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

March 27th:
Sandra Cantu
died on March 27th, 09

Sandra was an 8yo girl who lived with her mom, grandparents, and three older siblings in a Mobile Home park in California. She was raped and murdered by her mentally ill neighbor, Melissa Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher and a mother of Sadra's playmate.


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016

March 29th:
Isabella Nardoni
died on March 29th, 2008

Isabella was a 5yo girl from Brazil who was abused and killed by her dad and stepmom. Her biological mom got pregnant with Isabella at 17, but broke up with her dad while still pregnant. Isabella lived with mom, but visited dad on weekends. She complained of being beaten there, kept asking to not go, or to leave early, and the whole family was concerned that the stepmother might hurt the child. On March 29th Isabella was thrown out of a window of her dad's apartment (sixth floor) and died in an ambulance on her way to hospital. She had injuries unrelated to the fall, and her blood was found in the apartment and in her dad's car. Stepmother said it was all Isabella's fault.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016

Oksana Makar
died on March 29th, 2012

Oksana was a girl from Ukraine whose both parents were convicted of various felonies, including drug-related ones. When Oksana was little, her mom was incarcerated for armed robbery, and Oksana went to live with her grandparents. When she was in third grade, grandparents sent her to an orphanage. She tried to run away multiple times, but was caught. When Oksana was 10, her mom was released from prison, and took the girl home. Mom's boyfriend molested Oksana, mom moved to another town, and the girl was practically homeless. She only completed 6th grade, and there was a police report about her engaging in prostitution.

On March 8th (International Women's Day in Ukraine), 18yo Oksana was at a local bar. Her drink was spiked, three guys took her to their place, raped and strangled her, set her on fire, and left her for dead. She was found the next morning, taken to a hospital, and died three weeks later of burns, gangrene, pneumonia, sepsis, multiple organ failure, brain edema, and undernourishment.


Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016

March 30th:
Corinne Gump
died on March 30th, 2015

10yo Corinne and her grandparents from Ohio, USA, died in a housefire hours before she was going to testify against her mom's boyfriend, because she said he was molesting her for five years. He was out on bail at the time of fire. "We woke up and heard an explosion," said the grandparents' neighbor. "We looked out and saw flames in every room of the house. Not just the basement. Not just the living room. Everything was on fire. Windows were blown out, doors ripped off hinges. Even if they were awake, they couldn't have made it out." Days after the fire, the man tried to bribe his ex-wife, so that she would testify that Corinne made up the story of sexual abuse. She refused, and the trial proceeded. Here's what Corinne's relatives and neighbors said about her:

"She was a beautiful child with a soft heart and her mommy's smarts. She was daddy's princess, and she always slept with her daddy's gray tank tops. She had a quirky attitude and touched many people's lives in her 10 short years. She was a night owl and enjoyed playing games, riding four-wheelers and bikes, swimming and playing outside with her friends." "That little girl was the pride and joy of her grandparents. She listened to whatever they said. She and her grandparents got along so well. That family really will be missed."


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

March 31st:
Salwa Haydar
died on March 31st, 2015

Salwa Haydar was a mother of four, stabbed to death by her husband. Their 18yo daughter Ola tried to protect her mom, but received a serious hand injury. Mrs Haydar worked for a welfare office, assisting victims of domestic violence, after the family immigrated from Lebanon to Australia to avoid the bombings (Mrs Haydar's mother was killed in one).


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016

Aaron Bacon
died on March 31st, 1994

Aaron was a 16yo boy from South California who asked his parents to transfer him to a public school because he felt his private school "wasn't providing enough socioeconomic diversity." He was a bright kid, wrote poetry, but soon after the school transfer he was caught smoking pot and was suspected of affiliating with a school gang (though he vehemently denied it). Parents panicked, took out a second mortgage, and sent Aaron to a North Star wilderness therapy program, costing $13,900 for a 63-day course, plus another $775 to have Aaron surprised at 1Am by being dragged out of his bed barefoot and forcibly "escorted" to location (something North Star strongly recommended).

Out of 20 days on the trail, Aaron had been forced to go without a sleeping bag for 14 days, without a blanket for 4 days (three of which were marked by below-freezing temperatures), and without food for 11 days, plus four days on which he had only meal, and one day on which his only food was a lizard and a scorpion. Aaron soiled himself uncontrollably, was unable to walk, see, or hear, and other kids in the group said that he looked "like he was from Auschwitz or Ethiopia," yet the camp counselors felt he was faking it till he died.

Here's one of Aaron's poems:

Dreaming with a heart full of wonder
And a mind full of knowledge
Our thirst for life and love
Does not set with the sun behind us.


Posted by Manya on October 17th, 2015

April 3rd:
Alyssa Morgan
died on April 3rd, 2015

12yo Allyssa from Iowa, USA, killed herself because she was bullied in school for being bisexual. "When you have other people telling you that you're not worthy of anything, or that being bisexual is wrong or somehow disgusting... They're going to take that into thought - that maybe I wasn't right for this world," said her mom. Alyssa left a note saying, "I’m sorry… for everything… I just can’t anymore… I love you ALL Goodbye."


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

April 4th:
Maya Angelou
born on April 4th, 1928

Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, and civil rights activist, defending Black culture and women. She received international recognition and acclaim after publishing her first autobiography, "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings", in 1969. Here's a quote from Wiki:

When Maya Angelou was eight, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend, a man named Freeman. She told her brother, who told the rest of their family. Freeman was found guilty but was jailed for only one day. Four days after his release, he was murdered, probably by Angelou's uncles. Angelou became mute for almost five years, believing, as she stated, "I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone..." According to Marcia Ann Gillespie and her colleagues, who wrote a biography about Angelou, it was during this period of silence when Angelou developed her extraordinary memory, her love for books and literature, and her ability to listen and observe the world around her.

Maya Angelou became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.


Posted by Manya on February 16th, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr.
died on April 4th, 1968

Civil Rights Activist, Leader of Anglo-American Civil Rights Movement, Dr King is best known for the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. In 1955 he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott,and helped organise the 1963 nonviolent protests in Alabama. He also helped organise the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his famous " I Have A Dream " speech. On October 14th 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality. During his final years of life he included in his focus poverty and the Vietnam War.

During his life he was subjected to harassment, was frequently beaten and had numerous death threats. He was assassinated on April 4th 1968. Dr King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and Martin Luther King Day was established as a US federal holiday in 1986.


Posted by eagle22 on September 29th, 2015

mikee
died on April 4th, 2011

mikee mi so soree you feleds ths wer tha onlee waa owt mi wesh mi kolda helpeds you mi wesh you wolda gwabeds hols of mi han oen moer tiem mi wil nevr evr forges you you wer mi angel forevr you wil be mi angel


Posted by kami on April 9th, 2011

McKinley Wilder
died on April 4th, 2012

2yo McKinley from California, USA, died of alcohol poisoning and malnutrition. Her mom and dad were going through a hard divorce. Mom felt dad was manipulative and enjoying the battles, dad felt mom was "a cold-blooded narcissist," and the kids (McKinley had an older sister) were caught in the middle of it. The mother was warned by CPS about her alcohol consumption and was required to stay sober while children were in her custody. Instead, she was binge-drinking and giving alcohol to them too. She was sentenced to ten years as per her plea agreement, to spare the surviving child the trauma of having to testify against her.


Posted by Manya on July 5th, 2016

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

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 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 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 25th:
Surjit Athwal
April 25th, 2007

Surjit was a Sikh woman from UK who wanted to live a more western lifestyle. Her husband was physically abusive, and she didn't like it. She also wanted to wear western clothes and go out with her friends sometimes, and she didn't get along with her mother-in-law, who wanted Surjit's kids to call her "mum", instead of Surjit. She left her husband once, and wanted a divorce, but he beat her up, threatened to kill her, and she agreed to move back together again. In 1997 Surjit became pregnant, and her husband thought it wasn't his, that she was cheating. In 1998 the mother-in-law said, "I've spoken to a contact in India. It's all going to be taken care of. It's her own fault - she's out of control. She's bringing shame on the family. We have to get rid of her." She convinced Surjit to go with her on a trip to India, where Surjit was drugged and murdered. Her body was never found and the date of death is unknown, but the mother-in-law and the husband were convicted of murder on April 25th, 2007, almost ten years later.

If you click on Surjit's name, you can read a page written by her sister-in-law, who testified against her mother-in-law, was (and still is) threatened and ostracized by her community for bringing shame on the family, and who was fearing for her own life during these 10 years of investigation.


Posted by Manya on February 19th, 2016

Crown Shakur
died on April 25th, 2004

Crown Shakur was a 6-week-old baby from Georgia, USA, who died of starvation. His parents said they loved him and didn't mean to harm him. Crown was their first child, and they fed him soy milk and apple juice because breastfeeding was against their vegan beliefs. There's no problem with veganism, but babies should not be given juice for the first six months of their life, and soy milk doesn't have all the nutrients necessary for them. Parents who choose to raise their kids vegan can buy soy milk-based formula instead, which has protein, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. First-time parents who are unsure how to feed their baby can ask their pediatrician, or doctors or nurses at the hospital they delivered. When the police were investigating Crown's death, they found his bottle, which was rancid and caked with debris.

The prosecutor said "No matter how many times they want to say, 'We're vegans, we're vegetarians,' that's not the issue in this case ... The child died because he was not fed. Period."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016

April 28th:
Christopher Barnard
died on April 28th, 2008

Christopher was a 4yo boy from Oklahoma who lived with his mom and mom's boyfriend. Neighbors, friends, and relatives started calling DHS two weeks after Christopher was born. They alerted DHS about poor living conditions, marks and bruises on Christopher, and the fact that he was left unsupervised on the front lawn while mom drove away to do some chores. DHS investigated the reports but found no confirmed abuse or neglect.

On April 28th four-year-old Christopher soiled his pants. In response to this, his mom's boyfriend twice punched Christopher in the stomach, and whipped him with a belt. Christopher died of internal injuries.


Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016

April 29th:
Salma Parveen
died on April 29th, 2013

22yo Salma from UK was abused by her violent husband and feared for her life. She finally asked him to leave her family home, and he strangled her with a scarf. Salma's family said, "Her life has not only been taken away from her, our lifestyle, spark and bonding of the family has also gone with her. Salma was the person we could trust with our eyes closed, the person who was always there for us, the person who we all looked up to."

Salma's story was included in the BBC2 Documentary "Love You To Death" that features interviews with friends and relatives of 86 UK women killed by their romantic partners in 2013.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

May 1st:
Tanya
died on May 1st, 1989

We called her 'Tanya the iron' because she had a large nose. She was physically and sexually abused by her stepdad. In seventh grade we agreed to commit suicide together with her. She didnt wait for me, jumped from a 192 feet high construction site, was burried in a closed casket. She said her life was not livable. I was sad she was dead, but I thought it was her right, to make this choice, and I was glad she wasn't in pain anymore. Her choice made sense to me. And now I'm deeply sad and sorry that I wasn't old enough back then, and that there was no adult this 13yo girl could speak to. It cannot be that a life is ruined hopelessly when you're only 13. It could have been fixed, Tanya. I'm so sorry it wasn't.


Posted by Lera on May 22nd, 2013

Danny (16 years)
died on May 1st, 1982

I wish you had found another way to deal with your pain. You are dearly missed.


Posted by jlc20m on May 6th, 2012

Wilfred Gardner
died on May 1st, 2011

85yo Wilfred Gardner was one of the Orchid View residents. Orchid View was a care home for the elderly in West Sussex, UK, that was operating from 2009 to 2011, charged £3000 per month, and provided "sub-optimal" care that was deemed "institutionalized abuse" and resulted in the death of five of its residents.

Mr Gardner was diabetic but sometimes he wasn't given his insulin, and sometimes there were no strips to check his blood sugar levels. He was also in pain but denied pain medication unless he asked for it. "He's got dementia, how would he know what to say?" commented his daughter.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016


 

A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
~ Michel de Montaigne
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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