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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July 4th:
Kati Earnest
died on July 4th, 2009

5yo Kati from Texas, USA, was killed by her mom's boyfriend. He hit her, spanked her with a toy boat she made in Sunday school, punched her with his fist, and repeatedly stepped on her with his whole body weight as she was lying on the floor, as per his orders. His relationship with Kati's mom was short, but very violent, as were his multiple prior relationships.

Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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Zina Linnik
died on July 4th, 2007

Zina was a 12yo girl from Washington, USA, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a stranger, registered sex offender. She was watching the Independence Day fireworks behind her home, when her dad heard a scream, ran to the back, and found one of Zina's flip-flops and saw a van driving off.

Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016
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July 5th:
Jack Garcia
died on July 5th, 2015

Jack was a 9yo boy from California. He was smart, but stubborn and uncommunicative. Mom used to put him on timeout, and his school felt he was doing better. In spring of 2015 Jack's mom met a man online, picked up Jack, and moved with him to Maryland, to stay with this new boyfriend. She didn't enroll Jack in school, stopped the timeouts, and instead allowed her brother (Jack's uncle) and her boyfriend to discipline Jack in ways that prosecution described as torture. Four months later Jack was dead: his uncle and stepfather beat him, handcuffed him, and tied him to a chair with a bike chain, because he ate a piece of a birthday cake that belonged to his new stepsister.

Posted by Manya on May 20th, 2016
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Muhtahina Jannat
died on July 5th, 2011

Ruma (family nickname of Muhtahina) was 16 when she married her older husband. She liked reading, took college courses and driving lessons, and he wasn't happy about it. He abused her for 13 years. On one occasion he kicked her in the stomach after a c-section and her stitches came apart. Ruma tolerated the abuse while she was the only victim, but when he started hurting the children too, she sought help. They were having a long divorce/custody dispute, during which a judge told Ruma she was "being silly" when she said she feared for her life. Ruma's husband strangled her with her scarf.

Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016
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July 6th:
Patricia Kearney
died on July 6th, 2016

On the evening of July 6, 2016, Patricia Kearney's siblings got an email from the boyfriend with whom she had spent years sailing across the South Pacific. "Dean here from Tonga. There is no easy way to say this…. Trish passed away in her sleep," he wrote. "She went peacefully." Though devastated by the news, the family found comfort in the knowledge she didn't have to suffer anymore. The 56-year-old had lived with an incurable nerve disorder that had worsened over time. Patricia was always a bit of a "tomboy," said her family and friends — adventurous and a free spirit. Even as she battled a medical disorder that causes numbness, tingling and muscle weakness, Kearney pursued passions like softball and scuba diving. Days later, the B.C. family's grief turned to shock. The boyfriend, Dean Fletcher, then 54, was taken into custody by Tongan police, accused of viciously beating Kearney to death.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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Bernard Revell
died on July 6th, 2012

7yo Bernard from NYC, USA, was killed by his mom. She had 33 prior arrests and served two prison sentences: attempted robbery, attempted burglary, multiple prostitution charges. She discovered she had cancer, and killed "Little B." (as she called her son) to spare him the tough life she has endured since being dumped in the streets at about the same age, according to her lawyer. At first she tried electrocuting 7yo Bernard by dropping appliances into his bathwater, and when that didn't work she beat him with a hammer, and chocked him with her hands and belt.

Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017
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Rodricus Williams
died on July 6th, 2010

On or about June 6, 2010 2 yo Rodricus Williams died after being beaten and abused by his father. His body was later found in a trashcan filled with concrete and dumped behind an abandoned trailer near Vance in Orangeburg County.

Posted by Jane on July 22nd, 2018
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July 7th:
Meah Weidner
died on July 7th, 2009

10yo Meah from South Carolina, USA, had mom, dad, brother, and three sisters. She played in the Carolina Miracle League, an adaptive form of baseball for children with special needs; Meah had cerebral palsy and was in a wheelchair during the games. "A smile was about all she could give you, but she loved playing," her coach said. "She required a buddy to help her hit, but really enjoyed it." Meah was killed by her mom's boyfriend, an EMT and a volunteer firefighter. He broke Meah's arm, shook her, and dropped her on head while her mom was at work. Meah's coach said Miracle League workers sometimes experience the death of a player because of natural causes, but the circumstances of Meah's death were tough. "It was a shock. You don't want to think abuse is going on... She needed protecting."

Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017
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July 8th:
Laiba Umar
died on July 8th, 2017

8yo Laiba from Kasur, Pakistan, was kidnapped on her way to Madrasa (religious school), raped, strangled to death, and dumped at a construction site. Her rapist and murderer was caught about a month later; he raped and killed 6 other young girls in the same area in the months prior to Laiba's death.

Posted by Manya on December 7th, 2018
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Elijah Strickland
died on July 8th, 2008

Elijah was a 3yo boy from Pennsylvania, USA, who was killed by his mom's boyfriend three hours after she left to work. The man claimed that Elijah's injuries resulted from CPR he tried to perform on the boy, but the jury found this argument unconvincing.

Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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July 9th:
Alexis Rose McClain
died on July 9th, 2010

3yo Alexis from California, USA, was living with her dad and stepmom because her mom lost custody of her. The family moved to Kansas and then to a small town in Colorado, where the last murder was in 2004 and the last child abuse resulting in death was in 1970s. Alexis was abused to death, from October 2009 through July 2010, when she was admitted to a hospital with a crushed skull and was pronounced dead the next day. The indictment stated that her parents "engaged in a continued pattern of conduct that resulted in cruel punishment, mistreatment or accumulation of injuries that resulted in the death of the child". "We do give a voice to those who have none," said the District Attorney. "The child, when she died at the hands of her father, that was a gift to her, setting her free from the torture and abuse that she had experienced." Alexis' dad was sentenced to 48 years and stepmom to 12 years (plea bargain in exchange for testimony against her husband).

Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017
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July 10th:
Isaiah Buckner
died on July 10th, 2013

10yo Isaiah from Vermont, USA, loved video games, action figures, comic books, and anything to do with Sonic. His favorite food was chicken, popcorn, popsicles, Airheads, Fruity Pebbles & Lucky Charms. He could never get enough orange juice. He loved spending time with his friends at the Austine School for the Deaf, cuddling with his mom and dad, getting tickled, taking pictures, and giving everyone around him hugs and kisses. "He was a boy filled with curiosity for everything and a love that shined brighter than the largest star that warmed whomever's heart was lucky enough for it to shine its light upon it. There was not a hateful or angry bone in his beautiful body." Isaiah was beaten to death by his caregiver.

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2017
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Shivani Kapoor
died on July 10th, 2013

35yo Shivani Kapoor, pediatric occupational therapist from UK, had a 1yo daughter and a husband with a gambling problem. He was 8,000 pounds in debt, pawning her and their daughter's jewelry, and about to lose his job at a bank. Mrs Kapoor was concerned, and even considered divorce, but decided to stay with her husband for the sake of their daughter. On July 10th, 2013, he strangled her and told the police she must have fell off a stool and hit her head.

Posted by Manya on July 28th, 2018
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July 11th:
Juliette Geurts
died on July 11th, 2008

2yo Juliette from Nebraska was living with her mom, twin sister, and mom's boyfriend. On July 10th she was feverish and even had a febrile seizure (which happens to toddlers sometimes). The next day she was still cranky, cried a lot, mom wouldn't come, and Juliette went to her mom's room herself. The adults were drunk and having sex, and mom's boyfriend beat Juliette to death for interrupting them. She died from damage to internal organs caused by blunt force trauma.

Posted by Manya on May 17th, 2017
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July 12th:
Gary DeToma
died on July 12th, 2010

Parents of 5yo Gary and 4yo Will from Georgia, USA, were divorcing, and fighting over custody. When their dad felt that he was about to lose the battle, he attempted to kill both the kids and himself. His coworkers became concerned when he didn't show up to work the next day, so they came by his house in the afternoon, and 4yo Will opened the door for them. They found dead Gary with a plastic bag around his head, and unconscious but alive father beside him. He pled guilty to murder, to avoid death penalty, but then tried to reverse his plea.

Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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July 13th:
Conrad Roy
died on July 13th, 2014

18yo Conrad from Massachusetts, USA, worked at his family's marine salvage business for many years, and earned his captain's license in the spring of 2014. In June he graduated high school on the Honor Roll and had been accepted to Fitchburg State University, but decided not to go. Conrad had a long-distance girlfriend (they didn't live far away from each other but only met a few times, mostly texting, chatting, and videocalling). Both teens had mental health problems: she had an eating disorder and may have self-injured by cutting; he spoke of having been physically hit by his father and verbally abused by his grandfather, suffered from social anxiety and depression, and tried to kill himself in 2012 (he was taking an antidepressant, which lists suicidal urges as one of the side effects). At first the girlfriend used to discourage Conrad from committing suicide, but in July of 2014 she decided it would be a "good thing to help him die." They had numerous conversations where she was encouraging him to kill himself. On July 13th Conrad, while on the phone with his girlfriend, used a portable water pump to fill his truck with carbon monoxide. He got scared and wanted to leave the truck, but she texted him to get back in. The girlfriend was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Juvenile Court, after prosecutors successfully argued the then 17-year-old was an attention-seeking teen, desperate to play the grieving girlfriend. She was sentenced to 2.5 years. She "exploited my son's weaknesses and used him as a pawn," Conrad's father said. "She has not shown any remorse. The fact that she has convinced to him to kill himself is unimaginable. Where was her humanity? In what world is this behavior OK and acceptable?"

Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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