Keith Randulich was found guilty of the shocking murder of his little half-sister, 4-year-old Sabrina Clement, in their Mokena, Illinois home. His chilling motive was his belief that he was ‘protecting’ her from sexual abuse.
In the year 2009, Keith Randulich was a high-achieving student in his senior year at Lincoln-Way East High School, set to graduate on May 27. But instead of accepting his diploma on stage, he found himself being ushered into jail just five days earlier.
The fateful night of May 22 saw Randulich’s mother and stepfather attending a school event for his younger 14-year-old brother. This left Keith Randulich, Sabrina, and his elder 16-year-old brother alone at their home on York Drive, a place they had occupied for less than a year.
Before settling in this peaceful locality, they resided in Tinley Park. That night, after finishing up some dishes, Randulich concealed a steak knife in his pocket and coaxed Sabrina to follow him to the basement.
Sabrina obediently followed, her hair tied back and clad in her pink and blue nightwear. Once they were in the basement, Randulich slit her throat, and then dialed 911 twice. On his first call, he urged them to “come over quick” before abruptly ending the call. On his second call, he reiterated, “Get over here.”
Upon their arrival, the police found Randulich, visibly smeared with blood, at the door. He calmly admitted to the ruthless murder of his half-sister, whose body was discovered in the basement, her neck bearing grave injuries.
The police also discovered a disturbing assortment of horror films, death metal music, and a creepy rubber clown mask. The paramedics, upon their arrival, declared Sabrina dead at the scene.
Meanwhile, the elder brother, who was engrossed in his video games, was oblivious to the gruesome act that had unfolded in the basement. The sight of flashing sirens outside alerted him.
The parents also returned home while the police were present, and a neighbor recounted hearing the mother’s heart-wrenching cries. She was heard exclaiming in disbelief, “What do you mean my baby girl? Why can’t I go in the house?”
Keith Randulich Admits to Murdering His Half-Sister, Sabrina Clement
Upon the arrival of law enforcement, Randulich confessed to the ruthless killing of Clement after discovering she was a victim of sexual abuse by a relative, whose identity he never revealed. Prior to this event, he had a heated argument with his mother over his request to use his graduation funds to purchase a firearm. Keith Randulich’s intention was to eliminate the family member sexually exploiting Clement. As he could not procure a weapon, he decided the only way to save Clement from further abuse was to end her life. Following his arrest at his residence, Randulich was taken into custody at the Will County Jail with a bail set at $10 million.
Findings from Sabrina Clément’s Autopsy
Clement’s body was taken to the Will County coroner’s office for an autopsy, which was scheduled for May 23 to establish the precise cause of her death. Surprisingly, despite Randulich’s claims of sexual abuse, the medical examiner found no evidence supporting this assertion. Instead, the autopsy revealed that Clement had been brutally stabbed approximately 30 times in her neck, nearly decapitating her.
Keith Randulich Deception to Lure his Half-Sister to the Basement
Prosecutors revealed that Randulich had promised Clement a fun time in the basement while their parents were away. He tricked her into believing they would paint together. Unbeknownst to Clement, Randulich had been contemplating her murder for several hours. Once in the basement, he managed to persuade her to lie on the floor. Trusting her brother implicitly, she complied. As he positioned himself over her, he professed his love for her, drew his knife, and to his words, she offered a smile in response.
Keith Randulich confessed that during the brutal attack, Clement had pleaded with him to stop, screaming in fear and pain. But he was determined to finish what he started. He stabbed her multiple times in the neck, thinking it would end her life swiftly, but she clung onto life, conscious and aware during the entire ordeal.
In the midst of the horrific attack, Clement fought back and questioned him, “Why are you killing me?” He paused for a moment, but continued his gruesome act, stabbing her until he met with her bone. Randulich admitted that despite not intending to cause her pain, he knew she was in agony through the process.
Once the dreadful act was over, he dropped the knife next to her lifeless body and went upstairs to call the police. Upon his return, he expressed regret by giving her a final kiss and an apology, “I am sorry, I had to do it.” Will County State Attorney James Glasgow described the incident as an act of “unimaginable brutality and horror.”
It was unfathomable to everyone what could have driven the young man to commit such a monstrous act against his own sister. During questioning, police asked if he resented Clement due to their different paternity. He denied this, stating that he had always seen her as his family.
Despite his actions, Randulich expressed remorse, admitting there was no justification for his deeds and that he was not proud of what he had done. He claimed that he believed he was protecting Clement from an impending torment he thought was escalating day by day. He professed his love for her, expressing regret and stating that if he could rewind time, he would have chosen a different path. He would have found employment post-graduation, as suggested by his mother, to buy a gun, which he would have used to eliminate the relative he suspected of abusing Clement.
Keith Randulich’s Status
Keith Randulich, in May 2009, proclaimed his innocence as he was charged with first-degree murder. However, by December of the same year, he altered his plea to guilty. This change prompted the prosecutors to push for a life sentence, taking into account that the victim was under 12 years of age.
The prosecutor, Glasgow, expressed the horrifying betrayal of trust and love that Sabrina Clement, the victim and Keith Randulich’s sister, experienced in her final moments.
Before the court could pass down the sentence, Randulich was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at a Chicago mental healthcare facility. While he was deemed fit to stand trial, the psychiatrist did highlight that Randulich was dealing with a personality disorder.
On the day of his sentencing in 2011, none of his family or friends were present. However, his mother penned a letter to the judge pleading for leniency.
Currently in his thirties, Keith Randulich is serving his sentence at Pontiac Correctional Center in Pontiac. According to prison records, he is set to be released in the year 2052.