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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August 3rd:
Olumide Ayeni
died on August 3rd, 2018

36yo Olumide from Lagos worked as a hospital pharmacist and had a wife and two children. His marriage was fraught with disagreements, and his father advised him to divorce, but the rest of the family discouraged him from meddling. On August 8th, Friday night, Olumide's wife stabbed him to death over suspicions of infidelity. Their children were taken by her mother.


Posted by Manya on May 4th, 2019
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Katelynn Sampson
died on August 3rd, 2008

Katelynn was a 7yo girl from Toronto, Canada, whose mom was a drug addict. She gave Katelynn to another drug addict, hoping her daughter would have a better life with them. All three (the mother and the couple who cared for Katelynn) had a long history with Child Protective Services, and there were multiple reports from school and neighbors, with concerns about Katelynn's welfare. Those reports weren't followed up. Katelynn died of septic shock from over 70 wounds. Police found her blood in every room of the apartment, and a note written by her, that said 62 times "I am A awful girl that's why know one wants me."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Nia Marie Glassie
died on August 3rd, 2007

Nia was a 3yo Maori girl abused and eventually killed by her family in Rotorua, New Zealand. She was the youngest of six children her mom had. Mom was 34yo, and frequently left Nia with her 16yo boyfriend, his brother, and the brother's girlfriend. The three have been abusing Nia for months, in front of her older siblings.

Nia had been kicked, beaten, slapped, jumped on, held over a burning fire, had wrestling moves copied from a computer game practiced on her, spit on, placed into a clothes dryer spinning at top heat for up to 30 minutes, folded into a sofa and sat on, shoved into piles of rubbish, dragged through a sandpit half-naked, flung against a wall, dropped from a height onto the floor, and whirled rapidly on an outdoor rotary clothes line until thrown off.

When Nia lapsed into coma, her family didn't take her to hospital for 36hrs (they were having a party, and continued it while she was in hospital). During the trial, a doctor told the court that if Nia had been taken to hospital as soon as she was unconscious, she would have likely survived.


Posted by Manya on April 17th, 2011
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August 4th:
Sandra Coke
died on August 4th, 2013

Mrs Coke was a federal investigator of death row inmates in California, USA, working to overturn wrongful convictions and improve inmates' quality of life. She was murdered by a violent sex offender whom she dated briefly 20 years prior, and with whom she reconnected after he was released from prison about a year before her death. Here's a quote from Federal Defender Press Release: "Sandra was a compassionate, intelligent, thorough investigator. A devoted single mother and friend to her coworkers, she dedicated her work and her life to looking for the best in people, to give some explanation to why people do what they do - even the most heinous of acts, all based upon the belief that no person should be judged only by the worst act he or she committed."


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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August 5th:
Chaitanya Balpande
died on August 5th, 2015

13yo Chaitanya from Pune, India, was born disabled. His parents loved him very much, he enjoyed bird watching and playing cricket with them. Things went downhill when he was around ten; parents split up, and mom didn't let his dad and paternal grandma to see him anymore. Three years later Chaitanya's mom beat him to death with a cricket bat.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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Mason Rhinehart
died on August 5th, 2014

6yo Mason from Florida, USA, lived with his mom, dad, and 8yo brother Aden. "They were two peas in a pod, they were best friends, they were inseparable," his godmother said. "When you saw Mason, you saw Aden." Mason was on the honor roll in school, loved swimming and playing Minecraft with his brother, started weightlifting with his dad, and played for a youth football team.

The boys' parents worked full time, and grandma babysat the kids twice a week. One Tuesday, two days before Mason's 7th birthday, the parents were at work, the boys were playing computer games, and grandma told them she had a surprise for them. She took Mason to the bathroom, locked the door, and stabbed him to death. 8yo Aden heard his brother cry and say, "I don't want to die, please don't kill me." Aden tried to get into the bathroom but couldnt, so he called his dad and hid. He wasn't physically injured, but, before leaving the house, grandma told him she had a surprise for him too.

The grandma eventually pled no contest to murder charges, explained that she did it because she was "fed up" with her daughter-in-law, and was sentenced to life without parole. "I feel really sorry for him because not only did he lose a son, he lost a mother," Mason's godmother said about his dad. "He says he's done with her and never wants to see her again."


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 6th:
Karen Passmore
died on August 6th, 2015

Karen Passmore was left disabled after suffering a stroke while giving birth to her daughter, Jackie. Her husband took care of her from 1993 until his death in 2014. Her care then passed to daughter Jackie. According to a medical examiner's report, Karen Passmore weighed just 58 pounds and died from a combination of acute pneumonia and cardiovascular disease. It appeared the contributing factor to her death was adult neglect by her caretaker. Jackie Passmore was charged with homicide and negligent manslaughter of her disabled mother.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 7th:
Myles Hill
died on August 7th, 2017

3yo Myles from Florida, USA, loved to cuddle with his grandmother and showing his great aunt how to play a race-car game on his tablet. "He was always doing something," she said. "He was a very happy little boy." Myles was left in a parked van for nearly 12 hours because his day-care worker forgot to do a headcount before dropping the kids off for the day at 9AM. According to meteorologists, the high temperature that day was 93, and it would have only taken an hour for the inside the van to reach temperatures topping 140 degrees. Myles' body was found in the van at about 8:30PM, when his grandmother couldn't reach the daycare by phone and went there in person.

"If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them," said his great aunt. "He had to lose his life because of someone's neglect. It's not right. It's not right at all. If you have six kids get in the van, you make sure six kids get out of the van."


Posted by Manya on October 16th, 2017
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Jenise Wright
died on August 7th, 2014

6yo Jenise from Washington state, USA, loved playing at the park with her friends and family, baking pies with her Grandma, taking pictures with her ipad and going out for ice-cream cones. She was raped and murdered, and the police arrested a 17yo neighbor, friend of Jenise's older siblings, who used to hang out in the house and whom Jenise's dad taught how to chop firewood for extra income. "It's devastating. It almost would have been easier if it was a stranger," the father said.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 8th:
Donita Elliott
died on August 8th, 2017

Donita Elliott was shot and killed by her husband Patrick Elliott. Authorities say he recorded audio of the shooting on a cellphone. The recording includes the couple talking. the shot striking Donita Elliott and her pleas for help. “But he refuses and indicates he will help her after he watches her die,” according to the affidavit. Police were called to the couple’s Lafayette home on Aug. 7 during a domestic fight. Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard confirmed that officers stayed at the residence for an hour, at which point Donita Elliott left the house and officers believed the situation had stabilized. Donita Elliott returned to the home about five hours later. Patrick Elliott called authorities early Aug. 8 to report that he’d shot her in self-defense. Patrick Elliott said in a letter to his church Sunday that Donita Elliott suffered from bipolar disorder and that she tried to attack him with a knife. Court documents show Patrick Elliott told authorities he planted the knife in the room.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 9th:
Monica Butler Johnson
died on August 9th, 2015

Monica Johnson, claimed in a June 24 request for the protective order that her husband had been following her in the days prior, including at a birthday party she had taken her other son, who is 8, where she spotted David Johnson hiding behind a fence. He had also been seen at Wal-Mart in Prairieville and had even been seen peeping into her house and hiding in the attic. Monica claimed her husband had become obsessive, even secretly recording her at times. “My sons and I are not comfortable in our home,” she wrote in the request for the protective order. David Johnson had been arrested Dec. 31 on a count of domestic abuse strangulation, a felony, after the couple got into a fight at their house over her cellphone.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 10th:
Moko Rangitoheriri
died on August 10th, 2015

Moko Sayviah Rangitoheriri died on August 10 last year from injuries he received during prolonged abuse and torture. His case shocked, saddened and angered New Zealanders and led to marches in his name against child abuse. He had bite marks on his face, his tummy was protruding unnaturally and he was covered from head to toe in bruises and abrasions.A post-mortem examination was carried out and established that the Tokoroa toddler died as a result of "multiple blunt force traumas". There was evidence the toddler had been smothered. Tania Shailer, 26, and David William Haerewa, 43, plead guilty to manslaughter and ill treating a child. Moko had been left in their care while his mother was dealing with the serous illness of another of her children


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 11th:
Leah Cohen
died on August 11th, 2017

The family of a mother and daughter who were stabbed to death at their home have described the shock and devastation caused by the tragedy. The bodies of Leah Cohen, 66, and Hannah Cohen, 33, were discovered by police in Golders Green, north-west London, last Friday night. Joshua Cohen — Leah’s son and Hannah’s brother — faces two charges of murder and will go on trial at the Old Bailey in February. In a statement, family members said they were “shocked and devastated” and were “struggling to come to terms with the tragedy”. But they had been comforted by the messages of support from friends and members of the community, the statement said.


Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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August 12th:
Viola Herms Drath
died on August 12th, 2011

Mrs Drath was born in 1920 in Germany, and moved to USA after the WWII. She had a strong influence on German-American relations for over thirty years, and was active in various ways: as a journalist, a playwright, an editor, a foreign policy adviser, author of university textbooks, and a member of diplomatic missions to various countries.

When Mrs Drath was 70yo, she married a much younger intern from Germany, who soon became physically abusive. They were together for 21 year, until her murdered her. Mrs Drath wrote a memoir titled "A Thoroughly Muddled Marriage: Report of an Inmate" which hasn't been published.


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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