opened it.
Things were not going well in the Haripaul household. Mr. Haripaul had been unemployed for several weeks and there were frequent arguments between the man and his wife, Rajdai.
But everything had appeared to be normal that day. At around 14:00 hrs, Mr. Haripaul had visited a shop in the neighbourhood, where he bought a ‘half’ bottle of rum and a pack of cigarettes.
The couple had six children; Ganesh, 16, Isardi, 13, Ramdar, 12, Naresh, 10, Chandradai, six, and three-year-old Savatri.
Isardi was about to enter the house but then her father informed her, in a rough voice, “Your mother, brothers and sisters packed and moved out.”
The teen was about to enter the house, but her father’s forceful tone of voice made her pause. She peered into the house and saw something that made her very uneasy.
There was a polythene rope dangling from a beam in the sitting room.
Isardi would later recount that her father then tried to grab her. She managed to elude him and run all the way to an aunt, who lived nearby.
Isardi’s story made the aunt uneasy and she decided to contact the police.
A party of policemen then arrived at the Haripaul’s residence. After calling repeatedly and getting no response, the policemen forced their way into the house.
There, they found Haripaul hanging from a polythene rope in the hallway.
Someone had also soaked the house with kerosene.
They searched the house further, and it was then that they began to find the bodies.
In the last bedroom in the house, covered with clothing, lay the mutilated corpses of Mrs. Radjai Haripaul and three of her children. They found a fourth mangled body in another bedroom. A fifth child, the eldest, with similar mutilations, was found in a chicken pen under the house.
Mr. Haripaul had apparently used an axe to slaughter all, except one, of his family members before taking his own life.
Police would later learn that Haripaul had made repeated threats to kill everyone in his household.
From all indications, Haripaul killed his wife and infant daughter first. He then killed the other children, one by one, as they returned home from school.
But like I said before, this is also a ghost story.
Residents claim that one day, a Guyana Electrical Corporation employee, unaware of the tragedy, visited the premises to read the meter.
He left the yard grumbling, and some villagers sought to find out what had annoyed him.
The meter reader explained that he had called and rapped and no one had answered.
But just as he was about to leave, he looked into the house and saw a man, wrapped in a towel, emerge from one of the bedrooms.
But the man never came to the door.
The villagers then explained the history of Lot 118 Sharp Street, and explained to the meter reader that the house had remained empty since then.
A post-girl reportedly had an even more scary experience. She reportedly went up the stairs to deliver mail, peeped in the house, and saw a man, his wife and children going about their business inside.
She promptly fainted when villagers told her that the property was empty.
The property was eventually torn down and another rebuilt.
If you know of any unusual cases please contact us at Kaieteur News. We can be reached on telephone numbers 22-58465, 22-58491, and 22-58458. You need not disclose your identity.
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