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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March 2nd:
Nicholaus Contreraz
died on March 2nd, 1998

Nicolaus (16yo) died of abuse and medical neglect at Arizona Boys Ranch bootcamp, where he was sent for shoplifting.

He had asthma, and was complaining of nausea, diarrhea, and chest pain. The staff believed he was faking it, so they restricted his use of inhalers and were making him do physical exercises till he fainted, punched him, shoved him against walls, and denied him the right to use the bathroom. Eventually he became unable to control his bladder and bowels, and vomited frequently. As a result, they made him sleep in the bathroom in his soiled clothes, and carry around a bucket with his waste (over which he was forced to do pushups).

Quote from Wikipedia:
On March 2, the day he died, he had collapsed repeatedly. He was told he "deserved an Academy Award", thrown to the ground, forced to do pushups, and bounced off a wall. Another boy was ordered to push him around in a wheelbarrow while Contreraz was ordered to mimic the sound of an ambulance siren. He continued to be accused by staff of faking his condition. At around 5:30 pm, he collapsed for the last time. According to witnesses later interviewed by Arizona Child Protective Services, after his final collapse and inability to move, he was ordered by staff to get up, to which he simply replied "No", which was his last spoken word. He was pronounced dead two hours later.

Nicolaus had a collapsed lung, massive lung infection from inhaling vomit, two and a half quarts of puss caused by staphylococcus (from doing pushups over raw waste), blood in his stomach, and 71 cuts and bruises. Cause of death was cardiac arrest.

The day before he died, he was heard saying "Lord, help me, I need help, I need help..."


Posted by Manya on March 17th, 2015
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Lee William Mirecki
died on March 2nd, 1988

Lee William Mirecki was a 19-year-old United States Navy Airman Recruit who was killed during a military training exercise on March 2, 1988. His death became a focus point for those campaigning against bullying in military training regimes. Following on his death a number of policies and guidelines within the Navy's training programs were changed. He is named in the documentation supporting these changes.


Posted by Jane on July 25th, 2018
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March 3rd:
Daniel Pelka
died on March 3rd, 2012

Daniel was a 4yo boy from UK, abused and murdered by his mom and her boyfriend. They starved the child, beat him, locked him in a room, force-fed him salt, and put his head underwater in the bath. Both the mother and the boyfriend were convicted of murder; the mother hung herself the day before his 8th birthday; the boyfriend died in prison as well.


Posted by Manya on January 3rd, 2016
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March 4th:
Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean
died on March 4th, 2013

Chantelle was a 35yo mother of two from UK, strangled by her husband. He then cut himself and told the police that she attacked him and hung herself. The jury didn't find his story credible.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016
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Jahlil Clements
died on March 4th, 2012

Jahlil was an 11yo boy from Virginia, USA, who died trying to protect his mom from domestic violence. She was driving on an interstate, with her boyfriend and Jahlil in the car, and was having an argument with the boyfriend. She pulled over when he started hitting her. Jahlil ran into traffic to flag down help for his mom, and was killed. "Kids are always affected by domestic violence when it goes on in the household, but I've never seen anything like this before -to this magnitude," said Elizabeth Crawford, director of the local Domestic Violence and Counseling Center.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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March 5th:
Ross Bullock
died on March 5th, 2016

38yo Ross was a forklift operator from UK. He had sex with a coworker (who at the time was in a relationship with another man). Everything seemed well, they exchanged numerous flirtatious text messages after that, but then the coworker complained of rape to the police. Ross was arrested and released with no further action, then he was questioned again, then bailed for a month, then warned that even though the case is closed now - he could be charged at a later date. The experience of being a victim of a false rape accusation had such an impact on Ross that he hung himself in his parents' garage. He left a note that said "I’m free from this living hell". His father said, "Ross would still be alive now if the police had dealt with the allegation sensitively." His mother added, "The allegation changed Ross as a person. He cut himself off."


Posted by Manya on December 7th, 2018
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Soren Chilson
died on March 5th, 2013

5yo Soren from South Carolina, USA, died of brain injury while in the care of her mom's boyfriend. According to him, Sorren suddenly had a seizure and started coughing up blood, so he called 911. However, aside from broken skull, she also had bruises on her back, chest, and feet; the man was charged with murder. Soren's aunt said, "I would have taken her in a heartbeat. She was my family. She was my little buddy. Some people just shine. God bless her, everyday of her life, she shined."


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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Mekhi Patrick Dean Boone
died on March 5th, 2013

As 4 yo Mekhi Patrick Dean Boone lay on a hospital bed hooked up to a ventilator a visiting social worker noted that: "There is not a 2 inch part of his body that doesn't have bruises…he was beat to death". Mekhi was pronounced dead the next day — apparently without family by his side. His father and his father's girlfriend were prosecuted for murder.


Posted by Jane on August 19th, 2018
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March 6th:
Dontel Jeffers
died on March 6th, 2005

4yo Dontel from Massachusetts, USA, was "a very joyful, vivacious young man, full of life, vibrant and spry," according to his family and friends. "He was very energetic and happy, cheerful, you know, and he always liked to play with other kids and be around kids." Dontel's parents were separated before he was born. The first four months of his life he stayed with his mom at a homeless shelter. Then she dropped him off by his dad. Dad took good care of Dontel, but was arrested and deported on drug and violence related charges four years later. Dontel was placed with his mom for a month, then removed from her due to drug abuse and placed with a series of foster parents. He only spent ten days in his last foster home, before dying of physical abuse inflicted by his foster mother.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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March 7th:
Jessica Joyner
died on March 7th, 2016

29yo Jess from Wisconsin, USA, had a husband and five children aged between five and eleven. The children said that on March 7th mom and dad were having an argument because dad was yelling at mom for "dating a crackhead," after which "he stabbed her, she was running away, and he stabbed her a couple of more times." Jess ran to a next door neighbor (followed by children) and bled to death. "Now she won't be there for when I go to prom or my wedding," one of her daughters wrote. "I love you, Mom."


Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017
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March 8th:
Gabrielle Randel
died on March 8th, 2009

2yo Gabby from Texas, USA, was living in a Florida hotel with her mom, 3yo brother, and mom's boyfriend. At 5AM on March 8th Gabby's mom called 911 and told them Gabby wasn't breathing. The police was greeted by Gabby's 3yo brother, who had "Dumb A**" scribbled on his forehead by his mom. Gabby was unconscious and died a few hours later. She had multiple bruises, blunt trauma to her forehead, and serious trauma to her genitalia. Mom's boyfriend explained that he wrapped Gabby in a sheet and repeatedly hit her to get her to stop crying. The man was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The 3yo boy went to live with his dad.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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March 9th:
Sally Chesebro
died on March 9th, 1978

6yo Sally from Michigan, USA, drowned in a bathtub back in 1978. The death was ruled a tragic accident at the time, but fourteen years later her sister Nancy came forward and explained what really happened. Nancy and Sally wanted to use their mom's nail polish to paint their nails. She gave them permission to do so, but told them to wait till she wakes up. The girls thought it would be OK to paint their nails even though mom was still asleep. When their parents found out about it, Sally took the blame, and was punished the way girls were usually punished in that household: by being made to lie in a bathtub full of ice cold water for long periods of time. That's how Sally died. The case was reopened, and the girl's dad was sentenced to life in prison. Nancy wrote a book about Sally's death, The Walls Of Jericho.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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March 10th:
Summer Phelps
died on March 10th, 2007

4yo Summer from Washington state, USA, was living with her dad, stepmom, and baby brother. She had developmental disabilities and stepmom didn't cope with it well. Summer Phelps was beaten, bitten, shocked with a dog collar, burned with cigarettes, denied food and dunked in cold water after being forced to stand in a bathtub for hours washing urine-soaked clothes. Her hair was pulled out in clumps, and her body was covered from head to toe with bruises. Emergency room doctors and nurses who treated her testified during the trial that it was the worst case of child abuse they'd seen. 4yo Summer died on March 10, 2007, submerged in the bathtub. "My house, my rules," stepmom reportedly told police during her interview. "You're not at mommy's house anymore."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017
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Louis
died on March 10th, 2008

My best fiend my honorary brother I love you and miss you. Your death caused me to leave but I wish you were still here. I love you forever.


Posted by Amanda on July 1st, 2011
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March 11th:
Marci Garvin
died on March 11th, 2013

39yo Marci Garvin from Texas, USA, was born with multiple disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Marci was deaf, mostly blind, and unable to talk. Her family insisted that Marci be provided opportunities to succeed. Marci attended a public school, went to restaurants, movies, library, shopping. "It's almost like God chose these people to care for these children," one mother said after hearing Marci's mom, an advocate for the disabled, share her story.

Marci Garvin worked part time for 12 years, doing clerical work for a local newspaper. "It was of national significance," said Michael Callahan, president of Marc Gold & Associates, a consulting company that trains agencies, systems and families in working with the significantly disabled. "We know that we need to be focusing on people with the extent of Marci's disability, but nationally it is extremely rare."

As years went on, Marci's mom's health deteriorated; she had two heart attacks, was diagnosed with the early stages of dementia and had congestive heart and kidney function failure. "That's when the wheels fell off," Marci's dad said. Marci's older sister became the primary caregiver of Marci, their mom, and her own daughter who had Down syndrome and other medical issues. Marci hasn't seen a doctor in three years. "I would have to take my mom, my sister and my daughter all loaded up in the van. I was overwhelmed," her sister told investigators. "I was doing the best I could do," she said.

On March 9th, two days before Marci's death, her sister called 911 and said that Marci was "coming to the end stages." When paramedics arrived, they found a "hoarder house", so cluttered that they didn't have the room to examine Marci. She was covered in urine, feces, and bugs. Her diaper hasn't been changed for weeks. She had more than 20 major bedsores, and weighted 50 to 60 pounds, almost half of her normal weight. Marci died from sepsis, pneumonia, acute renal failure and severe dehydration. Marci's sister and father pleaded guilty to causing injury to the disabled and were sentenced to twenty years of prison.


Posted by Manya on March 9th, 2017
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