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

October 10th:
World Mental Health Day
October 10th, 1992

Established by World Federation of Mental Health, and supported by the United Nations, this is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

- More than 450 million across the globe suffer from mental illnesses.
- In the United States, people with severe mental illness die 25 years earlier than the general population on average.
- In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.
- In the UK, 70% of people affected by mental illness experience discrimination, and discrimination is believed to be worse in developing countries.


Posted by Manya on October 10th, 2014

October 11th:
Kelsey Smith-Briggs
died on October 11th, 2005

Kelsey was a 2yo girl from Oklahoma whose parents were divorced, and each accused the other of abusing Kelsey. The first report was filed in January, and she was moved by CPS four times in six months, from one side of the family to the other, till the judge said it's unknown who's abusing her and moved her back to her mom's home. The case was monitored by CPS, yet during this year Kelsey had a broken collarbone, two broken legs, damage to her pancreas, multiple bruises and marks, and she was hurt in a car accident and sexually abused. On October 11th Kelsey was in the care of her mom's boyfriend, and died of blunt force trauma to her abdomen.


Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016

October 12th:
Fred McClure
died on October 12th, 2010

59yo Mr McClure from Pennsylvania, USA, worked as a maintenance supervisor and had four children and five grandchildren. He was killed by his girlfriend who shot him 8 times and told the police she mistook him for an intruder. It was daylight, neighbors saw them coming home together a few hours earlier, and some of the shots were fired while she was standing over him as he was laying on the floor. The woman was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

Ryan Poston
died on October 12th, 2012

29yo Ryan was a young lawyer from Ohio, USA, who dated a Psychology student. He wanted to end the relationship and asked his dad for advice, saying "I don't know what to do to get her to leave." "I told him to make sure that he was kind to [her] and to be honest with her about what was going on," Ryan's dad said. "I told him to be direct, but to be kind." Ryan was killed the next night. The girlfriend claimed self-defense and battered wife syndrome, but the judge and the jury didn't buy it; she shot him six times in the face, laughed about it, and expressed no remorse. Her cellmate said she used the battered wife syndrome defense because she said she was too intelligent to plead insanity.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

Amanda Todd
died on October 12th, 2012

Amanda was a 15yo girl from British Columbia (Canada) who committed suicide because she was bullied. When she was 12, a stranger online (33yo man was later arrested in Netherlands) started asking her to bare her breasts on webcam. She resisted for a year, and then did it. He then threatened to send the pic to her school friends unless she gives him a webcam "show". When she just turned 13, police told her the pic was circulating internet. For the next two years Amanda was bullied both online and in school, the family moved to a new home, Amanda changed two schools, but the story followed her. She started drinking and cutting, attempted suicide twice, was hospitalized and received counseling - but that made the bullying worse, now kids called her "psycho". On October 12th, Amanda attempted suicide for the third time, and died.

A month before her death, Amanda posted a video on Youtube titled My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm; she wrote "I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I'd rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don't hate, although im sure I'll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here aren't I ?"


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

October 13th:
Sean McIlmail
died on October 13th, 2013

Sean was a 26yo man from Pennsylvania, USA, who was abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager. He kept it secret and escaped into drugs, until more victims started to come forward but the police couldn't press charges because statutes of limitations have ran out. Sean came forward and reported his story to protect children (particularly his nephews) from being abused by the same priest that abused Sean. He was clean and sober for 6 month (the lawyer wouldn't take the case otherwise), and was preparing to testify, but days before that he died of heroin overdose. "The drug piece is unbelievably common," says David Clohessy, national director of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests). "The indirect disclosures are surprisingly common. The law enforcement involvement is painfully rare."

"I'm not mad at [the priest who raped Sean], because I think he’s sick,” said Sean's mother. "I'm angry at the church for letting him serve so long and covering it up." She also said of the Pope Francis' upcoming visit, "He's coming to Philadelphia, which is so bad with priest abuse. He's seeing the poor, the immigrants, the prisoners, all of which wasn't the church's fault. But it is the church's fault that we have this segment of the population that's drug-addicted and has all these mental health problems."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016

October 18th:
Janiya Thomas
died on October 18th, 2015

Janiya was an 11yo girl from Florida, who nobody noticed was missing. 16 months after she was seen last, CPS came to investigate the 12th child abuse allegation against her mom, Keishanna Thomas, and one of the children said they haven't seen Janiya in a long time and thought she was dead. Police was alerted on October 16th, and two days later, seeing news reports in the media about the missing child, Janiya's great aunt remembered that last year Keishanna asked to store food in their freezer. The great aunt broke the lock on the freezer, and found the girl's body in it. Autopsy showed that Janiya was starved, beaten, and drowned. "I still see the color that she was in the freezer, the color and the size. I can't get that picture out of my head," the great aunt said.

Janiya's family held a funeral service at a local church. The preacher told those gathered, "Oh you thought you was coming here and I was going to talk about Keishanna. No, I love Keishanna. I'm going to pray for her. I'm going to pray for this family. I'm going to be here for this family. This is what this community is all about." "We don't need no gossip," he added. "We don't need to know why or how." A poem was read in honor of Janiya during the service:

If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again.
No farewell words were spoken, No time to say goodbye.
You were gone before I knew it, and only God knows why.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

October 19th:
Legal definition of rape changed
October 19th, 2011

This is the date the crime of rape was redefined in the USA to include male victims and victims of non-vaginal rape. Since 1929, in the Summary Reporting System (SRS), forcible rape has been defined as "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will," (UCR Handbook, 2004, p. 19). The 2011 fall meeting of FBI CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) APB (Advisory Policy Board) changed this definition, and, beginning with the 2013 data collection, the SRS definition for the violent crime of forcible rape was modified to: "Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." Prior to this change, oral and anal rapes weren't counted as rapes but as assaults, misconduct, etc, which meant shorter sentences for offenders and skewed statistics.


Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016

John Ruffolo
died on October 19th, 2003

36yo Mr Ruffolo from Canada worked at a home for residents with developmental disabilities, coached hockey, and worked as a lifeguard. He was having an affair with a coworker, was planning a divorce, and his wife didn't want to split their rental properties. She gave him some sleeping meds, then injected him with a lethal dose of heroin (to make it look like he was a drug addict), and got a friend to help her dump his body in a remote area. They had a 4yo daughter.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

October 25th:
Gabrielle Stanley
died on October 25th, 2015

28yo Gabrielle from UK had a boyfriend whom she kept trying to leave but kept coming back to. On October 25th she tried to leave him again, and he stabbed her to death and hanged himself. Gabrielle'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

October 26th:
Poppie van der Merwe
died on October 26th, 2016

Poppie was a 3 year old, innocent girl, murdered at the hands of a monster. Her case is one of many, proving that not enough is done against Domestic Violence. Poppie's stepfather has been reported to Social Services before and nothing was done to her case. On 26th of October she was beaten to death by her stepfather. We will always remember those big beautiful eyes and may you have the life now, that you always deserved


Posted by Anon on January 12th, 2017

October 27th:
Stephanie
died on October 27th, 2006

Steph, You got out of your stepdad's home and had a bit of a chance at life. You were so hurt that your mom never believed you and chose him over you. I know that pain was so deep. Life just never worked out the way we all wanted it to for you. You left this earth in such an unusual way, I still don't know if it was by your own hand or not. I actually hope it was so that you finally had control over something in your world. I miss you. Your Laugh. Your goofiness. Your Nemo! You left this world at the tender age of 31. I wish it had been a more friendly earth for you. They say the good die young. Perhaps the innocent do as well. be.


Posted by BeBold on December 30th, 2011

Raijon Daniels
died on October 27th, 2006

Raijon was an 8yo boy from California, whose mom tortured and killed him because she was legally insane. She left him home alone, tied to his bed, beat him, water-hosed him, and poured household chemicals on his genitals to make him stop urinating. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and released from a psychiatric care facility three years later.

Raijon's father struggles understanding this. "How can three years pass and she be OK after the acts that she did? How could someone who put Pine-Sol in a child's food, allow a child to jump from a second-story building, how could they be a model patient?" he wonders. "I still have so many questions." "In the beginning, I really wanted to see her suffer because she had made him suffer. But I can't pass judgment, I wasn't in the home. I forgive her, as crazy as that may sound, because of the faith that I have. Who am I to beat her down and dog her?"


Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2016

October 29th:
Birthday of the Internet
October 29th, 1969

For abuse survivors Internet means ability to find and share information, anonymously and privately. Victims of domestic violence, children/teens abused at home, seniors abused by their caretakers - can now google what is happening to them and whom can they reach for help. Survivors who struggle with PTSD or other aftermath of the trauma can now talk to each other about what we're going through, what helps, what doesn't, and how it all makes us feel. Internet is what broke the isolation and silence - most damaging aspects of abuse, and main reasons it happens. Today is the anniversary of the first APRANET transmission - the first time data was successfully sent from one computer to another.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

November 3rd:
London McCabe
died on November 3rd, 2014

London was a 6yo boy from Oregon, USA. He liked big hats, stuffed animals, coloring, and cuddles with his mom and dad. He was autistic, and his mom couldn't cope with it, so she threw him off a bridge and called 911 on herself. His father said, "London was autistic, but he was important as a person. He didn't deserve to die. He wasn't suffering. A lot of the media like to portray people with autism as suffering. That the person who killed them have done a mercy. That is not the case."


Posted by Manya on May 20th, 2016

November 4th:
Lisa Steinberg
died on November 4th, 1987

Lisa was a 6yo NYC girl who was illegally adopted: her mom hired an attorney to find Lisa adoptive parents, and the attorney simply took the girl home, bypassing all the laws, paperwork, and CPS checks. Lisa was physically and sexually abused and neglected for years. On November 1st the man was going out for dinner, Lisa wanted to come along, and he hit her on the head with a hammer and left for more than ten hours. Lisa died in a hospital four days later.


Posted by Manya on October 18th, 2015

November 5th:
Jerry Darst
died on November 5th, 2012

Jerry, I miss and love you so much! You helped me and mom get though the day! I know your happier now, now you can be with your wife, But please always remember.... I love you! I have had a hard road to go down and since you been gone it seems to be harder! I know there's bumps in the road all the time but everything I have been through! Atleast you passed from old age! And a easy death! I love and miss you to the moon and back! I know your watching down on me! I love you! R.I.P!


Posted by Grace on January 13th, 2014

Ryan Weeks
died on November 5th, 2008

3yo Ryan from Oklahoma, USA, along with his mom and siblings, were known to child protective services. The first case was opened when Ryan was almost 1yo: the mother couldn't protect her children from drugs and violence in the home. Kids were moved between foster care, shelters, and her home multiple times. The last time they were sent back to live with her and her boyfriend, the judge reportedly said, "I hope I don't regret this." That's after he saw bruises on the kids and heard testimony of the kids, the foster parents, a doctor, and the DHS workers, stating that the children were being physically abused by the mother's boyfriend during unsupervised visitations. Ryan died of blunt force trauma to his head, which resulted in skull fracture and traumatic brain injury.


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

November 6th:
Edward Miller
died on November 6th, 2013

Eddie was a 20yo man from UK who was murdered by his girlfriend, an older and much more experienced woman. They met two years prior to that, and she was emotionally and physically abusive. On multiple occasions she broke things around the house, gave him a black eye, even attacked him with a knife, but Eddie dismissed it, saying "Look at the size of her. What could she do to hurt me? It was only a small knife anyway."

She claimed to have been sexually abused as a child, and physically abused by her prior romantic partners, and Eddie told his mom "I want to help her, I want to support her. She hasn’t had it easy and she is facing up to her demons.". Forensic psychologist Emma Kenny testified at the trial, "The reason that [she] tells him this information is so that when her behaviour is unreasonable, she can say, ‘but it’s not because of who I am, it’s because of what’s happened to me’. So she takes away responsibility of herself and she puts it on the responsibility of the people who’ve done these things to her. And that is quite powerful because what that says to Eddie is, ‘if you let me down, if you hurt me, if you reject me, all you’re going to do is be one of those horrible people that’s made me the way I am. Can you please heal me, can you help me?’ And that’s clever because it means that she’ll get what she wants."

On November 6th the woman killed Eddie by stabbing him 24 times, till the knife went 9 inches into his body and the blade broke off. The judge said, "Throughout this trial you have tried to portray yourself as a serial victim of domestic violence, that picture is not an accurate one."


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

November 7th:
Anne-Marie Birch
died on November 7th, 2013

47yo Mrs Birch from Kent, UK, ran a dog walking firm and had an estranged husband of 20 years who was stalking her. She had a restraining order and an NMO against him, and he kept violating both. On one occasion he slipped a copy of the restraining order, with a threatening message handwritten across it, under her door. In the two months prior to her death, Mrs Birch called the police nine times about the stalking. During one such call she said, "I got the order against him, you know, it's with a power of arrest, but they said any, any time he contacts you, to phone and we'll get him arrested, but it’s just not happening, there's nothing happening, you know." The last time Mrs Birch called the police was on November 7th at 8:32AM, she was concerned about her ex husband following her while she was dog walking. At 2:04PM on the same day someone called the police because they found her body on the path where she walked the dogs.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

November 10th:
Shaniya Davis
died on November 10th, 2009

Shaniya was a 5yo girl from North Carolina, USA, whom her mom sold to someone she owed money to. "I gave her to him to cover $200. He was only supposed to have sex," she said. Shaniya was found dead six days later. "I want to say I did the best I could with my children," the mother said in court. "I never said I was a perfect mother, but I was a good mother. I did what I had to provide for them. I did what I had to to make sure they were alright. I didn't have any help from anybody."


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

November 12th:
Mia Williams
died on November 12th, 2012

Mia was a 41yo nurse from Virginia, USA. She was an army veteran, married to another army veteran (no criminal record), and they had two kids. The marriage was rocky, Mia had an emergency order of protection against her husband once, but didn't renew it when it expired. On September 12th, 2012, Mia and her husband had an argument, she said she wanted a divorce. A few hours later he stabbed her more than two dozen times in front of both kids. They threw things at him to try to get him to stop, and called 911, but their mom died. The man pleaded guilty to spare the kids the trauma of testifying in court. The kids are with their grandma, Mia's mother. She says: "They're in school, and they go through good moments and bad moments, just like us. That's why we want to get this behind us, so we can move forward."


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

November 14th:
Meika Jordan
died on November 14th, 2011

Meika was a 6yo girl from Calgary, Canada. Her parents were divorced, and shared custody. On November 10th her father and stepmother didn't return her to her mom because a few days prior they burnt her hand with a lighter and didn't want her mom to see that. Over the following weekend they beat her to death. Here's how her stepmother explained this decision:

"I woke up at about four o'clock, it was the same thing again, you get the same screaming, the spanking, probably pulling on ears, you know, just the same regular normal stuff that we normally do. She acted up the whole entire day. So that's why she was being spanked and that's why she was getting even more riled up, more angry because it wasn't stopping... we kinda decided to shove her and try to give her motivational speech and yell at her and, you know, just get her going. And she wasn't doing what she was told."

Meika sustained multiple injuries, including brain trauma from being thrown down the stairs. She was clinically dead the when paramedics arrived, but was resuscitated and rushed to a hospital, where she died the next day. "My only saving grace is they were able to get her to the hospital just long enough for us to say those final goodbyes," said her mom.


Posted by Manya on May 20th, 2016

Jasmine McClain
died on November 14th, 2011

Jasmine was a 10yo elementary school student who was bullied because she didn't have brand-name clothing. Jasmine hanged herself. Her mom said, "I just lost it because she took her last breath in my arms. She was a loving child. I just don't understand."


Posted by Manya on February 5th, 2016

November 19th:
International Day for Prevention of Child Abuse
November 19th, 2001

Child abuse kills more than 3 children every day in America. Almost 80 percent of the perpetrators are parents. Physical abuse permanently disables 18,000 children and youth every year and seriously injures 565,000. If you have trouble controlling your temper around your kid, or feel frustrated with parenting him/her - please reach out for help.


Posted by Manya on November 19th, 2009

November 22nd:
Ivy Atkin
died on November 22nd, 2012

86yo Ivy Atkin from Nottinghamshire, UK, died as a result of abuse in the carehome she was placed in for only 48 days. Lead investigator said, "Sherwood Rise Ltd took on responsibility for a number of elderly people who should be well cared for and should be trusted to look after them. This is not a case where they, and the director and manager Mohammed Khan, have let standards slip slightly. Standards were almost non-existent. As far as Ivy Atkin was concerned, there were appalling failures to provide her with the care she deserved. She spent 48 days inside that care home and during that time her health plummeted. When she was eventually rescued - and that's the word we have used throughout the investigation - she was emaciated, she was dehydrated, she was malnourished and she had the most horrific bed sore to the lower part of her back which had plainly not been cared for. It is right that people have been brought to justice over her death and this case shows that the care of the elderly and vulnerable is not something that people should take lightly." Ivy Atkin's case was, nationally, the first conviction of corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter together.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016


 

If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.
~ Socrates
This page was last updated on May 28th, 2017
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