A Visual Memorial of People Who Lost Their Lives Due to Domestic Violence in Virginia Created by: Bedford Domestic Violence Services July 2008
` Leah Moore Ferguson Appomattox, VA Murdered: January 21, 1955 Age: 32 After years of abuse, my mother was shot in the back and died 20 minutes later. She was trying to get out of the marriage. He turned the gun on himself, but lived. She left three small children. She was a good, loving person.
Karen Sue Johnson Lynchburg, VA Murdered: April 15, 1983 Age: 25 I am a victim of domestic violence homicide along with my friend. We were shot repeatedly by my ex-boyfriend. My last breath was used to say the words, “Help me!” Please do not let our deaths be in vain. Please help put a stop to the violence.
Aurelia Farr, “Puddin” Orange County, VA Murdered: October 27, 1984 Age: 45 I was a victim of violent murder, along with one of my two sisters. Since our parents died in a car accident 37 years ago, my surviving sister had only our seven children left of our family. My sister, son, and niece had to fight to keep my killer in jail. Remember me, but pray for the ones I left behind.
Wilma Bowman, “PeeWee” Madison, VA Murdered: October 27, 1984 Age: 35 I was a victim of murder, along with my older sister. She was gunned down as she came to my aid. I can no longer speak for myself. My sister, niece, and nephew had to fight to keep my killer in jail. Remember me and remember the loved ones who fought for justice so that I didn’t die in vain.
Debra Annette Baker Fairfax County, VA Murdered: July 21, 1989 Age: 25 Debra was stabbed multiple times. Her husband of five months was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. This caring, gentle, and devoted spirit should be remembered as a rainbow of love and compassion – the opposite of the evil that took her life away.
Vickie Wright Bedford, VA Murdered: April 25, 1990 Age: 23 Vickie’s former boyfriend had chased her around her home before brutally slashing her and nearly cutting her head off. Her body was found in her bedroom near her unharmed, but bloody, infant.
Jayne Marie Leebrick Alexandria, VA Murdered: September 15, 1991 Age: 33 Jayne was murdered while starting her car to get away from her abusive husband. Using a 9mm handgun, he shot her seven times on the driver’s side and walked around to the passenger side and shot her again before a witness took the gun from him. PLEASE REMEMBER MY NAME.
Christopher Montgomery Sanders Amherst, VA Murdered: November 4, 1991 Age: 8 I was 8 years old when my life was ended. I should be in college now, but instead I am in my grave. I was murdered in my bed by my mother, the person who should have been protecting me. She stabbed me many times with an ax and then set me on fire. Please remember me and make sure that she is never released from prison to harm anyone else.
Marybeth Ann Sahnow Emporia, VA Murdered: April 1, 1994 Age: 23 Marybeth’s ex-boyfriend carried a rifle into the store where she worked. He shot her twice after she ran from the store to protect her customers’ safety. Marybeth always put others ahead of herself. She died alone in an alley. Four children now go through every day without their mother.
Loria Sluder Bedford, VA Murdered: June 4, 1995 Age: 31 Her estranged husband shot her in the head at close range while she was sitting on the floor.
Elizabeth Claire Strother, “Beth” Ashland, VA Murdered: March 14, 1995 Age: 22 Beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I am a victim of domestic violence homicide. I can no longer speak for myself. Please do not let my death be in vain. If you are angry or sad, stand up and speak for those of us who are screaming from our graves. Help put a stop to the violence and please, REMEMBER MY NAME.
Sylvia Gregory Richmond, VA Murdered: June 9, 1997 Age: 21 Hollow words: I love you, I’m sorry, I will never hurt you. Yet he destroyed you with verbal and physical abuse. You kept silent, thinking no one could help you. It was not love. It was control. If it was love, he would not have killed you.
Beverly Wells Bedford, VA Murdered: May 15, 1998 Age: 36 Earlier on this month, Beverly had a protective order served against her estranged husband. On this date her estranged husband entered her home and told her five children to leave the residence and then shot her with a rifle which resulted in her death.
Sadie Trent Farmville, VA Murdered: June 25, 1998 Age: 64 Sadie was shot several times by her husband. She died in her bedroom on the floor. Her husband was charged with first degree murder.
Cynthia Brinn Bedford, VA Murdered: August 1, 1999 Age: 32 Cynthia was shot twice with a 12 gauge shot gun by her estranged husband. She left behind a 6 year old son.
Gwen Lee Beyer Kaull Chesterfield, VA Murdered: January 10, 1999 Age: 42 I am a victim of domestic violence homicide. I was not ready to die and leave my young son to grieve for me. The night a gun was placed to my head, my murderer did not care about the pain he inflicted on my son, mother, and family as he proceeded to take my life. Please remember me.
Andrea Faith Carter Goochland, VA Murdered: July 8, 1999 Age: 33 Beloved mother, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend. Andrea was shot several times in the chest while sitting in her car at work. She died at the scene.
Valerie Anne Baker, “Bubbe” Wise County, VA Murdered: November 6, 1999 Age: 20 Beloved daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I was murdered on my 20th birthday by someone I only knew for 75 days and dated briefly. He was very possessive. Don’t think this cannot happen to you. Please don’t let my death be in vain. Speak up because we cannot and please, REMEMBER MY NAME.
Ruby Farley Bedford, VA Murdered: May 19, 2000 Age:80 A few weeks before her murder, she obtained a protective order against her husband. She was beaten to death in her chest by her husband with his cane.
Ernestine Green Puryear, “Tina” Richmond, VA Murdered: March 11, 2000 Age: 42 Tina was shot once in the head while she crouched down hiding in a closet in her home. She died in the closet where she was discovered by the police. Tina’s boyfriend was charged with her murder. We love you Tina.
Suzanne McCoy Arena Rice, VA Murdered: July 5, 2000 Age: 78 Owner of the vintage clothing store “Suzi’s Antiques” and loved by all who knew her. Devoted Wife, Mother, and Grandmother. A great lady whose life came to a tragic end when she was murdered along with her daughter by her daughter’s ex-husband.
Susan Brockert Varner, “Suzi” Farmville, VA Murdered: July 5, 2000 Age: 50 This amazing woman who was so full of life and smiles and love for those around her was brutally murdered in her home by her ex-husband. The man then drove to the home of Suzi’s mother and murdered her as well. These were senseless killings that could have been prevented.
Hope Allen Johnson New Kent County, VA Murdered: September 21, 2000 Age: 22 In an act of bravery, I decided to no longer be a victim of domestic violence. I wanted to be happy and enjoy life with my two children. My husband hired his friends and together they ended my life and stole my children’s joy. For me and my children – help put a stop to this violence.
Brenda Fay Moore Lee County, VA Murdered: September 22, 2000 Age: 33 Beloved daughter, sister, mother, niece, sister-in-law, cousin, and friend. I am a victim of domestic violence homicide. After ten years of abuse, I was shot to death just as I prepared to start a new life. I can no longer warn those of you who are in an abusive situation, but if I could I would tell you to fear for your life. Do not let your life be destroyed as mine was. Always remember what happened that day and remember my name.
Thomas Ezell, “Edwin” Mecklenburg County, VA Murdered: October 28, 2000 Age: 56 Our loss was great and tragic. Edwin was a dear brother, loved and respected. He was killed by a gunshot. With prayers for peace his brothers and sisters, children of the late Vela and Dewey Ezell, will remember him always.
Carolyn Miller Chesterfield, VA Murdered: December 5, 2000 Age: 57 I was the mother of two daughters, grandmother of five. Many called me a loving, gentle soul. I was brutally beaten and left to die. Please do not let my death be in vain. I WAS important. I WAS worthy. Please remember my name.
Tonya Marie Brown Tazewell County, VA Murdered: January 5, 2001 Age: 36 Tonya was shot in the back while trying to run away from her husband’s violence. She was a loving mother who lived for her children. Now she will never see them grow up.
Michelle Yvette Woods Bassett, VA Murdered: January 20, 2001 Age: 33 Michelle died from multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. She was shot by an ex-boyfriend (her children’s father) who had only been released about a year before on a malicious wounding charge against her. We need stricter laws for perpetrators. Let us remember the victims.
Amanda Christine Addair Franklin Boydton, VA Murdered: February 18, 2001 Age: 22 I was murdered by my husband. Please let this shield stand as a memorial to the love I have for my daughters, so they will know the truth and remember why I’m gone but never forgotten.
Nancy Lee Bland Cartersville, VA Murdered: March 3, 2001 Age: 41 Nancy loved life and would always lend a hand to those less fortunate than herself. She was shot by a “close” friend who said he loved her. He committed this horrible act in front of his young teenage daughter. He was a convicted felon who said he had “turned his life around,” yet he possessed a handgun, another felony in the City of Richmond. Help put a stop to this violence.
Gracie Yvette Dillard Lynchburg, VA Murdered: March 6, 2001 Age: 28 Our very much loved daughter, sister, mother, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend was shot to death in front of her children, just eleven days before her 29th birthday. She died on an apartment floor after fleeing for help. Her former boyfriend was charged with first-degree murder, but was sentenced to only 21 years.
Tameka M. Bond Richmond, VA Murdered: March 26, 2001 Age: 23 Beloved daughter, mother, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend.Killed by her boyfriend, father of her two children. “You were called away so suddenly without a last goodbye only God, in His loving mercy knows the reason why. The flowers we lay upon your grave may wither and decay. But the love we have for you will never fade away.”
Karen Williams East Lynchburg, VA Murdered: April 28, 2001 Age: 45 Karen was brutally murdered by her ex-husband as she lay sleeping in her home with her two youngest daughters. Her memory will remain in the hearts of all the friends and family she left behind. Don’t let her death be in vain. Help stop domestic violence.
Jack Tunstal Gowen Nelson County, VA Murdered: August 17, 2001 Age: 63 Jack was shot and left to bleed to death on the floor of his family room. His second wife of only 3 years was charged with first-degree murder in his death.
Candace Renee Gibson, “Ramey” Wise County, VA Murdered: October 15, 2001 Age: 26 Shot four times by her husband. “Your trials are over, You made the crossing, Rest my sweet child, Spread your wings and fly. Your pain is over, Your earthly light was snuffed out, Your heavenly light will shine forever.” We love you.
Sigrid Carmen Salinas Chesterfield, VA Murdered: November 2, 2001 Age: 32 I was the mother of two and I was a dental student. I left behind my parents, my sister, and many wonderful, true friends. Please take action so my being murdered along with my two innocent children will not be in vain.
Stefan Gabriel Salinas Chesterfield, VA Murdered: November 2, 2001 Age: 13 I was a rascal of a boy who wanted to go to Duke University. I left behind my grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and all my buddies. Please create programs on all levels to prevent this from happening to another family.
Erika Blair Salinas Chesterfield, VA Murdered: November 2, 2001 Age: 11 I was in the gifted program at school. My ambition was to be a Harvard attorney because I wanted to defend innocent people. I left behind my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and many good friends. Please allow the law to protect innocent victims, rather than allowing sociopaths to prey on the innocent.
Jean Gloucester, VA Murdered: December 3, 2001 Age: 67 Loving mother of four, grandmother of nine, and great-grandmother of two. We were married seven years. He gradually changed. First the verbal abuse began, then the physical abuse. I suffered in silence with fear and love for my family. He strangled me when I said I wanted a divorce. I didn’t ask for help. Please don’t let anyone suffer in silence. Tell them “Jeannie said to ask for help.” Stop the violence! Enjoy life and your family.
Brensia Elizabeth Champ Richmond, VA Murdered: December 20, 2001 Age: 38 Brensia, also known as “Tuss,” was a good and loving mother with a million dollar smile and a heart of gold. The oldest of five sisters, she was known for helping everyone she met. Brensia was shot to death in her sleep by her boyfriend of nine years, just days after she told him of her plans to end the relationship. He said that if he couldn’t have her, no one would. Brensia’s teenage daughter was also shot, but she miraculously survived.
Maya LaJuan Davidson-Cooper Arlington, VA Murdered: January 20, 2002 Age: 21 Beloved mother, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I was shot to death by my estranged husband. I cannot speak for myself anymore. Don’t be afraid to talk to the ones that love you and want to help you! I wish I would have!!
Marguerite Diggs Harcum Mathews County, VA Murdered: February 21, 2002 Age: 60 Marguerite was shot by her husband on January 29, 2002 and died 23 days later. Beloved Daughter, Sister, and Sister-in-Law. Special Aunt, Cousin, and Friend.
Latoria L. Smith Roanoke, VA Murdered: January 7, 2005 Age: 21 Latoria was murdered by her boyfriend who then committed suicide.
Desiree Jennings Roanoke, VA Murdered: February 4, 2005 Age: 20 Desiree was murdered by her boyfriend.
Wendy Mills Roanoke, VA Murdered: March 6, 2005 Age: 29 Wendy was murdered by her husband who later committed suicide.
Diana Lynn Blaney Roanoke, VA Murdered: April 9, 2005 Age: 43 Diana was murdered by her son’s ex-girlfriend.
Ashley Black Roanoke, VA Murdered: April 23, 2005 Age: 28 Ashley was murdered by her husband who then committed suicide.
Sabrina Reed Roanoke, VA Murdered: September 2, 2005 Age:34 Sabrina was shot and killed by her estranged husband while exchanging their daughter for visitation.
Donald Moon Campbell County, VA Murdered: April 17, 2006 Age: 35 Donald was stabbed to death by his wife. He was a good son, brother, a great father, husband and a role model for other young men. He was always looking for bigger and better things in life.