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

April 21st:
Aaliyah Lewis
died on April 21st, 2016

2yo Aaliyah from Florida, USA, died hours after her mom's boyfriend "gave her a whooping" because she had an accident on his bed. "Why? Why would you beat her like that?" Aaliyah's mom said. "She was my only child. She was my everything and I lost her...The only thing she kept (saying) ... 'Mah!' I said 'Liyah!'... 'Mah!'... She was in pain. And I couldn't do nothing about it. I tried, I tried. And she took her last breath in my arms."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017
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April 22nd:
Gabriel McFarland
died on April 22nd, 2014

Gabriel from Iowa was adopted at birth. His biological mom was 16 and his biological dad was 17. The adoptive parents, Heidi and Rachel McFarland, paid the teen's medical bills and legal fees, and even coached her through labor. Gabriel was born on December 28th, and the McFarlands took him home from the hospital. In most places, adoptive parents are granted custody 72 hours after the baby is born. In Iowa, birth parents have 96 hours to change their minds. Gabriel lived with McFarlands until March 13th, when his birth mom demanded him back. She was able to get him back because McFarlands' lawyer didn't file paperwork terminating her parental rights, which is the first step in any adoption. It was a clerical error, and McFarlands were scheduled to regain custody of Gabriel on March 24th. However, on March 23rd Gabriel was murdered by his biological dad while his biological mom was out of the house.


Posted by Manya on March 12th, 2017
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April 23rd:
Melissa Ball and Grayden Lee Whitmore
died on April 23rd, 2015

27yo Melissa and her 8yo son Grayden from Georgia, USA, were shot and killed at a local convenience center by Melissa's boyfriend of 12 years, Grayden's father, who then killed himself. Their relationship was abusive, but they separated a few months prior, and Melissa was staying with her grandmother. "He threatened to kill her a lot," said Melissa's sister. "He had told her so many times, she didn't take it seriously. She knew that he was crazy, but I don't think that she ever believed he would really hurt Grayden ... I expected him to kill himself, and I even thought and mentioned it to other people that he wasn't stable and would kill them all. I told my mom a couple of weeks ago that this was going to happen, but I couldn't make (Melissa) get out of that situation."

Katora Printup, executive director of the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, "We are not to judge those in these kinds of relationships, but let them know there is help. A lot of time, they are afraid to report and we want them to know that all of our services are free and confidential. The community must try to take a stand to create violence-free homes and educating and letting them know they are not alone."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 24th:
Christa Ann Alexander
died on April 24th, 2005

24yo Christa Ann from Louisiana, USA and her unborn child were killed by Christa's husband of four months. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, obstruction of justice, and first-degree feticide for the unborn baby - but never explained why did he do it. "She was a doll, I suppose you would say," said Christa's father. "She already did a total of 17 mission trips. I told someone last night that she probably did 70 years of work in 24 years."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 25th:
Surjit Athwal
died on April 25th, 2007

Surjit was a Sikh woman from UK who wanted to live a more western lifestyle. Her husband was physically abusive, and she didn't like it. She also wanted to wear western clothes and go out with her friends sometimes, and she didn't get along with her mother-in-law, who wanted Surjit's kids to call her "mum", instead of Surjit. She left her husband once, and wanted a divorce, but he beat her up, threatened to kill her, and she agreed to move back together again. In 1997 Surjit became pregnant, and her husband thought it wasn't his, that she was cheating. In 1998 the mother-in-law said, "I've spoken to a contact in India. It's all going to be taken care of. It's her own fault - she's out of control. She's bringing shame on the family. We have to get rid of her." She convinced Surjit to go with her on a trip to India, where Surjit was drugged and murdered. Her body was never found and the date of death is unknown, but the mother-in-law and the husband were convicted of murder on April 25th, 2007, almost ten years later.

If you click on Surjit's name, you can read a page written by her sister-in-law, who testified against her mother-in-law, was (and still is) threatened and ostracized by her community for bringing shame on the family, and who was fearing for her own life during these 10 years of investigation.


Posted by Manya on February 19th, 2016
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Crown Shakur
died on April 25th, 2004

Crown Shakur was a 6-week-old baby from Georgia, USA, who died of starvation. His parents said they loved him and didn't mean to harm him. Crown was their first child, and they fed him soy milk and apple juice because breastfeeding was against their vegan beliefs. There's no problem with veganism, but babies should not be given juice for the first six months of their life, and soy milk doesn't have all the nutrients necessary for them. Parents who choose to raise their kids vegan can buy soy milk-based formula instead, which has protein, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. First-time parents who are unsure how to feed their baby can ask their pediatrician, or doctors or nurses at the hospital they delivered. When the police were investigating Crown's death, they found his bottle, which was rancid and caked with debris.

The prosecutor said "No matter how many times they want to say, 'We're vegans, we're vegetarians,' that's not the issue in this case ... The child died because he was not fed. Period."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016
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April 26th:
Natalia (Beta) Trirat
died on April 26th, 2017

11-month-old Beta from Thailand lived with her mom, dad, and 5yo brother. Her dad was worried that her mom didn't love him anymore and might leave him soon. He took Beta to an abandoned building, filmed himself murdering her, posted the video on Facebook, and then committed suicide.


Posted by Manya on June 1st, 2017
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Zyon Thompson
died on April 26th, 2015

3yo Zyon from Virginia, USA, was staying with his mom's friends the last three weeks of his life. They made Zyon eat crab seasoning which gave him diarrhea, and then punished him for soiling himself, using "military torture techniques" such as waterboarding, making him stand with his arms out and water bottles strapped to his wrists, making him hang from a cabinet door, etc. During waterboarding they told the 3yo that his mother didn't want him. There were three adults and multiple children in the house, and Zyon's health was quickly deteriorating, but nobody called for ambulance because they were afraid of getting in trouble. On April 26th Zyon died of dehydration. All three adults blamed each other, but were convicted and sentenced for 32, 27, and 22 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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Natalie Perriello
died on April 26th, 2012

42 Mrs Perriello from New Hampshire, USA, worked for fifteen years as an elementary school teacher, and then for four more years as a high school teacher. According to her friends and family, "Natalie had two passions in her life: her family and her students. She was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students with students continuing to be in contact with her years after leaving her classroom. Natalie truly believed that all her students would be successful, not only in high school, but in their chosen paths after high school." Mrs Perriello was shot in the head six times by her husband because he suspected her of having an affair with her former student. Their four children were in the house at the time of the murder. "I know what's about to happen to me," he told the 911 operator. "The gun is jammed anyway... it's useless."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 27th:
Aidan Fenton
died on April 27th, 2015

6yo Aidan from Australia suffered from diabetes. His 41yo mom and 56yo dad took him to an alternative healer who was visiting from China and was offering his services for AU$1,800 at a hotel. The services involved slapping and stretching Aidan's body to drive out toxins. "The slapping and stretching work together to clear the meridians of blocks and help the body get rid of disease," explained the self-proclaimed healer. Aidan died that night; the healer left the country, and the parents were charged with manslaughter. "We are losing the battle," said John Dwyer, a University of NSW professor of medicine about this case. "It's terribly important that alternative medicine in Australia is underpinned by credible evidence and science."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 28th:
William Horstman
died on April 28th, 2015

52yo Mr Horstman from Missouri, USA, worked various jobs as a Heavy Equipment Operator for 35 years. He enjoyed deer and turkey hunting, fishing, riding his Harley Davidson Road King, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Mr Horstman was killed by his girlfriend; she ran him over with her SUV because he wouldn't move out of the way, and fled the scene. The autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma to his head and chest, including 20 broken ribs and massive brain bleeding. It also showed that he had not been facing her SUV at the time he was struck, police said. The woman was sentenced to 19 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on January 18th, 2018
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Christopher Barnard
died on April 28th, 2008

Christopher was a 4yo boy from Oklahoma who lived with his mom and mom's boyfriend. Neighbors, friends, and relatives started calling DHS two weeks after Christopher was born. They alerted DHS about poor living conditions, marks and bruises on Christopher, and the fact that he was left unsupervised on the front lawn while mom drove away to do some chores. DHS investigated the reports but found no confirmed abuse or neglect.

On April 28th four-year-old Christopher soiled his pants. In response to this, his mom's boyfriend twice punched Christopher in the stomach, and whipped him with a belt. Christopher died of internal injuries.


Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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April 29th:
Salma Parveen
died on April 29th, 2013

22yo Salma from UK was abused by her violent husband and feared for her life. She finally asked him to leave her family home, and he strangled her with a scarf. Salma's family said, "Her life has not only been taken away from her, our lifestyle, spark and bonding of the family has also gone with her. Salma was the person we could trust with our eyes closed, the person who was always there for us, the person who we all looked up to."

Salma's story was included in the BBC2 Documentary "Love You To Death" that features interviews with friends and relatives of 86 UK women killed by their romantic partners in 2013.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016
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April 30th:
Larry Martin
died on April 30th, 2013

28yo Larry from Chicago, USA, was stabbed to death by his pregnant girlfriend for not buying her a gift. Her, Larry, his 8yo son, and his adult male cousin spent the day at the local mall where Larry bought gifts for both the 8yo and the cousin, while the girlfriend didn't receive anything, even though her birthday was coming up. They had a fight on their way home, where she physically assaulted Larry while he was driving. It resulted in her leaving the three of them on the side of the road and driving home alone. When they arrived home by foot, she wouldn't open the door. Larry started banging on the door, she opened it and stabbed him with a knife, in plain view of his 8yo son. While the cousin tried to apply pressure to Larry's wound and call 911, she stood over him and said, "This is what you get for messing with me. I hope you die, mother f***."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 1st:
Tanya
died on May 1st, 1989

We called her 'Tanya the iron' because she had a large nose. She was physically and sexually abused by her stepdad. In seventh grade we agreed to commit suicide together with her. She didnt wait for me, jumped from a 192 feet high construction site, was burried in a closed casket. She said her life was not livable. I was sad she was dead, but I thought it was her right, to make this choice, and I was glad she wasn't in pain anymore. Her choice made sense to me. And now I'm deeply sad and sorry that I wasn't old enough back then, and that there was no adult this 13yo girl could speak to. It cannot be that a life is ruined hopelessly when you're only 13. It could have been fixed, Tanya. I'm so sorry it wasn't.


Posted by Lera on May 22nd, 2013
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Danny (16 years)
died on May 1st, 1982

I wish you had found another way to deal with your pain. You are dearly missed.


Posted by jlc20m on May 6th, 2012
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Wilfred Gardner
died on May 1st, 2011

85yo Wilfred Gardner was one of the Orchid View residents. Orchid View was a care home for the elderly in West Sussex, UK, that was operating from 2009 to 2011, charged £3000 per month, and provided "sub-optimal" care that was deemed "institutionalized abuse" and resulted in the death of five of its residents.

Mr Gardner was diabetic but sometimes he wasn't given his insulin, and sometimes there were no strips to check his blood sugar levels. He was also in pain but denied pain medication unless he asked for it. "He's got dementia, how would he know what to say?" commented his daughter.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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May 2nd:
Ashlynne Mike
died on May 2nd, 2016

11yo Ashlynne from Navajo Nation, USA, was playing with her 9yo brother Ian near their bus stop after school, when a stranger lured them into his van. He drove them to a remote location, and then left Ian in the van and walked away with Ashlynne. After a while he returned to the van alone. Ian realized that his sister was hurt, ran off, and alerted adults. Ashlynne's body was found the next day; she was raped and beaten to death with a crowbar. 1,600 people attended her funeral. Press release from the presidents office included the following statement: "Since the death of our daughter, the Navajo Nation has worked diligently to establish an Amber Alert and 911 system."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 3rd:
Yeardley Love
died on May 3rd, 2010

Yeardley Love was a 22yo student of University of Virginia, majoring in government and minoring in Spanish. She played women's lacrosse and field hockey, and dated a boy from the same school, also a lacrosse/hockey player. He had a drinking problem, and assaulted her while drunk. They broke up, but on May 3rd he broke into her apartment and "shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall" (according to his testimony). Yeardley died.

Yeardley's family established the One Love Foundation to honor her memory (Yeardley wore jersey number "1" while playing lacrosse). "The mission of the foundation is to encourage and develop in children and young adults four qualities of character that Yeardley exemplified… service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship… that together add up to One Love," said Yeardley's mom.


Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016
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May 4th:
Kianna Rudesill
died on May 4th, 2011

4yo Kianna from Illinois, USA, was murdered by her foster mother because she spilled some dog food. At the trial, the woman insisted that Kianna's injuries were self-inflicted, that she was a troubled child and a head-banger. She said, "I loved Kianna very deeply. My husband and I made the decision not to give up on her and we never did. We were committed to all four (foster) kids. I spent a lot of time with Kianna; I never hurt her (...) I didn't think it was anything more than a bruise." However, several doctors testified during the trial that the amount of force needed to bring about the trauma Kianna suffered was "acute" and "catastrophic." "She had staples on her head," said Kianna's grandmother. "Her long, beautiful hair had been cut. Her head, body and hands were covered in bruises. The doctors said this was abuse. Who could have hated her so much to inflict this kind of pain on her?"


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 5th:
Zella
died on May 5th, 2007

I never told you that I loved you or that you were my best friend. Thank you for being my mother figure and being my constant security in life. I am who I am now because of you. I vow to live each day as you would want me to live it because you loved me and now live in my heart forever. I love you, Krisjewel


Posted by Krisjewel on February 19th, 2012
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Corey Leech
died on May 5th, 2017

Corey Leech took the stand and, in a poised and confident voice, testified in excruciating detail how a Franciscan friar began sexually abusing him from his early teens. Mr. Leech gave voice to scores of victims of the late Stephen Baker Mr. Leech told of Baker abusing him on the athletic training table at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown. He spoke of the friar abusing him on car trips and at his monastery. "He wanted to prevent other children from living his nightmare," Mr. Leech's family wrote in his obituary. "While he did more than his share to help others, it was too late for Corey. His nightmare was inescapable." Mr. Leech's family and supporters recall him as someone long concerned for child welfare. He was a nurse in a neo-natal intensive care unit and was known for his gentle manner.


Posted by Jane on June 15th, 2018
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Jean Halfpenny
died on May 5th, 2010

77yo Jean Halfpenny was one of the Orchid View residents. Orchid View was a care home for the elderly in West Sussex, UK, that was operating from 2009 to 2011, charged £3000 per month, and provided "sub-optimal" care that was deemed "institutionalized abuse" and resulted in the death of five of its residents.

Mrs Halfpenny stayed at Orchid View from November 2009 to May 2010, and on a few occasions were found naked in her bed, crying, cold, hungry, and thirsty. Her daughter wasn't allowed to visit in the morning or during meal times, and was reprimanded for bringing food for her mother. In April Mrs Halfpenny was administered three times her regular dose of the blood thinning drug Warfarin over the course of 17 days; she was hospitalized twice after that, and passed away on May 5th.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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May 6th:
Ronke Shonde
died on May 6th, 2016

Mrs Ronke Shonde from Lagos, Nigeria, often complained to her family about domestic violence. The family fought about the money, and both accused each other of cheating. At some point they even signed an agreement at a police station that they would not be involved in further domestic disputes no matter what happened - at the insistence of their relatives, pastor, and landlady. Physical abuse continued, but Ronke stayed with her husband for the sake of the children (aged six and four). On May 6th, Ronke's husband told their nanny she wouldn't be needed on that day, didn't send the kids to school, and locked himself, Ronke, and the children inside the house. The neighbors broke the door because the children were screaming, and found Ronke's dead body on the floor. The husband fled the scene but eventually turned himself in and was charged with murder. No family member or relative of his was present at Ronke's funeral.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 7th:
Kaleib L Higgins
died on May 7th, 2011

2yo Kaileb from Tennessee, USA, was visiting with his dad (whom he only knew for 5 months) in Kentucky. Dad was out of the house, and Kaileb was left with dad's girlfriend and her three children (all under 10 years of age). Kaileb died of multiple blunt force trauma to his head and body. The woman pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 8th:
World Red Cross Red Crescent Day
May 8th, 1863

World Red Cross Day is celebrated on the birthday of its founder, the Swiss businessman Jean-Henry Dunant. In 1859 he was traveling through Italy on a business trip and saw a battlefield in the small town of Solferino. About 40K soldiers were left dead or wounded on that field in a single day, without much medical attention or even basic care. Jean-Henry Dunant abandoned his business plans and attended to the needs of the wounded soldiers, as well as motivated and organized the local villagers to help them without discrimination as to which side they fought on. When he returned home to Geneva, he wrote a book titled "A memory of Solferino", published it with his own money, and sent a copy to various political and military leaders throughout Europe. He explicitly advocated the formation of national voluntary relief organizations to help nurse wounded soldiers in the case of war. In addition, he called for the development of international treaties to guarantee the protection of neutral medics and field hospitals for soldiers wounded on the battlefield. In 1864 the International Committee Of The Red Cross was founded, which led to the Geneva Conventions, the cornerstone of contemporary international humanitarian law.

Currently, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest humanitarian network in the world. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity, especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies. It is present in every country and supported by millions of volunteers.


Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016
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Sanam Navsarka
died on May 8th, 2008

2yo Sanam from UK was abused to death by her mom and mom's boyfriend. She was beaten, neglected, and locked in a cupboard if she cried. At the time of death, Sanam had 107 separate external injuries, including fractures of both legs and both arms. "Sanam had been in a great deal of pain and distress over a long period leading up to her death," prosecutor said. "Her pain and discomfort would have been obvious to anyone who saw her, let alone who lived with her. (...) No doubt Sanam, as a two-year-old child, looked to both defendants to help her and to protect her. Neither defendant did anything to assist or save Sanam from the horrific injuries that she received. Those injuries were not caused during a brief and singular episode of violence by an adult upon a small child."

Sanam's mother was convicted of manslaughter for failing to protect Sanam from abuse, and her boyfriend - of murder. "You did nothing, absolutely nothing," the judge said to Sanam's mother. "That is unbelievable. It is also incredibly cruel. This was a gross abuse of trust by you as a mother. You selfishly put yourself and relationship with [your boyfriend] before your child."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 9th:
Rodney Hulin, Jr
died on May 9th, 1996

Rodney was about to turn 17yo when he "caused a small fire in a pile of empty cans against the outside wall of the residence", according to an incident report. He was a juvenile tried as an adult, and took a plea agreement of 8 years in prison with the possibility of parole in 2 years. In less than a year he was gang-raped. Rodney reported it and a medical examination corroborated the claim, but no charges were filed against the offenders. Two months later Rodney hanged himself. Medics restored his heartbeat, and from that point on he was transferred from one prison hospital to another, until he died on May 9th, 1996. His dad had applied for a medical parole on his son's behalf, and it was granted; Rodney was scheduled to move to a nursing home on May 11th.


Posted by Manya on February 5th, 2016
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May 10th:
Dolores Moritz
died on May 10th, 2014

When Melbourne police officers arrived at the home they found Dolores Moritz dead. Detectives said she was in an emaciated state, and lying in feces and urine. Dolores died due to lack of care, according to the medical examiner. Law enforcement officials determined her son, 66-year-old Michael Moritz, was the primary caregiver and had neglected his mother. He was arrested on charges of aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person and neglect of an elderly person.


Posted by Jane on June 15th, 2018
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Olivia Faith Truax
died on May 10th, 2011

3-month-old Olivia from Michigan, USA, died after her mom's boyfriend dropped her on the floor head down, twice. The first time, on Thursday, it was unintentional, but the first fall made Olivia cranky, she continued crying and wiggling when held, so on Friday he dropped her again, this time intentionally, out of anger and frustration.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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It is best for the wise man not to seem wise.
~ Aeschylus