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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September 14th:
Jack Taylor
died on September 14th, 2015

25yo Jack Taylor from London, UK, worked as a forklift truck driver and lived with his parents and two sisters. Jack was raped and killed by a serial killer who had a fetish of having sex with unconscious young men. He met his victims through gay dating sites, lured them to his flat, spiked their drinks with GHB (date rape drug), and four of them, including Jack, died of overdose. The man was convicted of 22 crimes total, and sentenced to life in prison.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2018
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Jessica Arrendale
died on September 14th, 2014

Jessica (33yo, Georgia, USA) was dating Antoine Davis, who used to be abusive, especially when drunk. They had a daughter together, 6 months old Cobie (on the photo). On Saturday, September 13th, Jessica and Antoine went out, have been drinking, and later on at home Antoine became violent. Jessica tried to fight him off with a baseball bat, but he was a former US Marine and overpowered her. He beat her with the bat (while she had Cobie in her arms) and chased her upstairs, where she locked herself in the bathroom, still with the baby. He got a rifle, broke the door, shot Jessica in the head, and then went to the bedroom and shot himself as well. As Jessica was falling down, she turned around somehow and dropped the baby into the toilet bowl, covering it with her body as she fell, thus saving Cobie's life.

Posted by Manya on November 11th, 2015
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September 16th:
Ryanna Grywacheski
died on September 16th, 2017

18-year-old Ryanna Grywacheski, originally from Saskatchewan, was found dead in what has been ruled by police as a murder-suicide. According to RCMP, she was murdered by 37-year-old Jeff Kilfoy of Marystown, with whom she was in a relationship. According to a statement issued to the Southern Gazette on behalf of the family by Ryanna’s aunt, Cornelia Behr, “there are not enough words to describe Ryanna. “She was) beautiful, loving and caring. A sweet young woman, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin.” “She honestly had a heart of gold. She will be greatly missed by us all.”

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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September 17th:
Thomas Cressman
died on September 17th, 2000

39yo Thomas Cressman from UK was murdered by his girlfriend. They dated for two years, and she was staying in his flat because of her financial hardships. In September of 2000 he took her on a holiday to Italy and his family's villa on the French Riviera; she hoped he would propose to her, and he didn't, and told her he had no intention of marrying her, when she confronted him. The argument continued when they returned back home, and Mr Cressman called police saying that "somebody is going to get hurt", but police never came to his apartment. That night while he was sleeping, his girlfriend smashed him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him with a knife.

Posted by Manya on March 27th, 2016
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September 18th:
died on September 18th, 2018

3yo Varsha from India was beaten to death. Her mom wanted a son, and used to beat up Varsha and not feed her. When Varsha died of injuries and malnutrition, her mom was pregnant, and told their neighbors that if the baby turns out to be a girl again - she'll beat her to death as well.

Posted by Manya on May 6th, 2019
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Hiawayi Robinson
died on September 18th, 2014

8yo Hiawayi from Alabama, USA, attended a third grade and "lived her life to the fullest, unafraid and full of joy," according to family and friends. Five days before her 9th birthday, she went to visit her dad to pick up $150 that he wanted to give her as a birthday gift. She never returned home; her dead body was found behind an abandoned building in the neighborhood, and coroners report stated that she died during rape. Her dad was charged with sodomy and murder, and is pending trial while serving a different sentence in federal prison.

"The pain is still the same, nothing can change the pain I feel for my loss," Hiawayi's mom said. "But, to see all these people here, it helps with my comfort, to see people come together, and love and support one another... Love your family, stay close, time is short, that's what I pretty much got from this situation - life can really be short, (so) love your people while you can."

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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Jamey Rodemeyer
died on September 18th, 2011

14yo Jamey from New York, USA, was bullied for being bisexual. He was a fan of Lady Gaga and did a lot of activism against homofobia on his YouTube channel, including a video for the "It Gets Better project, a website dedicated to preventing teen suicide. Jamey committed suicide by hanging. His death made a large impact on the society; Lady Gaga dedicated a song to him and met with President Barack Obama to discuss school bullying prevention. New York state launched its Cyberbully Census. Multiple celebrities came out as gay, to help eradicate the stigma.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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died on September 18th, 2004

I miss you everyday, We suffered everything together, so it isn't fair you were the one who had to die..I guess life isn't fair but just remember I love you and miss with every breath and heartbeat.

Posted by Hania on May 28th, 2008
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September 19th:
Bernice Rice Hensley
died on September 19th, 2016

Bernice Rice Hensley 86 yo was shot and killed by her husband. Their daughter said that he has suffered from dementia for several years. “Her daughter who’s parents had been married for 62 years said. “They were the best parents you could ever have.”

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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Teresa Tysinger
died on September 19th, 2004

Investigators say 24 yo Teresa Tysinger's body was found inside her home on Burlington Mills Road. They are calling her death suspicious. Teresa, 34, had lived at the residence for about three weeks. Family members reported her missing on Sunday when she did not answer the door. Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for felonious assult on a female for her boyfriend.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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September 20th:
Daniel Whitworth
died on September 20th, 2014

21yo Daniel from Kent, UK, was "an active and intelligent outdoors boy who loved days on his bike exploring leafy byways", according to his father. Daniel was passionate about cooking, worked as a chef, and had been in a relationship with a live-in boyfriend for three years. He was raped and killed by a serial killer who had a fetish of having sex with unconscious young men. He met his victims through gay dating sites, lured them to his flat, spiked their drinks with GHB (date rape drug), and four of them, including Daniel, died of overdose. The man was convicted of 22 crimes total, and sentenced to life in prison.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2018
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Amanda Bach
died on September 20th, 2011

The marquee outside of Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church's school read, "Amanda Bach: Remember A Life." Hundreds of mourners did just that Friday morning, filling the church's pews to recall Amanda who was killed Sept. 16. She was described as the apple of her parents' eye, a young woman who lived life to the fullest, who hoped to study nursing in college, who liked country music and rap, hiking and going to the beach, and spending time with family and friends. Amanda's death, the Rev. Andrew Corona said during the funeral Mass, is like having the lights go out unexpectedly. Losing Amanda "is like being thrown into the darkness without the slightest warning".

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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September 21st:
Asunta Fong Yang Basterra Porto
died on September 21st, 2013

12yo Asunta was adopted from China as a baby by a well off couple from Spain, who raised her to be a prodigy: she studied English, French, Chinese, and German (aside from native Spanish and Galician), took private classes in ballet, violin, and piano, and skipped an academic year. However, many things went wrong in one year when Asunta turned 12: both of mom's parents passed away within months of each other, mom had an affair which resulted in divorce, and had a nervous breakdown. The parents needed space and sent Asunta to spend the summer with her nanny and godmother. However, that didn't help, and they planned to murder her. Mom drugged Asunta and strangled her, and then they left the body at the side of the road. Both were convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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Keith Bryan
died on September 21st, 2011

52yo Mr Bryan from Oklahoma, USA, was a Chief of Fire Department where he worked for more than 30 years, owned his own construction business, and was active in church. He had two sons, two grandsons, and a wife who seems to have struggled with sex addiction. She kept updating her friends on her numerous affairs, then told one of her lovers that she's about to receive a large inheritance and will be free to be with him. Soon after Mr Bryan was shot in the back of his head in his home. Several friends and family members testified she showed them a photo of the man's penis and bragged about the tryst while she rode with them to the hospital to see her husband after he was shot. She was sentenced to life without parole.

Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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Allison Newman
died on September 21st, 2006

Mom of 2yo Allison from Michigan, USA, struggled with crack cocaine addiction, asked a friend to care for her temporarily, and when CPS found out about it, Allison was taken to foster care. Her foster parents couldn't have children and were hoping to adopt Allison, but the custody was placed on hold till Allison's biomom completes her rehab treatment. On September 21st, Allison died of fractured skull, brain swelling, and bleeding. Her foster mother told four different stories as to how it happened, the last story being that she played "whirlybird" with the baby and accidentally dropped her off a second floor balcony. After that, however, she didn't seek medical help for Allison. The foster mother was convicted of murder.

Posted by Manya on June 26th, 2016
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September 22nd:
Tyler Clementi
died on September 22nd, 2010

18yo Tyler from New Jersey, USA, was a freshman at Rutgers University, a violinist, one of only two incoming freshman who made the graduate school orchestra. Tyler was gay, and his roommate had a problem with it. Just three weeks into the semester, the roommate secretly recorded a video of Tyler kissing a man and invited his friends to watch it. Tyler reported the incident to the university and requested a change of roommate, but after a few days he saw his roommate's Twitter feed, realized that he had become a topic of ridicule in the university, and jumped off the George Washington bridge.

Tyler's suicide received nationwide attention and prompted numerous changes at Rutgers University, the state of New Jersey, and American Colleges overall. Tyler's parents established the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which focuses on promoting acceptance of LGBT teens and others marginalized by society, providing education against all forms of bullying including cyber bullying over the internet and promoting research and development into the causes and prevention of teenage suicide.

Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016
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September 23rd:
John Pehota
died on September 23rd, 2015

77yo Mr Pehota was shot by his wife of 40 years. She was cooking pork chops and drinking wine, they began arguing (she doesn't remember what it was about), she broke a plate, and then got her "possum gun" that she used to scare off possums on her property, and shot her husband four times: his heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. She then called 911, saying "I think I shot my husband. I think I shot him three times... he pushes me, he mentally pushes me." Mrs Pehota said he has never hurt her physically.

Their family friend said, "I know a lot of Jack's friends and family, we've all talked about it and nobody can understand how it really happened. But I know they were having problems, he was really getting up there in age. When I was talking with one of my best friends, we were saying we could picture Jack saying, ‘go ahead, shoot me,' and if Anne had it in her mind to do something, she would do it. They were nitpicking at each other for years, and I guess Anne couldn't take it anymore." Mrs Pehota's defense attorney explained that "she has a lot of stressors that have nothing to do with Mr. Pehota. She is stressing about her house, about her air-conditioning unit, and that she was being cheated by different service people... and she has some health concerns about Mr. Pehota."

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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Jyniah Mary Te Awa
died on September 23rd, 2007

Jyniah Mary Te Awa, 10 months old, was tortured to death by her babysitter. On the span of six weeks she was kicked, shaken, thrown, swung by the hair, put in a closed freezer, hung from a washing line and smothered. Jyniah died of a brain injury. The babysitter pleaded guilty to Jyniah's murder.

Posted by Jane on July 4th, 2018
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September 24th:
Zahra Baker
died on September 24th, 2010

10yo Zahra from Australia was killed by her stepmom. Zahra's biological mom gave the sole custody to Zahra's dad because she suffered from postpartum depression and couldn't cope with the baby. Zahra survived lung and bone cancer, though lost some of her hearing and had to have one leg amputated. When Zahra was nine, her dad met an American woman online, whom he soon married, and the whole family moved to North Carolina.There were multiple reports of child abuse from neighbors and school teachers, but the family kept moving from county to county, and switched Zahra to homeschooling, so the case fell through the cracks.

It's unknown how Zahra died. Her stepmom was discussing "doing a murder with chainsaws" online two days prior, neither she nor Zahra's dad reported her missing till over a week later, and did a whole scheme trying to mislead the police into thinking she was kidnapped. Zahra's body parts and her prosthetic leg were scattered across two counties. Stepmom eventually pleaded guilty to murder. The police found no credible evidence against her dad.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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