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

February 11th:
My sister
died on February 11th, 2007

Sorry was not there for you, but could not do it anymore missed you for so many years and to have heard of your suicide hurts so bad, hopefully you have now found peace


Posted by dfk on November 2nd, 2008

Ozgecan Aslan
died on February 11th, 2015

Ozgecan was a 19yo Psychology student from Mersin, Turkey. She had loving parents (her mom returned to workforce to fund her education) and an older sister with whom Ozgecan shared love of opera. On February 11th, 2015, Ozgecan was riding a minibus home, after going to a mall with her friend. The driver assaulted her, attempted to rape, but she resisted: scratched his face with her fingernails, and used pepper spray. In response to this, the driver stabbed her multiple times, beat her to death with an iron rod, and then asked his father and his friend for help disposing of the body (which they provided).

The case resulted in nationwide outrage and protests across the country, and was described as the first mass movement for Turkish women.


Posted by Manya on November 2nd, 2015

February 12th:
Aurore Gagnon
died on February 12th, 1920

Aurore was a 10yo girl from Quebec, Canada, who was killed by her stepmom. Her birth mom died of tuberculosis, and her dad remarried. Shortly after, Aurore's younger brother was found dead and the neighbors were suspicious. In September of 1919, 10yo Aurore was hospitalized for more than a month because of a leg infection caused by physical abuse: her stepmom used to beat her with an axe handle. When Aurore was discharged, the beatings continued, and on February 12th the girl passed away from septicemia (infection from wounds entered her bloodstream and she died as a result). The story of l'enfant martyre (The Child Martyr) received great attention in the media and Aurore became an icon of Quebec sociological and popular culture.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

James Bulger
died on February 12th, 1993

James Patrick Bulger was a 2yo boy from UK who was abducted at a local shopping centre, tortured, and murdered by two ten-year-old boys, the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history. The boys were released from custody when they turned 18, but one of them, Jon Venables, had committed various offences since, including child porn distribution. The case has prompted widespread debate on the issue of how to handle young offenders when they are sentenced or released from custody.


Posted by Manya on April 18th, 2014

February 13th:
Tobi Joan Doyle
died on February 13th, 2016

2yo Tobi from Colorado, USA, loved dancing, music, Minnie Mouse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Her mom and mom's boyfriend used to hit her, and send her on timeouts so long that she "could barely stand" by the time they were done. Her great aunt felt this was "overboard", and her babysitter even reported excessive discipline. Toby has been to the hospital for her injuries, but was sent back home because the doctors assumed she just fell down the stairs. Three weeks later, Toby died of blunt trauma to the head. Her mom was charged with child abuse resulting in death.


Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2017

February 15th:
Torey Dymond
died on February 15th, 2012

1yo Torey Dymond from Florida, USA, died after taking a walk with his mom's boyfriend. The man said Torey was "whiny" and wasn't taking to him as he would have liked; he said the child fell and hit his head twice. When they got home, Torey's mom noticed that his face was purple and blue and he seemed "lifeless". She called 911, but Torey died in hospital.


Posted by Manya on March 23rd, 2017

February 16th:
Blake Litton
died on February 16th, 2012

3yo Blake from Missouri, USA, lived with his mom, little sister, and mom's boyfriend. One evening their mom was at work at a nursing home, and the stepdad took Faith and Blake to Walmart. Blake soiled his pants, and the man "lost it," as he later texted Blake's mom. He beat Blake so badly that the boy's body was covered in cuts and bruises, he had a lacerated liver, and a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. Once the man calmed down and realized Blake was seriously hurt, he took both kids to their mom's work, saying that he loves her but he can't call ambulance for Blake because he'll end up in prison for life. Blake's mom told him to take Blake to emergency room anyway and went back to work. The man drove off with both kids, stopped on a highway and called 911, saying that Blake was just hit by a car. By that time (5AM) the mom finished her shift and arrived at the scene as she was walking home. When hospital staff saw Blake's injuries, they called the police. His sister also had cuts, bruises, and a broken wrist.

Blake died the next day, the man was imprisoned for life, mom is still pending trial on murder charges (because Blake might have survived had she called 911 immediately). Blake's little sister lives with her grandparents, and was the one who told the story of what happened, because she saw it all: how Blake soiled his pants at Walmart, how the man was punching Blake in the bathroom, how he drove her and her unconscious brother to mom's work in the middle of the night, how mom left them with him and went back to work, and how the man staged the hit-and-run that never happened.


Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016

February 18th:
Dwelle Jerome Clark
died on February 18th, 2014

55yo Dwelle Clark from New Jersey, USA, was stabbed to death by his ex-girlfriend. He caught her rummaging through his mother's handbag, asked her to stop it, she started hitting him with a walking cane, he left the room, and she followed him with a butcher knife and stabbed him in the chest. Mr Clark died three days later. Their daughter said, "My mom is a drug addict, but she hasn’t been using lately because she’s trying to get herself together. In a situation like that, it doesn’t take much for (an addict) to snap. This is not the first time my mom has snapped like this." "I really don’t know what to think," she added. "It’s just a sad situation. She’s locked up and he’s no longer here." The woman has stabbed her previous boyfriend to death in 1980, and served prison time for it. "I’m guilty," she said. "So what else can I do?"


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

February 19th:
Jeff Akers
died on February 19th, 2008

50yo Jeff Akers from UK was stabbed to death in a public bathroom because he was gay. Mr Akers worked as an accountant and volunteered for HIV/AIDS charities, counseling other gay people who had contacted the disease. "Guys like Jeff seem few and far between... he was gentle but firm when needed, kind and giving, non-judgmental and while he had a serious side he could make you laugh and brighten the moment with his wicked sense of humor. Jeff had a wealth of experience he never hesitated to share and encourage others with if called on for help. He took so little when giving so much to those around him." David Jack, friend.


Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016

February 20th:
Steve Rhinehart
died on February 20th, 2012

62yo Mr Rhinehart, a retired contractor and farmer from Georgia, USA, had a wife, two grown kids, and a cattle dog Sadie. His 36yo son struggled with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and moved back with his parents. As time went on, Mr Rhinehart insisted that he move out, because he would neither get a job nor receive treatment. The son felt his mom alone would take care of him, wanted them to divorce, and when that didn't happen, he killed his father. "I just pulled the gun out, continued to walk up the hill and around the corner and met him and just shot him, right in the chest," he said.


Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2016

February 21st:
Savannah Hardin
died on February 21st, 2012

Savannah was a 9yo girl from Alabama, USA, ran to death by her grandmother over some fundraiser candy. Savannah took it from another girl on a schoolbus, ate it, left the wrapper at her seat, but told the bus driver she didn't do it. The bus driver told her grandmother. "I should have paid for those candy bars," the driver said in retrospect. Grandmother called the mother of the girl Savannah took the candy from, offering to pay for it and saying that Savannah is in a big trouble. The woman spoke to her daughter to get the story straight and called right back because she was concerned with grandmother's tone of voice; "I didn’t want Savannah to get in trouble for something that didn’t happen," she said.

The next day Savannah didn't take the bus to school, and the bus driver came by their house in the afternoon to check on the girl. Grandmother said Savannah was "gonna learn" not to lie and that she would "run until I tell her to stop.". Neighbors across the street saw Savannah running for more than three hours, while carrying firewood sticks, with her grandmother shouting: "I didn’t tell you to stop!" They called 911 later on that evening, when Savannah was on the ground, vomiting, as her grandmother slapped her and shouted: “Get up! I better not have to tell you again!” Savannah had a seizure, was hospitalized, and died three days later from extreme physical exertion. Her grandmother was convicted of capital murder. "I wish I had done something a lot sooner," said the neighbor.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016

February 25th:
Kevin
died on February 25th, 2009

Your suicide left us with so much hurt and pain. I hope you can forgive me for starting it all. RIP my brother. I love you now and for always.


Posted by Mickie2012 on August 17th, 2012

Victoria Climbie
died on February 25th, 2000

In November of 1998 6yo Victoria from Ivory Coast came to France to stay with her aunt (whom she never met before), so that the aunt would get social security benefits, and Victoria would get an education. Things didn't work out with social security in France, and next April they moved to UK. Victoria was abused and neglected, and numerous people saw that, but she never got the help she needed. For example, workers at social security offices (which the aunt frequently visited to apply for benefits) said that Victoria "looked like a child from an ActionAid advertisement", but they assumed it was an attempt to "persuade the authorities to hand out money." Doctors at the hospitals Victoria was taken to for her injuries reported the problem to CPS, but the aunt said Victoria had scabies, and CPS cancelled the follow. In August a social worker spoke with Victoria on four separate occasions for a total of less than 30 minutes (so about seven and a half minutes each time). This social worker visited their flat three more times between December and January, but received no answer and assumed they must have moved back to France. In February CPS wrote to the aunt saying that if she doesn't respond, they'll close the case. A week later they closed the case; it was February 25th, the same day that Victoria died.

8yo Victoria was forced to sleep in a bathtub in her own excrements, had been burnt with cigarettes, tied up for periods of longer than 24 hours, and hit with bike chains, hammers and wires. She died of hypothermia, multiple organ failure, and malnutrition, and had 128 separate injuries and scars on her body at the time of death. During her life in Britain, Victoria was known to four social services departments, three housing departments, two child protection police teams, two hospitals, an NSPCC centre, and a few local churches. Her death led to a public inquiry and produced major changes in child protection policies in the United Kingdom.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016

February 26th:
Ash Haffner
died on February 26th, 2015

16yo Ash from North Carolina, USA, struggled figuring out their sexual orientation and gender identity, and committed suicide because of school bullying. "if i die, i don't want to be remembered as the sad person i was ok. i don't want to be remembered as the faggot gay girl with all the scars on her arm. unfortunately thats who i am to alot of people. if those people would have just stayed silent and kept their ignorant thoughts in their heads then maybe i wouldn't have those scars on my arm. maybe. it wasn't always about what they had in their heads, it was what was inside of mine too. i just didn't understand why i felt the way i did when i had a decent life."


Posted by Manya on March 11th, 2017

February 27th:
Jessica Lunsford
died on February 27th, 2005

Jessica was a 9yo girl from Florida, USA, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a neighbor. At 3AM he entered her home (the door wasn't locked), went into her bedroom, woke her up, told her "Don't yell or nothing,", and took her to his trailer about 100 yards away. There he raped her multiple times, and then locked her in the closet when he left for work in the morning. Three days later he told her to climb into two garbage bags because he was going to "take her home". Instead, he buried her alive. He confessed, then recanted, but was found guilty of all charges related to Jessica's death, and died on death row, maintaining his innocence.

Jessica's dad pushed for a new legislation, Jessica's Law, which now requires sex offenders in Florida, who violated children under 12yo, to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison, and to wear tracking devices for life.


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016

March 1st:
Self-Injry Awareness Day
March 1st, 1999

HSCIC estimates that about 13% of young people between 11 and 16 have hurt themselves on purpose at some point. However, the number could be much higher because people usually keep their self-injury secret, due to stigmas surrounding the issue. Self-Injury Awareness Day aims to break the silence, so that those who self-injure know that they aren't alone and that people care, and those who don't - would understand the issue better and be less judgmental and more supportive as a result.


Posted by Manya on January 8th, 2016

Russell
died on March 1st, 2012

Suicide is never the answer, but it's too late to say that. I just hope that you are happier now and the pain is gone. Rest in peace. Sweet 16 forever


Posted by Laura (busymom) on April 8th, 2012

Elijah Dillard
died on March 1st, 2014

6yo Elijah from Michigan, USA, was killed by his father. The man beat Elijah on his head and punched him in the stomach for two days, till Elijah passed out. Neither the man nor the mother of the child called 911 because the man believed Elijah was faking it so that CPS would come and remove him and his siblings from the house. Instead, he took the boy to shower (post mortem examination revealed burns), and when that didn't help, the mother (who was about to get certified as a medical assistant) wrapped him in blankets and took him to the bedroom. Elijah died three days later of internal bleeding and brain hemorrhage.


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

Rowena Sharpe
died on March 1st, 2012

She was murdered by her husband, whom she had escaped from. She was living elsewhere, with her children, trying to rebuild her life. One day, her husband appeared and killed her, then himself. The children fled to their neighbour's house. Reading about this story in my local newspaper affected me very deeply, and my heart still goes out to the people of her community.


Posted by Red on August 13th, 2012

Delcelia Witika
died on March 1st, 1991

Authorities were first alerted to this case by a phone call on the night of 21 March 1991 from Tania Witika, Delcelia's mother. Witika made a call from a local video store to report in a matter-of-fact way that she had just arrived home after "a couple of hours" absence to find her two-year-old daughter dead.

When police arrived, Tania Witika sat outside in a patrol car with Detective Constable Caroline Fisher who says she's never forgotten the coolness and lack of emotion shown by the mother, who casually asked her for a cigarette.

Witika first met Eddie Smith in a South Auckland bar in June 1989. Within two weeks of meeting, Smith had already started to 'knock' Tania Witika around.

Tania kept a detailed diary, which often mentioned Smith belting her, but it also extensively mentioned an enjoyable life with him...Her diary also spoke of her own violence against her daughter. Initially she told police that she alone was responsible for beating Delcelia. Smith blamed Witika also. When Witika found out that Delcelia's injuries included massive sexual abuse, she changed her story claiming Smith was responsible for the major injuries.

The police photographs of the Delcelia's squalid bedroom and her tiny, tortured body remain to this day among the most harrowing, gut-wrenching evidence ever presented to a jury in a child abuse case in this country.

...photographs of the crime scene showed that Delcelia's body was used as a punching bag from one end of the house to the other. Her blood was splattered on walls and carpets. There was a large pool of blood on the sheet less, blanket less mattress she slept on. Vomit had dripped down the skirting board where the little child was sick during her final night alive. Burns aside, some close-up photos of Delcelia's neck showed vicious injuries caused by long fingernails. Photos of the inside of her mouth showed where teeth have been smashed out and the inside of her top lip ripped from the gum. Other photos showed scarring to her head where her hair has been violently pulled over several months.

During the trial Witika claimed she had gone partying with Smith while Delcelia was dying because Smith had threatened to 'waste her' with a steel bar if she didn't go and had also put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her on the way there. But barrister Christopher Harder, representing Smith, was given a home video of that party which crown prosecutor Mike Ruffin screened in court the morning final addresses were made to the jury.

The video showed Witika happy, smiling and enjoying herself with Smith. It would have been influential to any juror. Witika and Smith were both found guilty of manslaughter and the other counts of neglect and ill treatment.

Both were sentenced to 16-year prison terms.



Posted by Jane on March 20th, 2015

Amina Filali
died on March 1st, 2012

16-year-old Amina committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist. After submitting to the marriage, Amina confided to her mother that she was subjected to violent beatings from her husband; her mom simply asked her to be more patient. As a final resort to escape her violent marriage, Amina injested rat poison and ended her life.


Posted by Lala on August 11th, 2012

March 2nd:
Nicholaus Contreraz
died on March 2nd, 1998

Nicolaus (16yo) died of abuse and medical neglect at Arizona Boys Ranch bootcamp, where he was sent for shoplifting.

He had asthma, and was complaining of nausea, diarrhea, and chest pain. The staff believed he was faking it, so they restricted his use of inhalers and were making him do physical exercises till he fainted, punched him, shoved him against walls, and denied him the right to use the bathroom. Eventually he became unable to control his bladder and bowels, and vomited frequently. As a result, they made him sleep in the bathroom in his soiled clothes, and carry around a bucket with his waste (over which he was forced to do pushups).

Quote from Wikipedia:
On March 2, the day he died, he had collapsed repeatedly. He was told he "deserved an Academy Award", thrown to the ground, forced to do pushups, and bounced off a wall. Another boy was ordered to push him around in a wheelbarrow while Contreraz was ordered to mimic the sound of an ambulance siren. He continued to be accused by staff of faking his condition. At around 5:30 pm, he collapsed for the last time. According to witnesses later interviewed by Arizona Child Protective Services, after his final collapse and inability to move, he was ordered by staff to get up, to which he simply replied "No", which was his last spoken word. He was pronounced dead two hours later.

Nicolaus had a collapsed lung, massive lung infection from inhaling vomit, two and a half quarts of puss caused by staphylococcus (from doing pushups over raw waste), blood in his stomach, and 71 cuts and bruises. Cause of death was cardiac arrest.

The day before he died, he was heard saying "Lord, help me, I need help, I need help..."


Posted by Manya on March 17th, 2015

March 3rd:
Daniel Pelka
died on March 3rd, 2012

Daniel was a 4yo boy from UK, abused and murdered by his mom and her boyfriend. They starved the child, beat him, locked him in a room, force-fed him salt, and put his head underwater in the bath. Both the mother and the boyfriend were convicted of murder; the mother hung herself the day before his 8th birthday; the boyfriend died in prison as well.


Posted by Manya on January 3rd, 2016

March 4th:
Chantelle Barnsdale-Quean
died on March 4th, 2013

Chantelle was a 35yo mother of two from UK, strangled by her husband. He then cut himself and told the police that she attacked him and hung herself. The jury didn't find his story credible.


Posted by Manya on March 18th, 2016

Jahlil Clements
died on March 4th, 2012

Jahlil was an 11yo boy from Virginia, USA, who died trying to protect his mom from domestic violence. She was driving on an interstate, with her boyfriend and Jahlil in the car, and was having an argument with the boyfriend. She pulled over when he started hitting her. Jahlil ran into traffic to flag down help for his mom, and was killed. \“Kids are always affected by domestic violence when it goes on in the household, but I’ve never seen anything like this before -to this magnitude,\” said Elizabeth Crawford, director of the local Domestic Violence and Counseling Center.


Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016

March 5th:
Soren Chilson
died on March 5th, 2013

5yo Soren from South Carolina, USA, died of brain injury while in the care of her mom's boyfriend. According to him, Sorren suddenly had a seizure and started coughing up blood, so he called 911. However, aside from broken skull, she also had bruises on her back, chest, and feet; the man was charged with murder. Soren's aunt said, "I would have taken her in a heartbeat. She was my family. She was my little buddy. Some people just shine. God bless her, everyday of her life, she shined."


Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016

March 6th:
Dontel Jeffers
died on March 6th, 2005

4yo Dontel from Massachusetts, USA, was "a very joyful, vivacious young man, full of life, vibrant and spry," according to his family and friends. "He was very energetic and happy, cheerful, you know, and he always liked to play with other kids and be around kids." Dontel's parents were separated before he was born. The first four months of his life he stayed with his mom at a homeless shelter. Then she dropped him off by his dad. Dad took good care of Dontel, but was arrested and deported on drug and violence related charges four years later. Dontel was placed with his mom for a month, then removed from her due to drug abuse and placed with a series of foster parents. He only spent ten days in his last foster home, before dying of physical abuse inflicted by his foster mother.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017

March 7th:
Jessica Joyner
died on March 7th, 2016

29yo Jess from Wisconsin, USA, had a husband and five children aged between five and eleven. The children said that on March 7th mom and dad were having an argument because dad was yelling at mom for "dating a crackhead," after which "he stabbed her, she was running away, and he stabbed her a couple of more times." Jess ran to a next door neighbor (followed by children) and bled to death. "Now she won’t be there for when I go to prom or my wedding," one of her daughters wrote. "I love you, Mom."


Posted by Manya on May 13th, 2017

March 8th:
Gabrielle Randel
died on March 8th, 2009

2yo Gabby from Texas, USA, was living in a Florida hotel with her mom, 3yo brother, and mom's boyfriend. At 5AM on March 8th Gabby's mom called 911 and told them Gabby wasn't breathing. The police was greeted by Gabby's 3yo brother, who had "Dumb A**" scribbled on his forehead by his mom. Gabby was unconscious and died a few hours later. She had multiple bruises, blunt trauma to her forehead, and serious trauma to her genitalia. Mom's boyfriend explained that he wrapped Gabby in a sheet and repeatedly hit her to get her to stop crying. The man was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The 3yo boy went to live with his dad.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2017


 

When anger rises, think of the consequences.
~ Confucius
This page was last updated on May 28th, 2017
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