While in South Park working on this piece, I heard a few people say that Teresa Butz had "sacrificed herself" in order to save her partner after a man broke into Butz's small red house, raped her and her partner, and began stabbing them both.
Butz died immediately after the attacks. Her partner lived. What Butz's act of sacrifice was remained unclear, even to the people I heard talking about it, until yesterday when King County prosecutors released details supporting their charges against Isaiah M.K. Kalebu, the man they say committed the rapes, stabbings, and murder.
Some of this has been summarized already elsewhere, but the key word is summarized. This crime involves details so gruesome they can't be printed in most mainstream publications. I'm going to reprint them here, verbatim, because I don't think there's any reason to hide from public view exactly how horrific these attacks were, and exactly what these two women did to try to stop them.
In this excerpt, T.B. stands for Teresa Butz. Her partner's initials have been redacted to protect her privacy.
[Butz's partner] reported that she was awakened at approximately 0130 hours by the presence of man standing over her and T.B. The man was naked and holding a large, butcher-type knife in his hand. He told [Teresa Butz's partner] and T.B "I won't hurt you. All I want is some pussy." He then directed [Teresa Butz's partner] and T.B. to remove their clothing.
Over the course of the next 90 minutes, the man repeatedly sexually assaulted [Teresa Butz's partner] and T.B. He forcibly compelled [Teresa Butz's partner] and T.B. to engage in multiple acts of vaginal, anal, and oral sex with him. The man also ejaculated inside both women. After he completed a second series of sexual assaults, the man announced that their ordeal was only beginning.
Throughout the time that [Teresa Butz's partner] and T.B. were being sexually assaulted, the man also physically assaulted them with a butcher knife. He repeatedly used the knife to cut the necks of both women. After a time, the physical assaults intensified. The man began cutting more aggressively on the necks of both women. [Teresa Butz's partner], in particular, began to lose a large amount of blood.
T.B. eventually was able to kick the man off the bed, and she and [Teresa Butz's partner] attempted to defend themselves. Enraged, the man punched T.B. in the face with either his fist or the butt of the knife, knocking her across the room. He then began to stab her, striking her in the chest and upper arm. T.B. was able to grab a nightstand and throw it through the bedroom window. She then dove out of the window herself. [Teresa Butz's partner] ran from the room and out the front door, where she saw that T.B. had collapsed in the street. [Teresa Butz's partner] pounded on the door of a neighbor's house across the street, screaming for help. The man apparently collected his clothes and fled out of the residence.
The rest was already known: the young girl from across the street who rushed out to help, the last words Butz spoke, the shock and grief in the small South Park community in which they lived.
But this should be known, too: how unspeakably brutal this crime was, and how two women did what they could to make it stop.
Photo by Malcolm Smith.