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 13th:
David Edwards
died on August 13th, 2015

Mr Edwards, 51yo lawyer from UK, had the misfortune of falling in love with an abusive woman. Mr Edwards told his friends that she hit "rather hard" and could "knock him out with one punch," but he covered up his injuries and didn't complain to the police. She stabbed him to death during a domestic dispute, less than two months after their wedding. Here's what Mr Edwards' work acquaintance wrote about him: "Over the years we have come to know David well. He was a very engaging person with a wry grin. He was always proud of his reputation and integrity as an officer of the court. His tragic death has affected every member of the Chorley bench, and I am sure the wider legal fraternity, very deeply. David was held in extremely high regard by every member of the Chorley bench."

The Mrs Edwards was sentenced to life in prison. Here's what the prosecutor said after the trial: "This domestic abuse was one of violence by a woman against a man. It had all the dreadful hallmarks of this type of offending. Sharon Edwards behaved in a domineering and possessive way with her husband. She seemed to resent any of his past or even present friends, family and colleagues. She behaved as though she expected him to devote his entire attention and time to her and made an overbearing nuisance of herself at his work. She had been violent to Mr Edwards early on in the relationship but it escalated as time went on. There is no evidence that he ever retaliated physically to her assaults. He submitted to his wife's demands to cover up her behaviour and continued to say that he loved her. Her final claims that he had walked into the knife which killed him have clearly been rejected by the jury. Domestic abuse can come in all sorts of guises and this case is another in the sad catalogue of violent repressive relationships that seem to rob the victim of their power or ability to stop the violence."

Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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August 14th:
Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay
died on August 14th, 2011

Toddler Madeline Layla Samaan-Fay were found dead on Saturday alongside her father Mounrad Samaan who shot her before turning the gun on himself. Samaan sparked a week-long manhunt when ran away with Madeline after receiving notification that the girl's mother, Marcia Ann Fay, 46, had been awarded full custody of their daughter, ending a joint custody arrangement.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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Dorothy Hoogstraten
died on August 14th, 1980

Dorothy Hoogstraten, from Vancouver, was a shy, naive 17-year-old girl working at a Dairy Queen when she met a local 26-year-old club promoter and pimp. He pursued her and eventually persuaded her to date him. After a time, he convinced her to do professional nude photographs, when he then sent to Playboy magazine. Her photos were interesting to the publishers, and she and her then boyfriend moved to Los Angeles, where she soon married her boyfriend against the advice of those around her. Dorothy, who then went by the stage name of Dorothy Stratten, became successful not only in modeling, but acting as well, leading to jealousy from her husband. She and her husband began to grow apart, so the two started living separately. Dorothy filed for a divorce after he tried to control more and more of her choices, professionally and personally. One morning, her husband said she needed to come to his house to sort out some divorce paperwork. When she arrived, he attacked and raped her and then killed 20 year old Dorothy with a rifle. She left behind many who loved her, including her mother and younger sister.

Posted by Tasha1701D on October 22nd, 2019
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August 15th:
Alycia Mesiti
died on August 15th, 2006

14yo Alycia from California, USA, loved Shakira, horses, and her pet chihuahua. She had a younger brother and mom and dad in the middle of a divorce/custody battle. Dad was violent and drank too much. Mom was depressed, hit Alycia's younger brother, and couldn't support the children. The judge felt there were "no good options" in this case, and Alycia and her brother went to live with their dad, who at least had the financial means to support them, after he completed an anger management class. The kids had a court appointed lawyer, who wrote in her report, "I am deeply concerned about both minors, especially Alycia," because the children were often hungry, subject to abuse, and unable to contact their mom despite her court-ordered visitation and contact rights.

14yo Alycia disappeared in August of 2006. Her dad said she had run away and that he was receiving phone calls from her, so the police wasn't searching for her, despite her mom's alarm. They said, "She'll come home, she'll come home." Two and a half years later they finally sent cadaver dogs to the house where Alycia disappeared from, and discovered her remains. The girl was molested and murdered. Her father is held on bail, still pending trial as of 2016, ten years after Alycia's death. "I couldn't even pick up her personal effects," Alycia's mother said. "There was nothing. There's just nothing left of her."

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez
died on August 15th, 1917

Born on August 15th 1917, Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained in April 1942. He was a well loved preacher who responded with kindness to those in need. He serviced the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years – a well loved cleric. In February 1977 he was the surprising choice to be the new Archbishop of San Salvador. As the socio/political conflict in El Salvador intensified and peaceful protest was met with massacres and death squad killings Archbishop Romero used his pulpit to speak for the voiceless poor. He spoke truthfully of what was happening; denouncing the killings, the torture and the disappearances of community leaders; he demanded justice and set up legal aid projects and pastoral programmes to support the victims of violence. With the emergence of far left guerrilla groups and the risk of civil war Archbishop Romero, rejecting the violence perpetrated by both the left and the right. He was denounced in the media as well as being targeted by the security forces and publicly opposed by several of his episcopal colleagues. As the threats worsened Archbishop Romero accepted the likelihood that he would be killed. At 6.26pm on March 24th 1980, with a single marksman's bullet, he fell at the foot of a huge crucifix. He was declared a martyr by Pope Francis on 3 February 2015, paving the way for his beatification which took place on 23 May 2015.

Posted by Jane on July 15th, 2018
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August 16th:
Mason Scott
died on August 16th, 2008

Mason was a 6yo mildly autistic boy from Alabama, USA, who died in a house fire the day. His mom exited the house unharmed and fully dressed, removed jewelry and some expensive paintings from the house beforehand, and has taken out several life insurance policies on Mason, one only the day before the fire. Mom was convicted of capital murder and is currently on death row, but that doesn't bring Mason back...

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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August 17th:
Joyce Taylor
died on August 17th, 2015

An autopsy indicated that Joyce Taylor was suffocated but her death also led to the death of her unborn child. Her body was originally found in a bedroom inside her home. Investigators say it appears the body had been hidden in the room. The body was discovered when the Joyce's mother came to visit and detected a foul odor. Allen Taylor, her husband was formally charged with capital murder. This was the second indictment for Taylor who was previously charged with tampering with a human corpse.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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Breonna Nichole Loftin
died on August 17th, 2011

Breonna was 4 years old when she died of blunt force trauma. She had bruises, burn marks, broken ribs and other signs of physical and sexual abuse on her body, according to authorities. Witnesses said the child was spanked, kicked, thrown across a room and forced to stand barefoot on water bottle caps. Both parents are facing trial for capital murder.

Posted by Manya on February 2nd, 2016
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August 18th:
Roshelle Clayborne
died on August 18th, 1997

Roshelle Clayborne was put facedown in a prone hold on August 18, 1997. She complained she couldn't breathe, but staff ignored her and shot her full of Thorazine. They stood around and watched as Clayborne lost control of her bowels and grew still, blood trickling from her mouth. Later, they rolled her onto a blanket and dragged her into an 8-by-10-foot seclusion room, where she died alone. Roshelle's death, was investigated by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS), the state agency that regulates treatment centers for mentally ill youths they cited the facility for numerous rules infractions, concluding that the restraint used on Roshelle was improper and carried out by mental health care workers who were inadequately trained and supervised.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 19th:
Ebony Jane Simpson
died on August 19th, 1992

The murder of 9 yo Ebony Jane Simpson occurred on 19 August 1992 in Bargo, New South Wales, Australia. Ebony was abducted, raped, and murdered by asphyxiation when Andrew Peter Garforth drowned her. On 19 August 1992, Ebony disembarked from her school bus. Her mother, who usually met her at the bus stop, was busy that day and had arranged for her older brother to meet her and accompany her home, after his bus reached the bus stop. But his bus arrived later than usual and Simpson was not there. Ebony not seeing her brother at the bus stop decided to start the walk home, which was only a short distance away. and see him at home. With her house in sight, Simpson passed a parked car that appeared to be broken down. The car’s driver, Garforth, grabbed her, threw her in the boot and drove off to a remote dam. Once there, he bound her with wire, raped her, weighted her schoolbag and threw her into the dam's reservoir where she drowned. Garforth pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Posted by Jane on July 4th, 2018
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Kendy Patricia Funez
died on August 19th, 2010

Kendy Patricia Funez 25 was shot in the head on August 19, 2010 Her boyfriend who was convicted of her shooting first told investigators the two thought they heard someone poking around outside and he took his shotgun as he looked around the house. He said Kendy walked toward him inside the master bedroom as he had the gun pointed. She pushed the gun away from her face and it “just went off.” He later told Salisbury Police detectives the two argued prior to the shooting.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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August 20th:
Alayna Ertl
died on August 20th, 2016

Five year old, Alayna's overnight disappearance from her home sparked an Amber Alert in August 2016. An adult family friend was later convicted of her kidnapping, sexual assault and murder. In her funeral home obituary she is remembered as "always having a smile and kind words to animal lover, princess, singer, great friend and "our peanut," the obituary continued. She enjoyed learning from her brother and "always gave the best hugs."

Posted by Jane on January 27th, 2019
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Lakesha Victor
died on August 20th, 2006

A special education teacher saw signs that something was wrong with 10-year-old Lakesha Victor. She was skinny, and sometimes the girl's diaper stayed dry all day, suggesting she was underfed. Her wheelchair was sometimes caked in ice, as if it had been left outside in the harsh northern Minnesota winter. The teacher's lingering questions were answered three years later, when authorities charged Ludusky Sue Hotchkiss, 29, with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2006 death of her disabled daughter. Lakesha weighed just 31 pounds when she died, and prosecutors allege her mother let her die by not feeding her enough for as long as four months.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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Naziat Khan
died on August 20th, 2001

Mrs Naziat Khan from UK had three daugthers, a son, and a husband of 16 years whom she didn't love because it was an arranged marriage. He didn't contribute to the household financially, so she filed for divorce. The husband decided that his honour was slighted, sent their son away for a few days, and strangled Mrs Khan in front of their three daughters, threatening to do the same to them if they speak up about what they saw. Then he dropped them off with a friend and fled the country. When their son returned home from his trip, he found his mother's body.

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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August 21st:
Huranieh Altantawi
died on August 21st, 2017

Huranieh, a 35yo personal fitness trainer, was in the middle of a divorce with her husband, and lived in the home alone with her 16-year-old son and two daughters, ages 14 and 12. On August 21st she died from injuries suffered in a fall from a second-floor window. Initially, detectives thought that Huranieh fell accidentally. After reviewing evidence, authorities felt that the teen boy deliberately pushed his mother to her death. Huranieh’s divorce attorney, said her client was estranged from her husband and in the middle of a divorce at the time of her death. She believes the teen sympathized with his father and thought his mother was becoming too Americanized and leaving behind Muslim tradition. “I’m just shocked,” neighbor Toni Jones said. “I’m totally speechless. I can’t imagine. “Can you imagine what the rest of the family is going through? I cannot. It would be devastating.”

Posted by Jane on July 1st, 2018
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Jayden-Lee Green
died on August 21st, 2011

23-month-old Jayden-Lee from UK died of methadone overdose. His parents were addicted to crack cocaine and heroin and wouldn't cooperate with drug agencies, midwives, housing officials, health visitors, and social workers. They regularly missed appointments and weren't home when visits were made. There were bags of rubbish lying around their one-bedroom ground-floor rented flat, as well as drug paraphernalia kept in cupboards and crack pipes under the sink. A rolled-up cigarette was found in a child's cot. "What was lacking was the authoritative challenge to this lack of co-operation," the report on Jayden-Lee's death stated. "There was a lack of enforcement of consequences. There was a lack of challenge by practitioners across the range of agencies. (...) The only way that [Jayden-Lee's] death would definitely have been prevented was if he had been placed away from his parents. The opportunity to do this was lost due to the failure to follow through on the initiation of care proceedings."

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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August 22nd:
Zahree Thomas
died on August 22nd, 2012

Mom of 2yo Zahree from New Jersey, USA, struggled with mental health issues and drug addiction. When he was 10 months old, she left him in a locked car and told CPS she was smoking "wet" (combination of street drugs) and didn't remember where she left her baby. She lost custody but gained it back. Neighbors said she was nice but kept to herself, though they saw her walking around, cursing to herself, and sitting on her front steps topless. On August 22nd she called 911 and said that she has hurt her son. Her speech was incoherent, but the police went to check on her and Zahree. Zahree was decapitated, and his mom slashed her throat right after placing the 911 call.

Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016
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