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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September 10th:
Meredith Emily Hight
died on September 10th, 2017

27yo Meredith was "the most beautiful, fierce, wicked smart, talented, witty, loving soul," according to her friends. She graduated from the University of Texas with Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics, worked from home for Coca-Cola Industries, and loved Rennesaince Festivals and 311 music band. Meredith was married for six years to a guy she met in college. Three years into the marriage they bought a house, but then he was laid off from his job and started drinking and getting violent with her. In April of 2017 he moved out, and in July Meredith filed for divorce. On September 10th Meredith was hosting a cookout and football watching party, the first one since the breakup. Eight family friends attended it, while her ex husband was getting drunk at a local pub. He then came to the house with a gun and shot Meredith and all of their friends but one. He was shot and killed by the police at the scene.

Posted by Jane on July 1st, 2018
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Lamar Hawkins III
died on September 10th, 2014

14yo Lamar from Brooklyn, NY, had a loving family: mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. He had medical problems at birth, and doctors said he only had a 20% chance of surviving infancy. "He fought through everything - everything - and he made it," his father said. However, he was small in statue, and that made him an easier target for bullies at school. The family moved to Florida, to help their son by changing the environment - but the bullying continued, and on September 10th Lamar shot himself in the bathroom on campus.

Posted by Manya on March 23rd, 2017
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September 11th:
Amanda Ross
died on September 11th, 2009

29yo Amanda from Kentucky, USA, was a warm and vivacious woman, according to her friends; she liked animals, soccer, Ernest Hemingway, and keeping up with her highschool friends. "She was cheerful and peppy and lots of fun, a very integral part of that class," her school headmaster said. After Amanda graduated from Boston university with a degree in business administration and finance, she went to work for her father's company. State Rep. Bob Damron, who works for that firm, said Amanda "had a good mathematical mind and a good business mind." She was also elected to the board of the local Humane Society, and was excited to start her term in December.

Amanda was dating a former Kentucky state legislator who championed laws protecting the victims domestic violence. Unfortunately, he was violent towards Amanda, to the point that she received an order of protection against him in February of 2009. He continued stalking her for months, and finally on September 11th he shot her in a parking lot as she was leaving work.

Amanda's mother advocates for a legislation called Amanda's law, that would require perpetrators of domestic violence to wear GPS tracking devices while there's an order of protection against them, that would notify the police and the victim if they are somewhere they shouldn't be. She said, "It will definitely save lives if you know that person. You have a fighting chance if you know that person is in your area - you can at least do something to protect yourself. Amanda, she would have never walked out the door that morning. She would have known that he was out there because she also could have worn a bracelet that would have warned her, rather than a phone call. She would have been warned that he was out there in her area."

Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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Jacob Grabe
died on September 11th, 2008

13yo Jacob from Colorado, USA, loved his two dogs, Holly and Cinnamon, and his cat, Buttercup, and was learning to ride horses. He was top seller for the school fund-raisers, played the French horn in band, and was just elected equipment manager. He was also in track, learning to master the triple jump. Jacob attended church, and used to help his mom with her Avon deliveries and his dad with his window washing business.

Jacob had Asperger's and died because his dad shot him nine times in the head. "I had to kill him because you were ruining him," the man explained to his wife. "I believe that his intent was to save his son from irreparable harm, saving him by sending him home to Jesus," his psychiatrist testified at trial. The jury rejected insanity plea and the man was sentenced to life without parole.

Posted by Manya on September 13th, 2017
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Shafilea Ahmed
died on September 11th, 2003

Shafi was a 17yo Pakistani girl from UK, who was murdered by her parents for refusing an arranged marriage. She lived in Yorkshire, went to school, wanted to be a lawyer, and wrote poetry.

Shortly before her disappearance Shafi and her parents had traveled to Pakistan where she rejected an arranged marriage partner and had swallowed bleach, badly scarring her throat. Her parents felt that she brought shame on their family, murdered her, dismembered the body, and dumped it in a river.

Here's a quote from Shafi's poem "I'm trapped" that she wrote before she was killed:

Desire to live is burning
My stomach is turning
But all they think about is honour
I was like a normal teenage kid
Didn't ask 2 much
I jus wanted to fit in
But my culture was different

Posted by Manya on October 16th, 2012
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Jimmy Ryce
died on September 11th, 1995

According to his parents, 9yo Jimmy from Florida, USA, "had an IQ of over 130. Loved to read. Hated stories with sad endings. Cried when he saw Les Miserable. Wanted be a major league baseball player when he grew up or if he couldn't do that he wanted to find a cure for a disease". One day Jimmy got off his school bus and was walking home, four houses down on the same side of the street. The man pulled a truck in front of Jimmy, blocking his way, pointed a gun at him, grabbed him by the shirt, and pulled him into the truck. He then took Jimmy to his trailer and raped and tortured him for four hours. Jimmy heard helicopters and ran to the door, hoping to escape, when the man shot him in the back. He then decapitated and dismembered Jimmy's body and hid it in cement in three plastic planters near his trailer.

The man was sentenced to death and executed. Jimmy's parents created the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction to raise awareness about the plight of missing children, victims' rights and violence.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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September 12th:
Shay Martinez
died on September 12th, 2017

29yo Mrs Martinez from Oregon, USA, worked as a package handler for FedEx and had an abusive boyfriend. When her mom asked her about bruises, she said it was from work, but to her friends she admitted it was from her abusive relationship. On September 10th, 2017, they had a fight. Neighbors heard the argument, Mrs Martinez crying, and then silence. The boyfriend claims that he threw her across the room, she hit her head against the floor, and immediately started snoring and bleeding from her nose. He put her to bed and didn't check on her till 3PM, when she was unresponsive but still had a pulse. He finally decided to take her to a hospital around 10PM, seventeen hours after the assault. Mrs Martinez died from traumatic brain injury two days later.

Posted by Manya on July 28th, 2018
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Kashmire Nazier Redd
died on September 12th, 2017

Kashmire Nazier Redd, a 28-year-old transgender man who was fatally stabbed by his partner during an argument inside their shared apartment in Gates, New York. Redd left the building, and collapsed on the front lawn before police responded to the incident. Redd died soon after being taken to hospital. "This tragedy is the latest reminder that the transgender community is disproportionately represented in domestic violence cases across the country, and more must be done to support those experiencing intimate partner violence. Jamie Saunders, CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, noted that transgender people face "additional unique barriers in seeking safety and support from domestic violence".

Posted by Jane on July 4th, 2018
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September 13th:
Andres Bravo Garcia
died on September 13th, 2014

5-month-old Andres from Florida, USA, lived with him mom, an older brother, and mom's boyfriend. One day mom was at work and Andres was home alone with her boyfriend. The boyfriend said Andres fell off his bed - which somehow resulted in brain injuries, lung contusion, retinal hemorrhaging to both eyes, and bruising to his buttocks. The boyfriend was arrested. Andres was taken off life support five days later.

Posted by Manya on September 13th, 2017
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September 14th:
Jack Taylor
died on September 14th, 2015

25yo Jack Taylor from London, UK, worked as a forklift truck driver and lived with his parents and two sisters. Jack was raped and killed by a serial killer who had a fetish of having sex with unconscious young men. He met his victims through gay dating sites, lured them to his flat, spiked their drinks with GHB (date rape drug), and four of them, including Jack, died of overdose. The man was convicted of 22 crimes total, and sentenced to life in prison.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2018
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Jessica Arrendale
died on September 14th, 2014

Jessica (33yo, Georgia, USA) was dating Antoine Davis, who used to be abusive, especially when drunk. They had a daughter together, 6 months old Cobie (on the photo). On Saturday, September 13th, Jessica and Antoine went out, have been drinking, and later on at home Antoine became violent. Jessica tried to fight him off with a baseball bat, but he was a former US Marine and overpowered her. He beat her with the bat (while she had Cobie in her arms) and chased her upstairs, where she locked herself in the bathroom, still with the baby. He got a rifle, broke the door, shot Jessica in the head, and then went to the bedroom and shot himself as well. As Jessica was falling down, she turned around somehow and dropped the baby into the toilet bowl, covering it with her body as she fell, thus saving Cobie's life.

Posted by Manya on November 11th, 2015
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September 16th:
Ryanna Grywacheski
died on September 16th, 2017

18-year-old Ryanna Grywacheski, originally from Saskatchewan, was found dead in what has been ruled by police as a murder-suicide. According to RCMP, she was murdered by 37-year-old Jeff Kilfoy of Marystown, with whom she was in a relationship. According to a statement issued to the Southern Gazette on behalf of the family by Ryanna’s aunt, Cornelia Behr, “there are not enough words to describe Ryanna. “She was) beautiful, loving and caring. A sweet young woman, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin.” “She honestly had a heart of gold. She will be greatly missed by us all.”

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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September 17th:
Thomas Cressman
died on September 17th, 2000

39yo Thomas Cressman from UK was murdered by his girlfriend. They dated for two years, and she was staying in his flat because of her financial hardships. In September of 2000 he took her on a holiday to Italy and his family's villa on the French Riviera; she hoped he would propose to her, and he didn't, and told her he had no intention of marrying her, when she confronted him. The argument continued when they returned back home, and Mr Cressman called police saying that "somebody is going to get hurt", but police never came to his apartment. That night while he was sleeping, his girlfriend smashed him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him with a knife.

Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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September 18th:
died on September 18th, 2018

3yo Varsha from India was beaten to death. Her mom wanted a son, and used to beat up Varsha and not feed her. When Varsha died of injuries and malnutrition, her mom was pregnant, and told their neighbors that if the baby turns out to be a girl again - she'll beat her to death as well.

Posted by Manya on May 6th, 2019
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Hiawayi Robinson
died on September 18th, 2014

8yo Hiawayi from Alabama, USA, attended a third grade and "lived her life to the fullest, unafraid and full of joy," according to family and friends. Five days before her 9th birthday, she went to visit her dad to pick up $150 that he wanted to give her as a birthday gift. She never returned home; her dead body was found behind an abandoned building in the neighborhood, and coroners report stated that she died during rape. Her dad was charged with sodomy and murder, and is pending trial while serving a different sentence in federal prison.

"The pain is still the same, nothing can change the pain I feel for my loss," Hiawayi's mom said. "But, to see all these people here, it helps with my comfort, to see people come together, and love and support one another... Love your family, stay close, time is short, that's what I pretty much got from this situation - life can really be short, (so) love your people while you can."

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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Jamey Rodemeyer
died on September 18th, 2011

14yo Jamey from New York, USA, was bullied for being bisexual. He was a fan of Lady Gaga and did a lot of activism against homofobia on his YouTube channel, including a video for the "It Gets Better project, a website dedicated to preventing teen suicide. Jamey committed suicide by hanging. His death made a large impact on the society; Lady Gaga dedicated a song to him and met with President Barack Obama to discuss school bullying prevention. New York state launched its Cyberbully Census. Multiple celebrities came out as gay, to help eradicate the stigma.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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died on September 18th, 2004

I miss you everyday, We suffered everything together, so it isn't fair you were the one who had to die..I guess life isn't fair but just remember I love you and miss with every breath and heartbeat.

Posted by Hania on May 28th, 2008
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September 19th:
Bernice Rice Hensley
died on September 19th, 2016

Bernice Rice Hensley 86 yo was shot and killed by her husband. Their daughter said that he has suffered from dementia for several years. “Her daughter who’s parents had been married for 62 years said. “They were the best parents you could ever have.”

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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Teresa Tysinger
died on September 19th, 2004

Investigators say 24 yo Teresa Tysinger's body was found inside her home on Burlington Mills Road. They are calling her death suspicious. Teresa, 34, had lived at the residence for about three weeks. Family members reported her missing on Sunday when she did not answer the door. Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for felonious assult on a female for her boyfriend.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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September 20th:
Daniel Whitworth
died on September 20th, 2014

21yo Daniel from Kent, UK, was "an active and intelligent outdoors boy who loved days on his bike exploring leafy byways", according to his father. Daniel was passionate about cooking, worked as a chef, and had been in a relationship with a live-in boyfriend for three years. He was raped and killed by a serial killer who had a fetish of having sex with unconscious young men. He met his victims through gay dating sites, lured them to his flat, spiked their drinks with GHB (date rape drug), and four of them, including Daniel, died of overdose. The man was convicted of 22 crimes total, and sentenced to life in prison.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2018
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Amanda Bach
died on September 20th, 2011

The marquee outside of Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church's school read, "Amanda Bach: Remember A Life." Hundreds of mourners did just that Friday morning, filling the church's pews to recall Amanda who was killed Sept. 16. She was described as the apple of her parents' eye, a young woman who lived life to the fullest, who hoped to study nursing in college, who liked country music and rap, hiking and going to the beach, and spending time with family and friends. Amanda's death, the Rev. Andrew Corona said during the funeral Mass, is like having the lights go out unexpectedly. Losing Amanda "is like being thrown into the darkness without the slightest warning".

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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