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

May 25th:
Timothy Wiltsey
died on May 25th, 1991

5yo Timmy from New Jersey, USA, was a nice and quiet boy, according to his school nurse. He lived with his 23yo mom, and both of them struggled attending school/work. In his first year of school, Timmy was late 63 times, and absent another 25 days. His mom also struggled maintaining a job, frequently being late, calling out sick, or just not showing up without a notice. On May 25th of 1991, Memorial Day weekend, Timmy's mom said he went missing at a local carnival when she turned away to buy a soda. Police officers, firefighters, volunteers, and trained dog immediately started searching for Timmy. The case appeared on TV, and Timmy's photograph was circulated on thousands of missing-child flyers and milk cartoons.

Timmy's remains were found eleven months later, in the woods near his mom's old workplace. Cause of death was impossible to determine due to decomposition, but next to the body were Timmy's sneakers, his baby blanket, and a balloon, all featuring his favorite cartoon characters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Timmy's mom gave multiple different accounts of what happened, but was finally convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2017, more than 25 years after Timmy's disappearance.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017

May 26th:
Mackenzie Maison
died on May 26th, 2015

5yo Mackenzie and her 3yo sister Makayla from Detroit were starved by their parents. Makayla survived, weighing 17 pounds (she was bigger as an 8 month old baby than as a 3yo child), and Mackenzie passed away. Her grandma said that her parents never withheld food, she was just picky. When her mom called 911, she initially also said that she's calling because Mackenzie refuses to eat, and only later admitted the 5yo wasn't breathing. Medical experts have testified Mackenzie was bruised, malnourished, dehydrated and had pneumonia. She weighed 25 pounds. Both parents were found guilty of felony murder in Mackenzie's death, and first-degree child abuse and torture of both girls.


Posted by Manya on February 2nd, 2016

May 27th:
Farzana Parveen
died on May 27th, 2014

30yo Farzana from Pakistan was bludgeoned to death by her family for marrying her husband. They loved each other, she was pregnant by him, and her family initially approved of the marriage, but withdrew their consent after her husband refused to pay more than the agreed-upon bride price. Farzana's father accused him of abducting her, and she testified to the police that she had married her husband of her own free will. Her family then stoned her to death in front of a police station. Her father said, "I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it."


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017

May 29th:
Brandon
died on May 29th, 1998

I'm sorry i wasn't there for you when you needed me.I'm sorry for letting you down.I'm sorry for the events that occurred that night that lead to you taking your life.I blame myself and will never forgive myself.I will live with till the day i die.I loved you so much and still do.There isn't a night that i don't think of you or a day i don't cry for you.I hope you have found peace.


Posted by Jennifer on October 23rd, 2013

Asher Lesyshen-Kirlan
died on May 29th, 2013

Asher was a 9yo boy from Colorado who played violin, enjoyed ski jumping, hiking, camping, fishing, and soccer. His parents were living together, but were estranged. On May 27th Asher's mom found out his dad was having an affair. They had an argument where she struck him multiple times, but they seemed to work it out in the end, and he agreed to not divorce her immediately, so that she could keep his health insurance. The the next day seemed to go on as usual, with her going to work and the family eating together, but at 3AM, while her husband was sleeping in the basement, she went to Asher's room and shot the sleeping boy to death, leaving a note to her husband that said, "Remember you are responsible for what has happened here and you are the person that caused it." It was signed, "Lisa & Asher". She then attempted to kill herself too, but survived (though paralyzed), and eventually pled guilty to the murder.

"We did a lot of hiking, a lot of backpack trips. Those are incredibly powerful memories for me," said Asher's dad. "I know every town worth passing through, but what good does knowing do with no one to show it to? I kind of feel that way about Asher."


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

May 31st:
Pleasant Ervin Shorty Robinson
died on May 31st, 2010

57yo Mr Robinson, a welder from Texas, USA, was a father of three and a member of The Moose Lodge, a fraternal and service organization popular in North America. He was killed by his wife, who buried him in their front yard and told everyone he left her with another woman. His body wasn't discovered for three years, but eventually she pleaded guilty to murder.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017

June 1st:
Maria Sadaqat
died on June 1st, 2016

19yo Maria from Pakistan worked as an elementary school teacher, and didn't want to marry the son of the school's owner. "They sent in the proposal six months ago but the guy had already been married and had a daughter," explained Maria's aunt. "They wanted her to run the school after marrying the son of the owner of the school. Her father refused the proposal and they took the revenge by doing this." Maria was beaten, covered in petrol, and set on fire; she died of her injuries the next day.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017

June 2nd:
Elaina Steinfurth
died on June 2nd, 2013

Elaina was an 18-month-old baby from Ohio, USA, killed by her mom and mom's boyfriend. Elaina was crying, and mom threw her against the wall and then called her boyfriend, who suffocated the baby and hid the body in his garage. Here's a quote from Elaina's father statement to court:

I would like to start by telling the court what kind of sweet baby Elaina was. She was a playful little girl who was full of energy. She loved to swing and would chase her older sister Kylie around for hours. She was also a very loving baby who loved to be held and cuddled. She would lay and nap with me for hours during the day while I slept for work on third shift.

I have many memories I will always keep of Elaina; memories of her playing in the sprinkler in the backyard, memories of her running around at Chuck E. Cheese and playing games. But what I remember most about Elaina is she was a fighter. Due to being born with problems with her feet, doctors said it would take her longer than normal to be able to learn to walk. But Elaina went through months of physical therapy and was walking by her first birthday. Elaina was strong and very determined and that I will never forget about my little girl.



Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

June 3rd:
Devin Parsons
died on June 3rd, 2011

12yo Devin from Indiana, USA lived with his little brother and sister, his mom, and his mom's boyfriend. He was an outdoorsy kind of boy, loved basketball, football, fishing, and hunting. Almost every Sunday, he got his little sister and brother ready for church, and they waited for the church bus to pick them up. Devin's little sister called him "the Protector." Their home life wasn't safe; family members, the police, and Devin's school sent a total of 19 reports to Child Protective Services about drugs, violence, and neglect, majority of them being in the last school year. On the first day of school summer break, Devin's mom and her boyfriend beat the boy to death because some of their drugs were missing and they suspected he hid them. Here's a poem that Devin wrote:

Peace is friendship and being healthy
Peace is like the fresh yellow sun
Peace sounds like dogs howling
Peace tastes like candy


Posted by Manya on March 22nd, 2017

June 4th:
Suvarna Naik
died on June 4th, 2011

26yo Suvarna from India was a victim of dowry death. She had a 6 months old daughter, but her husband and in-laws were harassing and abusing her, claiming that the dowry they received for her from her family wasn't sufficient. Suvarna hung herself in her bedroom. The police charged her husband and in-laws with abetment to suicide, harassment for dowry, and dowry death.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017

Travis Alexander
died on June 4th, 2008

Travis was a 30yo man from Arizona, USA, who worked as a salesman and motivational speaker for a legal services company. He was trying to break up with his girlfriend of two years, complained to his friends that she was stalking him and slashed his tires, and was about to leave to Mexico with another woman. The ex girlfriend drove nearly two thousand miles to his home, they had some private time that they took pictures of, then he took shower, which she took pictures of as well, and the next pictures on the camera, taken within minutes, are of his dead body in the bathtub full of blood, with 27 stab wounds, a slit throat, and a gunshot wound to the head.

It was a capital murder trial, i.e. the woman was risking a death sentence, so she told three separate versions of what happened. First, that she hasn't seen Travis in two months and doesn't know what happened to him. Then, that someone broke into his home, murdering him and attacking her. Her final version, which she first mentioned two years into the case, was that he was abusive to her and that she killed him in self-defense. She even wore a t-shirt that said "survivor" to trial, causing much controversy among Domestic Violence activists, some of whom view her as a victim, while others view her as a perpetrator. In the end she was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Here's a quote from Travis' obituary:

Travis lived each day as if it were his last, with many accomplishments, dreams, travels, and successes. He was an amazing individual who sought out to save the world with his positive influence, his motivational speaking and his writing. He was well on his way to making all his dreams a reality. Travis has touched so many lives and will continue in our hearts forever and always. We can never express the unbearable pain from this tragedy.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

Zina Linnik
died on June 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

June 5th:
Joylynne Giebel
died on June 5th, 2015

2yo Joylynne from Arizona, USA, lived with her two older brothers, mom, and stepfather. Their mom felt that he was "loving, caring," and said, "Our relationship was awesome. His relationship with the kids was awesome. (...) He never hit me, he never hurt the kids. We never hurt the kids, we love the kids." However, there were at least 5 reports to the Department of Child Safety alleging the adults were dealing drugs and the kids were physically abused and drugged. A caseworker visited the house, but no one was home; she left a business card on their door and didn't follow up.

Joylynne died after her stepfather was "rough housing" with her and "smacked her on the head" to "discipline" her. Joylynne's 4yo brother said 'daddy had hit [her] in the face real hard'. Her head was covered in bruises. Both parents were arrested, the stepfather for manslaughter and the mother for failure to protect her child from abuse and to call for an ambulance while Joylynne was dying. "I sit in my room and cry," said the mother. "I get my bible out, and I pray to God that some light will shine, so that people who know me come forth and tell everybody what a mom I am."


Posted by Manya on March 22nd, 2017

June 6th:
Farmer vs. Brennan ruling
June 6th, 1994

Dee Farmer is a trans woman who was incarcerated with the general male population. She was repeatedly raped and beaten by the other inmates and acquired HIV as a result. Ms Farmer felt that the warden of the prison, Edward Brenner, should have done something to protect her, and filed a lawsuit. Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a prison official's "deliberate indifference" to a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment:

We [...] hold that a prison official may be held liable under the Eighth Amendment for denying humane conditions of confinement only if he knows that inmates face a substantial risk of serious harm and disregards that risk by failing to take reasonable measures to abate it.

This means that if you're in prison, are getting hurt, and the prison staff knows about it - they can't just not care. They have to protect you, because it's not OK to knowingly put people in harm's way, while they have no way to escape.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

Kalief Browder
died on June 6th, 2015

Kalief was a 22yo man from Bronx, NY, who survived abuse but committed suicide because of its aftermath. He was arrested at 16 andheld at the Riker's Island jail for three years, not convicted of any crime. He was abused by both inmates and staff at Rikers, but refused to plead guilty and be sentenced to time served; he said he wasn't guilty and wanted to go to trial. Once released, Kalief tried to rebuild his life: got a job, went to college, but he couldn't cope with the emotional aftermath of his jail experience, the flashbacks, the anxiety, the hypervigilance, and eventually paranoia and psychosis.

Being home is way better than being in jail, but in my mind right now I feel like I’m still in jail, because I’m still feeling the side effects from what happened in there. I’m trying to break out of my shell, but I guess there is no shell. I guess this is just how I am - I’m just quiet and distant. I don’t like being this way, but it’s just natural to me now. (...) I might be attacked; I might be robbed, because, believe me, in jail you know there’s all type of criminal stuff that goes on. Before I went to jail, I didn’t know about a lot of stuff, and, now that I’m aware, I’m paranoid. (...) People tell me because I have this case against the city I’m all right. But I’m not all right. I’m messed up. I know that I might see some money from this case, but that’s not going to help me mentally. I’m mentally scarred right now. That’s how I feel. Because there are certain things that changed about me and they might not go back.

Kalief killed himself on June 6th, 2015. The day before, he told his mother, "Ma, I can't take it anymore."


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016

June 7th:
Rania Alayed
died on June 7th, 2013

Rania was killed by her husband after trying to escape an abusive marriage. The couple was originally from Syria, but moved to Stockton-on-Tees, UK in 2004, and to Manchester five years later. Rania was 21, a mother of three, and her husband abused her physically, sexually, and financially. Once in Manchester, she started reaching out for help, and even hired a lawyer. She started college, made friends of both genders, and confided in them that she was living in a domestic violence situation. In May of 2013 Rania moved out with the kids, filed for divorce, and began dating another man.

Her husband seemed to agree to grant her divorce, but on June 7th he asked to meet her at a neutral territory, so that she could drop off the kids to visit with him for the weekend. Once there, he murdered her, while their kids were in another room, dressed in her clothing and left the building like that (to make it look like she left, on security cameras), and was telling everyone they have divorced and Rania is alive and in Turkey.


Posted by Manya on February 19th, 2016

June 9th:
Suhair Al-Bataa
died on June 9th, 2013

13yo Suhail from Egypt died of FGM, Female Genital Mutilation, a practice that 90% of Egyptian girls are subjected to, that consists of partial or full surgical removal of external genitalia. Suhail's dad took her to a clinic for this procedure, and she died during it. Her grandfather said, "It is God's will. We are not angry with the doctor. The doctor does not want to kill anyone. We are all sorry, and definitely we regret this." While her uncle said, "It has been done in the countryside for a long time. People here are used to it. Without circumcision, girls are full of lust."


Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016

June 10th:
Kami Ring
died on June 10th, 2013

10yo Kami from Maryland, USA, was a straight-A student who loved to laugh, sing, and dance. "She loved everything about life," her godmother said. On the first weekend of her school break, Kami attended a local carnival and was staying the night at the home of people she considered her grandparents. She disappeared from her bedroom in the middle of the night, and her body was found the next day just 60 yards in front of their home. Kami was raped, beaten, and strangled to death by their relative who was living in the house at the time. "They would never have even had Kami around him if they knew he was this sick," her godmother said. "We have taught her to scream at the top of her lungs if something ever happened," her stepdad said. "Kami's a model 10-year-old. She was staying somewhere she felt safe."


Posted by Manya on March 22nd, 2017

June 11th:
Maleeya Marie Murley Avalon
died on June 11th, 2011

17-month-old Maleeya from Tennessee, USA, lived with her mom and visited with her dad. During one of the visits she was raped, bitten, and thrown against the table by her dad's girlfriend; dad was not involved in any of it. Maleeya died of brain injury.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

Carly Sawyer
died on June 11th, 2009

Carly was a 5yo girl from Virginia, USA, whose parents fought for her custody for 2.5 years. At the end Carly stayed with her dad and stepmom. They punished her for bed wetting by spanking, withholding food, tying her hands (so that she couldn't get food from the fridge while they weren't looking), and keeping her tied up in a cardboard box. Carly died of blunt-force trauma with contributing factors that included starvation, ligature restraint and medical neglect. Her dad set up an obituary where he referred to Carly as "God's newest angel," and the stepmom said that Carly caused herself the brain injury by throwing herself on the floor because she was upset. Both pleaded guilty to first degree murder.


Posted by Manya on May 20th, 2016

Phoenix Sinclair
died on June 11th, 2005

Phoenix was a 5yo girl from Manitoba, Canada, who was murdered by her mom and stepdad. When she was born, both of her parents had a history with Child Protective Services, and initially she was removed from them right after birth, as they were deemed unprepared to care for a baby. They were allowed to visit with her, and six months later they took her home. There was domestic violence in the household, and Phoenix' little sister died of respiratory infection, but Phoenix wasn't removed from the house. Her parents broke up, she stayed with dad, and there were multiple abuse and neglect reports; for example, once Phoenix was taken to a hospital because she had a piece of styrofoam in her nose for three months, and the doctors weren't sure her dad would consistently give her antibiotics to cure the resulting infection; she mostly stayed with a family friend. When Phoenix was four, her dad moved to another province, and soon her mom took her from the family friend. Her mom had a new husband by then, with one child they had together and two more children the man had from a previous marriage. A year later Phoenix died of physical abuse and neglect. She was made to sleep in a cold basement, was given very little food, forced to eat her own vomit, shot with a BB gun, and played a "game" with, in which her stepdad strangled her till she passed out. On the day Phoenix died, the man was beating her continuously for over 15 minutes while her mom looked on. When the couple finally left the house, Phoenix' 12yo brother checked if she was OK, and discovered she was dead. The couple didn't report her death, and continued to claim her welfare benefits for another 8 months; they were arrested when they tried to pass another girl as Phoenix, after the boy reported her death to police.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016


 

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.
~ Plato
This page was last updated on February 12th, 2017
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