Six-year-old JonBenet Patricia Ramsey was found murdered in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home in December 27, 1996. The morning before, her mother allegedly found her bed empty and a ransom note in the staircase. She alerted the police at once. The next morning, her body was found. She had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled with a garrotte. Her parents, John and Patricia Ramsey, were the main suspects of the murder before being cleared as suspects in July 2008. Her case had brought a worldwide media sensation due to her wealth, the suspicion of her parents and her participation in child beauty pageants. To this day, JonBenet Ramsey's case is still unsolved.
12-year-old Shanda Renee Sharer had been involved in a romantic relationship with schoolmate Amanda Heavrin, 14, much to the anger and jealousy of Amanda's ex-girlfriend Melinda Loveless, 16, who also studied in the same school. Before Shanda's death, Melinda had been threatening to kill Shanda at their school in Indiana. January 11, 1992, Melinda and 3 other teenagers,Laurie Tackett,Hope Rippey and Toni Lawrence abducted Shanda from her dad's home and led her to the Witch's Castle in Utica,Indiana where they stripped her naked, beat and strangled her with a rope tied around her neck which the four of them pulled as hard as they could.That night Shanda was tied up and placed in the trunk of a car as Laurie and Melinda drove around waiting for Shanda to die while the two other girls were asleep. However Shanda wasn't dead so the two girls stabbed, burned and raped her with a tire iron.The next morning,Hope Rippey beat her and sprayed Windex on the stab wounds. The four girls then wrapped Shanda in a blanket and set her on fire on Lemon Road.The girls were tried as adults. Unfortunately, two of them, Hope and Toni, are now released. Shanda Sharer's murder is named the worst crime in the state of Indiana since Sylvia Likens in 1965.
Six-year-old Tiffany Eunick,whose mother left her to be babysat by Kathleen-Grossett Tate, whose son was a 12-year-old boy named Lionel and had a reputation of being a playground bully, died of a cruel murder in 1998. Tiffany, a little girl with a precious smile and lots of energy, suffered bleeding eyes and ears, broken bones and rib cage, bruises and a fractured skull from old Lionel Tate, who used his wrestling moves to her as a form of "play.'' Instead of stopping her son from hurting Tiffany, Lionel's mother told Tiffany to stop screaming. Lionel Tate was charged with first-degree murder and is the youngest American citizen to be ever sentenced to life imprisonment.
Four-year-old Darcey Iris Freeman's first day of school was her last day alive. It was nine in the morning, January 29, 2009, on her way to school, when her father Arthur Phillip lifted her from the car and threw her off the railing in the West Gate Bridge. She fell around 190 feet in the water, in the eyes of other drivers and motorists who were there in the bridge when she was thrown, in they eyes of her two brothers left in the car. She was brought out of the water by rescuers but died in Royal Children's Hospital shortly after.Friends and relatives remembered Darcey as an "energetic,determined,fun little girl who adored her brothers and loved singing and dancing," and wished that Children's Day, much like mother's or father's day, would be made in her memory as a tribute to children.
Thirteen-year-old Christina Marie Williams was an average girl with a passion for music and animals. Born in Japan with an American father and a Filipina mother, she went missing after walking her dog after school in June 12, 1998. Her body was found on an army base three miles from her home, on January 1999. Her case is still unsolved.
Ten-year-old Damilola Taylor and his family moved to UK from Nigeria to seek treatment for his epileptic sister. But all was not well because he was being bullied at his new school. The boys would beat him up and call him names. He was constantly called "gay". In November 27, 2000, he was stabbed to death by broken bottle pieces on his way home. It was caught on a surveillance camera. Brothers Ricky Gavin and Danny Charles Preddie were convicted of the crime in August 9, 2006. They were sentenced to eight years in prison. The brothers had been twelve and thirteen years old at the time of Damilola's murder.
Little Cary Ann Medlin never turned nine years old. She lived in Tenessee, and was remembered a loving, carefree little girl who loved The Pink Panther, country music and riding bikes. However that hobby led to her death. In September 1, 1979, the child and her brother were biking when a man came and asked Cary where her father lived. She jumped into the car, the last time she was ever seen alive. The next day her body was found on a field road. She had been raped and stabbed. After police investigation, a drug user and sex offender named Robert Glen Coe was arrested and sentenced to death for the abduction, rape and murder of Cary Ann Medlin. Heartbreaking as this case was, Coe confessed something about Cary Ann's last words. What did she say before her death? Cary Ann Medlin's last words were to her own killer: "Jesus loves you."
This precious little two-year-old baby was Kelsey Smith-Briggs. Her mother Raye Dawn Smith and stepfather Michael Lee Porter had beaten the little girl to death. She suffered a broken collarbone, abrasions on her buttocks, thighs and back, broken legs, cuts and bruises and blunt force trauma. Kelsey died to a blow on her stomach caused by her stepfather on October 11, 2005. Her father, who was a soldier came home shortly after rxpecting a happy reunion, had to bury his daughter. Micheal Lee Portee was sentenced to 30 years in prison and his wife 27 years. Which I think is really unjust because they took a baby's life and they would go scot-free after their sentence. April 28 was made Kelsey Smith-Briggs's Day. Her father, and millions of others, would never forget her.
Nine-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford's life was cut short in February 27, 2005. Three days ago she had been abducted by local sex offender John Evander Couey,then 47, who kept her in a closet for three days and raped her twice, whilst police searched effortlessly for the little girl's whereabouts. At that time, two other women who lived with Couey in his trailer didn't reveal anything to the police. Three days after Jessica's kidnapping, Couey told her he was going to take her home,made her go inside two garbage bags and he buried her alive in a shallow grave covered with leaves.Three weeks later the police found Jessica's body there, inside the garbage bags, clutching her toy dolphin and two of her fingers poking out of the bag. Couey was sentenced to death. Jessica's father traveled from state to state trying to pass a law named after her, to help protect sexually abused children. A foundation and playground were made in Jessica's memory.
Judith Eva Barsi was ten years old when her father killed her and her mother in 1988. She was a rising child star, and had been in several TV ads and movies, including Jaws 3: The Revenge, but she was also a child abuse victim. Her father, insane and jealous, had been yelling, threatening and beating his wife and young daughter. Judith became a sad little girl who gained weight and plucked her eyebrows until she broke down infront of a manager and told everything. She was put on therapy but it didn't work; her father shot her and her mom to death before killing himself and burning the house one night in July 1988. A former on-set teacher set a fund to put headstones on Judith and Maria Barsi's graves. In Judith's grave was the inscription "Our Concrete Angel" (in reference to a song about child abuse sung by Martina McBride) and on her mother's grave ""The wind beneath Judith's wings."
When 16-year-old Sylvia Marie Likens was tortured to death by her caretaker Gertrude Baniszewski in Indianapolis in 1965, her murder shocked an innocent generation. The pretty ninth-grader had been confined in the basement of her caretaker's home, where she had been tied up, starved,beaten constantly and burned with cigarettes by her caretaker, her children and a few neighborhood kids, including 14-year-old Richard Hobbs, who burned the words "I'm a prostitute and proud of it!" in Sylvia's belly with a heated needle. Several books were made in her memory, including The Indiana Torture Slaying by John Dean and The Basement by Kate Millett. Two movies about her case have been made, The Girl Next Door and An American Crime, both released in 2007.
Samantha Runnion was only five years old when she was raped and murdered in 2002. She was playing near her house with a friend when a man named Alejandro Avila came and asked her if she had seen his puppy. Then he snatched her and drove off. "Tell my grandma!" Sam yelled to her friend as she was driven away. Her naked body was found on the mountainside near a highway the next day, by two men in Riverside County, California. She had been raped and strangled and died of a crushed abdomen. Alejandro Avila was sentenced to death. The Joyful Child Foundation was found in her memory, helping make kids safer.
Beaten to death by her stepfather while her mother just watched and the neighbors ignored her screams, Nixzmary Brown, seven years old, died in January 11, 2006. Her murder raised child abuse awareness in New York and across the nation, but by then it was too late. Prior to her death, the child had been sexually abused, raped, beaten, duct taped, tied and starved. She came to school with sores and bruises, yet was still a good child, sharing her food with a classmate even though she was battered at home. The little girl met her end after being "punished" for stealing yogurt and breaking a printer. Her head was smashed against a tub and she was forced in a freezing bath. Nixzmary's Law was passed to help prevent the abuse of children.
This beautiful little girl was only seven when she died in October 11, 1997. Sherrice Iverson was in the Primadonna Resort and Casino with her father when Jeremy Strohmeyer, a high school student, decided to "play with her". After throwing wet towels to each other in a restroom, Strohmeyer began fondling the child. A friend of Strohmeyer, David Cash, saw it but did nothing. Then Strohmeyer strangled the girl till her neck snapped, and he kept twisted her small neck till she died. Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash bragged about it at school, and were arrested. Since Sherrice's murder, security had become stricted in Nevada casinos, even small ones.
Fifth-grader Myles Neuts was ten years old when two bullies decided to have a little fun with him. The hung him on the coat hanger on the school bathroom. The other kids just watched until one of them reported it. Myles was taken down unconcious from the coat hanger. Six days later, at the hospital, he died, another life taken by a peer-inflicted form of child abuse called bullying. He died in February 6, 1998, and neither of his killers were ever charged. Today, his father holds talks on bullying in schools. He wants to stop bullying. He wants children to go to school where they could learn and play happily, not to die. Myles Neuts died a painful,ugly death, but his legacy lives on.