Memorial Wall

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This Memorial Wall is our tributes to those who have died as a result of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, religious abuse, or other types of abuse. Some of these people we knew personally, others we only heard of. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it happens to real people, and costs lives. It's important to honor those we lost to abuse by telling their stories, so that the secret that killed them does not remain secret, and so that other lives might be saved, as a result of increased awareness.
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August 8th:
Donita Elliott
died on August 8th, 2017

Donita Elliott was shot and killed by her husband Patrick Elliott. Authorities say he recorded audio of the shooting on a cellphone. The recording includes the couple talking. the shot striking Donita Elliott and her pleas for help. “But he refuses and indicates he will help her after he watches her die,” according to the affidavit. Police were called to the couple’s Lafayette home on Aug. 7 during a domestic fight. Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard confirmed that officers stayed at the residence for an hour, at which point Donita Elliott left the house and officers believed the situation had stabilized. Donita Elliott returned to the home about five hours later. Patrick Elliott called authorities early Aug. 8 to report that he’d shot her in self-defense. Patrick Elliott said in a letter to his church Sunday that Donita Elliott suffered from bipolar disorder and that she tried to attack him with a knife. Court documents show Patrick Elliott told authorities he planted the knife in the room.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 9th:
Monica Butler Johnson
died on August 9th, 2015

Monica Johnson, claimed in a June 24 request for the protective order that her husband had been following her in the days prior, including at a birthday party she had taken her other son, who is 8, where she spotted David Johnson hiding behind a fence. He had also been seen at Wal-Mart in Prairieville and had even been seen peeping into her house and hiding in the attic. Monica claimed her husband had become obsessive, even secretly recording her at times. “My sons and I are not comfortable in our home,” she wrote in the request for the protective order. David Johnson had been arrested Dec. 31 on a count of domestic abuse strangulation, a felony, after the couple got into a fight at their house over her cellphone.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 10th:
Moko Rangitoheriri
died on August 10th, 2015

Moko Sayviah Rangitoheriri died on August 10 last year from injuries he received during prolonged abuse and torture. His case shocked, saddened and angered New Zealanders and led to marches in his name against child abuse. He had bite marks on his face, his tummy was protruding unnaturally and he was covered from head to toe in bruises and abrasions.A post-mortem examination was carried out and established that the Tokoroa toddler died as a result of "multiple blunt force traumas". There was evidence the toddler had been smothered. Tania Shailer, 26, and David William Haerewa, 43, plead guilty to manslaughter and ill treating a child. Moko had been left in their care while his mother was dealing with the serous illness of another of her children

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 11th:
Leah Cohen
died on August 11th, 2017

The family of a mother and daughter who were stabbed to death at their home have described the shock and devastation caused by the tragedy. The bodies of Leah Cohen, 66, and Hannah Cohen, 33, were discovered by police in Golders Green, north-west London, last Friday night. Joshua Cohen — Leah’s son and Hannah’s brother — faces two charges of murder and will go on trial at the Old Bailey in February. In a statement, family members said they were “shocked and devastated” and were “struggling to come to terms with the tragedy”. But they had been comforted by the messages of support from friends and members of the community, the statement said.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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August 12th:
Viola Herms Drath
died on August 12th, 2011

Mrs Drath was born in 1920 in Germany, and moved to USA after the WWII. She had a strong influence on German-American relations for over thirty years, and was active in various ways: as a journalist, a playwright, an editor, a foreign policy adviser, author of university textbooks, and a member of diplomatic missions to various countries.

When Mrs Drath was 70yo, she married a much younger intern from Germany, who soon became physically abusive. They were together for 21 year, until her murdered her. Mrs Drath wrote a memoir titled "A Thoroughly Muddled Marriage: Report of an Inmate" which hasn't been published.

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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August 13th:
David Edwards
died on August 13th, 2015

Mr Edwards, 51yo lawyer from UK, had the misfortune of falling in love with an abusive woman. Mr Edwards told his friends that she hit "rather hard" and could "knock him out with one punch," but he covered up his injuries and didn't complain to the police. She stabbed him to death during a domestic dispute, less than two months after their wedding. Here's what Mr Edwards' work acquaintance wrote about him: "Over the years we have come to know David well. He was a very engaging person with a wry grin. He was always proud of his reputation and integrity as an officer of the court. His tragic death has affected every member of the Chorley bench, and I am sure the wider legal fraternity, very deeply. David was held in extremely high regard by every member of the Chorley bench."

The Mrs Edwards was sentenced to life in prison. Here's what the prosecutor said after the trial: "This domestic abuse was one of violence by a woman against a man. It had all the dreadful hallmarks of this type of offending. Sharon Edwards behaved in a domineering and possessive way with her husband. She seemed to resent any of his past or even present friends, family and colleagues. She behaved as though she expected him to devote his entire attention and time to her and made an overbearing nuisance of herself at his work. She had been violent to Mr Edwards early on in the relationship but it escalated as time went on. There is no evidence that he ever retaliated physically to her assaults. He submitted to his wife's demands to cover up her behaviour and continued to say that he loved her. Her final claims that he had walked into the knife which killed him have clearly been rejected by the jury. Domestic abuse can come in all sorts of guises and this case is another in the sad catalogue of violent repressive relationships that seem to rob the victim of their power or ability to stop the violence."

Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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August 14th:
Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay
died on August 14th, 2011

Toddler Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay were found dead on Saturday alongside her father Mounrad Samaan who shot her before turning the gun on himself. Samaan sparked a week-long manhunt when ran away with Madeline after receiving notification that the girl's mother, Marcia Ann Fay, 46, had been awarded full custody of their daughter, ending a joint custody arrangement.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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Dorothy Hoogstraten
died on August 14th, 1980

Dorothy Hoogstraten, from Vancouver, was a shy, naive 17-year-old girl working at a Dairy Queen when she met a local 26-year-old club promoter and pimp. He pursued her and eventually persuaded her to date him. After a time, he convinced her to do professional nude photographs, when he then sent to Playboy magazine. Her photos were interesting to the publishers, and she and her then boyfriend moved to Los Angeles, where she soon married her boyfriend against the advice of those around her. Dorothy, who then went by the stage name of Dorothy Stratten, became successful not only in modeling, but acting as well, leading to jealousy from her husband. She and her husband began to grow apart, so the two started living separately. Dorothy filed for a divorce after he tried to control more and more of her choices, professionally and personally. One morning, her husband said she needed to come to his house to sort out some divorce paperwork. When she arrived, he attacked and raped her and then killed 20 year old Dorothy with a rifle. She left behind many who loved her, including her mother and younger sister.

Posted by Tasha1701D on October 22nd, 2019
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August 15th:
Alycia Mesiti
died on August 15th, 2006

14yo Alycia from California, USA, loved Shakira, horses, and her pet chihuahua. She had a younger brother and mom and dad in the middle of a divorce/custody battle. Dad was violent and drank too much. Mom was depressed, hit Alycia's younger brother, and couldn't support the children. The judge felt there were "no good options" in this case, and Alycia and her brother went to live with their dad, who at least had the financial means to support them, after he completed an anger management class. The kids had a court appointed lawyer, who wrote in her report, "I am deeply concerned about both minors, especially Alycia," because the children were often hungry, subject to abuse, and unable to contact their mom despite her court-ordered visitation and contact rights.

14yo Alycia disappeared in August of 2006. Her dad said she had run away and that he was receiving phone calls from her, so the police wasn't searching for her, despite her mom's alarm. They said, "She'll come home, she'll come home." Two and a half years later they finally sent cadaver dogs to the house where Alycia disappeared from, and discovered her remains. The girl was molested and murdered. Her father is held on bail, still pending trial as of 2016, ten years after Alycia's death. "I couldn't even pick up her personal effects," Alycia's mother said. "There was nothing. There's just nothing left of her."

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez
died on August 15th, 1917

Born on August 15th 1917, Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained in April 1942. He was a well loved preacher who responded with kindness to those in need. He serviced the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years – a well loved cleric. In February 1977 he was the surprising choice to be the new Archbishop of San Salvador. As the socio/political conflict in El Salvador intensified and peaceful protest was met with massacres and death squad killings Archbishop Romero used his pulpit to speak for the voiceless poor. He spoke truthfully of what was happening; denouncing the killings, the torture and the disappearances of community leaders; he demanded justice and set up legal aid projects and pastoral programmes to support the victims of violence. With the emergence of far left guerrilla groups and the risk of civil war Archbishop Romero, rejecting the violence perpetrated by both the left and the right. He was denounced in the media as well as being targeted by the security forces and publicly opposed by several of his episcopal colleagues. As the threats worsened Archbishop Romero accepted the likelihood that he would be killed. At 6.26pm on March 24th 1980, with a single marksman's bullet, he fell at the foot of a huge crucifix. He was declared a martyr by Pope Francis on 3 February 2015, paving the way for his beatification which took place on 23 May 2015.

Posted by Jane on July 15th, 2018
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August 16th:
Mason Scott
died on August 16th, 2008

Mason was a 6yo mildly autistic boy from Alabama, USA, who died in a house fire the day. His mom exited the house unharmed and fully dressed, removed jewelry and some expensive paintings from the house beforehand, and has taken out several life insurance policies on Mason, one only the day before the fire. Mom was convicted of capital murder and is currently on death row, but that doesn't bring Mason back...

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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August 17th:
Joyce Taylor
died on August 17th, 2015

An autopsy indicated that Joyce Taylor was suffocated but her death also led to the death of her unborn child. Her body was originally found in a bedroom inside her home. Investigators say it appears the body had been hidden in the room. The body was discovered when the Joyce's mother came to visit and detected a foul odor. Allen Taylor, her husband was formally charged with capital murder. This was the second indictment for Taylor who was previously charged with tampering with a human corpse.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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Breonna Nichole Loftin
died on August 17th, 2011

Breonna was 4 years old when she died of blunt force trauma. She had bruises, burn marks, broken ribs and other signs of physical and sexual abuse on her body, according to authorities. Witnesses said the child was spanked, kicked, thrown across a room and forced to stand barefoot on water bottle caps. Both parents are facing trial for capital murder.

Posted by Manya on February 2nd, 2016
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