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 23rd:
Shaylyn Ammerman
died on March 23rd, 2016

1yo Shaylyn from Indiana, USA, was raped and murdered by a friend of her dad. He came over for a night of drinking, took Shaylyn from her bed, and drove to a rural area where he assaulted and killed her. A medical examiner called the trauma to Shaylyn's body the "worst case of sexual trauma" she had seen in her career. "When I heard all the horrible things he did to my precious girl I wanted to die too," said Shaylyn's dad.


Posted by Manya on March 10th, 2017

March 24th:
Shamir Hudson
died on March 24th, 1998

8yo Shamir from Maryland, USA, lived with his 7yo brother, 6yo sister, and their 58yo adoptive mom. She was approved for adoption in 1995, after fostering them for about a year. Things turned bad when the children were transferred to Faith Deliverance Academy, an unaccredited private school. "These children were slowly tortured," said the kids' old kindergarten teacher. "Every time we tried to intervene, the Department of Social Services said our reports were unfounded."

Shamir was beaten to death. An autopsy determined that he died of wounds of every "size, age and direction," including a broken rib, a lacerated liver and hemorrhaging from his head. According to police reports, a burn on the child's arm and two open wounds on his legs were covered with duct tape.

"Obviously, we have looked again at all those referrals from the school and there just wasn't enough evidence to warrant a court order to remove them from the home," county social services director said. "We did receive multiple complaints about the children, but only two about the child who died." In Worcester County, with a population of about 35,000, four protective services case workers handle as many as 250 cases of suspected child abuse a year, officials said. "This has to be the saddest and most brutal case I have witnessed in my years on the bench," the judge said before imposing the 30-year sentence.


Posted by Manya on March 10th, 2017

March 25th:
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery
March 25th, 2008

The day honours and remembers those who suffered and died as a consequence of the transatlantic slave trade, which has been called "the worst violation of human rights in history", in which over 400 years more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims.


Posted by Anonymous on March 25th, 2014

Camryn Jakeb Wilson
died on March 25th, 2008

4-month-old Camryn from Ohio, USA, died of shaken baby syndrome. His mom and dad, both recovering alcoholics, had an argument that involved a lot of yelling and throwing wedding rings at each other. In the end Camryn's mom left for an AA meeting, and dad stayed home with Camryn. When mom returned, she found Camryn unwell, rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late. Doctors discovered severe bleeding of his brain, extensive hemorrhages in both eyes, and Craig R. Wilson. Camryn's dad was sentenced to life in prison.


Posted by Manya on March 10th, 2017

March 26th:
Michele Davis
died on March 26th, 2015

35yo Michelle from Arizona, USA, had seven children (ages 3 to 15) and an abusive husband who has been arrested at least four times for domestic violence and child abuse. She took care of the kids, was going to school to become a nurse, and was active at online support groups for abused women. "She was very compassionate," her dad said. "And she was very much a people person that wanted to be there for people."

On March 25th the whole family was at home, the father got upset with one of the kids for playing video games, and struck him on the face. The boy complained to mom, Michelle confronted her husband, and soon 911 received two phone calls at the same time: one from the children, pleading for help, and one from the father, crying hysterically and apologizing for killing his wife. Michelle was found with 13 stab wounds, and died in a hospital the next day. The man is held on murder charges, the kids are with their grandma, Michelle's mom.

"There’s times when you’re going throughout your day trying to get done what needs to get done, and then it all of a sudden dawns on you that she’s really gone, and then quickly comes into my mind those kids and what some of them saw," her family says.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

March 27th:
Sandra Cantu
died on March 27th, 09

Sandra was an 8yo girl who lived with her mom, grandparents, and three older siblings in a Mobile Home park in California. She was raped and murdered by her mentally ill neighbor, Melissa Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher and a mother of Sadra's playmate.


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016

March 28th:
Mark Hudson
died on March 28th, 2015

26yo Mark from Pennsylvania, USA, was a police officer shot to death by his girlfriend in his house. They had a history of abuse: six months prior to the shooting, she threatened Mark with a knife and said she wanted to kill him. He locked himself in a bedroom, called police, and later secured a protection from abuse order. The woman gave a few different explanations of what happened on March 28th, including that Mark's dog shot him by holding the gun in its mouth, and that she shot him in self defense. When sentencing the woman to 18-36 years of prison, the judge told her, "You could have easily walked away from that situation and you chose not to do that, and therefore this sentence was brought on by you and by no one else."

Mark’s best friend said he never saw Mark angry or confrontational about his relationship with his girlfriend and described the victim as "an extinguisher" who strove to defuse conflict. "His love for his friends, his family, his mom, his brother was unconditional," he said. Mark's boss, Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe said Mark had a bright and promising career ahead of him in law enforcement and likely could have been chief one day. "He had a vibrant personality. He would meet people and just connect with them, because that’s the way he was. He’s just a person that shouldn’t have been taken from us so soon."


Posted by Manya on March 10th, 2017

March 29th:
Isabella Nardoni
died on March 29th, 2008

Isabella was a 5yo girl from Brazil who was abused and killed by her dad and stepmom. Her biological mom got pregnant with Isabella at 17, but broke up with her dad while still pregnant. Isabella lived with mom, but visited dad on weekends. She complained of being beaten there, kept asking to not go, or to leave early, and the whole family was concerned that the stepmother might hurt the child. On March 29th Isabella was thrown out of a window of her dad's apartment (sixth floor) and died in an ambulance on her way to hospital. She had injuries unrelated to the fall, and her blood was found in the apartment and in her dad's car. Stepmother said it was all Isabella's fault.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016

Oksana Makar
died on March 29th, 2012

Oksana was a girl from Ukraine whose both parents were convicted of various felonies, including drug-related ones. When Oksana was little, her mom was incarcerated for armed robbery, and Oksana went to live with her grandparents. When she was in third grade, grandparents sent her to an orphanage. She tried to run away multiple times, but was caught. When Oksana was 10, her mom was released from prison, and took the girl home. Mom's boyfriend molested Oksana, mom moved to another town, and the girl was practically homeless. She only completed 6th grade, and there was a police report about her engaging in prostitution.

On March 8th (International Women's Day in Ukraine), 18yo Oksana was at a local bar. Her drink was spiked, three guys took her to their place, raped and strangled her, set her on fire, and left her for dead. She was found the next morning, taken to a hospital, and died three weeks later of burns, gangrene, pneumonia, sepsis, multiple organ failure, brain edema, and undernourishment.


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016

March 30th:
Corinne Gump
died on March 30th, 2015

10yo Corinne and her grandparents from Ohio, USA, died in a housefire hours before she was going to testify against her mom's boyfriend, because she said he was molesting her for five years. He was out on bail at the time of fire. "We woke up and heard an explosion," said the grandparents' neighbor. "We looked out and saw flames in every room of the house. Not just the basement. Not just the living room. Everything was on fire. Windows were blown out, doors ripped off hinges. Even if they were awake, they couldn't have made it out." Days after the fire, the man tried to bribe his ex-wife, so that she would testify that Corinne made up the story of sexual abuse. She refused, and the trial proceeded. Here's what Corinne's relatives and neighbors said about her:

"She was a beautiful child with a soft heart and her mommy's smarts. She was daddy's princess, and she always slept with her daddy's gray tank tops. She had a quirky attitude and touched many people's lives in her 10 short years. She was a night owl and enjoyed playing games, riding four-wheelers and bikes, swimming and playing outside with her friends." "That little girl was the pride and joy of her grandparents. She listened to whatever they said. She and her grandparents got along so well. That family really will be missed."


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

March 31st:
Salwa Haydar
died on March 31st, 2015

Salwa Haydar was a mother of four, stabbed to death by her husband. Their 18yo daughter Ola tried to protect her mom, but received a serious hand injury. Mrs Haydar worked for a welfare office, assisting victims of domestic violence, after the family immigrated from Lebanon to Australia to avoid the bombings (Mrs Haydar's mother was killed in one).


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016

Aaron Bacon
died on March 31st, 1994

Aaron was a 16yo boy from South California who asked his parents to transfer him to a public school because he felt his private school "wasn't providing enough socioeconomic diversity." He was a bright kid, wrote poetry, but soon after the school transfer he was caught smoking pot and was suspected of affiliating with a school gang (though he vehemently denied it). Parents panicked, took out a second mortgage, and sent Aaron to a North Star wilderness therapy program, costing $13,900 for a 63-day course, plus another $775 to have Aaron surprised at 1Am by being dragged out of his bed barefoot and forcibly "escorted" to location (something North Star strongly recommended).

Out of 20 days on the trail, Aaron had been forced to go without a sleeping bag for 14 days, without a blanket for 4 days (three of which were marked by below-freezing temperatures), and without food for 11 days, plus four days on which he had only meal, and one day on which his only food was a lizard and a scorpion. Aaron soiled himself uncontrollably, was unable to walk, see, or hear, and other kids in the group said that he looked "like he was from Auschwitz or Ethiopia," yet the camp counselors felt he was faking it till he died.

Here's one of Aaron's poems:

Dreaming with a heart full of wonder
And a mind full of knowledge
Our thirst for life and love
Does not set with the sun behind us.


Posted by Manya on October 17th, 2015

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


 

Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!
~ Confucius
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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