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 1st:
Peter McCloskey
died on April 1st, 2006

37yo Peter McCloskey was sexually abused by an Irish Catholic priest in early 1980s when Peter was a 10yo altar boy. Nothing was done about it at the time, even though there were multiple complaints about this priest. Peter and his family spent years trying to reveal the truth about what happened him and to have it acknowledged. He committed suicide three days after one of the meeting with the church officials, which his brother described as "a horrendous experience." Peter left a note that said "I have done everything that I could to survive. There’s nothing left to do."

After his death, the diocese of Limerick released a statement acknowledging the truth of Peter McCloskey’s experience of clerical child sexual abuse, and that the information available at that time should have prevented the priest who molested him from taking up ministry in Limerick. "Peter was a man of extraordinary honesty, integrity and courage. His commitment to the truth demands that all involved work to fully examine and address the grave issues which have been raised as a result of Peter’s tragic death. All involved acknowledge that this will be a challenging and at times uncomfortable process but we affirm our commitment to work together to that end," concluded the statement. You can read Peter's whole story, including his mom's memories of his childhood, by clicking on his name.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 2nd:
Christian Choate
died on April 2nd, 2009

13yo Christian from Indiana, USA was physically and sexually abused as a young child in his mom's home, so he moved to live with his father, stepmother, and nine other kids, all in a single-wide trailer. When his was about 9yo, his father saw him acting sexually inappropriate with another relative. The father and stepmom explained to the kids that Christian was a "dog", purchased a dog cage from a neighbor, and chained the boy inside it. He was subjected to frequent beatings and starvation, had to wear a diaper, and was only allowed out of the cage to clean, eat, or use the bathroom. Sometimes he was chained to a bed frame where his dad punched, kicked, and beat him with a metal pole on the head. He was choked until he turned purple and forced to take cold baths. His hands and feet were often bound, leaving his arms and legs so damaged he could barely walk. When the kids’ grandma would visit, Christian was kept in a locked room in their trailer home with a blanket over his cage so she wouldn’t notice him.

Stepmother gave Christian pen and paper, as well as topics to write about, such as "Why do you want to play with your peter? Why do you still want to see your mom? Why can't you let the past go? What does it mean to be part of a family?" Department of Child Services released Christian's letters to the public; he wondered when, "someone, anyone, was going to check on him". He "wanted to be liked by his family". He was "isolated", "hungry" and "wanted to die".

The neighbor (who unknowingly sold the family the dog cage) was concerned about welfare of the children. She called Department of Child Services, and said she remembers watching a DCS staffer stop by the home in 2008. "She never even stepped foot in the house," the neighbor said."(Stepmother) came out of the house and stood there at the sidewalk and talked to the lady, and I just remember thinking, 'Go inside'."

On April 2nd, 2009, Christian refused to eat. His father responded by punching him multiple times in the head, then tossing him back in his cage. Christian died of blunt trauma, internal bleeding, and a skull fracture. "Nobody’s gonna miss him anyhow," said his father. "We’ll just bury him." They placed Christian's body in a 2ft deep grave across the street, with a Bible on his chest, and lime to speed up decay. Christian's older sister reported his death two years later, when the father left them.

"Did I fail him? Yes, I failed him," said Christian's father at sentencing, but then added, "I think I’m the only one who loved him."


Posted by Manya on March 10th, 2017

April 3rd:
Alyssa Morgan
died on April 3rd, 2015

12yo Allyssa from Iowa, USA, killed herself because she was bullied in school for being bisexual. "When you have other people telling you that you're not worthy of anything, or that being bisexual is wrong or somehow disgusting... They're going to take that into thought - that maybe I wasn't right for this world," said her mom. Alyssa left a note saying, "I’m sorry… for everything… I just can’t anymore… I love you ALL Goodbye."


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

April 4th:
Maya Angelou
born on April 4th, 1928

Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, and civil rights activist, defending Black culture and women. She received international recognition and acclaim after publishing her first autobiography, "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings", in 1969. Here's a quote from Wiki:

When Maya Angelou was eight, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend, a man named Freeman. She told her brother, who told the rest of their family. Freeman was found guilty but was jailed for only one day. Four days after his release, he was murdered, probably by Angelou's uncles. Angelou became mute for almost five years, believing, as she stated, "I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone..." According to Marcia Ann Gillespie and her colleagues, who wrote a biography about Angelou, it was during this period of silence when Angelou developed her extraordinary memory, her love for books and literature, and her ability to listen and observe the world around her.

Maya Angelou became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.


Posted by Manya on February 16th, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr.
died on April 4th, 1968

Civil Rights Activist, Leader of Anglo-American Civil Rights Movement, Dr King is best known for the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. In 1955 he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott,and helped organise the 1963 nonviolent protests in Alabama. He also helped organise the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his famous " I Have A Dream " speech. On October 14th 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality. During his final years of life he included in his focus poverty and the Vietnam War.

During his life he was subjected to harassment, was frequently beaten and had numerous death threats. He was assassinated on April 4th 1968. Dr King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and Martin Luther King Day was established as a US federal holiday in 1986.


Posted by eagle22 on September 29th, 2015

mikee
died on April 4th, 2011

mikee mi so soree you feleds ths wer tha onlee waa owt mi wesh mi kolda helpeds you mi wesh you wolda gwabeds hols of mi han oen moer tiem mi wil nevr evr forges you you wer mi angel forevr you wil be mi angel


Posted by kami on April 9th, 2011

McKinley Wilder
died on April 4th, 2012

2yo McKinley from California, USA, died of alcohol poisoning and malnutrition. Her mom and dad were going through a hard divorce. Mom felt dad was manipulative and enjoying the battles, dad felt mom was "a cold-blooded narcissist," and the kids (McKinley had an older sister) were caught in the middle of it. The mother was warned by CPS about her alcohol consumption and was required to stay sober while children were in her custody. Instead, she was binge-drinking and giving alcohol to them too. She was sentenced to ten years as per her plea agreement, to spare the surviving child the trauma of having to testify against her.


Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016

April 5th:
Afroza Chowdhury
died on April 5th, 2015

60yo Afroza Chowdhury from California, USA, had a fight with her husband. He threatened to kill her, and she responded she'd rather kill herself than be killed by him. He called 911 and reported her for threatening suicide. The police officers who arrived on scene couldn't understand Mrs Chowdhury's accent and spoke with her adult son over the phone. In the end the husband was arrested for making threats (while on probation for a previous offense), and Mrs Chowdhury was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. A few hours later the husband was released. Mrs Chowdhury was also released and put on a taxi. When she discovered she was being taken back to her husband, she committed suicide by jumping out of the car (traveling at 60mph on a highway).

"It seems wrong for them to send her to the exact same environment which led her to make suicidal statements and that was just an unhealthy, unsafe environment for her," public defender said. "But if they don’t think she’s suicidal, she gets to make that decision for herself." However, both California law and the hospital’s policy require that staff make reasonable attempts to notify next of kin before releasing a mental health patient. "I have a sister who lives back in Bangladesh," said her son, "and obviously they’re asking me, ‘What kind of hospital releases a 60-year-old woman in the middle of the night?’ If I knew she was at the hospital - 100 percent - me and my wife would have come and picked her up." His attorney added, "I think his biggest concern is not compensation, but a change in the system so this doesn’t happen to someone else’s mom, sister, wife."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 6th:
Lance Helms
died on April 6th, 1995

2yo Lance from California, USA, was born addicted to heroin. Lance stayed with his paternal grandma and aunt because his mom went to prison for robbery, and his dad was violent towards his girlfriend, his sister, his mother, and his grandmother. Despite that, court returned Lance to his dad, who beat him to death 7 months later. "He was the center of our lives," said his grandma. "Lance loved people, especially men. If (his father) had shown him any affection at all, Lance would have followed him around like a little puppy. He was such an incredibly good little boy that I cannot comprehend how anyone could possibly hurt him... (Lance's aunt) asked me after Lance's death, why would God bother making Lance so smart if He was only going to let him die. Well, God didn't cause Lance to die. He was murdered by his own father."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 7th:
Rehtaeh Parsons
died on April 7th, 2013

15yo Rehtaeh from Nova Scotia, Canada, was reportedly raped by four teenage boys at a small party that involved drinking vodka. No charges were pressed after the initial police investigation because there was evidence supporting the boys' claim that the intercourse was consensual; it was deemed a "he said, she said" case. However, the incident was photographed during the party, and the photo became widespread in Rehtaeh's school and town. As a result, many in school called Parsons a "slut" and she received text messages and Facebook messages from people requesting to have sex with her. Seventeen months later Rehtaeh committed suicide. Her funeral was attended by 500 people, including Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, who said he came "first and foremost as a father trying to imagine what kind of incredible, unfathomable grief could be visited upon a family." In August 2013, Nova Scotia enacted a law allowing victims of cyberbullying to seek protection, including help in identifying anonymous perpetrators, and to sue the individuals or the parents in the case of minors.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 9th:
Andrea Dworkin
died on April 9th, 2005

A raped, prostituted warrior-woman who knew what she was talking about yet was so reviled when she fought for the right of women to be free from all forms of exploitation and violence. I remember you with eternal gratitude, sister. Your rest is well-earned.


Posted by Louise on April 15th, 2008

Jessica Christina Jones
died on April 9th, 2014

25yo Jessica from Washington state, USA, was "sassy, with a great sense of humor," according to her friends and family. She enjoyed working with her dad clam digging, fishing, canning, berry picking and planting trees, loved to draw, country music and her cats. Jessica was shot to death by her husband in the middle of a domestic dispute. Her 9yo son drew a picture of a tulip for his grandma, Jessica's mom, and told her to hold onto it if she felt sad.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017

April 10th:
Rescue of Mary Ellen Wilson
April 10th, 1874

Mary Ellen's mom died when she was a baby. Her dad couldn't care for her alone, and she ended up in foster care, where she was abused. Here's her court testimony (she was 10yo at the time):

My father and mother are both dead. I don’t know how old I am. I have no recollection of a time when I did not live with the Connollys. Mamma has been in the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day. She used to whip me with a twisted whip—a rawhide. The whip always left a black and blue mark on my body. I have now the black and blue marks on my head which were made by mamma, and also a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors. She struck me with the scissors and cut me; I have no recollection of ever having been kissed by any one—have never been kissed by mamma. I have never been taken on my mamma's lap and caressed or petted. I never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get whipped. I do not know for what I was whipped—mamma never said anything to me when she whipped me. I do not want to go back to live with mamma, because she beats me so. I have no recollection ever being on the street in my life.

The court had trouble charging foster parents of Mary Ellen with child abuse, so they were tried and prosecuted for cruelty to animals instead (since humans, including Mary Ellen, are technically animals as well). The case led to creation of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Mary Ellen was placed in foster care, grew up, married, and had two children. She passed away in 1956, at 92.


Posted by Manya on July 15th, 2015

April 11th:
Angelina Rodriguez
died on April 11th, 2013

5-month-old Angelina from Chicago, USA, was smothered to death because she woke up and wouldn't stop crying while her mom and dad were drinking. Her mom gave her a bottle, which didn't help, so her dad put his hand over the baby's mouth. When he removed it, she started crying again, so he repeated the process three times, till her body went limp. The father put Angelina back into her playpen, and the couple went to sleep. At 7AM Angelina's mom woke up to get an older child ready for school, and went to back to sleep. At 11AM both parents woke up again and found the baby stiff and unresponsive. Angelina died in hospital four days later. Autopsy showed brain swelling, as well as skull fractures that are believed to be from a prior, unrelated incident.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 12th:
Dominick Calhoun
died on April 12th, 2010

Dominick was a 4yo boy from Michigan, USA. He liked cards, snowmobiling, and dancing, and lived with his mom, 8yo brother, and moms boyfriend in what police called a "drug house" - the boyfriend had several prior convictions for drugs and assaults, and used to beat up Dominick's mom too.

On April 10th 4yo Dominick had an accident, wetting his pants and the couch he was sitting on. The moms boyfriend asked him who was going to pay for the soiled couch, and hit and kicked him for three days, till the boy died. He beat Dominick about the head, kicked him in his privates, pocked him in the eyes with his fingers, and slammed his head against a wall.

During these three days Dominick was heard screaming "Make him stop" to his mom. She tried to interfere, but her boyfriend hit her too, and pulled out chunks of her hair. None of the neighbors called 911. Argentine Township police Chief Dan Allen said a phone call could have saved Dominick’s life. "A normal person would call law enforcement," he said. "That could have made the difference."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016

April 13th:
Honey Veus
died on April 13th, 2013

1yo Honey from Florida, USA, was killed by her father. He confessed to throwing her on the floor, burning her feet with a lighted cigar, forcing her to eat cinnamon, pulling her hair, and pushing her down - because he had thoughts of harming her, and felt relief when he caused her pain or discomfort. His mother said she never thought her son would abuse his own child but suspected something wasn't right. "I asked him 'what's going on?' He said he don't know. I said, 'what did you do with the baby, I see something on her feet?' - 'He say he don't know'." On April 10th, grandma found the baby unconscious and rushed her to hospital, but Honey remained in coma, suffering from bleeding on the brain, and died three days later.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 14th:
Armaney Cotton
died on April 14th, 2012

The mom of 2yo Armaney from Chicago, USA, worked as a housekeeper at a downtown hotel. At 7AM on March 14th, she dropped her daughter off at her boyfriend's house, which was their usual babysitting arrangement. Armaney had a cold, but was fine otherwise. Hours later Armaney was bitten and beaten to death. "Babies fall all the time. They don't get cuts and bruises and bites," her mother said. "She did not fall...Somebody tortured my child, and they beat her to death. This was someone I loved and trusted to protect her, not harm her. I don't understand why this happened to her. It is eating me up inside."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 15th:
Nigel Hardy
died on April 15th, 2013

13yo Nigel from Indiana, USA, enjoyed cheerleading, music, football (runningback), basketball, surfing and singing. He moved to California 12 weeks before his death, and was bullied in the new school for being a cheerleader. "He was a happy kid," his best friend said. "But they used to make fun of him." On Friday Nigel was suspended for punching another student who was picking on him. On Monday he left a suicide note and shot himself.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 16th:
Kelly-Anne Bates
died on April 16th, 1996

14yo Kelly Ann from UK was babysitting for friends when she first met her future murderer (44yo at the time). They were secretly dating, and two years later moved in together. "As soon as I saw (him) the hairs on the back of my neck went up," said her mom. "I tried everything I could to get Kelly Anne away from him." Over the next year the parents started noticing bruising on their daughter (which she explained as accidents); she quit her part-time job, became socially withdrawn. Kelly Ann's body was found on April 16th. What he did to her is too graphic to describe here (you can read the details if you click on her name above). The pathologist who examined her body said, "In my career, I have examined almost 600 victims of homicide but I have never come across injuries so extensive." The prosecutor said, "It was as if he deliberately disfigured her, causing her the utmost pain, distress and degradation ... The injuries were not the result of one sudden eruption of violence, they must have been caused over a long period (and) were so extensive and so terrible that the defendant must have deliberately and systematically tortured the girl ... Her death must have been a merciful end to her torment."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017


 

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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