Skip to main content

‘I Stabbed Her in the Head’: Upstate N.Y. Man Allegedly Admitted Killing His Sister with Bayonet and an ‘Awl,’ Ranted About ‘Witchcraft’ and People ‘Worshipping Rocks’


Anthony Dibella appears in a mugshot

An upstate New York man has been arrested in the murder of his sister. The allegations, most of which come by way of alleged admissions on the man’s part, are shocking and extremely violent.

Court documents obtained by Carthage, N.Y.-based CBS affiliate WWNY allege that 67-year-old Wanda Paoli was repeatedly stabbed in the head, neck and face with the blade of a bayonet and an awl–a small tool used mainly for leather working or to make notches in wood.

Anthony Dibella, 51, stands accused of one count of murder in the first degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree over the gruesome Thursday morning incident.

“I was done with her witchcraft,” the defendant allegedly told police after they arrived at the home in the small town of Lyme, N.Y. Both Dibella and Paoli previously lived there with their 89-year-old mother.

Police allege the defendant himself made the call about the murder.

“Wanda Paoli is being killed, she is a witch, killed with a knife and awl, and is currently on the porch,” Dibella allegedly told Jefferson County 911 dispatchers after attacking his sister on the day in question.

The defendant allegedly offered a religious excuse for the violence.

“I had to do what I did to her because she was getting in the way of me communicating to God,” Dibella allegedly explained. He also allegedly said: “people are worshipping rocks and dirt instead of God.”

Police also say they obtained a statement from a second brother to the defendant and the deceased, Russell Dibella, who lives in Texas.

He told police he spoke with Anthony Dibella on the phone and that his brother said: “I killed her” and “I stabbed her in the head.”

New York State Police troopers reportedly questioned the defendant for several hours, WWNY previously reported. And though those interviews were allegedly replete with confessions and justification, Dibella has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

The incident was originally reported as a likely domestic dispute.

“We have a number of things we need to do, not only outside, but inside to see whether the argument started inside, or outside,” NYSP Trooper and Public Information Officer Jack Keller told the TV station at the time. “We’re still trying to piece that together.”

Officers with the state agency were also assisted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Chaumont Fire Department, the Three Mile Bay Fire Department and the Cape Vincent Ambulance.

Police initially arrived on the scene just before 11:30 a.m. on April 28, 2022. A forensic team arrived around 3:00 p.m.

First responders attempted to save Paoli, however, her wounds were far too severe and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Troopers arrived on scene, she was already outside, laying outside the side door,” Keller said. “They immediately attempted to perform rescue efforts, unfortunately she succumbed to those injuries.”

The siblings’ mother was unhurt inside the home.

The NYSP’s investigation is said to be ongoing.

Dibella is currently being detained without bail in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

[image via New York State Police]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: