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

March 1st:
Self-Injry Awareness Day
March 1st, 1999

HSCIC estimates that about 13% of young people between 11 and 16 have hurt themselves on purpose at some point. However, the number could be much higher because people usually keep their self-injury secret, due to stigmas surrounding the issue. Self-Injury Awareness Day aims to break the silence, so that those who self-injure know that they aren't alone and that people care, and those who don't - would understand the issue better and be less judgmental and more supportive as a result.


Posted by Manya on January 8th, 2016

Russell
died on March 1st, 2012

Suicide is never the answer, but it's too late to say that. I just hope that you are happier now and the pain is gone. Rest in peace. Sweet 16 forever


Posted by Laura (busymom) on April 8th, 2012

Elijah Dillard
died on March 1st, 2014

6yo Elijah from Michigan, USA, was killed by his father. The man beat Elijah on his head and punched him in the stomach for two days, till Elijah passed out. Neither the man nor the mother of the child called 911 because the man believed Elijah was faking it so that CPS would come and remove him and his siblings from the house. Instead, he took the boy to shower (post mortem examination revealed burns), and when that didn't help, the mother (who was about to get certified as a medical assistant) wrapped him in blankets and took him to the bedroom. Elijah died three days later of internal bleeding and brain hemorrhage.


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

Rowena Sharpe
died on March 1st, 2012

She was murdered by her husband, whom she had escaped from. She was living elsewhere, with her children, trying to rebuild her life. One day, her husband appeared and killed her, then himself. The children fled to their neighbour's house. Reading about this story in my local newspaper affected me very deeply, and my heart still goes out to the people of her community.


Posted by Red on August 13th, 2012

Delcelia Witika
died on March 1st, 1991

Authorities were first alerted to this case by a phone call on the night of 21 March 1991 from Tania Witika, Delcelia's mother. Witika made a call from a local video store to report in a matter-of-fact way that she had just arrived home after "a couple of hours" absence to find her two-year-old daughter dead.

When police arrived, Tania Witika sat outside in a patrol car with Detective Constable Caroline Fisher who says she's never forgotten the coolness and lack of emotion shown by the mother, who casually asked her for a cigarette.

Witika first met Eddie Smith in a South Auckland bar in June 1989. Within two weeks of meeting, Smith had already started to 'knock' Tania Witika around.

Tania kept a detailed diary, which often mentioned Smith belting her, but it also extensively mentioned an enjoyable life with him...Her diary also spoke of her own violence against her daughter. Initially she told police that she alone was responsible for beating Delcelia. Smith blamed Witika also. When Witika found out that Delcelia's injuries included massive sexual abuse, she changed her story claiming Smith was responsible for the major injuries.

The police photographs of the Delcelia's squalid bedroom and her tiny, tortured body remain to this day among the most harrowing, gut-wrenching evidence ever presented to a jury in a child abuse case in this country.

...photographs of the crime scene showed that Delcelia's body was used as a punching bag from one end of the house to the other. Her blood was splattered on walls and carpets. There was a large pool of blood on the sheet less, blanket less mattress she slept on. Vomit had dripped down the skirting board where the little child was sick during her final night alive. Burns aside, some close-up photos of Delcelia's neck showed vicious injuries caused by long fingernails. Photos of the inside of her mouth showed where teeth have been smashed out and the inside of her top lip ripped from the gum. Other photos showed scarring to her head where her hair has been violently pulled over several months.

During the trial Witika claimed she had gone partying with Smith while Delcelia was dying because Smith had threatened to 'waste her' with a steel bar if she didn't go and had also put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her on the way there. But barrister Christopher Harder, representing Smith, was given a home video of that party which crown prosecutor Mike Ruffin screened in court the morning final addresses were made to the jury.

The video showed Witika happy, smiling and enjoying herself with Smith. It would have been influential to any juror. Witika and Smith were both found guilty of manslaughter and the other counts of neglect and ill treatment.

Both were sentenced to 16-year prison terms.



Posted by Jane on March 20th, 2015

Amina Filali
died on March 1st, 2012

16-year-old Amina committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist. After submitting to the marriage, Amina confided to her mother that she was subjected to violent beatings from her husband; her mom simply asked her to be more patient. As a final resort to escape her violent marriage, Amina injested rat poison and ended her life.


Posted by Lala on August 11th, 2012

March 2nd:
Nicholaus Contreraz
died on March 2nd, 1998

Nicolaus (16yo) died of abuse and medical neglect at Arizona Boys Ranch bootcamp, where he was sent for shoplifting.

He had asthma, and was complaining of nausea, diarrhea, and chest pain. The staff believed he was faking it, so they restricted his use of inhalers and were making him do physical exercises till he fainted, punched him, shoved him against walls, and denied him the right to use the bathroom. Eventually he became unable to control his bladder and bowels, and vomited frequently. As a result, they made him sleep in the bathroom in his soiled clothes, and carry around a bucket with his waste (over which he was forced to do pushups).

Quote from Wikipedia:
On March 2, the day he died, he had collapsed repeatedly. He was told he "deserved an Academy Award", thrown to the ground, forced to do pushups, and bounced off a wall. Another boy was ordered to push him around in a wheelbarrow while Contreraz was ordered to mimic the sound of an ambulance siren. He continued to be accused by staff of faking his condition. At around 5:30 pm, he collapsed for the last time. According to witnesses later interviewed by Arizona Child Protective Services, after his final collapse and inability to move, he was ordered by staff to get up, to which he simply replied "No", which was his last spoken word. He was pronounced dead two hours later.

Nicolaus had a collapsed lung, massive lung infection from inhaling vomit, two and a half quarts of puss caused by staphylococcus (from doing pushups over raw waste), blood in his stomach, and 71 cuts and bruises. Cause of death was cardiac arrest.

The day before he died, he was heard saying "Lord, help me, I need help, I need help..."


Posted by Manya on March 17th, 2015

March 3rd:
Daniel Pelka
died on March 3rd, 2012

Daniel was a 4yo boy from UK, abused and murdered by his mom and her boyfriend. They starved the child, beat him, locked him in a room, force-fed him salt, and put his head underwater in the bath. Both the mother and the boyfriend were convicted of murder; the mother hung herself the day before his 8th birthday; the boyfriend died in prison as well.


Posted by Manya on January 3rd, 2016

March 4th:
Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean
died on March 4th, 2013

Chantelle was a 35yo mother of two from UK, strangled by her husband. He then cut himself and told the police that she attacked him and hung herself. The jury didn't find his story credible.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016

Jahlil Clements
died on March 4th, 2012

Jahlil was an 11yo boy from Virginia, USA, who died trying to protect his mom from domestic violence. She was driving on an interstate, with her boyfriend and Jahlil in the car, and was having an argument with the boyfriend. She pulled over when he started hitting her. Jahlil ran into traffic to flag down help for his mom, and was killed. \“Kids are always affected by domestic violence when it goes on in the household, but I’ve never seen anything like this before -to this magnitude,\” said Elizabeth Crawford, director of the local Domestic Violence and Counseling Center.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

March 5th:
Soren Chilson
died on March 5th, 2013

5yo Soren from South Carolina, USA, died of brain injury while in the care of her mom's boyfriend. According to him, Sorren suddenly had a seizure and started coughing up blood, so he called 911. However, aside from broken skull, she also had bruises on her back, chest, and feet; the man was charged with murder. Soren's aunt said, "I would have taken her in a heartbeat. She was my family. She was my little buddy. Some people just shine. God bless her, everyday of her life, she shined."


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

March 6th:
Dontel Jeffers
died on March 6th, 2005

4yo Dontel from Massachusetts, USA, was "a very joyful, vivacious young man, full of life, vibrant and spry," according to his family and friends. "He was very energetic and happy, cheerful, you know, and he always liked to play with other kids and be around kids." Dontel's parents were separated before he was born. The first four months of his life he stayed with his mom at a homeless shelter. Then she dropped him off by his dad. Dad took good care of Dontel, but was arrested and deported on drug and violence related charges four years later. Dontel was placed with his mom for a month, then removed from her due to drug abuse and placed with a series of foster parents. He only spent ten days in his last foster home, before dying of physical abuse inflicted by his foster mother.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017

March 8th:
Gabrielle Randel
died on March 8th, 2009

2yo Gabby from Texas, USA, was living in a Florida hotel with her mom, 3yo brother, and mom's boyfriend. At 5AM on March 8th Gabby's mom called 911 and told them Gabby wasn't breathing. The police was greeted by Gabby's 3yo brother, who had "Dumb A**" scribbled on his forehead by his mom. Gabby was unconscious and died a few hours later. She had multiple bruises, blunt trauma to her forehead, and serious trauma to her genitalia. Mom's boyfriend explained that he wrapped Gabby in a sheet and repeatedly hit her to get her to stop crying. The man was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The 3yo boy went to live with his dad.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017

March 9th:
Sally Chesebro
died on March 9th, 1978

6yo Sally from Michigan, USA, drowned in a bathtub back in 1978. The death was ruled a tragic accident at the time, but fourteen years later her sister Nancy came forward and explained what really happened. Nancy and Sally wanted to use their mom's nail polish to paint their nails. She gave them permission to do so, but told them to wait till she wakes up. The girls thought it would be OK to paint their nails even though mom was still asleep. When their parents found out about it, Sally took the blame, and was punished the way girls were usually punished in that household: by being made to lie in a bathtub full of ice cold water for long periods of time. That's how Sally died. The case was reopened, and the girl's dad was sentenced to life in prison. Nancy wrote a book about Sally's death, The Walls Of Jericho.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017

March 10th:
Louis
died on March 10th, 2008

My best fiend my honorary brother I love you and miss you. Your death caused me to leave but I wish you were still here. I love you forever.


Posted by Amanda on July 1st, 2011

Summer Phelps
died on March 10th, 2007

4yo Summer from Washington state, USA, was living with her dad, stepmom, and baby brother. She had developmental disabilities and stepmom didn't cope with it well. Summer Phelps was beaten, bitten, shocked with a dog collar, burned with cigarettes, denied food and dunked in cold water after being forced to stand in a bathtub for hours washing urine-soaked clothes. Her hair was pulled out in clumps, and her body was covered from head to toe with bruises. Emergency room doctors and nurses who treated her testified during the trial that it was the worst case of child abuse they’d seen. 4yo Summer died on March 10, 2007, submerged in the bathtub. "My house, my rules," stepmom reportedly told police during her interview. "You're not at mommy's house anymore."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017

March 11th:
Marci Garvin
died on March 11th, 2013

39yo Marci Garvin from Texas, USA, was born with multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Marci was deaf, mostly blind, and unable to talk. Her family insisted that Marci be provided opportunities to succeed. Marci attended a public school, went to restaurants, movies, library, shopping. "It’s almost like God chose these people to care for these children," one mother said after hearing Marci's mom, an advocate for the disabled, share her story.

Marci Garvin worked part time for 12 years, doing clerical work for a local newspaper. "It was of national significance," said Michael Callahan, president of Marc Gold & Associates, a consulting company that trains agencies, systems and families in working with the significantly disabled. "We know that we need to be focusing on people with the extent of Marci’s disability, but nationally it is extremely rare."

As years went on, Marci's mom's health deteriorated; she had two heart attacks, was diagnosed with the early stages of dementia and had congestive heart and kidney function failure. "That’s when the wheels fell off," Marci's dad said. Marci's older sister became the primary caregiver of Marci, their mom, and her own daughter who had Down syndrome and other medical issues. Marci hasn't seen a doctor in three years. "I would have to take my mom, my sister and my daughter all loaded up in the van. I was overwhelmed," her sister told investigators. "I was doing the best I could do," she said.

On March 9th, two days before Marci's death, her sister called 911 and said that Marci was "coming to the end stages." When paramedics arrived, they found a "hoarder house", so cluttered that they didn't have the room to examine Marci. She was covered in urine, feces, and bugs. Her diaper hasn't been changed for weeks. She had more than 20 major bedsores, and weighted 50 to 60 pounds, almost half of her normal weight. Marci died from sepsis, pneumonia, acute renal failure and severe dehydration. Marci's sister and father pleaded guilty to causing injury to the disabled and were sentenced to twenty years of prison.


Posted by Manya on March 9th, 2017

March 12th:
Harlan Haynes
died on March 12th, 2014

97yo Harlan Haynes from Washington state, USA, was in the care of his 59yo daughter. She loved him, and was receiving $1,200 per month to care for him, but struggled with various mental health issues, including hoarding. The house was full of human feces and diapers piled up on the floor. In addition to more than a dozen cats and one dog, the home contained "an infestation of insects, vermin (and) rodents." There were no functioning bathroom facilities. Mr Hanes was found "emaciated with a large amount of feces and urine soaking through" his adult diaper. Flies were seen around his mouth, and "larva (was) ... present on his beard." A forensic pathologist determined he died of malnutrition and dehydration. Coroners believe he had been dead for at least two days before he was found. The daughter said she fell in November, was injured, and since then "the care of her home and the care of her father deteriorated." No other family member saw Mr Hanes since August.

Mr Hanes' daughter was sentenced to two years in prison for his death. "I couldn’t see the forest through the trees," she said. "I should have asked for help." The judge noted that the condition of her house had been repeatedly described as "deplorable," and it might have otherwise been her choice to live in squalor. "When tasked to care for another human being, she doesn’t have that choice," he said. "What we want is for our mom to come home and get help for her mental issue and start healing from this tragedy," said her daughter.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

Abeer al-Janabi
died on March 12th, 2006

Abeer was a 14yo Iraqi girl raped and killed by five US soldiers who were serving at a traffic checkpoint near her home. Abeer spent most of the time at home because she and her parents were worried about her safety, with the war going on. The soldiers watched Abeer as she was gardening, often stepped by the house, flirted with her, and showed thumbs up to her mom. Neighbors warned Abeer's dad to watch out, but he believed nothing could happen because she's just a a little girl.

On March 12th, in broad daylight, five soldiers of the six-man unit responsible for the checkpoint came to Abeer's house, one acted as a lookout and the other four killed Abeer's mom, dad, and 6yo sister, gang-raped Abeer, killed her, and set the house on fire.


Posted by Manya on February 18th, 2016

March 13th:
Sara Barrett
died on March 13th, 2013

Sara was my little sister, my beloved sister, a beloved mother of 3 boys, a beloved niece, a beloved aunt and friend to many but most important to her just before she was taken from us was becoming a grandma to a little baby girl that was her everything, she was a most beloved grandma. Were still all in shock over losing her and apart of us will always remain numb and empty without her to brighten our day with that eluminating smile that she always had on her face every single time anyone ever was around her. She was a angel here on earth to anyone and everyone that knew her or just met her but heaven called its angel home so little sister until my arms can hug you again and ill have you back when i enter heaven, i want you to know there will never be a day im not thinking of you or missing you,and ill love you even more with each passing day.


Posted by Cynthia Alex on June 25th, 2013

Monica Anne Anderson
died on March 13th, 2010

26yo Monica from California, USA, was killed by her girlfriend. Their relationship has been violent before, but no charges were pressed. On March 13th they had a fight over a cellphone charger, and the girlfriend stabbed Monica 91 times, causing her death. "She started running away from me, and that's when it happened," explained the woman. "I was just really pissed."

"People ask me sometimes how many children I have, and I don’t know how to answer that," said Monica's mother. "I had two, I have one left, or do I still have two, and one’s in the ground? How do I answer that?"


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

Elli Perkins
died on March 13th, 2003

Elli Perkins was a mother of two, a professional glass artist, and a Scientologist from New York, USA. Her son Jeremy was mentally ill, but didn't receive treatment because Elli followed the Scientology ban on psychiatric medications. The Scientologist treatment turned out to be ineffective for Jeremy, he was banned from the church as a level III "Potential Trouble Source". Elli was advised by the church to give him vitamins and keep him busy with house chores. On March 13th, 2003, Jeremy attempted suicide and then stabbed his mom 77 times with a steak knife, as she was talking on the phone with a friend. He said, "When she made me take the shower this morning this was the last straw."

Jeremy Perkins was diagnosed with schizophrenia, found not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, and placed in a secure facility. He was placed on medications, which court psychiatrists state have not cured him, but stabilized his condition. According to his attorney, "Jeremy himself told me that he firmly believes that if he had been taking these medications [earlier] that it would not have happened."


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016

March 14th:
Ayden Olson
died on March 14th, 2013

Ayden's mom said he was "bullied to death" in school, because he was gay and because he was part Japanese. 14yo Ayden committed suicide by medication overdose. He researched suicide methods online (bypassing the block his parents put on his laptop), and left two notes explaining his reasons. His mom is a prominent child abuse campaigner; she said, "My job is to protect kids online but I could not keep my own son safe".


Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016

March 15th:
Jackie Ohide
died on March 15th, 2015

27yo Jackie from Australia worked in senior care and lived with her boyfriend and two sons. "They kept to themselves a lot but seemed nice," neighbors said. Another neighbor remembered that the boys liked to play on the trampoline. "They are lovely children, they are always respectful," she said. At 4AM on March 15th the boys, aged seven and two, found the body of their mother in her car, and honked and screamed until the neighbors came out to assist them. Jackies boyfriend has been arrested on murder charges. "It is an eerie feeling to think that could happen without anyone hearing anything," the neighbors said.


Posted by Manya on March 6th, 2017

March 16th:
James Levier
died on March 16th, 2001

60yo Mr Levier from Maine, USA, lost his hearing when he was about 6 years old, and his parents sent him to the Baxter School for the Deaf, a state-run boarding school, so that he could learn sign language and get an education. He was sexually abused by staff there. Sexual abuse in schools for the deaf is widespread because the children have extra difficulties reaching out for help. Here's how one survivor explains it:

"There was a busy road with a playground and there'd be people walking past but we had no communication because we couldn't speak, we couldn't sign and they couldn't understand our voices. We'd try and write notes but our vocabulary was limited. The only word we knew was 'rude'. We'd make paper aeroplanes and throw them. People would pick them up, laugh and wave and go on their way and we would feel frustrated."

Mr Levier left the school at 17, married and had two daughters, enjoyed hiking in the woods, painting, carving, and even volunteered as an art teacher at Baxter. Still, he struggled emotionally and tried to kill himself several times. Mr Levier wanted justice for himself and other survivors of the school. Multiple abuse allegations against the school were corroborated by the police investigation, but no charges were pressed due to the statute of limitations. On March 7th, a spokesman for then-Gov. Angus King testified that there was no money budgeted to pay victims and questioned the appropriateness of an official apology. Nine days later Mr Levier commited suicide by cop. Within days, Gov. King issued an apology to the state’s deaf community for the abuse that had occurred at Baxter years before. The Legislature also began approving compensation for victims, ultimately appropriating more than $17 million.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016


 

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
~ Albert Einstein
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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