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 25th:
Surjit Athwal
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

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

April 26th:
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

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

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

April 28th:
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
~ Confucius
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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