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Patrick Alexander DELL





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Domestic violence
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: September 27, 2010
Date of birth: 1969
Victims profile: His estranged wife, Natasha Whyte-Dell, 36, and her four children Daniel Barnett, 10, Javon Nelson, 11, Diane Barnett, 13, and Bryan Barnett, 14
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Riviera Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day

Florida man Patrick Dell fatally shoots wife, four stepchildren before killing himself

Associated Press

September 27, 2010

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida man spared his two biological children when he fatally shot his estranged wife and four stepchildren early Monday before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Seven children were inside the home when Patrick Dell, 41, shot Natasha Whyte-Dell, 36 and her four children, who were all pronounced dead at the scene. A 15-year-old at the home was brought to the hospital.

Investigators believe Dell acted alone when he shot his family with a handgun. Neighbors said he was kicked out of a club Sunday night because he was drunk and making threats. It was unclear if the threats were directed at his family.

Police said there was a restraining order against Dell. The details of the restraining order were not immediately known.

Chief Clarence Williams said authorities would not comment on a motive, other than a pending divorce.

The 15-year-old, who was transported to St. Mary's Hospital, was responsive prior to going into surgery Monday morning, Williams said.

"All indications are that he's doing well," Williams said.

Two of the couple's biological children, believed to be ages 1 and 3, were being cared for by relatives, police said.

A police officer was checking a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. when he heard what sounded like muffled gun shots, Riviera Beach Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said. When officers approached the home, Dell went outside and shot himself, she said.

Inside the home, officers found the bodies of the woman and four children identified as 10-year-old Daniel Barnett; 11-year-old Javon Nelson; 13-year-old Diane Barnett; and 14-year-old Bryan Barnett.

Neighbor Keisha Gordon said she was with Dell at a club late Sunday night when he was asked to leave because he was drunk and causing trouble. Dell didn't go out a lot, but he did have a temper, she said.

"He was talking about chopping up somebody," 30-year-old Gordon said, standing across the street from the yellow house with the green trim now cordoned off by police tape.

They left the club and continued partying at a nearby park, where Dell was also asked to leave, she said.

"He always felt like people was against him," she said.

Dora Pouncey said her children were playing with the victims earlier Sunday. When her son came home, he said Dell and the two oldest boys had been arguing on the front lawn, but she didn't know why.

"I don't care what it was. He didn't have to come and take it out on that family," Pouncey said.

LaShara Fulwood said she hadn't seen Dell's car in the neighborhood in more than a month. But when he did come by "he would park his car in the alley," instead of parking near the house where the family had lived for about a year.

Neighbors said the house was a popular hangout for kids in the area because they had a basketball hoop in the driveway and lived across the street from a park.

"The kid didn't really do nothing. They was just kids," 11-year-old David Hobley said as he waited for the school bus near the crime scene. He said the Barnett kids liked to rollerblade and play basketball.

Palm Beach County School District officials plan to have grief counselors available at each of the children's schools.

The shootings occurred in a run down neighborhood near a small brick church.

Jeanette Walker, a 56-year-old hairstylist who lives nearby, said she was awakened by gunfire, which is not an uncommon sound in the neighborhood.

"They over there shooting at each other again," she remembered thinking. "I didn't pay any attention because I didn't hear no sirens," she said.

Walker said there have been several shootings in the area since she moved there about three years ago. It wasn't until she turned on the morning news that she learned of the deaths.


Enraged man kills estranged wife, 4 stepchildren in Florida

By Kelli Kennedy and Matt Sedensky, Associated Press writers

September 27, 2010

The sounds of children playing basketball outside the modest, pale yellow house in Riviera Beach, Fla., are muted, and no one is across the street at the park. Even in a neighborhood where gunfire is somewhat familiar, though, police say the unimaginable happened Monday: A man who had once told his estranged wife she would end up in the morgue killed the woman and four of his stepchildren.

Patrick Dell, 41, spared his biological 1- and 3-year-old children, who were in the house during his middle-of-the-night rampage. It appeared his targets were calculated: Police said Dell and his wife, Natasha Whyte-Dell, 36, had been going through a divorce.

A fifth stepchild, 15-year-old Ryan Barnett, also was shot in the house but was expected to survive.

The horror that unfolded Monday about 2 a.m. was the culmination of what appears to be a lengthy dispute. Whyte-Dell had told police in December that her husband had been terrorizing her for months, and she told friends he had been following her to work and nursing school despite a restraining order. She said he had even installed cameras in the house to watch her, and neighbors said they saw him come to the house -- but he would park several blocks away.

It came to a head Dec. 20, when Whyte-Dell said her husband came after her with a knife, slashed her tires and scratched an "X'' into the concrete driveway.

He made a particularly chilling threat: "You will be going to the morgue," he told her, according to a police report. "Your family is going to cry today."

After that incident -- five days before Christmas -- Whyte-Dell told police she feared for her life. Dell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.

The Department of Children and Families investigated after the knife attack, but closed the case two months later and never removed the children, spokeswoman Elisa Cramer said.

Still, time after time, friends said Whyte-Dell took her husband back, hoping things would get better.

"She was supposed to stay away from him," Lydia Smith, a friend of the victims, said Monday as she stood in front of the crime scene crying. "He was extremely jealous, obsessive and possessive."

Dell seemed paranoid, a neighbor said, always thinking someone was against him. On Sunday, while he was at a club, he was asked to leave after making a drunken threat.

"He was talking about chopping up somebody," said neighbor Keisha Gordon, 30.

Gordon said she left the club with Dell and went to a nearby park, the last place the man was seen before the shootings.

A police officer was checking a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. when he heard what sounded like muffled gun shots, Riviera Beach Police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said. When officers approached the home, Dell went outside and shot himself, she said.

Inside the home, officers found the bodies of the woman and her four children: 10-year-old Daniel Barnett; 11-year-old Javon Nelson; 13-year-old Diane Barnett; and 14-year-old Bryan Barnett.

The small home where the killings happened was a popular hangout for neighborhood kids, who loved using the front-yard basketball hoop and closeness to a trim cemetery across the street that often was used as a park. Just a few doors down sits an immaculate red-brick church.

On Monday, a silver chain-link fence had been tangled with yellow crime-scene tape. A black mailbox was on a post outside with a single balloon in the shape of a red heart tied to it.

Neighbors said gunshots had become an all-too-common sound in the area. Jeanette Walker, a 56-year-old hairstylist who lives nearby, said she thought nothing of the gunfire because she heard no sirens.

"They over there shooting at each other again," she remembered thinking.


Patrick Alexander Bell

This is Patrick Dell, 41 of Riviera Beach, FL and sadly on September 27th, 2010 as a result of his rage, there has been yet again another fatal case of domestic violence along with neighbors that, “didn’t want to get involved.”

In this case there was no question as to the evil that lurked in this home. It harbored a well documented and often publically witnessed history of violent domestic violence, willful and blatant acts of intimidation, control and threats of bodily harm up to and including death against his wife, Natasha Whyte-Dell, 36.

Still, despite the history of abuse and these often public threats against both his wife and children, Patrick Dell was able to follow through with his years of abuse and threats. in spite of the commotion waking several neighbors, and startling some still out in their back yards, not one soul called 911.

Patrick Dell had threatened his wife in front of neighbors several months back that he was going to send Natasha Whyte-Dell his wife, to the morgue and make her family cry. On the night in question, the only reason police arrived on the scene within the 2 o’clock hour was because they were in the area investigating a suspicious vehicle, not because anyone in the comfort of their beds, or drunk on their back porches cared enough to try and help save a life.

When they passed by a seemingly unassuming front yard, no different from the outside to other homes in the neighborhood, they discovered Patrick Dell in his front yard, partially nude, partially covered in blood and with a loaded pistol in his mouth.

As the police exited their vehicle, and tried talking to Patrick Dell, thinking that he was simply someone attempting to commit an act of suicide, he pulled the trigger. The police tried to help him, but an EMT likened his head to a piece of Swiss cheese, and  that there was nothing that could be done.

He did the world a favor.

When police looked around trying to ascertain just what had happened they made the grim discovery of what truly  had transpired as they entered the residence.

Natasha Whyte-Dell 36, Daniel Barnett 10, Javon Nelson 11, Diane Barnett 13 and Bryan Barnett 14 had all been shot to death by Patrick Dell. Dell had also wounded Ryan Barnett, 15, in the neck. Ryan was tough and unafraid – he had defended his mother many times, and he would survive this. Spared were Dell’s two biological children with Whyte-Dell, 3-year-old Latasha Precious Dell and 1-year-old Patrick Alexander Dell Jr., who were spending the night at the home of Natasha’s sister

So what, you may ask, caused Patrick Dell to fly into such a rage, that he needed to take it out on his wife and children? What causes any psychotic to do so. In Patrick’s case earlier that evening, he had been kicked out of a bar for being overly drunk and making threats against other patrons. Simple as that, and it would be his estranged wife and her children who would come to bear the brunt of his rage when the broke, inebriated Patrick, ignoring a personal protective order, forced his way into the home.

The history here goes back nearly the entire length of the marriage between Patrick Dell and his wife Natasha, the worst period of abuse being the last couple of years. What sort of behavior would neighbors and family not see a need to continually call police or offer safe harbor for Natasha, Daniel, Javon, Diane, Bryan and Ryan?

Patrick Dell had quite the routine. Over the last three years alone, according to police reports and eye witness accounts, he had attacked Natasha more the 6 times with a knife. Natasha had been treated multiple times in the local emergency room for several lacerations from both public and private beatings. She had been raped, and she had been verbally sliced and diced over and over again. He brought her to the brink of suicide, with her children her only saving grace.

In total, police had visited the Dell household 34 times over the past three years and never made an arrest. How that is possible boggles the mind and defies the imagination.

Chilling verbal abuse on the night of December 20th, 2009 finally raised the alarm to family members.

On that day, Patrick Dell went after his wife Natasha Whyte-Dell with a knife. When one of the children interceded he slashed the tires on her car and spent over an hour carving an X at the end of their driveway in the concrete.

It was on this day he promised her he would send her to the morgue and make her family cry.

Family, finally alarmed,  called DCFS since Natasha was unwilling to leave, but DCFS upon investigation and I quote, “did not find a significant danger” to the children or that any detriment was being done to their well being.  They closed the file on February 2nd, 2010 with the notation “no further investigation needed.” Seven months later the children they were sent to protect, are dead.

Natasha Whyte-Dell’s home, when her husband was not around, was a place the neighborhood children would come to play basketball, listen to music or find solace from trouble homes. It was a house of love many of them said.

On Monday September 27th, the music, the games of “hoops” that happened in their yard, were no more. Nothing but crime scene tape along the chain link fence, and a single heart shaped balloon tied to the mailbox remained.

Though all the signs were clearly there. Though anyone that knew that house knew there was horrific violence and abuse continuing day in and day out, nobody did anything.  A neighbor (who asked not to be identified) directly across from the Dell home,  had this to say when I asked her why she did not call 911 when the repeated gun shots startled her from her bed:

I thought nothing of it, because I heard no sirens. What goes on in that house is none of my business anyway. It’s none of your business either callin’ people and askin’ them questions like that, ‘How dare you.'


Patrick Dell


Inside the home, officers found the bodies of the woman and four children identified as 10-year-old Daniel Barnett; 11-year-old Javon Nelson; 13-year-old Diane Barnett; and 14-year-old Bryan Barnett.


The residence at 1225 W. 30th St. in Riviera Beach, Fla., where Patrick Dell allegedly shot and killed his wife, four stepchildren and then himself.


Lydia Smith, a sister-in-law to Natasha Whyte-Dell, cries.



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