Memorial Wall

Click on photos to read the stories, or select a page below.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
~George Santayana

April 7th:
Rehtaeh Parsons
died on April 7th, 2013

15yo Rehtaeh from Nova Scotia, Canada, was reportedly raped by four teenage boys at a small party that involved drinking vodka. No charges were pressed after the initial police investigation because there was evidence supporting the boys' claim that the intercourse was consensual; it was deemed a "he said, she said" case. However, the incident was photographed during the party, and the photo became widespread in Rehtaeh's school and town. As a result, many in school called Parsons a "slut" and she received text messages and Facebook messages from people requesting to have sex with her. Seventeen months later Rehtaeh committed suicide. Her funeral was attended by 500 people, including Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, who said he came "first and foremost as a father trying to imagine what kind of incredible, unfathomable grief could be visited upon a family." In August 2013, Nova Scotia enacted a law allowing victims of cyberbullying to seek protection, including help in identifying anonymous perpetrators, and to sue the individuals or the parents in the case of minors.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 9th:
Andrea Dworkin
died on April 9th, 2005

A raped, prostituted warrior-woman who knew what she was talking about yet was so reviled when she fought for the right of women to be free from all forms of exploitation and violence. I remember you with eternal gratitude, sister. Your rest is well-earned.


Posted by Louise on April 15th, 2008

Jessica Christina Jones
died on April 9th, 2014

25yo Jessica from Washington state, USA, was "sassy, with a great sense of humor," according to her friends and family. She enjoyed working with her dad clam digging, fishing, canning, berry picking and planting trees, loved to draw, country music and her cats. Jessica was shot to death by her husband in the middle of a domestic dispute. Her 9yo son drew a picture of a tulip for his grandma, Jessica's mom, and told her to hold onto it if she felt sad.


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017

April 10th:
Rescue of Mary Ellen Wilson
April 10th, 1874

Mary Ellen's mom died when she was a baby. Her dad couldn't care for her alone, and she ended up in foster care, where she was abused. Here's her court testimony (she was 10yo at the time):

My father and mother are both dead. I don’t know how old I am. I have no recollection of a time when I did not live with the Connollys. Mamma has been in the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day. She used to whip me with a twisted whip—a rawhide. The whip always left a black and blue mark on my body. I have now the black and blue marks on my head which were made by mamma, and also a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors. She struck me with the scissors and cut me; I have no recollection of ever having been kissed by any one—have never been kissed by mamma. I have never been taken on my mamma's lap and caressed or petted. I never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get whipped. I do not know for what I was whipped—mamma never said anything to me when she whipped me. I do not want to go back to live with mamma, because she beats me so. I have no recollection ever being on the street in my life.

The court had trouble charging foster parents of Mary Ellen with child abuse, so they were tried and prosecuted for cruelty to animals instead (since humans, including Mary Ellen, are technically animals as well). The case led to creation of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Mary Ellen was placed in foster care, grew up, married, and had two children. She passed away in 1956, at 92.


Posted by Manya on July 15th, 2015

April 11th:
Angelina Rodriguez
died on April 11th, 2013

5-month-old Angelina from Chicago, USA, was smothered to death because she woke up and wouldn't stop crying while her mom and dad were drinking. Her mom gave her a bottle, which didn't help, so her dad put his hand over the baby's mouth. When he removed it, she started crying again, so he repeated the process three times, till her body went limp. The father put Angelina back into her playpen, and the couple went to sleep. At 7AM Angelina's mom woke up to get an older child ready for school, and went to back to sleep. At 11AM both parents woke up again and found the baby stiff and unresponsive. Angelina died in hospital four days later. Autopsy showed brain swelling, as well as skull fractures that are believed to be from a prior, unrelated incident.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 12th:
Dominick Calhoun
died on April 12th, 2010

Dominick was a 4yo boy from Michigan, USA. He liked cards, snowmobiling, and dancing, and lived with his mom, 8yo brother, and moms boyfriend in what police called a "drug house" - the boyfriend had several prior convictions for drugs and assaults, and used to beat up Dominick's mom too.

On April 10th 4yo Dominick had an accident, wetting his pants and the couch he was sitting on. The moms boyfriend asked him who was going to pay for the soiled couch, and hit and kicked him for three days, till the boy died. He beat Dominick about the head, kicked him in his privates, pocked him in the eyes with his fingers, and slammed his head against a wall.

During these three days Dominick was heard screaming "Make him stop" to his mom. She tried to interfere, but her boyfriend hit her too, and pulled out chunks of her hair. None of the neighbors called 911. Argentine Township police Chief Dan Allen said a phone call could have saved Dominick’s life. "A normal person would call law enforcement," he said. "That could have made the difference."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016

April 13th:
Honey Veus
died on April 13th, 2013

1yo Honey from Florida, USA, was killed by her father. He confessed to throwing her on the floor, burning her feet with a lighted cigar, forcing her to eat cinnamon, pulling her hair, and pushing her down - because he had thoughts of harming her, and felt relief when he caused her pain or discomfort. His mother said she never thought her son would abuse his own child but suspected something wasn't right. "I asked him 'what's going on?' He said he don't know. I said, 'what did you do with the baby, I see something on her feet?' - 'He say he don't know'." On April 10th, grandma found the baby unconscious and rushed her to hospital, but Honey remained in coma, suffering from bleeding on the brain, and died three days later.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 14th:
Armaney Cotton
died on April 14th, 2012

The mom of 2yo Armaney from Chicago, USA, worked as a housekeeper at a downtown hotel. At 7AM on March 14th, she dropped her daughter off at her boyfriend's house, which was their usual babysitting arrangement. Armaney had a cold, but was fine otherwise. Hours later Armaney was bitten and beaten to death. "Babies fall all the time. They don't get cuts and bruises and bites," her mother said. "She did not fall...Somebody tortured my child, and they beat her to death. This was someone I loved and trusted to protect her, not harm her. I don't understand why this happened to her. It is eating me up inside."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 15th:
Nigel Hardy
died on April 15th, 2013

13yo Nigel from Indiana, USA, enjoyed cheerleading, music, football (runningback), basketball, surfing and singing. He moved to California 12 weeks before his death, and was bullied in the new school for being a cheerleader. "He was a happy kid," his best friend said. "But they used to make fun of him." On Friday Nigel was suspended for punching another student who was picking on him. On Monday he left a suicide note and shot himself.


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 16th:
Kelly-Anne Bates
died on April 16th, 1996

14yo Kelly Ann from UK was babysitting for friends when she first met her future murderer (44yo at the time). They were secretly dating, and two years later moved in together. "As soon as I saw (him) the hairs on the back of my neck went up," said her mom. "I tried everything I could to get Kelly Anne away from him." Over the next year the parents started noticing bruising on their daughter (which she explained as accidents); she quit her part-time job, became socially withdrawn. Kelly Ann's body was found on April 16th. What he did to her is too graphic to describe here (you can read the details if you click on her name above). The pathologist who examined her body said, "In my career, I have examined almost 600 victims of homicide but I have never come across injuries so extensive." The prosecutor said, "It was as if he deliberately disfigured her, causing her the utmost pain, distress and degradation ... The injuries were not the result of one sudden eruption of violence, they must have been caused over a long period (and) were so extensive and so terrible that the defendant must have deliberately and systematically tortured the girl ... Her death must have been a merciful end to her torment."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017

April 17th:
Ronald Oliver
died on April 17th, 2013

75yo Mr Oliver from Missouri, USA, was an army veteran, commercial truck driver, father of four, and a grandfather and great-grandfather of a few dozen. He enjoyed listening to gospel, country, jazz and rhythm and blues. According to his family, "Ronnie did what he could sharing his love with all that were under his roof, in his neighborhood and especially throughout his family. He was a community assistant to anyone who needed care." Mr Oliver's 80yo wife of 38 years broke his skull with a baseball bat because he "began talking smart to her."


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

April 18th:
Candace Newmaker
died on April 18th, 2000

Candace was 10 when she was killed by her therapist and adoptive mom. She was adopted at 7 (bio parents lost parental rights due to neglect), and within months her adoptive mom started taking her to psychiatrists, complaining of her behavior and attitude at home. Finally in April 2000 she took Candace to another state for a two-week "intensive" session of attachment therapy.

During the 70min therapy session 10yo girl was wrapped in a flannel sheet and told to free herself, while four adults held her down with their hands, feet, and pillows. This was called "rebirthing" and was expected to help Candace "attach" to her adoptive mother.

For the first forty minutes Candace begged to be released, screamed, pleaded, and said several times that she could not breathe and was dying, to which the therapist responded, "You want to die? OK, then die. Go ahead, die right now".

Candace died of asphyxia.


Posted by Manya on November 8th, 2009

April 19th:
Ritu Uppal
died on April 19th, 2015

29yo Jet Airways hostes Ritu from India was watching a sitcom on TV when her drunk husband returned home with a friend and some takeout food. He wanted Ritu to serve the food and switch the channel because he wanted to watch a cricket match. Ritu refused and, during the argument, spat on her husband's face and slapped him. He started beating her up and told his friend to leave the house and not interfere in their personal matter. "As she continued to abuse my family members, I lost cool and pressed a pillow on her face to make her quiet," the husband explained. "However, a little later I realised that she was not moving and had become unconscious. I immediately called her father and after his arrival, took her to a hospital, where she was declared brought dead."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 21st:
Aaliyah Lewis
died on April 21st, 2016

2yo Aaliyah from Florida, USA, died hours after her mom's boyfriend "gave her a whooping" because she had an accident on his bed. "Why? Why would you beat her like that?" Aaliyah's mom said. "She was my only child. She was my everything and I lost her...The only thing she kept (saying) ... 'Mah!' I said 'Liyah!'... 'Mah!'... She was in pain. And I couldn't do nothing about it. I tried, I tried. And she took her last breath in my arms."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

April 22nd:
Gabriel McFarland
died on April 22nd, 2014

Gabriel from Iowa was adopted at birth. His biological mom was 16 and his biological dad was 17. The adoptive parents, Heidi and Rachel McFarland, paid the teen's medical bills and legal fees, and even coached her through labor. Gabriel was born on December 28th, and the McFarlands took him home from the hospital. In most places, adoptive parents are granted custody 72 hours after the baby is born. In Iowa, birth parents have 96 hours to change their minds. Gabriel lived with McFarlands until March 13th, when his birth mom demanded him back. She was able to get him back because McFarlands' lawyer didn't file paperwork terminating her parental rights, which is the first step in any adoption. It was a clerical error, and McFarlands were scheduled to regain custody of Gabriel on March 24th. However, on March 23rd Gabriel was murdered by his biological dad while his biological mom was out of the house.


Posted by Manya on March 12th, 2017

April 23rd:
Melissa Ball and Grayden Lee Whitmore
died on April 23rd, 2015

27yo Melissa and her 8yo son Grayden from Georgia, USA, were shot and killed at a local convenience center by Melissa's boyfriend of 12 years, Grayden's father, who then killed himself. Their relationship was abusive, but they separated a few months prior, and Melissa was staying with her grandmother. "He threatened to kill her a lot," said Melissa's sister. "He had told her so many times, she didn’t take it seriously. She knew that he was crazy, but I don’t think that she ever believed he would really hurt Grayden ... I expected him to kill himself, and I even thought and mentioned it to other people that he wasn’t stable and would kill them all. I told my mom a couple of weeks ago that this was going to happen, but I couldn’t make (Melissa) get out of that situation."

Katora Printup, executive director of the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, "We are not to judge those in these kinds of relationships, but let them know there is help. A lot of time, they are afraid to report and we want them to know that all of our services are free and confidential. The community must try to take a stand to create violence-free homes and educating and letting them know they are not alone."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017


 

In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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