[Jamaica Gleaner] - The callous beheading of a mother of six, who was also chopped over her body, yesterday transformed the hardened community of Back Bush, Mountain View, into a mourning ground, with residents lamenting that this brand of brutishness was alien to them.
There was no stopping the tears and open condemnation after Karen Rainford, 34, was viciously attacked, allegedly by the father of four of her children, about 2:30 a.m. as the community slept.
The police say they are hunting for the father of the youngest four of Rainford's six children - ages 11, eight, five and three - known as Hopeton, who they believe can assist them in their probe.
It was Rainford's piercing screams that alerted residents. The attacker, suspected to have been lurking in the yard, after disconnecting a lit bulb, waited as he was reported to have been doing for months.
Then he made his deadly move. Residents claimed they had always thought the man was insane, as he sat in ominous silence on a mound for long periods, with a piece of rope near Rainford's home and vowed that he would eventually get at her.
Female residents told The Gleaner that he had been forced to leave the community after stabbing Rainford sometime ago and that Rainford, who was deathly afraid of him, kept her distance since the break-up.
The end came early yesterday morning without warning and much later than his 'vigils' in the community.
Dead: Karen Rainford
Dead: Karen Rainford
After inflicting multiple chop wounds to Rainford's body, he allegedly severed her head in the yard of the house in which she lived.
Residents said they observed the man taking up the head and walking to nearby idle lands called Common where he tossed it away. Police later found the head in the area.
It was a vicious double whammy for the people of the Eastern St Andrew community as, hours earlier, a man reportedly hanged himself, in the neighbouring community of Top Range, just metres away.
Women, huddled in groups, wept openly and talked among themselves, as young children tried to grasp what had taken place and men sat, seemingly dazed.
"This is the first time something like this is happening. We know of the gun thing in this area but not this," bemoaned one woman.
"Mi would not want this to happen to mi worst enemy," declared another.
Many of the women expressed fear that the attacker, whom they described as being "mad" and "demonic", would return to the community with a vengeance.
The mother of the alleged attacker, who lived nearby, collapsed when she heard the news and had to be rushed to hospital.
Three of her grandchildren (Rainford's and Hopeton's children) were taken there by frightened relatives as the police, whom residents lauded for being quick on the scene, cordoned the area.
Two of the attacker's sisters, who also live nearby, were also at the scene. So were the three children, who, hand in hand, wandered in silence, near the spot where their mother was murdered, before they were taken away.
Rainford's mother, Karlene Campbell, who arrived from her home in May Pen, Clarendon, was unable to contain herself as she was about to enter the yard. Hitting a zinc fence in anguish, Campbell's screams triggered a new bout of wailing from the women of the community.
"She was the best, and I don't know what I am going to do," she lamented, as she attempted to speak to journalists.
Rainford's siblings, who accompanied their mother to Kingston, looked on in somber silence.