When friends went looking for Selina Joanne Knight, 36,  in her home on Nelson Place SE at about 11:30 on March 4, because she’d stopped answering her phone, they found her in the living room. A blanket draped over her face, she was lying completely still. When they removed the blanket, they could see parts of her were smeared with dried blood. Clad “in a black T-shirt and orange shorts, lying supine on a black leather-like loveseat,” Knight was gone.

The television was playing, and there was a strong odor of bleach, according to court papers. In the kitchen, there was an empty bleach bottle on its side. When cops arrived, they found a shirt in the kitchen that was doused with the caustic fluid and graffiti scrawled around Knight’s apartment that said things like “YOU GAVE ME HIV” and “WHORE” and “BITCH.”

Suspicion fell on Keith Littlepage, 48, an ex of Knight’s. Knight had recently ended their relationship, say court papers. Littlepage was arraigned on murder charges Friday. Littlepage and Knight had known each other for 20 years, and once lived together. The story court records paint Littlepage as a jilted lover whose behavior became more and more erratic, as Knight struggled to break free. Knight reached out for help, but still ended up doomed.

In the days before her murder, there were two break-ins at Knight’s place, one on March 1, and another the day she was found dead. Both came after Knight told Littlepage it was over, say documents. There were no signs of forced entry in either case. During the first burglary, a flat-screen TV was taken, along with some photographs of Knight. During the second burglary, nothing was taken, but the ashes of Knight’s father were flushed down a toilet.

Knight reported the second burglary at about 11 p.m., about 30 minutes before she was found dead. That day, Littlepage had been making “numerous harassing and threatening phone calls,” say court papers. A witness says that during those phone calls he accused Knight “of giving him HIV/AIDS, threatened to tell others she had HIV/AIDS, to include posting her picture around the neighborhood.”

In the days before and after ending her relationship with Knight, Knight told some of those closest to her she was scared of Littlepage. She let one confidante listen to a message she said Littlepage had left, say court papers. In it, Littlepage says things like, “You are going to be gone. You are going to vanish. I am going  to erase you from the earth, or words to that effect.”

Another witness, who let Littlepage stay over the night before Knight was disovered, tells of a spooky scene. Court papers say after watching Littlepage pace around during the night, during the early morning of March 4, the defendant asked if he could borrow a screwdriver. The witness lent the screwdriver to Littlepage, and Littlepage left. Littlepage didn’t return to the apartment until “before sunrise on March 4.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery