William DeJesus’ youngest son called him the “Monster.”
At a Polk County foster home, the boy shrieked from nightmares and insisted the Monster was hiding under his bed.
He had good reason to fear: DeJesus had been accused of beating, stabbing and raping the boy’s mother, who, in turn once told authorities the couple had repeatedly molested the boy and his older brother.
But the Monster didn’t remain under the bed.
Two weeks ago, the 41-year-old Broward man drove his family to a Deerfield Beach trailer home, killed the occupant, and held police at bay for seven hours while he stabbed each member of his family before killing himself. DeJesus’ oldest son, 9-year-old Jeshiah, was pronounced dead at the scene; born disabled, he had never uttered a word in his short life. His brother, 7, was hospitalized with a knife blade stuck in his head.
He remained impaled for a day before a surgeon could remove it. Both he and his mother, Deanna Beauchamp, 37, are now recovering.
In the weeks since Jeshiah’s death, Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives have tried to figure out both why DeJesus chose to “execute” the man in the quiet Broward neighborhood and why he tried to wipe out his own family.
But there is also this question: How could state child-protection administrators’ actions toward the family have ended so tragically?
The inquiry centers on a petition the Department of Children & Families filed — and later withdrew — seeking to permanently sever the rights of DeJesus and Beauchamp to their young sons.
A foster mother had warned darkly that she was “afraid for the children if they are returned.”
But returned they were.
It’s hard to understand or wrap your head around,” said Janet Evans, the boys’ grandmother. “We are free of this evil man now,” she added.
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