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 29th:
Avery Lee Hobbs
died on July 29th, 2016

4yo Avery from Ohio, USA, was "a little jokester who would just laugh whole-heartedly," according to her grandparents. When Avery was 4 weeks old, her mom fractured her skull, and spent six months in jail on child endangerment charges. Avery stayed with her grandparents. Once out of jail, mom regained custody of Avery, but just one months later grandma complained to CPS that mom "does not provide for the infant...does not have a stable home or relationship. Barely visited the infant. (Avery's) half-sister was also removed from (mom's) custody for suspected abuse." What followed was a couple of years of custody disputes, foster care, and parenting classes. In March 2015 Avery was permanently placed in her mom's care. And in July 2015 Avery was killed by blunt force trauma to the head; mom is pending trial on murder charges. "This could've been stopped," Avery's grandma said "This could've been prevented if people would've listened."


Posted by Manya on September 13th, 2017
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Megan Kanka
died on July 29th, 1994

Megan was a 7yo girl from New Jersey, USA, who was raped and murdered by her neighbor Jesse Timmendequas. Timmendequas had two prior convictions for aggravated sexual assaults on young girls. The murder attracted national attention and subsequently led to the introduction of "Megan's Law", which requires law enforcement to disclose details relating to the location of registered sex offenders.


Posted by Manya on June 2nd, 2015
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July 30th:
Owen Barker
died on July 30th, 2012

3yo Owen from Ohio, USA, liked Batman and enjoyed playing outdoors. He lived with his mom and her boyfriend, who physically abused and eventually murdered him. The boyfriend was sentenced to life, and Owen's mom was sentenced to 11 years for permitting child abuse. "Danielle is the product of a broken home," her lawyer said. "She grew up never knowing what a stable, loving home was like. All she wanted for her son was what she lacked as a child. Danielle was a working mother, trying to provide for her son and unfortunately trusted the wrong person to care for her son while she was away."


Posted by Manya on June 16th, 2018
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July 31st:
Alex Hill
died on July 31st, 2013

2yo Alex from Texas, USA, was removed from her parents home because her dad used to smoke pot at night. The girl was placed with a foster family that also had issues with pot - as well as crack cocaine and other problems, over a 100 violations total. Biological parents were going to get Alex back, but four months prior to that she was killed by her foster mom. According to her, Alex got up too early that morning, which frustrated the woman, and then they played a game, at the end of which Alex's head was slammed into the floor. Alex had bruising all over her body.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 1st:
Emanuel Jaques
died on August 1st, 1977

Emanuel Jaques was a Canadian 12-year-old boy who was murdered in Toronto in August 1977. The sexual assault and murder of Jaques sparked outrage in Toronto, resulting in the conviction of three men. Emanuel was often seen shining the shoes of passersby with his brother Luciano. The brothers used their collective earnings to help their parents support them and the five siblings with whom they'd left Portugal 3 1/2 years earlier. Emanuel thought he could earn a little more on July 28, 1977, when Saul David Betesh offered him $35 to move photography equipment. Instead, Betesh, Robert Kribs and Joseph Woods were involved in tying Emanuel up, sexually assaulting him and then drowning him in a sink at Charlie's Angels massage parlour, according to evidence presented in court in the winter of 1978. Emanuel's body was found on the roof of 245 Yonge St. on Aug. 1, 1977, one of roughly 40 massage parlours running between Bloor and Richmond streets at the time. Their emergence had become a "huge political issue" in postwar Toronto, urban historian Daniel Ross said. "Here you have a 12-year-old boy dying, being murdered by the very city of opportunity, the so-called city that works, the so-called Toronto the Good," Fernandes said. "Parents are willing to take very high personal tolls and go through quite a lot just so that their children don't have to" said Gilberto Fernandes, the director of the Portuguese Canadian History Project. Note: 8.1.1977 was the date Emanuel's murder was discovered not necessarily the date of his death


Posted by Jane on June 30th, 2018
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August 2nd:
Paige Linsmeyer
died on August 2nd, 2015

27yo Paige from Wisconsin, USA, worked at a paper mill and enjoyed softball, volleyball, darts, fishing, golfing and traveling. Paige was killed by her 51yo boyfriend who then committed suicide. Their neighbor said, "It makes me sad because I know her and I grew up with her. I knew her dad and family, and I know how devastated she must be."


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 3rd:
Olumide Ayeni
died on August 3rd, 2018

36yo Olumide from Lagos worked as a hospital pharmacist and had a wife and two children. His marriage was fraught with disagreements, and his father advised him to divorce, but the rest of the family discouraged him from meddling. On August 8th, Friday night, Olumide's wife stabbed him to death over suspicions of infidelity. Their children were taken by her mother.


Posted by Manya on May 4th, 2019
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Katelynn Sampson
died on August 3rd, 2008

Katelynn was a 7yo girl from Toronto, Canada, whose mom was a drug addict. She gave Katelynn to another drug addict, hoping her daughter would have a better life with them. All three (the mother and the couple who cared for Katelynn) had a long history with Child Protective Services, and there were multiple reports from school and neighbors, with concerns about Katelynn's welfare. Those reports weren't followed up. Katelynn died of septic shock from over 70 wounds. Police found her blood in every room of the apartment, and a note written by her, that said 62 times "I am A awful girl that's why know one wants me."


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Nia Marie Glassie
died on August 3rd, 2007

Nia was a 3yo Maori girl abused and eventually killed by her family in Rotorua, New Zealand. She was the youngest of six children her mom had. Mom was 34yo, and frequently left Nia with her 16yo boyfriend, his brother, and the brother's girlfriend. The three have been abusing Nia for months, in front of her older siblings.

Nia had been kicked, beaten, slapped, jumped on, held over a burning fire, had wrestling moves copied from a computer game practiced on her, spit on, placed into a clothes dryer spinning at top heat for up to 30 minutes, folded into a sofa and sat on, shoved into piles of rubbish, dragged through a sandpit half-naked, flung against a wall, dropped from a height onto the floor, and whirled rapidly on an outdoor rotary clothes line until thrown off.

When Nia lapsed into coma, her family didn't take her to hospital for 36hrs (they were having a party, and continued it while she was in hospital). During the trial, a doctor told the court that if Nia had been taken to hospital as soon as she was unconscious, she would have likely survived.


Posted by Manya on April 17th, 2011
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August 4th:
Sandra Coke
died on August 4th, 2013

Mrs Coke was a federal investigator of death row inmates in California, USA, working to overturn wrongful convictions and improve inmates' quality of life. She was murdered by a violent sex offender whom she dated briefly 20 years prior, and with whom she reconnected after he was released from prison about a year before her death. Here's a quote from Federal Defender Press Release: "Sandra was a compassionate, intelligent, thorough investigator. A devoted single mother and friend to her coworkers, she dedicated her work and her life to looking for the best in people, to give some explanation to why people do what they do - even the most heinous of acts, all based upon the belief that no person should be judged only by the worst act he or she committed."


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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August 5th:
Chaitanya Balpande
died on August 5th, 2015

13yo Chaitanya from Pune, India, was born disabled. His parents loved him very much, he enjoyed bird watching and playing cricket with them. Things went downhill when he was around ten; parents split up, and mom didn't let his dad and paternal grandma to see him anymore. Three years later Chaitanya's mom beat him to death with a cricket bat.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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Mason Rhinehart
died on August 5th, 2014

6yo Mason from Florida, USA, lived with his mom, dad, and 8yo brother Aden. "They were two peas in a pod, they were best friends, they were inseparable," his godmother said. "When you saw Mason, you saw Aden." Mason was on the honor roll in school, loved swimming and playing Minecraft with his brother, started weightlifting with his dad, and played for a youth football team.

The boys' parents worked full time, and grandma babysat the kids twice a week. One Tuesday, two days before Mason's 7th birthday, the parents were at work, the boys were playing computer games, and grandma told them she had a surprise for them. She took Mason to the bathroom, locked the door, and stabbed him to death. 8yo Aden heard his brother cry and say, "I don't want to die, please don't kill me." Aden tried to get into the bathroom but couldnt, so he called his dad and hid. He wasn't physically injured, but, before leaving the house, grandma told him she had a surprise for him too.

The grandma eventually pled no contest to murder charges, explained that she did it because she was "fed up" with her daughter-in-law, and was sentenced to life without parole. "I feel really sorry for him because not only did he lose a son, he lost a mother," Mason's godmother said about his dad. "He says he's done with her and never wants to see her again."


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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August 6th:
Karen Passmore
died on August 6th, 2015

Karen Passmore was left disabled after suffering a stroke while giving birth to her daughter, Jackie. Her husband took care of her from 1993 until his death in 2014. Her care then passed to daughter Jackie. According to a medical examiner's report, Karen Passmore weighed just 58 pounds and died from a combination of acute pneumonia and cardiovascular disease. It appeared the contributing factor to her death was adult neglect by her caretaker. Jackie Passmore was charged with homicide and negligent manslaughter of her disabled mother.


Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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August 7th:
Myles Hill
died on August 7th, 2017

3yo Myles from Florida, USA, loved to cuddle with his grandmother and showing his great aunt how to play a race-car game on his tablet. "He was always doing something," she said. "He was a very happy little boy." Myles was left in a parked van for nearly 12 hours because his day-care worker forgot to do a headcount before dropping the kids off for the day at 9AM. According to meteorologists, the high temperature that day was 93, and it would have only taken an hour for the inside the van to reach temperatures topping 140 degrees. Myles' body was found in the van at about 8:30PM, when his grandmother couldn't reach the daycare by phone and went there in person.

"If you leave your child with someone, that person has the responsibility of taking care of them," said his great aunt. "He had to lose his life because of someone's neglect. It's not right. It's not right at all. If you have six kids get in the van, you make sure six kids get out of the van."


Posted by Manya on October 16th, 2017
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Jenise Wright
died on August 7th, 2014

6yo Jenise from Washington state, USA, loved playing at the park with her friends and family, baking pies with her Grandma, taking pictures with her ipad and going out for ice-cream cones. She was raped and murdered, and the police arrested a 17yo neighbor, friend of Jenise's older siblings, who used to hang out in the house and whom Jenise's dad taught how to chop firewood for extra income. "It's devastating. It almost would have been easier if it was a stranger," the father said.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016
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