Memorial Wall

Click on photos to read the stories, or select a page below.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
~George Santayana

September 9th:
Willow Long
died on September 9th, 2013

7yo Willow from Illinois, USA, lived with her mom, 3yo brother, grandma and grandpa, and a 22yo uncle. One day her grandparents were away at work, mom was at a bar, and the uncle was babysitting Willow and her brother. Two days later her body was found with a slashed throat, five stabs to the heart, and defensive wounds on her hands. The uncle said that Willow impaled herself on a stick so he killed her to put her out of her misery.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

Coral Ellen Burrows
died on September 9th, 2003

Coral was a 6yo girl from New Zealand whose stepdad used meth. He's been smoking it for five days straight, not sleeping and barely eating, when on September 9th he fed Coral Ellen and her 8yo brother breakfast, got them ready for school, and drove them there. It was raining, and while the man and the boy ran from the car to the school, Coral refused to and got cheeky. That's when he "lost the plot", according to him. He returned to the car and beat her unconscious, right there in the school parking lot; broke her jaw, and she bled a lot. He then drove around looking for a place to hide her body, and when he discovered she was still alive he broke her skull. "I didn't want her to suffer," he told police.

Coral's family released a public statement saying "Our plea to all New Zealander is to treasure your children and help keep safe."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016

September 10th:
World Suicide Prevention Day
September 10th, 1960

As of 2011, an estimated one million people per year die by suicide or "a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day." Suicide is the "most common cause of death for people aged 15-24." Brian Mishara, IASP president, noted that, "more people kill themselves than die in all wars, terrorist acts and interpersonal violence combined." The number of people who die by suicide is expected to reach 1.5 million per year by 2020.


Posted by Anonymous on September 10th, 2015

September 11th:
Jimmy Ryce
died on September 11th, 1995

According to his parents, 9yo Jimmy from Florida, USA, "had an IQ of over 130. Loved to read. Hated stories with sad endings. Cried when he saw Les Miserable. Wanted be a major league baseball player when he grew up or if he couldn’t do that he wanted to find a cure for a disease". One day Jimmy got off his school bus and was walking home, four houses down on the same side of the street. The man pulled a truck in front of Jimmy, blocking his way, pointed a gun at him, grabbed him by the shirt, and pulled him into the truck. He then took Jimmy to his trailer and raped and tortured him for four hours. Jimmy heard helicopters and ran to the door, hoping to escape, when the man shot him in the back. He then decapitated and dismembered Jimmy's body and hid it in cement in three plastic planters near his trailer.

The man was sentenced to death and executed. Jimmy's parents created the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction to raise awareness about the plight of missing children, victims’ rights and violence.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

Amanda Ross
died on September 11th, 2009

29yo Amanda from Kentucky, USA, was a warm and vivacious woman, according to her friends; she liked animals, soccer, Ernest Hemingway, and keeping up with her highschool friends. "She was cheerful and peppy and lots of fun, a very integral part of that class," her school headmaster said. After Amanda graduated from Boston university with a degree in business administration and finance, she went to work for her father's company. State Rep. Bob Damron, who works for that firm, said Amanda "had a good mathematical mind and a good business mind." She was also elected to the board of the local Humane Society, and was excited to start her term in December.

Amanda was dating a former Kentucky state legislator who championed laws protecting the victims domestic violence. Unfortunately, he was violent towards Amanda, to the point that she received an order of protection against him in February of 2009. He continued stalking her for months, and finally on September 11th he shot her in a parking lot as she was leaving work.

Amanda's mother advocates for a legislation called Amanda's law, that would require perpetrators of domestic violence to wear GPS tracking devices while there's an order of protection against them, that would notify the police and the victim if they are somewhere they shouldn't be. She said, "It will definitely save lives if you know that person. You have a fighting chance if you know that person is in your area - you can at least do something to protect yourself. Amanda, she would have never walked out the door that morning. She would have known that he was out there because she also could have worn a bracelet that would have warned her, rather than a phone call. She would have been warned that he was out there in her area."


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

Shafilea Ahmed
died on September 11th, 2003

Shafi was a 17yo Pakistani girl from UK, who was murdered by her parents for refusing an arranged marriage. She lived in Yorkshire, went to school, wanted to be a lawyer, and wrote poetry.

Shortly before her disappearance Shafi and her parents had traveled to Pakistan where she rejected an arranged marriage partner and had swallowed bleach, badly scarring her throat. Her parents felt that she brought shame on their family, murdered her, dismembered the body, and dumped it in a river.

Here's a quote from Shafi's poem "I'm trapped" that she wrote before she was killed:

Desire to live is burning
My stomach is turning
But all they think about is honour
I was like a normal teenage kid
Didn't ask 2 much
I jus wanted to fit in
But my culture was different




Posted by Manya on October 16th, 2012

September 14th:
Jessica Arrendale
died on September 14th, 2014

Jessica (33yo, Georgia, USA) was dating Antoine Davis, who used to be abusive, especially when drunk. They had a daughter together, 6 months old Cobie (on the photo). On Saturday, September 13th, Jessica and Antoine went out, have been drinking, and later on at home Antoine became violent. Jessica tried to fight him off with a baseball bat, but he was a former US Marine and overpowered her. He beat her with the bat (while she had Cobie in her arms) and chased her upstairs, where she locked herself in the bathroom, still with the baby. He got a rifle, broke the door, shot Jessica in the head, and then went to the bedroom and shot himself as well. As Jessica was falling down, she turned around somehow and dropped the baby into the toilet bowl, covering it with her body as she fell, thus saving Cobie's life.


Posted by Manya on November 11th, 2015

September 17th:
Thomas Cressman
died on September 17th, 2000

39yo Thomas Cressman from UK was murdered by his girlfriend. They dated for two years, and she was staying in his flat because of her financial hardships. In September of 2000 he took her on a holiday to Italy and his family's villa on the French Riviera; she hoped he would propose to her, and he didn't, and told her he had no intention of marrying her, when she confronted him. The argument continued when they returned back home, and Mr Cressman called police saying that "somebody is going to get hurt", but police never came to his apartment. That night while he was sleeping, his girlfriend smashed him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him with a knife.


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

September 18th:
Kelsey
died on September 18th, 2004

I miss you everyday, We suffered everything together, so it isn't fair you were the one who had to die..I guess life isn't fair but just remember I love you and miss with every breath and heartbeat.


Posted by Hania on May 28th, 2008

Jamey Rodemeyer
died on September 18th, 2011

14yo Jamey from New York, USA, was bullied for being bisexual. He was a fan of Lady Gaga and did a lot of activism against homofobia on his YouTube channel, including a video for the "It Gets Better project, a website dedicated to preventing teen suicide. Jamey committed suicide by hanging. His death made a large impact on the society; Lady Gaga dedicated a song to him and met with President Barack Obama to discuss school bullying prevention. New York state launched its Cyberbully Census. Multiple celebrities came out as gay, to help eradicate the stigma.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

Hiawayi Robinson
died on September 18th, 2014

8yo Hiawayi from Alabama, USA, attended a third grade and "lived her life to the fullest, unafraid and full of joy," according to family and friends. Five days before her 9th birthday, she went to visit her dad to pick up $150 that he wanted to give her as a birthday gift. She never returned home; her dead body was found behind an abandoned building in the neighborhood, and coroners report stated that she died during rape. Her dad was charged with sodomy and murder, and is pending trial while serving a different sentence in federal prison.

"The pain is still the same, nothing can change the pain I feel for my loss," Hiawayi's mom said. "But, to see all these people here, it helps with my comfort, to see people come together, and love and support one another... Love your family, stay close, time is short, that's what I pretty much got from this situation - life can really be short, (so) love your people while you can."


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

September 21st:
Asunta Fong Yang Basterra Porto
died on September 21st, 2013

12yo Asunta was adopted from China as a baby by a well off couple from Spain, who raised her to be a prodigy: she studied English, French, Chinese, and German (aside from native Spanish and Galician), took private classes in ballet, violin, and piano, and skipped an academic year. However, many things went wrong in one year when Asunta turned 12: both of mom's parents passed away within months of each other, mom had an affair which resulted in divorce, and had a nervous breakdown. The parents needed space and sent Asunta to spend the summer with her nanny and godmother. However, that didn't help, and they planned to murder her. Mom drugged Asunta and strangled her, and then they left the body at the side of the road. Both were convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

Keith Bryan
died on September 21st, 2011

52yo Mr Bryan from Oklahoma, USA, was a Chief of Fire Department where he worked for more than 30 years, owned his own construction business, and was active in church. He had two sons, two grandsons, and a wife who seems to have struggled with sex addiction. She kept updating her friends on her numerous affairs, then told one of her lovers that she's about to receive a large inheritance and will be free to be with him. Soon after Mr Bryan was shot in the back of his head in his home. Several friends and family members testified she showed them a photo of the man's penis and bragged about the tryst while she rode with them to the hospital to see her husband after he was shot. She was sentenced to life without parole.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

Allison Newman
died on September 21st, 2006

Mom of 2yo Allison from Michigan, USA, struggled with crack cocaine addiction, asked a friend to care for her temporarily, and when CPS found out about it, Allison was taken to foster care. Her foster parents couldn't have children and were hoping to adopt Allison, but the custody was placed on hold till Allison's biomom completes her rehab treatment. On September 21st, Allison died of fractured skull, brain swelling, and bleeding. Her foster mother told four different stories as to how it happened, the last story being that she played "whirlybird" with the baby and accidentally dropped her off a second floor balcony. After that, however, she didn't seek medical help for Allison. The foster mother was convicted of murder.


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

September 22nd:
Tyler Clementi
died on September 22nd, 2010

18yo Tyler from New Jersey, USA, was a freshman at Rutgers University, a violinist, one of only two incoming freshman who made the graduate school orchestra. Tyler was gay, and his roommate had a problem with it. Just three weeks into the semester, the roommate secretly recorded a video of Tyler kissing a man and invited his friends to watch it. Tyler reported the incident to the university and requested a change of roommate, but after a few days he saw his roommate's Twitter feed, realized that he had become a topic of ridicule in the university, and jumped off the George Washington bridge.

Tyler's suicide received nationwide attention and prompted numerous changes at Rutgers University, the state of New Jersey, and American Colleges overall. Tyler's parents established the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which focuses on promoting acceptance of LGBT teens and others marginalized by society, providing education against all forms of bullying including cyber bullying over the internet and promoting research and development into the causes and prevention of teenage suicide.


Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016

September 23rd:
John Pehota
died on September 23rd, 2015

77yo Mr Pehota was shot by his wife of 40 years. She was cooking pork chops and drinking wine, they began arguing (she doesn't remember what it was about), she broke a plate, and then got her "possum gun" that she used to scare off possums on her property, and shot her husband four times: his heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. She then called 911, saying "I think I shot my husband. I think I shot him three times... he pushes me, he mentally pushes me." Mrs Pehota said he has never hurt her physically.

Their family friend said, "I know a lot of Jack’s friends and family, we’ve all talked about it and nobody can understand how it really happened. But I know they were having problems, he was really getting up there in age. When I was talking with one of my best friends, we were saying we could picture Jack saying, ‘go ahead, shoot me,’ and if Anne had it in her mind to do something, she would do it. They were nitpicking at each other for years, and I guess Anne couldn’t take it anymore." Mrs Pehota's defense attorney explained that "she has a lot of stressors that have nothing to do with Mr. Pehota. She is stressing about her house, about her air-conditioning unit, and that she was being cheated by different service people... and she has some health concerns about Mr. Pehota."


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

September 24th:
Zahra Baker
died on September 24th, 2010

10yo Zahra from Australia was killed by her stepmom. Zahra's biological mom gave the sole custody to Zahra's dad because she suffered from postpartum depression and couldn't cope with the baby. Zahra survived lung and bone cancer, though lost some of her hearing and had to have one leg amputated. When Zahra was nine, her dad met an American woman online, whom he soon married, and the whole family moved to North Carolina.There were multiple reports of child abuse from neighbors and school teachers, but the family kept moving from county to county, and switched Zahra to homeschooling, so the case fell through the cracks.

It's unknown how Zahra died. Her stepmom was discussing "doing a murder with chainsaws" online two days prior, neither she nor Zahra's dad reported her missing till over a week later, and did a whole scheme trying to mislead the police into thinking she was kidnapped. Zahra's body parts and her prosthetic leg were scattered across two counties. Stepmom eventually pleaded guilty to murder. The police found no credible evidence against her dad.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

September 25th:
Alexis Morris
died on September 25th, 2009

6yo Alexis from Oklahoma, USA, loved to read, dress up, dance, and be rocked. She and her younger brother were staying with their dad and stepmom, and stepmom's kids. Stepmom used to abuse Alexis and her brother, but never in front of their father, and threatened to hurt the kids if they told him. Still, DHS received 17 child abuse complaints about Alexis and her brother, that came from school teachers, counselors, and a pediatrician. Still the kids remained in the house somehow.

On Friday, September 25th, 2009, 12yo stepsister of Alexis walked in on her mom holding Alexis upside down by her ankles and slamming her head against the ground, moments before she stopped breathing.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

September 27th:
Uta von Schwedler
died on September 27th, 2011

Uta von Schwedler, 49yo mother of four and an HIV researcher at the University of Utah, USA, was "a renowned scientist, loving mother, beloved friend, nature enthusiast, environmentalist, biker, hiker, swimmer, camper, sister, daughter, girlfriend, and so much more," according to her family and friends. Initially Uta's death was ruled a suicide, but after more investigation and a lengthy trial, her ex husband, a pediatrician, was convicted of murder. They were having a custody battle over their four children.

Uta often took the kids hiking at Salt Lake City mountains, here's her son's words about it: "September 25th, 2011, was one of the last days of my mom's life. We were up there camping. We loved to get out in the outdoors. My mom was always pushing when we were young, taking us out on hikes. It was a beautiful day, I think the leaves may have been changing, just gorgeous. We have a picture with all of us, you know, the whole group all together. I definitely feel that that is a special place. You know, that's one of the last places I was with her. It's beautiful. And, so, I do feel that there's some sort of, like, special connection up there on the peak."


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

September 28th:
Kelly Yeomans
died on September 28th, 1997

13yo Kelly was an unpopular kid who wore glasses, was overweight, sang in Salvation Army choir, and liked to help out seniors. She was bullied till she committed suicide. At first it was name-calling in school, then they started beating her and broke her glasses, and then a group of 15 or so teenagers came to her house at night, yelling at her and her mom, "Get back in there you bastards. We’re going to get you," when they looked out of the windows, and trowing stones inside. Kelly's dad called the police, but they only arrived two hours later, when the teens were gone. They came back the next night though, and the night after next, yelling insults, throwing stones into the windows, and on one occasion throwing in cake ingredients: eggs, flour, and slabs of butter. Kelly said she couldn't go on, reassured her mom, dad, and older sister that it wasn't their fault, and took a lethal dose of mom's painkillers.

If you click on Kelly's name above, you can read what her 16yo sister wrote about what happened. She says, "when our family was being tormented, no one cared much. (...) Everyone cares now and wants to help. Pity it’s too late."


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

September 29th:
Alexis Church
died on September 29th, 2015

6yo Alexis from Missouri, USA, used to have occasional girls night outs with her grandma, Mrs Church, where they'd check in a hotel for a night, spending quality time together. Alexis had some emotional issues and Mrs Church was under a lot of stress as well. One of her sons died of a drug overdose five years ago. Her 81yo mom, who had Alzheimer's and lived in a nursing home, was about to move back home, with Mrs Church as caretaker. Alexis was also in Mrs Church's custody. When Mrs Church left to pick up Alexis from school, her mom would slip out of the house and wander the neighborhood. Mrs Church sought help for depression, but the treatment was inconsistent. "I feel bad for Colleen. She's been handed more than a person can handle," Alexi's other grandma said.

Alexis was killed in a murder-suicide during one of the girls night outs with her grandma. They checked into a hotel and grandma shot Alexis in the head and then shot herself. Lt. David Wilson of the local police department said, "The mental health issues are obviously the cause for this, but did she just feel she’s the only caretaker for the child and if she’s going to take her own life, who’s going to take care of the child?"


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016

September 30th:
Evan Hayden Watkin
died on September 30th, 2011

4yo Evan from Florida, USA, lived with his mom who sometimes asked her boyfriend to babysit her son. The boyfriend felt she didn't discipline Evan enough; that made him frustrated since she didn't let him discipline the boy either, so he used to beat him up when they were alone in the house. One day Evan got sick, he had fever and was vomiting. They took him to daycare and gave him some meds for the fever, but it didn't go down, so the next morning Evan's mom called an ambulance for him. Evan died in a hospital an hour later; he had a torn mesentery (a thing that holds your internal organs together), result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen.


Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016


The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This page was last updated on December 8th, 2016
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