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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January 4th:
Zainab Ansari
died on January 4th, 2018

7yo Zainab from Pakistan was staying with her uncle while her parents were performing Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca). Zainab went missing on her way to a Quran tuition class, which was very close to her house. She was kidnapped by a 24yo mechanic who tortured, raped, and strangled Zainab to death. He was arrested nineteen days later, confessed, and his DNA matched with the samples of at least eight minor girls who were raped and murdered within the same neighborhood.

Zainab's death resulted in mass protests across Pakistan; Punjab chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, "Those societies that cannot protect its children are eternally condemned."


Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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Junko Furuta
died on January 4th, 1989

Junko was a 16yo highschool student from Tokyo, Japan. She was walking home from school when abducted by four boys roughly her age (all under 18), that she didn't know, and was raped, tortured, and mutilated for six weeks, before they killed her and disposed of the body by placing it in a 55 gallon drum filled with concrete.

They never met her before and had no grudge against her - they picked her at random, just because they could. What they did to her during those 44 days is too graphic to post here (click on her name if you want to read about it), but another disturbing part of the story is that this was happening in the home of one of the boys, with his parents present at least some of the time. They said they thought Junko was his girlfriend, and/or they were too scared of their son to say anything.



Posted by Zoe on July 28th, 2009
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January 5th:
Ryder Vercoglio
died on January 5th, 2015

Ryder Vercoglio, died at a hospital of blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities say he had suffered abuse at his home.Paramedics had been called to his two days earlier to a report of a child having a seizure. Ryder was taken to Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, where staff called police to report that they suspected child abuse. The boy died at the hospital. William Bolin, was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery to a child. Authorities say he was the boyfriend of Ryder's mother and living with her at the time the boy was injured. Ryder's mother who was at work when paramedics were called.


Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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Esther Anuhya
died on January 5th, 2014

24yo Anu from India worked as a software engineer and enjoyed singing, reading Manga, and watching Korean films. Anu spent Christmas with her family and was returning home. Her train arrived to Mumbai at 5AM; normally she would have waited till daylight at the station, and then taken a bus home. Instead, Anu accepted a ride from a stranger. According to witnesses, "she must have refused to ride on the motorcycle, but he took her stating he too was going towards Andheri and would drop her for a meager amount and under duress, as he put her bag on the motorcycle, she must have ridden the bike." When Anu protested that he was taking her in the wrong direction, he robbed, raped, and murdered her, burnt her body, and left it in a ditch.


Posted by Manya on December 28th, 2017
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January 6th:
Maria Colwell
died on January 6th, 1973

Maria Colwell, seven, died in Brighton after being starved and beaten by her stepfather, William Kepple. She had suffered brain damage, a fractured rib, black eyes, extensive external bruising and internal injuries. Maria had been fostered by her aunt and uncle because her mother, Pauline, could not cope with bringing up five children on her own. Five years later Pauline decided she wanted her daughter back. But an inquiry by the Department of Health found that East Sussex county council had insufficient evidence to return the girl. There were 50 official visits to the family, including from social workers, health visitors, police and housing officers. All agencies involved in the case were criticised.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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January 7th:
Joileen Garcia
died on January 7th, 2013

Joileen Garcia died after being fed chili powder as a punishment At the time, Amanda Sorensen - who was the carer of the toddler and her boyfriend's three other children on the day of the incident - tried to discipline Joileen for defecating in her pants by giving her chili powder. Joileen was being potty trained and had, had several accidents throughout the day. At one point Sorensen asked the girl if she had gone 'potty' to which the child responded 'no'. Soreson then placed chili powder into the girl's mouth as punishment, ordering her to swallow it. She was not aware of how much she had placed in her mouth, but knew it was a lot as the bottle was light, the report said. Sorensen cupped her hand over the child's mouth to prevent her from spitting it out. Joileen began coughing uncontrollably, expelling powder from her mouth and turned blue at which Sorensen attempted to perform rescue breathing and chest compressions. Sorenson then called 911. The toddler had a seizure and was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Sorenson has been charged with second degree murder.


Posted by Jane on June 19th, 2018
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January 8th:
Phoebe Jonchuck
died on January 8th, 2015

Phoebe Jonchuck, a 5-year-old girl was dropped off the side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge by her father John Jonchuck Jr last January. Despite numerous calls to child welfare officials due to her father’s history of violence, drug use, and mental illness, Phoebe was allowed to remain in his care


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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Dakota Burke
died on January 8th, 2015

Dakota Burke died on 01/08/2015 If a prisoner of war had been subjected to what this child went through, there would be an international investigation." District Judge Bob Sherling said after listening to testimony about the nearly six weeks of alleged abuses that led to the death of 20-month-old DaKota Burke on Jan. 8. Her injuries - as noted by medical personnel at Providence Hospital and, later, USA Children's and Women's Hospital - included a right skull fracture, intracranial and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes, swelling, a broken clavicle on both sides, arm fractures and severe burns to her left ear and both palms. Dakota's biological mother, Summer Everett is charged with murder and aggregated child abuse, along with her husband, Chrisopher Knapp.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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Maximillian Kolbe - Franciscan Priest and Martyr
died on January 8th, 1894

After the outbreak of World War II, Maximillian Kolb born on January 8th 1894 was one of the few brothers who remained at his monastery after the town was captured by the Germans. He and his colleagues provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 1,000–2,000 Jews whom they hid in their friary. On 17th February 1941, the friary was shut down by the Nazi authorities and Kolbe and four others were arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned. A couple of months later he was transferred to Auschwitz where he was subjected to violence. At the end of July 1941, following the escape of 3 prisoners the camp deputy commander, picked 10 men to be starved to death in an underground bunker to deter further escape attempts. When one of the selected men cried out, "My wife! My children!", Kolbe volunteered to take his place. According to an eye witness, an assistant janitor Kolbe led the prisoners in prayer. Each time the guards checked he was kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered. After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, Kolbe remained alive, so they gave him a lethal injection of carbolic acid. Kolbe was declared venerable by Pope Paul VI on 30 January 1969, beatified as a Confessor of the Faith by the same Pope in 1971 and canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II on 10 October 1982. He is one of ten 20th-century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London.


Posted by Jane on July 15th, 2018
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January 9th:
Nikita Chawla
died on January 9th, 2015

Ms Chawla, a dancer and choreographer who had just completed her final exams for her performing arts degree at the end of 2014, was savagely murdered on January 9, 2015. Her family paid tribute to her in court as vivacious, brave and creative. 'Nikita was achieving her dreams,' mother Sunila Chawla said in her victim impact statement. 'My light and joy has been snatched away from me.' Ms Chawla had secretly married Mr Singh in September 2011, but by January this year their relationship had deteriorated. While Mr Singh was in India in January 2015, Ms Chawla told friends she was planning on ending her marriage and had started looking for somewhere else to live. Crown Prosecutor Peter Rose QC said 'It appears at some stage the accused had accessed the deceased's phone. Singh last month pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Chawla.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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January 10th:
Irene McLean
died on January 10th, 2017

Irene died from malnutrition and multiple rib fractures, after being removed from her family care givers home by adult protective services in terrible shape. She died nearly a month later at Sentera Nursing and Rehabilitation Windermere, according to a Sentera spokesperson. Authorities are now looking over a 3-month period time span into whether McLean got proper care while under her caretaker who is listed as a family member, documents said. She is remembered by her may friends as a kind and woman - one who had a passion for travel she visited over 100 countries during her lifetime. And who liked swimming, yoga, and dance.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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Moin
died on January 10th, 2015

6yo Moin from Lahore, Pakistan, was repeatedly raped, killed, and left on top of the roof of a local mosque. At first the police suspected the imam, but later found DNA evidence implicating a local barber, 17yo, who confessed and was then killed in a police shootout.


Posted by Manya on July 28th, 2018
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Lorenzo Orozco-Estrada
died on January 10th, 2015

A family still finds it hard to comprehend that they are laying to rest Lorenzo Orozco-Estrada - a little guy who was so active and alive less than two weeks ago. Prosecutors say his mother's boyfriend repeatedly jumped on him and violently shook him while watching him. The 23-year-old man was initially charged with child abuse and other charges. On Saturday, those charges were upgraded to second-degree murder Autopsy results are still pending as prosecutors consider filing second-degree or first-degree murder charges against Mirsad Hamidovic, 23, of Kansas City. Lorenzo's family say they don't want to talk about Hamidovic. They want to talk about the little boy who brightened their lives for two years.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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January 11th:
Nixzmary Brown
died on January 11th, 2006

Nicky was a 7yo girl from Brooklyn, NY, who was repeatedly beaten, molested, and tortured, and finally murdered by her stepdad, while her mom ignored it and/or participated. There were numerous reports to Child Protective services, starting from back when Nicky was 5yo. Neighbors called, and school called too, when she came to classes with a black eye. At the time CPS was "swamped" with cases and the reports weren't followed up. Nicky was kept in a locked room with a cat litter box and a chair, to which Nicky was often tied and/or duct taped. Her head was hit against a bathtub. She was molested by more than one person. On January 11th she was beaten to death for stealing a cup of yogurt. She did not take that yogurt, it was still there in the fridge, when the police arrived.

The case resulted in public outrage and a few changes in CPS administration. Specifically, 525 more social workers were hired, and a police officer is now assigned to each case, to serve as a link between law enforcement, child protective services, and school.


Posted by Manya on December 22nd, 2015
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January 12th:
Samaii and Sammare Daniel
died on January 12th, 2018

5-year-old Samaii Daniel and 8-year-old and Sammarre Daniel were fatally injured by Queshan Brooks who shot at his stepmother and her two young daughters (his step sisters). Samaii and Sammarre Daniel, were taken to the hospital where they later died from their injuries. The girls were playing at the time of the incident. Their mother was badly injured but survived. "It's sad, heartbreaking, to the neighborhood here," said Tangela Rutherford a neighbout...adding; "It's very sad. Someone comes and assassinates two kids." A candlelight vigil was held for the two sisters


Posted by Jane on June 29th, 2018
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Aidan Bossingham
died on January 12th, 2014

Aidan Edward Bossingham, age 13, was starved to death by his mother, Jessica Lee Jensen. He weighed 21 pounds when he died. Though Aidan was diagnosed with a human growth hormone deficiency, Jensen refused to give him medication and had not taken him to a doctor since 2008. She treated him differently from his siblings, ages 14 and 7. All three children were homeschooled. Jensen was charged with murder.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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January 13th:
Nikki Whitehead
died on January 13th, 2010

Nikki Whitehead was literally born in prison, her mother doing time for drug possession. She was raised by her grandmother, who had a tough time keeping her on the straight and narrow. At only 17 years old, Nikki ended up pregnant with twins, naming the girls Tasmiyah and Jasmiyah. For 12 years the trio lived with Nikki's grandmother, the girls' great-grandmother. But Nikki dreamed of giving her daughters a better life. So, she and the twins moved about 20 miles away. The young mom made sure her girls had the advantages that eluded her. When the twins hit high school, they started to bitterly resented their mother's discipline. It was clear that Nikki was losing control. The polices were called to house, on January 13, 2010. The twins told them they had come home from school to find their mother dead. Investigating detectives quickly realized the girls were lying and eventually had enough evidence to arrest them. After nearly four years awaiting trial, the twins finally confessed to the brutal attack and murder on tape. Police believe Nikki never stood a chance in the savage attack.


Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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